Other names of Chipangano leaders that kept popping up during our investigations were Sanyanga, Kunta Kinte and one Kedha, who is alleged to have murdered MDC supporters.
Another is Chataika, a losing municipal candidate in 2008 whose house at the corner of Ardbennie and Chatima streets has for long been used as a torture base.
Herded like cattle
Chipangano’s main role remains that of facilitating hits for the army, CIO and police agents of Zanu (PF). During the recent spate of attacks by the party, Chipangano members drove people into the walled grounds of Gwinyai school in the volatile Majubheki section.
“Then the soldiers came and beat us up. Some people suffered broken bones. Women were raped,” said a survivor, who received counselling and treatment with the help of a local NGO.
People living next to Stodart Hall, where Zanu (PF) has an office also used as a torture chamber said they were forced to attend party meetings daily.
“People here are forced to go for daily meetings. Even at the shops people are harassed by gangsters led by Reuben and Chipangano. People are beaten here every weekend by these hooligans, who also steal cellphones and cash. We can’t even call them party youths as they claim to be. They are just thugs,” said a householder who said his daughter had been raped at one of the all-night meetings after she was beaten and accused of supporting MDC.
The continued use of Gwinyai school as a torture base has perturbed teachers and angered the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
Wave of extortion
Traders at Mupedzanhamo market said they were forced to pay varying amounts to Chipangano daily.
“To get a table in the flea market, you’ve got to have a Zanu (PF) card. Chipangano insists that you vote for Zanu (PF). We are often told to stop trading and go to attend the party’s endless meetings. Those who don’t comply are beaten and robbed of money and goods,” said a trader.
A farmer from Mutoko said Chipangano had set the rule that all tomatoes coming to the market had to be boxed before being sold. The farmers are then forced to buy boxes from Chipangano members, who charge $3 per box compared to $1 charged by others. Farmers who refuse to buy Chipangano’s more expensive boxes are beaten and robbed. The gang also routinely goes around the markets demanding donations for Zanu (PF) programmes.
Zanu (PF) has declared that the MDC, which commands a majority of voters in the area, should not be allowed to function there.
Chipangano is the enforcer of that decree, while the police turn a blind eye.
Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo
Chipangano operating with military precision
|By Tichaona Sibanda
26 September 2011The pattern of political violence that is being waged in Harare by the deadly Chipangano group seems to be highly systematic, deliberate and well planned, an MDC-T MP has claimed.Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo also described how ZANU PF politicians are using violence as a tool to acquire or retain political support.
|Addressing a party meeting organised by the Luton branch of the MDC-T in the UK on Sunday, the MP described how the Mbare based Chipangano group had virtually taken over Harare.The MP, who is also a member of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) said the violent nature of attacks by the ZANU PF sponsored group do not bode well for peace and security in Zimbabwe.‘There are four branches within Chipangano. There is Chipangano one, two, three and four. Chipangano one identifies MDC activists. Chipangano two carries out surveillance and monitors individuals and structures of the MDC-T.‘Chipangano three approaches our members and verbally warns them of dire consequences of supporting the MDC. Chipangano four is the deadliest of all the groups. This group beats the hell out of you,’ said Khumalo.
‘They beat me up in parliament and I cracked my denture. This is a group that attacks parliamentarians, journalists and ordinary people whilst their party leader preaches peace and unity.
‘It is so shocking that a group of people can enter parliament where we felt secure and safe and beat up members of parliament. Only a group linked to ZANU PF can do this,’ the MP added.
Khumalo also spent much of her time urging MDC-T activists in the UK to unite, following a major fall out between members soon after the External Assembly’s congress held in April.
‘It pains us as a leadership that you spend much of your energy at each other’s throats. The real enemy is Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF. Stop this infighting and channel your resources in removing Mugabe from power. My message to you all in the diaspora is please unite for the sake of Zimbabweans,’ the MP said.
CHAMISA The youthful and popular MDC-T leader
”Chamisa yesterday said the 87-year-old Zanu PF leader, who has of late taken every opportunity to lambast violence, must put his sincerity to the test by reining in the Chipangano rabble rousers.
The youthful and popular MDC-T leader was addressing a rally in his constituency of Kuwadzana when he challenged President Mugabe’s sincerity.
