TEXT only 28 August 2013

 


Zimbabwe unveils investors’ guide by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Zimbabwe unveils investors’ guide THE Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion has launched an investment handbook on Zimbabwe that profiles opportunities in the domestic economy. Secretary for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Dr Desire Sibanda said Government was committed to ensuring that key information on opportunities and procedures for doing business in the country is readily available to potential investors. The book was launched last week in Victoria Falls, at a conference organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit, United Nations Development Programme and Deloittes. It was launched at the conference on the sidelines of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation under theme ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Conference – Making Zimbabwe the destination of choice’. Dr Sibanda pointed out that Zimbabwe was the only country on the continent which had not produced an investment brochure which outlines the major investment opportunities and the incentives which apply to the different sectors of the economy. “The publication highlights some key points on why to invest in Zimbabwe. These include; irreversible socio-political and economic reforms which are highlighted in the Medium Term Plan. These (economic) reforms resulted in a new economic trajectory that led to higher economic growth in the past three years,” Dr Sibanda said. In terms of the MTP, the Government is committed to raising foreign direct investment levels from the current 4 percent of GDP to at least 25 percent by 2015 given opportunities that exist and the investment reforms that are underway. It also chronicles some key points on why to invest in Zimbabwe, namely regional logistics hub of Southern Africa, huge endowment of mineral wealth and an educated highly literate workforce, which have seen the country is currently ranked number one in terms of literacy rates in Africa, with an adult literacy rate of 92 percent. Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mrs Margaret Sangarwe said production of the handbook, to be distributed during the UNWTO General Assembly, was timely. Zimbabwe is taking advantage of the country’s strategic location to promote the country as the hub of tourism in Southern Africa as outlined in the investment handbook. Other areas of investment in the tourism sector include development of new tourism resorts, conference facilities, hunting safaris, transfrontier conservation areas, travel and tourism services and sustainable community-based tourism enterprises. Opportunities in the agriculture sector, the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, include mechanisation, value addition of agriculture produce, horticulture, dairy and livestock. The infrastructure sector offers opportunities in energy, transport, water and sanitation, housing and construction, information communication and technology and SMEs. Mining sector investment opportunities exist in exploration, resuscitation of existing companies, establishing new mines as well value addition among other areas. Manufacturing has traditionally been one of the key drivers of the Zimbabwean economy and the sector presents numerous opportunities in the sub-sectors of food and beverages, leather and leather products, packaging and plastics, metals and metal products, textile and clothing, chemicals, ICTs and pharmaceuticals production. A well developed and diversified financial services sector offers opportunities in insurance industry, money and capital markets development and micro- finance banking. The publication also highlights key investment opportunities in State enterprises and parastatals opened up to private sector development. The 78 enterprises in the various sectors of the economy will be commercialised, restructured and privatised. This comes after the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion also launched the One-Stop Shop Investment Centre in December 2010, whose objectives are to simplify and shorten procedures and guidelines for investment proposals.


Zimbabwe’s Disneyland plans ‘inappropriate’ by Shelley – 08-27-2013
via The Telegraph – Zimbabwe’s Disneyland plans ‘inappropriate’ Africa tourism experts have described a plan to build a Disneyland theme park on the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls as “completely inappropriate”. By Adrian Bridge The idea for the development was announced by Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s tourism and hospitality minister, on the sidelines of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly, which Zimbabwe is co-hosting with the town of Livingstone in neighbouring Zambia. Mr Mzembi told New Ziana, the official news agency, that the government was planning to spend $300m (£193m) on the theme park, a venture which he described as a “Disneyland in Africa”. The scheme was met with sceptism by Africa tourism specialists. “Zimbabwe is a country that often struggles to do the basic things it needs to do and this cannot be a sensible suggestion,” said Chris McIntyre, managing director of Expert Africa, a UK-based specialist tour operator. “People go to Zimbabwe because it actually offers something that is authentically African: they are not going to want to go there for a Mickey Mouse experience. It would be completely inappropriate.” His views were shared by Lisa Grainger, an Africa specialist and a regular contributor to Telegraph Travel, who earlier this year wrote about the very special allure of the Victoria Falls. “It sounds like a crazy idea to put a money-making theme park beside one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” she said. “It would be like building a casino beside the pyramids. The reason people visit the falls is because it’s unspoilt and natural: it’s a glorious part of the Earth. Not because they want to buy candy-floss and be immersed in an American-style theme park.” Mr Mzembi suggested that in addition to the theme park the project would entail shopping malls, banks and exhibition and entertainment facilities such as casinos. “We have reserved 1,200 hectares of land near Victoria Falls international airport for hotels and convention centres,” he said. “We want to create a free zone with a banking centre where even people who do not necessarily live in Zimbabwe can open bank accounts.” In addition to the United States, countries which have also opened Disney theme parks include France, Japan and China. Tourism used to be one of Zimbabwe’s main revenue earners and officials in the country hope that it will be again. However its attempts to assure people that the country is now safe and desirable to visit have been hampered by continuing controversy over the human rights record of President Robert Mugabe, whose re-election last month is contested. The decision to allow Zimbabwe to co-host the UNWTO conference was condemned by UN Watch, an independent human rights group, as a “disgraceful show of support – and a terribly timed award of false legitimacy – for a brutal, corrupt and authoritarian regime”. Hillel Neuer, head of the Geneva-based group, said: “Amid reports of election rigging and continuing human rights abuses, Zimbabwe is the last country that should be legitimised by a UN summit of any kind. The notion that the UN should spin this country as a lovely tourist destination is, frankly, sickening.” President Robert Mugabe’s status as UN “leader for tourism” has also been widely condemned.


