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Charamba linked to army poll ploy

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Friday, 30 December 2011 09:53

Faith Zaba

PRESIDENTIAL spokesman George Charamba may land in hot soup following
revelations that he was working closely with hardliners, who include army
generals, to manage President Robert Mugabe ahead of elections envisaged for
2012.

Impeccable sources in the politburo told the Zimbabwe Independent this week
that the military was setting up parallel structures so as to take over the
day-to-day running of government.

Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga is reportedly behind
the establishment of the parallel structures.
Efforts to obtain comment from General Chiwenga were unsuccessful as his
mobile phones were not reachable. An army sposkesman declined to comment,
saying it was a political issue.

In an interview with the Independent yesterday, Charamba confirmed working
with the securocrats, saying there was nothing sinister about his working
relationship with them because of the nature of his job as the presidential
spokesman.

“Do I work with the generals? — Well it depends kuti (on) it’s over what. If
Chiwenga has an important speech, he sometimes asks me to work with his
speech writers or asks me to go through his draft speech — so do other
ministers. I have several ministers that come to me and they ask me to draft
their speeches,” he said.

“But I don’t work with the generals to write the president’s speech.”

Charamba added: “Do I have a relationship with the generals? — Yes I do have
a working relationship with the generals as the press person of the
president, the same way I have a relationship with party people you are
talking about.”

Asked why he is always seen at Defence House visiting Chiwenga, Charamba
said: “I have no apologies to make about being at Defence House, or at the
PGHQ (Police Headquarters) or (the army’s) KG6 — these are the structures I
work for.”

Party sources said the military’s plans have advanced to the extent that
they are now intercepting speeches approved by Mugabe and exchanging them
with alternative speeches prepared at Defence House. This, sources say, is a
direct order from Chiwenga.

Charamba dismissed this saying the military has never originated a draft for
the president’s speech.

“Speeches from the president come in three forms – they are originated by
the president himself, or by his personal staff, who include Charamba,
principal private secretary Lawrence Kamwi, his deputy or my deputy and/ or
a draft comes from the inviting organisation,” he said.

The sources, however, cite what happened at Zanu PF’s 12th national
conference in Bulawayo earlier this month, where Mugabe was allegedly given
a different keynote speech from the one he had approved. A four-minute drama
unfolded soon after Mugabe took to the podium.

Charamba was captured by journalists’ microphones pitched at the podium
taking responsibility for the mess. When the drama was unravelling, Charamba
was seen bowing his head before Mugabe with his hand on his chest in an
apologetic posture.

Charamba said he never received a tongue-lashing from Mugabe but was only
asked by the president if changes he had made to the draft had been
incorporated in the final speech.

He said he worked on the draft speech and gave it to Kamwi in Bulawayo on
Wednesday evening, who made adjustments, before handing it to the president
on Wednesday morning.

“As the press secretary, I must make sure everything for the president is in
place. Just as I got to the podium, the president asked where the speech
with hand written corrections was and he asked if they had finished
correcting it.

“I told him that they had finished and I told him that what he had was the
clean copy. He said that was fast and said thank you. The discussion was
very amicable,” he said.

However, politburo sources, who were privy to what was going on behind the
scenes, said Mugabe largely ignored the new speech and spoke off the cuff
for nearly three hours on issues in the original approved speech.

One politburo member said: “A coterie of army commanders is working with
some Zanu PF politicians and top civil servants. They have set up parallel
structures that make critical decisions – they are the ones pushing for
elections next year.

“What happened in Bulawayo is one key example of what is happening and a
clear sign that decisions are being made elsewhere. This has never happened
before, where the president’s speech is written elsewhere.

“If you noticed on the last day of the conference, the president spent most
of his time going through his closing speech – I suppose to make sure it was
the right one, the one he had approved.”

The sources said this was not the first time there was an attempt to switch
Mugabe’s speech with one he had not approved. This happened in Mozambique at
the unveiling of the statue of late Mozambican president Samora Machel, but
they were unsuccessful.

One politburo member said: “This third force, which has a military
component, is a reality. We had initially dismissed press reports that there
was this third force emerging, but now there is evidence to show that they
are really serious about ruling this country.”

Information obtained by the Independent suggests that Chiwenga could be
interested in becoming president after Mugabe.

Chiwenga is referred to within military circles as “Zim 2” – implying he is
effectively number two to Mugabe. This was also revealed in meetings between
Brigadier-Generals Herbert Chingono and Fidelis Satuku and US ambassador Ray
Charles.


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Mugabe declined US exit package: WikiLeaks

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Friday, 30 December 2011 09:50

Owen Gagare

THE United States government offered President Robert Mugabe an exit package
which would have guaranteed a soft landing for the octogenarian leader just
prior to the 2008 harmonised elections. The offer was declined.

The US government was confident that Mugabe would be defeated in the
elections.

Former US ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee made the offer to then Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche on March 10 2008,
but a “supremely confident” Goche dismissed the ambassador arguing Mugabe
would win comfortably.

Goche refused to comment on the subject yesterday only saying: “Ah, I don’t
comment on those things.”

According to a cable released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, McGee
told Goche Zimbabwe was in a transition and the US was willing to help
Mugabe secure a smooth exit from office and offer him protection from
possible prosecution.

“Speaking in direct language, the ambassador averred that Zimbabwe was in a
transition that would result in Mugabe’s exit from office. Noting that the
US had a firm policy on Zimbabwe, he stated that we would be willing to
assist Mugabe, now, to achieve a dignified departure,” reads the cable.

If Mugabe lost the election, it said, he would be exposed to prosecution for
his past misdeeds. He could talk to the US, make plans to leave, and protect
himself.

“Goche declined to follow-up on the ambassador’s offer. He agreed that
Zimbabwe was in a transition, but argued that a Zanu PF change in leadership
would occur at the Zanu PF congress in December 2009. Mugabe would not lose
the election and there would be no run-off.”

Goche said Mugabe’s support was “as strong as ever, particularly in the
rural areas”.

He said the ward-based elections worked in favour of Zanu PF which had
strong structures.

“As for cracks in Zanu PF, Goche said this had always been the case, but the
party continued to be viable,” reads the cable.

Goche was dismissive of Mavambo leader Simba Makoni, whom he said had never
run for office and did not have a constituency.

“Any votes he received would be at the expense of the MDC’s Morgan
Tsvangirai. This was good for Zanu PF. He added that Dumiso Dabengwa’s
defection to Makoni was insignificant. Dabengwa had run for parliament in
2005 and polled few votes; he had little support in Matabeleland.”

The Ambassador stressed that re-engagement would be based on Zimbabwe’s
compliance with US principles, including free and fair elections, return to
the rule of law and observation of human rights. However, Goche reportedly
interrupted McGee arguing that rule of law and human rights were just a
euphemism for returning land to the whites.

He said Zimbabwe wanted to be treated just like other countries. He asked
why Zimbabwe was being unfairly treated when it had co-operated with the US
in countries such as as Liberia, Somalia and Angola.

“When the ambassador noted the importance of economic reform, Goche
responded that Zimbabwe had large mineral resources, particularly diamonds
and platinum. These resources would be used to pay off international and
bilateral debts. He maintained that Zimbabwe was in the process of
increasing agricultural productivity; increased productivity would allow
Zimbabwe to tackle its inflation problem.”
However, on elections, Goche said he was disappointed that his push for
independent election observers had been crushed by the Foreign Affairs
minister.

In his comment McGee said Goche’s supreme confidence that Mugabe would win
elections may have been due to confidence in Zanu PF’s ability to rig and
the absence of additional Zanu PF defections to Makoni.

“During the meeting, Goche cryptically mentioned that we would understand
Mugabe’s strength when we learned who had visited with the president earlier
in the day. An intermediary later told us that Goche, prior to meeting with
the ambassador, had met with Mugabe. Mugabe told Goche that he had met with
Solomon Mujuru who had pledged his loyalty,” reads the cable.

McGee stated he did not believe Mugabe could win a free and fair election.

Mugabe went on to lose the first round of elections to MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai who, however, failed to garner enough votes to be declared an
outright winner. Mugabe contested the runoff alone after Tsvangirai pulled
out citing widespread violence and intimidation of his supporters.


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‘Copac chaos a poll-delaying ploy’

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 17:19

Herbert Moyo

THE confusion in Copac could be a well-calculated ploy to prolong the
constitution-making process in order to delay elections until at least 2013,
according to Copac co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora and Edward Mkhosi.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Mkhosi registered his
frustration with both Paul Mangwana and Mwonzora whom he castigated for
their endless bickering which was detrimental to the work of Copac.

“I am at the crossroads because I have to work with them even though they
are always fighting,” said Mkhosi. “At times it looks like they want to
prolong the (constitution-making) process so that there won’t be elections
soon.”

Mwonzora denied any wrong-doing on the part of his MDC-T party but concurred
with Mkhosi that there were indeed attempts by Zanu PF to delay the
constitution-making process and, thereafter, general elections.

Following publication of a document in the state-owned Herald newspaper
purporting to be a “Copac national report”, Mwonzorra hit out, saying no
such document existed.

“No report was ever submitted to the Herald and in fact we challenge both
Mangwana and the Herald to produce proof of payment from Copac for the
report,” said Mwonzora. “The fact that it was only published in the Herald,
a pro-Zanu PF paper, should tell you something.”

Mwonzora also pointed out that a  genuine Copac report would be made
available to all newspapers rather than one publication and that the
so-called report “could be the work of a mischievous faction within Zanu PF
that was bent on either advancing Zanu PF views in the constitution-making
process or delaying the process altogether by creating more confusion”.

He said although Zanu PF talked of elections so fervently, deep down it was
scared as there wasn’t a single Zanu PF MP who wanted elections.

“That is why Mangwana can deny things he himself would have authorised, like
when it was agreed that the drafters can look at other constitutions from
other countries and also drafts produced by the National Constitutional
Assembly, the Kariba Draft and the Constitutional Commission draft of 2000.
We have a video recording of these instructions we gave to the drafters,”
said Mwonzora.

Mkhosi also dissociated Copac from the report but laid the blame for the
chaos squarely on Mwonzora and Mangwana.

“Someone is trying to make a name for himself through this constitutional
process. There was no need for Mwonzora to address a solo press conference
at his party headquarters. Copac has offices where this issue should have
been addressed when all the co-chairpersons were present,” said Mkhosi.

However, Mwonzora defended his decision to call a unilateral press
conference on the grounds that even though Mkhosi was in Bulawayo and
Mangwana was unreachable on his phone. “I could not wait because the nation
had been misled by the Herald.”

Meanwhile, Mangwana maintained that the report was accurate although he
conceded that there were several important issues that had been omitted from
the document. He likened the national report to a disabled child “who isn’t
any less a human being just because he doesn’t have an arm or a leg”.

He also refuted claims that his party was delaying the constitution-making
process as a way of delaying elections and stated that “Zanu PF is ready for
elections at any time”.

This is the latest instalment in the Copac drama demonstrating the long and
arduous road to be trudged before a new constitution is finally completed.


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Zanu PF, MDC-T set to prolong unity govt

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 17:00

Paidamoyo Muzulu

ZANU PF and the MDC formations are set to renegotiate the GPA in 2012 with a
view to extending the life of the coalition government as the parties fail
to agree on implementation of minimum political and legislative reforms
necessary for the holding of free and fair polls.
The shaky coalition government has been on the edge for the better part of
2011 with the partners constantly squabbling and threatening to walk out
over disputed constitutional, media and security sector reforms as well as
the amendments of Posa and the Electoral Act, among other issues.

Zanu PF appears to be trapped in a time warp and has publicly announced that
it will not concede to any further reforms except the constitution and
referendum.

However, President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF ended this year by conceding
that they had failed to force elections in accordance with the party’s 2010
conference resolutions.

Zanu PF has realised that polls will not be possible without full
implementation of the agreed reforms.

As a result, the strange bedfellows have co-habited a little longer since no
one seems to have the stamina to contest an immediate election.

Despite having failed to hold elections in 2011, Zanu PF continued to
grandstand at its conference in Bulawayo declaring that polls would be held
in the first half of 2012 with or without the agreed reforms.

Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza sees an improved political climate with the
major protagonists acknowledging that the GPA was the only alternative to an
internationally acceptable election.

Mandaza said: “I foresee elections not happening in 2012. Elections will
reverse everything that has been gained so far, therefore there will be a
greater push for revision of the GPA and strengthening of the coalition
government. They will reorganise the GPA into a GPA 2.”

National University of Science and Technology lecturer Lawton Hikwa agreed
with Mandaza that the parties had to renegotiate a Zimbabwean solution since
Sadc could not do anything more than it has already done.

“There has to be a political will among the political parties to move
forward and implement the outstanding GPA reforms like the constitutional
review, referendum and various legislative amendments necessary for the
holding of free and fair elections,” said Hikwa. “I don’t see Sadc pushing
them beyond what they have done so far. The solution ultimately will have to
be Zimbabwean,” he said.

South African mediation continues albeit with less speed to resolve the
impasse immediately. President Jacob Zuma and his facilitation team have
shuttled between Pretoria and Harare without much progress except keeping
all parties at the negotiating table.
Mandaza and Hikwa’s projections tie in with MDC-T’s national executive
member Eddie Cross’s recent article implying that his party was ready to
renegotiate the GPA.

However, Cross said the renegotiation would only be done post-Mugabe whereby
Zanu PF suggests a replacement to allow for movement on contentious issues.

Cross wrote: “Zanu PF will immediately open talks with the MDC to engineer a
soft landing. At the very least this will involve a presidential election as
soon as possible, the retirement of Mugabe and eventually the entire Joc
structure. It will lead to another GNU but this time led by new leadership
and no longer a divided house. This will give the young Turks in Zanu PF as
well as the moderates in their present leadership an opportunity to try and
rebuild the party before the next harmonised, free and fair elections in
perhaps five years time.”