Chipangano has caused havoc in Harare where it has literally crippled the operations of elected public officials including the mayor and his council who have all but given up on the group’s disruptive and violent activities.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto recently threatened to resign out of frustration while co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone told NewsDay last week she has failed to rein in the Mbare hooligans.
Zanu PF leadership also appears to be at sea on how to deal with the group. Some senior party leaders have claimed “ownership” of the group, publicly pledging the party would stand by them to the extent of providing legal counsel if its members were arrested.
Others, like party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, have disowned the group.
The group however, appears immune to arrest because they have not been arrested even though their pictures were splashed in newspapers as they beat up policemen at Parliament building.
Chamisa yesterday dared President Mugabe to “walk the talk” if he is sincere.
“This violence must stop. (President) Mugabe said there should be peace. The call for peace should migrate from your lips and stop contradictions.
Violence must stop and this demon of beating up people should not continue. But for it to stop, we need to pray. Zanu PF believes in Chipangano, but we are on total promise and believe in chirangano (promise),” Chamisa said.
President Mugabe’s “loudest” call for non-violence was made during his speech at Parliament recently.
The following day Chipangano was at it again.
They faced resistance and the resultant clashes transformed the township into a battlefield.
He said his party would oppose the Human Rights Bill and Electoral Amendment Bill arguing Zanu PF wanted
“We have two Bills that we will oppose in Parliament. We have the Human Rights Bill where Zanu PF is saying let bygones be bygones but you can’t say those who raped, torched people’s houses and killed should be let free. We want a proper truth and national reconciliation process and people have to be asked why they killed, why they stole people’s property.”
“As MDC we are also against the Electoral Amendment Bill because Zanu PF wants registration to be polling station-based, but it’s dangerous because people in rural areas will have a polling station at the headman’s house with chiefs and Zanu PF people,” he said.
Chamisa, who is also the Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) said Parliamentary debates should be beamed live on television so that people know how their MPs were performing as some MPs went to sleep in Parliament.”
Chipangano in Renewed Attacks On MDC-T Supporters
Sep 12, 2011 (SW Radio Africa/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) — A number of MDC-T members have been attacked by the notorious Chipangano gang in recent days, according to the party.
In one incident, MDC-T Youth Assembly member and Mbare resident Edwin Machokoto was accosted on Sunday by the Chipangano youth for putting up party posters.
Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson, said: “He was taken by the Chipangano people in Mbare for the reason that he was part of the team that was distributing those posters ahead of the anniversary.” “He was beaten, he sustained very serious injuries on his face and all over the body,” Madzore explained.
In a statement the MDC-T Youth Assembly explained that Chipangano is made up of ZANU PF youths, including youth leader Jim Kunaka, and they have unleashed a reign of terror in Mbare. Civic organizations have also complained about Chipangano’s tactics. On Monday Kunaka did not respond to a request to comment on the allegations.
The MDC-T added that two more of their members had been hospitalised after they were abducted and assaulted by ZANU PF hooligans in Kuwadzana and Mbare.
“Mary Pamire is recovering from injuries sustained after she was abducted by three ZANU PF supporters in Kuwadzana and driven to an unknown place. Pamire said she was travelling from the city centre to Kuwadzana at night last Thursday and upon disembarking from a kombi she was abducted by the three hooligans driving in a tinted vehicle.
“They drove her to a secluded place where she was severely assaulted the whole night. She was released the following day and sought treatment at a local hospital where she is still admitted,” an MDC-T statement read.
It added that another activist, Johannes Dehwe, was admitted to hospital after being kidnapped by Chipangano at Mbare Musika on Saturday.
“We want to urge Chipangano and other terror groups that the time has gone, we are responsible children. We are going to defend our party, our parents, our communities, our nation and our economy in our life time. Let’s be peaceful in our undertakings,” the MDC-T Youth Assembly statement read.by Editor
The gang has now grown in numbers and widened its criminal activities. It has transformed itself into a real mafia – running protection rackets, extorting money from companies, forcibly taking over businesses and, for good measure, beating up MDC supporters and evicting them from their homes in order to maintain its Zanu (PF) credentials.
The Chipangano mafia has grown so large and become so powerful that the police are unable to control the beast. In fact, Harare policemen have been shown to be afraid of them. Some policemen have actually been assaulted by members of Chipangano. No arrests have been made.
