Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Unmasking “Patrick Guramatunhu”and “Nomsa Garikai”

By Moses Chamboko

In a democracy, everyone is entitled to their view. It is not a crime for 13 million Zimbabweans to have 13 million different opinions on a single subject. What is wrong and totally unacceptable is to promote the misconception that only your views are correct and matter.

Moses Chamboko
Moses Chamboko

A case in point is Wilbert Mukori. He has been known to write as many as three articles in a single day using three different names:Patrick Guramatunhu, Nomsa Garikai and Wilbert Mukori. Has anybody realised that it is only postings under the name Wilbert Mukori that have the image of the writer?

In the past 48hrs alone, Wilbert Mukori wrote an article under the pen name Patrick Guramatunhu attacking my position on a coalition and voter registration. A few hours later (God knows where he gets the time!) he wrote another one attacking Whitlaw Mugwiji’s view on a National Transitional Authority (NTA). While I disagree with Mugwiji on his criticism of the NTA, I totally agree with his views on coalition.  This clearly demonstrates that we cannot agree or disagree all the time. It makes life normal.

I must point out that I know Wilbert Mukori personally. Unless one of us pretends otherwise, we have mutual respect for each other. In January 2015, Mukori and I met in Johannesburg where we had very fruitful discussions about our country, our future and our collective aspirations. He is very passionate about a better Zimbabwe — I do not doubt that.

However, it becomes a concern if someone comes across as elevating himself to the level of an angelic analyst whose intention is to carve a career out of attacking Morgan Tsvangirai or other opposition players. It gets worse if this comes from someone who claims to be anti-ZANU PF. I have read many of Wilbert Mukori’s articles. There is not one where he does not attack Tsvangirai for not implementing democratic reforms which Wilbert often confuses with electoral reforms.

Reading Mukori’s postings, one would think that Morgan Tsvangirai was in the GNU alone exercising unfettered powers. Was Arthur Mutambara not there? Where was our learned professor, Welshman Ncube? How about Tendai Biti?

I just do not know how Tsvangirai could have single-handedly implemented democratic reforms when he was not even allowed to visit prisons, Marange diamond fields or other sensitive places. We cannot be so forgetful that we do not remember the pain that Tsvangirai and MDC endured at the hands of Thabo Mbeki, SADC and Robert Mugabe during GPA negotiations.

Granted, Morgan Tsvangirai has his imperfections, some of them unforgivable but the fact remains that, for nearly two decades now, no other leader has mounted as effective and fearless opposition to Mugabe and ZANU PF as Tsvangirai has done. We must give credit where it is due!

This is why ZUNDE urges Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC to work with other parties to form an effective coalition. Their experience and numbers will be a critical component of any coalition.

ZANU PF has declared that they will not reform themselves out of power. This is not just empty rhetoric. They mean what they say.  Even if they were to implement electoral reforms at the eleventh hour, people will still have to decide their future through the ballot box. For that to happen, one has to be a registered voter.

It is in this context that ZUNDE is campaigning for comprehensive voter registration complemented bymass voter turn-out in 2018. This is not the same as urging people to stop fighting for democratic reforms. Enrolling to vote empowers the people to remove ZANU PF in 2018.

It is much easier for ordinary men and women on the streets to register to vote than effect democratic reforms. In 2013, MDC had around 150,000 people at its “cross-over” rally. However, probably not more than 25% of those people were on the voters roll. While opposition leaders are fighting for reforms, they should be urging people to register to vote. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. There is no substitution for voter registration.When you fight ZANU PF, you can’t do so with one hand tied at the back and hope to win.

Can those who are opposed to voter registration, like my friend Wilbert Mukori aka Patrick Guramatunhu and Nomsa Garikai, please tell us how else ZANU PF will be removed from power in 2018 with or without reforms?

Moses Chamboko is a pro-democracy activist and interim Secretary General of ZUNDE

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