‘Small opposition parties, are ‘briefcase parties’ which would not add value to a grand coalition’-MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu

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THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T has effectively shut out small opposition parties, saying they were “briefcase parties” which would not add value to the proposed grand coalition ahead of the 2018 general elections.

In a tirade, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu took to social media telling off the parties, saying they are not needed in the coalition talks.

“You can hold onto your briefcase political party. Who cares? You will certainly not be missed in a coalition,” he tweeted.

Gutu said his party had seen it prudent to exercise due diligence before engaging other opposition players, as some of them were of “no fixed abode”.

“I’m simply targeting briefcase political parties. There are plenty of them out there. They know themselves. You don’t form a briefcase political party today and thereafter, vociferously clamour for a position in the coalition matrix, just forget it,” he said.

The MDC-T has come under attack from various opposition players after Tsvangirai appeared to cherry pick Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First and Welshman Ncube’s MDC as his preferred partners in the coalition.

Former High Court judge and interim Zunde leader, Benjamin Paradza, hit back at the MDC-T last week, describing its leadership as self-centred.

“The MDC-T seems to be terribly uncomfortable with the idea of going into a coalition with any political party that does not conform to its agenda and which they do not consider big enough.”

“In order to safeguard their own position, MDC-T is imposing preconditions that must be met to participate in their version of a grand coalition,” he wrote.

People’s Democratic Party deputy president, Kucaca Phulu, attacked the MDC-T for building an axis of exclusion.

At least 13 opposition parties, including the MDC-T, ZimPF and MDC, are toying with the idea of forming a grand coalition and fielding a single presidential candidate to challenge Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe in the 2018 presidential race. source-newsday

photo-MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu

MDC-T’ Eddie Cross hints at the need for rewrite several laws and amending the constitution — “to clean up Zanu PF’s mess”.

CROSS-EDDIE

MDC-T’s secretary for local government, Eddie Cross has hinted at the need for rewriting of several laws and amending the constitution — once in power — “to clean up Zanu PF’s mess”.

Cross, the Bulawayo South legislator, said defeating Zanu PF alone was not enough cause for celebration, as the ruling party had captured the State and all significant organs of society.

In an opinion piece, Cross said Zanu PF’s “State capture” presented a threat of change to transformation, even if the opposition party won the 2018 polls.

“The real challenge in Zimbabwe today is not to achieve a change of leadership in the form of Mugabe, but how to totally transform the entire country,” he wrote.

Cross, the Bulawayo South legislator, said defeating Zanu PF alone was not enough cause for celebration, as the ruling party had captured the State and all significant organs of society.

In an opinion piece, Cross said Zanu PF’s “State capture” presented a threat of change to transformation, even if the opposition party won the 2018 polls.

“The real challenge in Zimbabwe today is not to achieve a change of leadership in the form of Mugabe, but how to totally transform the entire country,” he wrote. “However, since he took power in 1980, he has spent his time and energy on one mission — and it was not the welfare of the people — it was how to take full control of the State and all significant organs of society.”

“So effective has this been that, today, his party and his acolytes control all aspects of life in this beleaguered country. The private sector is completely dominated by the Zanu PF faithful, all State-controlled enterprises and institutions have only Zanu PF people at the helm. The process is rigid and disciplined.”

The Bulawayo South legislator said a huge task awaited the next-government in the post-Mugabe era, that he said is over and “all that remains is when and how”.

“From this brief description of what life in this country has become, you will have some appreciation of just what a task faces us when we finally beat Zanu PF so massively that they cannot retain any semblance of power or influence,” Cross continued.

“We are going to have to deal with rampant universal corruption — both petty and national; we are going to have to completely re-educate our senior civil servants. We are going to have to review every board and committee, every magistrate and judge in our courts of law. We are going to have to rewrite hundreds of acts of legislation and to even amend the national Constitution to establish the rule of law and enforce compliance.” By Nqobani Ndlovu. source-newsday

Mwonzora the MDC T Secretay General, is facing de-registration for alleged abuse of trust funds and forging court documents.

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LAWYER and MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora is facing de-registration for alleged abuse of trust funds and forging court documents.

 

The lawyer-cum-politician who is a senior partner at Mwonzora and Associates law firm has appeared before the legal practitioners’ disciplinary tribunal (LPT), after the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) charged him with unprofessional conduct.

