29 July 2009: It's Official, Mavambo is Now Bugged
While the Inclusive Government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai says it has no money to collect such rubbish as in this picture, which is piling up in cities all over Zimbabwe, they can find the resources to waste on bugging the Mavambo phones and the like.I told you a couple of days ago that our phone lines went dead and our Internet connection also disappeared.The lines came back yesterday of their own accord, after TelOne said as far as their systems were concerned, everything was working fine and they had no idea what had happened to our switchboard.It turns out now that a group led by a CIO operative named Cleopas Chidhakwa intercepted our lines at a "green box" along Fourth Street and did their thing. One of the people who assisted him was Givemore Murapa, also of the President's Office.They were in two cars as they did the job over the weekend and into Monday: a black Toyota Yaris and a Mazda B2200 pick-up, both of which had no number plates (the President's Office vehicles always travel with no plates when they are on a job and many MDC-T supporters were murdered last year in vehicles loaned to ZANU PF by the Reserve Bank and which travelled the rural areas of Zimbabwe without plates.They were acting on the instructions of Nicholas Goche, the Minister of Transport and Communications, who now administers the Interception of Communications Bill, according to information at hand. This Bill had originally fallen under Nelson Chamisa's Information Communication Technology before Mugabe raised a lot of dust by gutting that Ministry.Amidst protests from the MDC-T, he gave back to Chamisa control of some of the things he originally had, including administering ISPs. But Mugabe retained the Interception of Communications Bill. This is why.Of course, now we know and we have gotten into the habit of blowing whistles into the phone receiver when we are talking to members (who are aware of this and recognise the signal that the whistle is about to go off - the least we can do is damage a few eardrums).The Toyota Yaris used on this job was in evidence by our offices all of last week, relieved by the pick-up truck now and again.One of our security people even recognised the men sitting in the car as he did his surveillance.With the country suffering massive power cuts still, with no water flowing in the taps, civil servants struggling to feed themselves, let alone look after their families or improve the quality of their lives, Mugabe and his crew find money, time and energy to do this?Priorities are wrong, money is being spent on frivolous things while the country burns. But we get told time and again by the Prime Minister that Mugabe is the Solution to Zimbabwe's problem, that he is vital to our future and that he is "not going anywhere"?Go figure.