‘Zimbabwe’s Deadly Cash Haemorrhage How We Lose Our Country’s Cash Reserves’-MDC President, Welshman Ncube

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I regularly drive myself between four Zimbabwean cities – Harare, Gweru, Mutare and Bulawayo. Such errands are not just about my legal practice. If you are a serious leader of a national political party, you need to maintain a vigil of physical contact as often as possible in the area bound by the country’s foremost industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural and rural settlements.

Flying around at high altitude in a white helicopter will of course give you a surrealistic panoramic view, but keeps you detached from realities on the ground. Moreover, zooming past bemused citizens in a twenty-car Mercedes Benz convoy flanked by five BMW motorcycle outriders does create some sort of dramatic impression but would hardly afford one the intimacy needed to appreciate challenges that bedevil citizens in their day-to-day lives.

It is during my road trips that I encounter serious traffic accidents and thanks to our dysfunctional emergency public health delivery service, victims spend several hours in distress before receiving crucial first aid. I always notice when, eventually a medical team arrives, they try and talk to as many victims as possible.

Those who respond and point to broken limbs receive less attention than those afflicted with life-threatening injuries. In fact, when there is a case of muscular injury that exhibits serious arterial rapture and incessant blood loss, even the medical team gets into a state of panic to try and arrest the haemorrhage.

In other words, it is crucial to get such a patient to hospital as soon as possible for blood transfusion, but whilst they are lying in painful helplessness on the tarmac or grass, what becomes urgent is to stop blood loss. Unchecked, this loss can result not only in brain damage, but fatal cardiac arrest. Such is my country Zimbabwe’s state of economy.

When ZANU PF ‘allegedly won’ the 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections, they rode on a myriad of dazzling false promises of economic growth, employment creation and empowerment. As it stands now, the country is experiencing its worst economic and social crisis since 2000. Our national monetary and fiscal system has been bled dry. We have passed the stage of cardiac arrest-induced shock and fast approaching brain-dead comatose.

One of the most vital ‘fluids’ that drives economic wellbeing and survival – money – has dissipated. A country with no savings, no national reserves, no import cover; a country that cannot pay its civil servants, service domestic and foreign debt or even pay rentals for its ambassadors is a failed state.

President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF ministers, Legislators, Governors, Chiefs and Headmen must hang their heads in shame. If Zimbabwe was a truly democratic country with men and women of honour and integrity in government, President Mugabe and his team would have resigned yesterday.

There is no country, economy, community, institution or even family unit that operates effectively without money. Zimbabwe boasts some of the best national endowments – natural and human – so how have we found ourselves with empty national coffers, empty bank accounts and empty pockets?

How is it that a country that exports the best of everything in the region; human capital, tobacco, gold, coal, diamonds and tourism – has no money? This is the billion dollar question I want to attempt to answer this week – at least without indulging in juvenile soon-to-graduate-PhD-economics-student-type rhetoric.

The first problem we have is that as a country we are not generating enough money internally. This has nothing to do with importing more US dollars or printing Zimbabwean ‘bond’ notes. It has everything to do with a strong vibrant industrial, commercial, agricultural industry. When a country is operating at full capacity – like Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa – locally made goods and services are exchanged for money locally, and cash circulates abundantly.

Zimbabwe has literally stopped producing anything and all the little money that is around is used to import onions, oranges, potatoes, cooking oil and cabbages. Between 2000 and now, ZANU PF’s political and economic policies have been so destructive to local industry that all citizens do is import cars from Japan, clothes from China and groceries from South Africa. Billions of dollars cross our borders every quarter to quench our thirst for consumer, not capital goods.

Thousands of Zimbabweans – including President Mugabe, his family, ministers and of late, Morgan Tsvangirai – pay millions of dollars to hospitals in Singapore, Mumbai. Dubai, Cairo and Johannesburg to access ‘proper’ medical care. Thousands of young people – our children – pay millions of dollars to universities in Australia, Cape Town, Germany, United States and United Kingdom to access ‘proper’ higher education.

Then comes President Mugabe’s foreign trips. This year alone President Mugabe has had no less than twenty foreign trips overseas, taking with him a large entourage each time. I have no doubt that he can easily be a contender in the Guinness world records as the most travelled Head of State. As a nation, we find ourselves asking, what have we benefitted from all these trips which gobble up millions of dollars? We are yet to see the fruits of these costly travels.

