By KITSEPILE NYATHI NATION Correspondent
Posted Wednesday, December 8 2010 at 19:52
Zimbabwe’s legislators have threatened to block the passage of the country’s
2011 budget if they are not given at least US$200 000 (Sh16m) each for their
The Members of Parliament (MPs) are also demanding that Finance Minister
Tendai Biti sets aside funds to pay them at least $3000 (Sh240,000) in
salaries a month.
Currently, the legislators’ earn an average of $400 a month and the latest
demands come in the wake of threats by the MPs that they would demand
compensation if their terms are cut short to pave way for elections expected
President Robert Mugabe is insisting on early elections two years after he
formed a unity government with his former rivals, which means the
legislators cannot serve their five year terms that end in 2012.
The legislators who early this year also demanded luxury vehicles every year
for use in their constituencies claim that they are the lowest paid in the
“The budget has continued to show its ugly face by putting civil servants
and MPs into abject poverty under the pretext that the country is poor,”
said Mr Paddy Zhanda who chairs the parliamentary portfolio committee on
budget and finance.
“This attitude cannot be allowed to continue as it perpetuates corruption
and has a negative impact on this country.” Last month, Zimbabwe’s Finance
Minister Tendai Biti proposed a $3,2 billion budget for 2011.
Out of that budget, $1, 4 billion was set aside for civil service
remuneration which was almost twice the $773 million allocated in this year’s
But for the budget to be adopted it has to be first approved by the MPs
before it is taken to the Senate.
Meanwhile, the Senate has resumed sitting a month after it was forced to
adjourn indefinitely following protests by members of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s party over the presence of provincial governors who were
unilaterally appointed by President Mugabe.
Mr Tsvangirai has since challenged the appointments in court and South
African President Jacob Zuma has also tried to help end the impasse.
By Alex Bell
08 December 2010
West Africa has dismissed unity government proposals, favoured by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), as a bad idea, demonstrating
how the regional bloc should have handled Zimbabwe’s stolen election.
The West African bloc ECOWAS has officially recognised Alassane Ouattara as
the Ivory Coast’s president-elect, after a disputed poll with the country’s
decade long leader Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo has defied international demands
to step down and yield to Ouattara. He has instead been sworn in for a new
term as Ivorian president with the backing of the military, even though the
electoral commission said the winner was Ouattara.
ECOWAS’ acting President, Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan, has now warned
against efforts to forge a deal between the rivals, as was done in Zimbabwe
and Kenya in recent years.
“We’ve seen that these governments of national unity ... it doesn’t really
work. Elections have been declared, somebody has won, so he (Gbagbo) has to
hand over,” Jonathan said.
The Nigerian leader also announced that the Ivory Coast has been suspended
from the regional bloc, in a move that critics hope will isolate Gbagbo and
his grip on power.
The stalemate in the Ivory Coast has raised tensions in the country,
prompting the African Union (AU) to send former South African president
Thabo Mbeki to mediate. Mbeki was the former mediator in Zimbabwe’s
political crisis and in 2008 helped craft the coalition deal that formed the
current unity government. That arrangement has been slammed as nothing more
than a convenient political life-line for Robert Mugabe, who declared
himself the winner of the farcical one-man run off poll that followed the
2008 disputed presidential vote.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who now wields almost no power as Prime
Minister in the unity pact, this week said a coalition government in the
Ivory Coast would set a bad example to other African countries.
“I’m sure that will be the solution again - have a coalition as a solution.
They already have a template for it. It is called ‘go through the back door
and still retain the power that you lost through the mandate of the people’,”
Tsvangirai told the Reuters news service in an interview.
“The unfortunate thing is that we are seeing this repetition of people
losing an election and want(ing) to come back to restore their power
position through the back door. It is not different from Kenya, it is not
different from Zimbabwe, now we have got Ivory Coast,” he said.
Mugabe on the other hand has sent a congratulatory message to Gbagbo.
ECOWAS’ position has been widely welcomed and supported, with commentators
saying it is exactly how SADC should have dealt with Zimbabwe’s political
stalemate. SADC has faced intense criticism for allowing Mugabe to remain in
power, despite losing the elections in 2008 to Tsvangirai. Analysts have
said this tacit support for Mugabe is a serious threat to the entire region,
because of the open dismissal of the will of the people.
Zimbabwean political analyst Professor John Makumbe said on Wednesday that
ECOWAS’ position is admirable, and demonstrates clearly that SADC “is just a
toothless bulldog.” He said this contrast between how the two regional blocs
deal with stolen elections should be a serious lesson to SADC. But he
expressed concern than SADC “does not have the capacity to learn.”
“If you look at the dictatorships in Southern Africa, you will see it is the
DNA of former liberation movements not to give up power, no matter what,”
The analyst added that he hoped the strong West African attitude will also
develop at the AU.
“I would like to see the AU adopt this attitude, and maybe someone can
develop a code of conduct that ECOWAS, and most definitely SADC, has to
abide by,” Makumbe said.
He added: “We can only hope that some of ECOWAS’ success can rub off.”
By Alex Bell
08 December 2010
The Indian Government’s Union Ministry of Commerce has moved to stop its
country from importing controversial diamonds from Zimbabwe, amid growing
pressure for international traders to shun stones from the country.
India has asked jewellery exporters and traders to bide their time until a
solution of Zimbabwe’s trade future is resolved. Currently Zimbabwe’s
diamonds are still effectively barred from international trade, because the
watchdog Kimberley Process (KP) is still to decide on whether to give
Zimbabwean exports the green light.
The Indian government’s decision is a major setback to the country’s diamond
conglomerate, the Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing India Limited (SRSDIL), which
signed a deal amounting to US$1.2 billion per year, to import rough diamonds
from Zimbabwe. Recent diamond auctions in Zimbabwe, the first since the
country was barred from trade last year, saw a high number of Indian buyers.
Zimbabwe was barred by the KP over human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa
alluvial diamond fields, and the auctions earlier this year were part of
efforts to bring the country in line with international standards. But the
KP has not made a unanimous decision on Zimbabwe yet, because of ongoing
reports of abuses at Chiadzwa.
The Mines Ministry has since threatened to sell its diamonds without KP
approval and recently the KP appointed monitor to Zimbabwe, Abbey Chikane,
unilaterally certified Chiadzwa stones for sale. As a result, another
auction, featuring mainly Indian buyers, went ahead last month. The KP has
since publicly dismissed Chikane’s efforts to certify the stones without
approval, and has asked member states not to accept Zimbabwean diamonds.
The KP is still reportedly negotiating an agreement with the Mines Ministry,
which continues to make it clear that it has no intention of adhering to the
KP’s limits. Mines and Mining Development secretary Thankful Musukutwa
reportedly told a visiting Norwegian delegation this week that trade would
not be stopped by NGOs and “other hostile nations.” Musukutwa said that
while Zimbabwe has had “a few problems” with the KP, “we have worked our way
up and we are very compliant.”
By Lance Guma
08 December 2010
The army bomb disposal unit was called to the University of Zimbabwe on
Monday, after unidentified people petrol bombed an Isuzu KB twincab truck,
belonging to the pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Chipo Dyanda.
A student, who preferred to be called Mayibuye, told SW Radio Africa they
heard a blast emanating from the administration block and went there to see
what had happened. He says they saw Professor Dyanda’s vehicle on fire and
the speculation was that disgruntled students had petrol-bombed it.
Mayibuye says a white van, believed to be from the bomb disposal unit, was
parked near the scene of the blast. He says he and other students nearby
were briefly detained and made to sit on the floor because they had passed
through a cordon police had made using string.
