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Zimbabwe Is Having A Political Showdown During The Corona Shutdown

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As the world is grappling with the Corona pandemic, Zimbabwe, an economically bedridden country which was once the bread basket of Africa has its political landscape filled with drama of political power struggles whose episodes even extend into the court galleries.

At the forefront is the battle of leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which was headed by the late former Premier of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai but was now subject to contention between Nelson Chamisa and ThokozaniKhupe.

Chamisa who claims to be the winner in the country’s last presidential elections under the MDC Alliance ticket is the main challenger to the Mnangagwa led government while Khupeheaded the MDC-T which garnered 45 626 votes in the presidential race which had millions of voters.

With Zimbabwe’s Corona linked shutdown, many businesses were instructed to close with the exception of essential services providers, thus the courts were busy with the matter and later politicians had to brave the pandemic and hold press conferences about the court verdict.

Even though she does not have a strong mainstream political backing from the majority of ordinary card carrying members of the whole MDC movement, Khupe who enjoys a cordial political relationship with the ZANU Pf led government claimed to be the rightful leader and won in the court of Law.

With typical treachery, deception, rebellion and betrayal which is common in most power struggles, the Chamisa led group is faced with a serious test of survival as key elements that have seemingly stood as allies to the youthful leader are proving to be having Khupe’s back.

Some politically active Professors like Welshman Ncube and Jonathan Moyo have stood on Chamisa’s side in this struggleand labelled the court decision as a non-event.

“The lie that whomever is the President of the MDCT is President or leader of the MDC Alliance is being propagated by desperate charlatans. Clause 3.1 of the Alliance agreement only provided that Tsvangirai would be the Alliance Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections. 

…In the event of the unavailability of Tsvangirai the Alliance agreement provided that the MDCT would nominate the Presidential candidate, subject to the approval of Alliance partners. Chamisa was so nominated and approved.”Welshman Ncube tweeted on the 1st of April 2020

Other commentators argue that Khupe’s leadership of the MDC based on the technicalities of the court victory does not translate to winning the hearts of the electorate, most which are staunch supporters of Nelson Chamisa.

The power struggle in the MDC has even sucked Mnangagwa’sZanu Pf as the kingpin of the MDC power struggles in order to dilute and weaken Chamisa’s rise against the incumbent president of the country as alleged by David Coltart.

On the 31st of March 2020 after the judgement, David Coltartwho is the MDC Treasurer blamed Mnangagwa for infiltration of his party and said that those behind such schemes will be harshly judged by history.

“The only good thing about today’s judgement is that it lays bare once and for all who had infiltrated the #MDC. Their identities are all now known, working as theyare hand in glove with the Mnangagwa regime. History will judge them harshly. #Zimbabwe” Coltart said.

Jonathan Moyo took a dig at the court for their judgment in the matter and accused people like Douglas Mwonzora of betrayal and power mongering.

“It’s unreasonable & absurd in the extreme for a court to find, as the Supreme Court did in the Khupe matter, that the case is water under the bridge & moot; but rule that it will construct a new bridge in the vain hope of recovering the spilled water to give life to a moot cause! 

…It is a pity that @DMwonzora sees things in terms of enemies and not in terms of the truth. Mwonzora has been reaching out to #Zanu Pf & the #CIOs to get support for the leadership of the @mdczimbabwe for a long time. He knows I know & have proof because he approached me directly!”Moyo said on Twitter.

Zimbabwe

Zanu Pf attacks Chin’ono over Covid-19 scandal

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By Bloom Tizora

Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono is under fire from ruling party Zanu Pf. In a statement today Zanu Pf spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa said, “ZanuPf, has noted with concern, the systematic, well-choreographed and sponsored attacks on the integrity of First Family by unscrupulous characters such as Hopewell Chin’ono this time targeting the President’s son (Collins Mnangagwa)”.

Collins is linked to Delish Nguwaya of Drax International the company being used to loot the Zimbabwe State through Covid-19 procurements according to Chin’ono.

After the ZanuPf press conference, Chin’ono said, “My life is in danger after ZanuPf attacked me personally through their spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa accusing me of targeting the Mnangagwa family”.
” ZanuPf should not intimidate journalists using fear, I will not be cowed from saying the truth”, he said.

Since taking power from Robert Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa family has been accused of corruption by many people.

#IamUnscrupulousLikeHopewell

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OPEN LETTER TO COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE

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Dear CGP Godwin Matanga Sir,

I address you, not because I am a former policeman but as a patriotic and peace-loving Zimbabwean. I have decided not to use the proper channel to address you since I am in pain and a great shock. As enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Police Service must protect and secure the lives of people living in the country. And it should also maintain law and order.

I have read the gruesome murder of an innocent civilian Paul Munakopa by our police officers from Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo. Mr. Munakopa died of injuries after officers opened fire at his vehicle on Saturday 23 May 2020. It pains me to see this kind of police brutality happening daily to my fellow citizens.

Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is loud and clear ‘RIGHT TO LIFE’. As told by Mr. Munakopa’s wife he was not armed or possession of any weapon. It’s now over a week you have done nothing to bring the culprit to book. Look at what is happening in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States of America last week, a policeman killed an unarmed man, George Floyd. In less than 48 hours the cop was fired from police service and arrested for third-degree murder. The same should happen to the late Paul case here in Zimbabwe.

A fortnight ago three female opposition activists were arrested for staging an illegal demonstration in Harare. The activists were abducted and sexually assaulted whilst in police custody. As a former policeman, I am aware sir, every accused person in police custody is subject to booking and every occurrence at a police station is recorded in the Occurrence Book. What happened to these three ladies? I am praying for your immediate resignation from the Police Service since you do not deserve to lead such a vital government department. It’s far much better to concentrate on farming at your farm. We are sick and of human abuse by Zimbabwe security agents.

Yours in pain

Bloom Tizora (Author of 2 books, blogger, writer and former Zimbabwe policeman)

Bloom Tizora is a Zimbabwean author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, security advisor, and travel writer. He is a former Zimbabwe Republic Police officer from 2004 until his time of resignation in 2012.

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More Than Public Relations Theatrics, Handling The Corona Virus Outbreak Demands Facts And The Truth

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The Coronavirus outbreak which according to official reports is believed and confirmed to have originated in China is a serious global tragedy with dire consequences to the wellbeing of the human race and thus serious informed and collective action is needed in order to tackle it.

Managing it effectively demands that people must be furnished with facts and the truth rather than the display of public relations theatrics which gives people fake assurances and false hope while the marauding epidemic continues to spread and kill people across the world.

This epidemic is real and its consequences are devastating; as such, like what China did, through urgent mass construction of facilities to contain and treat the virus, Africa and other continents must also use resources at their disposal to take rigorous and quick action.

In this context, one of the easiest and quickest ways to do so is to be factual in information reporting, be it on the number of casualties as well as on the health and safety mechanisms that can be adopted by the general public so that all stakeholders can make informed decisions.

In a recent disturbing case, the government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care confirmed attending to a suspected case of Coronavirus in which a woman from Mutare who had visited China died before getting to Wilkins Hospital but tested negative even though she had complained about shortness of breath.

Revelations by Hopewell Chin’ono, an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist has indicated that the said woman is actually a Chinese national and thus raising concern as to why the government had not reported as such in its statement.

While responding to update on the Corona Virus by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information and Publicity, Chin’ono said “Can you stop this nonsense @InfoMinZW of calling a Chinese national a Mutare woman. This was done to appease the Chinese at the cost of your own citizens knowing the truth! Coronavirus will affect anyone, so the silly idea of hiding identity is foolish. RESPECT your citizens!”

Cases and narratives of this nature raise panic and alarm among the citizenry especially when there have been similar instances of propaganda in the state machinery on other issues like Chinese Aid and proceeds of diamond mining etc. which are of critical importance to people’s welfare of Zimbabweans.

On contrast, a commendable approach of openness that was taken especially in the context of Africa is the quick announcement of a confirmed case and a narration of the related circumstances by the South African government on the 5th of March 2020 through the Ministry of Health.

In his correspondence to the press on the same date, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, said that “This media briefing is to ensure that the public is immediately kept abreast. A briefing will be held later after the parliamentary debate this evening to shed more light on this issue”.

More so, the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa further highlighted the importance of timely updates on the issue of Coronavirus to the public.

“So it’s now been confirmed that we have a person within our country who has tested positive to Corona Virus. We would like to applaud the capability of the NICD for having acted very quickly and swiftly and also having informed the Minister who immediately informed me. I informed him that he should go ahead and make the news public in parliament so that South Africans are immediately informed so as to avoid fake news spreading around the country…..” he said.

Even though statistics of confirmed cases in China itself are said to be going down, the spread of the Coronavirus has picked up in other countries with many confirmed cases in Italy and all its schools have been closed and around sixteen million of its citizens are now under quarantine.

According to a recent BBC News report; schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues across the country have been closed in Italy, a country which has recorded the largest number of confirmed cases in Europe, with the figure of 5 883 have been recorded by Saturday, the 7th of March.

Iran is also among other countries that have been seriously affected by the Coronavirus, with eight (8) percent of its members of parliament and even the vice president having tested positive to the epidemic, according to Australia’s Business Insider.

In the United States of America, there have been declarations of State of Emergencies in some areas including Washington County in order to contain the deadly Coronavirus according to an ABC News report by Morgan Windsor and Ivan Pereira on 2 March 2020.

Besides killing people, the spread of the Coronavirus has brought along many other inconveniences with it including international trade and the global stock market having been badly affected. 

As such, without facts and the truth, it will take longer to contain the outbreak since unsuspecting people across the world will succumb to it without taking precautions and thus causing further mayhem across the globe.

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