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New Era Newspaper Friday February 23, 2018

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36 AFRICA/WORLD Friday, February 23 2018| NEW ERA Gutu quits ‘violent’ MDC-T MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu has quit the party which has been rocked by violence and heated leadership disputes following the death of its president Morgan Tsvangirai. Gutu’s decision comes after the party’s deputy president Thokozani Khupe, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe were beaten up during the burial of Tsvangirai in Buhera on Tuesday by acting president Nelson Chamisa’s backers. Dr Khupe, Chamisa and fellow party deputy president Engineer Elias Mudzuri were involved in bitter leadership tussles in days before Tsvangirai died. Soon after the death of Tsvangirai, Chamisa convened a national council meeting where he was appointed acting president although his rivals snubbed the meeting. Writing on his Twitter handle yesterday, Gutu said he was quitting due to violence in the party. “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I’m not going to continue associating myself with an organisation that advocates for violence and thuggery. I’m a principled politician and professional. I’m NOT quitting politics. I’m going to contest in Harare East constituency in the 2018 elections,” he said. He added: “Violence and thuggery as a tool for political mobilisation is simply not acceptable in my scheme of things. We are supposed to be a political party and not a rag tag armed militia.” In a statement, the party’s presidential spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “Acting president Chamisa said violence was never the character of the MDC and any party cadre who engages in violence will face the full wrath of the party and the law. He said notwithstanding the circumstances, there was no need for violence against the party leaders. “Acting president has ordered the security and intelligence department of the party to investigate the violence and harassment of the senior members of the party and submit a report to him in the next 24 hours,” Tamborinyoka said. – The Herald Obert Gutu US school shootings: Florida survivors take NRA and politicians to task Faced with a furious crowd of Florida students demanding a renewed ban on assault weapons, Republican senator Marco Rubio offered one concession after another. He said he supported legislation to to 21 from 18. He said he supported a law to create gun violence restraining orders, which would give family members and law enforcement a way to petition a court to take away a dangerous person’s guns. He said he opposed Donald Trump’s proposal to prevent school shootings by arming teachers or putting more armed security in classrooms. Finally, Rubio said he was “reconsidering” supporting a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, what experts call the most substantive part of the assault weapon ban. Rubio said that yetto-be-announced details from the investigation on the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school would show that limits on ammunition magazines might have saved several lives in the shooting. None of this was enough for the passionate crowd of more than 7,000 people at CNN’s town hall discussion in Florida on Wednesday night. They VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seeks to Forested Lands (NAFOLA) project. Type of Contract: Duration: Duty Station: Service Contract 18 months Windhoek Further information and Terms of Reference can be obtained from: Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry Deeply moved… Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photo: Nampa/AFP applauded, cheered and gave standing ovations in support of a full ban on ammunition used in the Parkland Email: Tel: +264 61 2087666 The deadline for application is Monday, 26 February 2018 at 17h00 shooting. A loophole-ridden federal assault weapon ban had passed in 1994, in the wake of a school shooting in California, and expired a decade later, in 2004. Rubio, the only national Republican politician who agreed to answer questions from the Florida shooting survivors, seemed to watch the political ground of the gun debate shift under his feet. At one point, he argued that it did not make sense to ban only a subset of semiautomatic rifles based on certain cosmetic military features. “You would literally have to ban in America ...” he began, before being cut off by huge whoops and cheers from the crowd. “Fair enough, fair enough,” Rubio said. “That is a valid position to hold.” Cameron Kasky, one of the Stoneman Douglas organizers of the planned student march on Washington, asked Rubio the most pointed question. “Can you tell me right now you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?” Rubio, who was backed his last race to the tune of more than m, refused to make that promise, arguing that his belief in the second amendment was shaped by long principle, and that “people buy into my agenda, I don’t buy into theirs”. In their questions to Rubio and other lawmakers, the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas were disciplined and unrelenting, and the crowd around them was deeply involved. It was the rare televised political event where it seemed that the ordinary citizen questioners were the ones in charge. Teenagers who have become nationally recognized political activists in the past week stood toe-to-toe with politicians and an NRA spokeswoman who had honed their talking points over years. The NRA’s Dana Loesch tried to praise Emma González, the Stoneman Douglas student whose passionate speech decrying the gone viral, saying that no one should attack her for her activism. Gonzalez told Loesch that even if she was not willing to take action to protect her own children, the Stoneman Douglas students were. The crowd repeatedly booed and hissed Loesch, who focused on states’ failures and tried to blame law enforcement errors for the Parkland shooting, a striking choice for a organization that includes large – The Observer

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New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167