First Lady's entry into politics has shaken Zanu PF to the core. Will she grab the throne?
As Zanu PF factions destroy each other, the military will have a huge say as to who would take over from President Mugabe.
He is a controversial prophet who continues to draw large crowds with his promise of miracles. But as his popularity soars he faces all sorts of allegations. So far he has survived.
Two secretary generals tried to topple him but failed. His wife walked out but returned home. Now MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is plotting his way to State House.
Saturday, 1 November 2014
This was revealed by the teenager’s uncle, Eliot Hoko, who told Victoria Falls magistrate Sharon Rosemani that as soon as the assault case the boys are charged with is over, he was planning to assist his nephew Nelson Moyo to file a police report against Sheila Ngwenya, 28, for deliberately infecting him with HIV.
The trial continues on November 14 when the court expects to receive a Probation Officer’s report. Moyo and one of his friends are being charged for assaulting Evans Ngwenya, 38, with an empty bottle causing serious lacerations on his scalp after he visited his wife.
Ngwenya’s wife, Sheila, was allegedly cheating on him with Moyo who teamed up with the juvenile to assault him when he visited her on October 3 this year. Sheila was staying with her parents in Matetsi while Ngwenya was working in Victoria Falls.
Hoko said his nephew’s health had deteriorated as Sheila “wilfully” passed HIV to him and he wants her prosecuted.
“I am prepared to pay the complainant money for his handset and for his medication as I would deduct from the accused’s salary but after this case I want to open a docket because he is now sick.
The complainant did not mention in court that he and his wife are on ARVs and his wife infected my nephew,” said Hoko. “My nephew and the woman had started fighting as well as he accused her of hiding her status.”
Ngwenya also testified and claimed that when he took groceries for his wife, he found her at the bus stop with three teenagers.
“She took a plastic bag I was carrying and introduced me to them as her husband and the boy said I should pay him for taking care of my wife in my absence,” Ngwenya said.
He said Moyo attacked him with an empty bottle when he told him that he was not aware that his wife had a bodyguard. He said they left him for dead. Ngwenya also revealed that he had since separated with his wife.
“I fell down unconscious and when I woke up they were all gone, including my wife. They damaged my phone and I want it back. We have since separated with my wife because I suspect she is pregnant. She is also refusing with my clothes and I would want the court to help me recover them,” said Ngwenya.
The State alleges that the crime was committed on October 3 at Sizinda Bus Stop in Matetsi. The teenagers allegedly told Ngwenya that Sheila was Moyo’s wife resulting in a fight, said prosecutor Takunda Ndovorwi. chronicle
The commercial sex worker, Kudakwashe Grace Mahachi, 22, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to charges of deliberately supplying false information to the police when she appeared at the Gwanda magistrates’ court on Wednesday.
She told magistrate Sheila Nazombe that she made a false rape report against one of her clients, Thembinkosi Nyoni, with the intention of fixing him for “using” her.
Nyoni, who spent about five days in remand prison charged with rape, was released on Wednesday when the State withdrew charges before plea after Mahachi had admitted to fabricating the matter.
“Your Worship, I’m appealing for your forgiveness. I was forced to make a false rape report because Nyoni had used me. He paid me $10 before I provided my sexual services. We had two rounds,” said Mahachi.
“The problem was that he demanded his $10 back after accessing my services. This really hurt me and I had to lie to the police that he had raped me as I wanted to fix him.”
In mitigation, the woman pleaded for leniency saying she was on antiretroviral treatment and was also asthmatic.
Mahachi also told the court that she realises about $500 per month in her prostitution business. She was jailed for eight months, but two months were suspended on condition she does not commit a similar offence.
Magistrate Nazombe said in sentencing her, she had considered the seriousness of the offence and that Mahachi was a first offender. Nazombe also said State resources which could have been channelled to other matters were wasted in the false rape investigation.
Prosecuting, Getrude Zvidzai said Mahachi made a false rape report to the police on September 28 this year alleging that she had been raped by four unknown men.
On October 25, she proceeded to the police and told them that she had spotted one of the men who had raped her at MaNkomo Beer garden leading to Nyoni’s arrest. chronicle
The two parties yesterday held a joint national executive meeting at which the final draft of a unity agreement was thrashed out and will be signed on November 30.
The renewal team’s interim leader, Sekai Holland said the two parties have now embarked on the final leg of the negotiations towards re-unification.
“After the signing of the memorandum of agreement we have met and have made adjustments and comments which will be incorporated into the final agreement to be announced at the end of next month,” said Holland.
Ncube added that there were separate processes, one towards a broad democratic coalition and the one in which the two former MDC formations are seeking to unite into one party.
“We are having a joint national executive meeting as part of the terms of the MoU. It provided for a meeting and when we met separately and jointly we produced a draft final agreement that we have considered and commented on. The negotiators will have to incorporate these comments and hopefully by the given date of November 30 we should have a document that we can sign to,” he said.
“We have two separate processes that will feed into each other. There is the broader coalition agreement that includes the MDC-renewal, the MDC, NCA, Mavambo and Zapu. It was broadly agreed that the draft document on that matter be taken to the different parties for further consultations with a view to reconvening maybe next month and think again about the feedback. Hopefully we will continue to build that bigger coalition”.
