SOUTHERN NEWS: Joc running Zim elections: Dabengwa

BULAWAYO - The continued involvement of the Joint Operations Command (Joc) in the running of the country’s elections is likely to work against the fight for free, fair and credible polls, Zapu president, Dumiso Dabengwa, warned this week.

The former Zipra intelligence supremo is adamant that Joc has been in charge of the country’s elections since 2008 when Zanu PF lost its majority in Parliament for the first time since independence in 1980.

In that election, MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the first round of the presidential poll but could not be declared the winner after his votes fell short of the required threshold.

That election had to be decided through a run-off that saw Tsvangirai pulling out of the race after his supporters and officials became targets of widespread violence.

Over 200 MDC supporters and officials were killed in cold blood.

Dabengwa told Southern News this week that the securocrats should have no role in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and that an independent administrative body must run the elections.

“It (Joc) should be dismantled. This country is run by a Joc system where the security makes decisions and makes sure its decisions are implemented,” Dabengwa said.

“The staffing in Zec comprises people who are and have been in security, people who take orders to do those (vote) manipulations.

“We also recommend that their influence and participation in elections should be done away with such that we have proper elections that are run by an independent administration,” he added.

Joc is the supreme organ for the coordination of State security in Zimbabwe.

It was established by the Rhodesian Security Forces to supervise its counter-insurgency campaign in the Rhodesian Bush War as well as external incursions into neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Mozambique.

It retained its role in the post-independence Zimbabwe.

It comprises heads of the intelligence, police and army.

Dabengwa’s statement comes after he recently called for the postponement of the 2018 elections, saying events on the ground indicated that Zec was not yet ready to conduct a credible election.

Dabengwa also cited the involvement of Joc as one of the reasons why the elections should be postponed.

“It is obvious that Joc is in control of the country. Nothing can be done without reference to that security system that was created since 2008.

“After the results of the 2008 election were cleared, it was Joc which said they were not to be announced over a period of time until they were able to manipulate everything and come up with a result that would keep Zanu PF government in power,” he said.

“They (Joc) are physically there. They are deployed each time there are elections. Army commissars go around to influence voting in each constituency.

“Besides that, it is the army, police and other security personnel that actually administer the process of voting.”



Infighting cripples women’s league

ZANU PF Women’s League has virtually been crippled in the second city by the ugly infighting in President Robert Mugabe’s party after suspension and counter-suspensions done at the instigation of the warring factions left the wing without a clear leader.

In May, the provincial Women’s League executive suspended six of its members for “taking orders” from the organ’s former national deputy secretary, Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, (pictured) who was forced to resign from its national executive on allegations of fomenting discord in the party and extorting money from well-wishers in the name of First Lady Grace Mugabe.

But before those who were behind the suspension could even conduct a disciplinary hearing for the suspended official, they were also suspended. The entire top four, led by provincial chair, Eva Bitu, were suspended in what sources described as retaliation by one of the factions.

Since then, there has been ugly infighting at Davies Hall, the provincial headquarters where Zanu PF factions — Generation 40 (G40) and Team Lacoste, are battling for control.

Rattled by the suspensions, Judith Ncube, the leagues’ national secretary for information, raised the matter over the weekend with visiting Zanu PF national secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo.

“The executive had suspended five people and before we could look into the issue of their hearing, the chairperson, her vice, secretary and the commissar were suspended and that has left the Women’s League at a stand still,” Ncube said.

She said the suspensions have left women without leadership in the province.

“We appeal to you (Chombo). The more you delay, the more we are killing the party. We want to work. Before these suspensions, there were programmes that we had put in place as Women’s League but because there is no leadership in Bulawayo we cannot move forward. How do we move when you suspend the entire top five?” she said.

Bitu, who was also in attendance, told Chombo that she considered herself still the chairperson, as she felt she was unprocedurally suspended by people who had also been suspended.

“I don’t want to speak to the media anymore because they will start accusing me of being talkative,” she told the Southern News.

Contacted for comment, Ncube, who is also Zanu PF central committee member, however, refused to be drawn into the provincial factionalism, saying she was only a national member of the league.

“I can’t say much because I am not part of the province, I am at national so I am not directly involved in some of those issues,” she said.

She, however, emphasised that it was worrisome for the province to operate without leadership, before calling for a resolution of the issues to allow the party to move forward.


Gwanda community raise alarm over water

COMMUNITIES in gwanda here have raised alarm over lack of action by authorities in addressing the water crisis after five dams burst and emptied following heavy rains in the last season.

The dams — Gungwe, Matanangombe, Nkanini-Mandihongola, Mapate, Makokwe and Malipulihula — were the main source of drinking water for the communities, which are now stranded.

The crisis has largely affected livestock in the arid region.

Farmers in the district, who spoke to the Southern News this week, said there was need for urgent intervention by government.

“We are in a catch 22 situation...we don’t even know what to ask for and from who, because the challenge we are facing is a natural disaster and our livestock are in danger,” Sidumo Magagula of Ward 12 said.

Gwanda Rural District Council chairperson, Johnson Mangwangwa, described the situation as dire.

“The situation is bad and the major crisis is on our livestock,” he said.

“While as human beings we also face a similar crisis, it cannot be compared to that of our livestock, which drank from the water bodies. We humans have an option of drinking from small water bodies or even from boreholes but what about thousands of our livestock,” Mangwangwa said.

He said communities in Wards 12 and 16, which house the five dams that were destroyed, were the worst affected.

