Party Politics

The MDC-T’s Standing Committee met today to review the Zimbabwe election roadmap’s timelines as agreed by the negotiators. Although there was agreement on some issues, there was clearly no agreement on fundamental issues.

It is the belief of the MDC-T that the current political arrangement must end with a free, fair and credible election. What this means is that there must be an immediate end to all state – sponsored violence. There must not be any interference by security forces with the electoral process.

Importantly, the board that must run the elections, the Zimbabwe Election Commission, must be impartial. It must be staffed by fresh staff recruited by the commission itself.

Because of the pronouncements that have previously been made by the so-called securocrats the heads of the security forces must issue a statement in which they unequivocally uphold the Constitution of the country and unconditional respect for the winner of the coming election.

The state security agents in the form of the CIO must be governed by a statute agreed to by all the parties. This statute must govern the operations of the CIO.

The MDC-T further demands that there be SADC and African monitors to this election six months before and six months after the election.

We notice with displeasure that the election roadmap does not seek to address the fundamental issues outlined above as it leaves them as grey areas. Therefore, the agreement on the roadmap is incomplete as it does not include these very important issues.

It is therefore misleading for some people to say that the roadmap has been concluded. While we appreciate the very good efforts made by our negotiators, we believe that more has to be done in order to complete the roadmap.

We notice that Zanu-PF has started denigrating the office of the chairperson of ZEC through its hired so called analysts. We view this as an attempt to undermine the independence of ZEC. While Zanu-PF criticises the chairperson, it says nothing about some members of the commission like Joyce Kazembe who are card carrying members of Zanu-PF. These are the people who must be removed from the commission because they compromise its impartiality.


President Robert Mugabe’s simmering succession power struggle is intensifying amid clear indications that for the first time a new group involving military strategists and politicians within the party is seriously gathering ground, sensing leadership change on the horizon.

The emergence of this group straddling Zanu PF and state structures could change the succession dynamics and possibly the outcome as Mugabe nears the end of his long political career due to old age and health problems.

Zanu PF insiders say there are serious manoeuvres on succesion because those with information now know very well that the party is on its last legs and Mugabe is inching towards the exit even though the new group wants him to first win a term of office before he retires and goes by natural causes.

Extensive briefings of the Zimbabwe Independent  by Mugabe’s advisors and Zanu PF insiders show the new group is gathering around Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga and Zanu PF politburo members who have lost confidence in the two main traditional party factions to provide a potential successor to Mugabe.

Zanu PF is dominated by two main factions led by retired army commander Solomon Mujuru and heavyweight Emmerson Mnangagwa. These camps are however fluid and members keep shifting and changing depending on the situation and circumstances. Zanu PF has resultantly become a study of confusion due to these factions and factions within factions.

“The situation is moving and changing fast,” a senior Zanu PF official said.

“Those strategically positioned in Zanu PF know that Mugabe is on his way out due to old age, health issues and internal pressure. As a result they are fighting everywhere you find them. Clashes are now to be found at the politburo, central committee, and other lower levels of the party. In government, there are divisions in cabinet and parliament, as well as in key state institutions. The fights around the succession issue are going on.”

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gombo yesterday said there were no factions in Zanu PF.

“We will see it (third faction) when it emerges. There are no factions in Zanu PF. Mnangagwa himself said it when he said that he was number 12 in the party. The general line I can give you is that it is the party that leads the country and not the other way round (he was referring to the military producing a candidate),” Gumbo said.

In recent years those touted as potential successors to Mugabe include Mujuru, Mnangagwa, Sydney Sekeramayi, and more remotely John Nkomo, Simon Khaya Moyo, Gideon Gono and Saviour Kasukuwere. However, Chiwenga’s mention has become a dramatic and stunning proposal in the growing list of potential successors.

Sources said influential political and state institutional players warming towards Chiwenga include Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, and Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, among others. Moyo reportedly has open doors to all these people.