He said the two formations, all formerly party of the united MDC party have decided to come together based on a common value system and history.
“But ourselves as the MDC formations we felt that given our common history and objectives, there was no need to fight from separate corners (sic). We have so much in common in terms of our history, values and principles and while we work on the bigger coalition, there is need to work also on the re-unification of the two MDC formations.
“Both processes will continue in tandem and one might move faster than the other but the general idea is to bring all Zimbabweans who are democrats and who share the same values and principle to put our minds together so that we find common solutions to the problems that face our nation,” he said. Zimbabwe mail
Sharon is the daughter of Sungura ace Alick Macheso. The protection order means the two parties are no longer staying together. Sharon is now staying with her parents in Waterfalls, while her husband, Munetsi is residing at his parents’ house in Chitungwiza’s Unit C.
Yesterday, Munetsi through his lawyer Mr Charles Chikore of C. Mutsahuni Chikore and Partners, said he was not opposing Sharon’s decision.
“Your worship, I have liaised with my client and we are not opposing the applicant (Sharon) being granted the protection order for a simple reason that he (Munetsi) does not intend to violate the said peace,” said Mr Chikore.
This was after Sharon through her lawyer Mr Norman Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, told the court that there were some sections they wanted changed.
“We have agreed with my colleague that they are not opposing the application save for some areas which need to be changed.
“It should be noted that the two parties could communicate with each other through calling. They should do so peacefully and refrain from being aggressive and insulting each other,” said Mr Mugiya.
In her application, Sharon had applied for an interdict order barring Munetsi from visiting her residence in Waterfalls or even their “donated” house in Unit A.
Munetsi asked the court to grant him a reciprocal interdict order.
“My client does not intend to visit Waterfalls or the said house in Unit A and he in turn wants the same for the applicant not to visit him at his parents’ house number 4977, Unit C.
“Despite all the hullabaloo, I agree with my colleague that these are human beings and their marriage still subsists. It is not proper for this court to bar them from communicating. But the communication should not be verbal or any other forms of abuse mentioned,” said Mr Chikore.
Presiding magistrate Mr Musaiona Shortgame granted the order with stringent conditions.
“Protection order is granted as agreed by both parties with the respondent (Munetsi) ordered not to physically, emotionally, verbally, psychologically abuse applicant. He should also stay away from applicant’s house in Waterfalls and Unit A. “Each party is permitted to communicate to each other peacefully and to avoid verbal abuse. The applicant is also interdicted from visiting respondent’s parents’ house number 4977 Unit C,” ruled Mr Shortgame. The ruling came after Sharon applied for the protection order at the same court on October 20 against Munetsi whom she accused of being violent and as he abused drugs.
|One of Sata's sons|
|book of condolences|
Friday, 31 October 2014
|Mujuru arriving at the fundraising dinner for Zanu PF congress|
She made the challenge when she officiated at the graduation of 131 nurses, 95 midwives, 12 Operating Theatre Nurses and 12 Intensive Coronary Care Nurses at Harare Central Hospital yesterday, VP Mujuru said the possible outbreak of Ebola and communicable diseases could be minimised by maintaining high levels of hygiene.
“Communities should be educated on primary healthcare and equip them with knowledge that will assist in the event of disease outbreaks such as Ebola and cholera,” she said.
“It becomes expensive for Government to buy the required medication. Increase in access to health services and information not only prevents diseases, but reduces morbidity especially of women, newborn babies and vulnerable members of the society.”
About 5 000 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, while an estimated 4 000 people died during a cholera outbreak here six years ago.
VP Mujuru said the performance of the country’s economy was directly related to the health of the workers, saying the more sick workers, the less production. “We should pay attention to our health indicators as much as we do on our economic indicators,” she said.
They immediately announced the constitution of a 14-member team that will take over preparations for an elective congress to be held in Harare on the 15th of this month, where Cde Sibanda is expected to be replaced.
The team would be composed of officials from all the country’s 10 provinces.
It also emerged that despite his pretensions, Cde Sibanda joined the liberation struggle during his adolescence towards the end of 1978 amid indications that he only trained, but was never at the war front.
The elders said they created the war veterans association, as such they had the mandate to intervene when office bearers deviated from core values and their mandate.
The elders’ information secretary, Cde Victor Matemadanda, who read the statement in the presence of other war veterans, disowned the “wayward and corrupt leadership of Cde Sibanda”.
They accused Cde Sibanda of various transgressions among them disrespecting President Mugabe who is patron of the war veterans association and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe by implying that they had initiated “a bedroom coup on Vice President Joice Mujuru.
“Criminally insulting the President and First Lady by suggesting that the President would institute a coup on a junior official of the party.
“Threatening to march into the State House in a manner similar to the infamous (MDC-T leader Mr Morgan) Tsvangirai planned march whose purpose was to illegally remove a popularly elected President and Government. Kureva kuti mwana anga apindwa ne demon revauyi. Vavuyi vakagara pana Tsvangirai vakati Tsvangirai iwe unomarcha kuenda ku State House. Zvino Tsvangirai mweya wevarungu, but kana wapinda mune munhu anga achinzi ndewe revolution yava mhosva.
