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Bomb explodes at Zimbabwe rail line, bridges: police

1 hour ago

HARARE (AFP) - A bomb exploded at a busy Zimbabwean rail and road hub
linking capital Harare with second main city Bulawayo, causing minor damages
to property but no injuries, police said Friday.

"There was an attempt to bomb the Hunyani rail and road bridges along the
Harare-Bulawayo routes last night," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said
in a statement.

"Both bridges (where the bomb exploded) suffered minimum damage and remained
intact and useable."

No arrests have been made yet, he said.

The blast comes three weeks after a bomb exploded at Harare's main police
station, shattering windows and causing minor damages but no injuries.

State-owned Herald newspaper reported that junior police officers had been
arrested over the explosion.

Last year, Zimbabwe was hit by a spate of fire bombings targeting police
stations, with police blaming the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party.

The MDC however denies the accusations.

Zimbabwe has been plagued by political turmoil and violence, heightened
after the country's March election results, in which the opposition won the
legislative vote and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of
presidential voting.

In June, veteran president Robert Mugabe was re-elected in a one-man run-off
boycotted by Tsvangirai.

Power-sharing negotiations between the ruling party and the MDC, aimed at
resolving the country's political impasse, were suspended a week ago.

MPs elected in the March poll will be sworn in Monday, while President
Robert Mugabe is expected to convene the new parliament the following day,
in a move Tsvangirai opposes.

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Talks reach dead end as ZPF politburo vows no power for Tsvangirai

By Alex Bell
22 August 2008

The ZANU PF politburo has reportedly resolved that Robert Mugabe should not
concede to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's demands to become executive prime
minister, even if the dialogue between the two party leaders collapses - a
move that has seen the talks reach a dead end.

Mugabe apparently reported back to the Soviet-style politburo about the
failure of the weekend SADC summit in South Africa to break the impasse
between him and Tsvangirai in the power sharing negotiations. The politburo
resolved not to grant any concessions demanded by Tsvangirai, resulting in
the present political stalemate.

At the same time Mugabe has allegedly been told by war veterans and military
chiefs to pull out of the dialogue with the opposition. Zimbabwe's military
chiefs are of the view that Mugabe had already ceded too much power to
Tsvangirai in the deal now on the SADC appointed mediator, Thabo Mbeki's

In the current deal, which Tsvangirai refused to sign, he would be in charge
of all economic, social and humanitarian affairs ministries while Mugabe
would be responsible for all security ministries. Tsvangirai described as
"non-negotiable" his position that he should become executive head of
government in charge of appointing the cabinet, chairing the cabinet and
formulating and implementing government policies, among other things.

Mugabe's army commanders and war veterans are now urging the dictator to
dissolve parliament, soon after it resumes sitting next week, and order
fresh elections in which Mugabe would win through a campaign of violence.
South African based journalist Basildon Peta told Newsreel on Friday it is
"unlikely that Mugabe will resort to that drastic step", but he added it was
far more likely that he will launch a campaign of "targeted assassinations"
against Tsvangirai's MDC MPs - at least seven of whom are still in hiding.

Peta said this will force a session of by-elections, "which Mugabe will win
by violence".

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zimbabwe war veterans say Tsvangirai stalling talks


Fri 22 Aug 2008, 9:10 GMT

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's war veteran allies
accused opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday of stalling
power-sharing talks on orders from Western powers.

War veterans, backed by the army and ruling party militants called "green
bombers," served as Mugabe's political shock troops in his campaign to
retain power in a widely condemned June election run-off which Tsvangirai
boycotted over attacks on his supporters.

Jabulani Sibanda, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
Chairman, said Mugabe would never bow to what he called Tsvangirai's
attempts to grab more power in talks aimed at ending the crisis that has
deepened since the election.

In remarks published on Friday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF was
to blame for the stalemate.

Political tensions rose on Thursday after Tsvangirai said Mugabe's decision
to go ahead with opening parliament next week was a "repudiation" of the
basis for talks and he suggested Mugabe might have decided to abandon

"The war veterans, who are custodians of the country's revolution, welcome
the convening of parliament set for next week," Sibanda told state media,
urging Mugabe to form a new cabinet.

Sibanda said "the West had engineered the impasse in the talks so that their
preferred leader takes over."

Western countries, key to the funding that Zimbabwe needs to emerge from
economic collapse, have said they would only recognise a government led by
Tsvangirai. He defeated Mugabe in a first round vote in March.


Mugabe has often accused his old foe, leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), of being a puppet of the United States and former colonial
power Britain and ignoring Western sanctions he blames for Zimbabwe's
economic decline.

Tsvangirai denies the accusations.

On Thursday, Tsvangirai confirmed that the power sharing talks were
deadlocked over the roles of president and prime minister in a new

Mugabe is expected to remain as president but, backed by security chiefs, he
is reluctant to cede key powers. Tsvangirai wants a real executive power as
prime minister.

"Tsvangirai keeps demanding more, and the more he demands the more (Western)
sanctions are imposed so that we yield to his demands," said Sibanda.

"That is a condition that will never happen, a step that will never be taken
by ZANU-PF as a party and the people of Zimbabwe."

Tsvangirai suggested the talks could make progress if ZANU-PF showed some

"Let them demonstrate what powers they have ceded to the prime minister or
to the other party," he said in an interview published in South Africa's The
Star newspaper.

"Identify those areas and you will see who is the stumbling block."

Both Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's main MDC are under intense
pressure from within Africa and around the world to reach an agreement that
will pave the way for rebuilding Zimbabwe's devastated economy.

Zimbabwe's inflation rate rocketed to over 11 million percent in June and
chronic food, fuel and foreign currency shortages are worsening.

"With or without him (Tsvangirai), Zimbabwe can still stand despite the
sanctions imposed on the country," said Sibanda.

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MDC looks to Mbeki to stop parliament convening


August 22, 2008, 17:30

Tension is running high between Zimbabwe's opposition party the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) and the ruling Zanu-PF following the latter's
insistence on convening parliament next Monday.

The MDC is now looking at the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
mediator President Thabo Mbeki to stop Zanu-PF going ahead with the move.
The opposition party argues that it will effectively kill power-sharing
talks. MDC Secretary-General, Tendai Biti, says they will however attend the
opening of parliament.

Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is back in South Africa as
uncertainty remains when power-sharing talks will resume. Tsvangirai has
been on a whirlwind tour to Southern African countries to garner support for
his party's position regarding the talks. Biti says it is up to Mbeki to
decide when to reconvene all role players.

Tsvangirai has been critical of President Robert Mugabe's decision to
reconvene parliament next week, especially if it leads to him appointing a
cabinet. Biti says parliament cannot be convened while 15 MDC MP's are still
in hiding. Biti says by going ahead with the opening of parliament, Zanu-PF
will be opting out of the dialogue.

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Tsvangirai's dwindling options

The Zimbabwean opposition should enter a coalition with Robert Mugabe but
insist on a framework for reforms

Murithi Mutiga,
Friday August 22 2008 18:30 BST

Political scientists Stephen Brown, Chandra Lekha Sriram and Marie-Joëlle
Zahar are right in pointing out the perils of a quick-fix power-sharing
solution in Zimbabwe.

They view a unity government as an untidy and "inherently undemocratic"
outcome but they are less successful in outlining possible alternatives for
ending the political deadlock in Harare. Their suggestion that Zimbabwe
should hold fresh elections under a caretaker government is fanciful at best
because Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is unlikely to agree to a new poll.

In any case it is difficult to see how a credible election can be held in
the toxic environment that Mugabe and his shock troops have created in
Zimbabwe today. Given Zimbabwe's weak institutions and partisan security
forces, fresh elections would do very little to deepen the democratic

The international community has been urging the main opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, and his MDC party to push for "full executive authority".
Although this is desirable, Mugabe and Zanu-PF are unlikely to cede complete
control - therefore Tsvangirai needs to take a more realistic approach.

Rather than quibbling over what amount of power he will exercise in a new
coalition government, the opposition leader might be wiser to demand a
framework for genuine reforms under a unity government.

Constitutional changes that would shield the judiciary from executive
interference and change the current system where judges are handpicked by a
compliant Judicial Service Commission, for example, would offer a
significant check on the all-powerful presidency. An independent judiciary
could be a powerful guarantor of Zimbabwe's democracy down the road while
serving as a deterrent to the militias that have wreaked havoc in the
country, safe in the knowledge that there would be no consequences for their

Similar changes to guarantee the independence of the electoral commission
and strip the presidency of powers to appoint its members would be an
invaluable tool in safeguarding the integrity of future elections.

The impact of genuine reforms would be to insulate Zimbabwe against a
reversion to one-man rule, entrench the concept of separation of powers
between various arms of government and possibly offer a window for cleaning
up the security forces. This would be a far better platform for sustainable
change in Zimbabwe than fresh elections in the current poisoned environment.

