Violence leader Chinoz embraced as Book Café ‘guest of honour’

via Violence leader Chinoz embraced as Book Café ‘guest of honour’ | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Monday, May 26, 2014

Buhera MP Joseph Chinotimba was last week embraced and welcomed as a guest of honour at the Book Café in Harare, where he reportedly “brought the house down” with his jokes.

Appearing at the Carnival Comedy Night at the venue, ‘Chinoz’ was pictured on stage, microphone in hand, making jokes and laughing with Book Café patrons.

The ZANU PF official has previously been the butt of Zimbabwean jokes, often described as a ‘caricature’ of politics in his quest to win the Buhera parliamentary seat in past elections. But since scoring a shock ‘win’ in the constituency last year, the jokes have seemed less funny.

The former Harare city council security guard rose to infamy during the 2000 land invasions when he and the combative war vets leader, Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi, led the takeovers of white-owned commercial farms. Chinotimba styled himself “commander-in-chief” of the land invaders and openly advocated the use of extreme violence and rape.

He also advocated this level violence in Buhera during the 2008 elections period, and has been accused of being behind the deaths, assaults and rapes of many MDC supporters in the area.

According to eyewitness testimonies, on the 5th May 2008 Chinotimba raped an MDC-T member named Idah Munyukwi twice, after threatening her with a gun. Also under his instruction a group of about 21 ZANU PF thugs gang raped Memory Mufambi, an MDC-T supporter in Ward 18 of Buhera.

Mufambi, whose husband was a prominent MDC activist, was beaten unconscious by a mob of ZANU PF youth militia and war vets who then took her to their torture base where she was raped repeatedly over the course of a week. She suffered serious internal injuries as a result of the rapes, and has been in and out of hospital ever since.

Also in 2008, in Ward 27 area of Chapanduka, Chinotimba led a group of ZANU PF thugs who beat to death an MDC-T activist known as Sibamba. In another incident on the 18th May 2008, Chinotimba’s truck was used in the attack on Choukuse Nyoka Mubango in Ward 26. Mubango was axed to death in full view of his wife and five children.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora reacted with anger that Chinotimba was now being ‘embraced’ by society.

“It is hurtful and demeaning to see the tormentor being given this respect and being given a chance to perform as a guest of honour. It is arrogant on the part of government and it is unacceptable,” Mwonzora said.

He added: “The diplomatic community is forgetting that ZANU PF committed these horrendous crimes. We see them gracing these occasions as if everything is fine, and it is outrageous.”

 

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17 comments on “Violence leader Chinoz embraced as Book Café ‘guest of honour’
  1. Heighho says:

    ICC.

  2. roving ambassador. says:

    The Mdc was never able to protect and stand by its supporters when in government. They are still standing hand in hand in the fraudulent parliament.
    What a shame. There is no credible opposition in Zimbabwe.
    MDC wake up!!!!!!!!

  3. munzwa says:

    Chino is the joke, why not have some of these victims start legal action against him in international courts, will Lawyers for Human Rights help them?

  4. The Mind Boggles says:

    Sickening makes my stomach turn

  5. Mukanya says:

    Nyoka’s vengeance is giving the perpetrators of violence full board.

  6. machakachaka says:

    Why is violence highlighted in the reverse takeover of land, and is never mentioned in the first takeover of land from blacks by whites? Blacks were murdered when land was taken away from them. When they attempted to take back the land, whites resisted and even killed some of the blacks (remember a white farmer running over a black man with his vehicle in Manicaland?). We never want violence, but Mwonzora should not see violence in Chinotimba and fail to see violence in the whites. Mwonzora’s colleague in MDC-T beat up a fellow MP in Parliament, and Mwonzora does not see anything wrong with that? He is known for this idiocy, and that is why he will never really make it in politics.

  7. Saddened says:

    Whoever was responsible for inviting this monster & those who chose to indulge him by laughing at what he had to say are despicable. People like Chinotimba should be ostracised not indulged by society. This is the way of ZPF to take people in by pretending to be normal members of society & then turn on us when it suits them.

  8. Welshman says:

    Chinotimba should be telling his jokes to the ICC at the Hague where they wouldn’t find his comedy as funny as did the idiots who invited him to the Book Café.

  9. Victims of Chinotimba’s violence must seek for legal redress by whatever means if there is evidence. Some of the stories cannot be proven. And why does’nt the public boycott the Book Café event to show their protests to the “rapist looting MP”? Instead they enjoy his jokes and it becomes this site that talks of “rapist” Chinoz. This is why people like Heath Streak the cricketer are now wining and dining with Zanupf. It is because of a lot of lies and exegerations by the “victims” of the likes of Chinoz.

  10. ivor payne says:

    Book Cafe – your response please

  11. Paul Brickhill says:

    I am Creative Director of Book Café. I am asked for a response by one contributor in these posts, and here it is.

