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Nelson Chamisa rejects ‘sham’ Zec ballot



Nelson Chamisa

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday rejected the “sham” ballot papers produced for the July 30 elections and immediately dispatched his emissaries on a regional diplomatic offensive to pile pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to produce a new set of ballot papers in the presence of all key stakeholders.

Addressing journalists and diplomats at the party headquarters, Nelson Chamisa declared that elections would not proceed before opposition demands had been addressed.

“It is clear that we have an election process stalemate arising out of the ballot paper scandal, the sham ballot and the voters’ roll inadequacies and omissions,” he said.

“This has culminated in an election crisis. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not and will not accept the current ballot paper that has been printed without our participation.”

Nelson Chamisa said the MDC Alliance was now engaging in a diplomatic offensive over the issue.“We will be dispatching special envoys in the mould of our alliance principals and senior MDC-T party members with messages to Sadc, African Union and the international community,” he said.

“We are also briefing all the international observers and diplomats on the current electoral logjam. In fact, I have already briefed some of them.”

Nelson Chamisa said the current logjam which allegedly favoured Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the political playing field, needed the intervention of external forces.

“We, therefore, call upon Sadc, the AU and the international community to intervene and save a collapsing process and abate an imminent legitimacy crisis,” he said.

“We want to make it clear that we will not stand in the way of the people should they seek to exercise their constitutional rights to withdraw that authority from those who fail to exercise it in accordance with the law,” the youthful presidential aspirant added.

But, Zanu PF legal affairs secretary, Paul Mangwana said if Chamisa and the MDC Alliance had problems with the electoral system, they should approach the Electoral Court for recourse.

“They can’t come and talk to another player. We are also players in this election and we are playing well,” Mangwana said.
“We have no challenges and we are waiting to score on July 30. We don’t run the elections, the elections are being run by Zec.”

On allegations that Zanu PF was conniving with Zec to give the ruling party an unfair advantage over other parties, Mangwana challenged the opposition to prove the allegations.

“They should prove it, he who alleges should prove, but they should know that we are ready for them,” he said.

Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba early this week accused Nelson Chamisa of trying to tamper with the electoral management body’s independence and usurping its administrative roles by demanding consensus on the ballot paper designs and printing.

Chigumba on Monday declared that she would not bow down to Chamisa’s demands.

With the US having already issued a travel alert on Zimbabwe citing possible civil unrest ahead of elections to be held on July 30, Chamisa upped the ante, warning of civil unrest.

“It is for Mnangagwa’s advantage to have a stable society. There will not be any stability and legitimacy if we do not have a free and fair election. We are in circumstances of instability already because there is no agreement on the process. We are saying it will continue if we hold a sham election,” Chamisa said.

He, however, ruled out boycotting the polls or inciting violence, saying “We will never be tempted to go the route of violence. Those who have instruments of violence can go ahead and use them. We don’t want violence.”

Zec deputy chairperson Emmanuel Magade said there was no turning back on their decision to print ballot papers at government institutions. Fidelity Printers will be printing ballot papers for legislative and presidential candidates while Printflow will print for local government candidates.

”Section 239 of the Constitution makes it clear that it is the prerogative of Zec to run elections, including registering voters, preparation of the voters’ roll and printing of ballot papers,” Magade said.

“This is our constitutional mandate. Secondly, a few weeks ago all the nine commissioners of Zec spent almost a day touring the facilities, Fidelity Printers and Printflow where the ballot papers are going to be printed.”

The Zec deputy chair expressed confidence that the government printing institutions will be able to do a “sensible and solid job.”

He said fears that Zec might connive with Zanu PF to rig elections were far-fetched and untrue.
“I refute it, that is completely untrue. Its trillion per cent false,” Magade said.

“The question of rigging is clearly out of question. Of course, our society is full of doubting Thomases, but people should judge us on what we do and speaking for myself I have absolutely no doubt that Zec will deliver a free, fair and verifiable election.”



Mnangagwa appoints army General Sibanda into the Zanu PF politburo



Philip Valerio Sibanda ZaNU PF

President Emerson Mnangagwa has appointed General Philip Valerie Sibanda, the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, to the Zanu PF politburo, in violation of the national constitution.

During a Zanu PF conference in Gweru on Saturday, Mnangagwa announced that the country’s top-ranking soldier would become an ex officio member of the party’s highest decision-making body in between congresses. Mnangagwa, who benefited from a 2017 military coup, made this announcement during his closing remarks.

“During the course of the year, we lost one of our party stalwarts, Cde Joshua Teke Malinga who was the Secretary for People with Disabilities.

Philip Sibanda’s appointment is a violation of the national constitution which says “The Defence Forces must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to the civilian authority as established by this constitution.”

