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Chombo, Chihuri face arrest over Grace

ARNOLD Farm residents in Mazowe, who last week were granted an interdict barring demolition of their homes and eviction from the farm by the law enforcement agents, have once again approached the court seeking contempt of court charges against three top government officials.

BY CHARLES LAITON

First Lady Grace Mugabe

First Lady Grace Mugabe

The villagers want Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri and Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora charged with contempt of court after authorities disregarded a court order stopping the evictions.

The urgent chamber application was filed last Sunday after the police, despite the existence of the court order, continued with the demolitions, bundled the residents into trucks and dumped them in a bushy area along the Mvurwi Road allegedly to make way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s business expansion.

In their application, the residents said the conduct of the law enforcement agents in the unfolding events was “a sad commentary to the status of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe”.

On Friday last week, High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta ruled in the residents’ favour and ordered the police to immediately stop demolishing houses and evicting the families from the farm, but the police allegedly scoffed at the court order and continued with their actions unabated.

“The demolitions continued on the 25th of March 2017 and this time the police were forcing the villagers whose homes they had demolished to board trucks. The residents would be driven some 35-40km along the Mvurwi Road and dumped in the bush and told to find their way to where they originally came from,” the villagers, who are represented by Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners, said in their affidavits.

“The villagers are just dumped in the open, without food, water, or shelter. Our crops and livestock are left at Arnold Farm; our children are still at the schools they were attending since 2000 when we resettled at the farm and now their education is being disrupted.”

Added one villager: “I aver that the disobedience of the court order by the respondents is wilful or reckless and also mala fide (in bad faith). There can be no worse form of contempt than to appear before this honourable court and consent to an order which respondent (police) had no intention of respecting.

“The conduct of the respondents in this case is a sad commentary to the status of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe. As applicants, we had hoped to get relief from this honourable court, but when the orders of the court are brazenly disobeyed, as in this case, then there is no hope for us.”

In the application, the applicants were cited as Nyatsambo Katsamudanga, Innocent Dube, Rosemary Masiyiwa, Maliyana Mateo, Livingstone Musanhu, Makoore Leonard, Chenjerai Murambiza, Phanuel Chingoriwo and Arnold Farm Residents’ Association, while Mombeshora, Chihuri and Chombo were cited as respondents. The matter is yet to be heard.

The villagers argue that they had been staying at the farm over the past 17 years before the forced removal by gun-toting police and military personnel.

Mugabe is heartless: Mujuru

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is being kept in power by “power-hungry looters”, hence Zimbabweans must take the chance to vote the 93-year-old leader out of office, former Vice-President Joice Mujuru said yesterday.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

NPP leader Joice Mujuru

NPP leader Joice Mujuru

Mujuru, who is opposition National People’s Party (NPP) leader, said this while visiting party officials admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals’ intensive care unit after being involved in a car accident on Saturday night.

The former VP – who served under Mugabe for over 34 years before she was unceremoniously kicked out of Zanu PF and government on allegations of plotting a coup – said the decay of Zimbabwe’s health delivery system was a sign the President cared less about the plight of citizens.

“At 93, what do you expect from him? He just does not care anymore and I doubt he still understands what is expected of him in terms of providing solutions to address the economic rot which is causing this decay of social service delivery,” Mujuru said.

She also blamed Zimbabweans for allowing Mugabe to hold them “hostage”.

“Mugabe has always said if Zimbabweans tell me to go, I will go, so he is there because we have not told him to go. I believe we should tell him to go … he is being kept in office by people who have looted this country and they think the only way to escape is by keeping the old man hostage in office,” the NPP leader said.

She accused top government officials of abandoning their posts to engage in political mudslinging and the power scrap currently engulfing Zanu PF.

Mugabe frequently flies out of the country mainly to the Far East for what officials claim “routine medical check-up”.

Reports indicate Mugabe was constantly receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment at the state-of-the-art Gleneagles medical facility in Singapore, renowned for specialist treatment, at taxpayers’ expense.

