The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage
Zimbabwe abandons its currency
The Zimbabwe dollar is virtually
Zimbabweans will be allowed to conduct business in other
currencies, alongside the Zimbabwe dollar, in an effort to stem the country's
The announcement was made by acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
BBC southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles says the Zimbabwean dollar has
become a laughing stock. A Z$100 trillion note was recently introduced.
Until now only licensed businesses could accept foreign currencies, although
it was common practice.
The country is also facing an deepening humanitarian crisis as well.
A cholera outbreak has killed over 3,000 people according to the World Health
And the World Food Programme (WFP) has revised up the number of people it
says need food aid.
It now says seven million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid, up from 5.1
million in June.
WFP regional spokesman Richard Lee said the situation had deteriorated
"The economic situation has worsened more dramatically than we had
anticipated," he told AFP.
"The agency is being forced to halve the cereal rations given to hungry
Zimbabweans so that all the people in need can receive aid."
Mr Chinamasa made the announcement as he delivered the annual budget to
"In line with the prevailing practices by the general public, [the]
government is therefore allowing the use of multiple foreign currencies for
business transactions alongside the Zimbabwean dollar," he said.
The country is in the grip of world-record hyperinflation which has left the
Zimbabwean dollar virtually worthless - 231m% in July 2008, the most recent
Teachers, doctors and civil servants have gone on strike complaining that
their salaries - which equal trillions of Zimbabwean dollars - are not even
enough to catch the bus to work each day.
A 40-year-old Zimbabwean primary school teacher from the capital Harare, told
the BBC news website earlier this week it cost nearly US$2 a day to travel to
work, but inflation had reduced the average teacher's wage to the equivalent of
US$1 a month.
He said he now made a living reselling maize to families in high density
areas, as it made more money than teaching.
Before the announcement, shops in Zimbabwe were increasingly demanding
payment in US dollars - a reality acknowledged by Mr Chinamasa.
"In the hyper-inflationary environment characterising the economy, our people
are now using multiple currencies alongside the Zimbabwean dollar. These include
the [South African] rand, US dollar, Botswana pula, euro and British pound among
A Harare resident said even street vendors were refusing to accept Zimbabwean
Last year, the Central Bank was forced to slash 10 zeros from the local unit
in an effort to make the currency more manageable.
Correspondents say that although the local currency will still be printed,
all prices will be set in US dollars, making the Zimbabwe dollar irrelevant.
The country's economy is now on the brink of collapse - a situation worsened
by the political crisis that resulted from last year's disputed presidential
Chinamasa sets ambitious targets in Zimbabwe budget
January 29 2009,
Minister Patrick Chinamasa today tabled the country's
budget with an
ambitious target of a 2% economic growth and double digit
minister unveiled the fiscus for the world's worst economy in
Zimbabwe is currently riddled with hyper-inflation and a
crisis. The budget presentation gave opposition leaders fodder to boo
heckle at Chinamasa who tried gamely to outline his priorities. Part of
budget promised improved health delivery and infrastructure
Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank will also be whipped into
line and Chinamasa
was feeling the heat as he set targets for turning the
tide of inflation.
Zimbabwe's inflation is now standing at a staggering 231
Addressing the gallery, Chinamasa said: "The budget is
premised on a
macro-economic framework targeted at reducing inflation to
figures as well a positive economic growth rate of about 2% in
There will be disappointment for Zimbabwe's striking
nurses who hoped to be paid in foreign currencies. Public
will continue to be paid in the devalued Zimbabwe dollar.
government is introducing a US dollar voucher allowance system
to help them
afford basic goods.
Three-quarters of the people need food aid
JOHANNESBURG , 29 January
2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven million Zimbabweans will require emergency food aid
in February and March 2009 - about 75 percent of the resident population - the
UN World Food Programme (WFP) told IRIN.
The sharp increase in the
number of emergency food aid beneficiaries is a consequence of an economic
collapse that was quicker than anticipated, and has come on the back of a
series of poor harvests in a country that a decade ago was regarded as the
Richard Lee, WFP's Southern Africa spokesman, told
IRIN that in the final two months before the main harvest in April, WFP would
provide emergency food aid to 5.1 million recipients, while the US-funded
Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE), an umbrella
organisation for US-sponsored NGOs funded by the US Agency for International
Development, would feed 1.8 million beneficiaries.
is estimated at about 12 million, but hyperinflation and a 94 percent
unemployment rate - according to a report released on 29 January by the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - has turned more
than three million people into economic
migrants, leaving a resident population of about 9 million - 6.9 million of
whom now require food aid.