Tsvangirai and the MDC have time on their side, mainly because of coming
changes in South Africa where ANC leader Jacob Zuma is expected to replace
Thabo Mbeki as president in a year's time. This transition will be
uncomfortable for Mugabe and Zanu-PF. The Zimbabwean leader has profited
from his close ties to Mbeki with whom, as Mbeki's biographer William Gumede
has noted, he shares a kinship rooted in class and history.

Mbeki and Mugabe are both well educated and were involved in the liberation
struggle. Tsvangirai, by contrast, is a former trade unionist of modest
education who did not take part in the guerrilla movement that helped to end
white minority rule, a fact that informs Mbeki and Mugabe's dim view of his
suitability to lead.

The rise of Zuma - like Tsvangirai a man who has been propelled to his
position by the powerful trade unions in South Africa - is likely to change
all that. Zuma and other powerful figures within the ANC initially regarded
Mugabe with sympathy as he cast himself as a champion resisting
neo-colonialism and as a victim of imperial conspiracy. As Mugabe has
increasingly turned his guns on his own people in his attempts to cling to
power that admiration has given way to revulsion. Where Cosatu, the umbrella
body of South African trade unions, was once a keen supporter of Mugabe, its
members are now more likely to be found leading demonstrations against him.
Zuma has also been far more strident in his public criticisms of Mugabe than
Mbeki, a fact which does not portend well for the Zanu-PF leaders.

Considering the leverage that South Africa has over Zimbabwe's leadership,
it is inconceivable that under a Zuma presidency Mugabe would be able to get
away with the virtual impunity he has exercised under Mbeki's watch.

If, on the other hand, Tsvangirai refuses to take part in a unity
government, his stance could give Zanu-PF an opportunity to go ahead with a
unilateral arrangement that excludes the main opposition leader and present
this to the rest of Africa as a fait accompli borne of the opposition's

A lot of commentators have drawn parallels between the deal Mugabe wants to
strike with Tsvangirai and the 1987 unity government with another former
trade unionist, Joshua Nkomo. That arrangement ended unhappily for Nkomo
whose Zapu party was overshadowed by Zanu and whose career never recovered.

But Mugabe may be looking further back into history as he discusses a new
coalition government. The state media in the last few weeks have been < a
supporting a deal that would see Mugabe enter a coalition with the smaller
MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara. Zanu-PF would then attempt to poach
opposition MPs with offers of front bench positions to maintain control of
parliament. With the Zimbabwean national assembly convening on Tuesday, the
next few weeks could yield movements in this direction.

Such an arrangement would have echoes of the deal struck between Bishop Abel
Muzorewa and the Ian Smith regime in 1979. Smith hoped to freeze out what he
viewed as the more radical liberation movement players such as Mugabe and
Nkomo by working with Muzorewa. It was a desperate attempt to hold on to
power and it did not ultimately succeed. Mugabe's attempt will similarly
fail in the long run, though in the short term it will keep him in power
while deepening the economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

The MDC has few real options outside some form of unity government, but it
must insist on enough guarantees to ensure a process of reform with an eye
to the Mugabe succession.

If nothing else, this arrangement will help to pave the way for badly-needed
investment to help lift the economic siege that has enveloped Zimbabwe under
Zanu-PF rule. Unlike the politicians, the suffering masses do not have time
on their side.

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Mugabe outmaneuvers us again

August 22, 2008

By Sibangani Sibanda

EVEN by Zimbabwe's rather lofty standards of pessimism, this has been a
particularly depressing week. It is the week in which, I believe, the naïve
optimism of Zimbabweans finally died.

Firstly, the subject of our hope for the last few months was finally laid to
rest. The circus called "The talks", having run their predictable course,
petered out without conclusion. Thabo Mbeki, the SADC mediator, finally
pulled his head out of the sand and realised that he was part of a much
smaller singing group whose discordant melodies no longer appealed to
anyone. He thus stopped singing, and passed the music on to an organ of the
said SADC - The Troika on security and defense - whose history does not
exactly inspire confidence.

Then President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, died. President Mwanawasa was one
of a small but growing band of African leaders who have broken away from the
tradition of eulogising "liberation war heroes" long after their "sell by"
dates have passed. He was prepared, along with President Ian Khama of
Botswana, to break ranks with fellow African leaders and call President
Robert Mugabe what he is - an embarrassment to Africa. At 58, he was only
three years older than yours truly and his death brought home to me the real
possibility that I could die and leave president Mugabe still in power!

Not that my being alive would mean much to the average Zimbabwean. I am just
disappointed for me. Having lived the first half of my life under colonial
oppression, I hope to see an independence that is somewhat different from
Robert Mugabe's one. Imagine going to one's grave having never known true
freedom! Utterly depressing!

As if this was not enough, I wake up one morning to read in The Herald that
Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube are now cow-towing to Robert Mugabe.
But, hang on, is this something new? After all, how has a party that since
breaking away from the Movement for Democratic Change has consistently come
a distant third behind The MDC and Zanu-PF suddenly find themselves the
kingmakers? Their eight seats in Parliament now hold sway!

I think it is very simple and is another example of Robert Mugabe's genius.
Since the breakaway, this faction of the MDC has always got less hostile
press from the state media - to the extent that even though they are clearly
the breakaway, they are referred to in official circles as the MDC while the
main MDC is called the MDC(Tsvangirayi)!

On March 29, 2008, the ballot papers had two MDC's - MDC and MDC
Tsvangirayi - with identical party symbols. Is it not reasonable to suggest
that, given Mutambara's faction's performance at previous elections, the
seats they got were a result of confusion on the part of the electorate?
Many voters knew Morgan Tsvangirayi as the leader of the MDC and they voted
for Mutambara's people thinking that they were voting for Tsvangirai's MDC.
And, of course, even if there were no seats won by the break away, I would
not put it past Zanu-PF that they "doctored" the votes (through the now
completely discredited Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) to ensure that there
were these seats that could be "bought" as and when required.

So now, plans are under way to open parliament and swear in members. If, as
seems likely, Mutambara and his people, who had no hope of getting into
power by any other means, accept Cabinet posts from the wily Mugabe and move
their lot in with Zanu-PF, the need for talks falls away as Mugabe has a
majority in Parliament! He can rule for another term. Tsvangirayi and the
world have been outmaneuvered once again!

Meanwhile, things go on as "usual" in Zimbabwe. Inflation continues on its
unrelenting upwards path, real income is going the other way, electricity is
now more off than on and many of the supermarkets now resemble looted
warehouses with most shelves completely empty - there is not even enough
stock to "hide" the empty shelves by stocking them with whatever is
available (they used to just put row after row of toilet paper, or sweets or
cold drinks. Now they do not have even those!).

But, then again, this could be part of Mugabe's master plan. The
entrepreneurs who own these supermarkets will soon be so discouraged they
will close down and, in the name of "indigenisation" they will be taken over
by black Zimbabweans, most, if not all of whom will belong to Zanu-PF and
their newly found coalition partners. They have to benefit for acting in
"The National Interest".

As any good conman will tell you, dangle instant wealth to anybody and they
are yours, for a while at least.

Still, there was some good news this week. I got unequivocal confirmation
that my contributions to The Zimbabwe Times actually get read! Thank you,
Vukani Madoda. I found friends I did not know existed.

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Zimbabwe Parties Maneuver Before Reopening of Parliament


By Blessing Zulu
22 August 2008

Zimbabwe's main political parties are maneuvering for position and tension
is on the rise in the run-up to the scheduled reopening of parliament next

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Morgan Tsvangirai warned
that reopening parliament before a power-sharing deal is reached could
scuttle the talks. But the formation is expected to see its members sworn in
Monday and attend the reopening Tuesday.

President Robert Mugabe's hopes of forming a coalition government with the
MDC grouping led by Arthur Mutambara appeared Friday to have been dashed -
formation members were threatening to jump to the Tsvangirai formation if
such an alliance were proposed.

The Mutambara MDC leadership had tried to justify an alliance with Mr.
Mugabe's ZANU-PF saying Tsvangirai was rigid and unreasonable in the
now-stalled power-sharing talks.

But sources told VOA the Mutambara leadership had to assure its
parliamentarians-elect at a meeting on Wednesday that they would not join
hands with Mr. Mugabe.

Sources in the formation reported a lengthy debate amidst charges Mutambara
had signed a "sell-out" deal to join Mugabe and abandon former opposition
partner Tsvangirai.

There was general speculation that Mr. Mugabe, having recalled parliament,
would attempt to appoint a cabinet and form a government with the help of
the Mutambara formation.

The grouping has put forth the name of Paul Themba Nyathi as candidate for
speaker of the house, while refusing to back a candidate from the Tsvangirai
grouping. But MPs from the Mutambara formation told VOA they were willing to
support a Tsvangirai candidate.