Early this month, Mugabe travelled for medical treatment leaving local health personnel on a strike, demanding better working conditions and pay.

Government this year allocated the Health and Child Care ministry a mere $281 million, with $222 million going to employment costs, leaving $55 million for infrastructure, medication and equipment.

In contrast, Mugabe’s office received $187 million with employment costs at $98 million, leaving his office with an unchecked budget of $89 million which funds mostly his travels and medical needs.

Mugabe’s expenditure is not subject to auditing and in the past few weeks he has been flying non-stop on a chartered plane with one trip to Singapore blowing over $1 million.

The former Vice-President came face-to-face with the deplorable conditions of service and health delivery after being told by accident victim and NPP Makonde chairperson, Levison Shumba, that nurses had encouraged him to seek treatment at a private hospital. “I fractured my leg in the accident and I need an operation, but nurses have told me that if I don’t get this done at a private hospital, it would take way over a month before I can be attended to,” Shumba told Mujuru.

Mujuru said Mugabe, whose sister Bridget spent no less than four years on life support at Parirenyatwa, was out of touch with reality.

“I don’t think he knows the state of this hospital, from the staff that is demoralised, the bed linen is not inspiring and service is absent, how can one have to wait for a month to be attended for multiple fractures on a leg? Does he know how things have changed since the last time he was here as a patient? I don’t think so,” the ex-VP queried.

Another NPP official and renowned surgeon, Samuel Mvurume, also admitted at Parirenyatwa, was injured in the freak accident while trying to help victims of a crash in Chinhoyi on Saturday night.

Zanu PF officials ‘implicated’ in Midlands gold wars

SENIOR Zanu PF officials have been implicated in violent clashes over gold claims in the Midlands province, a government official has said.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Jason Machaya

Jason Machaya

The fights have reportedly pushed the province to the top of a list of areas with most violent crimes, especially involving dangerous weapons such as machetes, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya told a ruling party meeting recently.

“I must inform the leadership that it has come to our attention that Midlands is topping the list of violent murders using machetes,”
Machaya told a Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee meeting held in Gweru last Saturday.

“Some politicians are being accused of being ring leaders of violence and as a province we must seriously address this issue.”

Machaya singled out Kwekwe and Zvishavane as areas with the most violence involving illegal gold panners in the province.

Contributing to the discussion Gokwe-Kana legislator, Owen Ncube distanced Zanu PF from the gold wars, saying thorough investigations should be carried out so that the name of the party was not tarnished.

He said Zanu PF youths who were allocated gold claims in Kwekwe had no criminal records of violence.

“There are no registered youths from Zanu PF who were allocated claims, who have been implicated in murder cases involving machetes and mining disputes,” Ncube said.

“We invite law enforcement agents to make thorough investigations so that the name and image of the party (Zanu PF) is not put into disrepute.”

According to police reports, last year the province recorded 89 cases involving the use of machetes.

Of the cases, 10 people lost their lives, while 30 were injured and 10 displaced.

Recently, Mines minister Walter Chidakwa said the government had set-up a taskforce to investigate deaths and injuries caused by gold wars.

Mukoko pushes Mutasa over the cliff

DEMOCRACY activist Jestina Mukoko yesterday scored a major victory against the government after Harare High Court judge, Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa, dismissed an application by the State seeking to shield senior officials from paying compensation.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Human rights activist and Zimbabwe Peace Project director, Jestina Mukoko

Human rights activist and Zimbabwe Peace Project director, Jestina Mukoko

Mukoko was held incommunicado for weeks after being abducted in December 2008 and is suing former State Security minister and now opposition leader Didymus Mutasa, War Veterans ministry secretary Brigadier-General Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi and one Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi.

The State had made a desperate bid to shield the three from being sued in their personal capacities and to be ordered to pay Mukoko compensation.