Zimbabwe has become the world's third largest
food aid operation, after Afghanistan (8.82 million) and Ethiopia (8.67
million), and ahead of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (5.58 million)
and Bangladesh (5 million).
In terms of the percentage of the population
requiring food aid, Zimbabwe leads the field with about 75 percent, followed by
Afghanistan with about 25 percent, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
is third with about 18 percent.
In June a joint Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) and WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission had estimated
that in first quarter of 2009 - the peak of the crisis - 5.1 million people
would require food assistance.
Rations reduced again
"The situation is not the same when it was forecast in June
2008 [by the FAO and WFP], and there are clearly more people in need of
assistance, as the economic situation has worsened and deteriorated much more
rapidly than anticipated," Lee said.
The rapid expansion of beneficiaries is
leading to a halving of cereal rations, which were already
cut in late 2008 in the face of donor funding shortfalls.
|The situation is not the same
when it was forecast in June 2008, and there are clearly more people in need of
assistance, as the economic situation has worsened and deteriorated much more
rapidly than anticipated |
the WFP would distribute 5kg per person of cereal - less than half the
recommended monthly minimum of 12kg - and 1kg of beans. In November 2008 cereal
rations were reduced to 10kg per person and beans to 1kg, from 1.8 kg.
Since May 2008, donors - mainly the European Union and the US - have
donated US$240 million. Botswana is the only country in the Southern
African Development Community, a regional body, to provide any funding to
the WFP - it donated US$150,000.
The reduction in rations would, Lee
said, "unfortunately leave beneficiaries more prone to diseases" because of
A cholera pandemic in Zimbabwe has killed 3,095 people
since the outbreak began in August 2008, with 58,993 cases reported up until 28
January 2009. The disease is expected to reach 60,000 cases in the next day or
so, surpassing the World Health Organisation's (WHO) worst-case scenario prediction, made in December 2008.
Harvest not expected to bring much respite
said the WFP would begin scaling down feeding operations in April and May, "but
there are indications that the main [April] harvest will be poor ... but most
people will harvest something to eat, for a short while at least."
food security analyst in Zimbabwe told IRIN that "This season [April harvest] is
down the drain; the rain is good but we're not going to have enough food."
He said apart from the unavailability of agricultural inputs, such as seed and
fertiliser, small-scale farmers had not planted, as maize was subject to price
"If you told people before planting that they could sell on
the open market or in forex, people would have planted more," he said. "There's
a lack of incentive with unviable production prices."
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
Zimbabwe's starving millions face halving of rations as UN cash dries
World Food Programme to cut core
maize ration from 10kg to 5kg a month – or just 600 calories a day – for 70% of
Aid workers offload supplies for people in Harare Photograph:
Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images
Nations is to halve the food ration to millions of
Zimbabweans, bringing it below what will keep an adult alive, as the numbers of
people dependent on aid rises sharply and donations from foreign governments
fall well short of demand.
The World Food Programme is to cut the core maize ration in February from
10kg to 5kg a month – or just 600 calories a day – for 7 million Zimbabweans,
about 70% of the people left in the country. The recommended ration is 12kg a
As a result of the cuts, many Zimbabweans will be fortunate to eat once a
day. Millions have been left dependent on food aid because of years of crop
failures mostly caused by the knock-on effects of the government's seizure of
white-owned farms and the collapse of the economy and infrastructure. Most shops
sell food only for US dollars because hyperinflation has wiped out the value of
the Zimbabwe currency,
and what is available is relatively expensive imports beyond the reach of the
mass of unemployed and desperate Zimbabweans.
The WFP says it has cut the ration to meet increased demand and cope with a
shortfall in donations. It says it requires another $65m to keep feeding
Zimbabweans until the end of March. But donors are reluctant to put more
resources into the beleaguered African state and what aid there is has been
partly diverted to the cholera crisis
that has claimed 3,000 lives.
Richard Lee, a WFP spokesman in southern Africa, said that while the
calorie count would be boosted by a ration of beans and vegetable oil,
recipients of food aid would now have to find additional means to stay
"The new ration falls below what is considered the survival ration. They will
be sending their children to hunt for wild fruits or selling the possessions
they haven't already sold to buy food," he said. "People will be more
vulnerable, they will be more malnourished and they will be more susceptible to
Oxfam is feeding 253,000 in Zimbabwe's Midlands province. One of its workers
there, Caroline Gluck, said the organisation relied on food supplied by the WFP
and so would be forced to halve the ration.
"Families are being stretched. They're selling livestock, they're selling
household goods to buy staple foods," she said. "People told us they were having
a meal a day. Sometimes adults are skipping a meal so the children can be fed.
They are supplementing what they have with wild fruits.
"But now it's going to be a disaster because people have sold what they can
sell. There's very little they can do to supplement their rations. I think it's
going to be extremely hard for families, it's going to make them incredibly
vulnerable. You look at people and they are already thin, their frames are skin
and bone. When you look at the fields you see there's been no agricultural
inputs. The soil is little better than sand."
The WFP is already feeding about 4.5 million Zimbabweans, with a coalition of
non-governmental organisations distributing to another million. Next month, the
total number of Zimbabweans reliant on food aid will rise by 1.5 million.
"We are concerned. The reason we are cutting the ration is so we do provide
assistance to everybody who needs food assistance so that we can make sure they
can get through these two hungriest and worst months of the year, February and
March, before the harvest starts in April," said Lee.
"But on top of that we haven't received all the resources we had hoped for.
The donors have been very generous. We've now received over $200m for our
operations in Zimbabwe in 2008 and 2009. It's just that the scale of the crisis,
the worsening crisis, means that we do require additional resources."
The food shortages are contributing to the rising number of cholera deaths.
About 1,000 people have died in the past fortnight, many of them too weak for
treatment because they have not had enough to eat. Nearly 58,000 people have
The food crisis has been compounded by the government's failure to meet a
target of importing 800,000 tonnes of maize. It is believed to have bought only
The April harvest is unlikely to bring relief. Agriculturalists say it will
again fail; they estimate it will provide less than a quarter of the country's
needs and that drastic food shortages will continue into next year once the
results of the harvest have been consumed.
Daily cholera update and alerts, 28 Jan 2009
* Please note that
daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff
constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the
numbers. Any change will then be explained.
** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths
occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may
A. Highlights of the day:
- 1291 cases and 67 deaths added today (in comparison 1579 cases and 57
- 55.2% of the districts affected have reported today (32 out of 58 affected
- 88.7 % of districts reported to be affected (55 districts/62)
- Beitbridge district updated retrospect data which was not captured in the
system (319 Cases).
- Chikomba District – Sadza CTC reported data for the first time (105 Cases).
- Mbire updated deaths only which were not captured when cases were reported.
- Cumulative Institutional Case Fatality Rate 2.1%
epidemic in Zimbabwe world's worst in 14 years: World Health
National Post news services Published: Thursday, January
Zimbabwe's worsening cholera epidemic has killed 3,028 people
out of the
more than 57,000 infected and is the world's worst in 14 years,
Health Organization said yesterday. The latest death toll
increase of more than 1,000 deaths in just the past 15 days, a
illustration of Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis that shows
sign of abating. The outbreak is one of the only few in Africa that
an entire country, leading to a very high overall case fatality rate
5.3%. Other big African outbreaks are linked to breakdowns of law and
such as one in 1994 in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, in which
Rwandan refugees died in three weeks.
unemployment soars to 94 percent
January 29, 2009
Harare - Zimbabwe's
unemployment rate has spiked to 94 percent, meaning that
fewer than half a
million people in the country are formally employed, the
arm said Thursday.
"At close of 2008, only six percent of the population
was formally employed,
down from 30 percent in 2003," said a report from the
UN's Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
of the country's 12 million people, only 480,000 have formal jobs, down
3,6 million in 2003, the report said.
"The most obvious indicator of the
current decline is the staggering
inflation rate," last estimated at 231
million percent in July, it said.