Zanu PF Legislator In Trouble Over Debt by Shelley – 08-27-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Zanu PF Legislator In Trouble Over Debt By Professor Matodzi Harare – Temba Mliswa, the controversial empowerment lobbyist and Zanu PF Member of Parliament-elect for Hurungwe West constituency risks losing his valuable property after a local financial institution petitioned the High Court seeking to attach his property over a $48 000 debt. TN Bank through its lawyer, Meli Matshiya of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners recently asked the High Court to issue a writ of execution authoring the bank to attach and take into execution the movable goods belonging to Cubs Den Consolidated, a company which is owned by the former fitness trainer. TN Bank, which recently branded to Steward Bank after it was acquired by leading telecoms provider, Econet charged that Mliswa failed to repay a loan, which his firm had borrowed from the commercial bank in October 2010. The petitioning of the High Court came after TN Bank secured a ruling in its favour from Justice Ben Hlatshwayo, who in October 2012 ordered Cubs Den Consolidated to pay the commercial bank $48 783. Mliswa’s company was also ordered to pay interest on the debt.


Police Officers Cry Foul As Bosses Keep Election Allowances  by Shelley – 08-27-2013
via Zimeye – Police Officers Cry Foul As Bosses Keep Election Allowances SOME members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) who provided security during the July 31 harmonised elections have not received their allowances although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has reportedly remitted the allowances to the ZRP. The disgruntled officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, complained their allowances had been withheld by their employer under unclear circumstances.They said they had it on good authority that Zec had remitted the allowances to the ZRP, but the money did not filter down to the officers on the ground. “I did not get a cent for the nine days I worked during the harmonised elections, but some members of the Special Constabulary were given first preference although they were not paid all their allowances” said an officer based at Chinhoyi Police Station. Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the development yesterday saying the ZRP had withheld some of the allowances after receiving reports that some of the officers had not reported at their assigned workstations during the election period. “Most of them (police officers) did not go to where they had been deployed. We had paying teams on the ground who were paying those who were on duty,” said Charamba. “Some who were deployed did not go and some were not found where they were supposed to be. In Harare, for example, some were deployed outside of Harare and they decided not to go where they had been deployed. Maybe there could be some genuine cases, but if these are genuine cases, they know where to report. They should not report to newspapers.” Zec finance director Stephen Goneso said: “We paid those we directly engaged first before they escorted paying officers. We have also disbursed the allowances for those who came through the police.” The police officers yesterday claimed they were each entitled to a daily $40 allowance.This comes amid reports that some disgruntled police officers had besieged Zec offices in Makonde district, Mashonaland West, demanding their allowances.


Court sentences ZimRights officials over fake voter reg slips by Shelley – 08-27-2013
via The Zimbabwean – Court sentences ZimRights officials over fake voter reg slips Three ZimRights officials, convicted of manufacturing fake voter registration slips, were sentenced today by Harare Magistrate, Donald Ndirowei. by Edgar Gweshe The first and second accused persons, Tatenda Chinaka and Farai Bhani were sentenced to 24 months imprisonment each with 12 months of the sentence being suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour. The remaining 12 months were suspended as well on condition that the two perform 380 hours of community service each. The third accused person, Dorcas Shereni, who is the ZimRights Highfield Chapter Chairperson, was ordered to pay a fine of $1 000 or face a 12 month jail term. She was given up to August 30 to pay her fine. Shereni’s sentence was arrived at after the Court considered that she walked with the aid of crutches and was therefore not capable of doing community service. The three were facing forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud charges or publishing false statements prejudicial to the state. It was the state’s case that the three allegedly produced fake copies of voters’ registration certificates between May and December last year, in a bid to defraud the Registrar General. According to the State, they allegedly used false names to complete the registration forms. It was alleged Bhani registered as a voter in May last year and acquired a certificate of registration, which the ZimRights officials allegedly used to create several fake ones. ZimRights Director, Okay Machisa and the organisation’s Programmes Manager, Leo Chamahwinya, were acquitted of the charges in June at the close of the State case. Shereni was represented by lawyer, Trust Maanda, Bhani by Tonderai Bhatasara while Chinaka was represented by Tavengwa Musara.


Africa: The Next Major Boom-Bust Cycle? by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Africa: The Next Major Boom-Bust Cycle? – Chris Becker – Mises Daily  by Chris Becker As Western economies start to regress in earnest following decades of failed and destructive monetary inflation and debt accumulation, yield-starved investors are allocating real capital to the one industrially untapped continent in the world: Africa. However, we’re not seeing industry moving to Africa to set up shop. Rather, politically-directed capital flowing into the African resources sector is fueling and financing the strongest consumer boom in the world. It’s a vendor financing model for Asia, and it portends a major boom and bust cycle for the African continental economy.

