MDC-T, ZANU-PF clash on 56 Green bombers list
TENSIONS between the MDC-T and Zanu-PF has reached pitched levels in Mashonaland Central after the MDC recruited 56 Municipal police from the civilian population instead of members of the National Youth Service notoriously known as Green Bombers recommended by Zanu-PF.
This angered President Mugabe’s Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo who quickly moved in last week and gave several directives in complete defiance of the MDC-T which won the council elections.
MDC-T has since sent its representative Hatfield MP Mr Tapiwa Mashakada to investigate and come up with recommendations. He is expected to directly communicate his findings to the party’s national executive and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Secret documents in the hands of The ZimDiaspora reporter show that Zanu-PF knew there were vacancies for 56 municipal police officers and had brought forward a list of "green bombers".
The National Youth Service has been condemned in the West and in Africa for gross human rights violations on behalf of the ZANU-PF party. Within Zimbabwe the graduates of the service are known pejoratively as green bombers after the fatigue uniforms they wear.
As part of revenge for the MDC’s refusal to hire green bombers Minister Chombo set up a vengeful commission of inquiry accusing MDC councillors of various allegations including "mismanagement" of council affairs and abuse of council funds.
Confirming the onslaught by Zanu-PF, Bindura MDC-T mayor councilor Wakatama (42) said Zanu-PF was working flat out to discredit his council and party through covert and overt means following the hiring of the 56 municipal officers.
He said Minister Chombo started of my using Zanu-PF’s provincial governor Advocate Dinha whom he accused of meddling with council affairs when in fact Zanu-PF lost the elections.
Recently, Dinha is reportedly having stopped Save-the-Children UK from distributing food to the vulnerable accusing them of failing to observe protocol.
“Governor Advocate Dinha has been fighting us at every turn and throwing spanners in everything good we do. All this started after we refused to hire 56 green bombers. We cannot hire a group of youth that is known to have committed huma rights violations, that would taint our council," he said.
“All this tension resulted from our refusal to recruit 56 green bombers. What we did, instead, we recruited ordinary school leavers with Five ‘O’ Levels but this did not imptress Minister Chombo who actually called to tell me that we should have recruited only those with National Youth Service Certificates as was government regulation,” he said.
Wakatama said following this development, Chombo called him again and told him that he was sending a three member team to investigate the town’s preparedness in the event of a cholera outbreak.
“We have also been falsely accused of allowing services to deteriorate, yet ever since we took office we have done a lot of progress. In fact, residents are happy with the improvements made so far. For the first time in ten years council bought a new ambulance, utility vehicles and clinics have drugs and Governor Dinha and his Zanu-PF friends still has the audacity to accuse us” he said.
The team was to be made up of Chombo himself, Energy Minister, Engineer Mudzuri and Water Development Minister, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo. Surprisingly only Chombo came unannounced on 27 December 2009.
He called a meeting with the Governor, some religious leaders from Kunonga Anglican faction and Zanu-PF appointed special interest councilors in the council chambers while the MDC were not present yet the local mayor is MDC.
Then, on Tuesday December 29, 2009 Chombo gave 14 directives which included awarding ZAOGA church 500 hectares of land.
The council was also instructed to meet the inquiry costs while the commission’s pogramme exclude elected MDC-T councilors.
Zanu-PF supporters in the area asked Chombo to investigate the hiring of 56 municipal police officers whom they claim were recruited from the MDC ranks instead of its National Youth Service graduates.
Efforts to get comment from Mashonaland Central Governor Advocate Dinha were fruitless as his mobile was continuously unreachable.
Some MDC-T councilors said that they had received threats from Zanu pf supporters who warned them that their days in council were numbered.
“A group of Zanu Pf supporters came to my house chanting slogans, toyi toying and kongonya dancing and told me that my time as a councilor had come to an end. That was a few days before we heard about the commission of inquiry.We don’t know what will happen as this is purely politically motivated.”said Rindai Muchemwa, the youngest councilor in Zimbabwe at 21. (ZimDiaspora)