“Suggesting that if his wishes are not met, he would take treasonous action against the President and First Family because as he said he is a guerilla cannot be tolerated,” said Cde Matemadanda. herald
Of these 929 successfully completed their undergraduate studies, while 134 were awarded Masters Degrees. Mtukudzi was confered with an Honorary Doctor of Ethnomusicology and Choreography in the Faculty of Culture and Heritage Studies, while the rest of the graduates were drawn from six faculties of Arts, Education, Social Sciences, Commerce, Agriculture and Natural Sciences.
In his citation on the conferment of the honorary doctorate on Mtukudzi, the Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Heritage Studies Dr William Zivenge said the musician’s music had evolved from the use of modern electrical instruments to the use of African instruments such as mbira and marimba.
He said Tuku’s devout use of African instruments, was an indication that the musician wanted to preserve African culture, heritage and creative arts.
In his acceptance speech, an overwhelmed Tuku, who was accompanied by his wife Daisy, said music gave hope and faith to people even in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.
“I am deeply moved and I never thought (that) whatever I was doing everyday was being noticed by some people,” he said. “I never thought such a thing could happen in my life.’’
Two graduates received their degrees posthumously and one of them was the late national hero and former 3 Brigade Commander Brigadier General Elias Bandama, who was supposed to graduate with a Master of Business Administration specialising in Human Resources Management.
In his address, Great Zimbabwe University Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo said 46 percent of the graduates were female, adding that 40 percent of those awarded Masters Degrees were also female.
Prof Zvobgo said the GZU was poised for further growth after the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education approved teaching of 14 new undergraduate and Masters programmes, beginning this academic year.
“In the sphere of curriculum development, the university has witnessed a real transformation,” he said.
“This is in direct response to Government’s directive that every university pursues a particular niche.
“We aim to contribute to the decolonisation of the history of our continent for the benefit of Africans and to inspire those who are still laden with the baggages of mental slavery to liberate themselves,” said Prof Zvobgo. herald
The conference will discuss issues affecting landlocked developing countries and will start on Monday the 3rd to Thursday the 6th of November.
President Mugabe is accompanied by the usual large entourage of hangers on. The conference will bring together governments of landlocked developing countries, transit developing and donor countries, UN and other international organisations as well as the private sector.
The conference aims at shaping the new development agenda for landlocked developing countries for the next decade.
He becomes the second most senior officer to retire from the force after Commissioner Oliver Chibage who retired in December last year after being implicated in various cases of corruption.
In 2011, Comm Mfandaedza was implicated in an attempt to take over Glencairn Mine, a gold mine in Kadoma, and was sued together with six others over the issue.
In 2006, a sworn affidavit before the High Court implicated Comm Mfandaedza, who was then Officer Commanding Midlands province Assistant Commissioner, for allegedly receiving cash, meat and an assortment agricultural inputs and equipment from farmer Nicco van Rensburg of Dunlop Ranch in Kwekwe to protect his farm from settlers.
A senior police officer on Thursday confirmed that Comm Mfandaedza, who was based at the Police General Headquarters, had left the force.
But he said Comm Mfandaedza was already past retirement age which is at 50.
“There is, however, nothing amiss about the retirement of police officers as this is provided for under the Police Act,” said the senior officer.
In 2008, Comm Mfandaedza was among five Senior Assistant Commissioners who were promoted and conferred by President Mugabe with the rank of Commissioner in line with Constitutional Amendment Number 18.
The other four were Senior Assistant Commissioner Josephine Shambare, now Deputy Commissioner-General, Snr Asst Comm Chibage, Snr Asst Comm Solomon Mubatapasango and Snr Asst Comm Nonkosi Ncube.
Last year, at least 19 commissioned officers left the force after reaching their retirement age and enjoying an extension of service provided for by the law.
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, said many such senior officers had reached retirement age, but had been using provisions of the Police Act to renew their contracts.
The police chief is empowered by the Police Act to renew officers’ tenure on a yearly basis once they reach the retirement age of 50.
The extension of service for members beyond 50 years is governed by section 22 (3) and (4) of the Police Act Chapter 11:10.
Section 22 (3) states that a regular member of the force, whatever his length of pensionable service, shall retire from the regular force at midnight on the 50th anniversary of his or her birthday.
A provision in the same section empowers the Commissioner-General of Police to extend the service of the member if he considers it in the public interest and the member is medically fit.
He may extend the tenure to 55 years on yearly extensions.
Section 22 (4) states that any member who has continued to serve in terms of subsection (3) shall retire at 55 years of his anniversary.
A provision in the same section empowers the Commissioner-General of Police to extend the service of the member if he considers it in the public interest.
The extension would be 12 months at a time. In terms of the Police Act Chapter 11:10, the extension of service after 50 years is exclusively the prerogative of the Commissioner-General of Police. herald
Police Officer Commanding Midlands Senior Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa confirmed the robbery, but could not give further details.
“We received a report that Steward Bank has been robbed,” he said. “The report was that some unidentified men broke into the bank and stole an undisclosed amount of money.
“As police, we sent some detectives to go and investigate the matter, but the Steward Bank management is not forthcoming. They have barred us from carrying out investigations, claiming that they need to carry out internal investigations first and inform their top management before allowing the police to intervene. We are yet to get finer details to the matter as our detectives are still to complete the investigations.”
