The Inception of the Dynasty: Who owns Zanu PF?


By Kalabash Contributor

One of the online magazines once did top 10 things Robert Mugabe owns and one baffling expensive thing Mugabe owned was Zanu PF. Come to think of it, who owns Zanu PF if not Mugabe. All events leading to this day would suggest so.

Countless roads across the nation are named after the man, his birthday 21st February was declared a national holiday not long ago. The Harare International Airport has not been spared; soon it will be renamed after him in honour of his legacy. To add on to that 1 billion dollars of the Tax Payer’s money will be channelled towards the construction of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University. The Herald reported that the university is being built, “in honour of President Mugabe’s visionary leadership and indelible mark in the development of the country’s education system”.

Now back to our main rhetoric on who really owns Zanu PF, looking into the history of the party. Some members whose political ideologies did not sync with that of their veteran leader has not fared well in the party structures. The youth league and other wings of the party have continuously called for Mugabe’s continued long reign.

While there may be some truth in such an analysis, one thing we cannot overlook is how President Mugabe with the help of his loyalists have propelled his wife first lady Grace Mugabe into the political scene. His party is set to host an extraordinary congress that will create another post for a female vice president making it 3 vice presidents.

Critics who have closely followed these developments unravel suggest that this is Mugabe’s way of creating a legacy that lives one after he has departed from office but I would say it’s more than that rather it’s about a dynasty in its inception.


Brace for more drama as Dr Amai ascends to the top


By Tariro Senderayi

As events unfold,  many are wary of Dr Amai drawing closer to the throne as that will automatically spell doom and gloom for an already ailing Zimbabwe.

Precisely, her lack of soft diplomacy, her appetite for all things, lavish and expensive, her lack of reasonable understanding of human rights and her actions often than not step out of her mandate as the first lady of a nation.

And if the will of the people and not ZANU PF is to be considered, the electorate will not be foolish enough to put her grubby fingers anywhere near the throne.

Incidents leading to this have seen Dr Amai openly throwing her weight behind the so-called G40 grouping and acknowledging that there exists ‘lacoste faction’ within Zanu pf, her openly demanding her husband Mugabe to name a successor vowing that  “vachamhanya nebhiza racho”, her unashamedly chastising and undressing Mnangagwa for being a ‘bambazonke’ and recently we have heard of a special congress in December that shall see her inching closer to the upper echelons of power.

The elective congress might just be the window of opportunity for her to strategically place herself in the succession matrix.

The rumour mill is churning and grinding out information to the effect that Mugabe is expected to call for amendment of the Constitution of the party.

If this amendment sails through, which is most likely given how Grace has wielded power within the Zanu PF ranks,  a third vice president vacancy is to be created and the incumbent of that slot must be female.

It seems the oustering of ‘Garwe’ outright has proved difficult and the only way to render him useless is to crowd the office of vice president. Making her part of the presidium. So that if the need arises in Mugabe’s absence Dr Amai will step up and be acting President.

Of keen interest is that in the event that His Excellency becomes incapacitated whilst she is acting president or was the last acting president, she automatically becomes the interim head of state and government for 90 days. Thes 90 days serves to give the ruling party time to nominate a candidate that shall take over from Mugabe.

Dr Amai is the current boss of the women’s league and given that Zanu PF enjoys a majority in Parliament its most likely the muted  amendment will be successful, the iron throne is likely to come her way as there is also speculation that Mugabe may step down leaving her on  the hot throne and 90 days to consolidate her position in the party and as president.

Be that as it already points to, then people should brace for more drama that will put Zimbabwe once again in the spotlight for unnecessary reasons as the First Lady of Zimbabwe has proved that she can not “Stop It”!


Vendors Defy Mugabe Orders


By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

The Joint Operation Command (JOC)’s ‘Operation Restore Order’ on Thursday was relatively resisted by vendors and pirate taxis in Harare’s CBD.

Early in the morning, trucks full of cops were already roaming the streets, water cannons were stationed along Nelson Mandela at MDC-T’s Headquarters Harvest House while some where at corner Julius Nyerere and Jason Moyo close to Town House.

Hundreds of riot and city council cops were seen milling around undesignated vending and pick up points advising vendors and touts to vacate the places. Uncharacteristic of the police and traffic cops were the less use of force which could have been the major reasons why there ‘was a cat and mouse affair’.

Vendors would resurface later to continue selling their wares despite the heavy presence of the police details but a few vendors are said to have been rounded up by police during the operation. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) reported it had deployed lawyers to assist the few vendors who were arrested during the blitz.

Vendor Initiative for Socio-Economic Transformation (VISET) leader Samuel Wadzayi fled the city claiming that there was an orchestrated move by law enforcement agents to nab him.

The organisation has since released a statement condemning the ‘Operation Restore Order’ likening it to the infamous Murambatsvina.

“ The operation being implemented with brute force under the tagline “restore order” which is the same as the tag for Murambatsvina, is irrational, inhuman and barbaric apart from the fact that it runs contrary to the constitutional national objective which obliges the state and all its agencies to promote private initiatives of self-reliance and that which obliges it to remove the restrictions that prevent people from working,” states VISET.

VISET   implored all municipalities in Zimbabwe to take full responsibility for its failure to provide adequate designated sites for the informal traders.

