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Six collapse due to hunger during Mugabe speech

Zim Online

Friday 03 August 2007

By Regerai Marwezu

MASVINGO - At least six women collapsed due to hunger as President Robert
Mugabe addressed thousands of his party's supporters on the outskirts of the
southern town of Masvingo on Thursday.

In a vivid illustration of the hunger stalking Zimbabwe, the six women
collapsed as Mugabe addressed party supporters after he had been installed
chancellor of the Great Zimbabwe University about 30km south of Masvingo
town.

Masvingo province is experiencing severe food shortages after poor harvests
last farming season.

Hordes of ruling ZANU PF party supporters who had gathered at the university
hours before Mugabe's address, complained bitterly to the university
authorities that they were hungry.

Officials from the university had to interrupt proceedings to urge those who
were hungry to go home as they had run out of food.

"We have run out of food and we urge those who are hungry to go home," said
the official.

But the villagers complained bitterly that they had not been fed as they had
been promised some free food at the ceremony.

"We were told that we were going to be given some food but surprisingly
nothing has been offered," said 75-year old Mawanza Zikomo of Chief Nemamwa.

Zimbabwe has battled severe food shortages over the past seven years after
Mugabe disrupted the key agriculture sector through his land reforms.

The land reforms that saw thousands of white farmers kicked off their
properties slashing food production by 60 percent resulting in most
Zimbabweans depending on food aid from international food relief agencies
for survival.

There have been some reports that some villagers were surviving on wild
fruits because of the food shortages in Masvingo province.

During his address, Mugabe did not make any reference to the food shortages
in Masvingo.

The Zimbabwe government last week said it was importing 400 000 tonnes of
maize from Tanzania to cover national needs following reports that at least
3.3 millions would need food aid this year.

Mugabe, who later capped 1 003 graduates at the ceremony, said the Great
Zimbabwe University should focus on culture and history of Zimbabwe.

"The curriculum of this institution should focus on culture and history. It
should reflect the Africanness of our people," said said Mugabe. - ZimOnline


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8 MDC Activists Arrested for Singing Anti-Mugabe Songs



SW Radio Africa (London)

2 August 2007
Posted to the web 2 August 2007

Reporter

Eight opposition activists were arrested in Mutare on Thursday for allegedly
singing political songs that denounced and denigrated Robert Mugabe. Pishai
Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson for the Tsvangirai MDC, said one of the
activists, Llyod Mahute the provincial youth secretary, was severely beaten
by a Chief Inspector Innocent Rigomeka of Chisamba Police Station. He is
being held at an unknown police station and the other seven activists are
being held at Mutare Central police station. We could not get a comment from
the police.

The detainees were part of a group of MDC members who had attended a remand
hearing at the Mutare magistrate's court. The hearing was about 65 people
arrested on 12 March during demonstrations demanding the release of
opposition and civic leaders who had been arrested the day before.

Muchauraya said: "After the court people were going home, to their
respective homes using trucks, and eight people who were in our treasurers
vehicle were arrested in Sakubva for allegedly singing songs that denounced
the ageing President of our country, that is Robert Mugabe."

Grassroots opposition supporters tend to sing songs mocking Mugabe to show
their frustrations. Muchauraya said: "You see sometimes these days there are
songs like 'Mugabe vachembera, Mugabe ingomwa haana Mwana (Mugabe is barren
he has no children), all such songs." Poking fun at Mugabe has become a
popular way of expressing the frustration of daily life under Mugabe's rule.

Muchauraya also repeated a story that is quite often told in Zimbabwe. He
said: "The fact of the matter is that man has no children of his own. He is
renting Peter Pamire's kids."

Peter Pamire was the black empowerment advocate who was killed in a freak
car accident in 1996.The website NewZimbabwe.com claimed in 2005 that a
'hit-man' alleged that Pamire "was killed by the Central Intelligence
Organisation over an affair with President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace."


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Government Crackdown On Businesses Continues Countrywide


SW Radio Africa (London)

2 August 2007
Posted to the web 2 August 2007

Tichaona Sibanda

MDC legislator Editor Matamisa claimed on Thursday the government crackdown
on businesses was possibly revenge for their perceived links with the
opposition.

The Kadoma central MP said the Zanu (PF) regime has in the last 7 years
accused business leaders of funding the MDC. Lately the government was
accusing the entire business community of colluding with the MDC to sabotage
the country's economy.

Amid this claim the regime has continued with its crackdown as more business
managers were arrested countrywide in the last two days, on charges of
overpricing, repackaging goods, operating without licences and failing to
display prices.

'These are all lies. What are these business people overpricing or
repackaging when there is nothing in the stores or supermarkets. There is no
production of any kind in the country today, so there are no goods from
manufacturers to retailers as purported by the government,' Matamisa said.

The legislator pointed out that no businesses or businessmen with links to
Zanu (PF) have been targeted so far.

'The plot behind this exercise is to target business leaders who sympathise
or whose companies are believed to be funding the MDC in most urban areas.
What is the rationale of sentencing the chief executive of OK to do some
community work. It's a message to all OK managers countrywide to stop
helping the MDC in your areas,' said Matamisa.

Among those arrested in the capital Wednesday were BAT sales and marketing
manager Innocent Mtize and Fairways Old People's Home owner Futter Marrison.

Police allege that Marrison was not only overcharging but was also quoting
rents in foreign currency. So far over 6500 business people have been
arrested countrywide for the alleged price control offences.


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Zimbabwe Election Monitor Calls For Extension Of Voter Registration

VOA

By Carole Gombakomba
Washington
02 August 2007

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network issued a report Thursday saying the
mobile voter registration exercise now in progress must to be extended and
more effectively publicized if all eligible voters are to have enough time
to register.

ZESN's preliminary report on the ongoing voter registration exercise
documented the challenges many citizens face as they try to register or
obtain identity cards and other documents. The organization, which mobilized
thousands of election monitors in the 2005 general election, said there has
been some interference in the registration process by traditional rural
leaders. But it could not confirm reports that the government has deployed
police and troops in the voter registration drive.

Internet news service ZimOnline reported that the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, which runs elections in Zimbabwe, has engaged "hordes of army
and police officers" for the registration exercise which is scheduled to end
on August 17.

VOA was unable to reach ZEC Chairman George Chiweshe or his spokesman, Sly
Gwana, for comment on the findings released by the monitoring group.

ZESN National Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava told reporter Carole Gombakomba
that the findings show the timing and logistics of the registration drive
raise many questions as the country prepares for local, general and
presidential elections in 2008.


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Zim taps run dry

IOL

ááááAugust 02 2007 at 09:39PM

By Tonderai Kwidini

Taps in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, are running dry even though
the city's main supply dams are more than 60 percent full, according to
figures from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).

With more than half of Harare's three million inhabitants now
experiencing water shortages, residents are resorting to desperate measures
to find supplies.

Carrying a large bucket to work has become a daily task for Tedious
Marembo, employed as a cleaner at a block of government offices in the city.

This building is never without water because it houses three
government ministries. So Marembo fills his bucket at work to provide water
for his wife and two children who live in Kuwadzana, a poor Harare suburb.

"My wife has to walk a long distance to get water at a church in my
neighbourhood where a borehole was sunk, (and) she has to pay Z$50 000
(about R1 418,78) for a bucket. The only way I can help her cope with
household chores is to carry a 20-litre bucket to bring water from my
workplace," he said.

Harare has experienced intermittent water shortages for about two
years, due mainly to poor management and ageing infrastructure. Water
experts from a Scandinavian development agency, who preferred to remain
anonymous, said ZINWA management was inadequate because the water authority
was not run by professionals, but rather by political appointees.

Sanitation has gone the way of water provision, as members of the
Mashapa household - also in Kuwadzana - can attest. A blocked pipe caused a
fetid pool of sewage to build up around their house, and this outflow now
slowly winds its way through the suburb to a nearby stream.

"We are locking children in the house. They can no longer play outside
because of the danger of contracting diseases. Cholera is right in our
midst," said mother Olivia Mashapa.

Primary school children who use a path alongside the Mashapa home are
obliged to pick their way through waste matter, while other children play in
the effluent - and are exposed to water borne diseases. At the far end of
the suburb, still more residents are at risk, as they buy vegetables from
vendors who sell their wares right next to open sewage. Many toilets in this
area are blocked and can no longer be used.

For the fortunate few who can afford membership at the city centre
gym, visits there have become a necessity - not only for exercise, but also
for a shower. - Sapa-IPS

This article was originally published on page 11 of Cape Argus on
August 02, 2007


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Harare Civic Group Asks EU, Australia To Sanction City Commissioners

VOA

By Patience Rusere
Washington
02 August 2007

The European Commission delegation to Zimbabwe and the Australian government
are considering a request by the Combined Harare Residents Association to
add the names of members of the state-appointed Harare Commission to their
lists of officials banned from traveling within the EU and Australia,
officials of the civic group said.

European Commission Chief Delegate Xavier Marchal could not be reached to
confirm that his delegation had accepted the petition. But the association
said Marchal sent a letter saying the request was under consideration by the
European Union's rotating presidency which is currently occupied by
Portugal.

Those targeted by the association's proposal include Harare Commission
Chairwoman Sekesai Makwavarara, University of Zimbabwe lecturer Jameson
Kurasha, Harare Provincial Administrator Musavaya Reza, Ministry of Local
Government Deputy Secretary Killian Mupingo, and Harare architect Richard
Mahachi.

Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman Precious Shumba told
reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Australian
embassy took the petition and promised to forward it to the Canberra
Department of Foreign Affairs.


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Makoni, Manyika clash over prices

Zim Independent

Constantine Chimakure

A ZANU PF politburo meeting last week nearly degenerated into a fracas
after minister without portfolio Elliot Manyika accused former Finance
minister Simba Makoni of working with companies allegedly pursuing a regime
change agenda.

Highly placed sources said a livid Makoni threatened Manyika after the
ruling party's national commissair claimed he was one of some politburo
members working in cahoots with business to undermine government.

Manyika made the allegations while presenting a report on government's
price blitz targeting manufactures, wholesalers and retailers.

Last month, government ordered manufacturers, wholesalers and
retailers to reduce prices of goods and services by 50%, saying skyrocketing
prices were meant to trigger an uprising by Zimbabweans against the state.

"Manyika said a number of senior party officials were board members in
companies which were at the forefront of increasing prices of commodities
beyond the reach of many," the source said. "To the surprise of fellow
politburo members, Manyika singled out Makoni as one of senior party
officials bent on regime change."

The source said an angry Makoni demanded that Manyika produce evidence
before the politburo that he was against Mugabe.

"President Mugabe walked out of the meeting. Makoni was furious. He
reminded Manyika that he had been in Zanu PF long before him," the source
said. "He challenged Manyika to provide evidence of his allegations."

Makoni, deputy secretary of finance in the ruling party's supreme
decision making body outside congress, yesterday could neither confirm nor
deny his clash with Manyika.

"I am busy at the moment. Call me later," Makoni said curtly.

Repeated efforts thereafter to get a comment from him were in vain as
he was unreachable on his mobile phone. Manyika was also not reachable.

Makoni - a presidential hopeful - was recently labelled a sellout by
Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu when he told a World Economic Forum
in South Africa that political change was close in Zimbabwe.


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. . . As VP Mujuru opposes blitz

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

DIVISIONS in government over a directive on companies to slash prices
have widened after it emerged that Vice-President Joice Mujuru has joined
central bank governor, Gideon Gono, in condemning the blitz.

This emerged during last week's meeting between President Robert
Mugabe and business leaders.

Sources who attended the meeting said Gono and Mujuru displayed a rare
alliance as they defended business leaders who have come under attack from
the chairman of the Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation,
Obert Mpofu, and his deputy Elliot Manyika.

In the past Gono was accused of working against business. Mujuru has
always sided with business for political reasons.

The sources said during the meeting Mpofu and Manyika presented a
report blasting businesses for working with the opposition to push a regime
change agenda.

Zanu PF has maintained that there are plans at both international and
national levels to topple the government.

Mpofu, who is the chief architect of the current crackdown, accused
businesses of sabotaging government initiatives. He told the meeting that
companies were hiking prices to instigate civic disobedience to oust the
Zanu PF government.

The sources said it was at this point that Gono intervened, saying the
purpose of the meeting was not to abuse people.

Gono, who has in the past invited the ire of Zanu PF stalwarts who
want him fired for daring to oppose government's clampdown on business, got
rare support from Mujuru who said it was unhelpful to attack business
instead of finding solutions.

She said there was need for government to work with companies to
insure that basic commodities are available at affordable prices. Mujuru
said the business leaders were at the meeting to give advice on how prices
could be stabilised.

Gono and Mujuru have been at loggerheads for the past four years.
Mujuru is understood to have bitterly opposed Gono's policy to close
troubled banks. She also fought Gono's money seizures during the currency
change-over under Sunrise Project 1 last year.

Four months ago, the two clashed after the central bank opened an
investigation into Dande Holdings, a company with ties to Mujuru.

Gono was investigating an alleged misappropriation of a $121 billion
loan which the company got from the Reserve Bank under the Agriculture
Sector Productivity Enhancement Facility.

Dande borrowed the money to clear land for agricultural purposes in
the Dande area. The central bank however believes that the money was used to
buy foreign currency on the black market, a charge which Dande denies.


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Cabinet divided over business seizures

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

CABINET is divided over a controversial proposal to seize businesses
which fail to comply with a directive to slash prices.

Sources said the divisions, which reflect a lack of consensus in
government institutions over the proposed takeover, emerged during last week's
meeting of the cabinet committee on legislation.

The chairman of the committee, Patrick Chinamasa, who is also Justice
minister, convened the meeting last Thursday to debate the idea of
government taking over "delinquent" businesses. Chinamasa wanted to know
whether there was a way to legalise the proposed nationalisation of
companies.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Indigenisation
and Empowerment, Paul Mangwana, Walter Mzembi (deputy Minister of Water
Resources and Infrastructural Development) and the deputy Minister for
Economic Development, Pheneas Chiota. Chiota and Mzembi run big business
establishments.

The sources said during the meeting Mangwana said government should
take over the companies because they were failing to follow the price
reduction order.

However, Chiota and Mzembi told Chinamasa that it was impossible to
seize the companies in the absence of an enabling law. They also said even
if a law was there, that was not a good idea.

Mzembi and Chihota said the move would destroy whatever remains of the
ailing economy. The sources said this view was shared by a lot of senior
cabinet ministers who have business interests. Cabinet and government in
general are divided over the issue.

The sources said Mangwana however maintained a radical stance and
argued that it was possible to take over the businesses because government
had successfully seized white-owned land. Mangwana said a law could be
crafted to legalise the nationalisation of companies in the same way that
government had come up with Amendment No17 which effectively nationalised
land.

"Mzembi told the meeting this would be very difficult," said a source
who attended the meeting. Mzembi said there was a marked difference between
land and companies.

The source said Mzembi and Chiota were of the view that the
nationalisation of land was possible because of historical imbalances,
something which does not apply to companies.

The sources said Chiota told the meeting that taking over companies
would send the wrong signals to the investing world which was already
shunning Zimbabwe.

"He said such a policy was not in the interest of the economy. He said
it was impossible to take over companies especially listed ones," the source
said.

Some members of Zanu PF feel that the decision would affect their
interests in listed firms which are the main target of government's
proposal. Government wants to take over companies which manufacture or sell
basic commodities.

Mangwana, the source said, remained adamant that government could
still take over the firms in line with the proposed indigenisation Bill
which his ministry was drafting together with the Attorney-General's Office.
Chinamasa is said to have told Mangwana that he was not convinced about his
argument. This left Mangwana isolated because Mzembi and Chiota did not
endorse the proposal.

"He said Mangwana should have more consultation if he wanted to
convince the committee," a source said.

Mugabe recently threatened that his government would seize and
nationalise companies that he accused of being part of a regime change
agenda meant to overthrow his government.


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Mugabe splashes trillions on cars

Zim Independent

Constatine Chimakure

GOVERNMENT recently spent trillions of dollars buying a
state-of-the-art limousine for President Robert Mugabe and Mercedes-Benz S
class vehicles for ministers.

This emerged on the back of acute foreign currency reserves, food and
fuel shortages in the country. Key ministries are reeling under budgetary
deficits after they exhausted their allocations in the first quarter of the
year.

Before the latest acquisition, Mugabe used a Mercedes-Benz S600
limousine as his official car. The new limousine is believed to be a
modified version of the S600 class.

The new vehicle is said to have additional security features installed
by a private tuning company in Europe. A new Mercedes-Benz S600L produced by
Daimler-Chrysler in Germany costs about US$210 000 before modifications
(about $29,8 billion at the Old Mutual implied rate of US$1: $142 000). The
same vehicle with extras such as a video system with monitors and security
features, comes close to US$250 000 or $35,5 billion.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands the new acquisition's chassis and
other features were modified.

"They call this version Executive," a source said this week. "The cost
of the vehicle depends on the number of modifications and especially whether
the vehicle has been armoured.

"Just to give you an idea, Mugabe's old S-model as an armoured
security vehicle was in the region of US$1 million, meaning his new
Mercedes-Benz cost a fortune. Prices for special versions of the standard
S600 Pullman are treated confidentially and not available on simple request.
A full-house armoured version of the S600 Pullman 'stretch' would be over
US$1,4 million or $198,8 billion."

The source said apart from Mugabe's vehicle, government also bought
Mercedes-Benz S350 models for ministers, who were given the option to buy
the E230 class vehicles they were using at a give away price of $5 million
each.

Zimbabwe has over 30 ministers.

This means government recoups a miniscule $150 million from selling
the old vehicles to the ministers, which cannot buy an old Peugeot 504 car.
A local Mercedes Benz supplier indicated that an S350 Benz cost about US$100
000.

Contacted for comment, Deputy Information minister Bright Matonga said
the vehicle acquisitions were justified and a "security issue".

"We're talking about the president here," said Matonga. "Urikuda kuti
wafambe nepick-up truck here? (Do you want the president to move around in a
pick-up truck?)

"This is a security issue and we don't discuss security issues with
anybody. If government decides to buy vehicles for the president or cabinet
ministers it is justified because we're a very responsible government." -
Staff Writer.


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Supreme Court to hear MDC challenge

Zim Independent

Lucia Makamure

THE Movement of Democratic Change (MDC)'s constitutional challenge
will be heard before the Supreme Court on September 20, the Zimbabwe
Independent has learnt.

The MDC in May filed papers with the Supreme Court challenging the
constitutionality of sections of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act and
the Zimbabwe Electoral Act. In the challenge, Minister of Justice Patrick
Chinamasa was cited as first respondent, with Justice George Chiweshe,
chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, as the second respondent and
Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele is the Intervener.

The MDC will be presented by Advocate Happius Zhou and Obert Gutu of
Gutu and Chikowero.

Gutu confirmed to the Independent that the Supreme Court has set a
date for the case.

"After successfully filing our heads of argument the Supreme Gourt has
advised us that the case will be heard on September 20,"said Gutu.

Last week the lawyers representing the MDC filed answering affidavits
with the Supreme Court challenging the opposing notice that had been filed
by all the respondents in the case.

Chinamasa in June filed opposing papers saying the MDC had taken too
long to file its challenge.

"In bringing this application nearly two years after the enactment of
Constitutional Amendment No17 Act, applicant and deponent are clearly acting
mala fides and are being motivated by other considerations that have nothing
to do with a level playing field," said Chinamasa.

Gula-Ndebele argued that the MDC did not have the locus standi to make
the application in terms of section 24(1) of the Constitution.

"I do not believe that the applicant (MDC) has a grievance which fails
to be redressed in terms of section 24(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,"
said Gula-Ndebele in his notice of opposition to the constitutional
challenge.

However, the MDC in its answering affidavit, defended its locus standi
on the basis that as a political party they are entitled to.

"The impugned provisions of the constitution affect the conduct of the
elections in which the applicant intends to participate, and in material
respect affects the fundamental rights of the applicant. Accordingly, it is
respectfully submitted that the applicant has the locus standi to bring the
application," said Morgan Tsvangirai in the answering affidavit.

Meanwhile, former Masvingo Central legislator, Silas Mangono, and
Misheck Matake, the provincial chairman of Masvingo in the Mutambara-led MDC
faction, have defected to the Tsvangirai camp.

The two announced their defection yesterday at a press conference held
at the party's headquarters at Harvest House in Harare.

Mangono and Matake cited lack of direction and unity of purpose in the
Mutambara faction as some of the reasons why they had decided to rejoin the
Tsvangirai faction.

"All along, I had hoped that the process of negotiations for the
reunification by the two sides was going to bring about a desired unity. Now
that this is no longer the case as announced by Professor Mutambara, I have
no choice but to go along with my conscience, and that of the majority of
Zimbabwe," said Mangono in a press statement.

Zanu Ndonga also announced this week that it will be backing
Tsvangirai as presidential candidate.

"Zanu Ndonga makes it official to support the MDC of president Morgan
Tsvangirai faction for the presidential elections in 2008,"said Zanu Ndonga
in a statement.

"Zanu Ndonga will field parliamentary, senatorial and council election
members in some constituencies henceforth seeks to work in partnership with
the MDC so that we won't unnecessarily divide opposition votes," said the
statement.


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Bulawayo water crisis a boon for hawkers

Zim Independent

Loughty Dube

SECOND-HAND plastic container business in Zimbabwe has over the years
been boosted by a recurrent shortage of fuel. Every motorist keeps these in
case of a chance encounter with black market merchants, or to simply store
the commodity at home.

In Bulawayo the containers have found a new use. They now rank among
the most sought-after goods and it's reflecting in the prices the vessels
are fetching. Bulawayo residents, facing one of the worst water crises in
living memory, have taken to accumulating as many plastic containers as they
possibly can during the few hours the commodity is available every three
days.

Entrepreneurs, especially those from Harare, are making a killing out
of the crisis by selling water containers at exorbitant prices. The
entrepreneurs sell a 20-litre container for prices ranging from $800 000 to
$1 million while elevated tanks holding up to 200 litres of water are
fetching as high as $25 million each. Water containers have suddenly become
popular as residents fill up anything that can carry water in anticipation
of long hours without water.

"There is a high demand for the containers and we are now buying the
containers in rural areas and re-selling them in Bulawayo. They are selling
fast, demand is high," said one trader selling metal drums at the Renkini
bus terminus, who only identified himself as Tapfuma.

The city of Bulawayo is facing a critical water shortage that has seen
residents getting water supplies once every three days, a situation that the
city says will worsen when it decommissions another dam soon.

The serious water crisis is a result of poor rains and lack of
adequate dams blamed largely on government and the city council itself.

Five dams - Umzingwane, Inyankuni, Insiza, Lower and Upper Ncema -
supply the city with water in normal circumstances.

However, the city has so far decommissioned three supply dams,
Umzingwane, Lower and Upper Ncema, leaving two dams to supply water to the
more than one million Bulawayo residents.

The situation has seen people in the city's high density areas resort
to queuing for water from boreholes sunk by international aid agencies
before the water crisis started.

But as the water crisis unfolds, it has emerged that once the council
decommissions one of the two remaining dams, industries and manufacturing
firms will face closure.

Bulawayo Council has indicated that Inyankuni Dam is likely to run out
of water at the beginning of October and that will leave the city with only
one supply dam, Insiza.

Bulawayo city council spokesperson, Phathisa Nyathi, this week said
industry has not been affected by water rationing as an arrangement was made
for it to get constant supplies to save jobs. But he said if Inyankuni Dam
dries up the city will be forced to include industry in the water rationing
schedule.

"The situation will deteriorate further when Inyankuni Dam is
decommissioned in October. At that point the city will get a paltry 46 000
cubic metres a day. Average daily consumption for the city is around 120 000
cubic metres," Nyathi said.

"With Insiza Dam as the only source of water, there will be a huge
deficit. Water may be supplied after long periods and industry will also be
affected," Nyathi said.

Matabeleland Chamber of Commerce president, Dumisani Sibanda, said
industry leaders had met with council officials to discuss the water
situation.

"Industry and manufacturers have set up a committee that meets council
regularly to discuss the water crisis," Sibanda said. "We have big
industries that use large volumes of water such as Delta and Merlin but for
the time being industry has been spared from water cuts," Sibanda said.

Bulawayo used to be the country's industrial hub but most companies
relocated from the region in the 1990s due to perennial water problems.

Last month the city council issued a health warning about a possible
outbreak of disease as a result of water shortages.

The water shortage has been ascribed to drought, a burgeoning
population and lack of cooperation between the City Council and the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority (Zinwa).

Government's reluctance to implement the Matabeleland Zambezi Water
Project (MZWT) and the Mtshabezi pipeline has worsened the city's water
crisis.

The Resident Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Cain Mathema,
has in the past blamed the city council for arrogance in failing to involve
government in water planning activities.

Last week Mathema said the only solution to Bulawayo's water crisis
was for Zinwa to take over the water supply system.

He said it was unfortunate that the city council was not being
cooperative.

"The Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development has
written to me informing us of the need to set up a committee of five that
has got to look into the issue. I relayed the information to the executive
mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube," he said. "But the mayor responded by advising
me to turn down the directive."

Mathema also said council did not have a long-term strategy for water
supply.

Nyathi however refuted the claims and said council's role was to
reticulate water as the Water Act stipulates while government's role was to
supply bulk water.

"There has been a lot of politics on the Bulawayo water crisis but the
truth is that Bulawayo has no water because there is no water in the dams.
But we have other scenarios where some cities have water but they are
failing to supply it to residents," Nyathi said.

The last supply dam for Bulawayo was built in 1976 by the council
before the Water Act was amended to give all powers to build dams to the
government.

When the last of its five dams was completed in 1976, Bulawayo had a
population of around 250 000 and it met the needs of residents and industry.


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'I'm ready to face Tsvangirai, Mugabe'

Zim Independent

THE Arthur Mutambara-led formation of the MDC's national council met
last Saturday and reportedly resolved to pull out of coalition talks with
the Morgan Tsvangirai camp ahead of next year's harmonised presidential and
parliamentary polls. On Tuesday, our senior political reporter CONSTANTINE
CHIMAKURE caught up with Mutambara at his Harare home to find out what
transpired during the council meeting and the implications of the camp's
move. Below are excerpts of the interview.

Chimakure: Your national council met at the weekend and reportedly
resolved, among other things, to pull out of coalition talks with Tsvangirai's
formation of the MDC. Will your move not weaken the objective to dislodge
Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe from power next year through vote
splitting - the Kenyan syndrome?

Mutambara: Let's get the facts right. As a party we have always
believed in a united front inspired by a single candidate principle. In the
past 10 months we have been engaged in negotiations with the MDC formation
led by Morgan Tsvangirai and two products came out of those efforts: the
code of conduct and the coalition agreement. The code of conduct was
eventually signed by the two secretary-generals, Tendai Biti and Welshman
Ncube, and the two presidents.

Tsvangirai initially refused to sign the document for almost six weeks
and he eventually signed after pressure from certain quarters. One further
key requirement was that there was to be a press conference by the two
presidents to launch this code of conduct. Although he has signed the code,
Tsvangirai has up to now refused to attend a press conference as agreed by
his team of negotiators. Consequently, that code of conduct is currently an
unimplemented agreement.

The second result from our efforts for a united front was a coalition
agreement between the MDC formations. In this agreement Tsvangirai was
proposed as the sole presidential candidate. This framework was crafted and
agreed upon by the two teams led by Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti. So,what
we did on Saturday July 28 was to formally adopt that agreement. This means
that our party has adopted a coalition agreement that makes Tsvangirai the
only opposition candidate for the presidency of our nation. Those are the
facts.

After that formal adoption, our national council also formally
acknowledged that the MDC formation led by Tsvangirai has actually rejected
that coalition agreement. I am sure they will confirm that they have
rejected the agreement. They will also confirm to you that both Biti and
Tsvangirai signed the code of conduct and thereafter Tsvangirai refused to
launch the code through a press conference. They will also provide you with
his reasons.

Our national council has resolved to continue providing leadership to
the people of Zimbabwe. We will provide decisive, capable and strong
leadership in Zimbabwe by presenting a presidential candidate and
contestants in every constituency for all elections . . . senate, parliament
or council. Why and how did it come to this, people might ask? Our
colleagues led by Tsvangirai have rejected a coalition agreement that would
have made every vote count against Mugabe. Ordinary people are demanding
unity of purpose. We agree with the national sentiment that is why we were
prepared to have a coalition headed by Tsvangirai.

Unity of purpose is essential, moreso when it is clear that conditions
for our next elections will be neither free nor fair. If Tsvangirai is such
an insecure, weak and indecisive leader who cannot embrace what ordinary
Zimbabweans are demanding; unity of action and purpose in the opposition, is
he worthy of the presidency of this country?

We are going to continue with the efforts of talking to all
stakeholders in Zimbabwe about building a united front inspired by a single
candidate principle and philosophy. We hope common sense and sanity will
prevail.

Chimakure: Given the current position, if both formations of the MDC
field candidates in next year's polls, will this not work in favour of
Mugabe and Zanu PF?

Mutambara: These are the questions you should ask Tsvangirai. Don't
ask Mutambara. Mutambara has already answered them. That is why we were
prepared to campaign for Tsvangirai in spite of our grave reservations about
his ability and values. But Tsvangirai is not prepared to be supported by
Mutambara. He feels he can go it alone. Not a single ordinary Zimbabwean
shares his delusions. This is a manifestation of leadership failure, poor
judgement, strategic incoherence and organisational incompetence.

We totally agree that a divided opposition will hand over victory to
Mugabe. That is why we have adopted the coalition agreement. In pursuit of
unity and a united front my party and I specifically have taken so much
abuse from the media and detractors. Screaming headlines and statements such
as "Mutambara gives way to Tsvangirai", "The Mutambara faction is desperate
for unity", and "The Mutambara faction cannot mount a political challenge on
its own" have been thrown at us.

We never corrected these lies because of our desire to pursue the
national interest. Yes, we were prepared to back Tsvangirai lock, stock and
barrel. We said "it doesn't matter, let's take the abuse in the national
interest because there is a bigger objective; the liberation of our country
from the tyranny of Robert Mugabe".

Chimakure: Do you have the support to unseat Mugabe alone?

Mutambara: No, we do not. This is why we are saying that Zimbabweans
must all work together to increase the opportunity for change. However, as a
party we do have numbers and support in spite of what our detractors would
want you to believe. We have 20 MPs, seven senators and in the last rural
district council elections we won in 41 wards, while our colleagues won in
40 wards. Of course we recognise that it will be much easier if we all work
together to maximise the probability of unseating Mugabe. We wish our
colleagues would see the wisdom of doing the same.

Chimakure: So if the Tsvangirai faction refuses to adopt the
agreement, are we going to see Mutambara squaring up against Tsvangirai and
Mugabe in next year's presidential polls?

Mutambara: Our party is more democratic than the Tsvangirai MDC
formation and Zanu PF. The leader of our party is not automatically the
presidential candidate. We believe in a democratic nomination and election
process to determine all candidates participating in national elections.
This means that all the leaders and ordinary members of our party are
eligible to become the presidential candidate.

So, Mutambara is not yet the presidential candidate of our party. He
is one of the many Zimbabweans who will be available for the supporters of
the party to select from.

Having laid out the technical framework, I must make an unequivocal
declaration: if the Tsvangirai grouping does not see the wisdom of working
with others, they should have no illusions about our preparedness to
confront and decimate them.

Arthur Mutambara will be prepared to stand against both Tsvangirai and
Mugabe. It is our duty and obligation to present viable and inspired options
to Zimbabweans. I stand good and ready to take on Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

Zimbabwe demands leaders who can understand and leverage
globalisation, science and technology. We are living in a very competitive
world where successful countries are allowing their best minds to run their
nations. We cannot afford to have mediocrity running our country.

Chimakure: Your national council also deliberated on the current Sadc
initiative to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis and seem to have insinuated that it
had lost confidence in South African President Thabo Mbeki's mediation
efforts. Was it out of a realisation that talks between the MDC and Zanu PF
were collapsing? Why did the council resolve to intensify a campaign of
defiance?

Mutambara: It has always been our position in the party that
Zimbabweans cannot outsource their liberation to foreigners. We must take
responsibility for our own circumstances. Hence, much as we appreciate the
mediation through Sadc and Mbeki, we are saying the buck stops with us
Zimbabweans.

This means in addition to embracing the Sadc initiative we must
develop an independent programme of action that we control as Zimbabweans.
We must create conditions for free and fair elections. All the political
parties, civic society organisations, the labour movement and the churches
must work together in the streets in pursuit of liberation and emancipation.

We must be demanding that the Zanu PF government stops the torture,
murder and the incarceration of members of the opposition and civic society.
We cannot have free and fair elections when members of the civic society are
being brutalised.

We also need a new constitution and we must fight for it in the
streets. There must be new electoral laws that will allow free and fair
management of our elections. Posa and Aippa must be removed from our
statutes.

We want to allow every Zimbabwean the opportunity to vote, including
those in the diaspora. Lastly, we want international supervision of our
first election under the new constitution.

These are the demands we should be fighting for in the streets through
an alternative programme of action. Yes, we should also pursue the same
matters through the Sadc mediation. What is criminal is for Zimbabweans to
sit passively while waiting for President Mbeki to rescue them. Our council
resolutions are not a reflection of lack of confidence or worry about the
mediation efforts but rather a statement of principle, which principle we
have always believed in.

Chimakure: Give us an update on the Mbeki mediation given that the
Zanu PF negotiating team comprising Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and
Labour minister Nicholas Goche has on several occasions failed to travel to
South Africa.

Mutambara: One of the ground rules defining the terms of reference for
the mediation was that there will be no negotiations through the media. We
must allow all the deliberations, the processes and the activities of the
mediation to remain confidential in order to protect the integrity and
effectiveness of the whole exercise. Hence, we are not going to discuss the
details of the mediation except to say we are committed to give the Sadc
initiative a chance to run its course and deliver results.

Chimakure: President Mugabe recently said that Zimbabwe does not need
a new constitution as the one in place was serving the country well. What do
you say to that? Do you also think Zimbabwe still has time to craft a new
constitution when elections should be held next March?

Mutambara: The issue is not about the time required to produce a new
constitution. It's about the political will and the principled basis to have
one. Do we agree that Zimbabwe deserves well crafted institutions that
enable good country governance and economic prosperity; and that one of such
institutions is a people-driven democratic constitution? Do all the
Zimbabwean stakeholders agree as a matter of principle and values that we
need such a constitution? Those are the questions to ask.

Once we establish a common understanding then the issue of the time
required to do a good job of developing a new constitution can then be
resolved. The problem in this country is that Mugabe does not believe that
Zimbabweans deserve a people-driven democratic constitution.

He doesn't have the political will to embrace the agenda of a new
constitution. He doesn't believe as a matter of values that we need good
governance enshrined in a new democratic constitution, manifested by
functional separation of powers, an independent judiciary, an empowered
legislature, a servant government as opposed to a master government, and a
solid bill of rights.

In addition Mugabe does not believe in the requisite value system and
democratic culture that buttresses good governance and constitutionalism.
That is the crux of the matter.

Beyond politics and governance, a major challenge that Zimbabweans are
grappling with is the lack of both economic vision and strategy. We are
being led by a visionless regime, a content free dictatorship that has no
capacity to make Zimbabwe a globally competitive country.

We in the opposition seek change that has both form and substance. Our
vision is that of a Zimbabwe characterised by people-centred social
development and economic growth. We want a nation of prosperity, economic
opportunities, affordable high quality public services, social justice,
equity, and gender justice. We want a country of business growth, productive
commercial agriculture and innovative entrepreneurship

Yes we have a stabilisation plan, yes we will deploy an economic
recovery plan, but more importantly, we have an economic transformation
programme that will make Zimbabwe the Singapore of Africa, the Malaysia of
Africa. Zimbabwe has so much potential in terms of human capital, natural
resources and infrastructure. What is missing is strategic leadership rooted
in an imaginative economic vision and backed by technocratic capacity.


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Army bans resignations

Zim Independent

Itai Mushekwe

IN a contingency measure to avoid a depleted force, the army has
reportedly banned resignations amid reports of growing disenchantment by
soldiers over paltry salaries and appalling working conditions, the Zimbabwe
Independent heard this week.

Military sources said Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander,
Constantine Chiwenga, on Tuesday held a lecture with army officers at 2
Brigade in Harare where he announced that "there will be no more
resignations" but gave no reasons.

Chiwenga is currently on a routine tour of battalions and brigades
across the country and is largely expected to reiterate the ban on
resignations.

"Chiwenga was here on Tuesday addressing officers on various issues,"
the sources said.

"He spoke about the liberation struggle and the need for soldiers to
remain committed to their country despite the current economic hardships.

"The commander then announced that he was not going to accept
resignations, without giving reasons."

The sources said officers of 50 years and above were exempted from the
ban. They said the new rules are targeted at mostly junior officers who are
said to be resigning in droves due to low wages, poor working conditions,
lack of decent uniforms and boots and poor meals. Junior officers earn about
$2,5million.

A significant number of soldiers are said to be either deserting or
going AWOL. Civilian clothed members of the military intelligence unit have
been deployed to locate deserters who, upon being captured, are
court-martialled and jailed if found guilty.

The latest development makes it difficult for officers to resign
formerly. An army officer when first recruited signs a three-year contract
and can tender his resignation six months before his contract expires. He
can also extend his contact to seven years and sign a permanent contract
thereafter. He then becomes eligible to resign after serving for 20 years or
upon reaching 50 years of age.

Zimbabwe National Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Simon Tsatsi
yesterday confirmed Chiwenga had held the meeting but could not disclose
details, referring all questions to ZDF.


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Government, business implement 13-point plan

Zim Independent

Augustine Mukaro

DIALOGUE between government and business has started, with both
parties agreeing to set up a five-member think-tank to represent the private
sector to discuss a 13-point plan of action proposed by business last week.

Sources privy to the proposals said government was beginning to buy
into the business sector's proposal to revive the economy after realising
the price blitz was a wrong approach to the crisis.

The price blitz appears to be falling apart as government begins to
backtrack on its decision to ban fuel coupons and the importation of bulk
basic goods by cross-border traders.

Fuel coupons have since been extended for a year and government is in
the process of purchasing large quantities of coupons from Caltex.

Last month government gazetted regulations saying people importing
scarce staples like maize meal, flour, sugar and cooking oil for resale need
a government permit. The regulations, which were due to come into force on
August 1, have since been repealed without explanation.

"The Control of Goods Order, 2007 is hereby repealed," Industry and
International Trade minister Obert Mpofu said in Statutory Instrument 153
gazetted as a special notice this week.

Business leaders last week presented a 13-point plan to President
Robert Mugabe, emphasising the need to create a conducive business
environment, the mobilisation of foreign currency to stabilise the exchange
rate and the removal of all price misalignments.