Snr Asst Comm Mubaiwa said the suspects were still at large. Police sources revealed that the robbers got away with over $300 000. The sources said from the look of things, the robbers could have connived with either the security guards or one of the members of staff, hence the priority to conduct internal investigations.
“What is surprising is that there are guards for 24 hours at the premises which is in the central business district,” said the source. “It is surprising that no one was reportedly hurt or injured during the robbery.” herald
In an interview with the ZBC News on Friday, Cde Gumbo said disrespecting Cde Mujuru amounts to signs of defying President Robert Mugabe. Cde Gumbo said Zanu PF is aware that some senior officials in the party want to reverse gains of independence and warned party supporters to always be vigilant saying there are those looking at all possible avenues to destroy the party from within.
He said Zimbabweans must be reminded that Dr Mujuru is still the Vice President of this country.“Let me emphasise this, Mai Mujuru is the Vice President of Zimbabwe and deserves all the respect. She did not choose herself to be the Vice President of Zimbabwe but we elected her to that position.“We are aware of some elements aimed at bringing regime change. Most of the people who are opposing Mai Mujuru are the same people of Tsholotsho Declaration and this is Tsholotsho Declaration Number 2,” said Cde Gumbo.
This comes at a time Dr Mujuru has been under intense pressure from war veterans and supporters to resign following allegations of corruption.There has also been a media expose detailing alleged under hand dealings involving the Vice President leading supporters to call for her resignation before congress.Cde Gumbo, however, took a swipe at the media whom he described as fanning hatred among the people of Zimbabwe.“The media, especially the Herald, is responsible for attacking the Vice President. We know people who are behind such stories.
They are aimed at destroying the party from within. And we urge you to observe your ethics when reporting,” Cde Gumbo added.
Meanwhile, the President has said the party has mechanisms to deal with such issues, hinting the December congress will solve all the problems.
Jacob Manzunzu, a senior lawyer and current registrar with the High Court of Botswana and a former registrar with the High Court of Zimbabwe is among the 11 lawyers and court officers plying their trade in the Diaspora who were interviewed on Friday aiming to be among the lucky 6 from the pool of 46 to be appointed High Court judges.Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku asked the candidate of his criminal record and Manzunzu responded before the panel and members of the public in attendance that he was tried and acquitted on charges of fraud.
Unbeknown to him members from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were lying in wait in the lobby of crown plaza ready to serve him with a notice of appeal for review of his acquittal. He was served soon after exiting the great indaba at crown plaza with the notice in which the NPA has approached the appeal court citing gross irregularity of proceedings, miscarriage of justice, and unreasonableness of Manzunzu’s acquittal by Regional Magistrate Clever Tsikwa.
The case against Manzunzu arose from an incident which occurred in 2000 when he was still Registrar and Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe in Harare, where he allegedly corruptly bought a house in connivance with other accused persons and unlawfully transferred ownership to Tichaona Samuriwo.This subsequently led to the eviction of Sibongile Manyimo from her property at 3 Rosedean Gardens, Ashdon Park and the sale of her vehicle.
During trial the NPA requested the trial magistrate to stand down the matter briefly to allow the retrieval of key documents to prove the state case and it was turned down, a position which the state case feels was misdirection on the part of the magistrate.There were some light moments in Friday’s session of interviews where candidates showed their characters, attitude and colourfulness.
The public interviews will wind down on Saturday where labour court judges aspiring to take up the 6 posts up for grabs will be interviewed.
There was drama at the chief’s court in Mutambara on Tuesday after the fuming wife of the late Chief John Godfrey Mutamabara – Alice – blocked the professor’s vehicle from leaving, demanding that he tell the public what they did to her husband.
“They killed him to land that position. What I want is for them to take responsibility for his death. Arthur is fuming at me because he knows that I will tell them what he told me about the traditional healer they visited,” charged Alice.
“They should open up and let the world know their deeds.”
The party hardliners who organised the well-choreographed demonstration — with the twin objective of shoring up First Lady Grace Mugabe’s political fortunes and crushingº Mujuru’s — were supported by President Robert Mugabe when he addressed the gathered youths and a few war veterans.
This was despite the fact that the youths had clearly defied his Tuesday plea, at a luncheon for legislators, for order and respect for party bigwigs, including himself. Mugabe also backed Grace’s controversial entry into formal party politics yesterday, hinting further that the forthcoming
Zanu PF elective congress would see the demise of Mujuru, his embattled party and government’s number two.
He told the disorderly crowd, bussed into Harare by a faction opposed to the VP, that there was nothing wrong with his wife, who has made sensational and divisive allegations against Mujuru, seeking political office.
And as the bussed crowds chanted “Joice ngaande” (Joice must go), a chuckling Mugabe, who appeared to be enjoying the moment and abuse of his deputy, said even when marriages broke up, the wife would customarily be given time to pack her bags and go — implying that it was a matter of time before Mujuru was given her marching orders.
“The party has its way of doing things. You cannot tell your wife to leave on the very day when you break up. You consult other people and those you don’t like you will not vote for them come congress,” Mugabe said ominously.
This was the first time that Mugabe had openly and clearly sided with one of the main factions in his troubled party. Curiously, police did not escape the severe and vocal criticism at yesterday’s gathering, with the angry yobs branding Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and his team as appendages of Mujuru and the “Gamatox” faction.