“There were police carrying guns and something like 7 military personnel
carrying guns,’ Mayibuye said. Only last Friday there was a heavy police
presence on the campus, as authorities anticipated massive student protests
over exorbitant tuition and exam fees that have seen the majority unable to
In the run-up to the police deployment unnamed activists had distributed
leaflets announcing what they called ‘2 December Judgment’ on UZ
authorities, including Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura, whom they
accused of mismanagement.
‘Issues in contention at the college include, the removing of students from
lectures, exams and university facilities, like the library, over non-
payment of fees, leading to subsequent non registration and the failure to
open halls of residence for four years now, despite the resolution of water
problems originally cited as the reason for closing them,’ Mayibuye told us.
Students are also furious they have to fork out US$6 every semester for ID
cards being produced by a private company (Identity Systems International)
who were allegedly given the tender under dodgy circumstances. With an
estimated student population of 10,000 the company is making US$60 000 a
semester – something that is also infuriating the students.
It does not help that the UZ has not had a Students Representative Council
(SRC) for 4 years now, after authorities banned it. Activists say the petrol
bombing incident is the result of there being no communication channel
between students and those running the university.
By Guthrie Munyuki
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 17:13
HARARE -The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has intensified its
campaign against political violence targeting women by engaging SADC rights
groups in an attempt to force President Robert Mugabe and his allies to
allow non violent campaigns in future elections.
On Friday, the raging civic society group will launch the Together Against
Political Violence in Johannesburg, to mark the collaboration with selected
regional groups involved in the fight against human rights violations and
The meeting, set for Constitution Hill, The Women’s Jail in Braamfontein,
will be attended by exiled Zimbabweans living in South Africa and other
NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said: “There has been violence in Zimbabwe
during elections and that violence will continue to be used. Our aim is to
tell the outside world that we are oppressed and expose the viciousness of
the regime here.”
An arch critic of Mugabe, Madhuku said there was no disguising the fact that
the octogenarian leader and his aides in Zanu PF had forced themselves on
people in the last election whose disputed results led to the formation of
an inclusive government.
“This initiative will strengthen our activism. There is value in telling the
world that we are oppressed rather than limiting our concerns here. There
are immense benefits in engaging people on the ground both at home and the
region,” Madhuku told the Daily News.
The University of Zimbabwe Public Law lecturer who bears scars from
state-sponsored violence said the NCA will engage the three main political
parties in their campaigns but will not be limited to their responses.
Madhuku was among a group of eminent politicians and civic society leaders
who were bludgeoned by security agents on 11 March 2007 in Highfield during
a prayer march organised under the banner of Save Zimbabwe, a campaign
fronted by civic society groups.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara were among
the people savagely assaulted by rifle-wielding security agents who
violently broke down the meeting at Machipisa shopping centre.
Gift Tandare, an MDC activist and cobbler, was shot and killed in cold blood
during the march whilst journalist, Edward Chikomba, who filmed the assault
of Tsvangirai, was abducted at his Glen View home and found dead three days
later in Mapinga near Banket.
“We would like to see a cessation of violence against the people, especially
women who have borne the brunt of political violence in recent years. There
are no guarantees that the impending election would not be violent.
“It is important for us to join progressive groups in the region and
strengthen our activism in this area. Violence has been used in Zimbabwe
against struggling people and this is a campaign to say we are oppressed but
will protest against this oppression,” said Madhuku.
The NCA joins hands with People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), One in Campaign
Nine Campaign, Khulumani, Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, Global Zimbabwe Forum,
MDC Veteran Activists and Forum of Congolese Organisation in South Africa
(FOCAS), who will give solidarity messages.
Madhuku said the campaign seeks among other things to tap into the regional
experience to address the scourge of political violence by raising
awareness, building support structures, name and shame perpetrators as well
as capacitating women and communities at large to deal with the scourge at
two levels: prevention and support for victims.
He said the campaign, which coincides with the UN 16 Days of Women’s
Activism, is a follow up to a report based on a survey conducted by the
Research and Advocacy Unity (RAU) on the statistics of various human rights
violations perpetrated on the female members of the NCA.
The report captures human rights violations perpetrated against NCA females
members from 2000 to 2008.
According to the report 75 per cent women reported that they had been active
political activists, 41 per cent of these reported being arrested, with
29per cent having been arrested twice.
Thirty-five percent of those arrested were intimidated during arrest, whilst
46 per cent reported that the worst treatment came from police officers.
Nine per cent reported having their young children detained with them.
Madhuku said that the anti violence campaign is now a reality and that
despite all these violations the NCA will remain committed in the fight for
a new people driven constitution that upholds and respects the rights of
Magunje, December 08, 2010 - Army recruitment officers barred some youths
who had applied to be considered as members of the army accusing them of
being aliens although they were born in Zimbabwe and have never lived
According to sources who attended weekend recruitment at Magunje's 2.3
Infantry battalion, situated about 35 kilometres south of Karoi town, some
aspiring soldiers were barred because 'their parents are not Zimbabweans
Some of these youths recently graduated from Tengwe national youth programme
and had been promised jobs.
'It’s embarrassing that they assured us that we will be considered first to
join any Government department but we were barred because we were told we
were aliens' said one disgruntled youth from Mjinga area. He declined to be
named for fear of victimisation.
Recruitment officers led by one Captain Dzumbunu could not be reached for
comment. Nearly 600 aspiring soldiers were taken in for the january intake
although the army had targeted to recruit 1000 people.
Bulawayo-December 8 2010- The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture
has banned all political parties in the country from using school premises
for political rallies and meetings , ahead of the forthcoming elections.
Speaking about the state of education in Zimbabwe during a meeting jointly
organized by Radio Dialogue and The Zimbabwe Independent in Bulawayo on
Wednesday , the Minister of Education , Sport , Arts and Culture, David
Coltart said his ministry will no longer allow political parties to use
school premises to hold meetings with political inclinations.
“We have banned political from using school premises for political parties.
The ministry is going to enforce this ban in the run up to the forthcoming
elections and any future elections,” said Coltart. The minister stressed
that schools are educational institutions which should be solely used for
purposes of education.
Coltart said his ministry is greatly concerned about incidences of teachers
who are being intimidated by political activists of certain political
parties especially in the rural areas.
“The ministry recently intervened in a matter where some teachers in
Chiweshe in Mashonaland central who had returned to their schools after
fleeing the area during the run up the 2008 elections were being threatened
with violence. We have a similar case in Rushinga where teachers are being
have even told cabinet that this harassment of innocent teachers should
stop, “said the minister.
Coltart said qualified teachers were the most people affected by political
During the run up to March 2008 harmonized elections most schools in the
rural areas were used by Zanu (PF) militias and war veterans as opposition
bases. Some of the Zanu (PF) militia were camping at the schools, resulting
in scores of teachers fleeing their areas in fear of violence.
By Tichaona Sibanda
8 December 2010
The MDC-T appointed ambassador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambila, has
returned to her posting in Canberra Australia, after she was recalled
recently for debriefing in Harare.
Zwambila was facing allegations that she stripped in front of male embassy
staff, accusations she has vehemently denied. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs has now recalled the three male staffers because they’ve completed
their required four year terms at the mission.
‘Ambassador Zwambila had a meeting today (Wednesday) with the Foreign
Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, to explain in detail what was
happening at the embassy because of persistent squabbles between her and
junior staff,’ a source told us.
The three male staffers are reportedly all loyal to ZANU PF, while the
ambassador is one of five diplomats appointed around the world from the MDC.
