PICTURES: President Chamisa Meets Aspiring Candidates, Women’s 50 % Safe
President Advocate Nelson Chamisa is meeting with over 4000 MDC aspiring candidates who wish to represent the party in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections.
The President meets the candidates in a capacity building workshop, with the party leadership affirming in Primary election guidelines that, ” It shall be the duty of every Province to maintain 50% Women and 20% youth quota as agreed.”
Wrote Advocate Chamisa on his Twitter portal, “Addressing MDCT MP candidates at a capacity building workshop. We have over 4418 candidates who have shown interest in the party primaries for this 2018 election to be held soon.Our party is growing, vibrant & dynamic.We are winning.#Godisinit.”
Sikhala Cautions Cde Sister Khupe
Job Wiwa Sikhala | I find it difficult to accept the ZANU PF notion that if someone has been overwhelmed by ambition and chose his or her own path you suddenly turn villain. You remain the hero of the modern struggle against the hegemony of ZANU PF rule in our country since your days in the trade union up to the formation of the movement in 1999. We were together on the path to fight for a just society. You still retain my respect and the respect of all those who with you on this difficult and audious journey. Let me reassure you that President Nelson Chamisa does not have any hard feelings about you at all. He neither hates you. He is rather dispaired by the path you decided to take.
We are all despaired by the path you have taken because we all love you. We know you are one of us and have braved the brutality of this regime. I know that disappointment through the dreams that might not manifest the way we hoped for would end up having people taking decisions through anger. Anger is the greatest weakness of humankind. It’s normal because we did not create anger. The creator of anger knows why he created it. I used to be one of those who could be provoked into raging anger at the twinkle of slightest provocation. I think you know it. Along the path of growth as a human being I decided to divorce myself from anger as it can only bear frustrations and arrogant decisions. The moment when I allow ego to reign supreme against logic I have lost it. The consequences of decisions made out of ego tramples against fate and destiny.
You agree with me and I think if you are honest about it, yesterday’s events at Stanley Square was not an extra ordinary congress as prescribed by Article 6.2.5 of our constitution. It was a gathering of angry people whom we don’t how they thought such a gathering could be a solution to the national cause. We once travelled the same path as you after we all became angry about the Senate decision in 2005. We were not happy for the attempt to overturn the decision of the National Council that voted to fight against ZANU PF in the newly created Senate then. We allowed anger to reign supreme than to let it pass and wait for another day. You know that President Tsvangirai after his Huruyadzo Rally on the midst of rebellion by Renewalists came to my house and asked me to pluck out any anger I had against him and think like a leader and advance the cause of the people of Zimbabwe. This is the day we reconciled and agree to move forward together once more again. Even before his unfortunate demise our great leader Morgan Tsvangirai worked round the clock to reunify the party to its 1999 original. Despite having had differences with Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube you know well he personal approached them and talked the differences out. We are now happy family back together once more again. On the midst of such joy the actions of yesterday are a huge disappointment to the people of Zimbabwe at large. There are better methods to solve grievances than the path you took yesterday. The path you decided to take yesterday made me return huge respect for Nelson Chamisa. Despite being young he made several attempts to reconcile with you. I know personally that he tried to calm you several times on your mobile and you were not picking your phone. I know he made the best effort when he travelled all the way to Bulawayo to come and engage with you. Despite spitting him he visited you at your residence and asked for your consideration to think big about the bigger picture. We all prayed you would see logic on the attempt to smoke the peace pipe but you spanned it. It is not true that there is tribalism in developments that took place in the party recently. People just chose Chamisa for his appeal only. Nothing more than that. If tribalism truly manifested itself in what was happening I would not have supported it as you know that I am so intolerant and abhor such political disposition.
Zimbabweans are tired for continued suffering on the hands of the ZANU PF regime. They just want to be given a fighting chance against 4 decades of ZANU PF hegemony and dictatorship. It is my humble request and submission that you take a decision bordering on the interests of the people of Zimbabwe anddisband whatever happened at Stanley Square yesterday. It’s never too late.
I thank you.
Job Wiwa Sikhala
MDC-T National Secretary for Mobilization and Recruitment
Muzvare Betty Makoni Speaks On Chamisa And The Future
Muzvare Betty Makoni | My advice to aspiring young politicians or even older ones should they see sense in this in Zimbabwe whether home or in the Diaspora is that building a political base is not easy. Let me use example of Advocate Nelson Chamisa to illustrate my point. Of course you can use your own example. I used Chamisa as my example as I followed his political journey since 1999.
Chamisa did not emerge a President.Agh agh. He attended the first congress of MDC in 1999.I saw him at Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza and articulating issues affecting Zimbabwe. I later saw him putting his life in a den of lions. He was mauled and there is a time the whole country thought he was dead. But he reemerged and fighting for social justice and freedom. He almost died for our people. Then his party split. He stayed put. He even encouraged unity. His other struggles that people identify with are many and authentic.
What lessons do we get from Chamisa ?
1. He remained steadfast despite turbulance. People associate with leaders who stay the storm.
2. He remained focused and consistent for he never walked out of his party despite hardships. People follow leaders with solutions.
3. He was crucified and nailed on the cross like Jesus. But he rose again and preached peace and unity. People follow his peace.
4. He stòod up in parliament and made sense. People like leaders who challenge the status quo.
5.He remained with the people and mourning with them when their founder Dr Morgan Tsvangirai died. People like leaders who pave way forward. He instantly became the natural successor. He identified with the youth suffering.
There you are new emerging leaders. Avoid being fast food. Be steadfast and bond with people. You are too quick to want to be MP without passing people’s test. Today you jump here and tomorrow you jump there hey.People get tired. Stay on journey without swerving too much. Be consistent and reliable. Building a mass movement is not about tribe, being a woman etc. Building a base is going to basics and building charisma. Dont think you are like me today and suddenly people follow. Agh agh. Not at all. Be patient with time.
Be patient with time.It took Chamisa 20 years to be Presidential nominee. Honestly it cant take you 20 minutes or 20 months. Mass movements are not predictible at all.
Shouting at terraces that hehehe am a woman or am a victim makes your candidature weaker. Issues confronting Zimbabwe go beyond women. As you can see youth unemployed in Zimbabwe have mobilised. Noone will stop them. It means for you to be part of this mob, you have to take women issues via them. Forming another party or splitting from the core party just 2 months before elections throw women away even more. I would be firm and assert position within.It is very hard to form and firm in 2 months before elections. They say join them if you cant beat them.
Finally Zimbabwe politics is an emotional trajectory of heroes because of Mugabe era which was very oppressive. Which heroic deeds can people rally you behind? Basically the country has masses of people with fear, anxiety and hopelessness. They want to see if you can help them cross the biblical river Jordan. Which hero are you?
PICTURES: Advocate Chamisa Wows Chipinge
MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa today addressed thousands of party supporters in Chipinge. “Chipinge rally at Kondo township today.I am humbled by the kindness of the great people of Chipinge.The wave is just fantastic,” said the President after the well attended rally.
MDC Alliance Blasts Chiwenga A “Trigger Happy Maniac”
Professor Welshman Ncube | The heavy handed response by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to fire the 17 000 striking nurses whose demands for better working conditions and pay are justified is a stark reminder that we are being ruled by trigger happy maniacs for whom the normal rules do not apply. We are seeing classic junta tendencies, whereby they think every problem is solved by the spraying of bullets, no matter the cost.
Zimbabweans’ access to health care is guaranteed in the constitution, Chiwenga and the junta government are better advised to remember this fact. It is also very sad to note that the so called firing of nurses which is illegal anyway was done on the eve of Independence Day. Is this wholescale firing of nurses what we fought for? They cannot run the health sector commando style. The sacking of thousands of nurses has devastating consequences, because it means that hospitals and clinics remain unmanned resulting in patients being the worst affected. It also means the affected nurses face the prospect of unemployment in a country whose unemployment rate is above 90 percent.
As we see it, the only person that should have been fired for these recurring strikes is none other than the Health minister David Parirenyatwa, under whose watch the health sector has dilapidated over the last 13- years. The nurses’ strike is coming on the back of a debilitating doctors’ strike which left a trail of deaths and suffering in the country as the very same junta took its time in arriving at a lasting solution to the crisis.
It is a disgrace that government would exercise such heavy handedness on the striking nurses instead of engaging in respectful dialogue and coming up with long lasting solutions. This shows how little government cares for the needs of its workers.
Victimising the nurses for participating in the strike is the last thing a sober minded government should be doing. These dangerous political games Chiwenga is playing with citizens are ill advised and can only result in more chaos in our public health institutions across the country.
It is clear what needs to be done. The government needs to make quality health care provision a priority and work towards creating improved working conditions which include better remuneration and better equipped hospitals. Only a fundamental change in government’s approach will lead to a breakthrough in the mess they created in the health sector. The people of Zimbabwe including those fired nurses, the suffering and dying patients across the entire country will speak very loud and clearly come voting day and send this military junta back to the barracks where they belong.
Professor Welshman Ncube
MDC Alliance Spokesperson
Oh Yes Mamombe And Majome As Women Can Think For Themselves
Whitlaw Tanyanyiwa Mugwinji | When Fadzai Mahere expressed her desire to stand as an independent candidate, many people accused her of being used by Zanu PF to split the opposition vote. Having listened to the people’s concerns, we are told that she send letters to all the big parties in the opposition. Perhaps, as an overture for future talks. With that, many including myself, thought Fadzai was so full of herself. Did she seriously expect political parties to kowtow to her whims? No self-respecting party could do that and still keep its dignity intact. If an individual wants to represent a party at elections or influence its direction, then one must become a member. It is as simple as that.
At least I thought, but now the case of Joana Mamombe forces me to think otherwise. About two weeks ago, Joana raised furore on social media by merely expressing intention to contest the MDC Harare West primary elections. She was insulted, her name soiled, all in a bid to disparage her candidacy.
What can a young female politician do in this great republic of ours? Running as an independent candidate, they condemn her. Contesting primary elections, they condemn her. Focusing on her private and social life, they accuse her of indifference. Damned if she does and damned if she does not. Surely, we cannot pretend not to know why few women are running for public office.
But as they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. I am happy that this unfortunate debate has brought to the fore, uncomfortable but yet very necessary discussions. In this article, I will restrict my discussions to only but three issues. Due to this limited space, I will not be able to do justice to these issues, but I hope I will be able to incite further discussions.
Women can think on their own
The contest between Jessie Majome and Joana Mamombe was supposed to be very exciting. For it is a contest between two brilliant female comrades. A contest between the mature tried and tested and the young, vibrant and promising. But alas, the debate has turned into a shame. Comrades who I regard as progressive have turned misogynistic in their bid to defend their preferred candidate.
Yes, taking away Joana Mamombe‘s agency and accusing her of being used, is misogyny. She is a very capable young woman who is more than able to make decisions on her own. Additionally, several young male politicians within the MDC family are contesting in primary elections, yet none of them has been subjected to this scrutiny and attack.
People are not asking them to go and contest in rural constituencies. Nor are people accusing them of sleeping with someone powerful. Why do we treat women differently? Why do we assume women have no agency? In this day and age, we must know by now, that women can think and take initiative on their own.
During the online discussions, some people even suggested that Joana must support Majome. I always wonder why people expect female politicians to be a homogeneous group. There is absolutely no difference between female and male politicians. No one expects Obert Gutu to support Chamisasimply on the basis that they are both males. Thus, it is equally folly to expect Joana to support Majome simply because they share the same sex. We must respect Joana’s decision to contest just as much as we respected Majome when she did not follow Khupe. As I pointed out in another article, we must resist patriarchy by all means. For it thinks that women and especially young women, are incapable of handling power and responsibility. As they say, there is power in repetition. Therefore, without fear of sounding like a broken record, I will repeat myself. Women can think and take initiative on their own.
Who has the right to decide
Mcdonald Lewanika the director of Crisis Coalition, commenting on his Facebook post two weeks ago, raised a very pertinent question. He asked, ‘who has the right to decide’? Is it the party, the party structures, residents from the constituency or people who neither reside in the constituency nor are members of the party?