Mutambara MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube told reporter Blessing Zulu
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his grouping is better positioned than
the formation led by Tsvangirai to secure the post of speaker in a hung

Meanwhile, war veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda weighed in on the question of
reconvening parliament, telling the state-controlled Herald newspaper that
President Mugabe won the June 27 presidential run-off election, thus
recalling parliament is his prerogative.

Tsvangirai had warned that if Mr. Mugabe did recall parliament, the
power-sharing talks under way since July could collapse. Some argued that
this is Mr. Mugabe's intention, as Tsvangirai is demanding powers as
prospective prime minister that Mr. Mugabe is loath to concede.
Sibanda told the Herald that Tsvangirai is merely a "protégé" of the United
States and Britain , which he charged are seeking to bring about illegal
regime change.

Elsewhere, South African President Thabo Mbeki was to attempt to relaunch
power-sharing negotiations once the Zimbabwean parliament has convened,
sources said.

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Tsvangirai stages coup on Mutambara

August 22, 2008

By Our Correspondent

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has reportedly secured the support
of eight legislators aligned to a rebel MDC faction led by Dr Arthur

Insiders in both the Tsvangirai led MDC party and the breakaway MDC faction
disclosed on Friday that the opposition party which ended Zanu-PF leader
Robert Mugabe's majority in parliament after routing the former ruling party
in the March general elections had made a major breakthrough by securing the
support of eight disgruntled MP' belonging to the Mutambara faction.

Without revealing the names of the legislators the MDC sources said the MPs
aligned to Mutambara had assured them of their vote during next week's
elections to choose the powerful posts of Speaker of Parliament and Deputy

"We are together in this struggle. We can never be in bed with Zanu-PF at
the expense of our colleagues whom we identify with," said one of the
legislators concerned.

The Tsvangirai led MDC has chosen its Matobo MP and the party's national
chairman Lovemore Moyo as its candidate for the post of Speaker while the
smaller MDC faction has picked up former Gwanda legislator Paul-Themba
Nyathi who lost the March parliamentary elections to a Tsvangirai loyalist.
Zanu-PF has not yet named its choice amid allegations that the former ruling
party will support a Mutambara nominee.

Both Tapiwa Mashakada, the spokesperson of the Tsvangirai led faction and
Edwin Mushoriwa, his counterpart in the rebel faction could not be reached
for comment by The Zimbabwe Times.

If the Mutambara affiliated MPs choose to vote for Moyo on Monday, this
would be an indication of growing rebellion in the party. Already most of
the MPs representing constituencies in Matabeleland have threatened to ditch
Mutambara if he strikes any power-sharing deal with Mugabe while excluding

Some of the 10 MPs belonging to the breakaway Mutambara faction reacted
angrily last week to reports of a secret deal between their leader and

The mainstream MDC led by Tsvangirai has 100 MPs, while Zanu-PF has 99.
Former Zanu-PF member and former Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo
holds the remaining seat as independent MP for Tsholotsho North
constituency. He won the seat in the March election after sealing a deal
with the main MDC whereby that party would not nominate a candidate in that
constituency. But Moyo now appears to have turned his back on the MDC in
favour of a close relationship with Zanu-PF once again.

Although some of Mutambara's officials hastened to deny any such deal had
been signed, the legislators all representing constituencies in
Matabeleland, distanced themselves from any signing of a power-sharing deal
between Mutambara and Mugabe behind the back of Tsvangirai.

The State-owned Herald newspaper, which is the government's official
mouthpiece, has consistently reported that Mugabe and Mutambara signed a
power sharing deal after Tsvangirai walked out of the talks last week. The
newspaper maintains that the signing would pave the way for a government of
national unity between Mugabe and the Mutambara MDC.

However, legislators aligned to the Mutambara breakaway faction, who are
mostly from Matabeleland South and North provinces have warned that they
will not work with Mugabe if Mutambara signed any deal with the octogenarian
leader in the absence of Tsvangirai.

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Battleground Zimbabwe


    August 22 2008 at 11:33AM

By By Basildon Peta and Peter Fabricius

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe convenes parliament on Monday amid
widening divisions within the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and
fears that the negotiations between it and Zanu-PF are effectively dead.

Tendai Biti, chief negotiator of the main MDC faction led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, warned on Friday that parliament would become a "battleground"
which could do fatal damage to the negotiations.

The main issue is expected to be the appointment of a Speaker. Biti
said his party believed this important position should go to the MDC. But it
has only a majority of one over Zanu-PF and unless it can get all its MPs to
parliament on Monday, the position might go to Zanu-PF - bringing it level
with the main MDC faction, since the Speaker need not be an elected MP.

The danger for Tsvangirai's faction is that some of its MPs are still
in hiding from the terror unleashed by Mugabe's security agents during the
campaign for the June 27 presidential run-off election and may not be able
to make it to parliament. Biti said some were believed to be in prison.

The other MDC faction, headed by Arthur Mutumbara, has 10 seats, which
should guarantee the combined MDC a clear majority over Zanu-PF. But growing
mistrust and divisions between the two factions have made it uncertain
whether they will join forces.

Biti said on Friday that his party was still committed to the
negotiations mediated by President Thabo Mbeki, but he believed Zanu-PF had
abandoned them. He said he had heard that Zanu-PF hardliners had told Mugabe
that he had al-ready made too many concessions to Tsvangirai.

Biti had said convening parliament would violate the negotiators'
Memorandum of Understanding, but leaders at the Southern African Development
Community summit in Sandton last week gave Mugabe the go-ahead to do so.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on
August 22, 2008

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Mutambara, Ncube accused of CIO links

August 22, 2008

By Our Correspondent

LEGISLATORS and national council members of the MDC faction led by Dr Arthur
Mutambara have raised concerns at the behaviour of some of their national
executive council members, accusing them of being on the payroll of Zanu-PF
or the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO).

The allegations were raised at a meeting held in Harare on Wednesday where
the faction sought to chart the way forward following the announcement by
the clerk of parliament, Austin Zvoma that the legislative assembly will
convene next Tuesday.

The meeting was convened to decide whether the Mutambara faction should
attend Parliament's official opening which is expected to be presided over
by President Robert Mugabe.

Legislators in the camp who spoke on condition of anonymity, given the
blanket ban imposed on them by the camp's leadership, said there was furor
at the meeting which was eventually marked by threats of unspecified action.

"We were accused of a number of things which include working in cahoots with
Tsvangirai to displace Mugabe from power. We were told that if we harboured
those ambitions, it would be better for us to stop them because we were
going to be forced out of Parliament through means that were not specified,"
said one legislator.

It was revealed that the legislators were threatened by secretary-general,
Welshman Ncube who reportedly said the MPs, should they be forced out, were
not likely to sit in Parliament "ever again".

Another legislator said Ncube was visibly angry over rumors that the
legislators in the camp had been working with the Tsvangirai formation.

"For the first time, that smile disappeared and he was frothing at the
mouth, claiming that we had been bought by Tsvangirai to ensure that they
(Mutambara and Ncube) did not get the positions (in government that) they
desire. We were told that should they succeed with their plan, those of us
suspected to be working with Tsvangirai would be pushed out and there would
be by-elections in our constituencies which Ncube equivocally said we were
not going to win and that we would cease sitting in Parliament for ever,"
said the legislator.

Ironically, Ncube is tipped for the Speaker of Parliament in case Tsvangirai
sticks to his guns not to sign the power sharing deal. Mutambara is said to
be eyeing the prime ministerial post.

It is alleged Ncube said Zanu-PF would reclaim all the 10 seats occupied by
the breakaway faction's MPs if by-elections were held.

However, when the legislators were given the opportunity to respond, they
accused the national executive of being on the payroll of Zanu-PF and the
Central Intelligence Organization, an allegation which the leadership is
reported to have failed to effectively respond to.

"When they were asked to clarify whether they had received funds from
Zanu-PF and the CIO, they all chickened out and said those were not issues
that could be addressed at that meeting. None of them attempted to give an
answer on the allegations, which gives rise to suspicion that Mutambara
could have signed the unity pact with Mugabe when Tsvangirai walked out of
their negotiation meetings in Harare two weeks ago," the legislator added.

There was speculation that Mutambara had appended his signature on the
power-sharing agreement with Mugabe after Tsvangirai's walk-out last week.
While addressing a press conference in Harare soon after the Tsvangirai
walk-out Mutambara claimed that it was impossible for him to sign a
power-sharing agreement with Mugabe when the Memorandum of Understanding
agreed to in Harare last month had a provision for a tri-partite
power-sharing agreement.

Asked to respond to a report published in The Zimbabwe Times that several of
his party's 10 MPs had threatened to cross back to the mainstream MDC of
Tsvangirai if Mutambara signed an agreement with Mugabe, Ncube said he was
not aware of the issue being raised.

"I do not recall that issue coming up," he said. "I remember there was an
agreement on the issues we raised during that meeting and the resolutions
thereof. If at all that was an issue that was brought up, why should that be
an issue for the media. Members are clear on the agreed protocol and way of
dealing with our internal matters. There is an agreement that no-one speaks
to the media and I am surprised why some people breach that protocol."

