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MP Butau issues statement on Gono scandal

Nehanda Radio

18 January 2008

The following is a statement issued by Guruve North MP David Butau who
recently fled to United Kingdom.

'After having made several attempts to bring the Governor of the Central
Bank to explain to the Budget Committee, I took a risky decision of going it
alone to expose, what I believed to be gross violation of trust placed upon
the Governor by the head of state.

There were three very clear issues that seemed awkward namely;

1. Resignation of Premier Bank Chief Executive Office, Exodus Makumbe in
very unclear circumstances.

2. Some illegal instructions from RBZ to heads of Banks not to reject so
called Mechanization Funds that were meant to facilitate parallel market
activities by both Premier Bank and Flatwater.

3. What appeared to be a club relationship between RBZ and a dubious tractor
merchant called Michigan Tractors of South AFrica. The only way to establish
facts was to infiltrate the intricate net of parallel market forex dealing.

Some staff at the RBZ and money laundering unit offered themselves for the
sake of protecting the integrity of the head of state, the party and the

Joseph Manjoro came to my private office several times as we attempted to
set up the transactions.

Towards the beginning of November 2007, we began what we all knew would be
hazardous and possibly perilous road to stop the rot at the Central Bank.

Although we stumbled upon some dirty personal issues, I feel this should not
be part of my business.

It is on the basis of those findings that I call upon the Authorities to:

1. Publish all transactions between RBZ and Premier Bank with an alternative
to publish proper audited overnight cover provided by the Central Bank.

2. In what capacity did the Governor of the Central Bank offer on several
occasions to rescue Premier Bank from liquidity problems.

3. Why were the police not called in to investigate the so called wrong
doing of Exodus Makumbe, if they were indeed of criminal nature.

4. Zimbabwe has five major and well-established franchise holdings of the
following brand of tractors:

a) Farmec - Massey Ferguson
b) Tarrys - Landini
c) Sabata - John Deere
d) Bain - New Holland
e) Tanaka - Renault

Zimbabwe is not under economic sanctions from any of these manufactures and
merchants, so why did the RBZ in the name of some choose Michigan Tractors,
which banks with Standard Bank of South Africa with a branch in Mafikan of
all the major business links of South Africa.

Once again, if we were to do an introspection, one then says if all these
decisions were taken in good faith, then the RBZ must out of obligation
publish the methodology used in selecting Michigan Tractors for the country
of more than USD 5 million, to sue tractors and other agricultural equipment
(some of which would be imported from Zimbabwe and then re-exported on a
higher margin).

On the same note, Michigan Tracors must explain why it makes payments on
behalf of certain RBZ officials especially those that claim to be holier
than all of us.

The receipt of Z$510 billion from RBZ via Flatwater was the clearest
testimony that something was very wrong at the Central Bank. Although others
may view this as source of blame worthiness on my part, I took the stupid
risk because I knew it would unsettle the authorities at the Central Bank
the moment they got wind of my involvement. RBZ gave Exchange Control
Approval to Flatwater and Mr Musakwa is very aware of approval, which was
purported to have been released to Flatwater becuase Flatwater claimed to
have offshore free funds. Indeed at some point Musakwa influenced the
release of Manjoro from Police custody.

The only certificate of clean hands the Governor can issue is to publish:

1) the invoices that it received from Flatwater and the amount of foreign
exchange that it received against those

2) RBZ should ask Michigan tractors to publish the actual value it received
from various sources who they went on to pay over and above the tractor and
implement suppliers.

If these questions are answered, I will take the first plane home.'

David Butau (MP)

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Vigil faces bully-boy tactics

The Vigil has contacted Charing Cross Police about threats to disrupt the
Vigil on Saturday.  The following is our confirmatory email to them. "To
confirm our conversation today about the demonstrations on Saturday: We
suspect the group behind the rival demonstration is responsible for a
campaign to misinform our supporters that the Vigil has been cancelled and
as you know the Vigil is going ahead as usual this Saturday. This group has
refused to co-operate with the Vigil and has drawn up a programme which they
seek to impose on us.  It is like allowing the Socialist Workers' Party to
stage a demonstration at a Labour Party gathering.  We will do our best to
ensure that the day passes peacefully but fear that they are trying to
disrupt us.  They talk of bringing a thousand people but we suspect that -
like the supposed presence of the Archbishop of York - this is just fantasy
(we have it on good authority that the Archbishop will not be in London this
Saturday). Anyway, we will be grateful for a police presence. As you know we
have asked for this very seldom in going on six years. Thank you for your
help and support during this long campaign."

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MDC and Zanu PF compromise necessary: Molokela

Nehanda Radio

18 January 2008

By Daniel Molokele (Fortune Mguni)

In 1997, I decided to pass on a chance to attain the status of being 'one of
the founding members' of the MDC. Since then I have never joined any other
political party up to today. I had several reasons for all this. I intend to
highlight them in my forthcoming book on my role and contribution to the
student movement of Zimbabwe .

But for the purposes of this present debate, I will immediately highlight
one of them.

I decided not to join the MDC because I knew that it had the ultimate duty
to engage the status quo and help to move the Zimbabwean political
dispensation forward.

Inevitably, such a task involved two asymmetrical processes of engagement
with Zanu PF. The first option was an outright victory over the ruling
party. (Witness the MMD's experience with UNIP in Zambia )

The second one was by way for compromise in the event of the failure of the
MDC to completely dislodge the ruling party.

The elections of both 2000 and 2002 were clearly dominated by high hopes and
expectations of an outright victory on the part of the MDC. Unfortunately as
history would have it, it was not to be. Zanu PF managed to survive the MDC
juggernaut by hook or crook. The rest as they say is history.

Be that as it may, a last ditch effort was further presented to the MDC in
March 2005 but as we might all recall, the MDC proved by then that it had
lost much of its original venom and Zanu PF this time had an easier task of
brushing off the challenge from the MDC.

The issue of the Senate elections then had the effect of further dividing
the MDC and in the final analysis gave the upper hand to Zanu PF.

Since the October 2005 debacle, it was always going to be harder for the MDC
to stick to the first option. It is thus hardly a BIG surprise that as I
write today, the dominant process at the moment is now option B.

Both MDC and Zanu PF need to compromise in order to move forward. Zimbabwe
has virtually come to a standstill. The difference between the two political
parties has narrowed up so much that they are both presently facing the risk
of political irrelevance. Neither of the two can honestly claim to have the
full confidence of the electorate. Let alone the greater Zimbabwean

The fact that at least three million adults and the gist of the electorate
are now based outside the country as the so-called Diaspora further
underline the failure of the Zimbabwean political process in the past

The public confidence in the electoral system of Zimbabwe is now at an all
time low. It is doubtful that given the recent history of lack of
credibility to the national polls, the forthcoming ones will even be able to
garner sufficient interest from a weary electorate. The reality is that the
voters are suffering from a serious bout of election fatigue and APATHY
could prove to be the decisive winner.

Something then ought to give!

In this regard, one should seriously take note of the words given to the
Parliament by the likes of Patrick Chinamasa, Joram Gumbo, Thokozani Khupe,
Gibson Sibanda and Welshman Ncube on the eve of the unprecedented unanimous
18th Constitutional Amendment. They all clearly held the notion that as long
as the political impasse continued to persist, then both Zanu and MDC risked
being accused of political sterility and stagnation. They both risked
outright rejection by the long suffering masses of Zimbabwe who have borne
the brunt of the failure of the national electoral system to produce a clear
political leadership for our people.

Here are some excerpts from the reports of the parliamentary debate at that

“This (agreement by Zanu-PF and the MDC on the amendments) should be
regarded as the first step of a holistic resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis,"
said Ms Khupe.

She said the negotiating teams should deliberate further on other important
aspects, including the overhaul of the security, media and electoral laws.

Bulawayo North-East MP and secretary general of the Mutambara faction
Professor Welshmen Ncube also supported the Bill.

"I fully and unconditionally endorse the remarks made by my colleague (Ms
Khupe). I confirm what the Honourable Minister of Justice has said in his
statement in respect of the process and content of the negotiations between
the Government and Zanu-PF on one hand, and the MDC in its collective
sense," Prof Ncube said.

He said the two parties had taken the right steps to address the
socio-economic challenges and the two leaders of the MDC factions were
impressed with the progress being made by the dialogue.

"As the negotiating teams move on with the rest of the agenda (of the
talks), electoral laws, AIPPA (Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act) and, indeed, the question of sanctions, they are on the agenda
and we will deal with them. We hope to find each other.

"We believe we cannot continue to conduct politics for the sake of politics.
We should begin to conduct politics for the service of the people," Prof
Ncube said.

Nkulumane legislator and deputy leader in the Mutambara faction Mr Gibson
Sibanda also welcomed the landmark development, saying the nation should now
collectively find a lasting solution to its problems.

"Today is the beginning of a historic moment in this House. Indeed, I find
today that between the two parties represented here we can find the solution
to the crisis in Zimbabwe . We are in the process of making history and
finding solutions to the crisis," he said.

Mr Sibanda said despite the divisions between Zanu-PF and the MDC, the two
parties were showing maturity and addressing their differences.

"I support and add my voice to the smooth passage of the Constitution
Amendment Number 18 Bill and continued dialogue between Zanu-PF and MDC.
Indeed, we are united as Zimbabweans," he said.

Zanu-PF Chief Whip and MP for Mberengwa West Cde Joram Gumbo said
yesterday's events showed Zimbabweans were level-minded people who could sit
together and resolve their own problems internally.

"We from this side of the House want to say the chickens have come to roost.
We realise now that we are Zimbabweans. We, as Zimbabweans, are able to come
together and solve our issues," said Cde Gumbo.

On the other hand, other leadership paradigms such as the notion of a “third
force’ were already being whispered around the darker alleys of the
corridors of power at the expense of both the political parties.

Zanu could not decisively defeat the MDC and the MDC could not decisively
dislodge Zanu PF and so as political logic demands, the two had no option
but to reach out for some form of compromise.

This is not a unique political experience at all.

Here in South Africa , we all know that in the late 1980s, a process of
engagement between the apartheid regime and the nationalist movement was
begun against all odds. By 1990, the process had led to the unbanning of
such crucial ‘terrorist’ organizations such as the ANC, SACP and the PAC.
Not only that, political activists returned from exile and those that were
in solitary confinement were released to actively lead the process of
political engagement between the hitherto bitterest of political enemies.

Need I say more about the process of CODESA and the setting up of the
Constitutional Assembly that culminated in the process of the certification
of the 1996 democratic Constitution of South Africa?

But let me bring the above point further home.

We all know that the Patriotic Front (as represented in the battlefield by
Zanla and Zipra) had to engage the powers that be in the Rhodesian

We all know that Lord Carrington had to lead the process of negotiation that
took several months at Lancaster House. We all know that in the final
analysis a new nation called Zimbabwe was born on the mortal bedside of
another one called Rhodesia in April 1980. It was compromise that lead to
such kind of a breakthrough amid the internecine nature of the armed
liberation movement. Over 40000 innocent civilians lost their lives in that
bloody national political conflict.

After the euphoria of independence we all know that all hell broke loose in
Midlands and Matabeleland as the struggle for political hegemony between the
two former Patriotic Front allies escalated. Between 1982 and 1987, over
20000 innocent civilians lost their precious lives in a political struggle
that had huge tribalistic or ethnic overtones. (The great Ndebele versus
Shona debate)

But still in December 1987, after several months of secret negotiations, as
facilitated by the late President Canaan Banana, Zimbabweans and indeed the
rest of the international community was pleasantly shocked to see Mugabe and
Nkomo sign the Unity Accord that ended the many years of senseless bloody

To the extent that the ANC managed to compromise with the Nationalist Party;
the Patriotic Front with the Rhodesian Front and Zapu with Zanu PF; it
should thus not come as a surprise that both MDC and Zanu PF are now on the
verge of coming up with a political compromise that might initiate the
process of unlocking the political deadlock that has crippled the nation’s
once thriving economy.

Both MDC and Zanu PF owe the people of Zimbabwe a form of compromise that
will help heal the nation and open up the society for a broader national

Compromise, in whatever form, is the necessary evil that both parties have
to face. It is a bitter pill that will ultimately prove to part of a
political panacea to heal the socio-economic malaise that has bedeviled our
once prosperous country.

Just last week I passed by some desperate fellow countrymen at Marabstad
Home Affairs Department in Pretoria and also, as usual met the desperate
hand of Zimbabwean blind beggars at several traffic lights and thought to
myself; why are we as Zimbabweans allowing this humiliation and indignity of
out people to continue unabated?

Yes there is the necessary national ideological debate that needs to
continue. We cannot avoid it at all. But it belongs to those that have
access to resources such as the internet and its concomitant discussion
groups or forums. But how about those of us that are presently wallowing up
at the Lindela Deportation Center , Marabstad, Hillbrow, Sun City prison
complex etcetera.

Don’t they deserve a better chance of a peaceful life back home in Zimbabwe
at all?

I verily believe that if the leading politicians cast their petty
differences aside and focus on nation building, those long suffering
Zimbabweans will get another chance to be willingly associated with the once

Last but not least, let me end by quoting Morgan Tsvangirai. I was less than
three meters away from his podium speech in Harare on 31st July 2006 when he
said these immortal words to the delegates at the launch of the Save
Zimbabwe Campaign.

“Let us as politicians not listen to our voices but that of the people. Our
people are saying stop dividing us and start uniting us.”

So if it means that Zanu PF and MDC have to agree to a form of political
compromise to end the crippling impasse then let it be. The time for that
has come. The time for that is NOW!

The MDC has not been Zanunised. Neither has Zanu PF been MDCised!!!

