Top stories for January 26-31


Mangoma tells Tsvangirai to step ¬Movement for Democratic Change deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma has urged party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to step down to save the party and his own legacy. He even offered to have the party constitution amended to create the post of founding president so that Tsvangirai can continue to be closely associated with the party and the people’s project, and to preserve his legacy as a democrat and a brave fighter against dictatorship and one-man-rule. In a document that has been widely circulated especially on the internet, Mangoma said Tsvangirai had played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s quest for democracy and socio-economic transformation but after 15 years as party president, it was time for him to step down. “You have done the best that you could and continuing will result in diminishing returns and eating into your legacy. The party is in dire need for new ideas, new thinking, a new trajectory and new stimulus,” he said. “The creation of a new trajectory for the party cannot and will not be achieved by acrimony and contestation but by amicably resolving and putting finality and closure to this issue of leadership renewal. “However, the MDC needs resurgence underwritten by a strong cohesive party leadership, reviewed adaptive party policies and reinvigorated connection with the base and the broad alliance. “The best way that you, as president of the party can support this process is to step aside and allow progress by the democratic forces.”

MDC Women’s Assembly backs Tsvangirai
The Movement for Democratic Change Women’s Assembly today said it was solidly behind party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and distanced itself from those calling on Tsvangirai to step down. In a statement, Assembly chairperson Theresa Makone said the assembly, which held its first national council meeting for 2014 today, supported Tsvangirai in achieving real change and a better Zimbabwe for all. “As the Assembly, we are very clear and solidly behind our president. We disassociate ourselves from some statements in the public domain that are misrepresenting the facts on the life and health of our party,” Makone said.


Cuthbert Dube fired
Premier Service Medical Aid Society group chief executive Cuthbert Dube, who was reportedly earning US$230 000 a month while the organisation was saddled with a US$38 million debt was today fired by the board. PSMAS board secretary Cosmos Mukwesha said: “At its sitting of the 27th day of January 2014, the Premier Service Medical Aid Society board of directors resolved to relieve the current board chairperson, Mrs M M Namasasu, of her duties as chairperson, forthwith. In line with the society’s constitution, the board appointed the vice chairperson, Mr N Mhlanga as acting chairperson until the appointment of a substantive chairperson. Further, the board resolved that in view of the fact that the group chief executive, Dr C.E Dube has reached retirement age, he be retired. Details on the retirement are being worked out.”


Harare town clerk suspended
Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi was today suspended for three months for failing to provide the salary schedule of all senior council employees. The council ordered Mahachi to provide the salary schedule on 17 December but he failed to do so. Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the suspension would pave way for investigations into Mahachi’s conduct and the affairs and finances of Council. Reports said Mahachi was earning US$37 000 a month.


Cuthbert Dube paid more money than an entire ministry
Former Premier Services Medical Aid Society chief executive Cuthbert Dube was paid US$6.4 million last year which was more than the entire budget of the Ministry of Tourism for 2014. The Ministry requested US$73.2 million but was only allocated US$6.2 million. According to the Herald, Dube was paid double the US$230 000 initially reported plus a bonus of over US$1 million bringing his total earnings to US$6.4 million. While it would appear that Dube was milking off poor civil servants contributions, his salary was actually coming from the government because it contributed 80 of the subscriptions with members paying only 20 percent. Health Minister David Parirenyatwa even went a step further when he told Parliament that either way, the money came from the government. What is puzzling is that the board chairperson Meisie Namasasu was the director for implementation and control of expenditure in the Ministry of Finance.


Tsvangirai stays put- no early congress
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today survived calls for him to step down after the party executive ruled that the party would not hold an early congress because there was now leadership crisis. Tsvangirai has been under pressure to step down after losing last year’s presidential elections. Some of his top lieutenants say after 15 years at the helm of the party he should now give way to a new leadership to save the party and preserve his own legacy. The party’s next congress is in 2016. An early congress can, however, be called if the party’s national council decides so. Calls for Tsvangirai to step down have come from chief fund-raiser, Roy Bennett, Ian Kay and deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma. Former national organising secretary Elias Mudzuri has publicly stated that he is interested in the presidency. Tsvangirai supporters say Mangoma is fronting for party secretary-general Tendai Biti who denies he is interested in the top post but has not come out in support of Tsvangirai’s continued leadership.¬


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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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