Kent University Law lecturer Alex Magaisa is convinced that there would be
no elections and that from the onset Sadc had intended the GPA to last until
2013.

“The option available is actually the renegotiation of GPA in the event that
there is another disputed poll as witnessed in 2008. It should be remembered
Sadc always had a plan to give the coalition government a full term. This
was meant to make sure that any future election in Zimbabwe would be as far
away from 2008 as possible,” said Magaisa.


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Victoria Falls loses out in new world seven wonders poll

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:13

VICTORIA Falls lost the popular vote as one of the new Seven Wonders of the
World, in a poll conducted by Swiss-based New7 Wonders Foundation. The poll
puts the Seven Wonders of the World as the Amazon River in South America,
Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil, Komodo in Indonesia, Halong Bay in
Vietnam, Jeju Island in South Korea, Table Mountain in South Africa and
Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines.

The list differs from the traditional list compiled by United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) which has Grand
Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Harbour of Rio De Janeiro, Mount Everest,
Aurora, Paruticun volcano and the Victoria Falls.

Tourism and Hospitality ministry Walter Mzembi said the new list of wonders
was not coming from a recognised site but a Swiss agency which based its
results on internet rating.

The campaign was launched in 2000 as a private initiative by Bernard Weber,
the idea being to encourage citizens around the world to select seven new
wonders of the world by popular vote.

The finalists included two Australian tourist icons, Uluru and the Great
Barrier Reef. Uluru in the Northern Territory is the world’s largest
monolith, while the reef is the world’s biggest coral reef, comprising more
than 3000 individual reef systems and beaches. The Paricutin Volcano in
Mexico, also a finalist, is one of the few volcanoes whose birth has been
witnessed by man. It literally grew over a corn-field during 1943-52.

Others on the list are the Dead Sea (Israel), the Grand Canyon (United
States), the Aurora (Northern Lights), the Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe),
Mount Everest (Tibet/Nepal), Rio de Janeiro Harbor (Brazil), Halong Bay
(Vietnam), Angel Falls (Venezuela), and Jeita Grotto (Lebanon).

In 2007, Unesco reaffirmed that there that there is no link whatsoever
between Unesco’s World Heritage programme, which aims to protect world
heritage, and the current campaign concerning the “New 7 Wonders of the
World”.

Victoria Falls was a natural wonder, Mzembi said, which had the backing of
Unesco and “divine rating”.  He said the poll was the work of detractors who
have an agenda against the country.

Tourism, together with mining,  agriculture and manufacturing were the main
pillars of economic recovery in this country. Mzembi said the western
imperialists were aware of this and as a result were trying to fight against
this.

“They are now using perception to pursue their agenda. It all started with
the ICT conference and now it is this. They tried it with the Kimberly
Process but they failed.”

He said government has been on the forefront marketing the falls, which is
why it had won the joint bid with Zambia to host the United Nations’s World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference in 2013. At least 200 countries are
expected to come for the meeting.

Mzembi said that in February, delegates from UNWTO and World Travel &
Tourism Council  will make courtesy calls to President Robert Mugabe to
officially announce that the country will host the UNWTO event.

Mzembi said that occupancies in Victoria Falls, over the Christmas holiday,
were at around 76%.


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AirZim prejudicing the country — Kaseke

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:07

Wongai Zhangazha

ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke has accused the troubled Air
Zimbabwe of prejudicing the country of  possibly more than US$5 million in
monthly revenue due to its continuous financial and operational problems.
Kaseke recently lashed out at the beleaguered national airline  for plunging
the tourism industry into losses because of its failure to have frequent
flights to resort towns.

Just last week, the cash-strapped airline had its Boeing 767-200 impounded
in London by a United States firm — American General Supplies — over an
unpaid US$1,5 million debt.

The plane was only released last Saturday after government paid the US
company.

Harare-bound passengers spent many days at Gatwick International Airport
because AirZim failed to provide alternative flights.

It could not be immediately established to what extent the chaos had
affected the airline’s bookings for the festive season.

As a result of the persisting problems, ZTA had no kind words for the
troubled airline, blaming it for the tourism sector’s losses in 2011.

“Roughly we have lost about US$3 million to US$5 million due to the problems
that AirZim is facing. Mind you, this can be an underestimation. The
problems have really affected our market so badly and we need a serious
revamp,” said Kaseke. “The real problem is mismanagement and it’s a problem
that cannot be blamed on minister (of Transport and Communications Nicholas)
Goche as some sectors want to put it, as he inherited an insolvent airline
from his predecessor. It’s an issue that can be traced back to the last time
that AirZim was said to have made a profit - that was in 2004 -2005,” Kaseke
pointed out.

He said AirZim’s problems would not end as long as issues affecting the
airline were not effectively tackled.

“If they don’t put in place the right management, they will continue to have
these problems. A majority of the people in management should pave way for
new blood. We can’t continue having people we have been having from as far
as 1980. They have no clue of what is happening in aviation today.”

He said tourism was heavily affected by the flight schedules in resort
areas.

“Their (Airzim) fleet is too old and therefore the fuel burn is too high.
For example, they are using a Boeing 737 to do domestic flights for Harare-
Bulawayo-Victoria Falls flights. Surely with a 737 -200 for that matter, we
can’t expect to make any profit. They need to get the right type of
aircraft. The right domestic routes for AirZim are N50-70 seat jets, not the
long aircrafts that they are using,” he said.

“And look at what they are selling. The flight leaves Harare for Bulawayo at
7am and leaves Bulawayo at 8.15am or 8.30am for Victoria Falls and leaves
Victoria Falls at 9.30m. When you leave Victoria Falls at 9.30am, what you
are just selling there is a flight. There is a difference between selling a
flight and selling a schedule. We don’t want tourists to leave Victoria
Falls that early. In a resort area, people don’t need to wake up so early to
catch a flight. So they are selling a flight and not a schedule.”

Kaseke once oversaw affairs of the troubled airline as Permanent Secretary
in the ministry of Transport. He has also served as CEO of the Civil
Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ).


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Cabinet Scorecard: How did the ministers fare?

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:26

AS the wobbly alliance of the inclusive government stumbles into 2012, there
are concerns that the relative economic stability Zimbabweans have been
experiencing will be short-lived if the three political parties continue
with their endless squabbling.

In 2011, parties in the inclusive government have bickered over anything
from civil servants’ salaries, financing agriculture, the
constitution-making process to diamond revenue.

As it does an introspection of its performance in 2011, the inclusive
government needs to ask itself whose interests it is serving –– are they
individual, partisan or the interests of Zimbabweans.

The Zimbabwe Independent looks at how ministers fared during the year while
operating on shoestring budgets, among other factors. Below is our
assessment of the performances of some of the ministers. While some
ministers have been visible for the right or wrong reasons, there were
others who were completely invisible. Can someone tell us what exactly are
ministers Gabuza Gabbuza of Public Works, Olivia Muchena of Women’s Affairs,
Gender and Community Development, and Giles Mutsekwa of National Housing and
Social Amenities are doing in their ministries?

Webster Shamu –– Media, Information and Publicity. Grade: D
With new newspapers on the market and thriving, Shamu seems reluctant to
ensure fundamental legislative reforms are put in place to open the airwaves
and allow independent broadcasters to function.

Shamu has resisted media reforms because they form the cornerstone of his
party’s continued political hegemony. He has also defied a cabinet decision
to regularise the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), which
controversially awarded two commercial radio licences last month to two
companies linked to Zanu PF.

Despite the inter-party pact, Shamu is not keen to implement genuine media
reforms. No single television and community radio licences have been issued
to date by BAZ despite promises made in the Global Political Agreement to
increase players in both print and broadcast media.

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, though not
frequent enough, has organised meetings with editors from both private and
public media.

Threats to journalists seem to have lessened –– there were fewer arrests and
the arrests this year were mainly instigated by individuals using criminal
defamation laws.

Shamu still has to repeal repressive laws like the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa). He has also failed to campaign within
government for the abrogation of criminal defamation laws and Public Order
and Security Act.

Walter Mzembi –– Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Grade: A
One of Mzembi’s greatest achievements this year was winning Zimbabwe’s bid
to co-host with Zambia, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
(UNWTO) general assembly in 2013.

This will bring together 186 countries to the Victoria Falls and it will be
among the biggest world events to be hosted by Zimbabwe in recent years.
During that period, the Victoria Falls will generate more money than it does
in a year.

Because of his sterling work marketing Zimbabwe, the Economic Impact
Research for 2011 to 2021 released recently by the World Travel and Tourism
Council (WTTC) shows that Zimbabwe will be the second fastest growing
tourism economy in the world at an annualised growth rate of 8,2%.

During the first half of the year, the tourism sector registered a 14,3%
growth in tourist arrivals and bed occupancy compared to the same period
last year.

Mzembi was in March crowned the African Tourism Minister of the year at the
Africa investor tourism Investment Awards in South Africa. He was
shortlisted in a highly competitive category which included ministers from
Zambia, Kenya, Namibia, Morocco, Uganda, South Africa, Angola and Mozambique
as nominees.

Mzembi also launched a new tourism brand in February: “Zimbabwe –– a World
of Wonders”, which he has popularised at home and in major source markets of
the world where it has been well received. To market the country as a
tourist destination, Zimbabwe has joined the global destination group as a
founding member.

He has designated the whole of Zimbabwe as a tourism development zone.
Mzembi has won a seat in the executive council of UNWTO, which he has used
to leverage Zimbabwe’s position against sanctions and travel warnings.
Mzembi definitely needs to take a bow for the excellent work he is doing.

David Coltart –– Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. Grade: A
Coltart is one of the hardest working ministers in the inclusive government
and has been a great asset to the government, which has failed to deliver in
many areas.  He is hardworking and committed to reversing the decay in the
education sector. When he joined the ministry in 2009, most teachers had
left the profession; those that remained were not motivated as they were
always striking and the student-textbook ratio was pathetic. But this has
all changed.

The student-textbook ratio in primary schools is now 1:1 after he sourced
donor assistance from UNICEF and other western agencies. They donated 13
million textbooks worth US$50 million. He is now targeting secondary schools
across the country.

Teachers, although they are not paid much, are motivated and have rarely
gone on strike. Despite pressure from teachers’ associations, he has refused
to scrap incentives being paid by parents through the school development
associations. Temporary teachers no longer outnumber qualified teachers.

Recently, he launched the US$85 million education fund by government and
other western donors to assist secondary schools. To improve infrastructure
at schools, he launched the education transition fund phase 2 to
rehabilitate school classrooms, water and toilets. Coltart definitely
deserves an A, hopefully other ministers will be able to emulate him.

Zimbabwe finally saw New Zealand touring the country this year after Coltart
brokered a deal to end the Black Caps’ self imposed ban on playing in
Zimbabwe.

The Black caps toured Zimbabwe for a one-off Test, three ODIs and two T-20s
which they all won. But that deal and the subsequent tour will be recorded
as victory for Zimbabwe as they successfully navigated their way out of
international isolation, thanks to the cricket crazy Coltart.

The Australian “A” side also toured Zimbabwe in June where they played
two-four-day matches and a triangular ODI series which also featured the
South African “A” team.

Tendai Biti –– Finance. Grade: C
Since dollarisation, economic growth and performance has been steady and the
multicurrency regime has brought stability to different economic sectors.

In his 2011 budget statement, Biti recalled that most of 2009 and 2010 was
devoted to STERP I to restore macro-economic stability following the ravages
of hyperinflation and the cobweb of controls throttling business activity.
He indicated that focus will be on consolidating macro-economic stability in
the 2011.

Despite being at the epicentre of a government of disunity, Biti managed to
attain his set objectives, including attaining a single digit inflation
target of between 4% - 5%.

Biti had a difficult job of allocating a budget where expenditure is
outstripping revenue, but his budget outcome was in line with his set
objectives since he managed to allocate a cash budget pegged at US$2,7
billion.

The performance of Biti is not bad since he seems to be fighting a lone
battle given the lack of political will to bring about a conducive economic
environment which encourages investment and economic growth. However, Biti
needs to tell us what happened to the SDR funds. Why is he not utilising
them? Biti can be criticised for his bid to force a deal which would result
in NSSA financing troubled ReNaissance Bank.

Obert Mpofu –– Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. Grade D
The biggest achievement of the minister this year was the attainment of the
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) status. Despite the sanctions
slapped on diamond producing firms following the acceptance of Zimbabwe in
the elite club, the economy is set to benefit hugely from being a member of
the KPCS.

But the performance of the Mines ministry was also negatively impacted by
the indigenisation drive targeted at mines and this has stalled investment
in the mining sector.

Despite some good work, Mpofu has clearly failed to deal with the issue of
diamond leakages.
With that cloud hanging over him the good work is overshadowed by his
reluctance to plug minerals revenue holes which have failed to boost the
fiscus.

Welshman Ncube –– Industry and Commerce. Grade D
The greatest achievement was securing investors in the non-functional Zisco
with government disposing off its stake to ESSAR. But the deal has been
marred with irregularities this year and the slow pace of concluding it has
overshadowed the good work on the deal.

Issues debatable remain the impasse over iron reserves which are believed
the ministry overlooked in signing on the deal. Also, ESSAR now holds 51% of
the iron and steel giant which contravenes the indigenisation drive
currently being spearheaded by government.

But from reports from the 2011 annual report of the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries, capacity utilisation in industry has improved to levels
above 57% and Biti’s interventionist policies which protected industry
somehow brought above the improvement in capacity utilisation. But the
recovery process is now being impeded by lack of liquidity in the economy.

He has also come up with a distressed companies fund, which is a plus for
him. Cabinet has approved the disbursement of US$40 million to distressed
companies.

Ignatius Chombo –– Local Government and Rural Development. Grade F
Minister Ignatius Chombo (pictured) carried over from where he left off last
year –– that is fighting elected MDC councillors. He took his crusade
against MDC-T councillors to zealot levels –– firing them willy-nilly and
clashing with his deputy, Sesel Zvidzai, in the process.