The political reality we all have to face is that the inevitable process of
COMPROMISE has eventually dawned yet again on the Zimbabwean political
landscape and hopefully it will ultimately prove to be for our own good.

* Daniel Molokele is a Human Rights Lawyer and Civic Society leader who is
based in South Africa . He is also a former student leader in Zimbabwe where
he held several positions including that of being the Vice President of the
1997-98 ZINASU Executive and the President of the University of Zimbabwe
Students Union in 1998-99. Molokele was recently appointed as the
Co-ordinator of the Global Zimbabwe Forum, a new organisation that will be
based in Geneva and serve as an international platform for the Zimbabwean
Diaspora communities across the world. He writes in his own personal

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FEWS Zimbabwe Food Security Alert 17 Jan 2008

Famine Early Warning System Network

Date: 17 Jan 2008

Food scarcity, high prices
undermine urban food security as heavy rains compromise seasonal progress

Widespread food insecurity will continue to affect 4.1 million Zimbabweans
out of the projected population of 11.8 million, through the first harvests
in March 2008. While ongoing food assistance programs are expected to meet
all of the assessed needs in rural areas, targeting close to four million
beneficiaries, only one third of the one million urban Zimbabweans estimated
to be food insecure are receiving formal food assistance. In urban areas,
high levels of food insecurity persist and are likely to worsen as the
hunger season continues, due to food shortages on formal markets,
exceptionally high and rising prices on parallel markets, and inefficient
maize procurement, distribution, and pricing policies.

In addition to food shortages, low employment, and high inflation, urban
households must cope with declining access to public services such as water,
sewage, electricity, transportation, and waste collection, which has not
kept pace with the over– crowding in peri– urban areas that has increased
pressure on a deteriorating infrastructure. The decline in public services
and infrastructure has a direct impact on public health, food utilization,
and incomes. Sewage bursts are common in suburbs where the housing density
has increased significantly. In December, 459 cases of cholera were reported
in two high– density suburbs of Harare, attributed by city health officials
to the decline in garbage collection, sewer blockages, and erratic water
supplies. The situation is similar in other urban areas.

Planting rains began early this season in most of the country. Government
estimates indicate that, midway through December 2007, farmers had planted
about 32 percent more area under maize than had been plant around the same
time last season. However, in most of the country, heavy rains since mid–
December have slowed land preparation and planting, and promoted weed
growth. Most rivers are at risk of flooding and many low– lying areas have
already been flooded. Excessive rainfall has also compromised the growth of
established crops, particularly in low– lying fields where heavy clay soils
have been water– logged. Fields with lighter, sandy soils have been leached
of nutrients. Fertilizer is scarce this season, but even those farmers with
access to fertilizer will not apply it if the rains continue with the same
intensity. Heavy rains have also disrupted livelihoods and destroyed homes
and productive assets, including livestock.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (Agritex) and its National Early
Warning Unit (NEWU), and a team including the Grain Marketing Board,
Meteorological Services Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Central
Statistical Office, farmer unions, FAO and FEWS NET, plan a first round crop
assessment from the end of January to early February 2008. FAO, in
collaboration with its NGO partners, plans a post– planting assessment in
February 2008. Both assessments will focus on rural areas and are likely to
provide more information on the impact of the heavy rains on this season’s
crop production.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) issues alerts to prompt
decision-maker action to prevent or mitigate potential or actual food
insecurity. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily
reflect the view of the United States Agency for International Development
or the United States Government.

For more information see:

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Mbeki fails to save MDC/Zanu talks

Zim Independent

Dumisani Muleya

TALKS between the ruling Zanu PF and the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) to resolve the current crisis through free and fair
elections collapsed yesterday after President Robert Mugabe rejected South
African President Thabo Mbeki’s last-ditch bid to crack the deadlock.

A transitional constitution and the election date have been the main
sticking points.

The breakdown comes after Mbeki on Tuesday told the visiting Irish
Prime Minister Bertie Ahern that a breakthrough in the negotiations was
almost in the bag.

After a meeting with Mbeki, Ahern said he had been told by his host
that a final agreement could be wrapped up within days.

South African Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad had also said
on Wednesday "real movement" had been made in the talks.

However, sources close to yesterday’s critical meetings in Harare
which involved Mbeki, Mugabe and MDC faction leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and
Arthur Mutambara, said the talks all but cillapsed after the South African
leader failed to break the stalemate.

"Mugabe refused to accept a new constitution before the elections and
to delay the polls in order to implement the final agreement," a source who
was in the meeting said. "Practically, this means the talks have collapsed."

Mbeki, who flew into the capital yesterday morning on a rescue
mission, left in the evening "empty-handed and frustrated", the sources

As reported in the Zimbabwe Independent, Zanu PF on September 5 took a
decision at its politburo meeting not to accept serious reforms, especially
a new constitution, before the elections. The sources said Mugabe told Mbeki
yesterday that the elections would go ahead in March and his regime could
only introduce a new constitution after the polls.

They said the MDC was now likely to boycott the polls unless a broad
coalition with a real chance of winning is formed to challenge Zanu PF.

However, Mbeki as usual claimed yesterday at a press briefing that
there was progress in the talks. "We came to give a report to President
Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai as well as Arthur Mutambara on how far we have
gone (with the talks). We have listened to the leaders. We are going back to
continue that process. It’s work in progress and very good progress."

Mbeki said he did not doubt the "commitment on the part of the
Zimbabwe government to solve problems the country is facing".

The South African leader is soon expected to present a report to the
Sadc troika on politics, defence and security on the state of the talks.
Mbeki and the current troika chair Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos do
not see eye-to-eye over South Africa’s botched mediation in the Angola civil
war in which Pretoria tried to accommodate rebel leader Jonas Savimbi in
their diplomacy when Luanda thought he should be militarily crushed.

Mbeki last visited Zimbabwe on November 22 to pressure Mugabe and MDC
leaders to speed up the talks after several deadlines for the final
agreement were missed.

Then he said he was "very confident" a solution to the country’s
political stalemate would be found soon.

The sources said Mbeki had a tough four-hour meeting with Mugabe at
State House where he tried hard to press his counterpart to make concessions
on a new transitional constitution and a date for elections beyond March,
but failed. The meeting was held in a "tense and disturbing atmosphere", it
was said. Mugabe, the sources confirmed, had promised Mbeki in September he
would accept a new constitution before the elections if the MDC supported
his party’s constitutional amendments.

Mbeki told the MDC leaders then that they should support the Zanu PF
constitutional amendments because Mugabe had agreed to introduce a new
constitution before the polls. Mbeki as the Sadc mediator underwrote the

Mbeki also met with Tsvangirai and Mutambara yesterday at the South
African ambassador’s residence. Mbeki had brought with him his three
facilitators, South African Local Government minister Sydney Mufamadi,
Director-General in the Presidency Reverend Frank Chikane, and his legal
advisor Mujanku Gumbi.

Zanu PF negotiators are Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, while
the MDC delegates are Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti assisted by Priscillah
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Lovemore Moyo. The facilitators and negotiators
were present yesterday, although they did not attend their principals’

The sources said Mbeki, whose mediation was significantly weakened by
his recent defeat by Jacob Zuma at the ANC conference, tried hard to crack
the deadlock but failed after Mugabe refused to adopt a new constitution or
postpone elections to allow for the implementation of issues already agreed
upon in the talks. These issues are at the heart of the deadlock.

As revealed in the Independent in a series of reports from September
to December, Zanu PF and the MDC have already agreed on all the agenda items
which included a constitution, electoral reforms, security laws, media
legislation and the political climate. However, they hit a serious roadblock
on transitional mechanisms and the implementation of the agreement,
particularly a new constitution before elections.

Since Mbeki started his involvement in the Zimbabwe crisis in 2000, it
has become increasingly clear that he has no diplomatic clout to influence
Mugabe. As revealed in a recent biography by Mark Gevisser, Thabo Mbeki: A
Dream Deferred, Mbeki actually regards Mugabe as a father-figure and has
been in very close contact with him since he came to power in 1980. Mbeki’s
long comradeship with Mugabe apparently rendered him ineffective in his
ill-fated mediation.

Yesterday’s crucial visit to Harare was probably Mbeki’s last chance
before he leaves office early next year to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis —
which he has been grappling with for nearly eight years. Mbeki’s failure on
the Zimbabwe situation further blights his legacy already blemished by his
disastrous intervention in the Ivory Coast civil war and recent defeat in
the ANC.

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Makoni faces credibility test

Zim Independent

Constantine Chimakure

SERIOUS misgivings in Zanu PF, the MDC and civic society have emerged
over former Finance minister Simba Makoni’s capacity to produce a split in
Zanu PF to beat President Robert Mugabe in this year’s presidential

Information to hand shows Makoni and his group are making moves to
split from Zanu PF and challenge Mugabe without working with other
opposition forces. They have rejected a proposal by opposition and civil
society groups to form a broad alliance against Zanu PF and Mugabe.

However, sources this week said disgruntled Zanu PF bigwigs pushing
for a splinter party, both MDC factions and some members of the civic
society, doubted Makoni’s capacity to lead a split from Zanu PF.

The sources said Makoni’s handlers initially made approaches to the
MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai which reportedly told him to first
cause a stir in Zanu PF by resigning to show that he was serious in his bid
to lead the alliance.

After failing to secure support from the Tsvangirai faction, Makoni’s
supporters decided to go it alone.

Makoni, who was expected this week to roll out a programme to
challenge the current leadership of Zanu PF, is now on a mission to sell his
project to the ruling party’s politburo. Sources in the party yesterday said
Makoni was scheduled to meet retired army general Solomon Mujuru who leads a
Zanu PF faction that is reportedly opposed to Mugabe’s continued hold on

Makoni, who lacks a grassroots support base, largely draws his backing
from the Mujuru faction in Zanu PF. A few Mugabe loyalists in the party also
support him.

It is said Makoni’s group has lined up a number of meetings with Zanu
PF politburo members to seek their support.

But there are doubts about Makoni’s ability to persuade Zanu PF
politburo members and structures to break away from the ruling party. The
sources said some members of the Mujuru faction were arguing that Makoni was
not a Zanu PF heavyweight and commanded insufficient support to challenge

"Mujuru and his group think that Makoni is the right candidate because
of his appeal in urban areas, but they are worried that he does not have the
clout and support base to challenge Mugabe," a senior Zanu PF official said.
"The camp wants a heavyweight from Zanu PF to head a coalition, instead of a
Zanu PF splinter group. The main problem is that Makoni is not influential
in the party."

The official said the camp was also worried that Makoni was unable to
come out clearly on his ambitions to become president just weeks before the
election. This has raised fears he might withdraw from the initiative at the
eleventh hour, leaving his group in disarray.

"There are genuine fears that Makoni may decide at the eleventh hour
not to be party to the new formation as (Rural and Social Amenities minister
Emmerson) Mnangagwa did in 2005," the official said.

Mnangagwa reportedly chickened out of a proposed new party, the United
Peoples Movement (UPM), shortly before its intended launch in 2005 after he
refused to resign from Zanu PF, arguing it was better to fight the party
from within.

The intended formation of the UPM was prompted by the dismissal of six
Zanu PF provincial chairpersons, among others, by the party for allegedly
taking part in the famous Tsholotsho Declaration of November 2004 to
"re-arrange the presidium".

The UPM suffered a stillbirth after Mnangagwa’s refusal to leave Zanu

The sources said despite Mujuru’s concerns, there were some people in
his camp like former permanent secretary and academic Ibbo Mandaza who
insist that Makoni should lead a party formed from a breakaway Zanu PF
faction, not an alliance of opposition parties and civil society groups.

"Mandaza believes that Makoni is the appropriate candidate. He is of
the opinion that people who will move from Zanu PF will campaign heavily for
Makoni in the rural areas where he needs support," another source said.

MDC-Tsvangirai faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa yesterday scoffed at
the prospects of an alliance between his party and Makoni’s formation.

"This is a Zanu PF split which has nothing to do with the MDC but with
Mugabe’s dictatorship," said Chamisa. "A Zanu PF implosion is however good
for all democratic forces."

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Gono dares his accusers

Zim Independent

Constantine Chimakure/Loughty Dube

RESERVE Bank governor Gideon Gono this week dismissed as "absolute
laboratory-generated falsehoods" allegations by fugitive legislator for
Guruve North, David Butau, that he was corrupt and that the central bank was
involved in graft.

This comes amid reports that members of the parliamentary portfolio
committee on Budget and Finance are already lobbying the government to
relieve him of his duties at the RBZ for alleged corruption.

Butau was the chairperson of the committee.

In a two-page statement from the UK where he fled, Butau alleged that
the committee was probing Gono and the central bank for "gross violation of
trust placed upon the governor by the head of state".

Butau claimed that he took a risky decision of "going it alone" to
expose the violations and this culminated in him being involved in illegal
foreign currency dealings.

He demanded that authorities publish all transactions between the RBZ
and Premier Bank or alternatively to make public "proper audited overnight
cover" by the central bank to the financial institution.

Butau wanted to know in what capacity Gono allegedly offered on
several occasions to rescue Premier Bank from liquidity problems.

"Why were the police not called in to investigate the so-called
wrongdoing of Exodus Makumbe (former Premier Bank CEO) if they were indeed
of a criminal nature?" read Butau’s statement. "Zimbabwe has five major and
well established franchise holdings of the following brand of tractors (a)
Farmec — Massey Fergusson (b) Tarrys — Landani (c) Sabata — John Deere (d)
Bain — New Holland and (e) Tanaka — Renault."

Butau questioned why the RBZ settled for South Africa’s Michigan
Tractors for the agricultural mechanisation programmes when Zimbabwe was not
under economic sanctions from any of the five tractor manufacturers and

"My receipt of Z$510 billion from RBZ via Flatwater was the clearest
testimony that something was very wrong at the central bank," wrote Butau.
"Although others may view this as a source of blameworthiness on my part, I
took the stupid risk because I knew it would unsettle the authorities at the
central bank the moment they got wind of my involvement."

But Gono in written response to questions by the Zimbabwe Independent
dismissed Butau’s assertions.

"Please take note that your sources have supplied you with absolute
laboratory-generated falsehoods which are nothing but a creation of their
desperate imagination," Gono said. "It would be sub-judice, unethical and
unprofessional for me to comment further on matters that are before
competent courts."

Gono added that the truth would soon come out.

"Soon, the whole truth will be made public, complete with thorough,
authentic and exhaustive due diligence, 100% auditable documentation trail
and irrefutable chronology of events, and it will be up to the public jury
to see it for themselves how some members of the community were vainly
hoping to hide behind the smokescreen of wild falsehoods. For now, let the
courts and the Zimbabwe Republic Police do their job unhindered," Gono said.

Meanwhile, our Bulawayo bureau reported that the majority members of
the parliamentary committee were already lobbying to have Gono relieved of
his duties.

Gono is due to appear before the committee on Monday and is expected
to name "cash barons" he accused of causing the current cash crisis in the

The committee also wants Gono to respond to allegations that the
central bank was involved in corruption.

It emerged this week that the 13-member parliamentary committee, made
up of five opposition legislators and eight Zanu PF lawmakers, has been
consulting and has resolved that the central bank chief has more to answer
than merely revealing his list of those he accuses of hoarding cash.

"Gono is finished. All members are convinced that he should go as he
has not helped the country’s economic situation and, depending on the
outcome, we will make recommendations that he go or recommend that RBZ
operations be investigated," said one committee member.

The parliamentary committee has set the ball rolling for a bruising
encounter with Gono by declaring that proceedings at the Monday meeting will
be open to the press.

"Everyone at the meeting agreed unanimously that the media be allowed
to sit throughout the whole proceeding as there is nothing to hide," said
the committee member.

Another member said they were aware that Gono would try to defend the
doling out of trillions of dollars to shelf companies to buy tractors for
the farm mechanisation programme as part of sanctions-busting.

"We are aware that Gono will allege that he is busting sanctions if
questioned on why he has been giving dubious companies cash to buy foreign
currency on the black market. But that is not an issue because he should
have sought the authority of the Finance ministry to do that and we are
aware that the Finance minister has no idea of such deals," said the
committee member.

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Kunonga goes berserk in church

Zim Independent

Lucia Makamure

THE battle for control of the Harare Anglican Church Diocese took a
new twist at the weekend when supporters of expelled former bishop, Nolbert
Kunonga, allegedly disrupted church services in the capital.

Church services failed to take place in Belvedere, Warren Park,
Greendale, Marlborough and Glen View as Kunonga’s supporters insisted that
he was in charge and that the recently appointed acting bishop, Sebastian
Bakare, had nothing to do with Harare Diocese.

In Greendale, Rector Thomas Madeyi was arrested for allegedly
disturbing a church service that was conducted by Kunonga at St Luke’s,
Greendale, Church.

However, Madeyi was on Tuesday released after a prosecutor at the
Harare Magistrates Courts said there was no case to answer for the rector.

Madeyi’s lawyer, Eric Matinenga, said the prosecutor ruled that the
state had no tangible evidence against his client.

"The prosecutor said the case was petty and the rector was free to
go," Matinenga said.

But information gathered by the Zimbabwe Independent this week
revealed that Kunonga’s supporters sparked the row that led to Madeyi’s

"Kunonga and crew caused our rector to be arrested and thrown into the
cells at Rhodesville police station," said a source.

The source alleged that Kunonga was the one who fought Madeyi in order
to wrestle vestry keys from him.

"Keys to the church vestry were wrestled from our rector and Kunonga
took the keys away," the source said.

Another parishioner from the same church said Kunonga came to their
church uninvited.

"The recognised Anglican Bishop of the Province of Central Africa, the
Right Reverend Sebastian Bakare was scheduled to celebrate mass with us on
that day during a combined 8.00 am service. We got to church just before
8.00 am and we found Kunonga already in the church with his wife and a
couple of funny looking people, whom we later learnt were his bodyguards,"
said the parishioner.

The parishioner said Kunonga threw away wine and smashed cups and
wafers that were being prepared for the service in full view of a stunned

"As our front servers prepared for mass and as we waited for Bishop
Bakare and our rector to emerge from the vestry, Kunonga unashamedly and in
full view of the congregation, stood up, walked to the altar, grabbed the
wine, cups and wafers, threw them on the ground, grabbed a chair, placed it
right in front of the altar and sat cross-legged, defiantly gazing at the
stunned congregation," he said.

On Monday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, issued a
statement condemning Kunonga for the disturbances at Anglican churches that
took place last Sunday.

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Zanu PF politburo meets next week

Zim Independent

THE Zanu PF politburo is expected to meet on Wednesday to deal with a
series of urgent issues affecting the faction-ridden party amid the looming
spectre of a break-up ahead of crucial elections in March, it has been

The politburo was initially expected to meet on January 30 to discuss
its primary polls to select candidates for the general election, but the
meeting was brought forward because of the rising turbulence in the party,
sources this week said.

Zanu PF is caught in a political storm accompanied by threats by some
of its senior members to break away and form a splinter party to challenge
President Robert Mugabe. Speculation is rife that long-serving official and
politburo member Simba Makoni could lead the break-away group. It is said
that Makoni is being supported by a Zanu PF faction led by retired army
commander General Solomon Mujuru.

The politburo will, among other things, discuss the primary elections
in the context of the March elections, talks between Zanu PF and the MDC,
and probably events in the party whose factional cracks appear to be
widening to the point of a possible split.

The sources said next week’s politburo meeting — the first after the
party’s extraordinary congress which ended in chaos — is likely to be heated
like most recent ones because of the lingering controversy over Mugabe’s
reportedly fraudulent confirmation and endorsement as the party leader and
presidential candidate.

Senior Zanu PF politburo members told the Zimbabwe Independent last
month that Mugabe was endorsed in an unconstitutional and unprocedural
manner at congress. They produced strong evidence to show this, which Mugabe
and Zanu PF failed to deny.

The Zanu PF congress ended in chaos after Vice-President Joseph Msika
and party chair John Nkomo almost walked out in protest when war veterans
leader Jabulani Sibanda tried to address congress after he was told he could
not because he was still suspended from the party. — Staff Writer.

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Musindo in bid to stop rape trial

Zim Independent

Lucia Makamure/ Jesilyn Dendere

ZANU PF apologist and founder of the Destiny of Afrika Network,
Reverend Obediah Musindo, this week filed an urgent High Court application
seeking an order to bar a Harare regional magistrate court from continuing
with his rape trial.

Musindo allegedly raped his maid on five occasions in 2004 but the
case only went to court two years later. The clergyman is pleading not
guilty, arguing that political enemies trumped up the rape allegation
because they were opposed to his backing of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu

Last year, regional magistrate Judith Tsamba threw out an application
by Musindo for discharge at the close of the state case, prompting the
clergyman to appeal to the High Court.

Justice Tedius Karwi last year also dismissed Musindo’s appeal and
said the regional court should proceed with the trial.

Musindo immediately appealed to the Supreme Court against Karwi’s

He then applied before Tsamba to stop the trial in the lower court
until the Supreme Court hands down judgement on his appeal.

Tsamba dismissed the application and continuation of Musindo’s trial
commenced a fortnight ago.

"I submit that I stand to be prejudiced should the trial proceed to
its conclusion as I would not have any remedy on appeal in the event of a
conviction," read Musindo’s application. "The point I am making is that even
if it is found on appeal that I should have been acquitted at the close of
the case for the prosecution and that the trial court misdirected itself in
putting me to my defence, nothing will be able to be done to remedy the

Musindo said the relief he was seeking from the High Court was meant
to stop the regional court proceedings pending exhaustion of the matter
before the Supreme Court.

"I am not seeking to stall the trial merely as a gimmick to buy time
but I believe the matter to be determined by the Supreme Court is important
as it is going to be a precedent in cases of a similar nature," Musindo said
in the application.

"Further and most importantly there is a possibility that I may be
prejudiced should the trial continue as in the event of a conviction the
appeal court will not be able to set me free even if a finding is made that
I ought to have been acquitted at the close of the state case."

Musindo wants the Supreme Court application considered urgent as his
case before the regional court was due to continue tomorrow.

"I also submit that the matter should be considered as urgent in that
any delay in hearing the application will result in the trial continuing on
January 19," Musindo said. "It is my submission that there are very high
prospects of the Supreme Court granting me the relief that I am seeking."

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The economics of cash crisis in Zimbabwe

Zim Independent

PATRICK Conway, in his paper entitled The Economics of Cash Shortage
concluded that cash shortages were a manifestation of shallow financial
markets. His conclusions were based on analysis of cash shortages which
occurred in countries in the former Soviet Union during the 90’s as
perestroika and glasnost took hold there.

In most cases, the preferred policy responses to cash crises were
printing more money (currency emission) and/ or cash rationing. However,
these policies failed to achieve the intended goal of eliminating the cash
shortages without causing instabilities in the macro economy. Currency
emission led to accelerating inflation while restrictions worsened the

In Zimbabwe the major cause of the current cash crisis seems to be the
hyperinflation which has vastly increased the transactional demand for
money. Rapid monetary expansion, declining investment and production levels,
apparent indexation of prices to volatile parallel market exchange rates and
adverse expectations have also contributed to the problem.

In addition the informalisation of the Zimbabwean economy has meant
that more currency now circulates outside the formal banking system. Given
that most participants in the informal sector are either unbanked or they
shun transacting via formal channels, cash in this sector is rarely
deposited with banks.

Severe foreign exchange shortages in the economy have created a
thriving parallel foreign currency market which has contributed to the
worsening of the currency crisis.

The economy is also experiencing a high degree of currency
substitution as people now prefer holding foreign currencies in order to
store value and hedge against inflation. The prevailing high inflation rate
and policy uncertainties have resulted in a large proportion of transactions
being conducted in foreign currencies.

Moreover the shortage of basic commodities on the local markets has
increased the demand for foreign exchange to purchase these in neighboring
countries like South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. All these factors
contribute to the continued circulation of currency on informal markets.

The banking sector has been unable to attract meaningful deposits
largely as a result of negative real returns on savings. Real interest rates
have been negative since 2003 and this has removed the economic incentives
for individuals and corporates to hold wealth as savings within the banking

Confidence in the banking system has also been severely affected by
sub economic withdrawal limits which require frequent visits to banks. As a
result saving levels have dropped dramatically due to financial

Furthermore, the current withdrawal limits make consumption smoothing
difficult given the level of prices in the economy and uncertainties in the
macroeconomic environment resulting in the bulk of income being consumed
rather than saved.

Some of programmes which have been instituted in a bid enhance the
supply side of basic commodities have resulted in the emission of trillions
of dollars onto the market without a corresponding injection of currency
into circulation.

Given the level of financial disintermediation and informalisation of
the Zimbabwe economy, when the beneficiaries pay their own suppliers, the
propensity to convert such funds into cash is very high and consequently
such programmes end up contributing to the cash crisis, as the original
funds were not underpinned by currency emission.

Although printing money to solve the cash shortage problem may help in
the short run, this will lead to accelerating inflation in the medium to
long term. More appropriate solutions should involve reversing the economic
incentives to financial disintermediation as these both reduce the cash
shortage and help in tempering inflationary pressures.

In particular, there is need to restore economic actors’ confidence in
the financial sector’s ability to effectively and efficiently handle the
banking needs of the economy.

Given that the parallel foreign currency market is contributing to the
continued circulation of cash outside the formal system, addressing foreign
exchange shortages through a viable exchange rate regime is a necessary step
in solving the cash crisis.

It is prudent to allow free foreign currency transactions in the
mainstream banking sector in order to limit the volume of currency
circulating on the parallel market. Restoration of sanity in the foreign
exchange market will eliminate arbitrage opportunities.

Although raising nominal interest rates is usually the preferred
policy solution in removing the disincentive to save, applicability in the
Zimbabwean context is limited because of high levels of inflation. Achieving
attractive positive real interest rates therefore requires inflation
reduction in the first place.

In the medium term the solution to cash shortages may lie in the areas
of pursuit where countries facing similar double jeopardises of cash
shortages and inflation have had to consider and among them is the dreaded
dolarisation of the currency. Before that is practical examination of the
results of measures applied in Latin American and Eastern Europe often under
the advice of Rudiger Dornbusch need to be studied.

A holistic solution to the cash shortage centers on inflation
reduction and stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment. This will
increase the economic incentive to save/deposit money in the formal
financial sector.

It is important to note that, proper diagnosis of the causes of cash
shortages has important policy implications. As the three propositions
state, excess demands for cash are reflections of conditions throughout the
financial markets.

Efforts to remedy imbalances in one market without considering that
the roots of the imbalance are found in another financial market will
founder on the integration of financial markets. — Own Correspondent.

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Zimbabweans ill-prepared for economic recovery

Zim Independent

Nhlanhla Nyathi

THE emergence of the economic recession and the subsequent
inflationary conditions that followed as far back as 2000 initially
presented readjustment problems for the larger segment of the Zimbabwean
population that had become accustomed to a stable economic environment.

Prior to the economic recession, the majority of Zimbabweans excelled
throughout their early schooling and later in tertiary education with the
ultimate objective of securing well-paying jobs that guaranteed financial

Savings were subsequently made and invested on a fairly regular basis
into structured investments for posterity and to provide financial security
for other generations. The advent of the economic recession turned this
financial comfort zone upside down through the erosion of savings and
salaries due to the effects of hyperinflation.

