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”.
Watch: South Africans give notice to foreigners to leave SA before June 16
With no sign of economic hardships disappearing in Zimbabwe, those who have escaped to South Africa are living in fear as locals have threatened to chase them if they don’t leave on their own accord.
Warnings of an operation to get South Africa rid of foreign nationals on the 16th of June continue to circulate.
Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing the ogarnisers of the operation dubbed, OPERATION DUDULA serving seven day notices to some foreign nationals to vacate the country.
WE WILL BE REMOVING ALL ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS BY FORCE!!!
SIDUDULA INSIDE SHOPS AND HAWKERS
IF YOU ARE OPERATING ILLEGALLY YOU BETTER PACK AND GO BEFORE 16 JUNE 2021!!!
– reads the notice.
While the poster specifies that illegal foreigners will be targeted it however does not state that documented ones will be spared.
Such attacks, as occurred before, ended up targeting all immigrants regardless of their status.
Dudula which means “push” brings horrific and sad memories of xenophobic attacks that happened in the country in 2015. Many people were killed, some burnt alive, while some were left homeless as their homes were destroyed.
Just like it happened before, the South African Police Services (SAPS) ignored warnings of imminent attacks on immigrants which then led to the bloodshed.
Similarly, at this point, the SAPS or any government have not said anything about the threats on foreign citizens in their country.
In one of the videos circulating online, the pro Dudula Operation people can be heard blaming the loadshedding on illegal connections supposedly done by foreign nationals.
— izim (@izim_og) June 13, 2021
Local truck drivers have been at loggerheads with their foreign counterparts accusing them of stealing their jobs and accepting low wages and inhuman working conditions.
The situation has left the Zimbabwean and other foreign drivers prone to abuse even when they are legally in the country.
Members of a local drivers organisation, well known for violent attacks on drivers and trucks, have been targeting foreign drivers sjamboking them while recording videos which are then spread online.
They do this to humiliate their victims and instill fear on their colleagues.
It's now a game, playing with a man's feelings. So humiliating you may never know how the next victim will respond. This was at Majuba powerstation over the weekend. @SAPoliceService @Dotransport @dewamavhinga @hrw pic.twitter.com/nxKlMfShGT
— SA Trucker (@rsa_trucker) June 7, 2021
No reports of arrest of the perpetrators have been made yet.
For the Zimbabweans and other foreigners in the country, it remains to be seen if they will still call South Africa home after the June 16 2021.
The date concides with South Africa’s youth day when they commemorate the heroics of the youths of 1976 who were massacred by the army after revolting against apartheid.
Fraudster arrested after swipping for $390 000 groceries
A fraudster has been arrested after he swiped for groceries worth more than $398 000 at OK Supermarket in Hwange using a bank card that had been tampered with.
The man, Brian Pedzisa of Chitungwiza, was arrested on Thursday and is suspected to be among a gang of people who have been using cloned cards and other bank card related tactics to con various retail shops across the country.
Detectives on Thursday pounced on Pedzisa at the supermarket, moments after he was about to get out after swiping for groceries worth $396 384.
Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident and said police were now looking for two other people linked to the sca
“On 10 June 2021 a gang of three fraudsters tried to defraud OK Hwange Supermarket of groceries worth $396 384.
One of the fraudsters successfully used an electronic Visa card to make purchases but before he could make off he was arrested by a team of watchful detectives who were working on a tip-off. Upon being interviewed the suspect revealed that he was working with two other accomplices who are still at large,” said Insp Banda.
He said the gang had used the same strategy to defraud OK Mart Victoria Falls of an undisclosed amount in groceries. He appealed to members of the public to assist with information leading to their arrest.
“The two accomplices are on the run anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of these two criminals can report at the nearest police station,” said Insp Banda.
He called on shop owners to enhance security to avoid such incidents which were on the rise in the country.
“As police we would like to implore shop owners to enhance security at their premises through use of alarm systems and Closed Circuit Television. Retailers should examine electronic cards and do necessary verifications before processing of electronic transactions. For the record some fraudsters misrepresent themselves as humanitarian workers.”
According to sources privy to the incident, the gang would approach the supermarkets seeking a quotation for groceries pretending that the transaction wanted would be effected from a nostro account. Later one of the gang members would return to make purchases using a Visa card whose microchip would have been tampered with. Sunday News
Gutu Inter-Africa bus and Honda Fit accident victims all from same family
GUTU- Police has announced names of the Gutu accident victims who were involved in a Honda Fit – Bus collision along the Gutu- Chivhu Highway yesterday.
The five were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with an Inter-Africa Bus near Matizha Business Centre in Gutu.
National Police Spokesperson Insp Paul Nyathi announced the names of the deceased family members who were travelling from Harare as Francis Chagweda (33)the driver, Mavis Chagweda (61), Lloyd Chagweda (31), Viola Chagweda (35) and Keresensia Mapaaona (28).
According to a family member, Oscar Chagweda the now deceased were travelling to Chiwara in Gutu for a family function when the tragedy happened.
An eyewitness told I ZIM that the accident occured after the Inter-Africa bus tried to overtake another bus. “It then encroached onto the lane of the oncoming Honda fit which swerved to avoid collision,” said the witness.
The Honda fit reportedly swerved off the road but the bus did the same resulting in the head on collision.
Only one person from the car survived the horific accident and was taken to Matizha clinic before she was transferred to Gutu Rural Hospital for treatment.
During the covid-19 induced Lockdown, government banned private kombis allowing only those registered under ZUPCO to operate resulting in little non-commercial vehicles overloading passengers.
Yesterday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Health and Child Care Minister announced another Covid -19 regulations which gave a waiver to public transport operators.
However, the transport sector is also now dominated by “mushikashika” vehicles some of which include Toyota Wish and Honda fit vehicles who have the capacity to carry 4 or 5 passengers , however some of these vehicles end up carrying as many as nine passengers.