DID anyone see attempts by Chief Fortune Charumbira, president of the Chiefs Council, to hoodwink Zimbabweans into believing he is not biased towards Zanu PF?
The Herald reported on Tuesday that Charumbira had told journalists at the Masvingo Press Club that chiefs in Zimbabwe did not support Zanu PF but were in agreement with its stance on land reforms and economic empowerment, among other things.
Why is Charumbira hiding behind his finger? Do we not recall civil society groups complaining about his partisan conduct in discharging his duties?
We remember the Zimbabwe Election Support Network complaining not so long ago that Charumbira, while addressing a Zanu PF rally at Chilonga Primary School in Chiredzi, threatened villagers who dared vote for the MDC.
“These threats are blatantly illegal,” ZESN complained. “ZESN notes with utter dismay that at this rally Chief Charumbira apparently instructed chiefs to campaign for the ruling Zanu PF party, adding that as traditional leaders they were supposed to know ‘which side their bread was buttered’. “
Charumbira also reportedly ordered traditional leaders in rural Chiredzi South constituency to deny state supplied food aid to opposition supporters.
According to ZESN, Charumbira instructed fellow traditional leaders in the area to herd their subjects to the polling stations to ensure a Zanu PF victory in the Chiredzi South by-election. Was it also not the same Charumbira who reportedly told chiefs during the 2008 general elections that no opposition political parties could campaign in Masvingo?
Can Charumbira stop pretending to be impartial when it is clear like daylight that he is riding on the Zanu PF gravy train? He certainly knows where his bread is buttered.
Can the national broadcaster, ZBC tell us who is demanding to continuously watch President Mugabe’s address at the closing ceremony of the Sadc Summit in Windhoek, Namibia?
We were told the programme was continuously being beamed as a result of “public demand”.
But who other than George Charamba and Webster Shamu is demanding to continuously watch President Mugabe’s speech in Namibia?
Someone should please tell Charamba and Shamu that they have made their point known.
Zimbabweans now know President Mugabe received a round of applause after delivering his speech.
We hope the praises he got from Namibia can somehow translate into food on the table for hungry and jobless Zimbabweans.
Not to be outdone, The Herald keeps telling us Sadc has called for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Are these stories also a result of public demand? We want to know.
Muckraker liked remarks by Foreign Affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi while addressing foreign diplomats in Harare this week.
Zimbabwe does not want handouts from the international community and only needs the illegal sanctions the West imposed to be lifted to achieve self reliance, Mumbengegwi said.
“Under normal circumstances, Zimbabwe is not a candidate for humanitarian assistance,” the minister said.
He was responding to German ambassador Albrecht Konze who had said the government was lying that there was no Western aid coming to the country because the European Union was extending humanitarian assistance.
“We find it demeaning because as Zimbabweans we are a people with pride. You crippled our economy and in turn you want us to be grateful for your humanitarian assistance. Lift your sanctions and see what Zimbabweans can do for themselves.”
Fine, but the minister forgot to tell us that even before the sanctions were imposed Zimbabwe was a candidate for humanitarian assistance.
Should the Foreign minister not be expending his energies in cooperating with Sadc in ensuring that President Mugabe and Zanu PF bring the country to a proper democracy?
Is Mumbengegwi not aware that one of the conditions set by the Western world for the sanctions to be removed is the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement?
The ball is firmly in President Mugabe and Zanu PF‘s court.
The behaviour of their storm troopers such as Jabulani Sibanda will not help their cause.
We were happy to see Temba Mliswa in a happy mood attending Didymus Mutasa’s 75th birthday recently.
After spending over a month in incarceration, Mliswa was captured by the Manica Post photographer, in the company of Vice President John Nkomo, Mutasa and Oppah Muchinguri, watching Mutasa’s wife cutting a birthday cake at celebrations held at St Faith’s High School in Makoni. We observed that the cake was taller than Mliswa.
Nkomo, who was at Mutasa’s birthday celebrations in his capacity as acting president, seized the opportunity to denounce the US, UK and other Western countries for attempting to impose their will on Zimbabwe.
“Who are the British, Americans and their counterparts to question our elections? Who are they to question our ability to hold free and fair elections? We are a free country, we brought democracy to Zimbabwe and it was not there before and if we can bring it what can stop us from holding our elections in a free and fair manner?” Nkomo queried.
Thanks for reminding us that but Nkomo should have told us why they are all clamouring to be allowed to travel to the Western world?
And which free and fair elections was he referring to? We hope not the 2008 presidential run-off election.
Nkomo then told us how Western countries were keen to exploit the country’s natural resources that include diamonds from Chiadzwa.
Muckraker would have loved to hear from the Vice President how much of the proceeds from the diamond auction went to the companies mining at Chiadzwa.
Zimbabweans are already sceptical about the diamond sales.
The president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Raymond Majongwe, was more pragmatic. It would be “folly for civil servants to think that the diamonds would improve their lives,” he told IRIN.
“There are sharks out there who want to line their pockets first and, as it stands, there is a lack of clarity on how much the diamonds would give to our economy by way of job creation, and the value of the diamond deposits is not known.”
We finally got a confession from government that innocent citizens can be subjected to all forms of abuse by security agents at the slightest form of suspicion.
Mapfumo Garutsa from Norton is suing four Cabinet Ministers, service chiefs, senior Central Intelligence Organisation agents and police officers, for torture, unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty.
The High Court will hear the suit on Monday.
What raised Muckraker’s eyebrows were confessions by the accused persons that they indeed abducted innocent citizens and detained them at various unknown places.
“They were all well kept in safe houses while investigations continued. These safe houses are not prisons but very decent and comfortable houses in low density areas in Harare,” the defendants said in court papers.
“None of the suspects were subjected to any pain. None of the suspects were held incommunicado. They were allowed interaction among themselves in some instances. They all had access to clean air, clean water, toilets, bathrooms and all necessary sanitation including sanitary wear for the women.”
They claimed “suspects” who were HIV positive were attended to by doctors and were given medication and treated. Those who gave information did so “voluntarily through interviews which were held in comfortable environments”, we were told.
But do we not recall some of the suspects being rushed for emergency medical treatment after their release from state captivity.
If they were coming from hospitable and comfortable environments why did they urgently require medical attention?
And why does Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa think we are so gullible to accept his lame argument that Zimbabweans who fled political persecution back home and settled in the United Kingdom were being “used by imperialists”.
Now they want to be deported back because the “imperialists” fulfilled their agenda of portraying Zimbabwe as an unstable country.
Chinamasa should get his facts right. The United Kingdom is deporting failed asylum seekers only. Those that were granted asylum status are free to stay in the UK.
If the political situation in Zimbabwe was as stable as Chinamasa wants the world to believe why did Zanu PF enter into negotiations that led to the Global Political Agreement and a power-sharing government with the two MDC political parties?