JOHN CHIMUNHU INTERNATIONAL LETTER
Now Daily Opinion
- Ailing: Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe appeared last week for his birthday celebrations, only to disappear soon afterwards, presumably to recuperate from all the eating, drinking and dancing. Oh, yes, the dictator does dance, if rigidly putting one foot in front of the other in rapid succession while music is playing can be called dancing!
Now we are told Mugabe is in Singapore, for a “scheduled medical review”. Will the president please go to local hospitals so that he can report back at the office after seeing the doctor?
The inept and arrogant so-called presidential spokesperson George Charamba makes it a point to keep Zimbabweans in the dark about the whereabouts of Number One. Occasionally, we see his wife dancing at rallies and making all sorts of Zanu PF factional noises but that’s not the same as seeing the man himself. Mugabe is not in prison and does not need a wife to pass messages to us, the people who are paying his salary.
Zimbabweans, whose hard-earned taxes allow the dictator to gallivant at will all over the world, must begin to demand accountability from this opaque bureaucracy called the ‘President’s office’. Why can’t Mugabe be like Donald Trump, tweeting people to death with the usual venom. At least Trump says something, no matter how unpalatable.
Mugabe does not even have an official website or tweeter account. We blame Charamba for this. Even the other Charamba, of ZRP infamy has realised the importance of keeping communication lines open between herself and criminals. It doesn’t take five minutes to set up a free website for the president. Why can’t Charamba learn from South Africa, which has one of the most vibrant presidential websites on the continent? Or even little Malawi under Joyce Banda, who had the good habit of starting her day on Facebook, personally attending to the many concerns of her fellow countrywomen and men.
In Zimbabwe, there is no way for a citizen to deliver a simple message to Mugabe. Itai Dzamara, who dared deliver a simple letter speaking his mind about Mugabe’s poor governance, disappeared without trace. We should be able to know where the president is and what he is up to on any particular day. It doesn’t need a magician to know that the next time ZBC reports about the president will be to tell us that he was seen off at the airport by all his hangers on.
Tsvangirai Can Unite Zimbabweans to Beat Mugabe
- Tsvangirai with Barack Obama.
It is heartening to note that Zimbabwean opposition parties have begun talking about the possibility of an election coalition to beat the dictator Robert Mugabe.
Naturally, there are those who will oppose this unity for various reasons, many of them personal and selfish.
Before the MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai embarks on the difficult task of roping in elements from Zanu PF for the major task ahead, he must work very hard to rejuvenate and reunite fellow democrats who have become disheartened about the struggle for freedom in Zimbabwe. Except for those who have conclusively been identified as agents of Mugabe and Zanu PF, people who started this phase of the struggle in earnest when the MDC was formed in 1999 deserve to be re-activated and re-admitted into the ranks of the revolution and the party. We are talking here about the trade unionists, students, churches, women’s groups, white farmers, business people, journalists, teachers, lawyers, the poor and downtrodden Zimbabweans who must take their place in this final onslaught against the dictatorship.
It is also encouraging that Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti, now PDP leader, are talking and that ‘T.B.’ can actually visit Harvest House without being attacked by hooligans like what happened while he was still MDC-T secretary general. Tsvangirai must extend this ‘amnesty’ to all party members who have left for various reasons and get his election machine into gear. Just as we must lay aside our misgivings about this great man, we also must ask Mr Tsvangirai to forgive those that have wronged him, sometimes very publicly. It takes courage, pragmatism and magnanimity to associate with people who left the party in a storm of Zanu PF publicity but we trust that the former prime minister is up to it. The Madhukus, Mutambaras, Ncubes and Coltarts are just waiting for a phone call and a kind word from Save to get back into formation and march with the rest of the democratic movement. Many of these people are not enemies. They are comrades who just had a difference of opinion about how things should be done.
