Dongo savages panicky Zanu PF

HARARE - Firebrand war veteran and former Zanu PF legislator Margaret Dongo says the renewed onslaught on the Daily News betrays not just the anarchy devouring the ruling party, but also its growing nervousness over its tyrannical hold on power in the country.

She also blasted the State for abusing the police and wasting valuable resources pursuing former Vice President Joice Mujuru, adding that the attacks on the country’s leading newspaper, the Daily News, were meant to instil fear and thwart freedom of expression in Zimbabwe.

Dongo’s comments yesterday followed the storming of the Daily News’ offices by police on Tuesday, demanding key documents pertaining to the ownership of the newspaper’s parent company Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ).

“Why Joice Mujuru? Is she the only one who owns shares in companies?” she asked.

The former Zimbabwe Union of Democrats (ZUD) leader wondered whether the papers were seized as part of a high price for the mindless infighting within Zanu PF as well as the lack of clear government policies and leadership codes in the public sector.

“They (the government) should be reminded that companies are registered by the Registrar of Companies,” Dongo said.

“What an embarrassment the storming of the offices is as there are better ways of getting information of who owns what without going through that method which raises unnecessary eyebrows locally and internationally,” she said.

“I want to believe that the method of searching is meant to raise fear within independent newspapers and their staff. That alone undermines freedom of expression,” Dongo said.

The police action against the Daily News followed false claims by Zimbabwe’s controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe late last year that Mujuru owned a 10 percent stake in the newspaper — which led to two officers from the CID law and order section storming the company’s offices armed with a warrant of search and seizure.

Grace first made the outrageous claim while addressing one of her controversial “meet the people” rallies at her vast Mazowe business hub in October last year.

Addressing mainly war collaborators and youths, the Zanu PF women’s league boss accused Zimbabwe’s top-selling daily — that was violently and unjustly shut down by President Robert Mugabe’s government in September 2003, and which only returned to the news stalls in late

March 2011 — of publishing negative stories about her in the alleged service of Mujuru.

The Daily News has it on good authority that Grace’s obscenely untrue claim saw police coming under undue political pressure to investigate the newspaper, leading them to obtain a court order, signed by Harare Provincial Magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe on December 18, 2014 — which they used to storm the paper’s Harare head office.

The court order, which took a surprisingly long two weeks to effect, was given by the courts in terms of section 54(2)(b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

Dongo added that the current “so-called probes” on Mujuru were aimed at completely destroying her and her perceived allies, politically, so that they could never have the capacity to challenge their opponents in future.

“If shares were acquired in a dubious way, what role do the media have in that? Why not enforce the leadership code that requires every politician in office to declare his or her assets, period?” she queried.

Dongo also questioned Zanu PF’s indigenisation policy and what it meant for “fork-tongued” politicians who owned vast shares in the private sector.

“That is why I insist that we need a clean Cabinet. All Zanu PF politicians should go through the same cleansing that Joice is going through,” she added.

Weighing into the matter yesterday, Mabvuku Tafara legislator James Maridadi said the action by the police against the Daily News was unconstitutional.

“What the police did is unconstitutional because you do not invade a newsroom to get the shareholding structure of a newspaper group,” he said.

“Such information is easily obtainable at the Registrar of Companies and if they did not see Mujuru’s name when they checked, how on earth did they expect to get it from the newsroom?” Maridadi asked.

“They want to instil fear not only into the Daily News, but the whole media using Nazi laws of the Second World War era. Every self-respecting Zimbabwean should stand up and say no to this intimidation of the media characteristic of a despotic regime.”

“If they want to investigate Joice Mujuru, they should do so properly and not abuse the media,” Maridadi said.

Media analyst Takura Zhangazha said it was clear that authorities had a score to settle with the Daily News.

“The police have a very bad track record with the Daily News and such action is a continuation of the arbitrary way they have always treated the media,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that the police are not clear about why they want the information and one wonders why they would do it in such an arbitrary fashion without using proper channels,” Zhangazha added.

Another South Africa-based media analyst Taurai Mabhachi supported Dongo’s views and said Zanu PF was panicking, and hence the ongoing offensive against Mujuru and the media.

“So the police’s action, questioning the shareholding structure of the Daily News, where they suspect Mujuru of having a 10 percent stake, is indicative of their panic,” he said.

What particularly raised eyebrows in the police’s so-called investigations was that the information they were looking for is easily obtainable not just from the Registrar of Companies, but also from media regulation authorities such as the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

In addition, the warrant of seizure itself that they brought to the Daily News’ offices suggested that they already had this information anyway, rendering their mission wholly pointless.

