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Archive for the 'Elections 2008' Category

Let our forces combine (NOT!)

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 by Marko Phiri

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that Dumiso Dabengwa, a man who I, along many others, respect a lot, said he had invited Welshman Ncube to lead Zapu!

Zapu of course being a project that has not hidden that its existence is informed by politics of the marginalization of Matebeleland by Zanu PF since independence in 1980.

It is one of those outfits which while having legitimate concerns about how Matebeleland has been treated by Zanu PF bigoted hegemony in the past 33 years, it has failed to sell this dream of self-determination to likewise embittered Mthwakazians.

The massive inroads Welshman Ncube’s MDC has made in the region and indeed across the country is just but testimony that regional parties still have a long way to go as far as stirring national loyalties are concerned.

And that’s exactly why Ncube has vehemently dismissed all claims that his is a regional party (he was referred by Mr. Prime Minister rather unflatteringly as a “village politician”) and will not contest for any lesser position other than President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

So when Dabengwa is quoted as inviting Ncube to join forces with Zapu it raises questions about how politicians seek to participate and sneak into national politics and what constituencies they purport represent.

It has become an increasingly manifest trait that while being aware of their waning political fortunes, or indeed their irrelevance to national discourse, some have seen it fit to ride on the backs of what are seen as popular political movements, and a guy like Simba Makoni quickly comes to mind.

He was himself endorsed by Zapu during the 2008 elections, but their relationship is not being mentioned this year, and the two, Mavambo and Zapu, are instead aligning themselves to parties that have established themselves as formidable challengers to the two-party politics Zimbabwe has come to know.

It is curious then how these parties seek to participate in moving the country forward especially at this juncture where everyone is seeing this as yet another opportunity to end Zanu PF presence on Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

Recipe for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 by Bev Clark

Check out a recipe for free and fair elections published on Kalabash – from the streets to the web. Ingredients include:

4 tablespoons of dignity
A pinch of pride in Zimbabwe and the people outside of party politics
Half a cup of democratic processes
A splashing of reflection on the last decade
An ounce of foresight

Arrogance of the dictatorship of Zanu PF

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Monday, July 1st, 2013 by Marko Phiri

This morning I heard a guy say “Ah, that Chris Mutsvangwa is a hard headed fellow.” Pressed by a colleague who asked “What has Mutsvangwa done this time,” the first fellow simply continued, “Ah, he is just impossible!”

I sensed he was referring to Mutsvangwa’s performance at the SAPES Trust public meeting where the apoplectic Cde stormed out during proceedings because the audience and panelists did not take kindly to his comments that all of them should be grateful to Zanu PF for giving them anything from ministerial jobs to the freedom they presently enjoy.

The arrogance was galling.

It was classic Mutsvangwa having given the same condescending remarks live on national television during a debate on the constitution where panelists included Qhubekani Moyo (MDC-N), Jessie Majome (MDC-T), Blessing Vava and Job Sikhala.

Mutsvangwa simply dismissed them, telling them that they should be grateful to Zanu PF for giving them free university education, thank Zanu PF for ending white minority, else they would still be serfs in a white man’s world.

At the SAPES public meeting, the arrogance Mutsvangwa portrayed, and what incensed the guy I referred to above, only highlights Zanu PF’s perverted sense of entitlement and “ownership” of the country and its people.

You cannot own people as if you are some feudal lord, but then the dictatorship of Zanu PF only highlights that indeed the party is steeped in the feudalism of yore where it continues to see everyone as vassals!

How many times have you heard President Mugabe say “my people?”

I certainly ain’t anyone’s person! God’s YES’s, man’s NO!

But then good thing for the SAPES meeting that Paul Themba Nyathi was there to remind Mutsvangwa that he (Nyathi) fought for the country and he certainly ain’t Zanu PF!

There are many lessons to be drawn for Zanu PF arrogance. And these lessons are what the party itself will learn rather painfully!

Yesterday a friend made a remark that puts the coming polls into perspective.

He said surely Mugabe knows he is no longer wanted by the people of Zimbabwe, and even if he loses, he may still simply refuse to accept defeat.

I said, well, hasn’t that happened before?

And with a guy like Mutsvangwa fighting from Mugabe’s corner, we could sure still have a long way to go before we get to the Zimbabwe we want.

And again it does magnify the folly of these rushed polls, because Mutsvangwa and other so-called Zanu PF hawks seem to know they hold the four aces, and these are not hidden anymore! What arrogance.

It’s that man again, Oh my god!

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Friday, June 28th, 2013 by Marko Phiri

Simba Makoni is not enigmatic. He apparently can be read like an open book. And this is the guy whose presidential ambitions President Mugabe once dismissed, calling the former finance Minister a “political prostitute.”

