- Muckracker: Heroes, criminals at national shrine
- Mugabe belligerent stance an own goal
- Mugabe heads off Mujuru power bid
- Mnangagwa faction grabs Speaker post
- Councils technically insolvent
- Rights group slams Belgium’s push for targeted sanctions removal
- Families and gold panners evicted in ZPF Midlands retribution
- Bennett denies resigning as MDC Treasurer General
- Anti-graft boss confirms Chombo graft complaints
- Sadc report fake: MDC
- Chanakira sells AfrAsia Kingdom Stake
- Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle history remains untold
- ICC trials will go ahead despite vote by Kenyan MPs
- Electoral majority could choke Zanu-PF
- Jere seeks $140m for Hilton Hotel project
- Zim tourist arrivals up 12pc
- Zuma’s adviser changes her tune on Mugabe
- Nicoz Diamond to build US$4m cluster homes
- Minority groups push for language use
- MDC-T mulls root-and-branch shake-up
- Zanu PF in renewed succession battle
- SADC compromised African democracy: Biti
- Zanu PF must fulfil promises
- Buck still stops with the MDCs
- Gukurahundi and apartheid SA – part 2
- Let’s now have a Tourism Master Plan
- Zimbabwe – Where do we stand?
- School land grab – Grace Mugabe
- The future begins now
Muckracker: Heroes, criminals at national shrine by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Muckracker: Heroes, criminals at national shrine The Zimbabwe Independent By Muckracker. Anyone thinking President Robert Mugabe might be contemplating the possibility of nation-building in what is widely regarded as his final term of office will have been smartly disabused by his remarks at the National Heroes Acre last Saturday during the funeral of Kumbirai Kangai. He said the national shrine was the preserve of Zanu PF members only. “They want their zvitototo (daft people) buried here,” he said. “We say no. The only people we will bring here are the clean ones, heroes of heroes.” These are not the words of a leader seeking reconciliation and national unity as their legacy. As Douglas Mwonzora put it, “Heroes Acre is not a place for Zanu PF members only. It is a place for Zimbabwe’s heroes; so anybody who qualifies must be buried there. “But Mugabe is just in a quarrelsome mood,” he added, “because of the stress of running a country without a plan.” Dumping ground MDC deputy spokesman Karauone Chihwayi agreed. He described Mugabe’s remarks as “misleading and irresponsible”. “Heroes Acre has been turned into a dumping ground for both genuine heroes and criminals or people with a tainted past,” he said. “Hence the need for a thorough cleansing of the shrine.” It would be useful to communicate Mugabe’s remarks to Sadc heads of state so they can see how partisan our politics have become after elections. This is in part their doing. There is no attempt here to bring people together as the GPA intended. Just a rigid emphasis on benefits for party members. But who can, in all seriousness, regard Border Gezi or Chenjerai Hunzvi as a hero? Willowgate erased It was interesting following Mugabe’s remarks at Enos Nkala’s funeral to see how the Gukurahundi and Willowgate scandal has been completely airbrushed from our history. So what can we conclude? That somebody like Hunzvi is Zanu PF’s hero? Or that holding an election in accordance with Sadc principles is a waste of time because one of the contestants is not interested in adhering to basic democratic norms, manipulates voter registration and makes a mockery of the new constitution? That remains the case. And just to confirm that point, we have a captive state media that is as rabid and crudely unprofessional as it was before the elections and is locked in a Jurassic form of nationalism that damages the country’s reputation and prospects. Sadc leaders should be held accountable for this travesty of electoral process. They would never adopt anything like, for example, our scorched-earth land policy in their own countries while congratulating Zanu PF on pursuing such policies in ours. ‘Generally credible’ It is amazing how one little word can change our view of things. In this case we refer to Sadc’s electoral observer mission (SEOM) which said that the election of July 31 was “generally credible”. The word “generally” at a stroke runs a coach and horses through Zanu PF’s loud declarations of an unadulterated victory. “The provision of (a) voters’ roll in time goes to the very heart of fairness in the election process,” SEOM leader Bernard Membe said, as quoted in the Daily News and other media. “If the voters’ roll is not made available on time, the fairness of the election is brought into question. This is because voters’ rolls are public documents and it is the duty of the electoral commission to abide by the … Electoral Act.” The MDC, however, describes as misleading the report’s attempt to compare the extent of bias by the state media. The report was also silent, the MDC says, “on many other irregularities such as chaotic voter registration, the shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters, high number of assisted voters …”. ‘Pirate media’ What we in the independent media would draw attention to was the dubious habit of copying Zanu PF in referring to the private and foreign radio stations as “pirate media”. Membe should be asked to explain why SEOM couldn’t think for itself in this regard. And we need to make the obvious point that so long as the state media remain Zanu PF propaganda mouthpieces, we will continue to need private broadcasters. Just because the electronic voters’ roll was not an issue in Tanzania, it doesn’t mean it can be swept under the carpet in Zimbabwe. Membe appears to think sanctions are an agency for winning elections. He doesn’t get it. In fact, they were a response to political violence and electoral manipulation in previous elections. If Zimbabweans are in any doubt as to where SEOM’s sympathies lie, they should take note of this from the Herald: “Mr Membe said President Mugabe won the July 31 elections with flying colours and urged opposition parties to accept defeat. He said Zanu PF did its homework in the past five years, leading to its resounding victory.” What jobs? Muckraker was interested in a headline in Wednesday’s Herald which declared “Govt geared to tackle unemployment, create jobs”. How would they do this, we wonder? Surely, you need investment to create business and generate wealth before you can tackle unemployment? The Herald’s story was aimed at youths. You can be sure that given Zanu PF’s damaging policies, the party will fail to rescue youths from the quagmire of desperation and failure. What jobs in particular is the government able to generate? Don’t we recall Marange being touted as the economic panacea? What happened there? Perhaps we should ask Thabo Mbeki. He is holding up Zanu PF as the way to go. Land reform in Zimbabwe has given land to at least 300 000-400 000 new landowners, he told an audience at Unisa. “The programme succeeded and has the direct benefit of the huge number of Zimbabweans.” He doesn’t say what benefit. He asks the question: “Why is Zimbabwe such a major issue for some people?” He cites the interest of the New York Times and Guardian. That is easy to answer. Zimbabwe is of abiding interest because observers are shocked that such a wealthy and successful country could have been brought to its knees in such a short passage of time by an incompetent and corrupt regime. President Robert Mugabe’s persistent misrule and his hostility to his own citizens is intriguing for many. Mbeki’s myth Mbeki was unable to tell us exactly what achievement he can show for the death and destruction that took place from 2000 to the present. The benefit Mbeki speaks of has certainly not filtered down to ordinary folk. That’s why Zimbabwe is still importing maize from Zambia. What is land if it is not put to use? He must come here and see it for himself rather than rely on sponsored books. As for Africa holding up Zimbabwe as an example to be followed, this is a myth which Zanu PF likes to peddle. There was a handful of leaders at the inauguration. But where were most Sadc leaders, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and other West African leaders? Indeed, where was the much-vaunted Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta? Short and Sweet … Malema at it again Julius Malema has been back in the news this week over the disposal of his assets. Complaining about press treatment, he said: “I want the people of South Africa to treat me the same way they treated Nelson Mandela. Comedienne Evita Bezuidenhout was quick to respond: “What a great idea. Let’s start with 27 years in jail.” Take a time out! Finally it seems not many people picked up former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda’s suggestion to President Robert Mugabe that it was time he wrote his memoirs. KK knows all about these things after peacefully calling time on his political career after 27 years in power. We hope his friend took the hint!
Mugabe belligerent stance an own goal by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via ‘Mugabe belligerent stance an own goal’The Zimbabwe Independent by Hazel Ndebele and Brian Chitemba A FEW days after making a conciliatory statement pledging to mend relations with the international community and saluting his former inclusive government partners at his inauguration, President Robert Mugabe slid back to his hardline stance threatening revenge against the West before ridiculing former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe’s threats against multinational companies and intolerant political statements jolted analysts who immediately said his tirade will derail prospects of economic recovery because Zimbabwe needs the West more than the West needs it. Zanu PF, in its election manifesto, pledged to create over two million jobs mainly through its controversial indigenisation policy, a statement widely viewed as a pie in the sky given the party’s chequered track record since Independence. After a landslide victory which the opposition has dismissed citing systematic rigging, among other allegations, Mugabe and Zanu PF are now under pressure to deliver on a myriad of promises made in the run-up to the July 31 elections. The economy remains stuck in the doldrums after an earlier projection of 9% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2013 was revised downwards to 3,4% when the stock exchange nose-dived following Mugabe’s controversial win and the ageing leader’s recent statements which analysts say will do more harm than good. GDP is unofficially pegged around US$7 billion, although official estimates claim it is US$11 billion. With a host of formidable socio-economic challenges certain to make his seventh term a daunting one, Mugabe is reportedly mooting a grand exit plan since this is certainly his last term in office after clinging to power for 33 years. In the plan, speculation is rife that Mugabe wants to include a few officials from the MDC to his new cabinet to give it a coalition face in order to seek legitimacy and maintain peace and stability, but with the ultimate goal being to create a stable economy. But Mugabe seems to have quickly forgotten his conciliatory remarks a fortnight ago at the burial of one of the architects of his controversial victory, retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, by launching a blistering attack on Tsvangirai describing him as an “ignoramus” before threatening a “tit-for-tat” against the British and Americans. He also threatened retribution against Harare and Bulawayo residents for voting MDC-T. Speaking at the burial of Zanu PF politburo member Kumbirai Kangai last Saturday, Mugabe said the Heroes’ Acre was a preserve of Zanu PF-linked members only. “They (MDC) want their zvitototo (buffoons) buried here. We say no. The only people we will bring here are the clean ones. Heroes of heroes,” said Mugabe. Mugabe’s inconsistencies have raised pertinent questions about his sincerity to take Zimbabwe out of the woods and mend frosty diplomatic relations with the West, which slapped him and his inner circle with “targeted” sanctions over alleged human rights abuses and stolen polls. Renowned economist John Robertson said Mugabe must be consistent or else people will not take him seriously. “Potential investors who would want to assist Zimbabwe will under these circumstances lose confidence and go to other countries instead,” said Robertson. “British and American companies in the country are not representing their governments; they are individuals, therefore Mugabe is addressing the wrong people; the business sector does not enjoy being threatened as they are in the country to perform a business function and not to be blamed for what their governments are doing. “If the president retains good relations with the business sector, that will help generate tax revenues and employment. There is need for him to separate the political sector and the business sector.” Economist Takunda Mugaga said such statements are toxic for economic growth although it is difficult to base government policy on what Mugabe said. “Mugabe’s cabinet will be more revealing of his future policy stance than his utterances, although I do not dismiss the fact that such utterances stress the economy,” Mugaga said. However, political commentator Blessing Vava dismissed Mugabe’s utterances as cheap politicking and mere rhetoric. “He (Mugabe) is the one who plunged this country into this disaster and the chances of him doing anything spectacular to revive the economy are next to none. He needs to engage if he is really serious about rebuilding the country’s economy”.
Mugabe heads off Mujuru power bid by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Mugabe heads off Mujuru power bid | The Zimbabwe Independent by Owen Gagare and Faith Zaba ALMOST immediately after the recent general elections, consultations are underway in Zanu PF to hold an extraordinary congress at the end of the year in place of the expected annual conference in a bid to secure a new five-year party leadership term for President Robert Mugabe to align it with his fresh state tenure, in a move seen as an attempt to pre-empt the simmering succession crisis ahead of next year’s scheduled elective assembly. Senior Zanu PF official told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that although Mugabe managed to head off the succession conundrum in the run up to the elections to avoid a disruption of his campaigns, the problem has erupted within the party which is expected to hold internal elections ahead of the conference. While Zanu PF bigwigs want Mugabe –– effectively on his last term due to age and frailty –– to call a special congress to announce when he will go and resolve the succession problem, it has emerged in fact he wants to use the gathering to consolidate his grip on the helm. This has created a new wave of internal discontent and instability in the party which expected him to prepare to make a grand exit at some point after his huge election victory. “We are expecting an extraordinary congress in December, instead of the annual people’s conference, to discuss leadership issues,” a senior party official said. “Consultations on that are currently underway.” In terms of the Zanu PF constitution, an extraordinary congress can be convened whenever it is deemed necessary and at the instance of: The majority of the members of the Central Committee members; or The President and First Secretary of the party at the instance of not less than one-third of the members of the Central Committee; or The President with the backing of at least five provincial executive councils. After receiving a request for an extraordinary congress, the president is expected to forward the request to the party’s secretary for administration, who in turn should give at least six weeks’ notice prior to convening the extraordinary congress. The special congress deliberates only on matters for which it has been specifically convened, and three quarters of members shall form a quorum of the session. Officials say Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa is currently conducting consultations in preparation for the extraordinary congress. But as things stand, the conference is still on in Mashonaland West. However, Mutasa last night professed ignorance about the issue. “I don’t know anything about that. I’m the one in charge of such issues but why would we be in a hurry, we will wait for the right time,” he said. But party officials who spoke to Independent said Mutasa and others were engaged in consultations. “It’s not in doubt, that is what is happening but we still at the consultation stages,” one official said. “It’s certainly the case.” Besides, giving Mugabe a fresh five-year mandate at the helm of the party, the special congress will also elect a second vice-president, possibly party chairman and fill about seven other vacancies in the politburo, the officials said. The congress is also expected to elevate party chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo –– who also chaired the party’s national elections directorate –– to become co-vice-president. The position was left vacant by the death of John Nkomo in January. Moyo, who previously had no constituency, has been buoyed by Zanu PF’s clean sweep of all 13 House of Assembly seats in his home province, Matabeleland South. Insiders say this has given him impetus to rise within the presidium where key decisions, including selecting cabinet ministers, are made. However, fears abound in Zanu PF Moyo’s ascendancy would trigger a cut-throat battle for the party chairmanship between Mutasa, who has thrown his hat into the ring, and secretary for legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been attempting in vain to enter the presidium since 1999. Mnangagwa has suffered a series of defeats in his bid to become party chairman or vice-president. During the 1999 congress, he was defeated by Nkomo as tried to become chairman before a disastrous campaign in 2004 to become vice-president in what became known as the Tsholotsho debacle. Mnangagwa was demoted after that and key his allies, including six provincial chairpersons, were suspended in a fierce internal backlash. Mugabe accused them of plotting a foiled palace. Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Mnangagwa are seen as frontrunners to succeed Mugabe. Insiders say the two lead factions fighting to produce a successor to Mugabe despite their public denials. A politburo member told the Independent: “Given the current situation and circumstances, this extraordinary congress should be an opportunity for the president to announce his retirement and leadership renewal, but instead it seems he wants to use it to extend his stay in power. “People were waiting for the 2014 congress to deal with the succession issue, but if he is going to get a fresh mandate at the extraordinary congress, then it pre-empts the succession debate.” Lately, Mujuru, who for long has reportedly been involved in a succession battle with Mnangagwa, has been boldly sending signals through private and public remarks she is ready to take over if the opportunity arises. In terms of the new constitutions, if Mugabe is incapacitated, retires or dies, Zanu PF will deploy someone to finish the remainder of his term. Insiders say this is fueling internal power struggles. However, Mugabe’s special congress move suggests he is not ready to relinquish power and may be bidding for president-for-life. Senior Zanu PF officials say Mugabe, who has managed to play Zanu PF factions against each other to ensure he maintains his grip on power, would be unchallenged at the extraordinary congress and that could as well make him life president. “Mugabe wants to exploit his election victory to be in power forever. He is far stronger now than at any other time in the past decade, and that’s why he wants to use the special congress to align his party leadership tenure to his state presidential term, with the endgame being to be in power until he dies,” an official said. Mugabe’s previous deputies –– Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo –– all died in power. Congress is the supreme policy-making organ of the party and has the power to amend the constitution, and is also the “supreme and ultimate authority for the implementation and supervision of the policies, directives, rules and regulations of the party”. The president, two vice-presidents, chairperson and members of the central committee are elected at congress. Heads and deputies of departments, who constitute the politburo, are appointed by the presidium and approved by congress.
Fact file: Party leader’s political history
1964: Zanu PF holds its inaugural congress in Gwelo (now Gweru) with Robert Mugabe being elected as secretary-general. 1964-1974: Mugabe is detained along with many other nationalist leaders, including party leader Ndabaningi Sithole. Sithole ousted in a prison coup. 1974: Mugabe and other nationalists are released from prison. 1975: Mugabe crosses into Mozambique with Edgar Tekere, but Mozambican President Samora Machel banishes him to Quelimane in Zambezia Province. 1977: Mugabe is chosen as president of Zanu taking over from Sithole. 1979: Mugabe attends Lancaster House talks leading up to Independence alongside Joshua Nkomo of Zapu under the Patriotic Front umbrella. 1980: Zanu PF wins 57 out of 80 seats, Nkomo’s Zapu secured 20. Mugabe becomes prime minister of Zimbabwe on April 18. 1984: Zanu PF congress agrees on the principle of a one-party state. Mugabe recognised as party’s unchallenged leader, and he sets up a new party structures, with a central committee and a politburo as key organs. 1987: Unity Accord between Zanu and Zapu with the new party retaining the name Zanu PF and Mugabe as president. 1989: Zanu PF and Zapu formally merged at their joint congress with Mugabe retained as president. 1994: Zanu PF re-affirms a commitment to its original socialist guiding principles by ordering its leadership to abide by a code of conduct. 1999: Mugabe survives attempts to legislate him out of office by Eddison Zvobgo via the constitutional commission. 2004: Mugabe crushes a palace coup masterminded by Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction leading to the suspension of six provincial chairpersons and others. 2007: Mugabe survives a special congress plot to oust him by the Joice Mujuru faction resulting in politburo members Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni quitting in exasperation. 2008: Mugabe loses first round of presidential elections to MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai who later withdraws from a June run-off citing violence against his supporters. Mugabe wins the run-off uncontested. Sadc brokers a power-sharing deal. 2009-2013: Coalition government runs Zimbabwe with Mugabe as president. 2013: Mugabe and Zanu PF win a crushing two-thirds majority in general elections amid rigging accusations. 2013/2014: Mugabe expected to seek a fresh mandate as Zanu PF leader at an anticipated party extraordinary congress.
Mnangagwa faction grabs Speaker post by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Mnangagwa faction grabs Speaker postThe Zimbabwe Independent by Brian Chitemba Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF faction has gained control of the National Assembly at the expense of the camp led by his long-time rival Vice-President Joice Mujuru after his close ally, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson Jacob Mudenda, landed the powerful Speaker of Parliament post. MPs were sworn in on Tuesday and the control of the legislature is vital since it is one of the three critical arms of the state. Mnangagwa and Mujuru have long been locked in an intra-party battle in a bid to succeed Mugabe, who might be forced to step down before the end of his seventh term due to old age and deteriorating health. Mnangagwa has successfully positioned his close associates in the legislature as he consolidates his political base. Mnangagwa, together with six provincial chairpersons, including Mudenda, were accused of masterminding the 2004 Tsholotsho episode regarding Zanu PF’s leadership renewal. Consequently Mudenda, who was the Zanu PF Matabeleland North chairperson, was suspended from the party together with five other provincial chairpersons. Top Zanu PF officials told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that although Mudenda’s name was suggested by Mugabe at a recent politburo meeting, it was likely Mnangagwa had lobbied for his ascendancy. Apart from Mudenda another Mnangagwa ally, Mabel Chinomona, was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, to consolidate his control of the lower house. Chinomona was nominated by Mnangagwa close ally and strategist, Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane, while Mudenda was nominated by Zanu PF Bubi MP Clifford Sibanda who is believed to belong to the same camp. Long serving Zanu PF chief whip in the National Assembly Joram Gumbo and his deputy Mandy Chimene are also linked to Mnangagwa’s faction, suggesting the outgoing defence minister now has control of the lower house. Senate president Edna Madzongwe — reportedly a relative of Mugabe — was nominated by former Matabeleland North governor Sithokozile Mathuthu, and she was seconded by Josiah Hungwe, both Mnangagwa allies. As a consolation for the Mujuru faction, her ally Chenhamo Chimutengwende secured the post of deputy president of the senate. The succession race is now open as the new constitution provides that the ruling political party has to nominate a successor in the event that the president is incapacitated, retires or dies. Zanu PF officials said the succession fight will now cascade down to newly-created provincial councils as the heavyweights seek to influence election of chairpersons. Provincial council chairpersons will be elected by members of the provincial council in terms of Section 272 (1) of the constitution which states: “At its first sitting after every general election, a provincial council must elect a chairperson from a list of at least two qualified persons submitted by – the political party which gained the highest number of National Assembly seats in the province concerned.” Therefore, the fight will be centred in the politburo where the list of candidates for the chairships will be drawn up. Lobbying for the provincial council chairpersons, Zanu PF sources said, has already started although the selection will be determined by politburo members.
Councils technically insolvent by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Councils technically insolvent | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News. INCOMING councillors throughout the country face a herculean task ahead as they will be welcomed by empty coffers. When they assume office in the coming weeks, a baptism of fire awaits the newly-elected councillors since nearly all the municipalities are in the red. A lot of fire-fighting is expected from day one, in terms of servicing financial obligations, including paying workers, while at the same time ensuring that the expectations of residents are met. While most councils struggled to operate in the black during the hyperinflationary era between 2000 and 2008, the formal adoption of multi-currencies in February 2009 is still to offer them respite. In fact, a populist directive issued to councils by the government last month has worsened their cash-flows in what could further strain relations between residents and the city fathers. Ahead of the July 31 polls, councils were ordered to write-off all domestic debts, wiping off a significant portion of their debtors book. At the stroke of the pen, councils found themselves having to mark down debts owed by residents, amounting to millions of greenbacks. In order to meet their overheads, city fathers have unleashed their credit control teams to compel corporates and residents who started on a new slate from last month to clear their debts on time, or risk legal action. Because of the difficult operating environment, most companies and residents are at the risk of losing their assets in the event that the messenger of court has been called to swing into action. The Harare City Council (HCC) has been the first to fire warning shots at defaulters. This week, the administrators of the capital city threatened to take legal action against those who do not pay their bills from July in order to improve revenue generation. What has worsened the plight of the municipalities countrywide is that customers who had been religiously honouring their bills immediately stopped paying soon after the government issued the controversial directive, denying councils of the much-needed revenue. For instance, monthly revenue collection for Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has declined by nearly 65 percent from US$6,9 million to US$2,4 million. BCC public relations officer, Bongiwe Ngwenya, said council was struggling to buy diesel to fuel its vehicles for basic operations such as garbage collection and attending to burst pipes and sewers. “If residents do not pay their bills, we will soon face challenges on paying salaries on time, meeting statutory obligations like Value Added Tax and Pay As You Earn to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. It might also be difficult to pay service providers like ZESA and we may also start accumulating a salary backlog,” said Ngwenya. Femias Chakabuda, president of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe, this week said while the newly elected councillors face a difficult task ahead, the delay in swearing them was also infringing on the electorate’s right to representation. Eric Bloch, an economic analyst, said the debt cancellation had rendered local authorities “insolvent,” thereby diminishing their ability to deliver on their promises. “They may even be forced to trim their staff because of the inability to pay workers,” said Bloch. Bloch said councils would need to work closely with government immediately after their inauguration to collect millions of dollars owed by loss-making parastatals. Councils were owned in excess of US$2 billion by government, residents and corporates, with parastatals being the worst culprits. Available figures show that Harare was owed over US$400 million by both corporates and residents; Bulawayo (US$100 million), Mutare (US$20 million), Gweru (US$21 million) and Masvingo (US$18 million). HCC has so far written off debts amounting to US$330 million while Chitungwiza cancelled debts to the tune of US$40 million in line with the directive. Bulawayo and other cities and towns are in the process of complying with the government order. This week, Killian Mupingo, the permanent secretary in the Local Government Ministry, said there were in the process of quantifying how much would be written off by councils in what helps expose the fact that government rushed to issue the directive without analysing how it would impact on municipalities. “That is a big exercise, we don’t know at the moment and we would not want to lie to the nation, we are still quantifying those figures and we would not give estimates,” he said.
Rights group slams Belgium’s push for targeted sanctions removal by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Rights group slams Belgium’s push for targeted sanctions removal | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo An international rights group has described as worrying Belgium’s push for the removal of sanctions on the ZANU PF-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). On Thursday, an official at the Belgian foreign ministry told Reuters news agency that the European Union had agreed in February to lift sanctions on the ZMDC, within a month of the poll outcome being deemed accepted. “For us, there is an agreement,” Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hendrik van de Velde said, adding that the EU has not refused to recognise the election and so the February agreement must be respected and the restrictive measures on the ZMDC lifted. Belgium is the hub of the international diamonds trade. But international rights group Global Witness said these calls are premature and the EU should not rush into lifting the measures imposed on the ZMDC. Speaking to SW Radio Africa Friday, the group’s diamonds campaigner Emily Armistead said: “We are concerned that Belgium is calling for the immediate removal of the sanctions when there is strong evidence of electoral fraud. “Our research has shown that the ZMDC, and some of the joint venture companies that the group operates in Zim, have links with the military and senior members of ZANU PF. “We are worried that ZANU PF may have used these companies as some form of off-budget financing for the elections. We are especially concerned because there seems to be major concerns that electoral fraud took place,” Armistead said. Global Witness has been very vocal in calling for tighter mineral trade restrictions on Zim, citing rampant human rights abuses and corruption in the local industry. Armistead called on the EU to take enough time to make a proper assessment of what happened in the election. “There seems to be strong evidence and enough allegations of fraud, particularly around discrepancies in the electoral roll. These merit proper investigations before making a call on whether it was fair or not. “We also need the EU to look carefully at some of the allegations that have appeared publicly, that some of the mining companies such as Mbada and Anjin partly funded the activities that influenced electoral fraud. “The EU shouldn’t be coming to an immediate decision on sanctions without carrying out proper investigations into these concerns,” she added. In February, western powers said their decision on the remaining targeted sanctions will be guided by the Southern African Development Community’s verdict on the Zim poll process. This was after ZANU PF barred missions from the countries it deemed ‘hostile’ from observing the July 31st electoral process. President Robert Mugabe went on to claim a 61% poll win, with his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai managing 34%. However, the EU now finds itself in a tricky position after African observer missions declared the poll credible and free, despite overwhelming evidence of ballot fraud. The Western states of Britain, Canada, Australia and the US have already questioned the credibility and integrity of the poll outcome, that saw ZANU PF romping home to a two-thirds majority ‘win’ in parliament. British ambassador to South Africa, Nicola Brewe,r last month said she did not think the elections were credible or “complied with even SADC’s electoral rules”. An Australia envoy described the elections as farcical. Both MDC parties have accused Mugabe and his ZANU PF party of massively rigging the election and said the outcome does not reflect the will of Zimbabweans. Despite the lack of unanimity regarding the outcome Belgium, which has always wanted the sanctions against the ZMDC to be removed, insisted the measures were on their way out. Meanwhile, senior South African official Lindiwe Zulu has also called on western states to lift the remaining targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his ZANU PF associates. Zulu was a key member of SA President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team in Zimbabwe’s just-ended negotiated unity government. She was quoted by Bloomberg news agency saying western powers should instead engage with the Mugabe regime. “Europe and America must stop this stop-and-watch approach that they have for Zimbabwe,” Zulu is quoted as saying. She also reportedly defended the country’s landgrab-style indigenisation programme, through which ZANU PF has been taking over foreign-owned firms. Calls to Zulu’s mobile phone were not being answered, but according to the same Bloomberg report, she said, “it is time that the economic benefits from our countries benefit Africans as well.” Zulu also suggested that the two MDCs lost the July 31st poll because they went into the elections divided. Zulu had in the run-up to the elections consistently expressed concern that Zimbabwe was not ready to hold the poll, citing the outstanding issues in the GPA such as media and electoral reforms. But following a public dressing down by Mugabe who called her “an idiotic streetwoman”, Zulu appears to have warmed to the ZANU PF leader.
Families and gold panners evicted in ZPF Midlands retribution by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Families and gold panners evicted in ZPF Midlands retribution | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda Dozens of families that had been settled by ZANU PF in the midlands province are currently living by the roadside, after they were allegedly evicted two weeks ago when election results were announced. It has also been reported that hundreds of formerly unemployed youth from Gokwe, who had been given gold-panning licenses before the election, had their licenses revoked just after the election and are now banned from the area. The panning operations have been taken over by ZANU PF chefs. These acts of post-election retribution were reported by Costin Muguti, the MDC-T Provincial Chairman for the Midlands. The targeted areas include Gokwe, Zhombe, and the Mbizo and Sherwood districts of Kwekwe. Muguti told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF settled many families in an area called paRaja about two years ago, which was undeveloped land under the Forestry Commission. They had built permanent homes and were growing crops since then, but now find themselves with all their belongings, by the roadside. “ZANU PF even put two extra polling stations there for this election, in order to accommodate all the people they had resettled in the area. I guess they were not pleased with the election results so they were told it was illegal to settle there,” Muguti explained. As for the gold panners, Muguti said many unemployed youths from Gokwe were given licenses by ZANU PF as a way to gain support in the Midlands. But the licenses were revoked after the elections and it is alleged that Emmerson Mnangagwa and another ZANU PF chef, Chikumba, now control the panning. “It was done just for the purpose to get youths for the elections but now it is greed that has taken over. They realised let’s take the wealth since it is lucrative,” Muguti said. Traditional leaders have also been targeted since the July 31st elections ended. Muguti said Chief Nyenyunga summoned six Sabhukus to his homestead and had them sit in the hot sun all day, accusing them of supporting the MDC-T. They were fined $50, plus a goat each, which they have so far refused to pay. According to Muguti, their monthly allowance of $25 from government was also taken by the chief directly from the district council. Muguti said many people, suspected of supporting the MDC-T, are being “sidelined” by ZANU PF agents, in acts of retribution that began soon after the elections. Villagers are being denied food and other donated resources that are supposed to benefit everyone, regardless of their political affiliation
Bennett denies resigning as MDC Treasurer General by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Roy Bennett denies resigning from his position as MDC Treasurer General — Nehanda Radio By Roy Bennett Roy Bennett the exiled and outspoken Treasurer General of the Movement for Democractic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai has denied press reports that he resigned from his position within the party. Below is the full statement sent to Nehanda Radio. Friends, contrary to media reports, I have not officially resigned as Treasurer General of the MDC. What I said was, I will step aside if the MDC joins the government and therefore legitimizes an election farce and provides ZANU-PF a further lifeline. I cannot and will not betray the principles and values, which gave birth to the MDC. The MDC was formed with the mission of liberating the people from dictatorship and creating a government that would serve our electorate transparently and truthfully. We now need to revisit those founding values. A free, democratic society which with a clear vision of alleviating poverty, affording transparent access to land, and providing increasing employment opportunities remains impossible with the corrupt and murderous ZANU-PF regime in power. A constitution truly incorporating one-man, one-vote, and a non-racial, non-tribal, non-ethnic society, buttressed by freedom of speech and association, a free press and media with a credible independent and impartial judiciary, seems far more distant today than ever. Friends, in short we need a culture that respects the will of the people to elect a government made up of representatives of their choice. Historically, going back as far as you want in our history, we Zimbabweans have never had the opportunity to enjoy these values. There has been so much sacrifice and suffering by many in our quest for these values. The truth will always set us free, at all times. Truth is the most difficult thing for all to face, but can never be intimidated, beaten, raped, murdered or threatened. It will always remain the truth. I make no apologies and ask for no favours. Having just been denied a fair and transparent vote with an election blatantly rigged, can we as a party lay the blame totally at the feet of ZANU-PF? I am not implying that the election was anything but a grand theft.However, our party could have gone into the election in a much stronger position—in terms of organization, structural integrity and ground level participation. In my humble opinion, being exiled, but still in day-to-day contact with Zimbabwean grass root activists, I am of the view that our party needs some serious introspection. When most senior MDC leaders were deployed into the Government of so-called ‘inclusive unity’, our party was exposed to a leadership vacuum. When the election came, many leaders tried to make up for lost time, to reconnect with their constituencies. Some tried to influence events by the imposition of candidates who would support their selfish agendas. Having tasted the comfortable life of government money, and power, how many of our leaders focused on their own government positions and ignored their constituencies? This behavior is as a result, and follows on from our last divisive congress, where structures were formed by some in senior leadership who advanced their own interests by imposing unpopular representatives with little or no grass roots support thus resulting in division throughout, considerably weakening our structures. What has happened to the National leadership of our party? How can they be allowed to interfere with the right of the people to elect their own representatives? The MDC I joined and embraced was consultative, and listened to the people and responded accordingly. I am often accused of being idealistic and speaking my mind. But friends, I was elected into office unanimously and democratically by congress. Whatever I am, I am truthful. It is not about me ! I am the people who elected me. I watch from exile in the diaspora and pray that all our leaders elected at congress take a good hard look in the mirror. Those who have been involved in self-centered politics, who have discredited the values our party, and who made decisions which have denied people the right of a transparent and free election, should do the honorable thing and tender their resignations. It is time for a united, accountable, cohesive, value based, trusted leadership to finish our noble struggle. There can be no future in any alignment or cooperation with a murderous and corrupt regime. We need a leadership that remains totally dedicated and is prepared to sacrifice for our founding values. Roy Bennett is the exiled Treasurer General of the MDC led by founding president Morgan Tsvangirai
Anti-graft boss confirms Chombo graft complaints by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Anti-graft boss confirms Chombo graft complaints – DailyNews Live by Tendai Kamhungira Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Denford Chirindo has said the anti-graft body received several corruption complaints against former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo. Chirindo said this yesterday during cross examination in the trial of Zacc commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda, accused of contravening the Official Secrets Act and criminal abuse of office. Chimwanda, through his lawyer Jonathan Samukange, denied the charges, arguing they are “malicious, vindictive and baseless”. He is accused of supplying dockets and information to four MDC officials — Thabani Mpofu, Warship Dumba, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli Tshuma — who have since appeared in court facing charges of impersonating the police, possessing articles for criminal use and breaching the Official Secrets Act. Chimwanda is further accused of providing the four MDC officials with information pertaining to investigations about Chombo’s alleged abuse of office. Prosecutor Michael Reza alleges that Chimwanda also connived with the four officials and compiled a summary of offences against Attorney-General Johannes Tomana. In denying the allegations Chimwanda said when he was appointed a commissioner, Chombo was already under investigations. Samukange had asked Chirindo the number of cases that had been reported against Chombo. He said: “We received several complaints and we tasked the investigation committee to investigate.” Chirindo, who told the court that he did not have personal knowledge about Chimwanda’s allegations, however, said he cannot give an exact number of the cases that were reported against Chombo. He further said an association of councillors carried its own investigations against Chombo, which the commission handed over to the investigations committee. Among other allegations, according to a fact sheet read in court on Wednesday, Chombo was under investigations over an alleged fraudulent sale of council land in Glen Lorne, Harare. Reza further alleges that in April last year, the commission was investigating a fraud case involving former Harare special interest councillor Charles Nyachowe. It is alleged Chimwanda requested Nyachowe’s docket and provided the information to the MDC officials. However, the investigating officer in the Nyachowe case Besten Matope said there was nothing unusual in Chimwanda requesting for the docket. Matope said he had completed investigations in the case and had found no incriminating evidence against Nyachowe. Another witness Alex Masiye, who is the commission’s chief investigating officer, said there was nothing criminal about him getting Nyachowe’s docket. Samukange said his client had not contravened the Official Secrets Act, since the clause only applies to issues to do with national security. The trial continues next Thursday.
Sadc report fake: MDC by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Sadc report fake: MDC – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC yesterday claimed that the recently released Sadc observer mission report declaring Zimbabwe’s poll largely credible was not a Sadc report but one emanating from the Tanzanian Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe. Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, told a news conference at the MDC headquarters in Harare, that the Sadc observer mission has not yet endorsed Membe’s report.“We have inquired with a number of Sadc countries and the Sadc secretariat who have professed ignorance to the existence of this report,” Biti said.
Chanakira sells AfrAsia Kingdom Stake by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Chanakira sells AfrAsia Kingdom Stake | The Zimbabwean by Clemence Machadu Nigel Chanakira, the founder and non-executive director of Afrasia-Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited (AKZL), has sold his 30 percent stake in AKZL, as part of the company’s restructuring and recapitalization exercise. “The key components of the restructuring and recapitalization are the decision by the founder of Kingdom Mr. Nigel Chanakira to dispose of his 30% indirect interest in AKZL,” said the company, in a statement. Chanakira will however buy AKZL’s remaining interest in the Botswana-based offshore bank, Kingdom Bank Africa Limited (KBAL). The restructuring will see Chanakira completely exiting as a shareholder of AKZL and in the transfer of the AKZL’s 35.7% interest in KBAL. Mr. “Chanakira will also step down as director of all AKHL and AKZL entities with immediate effect of the restructuring. Mr. Chanakira will however acquire the “Kingdom” Trademark from AKZL,” said the statement. AfrAsia Holdings has further announced that it will immediately provide additional liquidity support to AKZL and KBL, a US$20 million rights issue to be to be led by AfrAsia. The restructuring will also be followed by the rebranding of AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited as “AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Ltd”; Kingdom Bank Ltd as “AfrAsia Bank Ltd”; and Kingdom Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd as “AfrAsia Capital Management (Pvt) Ltd.” The board and management of AKZL and KBL, will also be restructured. It is however not yet clear what prompted the restructuring exercise and how AfrAsia Holdings will meet the indigenization regulations afterwards. “I have particularly been delighted to have been part of this Group which has and continues to be a respected player in the financial sector in Zimbabwe. However, in life sometimes one is confronted with major decisions that shape your future, and for me, this is that one moment,” said Mr Chanakira, commenting on the developments. James Benoit, the Chief Executive Officer of AfrAsia, stated that “The restructuring and recapitalization of AKZL is confirmation of our commitment to Zimbabwe and our belief in its recovery potential and the key role that it can play in regional development going forward. Kingdom Bank under AKZL already represents one of the best banking franchises in the country and we are committed to further developing it into the top bank in Zimbabwe, which we are confident that we can do given that we now expect a more stable business environment going forward. I would also like to place on record our thanks to H.E. President Robert Mugabe and to Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and his team for their support”
Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle history remains untold by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle history remains untold The Zimbabwe Independent by Herbert Moyo THE last two weeks in which Zanu PF’s low-key celebrations of the party’s controversial election victory were diluted by the deaths of two party stalwarts, Enos Nkala and Kumbirai Kangai, laid bare the shortage of documented accounts of Zimbabwe’s liberation war history by influential participants. Although Zanu PF was formed at Nkala’s house on August 8 1963, he did not leave memoirs to capture this. Kangai, a member of Zanu PF’s 1970s Dare reChimurenga which co-ordinated the war effort while leaders like President Robert Mugabe, Nkala, Edgar Tekere and others were in prison, also did not leave any written account of the guerrilla conflict. Zimbabweans, still awaiting Nkala’s promised posthumous memoirs, had to contend with Mugabe’s hagiographical and glaringly selective account of his liberation war history and post-Independence role during his burial at the national Heroes Acre. “Let me tell you my story as I walked the distance with Nkala from 1960 to the present day — Nkala, a gallant fighter, an unyielding fighter and a great friend,” Mugabe said as he began a long-winded and glowing eulogy. Mugabe deliberately skirted the subject of Nkala’s corruption in the Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries scandal, dubbed Willowgate, and his role in the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands in which about 20 000 people were reportedly killed in the 1980s by the North-Korean trained Fifth Brigade.It was ditto for Kangai, whom Mugabe interestingly declared to have “been no thief”, despite corruption allegations that marred his tenure as Agriculture minister leading to his arrest in 2000.He was eventually acquitted by the courts but Mugabe never made him a cabinet minister again.A whole generation has passed since the attainment of Independence in 1980 and many of those who participated in it have since passed away.Worryingly, the documentation of history, however controversial, appears to be anathema to Zimbabwe’s nationalists. University of Zimbabwe History lecturer Joseph Mujere expressed disappointment that most nationalists have not written their accounts of the liberation war, saying it appears there is “some kind of fear about writing and this produces a gap in terms of that history”. Thus there are so many contested issues and areas in the liberation war account which could never be clarified, especially as the numbers of those who participated in it are fast dwindling due to death. Even former Vice-President Joseph Msika, who saw it all from the first nationalist political party, the Southern Rhodesia African National Congress through to the National Democratic Party, Zapu and ultimately Zanu PF, died in 2009 without leaving any written account despite numerous promises to correct the county’s distorted history. Apart from the controversy over Mugabe’s own role, a contested area is that of when the liberation war actually started. Zanu PF’s version has always been that the party kick-started the “Second Chimurenga” in Chinhoyi in 1966, a fact which has been disputed by former Zipra military supremo Dumiso Dabengwa and many of his former Zapu colleagues. Zapu says the war started in September 1962 with the attack on Sidube ranch. Dabengwa gave a presentation at the University of Zimbabwe in 1990 in which he suggested Zipra had already started the war by 1966 and also spoke of how defections by leading Zipra military figures like Robson Manyika in the early 1970s prevented Zapu from taking advantage of former Mozambican president Samora Machel’s offer to launch the war from Mozambique. In fact, Zapu has always been critical of the Zanu PF liberation war narrative and suspicious of government-backed attempts to come up with “patriotic” history. In February 2006, Zapu officials in the united Zanu PF party in Gwanda stopped an initiative dubbed “capturing the fading national memory” to record oral testimonies of the Second Chimurenga. This was despite the fact that the project was a joint Ministry of Home Affairs, University of Zimbabwe, National Museums and National Archives initiative, which had even received the blessing of Zanu PF at its annual people’s congress that was held at Mzingwane High School in Esigodini two months earlier. Some officials openly questioned the logic of the exercise, saying that history had already been collected by the Mafela Trust, an organisation linked to former Zapu members. The project which had been earmarked to run for two weeks was abandoned after just one day. Only a handful of nationalists have written about the struggle and none more controversial than Zanu PF’s former secretary-general, Tekere, and Wilfred Mhanda –– a former guerrilla commander widely known by his liberation war name Dzinashe Machingura. Throughout his political career, Tekere was a controversial character and at the launch of his autobiography A Life Time of Struggle in Harare in 2007 he cast aspersions on Mugabe’s role in the struggle and his leadership afterwards. Tekere had no kind words for Mugabe who “we created when we influenced his leadership of Zanu”. Tekere said: “Mugabe has become a liability to the party (Zanu PF) I call mine. He has become a liability to the entire Zimbabwe. Ibbo (Mandaza) wanted me to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for bringing Mugabe to the leadership. It just happened. However, it is an unfortunate happening.” In his autobiography Tekere opened a Pandora’s Box by suggesting Mugabe played a peripheral rather than central role in the liberation war, describing his meteoric rise to the leadership of Zanu as an accident which was facilitated by the deaths of the party’s leading lights in the 1970s. “Ndabaningi Sithole had been sacked, Leopold Takawira the vice president had died in detention, Herbert Chitepo had been killed and the secretary-general was Mugabe. Thus it was that Mugabe went with me into exile. It was made clear that he was not going as president of the party, but he had the authority to speak on behalf of Zanu,” wrote Tekere much to the chagrin of Mugabe and the Zanu PF establishment. Like Tekere, Mhanda who wrote Memories of a Freedom Fighter said he had been motivated to write by the prevalence of an inaccurate “patriotic history and the overwhelming one-sided narration by those who wield power and influence”. “There was need to counter-balance, to actually expose what actually happened. So we owe it to the people of Zimbabwe to give an accurate account of what actually transpired during the critical phase of the struggle particularly between 1975 and 1977,” Mhanda said. Mujere said such “few recent accounts by Tekere and Mhanda have added to the historiography by challenging the existing hegemonic history”. Instead of writing, Mugabe frequently takes advantage of public gatherings like campaign rallies and funerals of heroes to regale his audience with his own accounts of the liberation struggle. Historians say Zimbabweans need to document their history in order to illuminate any grey areas and in this they need to look no further than South Africa where the likes of former presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and other ANC luminaries all have documented accounts of their roles in their country’s liberation struggle.
ICC trials will go ahead despite vote by Kenyan MPs by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via ICC trials will go ahead despite vote by Kenyan MPs – Times LIVE . Kenya’s parliament yesterday voted to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But the Dutch-based tribunal said it would nevertheless press ahead with the trials of the east African country’s president and his deputy. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are accused of orchestrating violence following the 2007 elections. About 1200 people were killed in ethnic blood-letting that plunged the region’s biggest economy into crisis. The court’s first trial of a sitting president is viewed as the biggest test to date of an institution that has faced mounting criticism in Kenya and across Africa, where it is accused of bias because all the suspects to date have been Africans. Support for the process, which once had broad backing in Kenya, has been eroded since the peaceful vote in March that resulted in Kenyatta, son of the country’s founding leader, being elected president. Parliament, dominated by the alliance that brought Kenyatta to power, voted in favour of telling the government to withdraw from the court. “I am setting the stage to redeem the image of the Republic of Kenya,” Aden Duale, the majority leader of Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition, said on behalf of the motion. Opposing him, minority leader Francis Nyenze warned: “We’ll be seen as a pariah state. We’ll be seen as people who are reactionary and who want to have their way.” The court said earlier that, even if Kenya withdrew, its departure from the first permanent international criminal court would take at least a year and would have no effect on cases already being processed. Ruto’s trial starts on Tuesday and Kenyatta’s in November, despite Kenyan efforts to have the cases dropped or heard nearer home. Both men have attended pre-trial hearings and have said they will continue to cooperate. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda yesterday said both cases would go ahead. Bensouda said there had been repeated threats and bribes aimed at persuading relatives of witnesses to disclose the witnesses’ whereabouts. “Witnesses have gone to great lengths to risk their lives and the lives of their relatives to support our investigations and prosecutions,” the prosecutor said.
Electoral majority could choke Zanu-PF by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Electoral majority could choke Zanu-PF – Masunungure AS Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) prepares to pilot the government for the next five years, a political researcher has said there is need for the party to conduct itself with care as its two-thirds electoral majority could weigh it down with total responsibility for what the next government does. Speaking at the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) Annual Conference for Media Stakeholders in Harare on September 5, Professor Eldred Masunungure, a Zimbabwean researcher and University of Zimbabwe Lecturer of Political Science forewarned that Zanu-PF’s unassailable control of national affairs could work against the party if there was no self-control. “Super majorities can result in arrogance and indiscipline in the party,” Masunungure said. Amid allegations of electoral fraud and observer reports from SADC and AU admitting unfairness in the recent election, Zanu-PF walked away with 160 parliamentary seats out of 210, and is set to constitute the next government with full governance power and unhindered leeway to implement its policies. But Masunungure said Zanu-PF’s power came with responsibility. “Those who rejoice in the victory are filled with expectation. They expect the best, will they get the best?” he said. Masunungure attributed the loss of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change partly to its complacency during the lifespan of Inclusive Government, when he incidentally hinted that there could be a similar problem of complacence with Zanu-PF’s rule after its disputed election landslide victory. In reference to the MDC-T’s allegations of vote fraud and supposed complacency, Masunungure said: “If there was rigging it begets the question -where was the MDC when these shenanigans were being rolled. “It was basking in the glory of its historic and momentous victory of March 2008.” Masunungure said the next Zanu-PF government had the challenge to prove that it can do better than the GNU – which all the three political parties that constituted it blamed for derailed progress in implementing their public policies and manifestoes from the 2008 elections. “With this scapegoat gone, Zanu-PF has to demonstrate that it can do better,” Masunungure said. However Masunungure was optimistic that the new government may depart from some of its extremist policies, saying that governments usually do not strictly follow their manifestoes, but move towards more moderate policies after elections Masunungure said Zanu-PF might consider “de-radicalising its policies”. “There will be continuation of reform in some policy areas,” Masunungure said. “I think (Zanu-PF) is likely to seek normalization of the country’s economy. “I think a Zanu pf led government would seek to out perform the GNU.” However Masunungure admitted that not every one was enthusiastic about Zanu-PF disputed electoral victory and incoming government. “Indeed, most Zimbabweans were traumatized by the result and most Zimbabweans are in the post-traumatic disorder,” he said. Masunungure said he thought “President Mugabe will go into a reconciliation mode” by showing “magnanimity in victory” and seek to put his enemies closer to him, arguing that the precedent of that happening had been shown in the Unity Accord of 1987 signed between Zanu and Zapu to end armed hostilities between the two parties.
Jere seeks $140m for Hilton Hotel project by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Jere seeks $140m for Hilton Hotel project – DailyNews Live by Kudzai Chawafambira Reality firm Stream Walk Recreational Arcade (Stream Walk) plans to raise $140 million to finance construction of its Hilton Hotel in Harare (Hilton). The group, led by logistics tycoon Farai Jere, is in partnership with international hotelier Hilton World Wide to build the multi-million dollar “mixed-use” property in the prime Eastlea area. Yesterday, he unveiled the ambitious project’s “bankable document” to key stakeholders, which is key in securing the funding. “Although we cannot disclose our prospective financiers, many locals and foreigners have approached us,” Jere said. Jere said the project was scheduled for completion by January 2014 with construction due to begin within the next seven months. “The value of a project of this nature is obviously high but we are confident of raising the funds,” the businessman said, adding that “remember there is a development fee which I am entitled to convert into equity. The value of our land is high, so it is easy to raise the money required for this project.” The 96 000-square metre property — to run under the internationally-acclaimed Hilton brand — will comprise a five-star 200-room hotel, residential apartments, office blocks and world class retail centres. Under the partnership, the Zimbabwean-registered Stream Walk is the developer while Hilton will provide management services for the leisure facility and further investment. International firm AECOM has been appointed as project consultant carrying out quantity surveying and management services while Stauch Voster is handling architectural and other design works for the mega development. Located at the East 24 area, the hotel will have access to key amenities such as the stone throw away Chapman Golf Course. The project has not only attracted the interest of several local and international investors, but is also to be built in an area once targeted by other established tourism industry players, including Meikles. And with the country’s tourism sector on a rebound, the facility is also expected to bring the much-needed relief to Harare in the form of extra beds and at a time the key industry is battling for capacity. Apart from conferencing and hotel facilities, the upscale development also includes a fitness centre, food court, a night club and other social amenities. The rise of the Hilton Hotel also comes at a time when a number of competing commercial brands have unveiled plans for other property developments in the capital, including Ken Sharpe’s $100 million Mall of Zimbabwe project.
Zim tourist arrivals up 12pc by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Zim tourist arrivals up 12pc | The Herald Zimbabwe recorded a 12 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2013, registering 859 995 compared to 767 393 visitors during the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. The first half of 2013 marked the build-up to the harmonised elections which were resoundingly won by President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. Tourist arrivals usually tend to decline towards, during and after an election. “Surprisingly, the elections had little effect on tourist arrivals with a few exceptions such as Botswana, Argentina, USA, Singapore, Germany, Italy and Israel whose arrivals rose in the first quarter, but, suddenly declined in the second quarter,” said the tourism body. The ever increasing regional trade and commerce also contributed immensely to this growth in arrivals, through the activities of business tourists, cross-border traders and transiting tourists, mostly drawn from the DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Asia exhibited an outstanding performance, recording a 60 percent growth in arrivals into Zimbabwe. In Asia, China is rapidly becoming the major engine driving global tourism, having generated 83 million trips to all parts of the world in 2012 and continues to grow. Arrivals from China grew by about three times as much in 2013 as in 2012, recording a whopping 310 percent growth. Regionally, Africa had an 11 percent increase to 749 301 in the first half in arrivals rising from 675 727 in the same period last year. South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia shared over 70 percent of the arrivals from the Sadc region. Europe recorded a 26 percent growth in arrivals with the United Kingdom (72 percent) and France (76 percent) being the star performers from this region. However, the major markets of Germany and Italy registered a decline, which could have otherwise fuelled further growth of European arrivals to Zimbabwe. Tourist arrivals from the Americas declined by 3 percent, having falling from 24 462 in 2012 to 23 764 on the background of a 6 percent decline in United States of America’s arrivals. Middle East arrivals also declined by 7 percent, with the major market of Israel tumbling by 9 percent during the period under review. Australia boosted the tourist arrivals of Oceania by 8 percent which was the only market with positive results from this region, while New Zealand registered a 37 percent decline.
Zuma’s adviser changes her tune on Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Zuma’s adviser changes her tune on Mugabe, Zimbabwe election | African News | BDlive by Amogelang MbathaEUROPE and the US should engage with Zimbabwe and lift sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his aides after his July 31 poll win, Lindiwe Zulu, one of President Jacob Zuma’s advisers on the Zimbabwean facilitation process, said on Thursday. But her comments contradicted the barrage of criticism she made about the Zimbabwe electoral process before the poll. In an interview, Ms Zulu credited Zanu (PF)’s victory on the opposition’s failure to unite. Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and the splinter MDC led by Welshman Ncube chose to fight the poll separately, splitting the opposition vote. This made Mr Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) appear “stable and strong”, she said in an interview. Mr Mugabe secured 61% of the vote and his Zanu (PF) captured two-thirds of the seats in parliament. The MDC said the vote was rigged. Local observers and western governments joined Mr Tsvangirai in criticising the conduct of the ballot. But South Africa, the region and the African Union gave the vote a thumbs-up. “Europe and America must stop this stop-and-watch approach that they have for Zimbabwe,” said Ms Zulu, who had a drawn-out public row with Mr Mugabe just before the general elections. In the run-up to the election, Ms Zulu was critical of the ruling Zanu (PF) government’s conduct, resulting in Mr Mugabe asking his South African counterpart to rein her in. This led to Ms Zulu’s silencing and a public rebuke from the South African Presidency. Mr Mugabe and Ms Zulu appear to have made up at the Southern African Development Community summit in Malawi. Ms Zulu also endorsed Mr Mugabe’s indigenisation programme, which threatens to force foreign and white-owned businesses to give black Zimbabweans a controlling stake in their local units. “It is time that the economic benefits from our countries benefit Africans as well,” she said. Ms Zulu said although the reforms were held in haste, they were necessary. “He (Mr Mugabe) knows the game, he understands it and he is sharp,” she said. Her statements came on a day when the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) slumped back into negative territory. The exchange gave up earlier meagre gains as investors weighed the prospects of a new administration that was likely to entrench Mr Mugabe’s indigenisation-driven economic policies. Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Southern Africa, has been reduced to a net importer of most basic goods and commodities, with manufacturing and industry mostly battling for viability and capacity utilisation. There are reports that small, indigenous-owned banks, most of which have battled for survival in an increasingly competitive and illiquid environment, are now limiting cash withdrawals. However, continued use of the dollar as a benchmark currency has provided some respite as the bourse rebounded off an 11% decline soon after announcement of Mr Mugabe’s victory in the first week of last month. On Wednesday, the bourse closed 0.16% up.
Nicoz Diamond to build US$4m cluster homes by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Nicoz Diamond to build US$4m cluster homes The Zimbabwe Independent ZIMBABWE’S largest short term insurer Nicoz Diamond (Nicoz) at its half year results briefing for the period to June 30 announced a US$4 million Hatfield cluster home scheme, expected for completion by December 2014, joining other insurance players who have turned to housing projects to increase income streams. Nicoz head of treasury Joseph Mashika (JM) chats with Zimbabwe Independent business reporter Taurai Mangudhla (TM) on the project as well as other new investment plans in the region. Below are excerpts: TM: During the briefing, you spoke about a number of things but I would like to get more information on your Hatfield cluster home scheme, starting with the capital requirements. JM: In terms of capital, it depends on the final product that we are going to deliver on the market. Right now, because of recent developments, we have got two options that we are looking at but we just want to deliver a product that should to sell to on the market. TM: What was your initial plan before things started changing as you have implied? JM: Initially we wanted to do like a complete unit where u just get the keys and walk in, but now we are looking at doing the shell like what FBC (Holdings) is doing where they build the complete unit but without fittings. TM: What is the reason behind moving to the incomplete units? JM: That way we are trying to make it affordable, looking at income thresholds in terms of what people are earning. If you put in fittings then you price out people who would naturally benefitting because we are also looking at mortgage financing so we are looking at affordability and so forth. TM: Okay I get the idea, but what is the overall capital required for the project? JM: Just to hazard a figure, we are probably looking at development costs of between US$2, 5 and US$5 million depending on the delivery method that we are going to use. It’s not like we are building 58 units at once and sell them. In fact it would help to ease our cash flows if we can sell off plan because we don’t necessarily need to tie down US$5million. Just to give an indication, our plans were to deliver in batches of 15. What we have to do is the civil works, that is the pipes, roads and everything, that should cost US$450 000. We will be building blocks of 15 so we will be working on a float. We must put upfront US$500 000 for your civil works, so you do 15 and offload, another 15 you offload, and you are not tying down much capital. Talking of US$4 million seems like it’s not a lot but the capital for civil works should not exceed US$1million. TM: US$5 million is not a lot of money. But where is it coming from? JM: Remember that we are building and selling but there is also an option of partnering a bank which wants to partner us either through an upfront loan or equity participation. So we are considering that. TM: How about internal resources, aren’t they sufficient to fund the project? JM: We do have capacity internally to do this entire project, we’ve got an investments book of anything between one and 90 days of US$5 million, you will see it. These are cash investments so just taking out US$1 million shouldn’t be a problem. TM: When do you target to complete the housing scheme? JM: It’s a 12-month project if you look at it, so between now and probably same time next year we should have finished. Civil works we are looking at two months, building 15 units probably about another two months, so we should finish and I can safely say the funding is in place. TM: What is your budget in terms of return? JM: I can just say we are looking at healthy returns. TM: Moving on to the new insurance company you are about to open in Mozambique, what it the status? JM: Well in Mozambique again the funding is in place, I will not divulge much because we have got other equity partners who include a local bank, so I will not divulge at this stage. TM: Can you give some general detail without perhaps disclosing the intimate detail? JM: Tentatively in terms of shareholding we are looking at about 40% and others take the balance. For this to work we have to read this indigenisation thing correctly because we also want local participation. We have an option to pick 40% and the partners will be picking the difference, it’s again highly confidential and I don’t want to divulge much. TM: Is that all you can say really? JM: Well we are looking at partnering largely Mozambican investors because as foreign investors it works better for you when you partner a local investor because they know how business is done and they have relationships. We have to be seen as a local insurance company in Mozambique so that we don’t repeat the same mistake we made with Fico (First Insurance Company of Uganda). TM: I get the feeling the move to partner local investors is largely informed by your experience with Ugandan business, Fico. JM: It’s actually a response to what we are facing. That is the reason our shareholding in Fico will come down from 65% to about 30 to 35%. It’s because of that realisation and we want the locals to get the bulk of the shareholding so that they are able to drive the business because they are the ones who have relationships. It becomes local, their thing. This thing of indigenisation is gathering momentum, it’s being done differently in other countries. The moment you have local shareholders driving the business it becomes easier really. TM: How is your bancassurance going and how is it currently operating? JM: We have got some sizeable arrangements with some key banks including some of the largest banks like Stanbic Bank. You walk into the bank, they sell you insurance products, they collect the premium and get their commission. It’s becoming a very key distribution channel for us even from a cost management point of view because you then don’t have to set up branches all over, so it’s leveraging on the existing branch networks and that is a good development. They give loans to their clients, so we give insurance for the loans and you don’t access loans until you have paid that insurance. So the relationships with banks have been very good. TM: Lastly, can I just to tap your views on industry’s commitment towards creating micro insurance products? JM: Speaking for Nicoz, our marketing team is looking at that and it’s really about tailor-making products for your typical small to medium enterprise sort of client or the informal trader. There are efforts, but what I can say is we are in the sort of research phase in terms of tailor-making appropriate products but defiantly we are looking at micro insurance as a market.
Minority groups push for language use by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Minority groups push for language use | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News Minority groups in Matabeleland have intensified programmes aimed at promoting their previously marginalised languages in the wake of the adoption of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe in June this year. The new supreme law, which repealed the Lancaster House charter, accords official status to 16 languages. Most of them are spoken in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces. The old constitution only recognised English, Ndebele and Shona as the official languages of Zimbabwe. Section 6 (1) of the current Constitution reads: “The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe.” Under the same section, 6 (4), the supreme law stipulates that the State must promote and advance the use of all languages used in Zimbabwe, while creating conditions for their development. Outgoing Education Minister, David Coltart, said he expects the incoming government to honour the language policy by ensuring that all the local languages are taught and examined in schools. In Matabeleland, various lobby groups are ratcheting up pressure on government to set the wheels in motion. One of the groups working flat out to promote minority languages is Basilwizi whose main objective is that of facilitating Tonga language orthography harmonisation. Frank Mudimba, head of the programme, said Basilwizi promotes Tonga language being spoken predominantly in Binga. “This was achieved through collaboration with University of Zambia and University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in February 2013. Lusumpuko, a secondary school textbook series, has also been produced with our help and is being used in the lower tiers of secondary education,” said Mudimba. Basilwizi and its partners are now working on the Ordinary Level set of Tonga textbooks and Tonga novels. Among other things, the organisation has also facilitated the writing of Tonga language at Grade 7 since 2011. The Koisan people are also trying hard to revitalise their dying language. Last month, they convened at Gariya Dam in Tsholotsho to celebrate the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The day’s objective is to promote non-discrimination and inclusion of indigenous peoples in the design, implementation and evaluation of international, regional and national processes regarding laws, policies, resources, programmes and projects. The Koisan, found in Tsholotsho and Bulilima and with a population of about 2 000, have since formed the Creative Arts and Education Development Association (CAEDA) to document and promote their language. CAEDA director, Davy Ndlovu, said their language was not Koisan as it is referred to in the new Constitution but Tshwao. He said they had tried to no avail to bring that to the attention of Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee, which presided over the writing of the new charter. Ndlovu said the Koisan people would still pursue the same issue with the incoming ZANU-PF government. Tshwao is fluently spoken by only 15 elderly people aged between 65 and 97 while the rest spoke a diluted version. “What we are doing at the moment to preserve the language is recording those few elders as they speak so we can come up with the vocabulary that we can later pass on to children. It’s quite interesting because the younger generation is also showing interest in learning the language,” said Ndlovu. “We have engaged the UZ which is assisting us with documentation. The other problem is that the education system does not cater for the San. There is no-one among the San who is educated enough to be able to teach this language in schools,” he added. Ndlovu said they were having challenges with resources to expand their programmes, adding that their children who were fortunate enough to go to school were learning Ndebele and fast losing touch with their own culture. Former Ward 15 councillor for Mangwe, Thandiwe Moyo, of Mphoengs where SeTswana is spoken, said they would lobby their newly elected legislator, Obedingwa Mguni, to push for the promotion of that language in the area bordering Botswana. “We are saying since at our homes we speak SeTswana to our children, it would be good if that same language was taught at our schools and be promoted in line with the new Constitution,” Moyo said. Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA) chairperson, Pax Nkomo, said while the other so called minority languages were being marginalised locally, they were being promoted outside Zimbabwe save for Kalanga which was suppressed by the colonial Rhodesian government. He cited Venda, Sotho and Xhosa as being taught at colleges and universities in neighbouring South Africa, and Tonga in Zambia. He said the imposition of Ndebele chiefs on the Kalanga people contributed to the neglect of the language predominantly spoken in four out of seven districts of Matabeleland South namely Bulilima, Mangwe, Matobo and Tsholotsho. “We are not going to let our language die and we therefore challenge the incoming new government of Zimbabwe to give Kalanga language affirmative action so we can liberate our culture which was suppressed,” said Nkomo. He said the BaKalanga themselves must arise and champion that cause and not wait for the government to take the lead. Nkomo, however, said despite the challenges primary school textbooks had been printed from the Education Transition Fund and were at a UNICEF warehouse awaiting disbursement to schools. Some schools in areas where Kalanga is spoken are already teaching the language which is yet to be examined by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council. Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association (ZIPLA) chairperson, Mareta Dube, said they had successfully lobbied the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to consider training teachers in those languages. Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic is already training teachers for Kalanga, Sotho and Venda. “We hope that the United College of Education will follow next year,” she said. Dube said ZILPA which is currently focusing on six languages — Sotho, Venda, Kalanga, Nambya, Tonga and Shangani — had financial constraints. For example, Sotho books remain soft copies at Longman-Zimbabwe due to lack of funding to have them printed. Dube said they needed finances to gather relevant literature in the languages for students and future generations. She appealed to the incoming government to consider importing skills from countries which have already been teaching those languages or introduce scholarships for Zimbabweans to go and train as lecturers and teachers in those same countries. Kalanga cultural activist and author, Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo, said he was sceptical of government’s political will to advance minority languages, adding that there were some elements within political parties that were against their promotion during the constitution-making process.
MDC-T mulls root-and-branch shake-up by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via MDC-T mulls root-and-branch shake-up | The Financial Gazette – Zimbabwe News by Clemence Manyukwe SOME senior members in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) are pushing for a massive restructuring of the movement in the wake of the party’s heavy electoral loss in the July 31 polls that saw President Robert Mugabe extending his rule by another five years, The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal. MDC-T hardliners are convinced that all the organs of the party, from the national council right down to branch level, were infiltrated by ZANU-PF moles and that it was impractical to rejuvenate the troubled movement without first plucking out all the bad apples. Calls for the purge coincide with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s whirlwind tour of the country’s 10 political provinces to get feedback in the aftermath of the MDC-T’s disastrous defeat at the hands of ZANU-PF and map the way forward. While the party attributes its loss to rigging, war drums are getting louder among party faithful who are calling for a thorough audit of the MDC-T’s structures to flush out the supposed infiltrators, accused of sabotaging the party. The major issues seizing those pushing for a purge is to convince Tsvangirai on how the party could positively identify the moles within its rank and file and how the MDC-T could be restructured without creating conditions for an implosion. Ever since the MDC’s infamous 2005 split, Tsvangirai has been taking a softly-softly approach to resolving disputes within his party. But hardliners within his party are now calling for action, damn the consequences. MDC-T Midlands South provincial spoke-sperson, James Tsuro, this week said the easier route to take would be for the party to purge provincial leaders who chose to stand as independents during the elections and subjecting them, along with their supporters, to a disciplinary process in order to manage them out of the party. Tsuro admitted, however, that it would be difficult to prove the existence of infiltrators. “Reports would be submitted to the provinces in every province and all those provincial members who had influence and decided to stand as independents together with all the people who supported them would be disciplined. In terms of infiltration, it would be difficult to prove because some of the people came from ZUD, ZAPU, and ZANU-PF (to join the MDC-T),” he said. With the wounds inflicted by the defeat to ZANU-PF still fresh in the minds of party cadres, there is a section of the MDC-T clamouring for an extraordinary congress to replace some members of the party’s national council, the MDC-T’s main policy implementing organ whose functions include supervising and directing the work of the party and all its organs and overseeing the work of the national assemblies of women and youth. It has up to 150 members who include Tsvangirai, Thokozani Khupe, Lovemore Moyo, Morgan Komichi, Tendai Biti, Tapiwa Mashakada, Nelson Chamisa, Abednico Bhebhe, Elton Mangoma, Douglas Mwonzora, Theresa Makone, Solomon Madzore and Roy Bennet who has since expressed his intention to step aside. The MDC-T’s next congress is due in 2016, but members want it earlier to give new office bearers more time to strategise for the 2018 polls. The feeling within the MDC-T is that some of the top officials slept on duty as ZANU-PF claimed the Presidency and the majority of seats in both Parliament and local authorities. Much of the blame is being heaped on Tsvangirai, whose leadership of the party is now under the microscope. Having been at the helm of the MDC-T for the past 14 years, the former trade unionist has failed to claim the presidency in three presidential polls. The entire MDC-T leadership is also under heavy scrutiny for getting carried away during the sustenance of the inclusive government, with some of them falling for the trappings of power. Instead of owning up to their mistakes, a convenient scapegoat for the party’s leadership has been to blame it all on rigging and infiltration. Tsvangirai was in the Midlands Province last week where he attended the party’s provincial council meeting. Chamisa, the party’s national organising secretary, attended the same meeting where he said there was need to flush out infiltrators who were in the MDC-T. Sources said Chamisa’s take on that issue was in fact shared by most members of the party’s national executive council. “It is better to embark on a journey with five sheep only than with five sheep and 600 hyenas in sheep skin because the sheep and their shepherd will never complete the journey,” Chamisa was quoted as having said during the tense meeting. This week, Chamisa acknowledged the statement but declined to say more on the issue saying it had been made in a closed door meeting. He referred further questions to party spokesperson, Mwonzora who said Giles Mutsekwa, the party secretary for security, was most qualified to comment on the issue. “Firstly, we are very big, we are the largest party in Zimbabwe and it’s not surprising that in the process some who are not genuine might have joined. It happens all over the world with big parties,” said Mutsekwa. “But we can’t attribute what has happened to infiltration because that was not an election, but it was an unprecedented fraud, a gigantic fraud that took place.” Mutsekwa was evasive on what would be the fate of the supposed infiltrators. Tsuro who attended the same meeting where Chamisa made the remarks said some of the people who were singled out at the meeting for not having been loyal to the party were provincial leaders who chose to stand as independents in elections. He said there was a process in motion to discipline them together with all those who supported them. Tsvangirai and his party were handed a shock election result in the just-ended polls, his worst defeat since 2000 and attempts to salvage his political life through court and diplomatic means have all but failed. The MDC-T’s leader withdrew his earlier attempts to reverse the result of the poll through a Constitutional Court petition. This week, the Southern African Development Community Election Observer Mission, though expressing reservations on the voters’ roll, endorsed President Mugabe’s re-election as having been held in a peaceful and free environment.
Zanu PF in renewed succession battle by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Zanu PF in renewed succession battle | The Zimbabwe Independent by Brian Chitemba and Faith Zaba INTERNICINE fights rocking Zanu PF are likely to deepen as known factions jostle to succeed President Robert Mugabe (89) in the aftermath of recent elections. The battle has been intensified by consultations on an extraordinary congress and a clause in the new constitution which states that “the vacancy in the office of president must be filled by a nominee of the political party which the president represented when he or she stood for election” — which effectively threw wide open the succession race, as it means any popular candidate can effectively clinch the presidency ahead of more senior members such as the vice-president. Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott has told the media Mugabe confided in him that he was ready to retire, but was being prevented from doing so by security chiefs, fuelling infighting. This has reportedly resulted in Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who has become outspoken on the issue, and outgoing Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa intensifying their bids. But indications are Mugabe is going nowhere. Plots and counter-plots have become the order of the day in the Zanu PF body politic with reports of clandestine meetings all the time being held to strategise on how to take over once Mugabe retires. As the succession battle rages, Zanu PF heavyweights are clearly aligning themselves to camps they believe will land the top job. Mujuru reportedly used her influence to reshuffle provincial executives before elections after raising allegations of abuse of office and corruption. She enjoys the support of party national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo, secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and political commissar Webster Shamu, who orchestrated the removal of provincial executives reportedly aligned to Mnangagwa. Khaya Moyo championed the demotion of Bulawayo provincial chairperson Killian Sibanda replacing him with Callistus Ndlovu, while in Manicaland Mutasa is said to have ensured Mike Madiro was booted out. Mujuru, a beneficiary of her late husband General Solomon Mujuru’s legacy, is consolidating support in all provinces since they are critical in nomination of presidential candidates despite that Mugabe wants to stay on. According to Zanu PF’s constitution, one has to be nominated by at least six of the 10 provinces to become president. In 2004 Mnangagwa had managed to solicit the support of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland West, Midlands and Mashonaland Central for the post of vice-president, but the constitution was amended to accommodate a woman as one of Mugabe’s deputies. Mujuru then had the backing of Harare, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East, but nevertheless she was elected vice-president. Mujuru and Mnangagwa have been tussling to replace Mugabe since then. Last year Mujuru successfully lobbied for the dissolution of District Co-ordinating Committees after it emerged that most of the structures were rallying behind Mnangagwa. Others reportedly working closely with Mujuru include former Mashonaland East governor Ray Kaukonde, politburo members Olivia Muchena, Sydney Sekeramayi, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Amos Midzi. Outgoing Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a former ally, has fallen out of Mujuru’s favour and reportedly crossed the floor to the Mnangagwa camp. Mujuru allegedly instigated the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate him, outgoing Transport minister Nicholas Goche and outgoing Mines minister Obert Mpofu after a fall-out with them. Zanu PF insiders indicate that Mpofu, outgoing Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, Medium Enterpises minister Sithembiso Nyoni, outgoing Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri, Zanu PF chief Joram Gumbo and war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda, among others, are aligned to the Mnangagwa faction. Others said to be fighting in Mnangagwa’s corner are politburo member Josaya Hungwe and former Zanu PF Midlands chairperson July Moyo. Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief General Constantine Chiwenga is said to be working with a clique of securocrats, politburo members and legal gurus to push his own bid. Chiwenga is said to be close to Mnangagwa.
SADC compromised African democracy: Biti by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via SADC compromised African democracy: Biti | The Zimbabwean by Sofia Mapuranga The Movement for Democratic Change has accused the Southern Africa Development Community of setting a bad precedent for the promotion of democratic principles in the region following recent announcements by its head of Election Observer Mission, Bernard Mwembe, endorsing the recent elections as credible, free and fair. Addressing journalists at the party’s headquarters in Harare today, Secretary General Tendai Biti said his party had written to SADC seeking a retraction of Mwembe’s statements after consultations with the SADC Secretariat, South Africa and other countries in the region had revealed that Mwembe’s statement was not in tandem with the final report that is yet to be released. “His (Mwembe)’s credibility is questionable considering that SADC as an association has not yet finished compiling the final report regarding the just ended harmonised elections. His statements are based on the preliminary report that was released by SADC on August, 2,” he said. SADC deployed 573 election observers from its affiliate member states during the polls: the biggest deployment in the history of the regional bloc. Biti said the sudden u-turn by SADC to endorse the elections was reflective that there was ‘fear among member states that they cannot let their nationalist brother (President Robert Mugabe) down’. He revealed that his party had consulted with the SADC Secretariat in Botswana, South Africa and other neighbours who had confirmed that Mwembe’s statement was not endorsed by other African countries making up the election observer mission. “Endorsing this sham process is lowering the standards of democratic elections not only for the MDC but for Africans especially those that are set to hold their polls in the near future such as Malawi and South Africa,” said Biti. The MDC accused Mwembe of delivering a report that was not accurate, not comprehensive and which failed to address the fundamental issues that determine the freeness, fairness and credibility of the polls. “The recent released summary of the report is not a SADC report but one emanating from the Tanzanian minister of Foreign Affairs,” said Biti. “It is self-contradictory, inconsistent and incoherent considering that it does not address the SADC guidelines governing the conduct of democratic elections. Since the announcement of election results proclaiming Mugabe as the ultimate winner of the July 31 elections, opposition parties have come out guns blazing describing the whole electoral process as ‘flawed by serious irreguralities hence compromising the election outcome’.
Zanu PF must fulfil promises by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Zanu PF must fulfil promises | The Zimbabwe Independent Editorial NOW that the elections are over and the country is waiting for a new cabinet to give it policy direction, President Robert Mugabe must focus on fulfilling his electoral promises to the people. Although the elections outcome was characterised by accusations of vote manipulation and rigging, the reality is Mugabe, who still faces legitimacy questions, now has the tacit consent of the governed.For if the people live in a country not facing civil disobedience or an uprising, even if they are discontented they are deemed to have consented to the rule of the government. This is actually the African Union and Sadc’s logic in endorsing Mugabe and Zanu PF’s disputed victory. That is why it was unstatesmanlike, and in fact a disgraceful and irresponsible act of vengeance, for Mugabe to threaten to disown and not serve citizens of Harare and Bulawayo for voting for the MDC-T. The fact is Zanu PF made huge promises –– perhaps hyperbolic and even ridiculous –– and since it has won the elections, albeit controversially, it must now deliver. People want results, not excuses. So far Mugabe has been sabre-rattling and talking tough, offering nothing concrete. However, people are focused on what he is going to do to take the country forward. That’s why his new cabinet is critical. According to his party’s manifesto, which contained vague ideals and generalities as well as specifics, his government will create value of US$7,3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy. It will also create over US$1,8 trillion from the “idle value of empowerment assets” unlocked from parastatals, local authorities, mineral rights and claims, and from the state to capacitate Agribank with US$2 billion to finance the stimulation of agricultural productivity. It will also commit to capacitate the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe with US$3 billion to finance the rehabilitation and construction of physical infrastructure; and US$2 billion for social infrastructure and to capacitate Sedco with US$300 million to fund women and youths. It said these initiatives will create 2 265 million jobs and contribute to export earnings, food security and to the fiscus, enabling government to build houses and other things. In addition, Zanu PF said its indigenisation programme will see an average GDP growth rate of 9% by 2018, 250 000 low income housing units will be built; 1 250 public houses and buildings will be rehabilitated; 2 500 shell factories, flea and vendor market stands will be created; 310 clinics and 300 schools will be built and a new parliament complex will be constructed in Mt Hampden. These are massive promises, some say utopian, but we must give Mugabe and Zanu PF a chance to prove themselves. If they fail, as they will certainly do,they must pay the price in the next elections. However, it is clear even if we suspend belief for a moment, their promises are preposterous, a pie in the sky. It would need a leap of faith to take them seriously. But even then people must hold them to account. Despite their record of broken promises, they must be pressed to deliver.
Buck still stops with the MDCs by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Buck still stops with the MDCs | The Zimbabwe Independent Editor’s Memo with Stewart Chabwinja AS expected, Sadc’s observer mission report on Zimbabwe’s July 31 general elections to end a dysfunctional coalition government endorsed the poll as “free, peaceful and generally credible”. After the regional bloc and AU observers had initially described the poll as free and non-violent, and the selection of President Robert Mugabe as Sadc deputy chair, a thumbs-up report was a fait accompli. Predictable as it was, Sadc’s ringing endorsement is a further setback for the MDC-T which is smarting from the worst defeat at the polls since first contesting it in 2000. The MDC-T can justifiably feel aggrieved that the report glosses over some of the electoral process’s major shortcomings which rendered the poll “a monumental fraud by state security agents and Zanu PF” –– to quote its post-poll statement. Indisputably a litany of factors deliberately fashioned by Zanu PF, chief among which was a controversially fixed polling date, a chaotic voters’ registration process, a “shambolic” voters’ roll, massive disenfranchisement wrought by the turning away of mostly urban registered voters, and electoral and other state institutions brazenly on Mugabe’s side, effectively tipped the voting scales in Mugabe’s favour. Yet all these adverse factors cannot absolve the MDC formations from being the authors of their own spectacular downfall. Whatever the final verdict on Sadc’s mediation efforts as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) there can be no denying the MDC-T enjoyed much goodwill from Sadc, as evidenced by a series of Sadc communiqués favourable to the party’s cause during the tenure of the GPA. While Sadc would diplomatically express satisfaction over progress towards the full implementation of the GPA despite scant proof, it was unambiguous in insisting there would be no elections before reforms. Such was Sadc’s resolve in helping deliver a Zimbabwean rarity in the form of free, fair and undisputed elections that its thrust sufficiently riled Mugabe, perceived to have perfected rigging, that he threatened to quit Sadc and publicly insulted Zuma’s facilitation team spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu, deriding her as a “stupid street woman”. Unfortunately, lulled into a false sense of security by their entry into government and an increasingly cosy Mugabe-Tsvangirai alliance, the parties squandered the leverage accorded by Sadc’s stance as the trappings of power took their toll on them, blurring the vision required for effective strategy for electoral triumph. Zulu confirmed the MDCs strategic maladroitness, saying they failed to use their influence during the protracted talks to secure reforms from Zanu PF before elections. “We were really shocked by the MDC negotiators who failed to pin down Zanu PF to implement reforms,” Zulu told this paper on the sidelines of the recent Sadc summit in Lilongwe, Malawi. “There was a well-stipulated Sadc-initiated roadmap to be followed to the letter until elections were held, but the MDC negotiators decided not to push for its implementation.” Despite repeated warnings from progressive and pro-democracy forces not to sleep at the wheel, glaring naivety saw Tsvangirai readily accept a poisoned chalice by agreeing to supervise poll preps in a “facilitative” role, which resulted in him even defending the staffing of Zec despite his party’s gripe it was run by Mugabe’s supporters. To cap it all, the MDCs agreed to participate in rushed polls despite outstanding reforms, with Tsvangirai declaring victory was certain on the eve of the elections — even without the voters’ roll. So while the MDCs might have a case for crying foul over the electoral process and outcome, Tsvangirai was repeatedly warned he had forfeited the right to question the conduct of elections due to his superintending role. In the absence of widespread dissent over the poll results a weary Sadc has evidently decided it is time to move on; the Zimbabwean crisis is a closed chapter.
Gukurahundi and apartheid SA – part 2 by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Gukurahundi and apartheid SA | The Zimbabwe Independent by Timothy Scarnecchia THIS is a continuation of the article by Kent State University’s Professor Timothy Scarnecchia, an expert on Zimbabwean and African history, on the Zimbabwean government and apartheid South Africa’s role in the Gukurahundi campaign. Historian Sue Onslow has investigated South Africa’s role in trying to make sure Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF did not come to power in 1980. Onslow sums up South Africa’s strategy after Mugabe’s electoral victory and its impact on the conflict between Zanu and Zapu. “Mugabe’s victory shocked Pretoria. This drove South Africa back onto violence and subversion in neighbouring countries, rather than trying to manipulate the political process,” she says. Onslow argues that the involvement of South Africa in supplying a small amount of weapons to Super-Zapu dissidents “rebounded on Zapu/Zipra forces” in the Gukurahundi “as the Mugabe government … was able to stigmatise the disaffected Zipra combatants as stooges of the apartheid state, manipulated by a malevolent and oppressive foreign power”. South Africa did more to destabilise Zimbabwe in these years, but the support for Super-Zapu dissidents proved to be the most important factor in helping the Zanu PF government rationalise the Gukurahundi.
Let’s now have a Tourism Master Plan by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
via Let’s now have a Tourism Master Plan | The Zimbabwe Independent with Itai Masuku THE dust from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone is yet to settle. The hosts, Zimbabwe and Zambia, are probably still patting each other on the back for a job well done and so too may many of the participants to the event. However, the danger with such events is they simply end up as talk shops. Worse still, the temptation to rest on one’s laurels for hosting the event is yet another trap. For Zimbabwe to walk the tourism talk, we need to see more action towards growing this key sector which at its peak in the late 1990s grew at more than seven percent per annum, then plummeted into negative terrain between 2000 and 2008 at the height of political and economic instability sparked by the fast track land reform programme. Figures for the growth of this sector since 2009 when Zimbabwe moved over to multiple currencies, which halted hyperinflation, show it has been stunted, hardly surpassing two percent per annum. The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority are to be commended for the sterling efforts they have been making towards resuscitating the system. More importantly, the tourism players themselves –– under their various umbrella bodies such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Council and the Hotel Association of Zimbabwe –– also need to be congratulated on their efforts in sprucing up their facilities in the face of liquidity challenges and a dearth of foreign direct investment. Nevertheless, there needs to be a more concerted effort towards promoting tourism. There needs to be a blueprint for stimulating the tourism industry in the form of a Tourism Master Plan. This plan will not leave development in the hands of the tourism industry alone, but emphasise on the links between this sector and other key sectors. The plan should rope in the Ministry of Transport for instance, to ensure that destinations are accessible through a comprehensive road, rail and air network. It must rope in the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure smooth facilitation of foreign tourists at entry points. The same should apply to the Ministry of Finance’s Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority is also crucial to this master plan, where the tourism sector is sold aggressively to potential investors. Above all, organisations such as the Department of Parks and Wildlife need to be capacitated better in order to conserve the natural attractions. There are many under-marketed and unexplored tourism destinations such as the Mavhuradona areas, Chizarira National Park, the Lowveld etc. Concentration is on Victoria Falls alone. Though it’s our prime destination, it should be used as an entry point only, then visitors should be lured to other areas. Even Vic Falls itself has limitations, with many visitors complaining of the absence of night life for instance. Efforts must be made to attract every penny from visitors. Above all, we should move away from thinking that only foreign tourists are the movers of the industry. In many developed countries such as the United States and Japan, domestic tourism accounts for more than 80% of tourism activitiy.
Zimbabwe – Where do we stand? by ZimSitRep – 09-06-2013
from Zimbabwe Situation Facebook by Godfrey
Let me say this from the very outset, this is not an attempt to lecture anyone. I have no intention or interest in telling people what to think. Everyone has a mind of his/her own. When that mind is used freely everyone is capable to opine informatively and take what necessary educated steps he or she deems fit. We have enough dictators and megalomaniacs to dictate to us. They are very competent in that department. They do not need my help. We have seen and felt the results. Their trophies are permanently engraved with the suffering of the people they oppress. I, however, do hope that no matter where one stands on issues, we will all take a moment to reflect, because history is watching. Historically, leaders are judged harshly. They deserve it. But what about the people that these leaders abuse? What role do they play? Unless ordinary people gather the courage to free themselves from tyranny and take fundamental steps, like storming the Bastille or chasing long serving dictators out of office like what the Maghreb states and Egypt did during the so called Arab Spring, they are largely ignored as if they are not co-authors of the history they live and leave behind. Everyone plays a part whether consciously or unconsciously, passively or actively in forming the policies we all enjoy or suffer from. But one thing is clear. There is nothing super human about political leaders. To the contrary, there is everything sub human about many political leaders. That is why they find it very natural to oppress and kill their own with unflinching animality. The last century cursed the world with a long list of such: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe etc. To mask their animalism they endow themselves with grandiose titles. The Fuhrer und Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler was not formally educated. His father was an illegitimate child, at a time when illegitimacy unfairly mattered. The Father of Nations, Brilliant Genius of Humanity, Joseph Stalin was abused by his alcoholic father. Exactly when and where; His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular; was born is unknown. But just like His Excellency, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, he was abandoned by his father. The Revolution Order First Class and Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Saddam Hussein never knew his father. The All-Powerful Warrior Who, Because of His Endurance and Inflexible Will to Win, Will Go from Conquest to Conquest Leaving Fire in His Wake,Mobutu Sese Sekko was bereaved at a tender age. His father died when he was only eight years old. All these titles are meant to overwhelm the general psyche and mystify the holders but behind these veils are brutes, mostly of unhappy childhood. Of interest is our own, His Excellency Robert Mugabe, the leader of Zimbabwe. Deconstruction is warranted. The history of Zimbabwe shows that there is nothing excellent about Mugabe. What with an 89 year old clinging to power; a dictatorship; an oppressed people; a ruined economy; institutionalized corruption; a history of genocidal, racial and political beatings and killings; impunity? Ordinarily and wisely, 89 year old senior citizens retire and spend their last days enjoying whatever life they still have left. But no, not the mighty Robert. Unfortunately, for him and Zimbabwe, no amount of synthetic hormones can be pumped in his blood stream to induce competency. He dismally failed to run the country in his prime. He sure cannot do it now at such an advanced age, especially with his neurotic obsession to stay in power. It is just not physically or mentally possible. Mugabe may be the most visible purulent tumor in Zimbabwean politics today; verbose and abusive, but he is not the muscle behind the cancer. The man is 89. Even if he wanted to, he cannot and has never personally manhandled anyone. But he is quick to advertize his fighting prowess and strength. He fully utilizes what he has destroyed, the youth. He and his lieutenants have browbeaten the impressionable youth and stripped them of a mind of their own. The youth, who are supposed to be the best asset of tomorrow, have been made to believe that success only comes through government, ZANU PF controlled government. The future has been dehumanized and turned into pustules drowning and feeding from an infected cesspool called ZANU PF. They have been thoroughly brainwashed and they do Mugabe’s dirty work with unparalleled alacrity but the damage can still be reversed if handled correctly. Worldwide governments are generally corrupt. They should never be trusted. Governments are only functional where there are checks and balances in place to combat the obvious, and even then corruption still creeps in. Reliance and/or dependence on the government swallow growth. In the case of Zimbabwe nothing governmental functions, and there is no mechanism to curb the excesses. Thus, the youths who have been promised heaven on earth will once again be disappointed. Unfortunately, they have normalized disappointments because that is all they know. Some of them cannot wait for the next election season, because that is when they can hang out with ‘chefs’, drink as much as they can, celebrate the personality cult and display their power in full force. They actually think the ZANU PF way is the way things must be done, because Mugabe’s Zimbabwe has never shown them anything different. They were born after Mugabe took power. They do not know that: electricity can run for twenty four hours; that faucets were meant to pump out clean water; that potholes are not a road design; that street lights used to turn on every evening for the safety of all; that they can work hard and succeed on their own without boot licking and promises of sporadic and selective government handouts; that they can say no to brutalizing their neighbors; that America and Britain have no interest, even though they may welcome one, in effecting regime change in Zimbabwe, and if they did, it is not because of the gallantry of the Zimbabwean national army or Mugabe that such has not taken place, ask Saddam. But these kids are still reachable and they can start to build their own unadulterated future, only if they reclaim their mind with the help of all level headed Zimbabweans. We can start by campaigning against the travel bans, the so called sanctions. The gasps are audible, but please hear the logic. Sanctions have not worked, they rarely do. In fact they gave Mugabe and crew a mega phonic excuse to run the economy down and self enrich with gusto. Everything was blamed on sanctions. The gullible bought it. Many of those targeted always find ways to travel to countries they are banned. Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar general gives them new passports in different names. Their children are studying abroad, in the very same countries their parents are forbidden to travel. They get everything they want and lord it over on poor Zimbabweans. Lift the travel ban and let Mugabe claim victory like Idi Amin Dada, and become the Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Zimbabwe in Particular, a hollow title that will however feed his ego, and disarm him of one of his ostensible but, in this political climate, potent arguments. In any case the sanctions can be lifted on condition that human rights are observed and there is no flare up of post election violence, which will help a very vulnerable Zimbabwean population. And, if Zimbabweans are not abused by ZANU PF then opposition politics will grow roots which will be very difficult to uproot. Mugabe will be able to once again have tea with the queen, and perhaps that will be his road to Damascus. He may find revelation in the cup of tea and half tea spoon of sugar, and realize that it is far much easier to govern a free people than an oppressed lot. Maybe that may lead to real and credible elections in 2018. Understandable, the west does not want to legitimize a stolen election, but there is practically nothing the west can do now to delegitimize Mugabe’s presidency. Other than making himself a fool by going back to SADC, Tsvangirai has all but given up in challenging Mugabe’s presidency, a good idea in my opinion. He should not have contested in the first place. But since he did, he legitimized Mugabe. Now is the time for him to expend his energy in avoiding post election violence and strategize on how he can effectively remain relevant outside the Global Political Agreement. He needs to remind Zimbabweans that politics does not start and end with the election period. For a country to progress, the people need to be aware of what is going on in the day to day governance of the country and must have a say every day. Putting pressure on a government daily, is the only way a government can be responsive to the needs of the people, rather than election time activism once every four or five years. Of course the pan African argument, Zimbabwe is an African state and only an African solution can solve the problem, will be presented. This is a very convenient argument. Unfortunately, no one has ever articulated to me what that African solution is. Human rights are universal. Africans used the human rights platform to rid themselves of colonialism, segregation and apartheid. Ironically, the loudest and most eloquent proponents of this African solution are the very people who are at the top, who cling on to power, who oppress their own and who benefit most from the untenable status quo. Zimbabwe must move forward, otherwise we are forever going to be remembered as a bunch of gutless people who could not stand up to an 89 year old. Negative stereotypes stick like glue. Mugabe’s current presidency is a window of opportunity to press for reform and good governance because if he is allowed an eventless time in office, Zimbabwe is in for it. Mugabe’s ZANU PF successor will take the cup. The obligation is on us. Find out why.
School land grab – Grace Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 09-05-2013
via School land grab | The Zimbabwean by Adrian Mutigwe Grace Mugabe’s name has been mentioned in connection with the acquisition of a piece of land belonging to a private school in Harare’s leafy suburb of Borrowdale. An investigation by The Zimbabwean has unearthed shadowy land dealings involving a 21,000-hectare stand in Borrowdale, donated to Eaglesvale High School by the Dutch Reformed Church almost 32 years ago.
The future begins now by ZimSitRep – 09-05-2013
via The future begins now | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe The mental abuse that we Zimbabweans experienced, first through colonialism and now through our politics, has conditioned us to accept abuse. The reason Zimbabwe is where it is now is because we have put our politicians on a pedestal and they have become too central in our lives. We have given them the power to determine almost everything that affects us. As a result, we have limited ourselves as a people. We stroke their despicable egos in every sense – and any human whose ego is needlessly inflated, will tend to be abusive towards others. I must dwell on these things because I am of the opinion that we must first psychologically diminish the power that we have given to others in order to empower ourselves. We must stop complaining about our circumstances and take our power back before we can even think of creating a modern democracy. That is why an elected President can threaten to punish those in Harare and in Bulawayo because they did not vote for him and it is acceptable. This is clearly against the constitution, which he swore to adhere to not so long ago. This led me to think about whether we really need central government at all. Imagine, for example, if we decided to run Harare without central government interference? That could be the best thing that ever happened! Many readers continue to ask me what we must do now. My advice to them is very clear; refuse to accept abuse – first in your mind. Remove that throne you have created within you for anyone in your life that abuses or does not respect who you are. Take back your personal power so that you may become who you truly are. Once you do that, you will be amazed at who you can become. The limits we have are imagined and we must break those limits first, in order to change our circumstances. You see, these things start in our homes. I continue to see people who are in abusive relationships who are not happy and are not living to their full potential, but still stay in these relationships. They have mentally accepted to be treated just as our politicians and even our police continue to treat us: with no respect and with no dignity. Our children also face the same issues, especially the girl child. This culture of abuse is found in homes, at work, in business, at hospitals, at the passport office, at schools and in all places where we interact with each other. We have become so used to abuse that if we don’t get it we feel that something is missing. That is wrong. In my opinion, you cannot have democracy in a home where you are abused and therefore, you will never have democracy in a society or country where people are generally abused as is the case in Zimbabwe. These are the reasons that we rejected colonialism and racial discrimination in the first place. Our history of colonialism is still within us and we seem to have learnt it well – where those with position almost have a right to abuse or mistreat those under them. You just have to talk to some maids and hear how their black madams treat them. Talk to lodgers and see how their landlords treat them. Talk to workers and see how their managers mistreat them. See how young males treat their girlfriends who accept violence and then say it is because of love. What rubbish. Unfortunately these habits have permeated all our public and private institutions and become our “normal” way of life. Our leaders use this against us to strengthen their hold on power. This mental abuse has conditioned us to accept the myth that we are indeed second class citizens, whose only use is to deliver the vote. We must be intelligent and eradicate this abuse. We must change how we think as a society. This, of course, will take generations and a concerted effort by each and every one of us, to ensure that we are proud enough, strong enough and fearless enough to claim our space. We must imagine a different Zimbabwe first before it can come to pass. As within, so without. I challenge you my readers today, to look deep within you and begin to remove in your mind and imagination those things that are preventing us from creating what we desire in Zimbabwe. It is not about what the politicians may say or do, it is about the power we have given them, in our minds. Once we realise that, nobody can ever threaten us to vote for them in the future because we will simply reject that. We are the captains of our destiny. Asijiki. – Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare; you may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org