Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zimbabwe News Update: Zuma to Officially Open Agricultural Show; Mugabe Attends SADC Meeting in Namibia

Zuma to officially open this year’s Harare Show

Herald Reporter

South African leader and Sadc chairman President Jacob Zuma is expected to officially open this year’s Harare Agriculture Show.

Government said on Tuesday the visit had nothing to do with resolving "outstanding" issues in the Global Political Agreement as speculated by foreign media houses who continuously report that the South African leader was "going to get tough with Zanu-PF".

The reports followed a recent visit to South Africa by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to meet President Zuma. During the Johannesburg meeting, PM Tsvangirai reportedly briefed President Zuma about "sticking issues" in the GPA.

In an interview on Monday, the Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity, Mr George Charamba, said President Zuma would visit the country only to officially open the show.

"President Jacob Zuma is coming here to officially open the Agricultural Show and not to resolve the MDC’s issues," Mr Charamba said.

He would not say when Mr Zuma was expected in the country.

MDC-T has been accusing Zanu-PF of not being sincere in meeting its obligations under the GPA.

However, last week the Zanu-PF Politburo fired a broadside at MDC-T and pointed out that the party was yet to act on any of its commitments in the GPA that led to the formation of the inclusive Government.

The Politburo pointed out that while President Mugabe had appointed the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and members of Cabinet from MDC-T among other obligations, Mr Tsvangirai’s party had done nothing to have the illegal sanctions it called for lifted.

MDC-T, the Politburo said, had also done nothing about the activities of pirate radio stations that continued to broadcast hate messages into Zimbabwe despite promising to act on these things in the GPA.

The 99th edition of the Harare Agriculture Show starts on Monday next week and runs until Saturday.

President Zuma will officially open the show on Friday next week.

President Mugabe opened last year’s edition.

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo Nguema opened the 2007 edition.

Five hundred stands have already been booked at the Exhibition Park for this year’s show compared to the 320 stands taken up in 2008.

Zim, Algeria re-launch joint commission

Herald Reporter

The Zimbabwe-Algeria Joint Permanent Commission was re-launched in Harare yesterday after 19 years of inactivity with officials from both countries pledging to enhance co-operation for economic development.

The third session of the Zimbabwe-Algeria Joint Permanent Commission, which started with a senior officials’ meeting on Monday, moved into top gear with the arrival of the Algeria Minister for Maghreb and Africa Affairs and International Co-operation Abdelkader Messahel on Tuesday evening.

The Zim-Algeria Permanent Joint Commission was last held in Algiers in 1990, with the only other previous meeting in 1981.

Minister Messahel yesterday met Vice President Joice Mujuru at her Munhumutapa Offices before the launch of the third session of the Permanent Joint Commission.

VP Mujuru hailed relations between Zimbabwe and Algeria that date back to the days of the liberation struggle. "We would like to welcome the largest delegation to come to Zimbabwe from Algeria for the Permanent Joint Commission.

"Our two countries have enjoyed a long standing relationship since Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and it has grown to include co-operation in such sectors as education, health and agriculture among others," she said.

She said the Government would work with Algeria to enhance co-operation in agriculture.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Messahel said Africa had great potential for development and it was important for the two countries to exploit it.

"The convening of the Joint Commission is set to give the two countries’ relations a new and dynamic approach to enhance co-operation," he said.

The visiting minister also paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who underscored the need for partnerships between the two governments.

"Africa is migrating from the politics of independence to economic development. The future of our countries is in investment, we do not need aid but investment for the benefit of our people," he said.

In his opening remarks at the third session of the Joint Commission, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi paid tribute to Algeria for standing by Zimbabwe during and after the liberation struggle.

"Algeria is one of those countries who, after liberating themselves from colonial bondage, took the principled position that their independence would be meaningless unless linked to the total liberation of Africa.

"As a result, Algeria provided invaluable material and diplomatic support to the various liberation movements that were then fighting for independence in many parts of Africa, thereby contributing to the liberation of many African countries, including Zimbabwe," he said.

