Shamu slammed over elections comments

HARARE - Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu, who is also the Zanu PF political commissar, has been roundly condemned for his recent utterances in which he allegedly said the country would “not be taken through a pen.”

Addressing hundreds of bishops drawn from the Apostolic Church at the party’s headquarters on Friday, Shamu said: “I want to repeat that this country came through the barrel of the gun. It cannot be taken by a pen, never, you can forget it.”

Former journalist and SA university lecturer Wallace Chuma said Shamu’s comments are part of the senseless rhetoric that political parties deploy ahead of crucial elections, such as the forthcoming one in Zimbabwe.

“In the case of Shamu, I do not think this is Zanu PF’s official position. You should read this rather thoughtless statement in the context of what Shamu has been saying in the recent past, for example, that President is akin to ‘cremora’ or that if he had a choice he would’ve volunteered to be Mugabe’s biological child. It is arse-licking at its most grotesque,” said Chuma.

Playwright Daves Guzha said Shamu is fermenting instability.

“Shamu should be charged for causing alarm and despondency. Bullets have never been known to bring peace.”

Guzha said the nation will react to Shamu’s utterances as coming from Zanu PF.
“He is the political commissar of Zanu PF and as such what he says cannot be divorced from party position unless he is discussing issues to do with his personal life.”

Theatre director Raisedon Baya said Shamu’s comments sounds more like a threat than anything else.

“Who wants to go to war again? I think it is just a few people refusing to see that times have changed.”
Baya said Internet is here and there is so much happening on the cyberspace.

“The media too has become very powerful. The reality is that anyone wishing to win an election should make sure the two, Internet and the media are used to their fullest. War would be a last resort and at the moment no one is willing to go and die when it is possible to solve through dialogue.”

Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu said Shamu’s comments were the voice of a tired politician who has nothing to offer.  

“Zimbabwe is not the only country that waged a liberation struggle and that struggle was waged so that the pen could be used, in a non-discriminatory manner, to elect a leadership of the people’s choice.
“The likes of Shamu are probably realising that their party has nothing to offer hence the threats. As a senior member of Zanu PF, more so the Party Commissar he should tell the people of Zimbabwe why they should vote for Zanu PF - not why they should be afraid of Zanu PF. This is the 21st century and the guns are going silent everywhere,” said Mukundu.

The MDC dismissed Shamu’s utterances as sheer nonsense and utter rubbish.

“Shamu’s ‘bullet mightier than the ballot’ mantra is absolute hogwash and symptomatic of alcoholism manifest in a man who is out to intimidate an otherwise very alert Zimbabwean populace.

“The reckless statement by the disgraceful Zanu PF minister of misinformation to a group of so-called church leaders smacks of cowardly behaviour by a man already sensing defeat in the coming elections,” said the MDC in a statement.

The MDC said it takes great exception at such wanton provocation bordering on primitive political grandstanding by the Zanu PF malcontent masquerading as a spokesperson of the respectable men and women in the military.

“It is clear that the continued careless statements by the Zanu PF protégé are nothing but a misguided diatribe of a coward who certainly is reading the signs of a crushing defeat in the next plebiscite.

“The MDC is aware of the sinister attempt by the poor Zanu PF minister to paralyse the nation with fear so as to protect his ill-gotten fortunes amassed over three decades of misrule and corruption.

“It goes without saying that in a normal progressive society as envisaged by the next MDC government, Shamu’s irresponsible utterances constitute treason which is highly criminal and punishable by a jail sentence.”

The MDC said it viewed Shamu as a misguided missile who should be reminded that modern dictates of politics does not conform to such primitive and genocide mentality.

“The party of excellence impresses upon every responsible Zimbabwean to treat Shamu’s ill-conceived statement with the contempt it deserves and not be distracted from the broader agenda of ushering real transformation to the lives buttered by years of bad governance.

“The MDC reminds the impish Zanu PF minister together with all those forces acting against the full realisation of democracy in Zimbabwe that like a roller coaster the will of the people of Zimbabwe is unstoppable. Zimbabwe will never be a Zanu PF protectorate again,” said MDC.

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