Zimbabwe Beyond Salvage? Part 1

BEYOND SALVAGE?  By Godfrey 22 August 2013

PART ONE  | Part two published 28 August 2013

All things come to an end. This optimistic resignation feels very irrelevant to Zimbabweans today. Once again Zimbabwe finds herself at the mercy of power, raw power. Thirty three years and still counting, the self congratulatory cacophony, “we liberated you from the British” continues. In other words, “Shut up, sit down, be eternally grateful and let us rule you, and whilst we are at it, no questions asked.” Without countenancing what the British did to Zimbabwe, the deliberate distortion of history by Mugabe et al is self evident.

In 1980 Zimbabwe was not ‘liberated’ from the British as Mugabe wants us to believe. She was ‘liberated’ from the Smith regime. This is a very important distinction which has been glossed over for obvious political purposes. Both Ian Douglas Smith, of British heritage, and Robert Gabriel Mugabe, heritage unknown to many, but probably of Malawian descent- a Mr. Matibili sired Robert Mugabe- were born in Southern Rhodesia, Smith in 1919 and Mugabe in 1924. Thus, although heritage is relevant to individuals personally, our laws then and now, even though the laws are now selectively applied, made anyone born in Zimbabwe, a citizen of Zimbabwe at birth. This makes logical and legal sense. No matter how omnipotent, it is a practical impossibility for a leader to take citizenship at birth from the beholder. A place of birth is indelible. Necessarily, Smith never ceased to be a citizen of Rhodesia cum Zimbabwe, in spite of his sixteen years of atrocious governance, just like Robert Mugabe, with his thirty three years of comparable atrocities.

I can almost begin to hear the same old tired racist vitriol on my person from Mugabe’s spin doctors. I will survive the rants.

To describe Ian Smith as British is just the same as describing Americans as British. In 1965 Smith, just like what the Americans did in 1776, unilaterally declared independence from Britain. Ironically, when America declared its independence it was to form a union whilst Ian Smith helped to dissolve one. At the declaration of their independence, thirteen colonies assumed the name United States of America. Smith dropped Southern from an ill fated federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia became a de facto independent state, Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.

Lost to many is the fact that; the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Ian Smith (UDI) was necessitated by the British stance of not allowing its colonies to gain independence before majority rule (NIBAR). The British did not want Ian Smith to declare independence without full participation of the majority black people; whites formed 5% of the population compared to 94.5% of blacks. The reason why the British wanted the majority to participate in governing their states may be debatable, probably self serving, but the fact still remains, they were no longer the governing authority when Ian Smith unilaterally declared independence from Britain.

Ian Smith argued that the will of the majority was fully declared at the indaba he held with the traditional chiefs and headman in Domboshawa in 1964, a disingenuous disputation. Empirically this goes to prove that political manipulation of chiefs is not new, nor is it a preserve of Robert Mugabe alone. Chiefs are always manipulated, and they are a rare species those who still hold on to their true traditional values, their office of trust. Although the indaba proved to be purely academic, because the British boycotted the meeting, the chiefs and headmen in attendance reportedly approved the UDI, “unanimously”.

After Smith declared his independence from the British the United Nations, including Britain and America, imposed a trade embargo on Smith’s Rhodesia which remained throughout his reign. Whether the imposition of sanctions was all the British could have done to speed up majority rule is debatable. However, it is worth noting that the British were not the governing authority in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe when the war of independence earnestly started in 1974 or when Mugabe ascended to the helm of ZANU, by default in 1975.

Leopold Takawira, who could have succeeded Ndabaningi Sithole as the president of ZANU died in detention and Herbert Chitepo was killed by a car bomb. Edgar Tekere absolves Mugabe of wrestling power from Ndabaningi Sithole, Mugabe’s former boss. Sithole, Enos Nkala, Herbert Chitepo and Edgar Tekere and Mugabe were the founding fathers of ZANU. Sithole was the president of ZANU and Mugabe was Sithole’s secretary general. Tekere writes in his book, A Lifetime of Struggle, that it was him who orchestrated and tabled the motion to sack Sithole from ZANU because of policy differences.