There are diverse opinions on the matter. But, we can exclude the last option, people who neither reside in the constituency nor are members of the party have no locus standi on the matter. This is not to say that they cannot express their opinions. They are merely opinions and must be treated just as such. Personally, I am a firm believer in grassroots politics. Local party representatives must be accountable to the local party membership. And in turn the local party membership must reflect the broader local society.
Alex Magaisa is of the contrary view. I hope that I understood him well, in one of his Facebook posts. He said, “a mature party does not risk the careers of its experienced MPs in the name of democracy”. In other words, the party must guide the democratic processes. Retain certain MPs, even against the wishes of the local membership. Not only is this top down and undemocratic but it goes even further to assume that the local membership does not know what is best for itself. It is very elitist and I pray and hope the party will never go this route. Otherwise the people’s party might be captured by an elite cabal.
Alternatively, the party can abandon primary elections all together. Instead, they can just compile a list of members who will represent the party in elections. This system too, assumes that the local membership is ignorant. I would support the part list system if the public were to vote for a political party and not an individual. This, I am sure would increase the representation of diverse voices in our parliament. Furthermore, it would make it easier to raise the number of women in parliament. However, that said, I think it would be unwise to adopt this system under our current political system.
You cannot change rules midway through a game
The central theme in Morgan Tsvangirai‘s call for democracy was institutional reform. And I want to believe that rules and regulations are at the heart of institutional reform. The party has laid down rules and regulations for conducting primary elections. Therefore, members cannot make objections once the process has begun. More so, when the objections and concerns have nothing to do with the process itself.
No matter how much we may prefer certain candidates to others, primary elections must take their full course. The party cannot change its rules and regulations midway through the primary elections process.
Aluta continua and may the best candidate win.
Dear Dambudzo Emmerson Mnangagwa
I hope I find you well. As for me, the usual stuff. Hustling to make ends meet.
I write to you concerning your participation in the forthcoming general elections as the ZANU PF presidential candidate.
This election, to me, is beyond promising to fix potholes, fix the economy or raising hopes of Zimbabweans through signing empty mega deals. Personally, in respect to your pronouncements of a new era (which are I am still to experience) this election provides an opportunity for Zimbabwe to nurse her ugly wounds, wounds inflicted on her by your party in the past 38 years with Bob in control and you as his most loyal and trusted son. You served him with distinction and honour in silencing and purging those that threatened his grip to power. This election is a pathway for those with trauma from Murambatsvina, Gukurahundi, 2008 elections to be rehabilitated. It provides an opportunity for broken families resulting from ZANU PF’s bad governance to be fixed. This election possibly presents a pathway to a true reconciliation process that will provide justice to victims of gross human rights abuses. Many have been battered, bruised and tortured at the hands of your government in the past 38 years.
Honestly we both know that you cannot lead a genuine process that will address the crimes that occurred in the past 38 years. Your rise to power is pinned on the entitlement you hold. No other person served Bob more than you did in his 38 years at the helm of Zimbabwe. Mugabe and ZANU PF represent everything wrong and broken in our society which this election seeks to address using constitutional means. I wonder how, you being an integral member of Mugabe’s regime, can be exonerated from this mess.
You have said several times that let ‘bygones be bygones’. Really? At one time I thought you were misquoted. But then I thought you meant let ‘Baygon be Baygon’. This will make sense coming from you given your love for pesticides. You once prescribed DDT in Matebeleland. Parquet was used again on members of the opposition on the June 2008 run off you take credit in engineering to save your Godfather Bob.
Many lost limbs, loved ones and bread winners at the hands of your party. Take time to reflect what that ‘bygones be bygones’ mean to victims of your party’s bad governance of the past 4 decades. Take time to reflect what ‘bygone be bygones’ means to those whose dreams were shattered as you held on to power by whatever means necessary. Just in the few days after being expelled from government I hear that your friends were even now preparing dockets to prosecute you on charges including corruption and attempted murder. You being a lawyer should better understand how the justice system works. It cant!
Do the right thing. Tell Zimbabwe what happened in the last 38 years. Apologise to Zimbabwe and the victims of your deeds and association with ZANU PF. Above all choose decency. Resign, go home and pray that in a new Zimbabwe the victims of ZANU PF’s dictatorship which you helped to sustain will see it fit to pardon and forgive you.
