Top stories September 16-20


Sekai Holland says Tsvangirai is the Godfather of violence-Outspoken Movement for Democratic Change legislator, Sekai Holland, who was a member of the party’s Guardian Council has joined the Renewal Team and has described party leader Morgan Tsvangirai as the “Godfather of intra-party violence”, according to New Zimbabwe.Com. “Violence as a means of control and oppression remains a central feature of the party with accusations never investigated properly that it emanates from the office of the president. It remains a sore point to many members and in particular those like me who are survivors of state torture. The Mandel meeting was constitutional and the decision to put the party under the curatorship of the Guardians Council is in line with our constitution,” she said. Holland said in a statement yesterday that Tsvangirai had turned the MDC into a personal property. “It is clear that the MDC-Tsvangirai has become the personal property of one individual. It is time to reject that and return to our founding principles. The MDC Renewal team is where those who still adhere to the original values and principles of the party are regrouping. I therefore on this note and occasion officially assume the role of interim party president as directed by the national council at Mandel,” she said. Holland said Tsvangirai was also an embarrassment to women. “Lucia Matibenga, a senior member of the party and respected women’s leader regionally and internationally, was dumped unconstitutionally. I was ejected from the party in 2003 but remained resolute in the hope that Tsvangirai would change his ways. I need not elaborate on Tsvangirai’s own personal behaviour and attitude towards women. Our silence on that score has been a huge embarrassment,” she said.

Mugabe willing to testify
The lawyer of a Chicago man charged with illegally lobbying for the lifting of sanctions against the Zimbabwean government said today that President Robert Mugabe is willing to testify on video when he visits New York next week for the United Nations general assembly. C. Gregory Turner was charged with Prince Asiel Ben Israel who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months. Turner’s trial is due to start on 29 September. The two were expected to be paid $3.4 million for their efforts. According to the Chicago Tribune, Turner’s lawyers say Mugabe’s testimony is “absolutely central” to the allegations against their client and since Mugabe is a foreigner and cannot be subpoenaed to testify, they would like to record his testimony when he comes to New York next for the UN summit which is on 23 and 24 September. “One of the primary bases for the government’s prosecution of Mr. Turner in this case is its allegation that Mr. Turner specifically acted for and at the direction of Mr. Mugabe….…If the government is truly interested in the pursuit of justice, it should welcome Mr. Mugabe’s videotaped testimony,” Turner’s lawyers said.

No ebola in Zimbabwe but Health Minister forced to issue statement as rumours abound
There is no ebola in Zimbabwe. Rumours are being spread by social media due to the panic that happened at Parirenyatwa Hospital when a patient came in an ambulance, pulled out his drip and there was blood all over, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told Parliament today. In a ministerial statement, Parirenyatwa said because the patient was very ill and had blood all over, the staff thought he was bleeding from everywhere, so it might be ebola. “I want to dispel that rumour and just say that, we do not have a case of ebola at all in Zimbabwe for no ,” the minister said. He said the first case of the circulation of Ebola was a rumoured case of Ebola at the South Medical Hospital in Chitungwiza on 13 September 2014. It involved a 27-year-old man, who was admitted on 9 September and died on 12 September. Blood samples were taken and sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa, which is only one of the centres in Africa that tests for Ebola. The results came back on 17 September and were negative. The second case occurred at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. A Zimbabwean man aged 50, working in Mozambique, was admitted on 16 September and referred to Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital where he died the following day. He said this man was not tested for ebola because there was no link to the disease at all. More than 2 600 people have died of Ebola, mostly in West Africa, so far.

Mugabe is my hero says New York politician
New York State politician Charles Barron says Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is his hero and he would like to invite him to the United States because he is a shining example of an African leader on the African continent. “I would love for him to come to Albany. I would love for him to come anywhere in the United States, really. I think he’s a shining example of an African leader on the African continent,” Barron told the New York Observer. “He was one of the few African leaders who had the courage to take the land back from the settlers,” Barron said comparing Mugabe to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, who he argued allowed whites to retain too much property. Mandela was viewed as an African icon by the West. Barron’s other African hero is Muammar al Gaddafi. “All my heroes were America’s enemies,” Barron said. Mugabe will be in New York next week for the United Nations summit but is under United States sanctions which do not allow him to travel to the United States except on United Nations business. A Chicago man C. Gregory Turner is on trial for lobbying to have sanctions against Mugabe lifted. His lawyers have indicated that they would like Mugabe to testify on video on Turner’s behalf when he visits New York. Mugabe is reported to have agreed to testify.

Zuma loses case to gag 2002 Zimbabwe election report
South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal today dismissed, with costs, the latest attempt by the presidency to appeal a high court order that it should hand the Khampepe Report to the Mail & Guardian. This means that the report on the 2002 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, which the Movement for Democratic Change and other observers claimed were rigged, can become public according to the Mail and Guardian. President Robert Mugabe won the elections with a 56.2 percent vote. Judge Fritz Brand said this might not be the end of the case. “Since this might still not be the end of the matter, I shall refrain from disclosing the contents of the report,” he said. The Mail and Guardian first applied for access to the report compiled by Judges Sisi Khampepe and Dikgang Moseneke in 2008. The two judges were sent by the South African government to report on the 2002 elections, but their report was considered secret. This effectively means that three South African presidents- Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma have so far refused to release the report.

Tsvangirai is a hero but we need new ideas- Gorden Moyo
Gorden Moyo, the former Bulawayo provincial chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change who switched to the Renewal Team last month, says Morgan Tsvangirai is a hero, but people need new ideas and new strategies. An organisation cannot be named after a person even if that is Tsvangirai. “Make no mistake Tsvangirai worked very hard. Morgan is a hero who was the first opposition leader to shake ZANU- PF and Mugabe much to the amazement of the world. It is impossible to document this country’s history without mentioning his name. We don’t want to do like ZANU-PF which doesn’t recognise people and institutions that contributed to the country’s political development. ZANU doesn’t recognise ZAPU in the liberation struggle even in history books used in the school curriculum,” Moyo said. “I respect Tsvangirai but we need new ideas and new strategies. When an organization fails you change its leadership or its culture. We believe in systems not personalities like ZANU- PF members who think Mugabe is ZANU- PF and vice versa. We cannot allow an organisation in modern democracy to be called using people’s names even if it is Tsvangirai.”


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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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