Mr Mwonzora appeared before the LPT together  with two other lawyers Mr Daniel Wapepuka Mhiribidi and Mr Puwayi Chiutsi at the High Court on December 2.

The LSZ annual report states Mr Mhiribidi is likely to be de-registered in terms of the Mental Health Act.

LSZ president, Mrs Vimbai Nyemba said judgement for Mr Mwonzora’s case was reserved.

“Mwonzora raised a point in limine and judgement was reserved,” said Mrs Nyemba.

Mr Mwonzora yesterday said there was a political hand behind the charges laid against him and has threatened to sue his accusers after the judgement is handed down.

“I am sure that my accusers were embarrassed. It was clear that it was political works by inept people whose obsession has been to destroy my career.  Fortunately the truth came out and I am going to proceed against my accusers once the judgement has been handed down,” said Mr Mwonzora.

Mrs Nyemba said Mr Mhiribidi had been referred back to two psychiatrists for further examination.

“As for Mhiribidi, the two medical doctors were saying different things, one is saying he is not mentally stable, so he has to go to two government psychiatrists for two more reports before the tribunal makes a ruling.

“Chiutsi’s matter was postponed to December 21,” said Mrs Nyemba.

Last year 11 lawyers lost their practising certificates after being convicted by the LPT, which is chaired by a High Court judge.

Justice Felistas Chatukuta chairs the tribunal, which hears such cases at the High Court.

Other members of the tribunal are Justice Garainesu Mawadze and lawyers Mrs Sarah Moyo and Mr Davison Kanokanga.

According to the LSZ’s annual report for 2016, claims of over $2 million are threatening the profession’s compensation fund as a result of theft, fraud, forgery and or dishonest practices by lawyers.

It says six law firms are culpable for the claims, with 60 lawyers having been fined for practising without certificates.

The report also indicates that the compensation fund was in dire straits with $682 964 in its coffers, against possible claims amounting to $2 185 000.

De-registered Bulawayo law firm Cheda and Partners has the highest claim of $1 million followed by Muchekeche and Partners whose claim stands at $900 000. source-chronicle

MDC-T FACTIONALISM: Senior Matebeleland members, including vp Khupe, Moyo and Bhebhe boycott fundraising dinner

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MDC-T factionalism has reached fever pitch amid revelations that senior party members, including vice president Ms Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo and national organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe boycotted a fundraising dinner that was meant to mobilise funds for Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s chemotherapy.This was despite the fact that the three were in Harare for the National Budget delivered last Thursday by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Ms Khupe battled cancer a few years ago. The Matabeleland snub shocked the MDC-T leadership.

Mr Tsvangirai is battling cancer of the colon and receives regular treatment in South Africa. The treatment requires a lot of money. Reliable MDC-T insiders told The Herald that all was not well and the party risked either splitting or losing the Matabeleland support base.

“Three senior party officials namely vice president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe, all from Matabeleland, snubbed the dinner dance. They were advised of the event well in advance and were all in Harare for the national budget. The budget presentation ended at 1600hrs. The dinner dance started at 1700hrs. We saw them but they stayed away from the event,” said a senior MDC-T official.

The source added: “In fact, Ms Khupe was on the programme. She was supposed to give the opening remarks but did not show up. It was actually announced that she absconded. Organisers had to replace her with the vice chairman Morgan Komichi. All the three vice presidents were on the programme with Khupe supposed to give opening remarks, Nelson Chamisa (inviting the party president Tsvangirai to the podium) and Elias Mudzuri (closing remarks).Chamisa and Mudzuri were present. It is all factional now.”

The source said the boycott by Ms Khupe and her colleagues was so visible that it forced the opposition party leadership to speak on the need for unity.

“Everyone who made an address noted the trio’s absence and spoke on the need for the party to unite,” said the top MDC-T official.

The source quoted Mr Tsvangirai’s address saying the opposition leader said: “I know that as a family fighting is inevitable. This is what shows that we are a big organisation. We should reconcile and move forward. Dzinotungana asi Dzinonanzvana. (We fight but we must reconcile)”

The source said Mr Tsvangirai, who was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth Macheka, looked frail.

His address lasted 30-minutes.

He went to the dance floor with his wife for a few minutes.

Mr Tsvangirai also told the gathering, “I want to assure you that we are going to defeat this cancer first then we will defeat Zanu-PF.”

