Top stories for April 11- 15


We are staying put- expelled MDC four – Jacob Mafume, one of the four members expelled from the Movement for Democratic Change yesterday for insubordination and violating the party’s constitution, today said their expulsion was unconstitutional. “We do not consider ourselves expelled. We have not been expelled and we will continue to do our duties whatever they were and as best as we can for the interest of the party and the generality of the Zimbabwean population using the vehicle of the MDC until the proper procedures are followed.” Mafume who is Elton Mangoma’s lawyer and former director of information in the Prime Minister’s Office when MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai held that post, was expelled together with Mangoma, Last Maengahama and Promise Mkwananzi. “As the spokesperson of the renewal team, we find nothing shocking in the unconstitutional decision made on Thursday by a bogus national council purportedly to expel the deputy treasurer-general Mr Mangoma, the youth assembly secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi and Last Maengahama, a member of the national executive, and myself,” Mafume said. “What is puzzling is that the national council expelled Mr Mangoma who is already on suspension pending a hearing without affording him an opportunity to be heard. This is not only in violation of the party’s constitution, but flies in the face of the principle of national justice.”

Mujuru says those thinking of taking over from Mugabe are daydreaming
Vice-President Joice Mujuru today said that those lining up for the post of president while Robert Mugabe is still in office are daydreaming. “ZANU-PF has one leader, who is President Mugabe. Those calling to take over positions of people who are in office are sell-outs. We abide by the constitution of the party, which is our bible, and we say no to power-hungry people. You want to take other people’s positions; have you succeeded in the one that you have? Some of these people who are saying all sorts of things do not have anything to say. We don’t want party leaders who confuse members,” she told a women’s meeting in Mutare. Mujuru is reported to be one of the top contenders for the post. Another name that keeps popping up is that of Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. But last week, the media was abuzz with news that First Lady Grace Mugabe was trying to push for former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono. Mugabe has said his successor will be chosen by the people. ZANU-PF is holding its congress this year and this will be the ideal time to change leadership. The next congress is in 2019 a year after the next elections.


Sakhala all talk but no substance
Job Sakhala, who abandoned his own Movement for Democratic Change faction to join the main faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, today called for war to oust President Robert Mugabe arguing that people would not survive until the next elections in 2018. “People of Zimbabwe will not be able to live under these conditions until 2018. They will perish and we are going to miss those votes,” he said at a rally in Harare. “Don’t think that your leadership is inactive. We are looking for extra-ordinary methods and means to deal with Mugabe…. If we continue to lag behind in fear, we are going to be suppressed until Jesus Christ returns. Let’s deal with Mugabe so that he will know that elections cannot be rigged. Prepare for the biggest war of your life so that we liberate our country,” he added. Sakhala has been a rabble-rouser since his student days but he rarely gets into trouble. This has raised whispers that he works for the state.


Tsvangirai’s big tent stinks- Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change which has been losing members to the main faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, says Tsvangirai is not the right person to lead a united opposition against President Robert Mugabe because he is undemocratic and has dictatorial tendencies. “You cannot invite people to a big tent. It doesn’t matter how big it is if it is a rotten tent. As long as it is a tent which stinks to high heaven with dictatorship, violence, violation of everything that we stood for against Mugabe, it can be as big as you want it, it can contain millions of people, it’s not worth the numbers that it has. I have absolutely no respect and I am absolutely not impressed by the big tent politics which has no conception of what the struggle against Mugabe is,” Ncube said. Ncube was the first secretary-general of the Movement for Democratic Change but led a faction that broke away in 2005 after Tsvangirai refused to go with a decision by the national executive to participate in the Senate elections of that year. Efforts to reconcile the two since have failed.


Mliswa versus Mutasa
Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa, the fourth most powerful man in the ruling party, seems to be finding it difficult to dissociate himself from allegations by Mashonaland West Provincial chairman Temba Mliswa that he facilitated an out-of-court settlement in a dispute in which Mliswa was claiming US$165 million from Billy Rautenbach for facilitating several business ventures that Rautenbach was involved in including the ethanol project in Chisumbanje. Mliswa said: “The onus is on you journalists to go and ask the Honourable Minister. ‘Did Billy ask you to settle this out of court?’ Because he is an honourable MP and he so happens to be my uncle, I trusted my uncle. I decided that the matter be settled out of court because he had gone and asked him to do that.” Mutasa responded today: “I don’t want to be interviewed about those issues. They have nothing to do with me. Mliswa has got his own life and I have my own life. Don’t mix. I don’t want to talk about that again.”


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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