HARARE – Veterans of the country’s liberation struggle are making overtures to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to work with President Emmerson Mnangagwa through a yet to-be-tabled arrangement that might result in the postponement of general elections, the Daily News can report.
Although Mnangagwa has announced that the country would go to elections no later than July, his allies are engaged in behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to strike a “confidence-building” arrangement with the MDC leader in the hope of breathing life into the country’s tottering economy.
There is a strong feeling among Mnangagwa’s allies — among them ex-combatants — that even though the world has warmed up to the new dispensation which swept to power late last year through a “soft coup”, the economy continues to be on a free-fall due to lack of investor confidence and chronic polarisation, among major political actors.
Zanu PF politburo member and Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (Znlwva) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda told the Daily News yesterday that they would want ordinary people to guide them on the sort of future they would want to see in the former British colony.
He said the outcome of their consultations would form the basis of Znlwva’s engagement with Mnangagwa.
A fearless group that campaigned for Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power, Znlwva is scheduled to hold a massive rally at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield to afford concerned citizens a platform to air their views.
Matemadanda said if people say they want Tsvangirai to be part of the new dispensation, theirs would be to convey the message to Mnangagwa, who is on record saying “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
After organising a mega demonstration on November 18 where thousands of people called for the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe, Znlwva wants to go back to the people to hear their views on a government they want.
Matemadanda acknowledged that the new dispensation could not have been there without the participation of the multitudes of the people that took to the streets to
force Mugabe out.
“It is the people, including those in the opposition, who made this come true. The opposition came first even before Zanu PF; they came in full force, and I salute the
people of Zimbabwe as a whole,” said Matemadanda.
“As war veterans in the association, we will call those people again to the Zimbabwe Grounds to say thank you and we would also want to say thank you for the role you
played and we want to ask the people on the way forward as Zimbabwe,” he added, without giving a date on which the rally would be staged.
Znlwva said for their input to be useful, people should be open in their assessment of the new government, adding that the visit by Mnangagwa to Tsvangirai’s home this month fits into the narrative of the new Zimbabwe they wish to see “where people work together”.
“We want the people of Zimbabwe to tell us who they think is the best man for the job and who do they want to work with the president. If people say they want Tsvangirai, then that is what we will take,” said Matemadanda.
He said Tsvangirai has been in the trenches long before those in Zanu PF became alive to the need to root out Mugabe’s dictatorship, and he has so many people who follow him.
“We hope that his people will join us and we will listen to their demands on the way forward. If the people want him (Tsvangirai) in government, then we will take the same message. Remember people demonstrated and said they wanted ED even after he had been fired and we made sure he returned because that is what people wanted”.
When Mnangagwa ascended to the throne last month — riding on the coattails of the military — there was a universal expectation that he would form a government of national unity with Tsvangirai and other figures in the opposition.
However, talks between the parties collapsed, forcing the Zanu PF leader to go it alone.
Despite the collapse of the talks, Mnangagwa has been sending positive signals to Tsvangirai.
Early this month, he visited the ailing opposition leader at his Highlands home in Harare—in a gesture that warmed the hearts of many.
It was during the visit that Mnangagwa promised to look into Tsvangirai’s pension and offered to assist him with his medical bills.
Zimbabweans still have fond memories of the inclusive government era when the country experienced economic growth for the first time in years, with prices falling.
The relief ended when Mugabe forced the liquidation of the unity government in 2013 so that Zanu PF could go it alone.
Thereafter, Zanu PF’s desperate efforts to jump-start the country’s economy have failed with public anger against government swelling.
Even after the change of guard at Munhumutapa Building, Zanu PF has found the going tough on the economic front with prices of basic commodities shooting through the roof.
Despite Mnangagwa crying hoarse to lure investors, the situation closely mirrors the days of Mugabe when life for ordinary Zimbabweans was near unbearable.
To turn around the situation, there are forces in both Zanu PF and the MDC that believe that confidence has been the missing link in their efforts to resuscitate the economy, which can be regained once the major political parties start to work together.
But that could mean delaying the elections by a minimum of two years.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, hinted recently that they could be a poll delay at the behest of Tsvangirai.