The gang listens to no-one – not even President Robert Mugabe. Recently, while Mugabe was addressing Parliament, saying there should be no violence in Zimbabwe, these thugs were outside the building beating up people – including one policeman. Again, no arrests were made. And this despite photographic evidence, which clearly identifies some of the thugs, being published in various newspapers.
As the police have been shown to be impotent, Zimbabweans are talking about what they can do to protect themselves from these thugs. There have been some suggestions that people should form vigilante groups to protect themselves and their businesses. But this is no solution as the ZRP would undoubtedly swing into action against them. And violence always begets more violence.
The failure by government to stop Chipangano’s outrageous behaviour is a serious dereliction of duty. A time will come when people will feel that they have nothing more to lose and will take the law into their own hands.
Sensing that they have nurtured a monster that could destroy them, Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has disowned the thugs and would like to see them arrested. We wait with bated breath to see whether Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri will obey his master’s voice, and whether indeed he will be able to put a stop to this now widespread criminal behaviour.
07 NOVEMBER 2011.. CHINYANGA ‘S POINT IS PROVED… that chipangano is not just ordenary people , but c10 strategists…
ZBC REPORTER part of Chipangano
Harare(ZimEye)A Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reporter has been named among the Chipangano violence strategists at last Sunday’s aborted MDC-T rally in Chitungwiza.
The overzealous ZBC news reporter Tafara Chikumira according to the MDC was coordinating operations with one of the leaders of the violent Zanu (PF) terror group Jim Kunaka.
“A reporter with ZBC, Tafara Chikumira was part of the team coordinating Zanu PF’s Chipangano terror group. He was heard communicating constantly with Jim Kunaka on what Zanu PF was doing,” said the MDC in statement.
fingered ZBC Journalist…Tafadzwa Chikumira
Members of the deadly Chipangano group were responsible for the violence include “Jim Kunaka, the Zanu PF Harare province youth chairperson, Zanu PF’s Chitungwiza district coordinating committee (DCC) chairperson, Wilfred Gwekwete, Luke Luke of Ward 25, Chitungwiza North and Godknows Muzenda, a Zanu PF Harare youth provincial member.
Others are; Nyasha Dziva, Chitungwiza DCC secretary, Dennis Fisher, Lloyd Bhunu, Tichaona Chapfika and Tonderai Kasukuwere.”
The MDC has experienced a number of skirmishes with political rivals Zanu (PF) where its members have turned out to be the victims at the hands of the police despite having been attacked and injured.
The MDC has since taken the issue of violence to the SADC and other regional and international stakeholders. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)
Monthly Archives: September 2011
Chinyanga condemns Chipangano a brutal band of thugs formed by Zanu (PF) running a brazen murder, violence and extortion racket.
nehandaradio / Zimbabwe Independent
The Zimbabwean military is deeply divided over what action to take against the two army generals who criticised their commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, describing him as a “political general” with “little practical military experience or expertise”.
- General Constantine Chiwenga (pictured) was described as a “political general” with “little practical military experience or expertise” by Major-General Fidelis Satuku and Brigadier-General Herbert Chingono.
Several meetings have been held at Zimbabwe Defence House and other places, with top army officials expressing different views on how the military should deal with Brigadier-Generals Herbert Chingono and Fidelis Satuku, who are currently under investigation for sneering at their boss at secret meetings with top United States diplomats.
According to leaked cables, Chingono and Satuku spoke to US Ambassador Charles Ray last year about Chiwenga’s political ambitions, different views and opinions within the army, conditions of service, sanctions and politics. Whereas the cables refer to Satuku as “Major-General”, the Zimbabwe Independent this week verified that he is actually a Brigadier-General.
Although it is generally accepted among the commanders that it was wrong for Satuku and Chingono to meet with US diplomats, whom Mugabe considers enemies of the state, the two have the backing of some senior army officers who think the issue must be allowed to pass.
Top military sources said while some army commanders like Chiwenga and his clique want action against Chingono and Satuku, there were others who were strongly opposed to that, preferring to be cautious.
Those opposed argue the army must follow President Robert Mugabe’s lead on the issue. Mugabe has reportedly chosen not to act on senior party officials implicated in the WikiLeaks disclosures.