The other four are Hebson Makuvise, Ambassador to Germany; Hilda Mafudze,
the former MDC MP for Manyame constituency, was posted to Sudan; Khumbulani
Mabed is in Nigeria; Trudy Stevenson from the MDC-M is Ambassador to
While the other four ambassadors have good working relationships with their
junior staff members, it was not the same for Zwambila in Canberra, where
the male staffers were hostile and went on a sustained campaign to discredit
‘The relationship between the Ambassador and her staff was irretrievably
broken down by persistent leaks from inside the embassy that sought to
undermine and discredit her. Most of these leaks eventually found their way
into the state media, a situation which infuriated her. This led to a heated
confrontation with the male staffers,’ the source added.
After this confrontation the three staffers, Moses Chikanyairo, Givemore
Nyanzou and Felix Nyamupinga (husband to ZANU PF MP for Goromonzi, Biata
Beatrice Nyamupinga) dispatched a note to Harare accusing the Ambassador of
stripping in front of them.
Former diplomat and academic, Clifford Mashiri, said it had happened before
that intelligence officers, disguised as counsellors, had undermined their
‘If there is rivalry or animosity between the ambassador and his staff you
will get a lot of this infighting. In the case of the Australian mission you
have staff that are loyal to two separate political parties, which makes it
difficult for them to co-exist,’ Mashiri said.
Mashiri said it is common practice for diplomats to be recalled for a
debriefing if there are serious issues raised from the embassy. He said at
times the host country may discreetly push for the diplomats to be recalled
if they are facing allegations that end up in the public domain. Those
facing more serious offences, like espionage, may end up being expelled by
the host country.
In the case of the Australian debacle, the ministry responded by recalling
the Ambassador and ordered her and the male staffers to compile reports of
‘What came out from the reports was clear that it was a case of the male
staffers’ words versus the Ambassador’s. In hindsight, they gave the
ambassador the benefit of doubt as the most senior diplomat at the embassy.
‘After her meeting with Joey Bimha, the permanent secretary last week, it
was decided the Ambassador should go back to her post but not before meeting
with Mumbengegwi today (Wednesday),’ our source said.
Mumbengegwi reportedly read Zwambila the riot act, warning her to be careful
in her future conduct. He also told her the ministry would be sending a team
of new diplomats to Canberra.
By Stanley Gama, News Editor
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 17:31
HARARE - As the Wikileaks saga continues to unfold, the whistle blowing
website has revealed that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni believes that
President Robert Mugabe was a failure who had become an embarrassment to the
Leaked “secret” documents from the United States state department show that
Museveni believes Mugabe is responsible for Zimbabwe’s political crisis due
to his lack of understanding of economics.
Museveni also said Mugabe was in the habit of snubbing fellow leaders from
the African continent claiming that they are too young to advise him.
Newly released information on the Wikileaks website shows that Museveni
revealed this to former US assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Jendayi
Frazer when they met in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 2008.
“Museveni thought Zimbabwe’s faltering economy and Mugabe’s poor
understanding of the private sector were at the root of Zimbabwe’s political
problems. He said a discussion of the economy would provide an entry point
to tell Mugabe that he has failed and is embarrassing liberation leaders.
“He noted that Mugabe is unwilling to take calls from most African leaders
saying they are not his age-mates,” said Mugabe in the 2008 discussion with
Frazer. She subsequently wrote a report of the meeting for the US state
department, most of which has been hacked by Wikileaks and is being
published through the internet. Museveni’s attack on Mugabe’s lack of
economics knowledge flies in the face of the veteran leaders’ degrees in
Mugabe, who has in the past claimed to be a close ally of Museveni, is
likely to be shocked by the views, and with more Wikileaks of the nearly
3000 cables on Zimbabwe still to be released, the 86-year-old leader is
likely to discover more African leaders who despise him in private.
Museveni and Frazer also spoke about the period in 2008 when Zimbabwe was
preparing for the presidential run-off. Mugabe went on to contest alone in
the run-off after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out due to
excessive violence perpetrated by Zanu PF against his supporters.
The election was widely condemned by the international community including
Southern African Development Community (SADC)and the African Union.
The lack of legitimacy that followed forced African leaders to push for an
inclusive government in Zimbabwe.
Museveni was attending his son’s graduation from the US Army Command and
General Staff College in 2008 when he met Frazer.
It was soon after the March 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections in
which Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe, but according to the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC), the votes were not enough to push Mugabe out of power.
They spoke about the impending run-off in which Mugabe told Museveni that he
was confident of winning.
“Museveni told Frazer that he spoke to the Zimbabwean President Mugabe by
telephone after the first round of elections. During his call, Mugabe told
Museveni he was confident he would win in the second round of elections.
“Mugabe told Museveni he did not want election monitors from countries that
were “hostile” to Zimbabwe, but wouldn’t mind observers from other
countries. Frazer thought thousands of monitors were necessary, especially
in rural areas, to encourage people to vote.
“ Frazer advised Museveni that she would ask the U.S. Ambassador in Zimbabwe
how many elections monitors he believes are needed,” reveals Wikileaks.
South African Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is
also quoted in the sensational Wikileaks cables describing Mugabe as a
“crazy old man.”
Cables sent to the State Department by former US ambassador to Zimbabwe,
Christopher Dell describe Tsvangirai as a flawed figure, not readily open to
advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around
Dell also dismissed Welshman Ncube of the breakaway MDC as a divisive
President Robert Mugabe reiterated this weekend that he does not want to
extend the life of the unity government beyond February, when it will have
been in place for two years
Blessing Zulu, Sandra Nyaira & Brenda Moyo 07 December 2010
imbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the country's elections
cannot be held in June 2011 as demanded by President Robert Mugabe, saying
that before a new ballot is organized a revised constitution must be in
place with electoral reforms.
Mr. Tsvangirai made the statement in an interview with Reuters on the
margins of the so-called European Development Days conference.
"It is not possible to have elections in June next year because we need to
have a referendum first," Tsvangirai told a reporter for the news agency.
"I don't think at the moment you can conduct an election," he said.
Tsvangirai warned that a premature election could leave the country back
where it was in 2008 following an election marred by compilation delays and
anomalies and often deadly violence.
Mr. Mugabe reiterated this weekend that he does not want to extend the life
of the unity government beyond February, when it will have been in place for
two years. His ZANU-PF party has vowed to hold elections with or without a
But Mr. Tsvangirai said that before polls can be held there must be a
referendum on the new constitution, a road map to elections and an end to
"When the police, army, militia, war veterans are used to intimidate,
coerce, and cause torture and death to the people, that is the kind of
violence we need to contain," Mr. Tsvangirai said.
In his keynote address to the development event the Zimbabwean prime
minister also called for a global campaign to ensure free and fair elections
Mr. Tsvangirai deplored the tendency in Africa for presidential incumbents
to refuse to accept the outcome of elections, as seen this week in Ivory
But ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo dismissed Mr. Tsvangirari’s comments,
saying that only President Mugabe has the power to call elections.
Responding, spokesman Nelson Chamisa of Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change formation said Gumbo was misleading himself.
In Harare, meanwhile, the parliamentary select committee in charge of
constitutional revision also flagged a new hurdle to elections, saying
constitutional revision is on hold until it can find US$6 million to pay
bills from the public outreach phase.
Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said it won’t be possible for the
country to hold new elections in 2011 under a new constitution.
Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that his commmittee has
spent more than a month on hold due to financial obstacles, so a draft of
the new constitution is unlikely to be ready until March 2011 with a
referendum possible in June or July.