At the business front, we all know that large multinational corporations in Zimbabwe source raw materials and machinery from abroad. However, some of them – because of years of a weak and corrupt central banking system – either do not remit resultant export proceeds back to Zimbabwe, or simply inflate the cost of imports in order to ‘transfer’ the excess price to the external supplier.

In the past fifteen or so years, the ZANU PF government has violated civil and political rights to the extent that international financiers have minimised if not cut off business relations with Zimbabwe. In desperation, President Mugabe invited Chinese and Russians to ‘invest’ in Zimbabwe.

This is fictitious foreign investment because all they do is bring in finished goods and labour then take out millions of US dollars out. There is no transfer of technology, sustainable use of local labour or value addition. Imagine the millions in tons of raw tobacco exported to China at cost and how many trillions of cigarettes Chinese tobacco companies then manufacture in Beijing on our account. What a loss for us in hard currency!

Finally, since we are under a corrupt government, ZANU PF political and capitalist cronies who make millions of dollars in tenders do not keep their contraband in the country. Like most wealthy citizens in government and private sector, they have no confidence in the future of the country, thus would rather keep their money in offshore accounts.

Therefore, it is shocking that almost ten years after diamonds were discovered in Marange, it is only now that President Mugabe ‘notices’ that fifteen billion dollars is missing. Here are the facts: all diamond companies in Chiadzwa were run by individuals with direct military, civilian and business relations with ZANU PF. So when these gems were being ‘exported’ without equivalent remittances, where were the officials in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and the Minerals Marketing Corporation looking?

Where was ZIMRA and the air force as small planes flew into, out and across the eastern borders? Hundreds of high-level government officers who travel outside the country, including presidential delegates to numerous international conferences: who monitored how much money they took out?

It will therefore take a government elected on the basis of popular credibility to eliminate this monetary and fiscal haemorrhage – the type of government I have in mind had I to be afforded that opportunity in 2018. -MDC President, Welshman Ncube  Friday, 24 June 2016

‘Moses Mzila And 65 Others Have Permanantly Broken All Ties With Prof Welshman Ncube Led MDC’

 
The suspended former Movement For democratic Change ( MDC) Secretary General, Moses Mzila Ndlovu , and a total of 65 MDC members including suspended former notable personalities including prominent figures such as former deputy Minister of Higher Education, Lutho Tapela,  Esaph Mdlongwa, Elizabeth Ndlovu, and  Abednico Moyo ,  have, on Saturday permanently broken off all ties with the Welshman Ncube led MDC party.

Ndlovu announced today in Bulawayo, that, he and 65 other former members were finally ending their relationship with the Welshman Ncube led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party over irreconcilable differences which could not be solved between them and MDC party

Moses Mzila Ndlovu, also the former minister of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the GNU Government of National Unity, 2008 to 2013,  acknowledged that  Professor Welshman Ncube , a man who leads  the MDC party, from the front , his commitment to democracy and all MDC colleagues  have  worked hard in the MDC party.

However, after numerous failed attempts to resolve issues, because of irreconciliable differences with the party, he, along with 65 other MDC members have decided to break off all ties with the Welshman Ncube led  MDC party.

He  however indicated that their departure from MDC, does not indicate a departure from the nations politics he reportedly denied any plans for a regional party, adding that, while in similar situations, members surrender their party cards, burn party t-shirts and  party regalia, they were acting in a civilised manner and keeping custody of these items until such a time when they make a decision on the future.  Sibusiso Ngwenya

photo-chronicle- the former Movement For democratic Change ( MDC) Secretary General, Moses Mzila Ndlovu
 

‘Zero Tolerance To Zanu PF Corruption & Cronysm Needed For Zimbabwe-150 /167 On Corruption Index ‘-MDC W. Ncube

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The ZANU PF regime has been, for decades, almost to the point of irritating intoxication, telling us about the virtues of Zimbabwe’s friendship with China. By now, every school going child should know that China supplied us with weapons and training during the liberation struggle. Students of economics are routinely reminded that it is glorious to be friends with China because they are not only the fastest growing economy on the planet, but also that their investments in Africa are calibrated in billions. Small business persons at flea markets know better – that goods sell faster because they are cheaper.

And so when President Robert Mugabe gloats about ‘looking east’, in mind he has this illusion that whatever has been starved of us form the west, we can get from China, an all-weather friend. Most of the accolades piled onto China are correct, yet there are things that our rulers choose to ignore. China is a mixed economy but more inclined towards regimented, centralised state capitalism. Zimbabwe has a mixed economy leaning more towards free markets. If China is a perfect example of how capital and labour are combined to produce exponential growth, we cannot ignore that its labour force is treated like a disposable commodity, which means labour rights are permanently lurking in the zone of violation.

Even their investments in Africa, good as they have been said to be, are littered with despicable labour rights abuse. Moreover, China might be an economic role model, but their human rights record is as woeful as Zimbabwe’s. Actually, in a case reminiscent of our ‘own’ Gukurahundi genocide,  is quoted as having said during the time that Chairman Mao Zedong of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing starvation and death due to hard labour of millions of citizens up until 1962.

Amnesty International is on record as saying the United States – yes – that supposed citadel of freedom and democracy, has the highest cases of state-sponsored executions, around 45 annually. However, I can safely conclude that none of the executions relate to cases of corruption and abuse of authority. China’s appetite and taste for lethal justice is not something to emulate. Xi Jinping’s war on corruption is a net reflection of his country’s sha ren chang ming, the Mandarin equivalent to “an eye for an eye”. This means that almost three thousand ‘officials’ are executed annually on account of economic, social and political misdemeanors. Once in a while one gets insight into high profile cases like the vice mayor of Hangzhou, Suzhou and the director of the Chongqing Justice Bureau. The outstanding case is that of Liu Han, a 49-year-old mining tycoon once worth 8 billion US dollars, alleged to be one of five mafia kingpins to receive the death penalty for corruption, gun-running and murder.

Why am I saying all this? There is not a single day that passes by when Zimbabweans are not inundated with one case or another of corruption. It has become part of our DNA, where government and parastatal officials thrive on diet of corruptive behaviour. Despite the existence of a myriad of institutions meant to safeguard public funds and act as moral guides for good corporate governance, we are not making any headway. Only last week we read about prospects of Bulawayo’s Egodini developments being dim because of alleged cases of corruptive behaviour in Bulawayo City Council. Councillors parceling out expensive real estate amongst themselves without going to tender. We also read of almost five million US dollars paid out to a contractor by Zimbabwe Power Corporation without due diligence. Two CMED managers are on the run after taking almost three million dollars from that company. A few months ago, President Mugabe claimed that fifteen billion worth of diamonds have been taken out for the country illegally. Our government, our police, our Parliament and even the Anti-Corruption Commission, have clearly documented cases of high level corruption, and yet no culprits are apprehended. Zimbabwe is ranked 150 out of 167 on the corruption perception index, so without conceited effort in enforcement, we remain bogged down on rhetoric.

There is no will on the part of the ZANU PF government, to eliminate corruption, because party cronies are beneficiaries. I am not saying we should execute culprits like our Chinese friends, but we need a hard line approach towards offenders. There is no evidence that death penalty reduces incidences of murder, rape or corruption, but an effective legal system that applies the rules equally and fairly is a good start. Africa loses billions of dollars annually through corruption, never mind increased costs of goods and services. We need a more civilized brand of sha ren chang ming, perhaps.

By MDC President Professor Welshman Ncube This Friday

 

MDC Press Statement On Threats Against, Human Rights Defender, Politician, Lawyer Senator David Coltart

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It has been almost one month since MDC Secretary for Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Senator David Coltart, launched his book entitled “The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe”. Senator Coltart is a human rights defender, politician, lawyer and community activist.
 
In terms of our national constitution, as citizens we are free to express our thoughts in action or writing – and Senator Coltart is not an exception. There are numerous articles, documentaries, books, films and plays that have been published in Zimbabwe whose contents we might not agree with but we will always defend the freedom of the authors to express themselves in factual narratives and in opinion. Since 1980, the ruling party, ZANU PF, has portrayed the liberation struggle as a one-man one party band, totally disregarding and denigrating the role of other nationalists like the late Dr. Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
 
Senator David Coltart has stepped forward to package his experiences, narratives and opinions into this very important book. The longstanding debate on the causes of the massacre of over twenty thousand citizens at the cruel sword of the ZANU PF controlled Fifth Brigade draws controversy because the State has deliberately downplayed its gravity. Senator Coltart participated in the CCJP Report on the Gukurahundi atrocities, incidentally that the ZANU PF leader is known to have referred to as a ‘moment of madness’. Thus in pursuit of truth and justice, Senator Coltart has attempted to review some aspects of this unfortunate episode in our lives, and those that were involved directly or indirectly are the first to cry “Foul!”.
 
Recent threats on Senator Coltart by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Virginia Mabhiza show a brazen determination to intimidate and harass citizens for their right to express themselves freely, which is against the constitution the country’s leaders swore to protect and defend. This continued abrogation of the rights enshrined in the constitution is something that should worry all Zimbabweans.
 
Those that have facts to argue about the Gukurahundi atrocities are free to publish numerous results of several commissions of enquiries but whose reports remain embargoed by the ZANU PF government.
 
Noting as well that Senator Coltart was a founder member of the united MDC; and that he was involved in that party at the highest level. He wrote many articles both in the conventional media and social networks, expressing his thoughts on the causes of the 2005 split. Senator Coltart has been consistent that one of the most damning causes of the MDC split was the perpetration of violence on innocent members of the party. There are many reports, especially by Zimbabwe Peace Project, that point fingers to members of the opposition as perpetrators of violence albeit not in as much intensity as the ruling party.
 
What we know is the MDC in its current state is a highly principled institution that upholds freedom of expression at the same time keen to promote factual writing and free expressions of opinion. We abhor violence in whatever form, and believe that our national constitution has enough provisions to change the government legally. Our fear is that the ruling party is dragging its feet in creating conditions suitable for free political completion. All efforts to empower institutions that promote reconciliation, truth and forgiveness have been fruitless, this is why citizens like Senator Coltart should be commended for taking the yoke to recite history through the prism of their personal experience. So why vilify them and denigrate such great efforts?
 
We therefore urge Zimbabweans to read the book “The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of tyranny in Zimbabwe” so that commentaries are made from informed position, not inflammatory, racist, emotionally charged conjecture.
 
Source Kurauone Chihwayi
MDC National Spokesperson
photo-MDC President Welshman Ncube

‘Corrupt US$15Billionaire Mugabe, Must Resign Over Zimbabwe Civil Service Rot’-MDC

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“Zimbabweans have just been subjected to a grand theft by their own government and it is time to put a stop to it. Firstly, the deterioration of corporate governance and accountability in the civil service has played a huge contributing factor to this country’s economic crisis, considering that the civil service wage bill was said to be gobbling over 80 percent of the national purse annually, while in actual fact half of this percentage was being stolen,” he said. “Secondly, it has become increasingly apparent that there are a number of political considerations motivating the corruption and rot in the public service, all at the expense of the ordinary and suffering Zimbabweans.”He said it is worrying that as Zimbabwe is confronted with an unprecedented level of corruption, rot and decay, the government continues to loot public funds to fund a Zanu PF patronage system which continues to threaten the stability and prosperity of our nation.”And if Zanu PF  cadres continue to do as they wish with public resources and funding, without being held accountable for their actions, then the reality is that tomorrow will be far worse than today. Of late we have been waking up to stunning revelations of corruption involving billions of dollars and surprisingly there is no will to act on this vice by President Mugabe and his government. We still await to see action being taken over the 15 billion diamond money that disappeared,” he said.”The mandate of the national constitution has been abandoned in practice and substituted with the abuse of the state machinery through nepotism and corruption. If as Zimbabweans we continue to let our guard down, ZANU PF will continue to take this country on a downward slope.” By Stephen Jakes
Source: Byo24News

‘Zimbabwe Is A Nation In Need Of New Leadership’-MDC National Executive

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We must know as a people that a country’s path to prosperity or ruin is often dictated by the character of its citizens,and therefore the solution to our problems lie with no other than you and l as Zimbabweans.
lt is indeed unfortunate that l write this piece 36 years later when we insinuate that we are a liberated country, yet the reality that stares back at us daily is that of our children living in abject poverty under a tyrannical and violent government.

l will not attempt to list the numerous problems which we face as a nation but instead will endeavour to ask a few pertinent question each and everyone of us must take time to answer in truth,so that when we begin to discuss solutions we know exactly what our challenges are today.

Firstly, can we safely say we are living in a well governed country if our ability to get good health care and education depends on the whims of politicians?can we say we are governed well when almost a third of our earnings annually goes to taxes aimed at supporting all levels of government? Are we well governed if the system and political class spending keeps piling up national debt which most of us don’t understand that it is to be paid by us,our children and grandchildren to come? are we well governed if it is impossible to remove poor performing officials from positions?these are the issues we must deal with and witness daily as citizens.

Currently government is struggling to even pay civil servants salaries but we are subjected to this fiscal insanity of the president’s endless spending on all sorts of frivolities which have albeit caused most of these cuts in the budget towards vital human services. The economic meltdown we are experiencing exemplifies an abandonment of democratic principles,which has seen a handful of government leaders making reckless choices at the same time being unable to even accept the consequences.

