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Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: Three kisses for the surrogates and a slap for democracy

By Luke Tamborinyoka

In the week that an anonymous regime apologist made a baseless attack on this column and on my person, the regime itself blew three kisses on its surrogates by banning all by-elections in the country while shockingly allowing the MDC Turncoat’s extra-ordinary Congress to proceed.

Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye with Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka
Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye with Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka

It was always clear Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora’s flickering political flame would be doused by angry voters at the by-elections and the regime had to blow the first kiss by providing them with a lifeline.

Indeed, in the various wards and constituencies where by-elections are scheduled, the voters there are very angry that the MPs and councillors that they voted for were recalled by a party the people themselves had defeated. The voters were itching to teach Zanu PF and its surrogates a cardinal lesson come December.

Zanu PF saw the imminent embarrassment in the scheduled by-elections. As they have done since March, they once again found the perfect excuse in the Covid-19 pandemic to announce that the by-elections had been postponed indefinitely, in the process unnecessarily prolonging this political orgasm that the Khupe-Mwonzora cabal are needlessly enjoying.

The plot is very simple. By postponing the by-elections, the Zanu PF surrogates will continue to make further recalls, in the process increasing insecurity among the elected MDC Alliance MPs and councillors and deliberately prolonging the confusion among ordinary members around the party name and assets. The protracted confusion among Zimbabweans on what exactly is happening to their party of choice—the MDC Alliance—can only serve the regime well. And the postponement of the by-elections is meant to achieve prolongation of the confusion.

In the meantime, the Zanu PF surrogates will continue their MDC Alliance decimation agenda by making further recalls. As they say in Nigeria, the big iroko tree is not usually scaled, so one must get as much fruit as possible while they are still atop.

And the surrogates will attempt to shred the people’s party as much as possible while they are still atop in this regime-actuated orgasm. For the surrogates know the forthcoming by-elections will annihilate them whenever they are held so they must cause as much confusion as possible during this lifeline!

So the postponement of the by-elections was the first kiss blown by the regime to its political spouse. I will leave the lawyers to explain to us whether Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga did not go beyond his remit as Health Minister by making a decision on the by-elections, which decision should ordinarily fall under the exclusive purview of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, presumably an independent Commission established in terms of Constitution.

It did not help matters that ZEC had already gazetted the dates for the by elections and all Chiwenga did was to show the Executive’s gross interference in the work of an independent Commission.

The Constitution is explicit that independent Commissions must not be directed by anyone, as Chiwenga did by reversing ZEC’s decision to hold by-elections in December.

The second kiss was the tragi-comedy we saw two days ago when Khupe and her retinue were sworn in as proportional representation (PR) MPs and senators, ostensibly elected in 2018 by voters who thought they were voting for the MDC Alliance! By voting for the MDC Alliance, the voters were in fact voting for the MDC-T.

This must have been the significance of that exercise in the Mathematics class in primary school when we learnt about “shading the unwanted area”!

For Khupe, the choice to become a PR MP is simply astounding. She has downgraded. She has chosen to become an MP using another party’s provincial tally of the very same election she lost as a Presidential candidate, much like a judge who fails the interview for Chief Justice but is now using another contesting judge’s score to be appointed a public prosecutor!

In retrospect, it now means Khupe was running twice—directly as her own party’s Presidential candidate while at the same time she was indirectly on yet another party’s PR list!

It’s only in Zimbabwe where one can eat their cake and still have it in this manner.

The third amorous kiss the regime planted on the cheek of the surrogates was the court relief to go ahead with their extraordinary Congress, though this may turn against them if the so-called Congress fails to be quorate.

For me, the big scandal is the regime’s duplicitous pronouncement to ban the holding of by-elections while granting permission for the EOC to go ahead.

An extraordinary Congress is an election and one cannot ban one set of elections while allowing the other to proceed. A Congress is unto itself an election that starts at provincial level with each of the provinces gathering to make their nominations.

It was therefore duplicitous for the regime to postpone the holding of by-elections while allowing their surrogates’ EOC to proceed. One set of elections which entrenches democracy is being banned while the plebiscite for the regime’s acolytes is being allowed to proceed. What cheek!

In simple terms, this represents a kiss for the cabal and a stinging slap in the face of democracy!

So much for the regime’s three amorous kisses to their surrogates in a single week.

The rantings of a lying regime apologist

We are in the month of October and the scorching heat associated with this month has a tendency of drawing a diverse assortment of fauna from their hovels. The searing October sun usually smokes out various creatures from their crevices nay those orifices that usually provide them with succour and sanatorium.

Similarly, the stinging truth and harsh verbiage of this column has drawn out regime apologists from their comfort zones. Recently, a self-confessed career civil servant who claims to have worked in the Prime Minister’s Office during the tenure of the inclusive government fired an acerbic attack on my person.

The anonymous writer took great umbrage at my instalment of 25 September 2020 in which I attacked Thokozani Khupe, Douglas Mwonzora and their acolytes for purporting to defend Morgan Tsvangirai’s legacy when in fact they were undermining and savaging it.

The instalment, entitled Morgan Tsvangirai must be turning in his grave , particularly drew the ire of one anonymous regime charlatan with a penchant for fibs, given the naked lies and personal attacks he spewed out in a raw sewage piece that was variously posted on social media platforms and posted on media groups by the media section of the CIO.

I am an avowed disciple of free speech but I particularly take great exception to perfidy and stark naked lies. Outright nude gibberish is just not on. With such calibre of this self-confessed career civil servant, such as this our anonymous writer who claims to have worked with me in the PM’s Office, it is little wonder we are saddled with this decrepit, vacuous, inept and clueless regime. With such a civil service that institutionalises lying, we are certainly going nowhere as a country.

I just wish to debunk a few mistruths peddled by this infamous liar of a civil servant.

Firstly, it is instructive that our highly pretentious tell-all civil servant chose to hide behind the convenient cloak of anonymity. One must always be suspicious of such shadowy characters who don’t want to be known and whose drivel is often driven by nothing else but malice and hatred. Anyone who purports to tell the truth must be prepared to speak on record—facefully and namefully.

But our ghostwriter hid behind anonymity. He wrote like a Dear Aunty Rhoda letter writer fearful that revealing his name will only serve to expose him to colleagues and neighbours that he is suffering from genital warts. And indeed, the reeking lies in our anonymous career civil servant’s diatribe against my person were odorous, to say the least.

But lies can never extinguish the truth, just as a fart, however boisterous and determined, will never blow out a raging inferno.

But first a few facts.

Contrary to our esteemed career civil servant’s claims, I never applied to join the PM’s Office from the party. I was invited to join following President Morgan Tsvangirai’s shake up of his office and the reshuffling of his ministerial team in government in order to improve on efficacy and to bolster the implementation of his mandate.

He had the power to bring in his own people and to wring changes to his office given that the GPA, from whence he derived his powers was now part of the Constitution and was explicit that executive power was shared between the President, the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The shake up that brought me into the PM’s Office also saw Jameson Timba replacing Gorden Moyo as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. On my part, I was given conjoined roles, which meant I became overally in charge of all the communication platforms. The fact remains that I never applied for anything, contrary to the rantings of this all-knowing anonymous civil servant. All I did was to simply oblige and invitation, went there and served.

The other lie from this anonymous fella is that when I was involved in the near-fatal accident in 2012 I was coming from my rural home. He claims this is what came out of the government’s investigation team, which he claims he was in charge of. With such calibre of civil servants, it is no wonder government keeps going in the wrong direction. I was going to my rural home and not returning from there.

There were six of us in that vehicle, and that includes my uncle and four brothers. And everyone else except this inept government, everyone including the villagers from the nearby Pasipamire village which was the scene of the accident, knows I was headed for my rural home and not coming from there as purported by our esteemed career civil servant and his fellow “investigators.”

Further, this lying career civil servant falsely claims that the police never took up the case of my accident out of respect for the Office of the Prime Minister. For the record the police took up the matter and the investigating officer was one sergeant Karemba. A docket was opened and the case even went to court where no one was found guilty of any crime. I know that humanity generally loves scandal but there is always a world of difference between the truth and petty office gossip.

Then there is this lie that I am a perennial campaigner in Goromonzi South.

Goromonzi South, my foot!

The only thing that is south of the truth are the hallucinations of our anonymous civil servant. I don’t know why this faceless character seeks to foist much Goromonzi South on me. Or maybe it’s part of his ra nk madness.

My rural home is Tamborenyoka village of Shumba ward 3 in Domboshava in Goromonzi West constituency where I was a candidate only once on 2018. That I am a perennial campaigner in Goromonzi South is a reflection of the hallucinations of our anonymous but esteemed career civil servant.

The faceless charlatan maintains that I must quit because because President Nelson Chamisa has appointed me to what he purports to be the innocuous position of Deputy Secretary for Presidential, which I know to be hectic responsibility.

Let our faceless career civil servant know that it’s not so much about benevolence from anyone. I am the living evidence that we are a political formation borne out of the sweat and toil of labour. I will forever remain humbled that—probably by dint of my record of service—am so far the only employee ever to be democratically nominated into the national leadership of our party by all the internal and external provinces.

Moreover, our career civil servant doesn’t know that this struggle has never been about positions or the self. This our democratic struggle has never been about personal benefit but about the enduring values of service and sacrifice.

Given the option between principle and privilege, some of us will choose principle any time of the day!

Asante Sana.

Luke Tamborinyoka is the Deputy Secretary for Presidential Affairs in the MDC Alliance led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa. He is a multiple award-winning journalist who was once elected and served as the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.

Tamborinyoka also served as spokesperson for almost 10 years to the country’s democracy icon , Morgan Tsvangirai, until the latter’s death in 2018. He is an ardent political scientist who won the Book Prize for Best Student when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Political Science at the University of Zimbabwe.

You can interact with him on Facebook or on the twitter handle @ luke_tambo.