“Unfortunately, we wish the community could do anything to rebuild these dams but it’s impossible, we are talking of dams not wells. So, now it’s the government that should intervene,” Mangwangwa said, adding that “unfortunately, nothing has happened so far in as far as giving any attention to all these dams which were razed by the floods”.

Chief Mathe also concurred with the district chair, saying the issue needed urgent attention.

“People are in a serious danger of losing their livestock due to lack of water to drink. I am very confident that in three months’ time, we will be hearing stories of cattle in particular dying as a result,” Mathe said.

“I have spoken to our Member of Parliament, Abedinico Ncube, and he has just promised me that he will look into the issue, but nothing has materialised so far. We urgently need government intervention in this regard,” he appealed.

Efforts to get a comment from Ncube were fruitless as he was not answering his mobile.

Govt cranks up CSC revival

AFTER years of going back and forth on Cold Storage Company (CSC)’s revival, government believes it has finally found that missing link which could do the trick — Command Livestock.

Command Livestock is a by-product of the much-hyped Command Agriculture, rolled out last year to ensure food security for the country.

This was after successive droughts had combined with the negative effects of a chaotic land reform of 2000 to reduce Zimbabwe, an agro-based economy, from being a bread basket for the southern region, to a basket case.

In the first year of its implementation, officials claim that Command Agriculture achieved a bumper harvest, with President Robert Mugabe suggesting last week that his officials should consider exporting the surplus maize harvest.

Critics are, however, casting aspersions on these claims because the 2016/17 summer cropping season received good rains, unlike the previous seasons.

This resulted in farmers that were not contracted under Command Agriculture achieving a better harvest that also contributed to the overall output.

Riding on its achievements under Command Agriculture, government is upbeat about reviving CSC through the livestock version of the initiative that borrows heavily from the collapsed Soviet Union’s planned economy of the mid 20th century.

Once the largest meat processor in Africa, CSC used to handle up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products a year, exporting beef to the European Union, where it had an annual quota of 9 100 tonnes.

In its heyday, it used to earn Zimbabwe at least $45 million annually.

CSC is currently saddled with a debt of over $25 million, mainly from fixed costs such as wages, rates and taxes on land.

It owes its 413 employees $3, 5 million in salary arrears.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister, Joseph Made, is confident that the implementation of Command Livestock might come as a boost to the ailing Bulawayo headquartered parastatal.

He said the revival of the ailing meat processor would benefit Bulawayo and its hinterland, which are prolific in cattle breeding.

“Bulawayo, as a metropolitan province, means the southern part of the country along with the rural provinces that are Matabeleland South and North, including some parts of Midlands, is going to benefit from the livestock sector in its broadest terms,” he said.

“We know that if CSC is resuscitated, it will create many jobs for our people here. I want to emphasise that the revival of CSC is going to be intensified in terms of the government support as well as the partnerships that we are going to form,” he added, without giving timelines.

Made was addressing Zanu PF supporters at Davies Hall last weekend.

Last year, CSC received a major boost after pay-as-you-go pension scheme, the National Social Security Authority (Nssa), announced that it will inject $18 million of pensioners’ money into the parastatal to pull it back from the brink of collapse.

Pursuant to the announcement, Made has since constituted a new board for CSC to drive its revival.

The board is chaired by Sylvia Khumalo-Jiyane, who is deputised by Nemrod Chiminya.

To complete the cast up are board members Emily Mumbengegwi; Anxious Masuka; Rufaro Mazunze; Khodholo Setaboli; the chief executive officer of CSC, Ngoni Chinogaramombe; Peter Nyoni; Cecilia Paradza; Bhekhithemba Nkomo and two ministry of Agriculture representatives, Unesu Ushewokunze-Obatolu and Reston Muzamhindo.

The CSC board has, however, set tongues wagging following revelations that a quarter of the appointees were related, in one way or the other, to bigwigs in Mugabe’s Cabinet.

This week, Made said government will use CSC’s revival to also empower women and the youths, who form the majority of the country’s population.

“It will benefit mainly the women and youths…even adults will benefit because there are different classes of livestock that we are going to deal with.

“We are going to be dealing with large livestock, which means dairy and beef in the peri-urban areas where we have got land. The second aspect of the livestock is going to be the small stock, which includes any class of small livestock of your choice,” he said.

    Comments (1)

    Dabengwa is 100% right....opposition including MDC T do not fool yourself entering in the elections like this you are westing people time etc this JOC Through ZEC have already Win the election they have stolen the elections thats way they keeping others at distant on the other hand they are taking orderds directly from JOC and ZANU PF.Zvema elections zvinoda vanhu wakawimbika izvi.......had any one ever asked his excellent.....your worship if Tsvangirai win are you going to leave state home ,he will say to go where thats where the problem is so its better to relax no elections you are wasting our time whether coalition or what you loose dismally.The fight is lost during preparations if you force ZEC TO DISMANTLE AND UN TO monitor this elections then that opposition can be able to say they can be able to win the elections under this set up never ever of dreaming to take power from zanu pf.Now the main pillars of all the next problem will lie on ZEC Computers and Servers and Makarau as Long as its intact like this no free vote Dabengwa is right choose to loose or choose to let zanu pf rule until they get tired and they are almost tired already 38 years of misgoverning is good enough do not regitismize them for participating in the elections they are going to rig after poeple west their energy.NO REFORMS NO ELECTIONS IS RIGHT.

    dofo - 26 July 2017

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