The new data was contained in an appeal
by OCHA for 35 agencies working in
the country, seeking $550-million to
assist the 5,1 million Zimbabweans in
need of food aid.
once-dynamic economy has shrunk by more than 45 percent over the past
years, leaving half of Zimbabwe's urban population relying on
from friends and family overseas, the report said.
An estimated three
million Zimbabweans have fled the country's economic and
instability, and are now supporting their families with both cash
"Importantly, in 2008 remittances from Zimbabweans in neighbouring
countries - South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique - were in
the form of food and essential household commodities, as well as cash," the
The economic collapse has also made it difficult for aid
agencies to work in
Zimbabwe, it added, citing high prices for supplies,
payment of salaries, spotty access to food for staff and
Adding to Zimbabwe's woes are consecutive years of
drought and a land reform
programme launched in 2000, in which some mostly 4
commercial farms were seized and redistributed to
The scheme has punched a gapping hole in agricultural production,
accounted for 40 percent of the economy, as most of the new
lack both farming equipment and expertise.
revival hinges on new government
Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:36pm GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's farming sector faces
chances of reviving it hinge on an elusive deal to forge a
that could trigger investment in the sector, a farm union
official said on
The southern African country's
once-thriving farms have spiralled downward
since 2000 when a dozen white
farmers were shot dead and many others were
beaten when war veterans
violently seized white-owned commercial farms as
part of President Robert
Mugabe's policy of land redistribution.
Critics say this policy ruined
farming because many of the landless blacks
had little or no experience in
agriculture, and the World Food Programme
said on Thursday more than half of
the country's population faces starvation
unless they get food aid.
cholera epidemic has also worsened matters in the country.
"We need a
government in place so we can stabilise the sector and get back
on our feet
or the people of Zimbabwe continue to suffer," Deon Theron, Vice
of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents Zimbabwe's
remaining white commercial farmers told Reuters in an interview.
honestly believe there is hope that these talks will bear some fruit," he
said referring to prolonged talks seeking to forge a government of national
unity in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe denies that the land seizures ruined the
country's economy and says
they were meant to reverse colonial land
A power-sharing agreement reached in September between
rivals, seen as a chance to save the faltering economy,
has yet to be
But hopes are high that an agreement on a
unity government could be reached
that could help to jumpstart agricultural
output in southern Africa's former
A meeting of regional
leaders in the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) decided on
Tuesday that a unity government should be formed next
"It's quite a desperate and precarious
situation really," Theron said.
"If we don't get agriculture to recover,
SADC or the rest of the
international community will have to keep supplying
Zimbabwe with food and
that's just not sustainable," Theron
South African farmers have said they would be willing to help lure
to Zimbabwean agriculture if a new government can resuscitate the
The WFP said on Thursday seven million people in
Zimbabwe would need food
handouts in February and March, up from an earlier
projection of about 5.5
The World Health Organisation says a
cholera epidemic has killed nearly
3,100 people and infected at least 58,000
others, worsening the country's
already critical humanitarian
Thousands of white farmers have fled Zimbabwe since the land
and the CFU says it still receives reports of disturbances
on farms, where
some white farmers are still being forced off land or being
refusing to leave.
"Sometimes I get the impression
that the government feels that all whites
want to come back and they want to
take over the land. That's not true,"
"There are some
that want to farm but there are many out there that all they
want is to be
compensated for their properties and to move on with their
expected to endorse decision to join unity government
29 January 2009
The decision making body of the MDC, the
National Council, is widely
expected to agree in favour of joining a unity
government, as outlined by
Monday's SADC summit on Zimbabwe.
leader Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly agreed in principle to join the
inclusive government, subject to the resolution of outstanding issues that
he described as 'work in progress.' Negotiators from the three parties were
expected to meet late Thursday to resolve some of these
Briefing party supporters and journalists soon after arrival at
International Airport yesterday, Tsvangirai said: 'It's a
and I hope the party will be united in ensuring that we
respond to the needs
on the ground and people's expectations,' he said.
Newsreel spoke to several
MDC MPs who all confirmed Friday's meeting of the
124-member body was just a
formality, as Tsvangirai was expected to receive
the full backing of the
'We met last week and said
we will only join when some of our demands are
met. Look, Mugabe gave
concessions to three out of five of our demands. In
any negotiation, you win
some and lose some,' an MDC MP said.
