MDC mourns the passing on of Hon. Thamsanqa Mahlangu

Hon MahlanguThe MDC family, has once again been plunged into mourning following the passing on of Honourable Thamsanqa Mahlangu, who was our deputy national organising secretary as well as the Member of Parliament for Nkulumane in Bulawayo.

Hon. Mahlangu  passed on at a private hospital in Bulawayo in the early hours of this morning after a long but very brave fight against cancer.

Hon. Mahlangu was a fearless and committed fighter for democratic change in Zimbabwe. He was also a founder member of party and at one time he served as the party’s chairman of the Youth Assembly. We have lost a committed grassroots mobiliser who was always ready to lead from the front.

Mourners are gathered at 15053 Nkulumane 12 in  Bulawayo. Hon. Mahlangu is survived by his wife, Brenda Zaranyika and two young sons, Munyaradzi (14) and Zibusiso (6). Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

Obert Gutu
National Spokesperson

MDC celebrates ConCourt ruling

MDC celebrates ConCourt rulingOn Wednesday, September 23, 2015 the full bench of the Constitutional Court handed down a historic ruling when it struck down Section 121 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act as being null and void in that it is ultra vires the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Many people will remember the draconian provisions of Section 121 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act since it was routinely abused and misused by the State in revoking bail in circumstances where an accused person  would have been admitted to bail by a magistrate.

Over the years, several MDC activists were victims of this draconian law in that the Public Prosecutor, particularly in politically sensitive cases, would simply invoke this provision in order to make sure that accused MDC activists will be remanded in custody for a further seven (7) days regardless of the fact that the magistrates’ court would have granted them bail pending trial.

Public prosecutors would simply make a verbal submission, in terms of the struck off section 121 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and advise the court that they intended to lodge an appeal against a decision to grant bail to an accused person. In that scenario, the accused person, even if he/she would have been granted bail,would then be remanded in custody for a further seven (7) days to allow the State to note an appeal against the decision to grant bail. More often than not, however, the State would not even proceed to note the said appeal but the net effect of this notorious practice was that accused persons would have stayed in remand prison for a further seven (7) days notwithstanding the fact that they would have been granted bail.

The MDC would like to express its deep pleasure and joy at this ground -  breaking ruling by the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe. We would also like to take this opportunity to heartly congratulate the legal team of Mandevere Marufu and Kudzayi Kadzere who argued the case on behalf of the applicants in the highest court of the land.

Indeed, the MDC would also like to congratulate the entire staff at the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for their sterling and determined effort to fight for human rights in Zimbabwe. The MDC now looks forward to a speedy harmonisation processto be conducted to ensure that the more than 400 pieces of legislation that are yet to be harmonised with the Constitution of Zimbabwe are harmonised as a matter of extreme urgency.

We call upon the Zanu PF regime to ensure that all the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, that came into effect in May, 2013 are not only upheld but are also seen to be upheld. The people of Zimbabwe deserve to enjoy all the fundamental human rights that are guaranteed in terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Obert Chaurura Gutu
National Spokesperson

President Tsvangirai wades into Mashonaland Central

Luke TamborinyokaPresident Morgan Tsvangirai tomorrow begins a four-day trip to Mashonaland Central province for meetings and consultations with party supporters and Zimbabweans in general at a time the government has run out of any ideas to solve the worsening economic crisis in the country.

President Tsvangirai, never one to miss an opportunity to interact with ordinary Zimbabweans, goes into Mashonaland Central at a time Zimbabweans have lost all hope for economic  recovery under the  clueless leadership of  ZANU PF whose President is now so old he is now given to falling at public places, mixing his lines and reading wrong speeches at public events.

Tomorrow, the MDC leader kicks off his tour of Mashonaland Central at Muzarabani business centre before meeting ordinary Zimbabweans at Nzvimbo growth point in Chiweshe on Friday. On Saturday, he will be  at Nyava business centre in Bindura South and he will conclude his visit to the province in Mt Darwin on Sunday.

