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“Is Mnangagwa administration more repressive that pre-independence administrations?” asks Mr. Tendai Ruben Mbofana, a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator.

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If ZANU PF is more repressive than Smith, so why are we behaving as if dealing we are with civilized democratic regime?: Mbofana

October 1, 2022

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There have been those, as constitutional law expert and leader of small opposition outfit NCA (National Constitutional Assembly), Lovemore Madhuku – who have signaled that the arrest was politically-motivated, as a way of arm-twisting the main opposition into dialogue with the ruling party – and as such, Sikhala and his colleagues will most likely only taste freedom once CCC leader Nelson Chamisa sits down with President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

This suggestion, unsurprisingly, has been shot down, with the contempt that it rightly deserves – on the grounds that, the release of these opposition activists and their constitutional right to bail, should purely be a legal matter, that requires only the judiciary to deal with – as requesting the involvement of the state president is a brazen violation of the principle of ‘the separation of power’, essential in any democracy.

Then, there are those who opted for the petition route, generated by the Platform for Concerned Citizens (PCC) – led by, among others, renowned academic Ibbo Mandaza, business moguls Strive Masiyiwa, Mutumwa Mawere, Trevor Ncube, as well as award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga, and former finance minister Simba Makoni – with over 50,000 people having reportedly signed a request for Mnangagwa’s intervention in the release of Sikhala.

Of course, there have also been loud calls for Sikhala’s political party to be at the forefront, playing a more visible and assertive role in pressuring the courts – whom they accuse of being captured by the ruling establishment, with suspicious dismissals of judges who previously awarded favorable verdicts to Sikhala and other activists, after commissions were established by Mnangagwa to investigate them for alleged acts of misconduct.

Nevertheless, the CCC appears reluctant to take a more forceful or even confrontational stance – with some within the party firmly believing that doing so would only be walking (or, toyi-toyiing) right into the ZANU PF trap, whose endgame is the arrest of Chamisa – and, possibly declaring a state of emergency, thereby canceling next year’s crucial presidential elections (in which the main opposition is expected to receive overwhelming endorsement from the electorate).

Therefore – with such divergent and clearly parallel views – which way is best for the opposition (and, by extension, the people of Zimbabwe), in dealing with a regime that undoubtedly has no interest whatsoever in democracy and democratic reform?

The tragedy of Zimbabwe, it would appear to me, is that – whilst the regime is undeniably getting more repressive and brutal, the opposition seemingly is becoming more docile and subservient.

Is it not extremely strange how the opposition, especially the CCC, loves saying the current ZANU PF administration is more oppressive and barbaric than Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith?

Why, then, does it appear the same opposition prefers employing strategies that are better suited for a more democratic society as South Africa, or Botswana, or Namibia – where the ruling establishment actually listens to the people’s voices and respect their rights?

As much as I concur with those who posit that all major disagreements have eventually ended up on the negotiating table – there is one aspect that they seem to omit, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

All notable negotiations, that yielded settlements acceptable to all those concerned, where engaged from a position of power by the involved parties.

Any dialogue – whereby, one side is standing on weaker ground than the other (usually, the aggressor or perpetrator of injustices that led to the conflict or disagreement) – can never, and has never, worked out well for the former.

Zimbabwe is the best case scenario.

Ever since the colonial era, to post-independence Zimbabwe – negotiations have been a critical component of our conflicts and divisions.

We had the early nationalist movement, which preferred sitting round the table with the settler regime, in the 1950s and first part of the 1960s.

During the armed liberation struggle, there were several talks meant to end the war, amongst others, in Geneva (Switzerland).

In 1979, we then had the Lancaster House Conference, in Britain – finally birthing the new Republic of Zimbabwe.

Nonetheless, what factors played a pivotal role in determining the failure or success of these negotiations?

It cannot be denied that, before the decision to launch the liberation struggle – those nationalists who opted for talks, emerged holding nothing of substance, or nothing at all.

In fact, one of the main contentious issues that divided the movement in the early 1960s, was the agreement by Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (President of the National Democratic Party [NDP]), at the February 1961 National Constitutional Conference of Southern Rhodesia, to a measly 15 seats for blacks in the 50-seat colonial parliament.

This, obviously did not go down well with another section of nationalist – a key reason for the eventual split in August 1963, leading to the formation of ZANU – after the NDP’s banning, and its immediate re-emergence as ZAPU.

Why did Nkomo agree to this less-than-favorable shoddy deal?

Well, because the nationalist movement at that time was coming into the talks from a weaker position.