International donors have refused to add funding to allow the committee to
pay its debts to those who worked on or provided services to the outreach
campaign, he said, adding that the government has not been forthcoming with
Mwonzora said the government must fund the constitution-making process so
drafting the new document and submitting it to the people can happen in the
next six months.
Elsewhere, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions called for the nation to
vote next year only to elect a new president, arguing that the 2008 general
elections were less problematic than was balloting for the executive post.
It said there is no point incurring the considerable costs of running
another general election so soon.
ZCTU Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda
Moyo that a presidential ballot can readily be organized at any time.
Written by The Maine Campus
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 12:22
MAINE, USA – The upcoming 2011 national elections in Zimbabwe could usher in
a fresh wave of politically motivated violence worse than in 2008, warns
Jestina Mukoko(pictured), director of political violence watchdog Zimbabwe
Peace Project (ZPP).
Two representatives from the ZPP are now based in each electoral
constituency to monitor and report on acts of violence alleged to have
In 2008, the ZPP recorded a peak of 6,288 attacks related to the election.
Mukoko herself was abducted and tortured by secret police agents. The BBC
reported that she was held for 21 days and charged with “attempting to
recruit people for military training to try to overthrow the government”.
“Children were not spared in this violence,” she said. “We have seen
children being assaulted as a way of getting back at their activist
She showed numerous images depicting the horrifying results of an
unfavourable encounter with the secret police. One showed the bleeding face
of a man who had been attacked at Harare airport and another depicted the
back of a man covered with pockmarks caused by burning plastic being dropped
on his back.
Despite the national government’s slow response and her own abduction
experience, Mukoko believes peace and healing are attainable goals. She said
individuals on both sides of the attacks – victims and perpetrators alike –
can only reach these goals if the truth is exposed.
She compared the current political climate to a cut that has not been
treated and has been left hidden beneath a bandage instead.
“The wound is still festering beneath that covering,” she said, adding, “I
believe that my abductors need to be healed.”
Going into the 2011 election, Mukoko said she is worried that resurgence in
the number of attacks will discourage citizens from speaking their minds and
prompt them to vote for Mugabe to avoid persecution.
Mukoko has been serving as the 2010 Human Rights Fellow at the Oak Institute
for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College in the USA and
will return to Zimbabwe next month to begin readying ZPP staff for the
Written by TREVOR GRUNDY
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 17:09
LONDON - The best-selling author and world famous journalist Christopher
Hitchens has told the BBC and The Observer that one of his big regrets in
life was not utterly condemning the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and
failing to tell the world about that man’s capacity for fanaticism and
In an interview with The Observer on 21 November the author of “God is not
Great” and one of the world’s best known atheists said that as he battles
with life threatening cancer, a major regret was remaining silent and not
publicly condemning Robert Mugabe who he met in the 1970s, first in 1977 and
then as Rhodesia edged its way forward to Zimbabwe after the Lancaster House
Conference in London in December 1979.
He said that his long silence about the Zimbabwean leader’s misdeeds, which
include the slaughter of anything between 20,000 to 30,000 men, women and
children in Matabeleland and the Midlands from 1983 to 1987 made him wince.
“More than wince,” he told the newspaper. “I met him a couple of time and I
knew that he had a terrible capacity for fanaticism and absolutism and I
didn’t say as much about that as I should have done. If I ask myself about
why I didn’t, I’m sure the answer is because I didn’t want to give
ammunition to the other side.”
British born Hitchens lives in America where he has become a naturalized
citizen. Following the publication of his best selling book “God is not
Great” two years ago, Hitchens became an overnight sensation in America.
But in June this year, he was told by doctors that he has cancer of the
oesophagus and probably has only a few years to live. In a half hour
interview with Jeremy Paxman (BBC Two, 29 November, 2010) he repeated his
regret about not condemning Mugabe earlier.
But his condemnation was earlier than some, who still stick to rusty and
worn-out guns by repeating in print the convenient Zanu (PF) legend that at
heart Robert Mugabe is a misunderstood English-aping gentleman who wants his
young men to play cricket.
In April 2008 Hitchens wrote about his surprise and his regret that Thabo
Mbeki had failed so badly to bring Mugabe to heel or condemn the despot
openly for his destruction of the economy.
He said: ”Since meeting Mugabe in 1977 in exile and again in 1979 and later,
I must have sat through several dozen ‘what went wrong‘ discussions. There
are those who say that his sadism and self-destructive paranoia are a
delayed result of his own incarceration. There are those who attribute it to
the death of his lovely Ghanaian wife, Sally, in 1992 (after which, it must
be admitted, he never was the same). There are those who speculate that his
obsession with homosexuality and vice – which was one of the first symptoms
of his breakdown – is an aspect of his old-school missionary Catholicism.
Then, of course there were all those years of fervent admiration for the
Cultural Revolution in China and the even more purist system of Kim il-Sung
and Kim Jon-il. None of these are, or were, particularly good signs But I
have a theory of my very own: I believe that Mugabe was also driven in to a
permanent rage by the adulation heaped internationally on Nelson Mandela, an
accolade of praise and recognition that he felt was more properly due to
him. And, harbouring this grievance, he decided to denude his own unhappy
country of anything that might remind anybody of Mandela’s legacy.”
Written by Tony Saxon
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:00
MUTARE – A bigger section of war veterans in Manicaland have said that they
are tired of being used to help the party win elections and then forgotten
forgotten by Zanu (PF) and have demanded to face President Robert Mugabe
(pictured) directly at the forthcoming congress.
The 11th Zanu (PF) National Congress will be held in Mutare from December 15
“As war veterans in Manicaland we have agreed that we should be given the
floor to say out everything. Some of us have not been given the chance to
talk important issues pertaining to our status as war veterans. We have
already held a caucus meeting and we agreed that we will say out views and
concerns effecting the war veterans.
“All along some provincial leaders have been blocking the chance for us to
meet the President. We were surprised to see that we were omitted in some
important meetings and there were some tactics employed to avoid us. Now
that the President will be here, we will talk to him,” said a war veteran
based in Mutare.
War veterans in Manicaland have been affected by power struggles for some
time. One group reportedly belongs to James Chitakatira while the other one
is said to be aligned to James Kaunye.
There is another group of war veterans that is said to be aligned to
Vladimir Mukada – a group that is more popular than the other two.
Information available reveals that a large number of war veterans have vowed
to vote for the opposition in the event that the elections are held next
year if their demands are not solved at the congress.
The war veterans have accused Mugabe of “forgetting” them.
“Mugabe is rewarding selected senior civil servants and chiefs with hefty
salaries and perks as a token of appreciation. But, he forgets that we
fought the war and liberated this country. I think the President (Mugabe) is
being misled by some people who claim to be war veterans. True war veterans
are there and we know them and they are now quiet because they are tired of
“Their silence means a lot and this is why we have been seeing Zanu (PF)
losing grip by each election. This (conference) is a platform where we want
to tell him (Mugabe) the truth.
An angry war veteran who identified himself as Cde Ground Force Mhungu said:
“We are tired of being used. We have been promised many things but it seems
that we are being forgotten. We have tried to raise the issue through our
leadership but nothing has materialized.
“All what we are saying is Zimbabwe should have a section where all war
veterans should be rewarded and have special consideration. Mugabe is only
rewarding few selected war veterans like army brigadiers and police senior
commissioners whom he is providing with 4x4s pick up trucks, good houses and
perks. We are all equal and we should be treated equally. Otherwise we
fought better battles than those who are enjoying life in Zanu (PF),” said
Cde Ground Force.
“They only want us to attend their rallies and vote them into power. Do we
vote with empty stomachs? Do we attend their rallies and meetings with empty
stomachs?” asked another war veteran.
Impeccable sources have said that Zanu (PF) has lost a bigger number of war
veterans in recent elections considering the outcomes of the elections.
The war veterans further said that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has
already won the hearts of many and Mugabe should revise his tactics to avoid
further humiliation in the forthcoming elections.
“Tsvangirai knows that Zanu (PF) is full of cowards. War veterans are
destitutes and we are leading a life full of hell. They have completely
forgotten us. I do not have anything to show as a war veteran. We have
become a laughing stock in our areas. So this is the chance for us to have
our say. Enough is enough,” said Ground Force with a voice that was full of
Some war veterans in Manicaland have threatened to back PM Tsvangirai for
president if their concerns are not addressed immediately.
In one of his rallies at Sakubva stadium at Sakubva stadium in August
Tsvangirai said war veterans gave their loyalty to the cause of the
liberation of the country and they have only remembered Zanu (PF) as the
party for liberation for 30 years.
“But the truth is that the war veterans are among the most exploited of our
people. Their courage is no defence against the devastation brought by the
dictatorship. If the war veterans want to know what the government could
have done for them, they need to look at other nations of the world.
“In those countries war veterans are loved and respected by all the people.
War veterans are represented in cabinet honoured for their services and
helped with medical care, housing and education for their children,” said
Tsvangirai amid applause from the gathering.
He added that the war veterans had been neglected for 30 years and they were
not getting any younger. An MDC government would establish a national trust
fund to aid them, he said.
Written by Tony Saxon
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 09:44
MUTARE – Traditional leaders in Manicaland intend to use the congress to
register their concerns over political interference by politicians in their
respective areas of operation.
Speaking at a briefing for traditional leaders and heads of security ahead
of the congress last week, the chiefs did not mince their words on what they
perceived as “killing the party in Manicaland”.
They said their powers had been usurped by “overzealous” Zanu (PF)
politicians who were causing deep divisions and confusion.
Chief Chiduku, who is also a member of the Senate said: “There should be no
interference in our political activities. There are some politicians who
think that they are bigger than our tradition. They are the ones that are
causing serious problems in our areas. They do not even respect us and this
has contributed immensely to the demise of the party in the province.”
He added that some chiefs were being assaulted because of the politicians
who have assumed too much power. The chiefs said the congress would be the
best platform to tell Mugabe the truth of what is happening on the ground.
The chiefs accused outgoing Manicaland governor Christopher Mushowe of
misleading Mugabe on the real situation. They said they were afraid to voice
their concerns as they were threatened by some senior politicians who are
said to be very close to Mugabe.
Patrick Chinamasa, Joseph Made and Didymus Mutasa were named as the senior
politicians who were undermining the importance of the chiefs and causing
problems in the party in the province.
Acting Chief Musikavanhu in Chipinge district said: “There are some leaders
who literally own the party. Their word is a command and people on the
ground are not happy at all. We want the President to know of this. We have
some leaders who have a tendency of lying to the electorate and this has led
to the party to lose supporters.”
The chiefs reiterated that they would tell Mugabe the true situation on the
“We want to tell him (Mugabe) what is on the ground. These senior
politicians are not telling him the truth. We live with the public out there
and we know what they want. They have been chasing away NGOs that have been
giving food aid and paying school fees to the poor rural people. This is
going to work against us in any election because the people will vote with
the stomach,” said another chief.
“Violence and intimidation of people will never work. President Mugabe
should persuade the people again and try to work other smart and clean
strategies to win back the hearts of the people and he should work with us
closely because we know the concerns of our people,” he added.
The chiefs admitted that Mugabe was facing a serious challenge from
Tsvangirai and said Mugabe should revisit the drawing board and make
people-driven policies if he wanted the majority vote back.
The DA says it will do everything in its power to have Zimbabwean president
Robert Mugabe face the ICC.
Published: 2010/12/08 06:33:02 AM
CAPE TOWN — The Democratic Alliance (DA) has vowed to use every diplomatic
and international instrument available to have Zimbabwe’s President Robert
Mugabe charged for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal
This was one of the measures listed during a DA press conference to announce
a five-point plan to break the political impasse in Zimbabwe as Mr Mugabe
continues to flout the conditions agreed to in the Global Political
Agreement that led to the present unity government.
DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip and MPs Wilmot James and Kenneth Mubu
released a document stating that while Mr Mugabe is still involved in
Zimbabwe’s politics, free and fair elections are not possible.
Dr James said there was enough evidence of "a cumulative mass of atrocities"
to take the matter to the ICC. SA could do this, but this remained unlikely,
and that meant other means had to be found.
Two options would be for another signatory to the Rome Statute (which
created the court) to prefer charges against Mr Mugabe in the ICC, or for a
big power such as the US to apply to the United Nations to do the same.
Dr James said that while the chances of successfully getting Mr Mugabe
before the court were "slim", this did not mean "we should not try". He said
at the very least such an attempt would get the masses of evidence against
Mr Mugabe and Zanu (PF) into the global domain.
"The DA will … exert legal and political pressure on Zimbabwe itself. Until
President Robert Mugabe is removed from politics, possibly through an
amnesty agreement for him and his henchmen, free and fair elections cannot
Mr Trollip said that in analysing Zimbabwe’s politics and economy, "one must
therefore remain mindful that the South African government, driven by the
misguided foreign policy agenda of the ANC, helped to change a defeated
President Robert Mugabe’s political fortunes".
For reasons of national and regional importance, the ANC government could
not be allowed to continue with its tacit support of Mr Mugabe’s attempts to
undermine political progress in Zimbabwe.
By Lance Guma
06 December 2010
Hundreds of Bulawayo residents packed the Large City Hall on Sunday to
interact with several cabinet ministers in the coalition government, who are
also based in the city.
The Social Accountability Conference, hosted by the Bulawayo Progressive
Residents Association (BPRA), gave residents the chance to hear Education
Minister David Coltart, Waters Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo and State
Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo, among others.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday, Rodrick Fayayo the coordinator of
the BPRA, said the conference provided a useful opportunity for residents to
seek clarification on various government policies. Additionally it provided
the association with a platform to lobby ministers on issues affecting their
members. He said the initiative was all about promoting ‘local democracy’
and they believed ‘leaders must be accountable to the electorate.’
For example residents asked Moyo about the growing number of military people
in the parastatals under his ministry. The MDC-T minister said when he took
the position the generals were already in place and it was proving difficult
to remove them. He said they were pushing for reforms, to block situations
where one person sits on several boards, as was the case with most of the
retired military personnel.
Coltart on the other hand was asked to explain his ministry’s policy on
incentives for teachers. He said the incentives scheme, where parents pay
teachers a supplementary allowance, was necessary to avoid a situation where
teachers go on strike. The scheme has been criticized for dividing teachers
in schools which have incentives and those that do not.
by James Mombe Wednesday 08 December 2010
JOHANNESBURG -- President Jacob Zuma has been a poor mediator in Zimbabwe
who has achieved far less than his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s
official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party said on Tuesday.
In a scathing attack on Zuma’s rather lukewarm handling of the Zimbabwe
crisis, DA parliamentary leader Athol Trolip described the South African
President as meek and pandering to President Robert Mugabe.
Trolip accused Zuma, who is the Southern African Development Community
(SADC)’s official mediator in the Zimbabwe inter-party dialogue, of standing
idle in the face of Mugabe’s refusal to meet his obligations under a power
sharing agreement with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The DA politician said Zuma’s failure to pressure Mugabe to end political
violence and human rights abuses was tantamount to endorsing the Zimbabwean
strongman’s repressive tendencies.
