I could not post that last night as promised, mostly because I was verifying the story and I only managed to speak to the Prime Minister’s office this morning.
The thing is, yesterday, information coming to us directly from Chaminuka Building, the CIO Head Office, was that the Secret Police were stopping MDC-T MPs who accepted those Reserve Bank cars and were confiscating them on the orders of the Prime Ministers.
"This is a direct order from the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe," we were told.
Which meant that the Prime Minister was using the CIO against his own MPs.
Now, Tsvangirai may be many things but he is not stupid.
I found it difficult to believe that he would do something so damaging to his personal image, especially considering that during the negotiations, he said the CIO had to be disbanded (which it hasn’t been).
Sure enough, this morning, the PM’s office denied this was the case, although they still will not reveal which MPs, if any have returned the cars and fail to account for the fact that the committee in parliament on which six of their MPs sit has issued a statement saying they will not be returning those cars.
As regular readers of this blog will know, the CIO has now lost favour with Mugabe. The dictator is now using Military Intelligence and Law and Order policemen for the work that CIO used to do.
As you will also recall, the Director General of the CIO was fired last year by Mugabe, who accused him of being sympathetic to Makonis bid for the presidency. He was only reinstated after the direct intercession of General Chiwengwa, but Mugabe has now basically cut that organisation off.
They are in the dog house.
What is happening, therefore, is that the operatives within CIO are now seeking to ingratiate themselves with Tsvangirai and this may well have been part of that.
There is also the view that this might have been an attempt to discredit this blog by feeding us false information, which would throw into question the reliability of our information and analysis here.I have never relied on a single source except in very exceptional circumstances, so I went ahead and spoke to the PMs office as well as to two other people within the CIO itself.
The net result is that it is clear the info was wrong.However, what is still fact is that the MDC-Tsvangirai are lying that their MPs have returned those cars.
They have not.And that story has now died down. No one seems to be pursuing it on behalf of the public, who have a right to know the truth.
I believe this is wrong. The taking of the cars was wrong. The lie is wrong and public officials should be held to account when they lie like this, which is why I followed up that story and will continue to do so until we know for certain that those cars have been returned.
I expect they will never be returned. Greed now rules the roost within the MDC parliamentary caucus.The Prime Minister’s office told me this morning that we should not listen to Hlongwane, the ZANU PF head of the Committee in parliament that is leading the rebellion against the return of the cars.
Yet they within the MDC-T are not being transparent about this at all.We need to know how many MDC-T parliamentarians took those cars. How many have returned them? To whom have they been returned seeing as Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister to whom Gideon Gono said the cars should be returned, has said he does not want them surrendered to him and the speaker of parliament has said he also does not want them.
To whom have they been returned?
They have not been returned. And we will not allow the opposition to pull wool over our eyes on this one.They owe it to the people murdered in those cars to be as transparent about this as possible, to have a sense of shame and moral outrage about it and return those cars.
They are blood cars.