SOUTHERN NEWS | 'Mudhara Vachauya' causes stir at Zanu PF rally

BULAWAYO - It's exactly a year after popular musician Mukudzei Mukombe aka Jah Prayzah released the album Mudhara Vachauya but instead of being kept in the archives, the title track has gained significant meaning, especially in Zanu PF where the former liberation movement is deeply-divided over the unresolved President Robert Mugabe succession issue.

Jay Prayzah has found his song at the centre of a tug of war between Zanu PF factions which have conveniently interpreted its meaning to suit their own agendas.

Last Friday, Mudhara Vachauya, which had almost become a signature tune to Mugabe’s ongoing nationwide youth interface rallies, stirred strong emotions among Zanu PF supporters during the 93-year-old’s rally at Mkoba, Gweru.

Loosely translated, Mudhara Vachauya means the main man shall come and is a track about a man who implores his lover to ignore advances from a number of suitors by reminding them of his lofty status which he equates to that of a lion.

Since its release, Mudhara Vachauya has attracted a lot of attention in the warring Zanu PF as supporters of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa believe it was penned for the Midlands Godfather whose totem is Shumba (Lion) and is seen as the likely candidate to succeed Mugabe.

The rival Generation 40 faction has been cunningly using the song at Mugabe’s rallies to remind Mnangagwa backers that the main man is already there.

And its timing always coincided with Mugabe’s arrivals until last Friday.

On Friday, the Zanu PF supporters who swamped the Mkoba open space for Mugabe’s rally went into raptures when the disc jockey (DJ) played the song as Mnangagwa and his wife, Auxillia, made their way to VVIP tent.

Ironically, it was Mnangagwa’s first appearance at a public Zanu PF event since his alleged poisoning in Gwanda last month which saw him being airlifted to South Africa for emergency medical attention.

In contrast, the reception given to Mnangagwa’s counterpart Phelekezela Mphoko was very lukewarm.

Zanu PF youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga rebuked the DJ for playing the tune as Mnangagwa arrived.

“Ndanzwa DJ achiridza kambo kekuti Mudhara Vachauya, ndikati ko DJ uyu aita sei (I heard the DJ playing the track Mudhara Vachauya and I said what is wrong with the DJ),” said Chipanga.

“DJ, mudhara munhu one, vamwe vese ava havasi vana mudhara ndivana babamunini. Next time vamwe vese vakasvika munovatsvakira dzimwe nziyo. (DJ, we have only one boss and all these others are his juniors. Next time when all these others arrive, you can play any other song but not Mudhara Vachauya.)”

Meanwhile, first aid officials had a torrid time trying to manage the situation as dozens fainted during the rally.

Water tanks had to be brought to try and spray water on the ground to reduce the heavy dust.

“So bad was the situation that those assisting the first aid officials had to be helped by Zanu PF youths as the situation got out of hand.

One of the first aid officials said the rate at which it was happening was embarrassing.

There was also a scramble for ice-creams and yoghurts from Gushungo Dairies — owned by the Mugabes — as they were being distributed to the hungry supporters.



Mpofu, chief tiff gets uglier

RELATIONS between Macro-Economic Planning minister and MP for Umguza Obert Mpofu and Ntabazinduna chief Nhlanhlayemangwe Ndiweni have become so strained that they have now attracted the attention of both President Robert Mugabe and his two deputies.

Ndiweni, apart from claiming that he has brought the tiff to the attentions of Mugabe, vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, has threatened to puncture Mpofu’s bid to retain his seat in next year’s elections.

Mpofu has refused to recognise Ndiweni’s chieftaincy.

In the latest clash, Ndiweni accuses Mpofu of influencing his arrest, together with 26 of his subjects over a controversial traditional court ruling.

“I flew to Harare recently where I hand-delivered the letter to the president and I also did the same to the two vice presidents where I was highlighting all those issues. I did that because I didn’t want him to mislead the president,” he said.

“Mpofu needs to be sat down. He is reflecting a bad image of the government and the party.  He is making his party and government lose huge amounts of support by his conduct.

“I didn’t mince my words. I said if no one is willing to sit Mpofu down, I will do everything in my power to make sure that people don’t support him,” declared Ndiweni.

Efforts to get Mpofu’s comment were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Ndiweni claimed Mpofu had a hand in the recent incidents in his community where alleged Zanu PF thugs besieged his homestead in protest over the traditional court ruling.

