Among other things, the opinions of a former member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police force. My take on the world in general and one thing in particular - a commentary on the current situation in Zimbabwe. I am not a journalist, nor a political activist, but I am a man with a conscience. Hence, this page is my civic responsibility. The more people that hear about the devastating rule in Zimbabwe and the problems therein, the better!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday, 19th November 2012

Howzit

Today sees the end of Welcome Week and tomorrow the degree proper starts – and I am looking forward to it…

-o00o-

Contrary to the claim that Tsvangirai ‘is on record’ that the landgrab would be reversed, I can find no reference at all of him saying this.

The argument that Tsvangirai has is that Mugabe claims that the landgrab is returning the land to the ‘landless blacks’ and then he promptly gives the seized to ZANU PF officials, loyalists and functionaries.

These people are not the ‘landless blacks’ that he says will benefit from the removal of land from the productive white commercial farmers.

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has threatened another land revolu­tion unless Govern­ment revises the current land tenure system that distributed land from a few white farmers to hun­dreds of thousands of black families.
 

 In his remarks during a tour of the drip irrigation system he installed at his homestead in Humanikwa Village in Buhera West yesterday, Mr Tsvangi­rai said the challenge in Zim­babwe was not about land shortage, but the tenure system.

“We had the land reform. Some peo­ple were injured while others were killed.It was a violent programme. The concept (drip irrigation system) here is that we can use a very small piece of land and produce enough to feed our­selves and even for export.

“We have lots of land in this coun­try. We can even donate some of it to the Mozambicans and Zambians.

“The challenge is that we are using ancient methods of farming and the current land reform exercise will cause another land revolution unless we change the method of land tenure,” he said.

Mr Tsvangirai, whose party is on record promising to return land to white former farmers, did not elabo­rate on what he meant by ‘‘another land revolution’’.

The land issue was also the basis of a protracted liberation war. The field day at Mr Tsvangirai’s homestead drew diplomats from the United States of America, Britain and other Euro­pean countries. The Japanese Ambassador was also present.

Mr Tsvangirai condemned Govern­ment’s farm input support scheme say­ing it was high time com­munal farm­ers sourced their own seed and fer­tiliser.
 

He said previous efforts by Govern­ment to assist farmers had not trans­lated into bumper harvests.

“We gave you inputs before and nothing came out of it. Until when should Government continue spoon feeding you?

“We must give you fishing rods, not fish. The challenge we have is not about land ownership but productiv­ity,” Mr Tsvangirai said.

Ironically, a few minutes later, Mr Tsvangirai donated 10kg seed maize and 25kg of fertiliser packs per house­hold to villagers who attended the event.
 

His remarks contradicted those of his deputy agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo who blamed the poor harvest the nation experienced on the effects of climate change.

Addressing the same gathering, Deputy Minister Moyo said: “Over the years Government has committed more resources to agriculture but it has not been matched by increasing yields.

“We are not seeing increased har­vests because of climate change which is affecting harvest leading to food insecurity in most households throughout the country.”

He said the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Devel­opment was putting in place measures designed to ensure food security and these included consideration for drip irrigation.

“Our greatest challenge therefore Mr Prime Minister as a Government is how we can promote this system (drip irrigation) to cover the whole country.
 

This technology can trans­form the agriculture sector in Zim­babwe,” deputy minister Moyo said.

Meanwhile some women in Buhera are up in arms with Mr Tsvangirai whom they accused of abusing his powers to exploit defenceless females.
 

The elderly women in Buhera have voiced their dismay over Mr Tsvangi­rai’s bed hopping attitude which has seen him fighting court battles with many women whom he dumped after either impregnating them or making false promises.

According to ZTV news the Buhera women say women from across the country should join hands and dis­own Mr Tsvangirai for his misdeeds.

“Is that democracy when a woman’s dignity is destroyed by Tsvangirai? We are tired of the Prime Minister’s antics of humiliating women,” said one eld­erly woman in Humanikwa Village where Tsvangirai hails from.

“How can we say we have a Prime Minister when all he does is sleep with any woman he can lay his hands on? Women should unite against this male chauvinist,” said another villager in the area.

The sentiments by the Buhera women follow Mr Tsvangirai’s sex escapades which have seen him dat­ing, impregnating and divorcing sev­eral women since the death of his wife Susan in a car accident in 2009.


ZANU PF, as we have come to expect, will pedal another line, claiming that the second land revolution will see Tsvangirai giving the land back to the whites.

