Magaisa must not foist his dangerous views on us
I appreciate that Magaisa was expressing his views. However, he should know that in expressing one’s view, one should be careful to base such opinions on facts and avoid the danger of presenting one’s musings as fact.
As a journalist on his way, I have chosen to reply to the innuendo carried in the article as it has the effect of undermining my standing with the public and my fellow journalists.
On the whole, Magaisa’s article carries the innuendo that attempts to dismiss the whole article as having been plagiarised.
To assist in setting the record straight, I want to point Magaisa to the following paragraphs in my article. “After his 2005 defeat at the polls, a letter to President Mugabe from an election campaigner, Pedzisai Mafuke, which went unreported, sensationally claimed the election had been rigged by senior army and police officials opposed to Mnangagwa.
The letter bitterly protested at how the Delimitation Commission controversially shunted large numbers of peri-urban voters who would have voted for Mnangagwa, into the neighbouring Silobela constituency, just three days before polls. The letter claimed a senior police official had openly spoken against Mnangagwa during a visit to Kwekwe, because he had ‘not forgiven Mnangagwa for the Vashandi-Wampua episode in Mozambique’.
"I can say that Kwekwe was lost to the MDC because some very senior people within the party sponsored and manipulated the situation in favour of the MDC to score points in their vendetta against Mnangagwa,” Mafuke said in the letter.
The Mujurus had "retired to bed in a celebratory mood once they had heard that Mnangagwa had lost", the letter added.
From the above, it can be noted that the contents of a two year old letter, that went unreported for that period, were included. That is not plagiarism.
Secondly, Dr Magaisa says I should have questioned Mnangagwa’s achievements such as his part in bringing about parliamentary reforms when he was speaker of parliament between 2000 and 2005 and other achievements -- for example when he was justice minister -- such as the establishment of a judicial college.
As a parliamentary reporter who in 2005 and 2006 was voted Zimbabwe’s best parliamentary reporter -- an award granted by the State University of New York -- I will not debate that aspect of parliament with Magaisa (not because I know all), but would rather respond to him on Mnangagwa’s achievements while he was justice minister.
My response will not repeat the minister’s achievements mentioned in my article, but for the avoidance of doubt will add more.
During his tenure as Minister of Justice, Mnangagwa prevailed over President Robert Mugabe to appoint what was then known as the most independent and courageous judiciary in Africa. He prevailed over his boss to appoint justices Bartlett, Gillesepe, Chatikobo and Devittee to the High Court. That was also the case with the appointments of Justices Sandura and Muchechetere to the Supreme Court.
He even saw to it that Mugabe extended then Chief Justice Gubbay’s term. All these highly regarded judges were forced out after the land reform under a different Minister of Justice. Also, under a different minister we have seen weird things such as the arrest of the Attorney General Sobusa Gulah-Ndebele. Is this not an achievement for Mnangagwa which he should be given credit for?
I agree that information I used on Mngangagwa’s war credentials, date of birth etc also appears on Wikipedia.
However, my information was taken from Mnangagwa’s personal biography and only God knows how it found itself on Wikipedia.
Information contained includes some things that Magaisa says should be questioned.
As a matter of fact, Wikipedia always states whether information posted is under dispute or not.
In this case, Wikipedia does not mention that the information on Mngangagwa is being disputed or contested as it has done with other presidential aspirants in some parts of the world such Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.
These are facts.
I wonder whether Magaisa wanted me to question where Mnangagwa was born and his date of birth as well as his war credentials which are a matter of public record and have never been challenged by anyone else or contradicted even by Mnangagwa himself.
I wish it to be on record that I presented the facts and left the public to draw their own conclusions.
Magaisa does not leave readers to make their own conclusions but attempts to guide them with his opinions. In his article, he not only draws his own conclusions but sometimes unwittingly betrays the horses he prefers in the presidential race. That’s evident in his other articles.
That is something we journalists in Zimbabwe -- in the thick of things and with some dangers associated with our job -- have been careful not to do.
In criticising me from the safety of his United Kingdom offices, Magaisa has failed to place before readers facts which contradict information contained in my article. His only real complaint appears to be my article’s portrayal of Mnangagwa in a light that he does not appreciate.
Lastly I would like to go back to my statement to the effect that, like Magaisa, I also hold opinions of my own which I was careful not to let slip into my article on Mnangagwa.
For this very once, I want to take this opportunity to state them now and I do so knowing that there are some who would not align themselves with my thinking, but all the same I will state it.
My wish is for statesmen in the MDC in the likes of Welshman Ncube joining hands with like-minded people in the ruling party to save a great nation called Zimbabwe.
I lost hope in Zanu PF a long time ago and I did the same thing with the MDC recently. As others would say, the MDC as we knew it is dead. In short, I believe in a third way.
Hoping that God is on my side and believing that history will agree with me, I think only that arrangement, nothing less, nothing more, nothing in between would ensure that my dearest and only daughter, one-year-old Nozipho will live, learn , work , wed, die and be buried in a country of her birth.
Allowing despots in Zanu PF and some opportunists in the MDC who are after money and personal enrichment to prolong the Zimbabwean crisis would be tantamount to dancing on the graves of Kaguvi and Mzilikazi.
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