On Saturday Tendai Mugabe and Zvamaida Murwira had this to say about Morgan Tsvangirai’s refusal to attend Monday meetings with President Mugabe.
“He was protesting President Robert Mugabe’s constitutional reappointment of provincial governors and reassignment of serving ambassadors.”
Really? If it had been constitutional Tsvangirai would not have been protesting, would he?
But the constitution had been unambiguously amended (Article 19) in 2008 to requiring, among other things, principals to the GPA to agree upon senior appointments. Why is that amendment being ignored when others passed over the past 10 years are cast in stone?
Surely Tendai Mugabe and Zvamaida Murwira are aware of that?
And was Muckraker alone in noticing the sharp edge to Jacob Zuma’s remarks about Rupiah Banda who was supposed to have presided over a recent Sadc meeting in Gaborone?
“At the last minute the chairman of the Troika sent a message that he was not able to attend the meeting,” Zuma told reporters in Harare last Friday. “The former chair of the Troika (President Guebuza) was also not present and we could not meet.”
The state press at the time reported this as a triumph for Zimbabwe. Banda’s non-appearance, it would seem, inconvenienced Zuma but pleased Zanu PF.
Can’t we get away from this sort of reporting? Is it not in the country’s interest to have cordial relations between the principals? Obviously it is. But then you have SK Moyo denouncing the GNU as “a joke” for failing to serve Zanu PF’s interests.
SK Moyo said Zanu PF was “supported by history”. What he meant was Zanu PF was history!
Zanu PF does not enjoy being harnessed to the MDC which it regards as an agency of Anglo-American power. But that is the price it pays for a manipulative and violent election campaign in 2008. Sadc had to act to prevent Zimbabwe’s further descent into chaos.
It is a sore loser and seeks to excuse its appalling record in power in the childish language of redundant nationalism.
SK Moyo said recently the government of national unity was “a joke”.
But does anybody out there take Moyo, Emmerson Mnangagwa and other “leaders” seriously? Why can’t President Mugabe and his party work with others to achieve what is best for the country? That’s what Sadc leaders want.
The answer is obvious. Zanu PF is in denial about their loss in 2008 and wants to re-impose their damaging authority upon an exhausted nation.
One good example of the party’s delinquency comes from Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba. He was quoted recently in Mutare as saying MDC-T members who support sanctions should be hanged.
“Our committee (Zanu PF Manicaland provincial sub-committee) feels that those who call for sanctions should have death sentences imposed on them because their actions have destroyed the national economy,” he reportedly said.
“Those MDC people must be hanged once and for all. The army will not let such people roam freely in our country after elections. It’s high time we deal with such people.”
If Nyikayaramba has been quoted accurately, that must go down as one of the most shocking statements in the campaign to date. It exceeds anything said in 2008.
And do you notice how our law-enforcement officers, banging on about the “Western onslaught”, ignore statements about hanging people?
Then there is the Police Act. What happened to that or any mention of professionalism? Instead all we get is “sovereignty”.
Why doesn’t the MDC-T or MDC-M spell out the role of a professional police force in a democratic society? Shouldn’t they be speaking out on this issue?
Nyikayaramba is also on record as saying the MDC-T will not be allowed to campaign in rural areas without the permission of chiefs.
“Those who defy orders will be dealt with accordingly by our deployed officers.”
Is that not a serious encroachment on the right to assembly and speech? Why is nobody saying anything?
We were amused by ZTV’s attempt to place a spin on Tendai Biti’s budget. First we had a lone Supa Mandiwanzira complaining about insufficient funds being allocated to the indigenisation sector. ZTV clearly didn’t think it might be a good idea to have other voices heard. The interviewer provided a classic example of unchallenging questions.
He then asked another interviewee if the allocation of resources to health and education could be regarded as “populist” seeing these were “MDC ministries”.
There was nobody to tell him that Zanu PF invariably prioritised these ministries since 1980 on the grounds of national need!
There has been a large number of condolences published for the family of Police Deputy Commissioner-General Barbra Mandizha. Sadly many of them were misspelt.
The Attorney-General’s office was spelt “the Attorney’s G-Generals’s office”; then we had “the Attorney-Generals, Honourable Jahannes (sic) Tomana; Deputy Attorneys-Generals, Directors, Officers and the entire staff of the Attorney-General’s office…
“The loss id not yours alone,” we were told.
Who compiled “thid” poorly crafted tribute? Hopefully not someone in the “Attorney’s G-Generals’s office”!
We were interested to note Saviour Kasukuwere’s remarks at the “Independent Dialogue” meeting last week. Any British investor thinking of coming into the country would be looked at “very negatively”, he said. He would use the Malaysian expression “Buy British Last,” he said.
This represented a slap in the face for British ambassador Mark Canning who has worked hard to generate British investment in Zimbabwe. And what was the purpose of all those investment indabas held under the auspices of the GNU and addressed by President Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara?
What a waste of time!
What was striking in all this was the ridiculous claim that indigenisation titans like Kasukuwere were somehow thwarted in their ambitions by Britain’s sanctions policy.
In the same week we saw an advertisement in the paper announcing that Ray Kaukonde had taken control of Mike Harris Motors. And how many other businesses have been acquired by Kasukuwere, Kaukonde, Philip Chiyangwa and others? Have they been thwarted in their ambitions by the wicked Breetish? Doesn’t look much like it does it? Kasukuwere looks bigger every time we see him! And he should have disclosed that the “Buy British Last” slogan was a product of Mahathir Mohammad during a dispute with Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. Mahathir has been long out of office and relations between Britain and Malaysia have been cordial under his successors.
The main reason that Sadc leaders took a watching brief on Zimbabwe in 2008 was to prevent Zanu PF’s populist policies impacting negatively on the region.
Doesn’t look as if they succeeded does it? All those Sadc countries that profess to be supporting Mugabe are pursing investment-friendly policies. Zimbabwe, thanks to Kasukuwere and company, is completely out of step.
Finally, news of a dramatic breakthrough on the diplomatic front. President Mugabe held talks in Tripoli with the Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Grueski.
Who? We hadn’t heard of him either. But the Herald’s report suggests a rather pathetic need for friends. Grueski, we note was very careful to point out that his country was not a member of the EU with no part to play in the “illegal” sanctions. Actually, he didn’t say “illegal”, the Herald just popped it in!
And our old friend Alexander Kanengoni can’t understand why British ambassador Mark Canning should “have the courage to suggest that his government is more concerned about us than our own government and he expects us to believe it”.
Actually, everybody believes it. Where does Kanengoni think all the food comes from in parts of the country immersed in hardship? Which countries have responded to Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis with goodwill and generosity? Britain, the US and EU.
No sign of the Chinese in all this! And we should note the Herald launched a campaign against productive farmers on Wednesday just in case some unpatriotic individuals were contemplating agricultural recovery. Was Mr Henk Terblanche told why Isdore Guvamombe wanted a picture of him?
So we were not surprised to hear of countries staying away from the EU/Africa summit.
They don’t want to provide a platform for demagogues. But we would like to have heard more about Col Gaddafi’s “nurse”, a blonde Ukrainian lady we are told, courtesy of WikiLeaks.