The 13-point plan document, a copy of which is in the hands of the
Zimbabwe Independent, seeks to provide solutions to what business has
described as areas of priority.

"We do not want to prescribe any solutions to you (President Mugabe)
but we do have some suggestions on areas of priority," says the document.

Below is a summary of the 13-point plan:

* Mobilise a specific amount of foreign currency to stabilise the
exchange rate and ensure sufficient importation of food, fuel and inputs to
agriculture and industry;

*Create a primary budget surplus (ie surplus before interest
payments.);

* Put in place a credible, transparent pricing mechanism that ensures
both business viability and affordability for consumers for controlled and
monitored products through the framework from the social
contract;

* Remove all pricing misalignments including that for foreign
currency;

* Put in place safety nets for vulnerable groups;

* Finalise the land issue and investment laws so as to create a
climate conducive for investment;

* Finalise the issue of security of tenure in agriculture so as to
increase agricultural output thereby stimulating production and economic
revival;

* Rehabilitate key infrastructure such as water, roads, power and
coal;

* Mobilise/launch national housing initiative to clear backlog in
housing and create employment;

* Revive urban and rural transportation;

* Stem exodus of skills by putting in place appropriate legislative
and other measures;

* Reform and restructure public enterprises; and

* Finally, once the internal package of measures achieves traction,
leverage this to seek external balance of payment support on favourable
terms.

The five-member team was this week expected to meet Mugabe to present
details of how business intends to put into action the proposed action plan.

The price blitz launched last month directed businesses to slash
prices of their goods and services by 50%, a development that has caused
acute shortages of many basic goods.

Most supermarkets and shops are now virtually empty.

About 6 000 business executives and managers have been arrested and
fined in the clampdown for flouting price control regulations. Most of those
arrested were briefly detained in police cells.

Government this week extended the price control enforcements until
December.

Mugabe justified the controversial operation as a response to attempts
by business to topple his government through economic sabotage and
profiteering.

"The inexplicable price and rent hikes which were apparently welcomed
and encouraged by our regime-change proponents compounded the situation
further and thus invited government intervention," Mugabe told MPs when he
opened parliament last week.

He said the government was committed to its programme to restore price
stability.

Under the blitz, Mugabe threatened to shut down, seize or nationalise
companies that fail to comply with the order to slash prices.


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CSC exposed

Zim Independent

Kuda Chikwanda/Pindai Dube

GOVERNMENT'S directive that the Cold Storage Company (CSC) be granted
monopoly to supply beef in the country has exposed the collapsed state of
the parastatal. CSC has been failing to supply beef for the past three
weeks.

The situation worsened this week with revelations that farmers were
refusing to sell their stock to government in protest at the low prices.
Government, through the Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and
Stabilisation, this week pegged the producer price of beef at between $65
000 and $90 000 a kg.

Livestock farmers say the new price is not viable. The cash-strapped
CSC, which is heavily indebted, has failed to supply butcheries across the
country with meat for the past six days.

CSC was awarded the sole responsibility of buying and slaughtering
meat after government withdrew the operating licences of private abattoirs.
The monopoly had been revoked in 1996 making way for private players.

Businessdigest established that CSC had not slaughtered any cattle
since Thursday last week. A visit to CSC headquarters along Gleneagles Road
in Harare revealed that the company does not have any beef in stock.

The dispatch area was this week selling sawdust. Employees at the
company said they were surprised to see government advertising on ZBC TV
that beef was available at CSC.

"We are also shocked when we see those adverts on television. We last
slaughtered cattle last Thursday. There has been no beef since then and I
don't think there will be any time soon," said one supervisor at the
company.

The employees said they did not know when CSC would next have beef and
said most farmers who had wanted to sell their cattle had vowed to hold onto
them until the price was right.

"Some are selling to individuals who manage to beat the system and
slaughter cattle. In fact cattle farmers and clients are meeting here and
doing good business," said another CSC employee.

Butcheries in Harare and Bulawayo have not taken supply of beef for
the past two weeks.

CSC chief executive officer Ngoni Chinogaramombe could not be reached
for comment at the time of going to print. He however told Vice-President
Joice Mujuru during a tour of CSC's abattoir in Bulawayo on Saturday the
company needed an urgent rescue package of $700 billion.

Chinogaramombe told Mujuru that government had to come up with a price
that appealed to rural cattle farmers who supply 80% of CSC's cattle
requirements.

In response Mujuru said government had already disbursed the first
tranche of $80 billion.

"What we are expecting the CSC to do is to utilise this institution to
the fullest and we still want to go back to the original position where
every Zimbabwean who ate meat then used to know that it was meat that was
processed by the CSC," she said.

The retail price of beef was reduced from between $320 000 and $520
000 a kg of economy and top grade beef respectively to below $100 000 a kg.

The crisis at CSC is in stark contrast to brisk business at Colcom,
the country's biggest pork procession company. Colcom has taken advantage of
the crisis to push volumes through its retail division.


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Zanu PF plans purge of state firms

Zim Independent

Kuda Chikwanda

GOVERNMENT plans to axe directors and top management who do not
support the ruling party from the civil service, parastatals and local
authorities, businessdigest can reveal.

There are also plans to force private companies to award directorships
to Zanu PF politicians who will "influence decision making and profit
making" of the concerned companies.

Minutes of the 69th ordinary session of the ruling party's central
committee meeting have laid bare the intricate details of plans to
restructure the civil service and parastatals along party lines.

Top civil servants, parastatal and local authority heads will be
required to be "patriotic Zimbabweans to avoid sabotage of government
programmes and initiatives", central committee minutes say.

The Zanu PF security department is also supposed to be involved in the
selection of critical government and parastatal management.

"People appointed to boards of parastatals should be party cadres.
Party security should be involved in the vetting of members to be appointed
to boards and to head government departments."

Government has also been instructed in the minutes to set up
committees to investigate the political allegiance of parastatal management.
Zanu PF secretary for Production and Labour, Naison Ndlovu, whose committee
drafted most of the recommendations, could not be reached for comment. Party
information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira refused to elaborate on the matter.

"We have no comment to make," Shamuyarira said. Parliamentary Public
Accounts portfolio committee chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
said her committee condemned the decision by the ruling party to appoint key
personnel on party lines.

"Our position as a committee is that when you are going to have boards
of directors, they should be people who do not have vested interests. You
cannot play an oversight role over yourself. At a principal level that is
wrong," she said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Zanu PF was trying to protect its
interests.

"They are placing gatekeepers of their own personal interests in state
owned bodies. If we do an audit of who is supplying parastatals with what,
it is not surprising to find out that it is the major people in Zanu PF,"
she said.

The minutes also show that the party recommended all companies be
forced to pay annual bonuses to employees. This means that companies will be
required to pay annual bonuses whether they made profits or not.

Already the purges have begun at the Ministry of Agriculture where
Minister Rugare Gumbo is understood to have told senior officers that there
will be far-reaching restructuring in the next three months.

Parastatals account for over 40% of Zimbabwe's gross domestic product
while the civil service is the country's largest employer. A source said
government had already started implementing new interviewing formats for
recruitment. Job seekers in government are going through security vetting by
state security officers.

Part of the vetting process involves checking job-seekers' political
background and allegiances. Interviewees have been asked to bring with them
exercise books in which they are asked to write Zanu PF's manifesto, the
national anthem and names of Zanu PF leaders in their provinces and
districts.


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The trouble with indigenisation in Zimbabwe

Zim Independent

Martin Tarusenga

ACCORDING to the government, indigenisation means to "to give or
increase economic ownership to locals, directly by allowing black ownership
and control of enterprises and assets; ...increasing or giving senior
management positions to blacks; increasing black human resource development
and ensuring employment equity; indirect empowerment through preferential
procurement, enterprise development, and corporate social investmen".

The indigenisation strategies thus explained are typically premised
first within the injustices suffered by blacks in colonial economic
management and secondly, on the perceived causes of the persistent dualism
that continued after independence between the successful white economic
framework/environment and the subsistence almost non-existent black economic
framework/environment, in the same country.

In the absence of any other effective economic strategies, as is the
case in Zimbabwe, the insinuation of the indigenisation explanations and
especially the premise, are that the objectives for the long painful
struggle to independence to avail economic benefits to the black majority in
Zimbabwe would be achieved through the indigenisation processes.

In Zimbabwe this process was initiated more than 10 years after
independence, suggesting that it was not an urgent or priority issue
according to the government.

This deducted suggestion therefore contradicts the claim that it would
avail economic benefits to the wider beneficiary base of a black majority.

The initiation of this process at a time when memories of the popular
political victory were waning, when the black majority had come to realise
that independence was not bringing any meaningful economic gains to them,
suggests that the indigenisation strategy is and was a quick fix solution
with political appeal to silence a restless economically deprived majority
electorate.

Indeed the cosy complicit relationship that had developed between the
political establishment and the white community suggests an economic
management that had no intention, agenda and strategy of opening up the
economy to the black majority.

The question that remains is whether the indigenisation process will
work or not?

In Zimbabwe the indigenisation process, as a takeover of white
colonially-created economic value by blacks, has taken three main forms. One
process that is easily recognised and understood as indigenisation is the
politically facilitated intervention in white controlled businesses.

So far, this process has been witnessed in programmes such as the
Indigenous Business Development Centre, the Affirmative Action Group and of
course the dramatic land reform programme. These processes have however been
a complete failure because they did not have systems to ensure continuity of
operation by the beneficiaries. It was indigenisation for its own sake.

Having gained control of assets and enterprises, the tendency was to
strip the assets and divert the proceeds to personal wealth - which wealth
would be used to build the largest fleet of the largest luxurious cars. In
the process any productive capacity of the asset that benefits the black
majority via employment for instance, would be annihilated.

The other indigenisation strategy came in the form of new black
start-ups financed either by market based financing or (sometimes)
concessionary funds often facilitated politically.

These quite often made "business sense". Most of those that have
thrived within this "business sense" framework have had problems with
political interference.

The other main indigenisation strategy was the more subtle gradual
endogenous black exposure to control of white owned enterprises reciprocated
by willing and gradual relinquishing of white control.

This strategy had its own deficiencies. In order to ward off political
interference, the white owners hand-picked or co-opted the blacks that were
either favourable to the political establishment or those blacks that played
ball to white management to window-dress as blacks participating in the
control of the enterprise. On relinquishing control to these in-house pliant
blacks, when it became increasingly clear that the macroeconomic framework
would not be sustainable, the assets or enterprises were not always run
innovatively and efficiently.

In its full breadth indigenisation by the first form, extends to the
public sector.

The impact of indigenisation as implemented to date has been to run
down the economic infrastructure inherited at independence.

Public sector services are in a poor state compared to the state at
independence. The road networks, railway networks are examples of services
run down.

The productivity in the agricultural, mining, manufacturing and other
similar sectors has fallen below pre-indigenisation levels - needless to
mention the catastrophic drama that saw the agricultural sector come to its
knees almost immediately when the indigenisation process was imposed on it.

The banking sector however has become the exception having been set in
a competitive framework back in the nineties and expanded for the benefit of
the wider beneficiary base.

It however suffered crises and setbacks arising from poor governance
and indiscipline at some of the indigenous banks, and of course political
interference at others.

Indigenous corporate management has constantly come into question
regarding its capacity to innovate and expand the economy for the black
majority.

The routine excuse for the decline in productivity has been the
foreign currency shortage and the poor macroeconomic framework.

Indeed some have concluded that the indigenisation strategies have
succeeded to groom a pliant industry captainship that covertly identifies
with the strategy to redistribute the colonially created economic value for
their benefit and via the "get-rich-quick" schemes.

In consequence, the former colonial polarisation between the rich
white community and poor black majority has turned into very few rich blacks
and poor black majority.

What we are seeing is a total disregard for the needs of fellow black
men by those who have benefited from the indigenisation process.

In Zimbabwe, public perceptions of an indigenous business person have
derogatory connotations after this show of incompetence.

Clearly this decline is evidence of the deficient competitive spirit
that has been brought about by the indigenisation process.

Indigenisation as synonymous to "the takeover of colonially-created
economic value by a few blacks" is associated with idleness, incompetence,
poor production quality and a total lack of appreciation of quality
standards, rapacity, disrespect for fellowmen and so on.

In some cases it begets connotations of a business person who might
have otherwise remained 'a no-body' had it not been for government's
intervention.

There is clearly something amiss with the indigenisation strategy
enshrined in "giving" control of existing economic value to apparently a few
blacks.

Laws have been made to legalise this transfer of wealth but the
results have been disastrous. We are still reeling from the effects Land
Reform Act.

Because the law was meant to "give" land to the people and not improve
production we now have some people owning three or four farms.

The reform, according to the people in government, was the time to not
only redress the colonial imbalances but also a chance to get rich.

Given the chaos that characterised the land reform we have every
reason to worry about the proposed Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill. Does
the Bill tackle the real issues of stimulating and motivating economic
agents to innovatively widen the economic base for the wider beneficiary
base in order to close the gap between rural and urban infrastructures, the
gap between the few rich Zimbabweans and the poor?

Does it make economic sense to focus on existing assets and
enterprises as opposed to creating more? If such questions are not addressed
properly, there is a danger that the nation could be confined to a
"rat-race" judging by the impact of indigenisation so far.

We must take time to learn from other competitive nations before we
rush with these policies.


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Money supply on upward trend

Zim Independent

Paul Nyakazeya

MONEY supply (M3) growth continued on an upward trend increasing to a
new record of 4 211% in April from 3 255,9% the previous month latest
officials figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said this week.

Analysts said the figure would be over 10 000% by December due to
expansionary fiscal and monetary policies pursued by government and the
Reserve Bank.

Money supply is the total supply of money in circulation in a given
country's economy at a given time. It is considered an important instrument
for controlling inflation.

This week the Reserve Bank introduced a new $200 000 dollar bearers'
cheque in a move which analysts say clearly shows that government has lost
the battle against inflation.

Government and the central bank have continued to print money despite
advice by the International Monetary Fund that this policy will further
stoke inflation. The IMF this week said inflation could reach 100 000% by
the end of this year.

It said the Zimbabwe's economic prospects were bleak. Central bank
governor, Gideon Gono and President Robert Mugabe last week said government
would not hesitate to print money to fund various projects.

Government is also said to be considering introducing a new $500 000
bearer cheque as the country's currency continues on its free-fall.

In his monetary policy in January, Gono said the bank would reduce
annual broad money supply growth from over 1 000% to between 415% and 500%
by December 2007.

He forecast money supply will come down to under 65% by December 2008.

However figures show that money supply growth rose by 955,8% points to
4 211,7% in April from March's figure of 3 255,9%.

This represents an increase in broad money of $4,679 trillion from
$111 billion in April last year to $4,790 trillion in April this year.

On a month-on-month basis, broad money supply increased by $1,684
trillion in April compared to $1331,4 billion in March.

The Reserve Bank attributed the increase to a massive surge in
domestic credit and lending to private sector.

"Domestic credit growth rose from 501,9% in April 2006 to 5 648,9% in
April.

On a month-on-month basis, domestic credit increased by $1,5 trillion
in April," said the bank.

The bank said annual growth in domestic credit was underpinned by
expansions in lending to private sector, by 8 231,7%, government 2 876,8%
and credit to public enterprises 1 822,9%.

"On a month-on-month basis, credit to the private sector spiraled to
$3,2 trillion, representing an increase of 45,6% from $2,2 trillion in
March," the bank added.

Credit to government registered a month-on-month growth of 92,7% to
$955,8 billion. Monthly credit to public enterprises increased by 102,5% to
$579,9 billion.

"In April 2007, annual quasi-money growth increased to 3 120%,
compared to 2 685% in March 2007. This amounted to a monthly increase of
41%," the bank said.


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Mugabe's bumpy road to 2008

Zim Independent

Constantine Chimakure

WHILE it appears a fait accompli that President Robert Mugabe will be
endorsed as Zanu PF's 2008 presidential candidate, political analysts this
week said the ruling party's first secretary faces a bumpy road ahead.

The analysts said that factions in the party - one backing Mugabe, the
other rooting for Vice-President Joice Mujuru and another one supporting
Rural Housing minister Emmerson Mnangagwa - would slug it out before and
during either an annual national people's conference or an extraordinary
congress, pushing for their preferred candidates for the presidency.

Mugabe, the analysts said, would emerge the victor as he enjoys
support from at least six of the 10 Zanu PF provinces - enough for him to
secure endorsement at a congress.

Provinces reportedly backing the 83-year-old leader are Mashonaland
West, Mashonaland Central, Harare, Manicaland, Masvingo and one of the three
Matabeleland provinces.

The analysts said Mugabe still wields enough power to sway support his
way despite having run down the country through bad political and economic
policies.

But others argued that Mugabe was now a spent force and would be
challenged by the Mujuru faction at either the conference or congress. They
argued the president had lost the power he used to enjoy in the high
echelons of Zanu PF.

The analysts cited how Mugabe lost to the Mujuru faction during last
December's people's conference when he wanted to push for harmonised
presidential and parliamentary polls in 2010. The Mujuru faction opposed him
until Mugabe, backed by Mnangagwa and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa,
three months later decided that the polls be held next year.

Political scientist Michael Mhike said while Mugabe used to have his
way in Zanu PF before, politics in the ruling party had changed and rivals
were prepared to challenge him.

"Those opposed to Mugabe's continued stay in power, especially the
Mujuru faction, are going to fight tooth and nail to oust him," Mhike said.

"There is a lot happening behind the scenes in the party. You should
realise that Mugabe no longer wields as much power as in the 1980s and 90s.
Those in the Mujuru camp will fight him to the bitter end either at an
extraordinary congress or a people's conference."

But National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku was of
the view that with or without the conference/congress, Mugabe is Zanu PF's
2008 presidential candidate.

"It is very na´ve for anyone to think that there is still a race for
the presidency in Zanu PF. Mugabe is the candidate. It is an open secret
that Mugabe has no respect for rules and why should he respect the party's
constitution regarding the endorsement or election of the party's
presidium?" Madhuku questioned.

He said recent pronouncements on Mugabe's endorsement by Zanu PF's
parliamentary caucus, traditional chiefs and mayors were meant for the media
to think that the race was still on.

"Mugabe's loyalists are simply reacting to media reports questioning
Mugabe's endorsement. They want to give an impression that the race is still
on," Madhuku added. "Whether there is an all-people's conference or an
extraordinary congress, Mugabe is the presidential candidate."

Another political scientist who asked for anonymity said there was
"absolutely no doubt" that Mugabe would emerge the victor at either
conference or congress because he had put in place machinery to secure
victory at all costs.

"The Mugabe juggernaut is on the roll. (Zanu PF national political
commissar Elliot) Manyika has been mandated to restructure the party from
grassroots to make sure Mugabe wins," the analyst said.

"It is these people who will nominate him in the event of an election
vote. Who is Manyika backing? Mugabe is Zanu PF's candidate. Obviously, I
expect the Mujuru faction to fight hard for their intended goals."

Zanu PF politburo member and Minister of State for Policy
Implementation Webster Shamu at the weekend reiterated the ruling party
propaganda that Mugabe was endorsed as the sole candidate.

Unlike secretary for information in the politburo Nathan Shamuyarira
who claimed that Mugabe was endorsed on March 30 by the central committee,
Shamu said Mugabe was endorsed at last December's national people's
conference in Goromonzi.

The conference did not come up with any resolution and its major
debate focused on holding harmonised presidential and parliamentary polls in
2010 - a move that was successfully blocked by the Mujuru camp.

This week, Shamu was quoted as saying: "These are plain, but vain lies
because as a party we chose Mugabe to be our candidate at the Goromonzi
people's conference last year. His candidacy was endorsed by everyone and we
need a leadership that has vision and foresight - qualities which find
expression in the president."

But facts on the ground speak otherwise.

The pro-Mugabe faction, which includes Youth Development minister
Saviour Kasukuwere and minister without portfolio Manyika, is pushing for an
extraordinary congress to endorse Mugabe as the party's candidate and at the
same time restructure the Zanu PF presidium.

In May, Manyika, who is also Zanu PF's national political commissar,
said the party would hold a congress to endorse Mugabe.

The sources said Manyika and his group want a special congress to
endorse Mugabe and also make changes in the Zanu PF leadership. Only
congresses in Zanu PF can make changes to the party leadership.

Manyika and his allies now want Women's League boss Oppah Muchinguri
to take over from Vice-President Mujuru who is claimed to have fallen out
with Mugabe. To achieve this, congress is needed because a conference has no
mandate to change leaders.

The Mujuru camp, the sources said, was pushing for congress to be
convened with the sole aim of electing a successor to Mugabe. The faction
wants Mujuru elevated to the position of party president and first secretary
and thus presidential candidate.

The Mnangagwa camp reportedly wants Mugabe to stay for the purpose of
blocking the ascendancy of Mujuru, and hopes to eventually wrest control of
the Zanu PF leadership when Mugabe leaves office by choice or in whatever
circumstances.


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Load-shedding: who is to blame?

Zim Independent

By Charles Bongani Siziba

SO load-shedding is here to stay after all!

A lot has been said on this subject and yet none of the contributions
has touched on the very core of the crisis.

I will attempt to delicately go through the veil and walk the reader
across what I think are issues of fundamental importance that have hitherto
been deliberately skirted by those wanting to look good at the expense of
the nation.

There are basically three players in this whole mess of load-shedding.
The government, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Zesa.

Issues of electricity have remained very dear to everyone more so now
when the future for Zimbabwe electricity looks bleak.

Poor management at Zesa has often been blamed as the root cause of the
poor state of the electricity supply situation that the country finds itself
in.

The world over, electricity generation, distribution and transmission
infrastructure is very costly to put together and yet when generation
commences and people start to receive the product, the business is both
self-sustaining and highly lucrative because the commodity on sale is at the
core of everyone's very existence.

Zimbabwe has five electricity generation plants (a hydro plant at
Kariba and four thermals at Hwange, Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo) with a
total capacity of about 1 700 megawatts.

During the winter peak, the period that we are in now, the country
needs up to 2 000 megawatts.

This means that if we utilised all the capacity available at the
plants, Zimbabwe would still need to import just above 300 megawatts to
augment local generation and this would only be done in the most extreme
times of need which are early morning hours and late afternoon.

During the day the country would have excess power to export to other
regional power utilities that are also facing problems like Nampower of
Namibia and Eskom of South Africa. In summer the power utility would rake in
million of dollars in foreign currency via electricity exports.

Unfortunately as we speak, Zimbabwe is the biggest net importer of
power in the region. We import from SNEL in DRC, HCB in Mozambique and Eskom
of South Africa.

Sadly, the arrangements we have with these power utilities are that
they only give us power when they have excess and that the power should be
paid for in hard currency upfront before delivery.

But how feasible is this pre-payment arrangement in a country whose
chief foreign currency provider, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has no dime
in its reserve coffers?

Because of this shortage of foreign currency, we are not current in
all our accounts and other countries, like in any business engagement, feel
that Zimbabwe is a bad debtor who should not be assisted on credit terms.

Zesa officials have now mastered the art of ducking their regional
counterparts when they call in for outstanding payments. The guys are now
more of professional liars and unfortunately this is now known in the
region.

They have a bad reputation and it's a shame and yet they are doing it
for the country. In mid June, Zesa received a final demand of US$5 million
from SNEL. Failure to pay this money in 15 days, would result in a cut of
power supplies from SNEL.

Here is an example of the extent of the paralysis; on June 9 2007,
Zimbabwe experienced one of its worst blackouts. Harare and Chitungwiza need
up to 240 megawatts and yet only 30 megawatts were available.

This was because Eskom was not giving us anything because of high
demand for power in South Africa.

HCB of Mozambique were giving us 150 megawatts against a demand of
about 300 and SNEL could only afford us 60 against a demand of about 200
megawatts. This was obviously due to non-payment.

And now here is the mother of all killers. Kariba was doing 615
against an installed capacity of 740 while poor Hwange was struggling to
generate a meager 163 megawatts against a capacity of 840 and coal reserves
were only for three days and yet in the 90s coal reserves at any given time
were up to a total of three months supply.

The above shows, that on the day in question Zimbabwe had 988
megawatts against a demand of about 2 000. If you think the events of June 9
were a record, then wait for 2008.

Harare, Munyati ad Bulawayo thermal power stations with a total
capacity of close to 150 megawatts are not generating a single volt because
of lack of coal supplies and yet Hwange Colliery has some of the largest
coal reserves in the world.

The three power stations have on their payrolls engineers,
technicians, and human resources personnel and even finance managers who go
to man dead power stations everyday of their lives and draw salaries at the
end of the month.

Some have company cars and yet they spend days on end twitching their
fingers staring at non-spinning turbines. This is criminal.

The situation is bad and there is no amount of wishful talking that
can change it.

Hwange Colliery needs major capitalisation. Their equipment is
obsolete and staff morale is low. The National Railways of Zimbabwe also
needs to be capitalised to acquire new wagons, locomotives and signals
equipment to enable coal deliveries to the small thermal power stations.
Without this type of capitalisation we can kiss goodbye to electricity. The
situation at Hwange Power Station is that the six generating units have gone
way past their running time and they now need major overhauls.

Let me bring the Hwange situation closer to home by throwing in an
analogy of a truck. A Scania truck, no matter what you do to it, has to go
for minor service after every 15 000km. At 45 000km it undergoes an
intermediate service and on the third intermediate at 135 000km it should
undergo a total refurbishment.

If this service cycle leading to the complete refurbishment is adhered
to, you get better and longer life out of the truck and it will be efficient
hence cheaper in the long-run.

Hwange Power Station has not had these regular services done and what
is required now is a complete overhaul of the six generating units which
will cost no less than US$40 million. Even if this money were to be made
available today, the state of the plant is such that benefits will only be
realised after 18 months of very hard work.

