Mugabe hosts obscene jamboree while nation starves

Mugabe hosts obscene jamboree while nation starvesIt has been reported that Zanu PF is in the process of raising the sum of US$1 million in order to bank roll Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash scheduled to take place at the plush Elephant Hills Hotel golf course on February 28, 2015.

We have also gathered that several elephants and other wildlife will be slaughtered to feed the crowd that will be commandeered to attend the nonagenarian’s 91st birthday bash. The irony of it all is the fact that the bash will be taking place at a time leading economists have since announced that the average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest in 60 years. It has also emerged that more than 76% of the country’s adult population is surviving on less than US$200 per month.

While the MDC would like to wish Robert Mugabe a happy 91st birthday on February 21, 2015; we would also like the old man to use his birthday as a moment for serious reflection. At the very ripe age of 91, Robert Mugabe is certainly way past his prime. No matter what his Zanu PF spin doctors might want to say, Mugabe has seen better days and he is now a big liability to the generality of the people of Zimbabwe for as long as he remains as the county’s head of state and chief executive. It doesn’t need rocket science for one to appreciate that a 91 year old man belongs to an old people’s home and not to the State House of a nation.

As the MDC, we are greatly perturbed to learn that instead of focusing on more serious and pressing national issues such as rehabilitating the country’s collapsed public health delivery system as well as the renovation of the nation’s dilapidated road and rail infrastructure, Zanu PF has seen it fit to squeeze the sum of US$I million from the country’s ailing business sector in order to bankroll the nonagenarian’s birthday jamboree in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The absurdity of it all is further compounded by the rather bizarre demand by the Zanu PF Youth League that Robert Mugabe’s birthday should be declared a national holiday ! Zimbabwe is not North Korea where the Dear Leader’s birthday is deified and celebrated as a public holiday. In a short period of 35 years, Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have successfully managed to run down and trash a country that was at one time the jewel of Africa. From being  a proud net food exporter and bread basket of Southern Africa at independence in April , 1980, Mugabe and Zanu PF have mismanaged the country and in the process ; they have reduced a once proud nation with a sophisticated mixed economy into a basket case. That is the tragic and sad legacy of Robert Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe.

The MDC calls upon the proposed Robert Mugabe birthday bash scheduled to take place in Victoria Falls on February 28, 2015 to be called off. All the money that has been collected to bankroll this obscene jamboree should be immediately channelled towards rehabilitating the collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools in Matebeleland North province. Any food items and other materials that have been ‘’donated’’ for Mugabe’s birthday bash should be handed over to the Jairos Jiri centre and other orphanages in Bulawayo.

The majority of the people of Zimbabwe are living in penury, squalor and destitution and thus; it would be grossly offensive for Robert Mugabe and a few of his hangers - on to wine and dine at the Mosi - a - Tunya  on Saturday , February 28 , 2015. It is high time that the ZanuPF regime shows some respect and empathy for the toiling masses of Zimbabwe.

Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson

Phelekezela Mphoko offside on Gukurahundi

Phelekezela Mphoko offside on GukurahundiGenocide is defined as the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group. According to public international law , genocide is a crime against humanity. It is a notorious fact that from the early to the mid - 1980s, more than 20 000 civilians were massacred in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces by the North Korean - trained Fifth brigade. Pregnant women were bayoneted and thrown into open graves whilst men and women were buried alive in a gruesome manner that would make the savagery and brutality of ISIL, Boko Haram and Al Shabab look like child's play.

Recent remarks by Phelekezela Mphoko to the effect that the Gukurahundi massacres were a conspiracy by the West are therefore in extreme bad taste, insensitive and grossly offensive to both the victims and survivors of this genocide.

Indeed, all peace - loving and patriotic Zimbabweans have been offended and insulted by Mphoko's insensitive and irresponsible remarks. The Gukurahundi genocide is a very sad chapter of Zimbabwe's post - independence history and we expect senior political leaders in the mould of Phelekezela Mphoko to be extremely cautious whenever they find it necessary to make a comment on this dark phase of our country's history. The fact of the matter is that the ZanuPF regime led by Robert Mugabe planned and ruthlessly executed the Gukurahundi genocide with devastating and chilling brutality. Indeed, Mugabe is on public record as having referred to Gukurahundi as " a moment of madness."

As the MDC, we have always advocated for the need to bring closure to be sad story of Gukurahundi. Put simply, the Gukurahundi genocide cannot and indeed, shouldn't be wished away.It has to be addressed holistically and conclusively in order to bring and foster lasting peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe.

Victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide should be clearly identified and compensated. In fact, there is a compelling  need for a wholesale counselling programme to be instituted  for both the survivors and the known perpetrators of the heinous Gukurahundi genocide. It is against this background that the remarks by Phelekezela Mphoko should be seen as flying in the face of the national healing process that he is , ironically, supposed to be heading.  Mphoko is a complete and utter disgrace to all right - thinking,  democratic and peace - loving Zimbabweans.

Whilst we appreciate that he is singing for his supper and he is desperate to please his political master, he cannot be allowed to get away with such irresponsible and highly inappropriate and provocative remarks. As the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe, the MDC hereby calls for the immediate resignation of Phelekezela Mphoko as the Republic of Zimbabwe's second Vice President. This man is completely unsuitable to hold any position of responsibility in any government anywhere in the civilised world. Mphoko should also proceed to specifically proffer  an unconditional apology to all the victims and survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide. The apology should also be extended to all the people of Zimbabwe.


Obert Chaurura Gutu

MDC National Spokesperson

President Tsvangirai defies Zanu PF thugs

President Tsvangirai defies Zanu PF thugsPresident Morgan Tsvangirai today went ahead with a tour of Mabvuku and Tafara, defying Zanu PF thugs who went on an orgy of violence, mounting roadblocks and assaulting and injuring two senior MDC officials with stones and logs.

