Grace committing political suicide

 

By Watmore Makokoba

In the world of politics, anything done in excess has consequential repercussions at the end, recent developments in ruling party Zanu PF points out to a time bomb mainly emanating from its obsession of grabbing power to get stronger.

The inherent clean-up exercise that became rampant when First Lady Grace Mugabe entered into the political arena has apparently overshadowed the other ‘Crème de la creme’  of the once revolutionary party anointing the first family sorely on the driving wheel, political analysts worry this journey that the first family has started has a tragic ending.

A political analyst based in South Africa, speaking to this publication on condition of anonymity said Grace‘s machination and grandstanding as the defacto leader of Zanu PF, which has resulted in the purging-off of any perceived opponents and pupated saboteurs to her ascendance.

“A politician commits political suicide when they propose or support a move that will cause them to lose a campaign or be removed from office, by taking the route that the first family is taking frontier by Grace Mugabe, popularly known as Dr Stop It, they have soiled Mugabe legacy and consequently ruined their political career,

“Like his childhood colleague and relative James Chikerema described him, that “Mugabe is a loner, keeps to himself”, the Mugabe family has isolated themselves from the country and the party by continuously booting out such a number of party stewards, surely if all these people hate the president, then it’s time for reflecting and retrospection for him.”, he added.

Everything is now literally centred on Mugabe, roads are named after him, and recently, Harare International Airport has been renamed after him, the country’s airline is run by his son in law and considering the pace at which events are unfolding, more is to come.

Obert Gutu, MDC spokesperson described the move to rename the airport as a sign that Zanu is at its weakest stage in history,

“Surely, the gods must really be crazy! The renaming of Harare International Airport to Robert Mugabe International Airport on Thursday, November 9, 2017, marks a new low in both the political and aviation history of Zimbabwe,

” It is beyond debate that as the Zanu PF regime continues to crumble like a deck of cards, Robert Mugabe is fully determined to take the country down with him. He now perceives Zimbabwe as his personal property and not a republic” said Gutu.

“The MDC is a social democratic political part; it is a people’s project and as such, we abhor and condemn any attempt to personalize and privatize national institutions such as the Harare International Airport. The Zanu PF regime, fronted by the nonagenarian, Robert Mugabe, has certainly lost its marbles.”

Describing the first family monopolization manoeuvres on his twitter handle, exiled veteran Journalist Lance Guma posted;

In 2014, it was former Vice President Joice Mujuru who was axed from the party and government along with other bigwigs, including nine provincial chairperson accused of wanting to topple Mugabe from power.

This time the fate fell on Vice President who has been relieved of his duties from government and the party accused of almost similar accusations, and it’s most likely he will not go alone. Through this, the party is shrinking down gradually.

By her suicidal machinations, Grace is creating more enemies than friends and this has tainted her future darker than her past.

The Youth Interface Rallies That Never Happened

 

By Wisdom Mumera

The much hyped about Youth Interface rallies functionally ended in Bulawayo on Saturday when the pair of President Mugabe and his wife Grace all but slammed down the gavel on Mnangagwa’s dismissal with some potent attacks lacking shame and dignity for a man present.

The official closure of the Interface will be Harare but that will be a mere clean-up of the spilt gore; Grace gyrating to her achievements, unknowingly extolling her political vapidity disguised as a shrieking passion for ethical conduct.

Mugabe will be there to massage the crowd with tired justifications for why a career politician should lack the ambition to succeed a creaking octogenarian 3 decades in power and paranoid with Western conspiracies.

In a flash of blood, shameless despotism veiled as ethical conduct and the power of coital relationships, a whole nation’s youths have been left empty-handed, falsely taken along a family’s witch-hunting expedition.

At the end of the 9th Interface rally, the Mugabe’s revealed that the country jaunts were nothing more than clean-up campaign and the normative description of the rallies as youth centred, nothing more than a ploy to get party finances.

They have just concluded their party’s main election campaign strategy by rupturing whatever modicum of unity they still had, disenfranchised another boatload of war veterans and completed the portrait of Grace as a feisty shrew full of colour and nothing more.

That be as it may be, no one sane is crying for Mnangagwa the politician. He got what he has been giving others as part of a senile party whose head is still in the clouds of a war that ended over 3 decades ago.

The real victims of the drama are the many youths who waited for functional and progressive ideas from the already endorsed ZANU candidate.

