Home » Governance » Anti-Renewal Comments Spark Trouble for NGO Employee

A JUNIOR employee with the Center for Community Development in Zimbabwe Trust (CCDZ), is in trouble with his employers after he allegedly penned an opinion piece ridiculing the current leadership renewal attempts by MDC-T officials led by Elton Mangoma.

George Makoni, a programmes officer with CCDZ, has since been slapped with a two month suspension after he allegedly wrote an article describing current spokesperson of the “Renewal Team”, Jacob Mafume as a womaniser.

The article entitled “Renewal team, the case of Jacob Mafume”, was allegedly authored with an “anonymous” by-line but was traced to Makoni’s work computer after circulating on social media. In the article, Makoni allegedly labelled Mafume a political failure who was no different from the biblical Jacob who betrayed his brother Esau of his first born status.

“Mafume has never been serious about the democratisation agenda. He is a known womaniser who terrorises women in the civil society… ” reads part of the article. Makoni was served with a suspension letter dated April 11, 2014.

The suspension letter, it is said, was sent also copied to the organisation’s partners, the donor community and the media. Makoni however denied anything to do with the controversial piece, and referred all questions to Dominic Chingarande, CCDZ acting director.

“Sure I am on suspension on allegations of involvement in partisan politics following the publication of an article from an anonymous source,” Makoni said. “This is in the public domain. But these are organisational issues that I have no capacity to comment on. You can contact the director if you have further questions.”

Chingarande was not picking his phone when NewZimbabwe.com tried to contact him. It was however not so clear on whether Makoni was suspended for his alleged involvement in partisan politics or it is his comments which just did not tally with his employer’s preferences.

Harare based political commentator Pride Mkono tried to proffer explanation to that. “From the recent developments, it is clear who controls the civil society,” he said. “It is possible that all those in the civil society who do not dance to the leadership renewal agenda will face the axe or at least be frustrated.”

The MDC-T infighting has also sucked in the rich donor world fronted by Western ambassadors who are said to be silent instigators of the quarrel. Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has also accused some of his party’s financiers of using their financial muscle to fan discord in the opposition movement. Mafume, on his part, commands great influence among donors.

Source : New Zimbabwe