Understandably, as part of the survival strategy under the new
dispensation people devised various techniques, most of which were crafted
to take advantage of massive distortions that had arisen in the economic
trading environment because of policy inconsistencies on the part of

The get rich quick wheeler dealers who made massive margins on foreign
currency transactions without producing a single consumable product became
the order of the day and the envy of many outside the sacred circle.

No particular skills were required to expedite the deals except for
one to be connected and have the guts to trade in an illegal market.

The less fortunate who had no access to this lucrative market but
could not bear the option of living in abject poverty through earning an
inflation ravaged wage decided to ply their trade in the informal sector.

Nothing much was required to set up the informal businesses as little
capital was invested to initiate operations and little was required in the
form of working capital. The informal sector became an important investment
tool for the lower end of the market allowing it to keep up with inflation
in line with other classes.

On the other hand, those who remained in formal employment were
negatively affected by sub-economic salaries and consequently engaged in
unethical dealings within their work places to earn an extra dollar as a way
of keeping up with everyone else.

Many others migrated legally and illegally to various regional and
international countries to earn the much sought after foreign currency as a
way of providing a safety-net for relatives left behind in Zimbabwe.

By and large, Zimbabweans across the class divide had readjusted
through these various methods to the changed circumstances. These survival
techniques were necessary but temporary in nature.

Temporary as they may have been, Zimbabweans across the class divide
had to some extent altered their lives permanently, in a way compromising
their possible re-integration to the economy post economic recession.

Hence, the question that keeps lingering in the minds of visionaries
is: After eight years of economic recession is the economic tide about to
turn necessitating further re-adjustment of strategy to enable adaptation in
line with further changed circumstances and how prepared are Zimbabweans?
Arguably, determining with precision when Zimbabwe will come out of this
economic recession is anyone’s guess and most likely a topic for political
debate. However, in a moving article written by Mutumwa Mawere entitled
Unpacking the ENG saga three years on, he indicates that only an idiot does
not see the signs that Zimbabwe is on the verge of change.

Perhaps this might explain the decision by LonZim, an international
investment firm to plough in $30 million at this particular point in
Zimbabwe, positioning itself for post economic recession.

Many proponents of this view also point to the tide of change in South
African politics and the current unraveling political crisis in Kenya as
mythical signs that Zimbabwe could be next. Whether these assertions will
turn out to be true or false prophesies is only a question of time.

In the event that economic recovery does come Zimbabwe’s way: Are
Zimbabweans well positioned to benefit from the anticipated change? To
adequately address this question, an analysis of the investment strategies
used during economic recession and the relevance of those investment
strategies post economic recession by the different segments of the
Zimbabwean populace might give an insight.

Firstly, we have the get rich quick wheeler dealers who trade on the
parallel market and make their living from earning massive margins on
foreign currency transactions. These individuals have set themselves apart
from the rest by making huge profits over a relatively short period of time
and invested in properties, cars, and hard currencies.

Their skill’s base is rather limited and they survive on connections
that guarantee continuous business. Post economic recession, distortions
allowing parallel market dealings to occur will disappear leaving no
prospects for wheeling and dealing.

While the investments made by wheelers and dealers make sense, post
economic recession this group has not set itself up to be major players in
the economic trading environment.

No investments have been made towards infrastructure development,
brand building, and setting up corporate structures that can last for
centuries to come. For instance, while someone can make money and invest in
a car, someone else would rather put that money towards building a corporate
image and a brand equivalent to Coca-Cola over time.

It’s a trade-off between short-term profits and empire building in the
long term. Post economic recession it is expected that the trading
environment will be dominated by global brands and multinational companies
with international lines of credit.

In addition, the wheelers and dealers will find it difficult to secure
formal employment in multinational companies post economic recession because
during economic recession they have not made any efforts to further their
education and professional skills.

Secondly, we have the informal sector made up of entrepreneurs who set
up undercapitalized operations during economic recession.

Many of these informal entities will never grow beyond what they are
and thrive on evading tax officials and operating outside government
regulations. Post economic recession these undercapitalized operations will
not be able to withstand the competitive trading environment dominated by
big businesses and will most probably be swallowed up and shut down

For those that will be lucky they might just survive through offering
a highly targeted niche market strategy. In addition, there will be no price
distortions to allow informal traders to earn huge margins on just buying
and selling as is the trend now. This group will also have no option but to
be re-engaged to the job market and be re-trained to acquire the relevant

Thirdly, we have the Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who left the country
during the economic recession, most of whom work outside their professional
areas of study in the foreign countries. Most people in this category send
money to their relatives back home on a fairly frequent basis and hardly
have significant investments that can rival multinational companies post
economic recession.

Some in this category might want to come back to Zimbabwe
post-economic recession and be re-engaged in their professional capacities
but might find it difficult because in the Diaspora most of them were not
gainfully engaged in their fields of original study. This presents a future

In essence, Zimbabweans are ill-prepared for the period post-economic
recession. There is a serious generational skills gap caused by the economic
recession that will compromise the ability of most Zimbabweans that got into
wheeling and dealing without getting formal job and professional training.
These skills will be necessary post- economic recession as the trading
environment will cease to be dominated by short-term deals promoted by
market distortions.

That is why it is imperative that Zimbabweans think of investment
strategies now that will rival multinational companies post-economic
recession. The concept of wheeling and dealing will have to be traded off
with corporate building through channeling financial resources towards
brands and infrastructure development for the long term.

* Nhlanhla Nyathi is a director of a private equity firm. He can be
contacted on 0912250092.

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Occupational fraud at a glimpse

Zim Independent

By Jesman Howera

Isn’t it all too easy to think of fraud as someone else’s problem?
When people set up their own businesses, the threat of fraud may not be a
major concern — its importance may only gradually dawn on them. Most
managers in Zimbabwe may tend to be more worried about the Bank Manager, the
Tax Inspector, Central Bank officials and the auditor than the threat of

The threat of occupational fraud has always existed in Zimbabwean
organisations in all sectors, however, the opportunities for it have
expanded with the hyper inflationary and deteriorating economic environment
which has brought real and substantial corporate crime threats and
difficulties that have seriously affected organisational perfomance by
interrupting business operations as evidenced by the reduction in foreign
direct investment, closure of companies, volatile stock prices and erosion
of shareholder, employee (brain drain) and market confidence.

As such occupational fraud in Zimbabwe has in the past two years
escalated, taking a variety of forms ranging from minor employee thefts of
basic commodities and unproductive behaviour to misappropriation of assets,
revenue skimming and breaches of the country’s exchange control regulations,
payroll fraud, accepting kickbacks or profiting from conflicts of interest
and fraudulent financial reporting.

A number of highly publicised cases in Zimbabwe have also heightened
the awareness of the effects of fraudulent behaviour in the work place and
have led many organizations and regulatory authorities (RBZ and government
ministries for example) to be more proactive in taking steps to prevent,
deter or detect its occurrence.

Misappropriation of assets has nonetheless resulted in substantial
losses to a number of Zimbabwean organisations where dishonest employees had
the incentive (pressure or need), opportunity, predisposition (attitude and
justification) and most importantly capability to commit fraud.

Research has shown that up to 6% of organisations’ revenues may be
lost annually as a result of fraud and abuse [ACFE, 2004] and in Zimbabwe
the economic impact of occupational fraud has been significant, also most
bringing the economy to a halt.

Fraud studies have also shown that about 80% of occupational frauds
are committed by lower level employees and account for only about 20% of the
losses in dollar value.

On the other hand senior management commits about 20% of occupational
frauds which account for about 80% of the losses. It has also been proved
that most frauds directed at organizations originate from and/or a link
‘within’ (ACFE, 2004; AICAPA, 2005).

Given the facts recited above, how can organisations in Zimbabwe stem
losses due to occupational fraud at all levels and in the process of doing
so, get better the bottom line?

First and foremost, clear organisational objectives relating to fraud
prevention and reduction must be identified and communicated throughout the

Whilst it is true that internal controls in every organisation provide
reasonable assurance that organisational objectives are achieved, without
specific objectives to reduce occupational fraud to tolerable levels, what
will efforts to improve internal controls for fraud produce? Suboptimal
results if not nothing.

The economic environment currently obtaining in Zimbabwe does calls
for a strategic fraud risk management approach which combines prevention,
deterrence, and detection measures.

However, since fraud is not always very easy to detect as it often
involves concealment through falsification of documents or collusion among
management, employees, and / or third parties (and regulators), how about
organisations rather placing a strong emphasis on fraud prevention, which
may reduce opportunities for fraud to take place; and fraud deterrence,
which could dissuade individuals to commit fraud because of the likelihood
of detection and punishment?

Moreover, prevention and deterrence measures are much less costly than
the time, expertise and expense required for fraud detection and

Secondly organisations need to carry out a fraud risk assessment
process to identify and evaluate the risks of occupational fraud in order to
implement relevant processes, procedures, and controls needed to mitigate
the risks and reduce the opportunities for fraud.

Neither fraudulent financial reporting, misappropriation of assets nor
a petty theft occurs without a perceived opportunity to commit and conceal
the act (Cressey, 1973).

The fraud risk-assessment process should therefore consider the
vulnerability of the organisation to fraudulent activity and evaluate
whether or not any of those exposures could result in a material
misstatement of the financial statements or material loss to the

Once management has identified areas posing a higher risk of
fraudulent activity in terms of the entity’s operations, its financial
reporting process and circumvention of controls it can then decide which
fraud risk to tolerate (accepting), transfer, treat or terminate.

It is only the fraud risk that management decide to treat that need
effective preventive and detective internal controls whether automated or
manual, which should include a well-developed control environment, an
effective and secure information system, and appropriate control and
monitoring activities.

For example, fraudulent financial reporting by lower levels of
management and employees may be deterred or detected by appropriate
monitoring controls, such as having higher-level managers review and
evaluate the financial results reported by individual operating units or

For fraud risks that an entity may choose to transfer, why not for
example sell certain segments of the organisation’s operations, cease doing
business in certain locations, or reorganize its business processes to
eliminate unacceptable risks. It may be possible to reduce or terminate
certain fraud risks by making changes to the entity’s activities and

For example the risk of corruption may be reduced by strictly
monitoring the entity’s procurement process.

The risk of financial statement fraud may be reduced by implementing
shared services centres to provide accounting services to multiple segments,
affiliates, or geographic locations of an entity’s operations.

Thirdly it is from a forensic auditing perspective fundamental that
organisations deal with occupational fraud by creating and maintaining a
culture of honesty and high ethics based on a set of core values in addition
to implementing measures to reduce wrongdoing or criminal activity.

These values provide a strong message about the key principles guiding
employee actions and clearly articulating that all employees will be held
accountable upon failure to act within the organization’s code of conduct.

Organisations should also be conscious that almost any employee may be
capable of committing fraud given the right set of circumstances.

Forensic auditing experience has shown that fraudulent activities by
upper-level management typically involves override of internal controls
within the financial and other business processes because management has the
capability to override controls, or to influence others to perpetrate or
conceal fraud.

Accordingly, management should develop a heightened ‘fraud awareness’,
an appropriate fraud risk-management program supported by senior management,
and an appropriate oversight process from the Board of Directors or Audit
Committee as the potential for management override increases the need for
appropriate oversight measures.

* Jesman Howera is a Senior Manager — Fraud & Forensic Services at
PricewaterhouseCoopers — Zimbabwe

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IMF estimates Zim's inflation at 150 000%

Zim Independent

Shakeman Mugari

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) document says Zimbabwe’s
inflation for January has galloped to about 150 000% as the economy
continues to crumble.

This is the same rate reached by Germany during the Weimar Republic in
the 1920s in the post-First World War era.

The document which contains the figures has not yet been officially
released but was distributed to government and RBZ officials who attended an
IMF seminar as part of a lecture package.

The seminar which was held mid-December was conducted by the IMF team
which visited Zimbabwe in December to educate key government and RBZ
officials about hyperinflation.

The document said by November 2007 Zimbabwe’s inflation had reached 85
000% which is almost the same level that the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) reached in November 1993 (91 253%).

The IMF said Zimbabwe’s inflation had reached 115 000% by December
last year. Zimbabwe is the only country that has reached such alarming
inflation levels since the mid 1990s. The government has refused to release
inflation figures for the past eight months, ostensibly to hold down the
prices of basic commodities. That plan is collapsing as businesses now use
their own inflation figures to raise prices.

The result has been a huge surge in prices forcing government to
implement price controls which have however failed.

The last known inflation figure, which was leaked to the media by
officials at the Central Statistics Office in October, was 14 800%.

Before that government had blocked the release of the figures for more
than four months.

The document said even the previous inflation figures released by
government were not a true reflection of the situation on the ground. The
correct inflation is that which is measured using the black market rates.

"The parallel market exchange rate — measured by the black market rate
and notional rate — better gauges the declining purchasing power in

The document blamed the inflation rise on the government’s over
reliance on money printing to fund its operations.

"Money creation has been the main source of financing quasi-fiscal
activities, which form the bulk of public sector spending," the document

The document added: "In an economy where money creation is the main
source of deficit financing, the overall public sector deficit (central
government, public enterprises, quasi-fiscal etc) becomes a principal
determinant of money growth and hence inflation."

It said the foreign currency rate mismatch was also at the root cause
of the spiralling inflation.

"Depreciation (of local currency) reduces government revenue, leads to
increased implicit subsidies in the presence of multiple currency practices.

"In a hyperinflationary environment movements in the exchange rate
become a primary determinant of inflation."

The document said the introduction of a new currency does not help
reduce inflation unless it is accompanied by broad based stabilisation

"Price controls increase inflation instability." The document warns
that inflation is likely to continue galloping unless the government
institutes comprehensive policy measures.

The document said only 13 countries have experienced hyperinflation
since 1950.

Average duration of hyperinflation is 17 months, the longest is 59
month which was experienced by Nicaragua, the document said.

Analysts said the recent decision by the central bank to go on a money
printing spree to ease the cash crisis would worsen the inflation problem.

The central bank will today launch higher denominations of bearers’
cheques — $1 million, $5 million and $10 million — to help solve the cash

Analysts however said while the move would solve the cash problem for
now it was going to have serious consequences in the long-term.

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Experts call for probe of RBZ, police

Zim Independent

Orirando Manwere

AS the cash crunch which Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono blames on
cash barons persists, analysts say there is no will or sincerity by the
political leadership, law enforcement agencies and the monetary authorities
to curb corruption as top officials in these institutions are deeply

They said recent revelations in court that the RBZ allegedly released
over $7 trillion to Flatwater Investments to source foreign currency for the
purchase of tractors, of which $2,1 trillion was channelled to the black
market, was only a tip of the iceberg on how the bank could have been
actively involved in illegal foreign currency dealings and fuelling
inflation which it should be addressing.

The analysts said the arrest of a Harare woman, Dorothy Mutekede,
allegedly found in possession of $10 billion in the new $500 000 bearer
cheques soon after their launch in December last year and the subsequent
mishandling of the case by the police raise a lot of questions.

Senior detectives who asked not to be named said it was worrying that
the Criminal Investigations Department’s Serious Fraud Squad which is
responsible for probing high profile white collar crime failed to record the
serial numbers of the bearer cheques as a laid down basic procedures on
securing evidence.

They said it was equally disturbing that the RBZ, which should
naturally have been interested in tracing the source of the cash, merely
received the cash from the police and released it back into circulation
without any questions asked.

"You can’t have a pot calling a kettle black. There is corruption at
the RBZ and the police. This speaks volumes about the lack of
professionalism and the laxity in the security systems of the RBZ," police
officers said. "Clearly there are top officials involved and people like
Mutekede are just being used as sacrificial lambs because there is no way
she could have access to $10 billion."

Mutekede, who was later fined, named Harare businessman Jonathan
Kadzura as the source of the money, an allegation he denied.

A few days later, Guruve North legislator and chairman of the
parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget and Finance David Butau, fled
the country after police indicated they wanted to question him on
allegations of externalising foreign currency.

In a related case, a Harare man, Joseph Manjoro last week pleaded
guilty to illegal foreign currency dealings involving $2,1 trillion which he
admitted channelling on the black market through Butau and other runners to
raise foreign currency for Flatwater Investments which had been contracted
by the RBZ to import tractors for the farm mechanisation programme.

The public prosecutor, Tawanda Zvekare, blamed the RBZ for fuelling
illegal foreign currency dealings after they "blindly splashed" cash on the
Flatwater without verifying its claims of having US$9 million in an offshore
account for the purchase of the tractors.

Zvekare has asked the court to order investigations into RBZ dealings.

This comes against the backdrop of Gono’s remarks on television that
he was prepared to give information on the cash barons before the
parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget and Finance chaired by Butau
who, before he fled, said the committee was not in a hurry to summon him
over the issue.

The analysts said it was worry-ing that despite Gono’s remarks and
calls by concerned stakeholders and general members of the public, the
police and the Anti-Corruption Commission to act, there is apparently no
meaningful probe to bring culprits to book.

Bulawa-yo-based economic commentators Eddie Cross and Eric Bloch and
University of Zimbabwe social commentator John Makumbe, said in separate
interviews that the police and the RBZ were obliged to act expeditiously to
ensure that culprits were brought to book.

Cross said recent events had clearly shown that there was a deliberate
effort to "protect the big fish involved".

"The problem is that there is rampant corruption within all the
institutions that are expected to act. The regime cannot prosecute itself.
There is no political will to curb corruption in this country," said Cross.

"Where did that $10 billion originate from and how many other cash
barons had access to the new bearer cheques before they were launched? There
is corruption at the highest levels and that is why police did not record
serial numbers of the bearer cheques which could have determined where they
came from."

His sentiments were echoed by Bloch who called on the police to get to
the bottom of the case.

Bloch said if Gono had evidence on cash barons, he should pass it to
the police who should thoroughly investigate the case to ensure prosecution
of the suspects.

He however dismissed allegations that the RBZ was buying foreign
currency on the black market, adding that it used transparent ways to source
foreign currency.

"The RBZ must provide evidence to facilitate investigations to clear
its name," he said. "That $10 billion could have come from the commercial
banks. In terms of investigation procedure, the police must know what is
required as evidence and the RBZ would not know," he said.

"If the police deliberately failed to secure the evidence, then a
probe must be done and those responsible charged accordingly. Gono should
speak to the police who should satisfy themselves with the evidence before
the Attorney-General’s Office plays its prosecution role," Bloch said.

"Naming the barons is not enough. What is needed is the evidence. That’s
the story. The police and the Anti-Corruption Commission should probe the
cases," said Bloch.

Makumbe said the RBZ and the Serious Frauds Squad owed the public an
explanation on the Flatwater and $10 billion cases.

"We smell a rat. How could the RBZ release over $7 trillion to what we
believe to be a shelf company to procure tractors," he said.

"How did the police and the RBZ fail to record serial numbers of the
$10 billion bearer cheques which were intercepted just two days after the
launch? Who authorised their disposal?" said Makumbe, adding that even the
Finance minister should explain what was happening in his ministry.

He said the failure by the police and the Anti-Corruption Commission
to act on Gono’s remarks at the Zanu PF congress in December showed that
there was no political will to fight corruption.

He said one would have expected President Robert Mugabe to immediately
set up a commission of enquiry "but instead he went to the Far East on his
annual vacation without doing anything about it, leaving the country in a
dire cash crisis".

Makumbe said it was interesting to see how the police and the
Anti-Corruption Commission would respond to calls by Zvekare for
investigations into the operations of the RBZ as well as the police’s
negligence in the $10 billion case.

Contacted for comment on how the $10 billion case was handled and
whether the investigating officer was being probed, police spokesman Chief
Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said he could comment on a matter before the

"That matter was finalised at court. Mutekede was convicted and
accordingly fined. As for what is coming from court, I cannot comment on
that because it is sub judice," said Mandipaka.

The Minister of State Enterprises, Anti-Monopolies and
Anti-Corruption, Samuel Undenge, said the Anti-Corruption Inter-Agency
comprising the police, RBZ and officers from the Ant-Corruption Commission
were pursuing the matter.

"The agency is looking into the issues related to the cash barons, RBZ
operations and the manner in which the $10 billion case was handled. They
are looking into the issue to see if there was negligence or omission by the
officers involved in the case," said Undenge.

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Judge Patel: 'Your Lordship' or 'Learned Friend' - Which is which?

Zim Independent

Alex T Magaisa

A RECENT media article by a colleague, Tererai Mafukidze, raised
pertinent issues on the protection of judicial independence in the wake of
the appointment of Judge Bharat Patel as Acting Attorney General (AAG) of
Zimbabwe. Mafukidze argued persuasively about the technical shortcomings
casting doubt on the legality and constitutionality of that appointment.

This article adds some perspectives on those issues and argues that
the handling of this matter (including the suspension of the incumbent AG)
raises questions of public interest in the administration of justice. Why,
it has to be asked, would a judge of the High Court leave the apparent
security of judicial office to take up what is effectively an insecure job
vulnerable to the vagaries of politics?

First, the redeployment of the judge to an executive post undermines
the judiciary as an equal and independent arm of the state. Judicial
independence requires that judges are properly rewarded so that they are not
imperilled by executive tyranny. Security of tenure, guaranteed by the
Constitution, is a foundation stone of judicial independence. Although the
Constitution contemplates that the AG has similar qualifications as a judge,
the protection and privileges attendant upon judicial office give it

When, therefore, a judge leaves judicial office to take up a seemingly
inferior executive office that is open to political control, it does raise
serious questions about the state of the judiciary. It is no secret that the
judiciary is penurious, as last year, the Judge President Makarau publicly
pleaded on behalf of the judiciary for pecuniary assistance. Judge Patel’s
acceptance to cross the floor gives further credence to concerns that
judicial office is so less rewarding that judges are prepared to give up
their Constitutional privileges to join the executive arm of the state.

More significantly, the fear is that the redeployment of sitting
judges to executive positions might become a habit and could be perceived by
the public as a form of reward to pliable judges. In such circumstances,
legitimate fears arise that in order to gain such a "promotion" from
judicial office to the executive, a judge would have to tow the line.
Whether or not such a perception reflects reality, it does great harm to the
reputation of the judiciary as a fair and impartial forum for dispute
resolution. It also undermines public confidence in the administration of
justice. The responsibility is both with the executive to desist from making
such redeployments and also with the judges to exercise caution prior to
accepting such offers.

Second, the redeployment of a sitting judge to the AG’s office results
in a multi-headed creature that is prone to perceptions of unfairness in the
justice delivery system. It is, at least morally, questionable for a single
individual who, one day sits as the prosecutorial chief and the next day,
wears a wig and gown to sit in judgement of others. This flip-flopping
between judicial and prosecutorial offices does harm the institutions of
justice. Principles of natural justice consist of two essential elements:
right to a fair hearing and the rule against bias.

Unless clearly stipulated under statute, an individual cannot hold
office which permits him to investigate, prosecute and make decisions
against others. Even if it is unlikely that Judge Patel will use all three
powers simultaneously, the fact that he holds two offices that enable him,
potentially, to exercise those powers, creates an unfortunate perception of
structural unfairness. In any event, natural justice requires that justice
must not only be done, but must be seen to be done. This requires clear
separation of individuals and institutions in the justice delivery system.

Third, the appointment of a judge to the post of AG places him in a
risky position that is likely to soil his public reputation. It is well
known that the AG serves both political and legal functions. By its nature,
the office of the AG is a risky and controversial institution, which can
adversely affect the reputation of the office-holder, not least if that
person holds judicial office. The office of AG in Zimbabwe has generally
followed a highly political path.

It is easy for the incumbent to be placed in a situation of conflict
between the demands of his political appointers and the demands of his role
as the chief law officer, which issue is also at the centre of the suspended
AG’s troubles. It may be argued that Judge Patel has faced these challenges
before when he has previously held the office of the AG, but that was before
his appointment to judicial office. Taking up the same post when he is
holding judicial office and has sworn to the judicial oath makes his current
position totally different.

The fact that the AG is appointed by the President and is a member of
the cabinet and therefore, forms part of the executive is itself, a
controversial arrangement, which compromises the AG’s independence. To the
extent that the AG’s independence is compromised in this way, it is
inappropriate to have a person holding judicial office being appointed, even
in an acting capacity, to the AG’s office. This is particularly significant,
if that person has not resigned his judicial office and there is a
possibility of future reversion to his role of judge.

Fourth, there is a further technical aspect that casts doubt on the
legality of the appointment. The Constitution provides for the appointment
of the AG and in addition, one or more Deputy AG. Under Section 76(13) of
the Constitution, in the case of a vacancy or where the AG is unable to
perform his duties, the President is entitled to designate a Deputy AG to
act as the AG. It seems clear that an acting AG can only be appointed from
one or more of the Deputy AGs.

The law does not provide for the designation of any other person,
besides the Deputy AG, to be an acting AG. Judge Patel is not a Deputy AG.
The basis of the designation of a High Court judge as AG is not immediately
apparent from the provisions of the Constitution. The executive probably has
a good reason but this has neither been shown nor explained to the public,
leaving room for unhelpful speculation.

Next, it seems reasonable, that any person taking up the AG’s position
should have regard to the immediate circumstances appertaining to that
office. The suspension, in controversial circumstances, of the incumbent, is
a factor that one ought to consider. Whilst a Tribunal has been set up to
investigate the matter, there have long been suspicions of political
meddling leading to the perception that the AG’s office is an institution
that is already soiled by that controversy. Perceptions have also been
created that the executive wants to have an AG who will toe the line. With
due respect, it follows that the public is likely to think that the person
that is appointed is not his own man. This harms the individual’s otherwise
impeccable reputation and the institution that he represents.

Additionally, an external factor to consider, though not of Judge
Patel’s making, is the nature of the Tribunal set up to deal with the
suspended AG’s case. It is interesting to note that two of the Tribunal’s
members are serving judges of the High Court, that is, they are fellow
colleagues of Judge Patel. It is quite sobering to think that if Judge Patel
had not been appointed AAG, he might well have been one of the members of
the Tribunal, sitting to decide the fate of the suspended AG.

That such a possibility can be entertained in such a serious matter
involving an important constitutional office, must, surely, give rise to
concern over the structural fairness, credibility and impartiality of the
Tribunal. Perhaps having appointed a member of the High Court to replace the
suspended AG, authorities should have considered picking retired or foreign
judges, not fellow judges of the person who has replaced the subject of its
investigation. Even Section 87 of the Constitution, which provides for a
Tribunal to decide the fate of a judge, contemplates that its members would
be persons who have held judicial office in Zimbabwe. Alternatively they may
be holding or have held judicial office in a foreign country with similar
legal traditions. The difference is that a serving judge can be appointed
but only if he is from a foreign jurisdiction. It would be absurd to have a
serving judge in Zimbabwe sitting to decide the fate of a fellow judge.