However, after the subsequent protracted war of independence – with both ZANU and ZAPU making significant gains, and giving the settler regime sleepless nights, coupled by unrelenting immense global pressure – the 1979 Lancaster House Conference brought about a more desirable result of universal suffrage for all adults in Zimbabwe, and our independence.

This time around, the nationalists entered the negotiations from a position of power – thereby, placing the Rhodesia administration in a tight corner, from which they were desperate to escape, forcing them into capitulating to the major demands of those waging the liberation struggle.

It becomes really troubling, when today – clearly where our opposition has never bothered to tense its muscles, by showing how powerful it is – there are suggestions for dialogue.

I am not implying that there is need for Zimbabweans to go to war first, before any talks can be engaged in – no, not at all – but, simply that, the opposition needs to mobilize its supporters (and, Zimbabweans at large, who are fed up with the unending political and economic attacks by the ZANU PF regime) to, at least, actively exercise their constitutional right to peaceful mass action.

Why has the opposition not even tried non-confrontational measures – such as, national stay aways or shutdowns or strikes – whereby, no one needs to place their lives in peril, by exposing themselves to the ruthless savage vagaries of the ruling establishment?

We do not even know how effective such methods might be – in pushing for positive change in the country – as we have never tried them on such a magnitude in the recent past.

Deep down, I honestly believe that there are Zimbabweans willing to bravely stand up for themselves against the injustices in this country – as much as we also have a huge section of cowards.

However, what is glaringly missing is the leadership, who are prepared to mobilize the population.

Tragically, it appears as if the opposition has surrendered its role to interest groups.

Nonetheless, such an approach will hardly work – since interest groups, by their nature, are limited in scope (as teachers’ and trade unions), and can never hope to mobilize the entire nation for a cause.

Yet, if the opposition – whose influence is broader – was to mobilize for a national shutdown, for instance, the whole country would grind to a standstill tomorrow.

That would give it (opposition) the leverage it desperately requires to go into negotiations from a position of power.

Surely, why would a cold-hearted power-greedy brutal regime – which never hesitates in resorting to any means, no matter how despicable, to retain its grip on the country – voluntarily relent to any demands, if these pose a threat to these objectives?

In fact, what do those, as Madhuku – who are part of the POLAD (Political Actors’ Dialogue) – have to show for their four years of sitting round the table with the ZANU PF administration?

Have they not been reduced to pathetic cheerleaders, who merely rubber-stamp virtually everything done by the Mnangagwa government – yet, getting absolutely nothing in return, except free expensive lunches, brand new vehicles, and state-controlled media spotlight?

Unless of course, our main opposition leaders are frightened of being arrested, as happened to Sikhala?

Well, if that had been the attitude of our nationalists during the colonial era, there would never have been a liberation struggle, and the subsequent independence.

We would have never had leaders as Nelson Mandela in apartheid South Africa, or Maurice Nyagumbo in Zimbabwe (who languished in prison for 27 and 11 years, respectively), and numerous others – who were prepared to spend the rest of lives behind bars, or even dying – for the greater cause of freedom.

If the CCC genuinely believes that ZANU PF is just as brutal and repressive, or even worse than Smith – why not prepared to implement strategies that would have worked on someone like Smith – which in most cases, may result in leaders being incarcerated for 10, 20, 30 years or even losing their lives?

Yet, no one is suggesting going the route of anything so drastic – but, simply engaging in constitutionally-enshrined peaceful mass action, that place considerable pressure on the regime.

As long as we do not have such a leadership, let us forget about pushing ZANU PF for change.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700

+263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936

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When President Mnangagwa signed a document purporting to be his mate, see the reality?

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Hopewell Chin’ono’s Hypocrisy Exposed by Mr. Tinashe Mpasiri

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On 24 November 2022, Mr. Hopewell Chin’ono shared this tweet on his wall: https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595758807392534528?s=20&t=YflO7bnB-32EN89x_0fPfQ with the following message directed to nameless and faceless South Africans:

“What we ask from South African citizens is for your President to STOP sanitizing Corrupt Rule in Zimbabwe and to STOP lying that our economy was destroyed by sanctions Listen to our President speak about the LOOTING in 1996.

Why doesn’t your president speak about free elections?”

The above mentioned tweet led to a conversation between Mr. Mpasiri, a member of the Justice Under Rule of Law (JUROL) and Mr. Chin’ono as set out on this link: https://heyzine.com/flip-book/d47b109920.html.

When asked why he had chosen to share a video of 1996 in support of his narrative that President Ramaphosa was guilty of sanitizing the corrupt practices by President Mnangagwa and his administration, Mr. Chin’ono responded as follows:

“ZPF leading Public officials operate with criminal business partners to loot public resources. For all intents and purposes sanctions are not the cause of Zim economic quagmire but ZPF looting public purse thru its puppet business partners from as far back as 1996?”

