December 21, 2012 in Politics
SIMMERING tensions within Zanu PF dramatically boiled over in Manicaland
after a provincial executive council meeting in Zimunya degenerated into a
fistfight as Zanu PF heavyweights wrestled for control of the province.
Report by Faith Zaba
There was knife’s edge tension at the meeting last Friday as provincial
executive members accused each other of working with politburo and central
committee members to cause divisions in the party ahead of make-or-break
elections scheduled for 2013.
Sources who attended the meeting told the Zimbabwe Independent Zanu PF
provincial chairperson for Manicaland, Mike Madiro, was not spared during
the fracas as he was manhandled by provincial secretary for production and
labour, John Chirimambowa, who was infuriated by allegations he was working
with the party’s senior leadership to cause confusion and ructions in the
The commotion started when provincial secretary for information and
publicity Godfrey Chikwanda stood up to accuse national secretary for
administration, Didymus Mutasa, politburo member Munacho Mutezo, and central
committee members Enock Porusingazi and Freddy Kanzama of fuelling divisions
in the province.
The sources said Chikwanda accused the quartet of working with provincial
executives to destabilise provincial organs of the party. He reportedly
accused the senior officials of being behind recent machinations leading to
the ouster of provincial youth chairperson, Tawanda Mukodza, at a meeting
held a week after the Zanu PF annual conference in Gweru.
Mukodza was accused of diverting money sourced by the youth league for the
party from companies mining diamonds in Marange for personal use.
He is alleged to have set up a timber company and bought several cars and a
house using the funds.
Mukodza has since been replaced by lawyer, Kelvin Manyengavana.
“While Chikwanda was still speaking, Chirimambowa stood up and attacked him
as well as Madiro,” said a provincial member who attended the meeting.
“Chirimambowa attacked Chikwanda for making the allegations and Madiro for
allowing him to spread what he said were lies.”
December 21, 2012 in Politics
Tough-Talking and combative war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda stole the
limelight at the just-ended Zanu PF national people’s conference held in
Gweru when he launched a blistering attack on the party’s so called
“godfathers” for subverting the party’s constitution for selfish interests.
Report by Elias Mambo
Sibanda told delegates Zanu PF bigwigs are using money to fuel factionalism
at night while claiming to be supporting President Robert Mugabe during the
His scathing attack received thunderous applause from delegates who believe
the party’s leadership has been treating the contentious issue of
factionalism with kid gloves when it needed a tough stance if Zanu PF is to
win critical elections scheduled for next year.
Sources said the controversial war veterans’ leader openly told Mugabe that
some of his close allies at the high table were using money to solicit
support from the people while fuelling factionalism in the party.
“President, we want to let you know that some of our leaders who have a lot
of money are buying support from the people and this is what has killed the
party,” Sibanda is reported to have said.
“Some of our leaders’ behaviour cannot be discussed here so I am booking an
appointment with you to let you know what is happening on the ground.”
The delegates supported Sibanda for his fearless expose of party leaders who
are on a vote-buying spree as they jostle to succeed the aging Mugabe as
Sibanda is not new to controversy as he recently told Mugabe that Zanu PF
was losing support as a result of a dictatorial, lacklustre and inept party
leadership failing to read the mood-swing in party strongholds.
Sibanda has been on a trailblazing campaign across the country’s 10
provinces to mobilise war veterans and local chiefs to prepare and campaign
for a Zanu PF victory in the forthcoming elections.
Sibanda exposed top Zanu PF leaders who often mislead Mugabe about events on
the ground and the extent of the party’s support.
It could also be a pointer to the divisions ripping the party apart and may
affect Mugabe’s bid to overturn a March 2008 presidential election first
round defeat to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Close sources say Mugabe, desperate to extend his 32-year rule, has given
the firebrand war veterans’ leader the nod to mobilise support in the
provinces as the country prepares for a make-or-break election.
The war veterans, who have often been accused of driving political violence,
have come to Mugabe’s rescue since 2000 when party structures began to
crumble as the MDC gained popularity.
December 21, 2012 in Politics
THE increasingly acrimonious intra-party fight over the MDC-T’s confirmation
of sitting MPs reached boiling point at a lengthy and stormy national
executive meeting on Tuesday as the powerful standing committee railroaded
the party into adopting the controversial procedure.
Report by Brian Chitemba/Wongai Zhangazha
High-level sources told the Zimbabwe Independent the criteria to select the
party’s election candidates dominated the national executive meeting at the
party’s headquarters, Harvest House, with heated debate raging on for more
than two hours.
The issue further generated intense heated debate at Wednesday’s four-hour
national council meeting, although officials eventually adopted the
confirmation resolution despite growing discontent among party supporters.
Under the confirmation process, MPs have to get a two thirds approval rating
by party members in their respective constituencies for them to stand on the
Failure to garner the two thirds approval would condemn affected legislators
to open primary elections.
The tense, no-holds-barred Tuesday meeting, chaired by party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, heated up after the party’s top 11 who make up the 12 member
standing committee declared the door for open primaries was fairly closed,
in a move seen as a ploy by MDC-T bigwigs to ring-fence their seats in the
face of challenge from ambitious upstarts.
This immediately drew the ire of the MDC-T Supporters’ Forum, a loose union
of MDC-T district executives disgruntled over their party’s selection
process for the forthcoming polls which is demanding open primaries. The
Forum has pledged to campaign for independent candidates if the party does
not reverse its decision.
However, Biti said the national council unanimously adopted the candidate
He defended the confirmation process saying it was democratic as party
members in a constituency have to confirm sitting MPs by two thirds to avoid
“The confirmation process is not a new thing; it has been in the
constitution since 2000,” Biti told a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s a
democratic process where district assemblies will be checking on the
performance of sitting MPs.”
Sources said there were also fears of intra-party violence in constituencies
the MDC-T has no sitting MPs as prospective candidates slug it out in open
The national council resolved members with less than five years in the party
are not eligible to contest primary polls — a move seen as further
protecting incumbent MPs.
There was also a suggestion MPs who received vehicles from the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe should not be eligible to stand, but this was hastily quashed.
The MDC-T Supporters’ Forum has warned the party’s attitude regarding
primary elections was undemocratic and would be fiercely resisted.
The Forum is set to hold its first consultative meeting mid-January in 2013
in Harare with representatives from Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, Chitungwiza
MDC-T leaders are accused of insisting on the confirmation process to
shrug-off fierce competition from young turks vying for parliamentary seats.
Cabinet ministers likely to face a bruising fight from young aspirants
include Finance minister Tendai Biti, Tapiwa Mashakada (Economic Planning),
Theresa Makone (Home Affairs), Joel Gabbuza Gabuza (Public Works) and Heneri
Dzinotyiwei (Science and Technology), among others.
Youth assembly deputy chairperson Costa Machingauta wants to challenge
Dzinotyiwei in Budiriro while secretary-general Promise Mkwananzi is likely
to lock horns with Felix Magalela Sibanda in Magwegwe.
Youth treasurer Mukombwe Dube has reportedly set his sights on the Binga
South seat currently held by Gabuza, while youth organising secretary
Mpumelelo Ndlovu and his deputy Happymore Chidziva are eyeing the Insiza
South and Redcliff seats currently under MDC and Zanu PF respectively.
“The consultative meeting will discuss strategies to resist the undemocratic
move of confirming sitting MPs, councillors and senators of the party,” read
a statement by the Forum. “The structures which the party says select the
candidates comprise people chosen by sitting MPs, councillors and senators.”
“The system will never be accepted by voters. They crafted the (MDC-T)
constitution to protect their positions. How can 200 people have a mandate
to choose a candidate among themselves to represent a constituency with
thousands of voters?”
The Forum has called for a review of the party’s constitution saying it
should be reviewed to tally with the current thinking of supporters. It
insists people should be free to elect a candidate of their choice at all
The supporters lashed out at Tsvangirai for failing to defend the people’s
interests for which he claims to stand for.
“In 2005 when Professor Welshman Ncube pulled out of the MDC over the
disagreement on whether to have a senate or not, he (Tsvangirai) stood firm
with the people saying the economy was too weak to sustain the senate. He
said he would remain alone as long as he was doing what the people wanted.
The people supported him through and through. But this time he will have to
choose between what the people want and the so-called confirmation of
sitting MPs which the people do not want.”
With Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate reportedly hovering above 80%, MDC-T
supporters fear sitting MPs are going to use corrupt means to retain their
The Supporters’ Forum claims vote-buying is rampant in Harare, Bulawayo,
Masvingo and Chitungwiza.
December 21, 2012 in News
ZIMBABWE Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga’s spirited
efforts to enlist war veterans to campaign for Zanu PF ahead of crucial
elections expected next year is facing insurmountable resistance from former
Zipra commanders whose contribution has been identified as crucial if Zanu
PF is to do well in Matabeleland.
Report by Herbert Moyo
Zipra was the armed wing of PF Zapu which, together with Zanu PF’s Zanla,
waged a protracted guerrilla war against the country’s colonial rulers.
As in 2008 when it embarked on a brutal campaign to rescue President Robert
Mugabe in the presidential election run-off after losing the initial poll,
the military has again taken an active interest in next year’s crucial
elections and is already on the ground campaigning for Mugabe and Zanu PF.
During the 2008 elections, Zanu PF failed to garner a single seat in
Bulawayo, making it the only province where it was whitewashed.
Chiwenga has taken it upon himself to mobilise war veterans to assist Zanu
PF in exchange for lump sums of money, among other benefits.
Top commanders of the defence forces have been campaigning for Zanu PF in
Manicaland and Masvingo in a move widely seen as a desperate attempt to
protect the vast wealth they have accumulated under Mugabe’s rule.
Highly placed sources revealed that Chiwenga recently engaged members of the
Zipra command at One Brigade Headquarters in Bulawayo — his second such
meeting this year — to drum up their support for Mugabe and Zanu PF.
However, most former Zipra commanders snubbed him, believing he only wanted
to use their influence to galvanise other ex-Zipra cadres to campaign for
Zanu PF for elections despite the fact that they have been sidelined since
Independence in 1980.
Sources said Chiwenga’s tactic was to begin the meeting by attempting to
pacify the ex-Zipra combatants by acknowledging they had played a pivotal
role in the liberation struggle just like their Zanla counterparts. He said
the country’s history books must be re-written to accurately reflect and
recognise Zipra’s role.
Most Zipra cadres are bitter that the role they played in the bitter war
waged to liberate Zimbabwe has been downplayed while that of Zanla has been
Chiwenga emphasised the supremacy of the War Veterans Act as opposed to the
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) which is a
voluntary organisation formed in 1990 to cater for the welfare of
ex-combatants, and has always been led by lower level former guerrillas.
“In urging us to campaign for a Zanu PF victory, he told us that in terms of
the (War Veterans) Act, ex-combatants are a reserve army which can be called
upon at any time to perform duty,” said a source who attended the meeting.
“To our understanding, that means having us endorse Mugabe’s candidature as
he is our commander-in-chief and also campaigning for him.”
