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‘Police biased over political violence’

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:54

Tendai Zhanje

JOINT Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) co-chairperson Opah
Muchinguri blamed political parties for the escalation of violence in the

Addressing delegates at a workshop launching Jomic’s district liaison
committees in Harare yesterday, Muchinguri attacked all political parties
for preaching violence at their gatherings.

“Political parties cannot absolve themselves from political violence because
people are dying in the name of political parties. This problem of violence
starts with political leaders who when addressing their members encourage
them to be violent,” said Muchinguri.

She also added that incidents of violence being reported to Jomic indicated
that police were being biased in executing their duties.

“We have held meetings with the police because in all the cases of violence
reported, it seems as if there is a selective application of the law, but
the police are saying the problem starts with political parties which
address their members encouraging them to be violent,” said Muchinguri.

The liaison committees would consist of representatives from all three
political parties and be tasked with dispensing of information to people
Jomic is unable to reach, particularly rural areas.

“The aim of the liaison committee is to promote dialogue, fairness and human
rights issues.  We cannot reach everyone so these committees will collect
that information and pass it on to us,” she said.

The smaller MDC’s representative Frank Chamunorwa said that the language of
violence was against the GPA and his party had appealed through the media
and other concerned organisations to encourage people to desist from using
hate speech.

“The operation of the GPA centres on the spirit of dialogue as opposed to
violence. Anyone who talks the language of violence is in blatant violation
of the letter and spirit of the GPA,” said Chamunorwa.

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‘Personal preferences’ delay commission

Wongai Zhangazha

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is holding back the appointment of the
Anti-Corruption Commission amid reports that Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa was pushing for his personal preferences, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu
or Judge President George Chiweshe, to chair the constitutionally
established body.

Government sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Mugabe had withheld
the process of nominating candidates for the commission leaving the Standing
Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) in limbo.

Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma told the Independent yesterday that the
proposed names were being examined and that the SROC was now awaiting a
response from the President’s Office.

“In terms of Section 100 of the constitution, the appointment of the
Anti-Corruption Commission is done by the president in consultation with the
Standing Rules and Orders Committee, which means the president comes up with
names as required by the constitution,” Zvoma said. “The proposed names are
then submitted to the Standing Rules and Orders Committee for its
consideration in order for it to express its position on whether the names
of the people so proposed qualify in terms of qualification, experience as
well as eligibility.”

He added: “The criterion is that those who have served two terms in the
commission are not eligible unless the Anti-Corruption Act is amended. Some
of the names proposed did not qualify to be on the commission.”

However, Zvoma refused to reveal the proposed names saying it was unethical
for him to do so.

The sources said prominent Harare lawyer Wilson Manase had initially been
earmarked to chair the commission before Chinamasa’s move. Manase reportedly
had the backing of both the MDC formations and Zanu PF, but faced opposition
from Chinamasa.

The new commission will replace the one headed by former auditor and
comptroller general Eric Harid whose term ended in 2009. Harid’s commission
is currently negotiating an exit package with the government.

Chinamasa declined to comment on the matter, while efforts to get a comment
from Manase were also fruitless.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights chairman Andrew Makoni said the delay in
the appointment of the Anti-Corruption Commission was a tactic by the powers
that be to evade investigations.

“What I can only say is that the delay demonstrates that parties in the
inclusive government lack political will to tackle the vice of corruption,”
Makoni said. “Corruption is visible in every sector, private or public and
yet corruption gurus are escaping prosecution owing partly to the failure to
appoint new commissioners in compliance with the GPA. Corruption is a cancer
which if not treated early will spread rapidly and irreversibly. We have
almost reached the point of no return.”

In a report titled Articles of Faith — Assessing Zimbabwe’s GPA as a
Mechanism for Change — a Legal Perspective”, the Research and Advocacy Unit
(RAU) blamed Mugabe for delays in the appointment of AAC.

Reads the report: “Mugabe is unlikely to permit the existence of an
anti-corruption body that threatens this system of patronage. Zanu PF’s
antipathy to any probe into corrupt activities is reflected in a reluctance
to undertake the land audit provided for by the GPA. It also emerged, when
the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti suggested to cabinet that an
investigation be undertaken to establish how the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
became so heavily indebted, that its assets were being auctioned to settle
debts with creditors, the suggestion was greeted with outrage by Zanu PF
cabinet ministers.”

RAU also said that some Zanu PF officials prevented a parliamentary
committee from investigating corruption and rights violations in the
Chiadzwa diamond mining area by blocking attempts to visit the minefields.

Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo was last month reported
saying four individuals appointed by Mugabe to the commission were
ineligible because they had served their mandatory two terms in previous

It is understood that because there was a constitutional problem with the
appointment of the four, the SROC tasked Chinamasa to pursue the matter.

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Facilitators meet negotiators over GNU, poll roadmap

Dumisani Muleya

DESPITE obstinate resistance from Zanu PF and its leaders, South African
facilitators in the Zimbabwe political dialogue, which is endorsed by Sadc,
held meetings with party political negotiators in Harare yesterday to review
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and finalise the crafting of an
elections roadmap.

The move showed President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s protests over alleged
meddling by Sadc leaders and their facilitators have been brushed aside by
the regional leaders, who confirmed last week they were disappointed and
becoming increasingly impatient with Zimbabwean parties’ failure to
implement the GPA and maintain peace and stability within the Government of
National Unity (GNU) and the country.

Informed sources close to the negotiators and facilitators said Sadc
leaders, chairman of the troika of the organ on politics, defence and
security, President Rupiah Banda of Zambia and his colleagues, South African
President Jacob Zuma and Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza, as well as Sadc
chair, President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, now want to give new
impetus to the Zimbabwean process to ensure all GPA provisions and issues
are implemented. The leaders are pushing the country towards free and fair
elections, which they hope would break the decade-long political impasse and
produce a legitimate government to work on the country’s economic recovery,
national healing and international recognition.

Negotiators and facilitators confirmed they met yesterday afternoon. Those
in the negotiations include Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche,
while the MDC-T is represented by Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, and the
MDC-N by Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu.

The facilitators, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, include Charles
Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu. Sadc leaders have appointed a new
team to reinforce the efforts of the facilitation team. Although Mugabe and
Zanu PF are trying to resist the team, Sadc said it would implement all its
resolutions made by the troika summit last week in Livingstone, Zambia.

Negotiators have been meeting since Monday, focusing on reviewing the GPA
and GNU, as well as the drafting of the roadmap required prior to the hold
of fresh elections designed to break the country’s decade-long political

Initially Zanu PF tried to resist this process, claiming that the GPA “on
its own is an election roadmap”. However, the MDC parties said the GPA was
“the basis and only a starting point” of the roadmap. They demanded that a
comprehensive elections roadmap must be drawn up with benchmarks, timeframes
and signposts. This was adopted by Sadc facilitators and endorsed by
regional leaders last week, forcing Zanu PF to fall in line. Chinamasa
confirmed on Wednesday to the state media that the latest negotiations were
about reviewing the GPA and crafting an elections roadmap.

MDC-T chief negotiator Tendai Biti also confirmed what Chinamasa said. “We
are holding meetings to review the GPA, the performance of the GNU and to
craft an elections roadmap,” Biti said. “We are doing this in terms of
Article 23 of the GPA which deals with periodic review mechanism.”

Article 23 of the GPA says: “The parties will continually review the
effectiveness and any other matter relating to the functioning of the
inclusive government established by the constitution in consultation with
the guarantors (Sadc and the African Union)”.

Zanu PF and the two MDC parties are locked in disputes over the
implementation of the GPA, lifespan of the GNU and elections. The MDC-T
mainly accuses Zanu PF of stalling the implementation of 24 outstanding
issues which have been agreed upon. MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is
also Prime Minister in the GNU, has also accused Mugabe of acting
unilaterally in making appointments of judges, ambassadors and provincial
governors. While there is still a dispute over this and other remaining
issues, attention has shifted to the constitution-making process, referendum
and elections.

Tsvangirai has also been complaining about political violence and
intimidation, which he blames on Zanu PF and the security forces, including
the army, police and intelligence. Sadc leaders said last week this must

The premier has of late been travelling across the region to brief Sadc
leaders about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. He has been to
Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and DRC.

