STAFF REPORTER 7 March 2018
BULAWAYO – MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube has torn into People’s
Rainbow Coalition (PRC) president Joice Mujuru, accusing her of
perfidiousness over opposition coalition to face Zanu PF in the
A seething Ncube this week told Southern News that Mujuru’s coalition
remarks at the late MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s funeral should be
taken with a pinch of salt as she was simply playing to the gallery.
“Politicians have a tendency to rubble-rouse and seek to please crowds on
the spur of the moment so that they can get applause here and there.
“We remain to see whether or not this will translate into anything on the
ground,” Ncube said.
He added: “We noted the remarks that she (Mujuru) made at the funeral of
“The call for unity, the suggestion for being prepared to work with MDC
Alliance in consolidating the opposition parties to challenge Zanu PF at
the elections but that is something said at a public event, before an
audience that would have wanted to hear that.”
Addressing mourners at Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera, Mujuru claimed
that before Tsvangirai died, they had located each other and were in a
process of drawing up coalition terms.
“When I last talked to Tsvangirai, we were putting finer details to the
Memorandum Of Understanding with regards to the alliance,” Mujuru told the
Last year, Mujuru and Tsvangirai signed an MU only to go different ways
with the latter going for the MDC Alliance while the former chose to form
Asked if there were any negotiations going on between MDC Alliance and the
Mujuru-led party lately, Ncube said: “For the record, the negotiators of
the MDC Alliance and the NPP have always been engaged for months and
months on these issues.”
The respected lawyer could, however, not be drawn into commenting about
the sticking issues.
“Unfortunately, I can’t say because if I said then I will have to make
representations on the respective positions of the parties and areas of
deadlock which have prevented agreement being reached. If I did that, it
will be then tantamount to negotiating in public.”
He, however, said he was hopeful that the parties will manage to “overcome
the obstacles which have been there which have resulted in failure to
reach an agreement”.
Ncube further noted that the MDC Alliance was looking forward to working
with everyone who is committed to the values and principle of the alliance
and is prepared to consolidate the vote against Zanu PF.
Zapu slams fellow opposition parties over coalition
THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu has developed cold feet on coalition talks,
accusing fellow opposition parties of greed and deceit.
Zapu, who are members of the Coalition of Democrats led by Elton Mangoma,
said their efforts of having a one united opposition party have just come
to naught hence they will stick to Code.
“As Zapu, we have always believed and subscribed to the idea of a single
coalition of opposition parties approaching the 2018 elections. We still
do,” Zapu national spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa told Southern News.
“We have made all efforts to realise this, including talking to almost all
opposition political parties with the aim of bringing all together and
challenge Zanu PF as one.
“Our efforts saw us becoming a member of the Coalition of Democrats which
we are leading through our president Dabengwa who is the chairperson,” he
Maphosa added: “Efforts were also made to have the other two coalitions
coming together with Code to form one grand coalition. Our
efforts around this matter have all the time hit a snag and it has been
difficult to achieve this.”
The Zapu spokesperson said it was unfortunate that personal interests and
egos have stood on the way of negotiations ahead of national interest.
He cited sticking points around the coalition talks, chief among them
being “the untrustworthiness of would-be partners who are mostly worried
about narrow personal interests ahead of the national interests.”
“We have among the opposition fraternity, leaders whose sole agenda is
power and as such, they engage in bad faith in order for them to gain
advantage on the envisaged resultant power matrix,” he said.
Maphosa added: “The majority of them are not pushing the agenda of the
ordinary Zimbabwean who is wallowing in abject poverty and this is the
area where Zapu finds it problematic to work with such characters.
“Zapu cannot compromise on that principle and as such, it becomes
difficult to coalesce around greed and selfishness.”
Maphosa further noted the commitment was still there despite time having
run out before full campaigns begin.
Above all, Maphosa said they will always remain committed to Code.
“We remain committed member of Code and our stay is informed by principles
more than anything else.
“If we contrast between the existing coalitions we realise total shift
from what should bring people together in MDC Alliance and PRC.”
“We, however, remain hopeful we all sober up and coalesce as opposition
but not around individuals but around issues that affect our people and
the need to change the status quo,” he said.
Ndebele King coronation: Lawyer speaks out
LAWYER Dumisani Dube, who represents the South Africa-based self-imposed
Ndebele King Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo in his bid to overturn a
government ban on the king’s coronation, has stood his ground in support
of his client.
High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese last week dismissed the urgent
application by Dube on behalf of Khumalo, ruling that it was illegal to
install a king under the Zimbabwe Constitution.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) had recently planned to coronate Khumalo as
new Ndebele king, a move that forced Local Government minister July Moyo
to approach the courts which barred the intended coronation.
Dube of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers yesterday felt that the courts missed
the point as its findings were “improper.”
“In a constitutional democracy, each arm of government must observe the
principle of separate of powers.
“It is the Judiciary that has the jurisdiction to pronounce on the
constitutionality of any law or conduct,” Dube said.
