Ordinary citizens or foreign capital? July Moyo must choose

Opinion & Analysis
The local runner for the project is Delish Nguwaya, with a current case of looting US$60 million for COVID-19 response in 2021.

WE have followed, with interest, the ongoing developments on the Pomona dumpsite deal where Local Government minister July Moyo is pushing and defending the privatisation of the dumpsite. The deal was awarded to Geogenix BV, a Netherlands company.

The US$344 million Pomona deal will cost residents of Harare US$22 000 per day for depositing waste.

The City of Harare did not go to tender for that project.

And, besides the tender point, the City of Harare actually struggles to collect litter around the city owing to lack of trucks and fuel to sort and carry the garbage.

The local runner for the project is Delish Nguwaya, with a current case of looting US$60 million for COVID-19 response in 2021.

The Harare City Council met to review this deal on June 2, 2022, where councillors resolved to suspend the deal citing various reasons.

Moyo then issued a statement on June 3, 2022 and declared the project as subsisting.

He even used harsh language like: “We condemn this conduct which amounts to cheap political grandstanding at the expense of the country.”

The minister also reduced a duly constituted council meeting to “a group of councillors”.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition position

We celebrate and fully support the poor residents of Harare and the City Council for stopping that stinking project.

Moyo’s hands are dirty.

He has to choose whether he still represents the ordinary people of Zimbabwe, who earn paltry Zimbabwean RTGS or international investors.

The City of Harare belongs to residents and not Moyo and his capitalists.

Under what reasoning does Moyo think a city council that fails to adequately pay its workers, provide water to residents, improve roads and street lights would now find US$22 000 per day to pay for dumping waste?

The governing Zanu PF party and President Emmerson Mnangagwa need to introspect whether this deal represents the “new dispensation” and remains in keeping with their promise of promoting and protecting the virtues of the liberation struggle.

In the case before us, Moyo is basically saying rubbish is more precious than people.

The sovereign people of Zimbabwe will always reject such corrupt, stinking deals whether passed through Cabinet or not.

As guided by the preamble of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, we will conscientise and educate Zimbabweans to join hands and fight such corrupt and reactionary tendencies.

As done during the colonial regime, the great people of Zimbabwe, across the political, social, gender, class, ethnic and religious divide will join hands to fight corruption and its merchants.

A new, corruption-free, democratic and developmental Zimbabwe is possible.Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Magaisa was a brilliant legal strategist

THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) learnt with shock and immense sadness of the passing on of Dr Alex Magaisa who passed away on Sunday June 5, 2022 in the United Kingdom.

As a legal practitioner, law lecturer and analyst, Magaisa was a giant in the Zimbabwean and international academic community and a hugely influential leader, who dedicated his time and life to making the law and politics easily comprehensible for ordinary people in society.

ZLHR was privileged to have worked with Magaisa on numerous occasions.

We will hold memories of our interactions with him in high regard.

ZLHR will remember Magaisa for his brilliance as a legal strategist and for his kindness.

His death is not only such a loss to his family, friends and students but to Zimbabwe at large.

In his career, Magaisa had achieved so much and ZLHR has no doubt that he leaves a significant legacy for many to aspire to.

To Magaisa’s family, although it is difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.

The ZLHR board, membership, management and secretariat extends its deepest condolences to Magaisa’s family, relatives and colleagues.

We wish you strength, grace, and peace during this difficult time.

May Magaisa’s soul rest in perfect peace.ZLHR

Zanu PF must respect right to freedom of choice

THE escalation of political activity continued into the month of May and major political parties are now preparing for the general election, which is due by July 2023.

The patterns of intimidation and harassment, abductions, and assaults implicating the ruling party continued unabated.

The organisation recorded cases where Zanu PF abused its influence in government to manipulate national processes like the voter registration blitz, the mobile national documentation outreach, and aid distribution.

In this month’s round-up, we dig into these cases and provide detailed analyses and recommendations.

Between March and June 2008, over 200 opposition supporters were killed while thousands of others were injured and tens of thousands were displaced in one of the vilest electoral periods in Zimbabwe’s history.

The systematic targeting of the supporters of the then main opposition party, the MDC-T, was in response to the party’s parliamentary and presidential election victory over Zanu PF.