Minister Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe, after independence, had drawn strength from Algeria’s moral, political and diplomatic support right through the present illegal sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation to the revolutionary land reform programme.

He said Algeria went through similar experiences during its land revolution and thanked the North African country for its unwavering support for Zimbabwe.

"Algeria has indeed been a genuine and all-weather friend," he said.

The minister said although it had taken so many years to convene the third session of the Joint Commission, the Government was confident it would result in the adoption of concrete initiatives commensurate with the excellent historical political ties between the two countries.

"It is against this background that we need to finalise the Trade Agreement, the Bilateral Investment Promotion Agreement as well as the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement to create a conducive environment for the expansion of trade and investment between our two countries.

"The measures we are going to adopt at this session of the Joint Commission will therefore contribute towards efforts to turnaround our economy, especially by fostering closer co-operation between the business sectors in Zimbabwe and Algeria."

Officials from the two countries have been engaged in dialogue in areas of education, sport, culture, health, mining, tourism, diplomacy, agriculture, immigration, and small and medium enterprises that are set to be signed today.

"The agreements will lay the foundation for increased co-operation and give fresh impetus to our joint efforts to enhance economic co-operation and other exchanges between our two countries," he said.

In June 2006, Zimbabwe and Algeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding on economic co-operation and bilateral trade, which created the framework for companies from the countries to enter into formal agreements for the sale and supply of agricultural equipment, inputs and produce.

Minister Mumbengegwi also hailed the Algerian Annual African Scholarship Programme that has seen the number of Zimbabweans studying in the North African State rising to 65 over the past few years.

Minister Messahel, who also relayed a message of condolence following the death of Vice President Joseph Msika, hailed the formation of the inclusive Government.

"We have been monitoring the political developments in the country and we are happy that Zimbabweans have managed to put aside their differences to put national interests first.

"The fact that you have managed to find a peaceful solution gives credence to the adage that African problems need African solutions.

"African countries should work together to build peace on the continent and show the world how it can learn from it," he said.

Aids levy spent on luxuries

By Fortious Nhambura

THE National Aids Council has bought only US$20 000 worth of anti-retroviral drugs from the more than US$1,7 million in Aids levies collected since the inception of the multi-currency system in February this year, investigations by The Herald have established.

It could not be established what the rest of the money was used for although insiders intimated that the funds were being spent on staff salaries and perks, as well as administration costs.

According to Government policy, NAC should use 50 percent of the Aids levy collections to buy ARVs.

But figures obtained from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and NAC itself show the body has since February this year spent only US$20 000 on buying the life-prolonging ARVs.

Corporate governance experts worldwide contend that at most 10 percent of public service budgets should go towards salaries, allowances and administration, with the lion’s share of the money being spent on tangibles.

However, NAC management last week said they would soon be buying more ARVs.

Since the adoption of multiple currencies in February this year, NAC has received a total of US$1 748 451 from Zimra in Aids levies remitted by companies.

NAC received US$21 238 in February, US$123 608 in March and US$155 372 in April.

The amounts rose dramatically to US$408 233 in May, US$440 000 in June and topped US$600 000 in July.

In addition to this, NAC also receives financial support from its partners in the local and international donor community.

"We were planning to secure drugs equivalent to US$500 000 now that we have collected the money. It is Government policy that 50 percent of the Aids levy be used for drugs with the rest being for other programmes that include home-based care, advocacy, prevention and administration.

"The country has received assistance from the Expanded Support Programme, the Global Fund and Usaid.

"Usaid is supporting 40 000 people, while the ESP has targeted 50 000 by end of the year," NAC chief executive Dr Tapuwa Magure said when asked for comment on how the body was managing the finances.

Shortages of drugs have forced public health institutions to scale down the number of people on ARV treatment and observers believe NAC should now be in a sound financial position to extend support to more patients.

Concerns have also been raised about the energy and resources NAC expends on workshops at a time when only 1,1 percent of the Aids levy has been spent on drugs.

The Zimbabwe HIV and Aids Activists’ Union, an association of people living with HIV and Aids, has since written to NAC seeking a breakdown on how the Aids levy has been used in recent months.

"It is time we moved in to help monitor the administration of the funds as we believe that a huge chunk is being used on non-core business," said Mr Bernard Nyathi, president of the organisation.

He said the union had also recommended the establishment of an independent board to monitor the implementation of HIV programmes to ensure transparency in how the Aids levy and donor funds were used.

Dr Magure acknowledged receiving a letter from the organisation and said their financial records were open for inspection.

According to the minutes of a February 2009 board meeting, NAC plans to raise more than US$5 million this year; half of which will go towards procurement of ARVs with the remainder being spent on administration and other expenses.

However, a Ministry of Health and Child Welfare official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it "appeared as if the bulk of the money is going to salaries, sponsored trips, cars and other perks for administrative staff who are running different programmes under NAC".

"The evidence we have at the moment indicates that NAC is not following Government policy in using 50 percent of collections to buy drugs when many people are in urgent need of ARVs.

"I am not saying this is conclusive, I am just saying the documentation we presently have indicates as such," the official said.

She added: "We are also worried that board and executive meetings are being held at expensive hotels when NAC’s offices have enough space for such activities.

"It makes it look as if they would rather spend money on hotels and meetings."

Demand for ARVs and other HIV and Aids-related services continues to grow in response to increased awareness of the pandemic.

The most recent statistics put the number of people in need of ARVs nationwide at 300 000.

Of these, about 70 000 are presently getting the drugs under Government and donor-based programmes, meaning that around 230 000 people in need of ARVs are not getting them.

At a number of referral hospitals patients have spent more than four months on the waiting list to get on a treatment regimen while their health deteriorates.

Government introduced the Aids levy on all workers and companies in 2000 to raise funds to contain the pandemic.

The tax is levied at 3 percent of income.

Peace, stability crucial for Sadc — Mumbengegwi

Herald Reporter

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has said the maintenance of peace and stability is a prerequisite for development in the Sadc region.

Addressing Sadc defence and police chiefs who attended a briefing on Exercise Golfinho at the Sadc Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre in Harare on Monday, Minister Mumbengegwi said the region was committed to supporting peace initiatives.

"One cannot over-emphasise the importance of peace in the region’s development.

"Indeed, peace and peaceful resolution of conflicts are prerequisites for development.

"It is for this reason that the promotion of peace, security and political stability is a major objective of Sadc and the African Union," he said.

Minister Mumbengegwi said the knowledge gained by officers taking part in the exercise would help them in future peacekeeping duties.

"The knowledge that would be gained by our men and women during training and execution of Exercise Golfinho will not only help them to perform better in their day-to-day duties, but will also help them in their future deployment as peacekeepers under Sadc, AU or United Nations-mandated missions," he said.

Exercise Golfinho is part of the groundwork for the establishment of a full Sadc Standby Force that will be part of the AU force to be launched next year.

In an interview on the sidelines of the occasion, Ambassador Moses Dhlamini, the special representative of King Mswati III of Swaziland, who chairs the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, said the briefing was the final preparatory stage before the field exercise to be conducted in South Africa next month.

"There would be a field exercise in Bloemfontein, South Africa, next month where a fictitious state would be created for the purposes of creating real-life situations," he said.

Ambassador Dhlamini said the Sadc Standby Force would be made up of military personnel, police and civilians that would assist people in areas affected by conflict or other natural disasters.

Commandant of the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre Lieutenant-Colonel Sambulo Ndlovu said Zimbabwe was assigned to spearhead co-ordination of peacekeeping in the region. Ten Sadc member states were represented at the briefing.

President in Namibia for Sadc meeting

From Hebert Zharare in KEETHMANSHOOP, Namibia

President Mugabe yesterday arrived here ahead of a meeting of Sadc Heads of State and Government today in the Namibian town of Oramjemund to discuss potential business opportunities stemming from South Africa’s hosting of the Fifa Soccer World Cup next year.

He was received by the Namibian Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Mr Willem Konjore, Keethmanshoop Mayor Mr Bezille Brown and Zimbabwe’s Amba-ssador to Namibia Chipo Zindoga.