We are living in the times where we have chosen to be led by a government high on wine which has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that it has lost touch with the needs of its people.This is a corrupt entity that cannot even begin to understand at this stage that for any nation to thrive its people have to be free to make their own choices,to assume responsibility for their own actions and accept the consequences,be it good or bad.

Our country is on the brink of ruin today because we have lost our strength of character as a nation to fight for our values without fear or favor and to defend the very tenets of what it truly means to be a free nation.Zanu Pf has trapped us in perpetual poverty instilling a poverty mindset which pervades many and we are stuck in a vicious cycle of poor choices that show only a desire for immediate gratification over long term planning, our myopic thinking has assisted this renegade governance which has divided us with partisan politics, and planting seeds of hatred and intolerance among the people. A case in point to be weary of is the increase in the use of tribalism as a political tactic.

We are watching with much bravado our current vice Presidents being pitted against one another along ethnic lines,and people label you a tribalist nowadays if you disagree with another individual especially if one is a politician.

We have instead taken front seats to watch this destructive behaviour as it escalates,the question is why have we allowed it?Many have also gone on and joined the bandwagon of absurdity to drink from this cup of bitterness and hatred which seeks to openly divide Zimbabwe along tribal,political and other demarcation lines to satisfy Zanu pf selfish agendas to be re-elected again into government.

Notably those who are doing it are not concerned with the damage it has done to the fabric of our country. As we enter a new cycle of the election phase which signals that we are drawing closer to the election period the desperation from Zanu pf politicians to revive their bases has begun taking centre stage,and the entire ruling party has thrown out sensibility,discipline and dignity breeding only hatred and intolerance among citizens.

We must seek to elect leaders of government who are capable of embracing the diversity of our nation unequivocally,and we ought to recognise those individuals who focus only on solving problems rather than fanning destructive tribal politics as an election campaign tactic as seen with the current crop,When will we get tired of being a constant illustration of a nation which found itself in the clutches of a ruthless elite which abuses state power?

We will continue to pay the price for the absence of social justice which equates to no peace and constant turmoil.We must say NO! to governance that holds the opinions of its citizens in contempt and again,governance that is insensitive and subjects untold suffering upon its own people without losing sleep.

Source: Minenhle Sokhela MDC National Executive Member

 

‘Tsvangirai Now Counting The Cost Of Boycotting By-Elections’

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The MDC-T is now counting the cost of its decision to boycott by-elections that were occasioned by its recall of 21 Members of Parliament and the death of some of its legislators. The decision has had adverse effects on the opposition party’s political and financial well-being.

Zanu-PF and MDC-T are the two main political parties that are entitled to get money from Treasury under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, because they managed to garner more than five percent of the votes cast in the July 31 2013 harmonised elections as stipulated by the relevant legislation.

Now coming to the distribution of the money, it is determined by how many legislators each party has and it is then shared proportionately. The decision by the MDC-T to boycott 14 by-elections is set to cost them almost $1,5 million this year alone under the Political Parties (Finance) Act, after Government earmarked $6 million for the parties which won 5 percent of the vote.

It did not contest the Nkulumane constituency by-election held in December last year to defend the seat left vacant by the death of Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu, further prejudicing itself of the money.

If Government keeps the money at $6 million, it means the MDC-T will lose $4,5 million until general elections are held in 2018.

It is common cause that the MDC-T is running on a shoe-string budget and in most cases its workers have gone for months without being paid.

The money is meant to fund political activities of parties including election campaigns following the decision by Government to outlaw foreign funding of political parties.

The Political Parties (Finance) Act was enacted in 2001 after it emerged that the MDC-T was receiving funding from hostile nations.

Zanu-PF won 160 out of the contested 210 National Assembly seats in the July 31, 2013 elections, with MDC-T winning 49. One seat went to an independent contestant.

The ruling party has since increased its representation in Parliament by 15 seats after it won 14 by-elections occasioned by the MDC-T’s decision to recall 14 MPs and the death of Mr Mhlanga.

While the decision to forego the money might not be noticeable to ordinary party supporters, it is the decision to boycott by-elections that will inevitably send the opposition party to its political grave.

Besides the financial implications, the decision to withdraw will cost the opposition party politically as it has failed to defend its political space.

Instead of defending the ground that it had already gained and seek to gain more seats, the MDC-T is actually shooting itself in the foot.

Many observers feel the MDC-T has committed political suicide because it is surrendering the political space that it had already gained.

By boycotting by-elections, the MDC-T has abandoned the tenets of democracy which formed the core of any political party worth its salt.

