The state has been consistently hostile towards the independent media, arresting and harassing journalists and media owners. Just this week three international journalists were briefly arrested in Harare. In spite of provisions for media reform under the Global Political Agreement, including the licensing of broadcast media, the media space in Zimbabwe remains tightly controlled by ZANU PF. Violet’s guest on the Hot Seat program is Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Muleya, who talks about the circumstances under which the media operates, both state and privately owned, and what the ZANU PF victory may mean for any hope of media freedom in the future.
Archive for the 'Hotseat' Category
Violet Gonda hosts Part 2 of the debate with opposition leader Simba Makoni and analysts Trevor Maisiri and Joy Mabenge. Outside the allegations of rigging, how did ZANU PF rise from the “dead”? What mistakes were made by the opposition parties and how did ZANU PF capitalize on them? How strategic is the pending election petition by the MDC-T, given that they accuse ZANU PF of controlling the judiciary? The discussion also looks at other options for the MDC-T.
Violet Gonda hosts a debate with opposition leader Simba Makoni and analysts Trevor Maisiri and Joy Mabenge. Outside the allegations of rigging, how did ZANU PF rise from the “dead”? What mistakes were made by the opposition parties and how did ZANU PF capitalize on them? How strategic is the pending election petition by the MDC-T, given that they accuse ZANU PF of controlling the judiciary? The discussion also looks at other options for the MDC-T.
On Hot Seat Violet’s talks to a number of guests about the preliminary election results, which show significant losses for the MDC-T in party strongholds. MDC-T spokesman Pishai Muchauraya talks about his party’s shock loss in its stronghold of Manicaland. Political analyst Dr Ibbo Mandaza explains why he believes there was massive rigging by ZANU PF and journalist Zenzele Ndebele says he believes the MDC-T are also to blame for this potential electoral crisis. MISA Zimbabwe’s Thabani Moyo analysis what a ZANU PF victory would mean for Zimbabweans.
Violet hosts a heated debate between ZANU PF’s retired Major Cairo Mhandu and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka. President Robert Mugabe is 89 years old and observers say he is ill and constantly sleeps in meetings, so is he up to the job of running a country with huge challenges. Should Tsvangirai apologise to the nation about his personal conduct since his wife’s death, as Mugabe constantly uses this to discredit him? What evidence does the MDC-T have to show that the Israelis are helping Zanu PF manipulate the voters roll? What are the political parties offering that is different from the others and will ZANU PF accept an MDC victory and vice versa?
Violet’s guest on the Hot Seat program is Irene Petras, deputy chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, with a review of the just ended chaotic Special Vote for police, soldiers and election officials. Will the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission be able to conduct credible elections for six million in one day, if it couldn’t organize a two day poll of just 89,000? Petras, who is also the Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, talks about the legality of actions taken by ZEC during this controversial poll. How transparent is the system if ZEC ‘quietly’ extended the Special Vote by an extra day without an official announcement? What does this mean in terms of abiding to the provisions of the Electoral Act? Many officers were turned away even though their applications to vote had been approved. Why will they not be allowed to vote on July 31st if they were denied the opportunity to participate in the Special Vote? What mechanisms are there to make sure there is no double voting?
Violet’s guest on the Hot Seat is analyst Trevor Maisiri, from the International Crisis Group. The discussion looks at the voters’ roll irregularities, where researchers revealed there are more registered voters than actual people in many constituencies across Zimbabwe. What is the motivation behind the formation of electoral alliances? Should the MDC parties form pacts against ZANU PF even if they don’t share the same values and do not trust each other? Maisiri also provides a comparative analysis of the ZANU PF/MDC-T manifestos and dissects dynamics in the military, which is said to be divided into three distinct factions – ZANLA, ZIPRA and so-called moderates.
Violet’s guest is prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who was in London recently to launch the film about her work in Zimbabwe, ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law.’ The award winning lawyer is currently on trial for allegedly insulting the police while trying to defend her clients. She talks about the rule of law ahead of elections and explains how ‘the abnormal has become normal.’ Why does she say the MDC formations often keep quiet when the machinations by ZANU PF are going on? To what extent has civil society been neutralized and infiltrated? She also responds to criticism that she is driven by fame and money.
Due to the time-critical nature of the Hot Seat interview, we are broadcasting it on Tuesday, instead of its usual Thursday slot. On Wednesday the Constitutional Court will hear the dispute over the election date and Violet’s guest is Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo, with his party position on the ongoing elections dispute. Moyo explains why Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa filed an application that the MDCs claim is designed to fail in court. Why does Moyo say President Mugabe will not send electoral amendments to parliament as expected by the MDC formations? Why does Zanu PF insist there is enough time to implement electoral process between now and the July 31st election date?
The discussion on Hot Seat is about the death of Zanu-PF legislator Edward Chindori-Chininga, who last week released a damning report about the involvement of ZANU PF officials and allies in the diamond industry. He died in a car crash on Wednesday. The maverick politician was known in the diamond world as someone who tried to shine a light on murky practises at the Marange Diamond fields. Allan Martin the director of research at Partnership Africa Canada, a civil society organization that is part of the Kimberley Process, communicated extensively with Chindori- Chininga in recent weeks. He says he told him earlier this month that he knew he was a marked man and that his work as chairman of the parliamentary committee on mines had ended his political career in ZANU PF. He is said to have told delegates at a workshop in South Africa two weeks ago that some of the individuals in government who complained about the targeted western economic sanctions were the same people who were benefitting the most from the restrictions, because it allowed them to operate in the grey zone.