Trust me, this will not happen.

But we may see the land that wrongly lies with ZANU PF being given, as originally promised, to the ‘landless blacks’.

-o00o-

As we have seen so many times in the past, if ZANU PF hands anything out, it is only to the loyalists and not to the normal Zimbabwean struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis.

I am glad that this sort of report makes the internet as it all adds to the story that Mugabe and his minions are self-serving egoists.

President Robert Mugabe’s $20 million agricultural inputs scheme - a project widely seen as a vote-buying gimmick - is turning out to be his biggest setback in the drive to lure new voters.

The programme, launched at the Zanu PF headquarters early this month, roared into life last week in most provinces where it has been hijacked by party office bearers and marauding bands of youths.

In the process the rank and file of the party have been sidelined.

A groundswell of discontent is building among ordinary villagers and farmers who feel alienated after top Zanu PF officials who have hijacked the distribution snubbed them.

Chaos and politicisation has hit the $20 million project, whose handling by Zanu PF leaders on the grassroots level has left potential voters angry dealing a blow to the 88-year-old’s bid to retain existing voters and win new supporters.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the scheme was for Zanu PF cadres only, confirming the disgruntlement among impoverished villagers who had hoped the Mugabe scheme could pull them out of their situation.

“The presidential inputs scheme is a Zanu PF programme that is meant to benefit members of the party,” said Gumbo.

“It is not a government programme and I do not see why anybody who is not a member of the party should feel aggrieved,” Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday.

In areas such as Manicaland’s Mutare North constituency, villagers say the abuse linked to Mugabe’s input scheme has put them off, adding the project has done little to win their hearts.

In villages and resettlement areas such as Mukuni South, Nyamajura and Dora, villagers were seething with anger after only a handful of Zanu PF office bearers received between 10 to 15kg of maize seed last week.

“The President will get votes from those few people receiving the seed since the rest of us are being snubbed,” said a traditional leader who refused to be named.

He said he travelled to Zumbare Growth Point on Thursday where the inputs were being distributed only to be told off.

“Only a few people in Zanu PF’s books were given the seed. Others were told to wait for another consignment. The scheme has deepened resentment for Zanu PF. People are wondering why Zanu PF leaders are creating this hostility if they want Mugabe to win. Pamwe ndiro bhora musango racho (Maybe it is a way of undermining Mugabe’s popularity),”

Phillip Jasintu, the MDC deputy youth chairperson for Mutare North constituency, said even resettled farmers known for their allegiance to Zanu PF failed to benefit when seed was distributed at Nyamajura Community Hall on Thursday.

“It was only for the Zanu PF at heart. No one else was considered. In fact some farmers were being chided for demanding the seed when they have not been attending party meetings,” he said.

Gorden Kanetsa of Chikuni Village said many villagers were put off after being snubbed from the project last year.

“We did not bother to pursue it because last year during the distribution held at Dora Secondary School, we were told it was for Zanu PF people only. We will meet at the ballot,” said Kanetsa.

Mugabe is still reeling following a devastating 2008 first round defeat to veteran trade unionist and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

A subsequent bloody run-off election in which hundreds lost their lives was condemned at home and abroad with Mugabe’s erstwhile comrades in the region ditching the veteran Zimbabwean strongman.

Mugabe, at the helm of the country since independence from Britain 32 years ago, sheepishly agreed to form a coalition government with his arch foe,that is expected to pave way for an uncontested election expected next year.

MDC Mashonaland West chairperson Japhet Karemba told the Daily News that non-Zanu PF members and the elderly were being turned away.

“They should not lie to Zimbabweans that it is for every citizen. It is a Zanu PF vote buying project because Zanu PF chairpersons are in-charge of the distribution and our people are being turned away. Those that are not active members of Zanu PF are being turned away or they do not even know about the programme at all,” Karemba said.

Reports from Manicaland and Mashonaland Central where Mugabe personally launched the scheme, indicated that most of the committees set up to manage the distribution of the inputs are members of Zanu PF amid accusations of corruption and nepotism.

Interestingly Zanu PF this week deployed politburo members to drum up support and activate its election machinery ahead of a party conference to be held in Gweru next month.

Zanu PF’s political life hinges on winning the next elections with commentators saying a loss would signal the demise of the once mighty political institution as happened to United National Independence Party in Zambia and Kamuzu Banda’s Malawi Congress Party.