The courts were not too pleased with his exercise of authority and spent the
better part of the year overturning his decisions.  The issue of his
personal wealth refused to go away and late in the year journalists from the
Daily News were arrested after publishing a story that claimed that he was
flaunting his wealth.

Service delivery issues continued to haunt local government authorities
particularly in urban areas. After all the hullabaloo about indigenisation,
one wonders how he allowed a parking deal between the Harare City Council
and South African company Easipark to pass despite the fact that council
benefited nothing from it.

This is where heads should have rolled. Questions continue to be asked
concerning the appointment of special interest councillors that were viewed
in opposition circles as politically motivated to bring Zanu PF into local
government despite their defeat in elections.

Theresa Makone/Kembo Mohadi –– Home Affairs. Grade F
This is a ministry with two ministers yet neither succeeded in the
relatively simple task of overseeing the erection of the late Vice-President
Joshua Nkomo’s statue in at least one city. The two ministers neither
succeeded in improving service delivery at the heavily congested Beitbridge
border post despite one of them hailing from the area.

The co-ministers were virtually invisible throughout the year. Makone will
be remembered for her visit to see the son of Zanu PF politician Didymus
Mutasa in police custody.

Mohadi made occasional media appearances to discuss the issue of the Joshua
Nkomo’s statue which is still to grace the Bulawayo landscape despite
frequent promises to that effect.

Inefficiency continued to characterise the operations of Home Affairs
departments and long queues persisted as people tried to acquire passports,
birth certificates and national identity documents. The voters’ roll
remained in shambles with all the dead people still registered as voters.

Oppressive legislation like Posa continues to impinge on the democratic
space of the MDC as well as that of ordinary citizens, but the ministers
made no attempt to have such laws repealed or amended.

Priscilla-Misihairabwi-Mushonga –– Regional Integration and International
Co-operation. Grade F
Perhaps the major question to be asked is what exactly should this ministry
be doing that cannot be done by the Foreign Affairs ministry or even
Industry and International Trade?

Maybe minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga has been asking herself the same
question but prudent enough not to voice her concerns in the public sphere
lest she be asked to jump off the gravy train.

So she spent the better part of the year articulating party positions
consisting mainly of fending off attacks on party leader Welshman Ncube and
attacking Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Paurina Mpariwa –– Labour and Social Services. Grade F
Minister Paurina who? Few of the workers even know the name of their
minister and that speaks volumes about her visibility and performance. It
was another poor showing by Mpariwa as workers’ woes continued.

Perhaps there was not much she could have done since most people are
employed in the informal sector. The plight of pensioners continued unabated
and in most cases some failed to access payments.

Most complained of infrequent and grossly inadequate pay-outs of less than
US$100 monthly. The poverty datum line stands at more than US$500 per month
for a family of six.

Nicholas Goche –– Transport and Infrastructural Development. Grade E
Goche has been preoccupied with party business and GPA negotiations to the
detriment of his ministerial duties.  Zimbabwe’s major highways are still
not dualised more than a year after the signing of a memorandum of
understanding with developers. Among the roads to be dualised are
Harare-Bulawayo, Plumtree-Mutare and Beitbridge-Chirundu highways.

Secondary roads are also in a sorry state as most of them are riddled with
potholes. This is despite the fact that the ministry is raking in millions
from toll fees under the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority.

The ministry has failed to speed up completion of expanding and refurbishing
national airports at Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Kariba and Buffalo
Range. The delays are affecting the tourism recovery as large planes cannot
land or fly from tourist resorts such as Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba or
Gonarezhou National Park.

The ministry further looks lost on how to resuscitate ailing public
transporters such as Air Zimbabwe and the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The
ministry has further wavered on its policy to ban importation of second-hand
vehicles and left-hand drives into the country. The market has been kept
guessing without any policy clarity.

Saviour Kasukuwere –– Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment. Grade
D
Saviour Kasukuwere was arguably the most powerful minister in the country
this year. Kasukuwere was tasked with overseeing a controversial law but he
appeared at most to be overwhelmed by this responsibility.

He confused people by the way he handled indigenising the mining sector.
There was a shift in the deadline for mining companies to comply –– with an
earlier pronunciation in March stating six months and 45 days to submit
their plans. As a result the performance of the mining stocks fell on the
ZSE to a low, below the parity when the indices started.

Kasukuwere failed to give a clear indication on how they will value the
minerals as there has been little exploration on the ground and his constant
answer was that valuations will be based on the value of the resource on the
ground and not on the investment. But then how do you value reserves? Again
more confusion.

Further to that Kasukuwere threatened to cancel mining licences of foreign
miners. It had to take the Mining Indaba to get a clearer  that there will
be no cancellation of mining licences.

Kasukuwere orchestrated the Old Mutual indigenisation plan where he cut a
good deal for the youth who fall under his ministry. The end result of the
whole deal did not provide a clear end-shareholder and complicates the
shareholder matrix.

The Employee Share Ownership Scheme has been handled well, but questions are
being asked about the community trusts. Does this mean that only
resource-endowed areas will benefit from national resources; what about
areas without and does it means they should not get a share of the national
cake? Wouldn’t it have been better to set up a sovereign fund so that
everyone benefits?

But we will give him credit for his openness as he has always disclosed what
he is up to. He was openly castigated by the president for running a one man
band and he seems to have listened.

Eric Matinenga – Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs D
The ministry has the duty to reform parliamentary systems and operations,
oversee the constitutional review process and supervise the disbursement of
Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Zimbabwe has a Westminster parliamentary system mixed with an imperial
presidency. However, the House has largely remained subordinate to the
executive, merely passing all executive bills without robust debates.

The constitutional review programme is currently behind schedule and it will
not be completed before the end of 2012. But this may be due to financial
resource constraints. It seems COPAC is beyond the minister’s reproach.

There are concerns that CDF was abused and the public is still waiting for
the audited accounts for the 2010 financial year. The public strongly feels
that abusers of the fund should be exposed and prosecuted.

PatrickChinamasa F
Zimbabwe is perceived to have a poor human rights and justice system.
Chinamasa has done nothing to improve that perception. The prisons are
overpopulated and prisoners have inadequate meals and clothing.

Sanitation is very poor as observed by the Justice Portfolio committee in
its reports after visiting some of the prisons. The overpopulation in
prisons is linked to the slow dispensation of justice at the courts and
denial of bail on frivolous grounds.

Chinamasa has inexplicably refused to bring to parliament legislative
amendments expected to open up the democratic space and respect for human
rights. These are Posa Amendment Bill, the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and
Human Rights Bill. Chinamasa’s actions go against the spirit of the GPA,
which called for such legislation.

Sipepa Nkomo  D
There is still room for improvement. Ever since Samuel Sipepa Nkomo came
into office as Water Resources minister he has shown passion for solving
Bulawayo’s perennial water problems.

But he needs to work in harmony with the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project
headed by Dumiso Dabengwa instead of trying to hijack it. Nkomo has worked
tirelessly to implement the long-awaited Mtshabezi-Umzingwane water pipeline
to harness the underutilitsed Mtshabezi Dam water. The project is now 90%
complete with electrical connections expected to be completed in early 2012.

Nkomo has also successfully lobbied for the refurbishment of 72 Nyamandlovu
aquifer boreholes which supply 30 000 cubic metres of water to Bulawayo. The
boreholes have been lying idle for many years.

However, Nkomo has been notorious for announcing unrealistic deadlines to
complete the projects. The Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline was initially
supposed to be completed by October before he changed it to December and now
to May.

The implementation of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project has also failed
under Nkomo’s stewardship. He grabbed the MZWP from Dumiso Dabengwa in what
boosted his political mileage in the region.

Nkomo seems to understand that Bulawayo residents and business have endured
serious water rationing for years as the city’s supply dams are failing to
cope with the ever increasing water demand.

Emmerson Mnangagwa C
Mnangagwa seems to have contained the indiscipline which in 2009 and 2010
was on the rise in the army due to alleged hunger, nepotism and low
salaries.

Despite Mnangagwa’s feared personality and character, he at one time seemed
to be losing control of his senior army commanders who were making political
statements.

But he has since reined-in on army commanders like Major-general Douglas
Nyikayaramba, who had said earlier this year he would not accept an MDC-T
election victory.

He has since been ordered not to make political statements. For now he seems
to take heed. Mnangagwa was quick to distance the Defence Forces from
Nyikayaramba’s statements.

However, Mnangagwa needs to depoliticise the military. The ZDF must be a
non-partisan professional force committed to the well-being of all
Zimbabweans. Mnangagwa has a duty to spell that out. Reports of military
personnel beating up and intimidating people have dramatically gone down,but
these have to end.

Mnangagwa must, however, be commended for the construction of National
Defence College, which is being built in Harare and will benefit Zimbabwe
and other military and security personnel in the region.

Sydney Sekeramayi
Sekeramayi run a shadow ministry and it is difficult to assess his
performance. However, there is need for more transparency on the running of
his ministry.

Joseph Made - Agriculture, Mechanisationand Irrigation DevelopmentMinister E
Just where is Joseph Made?
The agriculture minister has been conspicuous by his silence during the
critical time when farmers were preparing for the 2011/2012 agricultural
season.

A significant number of farmers, who are still unpaid despite delivering
grain to the Grain Marketing Board last year, struggled to access inputs to
prepare for the current season, but strangely the Minister is not making
much noise to ensure they get their dues.

Faming organisations continue to bemoan lack of agricultural support and
credit lines for farming and Made does not seem to have any answers.

Key institutions under Made’s ministry such as the Cold Storage Commission
and the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (Arda) continue to be in
a shambles.

In terms of irrigation development, nothing tangible has been done despite
the fact that most dams have water. In fact, infrastructure at existing
irrigation schemes is crumbling.

Very little has been done on the mechanisation front and also to revive the
horticulture industry.

Henry Madzorera -Minister of Health C
Minister of Health Madzorera can be applauded for securing $10 million for
pregnant women as well as HIV/Aids patients to access free treatment at
government hospitals with effect from January 2012.

This move marks a significant milestone for Zimbabwe to reach the target of
reducing mother to child transmission to less than five percent by 2015.

Madzorera also managed to complete the second national HIV/Aids strategic
plan for 2011 to 2015 which is designed to reduce the percentage of HIV
infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers.He can be commended for
promoting male circumcision through aggressive media campaigns roping in
prominent celebrities, such as Winky D who appeals to the youth.

However there is still room for improvement on non-communicable diseases
such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer which pose a greater threat to
Zimbabweans than HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

There is also need for drastic improvement in hospital infrastructure and
service delivery at most government hospitals.

Sekai Holland, John Nkomo and Moses Mzila Ndlovu- F - Organ of National
Healing and Reconciliation F
The three ministers have failed once again to provide insightful leadership
for this complex issue. The three ministers should just be fired because
they failed to initiate anything meaningful under the national healing
programme.

The organ that has no legal framework to work with and has not had any
impact since its formation apart from endless talkshops.

That Mzila Ndlovu of MDC was arrested for conducting an “illegal” national
healing meeting, just shows the extent to which this organ is ineffective.

The issue of Gukurahundi still remains a burning issue, a number of reports
of harassment, intimidation and violence have been reported throughout the
country. The organ has been abysmal in their response to these issues.
It’s time the three ministers be relieved of their duties.

Francis Nhema - Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management C
A major challenge that Minister Nhema has faced is deforestation with
statistics being that this year the country lost nearly 312 000 hectares of
land and more than 30 million trees annually due to the unsustainable use of
natural resources.

To combat this Nhema said 10 million trees will be planted by 2012 running
under the theme “Forests for People”.  One can only hope that if serious
commitment is put the targets will be achieved.

Nhema has also struggled to curb the shocking extermination of rhinos as
Nhema struggles with poaching. While about 37 poachers and illegal dealers
in rhino horns have been arrested, Nhema has complained that lack of
resources was making it difficult for his ministry to fully deal with
poaching.

Much still needs to be done terms of land degradation in both rural and
urban areas. Areas of concern have been some parts of Gokwe North and mining
areas that include Mutoko, Chiadzwa and Shabanie. He still needs to deal
with alarming levels ofwaste management.

Minister of Energy and Power D
Tasked with solving Zimbabwe’s power problems Energy Mangoma duties were
onerous from the word go. He had to come up with a plan on how the country
would deal with the supply shortfall of 600MW.

Huge figures were flagged for the Kariba and Hwange Power Stations and for
some moment the Batoka Gorge became regular news with the minister trying to
give timelines on when these projects would be completed.

However, in the absence of funding, such projects were too big a task even
for the minister. His ministry is heavily investment-dependent.

He had issues with NocZim and the Rural Electrification Board as he tried to
assert his authority over a ministry plagued with corruption as  huge
amounts of money transacted in the sector.

There has not been any strategy on how Zesa will recover the money that it
is owed in bills and he has not come hard on how the tender system for the
energy saver light bulbs and prepaid meters was bungled  His arrest over a
US$6 million fuel deal of which he was acquitted was a huge obstacle to his
ministerial duties.

To his credit, he did manage to get  cheaper ethanol fuel on the market
through distributor Green Fuel and  appointed a new energy board.

Tapiwa Mashakada Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ministe- C
Tapiwa Mashakada’s task is clear: craft a national economic development
strategy and attract investment for the country. Just like the Ministry of
Finance, his ministry has to work with all the ministries.

Mashakada launched the MTP which said the economy needs at least US$9
billion for its recovery. His challenge still remains on how the economic
recovery would be funded and the document is not clear. His push for foreign
investment has largely been unsuccessful as Zimbabwe’s policies are
generally unbankable. FDI inflows have still remained low.

He has to convince foreign investors that the laws are flexible enough and
he has the Zisco/Essar deal to use as his bait. He is still to push for
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection bills in Parliament although
he must be applauded for the launch of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority one
stop  shop.

Heneri Dzinotyiwei - Science and Technology C
Dzinotyiwei, the unassuming mathematician, may not have had a high media
public profile during 2010 but behind the scenes he has changed a lot in the
science industry. The affable minister steered through parliament the
ratification of the Biotechnology and Genetic Modified Organism (GMO)
convention.

