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The Big Saturday Read: Pomonagate: The tale of a jilted lover who reappears via the village dumpsite

Today’s BSR is a valedictory piece in honour of Alex Tawanda Magaisa. I have deliberately—and for a worthy purpose—dubbed it the Big Saturday Read (BSR). I have also chosen to publish it on the very day he would have published his own weekly treatise.

Just for this Saturday, and in salutary honour of a colleague and former workmate, I have given today’s column the title of Magaisa’s blog as a farewell gesture to a man so gifted not only with an unparalleled power of analysis but also with proffering prudent ideas and propositions.

Titling my own column the Big Saturday Read, just for today, is the only tribute a writer can pay to his colleague; to this citizens’ champion of thought who today lies still and motionless in the dark rictus of death.

Death itself is a beast that needs to be Luke-d in the Eye. Anyway, back to the narrative of the day.

We are all too familiar with this bully in the village; this huge fearful boy bereft of romantic lyrics who would use his drum-beating prowess to lure girls. The proverbial Matigimu from Shona folklore, a proficient dream -beater at the traditional all-night ceremonies (pfonda) who upon being jilted would have no prudent plan except violence and dirty tricks to get his woman back. Without charm, the only option for him would to use all types of chicanery to take back the girl, including violence .

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Yes, beating her up to force love.

ZANU PF is in such a fix in the country’s urban areas. The party is so desperate. Without the requisite charm, like our Matigimu, Zanu PF is using all sorts of antics in its attempt to claw back into the cities and towns where they have been utterly rejected by voters since 2000.

This week, within the context of the Pomona scandal, we focus on how ZANU PF has been serially rejected over the years in the country’s urban areas, and how they are desperate to claw their way back by means foul or fair.

Zimbabweans are currently musing over the Pomona waste scandal where despondent Harare residents will fork out US$22 000 per day to oil a corrupt and avaricious Zanu PF elite and its oligarchs.

That Zanu PF would wish to claw back into controlling the city by stealing from it through the Pomona garbage deal is only befitting because urban voters have thrown ZANU PF into the garbage trolley.

It is only appropriate that ZANU PF would resurrect through a scandal involving the same waste into which the urban populace have routinely thrown them in every election for the past 22 years.

Zanu PF in urban areas is our Matigimu, the jilted lover who, face ashen and with soil and dust all over him, has emerged from the village dumpsite in a desperate bid to lure back the adamant city damsel who has jilted him.

Zanu PF is returning through the city’s Pomona dumpsite to loot, just like our Matigimu is returning via the village dumpsite not for love but to grab a breast by force.

Pomonagate is simply the sordid story of a jilted lover who crudely clawed his way back through the village compost heap, the community dumpsite on his way to grab by force the charming girl who dumped him.. By dint of the massively corrupt garbage deal that has aptly been dubbed Pomonagate, ZANU PF has come back to the city via the garbage where the voters have thrown them since 2000.

ZANU PF’s claw – back antics to the urban areas

Since 2000, both the Mugabe and Mnangagwa regimes have been desperate to regain a foothold in the urban areas, where they have remained strangers and aliens for 22 years. For Mnangagwa, the antics to lure back the urban voter have included doling out title deeds to illegal settlers as they recently did in Epworth, abetting land barons who have systematically settled Zanu PF members through dubious co-operatives to dilute the opposition’s urban vote.

In Chitungwiza’s Ward 21 campaign on Thursday the 24th of March 2022, ahead of the by-elections 48 hours later, we saw Mnangagwa all over the show, in a doomed attempt to buy votes through a dubious Presidential borehole scheme.

Last week, ED was in Glen View yet again as part of a comprehensive, nation-wide but desperate campaign to charm the urban voter. In fact, Zanu PF showed its desperation to claw back into the city in the manner they celebrated their “victory” in Epworth. It was as if they had won all the 29 seats in Harare.

Yet it was just one seat which they had won by foul means. But then a jilted lover, even if he is just favoured with a simple touch of the breast, will exhibit so much joy as if he has been allowed a trip into the innards.

The regime mistakenly thinks they have already bagged the rural vote and they are now desperate to control the cities and towns. They have, pampered chiefs and traditional leaders with cars and trinkets and only recently announced that chiefs and headmen would board ZUPCO busses for free.

They think they are done with the rural areas and they are now angling for the control of the metropolis.

Well, they must be left in their false paradise. In their heart of hearts, they know the rural areas are no longer under their grip. The CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s successful forays into the rural hinterland last year really petrified them.

Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana has gone viral across the country, especially in rural areas. I have recently attended two funerals in my rural hood of Domboshava at Sasa and Cheza villages and the mourners there were all singing the same chorus.

In rural Binga at the recent victory celebrations by held by the CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, we all saw the mammoth crowd that turned up without coercion and sonorously shouted Ngaanjile Mulombe, the Tonga version of Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana.

But I digress. Let’s go back to the story of the tricks Zanu PF has used to foist themselves on the urban voters, who have routinely, consistently and emphatically rejected them. Over the years, particularly in Harare, the putting in place of Zanu PF-appointed Commissions, the suspension of the citizens’ mayors Herbert Gomba and Jacob Mafume on trumped-up charges of corruption that have had no traction and the recalling of councilors has all been a deliberate ploy to use the absence of the city’s elected representatives to steal and loot, as they have just done through the Pomona deal.

Indeed, there is no substance in the trumped-up charges against the mayors . The whole idea was to create a lacuna and use Mwonzora’s surrogates to benefit Mnangagwa and his corrupt oligarchs. They had used the same trick to recall Hon. Tendai Biti whom they didn’t want as chair of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee where he exposed a lot of sleaze.

