SOUTHERN NEWS | Sacked Tshinga Dube bares soul

BULAWAYO - Former War Veterans minister, Tshinga Dube, who was recently dropped from President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet, has once again sensationally claimed that there were characters in Zanu PF that had been baying for his blood ever since he challenged the 93-year-old to name his successor.

He claimed that since his sacking, those people have been “celebrating”.

“Some sections of the war veterans were not happy at all by that statement (Mugabe must name a successor) I made, hence had dismissed me a long time ago.

“They held demonstrations to say I must be removed, so not everybody appreciated my role. As I am speaking some are celebrating that I have been dismissed,” he said.

Dube said he was, however, inspired by the fact that there were some in Zanu PF who understood what he stood for.

“Well, I am grateful that others recognised my efforts during my time as War Veterans minister.”

Asked if demonstrations against him by the Mandi Chimene-led faction of the war veterans’ influenced his dismissal, Dube said he did not know whether Mugabe gets influenced by people like that.

“But you cannot rule out anything, when you don’t know, you really don’t know but all I know is that there were people who were baying for my blood and crying that I should be dismissed every day.”

Despite all the mystery or theories surrounding his latest fate, the humble and soft spoken former freedom fighter said all was well with him.

“I am no longer a minister but life doesn’t start and end with being a minister. I am already 76 and what matters is what I have done over these years.”

Asked if the War Veterans ministry is in capable hands with the new minister, Cain Mathema, Dube said: “I know ...Mathema very well; we were together during the war. We were in the same department of communications; I think he is a very cool fellow.

“However, it’s not easy to advise a grown up person, all I can do is conduct a handover takeover, to show him what problems we had and what I have left for him or what I think. But I cannot influence his thinking,” he added.

Dube said he was now shifting his attention towards working for the party as well as people in his Constituency.

“I have been an MP for my area for three years and it is the people who have to judge what I have done compared to the 15 years that the MDC has held this seat.”

Dube said contrary to what others may think, he was not bitter over Mugabe’s decision to drop him from Cabinet and expressed gratitude for the short time he was afforded to work as a minister.

“In any case it’s an experience in life. So I am not bitter at all, when you are appointed you must be prepared to be dismissed or disappointed, so I take it as something I never thought of, something that I cannot contest,” he said.

The dismissal of Dube courted the ire of political analysts here in Bulawayo who described it as a loss to Matabeleland region given his hardworking nature.

Some also said Dube’s sacking exposed how Mugabe prioritised power at all costs ahead of long-suffering Zimbabweans.

The former minister lost his job together with other ministers; Prisca Mupfumira, Farber Chidarikire and Abedinico Ncube in a Cabinet reshuffle analysts say is meant to consolidate Mugabe’s power.


...launches sports foundation

FORMER War Veterans minister, Tshinga Dube, has launched a foundation targeted at promoting sports development in his Makokoba constituency.

He said the outfit — Tshinga J Dube Foundation — will mainly assist the underprivileged youth.

“I have started this foundation to promote under 18 youths in Makokoba constituency in as far as sports is concerned,” Dube told Southern News on the side-lines of the launch last weekend.

“I will not be promoting soccer only, but all other sports you can think of. I will provide things like uniforms, balls and other necessities for the youngsters to use during their trainings and competitions,” he said.

A South Korean company, Kiona Charity, injected $50 000 into the foundation.

It also provided balls and playing kits, among other sports accessories.

Dube indicated that talented youngsters from the area were set to get scholarships to the Asian nation, as part of the foundation’s programme.

The Makokoba legislator said his motive was to give a helping hand to the needy.

“I have always been assisting people in my constituency by organising health expos, supplying sports kits and other donations, so this initiative is just a continuation of my philanthropic work to my constituency.”

He added: “This is charity to assist the underprivileged. I don’t support those who have everything. My passion is to help those who can’t afford.”

He argued that the move was not about him winning the forthcoming elections.

“This will continue even after elections I am not doing this for elections. As long as I get funding, I will continue supporting the needy. I have been doing this long before I became a member of parliament, those who stay here can confess.”

Dube, a staunch fan of Bulawayo football giants Highlanders, said he was also going to continue supporting the team financially, as he has always done in the past.


Zanu PF ministers mere stooges: Mzila

FORMER National Healing minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu (pictured) has slammed ministers in President Robert Mugabe’s latest Cabinet, labelling them “mere stooges” who serve at the 93-year-old leader’s mercy.

Last week, Mugabe made a surprise Cabinet reshuffle in which he recycled most of his long-serving loyal ministers.

Ndlovu, who is now the interim president of the newly-formed Alliance for National Salvation (Ansa) opposition party, said the new Cabinet was “hollow and a nonevent”.

“While we have no accurate information on the internal affairs of Zanu PF to make a wholly informed analysis of its events that affect us as citizens, we have taken clear a position as a party....the recent Cabinet reshuffle is a nonevent in terms of responding to public expectations,” Ndlovu told Southern News.

“It has been as ordinary as all other Zanu PF government reshuffles in the last 37 years,” he said.

“Because of the over centralisation or command style of administration, ministers are mere stooges or pawns under Mugabe,” he said, adding that “they (ministers) are answerable to him and him alone”.

“So, whether it’s (Patrick) Chinamasa who is minister of Finance or (Joseph) Chinotimba it’s of no consequence, the Zanu PF-managed economy will continue to benefit Zanu PF members while impoverishing everyone else.”

Ndlovu further noted that expectations that the reshuffle could have set the economy on a recovery course were totally misplaced considering Zanu PF’s history.

While many expect long-ruling Mugabe to step down due to his advanced age, Ndlovu said that was not going to be the case.

“Mugabe is determined to die in office. If he is alive, he will contest in any election, even in his frail state,” Ndlovu said, adding that “his past cannot allow him to leave office.”

Ndlovu also challenged Zimbabweans to unite and dislodge Zanu PF altogether in the next election, adding that with or without Mugabe, the former revolutionary party as an institution had collapsed.

“Whether Grace Mugabe is in charge or Joint Operations Command, it makes no difference to the rest of us. Fact is, the Zanu PF agenda persists.

“All the Zanu PF factions agree that their internal power contestations will not leave us as beneficiaries of the internal discord.”



Umguza housing battle rages on

THE long-running battle between Umguza Rural District Council (Umguza) and Reigate Compound residents is far from over, as the latter continues to fiercely resist eviction.

The residents have for the past three years been up in arms with the local authority after it changed land use to commercial on a site that they had already occupied.

They had built about 75 housing blocks and approximately 300 families occupied the compound, about eight kilometres from Bulawayo city.

After facing resistance, Umguza resorted to demolishing the structures and cutting water and electricity supplies to the community.

Human rights activists intervened and the matter eventually spilled into the courts, which halted the demolitions. Reigate residents representative Titus Nkasa, 54, vowed that they will not give in to Umguza’s demands that they vacate the place.

“Many of those we started the fight with have left and also their houses have been destroyed, but the remaining families have vowed to continue resisting any move to evict them. I am 54, I was born, grew up and worked here, so this is the only home we know,” Nkasa said.

“Lately, they have been quiet but we are not surprised though, that has been their modus operandi, they make you relax and when you think it’s all over, you see them coming back,” Nkasa said.

“As you may be aware, the eviction was influenced by the fact that council had pegged and sold stands which are where we have already built our houses.

“Those who bought the stands have been constantly coming here threatening us to leave but we have told them off,” he said.

The Southern News witnessed that the remaining defiant families were now relying on borehole water and one remaining toilet, exposing them to health hazards. Nkasa argued that they had “contributed a lot to the existence of council and therefore they should not just take us for granted.

“...our main worry is that they are trying to evict us today yet the initial arrangement some two decades ago was for us to acquire the houses on permanent basis on a rent-to-buy facility. So, this means all our monies went into a drain?”

“That’s why we are saying at least, if they want us out here let them give us land or stands, we are not saying we want it for free even if it means paying, we don’t have any problem with that,” Nkasa said. He, however, said it was disappointing that since the conflict started, the council’s chief executive, Collin Moyo, has not engaged them.

Efforts to get Moyo’s comment were fruitless, as his mobile was not reachable.



BCC goes for 7 years on generator

THE council here has gone for almost eight years relying on a diesel generator to power two of its three major business buildings, the Tower Block and Revenue Hall, raising concerns over its sincerity to be reconnected to the national power grid which is cheaper.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC)  was in 2010 forced to resort to the use of a generator after the buildings in question were switched off by Zesa Holdings (Zesa) over an unpaid electricity bill of over $40 million.

The high electricity bill the city owes Zesa reportedly emanated from the pumping of water supplies from the local authority’s reservoirs and water treatment plants.

However, noting the importance of water to residents, Zesa opted to disconnect electricity from BCC’s two major buildings in a bid to recover the outstanding bills.

Critics and residents have slammed the city fathers of using the generator which they viewed as environmentally-unfriendly as well as costly as compared to electricity.

Senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu yesterday told Southern News that council was already making frantic efforts to ensure they reach common ground with Zesa over the matter.

“Council continues to engage ZEDTC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company) on the reconnection of Tower Block, the last time being two months ago,” Mpofu said.

“It is council’s intention to have Tower Block connected to Zesa, as it is cost effective and environmentally-friendly and hence engagements will continue.”