President Tsvangirai, who was accompanied by deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva and Harare city councillors, was in Mabvuku and Tafara to assess council's service delivery in the area. President Tsvangirai defied Zanu PF thugs who mounted a roadblock at the Mabvuku turn-off along the Harare - Mutare highway and found his way into Mabvuku. Upon seeing him enter Mabvuku, the Zanu PF thugs shouted  "Gamatox" and sent several cars to follow him into Mabvuku and Tafara.

The MDC leader went to Mabvuku police station and told the police to ensure that they elected their constitutional mandate to maintain law and order. He told the police that he would not be intimidated by anyone from  assessing service delivery in Harare. The MDC, he said, controlled the Harare City council and it was within his rights to assess how far the council controlled by the party he leads is delivering services to the people.

The Zanu PF youths, who continued to follow the MDC leader's convoy, attacked and brutally assaulted former councillor Peter Marange and current ward 21 councillor, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi.

State security agents and Zanu PF officials in a car labelled "Zanu PF Harare province" were co-ordinating the violence.

President Tsvangirai proceeded to tour several boreholes sunk by the Harare City council to alleviate the water problems in Harare. He also visited the Tonderai Ndira housing co-operative stands in the area as well as the vending stalls allocated at Kamunhu shopping centre.

Deputy mayor Muzuva told the MDC leader that boreholes were a short term measure but council was finalizing talks with a South African company that would replace the aged water pipes and ensure reliable water supply in the area.

Speaking after the tour, President Tsvangirai said it was unfortunate that Zanu PF was abusing unemployed youths to engage in violence instead of focusing on creating the employment for the very same youths. He said it was embarrassing for the SADC and AU chairperson to be leading a party that believed in violence in this brave 21st century. He said no amount of violence would stop him from visiting any part of the country and he would continue with his programmes to interact with Zimbabweans and hear the problems they were facing every day.

Luke Tamborinyoka
Presidential spokesperson
Movement for Democratic Change

Remarks on the RBZ Monetary policy statement

RBZ Governor - MangudyaThe monetary policy statement by the Reserve Bank Governor smacks of a neo-liberal agenda as among other measures it seeks to cause a general wage freeze in Zimbabwe at a time when minimum wages are far below the poverty datum line of USD450 per month.

The MDC therefore condemns the anti-worker monetary statement. We reject the misplaced view that wages are the only cost drivers. Far from it. Public utilities, imports, corruption and profiteering are some of the causes of inflation not wages. The MDC will fight and resist labour market flexibility which is being introduced by the clueless Zanu PF regime.

The monetary policy statement is clearly anti-worker and not pro-poor. How can millions of Zimbabweans whose Zim dollar bank balances were ravaged by government-induced hyperinflation only get US$5 as compensation? This can only mean that the Governor is bereft of any new ideas to deal with the residual effects of hyperinflation.

The Governor, like his Minister of Finance, are presiding over a comatose economy and no amount of financial engineering is going to reverse deflation and the liquidity crunch. The so-called "rebalancing" of the economy is a pie in the sky. What needs re - balancing is the politics of the country which makes the economy hostage. The talk of competitiveness in the absence of foreign direct investment (FDI) will not work. Competitiveness requires social dialogue and the full consummation of the Kadoma Declaration.

The Monetary Policy Statement is a damp squib. The financial sector is like a jungle without GPS. Most banks are on the verge of collapse and depositors risk losing their savings. The US$200 million borrowed from Afrexim bank for the resumption of interbank facilities is not enough as it will be swallowed by non-performing loans and externalization.

The MDC is of the view that the Governor is biting more than he can chew. He must focus his attention on the odious RBZ debt of USD 1.3 billion and explain to Zimbabweans how the debt was accrued. The MDC rejects the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill and calls upon Governor Mangudya to publish the list of beneficiaries and measures he intends to institute in order to recover public funds.


President Morgan Tsvangirai has not banned the use of social media

President Morgan Tsvangirai has not banned the use of social mediaThe MDC is a social democratic party whose main ethos and principles are benchmarked on tolerance, love, empathy, peace and harmony. As a party of excellence, the MDC deeply values, respects and upholds fundamental and basic human rights particularly freedom of expression and freedom of association. We would like to put the record straight that President Morgan Tsvangirai has not banned party members from using social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. President Morgan Tsvangirai is a champion of democracy and free speech and indeed; his track record as the country’s most popular politician speaks for itself.
Throughout his political activism, President Tsvangirai has personally championed the cause for the opening up of both the public and private media space to enable all Zimbabweans to freely articulate and propagate their political and other views.

As a voluntary association, the MDC is bound by certain rules and regulations. Indeed, all voluntary associations the world over (including churches and business associations); have to abide by a certain code of conduct in order to achieve stability, unity and cohesion. MDC members are a disciplined group of cadres who very much appreciate the need to use social media platforms for the purpose of maintaining and promoting party discipline, unity and cohesion. The insinuation that party members are no longer allowed to use social media is thus palpably false misleading, preposterous and malicious.

Party members are free to use social media in accordance with the guidelines and standards that are being set up by the party leadership. Social media platforms should not be abused to promote hatred, division, gossiping and rumour -mongering. These guidelines are being made available to all party members who would like to use social media platforms to communicate amongst themselves. Should there be any doubt as to what these guidelines are, my office is more than willing and able to assist any party members who are keen to activate their social media platforms.

The MDC is a beacon of hope for all progressive and democratic - minded Zimbabweans and as such ; the party will do everything within its power to ensure that freedom of expression and freedom of association are not only respected but that they are also jealously guarded and protected.

Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson