Alex T Magaisa 🇿🇼 Profile picture
I teach law at Kent Law School, former advisor to a Prime Minister of Zimbabwe & helped write the Zim constitution. I write the @BigSaturdayRead.
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Apr 28, 2022 6 tweets 1 min read
Havasi vose vanoti CCC vane chido nayo. Naizvozvo havasi vose vanoti CCC vamuchange munavo pakuyambuka. Vamwe vanoti zvino tinoziva sei? Aiwa, muchaona nemabasa. China manenji hachifambisi, chinomirira kuti mavara acho aonekwe. Mukaziva izvozvo moyo yenyu haizodzimbikani. It’s not everyone who says CCC who is for it. Therefore, not everyone who says CCC shall be with you at the crossing. Some ask, how shall we know? Worry not for you shall see by their works. A mystery takes time to show its colours. Know this and your hearts shall not be broken
Apr 28, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
1. I’ve read the distress call from journalist @daddyhope arising from the Zimbabwean regime’s attempt to grab his private investment at his rural home. As usual, the regime uses surrogates to create false narratives to justify the confiscation & plunder of private property. 2. For experienced Zimbabwe watchers, looting and plundering is a regime favourite. Edwin Moyo’s flourishing Kondozi Estate was run aground by regime looters. Business people live in fear of losing their investments which is worse if they reveal their political preferences.
Apr 24, 2022 15 tweets 3 min read
1. When they say you’re putting the cart before the horse they mean you’re doing things in the wrong order. You want to buy a wedding gown before your partner has proposed! Everything must follow a process. This is why debate over the CCC “Congress” is misplaced & misdirected. 2. I’ve been searching for when the “Congress” became an issue of public debate. I took a break over Easter & I missed its genesis then. Back to the idiom: an event of the nature described as a “Congress” is the culmination of other foundational processes.
Apr 22, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. In an environment where traditional media space has long been restricted, social media can be useful to opposition leaders. But just as it is an opportunity, it is also a risk, the latter of which increases in the absence of proper training and message discipline. 2. I’m surprised that some opposition figures see their twitter handles as “personal”. The fact of the matter is that to the public eye whatever they tweet is associated with their party. They have to think hard & carefully how their output will reflect on the party.
Apr 12, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
1. @TrevorNcube I’ve read your piece & there are loose ends that need clarity. You say you supported Mssrs Makoni & Moyo in their political projects. It’s common cause that 1. both failed & 2. you abandoned them. Could you elaborate on why they failed despite the merits you saw? 2. Secondly, you pledge a holy petition that Chamisa “attracts men & women who are far better that him to add content, vision and strategy to his ambitions”, an indirect claim that he has none. Is that how lowly you regard accomplished peers like Welshman Ncube & Tendai Biti?
Apr 8, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
1. Yesterday I spent time listening to young people discussing their attitude to voting and electoral processes. I hope @OpenParlyZw recorded it because political leaders need to listen to it. When I was invited I said no, I don’t want to speak for the youth. I want to hear them. 2. And boy, did they speak sense! I learnt a lot from them which I shall share one day in a BSR but there is one thing that cannot wait. It is that the political messaging about elections and the electoral system must change and change big.
Apr 6, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Zaka District is well represented on these streets so let’s hear from you. I present highlights from the 2018 elections. Please note the usual qualifications concerning the accuracy of election results.

First, both ED and ZANU PF won all 4 Zaka constituencies. 2. Second, Zaka East had the largest gap for ED at 5396 while Zaka West had the biggest majority for ZANU PF in the parliamentary race at 5241. However, Zaka West is where ED had the least majority at 3966 and NC had more voters there than his parliamentary candidate.
Mar 30, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. It’s important to understand that there is a big difference between bits of information that excite people and go viral on social media and evidence that makes it through the rigorous legal process in a court of law. 2. Information that looks great in the court of public opinion might not stand scrutiny in a court of law. Hence it’s important to handle evidence carefully. E.g. the author of a video clip must be prepared to testify. They must be ready for cross examination, which can be brutal
Mar 29, 2022 12 tweets 5 min read
1. In the interests of enhancing evidence-based debate, this thread presents data from the 2008 & 2018 elections showing political party performance by province. Cautionary note: the usual qualifications that apply to Zimbabwean election results apply. 2. Manicaland

2008 MDC-T took 20 seats while ZANU PF took 6 seats

2018 ZANU PF took 19 seats while MDC Alliance took 7 seats

A massive reversal for the opposition
Mar 28, 2022 12 tweets 3 min read
Elections & the discovery of ignorance