Bared to his essentials Mugabe was just another campaigning politician out on a campaign to rally supporters and he failed in that regard.

He offered nothing but went back to his hackneyed bashing mode style hitting out at anything that moved towards his position.

Grace did the same, parroting the polygamist’s second wife, always full of gossip, sniping and bitterness which she dished by the bucket over the rallies.

Whilst Mugabe gave the audience a show in a despotic manipulation of events and bared the fangs of his insatiable greed for power, Grace gave the nation a tragic comedy which by yesterday seems to end with her ruling a smouldering kingdom of ashes.

Together they gave the nation a big nothing. Nothing that can be valued.

Nothing for the youths bussed in. Nothing for the villagers dragged from homes by the veiled threat of what happens if you don’t attend. Zilch.

Nothing of use for a nation that on Monday saw the coming in of price controls, a stark reminder of the repression going on economically away from the pornographic political antics of the rallies.

Nothing for graduates with useless papers. Nothing for the banking sector crippled in a cash shortage. Nothing for vendors chased and booted every day.

Youths are still in the dark about jobs. The business environment is still a nebulous grotto of uncertainties and shadiness. True inflation is still increasing. Soon basic commodities may start disappearing from shop shelves due to the price controls and all the Mugabe’s have offered over 9 Youth meetings have been scandals about their enemies.

Mnangagwa may be gone and to hell and back he may go for all Zimbabwe cares but they are over 13 million people whose lives are staring down a dark cavern unless Mugabe and Grace reduce both despotism and eccentricity.

We can all laugh so much watching a First Lady cackling beak out but when a whole nation is burning whilst she prances with the fire hose, the joke becomes a murder.

 

 

Criminalisation of abortion in Zim an unnecessary archaic act

 

By Coloured rain.

A total of 229 women have died due to maternal mortality in the country since the beginning of the year. While some of these cases are owed to high blood pressure, late hospital admission and blood loss among others, about 16 % of the deaths are as a result of botched abortions.

Zimbabwe’s maternal mortality rate stands at 614 deaths per every 100 000 live births, a figure which is one of the highest in the region. On average seven women die while giving birth, a number that can be loosely translated to one woman dying every day due to complications during or immediately after childbirth.

Abortions are responsible for 16% of these deaths and yet owing to an archaic act enacted during the Rhodesian era termed the Termination of Pregnancy Act which makes it illegal for women to undergo termination of unwanted pregnancy with a few provisions set for special cases.

The Termination of Pregnancy act of 1977 criminalises abortion as well as assistance in the termination of a pregnancy and further stipulates that no medical practitioner or nurse or person employed in any other capacity at a designated institution shall be obliged to participate or assist in the termination of a pregnancy.

Under this act exceptions are made in cases where a woman has been raped; committed incest (in both cases evidence must be issued); where the continuation of the pregnancy so endangers the life of the woman concerned or so constitutes a serious threat of permanent impairment of her physical health that the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to ensure her life or physical health and also where there is a serious risk that the child to be born will suffer from a physical or mental defect of such a nature that he will permanently be seriously handicapped.

This outdated piece of legislation has led to the loss of thousands of lives each year as it does not in any way stop abortions from occurring but rather forces women to opt for unsafe backyard fixes carried out by untrained people in unhygienic conditions.

Teenagers account for a high number of pregnancies owing to limited information on reproductive information and the taboo surrounding usage of contraceptives among young people. Sexual activity among this age group is an undisputed fact and in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, their education and future are jeopardised.

With rampant corruption taking place in the country safe abortions are available for the financially able as options are available from doctors operating behind closed doors at the right price. For the ones with well-lined pockets, a trip to our neighbouring SA can ensure a safe and quick termination with the option to choose from various options including private doctors, women clinics or at state hospitals at a subsidised cost. Back home women and girls from poor backgrounds with unwanted pregnancies risk losing their lives by unsafe abortions which may include herbal remedies or being pierced by knitting needles a practice which may result in infertility.

The termination of pregnancy act should thus be repelled as it serves no purpose in a modernised society where women have the choice to decide when to have a child and the decision to abort should be a personal one granted as per demand.

 

 

Stop impunity and criminalizing journalists now

 

By Watmore Makokoba

Journalists are not criminals, governments have been warned to stop forthwith muzzling the media and called upon to expedite investigations to ensure perpetrators are brought to book.

