What’s in a name?


At independence, Margaret Dongo, now leader of the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats, was a comrade, in every sense. But today, she is no longer one.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took exception when deputy Industry and Commerce Minister Obert Mpofu referred to her as Cde when replying to a question she had raised over the ratification of the trade agreement between Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The hon. member Mrs Dongo, has referred to this as a loan agreement. This is not a loan agreement Cde Dongo,” Mpofu said.

Mnangagwa on a point of correction said Mr. Mpofu has referred to Hon. Dongo as Cde. She is not a comrade.

“This is the biggest lapse of my time,” Mpofu responded, to which Nyasha Chikwinya interjected: “Makaenda naye kuhondo and therefore she is a comrade.”

The MPs have been arguing that Zimbabwe should not enter into a trade agreement with the DRC because they had not been provided with full information.

Dongo had said she could not support any agreements with the DRC, whether they were business or military because when Zimbabwe intervened in the DRC Parliament was never consulted.

She said those trying to push for the agreement were merely trying to legitimise things since there were rumours that certain individuals had already established businesses in the DRC.

“There is no way we can enter into a business agreement with people that are in a war unless you are saying the agreement that you want to enter into is for trading in firearms in that case you have been doing that illegally.”


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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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