Only three former commanders of the Zipra command, two of them being Jack
Mpofu and another identified only as Sigoke or Mlotshwa, bothered to attend.
Those who boycotted were reportedly angered by Chiwenga’s failure to address
crucial issues of their welfare and compensation for properties confiscated
in 1982 after the alleged discovery of arms caches at Zapu farms.
Chiwenga first met former Zipra cadres at Imbizo barracks, just outside
Bulawayo two months ago, but failed to address these issues.
The former fighters were also peeved by apparent attempts to divide them for
maintaining loyalty to their former commanders, especially Dumiso Dabengwa,
and refusing to obey Zanu PF leaders.
Those that boycotted the meeting also charged that Chiwenga was trying to
sow discord within their ranks after some of them attended the meeting.
“The two who attended are selling out to Chiwenga,” said one source. “In
fact, Mlotshwa is related to Vice-President John Nkomo and is one of the
ex-Zipra leaders Chiwenga is luring into his corner.”
Contacted for comment, former Zipra supremo Dabengwa was evasive, referring
all questions to “Richard Dube, one of the Zipra commanders who attended the
“I believe they (those who attended the meeting) also discussed the revival
of the War Veterans Board, but l don’t want to jeopardise that by
commenting,” Dabengwa said.
Sources further claimed Chiwenga has more Matabeleland visits planned as
Zanu PF’s election campaign gathers momentum.
“We issued a press statement a few weeks ago as part of our attempts to say
‘hands off our members’ and (to) stop him (Chiwenga) from proceeding to
Gwanda where he wants to go and meet with our cadres,” said one former Zipra
commander on Tuesday. “He has planned these whirlwind tours across the
length and breadth of Matabeleland and in fact, he will be heading to Lupane
under the guise of opening a mine when in reality he wants to meet with our
Companies linked to the military are involved in various lucrative but shady
mining ventures, including diamond mining, with the most recent venture
being the US$2 billion coal and methane gas project between Oldstone
Investment and Shan Don Sunlight Energy of China in Gwayi, Matabeleland
Chiwenga attended the commissioning of the Gwayi project in Lupane on
Wednesday, alongside Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Bulawayo has over the years been the epicentre of discontent against Zanu PF
rule with its populace complaining about marginalisation.
This has been exacerbated by the perennial water problems, the Gukurahundi
massacres in which about 20 000 people were killed in Matabeleland and
Midlands, and de-industrialisation, among others.
December 21, 2012 in News
THE Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has called for the inclusive
government to immediately take measures to demilitarise the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (Zec) secretariat to restore its independence for it to
credibly run crucial elections set for next year.
Report by Staff Writer
In a report released this week the ZDI, a local public policy think-tank,
contends an unreformed Zec secretariat, as currently composed, cannot
deliver free and fair elections.
The report says the current Zec composition provides an opportunity for
powerful political forces to manipulate popular influence through
institutionalised mechanisms and political strategies.
“We call upon Sadc to urge the inclusive government of Zimbabwe to, as part
of the elections roadmap, ensure fresh recruitment of Zec employees and to
ensure they have no connections to the security sector,” reads the report.
“This includes recalling all military and security agents, retired and
serving, in Zec and starting an open and transparent recruitment process,”
In a bid to resolve the country’s protracted political stalemate, political
parties agreed to a raft of reforms which would pave way for free and fair
elections, and the revamping of Zec is one of the major reforms that has to
be done before elections.
According to the ZDI, a credible and impartial Zec is a critical factor in
attempts to deliver a democratic electoral process, outcome and consequently
a smooth transfer of power in Zimbabwe.
December 21, 2012 in News
COMMERCIAL Farmers Union’s president Charles Taffs has castigated government
for failing to come up with clear-cut funding for agriculture, saying the
nation was headed for another food crisis as the new farming season has
begun with nothing to show farmers are ready.
Report by Staff Writer
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Taffs said this season the
state of preparedness of farmers is the worst at a time the country is
likely to receive good rains.
“The state of preparedness of the farmers is the worst in the history of
Zimbabwe because government has failed to put in place mechanisms to ensure
farmers get funding,” Taffs said.
Over the last decade Zimbabwe has been unable to produce enough cereals to
meet national requirements. The country has been relying on grain imported
by government, aid agencies and the private sector to cover the deficit.
Recently the World Food Programme said about two million people will require
food aid in 2013.
However, the production shortfall was mainly attributed to the combined
effects of adverse weather, high costs and limited availability of
agricultural inputs on the formal market.
Taffs said this season government, which has always blamed drought, will
have no excuse for food shortages in the country.
“It has always been like this every season for the past 12 years and now
there is hope of enough rains, we will see what the government will say led
to the food crisis,” he said.
“The government is failing to deal with fundamental issues of funding
because of lack of proper land tenure. The farmers cannot access funding
because their land is dead capital,” he said.
In 2012, Zimbabwe had to import up to 300 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia to
feed millions of its citizens who were facing starvation.
However, the bulk of the imported maize supplied to the hungry Zimbabweans
came from former white commercial farmers evicted during the 2000 chaotic
land invasions, and now farming in Zambia.
December 21, 2012 in News
THE year 2012 has come and nearly gone. And 34 years after the Alma-Ata
declaration on health, Zimbabwe is still struggling to contain primitive
diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Report by Elias Mambo
The Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 emerged as a major milestone of the 20th
century in the field of public health, and it identified primary healthcare
as the key to the attainment of the goal of health for all.
However, besides being a signatory to the health declaration and contrary to
the hope that was raised by the formation of the current inclusive
government in 2009, Zimbabwe has again dismally failed to contain the
maternal mortality rate which has remained very high at 790 per 100 000 live
births, compared to 390 in the 1990s, which means eight women die every day
while giving birth.
In addition, 100 children between 0 and five years die every day, mainly due
to preventable diseases, and around one-third of them are stunted. The
health sector has remained arrested in a time machine where donor-funded
drugs are available but service delivery continues to decline due to
understaffing and poor remuneration.
Only a decade ago, Zimbabwe’s public health system was ranked among the best
in sub-Saharan Africa. But just like the rest of Zimbabwe’s economic and
social fabric, the health delivery system has frighteningly deteriorated.
The health sector received a major boost in February this year when the
United Kingdom announced a contribution of £74 million (around US$120
million) to support maternal and child health.
Around US$80 million is earmarked for supporting the Health Transition Fund
(HTF), an innovative multi-donor fund launched in November 2011 and managed
Following the formation of the coalition government, the National Health
Strategy for Zimbabwe was adopted. This was a five-year health sector
recovery plan, which sought to reverse the decline in the performance of the
country’s health delivery system, especially as it impacted on universal
access to primary healthcare by vulnerable populations.
The goals of the plan included tackling levels of health financing and thus
improving access to basic medical equipment and essential medicines; taking
steps to attract and retain health workers in the public health sector and
laying the foundation for an investment policy to fund the rehabilitation
and development of the health services infrastructure.
Zimbabwe has enjoyed the temporary delirium in which changes within the
health sector were notable as drugs were donated by the international
community and hospitals revived their day-to-day activities.
However, a shortage of nurses and doctors is throwing the one-time beacon of
health in Africa into the doldrums again.
According to a report presented by the Portfolio Committee on Health and
Child Welfare chaired by former Health minister and Zanu PF Murehwa North
legislator, David Parirenyatwa, there is a decline in service delivery
especially on child health.
The report also states that as a result of the dire situation in the health
sector, Zimbabweans continue to suffer from a high burden of diseases and
conditions, most of which are preventable and treatable.
“Child health status indicators are worsening with infant mortality and
under-five mortality rising from 53% to 77 per 1 000 live births in 1994 to
67 and 94 per 1 000 live births respectively in 2009,” the parliamentary
A local analyst, Alexander Rusero said despite the political bickering in
the inclusive government, the health sector is improving.
“While there is too much politics in the country, the health sector is
showing signs of revival as compared to the past two decades,” Rusero said.
“From 2005 to 2009, taking your son or wife to a local hospital was like
giving them a death sentence because you knew they might not return alive,”
Rusero said the only stumbling block is on the staffing side which has
resulted in all state-run hospitals being seriously understaffed and
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike concurs but
adds there is still a long way to go in terms of recruitments.
“The health sector is reviving from a decade of decline but we are very slow
in terms of meeting the Abuja target in which African countries agreed to
commit 15% of their total budget towards health,” Rusike said.
“There is need to revamp the infrastructure in all major hospitals and aim
to reduce maternal mortality so as to achieve our millennium development
goals,” he said.
Rusike also said government and all stakeholders need to focus on improving
the accessibility of ARVs which are only accessible to 40% of HIV-positive
patients as the rest continue to suffer without proper medication.
He also said the shortage of doctors in Zimbabwe has reached crisis levels
with the country having only 21% of the required medical practitioners.
December 21, 2012 in Politics
The expectation ever since the inauguration of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) on September 15, 2008 and its Government of National Unity
(GNU) on February 14, 2009 that harmonised elections would be held sooner
rather than later, has been integral to the Zimbabwean political psyche.
Opinion by Ibbo Mandaza
Yet it is also an expectation that has become increasingly illusive, even as
the political leadership — particularly President Robert Mugabe — vows,
annually since 2009, that elections will be held with or without a new
So, if nothing appears certain about the date of the next election it is,
regrettably, also this political uncertainty, generated by such endless talk
about an event that should otherwise restore confidence about the future of
Zimbabwe, which constitutes a major drag on an economy which saw phenomenal
growth of over 9,5% in 2009, but now stalling to well below 5% in 2012.
The media in particular, but also academic analyses in general, have failed
so far to probe behind the political rhetoric that has become a unique
feature of Zimbabwean society, so as to identify and explore the dynamics
and realities that might inhere a better tomorrow.
At the outlet, therefore, are at least four reasons why there will be no
harmonised elections in 2013: three of these relate to the processes
antecedent to such elections; and the fourth concerns Zimbabwe’s crisis of
succession which cannot be resolved by a poll but through a Transitional
Mechanism until the country is ready for a meaningful contest.
All this notwithstanding Mugabe’s recent assertions: in October, that
elections will be held by March 2013, “with or without a new constitution”;
at the opening of parliament on November 15, that the nation must prepare
for the event in 2013; and finally, at the Zanu PF national conference on
December 9, his threat that he could at any time dissolve parliament and
announce the date of the election in 2013.
First, and most obvious, the fading time-line to 2013: the referendum on the
draft constitution, an event that should have come and gone in October or
November this year, is now more likely in May or June than February or March
2013; and excluding the other three factors to be outlined herein as
rendering elections not possible in 2013, the earliest they could be held in
October 2013, that is within four months of the dissolution of parliament on
June 29, 2013, the latter being the date of the so-called “automatic
dissolution” after five years since the last harmonised elections in March
Second, and less obvious given the dust generated by political rhetoric and
even euphoria about a constitution-making exercise now almost complete, is
the process likely to be as long-drawn out as was the case in Kenya where it
has taken almost two years of synchronising the old laws with the new
The constitutional lawyers on both sides (Zanu PF and MDCs) of the political
spectrum are acutely aware of this requirement as part and parcel of any
constitution-making exercise, but dare not speak out loud on it, for fear of
being labelled saboteurs of an election mode which, by the look of things,
is unable to convert itself into the required frenzy.