ED, take time to introspect. Your way of politics cannot be part of what this election seeks to establish for Zimbabwe.
On a lighter note just drop the scarf, it is awful.
Hoping for your favourable reply.
Mugabe Gone, Dzamara Still Missing: A Missive To My Generation
Wellington Mahohoma | I greet you with love and hope. I have always had you and Zimbabwe at heart. As a generation, we have endured a lot. I write this letter giving you my reflections as we approach the 2018 general elections.
We have endured the brunt of bad governance, misplaced priorities and corruption. Unemployment is rife. The majority of us have never been employed, despite having skills and knowledge. We do not have a payslip to our names. The fortunate connected few continue to be rewarded and enjoy on our behalf. Tenderprenuers such as the celebrated criminal Chivhayo racked millions of dollars from public funds to build shacks and buy several pairs of designer shoes.
Passing through filthy and makeshift bus ranks you will see able-bodied youths of our generation, ‘mahwindi’, busy at work. The only job they have known is to scream their lungs out, luring passengers to get into commuter omnibuses.
Years of experiencing this denigrating task have turned them against us. Their anger and despair has turned to violence. In the cities, we been harassed at their hands, with life being lost even. Vulgar has become part of their language targeted at even the elderly.
Each day we humbly commute to work, dangerously packed like sardines in small cars. We have many at times been caught in the wars between the corrupt police force and the mushikashika hustlers.
We have been reduced to drug and alcohol addicts. Illicit substances – Bronclear syrup, marijuana and ‘musombodiya’ – make my generation have the courage to see another day. Our society itself is too sick to take care for those who want to be rehabilitated. The health system has since collapsed.
Our parents have suffered too. Pensions have been wiped out by hyperinflation. They worked for decades since independence, yet years of sacrifice, for both the nation and their families, have resulted in nothing. Many still have to accommodate and even fend for their adult children.
Our parents have been denied the expected fruits and privileges of bringing us to this world. The hope they had in bringing us up have turned to pain. We are daily ravaged by curable diseases coupled with a collapsed health system. Many parents have had to bury their children.
This is the only reality that we have known. To many of my generation, even dreams has been shattered. Our dreams for tomorrow have been defined and limited by this Zimbabwe. We became traders of imported second-hand clothes, smalltime poultry breeders, airtime vendors. We desperately grab at every slight opportunity – we tried even ‘zvihuta’ . We have the desire to work. We have proved to be resilient no matter how difficult the situation become. The lucky few who are employed still have to queue for hours to get the little bits of their salaries.
When the government attempts to solve problems it has created, we celebrate and clap hands. That is how desperate we are. Small sachets of rice are traded for our loyalty and votes. For a day’s drink and cigarettes, some of us are even deployed to beat into submission those who dare to dream differently .They are called sellouts.
Many have been killed. Some like Itai Dzamara were abducted in broad daylight never to be seen again. University students, like myself, were expelled from pursuing studies for daring to dream of a better Zimbabwe. With help from well-wishers, few pursued their studies outside Zimbabwe. For them it was a great blessing, an eye-opener. They saw what I saw, how governments should take care of its citizens.
As we approach the 2018 elections, I dare you to reflect and dream big. This is not our best, we can do better. We can do more, we can achieve more. Our peers who took their dreams beyond our borders are excelling. Not because they work more than you, but they live in countries and societies, which reward those who are willing to work. It is our duty to change our situation. This country is beautiful. Let us dare to dream.
Another Zimbabwe is possible.
I love Zimbabwe. I love you my generation.
Zimbabwe at 38: Decades of Independence without Freedom
Tererai Obey Sithole | April 18 is an outstanding day for the nation of Zimbabwe, it is a day on which the land locked country is Southern Africa celebrate its hard-won independence. As such I join the entire Zimbabwean family, both home and abroad in celebrating 38 years of independence. History has devotedly taught us that our elders took up arms following the continued mistreatment by our former colonial masters. It was out of anger and pain of being enslaved and treated badly that our respected liberation fighters took it upon themselves to fight for the restoration of dignity. Out of that momentous fight which was steered then, Zimbabwe was born on 18 April 1980, making it 38 years this year.