For the first time in 28 years, Zanu PF was facing defeat right in its face and the party used all at its disposal — the police, intelligence agents, the military, war veterans and youth militia — to overturn the defeat.

After the orgy of violence, the country was to get into a multi-party dialogue that led to a unity government between Zanu PF and the opposition.

For five years, Zimbabwe enjoyed general political harmony and unfortunately missed a chance to conduct, for the first time, a genuine, inclusive and effective healing and reconciliation process to deal with the conflicts that date back to colonial times.

For those that suffered in 2008, and perhaps in the previous political and social conflicts, the memories remain vivid.

It is, therefore, of great concern that over the past two months, the Zanu PF government, which was the major perpetrator of the 2008 electoral violence and other forms of atrocities before that, is on a systematic drive to intimidate citizens, especially those in rural areas ahead of the 2023 elections.

What is more worrying is that Zanu PF ward leaders who are holding meetings, mostly in Mashonaland, Masvingo and Manicaland provinces, are promising that the party, together with the State security agents, will unleash violence the same way they did in 2008 if Zanu PF loses the 2023 elections.

So far, Zanu PF has been responsible for 165 human rights violations in April and 193 in May, all related to how the party is closing down the space for opposition activity.

In one of the cases recorded in Chaparira village, Mt Darwin East, Zanu PF activists led by Christopher Mbereko allegedly besieged the home of a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter Tendai Kurauone on the night of May 14 and attacked him, leaving him seriously injured.

The Zanu PF youths accused Kurauone of working with CCC cheerleader, Godfrey Karembera known as Madzibaba veShanduko.

Still in Mt Darwin East, in one of the most bizarre cases, Zanu PF activists have been calling on an apostolic sect to shut down its shrine over allegations that it has CCC supporters among its membership.

Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) is informed that the local Zanu PF leadership sent a message advising the sect leadership to halt gatherings over the issue and on May 27, the sect failed to convene its service as Zanu PF supporters had besieged the shrine and went on to hold a rally there.

At Madondo village in Muzarabani North, Zanu PF youths organised a ward meeting, where they told villagers that the party would not hesitate to burn homes, assault and kill opposition supporters if the party fails to win the 2023 elections.

These are not just coincidences because at Zaranyika village ward 5 in Murehwa North, Zanu PF activists torched a CCC supporter Temba’s (name altered) house after accusing him of wearing CCC regalia in the ward.

A Zanu PF youth Innocent Nyamadzawo had approached Temba and told him to remove and burn the CCC T shirt he was wearing, and when he resisted, Nyamadzawo dragged Temba to Zanu PF ward councillor Shadreck Chinake, who forcibly removed and threw the T-shirt into a toilet pit.

On May 4, after a series of threats, Temba’s house was allegedly set on fire by Zanu PF activists.

No arrests have happened yet and this is despite the victim having given the police officers a list of suspects.

In Murehwa North, Zanu PF activists led by Taurai Chindowa, armed with a “voters roll”, conducted door-to-door visits intimidating and harassing villagers claiming that “Zanu PF will know villagers who will vote for opposition parties as they will refer to the voters roll”.

The voters roll used to intimidate villagers was illegally acquired by Zanu PF activists during the by-elections.

In addition to using the intimidation tactics, the ruling party has also used its influence in government to manipulate national processes to its advantage.

In one of the well-publicised cases, first published by the Masvingo Mirror, Zanu PF bussed its supporters in a Mutendi High School bus at night and proceeded to the Civil Registry Office in Masvingo, where its supporters allegedly acquired national IDs unprocedurally in the dead of the night.

The Masvingo Mirror captured the incident and made live calls to the district and provincial registrars, who both refused to answer questions on why people were getting national IDs at night.

ZPP also recorded similar cases across the country and in one of those, at Chartsworth, in Gutu West, a Zanu PF ward chairperson identified as Changweda allegedly disturbed a national identity document issuing process after she arrived at the centre and forced the registration officials to attend to the Zanu PF supporters she had brought ahead of everyone else.

In some parts of Buhera West, some Zanu PF officials are banning the issuance of national IDs to young people who do not have a letter of declaration from Zanu PF.ZPP

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