Besides the sympathisers in the military, Chingono and Satuku also have backers in the Zanu PF politburo who strongly believe that they should not be punished for meeting with the diplomats.
A top politburo member questioned why Chiwenga was so quick to institute an investigation when his boss had decided to ignore the cables.
“Why are they investigating the two? We in the party are not doing anything about it and I don’t expect us to discuss the cables in future meetings,” the politburo member said.
“The president is not going to deal with the matter, so why should he? He should leave them alone.”
These views have also been expressed by some commanders at their meetings who have said the military should take a cue from the president so that they are not at variance with politicians.
Sources told the Independent that officials opposed to court-martialling the two generals have pointed out that it was unwise to act now when they did not know to what the extent of the WikiLeaks impact was on the military, their veracity and who else might be implicated.
If after investigation Chingono and Satuku have a case to answer, according to the Defence Act, they will be court-martialled and could face imprisonment if convicted or even a death sentence, although that is unlikely.
Army spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwizi confirmed last week that the two army generals were currently under investigation. Military sources said Chingono and Satuku could be charged with “treason or subversion” for secretly meeting Ray in January last year to discuss Zimbabwe’s “sensitive military issues” and politics in contravention of the Defence Forces Act, their code of conduct and ethics.
In 1999, Chingono, an artillery officer, was the last Zimbabwe National Army commander to train at the United States National Defence University under the International Military Education and Training programme, while Satuku received his military training in Britain
CAN WE STILL OBSERVE THE ZIMBABWE BIRD AS A SYMBOL OF THE NATION IF OTHER NATIONS ALSO HAVE THE SAME SYMBOLISM
Eagles have been used by many nations as a national symbol.
CAN WE MAKE THE ZIMBABWE BIRD A SYMBOL OF THE NATION IF OTHER NATIONS ALSO HAVE THE SAME SYMBOLISM, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT ZIMBABWEAN ANCESTORS OBSERVED THE ZIMBABWE BIRD THE SAME PERIOD EUROPE, AMERICA AND OTHER COUNTRIES DID RECOGNIZE Eagles as national symbols.
when colonials like Cecil Rhodes , came to Zimbabwe, they quickly observed the Zimbabwe bird as a national heritage, because the eagle was the symbol of coat of arms all over Europe and america
THE Zimbabwe bird, hungwe also known as bateleur egale, ..
the real zimbabwe bird
the stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is a national emblem of Zimbabwe, appearing on the national flags and coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins (first on Rhodesian pound and then Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleureagle.Citation Required The famous soapstone bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe built starting in the 11th century and continuing for over 300 years by ancestors of the Shona. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe.
When the ruins of Great Zimbabwe were discovered by modern civilization in the late nineteenth century, five of the carved birds they found were taken to South Africa by Cecil Rhodes. Four of the statues were given to Zimbabwe by the South African government at independence, while the fifth remains at Groote Schuur, Rhodes’ former home in Cape Town.
The iconic stone carved Zimbabwe Bird is an emblem of Zimbabwe. It has appeared on the national flags and coats of arms for Zimbabwe and previously Rhodesia as well as on banknotes, coins and stamps. The bird is used by the national sports teams and is part of numerous badges and logos of various Zimbabwean institutions and organisations.
The original birds, carved from soapstone in a unique and distinctive style once stood proudly on guard atop the walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe. The exact origins of this stone city are shrouded in mystery but it is believed to have been built sometime between the 12th and 15th centuries byancestors of the Shona. The word Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona words dzimba dza mabwe and means “house of stone”.
When the ruins of Great Zimbabwe were excavated by treasure-hunters in the late nineteenth century eight carvings of soapstone birds were unearthed. One bird was sent to Cecil Rhodes at his Groot Schuur home in Cape Town and, somewhat controversially, still remains there. This is the only bird not currently in Zimbabwe.
Four complete birds and a partial bird were sent to Rhodes separately and kept in South Africa but these were returned to Zimbabwe in 1981 after independence. Pieces of a sixth bird ended up in the hands of a German missionary who sold it to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin in 1907. The fragments were taken from Berlin to Leningrad when Russian forces occupied Germany at the end of the Second World War. They remained there until the end of the Cold War when they were returned to Germany.