Mutasa, Tapfumaneyi and Magwenzi had objected to being sued in their personal capacities, arguing that they acted as State agents in their official capacities.

However, Mukoko’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, dismissed their assertions, arguing no one was employed in his or her official capacity to commit abductions and torture.

“No explanation has been given as to why the applicants (Mutasa, Tapfumaneyi and Magwenzi) have not themselves deposed to the founding affidavit, particularly as the issue raised involves each applicant being able to say that their actions were in their official capacities,” she said.

Mtetwa further argued that the Attorney-General (AG) could not be allowed to make averments on behalf of the three regarding the capacities in which they acted when the acts complained of were committed.

“It is respectfully submitted that the peculiar circumstances of this case, where the plaintiff’s rights were violated by senior officials acting in clear common purpose in violation of the law, ought to be discouraged by ensuring that each individual participant in the unlawful enterprise bears personal responsibility for his actions,” she added.

After the abduction and torture, Mukoko, in 2009, filed a $220 000 lawsuit against Mutasa, who at the time of her abduction served as State Security, Lands and Land Reform minister, Tapfumaneyi, Magwenzi, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri and the AG.

In their application, the AG, through Ephraim Mukucha, said: “I later realised that it is not proper for the purposes of Section 4 of the State Liabilities Act not to challenge the citation of fifth, seventh and eighth defendants (Mutasa, Tapfumaneyi and Magwenzi) in the personal capacities for things done or omitted to be done while within the course and scope of their official duties.”

“The purpose of this application is, therefore, to seek an amendment of a plea which was filed on behalf of the applicant. I respectfully submit that the nature of the amendment sought by the applicants herein will not in any way prejudice the respondent in that the raising of a point in limine (from the outset) to challenge imputation of personal liability on the fifth, seventh and eighth defendants on what happened to the respondent (Mukoko) will not stop her from claiming damages against them in their official capacities since she had already done that.”

However, in her response, Mtetwa argued such an amendment would have a ripple effect on her client’s matter.

Zuma’s recall of Gordhan sparks cabinet change speculation

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan plans to return home after President Jacob Zuma ordered him to pull out of a roadshow with investors and ratings agencies in London, heightening concern that he’s preparing to change his cabinet.

Sam Mkokeli

Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan

The rand plunged after Zuma told Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, to cancel the week-long roadshow in the U.K. and the U.S. Bongani Ngqulunga, the presidential spokesman, gave no reason for the decision in a statement on Monday. Gordhan will arrive in South Africa on Tuesday, the Treasury said in a statement.

Zuma’s order came a day after Gordhan left South Africa on Sunday to lead a delegation that included business executives and labor union representatives. Early Monday the officials met with some investors in London. The roadshow was later canceled, Dennis George, the general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa who was on the trip, said by phone.

Speculation that Gordhan is on the verge of being fired has swirled for months, as he clashed with Zuma over the management of state companies and the national tax agency. While Gordhan has led efforts to keep spending in check and fend off a junk credit rating, Zuma wants to embark on “radical economic transformation” to tackle racial inequality and widespread poverty.

‘Live-Wire Situation’

“Whether this is a reshuffle or not, the timing is definitely picked to inflict pain and embarrassment on an already live-wire situation,” said George Herman, chief investment officer at Citadel Investment Services in Cape Town. “There is no other practical reasoning for the timing of this.”

Moody’s Investors Service, which rates South Africa’s debt at two levels above junk and with a negative outlook, is scheduled to publish a review of the nation’s creditworthiness on April 7. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. kept their assessments at the lowest investment grade late last year.

The rand weakened 2.6 percent against the dollar to 12.7788 at 4:41 p.m. in Johannesburg. The government’s rand-denominated bonds due 2026 fell, driving the yield 35 basis points higher to 8.71 percent, the biggest jump since October.

If Gordhan or Jonas are fired, “the selloff will be vigorous,” said Jonathan Hertz, chief executive officer of Peregrine Holdings Ltd., which has 105 billion rand in assets under management. “There will be a shudder in the market. I see a big pullback. I think you could see 14, I don’t think you will see 15.”