Instead of the police, the crowd wanted soldiers to take charge of their rally — hinting at divisions among the security and law enforcement agencies in the party’s deadly factional and succession wars.
Among the prominent players who addressed the crowd yesterday were Joseph Chinotimba, Shuvai Mahofa — who has been retrieved from political dustbins in Masvingo — as well as discredited war veteran Paul Nyaruwata, who called for the ouster of popular war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda.
“Ndimi makatikumbira kuti tikupei mukadzi...tauya nhasi...nguva yakwana. Hapana anonzi firapo...pane varikupa varungu minda...tinokumbira kuti munhu wese ari corrupt mukandei pasi, tokudai makachena (Your Excellency you asked us to give you a woman deputy and today we are here because it is time for a change? No one should expect to die in office ... some among us are giving whites land ... we ask you to fire all corrupt people),” said Mahofa.
Nyaruwata, who was chased from the leadership of the war veterans’ association for gross corruption said, “We are tired of Jabulani Sibanda. We have had different chairpersons and we are here as war vets to dissociate ourselves from what Jabulani Sibanda said. He was once suspended, how did he come back?”.
Ironically Sibanda himself was suspended a decade ago, along with six provincial chairpersons of Zanu PF, following a failed “coup” that was ostensibly meant to catapult Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa into the vice presidency post that was later occupied by Mujuru.
Clearly revelling in the occasion and playing to the gallery, Mugabe questioned the political stamina of Sibanda, who has staunchly opposed his wife’s divisive entry into politics — saying leadership in Zanu PF is not “sexually transmitted” and that war veterans were opposed to “bedroom coups”.
“There is nowhere in the Zanu PF constitution where it is said the president’s wife cannot contest for positions. Charwadza vamwe chii? Even ma war vets wamuri kuti Jabulani, charwadza chii? Madzimai pachavo ndovakati toda kuti amai vatitungamirire, chakaipa chii? Handisi ini ndakadaro (What is troubling you? The Women’s League is the one that asked that Grace leads them, what’s wrong with that? It’s not me who decided that,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe also accused the war veterans’ leader of being “possessed by Satan” and said the army would not stand aside and watch while Sibanda challenged him.
“Jabulani anotaura sekunge akabatwa naSatan,” he said.
Exposing that the demonstration was well-choreographed Mugabe said, “we hear that Jabulani Sibanda stopped some buses from coming...asi Jabulani akutonga nyika kani (is Jabulani now running this country)?”.
The crowd shouted down party secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, when he sought to address them. Mutasa coined the phrase Gamatox a few months ago while imploring Mugabe to use the deadly pesticide to deal with “weevils” that have allegedly infiltrated the party.
As Mutasa chanted pamberi ne Zanu PF, the youths demanded that he says “Pasi neGamatox”, which he refused to do.
“Handiite izvozvo” Mutasa said.
And just as his wife has done publicly, Mugabe revealed his dislike of Mashonaland East chairperson Ray Kaukonde. He also attacked Mashonaland West chairperson Temba Mliswa, whom he accused of behaving like “a king”.
“Kune ma chairman vataona vakabva vadhakwa nehukuru ihwohwo zvimwe chete nachairman wekuMashonaland West. Anofunga kuti ane masimba ehu king anodarika vaMugabe (There are party chairmen who are drunk with power, like the Mashonaland West one. He thinks that he has powers similar to those of a king, which are bigger than Mugabe’s)”.
Analysts interviewed by the Daily News yesterday said all indications were that a splitting of the party now looked inevitable, with the only hope being that this would occur without violence and loss of lives.
“I think Zanu PF has now reached a point of no return. Mugabe came out loudly and clearly today (yesterday) that he is on his wife’s side and that Mujuru has no space in his team.
“If one then takes into account the fact that he (Mugabe) openly supported the move by hardliners in his party to have their way, via mob rule clocked as a spontaneous demo by so-called war veterans, then the inescapable conclusion is that the die has now been cast, and that the feared split will now happen in all likelihood.
“With Mujuru likely to be turfed out soon, possibly at the party’s December congress, the hope is that this looming split does not happen violently and with loss of lives. But the omens are not good given the history and culture of the party,” said analyst Shephered Mntungwa.
An emotional senior Zanu PF official, who requested anonymity, said yesterday was one of the “saddest days” in the history of Zanu PF.
“The hyenas (Mujuru’s party opponents) are getting their way for now and they think they are winning. What they don’t realise is that they have planted seeds of destruction that will ultimately destroy them and the party.
“Today is one of the saddest days in the history of Zanu PF, where the party’s machinery is being used against a poor widow (Joice). Did she steal someone’s husband or abuse government funds to build a multi-million dollar mansion in Harare?
“And has she taken multiple farms, many of them from fellow black Zimbabweans, and built a $20 million business overnight using dubious funds as some people have arrogantly admitted? So where is the justice, fairness and principle in all this?” he asked rhetorically in a thinly-veiled attack on Grace.