The ministry has further set regulations on importation of GMO foods into
the country. While importation of GMOs remain highly contentious among
Zimbabweans it’s a fact that the world has moved forward and most
agricultural production the world over is using such technologies.

It is highly commendable that Zimbabwean farmers and industrialists can now
also join the bandwagon officially and improve food security.

Stan Mudenge -Higher and Tertiary Education F
Zimbabwe’s enviable standards of education are now history. Mudenge has
consistently presided over the continuous decline of our educational system
with many colleges now offering dubious tertiary qualifications.

Those privileged enough are sending their children to foreign colleges at a
cost to a struggling economy. Ironically, Mudenge has continued to support
the Presidential Scholarship scheme that last year alone gobbled $56million
to support students at South African universities yet back home students are
struggling to have accommodation, books, water and decent meals.

Colleges have failed to retain the services of qualified and experienced
lecturers as they continue to seek greener pastures outside the country.
This further compromises the quality of learning at our tertiary
institutions.

To cap his dismal tenure as ministerhe made the startling admission that he
was technologically crippled, stating that the laptop he obtained under the
government’s e-programme was gathering dust. Mudenge said he had engaged the
assistance of an intern in his ministry to take him through the paces.
Enough said.

Herbert Murerwa - Lands and Rural Resettlement E
The nomadic minister has been to the higher education and finance portfolios
among others but judging by his performance nobody will eventually feel
compelled to write his biography. The less said about his previous sojourns
the better. There were expectations that a land audit would be carried out.

This would herald the start of a Murambatsvina-style campaign to weed out
multiple-farm owners as well as put to productive use acres of farmland that
are lying idle and currently being held for speculative purposes. Alas, this
was not to be and the situation is pretty much the same as it was before the
learned doctor took over.

The much touted land redistribution scheme is the biggest loser. Farm
invasions also continued and in the absence of a land audit that would
restore sanity to the sector, farm workers’ conditions of service also took
a turn for the worse as they continued to be underpaid and lived in squalid
conditions under farm owners who were a law unto themselves. The minister
did not perform badly-he simply did not perform at all.

Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development-Sithembiso Nyoni C
In a hostile economic environment characterised by the closure of big
companies in Zimbabwe’s erstwhile industrial hub Bulawayo and the influx of
cheap goods flooding the country from South Africa, Botswana and China, it
was difficult to imagine how the minister could have assisted the growth of
small and medium enterprises or co-operatives for that matter.

But the ever-smiling minister did her best in the circumstances and was very
visible in many rural areas actively promoting community development
projects. Some of her work was done through ORAP, she helped found more than
a decade ago.

The liquidity crunch did not help matters as financial institutions were
averse to lending financial capital to potential entrepreneurs with little
or no collateral to their names. More could have done but many of the
challenges are beyond the minister’s personal capacity and will require a
concerted national approach.

Nelson Chamisa - Minister of Information and Technology Development C
Chamisa has been very visible and executed his duties with passion. He was
aware of the goings-on in the ICT industry and constantly urged local
players to play a leading role in ICT development in the country.

As a result Zimbabwe has enjoyed improved internet and mobile connectivity,
while ICT infrastructure has continued to be improved and upgraded. Chamisa
fought hard for the scrapping of duty on ICT products and infrastructure and
this has been extended to software, setting the stage for greater
development.

The optic fibre link between Beira and Harare, through Mutare, and the link
to Zambia are complete while the link from Harare to South Africa has now
reached Bulawayo. Numerous base stations have been erected in rural areas,
bringing ICT to rural people some of whom who can now use their cell phones
to access the internet as well as make money transfers.

Chamisa has also been passionate about e-government resulting in his
ministry establishing a government website where people can access
information and interact with those in authority.

In addition an ICT government school has been set up at Makombe Building, to
train officials such as permanent secretaries in basic ICT skills.

Perhaps Chamisa needs to push harder on the ICT Bill, meant to regulate
cyber security, competition and pricing amongst other provisions.

Gorden Moyo - Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals F
Moyo is in charge of the public enterprises which are generally a hotbed of
inefficiency and problems governed mostly by retired army generals.

Finance minister Tendai Biti announced last year that 10 parastatals will be
privatised and up to date nothing of that sort has happened, not even a
shake-up of the parastatals. Despite numerous press statements, the State
Enterprises Corporate Governance code has not yet been implemented. All
questions concerning public enterprises are referred to the line ministries.
In other words all talk and no action.

Kasukuwere orchestrated the Old Mutual indigenisation plan where he cut a
good deal for the youth who fall under his ministry. The end result of the
whole deal did not provide a clear end-shareholder and complicates the
shareholder matrix.

The Employee Share Ownership Scheme has been handled well, but questions are
being asked about the community trusts. Does this mean that only
resource-endowed areas will benefit from national resources; what about
areas without and does it means they should not get a share of the national
cake? Wouldn’t it have been better to set up a sovereign fund so that
everyone benefits?

Eric Matinenga –– Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs. Grade D
The ministry has the duty to reform parliamentary systems and operations,
oversee the constitutional review process and supervise the disbursement of
Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Zimbabwe has a Westminster
parliamentary system mixed with an imperial presidency. However, the House
has largely remained subordinate to the executive, merely passing all
executive bills without robust debates.

The constitutional review programme is currently behind schedule and it will
not be completed before the end of 2012. But this may be due to financial
resource constraints. It seems COPAC is beyond the minister’s reproach.
There are concerns that CDF was abused and the public is still waiting for
the audited accounts for the 2010 financial year.

Patrick Chinamasa –– Justice and Legal Affairs. Grade F
Zimbabwe is perceived to have a poor human rights and justice system.
Chinamasa has done nothing to improve that perception. The prisons are
overpopulated and prisoners have inadequate meals and clothing.

Sanitation is very poor as observed by the Justice Portfolio committee in
its reports after visiting some of the prisons. The overpopulation in
prisons is linked to the slow dispensation of justice at the courts and
denial of bail on frivolous grounds.

Chinamasa has inexplicably refused to bring to parliament legislative
amendments expected to open up the democratic space and respect for human
rights. These are Posa Amendment Bill, the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and
Human Rights Bill. Chinamasa’s actions go against the spirit of the GPA,
which called for such legislation.

Sipepa Nkomo –– Water Resources, Development and Management. Grade D
There is still room for improvement. Ever since Sipepa Nkomo came into
office, he has shown passion for solving Bulawayo’s perennial water
problems. But he needs to work in harmony with the Matabeleland Zambezi
Water Project headed by Dumiso Dabengwa instead of trying to hijack it.

Nkomo has worked tirelessly to implement the long-awaited
Mtshabezi-Umzingwane water pipeline to harness the underutilitsed Mtshabezi
Dam water. The project is now 90% complete with electrical connections
expected to be completed in early 2012.

Nkomo has also successfully lobbied for the refurbishment of 72 Nyamandlovu
aquifer boreholes which supply 30 000 cubic metres of water to Bulawayo. The
boreholes have been lying idle for many years.

However, Nkomo has been notorious for announcing unrealistic deadlines to
complete the projects. The Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline was initially
supposed to be completed by October before he changed it to December and now
to May. The implementation of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project has
also failed under Nkomo’s stewardship.

Emmerson Mnangagwa –– Defence. Grade: D
Mnangagwa seems to have contained the indiscipline which in 2009 and 2010
was on the rise in the army due to alleged hunger, nepotism and low
salaries. Despite Mnangagwa’s feared personality and character, he at one
time seemed to be losing control of his senior army commanders who were
making political statements.

But he has since reined-in on army commanders like Major-general Douglas
Nyikayaramba, who had said earlier this year he would not accept an MDC-T
election victory. He has since been ordered not to make political
statements.

For now he seems to take heed. Mnangagwa was quick to distance the Defence
Forces from Nyikayaramba’s statements. However, Mnangagwa needs to
depoliticise the military. The ZDF must be a non-partisan professional force
committed to the well-being of all Zimbabweans. Mnangagwa has a duty to
spell that out.

Joseph Made –– Agriculture, Mechanisationand Irrigation Development. Grade E
Just where is Joseph Made?
The agriculture minister has been conspicuous by his silence during the
critical time when farmers were preparing for the 2011/2012 agricultural
season.

A significant number of farmers, who are still unpaid despite delivering
grain to the Grain Marketing Board last year, struggled to access inputs to
prepare for the current season, but strangely the minister is not making
much noise to ensure they get their dues.

Farming organisations continue to bemoan lack of agricultural support and
credit lines for farming and Made does not seem to have any answers.

Key institutions under Made’s ministry such as the Cold Storage Commission
and the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (Arda) continue to be in
a shambles.

In terms of irrigation development, nothing tangible has been done despite
the fact that most dams have water. In fact, infrastructure at existing
irrigation schemes is crumbling.

Henry Madzorera –– Health. Grade C
Minister of Health Madzorera can be applauded for securing US$10 million for
pregnant women as well as HIV/Aids patients to access free treatment at
government hospitals with effect from January 2012. This move marks a
significant milestone for Zimbabwe to reach the target of reducing mother to
child transmission to less than five percent by 2015.

Madzorera also managed to complete the second national HIV/Aids strategic
plan for 2011 to 2015 which is designed to reduce the percentage of HIV
infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers. He can be commended for
promoting male circumcision through aggressive media campaigns roping in
prominent celebrities, such as Winky D, who appeals to the youth.

However there is still room for improvement on non-communicable diseases
such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer which pose a greater threat to
Zimbabweans than HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

There is also need for drastic improvement in hospital infrastructure and
service delivery at most government hospitals.

Sekai Holland, John Nkomo and Moses Mzila Ndlovu –– Organ of National
Healing and Reconciliation. Grade F
The three ministers have failed once again to provide insightful leadership
for this complex issue. The three ministers should just be fired because
they failed to initiate anything meaningful under the national healing
programme.

The organ that has no legal framework to work with and has not had any
impact since its formation apart from endless talkshops.

That Mzila Ndlovu of MDC was arrested for conducting an “illegal” national
healing meeting, just shows the extent to which this organ is ineffective.

The issue of Gukurahundi still remains a burning issue, a number of reports
of harassment, intimidation and violence have been reported throughout the
country.

Francis Nhema –– Environment and Natural Resources Management. Grade C
A major challenge that minister Nhema has faces is deforestation with
statistics being that this year the country lost nearly 312 000 hectares of
land and more than 30 million trees annually due to the unsustainable use of
natural resources.

To combat this Nhema said 10 million trees will be planted by 2012 running
under the theme “Forests for People”.  One can only hope that if serious
commitment is put, the targets will be achieved.

Nhema has also struggled to curb the shocking extermination of rhinos. While
about 37 poachers and illegal dealers in rhino horns have been arrested,
Nhema has complained that lack of resources was making it difficult for his
ministry to fully deal with  poaching.

Elton Mangoma –– Energy and Power Development. Grade D
Tasked with solving Zimbabwe’s power problems, Mangoma’s duties were onerous
from the word go. He had to come up with a plan on how the country would
deal with the supply shortfall of 600MW.

Huge figures were flagged for the Kariba and Hwange Power Stations and for
some moment the Batoka Gorge became regular news with the minister trying to
give timelines on when these projects would be completed.

However, in the absence of funding, such projects were too big a task even
for the minister. His ministry is heavily investment-dependent.

He had issues with NocZim and the Rural Electrification Board as he tried to
assert his authority over a ministry plagued with corruption as  huge
amounts of money transacted in the sector.

There has not been any strategy on how Zesa will recover the money that it
is owed in bills and he has not come hard on how the tender system for the
energy saver light bulbs and prepaid meters was bungled  His arrest over a
US$6 million fuel deal of which he was acquitted was a huge obstacle to his
ministerial duties.

To his credit, he did manage to get  cheaper ethanol fuel on the market
through distributor Green Fuel and  appointed a new energy board.

Tapiwa Mashakada –– Economic Planning and Investment Promotion. Grade C
Mashakada’s task is clear: craft a national economic development strategy
and attract investment for the country. Just like the Finance ministry, his
ministry has to work with all the ministries.

Mashakada launched the Medium Term Plan which said the economy needs at
least US$9 billion for its recovery. His challenge still remains on how the
economic recovery would be funded and the document is not clear.

His push for foreign investment has largely been unsuccessful as Zimbabwe’s
policies are generally unbankable. FDI inflows have still remained low. He
has to convince foreign investors that the laws are flexible enough and he
has the Zisco/Essar deal to use as his bait.

He is still to push for Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection bills
in Parliament although he must be applauded for the launch of the Zimbabwe
Investment Authority one-stop  shop.

Heneri Dzinotyiwei –– Science and Technology. Grade C
Dzinotyiwei, the unassuming mathematician, may not have had a high media
public profile during 2010 but behind the scenes he has changed a lot in the
science industry. The affable minister steered through parliament the
ratification of the Biotechnology and Genetic Modified Organism (GMO)
convention.

The ministry has further set regulations on importation of GMO foods into
the country. While importation of GMOs remain highly contentious among
Zimbabweans, it’s a fact that the world has moved forward and most
agricultural production the world over is using such technologies.

Stan Mudenge –– Higher and Tertiary Education. Grade F
Zimbabwe’s enviable standards of education are now history. Mudenge has
consistently presided over the continuous decline of our educational system
with many colleges now offering dubious tertiary qualifications. Those
privileged enough are sending their children to foreign colleges at a cost
to a struggling economy.

Ironically, Mudenge has continued to support the Presidential Scholarship
scheme that last year alone gobbled US$56 million to support students at
South African universities yet back home students are struggling to have
accommodation, books, water and decent meals.

Colleges have failed to retain the services of qualified and experienced
lecturers as they continue to seek greener pastures outside the country.
This further compromises the quality of learning at our tertiary
institutions.

To cap his dismal tenure as minister, he made the startling admission that
he was technologically crippled, stating that the laptop he obtained under
the government’s e-programme was gathering dust. Mudenge said he had engaged
the assistance of an intern in his ministry to take him through the paces.
Enough said.

Herbert Murerwa –– Lands and Rural Resettlement. Grade E
The nomadic minister has been to the higher education and finance portfolios
among others but judging by his performance nobody will eventually feel
compelled to write his biography. The less said about his previous sojourns
the better. There were expectations that a land audit would be carried out.

This would herald the start of a Murambatsvina-style campaign to weed out
multiple-farm owners as well as put to productive use acres of farmland that
are lying idle and currently being held for speculative purposes.

Alas, this was not to be and the situation is pretty much the same as it was
before the learned doctor took over. The much touted land redistribution
scheme is the biggest loser.

Farm invasions also continued and in the absence of a land audit that would
restore sanity to the sector, farm workers’ conditions of service also took
a turn for the worse as they continued to be underpaid and lived in squalid
conditions under farm owners who were a law unto themselves. The minister
did not perform badly-he simply did not perform at all.

Sithembiso Nyoni –– Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative
Development. Grade C
In a hostile economic environment characterised by the closure of big
companies in Zimbabwe’s erstwhile industrial hub Bulawayo and the influx of
cheap goods flooding the country from South Africa, Botswana and China, it
was difficult to imagine how the minister could have assisted the growth of
small and medium enterprises or co-operatives for that matter.

But the ever-smiling minister did her best in the circumstances and was very
visible in many rural areas actively promoting community development
projects. Some of her work was done through ORAP, she helped found more than
a decade ago.

Nelson Chamisa –– Information and Technology Development. Grade: B
Chamisa has been very visible and executed his duties with passion. He was
aware of the goings-on in the ICT industry and constantly urged local
players to play a leading role in ICT development in the country.

As a result Zimbabwe has enjoyed improved internet and mobile connectivity,
while ICT infrastructure has continued to be improved and upgraded. Chamisa
fought hard for the scrapping of duty on ICT products and infrastructure and
this has been extended to software, setting the stage for greater
development.

The optic fibre link between Beira and Harare, through Mutare, and the link
to Zambia are complete while the link from Harare to South Africa has now
reached Bulawayo. Numerous base stations have been erected in rural areas,
bringing ICT to rural people some of whom who can now use their cell phones
to access the internet as well as make money transfers.

Chamisa has also been passionate about e-government resulting in his
ministry establishing a government website where people can access
information and interact with those in authority.

In addition an ICT government school has been set up at Makombe Building, to
train officials such as permanent secretaries in basic ICT skills.

Perhaps Chamisa needs to push harder on the ICT Bill, meant to regulate
cyber security, competition and pricing amongst other provisions.

Gorden Moyo –– State Enterprises and Parastatals. Grade F
Moyo is in charge of the public enterprises which are generally a hotbed of
inefficiency and problems governed mostly by retired army generals. Finance
minister Tendai Biti announced last year that 10 parastatals will be
privatised and up to date nothing of that sort has happened, not even a
shake-up of the parastatals.

Despite numerous press statements, the State Enterprises Corporate
Governance code has not yet been implemented. All questions concerning
public enterprises are referred to the line ministries. In other words all
talk and no action.


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Some of the year’s quotable quotes. . .

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:22

Compiled by Kudzai Kuwaza

AS we come to the end of 2011 we pick out quotes that made us laugh, cry,
cringe or simply shake our heads in disbelief. Here are some of them:

“Now Tsvangirai says he wants a divorce.We are not married, and it follows
that there can be no divorce. He is taking his sexual preoccupation too far.
It’s one thing for him to have sexual problems all over the place but he
should not bring sexual metaphors to serious matters, his sexual
indiscretions to government.

“We are not married to him, a coalition is not a marriage but a convenient
arrangement for the moment. We will never marry puppets, never ever.” —
Jonathan Moyo reacts to a threat by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to pull
out of the inclusive government.

“MDC MPs in Zimbabwe are vulnerable and not honourable. They are endangered
species. The rhino is safer than MDC Members of Parliament.” — MDC spokesman
Nelson Chamisa laments the crackdown on MDC-T MPs.

“They are saying remove these sanctions, they are hurting us. If you ignore
that, then you even ignore God.” — Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo on
sanctions.

“We were told that Zanu PF will hold a football tournament on Sunday. I do
not know who will be playing the football. Is it John Nkomo or Simon Khaya
Moyo who will be in goals?” — MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti on their
failure to hold a rally at Zimbabwe Grounds because Zanu PF had reportedly
booked the venue for a football match.

“We must avoid the circus that began in Kenya, was perfected in Zimbabwe and
backfired in the Ivory Coast.” — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai commenting
on inclusive governments.

‘’If you buy underwear from flea markets for your wife and if I were your
father-in-law, I would take my daughter back.” — Tendai Biti at a pre-budget
consultation meeting in Kwekwe.

“Why is it that nobody calls the MDC-T the anti-Senate faction or the other
smaller formation the pro-Senate faction? Is that not because it’s yesterday’s
weather which is now irrelevant? So I am not interested in yesterday’s
weather but I am very interested in tomorrow’s forecast and that is not
flip-flopping, it is reality with only one constant called change.” —
Jonathan Moyo on claims that he is a political chameleon.

“The Daily News is now an MDC mouthpiece, from Monday to Monday they only
write about MDC but they call themselves the leading independent daily in
Zimbabwe. You should change your name to Harvest House Daily News
 newspaper.” — Welshman Ncube accuses the Daily News of being a mouthpiece
of the MDC-T.

“When he is with white people, he sings the song and when he is with black
people, he says what he knows they want to hear. He even moos when he is
with cattle.” — Ncube castigates Tsvangirai over policy inconsistency.

“This is particularly so with failed farmers, some of whom masquerade as
cabinet ministers who continue to be called new farmers even after 11 years
of the land reform programme.” — Biti responding to criticism that he has
refused to adequately fund the agricultural sector.

“We are killing rats but consuming elephants.” — Biti bemoaning the
disparity between the money government collected and that which it spent
during his 2012 budget presentation.

“Time has now come for us to prepare for elections and we just have to have
elections next year. Look at this, there are three parties — MDC formations
and Zanu-PF. There are those among us who lost the elections completely.
They were rejected by the people. We asked parliament to regard them as if
they won the elections. Now we have them in government.

“We have honourable that and honourable this when votes had made them
dishonourable this and dishonourable that. We actually cheated on democracy
but let us not overdo it.” — President Robert Mugabe calling for elections
at the Zanu PF conference held earlier this month.

“If Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has one fatal character, weakness which
defines his persona and leadership or lack thereof, it is that just like he
typically approaches national issues with an open mouth, he now routinely
approaches women anywhere and everywhere at places such as political
rallies, airports and offices with an open zip and a shut mind. — Jonathan
Moyo attacks Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai over the way he handled
reports of his marriage to Locadia Tembo.

“The bottom line is that I will not salute someone like that personally. I
will resign if the political establishment accept it, if they do that would
be fair and fine. It’s not in me. Principle is indivisible — it is either
yes or no. I am not a hypocrite; I will stand by what I have said.

“What I know is best, what I know is principled. We lost a lot of comrades
because of some of these people when they turned against us during the
liberation struggle and for me to wake up and say good morning sir, me no,
no, no!” — Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba causes a stir during an interview
with the Zimbabwe Independent by vowing never to salute Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai should he win presidential elections.

“If you can change your father in your family, then we can do the same, but
has anyone ever changed his or her father just because he is old? Until your
father dies only then can you have a stepfather –– that is that.” —
Nyikayaramba in the same interview on Mugabe’s presidency.

“There is no question that those who voted for the MDC are dissidents. And
as the leadership, you don’t want to be associated with or lead
dissidents.” — Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa blames
some Zanu PF parliamentarians for voting for MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo
for the post of Speaker. Moyo defeated Zanu PF candidate Simon Khaya Moyo.

“Copac is like a disabled child. Just because the child does not have an arm
and a leg doesn’t make him any less a human being.” — Copac co-chairman Paul
Mangwana dismissing claims by his co-chairpersons that the document
published in the Herald was fake.


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The good, the bad and the ugly of 2011

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:16

THE year has come to a close with some of the material that would make a
cool Western flick in the league of legendary director Sergio Leone’s The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

A legislator is arrested and spends part of the festive season in the
slammer for calling Mugabe gay; exiled banker Nicholas Vingirayi returns and
is arrested; divisive release of WikiLeaks expose various high ranking
government officials plotting against Mugabe and a banker is arrested for
allegedly spying for enemies of the state.

The Good
June: OK buys Makro

July: Moxon bounces back as executive chairman at Meikles.

August: Investec acquires 7,91% of AICO.

October: South African listed food manufacturer Tiger Brands shores up its
shareholding in National Foods to 37,4% after buying an additional 11,7%
stake valued at US$11,9 million.

November: Zimplow CEO Zondi Kumwenda tells businessdigest his company has
acquired 49% of an animal-drawn implements distribution company in South
Africa.
Espionage charges against Africom Holdings bosses — Farai Rwodzi, Simba
Mangwende, and Oliver Chiku — accused of spying for the United States,
Canada and Afghanistan are dropped by the State.

December: Interfresh Holdings Ltd gets a nod to dispose of its head office
to Innscor at US$5,4 million. The move will see the company retire US$4,4
million in short-term debts.

Theft charges against Standard newspaper editor Nevanji Madanhire and
reporter Nqaba Matshazi are withdrawn by the state.

The Bad

February: Business magnate Oliver Chidawu divests from African Banking
Corporation Holdings.

May: Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd exits KMAL and distributes shares to its
shareholders through a dividend in specie.
Econet moves in to bail out Afre Corporation and appoints new board members
to the board of the financial conglomerate.

June:  British tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten fails to get his proxies on
the RTG board. His nominations — Shingirai Chibanguza, Alexander Hamilton,
Maximilian Hamilton and Ian Haruperi — garnered only 42,8% of the vote,
which was not sufficient to carry them onto the board.

July: Econet disposes of its RTG stake, saying the investment no longer
fitted in its portfolio guidelines.

August: Former army general — Solomon Mujuru — widely seen as a kingmaker in
Zanu PF dies in an inferno at his farm under unclear circumstances. No
official word from government on what transpired on the night the former
army commander died.
August: Hwange board members are given their marching orders by government
despite concerted efforts to stay on the board.

September:  Caps delists from the ZSE

November: Businesss tycoon Oliver Chidawu hits headlines once again but this
time the news is less glossy.  It emerges Chidawu is on the verge of losing
control of Pelhams after businessman Jayesh Shah sold a 36% shareholding in
the company that Chidawu had ceded to him as collateral for a US$3 million
loan.
Former Intermarket Holdings Ltd CEO Nicholas Vingirayi, who fled the country
in 2004 after being accused of externalising funds, is arrested at Harare
International Airport soon after arriving in Zimbabwe. Vingirayi fled the
country at the height of Zimbabwe’s banking crisis in 2004.
Caps Holdings Ltd boss Fred Mtanda is arrested for alleged fraud. His arrest
is seen as punishment for refusing to vacate a farm allocated to Mugabe’s
man.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai marries Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo and pays
a reported US$36 000 bridal price. He denies “marrying” Tembo, insisting he
paid US$10 000 “damages”.

December: Shareholders in RioZim Ltd reject all the proposed resolutions of
an extraordinary general meeting, raising speculation that the company’s top
management will be booted out. The meeting was supposed to vote on
resolutions that would have seen the company converting debt into equity and
floating additional shares in a rights issue to retire a US$57 million debt.
MP Lillian Karenyi is arrested over claims she suggested President Robert
Mugabe is gay.

The Ugly

March: Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere gazettes regulations
compelling mining companies with a net asset value of US$1 to dispose of 51%
shareholding in mines to locals, a major climb-down from a US$500 000 set in
the previous year.

June: Renaissance Merchant Bank is placed under the care of a curator after
central bank investigations unearth gross abuse of depositors’ funds,
non-performing insider and related party loans on the bank’s
books. CEO Patterson Timba is sent on forced leave.

August: For reportedly not playing ball with Empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere, the minister cancels Caledonia mine’s operating licence.

September: It emerges that Reserve Bank boss Gideon Gono told the United
States ambassador that Mugabe has until 2013 to live. Gono allegedly told
the ambassador this in 2008, according to whistleblower website, WikiLeaks.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd applies for a High Court interdict to stop
Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), the parent company of the Zimbabwe Independent,
NewsDay and the Standard, from publishing stories on the company which it
deems defamatory. The move is attacked by various media organisations as an
affront to freedom of expression and media freedom.
Gono attacks Kasukuwere for ordering the cancellation of Barclays Bank of
Zimbabwe and Standard Chartered Bank’s operating licences.

October: Banker Farai Rwodzi is arrested over spying charges and spends a
few nights in the holding cells.

November: Tsvangirai issues a statement confirming he had married after
initially denying it. Pictures of Locadia Tembo
at his rural home are published by The Herald.

December: Zanu PF endorses President Robert Mugabe as its presidential
candidate in elections likely to be held in 2013. Mugabe will be 89 in 2013.
Zanu PF resolves to re-introduce the Zimbabwe dollar at its conference and
vows to ignore the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement.


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2011: Mujuru death shook up political scene

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:50

Owen Gagare/Brian Chitemba

THE year 2011 would be remembered for the Arab spring uprisings which saw
dictators such as long time Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak being ousted and
the seemingly all powerful and omnipotent Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi
being overthrown and subsequently executed by rebel fighters.

However, in Zimbabwe the tragic death of one of the country’s most decorated
soldiers and former army commander General Solomon Mujuru at his Beatrice
farm in August shook the country’s political establishment. Mujuru died in a
yet to be explained inferno sending the country into mourning, but his death
had far-reaching consequences on the political landscape.

Mujuru, the only person in the politburo who could stand up to President
Robert Mugabe, led one of the main factions in Zanu PF which has been at
loggerheads with another faction led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
His death weakened the faction and left his wife Vice-President Joice Mujuru
vulnerable.

The general had also used his power to check the political ambitions of
Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief General Constantine Chiwenga, who is believed
to be eying the country’s number one job. Mujuru had reportedly declared
that Chiwenga would not rule the country as long as he was alive and now
that he is dead, one wonders how Chiwenga’s political ambitions have been
boosted.

Mujuru was also in constant touch with the MDC-T leadership since he
believed that the party had a role to play in the country’s future.
Although he never sought higher political office, the general was highly
influential in the background as a kingmaker and there is no doubt that his
death would have grave political implications.

On the regional front, Sadc leaders finally toughened their stance on Mugabe
and Zanu PF urging them to play ball in implementing the GPA. The leaders,
who for years, had been mediating in the political crisis shocked Mugabe at
the Sadc Troika meeting in Livingstone, Zambia in March by throwing out his
bid to push for elections this year, and rather insisting on a prior
conducive environment.

The summit demanded that there be an immediate end to violence,
intimidation, hate speech, harassment and any other form of action that
contradicted the spirit and letter of the GPA.

Infuriated by this stance, Mugabe, Zanu PF and the state-controlled media
went into overdrive condemning the Sadc-appointed facilitator President
Jacob Zuma and his team resulting in a diplomatic tiff. Sadc does not want
another contested election outcome and has insisted that elections would
only be held when the conditions are ripe.

On the domestic front, whistleblower website WikiLeaks’ exposure shook the
major political parties resulting in strained relations. For some time it
appeared as though there would be a major fallout, especially in Zanu PF,
after revelations that several senior party officials clandestinely met US
embassy officials and discussed Mugabe’s ouster, among other things. The
leaked cables revealed that many Zanu PF officials believed Mugabe was now a
liability to the party.

However, Zanu PF has not taken any action on the perceived sellouts fearing
that this would destabilise the party, but these revelations heightened
tension and suspicion in the party already compounded by Mujuru’s death.

The cables also showed that many MDC-T officials and diplomats did not have
faith in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership qualities, although
they believed he should continue at the helm because of the grassroots
support he enjoys. The revelations surely shocked Tsvangirai even though he
did not take action fearing a split in the party.

Tsvangirai’s private life also grabbed headlines, especially his alleged
marriage to Harare businesswoman Lorcadia Tembo. The Tembo family announced
that the PM had married Tembo, but Tsvangirai’s office dismissed the
allegations.

They said the PM had only paid damages after Tembo had “claimed” to be
pregnant, but the saga took an interesting twist when Tembo moved into
Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera. The PM then issued a statement alleging
there was a plot driven by the Central Intelligence Organisation to tarnish
his image before announcing he was terminating the relationship.

Tsvangirai’s marriage debacle left many people questioning whether he could
handle state affairs given that he was struggling to maintain his private
affairs. The marriage brouhaha came at a time the PM was already linked to
several women, including a 23-year-old Bulawayo woman Loreta Nyathi who
reportedly has a child with him.

During the first week of December, Zanu PF held its annual conference in
Bulawayo, and while party cadres termed it a “mini-congress”, nothing of
note emerged from the indaba.

Mugabe was endorsed as the Zanu PF presidential elections in anticipated
polls next year. Mugabe scoffed at suggestions that he was retiring anytime
soon, vowing that he would not go as long as sanctions were in place.

Mugabe also did not appoint politburo and central committee members as had
been expected. The Zanu PF factions had been plotting against each other
ahead of the conference, but Mugabe’s declaration dampened their objectives.

MDC-T also held its elective congress in Bulawayo, and factional clashes
were also the order of the day. Like Mugabe, Tsvangirai was re-elected
unopposed.

MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti’s tenure in office was challenged by the
late Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, who was said to have been sponsored by
Tsvangirai. Vice-president Thokozani Khupe also faced opposition from
Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo while Nelson Chamisa won against Elias
Mudzuri for the powerful organising secretary’s post.

MDC-T insiders said Mudzuri lost because he fell out with Tsvangirai as the
intra-party clashes prevailed. Prior to the MDC-T congress in April, there
had been bloody clashes between State Enterprises minister Gorden Moyo and
Mzilikazi Senator Mattson Hlalo for the control of Bulawayo province. Moyo,
who enjoys the support of Tsvangirai and Khupe, finally won the bitterly
contested race.

The smaller MDC led by Welshman Ncube also held its congress in January in
Harare where former party leader and Arthur Mutambara did not contest, only
to somersault after he was asked to step down as deputy prime minister.

Mutambara claimed he was still the legitimate leader of the MDC, prompting a
court battle. The Bulawayo High Court initially interdicted Mutambara from
acting as MDC president and endorsed its interdict recently when Justice
Lawrence Kamocha ruled that Mutambara should also step down as a principal.

However, Mutambara appealed the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court
insisting that he was still a principal. As election talk reached fever
pitch, political violence also flared between Zanu PF and MDC-T youths who
clashed several times, particularly in Harare.

This  resulted in the drafting of a code of conduct by the Organ on National
Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. The code compels political parties
to publicly campaign against violence and also establishes a National Peace
and Reconciliation Council to resolve political disputes.


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Another year goes down the drain

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:11

THE first year of the second decade of the 21st century has finally drawn to
a close with Zimbabwe again remaining in crisis and difficult to govern. We
expected our leaders to put the country first by forgetting or at least
minimising all their past differences, since we have achieved little or
nothing of significance in the first decade of this millennium to be proud
of.

One doesn’t have to be particularly clever to point out the relatively
obvious, that most Zimbabweans have lost faith in the present coalition
government and we can’t think of a single thing it has done this year which
was well received by the general populace.

The past 12 months were characterised by intrigue, political tension and
subterfuge. At one point, political tension rose to a crescendo and
threatened to snap the precariously thin thread binding the country’s
political protagonists in a shaky coalition government now in its third
year.

The two MDC formations and Zanu PF continued with their daily horse trading
caused by the failure or unwillingness to implement the Global Political
Agreement (GPA), particularly the never-ending drafting of an election
roadmap.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai added more confusion to the already shaky
ground by declaring that the entire GPA was now outstanding. Violence reared
its ugly head again in 2011 with Zanu PF and MDC-T youths engaging in bloody
battles with each other as they sought to swing the ongoing
constitution-making process to embrace their parties’ ideologies.

A bombshell hit our political landscape when retired former army commander
General Solomon Mujuru was killed in a mysterious fire at his Beatrice
farmhouse. The late liberation war hero and his wife Joice Mujuru were the
chief rivals in Zanu PF to Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction.

Although authorities assured the nation that top forensic experts were
investigating the incident, the case seems to have gone cold four months
after Mujuru’s grisly death.

We would not be surprised if the case of the general’s death is ignored in
2011 since President Robert Mugabe has already catapulted election talk and
his presidential candidacy to the centre of the national discourse for 2012.

Election talk has dominated Zimbabwe since the formation of the coalition
government and it’s likely to keep Zimbabwe’s political environment unstable
throughout most of 2012, with potential election-related violence being the
main threat to progress towards rebuilding our battered economy. Most
ordinary Zimbabweans would understandably wish they could forget many of the
days gone by in 2011 because our old and tired politicians have no answers
to the country’s growing ills .

While politicians exchanged insults throughout the year, the country went
through another year supported by a cash economy. Such unpredictable and
unsustainable economics has reduced our national budget to mere tradition
since sector allocations are largely dependent on the state’s general cash
inflows.

Agricultural production — once the backbone of this economy — was hit hard,
with the resulting supply shortages leading to temporary but significant
increases in some product prices and to headline inflation.

Now that the Kimberley Process has allowed Zimbabwe to export diamonds from
the Marange fields, we wait to see who will manage the expected windfall —
the national treasurer or the Mines department -— since a tug of war already
exists.

The governability deterioration and extreme weakness have cascaded to local
councils, which have been further debilitated. Poor implementation capacity
has severely disrupted service delivery. With election talk, our career
politicians have rushed to secure their future while services key to
citizens, such as the provision of clean water and sanitation, health,
education, road infrastructure and social services, among others, suffer.

In most areas, uncollected refuse competes with local landmarks. Rates
continue to rise, with utility bills increasingly skyrocketing in spite of
the eternal load shedding and water cuts.

Politicians’ indifference and man-made disasters have wreaked immense damage
on Zimbabweans, leaving many facing a bleak 2012 where the noise on
elections and succession debate are likely to grow even louder, in the
process drowning out all voices of reason.


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Let’s demand to be governed well

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:07

WE live in a surreal world where politicians have an insatiable quest for
power and will do everything and anything to retain or gain it. Our
politicians have dismally failed this nation in 2011 in their fight for
power in this wobbly marriage of convenience called the inclusive
government. They failed us on both the political and economic front.

The country failed to inch forward in 2011, going backwards instead. The
gains made in the first two years of the loose coalition government — the
Harare Spring — began to be eroded as the contest for political turf
intensified.

The year started on a promising note with the government of national unity,
made up of Zanu PF and the two MDC formations, purporting to be working in
unison to implement reforms clearly prescribed in the September 2008 global
political agreement (GPA).  Alas, we were being led down the garden path by
the political protagonists in our midst!

The reforms, which were and are still intended to lead the country to free
and fair polls, largely remain un-implemented.The election roadmap agreed on
by the negotiators of the GPA in July is yet to be operationalised despite
the fact it has elaborate timelines.

Under the roadmap, the negotiators had agreed that with effect from July 6
the inclusive government would enact agreed electoral reforms within 45
days. Voter education and mobilisation for registration would be done in 30
days, while preparation of a new voters’ roll, including registration, would
take 60 days. Inspection of the initial voters’ roll and preparation of the
final register would be done in 45 days.

They had also agreed there would be meetings between GPA principals with the
Attorney-General, Commissioner-General of the Police and heads of security
and intelligence institutions to ensure that the prosecution authorities and
security establishment operate in a non-partisan way consistent with the
GPA.

The negotiators also agreed to ensure the Police Commission and Public
Service Commission should operate in line with the GPA. The
Commissioner-General of Police was expected to meet negotiators within a
month to discuss freedom of association and assembly.

The negotiators had also agreed to step up the campaign to have sanctions
lifted. But none of these reforms were undertaken.  What we witnessed was an
escalation of disagreements in the unity government over the agreed reforms.

The widening rift centred on the role of state security forces in elections,
control of the CIO, staffing of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, monitors
and political violence. No solution is yet in the offing.

We also sadly witnessed the country slowly sliding to 2008, with violence
rearing its ugly head not only in rural areas, but even in Harare. Perceived
MDC supporters were assaulted during the constitution-making outreach
programme in many suburbs of in the capital.

Violence also visited parliament during a public hearing into the Human
Rights Commission Bill and when Mugabe was officially opening the House
later this year. Up to today, the perpetrators of the violence are yet to be
brought to book.

Unfortunately, Mugabe wants elections early next year with or without the
pre-requisite reforms. He wants to use state machinery at his disposal to
secure political papacy. As part of his grand scheme to win polls, his side
of the government has embarked on an opaque economic indigenisation and
empowerment programme that has hurt the economy in 2011.

Threats of closure have been issued to banks and mining companies if they
decline to comply with the law. Empowerment ownership schemes have been
launched to buy the electorate.

The impact of Mugabe and Zanu PF’s flat-earth mentality is glaring and is
there for all to see. Foreign direct investment has been minuscule, the
stock exchange has suffered heavily and there is a liquidity crunch in the
economy.

Without real reforms, 2012 may turn out to be bleak and may herald our slide
back to the anarchy of 2008. It is incumbent upon us to challenge the status
quo and demand to be governed well. Otherwise, we are doomed.

Constantine Chimakure


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2012: A watershed year

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:01

By Eddie Cross

FEW would dispute the view that 2012 has the potential to be a watershed
year for Zimbabwe. The waning health of “our dear leader” puts a deadline on
events as he holds onto power and influence and does not allow his own party
to renew its leadership and policies.

History speaks into such situations and records that political parties who
fail to face change, eventually die with their leaders. It was deeply moving
to watch the funeral of the Czech leader Vaclav Havel and to remember that
this humble and intelligent man had been responsible for the events that
finally brought down the Soviet Empire and brought freedom and opportunity
to hundreds of millions of people.

The political parties that terrorised his world for most of his life and
that seemed immortal have been swept away and only dark memories remain.

Those of us who are tired of the struggle and constant conflict, tired of
the economic hardships that most of us have to contend with on a daily
basis, tired of the abuse by policemen at  road blocks, surly and
un-cooperative civil servants who wield their limited power with vindictive
antagonism to any who might differ with them. We know it has been a tough
year and that it came on top of 12 years of struggle and hardship, but we
are nearly there and it’s no time to quit.

I see two possibilities in the New Year, one, which the MDC leadership terms
the “Chaos Scenario”. It is clear to all but the blind that Zanu PF and
their security hangers-on are trying to engineer the collapse of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) and Government of National Unity (GNU). They
justify this by saying that “it is not working, is dysfunctional; we are a
sovereign state — it is our right to call an election to replace this
arrangement with a properly elected government”.

The problem with that approach is that we in the MDC would not contest such
an election. Zanu PF could not restrain itself and such an election would be
violent with widespread intimidation, vote fraud, falsified counting and
reporting and finally a hurried, brief swearing in for a motley collection
of elderly leaders and thugs.

Such a government would not be recognised by anyone, no regional leaders
would accept such a government into its ranks. The international community
would repudiate the new regime and impose harsh sanctions. Our pariah state
would be confirmed.

The second scenario envisages that the region will stick to its guns and
demand that Zanu PF follow the road map laid down by Sadc leaders in 2011.
This means they must allow a new constitution, new rules for elections, new
staff for the IEC, Sadc supervision of the whole process, an open media
environment without direct Zanu PF control of the state media, and no
violence.

Such a road map leads Zanu PF into the abyss and they know that. I doubt
they could win a single seat in such circumstances; they would cease to
exist as a political force.

So what to do? They might still have a go at the first scenario — they are
desperate enough, might pull it off and be prepared to live with the
consequences and become a client state for the Chinese in Africa. But such a
situation would be a catastrophe for the region.

Millions would flee to neighbouring states, economic recovery would collapse
and reverse and an elite in Zimbabwe would live like kings on revenue from
mines and extortion supported by a thinly disguised military junta.

Down to the wire, this is a power game. If the region allows such a scenario
to play out there will be little they could do to reverse matters. None of
them have the military or political will to remove such a regime the way Idi
Amin eventually had to be removed by Tanzanian forces.

I am confident that the region and African leadership as a whole; are not
going to allow the failing leadership of Zanu PF to commit suicide and in
the process take the country with them. In ways that may not be public,
South Africa will finally put its foot down and tell the Zanu leadership
that there will be no deviations from the GPA road map.

When they do that, Zanu PF will immediately open talks with the MDC to
engineer a soft landing. At the very least this will involve a presidential
election as soon as possible, the retirement of Mugabe and eventually the
entire Joint Operations Command structure.

It will lead to another GNU but this time led by new leadership and no
longer a divided house. This will give the young Turks in Zanu PF as well as
the moderates in their present leadership an opportunity to try and rebuild
the party before the next harmonised, free and fair elections in perhaps
five years time.

Such a compromise would be workable, give Zimbabwe a chance to show what it
is made of, be acceptable to regional leaders and the international
community. It’s not first prize for the democrats, but it’s not the “booby
prize” either. For the weary warriors in the trenches, it is time to keep up
the struggle, our victory is near, only then can we relax and enjoy the dawn
of a new day.

Eddie Cross is MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South.


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Will the MDC pick up the ball please!

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:00

THE MDC appears unable to recognise a Christmas gift-horse when it looks
them in the mouth.
Gideon Gono is reported as backing the scheme announced by Emmerson
Mnangagwa at their party’s conference recently to reintroduce the ill-fated
Zimbabwean dollar.

This scrap of paper arguably brought more suffering and national
embarrassment to this country than any other document in our short history.

It is a testimony to Zanu PF’s stubborn myopia that it is unable to
recognise a bad and unpopular policy when it presents itself. As for the
MDCs, any other party in any other country would be performing a victory
dance. This is the single most strategic advantage the party has been
awarded all year. And it’s for free.

It is a gift of a policy that any dynamic party would grasp with both hands.
The ZimDollar is heartily loathed by all Zimbabweans. What can Zanu PF be
thinking of?

Is it seriously suggested the people of this country want to return to bank
queues; that they are calling out for price regulation, empty supermarket
shelves and all the other horrors that go with the worthless dollar and its
worthless apostles.

Gono actually knows better but is required to repeat party mantras if he is
to survive on the Zanu PF Merry-go-round.
How long, we wonder, will it take the MDC-T to wake from its customary
slumber? This is the best opportunity they have ever had to adopt a popular
and correct national stance: Nobody wants the ZimDollar except the likes of
Didymus  Mutasa and Goodwills  Masimirembwa.

But will the MDC pick up the ball and run or just sit tight? Answers on the
back of a postage stamp please.

Perhaps the most fatuous statement last week came from George Charamba who
claimed that parliament was interfering with the executive over the BAZ
issue.

This would be funny were it not so wrong. Parliament is perfectly entitled
to hold the executive accountable for its actions. That is what democratic
governance is all about. What democracy is not about is having pompous
officials attempting to prevent the people’s representatives from exercising
their oversight role. Parliament is perfectly entitled to comment on and
reject government policy.

When the provisional government was in gestation it was argued by civil
society that senior civil servants should not be politicians. The MDC in its
wisdom said no, they are professional administrators and should be left
alone. Now we can see the consequences of that naļve policy.

Muckraker was shocked to read that President Mugabe was the only head of
state attending President Kabila’s inauguration.
It must be quite obvious now that the president’s advisors have a policy of
encouraging their boss to attend every single function he is allowed to.
This is a visibility thing. He needs exposure although one would have
thought he had sufficient already.
Occasionally the policy backfires. We are still waiting to see Ecuador’s
Anglican bishop!

The Bankers Association let us down badly last week. They told us there was
enough cash to go around in the run-up to Christmas.  Within 24 hours of
that statement the ATMs had run out.

For a moment we had a glimpse of the bad old days Zanu PF wants to bring
back. But thankfully the banks, sensing danger, managed to restock just in
time for Christmas. Still, the Herald was a bit off the mark with its
“nation awash in plenty” stories.

The nation was excited by the women’s  football tournament which was the
highlight of the Unity celebrations. But we can be sure if that’s all the
regime has to offer, their prospects don’t look good!

Muckraker was amused by a ZBC report entitled “No Xmas for essential staff”.
While the rest of the world was celebrating such a special day, says ZBC, it
was business as usual for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation staff and
obviously other “crucial” sectors.

The “essential” ZBC staff had to forgo the pleasures of the day and work
diligently just like on an ordinary day, we were told.
“Further afield at places like Zindoga, Mereki and other merry-making
places, people were really enjoying themselves,” mused ZBC.

We are sure that the much-abused ZBC listeners and viewers wouldn’t have
minded one day without the “first and permanent choice”.
Very few would have missed those tasteless propaganda jingles which are
being churned out like confetti. What of the drab 1980s repeats as well as
the “not to be missed” Zvavanhu hosted by none other than Tafataona Mahoso,
Vimbai (European) Chivaura and Sheunesu Mpepereki.

Muckraker has since discovered that the Mahoso, Chivaura and Mpepereki act
is not a new phenomenon in the world of television. In the US they had The
Three Stooges who were a comedy act of the early to mid–20th century.
According to Wikipedia their hallmark was physical farce and extreme
slapstick.

It’s nice to know that Mahoso and company are diligently following in their
predecessors’ footsteps.

‘Lessons of progressively managing the media in developing nations can be
drawn from China,” stated the Sunday Mail.
“While the country has over the past 30 years totally transformed its media
by introducing reforms and opening up, the government still maintains some
oversight over the operations of the media as a whole ‘for the sake of
long-term development and national security’,” it added.

“The Internet has helped shape China’s media landscape and provided a
platform for people to express themselves but only within the confines of
the Chinese law and in ways that promote the country’s development and
sovereignty.”

And to the question of who defines “sovereignty” it is of course the
Communist Party. Censorship guidelines are often circulated weekly from the
Communist Party propaganda department and the government Bureau of Internet
Affairs to editors.

The Sunday Mail goes on to say: “While the Chinese model of media management
might be viewed by some as limiting the freedom of the media, it is
unquestionably a better model than models of the West because it is rooted
on the need to promote development, security and progress in a country,
elements that form the basis of existence for every nation and therefore
should be promoted by all citizens of a country.”

The watchdog group Reporters without Borders ranked China 171 out of 178
countries in its 2010 worldwide index of press freedom.
It is one thing for journalists to sing the praises of their handlers and
quite another to call for the Great Firewall from China. That is low, even
for those at the Sunday Mail. Let us not forget at the end of the day that,
as artist Ai Weiwei will testify, China is a country that throws people in
jail simply for upholding the tenets of the Chinese constitution.

What, by the way, happened to the tributes to Kim Jong-Il? We thought we
were bonded in brotherhood with that lot.
All we got was a squeak from Didy Mouse and that was it. What happened to
the “il Juche Idea” and other such nonsense we were fed in the 1980s?.

And all those people hurling themselves at the coffin. What does that tell
us about a politically brainwashed society? Today North Korea is a basket
case while its southern counterpart is a dynamic and prosperous nation.
The joke doing the rounds last week was Kim Jong-il telling his staff “I
told you I was il”.


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What will the New Year bring?

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:53

THE threshold of a new year is a time for reflection as well as for
resolution for the year ahead.  As the new year approaches, almost all
reflection in Zimbabwe is inevitably upon the magnitude of the economic ills
that continue to afflict the country and its people.

Although 2011 witnessed some modest economic recovery and growth, the
overall state of the economy has continued to be desultory and emaciated.

An overwhelming majority of the population continuously struggles to survive
on incomes considerably below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), and therefore is
constantly confronted with extreme hunger, homelessness, non-accessibility
to healthcare and education, and much else.

Businesses have endlessly been  contracting and many ceased to exist as
money is in short supply, infrastructure becomes ever ineffectual and unable
to service the needs of the populace and that of the economy, while the
national debt constantly soars upwards.

With rare exception, the afflicted Zimbabweans recognise that, almost in the
entirety, the decimated state of the economy is attributable to the
ill-considered or ill-motivated actions and inactions of government.  As one
reflects thereon, the commonality of the Zimbabwean governmental economic
mismanagement with that of many governments elsewhere, past and present, is
highlighted by the thoughts of many renowned personalities, including:

Edward Langley, Artist  (1928 –1995)  What this country needs are more
unemployed politicians

Mark Twain — If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do
read the newspaper you are misinformed

Winston Churchill — I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into
prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up
by the handle

George Bernard Shaw — A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always
depend on the support of Paul

James Bovard (1994) — Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a
sheep voting on what to have for dinner

Douglas Casey — Foreign aid might be defined as transfer of money from poor
people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries

PJ O’Rourke — Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey
and car keys to teenage boys.

Ronald Reagan (1986) — Government’s view of the economy could be summed up
in a few short phrases:  If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate
it.  And if it stops moving, subsidise it

Pericles (430 BC) — Just because you do not take an interest in politics
doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you

Mark Twain (1866) —No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the
legislature is in session

Unknown — Talk is cheap … except when parliament does it

Ronald Reagan — The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a
happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other

Winston Churchill — The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing
of the blessings.  The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing
of misery

Mark Twain — The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that
the taxidermist leaves the skin

Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903) — The ultimate result of shielding men from
the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools

Thomas Jefferson — A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.

These and other reflections should be the triggers for resolutions for
constructive policy and attitude changes and meaningful actions in 2012.
Those resolutions should (if there are to be genuine, positive and lasting
changes to the economy and restoration of national well-being) include:

Restoration of a sound and conducive investment environment.  First and
foremost, for this to be achieved, the Indigenisation and Empowerment
policies must be significantly modified, including that enterprise ownership
should be apportioned between the investors proportionately to their
investments (at fair value), instead of prescribed, quasi-racialistic
majority ownership, inclusive of State-designated entities.  Concurrently,
there must be unequivocal governmental respect for, and compliance with,
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (Bippas) and the
taxation laws and rates must be aligned with those prevailing elsewhere in
the region, instead of constituting investment deterrents.

Reinforcement of these and other measures needed to develop Zimbabwe as a
favoured investment destination through resolutions (not only resolved upon,
but unreservedly implemented) and ensuring that Zimbabwe be governed through
absolute democracy, total respect for human rights, law and order, and
regard for property rights.

Concerted efforts to re-establish good, sound, harmonious and wide-ranging
international relations in general, and with first-world countries in
particular.  It is very long overdue for Zimbabwe to be conciliatory,
instead of being aggressive and castigatory, although without kow-towing,
self-effacing ingratiation, and to seek relationships which are founded upon
mutual respect and regard, cooperation, and positive interaction.  Such
relationships would be investment and economically - enhancing, would
motivate much-needed developmental aid, and progressive debt relief.

Pursuit of the long overdue solutions to the immense inability of most
parastatals to serve the needs of the nation.  Endless inadequacies of
energy supplies impact horrendously upon the economy as a whole and upon the
manufacturing, mining, and agricultural sectors in particular, as well as
being a recurrent source of discomfort and demoralisation for the populace
in general.  Similarly, there are very negative consequences, from the
inability of National Railways of Zimbabwe and Air Zimbabwe to service
national needs, the insufficiency of regular and reliable water supplies
provided by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to the erratic operational
performance of TelOne.  Government must, in the national interest, finally
and belatedly be willing to release the reins on parastatals, enabling
effective privatisation and attendant progressive service delivery
enhancement.  Concurrently, healthcare and education operations require
critical enhancement.

Key resolve of government to energetically pursue decentralisation and
devolution of administration.  The total concentration of decision – making
to the corridors of government in Harare grievously constrains economic
operations throughout the rest of the country.  In like manner, government
must encourage intensified administrative and decision – making
decentralisation by much of the private sector.

Governmental resolution to swallow misplaced pride, and to actively pursue
Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt relief in order to progressively minimise
Zimbabwe’s gargantuan accumulated debts, concurrently with funding partial
debt settlement by stringent fiscal spending constraints.  It is extremely
long-overdue for government to eliminate unnecessary, unproductive, and
often corrupt expenditures and to concentrate fiscal outflows only on the
genuinely necessary and productive.

That in order to ensure genuine national economic well-being, government
must also resolve that, without further delay, collateral value be restored
to rural lands, the long-intended land audit be conducted and those not
using the lands effectively being removed therefrom, and that Bippas be
fully honoured in respect of expropriated lands, crops and farming assets,
albeit unjustifiably belated (but better late than never!).

Should these and related resolutions be made and implemented, the New Year
will herald the commencement of positive Zimbabwean transformation.


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Debunking Mugabe’s poll plan

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:42

By Charles Mangongera

THE just-ended Zanu PF conference confirmed beyond doubt that Mugabe has
succeeded in imposing himself as the party candidate for the next elections,
whenever they will be held.

The conference resolutions also show that Mugabe and a small clique of
securocrats and civilian hardliners have prevailed in pushing through their
selfish interests at the expense of national interest by cajoling the party
into endorsing an election that no sane Zimbabwean wants.

The Bulawayo conference was not a serious platform for the party to
deliberate on policies and issues affecting it, but a charade by Mugabe to
legitimise his selfish election agenda.

Mugabe was anxious to get endorsed as the party’s candidate because he is
aware of how unpopular he has become in the party. A running thread in all
the WikiLeaks cables involving Zanu PF politicians is that they all view
Mugabe as a liability to the party and would rather see his back soon.

The elective Mutare congress had already endorsed Mugabe as First Secretary
of the party, effectively endorsing him as the party’s candidate at any
election. But because of his paranoid delusions Mugabe thought it necessary
to get another affirmation from the Bulawayo conference. This explains his
insistence in the build up to the conference that it was almost like a
congress.

That Mugabe’s candidature in the next election would be confirmed by the
conference was in no doubt. By the time the 6 000-odd delegates gathered in
Bulawayo all the provinces had grovelled at Mugabe’s feet, falling over each
other to be the first to endorse him as their candidate.

I argued in this column that Zanu PF had once again squandered an
opportunity for serious self-introspection and leadership renewal by
endorsing a man who will be 88 years old next year as their candidate. What
the party needs to urgently do is retire Mugabe and replace him by a younger
and more energetic leader before the next election.

Frankly, I do not see how Mugabe will manage a gruelling electoral campaign
given that his health is fast deteriorating due to old age. My suspicion is
that the cabal of civilian hardliners and securocrats has assured Mugabe
that they will deliver “victory” to him the same way they did in 2008. What
this means is that they hope to craft a highly militarised electoral
campaign that is akin to the 2008 presidential election run-off.

Mugabe and his strategists hope that they can deploy war veterans and other
auxiliary outfits including the youth militia into communities to not
necessarily beat up opponents, but to demonstrate that they are still there
and they can unleash violence.

Their calculation is that communities are still traumatised by the 2008
violence and that with minimal violence and intimidation Mugabe can claim a
legitimate election victory. The rabid rumblings by war veterans’ leader
Jabulani Sibanda about some “dogs” that cannot protect their territory are a
clarion call to his followers to start mobilising within communities. The
architecture of violence, which has just been lying dormant, will become
more visible at the beginning of next year.

Ominously one of the resolutions from the conference specifically talks
about targeting non-governmental organisations, which party secretary for
legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa accused of “meddling in the internal
affairs of the country”.

The strategy is to target civil society organisations doing human rights
defence work. They have been a constant irritation for Mugabe and his
henchmen because of their capacity to expose rights abuses both internally
and externally. Mugabe views them as part of the regime change agenda and he
detests them the same way he detests the MDC. In the run up to the 2008
presidential election run-off many rights groups were forced to close shop
as they had become targets of repression.

Only last week The Patriot newspaper, a shadowy Zanu PF-aligned publication,
ran a series of stories accusing rights NGOs of receiving US funding. What
the paper did not bother to tell its readers is that the same US government
is also providing millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance to the
people of Zimbabwe.

Such articles are being carefully worded to portray rights NGOs as agents of
Western interests. Ironically it is the same US government that top Zanu PF
officials have been running to and holding secret meetings to discuss
confidential internal party affairs.

Mugabe’s plan is to also target the private media as he views it as a
critical bastion of opposition voices. In the past journalists have been
arrested and detained with impunity for doing their job. Party heavyweight
Mnangagwa told the Bulawayo conference that the party would craft a
“response mechanism” to the media including users of social platforms.

Zanu PF strategists are fearful of the power of both traditional and new
media in exposing electoral fraud and in mobilising citizens in the event of
a sham election. Only recently another Zanu PF functionary Herbert Murerwa
was blaming Facebook for the revolutions in the Arab North.

Will Mugabe succeed with his election plan?  He faces a Herculean task. The
biggest hurdle to his game plan is Sadc. Despite the hullabaloo about the
Government of National Unity (GNU) not working,

Mugabe knows that he is entangled in it and he cannot afford to unilaterally
pull out of it. That explains why in the past he has unsuccessfully
attempted to cow the MDC into pulling out of it by arbitrarily arresting its
senior officials, deliberately frustrating Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and being rabidly recalcitrant.

He hoped that the MDC would pull out of government and be to blame for the
collapse of the GNU. The MDC has seen through Mugabe’s Machiavellian schemes
and has stuck it out in the GNU.

Sadc will not allow any of the parties to leave the GNU and will not agree
to a hurried election. They see it as the only hope for a permanent solution
to the crisis. Jacob Zuma will stick to his guns insisting that the parties
adhere to the roadmap that outlines a raft of reforms that have to be
undertaken before the next election.

The days of Mugabe bullying Sadc are over. The regional body is determined
to find a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis. They see it as  a
blight on the regional bloc’s quest for political stability and sustainable
economic growth.

Moreover, events in the Arab North have spurred Sadc to act decisively in
resolving regional crises in order to pre-empt foreign intervention. Sadc
leaders are tired of being viewed as an ineffectual group that is beholden
to Mugabe.

The Livingstone Troika meeting and the Sandton summit attest to this. They
have already warned Mugabe that he risks being swept away by an Arab-style
revolution if he continues to suppress the will of Zimbabwean citizens.

Given these factors getting an election past Sadc will be a hard sell for
Mugabe. He would not countenance acting unilaterally. Never mind the bravado
and fist waving, Mugabe knows that he cannot afford to thumb his nose at
Sadc like that. Being the shrewd political tactician that he is, he
understands the implications of alienating Sadc.

He has not forgotten the fact that it was Sadc that threw him a lifeline by
forcing the MDC to go into a power sharing government with him when he had
clearly lost legitimacy. He also understands that South Africa will not
brook a flawed electoral process.

It has borne the brunt of the Zimbabwean crisis with the influx of millions
of political and economic refugees into that country. The Zimbabwean crisis
has become a domestic issue for Zuma.

Here is how I think Mugabe and his strategists will move. They will seize
the election momentum from the conference and try to plunge the whole
country into an election psyche.

Their eyes will be on Sadc and if the regional bloc bats an eyelid they will
move with haste to call an election. For the reasons that I have mentioned
above, my sense is that Sadc will not bat an eyelid and this will force
Mugabe to adhere to the terms of the roadmap to elections including the
completion of the new constitution and the reform of state institutions.

Realistically this means he can only have an election in 2013. Whether he
has the political stamina and physical health to last until then is a debate
for another day.

Charles Mangongera is a political analyst based in Harare. This article was
first published on the Journal of Zimbabwean Politics


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Liberalised broadcast media informs voters

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:37

By Zesn

IT IS obvious that the media plays an influential role in modern politics.
In addition to the traditional electronic and print media, the Internet has
become a powerful tool for information dissemination, as evidenced by the
reported role of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook during
the Arab Spring which saw the toppling of dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and
Egypt.

In many parts of rural sub-Saharan Africa however, print and electronic
media remain the dominant media platforms and the space is severely
restricted. These media spaces become heavily contested territory during
election periods. Fair and balanced media coverage in respect of elections
is important. This includes media coverage in the run up to, during and in
the aftermath of polls.

Fair and balanced media coverage contributes to a level playing field for
all political contestants in elections. Conversely, unfair and unbalanced
coverage distorts the playing field by giving unfair advantage to the
selected few whilst undermining their opponents.

The media can also play a role in exposing irregularities which make it a
potentially useful watchdog that restrains contestants and their supporters
from engaging in misconduct.

In addition, fair and balanced media provides a platform for politicians to
negotiate access to the voting public. It enables politicians to speak
directly to the public whilst also providing opportunities for the public to
put aspiring representatives under scrutiny. By giving accurate and factual
information to the electorate, it enables them to make informed decisions
when voting.

However, used manipulatively, it is also recognised that the media can be a
negative force when, for example, it gives space to hate speech and
encourages violence. It is widely recognised that hate speech through the
electronic media was part of the forces that incited genocide in Rwanda in
1994.

Sadly, in most African countries, the state media continues to be
manipulated in favour of the ruling parties and more seriously, spews hate
speech against political opponents, which incites violence.

Liberalise the market
The Electoral Amendment Bill re-enacts the equivalent part of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission Act.  The ostensible purpose is to ensure that news
media give fair and equitable coverage to all parties contesting an
election.

There is a mandatory requirement on public broadcasters to give all parties
contesting an election free access to the broadcasting services as
prescribed. Regulations will be expected to ensure that the time allocation
and coverage are fair and balanced, allowing each party in an election
“reasonable opportunity to present a case through the broadcasting service”.

It is useful that this is a mandatory obligation as the single electronic
broadcaster (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings) has been accused in previous
elections of supporting the ruling party and constantly denigrating the
opposition.

However, Zesn believes that the proper solution to the problem of media bias
is to widen the market of broadcasters. Plurality and competition in the
media will eventually even out the biases held by the different media
organisations.

The voting public will be able to get a better picture by listening to the
varied accounts broadcast by different media organisations compared to
having to rely on one broadcaster.

In this regard it is regrettable that a decade after the Supreme Court
struck down the monopoly of the state broadcaster in the Capital Radio case,
reforms to allow private broadcasters have been slow and ineffective.

Zesn therefore recommends that the licensing authorities speed up the
authorisation process to enable more broadcasters to participate well before
the elections are called.

Qualitative aspects of fairness and balance
The Bill highlights the quantitative aspects of fairness and balance — ie
prominence and time-allocation but falls short in dealing with the
qualitative aspects of broadcasting and publishing — such as the balance
between negative and positive stories and opinions.

There is a need to provide specific definition of and guidance on what
constitutes “fair and balanced coverage” because equal time and space
allocation alone cannot be sufficient.

In this regard it is notable that coverage of a party may be extensive and
equal to that of other parties but if such coverage only focuses on the
negatives it would be unfair and unbalanced. Thus it is not just the
quantitative aspects of coverage that are relevant for consideration in
determining fairness and balance of coverage but also the qualitative
aspects.

Zesn recommends that the law and regulations specify in clear terms the
requirement for qualitative fairness and balance, beyond the quantitative
considerations.

Omission of gender
Whilst the Bill commendably prohibits the use of hate speech and any
language that incites violence or encourages racial, ethnic or religious
prejudice or hatred, there is a glaring omission in the list of indices of
prejudice or hatred in that “gender” is not specifically stated.

Yet women are routinely subjected to physical and verbal violence —
politically-motivated rape and verbal denigration being common acts
committed against women. Given the high levels of prejudice suffered by
women politicians or public figures in a terrain that is generally
male-dominated, it is imperative that “gender” be expressly stated in that
provision.

Zesn recommends that gender should be added to the list of indices around
which hate speech and violence is specifically prohibited.

Lack of clear sanctions
A framework for monitoring the media to ensure that the law is observed is
essential otherwise the rules would be inconsequential. In exercising the
monitoring function, the commission is entitled to assistance from the
Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Broadcasting Services Authority.

The law also keeps open the door to private participants wishing to carry
out similar functions. This preserves the role of such organisations like
the Media Monitoring Project Trust (MMPZ) which have played a key role in
exposing the media biases.

Nevertheless, the biggest problem with the Bill is that it fails to put in
place specific and effective sanctions for breaches of the legal
requirements by the media. A law that fails to provide effective sanctions
against breaches is not likely to have any impact on behaviour.

Zesn recommends that this part of the law be re-visited with a view to
installing clear sanctions for breaches. Sanctions could include suspension
of a licence, heavy fines and clear directions to publicly and prominently
correct any false and/or misleading publications.

Prevent circumvention
A final point is that the law must specifically prohibit attempts to
circumvent these requirements through programming that purports to be what
it actually is not. For example, a political programme might be dressed up
as a religion and culture programme.

Focus must be on the content of the programme as opposed to its title. Such
programmes should reflect balance of opinions across the political spectrum
and not give undue coverage to supporters of one political party or
ideology.


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Business longs for more December madness

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:14

WHAT is proverbially known in Zimbabwe as January Disease may be a useful
indicator of the health of the economy. More correctly, January disease is
actually January withdrawal syndrome. The real disease is December Disease,
or put in another way, December madness.

This disease is characterised by rampant spending that begins with payment
of annual bonuses. Earlier signs and symptoms include increased generosity,
amorous and gregarious behaviour and violent fits of rampant expenditure.
These begin in November and always end abruptly after midnight on December
31 each year.

That’s because the pathogen responsible for this maddening disease, plus
pecuniae (cash) will have speedily, miraculously worked itself out of the
system. Thereafter, the withdrawal symptoms manifest, and may include
depression, irritability, general moodiness, melancholy and guilt.

The patient becomes acutely aware of the environment around him and has a
stark sense of reality. This is accompanied by increased affection for and
sense of responsibility towards children and their attendant needs such as
school fees, uniforms etc.

Should these symptoms persist, patients may have prescribed for them short
term remedies such as debt. However, this has disastrous side effects which
may dog their financial health for the following six months or more.

Call it a fool’s disease or whatever, but December madness is quite an
important aspect of the Zimbabwean economy. Manufacturers and retailers
alike look forward to as many people as possible being affected by this
ailment each year as this assures them of increased production and sales.

And the more vicious it hits the populace the better. In fact, many only
make their profit in the last quarter of the year because of this malaise.
However, judging from the spending patterns by consumers this festive
season, it’s not many that will have cause to smile.

It was not surprising to find that Harare’s major shopping centres were not
as busy as they have been in the past in spite of retailers opening their
doors very wide and extending shopping hours. When the population was much
smaller, streets would be jammed during night shopping.

Outlets would hire extra hands to deal with increased patronage but this
year many carried on with existing staff. In Bulawayo the situation was
worse. At Ascot shopping centre, where there was much hustle and bustle
previously, most of the retailers spent their time staring at their
doorways, awaiting the scarce customer. What used to be a Spar supermarket
is still empty space.

Furthermore, the number of injiva (Zimbabweans working in South Africa) who
come home each year for Christmas seems to have dwindled, perhaps owing to
immigration challenges back in SA.

For us to know how the economy really performed in the last quarter we’ll
obviously have to hear from companies in the next earnings’ season but do
not expect phenomenal growth in sales. Therefore while capacity utilisation
by manufacturers may still be low, it may be commensurate with current
aggregate demand, after accounting for foreign competition and bearing in
mind liquidity challenges.

Itai Masuku

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