“Tsvangirai asked if we could delay elections, his reasons were couched on legalism. The president said there was need for a formal submission on the issues that needed attention so that they could be considered.
“What you need to understand is that the processes of communicating with government are different, you need formal legal submissions, then after the submissions are made, they are negotiated and we go to Parliament with an agreed position. What should be noted is that where there is consensus, reforms can be done in one day,” said Charamba.
But constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the only way elections could be postponed is through amending the Constitution.
“They can only circumvent the Constitution and postpone elections through an amendment and that could be illegal because they cannot rule through an amendment of the
Constitution. Such an amendment could be done through Parliament because it does not require a referendum. This Constitution is very weak,” said Madhuku.
While Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo could not be reached for comment, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News that they were always willing to work with war veterans and will take part in the indaba.
“The MDC has always respected war veterans as gallant sons and daughters of the soil. In fact, we strongly feel that war veterans haven’t been given due and adequate recognition by the government of the day,” said Gutu.
“These people are always treated unfairly and we just wonder why. Of course, we are ready, willing and prepared to actively participate in any discourse whose main agenda is to ensure the creation of a democratic, peaceful and progressive nation state in Zimbabwe”.
Legendary Footballer George Shaya Dies At Age 77
George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya, a five time Soccer Star of the Year and one of the most celebrated soccer legends has died.
He was 77.
Shaya died early on Tuesday morning at his home in Glen Norah A, Harare.
Shaya is among some of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers to have played for Dynamos FC and the Zimbabwe national team.
Popularly known as Mastermind, Shaya turned out for Dynamos during his playing days.
In his illustrious career, Shaya won the Soccer Star of the Year five times; 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977, a record which is still to be replicated by any player in history.
The Mastermind passed on barely two weeks after it was announced that a documentary of his legendary career, as one of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers, would be premiered.
At the time of his death, Shaya was walking with the aid of crutches after his left leg was amputated last year.
Chinese firm unveils US$20m Mining, Agric Loan Facility in Zimbabwe
Chinese firm, Lovol International Construction Machinery Group, has unveiled a US$20 million equipment loan facility to benefit youths and women in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Lovol, represented by its regional director for East and Southern Africa Mr Terry Song, signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) represented by its president Mr Mike Chimombe to provide mining and farming equipment, including tractors, electric tricycles, combine harvesters, planters, irrigation equipment, solar systems and electric cars.
The company showcased some of the machinery during the signing ceremony in Harare yesterday.
Mr Song said the company will be supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in growing the country’s economy in line with Vision 2030.
“We have the appetite to change the complexion of the economy and we realise that Zimbabweans have got a lot of potential and a missing link was the equipment. Hence we brought in the solution in terms of the equipment. The equipment that we have will certainly be able to give the solution. We have brought equipment that works for agriculture, mining and even road construction. These MoUs we have signed will go a long way in achieving vision 2030.
“Lovol is one of the biggest group in China. We have all kinds of equipment be it mining, agriculture, energy and green power as well. We intend to invest in Zimbabwe to complement Government’s efforts to achieve vision 2030 through capacitating the productive sectors of the country’s economy. Zimbabwe has abundant resources which are untapped, hence the need to bring the equipment to harness the vast mineral resources.”
Mr Terry said China was committed to make Zimbabwe an economic hub. “Together we can make Zimbabwe great.”
He also said that his company will also bring experts to Zimbabwe to service the machinery.
AAG sourced the equipment on behalf of the youths and women in mining and agriculture and will identify the particular individuals and groups who qualify for the equipment.
AAG vice president in charge of operations Mr Munyaradzi Kashambe said: “The signing of the MoU is in line with Vision 2030 .
“As the AAG we are of the strong conviction that the dream of an upper middle income economy by 2030 is indeed achievable earlier than that if we as Zimbabwe remain united and put all hands on deck and support our President. The AAG also believes in the potential of mining and agriculture as the backbone of our economy,” said Mr Kashambe.
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The coming in of Lovol is one of the fruits of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement thrust and the policy of ensuring Zimbabwe is open for business.
