November 2, 2012 in Politics
THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has acquired about 1 000 vehicles worth
about US$45 million, raising fears these could be used in the military’s
campaign for President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF ahead of elections next
Report by Staff Writer
Sources said the vehicles, comprising Isuzu KB72 4X2 trucks valued at US$42
369 each and Isuzu KB72 4X4s each worth US$45 525, as well as other makes
were recently ordered from local car dealerships as the military, already
campaigning for Zanu PF, gears for elections.
According to the sources, about 40 vehicles have already been delivered, but
it is uncertain when the other cars would arrive as the dealerships are
overwhelmed by the bulk order.
The purchase comes as Zanu PF is stepping up its election campaigning by
acquiring 550 cars at a cost of US$14 million to ensure its officials and
foot soldiers reach all corners of the country to mobilise voters.
The military is credited with masterminding Zanu PF’s brutal 2008
presidential run-off poll campaign which saw Mugabe retain power after his
rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister, had pulled out citing violence.
Sources at Defence House confirmed the purchase of the vehicles saying they
had been acquired for “logistical purposes”.
Army mechanics are being trained to service the new fleet as most of them
are not familiar with the cars.
However, ZDF spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi said he was not aware the
army had bought vehicles.
“I am not aware of that,” said Mugwisi.
Members of the army have reportedly been campaigning for Zanu PF,
particularly in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces, which are MDC-T
strongholds. Soldiers from the Mutare-based 3 Brigade recently visited
traditional chiefs in Nyanga North and South for “orientation programmes”,
while traditional leaders in Bikita are reportedly being ordered to attend
meetings at Masvingo 4 Brigade army headquarters.
Tsvangirai this week said Mugabe agreed to call an urgent National Security
Council meeting to warn soldiers not to interfere in the next elections.
The generals have publicly expressed their support for Mugabe.
November 2, 2012 in News
COPAC owes the Regency and African Sun hotels close to US$500 000 in unpaid
accommodation and food bills incurred during the constitution-making
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu/Herbert Moyo
Regency owns Chevron and Flamboyant hotels in Masvingo, and Fair Mile Hotel
in Gweru while African Sun runs Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in Harare,
among other hotels.
Copac spent about US$45 million on accommodation, food, salaries and
allowances in the past three years that it has been working on the draft
Regency CEO Frederick Kasese said: “We are still to be paid US$208 000 for
services rendered to Copac early this year. It is our hope that Copac will
honour its debts soon so that we remain in business.
Some smaller players we subcontracted are experiencing cash-flow constraints
due to this non-payment. It’s unfortunate we cannot pay
them before Copac honours its debt to us.”
African Sun CEO Shingi Munyeza also confirmed they are owed money by Copac,
but said the figures were confidential.
“Even if they are using public money we treat them as private guests and we
cannot divulge details around their stay. What we can only do is to exercise
our rights from our end with respect to what we are owed,” said Munyeza.
However, a source at African Sun revealed that they are owed more than
US$200 000 and Copac has not settled the debt despite repeated
Copac spokesperson Jessie Majome confirmed they owed the hotels but said
they had agreed on a payment plan as they, like all other government-funded
institutions, were affected by the current cash squeeze.
“While it is true that we owe them, you have to appreciate that Copac doesn’t
generate funds of its own and has to rely on government and its UN partners
to avail money. We will pay once we receive the funding,” Majome said.
Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG)refused to say how much it is owed citing “client
RTG owns the Rainbow Towers, the Harare International Conference Centre
(HICC) and Ambassador Hotel in Harare. HICC hosted the just-ended Second
November 2, 2012 in News
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe last week used the World Energy Forum in Dubai as an
opportunity to secretly go for a medical check-up in Singapore.
Report by Staff Writer
Although there is no official confirmation of him having visited Singapore,
the Zimbabwe Independent has established that Mugabe visited the Far East
country after addressing the World Energy Forum on Tuesday last week even
when other heads of state had left the event.
Mugabe left for Dubai last week Monday soon after addressing the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference but sources said although he addressed the
forum, his main destination was Singapore and the event was used as cover to
visit specialist doctors without raising any suspicion in keeping up with
the secrecy surrounding his health.
Speculation about Mugabe’s health has been mounting since reports first
indicated he is suffering from prostate cancer which has metastasised and
spread to other parts of the body.
Mugabe has, however, repeatedly denied these reports saying he is fit enough
live up to his 100th birthday.
He claims to be only suffering from eye problems.
November 2, 2012 in News
THE quality of Zimbabwe’s members of parliament in analysing legislation and
the budget, which is their primary responsibility, is extremely poor.
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu
According to the report titled Baseline Survey on Sector Specific Capacity
Building Requirements for Committees of Parliament, commissioned by
parliament with the assistance of the European Commission and United Nations
Development Programme and released on Wednesday, 65% of the country’s
current MPs still require intensive training in legislation and budget
The report, which was handed over to House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore
Moyo, made a scathing attack on MPs and parliamentary portfolio committees
for lacking the required competencies to deliver on their core duties of
critically analysing legislation and national budgets before passing them
Parliamentary committees and MPs, the report said, merely fast track the
passing of legislation because they lack basic understanding of the issues.
“The baseline survey revealed a 70% skills gap in the committees’ capacity
to analyse legislation,” reads part of the report.
The report further says most MPs acknowledged they lacked basic budget
analysis skills and needed more time to study the budget before passing it.
“While committees indicated having received basic training on budget
analysis, 65% still require more training in this area. Regarding budget
review, members said committees were not given adequate time to analyse the
budget in a meaningful way,” the report notes.
These deficiencies are further exposed when the executive brings bills to
parliament where more often than not they are passed in a single sitting
with very little or no debate.
Since 2009, parliament has dutifully passed all national budgets with just a
single amendment, usually under the pretext that MPs had been whipped into
line by the executive.
The survey reveals that parliamentary committees and MPs’ capacity
deficiencies were more pronounced when the House had to ratify international
conventions and other agreements because they do not bother to read through
and analyse the impact before ratification.
The survey says that 71% of MPs acknowledged they were not very familiar
with the policies of ministries they shadow.
The legislators said most ministries were not cooperating in terms of
submitting requested information.
“The majority of the committees had limited knowledge and understanding of
legislation and policies of the ministries they shadow. There is also very
limited understanding of the international conventions in the various
Consequently, this has had a bearing on the committees’ capacity in
crafting focused work plans, which can assist them to effectively play their
legislative and overseer roles,” the report reads.
The report notes the committees’ lack of capacity also extended to their
secretariat as most of them do not have the requisite skills to help the MPs
discharge their constitutional mandates.
“While the committees’ secretariat have received training on such areas as
budget analysis, legislative analysis and report writing, this type of
training was found to be only essential for the general skills of committee
clerks and researchers but inadequate in terms of sector-specifics skills,”
the report says.
November 2, 2012 in News
THE controversial running mates clause in the contentious Copac draft
constitution was crafted to manage and stabilise the succession issue at
state level in a bid to prevent potential upheavals in the event the
president is incapacitated, resigns or dies, it has emerged.
Report by Faith Zaba
Fears are growing that Zanu PF’s succession crisis will spill over to
national politics when President Robert Mugabe finally exits the political
stage through whatever means.
Senior Zanu PF officials say even if Mugabe wins the next election, he might
not finish his new term due to old age and ill-health. The Zanu PF
amendments concerning presidential succession on the Copac draft are
predicated on these fears.
According to the Copac draft, taken to the Second All-Stakeholders
Conference last week, presidential candidates are required to nominate two
running mates or supporting candidates to contest elections on the same
The clause states if the president resigns, is removed from office or dies,
the first running mate, who will be vice-president, assumes office until the
expiry of the former president’s term. The second running mate or second
vice-president becomes the only one.
Copac insiders, who attended the Nyanga meeting in July at which the deeply
contentious clause was inserted, told the Zimbabwe Independent this week
that the management committee –– comprising Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and
Nicholas Goche; MDC-T’s Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma; and MDC’s Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu –– looked at two other options
before settling on running mates.
They considered the provision in the constitution before Amendment No 18,
which stated that if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office,
the last acting vice-president would act as president for three months
before calling for fresh elections.
This, the insiders said, was shot down after negotiators concurred it would
be destabilising and costly as new elections would have to be held if a
president retires, is removed or dies even within six months to a year after
The other option was to leave the clause in the current constitution outside
the transitory Global Political Agreement, which states that if the office
of the president falls vacant, parliament sits as an electoral college and
elects to office for the remainder of the running tenure a person from the
party holding the presidency with a two-thirds majority.
“The running mates clause is actually designed to deal with succession at
state level, not at party level,” a senior Zanu PF official said. “We were
looking at how to address the situation if a vacancy occurs at the
presidential level. We had the option of national elections or parliament
getting involved. That is how the running mates issue came about.”
However, other Zanu PF officials say it was also meant to resolve the Mugabe
succession conundrum at party level as that would have forced him to anoint
a successor by choosing the first running mate.
It was also going to force the MDC-T to deal with its own succession issues
as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would have been put in a situation to
select his own running mates.
Negotiators say the running mates issue is critical to allow for continuity
and manage the succession issue, which has become a big problem, not just in
Zimbabwe but Africa in general.
“When we came up with this clause we did it with the country’s best
interests at heart. We wanted to ensure that there is a smooth succession
and transition because the other options would have meant electing the
successor, be it in parliament or through fresh elections,” the Zanu PF
“Out of the three options, the running mates issue ranked first. We thought
the election route would not be a good idea; why risk your party’s victory
or your hold on the presidency by going for new elections?”
The insiders also say they settled for the running mates system as it was
cheaper, guaranteed legitimacy of the successor as he/she would have been
elected through the party ticket and would ensure a smooth transfer of power
like in Malawi and Ghana recently.
In Malawi, then vice-president Joyce Banda took over as president after the
death of Bingu wa Mutharika, while in Ghana vice-president John Dramani
Mahama replaced president John Atta-Mills after his death.
The running mates system is more common in the United States. After the
assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963, for instance,
vice-president Lyndon B Johnson took over, while Gerald Ford replaced
Richard Nixon after Watergate in 1974..
However, in Zimbabwe the running mates issue has reportedly angered Mugabe,
almost confirming his unspoken but well-known ambition to be president for
Zanu PF insiders say the party’s rival factions led by Vice-President Joice
Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are fighting behind the
scenes over the issue.
The Mnangagwa faction apparently thinks the clause is designed to help
Mujuru to become successor, while there is suspicion it is cunningly
calculated to block Mujuru as Mugabe would not choose someone from his
ethnic group and region as his first running mate and ultimately successor
without risking splitting the party.
November 2, 2012 in News
AS the country inches towards crucial general elections next year, while the
constitution-making process edges to finality amid an array of outstanding
political reforms, Zimbabwe Independent News Editor Faith Zaba (FZ) and
Chief Reporter Owen Gagare (OG) spoke to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
(MT) on Tuesday on elections, constitution, role of the military in politics
and polls, political violence, corruption and other issues.
Find below the excerpts:
FZ: Last week the Second All-Stakeholders Conference on the
constitution-making process was held in Harare against a backdrop of a
reported plot by principals to hijack the exercise. What precisely is the
MT: Copac will take the first draft and the report of the conference to
synthesise what came out of the discussions. That report still has to be
analysed by Copac and the management committee as directed by the
principals. Remember the management committee is the political
representative of the principals.
FZ: But there are reports the principals plan to set up a cabinet committee
chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to drive the
MT: No! Copac has got to produce a report and the draft constitution. From
then on, it will be up to the executive to prepare a constitutional bill to
present to parliament. Parliament will have the final say before a
referendum, not principals.
OG: But the president (Robert Mugabe) has given the impression principals
are taking over the process?
MT: The Minister of Constitutional Affairs (Eric Matinenga) is handling a
government programme, which is the constitution-making process. But he is
not actually the one running it; it is Copac because it is a
parliament-driven process. Copac cannot design a referendum because it is
FZ: Mugabe’s speech to parliament (on Tuesday) implies the principals and
government are now taking over the process.
MT: So where is your confusion on this issue? Matinenga is the
Constitutional Affairs minister.
FZ: How about reports that principals want to set up a cabinet committee to
deal with the constitution issue?
MT: No, there is a minister and a ministry responsible for constitutional
affairs who will prepare a constitutional bill and take it to parliament.
FZ: We hear Matinenga was summoned by the president, Mutambara and yourself
to be informed about the plan to form a cabinet committee.
MT: There is no such thing. We wanted Matinenga to assess preparations for
the conference because it is within his sphere. We are the GPA signatories;
we will then agree on the mechanisms of resolving conference disputes.
VaMugabe nekuti vanofarira power (Mugabe loves power), vanoda kuita (he
wants to) usurp power, that is why there is all this talk.
FZ: After the stakeholders’ conference Zanu PF members celebrated, claiming
they had won the constitutional battle as it was now going to be resolved by
principals and you now are in Mugabe’s pocket. What’s your comment?
MT: Let me emphasis this: anyone who celebrates about a party victory in
this constitution-making process does not understand what this process is
all about. A constitutional process is not a partisan exercise. There is no
MDC or Zanu PF victory because you need a two-thirds majority in parliament.
You will have to build national consensus to secure that, a reality which
this process should accommodate.
OG: There is a draft which parties signed but Zanu PF has come up with a
host of amendments. What do you think?
MT: Well this is what I told the president when we discussed the issue. I
said you did not submit proposals on principles as said but you re-wrote the
OG: They (Zanu PF supporters) were celebrating, saying all the amendments
are going to be incorporated because the prime minister is now on our side.
MT: No, no, no! Let’s not try to play divide-and-rule tactics. I am a
president of a party. I don’t handle things single-handedly. It is a process
that is national and collective.
FZ: Some people are saying only those amendments with 100% approval by
parties will be adopted, is that the position?
MT: We have a document that has been signed by the three political parties.
The draft has now been subjected to a conference. What is now left is to
assess the level of disputes and come up with mechanisms to resolve them and
go to parliament.
FZ: People say you are opposed to some issues in the draft, for instance the
running- mates clause, and Mugabe has said you are together on this issue.
MT: Ndinokumirwa se mombe, ndakambotaura papi kudaro? (Some people try to
speak on my behalf, I never said that). We (MDC-T) have endorsed the draft
FZ: Tell us your views precisely on the issue of devolution of power?
MT: Eighty percent of Zimbabweans said they want devolution during the
outreach programme. It is not Tsvangirai who said that. As a party we have
always advocated for a devolved state. There is national consensus that the
centre cannot distribute resources equitably throughout the country and
after all people have their own unique cultural and provincial needs. A
centralised state is usually inefficient.
FZ: You have been accused of being part of a plot to side-line Welshman
Ncube in principals’ meetings.
MT: Why should I stand up for him?
FZ: Because he is a principal as re-affirmed by the Sadc troika.
MT: No, no, no! Let’s be clear here. Professor Ncube cannot expect me and
Mugabe to solve his own party’s problems. He has a dispute with Mutambara.
Mutambara is a principal and a deputy prime minister. That is the legal
OG: Some say you are side-lining Ncube because you have never forgiven him
for the 2005 MDC split.
MT: The split has come and gone. I cannot be so petty; perhaps it is him who
has petty residual resentments.
OG: People highlight that Mutambara was defeated at a congress as he
withdrew and that there is a High Court ruling in favour of Ncube. Mutambara
has appealed to the Supreme Court but there is a standing judgement.
MT: But he (Mutambara) has appealed so what do you want us to do?
OG: Because he has appealed, does judgement not stand until the Supreme
MT: The judgement says he (Mutambara) cannot go around declaring he is
president of the party. He is not.
OG: So what is the definition of a principal? Isn’t it a leader of a party?
MT: A principal can mean someone who signed the agreement. I am a principal
on the basis of being president of MDC. I am mentioned in the constitution,
Robert Mugabe is mentioned. Mutambara and Ncube are not mentioned.
FZ: I thought Mutambara signed on behalf of a party and now that he is no
longer president of that party, is it not only logical that the new leader
takes over as principal?
MT: When we are discussing GPA issues Welshman (Ncube) will be included
because he is a leader of a party, but he cannot come into a forum where we
are discussing government business.
FZ: The president has said elections will be in March. How realistic is
MT: The reason why we requested to postpone the by-elections to March was to
be compliant with court directives so we just said why don’t we apply to
extend to that date. So by March, we can sit down and say elections will be
held on this date.
FZ: But have you confronted Mugabe on this as, even today (Tuesday), he
continues to say elections are in March?
MT: The legal position is that we have to agree. We have to declare and give
the necessary notice. A notice is gazetted that we are going to have an
election on this day, three months before that date. So by March, we can sit
down and agree on a date.
FZ: Will you take into consideration outstanding reforms which need
implementation before elections?
MT: Yes, reforms are an issue that needs to be dealt with.
FZ: When then do you think we can realistically have elections?
MT: I cannot estimate. All I can say is Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission)
has said we should give them six weeks to prepare for the referendum. After
that, we then sit down and say this is the result and the next step is
FZ: How about the reforms?
MT: The reforms will be implemented within this whole process until we get
to elections. The reforms which are important are media reforms and security
FZ: But Zanu PF has rejected security sector reforms?
MT: It can be addressed. In fact, the president was telling me that we need
to deal with it for the sake of elections.
OG: Prime minister, do you think the president will be sincere on this
because in Manicaland and Masvingo the military is going round fixing Zanu
PF structures and campaigning for them.
MT: I think the president and I agree we have a liberation history, with
people from the liberation struggle still serving. So they are political in
nature but one of the things that we will continue to emphasise is that you
have to choose –– are you a professional soldier or a politician?
FZ: Have you also discussed the recent political statements by the generals?
MT: I raise this from time to time. Let us separate the rhetoric and the
real constitutional position. Everyone who is serving in these institutions
must uphold the constitution or else the will of the people will be
OG: We take this issue seriously. In 2008 the army made good their plan and
took over the Zanu PF campaign, which means they stuck to their word.
MT: You speak as if I have not lived through that experience. We have chosen
the path of constitutionalism; not militarism.
FZ: If you assume power are you going to give security chiefs implicated in
human rights abuses amnesty as reported?
MT: The issue of amnesty and all that is an issue that was debated during
GPA negotiations. Zanu PF refused to countenance the issue of amnesty so it
was dropped. As far as I am concerned, the issue is how do you create
stability in a situation in which there is a very loud and clear demand by
the victims for justice, but there is also real fear by the perpetrators
that there will be retribution? So how do you balance?
Those are the matters that should await the next parliament.
November 2, 2012 in News
GROWING calls by President Robert Mugabe for elections in March next year
without implementation of outstanding political reforms is a recipe for
another flawed and disputed poll, stakeholders warned this week.
Report by Elias Mambo/Paidamoyo Muzulu
Mugabe on Tuesday repeated his agitation for elections in March while
officially opening the final session of the current parliament.
He has been demanding polls since 2011 without full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA), citing all sorts of pretexts.
Analysts say at 88 he is desperate for early elections while he is still
relatively fit as he is battling with old age complications and frailty.
Mugabe was in Singapore for further medical check-ups last week, although he
is struggling to keep the issue a secret.
In an unusually short speech by his standards, Mugabe told parliament
government was working towards dissolution of the coalition government and
the only major outstanding reform is the constitution, implying all the
stalled roadmap issues would now be ignored.
The reforms which Mugabe ignored are critical to the holding of free and
Zimbabwe entered into a coalition government after the disputed 2008
presidential poll run-off. Regional leaders insisted the inclusive
government must come up with an elections roadmap to ensure poll results are
not disputed again.
However, no meaningful reforms have been done.
Some of the issues raised by the MDC-T, for instance security sector reform
and re-staffing of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), have not been
addressed even though they are in the roadmap.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube this week warned going for elections without
meaningful reforms would be disastrous.
“Mugabe should not be allowed to call for elections without implementing all
of the agreed reforms as per Sadc’s election roadmap,” said Ncube, who is
also Industry and Commerce minister. “If Zimbabwe is stampeded into the
polls, then we are heading for another flawed election similar to the 2008
Pedzisai Ruhanya, a director at a local think tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy
Institute, said elections without security sector reforms would produce
“The most critical outstanding issue that assists a democratic political
transition when elections take place is the role of the military in
electoral affairs and without the security reforms, free and fair elections
will remain a mirage,” he said.
MDC-T House of Assembly chief whip Innocent Gonese said Mugabe’s call for
elections in March 2013 is not practical.
“I do not see the holding of elections being feasible in March considering
the reforms that still need to be implemented and the time between now and
March,” said Gonese. “Reforms are slow because of disagreements among the
political principals, not that parliament is delaying these reforms.”
United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Navy Pillay, warned that
Zimbabwe should not rush to hold elections without full implementation of
agreed reforms during her visit in May.
“I believe it is essential that a satisfactory new constitution with an
entrenched Bill of Rights is in place soon, so that the referendum can
confirm it and all the electoral reforms for peaceful, free and fair
elections,” Pillay said.
Mugabe has not spelt out how government would implement the electoral
reforms to meet the March date he is proposing to hold elections. There are
still a number of fundamental issues that need to be addressed before the
gazetting of poll dates, such as voter education, voters’ roll updating and
inspection and constituency delimitation, besides completing the
constitution-making process after a referendum.
These activities would require about 180 days to implement, while the
statutory waiting period between holding of the actual polls and gazetting
of the elections dates is 90 days.
Given that the year is about to end, Mugabe can only pull off the March 2013
dates by circumventing reforms and some of the statutory processes and
Further considering that Mugabe goes on his annual leave in January, often
grounding government business, it means more time would be lost. He would
also have to make parliament sit in January, which is traditionally the
House’s Christmas recess until the end of February, to maximise on time.
Besides all these technicalities that make it impossible for elections to be
held in March, Mugabe, according to the GPA, is supposed to agree on a date
of polls after consultations with the Prime Minister. In case he
unilaterally announces March 2013, Mugabe would be taking advantage of a
court case on by-elections, setting the stage for a bruising fight on the
actual dates of elections.
However, if processes and procedures are followed, it would not be possible
to hold elections in March. Short of a unilateral declaration, probably
assisted by the court case he is manipulating and trying to ride on, Mugabe
would again be forced to swallow his own words on election dates as he has
been doing since last year.
November 2, 2012 in News
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s demand for elections since 2010 has left most Zanu
PF MPs broke, throwing their re-election bids into disarray as they struggle
to fund their campaigns.
Report by Elias Mambo
The MPs have spent huge amounts of money campaigning for re-election as
Mugabe kept vowing to call for polls since last year with or without a new
constitution saying the current coalition set-up is dysfunctional.
Zanu PF legislators spent large sums of money trying to woo party supporters
to vote for them in the party’s primary elections so they can contest the
general elections which Mugabe has been promising since 2010 would be held
before end of each year.
One senior Zanu PF MP said Mugabe’s stunts had kept them in election mode,
but it is now clear polls can only be held in 2013 and most of them would
struggle to pool resources to fund their campaigns unless the party chipped
“It is a pity we have been on the ground for too long because we all
believed the president’s call for early polls,” lamented the MP.
Some MPs had hoped they would get their share of the US$5 million
Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to cushion them until elections, but
Finance minister and MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti has dashed hopes
the CDF would be disbursed before harmonised elections.
“Zanu PF had made an internal arrangement for MPs to get loans of US$22 000
from CBZ as soon as the party gave campaigns go-ahead but the deal was later
cancelled,” said a source.
Local politicians are known to splash out money on prospective voters and
“income-generating projects” before elections in a bid to lure voters.
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration and acting treasurer Didymus
Mutasa dismissed the claims saying the party always comes up with options to
fund MPs in every election.
“The party has always come up with funding options and we have not yet
tabled such ideas,” said Mutasa. “We have not deserted our MPs and as a
party that is preparing to win elections we will come up with a variety of
options to aid our candidates.”
The sources said Zanu PF is broke and is currently struggling to pay its 180
workers. It is also facing mounting debts that currently stand at more than
November 2, 2012 in Politics
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has spoken out on an array of critical
issues affecting preparations for the next general elections, saying
President Robert Mugabe will not be allowed to throw hurdles across the
roadmap by unilaterally deciding the outcome of the constitution-making
process and dates of the polls.
Report by Faith Zaba/Owen Gagare
In an exclusive interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week,
Tsvangirai — battling to contain Mugabe’s political manoeuvres — said the
constitution-making process and poll dates would be decided by consensus.
Tsvangirai said there was no room for impositions, but dialogue and
concessions, allaying fears he was now in Mugabe’s pocket as some suggested.
As the country inches towards crucial elections next year, while the
constitution-making process edges to finality amid a raft of outstanding
political reforms, the premier also tackled the role of the military in
politics and polls, security sector reform, political violence, corruption,
and other issues, including his relations with MDC leader Welshman Ncube.
Tsvangirai quashed Mugabe’s persistent claims, including during the opening
of parliament on Tuesday, that principals had agreed to take over the
constitution-making process and would have the final say on the Copac draft.
He said parliament — not principals — will have the final say in keeping
with the Global Political Agreement (GPA), although government would be
involved in logistics.
Asked if principals would form a cabinet committee to take over the
constitution-making process, Tsvangirai said, “No!”
He said Copac will first draft the report on last week’s constitutional
conference to synthesise what came out of the discussions and it will be
analysed by the management committee as directed by the principals.
“Remember, the management committee is the political representative of the
principals,” he said. “From then on, it will be up to the executive to
prepare a constitutional Bill to be presented to parliament. Parliament will
have the final say before a referendum, not principals.”
Tsvangirai said although he might not necessarily like some Copac draft
provisions, he was bound by the signed document and MDC-T national executive
and council resolutions on it. He said the principals would not rewrite the
draft constitution, although there may be a need for negotiations to resolve
“It is not going to be a Tsvangirai amendment; neither is it going to be a
Mugabe amendment. It is a process that is national and it is collective. I
will not be part to a single amendment to any part of the draft constitution
unless there is collective assess to it,” he said. “We have endorsed the
draft as signed and whatever misgivings there are have got nothing to do
with my individual opinion.”
The Prime Minister also dismissed Mugabe’s claims elections would be held in
March next year, saying principals are likely to meet around that time to
agree on the date of polls. He emphasised Mugabe, in terms of the GPA, has
to consult him on election dates.
“We (principals) agreed to postpone the by-elections, by consensus because
there were many by-elections that were due. It would have been like holding
a mini general election. We then said since we are going to have general
elections next year anyway, why not have them all at the same time. We said
give us time and by March we should be able to set dates for elections,” he
On the military’s involvement in politics and elections, as well as their
recent remarks threatening to block him and his party from ascending even if
they win elections, Tsvangirai said principals were dealing with the issue.
He also said army commanders must respect the constitution and laws by
avoiding political interference.
The premier said the National Security Council, chaired by Mugabe and which
includes service chiefs, would soon meet to discuss the issue of the
military. The meeting would look at operational issues, not just policy
matters as it always do.
While the liberation history made some service chiefs political, Tsvangirai
however said the time had come for them to choose whether “you are a
professional soldier or politician?”
Asked whether he has raised the issue of generals with Mugabe, Tsvangirai
said: “I raise this from time to time. Let us separate the rhetoric and the
real constitutional position. Everyone who is serving in these institutions
must uphold the constitution or else the will of the people will be
Turning to the controversial issue of amnesty for military commanders
accused of human rights violations, he said the issue came up during the GPA
negotiations, but was shot down by Mugabe and his diehards who rejected
pardon claiming they had nothing to hide.
Tsvangirai, however, said he has not called for amnesty for anyone, but said
there must be a balance between “loud and clear” demands for justice by
victims and fear of retribution by perpetrators.
“How do you have stability in a situation in which there is a very loud and
clear demand by the victims for justice, but there is also, on the other
hand, very real fear by the perpetrators that there will be retribution? So,
how do you balance that? If you want stability, you have to take those two
issues into consideration,” he said.
Tsvangirai also disclosed several MDC-T heavyweights, including Deputy Prime
Minister Thokozani Khupe and State Enterprises and Parastatals minister
Gorden Moyo, would be hauled before the national disciplinary committee for
their role in the internal political violence which engulfed his party in
the run-up to its national congress in Bulawayo last year. He further
revealed several party officials, including some members of the standing
committee, are also under investigation on corruption allegations.
On devolution, Tsvangirai said his party has always supported the issue and
still does. He said 80% of the people supported the idea during the Copac
Tackling his relationship with Ncube, he said he has no vendetta against him
and has nothing to do with his fight with deputy premier Arthur Mutambara.
November 2, 2012 in Politics
AN audit of Zanu PF district structures in Bulawayo by a politburo team last
weekend revealed that they are virtually non-existent.
Report by Brian Chitemba
The audit team comprising national commissar Webster Shamu and politburo
members Absolom Sikhosana, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Lazarus Dokora, Francis Nhema
and Eunice Sandi found that some of the party’s districts merely existed on
According to Zanu PF regulations, each district should have a minimum of 102
members, but the audit revealed that some of the party’s districts had as
little as 10 people.
This discovery disturbed Shamu who directed the party’s Bulawayo leadership
to “quickly mobilise members” ahead of next elections.
Some Zanu PF politburo members in Bulawayo contended the party is “dead” in
“People are clearly not interested in Zanu PF and that has been the case for
the past 10 years. The party needs to come up with new ways of addressing
Matabeleland problems, especially the Gukurahundi issue,” said a politburo
President Robert Mugabe told parliament on Tuesday that Zimbabwe would go to
the polls in March 2013 under a new constitution.
According to the 2011 central committee report, Zanu PF has 579 312 members
out of Zimbabwe’s estimated 14 million people.
The party has already started preparing for elections after acquiring new
vehicles while state security forces, especially the army, are reportedly
intimidating the rural electorate in most provinces to coerce them to vote
for Zanu PF.
Mugabe, Shamu and Vice-President Joice Mujuru have visited various apostolic
faith churches in a bid to lure their vast membership to rally behind Zanu
PF in the next polls.
Shamu could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone rang unanswered.
November 2, 2012 in Business
FINANCE minister Tendai Biti sees the economy growing by 7,4% next year
buoyed by a good agricultural season, peaceful and uncontestable election
outcomes as well as firm commodity prices.
Report by Staff Writer
Addressing a government works programme review this week, Biti said Zimbabwe
should implement agreed policies, such as a flexible Indigenisation Act, in
order to promote macroeconomic stability, attract foreign direct investment
(FDI) and attain growth targets.
“We should also service our sovereign debt and continue with implementation
of Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearence, Debt and Development Strategy to
mitigate the downward risks,” he added.
Government, Biti said, should also cut its wage bill, which currently
constitutes about 70% of expenditure at the expense of social development
investment, through implementation of the civil service audit.
Biti, however, said the country’s economy could fall by 7,4% in 2013 if the
principals — President Robert Mugabe and Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai —
in government fail to guarantee peaceful polls.
Key aspects of the 2013 national budget, as presented by Biti, will include
consolidating the gains of the past three years such as macroeconomic
stability and fiscal consolidation.
“It (the 2013 national budget) must pursue the unfinished reform agenda of
parastatal reform, labour market reform, pension reform, legislative reform,
security of tenure, commodity exchange, Public Private Partnerships
legislation, state procurement reform,” he said.
Government revenues are expected to rise to US$3,8 billion compared to
US$3,6 billion estimated at the end of 2012 and equal to budgeted
expenditure for the two periods.
Export of goods and services are expected to amount to US$5,5 billion while
imports are seen reaching US$8,4 billion, representing a current account
balance of US$2,9 billion.
In the current year, Biti revised the projected economic growth figures
downwards to between 4% and 5%, from the mid-term budget review of 5,6% from
the initial 9,4% beginning of year, in light of the new base information for
2011 GDP and some revisions in minerals output.
Biti’s revision is in line with the International Monetary Fund’s
projections that Zimbabwe’s economy would grow by only 4% as a result of
inadequate revenue inflow.
November 2, 2012 in Business
ACTIVITY on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has dipped by 9% on a
year-on-year basis as volumes on the bourse continue to be restricted by the
tight liquidity situation, the absence of long-term domestic institutional
investors and weak foreign investor sentiment.
Report by Staff Writer
According to the latest statistics from the ZSE, the cumulative volume of
shares traded in the nine months to September was 3,02 million shares
against 3,34 million shares that were traded in the comparable period last
The number of transactions was also down in tandem to 16 262 from 25 080
recorded last year.
However, the total value of transactions for the nine month period was up a
marginal 1,5% to US$357 804 million from US$352 379 million in the
comparable period, driven mainly by foreign purchases of shares which
amounted to US$161 144 million from US$140 033 million.
While trading volumes have been relatively light, trades have been
restricted to the heavyweight counters and dividend paying shares such as
Delta, Econet, Innscor and Old Mutual.
The momentum has also been powered by a few stockbrokers who have handled
the lion’s share of trading on the stock exchange.
Recently the stock market has been rising, but according to analysts, having
few trades powering a rally is a problem because when the rally fades, there
will not be enough buying power to keep the uptrend in place.
Local institutions and individual investors continue to be affected by the
lack of liquidity whilst the majority of institutional investors have
shifted to holding on to equity investments for the long-term. Generally,
the stock market is the first institution that gets drained out when
liquidity is tight.
Market analyst Joanna Hwata said generally institutional investors paid less
attention to the market in the absence of new stimulus and therefore would
invest less as the year progresses.
Analysts say market direction since last year was being driven predominantly
by global developments and sentiment rather than local fundamentals.
The major impact of emerging market sovereign debt concerns on the ZSE was
not as direct but rather indirectly impacted on by a change in global risk
appetite and the impact on capital flows especially in days dominated by the
euro zone crisis.
Sentiment mainly by foreign investors, who are the main participants on the
stock exchange, has driven investment into traditional safe havens such as
the US dollar and gold and also into high risk high return areas in emerging
markets such as the ZSE.
Private equity funds are setting up shop in Africa, attracted by a growing
urban population and expanding middle class as well improving governance,
political stability and sound economic management.
While it is possible to achieve good rates of growth in emerging markets
such as India, South Africa and Turkey, growth in more mature markets is
harder to come by. This means most companies in the UK, USA and India and
China have to manage their costs and do more with less to stop profits
In the long run they have to expand into Africa where there are
opportunities to grow their revenues and profitability. This is why Essar,
Development Bank of Southern Africa, Industrial Development Corporation
South Africa, GEM and other private equity funds are trying to invest in
Emerging markets investors would want to deal with big and stable
businesses, which have dividend policies.
Analysts say this is what Delta, Econet, Innscor and the other stable
counters offer. The companies have a good market share and post good quality
Investors need a stable dividend payout and the blue chip companies that pay
large dividends are one of the favoured investments.
“This is because you are getting a large part of your investment return from
dividends –– which are independent of the Zimbabwe stock market’s mood
swings,” an analyst said. “A number of ZSE-listed companies, with adequate
funding have proven to be quite resilient investments. Before the lost
decade they showed the ability to pay dividends from cash flow because of a
healthy free cash dividend cover.”
November 2, 2012 in Business
ZIMBABWE Independent Business Reporter Taurai Mangudhla (TM) recently
interviewed Green Fuel general manager Graeme Smith (GS) at the company’s
Chisumbanje ethanol plant.
Report by Taurai Mangudhla
Smith talks about the company’s operational challenges and its future
prospects in anticipation of a mandatory blending policy being contemplated
TM: May you kindly give us a brief update of your operations while you await
government to enact legislation for mandatory blending.
GS: Today, we have excess stock of ethanol sitting in Harare. At the moment
we are just slightly above 10 million litres. We ran the plant recently for
a period of two weeks and we switched off last Tuesday because of the large
quantities of stock.
The Deputy Prime Minister Authur Mutambara has been to the site and as you
have seen and reported yourselves cabinet has agreed to do the 5% mandatory
blending. However, that has not been implemented as yet so we have stock
that we are unable to move at the moment.
TM: Suppose government implements the 5% mandatory blending policy, how much
is the move likely to go in terms of improving your operations?
GS: For the plant to run continuously we need to be selling a minimum of 4
million litres of ethanol a month so 5% mandatory blending will only mean
approximately 2,2 million litres, meaning the plant will only run for
approximately two weeks a month and will be switched off every two weeks.
TM: What does operating below capacity mean in terms of your staff?
GS: At the moment we try very hard to keep all our staff. We haven’t laid
off any staff whatsoever in terms of the plant, but we have negotiated with
our employees and the non-critical staff are working on a 50% time so we are
paying 50% wages.
TM: In your view, what is the reason behind delays in approving the 10%
GS: I think there has been a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings of
what E10 is, its benefits and the actual implementation of it. In certain
sectors of government they don’t have a clear understanding of the benefits
of this fuel to the country so the DPM is exposing this to the entire
cabinet and to the GNU so they understand what the benefits of this plant
are and what it can do for the country. Since that happened, we have
basically gained sufficient support to start from 5% mandatory blending.
We are now calling for a minimum of 20% because every vehicle in the country
can run on 20% ethanol blending without any modification and it can benefit
TM: What is stopping you from exporting?
GS: We have had interest from outside countries and we do have export
The problem we have is this plant can produce 2,5 million litres per month
and if we get 10% mandatory blending, which we have had indications for the
past 12 months that we are going to get, it means all our production will be
committed to local consumption.
As a result, we have been unable to go and secure an export market to say we
will be able to deliver 1 million or 2 million litres a month for the simple
reason that if we do that and sign a long-term contract then mandatory
blending comes in we may then short-supply the local market.
We are in a bit of a situation where we are waiting for a decision to be
made so that we can start the full process.
TM: Suppose you are operating at full capacity, how much revenue can you
generate in a month?
GS: Well it depends; currently we are selling our ethanol depending on
volumes at anything between 90 US cents and US$1 because we need to recover
our investment so if you look at the plant capacity of 4million litres it
translates to US$4 million.
TM: Now that the plant is not operating at full capacity what is the cost of
GS: It’s very high at the moment. Just to pay our staff alone costs over
US$1million each month.
TM: You spoke about pricing, can you shed more light on your pricing model
especially given concerns that your product may be overpriced?
GS: We have gone to Zera (the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) and they
have certified our costs.
TM: What are the key variables in your costing?
GS: There are many variables that make up the cost structure, there are
overhead costs like labour, depreciation, chemicals and consumables. Those
all add up.
Obviously you have to remember this was not built on grant money, it was an
investment which has to be recovered. I know the argument is that other
countries like Brazil are producing for less, but obviously they have built
their plants over 60 years ago.
TM: Can you speak a bit on the quality of your product from a technical
point of view in light of information among motorists that ethanol can in
fact damage cars?
GS: Worldwide now there is almost no petrol- unleaded or leaded- that you go
and buy that is not blended. It has other reagents in order to increase the
octane level which is how efficiently it burns compared to a standard.
For you to get petrol to the 95-98% octane levels that people want to use,
you have to use additives.
One of the best alternatives is ethanol because it has a very high octane
level of over 100%. If fact the petrol that is being brought into this
country, the majority and not all of it, I would suggest in excess of 90 %
is coming in already blended to get it to the right octane level. So
everybody in this country is using blend petrol without even knowing that
they are doing it, but it’s called unleaded.
TM: Going forward, what are the company’s major plans?
GS: The plans are much greater than what you have seen today. This is what
we refer to as Phase A or Phase One. We have sufficient sugarcane in the
ground to produce enough ethanol for the country at 20% blending.
The plant itself can run and support 10% blending but with some minor
adjustments and small costs we can upgrade it to 20%. From there we can go
to 60%, 80% and then 100%.
One of the by-products is electricity generation. Right now the plant can
generate 18MW of power and when it is complete it will be generating 120MW
which is approximately 10% of the country’s generation capacity.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
HARARE International Airport, which at the height of the country’s economic
malaise had become a white elephant owing to the scarcity of landings and
take-offs from the facility, is fast getting busier with more regional and
international carriers returning to Zimbabwe.
Report by Stewart Chabwinja
This week alone Air France–KLM and LAM Mozambique resumed flights to the
country, bringing to 13 airlines currently touching down at the biggest
The scramble –– if you can call it that –– for Zimbabwe’s runways is
certainly auspicious, as it is yet another signal the country is inching out
of the woods as its rehabilitation continues.
But there is a serious damper: grounded national airline AirZim remains in a
parlous state, weighed down by a plethora of woes whose panacea remains
It has been reduced to a mere spectator, only servicing a limited number of
AirZim’s crisis, wrought by, among other factors, mismanagement, corruption,
lack of fleet renewal, high operating costs, flawed business decisions and a
debilitating US$150 million debt, has serious implications for the country’s
economy, struggling to find its feet again after a decade-long meltdown.
The non-servicing of domestic routes adversely affects business between
cities as, for instance, executives who would otherwise fly to Bulawayo for
important business are forced to travel by road which is time consuming and
Stakeholders have routinely lamented AirZim’s troubles are bleeding local
tourism –– potentially a key driver in the country’s economic revival –– as
timeous access to destinations is compromised.
Road travel is hardly an option over longer distances as time is money for
tourists and businesspeople. Hotels have suffered cancellations of bookings,
losing out on much-needed revenue.
As Tourism minister Walter Muzembi recently pointed out; of the 980 million
arrivals recorded in global tourism in 2011, 51% arrived by air, making a
reliable national airline indispensable.
Then there is the crucial matter of the United Nations World Trade
Oganisation general assembly in Victoria Falls next year.
Air Zim needs to be up and running by then so the country can take full
advantage of business that would be generated.
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada this
week appealed to KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines to partner AirZim struggling to
court a strategic partner due to negative perceptions, not least of which is
a recent suspension from the International Air Transport Association for
failing to comply with global standards.
So desperate is AirZim for a partner that the minister signalled government
was ready to relinquish 74% to a new investor contrary to the country’s
controversial empowerment regulations.
Government must urgently address AirZim’s crisis but piecemeal solutions
will just not do.
Part of the antidote is professionalism: A framework must be formulated to
ensure there is no political interference, competent managers are hired and
the airline only plies those routes deemed profitable. The state-owned
carrier has been perceived as the “plaything of politicians”, with
officials ordering the hiring of incompetent cronies and securing free
tickets for relatives and themselves.
That will have to stop.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Tuesday, during the opening of parliament,
repeated his sustained calls for the cessation of political violence ahead
of crucial elections.
Report by Dumisani Muleya
“Let us all shun violence in all its manifestations and latent forms,
especially as we look forward to our national elections,” he said.
Ordinarily, we should all be commending him for his continuous demands for
political parties to stop violence to allow peaceful campaigns ahead of
However, what is happening is there are various forms of reactions to Mugabe’s
appeals, which are occasionally contradicted by events on the ground and
statements by his allies.
At one level, some people welcomed Mugabe’s remarks, saying they are helping
to ease political tensions and discourage violence which has had a
devastating impact on Zimbabwe’s sociopolitical and economic spheres.
Some are however sceptical. While they appreciate his efforts, they are
wondering if he is well-meaning. They ask whether he is not trying to
manipulate and deceive people towards a self-serving political objective and
Given Mugabe’s record of broken promises and deception, these are legitimate
questions. Is he now seriously renouncing violence or simply wants to
deceive the electorate? Is this not one of his deceptive traps? Those asking
these questions wish what Mugabe is saying is genuine, but they can’t trust
They think this is part of his usual shenanigans to manage the next
And then there is a cynical body of opinion which says this is clear
political deception. Those who hold this view are not just cynical but also
contemptuous of his remarks which they see as deceit.
For that reason some are wondering how much longer will it take for
Zimbabweans to grow tired of such obvious trickeries and turn away from
deceptive leaders and their parties. They say only the uninitiated would
believe Mugabe’s smoke-and-mirror refrains.
Thus they insist a conclusion which says he has changed and may be trying to
atone for his past mistakes should only be viewed as naïve and delusional.
For Mugabe the end justifies the means.
Actually, the reason why some people distrust his messages on violence is
simple: the language of brutality, intolerance and repression in Zimbabwe is
associated with him and his party which has “degrees in violence”.
From the 1980s atrocities to the 2008 political killings, Mugabe and other
senior Zanu PF officials have openly incited political violence. The words
and metaphors they use –– that is if they are not nakedly instigating
brutality ––have always been inflammatory.
Consider this. Their political rivals have been referred to as “snakes”,
“ants”, “sellouts”, “traitors” and “enemies” that must be crushed.
Invariably, this has caused violence.
Zanu PF leaders often resort to incitement during election periods. If one
revisits their records, they would sometimes be shocked, not just by the
words and phrases they used, but the extent to which they were prepared to
go to stoke emotions and political fires.
Utterances by political leaders can build or destroy. Leaders’ commitment to
democracy and human rights is most tested when they are facing negative
criticism or their grip on power is under threat. Some react by showing
political tolerance, while others display savagery.
Over the years, Zimbabwean leaders have made statements which contributed to
peace or violence. They sometimes used virulent and overheated rhetoric, as
well as condemnations of opponents and critics which polarised and divided
As a result most of the violence in Zimbabwe can be traced to unscrupulous
leaders acting out of greed for power and resources. So let’s hope Mugabe’s
current anti-violence campaign is genuine, but then he must start to walk
the talk if he is to be believed.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
FINANCE minister Tendai Biti’s “eat what you kill” policy faces its biggest
challenge in the 2013 budget next week.
Zimbabwe Independent Comment
Overruns on expenditure in his interim budget statements indicate this has
become difficult to sustain.
Given the pressure to fund the referendum on the new constitution as well as
the general elections, both of which are expected next year, Biti will have
to be an adept tightrope walker.
Not only does he have to satisfy the domestic audience, but he also needs to
ensure he remains on the good side of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
which this week announced partial relaxation on the conditions it had placed
on Zimbabwe, whose debt is US$10,7 billion. The IMF will give Zimbabwe
technical, but not financial assistance. This will cover, among other
things, public finance management and expenditure policy as well as tax
policy and administration, areas which directly affect the budgeting
This will be critical for the success of the homegrown Zimbabwe Accelerated
Arrears Clearance And Debt Development Strategy.
Biti’s budget must leverage on this and other successes to create
opportunities which may eventually see the IMF release financial support,
prompting other multilateral and bilateral donors or lenders, who take their
cue from the Bretton Woods institution, to come back.
Biti already faces serious problems as shown by his mid-term review this
year when he had to revise revenue forecasts downwards from US$4 billion to
US$3,6 billion and GDP growth from 9,4% to 5,6%. Without dwelling on the
question of where the money will come from, some of the areas that need to
be addressed in the budget include financial support to agriculture, the
traditional mainstay of the economy critical to food security, mining,
infrastructure and social services delivery.
This means, for instance, availing funds for inputs such as fertiliser and
stimulating the agricultural sector by enabling the Grain Marketing Board to
pay farmers promptly for their crop. A resultant crop output will lead to
lower food imports, thereby improving the balance of payments position.
Mobilising funds for power generation is also critical for key sectors of
the economy, including mining and manufacturing sectors. Once the economy is
powered, so to speak, the promotion of exports and curtailing of imports can
then be sustainably pursued.
The country’s current account is bleeding from an unsustainable imports bill
which export revenues cannot sustain under the current environment. The
current deficit is at least 36% of GDP. This is partly due to a spike in
Biti must also strengthen fiscal management, rebalance the expenditure mix,
deal with liquidity challenges, reduce financial sector vulnerabilities and
improve the business climate to sustain recovery and growth under threat
from the impact of adverse weather conditions on agriculture and political
uncertainty ahead of elections, besides global economic shocks.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
FOLLOWING the unprecedented economic and political meltdown which engulfed
Zimbabwe in the decade preceding 2009, economic steadying and recovery
gradually began with the end of hyperinflation, against a backdrop of the
formation of the inclusive government and adoption of the multicurrency
regime, as well as the attendant exchange rate stabilisation.
Report by Brian Chitemba
The situation was helped by a favourable external environment,
macro-economic stability brought by the multicurrency system, cash
budgeting, and the discontinuation of quasi-fiscal activities by the Reserve
Given the return of political stability after a decade of turmoil and
cumulative decline, the economic rebound was significant although it is now
diminishing following a period of robust growth, with real gross domestic
product (GDP) growth averaging some 9,5% during the 2010–11 period,
sustained by strong external demand for key mineral exports and continued
recovery in domestic demand.
However, real GDP growth for this year is projected to slow to 5,6% down
from the initial 9,4% target, reflecting the impact of adverse weather
conditions on agriculture, erratic electricity supply, tight liquidity
conditions and political uncertainty.
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF officials have been repeating the
elections chorus since 2011 as if it is the magic wand to Zimbabwe’s
plethora of socio-economic challenges, ignoring passionate pleas from the
corporate world that the inevitableuncertainty scares investors and
Instead of heeding concerns of business, Mugabe upped the ante during the
official opening of the fifth session of the current parliament on Tuesday,
insisting that elections would be held in March 2013 soon after conclusion
of a new constitution.
This naturally fuelled uncertainty, especially given that the
constitution-making process is hotly-contested, while election dates are
also a disputed issue. The quarrels over election issues and the inevitable
clashes during electioneering are likely to be even more destabilising.
Mugabe, accused of running down the economy since assuming power at
Independence in 1980 and now viewed as unelectable, is likely to heighten
economic instability through ratcheting up his rhetoric over the
controversial and disruptive indigenisation campaign.
Indigenisation is proving to be as chaotic as the land reform programme
which ruined commercial agriculture and undermined the economy, triggering a
Instead of learning something from the land redistribution anarchy to ensure
indigenisation is structured and systematic, Mugabe on Tuesday chose the
easy way out: blaming sanctions slapped by Western governments for
undermining economic recovery.
Apart from the controversial land seizures, Mugabe’s regime adopted the
indigenisation policy as its new election campaign gimmick as it seeks to
lure voters and reverse the 2008 polls setback, in which Mugabe lost to
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai the first round of polling, while the MDC
defeated Zanu PF for the first time since 1980.
The empowerment campaign, tinged with racist undertones and cronyism, is
largely a continuation of Zanu PF’s policies from the 2008 polls during
which the slogan was “100% Empowerment, Total Independence”. That did not
save the party from defeat.
But the much-criticised indigenisation policy has been picked up and dusted
while packaged as a new campaign agenda although it borders on vote-buying.
The process has hugely damaged the economy as government has failed to make
a clear commitment to ensure policy stability and certainty, while lifting
the debilitating uncertainty plaguing the economy.
Extended periods of electioneering which the country is under have bred
uncertainty, with the business sector continuing to shrink as investors fear
the high political risk prior to elections. Previous elections in Zimbabwe
have been characterised by political violence, intimidation vote-buying and
Finance minister Tendai Biti will walk a tightrope on November 15 when he
presents the 2013 budget as he is expected to play the delicate balancing
act of financing critical economic sectors and funding elections despite
government’s meagre resources.
Biti also said the forthcoming elections were causing an atmosphere of
political anxiety and uncertainty within the public.
Economist John Robertson said the 2013 budget would be affected by elections
because Biti was likely to be forced to forego priority sectors such as
agriculture to raise funds for the referendum and elections.
He said the disputed draft constitution had created uncertainty, making it
difficult for potential investors to even think of taking a risk by
committing to Zimbabwe before elections.
Robertson suggested the coalition government should postpone elections to
allow the stagnant economy to fully recover and to grow amid a huge dabt
overhang of about US$11 billion. Zimbabwe is the only case of protracted
arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, the International
Monetary Fund’s vehicle for concessional lending to low-income countries.
Political analyst Chamu Mutasa concurred with Robertson saying Biti would be
forced to divert funds from capital expenditure to finance polls, thus
disrupting economic recovery.
“There will be a cost impact on people who depend on contracts financed by
government such as construction of roads and other critical infrastructure
as government would not be able to settle its obligations,” said Mutasa.
“The payment of bonuses by the cash-strapped government means service
delivery remains inefficient as money is being diverted.”
Political analyst Blessing Vava said elections were disrupting the economy.
“It’s very much shocking that this country has had four elections in 10
years, that is 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2008. Now the referendum and more
elections are coming and this will gobble millions of dollars, while
disrupting economic activity and recovery.”
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
The bungling Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi tried to make a
comeback after the eviction of Epworth residents settled there by his party
on a piece of land owned by private developer Sunway City.
Report by MuckRaker
The stands had been allocated by local party leaders without authority to do
so from the owners of the land. Midzi then tried to accuse Sunway City of
“hiding behind legalities”.
“There is no humanitarian face (sic) and timing was absolutely wrong since
they did not give people the chance to move away or search for alternative
accommodation,” Midzi whined despite the company saying they had tried in
vain to make the settlers leave voluntarily since September 2011.
Midzi sought to reassure the residents, the Herald reports, saying the
demolitions were not a directive from the party or the President’s Office,
as if knowing that would offer any comfort to people whose homes had been
razed to the ground.
“It is not the President who sent people to ravage homes and people should
not lay their blame on Zanu PF, but the company that is involved in the
whole process,” Midzi said.
We have come to expect that from Zanu PF; they blame everyone else except
Zanu PF ‘galvanised’
Meanwhile Midzi has threatened a landslide victory for a “galvanised” Zanu
PF in next year’s harmonised elections.
This comes after the return of Zanu PF provincial chairpersons from China
where they had gone to “draw lessons” from the Communist Party of China.
“While everything points to another plebiscite triumph, the revolutionary
party is not resting on its laurels having recently dispatched a high level
team to China,” the Herald tells us.
Midzi said the team came back equipped with “knowledge and skills” to
rejuvenate the party.
He also said Zanu PF’s “people-centered programmes are resonating with the
The evicted Epworth residents are likely to strongly disagree!
Clear as day
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana has “dismissed” allegations police
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri is responsible for selective
application of the law.
Tomana described the allegations as “unfair and coming from
Western-sponsored people who are bent on fulfilling the objectives of their
This is the very same Chihuri who has said the country cannot be taken away
from its “owners” –– Zanu PF –– through a pen which costs a mere five cents!
How clearer can he be?
Waiting for Godot
What became of the “bruising battle” Tomana said was in the offing with the
European Union over sanctions?
Tomana in July had crowed that the bloc “faces a Herculean task” in
responding to the lawsuit because the “sanctions have no legal basis”.
“The loins have been girded; we are ready for battle,” Tomana said.
“The EU will sweat over how they can defend themselves because we stand on
“We have been handed the green light to throw these illegal sanctions right
into the face of the EU,” he said.
Brimming with confidence, Tomana avowed: “Obviously, this is a victory for
us because it is an acceptance that the issues that we raised are genuine
and are neither misleading nor arguments of fallacy.”
Tomana soon discovered, however, that he was winking in the dark as the EU
did not respond to Zimbabwe’s lawsuit.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, had quashed any chance of lifting
sanctions saying: “There is no question of lifting sanctions against Mugabe
or anyone involved in continued abuses of human rights, incitement to
violence — that is simply not up for discussion.”
It soon dawned on Tomana that he was waiting for Godot and he had to concede
that “there have not been any developments on the case since we filed the
“I am sure that the EU is preparing its opposing papers, we will wait to be
summoned,” Tomana sheepishly said.
The loins will have to be girded for a bit longer Cde Tomana!
Votes and memories
It was interesting to read about Zanu PF’s latest election-related gimmick.
The party, or rather its tourism outfit, under the auspices of the
government’s National Tourism Policy, wants to create a township tourism hub
around President Mugabe’s old Highfield home.
There will presumably be guest houses, museums and restaurants and even
shebeens to promote the development. It will also be linked to the
This obviously is inspired by the success of South Africa’s township tourism
initiative which has attracted large numbers of visitors in Johannesburg,
Cape Town and Durban. It is hoped Harare will do the same.
Soweto is the template. Similar projects in Zimbabwe have all “died a
natural test” we are told. But this one has been better crafted and holds
out more prospects of success.
Highfield would be the pilot township for the project since it has the same
historical significance in Zimbabwe’s struggle for Independence as Soweto.
This is all very interesting if a tad inventive. The Sunday Mail article
spoke about the need to educate white visitors on how residents lived. It
should also educate people in general on how President Mugabe’s party was
rejected by the residents of Highfield after its 20-year possession of
Mugabe turns up regularly to vote there and invariably loses! It will be
interesting to see how this latest development can deliver him votes as well
By the way, shouldn’t those of us involved in the media be cataloguing Zanu
PF’s election-related projects and how the former ruling party can’t get by
Agriculture minister Joseph Made got himself a tongue lashing from villagers
in Makoni South after claiming the “illegal” sanctions had caused government
to fail to subsidise fertiliser.
The Zimbabwean reports that Made had been visiting the area to assess the
impact of the prolonged dry spell in the area.
He then seized on the opportunity to propound the sanctions gospel saying
they were affecting government’s programmes to empower villagers.
However, the villagers would have none of Made’s lecture, pointing out that
fertiliser was being distributed at Rusape Grain Marketing Board depot along
party lines. Only Zanu PF card-carrying members were getting inputs, Made
Made, states The Zimbabwean, abruptly left his not so captive audience
without finishing his address.
“How can he tell us about sanctions when we know that they (sanctions)are
specifically targeted at them? We cannot be fooled by this sanctions issue,”
a bemused member of the crowd said.
Made found out, much to his chagrin, that the tired sanctions mantra no
longer has any takers!
‘Filthy rich” businessman Philip Chiyangwa has a penchant for making lofty
promises which somehow never materialise.
In May Chiyangwa pledged to donate US$1,6 million to the University of
Zimbabwe while four years ago he promised to pay fees for hundreds of Africa
However, nothing came of it and some students even failed to write their
This time wearing the Affirmative Action Group hat, Chiyangwa promised to
bring “empowerment to the ordinary man’s door-step” to residents of Harare’s
Mabvuku high density suburb.
Chiyangwa and his entourage “brought life to a standstill” the Sunday Mail
claims, as he doled-out money to hundreds gathered for the “prosperity
Chiyangwa was then told that far from posturing, the biggest solution he
could provide was assisting emerging business people with collateral.
“We are struggling to secure loans from financial institutions because we do
not have collateral,” Zanu PF secretary for Indigenisation Innocent
“On the other hand Mr Moneyman (Chiyangwa) you have acquired multiple
properties over the years such that if you select 300 people who are in need
of loans you can approach banks on their behalf and offer one of your
properties as collateral,” said Hamandishe.
Chiyangwa promised to “explore” the idea. Judging by his track record he is
still exploring in the depths of Mabvuku. Has he encountered Masimirembwa
yet we wonder?
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
OF late the military has been back in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Report by Gideon Chitanga
The historically evil-spell of partisan politicking cast its shadow on our
search for lasting democracy.
This time it was Patrick Chinamasa, one of the negotiators playing a key
role in the on-going Sadc-brokered political negotiations on behalf of Zanu
PF, mimicking the military.
Coinciding with Chinamasa’s calculated and politically-motivated comments
were remarks by Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, echoing the same sentiments
that even if Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wins elections he would not be
allowed by the military to take over.
This sort of political buffoonery would be comical if it did not concern the
future of a nation, its people, constitutional order and national security,
besides blatantly implying a military coup and consequential treason.
As we again ponder the role of the military in national politics, especially
elections, the question is: have academics and civil society adequately
interrogated the problématique with respect to the partisan military.
Chinamasa and Gumbo’s assertions the military will not accept an MDC victory
is a rant oft-repeated ad nauseam by Zanu PF activists in the military and
mimicked by its politicians.
But at the same it is not just a rant, it is a party security policy rooted
in the logic of regime consolidation, modelled along a localised shock and
awe strategy whose masterminds are key actors within the Joint Operations
Command which brings together the army, police and intelligence chiefs.
Academics applying historical and institutional analysis have failed to
recognise that there is a well-coordinated power-retention strategy
operationalised through the involvement of deliberately selected categories
of militarymen into the Zanu PF rank and file, imbedding some with its
activists, foot soldiers and mid-level leadership. In other words, behind
Chinamasa and Gumbo’s statements there is a think-tank and strategy,
constituting the cornerstone of the Zanu PF regime’s survival plan.
It is not an accident that Zanu PF’s retention of state control was a result
of a bloodless coup in 2008. The party has since combined coercive
repression and patronage to regain full control of the state.
Without an evident notable shift in the domestic power dynamics with respect
to state control, the Zanu PF regime will not recant this strategy nor show
any sign of such.
There are overlapping interests protected by the contemporary military
architecture in the country. While illicit resource accumulation and
patronage provides a uniting thread, mutual manipulation and exploitation
has conflated politics with security.
But President Robert Mugabe lost tight control of the military at the turn
of the millennium in 2000.
While he still harbours delusions of being in charge, evidence on the ground
demonstrates that his authority as the commander-in-chief has been eroded
over the years.
It is important to note that before 2000, Mugabe had run an informal militia
parallel to the formal national security institutions and system, most
prominently the Fifth Brigade, accused of perpetrating grave human rights
violations, which was solely composed of shock-troops recruited from Zanla
fighters during the liberation war.
Members of Fifth Brigade were integrated into the army after it was
Shifts in the patterns of political-military relations within the regime
emanated from a providential need to provide new opportunities to military
elites in order to keep them on the side of the regime in the face of waning
No doubt such military elites had come to see and know that power opened
doors to massive wealth and more power.
It is these corrupted army commanders who are the brains behind
military-political shock therapy ideationally rooted in a notion of
securitised law and order and underlined by doctrinaire military supremacy.
Thus while the securitisation of the state is not necessarily new, it is the
belief propagated within the Zanu PF regime and now widely etched in the
national psyche and discourse that we are all chained subjects to our
military liberators that is new and scary. Such a view withdraws our rights
to citizenship while justifying all kinds of unaccountable authoritarian
It is the same logic that Zanu PF inherently reverts to in browbeating the
masses while criminalising dissent. Actors within the military who now
constitute the military-politico nucleus running Zanu PF and to a certain
extent the state see their positions in terms of the power they wield and
unlimited access to patronage, their source of immense wealth.
Their focus is not just to accumulate wealth but also get power to secure
it. Their actions are based on their understanding of the instrumentality of
power in patrimonial systems.
It is this power which shields them from accounting for their impunity,
opened doors in the scramble for state resources and positions of privilege
including massive political leverage within Zanu PF and the state.
If not in an explicit way, we are all culpable of unwittingly propagating
the notion of military supremacy in our politics.
To revisit the major arguments that have been advanced to explain the
politicisation of the military, social commentators, academics and
journalists have referred to the coercive institutional legacy of patterns
of organisation, mobilisation and military training within the liberation
movement and its nemesis, the Rhodesian Front.
Mugabe recently referred to the same view in his discussions with the United
Nations human rights commissioner Navi Pillay, arguing that violence is a
feature of a national historical institutional legacy.
The military institution anywhere in the world evinces the highest threshold
of national pride and sacrifice in any nation, yet those who plunge
themselves into partisan politics fall into the basal if not contemptuous
categories of national service.
In the strict logic of the military service, party politics is seen as a
theatre of contempt where selfish agendas and mean egos thrive.
Unfortunately the descriptive narratives advanced in contemporary social
commentaries have played into the hands of the Mugabe regime. In subtle ways
they fail to challenge the regime orthodoxy, in fact they reinforce it, and
therefore unwittingly spread fear amongst the public.
The public discourse is manipulated by the regime-aligned sections of the
military and intelligence to centrally spread fear and intimidation within
the country thereby emasculating the people.
Key players should be contesting Zanu PF authoritarian narratives, mainly
claims of the supremacy of the military in our politics, which reinforce
fear by parroting diversionary and intimidatory military-security
We should to realise that at the core of such well-choreographed propaganda
are calculated intentions to manipulate the political playing field by
throwing the nation into a state of fear and anxiety, leaders of the
democratic movement into doubt, despondence and to unhinge their campaigns
Chitanga is a PhD candidate in politics and international studies at Rhodes
University, South Africa.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
ONE of the critical issues needing urgent attention if significant economic
recovery is to be achieved in Zimbabwe is import processes and tariffs.
Report by Eric Bloch
Currently, customs duty rates are unrealistic and grossly unrelated to the
survival and growth of the economy, whilst the administration of import
clearances at Zimbabwe’s borders is similarly negative in relation to
The first of the obstacles is the lengthy clearance of imports at Zimbabwe’s
border posts; generally it takes many days to obtain the necessary
Although to some extent this applies to almost all points of entry, delays
at Beitbridge border post are exceptionally lengthy, both at the South
African exit post and at that for entry into Zimbabwe.
At times there are hundreds of vehicles queuing to be processed. This has
been worsened by the recent strike by South African transport workers. This
has resulted in a greater than usual number of heavy duty vehicles
transporting goods, coming to Zimbabwe after the strike.
The congestion is exacerbated by the hundreds of buses and other passenger
transport vehicles transporting Zimbabweans to and from South Africa.
Neither the South African nor Zimbabwe border posts are adequately manned to
ensure the expeditious clearance of the many vehicles and their contents.
As a result, many of Zimbabwe’s industries suffer highly prejudicial delays
in their operations whilst awaiting the arrival of essential manufacturing
inputs, or are forced to reduce volumes of production.
This causes severe operational losses, often resulting in increases in
prices on the limited quantities of goods manufactured, with consequential
adverse effects upon inflation.
Compounding this quagmire is the plethora of bureaucracy and authorisation
requirements by government officials processing the import clearances.
All too often they unjustly challenge the valid contention the imported
goods are of Sadc origin, and thereby qualifying for favoured duty rates.
Whilst it is necessary for the officials to be reasonably satisfied as to
the validity of importers’ claims as to product origins, since some
importers will falsely declare origins which assure lesser import duties, it
is also important for the officials not to cause excessive delays in so
There are instances where, notwithstanding comprehensive import
documentation, goods have been unjustly impounded for periods ranging from
six months to a year.
In respect of other goods, the officials are demanding production of import
permits issued by governmental authorities, even in instances where no such
permits are prescribed in law.
So frequently do these delays occur that officials, importers become
convinced the underlying motivation for the extensive import delays is to
In some instances the officials are actually inexperienced and unaware of
the realities of Zimbabwe’s import laws and regulations, or are blatantly
determined to be officious and demonstrate the magnitude of their authority.
Remedying these obstacles requires more comprehensive training of officials,
increasing monitoring mechanisms to contain bribery and corruption, and more
explicit legislation and underlying regulations.
Also necessary is an effective and swift facility for appeals to higher
authority whenever importers believe the determinations or actions of
officials at border posts are intentionally of a delaying or other untoward
nature, or are giving erroneous duty rulings.
The resolution of the many import constraints at border posts would also be
ameliorated to some extent if South Africa and Zimbabwe established “One
Stop” border posts as exist between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of
Congo, for instance.
A further facet of import-related economic constraints is the structure of
Zimbabwe’s customs duty tariffs; hopefully Finance minister Tendai Biti,
will recognise and address this in the forthcoming 2013 national budget.
On the one hand, substantive duties are imposed upon diverse manufacturing
inputs, thereby constraining the viability of Zimbabwe’s already distressed
Manufacturing materials, consumables spares, and other essential inputs
are –– in very many instances –– subject to duties which not only impair
further the straitened cash flow resources of industrialists, but also raise
the costs of the manufactured goods and, therefore, their selling prices, to
levels significantly greater than the landed costs.
Concurrently, it is apparent there are inadequate procedures and controls to
minimise smuggling of various foreign manufactured products into Zimbabwe.
It is incomprehensible that flea markets and other vendors are able to sell
clothing, manufactured in the Far East at prices lower than the import
duties applicable to such products.
This can only be possible if payment of duties on such goods is wholly
evaded, and the consequence is gross prejudice to locally-manufactured
goods. This results in factory closures, and concomitant reduction in
employment and associated economic negatives.
One of the keys to substantive economic recovery is, therefore, that
government and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority urgently revise the processes
of import clearances, the expeditious clearance of imports, and the
containment of corruption and smuggling.
November 2, 2012 in Opinion
IT is both ironic and tragic that policy debates on the need to reform the
security sector in post-conflict societies such as Zimbabwe do not address
gender-based injustices, especially the trials and tribulations of women in
conflict situations, yet at the turn of the 21st Century, a lady
parliamentarian invigorated this critical debate.
Report by Pedzisai Ruhanya
The term “security sector reform” first made an appearance in a speech by
Clare Short, the former British minister for international development in
Short’s idea was further conceptually developed by European and Canadian
academics although this “invention” is challenged by scholars who argue that
the versions of the current security sector reform have been ongoing since
the middle of the 19th Century.
Security sector reform, according to Short and others who followed after
her, has been linked to debates on poverty alleviation, sustainable
development and professionalisation of the security forces, which is mainly
the focus of the Zimbabwean discourse on the matter.
In Zimbabwe, calls for security sector reform have been due to ubiquitous
role of the country’s military in civilian political and electoral matters
on a partisan basis.
Security sector reform that is not linked to military incursions into
partisan politics has its roots in Western donor debates over how best to
target and implement development assistance, thereby fostering a policy
nexus between poverty and security debates.
In this scope, security sector reform is asserted as an integral part of
development assistance, especially in post-conflict societies prone to
relapse into violent instability.
In the case of Zimbabwe, given the partisan role of the security apparatus
in the political and electoral affairs of the country and consequently the
colossal human rights violations attendant, security sector reform applies
with regards to the country’s repressive and transitional situation.
Debates in all these contexts and the Zimbabwean case have concentrated on
oversight and structure of civil-military relations, the democratic control
of the armed forces and the integration of all security agencies responsible
for securing a state’s internal and external integrity.
Zimbabwe’s military generals or hierarchy have constantly made it public
they will only respect the civilian authority of Zanu PF, not any other
government of the day.
The security apparatus think they are the power brokers without whose
approval democratic electoral processes should be disregarded. This is the
debate that engulfs the call for security sector reform in the country.
There is a substantial body of general criticism concerning approaches to
security sector reform.
Some civic groups have voiced concerns about the tendency of the security
sector reform to focus heavily on providing training skills, supplying
resources and increasing organizational efficiency to overcome capacity
deficits of the security system at the expense of addressing more
fundamental shortcomings, in particular the need to build the integrity of
the system which in the Zimbabwean case is in tatters.
In Zimbabwe, such integrity-promoting measures include structural reforms
that discourage abuses and partisanship associated with the security
apparatus over the years.
For instance, vetting, building institutional accountability, strengthening
institutional independence, advancing adequate representation and ensuring
that the security establishment is actually responsive to and reflective of
the communities it protects and operates within.
However, a preliminary analysis of the debates on security sector reform
following the signing of the Global Political Agreement in September 2008,
which actually calls for reform of this sector, shows that such criticism
fundamentally suffers from a lack of gender perspective and integration.
In this regard, the strategies that are positively discussed and advanced
for security sector reform in Zimbabwe fail to substantively and
consistently engage gender disparities and justice in transitional Zimbabwe.
Without exception, all these contentious debates and conversations in
Zimbabwe exclude women who are also victims of state-sponsored violence
linked to the security or coercive apparatus of the state.
There is an evident structural link between security sector reform and
dealing with the past after several years of conflicts related to the
Matabeleland massacres and pre and post-election state-sponsored violence
from 1985 to June 2008.
The failure or lack of this dimension seriously undermines the extent to
which security sector reform can be meaningful, long-lasting and
Therefore, there is need to interrogate and think about security sector
reform in the context of transitional transformation. In particular, there
is need to think about how the gender failings of past-focused
accountability mechanisms have manifested themselves and how they have
influenced current understanding of what role the past plays in the security
sector in Zimbabwe.
Most of the locales where security sector reform is discussed and
propositions are considered or dismissed, as is often the case, are
decision-making bodies that have a history of poor representation of women.
These locales include the military establishment, the government, political
parties and the male-dominated leadership of civil society organisations.
Representation constitutes a critical element of re-engendering security
sector reform into context in Zimbabwe given entrenched patriarchy in the
social, political, economic and cultural organisation of the country. It is
therefore relevant to mainstreaming, specialisation and cross-cutting
approaches to gender security.
This stated, an important underlying caveat should be examined and
appreciated. It would be an elementary mistake to confuse representation
with reform. The UN Resolution 1325 “urges UN member states to ensure
increased representation of all women at all decision making levels … for
the prevention, management and resolution of conflict.”
The resolution calls on governments to take positive steps to promote the
entry of women into the security services as well as requiring the presence
of women in peace-making negotiation teams, something that was overlooked in
the GPA talks despite the fact women were the most violated during the
Beyond the procedural package of issues by representation itself lies the
further step of ensuring women are meaningfully represented in
decision-making positions and that there is a critical mass so that
divergent voices can emerge.
This critical mass is essential to deflect the real possibility that women
will either be absorbed into the status quo or marginalised, argues
transitional justice scholar Professor Fionnnuala Ni Aolain.
A preliminary assessment of women’s participation in negotiation processes
premised on the requirements of UN Resolution 1325 reports that women
themselves have viewed their presence as tokenistic and have been deeply
disillusioned with their participation and their influence on the outcomes.
In Zimbabwe, all the key platforms for security sector reform debate are
male-dominated. Engaging with gender security issues requires transformation
to prevent patriarchies reinforcing one another.
Ruhanya is PhD candidate and director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute. He
writes in his own capacity.