By Ransom Mandhlazi
PROGRESSIVE citizens, political analysts and opposition leaders have dismissed political activist, Alex Magaisa’s recent Big Saturday Read (BSR) as nothing but a dossier meant to stir people’s emotions for an uprising against the constitutionally elected Government.
Magaisa, a long time Government critic and former Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisor, in his latest BSR insinuated that millions of US dollars were siphoned from the national coffers under the guise of Government’s Farm Mechanisation Programme (FMP) undertaken between 2007 and 2008.
He went further to release a list of the so-called beneficiaries of the programme, but omitted his allies, and some opposition members such as his former boss, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa, Job Sikhala and Charlton Hwende who benefitted from the Scheme.
Political analyst Talent Mandizha said the coincidence of the 31 July planned protests and his so-called revelation is an attempt by the opposition parties and civic society organizations to pursue their longstanding regime change agenda by masking it as a fight against corruption.
He added that it is an evil attempt to cause unrest and despondency among the citizenry, hence their strongest call for the condemnation of the demonstration.
Mandizha accused Magaisa of cherry-picking the names of beneficiaries that he published just to cause commotion in the country.
Magaisa’s BSR falsely presented ZANU PF officials as plunderers of State resources, but ignored the fact that beneficiaries of the FMP was across the political divide.
“Magaisa’s alleged exposé of people who looted from Government through the FMP was carefully crafted to present ZANU PF officials as looters, while presenting opposition members as saints," said Mandizha.
"If Magaisa was genuine in his exposé of the alleged corruption, why did he omit the MDC-Alliance Vice Chairperson, Job Sikhala who benefited US$100 000 under the programme? Why did he omit the late Morgan Tsvangirai who benefited US$134 765? Why are Chamisa and Hwende not on the list? Why is Gibson Sibanda who benefited US$21 540 not on the list? Maybe Magaisa omitted members of the opposition from his BSR list because he is an opposition activist. Such biased reporting discredits him as a blogger.”
Mandizha said that the demonstration is going against the efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe to combat the highly infectious Corona Virus that has so far claimed 25 lives in Zimbabwe and infected over a thousand people.
“Notwithstanding, the world is the hardest hit by the current pandemic. As we begin to appreciate the health interventions being made by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe in our beloved country, we hear there is a planned mass protest. This is shockingly retrogressive and definitely endangers the lives of medical professionals," he added.
He urged the detractors of progress, peace and tranquility to put the health and lives of people first and respect the legitimately elected Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Another analyst, Memory Tarubva said Magaisa’s recent BSR is meant to incite tribal clashes between people of Mashonaland region and those in Matabeleland region.
“By insinuating in his BSR that the people in Mashonaland Provinces were the most beneficiaries of the Government’s FMP both in terms of numbers and value as compared to those in Matabeleland Provinces, Magaisa is trying to invoke the emotions of the Matabeleland people and push them to think that they are marginalized and neglected by the Government."
Another political analyst, Norest Jambaya further said there is nothing sinister for Government to take over debts of ailing companies.
He said the trend started in 1980 and it was done in the interest of the country and the economy.
Another analyst Marryline Shumba said the FMP is an initiative by Government to equip beneficiaries of the Land Reform Programme to maximize production on the farms.
He further said the FMP is one of the many Government programmes meant to assist vulnerable people.
The opposition in Zimbabwe is planning protests to be staged on 31 July 2020 and Magaisa’s BSR is seen as a calculated propaganda move to compel people to revolt against Government for its alleged failure to fight corruption in the country.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) has joined other opposition parties such as MDC-T, ZAPU, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) and Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD), in denouncing the planned 31July 2020 demonstrations.
More opposition parties continue to pour cold water on the planned 31July 2020 illegal demonstration stating that they don’t want to be entangled in politics of vengeance being perpetrated by Nelson Chamisa, Jacob Ngarivhume and Godfrey Tsenengamu.