In May 2003 the fragments of soapstone sculpture were handed back to President Robert Mugabe by a German museum. The eighth statue has always remained in Zimbabwe.Originally the birds are known to have stood on high pillars above the eastern enclosure of Great Zimbabwe and may have symbolised kings. There are two styles of bird, with slight differences in posture and shape of the pillar.
In the absence of any direct method of dating the birds, it is unclear whether this represents earlier and later styles, or whether there was any meaning to the differences.
The overall shape of the birds suggests that they represent a bateleur eagle a bird with great significance in Shona culture. The bateleur or chapungu is a good omen, the symbol of a protective spirit and a messenger of the gods.
The Zimbabwe Bird is believed to be an ancestral link to the heavens and is sometimes called Shiri ya Mwari, the Bird of God. The stone eagle became the country’s emblem and symbol of freedom because it linked the Shona to their ancient ancestors.Legend has it that peace will never return to Zimbabwe until all the plundered Zimbabwe Birds have been returned to their homeland.
The Reichsadler symbol of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation and Imperial Germany (1871-1918)
next General Elections for Zimbabwe are to be legitimate and credible if the 5 million citizens in the diaspora must vote says barbara nyagomo
Therefore,if the next General Elections for Zimbabwe are to be legitimate and credible,then the 5 million citizens in the diaspora must vote says barbara nyagomo 2yrs ago, when she went to number 10 downing street.
By Admore Tshuma in Johannesburg, South Africa SUNDAY, 18 APRIL 2010 10:55 EDITOR zimdiaspora .com
While Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela has told the British not to tamper with Zimbabwean politics, UK based Zimbabwean activist Barbara Nyangomo who says is representing one million Zimbabweans denied voting rights has appealed directly to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to exert pressure on President Mugabe’s government as a means of enforcing human rights.
Machel, a founder member of the Elders group of world leaders and the wife of Nelson Mandela, warned British politicians last week to “keep quiet” about countries such as Zimbabwe and let African diplomacy take its course.
But Ms Nyangomo has written a letter and handed over a petition to Mr Brown saying she is doping so on behalf of one million other Zimbabweans who are fed-up with the prevailing politics in their country.
In her facebook campaign page, Ms Nyangomo today writes: “1 Million Zimbabwean Voices 17/04/10 Voting Rights Petition handed over to number 10 Downing Street now we wait for the response. I was well received at the Prime Ministers place on behalf of 1 Million Zimbabwe Voices. On Monday we will start forwarding the petition to all relevant Authorities internationally. Thank you for your support. ALUTA CONTINUA”.
Below we publish Ms Nyangomo’s letter to Mr Brown.
Could she be Zimbabwe’s first female president: Barbara Nyangomo?
The Office of the Prime Minister
No 10 Downing Street
17th April 2010
For the Attention of the Prime Minister
We the people of Zimbabwe have gathered together with 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices Limited to present to you a petition calling for action from the International Community on behalf of Zimbabwean people around the world, to continue to place pressure on the government of Zimbabwe in order to give the people of our nation the fundamental right of participation in the free and fair general elections to choose the leader of our country, no matter where they choose to live.
Currently over four and a half million Zimbabwean Nationals are denied the opportunity to vote freely as the current government continues to withhold our right to vote while outside of the boarders of Zimbabwe. We present this petition to the British Government of the day calling for you to use your power and influence as a Leading World Power to ensure that the rights outlined in our petition are granted to our people.
It has always been out intention to present this petition to the Zimbabwean Government along with the International Community to show that the people of Zimbabwe are serious about their desire to participate in the politics of our nation. However at this time, we have become aware of numerous reports in both Zimbabwean and International media of increased levels of violence against opposition leaders, and members of various minority parties. People have been arrested for speaking out publicly against the current regime, and there is a real concern for the safety of our people in Zimbabwe. For this reason we have made the decision not to present this petition with names of people living in Zimbabwe to the government. It would be horrific to think we have placed people in danger while trying to win the rights of Zimbabweans living abroad.
Please accept this call from over 1000 Zimbabwean people who have signed this petition, to address the issues outlined in the document, and continue to bring focus to the issues of Zimbabwean People around the world. Without the help of the International Community and Leaders in your position to continue to put pressure on the Zimbabwean Government, we will never realise our desire to live in a free, prosperous and safe environment in our nation. We thank you for your time in considering our request, and look forward to working with your office to bring results to the people of Zimbabwe. Together we have a real chance to bring change to our nation, and with your continued help, support and pressure, Zimbabweans everywhere may one day have the opportunities we all take for granted.