The President has appointed a Tribunal, presumably to ensure a fair
hearing for the suspended AG — but he may have exposed it to the probability
of a review on grounds of lack of impartiality because of this and related

Finally, the appointment of serving judges (Judge Bhunu and Judge
Kudya) to the Tribunal presents a potential problem should the suspended AG
decide to challenge their decision/recommendations on review. The High Court
is entitled to handle such a judicial review. The Tribunal is not sitting as
a High Court and therefore its decision is not binding on a judge of the
High Court. However, there is an anomalous situation where a single judge of
the High Court may be required on the basis of the challenge, to sit and
review a decision/recommendation of two serving judges at the Tribunal.

This situation creates the impression that the reviewing judge could
be in a difficult position to impartially consider and review the
decision/recommendation of two colleagues with whom he serves at the same
level of the judicial hierarchy. Normally the decision of two judges would
bind the single judge. With due respect to the judges, the arrangement
provides room for the subject of the decision to challenge its procedural
and structural unfairness. This is a situation that could quite easily be

The redeployment of Judge Patel does not help the administration of
justice in Zimbabwe. What is worse is that it could have been avoided.
Otherwise, it’s a sad indictment on the legal profession that the executive
had no option among the ranks of the profession but to switch a serving
judge to take up an important executive post. This has produced an absurd
circumstance, in which a fellow lawyer appearing in court against Judge
Patel, acting for the government, might be forgiven for wondering whether to
address him as a "Learned Friend" or as "Your Lordship"! It is up to the
profession’s representatives to challenge what appears to be an
unconstitutional and morally reprehensible appointment.

* Dr Magaisa is based at Kent University Law School and can be
contacted at or

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Voting in one day: People reject procedure

Zim Independent

FROM the founding majority rule elections of 1980 to March 2005, all
elections were conducted in more than one day. In the March 2002
presidential elections, the High Court actually extended the voting to a
third day after the opposition MDC appealed to the judiciary on grounds that
there had been too few polling stations in urban areas.

In short, it had become a tradition for Zimbabwean voters to expect to
cast their vote on either a Saturday or, if they miss this day, the
following day.

But there has been considerable agitation against this based on the
experiences in other countries where voting is done in only one day. It was
partly in response to these demands and concerns that the government
introduced a raft of electoral reforms in 2004 including one-day voting.

This was implemented for the first time in the March 2005
parliamentary election. No systematic study has been done to get the people’s
view on this innovation and departure from tradition. What do the people

The verdict of public opinion on the innovation is an emphatic ‘No’.
This is according to the survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion
Institute in April/May 2007. Exactly two thirds of the electorate rejected
the reform while only 28% supported it.

And the rejection was across the board, ie the rejection cut across
the traditional lines of polarisation. In the rural areas, 64% did not
support the reform while 29% supported it.

The rejection rate was even higher in the urban areas where seven in
ten (71%) rejected it compared to 25% who endorsed the new procedure.

Nearly two thirds (65%) of the youth do not support the change and the
rejection is more emphatic among the middle aged with nearly three quarters
(73%) rejecting the move. The elders (59%) are less opposed to the change
but even among them, less than a third (31%) was supportive.

Noteworthy is that those without an education are the most supportive
with more than a third (37%) of them saying they endorse the move but even
in this group, half (51%) do not support it. — Mpoi Survey

Among those with primary education 64% give a thumbs down and this
rises to 68% among those with higher education (secondary education and

Both the Eves (68%) and Adams (64%) also do not support the move. A
provincial breakdown shows Harare (75%) is most against, closely followed by
the Midlands (74%) and Mashonaland West (69%).

The least resistance comes from Mashonaland Central where just 57%
reject the initiative, closely followed by Masvingo (59%). All other
provinces lie somewhere in between Mashonaland West and Masvingo.

More tellingly, there is no major difference on partisan lines. 65%
Zanu PF supporters reject the innovation, so do 69% of the Morgan Tsvangirai
faction of the MDC. Only three in 10 (30%) of ruling party and 28% of
MDC-Tsvangirai voters said they support the one-day voting procedure.

In short, it appears the one-day voting innovation has no takers.
Those who administer elections (specifically the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission) may have to take a second look at this especially given that the
2008 elections will be multiple elections i.e. presidential, parliamentary –
House of Assembly and Senate, and local government elections. Otherwise, we
foresee many potential voters being disenfranchised because of failure to
vote when they want to. It is not too late for the ZEC to review this, if
only for the March 2008 elections. Commonsense and fair play dictate such an
urgent review.

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Makoni should embrace broad-based coalition

Zim Independent

By Garikai Chimuka

If recent media reports carried by the Zimbabwe Independent of January
11 concerning the imminent launch of a Zanu PF breakaway party to contest
the March elections under Simba Makoni are true, then Makoni is a super
patriot who deserves to be saluted nothwithstanding the urgent and patriotic
fact that only a broad-based coalition of all democratic forces can unseat
Mugabe and his rigging machinery in a free and fair election come March.

That Makoni is alleged to be ready to stake his credibility and indeed
his life against Mugabe and his notoriously ruthless machinery deserves
utmost respect. For an analysis of the antithesis that the Zanu PF
extraordinary congress held in December was, any Zanu PF opportunist would
never dare to take such a risky yet welcome move in Zimbabwe today.

After Mugabe clearly rigged himself back to power by blocking the
contestation of the party’s presidency at the so called extraordinary Zanu
PF congress which was a yawning non-event, all well meaning political
analysts never expected that some Zanu PF members who have the country at
heart can come forward and fight to reclaim the Zimbabwean dream from the
disastrous policies of the now politically and biologically spent force that
Robert Mugabe has become.

Indeed political analysts had expected that after the so-called
extraordinary congress circus, all ruling party factions including
well-meaning reformists were going to take a back seat, close ranks and
campaign for Mugabe whilst sharpening their spears for an unprecedented
assault on each other when Mugabe finally leaves office.

It is crystal clear that Mugabe will never leave office and hand over
power to anyone when he is still alive since he has delusions that the title
deeds to our beautiful country are in his pocket. It is in this context that
if the media reports of Makoni working to save Zimbabwe at this defining
moment in history are true, then he deserves to be inducted into the
political hall of fame regardless of whether his project will succeed or

Throughout history, in defining moments of great nations, great people
are not those who succeed in changing the situation but include those who
stand up to be counted despite the enormity of a task facing them. So Makoni
has taken a risky decision and I believe that history will always reward
those who take a principled stand based on conviction. For it is now a clear
fact that Mugabe’s time is up and his continued presence at State House
against the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe whom he has reduced to a
laughing stock before the whole world just to satisfy his unquenchable
appetite for power.

Indeed Mugabe is the problem and the earlier the people of Zimbabwe
take him head on and clearly send a powerful message that he does not own
Zimbabwe but the people do, the better. Unlike political sycophants such as
Manyika, Kasukuwere, Muchinguri, Sibanda and the national joke Chinos, who
are prepared to throw conscience away for the sake of political patronage,
Makoni has put himself on the line. It would have been politically safe for
any opportunist to wait in the wings and then pounce once Mugabe meets his

If Makoni and his group are to truly enter the political fray against
the tyranny of Mugabe, that would mark the apogee of statesmanship by Makoni
and his group. However, media reports that Makoni and his group have spurned
the agenda of a broad-based coalition of all democratic forces including the
opposition MDC are true, that makes a sad reading given the fact that the
current configuration of Zimbabwean political landscape requires unity of
all democratic forces to donate a crushing defeat of Mugabe and his rigging
machinery in March.

Thus the Makoni group must go a step further and reach out and embrace
all other opposition forces for a rainbow coalition that must be driven by
the desire to save Zimbabwe from collapsing by defeating Mugabe and his
shameless cohorts come March. Makoni must quickly get his act together and
with others in the democratic movement re-enact the Polokwane phenomenon in
Zimbabwean politics. History will for ever be grateful to respected guys
like Makoni for taking such a risky yet necessary move for evil triumphs
when good men fold their arms and do nothing.

* Garikai Chimuka is an analyst based at Wageningen University, The

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World police impotent on Kenya

Zim Independent

By Denford Magora

HAS it not occurred to people that Kenya today is the offspring of
Zimbabwe? President Mwai Kibaki has behaved shamelessly, so much so that
even his own man in charge of Kenya’s electoral commission says he is not
sure who won! I think we all know that Kibaki stole the elections. This is
plain fact.

Why did he do it?

In comes the Zimbabwe angle. Because our own rulers have "stolen" the
elections and lived to tell the tale, because Zimbabwe’s example has shown
them that you can do what you want and there will be no comeback from the
so-called policemen of the world.

The AU has displayed its impotence, hence John Kufuor left Kenya with
his tail between his legs, nothing achieved.

The UK/USA alliance, much as it speaks of wanting to change the world’s
governance for the better, has shown that it will only take meaningful
action if its oil supplies are threatened or if the offending party lobs a
Molotov cocktail at the statue of liberty!

Kibaki knows he lost. He knows he stole the election.

He was emboldened to do so by what he has seen happening in Zimbabwe.
What it means is that the world has no effective strategy for dealing with
people like Mugabe and Kibaki.

Certainly, this explains to a large degree the complacency of our

They protest and get killed but the stubbornness of people like Mugabe
and Kibaki means their deaths and sacrifices will be meaningless and
ineffectual. Nobody, not even the most saintly martyr, wants to die for

Kenya has Zimbabwe to thank for its predicament. And as an aside, do
you remember how I was pilloried in your paper around the time Kibaki was
elected for telling the Kenyans that they had condemned themselves to the
rule of greed, corruption and autocracy.

Kenyans accused me of "belittling our hopes". I dare say that I take
no satisfaction in being proved right, because the death toll is going to
rise in the country, primarily because Kibaki is going nowhere.

Behind him in the shadows in also Daniel arap Moi, who endorsed and
supported him for president in the recent elections. Obviously the master is
still instructing Kibaki and the "president-thief" is going nowhere.

I really hope that you will be able to do a piece on this angle and
show the world that, by failing Zimbabwe, they have failed all oppressed
people everywhere.

* Denford Magora is a Harare-based analyst and creative director.

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Zim Independent

A COLLEAGUE visiting a distinguished gentleman’s club this week was
intrigued by a notice occupying pride of place on the notice board. "As all
members of this club know," the notice said, "cheques returned from the bank
(refer to drawer) is totally unacceptable. This is an act of fraud and is
not tolerated here. It also results in the termination of your membership.

"The above member has been withdrawn and his proposers will be
approached to recover the money of the club.

"Please be careful when signing as proposer or seconder to
candidates," the notice warned.

So who is responsible for this shocking misdeed?

A clue: He used a Standard Chartered cheque on December 3 drawn on the
Anglican diocese of Harare to pay a tab of $80 million at the club. The
cheque bounced.

Yes, as you have probably guessed by now the bounder was Bishop
Nolbert Kunonga who is evidently making good use of diocesan funds and
living up to his name!

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has said with regard to election
observers that government will not admit "anyone with preconceived ideas on
the electoral process and its outcome".

In other words if you believe that democracy is best served by the
expression of a variety of viewpoints so voters can make an informed choice
at the polls, you could be excluded from observing the election. The
Zimbabwe government refuses to allow the public broadcaster to reflect a
diversity of views and prevents the registration of independent radio

In any case what does Chinamasa think he was doing picking and
choosing election observers? Should this not be the function of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission?

When ZEC chair Justice George Chiweshe was claiming the commission was
independent a few months ago we warned that the issue of observers would
provide a litmus test of that claim. Now we have the answer. Zanu PF will be
deciding on who comes to observe, not the ZEC. And we can be sure those
observers, like Sadc governments, will see nothing, hear nothing, and say
nothing. Sadc is complicit in Zimbabwe’s misrule and we have no doubt their
election observers will once again rise to the occasion by endorsing
Chinamasa’s view that Zimbabwe’s electoral system is the best in the region.
We are sure Joseph Mwale would agree.

Then we had the Herald suggesting that differences between American
and European election observers in Kenya sparked the violence that followed
the outcome. The conflicting statements "have in part been blamed for the
bloodshed that has since claimed hundreds of lives", the Herald reporter

In fact most participants and observers have blamed the Electoral
Commission of Kenya which showed bias in favour of the incumbent and even
tampered with the results, it is claimed. Nobody, as far as we know, has
blamed international observers for the violence. That is pure Herald

But it does provide a warning that where the electoral commission
fails to command the confidence of all players there is the danger of a
disputed outcome.

The Herald should be warning its masters of that.

On Sunday Zinwa said it would cut water supplies to Harare residents
this week. This followed power cuts at its Morton Jaffray waterworks.
Intermittent power cuts had led to a failure in the pumping system, we were

In fact, like all parastatal claims, this one is well wide of the
mark. The problem at Morton Jaffray, Muckraker is reliably informed, has
little to do with Zesa and much to do with a failure of maintenance. The
pumping system is having difficulties because it hasn’t been looked after.
Much of the machinery at the waterworks has not been serviced since the
mid-1990s. Only one pump is working, we are told. Zinwa managers are so
desperate to prevent news of the shambolic state of affairs at Morton
Jaffray from getting out that they have forbidden any cameras or cellphones
being brought into the treatment plant.

We liked the letter to the editor of The Voice congratulating the
paper on carrying news of the Zanu PF December congress. The writer was not
able to watch the proceedings on television, he said, because of Zesa power

That’s one way of forcing reluctant readers to buy the ruling party’s

Mabasa Sasa, writing in the Herald, provides a glimpse of a
forthcoming book by somebody using the pseudonym Kufara Gwenzi who has
undertaken a survey of secret societies in the West and the power they
wield. Instead of applying a critical mind, which all journalists should do,
Sasa buys into this hocus pocus. All ancient civilisations were guided by
secret societies, he quotes Gwenzi as saying. In Britain the Freemasons
emerged as serious powerbrokers with close ties to the Royal Family.
Presently Queen Elizabeth serves as "the Grand Patroness of the Freemasons".

