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No polls unless goals met - Zuma mediator

JOHN NQINDI | 08 April, 2012 00:16

South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team in the Zimbabwean
political impasse says it will see to it that the goals set by the global
political settlement are met.

President Robert Mugabe recently declared his Zanu-PF party would make sure
the constitution referendum was conducted in May and then push to announce
an election date .

Zanu-PF has threatened to oust Zuma as Zimbabwean mediator in the SADC.

But Lindiwe Zulu, spokeswoman of Zuma's team, said: "We have not lost hope
in Zimbabwe. We are still engaged with the three principals to find common
ground in electoral reforms. We made it clear that there won't be elections
in Zimbabwe unless the set goals are met."

In its periodic review, the Zimbabwe Peace Project revealed that since
Zanu-PF made its intentions clear to hold elections this year there had been
a 15% increase in political violence. Mugabe last week described the
inclusive government as an "animal' in his renewed call for elections.

The MDC-T has said it would only participate in an election when the
constitution-making process was finalised.

"The MDC is ready, but will only participate in an election when all the
conditions for a free and fair election are met," it said.

Many people feel Zuma has slowed down on the Zimbabwe debate, particularly
because of the internal politics he is facing within his ANC party.

But Zulu denies this: "That is not an issue at all. Even though we do not
yet have a date to come to Zimbabwe, we will eventually come. We have
commitments we are working on before coming there," she said.

Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa said this week Zanu-PF's call for elections was
manipulative. "There are some politicians who want to derail the
constitution-making process, so that the people go to polls under the
Lancaster House constitution, which was only meant to be a transitional
document," he said.

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New Constitution Will Not Guarantee Fair Polls: Dabengwa

Harare, April 7, 2012 – ZAPU President Dumiso Dabengwa has warned of a
public backlash if President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party proceed on
their unpopular path to overturn the wishes of the people in the current
constitution making process.

Dabengwa told a public meeting in Harare Wednesday evening that any attempts
by Mugabe, his former boss, to make self serving constitutional changes
during the current drafting process was foolhardy.

“Once a constitution has been passed by the person; that is the people’s
constitution and no individual, no matter what position he has, has the
right to subvert that constitution,” Dabengwa said.

“The people of Zimbabwe would stand up to it. The people would be able to
stand up and say ‘No we will not accept that manipulation’.”

Dabengwa said ZAPU and the majority of Zimbabweans made it overwhelmingly
clear during the Copac outreach programme they preferred devolution of power
but Mugabe was trying to block the popular idea from seeing the light of

The former Home Affairs Minister gave a surprise thumps up to the current
constitution making process being run by his political opponents and further
urged Copac not be destructed by repeated calls for the abandonment of the
process by Zanu PF politicians.

“What is most important is what the people said from the outreach programme
and from the indications that have already been given by Copac, it looks
like they captured most of the issues that the people brought forward,” he

“The drafters of this constitution are the same drafters who drafted the
1999 constitution and they already have that expertise and experience and we
hope this time they will be more careful to ensure that what the people said
is not be manipulated and changed to other people’s thinking.”

The former PF ZAPU intelligence supremo was however quick to add that the
adoption of a new constitution will not guarantee good governance under the
Mugabe regime.

“A new constitution can set the frame for a democratic election but it
cannot itself guarantee free and fair elections," said Dabengwa.

"Individual politicians and political parties can either guarantee the
framework or subvert it.  The constitution must contain provisions that
guarantee the separation of powers such that there is no abuse of power by
any organ of the state."

Dabengwa, who together with a group of former PF ZAPU stalwarts broke out of
Zanu PF 2008 to revive the party, said Mugabe has benefited unfairly from
the severely lacerated Lancaster House Constitution.

He derisively said the compromise ceasefire document was the longest ever
transitional constitution he has ever come across.

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Robert Mugabe strikes secret deal to hand Zimbabwe power to Emmerson Mnangagwa
Robert Mugabe has struck a secret "gentleman's agreement" to hand over power in Zimbabwe to his feared defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, sources close to the two men have revealed.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) talks to Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) talks to Emmerson Mnangagwa Photo: AFP/GETTY

Insiders say that Mr Mugabe, aged 88 and now in office for three decades, will stand as Zanu PF's candidate in elections one last time before handing over to Mr Mnangagwa, a former spy chief nicknamed "The Crocodile" for his ruthless reputation.

In the clearest sign yet that he is being groomed for the top job, Mr Mnangagwa, 65, was recently dispatched to Tehran where he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a key anti-Western ally.