Every political party is conceived and comes into existence for purposes of gaining power by participating in democratic elections.

A question all progressive people ask is what is the basis for its continued existence as a political party if it is not taking party in elections.

How does it envisage attaining power as a political outfit if it abandons a fundamental aspect of democracy, that of elections, if it wants to be taken seriously?

All this lends credence to the view that the MDC-T realised that it was at its weakest point to mount a formidable election challenge to Zanu-PF, following a painful split, which saw key party members led by former secretary general Mr Tendai Biti and national treasurer, Mr Elton Mangoma, forming their own political outfits.

There will be a heavy price from the electorate, particularly their supporters who watch their rivals celebrating election victories in constituencies the opposition could have won had they participated.

Another aspect is the apparent hypocrisy of the MDC-T in dealing with issues of electoral representation.

On the one hand the party has chosen not to contest the by-elections in 14 constituencies but it will still fill vacancies in proportional representations seats.

Some have argued that both processes were by-elections by different names.

The difference is that one set is contested and the other is not.

The party has chosen to boycott the contested ones but take up uncontested seats.

Last year, United Kingdom-based MDC-T official and former adviser to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Dr Alex Magaisa, slammed the opposition party describing its decision to boycott by-elections as a half hearted protest.

In his blog, Dr Magaisa reminisced on a post-caucus meeting held by the party in the wake of a heavy defeat at the hands of Zanu-PF in the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections.

He questioned the decision by the MDC-T to take up parliamentary seats of a process which they were denouncing as lacking legitimacy after the harmonised polls.

“If we were going to participate in Parliament it would make our case weaker in our engagements with the region and the international community, to whom we were saying the election was illegitimate,” said Dr Magaisa.

He slammed the MDC-T for going to Parliament after the harmonised polls when it was claiming that the process was flawed.

Dr Magaisa said MDC-T MPs were not willing to boycott Parliament because of the perks that went with that status.

The party appeared to be of the mistaken view that people were naïve to swallow hook, line and sinker it’s dummy that the environment was not conducive for free and fair elections when it was evident to all that its house was not in order.

The sooner the opposition realises that people are now wiser the better. by Zvamaida Murwira. source-chronicle

MDC-T Demands Devolution Of Governmental Powers & Responsibilities

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Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe calls for the devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities. Whenever appropriate, governmental powers and responsibilities must be devolved to provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities which are competent to carry out those responsibilities efficiently and effectively. The Constitution of Zimbabwe became operational in May, 2013 but almost three (3) years afterwards, the Zanu PF government has not yet activated the system of devolution in accordance with the constitutional dictates.

The MDC-T is deeply concerned with the Zanu PF regime’s reluctance to adopt the system of devolution as prescribed by the Constitution. One of the main objectives of devolution of governmental powers and responsibilities is to give powers of local governance to the people and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them. Essentially, therefore, local communities have been constitutionally empowered to manage their own affairs and to further their development. This is also meant to ensure the equitable sharing of local and national resources.

Against the background of the Zanu PF regime’s failure and/or refusal  to adopt the principle of devolution, we have witnessed that the people of Chiadzwa and Marange in Manicaland province  have completely failed to benefit from the God-given diamond reserves that are found on their ancestral land. It is tragic that alluvial diamnonds worth billions of United States dollars have been extracted from the Marange diamond fields over the past seven or eight years but the local communities have nothing to show for all this wealth that has been taken away from their homeland. Thousands of villagers in Marange are still living in abject poverty despite the fact that diamonds were being mined in their own backyard. No clinics, hospitals and other social amenities were constructed by the diamond companies that have been operating in the Marange communal lands. As if this is not enough exploitation, the people of Marange are also bitterly complaining that the Odzi river has been polluted through the dumping of toxic waste by these diamond mining companies. The million dollar question, therefore, is,” who has actually benefitted from the diamond mining in Marange?”

Local communities adjacent to the Hwange National Park as well as the Victoria Falls in Matebeleland North province have also hardly benefitted from the natural resources in their localities. The same predicament is facing local people in Binga communal lands in the same province. Poverty and destitution are the order of day for local communities living adjacent to the Matusadonha National Park in the Mola communal lands near Lake Kariba in Mashonaland West province. Thus, the MDC-T would like to call upon the Zanu PF government to urgently enact an appropriate Provincial Councils Act in terms of Section 268 of the Constitution as well as to align both the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act with the provisions of the Constitution. For instance, there is absolutely no good reason why metropolitan councils have still not been created in Harare and Bulawayo; almost three (3) years after the harmonised elections that were held on July 31, 2013.