President Tsvangirai will take time to meet party structures and listen to the problems facing the people at a time the nation is convinced the party in government has no capacity to deal with the monumental crisis engulfing the country.

President Tsvangirai's visit to Mashonaland Central comes at time Zimbabweans of all political formations are converging on the need for a united front to confront the political challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe.

A tried and tested leader gifted with a natural chemistry with the people, it is  his popularity among the ordinary  people that sets President Tsvangirai  apart from other political leaders.
Luke Tamborinyoka - Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications

Harare Deputy Mayor Muzuva passes on

Cllr MuzuvaThe deputy mayor for Harare, councilor Thomas Muzuva, has passed on at West End clinic in Harare where he was receiving treatment for cancer.

President Morgan Tsvangirai is greatly saddened by the news of the deputy mayor, whom he had occasion to visit in hospital where he had been detained for the past one month.

Muzuva was the councilor for Kambuzuma.
President Tsvangirai joins the Muzuva family, the city of Harare, the entire MDC family and the city’s residents in mourning this dedicated cadre who was committed to improving the lives of the residents of the capital city.

The MDC leader will today visit the Muzuva family home in Kambuzuma to mourn a committed stalwart in the struggle for democratic change in Zimbabwe.

Clr Muzuva is survived by his wife and four children. Mourners are gathered at House number 9031, Kambuzuma 5. Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

President Tsvangirai and the entire MDC family are with the Muzuva family in this sad and dark hour. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.

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

MDC condemns death threats against MPs

Hon Gutu - MDC National SpokespersonThe MDC would like to express its reservations against the Speaker of Parliament's purported ruling that has the effect of withdrawing Parliamentary privileges from our Members of Parliament.

In particular, the Speaker of Parliament is said to have ordered honourable MPs not to heckle or in any way communicate their discontent with the contents of the President's address to Parliament during the official opening of the third session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe.
The Speaker's order flies in the face of Parliamentary privileges as enshrined in the Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities Act.

Members of Parliament constitute the legislative arm of the State and one of the key functions of the Legislature is to hold the Executive arm of the State to account by playing an oversight role in a robust and fearless manner.

Therefore, it is wholly improper and uncalled for the Speaker of Parliament to purport to muzzle the freedom of Parliamentarians in the exercise of their oversight role.

The MDC takes this opportunity to state that the State of the Nation Address (SONA) presented in Parliament by President Mugabe three weeks ago was a very mediocre statement that completely failed to tackle key issues such as the security of citizens.

We note , with extreme regret , that the human rights defender, Itai Dzamara, has been missing for more than six  months after he was allegedly abducted by suspected State security agents.

However, President Mugabe did not make any reference to Itai Dzamara's abduction in his State of the Nation Address. President Mugabe also failed to proffer any cogent and viable solutions regarding how his government is going to resuscitate the ailing economy as well as ensure that the agricultural sector is revamped in order to prevent the impending starvation of millions of Zimbabwe.

The MDC would also like to express its extreme displeasure with the death threats that were issued  to at least seven members of Parliament belonging to our party. This proves that the Executive arm of the State is trying to unconstitutionally interfere with the duties and functions of Members of Parliament. This unconstitutional conduct violates the well - grounded principle of separation of powers.

These death threats are a chilling reminder of the deteriorating security situation in the country and we call upon the Speaker of Parliament to issue a statement strongly condemning the death threats.

Members of Parliament are honourable citizens of the country who should not be subjected to any form of unlawful pressure and/or intimidation in the exercise of their constitutional mandate.

The MDC has since written a letter to the Speaker of Parliament expressing our reservations regarding the death threats that were issued to our Members of Parliament. Because our Members of Parliament are now living in fear of their lives, they are finding it very extremely difficult to remain in Parliament during the official opening of the third session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe.

We demand that the Speaker of Parliament should provide our MPs with an unconditional written guarantee to the effect that they shall not be harmed whilst they are exercising their duties whether inside or outside Parliament.

Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson