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Day: May 1, 2018

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MEET THE CANDIDATE: MDC-T Chamisa’s Joana Mamombe To Be Parly’s Youngest Female MP?

MEET THE CANDIDATE: MDC-T Chamisa’s Joana Mamombe To Be Parly’s Youngest Female MP?

In this series of Meet The Candidate, this platform will give you profiles of those candidates who have been confirmed by the MDC Alliance to stand in the ongoing Primary Elections. To start the ball rolling we have Molecular Biologist Joana Mamombe who is campaigning in the Harare West Primary elections, should she win both the Primary and the Parly seat Joana stands to be the country’s youngest female MP. Mamombe joins the ranks of other youthful politicians who have walked before her, these include Party President Advocate Nelson Chamisa, Tafadzwa Musekiwa among others. Below is Joana’s profile.

Joanah Mamombe aspiring Member of Parliament for Harare West Constituency.

Joanah Mamombe was born on 18 June 1993 in Harare. She grew up in a Christian family devoted to the Dutch Reformed Church of Zimbabwe. Joanah is very passionate about young people’s participation in political and governance matters. She is a gender and human rights activist. She strongly believes that 2018 is a defining moment for Zimbabwe and for young people to take the generational challenge to complete Zimbabwe’s transformation to a democratic developmental state. Joanah believes that many young people have been victims of and more than any other generation have felt more acutely the scourge of unemployment and a collapsed economy. She sees herself as a new and young crop of young and dynamic leaders who are dreaming of a new prosperous Zimbabwe. Joanah is campaigning to represent Harare west in the house of Assembly in 2018. Joanah is a passionate supporter of President Nelson Chamisa, the MDC Alliance Presidential candidate for the 2018 Harmonized elections.

Joanah is a trained Molecular Biologist from the Universities of Bergen in Norway and the Sussex in the UK where she Studied an MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetic Manipulation respectively. Her research interests focused on Cancer therapies and neurodegenerative disease called Parkinson’s. Joanah is a recipient of the 2017 Cannon Collins Scholarship a prestigious academic award for postgraduate study in the United Kingdom. In 2016, she was also awarded the Students at Risk Award (STAR), a flagship scholarship for Norwegian Government for students facing persecution in their own countries. Joanah is a graduate of the University of Chinhoyi where she completed a BSc in Biotechnology. She thus has a very strong background in public health and cancer research. Joanah will certainly be an asset to the MDC Alliance as one of the few STEM and young members of parliament.

Joanah has a very strong sense of public service and leadership. She has served as the first female Secretary General at Chinhoyi University and also later served as National Gender Secretary for Zimbabwe`s national students body, ZINASU. In this role, she was involved in and coordinated several campaigns to highlight the plight of students in Zimbabwe. Some of these campaigns came at great personal risk as in 2015 she was heavily beaten and tortured at the hands of police. She has the discipline and courage we seek to see in young people to fight for one’s conviction and rights even in the face of adversity. She is one of the co-founders of #Tajamuka an initiative of young people that challenged the government of Zimbabwe on the growing social and economic challenges in 2016. It is thus no surprise that she now seeks to join the parliament of Zimbabwe. In 2014 in recognition of her courageous work she was chosen to attend a global conference in Denmark marking 100 years of women in politics and leadership. In 2017, Joanah was a keynote speaker at the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe where she spoke about young people as change makers in a rapidly globalizing world. She was also invited as a Guest speaker at the International Students Festival in Trondheim (ISFIT), Norway focusing on public health. All these speaking and global commitments demonstrate her strong leadership skills. She is a global citizen and an effective communicator. She clearly is a rising star in the politics of Zimbabwe and will no doubt make an effective member of parliament.

Joanah has lived in Harare west where her father owns a property. She is a member of the Harare west MDC structures and has also been active in the Youth Assembly. In 2015 Joanah led a program for school leaver education dubbed, “tangira pawakasiira” that sought to prepare MDC youths to sit for O`level exams. The program was closed due to funding challenges but it demonstrates Joanah desire to serve her community. This program was launched by President Tsvangirai and was meant to improve the skills base of the MDC. She was one of the key mobilisers in the 2013 elections and her umbilical code with the Party dates back to her student days in ZINASU. Joanah is thus a loyal child of MDC and Harare West.

The 4D Effect of Farce Primary Elections 

The 4D Effect of Farce Primary Elections 

Dr Zamchiya

By Dr. P. Zamchiya | Reader, the primary elections season is upon us. A time to choose between your children. Difficult, but a more compelling case to practice Internal Party Democracy (IPD). I refer to IPD as the extent to which there is an inclusive participatory process by members of the party in decision making processes and a representative outcome.
The failure to uphold IPD during candidate selection can result in party disunity expressed through what I call 4 Ds. First is de-alignment. This is a situation whereby party members unfairly treated during primary elections will choose to participate as independent candidates at ward and constituency levels. Remember the Zimbabwe Independent Alliance (ZIA) in 2013. Second is deviation. Ill-treated members will not leave the party. They will stay in the party, chant slogans, attend rallies, wear party regalia and dance with swagger. If it is in the MDC they will shout the loudest ‘Chamisa chete chete’ in daylight. However, far from the crowd they run a whisper campaign against and on polling day they deliberately vote for another party as a way to express disgruntlement. In sophisticated cases, they can campaign for party President, party councillors, but for MP [if it is the bone of unfairness] they deviate. You are right its bhora musango. Third, is defection. Here unhappy party members can defect en masse to other political parties. Fourth is de-legitimisation. A situation where the disgruntled will expose the party’s undemocratic practices. A combination of these 4Ds will negatively affect electoral performance.
Contrary to my propositions, others like Duverger and Sartori have argued that IPD threatens practical efficiency and can weaken the party’s capacity to compete for political power. Drawing from May’s ‘law of curvelinearity’ they posit that party members do not represent the needs of ordinary voters because they tend to be more ideologically extreme than both party elites and general voters. However, there is no systemic empirical evidence to suggest that party members are more ideologically extreme or that the oligarchic judgment of party leaders will help the party win an election. My scientific observation on party activists in Zimbabwe have concluded that grassroots activists are generally closer to the ordinary voter than elites from party headquarters. I challenge for more studies!
Reader, I am not arguing for a utopian model of IPD. There are practical constraints such as political manoeuvring of parties as they seek electoral alliances, youth and gender considerations. My point is when faced with such constraints the leadership should not unilaterally make decisions as a default position. As Teorell has argued, the idea is to establish deliberative procedures for the exchange of arguments between party leaders and party members. When the views of the party elites diverge from those of the activists-or the party’s voters for that matter-they have a special responsibility to give reasons for their dissenting verdict. Reader, the legitimate basis for such claims would be the force of the argument and not size of the stick.
I therefore do not ignore practical realities necessary to regulate the participation of party members in decision-making but ask for deliberative and compelling platforms. For example, Childs argues that, ‘if left alone, party selection processes are unlikely to produce parity of descriptive representation for women and men’. There is indeed enough empirical evidence to suggest that party structures are unrepresentative of their party’s voters in demographic terms. Political parties are not only dominated by men but the society at large is patriarchal. Here, there is need to move from the traditional conceptualisation of IPD and argue that representations of women and youths, previously excluded from democratic institutions constitute indicators of IPD.
Nevertheless, we do not want a situation where political practical considerations are used as an excuse to hide behind what really explains party transgressions in Zimbabwe’s political parties today. If we are to follow the iron law of oligarchy, subversion of IPD is largely accounted for by the rise of a small group of politicians at a local and national level usually aided by the bureaucracy. This group makes decisions to protect and consolidate their power and personal interests rather than of the members they represent and the broader party goals. The oligarchs believe they know more than members and that they are infallible. This is a cancer in Zimbabwe’s party politics. A dangerous conception that affects electoral performance.
All ills that undermine IDP and lead to the 4Ds must be fumigated. Basics are important. Providing the electoral college to all candidates, banning vote buying, an impartial, competent and accountable personnel running the primary elections, transparency in the number of ballot papers printed and distributed, no transportation of ballot papers before counting, all voting stations placed in neutral places, no superimposition by hook or crook by the oligarchy to mention some and hands off state institutions.
In summary, IPD helps to construct public deliberations on democracy, profiles the party’s electoral image as one committed to more democratic principles, affords an opportunity to choose popular candidates, lessens intra-party conflict and improves the party’s chances of winning an election. This is even more important for the opposition parties which face external constraints like an evil trend of state-financialisation of our politics and other electoral malpractices. Therefore, there is a compelling need to minimise internally generated conflict which will lead to deviation, de-legitimisation, de-alignment and defections with devastating electoral consequences.