    The article from which this piece is sifted was crafted with selective facts (hence most actual facts were omitted), as well as false and distorted facts; plus, a photo purporting to show Book Café was not Book Café. One surmises then that the journalist/s who may have written the piece seemed not to have even been at the event, nor do they quote or interview anyone who was at the event, and I can confirm they did NOT check with Book Café as to any facts prior (they have my number, and I am anyway very easy to locate at Book Café every day).

    Book Café is a community arts centre at which 1200 artists annually work and engage; it stages 700 events and attracts over 55,000 audience annually, across most arts genres.

    Book Café is not government, nor a political or policy instrument, and it is not the diplomatic community; it is a community space, working with artists and arts audiences, that serves the arts community in Harare and beyond; it works in the field of culture, community and development.

    You may download its 2012 annual report in the public domain: https://www.dropbox.com/s/l1pid3ez2z9m1b8/PAMBERI%20TRUST%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%202012.pdf

    The 2013 report will be out soon.

    Perhaps those wishing to exercise democratic dialogue would like to come forward and make use of this community centre (as an open, democratic and uncensored space for discussion, Book Café has held well over 750 public discussions in 15 years) and they would organize a public discussion on the issues that concern them, openly and freely, in the public domain. What those issues are is hard to articulate from a misleading article or comments arising. Our stipulation only is that discussion is issue-based and open and free to all. Is it, for example about “freedom of expression and its limits”? or perhaps about “Legal redress for victims of rights abuses”? For Book Café the issue (behind the event, which did not have any guest of honour, but was packed to capacity by 200 people) was only ever about “Cultural inclusivity or fragmentation”, which had nothing to do with events so described. It was one of 50 events in 8 days, in which 250 artists participated.

    For other misleading or “sensational” comments, we humbly invite those concerned to check facts; or simply come to Book Café and see for yourself a community arts centre. All are welcome! We are at 139, Samora Machel Avenue/Sixth St, Harare.

  12. Andre says:

    #Brickhill. The question before the house, Paul is whether the you at Book Cafe invited Mr Chinotimba to the occasion referred to. Did the Book Cafe in its full knowledge of the human rights record of the self style commander of farm invasion invite him to be one of the night panel of speakers or not. Did Chinotimaba come on his own volition or that he was billed as one of the speakers for the event. That’s what you should answer. If he was invited we the public want to know what factors were considered in extending this invitation. No one is trying to blunt Chinotimba’s voice, he has the house pulpit, the ZBC, Herald Sunday Mail, and all sorts of ZPF chatter boxes. Is the Book Cafe willing to be associated with those zpf mouthpieces that do not ask the hard questions of its “artists’ including Chinotimba who obviously has blood on his hands. Its one thing to have a forum for exchange of literal views its quite another to invite a known serial murder, torturer and human rights abuser to be among your guests. The same applies if you were to invite members of the pioneer column to the Cafe, given that they looted and murdered on their way to colonizing the motherland. It is only fair you inform the public on what criteria you used to invite this murderer,Chinotimba

  13. Paul Brickhill says:

    Andre,

    Book Café did not know of Mr. Chinotimba’s attendance until he arrived in the house; hence no, Book Café did not invite Chinotimba. Simuka Comedy, the main act for the evening, did not invite him either (eg as part of their show); his jokes and getting onto stage were literally impromptu. There were no “speakers” at this event, it was a comedy gig! Have you ever been to a stand-up comedy gig at Book Café? Have you ever actually been to Book Café? It sounds unlikely.

    Mr. Chinotimba was part of a Zimbabwe Tourism Authority ZTA delegation, under whose auspices Zimbabwe International Carnival is organised; he accompanied Miss Carnival finalists as well a number of ZTA guests to watch the show. As far as Book Café is concerned, this was done normally, and properly.

    The event at Book Café was part of Africa Day commemoration, which Book Café celebrates every year; in addition this event was linked to Zimbabwe International Carnival (under the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority ZTA) and to Culture Week (under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe) and our theme for the week (a Book Café theme, none other) was “Relinking Communities through Culture”; part of a bigger effort (50 acts in 8 days in three locations, Harare, Norton, Bulawayo) on “cultural inclusivity, diversity and tolerance”. 250 artists took part.

    Not surprisingly, Book Café, as a community arts centre is linked one way or other with many other major cultural events.

    Much of this has been reported in The Zimbabwean, so read more there. These are the facts. The conclusions are yours, as we have ours, but two things I encourage: stick to facts, not conjecture, as a basis for opinion, and please try to take cultural activity a little more seriously, or accept that artists and audiences, an arts community, do so, since culture provides a voice for communities. This was a cultural action. The artists and the arts were the highlight. The house was packed, for them, Zimbabwean artists. This narrative was not represented in the article; quite a contortion of context.

    I have my own question. Is cultural action, that by its nature brings people of many different opinions together, a positive or negative influence in society? I ask because the vast majority assert the former view, strongly. And if it is a positive influence, why do you think that might be the case?

    Book Café is premised on freedom of expression in culture.

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