Top stories for March 6-10


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MP wants to investigate Mugabe’s role in appointment of boards – Members of Parliament want to investigate the role of the Office of the President and Cabinet in the processing of board appointments in State Enterprises and local authorities. This was one of the recommendations made today by Mutasa South Member of Parliament Irene Zindi when she introduced a motion calling for the appointment of an 18- member parliamentary committee to play an oversight role on corruption in the country. The government appointed an agency to do that but the country’s legislators are arguing that it is their duty because all institutions and agencies of the State at every level are accountable to Parliament. They also want to investigate nepotism, cronyism and regionalism in the appointment of boards and staff members as well as allegations that ministers are getting vehicles and other perks from State enterprises and local authorities. The country has been rocked by scandals at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Premier Services Medical Aid Society, Air Zimbabwe, the National Social Security Authority, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and the Harare City Council.

Mangoma suspended
The Movement for Democratic Change today suspended deputy treasurer- general Elton Mangoma for ignoring the directive from the national executive not to discuss party business through the press and fanning factionalism within the party. Mangoma was one of the senior MDC officials- mostly those who controlled the party’s finances- to call on party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to step down to save the party and his own legacy. Mangoma also offered Tsvangirai a retirement package which he turned down. The party said that the actions by Mangoma had seriously undermined its relationship with strategic partners as well as the party position that the July 31 elections were stolen. This is the first time that party has admitted funds are drying up which is a clear indication that those who are calling for Tsvangirai to step down have financial muscle over the party. The Party said it would appoint an Independent Tribunal which will be made up of three lawyers with the chairperson who shall be a person qualified to be a Judge of the High Court. It said the hearing will start immediately.

 

Tsvangirai says work with me or leave
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today urged his lieutenants to work with him or leave the party. He told a rally in Chitungwiza today: “Kane pane asingade kuita fall in line, be out of line….I have not run out of manpower, but ndiri kuti kana muchida struggle yekuti uyai tiite change, ngatibvisei ZANU-PF, let’s work together. But if you do not want to work with me, you are free to leave.” Tsvangirai was speaking a day after the suspension of deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma. Mangoma was suspended for ignoring the directive from the national executive not to discuss party business through the press and fanning factionalism within the party. MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said the suspension was unconstitutional but party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora, also a lawyer, said it was above board. The MDC leader went:”Isu ana Tsvangirai tinoenda ku congress. Kana pane aneshave rekudyiwa, anouya. There are some who wish this party away. Every day, they are saying what they want, even journalists, they are writing what they want . . . but we are saying, they cannot destroy our collective spirit.”

 

Tsvangirai says MDC is not broke but….
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today said that the party will “never go broke” but at the same time added that “we will gather the little that we have so that our party can survive.” In a clear sign that everything was not well within the party which suspended its deputy-treasurer general Elton Mangoma on Friday, Tsvangirai said the party might have to go to its supporters to bail it out like it did in 2006 when it held its second congress. Addressing a rally at Mabvuku, Tsvangirai said: “Our people sold their goats and chickens and the congress took place.” Ironically the 2006 congress was held to elect a new leadership after the party split with the secretary-general Welshman Ncube, the treasurer Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and vice-president Gibson Sibanda leaving the party because Tsvangirai had defied a decision by the national executive to participate in the 2005 Senate elections. The party is almost in a similar situation. It has not split yet but secretary-general Tendai Biti has distanced himself from the suspension of Mangoma saying it was unconstitutional. Mangoma and the chief fund-raiser Roy Bennett have both said Tsvangirai must step down to save the party. Tsvangirai has responded that those who do not want to work with him must leave.

 

Chamisa for president
The saga in the Movement for Democratic Change has taken another twist. Organising secretary Nelson Chamisa has been accused of nursing ambitions not only to lead the party but also to contest for president in 2018 when he turns 40. The MDC holds its party congress in 2016 and party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been urging all those calling for him to step down to wait until then. Others argue that even if there is a change of leadership then, there will not be enough time for the new leader to campaign for the 2018 elections. Youth Assembly secretary general Promise Mkwananzi today said Tsvangirai should be wary of Chamisa’s motives and machinations. “He appears intent on hiding behind the president to redeem himself from being judged by the people on the role he played in the July 2013 election outcome, including the manner in which he handled primary elections and the imposition of dubious and unknown characters as party candidates. In addition, Chamisa seems comfortable to keep the party at abeyance, purge potential competitors and pave the way for his eventual take-over as president when he reaches the forty year threshold.”

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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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