The Zanu PF regime’s reluctance to provide for devolution is very well documented. Members of Provincial councils have still not been sworn into office. Surely, there is not much money that is needed by the government to simply swear into office provincial councillors who were elected into office on the basis of the results of the July 31,2013 harmonised elections. The MDC-T is hugely disappointed by the Zanu PF regime’s deliberate efforts to frustrate and sabotage the concept of devolution that is provided for in the Constitution. We call upon parliamentarians, across the political divide, to put their heads together and ensure that the Constitution of the country is not only obeyed but is also seen to be obeyed. Respect for  the principle of constitutionalism is the very bedrock of any modern developmental democracy. Put alternatively, the economy of Zimbabwe cannot substantially grow when we have a government that pays lip service to constitutionalism. Both domestic and foreign investors are not keen to put their money into an economy where the government of the day is stubbornly refusing to fully operationalize all the key tenets of the supreme law of the land.

Source: Obert Gutu – MDC-T National Spokesperson

‘Mugabe Donation Of 300 Cattle To AU While 3 million Zimbabweans Face Starvation, Is Ridiculous’

Kariba Based Remnant Church Pastor Mugadza

President Robert Mugabe has come under withering attack for donating 300 cattle to the African Union (AU) to help it become less dependent on outside donors, instead of coming to the aid of Zimbabwean villagers in the middle of one of the worst droughts in decades.
The ridiculed donation of cattle, handed over to AU deputy chairman Erastus Mwencha on Thursday, was said to be an honour of a pledge to the AU Foundation made in June 2015 by the 92-year-old president, who held the rotating AU chair until last month.

Mugabe’s donation comes just after he has declared a drought emergency in Zimbabwe, and urged international donors to offer aid promptly for relief operations to support over 1,5 million people critically short of food, according to the UN, amid one of the worst droughts in decades that has left children malnourished, killed livestock and damaged livelihoods.

The relief operation by the government, World Food Programme (WFP) and charities needs $1,6 billion this year.

Critics said Mugabe should have put in place measures to transport the cattle to drought-stricken parts of his impoverished country — where some farmers have started selling livestock to ease the pressure on grazing as the crisis strains the nation.

It was not immediately clear how the AU official planned to transport the cattle to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the continental union is headquartered.

Mainstream MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “This is a joke in very bad taste. It’s a joke that’s not funny at all. How can…Mugabe, knowing that at least 3 million Zimbabweans are facing starvation because of the El Nino-induced drought, coupled with the effects of a disastrous land reform exercise, find it fit and proper to donate 300 cows to the AU?

“This is a question of lopsided priorities by Mugabe. He just enjoys being a populist and a showman.

“Instead of donating those 300 cows to the AU, the Zanu PF regime should actually have sold those beasts and raise money to import maize.

“With a president like this, who needs enemies?”

Mugabe said he wanted the cattle “to play some part in…making the (AU) foundation keep going”.

“It just struck me that no one had ever thought of a gift by way of cattle to the AU and since we are cattle people, why shouldn’t we also make a gift to the AU in cattle form?” the nonagenarian said.

The AU subsequently thanked Mugabe in a tweet that hailed “his exemplary leadership in demonstrating the ability of Africans to fund Africa’s development”.

During his year-long tenure as AU chair, Mugabe lamented the continental body’s dependence on external funding.

Spokesperson of the opposition PDP Jacob Mafume said the 300 cattle were a most inconvenient donation to the AU.

“It will rank among the most bizarre donations that an international body has received,” Mafume said.

“If you take into consideration the fact that Zimbabwe is behind in paying its dues to the AU by a considerable amount then it all becomes farcical and rank madness.”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AU Commission chairperson, has said some member states, including Zimbabwe, have failed to pay their dues to the continental body.

The AU collected $84,6 million from member states last year much less than the anticipated $138,5 million, resulting in the AU failing to execute some of its planned programmes.

“How many people’s cattle have perished because of drought and he thinks it has merit to give away cattle to a body which does not need it at this time,” Mafume said.

But UK-based Zimbabwean scholar George Shire said: “Mugabe’s property does not belong to you or me and it does not belong to Zimbabwean people either.”

“How he chooses to spend his money has nothing to do with government priorities,” Shire said.

“They are his cattle and he can give them to whoever he wants. Now that (deposed Libyan strongman Muammar) Gaddafi who used to feed and finance the AU is gone, maybe it’s his ironic way of getting the AU to think of innovative ways to fund itself. We have to wait and see how the AU uses those cattle.”