The demonstrators at the Zanu PF headquarters carried and waved placards that read “Pasi ne 10 percent” (Down with 10 percent), “Jabulani puppet ya Dr 10 Percent” (Jabulani is a puppet of Dr 10%), “Pasi nemaChairman efake” (Down with fake party chairmen) and “Mavambo mumba mako iwe” (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn was formed in your house). daily news
We were last here, in this very same room, in March 2006 for our second Congress with delegates making similar personal sacrifices because we were again emerging from an internal turbulence. Eight years later, we are here again to mark this 4th meeting of the greatest organ of our great party under almost similar circumstances.
This Congress was scheduled for 2016 but we are holding it today, two years ahead of schedule. We meet today in this scorching October heat at this 4th Congress of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The high summer temperatures are consistent with the heat of the current economic moment in our country, the national crisis that is burning all hope of revival under this incompetent government. We have a blazing crisis that will need not only fresh hands on the national wheel, but a comprehensive roadmap to the next election that will provide hope to the despondent people of Zimbabwe.
After disagreements in the cockpit of the party following the stolen election of July 2013, we took a collective decision to hold an early Congress so that the entire leadership would seek a new mandate from the people.
We took that decision for this early Congress because we knew that as a democratic party, it is the sovereign will of the people that is always sacrosanct, not individual positions disguised as the feelings of the grassroots members of the party who are here today to speak for themselves. It is you, this body called Congress gathered here today that makes and unmakes leaders in the MDC, not individuals and their memos.
Unfortunately, some of our colleagues were too lily-livered to come and face the people even though we agreed together to bring forward this Congress. They lacked the conviction of their ambition and they walked out of the party before we all came here not only to seek a new mandate from you, but to chart together the way forward for the party and the country We, however, wish our former colleagues well in their new political endeavors after they expressed what they called their freedom of dissociation.
As democrats, we must accept and respect the freedom to differ.
But of course, we must ask ourselves whose interests are best served by these rebellions and splits? All problems can definitely be solved internally and breaking away from the MDC can only strengthen Zanu PF and not the democratic movement.
In the end, we will have a plethora of sponsored movements that do not in any way serve the interests of the majority of Zimbabweans who are yearning for democratic change.
We hear former colleagues are launching their party next year. As I said, we wish them good luck. They are not our foes but partners in the struggle. They have attempted to give an impression that we are in competition with them hence the persistent negative campaign especially against the person of Morgan Tsvangirai. We are even ready to assist them grow! At the end of the day it is the people Zimbabwe who will judge, for they know the difference between fact and fiction, real and fake leaders. The people are not gullible.
For some of us, we are here before this Congress because we are a democratic party that believes in the sanctity of the people’s will. Our basic rule is that we must practice the democracy that we preach by consistently seeking a mandate from the people.
But I want to say the people, who are the real owners of this party, also reserve the right to endorse their leaders if they still retain confidence in them. It is your democratic right to elect leaders just as it is also your democratic right to retain those you still have confidence in. I want to thank you for your confidence by overwhelmingly retaining me and some of the leaders unopposed in the recently concluded nomination exercise.
I also want to equally thank you for exercising the same right to nominate several others to fight it out in their nominated positions. This is in line with the major democratic tenet of this great people’s movement that leaders must come from the people.
Our big task at this Congress
Apart from our elections tomorrow, we have come here to transact serious party business in line with the challenges facing the party and the nation. In the country, we are in the middle of a debilitating economic crisis; a crisis that has exposed the lack of political leadership in government. We must as a party debate and agree on our response to that national challenge.
Internally, we have been in existence for 15 years as a party and that history has informed us in many respects. Our challenge is to robustly transform our party into a strong institution with a united leadership that will definitely win the next election.
The national executive and council set up committees to ask people and initiate debate on policy review, institutional review and the review of our party constitution so as to have that strong and united party that will deliver on the people’s aspiration for a new Zimbabwe. The work of those committees and that of a committee that worked on the roadmap to the next election will be debated and adopted by this Congress.
I am personally convinced that this is our last Congress as an opposition party. We have been a popular party since our formation but we have failed to govern because the people’s will has been persistently and brazenly subverted.
At this our last Congress as an opposition, we boldly announce the closure of what has been the frequent and systematic theft of the people’s mandate. That is why we are holding this Congress under the theme: Towards national convergence; the solution to the national crisis. While our internal elections tomorrow will be the icing on the cake, we owe it to history and to future generations to provide the political and economic answers to this restive nation suffering under the yoke of a clueless political leadership and a biting economic crisis.
After thorough and comprehensive debate on the important review and strategic documents, the nation will expect this Congress, through the leaders you elect, to deploy a competent team that will deliver on the people’s expectations and aspirations. We must come up with a team and a comprehensive roadmap that will not let down the national dream of positive political change in the very near future.
Starting with this Congress, we are uniting and stabilising the MDC as an institution to recreate it into a formidable force capable of winning the next election. That can only be done if we address the inconsistencies in our Constitution, address the issues of role clarity and create a united team. We need that united team and a transformed institution that will refocus us not on personal positions at the expense of the national crisis, but put the MDC on the threshold of winning the next election and positively transforming the lives of Zimbabweans.
The MDC’s tortuous journey
Since the formation of the MDC in September 1999, our enduring cause has always been driven by our unquestionable commitment to free the land from tyranny and illuminate the way for the people of Zimbabwe.
