Civic organisations are “in agreement” with the call for elections ZBC goes on to claim. Muckraker was keen to find out which civic organisations could be making such a declaration.
Alas! It was the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice fronted by none other than Advocate Martin Dinha which had taken the mantle of representing civil society.
National Constitutional Assembly chairman, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, who had called for free and fair polls, was roped into the narrative giving the impression he was also calling for early polls.
We understood the claim to represent civic organisations in the context of the bogus organisations Zanu PF has invented like the Zimbabwe Children of War Liberators Association, Zimbabwe Coffin Makers Association, Zimbabwe Exhumers Association, Youth in Natural Resources Management, the Zimbabwe Congress of Student Unions, Journalists for Empowerment, Destiny for Afrika Network, Zimbabwe Revolutionary Volunteers Front, the Federation of Civil Society Organisations, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice and Upfumi Kuvadiki among others.
Maybe ZBC needed to clarify that Zanu PF-aligned civic organisations are calling for elections. There could be no doubt about them being in agreement.
Will somebody explain what all the fuss is about regarding the presence of Hassen Ebrahim. Here is a distinguished ANC lawyer and legal draftsman who has been seconded by President Jacob Zuma to assist Copac in its deliberations.
Wasn’t this arrangement agreed at previous Sadc summits on Zimbabwe? And weren’t we told at the recent centenary celebrations of the ANC that we were like blood brothers with our southern counterparts?
Why then the near hysteria being generated in the state press? Ebrahim is being portrayed as “Zuma’s man in Copac”, a fifth columnist who has “cut and pasted” elements from the South African constitution which he also worked on.
It is difficult, reading the Sunday Mail article (“Zuma’s man in Copac outed”) to work out what aspects of his advice are so subversive. But we should have guessed. “According to sources he was the source of the highly contentious provisions of the draft constitution that allegedly sought to protect homosexuality as well as weaken key national institutions such as the judiciary and security services.”
Ebrahim was the source of so-called international best practice, we are told.
“That means 70% of the controversial material that is anti-President Mugabe and Zimbabwe in the draft came from him,” the Sunday Mail claimed as if best practice was an offence!
Then the UNDP was dragged in for good measure as part of a plot by David Cameron to “spread homosexuality in Africa”.
Does anybody believe this childish nonsense? Isn’t best practice precisely what the Copac negotiators are mandated to produce? If we don’t have best practice in the constitution then we will get a repeat of the past 32 years. Zimbabwe needs a sound document, not a partisan patchwork of Zanu PF prejudices.There is the manifest danger that if Copac produces a basic law that fails to defend the rights of minorities, for instance, the country will once again find itself without aid or investment.
Cameron is not trying to incorporate homosexuality in the constitution as the Sunday Mail fatuously asserts. He is simply saying if countries want international aid they should not persecute minorities in the name of some ignorant nationalist crusade. Next thing we will have Bishop Nolbert Kunonga prescribing what values we should incorporate in the draft!
On the subject of ignorant nationalist agendas, Morgan Tsvangirai is failing to provide robust leadership to the nation by not standing up for media freedom. Instead he seems to be competing with President Mugabe to see who can make the most vitriolic attack on the press.
He was quoted by the Sunday Mail as having accused the Daily News of creating political tension in the country by publishing falsehoods.
This sounds like Rugare Gumbo or Webster Shamu, not Morgan Tsvangirai.
“We would like to think Zimbabwe is where it is today,” the Daily News commented, “because it has its fair share of political thugs, imbeciles and media hangmen –– concrete knowledge that we would hope would dissuade him from jumping into this kind of cesspool.”
If Tsvangirai did say what the Sunday Mail accused him of saying, the Daily News said, “is he now adopting Zanu PF’s worst tendencies –– a primitive and barbaric political culture that has raped, murdered and bankrupted our once beautiful country”.
On the subject of not looking so good, we noted Jonathan Moyo’s remark that Tsvangirai had “in effect conceded on eTV that the president was more astute than him”.
“That Tsvangirai is younger than President Mugabe,” Moyo said, “is of course as obvious as the fact that he is so irresponsible and so reckless in his personal life that he is known to have unprotected sex outside marriage to the extent that he has exposed himself to HIV or has exposed his female victims to the same such that his health status will remain an issue until he goes for a public HIV test.”
Is it in fact an issue outside the editorial pages of the Sunday Mail? It is a pity the paper is prepared to publish this crude and abusive invective. The danger is of course that some readers may recall that Tsvangirai is not the only or most prominent politician accused of having sex outside the confines of marriage.
Muckraker came across an interview the Standard had with the late nationalist James Chikerema, in 2003, whose content is as pertinent today as it was then. Chikerema had made the assertion that President Mugabe would cling to the presidency “until death do them part”.