Tsvangirai left for Lesotho yesterday and he will travel to Angola today.
His spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the trips but would not give

Mugabe and Zanu PF want to stampede the country into elections this year
without fully implementing the GPA, while the MDC-T wants elections next
year. MDC-N believes there is still a long way to go before elections if
conditions for genuine free and fair conditions were to be created. MDC-T
thinks credible and genuine elections are only possible by at least May next
year, while MDC-N feels if the process is followed meticulously, polls would
come in 2013. Zanu PF wants elections by August or September.

After complaining in vain over the resolutions of the Sadc troika summit in
Livingstone, Zambia, last week, Zanu PF is now claiming that the communiqué
of the meeting supported its position on elections. The communiqué only said
“The Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe should complete all the steps
necessary for the holding of the election, including finalisation of the
constitutional amendment and referendum”.

“Sadc should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in
holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance to
Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections,” the
communiqué said.

However, the MDC parties are arguing that while elections should come, the
problem is that the GPA has not been fully implemented to create conditions
for free and fair elections.

Under Article 22 of the GPA, the parties are expected to ensure “full and
proper” implementation of the agreement. The parties set up the Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic), comprising four members
from each organisation, to ensure the GPA is wholly implemented in “letter
and spirit”. Sadc leaders last week formed a new team to reinforce
operations of Jomic and help to step up GPA implementation.

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‘Democratisation agenda at the mercy of Mugabe’

Paidamoyo Muzulu

A NEW report by the Harare-based Research and Advocacy Unit says the
democratisation agenda envisioned in the 2008 Global Political Agreement
(GPA) largely depended on President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence since the
MDC formations were only given nominal power in the resultant inclusive
In a report titled “Articles of Faith: Assessing Zimbabwe’s GPA as a
Mechanism for Change — A Legal Perspective”, Derek Matyszak and Tony Reeler
concluded that the democratisation agenda was far from being achieved by the
current system and actors.

The GPA is a political settlement guaranteed by Sadc and the African Union
to end a decade-long political crisis in Zimbabwe conceived after the bloody
2008 elections, and is aimed at creating conditions for genuine political
and electoral reforms.

The reforms include, but are not limited to, media, constitutional,
electoral and security sector reforms and national healing.

Matyszak and Reeler’s report says the “implementation of democratic reform
contemplated by the GPA has thus depended on the goodwill and political
willingness of Mugabe and his ministers, qualities that were notably lacking
prior to the signing of the GPA and notably lacking thereafter”.

The research authors argued that the GPA was replete with lofty provisions
designed to widen democratic space in Zimbabwe, but there was, however, a
dearth of provisions by which they may be implemented.

These include amendments to draconian legislation, such as the Public Order
and Security Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and
the Broadcasting Services Act.

They further argued that the reforms may only be implemented if MDC
ministers got necessary executive authority, which they unfortunately failed
to get on the negotiating table since Mugabe kept for himself and his Zanu
PF party powerful posts.

“To ensure implementation, the MDC required control over ministries and
statutory institutions with the appropriate executive power. None of the
ministries Mugabe allocated to the MDC afforded it such control,” reads the

It pointed out that the MDC was failing to exploit the few opportunities
available to it through its role in the inclusive government. This was in
stark contrast to Mugabe who continued to control all vital sectors,
ministries and institutions capable of effecting reform, namely the
military, the media and security sectors.

The researchers believe that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC
had two options to become more relevant and push for reforms, but they
seemed reluctant to exploit them.

“One is the requirement that all key appointments in terms of the
constitution and any appointment in terms of any Act of Parliament can only
be lawfully made by the President with the consent of the Prime Minister,”
the researchers wrote. “Mugabe has simply ignored this requirement where it
suited him to do so, and Tsvangirai has not sought to exercise this right in
all instances.”

The researchers further argued that Sadc had not fully grasped the
importance of the MDC’s right in the GPA implementation, as exemplified by
it asking the MDC-T to “park” the issues arising from Mugabe’s unilateral

Matyszak and Reeler insisted that the correct approach was for Sadc to
persist pressing for compliance, something which the MDC had not done with
due rigour.

Mugabe last year unilaterally appointed provincial governors and has
declined to rescind the appointment of central bank governor Gideon Gono and
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana. The ageing president has also refused to
swear in MDC-T deputy treasurer general Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture
minister, among a host of other issues of the GPA he refused to implement.

The report said the other option for the MDC was to use its numerical
advantage and dominance in parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee
to implement changes that simply required the House to change.

“They should ensure that Constitutional Committees, particularly the all-
important Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, comprised resilient, resourceful
and informed individuals who could robustly advance an agenda of democratic
reform. This (unfortunately) it failed to do,” reads the report.

Matyszak and Reeler concluded that the GPA could not be celebrated as a
successful regional solution to a regional problem.

“Accordingly, one should exercise some caution before referring to the GPA
as an ‘African solution to an African problem’ as certain uncomfortable
readings of the maxim may suggest themselves,” they wrote.

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Fireworks expected at MDC-T polls

Brian Chitemba

FIREWORKS are expected at the MDC-T provincial assembly elections in
Matabeleland at the weekend as party hawks battle for influential positions
ahead of the party’s long awaited national elective congress.

The Bulawayo provincial elections will take place tomorrow while those for
Matabeleland North and South will be on Sunday and Monday respectively.
The elections come in the wake of a surprise visit to Hwange and Bulawayo by
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last weekend. Tsvangirai informally told
senior officials in the region to end factionalism and prepare for

The biggest battle is for the Bulawayo provincial chairmanship pitting
Parastatals and Enterprises minister Gorden Moyo and Mzilikazi Senator
Mattson Hlalo. The victor will replace the little known incumbent Agnes

Campaigns for provincial posts took violent twists in the past few weeks
with factions trading insults and coming close to fist fights.

“There has been violence in district elections in Bulawayo because Moyo and
Hlalo’s factions were fighting to position their members to vote in
provincial assembly polls,” a senior MDC-T official told the Zimbabwe
Independent this week.

MDC-T insiders believe that Moyo was likely to win the vote after he
successfully lobbied the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA)
for support. Moyo is the patron of the organisation, which was formed two
years ago to rival the Zanu PF-aligned Bulawayo Residents’ Association.

“Moyo has been using BPRA to build his political base and most of its
members are in MDC-T structures. That could easily see him edging Hlalo,”
said an insider.

MDC-T bigwigs in Bulawayo tried to stop Moyo from contesting but Tsvangirai
intervened paving the way for him to throw his hat into the ring.
Some MDC-T officials believe that Moyo is Tsvangirai’s blue-eyed boy after
he handpicked him from civil society to be a minister at the inception of
the coalition government two years ago.

Vote-buying, sexism and factionalism have rocked the MDC-T in the run-up to
the national congress.

In Matabeleland North, incumbent provincial chairman Sengezo Tshabangu will
battle with Binga Senator Hebert Sinampande. Tshabangu faces ouster because
he stays in Bulawayo.

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Chinamasa forced to drop ‘retrogressive’ clauses

Paidamoyo Muzulu

JUSTICE and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa (pictured) was on
Wednesday forced to drop certain clauses in the General Amendment Bill which
threatened media freedom and the smooth operations of local authorities.
The Bill had sought to introduce minor changes to 17 different pieces of
legislation, among them the Copyright and Neighbouring Act, Urban Councils
Act, Rural District Councils Act, Procurement Act, Parks and Wildlife Act,
Police Act and Health Services Act.

The contentious amendments related to copyrighting public documents such as
statutes, court judgments and the Government Gazette, among other state
publications. Local authorities were to purchase goods and contract services
through the State Procurement Board under the proposed amendments.

Chinamasa told parliament that he was withdrawing all amendments cited as
retrogressive in a democratic state. He said he would further consult on
amendments on local government procurement with the relevant ministers.

Chinamasa said: “I also agree with your comments Honourable (Douglas)
Mwonzora on the Copyright Act. This is something that we had already decided
in my ministry that we should not amend the Copyright Act.

“I am going to withdraw this clause or any reference to procurement so that
I allow the two responsible ministers, that is the Minister of Local
Government and Urban Development and the Minister of Finance who is
responsible for the Procurement Act. I would then ask them to bring in a
separate Act of Parliament, a separate Bill to deal with this issue so that
it can receive the attention that it deserves.”

Mwonzora, the Justice Portfolio Committee chairman, had attacked the
Copyright and Neighbouring Amendment Act as detrimental to freedom of
information as enshrined in international conventions and the Zimbabwean

“The committee heard that in 2000, the BEN Convention in Geneva said every
citizen has the right to free access to all the laws and statutes of that
country. The committee is concerned that the proposal violates Section 20(1)
of the Constitution. Section 20(1) of the Constitution provides as follows:
Except with his own consent or by way of parental discipline, no person
shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to
say, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and
information without interference,” said Mwonzora.

Local Government Portfolio Committee chairperson Lynette Kurenyi said her
committee was sceptical of the proposed amendments to procurement of goods
by local authorities.

She said her committee believed the changes would bring unnecessary
centralisation and corruption in the procurement of goods and services.

Kurenyi said: “To this end, your committee recommends the following: that
the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs withdraws the amendments and or
proposed repeals relating to local authorities procurement as it is against
the spirit of decentralisation and equitable distribution of wealth. The
Ministry of Local Government Rural and Urban Development should come up with
a model procurement by-law for use by all Local Authorities.”

The Amendment Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to be
further scrutinised if the amendments made were consistent with the
Constitution before being brought back for its third reading.

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Development fund ‘prone to political hijack’

Wongai Zhangazha

FALLING classroom blocks, inadequate and rundown school furniture,
pothole-filled roads, dilapidated recreational grounds and unhealthy dining
rooms, flowing raw sewage and inadequate health facilities are all woes
commonly shared by Zimbabwe’s 210 parliamentary constituencies.

Some dilapidated infrastructure has proved fatal and recently cut short the
life of a 14-year old girl and seriously injured three others, after a
makeshift classroom collapsed at Munhondo Secondary School in Darwendale.

Maybe the introduction of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), through
the Public Finance Management Act, is the answer to people’s problems in the
previously neglected constituencies.

The CDF gives communities a platform to debate on, select and prioritise
projects they want undertaken in their constituencies with little red tape.
This departure from the norm is seen as providing a gateway for the genuine
empowerment of people at grassroots level, as well as helping push back the
frontiers of poverty.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said
Treasury allocated US$10,5 million for this project last year and US$10,45
million was disbursed to 209 constituencies, with the exception of
Tsholotsho North, which did not apply to the fund.

Under the fund, each MP is allocated US$50 000 for developmental projects
and operations, guided by a constitution and accounting officer’s

A management committee was established by the Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs ministry to supervise CDF activities.

At constituency level, a committee comprising the MP as chairperson, the
local senator and elected councillors discuss the various projects to be

The Comptroller and Auditor General and the office of the Accountant General
keep a close eye on the projects to ensure that the funds are being spent

Some of the constituencies currently being inspected include Mazoe South,
Highfield East, Glenview North and Sunningdale.

Highfield East MP Pearson Mungofa told the Zimbabwe Independent that he used
CDF  money to drill boreholes at Mutasa, Chengu and Mhizha primary schools.
He also used the fund to erect a wall around the Old Highfield clinic and
also bought more than 200 benches and desks for Mukai High School and Mhofu
Primary School. He still has a balance of $8 000.

Mazoe South MP Margaret Zinyemba said she used the money to buy building
materials and school furniture, to be used in renovations at a number of
schools and clinics in nine wards.

She said the money was also used to complete the sewage and water
reticulation system in Glendale- urban.

Glenview North MP Fani Munengami said his constituency had built a computer
laboratory at Glenview Number 2 Primary School and bought 50 computers for
Glen View Number 5 Primary School. Glenview 7 Primary School got 29
computers, while some blocks at Glenview 3 High School were electrified.

However, while the CDF appears to be a noble idea, critics argue that it is
prone to abuse by political parties. At several launch functions of CDF
projects and disbursement, residents and villagers are made to believe that
the money was sourced from political parties.

When the Zimbabwe Independent spoke to some people in Harare’s high density
suburbs, most of them had no idea what the CDF was and what developments
were taking place in their constituencies. Some didn’t even know who their
MP was.

Social analyst Maxwell Saungweme said though CDF should be applauded, it was
fundamentally flawed “in an environment like Zimbabwe” and could be hijacked
by politicians.

Saungweme said: “Zimbabwe’s constituencies are highly polarised and
politicised and experience by development workers is that even with
development projects managed by NGOs, the biggest challenge is polarisation
of projects, with politicians wanting the projects to serve their supporters
at the expense of the most vulnerable members of the communities.

What more when the politician, the MP, is presiding over the project? He
will simply ensure that his supporters benefit from the CDF and further
divide the constituency along political lines.”

Another analyst questioned the involvement of MPs in the projects and
suggested that a Constituency Development Trust be formed instead.

“To give US$50 000 to MPs is to seek to confuse their legislative role with
that of ministers and councillors. It is also to seek  and give an MP power
beyond his or her mandate. What should have been set up are constituency
development trusts that do not get the resources via the MP, but via either
the Ministry of Social Welfare or that of Constitutional Affairs, involving
a formal process that has a broad based stakeholders’ consultative

“It is subject to abuse, but the initial abuse is that of the public, whose
expectations are falsely raised by grandiose pronouncements of the fund by
the minister responsible, as well as the MPs, when we all know that $50 000
is nothing.  Instead it should be the government’s primary responsibility to
provide electricity to clinics, repair schools, distribute anti-retroviral
drugs and provide grinding mills,” said the analyst.

But Highfield legislator Mungofa rubbished these allegations, saying MPs
were solely taking advantage of the CDF.

“I never make the decisions on my own. In my constituency, apart from
including the councillors, I also involved headmasters from different
schools, informal and formal business people in the area to come up with
ideas or priorities in the constituency which need urgent attention. Those
meetings are pretty tough, with people coming up with so many ideas. You
just have to reach a compromise and deal with important issues first,” said

Saungweme felt that for development projects to be successful and
appreciated, they had to be participatory and beneficiaries of projects
should have a say on all phases of the project from conception, design,
implementation, monitoring, completion and evaluation.

He said what was worrying was that some of the MPs had lost touch with what
was happening in their constituencies.

“Most of these MPs do not go back to their constituencies and do not spend
time discussing development priorities. They are divorced from community
priorities and do not even know  some of the problems that exist in their
constituencies. There is need to have a re-think about this fund by going
back to the drawing board and involve civil society and community-based
organisations, leaving the role of MPs to be that of monitoring of how the
fund is being used,” he said.

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ZSE proposes new law on demutualisation to govt

Monday, 04 April 2011 12:05

Bernard Mpofu

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange stockbrokers have proposed to government a new law
on demutualisation of the exchange, as the capital-starved bourse pushes for
listing by year end.

A concept paper in the possession of businessdigest shows that plans to
demutualise the US$4,2 billion ZSE could be on course after a first draft of
the exercise was completed in February .

In the meantime the ZSE, a quasi parastatal, is being regulated by the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Act and the Securities Act.

“Having looked at the pros and cons of demutualisation, we believe the ZSE,
being one of the oldest and best performing exchanges in Africa, is ripe for
demutualisation,” reads the paper.

“We therefore believe the ZSE and relevant authorities will take the
initiative and consider the process of demutualising the ZSE. This will
enable the exchange to be more commercially nimble and respond to market
needs more quickly, unimpeded by member committees and their diverse
interests, and also give access to capital markets for fund raising.”

Demutualisation, according to the paper, entails a change in the legal
status of a stock exchange from a mutual association with one-vote per
member—guided by consensus based decision making—to a company limited by
shares with one vote per share. This process would also result in the ZSE
becoming a for-profit firm in a competitive financial markets environment.

The ZSE wants the exercise to be modelled along the lines of Malaysia’s
Bursa Malaysia Bhd (which demutualised in 2004 and listed a year later),
where 40% of the total value of the exchange was allocated to the stock
broking industry, a further 30% allotted for setting up a Capital Markets
Development Fund and the remaining 30% to treasury.