“Further, that which is not expressly prohibited is allowed in terms of
“Therefore, in my view, the court’s finding was improper because there is
nowhere in our statutes that is Traditional Leaders Act and the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which prohibits the installation of a king by the
chiefs who are empowered by both the Traditional Leaders Act to revive
customs, culture and heritage of Ndebele people, a position supported by
the Constitution on the role and duties of chiefs in sections 281 and
282,” he said.
“More so, sections 63 on the rights to culture is clear and as such there
is nothing unconstitutional by the act of coronating a king by the chiefs
who are the custodians of our traditional practices, customs, heritage and
culture,” he said.
Dube said the decision of both minister Moyo and the court is a violation
of the constitutional rights of the Ndebele people.
“In essence the decision of both the minister and court is a violation of
the constitutional rights of the Ndebele people as provided for by the
Constitution. Ndebele people last had Inxwala in 1893.”
Dube, however, said they will soon appeal against the decision to the
Supreme Court; a move he says was automatically going to suspend the ban
on the coronation pending the finalisation of the court processes.
Meanwhile, Chiefs Council chairperson chief Mathema told Southern News
that the claim to kingship was purely a cultural issue and not political.
He, however, quickly dismissed their links with the Mthwakazi Republic
Party who were active during the demonstrations in the city.
“There is nothing wrong with demanding to have our own king. It’s lawful
and this is just but a cultural thing. It’s got nothing to do with
politics just like what others want to paint us,” Mathema said.
“As for the Mthwakazi members, I saw them at our events and I asked them
why they were there and they told me that they were in solidarity with
anything to do with the Ndebele people. But we are not into politics and
their cause is different from ours,” he said.
Chief Mathema also slammed the court ruling against the coronation of the
“We are not giving up yet, we will keep on pursuing our cause though we
don’t want to appear like we are fighting the government.”
He, however, hinted that if the legal route in Zimbabwe fails them, they
will seek solace outside the country.
“Remember laws do not start and end in Zimbabwe, if we fail here we will
go for the international law and appeal until we win our fight to have a
king of our own. It’s our right and no one should deny us that,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday after the courts banned the coronation, the
supporters of the Ndebele king went to Barboufields Stadium, the venue
where the event had been initially slated for.
While there, the king – Lobengula Khumalo chose to visit his people just
to greet them outside the stadium, but the gathering was dispersed by the
police, who had cordoned off the stadium.
Feeling hard done, the supporters were secretly carried to Burnside suburb
at Chief Nyangazonke’s house where the mini-coronation was done.
According to Mathema “the king was meeting his people since he had not
been afforded the chance to do so by the law.
“So he was merely greeting his people. It’s not a crime to greet people.”
Zanu PF members clash over mine
ZANU PF youths in Gwanda are tussling for possession of mining claims with
aspiring Member of Parliament for Gwanda Central Jafet Dube, in a
development that has also sucked in Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs
minister Abednico Ncube.
So intense has been the fight that Dube has on several occasions allegedly
sent his youths to the West Nick Youth in Mining project owned by the Zanu
PF youths to disrupt the operations.
The mine, situated about 45 kilometres from Gwanda along the Beitbridge
road, was awarded to the youths in October 2017 as a tribute from a big
commercial mining company Farvic Consolidate Mine.
The gold mining tribute covers about two hectares.
West Nick Youth mining project chairperson Mpumelelo Nyoni told Southern
News that all was not well at the mine, as it had become difficult to
“In November last year, Dube approached us requesting that we accommodate
him in our mining claim,” Nyoni said.
“We didn’t have any problem with that, we then agreed that he brings at
least two people to work from here but he insisted that he wanted to bring
a group of people, a suggestion we turned down,” he said.
Nyoni said two months later, Dube – a former Zanu PF senator – reportedly
sent a mob of youths to demonstrate against them.
“They descended on the mine, carrying stones and various weapons. They
switched off pumps and threw boulders and stones into the mine shaft.
“We reported the matter to the police and only two were arrested, fined
and released. This has all been aimed at provoking us,” he said.
Nyoni said the demonstrators told them point blank that they had been sent
by minister Ncube and Dube.
“We confronted minister Ncube over the matter and he said he was not
involved but he said he knew Dube had interests.”
But Dube is not stopping in his pursuit to get the mine as he has
reportedly approached Farvic with the intention of taking over.
Nyoni said they have not been operating since February 6 due to the
disturbances caused by political interference.
While Dube was not reachable yesterday, Matabeleland South Zanu PF
provincial youth league chair Washington Nkomo confirmed the impasse.
“There is such a case that we have been trying to handle as the youth
leadership here,” Nkomo said.
“We have been on the ground and realised that the youths have all their
papers in order.
“It’s unfortunate that there are people who want to behave like animals by
taking what does not belong to them. We have rules in this country that
have to be followed,” he said.
Meanwhile, as the fight continues, the West Nick Youth in Mining project
members have since been dragged to court by a certain group that is also
claiming ownership of
the mining tribute.