Sithole secured his release from prison by denouncing hostilities against the Smith regime. His fellow prisoners of conscience Maurice Nyagumbo, Enos Nkala and Edgar Tekere felt betrayed. They voted to oust Sithole. Tekere makes it a point to mention that Mugabe did not want to rebel against Sithole. Mugabe was arm twisted, Tekere reports, to abstain from voting for Sithole, leading to a 3 to 1 defeat and the ouster of Ndabaningi from the very party he helped to form. Motin Malianga, who shared a prison cell with Mugabe and Sithole, could not vote because he chaired the meeting. If Tekere’s allegations are true, and there is no reason to think otherwise, the militancy in Robert Mugabe maybe a late development and a tool he has artistically learned to effectively exploit.

Mugabe has and will order the brutalization of unarmed citizens. He however, embellishes his military record to instill fear. Mugabe has been reported to have declared that he had a degree in fighting. He is on record as saying, if indigenization makes him Hitler he is a Hitler tenfold. Brutal as he may be, Mugabe is no Hitler neither does he have a degree in military fighting, seven academic degrees notwithstanding. Without dismissing the invaluable role he played in the struggle against the Smith regime, Mugabe was not the most relevant factor in the war proper.

The war of liberation was very instrumental to the attainment of Zimbabwean independence. But to suggest that independence was won through the barrel of the gun without disclosing that Mugabe became Prime Minister as a result of a negotiated settlement is erroneous and misleading, a deliberate omission of relevant facts, just to boost Mugabe’s resume. If Zimbabwe had been liberated from Smith solely through the barrel of the gun, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, as the country was briefly known in 1979, would not have reverted to British authority, a step which was taken to necessitate a smooth transition to self determination. Mugabe would not have retained the likes of Ken Flower and Peter Walls within his security agents and the defense forces.

Lord Soames would not have been appointed as a transitional governor of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and there would not have been a Lancaster House Constitution which among other things reserved 20 parliamentary seats for white citizens. The reason why Lord Soames became a governor is because Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister at the time, refused to be hoodwinked by Smith’s adroit puppetry. In an attempt to gain recognition and to outwit Mugabe and Nkomo, Smith conjured an internal settlement and declared an election which was won by Bishop Abel Muzorewa. Muzorewa became the Prime Minister, Josiah Zion Gumede the President and Ian Smith became a minister without portfolio. Yet, all important portfolios; the economy, judiciary, police and armed forces remained under the control of Rhodesian Front, Smith’s political party. Compare this with the 2008 Government of National Unity (GNU) and ZANU PF’s hold on important ministerial portfolios. Mugabe hated Smith, but he sure learns from history.

Could the war have been won decisively, by ZIPRA and ZANLA, the military wings of ZAPU and ZANU respectively? Probably, but the fact is it was not decisively won. The combatants should be commended for ceasing fire when they did because they averted further brutalization and unnecessary killings of civilians by both sides.

Mugabe’s policy decisions are engineered by real or perceived disrespect of his person. The British are a good example of such. Remember, the Robert Mugabe of the 80s and 90s, the derisively cartooned Vasco da Gama? The one who would stopover in London for tea with the queen on his way to Gweru from Harare? Remember Sir Robert Mugabe who was knighted as the Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth?  The point is, Mugabe is very fond of Britain and everything British, the tea, the assumed accent with an exaggerated drawl. All the vitriol he now heaps on his erstwhile and favorite destination is really because he cannot visit anymore. Yes, the British Labour Party reneged on an agreement entered by its predecessor to sponsor the land reform, but Mugabe is not without blame. Mugabe is not a slave to principles. He conveniently dresses his policies from a wardrobe of personal emotions which suits him fine, as long as his power remains intact.

We just have to brace ourselves as we watch Mr. Mugabe do what he wills to “his” country. Now that his political hands are unfettered, parliamentary opposition and leadership decimated; Mugabe may dragoon his diktats with never before seen zealotry. Mugabe and his generals own Zimbabwe, their cosa nostra. They may continue to run it as such. As a life president, he has outdone his hero, Hastings Kamuzu Banda. He may feel validated to do what he wants without any reservations. He has populated the judiciary with his puppets, the attorney general is unapologetically partisan, the police are crooks, the military is in control, and all the government institutions are hopelessly corrupt.  Institutionalized corruption will crystallize. Impunity will run supreme. Promises made will once again be broken. There is going to be parceling out of rewards to “men of honor”, and the struggling economy will take a severe knock. China the new economic conqueror will tremendously benefit through the get rich quick cabinet Mugabe will assemble.