Chiwenga enjoys support of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) – which brings together the army, police and intelligence service chiefs, although internal rivalries are rife. Indications are that JOC is the main body behind Zanu PF, something which gives Chiwenga a springboard if he later chooses to join the Mugabe succession race.

Nyikayaramba recently told the Independent that the military would want to see Mugabe die in office. However, when it comes to who will succeed him the army would first of all weigh the candidates before deciding to support one of them or fielding its own. Chiwenga is being bandied about as the potential candidate for the new group.

Another credible source said the view that Chiwenga must be fielded as an alternative candidate was “growing and gathering momentum”.

This has riled mainly members of the Mujuru faction who do not want to entertain the idea. Senior members of the Mujuru faction, which has Sekeramayi and Kasukuwere as potential candidates, say they would block Chiwenga if he dares join the succession race.

Mnangagwa, who recently said he has no ambitions to become president, is said to be close to army commanders now as Defence minister, although they do share the same vision of the way forward.

Sources said whereas army commanders want elections this year to ensure Mugabe secures a new term for Zanu PF while still relatively fit and are hostile to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as alternative future leader of the country, Mnangagwa is not totally opposed to him.

While army top commanders were fiercely anti-Tsvangirai, Mnangagwa recently said since he was Defence minister in 2009 he found the prime minister “a very sound, sober person and have no problem with him”.

A few years ago Mnangagwa was linked to a soft landing plan for Mugabe involving Tsvangirai and a retired army colonel. The Mujuru faction also largely has no problems with Tsvangirai. Zanu PF factions need an alliance with MDC-T to elect a successor in parliament in the event that Mugabe goes before his tenure is finished.

Sources said people who want Chiwenga, who has been improving his education at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) studying political science, are pulling out all the stops to prepare the ground for him. Chiwenga’s supporters are said to be trying to build a political and social base for him using military and party structures.

Chiwenga, who is reportedly 55, has strong liberation struggle credentials, hence moves to make him an alternative successor to Mugabe. He joined Zanu’s armed wing Zanla in 1973 and became a member of the general staff the following year before joining the high command and operating as deputy commissar in 1978 until Independence in 1980.

After Independence, he became 1 Brigade commander in Bulawayo, commander of 5 Brigade in 1984, Brigadier-General at army headquarters, Major General and Chief of Staff and then Lieutenant-General and Zimbabwe National Army commander in 1994 and ZDF commander in 2003.

A number of ZDF officers are also studying at UZ, while key state institutions are managed by retired soldiers who may provide a soft landing for Chiwenga if he enters the race. Although Chiwenga has a solid military base to launch a political career from, he does not have a social base.

Sources said behind the scenes various succession permutations are being discussed. While all sorts of scenarios are being painted, it has always been feared someone could emerge to take power, claiming that he expresses the will of the people, pays whatever price is necessary to obtain the loyalty of the security forces and sets about eliminating rivals to consolidate himself.


Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) war veterans’ leader, Ray Ncube was on Saturday elected as the new revived ZAPU chairperson for Bulawayo province.

The retired colonel immediately pledged to grab all parliamentary seats in the province from the mainstream MDC party in the next elections.

Ncube, who was elected during the ZAPU Bulawayo provincial congress, beat former Highlanders boss Roger Muhlwa.

“The biggest task for our party now is mobilisation and as we stand we believe that Bulawayo is the political hub for ZAPU,” said Ndlovu.

“We have to make sure we become very strong in this city because this is our power base. We are going to participate in each and every election and give MDC a good run. We are back for good,” said Ncube.

Bulawayo has been an MDC stronghold since 2000.  In the 2008 parliamentary elections, the party took all of the city’s parliamentary seats.

ZAPU, led by former home affairs minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, pulled out of its 1987 Unity Accord with ZANU PF in December 2008 citing lack of adherence to the spirit of the accord.

Dabengwa said members of ZAPU were not given “due and fair recognition”. Dabengwa backed Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile project during the March 2008 elections. He once said that all former ZAPU cadres who are still working within ZANU PF were doing so on their own volition and therefore were not representing the party’s interests.