Behind the scenes, however, there are those quiet murmurs of
acknowledgement: a Zanu PF big wig thinks at least six months will be
required to synchronise the current laws with the new constitution; and an
MDC-T counterpart, who has just returned from a visit to Kenya, is convinced
the process will exceed 18 months, at best!
Third, and always to be remembered, are the principles which have become
virtual gospel in Sadc’s mediation of the GPA, as highlighted by the Sadc
Troika on December 9, 2012, almost as if to challenge Mugabe’s assertions at
the Zanu PF’s conference in Gweru on the same day: namely, that there can be
no elections until a referendum on the draft constitution and the completion
of the reform agenda as stipulated by the GPA and its related road map.
Admittedly, the debate on what constitutes the “minimum conditions” for
“free and fair elections” has become confused and even open-ended as the GPA
itself has unfolded and as the MDC is almost hand-in-glove with Zanu PF in
Now, depending on the political occasion, the MDC-T in particular vacillates
between an almost religious adherence to the demand for reforms as a
precondition for elections, and an acceptance of Mugabe’s gauntlet for polls
The question is whether MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, and Welshman Ncube
(MDC-N), too, will join Mugabe and Zanu PF in defying Sadc over a principle
that is the cornerstone of the GPA and therefore the raison d’etre of the
mediation exercise, or convince South Africa and the regional body that all
is clear for free and fair elections in 2013.
My bet is that the MDC as a whole will err on the side of caution, choosing,
in the final analysis, to play it safe in the arms of Sadc and South Africa
in particular, for fear of a repeat of 2008.
In which case, Mugabe’s threat of going ahead with elections, with or
without a new constitution and related reforms, can at best be a lame one,
not least because the old man is hardly in a position to spoil for a fight
against his own regional body, a re-elected President Jacob Zuma (pictured
left), and an international community he has already begun to court and
re-engage as part of his legacy-building in the final years of a long but
tumultuous political career.
And this is precisely the fourth point I wish to highlight, namely, that
Mugabe cannot possibly reconcile an election agenda in 2013, with all its
potential for a bruising campaign and violence on the one hand, and, on the
other, the need to leave behind him a legacy at least favourable enough to
redeem some of those unsavoury parts of his political life, while
simultaneously bequeathing Zimbabwe a new constitution, a peaceful
transition from his era to the next, the foundations of sustainable economic
growth and development, and a return to the international community of
Therefore, the constitution-making exercise in particular will have provided
a convenient platform from which to launch his legacy-building programme.
Perhaps this explains why Mugabe salvaged an exercise that had taken three
years, gobbled almost US$50 million and was about to crash in failure.
So, almost out of the blue, the Copac saga was rescued in August 2012 and,
notwithstanding much grandstanding and much-a-do-about nothing on the part
of all concerned, a Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference was successfully
held three months later in November, and, by all accounts, Mugabe, under the
garb of the “Principals”, had pulled it off, almost single-handedly. Our
suspicions, as long ago as August, that a deal had been done dusted through
the agency of Mugabe himself, will be confirmed next Monday December 24, as
the completed draft constitution is unveiled and, perhaps, even the date of
the referendum announced.
The dominant role of Mugabe and his fellow Principals (gradually including
Ncube) cannot be ignored: it has tended to belittle the function and status
of the legislature, simultaneously transcending party political boundaries
in reality, and rendering, not only the referendum but even the election
contest itself, almost superfluous.
This new institution of the “Principals” is, of course, a child of the
GPA/GNU; and if Mugabe in particular has expressed misgivings about the GNU,
he appears to regard the “Principals” as an exception, certainly something
that could be a useful factor in the Transitional Mechanism which is
In the meantime, it is an institution that has created a level of national
consensus that now stands inconsistent with an election contest in 2013.
This is why, even now, election talk is so shrill and, with the passage of
weeks and a referendum more based on national consensus than contest, will
become increasingly discordant with public opinion so suspicious and fearful
So, who really wants elections in 2013, quite apart from the issue of their
feasibility given what has been outlined in the foregoing?
I have intimated why, all being equal, Mugabe would prefer to pursue his
legacy-building programme even, as appears to be the case so far, he is not
aware that this – and the institution of “Principals” – could be undermined
by an election in 2013.
Then there is also the age factor (89 in 2013!) which should be an
inhibiting factor; and I have to wonder whether those who fete and declare
him so loudly as the “sole candidate”, almost ad infinitum, do so genuinely
or are merely victims of the crisis of succession in the former liberation
movement. Whatever the case, it does not make sense to want to subject an
old man to the vagaries and risks of a bruising contest and thereby deprive
him of a more
congenial and comfortable exit from public life.
Certainly, many a Zanu PF stalwart, including ministers and politburo
members, quietly confide that it would be better and more meaningful to have
the harmonized elections only after the old man has made his exit and a new
platform established for the party.
Likewise, Tsvangirai hardly exhibits an appetite for elections in 2013: he
has his own personal problems which should make him less than confident
about an easy run at the polls, not to mention a fractious party that is
also gripped by its own version of a crisis of succession; and many in MDC-T
argue openly about the need to delay the date for elections, well beyond
2013, at least until time has taken care of all the attendant problems in
The article by Tony Reeler and the arguments borrowed from Derek Matyzsak
suggest a legal and constitutional rationale for avoiding elections in 2012
and for the kind of GNU II which I recommended earlier this year (“Zimbabwe
2012: Another GNU?”, Zimbabwe Independent, February 16, 2012 ). But the main
reasons why there could be no elections in 2013 relate mainly to the
processes attendant to the constitution-making and reform exercise, a
process that is likely to take at least 18 months after the charter is taken
through the referendum and adopted by parliament in May/June 2013.
Such a programme would include the outstanding reform agenda as stipulated
in the GPA, especially the Restoration of National Institutions and a
well-designed Economic and Social Recovery Programme.
But there is also the problem of the crisis of succession in Zimbabwe, a
matter which can be resolved only with the managed and amicable exit of
Zimbabweans need to be more resourceful and imaginative than merely resign
to the provisions of statutes as if the latter are cast in stone. The
dissolution of parliament when its life comes to an end in June 2013 need
not mean an imminent election.
Instead, a proclamation could establish a new deadline (say 18 months to 24
months hence) for harmonised elections in 2015, after the
constitution-making process is completed comprehensively and likewise the
other reforms. A Transitional Government, or GNU II, under the leadership of
the president and his Principals (including Ncube) and a selected team of
not more than 18 members of cabinet, would steer the country during that
period until the date of the election in 2015.
The end justifies the means!
Ibbo Mandaza is a Zimbabwean academic, author and publisher. He is currently
the convenor of the Sapes Trust’s Policy Dialogue Forum.
December 21, 2012 in News
THE year has come to a close with drama that would make another cool Western
flick in the league of legendary director Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad
and the Ugly.
Marriages that would never be; plots to stop the premier’s union with his
sweetheart; another bank closure, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai teaming up to ensure Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara remains a principal in the inclusive government while the
legitimate leader of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, remains just that, despite a
Sadc resolution confirming him as a principal. Read on:
January- Biti strips Zimbabwe Revenue Authority boss of all powers
Liquid Telecom acquires ZOL
TN Acquires a controlling stake in Pelhams.
February- Econet Wireless Zimbabwe sells its 19,7% stake in Afre at a
premium of 514%.
February- Nssa takes over RMB and Afre.
An age clause seeking to limit the age of a president to 70 in the draft
constitution is seen targeting Mugabe ( 88 at the time) from running as
Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) nearly lose its Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel after CBZ
Bank Ltd sent a letter of demand over a US$2,5 million facility which
matured in January.
April - Former Murray & Roberts (M&R) Zimbabwe CEO Canada Malunga, Paddy
Zhanda, high-flying South African executive Sam Sithole, and Michael
McCulloch acquire M&R Zimbabwe through Zumbani Capital, the consortium that
bought a 47% stake.
April – Afre Corporation says it will explore a legal route to recover
US$1,3 million the company lost in a scrip lending deal that went bust
during former executive chairman Patterson Timba’s administration.
June – TN Bank announces plans to list separately on ZSE.
KINGDOM Financial Holdings Ltd reaches an agreement with Mauritius-based
financial services group AfrAsia Bank Ltd and pledges to invest US$9,5
million for a 35% equity in the group. The investment completes the
recapitalisation of KFHL and paves the way for the group to accelerate its
strategic initiatives to consolidate the operations of its key subsidiaries.
September - Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai marries his sweetheart
October- Tiger Brands buys a stake in Natfoods.
October - The Federal High Court of Nigeria hands down judgment in favour of
Econet in the dispute with Bharti Airtel Nigeria.
December – Zanu PF gives up on all but two contentious issues in the draft
PPC’s subsidiary Portland Holdings announces plans to invest at least US$200
million towards construction of a new cement plant in Rushinga, Mashonaland
January- Patterson Timba and Dunmore Kundishora go ahead with a disputed
February – Munyaradzi Kereke, RBZ governor Gideon Gono’s adviser, is fired
from the central bank.
March – Shah files fraud charges against Tetrad Investment Bank and Interfin
May – ZSE CEO Emmanuel Munyukwi suspended from the ZSE.
June - Another bank bites the dust. An investigation into the operations of
Interfin Banking Corporation unearths wholesale looting that left the bank
reeling from non-performing insider loans of US$60 million, poor corporate
governance and general abuse of depositors’ funds by the bank’s
shareholders –Farai Rwodzi, Tim Chiganze and Jerry Tsoodzai.
July – THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe raises minimum capital requirements for
banks tenfold to US$100 million in a bid to protect depositors’ funds.
July – Officials from the Ministry of Lands and its lands inspectorate
department as well as people believed to be members of the Zimbabwe National
Army occupy part of CFI Holdings’ prime farm — Glenara Estates.
One of Zimbabwe’s wealthiest businessman Sam Levy dies aged 82.
August- Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) escapes possible liquidation after
employees accept a settlement plan involving cash and shares to settle
back-pay liabilities and retrenchment packages.
December- Tawanda Nyambirai steps down from the board of Econet as chairman.
February – Kereke, who was a close confidant of Gideon Gono, makes
sensational claims that he did the bulk of academic work for the central
bank’s chief’s doctoral degree and threatens to have Gono stripped of his
PhD. He also accuses Gono of looting over US$6,5 million and gold from the
RBZ at a time when Zimbabweans were reeling from extreme poverty.
June – Never rains but pours as Rwodzi’s Eastlea Spar is Shut Down.
September – Locardia Karimatsenga drags her former boyfriend Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to court and attempts to block his wedding to Elizabeth
November- Evidence of BATZ industrial espionage emerges. An internal
document titled: Competitor Strategy Document spells out underhand tactics
to beat the competition.
December – Econet takes over TN Bank Ltd. Bank to go private.
December 21, 2012 in News
ZIMBABWE is busy preparing for a constitutional referendum and make-or-break
elections expected next year to end five years of endless squabbling in the
wobbly Government of National Unity.
In 2012, parties in the inclusive government bickered over just about every
issue, from the constitution-making process, financing of agriculture and
diamond revenues to indigenisation and the Chisumbanje ethanol project.
As it carries out an end-of-year introspection of its performance in 2012,
the inclusive government needs to ask itself whose interests it is serving —
is it individual, partisan or the interests of Zimbabweans as a whole as
In consultation with political analysts, economists and health
professionals, among others, the Zimbabwe Independent looked at how
ministers fared during the year while operating on shoestring budgets and
hostility along party lines.
Below is the assessment of the performances of some of the ministers. While
some ministers have been visible for the right or wrong reasons, others were
completely invisible like Heneri Dzinotwiyei of Science and Technology,
Paurina Mpariwa of Labour and Social Welfare and Giles Mutsekwa of National
Housing and Social Amenities.
Eric Matinenga – Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs. Grade B
He is one of the most principled ministers in the inclusive government. His
stance against machinations by the principals to hijack the
constitution-making process should be commended, although he eventually lost
He was brave enough to defy his own leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, on a matter
of principle, which very few politicians can do. To ensure accountability,
Matinenga instituted an audit of how the Constitutional Development Fund
(CDF) was used resulting in a number of legislators being arrested. However,
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana stopped prosecution after four legislators
had been arrested and six more faced arrest. Matinenga has since proposed a
CDF bill to regulate the fund.
Theresa Makone/ Kembo Mohadi – Home Affairs. Grade F
Very few people have good words for this ministry. Despite a marginal
improvement in the Registrar-General’s Office, the Home Affairs ministry is
the citadel of many of the government’s corrupt practices, with the police
force ably leading the way. Even President Robert Mugabe has blasted our
partisan police force for high levels of corruption, especially traffic
officers. Surveys have shown that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is the most
corrupt police force in the region. The immigration department offers no
respite and every visit there is a test of endurance. The Passport Office is
even worse. Very little in the way of reform or even the pretence of such an
exercise has been attempted by the co-ministers. Get rid of them both!
Priscilla Misihairabwi – Mushonga – Regional Integration and International
Cooperation Grade C-
The ministry’s role remains unclear and critics have questioned its
existence. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is known more for her party work than
government functions. Her push for the one-stop border initiative has shown
that she has the capacity to deliver, but the problem is that she has little
on her plate.
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi – Foreign Affairs D
He operates like an intelligence operative, when he is supposed to be
articulating the country’s foreign policy. Mumbengegwi has not done enough
to address critical international relations issues, among them sprucing up
Zimbabwe’s poor image, building bridges with countries and critical
institutions hostile to the country. He has only been visible when engaging
the European Union to discuss the lifting of sanctions imposed on Mugabe and
Obert Mpofu – Mines. Grade C+
He has presided over the resurgence of the mining sector. His efforts on the
diamond industry front have not gone unrewarded and have at least given the
appearance of a man with an agenda and iron will. Mpofu and his team have
worked hard in the face of strong opposition from the international
community against the sale of Marange diamonds on humanitarian and conflict
grounds. He ensured the mines fulfilled all the requirements to certify
diamond exports. Last month Zimbabwe hosted a diamond conference where major
players resolved to push for free trading in Marange stones on the
Mpofu has also opened up gold mining by allowing unlicensed players to
organise themselves and get licences as artisanal miners. His department has
also mobilised funds to support small-scale players. However, allegations of
sleaze have tainted an otherwise decent balancing act. Were it not for these
allegations, he would have been one of the top ministers this year.
Walter Mzembi – Tourism and Hospitality. Grade A-
He has managed to rise above identity politics and displayed a national
character, not common in Zimbabwe politics. For instance, he fought army
generals and his Zanu PF peers, most of whom are his seniors in his Masvingo
province, over the invasion of the wildlife-rich Save Conservancy. Tourism
is on the rise and the hosting of UNWTO general assembly has epitomised how
he has performed, aided by few resources handed to him. Mzembi has also been
instrumental in marketing the country as a safe tourism destination. He also
hosted the Africa Travel Association annual congress in Victoria Falls
earlier this year. Mzembi has led initiatives to broaden Zimbabwe’s tourism
product through the introduction of township and village tourism, among
others. He is working towards a new Tourism Act and new financial standards
for tourism operators. In a merit-based party, he would have been handed a
more demanding portfolio.
Saviour Kasukuwere – Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Grade
Rabble rouser par excellence. This man cannot get anything done without
first grabbing everyone else’s attention. He displays a high amount of
energy, in contrast to his other Zanu PF counterparts, and gets the job done
none the less, even if opinions are divided as to the usefulness of the
tasks he undertakes. His major task was to attain at least 51% indigenous
shareholding in all sectors of the economy. He has managed in just a short
period to create US$1,8 billion for the National Indigenisation Economic
Empowerment Fund. Kasukuwere has, however, neglected some key goals like
empowering youths to participate in the mainstream economy through
enterprise development, enhancing youth participation in governance and
national development, and increasing vocational and skills training
Tendai Biti – Finance Minister Grade C
If only Biti could feed 13 million people from two fish and five loaves of
bread. Unfortunately, he can only do so much on a shoe-string budget. His
greatest feat was to minimise government interference in business in an
attempt to allow market forces to correct years of economic decline.
Considerable economic growth has been registered albeit off a low base. His
efforts are hampered by a huge public service bill and an inability to
stimulate growth in the economy using an expansionary economic policy due to
an inability to influence money supply. This year Biti launched the debt
clearance strategy which resulted in the opening up of some lines of credit
from some of the development banks but still the World Bank and the IMF have
not returned to Zimbabwe. He has successfully introduced reforms in the
capital markets, the taxation regime and has followed instructions from the
Tapiwa Mashakada – Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Grade D
He is always out of the country. Mashakada’s drive for foreign investment
has failed but this is not entirely his fault as this can also be attributed
to the country’s bad image, government’s policy inconsistencies and
controversial laws like the indigenisation policy. He only had two major
events this year — the Road Show to South Africa and the Medium-Term-Plan.
The Road Show did not yield any meaningful investments while the MTP review
showed that it was off-track. His ministry’s programmes at least have the
support of the UNDB and the World Bank and as such give him leverage on
crafting economic development strategies. He is still to push for Bilateral
Investment Promotion and Protection bills in parliament and the amendments
to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act.
Elton Mangoma – Energy and Power Development Grade A-
There has been a significant improvement in power supply under his
stewardship. His plan for increasing power generation is credible, although
it is not implementable under the current government. There is considerable
progress in the installation of pre-paid meters. Zesa debts with regional
power companies are being cleared. Refurbishments of power plants are being
done. An agreement with the Zambian government over the US$70 million legacy
debt was reached leading to the conclusion of plans for the Batoka gorge
project which is now going to come on stream. The Zambezi River Authority
has already sent out expressions of interest for the Batoka project.
Sithembiso Nyoni – Small and Medium Enterprises Grade E
Despite the well-documented role that the small to medium enterprises have
in the growth and employment of a developing country, she has been notably
absent from the front line and nowhere near the debate, leaving the likes of
Kasukuwere and Biti to dominate the discourse.
Nicholas Goche – Transport and Infrastructure Development Grade D
From the mishaps of trying to ban most second-hand vehicles to more laudable
initiatives of rehabilitating the nation’s highways, his performance has
been an erratic one. The near collapse of Air Zimbabwe marked the lowest
point of his ministerial career. However, the minister should be commended
for the re-construction of the Plumtree to Mutare highway which is being
done by Group Five of South Africa.
Welshman Ncube – Industry and Commerce Grade C
He gave an ‘OK’ performance but could have done better. The negotiation of
the Essar deal was a high point but his internecine fights with Mutambara
seemed to have distracted him from focusing on the revival of industry and
commerce. However, others think that he messed up on the Zisco Essar deal
when assets were sold for billion less than their true value, hence the
ongoing squabbles. He has also been continuously whining about dearth of
investment in Matabeleland which may be good for scoring political points
but if one presides over the responsible ministry, then they ought to have a
credible plan. His industrial policy launched in 2012 has been discounted as
he is accused of not consulting widely enough.
Nelson Chamisa – Min of Information Communications Technology Grade D His
polished exterior coupled with Clintonesque eloquence masks a rather
ordinary performance in his four years serving as the youngest minister in
government. Sympathisers may argue that the shrinking of his portfolio may
have left him with a smaller stage to perform, but the reasoning should be,
fewer duties, greater performance. His greatest undoing seems to be a
tendency to wildly over-promise and over-rely on his oratory skills to prop
up his popularity.
Paurina Mpariwa – Labour and Social Welfare. Grade F
Four years after the country adopted a multiple currency regime, companies
are showing signs of stability and growth, but workers still have to make do
with low wages which are sometimes way below the poverty datum line. One
would expect Mpariwa to be making a lot of noise and yielding results, but
not her. Apart from the slave wages, work-related accidents are on the rise
with the National Social Security Authority revealing that there had been 16
deaths and close to 5 000 work-related accidents as companies ignore safety
She has failed to crack-down on Chinese companies cited as major
perpetrators of work-related safety crimes. Her only achievement was the
enactment of the Older Persons Act.
Lucia Matibenga – Public Service Grade F
For a trade unionist of her calibre, one would have expected her to do more
to improve the working conditions of civil servants. Save for capacity
building workshops and salary realignments by insignificant margins in the
current year, civil servants still earn below a living wage and are
struggling to make ends meet. The civil service audit that gobbled a lot of
government and donor funds is yet to bear fruit as ghost workers remain on
the payroll. Key government jobs in the health sector, such as nursing have
remained frozen despite a huge demand for such services.
Joel Gabbuza Gabuza – Public Works
Gabuza has been silent, perhaps because it’s difficult to separate his
portfolio from that of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure as well
as that of National Housing.
The ministry’s half year provincial report indicates it has almost completed
construction of houses at the Zimbabwe School of Mines in Bulawayo,
construction of flats at Chitungwiza Hospital as well as construction of new
hostels at Midlands State University. The ministry has also completed
construction of a US$1 million mechanical workshop at Kwekwe Polytechnic
College and has just commenced construction of a US$1,8 million Masvingo
records office. He has failed to maintain government buildings most of which
are in an appalling state with lifts and toilets not functioning.
David Coltart – Education, Sports and Culture Grade B+
Education was a troubled ministry prior to the GNU but has greatly improved.
Coltart has managed to stay above politics and concentrated on national
issues. He remained focused on his duty to bring sanity into the education
sector affected by decades of economic decline. There has been an increase
in the number of teachers who deserted their posts years ago returning to
the profession. However, political polarisation remains a hindering factor
in achieving his set objectives. He has pushed for textbook donations to
such an extent that the current ratio is 1:1 in all major subjects at both
primary and secondary levels across the country. However, lack of interest
and poor efforts in sport development are in stark contrast to his good
performance in the education portfolio. He has displayed very little oomph
in solving many of the abundant challenges bedevilling sport, especially the
most popular sport, football. But his efforts on the cricket front are
Joseph Made – Agriculture and Mechanisation Grade Grade F
He has forgotten his job. There is no real agriculture policy and the
country will continue begging for food. They have been blaming drought for
food shortages but now the rains are here and the farmers are unprepared
because the minister slept on duty. The UN has projected that in 2013 about
two million Zimbabweans will require food assistance because of the expected
shortages due to poor production levels.
Herbert Murerwa -Lands and Rural Resettlement Grade F
His success this year hinged on the ability to carry out a land audit as per
GPA requirement. Tackling the contentious multiple farm ownership by top
Zanu PF officials would have redeemed his tattered image. Farmers cannot
access loans because the land is dead capital due to lack of proper land
tenure. Funding is not available and the minister has done nothing to make
sure that the resettled farmers can use their land as security in order to
get funding. However, Murerwa has not been well for a long time.
Patrick Chinamasa – Justice and Legal Affairs Grade C
He maintains consistency and remains strong when pushing for his agenda, for
example, his role in ensuring Copac produced a draft constitution despite
internal pressure from his Zanu PF party and being labelled a sell-out. He
steered the Human Rights Commission Act and the Electoral Amendment Act, but
failed to deliver on the Posa Amendment Bill, which was eventually
introduced as a private members bill. He introduced the pre-trial diversion
programme, which speeds up child sexual abuse cases. Chinamasa still has to
improve on the prison conditions. While there has been some improvement in
dealing with case backlogs, the minister can do more by pushing the
judiciary to conclude trials timeously. However, the sentiments he aired in
his BBC interview that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will not be allowed
to rule the country by the military even if he wins the next election will
always be a dark cloud hanging over him.
Webster Shamu – Media, Information and Publicity Grade D
Shamu has remained deaf to calls to implement media reforms, opening up the
airwaves and allowing independent broadcasters to function. While new
licences were issued this year to private players, including veteran
journalist Barnabas Thondhlana, Shamu has been found wanting in the
broadcasting sector with only radio licences being issued to Zimpapers and
Supa Mandiwanzira, both of who are linked to Zanu PF. However, Shamu can be
commended for allowing private media to cover state functions, which had
become a preserve of the state-controlled media. He has also allowed foreign
media to cover events in the country. Shamu has organised meetings with
editors from both the private and public media.
There were generally fewer arrests of journalists and media practitioners
this year but Shamu still must repeal the repressive Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act. Threats to editors of private media to report
more positively on Mugabe have damaged his profile.
Emmerson Mnangagwa – Defence Minister Grade C
There were reports of lawlessness when soldiers disrupted the census
exercise demanding to be included in the enumeration exercise. Overall,
Mnangagwa seems to have contained the indiscipline which was on the rise in
the army due to reported hunger, nepotism and low salaries.
He has since reined-in on army commanders like Major-general Douglas
Nyikayaramba, who said he would not accept an MDC-T election victory.
Mnangagwa successfully completed the construction of the National Defence
College in Harare and it will benefit Zimbabwe and other military and
security personnel in the region.
However, Mnangagwa needs to depoliticise the military and turn the ZDF into
a non-partisan professional force.
Heneri Dzinotyiwei – Science & Technology minister Grade F
One of the forgotten ministers in the unity government because he seems to
be doing nothing. Perhaps he should consider rejoining the academic world.
Olivia Muchena – Women’s Affairs and Gender Development Grade C
She continued to push for the uplifting of the social, economic and
political status of Zimbabwean women. Attempts were made to mobilise society
against gender-based violence. Some analysts credited her ministry with the
clause in the draft constitution outlawing the death penalty for women.
However, failure to speak effectively and assist women survivors of
political violence counted against her. She was probably handicapped in this
by her partisan stance given that the alleged perpetrators of the violence
are from Zanu PF. She still needs to deliver on promises for the para-legal
training for women as well as translating the reproductive and Family Laws
Handbook to assist women to know their rights.
Gorden Moyo State Enterprises and Parastatals Grade E
While visible, he is too often seen explaining why public entities are not
performing as expected, or introducing revamped time tables for the
restructuring of the parastatals after the previous one had been made
redundant through non-performance. He has very little to show for his time
in government as public entities have continued to drag down the economy. He
has developed on paper a regulatory framework for state enterprises and
performance based-contracts for the chief executives. The State Enterprises
Corporate Governance code has not yet been implemented.
Sipepa Nkomo – Ministry of Water Resources Development and Management Grade
Nkomo has shown passion for solving Bulawayo’s perennial water problems and
the fact that the Msthabezi Water Project recently started pumping water to
Bulawayo is commendable. Although it will not solve Bulawayo’s water woes,
it is a step in the right direction.
However, he has had his own fair share of criticism with some accusing him
of running the ministry via spirit mediums and cleansing ceremonies and
still we cannot store water. He was famous for calling for cleansing
ceremonies in Gokwe and Mutare claiming that mermaids were blocking his
ministry’s efforts. His ministry has dismally failed in its mandate to
ensure the provision of water to the residents.
Ignatius Chombo – Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
Most local authorities have continued to struggle to provide basic services
such as regular refuse collection, clean water supply, road maintenance,
among many others. Chombo has done little to ensure they act in the
ratepayers’ interest other than meddling for Zanu PF political gain.
Thanks to the minister though, Harare City Council was forced to stop
property attachments in Rugare high density suburb.
Henry Madzorera – Minister of Health and Child Welfare Grade C
This ministry has made remarkable strides in the provision of health
facilities in the country. Public health facilities have been improved and
most provincial hospitals have been renovated and services have improved.
Drug availability within most health institutions has also improved over the
year. He still has to work harder to improve treatment of non-communicable
diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer, which pose a greater
threat to Zimbabweans than HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
Francis Nhema- Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Grade D
The biggest blight on the performance of Nhema was his failure to speak out
strongly against the construction of a hotel by Chinese investors at a
designated wetland in Belvedere. Several wetlands in Harare have been under
threat compromising the underground water sources. He has also not been
active in fighting environment degradation caused by mining giants such as
the ones in Chiadzwa. The environmental management laws are not being
adequately enforced and this can be witnessed by the accumulation of refuse
in cities and towns nationwide. He also stands accused of allegedly
parcelling out the lucrative Save Conservancy to army generals and top Zanu
December 21, 2012 in Business
A CONSORTIUM of Zimbabwean companies has invested US$1 million into a
Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet) Recycling Company of Zimbabwe (Petrecozim)
to recycle pet bottles into plastic flake for export to China by end of
Report by Fidelity Mhlanga
Petrecozim chief operating officer, Tawanda Masuka, confirmed the company
had already identified a site and was at the stage of completing basic
compliance issues with the Environmental Management Agency and the Zimbabwe
“The site of the plant is in Ardebennie. We are at the stage of buying the
equipment in China after completing compliance issues to operate within the
confines of the law and then delivery and installation will need about three
to four months,” Masuka said.
He emphasised the new project would bring about a new paradigm shift.
“Traditionally, companies like Megapack process pre-forms and sell to
retailers for packing products.
The duty of Petrecozim will be to pick the used bottles, recycle, produce
flake — a raw material needed by fibre manufacturing companies. In other
countries they do bottle to bottle recycling but we will be producing flake
and exporting it to China — the biggest market for recycled products,” he
Petrecozim is a culmination of combined efforts by 10 companies —
Dairiboard, Lyons, Tanganda, Mutare Bottling Company, Nestle, Delta and
The investors also include plastic converters Mega pack Zimbabwe and Pet
pack and leading branding company Coca-Cola.
“The 10 companies are all equal partners in the project, each having an
equal shareholding of 10%. However, l must emphasise that these are just
inaugural members; membership is still open to other companies in the Pet
value chain like converters, importers, bottlers and retailers,” Masuka
He said Petrecozim would establish pet collection and baling centres in
various cities across the country, tapping empty pet bottles from vendors,
community based organisations, waste entrepreneurs, waste collectors and
complimenting its own collective fleet facility to fine-tune the project.
“We are going to pay vendors to get the material. We want it to be
sustainable. Ema is also setting up community groups and we will be happy if
a lot of people come and sign in for the project. It works well when people
are working together,” he said.
He said the project would not duplicate existing efforts and as a strategy
they were engaging companies doing waste collection.
According to Masuka, the plant will be operating at a capacity of 500 kg per
hour. The first stage of used pet bottle processing will involve the
separation of bottles initially by colour followed by glue and label,
residue removal as well as metal detection. The plant will grind bottles
into small particles (flakes) which will be fed into a sink float separator
which will check for non-pet and pet bottles.
December 21, 2012 in Business
Having come from a protracted period of economic shrinkage, both the private
and public sectors have a huge overhang of uncompleted capital projects.
Report by Collins Rudzuna
In both sectors, debt financing is one of the key ways of raising money to
finance capital projects. Private sector entities have had some success in
raising money both locally and offshore, but the public sector is lagging
While in other countries bonds are common conduits for raising debt
financing, Zimbabwe’s bond market had all but dried up.
A recent effort by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to
raise US$30 million for Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution
Company (ZETDC) counts as one of the first attempts at issuing a bond in a
dollarised Zimbabwe. Sadly, this noble cause was met with limited success,
achieving a subscription rate of just 59,41%.
The most obvious reason the bond issue was under-subscribed is the limited
liquidity available in the market. Households, pension funds and businesses
who normally participate in bond issues are themselves in need of money and
hence incapacitated from investing.
Pension funds could also not liquidate other asset classes to comply as
there are no buyers with enough liquidity to take the assets on time and at
the right price.
One way of encouraging certain classes of investors to support public sector
debt issues is to set a minimum level of “prescribed assets” allowed in each
portfolio. For the most part pension funds and other investors who are
required to hold prescribed assets are non-compliant due to limited
availability of such assets.
One would have thought they would therefore have jumped to get their hands
on this ZETDC bond. Yet that was not the case as evidenced by the 59,14%
The case presented for the bond is a sound one; funding the installation of
prepaid electricity meters in households. Barring unforeseen circumstances,
it is reasonable to assume such a project can generate enough cash flows to
meet interest and capital repayments.
In fact, ZETDC has set aside cash flows from some of their key clients
specifically to service this bond.
A 10% coupon is also not too bad especially when viewed by comparison with
the bleak stock market performance forecasts for the coming year. The market’s
lack of interest therefore seems to have another justification other than
In our view, the overriding reason why this recent bond issue had limited
success, and the reason why many issues of various short-term bills have
failed is that default risk is still considered high even where there is
merit in the business case.
Normally, a guarantee would offset this effect but it seems the market just
does not have that much confidence in government guarantee attached to this
bond issue and the failed short-term bill issues.
Government’s credit record is tainted by defaults on funding from the IMF
and World Bank in excess of US$10 billion and, more recently, the Reserve
Bank’s default on gold bonds. As such investors are still uneasy about
CBZ’s US$50 million diaspora bond had 85% support — a success rate far
better than the rest despite a relatively low average yield of 8%.
The CBZ diaspora bond was guaranteed by Afrexim Bank which made it more
attractive to investors. We believe if a reputable international institution
such as Afrexim Bank had been the guarantor in place of the government for
the IDBZ bond, more funds could have been raised to finance this important
In fact, it is our conviction that any future bond issues should have such
guarantees if they are to get widespread support. To be able to offer these
guarantees, the international institutions might require having certain
Depending on what conditions the guarantors set, quasi-government borrowers
like ZETDC would be forced to be more accountable which would improve their
credit rating. Eventually this would benefit them as they would be able to
borrow more cheaply in future.
Official estimates for public capital expenditure needs run into billions of
dollars. Debt financing is undeniably an important source of the financing
necessary for scaling this enormous financial hurdle.
The US$17,8 million raised for ZETDC represents the first stumbles of a baby
that quickly needs to learn to run. At this stage guarantees from reputable
international entities are necessary to give comfort to potential lenders.
Admittedly, however, while they cannot be a permanent solution they are an
indispensible temporary solution. As a permanent long-term solution the
country has to work at restoring confidence in government guarantees on
To achieve this of course would entail re-establishing government’s
creditworthiness. In South Africa, Eskom bonds have a government guarantee
but are so popular that 20% of them are held by small investors.
One key outstanding issue that would put Zimbabwe on the right path is
finding a workable solution to our external debt which is more than US$10
billion — even higher than our GDP! This may require softening the country’s
reluctance to seek the assistance available to nations classified as
Highly-Indebted Poor Countries.
Additionally, we would have to accept limitations on how the country’s
finances are run, a concession which may be politically unpopular but
necessary. For now, we have to accept that a government guarantee on any
bond has very limited value in the eyes of investors.
December 21, 2012 in Business
The Zimbabwe National Statistical Office has said the new weights for the
Consumer Price Index will come into effect in January 2013.
Under the new structure, communication has been given more weights at 3,41
from 0,99 while Furnishing Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance
weight was lowered to 9,91 from 15,11 — a difference of 5,20.
In a statement on the prices report and the Population census preliminary
results, Zimstat chairman Doug Hoto said the new weights of the CPI and the
rate of inflation were produced using data from the Poverty Income
Consumption and Expenditure Survey 2011/12 as part of a series of products
coming from this survey.
Economists argued the existing methodology was outdated and did not fully
represent current expenditure patterns.
They also argued some of the components in the basket were obsolete.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels take up a greater
proportion of the average income, much more than food. However, food and
non-alcoholic beverages have a greater weight of 31,9 against 16,2 for
housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
The changes to the weightings will make the basket accommodate current
happenings. The present basket is made up of 68 commodities under 12
components. New weights will also be assigned to the commodities to reflect
their relative importance in current household consumption.
Meanwhile, November inflation dropped 0,39 basis points to 2,99% from the
October rate of 3,38% after clothing and footwear put downward pressure on
the performance of the CPI.
The downward trend in inflation is attributed to fluctuations in real demand
for goods and services largely because of low disposable income for the
majority of the public. This is attributed to the persistent liquidity
crunch in the economy resulting in limited cash flows.
Prices of basic goods and services have generally remained stable owing to
lack of room for retailers to raise prices because disposable incomes are
not growing due to the economy’s illiquidity.
The economy is now characterised by stagnant salaries and wages with minimal
adjustments being made as this will leave less money for working capital.
However Hoto said the country was facing significant inflationary pressures
emanating from poor harvest in the last season, demand for rental
accommodation and increasing utility prices.
The year-on-year food and non-alcoholic beverages stood at 3,85%, whilst
non-food inflation stood at 2,61%.
Month-on-month inflation in November 2012 was 0,13% dropping 0,13 percentage
points on the October 2012 rate of 0,26%.
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
Following its conference in Gweru, Zanu PF is running around with its tail
up telling the country it will win the next election.
Zimbabwe Independent Editorial
“Even the imperialist media is sensing the Zanu PF victory and they are now
hammering the MDC-T as if they are not together in the business of selling
out the country,” the Sunday Mail proclaimed this week. “All the promises
and lies won’t work anymore.”
Who is it that has been making promises and telling lies, using every
conceivable inducement to win votes? Special funds and provisions have been
dangled before a hungry nation while the language of the past, featuring
Western “puppets”, has been taken off the shelves and dusted down for yet
another failed exercise in deceit.
The hard truth is the country is fed up with empty promises the former
ruling party scrapes together when elections loom. Also conspicuous are the
luxury vehicles that have become the symbols of a corrupt and compromised
Equally compromised is a media hijacked by the state and happy to parrot the
songs of praise their political masters sing.
They childishly talk of “puppets” and pretend the nation is under threat
from imagined “enemies”. It is no coincidence the most reviled “enemies” are
the country’s biggest donors!
They are the ones who invariably fill the national begging bowl every year
because we have decimated agricultural production by pursuing policies the
late Eddison Zvobgo described as ruinous and racist.
While the state media sees its duty as misleading the public on the true
condition of the nation, the independent media must counter lies with truth
at this critical juncture in our national life. We are in dire straits
because the economy is exploited by a parasitic class for private benefit.
The whole point of Sadc intervention was to stabilise our economy and foster
President Robert Mugabe’s remarks in Gweru on 100% indigenisation do the
absolute opposite. They create a climate of uncertainty. While Zanu PF is
busy sabotaging the economy with voodoo policies the rest of the region is
enjoying investment and growth.
The big question in all this is: What if Zanu PF does win next year? What
will they do to rescue the economy when they have effectively destroyed it?
And will they be the agents of better governance when they have been busy
arresting and incarcerating people like the Woza women for exercising their
democratic right to assembly.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has of late been showing us his party is
certainly not the party of excellence it claims to be. There has been a
singular lack of strategic thinking in the MDC-T in recent months
illustrated by failure to engineer electoral accommodations.
The MDC-T needs to wake up and exercise leadership.
Zanu PF is finished as a political party with nothing to offer Zimbabwe.
They are tired yet still obsessed with power. What can they do now that they
had every opportunity to do over the past 30 years? Let’s help them to go
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
IN Africa, there is nothing like music to mirror the hopes, aspirations,
trials and tribulations of a people.
Candid Comment with Stewart Chabwinja
In the early 1990s Zimbabwe boasted several star musicians who distinguished
themselves with their originality and lyrical prowess, belting out hit after
hit inspired by topical issues. While many of them have since tragically
passed on, many of their messages still resonate strongly with the nation’s
current socio- economic scenario.
Among the hit-makers who captured the imagination of a population then
bearing the brunt of the country’s ill-fated dalliance with the Economic
Structural Adjustment Programme was one Edwin Hama.
His maudlin lyrics accompanying simple but catchy tunes would have you
instinctively nodding and singing along, as Hama tackled bread-and-butter
One of his chart-toppers was Waiting for a New Day which poignantly talked
about someone who had hit hard times and was patiently waiting for the day
his fortunes would change, “wishing and praying for better days to come”.
Hama died in 2007 aged 40, a broken and reportedly penniless singer who
suddenly vanished from the limelight, never to realise his “better day”. But
his song, Waiting for a New Day, maybe more than any of his tunes, echoes
Zimbabweans’ current predicament as 2012 inexorably draws to a close.
For most, and despite a pinch of scepticism, the formation of the inclusive
government in 2009 represented the onset of a journey towards a new day, the
first tentative steps towards a new life promising better conditions.
Zimbabweans dreamt of jobs, better wages, improved service delivery from the
city councils including a consistent supply of clean water and constant
electricity supplies, as the unity government would focus on improving
Zimbabweans’ lives while ceasing the trading of hostilities.
How wrong they were!
The long wait for better days, dating as far back as 1998, continues.
Zimbabweans, whose reserves of patience, hope and resilience are legendary,
await the long-promised economic upturn that would spawn the transformation
of their lives they so much crave and deserve. It is this economic upturn
that symbolises that “new day” that would bring jobs, desired service
delivery and all attendant benefits they long for.
But for now, it remains a mirage. Most Zimbabweans will bid 2012 a
less-than- fond farewell, for it represents another in a growing list of
years for which they have precious little to show. Many have now accumulated
so much in their “In Tray” due to the country’s prolonged socio-economic
morass that they have resigned themselves to life passing them by.
As 2013 beckons, people are apprehensively wondering what it has in store.
For the superstitious, 13 is an unlucky number.
Coincidentally, it is expected to be an election year, with the referendum
on a new constitution and crucial elections supposedly to terminate the
Given their experiences in previous elections in which intimidation,
violence and even murder were an integral part of the electoral process,
there is reason to fear, but Zimbabweans will once again draw on their
inexhaustible reserves of hope.
Incidentally, Hama’s last album was titled Suffer Continue. Zimbabweans can
only hope — as they enter 2013 — that it is not also prophetic.
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
IT was embarrassing to watch Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo
making a fool of himself at the African National Congress (ANC) national
elective conference in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) on Tuesday.
Editor’s Memo with Dingilizwe Ntuli
Conveying his party’s solidarity message, Khaya Moyo probably mistook the 6
000-plus ANC delegates for a captive Zanu PF audience putting a damper on
the conference with his drab pro-Zanu PF chants.
Instead of merely congratulating the ANC for electing their top six leaders,
Khaya Moyo subjected the delegates to a tirade in which he declared that
Zanu PF would not tolerate any tampering of the views of the people in
drafting Zimbabwe’s new constitution.
“Our party has always stood firm in advancing the views of the people,”
bellowed Khaya Moyo. “We believe that agreeing to anything from sources
other than the views of the people is a betrayal of the revolution. We will
resist such manipulation at all cost.”
The ANC delegates were understandably bemused by Khaya Moyo’s attempt to
link Zanu PF’s ruinous policies like land seizures to those of the ANC.
Khaya Moyo said former liberation movements hold common perspectives on
issues of territorial integrity, sovereignty and the African goal of
political and economic empowerment. However, the two parties could not be
further apart with Zanu PF devoid of any intra-party democracy as well as a
disdain for human rights and the rule of law.
The only similarity left between Zanu PF and the ANC is they are both former
liberation movements and nothing else.
Attending the ANC gathering just a week after his own party’s mediocre and
uninspiring rubber-stamping annual conference, Khaya Moyo should have
noticed the gaping difference between the two gatherings.
How could he equate Zanu PF to the ANC, especially speaking soon after the
party’s new top six leadership had been announced.
There was a bruising leadership contest pitting President Jacob Zuma and his
deputy Kgalema Motlanthe for the ANC’s top job.
Can Khaya Moyo remind us when last President Robert Mugabe was challenged
for the Zanu PF leadership?