We have come to the realisation that our country needs us, and today we stand as 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices, united in our desire to see our nation liberated from the greed and corruption that strangles the life blood from it. We are peaceful and friendly people, and have endured much in the last three decades. It is our time to stand up and call for change, and your support in this process is critical to our success.
We look forward to your response and trust that our future will see us change dreams into reality as we strive together to solve the problems of our nation.
Ms Barbara Nygomo
For and on behalf of
1 Million Zimbabwean Voices Limited
see link of the original letters http://www.scribd.com/full/30534728?access_key=key-7oux2yqrc17pw3tetnz
The zimbawe exile gvt and ant-zanu-pf movement …. awards Mr Tony Namate with a bravery hat. with The Nehanda-kaguvi zimbabwe bird emblem
well-done, true Zimbabweans are behind you…Tony,we give you this award for the bravery you did in expressing the feelings of the hearts of every zimbabwean in the hands of the opressors. thanks also for ignoring these murderers, they only know how to put fear and take possession. instead of them attacking Tsvangirai , Ncube, Dabengwa or Sikhala.. those are the people who are next to the thrown not you TONY. .. The Zimbabwe exile govt honors you with a blue hat of bravery with The Nehanda-kaguvi zimbabwe bird emblem. …keep it up in the trenches. thanks Rt Martin DaWilliam.
THE ZIMBABWE BIRD .. It probably represents the bateleureagle The famous soapstone bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe built starting in the 11th century and continuing for over 300 years by ancestors of the Shona. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe. When the ruins of Great Zimbabwe were discovered by modern civilization in the late nineteenth century, FIVE of the carved birds they found were taken to South Africa by Cecil Rhodes. Four of the statues were given to Zimbabwe by the South African government at independence, while the fifth remains at Groote Schuur, Rhodes’ former home in Cape Town.
I PUSHED THE BOUNDARIES OF CARTOONING… AND LIVED
By Tony Namate
In January 1999 I started work at Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Daily News) as editorial cartoonist, during which time I would unleash some of the baddest humour in post-independent Zimbabwe.
It was a critical time in Zimbabwe politics, which saw the formation of the MDC and Constitutional Commission later in the year, and the emergence of Constitutional spokesman Jonathan ‘the people have spoken’ Moyo as a political farce… er…force. The following year witnessed deadly farm invasions which led to several people being killed and tortured, with 500 000 farm workers fleeing for their lives into the cities (they would later be uprooted in Operation Murambatsvina, a brutal nationwide destruction of people’s homes and businesses).
The state-sponsored pre-election violence of 2000 is still unprecedented in its brutality. A record number of Zimbabweans fled the country. Several MDC supporters were burnt alive in their huts. Rape was a favourite weapon against women.
The Daily News switchboard was inundated daily by callers commenting on the cartoons, while some wrote in. The readers’ reactions led to a Daily Telegraph interview in which they claimed that my cartoons had become a barometer to the events unfolding in Zimbabwe at that time.
Who doesn’t remember the Old MacDonald Had A Farm cartoon during the farm invasions: “with a war vet here, and a war vet there, everywhere a war vet…”?
During my tenure, Chenjerai Hunzvi’s War Veterans Association threatened to deal with me, while the Women’s Action Group promised to invade the newspaper’s offices in protest at my ‘sexist’ cartoons. Everybody seemed to be in war mode!
A large group of war vets would later besiege our Samora Machel Avenue advertising offices and throw stones at its glass windows in a massive show of mob rule; and several staff members fled in terror before we managed to barricade ourselves in. ZTV reporters were present, urging them on. Twenty years after our 1980 independence, war vets were still gunning for their forty acres and a mule.
Several frantic calls were made to international journalists, who descended on the scene within minutes.
At one time, the late Minister of Defence, Moven Mahachi, held a press conference to denounce me as unpatriotic. A few years earlier, Joice Mujuru (then Minister of Information) had suggested that I be locked up and the key thrown away! Weighing in was my favourite ‘fanatic’, Tafataona P. Mahoso, who declared in his Sunday Mail column, African Focus, that I was a dangerous tool of the imperialist whites. I could never have asked for better feedback than this: in 2001 I received a runner-up certificate for the 2000 UN Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award from none other than UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan.