Yet there is real opportunity here, which Mugabe can exploit and redeem his legacy. He can start by putting in place pragmatic policies that will put Zimbabwe back on track and successfully compete on the world market.

Was MDC the answer? Doubtable, because the “now it’s our turn syndrome” was very real and apparent among the MDC officials. Power also got in their heads. The syndrome blinded MDC.  They failed to act or strategize. The electoral landscape was heavily tilted against them. Stupidly, they participated and in the process they validating a rigged election. They were outsmarted. A chance to at least set Zimbabwe on a path to democracy may have been lost.

There is enough evidence to support that corruption had taken root among many MDC parliamentarians and cabinet members. Mugabe allowed the rot to take hold. It is part of his modus operandi and he has used it over and over again, even among his fellow ZANU PF cabinet members. Many of the MDC members who formed part of the GNU seriously and corruptly compromised themselves. Any one of them who now raises his voice to criticize the new Mugabe government will be investigated for the sins of the past and prosecuted. Even though the Attorney General may overzealously and selectively prosecute, many of these former opposition parliamentarians and cabinet members have legitimate cases to answer.

Tendai Biti’s future may be sealed by the multimillion dollar defamation suit Didymus Mutasa, one of Mugabe’s staunchest backers, timely filed against Biti. It was very ill advised for Biti to repeat a parliamentary speech outside parliamentary proceedings. But even if Mutasa was defamed as he claims, to sue Biti for US$5m, is laughable, only the suit was filed in the High Court of Zimbabwe. You guessed it; Mugabe has populated his courts with his own supporters who masquerading as justices. Biti will be found liable. Damages will be assessed and he will be financially ruined. He will appeal, but the judgment will be upheld. And whilst we are at it, just watch the rate of speed at which the case is going to be heard, concluded and executed. A carrot, to turn coat may be extended to Biti. Whether he will catch the bait remains an open question.

Unfortunately, those who supported MDC are now at the mercy of the vindictive and zombified ZANU PF supporters. Mugabe knows when to pounce and pounce he may. He wants to deliver a fatal blow to his and his party’s nemesis, the total destruction of MDC. He may probably co-opt some who showed political shrewdness from the opposition, teach them the ZANU PF way and allow them to join the gravy train. Others on the periphery, like Lovemore Madhuku, discredited leader of National Constitutional Assembly and a law professor, have already constructed a spring board to ingratiate himself with Robert Mugabe. Madhuku has lately made pronouncements laced with unmistakable, “I can be another Jonathan Moyo” innuendos.

The best that Tsvangirai and all his entourage can do now is to make sure that their supporters are not molested. If any competent leadership is to sprout from the MDC, they have to be bold enough to protect their very vulnerable supporters and smart enough to take pragmatic steps to avoid Zimbabwe from taking the plunge. The urge to abandon ship, now that power is currently beyond their reach, is very appealing, but that is not what worthy leaders are made of. Mugabe may be destructive, but his political fortunes were originally founded on genuine and strong conviction to fight and even to die for his own people. Who could have guessed?

To be continued.

Part one originally by email and via https://www.facebook.com/notes/zimbabwe-situation/beyond-salvage-by-godfrey-22-august-2013/368696649899346

Part two published 28 August 2013



  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 9 years ago

    Zanu-PF has already owned Zimbabwe a long time ago. Why do people act like it is new? The gospel of Zanu is our Bible, our daily oath, our prayer, our daily bread, our life, till the day that Jesus comes. And when he does arrive, he too will be re-educated to praise the gospel of Zanu, or take a bath in an acid vat.

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    Reckon he just wanted power, even back then. When was he ever in the frontline? He was always a megalomaniac. He gives not a tinker’s cuss for his people and therefore will do nothing for them. Dark days ahead. Good article!