“All that succession talk is just gibberish,” Chikerema said.
“ … Mugabe is not leaving office until he dies. Can’t you see that he doesn’t even want to discuss the issue of who his successor will be,” Chikerema said.
Chikerema, the Standard states, laughed uncontrollably when asked if Jonathan Moyo, then Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, could assume the reins of power.
“That would be the joke of the millennium,” he said. “We really used to admire Moyo when he was a critic of the Zanu PF regime during his days at the University of Zimbabwe. But how he has switched roles is the reverse of what happened to the biblical Paul at Damascus. Moyo will never be president. He cannot be trusted.”
Zanu PF apologist, Vimbai “European” Chivaura took the adulation of President Mugabe to alarming levels, describing him as a “spirit medium” that will never die.
According to RadioVOP, Chivaura said this while addressing traditional chiefs last Friday in Bulawayo at their annual conference. He said Mugabe is a spirit medium just like Mbuya Nehanda and Chaminuka.
“He might die physically, but his spirit will remain with us, just like Mbuya Nehanda and Chamunika,” said Chivaura. “We will continue fighting the British and other imperialists using his spirit,” he said.
“So as traditional chiefs you should support this great man because he will always be in us,” he added.
Is Zanu PF so desperate to woo votes that they need to deify Mugabe? Mugabe should rein in such crass sycophancy if he wants to retain anything from his frayed legacy. Unless of course he is affording us a good laugh.
Zimbabwe’s school pupils must be taught the country’s political history, Media minister Webster Shamu said at a ceremony at Tynwald Primary School to celebrate the life and legacy of late national hero General Vitalis Zvinavashe.
He is of course perfectly correct. Today’s children should be taught how a fine and prosperous nation was brought to its knees by a parasitic elite. What had been a successful middle-income economy in 1980 was by 2012 a basket case.
Millions of Zimbabweans had fled abroad –– mostly to Britain and South Africa where they could enjoy a better life and escape repression.
Those remaining should be taught that “Cecil John Rhodes was a thief and a gay”, the Herald reported Shamu as saying. So that was the secret of his success!
While we are on the subject of a good education, we noticed the following on Page 4 of Monday’s edition of the Herald. “Farmer seizes neighbour’s 70 herd of cattle.”
We presume that was 70 head of cattle? We only mention it because the Herald was congratulating itself last week on being some sort of superior paper.“We’ve done it again,” they declared.
Indeed, they had. Now they need to get it right.
Muckraker enjoyed Bill Saidi’s obituary for Bornwell Chakaodza even if it did sound a bit like Bill once again providing us with his recollections of “50 years in the media trenches of Southern and Northern Rhodesia”.Chakaodza’s main contribution was to assist Bill with Bill’s Misa-commissioned autobiography, it seems.
“Chakaodza and I worked well on the book –– his function was that of a proof-reader –– and he was good,” Saidi recalled.
“He understood why I insisted that if he thought there ought to be a change in the content or context then he had to consult me which he did.”
Sounds a bit like somebody else’s obituary!
Muckraker’s question: Why did it take Bill so long to get this hagiography together? Were there any obstacles along the way?Any lengthy holidays?
MDC99 has embarked on new strategies in order to advance the party and deliver a “good brand” to the electorate ahead of the impending elections.
Addressing a press conference last Sunday, the “firebrand and brave” party President Job Sikhala revealed his party’s progress at provincial and national level.
“In the recent past our party has been infiltrated by sell-outs who are briefing and collaborating with enemies on our developments and plans.
“Their aim is to cripple and antagonise us but they will not succeed in their machinations.
“As a result of such disturbances, the party has reshuffled its executive and we also have claimed the scalps of sell-outs who wine and dine with the enemy in order to drive us backwards,” Sikhala said.
The reshuffle entailed, among other things, the reassignment of the party’s first vice president Madam Sibanda “to a less demanding post” of treasurer-general.
The information department was also revamped, says Sikhala. Former party spokesperson Aaron Muzungu was expelled from the party on allegations that he was the one “leaking false information to the security agents”.
We thought that was a good thing. Did you want him to give them accurate information Cde Sikhala?
As if that was not enough, the party will employ a strategy of embarking on a hunger strike in March “on an undisclosed date for security reasons despite spirited efforts by police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and other state security agents to thwart it”.
If the hunger strike is held at a secret location, won’t it be a case of winking in the dark?
In our edition of March 9, we referred to Godwills Masimirembwa’s election campaign in Tafara and asked what role, if any, LaFarge was playing. LaFarge has written to say it doesn’t have any relationship with Masimirembwa.
“LaFarge is a cement manufacturer which does not in any way participate in the politics of this or any other country,” it said.