The recall “is not a positive omen and raises the level of policy uncertainty,” said Raymond Parsons, a professor at the North West University’s School of Business and Governance. “The rand has already fallen sharply because of the uncertainty which has now opened up around the political futures of both minister Gordhan and deputy finance minister Jonas.”

Zuma, who is due to step down as head of the ruling African National Congress in December and as president in 2019, has previously downplayed suggestions that he intends to reorganize his cabinet and fire Gordhan.

‘Radical Step’

“It’s quite a radical step to recall the minister and his deputy in the middle of an international roadshow,” Mike Davies, the founder of political advisory company Kigoda Consulting, said by phone. “This doesn’t necessarily mean a reshuffle is now more imminent than it was before, but it shows that tensions clearly exist in the cabinet.”

The trip was properly authorized, Gordhan’s office said. Treasury spokeswoman Yolisa Tyantsi referred queries to the presidency when contacted by text message and email. Ngqulunga didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone.

Sahara Computers, owned by friends of Zuma, the Guptas, filed an application demanding that Gordhan be present in court on Tuesday for a hearing on whether the minister can be forced to order banks to reopen bank accounts of companies associated with the family. Gordhan asked for the state attorney to appear for him.

“Tensions are already high between Zuma and Gordhan and so this will just serve to deepen their mutual hostility,” said Susan Booysen, a professor at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance. “Zuma is watching for any foot fault by Gordhan and Jonas to have a pretext to fire them. Cabinet members are routinely given permission for overseas visits and if they do so without authorization, a simple phone call would suffice to chastise them.” – Bloomberg

‘No to Mugabe dynasty’

VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle will work hard in the coming month to stop President Robert Mugabe’s bid to create a political dynasty in the country, NewsDay has been told.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe

In an interview following the conclusion of a meeting of the former fighters organised by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) last week, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda was categorical that the ex-combatants would not allow Mugabe — already endorsed by Zanu PF as its presidential candidate — to win another term next year.

“The war vets will now go to give the masses the consciousness of the tasks ahead, which are to fight corruption, fight creation of a Mugabe dynasty, fight regionalism and fight dictatorship as well as all other social and economic ills,” Matemadanda told NewsDay.

While Mugabe, in his traditional birthday interview last month, claimed he remained in office because there was no one suitable to take over, ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said Zimbabweans could still choose a leader even someone without liberation war credentials.

“The only way to do it is to vote and find a suitable leader even among those that did not take part in the liberation struggle. We are 14 million citizens and if we choose well among us, they should be able to serve our common interests as a people,” Mahiya said.

“It is not possible that there is no one who can lead better than those in power today. We can always find one because nobody is indispensable. Zimbabwe is greater than individuals and will be there long after we are all gone.”

ZNLWVA national chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa also called for a change of tack with the economy virtually on its knees and the deepening political problems in the country.

“We need to reach out to [the] Diaspora … engendered by the illegal sanctions and the ham-fisted response of the clueless, vapid and vacuous G40 in their illicit control of the apex of Executive power,” he said.

In the scathing communiqué issued last July, the war veterans accused Mugabe of manipulating the ruling Zanu PF party for selfish ends, describing him as “genocidal”.

Before last week’s meeting, the ZNLWVA distributed flyers detailing their “commitments to the Zimbabwe we want”.

The former fighters committed to servant and responsive leadership, rule of law and according citizens all civil liberties “without prejudice”.

As their relationship with Mugabe and Zanu PF continues on a downward spiral, Mutsvangwa said last week’s meeting re-established the war veterans as “a people’s force”.

“It was a watershed, game-changing meeting. It recast the image of the war veteran. He [war veteran] has recovered that integrity and seriousness befitting a revolutionary hero of the Chimurenga independence war.