Petty differences must now be set aside for the greater good of winning power from the dictator, for the benefit of suffering Zimbabweans. Only when we are united among ourselves can we hope to make an impact on the millions of people who are trapped in Mugabe’s system to be used as chicken feed during elections and then discarded. Many people within Zanu PF – war veterans, youths women, CIO, army, police, prisons are tired of the killing and the bribe-taking. They want a normal life. They want proper jobs even within the system, where their salaries are adequate for their needs and are paid on time, where they get promoted on a fair basis for good performance and can look forward to a reasonable pension when they retire at the end of their service.
As the democratic media, we probably judged Tsvangirai too harshly, especially concerning his private life and the way he runs his personal affairs. However, Mr Tsvangirai must know that there was no malice. He is a democratic politician and is subject to tougher scrutiny than Mugabe who is a dictator. All we wanted as the media was to shape a future for ourselves and our children that will be free from the tyrannical one-man rule that we have experienced under nearly four decades of Mugabe. The fact that Tsvangirai has been tested through fire means that everything about him is now public and the people will not hesitate to give state power to such a man. We know how he thinks, how he feels and what his problems are.
That was then and this is now. Zimbabweans need you, Comrade Morgan and many are convinced that united under your leadership, they can occupy State House in 2018. Those who are making regressive and derogatory noises are fewer than the silent majority.
Herd boys and villagers
- Cyclone Dineo victims.
The ZBC’s editors must be fired. How dare they refer to fellow Zimbabweans as ‘villager’ or ‘herdboy’? We have heard about these people, to whom something unfortunate always seems to happen, because of the floods. They also sometimes get on television when there are elections.
We were horrified by the unfeeling, insensitive and inhuman coverage of the death from floods of a young man who was only referred to as a ‘17 year-old herd boy’. No name, no empathy, just a herd boy drowned by floods, deserving two seconds on the news!
In the same bulletin, the ZBC devoted five minutes to the wailings of a woman who had lost two donkeys. We have to question the editorial judgement of the mandarins at Pockets Hill.
Chamisa must leave Mzembi to fight own wars
- Walter Mzembi.
Movement for Democratic Change vice president Nelson Chamisa risks losing the support of the few people in the opposition party who still back him by continuously promoting Zanu PF causes in parliament. How much is Chamisa being paid by Zanu PF to do this?
On Wednesday, Chamisa interrupted ministers’ question time to urge sceptical MPs from his party to support the candidature of Walter Mzembi for the presidency of the United Nations World Trade Organisation. If Chamisa spent as much time arguing the case for the two million Zimbabweans who were promised jobs by Zanu PF which never materialised, he would be respected as a hero. But no, Chamisa thinks getting a job for Mzembi is more important than getting jobs for the people of Kuwadzana East who voted for him! And what has Mzembi done as tourism minister apart from corruptly giving his wife Barbara Hernandez the Miss Tourism assignment which she quickly turned into another Zanu PF and Grace Mugabe project?
Chamisa must know where his bread is buttered, which is on the dirty streets of Kuwadzana, where we will see him more frequently in 2018 begging for votes.
When Chamisa was beaten by the CIO at Harare airport, it was not Mzembi or any of the Zanu PF chefs who gave him solace. It was those unemployed men and women of Zimbabwe, some of them who are actually victims of Mzembi’s violence in Masvingo. What guarantee is there that if Mzembi gets the UNWTO job he will not use the money to buy beer and drugs for party militiamen and women to terrorize the people on behalf of Zanu PF in 2018?
Chikwinya perjures herself
- Thokozani Khupe.
Hats off to MDC-T vice president Thokozani Khupe for driving women’s affairs minister Nyasha Chikwinya into a corner over the contentious issue of the women’s bank. It was refreshing to see the opposition so united to bring a government minister to account, live on state television.
This is what we have always said on this column, that informed MPs who know what to ask and swhen will achieve a lot more than the rowdy noise-makers. Chikwinya was asked a simple question by Khupe. What progress had been made in setting up the much talked about women’s bank. Chikwinya then disclosed that the bank was going to be officially launched on March 5. Then all hell broke loose as MDC MPs accused the minister of perjury, that is lying under oath. Well done, honourables. Zanu PF’s gravy train will soon come to a grinding halt if we have more probing MPs.
© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.