HomeOpinion & AnalysisMuckraker: Welcome to the Zanu PF way, Nyanhongo!

Muckraker: Welcome to the Zanu PF way, Nyanhongo!

THE Herald this week provided a revealing picture of how Zanu PF does business. Harare South MP Hubert Nyanhongo has been disputing the outcome of elections for the post of provincial chairman, won by Amos Midzi, citing irregularities and vote-buying.

Nyanhongo said he had written several letters to national chairman John Nkomo raising what he called “glaring irregularities” in the way in which the province was restructured prior to the elections which took place last Saturday.
Nyanhongo said that in District Coordinating Committee 3 that covers Dzivaresekwa, Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana and Mufakose, 23 districts were scrapped. As a result, he said, 24 000 people were not recognised in the party structures.
“In those districts I was supposed to have 400 delegates,” he said. “We have the same problem in District Coordinating Committee 6 that covers Mbare and Harare South where six districts with 9 500 people were left out.”
He said he was surprised that Central Committee and Politburo members who expressed their support for Midzi ignored the party’s constitution. Nyanhongo alleged one person, who he named, was urging people to vote for Midzi giving them $20 and $10 notes.
Why should he be surprised? Nobody else is. If Zanu PF runs its affairs in this chaotic way, why do we assume it can do any better when organising national elections?

Then we had an equally revealing story the same day on our judicial process. Harare magistrate Chioniso Mutongi, who recently jailed a senior prosecutor for disrespecting the court, resigned from the bench citing interference, harassment, and abuse by the prosecuting authority.
Mutongi also alleged that the Chief Magistrate’s Office failed to accord her protection from such interference and harassment. She had jailed prosecutor Andrew Kumire for five days after he had “sucked his teeth producing a sound deemed to be contemptuous of the court” after the magistrate sustained an objection by a defence lawyer.
This happened during the trial of Harare lawyer Alec Muchadehama for facilitating the release of three people accused of terrorism in defiance of a High Court order.
Kumire was on the same day released on $30 bail pending review but Justice Tedias Karwi upheld Ms Mutongi’s decision and the review failed. When Ms Mutongi signed a warrant for Kumire to be brought before the court for committal to prison, another magistrate took over and granted him bail pending appeal.
Mutongi, in her letter of resignation to Chief Magistrate Hlekani Mwayera, said she had experienced “a torrid time during which I was entirely abused and harassed at the hands of the state prosecution but I did not get professional protection from this office as I reasonably anticipated.”
She said she had received threatening calls from anonymous callers.
“Further,” she said, “I only learnt with dismay that another magistrate had granted Andrew Kumire bail pending appeal in unclear and dubious circumstances wherein I am the trial magistrate for that particular case.”
This was a classic case of a “convict walking scot-free as a beneficiary of unmitigated protection from some quarters,” Mutongi said.
“How can a person who has been committed to prison by a trial magistrate be granted bail by another magistrate who is not seized with the matter without spending even a minute in the cells?”

One of the matters tabled by the MDC-T as grounds for its withdrawal from cooperation with Zanu PF a few weeks ago was selective application of the law of this sort.
Another matter of concern to the MDC-T and civil society has been mismanagement of government departments. The office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General in a report carried in this newspaper recently documented irregularities in government spending in the period leading up to the electoral run-off last year. Comptroller and Auditor-General Mildred Chiri reported, among other things, that the then Ministry of Information and Publicity received a donation of 95 vehicles from the Reserve Bank but seven of them could not be accounted for.
The ministry generally had poor record-keeping, she said. The ministry had failed to physically count and update its assets register since 2004. “Consequently no boards of survey/inquiry had been held to assess the adequacy and suitability of the ministry’s equipment, stores and assets,” she reported, in remarks also carried in the Financial Gazette.
“Although the Information ministry has a fully fledged and ostensibly functional internal audit unit,” Chiri reported, “its effectiveness in the administration of financial affairs was questionable as not a single internal audit was issued during the period under review.”
The accounting officer for the ministry is permanent secretary George Charamba who likes to castigate the independent press for its spotlight on government’s record. The state of affairs at the Information ministry, as reported above, illustrates what happens when senior officials become arrogant and unaccountable.