In 2004, at the annual convention of America’s top cartoonists in Lexington, Kentucky, I received the CRN Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award, all for my work at the Daily News.
I believe these awards were made possible by those readers who stood by me and my team.
I even received a bizarre call from the notorious Harare Central Police station: a senior police officer wanted me to know that she and her colleagues were fully behind my work!
I was totally flummoxed.
The Daily News team received unprecedented threats during its short life. They were arrested, beaten up and threatened with death, yet soldiered on. We couldn’t let the people down. We became Zimbabwe’s first reader-friendly paper, Twitter and Facebook in print. Stories dropped on our laps. MDC supporters’ houses were attacked while they slept. Wives, daughters, mothers were raped in front of their families. The news teams went home in the early hours every day, too sleepy to stand upright…
To show how “serious” the ruling party was with their threats, the newspaper’s office and printing press were bombed. Despite the press being blown to smithereens, the newspaper did not miss a single issue!
It soon became the biggest selling independent daily in the history of Zimbabwe. The paper would later be banned – twice.
Finally, it was AIPPA(Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) – crafted during Jonathan Moyo’s watch as Minister of Information, ably assisted by the media hangman, Tafataona P. Mahoso – which finally brought the Daily News to its knees, along with The Weekly Times, Business Tribune, and The Weekend Tribune.
On reflection, those were exciting times, in an odd sort of way.
It showed the resilience of one of the finest journalism teams I had the fortune to work with. What a team. Some of the colleagues I’ve worked with have since passed on: Tarcey Munaku, Julius Zava (Zimbabwe’s finest investigative journalist), and others I can’t remember off-hand.
Others like Sandra Nyaira, Basildon Peta, Eunice Mafundikwa, Rhoda Mashavave, Lloyd Mudiwa, Mduduzi Mathuthu, photographer Urginia Mauluka etc, left the country while some joined the NGO sector as PR officers, and one or two went into the printing business.
PLEASE GET HIS BOOK ABOUT HIS CARTOONS AND BIOGRAPHY…SEE COVER PICTURE BELOW
SOME OF HIS CATOONS WORK
Gukurahundi tragedy to unfold on London stage
|By Alex Bell sw radio
16 September 2011The human tragedy of the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s is set to be brought to life on a London stage, in a production inspired by the real life story of a survivor.The Rain That Washes opens at London’s Chickenshed Theatre at the end of September.
|The one man play has been inspired by the story of the Theatre’s Building Supervisor, a Zimbabwean man called Christopher Maphosa.Three years ago, Christopher approached the Theatre’s Director of Creative Development, Dave Carey, to tell his story and how he saw Ian Smith’s Rhodesia become Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, including his memories of the Gukurahundi.Carey told SW Radio Africa on Friday that Christopher’s story is “extraordinary.”
“The more he was telling me, the more and more my jaw was just hanging open at this extraordinary story he was relating. So this became the catalyst to put it on stage,” Carey explained.
The play uses elements of Christopher’s journey, including living in refugee camps in Botswana, receiving Marxist training in Bulgaria, being beaten at the hands of Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU, being arrested by the notorious 5th Brigade, and surviving the Gukurahundi. Christopher was eventually able to flee Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s regime.
Carey said that the play is a “very moving and powerful piece of theatre,” that he explained has been created to reflect the journey of many people during the Gukurahundi.
“This is not an impersonation of Christopher, but potentially an everyman tale. We’ve also tried tie not make it a lecture, but make it a story. We hope the reaction will be positive,” Carey said.
The Chickenshed Theatres has been running for more than 30 years and is renowned for its work covering human rights issues and other difficult events.
The play opens on September 29th at the Theatre in North London. For more information and to buy tickets follow this link:
the Zimbabwe exile govt also pays the respect and honor to all those lives lost may there souls 9/11, ever rest in peace.
on behalf of all Zimbabweans , we pass our due respect to the victims of 9/11 in USA. we say may your souls rest in peace. We will always support USA in it’s goals to put democracy in dictatorial tyranny zones , we respect your efforts and participation in the Libya conflict and many other zones. We will also one day ask your help in Zimbabwe. God bless America.