By Patrick Zhuwao
I wish to apologise to Cde Jealousy Mawarire and other NPF comrades who have been hurt and injured by a private conversation about the need for t-shirts for NPF which was inadvertently broadcast via live twitter video on Monday 21st May 2018.
The conversation was meant to be a private interaction which should never have been exposed to the public domain. I take responsibility for what transpired as a result of that conversation because I am the person that initiated the conversation.
In order to demonstrate the sincerity of my apology, I will describe how the issue of t-shirts came to be discussed. I will also explain the circumstances that led to the inadvertent broadcast of the conversation as well as submitting the reasons that make me believe, in my heart of hearts, that the broadcast was indeed a genuine mistake.
I will conclude by appealing for forgiveness, understanding and patience from everyone, but most importantly, from those who have been directly affected, hurt and injured by this unfortunate incident.
On Sunday 20th May 2018, a fellow comrade on one of the NPF WhatsApp chat groups made an observation about the need for campaign material which included brochures and t-shirts. Cde Mawarire then responded by saying that nothing could be done because there were no resources.
I immediately engaged Cde Mawarire privately on whether that was an official NPF position and on his apparent break from a view that he had previously articulated that NPF issues should not be discussed on social media. Cde Mawarire responded by asking “Is there anything wrong with telling supporters we don’t have money”
That response astounded me because I felt that it downplayed the tremendous contributions that have been made by several donors towards NPF over the past six months.
I found the response especially unfortunate given the fact that I knew of two donors who had availed resources for 20,000 t-shirts that were expected to have been delivered a week and a half prior to then. I imagined that these donors would be disappointed if they were to come across Cde Mawarire’s response to the observation about the need for t-shirts.
I was however worried about being misunderstood by Cde Mawarire should I approach the issue directly with him given the nature of his previous interactions and engagements with myself and other comrades.
I then sought the views, advice and guidance of three other colleagues, one of whom was Professor Jonathan Moyo. During my conversation with Professor Moyo, it transpired that his phone, which was in his shirt pocket, pocket dialled onto the twitter live video mode and inadvertently broadcast our discussion. I take responsibility for initiating the conversation. I am sorry for everything that has transpired as a result.
I am aware of the circumstance that gave rise to that live broadcast and I wish to assure everyone that the live broadcast was a genuine accident. The live broadcast has resulted in people being able to identify the location and route that we took as we were having that discussion. Effectively, the live broadcast has put our safety and security into jeopardy. I definitely know that neither Professor Moyo nor myself would wish to do that.
It is unfortunate that some people who would really like to see the NPF project crumble have sought to accentuate this discussion into a crisis by imagining that working relationships have crumbled beyond repair. This is despite the numerous incidences where both Professor Moyo and I have vigorously supported the inclusion of Cde Mawarire into the NPF’s Founding National Executive Committee. I have even written the ZBR10 article entitled “Who is Jealousy Mawarire” in order to dissuade those that had a negative inclination to him.
I wish to conclude by requesting the forgiveness of the entire NPF family, and in particular those that that have been directly affected, hurt and injured by this unfortunate incident.
To Comrade Mawarire, I once again sincerely tender my apologies with the hope and prayers that he will appreciate and understand that throughout our conversation, we focussed on the need to account for the t-shirts and did not label him as a thief.
I hope that he will take the conversation I was having with Professor Moyo in exactly the same way that he takes the conversation between himself, Professor Moyo and I when he made the statement “If you cannot account for a dollar, how can you account for a million dollars.”
Iwe neni tine basa. Umsebenzi loUmkhulu.