Munyaradzi Huni has been playing fast and loose with the facts again. He has imagined all sorts of strange goings on which bear no resemblance to real events. For instance, he imagined that after his recent tour of the region, Morgan Tsvangirai “sent emissaries and made several calls (to the president) in a bid to convey the message that his party (MDC-T) had made an error of political judgment and the leadership had realised the futility of their actions.”
And what caused this burst of activity? “It is understood that the PM wanted a few notes from the president on how to rein in some of his party’s hardliners.”
You have to laugh at this nonsense, almost certainly gleaned from officials who have difficulty managing their ministries. But there’s more. The troika leaders, we gather, gave Tsvangirai “a few lessons of what exactly was contained in the GPA”.
Is this the same GPA whose outstanding issues Zanu PF announced it wouldn’t entertain ahead of the Maputo summit? Then suddenly we heard they were having to discuss the outstanding issues and the Pretoria communiqué as well! If there were any reversals going on they weren’t in the MDC camp!
Huni concluded his piece on Sunday by having a “political commentator” tell us that now the summit had said all outstanding issues must be dealt with simultaneously, “the yardstick is now more complex for the MDC-T”.
“Zanu PF can meet their demands overnight but can the MDC-T remove sanctions, stop pirate radio stations and stop external interference within 15 days as directed by the summit”?
If Zanu PF could do their part so easily, why haven’t they already done so? Don’t we recall the president saying there was nothing more to discuss?
As for the MDC-T, this should be a walk in the park. They are not responsible for sanctions or “pirate” radio stations. If Zanu PF wants them removed it had better start behaving better — which we all know they can’t do!

Is it true that President Mugabe told an audience in Zhombe last week that the Zim dollar would be reintroduced before Christmas? If so, and the reviled local dollar is revived, Mugabe will successfully unite the country on the issue. Because, make no mistake, there is nobody in the MDC-T or Zanu PF for that matter who wants the pain and inconvenience of a return to the Zim dollar. Can you imagine those queues and the disappearing zeros as the Reserve Bank once again plunges the nation into a cycle of corruption, instability and misery?
It is an indication of Mugabe’s isolation from public opinion that he could even contemplate such a disastrous move. But we haven’t heard the MDC-T’s response. Have they rallied the country around this issue?
Once again, it would seem, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!

Muckraker used to quite enjoy contributions from Alexander Kanengoni in the press. They contained insights not available from other contributors. But his piece last Friday, “Tsvangirai driving Rhodesian agenda”, was a huge disappointment. It was unoriginal. Indeed, it looked as if he had been handed a script. And it was littered with inaccuracies.
For instance, he is confused about the events of 1964 when Winston Field was deposed for being insufficiently robust in his dealing with Whitehall. That was an internal RF coup; the Dominion Party, which he cites, had long since disappeared from the scene.
Then there is a good dose of dishonesty — the hallmark of Zanu PF. Kanengoni suggests that the vandalism to farms and agricultural equipment that one sees along the highways is the product of unforgiving commercial farmers. The same people are responsible for stealing road signs, he claims!
“Some of us thought it was the aluminium that the vandals wanted for resell (sic). But when they also destroyed the concrete blocks showing the distances along the roads then the agenda became purely Rhodesian”.
If you believe these conspiracy theories you will believe anything.
For instance, Kanengoni must be the only person in Zimbabwe who believes Gideon Gono’s claim that the Americans tried to lure him to the World Bank.
Gono made the claim in his self-serving book on the Casino Economy. The Americans were quick to describe it as unlikely given the damage he was doing to the local economy. Kanengoni has another spin. He thinks the Americans had identified Gono as the man “single-handedly preventing economic collapse”.
Really? Is that what the rest of the country thinks?
Alexander: The next time you are given your marching orders by inhabitants of Munhumutapa Building or some other dark place, think about your credibility. They are a bunch of losers and some of that will rub off on you.

Muckraker has been sent the following headings from US papers. They serve as a warning to sub-editors:
“Kids make nutritional snacks”; “New study of obesity looks for larger test group”; “Something went wrong in jet crash — expert”; “Panda mating fails — vet takes over.”

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