Morgan Tsvangirai Sends Thugs After Simba Makoni

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, MDC-T's Morgan Tsvangirai, sent six thugs to disrupt, jeer and belittle Dr Simba Makoni when he delivered a speech at a public forum organised by the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare on Thursday.

This is a tactic that was used extensively in 1920s and 1930s by Adolf Hitler (before he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933) against his rivals.

The subject of Dr Makoni's speech was National Healing and Reconciliation. Other panelists included Dr John Makumbe. The MDC-T's Sekai Holland, A Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Healing Organ), who had been scheduled to speak, pulled out the day before the meeting when she heard that Dr Makoni himself would be representing Mavambo.

As soon as Dr Makoni started speaking, one of the six whipped out his cellphone and started speaking into it very loudly, right there in the hall as Dr Makoni spoke.

The six who were sent from the Prime Minister's office were each given US$5 to do the job. They are:

Nelson Nerwande, Cephas Chimedza, Edmore Manyofa, one Bernard (whose last time could not be immediately established), Washington Gaga (a bodyguard of Tsvangirai) and Clever Mudzingwa (a relative of the imprisoned Gandi Mudzingwa).

One of those sent, Edmore Manyofa, shocked the gathering, which was on Thursday, 30 April 2009, when he stood up during question time and insulted Dr Makoni to his face with the most vile and undignified words.

Makoni himself retained his cool and let the young man finish his rude interjection. The room was so silent when Manyofa launched his tirade that you could have heard a pin drop. His main point was the usual MDC-T smear against Makoni, that he had belonged to ZANU PF and was now being critical of the GNU simply because he wanted to be president, amongst other unprintable things.

Makoni took notes throughout Manyofa's tirade and then stood up to answer, chronicling in detail his efforts within ZANU PF and giving examples of when he stood up to Mugabe to try and change the course ZANU PF was taking. There was a standing ovation in response to Makoni's answer from the packed hall.

There was an audible sharp intake of breath from the gathering when Makoni revealed that, after Morgan Tsvangirai was famously beaten up in police custody, Makoni not only confronted Mugabe about it in a Politbro meeting, but he was also the ONLY ZANU PF Politubro or Central Committee member who visited the opposition leader in hospital.

Interestingly, the heckler as well as one other person sent by the MDC-T leader's office approached Dr Makoni at the High Table after the end of the function and apologised for what they had been sent to do.

It is true, as my commentor says, some amongst the six disruptors are now being asked to return the US$5 they were given to humiliate Makoni. It is said they did not do good enough job of it. They say it is Dennis Murira, Public Affairs Officer in the Prime Minister's Office who is harassing them to return the US$5.

This handler, Dennis Murira, Public Affairs officer from the Zimbabwe Prime Minister's office, was at one time being sought by police and would have been arrested together with Gandi Mudzingwa according to plans that were laid down by Mugabe's people's before Tsvangirai agreed to become Prime Minister.

Murira, it was said privately by the intelligence authorities in Zimbabwe, had received the same training in Serbia that Gandi Mudzingwa got in December 2004. The MDC says the training they got in that country was on "mass action".

The authorities here were saying the training was much more sinister than that.

The meeting was also useful for the ugly mood towards this Unity Government amongst the people that it revealed. For instance, one questioner asked Dr Makoni how there can be healing when he was sitting next to a person to had raped his sister during the June 27 presidential "run-off".

Another also asked how long this healing process was supposed to take, to which Dr Makoni responded that it should last until "those aggrieved feel that they have been healed."

Yet another questioner told Dr Makoni that "all politicians have let us down. We have now lost faith in both ZANU PF and the MDC." He also told Dr Makoni that in his (the questioner's) own constituency, a lot of promises had been made by the Mavambo Parliamentary Candidate and these never came to anything.

Dr Makoni responded by telling him that in his campaign, he repeatedly told people that he was not offering them anything material to vote for him. He wanted the people to be given an environment in which they did things for themselves.

There was deafening applause when he said: "If you were promised material things in my name by anybody, I would like to apologise to you. That is not the way we do things."

In fact I myself can confirm that during the campaign, as I travelled for six weeks by road all over Zimbabwe with Dr Makoni, he repeatedly refused to buy "scuds" (sorghum beer) for the young men who frequently asked him to do so.

Makoni even clashed with one high-ranking member of Mavambo at a meeting I attended in Masvingo during the campaign. His ire had been raised because the high-ranking member had organised haulage trucks with trailers to ferry people to one of Makoni's rallies in area.

Dr Makoni cancelled the arrangement, saying he wanted people coming to his rally to be genuine supporters, not bussed-in supporters. "If five people show up, then we know those are genuine five supporters, instead of misleading ourselves with bussed-in people."

As an aside, I must say I was surprised at Dr John Makumbe who was agreeing loudly with Dr Makoni throughout his speech. Makumbe, who is a known MDC-T strategist and sympathiser, suggested the following as a way to deal with the Military Chiefs who remain opposed to Tsvangirai:

He said the Inclusive Government should give them amnesty and then hold new elections. He supposed the elections would be won by the MDC-T. After the elections, Dr Makumbe said, then the new government should revoke that amnesty and arrest the former Service Chiefs, who would have by then been retired.

Perhaps this is naivety, but he should know that the Service Chiefs are of the opinion that they do not need amnesty. One has said, "Amnesty for what? For defending my country?"

