In a scathing attack on the former Zanu PF leader, Matemadanda the secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) said Mugabe’s latest statements in which the former President accused his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa of anchoring his rule on killing civilians indicative of “how he was losing his mind.”
“You may want to forgive the old man but I do not think he deserves forgiveness because surely how can Mugabe have the audacity to tell president Mnangagwa not to kill when he is the specialist in that area.
“We survived by fleeing this country, Mnangagwa himself escaped death by a whisker, Mugabe is the known and approved killer, I think he should have said you are taking my job,” said Matemadanda at a press briefing early this week.
“I once went to Matabeleland told Chiefs to take cattle from Gushungo Dairies for him to appease the spirits of those he killed during the Gukurahundi; this is what is making Mugabe lose his senses.”
At least 20 000 people are reported to have been killed by a crack military unit known as the 5th Brigade under Mugabe’s command between 1983 and 1987 in a campaign codenamed Gukurahundi that the then Prime Minister claimed was aimed at hunting down a handful of dissidents. The killings were confined to the Midlands and westerns parts of the country.
Although Matemadanda’s address touched on numerous subjects, he spent some 20 minutes responding to Mugabe’s birthday rant in which the former guerrilla leader warned Mnangagwa of a civil revolt.
The war veterans’ leader said Mugabe should be grateful, Mnangagwa had not resorted to revenge after the November 2017 coup.
“Many people expected Mnangagwa not only to harass him but at least some measure to put Mugabe to order because he did not only kill people but destroyed this economy.
“These problems that we have are a result of Mugabe’s rule, even the sanctions; he had fun travelling and insulting people like a crazy person,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.
“Africa treated him like its crazy person and clapped hands for him. Now we have all these problems, yet he wants to act like a messiah.”
While Mnangagwa was State Security Minister and Mugabe’s top henchman during Gukurahundi, Matemadanda tried to present the President as “innocent.”
Scores arrested, beaten as Zimbabwe police crack down on protests
Scores arrested, beaten as Zimbabwe police crack down on protests Scores of Zimbabwean civilians including a prominent activist were detained and charged with public violence on Wednesday and others were beaten, lawyers and witnesses said, pointing to a heavy crackdown on dissent by security forces.
FARAI MUTSAKA Associated Press |AIWA! NO!| HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe police armed with AK-47 rifles arrested a prominent activist and pastor on Wednesday, along with scores of others, in a harsh crackdown over protests against dramatic fuel price hikes in the economically shattered country.
As some hungry Harare residents reported being tear-gassed by police when they ventured out for bread, President Emmerson Mnangagwa denounced what he called “wanton violence and cynical destruction.” He noted a right to protest and said he understands the “pain and frustration,” but he appeared to side with authorities who blame the opposition for unrest.
Pastor Evan Mawarire was clutching a Bible when police bundled him into their car in the capital, Harare. He had organized what became nationwide anti-government protests in 2016 against mismanagement and then-President Robert Mugabe’s long stay in power.
“They are alleging that he incited violence through Twitter and other forms of social media in the central business district,” said Beatrice Mtetwa, the pastor’s lawyer.
Eighty-two people appeared in court in Harare on charges of public violence.
There were widespread reports of violence as Zimbabwe faced a third day of protests over what has become the world’s most expensive gasoline. This is the country’s worst unrest since deadly post-election violence in August that saw six people killed.
Zimbabwe’s largest telecom company, Econet, sent text messages to customers saying it had been forced by the government to shut down internet service.
“The matter is beyond our control,” it said. Service began to return in the evening.
Armed police and soldiers broke up groups of more than five people in Harare, while desperation for food forced some people to venture into the streets. But virtually all shops were closed.
Police fired tear gas after a crowd tried to overrun a shopping center that opened to sell bread. Soldiers with AK-47s took charge of the long line.
“This kind of life is unbearable, we have soldiers at fuel queues and now soldiers again are controlling the bread queue,” one man said. “Are we at war?”
He told The Associated Press that it was the only shop open. “I have no choice but to wait. People are hungry at home,” he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern about possible retaliation.
Other arrests were reported. A spokesman for the main opposition MDC party, Nkululeko Sibanda, said in a Twitter post that “party leadership” had been detained. “This is only deepening the political crisis in the country,” he said.