While Zimbabwe’s military is known for being embedded with ruling party politics, Sibanda’s appointment is an unprecedented case of a serving soldier taking a leadership position within a political party.

The Zanu PF-led authority has ironically hounded out of service, a lot of officers within the country’s unformed forces for associating themselves with the opposition, which protests continued military involvement in Zanu PF campaigns.

The appointment of Philip Sibanda could come as an attempt by the under-fire leader to hedge himself against a possible coup with the military ever interested in who should be in the country.

The controversial appointment could also fall within the willy politician’s paraphernalia of self-serving schemes amid subtle signals of an ambition to go for a third term.

Zimbabwe has a dirty history of military interference in the country’s political affairs.

During past election periods, partisan military commanders have vowed never to “salute” an opposition leader emerging from the country’s polls in an indirect threat to block the ascension into power of any winner of the presidential election who is not Zanu PF.

Mnangagwa could also be preparing Philip Sibanda for a post in the Zanu PF presidium.

Last year, exiled former cabinet minister and politburo member Jonathan Moyo revealed Mnangagwa was keen to name Sibanda as his second vice president.

Sibanda is among former liberation war fighters drafted into the country’s military upon independence after having waged the war as a ZIPRA combatant.

ZIPRA was the military wing of the former PF Zapu, a liberation war movement that fought side by side with Zanu PF for the attainment of independence.

The current co-vice president, also a former PF Zapu politician, is battling poor health.

Mohadi collapsed a week ago while addressing a Zanu PF rally called to drum up support for a Gutu party election candidate.

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Public Outcry Grows Over Mnangagwa’s Appointments of Family Members as Deputy Ministers




On Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was accused of nepotism for appointing his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, as the deputy finance minister in his new cabinet, after a controversial re-election. David will be working under finance minister Mthuli Cube. Additionally, the president’s nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, was named as the deputy minister of tourism and hospitality.

According to Fadzayi Mahere, a member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), the cabinet of Mnangagwa is unacceptable. Mahere stated that it is a combination of illegitimacy, corruption, violence, nepotism, incompetence, and sex scandals. She added that it lacks the ethical leadership that Zimbabweans need and deserve. It is no surprise that the national mood is dismal.

Mnangagwa appointed Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa as ministers. Christopher will lead the new ministry of Veterans of Liberation, while Monica will be the minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs.

David Mnangagwa graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a law degree. He was elected to parliament through the youth quota system, listed on a Zanu PF party roster from the Midlands province. Mnangagwa is believed to have almost two dozen children.

Tongai, meanwhile, is the Zanu PF MP for Hunyani constituency. His late father, David, was Mnangagwa’s young brother.

On Monday, sources reported that Mnangagwa is contemplating bestowing an official role on his son, Emmerson Junior, in his office. According to the source, Junior has already attended some of the president’s meetings with foreign investors, which has been an uncomfortable situation. Mnangagwa aims to regularise this arrangement by giving Junior an official position, such as an adviser or director.

On August 23rd, the 80-year-old Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the election amidst opposition allegations that the vote was fraudulent. He is now serving his second and final term as president, becoming another addition to the list of African leaders who have established political dynasties.

In Congo-Brazzaville, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso appointed his son Denis-Christel as a cabinet minister, a move that revived media speculation that he had a dynastic succession in mind.

Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea, appointed his son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, as Vice President. He has been in power since removing his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema in 1979.

The former President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is the son of Omar Bongo who held the position from 1967 to 2009. Similarly, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila succeeded his father, Laurent-Désiré, after his assassination and remained as the head of state for 17 years.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has appointed his daughter Ange Kagame as the deputy executive director of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President.

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“CCC’s Ian Makone Takes the Helm as Harare’s New Mayor with Kudzai Kadzombe as Deputy




The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has a new mayor in Harare. Ian Makone, who represents Ward 18, won the vote of the council on Monday, replacing Jacob Mafume from Ward 17. Kudzai Kadzombe, representing Ward 41, will serve as his deputy.

The CCC won a large majority in the election, taking 42 of the 45 council seats. Makone received 46 votes from the council, while his opponent, Temany Utete of Zanu PF, received only 7. Kadzombe won with 47 votes, compared to Susan Chuma of Zanu PF, who received 7. Party leader Nelson Chamisa instructed CCC councillors to vote for Makone and Kadzombe, and issued similar instructions for the election in Bulawayo.

In his first speech as mayor, Ian Makone pledged to prioritize service delivery to all residents, regardless of political affiliation. He also promised to tackle corruption and ensure that council workers are fairly paid. Tafadzwa Muguti, Harare’s secretary for provincial affairs, offered government support to the new council in addressing issues such as water supply, garbage collection, and sewer maintenance.

Overall, the message from the council and government officials was one of unity and shared responsibility for the well-being of Harare and its residents.

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