Another MP added; 'Remember this is
the same body that has many members who
have always advocated joining the
unity government. If the issue was to be
decided by a vote, an outright
majority will say yes, let's join, but I don't
think it will go that far.
Putting it to a vote will mean the party is
divided over the
Analysts though remained sceptical. Glen Mpani, a Cape Town based
said Tsvangirai's decision to agree to join a unity government could
been based on many things.
'There is a humanitarian crisis in
the country now, so he could have been
motivated by the level of suffering
to such alarming proportions he decided
to take a chance based on trust,'
Mpani added that Tsvangirai has 'put his feet in the river'
in the hope that
he won't be swept away because in the back of his mind he
knows he's dealing
with a rogue party.
'Tsvangirai could be asking
himself, will these people throw away their 28
year-old culture of flouting
the rule of law, of abusing human rights or
Basildon Peta, a Zimbabwean journalist based in South
Africa, told us
Tsvangirai said the three issues on which Mugabe had
conceded ground were
the appointments of provincial governors, national
security legislation and
passage of constitutional amendment 19, giving
legal effect to the September
15 unity agreement. There are reports the
appointments that have already
been made of the Reserve Bank Governor and
the Attorney General will be
reversed, and then dealt with by the inclusive
government after its
Critically however, observers point out
that Mugabe has not given in to the
contentious issue of letting go of the
Home Affairs ministry, insisting that
it be co-shared with the MDC. The
other important demand that he failed to
address was the continuous
detention of civil and political
Once the inclusive government is in place,
work will start on restructuring
the civil service and this will involve the
appointments of permanent
secretaries and ambassadors, after consultations
between Tsvangirai and
The SADC summit enforced a timeline
to ensure the full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement.
Regional leaders asked all parties to work
towards ensuring that parliament
pass the Constitutional Amendment 19 by the
be followed six days later by the swearing in of the Prime
Minister and the
Deputy Prime Ministers on the 11th. Ministers and Deputy
Ministers shall be
sworn in on two days later, concluding the process of the
formation of the
The Joint-Monitoring Implementation Committee (JOMIC),
provided for in the
Global Political Agreement, was activated soon after the
summit in Pretoria.
A source told us the first meeting of JOMIC is expected
to be convened by
Thabo Mbeki in Harare on Friday, to elect the
JOMIC will be composed of four senior members of ZANU PF and
from each of the two MDC formations. SADC envisages that the
be co-chaired by persons from the parties and will assess the
of the GPA from time to time and consider steps which might
need to be taken
to ensure the speedy and full implementation of the
agreement in its
expresses hope for Harare government in "very, very near future"
Jan 29, 2009, 12:05 GMT
Harare - A day before Zimbabwe's
opposition votes on whether to join
President Robert Mugabe in government,
the United States ambassador to
Zimbabwe expressed hope Thursday that a
government would be formed quickly.
'We are hoping to see a government in
place, an operational government in
the very, very near future,' ambassador
James McGee told reporters during a
visit to a clinic treating cholera
patients in the capital Harare.
After former US secretary of state
Condoleezza Rice said late last year it
was 'well past time' for Mugabe, 84,
to step down as leader, the United
States now appears to be resigning itself
to the prospect of Mugabe
presiding over a power-sharing
According to the terms of a September accord, Mugabe would
and Tsvangirai would become prime minister of a government
composed of both
After holding out for four months for
a fairer deal on the way power will be
concretely shared between the two
parties, the MDC is due to vote Friday on
whether to throw in its lot with
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has tentatively endorsed the move,
resolution of some outstanding demands.
came as aid agencies again sounded the alarm over the
legions of hungry in
Zimbabwe. Over half of Zimbabwe's population of around
11 million require
food aid, but appeals for donations by the UN World Food
and others NGOs are being increasingly ignored in the West.
is affecting the treatment of cholera patients, over 3,000 of
whom have died
since August. The outbreak is a manifestation of the
breakdown of state
infrastructure as state coffers run on near empty.
'We are taking good
medication but I am starving,' said one patient who
asked to be identified
as Spiwe at a clinic in Budiriro township. 'I could
have been discharged
long back but I am here since Monday because I am not
'Food is the major problem cholera patients are facing all over
country,' Oxfam country director in Zimbabwe Peter Mutoredzanwa told
Handing over a further 365,000 dollars in US government
funding for cholera
to the UN Children's Fund USAID, McGee said: 'I wish
could do more to help its own people.'
decision on Zimbabwe was not 'unanimous'
By Violet Gonda
On Monday South African President Kgalema Motlanthe made it seem
leaders from Southern Africa were in total agreement with the formation
unity agreement between Zimbabwe's rival parties. But it has now
that there was no unanimous agreement, with some Heads of State even
for fresh elections as a solution to the crisis in
The news website, Zimonline, reported Thursday that the vote
unanimous, with Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania voting against the
Zimonline said; "There was heated debate during a closed session
leaders, with Botswana President Ian Khama pushing for a process that
lead to fresh free and fair elections to allow Zimbabweans to choose
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, they wanted as their leader. He said
was no point in forcing a deal that does not work and would collapse
matter of months."
It's reported that President Rupiah Banda
from Zambia and AU Chairman,
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, were also
in favour of a new election.
But they were outnumbered after a strong
campaign by South Africa, which
lobbied for the formation of a power sharing
Shockingly, but not surprising, the MDC said Mugabe sat through
although Morgan Tsvangirai was not in the room.
"When it came
to the vote, the South African position carried the day
Zambia and Tanzania isolated in one camp. Mugabe sat
through the closed
session but was apparently quiet for most of the time.
Tsvangirai did not
attend the session and when he was eventually summoned
and presented with
the majority vote, he was unaware of the sharp divisions
reported Zimonline. The publication said it appears
Tsvangirai was made to
believe the decision was unanimous.
But after SADC issued the Communiqué and
announced a unity government would
be formed in Zimbabwe by mid February,
Botswana - Mugabe's harshest critic
in the region - issued a statement the
following day welcoming the outcome
of the SADC summit as a way to resolve
the crisis in Zimbabwe. However those
who saw Khama on television on his
return back to his country say the
President looked dejected. Journalist
Tanonoka Whande said Ian Khama had
over the months put up a spirited fight
calling for fresh elections for
Zimbabwe but looked upset when he returned
from the summit.
Despite the official statement by Botswana, Foreign Minister
Skelemani on Thursday reiterated his country's earlier position
unity government is not the solution for Zimbabwe. Speaking from
where ministers were meeting ahead of the African Union summit,
was quoted by the Herald Tribune saying: "This government of
is not the best solution." Skelemani said new elections are a
than the coalition proposal.
Nonetheless there are strong
indications that a unity government will be
formed, although it is still not
quite clear what the logic of the MDC is in
joining, considering that their
main demands have not yet been met by Robert
Mugabe. There is still no
clarity on the equal distribution of key
ministries and at least 30 civic
and political activists are still in
prison, in gross violation of the
Global Political Agreement.
Meanwhile, the MDC leader said he had agreed in
principle to join the deal
with Robert Mugabe although he will await to get
the official nod from his
National Council, which will sit on Friday.
However an MDC source, speaking
on condition of anonymity, said: "This will
be a mere formality. Tsvangirai
wants to join and he has majority support in
There is no doubt that SADC wants this government to be formed
as soon as
possible and on Friday the Joint Monitoring Implementation
will be established. This will be composed of four senior
ZANU-PF and four senior members from each of the two MDC
will be expected to adjudicate complaints of violations of
critics have said given the violations that have been
unanswered by SADC so
far, it's doubtful that this body will do anything,
unless it has very
strong people on it.
'Motlanthe just like Mbeki'
President Robert Mugabe greets South Africa President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Thu, 29 Jan 2009
President Kgalema Motlanthe's approach on Zimbabwe is
no different from that of former president Thabo Mbeki, says Cosatu.
"We are not quite
excited by our current government, led by comrade Motlanthe's take on the
issue," General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told a media briefing in
"It is disappointing to say the least."
The trade union federation however said it was
"slightly encouraged" by ANC president Jacob Zuma's attitude as he had spoken
publicly against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
Vavi said Motlanthe could take decisive action by
going public and saying that he was withdrawing South Africa's acceptance of
Mugabe as the legitimate president of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) General
Secretary Wellington Chibebe said the path taken by Southern African Development
Community leaders for an inclusive government in Zimbabwe was not going to
improve the country's economy.