Having another Zanu-PF strongman succeed Mr Mugabe would help ensure that other powerful party members avoid any future scrutiny about wealth gained through illegal land seizures, and avoid possible prosecution at The Hague.

Mr Mnangagwa, the former head of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation, was appointed campaign manager by Mr Mugabe during the 2008 presidential election and was widely blamed for the brutality unleashed after his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, edged ahead in the first round of voting.

The prospect of taking over from the ageing leader gives him a clear incentive to ensure that elections tipped for later this year go Zanu-PF's way again. Last month, Mr Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic Change, claimed that the army was already recruiting and training jobless Zanu PF youths "on a massive scale" for a new programme of vote-fixing.

Mr Mnangagwa, 65, helped orchestrate Mr Mugabe's battle against white rule in the 1970s, during which he was arrested and tortured by white Rhodesian policemen, rendering him deaf in one ear.

Zanu-PF colleagues say he is the one man feared even more than Mr Mugabe, a reputation he gained as CIO head during the suppression of the rival Zapu party in 1980s, in which thousands of civilians were killed and in some cases forced to dance on the freshly-dug graves of relatives.

In later years he has been seen as Zanu-PF's chief "money man", helping organise lucrative concessions linked to gold and diamond mining.

Last month he met Mr Ahmadinejad to discuss further co-operation between Zimbabwe and Iran, which is known to be eyeing Zimbabwe's uranium for its disputed nuclear program. Mr Ahmadinenjad said that their shared difficulties as targets of Western sanctions could be converted into "new opportunities for further development and progress".

In return, Iran's defence minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, pledged to help beef up Zimbabwe's armed forces. "We will help strengthen their military so that they are able to protect their land and culture, especially so they are prepared against the pressures and threats from Western countries," he said.

The pact between Mr Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa is alleged to have taken place at State House in Harare in April 2008, after the president failed to secure an outright majority over Mr Tsvangirai.

According to a long-serving Zanu PF minister who witnessed the meeting, the embattled Mr Mugabe offered Mr Mnangagwa the future presidency if he could help ensure that things went Mr Mugabe's way in the second round.

"It is common knowledge within the high ranks of the party that Mnangagwa delivered the presidency to Mugabe, and that we are in power today because of his efforts," the minister said.

"It is on the basis of this understanding that Mugabe said in his own words that the 'job is yours when I leave', receiving nods from senior military generals who were also present that day."

Another source close to senior defence chiefs told The Sunday Telegraph: "Mnangagwa was told that he had to deliver victory for Mugabe by whatever means or he would go down with the old man. After that, the two are glued together so tightly unless Mnangagwa commits a cardinal sin, he is assured of the succession."

Others insist that there are still considerable hurdles – most notably the feisty Joice Mujuru, Zimbabwe's vice-president who is known to be favoured by Zanu-PF moderates as Mr Mugabe's successor for her friendly relationship with Mr Tsvangirai.

Together with her husband Solomon, a retired army chief, she led a rival faction to Mr Mnangagwa. But last year, Mr Mujuru died in a mysterious fire at his rural farm, depriving his wife of a real power base. Some suspect foul play in his death, although it has never been proved.

So far no date has been planned for future elections. While Mr Mugabe wants them held this year, opponents say they should be postponed until new constitutional changes designed to guarantee a fair political playing field are finalised.

However, one minister claimed that if any election result did not go Zanu-PF's way, Mr Mnangagwa's backers also had a plan to roll out "choreographed anarchy" which would allow them to declare a state of emergency.

"In a state of emergency, civil and political rights get suspended, thus the constitution itself gets suspended, meaning that the army can potentially impose a ruler of its choice under the pretext of enforcing peace and stability," the minister said.

While Mr Mnangagwa has personally profited from white land seizures - he owns a 1,000 acre farm - in public he strikes a less anti-British tone than Mr Mugabe.

In a rare interview with The Sunday Telegraph last year, he told after Zanu-PF first came to power, he had even offered promotions to the white policemen who tortured him in the name of reconciliation. He dismissed talk of Britain having a vendetta against Zimbabwe - a common claim of Mr Mugabe - and described himself as a "humble man", baffled as to why so many spoke his name in fear.

In 2010, he also claimed to have found God, telling mourners at his brother's funeral: "For those of us comrades who were taught to destroy and kill and have seen the light in the last days of our lives... our rewards are in heaven."

Among those backing Mr Mnangagwa are said to be air force chief Perence Shiri, police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri, secret service chief Happyton Bonyongwe, and prominent Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo.

They are said to have been told to keep quiet about it, but Maj-Gen Nyikayaramba, recently promoted into post by Mr Mnangagwa, could not resist a boast at a recent rally in Bikita in Masvingo province: "President Mugabe will rule for a while and then leave office for his top lieutenant, the Crocodile," he told shocked villagers.


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Malawi's ex-leader Muluzi says vice president must take over

Sapa-AFP | 06 April, 2012 13:04

Malawi's ex-leader Bakili Muluzi on Friday called for "constititional order"
after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, saying the vice president
must automatically take power.

"I am calling for a constitutional order, for continued peace and order. The
laws of Malawi are very clear that the vice president takes over" when the
sitting president can no longer govern, Muluzi told a news conference.

"We have to avoid a situation where there is disorder. Let us follow the
constituion. We have no choice but follow the constitution. It's very
important that there must be peace and calm," he said at his home outside
the commercial hub Blantyre.

Hospital and political sources have confirmed that Mutharika died following
a heart attack Thursday, but most ordinary Malawians have yet to receive the
news due to an official silence in the state media.

"It's important that the government announces the condition of the president
as soon as possible so that the nation is informed," Muluzi said.

Mutharika had been trying to force Vice President Joyce Banda from office,
after he expelled her from the ruling party in 2010. She since formed her
own party and emerged as one of Mutharika's toughest critics.

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Mining Executives to Meet Zimbabwe's Indigenization Minister Over Equity Stakes

06 April 2012

The executives who declined to be named told VOA Studio 7 they expect to
reverse Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s plans to appropriate
their shares without due compensation

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Executives of some mining firms in Zimbabwe whose 51 percent shares are
being targeted by the Ministry of Indigenization under the country’s
indigenization program say they are expecting to hold high level talks with
state representatives next week.

The executives who declined to be named told VOA Studio 7 they expect to
reverse Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s plans to appropriate
their shares without due compensation.

They said it is still unclear whether Kasukuwere will enforce his
proclamation which is not enforceable by any law in Zimbabwe.

Kasukuwere said Thursday all mining companies that have not yet transferred
a 51 percent stake to indigenous people have ceded them to the Zimbabwe

Buletsi Nyathi of the Youth in Mining Council said affected firms should
seek help from the ruling parties and Southern African Development
Community. “This needs a political solution otherwise these mines will end
up in the wrong hands,” said Nyathi.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe says it will review proposed mining fees after a mining
industry uproar saying the steep increases will hurt the sector.

Speaking earlier this week during a mining conference held in Harare, mines
ministry permanent secretary Prince Mupaszviriho said his ministry was
reviewing the impact of the fees on the mining sector. The government early
this year announced high fees for firms mining platinum, diamonds and other
resources in a bid to boost revenues from the sector.

Registration fees shot up more than 1,000 percent with diamond claims rising
up to $5 million as well as coal, natural gas and mineral oils to $100,000
from $5,000

Economist Eric Bloch said a review of the fees will help boost the sector,
adding the government needs to find realistic means to address the issue
presented by industry players.

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Chombo Is A Cruel Man: Zvidzai

Bulawayo, April 07,2012-- Deputy Minister of Local Government and Urban
Development Sesel Zvidzai who is also an MDC-T member has blasted Minister
Ignatius Chombo saying he is a “cruel man” abusing the Urban Council Act by
continuing to fire and suspend mayors countrywide.

Zvidzai ‘s  sentiments came after Chombo on Thursday suspended Gwanda mayor
Lionel De Necker who belongs to the smaller faction of the MDC on
allegations of  defying  his  orders .
“He is a cruel man who is abusing the Urban Council Act firing MDC mayors
and councilors day in, day out.  He is destroying the country’s local
authorities using this Act, he still can’t believe that Zanu PF is no longer
running our towns and cities,” Zvidzai told Radio VOP on Friday.
Zvidzai added: “The Urban Council Act should actually be repealed as it is
giving too much power to Chombo”.
Chombo has been crossing swords with the former opposition party since his
Zanu PF party began losing control of urban councils to the MDC. Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said Chombo was attempting to destroy
the MDC by dismissing elected councillors ahead of watershed polls to be
held most likely next year.
The Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (ECAZ) an association which
represents councillors has also been lambasting Chombo for trying to
decimate MDC councils.
Early this year the Chombo fired MDC-T Mutare mayor Brian James on
allegations of misconduct. He claimed the suspension of James was in the
interest of ensuring sound local governance for effective and efficient
service delivery in Mutare City.
Recently, he also sent a team to probe the Bulawayo City Council, sparking
fears he was up to no good.
Chombo says the reason why he is dismissing MDC mayors and councillors is
because most of them are corrupt.

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Local Gov't Minister Under Fire for Suspending Gwanda Mayor

06 April 2012

Residents in the small town, the capital of Matabeleland South province,
also came to the defense of ousted Mayor Lionel De Necker, describing him as
a hard working public servant who cared less about politics, but more about
service delivery

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington

The Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Zimbabwean Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube launched a broadside Friday at Local Government
Minister Ignatias Chombo for suspending its Gwanda mayor.

Residents in the small town, the capital of Matabeleland South province,
also came to the defense of ousted Mayor Lionel De Necker, describing him as
a hard working public servant who cared less about politics, but more about
service delivery.

Minister Ignatias Chombo accused De Necker of defying his orders. Over the
years, Chombo, a Zanu PF official, has targeted MDC municipalities,
suspending councilors in a crusade widely viewed as politically-motivated.

MDC Organising Secretary Qhubani Moyo accused Chombo of trying to
destabilize the Gwanda council, dominated by the former opposition.

He said the move had given his party new impetus to advocate devolution of
power to prevent ministers like Chombo from overreaching and unfairly firing
elected officials.

"We will use every avenue available, politically and legally to make sure
that this unjust act is overturned."

Gwanda resident, Jaston Mazhale told VOA that De Necker served the town
well, adding his removal was regrettable.

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MP’s Family Lashes Zanu PF Over Neglecting Huruva

Chivi, April 07,2012- Zanu PF Member of Parliament (MP) for Chivi North
constituency and Masvingo provincial political commissar Tranos Huruva’s
family members have come out with guns blazing attacking Zanu PF for
neglecting the ailing MP who has been battling for his life for close to a
month now.

Huruva who was involved in a road accident while traveling to Harare was
briefly admitted at the Harare’s West End clinic before the family took him
to South Africa where he is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

What irks the family members worst was the fact that despite Huruva holding
a very powerful provincial party position, no single Zanu PF member ever
bothered to either phone or visits their troubled member.

“They are just silent, never bothered to ask us whether our father is
getting better or worse. It really shows their lack of concern, selfishness
and lack of unity. I am sure there is no one member from Zanu PF really
knows where my father is being treated,” said a lady who claims to be Huruva’s
daughter. She however, preferred anonymity due to ‘the nature of the story’.

“It’s pathetic that my father’s supposed friends from politics have just
decided to dump him at a time when he really needs them most,” she added.

Huruva is reported to have suffered serious internal injuries with some
medical reports said to have confirmed some fractures of his ribs.

But Zanu PF provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke refused to comment on the
issue saying the media has nothing to do with people’s private lives.

“You should be looking for other stories than this one… I think it’s not
good to write about private lives,” said Matuke.

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Mpofu builds empire

JAMA MAJOLA | 08 April, 2012 00:16

Zimbabwe's Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu - who was
recently accused in court of demanding a $10-million kickback from Core
Mining and Mineral Resources - has completed the takeover of the struggling
ZABG Bank, consolidating his grip on business and politics.

The move came as Mpofu, a senior Zanu-PF politburo member, steps up efforts
to build a business empire and position himself to become vice-president -
and possibly enter the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Mpofu owns a swathe of businesses in different sectors of the economy.

His accumulation of wealth, which coincided with him becoming mines minister
after the discovery of diamonds in Marange, has set tongues wagging, with
his critics alleging he is corrupt - charges he has consistently denied.

Armed with a PhD, Mpofu is building a power base in Matabeleland region and
across the country to consolidate his position in Zanu-PF .

Displaying his growing popularity and influence, he recently threw a big
party at his Nyamandlovu base in Matabeleland North province to celebrate
his 60th birthday.

This week, Mpofu added another key asset to his business portfolio with the
acquisition of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), which, together
with several other banks, is struggling to meet the regulatory minimum
capital requirements.

ZABG recently reached an agreement with Unicapital of Mauritius and Mpofu's
Trebor & Khays to take it over and recapitalise it.

Mpofu and Unicapital, as the new major shareholders, will inject
$27.8-million into ZABG so it can meet its minimum capital adequacy ratio
and recapitalise. About $15.3-million will go towards recapitalising the
bank, while $12.5-million will be for the statutory minimum capital

Mpofu and the other new investors are to raise a further $20-million.

ZABG was critically undercapitalised, with a negative core capital of over
$15-million. It tried to secure $5-million from Treasury to cover the gap
and was facing closure until Mpofu came on the scene.

The bank was last year given until September 30 this year to raise the
minimum capital requirements following a protracted demerger process in the
last quarter of 2010, before the deadline was changed to April 1.

ZABG used to be 92,8% government-owned. It was formed after the amalgamation
of Royal Bank, Barbican and Trust Bank at the height of the banks' collapse
in 2004.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono gave struggling banks an April 1 deadline
to meet minimum capital requirements or face closure.

Local banks are reeling from a chronic liquidity crunch, with a number of
them facing closure or collapse. Zimbabwe has 26 banks, most of them
struggling due to liquidity problems.

Gono said on Thursday that ZABG, together with Royal Bank, which is also
struggling, "will escape the chop as they have succeeded in courting
credible investors who have put their offers on the table".

He said ZABG, which might attract deposits from diamond mining companies if
Mpofu influences them to bank with it, had been given two weeks to obtain
regulatory approvals from various authorities in and outside Zimbabwe,
adding the bank would "emerge stronger and better managed".

Mpofu's consolidation on the business front after the acquisition of ZABG
will strengthen his bid to replace Vice-President John Nkomo and possibly
enter Mugabe's succession race.

The ambitious minister is battling for political supremacy and control in
Matabeleland region against his fierce rival, Zanu-PF chairman Simon Khaya
Moyo. The two clashed over factionalism and infighting in Zanu PF at a
stormy politburo meeting last week. Mugabe had to intervene.

However, Mpofu's business consolidation and political manoeuvres are dogged
by criticism of his ambitious political agenda and allegations of
corruption, which he always denies.

MDC-T MP Eddie Cross recently slammed Mpofu for "personal accumulation of
wealth, assets and the creation of a massive business empire".

Mpofu is suing MDC-N chairman Goodrich Chimbaira for allegedly telling a
rally in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, recently that the minister's
wealth was acquired through a corrupt patronage system. Mpofu was not
available for comment.

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A leader who split the nation

Reuters | 08 April, 2012 00:16

Malawi's president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died this week, liked to portray
himself as the all-knowing "economist-in-chief", presiding over an
unprecedented run of boom years in the destitute southern African state.

Instead, he is more likely to be remembered as an old-fashioned African
autocrat, who picked a disastrous fight with foreign donors and ordered a
crackdown on anti-government protesters in which 20 people were killed - a
watershed moment for the peace-loving "Warm Heart of Africa".

The mixture of relief and jubilation that greeted the 78-year-old's death on
Thursday is a far cry from when he first came to power in 2004.

Then, Malawi's 13 million people hoped Mutharika would use his experience as
a World Bank technocrat and regional trade expert to stamp out corruption
and raise the fortunes of his landlocked and Aids-blighted country.

Educated in law and economics at home, in India and the US, he had the free
market credentials to get the largely agricultural economy moving - and for
most of his eight years in power, it worked. Due mainly to a donor-funded
fertiliser subsidy scheme and decent rains, Malawi's maize harvests boomed,
pushing annual economic growth to 10%, one of the highest rates in the

But even during the good times, the former British colony remained
dangerously dependent on one product - tobacco, which accounted for up to
80% of forex earnings.

As a run of poor harvests hit home, Malawi's currency, the kwacha, came
under severe pressure from businesses desperate for dollars to buy the food,
fuel and medicines. Yet Mutharika stubbornly refused to devalue the kwacha
for fear it would trigger runaway inflation, as was happening in nearby

As the problems mounted, he resorted to long, rambling speeches, citing
fanciful growth statistics and inviting unflattering comparisons with
dictator Hastings Banda.

One diplomat described Mutharika's manner as "professorial, arrogant and
patrician", a view confirmed a year ago when he expelled Britain's
ambassador over a leaked diplomatic cable that called him "autocratic and
intolerant of criticism".

Britain promptly severed aid worth $550-million, and other donors followed
suit, cutting off financial flows that had accounted for as much as 40% of
government spending.

As the dollars evaporated, fuel supplies dried up and food prices soared,
leading to popular unrest and attacks on Mutharika's economic policies.
Rather than changing tack, he told foreign donors to go to hell and hardened
his line against all opposition. After police killed 20 people in nationwide
protests in July, he was unrepentant, choosing a police graduation ceremony
to tell would-be protesters he would "smoke you out if you go back to the

Donors and rights groups, and many ordinary Malawians, are hoping with
Mutharika gone Malawi can rebuild bridges with the outside world and get
back on track. "As Christians, we are not supposed to celebrate death," said
Whyson Chitete, a businessman . "But this one is different."

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