Zimbabwe: Minister of Commerce and Industry Uses Twitter to Air Frustrations

On October 22, 2010 Zimbabwean blogger Hope noticed a series of fast twitter updates coming from Professor Welshman Ncube, the Zimbabwe Minister of Commerce and Industry and the MDC Secretary General.

In a blog post appearing in Sokwanele: This is Zimbabwe titled, “Professor Welshman Ncube uses Twitter to air his frustrations,” Hope wrote:

The snippets I saw were intriguing enough to prompt me to visit his twitter feed page to read more. I saw then that he’d been posting for two hours, all his tweets amounting to an online statement.

He posted some of updates appearing on Prof. Ncube's feed:

For those of you who don’t use twitter, I’m copying them here below, in the snippet format as they appeared on his feed, in chronological order:

We as a party (MDC) have, acted faithfully to our values in every respect. As the MDC we have not been wrangling over positions

To us it is not about positions but rather about what we can do to improve the lives of ordinary people

We r frustrated that our partners have slowed the full GPA implementation over issues including the appointment of Gono, Tomana and Bennett

Those are not appointments that we believe should stop us implementing all the other things we have agreed on

We have argued the point that these issues should not stop us from fully implementing at least all the other matters on the GPA

Unfortunately both MDC-T and ZANU PF have chosen to use these matters as bargaining tools to fight for their partisan interests

Regarding the split, we were greatly disappointed that the talks to reunify the MDC broke down. We had an agreement with the MDCT to reunify

it broke down when the day we were to make the announcement the MDC-T refused to accept the terms of negotiation and added further demands

So the reason we do not have a united MDC is because our partners refused. This is on record

Below are some of his recent tweets.
Cabinet meeting:

At Cabinet today!!! Never a dull day!

On constitutional ammendent:

I would not support an amendment to the constitution in order to keep some of us in our current positions as (cont) http://tl.gd/6llaq5

On violence:

Violence is our nemesis. Over e past 6 months, cooperation among the political parties has been undermined, especially by ZANU #randomquote

On thieves:

With thieves, they start with stealing a sweet and by the end are committing armed robbery.

On the need for consultation in coalition government

In the event that there is ambiguity, it is natural for parties in a coalition arrangement to consult each other before making decision

On Mugabe's actions against the spirit of coalition government:

The reappointment by President of the Governors in our view is contrary to the spirit of G.P.A and accordingly we do not recognize such

Hope is delighted at seeing a Zimbabwean politician on Twitter but…

I have to say though that my delight at seeing a Zimbabwean politician use twitter, doesn’t mask a deep deep concern; namely, if the GPA breaks up, where does that leave Zimbabwe?

No one can say we’re well on the road to peace, and nor can anyone argue that the critical instruments for free and fair elections and a stable democracy are in place yet.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.