Dabengwa has vowed to challenge President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the next presidential election expected to be held next year.

ZAPU’s provincial elections are expected to continue countrywide in the next weeks.


There is an intensifying battle among competing factions within Zanu (PF) to control Zimbabwe’s national army.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, minister of Defence and President Robert Mugabe’s preferred successor, and commander of the defence forces Constantine Chiwenga are the main contenders.

This has created camps in the armed forces, say senior army sources. Mnangagwa can only count on the support of a few army officers who are Mugabe’s loyalists, say the sources.

Our military sources say the hierarchy from colonel upwards has been sucked into the vortex of the increasingly dangerous Zanu (PF) succession matrix.

Chiwenga enjoys the support of most of the army’s top brass and wields considerable power over the troubled transition.

Also involved in the battle for the soul of the army is the shadow of retired former army commander, Solomon Mujuru, long recognised as the kingmaker.

His wife Joice is Mugabe’s deputy and directly the next in line to succeed him. She is widely seen as the general’s proxy. Sydney Sekeramayi, the minister in charge of Intelligence, is another contender. He is believed to enjoy the support of the spy agency but not its boss, Happton Bonyongwe.

The ructions are widening amid fears in the ruling cabal that Mugabe would lose the next election to president of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Generals have been threatening to stop Tsvangirai taking power and have openly said they will stage a coup. Frantic meetings between Sekeremayi, Mujuru and senior army officers have reportedly been held in recent days, our source said.

They reportedly resolved that they would resist any attempt to put Mnangagwa in as the next president. They also vowed that Chiwenga’s plan to seize power in the event of the President’s defeat or demise would be blocked.

Chiwenga is already pushing for a plan to have 25 percent of all legislative seats reserved for retired army officials. He has also reportedly moved to curry favour with the rank and file in the army.

A besieged Mugabe has shot down increasing calls for security sector reforms from SADC – his last bastion of international support, triggering a dog fight as rival factions compete to take control of the most powerful vestige of political power, the army.


Zimbabwe Republic Police has declared war on Movement for Democratic Change supporters for invading police stations.

Police accuse the MDC-T for invading their offices whenever their activists are arrested.

“We have observed a worrisome trend amongst MDC activists that whenever we arrest any MDC member/s for committing crimes, they mobilise themselves and invade police stations harassing and threatening officers, thereby disturbing and compromising security and smooth running of the station.

Should such conduct manifest itself again we will invoke the necessary standing orders as they relate to security of police establishments and we will use necessary force to ensure compliance, besides invoking the applicable laws, “the police said in a statement it inserted in the state controlled Sunday newspaper.

The police said MDC activists invaded Rhodesville and Matapi police stations last month in search of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s senior aid Jameson Timba who was arrested.

“It is unfortunate that the behaviour of invading police stations is synonymous with the MDC.Thruogh admission in media reports the MDC have invaded Rhodesville and Matapi police stations in the latest arrest of Mr Jameson Timba. It is invasion like these that will not be tolerated  in future and may everyone please take heed, “the police added.

Contacted for comment MDC-T spokesperson Daglous Mwonzora said “The police want to use this as an excuse to maim and kill our supporters. There were no such invasions and it’s untrue for the police to say that. When Minister Timba was arrested our members visited a number of police stations trying to locate him since thepolice did not want to tell us which police station they had put him.

Our members wanted to give Minister Timba some food and warm clothing in the process”.

MDC has been complaining about the selective application of law in the country, especially the continued arrest of its members. The police recently declared war against MDC when it accused the party supporters of killing one of officers in Glenview.


Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is reportedly preparing to name his successor, as rumors fly of his failing strength and recent visits to Singapore for medical treatment.

Mugabe acknowledged his health issues in an interview with the state-owned Herald newspaper, citing an eye cataract operation in Singapore and physiotherapy in China for his wife who, he said, dislocated her hip. She remains in China taking language and cultural studies, he said.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru would normally be headed for the top spot should Mugabe retire. But, the president has let it slip that he prefers Sydney Sekeramayi, minister of state security nicknamed “Spymaster,” for his close ties to the army and intelligence.