As the world commemorates International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, civil society and the media fraternity have expressed concern on the rising impunity and injustices oftentimes perpetrated by government authorities on journalists while on duty.

Today, the media fraternity is perplexed with yet another significant blow as Zimbabwean authorities today,  Friday 03 November 2017 arrests an American citizen and confiscated her laptop claiming that she undermined the authority of or insulted President Robert Mugabe by retweeting a tweet.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers arrested Martha O’Donovan, who works for Magamba TV, during dawn at her Harare residence and confiscated her electronic devices including her laptop and detained her at Harare Central Police Station’s CID Law and Order Section.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries who has been in the limelight for seemingly wrong reasons, cases of unlawful arrests and an unprecedented onslaught on the media, infringing the citizens from their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Recently, Newsday senior reporter Richard Chidza was allegedly shoved and slapped by ruling Zanu-PF youths at a press conference on 19 October 2017, demanding that he reveals the source of a story regarding an alleged fall-out within the youth league’s leadership ranks.

On 29 September 2017 journalists Mugove Tafirenyika and Brighton Goko who work for the privately owned Daily News sustained serious injuries after being assaulted by the police while covering a demonstration in Harare’s central business district.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has dissuaded the Zimbabwean government to accord the profession of Journalism its rightful space to operate in and called for investigations cases involving the assault of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties.

“The investigations will assist in bringing the culprits to book and send a clear message to other would-be perpetrators that the government does not tolerate these wanton acts of impunity against journalists”, reads MISA statement.

In a joint statement, the European Union and the Africa Union has called on state authorities to fulfil their responsibility to protect journalists, establish a meaningful deterrence against the violent targeting of media professionals, and fully abide by their international and continental obligations.

“Nevertheless, journalist continue to be killed and face an increasing level of intimidation and violence. The disregard for the fundamental rights of journalists as they exercise their profession has led to a climate of impunity affecting not only victims but also freedom of expression and rule of law” reads the EU and AU statement.

In the same regard, the UN urges member states to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and bring perpetrators to justice as well as promoting a safe and enabling environment for journalists to work independently and without undue interference.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

 

MDC ALLIANCE threatens to protests over Zec proof of residents requirement

 

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

There is a looming showdown between MDC Alliance and the country’s electoral body as the opposition parties coalition seeks accountability and transparency from the on-going BVR exercise.

This was revealed by MDC-T secretary general and MDC Alliance Legal and Electoral Reforms committee chairperson Douglas Mwonzora after a meeting in the capital on Thursday.

Mwonzora said the committee resolved to scrap the proof of residence requirement for registrants.

“We resolved that there is the need to remove the proof of residence requirement as it has been cited by the electoral body as one of the major deterrent to would-be registrants,” said Mwonzora.

He said the MDC Alliance is agreeable to the fact that they should have access to the server of the BVR exercise.

“All parties under the MDC Alliance agreed that there is the need for access to the server as it is a  constitutional right to access to information for advancement and protection of that right,” argued the lawyer-cum-politician.

Most aliens have been turned away at BVR centres if they have not renounced their citizenship, but the MDC Alliance  is  proposing that they should  not be forced to surrender their citizenship but just need to furnish the ZEC officials with a birth certificate confirming that they were indeed born in Zimbabwe on top of the required documentation(metal, plastic, paper ID or a valid passport).

Mwonzora added that there was a need for an independent auditor to audit the voters’ roll.

“ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau has been on the record saying that the electoral body will not allow an independent auditor with regards to the voter’s roll but we will be pushing for an independent auditor for accountability and transparency, ”he added.

The pact is also taking Zanu-PF to task regarding the alleged recording of serial numbers of certificates of registration arguing that it is a violation of privacy and unconstitutional. Zanu-PF representatives met with ZEC and resolved to look into the matter but the MDC Alliance says if the ‘misdemeanor’ goes unabated they will take the legal route.

The coalition said there will be writing all their demands to the electoral body and will take even extra-judicial activities like peaceful demonstrations against ZEC and diplomatic solutions.

Meanwhile, the Alliance has also taken a swipe at the Chiefs Council President Fortune Charumbira for violating the constitution by endorsing Mugabe. The alliance said Charumbira should retract his statement or else he should be prepared to face the legal battle.