Mr Chamisa reportedly also emphasized unity when he addressed the gathering. The source said Mr Chamisa stated: “This party should have one vision and one visionary. Our duty as party members is to follow the visionary and his vision. There cannot be two visions. Two visions become divisions.”

According to the source, about $60 000 was raised for Mr Tsvangirai’s chemotherapy.

Senator for the Midlands Lillian Timvios was the brains behind the dinner dance. The minimum contribution for the dinner dance was $50 for ordinary members, councillors ($100) and MPs $200.

Mrs Timvios is viewed as aligned to Mr Chamisa as two camps emerge in the opposition party with Ms Khupe on the other supported by Mr Moyo and Mr Bhebhe. Mr Bhebhe confirmed that he was in Harare on Thursday.

“If I was occupied then should I have torn myself apart,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Ms Khupe and Mr Moyo were fruitless. Takunda Maodza: source-herald

Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) Manicaland provincial secretary for information and publicity Moses Mutyasira died on Saturday

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Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) Manicaland provincial secretary for information and publicity Moses Mutyasira died on Saturday due to an alleged diabetes sickness.

Mutyasira, who was master of ceremonies at the party’s maiden rally in Mutare in July this year that was addressed by party leader Joice Mujuru died at Harare Central Hospital.

He will be buried in Domboshawa tomorrow where mourners are gathered.

ZimPF lawyer Simon Simango confirmed the death.

“He was our master of ceremony during our provincial maiden rally where our president Joice Mujuru addressed thousands of people, the party is still in a state of shock. The death came untimely and he left a gap in our party,’’ Simango said.

‘’He was a courageous and brave person. It’s a new party, he was one of the pioneers of the party, he will be buried in Domboshava and this is where people are gathered.’’

The death of Mutyasira comes hard on the heels of the death of a senior party member Kudzai Mbudzi, who was a fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe. By Kenneth Nyangani.

source-newsday

To confuse all Tsvangirai is trying to politicise the US$4 million Highlands mansion allocated to him as Prime Minister.

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Morgan Tsvangirai is deliberately trying to politicize the US$4 million Highlands mansion he was allocated when he was Prime Minister to confuse everyone.
 
“How does my house compromise me? This is my house. This is not anybody’s property, it’s my property,” he has argued when the point was raised, not for the first time, that he should vacate the property now that he is no longer PM.
 
The question of who is the rightful own of the property can easily be settled by answering the question who paid the $4 million price tag on the property. As far as public record goes, the property was paid for using taxpayer’s money; if Tsvangirai disputes that then he should produce the proof that he has repaid the loan.
 
Tsvangirai was allocated the mansion at the time because he made a big fuss about his own house being unsuitable for someone of his senior position; this is a familiar tale to the people of Zimbabwe.
 
VP Mphoko and his family were holed up in the five-star hotel for nearly two years, at taxpayers’ expense. Like Tsvangirai, he insisted that all the houses offered to him were not good enough for a man of his high office! It took the determined resolve of people like Sten Zvorwadza to finally flush him out of the luxurious accommodation! Whilst one can understand the need to provide more secure accommodation for senior public officials, the nation expects the individual concerned to be reasonable in their demands. When the individual leave office they are expected to vacate the allocated accommodation. It is absurd for each ex British PM or USA President to be provided a 10 Downing Street or White House at public expense.
 
What Tsvangirai and his MDC friends must never forget is that they were elected on a ticket to delivery democratic reforms and end the Zanu PF corruption, oppression and this corrosive culture of entitlement.
 
The very fact that Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to implement even one democratic reform throughout the five years of the GNU does raise the question of their being compromised. Mugabe bribed his Zanu PF cronies and thugs to buy their dogged loyalty and to do his dirty work; bribing MDC leaders would have been second nature to him.
 
SADC leaders accused Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders of “enjoying themselves whilst in government and forgetting why they were there,” in sheer frustration at MDC’s failure to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU.
 
“I am not answerable to Saviour Kasukuwere. He doesn’t know anything about this house. He is just trying to make political hot air out of something that he doesn’t know,” argued Tsvangirai.
 
“He doesn’t know that I have a house which has a contract and I advise him to talk to President Mugabe before he starts uttering something that he doesn’t know.”
 
If there was any deal made between Tsvangirai and Mugabe then it only proves that he was compromised. Zimbabweans risked life and limb, and over 500 lost their lives in 2008 alone, to elect Tsvangirai to end the rot created by Zanu PF, he has not only joined the rot but he even has the chutzpah to demand we allow him to keep the loot now questions asked!
 
