There has been much controversy of late over the source of funds President Robert Mugabe uses when distributing farm inputs worth US$20 million.
Opinion by MuckRacker
Mugabe recently launched the Presidential Well-Wishers Special Agricultural Inputs Scheme with maize and fertilisers being distributed through Zanu PF structures, according to newspaper reports.
The campaign, however, is becoming a tad scruffy with Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba telling state media Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai finds enough money to “atone for his carnal excesses”. He claimed Mugabe raised the money he needed for distributing farm inputs by carrying a food hamper to save money from his travel and subsistence allowance.
The MDC-T hit back, NewsDay, reported, saying Charamba’s remarks were a clear indication Mugabe had failed.
“For Mugabe who is repeatedly and monotonously referred to as head of state and government by state institutions to concede that the same government he is head of failed to support its farmers is not only astonishing but self-defeating…”
While this is clearly a serious matter, Muckraker couldn’t help but chuckle at Charamba’s claim the president carried a food hamper around with him to cut costs from his travel and subsistence allowance. Does this include Air Zimbabwe meals we wonder?
The real little man
How the mighty have fallen! On Tuesday excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his surrogates were told they had up to 4pm to vacate all Anglican Church properties.
The Daily News reports the Church of the Province of Central Africa obtained a “Warrant of Ejection” from the High Court for which Kunonga was liable. He was reportedly in contempt of court for failing to abide by the court ruling and thus liable to arrest.
This is a far cry from the Kunonga of years past who bristled with confidence following High Court judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo’s ruling granting him ownership of all Anglican Church property in Zimbabwe.
In September the boisterous Kunonga told the Sunday Mail’s Munyaradzi Huni: I don’t have anything against (Bishop Chad) Gandiya. He is a little man. I have never considered him to be significant. I don’t know where he came from and there is nothing personal between us . . .”
“It’s an insult that people say I am fighting Gandiya. Even Bakare, he is no equal to me. I am fighting Rowan Williams. That’s where these people are making a mistake. I am not fighting any black man. I am fighting Britain and America. I am not petty. This is where they misunderstand me,” bellowed Kunonga.
Who is the little man now Cde Kunonga?
Chickens home to roost
Here’s another quotable quote from Kunonga: “One of the reasons why I succeed is that I don’t operate outside the law.”
Except this time around the law did not work out in his favour and Kunonga is crying foul.
Following his loss, Kunonga said his concern was now with the “level of moral decadence” affecting Zimbabwe.
Oh, puh-leeze! Kunonga cannot claim any moral high ground considering allegations several churches he had seized had been desecrated with some being turned into bedrooms and brothels.
He had once crowed “I am not controversial. I am the controversy”. It seems the controversy has finally come back to bite him.
Tomana loses the plot
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana says he will crack down on what he calls saboteurs of state interests.
Replying to a question from what sounded like an interested party in the diamond sector, Tomana said things would be done differently from now on.
“If we truly want this country to experience the hope that we are a secure country, an orderly country, we need to upgrade our law enforcement side …
“Things are now going to be done differently. That level of tolerance is now suspended. I wish to advise accordingly.”
A delegate had asked at the Victoria Falls indaba if the country did not have sufficient laws to punish those that had campaigned against Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds which resulted in the international community questioning the cleanliness of the gems.
“For the record, I am sure you remember those from civic society, they have gone on record to actually say that those laws that protect us are bad laws and because they are bad laws they can be ignored, and that is the reason you would see people violating those laws in the name of democracy…”
Tomana appears not to understand the basics of democratic rule. The public are entitled to describe bad laws as such if they impinge upon people’s rights. Billions of dollars in diamonds have reportedly been syphoned from the Marange diggings. Should that claim be ignored? Newspapers and civil society surely have an obligation to fulfil a watchdog role in this regard?
Instead of threatening civil society, Tomana should be thinking of ways to enhance democratic safeguards for the nation’s minerals output. Zimbabwe has a bad record of sweeping inconvenient problems under the political carpet. And what of the human rights violations in 2008 which have not seen the light of day? Jestina Mukoko may have a view on the state’s level of “tolerance”!
Selous Scout by force
Jonathan Moyo, it seems, refuses to accept that David Coltart was never a Selous Scout.
He has an explanation for his error.
“Any Rhodie who served any organ of Rhodesian forces was a Selous Scout in letter or spirit or both and so the difference was in detail and not in orientation or purpose,” he declared.
So there you have it. We can count on Moyo not allowing inconvenient facts to get in the way of his agenda.
Back to ‘Dark City’
Of late Zesa Holdings had given its tortured customers a reprieve from its incessant load shedding which had earned Harare the infamous “Dark City” monicker.
Zesa had finally turned a corner, or so we thought, before Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira –– without warning –– announced the useless utility would once again embark on massive load-shedding until the beginning of next year effective this Monday.
Gwasira said load-shedding had been caused by “extensive maintenance programme at Hwange and Kariba power stations”.
“The original plan was to implement the maintenance works between April and May, but we realised that it is the winter peak period so we decided to postpone to December where demand is low considering companies would have closed down for the festive period,” Gwasira said.
Why consumers were not warned of this impending blackout only Zesa knows. And we are unimpressed by the way it suddenly “realises” something like when winter falls.
As if to rub salt in the wound Gwasira claimed Zesa would “put in place measures to reduce the load-shedding”.
“Our aim is to ensure that the consumer is not affected adversely by our attempt to improve power supply so we have put in place measures which are within our jurisdiction to alleviate the situation,” Gwasira bleated offering cold comfort to households and businesses already plunged in darkness.
For Zesa the adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is certainly apt.
Bank loan mogul
Mines deputy minister Gift Chimanikire recently took time to exonerate his boss Obert Mpofu from accusations his vast wealth has been amassed through misappropriating proceeds from diamonds.
Mpofu had made his fortune through his sweat, Chimanikire declared at the Victoria Falls diamond conference.
This realisation had been made after working with Mpofu at the Mines ministry, we were told.
“When I joined the Mines ministry, Mpofu had been there for a year. He already had that kind of wealth,” Chimanikire said as if Mpofu had not been in government before.
This is despite Mpofu being among Zanu PF officials fingered as multiple farm-owners still clinging onto the farms they grabbed ignoring the one-man-one-farm policy as well as restrictions on farm sizes.
In September we carried a story which revealed Mpofu was still holding on to three farms.
Mpofu once claimed to have acquired much of the property he now owns through a bank loan.
If anyone believes that they will believe anything!
Too close for comfort
Though they were from different political parties, Chimanikire said, he had worked very well with his boss whom he went on to describe as “King of Matabeleland”.
The Daily News reports MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the party is demanding an explanation from Chimanikire as he “does not have the capacity to determine the wealth that is in the hands of Mpofu”.
Mwonzora said Chimanikire is trying to “provide flattery to Mpofu” but does not have the “ability nor means” to determine sources of Mpofu’s wealth.
A report released in London by Partnership Africa Canada detailing corruption in the Marange diamond fields makes interesting reading.
“His (Mpofu) unexplained wealth is emblematic of wider problems of revenue transparency associated with this promising national resource,” the report stated.