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    Micheal 9 years ago

    Eloquently scribe article, look forward part II.

    Even the bad guys have to die, good riddance Enos Nkala!! now waiting for the day when I can celebrate the death of the old man mugabe.

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    The Future 2025 9 years ago

    The old man will contest 2018 elections as well. He will be 94 and it will be his 8th term. He will not have addressed the succession debate in his party. Watch the space.

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    Nedziwe Rudo Kenneth 9 years ago

    I feel blaming MDC for allowing zanupfu to steal peoples vote is not right or fair.zanupfu has a responsibility to be honest with the people . When has cheating in any game been allowed ?

    • comment-avatar
      Ozymandias 9 years ago

      When the umpire, scorers and third match official are all in the pocket of the batting team.

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    Infynite Stylze 9 years ago

    Was muzorewa elected to be prime minnister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia(a country with a surname just like a party with a surname mdc t) or he was appointed [after opperation named terror attack] and thousands of freedom fighters were killed? Three partners in crime nyati,sithole the rev and muzorewa a bishop {M talking of church leaders}conspired with smith and ordered mass destruction @Chimoio,Tembwe,Mboroma and Nyadzonya. After this achievement wasnt muzorewa made a puppet prime minnister(organ changalai’s post aswel).After muzorewa’s leadership as puppet prime minnister failed. A meeting was held in Lillongwe Malawi to form a political party.B4 you answer the 1st qstion can you enlight us of the true rudd concetion .Can you please fill us with information of david livingstone discovering and naming the falls!These falls didnt have aname?The Tonga pple who were living near the falls did not know the falls #EXISTED!? Tell me are you pink or white or maybe you are black or brown{there is light and dark that if you are brown}!?

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      B. Washed 9 years ago

      “Infynite Stylze” has been told of a party with a surname and sees the “T” in MDC and is blind to the “PF” in ZANU. He cant even ask himself about that?

      My ex-combatant sister told me that all they did was being told the same stories over and over again, and they couldn’t ask questions to understand the full details in fear of being labeled a “sell-out”. “Why do you want to know more, if you have no intentions of being a sell-out”. So they were and are still brainwashed. So we hear this kind of brainwashed mentality from “Infynite Stylze”, this is the same talk every comrade, mujiba and chimbwido said then.

      There were elections yes I still remember NDU, UANC, ZANU, Chikerema’s, Chirau’s “Slau’s” and Ndiweni’s parties.

      Unfortunately one sided thinking disregard that
      – Bishop Muzorewa successfully companied against a hatched up referendum by Ian Smith.
      – He refused to listen to and follow his “puppet master” Ian Smith who walked out from the Lancaster House talks that eventually saw our independence. We all wish “Infynite Stylze” could think out of the box. Thanks to diamonds instead of developing the country and they bribe the kinds of people like “Infynite Stylze” into looking the other side as citizens are murdered for exercising their right to choose a government of their liking.

      Sad they are now only waiting to be told to pounce on free thinking and fellow Zimbabwean citizens.

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    Nyoni 9 years ago

    Excellent article Godfrey. Well articulated, well delivered. Keep it up!!!

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    Yes a very good article indeed. Its the right staff to read but how can Tswangirai ever protect his supporters. For the past five years he has been crying about Mbare’s Chipangano and nothing happened!

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      Mapingu 9 years ago

      Yes, indeed Tsvangai could have done more in trying to reduce the violence meted out on his supporters or wanton arrest of same by overzealous zanu pf functionaries while the sun shine. That surely he didn’t.

      But more importantly Zimboz need top being foolishly meek and too cowardice to the extent that it is not uncommon to see 10 strongly-built and big men being bullied by a single frail unarmed young man.

      Pa rank or anywhere else, muZimbabwe’ kamwana kane mukaka pamhuno kanoudza mazirume makuru akasimba to jump and all they can ask is ‘How high?’.

      Waka mbozvivona kune imwe nyika ipi kwazvinoitika zvakapata kudaro.

      Uka bvunza why people allow it, heee, hanzi ‘its becoz isu maZimbo takafunda, we are civilized saka hatidi hedu zvokugwa’.