Advocate Matiza, a member of the Justice Under Rule of Law made the following observations and also a participant in the Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) – Legal Literacy WhatsApp group, commended as follows: “It is clear from the above that by importing the video in which Mr. Mawere was featured with Minister Mnangagwa as he was known then, Mr. Chin’ono was openly alleging that Mr. Mawere was Mnangagwa’s then criminal business partner who was his accomplice in looting public resources of Zimbabwe.

However, when exposed by Mr. Mpasiri, a member of JUROL and BOAF, Mr. Chin’ono backtracked as set out below:

TINASHE MPASIRI v HOPEWELL CHIN’ONO
TM: Good morning Mr Chin’ono.
My name is Tinashe Mpasiri and I am a member of the Justice Under Rule Of Law (JUROL).
I am an avid follower of your posts and exposé and certainly wish that there were more
Zimbabweans like you, working towards a diverse, inclusive, progressive and prosperous future
for all.
I just wanted to greet you and share with you a post that was shared in a group I am a part of,
that you may be able to shed more light on it.
https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595758807392534528?s=08
HC: Thank you. I did an interview last night on the issue. Feel free to share it in your group
Find it here;
https://twitter.com/daddyhope/status/1595853417355784192?s=46&t=6iHx7x2V4i8IiLZyIobk_g
TM: Thank you very much sir.
Just for your information, I belong to a group with officials from Wits University and questions
arose yesterday after your sharing of the video.
I have been asked to communicate with you so I get clarity, so we can share with a proper
context.
Your narrative on the tweet is about president Ramaphosa’s failure to act on corruption in
Zimbabwe, but the content of the video, appears nothing to do with the corruption angle.
Kindly assist with the link between the two.
HC: Good morning. Thank you for the question and you can share this audio in your group, you have my permission.
President Ramophosa has been at the forefront of saying incorrectly that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe has been caused by sanctions, which is not true.
The video that you are referencing, is meant to show that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe
started way before sanctions were imposed by western countries.
The economic crisis was authored by looting of public funds by ZANU PF elites and their business surrogates and the plunder of the country’s natural resources.
That video shows president Mnangagwa when he was Finance Minister in 1996, speaking at an event in Washington explaining how public funds have been looted.
So my point is that the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa shouldn’t be going around
misleading unsuspecting audiences, by saying that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe is being
caused by sanctions.
So for instance, president Ramaphosa talks about the social services pressures that are exerted by Zimbabweans coming into South Africa to use things like public services like health care. And all hospitals in Zimbabwe, all central hospitals in Zimbabwe, five of them, they only require 50 million to run without any shortages and that will make sure that Zimbabweans don’t have to cross the border into South Africa to seek public services that are provided through hospitals but these hospitals in Zimbabwe don’t have paracetamol.
The biggest hospital in Zimbabwe, Sally Mugabe hospital does not even have paracetamol, it
doesn’t have basic things like bandages and 50 million is only, that’s all we need to run our
central hospitals, but it’s not being availed to these central hospitals.
Now, ZANU PF by its own admission, says that 150 million USD worth of gold is being smuggled by ZANU PF elites and their surrogates every month. Which means what they steal in one month can run our central hospitals for 3 years.
That is the point that I making that president Ramaphosa is misleading unsuspecting audiences by saying that the crisis in Zimbabwe which is over spilling into South Africa, is being caused by sanctions, it’s not true it’s caused by sanctions. It’s caused by mis-governance. Thank you.
TM: Thank you very much Mr. Chin’ono.
This is very helpful and I believe we can build a shared understanding of only when we engage.
I will share your insights in my circles and beyond.
A number of questions emerge from your audio. By surrogates and having had the benefit to watch the video, who would be the surrogates and especially having regard to the fact that Minister Mnangagwa (as he were then), was speaking to a different subject matter involving empowerment and the role of government in financing it.
I could be wrong, but it is self-evident that he was talking about government programs whose
execution resulted in financial support being diverted to personal use.
Your response to the above would greatly assist.
HC: Surrogates were people like Mutumwa Mawere who was his front until they fell out.
Today surrogates refers to people like Kuda Tagwirei who has been a front for State looting
using his myriad of companies.

Here Mr. Chin’ono identifies Mr. Mawere as Mnangagwa’s front until they allegedly fell out.