It angers me that a country that was once self sufficient in food now limits agricultural inputs to only those who ally themselves with Mugabe’s party. The right to eat should not be dictated by one’s political affiliations.

-o00o-

I find this objectionable. During the Second World War, Jewish homes and businesses – and then the people themselves - were daubed with the Star of David and ostracised from the communities.

What is so different from this? Apart from the fact that ZANU PF members take an almost perverse pleasure in having themselves identified in this manner.

ZANU PF says it will mark its members’ houses with stickers during the coming elections, as was done during the last census, for easy identification of its supporters.

Addressing a Zanu PF inter-district meeting held at Masvingo Teachers’ College last week, Masvingo provincial party chairman, Lovemore Matuke said it was mandatory for every supporter to have the sticker for “easy identification”.

“You are supposed to have stickers at every household so that we identify you,” said Matuke. “Our real supporters should have them wedged at their places. If you do not have that sticker at your place, you will be skipped,” he said.

Sources said those with stickers on their doors would get freebies from Zanu PF as the party dishes out goodies in return for votes ahead of next year’s elections.

The party has in the past used food and agricultural inputs to lure voters.

But there are also fears that the stickers would be used to identify people who do not support Zanu PF, who would then be victimised during the elections.

It could not be established if the stickers would be put at every Zanu PF supporter’s house countrywide.

This identification system brings back the sad memories of the run-up to the June 27 2008 Presidential run-off elections, where scores of people were murdered, tortured while others were displaced by Zanu PF militia.

The MDC-T has said at least 500 of its supporters were murdered during the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF youths in Mashonaland West province have resolved to demand a quota of seats allocated in the coming elections, saying they had been sidelined for a long time.

This was one of the resolutions they came up with at a provincial youth conference last week in Kadoma.

The youths accused the party’s leadership of trying to side-line them by putting a regulation that bars members with less than five consecutive years in the party from contesting Primary elections.

Zanu PF’s national youth political commissariat, Mike Gava said there were no sacred cows this time around as the youth would contest any constituency as long as they had the capacity.

“The youth are going to challenge in every constituency, unlike previously when the youth were barred from contesting those regarded as seniors in the party,” said Gava.

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said there was nothing wrong with their youth aspiring for higher offices, as long as they could measure up to the standard.

“There is nothing wrong with our youth aspiring to be MPs or councillors, as long as they are competent and capable of delivering. That is the reason we as a party are in the process of empowering them,” said Gumbo.


The problem that Zimbabweans will have is that if the yputh is involved, one word from them and somebody can be wrongly identified as not being ZANU PF and this is normally followed by a beating or worse.

Mugabe makes it too easy for the country to lose the rule of law.

-o00o-

If this is the reaction to stories from 2008, what would the reaction be if the stories were coming from the Gukurahundi?

Four senior female members of the coalition government political parties were on Thursday left sobbing after listening to testimonies of several women raped during the 2008 elections.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Co- Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone, Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) co-chairpersons Thabitha Khumalo and Oppah Muchinguri could not hold back tears when the women narrated their ordeals at a meeting organised by a local NGO to expose policy makers to violence against women.

The four women politicians, seated next to each other could be seen battling to hold back tears.

The testimonies by the women, some of whom broke down while testifying, were so touching that it elicited angry responses from the women.

Makone said she will work to make sure that the perpetrators of the acts of violence against the women are brought to book.

“These people are not different from murderers they must stay in jail that’s where they belong. I don’t think there is any political party that will send anyone to and rape on its behalf. Raping someone is like killing them and it should not be allowed to happen in Zimbabwe,” said Makone.

Khupe said she will approach President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to end sexual violence against women.

“I will make sure that the President and Prime Minister know about your problems,” said Khupe.

Khumalo said perpetrators must be arrested and punished severely.

Muchinguri said it was sad that “rape is being used as a political tool” against women in politics.

The testimonies also touched Chief Charumbira who immediately called for the removal of bail on any rape suspect.

“I don’t understand why rape suspects should be given bail. I don’t understand why some rape convicts should be given 5 years, 10 years and others 57 years. Rape is rape and if it means one should get 57 years let that be the standard,” he said.

Perpetrators of the 2008 election violence have never been brought to book and victims of violence have not received any compensation.


In Zimbabwe, if you are ZANU PF and you commit a crime, then you are not arrested or charged. If you are MDC and do not commit a crime, you are arrested, charged and held without bail for months.

Inexcusable.

-o00o-

Take care.

‘debvhu

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