Mugwadi Tafadzwa

Tafadzwa Tuboy Mugwadi is a Zimbabwean politician who is the Zanu PF Director of Information and Publicity and a former Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) leader. He is also a Political Scientist and a Conflict Mediation Consultant.

Background

Mugwadi left the late Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC-T during his time as a students leader and joined Zanu PF, accusing the opposition party of being ideologically bankrupt. Mugwadi, who as Zinasu leader drummed up support for the MDC-T among the student community, disclosed that he was joining Zanu-PF as the party had shown that it had the interests of Zimbabweans at heart. He was also the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Youth Action Group.[1]

Age

Tafadzwa Mugwadi was born on December 12

Education

He holds a Master of Science Degree in International Relations and a BSc Honours Degree in Political Science from the University of Zimbabwe.

Career

In 2012, as an outgoing Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president Tafadzwa Tuboy Mugwadi said lack of funding for tertiary institutions was retrogressive and embarrassing. “It is disheartening for the Government to tell students that it has no money. We have the President, Ministers and Members of Parliament who preside over Cabinet business that fails to take care of its students. “These people are driving expensive vehicles and spend a lot of Government resources yet they fail to fund higher education. We boast of education successes as a country but are failing to support it. This is very notorious and as students we demand our own share of support,” said Mr Mugwadi.[2]

He also worked for Zimpapers on the unit called the Knowledge Centre after being moved from handling their social media unit.[3] Following the demotion of journalists aligned to Deputy Chief Secretary to the President George Charamba, a Zanu PF apologist, Tafadzwa Tuboy Mugwadi has attacked Acting Editor Tichaona Zindoga over his decision to reshuffle reporters, lebelling him a school deserter.

Posting on Facebook, Mugwadi had no kind words for those who called him a Charamba loyalist saying their decision to move him from Social Media Manager to a new desk called The Knowledge Centre was their pure jealousy.[4]

Dismissal Reports

On 9 February 2022, there were reports that Zanu-PF had relieved Tafadzwa Mugwadi of his duties as director of information and publicity.

The news came after Mugwadi had appeared with Chris Mutsvangwa at a press conference at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare. However, Mutsvangwa denied the reports telling The Herald,

"...he is still my DIRECTOR…He is a hardworking cadre and committed youthful patriot. He has my full trust and enjoys the complete confidence of the Party leadership. Please ignore the false flag operation of detractors about him being fired."

[5]

Speaking on Twitter, Mugwadi also denied that he had been fired. He said:

"Those behind this tweet and its fake news peddling posturing as a Party account are known.

Bt guess what lies have short legs

Meanwhile basa sebasa. There is nothing that will stand on the way of the circumcised, the baptised and doers of work. Beware of of the g40!!!"

Comments on youth leaders

At the age of 34 (in 2020), the Zanu-PF director of Information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi said this showed the party was blending youth and experience to guarantee its future.

“Certainly, we have a leadership that believes in young people and walks the talk in operationalising and implementing generational blending and mixture. The President is aware that the future of the country is in the young people. Not in myself per se, but young people in general. The process of internalising them to understand both the beauty and tragedy of leadership is now,” said Mugwadi.

Mugwadi said for him it was an honour as he believes he could be among the youngest persons to be appointed to the senior party position since its inception in 1963.

Controversial statement during an Al Jazeera Interview

ZANU-PF Spokesman Tafadzwa Mugwadi has dragged Zimbabwe’s international reputation further through the mud this week after he resorted to profanity and insults during a live interview with Al-Jazeera on 18 August 2020. The news broadcaster had invited Tafadzwa Mugwadi on air to discuss the coronavirus crisis. Instead of participating in the conversation, ZANU-PF’s director of publicity – yes, really – has now probably caused himself a lot of work to take care of the following morning.[6]

Things boiled over after a clip of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was played to the panel. The leader’s claims were openly challenged, sending the ZANU-PF representative into a strop. He then dropped the f-bomb live on air, after laughing his way through a pretty serious line of questioning.

Further flexing his taste for authoritarian impunity, Mugwadi went on to defend his reprehensible conduct through his Twitter account. The politician says he was ‘proud to corner’ the other guests on the show, before dubiously claiming there was ‘no crisis’ to report in Zimbabwe. A statement that fails to stand up to scrutiny:

“These were the kicks of a cornered rat: Two MDC Activists and a pliable presenter were wrapped today. For the record, I don’t tell you what you want to hear, I tell reality as it exists.”

“I am proud I have cornered two activists, the one disguised as a human rights activist and the other armchair upstart. There is no crisis in Zimbabwe. There is a crisis in the MDCs, from MDCA to MDC-Z… Sit down Nyembi”.

Apology to Al Jazeera and Femi Oke

Tafadzwa Mugwadi issued an "unreserved apology" for using uncouth language during the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter episode on @AJStream.[7] Here is the full text of the apology:

Apology Letter

Comments on the Zimbabwean Crisis

On 26 August 2020, Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the only noticeable crisis in the country was the one in opposition political parties that were haggling over leadership and were suffering from serious policy bankruptcy. Speaking on a live SABC programme, African Perspective, Mugwadi said the challenges being faced in the country did not amount to a crisis.

He said besides being hamstrung by economic sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) for over a decade, Zimbabwe had managed to institute measures to mitigate the devastating effects of Covid-19. Mugwadi said opposition parties were resorting to blackmail by manufacturing spurious allegations of human rights abuses.

“There is no crisis in Zimbabwe. What we have seen as a crisis is that which is happening in opposition groups, some of which have become leaderless. We do have a crisis as a nation, we have challenges with Covid-19 just like any society across the world and we are on course to addressing that,” said Mugwadi.

Responding to allegations of abductions raised by MDC Alliance secretary for international affairs, Gladys Hlatshwayo, Mugwadi said any such cases must be reported to the police. He gave the example of a Hurungwe MDC-A councillor, Lavender Chiwaya, whom the opposition claimed was killed by State agents saying the allegations have since been proven false. Mugwadi said police had issued a statement ruling out foul play in the death of Chiwaya.[8]

Picture Gallery

Videos

Kidnapping & Assault

On 5 August 2008, Tafadzwa Mugwadi was reportedly kidnapped and assaulted by suspected state security agents in the central business district of Harare. At the time, Mugwadi was a University of Zimbabwe student and ZINASU general councillor.

According to a report, Mugwadi was at the Market Square bus terminus on his way home in Glenview when seven unidentified men bundled him into their vehicle before being taken to an area near Kopje. The gang took turns to assault him using various objects including sjamboks, sticks and clenched fists, accusing him of training polling agents for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The assailants also informed Mugwadi that they were looking for the ZINASU President Clever Bere, Secretary-General Lovemore Chinoputsa and former ZINASU President Promise Mkwananzi.[9]

References

  1. [1], Bulawayo 24 News, Published: 21 April, 2013, Accessed: 19 August, 2020
  2. [2], Chronicle, Published: 9 January, 2012, Accessed: 19 August, 2020
  3. Prince Machaya, [3], ZimLive, Published: 10 May, 2019, Accessed: 19 Auust, 2020
  4. [4], ZimEye, Published: 10 May, 2019, Accessed: 19 August, 2020
  5. Mugwadi still Zanu PF information director, The Herald, Published: February 9, 2022, Retrieved: February 9, 2022
  6. Tom Head, [5], The South African, Published: 19 August, 2020, Accessed: 19 August, 2020
  7. Femi Oke, [6], Femi Oke, Published: 20 August, 2020, Accessed: 20 August, 2020
  8. [7], The Herald, Published: 27 August, 2020, Accessed: 27 August, 2020
  9. Blessing Vava, UZ student leader assaulted, The Zimbabwean, Published: August 6, 2008, Retrieved: February 9, 2022