“It banished his image and standing, doing away with the idiosyncratic caricature of violence and mayhem. Zimbabweans are once again proud of the stellar military actors who did so much to restore the battered bias against modern African military prowess,” Mutsvangwa said.

“We presented the war veterans as the heroes of the Zimbabweans, the heroes of Africa. That is the biggest success that we got and it will marginalise the elements that are against progress particularly as epitomised by the G40 (faction of Zanu PF). The G40 is the opposite of what we want in Zimbabwe. We have demolished them and reworked the image of war veterans and removed the element of caricature.”

Mahiya admitted the demands by the war veterans might not be achieved under Mugabe’s current government, accusing some senior officials of being counter-revolutionaries.

“…the people who are holding positions today, for example, the Minister of Home Affairs [Ignatius Chombo], Higher Education [Jonathan Moyo] and Local Government [Saviour Kasukuwere], are counter-revolutionaries and would never accept our demands,” Mahiya said.

“We are clear Zimbabweans understand what we are saying and will know who to vote for. It is a small group of people with no social base. Next year’s elections will tell.”

Mugabe, who will contest next year’s election aged 94, should have retired a long time ago, argued Mahiya.

“At his age, the President was supposed to have retired and be able to write books and putting down what he has done for the country for future generations to benefit from the wisdom, if any, that he has. Those who are in the corridors of power are only interested in looting the country’s economy,” he said.

Grace holds axe over Moyo, Mahoka

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe will make the final call on the fate of beleaguered Zanu PF women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo and treasurer Sarah Mahoka at an executive meeting to be held this week, it has been established.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Sarah Mahoka

Sarah Mahoka

Zanu PF women’s league members held demonstrations against the two on Thursday and Friday last week, demanding that they be expelled on allegations of undermining the First Lady as well as abusing party funds.

Sources told NewsDay yesterday that Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka’s fate could be sealed this week.

“There is likely to be a women’s league executive meeting this week, most likely on Tuesday [tomorrow], where a consolidated petition against Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo will be handed over to the First Lady for a final decision,” NewsDay heard.

While officials in the women’s league remained tight-lipped on whether indeed the meeting would be held this week, Mashonaland West acting provincial chairperson Angeline Muchemeyi confirmed a consolidated petition was now in place.

“We now have a consolidated petition which chairwomen from all provinces will present before the executive on a date that is yet to be decided. The moment we are called, we will have the petition ready and will submit it,” Muchemeyi said.

Mahoka hails from Mashonaland West and the axe has been hovering over her head since her unsolicited public humiliation of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa two years ago during a gathering to welcome President Robert Mugabe at the end of his tenure as African Union and Sadc chairperson.

Women’s league secretary for information Thokozile Angela Mathuthu would neither deny nor confirm the Zanu PF organ would meet tomorrow.

“You heard these things from rumours and the nation cannot be run on rumours because if that happens, the country will collapse. I will have to first get into my [email] inbox in my laptop and see what has been sent to me so if you talk to me on Monday [today], I might have a response for you,” Mathuthu said.

Secretary for administration Letina Undenge also refused to comment.

“Ask the secretary for information [Mathuthu], we are trying to be professional and make sure people do their work. I am not going to talk about this because we will cause unnecessary chaos. As secretary for administration, my job is to supervise everyone and the league spokesperson must give you a comment. If she has a problem regarding details on any issue, she can consult me,” Undenge said.

Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka, hitherto some of Grace’s most trusted allies, seem to have been sacrificed in the intriguing power scrap rocking the ruling party.

Plot to split Mujuru party exposed

Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) members have claimed they have busted a plot by some officials from Tendai Biti’s People Democratic Party (PDP) to infiltrate and cause another split of the former Vice-President’s party in order weaken her on the coalition negotiating table.

By Staff Reporter

National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru

National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru

They alleged the plot includes assuming provincial and national positions at the NPP’s elections to establish a substantive national leadership slated for today, and then months later defect en masse to the PDP. The alleged defections would make Mujuru to be viewed as weak and, therefore, unsuitable for very senior positions on the opposition coalition.

