EASTERN NEWS | MDC MP fumes over Mandiwanzira posters

MUTASA Central MDC legislator Trevor Saruwaka is fretting over Zanu PF Nyanga South MP Supa Mandiwanzira’s campaign posters that are pasted all over a construction vehicle repairing roads in his constituency.

The earth mover — owned by Fuel Africa (Pvt) Ltd — was hired to maintain the Jombe Road in Saruwaka’s constituency.

Saruwaka said he was taken aback to see political party posters on equipment hired by government.

“I got the shock of my life today (Monday) when I saw the . . . grader pasted all over with Mandiwanzira’s campaign posters,” he said.

“Why put up political party posters on equipment doing government business?

“So that one may reap where they did not sow? It’s out of order and cannot be tolerated,” Saruwaka complained.

“I therefore challenged the director of Fuel Africa . . . who appeared surprised about the posters. He immediately ordered his operator to remove the dirty posters,” he said, adding that “we surely cannot mix party politics and government business. These are two distinct entities”.

The MDC legislator said he was now querying the frequent equipment breakdowns that have been stalling progress on the repair of the Jombe Road.

“In a way, this may explain the frequent breakdowns. Are they still genuine in light of these developments? I smell sabotage,” said a suspicious Saruwaka.

“The people of Mutasa are once again being blackmailed and held hostage by Zanu PF,” he claimed.

However, the engineer responsible for maintenance of the road — Arnold Mutungwazi — blamed the frequent breakdowns on obsolete equipment.

“The problem is equipment which is obsolete, we are battling to get good equipment . . . ,” he said in one of his communications with Saruwaka.

At one point, Saruwaka even demanded that the contractor be kicked out for failing to perform.



‘Church makes Zimbos docile, stupid’

Political activist Linda Masarira has slammed Zimbabweans’ docile approach to civic and political rights issues, blaming the church for the submissive attitude.

Masarira — who has been arrested numerous times over anti-government protests and is now jumping from one court room to another attending trials — said she gave up on Mutare when she was protesting her termination of employment at the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and people would just “look at her like Zombies”.

“They thought it will never come to them,” she recalls.

She said the formula that was used to grow the church in Africa had completely ostracised the continent’s ability to stand up to injustice.

“I blame the church because they did not just make Zimbabweans docile, but stupid . . . in most religious countries, that is where you find dictators and it’s quite common in Africa.

“They sold Christianity to Africans in such a manner they are now unable to stand up and defend themselves,” Masarira claimed.

She said the church’s recommendation on treating leadership was also protecting corrupt leaders.

“In church, you are told that leaders are chosen by God and even if the leader is bad — like President Robert Mugabe — they are told to wait for God to raise another.

Masarira said preachers were generally avoiding the subject of justice for prosperity, even in a ruined economy like Zimbabwe.

“I blame Zimbabweans’ docility on today’s preachers who are not preaching the need for justice, instead, they are preaching prosperity gospel in a rundown economy. Preachers should teach people justice.”

The activist said the church was also undermining the electoral process by teaching people that leaders were anointed by God and should not be questioned.

“Leaders are chosen by the people through the ballot and can only be removed through the ballot.

“Some even go as far as preaching that ‘don’t question leaders’ which is contributing to the general attitude of people not holding leaders to account.

“The worst are the apostolic sects who go further to say people should wait for the ‘spirit’ to give instructions on everything.”

Masarira said Zimbabweans are now completely “politically illiterate and ignorant. They are afraid of everything, even trees. They see CIO officers everywhere”.

She said if there is to be any change, it would require people to start demanding their “rights and fight for a better Zimbabwe. No one can fight for a better Zimbabwe more than a Zimbabwean”.



Traditional leaders in crime 'cleansing

Escalating crime on the back of tightening economic hardships has forced Bvumbura traditional leaders to launch spiritual cleansing ceremonies in desperate efforts to curb the crisis.

The social ills are causing disorders in the Bvumbura community, which has seen a spike in arrests in recent months.

While some blame the rising crime on lack of viable livelihood activities and poor parenting, others believe it’s a curse that needs spiritual intervention.

Mangarai Mutambara — a local traditional leader — said he had to facilitate for the spiritual cleansing of many young men whose parents were battling to live with the fact that their children have become thieves.

“Many children have been arrested in the past two months and some parents are coming to us for spiritual interventions to resolve this spirit that has affected our young people,” he said.

He said while Chief Mutambara recommended that any criminal matter be reported to the police — the move was creating conflict — some families are threatening each other over reporting of their children.

“We are indeed in a quandary because those who make police reports are being told that they would be held accountable for whatever befalls these children while in prison but this would, however, be the most practical way to arrest criminal behaviour, especially where there would be need for investigations,” Mutambara said.

However, Philemon Madziyanike — another traditional leader — blamed the crisis on weak parenting and a poor understanding of child rights campaigns.

“The problem of theft is a direct result of poor parenting and a failure to interpret what child rights are. Some parents thought that they should not send their children to the fields anymore but at the end of the day it’s these lazy children who have now become thieves. They don’t want to work,” Madziyanike said.

A stickler of discipline, Madziyanike said in his household, no child is allowed to eat without working.

“If a child eats without working, that child will become thief. For you to be hungry, you need to have worked,” he argued.

Police constabulary Never Chikwenjere said thefts were spiralling out of control because people were contemptuous.

“Police constabularies are looked down upon and deprived of adequate support. People only remember us when they have suffered a loss,” Chikwenjere said.

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