By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Deputy Secretary for Presidential Affairs in the opposition MDC Alliance Luke Tamborinyoka claims President Emmerson Mnangagwa has brought his relatives and cronies to the cradle and citadel of national power so they can share with him his privileged but stolen hour in the sun.”
In one his Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye column published exclusively by Nehanda Radio, Tamborinyoka said regardless of being in the 21st century, Zimbabwe was gripped by an “analogue politician” (Mnangagwa) who was “pursuing the primitive politics of tribalism, regionalism, cronyism and villagism an archaic politics synonymous with the Stone age era of the Munhumutapa empire.”
While comparing him with the late former president Robert Mugabe whom he accused of employing nepotism during his reign, Tamborinyoka accused the Zanu PF leader of bringing his relatives in government in order to “share with him his privileged but stolen hour in the sun.”
“It’s a sad tale of Zuze coming to town, the story of the primitive commoner who brings his all to the city. In our case, Mnangagwa has brought his relatives and cronies to the cradle and citadel of national power so they can share with him his privileged but stolen hour in the sun,” he said.
“Mugabe did it. His sister Sabina’s sons Leo and Robert were variously deployed to strategic institutions while Patrick Zhuwao was a Cabinet Minister in his uncle’s final hour.
“Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, was deployed to head Air Zimbabwe while Mugabe’s other son-in-law, Sydney Gata, husband to his sister Regina, was in charge at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, the country’s power utility.
“Others from the Mugabe family were seconded as executives to quasi-State institutions such as the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board and the Zimbabwe National Road Authority while Innocent Matibiri was the second-in command at the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“At the time of his ouster from politics, Mugabe’s wife, Grace, was the Zanu-PF women’s league boss and was fancying higher options in the event of her husband’s demise.
“This naked nepotism and cronyism was rampant under Mugabe and Mnangagwa claimed his so-called new dispensation was a break from this past a dark and insidious past characterised by unadulterated clan and village politics.”
Tamborinyoka noted the following as part of Mnangagwa’s clique of relatives he employed in his government
“Tribesmen, totem-mates, Karangas in general as well as Midlanders from his adopted home province have been deployed, jointly and severally, to strategic spaces in both party and government.
“It all starts right from his village. While the Midlands is Mnangagwa’s adopted home province where he pursues his farming and mining interests, the man was born in the Mangwana area of Chivi in Masvingo province.
“It is no wonder therefore that Paul Mangwana, a fellow villager and close associate, is the Zanu PF secretary for Legal Affairs while the brother, Ndavaningi Nick Mangwana, was brought in from the UK to become the chief government spokesperson in his capacity as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.
“Upon his appointment as Vice President, Mnangagwa bequeathed his Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe parliamentary seat to his wife Auxilia while his son Tongai is currently the MP for Harare South. Talk of the petty politics of family.
“Others have derisively referred to Mnangagwa’s government as Moyo, Sibanda and Associates, given the intricate filial, totemic and tribal links of the key characters in the State.
“The Sibandas are part of Mnangagwa’s family. It is no wonder therefore that upon Constantino Chiwenga’s appointment as Vice President, Mnangagwa appointed his cousin Phillip Valerio Sibanda as commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“With a member of the family now in charge of the county’s armed services, Sibanda’s appointment could be regarded as having been an overt case of coup-proofing in case the army got excited again as they had been in November 2017.
“With a family member now in charge of the country’s armoury, any fears of yet another coup in the immediate to short term might have been sufficiently allayed. And since the Sibandas are Mnangagwa’s cousins, it must come as no surprise therefore that Misheck Sibanda was retained as the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, even after the ouster of the former President in November 2017. This strategic post has been retained in the family.
“The Rushwayas are Mnangagwa’s relatives and Martin Rushwaya is currently the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet responsible for administration and finance. The same Rushwaya, is a close relation to Henrietta Rushwaya and Helliet Rushwaya.
“Helliet is the chief executive officer at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation while Henrietta is the lady arrested at the airport with 6 kilograms of gold while in the company of a team of Mnangagwa’s personal bodyguards that included Stephen Tserayi.
“Henrietta is back at work at the Zimbabwe mining federation, despite facing serious charges that expose the massive leakages in the country’s extractive industry.”
He added: “Mnangagwa’s mother is a MaMoyo and the Moyo’s are his maternal uncle’s. Obadiah Moyo, a maternal uncle, was appointed Minister of Health and Child Welfare in the early days of the current administration but was later suspended from government following his arrest on corruption charges that are still pending.
“Isaac Moyo, yet another maternal uncle of Mnangagwa, was recalled from South Africa where he was serving as the country’s ambassador. He is now the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation while Elson Moyo, yet another maternal uncle, took over from the late Perrance Shiri and is now the head of the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
“In the Ministry of Agriculture, Shiri was replaced by yet another Mnangagwa ally and clansman, Dr Anxious Masuka. All of ED’s anxiety in the agriculture sector may have now been quashed as the highly political Pfumvudza programme is firmly in the hands of a Lacoste factionalist and not a disciple of the gun faction.
“And still on the Moyos: July Moyo, for long the Lacoste factions chief strategist, is the Minister of Local Government. Sibusiso Buso Moyo was also an uncle but being a soldier, his allegiance was more to Constantino Chiwenga and this may yet explain a lot of imponderables, maybe including why he is not with us today.
