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Statement by Morgan Tsvangirai on the
Resolutions made by the National Council
Sokwanele - Enough is
Enough - Zimbabwe
PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY
30 January 2009
"Therefore, in accordance with the party's constitution,
the political agreement we signed on September 15th 2008, and in the best
interests of the welfare of all Zimbabweans, the MDC has resolved to form an
inclusive government with Zanu PF and MDC-M" - Morgan Tsvangirai, 30 January
Today, the MDC's National Council met as we once again find ourselves at an
historic crossroads in our decade-long struggle for democracy. Throughout this
struggle, the MDC has been guided by the principles of democracy and by the will
of the people. This campaign is neither easy nor straightforward and often we
have had to change the fronts on which we wage the struggle in response to
changing circumstances and conditions.
The MDC was established to bring
about change through the ballot box. This we achieved despite overwhelming odds,
culminating in our historic victories in the March 29th Parliamentary,
Presidential and local government elections.
Then, the brutal campaign of
violence unleashed against our supporters by Zanu PF, forced us to withdraw from
the June 27th event. Thus it became obvious that we could no longer wage our
struggle via the polling booth.
We looked to the region to support our
position and the will of the people by acknowledging the results of March 29th
as the basis on which a new government should be formed. Subsequently, we
succeeded in forcing Zanu PF to the negotiating table which became the new
frontline in our quest for a democratic Zimbabwe. It was for this reason that we
signed the Global Political Agreement on September 15th, 2008.
that you are very familiar with the events from that date. We in the MDC have
abided by the letter and spirit of both the Memorandum of Understanding and the
GPA. Sadly, Zanu PF was not the type of constructive and positive partner that
we envisaged when we signed the GPA and therefore, the consummation of the
agreement has been subject to unnecessary delays.
Nonetheless, we have
consistently tabled our outstanding issues to SADC and we have remained
committed to finding a negotiated settlement to the political crisis in
Zimbabwe. This process culminated in the SADC summit on Monday 26th January,
where the Southern African leaders made the following resolutions:
- The parties shall endeavour to cause Parliament to pass the Constitutional
Amendment 19 by 5 February 2009.
- The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers shall be sworn in by 11
- The Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall be sworn in on 13 February 2009,
which will conclude the process of the formation of the inclusive
- The Joint-Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), provided for in
the Global Political Agreement, shall be activated immediately. The first
meeting of JOMIC shall be convened by the facilitator on 30 January 2009 and
shall, among other things, elect the chairpersons;
- The allocation of ministerial portfolios endorsed by the SADC Extraordinary
Summit held on 9 November 2008 shall be reviewed six (6) months after the
inauguration of the inclusive government.
- The appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney General will
be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation
- The negotiators of the parties shall meet immediately to consider the
National Security Bill submitted by the MDC-T as well as the formula for the
distribution of governors: While we felt that these resolutions do not represent
an acknowledgement of all our issues, they do represent significant concessions
on the part of Zanu PF and a recognition by SADC that our demands are justified
as a first step towards a sustainable solution to the Zimbabwe
Our National Council's meeting today was therefore convened to evaluate
the party's position in relation to the inclusive government. The concessions
made by Zanu PF incorporate four out of the five outstanding issues. These four
issues are the allocation of Provincial Governors, the National Security
Legislation, Constitutional Amendment 19 and the breaches to the Global
Thus, the parties have agreed on the sharing of
Provincial Governors portfolios and have already met to begin negotiations on
the allocation formula. Similarly, with regard to the National Security
Legislation, the negotiators have met to discuss the draft bill submitted by the
It is clear therefore that these two issues are subject to
negotiation and therefore constitute work in progress. It is hoped that the work
in progress will be concluded to the satisfaction of all the parties as soon as
The third issue relates to Constitutional Amendment 19. The MDC
has insisted that Constitutional Amendment 19 is enacted by parliament and
signed into law prior to the swearing in of the Prime Minister and this has been
agreed to by the parties as reflected in the SADC communiqué.
issue of the equitable allocation of ministerial portfolios, SADC reiterated its
position from November 9th, 2008 and expanded its commitment to review the
allocation of all ministries, not only Home Affairs, within six months of an
inclusive government being formed.
On the breaches to the GPA and the
MOU, SADC resolved that the Joint-Monitoring Implementation Committee (JOMIC),
is established to review and reverse these breaches. This committee comprises
four members from MDC-T, four members from MDC-M and four members from Zanu
However, the MDC is concerned that the issue of the unwarranted and
illegal abductions and detentions of MDC members and other democratic activists
needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and to this effect, the MDC will
ensure an end to the persecution of all Zimbabweans.
In light of these
resolutions, todays's debate centred around two issues:
will allow us the best opportunity to continue to pursue our goal of achieving a
free, democratic Zimbabwe in line with the roadmap from our Congress of March
Secondly, what is the best way of alleviating the suffering of
the Zimbabwean people, stabilising the economy and restoring and retaining some
semblance of a normal society?
Let us make no mistake, by joining an
inclusive government, we are not saying that this is a solution to the Zimbabwe
crisis, instead our participation signifies that we have chosen to continue the
struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe in a new arena. This agreement is a
significant milestone on our journey to democracy but it does not signify that
we have arrived at our destination – we are committed to establishing a
democratic Zimbabwe regardless of how long that struggle takes us.
have the majority in parliament, we control all the main urban councils and many
rural councils, we will have control of 13 ministries and a presence in the key
decision-making bodies of the executive.
Throughout the course of our
deliberations today we referred to, and were guided by, the road map that we
established for ourselves in March 2006, namely - negotiations, a transitional
authority, a people driven constitution and fresh, free and fair
In this respect, the National Council resolved that through
joining an inclusive government in line with the GPA and the SADC resolutions
the party will be able to achieve the following:
- To move towards a new, democratic Zimbabwe by ensuring that a people-driven
constitution is crafted and adopted.
- That this inclusive government will serve as a transitional authority
leading to free and fair elections.
- The restoration of the people's freedoms through creating democratic space,
restoring the rule of law and basic human rights.
- The stabilisation and rebuilding of the economy and the provision of all
essential services, in particular health care and education.
- To maintain the principles of the working people's convention established in
- To ensure that we begin a process of national healing and
Therefore, in accordance with the party's constitution, the political
agreement we signed on September 15th 2008, and in the best interests of the
welfare of all Zimbabweans the MDC has resolved to form an inclusive government
with Zanu PF and MDC-M.
The success of this inclusive government is
dependent on many factors including the goodwill of the parties involved, the
support of the people of Zimbabwe and the continued engagement and vigilance of
SADC, AU and the broader international community in ensurinhg that all parties
are bound by the letter and spirit of the GPA and the commitments made at the
last SADC summit. In this respect, the party shall continue to monitor the
implementation of the agreement, in particular in shall assess and review its
position in the inclusive government after 6 months in line with the SADC
Now is the time for us to put aside our political
differences , to prioritise the welfare of the people in both our policies and
our actions and to focus on stabilisation, development, progress and
democratization. In this I know that we have the support of the vast majority of
Zimbabweans, both in Zanu PF and the MDC, in the civil service,the workers and
the business community and we look forward to working with you to rebuild our
In conclusion, I would like to note that in this struggle
we have not been alone. I wish to acknowledge the commitment and perseverance of
SADC to finding a negotiated solution to the political crisis. In particular, we
have had the unwavering support of our regional allies who have stood by us and
our democratic ideals throughout this process and we are grateful for their
We would like to acknowledge the support and solidarity that
we have had from trade unions, civil society and democratic peoples' and
governments all over the world. We appreciate this support and know that we
could not have come this far without them.
Most importantly of all, we
have had the support of the people. A people who have stood by their right to
live in freedom, with access to jobs, health care, education and prosperity in
such a principled and peaceful manner.
I would like to appeal to all
these forces to continue to support us in whatever decision we take because the
struggle is not over, our commitment is not lessened, our vision is not dulled
and our resolve has not been weakened.
We will deliver a New Zimbabwe to
The struggle continues.
I thank you
Morgan Tsvangirai's statement on the Resolutions of the Party's National Council
Meeting at Harvest House was circulated by Press Release on 30 January
We have a
fundamental right to freedom of expression!
Zimbabwe leaders form
Morgan Tsvangirai, the main opposition leader in
Zimbabwe, addressing supporters outside his party's offices in Harare on Friday.
(Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press)
After months of resisting intense pressure from leaders across southern Africa,
Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, announced Friday that he would
do as they have insisted and join a coalition government as prime minister with
his nemesis, President Robert Mugabe.
The opposition party's decision to form a government with the ruling party,
ZANU-PF, will usher in a new phase in its decade-long struggle against Mugabe,
84, and his despotic rule. "Zimbabwe is mine," Mugabe declared only recently -
and so it has been since he took power in 1980 and so it has remained since June
when he claimed victory in a bloody, discredited presidential runoff election
Tsvangirai now faces the daunting job of reviving Zimbabwe's moribund economy
and rescuing an increasingly famished, sick and impoverished population with a
partner whose security forces have viciously beaten him and thousands of his
supporters over the past two years and abducted and allegedly tortured dozens
more in the last few months.
Acknowledging the ambivalence of many in his Movement for Democratic Change
about the choice made Friday, Tsvangirai said in a statement that the fight for
democracy "is neither easy nor straightforward and often we have had to change
the fronts on which we wage the struggle."
Political analysts said Tsvangirai risked the isolation and scorn of South
Africa, the regional powerhouse, and other neighboring nations if he had pulled
out of the deal they supported.
But the decision of the most influential leaders in southern Africa to push
for a power-sharing arrangement in response to an election their own monitors
concluded was neither free nor fair has stirred deep unease beyond
The president of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, said in a rare interview
Monday - just hours before he entered marathon negotiations in Pretoria on the
Zimbabwe crisis with heads of state from across the region - that allowing
leaders to hang onto power through negotiated deals after fraud-ridden
elections, as in Kenya last year and now in Zimbabwe, set a
"These power-sharing agreements are not the way to go on the continent," said
Khama, whose government is the only one in the region now openly and bluntly
criticizing Mugabe's party for intimidating, attacking and killing its
opponents. "You can't have a situation where a ruling party, when it senses it
may lose an election, can then manipulate the outcome so they can stay on
The hunger for change in Zimbabwe was manifest Friday in the throng of
thousands that gathered outside Harvest House, headquarters of the Movement for
Democratic Change, as word spread that the party was deciding whether to work
When Tsvangirai came out and stood on the bed of a pick-up truck, with a
bullhorn in hand, the crowd fell silent waiting for word of his decision and a
wave of cheers and screams rose from them when he said he would be prime
minister, said his spokesman, Joseph Mungwari.