It has been an arduous struggle which saw us losing hundreds of dear comrades along the way, killed by Mugabe and his agents of death. Many of us have been arrested on trumped up charges, tortured, abused and maimed while others were raped and displaced. It has been a long and arduous journey; indeed a painful history which should embolden our resolve to continue the noble fight for a just and free society.
We have scored a number of great successes in the past 15 years most notably during the GNU which culminated in the new Constitution in spite of initial fierce resistance by ZANU PF. We now have a people-driven Constitution. On the other hand ZANU PF, for 34 years has proved that it has nothing to offer to the people of Zimbabwe except continued deception.
So yes, in a mere 15 years we have seen it all! We have known both joy and pain; an odd mixture of achievement and frustration. We have been in prison and in the corridors of government as part of our painful journey towards an exclusive MDC government that is now on the horizon.
The national crisis
Since the contested election of 2013, the economy has not gained any traction. To the citizen, we have seen massive unemployment of over 85 percent, insecure jobs to the few that have them, unfulfilled promises and inadequate remuneration for civil servants as well as the disappearance of any form of savings.
Endemic corruption and unbridled avarice have become an albatross of this economy. And this at a time when the country itself is seriously mired in debt, the external debt alone in excess of $10 billion.
Ordinary citizens are failing to put food on the table while a raft of national grievances is affecting all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation. These grievances include lack of jobs, endemic power shortages, a declining economy, an acute liquidity crunch, a Constitution that is not being implemented and declining social services, particularly health and education. As I speak, doctors of public hospitals are on strike.
We have a government that has failed to mobilize a rescue package for the productive sector in order to breathe life into this economy. There is unmitigated failure on the part of government to come up with a solution to rescue this abysmal situation.
A recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Survey painted a very bleak national picture, putting capacity utilization at 39,6 percent. The policy uncertainty and inconsistencies on key programmes such indigenization and economic empowerment is not helping matters in bringing sanity and predictability, the two key factors necessary for economic stability.
There is an acute lack of investor confidence and support by development partners, driven by the legitimacy crisis, as well as a ballooning debt which remains unserviced. Without legitimacy, the country remains exposed to risk and uncertainty, factors that determine investment and economic progress. The government simply has run out of ideas, even in the wake of shrinking revenue collections as a result of a diminishing base.
The purported economic blueprint, ZimAsset, needs funding to the tune of $27 billion, and this at time when we have failed to fund an annual budget that needed only around $4 billion.
Unemployment is at its highest. Corruption is the order of day, we all read about mega salaries in parastatals where CEOs earned obscene salaries with others getting paid in excess of $500 000 per month! Looting of national wealth is rampant from diamonds to gold. This represents a lost civilization!
They continue to wreck our economy with impunity, destroying millions of jobs due to bad economic governance. They promise you 2.2 million jobs but they don't tell you that they destroy 4.2 million jobs in the process. Now you do the math!
Our grim economic plight as a people would have been surmountable had there been a credible election last year, even if it had meant a genuine and fair loss by the MDC-T. The business sector has been crippled and shackled by a biting liquidity crunch, creating a gridlock that has negatively affected both commerce and the services sector.
Lastly, despite all our shortcomings I believe, a sunrise is possible and that dawn must start within our well-meaning selves through the direction we chart here at this Congress.
Despite Africa’s investment attractiveness and a rising appetite for African products across the world, Zimbabwe has missed out on this emerging optimism on Africa that would have done wonders for our economy.
The most graphic and tragically comic illustration of our sad national predicament is the failure of government to raise the paycheck for civil servants’ and a First Lady who has the luxury to addresses 10 provincial rallies to attack the Vice President while the nation wallows in a deep economic crisis.
Vision and the Way forward
We in the MDC have a clear vision for the country. I personally can envision that new Zimbabwe that we have always aspired for.
Firstly, we must realize the imperative of a new governance culture, as encapsulated in our new Constitution. The tragedy is that we have largely failed to usher in that new culture because our Constitution remains unimplemented, particularly those revolutionary clauses that relate to an expanded bill of rights and devolution.
Devolution will take pressure from the centre and address the important national question that relates to the rights of all people, equal opportunities and control of local resources by local communities.
We must urgently implement our Constitution as the first step in addressing our governance culture.I see a new Zimbabwe; a new country with the possibility of reconciliation of all peoples, a nation working together to resolve its confidence crisis.
A Zimbabwe with a new ethos, where people live in peaceful co-existence regardless of their cultural, ethnic, racial, religious or political differences. Given our traumatic past, we must learn to tolerate each other and draw a line in the sand to say never again should we slaughter or persecute each other for being different.
We must remain an inclusive, united society that is ready to swim or sink together, where diversity is celebrated rather than punished because it is the celebration of difference that will make our democracy hold. In the new Zimbabwe, there will be no compromise on the dignity of the citizen, which thankfully, is now enshrined in our Constitution. All citizens must enjoy the true meaning of life by being treated equally by government and all state institutions.
Under an MDC government, I see a strong and formidable nation rising from the ashes of both the colonial and the Zanu PF misrule. I see the realization of our national dream; indeed the advent of a new nation that will be a source of pride for posterity in a peaceful land characterized by happiness and abundance.
