Implicating President’s children meant to taint Tsvangirai name

Luke Tamborinyoka

We note with concern that the State-media has been unrelenting in its plot to malign and soil the Tsvangirai name through a smear campaign implicating the MDC leader’s children in trumped-up charges of corruption.

The false story in the latest issue of The Sunday Mail implicating President Morgan Tsvangirai’s daughter, Vimbai, and her husband, Batsirai, fits snugly into a well-orchestrated plot to tarnish the Tsvangirai name ahead of the next election. The newspaper lies, with neither shame nor compunction, that Vimbai and her husband were corruptly awarded a tender to supply water chemicals and were paid by the Harare City council.

For the record, no such tender was awarded to them by the Harare City Council and no money was ever paid to them. Curiously, the same State media last year concocted the same false allegations saying it was President Tsvangirai’s eldest son, Edwin, who was behind the water chemicals tender.

It is no coincidence that the names of President Tsvangirai’s children in this concocted water chemicals scam keep changing every day. The idea is to inflict maximum media damage on the Tsvangirai name.

Yesterday, they said it was Edwin who sold water chemicals to Harare City Council. Today, it is Vimbai and her husband. The whole plot is to malign and soil the Tsvangirai name with spangled banner headlines well ahead of the next election in the false hope that such malicious stories will be able to undermine the Tsvangirai brand; a mammoth brand now sufficiently embedded in the national psyche, much to Zanu PF’s discomfort.

President Tsvangirai’s conscience is clear. For the record, none of his children is involved in any corrupt activities. Neither Edwin nor Vimbai and her husband have ever supplied any water chemicals nor was either of them ever paid by the Harare City Council.

President Tsvangirai’s aversion to corruption was actually reported in The Herald of 15 December 2016, when he publicly warned Harare City council that he would not hesitate to fire them if they engaged in any corrupt activities. In the story, by-lined Zvamaida Murwira and Julia Mugadzaweta, The Herald correctly quoted President Tsvangirai telling all Harare structures, the mayor and city councilors not to engage in corruption as he would fire them. He is also quoted as having said he had warned his children and all members of his family not to use the opportunities created by his name to engage in any nefarious activity.

Mr Tsvangirai’s distaste of graft and avarice is a matter of public record as he was the first political leader in the country to fire an entire council for corruption when he dismissed all the MDC councilors in Chitungwiza on grounds of abusing their offices for corrupt ends.

We are, however, aware of one Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission senior official, linked to one of the Zanu PF factions, who has been moving around the city bragging that they will soil Tsvangirai’s name ahead of the next election. He has also hinted that they are equally targeting senior MDC officials, specifically Vice Presidents Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa, on yet more trumped-up charges of having corruptly acquired residential stands in Harare.

We wish him good luck in that endeavor.

It is such characters who damage the reputation of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, which has so far done a lot of good work in investigating corruption even in high places in line with its Constitutional mandate. We urge the Commission to do its work without fear or favour as we are aware that its otherwise good reputation is being undermined by the misguided chatter-box who is abusing the Commission to push a purely political and factional agenda ahead of the next election by dragging innocent names in the mud.

Luke Tamborinyoka
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications
Movement for Democratic Change

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