Tsvangirai had signed a deal with Mugabe in September to form a government,
but then refused to join after Mugabe claimed all the ministries that control
the repressive state security forces, including the police.
In the current deal, at the insistence of the Southern African Development
Community, a 15-nation regional bloc, and against his earlier position,
Tsvangirai has agreed to leave Mugabe in control of the army, the intelligence
agency and to share with him control of the police. Mungwari said the party was
confident that it would get legislation adopted that places the state security
services under the supervision of all the parties, including a small breakaway
faction of the opposition that holds the balance of power in Parliament.
He also predicted that by Feb. 11, when Tsvangirai is sworn in as prime
minister, the authorities would release the dozens of opposition and human
rights activists who have been abducted since October and are now languishing in
filthy, overcrowded, cholera-ridden prisons.
But asked whether Tsvangirai would join the government even if the imprisoned
are not freed and the legislation is not passed, Mungwari declined
Diplomats and opposition officials who have spoken with Tsvangirai said he
felt a sense of urgency about joining the government because of the extremity of
human suffering in the nation. It worsens by the day. A cholera epidemic is
still out of control. More than 60,000 people have contracted the disease and
more than 3,100 have died since August.
And the economic crisis has worsened so suddenly and sharply that the number
of people needing food aid in the next two months has risen to seven million
from five million of the country's 12 million people, the United Nations World
Food Program said Thursday. The UN agency is cutting its monthly rations -
already insufficient - in half to 5 kilograms, or 11 pounds, of corn a person,
hoping the hungry can scavenge enough in wild fruits and other foods to survive
until the next harvest.
"People will certainly be more malnourished and vulnerable to disease than if
they were getting a full ration," said a spokesman for the food program, Richard
Lee. The rations have been cut because of the increase in those needing food,
The United States and Europe have for years prevented famines in Zimbabwe
with huge infusions of food aid, but their willingness to lift sanctions on
Mugabe and top members of his regime and to infuse substantial new aid for the
reconstruction of the country will not come automatically with the formation of
a coalition government, diplomats said.
British and U.S. officials said they would be awaiting evidence that
democracy, human rights and the rule of law were
'skeptical' about Zimbabwe power-sharing
23 mins ago
- The United States said Friday it was "a bit skeptical"
about whether the
Zimbabwean opposition and President Robert Mugabe would
finally carry out a
power-sharing deal sealed in September.
"I've seen the reports about this
agreement, but as you can understand, we
are a bit skeptical. These types of
things have been announced before. The
key is always implementation," State
Department acting spokesman Robert Wood
Morgan Tsvangirai said Friday he will join a unity
government with Mugabe,
more than four months after they agreed to do so in
a bid to end a crisis
stemming from disputed elections nearly a year ago.
here is actions and not words, and we want to see real,
power-sharing by the Mugabe regime. So I think the jury is still out
one," Wood added.
He said the various sanctions imposed by the United
States on members of the
Zimbabwean government should not be lifted
"One of the things we will continue to do is to try to help
deal with the
humanitarian situation on the ground...," Wood said when asked
if the US is
waiting for a power-sharing government to function properly
considers lifting sanctions or offering an economic recovery
"But (President Barack Obama's) administration is going to be
see, once there is, you know, a government in place that reflects
of the Zimbabwean people, to see what more we can do with regard to
jump-start, a boost to the economy," he said.
wait and see what happens before we go forward," he said.
Heeding a call
by southern African leaders, Tsvangirai told reporters after
a meeting of
his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that he will be sworn
in as prime
minister on February 11.
During a crisis summit in South Africa early
this week, the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), which has long
been trying to persuade the MDC
to enter government with Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party, urged the feuding parties
to implement the power-sharing agreement by
The 15-nation bloc maintains that the accord signed last
the best chance of pulling Zimbabwe out of a political and
since disputed polls in March but it has been held up by
disputes over key
welcomes move for unity government in Zimbabwe
Jan 30, 2009,
New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed on
Friday the decision
by Zimbabwe's main opposition party to join President
government following five months of a political
Ban said in a statement that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Morgan Tsvangirai was complying with an agreement reached last
the recent demand by the Southern African Development
Community heads of
state for a government of national unity in
'The secretary general calls on the new government to take all
measures to address the humanitarian and economic crises in the
respect democratic freedoms,' the UN said.
The MDC voted
Friday in 'full unanimity' to join Mugabe's Zanu-PF party,
previous demand for a more equitable power-sharing deal with
Zimbabwe Government Will Be Judged On Its Actions
Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Friday that he
hoped a power-sharing
deal in Zimbabwe could work, but warned the new
government would be "judged
on its actions."
"We look forward to seeing the details of the
agreement," Miliband said in a
statement. "The new government will be judged
on its actions, above all by
the people of Zimbabwe."
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
Friday that he would join a unity government with President Robert
after nearly a year since a hotly disputed election in
Tsvangirai said he would be sworn in as prime minister Feb.
The U.K., the former colonial power, has been highly critical of
policies in Zimbabwe, where 3,000 people have died of cholera and
runs at 231 million percent.
Miliband said Zimbabweans had
been "denied the government they deserve."
"The failure of Robert Mugabe
to honor the will of the people for change has
been at the heart of
Zimbabwe's crisis," he added. "Today's reports of a
power- sharing agreement
need to be seen in this context."
He said that, as the new premier,
Tsvangirai should be "given the chance to
"It is our
hope that the parties can make it work and it is their obligation
the change and reform that their people demanded last March,"
"The international community will be looking for the government to
demonstrate, through its actions, a clear commitment to reform."
includes the release of political prisoners, an end to political
and a "clear roadmap" to the next national elections, Miliband
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Zimbabweans celebrate as Morgan Tsvangirai joins
Robert Mugabe's government
Thousands of Zimbabweans celebrated in the streets
of Harare on Friday when Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, formally
announced that he will join President Robert Mugabe in a coalition government.
This landmark decision, first reported in The Daily
Telegraph on Wednesday, came after months of talks and could herald momentous
Mr Tsvangirai will become prime minister, in
accordance with a power-sharing deal signed last September, and the Movement for
Democratic Change's two factions will hold 16 of the 31 cabinet posts. Many of
Mr Tsvangirai's supporters are genuinely hopeful and a crowd gathered outside
the MDC's Harare headquarters to cheer their leader.
Riot police soon arrived, but instead of wielding
their truncheons, the officers grinned as the opposition supporters gave them an
open-handed salute – the MDC's official symbol.
"We are unequivocal, we will go into this
government," said Mr Tsvangirai, ten months after he defeated Mr Mugabe in a
presidential election and deprived the ruling Zanu-PF party of its parliamentary
majority for the first time. "We are entering this government to save the
country from its problems. Let's be committed and move together, let's unite as
the people to save this country."
Mr Tsvangirai should be sworn in as prime minister on
Feb 11, with a new cabinet formed two days later. But Mr Mugabe will stay on as
president, despite his defeat in last year's election, and Zanu-PF's extensive
power network will remain in place.
Mr Tsvangirai had refused to join a coalition unless
one of his allies became home affairs minister, a job which controls the police.
He did not win this concession. Instead, Zanu-PF and the MDC will share this
post, according to a vague formula that may prove unworkable.
During the months of deadlock, Mr Mugabe seized the
chance to reinforce his power. Last month, he reappointed Gideon Gono, the
governor of the Reserve Bank, for another five-year term.
Mr Gono, who one diplomat called the "destroyer of
Zimbabwe's economy", has been a central figure in the country's collapse. Under
his leadership, the Reserve Bank has printed money with abandon, helping to
cause hyperinflation and wreck confidence in its decisions.
By keeping Mr Gono, Mr Mugabe may succeed in shutting
the MDC out of economic policy and blocking reforms, even if an ally of Mr
Tsvangirai becomes finance minister.
If Zimbabwe's economy is to recover, outside support
will be indispensable. For as long as Mr Gono remains, however, Western donors
will be deeply reluctant to fund the new government.
By drawing his opponent into the cabinet, Mr Mugabe
will seek to neutralise and discredit him. Observers questioned the wisdom of Mr
"It's a situation of trying to make the best out of a
bad deal and in the absence of a sustainable Plan B," said Sydney Masamvu, from
the International Crisis Group. "This situation has got two centres of power
from the outset, it's not that Mugabe is a ceremonial president, Mugabe is an
executive president and Morgan is an executive prime minister. It will be very
difficult to make that government work. It will need compromise and I don't see
this government having the capacity to implement far-reaching reforms. An
inclusive government is just to lower down the boiling temperature in the
country. At best the role of this government is to prepare for the gracious exit
As well as the cholera epidemic, which has now
claimed more than 3,000 lives, more than half of all Zimbabweans need food aid.
Britain and other Western countries will be asked to recognise and fund the new
administration. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said the government would
be "judged on its actions".
A diplomat said: "Everyone knows the theory of this
agreement, we're not quite sure how much Morgan has got out of Mugabe and we
suspect it's less than he's letting on."
to help rebuild Zimbabwe - president
Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:41pm GMT
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 30 (Reuters) - South Africa will
Zimbabwe once a unity government is formed there next month and
investors will return quickly, President Kgalema Motlanthe said on
"This stage is really critical in terms of achieving political
the first step towards the economic recovery of that country,"
told Reuters at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in the
"We could very well establish a (joint
commission) so our ministeries could
cooperate in terms of that economic
recovery plan," he said.
Regional leaders decided at a summit on Tuesday
that a unity government
should be formed next month, finally implementing a
accord between Zimbabwe's rival parties that has
been stalled over the
allocation of key cabinet posts.
economic meltdown has been worsened by a cholera outbreak which
nearly 3,100 people and infected some 59,000 across the
country -- the worst
death toll in Africa in 15 years from an outbreak of
The United Nations said on Thursday that
unemployment in Zimbabwe was 94
percent. Food and fuel are in short supply.
The last official inflation
rate, for July 2008, was 231 million
Motlanthe said the first priority was to invest in
infrastructure as the
cholera outbreak was largely the result of burst
He noted that remittances from Zimbabweans working in neighbouring
Africa were keeping the country going, and said he was optimistic
Zimbabwe's recovery because the country's people were among the best
educated in Africa.
"Once the political situation has stabilised, it
will create an environment
in which investors can come back," he
The Davos meeting has focused on the global financial crisis and
said South Africa's economy had also been hit.
already feeling the impact of shrinking demand," he said, adding the
of the world car industry was hitting demand for platinum, hurting
country's mining industry.
Africa should invest more in infrastructure
during the downturn so that
"when the global economy gets onto an upswing,
Africa can participate more
meaningfully," he said.
progress on the long-running Doha round on freeing up global
critical to head off fear of rising protectionism, but added:
"The devil is
always in the detail."
Motlanthe, a former trade unionist, was appointed
caretaker president after
the ruling African National Congress ousted Thabo
Mbeki amid party
infighting in September last year. (Editing by Tim
Snap analysis - Zimbabwe faces major struggle, despite deal
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change decided on Friday to join a unity government with President
Robert Mugabe, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said.
Here is an indication of what could happen next in once prosperous Zimbabwe,
suffering a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai, due to become prime minister, could now face a new
struggle -- reaching a compromise on economic policy to ease daily hardships and
persuade Western donors that reforms are on the way so that they pump money into
The battle lines are clear.
Mugabe has said he will stick to what critics say are policies that have
ruined the once promising economy, such as his seizures of white-owned farms for
black Zimbabweans, which decimated the agriculture sector. He plans to hand over
control of foreign-owned firms, including banks and mines -- to locals, a move
that worries investors.
Nationalisation is the last thing they want.
Tsvangirai is promising the world that he will usher in a "New Zimbabwe" with
free-market policies to end massive hunger and jobs for a country with an 80
percent jobless rate.
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party introduced some reforms in a national budget unveiled
on Thursday, including scrapping price controls and officially allowing the
country to use multiple foreign currencies in place of its almost worthless
The opposition says the budget falls far short of the radical measures needed
to turn around the economy.
MISTRUST BETWEEN OLD FOES
The long battle over who controls the most powerful ministries is one
indication that hard days lay ahead.
Analysts say Mugabe's cryptic body language, sometimes relaxed, sometimes
unyielding, belies a man permanently seeking to outfox opponents who seem far
Mugabe, in power since 1980, has been sending mixed signals on how far he is
prepared to compromise.
Tsvangirai, who is untested in government, has appeared tense. He has been
trying to drive a hard bargain for what he calls "a good deal with a bad guy",
but he has failed to achieve some of what his party wanted and fears he could be
stabbed in the back by Mugabe at any time.
Mugabe's Western foes will take a fresh look at Zimbabwe, maintaining caution
while analysing his grip on the new government.
They want guarantees of democracy before committing the billions of dollars
needed to get Zimbabwe on its feet again.
Economic reforms will also be vital in persuading Western powers to step in
with assistance, particularly given the fact they are so stretched with their
Countries such as former colonial power Britain and the United States have
called on Mugabe to step down and their long-held suspicions of the veteran
leader may keep them away.
But if the money does not flow in, Mugabe might be able to portray that as a
failure for Tsvangirai and the idea of sharing power.
Zimbabwe boasts the world's second biggest platinum reserves, an educated
workforce and a population hungry for long-denied goods and service. Foreign
companies, especially form neighbouring powerhouse South Africa, will be keen to
invest, although not until they see clear signs of change.
leaders say Zimbabwe's Mugabe must go
By Emma Thomasson
(Reuters) - Leaders of Kenya and Senegal cast doubt on
Friday on whether a
unity government will work in Zimbabwe and said
President Robert Mugabe must
Zimbabwe's opposition MDC executive has endorsed party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's decision to join a unity government with Mugabe, Movement for
Democratic Change sources said on Friday.
But Kenyan Prime Minister
Raila Odinga, a former opposition leader who
agreed to share power after
post-election violence last year, questioned the
"It is the
time for Mr. Mugabe to be shown the door. If he is to be given a
... so be it," he told a meeting at the annual World Economic
businessmen and political leaders in this Swiss ski resort.
"If he needs
a golden handshake, let's assure him of a golden handshake," he
referring to severance packages sometimes offered in the world of
Senegal's president, Abdoulaye Wade, said an impasse had
been reached in
"If Mugabe does leave power... he could
come to Senegal. We need to provide
a smooth exit for him," Wade
The decision by the MDC executive to back Tsvangirai on Friday
chances of implementing a long-stalled power sharing deal seen
as a way to
tackle the worsening economic and humanitarian
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe defended the agreement
southern African leaders on Tuesday that a unity government
should be formed
"We are more keen to take our cue from
the people of Zimbabwe themselves...
rather than try to impose on them our
own solutions," he said.
"This time we have the political basis for a
breakthrough in Zimbabwe ... If
we undo that and present no practical
alternative it means we are
perpetuating the deterioration of that
But Odinga said an African Union summit next week should take a
stance on Mugabe.
"The African Union has let the people of
Zimbabwe down," he said. "Africa
needs to stand firm."
rejected Odinga's idea for a peacekeeping force to help bring in
humanitarian assistance and end a crisis in which more than 3,000 people
have been killed by a cholera outbreak and more than half the population
needs food aid.
"No two countries are exactly the same. We shouldn't
experience of Kenya," he said. "Peace is by far cheaper in
resources and human lives than even the cheapest of wars."
set up to monitor power-sharing pact
By Tichaona Sibanda
ZANU PF and the two MDC formations on Friday set up a body which
monitor the parties' compliance with the Global Political Agreement,
on 15th September last year.
the deputy secretary general for the MDC-M,
told us the committee was
inaugurated at a ceremony at the South African
High Commission in
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the Joint Monitoring Implementation
(JOMIC) would deal with issues of compliance and monitoring of the
well as grievances and concerns relating to the unity deal.
has 12 members, four from each of the three parties. It will be
by all the parties.
On the committee will be:
MDC-T: Chairman, Elton
Mangoma. Plus; Elias Mudzuri, Tabitha Khumalo and
MDC-M: Chairman, Welshman Ncube. Plus; Priscilla
Frank Chamunorwa and Edward Mkhosi.
Chairman, Nicholas Goche. Plus; Emmerson Mnangagwa, Patrick
Speaking at the launch of the committee, Sydney Mufamadi, a
member of the
South African mediation team that pushed the unity deal
forward, said the
formation of JOMIC demonstrated the commitment of the
parties to ensure that
what they agreed to does come to pass.
observers have expressed much concern at the 'hard' men representing
on the committee, particularly Emmerson Mnangagwa. The United
a report in 2001 that showed that Mnangagwa was the architect
activities for ZANU PF, controlling the illegal plunder of the
veteran of Zimbabwe's independence war also said: "He's a very cruel
dismisses rift reports as madness
January 30, 2009
general Tendai Biti
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general Tendai Biti
on Friday dismissed as
"madness" reports linking him to a faction opposed to
veteran MDC leader
Several publications reported this week that Biti,
Tsvangirai's third in
command was leading a faction that was opposed to
joining Zanu-PF in a
coalition government, a decision which the party
The reports said an internal rift, which is alleged to
have been in
existence since the party's boycott of the presidential
last year, had widened after Tsvangirai made concessions at
African Development Community (SADC) summit, which was held in
early this week.
But a visibly angry Biti on Friday
dismissed the allegations and reports of
bad blood between himself and the
party's popular leader Tsvangirai saying
responding to such allegations
would legitimize the claims of an internal
"I don't give
legitimacy to madness," said Biti.
Defending his own publication of the
story, Zimbabwe Times editor, Geoffrey
Nyarota, said the story about the
rift, which was well sourced from within
the MDC was "sadly true".
personally have it on very high authority within the MDC that there was
serious division in the party over the issue of joining the GNU after
Tsvangirai indicated to the SADC that his party would join," Nyarota
"Leading the opposing camp was none other than Biti himself. My own
placed source said he was on Biti' side. It is strange that Mr Biti
for the outcome of Friday's meeting before making this statement. He
have dismissed the story as madness soon after it was published on
On arrival back from Johannesburg on Wednesday Tsvangirai
appealed for unity
within the MDC.
"It's a historic decision we have
to make," Tsvangirai said referring to
Friday's meeting of the MDC national
council , "and I hope that the party
will be united in insuring that we
respond to the needs on the ground and to
the expectations of
Nyarota said, "Tsvangirai would not appeal for unity within
the MDC if there
were no signs of disunity.
"Now is the time for all
Zimbabweans to join hands in an effort to make the
GNU work, now that the
MDC has decided to join government. This is not the
time to start looking
for scapegoats for our errors of judgement yesterday.
We all make mistakes,
even with the best of intentions."
Tsvangirai on Friday announced that
the MDC had agreed unanimously after its
national council meeting to form a
coalition government with President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
Tsvangirai was mobbed by supporters outside Harvest House as he
after the meeting. He said the MDC would write a letter to SADC
its position on the equitable and fair distribution of ministerial
portfolios and demanding the unconditional release of all abducted party and
human rights activists before February 11, 2009.
urges last-minute farm invasions
January 30, 2009
HARARE - Fresh farm invasions have been witnessed in Mashonaland
province as frustrated Zanu-PF supporters try to grab pieces of land
the inception of an all inclusive government by Zanu PF and MDC in
The invasions are said to have been instigated by
Themba Mliswa, the Zanu PF
secretary for Lands in Mashonaland West province
at a provincial meeting for
A2 farmers in Chegutu on
Witnesses told The Zimbabwe Times that Mliswa openly told
who were still holding on to offer letters that they
risked not owning any
farms in their lives if they did not forcibly take
ownership of land before
Mliswa, a staunch supporter of
President Robert Mugabe, told the farmers
that it would be difficult to
occupy their land when MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai has been sworn in as
A recent SADC Extra Ordinary Summit resolved that
Tsvangirai shall take oath
of office on February 11.
there was a Zanu-PF meeting for A2 farmers in Chegutu," said
a commercial farmer in Chegutu.
"The A2 farmers were complaining that
they could not obtain inputs from
government but the agenda immediately
switched from that of trying to obtain
inputs to that of fresh farm
"Mliswa said if anyone had offer letters for any of the farms
province, they should hurry up and grab the farms before February 11
it would be difficult to do so when Tsvangirai takes up
"They were told to harass the farmers until they
"Also present at the meeting was the Chegutu District
Mariga and the Lands Committee, Clever
Witnesses say Mliswa openly threatened with dismissal any
police officer who
dared stop the Zanu PF supporters from invading white
There were some police officers who attended the meeting who
did not mumble
any word of dissent.
Hardly a day after the order,
Downs Farm, a dairy farm near Chegutu which
belongs to one Wayne Seamen, was
invaded on Thursday by Tendai Chasauka, who
is Grain Marketing Board general
manager in Chegutu.
Chasauka is said to have taken three trucks full of
Zanu-PF youths to the
farm where he ordered the farmer's workers to remove
the cattle from the
farm as he was now the new owner.
The owner of
the farm, Seamen who is reportedly away in England where he is
his sick wife, is among several white farmers who have court
protecting them against any interference.
The farm manager who tried to
resist the invasion was reportedly assaulted.
Out going Home Affairs
Minister, Kembo Mohadi denied any knowledge on fresh
"I do not know anything like that," he said.
is any such thing, my guys on the ground have not briefed me about
"Maybe the ministry of lands and resettlement may know something
but I have
not received anything like that."
Commercial Farmers Union
director, Hendrik Olivier confirmed the incident.
"We are very concerned
about this and we hope this does not spread to the
rest of the country,"
"We welcome the political settlement that has been reached
by the political
leaders on the formation of an all inclusive government but
settlement is not helpful if it does not bring stability in
"We need farms to stabilize so that we can continue with our
Last month, the Attorney General, Johannes Tomana, said he was
proceed with the prosecution of all commercial farmers acting in
government's order to vacate gazetted land.
This was in
spite of a November, 2008 ruling by the SADC tribunal barring
from continuing with its eviction of the commercial farmers.
"We wish to
advise that the policy position taken by the government pursuant
judgement handed down by the SADC tribunal on the 28th of November,
that of prosecutions of defaulting farmers under the provisions of
Gazetted Lands (Consequential Provisions) Act should now be resumed,"
said in a letter to Gollop and Blank law firm, dated December 18,
Tomana is an avowed "proud" supporters of the ruling Zanu PF,
instigated the farm invasions in 2000.
Roy Bennett returns to Zimbabwe
30 January 2007
Three years ago in March, Roy Bennett left Zimbabwe under cover of
after he was accused of plotting to overthrow Robert Mugabe. In
2004 he had
also spent eight months in jail for pushing ZANU PF's Patrick
parliament. But on Friday Bennett flew into Zimbabwe from South
the crucial meeting of the MDC National Council, which made the
finally form a unity government with ZANU PF and the second MDC
Speaking on the eve of his departure Bennett told SW Radio
Africa he was
very apprehensive. He said: "To tell you the truth I am scared
because I don't
know what faces me on the other side." But Bennett felt he
wanted to be part
of this important occasion and also 'test the sincerity
and genuineness of
the Mugabe regime."
And early Friday morning the
MDC's National Treasurer passed through airport
security without any hassle,
with one of the security officers merely saying
to him: "Oh, it's you Mr
He went straight to the meeting where the National Council
to the unity government. It is believed this decision came
pressure from SADC, which had said it would guarantee and
process, with the government formed by mid
Bennett, who was a commercial farmer before he was violently
driven off his
land in Chimanimani, said: "I find it as difficult as the
next person to
even begin to trust these processes, but there has to be a
starting point of
moving this forward on the basis that people are suffering
and on the basis
that SADC has guaranteed this process."
that within SADC the MDC has friends, who believe a power sharing
can be delivered
Daily cholera update and alerts, 30 Jan 2009
* Please note that
daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff
constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the
numbers. Any change will then be explained.
** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths
occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may
A. Highlights of the day:
- 451 cases and 17 deaths added today (in comparison 1493 cases and 69 deaths
- 36.2% of the districts affected have reported today (21 out of 58 affected
- 88.7 % of districts reported to be affected (55 districts/62)
- Gweru City revised number of cases from 208 to 205
- Harare City BRIDH revised figures for 27.1.2009 (4450 cases were reported
instead of 4350)
- Cumulative Institutional Case Fatality Rate 2.1%
- Daily Institutional Case Fatality Rate 2.03%
- New areas affected: Tigerrife in Kwekwe (59 cases and 4 deaths) a disused
mine with no water and sanitary facilities.
needed as Zimbabwe cholera hits 60,000: WHO
by Peter Capella Peter Capella -
2 hrs 44 mins ago
GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organization on Friday
called for drastic
national and international action to tackle Zimbabwe's
after the number of victims soared past the worst case
threshold of 60,000.
The death toll in the outbreak since August 2008
reached 3,161, out of
60,401 recorded cases, according to the WHO's most
recent update released
here on Friday.
Eric Laroche, a WHO assistant
director-general, warned that the outbreak
would continue unabated unless
"political differences are put aside,"
impoverished Zimbabwean health workers
are paid, and the country's health
system is bolstered.
ahead is enormous, unless we have an extraordinary reaction
we are not going
to make it, and we are going to have to come back here to
explain to you why
we are going to have than 60,000 people dying," Laroche
International and local partners were supporting Zimbabwe's
in tackling the disease, and the technical facilties were
"But unless drastic action is taken by all players
in this crisis, more
Zimbabweans will succumb to the outbreak, and other
countries in the
southern African region will face the continued threat of
epidemics," LAroche added.
Zimbabwe has been paralysed
politically since disputed elections last March,
with President Robert Mugabe
and the opposition failing to implement a
power-sharing deal amid a worsening
However opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said
Friday his party will join
a unity government with Mugabe next month, heeding
a call by Southern
The UN's health agency estimates
that about half of Zimbabwe's population of
about 12 million are at risk from
cholera because of poor living conditions.
When one percent of that
vulnerable population is infected, like now, the
outbreak reaches the WHO's
"worst case scenario."
Laroche told journalists: "We need money, that is
the first thing."
The WHO wants to set up a five million dollar trust
fund to help pay health
workers in Zimbabwe who are either unpaid or
inadequately so with rampant
"How do you distribute
the money when there are no more banknotes or access
to the banking system,
This is the next challenge," Laroche added.
Zimbabwe's finance ministry
scrapped foreign currency restrictions on
Thursday to prop up the ailing
economy, which is in the grip of world-record
inflation last officially set
at 231 million percent.
The move would allow Zimbabweans to legally use
foreign money alongside the
The rainy season is expected
to help nurture the waterborne disease,
especially in provincial areas that
are struggling with rising death rates
After initially affecting mainly
towns and cities, the disease is spreading
in the poor, underequipped rural
areas that are also hard to cover,
explained Claire-Lise Chaignat, of the
WHO's cholera task force.
A growing proportion of people falling ill and
dying out of reach of health
care in rural areas.
Three times more
deaths are being recorded in their communities rather than
facilities, according to the WHO.
Meanwhile, the overall fatality rate is
about five percent instead of the
one percent the agency regards as
Meanwhile, the United Nations revealed that it had not
international funding yet for its overall 567 million dollar
appeal for Zimbabwe this year.
bail hearing postponed again, as legal games continue
By Lance Guma
Zimbabwe's political rivals agreed to a unity government on
Friday, but for
abducted and detained activist Jestina Mukoko nothing changed
for her as
Justice Anne-Marie Gowora postponed her bail hearing. The former
newsreader faces extremely dubious accusations that she attempted to
MDC insurgents to train in neighbouring Botswana. The claims have
widely discredited and dismissed by everyone as nothing more than an
to justify a crackdown on any opposition to the regime. But with ZANU
the MDC going into a power sharing deal it had been expected the
charges against Mukoko and over 30 other activists would at the very
be dropped in a sign of goodwill.
The legal technicalities thrown up
in all the cases have ensured the state
succeeds in holding the activists in
custody for as long as possible. On
Friday Justice Gowora said the defence
had to file a written response to the
issues raised by state in opposing bail
for Mukoko. Almost 3 months into her
abduction and detention the Zimbabwe
Peace Project Director is still to be
charged for the offences Mugabe's
regime claims she committed. In a cruel
twist of events the state is claiming
that a bail application cannot be
heard because Mukoko has not been charged
yet. Defence lawyer Harrison Nkomo
said they would file the requested written
response on the same Friday. The
case will now be heard on Monday.
over 30 MDC and civil society activists facing a range of charges,
regime has ensured a messy legal game with applications
counter-applications at the magistrates, High and Supreme Courts.
Friday the prison service failed to produce Chris Dhlamini and 6 others,
a remand hearing at the magistrate's court. Defence lawyers said they
given no explanation for the no show. Dhlamini, the MDC director
Security, and Ghandi Mudzingwa, a former aide to Morgan Tsvangirai,
face dubious allegations of bombing trains and police stations. Pascal
who worked with fellow abductee, Jestina Mukoko at the Zimbabwe
Project, is facing allegations of assisting some activists to evade
by the police.
Abductees Daily Update
|Friday, 30 January 2009 |
• High Court
Judge Justice Anne-Marie Gowora on 30 January 2009 postponed the hearing of a
bail application by Jestina Mukoko and Concillia Chinanzvavana and Five Others
pending an appeal hearing at the High Court to 02 February 2009 saying the
defence lawyers should first file a written response on issues raised by the
State against the accused’s quest to be granted bail. Gowora requested defence
lawyers to respond to preliminary arguments raised by the State questioning
whether the High Court should entertain Mukoko and Concillia Chinanzvavana and
Five Others’ bail application when they have not undergone remand
• Later in the day defence lawyers file their
responses in compliance with Judge Gowora’s request. However, Gowora indicates
that she might not be the one who will preside over Monday’s bail application
hearings and another Judge could be allocated to attend to the bail
• At the Magistrates Court magistrate Gloria Takundwa
remands Jestina Mukoko to 09 February 2009 at the request of defence lawyers as
her Constitutional Court challenge is still pending at the Supreme Court.
• Magistrate Takundwa orders that Fidelis Chiramba, Violet
Mupfuranhewe and Collen Mutemagau be taken to the Avenues Clinic for examination
and treatment and be returned to Chikurubi Maximum Prison.
says if the police indicate that they don’t have fuel to facilitate the
transportation of the three to Avenues Clinic defence lawyers must
management reverts back to local councils
By Tichaona Sibanda
Robert Mugabe's regime decided Thursday to restore management of
supplies to local authorities from next month, after the disastrous
in which the government parastatal, Zinwa, failed to supply clean
many cities and towns resulting in the worst cholera outbreak in
In a speech to parliament during presentation of
the Budget in Harare,
acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the
government had 'noted
Zinwa's incapacity to deal with the water
It was in 2005 that the government decided to hand over water
'Zinwa and local authorities should begin the
process of smooth handover
and takeover transfers. Given that water
reticulation infrastructure in some
major urban centres has become obsolete,
government will be working with the
respective local authorities in
mobilising resources for the rehabilitation
of such infrastructure,'
Chinamasa is quoted as saying.
In his budget Chinamasa said that in order
to address the water and sewage
challenges, government will set aside US$31,2
million in both urban and
rural authorities. He said US$12, 9 million would
go to Harare's City
There were also proposals to allocate
US$4, 3 million to cater for upgrades
at Morton Jaffray Water Works, as well
as US$1 million for pipe replacement.
A further US$135 000 would be allocated
to the Bulawayo City Council for the
rehabilitation of boreholes and
upgrading of the treatment works.
The government U-turn to give water
management back to city councils will
come as a huge relief to millions of
urban residents who have long been
critical of Zinwa's inefficiency to deal
with the water crisis.
Where the millions of US dollars are supposed to
come from is anybody's
to fast Sunday, in solidarity with Zimbabwe
By Alex Bell
As African leaders meet on Sunday for the 12th African Union summit
place in Ethiopia, thousands of people from across the world will be
together in solidarity with Zimbabwe's suffering people - by fasting
The global fast campaign has seen more than 26 000 people
from 179 countries
across the world commit themselves to fasting on Sunday,
from 27 countries across the African continent and in
countries as far away
as Argentina, Burma and Papua New Guinea. The campaign
has been organised as
part of the Save Zimbabwe Now campaign that was
launched to mobilise change
in crisis weary Zimbabwe. The campaign, which
comprises a coalition of human
rights organisations and individual activists,
has already seen several high
profile South African's pledge to a series of
rolling hunger strikes.
Former anti-apartheid activist and honorary
President of the World Alliance
for Citizen Participation, Kumi Naidoo, is
almost two weeks into his 21 day
hunger strike, which he took over from
Pastor Raymond Motsi from the
Bulawayo Baptist Church. Pastor Motsi swore off
food earlier this year for
21 days in personal solidarity with Zimbabweans, a
move which prompted this
wider action. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson
Mandela's wife, Graca
Machel, have also sworn to hold off food one day a
week, and on Sunday will
be joined by thousands of people in the planned
Naidoo is expected to travel to Ethiopia this weekend to
address the African
leaders congregating there for the AU summit, about the
Naidoo and other member of the Save Zimbabwe Now campaign,
have vowed to
continue the series of hunger strikes until tangible change is
Zimbabwe, and have been putting pressure on African leaders to
responsible for such change.
urges adoption of rand as currency
JOHANNESBURG (The Star) - In a moment of total and utter
Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono has
recommended that the rand
be informally adopted alongside the Zimbabwean
dollar as inflation reaches
an all-time high and the local currency an
Gono's recommendation is one of a litany of remedies he
outlined in the form
of a 105-page recovery plan for the failed state, a
document he claims he
has not authored but which experts say could only be
the work of "the
worst central banker", as one wit put it,
complete with the shallow depth of
analysis that has become Gono's hallmark.
It's not uncommon for developing
or transitional economies to formally or
informally adopt a second currency.
It happened during the years of the Great
Depression in the US when the
scarcity of the greenback led to the emergence
of barter organisations,
local groups of needy folk who issued their own
"private money", or
bartering certificates, as a second currency.
was a system replicated many years later in Argentina when locals tried
stave off the crippling recession of 2002, the same year the US dollar
also adopted as legal tender alongside the peso in an all-out bid to
inflation. Ecuador had adopted the dollar two years earlier, El Salvador
2001. In fact, there are few markets in Latin America that are
In the former Soviet bloc, Ukraine and
Kazakhstan allowed the US dollar to
circulate illegally alongside their
failing currencies in the 1990s, much
like Zimbabwe has been doing in recent
years when both the rand and the
dollar could be easily had for a quick nod
in the right direction. Today
they are the preferred currencies over the
valueless Zim dollar. And it's a
far cry from the time of independence in
1980 when there was near parity
between it and the greenback, a time when Z$1
was worth US$1,50.
Today the exchange rate between them is near
Z$100-trillion equivalent to US$30, or about R300. The
collapse of the
currency comes with hyperinflation, now the second highest in
according to November figures, although Harare-based economist
Robertson suggests it has already broken all records. He calculates that
is in the sextillions, a rate that forces prices to double in a matter
hours and the cash in one's hand to devalue before the opportunity to
it presents itself.
"Against this backdrop, it is imperative
that the economy informally adopts
the rand alongside the Zim dollar," the
report reads. "The economic
relationship between Zimbabwe and South Africa
makes the rand the naturally
obvious currency of choice to anchor the
Zimbabwean dollar." Although the
offices of SA Reserve Bank Governor Tito
Mboweni and Finance Minister Trevor
Manuel say they have not been approached
by their Harare counterparts to
grant permission to extend the rand
northwards, neither man would say what
they might do if such a request is put
to them in the future. But whether or
not this is the work of Gono, and "the
thinking of the inner circle" as
Movement for Democratic Change
secretary-general Tendai Biti puts it, it
does make valid the question about
the effect such a move would have on the
rand, a currency that devalued by 29
percent against the US dollar last year
and got off to a poor start this year
amid global economic turmoil. "The
Zimbabwean economy has already been
'randified'," Robertson points out. "The
only difference is that they are now
coming down from illegal to legal
circulation." So, the implications for
South Africa will be negligible.
It is a view that's echoed by Steve
Hanke, an applied economist with the
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
and author of Zimbabwe: From
Hyperinflation to Growth, who adds that "if
viewed in a narrow
profit-and-loss point of view, it is extremely profitable
for South Africa",
through seigniorage, the revenue a central bank earns from
currency whose face value exceeds the cost of printing or minting
of it. It is something that has worked very well for Washington,
percent of all US dollars now circulating beyond their own borders
it dragging down in value.
Victor Munyama, an economist with
Standard Bank, also believes an informally
randified Zimbabwean economy could
only be beneficial for South Africa, but
for different reasons. He feels that
it would facilitate trade between the
two countries, echoing the view of the
report that "South Africa is
largest trading partner".
However, that presupposes a world in which
Zimbabwe returns to its healthy
manufacturing levels of the 1990s.
This would require a workable
political settlement, in the absence of which
Zimbabweans will continue to
turn to South Africa for basic goods, of which
some have already been in
short supply for the past few years. The shift in
South Africa's social
classes in recent times, when more and more people
increased their spending
power, led to such a demand on basic goods and food
items that things such as
breakfast cereals, washing powders, pastas and
biscuits became critically
scarce in 2006 and 2007, with the hangover
lasting through to 2008. It was
also during 2007 that the country imported
less food and agricultural
products than it exported, a year when more and
more Zimbabweans turned to
our border towns to get by when their own
supermarkets ran dry. And if more
rands are now set to continue chasing
somewhat scare goods, it could have an
adverse effect on our own inflation
rates, of which food items are typically
a big driver.
So it will ultimately put pressure on South Africa to
manufacturing levels accordingly. Beyond that, the only real
for this country would come with the formal adoption of the
Zimbabwe, which Gono says will never happen in his lifetime. "The
dollar will not be overtaken by any other currency, formally
now or at any point in the future," he told The Star just a few
"But in an informal sense, it makes little difference, to South
Africa or to
Zimbabwe, what you substitute the Zim dollar with right now,"
Loubser, CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. "The problem is
monetary, it's political, caused by a regime that has steadily closed
the country's production lines, forcing them to print money as a
which has put inflation where it is today. And now that people no
want to use the Zim dollar because it devalues by the hour, they are
to hard currencies. So (President Robert) Mugabe is choosing the easy
out, but it's not the right way out." Hence the flight of fancy, spelt
in the report.
Robertson - born and bred in Zimbabwe and one of
the country's most
outspoken yet respected economists - is also in receipt of
recovery recommendations and although he can't authenticate the
believes it fits with the thinking of the governor whose work he
monitored over the years. "They are basically struggling with the fact
they can't pay the public sector the currency that they need," he says.
the document is not so much a recovery plan to restore Zimbabwe to all
former glory - "the jewel of Africa" as former Tanzanian president
Nyerere once put it - but a last-ditch attempt to uphold the regime
keeping the civil servants onside with a steady flow of hard
According to the document, the Zimbabwean government requires
R3,5-billion a month to pay public salaries, honour the imported fuel
keep the health system in working order and buy the required fertiliser
seed to pump into the critical agriculture sector, with one third of
overall expenditure allocated for "Other Government Requirements" - code
either a slush fund or the defence bill, of which there is no other
in the report.
The author of the report goes on to identify
export duties and the country's
rich resources of diamonds, gold, platinum,
iron ore and chrome as key
sources of revenue that would meet monthly
expenditure, and more. Based on
alleged exports "of US$1,7-billion or
R17-billion" over the past five years,
the government could raise
"US$510-million per annum or R5,1-billion at a
tax rate of 30 percent" in
export taxes, reads the report. In addition to
that, nearly 3-billion tons of
platinum are lying in the Great Dyke, while
"gross revenues from the diamond
mining can exceed US$1,2-billion per
However, as economist and political commentator Moeletsi Mbeki
these stones are not as precious today as they might have been
with the world in such a downward economic decline. And even if
why didn't the regime tap into them before now? It is this aspect
report that worries Biti most - the convoluted thinking to maintain
current status quo and steer clear of the hitherto agreed
government with the MDC. "The message is a very simple one. We
don't have to
worry about Morgan Tsvangirai. We don't have to worry about the
will get our money from the diamonds and the commodities and forget
the rest of them. This is Gono at his best. He is the mother and father
this disastrous kind of engineering," Biti argues.
It is a sobering
thought to think that if both the MDC and Zanu PF had had
the maturity in
September to implement the power-sharing agreement, for all
its faults and
failings, the world's superpowers and main international
donors would have
part-funded a new Zimbabwe through the transition period.
The amounts that
were on standby then make Gono's diamond royalty figures
pale in comparison.
The sad fact is that there are few, if any, donors that
would fund Zimbabwe
today, not just because they have lost trust in the
shenanigans of the
political players, but because today they are bailing out
their own economies
to stave off recession.
They are the kind of tales that have become
typical of Zimbabwe: the lost
opportunities. One can't help but wonder how
different southern Africa might
have looked today with a country as
resource-rich as Zimbabwe feeding rather
than bleeding the region's
Bob's loony budget
Published:Jan 30, 2009
acting finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, yesterday laid bare
economic shambles his country is in when he tabled his national
Health, electricity and water supply, manufacturing, mining,
education are all comatose.
Teachers, nurses, junior
doctors and other workers are on strike.
Cholera has spread to all 10
provinces and killed as many as 3000 people .
"Production is below
30percent," said Chinamasa.
He noted that corruption was on the
The acting minister said Zimbabwe's problems were compounded by
hyper-inflation, which had been fuelled in part by the government's
He implored members of parliament to applaud the
central bank for finding a
way out: "Debts of Z1111-quintillion were
liquidated by the central bank."
There was no response.
confirmed the demise of the Zimbabwe dollar when he conceded that
transactions were taking place in foreign currencies.
"Government is now
allowing the use of multiple foreign currencies for
alongside the Zim dollar," he said.
Health services and water and
electricity bills would all be payable in
servants would continue to be paid in local Zimbabwe dollars, but
be given foreign-currency coupons to buy groceries .
Amid boos from the
opposition, Chinamasa claimed his government would bring
inflation down to
Its revival plans would turn the country's eight-year
2percent growth by the end of the year.
last recorded in Zimbabwe in August - at more than 231 million
Chinamasa admitted that the excessive printing of money by
the central bank
and unbudgeted government expenditure were largely to blame
He said the budget was to have been tabled in
November last year, but was
delayed to allow the finalisation of a unity
Under the new government - expected to be formed next month
opposition Movement for Democratic Change agree - Morgan
will control the ministry of finance.
yesterday, opposition members paid little attention to what Chinamasa
Fearing embarrassment, state television cancelled a live broadcast
budget speech at the last minute.
Last year, President Robert
Mugabe was booed and heckled during his speech
at the opening of
Yesterday, the opposition was again in a spirited mood. Its
Chinamasa with relentless interjections.
Moyo, a senior member of the MDC, made no effort to control
"Mr Speaker sir," pleaded Chinamasa as the laughter and heckling
There was some respite for the acting finance
minister when he said water
authorities had failed to "deliver on their
"Now you have spoken," shouted an opposition MP.
Chinamasa tried to blame sanctions for telecommunications problems and
inadequacies there was a spontaneous roar of disapproval.
justice minister, with no known financial background, plodded
But as the heckling grew, Chinamasa, seemingly unaware of
opposition MPs: "You are not economists."
He said the government would
remove all price controls and continue to allow
foodstuffs to be imported
Poverty for a few dollars more
HARARE, 30 January 2009 (IRIN) -
The redundancy of Zimbabwe's local currency and the officially sanctioned use of
foreign currencies is increasing poverty levels in rural areas, where most of
the population live.
Transactions for services and goods are mainly
being conducted in foreign currency, particularly US dollars, South African
rands or Botswana pulas, after the Zimbabwe dollar crumbled in the face of a
trillion percent hyperinflation rate.
Although the Zimbabwe dollar
remains in circulation - with the highest denomination a Z$100 trillion note -
it is shunned by shops, transport services and consumers because of its constant
devaluation, and providing change to complete a transaction is a challenge.
"Dollarisation has inevitably spread to rural communities, most of which
have until recently been unable to tell the rand from the pula, and that is
worsening poverty in those areas," Innocent Makwiramiti, an economist and former
chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC),
"Given that foreign currency was being used minimally in most
rural areas, unlike in towns and cities, it is not easy for people from those
communities to adjust. The majority of them are encountering problems sourcing
the foreign currency to buy commodities and paying for essential services," he
In the last five years, an economy already in recession
contracted by 45 percent and unemployment reached 94 percent, according to a
report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The foreign currency available to most people is usually remitted by the
estimated three million or more people who have left Zimbabwe in search of work
in neighbouring states or further afield in Britain and even Australia.
John Robertson, an independent economist based in the capital, Harare,
commented: "Rural populations have to depend largely on the money remitted to
them by relatives and friends living outside Zimbabwe and, to some extent,
breadwinners who can generate it in urban areas.
But, given the fact
that the economies of most of the countries that Zimbabweans have gone to as
economic refugees are in recession, the future is bleak," he told IRIN.
"Dollarising an economy that for about a decade has not had any foreign
currency worth talking about in the formal financial sector, tends to make the
population poorer, and the situation is going to be worse in rural areas, which
have been more vulnerable than urban communities during the economic meltdown."
Those formally employed - about 480,000, down from 3.6 million in 2003,
according to the OCHA report - were paid in the local currency, putting goods
and services sold in foreign currency out of reach.
Stella Makore, 54, a
widow from Chirumanzu, a rural district in Midlands Province, travelled about
360km to Harare to get foreign currency from her eldest son, Tichafa, after
borrowing US$10 for the bus fare from a local shop owner.
"It is as if the Zimbabwean dollar no
longer exists. Every commodity you intend to buy is now sold in foreign
currency, and most of us just stare at the items in the shops because we don't
have the money to buy them with," she said. "Even those selling wild fruits
picked from the forests by the roadside are demanding foreign currency."
It is as if the Zimbabwean
dollar no longer exists. Every commodity you intend to buy is now sold in
foreign currency, and most of us just stare at items in the shops because we
don't have the money to buy them with
Nearly seven million people are in need of food aid, and a shortfall in
donor funding has seen rations for the recipients reduced to less than half the
recommended monthly minimum.
"I bartered my goat for 50kg of maize grain
but have been keeping it at home because the miller demands a payment of US$2 to
grind it into mealie-meal [maize-meal], since I did not have the money," Makore
"Very soon, most villagers will be left without livestock,
since they are being forced to sell their goats, sheep and cattle at give-away
prices to the traders and shop owners who have foreign currency."
Makore's other son left their home in Chirumanzu to engage in illegal
gold panning in Shurugwi district, also in Midlands. His absence, despite the
possibility of quick riches, has created a quandary for her because she now has
no-one to help her tend the fields. Her eldest son, Tichafa, 32, a car salesman
in Harare, has little foreign currency to spare.
"I have just paid
US$600 demanded at my children's school, leaving me completely dry," said
Tichafa, who raised the foreign currency from sales commissions. "I don't even
know when I will be able to get the money to send my mother back home."
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Minutes of a meeting held
in Chegutu yesterday
Date: Thu, Jan 29 at 03:20 PM
There was a meeting yesterday at GMB Chegutu. Present were the
Mafa - the Provincial Chairman for ZANUPF Mashonaland West, Mr
lands officer and Temba Mliswa who appears to be in the capacity
Secretary for Agriculture for Mashonaland West.
The meeting was
about A2 farmers who were complaining that they were not
fertilizer etc. At the end of the meeting T Mliswa stood up
following was put forward:
1. All beneficiaries in possession of
offer letters are to take
ownership of their land before the 11th of
February because on this day
Morgan will be sworn in.
are tired of the courts dragging their heels
3. If necessary use
Zanu PF youth to harass the farmers, be a nuisance
but no theif and no
4. Police have been informed to sit back and not
5. It was mentioned that only five farmers would be left
the rest will
have to get off their farms in the next two weeks
farm in Westheim was approached yesterday by settlers who are wanting to
claim cattle and proceeds from crops that have been planted.
morning on a neighboring farm three vehicles arrived. We'll only know
evening further details.
THIS IN A COUNTRY WHERE 7 MILLION PEOPLE
REQUIRE FOOD AID.
THE POLICE HAVE BEEN INFORMED AND WILL NOT INTERFERE.
AND SADC THINK HOME
AFFAIRS CAN BE SHARED????
Zimbabwe: Farm Invasions Must Stop
Written by Phil Matibe
Thursday, 29 January 2009 23:40
Zimbabwe's prime agricultural land, the very same land that was in the
of "descendants of colonial settlers", is now firmly in the hands of
PF bourgeoisie. So in other words, 3400 productive white farmers
replaced by 160 000 sycophantic ZANU PF supporters and their
the model A2 programme, while the chefs' A1 model, the modern
cultivation programme, continues to remove the last pillars of
In year 2000, Mugabe mendaciously announced to the
whole world that
the fast-track land acquisition models consisted of two
A1, to benefit 160,000 of the poor from the general
landless population; and
model A2 aimed at creating 51,000 black commercial
Since then Zimbabwe has been on a fast track to
cholera, electoral fraud and Mugabe has Satan on speed
In the first wave of fast track farm takeovers, the
"our liberators", hired bogus war veterans, gullible
peasants and the
disposable youth militia to invade selected farms. Each
essentially targeted a farm close to his rural home, to remain
spiritually and attached physically to his local svikiro for
counsel, and mhondoro for agronomic advice.
second wave of takeovers involved violently occupying a productive
preferably with plantation crops, tobacco, wheat, maize or soyabeans,
for harvest. These desired agricultural businesses were predominantly
natural regions one and two and were within a couple of hours
distance from Harare to make weekend braais easy. It is so absurd
ZANU PF officials swapped farms merely based on the availability of
The timing of evictions is
critical; first, the farmer is assured his
farm is not for acquisition, this
deceptive tactic encouraged the hapless
farmer to plant. When the crops were
ready for harvest, the preplanned
invasion orchestrated by the same chef, is
instigated. Waving a freshly
signed Section 5 or 8, the chef takes the farm,
pays the occupiers for hire
and sells the crops as his own. The chefs even
exported some of the
controlled crops such soyabeans, wheat and maize,
denying the nations needs.
Together, with high-value, misappropriated
horticultural produce for foreign
currency kept in offshore accounts, these
few incompetent and greedy
individuals charted the course for Zimbabwe's man-
The next planting season, the same chefs with
understanding of the science of agriculture, received cash
Gideon Gono, inputs and equipment from ZANU PF's Operation
they then sold on the parallel market while the farms lay
fallow in spite of
adequate rainfall patterns. The once proud 600 000 farm
worker families who
used to earn an honest living from these farms are now
elongate the lines of food relief agencies.
The chef soon realises that "it does not rain mealies", and he is
yet another productive farm, having relinquished the now
to his mother-in-law's third cousin's uncle. In some
cases, the chefs
favourite traditional healers have been allocated farms as
a reward for
providing potions that ensured the particular chefs continued
the bloated government and ZANU PF hierarchy.
Known ZANU PF
acolytes, some of whom are still evicting farmers in
2009 for their fourth
round of farm acquisitions, are the same persons who
sabotage by monkeys, and the manipulation of the rainfall
patterns by the
West, for the dismal failure of Zimbabwe's
The seven million Zimbabweans, facing
severe food shortages and
experiencing the worst famine in our history, know
who is to blame for their
misery - the "few ruling elite."
Competent Zimbabweans were never allocated farms; in fact they were
from farms. No one need die of starvation in Zimbabwe, what is
passive genocide and ZANU PF is culpable.
These ZANU PF common
thieves and thugs are NOT farmers; there is no
hope for Zimbabwe to grow,
harvest and produce food for our nation's people
until real FARMERS, black
and white, go back to the fields.
Phil Matibe - Author of the
bestselling book, Madhinga Bucket Boy.
"No Time to Wait-and-See"
by Donald Steinberg
30 January 2009
nearly a year of post-electoral uncertainty, widespread violence,
mind-spinning levels of inflation and massive economic misery, Zimbabwe
finally has a political deal, to sighs of relief but also expressions of
skepticism around the world.
Many will be tempted to second-guess the
decision of Morgan Tsvangirai to
become Prime Minister and his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) to join a
power-sharing government as of
mid-February with arch-rival and bitter enemy
Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF
Four months of bad-faith negotiations by Mugabe to implement the
September political accord provided no sign that he accepts this deal as
step toward badly needed national reconciliation. He continues his
ramblings against perceived enemies foreign and domestic, as well
repressive divide-and-rule tactics. He repeatedly describes the new
arrangement as one in which ZANU-PF remains in the driver's
Even now, the deal remains dangerously vague. It establishes two
power, with Mugabe as president and head of the cabinet, and
prime minister and head of a new "council of ministers". One
ministry -- home affairs, which oversees the police and the electoral
process -- will be "shared" by ZANU-PF and the MDC. Other top issues,
including the fate of Mugabe's repressive Joint Operations Command and the
tenure of his crony Gideon Gono as head of the reserve bank, are in the
Yet for all this uncertainty, the entry of
Zimbabwe's major opposition party
into a governing role is an encouraging
and even a landmark development. It
has the potential to restore some kind
of normality to this tortured country
if all sides now move quickly forward
and take bold steps to transform
promises into reality. Even if the MDC is
only partially overseeing
developments, it represents more oversight than
the country has enjoyed in
years. For example, it is difficult -- although
impossible -- to see how a security force overseen in part
by the MDC could
continue the pattern of repression now in
Further, the political accord brings commitments to an inclusive
with civil society to draft a new constitution, move toward new
and address dire concerns over the disastrous humanitarian
distribution, political violence, and the free-falling
The international community must show solidarity with this
agreement and act
quickly to shore it up. This is not the time for
foot-dragging because we
do not like all aspects of the agreement and really
would prefer to see
Mugabe get his rightful comeuppance.
support should be whole-hearted, but with eyes wide open.
on ZANU-PF obstructionists and others should remain in
place for the
foreseeable future to ensure that all are acting in good
disbursement of large-scale development assistance should be tied
transparent projects and credible management.
But there should be no
delay whatsoever for the extensive humanitarian aid.
Further, since it will
take considerable time and tough measures --
including reducing subsidies
and cutting government positions -- to squeeze
inflation out of Zimbabwe's economy, steps should be
taken now to address
expectations of an immediate "peace dividend."
There should be
international support for emergency projects to help move
of people affected by Mugabe's displacement campaigns,
repression, and the
desperate economic conditions back to their homes. This
will permit young
people to return to school, health programs to take root
and local economies
to revitalize. These programs should include assistance
to rebuild houses,
establish micro-enterprises and reconstruct basic
international community should help fund these immediate programs to
jobs -- paid in hard currency -- for the unemployed, especially young
Similarly, programs to rebuild civil society groups should be
reverse Mugabe's divide-and-rule strategies that have polarized
over the past years and destroyed the nation-wide character of
press, labor, academic, women's and youth groups. Programs to
Zimbabwe's proud legal institutions and legislature neutered under
Mugabe's pernicious abuse of executive power.
There is little
doubt that Mugabe and his ZANU-PF hardliners will try to do
can to pervert and distort the power-sharing agreement to
positions, marginalize the MDC, and blame it for the
country's failings. But
the proper response is not for the world to stand
back and allow the
government to fail, but to embrace it tightly -- faults
and all. As Tsvangirai himself has said, this deal belongs
not to Mugabe or
Tsvangirai or their parties, but to the Zimbabwean people.
It is they who
will benefit if there is a successful government, and they
who will suffer
more violence, more displacement, more cholera, and more
isolation if it
Donald Steinberg, deputy president for policy at
International Crisis Group,
served as special assistant for African affairs
to President Clinton.
official: The MDC has sold out
In a statement issued following a meeting
of the National Executive of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) today,
Morgan Tsvangirai announced that
his party has agreed to form an inclusive
government with Zanu PF and the
other MDC, led by Arthur
This agreement has felt increasingly inevitable since the SADC
communiqué earlier this week. If things go according to the SADC
Parliament will debate Constitutional Amendment 19 this coming
Tsvangirai will be sworn in as Prime Minister 11
The sky tonight is, fittingly, dark and stormy. As the
finalisation of this
deal has crept inexorably closer this week, my emotions
have also been dark
and depressed. It's hard to articulate how utterly
agreement is. Reflecting tonight, I thought that my heart
has just taken the
last break it can take.
This deal is entirely
detestable. In its statement today the MDC said this
didn't mean it was
giving up the struggle, just taking it to a different
arena. But it's hard
to imagine that the party will have much success
fighting for true democracy
inside a flawed government, when it has come to
such little effect outside
it. A friend of mine yesterday said he'd heard
this deal likened to putting
on a dirty shirt. I said it's more like putting
on a dirty condom - smelly,
sticky, damp, diseased and distasteful.
Admittedly, I don't know what
other the option the MDC had. A different
party - one which was more
Movement than Party might well have had different
cards to play. But the MDC
lacks the capacity to lead any sort of civil
disobedience or "make the
country ungovernable" movement, which might have
resulted in a different
outcome. Instead, the MDC has tended towards
negotiations and legal
challenges and contesting undemocratic elections.
This strategy has left it
high and dry at this most recent negotiating
Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa, himself a snake of
a man, announced
the 2009 Budget Proposal - which sees the Zimbabwe economy
dollarised. City councils, taxation, plus local goods are to be
forex, not in Zimbabwe dollars. How are Zimbabweans meant to survive
latest economic and political onslaught? The future is looking
This entry was posted on January 30th, 2009 at 8:24 pm by Amanda
Robert Mugabe regime must go now
Daily News; Friday,January
30, 2009 @21:15
No one enjoys the role of being the one to say the
atmosphere is fouled
because an elder broke wind but sometimes it just has
to say it. Some people
will grit their teeth and bear the smell day in day
Until the family dreads the very idea of sitting for dinner with the
wind-breaker, for fear of losing appetite for dinner. Why? Because too many
decent humans prefer to be nice. There is nothing wrong with passing gas. It
is a natural phenomenon, like breathing. It is the farting in the presence
of others that is downright rude.
So go ahead and tell off your
neighbour, work colleague, relative or sibling
that in your presence, they
should refrain from polluting the air with
smells of rotten egg or beans,
thereby causing global warming through excess
methane emission. As my friend
Mitkas once told me, it is sometimes
necessary to be harsh in order to be
Africa has been generally nice - read quiet - about the situation
Zimbabwe, just like Africans have mostly been nice about the situations
Darfur and DRC. Why stir up the dust and risk being dirtied in the
Let sleeping dogs lie. Problem is, when your brother's house is on
yours may be next.
Like this cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe
spreading to South Africa and other
neighbouring countries. Apparently the
cholera was made in UK and expressly
delivered to topple a legitimately
elected regime of the people's hearts.
Seriously, this pronouncement was the
most ridiculous utterance from a
sitting regime since the times of
mind-boggling declarations of Iddi Amin.
Someone has run down the economy
of the former Monomotapa kingdom to the
ground, literally. The land that was
once the envy of former Northern
Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a gravy train of
international repute has recently
become an economic graveyard. The former
breadbasket of East and Central
Africa is perhaps a begging bowl
Authorities are turning to Libya, China and other friendly
countries, hat in
hand as collection plates for any helping hand that may be
extended to them.
In these times of global economic meltdown, few countries
can afford to
adequately cover the needs of their own people, let alone the
distant lands whose economic and social wounds are
How else can one describe a situation in which the local
currency is not
worth the paper it is printed on? In Zimbabwe twenty million
buy a bottle of beer. In Tanzania if the cost of beer became
just a million
shillings, no sitting MP would dare to stand for
It would be next to impossible for voters to return to
power, whoever would
be the sitting president. Surely economic mismanagement
is a confirmed
ticket to political oblivion in any democracy. Judging by
past reports of
the United Nations system, Zimbabweans have almost always
been ahead in
education compared to many African
Educational advancement means the ordinary and educated can
add two and two
and not get five. Yet Zimbabwe voters seemed to defy simple
logic and human
sanity. In the last few years, government expenditures have
production of goods and services leading to repeated cycles of
national debt. By 2006, domestic debt stood at a staggering 80% of
Government continued to artificially fix low exchange rates for
transactions, fuelling parallel exchange rates that dealt serious
businesses. At the same time authorities fixed prices of
levels that discouraged production. When the official price
of maize is
lower than the cost of growing the crop for example, farmers are
plant maize in the following season.
selected plantation farmers of tobacco, maize, wheat and
those keeping dairy
and beef cattle herds lost their farms to fortunate
melanin-rich brand new
breed of landlords. Without the background, the
management skills and
experience needed to run large farms successfully, the
new owners could not
keep the plantations and ranches operating efficiently,
The land redistribution concept that looked noble and laudable on
became a failure as it did not lift any significant number of
both Shona and Ndebele ancestry to economic prosperity. Not
too long ago,
the regime of comrade Mugabe demolished thousands of houses in
Harare in a
campaign supposedly meant to clean up the city of illegal
That must have added tens of thousands of people to the ranks
poverty. Pleas from the UN, human rights groups and well-meaning
went unheeded. There were allegations of political motives directed
certain sections of society. Those made homeless by the clean-up campaign
may not have found the shelter promised.
Result? The country
experienced a serious breakdown of basic social
services, chronic fuel
shortages, lack of food, and acquired media-friendly
supermarket shelves. Half of the population depend on
food aid. Life
expectancy in Zimbabwe dropped to 35 years, one of the lowest
Yet Zim voters went to the polls seemingly willingly, voted in the
government whose policies and practices brought them to the situation
are in. That election was deemed by observers to have fallen short of
basic requirements of free and fair. Since Mugabe declared himself the
elected president there has not been peace in Zimbabwe.
mediation efforts aimed at bringing in a fair power-sharing deal,
to both the forever-ruling ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic
proved elusive. The latest SADC-sponsored agreement near the Cape
Hope seems destined for the hopeless dust-bin of African history. As
say, the buck stops here. And that is with the President of the
Africans prominent and ordinary must rise up and be counted.
proclaim from pulpits and political platforms, media and sports
Mugabe must go now. The regime Robert Mugabe has lost its
for regime change are long gone. To keep silent is to
betray the belief that
all mankind is a brotherhood and Africa is one.
Thousands of Zimbabweans
will continue to die for mistakes accidental or
deliberate of present
leadership if we do not speak up loudly and
letter from the diaspora
30th January 2009
Today's the day! This thirtieth day of January 2009 the National
of the MDC will decide whether or not to join the so-called
National Unity under Robert Mugabe's presidency. 'Political
been very vocal on the subject all week. I've never quite
qualifies someone to be called or to describe him/herself as
analyst' but they certainly have an awful lot to say for
are ready to air their opinions on every aspect of the
subject; supported by
unnamed sources these political analysts seek to sway
public opinion one way
or the other depending on their own political
affiliations no doubt.
Like many others in the diaspora - anxious about
the future of our country -
I too have spent the week trying to analyse the
decision that has to be made
by the MDC. Armed with a pencil and notepad I
have attempted to use my own
knowledge and understanding of the situation to
list what considerations
should be taken into account before making this
crucial decision for
Zimbabwe's future. Before one can even start the process
there are certain
facts that have to be acknowledged. In the eleven or so
months that have
elapsed since the March elections Zimbabwe and the world
Cholera has killed over 3000 people in Zimbabwe, 94% of the
unemployed and on Zanu PF's own admission the country can no
longer feed its
own people. " We cannot eat what we do not have" said the
Acting Minister of
Finance in his Budget speech And in an acknowledgement
that the Zimbabwean
currency is now worthless, Chinamasa announced that price
controls will be
abandoned and the Zimbabwe dollar will "operate alongside
the US dollar and
the SA rand. How that will actually work is not at all
clear but what is
clear is that Zimbabwe is teetering on the edge of complete
is the reality that the decision makers have to face. In the
wider world too
the economic collapse means that the so-called developed
world will look
very carefully at economic help for poorer nations, let alone
have collapsed through gross mismanagement. Those people who
thought that a
GNU would bring immediate western aid for Zimbabwe now have to
carefully in the light of the changed situation before they make
For me there are two internal considerations that
take absolute priority.
One, is it the right decision for the mass of the
people, now and for the
foreseeable future? No one in their right mind can
believe that joining the
government will bring about an immediate change in
the desperate plight of
the people but maybe, just maybe, the presence of the
MDC will moderate some
of the more extreme policies of Mugabe's government.
Two, the release of the
activists rotting in gaol is non-negotiable. Jestina
Mukoko and all the
other activists must be brought to court immediately and
either tried in
open court or released. There can be no just settlement while
Zimbabweans are unjustly detained. Those as I see it are absolute
before the MDC can enter into this alliance with the Mugabe
Making decisions is never easy but I have found it useful to list
arguments For and Against and then decide which side carries more weight.
addition to reasoned argument, there is the emotional aspect which cannot
ignored. More than anything else, Zimbabweans need to feel hope
themselves and for their children's futures. So, why should the MDC
this 'unholy alliance' The first point in its favour is that the
appear to want it, presumably because they believe that their lives
improved once there is a settlement. By joining a GNU the MDC will
experience in government and finally this is the much vaunted
solution'. Whatever we may think of SADC and the AU there is no
failure to join will bring down Africa's wrath on Tsvangirai's
head and give
further weight to the notion that he and his party are no more
of the west.
On the other side, Against joining is the
undeniable fact that Mugabe is not
to be trusted. Bitter experience has shown
us that his word means nothing.
It is a power-sharing agreement with no real
power for the MDC; even in the
matter of ministerial appointments we have
absolutely no guarantee that
Robert Mugabe will play fair. To join such a
government will severely damage
the MDC's image. Up until now they have held
the moral high ground, how will
the world and the west in particular respond
to an illegitimate government
that now contains those very same people they
once believed were on the side
of democracy? If the MDC decides to join, it
will be seen to be an
endorsement of Mugabe's policies. It will take the
pressure off his regime,
leaving him unpunished for the destruction he has
wreaked on the country.
Even the MDC's majority in the House cannot be relied
on, knowing how Zanu
PF operates. There is a very real danger that the MDC
will become no better
than puppets of the regime unable to exercise any
autonomy. Mugabe is after
all the man who has blatantly ignored the will of
the people as expressed in
the March elections. Can he now be trusted to
abide by the rules? Will not
Morgan Tsvangirai and this party be swallowed up
in just the same way as the
late Joshua Nkomo?
These questions and so many
others must be going through the minds of every
thinking person as the MDC
considers the options. What will happen if the
deal collapses in a few
months, what might that mean for Zimbabwe? For me,
as a Zimbabwean in the UK
diaspora and longing to go home, all I can do is
hope that their decisions
are guided by what is best for the people, all the
people, and not by their
own dreams of power, big motorcars, handsome
salaries and lucrative perks.
Having considered the arguments For and
Against and although I can clearly
see the latter is the stronger side, I
have very reluctantly come to the
conclusion that the MDC must go along with
this flawed Agreement. There are
some small signs that their presence in
government may well find sympathisers
even within the ranks of Zanu PF. The
truth is that Mugabe needs the MDC as
much as they need to be part of
government. It requires, in the words of the
BBC correspondent, nothing less
than a leap of faith on the part of the MDC.
I believe they will make that
Yours in the (continuing) struggle,
Southern African states hold the key to
convincing Mugabe to step down
Washington - Zimbabwe's
longtime ruler, Robert Mugabe, is not getting a reprieve from President Obama,
who is actively continuing U.S. efforts to convince the international community,
and particularly Zimbabwe's neighbors, that they must not stand by as the
country's people continue to suffer from humanitarian and economic catastrophe
and a lack of political freedom.
The United States increased
targeted sanctions against leaders and supporters of Mugabe's regime in response
to the country's sham presidential runoff election in June 2008 and the failure
of Mugabe to negotiate with good faith in power-sharing talks with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). MDC won the March 2008
parliamentary elections and its presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai,
received the most presidential votes, but he was forced to withdraw from the
runoff election as the result of violent attacks against his
Both the Obama and Bush
administrations have recognized that although bilateral sanctions have had an
impact, they have not convinced Mugabe to either step aside or share power in a
meaningful way. Peaceful democratic change in the landlocked country is much
more likely to occur when Zimbabwe's neighbors in the Southern African
Development Community take action.
U.S. leaders, including
Ambassador James McGee in Harare, have pointed out that the continued
deterioration of Zimbabwe is presenting significant risks to its neighbors. (See
"Zimbabwe Approaching 'Failed State' Status, U.S. Ambassador Says ( http://www.america.gov/st/democracy-english/2008/December/20081211164826esnamfuak0.6706354.html
The country's cholera
epidemic has begun to spread to neighboring South Africa. Zimbabwe's neighbors
have been challenged to absorb millions of refugees who have fled disease,
economic hardship and political repression.
OBAMA REACHES OUT TO SOUTH AFRICA DURING
HIS FIRST WEEK
In a January 27 telephone
call to South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, President Obama emphasized
Pretoria's role as a regional leader and one of Africa's strong democracies.
According to a White House statement, the two leaders discussed the situation in
Zimbabwe and Obama "noted that South Africa holds a key role in helping to find
a resolution to the political crisis" there.
Likewise, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton has spoken with South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma and African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping. According to
acting State Department spokesman Robert Wood, Clinton "is very interested in
what's going on in Zimbabwe."
"We are going to do what we
can, working with countries in the region, to try to put additional pressure on
Mugabe to basically ... negotiate seriously" in power-sharing talks with the
MDC, Wood said January 28. But Mugabe "clearly is not interested in ... an
equitable solution to the political crisis in the country, and we need to see
further pressure coming from the region."
President Obama named Susan
Rice as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Rice has an extensive
background in the African region, having served as assistant secretary of state
for African affairs during the Clinton administration.
At her January 15
confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate, Rice said the Obama administration
would be pressuring Zimbabwe's neighbors. She added her belief that there is
potential to work with both China and Russia, which previously vetoed U.N.
Security Council resolutions targeting Zimbabwe, by maximizing common bilateral
There is no reason why
Russia and China "are unable to separate themselves from the regime of Robert
Mugabe. ... Their interests no longer, frankly, coincide," Rice said. (See "U.N.
Ambassador-designate Urges Cooperation Against Autocrats ( http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2009/January/20090115164423esnamfuak9.846133e-02.html
MORE U.S. ASSISTANCE TO COMBAT
Meanwhile, the United States
is working with others in the international community to try to alleviate the
cholera epidemic and provide assistance to those who have been affected. The
epidemic began in August 2008 and has affected all of the country's provinces,
with 48,000 reported cases and 2,755 deaths from the disease as of January
On January 28, the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) said it is consigning nearly
440,000 bars of soap, valued at nearly $365,000, to the U.N. Children's Fund.
Cholera is a preventable disease, and clean drinking water and improved hygiene
can help prevent it from spreading. (See "Zimbabwe to Receive $6.2 Million from
U.S. Aid Agency ( http://www.america.gov/st/health-english/2008/December/20081211161620lcnirellep0.8917505.html
On January 29, the U.S. Ambassador visited
the U.N. Children's Fund warehouse in Harare to officially hand over hygiene
supplies funded by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(USAID/OFDA), including 400 metric tons of soap, 10 million water treatment
tablets, 30,000 water containers, and 30,000 buckets. Humanitarian
organizations will distribute the soap as part of a hygiene education program,
The cholera epidemic
occurred on top of continued food shortages in Zimbabwe, which was once a major
food exporter. According to the World Food Programme, 7 million Zimbabweans, or
more than half of the population, will need food assistance to survive until the
next harvest in April.
USAID said it has provided
more than $264 million in food and health assistance to Zimbabwe since October
2007. The agency has also pledged $6.8 million in emergency water, sanitation,
hygiene and health assistance since the cholera epidemic broke
(This is a product of the
Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web