With our abundant resources, we must see increased productivity and innovation. Resuscitation of industry is a must. Zimbabwe can be Africa's agricultural powerhouse once again. Nothing can stop us from revamping our commercial farming sector where we can become net exporters of food products once again. We are number two country in the world with the largest deposits of platinum. We have vast gold reserves that are largely untapped. Diamonds and plenty other minerals are everywhere in this country.
With good governance, we can unleash an economy that will put the majority of Zimbabweans back to work. The jobs that are needed are nothing compared to the resources that God blessed us with. We can create one of the greatest economies in Africa. If Botswana did it with their diamonds alone, why can't we do it with all these minerals? That’s what this President does not seem to understand.
Zimbabwe deserves a working economy where everyone who wants a job can find one. A working economy where every parent will be able to afford to send kids to schools and colleges of their choice and that child will be guaranteed to a good job after graduation.
The theme of this Congress recognizes the emerging national convergence. I want to assure all of you that there are many of our colleagues even in Zanu PF, who now agree with us on the nature of the problem and the solution to our crisis that requires consensus across the political divide. Yes, we are now all agreed that our collective and patriotic desire to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe is definitely more important than the needless focus on vitriolic attacks and selfish political interests that have no place in this digital age.
So we are aware of the crisis facing the nation and we are confident that we in the MDC have the capacity to steer the country to a path of stability and prosperity. Our sad national predicament stems largely from a crisis of legitimacy arising out of the stolen election of July 31, 2013.
The tough lesson we have learnt is that we will not legitimize Mugabe by participating in a sham election in the absence key reforms that will protect the people’s will. We will never again participate in an election with a pre-determined outcome.
Our national crisis can only be resolved by a return to legitimacy which can only happen after a fresh, credible election. The current national reality is that we are now isolated from meaningful investment, capital flow and substantial development financial assistance due to a crisis of legitimacy stemming from a sham election whose serious imperfections were noted by everyone, including SADC and the AU..
Zanu PF’s narrowly focused and confined “Look East” policy has not yielded direct fiscal support for the country.We have had a myopic foreign policy that overlooks the significance of the broader international community, thereby underplaying the potential of leveraging international relationships in a broad sense.
We must once again rejoin the family of nations, in its wide scope, in mutually beneficial relationships, but largely driven, on our part, by the desire to enhance and further the interest of the ordinary citizen of this country.
Zimbabwe needs friends, strategic partners and promoters in the region and across the breadth of the international community. Our international relations, even at the regional level, require fixing. We have been consistently inconsistent for so long that there are not many takers supporting our plans for the way forward.
The safest bet is to shift our mindset towards new thinking and new pronouncements that are inclined towards mutually beneficial policies. The region and the international community, who all publicly acknowledged serious imperfections in our last election, must not unconditionally re-engage this Zanu PF government.
The international community must not just re-engage without a framework; but must insist on implementation of agreed electoral conditions and the embracing of universally acceptable standards by the authorities in Harare.
What we do not encourage is a mere re-engagement in the absence of a framework that plods and entices the nation towards the respect of full democratic values. The region and the international community must insist on the government in Harare respecting and implementing the national Constitution.
They must insist on the need to respect the rule of law and the conditions sanctioned by SADC to ensure that the next election is vaccinated from the periodic mischief that has blighted the credibility of all our elections.
Any re-engagement must be accompanied by a stubborn insistence by the international community on the universally accepted standards that ensure the guarantee of full freedoms and the enfranchising of the ordinary citizen. They must insist on key reforms that will ensure that the people put in place a legitimate government that will begin to address the challenges facing the nation.
We in the MDC will play our part by insisting on the creation of those conditions that will give Zimbabweans a fresh bite of the cherry as only a legitimate government elected in a free and fair election is the basis of a permanent solution to the challenges we face as a nation. The solution does not lie in meekness and half-hearted attempts at creating a semblance of stability at the expense of democracy.
I wish to restate here that as a party, we reserve our eight to mobilize the people and to support every sector that will engage in legitimate, peaceful and constitutional action to force this government to address the key national grievances that we all face regardless of our political diversity. Henceforth, we will be opting for boldness and not meekness. We would rather fight than wallow in oppression and misgovernance simply because we would have opted to resign to our fate. We will mobilize and galvanize the nation for the endgame.
The solution to the national crisis lies in none but ourselves. Surrender and capitulation to our fate will not help matters!
Fellow democrats, I am making an urgent call today for a shift to action. We cannot allow ourselves to be victims of illusions and phantoms of hope alone. We have to be brave, we have to take action.
It means rejecting the economic misery brought upon us by ZANU PF and reclaiming our share in the wealth of this country which has been a preserve of a parasitic clique in ZANU PF.
It means demanding to see what is not working fixed: from the economy, our democracy, Constitution, rule of law, service delivery, infrastructure, electricity, water, sanitation. Our destiny is in our hands.
For my part, as I stand before you today, I'm forever ready to lead from the front these very troops gathered here today and all those across our nation.
After this watershed Congress tomorrow and armed with clearly defined policies, a new institutional framework to re-energize the party, a leadership with a new mandate, a newly agreed and adopted roadmap to legitimacy and our poise for action, Zimbabwe will never be the same again.
Dear Congress delegates, I am very convinced that we are on the final lap to fulfilling our historical obligation to bring about positive transformation in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. I wish you happy and fruitful deliberations at this watershed Congress that is set to change our country forever!
I thank you