“Zimbabwe has not been left out of the wave as over the years, investors
have been drumming up support for securities quoted on our exchange to be
listed on other exchanges, so as to access the much needed capital.
Demutualisation has been seen as a better way of achieving such,” reads the

“Again there has been an outcry as to whether an organisation (ZSE) that
controls the fortunes of thousands or millions of investors should be left
in the private hands of a group of individuals whose operation, integrity
and expertise are shielded from public scrutiny, or it should be entrusted
into the care of private-public entity that can strip naked publicly for all
stakeholders to see and appreciate the organisation for what it really is.”

The ZSE, which is currently reeling from low market confidence on the back
of perceived liquidity and counterpart risk, low standards of corporate
governance, vulnerability to market shocks and lack of competitiveness in
the local market, among other factors, sees demutualisation as a means to
unlocking the potential of the lacklustre exchange.

Apart from tapping in capital, the ZSE, still lagging behind on
computerisation, believes demutualisation could also equip the exchange with
latest technologies.

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Economic stability the key, says Stanchart

Monday, 04 April 2011 11:45

THE current economic stability should be sustained so as to enable the
banking sector to start lending long term, according to Standard Bank acting
chairman, Ian Mackenzie.

Analysing the bank’s financial results in which it reversed a loss of US$3,7
million in 2009 to a profit after tax of US$8,4 million in the year ending
December 31 2010, Mackenzie said increased savings pursuant to economic
stability would facilitate structured medium to long term lending to

Zimbabwe’s economic growth has, since dollarisation in February 2009, been
stymied by inadequate liquidity in the banking sector, where banks are
mostly lending short term on rates punitive to industry.

Standard Chartered attributed its phenomenal results to non-funded income
and interest returns, with the latter arising from solid growth in the loan
book.  The bank’s total operating income was US$43 million up from US$22,4
million. Its margins, however, remained subdued as a reflection of both
competition and a realignment of interest rates to international norms.

Operating expenses increased by 1,2% to US$30,7 million from US$27,4
million, a figure the bank said was well above average inflation.

“The cost to income ratio improved from 123% in 2009 to 72% and is expected
to maintain this positive trend as performance continues to improve,”
Mackenzie said.

Standard Chartered loans and advances grew by 132% year on year, well above
market average. Total assets rose to US$281,7 million from US$269,8 million.
The bank’s capital, at US$32 million, exceeds the minimum regulatory capital
requirement of US$12,5 million and is sufficient to meet all prudential

“Capital adequacy ratio at 22,15% is above the prescribed minimum regulatory
ratio of 10%,” Mackenzie said. He said the bank will continue to leverage in
markets where it has a strong presence such as China, India and South Korea.
Mackenzie said the bank would  continue to grow its loan book in line with
prudent international credit risk best practices, which protect depositors
and ensure long term viability.

An analyst this week said the banking sector was a mirror of the overall
performance of the economy. He said the performance of the banking sector
was progressing in line with the rest of the economy following

“One of the key success factors of any business is the ability to put in
place strategies that speak to and resonate with any operating environment,”
the analyst told businessdigest.

“Continuous refinement and realignment of the strategies to the operating
environment is critical to the success and growth of any bank regardless of
size or sector,” the analyst said.

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Speaker vote: Insight into the politics of consensus

Qhubani Moyo

THE recently held elections for Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe
brought interesting insights into the configurations and alliances that are
crucial and may help shape the future of Zimbabwean politics in a direction
that very few people ever imagined.

The politics of consensus and convergence around hopefully new ideas and
values is gradually but surely emerging while leaving political dinosaurs
across the political divide stranded.

The election of Speaker came after a legal challenge by Jonathan Moyo
supported by Moses Mzila Ndlovu, Siyabonga Ncube and Patrick Dube from the
MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC-N) to cleanse parliament of the
corruption, manipulation and electoral fraud that characterised the previous

The challenge was of paramount importance in restoring the credibility of
parliament and the electoral system of the country. What makes the election
to be crucial in redefining the future of the politics of the country is
that it revealed a set of interesting dynamics and power relations amongst
various key political players in the country.

The most crucial being the last minute intervention by the MDC-N which
despite being undermined, humiliated and belittled by some myopic
opportunists within the MDC-T (led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai) took
a strategic decision in the national interest and intervened with the votes
that did not only deliver victory to Lovemore Moyo and the MDC-T, but to the
millions of Zimbabweans who have suffered for years under tyranny. It was
this intervention which was based on a principled stand and response to a
call to national duty to defend all gains made by the democratic forces in
the years of the struggle against the repressive regime.

While it is clear that the MDC-T has limited capacity within its ranks and
that it is dangerously bankrupt on policy or governance issues, it would
have been a negation of national duty and a betrayal of the masses to allow
Zanu PF to win the position of Speaker and control parliament. The MDC-N,
despite the fact that it initially took a decision to let Zanu PF and
MDC-T — on and off allies who have occasionally ganged up to thwart the
MDC-N from playing its role in government — to fight it out, events towards
the election made it impossible to stand aside and watch the strangulation
of democracy by Zanu PF.

The MDC-N believes in a just and fair society. It would have been unjust, a
betrayal of the masses and the broad democratic movement for the MDC-N to
stand by and watch Zanu PF grab the speakership from the MDC-T. The arrest
of MPs, political violence and use of state apparatus to subdue opponents is
one of the key reasons why the MDC-N intervened to ensured Zanu PF was
defeated in the service of democratic change. And that democratic change is
change that carries with it a sustainable vision for the country, an idea
that the MDC-N embrace. So watching the Zanu PF mandarins and securocrats
trying to crush the MDC-T would have been tantamount to watching a neighbour’s
daughter being raped without intervening. It would have been a dereliction
of duty to the democratic cause on the part of MDC-N.

It is important to know that this intervention was not about Moyo or support
for the MDC- T but it was for the people of Zimbabwe who were obviously
going to be the most devastated and weakened by a Zanu PF victory. The MDC
intervened to support Moyo and MDC-T in the service of democracy and the
need for change. It is therefore illogical and ridiculous to say the MDC-N
must then fold and join the MDC-T after this. The politics of consensus and
alliances is there to stay.

It’s known that over the years pro-democracy forces have been fighting to
cleanse important national institutions and public positions of Zanu PF
influence and a Simon Khaya Moyo victory would have been a serious drawback
in the battle for the removal of Zanu PF as an institution and President
Robert Mugabe as an institutionalised individual who has led the country for
over 30 years. The role played by the MDC proves that there are no small
parties in politics; parties may have fewer seats in parliament but that
does not make their role less important. It is more about strategic
positioning on the political landscape and issues than just numbers.

For the MDC-T, the re-election of Moyo through a coalescence of democratic
forces should be a lesson that every player is important in politics and
that the politics of undermining and even trying to annihilate others would
be counterproductive in the long run. It is exactly this kind of approach
and myopic political arrogance that denied Tsvangirai victory in the 2008
presidential elections. Slow in learning as some in the MDC-T are, one can
only hope that this time around they have learnt a lesson on the importance
of political strategy and collaboration. The election results were also
crucial in that they exposed the depth of divisions within Zanu PF that are
almost irreparable.

Zanu PF has in the last couple of months been at the forefront in the
calling for elections because amongst many advantages it thought it had, it
had assumed that the party was united and its members were pulling in one
direction. Zanu PF had identified divisions as the critical cause for its
2008 electoral defeat and as such thought it had now healed the wounds to
fight as a united force. But last week’s election of the Speaker showed that
the problem still exists and can only get worse.

The election of Speaker indicated that contrary to the assumptions of the
Zanu PF leadership, the rift is in fact widening. It is clear that the
battle for the control of the Zanu PF leadership has intensified and that as
long as that contestation for power remains, bhora musango (this
figuratively means making sure that the other group doesn’t win) would
persist. Problems in Zanu PF revolve around Mugabe’s divisive succession
crisis and the party’s failure to resolve it.

So during the Speaker’s election it was clear that the Emmerson Munangagwa’s
faction would not assist the Solomon Mujuru faction by allowing them to
capture the crucial position in parliament. But in all this, what is even
more interesting are the arithmetical indications that there was a
significant number of Zanu PF MPs who voted for MDC-T. This is a clear sign
that Zanu PF fissures are so wide that the centre can no longer hold. It
shows that Zanu PF, which thought it could easily win a national election,
may suffer a crushing defeat while deluding itself thinking it is still a
strong and cohesive force.

What Zanu PF seems not to understand is that it has become such a colossal
institution which is now collapsing from its own weight. It has become so
big with so many players with intricate and conflicting interests which can’t
be reconciled. Its failure to change leadership, reform and adapt has left
it facing extinction.

Against this background, the election of the Speaker has created a landmark
that sets the agenda for political cooperation going forward. The MDC-N has
shown that it is a solid and dynamic party which always keeps its eyes on
the ball and the broader picture, in the national interest. It has become
the advocate of the new politics of consensus and convergence — the key to
delivering change and democracy in Zimbabwe.
Qhubani Moyo is the national organising secretary of the MDC-N. Email: .

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Zanu PF fables dealt a heavy blow

ISN’T it funny how Zanu PF celebrates defeat? The Herald last week carried a
large picture of SK Moyo being congratulated by fellow senators after his
swearing in as a member of the upper chamber. But the paper forgot to
mention that just a few days earlier Moyo had been soundly defeated in his
bid to become Speaker of the lower House.
Was his elevation to an unelected post in any way a consolation for his

Zanu PF obviously thinks so. It’s rather pathetic to see them clutching at
straws like this.

Moyo said he felt very humbled by his appointment by the president.

Actually he should be feeling humbled by the extent of his defeat in the
House of Assembly and the fact that he has been reduced to a refugee in the

“The voice of the people is the voice of God,” he declared as if to enhance
his shaky mandate. Following the hammering his party got in the
parliamentary vote and the hard words from its erstwhile friends in
Livingstone, it would appear that Zanu PF is definitely not on the side of
the angels!

Meanwhile our thanks to ENK Management Consultancy for dreaming up another
excuse for agricultural failure. Chief executive Emily Walker said on the
sidelines of a Comesa farming workshop Zimbabwe had “good programmes in
place through initiatives that are being spearheaded by the government”.
“We can see the tremendous progress in production,” this rather naïve lady
said, “which could have been much higher last year were it not for
hailstorms experienced in some parts of the country.”

Hailstorms! Anybody remember the hailstorms? No? Nor do we! Meanwhile Ian
Scoones of the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University should
see the extent of the propaganda value Zanu PF has managed to squeeze out of
his report on land use. We shall never hear the end of it!

Saviour Kasukuwere was among those seeking to exploit the exhumations in Mt
Darwin for party advantage.

“The spirits refuse to lie still,” he said. “They want the world to see what
Smith did to our people. These spirits will show the way it’s to be done.”
Governor Martin Dinha invited PM Tsvangirai, MDC-N president Welshman Ncube
and MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa to come and witness the exhumations and
see “what their white friends did to the people so that they will repent”.
We gather busloads of school children have been taken up there to see “how
it’s done”.

It is therefore good to read that the Zipra Veterans Trust has sent a team
to Mt Darwin to witness what they said was the chaotic exhumation of
remains. Bodies were wantonly dismembered, they reported.

“This is the most atrocious thing that could ever happen to any departed
soul, be it friend or foe,” Zipra Veterans Trust leader Ray Ncube told
NewsDay. “We call upon civility to dawn in the law, traditional leadership,
churches, and civil society to stop this uncivilised exercise forthwith,” he

Kasukuwere and Dinha deserve a rebuke for their crass demagoguery. Those who
want to show the world what Smith did should go to Matabeleland to see what
the Fifth Brigade did. There are 20 000 people buried in mines down there
such as Belagwe which illustrate what Zanu PF was prepared to do to anyone
who opposed its rule.

What has been so encouraging about the Livingstone meeting is that Zanu PF’s
claims that reports of torture have been exaggerated have now been dealt a
blow. None of the heads of state bought the denials. Instead they called for
“an immediate end to violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment and any
other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of the GPA”.

Patrick Chinamasa said that at a special cabinet meeting the MDC-T failed to
come up with a single example of politically motivated violence.

If Zanu PF is going to make misleading comments of this sort the MDC-T
should publicise the examples they have of violence so the public can judge.
Shouldn’t be too difficult. Perhaps Jestina Mukoko can help. And does
anybody remember Tonderai Ndira whose memorial was held this week?
We do.

What happened to the president’s visit to Ecuador? We were told that it
would take place in December but nothing has transpired. The proposed visit
was a product of Archbishop Walter Crespo’s visit to Zimbabwe last year. It
was thought Mugabe might stop off there on his return from the UN General
Assembly last September. But they had a coup instead!

Could somebody tell us why there was so much hoopla surrounding Crespo’s
visit here and no mention of the Ecuador visit? It has just disappeared off
the map.

The shrillness with which the state media are trying to outshout their
handlers’ detractors continues to defy the laws of absurdity. The vitriol,
normally reserved for political opponents, has apparently spilled over into
the arena of sport.

The Sunday Mail back page led with a story entitled “Dembare crash out.” The
story referred to MC Alger’s overturning of a 1-4 defeat suffered at the
hands of Dynamos in the first leg by thrashing the latter 3-0 in the second

It starts off by boldly stating that the game was “The great Algerian

“An Egyptian buffoon, masquerading as a referee, played the devil’s advocate
for the benefit of Algerians as Dynamos’ 2011 Champions League dance came to
a crashing end amid chaotic scenes at Stade Omar Hamadi,” it goes on to say.

The story gives media lecturers –– keen on giving their students examples of
gutter journalism –– ample material. The writer seems more aggrieved than
even the Dynamos players taking it upon himself to make accusations
bordering on the xenophobic.

The story adds: “Only a lunatic can argue against the notion that Egyptian
referee Fahim Omar handed the Algerian side passage into the next round of
what is supposed to be Africa’s premier club competition.”

While we sympathise with Dynamos and also found the referee’s conduct
questionable, the reporter should not have succumbed to the urge to lash out
at the referee. That should be the coach and players’ job!

According to ZBC, youths have embraced government’s indigenisation drive by
launching the “Millionaire’s cash flow club” in Harare to provide financial
literacy among the youths.

“The flight to indigenisation has taken off and in it are youths who have
taken the initiative of undertaking projects to economically liberate
themselves,” we are told.

The club is meant to “educate people to take control of their financials”

“The club will provide a forum for people who want to improve their
financial well-being, to share ideas with other international cash flow
clubs through exchange programmes,” said Tamuka Chiota, a member of the

We just hope that the millions being referred to here are not Zim dollars!

As we said last week, Henrietta Rushwaya and controversy never seem too far
apart. Following the furore over her appointment to the vice presidency of
the Affirmative Action Group its eight-member committee unanimously agreed
to resign over the “individualisation and personalisation” of the
empowerment organisation.

Philip Chiyangwa had claimed to be the sole appointing authority and that
all the members had no option but to accept the founding council’s new

Seemingly unperturbed by these developments, he spoke glowingly of Rushwaya,
describing her as “a teacher, college lecturer, the first Zimbabwean woman
football CEO, one of the two women football CEOs worldwide, a visionary
leader who brought the Brazil football team to Zimbabwe in 2010.”
He went on to describe her as “an intelligent empowered businesswoman, a
miner, a farmer, a leader par excellence. (She is also) an advocate for
women’s rights”.

Since we are a lot less smitten we will add some more material to her

She was found guilty of authorising trips for football teams without
consulting the Sports and Recreation Commission, among other offences.
Zifa tried and found her guilty of the offences. In the circumstances we
find it difficult to understand why the police have not taken action.

Recent utterances by the police concerning the MDC-T and holding of rallies
cannot go unchallenged. The Zimbabwe Republic Police have been reported as
saying that the MDC-T will have themselves to blame if the police refuse to
grant them permission to hold rallies in future as the party failed to
conduct a police-sanctioned rally which was scheduled for the past weekend.

Police Spokesperson, Inspector James Sabau, told ZBC that the ZRP
“sacrificed the little resources at their disposal by deploying equipment
and manpower for the expected event but no one turned out” (sic).

“We are leaving no stone unturned in finding out why this party let the
police release officers and other equipment to provide security at the
grounds. We were surprised as the police were the only ones at the grounds
as the party supporters did not turn out, so what we are saying is that we
are no longer taking them seriously,” said Sabau.

“The police have warned MDC-T not to cry foul as they risk not being given
permission to hold rallies in the future as they are taking the police for
granted,” the ZBC reporter pitched in.

This is quite rich coming from the police who have –– on countless
occasions –– frustrated the MDC-T’s right to hold rallies in Harare for one
reason or another. Only last month they banned three MDC-T rallies, saying
Zanu PF had either booked the venues or was holding its own rallies in close
proximity to where the MDC-T wanted to assemble.

As far as we know freedom of assembly is still etched in our constitution
and the seeking of police clearance is supposed to be a formality –– not a
road block.

Finally we enjoyed Keith Simpson’s BBC interview with Col Gaddafi’s son,
Saif al-Islam.

Saif was asked if his father and family would seek asylum in Zimbabwe or
Venezuela. He just smiled. Apparently, despite the trials and tribulations
Gaddafi faces including a raging civil war, some things were just

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Sadc Troika finally flexes its muscles

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:28

Paidamoyo Muzulu

AFTER years of predictable talk-shops by the Sadc troika on Zimbabwe, the
regional body’s organ finally sharpened its teeth and stood up to President
Robert Mugabe’s evasive tactics by directly confronting the elderly leader
at their one-day summit in Livingstone, Zambia, last Thursday.
Since the formation of the coalition government in 2009, Mugabe had
continuously shifted goalposts without any sound of murmuring from his
regional counterparts, resulting in the opposition MDC accusing the Sadc of
protecting one of their own.

But the Livingstone summit took an unprecedented twist with the Heads of
State taking off their gloves and condemning Zimbabwe’s insufficient
progress in implementing the GPA signed to bring stability to the country in
the aftermath of the bloody 2008 presidential  election run-off.

The Heads of State demanded an immediate cessation of political violence,
intimidation, hate speech and political harassment which have reared their
ugly heads after only a season of relative calm.

The troika bared its teeth by promising to set up a panel to work with South
African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team and the Joint Monitoring
and Implementation Committee (Jomic) to ensure an effective monitoring,
evaluation and implementation of the GPA. The panel is also expected to
produce time frames as well as to provide regular progress, the first of
which would be presented at the next Sadc extraordinary summit.

The Sadc Troika’s stance took everyone by surprise. Zambian President Rupiah
Banda categorically warned that the region should be wary of events in North
Africa lest they be replicated in the region.

This unexpected resolution seemed to have alarmed Mugabe and his Zanu PF
party. In its response, Zanu PF accused Sadc of attempting to meddle in
Zimbabwe’s internal political affairs saying no one was qualified to
“dictate” to the country which political path it should walk.

Sadc had at its three previous troika summits in Mozambique and South Africa
respectively called for the inclusive government’s strange bedfellows to
make up.

At the January 2009 Sadc meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, Zimbabwean
political leaders were given until February 5, 2009 to pass Constitutional
Amendment 19 that would pave way for the appointment of the MDC into

The inclusive government was rocked by power wrangles prompting the Sadc to
hold a troika meeting in Maputo, Mozambique. That meeting called on the
coalition to meet and discuss the 27 outstanding issues that were not dealt
with in Pretoria. The MDC had earlier disengaged from cabinet causing Sadc
to act without delay.

The previous troika in January 2010 held in Mozambique noted with
appreciation the efforts of the Sadc facilitator in assisting Zimbabwe to
fully implement the GPA and urged the parties to implement decisions made.

What remains to be seen is whether the Sadc can remain resolute in the face
of attacks on the person and office of the regional body’s appointed
mediator, President Zuma, by Mugabe and his acolytes.

University of Zimbabwe Law Professor Lovemore Madhuku said although the Sadc
Troika’s recommendations would be difficult to implement, Mugabe was shocked
by its decision and would continue trying to manoeuvre his way off the hook.

“Mugabe will try to intimidate Sadc, employing long delays in implementing
the resolutions. He will play hard ball by querying the status of the troika’s
decision and call it unfair,” said Madhuku.

Madhuku argued that Sadc had done its best by speaking out but now had to
revert to former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s quiet diplomacy for

“Sadc cannot flex its muscles beyond speaking out. It does not have the army
to back up its stance. It can only achieve more by continuous engagement and

Political commentator Charles Mangongera concurred with Madhuku saying Sadc
could not do more than speaking out.

“There would be some resistance from Zanu PF hardliners since Sadc does not
have a mechanism to back up its resolutions. It can only continue issuing
strong, candid political statements against the regime,” Mangongera said.

Mugabe and Zanu PF were clearly rattled by the troika’s outcome and counter
attacked by denigrating anyone associated with the troika’s decision as
willing tools of neo-colonialists and puppets of the West.

Mugabe even took pot shots at Zuma at a Zanu PF central committee meeting in
Harare on Friday. He said the function of facilitators was “to mediate and
not dictate” solutions to feuding parties.

The state-sanctioned media’s columnist Nathaniel Manheru and the
vituperative Jonathan Moyo went overboard in the state media. The two
slammed Zuma for his “indecisive leadership and being a willing puppet of
the West”.

Moyo wrote in the Sunday Mail that “the mere fact that President Zuma of
South Africa voted for the atrocities that the US and its Nato allies are
committing in Libya under UN Resolution 1973 makes him an undesirable Sadc
facilitator on the political and security situation in Zimbabwe. Zuma can no
longer be trusted if he ever was.”

Such Zanu PF reaction informs the world    of two main issues:  that  Sadc
has turned a new leaf´in handling regional problems and that the MDC-T made
some headway in its diplomatic shuttles prior to the Livingstone summit.

The resolution was the first stinging rebuke Mugabe received from his
counterparts since 2007. They were forthright and candid in their
recommendations unlike in the past when they drew up vague resolutions.

On the other hand Tsvangirai’s whirlwind diplomatic tour soliciting support
against Mugabe seemed to have yielded positive results. The regional leaders
acknowledged for the first time that Mugabe was persecuting his political
enemies using state machinery.

Mugabe’s machinations were laid bare and the Sadc guns were on target for
once. It remains to be seen who blinks first. However, one result is very
obvious — Sadc has started a new course and it remains to be seen how long
it can keep on that path.

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Zim’s reckless anti-Sadc rhetoric

By Ibbo Mandaza

THE outcome of both the re-election of the Speaker of Parliament on March 29
and the recent meeting of the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security
Cooperation on March 31 constitute sufficient warning lights to the effect
that the balance of forces attendant to the Zimbabwe political process are
fast turning against the power mongers in the state.

Thus, those in Harare, for so long spoiling for a fight and unwilling to
make the government of national unity (GNU) and its inclusive government
proceed as originally designed, need to take note and cast aside the
reckless rhetoric that has accompanied policy statements on the economic
front, and the arrogant disdain in the face of the Troika’s pronouncements
on Zimbabwe last Thursday.

First, the re-election of the Speaker and the suggestions and conclusions
that MPs voted across party lines; or, more significant, that MDC-T’s
Lovemore Moyo could not have been re-elected without the critical support
from some of Zanu PF’s MPs.  Rather than any one on the Zanu PF’s side
crying over spilt milk, it would be more useful to reflect and consider for
a moment the extent to which such an outcome, the second time around, might
reflect the growing convergence, across the perceived political divide and
towards a consensus about obvious national priorities, including the need to
have the GNU and its inclusive government succeed in its twin mission of
national reconciliation and economic recovery.

To put it simply, there is a fifth column within the Zimbabwean state,
purporting both to represent the “securocrats’’ who, according to this
thesis, are opposed to the MDC and its involvement in the GNU and reflect
the mainstream Zanu PF thinking.

All this is reflected in the manner in which, inter alia, the state media is
piloted in the hands of a self-appointed “prime minister’’ who, in the words
of one senior Zanu PF politburo member and cabinet minister, “is accountable
to no one but himself’’! messages carefully crafted and orchestrated so as
to create a convenient world view which, though out of sync with the reality
on the ground, is systematically projected as the view of the party, of the
president, “Head of State and Government, and Commander in Chief of the
Armed Forces”, etc, of the state itself, of the majority of Zimbabweans!

So, it is this little fifth column — made up of no more than five or seven
persons, including the self-appointed “prime minister” — that has claimed
and assumed a most disproportionate space in the body politic of Zimbabwe.
And as long as no one within the Zanu PF establishment has stood up to it
publicly, the little fifth column appears to be the state itself, writ large
and indispensable.  In reality, however, this is a downright reckless and
dangerous lot which, in the not-too-distant future, is bound to be
shipwrecked as the majority of Zimbabweans, tired and impatient with the
dangerous pranks of a few malcontents, lend their support to the emerging
convergence across both Zanu PF and the MDC.

Second, the outcome of the meeting of the Sadc Troika held in Livingstone,
Zambia, last Thursday.  The fifth column is understandably wounded, even if
its response to the tough message from the regional body is nothing less
than myopic and even delusional.

Take, for example, this excerpt from The Saturday Herald’s columnist last
week: “While Zanu PF has all along depended on Sadc support in its fight
against imperialism, it should remember that in the final analysis, it may
have to confront imperialism alone.  This urges for a none-but-ourselves
And, probably through the same pen, the strident editorial in the last
Sunday Mail, a scandalous attack on South Africa and its president whom the
paper describes as “a dishonest broker”; a position regrettably echoed by
Jonathan Moyo who, in my view, is otherwise more informed than his novice
editor at The Sunday Mail and his colleague at the Ministry of information.

Sadly, such reactions constitute an indictment on the Zimbabwe state itself,
as long as no one therein stands up to distance the country from the most
undiplomatic of utterances against a sister country and its head of state.
But even President Robert Mugabe himself cannot be excused, not least for
suggesting, as he did in his statement to the Zanu PF central committee last
Friday, that Sadc is noble only when the regional body is on his side!
The truth is that Sadc (inclusive of Zimbabwe!) which, contrary to the
assertions of the Saturday Herald’s columnist, has never been
anti-imperialist, is merely responding to the reality of global politics,
including the ascendancy of the “doctrine of interventionism” such as we are
witnessing not only in North Africa but also in Sierra Leone a few years
ago, and now in the Ivory Coast.

In this regard, there might be significance in the fact that South Africa
had been guest in Mauritania for the Ecowas Summit on the Ivory Coast on
March 29, days before the Sadc meeting in Livingstone.  Reports from there
indicate that Nigeria in particular had politely and diplomatically advised
South Africa — and by implication, also those other members of Sadc
concerned —  against meddling in Ivory Coast where Ecowas, together with the
African Union (and the “imperialists”!), had decided to intervene to make
good an election outcome gone wrong: a glaring red card for Gbagbo!
Could it be that the South African president and the other Troika members
had taken a leaf from Ecowas, including the happenings in North Africa
reference to which President Rupiah Banda of Zambia made during the meeting
in Livingstone?

Intervention, whether military or otherwise, should remain an anathema in
global politics, regardless of whether it is at the hands of imperialists,
as in the case of Iraq, a combination of imperialists and the diplomatic
support of such neighbours as the Arab League and Nigeria and South Africa,
as in the case of Libya, or directly by Ecowas, as in the case of Ivory
Coast.  Ultimately, it should always be the responsibility of the citizens
of a country to determine its destiny.

However, it is naïve to expect that global politics will always play out
according to that book, least of all that this should be so when the rest of
the world regards you as a “rogue state”, when even the best of your friends
conclude you are now not only a liability, but also a spent force and a
danger to the survival of your country and stability of the region.

Indeed, the pronouncement by the Sadc Troika amounts to “intervention” in
Zimbabwe, however benign in real terms and regardless of how offensive it
might be to those concerned in Harare.  This marks a drastic shift in the
balance of forces within Sadc and the AU alike, responsive as these bodies
are bound to be in the face of global realities, including a “UN Chapter
 VII”, as the basis upon which intervention per se appears to be premised.

It might be that South Africa has as yet no coherent foreign policy or that
it has tended to act impromptu on various issues, including Zimbabwe. But it
is self-deception and even delusional for anyone in Harare to believe that
South Africa cannot, even when forced to do so impromptu, pluck up the
courage and capacity to act on Zimbabwe, as an expression of its national
interest, in defence of its capitalists (including the mining houses whose
share prices tumbled last week on the back of threats of nationalisation in
Harare), or at the promptings of international capital and its

For those who have self-appointed themselves the indispensable “think tank”
in the Zimbabwe state, this is neither  the occasion for arrogant disdain of
warnings from Sadc, nor for reckless rhetoric that has so far scared many an
investor and prevented Zimbabwe from capitalising on its enormous human and
material resource base and potential.  This is the time for a reality check
on the part of the fifth column, to decide whether to join the mainstream of
political convergence that characterises Zimbabwe today, or continue with
reckless abandon, to your own peril in the not-so-distant future.

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Comment: Rough ride at Livingstone

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:43

DOES President Mugabe understand why he had to sign the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) and appoint a government under its terms?

It seems not.

He had to submit to the GPA terms because Sadc states could not accept that
he had won a legitimate election in 2008. What they witnessed was an
election marred by intimidation and violence. So they harnessed the
president and his party to the opposition MDC-T and MDC-M. This, they
assumed, would lead to political stability and economic growth.

It didn’t because Zanu PF tried to subvert the arrangements set out in the
GPA. It was in denial about the MDC-T’s electoral advance and resolved upon
a reversal of fortune. This, as Morgan Tsvangirai pointed out to regional
heads of state in his recent tour, could only be achieved by resort to
violence and posed a mortal threat to the success of the next electoral

Despite claims to the contrary Zimbabwe has repeatedly ignored Sadc’s
electoral rules set out in 2004 at Grand Baie and the regional grouping
could not afford to have the world watch it do so again. Which is why Mugabe
got such a rough ride in Livingstone last week.

Mugabe and Patrick Chinamasa made spirited attempts to pretend that reports
of violence were MDC-T fiction which could be safely ignored. “After all,
which country is free of violence?” the president disarmingly asked upon his

It didn’t wash. Mugabe was put in the dock at Livingstone, his delaying
tactics blocked.

There followed the central committee meeting last Friday where Zanu PF’s
resentment of Sadc leaders mounted, leading over the weekend to vitriolic
statements in the state press. You would have thought we were at war against
South Africa!

The Sunday Mail’s charge of “duplicity” against Zuma and the suggestion that
“his disconcerting behaviour had become a huge liability not only to South
Africa but also to the rest of the continent”, will have its consequence in
a less indulgent view of Zimbabwe in Pretoria. George Charamba’s attempts to
distance the government from the paper’s leader writer were unconvincing.
There can be little doubt the attack on Zuma represented official thinking
and it was typically delusional.

Sadc has the full backing of the AU for its Zimbabwe diplomacy. Most African
states will have been appalled by the tirade against Zuma who has worked
hard for national reconciliation in Zimbabwe and economic revival. The
hostile stance of a captive media will have simply isolated Mugabe further
and confirmed in the region what the MDC-T has been saying all along about a
problematic dictatorship.

While Zuma’s office referred politely to the need to follow diplomatic
channels if Zimbabwe wanted to learn more about South Africa’s foreign
policy — also the subject of the Sunday Mail’s vitriol — it would be
interesting to see how the animosity of the gang around Mugabe pays off in
the weeks and months ahead in the absence of any friends.

The best thing to come out of the events of last weekend was the Livingstone
Communique´. It was unambiguous. The Troika of heads of state expressed
concern over the political polarisation obtaining in the country which was
characterised by violence, intimidation and arrests. It therefore called for
“an immediate end to violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and
any other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of the GPA”.

It’s a tall order. Zanu PF and its suborned security arms will have to
demonstrate markedly better behaviour from now on. Above all the law must
not be abused to punish political opponents.