Morgan Tsvangirai must vacate the $4 million Highlands mansion allocated to him when he was PM, he no longer holds any high public office and therefore must leave. That is as crystal clear as it is mischievous to try to cloud the issue. Source – Wilbert Mukori

‘MDC-T MP MDC-T Trevor Saruwaka barred from Parliament over #ThisJacket with national flag colours’

Mutasa Central MDC-T Trevor Saruwaka

Mutasa Central MDC-T Trevor Saruwaka has reportedly been barred from entering parliament because of his jacket (#ThisJacket).

Saruwaka pitched up wearing a jacket with national flag colours.The national flag has recently been associated with anti-Mugabe protests.

There are reports that opposition legislators planned to stage a protests when Mugabe delivers his speech during the opening the fourth session of the eighth Parliament in Harare. by Thobekile Zhou. source-bulawayo24

DARE Congratulates Movement For Democratic Change (MDC-T) on their 17th anniversary.

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We heartfully congratulate the MDC-T on their 17th anniversary.Indeed you have as a party came from a long bumpy road in pursuit of democracy in Zimbabwe.We salute you on your strength and resilience in the fight for democratisation of Zimbabwe.Indeed you bore the brunt
of Zanu Pf intolerance to alternative voices and freedoms.You were subjected to violence,torture,intimidation and death of members at the hands of a brutal regime.That you won power in 2008 elections and was barred from assuming that power is a well recorded travesty and injustice.

We today join you on these celebrations with a sombre mind and hope that all these challenges have opened up your party to the reality of walking with others towards a goal for a just and progressive Zimbabwe.The splits which punctured your party has humbled and fortified your need to remain inclusive and not exclusive.On that backdrop it is important that as you celebrate you also become conscious that a Zimbabwe today is dynamic and fluid in accepting other political players in pursuit of democratic transformation and change.

Indeed as a party you face the challenge of redefining the big tent mentality.Indeed we are humbled by your speech which recognise the need for a united front and convergence in the opposition front.Indeed that can be achieved with a vision for Zimbabwe which goes beyond selfish aspirations and partisan dogma.

We receive your message of working together with open arms and feel encouraged that we are indeed moving into a new era and endgame for the annihilation of Zanu Pf.On the otherhand the message must sink to your lower structures and the common man that a coalition is the only answer for 2018 .It is not about who will led the coalition but it is the content and programs of that coalition that it will be judged upon.Indeed we must walk the talk and as we shout for convergence let us indeed live and seek to practice it in practical and fact.

We are thankfull that you have offered yourself to engange other parties not only in activism and lobby platforms such as NERA but on a convergence towards a new trajectory for a future government of Zimbabwe shaped by a united front of opposition political parties.

Once again we congratulate MDC-T on your 17 th birthday and hope that the message you bring will be reflected in actions and engangement for a new beggining and a new Zimbabwe.Makoroto,Amhlope and Congratulations.

Clemence T Nhliziyo

DARE Head Of Communications.

photo-MDC T Headquaters, Harvest House, Harare

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BancABC a member of ,Atlas Mara Grp ,co-owned by ex Barclays Plc CE & billionaire Ashish rejects Mugabe’s son’s (19), US$380 000 loan application

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A LOCAL bank has rejected President Robert Mugabe’s teenage son Bellarmine Chatunga’s predatory US$380 000 loan application to fund his obscure businesses and lavish lifestyle as it seeks to contain non-performing credit to politically exposed persons on its books, it has been established.

Informed banking sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Chatunga (19) — Mugabe’s last born — approached a local commercial bank, BancABC through its branch in Mt Pleasant last month pushing for a loan at its corporate finance division to fund his nondescript businesses and extravagant way of life.

Chatunga is well-known in social circles for profuse drinking and hanging out with a harem of girls.

This comes as the Independent has also found out that as of June BancABC’s total politically exposed persons debt portfolio stood at US$2,28 million. The list of the bad debtors includes politicians, bankers, military commanders and judges, although the majority of BancABC’s politically exposed persons are sugarcane farmers in Chiredzi in the Lowveld under an out-grower facility.

Chatunga’s failure to secure a loan from BancABC is a rare example of prudent credit risk assessment by a local bank as most of them would be keen to lend to such a high-profile and well-connected individual — even if he is a teenager — as he comes from the First Family which can potentially offer political protection in times of trouble.