Road To Victory Adv. Chamisa Speaks

Road To Victory Adv. Chamisa Speaks

Advocate Nelson Chamisa

Advocate Nelson Chamisa | Fellow Zimbabweans, in keeping with our Gogogoi Tisvikewo/Ekuhle campaign, I was in rural Seke and Mhondoro over the weekend where people were unequivocal in their determination and resolve to vote for transformation and palpable change in the next election.

We have said we are prioritizing the rural areas where the majority of Zimbabweans live.
On Saturday and Sunday, I was in Seke and Mhondoro where the despondent people in those rural communities can no longer afford the laughter any more.  I interacted with business people, opinion and community leaders who all narrated to me the sad tale of their current penury and suffering.

They told me the now familiar national story of the collapsed infrastructure and social services; especially health and education and how the old and the infirm are struggling to survive under this inept government.

At the two rallies, I had the occasion to articulate our vision on the five key pillars of governance, the economy, infrastructure rehabilitation, social services and international re-engagement.

On governance, our government will govern and not rule. Governance involves engaging and listening to the people while ruling presupposes talking down to them. Our government will look after everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

On the economy, our vision is to have a modern, inclusive and diversified economy by 2023.

On social services, especially health and education, we want to ensure the nation is well served in these areas. On health, we have a comprehensive blueprint that includes both child care and adult care, a plan in which those with terminal and chronic ailments such as cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids and other ailments will be able to access treatment for free. Our old people above the age of 65 would also be able to access free medical care in all public hospitals. We have a plan to set up the best health facility in the region for those living with albinism so that they can have access to glasses and special lotions. On education, our government will provide free primary education and resuscitate loans and grants for tertiary students so as to give reprieve to suffering Zimbabweans.

Through infrastructure rehabilitation, we will be able to provide employment to the millions of our young and old who are failing to get a job. We will resuscitate roads, railways, airports, industries and other infrastructure in a massive way that will create jobs through public works programmes. We have already secured funding for infrastructure rehabilitation so that Zimbabweans can find a reason to hope again.

On international engagement, our mantra is that Zimbabwe will be best for business. Zimbabwe will be a safe haven for investment as investors will be assured of the safety of their ventures. We pledge to audit and revise all business deals being signed by the current government to see if they truly benefit the people and the country. It is ironic that every day we hear this or that mega deal has been signed when all we see around us is the mega-poverty facing the people!

At Mubaira growth point in Mhondoro in Mashonaland West, I found yet another despondent rural community in the midst of plenty. These are the people favoured with the huge platinum reserves at the nearby Ngezi platinum mine but who are slugging it out in a quest to put foot on the table.

I heard sad stories of how our traditional leaders are failing to make ends meet. Of the 276 chiefs in the country. Only 56 were given vehicles as the current government desperately tries to curry favour with the traditional leaders. We pledge t give dignity to these custodians of our culture.

We are promising the best for the people of this country. As one young musician said in the captivating lyrics that have become the anthem of our electoral campaign, we pledge to take Zimbabwe to the next level.