She, however, said as much as the council was willing to be reconnected to the power grid,

“It should also be noted that the agreement reached will have financial implications which council has to consider.”

Mpofu confirmed to the Southern News that, BCC was spending an average $85 064 to run the generator per annum.

The local authority is using a Perkins 300 diesel-only generator, which, according to its manufacturers has an apparent power of 300 Kilovolt amps and standby of 330 kilovolt amps.

When operating at 50 percent capacity, the generator uses 40 litres an hour and 58 litres an hour when operating at 75 capacity, while its consumption rate goes up to 75 litres per hour when it is at 100 percent capacity.

At 110 percent capacity it gobbles 84 litres an hour, meaning that council could be gobbling more than $85 000, according to Mpofu.

In light of the expenses involved in either using electricity or a generator, Mpofu also highlighted the need to explore cheaper alternatives.

“Cheaper alternatives, such as solar energy, have been explored. These, however, require initial huge capital outlays. Funding allowing, this project will be undertaken in 2018,” she said.

Efforts to get a comment from Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.



Cross speaks on tribalism storm

BULAWAYO South MDC legislator, Eddie Cross — who has been under fire after he recently torched a tribal storm after insinuating that Ndebele political leaders were divisive and viciously opposed to the idea of an alliance — has said he is being unnecessarily hounded.

He told Southern News that his remark was misinterpreted and he “does not feel threatened”.

“You can judge me on my writing. I try to be fair and objective and honest. Not always welcome,” Cross said in response to emailed questions.

“I have been writing on the struggle for 10 years,” he said.

Cross, who asked this reporter to visit his blog first to see how he articulated issues, before responding, said: “If you think I am wrong or unbalanced in what I say on any subject please let me know.”

Further quizzed to elaborate on the matter on his remark in question, he said: “I do not want to stoke the fires. So much is based on a misunderstanding.

“But I don’t feel threatened either, not at all; I am totally committed to the struggle.”

Cross’ remark which triggered the furore was carried on his blog in an opinion titled “Are our tribal roots still relevant?”

The opinion was in response to recent divisions that rocked the MDC and the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over the formation of the MDC Alliance.

Cross accused leaders from Matabeleland of being a threat to the formation of a coalition by opposition parties ahead of next year’s elections.

“It has not been an easy road to walk, Ndebele interests always wanted special recognition and representation and the influence of tribal affiliation is found in all areas of the country, Chipinge with the Ndau for example,” wrote Cross.

“Now suddenly, the spectre of Ndebele nationalism is raising its head again — a new “king” has been sworn in (the first in 100 years), a new alliance is proposed between various Ndebele and Zulu-dominated groups.

“Ndebele leaders in both . . . Biti’s . . .  PDP and the (Morgan Tsvangirai-led) MDC-T are demanding special treatment and threatening to coalesce around a new separatist Ndebele/Kalanga leadership,” he noted.

Cross added: “This is very dangerous and retrogressive and I hope the MDC Alliance will reject this initiative and maintain its historical stance; devolved power and control within a unitary State is the only way forward. Anything else can only take us backward.”

Last week, police here blocked an Ibhetshu LikaZulu-organised demonstration against him in his constituency.



Nkomo foundation to host war veterans

THE Joshua Nkomo Foundation (JNF) is expected to host veterans of the liberation struggle tomorrow, as part of the initiative to commemorate the late vice president Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.

The event is set to be held at the nationalist’s residence in Matsheumhlope.

Expelled former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube is expected to be one of the guest speakers, among a host of war veterans who have been lined up.

JNF chief executive Jabulani Hadebe confirmed the planned gathering but could not be drawn into revealing more details, as the war vets are likely to touch on sensitive matters, including their disgruntlement over poor welfare support from government.

“In 1998, veterans of our liberation struggle visited Father Zimbabwe (Nkomo) at his residence at 17 Aberdeen Rd, Matsheumhlope and handed him a leopard skin and conferred him a status of ‘Hero of Heroes’.

“The veterans of our liberation struggle have not visited the residence of Umdala wethu ever since his passing away on July 1, 1999,” Hadebe said.

As a result, he said the Foundation would bring on board veterans of the struggle to grace the event whose day has been deliberately chosen to coincide with the bombing of Freedom Camp and Mkushi Transit Camp in Zambia in 1978.

“On the day, we will also remember those who sacrificed their lives for something bigger than themselves.

“A day we honour the surviving veterans, the departed and also remember the achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices,” Hadebe said.

JNF board of trustees is chaired by Francis Nhema while Simon Khaya Moyo, Thandiwe Nkomo, Dumisani Nkomo and Phathisa Nyathi are some of the trustees.


Comments (1)

CDE TSHIGA Dube , I salute you this day , because of your honest service and transparecncy. May GOD bless you .

chmunorwa - 19 October 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.