      Rubbish! Amboti igwayi ndiyani? Just refuse to be abused full stop.

      I have been lived in SA, Bots, Lesotho, etc and handina kumbovona vanhu vachiharasiwa nahwindi or any other silly individually willy-nilly. Zvakare handina kumbovona pama rank pachigwiwa nokuti vanhu havasikuda kuharasiwa. It’s only in Zimbabwe where wanton harassment of citizens is just wanton.

      All I’m saying Zimbos need learn to put their destiny in their own hands not entrust it into someone’s – Tsvangirai or any other person.

      Chokwadi ndecho kuti maZimbo akapata anongo tolareta zvose zvose; hiding behind being ‘educated’ yet many of them now adays can hardly spell the word ‘education’. Gushungo ne zanu pf yavo vakatozviridha kare. Muchatsvikira nokurohwa makamirira Tsvangirai or Jesu chaiye kuti avuye – hameno kuti riini?

      More importantly some of us, especially those who haven’t led any struggle organization, don’t appreciate kuti ‘SIMBA REHOVE RIRI MUMVURA’. No leader will do any drastic unless is sure his/her ‘key’ followers will follow through – else he/she will be doomed.

      As such it is fool-hard to expect Tsvangirai to play hard ball while fully aware that his key support is a bunch of cowards. How many times did he call for ‘FINAL PUSH’; and how many followed through? Did he ever manage to garner the critical mass to effect such? That’s how it is whether we like it or not.

      In conclusion, all I am saying is while Tsvangirai mighty have blundered here and there it is fair to critically look at the nature of people he is leading. Are they really the kind of people who getting going when things get tough?

      No one can ever liberate Zimbabwe from the jaws of zanu pf dictatorship alone. It takes a critical mass of courageous men & women. Chingangova chokwadi chinogwadza chandatura ichi. Asi vedu vakuru vakati harivhikwi; zvakare dzinohwa hadzirimi.

      Tiri makwara nembwende dzoga-dzoga miZimbabwe vazhinji vedu. Ndozvitaura ini MAFIRAKUREVA NDAKASUNUNGUKA. Chedu kungo chema: hee, Tsvangirai chino, heee, Tsvangirai checho; …..
      Ko, yeCHIMUSORO ari kuondonga hamumuvoni here??

      • comment-avatar
        jongwe power 9 years ago

        Very true, Mapingu. Too bad folks choose to close their ears and sing, “La lala, lala!” when they hear them.

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        Aluta Continua 9 years ago

        This is live dictatorship, not what we read in books. Some stood up after the March 2008 elections and they are now gone. Mupingu will you stand up? And say bye to you beloved family and friends like those after March 2008.

        I do not see any easy solutions really. What I can urge is that we continue to register in registration friendly areas, urge others to register, urge others to vote when the time comes and urge those in knowledge to expose cheating in a setting that will let the message be made public and hence protect themselves from vindication.

        Seeing cheating and resigning does not help at all.

        Time will come when everyone realizes that ziZizi iri harina manyanga. We all hope and pray this time comes sooner than later. Come this day it will for sure. Ingawani wana Ian Smith wakaenda wani, even his re-incarnation in black colour will come to pass too.

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    LEONARD 9 years ago

    A very good article indeed.Keep it up.I shall keep it my archieve for future reference.Waiting for part 2 ,3 and 4.

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    Mike Patterson 9 years ago

    Excellent. Looking forward to the rest.

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    Guvnor 9 years ago

    Great article with good analysis. Until and unless the policy makers put the citizens and country first Zimbabwe will continue to be a third rate basket case.

  • comment-avatar
    Rock stone 9 years ago

    Guys we must understand the mode and trend of Zimbabwe political waves ,Tsvangirai believes in table negotiating politics & the Mugabes maintain their same stance ;”our vote shall go together with our guns” so imagine if there was a opposition political part formed by war liberators ,what do you think in your own perspective view the Zim situation will reassemble

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    Think Tank 9 years ago

    Quite objective

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    Tatenda Tatenda 9 years ago

    Well written piece of work. Good contrsting facts.