Personally, I unreservedly salute the gallant sons and daughters who fought for the reclamation of our country from the hands of the British imperialists who had relegated the black majority to the peripherals of development on their own land. I pay inordinate tribute to the genuine fighters who took the bold decision to confront the colonial rulership, because injustice in all its forms should and must be fought vehemently.
I acknowledge the significance of this day because it gives room to every Zimbabwean to reflect on their sad past and to take stock of the journey travelled so far in the post-colonial Zimbabwe. I always try so hard to identify the positive steps which the Zimbabwean independence brought to its people. In the process of doing so, it appears to be so difficult to locate the significant differences between the colonial era and the post-colonial era.
Many may question why I say its hard to see the difference, that’s well acceptable but it is the purpose of this piece to enlighten the reader on the grounds of my submission. It is known that what motivated the liberation heroes to fight during the colonial era was the need to gain freedom. Multitudes perished in the process, they paid the ultimate price all in the need for freedom and bringing an end to inequalities which where prevalent then. Now we are in 2018, 38 years after the successful reclamation of control by the black majority, we ask ourselves an important question, are Zimbabweans really getting what was fought for?
To assist in responding to that question I quote Adam Kokesh, who in his book titled Freedom writes, freedom is not just an ideal state of society, but a moral code for respecting the rights of others. Working on this brief description of freedom, it may not be wrong to conclude that 38 years on, Zimbabwe is yet to be fully observe freedom because we still witness utter disrespect of people’s rights.
To give weight to a clear fact that freedom is far from being practical, I will refer you to the abduction of Itai Dzamara, a Zimbabwean human rights activist. The activist was abducted on 9 March 2015, some few months after he had petitioned the then President, Robert Mugabe to step down followed by a campaign in which he advocated for the same. The decision by Dzamara to call for Mugabe to step down was unarguably an exercise of the freedom to demonstrate and petition; freedom of expression and freedom of media as enshrined in sections 59 and 61 of the Constitution respectively. What can be deduced from this abduction case is a reflection that while the freedoms are on paper, they are imaginary and practically non-existent in the present-day day Zimbabwe.
It is of importance to make it known that it is not only Dzamara who has been abducted in the post-colonial Zimbabwe on grounds of expressing their displeasure on the way things are managed in the country. The list of abductees is long, multitudes have been butchered for exercising their right to associate with the opposition and others have been maimed. Several Zimbabweans are scattered all over the globe, fleeing from the politically harsh environment and for supporting opposition or perceived to be supporting opposition, some have been jailed on politically motivated grounds.
Many may choose to argue that the cases highlighted above were perpetrated under the presidency of Robert Mugabe but that is not enough to exonerate the current leader Emmerson Mnangagwa because while that was happening he was a close confidante of the former President. More so, even now with Mnangagwa as the President, so many cases indicative of the disrespect of people’s rights can be cited.
Few days ago, we read that a whole Deputy Minister of Finance violently attacked a staffer in the same ministry on a case linked to the assaulter claiming that he had been given a lesser allowance than what he thought he deserved. Reading this story gave me vivid reflections of the colonial stories whereby the black workers frequently fell victim of thorough beatings for working at a slower pace than that which was expected by their ruthless British employers. With this case, one can note that while Zimbabweans are now independent, some of the colonial practices are still inherent and being perpetrated by the few elite in power.
Only a day ago, the eve of this year’s independence commemoration, the government of Zimbabwe issued a directive firing all nurses who had chosen to exercise their right to participate in industrial action in protesting against the paltry salaries they were subjected to. These punitive measures being directed to the people of Zimbabwe for exercising their right on genuine causes serve to demonstrate that even after 38 years of independence in Zimbabwe, freedom is yet to be evident.
Seemingly Zimbabweans don’t have rights, if they have, they are not respected by the government. Close to four decades after a hard-won independence from colonialism, Zimbabweans still live without freedom.
Tererai Obey Sithole – Youth Leader and a Development Scholar
I write in my own personal capacity and can be contacted via email: