- I still have a dream – David Coltart
- Zim towns run dry, residents call for action
- Bulawayo Defies Govt Order to Write Off All Residents’ Debts
- Nkala statement on Mugabe running ‘ruthless dictatorship’
- NewsDay suspends editor over Mbeki
- Anglican Church Rebuilds In Zimbabwe
- Constitution sets rules for incoming Parliamentarians
- Bank warns on bills scrapping
- Journalism Ethics in Zimbabwe
- Zimbos flood SA refugee centre
- Councils plunge into crisis
- Mugabe’s tough juggling act
- Zim mining sector least attractive
- Meikles mulls acquiring gold, diamond mines
- CIO steps up citizen surveillance
- Who will be number three in Zimbabwe?
- Mugabe wishes for perpetual life
I still have a dream – David Coltart by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via I still have a dream – David Coltart August 28 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech. He has always been one of my heroes and I have taken great inspiration from his speeches for many decades. While rereading his I have a dream speech it struck me that it applies very much to Zimbabwe today. Many are feeling downcast; many in the human rights community feel that despite decades of struggle to bring freedom and tolerance to Zimbabwe, we are going backwards. It was in that light that I found the speech so encouraging because many black Americans felt that way on August 28 1963. And so this morning, I have adapted the speech to suit Zimbabwe today and I hope you will find it as inspirational: “There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as Zimbabweans are the victims of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Zimbabwean in Highfield cannot vote and a Zimbabwean in Johannesburg believes she has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ I am not unmindful that some of you are mightily weary out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Tsholotsho, go back to Dotito, go back to Mutare, go back to Mwenezi, go back to Kariba, go back to the ruined and dilapidated suburbs of our cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in our Zimbabwean dream. I have a dream that one day this country will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: That we are ‘united in our diversity by our common desire for freedom, justice and equality’. I have a dream that one day on the granite hills of the Matopos, the sons of former detainees and the sons of former white rulers will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the province of Matabeleland North, a province sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Zimbabwe, still with some of its racists, one day right here in Zimbabwe little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.’ This is our hope, and this is the faith that we face the future with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our country into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and sisterhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. And this will be the day – this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of our heroes’ pride,From every mountainside, let freedom ring! And if Zimbabwe is to be a great nation, this must become true.And so let freedom ring from the prodigious Chilojo Cliffs. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Chimanimani. Let freedom ring from the heightening Nyangombe Mountain. Let freedom ring from Mount Silozwe. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of Harare Kopje. But not only that: Let freedom ring from the Zambezi escarpment. Let freedom ring from Domboshawa. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of the Midlands. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every province and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Hindus, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old blackman’s spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” DAVID COLTART BULAWAYO
Zim towns run dry, residents call for action by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Zim towns run dry as residents call for urgent action | SW Radio Africa By Alex Bell Various towns in Zimbabwe are battling with acute water shortages, leading to calls from residents that urgent action be taken to restore proper services.Shortages have been reported in and around Zimbabwe’s major cities, and in Harare at least seven suburbs have had little to no water for well over a week. The Harare Residents Trust said that areas like Glen Norah, Glen View, Budiriro, Highfield and Kuwadzana have been badly affected, with the city council blaming old equipment and high demand for the water woes. Precious Shumba, the director of the Residents Trust, said the worst affected area has been Chitungwiza, which has faced serious shortages for about three weeks. The high density area was the centre of the cholera epidemic that swept Zimbabwe in late 2008, leaving thousands dead. Shumba said nothing has been done since then to ensure that residents have access to clean water, which is essential in preventing water borne diseases like cholera. “The water situation remains critical and people remain at risk because residents are resorting to digging wells and boreholes without following proper regulations. So the threats of diseases like typhoid and cholera remain very high,” Shumba told SW Radio Africa. He added that residents are desperate for action, and called on the incoming council leadership to prioritise the water and sanitation issues plaguing the capital city. Meanwhile the City of Gweru and its immediate surroundings were also battling serious water shortages this week, with the authorities reportedly citing an equipment breakdown at the local water plant. In a statement released on Wednesday, Gweru Town Clerk Daniel Matawu said the water challenges were likely to last for the whole of this week. He said the water challenges were a result of a burnt motor at ‘Range Booster’. “The Gweru City Council would like to inform all the residents of Gweru that one of the pump sets at our Range Booster has developed a serious fault. The fault involves a burnt motor,” he said. The water problems across the country come as ZANU PF has been insisting that Western imposed targeted sanctions are to blame for the problems dogging Zimbabwe, including issues like cholera outbreaks. This is despite the fact that over the past three decades Robert Mugabe’s government has put no money into the upkeep of local infrastructure, needed to ensure basic services are available to residents.
Bulawayo Defies Govt Order to Write Off All Residents’ Debts by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Bulawayo Defies Govt Order to Write Off All Residents’ Debts by Nothando Sibanda – VOAZimbabwe The Bulawayo City Council is set to clash with the local government ministry over its refusal to fully comply with a directive to cancel outstanding residents’ debts. Other local authorities have obliged but the city has partially complied, insisting it cannot afford to write-off all the debts. On the other hand, the local authority says it will not hesitate to fire council officials who fail to fully implement the directive. Unlike other local authorities in the country, the city council has only cancelled debts accrued over rates – leaving residents with water charge bills dating back to 2009. It says revenue collection in the city has gone down drastically since Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo gave the directive just before the July 31 election. Revenue collection in the city is down to $2.4 million from $6.9 million per month, a move the local authority says is devastating. City public relations officer Bongiwe Ngwenya says the city may soon be asking residents to start boiling drinking water as it will find it difficult to pay for water treatment chemicals if it fully complies with the government order. Local Government Permanent Secretary Killion Mpingo told the Chronicle newspaper that councils facing service delivery challenges should raise the issue with the ministry but only after complying with the directive. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association information officer, Zibusiso Dube, says the city’s reasons for not complying with the directive are vague, adding the local authority has been shortchanging residents anyway by using a faulty billing system. Resident and political analyst Godwin Phiri says the council should be careful as the defiance may infuriate Harare, especially after the city voted overwhelmingly for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The city budget, he said, may not be approved by the ministry. He adds that interference from the ministry may also make it difficult for the council to deliver services to residents on time. Harare has already complied with the directive cancelling debts amounting to $330 million from the $400 million it was owed. Chitungwiza cancelled rate arrears amounting to $40 million.
Nkala statement on Mugabe running ‘ruthless dictatorship’ by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Full text of Enos Nkala statement on Mugabe running ‘ruthless dictatorship’ — Nehanda Radio By Enos Nkala In 2006 the late national hero Enos Nkala blasted President Robert Mugabe for running a ‘ruthless dictatorship’. He said “Mugabe talks, imagines and believes that he and he alone brought about the freedom of Zimbabwe. He believes that some of us were sleeping at home with our wives while he was fighting — this nonsense must come to an end,” Nkala said in a statement. Robert Mugabe came into the political scene of this country in 1960. We had invited him to join us. At this time he was a teacher in Ghana. He came while on leave. I then shared a platform with him at Cyril Jennings Hall in May of that year. He spoke very well and we were impressed by his eloquence. At this time, I was secretary-general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had been formed on the January 1 1960. Because of his eloquence and his clarity of issues, he impressed us and the central committee sat and agreed that we should approach him and ask him to join us. Morton Malianga and I were asked to approach him so that he could join us in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe. He was staying at Cephas Msipa’s house (in Harare) from where we had a meeting with him. When we got there, we briefed him about our mission. Then a positive and rewarding discussion took place. At the end of the meeting he agreed to join us. But among other problems, if my memory serves me right, was his teaching contract with a year to go. He then said to us he would find a way to terminate it before it expired. Without making any reference to the ensuing events concerning the contract, all I can say is that he later joined as publicity secretary of the NDP. After a year or so, the NDP was banned and its leadership restricted in their respective home areas. If I am not wrong, it was for a period of three months. Soon after their release from restriction, Zapu was formed as a substitute political party to the NDP. Of course, Joshua Nkomo remained as leader. The NDP held its national election conference, if my memory interprets this occurrence of events appropriately, it was in September of 1961 at which conference Nkomo was elected president since he had been president of the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress. When it got banned in 1959, he went to exile in London. We had been campaigning for Nkomo to return to lead the NDP, of which he was elected president in September of 1961. Mugabe was retained as publicity secretary. Zapu was banned in 1962. At this time, Nkomo and others were outside the country attending many of the meetings that later gave birth to the Organisation of African Unity. Serious differences among leaders of Zapu emerged. There was a view among the leaders of Zapu that had emerged that Nkomo had failed as a leader. I was in support of this view. The differences of views led to the split in the leadership of Zapu which was followed by the formation of Zanu at my Highfield house in 1963. The characteristics of the serious differences that emerged will be clearly spelt out in the book I am writing whose title will be The Years of Challenge. At the formation of Zanu, Mugabe was not there. He was in Tanzania with his wife attending to the birth of his son. At the formation of Zanu at my house in August 1963, Ndabaningi Sithole was elected president, deputised by Leopold Takawira. Mugabe was elected secretary-general deputised by Eddison Zvobgo and I was elected treasurer-general deputised by Nathan Shamuyarira. The other appointments can be found in the Chronicle and the Rhodesia Herald of the following day. I remained treasurer-general of the party until my controversial resignation in 1990 from both the government and all my executive positions in Zanu PF, including of course, my membership of Zanu PF. I did this in total disgust of the under-current manoeuvres by Mugabe and his Zezuru group. It was obvious to me that he wanted to clear me and Maurice Nyagumbo from both the government and the party so as to enable him to become the dictator which he is. The so-called Sandura Judicial Commission was appointed at his initiation and instigation so that he could get rid of us. It is unfortunate and very much regrettable Nyagumbo was made to take away his life. May his soul rest in peace. It was due to the Zezuru Group of 26 that brought about the Sandura initiative. This group reports directly to Mugabe. It includes Zezuru judges, senior Zezuru army officers and some senior Zezuru CIO. It is the policy-making body. It recommends the dismissal of ministers and appointment of ministers who are amenable to Mugabe remaining in power. Should I be challenged over what I have said herein, I am ready to elaborate and defend the position that I have hinted to in this statement. The critical issue that I want to raise among other things is the destruction of the economy by Mugabe and the Group of 26 and the social fabric of the people of Zimbabwe. In everything, this group, headed by Mugabe, has humiliated and cowed the people of this country into total abject submission. The people of this country can no longer hold demonstrations, protestations, or find any other means of expressing their democratic rights. Anyone found to be in disagreement with Mugabe, the hidden hand of the Group of 26, CIO, army and police, can be beaten and thrown into prison. Women with babies have been locked in police cells, trade unionists have had their hands if not heads broken and beaten to the point of total submission.Judicial processes have been negated by the unholy influence of the Group of 26. Law and order, legal rights, constitutional protection can now only be enjoyed by members of Zanu PF and those who support the tyranny of His Excellency President Robert Mugabe. It is my considered view that I should stand up and be counted among those who are opposed to this ruthless dictatorship. Time has come for people of Zimbabwe to stand up and be counted in opposition to this ruthless tyranny. I want to remind His Excellency that I am not among those who die many times before their actual death. I am a son of heroes and a self-made hero and have just completed 74 years of my life with a greater part of it spent in Ian Smith’s prisons and detention camps for the liberation of my country. Mugabe talks, imagines and believes that he and he alone brought about the freedom of Zimbabwe. He believes that some of us were sleeping at home with our wives while he was fighting — this nonsense must come to an end. I am ready to spend the last days of my life in Mugabe’s prisons in defence of the legal, constitutional and civil rights of the precious people of Zimbabwe. I wish to end thus far until he responds to this statement. Mugabe must go now before the situation consumes him.
NewsDay suspends editor over Mbeki by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via NewsDay suspends editor over Mbeki by NewZimbabwe THE NewsDay newspaper suspended its editor on Friday over two stories which the publisher said “did not conform to set ethical standards.” Constantine Chimakure’s suspension is “with immediate effect”, said Vincent Kahiya, the editor-in-chief of Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of the daily. The move came after former South African President Thabo Mbeki accused the newspaper of publishing “falsehoods” by misreporting his comments made on August 23 during a lecture at UNISA in Tshwane. The newspaper, in its front page splash on Thursday, claimed that Mbeki – who had attended President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration a day earlier – had criticised the Zimbabwean leader and accused him of “setting a bad example” in Africa with his land reforms. The paper quoted Mbeki as saying: “The way the land reform was done offended other players in the world. I told them (Mugabe and Zanu PF), they could not listen; they did what they wanted with their own country. “They set a bad example which we don’t want any country in Africa to follow. So they must pay a price. I think this is the reason why, apart from diamonds, there is too much attention on Zimbabwe.” Mbeki, through a spokesman, suggested that the newspaper had maliciously “twisted and manipulated the truth… to communicate falsehoods to achieve particular political outcomes.” An audio recording and transcript of that particular comment showed Mbeki saying at the lecture: “I was saying earlier that we opposed, we tried to discourage Zimbabweans from taking the particular steps they took with regard to land reform, acknowledging that it was indeed necessary to have land reform, and I was saying they ignored us. “It is, I think, exactly the manner in which they came at that question of land reform that offended other forces in the world who said, ‘This is wrong, we don’t like it’. “And unlike us who said, ‘Well, they are not listening. They have done what they want to do about their country, we have to accept that’, these others said, ‘They have set a bad example which we don’t want anybody else in Africa and the rest of the world to follow, so they must pay a price for setting a bad example.’ Bad example, bad in the instance of the interests of these other people, not bad in terms of the interests of the people of Zimbabwe.” Kahiya said another story, published on Wednesday, claiming President Robert Mugabe had offered MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai the job of first Vice President had also been denied by the former Prime Minister. “We feel the stories fell short of the basic journalistic standards set in our ethics guidelines: how we put accuracy to the test, the AMH Code of Ethics and the AMH Pledge whose tenets are fundamental to our operations,” said Kahiya. He said Alpha Media Holdings would “appoint an investigator to probe the acts of misconduct and in the event that he/she concludes Chimakure has a case to answer, the editor will be charged in terms of the AMH Code.” Chimakure’s suspension was being effected to facilitate investigations into the “ethical infractions”, he added. Chimakure joined last year from NewsDay’s sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent.
Anglican Church Rebuilds In Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – After Religious Persecution, Anglican Church Rebuilds In Zimbabwe By Professor Matodzi The Anglican Church Province of Central Africa (CPCA) has begun rehabilitating some of its church properties which were in a bad state after being seized by renegade church leader Nolbert Kunonga, six years ago. Kunonga, the ex-communicated Anglican Church leader grabbed all the Anglican CPCA properties in 2007 when he formed a breakaway diocese. During Kunonga’s five year reign as leader of the breakaway diocese, congregational buildings were vandalised while some church-owned land was parceled to his loyalists. However, the CPCA led by Bishop Chad Gandiya has now begun rehabilitating some of the Anglican Church properties and some which had been stalled following the seizure of the church assets. In Murewa, the CPCA Anglican Wabvuwi has resumed construction of a memorial clinic at St Clare that was abandoned five years ago and which will cost $150 000. Upon completion in August 2014, the Memorial Clinic is expected to serve more than 30 000 villagers, who have been struggling to access basic healthcare in Mashonaland East province, who at times are forced to travel to Harare to access medical facilities. “The Wabvuwi initiative to build a health centre in Murewa is work in progress for the Anglican Diocese as we rebuild the church following five years of persecution by enemies of progress. More support is still required from the corporate world, and individuals to ensure that the project is completed on time and begins to serve the Murewa community in the delivery of standard health services,” reads part of a statement issued by Bishop Gandiya. The Memorial Clinic project was initiated by members of the Anglican Wabvuwi Guild and Anglican clergy following the death of five Wabvuwi members in a road accident at the St Clare’s Mission turn off in November 1997. Construction of the project had been halted in 2007 when Kunonga and his followers denied Anglican parishioners access to the project site, including the church building, claiming they were now in charge. However, the renegade church leader failed to carry on with the project construction, stalling a development that was approved by the Murewa Rural District Council, the local traditional leadership and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. The Supreme Court ended the persecution of Anglican parishioners in November last year after ruling that the church property which had been at the centre of the long-running dispute belongs to the CPCA and that it has a right to an order for vindication of its property from possessors who have no right to have it. The Supreme Court concluded that the High Court was wrong to give Kunonga and his followers the right to possess and control the property of the CPCA without its consent and that the breakaway diocese which the ex-communicated church leader formed had no right to continue in possession of the congregational buildings as they departed from the fundamental principles and standards on which the Church is founded.
Constitution sets rules for incoming Parliamentarians by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Constitution sets rules for incoming Parliamentarians by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Incoming Parliamentarians – set to be sworn in on 3 September 2013 – will find themselves operating under a new rule book given that the new Constitution is now fully in force according to the Veritas Bill Watch report of 27 August 2013. Despite having been postponed from the initial date of 27 August, the new date for the swearing in still complies with section 145(1) of the Constitution, which states that the first sitting of Parliament after a general election must “not be later than thirty days after the President-elect assumes office”. Under the new rules set out by the Constitution, the annual Presidential proclamations that marked the beginning and end for the former annual Parliamentary “sessions” are no longer provided for. Instead the two Houses of Parliament – apart from the first sitting after a general election – will decide for themselves when they will sit and when they will recess with a stipulation that they do not go into recess for more than 180 days. Under the Constitution, sections 146 and 140, the President, does, however, have the power to summon Parliament to meet at any time “to conduct special business”, and must at least once a year address a joint sitting of both Houses on “the state of the nation”. Furthermore, MPs in both Houses of Parliament are required within thirty days of their election, to relinquish any public office they were holding when elected as outlined in Section 129(1)(h) of the Constitution, which stipulates that: “ If when elected a member was a “public officer” [e.g. a serving member of the Public Service or the uniformed services or the holder of any other paid office in the service of the State] or a member or employee of a statutory body, a Government-controlled entity, a provincial council or a local authority, he or she must relinquish that office, membership or employment within 30 days of being declared elected.” Consequently, failure to relinquish will entail automatic and immediate forfeiture of an MP-elect’s Parliamentary seat. More details: http://www.veritaszim.net/
Bank warns on bills scrapping by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Bank warns on bills scrapping from Newsday by Bernard Mpofu NMBZ Holdings chief executive officer James Mushore has warned that the cancellation of domestic consumers’ debts owed to local authorities and plans to write off more utility bills may worsen the liquidity crisis. Addressing an analyst briefing in the capital yesterday, Mushore said while business accepts the outcome of the July 31 elections, the post election government faces a herculean task of sourcing long-term capital to stimulate economic growth. NMBZ Holdings’ after tax profit was up 0,04% to $2,6 million for the six months to June. “I think the stagnation in the economy and the liquidity problems are going to be exacerbated now with the cuts or cancellation in rates and bills. The suggestion of cancellation of other utility bills is certainly going to impact on liquidity going forward and obviously this affects everybody,” Mushore said. He said the bank’s non-performing loans for the six months to June had increased due to an underperforming economy. The group’s loans and advances were up 10% to $210,6 million during the period under review. Independent estimates suggest that Zimbabwe lost nearly $1 billion to offshore markets due to uncertainty that gripped the country in the run up to elections. Official figures show that Zimbabwe’s economic growth rate is this year expected to slow down due to underperformance of mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Outgoing Finance minister Tendai Biti last month warned that seven commercial banks exposed to local authorities may fold following Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s directive for municipalities across the country to write off public debt. Chombo ordered local authorities to scrap all outstanding rates as at June 30, 2013. NMB group chairperson Tendayi Mundawarara, however, said the bank would remain aggressive in sourcing lines of credit despite the biting liquidity constraints. “We eagerly wait to see whether the economic environment will now become more certain and predictable post the recent harmonised elections. Whatever the case, the group will continue to scout for more international lines of credit. The group will also explore growth opportunities in other markets,” Mundawarara said in a statement accompanying the financial results.
Journalism Ethics in Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Reform should begin from within – Report by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition A study commissioned by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) has intimated that the professional conduct of journalists is a critical ingredient in reforming the sector amid revelations of rampant violations of the ethics guiding the profession. The report titled “The State of Journalism Ethics in Zimbabwe” contends that there is widespread consensus over the fact that the journalism profession in the country is in a state of “moral and ethical degeneracy” as evidenced by the rise of “propaganda journalism” and hence the recommending that: “To reclaim its lost ethical ground, journalists need to go beyond just introspection. They need to follow this up with creating and fully subscribing to self-regulatory mechanisms which have ‘teeth’.” The report also noted that despite the constitutional protections of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, the policy and regulatory environment remained a key impediment to journalism practice – a fact which has led to repeated calls for media reforms. The Report cites the Director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Nhlanhla Ngwenya emphasizing on the need to adhere to ethics by journalists and commitment to conducting themselves in a professional manner so as not to undermine the efforts being made by media reform activists. “Once you entrench non-professionalism, it becomes the norm. The problem is so serious that it makes it difficult for us as media reform advocates when we approach state authorities to lobby for self-regulation. They remind us of just how rotten the profession is and justify their reluctance to endorse self-regulation,” says Ngwenya. The Report optimistically notes that despite the messy state of affairs within the media sector, the respondents in the study expressed confidence that the situation was salvageable as long as there was a strong commitment to ‘introspect’ and engage in a ‘profession-wide’ dialogue to inform a positive change in professional conduct. Like charity that is said to begin at home, the reform agenda of the media sector will most likely be realized if it begins from within as journalists align their conduct with the ethics guiding their profession. In its concluding remarks, the Report reiterates that: “The profession needs to demonstrate that it can clean the ethical mess itself and use that as a strategy to leverage the state to fully accede to self-regulation”.
Zimbos flood SA refugee centre by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Zimbos flood SA refugee centre | The Zimbabwean by Mkhululi Chimoio There has been an influx of Zimbabwean refugees at the Musina Compassion Refugee Centre, according to patron, Pastor Simon Sithole. Pastor Simon Sithole said the centre cannot cope with the influx of refugees. Situated just 15km from the border post, Musina Compassion Refugee Centre is a haven of hope for refugees from across the African continent. “There is an increase in the number of Zimbabweans claiming to be victimised for voting for the MDC,” Sithole said. “Very few of them are wounded but a lot seem to be traumatised and we have to arrange counselling for them. We need support to manage these escalating numbers because now we have more than 8,000 Zimbabweans at the centre and most of them are sleeping in the open.” Analyst Masimba Dube said Zimbabweans should not rely on the international community for their safety. “African Union and SADC have proved to be useless in solving human rights abuses perpetrated against vulnerable citizens by Zanu (PF) and its security chiefs. We all know there is a big problem in the country and we must come under one umbrella and fight for a better country and stop seeking refuge from countries where we are not wanted.”
Councils plunge into crisis by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Councils plunge into crisis | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News by Mandla Tshuma A DIRECTIVE issued by the government last month ordering municipalities to cancel all debts owed by residents backdating to February 2009 has thrown local authorities into financial turmoil. In the case of the capital city, council employees have not received their salaries for last month because revenue has literally dried up. In the second city, the Bulawayo City Council has missed this month’s deadline for the payment of salaries for its workers after the cash-flow situation worsened in the aftermath of the government directive. The situation follows a more or less similar pattern in other major towns and cities such as Mutare, Chitungwiza, Masvingo and Gweru where operations, just like in Bulawayo and Harare, are wholly funded by residents in the wake of donor fatigue. Indications are that service delivery could worsen because morale among council employees throughout the country has slumped to its lowest ebb due to the city fathers’ failure to pay their monthly salaries and improve their working conditions. City fathers interviewed by The Financial Gazette said even those residents who used to honour their dues religiously have since stopped doing so , hoping that the government would continue with its generosity since the operating environment continues to be tough for ordinary Zimbabweans. This has given rise to a serious cash-flow crisis in all councils. As a result, local authorities are now defaulting on critical payments, including pensions. Last month, government ordered councils to write off debts owed by individual ratepayers from February 2009 — when the country’s economy was formally dollarised — to June 30, 2013. In his directive, outgoing Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said it has become apparent that the country’s tottering economy has not been operating optimally and in the process relentlessly unleashing severe hardships on citizens. “Thus, from 2009, ratepayers have not been able to meet their obligations in terms of payment of taxes, rentals, levies and related charges resulting in an enormous and crippling debt burden frustrating the majority of the population,” reads part of the directive. “Given the above circumstances, all local authorities are in terms of Section133 of the Rural District Council Act (Chapter 29:13) as read with Section 303 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) directed to write off debts in respect of rentals, unit tax, development levies, licences and refuse charges owed by individuals ratepayers as at 30 June 2013. In the same vein, money owed by residents for rates, stands prescribed in terms of the Prescription Act (Chapter 8:13) as from February 2009 to 30 June 2013.” Chombo said the directive was meant to cushion individual ratepayers from the severe effects of the economic challenges experienced during the period in question. At the time, The Financial Gazette warned in its editorial that even after writing off the debts, there was still no guarantee that residents would be able to meet their future obligations no matter how reasonable they might be unless the tripartite arrangement of labour, the private sector and the government work tirelessly to improve the country’s economic fortunes. In order to provide service, councils rely on various service providers to supply them with chemicals to purify water, spares etc. There are also banks that provide funding for their operations. These suppliers and banks need to get paid or have the loans serviced to remain in business and that payment can only come from the councils’ ability to collect whatever they are owed by residents. Without government picking up the tab in the form of inheriting the debts, The Financial Gazette said the move would lead to the collapse of suppliers and banks that are exposed to these municipalities while compromising service delivery and exposing residents to health hazards. “While government has every reason to sympathise with residents and help them out in these difficult economic times, it must not reward defaulters and encourage the dependency syndrome, which has destroyed the country’s economy. By not giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, government is leaving a trail of disaster in its wake: Just look at what has happened to the once thriving public enterprises such as Air Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Cold Storage Company, TelOne and other parastatals that are currently on the brink,” the paper warned. This week, experts said government should have first disbursed at least partial grants or subsidies to municipalities before writing off the debts. Alternatively, government should have first cleared its debts with local authorities to ensure that they are not squeezed financially. Residents have however, welcomed the debt write-offs. The debt cancelation, especially of water bills, has also benefited mostly senior ZANU-PF officials who owe rural and urban authorities’ substantial amounts from their farming activities. Before the directive, Harare was owed over US$400 million by corporates and residents, Bulawayo (US$100million) while Mutare was owed US$20 million. In Masvingo, government owes council US$11 million while US$7 million is owed by residents. On Tuesday, the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union, Moses Mahlangu, described the debt cancellation as something not “worth smiling at”. Unless government bails out municipalities, Mahlangu said the worst was yet to come for both residents and councils. “If government is sympathetic towards the people, then it must look for money and give local authorities grants,” said Mahlangu. “Unfortunately, the people are rejoicing. What will happen soon is that local authorities will fail to service their debts and banks will descend heavily on them and residents will end up paying 10 times what they are paying now,” he warned. The secretary of the Bulawayo City Council Workers’ Union, Nkosiyabo Masuku, said municipal workers feel short-changed by council’s inability to dispense their salaries. “The council owes us some money and part of that money is what residents owe to the council. As we speak, pay day is already overdue and we have not been paid and the reasons are just obvious,” said Masuku. While Masuku said the union was not against the cancellation of debts since their members were also residents, he argues that government should have first compensated the local authorities to ensure service delivery was not compromised. He noted that even those residents who had been faithfully paying their bills immediately stopped soon after the announcement of the cancellation, depriving council of the much-needed monthly revenue. The outgoing Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe president, Femias Chakabuda, said the cancellation of debts had weakened municipalities’ balance sheets and subsequently their borrowing capacity. He said service delivery would decline as a result of councils’ failure to pay their employees adding that it would have been better if government had cleared its own debts before embarking on the move. “Remember councils need to pay for their water treatment chemicals upfront,” said Chakabuda. “My assumption is that some individuals in high offices there in government owe councils some money and just wanted to be pardoned together with the poor.” Former Gwanda mayor, Lionel De Necker, said government’s directive was catastrophic as it was encouraging people not to pay their bills. “The idea is disastrous. It took years to build a small group of people that paid their bills regularly and now a culture of not paying is being brought back,” said De Necker. Harare Residents’ Trust director, Precious Shumba, said he does not sympathise with the local authorities because they had allowed corruption and extravagance to impose a heavy penalty on service delivery. “Firstly, the majority of the citizens who owed the councils had already proven beyond doubt that they had no capacity to pay the charged rates, so in accounting, these debtors had already turned bad,” said Shumba. “The reason we in the HRT have celebrated debt cancellation is that the senior managers in Harare are earning monthly salaries of US$18 500 for the Town Clerk with the lowest paid director earning plus US$10 000, yet the lowest paid employee is getting around US$150. The level of corruption and extravagance does not make us sympathise with the local authorities as we genuinely believe that their insensitivity towards residents on service delivery has become legendary.” Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association coordinator, Rodrick Fayayo, said notwithstanding the impact the move would have on service delivery and council employees, a number of residents who were being overcharged owing to the skewed billing system welcomed the move. He said there was need for a forensic audit on the billing system adding that there was need to incentivise those who have been paying their bills so that they do not relent.
Mugabe’s tough juggling act by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Mugabe’s tough juggling act | The Financial Gazette by Ray Ndlovu PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, sworn in for a seventh-consecutive term in office on Thursday last week, faces the unenviable task of pulling Zimbabwe out of the doldrums. It is certain that how he performs in the next five years will make a lasting impression on his legacy that so far has been filled with several twists and turns of high and low points. President Mugabe, who turns 90 next February, will now need to use all the political wit and acumen he has accumulated over the past 33 years at the helm of government to deal with a plethora of challenges that plague the country. These include an economy in recession, pleasing an agitated public service, courting foreign investors and creating jobs for unemployed youths. Estimates from the United Nations put the rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe at over 80 percent of the national population — with youths bearing the greatest brunt. The myriad of challenges threaten to overshadow President Mugabe’s entry onto the political stage as the newly-elected Prime Minister of an independent Zimbabwe in 1980, an event which was celebrated with high hope, pomp and fanfare. Handlers in ZANU-PF deliberately tried to “re-create” President Mugabe’s inauguration last week along the theme of 1980. The celebratory mood of independence in 1980 was, however, short-lived in the mid 1980s as the Gukurahundi killings in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces tarnished President Mugabe’s early years in office — when nearly 20 000 people were killed. Economic challenges which followed in the 1990s brought about by the implementation of the World Bank’s recommended Economic Structural Adjustment Programme was widely seen by political observers as the catalyst that sparked political and civil unrest in the country, which eventually culminated into the political tug-of-war that dominated Zimbabwe at the turn of the new millennium in 2000. The height of political contestation between President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led to a deeply flawed election in 2008 and was the impetus to the formation of the government of national unity in February 2009. President Mugabe routed his rival from the MDC-T in the July 31 election and won 61 percent of votes, against Tsvangirai’s 33 percent of the 3,4 million votes cast. His win was roundly praised by most African countries but was unsurprisingly frowned upon by the West which held out “grave concerns” over the conduct of the election. The West’s reservation over the poll is now certain to see the tightening of screws and maintenance of sanctions imposed on President Mugabe and ZANU-PF’s inner circle for the next five-years, a stance which does not augur well for prospects of attracting foreign interest. The United States last week indicated that it would not lift sanctions imposed against President Mugabe and snubbed calls by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to have the decade-long sanctions removed. In traditional rhetoric, President Mugabe began his new five-year term in office by launching an attack on the West that questioned his victory and promised in retaliation, that his ZANU-PF would now step up its election promise to roll-out the 51 percent indigenisation programme, which targets foreign-owned companies. “As for the odd Western countries who happen to hold a different, negative view of our electoral process… we dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn,” said President Mugabe in his inaugural address. Rashweat Mukundu, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said one of President Mugabe’s challenges was to manage a hostile international community and he has to work hard at normalising the frosty relations. “While President Mugabe is digging in on his relationship with the West, he needs to be reminded that Zimbabwe is an invisible dot in world affairs and cannot do anything to the powerful Western countries and is better advised to seek a resolution than to prolong the fight,” said Mukundu. “The ZANU PF government has promised a lot which is near impossible to fulfil and the party is distracted by the succession issue. By claiming this huge electoral victory, ZANU-PF has also put itself in a trap as the party will be judged harshly by voters.” Other political obse-rvers said the inaugural speech delivered by President Mugabe reflected realism and showed a consciousness of the key domestic expectations upon the new government. Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst with the Interna-tional Crisis Group, said the biggest challenge for President Mugabe’s government was more about economic deliverables than anything else. “Forget issues of legitimacy and issues of the MDC-T party challenges. The economy is the battleground this time around. The biggest challenge for President Mugabe is that even his own supporters are expecting miracles out of this economy in order for them to substantiate his legacy based on the capacity to fulfil his promises made during the election campaign period,” said Maisiri. A top official at AfrAsia Kingdom Bank said so much of the country’s future depended on who gets the key economic postings in the new Cabinet. “The market seems to be looking for firm leadership,” said the banking official.
Zim mining sector least attractive by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Zim mining sector least attractive –– new survey | The Zimbabwe Independent by Carlos Vieira ZIMBABWE mining industry ranked as one of the least attractive for investment in the world, a survey published by a leading think tank says. The report, published by the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian public policy research organisation, showed Zimbabwe sitting ingloriously in the list’s bottom 10 countries, ranking 91st out of 96, between Kyrgyzstan and Bolivia. The report is used “to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulation affect exploration investment. The survey responses have been tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage investment.” Zimbabwe, by virtue of its low ranking, seems to be doing much more of the latter. The report uses what it calls a Policy Potential Index (PPI) to rank the jurisdictions by measuring their overall policy attractiveness. In this year’s survey, Zimbabwe was only able to amass a PPI of 13,4 out of 100, representing a significant drop from the previous year’s survey when it scored 21,8 and ranked 74th out of 93 jurisdictions. This comes in conjunction with a drop in PPI of the entire African continent for the fifth straight year as African nations try and figure out how to reform their mining industries. Zimbabwe struggled in nearly all of the 17 policy questions, leading to its low ranking, but struggled mightily in terms of its legal system, uncertainty concerning the administration of regulations, overall corruption and general growing uncertainty. When asked about Zimbabwe’s legal system and how it affected their investment forecasts, 63 % of the 742 respondent companies acknowledged they would absolutely not pursue investment within Zimbabwe’s borders because of it. A total of 53 % of them claimed they would also not pursue investment because of the overwhelming uncertainty concerning the administration, interpretation and enforcement of existing regulations. Strong concerns among the respondents over high levels of general corruption in Zimbabwe led 48% to list that aspect as another factor that would cause them to not pursue investment in Zimbabwe’s mines. A general growing uncertainty over Zimbabwe also caused 48 % of companies to say they would not pursue investment opportunities in the country, although the survey was conducted from October 9, 2012, to January 6, 2013, a time of elections preparation in Zimbabwe when uncertainty was high. With the recent conclusion of the general elections, this number could change in next year’s survey. The survey also examined policy factors touching on environmental regulations, regulatory duplication, the taxation regime, uncertainty concerning protected areas and disputed land claims, infrastructure, socio economic and community development conditions, trade barriers, political stability, labour regulations, quality of geological database, security, labour and skills supply. As mining continues to grow as a percentage of Zimbabwe’s GDP, the poor performance in this year’s survey does not bode particularly well. Out of all the respondents, only two claimed Zimbabwe had the most favourable policies towards mining while a sobering 89 claimed it had the worst. Only California and Venezuela received more negative votes. One company president quoted in the study said of Zimbabwe: “Unofficial government policy is you will never expatriate profits. Black empowerment and political uncertainty make large or long-term investment impossible; no rights of ownership, no rights to enter required professionals, corruption is high, border restrictions –– unstable future.” Although this year’s survey paints a bleak picture, numbers of previous years, even though not particularly high, were much better. This may offer some hope for Zimbabwe to return to a more investment conducive environment. Although, with the new government’s indigenisation programme and inward looking policies, there might not be a turnaround in the survey results any time soon.
Meikles mulls acquiring gold, diamond mines by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Meikles mulls acquiring gold, diamond mines | The Zimbabwe Independent by Chris Muronzi MEIKLES Centar Mining has cast acquisitive glances at Zimbabwe mining assets amid indications the company is planning to make a grand entrance onto the country’s mining scene, businessdigest has established. A well-placed source said Meikles Centar, a joint venture between Meikles Africa Ltd and Centar Asia Resources, was looking at acquiring gold and diamond mining assets in the country’s mining sector and had toured various assets in the country with a view to acquiring them. The sources added Meikles Centar is planning to make an ostentatious entry into the mining sector by acquiring strategic and existing gold and diamond assets. Meikles Centar last year tried to obtain a diamond mining licence from government but it is not clear if it was approved. While Meikles Africa Ltd has obtained special mining grants in the Midlands province for various minerals including iron ore and chrome, the group is not in any rush to develop a mine. Instead, sources said Meikles Centar was looking at already developed mines in the country such as Caledonia (gold), New Dawn (gold), African Consolidated Resources (ACR) (gold, diamonds)and Mwana Africa plc (gold, nickel and diamonds). The sources said Meikles Centar’s bid for Caledonia would be problematic given the mining group is fully indigenised. Another possible takeover target, New Dawn, whose share price has collapsed over the past couple of weeks owing to high production costs, general operational challenges and the uncertainty surrounding the company’s future given it is not yet indigenised, could be ripe for the picking. New Dawn’s share price is trading at 0,25 Canadian cents from a 52-week high of CDN$1,21. The company is now worth a mere CDN$11,40 million, compared to CDN$55,18 million at its peak. New Dawn owns 100% of the Turk and Angelus Mine, the Old Nic Mine and the Camperdown Mine. In addition, New Dawn owns approximately 85% of the Dalny Mine, the Golden Quarry Mine and the Venice Mine (currently not in operation), and a portfolio of prospective exploration acerage in Zimbabwe ACR, which lost its key diamond resources in the Marange diamond fields, could also fit into Meikles Centar’s plans given its gold reserves. A likely target, sources said, would be Mwana Africa, which owns Freda Rebecca, the largest gold mine in Zimbabwe and the Bindura Nickel mines. Sources said Meikles Centar could take advantage of its London city links to make a bid for Mwana Africa Plc given that one of Centar Asia Resources directors and founders was a high flying executive at a leading UK investment bank. Buoyed by this, sources said, Meikles Centar might target Mwana’s Freda Rebecca and make the acquisition a spectacular entry into the mining sector. Centar Asia Resources, which was founded in June 2011 by Ian Hannam, a former JP Morgan Cazenove rainmaker who was fined by the Financial Services Authority over market abuse allegations and irregular share dealings in London Stock Exchange-listed companies earlier this year and was unceremoniously forced to step down from JP Morgan bank, could muscle their way into Mwana Africa Plc. Hannam holds 45% of Centar and has a number of other investors who collectively control close to 30% of Mwana and have close links to Centar. Jan Kulczyk’s company, Kulczyk Investments, owns 28% of Centar and Kulczyk is chairperson of the company. So far, they are said to have injected US$40 million into Centar. Reports last week said Meikles Centar Mining was ready to invest up to US$500 million. Hannam was drawn into the prospect of developing Afghanistan’s mineral wealth initially by the US State Department which was keen to help promote foreign investment in that country. Another director, Richard Williams, who has been in and out of the Asian country touring various mining assets with a view to helping raise funding, acquire and add value to the mining companies the UK-based firm had identified, is a former high ranking British military officer. Williams served with the UK’s Special Forces, the 7th Armoured Brigade (as the Brigade Chief of Staff), the paratroopers, infantry, and on the Directing Staff of the Joint Services Command and Staff College. This service enabled him to participate in military operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia (with UNPROFOR), South America, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, West Africa, and the Horn of Africa, as well as numerous UK mainland-based counter-terrorist operations. He was in active command of troops during all of these deployments, with the exception of his time in Kosovo, where he served as Chief of Staff of the Multi-National Brigade (Centre) and wrote a manual on offensive doctrine for Peace Support Operations. Apart from Williams’ military backgrounds, sources say the other directors have served in the Rhodesian army and its notorious Selous Scouts regiment, something sources in the mining industry said was a concern to most of the companies Centar had approached, amid fears such firms might be misconstrued by President Robert Mugabe’s regime, which is blatantly anti-British. But sources said the Meikles Centar venture faces many hurdles because of indigenisation issues in the country, particularly in light of the fact that Meikles Africa Ltd itself was not a fully indigenised entity. The sources said an acquisition of a local business that would see a foreign company emerging with a controlling stake was potentially problematic given Mugabe’s insistence indigenous players must have a controlling stake in mines. Authorities are also worried about the background of the main shareholders who have military backgrounds in the British SAS and Rhodesian Selous Scouts. Mugabe refused to swear in a senior MDC-T figure –– Roy Bennet –– because he served as a Rhodesian Selous Scout. Mugabe has also stepped up his anti-British rhetoric since elections, saying his government might want to take action on companies owned by British citizens such as Centar. Others interpreted the threat as an intent to take over British firms. The sources said should Centar make a bid to take over Mwana, an asset such as Bindura Nickel Corporation, which is currently struggling to stay afloat, could be closed until international nickel prices improve, throwing close to a thousand people on the street. But the sources said Meikles’ executive chairperson John Moxon, once targeted by Zanu PF bigwigs during the controversial Kingdom Meikles Africa Ltd demerger saga for allegedly externalising foreign currency, will however try to pull his political strings to ensure Centar buys a meaningful gold asset. This, sources said, could be very problematic in the current climate in which the country is pushing for significant ownership of the mining sector by indigenous black Zimbabweans. Moxon, who reportedly played an important role in the acquisition of an assortment of single and double-cab 4×4 vehicles for the now ruling Zanu PF party, including several Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300, Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50 off-road vehicles, is now seen as a Zanu PF sympathiser. Curiously, around the time of the donation, Moxon’s flagship company Meikles Africa Ltd, formed a mining arm, Meikles Resources (Pvt) Ltd, applied for a diamond mining licence which was being considered by the Mines and Mining Development ministry, with government’s Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation as a possible partner in a joint venture. Meikles Africa itself has not fully complied with the indigenisation policy. It is still not clear whether the Meikles vehicle donation was linked to the company’s application for the diamond mining licence. However, sources said this could not be ruled out. Efforts to reach Williams proved fruitless at the time of going to press. Attempts to contact Meikles financial director Onias Makamba were also unsuccessful.
CIO steps up citizen surveillance by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via CIO steps up mass citizen surveillance | The Zimbabwe Independent by Elias Mambo/Paidamoyo Muzulu President Robert Mugabe’s government, through the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has stepped up mass surveillance on private citizens’ lives, particularly those perceived as political threats, as the monitoring has widened beyond phone-tapping and e-mail interceptions to scrutinising activities on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Well-placed sources said the intensified abuse of state apparatus for partisan political agendas is a result of Mugabe and his party’s paranoid fears of civil unrest following their disputed victory in the July 31 general elections. Sources said security forces were also put on high alert after polls. The main opposition party MDC-T claims the elections were rigged, and their position has received support from international powers such as the United States and European Union members. “Soon after elections, the situation was unpredictable as Zanu PF was unsure of the people’s reaction, so CIO tightened surveillance to intercept communications. There is paranoia because Zanu PF is not sure of the mood of the people following allegations of rigging leading to his party’s controversial landslide win,” said a senior government official. Insiders say targeted groups and individuals’ communication activities are being monitored by CIO from designated listening posts in Harare, mainly in Mount Pleasant. “Targeted groups and individuals’ communications and social media activities are being monitored and at times the CIO obtains recordings of voice calls from local cellphone providers under the guise of carrying out state security operations,” the source said. The recent publication of Elizabeth Tsvangirai’s private correspondence with her alleged lover a fortnight ago exposed abuse of the state security apparatus to target opponents for political reasons and not national security purposes. The Elizabeth episode is not an isolated incident as CIO has a history of snooping or deliberately setting traps for private citizens perceived as anti-Mugabe and Zanu PF. Former Finance minister Tendai Biti of the MDC-T and former Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube are prominent victims of such state surveillance. Biti’s private SMS correspondence with a female staffer at Treasury were splashed in the government-controlled Sunday Mail while Ncube was recorded by cameras in a compromising position with female church congregants at his official residence through use of closed circuit television. However, under Zimbabwean law, where closed circuit television cameras are installed this should be accompanied by a public notice of the presence of such cameras. Mugabe’s paranoia about reactions over polls stretches back to 2005 when he ruthlessly unleashed Operation Murambatsvina, a purported urban clean-up, but actually a pre-emptive strike triggered by fears of an urban revolt.
Who will be number three in Zimbabwe? by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Who will be number three in Zimbabwe? Mail & Guardian by Ray Ndlovu Analysts have spelled out the arguments for three likely contenders for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s second vice-president. While President Robert Mugabe mulls over appointments to his new Cabinet, his attention will also be on the appointment of a second vice-president. The post became vacant following the death of John Nkomo from cancer in January. The Mail & Guardian takes a look at the leading contenders for the position, which is usually reserved for officials from the Matabeleland provinces in honour of the Unity Accord signed between Zanu-PF and Zapu in 1987. Simon Khaya-Moyo Zanu-PF national chairperson and a former Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa, Khaya-Moyo is the leading contender. He is the third most senior official after Mugabe and Vice-President Joice Mujuru and is a member of the party’s presidium. He comes from the Matabeleland South province and is credited with turning around Zanu-PF’s fortunes in the Matabeleland region, something for which Mugabe is likely to reward him. Lending credence to speculation that Khaya-Moyo may be on his way to higher office are indications that Mugabe has backed the appointment of Jacob Mudenda to become the next speaker of Parliament. Khaya-Moyo held ambitions for the speaker’s post in 2008 but lost to the Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) Lovemore Moyo. By not casting his hat into the speaker race now, Zanu-PF insiders say this indicates that Khaya-Moyo has set his sights on the vice-presidency. Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst from the International Crisis Group, said Zanu-PF would also want to consolidate its gains made in the two Matabeleland provinces in the elections and would do so by appointing someone from the region. “Khaya-Moyo looks the most likely. He holds the most senior post in the party on the side of former Zapu members. The party would also want to consolidate its political grip and even extend it to the remaining domains held by the MDC,” Maisiri said. If Khaya-Moyo is elevated, it could cause further jostling in the party as Zanu-PF officials line up to take up his post of national chairperson. Didymus Mutasa is seen as a probable replacement. Obert Mpofu Mpofu, the outgoing mines and mining development minister, once tried to challenge the late Nkomo for the post of second vice-president. But he withdrew his bid after being told by senior Zanu-PF officials to respect the party hierarchy. But Mpofu’s wealth has given him great influence in the Matabeleland provinces and he holds significant sway in the party structures. In the past two elections, Mpofu has comfortably retained control of the Umguza-Nyamandlovu constituency. Mpofu is seen as Khaya-Moyo’s strongest challenger, although he holds a junior rank in Zanu-PF’s chain of command. Rashweat Mukundu, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Mpofu was far too low down in the pecking order, making his election unlikely. “His influence in the mining sector and control of the Marange diamonds will unfortunately not be enough for him to leapfrog Khaya-Moyo,” Mukundu said. Emmerson Mnangagwa Although Mnangagwa’s chances of landing the post of vice-presidency would be a breach of party hierarchy, it would be a strong catalyst to position him to succeed Mugabe. Reports indicate that Mnangagwa, the outgoing defence minister, leads a faction in Zanu-PF that is sparring with another faction led by Mujuru to take over from Mugabe. In Mnangagwa’s favour is the support lent to him by the military’s top brass, which is suspicious of Mujuru’s moderate policies and open-door policy towards the MDC. His elevation to vice-president could lead to a bitter face-off between him and Mujuru to gain control of the party. Analyst Khanyile Mlotshwa said, should Mugabe promote Mnangagwa, he was “not sure if Zanu-PF will be able to survive such a dogfight”.
Mugabe wishes for perpetual life by ZimSitRep – 08-30-2013
via Mugabe wishes for perpetual life | The Zimbabwean by Adrian Mutigwe President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980 and recently given a fresh five year term following disputed polls, says he wishes to live forever. In his eulogy to thousands of mourners at the burial of national hero, Enos Nkala, at the national shrine in Harare, Mugabe told of his wish to live not only a long life but eternally. “The Pastor who was here said it (death) is only a transformation but, Pastor, we are men of flesh, we live not the spiritual lives. We continue to wish that life should be long and that life should be perpetual,” Mugabe said, declaring that he would not follow a prepared speech as that would not adequately capture what he intended to say. Reports have claimed that Mugabe has beefed up his security following a disputed election that he won by 61 percent against his political arch-foe, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 per-cent. At 89 Mugabe has been described by those around him as “fit-as-a-fiddle” despite frequenting the Far East for reported treatment. Whistle-blower website Wikileaks claimed the nonagenarian Zimbabwean strongman is reportedly suffering from prostate cancer. For his part Mugabe has shown no signs of slowing down taking care of a punishing schedule that followed a gruelling election. While some have claimed Mugabe wants to retire before the expiry of his 7th term, he has said he wants to finish it. He will be 94 at the end of his fresh five-year term.