As Mnangagwa makes an extended overseas trip that will include a stop at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to plead for more foreign investment, former military commander and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, a hardliner, is in charge at home.
Eight people were killed on Monday when police and military fired on crowds, according to Amnesty International. But Zimbabwe’s government said three people were killed, including a policeman who was stoned to death by an angry crowd.
The anti-government demonstrations amounted to “terrorism,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said on state television Tuesday night. The protests were “well-coordinated” by Zimbabwe’s opposition, she said.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said in a statement that it had attended to 107 patients by late Tuesday afternoon, with injuries including gunshot wounds to the head. It said most cases were in Harare and Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo.
International concern has been rising over Zimbabwe after a burst of optimism when Mugabe stepped down in late 2017 under military pressure.
The British minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, on Tuesday noted “worrying levels of violence” and urged restraint by Zimbabwe’s security forces. But South Africa’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “we’re confident measures being taken by the Zimbabwean government will resolve the situation.”
Streets were largely deserted in Harare on Wednesday. “Shops closed, schools closed, no public transport, petrol stations closed,” said Human Rights Watch southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga.
“Food fast running out in homes,” he added. Zimbabwe’s acting president was “silent.”
Zimbabweans in neighboring South Africa protested outside their embassy. Tino Mambeu called the arrest of Mawarire “madness, thus absolute rubbish.”
Zimbabwe police arrest prominent government critic
Armed Zimbabwean police arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said, the third day of protests against fuel price hikes as businesses and schools stayed closed and networks enforced a government internet shutdown.
HARARE: Armed Zimbabwean police arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said, the third day of protests against fuel price hikes as businesses and schools stayed closed and networks enforced a government internet shutdown.
Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor who rose to prominence as a critic of former leader Robert Mugabe, was bundled into the back seat of a truck by about a dozen police. He was to be charged with inciting public violence, said lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who witnessed the arrest along with a Reuters cameraman.
Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices, which was decreed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Three people including a police officer died on Monday during violent demonstrations.
Mawarire, who led a national shutdown in 2016, told Reuters police had surrounded his house after he used Facebook posts to urge Zimbabweans to heed the unions’ calls.
Shops, banks and fast-food chains in the capital stayed closed on Wednesday, along with some government offices, and there was no public transport and little other road traffic.
In central Harare, police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd queuing for bread at a shopping centre, a Reuters witness said. Soldiers were controlling a disorderly queue at the only shop that was open.Advertisement
Many Zimbabweans accuse Mnangagwa of failing to live up to pre-election pledges to kick-start economic growth and make a clean break with the strong-arm rule of Mugabe, who was forced out in November 2017 after 37 years in power.
Since then, the country has seen a familiar pattern of dollar shortages battering the economy, rocketing inflation that is destroying the value of their savings and the government reacting forcefully to crush dissent.
The government has blamed the protests on the main opposition and local rights groups, calling it part of a plot to overthrow Mnangagwa’s administration.
Mawarire rose to prominence in 2016 when he launched a social media movement – #ThisFlag – to encourage Zimbabweans to speak out against Mugabe policies the pastor blamed for high unemployment, widespread corruption and delays in getting salaries.
He was acquitted in 2017 on charges of public violence and disorderly conduct.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe , the country’s largest mobile operator, said its internet services had been cut off following an order from the government.
“We are obliged to act when directed to do so and the matter is beyond our control,” Econet said in a text message to customers, adding that all networks and providers had suspended their services.
Internet services were cut by mid-morning on Tuesday, leaving many people without access to social media platforms amid accusations that the government wanted to prevent images of its heavy-handedness from being broadcast around the world.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters on Tuesday that she was not aware of the blackout.
Honorable Molly Ndlovu, a Zanu – PF Parliamentarian derides and challenges Mnangagwa’s opponents; appeals to the President for the extension of parliament quota for women to bring gender parity in Parliament.
Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu
Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the president of Zimbabwe and therefore anyone who does not believe in this is daydreaming. Ms. Ndlovu also urged Mnangagwa to ensure that the parliamentary quota system for women is extended.
In the process, the court will ink its own piece of history, as it broadcasts the proceedings live from Mashonganyika Building on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) television and radio, which have been granted the rights.
ZBC has since invited local and international broadcasters interested in linking with its live feed to come forward.