President Mugabe will join leaders from nine other Sadc leaders in Oramjemund, which is about 350km from Keethmanshoop, for the meeting.

The President who is the Head of State and Government as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, is accompanied by Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and his Environment counterpart Minister Francis Nhema among other senior Government officials.

He was seen off at the Harare International Airport by senior service chiefs among them Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda, Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, Major-General Engelbert Rugeje and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday evening.

This is the first meeting of the regional Heads of State and Government in which the agenda will be non-political with sport being the main topic of discussion.

Other leaders expected for the meeting that Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba is hosting are: South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Botswana’s Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Angolan leader Cde Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and Zambian President Rupiah Banda among others.

The region will play host to tens of thousands of tourists and soccer fans as the World Cup approaches.

In June this year, nine Sadc member States launched the Boundless Southern Africa Expedition targeted at marketing the region for the World Cup and beyond.

These countries are Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The expedition, which started in Botswana, highlights environmental conservation and showcases the diversity of Southern Africa’s people and their rich culture.

This is the first time the World Cup Soccer tournament will be held on African soil and according to the sport’s governing body Fifa, 90 000 soccer fans and officials from qualifying countries are expected to come to South Africa together with over 400 000 tourists in 2010.

The region has some of the best tourist attractions in the world, among them the Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Namib Desert in Namibia, Mount Kilimanjalo in Tanzania, coastal beaches, game parks and reserves full of flora and fauna as well as a rich traditional culture.

The region has undertaken to spend millions of dollars in rehabilitating and refurbishing its infrastructure to ensure a smooth hosting of the event in June next year.

Southern Africa is looking at ways of capitalising on the World Cup through marketing shared facilities such as transfrontier conservation projects and national parks.

Already there is Kavango-Zambezi Conservation Area shared by Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia and the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park that combines Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Several strategies at individual country level have been employed to market tourist attractions and several countries have approached countries likely to qualify for the tournament to camp as well as acclimatise before the official kick-off dates.

The tourism sector in Zimbabwe is making frantic efforts to ensure that it also benefits immensely from South Africa’s hosting of the event.

Out of the more than 50 000 accommodation facilities needed by teams and officials, South Africa alone can provide 32 000, leaving a deficit of 18 000 rooms.

This has resulted in Match Events Services, a company specialising in providing ticketing and accommodation facilities, to engage Zimbabwe to help in providing rooms after initially appearing to snub the country as a partner.

According to tourism experts in Zimbabwe, the country can chip in with over 4 000 top class rooms in areas that are within a one-and-a-half hour flight range from South Africa, as per Fifa recommendations.

NGOs obsessed with regime change

EDITOR — I write to comment of two articles published in your widely read newspaper in recent days.

On Saturday, there was the story on an Epworth woman who patronises beerhalls with a child as young as 11 days strapped on her back. Then on Monday, we read about the plight of the Doma people.

We have a whole galaxy of non-governmental organisations, that claim to give humanitarian assistance but are wasting resources in trying to influence the politics of this country.

The NGOs in Zimbabwe are straying from their code of conduct, deliberately trying to influence the political direction of Zimbabwe and not the life of the people; they were registered to serve.

At what stage will these NGOs see that there is need to assist the Doma people settle down? At what stage are the NGOs going to use the money they are spending on salaries and vehicles to help improve livelihoods in Epworth?

Where is Save the Children? Where is Child Survival?

Where is Usaid, Cida, Sida and our own Zimbabwe Human Rights?

When those who work for these NGOs get pot-bellied from the money meant for the poor, when they drive top-of-the-range 4x4 vehicles and claim to be the masters of good governance, democracy and human rights, where is their conscience?

The case of the Doma people and that of the people of Epworth living on ‘‘tsaona’’, is a real NGO tragedy. NGOs registered for humanitarian work should restrict themselves to that mandate and not meddle in politics.

How can the Doma people battle for transition when we have hundreds of NGOs with a lot of food, clothes and money? They are busy driving their luxury vehicles to hotels, beer drinks, gigs and baby showers.