Yesterday’s blitz came after the Joint Operation Command sat to implement President Robert Mugabe’s directive that the city is restored to its sunshine city status by removing vendors selling on undesignated sites.

President Mugabe made the sickening remarks while addressing party youths at Zanu-PF headquarters early this week.

Take a chill Mr. President, vendors are your creation


By Watmore Makokoba

Recent utterances by President Robert Mugabe calling for a clean out on informal traders who sell their wares in the Central Business District (CBD) have been described as both inhuman and barbaric.

Vendors’ representatives and human rights defenders came out guns blazing against the pronouncement made by President Mugabe while he was addressing members of the Zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly recently at the party’s Headquarters in Harare.

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) said it condemns in strongest terms the intended move by the President to have vendors removed or forbidden from trading their wares in the (CBD), reminding the president that he should realize that vendors where a result of government bad economic policies.

“President Mugabe’s words were he was calling for the removal of what he christened as “illegal vendors” from the CBD of Harare is irrational and barbaric, it is contrary to the constitutional national objectives, for the Head of State to issue such a statement without offering an alternative solution demonstrates how he has lost touch with reality,

“The constitution of Zimbabwe obliges the State and all its agencies to promote private initiatives of self-reliance and such restrictions contrary prevent people from working or otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities” reads a statement from VISET.

VISET vowed that vendors were not going anywhere anytime soon.

“As a reminder to the current President, we are in the streets not because we want but your administration’s machiavellian macroeconomic policies have brought us to this stage. There is nothing illegal about vending because you created it Mr President. In the same token, if vending is illegal then your continued occupancy of the office of President of Zimbabwe is both illegal and a joke,

We refer you to the constitution of Zimbabwe Section 64 which provides for the right to freedom of choice and practice of a trade or profession. Furthermore, Section 24 of the Constitution provides for the national objective of removing restrictions that inhibit people from working or otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities. Section 13 of the constitution obliges the government, which you purport to lead, to promote private initiatives and self-reliance, the right to human dignity, right to food and right to life can all not be realized if people are denied opportunities to earn a living”, the statement further stated.

Director for Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance (ZWIPA),  human rights defender Linda Tsungirirai Masarira concurred saying the crippling economy had pushed a lot of once middle class into vending to supplement their meagre erratic salaries.

“These utterances coming from the head of state fuels the calls for some introspection on the part of the system that has reduced everyone into vending, vendors need jobs, where are the 2.2m jobs Zanu-PF has been singing about since they launched ZimAsset?

Government should embark on a deliberate re-industrialization program for Zimbabwe to create the much-needed jobs”, she said.

Since the launch of the onslaught on informal traders code-named Operation Restore Order in the Cities by government and local authorities, vendor representative bodies have maintained that Harare City Council (HCC) needs to take full responsibility for its failure to provide adequate designated sites for these traders and that forceful eviction of informal traders will not solve the current vending morass.




By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

There have been mixed ambivalents after human rights organisations ratcheted pressure on President Robert Mugabe to abolish the death penalty as a matter of urgency.

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Day against the Death Penalty which Amnesty International Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum marked by inviting people to sign a petition for the abolition of the death penalty.

The two human rights civil society groups said Zimbabwe is among the few countries in the world that still has the death penalty.

“Throughout the world, and particularly in the continent of Africa, the death penalty is being abolished.  The majority of African Union member states have legally abolished the death penalty or applied a de facto moratorium on capital punishment;  only a minority of 17 States have retained the death penalty,” stated the human rights organizations.

In Zimbabwe, there has been no execution since 2005, but persons are still sentenced to death. Though the new constitution provides that females and men aged above 70 years are exempted, there are over a hundred prisoners languishing on “death row”, some for nearly 20 years.

The petition also castigates the death penalty as a colonial relic.

“The death penalty is not a traditional penalty but a colonial relic. Traditional customary law relied on restorative justice rather than retribution. By abolishing the death penalty Zimbabwe would be making a clear break with its colonial past, ”added the human rights watchdogs.

The petition argues that the death penalty is no deterrent to serious crimes as shown by researchers in many parts of the world and in that regard it becomes merely ‘cruel and inhumane’.

However, the petition has been received with mixed feelings by many citizens.

Posting on his Facebook timeline,  journalist Robert Mukondiwa said that he strongly supports the death penalty.

“I am pro-death penalty. Something that I believe will not change in my lifetime. Sorry family” posted Mukondiwa.

Another scribe Conway Tutani also supports retaining the death penalty but for heinous crimes.

“My position on that is that the death sentence must be retained for the worst of the worst like sociopathic or psychopathic killers who target defenceless people, especially children.

“ People who take delight in killing others, who kill for the sake of it deserve capital punishment,” argued Tutani.

Tatiannah Machirori said the death penalty is a necessary evil to deter would-be murderers.

“If there was no death penalty, murderers will be many but we have seen that most of the people who commit horrendous murders end up committing suicide for fear of facing the hangman’s noose,” she said.

But some argued against saying the death penalty should be removed.

Xolisani Gwesela said death penalty has no place in this day and age.

“Death penalty indeed has no place in the new millennium,” he posted.

Philemon Jambaya said there should be other ways of punishing offenders and not resort to the death penalty.

“The death penalty is inhumane. We should have better ways of punishing or rehabilitating social misfits because no one has a right to take anyone’s life,” said Jambaya.