Next week, we set off for yet another rural community to interact with people in the rural areas where the majority of Zimbabweans live.

Ode to the country’s toiling workers

Today is May Day or Workers’ Day, that special day reserved to celebrate the world’s working people. For us as a party, this day has a special meaning because the labour movement is our venerated parentage.

We are a party borne out of the sweat, blood, tears and toil of the working people of Zimbabwe. We are a party formed out of the resolutions of the hustling workers of this country following the working people’s convention held in Harare in 1999.The convention was there where the working people resolved to form this great movement that continues to grow in leaps and bounds as testified by the party’s growing support and the huge numbers voluntarily turning up at our gatherings.

It is sad that this is the first May Day commemoration that Zimbabweans are holding in the absence of our dear icon, Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the firebrand ZCTU secretary-general who together with the late Gibson Sibanda and others founded this epic movement—the MDC—the mammoth movement that has shaken the regime to the core in the last two decades.

May the dear souls of two great sons of our labour movement rest in eternal peace.
Together with the student and constitutional movement, the workers of this country were the first to say Enough is enough.

The country has long fallen prey to the vagaries of ineptitude which have led to the collapse of our industry; indeed a massive industrial collapse that has created a burgeoning unemployment rate that now stands northwards of 95 percent.

Today, our economy has become highly informalized while over three million of our educated sons and daughters have left the country in search of greener pastures.

The new workers are those millions vending by the sides of our streets. Today, I salute all of you for eking an honest living.

You are the new entrepreneurs and you are the heroes of our land.

To those mothers struggling to put food on the table in our rural and urban communities, you are the new workers and I want to use this day to pay tribute to your daily tribulations in ensuring that Zimbabwe’s families are fed.

To Zimbabweans in the Disapora, who slug it out under trying conditions to send a few dollars to your parents, you are the workers that are keeping the families back home alive.

I want to use this day to salute you.

To our patriotic civil servants, I acknowledge you all. Our doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, those in the army and other government institutions who continue to serve despite your inadequate salaries, I say may God bless you all. We take note of your great service to the people of Zimbabwe.

We note with great concern the ill-treatment of our doctors and nurses and the rest of the civil service.  There is misery galore for our hard-working and patriotic civil servants. The recent debacle regarding our nurses and doctors shows that we need new and competent hands on the wheel of government.

Job security, safety at the workplace and decent wages are key issues affecting both public sector workers and the few who are still in private sector employment. The teaching profession, together with other sectors in the public service, has become an outpost of poverty.

To the commuter bus drivers and their aides who ferry passengers every day, you are the unsung heroes who play an important role in our lives.

To our pensioners and those who lost their life savings due to the ineptitude of this regime, we will restore the proceeds of your toil and we dedicate this day to your service and sacrifice to this country.

Whatever we are doing in this highly in-formalized environment, we are all part of the working people of Zimbabwe and we dedicate this special day to you.

Today, there is nothing to celebrate and all we can do is commemorate and pay tribute to our sweat, our blood and our tears as we all seek to eke an honest living in these trying times.

To the few who are still in formal employment, this is the last May Day of the workers without a bonus, without decent wages and without work-place representation. This is the last May Day for the workers to experience the undermining of their labour rights and the belittling of ILO standards.

This is the last May Day of disrespect of the Kadoma Declaration; of a government disrespectful and contemptuous of its agreements with workers.

Workers must unite and expect a truly new dispensation so that they join the rest of workers globally in living a decent life and enjoying the dignity of their hard work and the profit of their sweat.

The year 2018 is the best opportunity for workers of Zimbabwe to enjoy transformation, opportunities and prosperity.

From August this year after the next election, the army of the unemployed will join the battalion of the working people in the global labour community.

Behold the new.

Have a blessed May Day Zimbabwe!

Adv.  Nelson Chamisa is the MDC-T President and MDC Alliance Presidential candidate. He writes this weekly message every Tuesday to the people of Zimbabwe.