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Mutambara set to cut deal with ZANU PF & cut ties with Tsvangirai

By Alex Bell
22 August 2008

Leader of the breakaway MDC faction, Arthur Mutambara, looks set to benefit
from striking a deal with Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF, which could see a member
of his faction elected speaker of parliament - the biggest post in the House
of Assembly.

Mugabe's ZANU PF has reportedly backed the move, which will effectively side
line the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. The speaker assumes
power temporarily if the incumbent president is unable to perform the duties
of office through illness or death.

Tsvangirai has said a mediator will need to intervene if Zimbabwe's
parliament convenes next week, because the move violates the Memorandum of
Understanding. He was addressing the media in Kenya on Thursday after
comparing notes on the experience of power sharing with Kenya's Prime
Minister Raila Odinga. Tsvangirai stated that by convening parliament Mugabe
may have decided to abandon the power-sharing talks.

At the same time, Mutambara's party appears to be distancing itself further
away from Tsvangirai after the party's Secretary General Welshman Ncube told
South African media the coalition agreement signed with the Tsvangirai MDC
is no longer valid. He said: "The discussions which took place between the
two elections were founded on the fact that Morgan (Tsvangirai) had won the
29 March election and would win the 27 June elections. That did not happen
and therefore what was agreed then does not constitute a coalition."

Dr John Makumbe, a political analyst from the University of Zimbabwe, told
Newsreel on Friday the political situation shows there are "no permanent
friends and no permanent foes" in Zimbabwe's politics. He said Mutambara's
party will be completely swallowed up by ZANU PF if any deal is signed with
Mugabe. But he added that both Mutambara and Mugabe should be aware that
such an arrangement "will not result in Zimbabwe being recognised as a
democratic country". He called the two party leaders efforts at sidelining
Tsvangirai a "futile exercise" and said they are risking valuable foreign
investment by cutting Tsvangirai out of the picture.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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MDC may boycott opening of parliament

By Violet Gonda
22 August 2008

Robert Mugabe will open parliament on Tuesday but the Tsvangirai-led MDC may
boycott the ceremony. Acting spokesperson Tapiwa Mashakada said a strategic
planning meeting will be held on Sunday to decide whether to participate in
the opening ceremony. However the MDC parliamentarians will attend the
swearing in ceremony on Monday.

There is growing concern that by convening parliament ZANU PF will have
declared the ongoing talks between the political parties a non event. The
rivals signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agreed that
parliament would not be convened, until there was consensus by all the party

The MDC says it will participate in the swearing in of parliamentarians
because it is the completion of the election process. They will be sworn in
by the clerk of parliament. Mashakada said the swearing in is a technical
exercise. He said: "This is the fulfilment of the democratic mandate that
was imposed on them (MPs) by the electorate on the 29th of March, but what
happens on Tuesday is a matter of conjecture. We still have to meet on
Sunday to map our attitude and respond to the Tuesday event as a party and
as a parliamentary caucus."

Another MDC official said the mood in the party is to boycott Mugabe's
convening of parliament. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said: "We see the opening ceremony by a person who is being contested as
President coming in to masquerade as the legitimate leader. Effectively
Mugabe faces the risk of addressing a ZANU PF conference in parliament on

The other MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara, which has 10 seats in
parliament, is expected to attend both functions this coming week.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Mugabe refuses 'concessions'


      Basildon Peta
    August 22 2008 at 06:56AM

Zimbabwe's deadlocked negotiations might have effectively reached a
dead end now that Robert Mugabe's ruling party has resolved not to grant any
of the concessions demanded by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe on Wednesday reported back to a meeting of his party's top
decision making body, the Soviet-style-politburo, about the failure of the
SADC summit to break the impasse between him and Morgan Tsvangirai in
negotiations mediated by President Thabo Mbeki.

Highly placed sources said the politburo had then resolved that Mugabe
should not concede to Tsvangirai's demands to become executive prime
minister even if the dialogue collapsed.

Mugabe has also been told by war veterans and military chiefs to pull
out of the dialogue with the opposition.

Authoritative sources said Zimbabwe's military chiefs, led by Zimbabwe
Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwenga, were of the view that Mugabe
had already ceded "too much power" to Tsvangirai in a deal now on Mbeki's
table which the opposition leader has flatly refused to sign.

Sources said the military chiefs and the leadership of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans' Association had told Mugabe to make no
further concessions to Tsvangirai.

Instead, the army commanders and war veterans are urging Mugabe to
dissolve parliament, soon after it resumes sitting next week, and order
fresh elections in which Mugabe would win through a campaign of violence.

It is unlikely that Mugabe would resort to that drastic step.
Tsvangirai's MDC instead fears a campaign of targeted assassinations against
its MPs to force by-elections which Mugabe would win by violence to regain
his parliamentary majority.

Mugabe controls 99 seats, Tsvangirai 100, while a smaller faction of
the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara controls 10. The remaining seat belongs to
an independent. Mugabe only needs to regain seven seats to take control of

He is already trying to woo opposition MPs by offering them

Chiwenga is opposed to a proposal to make Tsvangirai sit on the Joint
Operations Command, to be renamed the National Security Council in the
proposed unity government.

Chiwenga is still fiercely opposed to any elevation of Tsvangirai and
he is said to have told Mugabe that he would still not salute Tsvangirai
even if the unity government deal was eventually signed and Tsvangirai
assumed the prime minister's position.

In the current deal, Tsvangirai would be in charge of all economic,
social and humanitarian affairs ministries while Mugabe would be responsible
for all security ministries.

This is among reasons why Tsvangirai refused to sign the deal.

He said that a situation in which the prime minister was asked to take
responsibility for a certain category of ministries while other ministers
reported to the president directly was wholly untenable and unheard of.

He described as "non-negotiable" his position that he should become
executive head of government in charge of appointing the cabinet, chairing
the cabinet and formulating and implementing government policies, among
other things.

In this stance, Tsvangirai appears to have the support of many
Zimbabweans who believe that "having no deal is better than a bad deal". The
major achilles heel for Tsvangirai appears to be his plan B outside of a
negotiated settlement.

Tsvangirai believes Zimbabwe's economic spiral, underlined by official
inflation of more than 11 million percent, will eventually force Mugabe to
compromise. But Mugabe, who will open parliament on Tuesday, despite an
agreement with Tsvangira to avoid doing so until the negotiations are
completed, appears to have abandoned the dialogue in view of his latest
action, a fact conceded by Tsvangirai on Thursday.

"The economy would have forced Mugabe to comprise if he cared about
the suffering of his people. Unfortunately, he does not," said Trymore
Chigudu, a Zimbabwean political observer.

"The opposition would now have to do much more - in terms of
generating adequate internal resistance - to force Mugabe to compromise."

Mbeki also appears to have given up on the mediation. Sources said
Mbeki would now only get involved in terms of encouraging Tsvangirai to sign
the deal currently on the table.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury on
August 22, 2008

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Mugabe's functions under Constitution before power sharing

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) refuses to sign a power-sharing deal with the ruling Zanu PF party in a dispute over the amount of power transferred to its leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a Prime Ministerial role from the executive functions of President Robert Mugabe (READ ROLE OF PRIME MINISTER).

As a way to promote public debate on the issues, we publish below the Presidential functions as laid out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Most but three of the functions have either been shared with the Prime Minister, cross-referenced with Cabinet or transferred in the envisaged deal.

The remaining functions are the power to declare a state emergency, declare clemency and declare war or make peace.
Last updated: 22/08/2008 19:27:03


The President

27 The President

(1) There shall be a President who shall be Head of State and Head of Govern-ment and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.
(2) The President shall take precedence over all other persons in Zimbabwe.

Executive Functions

31H Executive functions of President
(1) The executive authority of Zimbabwe shall vest in the President and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, may be exercised by him directly or through the Cabinet, a Vice-President, a Minister or a Deputy Minister.

[Subsection as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]

(2) It shall be the duty of the President to uphold this Constitution and ensure that the provisions of this Constitution and of all other laws in force in Zimbabwe are faithfully executed.

(3) The President shall have such powers as are conferred upon him by this Con-stitution or by or under any Act of Parliament or other law or convention and, subject to any provision made by Parliament, shall, as Head of State, in addition have such prerogative powers as were exercisable before the appointed day.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), the President shall have power, subject to the provisions of this Constitution—
(a) to appoint, accredit, receive and recognize diplomatic agents and consular officers; and
(b) to enter into international conventions, treaties and agreements; and
(c) to proclaim and to terminate martial law; and
(d) to declare war and to make peace; and
(e) to confer honours and precedence.

(5) In the exercise of his functions the President shall act on the advice of the Cabinet, except in cases where he is required by this Constitution or any other law to act on the advice of any other person or authority:
Provided that the President shall not be obliged to act on the advice of the Cabinet with respect to—
(a) the dissolution or prorogation of Parliament; or
(b) the appointment or removal of a Vice-President or any Minister or Deputy Minister; or
[Paragraph as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]
(b1) subject to the provisions of an Act of Parliament such as is referred to in section 111A, the appointment or removal of a Provincial Governor in terms of such Act; or
[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 4 of 1989 - Amendment No. 8
and as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]

(c) the assignment or reassignment of functions to a Vice-President or any Minister or Deputy Minister or with respect to the cancellation of any such assignment or reassignment of functions; or

[Paragraph as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]

(c1) the designation of a Vice-President or Minister in terms of section 31(1); or
[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]
(c2) the appointment of members of Parliament in terms of section 38(1)(d); or
[Paragraph as inserted by section 5 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]
(d) the appointment of any person to an office or post in terms of this Constitu-tion or any other law, or the removal of any person from such an office or post, where the President is required by this Constitution or by the law con-cerned, as the case may be, to consult any other person or authority before making the appointment or effecting the removal.

(6) Nothing in this section shall prevent Parliament from conferring or imposing functions on persons or authorities other than the President.

31I Prerogative of mercy
(1) The President may, subject to such lawful conditions as he may think fit to impose—
(a) grant a pardon to any person concerned in or convicted of a criminal offence against any law; or
(b) grant a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of any sentence for such an offence; or
(c) substitute a less severe punishment for that imposed by any sentence for such an offence; or
(d) suspend for a specified period or remit the whole or part of any sentence for such an offence or any penalty of forfeiture otherwise imposed on account of such an offence.
(2) Where a person resident in Zimbabwe has been convicted in another country of a criminal offence against a law in force in that country, the President may declare that that conviction shall not be regarded as a conviction for the purposes of this Con-stitution or any other law in force in Zimbabwe.

31J Public emergencies
(1) The President may at any time, by proclamation in the Gazette, declare in rela-tion to the whole of Zimbabwe or any part thereof that—
(a) a state of public emergency exists; or
(b) a situation exists which, if allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency.

(2) A declaration under subsection (1), if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of fourteen days beginning with the day of publica-tion of the proclamation in the Gazette unless, before the expiration of that period, the declaration is approved by resolution of Parliament:
Provided that, if Parliament is dissolved during the period of fourteen days, the declaration, unless sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of thirty days beginning with the day of publication of the proclamation in the Gazette unless, before the expiration of that period, the declaration is approved by resolution of Parliament.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(3) Where a declaration under subsection (1)—
(a) is not approved by resolution under subsection (2), the President shall forth-with, after Parliament has considered the resolution and failed to approve it or, if Parliament has not considered the resolution, on the expiration of the appropriate period specified in subsection (2), by proclamation in the Ga-zette, revoke the declaration;
(b) is approved by resolution under subsection (2), the declaration shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), continue in effect for a period of six months beginning with the day of publication of the proclamation in the Ga-zette:
Provided that, where Parliament has in the resolution under subsection (2) speci-fied that the declaration shall continue in effect for a period of less than six months, the President shall, by proclamation in the Gazette, make provision that the declaration shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), be revoked on the expiration of the period so specified.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(4) If Parliament resolves that it considers it expedient that a declaration under subsection (1) should be continued for a further period not exceeding six months, the President shall forthwith, by proclamation in the Gazette, extend the declaration for such further period as may be so resolved.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, Parliament may at any time—
(a) resolve that a declaration under subsection (1) should be revoked; or
(b) whether in passing a resolution under subsection (2) or (4) or subsequently, resolve that a declaration under subsection (1) should relate to such lesser area as Parliament may specify;
and the President shall forthwith, by proclamation in the Gazette, revoke the declara-tion or provide that the declaration shall relate to such lesser area, as the case may be.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(6) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsections (1) to (5), Parliament may at any time resolve in relation to the whole of Zimbabwe or any part thereof that a situation exists which—
(a) if allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency; and
(b) may require the preventive detention of persons in the interests of defence, public safety or public order.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(7) A resolution under subsection (6) shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (8) and unless Parliament has specified that it shall have effect for a period of less than one year, have effect for a period of one year beginning with the day on which it is passed.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(8) Parliament may continue a resolution under subsection (6) for a further period, not exceeding one year.

[Subsection as amended by section 9 of Act 15 of 1990 - Amendment No. 10]

(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, Parliament may at any time resolve—
(a) that a resolution under subsection (6) shall cease to have effect; or
(b) that a resolution under subsection (6) shall relate to such lesser area as Par-liament may specify.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(10) A declaration under subsection (1) or a resolution under subsection (6) may be continued in accordance with this section notwithstanding that it has previously been continued.

(11) No resolution under subsection (2), (4), (6) or (8) shall be deemed to have been duly passed unless it receives the affirmative votes of more than one-half of the total membership of Parliament.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9]

(12) Where Parliament passes a resolution under subsection (6), (8) or (9), the Clerk of Parliament shall forthwith cause to be published in the Gazette a notice of such resolution and the effect thereof.

[Subsection as amended by section 26 of Act 31 of 1989 - Amendment No. 9,
and section 15 of Act 14 of 1996 - Amendment No. 14]

(13) …
[Subsection repealed by section 4 of Act 4 of 1993 - Amendment No. 12]

31K Extent to which exercise of President’s functions justiciable
(1) Where the President is required or permitted by this Constitution or any other law to act on his own deliberate judgement, a court shall not, in any case, inquire into any of the following questions or matters—
(a) whether any advice or recommendation was tendered to the President or acted on by him; or
(b) whether any consultation took place in connection with the performance of the act; or
(c) the nature of any advice or recommendation tendered to the President; or
(d) the manner in which the President has exercised his discretion.

(2) Where the President is required or permitted by this Constitution or any other law to act on the advice or recommendation of or after consultation with any person or authority, a court shall not, in any case, inquire into either of the following questions or matters—
(a) the nature of any advice or recommendation tendered to the President; or
(b) the manner in which the President has exercised his discretion.

[Chapter as substituted by section 2 of Act 23 of 1987]

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Leaked: The document Tsvangirai refuses to sign

This is the document detailing the role of a Prime Minister in an envisaged "Inclusive Government" in Zimbabwe. The leaked document was sent anonymously to New, and verified as authentic with several sources.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has so far declined to sign this document, saying his powers are insufficient.

All but except three of the President's powers as set out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe are now cross-referenced either with the Prime Minister, Cabinet or both (SEE MUGABE'S POWERS BEFORE POWER SHARING). The remaining presidential powers are the power to declare a state of emergency, the power to make pardons and the power to declare war or make peace. Those three, however, still require the president to consult Cabinet.

In the interest of debate, we publish the full document below (Emphasis in the document is as is in the original PDF file sent to us):

Last updated: 22/08/2008 14:59:11

1. Cabinet is the organ of state that carries the principal responsibility of formulating and implementing the government policies agreed to in the Global Agreement. The Executive Authority of the Inclusive Government resides in the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

2. The Prime Minister is a Member of the Cabinet and its Deputy Chairperson. In that regard, he carries the responsibility to oversee the formulation of policies by the Cabinet.

3. The Prime Minister must ensure all the policies formulated are implemented in accordance with the programme developed by the Ministries and agreed to in Cabinet.

4. In overseeing the implementation of the agreed policies, the Prime Minister must ensure that the state has sufficient resources and appropriate operational capacity to carry out its functions effectively. Accordingly, the Prime Minister will necessarily have to ensure that all state organs are geared towards the implementation of the policies of the inclusive government.

5. The President and the Prime Minister will agree on the allocation of Ministries between them for the purpose of day-to-day supervision.

6. The Prime Minister must ensure that the legislation necessary to enable government to carry out its functions is in place. In this regard, he carries the responsibility of conducting the business of government in Parliament.

7. The Prime Minister also advises the President on key appointments the President is required to make under and in terms of the Constitution or any Act of Parliament.

8. The Prime Minister can make recommendations on such disciplinary measures as may be necessary.

9. The Prime Minister shall serve as a member of the National Security Council and this will ensure his participation in deliberations on matters of national security and operations pertaining thereto.

10. As the work of the Inclusive Government evolves, the President or Cabinet may assign such additional functions as necessary to further enhance the work of the Inclusive Government.

11. The Prime Minister shall report regularly to the President.

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The hypocrisy of Dr Arthur Mutambara

August 22, 2008
Petina Gappah

SOMETIMES, all I can do is look on in dumb befuddlement as the world
explodes into complete and utter madness.

Two stories caught my eye this week, the drugged horses at the Olympic Games
in Beijing and the now infamous interview in which Arthur Mutambara told the
West, all of it, from Australia to the United Kingdom, to go hang.
Presumably, the non-expansionist Scandinavians are included, as is neutral
Switzerland. Why stop at America and Britain when you can damn the entire
West, even the tiny Principality of Monaco and harmless Luxembourg?
Mutambara's "go hang" was brilliantly inclusive in its generalization, but
it lacked a certain, oh I don't know, Charambesque rhetorical flourish.

Go hang a thousand times, said George Charamba.

Go hang, said Mutambara.

I was at first amused by this interview, and I was going to roll my eyes and
move on to the next instance of human folly. I have written enough about the
man, I thought, and I will let this one slide by. Then I started thinking
about the hypocrisy of it all and I thought, handingajaidzi makudo
neanokamhina (Why allow anyone to get away with murder, literally. -
Editor). If the editor can find the appropriate translation, he will put it
in, but the gist of it is that people should not be allowed to get away with
their ridiculousness.

In a stunning feat of Orwellian doublespeak, Arthur both boasted about his
Oxford credentials and said the West could go hang. Here is the hypocrisy:
Arthur's entire professional life in the US, with the exception of a few
months at McKinsey, was a series of post-doctoral research fellowships at
different universities and at the NASA John Glenn Centre. Incidentally, we
have all seen puffed up CVs, and Mutambara's is a classic example - how is
it possible that a post-doctoral researcher in his 20s is given the sole
responsibility, with no supervision, to manage a project that is worth more
than half a million dollars, as he claims in one of the highlights of his

It is clear that he never held a tenure track position.

This by the way, as some have already observed, makes his Professor title a
wee bit dubious, I would have thought Dr. Mutambara would be good enough,
but if the Prof thing is such an essential part of his self-mythology, that
is his business. The mythology surrounding Thandiwe Newton, the Hollywood
actress with a Zimbabwean mother, is that Newton's mother is a Zimbabwean
princess. So if Mutambara wants to mythologise himself as a Professor that
is for him and the man in his mirror.

The main issue here is not the self-mythology, but that he was the
beneficiary of one post-doctoral fellowship from one Western university
after the other. This, in addition to his Rhodes scholarship at Oxford,
builds a pattern of a man who has taken rather a lot from the reviled West.
Then there is the much-published fact that when his wife was pregnant,
rather than have the baby in South Africa where they lived, she flew to the
US to give birth there returning with a child with, no doubt, a nice
spanking brand new US passport. And as he boasted at a gathering at Geoff
Nyarota's house in 2007, and as he has confirmed on his CV, he still has his
US Green Card if everything goes belly up with his political career in

So this is the same Arthur who is telling the West to go hang.

When the MDC split, David Coltart sat on the fence, before deciding to throw
his lot in with Welshman Ncube's formation. After they head-hunted Arthur
and parachuted him in to be their president, sidelining Sibanda, Chimanikire
and others and thus ignoring the very democratic principles which they
claimed had been flouted by Tsvangirai, Coltart, Ncube, Misihairabwi and
Mutambara went on a tour of Washington, and of European capitals, to
introduce their new leader.

I do not recall them going to the Far East, but maybe I was not paying

I can tolerate many things from people in public life, but I cannot bear
hypocrisy. It is hypocritical for Mugabe and his ministers to slam the West
and still send their children to universities there, it is hypocritical for
Reason Wafawarova and Peter Mavhunga to be electronic cheerleaders of
Zanu-PF's oppression, and to slam the West while enjoying good public
transport, and access to doctors, and all the food they can afford to buy.

Mutambara's interview also revealed the close affinity that he has to Zanu
PF. Like Zanu PF, Mutambara has a misplaced sense of entitlement. Zanu PF's
is based on the claim that they "liberated" us, while Mutambara's appears to
rest solely on his superior academic qualifications. "I am coming out of
Oxford," says Mutambara. "Tsvangirai is an intellectual midget", he said on
a previous occasion.

And this is the man who has ambitions to be our President.

At law school at the UZ from 1991 to 1994, we had a fellow student whom I
will call Oliver. The first thing that we knew about Oliver was that he had
15 points. The next thing we knew was that Oliver had 15 points. And after
that, we knew that Oliver had 15 points. You get the picture. All Oliver
could talk about were his 15 points in English, Geography and History. It
was how he tried to impress girls and win the awe of his peers. Never mind
that a quarter of the class had 15 points, Oliver had 15 points and everyone
knew it. We graduated from law school, with Oliver surprisingly failing to
fulfil his brilliant early promise, but more significantly, within two
years, Oliver had been struck off the Law Society register because he
embezzled money from his law firm.

Good grades do not amount to intelligence, and intelligence is not the same
thing as wisdom. And intelligence certainly does not amount to character.

Mutambara achieved excellent grades at school and university, but that is
not a mark of character. Mutambara may be brilliant in his field of
robotics, but he is also vain and egocentric. His arrogance and pomposity
simply diminish him.

The harder he tries to sound impressive, the more he just sounds foolish and
clueless. You can be sure that if you stood next to him at a party, the only
subject would be the luminous brilliance of Arthur Oliver Guseni Mutambara.
He has no humility, no sense of humour about himself, no self-awareness. He
is contemptuous of others and dismissive of even the mildest criticism to a
degree that causes concern. And he is a hypocrite.

For the love of all that is beautiful and good about our country and
ourselves, keep the man away from real power.

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Tantrums of a pre-mature political baby

Rejoice Ngwenya shares with Kubatana his take on the power plays between
Mutambara, Mugabe and Tsvangirayi. In the realm of big boy (or bully boy)
politics in Zimbabwe, may the best man win . . .

I do not know as much of Ancient Roman war strategy as I do about Tshaka
Zulu's short stabbing spear and assegai tactics. However, my limited
encounter with Prussian and Babylonian siege techniques in the biblical era
reveals an amazing tendency for desperate citizens to turn on one another
when vital life-support systems have been blockaded. It is human tendency
that when the enemy is untouchable, expend one's anger on the nearest
object, even if the object is one's friend.

Such is the dilemma in which Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] break-away
formation leader Professor Arthur Mutambara is in.  For some reason or
other, Zimbabwe's opposition body politic is defined, or rather seen through
a Morgan Tsvangirayi prism of excellence. Political integrity, continuity,
courage, consistence and persistence can only receive a popular vote of
confidence if it confines itself within the Tsvangirayi school of thought.

There are several reasons  for this paradox, one of which is that between
1998 and now, Tsvangirayi has been elevated to a symbol of resistance
against Robert Mugabe's tyrannical rule. Much like in Gene Healey's "The
Cult of the Presidency", once gullible society sets on a dangerous path of
hero worshiping, the leader himself begins to feel and act infallible. This
is the curse of mankind. It becomes more dangerous when, like with Woodrow
Wilson and Robert Mugabe, such authority assumes uncontrolled military

The other is Mutambara's routine frolic into the murky waters of
demagoguery.  Come to think of it, politics is really more words than
action. As a signal tune of differentiating himself from Tsvangirayi's
puppet-of-the-west tag, Mutambara has bent over backwards to show that he is
a Pan Africanist who can define his own space without Western leverage. This
has been necessary. The African Unity [AU] and Southern African Development
Community [SADC] have of late assumed a mettle of credibility when it comes
to resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis. Since they have been, for want of a
better term, contaminated with Mugabe's anti-imperialism euphoria, African
leaders, especially Thabo Mbeki, have developed a soft spot for Mutambara,
much to the chagrin of pro-Tsvangirayi extremists. Whether it is by
coincidence or design, Mutambara's anti-West demagoguery has now been
interpreted as an extension of Mugabe's symphony.

And so, at a time when Zimbabwe is about to deliver a political baby, she
has, according to anti-Mugabe critics, come too early for MDC. Electronic
tongues are wagging in Zimbabwe's vibrant global websites, mostly against
Mutambara who is seen as a spoiler. The vitriol is directed at the professor's
alignment with the rest of Africa - and Mugabe - that Tsvangirayi is asking
for too much power. Those in Mutambara's camp are at pains to remind the
world that left to his own devices, Tsvangirayi routinely lapses into
Wilsonian autocracy, the main reason why MDC split in the first place. They
argue that the cult of leadership reigns supreme at Harvest House [MDC
headquarters] where Tsvangirayi can never be seen to err, and if this
attitude is brought forward to State House, it will mature into fully
fledged national dictatorship.

The last reason is based on pure market politics. Everyone wants to be
powerful and for Mutambara, the transition from student activism to national
leadership has been swift, though, as some internet sites would want to
portray, a short circuit, benefiting from what they term 'self-cetred
opportunism'. Yes, politics is about opportunism. Had Tsvangirayi not
exploited an opportunity to be chairperson of the National Constitutional
Assembly Task Force Committee, he would still be wallowing in monotonous
trade union politics. Mugabe himself displaced Joshua Nkomo as the leader of
preferred choice in Zimbabwe's guerrilla war. The fact that Mutambara has
not been part of the mainstream struggle against Mugabe is as insignificant
as the demand by the Joint Operations Command [JOC] that they will not
salute Tsvangirayi because he lacks liberation war credentials. This world
is cruel, you snooze, you loose. Tsvangirayi must accept that he is up
against intelligent and skimming competition in Mutambara and Mugabe. May
the best man, I mean, political baby survive!