1. Once again we have gone through by-elections and the outcome has a familiar pattern: the ruling party dominated rural areas while the opposition dominated urban areas. Both sides are wondering what they can do to change this pattern. 2. I want to revive a proposition that I made 5 years ago, following another by-election. In a BSR that was directed at the opposition, I said it was important to discover ignorance where rural constituencies were concerned. I must explain this notion of discovering ignorance.
Mar 28, 2022 10 tweets 2 min read
1. Now that the by-elections are done and the fate of Mwonzora’s MDC-T has been sealed, we must revisit the case of MPs who are still in parliament but swear allegiance to CCC. Mwonzora has not recalled these MPs & there has long been a debate over what they should do. 2. In the past, I argued that the MPs should stay put until Mwonzora removed them. I advised against mass resignations because I did not think it was politically wise to put the cost on Chamisa. Because humans are self-interested, there was a high risk some MPs would defy him.
Mar 27, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
Political party funding: what happens now?
1. Several people have asked this question so here’s a short thread. Zimbabwe has a law that provides for the funding of political parties. This is consistent with section 67(4) of the Constitution which says there must be such a law. 2. That law is called the Political Parties (Finance) Act. For a party to qualify for funding, it must have won at least 5% of the total votes cast in a general election. Only 2 parties qualified in 2018: ZANU PF & MDC Alliance. The money was given to these parties.
Mar 25, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
1. I first met Kucaca Phulu in the late 90s when he joined the Law Faculty at UZ as a freshman. We were already experienced hands. He was quiet and respectful in his conduct, qualities that gave him authority. I wasn’t surprised when he became MP for Nkulumane in 2018 @Kucaca1 Image 2. We were to meet again in 2011 when I returned home to work on the constitution. This time it was my turn to be guided through the treacherous political terrain and Phulu was there to give me a hand. I remember our conversations after dinner over a few cold ones at the Towers.
Mar 15, 2022 12 tweets 2 min read
1. Some cautionary words for CCC comrades: there are 2 fronts in any electoral contest: the public front which manifests in rallies, town hall meetings and door to door engagements. And the private front which is of a technical and cerebral character. 2. Both fronts matter. The public front is a demonstration of mass appeal. It is passionate. It excites & mobilises. Success invites more believers. The private front requires attention to detail. It is cold, calculating & dispassionate. There is no room for sentiment, facts only
Mar 12, 2022 22 tweets 6 min read
Systemic Bias

1. In Zimbabwe, there’s one set of rules for the ruling party and another for the opposition. This thread illustrates this through the biased handling of political rallies. The law requires a notification of a rally to be given to the police. 2. The idea is that police can ensure security at the occasion. While the requirement is for notification, the police sees itself as a licensing authority; that it can allow/refuse permission. Arguably police are overreaching but that’s a debate for another time.
Mar 2, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. There’s a line I see among colleagues that says “Don’t be emotional” as if having emotions are a bad thing. They do so because they want to claim superiority as “rational” ones. This is dangerous. It’s psychopaths that lack emotion. And psychopaths aren’t nice people. 2. Normal people have a sense of right & wrong. Psychopaths can hurt others to get to the top & still think they’re great. They don’t care how others feel. No empathy at all. I would rather have a group that’s in touch with their emotions than cold, calculating & heartless ones.
Mar 1, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
1. One of the key referees, Prosecutor-General Hodzi has resigned due to ill-health. The PG’s office was supposed to chart a new course after the 2013 Constitution. But its record in politically-related matters remains abysmal & it’s institutionally biased toward the ruling party 2. The turnover rate at the PG’s office is too high with 3 PGs since 2013. Tomana was fired by Mugabe in 2017. ED brought him back as Ambassador to the DRC. His successor resigned while he was under investigation. And now Hodzi has gone citing ill-health. It’s a hot seat!
Feb 28, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
1. The murder of Mboneni Ncube is a despicable act of ZANU PF-sponsored political violence. All 16 accused are recorded as unemployed and some of them are described as ZANU PF cardholders. The political totem of these murderous thugs is clear. ImageImageImageImage 2. The police memo shows the ZANU PF thugs infiltrated the CCC rally & instigated the violence leading in the death of Mboneni and injuries to several CCC members. Some gaslighters will, as usual, find reason to cover for these thugs & their principals while blaming the victims. Image
Feb 25, 2022 14 tweets 3 min read
1. Some say what about a piece on the war in Ukraine? I’m not sufficiently equipped in that area. But like everyone else who cares about humankind and the world I’m following events with keen interest. I have sketched out a very simplified take on events 2. Once upon a time there were two rivals gangs one led by Blue and another by Red. They threatened each other for decades but never had a direct fight. Each had a weapon that could destroy not only the other but themselves as well. So it was a cold war.
Feb 17, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Gaslighting is when someone makes you doubt your sanity. If you’re not careful gaslighters will make you feel guilty for questioning your abusers. They will use false equivalence saying “you’re just like ZANU PF” just for legitimately doubting & questioning your abusers. 2. By so doing, they turn you from victim to perpetrator. Because if you’re “just like ZANU PF” how can you be a victim? Your reality as a victim is turned upside down. You and your abuser are placed at par. All this because gaslighters want you to embrace your abuser.
Feb 15, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
1. The bond of trust between political elites in the cockpit and the passengers is very important. It is fragile and must be handled with care. People don’t want to be taken for granted or to have their emotions on a merry-go-round. Explain your movements. 2. True, sometimes those in cockpit must make tough decisions as they steer the plane. But communication with the passengers remains important, lest there’s uncertainty, confusion and panic. Lack of communication or half messages lead to speculation which is equally unhelpful.