The Investment Landscape

In recent years, the bulk of investment into Africa has been directed at infrastructure (mostly power and transport), energy, and agriculture. The investment flows are being driven primarily by state-led companies in the energy space (mostly Indian and Chinese), and private equity firms partaking in private-public partnerships in infrastructure and agriculture. The attraction here is a wealth of untapped natural resources and minerals, and arable agricultural land that can be developed to serve a growing Asian market and the Western consumer market. That said, many firms are also entering Africa in an attempt to capture the booming African consumer market. To name a few, we’ve seen American retailer Walmart; Spain’s Zara; Australia’s Trenery, Witchery, and Cotton On; British retailer TopShop; and French retailer Carrefour all set up shop in various locations in Sub-Sahara Africa in the past two years. There has been little, if any, news of major international industrial companies moving into Africa to build factories for export. This is because the African business and regulatory environment is too challenging, and savings rates too low to enable a sophisticated division of labor to develop what could compete with Asia or the West. It is easier to take raw commodities out of Africa in exchange for final products, rather than to attempt to produce these products within.

Africa’s “Hollow Middle”

The Africa story is therefore one of large and growing higher order goods sectors (more distant from the consumer — i.e., mining and agriculture) and lower order sectors (nearest the consumer — i.e., wholesale and retail). There’s mining and some farming, and there’s retail, but the middle is missing — that middle is diversified manufacturing, the productive heartland of any truly developing country. Africa sits with production structure consisting mostly of final consumer goods and services, and very basic resource extraction processes, with a hollow middle. For example, if you go to Africa’s copper producing region — the Copperbelt in Zambia — you cannot buy a copper souvenir that was produced locally. The copper is shipped a couple of thousand kilometres to China, where they are transformed into final consumer goods — souvenirs in this case — before being shipped back to the Copperbelt where they are sold to consumers. Angola extracts oil from the earth, and sends it offshore for refining before importing it back into the country for final consumption. Africa’s history of the past several decades is one of exporting raw materials in exchange for final consumer goods.

African Time Preference and Capital Accumulation

The reason these intermediate sectors are so undeveloped is due to particularly low savings rates over the period, which has led to a lack of capital accumulation and hence, a lack of capital goods-producing (i.e., manufacturing) sectors. African societies tend to be less patient than their Japanese, Chinese, or Western counterparts, displaying incredibly low levels of saving. Where and when Africans do wish to save, their efforts have been frustrated by irresponsible government deficit spending, money printing and inflation, outright confiscation, or war. To argue that Africa will be transformed into a manufacturing hub, one would need to argue that the average African’s time preference will decline in order to release the necessary savings and investment to develop rich and sophisticated higher and middle order goods sectors. Africans must stop spending on consumer goods and start saving and investing in production processes. However, with mismanaged currencies, negative real interest rates, and rising consumer credit, along with money mismanagement abroad, there is a strong anti-saving institutional structure in place. To the extent that we are seeing an increase of savings rates, the state is frustrating these efforts and funneling resources toward government consumption. Africa is seeing an inflow of foreign savings and investment to develop resources and infrastructure, and the earnings from these sectors are either squandered by politicians on pet projects or poor investments that have little to no economic value, or used to fund perpetual trade deficits. It is therefore plausible that the renaissance of the African consumer is largely riding on the coattails of the resources boom that is being debt-financed both locally and through the booming Africa Eurobond market. Of course, yield-starved international investors are being encouraged into these high risk investments by their local central bankers’ ultra-loose monetary policy. Foreign retailers are coming in to capture the retail market being driven by foreign investment. The African consumer gets to enjoy these goods today while foreign investment is strong, but, what happens when the mining and farming markets are no longer strong and foreign capital goes elsewhere?

The New Asian Vendor Financing Model

What is fascinating about this story is that in the past few decades, Asia vendor-financed the West. Now, however, Asia is vendor-financing the African consumer by buying and investing in its resources and agriculture sector, giving Africa the funds to buy its manufactured goods. Instead of getting US Treasury bills in exchange for a consumer goods, Asia gets land and resources, real physical assets as collateral. It’s a much stronger vendor financing model than was used to fund Western consumption, but it still leaves Africa as a peddler of resources with more indebted governments and households. This model did not work out so well for the West.

Conclusion

Only by increasing real savings through a voluntary lowering of societal time preference, can Africa ever become a true diversified and sound continent economically. This is the only way for the African economy to progress. Until African people in general save more and create better policy environments for saving, investment gains will likely be unsustainable, and exposed to the whims of Western printing presses. The reality is that because this is not the direction Africa is moving in, Africa is embarking on another major boom/bust economic cycle. Chris Becker is Chief Africa Strategist at ETM Analytics based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris is Founder and President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute South Africa, and is editor of the popular South African liberty blog,chrislbecker.com. Send him mail at chris@etmanalytics.com. Follow him at Twitter @chrislbecker


Future of African tourism bright—UNWTO Sec General by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Future of African tourism bright—UNWTO Sec General | The Zimbabwean  by Clayton Masekesa The Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, yesterday said the future of tourism in Africa is bright following sustainable growth registered during the past two decades. In his address at the official opening of the UNWTO general assembly last night, Rifai said Africa’s tourism is rising and by 2030 about 134 million people would have visited Africa’s tourism sites. He said in 1990, Africa had $15million in tourism revenue and the figure had risen to $52million in 2012. He said: “There has been rapid growth in Africa’s tourism in the past two decades and there is a prospective for the African countries to drive tourism to its full potential.” Rifai added: “Tourism creates employment and plays a pivotal role in developing the economy of a country.” He said the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia was the best so far in terms of attendance. 140 diplomats, 750 delegates and 900 journalists are attending the general assembly. “This is remarkable by any standards. The two countries are centre for the future of the African countries,” he said. Rifai urged Africa to highlight more tourism prospects and celebrate the opportunities on the continent. “Africa should evolve strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent and I hope that all the other African countries should also embark on efforts to develop tourism and host future UNWTO meetings,” he said.


Debt write-off: Chitungwiza water crisis deepens by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Debt write-off: Chitungwiza water crisis deepens – DailyNews Live  by Mugove Tafirenyika Chitungwiza residents have appealed to government to quickly intervene to ease water woes that have worsened after the scrapping of bills early this month. Before a government directive to all local authorities to write-off water bills in July, Chitungwiza residents used to have running water in their taps twice a week, but now the situation has worsened, raising fears of a cholera outbreak. So dire is the situation that some residents are resorting to shallow wells for water while others are spending their productive hours in queues for the precious liquid at the few boreholes drilled by parliamentarians using the Constituency Development Fund. They are now appealing to government to ensure that their right to clean and safe water is respected in line with the humanitarian gesture shown by outgoing Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to ease pressure on residents by scrapping their bills. Grace Chinake, a 47-year-old widow residing in Unit J said she hoped Chombo would go a step further and avail the precious liquid to the sprawling town of nearly two million people. “Since we received our July bills which show that our water bills had been scrapped, our taps immediately ran dry. “We have to rely on boreholes because we have not had water for the past two weeks,” said Chinake, adding she feared for her family’s health as it cannot be ascertained whether the borehole water meets the required health standards. In 2008, over 4 000 people died after a cholera outbreak which was a result of unsafe drinking water. At the weekend, the Daily News witnessed long winding queues of mainly women and children scrounging for water in dug out wells, streams and at the limited boreholes. Ottillia Mutsvunguma, a high school teacher, said the situation will be worsened with schools which are about to open. “I will have to adjust my timetable to be able to look for water when schools open if this situation persists. It means people will have to wake up at around 3am to cope with the long queues at the wells and be early for work,” said Mutsvunguma. However, it is unlikely that the Zanu PF government will help them after President Robert Mugabe, last weekend, said Harare and Bulawayo residents should demand service delivery from MDC because they voted against his Zanu PF party in the recent elections. Mugabe made the remark while addressing mourners at the burial of Mike Karakadzai at the National Heroes Acre. Chitungwiza receives Water from Harare, but the country’s capital has failed to regularly pump water to the dormitory town owing to a myriad of challenges. This has been made worse by the dormitory town’s failure to pay for water supplied by Harare which in turn has resorted to throttle supplies force payment.


Economists warn Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Economists warn Mugabe – DailyNews Live by Ndakaziva Majaka Mugabe’s threat to seize the assets of British companies operating in Zimbabwe is likely to deal a fatal blow to the country’s economy, economists warned yesterday. Condemning comments by the 89-year-old president, economists described Mugabe’s threat to nationalise foreign-owned firms as “dangerous posturing”, which would only discourage foreign investors Zimbabwe desperately needs. Threats to take punitive measures against British firms if Western powers refuse to lift sanctions will suffocate foreign direct investment (FDI) and damage the economy, analysts warned yesterday. Mugabe told mourners at the burial of former National Railways of Zimbabwe boss Mike Karakadzai at the National Heroes Acre on Sunday that “enough and enough of passive attitude towards the West”. “There are so many British companies operating in this country, we haven’t done anything to put any sanctions on them, but soon we will hit back at them,” warned the re-elected Zanu PF leader who is starting a seventh five-year term. “Time will come when we shall say tit-for-tat, you hit me and I hit you as well. You impose this on me and I will also impose that on you,” Mugabe added. Analysts said this cannot help Zimbabwe create jobs, wealth and opportunities. Zimbabwe is currently suffering from a crippling economic meltdown and these threats, if carried out, would risk bankrupting the country. While efforts to get comment from Deborah Bronnert, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe late yesterday were futile, embassy officials however are keeping their criticism muted. “We don’t want to make a bad situation worse,” said one diplomat. Last week, Britain said Mugabe’s re-election could not be deemed credible without an independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities. British foreign secretary William Hague said: “I am extremely concerned that the MDC had to withdraw its legal challenge due to concerns over the independence of the Judiciary. “I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible.” As Mugabe threatened to hit back against sanctions, economists joined a chorus of condemnation of his threats. Analysts said “the utterances are not sustainable and not in anyone’s interests.” “These threats will not serve anyone’s interests. It is their governments that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe not the firms,” independent economist John Robertson told the Daily News, adding that “these firms have been behaving well and victimising them will only stifle FDI.” Zimbabwe is currently struggling to attract meaningful FDI due to several factors, particularly political uncertainty and the indigenisation policy — compelling foreign firms to cede 51 percent shareholding to black locals. The country’s FDI marginally increased last year to $400 million from $387 million in 2011 according to statistics from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Robertson said Mugabe’s threats “only painted an unattractive picture to investors who already have adopted a wait-and-see attitude towards Zimbabwe.” Takura Mugaga, another economic analyst said “the battle between foreign companies and the president is becoming more of a personal than national battle.” “The president’s tit-for-tat attitude might actually be evidence of how much he could have lost through asset freezing after sanctions were implemented. “Obviously the economy won’t benefit, I think he is aware that he has to have a trade-off between growing the economy and losing his hold on power and to him it’s obvious the convenient option is to throw the fight into the ring,” Mugaga said. Economists said Mugabe’s comment, especially about the economy, are extraordinary for a president with 33 years’ experience. “They are a real blow to our chances of attracting foreign investment.” Mugabe’s particular target appeared to be dozens of British companies and some of them in the mining sector. Even though South African investment was growing, Britain remained of “critical importance to Zimbabwe’s economy”. The British have played a dynamic role in the economy of Zimbabwe, with Rio Tinto subsidiaries, Dunlop, and Chloride chemicals as some of the major players. Other British companies operating in Zimbabwe include banking groups Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc. The financial institutions are already under pressure to comply with the controversial empowerment policy. Mugabe’s comments drew disbelief from the mining industry, which generates 30 percent of export earnings, making it second only to agriculture as a foreign currency earner. A mining consultant in Harare said: “If he treats the mining industry in the same way as he has the land, it would be the end.” Mugabe and members of his inner circle are subject to financial and travel sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union. The sanctions were imposed by Washington and Brussels over alleged electoral fraud and human rights abuses, among other concerns. Mugaga said: “Obviously these utterances are potentially fatal. It goes without saying that these threats are going to suffocate FDI.”


Tsvangirai to vacate Charter House by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Tsvangirai to vacate Charter House – DailyNews Live  by Chengetai Zvauya MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is set to vacate his Charter House office at the end of this month. Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the development saying the PM’s office — situated along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare — was winding down its operations following the inauguration of President Robert Mugabe for a seventh term last week. “In the (new) Constitution there is no office of the PM and it follows that the office is going to be closed and we are not worried about it,” said Tamborinyoka. “It has been known for a long time that the office operations will come to an end and we don’t have problems with that as we know that it was not going to be a permanent office.” He said staff members at Charter House were going to be redeployed with some of them reverting back to the Public Service Commission and some heading back to Harvest House, the MDC’s headquarters. “I am one of the staff who came from Harvest House and I shall return together with other staff members who originally came from  there,” Tamborinyoka said. Charter House also accommodated the offices of the portfolio of Water Resources, formerly under minister Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo and the ministry of State Enterprises and Parastatals under Gordon Moyo. Prior to joining the expired coalition government, Tsvangirai had been operating from  Harvest House. His Charter House operation has been dogged with controversy, with Zanu PF ministers claiming that Tsvangirai was running a parallel structure of government from his office. Alex Magaisa headed the political and legal affairs department in the Prime Minister’s office while Ian Makone headed the administrative unit. They will also vacate the office together with their boss. Government has also withdrawn   police officers who were guarding Tsvangirai’s premises.


Mugabe calls for open borders by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Mugabe calls for open borders – DailyNews Live . Mugabe has called for open borders to allow easier travel among Sadc citizens. “It will make it easier for the long haul intercontinental visitor and investor,” Mugabe said as he officially opened the 20th session of the UNWTO general assembly in Victoria Falls last Sunday. Mugabe said the type of seamless border between Livingstone and Victoria Falls put in place for purposes of the UNWTO “should become the rule rather than the exception for all adjacent touristic border communities throughout Sadc, and ultimately throughout Africa. “Africa can only benefit from increasingly behaving like a single common market,” he said. He said there was no way Africa could increase its portion of the global tourism cake without first promoting intra-Africa travel. “Indeed connectivity of African cities, regions and attractions augurs well for growing Africa’s share, as it serves, ultimately, to integrate the African tourism product and its marketing and promotion, which in turn makes it more attractive to the long haul traveller than is the case now.” Mugabe said it is critical that Africa evolves strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. “This assumes even greater importance in view of Europe’s efforts to keep the tourism dollars within the Euro-Zone, by imposition of punitive airport departure taxes for its intercontinental travellers.” Mugabe noted that the UNWTO has approved community-based initiatives for Zimbabwe as amplified by the assembly’s theme “Enhancing the participation of youth and women in the tourism sector”. He said the United Nations was a vital body for all humanity. “We are particularly happy that its specialised agencies like Unicef and UNWTO have increasingly important impact on the welfare of mankind,” he said. Mugabe said the assembly was economically important for Zimbabwe and Zambia and the whole of Sadc. “We expect it to leave an incredible mark on our memories and that it be part of or generational legacy, marking a clear turning point in the tourism fortunes of our two countries, our region and indeed our continent,” Mugabe said. Turning to Zambian President Michael Sata, who jointly officially opened the UNWTO with Mugabe, he said: “Comrade President Sata, it is my fervent hope that the dream and vision of the founders of independent Africa, of a United States of Africa will be a reality one day sooner rather than later.” Other notable guests included Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO and several heads of delegations. South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela entertained the guests during the official opening ceremony.


Tsvangirai Under Fire For Imposing Mayors on Winning Cities by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Tsvangirai Under Fire For Imposing Mayors on Winning Cities  by Jonga Kandemiiri VOA-Zimbabwe Former senator and deputy justice minister Obert Gutu has been appointed Harare mayor-elect by the MDC T’s standing committee amid murmurs of disapproval from other party cadres who accused former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and senior leaders in the party of imposing candidates without giving councillors a chance to make their own choice. Isaac Manyemba was picked to lead Chitungwiza while in Mutare Brian James was given another opportunity to run the eastern border City. James was suspended during his last term as mayor by local government minister Ignatius Chombo but the courts cleared him to contest in the 2013 elections. In Gweru Charles Chikozho was named the mayor-elect while in Masvingo David Charirwe takes over from Femius Chakabuda. Sources in the party said some cities were resisting the candidates selected by Mr. Tsvangirai and his team. The MDC T party won overwhelmingly in 15 councils. The mayors will be confirmed in elections called by their respective town clerks. The weekly Standard newspaper reported Sunday that the MDC T has been rocked by fresh divisions over the imposition of mayors and chairpersons of local council committees allegedly by Mr. Tsvangirai. Sources told VOA the party’s standing committee had given Mr. Tsvangirai permission to appoint the office holders as big wigs within the movement who lost in the July election rushed to grab the remaining political offices in local authorities won by the MDC. MDC-T youths have since written a petition to Mr. Tsvangirai questioning the party’s internal democratic systems and processes, including the imposition of mayoral candidates. Senior officials said there was tension in the party ahead of a retreat by the party’s top leadership Tuesday and Wednesday in the capital after Mr. Tsvangirai began to directly appoint mayors, their deputies and chairpersons of committees in various cities and towns won by the MDC T. MDC T secretary for local government Blessing Chebundo told VOA the party’s leadership interviewed the aspiring candidates before nominating them.


Outrage over Mugabe threats to Harare and Bulawayo by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Outrage over Mugabe threats – NewsDay Zimbabwe  by Moses Matenga and Blondie Ndebele HARARE and Bulawayo residents yesterday reacted angrily to President Robert Mugabe’s threat to disown the two cities as punishment for dumping his Zanu PF party and overwhelmingly voting for the MDC-T in the July 31 polls. In separate interviews with NewsDay in Harare and its sister publication Southern Eye in Bulawayo yesterday, the residents said the Zanu PF leader should stop being vindictive and act like a statesman by treating all citizens equally regardless of their political affiliation. Mugabe, speaking at the burial of National Railways of Zimbabwe general manager and former liberation war fighter Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai at the National Heroes’ Acre on Sunday, threatened to avenge his defeat in Bulawayo and Harare, the MDC-T’s strongholds. The MDC-T said in a statement: “It is shameful that a man of his stature could stoop so low as to harbour petty political grudges with the people he purports to lead. Mugabe’s vindictive nature is pathetic and should not be tolerated by any sane-minded Zimbabwean.” The Harare Residents’ Trust issued a statement, saying: “President Robert Mugabe should refrain from making statements that create disharmony among the citizens of Zimbabwe by insinuating that residents in Harare and Bulawayo should get services from the MDC-T who they overwhelmingly voted for in the July 31 poll. “The President needs to recognise the diversity of the citizens he leads. The residents of Harare will get all services from the government of the day irrespective of whether or not they voted for that governing party in elections, declared free and peaceful by Sadc and the AU (African Union). “President Mugabe, you also belong to Harare, and Harare residents expect you to honour the Zimbabwe Constitution, in line with your oath of office as you pledged at the National Sports Stadium before God and His people. We pray to God that President Mugabe will serve Harare residents like any other city/town in Zimbabwe. Fighting God’s people is fighting God Himself.” Cosmas Wakatama, a Harare businessman, said: “He (Mugabe) is supposed to be President for all Zimbabweans whether Zanu PF, MDC-T or any other party. He acted like a father angered by his child and says he won’t give him or her food.” Another resident, Felix Mutizira, said the residents no longer cared about Mugabe’s actions as his record showed that he had no regard for them. “Whatever colour he is going to paint us, we don’t care. What has he given us in the last 33 years he has been in power? He gave us the worst and we don’t care what he says or does. We have suffered enough, he abandoned the people long back,” Mutizira said. Sam Gondongwe said Mugabe’s remarks showed that he was determined to throw away the child together with the bath water. “It means he would have abandoned even his own supporters,” he said. Trevor Chimhandire said: “He has to go out of Harare himself because he doesn’t have support and leave those who won the election to stay.” Simbarashe Moyo, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents’ Association, said: “We don’t expect such comments from a whole President. “People must not be punished on the basis that they choose someone else. That’s an infringement on people’s democratic right to vote. It’s unfortunate he is saying that and we hope he was not serious because the world over, even in Africa, I have not heard of a President who says that.” Although Mugabe did not clearly specify what kind of action he would take against the residents, Bulawayo residents expressed fear that the Mugabe administration might stall the city’s economic revival through underfunding. Mthulisi Moyo from Pelandaba suburb said the city had been victimised for a long time as the government continued to delay projects meant to alleviate the poverty of the residents. “We have been doing our own things for the past 33 years,” he said. “He (Mugabe) has never brought any meaningful development in this city except make companies to either relocate or close.” Mbonisi Sibanda, a resident of Magwegwe North, said: “He (Mugabe) revenged a long time ago. How did he expect us to vote for him when he made us suffer for so many years? My father was killed during Gukurahundi and I am an orphan because of him. We should be the ones revenging because he has made us suffer under his unbearable rule.” Tapiwa Machingaidze of Mahatshula said people no longer cared about Mugabe’s threats because they always had a way of surviving even in the most difficult circumstances. “We are waiting for his revenge to begin so that we will also find ways to adapt and move forward with our lives.” Dumisani Nkomo, a local political analyst, cautioned Mugabe against victimising people for voting for the MDC-T, saying it smacked of political intolerance. “There is a reason why the people voted for the opposition. Mugabe is (supposed to be) a statesman. He should not victimise anyone.”


Civil Society reacts to Mugabe’s funeral diatribe by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Civil Society reacts to Mugabe’s funeral diatribe by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Addressing mourners at the burial of Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai at the National Hero’s Acre on Sunday 25 August, President Robert Mugabe gave credence to the old adage that old habits die hard when he threw a hissy fit and haranguing the West, threatening Western companies with restrictions and disowning the residents of Harare and Bulawayo. Mugabe, who is notorious for turning burial ceremony speeches into ranting sessions by going off tangent and taking a swipe at his enemies, real or imagined, raised the ire of ordinary citizens, civil society members and had economists sounding the warning bell on the consequences of his reckless utterances. Without departing from his anti-West script, Mugabe on Sunday said he was fed up with being “harassed” by the British and the Americans before issuing a veiled threat to place restrictions on Western companies, a stance which analysts say could repel foreign investors. Civil society leaders have reacted variously to Mugabe’s remarks with Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Director, Jenni Williams saying she was “disgusted” by the President’s remarks particularly in threatening to disown residents of Harare and Bulawayo for not voting for his party.  Said Williams: “He (Mugabe) must know that if he was inaugurated as the President of this country then it means that he is the President of every citizen not only those that voted for him. We fully intend to hold him and his Government accountable as residents in Bulawayo and our members in Harare will certainly do the same.” Williams said Mugabe might be in need of refresher course in democracy as his remarks were at odds with the most rudimentary concepts of democracy and leadership. The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson and Director of Bulawayo Agenda, Thabani Nyoni said that Mugabe’s remarks only served to prove the level of his consistency in churning out hate speech. In concurrence, Director of the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT), Liberty Bhebhe said although it was improper for a President to think that his office serves only those who voted for him such conduct was to be expected: “His remarks are not surprising at all because we do not expect anything from him or from his Government because Bulawayo has been marginalized under Mugabe’s rule for a long time and we will   survive by the grace of the lord.” However, Media Centre Director, Ernest Mudzengi said that these utterances should not be taken at face value, stating that: “The President was making a political statement and not a policy statement as far as I can tell”. With the pending burials of party founder and former cabinet minister Enos Nkala as well as politburo member Kumbirai Kangai who both died last week and were declared national heroes – Mugabe will have to conduct himself in a way befitting his position or face more backlash from infuriated citizens.


Mugabe attacks Europe over tourism cake by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Mugabe attacks Europe over tourism cake | The Zimbabwean by Zivai Maenzanise President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at European countries for shortchanging Africa through their tourism sector policies. Mugabe made the remarks when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the 20th United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in Victoria Falls yesterday. The summit is being co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia and commenced on Sunday, ending August 29. He said Europe was putting in place punitive policy frameworks to safeguard their tourism sector at the expense of the African continent. “It is very critical that Africa evolves strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. This assumes even greater importance in view of Europe’s efforts to keep the tourism dollars within the Euro-zone, by imposition of punitive airport departure taxes for its intercontinental travellers,” he said. Mugabe said it was still disappointing to note that Africa had only four per cent share of global tourism revenue despite being richly endowed with massive natural and cultural tourism resources. “From 1981, we remained active members of the UNWTO until 1999. Unfortunately during the period 2000 – 2008, we faced immense challenges occasioned, in large part, by illegal debilitating sanctions imposed upon us by some sections of the West. “These sanctions sadly came hard on the heels of the IMF/World Bank’s ill-conceived Economic Structural Adjustment Programme that, amongst other negatives, disabled our active participation in bodies like the UNWTO,” he said. However, Mugabe acknowledged that the Government of National Unity brought stability that saw the country retaining its UNWTO membership. “The GNU led in to the somewhat softening of the stances against us on the part of our political and economic detractors,” he said. Mugabe then called for Africa to evolve strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. He and his Zambian counterpart, President Michael Sata, have since signed the Golden Book of Tourism. That makes them global tourism ambassadors, but critics question Mugabe’s credibility regarding that status. Mugabe further backed the introduction of a Univisa for Africa, lobbying for the further opening of borders on the continent. “The need for open borders, through regional block visa regimes, which we are trying to implement as Univisa through RETOSA, will not only allow easier travel amongst SADC citizens, But will also make it easier for the long haul intercontinental visitor and investor,” he said.


Africa’s turn to realise tourism potential by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Africa’s turn to realise tourism potential  by Bhekinkosi Ngubeni TOURISM is still very much a live issue in Africa. This week, Zimbabwe and Zambia are hosting the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) summit. With an estimated one billion tourist journeys recorded in 2012, forecast to rise to 1.6 billion by 2020, one cannot begin to emphasise the extent to which less developed countries stand to benefit from tourist earnings. The chart at the end of this article suggests Africa attracts a sizeable amount of the tourists. In Africa, the sector lends itself towards a raft of positive alpha. One in nine employees works in tourism. It has a great multiplier effect on other industries. It is literally the biggest generator of employment ahead of agriculture and mining. You would expect Africa’s raw appeal to pull the crowds in, yet there isn’t a single African country in the world’s top ten tourist destinations. Tourism boards across the continent are showing encouraging signs of competence and ability in attracting more visitors, although efforts are not necessarily translating into dramatic progress. A lot more needs to be done. In the case of Zimbabwe, there are a couple of ideas that could be expanded and advanced. The ideas relate to the country in particular, but the theme is transferable to any developing nation. Firstly, why not move huge international sporting events such as cricket or football to Victoria Falls, or some other tourist attraction? Linking the business of sport and tourism is a no brainer. A cricket Test match played over five days with the Victoria Falls or Vumba mountains providing the backdrop, and beamed to millions of TV viewers around the world, is just the unpaid advertisement our tourism sector cries out for. Secondly, tourism appeals to the outsider. Why not set up travel agents outside of the country, in places like China with dedicated marketing agents funded by the government instead of relying on the internet or private organisations? We need dedicated armies of salesmen and women in major countries marketing the country. On the flip side, nothing is without controversy. The diagram below queries the economic significance of international tourism in the world, Africa in particular. Having studied the above, it suddenly dawned to me why Zimbabwe’s indigenisation programme, which I discuss in-depth here necessarily addresses problematic issues such as the above stated. There is an appreciation of policy links within various sectors. Indigenisation has done away with a major tourism critic, that is, who profits the most?  The sector’s moderate capital outlays deliver relatively added value due to the nature of its low or zero production costs. If a culture can be turned into an income generating commodity, then by all means tourism is a clear route to economic development. Bhekinkosi E Ngubeni is a qualified economist. E-mail him: bheki213@yahoo.co.uk


Zim’s next president a woman? by ZimSitRep – 08-27-2013
via Zim’s next president a woman: Ambassador – Zimbabwe Election: Latest News & Voting Information by FFZE DAKAR (Senegal) — Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal Trudy Stevenson has expressed hope that the next leader of the country could be a woman. Stevenson argued that a woman president in Zimbabwe will certainly raise the country’s profile in virtually every sphere. She alluded to Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who has been in the position since 2004. Liberia elected Africa’s first-ever woman head of State, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during the 2007 elections, while the Malawian President Joyce Banda succeeded Bingu Wa Mutharika who died last year. Touching on the post-electoral climate in Zimbabwe, Stevenson was categorical: “there will be no post-electoral violence this year!” She said Zimbabweans have learnt from their past mistakes in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential poll when scores were killed and injured. “Generally speaking, Zimbabweans are not violent . . . we dislike violence and I doubt it very seriously if there would be any election-related violence.” she said. She explained that “even a post-(President Robert) Mugabe Zimbabwe will remain peaceful and progressive,” adding, “the proof is that Zimbabweans have already yielded to Mugabe’s call to remain one, united and peaceful”. Stevenson called on the international community, particularly Africans, not to believe in the “tales told about my country’s wrongs in the indigenisation and land reform process”. She asked: “don’t you think it is fair for Zimbabweans to own only 51% of the businesses in the country and their land?” Touching on the bilateral co-operation with Senegal, Stevenson said it ranges from education to mining, tourism and agriculture with the significant exchanges between the two countries. Most importantly, she said that Senegal stands to benefit greatly from Zimbabwe’s experience in dairy farming and tourism in which the landlocked country has a comparative advantage. “But we in Zimbabwe want to learn from Senegal’s experience in how people and animals co-exist in several of Senegal’s animal parks,” the envoy said with a smile suggesting admiration. She revealed plans by the two countries to strengthen bilateral trade through a joint commission that will be holding soon in Harare.

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