While banks are supposed to conduct risk assessments on their clients whatever their station in life, in Zimbabwe the well-connected always secure loans even if they do not have adequate or quality collateral, sometimes entirely without security.

This has contributed to non-performing loans (NPLs) which two years ago scaled over US$700 million before Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (Zamco), a special purpose vehicle set up by government to clean up the balance sheets of financial institutions, was established. As at December 2015, Zamco had acquired NPLs amounting to US$357 million.

Most banks in the market made profits during their recent reporting season largely because they sold off NPLs worth millions. Zamco’s portfolio is dominated by technically insolvent state enterprises, big corporates, well-connected individuals and banks.

Most individuals, businesspeople and companies in Zimbabwe have made money by corruptly using Mugabe’s name and Zanu PF networks, or name-dropping.

Chatunga’s loan application came at a time when his own family business empire, Gushungo Holdings, has been surviving on bank loans which it is struggling to service.

Gushungo Holdings, touted as a model of success to sanitise the disastrous land reform programme, is reeling under an unsustainable US$20 million debt. The situation has been exacerbated by perennial losses incurred by its subsidiary Alpha Omega Dairy (Pvt) Ltd, forcing the First Family to seek bailouts to rescue the company.

Sources said the President’s son — who has business interests in retail and entertainment — had a meeting with Lincoln Farai Chirinda who works for BancABC’s corporate finance department to get money. His proposal, the sources said, was however rejected by the financial institution, citing high political risk.

“Chatunga approached the bank around August 23 for a loan. He wanted to secure funding for his business interests, but this application was rejected by the corporate finance department,” a banking source said. “The bank is currently owed millions by many politically exposed individuals and businesses, and thus its management is now strict on lending.”

BancABC managing director Joe Sibanda could not be reached for comment as he was said to be in a meeting with the group chief executive John Vitalo. Chatunga could also not be reached for comment.

BancABC is a member of the Atlas Mara Group which is co-owned by former Barclays Plc CE Bob Diamond and billionaire Ashish Thakkar. The acquisition was the first major deal by Diamond who was forced out of the global bank last year when it was fined US$450 million for allegedly manipulating the Libor interbank lending rate.

Atlas Mara has embarked on a major restructuring exercise that could result in up to 35% job cuts at ABC Holdings — BancABC’s parent company — and its Dubai office. Around US$8 million is expected in savings annually.

Atlas Mara has moved to lower its cost-to-income ratio which had risen to 102% in the six months to June from 95% in prior year as expenses rose.

While official figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show there has been a decline in the banking sector’s non-performing loans to 10,05% as at June 30 2016, from 10,82% as at 31 December 2015, and a peak of 20,45% as at 30 September 2014, some banks such as BancABC have recorded bad debts levels above the industry level.

The declining trend in NPLs, according to the central bank, is a reflection of successful efforts by banks to reduce their exposure to non-performing assets, including strengthening of credit risk management systems and intensified collections and workout plans, among others.

The banking sector has not been spared the challenges affecting the wider economy. Challenges in the banking sector include cash shortages and liquidity crunch, payment gridlocks, low confidence among the banking public and a limited number of quality borrowing clients. Deposits in the banking sector have improved while credit to the private sector has gone down, resulting in a reduction in loan-to-deposit ratios.

Central bank sources said BancABC’s gross interest income earned from interbank placements, Treasury Bills, government and corporate bonds during the first six months of the year was US$0,743m against a budget of US$1,27m.

“The overall level of risk in the Bank was rated high as at 30 June 2016, and on a stable trend. During the period, credit, compliance and business risk, were above the bank’s risk appetite,” a source said. “Credit risk was considered extreme as at 30 June 2016, and on a stable trend. The loan book decreased from US$332 million as at 31 March 2016 to US$317 million as at 30 June 2016. The nonperforming loans ratio decreased from 34,3% to 26.28%.
Actual non-performing fell from US$114 million to US$83,4 million. The ratio is expected to fall to 22% by end of Q3 (end of September) with Starafrica Corporation (US$16,9m) likely to be closed during that period.

“The bank has started using the new tighter Risk Acceptance Criteria which is expected to result in higher credit quality being underwritten. Active monitoring and early engagement of problematic relationships is also being done.” By Bernard Mpofu. source-independent

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