That is why Kuda Tagwireyi, a Mnangagwa oligarch, personally poured millions of dollars in the recent by-elections to support George Charamba’s friend and Zanu PF candidate for Harare East, Mavis Gumbo. The idea was to freeze Biti out of Parliament and to ensure that he did not return to this key oversight committee.

In fact it was Charamba who first alerted us to a long-term ZANU PF desperate bid to take over the urban areas, if not by hook then definitely by crook. Charamba last week came out guns blazing and branded Harare mayor Jacob Mafume as a “little lawyer.”

We reserve our comment on who he really is, given that the man has chosen to be blind to the corruption at Pomona because he is himself corrupt. We still haven’t forgotten how he and his acolytes, including his close friend Mavis Gumbo, fleeced the Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) of large amounts of money in a huge scandal whose culprits remain unprosecuted to this very day.

Charamba is still to explain the US$200 000 or so that he stole from poor civil servants.

Some nine years ago, Charamba said Zanu PF needed a strategy to worm its way back into the urban areas . Writing in the Herald of Saturday, 31 August 2013, a month after the 2013 election, Charamba betrayed ZANU PF’s undying quest to lure the urban voter, which quest remains unquenched to this day.

“ZANU PF must embark on an offensive movement that targets the temperamental urban voter. With the land reform taking care of the countryside, the politics and actions of indigenization and empowerment, if implemented in earnest, should see a pro-ZANU PF organic movement in urban _centers ,” Charamba wrote.

“ZANU PF cannot win on full shelves, clean water, uninterrupted electricity, important though they may be. It must address a more fundamental question to do with the material position of the urban voter.”

Charamba was expressing that ZANU PF must sculpt an urban re-entry strategy.. But the citizens are clever, they can clearly see that this party simply wants to come back to the cities to loot and plunder and to place their oligarchs at the center of the bountiful tenders that clog the various cities and towns.

In the case of the Pomona deal, they could not even be bothered by the trifle of putting anything to tender. They just hand-picked a company linked to one Delish Nguwaya, a corrupt oligarch linked to the equally corrupt ED regime .

We saw massive land heists and the creeping into the cities of of Zanu PF-linked land barons when the Ministry of Local Government was under both Ignatius Chombo and Saviour Kasukuwere.

Now ED, through July Moyo has gone beyond land and is into all sorts of scandals including one at the Morton Jaffray waterworks. And now the Pomona waste deal. Zanu PF would certainly have looted more land and engaged in more corrupt scandals if they virtually controlled all the cities.

That is why there is this desperate bid by Matigimu to get back, by hook or by crook, the city girl who jilted him.

Zanu PF has been particularly miffed by its rejection in Harare. I am told they get pained on those nationaloccasions where they are forced to acknowledge opposition mayors., particularly at the Heroes Acre and other national functions where they are often reminded that their party is a bastard in Harare. ( mubvandiripo ). No prudent citizens’ mayor would agree to be abused by Zanu PF, unless you are Mutizwa, the man rudely abandoned by the requisite aptitude befitting a people’s mayor ( kutizwa nezivo ).

As the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said in a statement over the weekend, central government’s insistence on the Pomona deal is a betrayal of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, especially chapter 14 which enunciates devolution and reposes power in local municipalities and provincial councils.

The usurping of devolved municipal power by the central government, as exhibited in their handling of the Pomona case, is inimical to the Constitution of Zimbabwe which essentially devolves power to lower-tier structures, And one does not need to be a lawyer to appreciate the simple commonsensical dictum exhorted by our Constitution, in whose making our very own Magaisa played his own advisory part. .


Hell hath no fury like a spouse jilted or scorned. ZANU PF, the jilted lover in the country’s urban areas, is desperate to claw and worm its way back into the metropolis through a Pomona route full of garbage. The intention is not in any way to serve the citizens but to engage in underhand deals.

Pomonagate has shown that ZANU PF does not care about the citizens, who will now pay through the nose in this deal made in Hell. They have come to the city through the effluent rear at Pomona only to loot.

In Zimbabwean parlance, coming through the effluent rear (kuuya nekumanyowa), as ZANU PF is doing through Pomonagate, is an indecorous phrase that has its own unique meaning. It is not a phrase uttered in the presence of the village elders without risking a smack.

But whether they come from the debris rear or the front, ZANU PF will not produce or reproduce anything in urban areas. They will remain strangers and aliens in the country’s cities and towns.

After all, the whole purpose of their claw-back antics in urban areas is not in any way to serve the citizens but to steal from them, as Pomonagate illustriously demonstrates.

Unbeknown to our jilted Matigimu, the garbage and waste now soiling his image through this garbage scandal will mean that he is no longer appealing and will be spurned yet again. No girl wants a man who turns up at her home utterly soiled by human waste and reeking garbage.

And by the time we hold the 2023 plebiscite, ZANU PF will be so much garbage-dirty that Harare voters will throw them back into the same Pomona muck where they truly belong.

In the Masembura area in rural Bindura in Zanu PF’s beloved Mashonaland Central province, there is a shopping center called Tsvina shopping center. Tsvina is a Shona word which means waste, whether human waste or any other type of dirt or effluent. That is where ZANU PF truly belongs. No wonder they have come back to Harare via a garbage route.

Harare’s voters will definitely throw them into the same garbage where they truly belong and where they are fittingly making their dirty money!

To Alex Tawanda Magaisa, all I can say is rest in ink, Musaigwa.

Luke Tamborinyoka is a citizen from Domboshava and a change champion in the Citizens Coalition for Change. You can interact with him via his Facebook page or twitter handle @luke_tambo.