In fact, your newspaper should set up a fund to assist the Doma people to shame the NGOs. We will support and invest in that fund. Please help.

When Western-backed MDC formations want to hold a function, NGOs scramble to bankroll the functions, but what about the Doma people?

What about the Epworth children who grow up in beerhalls?

Worried Citizen.

MDC-T pays lip service to GPA

By Tichaona Zindoga

FROM the beginning of the inter-party talks that culminated in the formation of the inclusive Government in Zimbabwe up to last week, it was the MDC formations, especially MDC-T, that has been crying foul saying this and that issue was still outstanding, while Zanu-PF remained mum.

Last week Zanu-PF finally broke its silence at its Politburo meeting and demanded that the MDC formations honour their obligations under the Global Political Agreement, especially when it comes to the illegal sanctions and rabid Western media.

That effectively exposes a fundamental truth that MDC formations are no saints with the inherent virtues of "sincerity" or "commitment" to the GPA, as they would want the world to believe.

Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations early this year formed an inclusive Government predicated on the GPA signed on September 15 last year.

Briefing journalists in Harare last week after the 24th Ordinary Session of the Politburo, Zanu-PF’s top decision-making body outside Congress, deputy party spokesperson Cde Ephraim Masawi said all the parties needed to honour their obligations to the agreement.

"The implementation of the GPA cannot be a one-sided affair.

"Therefore, Zanu-PF Politburo calls on the First Secretary and President of Zanu-PF (President Mugabe) to resist any pressure intended to prejudice the party in a manner that is contrary to the GPA and the Constitution of Zimbabwe," said Cde Masawi.

He drew attention to the fact that the re-appointment of Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Gideon Gono and the Attorney-General, Mr Johannes Tomana, were done in terms of the Constitution and were, therefore, above board.

He also indicated that the appointment of provincial governors was the exclusive constitutional prerogative of the President, who appoints 10 governors and resident ministers to represent him in the provinces, without which capacity governors cannot legally operate.

Zanu-PF has fulfilled the requirements of the GPA including the appointment of the Prime Minister and his two deputies, ministers and their deputies, permanent secretaries and principal directors by consultation.

Zanu-PF has also agreed to the appointment of ambassadors drawn from the two MDC formations, and recently convened the first session of the National Security Council.

The Security Council comprises service chiefs, the three principals of the GPA and ministers of Finance and Defence.

For all that, Zanu-PF has shown commitment to the GPA, the MDC has been content with not only crying foul, but has even tried to wrestle the provisions of the GPA such as the powers of the President which are very clear in the agreement.

President Mugabe’s position as Head of State and Government as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was never on the table during the inter-party talks. The position is not negotiable and is inalienable.

A top official reportedly said that Zanu-PF was in a state of "absolute anger and frustration" at the lack of commitment of the two MDCs to these issues, saying Zanu-PF’s engagement with its partners would now be "weightier" in pushing for their resolution.

Among other things, the inter-party agreement "recognised and acknowledged" that illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries hurt the ordinary people and that the parties had agreed to lobby for their removal.

In the inter-party agreement, the parties also undertook to act on anti-Zimbabwe pirate broadcasts directed at the country.

But, almost a year after the inter-party agreement was signed, the two MDC formations, in particular the one led by Prime Minister Tsvangirai, have only treated the issue of economic sanctions lightly.

The party has also remained mum on hate broadcasts, mainly directed at Zanu-PF.

The closest PM Tsvangirai has come to naming the sanctions has been a euphemistic reference to the sanctions as ‘‘restrictive measures’’ that warrant some schoolboy behaviour change by Zimbabwe for them to be removed.

It is too early for us to forget that the European Union and United States of America instituted the same "restrictive measures" at the behest of the MDC in its opposition days, as a way of fomenting a humanitarian disaster that would catapult their favourites into power.

The measures were perceived to be a "smart" way of unseating Zanu-PF, and reverse the gains of the liberation struggle such as land reform and other indigenisation policies.

The same sanctions regime provides funding for print and electronic media, which have played a complementary role to the sanctions in the regime change agenda.