Part of the warrant directed that ANZ directors “provide copies of list and details (particulars) of shareholders pertaining to the current allotment for ANZ and any other documents in relation to the said shareholder allotment”.

It further suggested, rather revealingly, that “an offence of criminal abuse of office as defined in section 174 of the Criminal law codification and Reform Act has been committed” — an allegation that Mujuru’s Zanu PF enemies have consistently directed at her.

Alec Muchadehama, the ANZ’s lawyer, expressed concern that police details who visited the Daily News had flatly refused to shed light on the identity of not just the accused, but also the complainant.

 

Comments (15)

Zimbabwe belongs to God.The noise,fighting,embarrasments, and whatever mudslingings over the land which is not ours will annoy him.Donot be surprised by all the misfortunes we are experiencing as a country

bugwa - 4 January 2015

1. Is Joice the only politician who may have skeletons in the cupboard?If she has them let the law take its course but the same should apply to others like 'the obedient son',Chombo etc. 2. If the accusations that Joice has 10% stake in the Daily News are proven wrong, will the whistle blower come back and tell the nation that they lied?Then what else should we believe about them? I am sure there is someone who is fooling someone here.

Tahir Iqbal - 4 January 2015

Musapera simba maCde mhondi dzeZANU todzikunda chete gwendo gwungava rurefu asi tinosvikako chete

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 4 January 2015

Sure i agree with you countrymen Zanu Pf id just desperate and clueless on issues so it seeks to divert attention from the core factors affecting the country by creating or mounting some ill-gotten activities to fool around people as they did during the onslaught against all anti-Mugabe within Zanu Pf as seen by the illegal ouster of almost all provincial chairpersons.Well,let them be safely informed that was a circus for their own amusement as Zimbabweans arent blind nor deaf

carson Macate - 4 January 2015

You reporters are crazy! What is firebrand about Dongo?

dungas - 4 January 2015

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Rodney - 4 January 2015

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Rodney - 4 January 2015

COMPANIES REGISTRATIONS COURSE. Learn how to register companies in 4 hrs. This is a step by step course which conducted in Harare on Tuesdays ,Thursdays, Fridays(9am-1pm) The course covers the following aspects • Private limited company Registration. • Non Profit Company Registration • Private Business Corporation Registration • Tax Registration and Clearance • How to become a consultant At the end the course each student will be furnished with all document templates for use in the trade. Students outside Harare may access course resources electronically. Email:info@bristoladim.com The total cost is $70.00 Call 0782466734

Rodney - 4 January 2015

Calling DONGO a firebrand when she has lost political fire is a misnomer. She now and again tries to seek relevance, like MADHUKU! Why does she not join other political parties against ZANUPF if she does not like ZANUPF? ZANUPF which she fought to build as a politico-military party will continue running the govt while she barks occasionally like a lost political dog! Like her surname she is just like a political ``dongo`` in Shona parlance.

Cde Dotito(Chief) - 4 January 2015

Joyce Mujuru's dismissal from the presidium is all a circus by dangerous clowns. Her real crime is that she was poising to be the president of this country by fact that she was the vice president and RG Mugabe Is on his way out naturally. The vultures are flying circling high and soon they will be circling closer and land as Mugabe folds. The biggest vulture is Grace Mugabe his wife. They have hounded Joyce out of the way and now somehow they have to justify their actions by incriminating her. Joyce and her late husband are to blame by hanging around this Zanu-PF mafia cult. Evil prevails because good people keep quiet.

Mbareboy - 4 January 2015

So,no comment from Jonathan Moyo the unparalleled serpent.

Guranyanga - 4 January 2015

Cde Dotito(chief),ZANU PF has never, does not&will never run the gvt ,but destroy Zimbabwe.Dongo fought to liberate Zimbabwe,NOT zanu pf or RGM.She is spot on & is not a political spent force at all.

mharadzi mari - 5 January 2015

But who owns the Daily News? Can its ownership be publicly declared for the avoidance of doubt.

Observer - 5 January 2015

The police searches are not meant to find Mujuru's skeletons but rather to plant incriminating evidence to discredit a widow whose husband they tossed in a fire like mutton chops! Blood is a lubricant in Mugabe's power machine but like all machine, it will definitely crank down to a halt very soon! Mugabe has eliminated all true heroes only to leave us with vile vultures like Johnho, Zhuwao, Giresi, Oppah, Fat Obert.....what a shame.

Godonga - 6 January 2015

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