He recently ruled that one Fetti Mbeli’s wife, Nonkangelo Mpengesi, who was allegedly caught red-handed with another man from the same village, be sent back to her people.

This was after Mbeli approached Ndiweni’s court seeking justice in the matter.

The traditional court found Mpengesi’s lover guilty and fined him two beasts or $500.

Ndiweni went on banish to Mbeli and his wife from the area after they allegedly defied his order.

He alleged that was influencing the incidents.

“He made a political blunder as a politician. You should not support causes that people don’t like.

“As in this case, I view him as supporting prostitution, it doesn’t matter how many court cases are made up or fabricated against me.

“I will never on principle, moral and religious grounds support prostitution,” said Ndiweni.

Ndiweni a few years ago relocated to Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom to take over the chieftainship following the death of his father, chief Khaisa Ndiweni.

He claimed that the people in Umguza were so fed up with Mpofu that if he were to contest against a donkey, it would win the election.

“... even if someone was going to present a donkey, the donkey would win against Mpofu.

“I say that with 100 percent conviction because I know what is on the ground.

“People are not happy, they are just waiting for a candidate from the people.

“...definitely in Ntabazinduna he will not get the vote. The more he continues in this manner, the more votes he will lose.

“Mpofu’s character has let us down. He has failed the people of Ntabazinduna and Umguza.

“There is absolutely nothing that he has done for the people. We need to change him. That is the message that I will be telling my people in whatever forum, that he must go,” said Ndiweni.

The traditional leader said Mpofu was not necessarily fighting him, but the Ndiweni family.

“He is not fighting me as an individual but the family. I am just caught up in the cross fire. Remember my late father Khaisa, he is the one who made Mpofu what he is today.

“But before he died, he told him that he had failed to lead the constituency hence, he needed to hand over to other capable leaders, but that didn’t go down well with Mpofu, who up to today, has a bone to chew with us,” said Ndiweni.

Mpofu is on record for not recognising Ndiweni.

“I don’t know this guy. I have nothing to do with him. Legally, he is not a chief.

“He is just masquerading as a chief using opposition politics.

“He should not blame us for his misdeeds. He has been out of the country for over 40 years and he came yesterday and wants to behave in a destructive and anti-people manner.

“If he wants me to get involved, I will be involved. Once I get involved he will regret doing whatever he is doing. I don’t do cheap politics like him,” Mpofu once said of Ndiweni.

Meanwhile, Ndiweni’s lawyer, Dumisani Dube confirmed to Daily News that were moves to prosecute Ndiweni and villagers involved the case of Mbeli and his wife.

Dube also said that Mpofu had also hired lawyer Byron Sengweni to assist the State in prosecuting Ndiweni.

“We are seized with the matter, as minister Mpofu and (police commissioner-general Augustine) Chihuri have since ordered that the chief be prosecuted and as a result, they have engaged . . . Sengweni to assist the State in that regard,” Dube said.

Dube, however, said they were still convinced that the chief and villagers were following superior orders of the traditional court and therefore should not be charged.

“As for the chief, he was acting in his judicial role as provided for by Traditional Leaders Act and within the purview of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and any party disgruntled with the court order should appeal to superior courts or make an application for review at a higher court (not to) criminalise or politicise a traditional legal process,” Dube said.



Zinara still to disburse funds to Beitbridge

THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has not disbursed funds for road maintenance to Beitbridge Town since the beginning of the year.

The funds are urgently needed to upgrade the town’s roads, most of which have not been tarred.

During a meeting between the local authority and residents last week, Beitbridge Town Council (BTC) finance director Anymore Mbedzi revealed that nothing had been received from Zinara during the first half of the year.

The meeting, a half year review session whose theme was “Beitbridge Ready for Municipality Status”, also discussed, among other things, the general poor conditions of the border town’s roads in relation to increased traffic.

Residents from a cross-section of the society in Beitbridge who attended the meeting believe the high prevalence of respiratory diseases in the community results from the fine dust generated by thousands of vehicles moving within the border town.

“Our roads need to be surfaced. We are talking about the high number of people with respiratory diseases caused by our roads,” said one stakeholder.

Other residents felt that the toll fees collected by Zinara should be ploughed back into developing roads.

However, BTC confirmed that the town was still waiting for this year’s disbursement.

“We are yet to receive funds from Zinara to be able to surface more roads ... this year we have not got anything,” said Mbedzi.