The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West have had a debilitating effect on the national economy over the last decade and their removal is key to the revival of the Zimbabwean economy whose destruction has affected millions of ordinary Zimbabweans.

The irony is that the sanctions bar Zimbabwe from accessing offshore lines of credit and discourage investment into Zimbabwe, yet the country is expected to recover.

According to the US sanctions law, ZDERA, individuals and companies can pay fines of up to US$500 000 for violating the embargo.

In one example of the heartlessness of the isolationist and punitive intent of the West, a couple of years ago the German government barred the transportation to Zimbabwe of a paid-for consignment of currency paper. The private company had done business with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for 40 years.

Ironically, MDC-T has throughout the time the GPA has been in existence not only chosen to ignore its GPA undertakings, but metamorphosed into a cry baby, sometimes drawing lists with as many as 700 "grievances" to present to whoever cares to listen to their whimpering.

And they have had to weep on the very shoulders of the same media that they promised to act against, who have in turn made saints of the former opposition party in what looks like a calculated refractory negation of the same GPA they purport to serve.

The "cry baby" attitude of the MDC-T has provided the West with an excuse to extend the sanctions they imposed on the country.

But Zanu-PF seems to have woken up to the reality.

Given this background, it is clear that the so-called "outstanding issues of the GPA" with regard to these constitutionally clear matters the MDC-T might have been making noise about are actually non-issues designed to deflect MDC-T’s own responsibilities on calling for the removal of sanctions.

But worrying though is the fact that PM Tsvangirai’s party continues to hide behind the finger when they make issues out of nothing when they purport to be victims of "hate speech".

Worrying still are the prospects that they might not only be making filthy lucre from foreign organisations but be complicit in arrogant, hypocritical and insensitive remarks by the likes of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On the South African leg of her recent whirlwind tour of Africa, where she reportedly met top MDC-T officials, Clinton said: "We (America) are attempting to target the leaders of Zimbabwe with sanctions that we think might influence their behaviour, without hurting the people of Zimbabwe."

MDC-T, which "recognises and acknowledges" US sanctions, knows, just like the fork-tongued Clinton that sanctions are more than an "attempt" but a damaging and spirited effort against the people of Zimbabwe.

The sanctions are neither targeted or without effect on the poor people of Zimbabwe.

MDC-T should have told Clinton that they "recognised and acknowledged" that land reform for which she wanted to influence Zimbabwe’s revolutionary behaviour, was irreversible.

Unless such sincerity, in the spirit of the GPA, could only stand in the way of fat pay cheques that have nothing to do with the people of Zimbabwe.

MDC-T out to reverse gains of independence

Campion Mereki.

EDITOR — Reports from Bulawayo that MDC-T has opened offices in the city for the Prime Minister to interact with the community in Bulawayo is a sinister move that should be looked into with the seriousness it deserves.

It’s now evident that MDC-T got into the inclusive Government with ulterior motives.

I have said it times without number that they boarded the inclusive Government bus to effect regime change from inside.

What baffles the mind is that this office is not housed in a Government building. It is housed in a private building and this project was funded by foreign non-governmental organisations. The whole idea is to remove President Mugabe from power.

MDC-T is using all tricks in its book to seize power by hook or crook. The party is not concerned about returning the economy to stability. They want it to go deeper into the abyss and use their so-called "coup" as justification of removing President Mugabe.

I laughed my heart out when l read a statement by this young MDC-T spokesman who said they don’t want to chase Zanu-PF because they gave it ample time to pack its bags. I don’t know where Zanu-PF is going anytime soon; maybe Chamisa knows.

Again I become suspicious and see such statements as euphemisms of overthrowing President Mugabe. Contrary to what the MDC-T preaches that it has the interests of the masses at heart, the party has just its interests at heart. The party is a power-hungry grouping which, with the aid of its foreign backers, wants to reverse the gains of our independence.

If it were possible to say give MDC-T overall power to run the Government as a rehearsal, then all these people who are being fooled would see the truth.

Unfortunately, there is no rehearsal in running the country.

Campion Mereki.

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