This will no doubt come as news to the Queen!

The book has been "meticulously researched", we are told. There is no
evidence of that. Most of these claims have been rattling around for years
and are repeated by conspiracy theorists who don’t know any better.

We can see why the author is shy about disclosing his real identity.
Many of these claims were demolished years ago. The best example is the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion which the Tsarist government in Russia
peddled as an authentic document. It later proved to be completely false.

Zimbabwe needs its own structures of power, Gwenzi concludes. We
thought they already had one!

Writing on the inter-party talks, Sasa claimed yesterday that "the
Herald exclusively revealed last week that the political rivals had already
agreed on a new constitution even before the talks started . . ."

Really? We thought it appeared in the Independent in October. And who
will believe the latest Zanu PF invention that it doesn't want a new
constitution because there has been insufficient consultation?

Another Herald columnist, Godwills Masimirembwa, showed us last week
just how dishonest that paper’s writers can be. He picked on Fidelis Mhashu’s
maladroit comments on the BBC’s Hardtalk programme several years ago that
the MDC would return land to white farmers to show it was unwise to entrust
the party with the leadership of the country.

Nowhere in his article did Masimirembwa mention that the remarks were
made in 2006. Instead we are left with the impression the remarks were made
recently in order to make a case that the MDC "despises its birthright".

For the record, the MDC’s position is that first an audit needs to be
taken of who got what in the land grab of 2000-7, and then land needs to be
allocated on the basis of best use to get the country working again. The
vast majority of farmers benefiting from this approach will be black
whatever Zanu PF may pretend. Above all, they will be well-trained and

Why would Masimirembwa regard this as selling one’s birthright? Does
he feel threatened by such a policy? Does he fear losing his chicken farm?

What surprises us about Masimirembwa and the party he so slavishly
serves is that you would have thought that given his position as chair of
the Incomes and Prices Commission he would be seeking a national consensus
on price controls.

Instead he is busy urging everyone to vote for the bankrupt party of
failure. Is that a sensible approach when you want to be taken seriously and
need all the help you can get?

On another level, why has Mhashu not replied to point out that the MDC’s
land policy is being cynically misrepresented by a half-baked opportunist
with political ambitions? He has a duty to speak out on these issues. But
the party as a whole appears to have gone into hibernation.

The Chronicle carried an interesting picture on January 5. It showed
the Provincial Administrator for Matabeleland North, Ms Latiso Dlamini,
presenting the keys of a bakkie to Chief Asher Mabhena of Umguza.

The chief looked distinctly elderly and Muckraker’s colleagues
expressed doubt that he could drive the vehicle he was receiving. Whatever
the case, enterprising Bulawayo journalists should keep an eye on this
particular pick-up because it will almost certainly soon be running around
Umguza as a ruling-party electoral asset.

And don’t we recall the president speaking not so long ago about the
need to curb electoral inducements?

lower production has been on a steep decline over the past nine years
due to dwindling production levels," the Business Herald told us this week.

In other words production is dwindling because it is going down!

This nonsense is designed to mask the reality of a failed agrarian
reform programme.

Horticulture used to be a major forex earner. Now it is struggling to
survive. Zanu PF chefs have everywhere driven out productive farmers. And
the results are a fall in production and non-existent forex earnings. As a
result the country cannot afford to import power. Blackouts are a direct

Another dimension to this misrule was the decision by a Zesa
subsidiary to export power to Namibia in the middle of blackouts at home.
Can you imagine such insanity? But President Mugabe’s supporters think he
needs another term to "consolidate the gains of the third chimurenga".

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Destruction-phobia knows no bounds

Zim Independent

By Eric Bloch

GOVERNMENT is so imbued with its convictions of infallibility, exceeded only
by the magnitude of its paranoia, that it is oblivious to the devastating
destruction that it is wreaking upon the Zimbabwean economy, and to the
intense suffering it is subjecting Zimbabweans to, at a massively
accelerating pace.

Despite pronouncedly irrefutable evidence that government’s economic
policies are cataclysmically disastrous, it continues pursuit endlessly of
those policies. And, being totally convinced that there is naught wrong with
those policies, it readily convinces itself that the sole reason for the
pursuit of policies not achieving declared objectives must inevitably be the
actions of others to undermine and derail government and that which it
allegedly is determined to achieve.

There are innumerable examples that can be cited to corroborate that
government is phobia-driven to an extreme and that, in consequence, it
myopically fails to recognise realities. That sightlessness occasions the
most appallingly negative consequences for Zimbabwe and its sadly and
unnecessarily afflicted people. One of the most pronounced, if not the
greatest, example is that of Zimbabwe’s devastating price controls. Whilst
government is not prepared to acknowledge it to be so (and would undoubtedly
vigorously deny it), those controls have achieved diametrically the opposite
which government claimed was intended.

Diverse other ill-conceived, minimally considered, and horrifically
implemented policies of government were the incontrovertible triggers of the
most substantial hyperinflation ever experienced in Zimbabwe. So great has
hyperinflation been in 2007 that Zimbabwe has acquired the unenviable record
of having higher inflation than is prevailing anywhere else in the world. As
government believes that everything it does is right, without exception, it
could not be even remotely responsible for that horrendous state of
endlessly rising prices. And, if it was not responsible for the soaring
costs of living, others had to be.

Having long been convinced that the Western world in general, and the United
Kingdom (aided and abetted by its European allies) and the United States,
have evil, colonialistic, domination designs upon Zimbabwe, and a
determination to oust the Zimbabwean government, it readily mesmerised
itself to believe that hyperinflation was a diabolically devised stratagem,
of its perceived enemies, to attain their aims.

But government also realised, whether consciously or subconsciously, that
its imaginary enemies could not bring their inflation-driven strategy to
fruition with-out collaboration of others, and therefore very rapidly and
readily persuaded itself that the majority of the Zimbabwean business
community were engaged in a diabolical conspiracy with those enemies.
Government vociferously alleged that that community were conniving with
Zimbabwe’s so-called foes to destroy the economy, in order that a
poverty-stricken populace would then enforce regime change. Moreover,
government (perhaps adhering to the precept that "It takes one to know
one!") loudly contended that the business community was highly motivated to
implement the economic destructionplan of massive, continuing, price
escalations, because so doing would be compatible with its endemic tactics
of exploitation and profiteering.

Despite blatant, undeniable, realities which prove there to be not even a
microscopic iota of substance to government’s beliefs as to the sources of
Zimbabwean hyperinflation, it dogmatically and obdurately adheres to those
beliefs. If the Western world did wish to recolonise Zimbabwe, it would not
wish the economy to be ruined, access to primary resources destroyed, the
infrastructure devastated, the population emaciated, and that there actually
be nothing to recolonise. And for the business community to strive to bring
about economic collapse would be to commit suicide, for the destruction of
the economy would be the destruction of them.

However, governmental self-delusion and hallucination was so great, that it
disregarded all the facts and therefore, in a fruitless attempt to frustrate
the conspiracy, halt the inflation, and endear itself to the people it rules
(dominates!), government imposed stringent price controls, and followed that
up by the creation of the catatonic National Incomes and Prices Commission
(NIPC). The resultant was to destroy all business viability and
consequential monolithic declines in product availability. Shop shelves have
now, for nearly seven months, been almost constantly nearly bare (Zimbabwe
has been transformed from a land of plenty to a land of empty).
Manufacturers, to survive, have had to focus upon export markets, albeit at
minimal margins, but nevertheless more viable than operating at NIPC
constrained margins.

Much of the goods exported are subsequently brought back into Zimbabwe by
cross-border traders, to be sold in the black market to desperate, sadly
deprived, consumers at prices far, far above those as would have prevailed
in the formal sector, had price controls not prevailed, and market
sufficiency of product existed. So, the actuality of the situation is that
government has markedly worsened inflation, instead of lessening it, through
its perfidious price controls.

Side effects of those controls, and of the resultant exacerbation of
inflation, have been enormous. An already sickly investment environment has
been reduced to a point of near death (compounded by stupidly formulated,
ill-conceived, intended legislation for economic indigenization which will
do nothing but temporarily enrich a few, will strengthen government’s
death-occasioning stronghold on the economy, and further accelerate economic
collapse). And the mass exodus of Zimbabweans is escalating at a tremendous
pace. The gargantuan acceleration in the "brain drain: is fast denuding
Zimbabwe of the greater portion of the few, greatly-needed, skilled that the
country desperately needs. The floods of people fleeing to other economies
are cyclonic, impacting tragically upon all facets of Zimbabwe, be it
economically or sociologically.

As the economy’s collapse intensifies, so too does governmental insolvency,
for fiscal inflows inevitably decline, in real terms, apace with economic
decline. The combined economic ills of hyperinflation, brain drain,
inflation-driven non-generation of foreign exchange, and fiscal penury are
also impacting upon the infrastructure, and parastatals service delivery,
worsening all further. Underlying all of this is the incontestable idiocy of
price controls and, therefore, the operations of the NIPC.

If has been said before, and it is still so: Government is vested, even
though unintentionally so, with a death wish, for its phobias are so intense
and destructive as to know no bounds.

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Can Makoni match up?

Zim Independent


LAST week this paper carried news that former Finance minister Simba
Makoni and other political luminaries such as Ibbo Mandaza and Wilfred
Mhanda were planning to establish a reform wing within Zanu PF. There were
even suggestions this may culminate in a separate party.

This development will clearly address a manifest need: Zimbabwe needs
a leader who can show the people how to dig themselves out of the gaping
hole President Mugabe and his party have dug for them. Mugabe evidently can’t.
He thinks our problems can be solved by slogans and marches.

But it must be obvious to even the most obtuse elements in Zanu PF
that he doesn’t have a clue how to solve the country’s myriad problems or
chart a path to recovery and prosperity.

The Movement for Democratic Change has some idea of what needs to be
done. It has both policies that address immediate economic needs and a
template for institutional reform that will break the mould of tyranny and
fist-waving that we have come to associate with Mugabe’s blind, bigoted

But it needs more than a series of rallies to get the political
process moving. While Morgan Tsvangirai has shown courage in facing down the
dictator, he appears to have lost his stomach for the fight.

You would expect a leader and his party ahead of an election to be
countering the specious propaganda of Zanu PF and its lame excuses for
misgovernance at every turn. But we have heard nothing from the party of

Are they keeping their powder dry for some future encounter? It doesn’t
look like it. Instead they seem to be asleep at the watch. Their agreement
to amend Aippa without consulting the media is nothing short of scandalous
and is already being used to good effect by the regime’s spokesmen.

Which is where Makoni comes in. He knows what needs to be done. And he
has a bright and experienced team to support him. He is probably sensible in
keeping his distance from the MDC at this time. He is courting a
cross-section of voters and doesn’t want to be seen as beholden to a
quarrelsome and divided opposition.

Zimbabweans are looking for a leader that will provide some hope for
the immediate future and he provides it.

But he must come out of the shadows and plant his political standard
firmly in the national soil. He needs to take on the derelict leadership of
his party by setting out his policies on economic reform, reengagement with
the international community, and agricultural renewal. The last thing we
need are more empty slogans about sovereignty.

Once he has established his credentials and tested his support he can
reach out to other political players.

But time is of the essence. Makoni has large amounts of goodwill going
for him both at home and abroad. He needs to tap into those reserves and set
out his electoral stall. He is an experienced administrator who is known and
respected by Sadc leaders and by the international lenders we need to court.

Mugabe once described him as an "economic saboteur" because he
advocated devaluation. Since then the Zimbabwe dollar has plunged to
unimaginable levels.

Makoni understands that his first priority is stamping on the fires of
inflation set alight by fiscal profligacy. He also knows a bit about the
press having been the victim of political meddling at Zimpapers.

Much will be expected of him. Can he match up to the challenge?

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Chickens coming home to roost

Zim Independent

Candid Comment

By Joram Nyathi

"NO power means no pumping. We cannot provide water when there is no
power," said Water Resources and Infrastructural Development minister
Munacho Mutezo in response to the water crisis playing out in Harare and
Chitungwiza. "Morton Jaffray (waterworks) should be treated like the
intensive care unit by both parties."

The implication was that Zesa Holdings and Zinwa were to blame for the
water shortage.

Before that, Zinwa general manager Lisben Chipfunde had warned that
Harare and Chitungwiza residents should brace themselves for a week without
water. He blamed this on intermittent power supplies by Zesa Holdings. The
spokesperson for the power utility, Fullard Gwasira said it was Zinwa’s
responsibility to raise money for the installation of a third dedicated
feeder power line to the waterworks to avoid disruptions.

"We have advised them of the costs involved and we are awaiting their
response as regards the way forward," said Gwasira.

This was a week when Zesa power outages were more frequent and longer
than previous load-sheddings; Chihota villagers in Mashonaland East
announced that they were using raw human waste as manure because there is no
fertiliser on the formal market or they can’t afford it; and a consultant in
water and sanitation advised urban councils to "relax sanitation bylaws" and
allow residents to build pit latrines on their premises to cater for
emergencies caused by frequent water shortage.

It was a week when the two-month-old cash crisis became most manifest
as parents scrambled to pay school fees, buy uniforms and groceries for
their children, and provide bus-fares. It was a week when everything that
could go wrong chose to go wrong.

Bad policies have become the hallmark of the Zanu PF government. For
years the people of Zimbabwe have endured arrogant incompetence masquerading
as policy. Food shortages have become synonymous with every agricultural
season while the fuel shortage has become a way of life. Nobody seems to
have a solution beyond defending the revolution.