This entry was posted on August 22nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm by Bev Clark

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Welshman Ncube on "sell-out deal" claims etc


Welshman Ncube
22 August 2008

Statement issued by the Mutambara faction of the MDC August 21 2008


The MDC National Council held an all day meeting on 20 August 2008 and
deliberated on various issues affecting the country. Council received the
report of the negotiating team to the SADC mediated dialogue on the
resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis and

a. Noted that the draft agreement provides for power sharing among the
political parties on the basis of the results of the 29th March 2008
harmonised elections

b. Noted that the draft agreement is a fair and reasonable compromise on
power sharing on the basis of which the parties may move forward to rebuild
the country in the interest of the people.

c. Resolved to appeal to the parties to the dialogue to seriously consider
finalising the dialogue and signing the global agreement.

d. Resolved to endorse the resolutions of the SADC Extraordinary Summit of
the Organ on Peace, Defence and Security of the 17 August 2008 encouraging
and appealing to the parties to sign any outstanding agreements and conclude
the negotiations as a matter of urgency.

e. Expressed appreciation and thanked His Excellency, President Thabo Mbeki,
President of the Republic of South Africa and his facilitation team of
Minister Sydney Mufamadi, Director General, Frank Chikane and Legal Counsel,
Mr Mojanku Gumbi for their commitment and dedication in helping Zimbabwe
resolve her problems and in particular expressed appreciation to the South
African government for the resources and facilities it committed to the
dialogue process.

f. Expressed gratitude and appreciation to the SADC Heads of State and
governments for the commitment and determination to assist the people of
Zimbabwe in finding solutions to the country's crisis.

g. Expressed thanks to and congratulated the party's negotiating team for
the good work they are doing in the negotiations.

h. Deliberated extensively on the issue which appeared in the media alleging
that some of the party's MPs had attacked the party leadership on
allegations that they (the leadership) had signed a sell-out deal to form a
government with ZANU (PF) without the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

i. Council noted the denials of the Members of Parliament repudiating and
disassociating themselves from statements attributed to them in the media.

j. Reiterated the party's policy that only its official spokespersons are
permitted to speak to the media on party affairs and underlined that as the
party's supreme organ in between Congresses all officers of the Party
including its Members of Parliament are bound by and must at all times
submit themselves to the authority and resolutions of the Council in terms
of the Party's Constitution.

Professor Welshman Ncube
Secretary General

Statement issued by the Arthur Mutambara led breakaway faction of the MDC
August 21 2008

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Brass to Mugabe: get out of talks

The Australian

August 23, 2008

THE generals who support Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe have forced him
to withdraw from talks that might have solved the beleaguered nation's

The military chiefs, led by Constantine Chiwengwa, believe Mugabe has
already agreed to cede too much power to opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, British newspaper The Independent reported.

Mugabe has declared that he will reopen Zimbabwe's parliament next Tuesday,
even though talks with the opposition on a power-sharing agreement remain

The military chiefs have pushed Mugabe to dissolve parliament after it
resumes sitting. He would then be able to order a new election, in which his
ZANU-PF party could overturn the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's
narrow victory in the election held in March.

It is thought such a step is unlikely. But MDC leaders fear their MPs could
be targeted for assassination, The Independent said yesterday.

ZANU-PF holds 99 seats, and the MDC has 100 and an MDC offshoot led by
maverick Arthur Mutambara holds 10. An independent holds the remaining seat.

Mugabe needs seven more MPs to regain legitimate power in the parliament.

The deal hammered out during the talks would give Mugabe executive control
of the security services, and Mr Tsvangirai would take on the task of
repairing the economy and facing the humanitarian disaster created by the

Mr Tsvangirai was quoted as saying: "If President Mugabe goes ahead to
convene parliament and appoint a new cabinet, it means he is proceeding to
violate the conditions of the memorandum of understanding, which means he
may have abandoned the basis for the talks. But we don't know what his
intentions are."

South African President Thabo Mbeki, the mediator of the talks, appeared to
have sided with Mugabe and was reported to have been pressing the MDC to
accept the deal on offer.

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CIO threatens MDC MPs

Friday, 22 August 2008 13:33
Bulawayo - The Movement for Democratic Change (the MDC) lead by Morgan
Tsvangirai says its newly-elected members of parliament are being harassed
and intimidated by state agents. "We are getting reports of State agents
harassing and trying to intimidate MDC membvers of Parliament. These reports
are from the midlands and involve both the police and the CIO. They are
concerned about what might happen on Monday and Tuesday in Harare when MP's
and Senators are due to be sworn-in and then select the Speaker for the
House of Assembly," says a statement from the party.

The newly-elected members of parliament are due to be sworn-in on
Monday next week. Military junta leader, Robert Mugabe is expected to open
it officially on Tuesday. The MDC has said it regards this as a breach of
the memorandum of understanding that was signed last month between the
Mugabe regime and the two factions of the MDC. It is not yet clear whether
the MDC (T) will boycott the opening ceremony as they have done in the past.

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No where to go

Friday, 22 August 2008 13:12

Mr Kobus Joubert reports that Mr Gilbert Moyo arrived at the farm with
a hostile group of people who insisted that he vacates the property.

Instead he drove off to speak to a group of war veterans who he had
befriended at another camp. When he came back to the farm with about 20 of
them Mr Moyo and his team were sent packing and Mr Joubert was told to
remain in his house.

At midnight the group pestered Mr Joubert for alcoholic beverage but
he declined.

The next morning the Police Dispol arrived in the form of a very
strict and straight forward lady. She is reported to have told the war
veterans in no uncertain terms that she was also a war veteran and that they
were a disgrace to their group. She insisted that she was the only person
who could sign an eviction order and that was only after a successful court
case. She laid down the law and ordered them to be off the farm and to
return the vehicle they stole by 6pm or would face charges for the livestock
they had stolen and consumed.

Update 30 June

It is reported that the stolen vehicle was not returned as reported
and was used during the recent assaults in the district. The Dispol who did
assist was from Norton. The vehicle has now been seen at the Chegutu Police
Station. 240 litres of diesel were also stolen at the time.


Mr Hendrik Stein is renting one of the houses on the property and is
caretaking the property whilst Mr Kobus Joubert is away on holiday. Before
Mr Joubert left he reportedly held a meeting with Minister Mutasa in Harare
who allegedly said that he will soon be given back the rest of his property
together with another property, which he had previously lost.

However, Mr Stein was telephoned whilst on a trip to Harare by the
local Lands officer and the Officer-in-Charge of Chegutu saying there would
be a meeting at the farm which he must attend, as he would be given 24-hours
to leave the property.

He returned to the farm and met with the group who showed him an offer
letter, dated 7 July 2008. Mr Joubert had been with the Minister on 3 July
2008. The alleged beneficiary said that Mr Stein should move out immediately
because he was authorised to start farming right away. He said that he had
been with the Minister in Harare on the 3 July 2008 shortly after Mr Joubert
had left his office.

Mr Stein said he was not the landlord and therefore had no authority
over such decisions to be made. He managed to negotiate a deal that he could
stay another two weeks until Mr Joubert had returned and the matter could be
discussed with the new beneficiary and the committee.

Update 24 July

The alleged beneficiary of the property has been named as an officer
in the President's Office, Mr Felix Mhlanga Pambukani, 63-547693D-63, who is
alleged to have been hired by the now notorious Mr Gilbert Moyo to carry out
the previous attempts at jambanja which was resolved by the Propol from
Norton. He is also alleged to be related to Minister Webster Shamu.

Update 25 July

The Officer-in-Charge of Selous, Inspector Sithole, telephoned Mr
Stein to inform him that the beneficiary has started to throw his furniture
out of the house. However he later admitted that this was just a threat and
gave him until 4pm to attend a meeting with him on the farm failing which he
would break in and empty the house.

Mr Stein has previously experienced a similar situation 2 ½ hears ago
when he was forcefully evicted from his own house in a similar fashion on
his property.

Mr Joubert's daughter is presently waiting at Norton Police Station
waiting to see Dispol and hopes to receive an offer letter for her father
today to resolve the issue. Mr Joubert is due back from holiday tonight.

Update 28 July

Mr Stein reports that he went home on Friday afternoon and was given
various demands by the beneficiary and staff before they eventually left.
Some of the beneficiary's staff approached Mr Stein later wanting him to
clear room in the house for some 15 people which he said was impossible.
They asked if he was going to the office, and at what time in the morning.
After giving that information he felt he was to be set up. Later his driver
came to the house to warn him that he had overheard the beneficiaries saying
they wanted to ensure when he was out of the house in the morning and then
to move into the house when it was open and his wife was alone. They
indicated they did not want to break and enter the house, but once they were
inside they would chuck everything out onto the lawn. He locked the gated
but left the house saying he was going to Lomagundi to collect his child at
school there. He locked up the house securely before he left.