NPP members from Masvingo said the plot was being implemented by officials who have joined the party from the PDP.

They claim the former PDP members jostling for positions in the NPP were still working with their former party and had two meetings this year to strategise the infiltration and cause a split.

The plot has come to be dubbed as the Third Force and was aimed at discrediting Mujuru, while at the same time propelling Biti so that his stakes at the coalition negotiating table would rise.

Although most opposition leaders have endorsed MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai as the best candidate to lead the mooted coalition against President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in the forthcoming 2018 general elections, the PDP outfit allegedly wanted to torpedo the former labour unionist.

“The PDP members still believed Biti is the best candidate to lead the coalition on account of Tsvangirai’s ill-health, but without numbers, they still face a mountain task against Mujuru.

“The plot is thus to have mass defections from Mujuru’s camp to prop up Biti’s profile and take over leadership of the coalition ahead of the Mujuru,” one member told NewsDay Weekender on condition of anonymity.”

The official added: “When we started the NPP as Zimbabwe People First, we agreed to accept anyone from anywhere and treat each other as equal partners. We had people from PDP. They joined the party and after a meeting with Biti on January 13 in Masvingo, they reinforced the recruitment drive in other provinces.

“Now they are a structure within a structure. They now want to dominate the provincial and national leadership positions and resign en mass after six weeks to dent president Mujuru’s image. The problem is more pronounced in Masvingo where they are working with a senior NPP official who is the both in the provincial and interim structures,” he said.

“The official (name withheld) thinks he is building his own team that will help him take over from Mujuru in two years, but he doesn’t know that the guys have an immediate plan to collapse the NPP within six months. In Masvingo, there is already a structure before the convention.”

NPP spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said: “Normally, when you get allegations of such gravity, it is prudent to study them first and comment later.”

But PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed this as machinations of Mugabe’s spy agency to collapse the coalition talks before the polls. He said his party has no intention to undermine Mujuru or any other opposition party.

“This is complete fabrication. We do not have the time to plot against Mujuru or any opposition. We are focusing on a coalition to remove Mugabe,” Mafume said.

“These are CIO machinations to destabilise the congress of a sister organisation. We wish Mujuru well. She must ignore this smokescreen that has become a trademark of Zanu PF.”

Mavhaire was not reachable yesterday.

Knives out for Mugabe, Grace

VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation have declared war on President Robert Mugabe and made a clarion call for citizens to remove him from power in elections next year.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

War veterans chairperson Chris Mutsvangwa gets a hero’s welcome from fellow freedom fighters at the City Sports Centre, in Harare yesterday

War veterans chairperson Chris Mutsvangwa gets a hero’s welcome from fellow freedom fighters at the City Sports Centre, in Harare yesterday

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda told an indaba of the former fighters in Harare yesterday that Mugabe’s government had failed to deliver on the promises of the liberation struggle.

“As I am looking at you, I am thinking of 2018. We would want to discuss about the war veterans’ welfare, but in a country where $15 billion can be stolen and nobody is arrested we are just wasting our time,” Matemadanda said.

“What we must do here is to have a plan of getting rid of people who steal $15 billion without being arrested. Those that failed to arrest them must also go. Hoping to get any form of welfare from such people is a complete waste [of time].The people you gave the mandate to run this country have failed.”

Matemadanda, in an impassioned address, urged Mugabe to step down and use his last days to organise and run foundations besides writing his memoirs. The war veterans’ chief accused those allegedly forcing the 93-year-old Zanu PF leader to cling onto power of misleading him for their personal gain.

“The same people have sent their own grandmothers and fathers to old people’s homes, but cannot let go a 93-year-old President, lying to him that ‘we love you’ as a decoy so that he cannot have time to write his memos and leave a legacy when he dies,” Matemadanda said.