Serakamayi has served as a minister in Mugabe’s cabinet since the country’s independence in 1980.

Mugabe maintains that despite his age, he is fit to govern. He called for elections this year, but regional mediators say that would be too early for free and fair polling.


The mystery about how the Zanu (PF) deputy minister of Labour and Social Welfare Tracy Mutinhiri came to be accused of having an affair with Morgan Tsvangirai seems to have been solved.

According to the Zimbabwean, the Zanu (PF) losing councilor for Ward 4 Marondera East and former Constituency Officer, Shepherd Kaserere, went on a smear campaign to tarnish the image of his former boss, Mutinhiri, after she fired him from his job as constituency officer.

The report was about how he has apparently refused to vacate office despite being dismissed by MP Tracy Mutinhiri, because he is under-qualified for the position.

The Zimbabwean said Kaserere has the backing of the Zanu (PF) Senator for Marondera-Wedza, Sydney Sekeramayi, who is being touted as a possible successor for Robert Mugabe.

“According to an Act of Parliament, constituency officers should be presentable people, should have passed passed 5 Ordinary Level subjects with a ‘C’ grade or better and able to socialise with people from across the political divide.

“Kaserere falls short of the three prerequisites as he only passed three subjects at Ordinary Level.

“In addition, he preaches hate speech and cannot socialise with people from across the political divide. Parliament scrapped him off its payroll and he is now reportedly receiving salaries from Sekeramayi,” said the Zimbabwean’s sources.

He is also said to enjoy the backing of Zanu (PF) heavy weights who ordered him to stay put at the government constituency office, based at the District Administrator’s Offices, said the Zimbabwean’s Zanu (PF) source.

Following his dismissal from office two months ago, Kaserere went on a smear campaign to tarnish the image of his former boss, Mutinhiri, reported the Zimbabwean.


Reports that the MDC-Tsvangirai  South Africa Chapter has all of a sudden saw it fit to castigate Mthwakazi Liberation Front for burning the Zimbabwean flag cannot go unchallenged.

A national flag is a powerful symbol of nationalism and rallying banner for all the peoples who subscribe to the founding ideals of a particular nation-state. Desecration of the flag is thus, not only considered a public outrage against the state, but also a protected form of free speech in all free and democratic societies..

It is a known fact that the Zimbabwean flag was designed and imposed on the people of modern day Zimbabwe by a Shona supremacist party called ZANU-PF. Its dominant symbols are representative of ZANUism, Shona supremacism and Shona-centricity. The absence of Matabeleland symbols in the Zimbabwean national flag is clearly consistent with the historic state sponsored marginalization of this region.

MDC-Tsvangirai South African provincial spokesperson Kumbirai Muchemwa reportedly told the NewsDay that  “(The Zimbabwe) flag does not belong to a party as some members of the MLF believe; it is the symbol of a people and a nation” . It is a pity that Mr Muchemwa deliberately concealed the known fact that the Zimbabwe flag is a symbol of the people of Mashonaland and the ZANU-PF concocted Shona-centric artificial “nation-state” of Zimbabwe.

The MDC-Tsvangirai party is a Shona supremacist outfit that is run by people who trace their political heritage to ZANU-PF and it is therefore not surprising that they have joined their said mentors in singing the anti-Mthwakazi Liberation Front chorus and defending their flawed “national” heritage.

The MDC-T is merely defending the founding symbols of the ZANU-PF concoted Shona-centric artificial ‘nation-state” of Zimbabwe and the Shona domination of Mthwakazi (Matabeleland and Midlands). One needs not go beyond the heavily Shona-speaking key decision making organs of this political party to get a glimpse of extent of their low regard of the peoples of  Mthwakazi and their strict adherence to the Shona supremacist grafitti that is written all over the Zimbabwe national flag.