“Zuma has done an about turn on what his position was prior to his election
and he is (now) pandering to Robert Mugabe,” Trolip said, referring to Zuma’s
stance before assuming the South African presidency which had appeared to
favour a more robust policy towards Zimbabwe as opposed to Mbeki’s ‘quite
diplomacy’ approach that refrained from publicly criticising Mugabe.
“There is no indication that he has done anything more than Mbeki. In fact
there is every indication that he has done less,” said Trolip, who also
disclosed that he would be traveling to Zimbabwe early next year on a
The ever-fragile Harare unity government was rocked by serious divisions
after Mugabe in October appointed provincial governors without consulting
Tsvangirai, the latest in a chain of senior public appointments unilaterally
made by the President in violation of the power sharing agreement officially
known as the global political agreement (GPA).
The GPA – that gave birth to the Harare unity government -- and a
constitutional amendment enacted to cement the political agreement require
the President to consult the Prime Minister before making senior public
But Mugabe has flagrantly ignored this clause of the agreement unilaterally
appointing -- in addition to governors -- his allies to key positions such
as attorney general, central bank governor, court judges and ambassadors.
Talk of new elections next year by Mugabe and Tsvangirai to end their
marriage of convenience that insiders say is increasingly becoming a hostile
affair has further stoked up tensions in Zimbabwe in recent weeks.
Zuma and SADC are pushing the Zimbabwean parties to agree a roadmap to
elections that will ensure the vote is free and fair and all contests will
accept the outcome.
The election roadmap includes adopting a new constitution, drawing up a
fresh voters’ roll, ending political violence and passing of new electoral
rules by Parliament.
But none of the measures have been implemented and analysts say there isn’t
enough time between now and mid next year -- when Mugabe says Zimbabwe must
go to polls – to carry out the reforms. -- ZimOnline
Calls made for extended deadline for work, study permits, writes Tintswalo
Published: 2010/12/08 06:33:01 AM
THE three-month timeline set by the Department of Home Affairs to provide
well over 2-million Zimbabweans applying for South African work and study
permits is unrealistic and unachievable.
With only 23 days before the deadline, the department has to date assisted
only 6000 Zimbabweans wishing to work or study in SA.
Organisations representing Zimbabweans in SA — there are said to be well
over 3-million Zimbabweans in the country — have vehemently dismissed the
department’s cut-off date as practically "impossible". They are requesting a
six-month extension for Zimbabweans to get their paperwork in order .
Human rights lawyer and Zimbabwe Exiles Forum executive director Gabriel
Shumba says that both the Department of Home Affairs and the Zimbabwean
embassy have failed to cope with the flood of applicants.
"Since the beginning of the project, the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has been
agitating for an extension of the deadline.
"This is because the timeline of three months to serve over a million people
is simply unrealistic and unachievable," Mr Shumba says.
"The major constraints have been that there is no adequate infrastructure to
service applicants, especially those on the farms.
"The second major hurdle is the Zimbabwean government, which has no capacity
or willingness to make passports and other documents available on time.
"Thirdly, employers need more assurance than has already been given that
they will be extended an amnesty if they had employed clandestine
Zimbabweans. Thus, simple maths will tell you that if you serve about 5000
people per day, you will need at least six- and-a-half months to process a
million people, assuming they all have the required documents," Mr Shumba
There are at least 2,5-million Zimbabweans living in SA, he says, and about
1,5-million of them need documentation from their homeland to meet the
requirements of the Department of Home Affairs.
The chairman of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Civil Societies Organisations, Sox
Chikohwero, says home affairs offices around the country are executing their
duties "below par", assisting fewer than 500 Zimbabwean permit applicants a
By his calculations, if the department did not manage to accelerate its
processes, only 30000 Zimbabweans will have sorted out their paperwork by
"Many people will be left in the cold. We are appealing to both the
Department of Home Affairs and the Zimbabwe embassy to extend their deadline
by six months," says Mr Chikohwero.
However, home affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa says he does not believe
there are up to 3-million Zimbabweans living in SA. He says some people are
claiming there are more than 5-million of them in the country.
"We have also noted that many Zimbabweans only go to Marabastad home affairs
office and the one located in Harrison Street, Johannesburg.
"My message to Zimbabweans is, please go to any nearest home affairs office
and they will serve you," Mr Mamoepa says.
Zimbabwe’s consul director- general, Chris Mapanga, says his embassy is
being inundated with requests for paperwork, by more than 2000 people a day.
"All Zimbabwean nationals who have applied for passports will be able to
apply for (South African) permits whenever the passport comes through, even
after December 31," Mr Mapanga says.
"All Zimbabwean nationals who qualify for permits but have not yet applied
due to document problems such as birth certificates, IDs, or citizenship
cards, are urged to register with the consulate offices before December 31.
"Once registered, they can then apply for a passport and permits whenever
their documents are ready."
With all the knowledge that you have accrued in your fields of
financial and economical expertise, I still find it hard to read and digest your
articles and views. Regrettably I am normally left thinking, “Is that it? Is
that the best idea they have?” Whilst criticism comes easy, feasible solutions
to the current economic problems clearly do not. I’ve read your very generic
advice, but haven’t seen the details, or the nuts and bolts issues so to say. I
myself am not an economist, so I am not an expert on the matter. But every
article that I have read from the “experts” does not seem to address the core
Of course, in our case it doesn’t help when the government embarks on
policies which were quite detrimental to the economy at the time, i.e. ESAP, the
war in the DRC, the one-time un-budgeted payment to the War Vets, the poorly
executed yet much needed land reform. While some policies were quite justified,
it’s the way they were implemented that proved disastrous. Ideas have always
been aplenty, but the problem has always been in implementation. With the land
reform, the state effectively made itself the custodians for the land in
The problem here is not the ownership (property rights) of the land but the access to capital for the ordinary man. The relocated farmer does not have access to capital, and herein lays the fatal flaw of capitalism in its current state.
Before my father passed away in 1997, he wrote a book called “Capitalism of the Masses” in which he put forward his ideas on what was wrong with the Zimbabwean economy at the time (in 1993 believe it or not) and how it would eventually collapse if we did not address the pending crisis. Well, he was right! It is tragic that at the time, other people did not have this kind of foresight. I never quite understood what my father was going on about at the time. He was continuously criticising the government, which let’s be honest, at the time a good 99,9% of the population thought was doing a fantastic job. That is until I recently re-read a book he wrote called “Capitalism of the Masses”. This book is essentially an analysis of the Zimbabwean economy in the 80’s through to the 90’s and what was being done wrong and how the economy could have been saved from impending disaster by turning it around by adopting “Capitalism of the Masses”. Now “Capitalism of the Masses” is not a new or radical idea, it was first proposed by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler and called "Binary Economics"; also see their book The Capitalist Manifesto (1958).
Not being an economist, I decided to familiarise myself with the
terminology, concepts and ideas behind microeconomics (which deals with
economics of consumers/households/individual firms) and macroeconomics (which is
the branch of economics that studies the overall working of a national economy).
Now please take into account the fact that I actually did OK in my “A”-level
maths and also went on do Mechanical Engineering at the UZ before continuing my
engineering studies in the
The real point that I am trying to make is that
Let me start off with a quote “No man can become largely rich by his personal toil, but only by discovery of some method of taxing the labour of others.” Ruskin
How did Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and company become billionaires in one lifetime, without somehow exploiting the labour of others? Well quite frankly it's impossible.