This narrative is similar to the one peddled by Chin’ono’s friend and President Mnangagwa’s confidante and lawyer, Mr. Edwin Manikai as follows:

The message above was authored by Mr. Manikai on 27 March 2021 and was addressed to Mr. Fred Mutanda. The version peddled by Mr. Chin’ono is the same as Manikai’s version.
Mr. Manikai in the middle with Mr. Hopewell Chin’ono
Mr. Manikai in the picture with the visiting American delegation of Senators to Zimbabwe and his wife and Hon. Mliswa, Manikai’s best friend.
The SMM heist gang who authored and executed the divestment and deprivation of the control of 26 companies employing 20,000 people in 2004 using public power described as the precursor to the coup of November 2017 that was orchestrated by the same gang against Mugabe after successfully prosecuting the coup against SMM and related entities.

TM: Thank you for the honest response and obviously when I watched the video, I could not make the link between Mutumwa Mawere and the looting.
Perhaps you can share evidence supporting the allegation of surrogacy and the corruption
therefore in, so that I can afford both president Mnangagwa and Mawere to give their own
account of the precise nature of the alleged link between public power and private benefit.
Unfortunately, the video’s content does not establish the causal link which is vital in determining any dispute in an Independent and impartial manner.
HC: I didn’t say Mutumwa was corrupt.
I said that there were public funds that were doled out which amounted to looting.
You are misinterpreting what I said.
The video has nothing to do with Mutumwa being corrupt, it was meant to illustrate how public funds were looted way before sanctions.

Hopewell denies what he said before and claims the video that he intentionally and constructively shared to demonstrate the origins of Mnangagwa’s corruption had nothing to with Mawere being party to the looting of public funds.

TM: Thank you for clarifying and I am intrigued by your response.
You have asserted as true and fact that Mawere was Mnangagwa front and this aspect is not
evident in the video, suggesting that evidence exists that the alleged fronting you are talking
about, is supported by concrete evidence which is required in any bona fide process, seeking to hold people accountable for their conduct or misconduct. I would be grateful if you can identify in precise terms what Mawere front for Mnangagwa.

Mr. Chin’ono on SABC repeating the narrative of corruption as the cause of the Zim crisis.

Advocate Jack Matiza who was incensed by Mr. Chin’ono’s utterances remarked asked: “How can he be held responsible and accountable for social media post that damage another person reputation? My take is Hopewell is also guilty of selective amnesia he is accusing Ramaphosa of when it comes to sanctions, by stating that Mutumwa Mawere was an front of ED without providing any proof to that. Our self acclaimed award winning journalist and human right defender…ought to know that he who alleges must prove, is he not using or abusing social media or public media platforms to make unfounded statements without allowing the accused an opportunity to air their side of the story is itself an abuse of that person’s basic human rights?
To which Mr. Mawere responded as follows: “What if there exists no shared understanding on what are the obligations and rights of citizenship? What Hopewell could be saying is that information that he may possess is true and fact unless proved otherwise because he holds a privileged position in society as a journalist. In this case, affinity politics would compel him to conclude that because I shared the same platform with the current President of Zimbabwe this reality confirms a generally corrupt relationship. You can imagine what the true import of state capture and the legal consequences arising for its existence.”
Advocate Matiza by stating as follows: “There is certainly need to actively contribute to development of such shared understanding and common standards.”
Mr. Mawere commended as follows: “If asked to explain why the conversation is intriguing, what would be your response?

Mr Chin’ono genuinely believes that CORRUPTION is the elephant in the room.

He hold the view that he occupies a special and exceptional position in relation to the affairs of Zimbabwe.

He has a view on the 1996 video.”

When asked by Mr. Mawere, what identified questions arise from the hypocrisy inherent in Mr. Chin’ono’s open attack against Mawere and when confronted by Mr. Manikai, he quickly denied what he had stated as true and fact, Advocate Matiza responded as follows:

1. Abuse of the profession of journalism by an acclaimed journalist who has no respect for the truth in his narratives.

2.How should one define a human rights defender especially having exposed Mr. Chin’ono’s embarrassing performance by first alleging that Mnangagwa was using Mawere as a front only to backtrack and deny his own bold assertions.


3.In the face of hypocrites masquerading as award-winning journalists, what should be the best response to deal with divisive characters who have captured the profession and are using it as a weapon to advance their ulterior motives?

4. Section 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe imposes a binding obligation on every person to ensure that the rule of law is promoted, protected and upheld and in this case, what should be done by ordinary citizens to ensure that people like Mr. Chin’ono are accountable for their conduct which is inimical to the rule of law?

5. Does a person like Mr. Chin’ono know that he is also subject to the constitution and possesses no title or authority to maliciously defame other people. How best can he be held accountable for his reckless and dangerous assertions he makes under the cover that he is a journalist par excellence?

6. Does his conduct based on Mpasiri’s excellent interrogation not fall within conduct that is inconsistent with the constitution of Zimbabwe?

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