Mthwakazi Liberation Front as a representative of the long suffering and marginalized people of Matabeleland and Midlands has every right to burn the Zimbabwe national flag to highlight Shona supremacism and other evils that the modern day state of Zimbabwe brought to our people.

We therefore remain committed to our view that the Zimbabwe national flag is a symbol oppression and suppression of the people of Mthwakazi and that its alleged sacredness does not  extend  beyond the Jameson Line (which is the natural boundary between Zimbabwe and Mthwakazi).On the same vein we do hope that the MDC-T will respect our democratic right to express ourselves by desecrating the said flag bearing in mind such a right is jealously  protected in all democratic societies.


Secretary for Information and Publicity


Fireworks are expected at the MDC-T elective congress which begins in Bulawayo today (Thursday) amid reports of thickening plots, candidate horse-trading and betrayals.

Several aspirants had by last night reportedly chickened out of the race at the eleventh hour.

Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesman, confirmed the final list of contestants and said a tough contest was expected.

He said the fact that most posts were up for grabs showed that the party was competitive, democratic and dynamic.

Among those who have thrown in the towel are Energy and Power Development minster Elton Mangoma and Sekai Holland, the co-minister in the Organ of National Healing and Reconciliation, leaving exiled Roy Bennett to retain the treasurer-general’s post uncontested.

Mangoma and Holland have instead, opted to slug it out for the less influential post of deputy treasurer general which another minister, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, is also eying.

Bennett joins party president Morgan Tsvangirai as the only unopposed office contenders.

There were indications several party heavyweights could fall by the wayside in the bruising battle for power in Zimbabwe’s biggest political party.

Deputy Prime Minister and MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe is battling to ward off spirited challenges from Norman Mabhena, a party national executive member, and Tabitha Khumalo, the deputy national spokesperson.

Another heavyweight who is battling for political life is national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, who is being challenged by firebrand trade unionist Lucia Matibenga.
Matibenga refused nomination for the women’s assembly chairperson opting to go for the powerful post currently held by the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Insiders said Matibenga’s decision has created bewilderment as the MDC-T attempts to achieve a delicate tribal and gender balance in its top echelons.

The fight for the women’s assembly chair is now between incumbent Theresa Makone and Kadoma MP Editor Matamisa after Evelyn Masaiti mysteriously pulled out of the race.

Masaiti on Tuesday claimed she was being threatened for pursuing the post. She did not pick up her mobile phone Wednesday.

Tendai Biti, party’s secretary- general, who appeared immune to challenges, has to do battle with Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

The battle between Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri for the powerful post of organising secretary is now confirmed after both men accepted nominations Lawyers Douglas Mwonzora and Tongai Matutu will slug it out for the party spokesperson’s position.

Former Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe and Thamsanqa Mahlangu are vying for the deputy organising secretary post. Little known Dennis Murira has chickened out.

The post of deputy chairperson will be contested by Morgan Komichi, Blessing Chebundo and Alexio Masundire. Senior party cadre Gift Chimanikire, the current deputy secretary-general, Tapiwa Mashakada, Bekithemba Mpofu and secretary for labour Paurina Mpariwa Gwanyanya will be in the trenches slugging it out for the post of deputy secretary- general.

Solomon Madzore, Amos Chibaya and Promise Mkwananzi are grappling for the youth assembly chairmanship.

Chamisa told NewsDay the bulk of the 6 000 delegates expected to attend the congress were already in Bulawayo and that there was maximum security.

“Security is over 100% and delegates are so excited that we have provided maximum security. All the elements that have been causing problems especially in the Bulawayo province have been flushed out of the party,” Chamisa said.

“That is why even Bulawayo managed peaceful elections yesterday (on Tuesday).”

Chamisa said the MDC-T had notified the police of the congress as required by the law. He said although most hotels were booked for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, they had managed to secure accommodation for the delegates.

“We expect the congress to come up with a new vision for the party and for Zimbabwe. We are working on a New Zimbabwe blueprint. We also seek to make necessary amendments to the constitution.”


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