We know that the government signed the over publicised protocol with
Namibia where the latter will provide funding for the refurbishment of
Hwange Power Station in return for a firm commitment of 150 megawatts to
Nampower until the debt has been fully retired.

I am not privy to either the structure of the repayment plan or the
finer details of the agreement but suffice to say that there has been a lot
of bickering by officials from ether side at the implementation stage to the
extent that the terms of the agreement are different on the ground from what
they are in black and white.

So when you hear the powers-that-be talking as if the problem of
electricity is a stroll in the park, let me assure you that they will be
grandstanding, and very soon the chickens will come home to roost and the
charade will be fully exposed.

About the tariff issue, Zesa needs a cost reflective tariff for it to
operate viably. The tariff will enable the utility to procure spares for
their distribution arm and to cover general operational costs like any other
business.

It is one parastatal that I know does not need the support of those
funny facilities put together by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Actually, Zesa should be able to lend cheap money to government. The
notion that an increase in tariffs will only enable the power utility to buy
expensive cars for management is not true.

If the sector is viable it attracts investors who will inject foreign
currency for such capital projects as Batoka, Sinamatela, Sanyati, overhaul
of Hwange and refubishment of Kariba.

An unviable business does not attract investors and this is the
situation that Zesa finds itself in today. Not even the Chinese or our very
own ministers will invest in Zesa if it does not operate viably because one
invests in order to realise a return. It is that simple.

What role has management played in all this rot? Dr Sydney Gata was
appointed the general manager (effectively he was the CEO) of Zesa in the
80s. Zesa then was operating as efficiently as was possible. New connections
were done within a day or two and faults were attended to within three
hours.

No fault was allowed to go to the next day regardless of its size.
Load-shedding then was a mere dictionary term and statements were delivered
monthly without fail.

Zesa inspectors were well paid: they never demanded bribes to certify
as fit for connection, properly installed domestic properties.

The Justice Smith report on the operations of Zesa was so damning on
Gata's person and style of management. The government had no choice but to
remove him and in came new chief executive officer, Gata's business planning
manager, Simbarashe Mangwengwende, an astute engineer who received
engineering accolades from across the continent.

Five years later Gata bounced back at Zesa as executive chairman and
Engineer Mangwengwende was one of his major casualties.

Mangwengwende was to engage Zesa in a record protracted legal battle
for wrongful dismissal. Ironically the Mangwengwende case was only resolved
at a time when Gata was on the verge of his second forced exit.

During his split tenure Gata survived 11 ministers of Energy among
them Dennis Norman, Hebert Ushewokunze, Kumbirai Kangai, Sydney Sekeramayi,
Simon Khaya Moyo, Edward Chindori Chininga, Amos Midzi and July Moyo.

Information has it that a good number of these ministers were removed
because they had problems with the Zesa boss. During his second tenure Gata
never worked with a board and the one set up by Minister July Moyo and made
up of permanent secretaries never set.

However, Gata himself believes that the best and by far the most
intelligent minister of energy Zimbabwe has ever had was Moyo, all their
bitter differences notwithstanding. This view is held by many in the
industry up to this day.

Gata's dismissal in 2007 was always coming. He did not see eye to eye
with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and he was hardly on
talking terms with Justin Mupamhanga, the permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Energy.

From 2002 till Gata's exit, Gono vetoed at every turn the increase of
electricity tariffs to cost reflective levels arguing that the increase
would be inflationary.

This however was viewed by neutrals as a ploy by the RBZ to collapse
the industry whose sum effect would be an indictment on Gata and hopefully
his dismissal.

In short this is exactly what happened. It was most saddening to hear
Gono posturing and saying electricity tariffs were so low making a
comparison with the price of a candle and yet it was him who refused
electricity tariff increases even after the recommendation of independent
regional consultants Sadelec.

The process of removing Gata would always be a difficult one and
everyone in the scheme of things knew. Apart from his links to the first
family by marriage, Gata is a smart thinker and thrives on decision making,
hard work and research. He is a slave driver.

His knowledge of the electricity supply industry is second to none.

I dare say very few on the continent can match him. Those that have
had a chance to either be his students at the UZ Faculty of Engineering or
work with him at Zesa at senior management level will testify to this.

His biggest shortcoming though is his demeanor. He lacks warmth and is
a bit impersonal in his dealings with others. He is highly temperamental and
leaves very little room for those he works with to thrive. He either likes
you or he does not and you are either on his side or you are on the other
side.

Because of their fear of confronting Gata in his individual capacity
which would always be a blood bath, the ministry put together an inoperable
structure that would render dozens of professionals redundant.

This to me is Zesa's Achilles heels and will haunt the country for a
very long time to come.

I will elaborate. The world over, generation, transmission and
distribution work independent of each other either as divisions within a
company or as registered subsidiaries in terms of the Companies Act and
operating under the ambit of a holding company.

The Ministry of Energy re-bundled transmission and distribution
companies streamlined the holding company and scrapped the executive
chairmanship splitting it into non-executive chairman and chief executive
officer.

Those that were not on the new structure were given an option to be
packaged. The response to voluntary retrenchment by Zesa professionals was
overwhelming. More than 15 chartered electrical engineers have left the
power utility in a few weeks.

Gata himself was given a choice to make his pick between chairman and
CEO.

Naturally he refused to be CEO and again never bothered to chair the
board instead opting for a package.

Zesa now has no option but to fast track inexperienced staff to senior
managerial posts and this is nothing short of a disaster.

Clearly, when the ministry decided to get rid of Gata they did not
have a post-Gata plan in place that is why it took them more than one year
to find a suitable chief executive who they only appointed more than six
months after he had been interviewed.

In the meantime, engineers who were spearheading regional trade are
all gone. Some of them taken by those utilities that Zesa traded with and
they know the level of Zesa paralysis in terms of cash flows and strategy.

Engineers who were on the forefront of the distribution company are
now all gone and interfacing with customers will only get worse.

There are things that Zimbabwe as a country fails to do because of
souring relations with the West but there are those that we fail to do
because we are not able to do simple things right.

Not because we do not know but because we choose not to know. As long
as political patronage remains the order of the day, there will not be light
at the end of the tunnel. The problems of electricity are a creation of the
Ministry of Energy and Power Development officials who sacrificed the
country because of their personal differences with Gata.

People do not have to like each other in order to be able to work
together especially if it is for the good of the country and ministers and
permanent secretaries ought to know this better.

Just recently we saw Mupamhanga walking on a wheat field in
Mashonaland Central Province assuring winter wheat farmers that there would
be electricity available to them.

On the same day the country had a mere 900 megawatts out of a total
demand of 2 000 megawatts.

He was more interested in being seen on television performing a
Hollywood stunt than strategising for the country to have power. The country
has not a drop of fuel. The problems are endless.

* Charles Bongani Siziba is an engineer .


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Game over for Mugabe

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

By Dumisani Muleya

IT should now be self-evident to all that the political endgame for
President Robert Mugabe and his regime is looming. There is no way out for
the dinosaur political generation in charge, particularly given the array of
adversities facing the nation. It's a slippery slope test for them.

The only question at this point in our politics is when will the
moment of truth for Mugabe come? Will Mugabe take the first step and quit as
soon as possible of his own volition? Will his party force him out or will
there be unforeseen events that lead to his departure from the political
scene?

The situation Mugabe has put himself in is untenable and
unsustainable. He has dug a hole for himself and cannot climb out. The
trouble is he continues to dig in and thus burying himself in the process
instead of trying to scale out.

The current political and socio-economic conditions will compel Mugabe
to go. First, the economy is crumbling all-round.

We have no forex to talk about, erratic supplies of fuel, water,
electricity, basic commodities and food, transport, and businesses are
closing down, unemployment is fast rising, inflation (government has now
virtually banned the release of inflation statistics) now at stratospheric
levels, and grinding poverty is rampant.

Infrastructure -- roads, schools, hospitals, clinics and bridges - is
dilapidated. It's the sort of thing we have seen elsewhere in post-colonial
Africa from Ghana to Zambia and we know how it all ends.

As we speak, foreign currency reserves are precariously low and
Treasury Department and Reserve Bank officials are wondering how we will
survive this month as a country.

Former US ambassador Christopher Dell said he doubted that Mugabe
would last six months, but government officials are actually worried about
how we will pull through this month.

Mugabe is under extreme pressure from his party to leave now and the
political mass building around him is increasingly becoming irresistible.

Senior Zanu PF officials, especially those aligned to the faction led
by retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru, are campaigning for him to
go. They want him to leave now if he can.

But realistically they think he must quit at the party's extraordinary
congress or conference in December.

A number of top officials in the camp led by Emmerson Mnangagwa also
want him to go. It's just Mnangagwa and a few other loyalists who want
Mugabe to hang on because that serves his political interests of blocking
the Mujuru camp and probably re-opening the window of opportunity for his
ascendancy. Former Zanla high command and general staff want him to retire.
They made this known to him in March.

Within the top party ranks, Mugabe is only supported by a weak coterie
of opportunists who believe their careers can be saved and enhanced via
political ingratiation rather than confrontation. This is the Elliot Manyika
group, the so-called Zanu PF Third Way, even though it has zero Third Way
content in its political thought.

At the critical state level, it's only the top echelons of the divided
state security bureaucracy which still supports him. Lower ranking officers
are against his regime because they are not benefiting anything from his
rule. The widening divisions among the securocrats are now threatening the
current structure-induced stability and as a result Mugabe's grip on power.

The unravelling process within Zanu PF putting Mugabe under pressure
has various descriptions: fragmentation, disunification or disintegration.

Thoughtful men and women in Zanu PF look at the self-destructive power
struggle in the party from different angles. They offer their own analyses
of the causes and the remedies to the situation characterised by the endgame
psychology of permanent division and confrontation. And most of them agree
on one thing: that Mugabe is on his way out sooner rather than later.

Mugabe has stumbled politically twice inside four months.

First, he failed in December last year to push his controversial 2010
proposal for him to extend his tenure by two years under the guise of
synchronising elections.

Secondly, Mugabe failed to secure endorsement of his candidacy in next
year's elections at his party's politburo and central committee meetings in
March, hence the ongoing desperate campaign for support by his loyalists.

Manyika and his group are pulling out all the stops to secure the
approval of his candidacy.

The unprocedural Mugabe endorsement campaign is being conducted in the
state media instead of party structures. Now we are told by the
hard-to-believe state propaganda outlets even chiefs, mayors and councillors
have endorsed Mugabe. Are they part of Zanu PF structures? Why this extreme
anxiety?

If Mugabe was endorsed at the Goromonzi conference in December last
year, as Webster Shamu incredibly claimed this week, or by the central
committee on March 30, as Nathan Shamuyarira, the party spokesman, claimed
at the time, why this desperate campaign for his endorsement now? How many
times does he need to be endorsed?

Mugabe's loyalists and propagandists may wax lyrical about his alleged
endorsement but if the truth be told, Mugabe has not been endorsed by party
structures and faces a torrid time at the meeting in December.

Many think he will not be able to pull rank and stand in next year's
polls. In fact, insiders say we are in the dying minutes and it's now game
over for Mugabe.


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Nhema can tell us where to get meat

Zim Independent

MuckRaker

WE still do not have an appropriate description of the front page
headline in the Herald on Monday claiming "Tsvangirai blasts Mutambara".

The story opened with a claim that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had
"made a scathing attack" on his rival faction leader Arthur Mutambara. This
was after Mutambara described Tsvangirai as a "weak and indecisive leader".

Tsvangirai told supporters by way of a response that what was needed
was "unity of all progressive forces in this country. The enemy is not
Tsvangirai. The enemy is President Mugabe," he said.

Muckraker fails to see how that can be classified as a "blast" or a
"scathing attack".

Is this a case of wish being father to the thought? One can only
conclude that the reporter was disappointed that Tsvangirai did not throw a
tantrum in the face of unprovoked, opportunistic attacks by erstwhile
colleagues in the opposition. This is playing into Zanu PF's hands and they
are enjoying every bit of the game.

The only question we have for Tsvangirai is where he has found another
reserve of "progressive forces" and how these are defined, by whom?

There was a more significant story in the same issue of the Herald. It
reported that the Cold Storage Company had increased the money it was paying
for slaughter cattle from $3 million to $12 million and that it was paying
farmers on the spot.

The CSC said the new price would ensure "adequate supplies of beef on
the market".

Those who have been out on the market know that there hasn't been any
beef to talk about. In Harare all we have seen are long queues of vehicles
parked outside the CSC complex along Willowvale Road in the industrial
sites.

Those queuing say there is nothing in stock. Strangely, the CSC keeps
flighting misleading adverts on radio telling us every day to phone 621500/6
if we want beef.

Is there a way the public can sue for remedy, given that our
expectations are raised falsely when there is nothing in stock?

CSC chief executive officer Ngoni Chinogaramombe said they were
focusing on small-scale cattle farmers in communal lands to boost slaughter
stock.

"We need to buy cattle from farmers largely for local consumption and
this is why we are now moving to lure communal and resettled farmers," he
said.

He will soon discoverer, if he doesn't already know, that it is easier
to close down private abattoirs and butcheries than it is to get beef into
the supermarkets. Cattle farmers are most likely interested in a fair return
for their beast than what the CSC unilaterally declares it is prepared to
offer. It's as simple as that.

Inside was another delusional piece saying the CSC should take
advantage of its monopoly in the beef market to "regain its former glory".

"This is a golden opportunity for the group to tap in on lost markets
and establish new ones and build on existing ones," an economist was quoted
as saying. "It is critical for the parastatal to improve efficiency that
must help in the provision of cheap and affordable beef," he said.

Evidently at the Herald they don't understand that you only "improve"
on what you already have. The CSC has neither cattle nor efficiency. What
should they improve on?

It appears there is a stampede to be seen to toe the party line.
Everyone must be seen to be endorsing President Robert Mugabe as Zanu PF's
sole candidate in the presidential election next year.

First it was the youths and the Women's League. The line is getting
longer. Now it is chiefs and mayors, despite the fact that Zanu PF doesn't
have lots of these elected mayors.

One of the few Zanu PF mayors, Bindura's Martin Dinha, gushed about
the president's virtues at the weekend: "Cognisant of our president's
principled stand against imperialist machinations, his exemplary leadership
and his embodiment of our unity and aspirations and our benefits as local
authority in the land reform programme, we demand and asset that our
president Cde RG Mugabe stand as our candidate in the forthcoming harmonised
general elections."

It's called singing for your supper!

Meanwhile there are reports that there is a Zanu PF conference or
congress in the offing to decide whether Mugabe should be the sole
candidate. Could this noise about Mugabe being endorsed have anything to do
with trying to influence public opinion before the congress or conference?

As for the land reform, we all know what it has done for Zimbabwe.
Just as people are scattering all over the world in search of the proverbial
green pastures, the government is extending its begging bowl every where to
avert mass starvation.

Those it thought needed the land to feed the nation have proved
completely untrustworthy over the past seven years where they have diverted
cheap fuel, fertiliser and seed onto the black market to make a quick buck.

Agriculture minister Rugare Gumbo confirmed this week that the country
was importing maize from as far as Tanzania. He also confirmed media reports
that the country had been importing maize from Malawi and Zambia.

"We are determined to feed the nation and we will do our best to
achieve that," said Gumbo, as if he expected to get a trophy for it.

The real shame is not that we are having to import maize. It is that
we needn't if only we put the interests of the nation ahead of the politics
of power. We needn't if only we prudently executed the so-called land reform
without racial vindictiveness and spite.

In terms of resources and natural endowment, we should in fact be
feeding all the three countries and still maintain our strategic grain
reserves. Instead of which we have been stripped of our pride as a nation
and must survive on donations!

Tourism minister Francis Nhema was in typical denial. He told regional
tourism ministers in Victoria Falls that they had been badly misinformed by
the media on the situation in Zimbabwe.

"Before they came," said Nhema, "the ministers had been told that
there was no one visiting Zimbabwe and yet the planes they came in were all
full. They had also been told that there is no food but found it in
abundance."

So Nhema has everything in abundance for visitors while the rest of
the people fight for scarce commodities in almost empty shelves? It's
classical tale of two worlds.

Perhaps the minister can tell us where to get meat, sugar, salt,
margarine and bread. Muckraker would like to advise the minister to attend
to rampant poaching obtaining in game parks where people have now turned for
meat.

But the Zanu PF governing circus is not short on the tragicomic. On
Monday three whole ministers were quoted speaking highly of small-scale
enterprises in the development of Zimbabwe's economy.

Policy Implementation minister Webster Shamu and Small and Medium
Enterprises minister Sithembiso Nyoni spoke at the Chegutu Expo while Labour
minister Nicholas Goche spoke at the official opening of a regional workshop
on labour administration systems and the informal economy.

Shamu said small enterprises were a key vehicle for the empowerment of
Zimbabweans while Nyoni said SMEs were "a strong foundation for the
consolidation and indigenisation of the country".

Enter Goche: "The highest priority must be given to policies that meet
the central aspiration of women and men for decent work, to raise the
productivity of the informal economy and to integrate it into the mainstream
economy and to enhance the competitiveness of enterprise and economies."

To think that this is the same government which in 2005 launched and
presided over the diabolical Operation Murambatsvina which destroyed the
informal sector and left nearly 700 000 people without the means to survive!

To think that this is the same government which believes the best way
to run an economy is through price strangulation!

How do you achieve competitiveness under such conditions? Let's hope
they learn something useful from the workshop, or is it about playing to the
gallery?

Still on the subject of incoherence, ZBC this week reported that Water
minister Munacho Mutezo visited "Kunzvi Dam" to inspect progress on the
project. The reporter told us all was progressing well at the "dam" and
there was all the gobbledygook about work at an advanced stage.

But television footage showed us a "dam" with no water. There is no
dam wall or evidence of construction work to talk about.

When Mutezo was wheeled in to talk about the "dam", he at least told
us the real story. There is no money; nothing has been done to date other
than putting up beacons and Zinwa should raise water rates in order to raise
funds for the construction of the dam.

But the poor reporter was unmoved by this explanation from the
minister. She signed off as reporting from "Kunzvi Dam". This is ZBC's type
of developmental journalism. Report that the project is there, even when you
can't see it.


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Minister's racism destroying economy

Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

IN an interview with the Southern Times, the Minister of State for
National Security and Lands Land Reform and Resettlement, Didymus Mutasa,
stated: "I am taking land from white people only, and giving it to the
blacks." He emphatically added: "The land I have is for black Zimbabweans."

Amplifying thereon, in response to a question as to whether government
would consider applications from productive white farmers who made
significant contributions to the country's economy before land reforms, the
minister is reported as stating categorically that none of them would get
any land.

He sought to explain and justify this stance by saying: "It is not a
question of production, it is a question of empowering black people, and
they will become productive with time. When the whites came here, they were
not productive at all, they got productive with time. Our people need to do
the same, it is what the white man was in 1930, he was poor, and he had
nothing."

The minister's reported stance is not only contemptible, but requires
unmitigated condemnation for, over and above fundamental principles of good
and sound economic management in the best interests of the populace being
arrogantly ignored or flouted, and concepts of good and just governance
being cast to the wind, that stance is in blatant conflict with the
Zimbabwean constitution, and at absolute variance with policy enunciations
by President Mugabe.

In the first instance, the constitution specifically bars any
discrimination on the grounds of race, and very rightly so. For decades the
majority of Zimbabweans were the victims of abhorrent, inexcusably unjust
discrimination, in agriculture, in commerce and industry, in education, and
in innumerable other respects.

Upon Zimbabwe attaining its independence, its leader, Robert Mugabe,
was very emphatic that discrimination would wholly cease forthwith, that all
reasonably possible would be done to ameliorate the consequences of that
discrimination, but that concurrently there would be no reverse,
revenge-driven discrimination. Instead there would be reconciliation,
unification, and a drive to achieve improvement and advancement for all.

Admittedly, Minister Mutasa is not the only one in the hierarchy of
government to disavow those intents and, instead, to demonstrate pronounced
racial discrimination.

Whilst none can credibly deny that the Zimbabwean black population
should be very significantly empowered agriculturally, that does not
authorise the minister to override the constitution and cavalierly engage in
diabolical discrimination.

Compounding the minister's self-anointed superiority over the
constitution is the fact that he is concurrently in blatant conflict with
the stated policy of the president who appointed him to office.

About a year ago, speaking in Beitbridge, the president said that he
wished to resolve a longstanding misunderstanding. He said that: "Zimbabwe
wants white farmers, Zimbabwe welcomes white farmers, provided those white
farmers accept black farmers as their equals."

However, Minister Mutasa evidently does not agree. He continues with
his endless drive to oust the few remaining white farmers from their farms,
appears to do his best to frustrate the endeavours of some provincial
governors to attract white farmers back into their areas, and is obdurately
determined not to entertain any return to the lands by former white farmers
(as is transparently evident from his responses to the Southern Times).

Concurrently, the minister's attitude and policy is not only hindering
Zimbabwe's desperate attempts to achieve economic recovery, but complacently
acknowledges that a return to agricultural productivity will be delayed if
agriculture is made the exclusive preserve of black farmers.

Such acknowledgement is undeniably his when he notes that it took
white farmers some time until they attained maximised productivity, and that
blacks "need to do the same".

It does not, it appears, disturb him that the black farmers are, and
for a time, will continue to be poor and have nothing, the acceptability
thereof being that that had been the original circumstance of the white
farmers!

Why must some be poor now, because others were before, if that can be
avoided?

If, instead, as had been proposed by the Commercial Farmers' Union in
the 1980s and 1990s, white farmers and black farmers would operate side by
side, with the white farmers availing to the black farmers, their acquired
agricultural knowledge and expertise, then the period of black farmer
poverty referred to by the minister could be very markedly curtailed.

Concurrently, the combination of production by the white farmers and
the black farmers would be of inestimably great value to the Zimbabwean
economy and to the wellbeing of the populace.

Government has, heretofore, alleged that the low levels of
agricultural production that have prevailed since 2001, and especially those
of the last seasons, were primarily attributable to adverse climatic
conditions, exacerbated by inadequate agricultural inputs.

Whilst it is incontrovertible that climatic conditions have not been
wholly favourable, nevertheless the negative consequences thereof would have
been very considerably minimised if past experiences in containing those
consequences thereof had been applied, and if the minister's abysmally
handled land programmes had not resulted in pronounced cannibalisation and
destruction of irrigation systems, and in immense loss of water resources
through horrendously abusive riverbank cultivation and intense dam
siltation, which could have been greatly contained and controlled.

Moreover, if agricultural production had not been allowed to become a
mere fraction of previously achieved volumes, and qualities, the resources
would have been available for all the required agricultural inputs to be
timeously accessed and properly used.

But, although government has spuriously attributed the massive
decimation of agriculture to climatic conditions, to non-availability of a
sufficiency of inputs, (and to non-existent, allegedly illegal,
international sanctions), now the Minister of State for National Security
and Resettlement implies that it was an inevitable, transitional,
consequence of his programmes of total transferal of the agricultural sector
from whites to blacks.

That implication is indisputable, in view of his justification of the
current dearth of production being wrought by a repetition of the historical
lack of productivity of white farmers when they commenced farming 80 to 100
years ago.

Thus, on his own admission, the minister is contributing to the nation's
economic destruction, whilst at the same time he disregards the stated
policy of his president, and he unlawfully operates in breach of the
constitution.

Past discrimination requires condemnation and remedial action, but not
by recourse to new forms of discrimination, and by employing economically
disastrous, highly destructive, actions.


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Mugabe wins in MDC fight

Zim Independent

Comment

ON the eve of a crucial Sadc Summit this month in Zambia at which
South Africa's Thabo Mbeki is expected to report on progress in his
mediation efforts in Zimbabwe, the opposition MDC has pressed the
self-destruct button to publicly expose personality differences within its
ranks and that unity between its two formations is impossible.

This is a bad development for Mbeki who had hoped to entertain a
united MDC in the talks with Zanu PF.

But a statement by the Mutambara faction last weekend all but
confirmed that the two factions of the MDC have failed to see the value of
unity, which is good news for Mugabe ahead of the Sadc summit.

This is the evidence he requires to present to his Sadc counterparts
that the MDC is not a serious party. Mugabe has always wanted out of the
talks and the MDC has just presented him with the opportunity for a quick
exit.

At this juncture we refrain from apportioning blame for the failure of
unity in the MDC because both factions contributed to the disgraceful
scenario obtaining in opposition ranks.

In fact, if the party leaders want to be honest with their followers,
they have been responsible for reducing the party from one which held so
much promise to one which would rather strike its own instead of the enemy.

The party has become one of the most disappointing phenomena in
Zimbabwean politics in the last 10 years.

What is most puzzling about the two formations is that since the
October 2005 split, the MDC leaders have been fascinated more with their
differences than the need to unite and focus on pertinent national issues.

The party missed the opportunity in the last year-and-a-half to forge
unity before launching an electoral challenge. The word on unity from both
factions has been incoherent.

Personalities in the MDC leadership do not like each other even if
their thinking is virtually the same.

The two formations believe that President Mugabe and his Zanu PF
government are the enemies. They both have corresponding views on the rule
of law, press freedom, independence of the judiciary, the need for a new
constitution and so on.

Despite these common political aspirations, at recent rallies, the
factions have taken to denouncing each other with the same venom that is
usually reserved for Zanu PF officials.

The issue at stake here has nothing to do with safeguarding political
principles and the dogma that goes with it. It has all to do with
personality differences which the leaders believe are more important than
the electorate.

That explains why the formations saw it fit to differ on the modus
operandi of appointing a "cabinet". That, for a party that is not in office,
is shocking and inexcusable.

President Mbeki was at the weekend quoted as saying combined
parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for next year should be
free and fair, which is a big ask in a country with a notorious record of
electoral manipulation.

The division in the MDC can only help to further sway the vote in
favour of the ruling party.

For a long time, the MDC has taken its supporters for granted. It will
be asking too much from the electorate to give them a vote and unseat Zanu
PF and President Mugabe next year if the party goes into the polls as a
divided entity.