Still, for me, it is very revealing that Morgan Tsvangirai would sink to such depths. It betrays the lack of ideas within the MDC-T. It shows just how hollow their talk about tolerance and democracy is.

It reveals just how afraid, nay, mortified, the opposition party is of the challenge that Dr Makoni represents.

It also demonstrates beyond a doubt that the MDC stands neither for democracy nor for change. They are, at the highest level, as intolerant as Mugabe and ZANU PF.

It makes those of us wanting Zimbabwe to become as much of a First World country as South Africa (economically) even more determined.

It makes us even more determined to bring about a truly tolerant and democratic society that lives out the true meaning "freedom and tolerance."


  1. What a shame. I am shameful of these young youths who are abused everyday for 30 pieces of silver. All along I thought MDC-T was genuine about democracy but it seems am being proved wrong.

  2. Taurayi Paurendo, MutareMay 3, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    Varume izvi zvinonyadzisa izvi zvinoitwa nemayouth eMDC.

  3. Dr makoni and democracy, is like a rythm. I am not biased towards Simba but he has just made himself stand above the rest, i have never heard of an open gallery called for by Tsvangirai, "How then, can he claim to be representing the masses. A good leader confronts the problems and debate them and set their position clear.

    Tsvangirai has been accused of being a pupet of the west and not on any occasion has he stood to provide defence for the Zanu claims.

    I would be happy if one day, the national TV and Radio would provide a two hour long debate between Dr makoni, Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Mugabe, Prof Mutambara . Were all clarify on their party`s position.

    I bet you it will only be Makoni who will volunteer first for the debate.

    Politics is not fair, based on facts and policies the Mavanbo has been consistent, i would not like to go in to positions the MDC-T has taken in only the last year.

  4. Bit by bit we are getting there. In 2 years time MDC and ZANU will be history.. Or is it just a wish?

  5. Shame on Tsvangirai he has so many problems yet he finds time to orchestrate such rubbish. Is it me or is he turning into a little Mugabe himself. I guess Mugabe has a way of making people really work for him. Soon Tsvangirai will graduate as a full member of ZANU PF. These Puppets know they are no match for Dr Makoni hence they employ such shameful tactics. If your own followers can be bought for $5 then that says a lot about you.

  6. *shakes head and walks away slightly disappointed* Actually, I changed my mind, and have to say. What 'these people' have done to Zim is a tragedy. Now, I am walking away for my sanity...

  7. We expect more of these shameful acts by shameless leaders who abuse the trust of their gullible followers. It lays bare the same claims by some retired majors,who no doubt were the ones buying scuds and promising people things,in the process soiling the name of the movement.It can only come from shallow minds to believe that Dr Makoni is still zanupf.At least now the people of Zimbabwe can judge for themselves through the actions of our leaders who the real enemy of our people is.The time for Simba to stand up and be counted is nigh. In the name of true democracy may the people of Zimbabwe wake up to the truth and unshackle our minds.The hate and polarisation of the lost decade should make way for tolerance so that we embrace each other as one people even if we belong to any one of three,four or ten political parties.What really was achieved by those that dictated who was to participate in the now doomed GPA and would the nation still be debating about how to go about with national healing if we had included the likes of Simba. Better still if the main protagonists then had heeded his call for just before or immediately after the March 2008 election,the brother whose sister was raped by the zanu guy sitting next to him would not be in the dilemma that he is in because all the madness would not have happened in the first place!So fellow countrymen, lest we forget...evryone else has fooled us before. Let not that happen again

  8. Edington DhlaminiMay 4, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    Oh my God! I cannot believe this. I feel betrayed by MDC-T. Anyway,Let's Get Zimbabwe Working Again. Simba KaOne.

  9. I am now convinced this is the main reason why people are silently running away in masses from MDC-T. People are just quitting.Hooliganism! I used to discourage my colleagues from leaving the MDC and instead to be patient but with this, I do not think it is worth it. Honestly this is not what we agreed from the start when the MDC was launched on 11 September 1999. I now also hold the belief that the membership exodus from MDC-T is justified somehow. What these young men did to Simba is just unfortunate. Some of us have now decided to sit on the fence until a genuine political party that is democratic, honest and transparent is formed. But for now I say goodbye to politics.

  10. They are proving to be exactly what some of us have been saying all along. Oh poor Tsvangirai he has no sense of shame.Dr Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai are not in the same league at all, from personality, character and depth. He is no match, and he knows that. Poor him, Dr Makoni is just unstoppable once he devotes all to the country's presidency race.

  11. I have always been told that politics is dirty but I never thought someone like Tsvangirai who calls himself a true democrat would stoop so low and make politics not only dirty but stinking filthy. But then again what can one expect from a politician of his intellect whose political foundation is immersed in calling sheepish workers to do labour strikes.
    I long to see a Zimbabwe where political leaders from different parties sit side by side live on national TV and debate about issues concerning the development of the country like what they do during election campaigning in USA and South Africa. Only when that becomes possible without some party followers being paid or simply commanded to interject with decampaigning remarks or questions that are unreasonable, will we all agree that democracy in this country has fully matured. For now democracy in this country is only an illusion. The sad part is that the very party that calls itself the champion of democracy is the very same party that behind the scenes pay some of its followers to sabotage democracy. No wonder Solomonysdelle shook his head and walked away, the coalition government should not cry foul about the brain drain if they continue like this and many more intellectuals shake their heads and walk away.


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