Mr Joubert came back from leave and has been trying to make
appointments to meet with Minister Mutasa and the lawyers. He said that soon
after the Minister had promised him the offer letter Mr Pambukani had spoken
to the Minister and accused him of holding an MDC victory party at him home
so he should go. Hence he was given an offer letter instead. Mr Joubert
telephoned home and everything was normal and nobody had moved into either
of the houses.


Mr Kobus Joubert reports that the beneficiary, Mr Felix Pambukani,
mounted a full-scale jambanja against him on Friday and Saturday. He was
later accompanied by the Chegutu Police who insisted he vacate the property
immediately. Although he tried to argue that the occupation of his property
could only occur with vacant possession of the property - that is after he
had been lawfully and finally evicted by a competent court of law, (which
has not happened in this case), they would not listen. Neither has he either
been made an offer or any form of payment of compensation for his

He and his wife slept outside their house on the lawn to guard their
possessions, which were thrown out of the house, after he had explained to
the Police that it was impossible to pack up 40 years of possessions

Update 16 August

He was served with an eviction order, which had been granted in the
Chegutu magistrates Court following an application made by the beneficiary.
Although the application by a beneficiary to evict the owner is technically
impossible, the Police insisted that the eviction order was in order and
lawful and that they would enforce it. The Chegutu Messenger of the Court
also arrived and he also informed Mr Joubert that he had to vacate the
property immediately or would face arrest.

The beneficiary, Mr Pambukani, reportedly said that it was no use Mr
Joubert trying to defend himself through the courts as he will not win
because he has tied everything up in the courts to make sure he does not
have any success. He said he knows farmers always try to defend themselves
in the court but he will not win.

Information just received seems to indicate that Mr Pambukani is an
impostor and is not linked to the President's Office as he alleges.

Mr and Mrs Joubert and their workers were then physically pushed off
the farm together with what furniture and equipment they could load onto
their vehicles and trailers. They have nowhere else to go to as they do not
own any other property or house, so they are now camping on the nearest
lay-bye to their property on the main Harare - Bulawayo highway.

Update 17 August

The plight of the Joubert family and their workers camping on the edge
of the main Harare - Bulawayo highway has created a lot of interest from
passers by, many of whom are stopping and talking to Mr Joubert, who is
fluent in Shona. Many of the people he has spoken to say they did not
realise that the Zimbabwean Government is forcefully evicting white farmers
and their workers off their properties like this.

Many influential black Zimbabweans, who have stopped there, (including
Environmental Minister Francis Nhema, are encouraging Mr Joubert to stay
where he is and to rest because they insist they are going to ensure he gets
his entire farm back. They say he should conserve all his strength because
once he is back on the farm he is going to be extremely busy indeed.

However, the local party chairman was critical of him living at the
lay-bye as he said it was an embarrassment to the party. Mr Joubert's
comments in response are reserved.

Update 18 August

The Joubert family and their workers are still living in the lay-bye.

An application has been made to the Chegutu magistrates Court to set
aside the eviction order on the grounds that it is illegal because a
beneficiary cannot apply to a court for the eviction of a farmer from his
property. The case is set down for Thursday 21 August.

Update 19 August

There is no change in the situation except that the Police are now
becoming embarrassed by his constant interest shown by passers by and want
to try to remove him from public view. However, Mr Joubert has spoken to the
farm owner on whose property the lay-bye sits and has authority to move over
the fence onto his property should he be forcefully moved.

Update 20 August

The same eviction notice was used today to evict Mr Hendrik Stein, who
has been renting a cottage on the farm following his own previous violent
from his own property. He also has no other home to go to so he too is now
camped at the same lay-bye as Mr Joubert.

Update 21 August

The matter of the illegal eviction notice will be heard in the Chegutu
magistrates Court this morning. Mr and Mrs Joubert and their staff have been
camped at the lay-bye since last Saturday.

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Economy in freefall

By Tichaona Sibanda
22 August 2008

The MDC's policy co-odinator Eddie Cross on Friday warned that the country
would soon come to a 'standstill' as the economic crisis reaches
unprecedented levels.

The MDC MP for Bulawayo South said the situation is being compounded by the
skyrocketing inflation which now stands at over 50 million percent.

'The currency that was introduced by government three weeks ago is now

The country's economy has been in recession for over a decade, as a result
of gross mismanagement and corruption by Mugabe's regime. A power-sharing
deal between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations is currently on hold
following disagreements over the issue of executive powers between Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai.

'If there is no deal anytime soon, things will only get worse. Many firms
are closed, retail stores are empty and wholesalers are closed down. The
food industry is in dire straits and there are no raw materials in the
country,' Cross added.

The MDC was also receiving reports that a lot of their members were being
harassed as a result of the talks' deadlock. State security agents were also
intimidating MPs.

'These reports are from the midlands and involve both the police and the
CIO. They are concerned about what might happen on Monday and Tuesday in
Harare when MP's and Senators are due to be sworn in and then select the
Speaker for the House of Assembly,' said Cross.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Reporter arrested in provincial town as she watches police violence

Reporters without Borders

Zimbabwe  22 August 2008

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of reporter Rutendo Mawere
of The Standard weekly newspaper, who was arrested yesterday in Gweru (in
Midlands province), 280 km southwest of Harare, while watching police beat
residents who had been queueing outside a shop for basic staples.

"As the search for a negotiated solution to the political crisis continues,
journalists are still being subjected to police brutality, arbitrary arrest
and constant intimidation," Reporters Without Borders said. "Trying to hide
the destitution of the population by arresting witnesses is shameful. Orders
should be given for Mawere to be freed at once."

After being arrested, Mawere was taken Gweru police station where she is
still being held without being formally charged. She has the required press
accreditation from the Media Information Commission.

Her arrest comes two weeks after freelance photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi
fled Zimbabwe with his family after being attacked and beaten at his home on
29 July by the Harare police, who accused him of owning an improperly
registered car. The police still have his vehicle. Mukwazhi and his family
have found refuge abroad.

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Executive Equality: Zimbabwe must have a life again

I'm not a legal guru, never can I claim to be one. However, if indeed,
Zimbabweans are serious about achieving a workable power-sharing deal that
will lead us to the "promised land", then I propose the following, based on
what is known to date:

  1.. Mugabe remains President and Commander-in-chief  (answerable to
  2.. MDC - Mutambara provides speaker of parliament (as they literally
wield balance of power)
  3.. Tsvangirai becomes Prime Minister with powers to appoint, dismiss and
chair cabinet; manage day-to-day govt operations (answerable to Parliament)
  4.. Any transitional government runs for 4 yrs, which is mid-way between 3
and 5 years
  5.. Rule of law is restored forthwith, govt, in consultation with Senate
and Parliament, draws a line when amnesty can be granted
  6.. With immediate effect, start depoliticising all state institutions
  7.. No executive President or Prime Minister during the transitional

This is a very simple matrix that may change the dynamics of our political
deadlock. Zimbabwe is our country, our heritage, and our identity. Let's all
work together in bringing back sanity, tolerance, success, and development.
Semunye (we are one)!!!

Moses Chamboko writes from Australia

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Comment from Correspondent

I would like to pose a question to the MDC-M faction, through your "comments
from correspondence"

The rhetoric of this robotic mechanic (Arthur Mutambara ) of resent weeks
has baffled me beyond belief. He claims to be very well educated, but yet,
he only demonstrates his infinitesimal absence of any  moral understanding,
knowledge, comprehension, wisdom and or astuteness of all things worldly.
Basically the man is an academically qualified idiot, professor stupid

MDC-M faction, Mutambara and Nube, claim they are an independent political
party, a party that is neither for MDC-T nor against Zanu-PF. Yet I must
ask, does anyone truthfully believe that MDC-M would have won a single
parliamentary seat if they were campaigning under there own unique party
name or branded identity. The answer would be a resounding NO. The fact is
the MDC-M only won the seats they did because they are riding on and milking
the laurels of the true MDC.

Let the party bigwigs make the brave and final break from the MDC by
formulating their own party name and brand. Lets see how popular they would
be as an independently identifiable party. The fact that the MDC-M stalwarts
failed to secure any seats themselves speak volumes for their popularity
with their respective constituents.

The entire Mutambara MDC National Executive Council lost in the March
parliamentary election: Arthur Mutambara, Gibson Sibanda,Welshman
Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Miriam Mushayi, Jobert Mudzumwe,
Fletcher Dulini- Ncube.

Now how long do you think Mutambara/Ncube/Sibanda and co. will last in
politics as lackey and subservient dogs to Mugabe's new government of unity.

I appeal to the elected Mp's of MDC-M faction, "MOVE NOW" back into the fold
of the MDC (under Tsvanigrai) and lets finish what we started, which is the
democratic freedom we have been denied for the last 28 years under Mugabe.
The peoples will shall prevail and time will be the judge.

God Bless - Zimbabwe, her people and her rightful leaders.

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