As the situation stands, it would be na´ve to believe that Arthur
Mutambara can between now and March next year launch a formidable electoral
campaign and beat both Mugabe and Tsvangirai in the presidential poll.

Equally, Tsvangirai's chances of beating Mugabe will be hugely
compromised if Mutambara or any member of his faction stands for the
presidential post.

Mutambara has called Tsvangirai a "weak leader" but he still has to
prove that he can win a national election next year. If not, he would be
relegated to a spoiler who took part in the election with no hope of winning
but managed to split the opposition vote.

Now that the two formations have spurned unity, they have to prove to
the electorate that they are not only very different but also that their
differences are healthy for this country. They have to start telling us
their programmes on important issues such as land reform, health, housing,
education, unemployment and so on.

This is what will attract the rural electorate in
Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, Dotito and Hurungwe. We wait to see the MDC factions'
manifestos.


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Zanu PF's foul tricks threadbare

Zim Independent

Candid Comment

By Joram Nyathi

THE government is never short of tricks when it comes to matters of
its survival. But the one major trick it has used over the years to deal
with its enemies - raising charges against them and getting them detained
for indefinite periods - is now so threadbare only an amoral regime can
continue to deploy it. The recent acquittal of former Finance minister Chris
Kuruneri who was arrested for a new crime called "externalisation" was the
final nail. There were many victims before him.

Those who fell foul of Zanu PF were always accused of a regime change
agenda. It didn't have this fancy name when people like the late
Vice-President Joshua Nkomo narrowly escaped assassination in the early
years of Independence. They were cobras whose heads had to be crushed to
protect Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's government. Politburo member Dumiso
Dabengwa has not written his memoirs on this dark period of our young
nation. He survived a terrible prison term, but his colleague Lookout Masuku
was not so lucky.

The late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole for some time lived under threat
of the hangman's noose after it was claimed that he plotted to effect regime
change by getting rid of President Mugabe. The major treason charge failed
to stick.

In recent years, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has
bred the largest number of potential terrorists and regime change agents.
They are led by Mugabe's nemesis, one Morgan Tsvangirai who was in 2001
accused of plotting to "eliminate" President Mugabe to fast-track his way to
State House. Evidence came in the form of a measly video clip in which a
crook named Ari Ben-Menashe was trying to pin down Tsvangirai to say
"eliminate" meant a coup.

Again Zanu PF lost in the courts.

Since Mugabe's defeat in the 2000 constitutional referendum, hundreds
of MDC activists have been arrested, detained and tortured on specious
charges related to the party's struggle for power against Zanu PF.

In recent weeks, many have been arrested and tortured for allegedly
engaging in acts of banditry in pursuit of regime change. After lengthy
detention periods in which they have been deprived their constitutional
liberties through denial of bail, they have been acquitted by the courts.

There is no denying that there will be more incidents of gratuitous
torture of opponents as we move closer to the joint parliamentary and
presidential elections. That is, unless Zanu PF is convinced that the MDC
has been fatally wounded by internal divisions that it must be left to die a
natural death.

The latest victims of this regime change agenda are businesses. Not
that they have been accused of treason. They are accused of complicit in the
agenda by increasing prices of basic commodities to profiteer and to stir up
public unrest.

Hundreds of managers and business executives have been arrested,
detained, tried and convicted of the lesser political charge of refusing to
comply with a decree to reduce prices of their products and services to
pre-June 18 levels. More are still being arrested, and the crackdown may
likely continue until there is nothing in the shops to sell at a loss.
Business must decide between pragmatism and economic sense. It is a terrible
dilemma.

Against all this, Kuruneri's case is the most debilitating. He was
appointed Finance minister, and then arrested and detained soon after on
charges of externalising foreign currency in breach of Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe regulations, and of dual citizenship for possessing a Canadian
passport.

He was to spend the next 15 months fighting for his freedom, during
which period he lost almost everything on legal fees. After that he spent
more than two years under house arrest under immense mental anguish. Then
suddenly you are found not guilty. And you can't do anything.

It is one of the most reprehensible violations of human rights
imaginable, whatever your political persuasion, for it presents us all with
a state in which the individual is not only vulnerable but counts for
nothing in Zanu PF's moral universe.

Kuruneri's case is worse than that of a political detainee whose
greatest protection against insanity is his conscience and the cause he
stands for. Up to now, it is not clear whose toes Kuruneri stepped on, and
there has been no indication that his troubles had anything to do with
regime change, a charge which has gained the status of treason.

Yet I must confess that I am embarrassed by the silence of civic
society, the human rights movement and the opposition in this sordid
Kuruneri affair. Is this because the regime is seen to be eating its own
children or a simple lack of moral clarity? It makes their solidarity with
Archbishop Pius Ncube a monument to religious hypocrisy, for there can't be
moral ambiguity about government's naked abuse of power against individual
citizens whatever their political leanings.

Kuruneri's case is a form of moral and ethical blind-spot which those
who claim to be different from Zanu PF should guard against. You can't be a
democrat and then use ethnic or political coding to define human rights
violations.

* Well, George, the intellectual. What to say, how to say it? He
excoriates me for the same things I am criticising, that because of the
polarisation caused by Zanu PF's misrule, we find ourselves fighting over
who said what, and not the substance of what is said. And then fills half a
page expatiating on the negativism I am criticising in our society! My point
is simple: Zimbabweans have been so brutalised by Zanu PF their anger is
often externalised as a form of self-hatred. Many are unable to distinguish
purpose from method.

Lastly, George has earned himself a distinction. He has so
immortalised the human spit that those who can endure his obscurantist prose
advise that it should never be read close to meal times. So as you aim your
spit for the pit, pity George.


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Zim Independent Letters

It's the bootlickers!

THE two MDC factions' failure to unite at this crucial time in
Zimbabwe's history is indeed sad and disappointing.

Many activists have sacrificed life and limb for their beloved
country, the common man is experiencing unprecedented suffering while the
Zanu PF fat cats continue to benefit from this quandary.

Our only hope lies in the two men who are at the helm of the main
opposition in Zimbabwe, Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai.

Unfortunately, the duo have been besieged by a very dangerous yet
influential coterie of bootlickers who thrive on the politics of patronage
which is synonymous with the Zanu PF way of attaining recognition from the
party leader.

This group of people from both camps is only self-serving and thrives
on posturing. These are individuals who lack the gravitas that Mutambara
often refers to when it comes to moving the country forward.

They are a liability to the democratic struggle and should be dealt
with if the opposition is to move towards the right direction. These
political sycophants are not capable leaders but pretenders who were caught
up in the moment.

The crisis created overnight politicians without the pedigree to lead.
They are opportunists manipulating the leaders of the opposition because of
kinship ties or a false sense of political achievements and experience
gained before and after 1999 when the MDC was formed.

We, the people of Zimbabwe, should expeditiously liberate these two
men first from this band of pretenders before we focus our attention on
Robert Mugabe.

It is a fact that Mutambara and Tsvangirai need each other right now
and they know that.

Parallels can be drawn with the situation existing in Zanu PF
currently. An equally influential group has contributed to Mugabe's
paranoia.

It is therefore a culture now characterising Zimbabwean politics and
if we are to achieve a new dispensation, this should be nipped in the bud as
a precondition for success.

Charles M Mutama,

Washington DC, USA.

-----------
MDC split gives voters wider choice

THERE is a common belief among Zimbabweans that unity among the two
MDC factions is necessary to unseat the Mugabe regime.

This is baseless because even with the current state of the MDC, Zanu
PF cannot win a free and fair election.

Secondly, the MDC should formally split into two powerful multi-tribal
parties that currently prevail.

An MDC split will lead to multi-partism and this has numerous
benefits. This will help provide dynamism in parliament and avoid a
situation where one party has absolute control and power and can thus
willy-nilly change the laws of the country or wreck the country like our old
citizens in Zanu PF have done.

As a country, should there be change in government, we need to make a
vow that "never again" should we allow another Mugabe debacle. Multipartism
is a sure way of guaranteeing this, especially if the opposition is
powerful.

With two powerful opposition parties, the system works even far much
better to the advantage of the ordinary Zimbabwean.

It will be easy for a parliament not dominated by one party to act as
a check on the executive, for example.

It is high time as Zimbabweans we think of our kids.

Mutambara and others should stand proud and never bother to negotiate
unity with the Tsvangirai-led MDC. It is for the good of the country.

Imagine a future Zimbabwe with two opposition parties and no one party
absolutely dominating parliament. Please give voters more choice by formally
splitting the MDC or even Zanu PF.

If Mugabe clings to power, the Mujuru faction should just form a rival
faction. With the knowledge of the Zanu PF rigging machinery, this will sure
benefit the entire country.

It is common knowledge that if the Mujuru faction were to have Simba
Makoni standing against Mugabe or Tsvangirai, Makoni would win the election
by a wide margin. It is another story if you introduce Mutambara in the
picture.

My point to all Zimbabweans is that we don't stand to benefit from one
or two strong parties. We need multi-parties so that there are checks and
balances in as far as power is concerned.

Tiny Murefu,

Harare.

---------------
Mbeki, remember also disenfranchised voters

THE Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) applauds President Thabo Mbeki for his
statement that the March 2008 elections in Zimbabwe should be free and fair.

Furthermore, his comment that any government that comes into office
after the process should be legitimate and acceptable to all Zimbabweans is
a step in the right direction, echoing what most Zimbabweans have been
calling for all along.

However, ZEF notes with concern that Mbeki has not touched on one of
the fundamental issues surrounding the plebiscite - that is the inclusion in
the process of about five million Zimbabweans who have been driven into
exile, and have been subsequently disenfranchised.

This inclusion is critical if the result of the coming election is to
be acceptable to all Zimbabweans.

Further to the above, ZEF invites Mbeki to reiterate the importance of
the Sadc guidelines in the upcoming election in Zimbabwe.

Without minimal standards for free and fair elections being observed
in the country, any outcome is bound to be disputed and may lead to further
bitterness and polarisation in the country.

Gabriel Shumba,

ZEF executive director.

----------
Hand me my cutlass

JUST when you thought you have seen them all, out pops this supreme
hypocrite: Rolls Royce Marxist/Leninist.

Lord save us.

The socialists of Ghana in the 1960s had a fondness for the
Mercedes-Benz 220. Kwame Nkrumah's preference was a red Mercedes-Benz
convertible for his girlfriend, Genevieve. Thus the term "Mercedes Benz
socialists".

John Jerry Rawlings, the Marxist revolutionary whose idols included
Fidel Castro and Muammar Gadaffi, preferred Jaguars. Hence the "Jaguar
Marxist".

Now comes Robert Mugabe, who vowed to establish a Marxist/Leninist
state in Zimbabwe in 1980, riding about in a Rolls Royce convertible while
railing against British colonialists and while his people starve.

And he has the impudence to accuse Archbishop Pius Ncube of being a
hypocrite.

Hand me my cutlass.

George Ayittey,

Washington, DC.

--------
Get real Joram!

JORAM Nyathi's thesis "National vision: a personal credo" (Zimbabwe
Independent, August 27) is shockingly shallow in its analysis and
conclusions.

It is not just the lack of a common vision which has divided the
nation.

Zimbabwe has been divided by the manner in which opposing or different
visions about the nation are treated by the ruling party and government.

Any one with a different vision for Zimbabwe is instantly treated as a
traitor, and threatened with physical harm.

How can you honestly expect the generality of Zimbabwean people to
share a common vision under the circumstances?

The opposition is constantly harassed and beaten up for proposing a
different vision for Zimbabwe. And then you wonder why the negative
disposition has become a permanent feature of the Zimbabwean mindset?

Get real Joram!

Farai Mtshaka,

Brussels.

---------
Zanu PF can learn from African history
By Kagubo Ka Kasya

I FIRMLY believe that the Zanu PF Women's League has historians in its
midst.

They should read the histories of countries like Tanzania, Zambia,
Ethiopia etc where the political parties were supreme and the governments
were either the arms or legs or shoulders etc of the parties while the
parliaments were rubberstamps.

The resultant arrangement inflicted untold economic disaster and
suffering upon the countries and peoples.

In Tanzania, former president Julius Nyerere (a staunch Catholic)
realised that the interests of the country and its citizens were more
important than one politician's interests and self-preservation.

He worked out his lucrative exit and stepped down. And he was hailed
for his courage. He became an ordinary citizen, with no position in the
party he founded and/or the government he had run for 24 years.

When Nyerere stepped down in 1985, Tanzania was flat broke because of
the destructive economic policies he had advocated but people forgave him as
well as accepted him as a kingmaker.

When 80% of Tanzanians voted against multiparty politics he was able
to campaign for and educate his people on the importance of multipartism.
Tanzanians listened and embraced his new ideas and the country has more than
15 political parties for its 35 million citizens (120 tribes and 130
languages).

The country's political change of the guards and the economic
turnaround are all well known. And when he died 15 years after stepping down
as president, Tanzanians openly wept for him.

Africans are very forgiving but one should not overstay one's
hospitality.

* Kagubo Ka Kasya writes from California, US.

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