“Prominent lawyer Edwin Manikai is from Chivi as well and his mother is a Mamoyo . In fact, insiders say his mother and Mnangagwa’s mother are siblings. In case one may wonder why today Edwin Manikai is the chair of the Presidential Advisory Council. True, cousins and brothers have always advised each other—only this time we have institutionalised the brotherly advice!
“Mnangagwa has always had political interests in Kwekwe, where he “discovered” Owen Mudha Ncube, who began as a mushurigwi, a machete-wielding mining thug representing Mnangagwa’s mining interests in the town. Today, ED has brought his makorokoza into government as the Minister of State Security.
“They say fate is a capricious woman. By dint of mother fate and his strong political connection to the man now in charge, Muda has calcified and evolved from a machete-wielding thug dealing with the security disparate and miniscule gold “points” into a besuited Cabinet Minister responsible for the Security of an entire country!
“Josiah Dunhira Hungwe, yet another Chivi homeboy, was always a close ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa since the heady days of Eddisom Jonas Mudadirwa Zvobgo. Today, Vincent Hungwe, Mnangagwa’s Chivi homeboy, from the Vuranda area, is the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, responsible for the entire civil service of Zimbabwe.
“Other Karanga homeboys in Cabinet include Mines Minister Winston Chitando from Gutu Central and Professor Amon Murwira from Nzuwa village in the same Gutu area. Another Karanga from Zvishavane and a long-time ally of Mnangagwa is the infamous Willowgate criminal, Frederick Shava. Cabinet meetings may yet begin to look like clan or tribal meetings. I am not talking about Ziyambi Ziyambi and Kindness Paradza, fellow Karangas who are now serving as Minister’s. That they transact their politics in other provinces may cloud this tribal factor.
“In the party’s key Commissariat Department, after Engelbert Rugeje, a soldier and a fellow Karanga from Masvingo, began to show leanings towards the military faction of the party, Mnangagwa was quick to slot in yet another Karanga and a Midlander from Gokwe, one Victor Matemadanda. Indeed, for the time being, ED fancies himself the Victor in the battle for the control of the soul of the party, which is the party’s Commissariat department that is in charge of all party structures.
“Douglas Munatsi is yet another of Mnangagwa’s cronies, representing a vast array of the dear leader’s financial and commercial interests. Munatsi, appointed chairperson of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency, is fingered as having been part of the team that used its financial muscle to capture both The Financial Gazette and The Daily News that are now parroting the views of the State.
“It was during the capture of this stable that former Daily News editor Stan Gama unceremoniously left the newspaper as more pliable people were put at the helm to protect narrow political interests.
“At a personal level, I am greatly pained by the blatant capture of the two newspapers, The Daily News and The Financial Gazette having served as news editor at both newspapers during the era of audacious journalism when the independent press was truly independent of the political interests of the ruling elite. I miss our golden time in the media when we used the vocation of journalism to make the government accountable and not to shamelessly parrot the ruling elite’s selfish interests.
“Kwekwe and Shurugwi are home to some of Mnangagwa’s business and Karanga associates. Kuda Tagwireyi, the de facto Prime Minister of our land and business magnate whose finger is in every pie of the State, has his roots in Mulauzi village under chief Nhema in Shurugwi. Tagwireyi is not only a tribesmen of the dear leader but the beloved acolyte with the licence to dabble in every lucrative deal or enterprise within the State, from fuel to bus procurement and fertilisers. He is the main man and he is the human embodiment of the phenomenon of State capture in Zimbabwe.
“Larry Mavima, a strong Mnangagwa ally and a Karanga from Zvishavane, is the Midlands Minister of Provincial Affairs. It is always tragic when presumed national leaders descend from the lofty heights of true nationalists in the mould of the great Joshua Nkomo to the plumbing depths of tribalism, regionalism and villagism, Notwithstanding his roots in the Chivi area in Masvingo province, Mnangagwa now fancies himself a Midlander and even the recent defections had a regional tilt to them.
“Blessing Chebundo is from Kwekwe while my sister Lillian Timveos is from Zvishavane in the Midlands province. It depicts the sheer poverty of Mnangagwa’s politics that even the much vaunted defections have failed to rise above the very limited regional precincts that have always defined the pettiness of his politics.
“Mnangagwa has deliberately “exported” his Karanga allies to other provinces on party and/or government missions. He may claim he has always transacted his politics in Harare but Harare’s provincial affairs minister, Oliver Chidhawu, is Mnangagwa’s Karanga tribal ally.
“Monica Mavhunga, the minister of Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland province may have been married in her province of service but has her roots in Mnangagwa’s home province while Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, Themba Mliswa’s sister, is the Minister of Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland West. Mary is originally from Mliswa village in the Gamwa section, Shamba circuit in ward 5 of Shurugwi South.
“Themba and ED are of the Shumba totem and Mary’s deployment begins to make sense from the perspective of her roots in Shurugwi and the totemic connection. It is strongly believed within Zanu-PF circles that the late Joel Biggie Matiza, who was Transport Minister and Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson, was a Karanga with roots in Masvingo.
“Those in the know say being Karanga is a key decision factor in Mnangagwa’s cheap tribal politics and he has deployed his tribesmen, clansmen and clanswomen to go and lead the party and government in other provinces.”