It will also be historical in that the court will be handling such a petition for the second time after it was called to intervene in 2013 when the late MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai challenged former president Mr Robert Mugabe’s win.
Mr Tsvangirai later sought to withdraw his petition, but the Concourt ruled that it was mandated by the Constitution to hear an electoral petition once it was lodged and dispose of it, leaving no room for a withdrawal.
The Concourt then ruled that the presidential election held on July 31, 2013 was in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe and in particular with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13].
It also ruled that the election was free, fair and credible.
“Consequently, the result of that election is a true reflection of the free will of the people of Zimbabwe who voted,” it said.
The court also ruled that Mr Mugabe was duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and declared him winner of the election.
Mr Tsvangirai’s petition was dismissed with costs on an ordinary scale.
This time around and in the new spirit of opening up the democratic space in Zimbabwe, the Concourt has gone further to allow people to watch the proceedings live from anywhere in the world.
Mr Chamisa is challenging President Mnangagwa’s victory in the harmonised elections in which the President garnered 50,8 percent of the total presidential vote, against his 44,3 percent.
Zanu-PF also bagged over two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
Nine judges of the apex court led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba will hear the petition.
For the past two days, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had been busy accrediting those who would be allowed to sit in court and pitching a tent for people who will be following the proceedings from outside the court.
ZBC was also busy setting up its machinery at the court premises to ensure a quality live broadcast.
In an interview yesterday, veteran Harare lawyer Mr David Hofisi gave his analysis of the lawyers involved in the petition.
“In Lewis Uriri (for President Mnangagwa) and Thabani Mpofu (for Mr Nelson Chamisa) we have two titans of the legal field, and it is as thrilling a match-up as any,” he said.
“ZEC’s lawyer, Tawanda Kanengoni, is also very grounded and experienced in this sort of litigation and his papers portray he is quite confidence in the minutiae of election-related litigation.”
Mr Hofisi went on: “It looks like we are all going to learn the authoritative requirements of lodging, the time required for serving and substantively, the minimum standard for non-compliance deemed sufficient to reverse an election result will be the crux of the matter.”
President Mnangagwa says there is no valid election petition challenging his victory in the July 30 election.
In defence of his win, President Mnangagwa, who seeks to raise several preliminary objections to the petition, argues that the petition was a clear abuse of court process that should not be entertained by the esteemed court.
Through his lawyers, Advocates Uriri and Thembinkosi Magwaliba, President Mnangagwa says there is no valid election petition before the court to warrant the invalidation of the poll results.
‘‘The applicant (Mr Chamisa) has not mounted this application for the bona fide purpose of setting aside the result of the presidential election conducted on 30 July 2018,” he said.
“The intention was to delay my inauguration as the duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and to make political statements in court.
‘‘This is apparent from the fact that the application does not comply with the rules of the honourable court and the Constitution.”
In addition, President Mnangagwa want the court to censure Mr Chamisa for the childish manner in which he prosecuted the application.
To this end, the President wants the highest court in the land to dismiss the petition and confirm him the winner of the presidential poll.
A dismissal order, said the President in his opposing papers, was appropriate given the fact that the petition was plagued with flagrant procedural irregularities.
In responding to Mr Chamisa’s petition, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba also says the petition is “fatally and incurably defective” to nullify the results.
The electoral body, which is being represented by its lawyers Nyika, Kanengoni and Partners, supported President Mnangagwa’s assertion that there is no valid application filed by the MDC-Alliance leader before the court.
The body stated that the petition not only failed to comply with the court rules, but it was an uncompleted record to render the petition invalid.
“His (Mr Chamisa) application is thus fatally and incurably defective and ought to be struck off the roll,” said Justice Chigumba.
She averred that Mr Chamisa’s claims of malpractices by ZEC were unfounded as the MDC Alliance founding papers have not proven an irregularity as alleged apart from making bare allegations.
“The conclusion made by the applicant from this bare allegation is that the electoral commission rigged the presidential election with no evidence given to show the alleged rigging,” said Justice Chigumba.
Mr Chamisa’s lead defence lawyer, Adv Mpofu, wants the Constitutional Court to set aside President Mnangagwa victory, claiming that the official presidential results announced by ZEC were not credible.
He wants Mr Chamisa declared winner of the election or an order for a fresh election.