Shire said Zimbabwe’s opposition parties need to ask themselves what they would do to address the adverse impact of El Niño and if anyone of them would donate their personal wealth to ordinary Zimbabweans.

“A lot of noise that many people in Zimbabwe and elsewhere make about these issues has nothing to do with politics or the political. It does keep the president’s name in the headlines and there are no votes for the opposition in it,” he said.

Joey Mabenge of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition — a conglomeration of 350 rights groups —  said the donation shows that Mugabe’s priorities were certainly misplaced.

“Donating 300 cattle to the AU is not only strange but mind-boggling,” he said.

“The national herd in his own country is under serious threat because of El Nino-induced drought and villagers in remote parts of Zimbabwe who need the cattle most have lost their livelihoods.

“Why not donate the cattle to the neediest in hard-hit remote rural areas and save livelihoods? Charity begins at home.”

Academic and newspaper columnist Reason Wafawarova said it is not clear under what circumstances this pledge was made last year, but it appears this was meant to be both a symbolic and material expression of support to the AU foundation and its goals.

“It is also not clear if the herd of cattle is single-handed donation from the president, or a collective donation by a number of farmers, given in the name of the president in support of his declared vision at the AU,” he said.

“The question of who deserves this donation more between the poor of Zimbabwe and the AU foundation is a morally understandable one.

“It is like Judas Iscariot’s question when a woman poured expensive oil on the feet of Jesus, at a time the oil could have been sold with proceeds channelled to the poor.

“Jesus’ answer was clear in saying there are times when symbolism takes precedence over morality, and perhaps this is a similar case where we face competing views over the symbolic and moral implications of this donation.”

Youth activist and spokesperson of the National Informal Economy Network, said it was a populist display of warped priorities which he said was also reflected by Mugabe throwing a lavish party yesterday in the heart of Masvingo — the province hardest hit by drought.

The drought is as severe in Masvingo as the one in 1992, when failed rains caused a famine in one of the poorest provinces in southern Africa per capita and where many people rely on subsistence farming.

“He could not even donate a loaf of bread to Tokwe Mukorsi (villagers). But now donating 300 cattle to the African Union just for show off is clearly mind-boggling.” – Source-Daily News

‘The MDC-T Crafted National Electoral Reform Agenda NERA Is Fake & Dead’-Gugugu Magorira

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The National Electoral Reform Agenda NERA crafted by Morgan Tsvangirai’s party MDC-T is fake and dead after partners realised that it was ann Mdct stupid strategy to built a dubious coalition and promote the tattered Tsvangirai image.

Opposition political parties in Zimbabwe are have dumped Morgan Tsvangirai and his NERA who are too desperate for funding and political support.

Recent pictures of Morgan Tsvangirai in the company of sexy girls are of great concern to his remaining few supporters who are still dreaming of the Buhera boy ruling Zimbabwe and for sure those shall remain and end as dreams.

I am dreaming of a Zimbabwe under Morgan Tsvangirai though I have supported this guy since 1999 until today.

Morgan Tsvangirai seem to be adamant and foolish in terms of ethical behaviour and will never learn.

The so called NERA fronted by one fool Anzelem Magaya a political pastor caught in the web of stupidity thinking that the people do not know or see the dirty tricks of tryng to fundraise for Tsvangirai.

We are very much aware of the trips Morgan Tsvangirai made to SADC and some embassies and the responses he got.

The involvement of the Zimbabwe congress of trade unions zctu in this dirty arrangement make some of us very worried.

It is now very clear that the fools at the helm of the ZCTU are part and parcel of Tsvangirai and company and they should expect confrontation by the workers.

The ZCTU has sold us to the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the MDC which is not acceptable at all.

The international donor community bakrolling the Zimbabwe congress of trade unions should seek answers from the partisan trade union leaders who are currently abusing the labour space for selfish political interests.

The political parties in Zimbabwe have abandoned NERA because of various reasons which Morgan Tsvangirai failed to explain.

Zimbabweans are not behind NERA or the Zctu because of such moves meant to mislead the nation into believing that mdct is king yet it has fallen from grace.

Those funding NERA thinking that it is inclusive and has support of the people should wake up and start smelling the coffee.

I advise Morgan Tsvangirai to either think of an inclusive process and abandon his big brother jacket.

Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s NERA is doomed and none of us Zimbabweans are in support of this biased and tricky project. by Gugugu Magorira, Source-Byo24

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