Recall that early this year, Makoni did invite Mugabe into a coalition which many are still trying to figure out how it was going to work.

Sometimes Simba Makoni does make statements that could easily have come from Idi Dada Amin who famously said “Sometimes people mistake the way I talk for what I am thinking.”

Now he has withdrawn from the presidential race, and following accusations in the past that he was a spoiler effectively stealing victory from Morgan Tsvangirai’s mouth, his latest proclamation that he is willing to work with the same people he only yesterday said were worse than Robert Mugabe makes his chameleon persona something those he seeks to work with must certainly watch.

Makoni does give meaning to the aphorism “This is quite a game, politics. There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.”

One does not need to use language borrowed from the Zanu PF hate speech lexicon, but can this guy be trusted?

Someone tweeted yesterday after Makoni made his BREAKING NEWS announcement that “His family, his only supporters must be disappointed!”

Some would say Makoni is looking for relevance, but that should not sway Zimbabweans from the bigger picture, and that is a tolerant Zimbabwe of which Zanu PF has been the antithesis.

Crushing stones for a living

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Thursday, June 27th, 2013 by Lenard Kamwendo

The economic crunch experienced in 2008 left many young people jobless as industries closed and relocated to other regional countries. The situation today isn’t much changed. One town reeling under the effects is Chitungwiza, where young people have not been spared. Some have resorted to vending to earn a living, but even vending is now so crowded. Chitungwiza is a dormitory town and almost 80% of people who live in this town commute to Harare for work. Trading is now the major source of income for those who can’t commute to Harare. Most young people found here are college graduates, bricklayers or traders.  A few who still have the energy have resorted to stone crushing to earn a living. This type of work is labor intensive. They use manual labor to crush big rocks to produce ¾ stones, which can be used as concrete for buildings. A ready market for these stones is already there because of new houses being constructed in Chitungwiza.

The stone crushers work on a small open space which council had abandoned because of the huge rocks, which made it difficult to put structures there.

A day starts with the burning of the rocks till they start showing signs of cracking. Some heavy pounding with big hammers follows resulting in the rocks peeling off into small chunks easy to crush using hammers. This type of work is very dangerous and one can lose a limb or an eye from the flying rock chips from the hammers.

Some of the stone crushers are skilled first class artisans in carpentry and some are builders. They got retrenched when the economy went up side down. Left without an alternative, stone crushing is now their only source of income. To make up a load these young men have to crush an average of 60 wheelbarrows worth of rock valued at US$150.

Working a normal day shift from 8am to around 4pm these young men feel at home when they are doing their work. Like one of them said, “I am earning an honest living and will only leave the quarry site when all the rocks have been cleared.” Most of them are married and they can afford to pay rents and buy food for their families.

I tried my hand on a few rocks but it was like hitting steel with steel, they even laughed at me saying I was weak. I was told with time they got used to the pain and they can crush stones every day.

Stone crushing one

Stone crushing

Stone crushing two

Stone crushing 3

BEWARE Ye Who Dare The Oligarchs

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Monday, June 24th, 2013 by Marko Phiri

A country whose politics makes a tradition of tragic deaths through suspicious automobile accidents can only have very little to claim as an “open society.”

Zimbabwe’s roads after independence are littered with deaths of prominent individuals who everyone knows had become a pain in the ass of the oligarchs. These were individuals expressing their version of the truth as opposed to the “official” line peddled by spin doctors and apologists of the political establishment. The dead men’s crusades would be perfectly in order in any country that is not North Korea.

That this continues to happen long after independence where Africa’s liberation struggle was short-circuited and chaos-riddled by ideological wars defined by the U.S.S.R and the U.S.A and went on to claim anyone from Patrice Lumumba to Amílcar Cabral to Thomas Sankara, to Zimbabwe’s own revolution that ate its own children from Josiah Magama Tongogara to Sydney Malunga points to a political tradition that is inimical to the very ideals the “new democrats” purport to espouse.

In Zimbabwe no accident that claims a prominent politician is an accident at all. It is just one of those things we have come to accept.

What is disturbing is that despite this, it still remains the chosen modus operandi of eliminating perceived opponents.

This cannot be belaboured here, yet the impunity is troubling.

Small wonder that many people here await the day not of healing political wounds but a day of retribution where those fingered in these acts of political assassination will have their testicles squeezed in the people’s angry court.

That Zimbabweans have an “insider” tipping prominent individuals that they are targets of assassination only makes this more disturbing because apparently there is very little or nothing these people can do to avoid what is increasingly their inevitable demise.

It’s only recently that one “powerful” Zanu PF don said of Energy Mutodi’s claim that the don wanted Mutodi killed: “If I wanted him (Mutodi) killed do you think he would still be alive?”