But never did I imagine that it would get to this despicable depth
where we would use human excreta as fertiliser when five years ago we had
companies which could support the whole farming sector. Nor did I imagine it
possible that as a health precaution, we would be advised to revert to the
bucket toilet system and pit latrines in what should be a modern capital

Lack of clean water has already claimed a few lives from waterborne
diseases. While some Harare residents may be alarmed by the inconvenience of
a week without water, residents of Tafara and Mabvuku have gone for more
than a year without potable water. In the main, Bulawayo residents have
given up hope of central government coming to their rescue, hence their
demand for a federal system which will allow them to sort out their

Self-important state apologists attribute these grave grievances to
imperialist influences. Perhaps the same imperialists are recommending pit
latrines for Harare and Chitungwiza to undermine the revolution. The
effrontery of it is staggering.

The real problem is that everyone in authority is in denial. Zesa says
it is not our fault. Zinwa says it is not our fault. And the ratepayers are
left high, dry and in the dark as the blame game assumes a life of its own.

In a way, Zinwa has a point in denying culpability. In taking over the
supply of bulk in urban areas, it was fulfilling a cabinet directive, so we
are told. It has never claimed any competence in this field. When they say
they are not to be blame, in their ambiguity they are blaming those who
issued the directive.

Every month they are happy to announce the latest city or town where
they have taken over the role of supplying water. It doesn’t mean they will
supply any. And service delivery has deteriorated sharply since Zinwa took
over that unenviable task from Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo’s
commissions. Not that they were any better, having themselves been imposed
on urban ratepayers to spite freely-elected MDC councillors.

What is evident from this convergence of crises is that government has
never learnt to plan and formulate any workable policies in anticipation of
growing urban populations. While it has built token housing projects in
addition to those inherited from the colonial era, there is no evidence of a
conscious effort to expand infrastructure in the form of new dams and
electricity generation.

For some strange reason, it was hoped that through the disastrous
Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 government could kill two birds with one
stone: lessen the strain on urban infrastructure by reducing overcrowding in
the townships, and defuse a political time-bomb by chasing the lumpen
proletariat into remote communal lands away from the MDC influence. This has
not worked.

The long and short of it is that the entire government administrative
system is in the intensive care unit. The chickens are coming home to roost.

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Let’s shun language of violence

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

By Joram Nyathi

"YOU saw and heard what happened in Kenya. It’s nothing compared to
what we will have here if Mugabe rigs the elections again. You can’t have a
thief rob you twice and let him keep his hands."

These deplorable words were attributed by the media to Kuwadzana MP,
Nelson Chamisa when he addressed a rally in Harare at the weekend. There
have been attempts by Chamisa since then to claim lamely that he was in fact

He said disingenuously that he couldn’t have made those threats of
violence even if the harmonised March elections are rigged because he has
been a victim of violence himself.

Even if we were to be charitable and give Chamisa the benefit of the
doubt, it would still need to be done with a serious caveat: that this is a
party whose leaders have never known the simple old adage about looking
before you leap. They have proved very reckless with their mouths and minds
but are quick to cry "wolf" when those who wield the instruments of state
call their bluff.

In my column last week I wrote of these "opportunistic and
self-serving lessons" from the post-election violence in Kenya following the
controversial reelection of Mwai Kibaki. I stated there that inducing people
to vote in a certain way for fear of violence should the election result be
disputed amounts to "democracy by fear". Such an outcome doesn’t represent
the free will of the people, it doesn’t matter how hated the Akambeni
president might be.

That was meant as an appeal for maturity on all the political parties
and their politicians as Zimbabweans prepare for the elections in March. I
didn’t know somebody like Chamisa could miss that point and still go on to
agitate for violence in the event that the "usual" external observers decide
to declare the vote "stolen". This is the same party that daily preaches
"change" and we naively assume that change includes an end to the culture of
violence and respect for the rule of law. I must say I am distressed.

I can’t even imagine the hue and cry we would have heard from the MDC
and its allies if the ruling Zanu PF had raised the prospect of a bloodbath
if it loses the election. There would have been a huge outcry about
voter-intimidation and an escalation of violence.

Another lesson from the Kenyan election which should have been evident
to Honourable Chamisa, a lesson which should be learnt by his colleagues so
that they guard their mouths, is that people are fickle and love gratuitous
violence once they are provided with a little tinder. The trouble is that
once the violence starts and thugs join in, then it assumes a life of its
own, well beyond Chamisa’s powers.

We have warned over the years of the party’s indecisiveness when it
comes to election time. Whatever the allegations of rigging against Zanu PF,
this lack of decisiveness has always played to Zanu PF’s advantage.

When a party is undecided whether or not to participate in an election
until the last minute, three things are likely to happen: its supporters
will be reluctant to register to vote and so will not vote. Naturally they
will be turned away from the polling station and the MDC will cry foul but
forget its role in this whole thing.

Secondly, once the message is stressed too often that the vote will be
rigged and that the outcome is "predetermined" then there is no need for
people to go and cast their vote. Then we get the usual noise where apathy
is the victor.

In any case, a party which goes into an election vowing not to accept
a certain outcome is predisposing its supporters to violence. It is telling
its supporters: "Don’t accept loss, hack off innocent people’s hands so that
we have a bargaining chip to get into power." such a party is dangerous.

We all know what a mess the Zanu PF government has made of this
beautiful country because all they can ever come up with are survival rather
than development policies. A challenge we have also posed to the MDC is to
sell the people their policies on how they intend to reverse the economic
slide and break the political deadlock in the country. It is a challenge
they have refused to take, we are told, because Zanu PF will "steal" their

Instead, we are again told, they want a complete breakdown of
everything so that when they come in and put things right. This is all
evident in threats that if they boycott the elections, Zimbabwe will be
further isolated and things will only get worse. Is this the mentality and
spirit of a people’s party? So people must continue to suffer because only
the MDC can end the country’s isolation, and only the MDC can confer
legitimacy on the election?

Now we have these threats of Kenyan-style havoc should they suspect
that the elections have been stolen, even if their supporters didn’t
register because of confusion in the leadership, and were therefore nowhere
near the polling station on election day?

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Zim Independent Letters

Chamisa's statement is irresponsible

By Andrea Sibanda

IT’S intriguing for Nelson Chamisa (MDC Tsvangirai spokesperson) in
his campaign speech on January 12, to utter an irresponsible statement in
which he likens the Kenyan ethnic cleansing to what may happen in Zimbabwe
should Robert Mugabe steal the election again. For someone who poses as a
spokesperson for any political party, it’s prudent that he undertakes some
research on the subject before issuing a malicious statement.

As a spokesperson for his faction, he should have noted that the
Kenyan situation is quite different from Zimbabwe’s in that in Kenya the
opposition is led by a different ethnic group from the dominant Kikuyu like
Shonas in Zimbabwe. The opposition leader in Kenya (Raila Odinga) does not
belong to the dominant group.

This makes the situation different from Zimbabwe’s where the main
opposition parties are led by the dominant ethnic group (Shonas) who have
over the years caused massive suffering to other groups since independence
in 1980.Should there be clashes after the stealing of elections, who is the
MDC going to fight or antagonise? It has to be one ethnic group amongst
themselves over their own mess. How improbable!

Frankly speaking, the majority ethnic group should have long revolted
against their master (Mugabe) who has unashamedly ruined the country and
vows to continue his destruction.

As far as we’re concerned as a people of Matabeleland, we shall not
partake in that scramble in Chamisa’s context. We shall however continue to
fight for our rights and freedoms that have been deliberately trampled upon.
We shall intensify our fight so that our treatment as second and third class
citizens even in opposition parties ceases. The pretensions of a few
misguided clique from the defunct PF-Zapu who have been used and are still
in use have done nothing for Matabeleland. Any reasonable person sees that
the structuring of the MDC is microcosmic of the falling Zanu PF which has
alienated the other part of the country.

Chamisa’s statement is irresponsible, misleading and immature. Has he
ever thought about how we feel as the marginalised groups or does he care?
Has he ever known or thought that we (Ndebeles) also want to rule Zimbabwe
better as the initiators of nationalism through our hero Joshua Nkomo? Does
he know that the struggle for a meaningful Zimbabwe was hijacked by the
so-called majority who have thus brought a lot of misery instead?

* Andrea Sibanda is Secretary General of the MFP Johannesburg.

MPs must not take politics as life career

WITH only two months left for the historic harmonised elections —
providing a chance, God willing, to liberate Zimbabwe hopefully once and for
all — I am surprised that the MDC leadership is still dithering on whether
to unite before the polls.

I read almost daily that the issue stopping the potential unification
is that some sitting MDC MPs want to cling on to their constituencies
without going through primary elections just for the silly reason that their
terms were cut short by two years. These are the people who cry for
democracy day in and day out while they are trying to hang on to their dear
"jobs" as MPs.

Politics is not a life career; it’s not employment. Politics is
service to the people, whether for one day or for 10 years. But politicians
must get the mandate to serve from the people.

It is a shame that the noble idea to achieve unity will be scuttled by
a few selfish people. I doubt very much if some of our politicians are there
to serve Zimbabwe and its people.

Power indeed corrupts. One point that the MDC MPs should remember is
that people did not elect them because of their election promises or their
standing in society. People voted for the party above individuals.

They should ask former MP Munyaradzi Gwisai. He will tell them the
truth about MDC supporters.

Although there is a great potential of dividing votes in favour of
Zanu PF in the event that Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube choose to
cause confusion through fielding separate candidates, I don’t think it will
be of great significance.

I am sure the people of Zimbabwe know what they want, who they want to
govern them and in the case of the MDC I am sure there is no need for
debate. MDC supporters know their leader in Gwanda, Matobo, Nyanga and
Buhera, and across Zimbabwe people only know Morgan Tsvangirai.

So if the MDC unites it is only because some members of the breakaway
faction now realise that their political careers could be over within two

Take Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga in Glen View. Can she stand a
chance against any candidate supported by Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti?

Take Job Sikhala in St Mary’s. Does he stand a chance against any
candidate representing the mainstream MDC of Tsvangirai?

People have short memories. I remember in 2000, soon after elections
we had to move around with Remius Makuwaza introducing him to the people way
after he had won the elections. When the people voted they were just looking
for the MDC symbol, not the individual candidate.

The MDC started as a project to liberate Zimbabwe and that dream goes
on with or without anyone who thinks he or she is so important that Zimbabwe
cannot do without them. The struggle continues, driven by people.

With or without unity, the people must decide who represents them
through primary elections to avoid in-fighting and permanent damage within
the movement. Anyone who dreams of retaining a seat unopposed must join any
undemocratic party they want.

I am confident that the Tsvangirai MDC will never allow people to hang
on to their seats without going through primaries. Nobody should be above
the MDC except for the masses.

Elijah Mangwengwende,


Gono meant 'cash barren'

I WRITE in support of my valiant central bank governor, Gideon Gono.
He is currently under a barrage of criticism for his dismally failed
policies, the latest being the cash crisis still very evident throughout the
country today.

Very unfortunately, it appears Gono’s detractors never understood him
from the onset. On his inception as central bank chief, Gono boldly declared
"failure was not an option" and he stands by that statement today.

If I may shed light to his daft antagonists, what the good doctor
actually meant was that failure is "not an option but a clear certainty".

And by "cash baron", he meant "cash barren" — this was just a
typographical error which the overzealous print media as usual blew out of

So, my good friends, the governor is spot-on! Failure is a certainty
and we shall be cash-barren for a very long time to come.

Leave my gallant governor alone.

Raymond Samakapukapu,


Anyone seen Mudenge?

LOST is the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. He was last
seen months after the swearing in ceremony by His Excellency. Anyone with
information on his whereabouts can inform any university or college student
or preferably yours truly.

He goes by the name Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge.

The minister is surely not doing his job or else the president forgot
to tell him his duties besides enjoying the comfort of his office. Zimbabwe’s
education system is on the brink of collapse and the relevant authorities
have a role to play including the lost minister.

There are no lecturers at universities and students are forced to
attend three lectures before sitting for an examination. The question is
whether the universities are producing fully baked graduates or graduates
who have developed an art of passing exams.

What the authorities are good at is appearing on "the nation’s
favourite TV station" boasting about the good education system of
yesteryear. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I heard Mudenge talking
about the education crisis in the country. He just keeps quiet and pretends
as if everything is okay.

The learning environment is just pathetic with no modern learning
equipment like projectors. The computers are very few and out of those few
most of them are not functional.

A student is just allowed one hour on a computer at the National
University of Science and Technology library. And at many occasions there
will be no electricity at campus so how can we do our projects?

The main problem affecting the country right now is the transport
crisis and any reasonable man would expect the most vulnerable group
(students) to be protected from such. However, nobody feels for the students
and the Zupco buses which used to ferry students have since disappeared just
like the minister. Commuter omnibus operators have taken advantage of this
and charge exorbitant fares especially in the rainy season.

The government must have its students at heart.

Kudakwashe Karupa,


Save Tsholotsho from Moyo

THE article "Moyo in alliance with MDC to save Tsholotsho" (Zimbabwe
Independent, January 11) refers.

While I am all for a united opposition front to confront Zanu PF in
the forthcoming elections, I take great exception to the MDC teaming up with
Jonathan Moyo in a bid to save the Tsholotsho seat.

Instead, Tsholotsho needs to be saved from Moyo. The MDC should know
better than be seen associating with the professor.

Moyo’s tenure in Zanu PF is well-documented. He is the man who never
passed any opportunity to vilify the MDC, often portraying it as a bunch of
power-hungry, unpatriotic British-sponsored puppets.

Lest we forget, Moyo is also a cunning and calculative intellectual
out to save his skin because he knows that his political epitaph is already

It is my hope that Moyo is finally obliterated from the political
landscape in the next elections.

Joseph Mhlanga,

Dublin, Ireland.

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