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Zimbabwean police investigate finance minister

http://af.reuters.com

Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:36pm GMT

HARARE, June 24 (Reuters) - Zimbabwean police said on Sunday they had
launched an investigation connected with finance minister Tendai Biti, and a
state-owned newspaper said the probe was over the disappearance of $20
million in a failed bank.

Biti told the Sunday Mail he was not responsible for the missing money,
which was part of a 2009 emergency International Monetary Fund (IMF)
facility and intended to help distressed manufacturing firms.

The paper said Biti had transferred the money from the IMF into local bank
Interfin, closed this month due to a liquidity crisis.

"Yes the money is missing. The fact that Interfin was appointed the fund
manager means it was them who were handling the money and not me," he told
the Sunday Mail.

"I no longer had a say on how the money was managed."

Assistant police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena told Reuters on Sunday:
"There is an investigation going on but I cannot give any details at the
moment." Biti could not be directly contacted on Sunday.

Biti is a senior figure in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which is in an uneasy power-sharing administration
with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF. He is among MDC leaders bitterly
attacked by Mugabe in recent months.

The $20 million, part of a $500 million IMF emergency package, had been at
Interfin for a year without generating interest before it disappeared, the
newspaper said.

The money had been part of $150 million allocated for agriculture and
infrastructure projects. A further $142 million was used to pay off a debt
to the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Fund and $110 million to ease a
cash squeeze at the beginning of this year. The remaining funds are yet to
be used.


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Top Harare lawyer eyes Zanu PF post

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

24/06/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

HOT shot Harare lawyer Jonathan Samkange has accused Zanu PF of trying to
sideline him despite "loyally" serving party loyally for years.

The sharp-tongued Samkange says he is prepared to give up his successful
legal career for a shot at politics and has appealed against a party
decision barring him from recently held Mudzi District Co-coordinating
Committee (DCC) elections.

Samkange was disqualified on the grounds that he had not served the party
for at least five years which is one of the requirements for the top post.
But he is challeneging the ruling and claims he has had a long association
with Zanu PF.

“I have been a loyal Zanu PF cadre for all of my adult life and I have
dedicated more than five years to the party,” he told state media adding
that he was most active in the early 1990s especially in Mudzi district.

“My relationship with the then Zanu started during my time at the then
University of Rhodesia, where I did a lot of advocacy work for the party. We
had a block student committee that used to visit Cold Comfort Farm for
meetings with the likes of Didymus Mutasa, Moven Mahachi and Chief Rekayi
Tangwena.

“Some of the people that I worked with from the university include Justice
Anthony Gubbay and Justice Nick McNally, who were both against the settler
regime.

“I came back into active politics in 1990 and I immediately joined the Zanu
PF structures in Gozi district in Mudzi and rose from the cell level with
the highest position I held being that of secretary in the commissariat.

“In 1995, I submitted to contest in the elections for Mudzi constituency but
later withdrew to pave way for Musa, who went on to become the Member of
Parliament for the area.

“In 2000 I expressed interest to stand in primary elections to contest in
the constituency, but Ray Kaukonde went on to stand in the primary elections
unopposed after Musa, Mudzimu, Chesango and myself stood down to let him run
for the seat.”
A practising lawyer for some 32 years, Samkange said he was ready to go into
politics full-time.

“If things go according to plan, I will quit my current position in law to
take a more advisory or consultancy duty. I will stop practising and I will
go to the advocates’ chambers which is a more advisory role,” he said


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We Can’t Watch Our People Starving: Tsvangirai

http://www.radiovop.com

Kwekwe, June 24, 2012—Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe will
start importing maize from Zambia as most of the country’s provinces are
facing serious food shortages.

“Most of the country’s provinces especially Midlands, Matebeleland North,
Matebeleland South, Masvingo and some parts of Manicaland are facing serious
food shortages and to avert this hunger, my government will soon start
importing maize from Zambia.

“We can’t just sit and watch whilst our people are starving. As government
we have to make sure that every family gets enough food,” Tsvangirai told
Radio VOP yesterday (Saturday) after touring government projects in the
Midlands Province.

Statistics from the World Food Program (WFP) indicated that more than one
million Zimbabweans are currently in need of food aid following the
continuous dry spell that has been affecting the national produce.

The crop assessment by the government, this past farming season has shown
that 1500 000 hectares of the maize crop was planted but because of lack of
rain, half of it has been a write off.

This leaves the country with only less than one million hectares of the
planted maize crop against the national grain requirement stands at two
million tonnes of maize per annum.

Zimbabwe has struggled to feed itself since 2000, when President Robert
Mugabe began a drive to seize white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks,
leading to a sharp fall in agricultural output.

Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, has since Mugabe's land reforms
largely survived on handouts from international food relief agencies.

Mugabe insists his land reforms were necessary to correct an unjust land
tenure system that reserved all the best farmland for whites while blacks
were cramped on poor soils, had in the past maintained that his country's
food problems were mainly because of poor weather.


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Nursing Staff Refuse Blankets Donation For Pregnant Women

http://www.radiovop.com/

UMzingwane June 24, 2012- Nursing staff at UMzingwane Mbizingwe Rural Clinic
last saturday refused to accept a donation of blankest for expecting mothers
and infants from the Regional Integration and International Co-operative
Minister, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga alleging that they got an
instruction from their superiors in Harare not to accept the donation.

In an interview with Radio VOP Reporter at Mbizingwe Clinic, one of the
Nursing staff who refused to be quoted because of past experience said that
she informed her superiors in Esigodini who had promised to come but later
said they are not coming.

“We informed our superiors in Esigodini but they said that they have also
been ordered not to accept the donation by their superiors in Harare. I
cannot accept this donation without my superiors. In 2005 l was closed in
that office and threatened by my bosses and l might leave this clinic and go
and work elsewhere if l accept this donation of blankets,” said the Nursing
Sister.

The Nursing Sister shed tears when she was explaining how her superiors
threatened to fire her or transfer her from Mbizingwe Clinic for accepting a
donation in 2005.

“My life will be difficult if l accept these blankets. l doubt very much
that l will work well l if l accept these blankets because it will cost my
job," said the Nursing Sister while wiping off her tears.

However, Misihairabwi-Mushonga left the blankets at Mbizingwe Clinic and
said the health officials from Esigodini will know what to do with the
blankets.

“I have left the blankets as you saw, how can an official employed by the
State order nursing staff to refuse to accept an important donation this
time of the season.

“Honestly, expecting mothers and infants need these blankets, l will not
take them back to Harare and as you saw, the expecting mothers are using
worn off blankets but someone not from this community orders nursing staff
not to accept blankets for the reason best known to them,” said the
Minister.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga launched a campaign in April this year to buy blankets
for donation to rural clinics to alleviate the plight of pregnant women in
winter.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga who is also the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
secretary general called on Zimbabweans to donate to the cause when
expressing her sadness over the plight of pregnant women admitted at health
institutions.

She said that since January she had visited a number of rural areas and was
touched by the plight of pregnant mothers in these rural clinics, in
particular the lack of blankets in winter.

The country’s health system was weakened by years of economic upheaval. In
the last decade, the country’s health care services declined dramatically.
This increased maternal and child mortality by more than double what it was
in 1990.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at least eight
mothers die giving birth everyday translating to over 2 500 women dying
every year due to pregnancy-related complications.

Observers say most of these maternal deaths are avoidable.


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Gono lifts lid on alleged impropriety

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Written by Staff Writer
Sunday, 24 June 2012 14:54

HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono says he stands ready
to go to prison if 16 charges of impropriety levelled against him by his
former advisor, Munyaradzi Kereke, ever stick.

Gono, speaking for the first time on allegations of impropriety in a week
that saw his two employees at the Central Bank being acquitted for the third
time on charges pressed by Kereke, the RBZ governor said he will follow due
process.

“I will follow due process but am ready to walk to prison if these 16
charges of impropriety are proved. My decision is not make noise about it
but follow due process,” Gono told the Daily News on Sunday from Cairo where
he was attending the Afreximbank meetings where he is a director of the
continental bank.

“I am acutely aware that the public remains confused and anxious for answers
to all the 16 or so individual allegations of sabotaging the Zimbabwean
economy, allegations of corruption, alleged abuse of office and various
conspiracies to " kill my former advisor by sending snipers in order to
silence him."

“The charges are very serious. I want to assure stakeholders that
appropriate channels will be used at the appropriate time to address these
serious charges that go to the very core and route of my governorship and
trust by those who appointed me and the segment of the economy that I serve
and have tried to serve with maximum diligence, commitment, honesty and
integrity.

“I have been working for the past 35 years, 25 years of which I have been
occupying very senior positions in the banking sector which I entered in
1987 at the level of chief accountant, progressing through the ranks to
where I am today.

“10 years of that 35 were spent in industry starting from the lowest
(tea-maker-messenger) to accountant. As a family, we have been in business
for the last 33 years and as Gideon, I have been in doing chickens at
different levels since February, 1973, when my former advisor was 7 months
old,” said Gono.

He said he will maturely follow proper procedures to deal with the issues
Kereke raised adding he will do so professionally and openly through legal
means.

Gono has been savaged in recent months by Kereke who accused him of “fraud”
and other “crimes” at the central bank.

During the period, Gono maintained stunning silence as the internet went
viral with his stories of his alleged misdemeanours.

Turning to the third acquittal of his officers - Phillip Dendere and George
Nyahuye –Gono said “the real RBZ family which knows where we are coming from
and going, and are bound by true values of work ethics,join our two officers
and their families and friends in celebrating another triumph of justice
over injustice and the "mighty of right over wrong".

Dendere and Nyahuye were facing disorderly charges.

Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe discharged the duo at the close of the state’s
case after ruling that prosecutor Gift Zumbika failed to “prove a prima
facie” case against the two.

A fortnight ago, the two were cleared of violence and assault charges which
had been brought by Kereke’s driver.

“As stated earlier, the God of justice will and shall prevail against all
lies and shorten their legs. This applies not just to the lies we have been
preoccupied with since 12 March, 2012 but also to those that have been, and
will continue to be, spewed out from the damaged and leaking tankers of
malice and instability known to reside in those who have chosen to discredit
us for no other reason than the proverbial sour grapes."

“Unfortunately, the sour grapes have been sold and found some gullible
takers at Mbare musika. Fortunately though, history has not recorded many
cases of deaths from" thunder," however noisy and frightening. It is the "
lightning" that always does the job...and in this case, our justice system
resembles" lightning"...that follows thunder, sparing or otherwise, those
that deserve to be spared through due process and not the noise from the
thunder,” said Gono.


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Zimbabwe beat South Africa to win tri-nation T20 tournament

http://sports.ndtv.com/
Harare: Zimbabwe crushed favourites South Africa by nine wickets Sunday as the non-cap Twenty20 tri-nations tournament at Harare Sports Club reached a stunning climax.

It was the second time in five days that the host nation put their powerful neighbours to the sword in a warm-up event for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka this September and October.

Zimbabwe won by 29 runs last Wednesday in the pool phase of a tournament that included Bangladesh, but lost by six wickets to South Africa Saturday and entered the final as outsiders.

South Africa made 146-6 off 20 overs with Faf du Plessis (66) top scoring and Zimbabwe reached 150-1 with 17 balls to spare thanks to a superb unbeaten partnership between captain Brendan Taylor (59) and Hamilton Masakadza (58).

Many South African cricket writers had argued against the Proteas going to Harare, saying Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were too weak to provide meaningful opposition.

"I am over the moon after beating a quality team and so proud of the boys," said No 3 batsman-cum-wicketkeeper Taylor. "We don't get days like these very often so we are going to enjoy ourselves tonight."

"The squad has been working really hard over the past three months and we accept that we must put in more hard yards than some other teams. After losing on Saturday, I just told the boys to remain calm."

It was a dismal tournament for South Africa opener and captain Hashim Amla as an 88 not out was followed by a string of low scores and he made just three runs in the final after big hitter Richard Levi went for a duck off his first ball.

"I thought 146 was a defendable total so hats off to Zimbabwe," said Amla. "While Zimbabwe were the better team on the day, we have learnt a lot regarding who should go to Sri Lanka and who should hot."

Taylor was voted man of the match and the four half-centuries of No 1 batsman Masakadza during the eight-day tournament earned him the man of the series award.


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A mystery tycoon, diamonds, deals and ‘$100m for Mugabe’

From the Times UK – Saturday, 23rd June 2012

clip_image001

Only known photograph of Hong Kong businessman Sam Pa

Jon Swain

Published at 12:01AM, June 23 2012

A mysterious Chinese businessman based in Hong Kong is quietly providing financing to Zimbabwe’s ruling forces in return for access to its diamond mines and opportunities in property development.

Sam Pa has allegedly provided private donations to Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation to fund covert activities against the Opposition. The CIO is said to have allocated $100 million from Mr Pa in a secret operation codenamed Spiderweb to discredit President Mugabe’s political opponents, including the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangarai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

A new report from the international campaign group Global Witness documents Mr Pa’s activities in Zimbabwe and argues that Mr Mugabe’s security forces are using his money to finance operations to retain power for the President and his Zanu (PF) party in elections due by 2013.

Its report reveals that Mr Pa has ploughed money into buying vehicles for the CIO, providing the intelligence service with 200 Nissan pickup trucks to boost its operational capability against the regime’s opponents.

In return, Global Witness says, he received diamonds and business opportunities in cotton and property.

The report sheds light on remarks by MDC Finance Minister Tendai Biti who has complained that his treasury had received almost no diamond-based revenue and that “there might be a parallel government somewhere in respect of where these revenues are going”.

Mr Pa, a former arms dealer who uses many aliases, runs an opaque network of more than 60 companies known as the Queensway syndicate. He has been dealing in sub-Saharan Africa for a number of years. Companies he represents are alleged to have used closed-door negotiations to secure a large stake in strategic mineral resources, most notably in oil-rich Angola, a major source of China’s oil.

In 2009, a US congressional commission published a scathing report about Queensway. It said that its lack of transparency was a “major concern” as it acquired assets globally by stealth. It said that one of its companies, China International Fund, could be falsely representing itself as a private business when it was actually an arm of the intelligence and public security services eager to increase China’s influence and guarantee the supply of oil and raw materials from Africa. The researchers said they found no paper trail for Mr Pa.

Zimbabwe is home to one of the world’s richest diamond deposits at Marange, but millions of dollars worth of diamonds remain unaccounted for. Anjin Investments, a Chinese-Zimbabwean venture, is one of the world’s biggest producers. Global Witness has concluded that it is part-owned by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Defence, the military and police.

The Global Witness investigation cites sources and CIO documents to reveal Mr Pa’s involvement in buying high-quality diamonds. “He would arrive at monthly intervals at Harare airport in a white Airbus A319CJ private jet and depart with diamonds,” it said.

It said that the $100 million Mr Pa gave to the CIO compares with the budget of the spy agency’s parent department, the Office of the President and Cabinet, that is scarcely higher at $121 million in 2011. “Such a sum would give the CIO considerable freedom to set its own agenda”.


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Zim fuss at Zambia House – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary 23rd June 2012

Mugabe joins group outside Zambia House Zambian diplomat remonstrates with protesters

Mugabe brandishes Sata’s broom Demonstrators explain cause to police

The Vigil’s Mugabe mask made an appearance outside the Zambian High Commission on Thursday for the sixth round of the monthly Free Zimbabwe Global Protests aimed at pressuring SADC leaders into ensuring democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.

Zambia was the target of the ‘21st Movement’ this month because of President Sata’s slavish support of Mugabe shown at the recent SADC meeting in Angola. The Zimbabwe Vigil, mindful of Sata’s past as a sweeper at London’s Victoria station, attempted unsuccessfully during Sata’s visit earlier this month to deliver a new broom to him so that he could return to a job for which he was better equipped.

Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing the Mugabe mask, made another attempt to deliver the broom on Thursday but once again Zambian diplomats spurned the gift and also refused to accept a letter of protest at Sata’s interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs (for text see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/414-letter-to-zambian-high-commissioner). The letter was sent by recorded delivery instead.

The Zambians seemed particularly unnerved by the Mugabe mask (not surprisingly!) and called the police for help. The police explained to them that we were acting within our rights.

Given the short notice, there was a good number outside Zambia House. Thanks to: Admire Mhindurwa, Cephas Maswoswa, Dickson Munemo, Edgar Makuni, Edith Chinyura, Ellen Gonyora, Felistas Mujeri, Francisca Mhosva, Jonathan Kariwoh, Molly Ngavaimbe, Sihle Sibanda, Victoria Matewere, Wendy Ziyambi and Wilson Mujere who, among others, made the event so successful.

Our report on the demo has been published on the Zambian Watchdog website. Some of the readers on the website implied Zimbabweans should leave Zambia alone – but it’s Sata who is interfering in our affairs (see: http://www.zambianwatchdog.com/2012/06/23/zimbabweans-protest-at-zambia-high-commission-again/).

Other points

Quotes of the week

- Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force: ‘Our environment is on the verge of total destruction.’

- Dr Joseph Kanyekanye, Chief Executive Officer of Allied Timbers: ‘The invasion of forestry land is destroying the economy.’

Result – Mugabe flies off to the Brazilian Conference on Sustainable Development with scores of hangers-on at a cost of $7 million so that he can tell the world how to look after their forests and game

If Mugabe had been prepared to travel like most other heads of state he could have saved $5.5 million – enough to buy a yacht for Kariba (see. http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun23a_2012.html#Z11 - Zanu PF bigwig linked to US$5,5m mystery yacht).

Many people went on from the Vigil to the official launch of the ROHR Slough branch. They were having a party after electing an interim executive.

The ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, who was at the Slough meeting, will be chairing our Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil next Saturday. This is held monthly to enable us to share ideas for a solution to Zimbabwe’s problems. We are keen to hear everyone’s views so please come. See ‘Events and Notices for details’.

One of our supporters, Sheillah Sibanda, read a poem she had written about Mugabe’s destruction of our country which ended:

‘You don’t care about about the people you lead

Have you forgotten the people who voted for you?

Look back and see the mayhem you have caused

Zimbabweans are tormented and in tears

Why can’t you let go for we are fed up

Zimbabweans need a new leader.’

Vigil supporters were encouraged to attend to attend a commemoration of the UN international day in support of victims of torture on Tuesday, 26th June which is being organized by the Zimbabwe NGO Forum in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Association. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 65 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

Commemoration of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims. Tuesday 26th June from 5 – 6 pm. Venue: the Zimbabwe Association, Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. Guest speaker: Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Regional Co-ordinator. RSVP: Sarah Harland of the Zimbabwe Association, www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk, Tel: 07846859200. For more information: http://zimassoc.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/june-26th-invite.pdf.

Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 30th June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 30th June from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


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Before President Jacob Zuma leaves for Zimbabwe…

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 24 June 2012.

Before President Jacob Zuma leaves for Zimbabwe, he should pose a few
questions to his advisers: “Is it worth it?”, “Where are we getting it
wrong?”; “How can we make a difference this time?”, and so on.

Answers to these questions should arguably appraise and help focus his
delegation about its mission as the facilitator on the Zimbabwe crisis.

Is it worth it?

The short answer is, yes. It is worthwhile for President Zuma to visit
Zimbabwe in view of the widening gap between Zanu-pf and the MDC formations,
especially as Zanu-pf is attempting to institutionalise the militarisation
of elections.

The visit (if it goes ahead) would not have come at a better time after
reports that Zanu-pf has mapped out a country-wide plan to have the military
campaign for it and the generals giving assurances that all they want to see
is a Zanu-pf victory in the next elections.

Where is Zuma getting it wrong?

For several years since becoming the facilitator on Zimbabwe, President Zuma
has failed to meaningfully close the rift between Zanu-pf and the MDC
formations because of not addressing the root of the problem, Zimbabwe’s
military which has relentlessly sought to torpedo the election roadmap
through subversive and inflammatory statements.

It is worth noting that in May 2011, Zanu-pf’s Rugare Gumbo said his party
would not accept South African officials meeting Zimbabwe’s service chiefs
to discuss security reforms that are necessary to ensure the country’s next
elections are free and fair.

“Where on earth have you seen people coming to see security forces of
another country? It is nonsensical,” Gumbo told journalists after a
politburo meeting in Harare last year.

What should Zuma do differently this time around?

President Zuma should not mince his words with the Zimbabwean authorities.
He should give them a specific timeframe for the fulfilment of key reforms
before elections are held.

For example, typical milestones could include: finalise electoral, human
rights and other legislative amendments by September 2012; start
implementing media and security sector reforms by October; adopt an up-to
date biometric voters’ roll including expatriates by November; put the new
constitution to a referendum by March 2013 and hold presidential elections
by June 2013.

In addition to his meetings with the principals and their party delegations,
President Zuma should crucially meet with the service chiefs for a make or
break session.

Unless, President Zuma reads the riot act to the Zimbabwean army generals in
a no holds barred meeting during his next visit to the country, it will be
another ineffectual and worthless excursion.

Zuma should remind the Zimbabwean military that other SADC countries
including South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique which fought liberation wars
have not institutionalised military involvement in politics in their
constitutions.

He should tell the service chiefs that the ANC has not been helped by the
South African National Defence Force to win elections and ask them why
Zanu-pf should be an exception.

What do the ordinary people expect?

President Zuma should get ordinary people’s views about their fears about
the military’s involvement in any future elections and their aspirations.

Ideally, he should sound out the country’s civil society leaders for their
views, for example, the Zimbabwe Civil Society Coalition, Zimbabwe Crisis
Group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Zimbabwe Election Support Network,
Zimbabwe Diaspora Group and so on.

It would be unfortunate if President Zuma allowed himself to be distracted
by Zanu-pf’s sanctions rhetoric which is simply a ploy to buy time while
looting continues big time amid reports of Zanu-pf chefs buying jets and
yachts despite sanctions.

President Zuma should also confront Zanu-pf about the alleged financing of a
parallel government whereby Mugabe’s secret police, is believed to have
received funding and 200 pick-up trucks from a businessman based in Hong
Kong in return for diamonds and access to cotton and property development
opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Before returning home, the people of Zimbabwe expect President Zuma to tell
the whole world in the presence of the securocrats about his accomplishments
of his mission, if any, and the consequences of failure and allow the Press
to ask questions.

Why should Zuma be expected to do all this?

As SADC facilitator, many people expect President Zuma to tackle all the
tricky questions without fear or favour, ideally before a possible change of
the guards in the ANC and most significantly, before Mugabe goes!!

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London
zimanalysis2009@gmail.com

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