Binary economics is best explained with a simple example. Let's take
commercial farmer Jones who owns a few thousand hectares of prime commercial
Let us make another supposition that the government gives the same 100 workers a non-interest loan of $1 million or $10,000 per worker to buy inputs, seed etc and purchase tractors and other farm equipment. Let’s say these are non-interest individual loans repaid at $1,000 per year over 10 years. A small administration fee could be charged, but this is not necessary. These farmers work collectively on the farm and earn the same profits as Farmer Jones described above. So the profits would be $520,000 (*Note:- $100,000 on wages not included here) divided by 100 workers or $5,200 per worker.
So each worker now has $5,200 to continue with their farming operations and to pay back the loan. They also have enough to save and make further investments. Let’s suppose that the government takes a bold step and cuts the tax rate to 20% and legislates the other 20% as mandatory savings (i.e. previous 40% tax broken down into 20% tax + 20% savings). The 20% savings is deposited into the central/reserve bank where it can be used by government for further investments and start up capital for other enterprises on the same basis. Also note that the savings proposed will naturally earn a % interest for each of the 100 farmers.
So the 100 farmers now each pay back $1,000 of the loan for that year. They decide to increase their output the next year and invest $300,000 for inputs, or $3,000 each. So from the net profit of $5,200 that each farmer received, now subtract the $1,000 loan and the $3,000 for inputs. This means that each of the 100 farmers is left with $1,000 as disposable income. Remember that the 100 farmers already have savings in the bank which are also earning interest and will accumulate over the years. 20% legislated savings of the $700,000 comes to $140,000 between 100 farmers or $1,400 for each farmer for the first year.
Just to recap this second scenario, the 100 farmers now have $1,000 disposable income, $1,400 in savings and have already invested $3,000 in next year’s harvest for an increased output. Compare this to the $1,000 that they would have had from working for Farmer Jones which will not allow them to save, not allow them invest in next years season and generally leave them living from hand to mouth without accumulating wealth. Any sane person will see that there is something fundamentally wrong with the current set up where only those with the capital are the only ones who can have access to more capital, i.e. capitalism of the few.
From the example that I gave previously, my question is, for any “free-market” economy, is it better to have one farmer with a profit of $420,000 to himself, or is it more fair and just for 100 farmers to share such a profit.
You see if this profit is shared between these 100 farmers they can accumulate savings, capital and will diversify the spending/buying power.
Now let me try and expand further on what I call diverse spending/buying power. The other advantage not mentioned previously, is that a 100 different people (families) are more likely to spend their disposable income on a 100 different sets of things, providing a diverse customer base and inadvertently diversifying the market economy further. Diversity in a customer base lends itself to a more competitive and innovative market to suit the needs of the varied customers.
I must admit however, that the past governments did try to implement
binary economics, whether this was deliberately or inadvertently, I can only
hazard a guess. They relocated land (the means of production) and provided free
inputs and machinery under their mechanisation programme. Again, good idea, poor
implementation and the end results can be seen today. They should not have given
away the inputs and machinery; they should have provided loans for the purchase
of these items in order to recuperate their investment. Although Land reform has
not been a total failure, it certainly has not been the success that was hoped
for. Maybe it will just take longer than expected, who knows. It did destroy a
strong agricultural base which was mainly owned by 4000 or so commercial
farmers, however it also transferred the means of production to a needy landless
“povo”. Recent studies have shown that although there was a clear system of
patronage, as is to be expected, there were a large number of ordinary people
who benefitted from the land reform. The tobacco output for this year is a clear
indication of some kind of recovery in the agricultural sector; however the
maize crop yields are still too low. It is clear, and understandable, that more
farmers are taking up tobacco farming, but not enough is being done to increase
maize and other crop production. How many of these new tobacco farmers switched
from maize to tobacco? How can more farmers be encouraged and supported to
increase maize production? Should the Zim government subsidise certain crops for
protectionism as in the EU and
“War – the trade of barbarians, and the art of bringing the greatest physical force to bear on a single point.” Napoleon.
The Japanese realised that the secret of success in any human endeavour lies in “the art of bringing the greatest physical force to bear on a single point”, or more correctly, on the strategically most important single point. As capital is the strategically “greatest physical force”, they brought this down to bear by investing in heavy industry, mass production, and human capital. They restructured their education system to have more engineers and technically inclined human capital that would be able to deliver higher labour productivity on their capital investment in heavy industries and mass production.
It was an efficient and effective allocation of resources to maximise
labour productivity per person that led to
To clarify this, take the example of farm workers on a farm and a factory worker in some heavy machinery plant. The amount of hours and labour that a farm worker will put in to produce some type of crop and the profit from the sale of this particular crop, pales in comparison to the amount of hours and labour that a factory worker will put in and the profit earned from the sale of this heavy machinery.
As a point of reference, below is a table taken from
(9.39%) productivity growth rate
Manufacturing: Iron and Steel
(9.38%) productivity growth rate
Manufacturing: Petrochem/Coal Products
(8.95%) productivity growth rate
(7.87%) productivity growth rate
(6.78%) productivity growth rate
Mining and Manufacturing
(6.78%) productivity growth rate
(6.73%) productivity growth rate
Public Utilities Electricity/Gas
(5.59%) productivity growth rate
Manufacturing: Pulp/Paper/Allied Products
(5.58%) productivity growth rate
(5.03%) productivity growth rate
(4.98%) productivity growth rate
(4.63%) productivity growth rate
Manufacturing: Rubber Products
(4.61%) productivity growth rate
(4.59%) productivity growth rate
(2.01%) productivity growth rate
The Japanese have shown the world that the secret of success in industrial and commercial development is not natural resources but the development of brain and brawn towards its perfect form, that is, development of high-level skills, craftsmanship and capabilities to harness available world science and technology combined with a sustained quest for deepest knowledge through research and development. This development of manpower resources is prioritised and targeted towards industrial sectors with the highest labour productivity at any point in time as these are the industries that contribute more to maximisation of income per capita and consumption. This is one of the capital applications and manpower development philosophy that guides the Capitalism of the masses or binary economics. There are times in economics when abstract logic must give way to cold economic reality.
Please note that Binary Economics does not seek to redistribute
wealth by taking the property of others, it is a strategy to economically
empower everyone by democratising the right to capital for everyone. Binary
economics is not the current “Capitalism of the few’, nor is it the
retrogressive and detrimental Socialism/Communism which is in fact
“povertisation” of the many. Although we should all be equally treated as human
beings, we are not equal in our abilities and some people work harder than
others and should be rewarded likewise. Binary economics will allow wealth
distribution to follow the “
The 51% indigenisation law is not new to
My suggestion to the government is instead of having companies ceding 51% to a few capitalist “indigenous”/”ingenuous” Zimbabweans of the AAG (i.e. only a few well connected individuals with the necessary capital), they should legislate ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans), and oblige companies with values of over $500,000 to sell their shares to their employees (mostly indigenous). This will take away the obvious racial connotations yet achieve the ends by different and more just means. Where will the employees get the cash from to buy shares? The government could use tax-cuts as capital to fund the employees to buy their shares in ESOPs. For example if a company is worth $500,000, and generates say $100,000 in gross profit per year, instead of taxing it 40%, the government could provide an incentive tax-cut of say 20%. This tax-cut of 20% would then be lent to the employees to buy shares. After only 5 years, the employees would own a sizeable share of the company. For cash-strapped companies, they could also offer their employees shares in lieu of wage increases. There are many more inventive and innovative ways of providing capital to employees to start their own investments which I will leave to the more able. Again, it’s just an idea, but let’s see if it can be implemented.