  • comment-avatar
    Chivula Mapoti 9 years ago

    Mugabe and his family decided to go on vacation to celebrate the win.

    Grace, his wife, John, his son, and Sarah, his daughter all wanted to go to the Bahamas.
    Bob wanted to go to Dubai.
    So the 4 decided to vote – the result was as follows:

    Bahamas: 3
    Dubai: 68

  • comment-avatar
    willy 9 years ago

    Best article ever waiting for part two

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    Very gud article w exceptional analysis. Can’t wait for part 2,3… But I don’t agree w Mapingu assertion that Zimbos magwara. What we lack is leadership, remember Solo Madzore urged pple to be ready to defend their vote shd zanu steal it bt Tsvangson reprimanded him and zanu went into over drive to castigate Madzore and hail Tsvangson. Had Tsvangson not reprimanded Madzore, pple wld have been thoroughly prepared to confront zanu. As for e “final push” agn MDC took its time to call pple into e streets, pavakazoidedzera hasha dzanga dzaserera. Vanhu pavakanga vachakazara nehasha vanaTsvangson, Gibson Sibanda naWelshman Ncube vakabuda paTV urging pple to be calm as they are seeking a “political solution”. The same thing happened in 2008, Tsvangson appeared on TV pleading w e pple to be patient tho we had gone for days like 3 waiting for presidential results. Mass action inoda vanhu vachinehasha kwete after sometime hasha dzapera even hope gone

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    Nhamodzenyika 9 years ago

    Great article. After this series, I challenge you to look at the rise and rise of Mugabe and the fall of Zimbabwe after 1980.

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    Collin Mackenzie 9 years ago

    Incredible and interesting but I still feel lacks facts and base to explore and expand on the ground to prove that the information contained in this message and its contents or the information you provide to us in the state that I can see that the information contained in this message
    Is someone’s dream

    Yet the best way to get the best possible truth on this site has been designed to provide any other information about the truth and the real reason of the Zimbabwe situation should and can only be obtained from president Mugabe himself.

    As for the MDC yes they may have had great intentions but they lack political education and greed got into the young leadership.

    Any great country needs a great an strong enough opposition not only to rule or to lead but to be part of government so as to keep anyone in office in check

    By providing strategic important and valuable important in government so as to gain the experience to govern and gain the trust of the people

    As for Ian Smith he refuse to say sorry for the killings of black Zimbabweans Lord Sorms was a puppet of the British put in to protect the interest of the British and hence Mugabe gave him 24 hours to leave Zimbabwe.

    Nkomo played and key role and so did Mugabe and hence its key for all stake holder’s, win, loss or rigged its time that Zimbabweans turn a cornerstone and build Zimbabwe.

    As for the MDC this is a lesson of note, MDC need to be in touch with the principles of why many Zimbabweans died and went war

    Morgan was never open nor did he have anything that said this is want MDC will do when, how and most of all with who
    Nor did they provide a full range of services and solutions for the land issue

    An opposition party should act as the voice of reason and MDC all cry cry and pull out all the time knowing that you can get involved and have been working on their way through the heart’s of Zimbabweans by cleaning up the cities by cutting the grass up keeping the street lights tared roads in the cities bringing the standard of the Urban foke to international standards

    Even they claim Zanu PF help the piss that’s not true the very same backers failure to honour MDC killed the MDC just like Blair did to president Mugabe.

    I tell Mugabe will up grade the cities because the eyes of the world see you through your urbanisation and lifestyle
    In the cities
    MDC failed just to cut the grass they could of all they supporters and gone onto street cleaning drive
    Doing for the people.

    I call on Mugabe an his that he goal before Xmas they must be light and all services deemed to call a city a city
    Failure to do that will make the end of Zanu PF as much as i love Mugabe
    This is your chance to show the world that what you for an start by uplifting the lives of the citizens in the 4 major cities please please come Xmas Zimbabwe should be Zimbabwe
    The former minister of Education true be told has a hug3 rule to play in this new government his good and has the interests of Zimbabweans

    Lastly as for Roy he must had over all the diamonds his mining secretly on his farm and stop fooling Zimbabweans that the funds he got to help MDC was from donated hell no its diamonds.