“Let us all support the President’s Vision 2030 and make Zimbabwe great as per his dream. We urge all entrepreneurs to take advantage of the unending opportunities which the Second Republic has unveiled across all sectors.
“Through this partnership the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023 is indeed achievable. This deal benefits all women, youths and every Zimbabwe who are serious about the country’s economic development and Vision 2030 in general.
“As the AAG we are thankful to the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa and will not leave any stone unturned in supporting the great vision he has for our country,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, AAG vice president for women and minorities Ms Anastancia Ndhlovu said the MOU was a game-changer so far as the empowerment of women, and girls and students was concerned.
“They can now access equipment and be active participants in the lucrative male dominated mining and agriculture sectors and so contribute to the country’s economic revival agenda in line with Vision 2030 and the NDS1. I urge all women and students to take advantage of this facility to set up or grow their businesses,” said Ms Ndhlovu.
Read the original article on The Herald.
Marange teen mother’s parents face arrest
POLICE yesterday said they had arrested Hatirarami Momberume, also known as Evans Momberume (26), following the alleged death of a 14-year-old minor on July 15 while giving birth at the Johane Marange Apostolic sect shrine in Mafararikwa, Manicaland.
Momberume is facing charges of rape or alternatively contravening section 70 of the code.
The police also said the minor’s parents were facing arrest for faking identity documents of their deceased daughter in a bid to conceal the crime.
The minor died after developing complications while giving birth at the shrine and the matter was concealed until early this month. According to police investigations, the deceased’s first name was Anna Machaya (15) although, she had been previously identified as Memory Machaya.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said that the deceased’s first name was Anna and not Memory as indicated in documents submitted by her parents.
Nyathi said girl’s parents sought to defeat the course of justice by submitting the birth certificate of deceased’s 22-year-old cousin, Memory in a vain attempt to protect the minor’s “rapist” husband Momberume.
Momberume was supposed to appear at Mutare Magistrates Court yesterday, but the matter was postponed to today.
Nyathi said police were pressing criminal charges against the deceased’s mother, Shy Mabika (36) and father Edmore Machaya (45) for obstructing the course of justice.
“Memory Machaya (22) is alive and is actually married to a man called Lameck Makonye alias Sigodhla (54) in Mhondoro. We want to tell Zimbabweans that the person who died is not Memory Machaya. The person who died is Anna Machaya. Memory is alive,” Nyathi said.
“It is clear they were hiding information and it is clear that they also produced fake documents in a bid to hide the death of Anna Machaya. Information that was being presented was now indicating as if Anna was born in 1999, meaning to say that the person by now is an adult, yet in actual fact, she was born in 2006 meaning to say by now she is 15 years old and was married off when she was a minor.
“The parents lied to the police that Anna Machaya was born on January 2, 1999. The mother went on to give police investigators a national identity card in a bid to prove that she was born on January 2, 1999. This was false. Investigations have revealed that the identity card produced to the police belonged to a namesake of the late minor, who is a daughter to Ernest Machaya. This is an uncle to the late Anna Machaya. It is through school records in Mhondoro that the police proved that the late Anna Machaya was born on July 5, 2006 to Edmore Machaya and Shy Mabika. The police have obtained the correct birth certificate copies in respect of Memory Machaya (22) and the late Anna Machaya (15). These are two different people.”
Nyathi appealed for more information on Johane Marange sect members marrying off minor children.
Machaya’s death triggered a global outcry from child rights defenders with the United Nations and several other non-governmental organisations calling on government to end child marriages. Yesterday, different girls from Johane Marange and Johane Masowe Apostolic sects pleaded with stakeholders during a virtual discussion by the Female Students Network to intervene and end early child marriages.
Apostolic sect member Moline Mukomawasha, a University of Zimbabwe student, opened up, saying she had witnessed several girls in the sect being married off.
“Sexual exploitation and the practice of cultural processes happen at apostolic sects, especially the Johane Marange sect,” Mukomawasha said.
“There is also the issue of the virginity tests which is done using unhygienic methods where fingers are inserted into a girl’s reproductive parts. Those that have lost their virginity are forced into marriage with the people that would have impregnated them.”
She said some young girls fell prey to older men during prayer sessions held at the shrines.