Renewal team accused of stealing UDF project

via Renewal team accused of stealing UDF project | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The MDC-T ‘renewal team’ is facing accusations of stealing the idea of forming a United Democratic Front (UDF) which they intend to use as a new initiative to challenge President Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF’s 34 year rule.

The claim was made by Solomon Chikohwero, chairperson of the Global Zimbabwe Forum. He said the idea of a United Democratic Front was mooted during his tenure as chairperson of the South African based MDC Veterans Activists Association in 2011, after getting disillusioned by the dysfunctional government of national unity.

Renewal team spokesperson Jacob Mafume told the Newsday newspaper on Tuesday that they were in talks with the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, ZAPU led by Dumiso Dabengwa, civic society groups and others to come up with a winning team for the 2018 elections. This coalition of groups was to come under the umbrella of a UDF.

However, Chikohwero suggested the renewal team is attempting to take credit for his plans to form a grand coalition to challenge Mugabe. He told SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday that he drafted the UDF document with the help of economist and businessman Luke Zunga, who was the MDC activists association treasurer at the time.

‘I got the idea of UDF from a friend who works for COSATU who had also realized that the unity government in Harare was not moving things forward. That’s when he explained that in South Africa, the apartheid regime was brought down by a UDF initiative and not just the ANC or its armed wing the Umkhonto we Sizwe,’ he said.

The former Head of the MDC-T intelligence department said after realizing the answer to the crisis in Zimbabwe would not come from South Africa, SADC or the political formations in the country, he decided to craft the UDF project.

‘As I strongly believed that the answer to our crisis lay with the people of Zimbabwe, a collective movement of all the citizens, I roped in Zunga to draft the document and we sent it to Harvest House for consideration,’ Chikohwero said.

A member of the MDC-T national council, Tranner Ruzvidzo, was used as a courier to hand deliver the document to then party secretary-general Tendai Biti.

‘After it was hand delivered to Biti by Ruzvidzo we never heard anything of that document and presumed they didn’t like the idea since they were cabinet ministers in the GNU, until a few weeks ago when we started hearing murmurs about a new party to be called the United Democratic Front,’ claimed Chikohwero.

He said he was not against any progressive democrats using the idea, but wanted those using it to acknowledge where it originated from.

‘We are the rightful owners of that idea, so as long as they credit its source we have no problems with that. What we don’t want is for the idea to be used to advance ZANU PF and Mugabe’s chances of winning the 2018 elections because the project was all about uniting Zimbabweans to get rid of ZANU PF,’ Chikohwero emphasized.



  • comment-avatar

    Slowly the robes will come off. Then we see who has deceiving who.”The former Head of the MDC-T intelligence department said after realizing the answer to the crisis in Zimbabwe would not come from South Africa, SADC or the political formations in the country, he decided to craft the UDF project.” More will be revealed.

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    I have been screaming about the coalition of all democratic forces, I will also claim credit for this. As if its a competition.
    Just be happy that you are doing good for your nation.
    Don’t crave hero’s acre like ZANU idiots.

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    Tinomunamataishe 9 years ago

    I don’t understand what Mafume aims to achieve by getting Dabengwa and Ncube into this UDF party. Politics is a numbers game and they need numbers of people and not the number of parties involved.

    If you combine Ncube and Dabengwa’s party you don’t get many people and then if you also put in Biti’s party the numbers are not going to swell to a winning position.

    I think these guys need to think these things carefully as the electorate is not as gullible as they think.
    Lets remember there is also the NCA party and how many supporters does it have? Zunde is up and coming but its an unknown quantity at the moment(in terms of supporter numbers) and then there are also other parties.

    A coalition can unseat Zanu PF but it seems there is a lot of self-serving politicians at the moment. The result could be that the levels of voter apathy will rise and that’s a position that’s suits Zanu PF well. The question at the moment is how long before the Biti camp splits up?

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      maxesha nzima 9 years ago

      In any society there are people considered influential , whether Dabengwa has two or millions of people is neither here nor there ,the point is there are people out there who are still clinging to Dabegwa, Maduku,other civic groupings and Ncube we need those people who follow them ,everybody is impotent when it comes to politics.You do not access people bypassing the one they still hero worship.You need to revise your socio-cultural studies.These Bitis are on the right path UDF is for people with a common goal irrespective of their ethnicity .I have a problem when you think the Dabengwas and the Ncubes are not needed – thats myopic.

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        wensil 9 years ago

        Maxesha, to be fair to Tino, I don’t see where he mentions ethnicity and your myopia argument is baseless at best. What Tino seems to be saying is that in a coalition you need people who each will bring a number of people to that said coalition.
        You can have a coalition of ten parties and if each of them is bringing 10,000 people for example then that 100,000 will not do anything. That’s simple maths I guess.

        In a coalition you need everybody but I think you need a strong coalition rather a loose one because in a loose one arguments will not end, you are talking here about Zim politicians who haven’t proved themselves to be anything but.

        Maybe Maxesha lets just face the facts and leave imagination alone.

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      munzwa 9 years ago

      @ Tino, The MDC can unseat zanu but only if it had democratic leadership that focused on their own party principals…..

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    Well said tinomunamataishe.

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    Insider 9 years ago

    Solomon “Sox” Chikowero has known links into both the Zim and SA Intelligence services, anything he says should be very carefully analyised and questions asked as to the where the comments come from and who is using him to promote an idea. Luke ZHUNGU is a man who is an information peddler as well as a con artist, he has even been known to put together financial schemes which are designed to extract money from members of the Diaspora under false pretences, this money always ends up in his back pocket.

    Both men are bad news and should be avoided at all cost.

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      Nakato 9 years ago

      taurai henyu…udf principles were used in SOUTH Africa and Iam certain they can also lay a claim to this…so if patent is not registered ndinoti musazvishupa….kuda kuiswa kumberi prematurely…..kikikiiiiest.

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    This guy Solomon at least he has clue on the origins of Mr Biti breaking away from the MDC-T to form the United Democratic Party (UDF).What is wrong for the Re-Newal Team is to use stollen authored by some other people.

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    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    Oh, oh Solo, Oh oh Solo… it was your idea was it? Listen little man that idea was one that millions of sensible (NON POLITICALLY GREEDY ZIMBABWEANS) came up with ten frigging years ago. Stop thinking small…”it’s not fair Mummy, he stole my idea…whine whine!”

    These pathetic people who go whose calling is Zimbabwean politics would be better back in Primary school!

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    Jono was right to say weak plus weak equals double weak! What could Dabengwa and Ncube bring except confusion? Its just like when Morgan brought Simba, he just weakened MDC.

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    After all has been said and done, the botton line is, zimbabwean politics can only mature and bare fruits to all its citzens if and only if, its politicians completely do away with tribal and ethnic politics. The UDF is a grand plan indeed but as long as its proponents have not rid themselves of the tribal/ethnic monkey from their back, it will suffer a still birth or be another failed project.

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    Petal 9 years ago

    @Ndlovini you are on the right track and they must get rid themselves of excluding the caucasians, the mixed race etc well the asians and the chinese are not excluded because they are the ones lining their pockets!!

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    Petal 9 years ago

    anyway what is new in zim mostly stealing other peoples ideas too idle to use their grey matter the only time they use their grey matteris when they want to squander the money that is not theirs!!