Most of the sectors in the Zimbabwean economy are already indigenised to a large extent; the main problem is what I have stressed earlier, that this indigenisation is not broad-based but limited to only a few individuals with capital.
In brief, the sector by sector analysis shows the following:
Agricultural sector – whilst the farming part of the sector is generally indigenised, the agro-based industries need to have more indigenous representation. I would suggest the method previously explained to achieve this.
Manufacturing Sector – is largely foreign owned, with white Zimbabweans owning the larger part of the manufacturing sector in terms of number of companies, turnover and fixed assets.
Mining Sector – is also largely foreign owned (75%), a look at the dominance over our platinum of Implats/Zimplats which
is a South African subsidiary should be a cause of great concern. They have been
the biggest investor in
Financial Sector – is largely indigenised (75%). But again, it is not a broad-based indigenisation. Is it better to have one Banking mogul or would it not be fairer for the bank employees to own shares in the bank and also generate income from their investments and accumulate capital?
Health Sector – Government owns 70% of the health sector facilities.
Telecommunications Sector – This is largely indigenised with government controlling a large share of this sector. Again the majority of the wealth is in the hands of Strive and company.
Construction Sector – The construction sector has been assisted through a deliberate policy by Government to promote indigenous players. The awarding of contracts to indigenous companies has assisted the industry to benefit. About 60% of registered indigenous building contractors are in the low capacity categories and cannot bid for projects exceeding $33 million. In terms of numbers, indigenous companies make up about 88% of the companies in this sector; they are dominated by non-indigenous players both in terms of value and market share. Through the Government’s affirmative action programme issued in 1993, Contracts in the B to G category are awarded to indigenous firms and there is a 10% preferential treatment weight in favour of indigenous firms in respect of huge contracts in the A category.
Tourism Sector - Non-indigenous investors currently dominate the tourism sector while indigenous players constitute a small group of investors. Indigenous investors account for 35% of the sector’s contribution to GDP. To date a sizeable number of indigenous operators have entered into sub-sectors such as tour operators, safari operators, lodges and guesthouses. As part of efforts to support indigenisation, the majority of hunting concessions in the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority areas have been awarded to indigenous people. The Authority is also involved in the training of hunters and guides. Game Safaris, under the Forestry Commission has adopted similar strategies to those of the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in empowering indigenous people.
Transport sector - Indigenous transport operators dominate the rural conventional omnibus and metered taxis but only control 25% of freight hauling. The railway sub-sector is 100% state owned through the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).
Indigenous aircraft operators own about 5% of the aircraft fleet while non-indigenous operators own about 83% of the fleet. The balance of 12% is owned by the state.
Energy sector - is dominated by state owned agencies such as Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings for electricity, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) for petroleum fuel and Hwange Colliery Company for coal
Services sector – Is largely indigenised, Indigenous businesses in this sector include Chartered Accounting firms, Architects, Associations of Zimbabwe Consultants, Law Society of Zimbabwe and Small Scale Service providers affiliated to Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC). Indigenous women dominate the small and informal sector businesses. The funeral sub-sector has also seen more indigenous participation due to the increasing mortality rate.
It is clear from the above that the most labour productive sectors of the economy have not been indigenised i.e. Manufacturing and Mining Sector and the government needs to concentrate on these sectors as a starting point for the legislation of ESOPS. Power to ALL the people, not just a few!
Again I reiterate, the problem is not that we have foreigners who own all the businesses, the problem is that the ordinary local man does not have access to capital to start up their own business and compete with the foreigners. A binary system democratizes access to credit as an indispensible social means to enable everyone to acquire this private capital. Everyone becomes a capitalist in the sense that they would have access to credit to invest (not just for consumption) and generate earnings, not only from their labour, but also from their capital investment.
Binary economics is already at work in the world in the form of
Mohammed Yunus’s Micro-crediting for which he won the Nobel Prize. The difference
between Mohammed Yunus and his predecessors, who came up with the idea (Kelso),
is that Mohammed Yunus put the theory of binary economics into practice and
showed its true benefits and practicality. The other example of binary economics
in today’s modern world can be found in the
The other problem that the government has, of course, is the high formal unemployment rate. How do you
create formal jobs in a country like
I would really like some input from our learned economists Professor Steve Hanke, John Robertson and Eric Bloch on this topic. At this moment in time, the Zimbabwean government does not have the required capital to take up binary economics as a macro and micro economic policy. But if they were to be bold, and take up the idea, they could at least begin to put the institutions in place.
As stated earlier,
Another way of raising capital is by cutting the government expenditure. We all know that our current over-bloated government is draining the country of much need capital resources to invest in our economic recovery. Although I'm stating the obvious, this suggestion will fall on deaf ears, but I will reiterate it as I have in previous articles. Government should cut the number of ministries and have a maximum of 9 ministries. It should also cut the number of civil servants. This will mean temporary unemployment for some, but the overall objective is to create highly productive employment for more by investing in industrialisation.
On the topic of government, why do we need multi-party politics? Ko
ari kuti chii ko muface uyuu, you might ask. But my point is, multi-party
politics is a Western phenomenon which has been shoved down our throats. In
The point of government has always been to serve the people, and up until now this just has not happened. I am of the view that the government should be run by competent people. There should be elections for the president who will be our leader and run the country. We should not have ministers but what I call CEO-Ministers for the different departments of governments. There should be an independent authority for hiring and firing these CEO-Ministers on merit, job qualifications, competence and service delivery. The CEO-ministers should effectively be a bunch of competent CEO’s with years of experience in their respective fields. The truth is 95% of the ministers we have in place right now are not suitable for the jobs they are doing. There are exceptions like Tendai Biti, who looks like he can do any job, and Elton Mangoma, the rest leave a lot to be desired. CEO-Ministers should be chosen on job-based experience, i.e. the Minister of Finance and Economics should have a proven track record of having worked in micro and macro economics/finance. The day-to-day running of the Government should be left to properly qualified people, the competent decision makers, not the current set up that we have where just because someone has a superior hierarchy in their political party they take up a more important ministry. This is ridiculous, nonsensical, ludicrous, without using more superlatives it just does not work. Forget the GPA/GNU implementation or non-implementation it is the atual structure of govenrment which is hindering economic progress. Let policy makers make their policies, but the each ministry should be run like an efficient and effective business with the qualified CEO-Minister equally hireable and fireable. We need to have a lean civil service.
I would suggest that the government basically consist of an elected President, the rigorously vetted CEO-Ministers who would head the 9 ministries running them as a profitable business, 59 elected representatives each from one of Zimbabwe’s 59 districts and of course the Chiefs. This will make up our national government, or national “Dare” who essentially represent the people and formulate policies and run local district affairs. All the other tiers of governors, senators and mayors etc should be done away with. These are an imported Western format who are a drain on the fiscus without contributing much. Does it really matter whether the representative elected from each district belongs to a political party for our bread and butter issues? When we need a bridge, hospital or school to be built, when we have pollution from a local factory, these district representatives will be the people we elect to push our local district/community agendas in government, if not it should be enshrined in our constitution that we are able to call back these representatives at any given time and replace them with someone who can get the job done. We want our elected representatives to be afraid of the consequences of not pushing our agenda in government. We do not want a representative who has contempt for us and thinks that they are doing us favours just by being in our presence, this is not democracy. We want accountability. What we have at the moment clearly does not work and should be corrected in the new constitution. I reiterate that we need to do away with multi-party politics which often divides and ruins African countries in particular. We need a democracy closer to the people.
My apologies for making this article too long, but knowledge, like the internet, should be free for everyone.
Written by Clive Samvura Jnr
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