Can he tell us the extent to which individuals who disagree with Mugabe’s
views are marginalised or victimised?
Democracy is alien in Zanu PF which is top-down, elitist and highly lacks a
climate for free, open and critical debate.
Khaya Moyo should have simply told ANC delegates that Zanu PF will not
tolerate tampering with Mugabe’s views in drafting Zimbabwe’s new
constitution, because that’s essentially what he meant.
The impasse in the constitution-making process has all to do with whittling
down Mugabe’s imperial powers and not what ordinary Zimbabweans said.
But the clout of the ANC lies in its branches. Key policies and decisions
are often mooted and determined at this level. It is branch delegates that
attend the party’s national conference and these men and women are the ones
who get to decide on the leadership core that will run the party for the
next five years. The same delegates also formulate the country’s future
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki can testify that power in the ANC
is vested in party branches.
After sacking current President Jacob Zuma as state deputy president in
2005, he also piled pressure on him to relinquish his role as ANC deputy
president. Zuma obliged but delegates at the 2005 ANC national general
council rebelled against Mbeki and demanded that Zuma be reinstated as party
deputy president despite attempts to keep the issue off the agenda.
Zuma rode on that momentum which eventually saw him defeating Mbeki at the
2007 conference in Polokwane.
Now a sitting deputy president just challenged his boss and although he
lost, he still remains deputy president of the country.
Now this is the ANC Khaya Moyo is trying to equate Zanu PF to!
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
Among the many potentially disastrous resolutions passed at the Zanu PF
annual conference two weeks ago in Gweru, was one that Zimbabwe should
forthwith re-introduce its own currency to function alongside the prevailing
Opinion by Eric Bloch
The enunciated rationale to the passing of that resolution is that this
would counter pronounced illiquidity severely afflicts the economy.
The illiquidity also has negative repercussions on the operations of the
retail sector, exacerbated by a gross inadequacy of coinage in circulation,
thereby constraining traders from giving change due to customers when making
Undoubtedly, in deliberating upon and passing that resolution the conference
delegates had economic needs in mind, but the foremost motivation was
irrefutably to woo and enhance voter support for the party in the
presidential and parliamentary elections expected in 2013.
So pronounced is the craving for votes that conference participants gave no
consideration whatsoever to the possible negative consequences of their
proposals, which would be of such magnitude as to outweigh the anticipated
The harsh reality is that an overly-precipitous re-introduction of the
Zimbabwean currency would have adverse economic repercussions which would
markedly exceed any benefits.
First, implementing the proposal would have a deleterious impact on the
banking sector, which would in turn rebound upon the economy as a whole.
Inevitably, based on past experiences between 2004 and 2009 (prior to the
introduction of the multi-currency regime), businesses and individuals will
have immense fears that if they deposit in the banks any of the foreign
currencies which constitute the current multi-currency system, withdrawals
thereafter will only be possible in the Zimbabwean currency, with the
foreign currencies deposited being expropriated by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe or by government.
Those fears will be provoked by the magnitude of such currency
expropriations from exporters, non-governmental organisations, and other
depositors of foreign currencies during the pre-multi-currency era.
Because of such fears, most will refrain from using banking services, and
instead will secretively hold foreign currencies in their wardrobes, under
their mattresses or in their business safes. This will exacerbate the
considerable inability of Zimbabwe’s financial sector to provide the
essential overdraft and loan facilities critically needed by almost all
private sector entities in the economy.
Concurrently, the re-introduction of a Zimbabwean currency prematurely will
shatter the already low levels of investor confidence especially so as the
RBZ does not have any meaningful realisable reserves to support the currency
and assure retention of currency value.
While negatively impacting on the already exceptionally low levels of
confidence of all potential investors, that will be especially so for those
The economic morass which has haunted Zimbabwe since 1997, occasioned by the
land expropriations in total disregard of property and human rights,
pronounced political and economic instability, counter-productive and unjust
indigenisation and economic empowerment legislation, racist diatribes of
political leaders and the recurrent rantings about the alleged “illegal”
international sanctions, have all eroded investor confidence.
As if that erosion did not suffice, now Zanu PF wishes to worsen it further
by re-introduction of a Zimbabwe currency.
Another inherent risk in Zimbabwe re-instating its currency is that the
continuously bankrupt government will be motivated to print excessive
quantities of the currency, as it did prior to the 2009 demonetisation of
the currency. Undoubtedly, as in 2008, doing so will fuel world-record
breaking hyperinflation. That, in turn, will intensify the great poverty
that prevails nationwide, triggering even greater hardships.
It will also result in further collapses of manufacturing and other
enterprises, and will again emaciate the financial sector. Such
hyperinflation will be a further deterrent to much-needed foreign direct
Another disastrous result of a premature re-introduction of the Zimbabwean
currency will be the undoubted re-activation of informal sector currency
trading. Illegal trafficking in currency was a major stimulant of
hyperinflation and externalisation of foreign currencies. The illegal
currency market was one of the major causes of the collapse of that which
had, at one time, been a very virile economy.
Ancillary to the informal money trading operations, once again Zimbabwe will
undoubtedly be the victim of transfer pricing and other unlawful tactics of
externalisation of funds. The result of that action until 2009 was not only
another hyperinflation catalyst, but it also worsened the national balance
of trade, with currency inflows falling far short of outflows.
This resulted in crippling insolvency, withdrawal of international lines of
credit, and massive reluctance of foreign suppliers to accord credit to
their Zimbabwean customers.
All of these negatives were cavalierly disregarded by the proponents of the
resolution at the Zanu PF conference, who with their habitual failure to
consider any of the consequences of their proposals (save for expectations
that such proposals will increase voter support for them), recurrently have
total myopia as to such adverse consequences.
Experience has been defined as making a different mistake next time and, if
that is so, then clearly the proponents of the tsunami-like resolution that
Zimbabwe immediately reinstate its own currency are grossly inexperienced.
One cannot suggest that they “think again” because, very evidently, they
have failed to “think before”.
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
ONE of the erroneous conclusions to have come from the recent Zanu PF annual
people’s conference held in Gweru is the notion that there was an end point
to the Global Political Agreement (GPA): specifically that there was a
two-year limit to the GPA.
Opinion by Tony Reeler
As Derek Matyszak has repeatedly pointed out and, as he points out in his
recent analysis, the GPA only provides a start date, which is the signing of
the GPA on September 15 2008.
So the problem with the Zanu PF position is that the Government of National
Unity (GNU) continues as the GPA remains in force. The GPA does not even
mention the timing of the next general election and, Matyzsak points out,
there is no requirement that either a new constitution or a referendum must
Clearly no-one has been reading his analyses of the GPA over the past two
So the big question is: When do the GPA and the GNU end?
They can end whenever any party decides to withdraw from the agreement since
the two are tied together. This, however, does not apply to the life of the
current parliament which, under the current constitution, should be five
years from the date at which the past election took place and the president
was sworn into office.
This means that the previous elections were completed after the presidential
run-off and the swearing-in of the president by the Chief Justice, June 29
2008. According to the constitution, the next elections shall take place no
later than four months after the dissolution of parliament by the president,
which means they must be completed by October 29 2013.
The legal analysis provided by Matyzsak makes it evident that the current
constitution entitles Zimbabweans to “free, fair and regular elections”, and
that presidential and parliamentary elections should take place at the same
time. But Schedule 8 of the Constitution — which came from the GPA and was
part of Amendment 19 — also provides that the Office of the President “shall
continue to be occupied by President Robert Gabriel Mugabe”.
This was stipulation of the GPA. So if the GPA continues in force, there is
no point in having presidential elections since the only president can be
So, does the GPA end with elections, or can it continue in spite of
elections? It can be assumed that it should end with elections, but this is
not stated anywhere. There clearly is a problem here, and Matyzsak points
this out and offers a number of solutions.
Firstly parliament, the president’s term of office and the GNU could be
extended by a constitutional amendment. This could avoid the need for
elections but, as Matyzsak points out, might be challenged as
unconstitutional because the right to vote in elections are a fundamental
right of citizens under the current constitution.
Hence whilst this may seem a good device for dealing with the current
political stalemate, it may be seen as self-serving for the respective
political parties. However, it is also evident that many Zimbabwean citizens
seem to have little appetite for elections at present, no matter how much
they believe in democracy and the power of elections as a basis for
Assuming that bad elections can be avoided,what kind of constitutional
amendment should we have?
One way will be to extend the life of the current government through an
amendment, to hold a referendum on the new constitution and, assuming that
the constitution is acceptable to the electorate, to use this time to
harmonise the relations between the new constitution and the existing laws,
with all the implications for reform ahead of future elections. This, of
course, could be an exceedingly lengthy process, and it will be crucial to
decide in the amendment to the constitution which will be the necessary
reforms. But it will have to end in an election.
Another approach could be to agree that there is deadlock, and to agree upon
a new “interim” constitution. This is an approach that has been suggested by
others previously, and was the approach successfully adopted by South Africa
in the lead up to its independent elections in 1994. The critical aspect of
this solution will lie in the nature of the agreement over the nature of
this interim instrument as well as the time frame for the life of the
arrangement, and what reforms must take place during the life of the
transition. Again this arrangement will have to end in an election.
The key issue in the interim before elections with either of the above two
approaches are the reforms oft-mentioned by Sadc and, critically, which
reforms will be necessary to providing the conditions for elections
acceptable to Zimbabweans, Sadc, and the international community at large.
As has been argued before by the Research and Advocacy Unit, there needs to
be realism in what will constitute “minimum conditions”, for the reforms
necessary for full democracy may not be essential to the holding of credible
For example, ensuring that the security forces are wholly under civilian
control is a much shorter process than trying to deal with the reform of the
army, the police and the intelligence services.
Again, ensuring the media are open is more easily done through agreements
about the governance of the state media and similar bodies than allowing the
setting up of independent radio and television stations: hate speech and
misinformation can be controlled more easily by regulation than by allowing
competing sources of propaganda.
Thus, the key issue for short-term stability is the question of what will be
the nature of the interim constitution, and here Zimbabwe might take a
lesson from South Africa and the processes that led up the elections in
1994. The quality of the elections will depend on the quality of the
transition rather than the obverse: bad processes rarely lead to good
Tony Reeler is director of the Research and Advocacy Unit.
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
‘I’m ready to rule,” Morgan Tsvangirai has declared.
Opinion by MuckRaker
Does this mean his apprenticeship is over? Perhaps now he will stop
propitiating President Robert Mugabe and get on with the serious business of
providing some idea of what the MDC-T stands for?
He should be setting up his stall and advertising his wares. It’s called
politics. Instead, together with Nelson Chamisa, he has been dodging,
ducking and diving the big issues of the day.
Does anybody know what the voters’ roll looks like?
We understand from reports, presently unconfirmed, that the great provider
of the Presidential Well-Wishers Scheme is none other than President Obiang,
the ruthless dictator of Equatorial Guinea. If this is the case, why hasn’t
the MDC-T said so? They haven’t said a thing about Zanu PF’s inducements.
Obiang was on TV this week telling the BBC how much his people love him.
Also featured was his playboy son who owns numerous properties and vehicles
in Paris. Dark glasses for both father and son were evidently de rigeur.
On the human rights and governance side, where is the MDC-T’s voice on the
country’s democratic deficit? At the Gweru conference it was announced that
some 200 commercial farmers face jail for resisting evictions while 198 more
are to be targeted.
It turns out, the Sunday Times reports, that no white farmers are to remain
with land or a business venture. In other words reverse racism trumps
And then we hear from the European Union that all is well in Zimbabwe. And
unsurprisingly Zanu PF can’t believe its luck in having such a clean bill of
Losing the plot
Muckraker was intrigued by a photo in the Herald last Saturday showing
Tsvangirai chairing a meeting of senior government officials for an update
on preparations for elections.
Seated with him was Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zec acting chair
We were not aware Tsvangirai had agreed on an election date although at
times it seems he will agree to anything.
But we understand the need by donors and others for the PM to be seen
playing a leading role in electoral preparations.
This, however, is more likely to serve Zanu PF’s purpose than the MDC-T’s!
Change of tack
Meanwhile Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo conceded his party conference
resolutions are sometimes “torpedoed by the reality on the ground”.
“We cannot just force things through without considering what the situation
demands,” Gumbo told the Daily News on Sunday. “In some instances, the
situation dictates that we change tack.”
This is more so now that Zanu PF’s nemesis President Jacob Zuma has clinched
the mandate from his party for another term.
We are likely to see a toning down of the fiery rhetoric from the regime’s
“Mr Zuma’s duplicity is astounding. With such leaders, Africa is in mortal
danger,” the Sunday Mail’s editorial comment read last year reflecting
Mugabe’s displeasure at Zuma’s mediation.
“We are not a colony — whether under the direct control of the West or by
South African proxy,” the comment snarled.
However, Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo was anything but hostile at the
ANC’s conference in Mangaung describing the two parties as
“We have a common liberation history and culture. We are one,” Moyo said, a
far cry from Zanu PF’s labelling the ANC leaders as puppets of the West.
Reception was initially warm as Moyo recounted the two parties’ historically
“But applause from the 4 000-plus audience became increasingly muted as he
delved into the party’s controversial history and land grabs in the
country,” reports the M&G.
Enthusiasm seems to have cooled when he said his party and the ANC shared
common values and destiny.
We were delighted to hear, once again, that Zanu PF is contemplating the
reintroduction of the Zim dollar.
This is good news. Nothing could be more calculated to lose Zanu PF votes
than the prospect of the discredited Zim dollar coming back into
Since 2009 the US greenback has provided stability and predictability, the
two things a developing economy needs most.
Zanu PF should declare loud and clear its commitment to the Zim dollar.
It will be the kiss of death for the old Stalinists in the politburo.
Speaking of which, Muckraker can always count on the indefatigable Kissnot
Mukwazhi for a good chuckle. It seems any publicity is good publicity for
the ZDP leader and last week the Financial Gazette published his letter
giving police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri a “thumbs up” for “his
desire to maintain peace in the country”.
“Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s statements on anti-violence
and anti-corruption reflect his desire to maintain peace in the country,”
“But it is my humbled (sic) submission that political leaders should not
make irresponsible or stupid utterances …”
Clearly Cde Kissnot needs a dose of his own advice.
Those who know Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema and have worked with him point
to an intelligent and literate politician –– which is more than can be said
for most of his colleagues!
But last week he displayed a fit of pique which best belonged in the
He refused to meet visiting US ambassador Bruce Wharton who was on a
familiarisation tour of the second city.
“I do not have him on my schedule and I do not want to meet him because his
government imposed sanctions on us,” Mathema declared.
This came a short while after Wharton had presented his credentials to
President Mugabe last month. Their meeting was fruitful we understand. He
also met leaders of the MDC-T, MDC-N and Zapu. So Mugabe understood the
importance of normalising relations with the United States but Mathema didn’t?
“If he comes to my office,” Mathema blustered, “he will have to explain why
there are sanctions on Zimbabwe.”
That’s a no-brainer Mr Governor. Sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe after
Zanu PF’s record of political violence and electoral manipulation. The EU
also imposed sanctions for the same reasons.
If Mathema and his colleagues want them lifted they should remove the
reasons for their imposition.
Last week we were obliged to point out to a columnist at the Herald that
Cecil Square was not named in honour of Cecil Rhodes (it was Robert Cecil,
Earl of Salisbury).
This week we have to draw the Sunday Mail’s Nilene Foxworth’s attention to
the date of Ghana’s independence. It was 1957, not 1959.
And not many Africans remember the “resounding welcome” they received on
arrival in China!
Instead of childish accusations of the “imperialist media” “selling out the
country”, the editor should be checking his copy from Nilene and other
The director of the Royal African Society is for instance Richard Dowden,
not Richard Dowen!
And Marange Resources should have some idea how to spell “Kimberley”.
Marange had a full-page ad in the Daily News in which Obert Mpofu was
laughing his head off –– “all the way to the bank” as they say. And there
was fulsome praise for the minister’s “determination”.
Finally we were amused by Webster Shamu’s vain attempt to turn the Unity Day
musical gala into a Zanu PF event which backfired as he was booed off by
In an attempt to defuse the situation, the Standard reports, Shamu was
forced to abandon the Zanu PF chants and rope in the more popular Dynamos
Shamu got a sobering impression of what the people think about his party.
December 21, 2012 in Opinion
THE year 2012 marked the third anniversary of the so-called government of
national unity (GNU).
Report by Herbert Moyo
Uneasy bedfellows in the form of Zanu PF and the two MDC formations took
their acrimonious bickering to yet greater levels with so many conflicts
playing out in the media as the GNU wobbles on ever closer to finality, with
elections expected in 2013.
The Parliamentary Constitutional Select Committee (Copac), in charge of the
constitution-making process, continued with its long-delayed quest to craft
a draft constitution acceptable to the triumvirate, but incessant squabbling
over provisions in the draft, including devolution and the dilution of
presidential powers, ensured the process, initially scheduled to last 18
months, would spill over into 2013.
Much to the chagrin of their principals, MDC-T and Zanu PF negotiators
connived to sneak in clauses, first imposing age limits that would have
ruled out President Robert Mugabe from contesting due to old age, following
this up with a controversial running-mates clause. Analysts believe this was
an attempt by the two arch-rivals’ representatives to manage the
conflict-ridden succession issues within their parties, particularly Zanu
Politically the year was not just about Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
Mugabe and their respective parties; the smaller MDC formation also made the
headlines as the the two professors, Welshman Ncube and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara took their leadership contest to court.
For a while it looked like the sun had finally set on Mutambara’s short but
eventful political career after a Bulawayo High Court ruling ordered him to
stop masquerading as MDC leader.
This was soon followed by a Sadc resolution to recognise Ncube as a
political party principal alongside Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Finance minister
Biti went so far as to write Mutambara’s political epitaph, declaring “he is
finished”, but the robotics professor rode the storm with the assistance of
Mugabe and, to a lesser extent, Tsvangirai .
Mugabe flatly refused to remove Mutambara as deputy prime minister,
insisting he did not want to interfere with court processes.
Boosted by Mugabe’s endorsement, Mutambara flew to Chisumbanje heading an
inter-ministerial team that successfully negotiated a solution to a
long-running ethanol saga supposedly over whether or not to have mandatory
blending of petrol with ethanol produced by controversial business tycoon
The saga had all the makings of a political soap opera featuring the
all-too-familiar plot of Zanu PF/MDC-T rivalry, with the helpless
Chisumbanje community whose livelihood was destroyed by the advances of
Rautenbach’s commercial enterprise in the sub-plot.
Ncube boycotted the official opening of the Copac Second All-Stakeholders’
Conference in Harare at the end of October after Mugabe and Tsvangirai gave
Mutambara the podium as a principal. He, however, returned the following day
for the sub-committee deliberations and, as some comically pointed out, also
in time to collect handy participation allowances.
True to expectations the conference failed to break the impasse over the
draft constitution and would be best remembered for Mugabe’s warning to
delegates — in a brazen display of his authoritarian disposition — that
principals, and not Copac or the people, would have the final say in the
“I am saying this because sometimes parliament thinks that it is full of
sovereignty that it should control the acts of the principals; hazviite (it
won’t happen)!” he said.
The spineless MPs failed to respond. After all, many of them had been
skipping parliamentary sessions or sitting quietly through proceedings like
blushing brides, only finding their collective voices to make outrageous
demands for monetary payments and other incentives.
Some of the MPs abused the US$50 000 Constituency Development Funds meant to
fund development initiatives in their constituencies, but were saved by
All this came against the background of a United Nations Development
Programme report declaring 65% of MPs require intensive training in
legislation and budget analysis as they are not skilled or competent to
perform their tasks.
All this took place amid party in-fighting with none of the GNU threesome
In Zanu PF, it was manifest in the decision to disband the district
co-ordinating committees (DCCs) which had assumed the mantle of kingmakers
responsible for electing the party’s provincial leadership and ultimately
the national leaders.
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, past master of so many covert Zanu PF
power contestations, had all the DCCs eating out of his hand only to have
the rug pulled from under his feet by schemers linked to alleged long-time
succession adversary, Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
In the MDC-T, among the ruction highlights was the tension between
Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe which exploded into full view in
November after Tsvangirai exclusively told this paper Khupe would be
disciplined for her part in the violence that rocked the party’s Bulawayo
congress last year.
Like the proverbial stuntman, Tsvangirai performed a spectacular somersault
denying he ever uttered those words which were recorded for posterity.
There was also drama in September when Tsvangirai had to fend off sex
scandals and scorned lovers after his former spouse Locardia
Karimatsenga-Tembo successfully petitioned the court to prevent him from
marrying Elizabeth Macheka under the Marriage Act Chapter 5:11. The wedding
was relegated to a customary ceremony.
Karimatsenga-Tembo, who eventually won a reportedly handsome pay-off from
Tsvangirai, was joined by South African Nosipho Shilubane in seeking to
block Tsvangirai’s wedding. Talk about the fury of women scorned!
Ncube, rocked by a revolt which resulted in defections by some of his
elected MPs, fired legislators, including deputy speaker of the house of
assembly Nomalanga Khumalo. Later Mutambara savoured the last laugh after
the legislators declared allegiance to him.
Once again Zanu PF failed to deal with the controversial succession issue,
with Mugabe retained as the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s
elections. Mugabe will be 89 years old, making him one of the oldest
presidential candidates in world history. If anything, touted presidential
aspirants Mnangagwa and Mujuru fell over each other in a rush to deny their
presidential ambitions by endorsing Mugabe.
All in all, 2012 was a year that promised so much yet delivered very little
on the political front — what with the snail’s pace of the
constitution-making exercise, inter and intra-party fights as well as
failure to implement the legislative reforms to usher in a democratic