Zinara runs the country’s road tolls, collecting thousands of dollars from New Limpopo Bridge, the first road toll point in the country.

To date, not a single cent from those tolls collected from the bridge has been channelled towards the border town, whose roads are damaged by haulage vehicles and have turned out to be an embarrassment to tourists.

Meanwhile, Beitbridge is waiting for President Robert Mugabe to sign an approval of its envisaged municipal status which has been approved by its parent ministry.



Outcry over delayed Egodini Mall project

FRUSTRATED Bulawayo residents have expressed grave concern over delayed commencement of the much awaited multi-million dollar Egodini Mall project, despite assurances by the authorities.

The project was meant to start in January 2014 and is being touted as the biggest in the city since independence in 1980.

South African contractor Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited won the tender to upgrade the former Basch Street Terminus into the Egodini Mall.

The project, expected to cost $60 million and create 1 200 jobs, is set to provide shopping convenience for travellers, as well as the commuting public.

It has experienced a number of false starts, as both the local authority and the contracted company allegedly haggled behind the scenes.

At one point, the council had set a date for the ground-breaking ceremony but it turned into a pie in the sky, as the event was postponed indefinitely following squabbles that erupted over its implementation soon after the signing of the agreement in 2016.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bpra) coordinator Roderick Fayayo yesterday said while they had information that the council was finalising its processes, they were worried that the project was shrouded in secrecy.

“The biggest challenge we have as residents is that the project has for long been shrouded in secrecy. At the moment, no one knows what is happening considering that at one point they had promised that they were about to begin the construction process.

“They should keep updating the residents because they are the ones who are going to be affected by the project, one way or the other,” Fayayo said.

National Vendors Association of Zimbabwe (Navuz) provincial coordinator Obert Manduna said there was little information about the activities at the site of construction.

“All the vendors need to know are the time frames such that they can prepare for the eventual relocation. Of course, at one point we were given notice that we will vacate to new pegged sites, but later it all went silent with no one explaining to us. So it will be good if there is communication between us and the local authority so that there is a smooth relocation,” Manduna said.

In the past, vendors and commuters have resisted relocation, arguing the new sites were not viable for their businesses.

In an exclusive interview, mayor Martin Moyo yesterday said a lot has been going on behind the scenes, mainly involving all major stakeholders such as the contractor, the local authority, the government and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

“With regard to the technical and cadastral surveys, they have been completely conducted while the environmental assessment impact is still a matter between EMA and the contractor Terracotta,” Moyo said.

“As for the issue of relocating vendors and commuters, it is something that has been agreed with all the stakeholders, so we don’t expect any problems.

“As council, we have also attended to some issues to do with properties because there were some properties that were privately owned in the area of construction so, we had to negotiate with them to do some exchanges and so forth and I am happy to say we are done with that phase,” he added.

With almost a year left before the term of the current council that is the brains behind the project ends, the mayor said they were doing everything in their power to ensure it materialises.

“It is my wish that the project fully commences during our tenure as council, if it doesn’t, well it’s still okay but if it does, well that will be a bonus to us and that’s our wish.”

However, asked to give the time-frame within which the project is likely to commence, Moyo said:  “This is what we are waiting for as council, the contractor is going to give us the update as we go.”

“But it is not true that the project has suffered many false starts as all this underground work that has been happening is part of the project. So in essence, the project has already started,” added Moyo.



Gold baron up for murder

A PROMINENT Esigodini gold dealer is in hot water after he allegedly shot his employees for demanding their dues.

Baron Dube has been dragged to court after allegedly shooting Nyasha Nkiwane and Thulani Ndebele — who are battling for life at United Bulawayo Hospitals.

Dube appeared before Esigodini resident magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa facing attempted murder charges.

Muchemwa did not ask Dube to plead and he remanded him in custody to September 15.

Dube was also advised to apply to the High Court for bail.

According to the State, Nkiwane was allegedly shot by Dube at the back of the left shoulder and on the back of the left thigh, who used a revolver magnum Taurus.

He also shot Ndebele on the left thigh using the same weapon, it further alleged.

Dube was found in possession of the firearm and four open cartridges.

After his arrest, the police noted that the community was not happy with Dube’s behaviour hence he was not a suitable candidate to be let out of custody.

“The community is not happy with Dube’s conduct; he would end up in another further scandal which will result in him retaliating. Investigations are incomplete. The State is still waiting for a medical report from the hospital,” it argued.

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