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Vigil Response to ‘Sword of Truth’ Ambassador Makuvise – 29th July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 July 2010 20:18

The Vigil made the front page of the Zimbabwe Herald this week (see below).  We are mentioned in the Herald’s interview with Hebson Makuvise, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Germany.  He reportedly says of activists in the UK "Every Saturday they gather at the Zimbabwean Embassy in the UK playing drums denouncing President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the inclusive Government. They are then given some money by tourists who visit the embassy in the name of the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.”  He said he has tried without success to dissuade the activists from carrying out such activities.  

The Vigil’s take on this is rather different. Makuvise, Tsvangirai’s uncle and representative in the UK, tried to control the Vigil as he did the MDC in the UK. Check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/ZimVigil-Diary-Entries/vigil-diary-archive-jan-feb-2008.html (17th January 2008). We can’t forget how he thundered down to the Vigil with his goons and, oblivious to the irony, waved his fist at the Vigil Co-ordinator saying ‘How dare you accuse me of being a bully-boy!’  

Makuvise has come back from the dead through articles on the websites Zimdiaspora and Zimeye. (Check:
1.  http://www.zimeye.org/?p=19616Stanford Biti blasts Morgan Tsvangirai for “leaked document”
2. http://www.zimeye.org/?p=19982Rein in brother, Biti told
3.  http://zimdiaspora-bitiandmakuvise1.notlong.comFinance Minister Biti must discipline brother Stanford Biti: Makuvise.
4.  
http://zimdiaspora-bitiandmakuvise2.notlong.com, Stanford Biti hits back, likens Makuvise to maggot behaviour.
5.  http://www.zimeye.org/?p=20019Makuvise opens lawsuit against website.) 

Judging by comments on these articles Mr Makuvise does not have many fans. 

The articles follow an MDC decision to launch an enquiry into allegations of corruption in the MDC UK. The investigations were carried out by a team from Zimbabwe led by Sam Sipepa Nkomo. Zimdiaspora published in seven parts what they said was the report leaked from Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s office. The alleged report detailed financial irregularities in the MDC UK and strongly criticized Makuvise. For his part, Makuvise is particularly angry with Tendai Biti’s brother Stanford, Chair of MDC Southend, who the Herald says is campaigning for the recall of Mr Makuvise from Germany and accusing him of embezzling party funds donated by well-wishers. 

The latest development is that Ambassador Makuvise says he is instituting legal proceedings against Zimdiaspora. No doubt he will be seeking donor funding to finance his legal costs! The Vigil offers its support to Zimdiaspora and recalls the case of former British cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, who, under the banner of wielding the ‘sword of truth’, told a string of lies in a libel case in London and was sent to jail for perjury. Mr Makuvise must realise that he will have no diplomatic immunity in the UK. and that donors may, in their ignorant way, decide to feed the starving, help the ill, educate children and protect the innocent rather than sponsor Makuvise.  

PS why has this MDC report still not been published?  

We cannot attest to the veracity of the report published by Zimdiaspora. But you can find it by looking at the following:
1. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate1.notlong.com, Zimdiaspora serialises Sipepa-Nkomo report on Chawora-gate.
2. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate2.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 2: looting of MDC funds, breaches exposed.
3. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate3.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 3 they failed to provide expenditure evidence.
4.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate4.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 4: £75 836.00 is missing from card sales only.
5.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate5.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 5: No asylum support letter without sex first.
6.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate6.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 6: They formed bogus company to milk funds.
7.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate7.notlong.comChawora-gate part 7: They produced, sold their own party cards.

 

 

The Zimbabwe Herald – Monday, 26th July 2010

Rein in brother, Biti told

By Takunda Maodza

ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to Germany, Mr Hebson Makuvise, has challenged MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti to counsel his young brother Stanford against bringing MDC-T and the country into disrepute by disseminating falsehoods in the
United Kingdom and on the Internet.

The ambassador’s remarks come at a time when Mr Stanford Biti, the MDC-T UK and
Ireland branch activist, is campaigning for the recall of Mr Makuvise from Germany accusing him of embezzling party funds donated by well-wishers.


Before being posted to Germany, Mr Makuvise was a senior member of the party’s UK and Ireland branch. He left the branch last year on his appointment.  MDC-T spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa has dismissed the reports.

In an interview from
Germany
, Ambassador Makuvise said it was high time Mr Biti disciplined his young brother.

"He (Stanford) is Biti’s young brother and I fail to understand why Biti is not telling him not to do that. In April when Prime Minister Tsvangirai visited
London
he organised demonstrations during which they booed him (PM) after he had told them to go back home following the formation of the inclusive Government," he said.

Ambassador Makuvise said relations between him and the branch got strained when he travelled to
Zimbabwe
to witness the swearing-in of Mr Tsvangirai as Prime Minister in February last year.

"When I left the
UK last year, they complained why I had travelled to Zimbabwe
saying this was going to put their asylum status in danger," Mr Makuvise said.

He gave a brief account of how some political activists like Stanford survive in the
UK
.

"Every Saturday they gather at the Zimbabwean Embassy in the
UK playing drums denouncing President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the inclusive Government. They are then given some money by tourists who visit the embassy in the name of the suffering masses of Zimbabwe," Ambassador Makuvise said.
 He said he has tried without success to dissuade the acti-vists from carrying out such activities.

"There are a lot of things happening in the Diaspora especially in the
UK
. Varikunyara kudzoka kumusha as they have nothing to show for their absence. They do not appreciate the peace that is prevailing at home now."

Mr Makuvise denied abusing any party funds.

He referred further questions to Mr Sipepa Nkomo, who travelled to
London
last year where he unsuccessfully tried to resolve the disputes that have rocked the branch.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Nkomo, who is currently in
London
on Government business, were fruitless.

Ambassador Makuvise also claimed that Mr Stanford Biti was dismissed from the party two years ago.
 A provisional financial report purported to be emanating from the MDC-UK branch was released last week. The report alleges that some senior party officials abused party funds. Among those named in the report is Ambassador Makuvise.

Internet news reports quoted Mr Stanford Biti urging the party to recall Ambassador Makuvise over the allegations.

He also castigated the MDC-T leadership for not taking action against corrupt officials.

"Makuvise should not be the ambassador. And somehow they should call him back to
Zimbabwe
. He is a disgrace to the world," Mr Biti was quoted as saying.

He took a swipe at the PM’s Office for allegedly failing to "meet the people’s expectations".

"Our leaders should rise to our expectations. If they can’t it means we are not going anywhere with them," Mr Biti said.

Reports said the Southend-On-Sea’s branch had planned a demonstration against South African President Jacob

Zuma for not being "tough" with
Harare
.

The protest was, however, changed to focus on Ambassador Makuvise.

According to the MDC-T UK financial report, which has not been submitted for adoption, the province inherited a balance of £3 207,57 with branches and districts contributing £73 892,61 and incurring £75 188,17 in expenses.

The current bank balance is £1 912,01.

Provincial secretary Sakhile Mtombeni, however, expressed concern that the accounts were not presented to the executive committee for adoption.

"A transfer of £6 650 by Mary Kasiriwori into T. Goneso’s personal account for onward transmission could not be explained whether it had reached the intended beneficiaries.

"There was no proof from T. Goneso to show the transfers from his personal account and confirmation by intended beneficiaries," the report said.

The report also noted that some senior members of the MDC-T UK branch once travelled to
Harare
at a cost of £2 893 when they were fully aware that the conference they intended to attend had been cancelled.

The
UK and Ireland
branch’s website is hosted by a company belonging to a former provincial executive at exorbitant rates.

"It was revealed that the company has been charging exorbitant fees, far above the market rates, with £2 319 paid in 18 months," the report said.

The report also repeated claims that several senior officials in
Harare received funds from the UK and Ireland
branch under unclear circumstances.

It says one senior official (name given) received £16 080,40, another £24 215,87 and yet another who is a minister £13 413 in cash and fuel.

Another official who is a former minister was reportedly allocated £753 for a rally he wanted to hold in Gweru while another official received mobile phones worth £7 500.

Funds generated by the branch during fund-raising activities abroad have also gone missing.

The MDC-T UK and
Ireland branch claimed to have also bought 260 mobile phones that were supposed to be used during the harmonised elections but did not reach the intended beneficiaries in Harare
.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Tendai Biti over Ambassador Makuvise’s sentiments were unsuccessful but Mr Chamisa said the report was "fictitious".

"That is a fictitious report. No individual in the party ever received those funds. That report is fact free," he said.

Mr Chamisa, however, admitted that the
UK and Ireland
branch was facing many problems and the party has since sent Mr Sipepa Nkomo to investigate and address issues affecting the branch.

He said Mr Nkomo had not yet submitted his report.

 

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