By Tichaona Sibanda
14 December 2009
ZANU PF's 5th congress ended on Saturday with the rubber-stamping of Robert
Mugabe as the leader for the next five years amid concerns the 'old man' no
longer has the 'conviction and ideas' to take the country forward.
The congress, held at a time when the party is deeply divided, also
confirmed Joice Mujuru as the senior first vice president. Reshuffling in
the presidium saw the 75-year-old former party chairman, John Nkomo, being
elevated to second vice president, while the Ambassador to South Africa,
Simon Moyo, was chosen as party chairman.
The delegates adopted a number of resolutions which many analysts believe
will set the party on a collision course with the MDC and SADC. The 5-page
resolutions castigate 'the MDC and their western handlers for orchestrating
efforts aimed at reversing land reforms.'
One of the resolutions was that Mugabe and ZANU PF negotiators would not
concede anything to the MDC, if Tsvangirai does not actively call for the
removal of the targeted sanctions.
Political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF have
run out of ideas, are totally incapable of thinking 'outside of the box' and
can do nothing other than point fingers and blame others for their own
Mutandiri was blistering in his criticism of ZANU PF, saying they continue
to issue statements that run counter to reality and common sense.
'ZANU PF is now caught in a mental rut and should stop patronizing people.
If you read through the resolutions, it contains threats to the MDC, the
Finance Minister, the new South African facilitation team and Econet. What
do you gain by issuing threats to these people and organizations? Asked
Mutandiri added that the country cannot afford to be led by a party that is
in denial about the realities of the situation on the ground, especially
when they're largely responsible for them in the first place.
Clearly showing that ZANU PF is going to take a hard line, and that the MDC
can dream on if they think Mugabe will discuss Tomana and Gono, the congress
agreed that party negotiators to the Global Political Agreement should not
make any concession to the demands of the MDC to have appointments of the
central bank governor and the attorney general annulled, as it deemed these
issues to be outside the framework of the GPA.
'We cease to entertain any discussion relating to the appointment of the
Central Bank Governor, Attorney General and Provincial Governors as these
fall outside the GPA,' one of the resolutions said.
Mugabe also launched a racist attack on Tsvangirai's choice for deputy
Agriculture Minister in the unity government, saying Roy Bennett was an
'offspring of a settler' and not Zimbabwean.
Mugabe told delegates; "The MDC asked for sanctions . . . they need to be
re-orientated. To the MDC I say, open your eyes. This is your country and
not for whites. Not the Bennetts. They are settlers, even if they were born
here they are offspring of settlers."
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor John Makumbe told the UK Observer
newpaper that Mugabe's speech showed desperation after almost 30 years in
'He was shouting and screaming about factionalism, but really he was saying
'we are dead' as a party. Levels of hatred against Zanu-PF are so high among
Zimbabweans that the congress is just a show and it is largely irrelevant to
the future,' Makumbe is quoted as saying.
Makumbe said the outcome of the congress sent a critical message to the MDC.
'They must not press the panic button. They are occupying the democratic
space and must stay the course. If they don't, they will lose the crucial
support of the SADC which helped them get this far.'
Another analyst, Oliver Mudyarabikwa, a former University of Zimbabwe
lecturer, said the communiqué confirms ZANU PF was a party in decline. He
said the resolutions were the very same old stupid excuses and blame game.
'There is no self confrontation on their party to accept that they messed up
the country. They are full of contradictions. Only last week, Mugabe said
they lost elections because of divisions, yet in their resolutions they
blame the western world, the NGO's, for losing,' Mudyarabikwa said.
MDC MP Pishai Muchauraya said statements from the congress should be viewed
as cheap politicking from a group of elderly people who have nothing more to
'They went to the congress to register their presence otherwise ZANU PF is a
party that represents the past. If they want elections we are ready for them
anytime,' Muchauraya said.
Observers said ZANU PF were now less interested in talks and concentrating
largely on consolidating their power, using the military and security
services to achieve their aims.
'You see they are no longer interested in talking about Gono and Tomana and
provincial governors, in total defiance of the SADC Troika pronouncement
that the issues were genuine demands by the MDC. Those were not MDC
resolutions but SADC resolutions, so you sense they're firing warning shots
at Zuma to see how he reacts,' Dewa Mavhinga said.
But an official in the Prime Minister's office told us they will not read
much into the resolutions, as it was nothing more than political posturing
by ZANU PF. 'I would ignore half of what is contained in the resolutions
because that is political posturing. How can they resolve not to allow the
implementation of any issues agreed in talks so far, before targeted
sanctions are lifted and the so-called pirate radio stations stop
broadcasting into Zimbabwe? This is not about the MDC but the welfare of the
people of Zimbabwe,' the official said.
But it wasn't just political posturing by Mugabe at the Congress. Delegates
from Masvingo, Manicaland and the Midlands provinces - known as the three M's
- reportedly distributed fliers and documents urging members 'to reclaim
their party from the presidium.'
Former Harare province chairman Hubert Nyanhongo is reported to have led a
group of youths that distributed fliers urging party members "to do whatever
possible to reclaim their party from unelected leaders".
Many delegates to the congress were also bombarded with mysterious text
messages (SMS) claiming that the country's security chiefs were not prepared
to salute Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The SMS messages also claimed that delegates would ditch Mugabe at the party
congress. As the Congress ended one of the resolutions urged the security
ministries to locate, arrest and take action against those who sent the
messages. The resolution laid the blame on Econet wireless, who issued a
statement over the weekend distancing itself from the text messages.
by Own Correspondent Monday 14 December 2009
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party have said the new
SADC mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis must be "patient", insisting that any
issues agreed in the ongoing power-sharing negotiations would only be
implemented when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has
successfully called for the lifting of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his
"There should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC formations without
corresponding and simultaneous redress of ZANU PF's concerns such as the
illegal Western sanctions, Western-funded pirate radio broadcasts and
Western interference in Zimbabwean internal politics through the funding of
parallel government structures," read part of the resolutions adopted by
Mugabe's party last Saturday.
The resolutions announced by ZANU PF secretary for administration Didymus
Mutasa appear to put Mugabe's party on a collision course with South African
President Jacob Zuma who took over the mediation role from former president
Thabo Mbeki and has demonstrated that he wants the power-sharing
negotiations concluded urgently.
ZANU PF's call on Zuma to be patient with Zimbabwe's political crisis and to
understand that the parties have "delicate, sensitive fundamental concerns
that cannot be resolved overnight" appears to reveal the party's displeasure
with Zuma's approach to the outstanding issues.
Zuma has already appointed a new three-member facilitation team headed by
Zuma's political adviser Charles Nqakula and including special envoy Mac
Maharaj and the president's international relations adviser Lindiwe Zulu.
In another resolution that appears clearly aimed at Zuma's ear, the party
said "no foreigners, individuals, corporates or national (sic) in whatever
capacity or any from time to time find themselves involved in aspects of
Zimbabwe's bilateral disputes have the right to impose a constitutional
order on Zimbabwe".
The resolution gives the impression that Mugabe and ZANU PF would not accept
a new constitution unless the document reflects the wishes and views of
their own party - regardless of what Zuma and the rest of the international
Constitutional reform is in fact the most important task for the
power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai in February and
which was guaranteed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
ZANU PF also appeared to be spoiling for a fight with coalition partner
MDC-T when it berated the former opposition party for demanding reforms
around the security forces, saying it has the privilege to remain in control
of the country's partisan security forces founded through the merger of the
liberation war forces of ZANLA and ZIPRA at independence in 1980.
"Zimbabwe's security forces are a product of the national liberation
struggle, belong to the people and are mandated to defend the country's
territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty," said ZANU PF.
"May I state this clearly and categorically, (that) as ZANU PF the defence
of our sovereignty rests with us and with no other. Any manoeuvres to tamper
with the forces will never be entertained by us," Mugabe said in support of
his party's resolution.
Mugabe has had to rely on the security forces since 2000 to prop up his
waning political career while many senior security officers have vowed never
to recognise Tsvangirai as leader.
The MDC-T is pressing for reform of the security forces that Tsvangirai's
party says have been heavily politicised.
The MDC leader announced last Thursday that his office had embarked on
reforms of the security forces despite resistance encountered from some
quarters of Zimbabwe's fragile coalition government.
The premier said his office was working with relevant ministries on a
programme to train members of the security forces on key governance issues
such as human rights as part of efforts to turn the army, intelligence
service and police force into non-partisan outfits that respect the laws of
the land and enforce them impartially.
The move by Tsvangirai appears calculated to beat hawkish elements in
Zimbabwe's armed forces and ZANU PF who have deliberately frustrated efforts
to regularly convene meetings of the National Security Council (NSC).
The council, which replaced the Joint Military Command (JOC) which was
allegedly behind last year's bloody run-off election campaign to retain
Mugabe, is supposed to meet monthly but has only met once since the
formation of a coalition government by the 85-year leader, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in February.
The NSC is the new security think tank of the country and comprises Mugabe
as chairperson, the two Vice-Presidents John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru,
Tsvangirai, Mutambara, co-Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe as well as
ministers responsible for finance, defence and the police Force.
All the country's top security commanders are ex-officio members of the
council. - ZimOnline
Monday, December 14, 2009
By Fortious Nhambura
THE African National Congress has promised its unwavering support for
Zanu-PF, saying it has always been indebted to the party for assisting the
South African liberation struggle and that of the whole region.
Addressing the just-ended Zanu-PF Fifth National People's Congress in Harare
on Saturday, ANC national executive committee member Cde Tokyo Sexwale
hailed Zanu-PF's contribution to regional liberation and said this should
never be overlooked.
Cde Sexwale was delivering a solidarity message on behalf of the ANC, its
leadership and South African Presi-dent Jacob Zuma.
"It is Zanu-PF that supported all of us in the Southern African region to
have the freedom we enjoy today.
"The importance of Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe and in the region cannot be
overemphasised in the quest for political freedom.
"Zanu-PF played a big role in bringing the end to colonialism, to racism in
South Africa and in the region.
"It is our sincere hope that this congress shapes the future of Zimbabwe and
the region," Cde Sexwale said.
"We as ANC and Zanu-PF remain as one. We know where we came from and we know
our history. What goes on in South Africa will eventually affect Zimbabwe
and what happens in Zimbabwe must affect South Africa," he said
Cde Sexwale said Zanu-PF should lead the way in ensuring the success of the
Global Political Agreement, economic development and poverty alleviation in
"The decisions reached at this congress will help inject life into the
inclusive Government," he added.
Cde Sexwale drew loud cheers from delegates when he called for the immediate
lifting of all forms of sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by Britain and
"We want to call on the world and everyone to recognise the GPA and lift any
sanctions imposed on the country."
Cde Sexwale urged Zimbabweans to safeguard the gains of their hard-won
independence for which many of their sons and daughters died fighting.
"Your enemies never criticise you, but they will (instead) destroy you, only
your friends will criticise you in a constructive manner. Zimbabwe should
always heed the call whenever South Africa criticises you."
Cde Sexwale took the opportunity to ask for Zimbabwe's support for the 2010
Fifa Soccer World Cup, saying his country would be sending a delegation to
brief Government on what support they would need.
In response, Zanu-PF passed a resolution at the end of the congress throwing
its weight behind South Africa as an able host that could successfully stage
the soccer extravaganza.
The ANC delegation joined other sister liberation movements who graced the
congress and delivered solidarity messages to the party. These included
Zambia's Unip, Frelimo of Mozambique, the Chinese Communist Party, and the
Cuban Communist Party, among others.
Posted: December 14th, 2009 | By Ray Hartley
IT passed relatively unnoticed, but it is worth remarking on the ANC’s
loving and fraternal message to Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF on Saturday.
Zanu-PF re-elected Robert Mugabe for another 5 year term, proving once and
for all that the party and the man who has ruined a country and demolished
democracy are one political entity undivided.
The ANC’s message, delivered by human settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale,
played heavily on Zanu’s role in assisting with the liberation of South
This is in itself somewhat of a historical falsification as it was Joshua
Nkomo’s Zapu that played a much larger role in solidarity with the
underground ANC and the ANC was not impressed with the way in which Mugabe
essentially destroyed Nkomo’s party after liberation.
Even without this short historical detour, past loyalty is not a good enough
reason for solidarity.
What about the present? What about the systematic destruction of the
democracy adn the failure to acknowledge electoral defeat? All of this
appears perfectly acceptable to Sexwale and the ANC.
The statement even went so far as to talk of how Zanu-PF should “continue to
entrench the democracy which you fought for so tirelessly over the years.”
Tirelessly? Over the years? This denial of the crushing oppression of the
Zimababwean people under a police state and the destruction of an economy is
The ANC should hang its head in shame.
Here follows the full text of the statement:
Message of Solidarity from the African National Congress to Zanu-PF on the
occasion of the 5th National People’s Congress in Harare, Zimbabwe
Saturday 12 December 2009
Delivered on behalf of the ANC by ANC NEC member Tokyo Sexwale, South
African Minister of Human Settlements
On behalf of the ANC and people of the Republic of South Africa, and on
behalf of the President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, the ANC wishes Zanu-PF a
very productive and successful congress.
Zanu-PF played a very important role in bringing about an end to racism,
colonialism, apartheid, and all forms of discrimination, and played a
leading role in ushering in freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe.
Zanu-PF supported the ANC and all other liberation movements in southern
Africa, in the quest for their freedom and democracy. It cemented political
and other ties with the ANC and the people of SA. Therefore, the importance
of Zanu-PF in the politics of Zimbabwe and the region cannot be
We trust that this congress provide s an opportunity for robust debate and
introspection and will help to breathe fresh life into Zanu-PF.
It is also our sincerest belief that much thought and ideas will emerge from
this congress including a leadership that will carry the aims and ideals of
Zanu-PF to greater heights.
Key amongst these should be to advocate the interests not only of the party
but of the collective citizenry of Zimbabwe and to continue to entrench the
democracy which you fought for so tirelessly over the years.
We trust that Zanu-PF will stay on course in this regard mindful of the
imperative to unite all Zimbabweans as one people even under these
We hope that Zanu-PF emerges as a strong force from this congress to address
the political and economic challenges that are facing the country. These
challenges include inter alia the consolidation of political stability,
economic recovery and development, poverty alleviation and to confront
various diseases which are taking their toll on the people of Zimbabwe.
We in South Africa came to learn not to deny the realities and to shy away
from the dangers of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, which took a toll on our
people. Our leadership in South Africa has taken the fight against HIV/AIDS
in particular to greater heights.
It is also our belief that the strength to be gathered from this congress
will inject more life into the functioning of the interim government formed
on the basis of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
We as the ANC will continue to work with Zanu-PF and all other parties in
the GPA. We wish to convey our sincerest hopes that Zanu-PF will lead the
way that will ensure that the decisions of the GPA are implemented in full.
We believe that the GPA has laid the basis of economic recovery and further
development for Zimbabwe. We want to take this opportunity to appeal to the
Zanu-PF leadership and all its members to support and chart a course through
this period of negotiations that should lead to a lasting solution to the
challenges that face Zimbabwe.
It is our considered hope that these negotiations should become a resounding
Our presence here as an ANC delegation is to send a message: that the ANC
and Zanu-PF have been one throughout the period of the struggle against
colonialism, racism and apartheid. The people of Zimbabwe and the people of
South Africa, under the leadership of these two organizations, have emerged
victorious against colonial oppression, to establish democratic rule in our
If things don’t go well in SA, Zimbabwe will be affected. Similarly, if
things don’t go well in Zimbabwe, we in South Africa will be affected �
because after all, we are only separated by a mere river, the Limpopo. At
heart, we are one people.
It is also important to engage in robust debates among one another as
comrades, to criticize one another where we believe solutions can be offered
in a constructive manner. Nelson Mandela always reminds us that the enemy
does not criticize you — he wants to see you fail. Only friends can
therefore level criticism on one another.
Our message at this conference, again, is to support your deliberations,
express our solidarity with the conference, and wish you well and success in
your quest to better the lives of all Zimbabweans and to consolidate your
When Tokyo Sexwale stands up at the just completed ZANU PF congress and
declares undying gratitude to ZANU PF because of their support of the ANC
during the South African liberation struggle, then we have to realise that
the deck is stacked hugely against the MDC.
And when the negotiations are suspended to allow the ZANU PF congress to
take place, then we had to take cognisance of the evident position of
strength that ZANU PF work from.
And, finally, when ZANU PF declares that there is nothing left to negotiate
as they have conceded all that they intend to concede, then we have to
acknowledge that the 'unity' government is now living on borrowed time.
Especially when you take heed of Mugabe's speech over the weekend in which
he stated that the government only has a 24 month life and that elections
should be prepared for.
In Mugabe-speak, that means that the various arms of ZANU PF - including the
armed forces, the militia and the war veterans - are to gird their loins and
prepare for battle. Not just any battle - a battle against the people of
Zimbabwe as his people beat their way back into office, back to being the
ruling party - a party that does not hesitate in killing their protractors.
But will the Southern African Development Community actually acknowledge
that not only are the negotiations now effectively over without any
agreement, but that those that were nominated and appointed as mediators
are, in actual fact, huge advocates for ZANU PF superiority in Zimbabwean
At a guess, I would say that SADC will do nothing - unable to step away from
their non-compliance to assisting Zimbabwe in achieving true democracy.
And whilst a few statements will be made in the free world, very little - if
anything - will be done to prevent to ZANU PF stance and advance.
Mugabe is an individual that believes he is better than everyone else, and
is a rabid racist at heart. He has sanctioned the land grab in Zimbabwe - an
ongoing systematic program that strips the land from the white commercial
farmers. The agricultural sector has collapsed completely and the country is
no longer capable of feeding itself.
And last week Mugabe made one of the most unbelievable statements yet. He
stated that whites have no place in Zimbabwe, and that they are the
'offspring of colonialists', implying that the whites in Zimbabwe are not
Now, coming from a person who is half-Malawian, this is a huge insult.
Not that making such comments are beyond Mugabe's remit - he has spent most
of his political life making some of the most absurd statements ever heard
on the face of the earth.
"I am Hitler - tenfold," is one example - and then his regime took a woman
to court for agreeing with him and calling him "a Hitler"
Living a lie is in Mugabe's DNA - and he refuses to accept the public choice
of the MDC as their new government.
Having the mediators supporting his party is just part of the lie that
Mugabe's leads. He will not even discuss with the MDC the option of sharing
power, even though his party was the loser in March 2008.
Mugabe holds SADC, the AU, the UN and the free world in utter disdain - but
will accept the dais when it is offered to him by these bodies - even though
his addresses have taken on a repetitive, ominous nature.
How does one counter the onward rush of ZANU PF? That is a good question and
one which only time will show.
But in the meantime, Mugabe continues to rule Zimbabwe without the public
mandate, without the agreement of the real elections winners, and certainly
his authority in the free world is questioned.
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man
Dec 13, 2009 9:52 PM | By The Editor, The Times Newspaper
The Times Editorial: Robert Mugabe is preparing to start his campaign for
another election battle against his rival in Zimbabwe's fledgling unity
government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The 85-year-old president made this clear on Saturday after being re-elected
leader of his Zanu-PF. "The inclusive government has a short life of 24
months," he said. '"So we must be ready for the elections and we must not be
defeated like we were last year. We must win resoundingly and regain the
constituents we lost."
Leaders of the ruling party were shocked at being beaten by Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change in the 2008 parliamentary poll - despite a
state campaign of intimidation against the opposition. The defeat forced
them to conclude a power-sharing deal with the MDC.
Since its formation in February, the unity government has been beset by
problems, including Mugabe's unilateral appointments of key officials, the
continued harassment of opposition supporters and farmers, and his refusal
to swear in Roy Bennett, the MDC's pick for deputy agriculture minister.
Mugabe has been in power for three decades and observers fear the next
election will see a repeat of the violence that blighted previous polls as
the Zanu-PF elite tries to rebuild its fast-eroding support base.
It is incumbent upon President Jacob Zuma, who has beefed-up his Zimbabwe
mediation team, the SA Development Community, the African Union and, if
necessary, the UN, to ensure this does not happen.
Before an election date is announced, the rival parties have to agree that
campaigning is monitored by sufficient independent international observers.
Voting would also have to be sanctioned by an independent commission, and
the security forces would have to safeguard all voters.
Zuma and SADC have their work cut out.
By Violet Gonda
14 December 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will not be attending the Climate Change
Summit meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark this week. It had been reported that
Tsvangirai would be taking a delegation of about 15 people to the conference
while President Robert Mugabe and his entourage would number 59.
The Zimbabwe Independent had reported that delegations from the two
Zimbabwean leaders would join an advance party already at the summit,
bringing the country's total representation to more than 80 people, a large
group for a bankrupt government.
However James Maridadi, the Prime Minister's spokesperson, said on Monday
that Tsvangirai was no longer going to the summit and that the decision was
"informed by revelations of a bloated Zimbabwe Government foreign travel
budget by Finance Minister Tendai Biti in his recent budget statement."
The Finance Minister told parliament last week that foreign trips by
government officials this year alone had gobbled up US$28 million from state
coffers, which was disproportionate to overall service delivery.
Meanwhile, Maridadi also said the decision was made in the spirit of unity
and in the spirit of promoting a single delegation from Zimbabwe. He said:
"Prime Minister Tsvangirai decided to stay at home and drive the Government
Work Program in order to ensure momentum through the holiday period."
About 110 heads of governements and high-level ministers converge in
Copenhagen this week to attend the final days of the Climate Change Summit,
which started last week. It is hoped a deal will be made at this biggest
ever climate talks to stop catastrophic climate change. US President Barack
Obama is expected to attend the last day of talks, where he is likely to
share the podium with controversial world leaders such as Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad of Iran, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Robert Mugabe.
The conference is costing more than the GDP of Malawi and has 30,000
delegates attending. Nearly all of them have flown to the conference, which
observers say is rather ironic - given that scientists say flying is one of
the major causes of climate change. Planes release huge quantities of
greenhouse gases, and they do this in the sky where it's even more damaging.
December 14, 2009
HARARE - John Nkomo, the most senior surviving member of the former PF-Zapu
leadership was sworn in on Monday to the position of the country's new
second Vice President.Nkomo, who was sworn in by President Robert Mugabe in
a ceremony at State House, immediately made an impassioned plea for national
healing and national reconciliation.
Nkomo replaces the late Vice President Joseph Msika. His appointment as the
country's second Vice President is in line with the 1987 Unity Accord signed
between Zanu-PF and Nkomo's former political, PF-Zapu.
"His appointment is a double fulfillment of a unity accord signed on the
22nd of December 1987 right here. We agreed that we were of one accord,
notwithstanding whatever differences that separated us, we were responsible
for the discord that separated us," said Mugabe in his congratulatory
"The Unity Accord recognises that there shall be two vice presidents
irrespective of who it shall be but shall be drawn from Zanu-PF and another
from PF-Zapu and this is embedded in our constitution, so it is that which
we are fulfilling."
Nkomo accepted the appointment at the brief ceremony with a rare call for
peace and reconciliation.
"I was involved in national healing and call upon all of us to ensure that
we heal this nation, that we reconcile as a nation and integrate as a nation
so that, hopefully, the organ on national healing, if I were to request it,
remains a permanent feature of this country," said Nkomo.
"Whatever peace we established should live beyond the inclusive government,
it is our responsibility that we ensure that there is peace in this country.
At the end of the day we are one and we have one country."
Nkomo said he is being asked to take up a gigantic task of filling the shoes
left by Nkomo whom he referred to as "Father Zimbabwe", as the rank and file
supporters of the ZAPU party that he founded in 1961 fondly called him.
"The most unfortunate thing for me is that I am being asked to walk into the
shoes of Father Zimbabwe after Cde Msika departed. I don't know whether my
feet are big enough to help me live up to the expectations of this nation,"
Mugabe said to Nkomo that his new task was no "child's play".
"We congratulate you and welcome you to this area of hard work, this is not
child's play, it's really hard work," said Mugabe.
The event was attended by Vice President Joyce Mujuru, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and several government
officials and parliamentarians. There were no foreign dignitaries present.
Nkomo is a former stalwart of PF-Zapu led by the late Vice President Joshua
Nkomo. The party united with President Mugabe's Zanu-PF in 1987. John Nkomo
takes over the post left by the late vice President Joseph Msika, who died
Under the 1987 Unity Accord, one of President Mugabe's two vice presidents
should come from the former PF-Zapu.
One of Zanu-PF's elderly statesmen, the widowed Nkomo was born in 1934 in
the Tsholotsho District of Matabeleland North province. He served as the
national chairman for Zanu-PF from 1999. In government he has served in the
capacities of Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy in1981, Minister of
State in the Prime Minister's Office (1982-1984),Minister of Labour,
Manpower Planning and Social Welfare (1988-1992)and Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare,(1992-1995).
Between 1995 and 1997, Nkomo was Minister of Local Government, Rural and
Urban Development, then minister in the renamed Ministry of Local
Government and National Housing, (1997-1999) and Minister of Home Affairs,
He then became Speaker of Parliament until 2005.
Eyewitness News | 3 Hours Ago
Zimbabwe's main cellphone operator on Monday it has traced anti-Robert
Mugabe SMSes sent out during last week's Zanu-PF congress to Sweden.
Delegates to the congress said they had received messages critical of Mugabe
and Vice President Joyce Mujuru.
Econet Wireless is doing all it can to distance itself from these SMSes.
Chief Executive Officer Douglas Mboweni said although the texts were sent
through an Econet number they actually originated in Sweden.
He said he contacted a Swedish phone company, named Tele2 Comviq, to tell
them to stop sending the messages.
Mboweni claims that millions of political messages are being sent through
the Swedish platform.
He saidt international laws had been violated.
One of the messages said Mugabe should be ditched as head of Zanu-PF at the
That did not happen, but these SMSes served to underline the deep divisions
that still exist within the former ruling party.
From The Sunday Standard (Botswana), 13 December
By Ngonidzashe Dzimiri
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu
Skelemani, last week dismissed recent accusations of sabotage by the
Zimbabwean government as a ploy to divert attention from the problems that
are besieging the unity government. Skelemani made the remarks during an
ad-hoc press conference convened to rebut Zimbabwean government allegations
that were published in the Botswana Guardian and the Zimbabwean government
mouth piece, The Herald. He said that the recent statements by the
Zimbabwean government, which come after recent reports that Botswana is
training MDC operatives in its army bases, are a cause for concern as they
only work to sour diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"It is not right that, instead of channeling their complaints through the
proper avenues like, for example, the Southern African Development
Community, or even approaching the Botswana government directly, the
Zimbabweans chose to engage in a smear campaign through the media," he said.
He added that the issues that the Zimbabwean government have raised are
unfounded, as the SADC Troika on Security was recently engaged to
investigate them, ultimately coming up with the conclusion that they are
false. "While the Troika has not yet formally revealed its findings,
preliminary reports point to the fact that the accusations are just
malicious," he said. Skelemani also said that both governments were handed
the preliminary reports by the SADC Technical Assistance Team at a recent
summit, and the Zanu PF led government is acquainted with the findings.
"It was established that we do not train MDC operatives in any of our army
camps, and all the supposed witnesses who were named by the Zimbabwean
government failed to provide plausible evidence. It must also be noted that
the Technical Assistance Team came to investigate these allegations at the
invitation of the Botswana government," he said. Skelemani added that the
Botswana government is not advocating for regime change in Zimbabwe, but is
rather calling for free and fair elections during which Zimbabweans will be
accorded an opportunity to elect a government of their choice. "As a
democratic country, we are totally against the present situation in
Zimbabwe, and we will continue to implore the Zimbabwean government to
exercise the democratic principles that the SADC advocates for. Botswana
knows of only one legal way through which leaders can assume power, and that
is through free and fair elections. We will not condone or appreciate
anything to the contrary," he said.
Skelemani added that Botswana is not aligned to any of the three political
parties wrestling for power in Zimbabwe, but is rather concerned about the
plight of Zimbabwean people. "We are not in any way promoting ideas of
regime change in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai travelled to Botswana to seek support
and update us on the Zimbabwean situation. Even Zanu PF leaders are welcome
to do the same. We have on many occasions extended such invitations to them,
but we have always been met with dead silence, not even an acknowledgement
of receipt," he said. On accusations that Botswana is using the American
radio station, Voice of America, to spread hate propaganda against the
Zimbabwean government, Skelemani said that the Botswana government has
absolutely no control over the content of the American broadcasts. "The VOA
station in Botswana is just a relay station, which has absolutely no control
on editorial content. Everything is done in Washington. In any event, the
Zimbabwean government did not have any problem when the VOA station assisted
them to overpower Ian Smith. It is only now when they are faced with
criticism for their undemocratic practices that they start to complain,"
By Lance Guma
14 December 2009
Education Minister David Coltart this weekend broke new ground by engaging
Zimbabweans in the diaspora via a teleconference call. The teleconference
was organized by the Council for Zimbabwe, a United States based group
working to 'serve the humanitarian and development needs of Zimbabwe by
leveraging the expertise and resources of the Diaspora.'
Zimbabweans from such diverse countries as Denmark, Canada, South Africa,
United Kingdom and others were invited to call a particular number which put
them in the teleconference with the Minister, who was in South Africa at the
Dominic Muntanga, a founder member of the Council for Zimbabwe, said
Saturday's teleconference was a non-political platform that allowed the
Minister to lay out his vision for education in the country while allowing
the diaspora to ask how they can help achieve that vision.
It began with Muntanga laying out what his organization does and then
Coltart spoke about the key issues around developing the education sector.
He spoke about curriculum development and the setting up of Academies of
Excellence in each of the country's provinces.
Callers from the diaspora then asked questions about how they could help
achieve some of these goals and what the education ministry's budget was.
One caller pointed out that when Coltart took over the ministry the budget
for 3 million children was about US$2 million, only 66 cents per child.
Coltart was also asked if he could facilitate legislation that would make
imported educational products duty free.
Coltart responded by saying there was no need to introduce such legislation,
as it was already in place. He said under the Private Voluntary
Organizations Act it was possible for groups outside the country to send
books and other equipment into the country on charitable grounds. He
explained that the Ministry of Education could also help groups clear their
donations with the customs authority.
With the Mugabe regime maintaining a stranglehold on the media, the use of
new media technologies are already beginning to make their mark in Zimbabwe,
opening up new frontiers for communication.
Eyewitness News | 4 Hours Ago
In a stunning about-turn, authorities in Zimbabwe have ordered South African
firms mining in the eastern Chiadzwa diamond fields to stop operations.
They claim the firms did not get clearance from the Environment Management
Authority (EMA) before they started mining.
The operations of Canadile Miners and Mbada Diamond Mining in Chiadzwa have
been controversial from the start.
The companies were awarded mining contracts for one of the world's richest
diamond fields by the Zimbabwe government - even though a British-registered
firm has a high court order saying it alone has a right to the claim.
Now Zimbabwe's EMA has stepped in.
The agency says Mbada Diamond Mining failed to carry out an Environmental
Impact Assessment Report before starting to mine.
Canadile and Mbada have been ordered to stop mining until they have carried
out the assessment and had it approved, which could take months.
The order represents a potentially huge loss of revenue for the companies
and for the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation - and it
will be interesting to see if it is abided by.
News - Africa news
Health officials in Zimbabwe said Monday measles had broken out in many
regions of the country, prompting a nationwide vaccination and immunisation
Seventy-two cases had been reported by Monday in 14 districts, and officials
said the outbreak was spreading to new areas.
Officials said most of the cases were among members of religious groups that
shunned conventiaonal medical treatment.
As a result, the authorities this week launched a nationwide vaccination and
immunisation campaign against measles and other preventable diseases for
children under five years old.
But they said they were meeting resistance to the campaign by members of
some religious groups opposed to conventional medicine.
However, poor weather, characterised by heavy rains, was hampering efforts
to distribute drugs and other medicines.
Harare - Pana 14/12/2009
By Alex Bell
14 December 2009
Concern has been raised about the reaction to ZANU PF's appointment of media
oppressor Jonathan Moyo to the party's Central Committee, after delegates at
the party's congress gave him a standing ovation over the weekend.
Moyo received the longest and loudest round of applause from delegates when
members of the Central Committee were announced at the end of the congress
on Saturday. All 10 000 delegates stood up when Moyo's name was announced,
while Robert Mugabe quietly smiled to see his former propaganda master back
in the party's inner sanctum.
The reaction has been described by observers as a worrying sign, as Moyo was
the party's chief spin-doctor before he was unceremoniously booted from his
position in 2005. His fallout with the party followed his registration as an
independent candidate for the legislative elections in the
Tsholotsho Constituency in March 2005. This was openly defiant of ZANU PF
who had reserved the post for a female candidate. Moyo was also fingered as
the architect of the so-called 'Tsholotsho Declaration' in 2004, which
sought to plot ZANU PF leadership changes. He then underwent a curious
transition to become a stern critic of Mugabe's regime, a transition that
has since been reversed in order to rejoin the ZANU PF ranks.
But it was Moyo's actions during his tenure as Minister of Information that
have observers worried, as he was the architect of strict media laws that
silenced the country's independent media and ensured that no independent
broadcasters could ever exist. During his tenure Parliament enacted the
Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialisation Act). These led to the
harassment of journalists, the expulsion of foreign correspondents, the
closure of newspapers, including the Daily News, and the closure of Zimbabwe's
first and only independent radio station, Capital Radio.
His reinstatement to ZANU PF's top structures, and the party's welcome
reception, is therefore a concerning move for the future of media in
Zimbabwe. Some analysts have argued it is his 'masterful' propaganda skills
that are needed to rejuvenate ZANU PF, which is beset by open division and
infighting, ahead of unconfirmed national elections. Other commentators have
further argued that Moyo's reinstatement is a clear sign from Mugabe that he
has no intention on following through on promises made in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), which include freeing the media space.
Loughty Dube, the chairman of media advocacy group MISA-Zimbabwe, told SW
Radio Africa on Monday that the independent media fraternity is right to be
concerned about Moyo's return. Dube questioned why ZANU PF would be so
welcome of his return, given his former criticism of the party, saying it is
"a possible indication that ZANU PF does not want real media reform." Dube
added that his reinstatement is also likely linked to Mugabe's repeated
calls for ZANU PF to prepare for elections, given Moyo's influential role in
ZANU PF's 2000 election campaign.
Dube continued that, although Moyo does not yet wield much power within the
media space it is likely that he will eventually be pushed into a commission
where his influence will be felt. Dube explained this is incredibly
concerning for the media fraternity, which suffered immeasurably because of
Moyo's media laws.
"After everything that has happened to media in Zimbabwe, mostly because of
people like Moyo, it is very worrying for the media to see him come back,"
Meanwhile there has been no clarification about what happens to Moyo's seat
as an independently elected MP, as he has now crossed the political floor
back to ZANU PF. There has been talk that a new legislative election within
his Tsholotsho North constituency needs to get underway, but there has been
no move in this direction. Some observers have argued that welcoming Moyo
back is a strategic move by ZANU PF to secure the Tsholotsho North
constituency's vote come election time.
by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 14 December 2009
OPINION: As the year comes to an end, we need to pause and reflect on
institution building as one of the enduring challenges of our time.
Why was Africa colonised? Why did it take long to reassert civil rights to
Is it not ironic that the people who colonised Africa chose to adopt it as a
The infrastructure built to support colonialism is still in situ. If the
settlers did not love Africa, why would they build real estate in the
It would not make sense to build permanent structure in a place where you
are not confident about the future?
Why invest in education if the intention was to annihilate native African
Contemporary Africa is a product of the choices made not just by native
Africans who were not strong enough to resist the intrusion by other
civilizations but the investment by the settlers who must have known that
the ultimate beneficiaries of their sweat would be the very people they
disliked in life.
The colonialist must not have been moved principally by a desire to deny a
future to natives otherwise the simple choice would have been to kill the
However, our past shows that the settlers really wanted to create a new home
and had to secure the resources to give them a promising and secure future
that was possible in their native lands.
We all want to advance our lives and pass on an inheritance to our
I am not convinced that it was God's intention that, for example, land and
mineral resources belong to people who are lucky just to be born in a
The minerals resources are hidden and it costs money to find them let alone
to uplift and process them for the market place.
Without the law, we are all animals and the law of the jungle would take
However, human civilisation has demonstrated that the rule of law is a sine
qua non for development and progress.
Without the law, the house I have the privilege of calling my own is not
really mine because anyone can claim the same right were it not for the law.
If there is no separation of powers, then citizens would be at the mercy of
the people vested with unfettered powers.
If power is concentrated in few hands the propensity to abuse it is high.
Any progressive society needs checks and balances.
Property rights are only relevant in environments where the rule of law is
Without an independent judiciary, the risk of self help schemes taking root
is high as people in the executive vested with power can easily be tempted
to use such power to advance their personal rather than national interest.
A democratic order requires institutions. It is in the arena of institution
building that we have been found wanting in Africa.
How do we build and sustain institutions? Most of us want to be led and
inherently believe our salvation lies in the benevolence of strong men.
This is not the case because God did not want it that way otherwise he would
have made us different and given more time in a day, for instance, to
leaders so that they could do what we cannot do for ourselves.
If God was smart enough to make us all human then we can benefit from each
other by understanding our purpose and how to work together for a common
We need to have shared goals and values.
We know how powerful organisations such as FIFA are. After all, Africa will
host the first soccer World Cup in less than six months.
FIFA is a federation of football associations and it represents citizens
organised into interest groups.
It is not a government but has power to decide how soccer is governed and
without it the sport would not be able to provide a living to the players.
The soccer loving public is all the better because of institutions like
Soccer is a game of rules. Without rules, the implications would be too
ghastly to contemplate.
The soccer industry is a global one whose economy is bigger than many
nations and yet an executive that is drawn from the members and presided by
a president selected by members governs it.
Without a business model, it is difficult to imagine how such institutions
can sustain themselves.
The genius of institution building is to identify a mechanism that can
ensure that resources required to administer its affairs are mobilized and
deployed for the good of the organisation.
The state as an entity is a creature of citizens. Without taxpayers the
state will wither.
No state can therefore afford to undermine the interests of citizens who
after all have the responsibility of giving it life.
Most of Africa's political institutions i.e. political parties are weaker
financially than churches. We all want to be well governed and yet we take
for granted the challenges of setting up institutions to guarantee us of a
My own personal experiences in being part of Africa Heritage Society
www.africaheritagerivonia.com have given me an insight into the African
I often get calls and emails from people who want assistance to advance
their business interests and personal careers in the hope that I can as a
Chairman of the organisation respond to all such requests.
When I remind people that I am only human and mortal, many are disappointed
as they expect the organisation to be me rather than an institution that
they must believe in.
I have always remarked that the only power people who do not have power is
the power to organise.
Imagine if we all believed in an idea and subscribed to it. How much power
could we garner?
I have often imagined how different Africa would be if we paused to reflect
on what makes nations and organizations great.
Great nations have institutions that inspire confidence.
Citizens need not be reminded that their voices can speak eloquently if they
Like a pyramid, human beings can organise themselves vertically by electing
among them people who can speak on their behalf rather than each individual
speaking at the same time.
There is no one who owes anything to anyone. However, by working together
like a quilt with a common thread/bond it is possible to convert the power
resident in each individual into collective power that can make a
On Friday, December 11, members of the AHS who are in the legal profession
hosted a Christmas party.
I was invited as a guest and my message to the audience was simple. Black
lawyers, for example, have to invest in their clients in as much as we may
want to build an empowered continent we cannot afford to assume that a
lawyer can be good if he/she is not given experience.
If we want corporate lawyers who reflect the majority in Africa then we also
must have corporate black players.
I often observed that blacks spent a lot of time imaging what whites are
doing to keep them down economically forgetting that whites are as human as
everyone of us and all they want in life is no different from what any human
being aspires for.
It may be the case that whites are concerned that blacks are stuck in the
past and not in the present where opportunities are open. If whites can do
business for gain they will without focusing on skin color as was done
before. When Africa ceases to be good to its promise whites will soon look
for other pastures just like many blacks in the diaspora have done.
What is remarkable in South Africa, for example, is that in each suburb
there is a club that provides a venue for gentlemen and ladies to network.
Members who believe in the power of networking finance such clubs.
They know that without such addresses it would be difficult and expensive to
As a Zimbabwean born South African citizen, I have often wondered how big
the Zimbabwean heritage economy in South Africa.
The numbers could be staggering. A million Zimbabwean born South African
citizens and residents who spent about R1 000, for example, on insurance per
month would be able to create a R1 billion a month economy.
But how easy is it to get the million people to wake up to set up a New
Mutual instead of believing that the salvation lies in Old Mutual.
There is nothing to stop such individuals to join the political institutions
in the adopted countries so that they can be the change they want to see.
However, many of us want other people to change while we remain helplessly
complaining about the things we can do something about.
I do hope that all of us who believe that Africa's better days are yet to
come will join us at AHS to make the face of Africa look like all of us.
If we choose to work together we can make the right noises and more
importantly we can secure the future on a foundation that we help architect
and construct. - ZimOnline
December 14, 2009
By Geoffrey Nyarota
THE most bizarre, perhaps most catastrophic, outcome of the just ended 5th
National Congress of Zanu-PF was that it was a massive slap in the face of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The Zanu-PF leadership did not mince its words on the unlikely prospect of
the ongoing negotiation around the Global Political Agreement (GPA) ever
delivering the desired result, the compromise, peace and national
development that Zimbabwe has been awaiting with bated breath.
"Congress has noted that the inclusive government brings the party into
partnership with ideologically incompatible MDC formations from which it
must extricate itself in order to defend its mantle as the only dominant and
ascendant political party that is truly representative and determined to
safeguard the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe," the Zanu-PF congress
said in a final communiqué on Saturday evening.
With such inflexible words, Zanu-PF could have finally sealed the fate of
the GPA; perhaps that of the government of national unity itself. In the
circumstances any continued pretence, for whatever reason on the part of the
MDC, that everything is working according to the dictates of SADC would be
an act of self-delusion that is tantamount to treachery of the faith that
the people of Zimbabwe have placed in the party and its leadership.
This willfully abject humiliation of the MDC by Zanu-PF was delivered in the
aftermath of Tsvangirai's own unguarded expression of optimism around the
Speaking in Cape Town on December 3, an upbeat Tsvangirai said he was
anxious to convince all skeptics that Zimbabwe was entering a new chapter of
abundant opportunity for Zimbabweans. He then again urged fellow countrymen
in the Diaspora to consider returning to participate in the rebuilding of
their devastated motherland.
Far from the sublime optimism expressed and the rosy picture painted by the
Prime Minister, the utterances emanating from the Zanu-PF conference appear
calculated to trap Zimbabwe in the old chapter of mutual suspicion,
despondency, violence and economic ruin.
That is unless SADC facilitator President Jacob Zuma rises to the fore and
surprises all by intervening with a clarion call for a much-needed
restoration of order. Otherwise Zanu-PF now appears more concerned only with
doing mortal battle with the MDC and delivering what in the party's scheme
of things must be the final blow on its rival.
The enthusiastic readmission of Professor Jonathan Moyo to the Zanu-PF
Central Committee amid much celebration and the categorical declaration by
Mugabe that the GNU has no life beyond 24 months are indisputable pointers
in this direction. We pray that what Zanu-PF envisages are elections that
are free, fair and totally devoid of violence.
In its resolutions, Zanu-PF lamented the fact that the GPA had joined its
hand in holy matrimony with the MDC. Zanu-PF said the MDC was an
incompatible partner, still bent on trying to force the reversal of the land
Listening to this obvious treachery on the part of its ally of the past 10
months must have been more of a painful experience to the MDC leadership
than to anyone else.
For that reason, the thunder of responding to the dramatic and traumatic
developments over the weekend should not be stolen from the MDC.
Traditionally, there has been a tendency for spokespersons of foreign
governments and civil society organisations to rush to preempt the MDC and
other Zimbabwean political organisations by issuing statements on
developments such as these that undermine the welfare, if not the very
existence of Zimbabwe.
The spokespersons in question have obviously been motivated by their
sympathy for the underdogs, the MDC, in particular.
Even if such organisations may have proceeded on the basis of good
intentions, the indecent haste with which they have issued statements has
unfortunately served to weaken politically the supposed beneficiaries of
They have unwittingly created the impression that they are the official
policy formulators or the ideological mentors of the MDC. They have thus
undermined the credibility of the MDC in the face of charges, however false,
that the party is a puppet of the West, while providing the Zanu-PF arsenal
with fresh ammunition as it seeks to demolish the MDC as a
foreign-controlled party. While the chances of Zanu-PF's subterfuge
achieving success are minimal, the international community should
nevertheless desist from rendering such assistance to the party.
By the time their messages of democratic support for the MDC are
disseminated to distant rural voters by Zanu-PF channels, the line between
fact and fiction is completely blurred.
The most memorable example of this was the somewhat witless statement - in
the Zimbabwean political context - which was made by former Prime Minister
Tony Blair in Parliament in 2004 when he stated that his Labour Party worked
hand-in-hand with the MDC. Former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
instantly seized on this stray gem and put if to effective use in casting
the MDC as puppets of the British. The MDC could have lost a few votes in
the 2005 parliamentary elections as a result.
One of the most critical factors in shaping former President Thabo Mbeki's
policy of "quiet diplomacy" on Zimbabwe could have been the speed with which
western governments hastened to issue statements on Zimbabwe, including
suggestions to Mbeki on how he should couch his own statements. Former US
President George W Bush was a culprit. Mbeki is an arrogant pan-Africanist
intellectual who does not take kindly to unsolicited advice on matters where
he feels competent enough to make his original pronouncements.
Instead of creating the impression that he was parroting statements
channelled through him from western capitals he elected to simply remain
It would be most desirable, in the interests of the long-suffering people of
Zimbabwe, if the first response to Zanu-PF's outrageously provocative
weekend assertions were to be made spontaneously either by the MDC or by
President Zuma, the facilitator of the process of negotiation.
On its part, the MDC has constantly proven totally incapable of or devoid of
capacity to re-assert its proprietorship of the profound sentiments
patronizingly expressed on its behalf. In fairness, third parties have often
intervened on behalf of the MDC in the absence of any coherent pronouncement
from the MDC when one was clearly required.
On the positive side, political parties other than Zanu-PF should derive
solace from the fact that the recall of Moyo is a manifestation of the
desperation currently prevailing in Zanu-PF.
Even if it stands doubtful that Moyo commands sufficient credibility to
restore the falling fortunes of Zanu-PF as demonstrated by the outcome of
the harmonized elections in March 2008, the parties preparing to challenge
Zanu-PF at the forthcoming elections would be ill-advised to dismiss his
arrival back at Zanu-PF with sleight of hand. Zanu-PF may be at its weakest
ebb, but it would be an act of folly if its rivals were to leave anything to
chance in their bid to restore Zimbabwe to full democracy and prosperity.
The MDC, in particular, being the party currently possessing the greatest
potential to replace Zanu-PF, must strategize to reinforce the effectiveness
of its information department to take on the challenge presented by the
combination of Moyo, George Charamba and Tafataona Mahoso as they exploit
the opportunities presented by the Zimbabwe Newspapers/Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings media behemoth in the absence, as of now, of alternative sources of
news on a regular basis.
BILL WATCH 44/2009
[14th December 2009]
The Senate will sit on Tuesday 15th December
The House of Assembly has adjourned until Tuesday 2nd February
Update on Inclusive Government
The South African mediation team returned to Zimbabwe on Monday 7th December to meet the three principals and the negotiating teams. They received a report from the negotiators on progress made in the thirty days decreed by the SADC Organ Troika Summit in Maputo. [“The Summit decided as follows: (i) the Political parties signatory to the GPA should engage in dialogue with immediate effect within fifteen(15) days not beyond thirty (30) days; (ii) the dialogue should include all the outstanding issues emanating from the implementation of GPA and SADC Communiqué of 27th January 2009; (iii) the Facilitator should evaluate progress and report back to the Chairperson of the Organ…...”]
The mediation team returned to South Africa on Tuesday evening to report to President Zuma who will in turn report to the chairperson of the Troika, President Guebuza of Mozambique. There has been no official statement on what has been agreed by the negotiators and what remains in contention, or on developments at SADC level. The three principals are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. today Monday 14th to consider the negotiators’ reports and possibly make an announcement.
Talks between the negotiators have been on hold since the 7th December and are due to resume on the 18th December. ZANU-PF negotiators sought time off to attend the ZANU-PF Congress; this week MDC-M negotiators will be out of the country on official business before then. Resolution of some of the outstanding issues has also been put in doubt, given the sentiments expressed at the ZANU-PF Congress [see below].
Swearing in of Second Vice-President
This post has been vacant since the death of Vice-President Msika on 4th August this year. Mr John Nkomo, newly elected Vice-President and Second Secretary of ZANU-PF will be sworn in as one of the country’s Vice-Presidents on 14th December [under the Constitution as amended by the Inter-Party Political Agreement the country must have two Vice-Presidents, both appointed by the President and/or ZANU-PF]. Ms Joice Mujuru, who retained her position as the other Vice-President and Second Secretary of ZANU-PF, remains in her position as a Vice-President of the country. In the President’s absence he can appoint either Vice-President as acting President.
Update on Constitutional Commissions
On Human Rights Day, 10th December, the Prime Minister said “… the President and myself will soon be announcing the composition of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the other commissions designed to provide support to the issue of peoples' rights”.
Last Week in Parliament
House of Assembly
The House sat on Tuesday and Wednesday only.
Budget: On Tuesday the Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech was debated and chairpersons of portfolio committees presented their reports on the Estimates of Expenditure, some critical of inadequate allocation of funds, especially for the Ministries of Media, Information and Publicity and Public Construction and National Housing. Also criticised was the Ministry of Finance’s failure to hold the customary pre-Budget consultations with members of Parliament. The Minister pleaded lack of time for consultations and undertook to consult early in future, with Parliamentarians, stakeholders and the public; he said he would aim at starting consultations for the next annual Budget in August 2010. [Note: The Public Finance Management Bill, as amended by the House, and now before the Senate, contains provision for the Minister to consult portfolio committees in the preparation and formulation of the budget, and for the committees in turn to conduct public hearings to elicit the opinions of stakeholders.]
Budget Bills: On Wednesday the Estimates of Expenditure were approved without further discussion and the Appropriation (2010) Bill [authorising government expenditure in accordance with the Estimates] was passed without amendments; this means that allocations of funds remained unchanged despite the complaints made in the House. Also on Wednesday the Finance (No. 3) Bill [giving effect to the Budget taxation proposals] was passed by the House, with substantial amendments proposed by the Minister. These two Bills have been transmitted to the Senate.
Other Bills: On Tuesday the Public Finance Management Bill and Audit Office Bill were passed, with amendments [all proposed by the Minister], and transmitted to the Senate.
Senate did not sit.
This Week’s Parliamentary Agenda
House of Assembly
The House will not be sitting. It is adjourned until 2nd February 2010.
Bills: The Second Reading debate on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, as amended by the House of Assembly, will continue. It remains to be seen whether ZANU-PF Senators will, as reported, seek to have the Bill further amended. Any amendments made by the Senate would have to be approved by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and then go back to the House of Assembly for further consideration in February. [Electronic version of amended Bill available on request.]
Four other Bills have been transmitted to the Senate after being passed by the House of Assembly [see above]:
· Public Finance Management Bill
· Audit Office Bill
· Appropriation (2010) Bill
· Finance (No. 3) Bill.
These four Bills are likely to be “fast-tracked”. Because the Appropriation (2010) Bill and the Finance (No. 3) Bill are both “Money Bills”, the Senate has no power to amend them, although it can recommend changes. The Finance (No. 3) Bill is urgent because it contains many provisions that will take effect from the 1st January 2010; the aim must be to gazette it as an Act before then. The other Bills are not quite so urgent. [Electronic version of Finance (No. 3) Bill as transmitted to the Senate – i.e., as amended by the House – available on request.]
State Funds for Political Parties
The Budget sets aside $4 million for political parties under the Political Parties (Finance) Act. [Electronic version available on request.] This must be divided among the three parties represented in Parliament in proportion to their shares of the total number of votes cast in the 2008 Parliamentary elections. The share-out must be notified in the Government Gazette by the end of January 2010.
ZANU-PF Congress Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th December
On Wednesday and Thursday the Politburo and Central Committee, respectively, endorsed nominations for the four-member party Praesidium: President Robert Mugabe as the President and First Secretary; Vice-President Joice Mujuru as Vice-President and Second Secretary; John Nkomo, the current party Chairman, as the other Vice-President and Second Secretary [filling the vacancy left by the death of the late Joseph Msika] and Ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo as party Chairman. The nominees were elected by the Congress plenary session on Saturday. Congress resolutions called for the early settlement of all outstanding GPA issues while insisting there should be no more compromise on the part of ZANU-PF until the MDC succeeded in stopping “illegal” radio broadcasts into Zimbabwe and in having sanctions removed.” [Full text of resolutions available on request]
In his speech closing the Congress on Saturday President Mugabe emphasised the need for the party to prepare for the next elections, saying that the GPA envisages a life of only about 2 years from February 2009 for the inclusive government. He also warned against “tampering” with the Army and Air Force.
Bills in Parliament:
House of Assembly: None [the House has passed all the Bills brought before it].
Senate: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [HB 7A, 2009], Public Finance Management Bill [H.B. 9A 2009], Audit Office Bill [H.B. 10A, 2009], Finance (No. 3) Bill [H.B. 13A, 2009] and Appropriation (2010) Bill [H.B. 12, 2009].
Bills Gazetted: The Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [H.B. 11, 2009] [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] was gazetted on 11th December. [Electronic version available on request.] Also gazetted were the Finance (No. 3) Bill [in a form including the amendments made by the House of Assembly] and the Appropriation (2010) Bill.
Bill Awaiting President’s Assent: Financial Adjustments Bill [HB 8, 2009]
Statutory Instruments: None - for the fourth week running.
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