The war veterans bemoaned high levels of corruption and once again blamed a faction of the ruling party reportedly pushing for First Lady Grace to take over from her ailing husband for the internal strife rocking Zanu PF and the country in general.

The ex-freedom fighters said they would vote for competent candidates in the next elections as opposed to supporting Zanu PF candidates.

“We have been voting people into power because they have been coming from the political parties that we were in,” Matemadanda said.

“Even when you know that the person is not the right candidate, you were forced to vote for that person because of party allegiance. We are saying that has come to an end.”

ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa declared the G40 faction, reportedly fronted by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister and party commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, the official enemy of war veterans and the people of Zimbabwe. He said the 2018 elections should be used to send G40 “packing from government”.

“G40 represents the worst of counter revolution and reactionarism … In war you are told to know your enemy. Now the whole country knows the enemy. We delivered the vote to the people and there is no weapon as powerful as the vote.

“Now the people have got their vote, they cannot be defeated. What is needed is the clarity of knowing who is the enemy. Once we have the clarity, we can do what happened in Norton and what happened in Masvingo a few weeks ago,” Mutsvangwa said.

He blamed G40 for inconsistencies in the indigenisation policy, saying it was at the centre of the worsening economic crisis which had seen massive capital flight.

“The economy is a stinking criticism of those G40 people in Cabinet and we should not allow them to stay in power using the 2018 vote,” Mutsvangwa declared.

The indaba — which was attended by over 1 000 war veterans — also attracted Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, Agrippa Mutambara of ZimPF and two former Zanu PF youth chairmen, Godwin Gomwe (Harare) and Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), among others who were fired for supporting the ascendancy of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They gave solidarity messages at the indaba which was temporarily disrupted following a power outage at the venue.

The war veterans condemned First Lady Grace for saying Zimbabwe would be led by Mugabe’s corpse. The ex-fighters said such statements had the effect of ridiculing the nation.

The war veterans also had a go at Zanu PF youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga, accusing him of trying to build a Mugabe dynasty.

Police maintained a heavy presence and kept a watchful eye some 400 metres away with two water cannons and armed riot personnel.

Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda were mobbed by hordes of war veterans who sang and danced as they walked into the venue.

The former War Veterans minister said he was humbled by the defiance shown by war veterans in the face of alleged intimidation by G40 elements who had “taken control of State House” and were “holding Mugabe hostage”.

Tsenengamu called on all those fired from the ruling party to fight to reclaim their positions from those who had “stolen” the party from its founders.

Without directly mentioning Mugabe by name, Tsenengamu challenged the war veterans to tell their “peer to go and rest” because he had walked his path and it had come to an end.

Grace dumps top allies

Hundreds of Zanu PF women’s league members yesterday called for the ouster of their deputy politburo secretary and Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo and treasurer Sarah Mahoka, accusing them of undermining First Lady Grace Mugabe.

By Staff Reporters

First Lady Grace Mugabe

First Lady Grace Mugabe

The placard-waving women demonstrated at various centres throughout the country, accusing the two of sabotaging Grace and making it difficult for President Robert Mugabe’s wife to carry out her functions as the women’s league boss.

The demonstrators handed written petitions to provincial chairladies calling for the ouster of the two from the women’s wing for various alleged crimes that included embezzlement of funds, in addition to disrespecting Grace and other senior party officials, including Vice-Presidents.

They accused Sandi-Moyo of setting up parallel structures and making decisions without consulting Grace, who is the secretary for women affairs in the ruling party.

Mahoka was targeted for challenging Grace in high-profile meetings and disrespecting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba.

Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka were selected at the party’s last congress and will have to be removed by a congress of the full women’s league executive.

NewsDay revealed last month that a meeting had been convened to dismiss Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo for trying to block the First Lady.

The organisers of yesterday’s demonstrations were not happy with the turnout at some centres and accused party commissar Saviour Kasukuwere of sabotaging the demos.

Their next target would now be Kasukuwere, Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe, Masvingo commissar Jeppy Jaboon and Edson Takataka, acting Harare youth chair, among others who have all been linked to the G40 faction. Kasukuwere was not reachable for comment, but Mashayamombe said the programme was purely a women’s league issue and was unaware of how it was organised.

G40 is fighting to torpedo Mnangagwa in the Zanu PF succession race.

In Harare, about 100 placard-carrying protesters converged at the party headquarters singing liberation songs, pushing for the dismissal of the two senior party officials.

The placards carried various scathing messages: Mahoka Tapedza Newe, Undermining Amai is Treasonous, No to Sandi and Sarah Parallel Structures, Sandi Wemota dzeGamatox, We Will Clean the Party of all Sandists and Atuka maVPs Atuka vaMugabe, among others.

Mahoka allegedly challenged Grace at a meeting at the First Lady’s orphanage in Mazowe.

Harare provincial chairlady Joyce Kasinamunda was handed a petition by Manyame district chairlady Sikhumbuzo Munyawarara and promised to hand it over to Grace. She chided Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo for sabotaging Grace and called for their dismissal from the party. Kasinamunda also castigated Mahoka for showing lack of respect to Mugabe’s appointees, chief among them Mnangagwa and Charamba.

“She called the VP a duck. The VP was appointed by President Mugabe. We kept quiet and now she is sabotaging the First Lady, she has gone too far and should go,” Kasinamunda said to wild cheers from the handful of women’s league members who formed part of the protesters.

Yesterday, most women who attended the Harare demo were unaware of the purpose of the gathering. Some claimed they had been invited to be addressed by Grace, while others left when they saw placards denouncing Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo.

In Mashonaland East, protesters converged at the party offices in Marondera where women’s league provincial secretary for administration Charity Manyeruke handed over a petition to national executive member Phoebe Vhareta for delivery to Grace.

Reading the petition in front of the crowd, Manyeruke said Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka were being accused of disrespecting the First Lady as well as the Vice-Presidents.

“Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka must go immediately. Mai Sandi-Moyo wants to take over the secretariat of the women’s league, she is working in cahoots with some national members to fight the First Lady. Mai Sandi is creating parallel structures as well as running a women’s factional structure,” Manyeruke said.

Provincial acting women’s boss Beata Nyamupinga was not present at the meeting.

In Bulawayo, the women’s league was supported by members of the youth league and main wing at the provincial headquarters, Davis Hall.

Addressing the demonstrators, provincial women’s league member Mavis Nhliziyo said Bulawayo had become unstable because of Sandi-Moyo and her alleged cabal. “Matabeleland South must take its person because if she sees someone who is working better than her, she fires that person. All the structures here have been destroyed by her. All people are being fired now and then,” Nhliziyo said.

In Mashonaland West, about 300 protesters accused Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo of dividing the women’s league, disrespecting the First Lady, seeking donations on behalf of the league without the committee’s approval and demeaning Mnangagwa.

There was drama at the Zanu PF provincial offices in Chinhoyi when members aligned to Mahoka were forced to recite a slogan denouncing her, but Maggie Chidarikire refused, countering with songs like League yaramba zvemadhisinyongoro (The women’s league doesn’t entertain this nonsense).

In Masvingo, the antagonistic Zanu PF factions G40 and Team Lacoste had a rare show of unity as they coalesced against Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka at Chiefs’ Hall. The two factions that held separate meetings at the weekend united in calling for the ouster of the pair.
The situation was the same in Mutare and other provinces.

The demonstrations were reportedly co-ordinated by Kadoma businessman and former central committee member Jimayi Muduvuri. Grace is reported to have a hand in it based on reports that she wants to minimise resistance as she paves her way up to the party vice-presidency.

Contacted for comment by NewsDay, Sandi-Moyo said she had just returned from Malaysia on government business and was not aware of the demonstrations.

Mahoka’s phone number was not reachable.

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