The GPA calls for media diversity which is not happening beyond a handful of
newspapers while the commission promoting healing is moribund.
Worse still, the new constitution already looks like a lame duck and not the
robust defender of our rights that we hoped for.

It’s not too late to change direction. Sadc has proposed the establishment
of a three-member panel to assist the South African facilitation team and
Jomic to evaluate implementation of the GPA . It is progress of a sort. But
without political will the prospects of change are slim.

At least Sadc has signalled it is prepared to adopt a more robust approach
in its dealings with an increasingly rogue regime in Harare. Diplomacy
hopefully  will be a little less quiet from now on.

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Candid Comment: Policy inconsistency toxic for business

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:41

By Itai Masuku

THE major problem in this country is an inconsistent policy environment for
business.  Laws get changed at whim, they are reversed and the next thing is
you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. Just maintaining the status
quo, where it’s achieving desired results, is acceptable.

The issue of our indigenisation policy has been belaboured in the media, but
it only belies the inconsistent manner in which our country is run. It’s
very difficult for business to plan because of an erratic policy
environment. As you know, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. No wonder
we have so many business failures at present. It has nothing to do with what
Zanu PF extremists now call “tsvanctions”, it is the general economic policy
environment that is not conducive to proper business planning.

In this country business has been forced into short-termism, hence the
tendency to profiteer whenever the opportunity arises. So it’s from this
premise that our economy has been running. Even the growth rates that we
project could be much better and greater if there was a predictable
environment. The mining sector, for all its optimism since last year, has
had cold water poured over it. Mining has been the only performing sector
post-dollarisation benefiting from the general firming of mineral
commodities on the world markets.

That development has been arrested, and as a reflection, international
prices for shares in Angloplats, Aquarius and Zimplats took a knock as of
last week and continue to decline. Obviously the contagion is stronger on
the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, where we have already seen many counters
heading south, some losing up to 50% of their value in within a week.

Last year government announced it would phase out car imports and restrict
imports to cars less than five years old, which is the same as brand new by
this country’s standards. Then there was policy reversal, the government
listened to complaints from its constituency, or at least we hope so. But in
the first place, how had these laws come into existence without adequate
consultation with the relevant sectors?

Again at the beginning of the week we read that commuter omnibuses with a
carrying capacity of less than 26 passengers might be banned?  Is this
because the government has imported a new lot of buses for Zupco? Herein
lies the problem, our policy is always dictated by changed circumstances and
does not reflect any forward planning. The changed circumstance may be
simply fortuitous or coincidental. We don’t really know how Zupco, which had
literally gone bust, acquired those buses. It may be just another of the so
many one off donations.

Shall we now change policy because of that? And besides, the last lot of
Zupco from our friends in the east didn’t last long. Has anyone seen any of
those FAW buses on our streets since? The biggest problematic factor in our
policy inconsistency is the greed factor. Usually when there is a new law,
there’s some big shot ready to gain from the new policy.

Before it was made mandatory that all vehicle licence plates should have the
Zimbabwe bird foiled on them some 20-odd years ago, I was surprised to find
that one favoured company was already producing them long before the law was
even passed. As for the current mandatory vehicle licence plates, which cost
US$165 apiece, we also understand that some big shot is the beneficiary of
this law, and perhaps the sole manufacturer.

We have seen a similar situation with the inclusion of designated entities
in the new mining indigenisation laws. We are also made to understand that
of all indigenisation proposals that are going to be submitted by the
foreign companies, some crafty minister is getting himself a piece of the
action in each company. So far, about 400 companies have submitted their
proposals. Surprised? Not really, a former secretary of finance earned
himself the name Mr 10%, as he demanded a 10% cut in every lucrative deal
from which Zimbabwe was supposed to benefit. In fact, a Swedish company
refused to locate a proposed truck assembly plant in Chinhoyi because it
wouldn’t go through with the “incentive”.  God help us.

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Editor's Memo: Reality check for Mugabe at Sadc

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:39

By Dumisani Muleya

SADC leaders treated President Robert Mugabe with kid gloves for a long
time. This is probably because he is one of the founding members of the
organisation, even though he was not involved in the initial discussions by
leaders of the Frontline States.

Mugabe was also somewhat immune to criticism because he is a liberation
struggle figure. Besides, he ran a country relatively successful before he
ruined it through disastrous policies. In addition, Mugabe is one of the
most erudite leaders around and previously a respected leader.

What made it even more difficult to censure him is that most Sadc countries
were run by authoritarian leaders who had also failed to manage their own

Sadc leaders thus closed their eyes, ears and mouths (the see no evil, hear
no evil, speak no evil syndrome) when his regime opened killing fields in
the south western and Midlands regions soon after Independence in 1980 in a
bid to crush opponents and consolidate power.

Mugabe was brutally campaigning for a one-party socialist state and
president-for-life as is now evident. His regime even tried to assassinate
Joshua Nkomo in pursuit of power and other evil agendas.

Throughout the fierce repression and massacres of the 1980s, crackdown of
the 1990s and the onslaught after 2000, Sadc leaders remained mum as Mugabe’s
regime ran amok.

However, there were simmering undercurrents of anxiety and resentment among
some Sadc leaders in the process. The transformation of the original Sadcc
to Sadc in 1992, followed by the rise of Nelson Mandela in 1994, also
changed the situation.

When he assumed the Sadc chair in 1996, Mandela consolidated democratic
gains in the region and brought a new way of doing business. Mandela’s
chairmanship was engineered by former Botswana President Quett Ketumile
Masire and his allies.

A year after he became Sadc chair, Mandela took the bull by the horns —
challenging Mugabe’s hold on the organ and its parallel modus operandi. That
started a bruising battle which would only end in 2001 with Mugabe being
forced to relinquish the structure.

Mandela stepped up the pressure. Even though they worked together in trying
to resolve problems in Lesotho and Swaziland, among other issues, the rivals
fought everywhere across the region — in South Africa, Malawi and Angola —
over the organ. Mandela even flew to Harare in 1997 to confront Mugabe over
the dispute after a bitter fallout in Luanda. Masire and Joachim Chissano
tried to mediate, but the rivalry only intensified.

In August 1998 Mandela and Mugabe also clashed over the DRC war which split
Sadc into two major blocs.

But a watershed had been delineated. Mugabe was no longer a sacred cow.
After the Mandela era and the departure of Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda
and Masire, coupled with the earlier death of Samora Machel (the Frontline
States leaders), Mugabe became fair game.

Some of the Sadc leaders to have quarrelled with Mugabe during the past
decade over his misrule and mismanagement include former Malawi president
Bakili Muluzi, Chissano, the late Zambian leader Levy Mwanawasa and Botswana
President Ian Khama.

Mugabe stormed out of a Sadc meeting in Lusaka in 2007 after clashing with
Mwanawasa. Prior to that, he had left a Lesotho summit in 2006 in a huff.
Sadc leaders also blocked Mugabe in 2003 from hosting their summit and took
it to Tanzania.

But even then Sadc leaders didn’t want to directly challenge Mugabe. Not
because they feared him, but largely out of revolutionary solidarity and

However, Mugabe’s luck ran out last week in Livingstone, Zambia. The Sadc
Troika took him on. Presidents Rupiah Banda of Zambia (Troika chair), Jacob
Zuma of South Africa (deputy Troika and also incoming chair and
facilitator), Armando Guebuza of Mozambique (outgoing Troika chair) flogged
Mugabe after years of tolerating his leadership and policy failures, as well
as arrogance and disdain.

The Livingstone summit was a breaking point and defining moment, a turning
point in Sadc history. It was a moment of truth in which Sadc read the riot
act to Mugabe. His angry reactions and the ranting and raving of his
panic-stricken propagandists, as well as hysterical editorials in the Sunday
Mail which had a fascist pitch, showed that he was subjected to a painful
reality check through a dramatic “shock and awe” treatment.

The Gaddafi-like frenzied insults against Zuma only made the situation
worse. Sadc was not intimidated at all and that’s why its facilitators are
around. Meanwhile, Mugabe and his terrified diehards are now beating a hasty
retreat through disclaimers, retractions and denials. There is another game
in town.

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