"No international investor will pour any money
into a government led by Mugabe," he said.
The ZCTU, with the support of Cosatu, called for
a neutral authority to be put in place in Zimbabwe to oversee a new round of
free and fair elections.
"The neutral body's sole mandate would be to
organise free and fair elections under international supervision."
Asked who they had in mind to carry out these
duties, Chibebe said a retired judge or retired Catholic bishop would do.
Chibebe criticised SADC leaders for wanting a
unity government in Zimbabwe. They were just an "old boys club" who nursed
Mugabe, refused to be guarantors of democracy and were in blatant disregard of
Sadc protocols and policies on elections.
"The fundamental problem with what they are
pushing for — the 15 September agreement between Zanu-PF and MDC — is that it
seeks to make the loser of elections a winner and the winner a loser," he
Chibebe said the trade union would never accept
the unity government as a permanent solution. It would only accept it as an
interim government whose responsibility would be holding free and fair elections
six months after being put into power.
He called on Sadc and African Union leaders to
take responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe because they had
"consistently" refused to take action when it was possible.
"It is they who allowed Mugabe a free reign to
terrorise and murder the citizens of his country. They should have recognised
him as the legitimate president of Zimbabwe after the 29 March elections which
He said the "most credible" neutral authority
would come from the United Nations.
Botswana FM chides
Zimbabwe unity government
The Associated PressPublished: January 29,
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Zimbabwe's proposed government of
national unity is
not the solution to the country's deepening crisis,
minister said Thursday in the run-up to the African Union
Phandu Skelemani said new elections are a better
choice than the coalition
proposal that emerged from South African-mediated
talks between President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and opposition leader
Movement for Democratic Change.
of national unity is not the best solution," Skelemani said
in the Ethiopian
capital, where ministers were meeting ahead of the AU
Neighboring Botswana has been one of the more outspoken critics
and its president is one of the few African leaders to have
Zimbabwe has been virtually without a
government since a presidential
election last March in which Tsvangirai won
the most votes. Tsvangirai
pulled out of a subsequent runoff against Mugabe
because of attacks on
said that before he enters a government, attacks on his
stop and a fair distribution of Cabinet posts should be
impasse has stranded Zimbabweans in a prolonged economic crisis, with
hospitals, schools and sanitation infrastructure left to
The U.N. food program said Thursday that 7 million Zimbabweans
- 80 percent
of the population by some estimates - need food aid.
U.N. also said Thursday that the toll from cholera has reached 3,095
since the epidemic started in August. Health workers had earlier
the number of cases would start to drop at 60,000, but that figure
to be reached this week with no sign the epidemic is slowing.
slam unity deal, reiterate demand for transitional authority
29 January 2009
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has
expressed deep concern at
the failure of the recent SADC summit to ensure
that a government with a
democratic mandate is put in place. On Thursday
Secretary General Wellington
Chibhebhe was speaking in South Africa at
COSATU House, the headquarters of
the Congress of South African Trade Unions
in Johannesburg. Responding to
the expected formation of a unity government
between the MDC and ZANU PF,
the ZCTU reiterated its demand for a neutral
transitional authority, whose
sole mandate will be to organise free and fair
elections under international
During the joint ZCTU and
COSATU press conference the labour unions said
'any unity government that
rewards those who lost an election is setting a
very dangerous precedent.'
They argued that the agreement seeks to make the
loser of the elections a
winner, and the winner a loser. The two unions have
agreed to support the
'principle' of a unity government only as an interim
measure, that will
ensure that conditions for a free and fair poll are
detailed statement said; 'SADC and AU leaders have yet again failed the
people, by continuing to treat Mugabe as a legitimate head of state, despite
being rejected by the majority of his citizens in the 29 March 2008
elections. SADC even allow him to remain in the summit meeting after Morgan
Tsvangirai had been asked to leave, so that he could be a judge in his own
case.' The unions are worried that Mugabe wants to use the MDC and it's
leader Morgan Tsvangirai as window dressing to attract international
recognition. They pointed out that another problem with the agreement is
that it relies too much on trusting Mugabe to honour the spirit of the
The unions warned that 'history is full of examples that show that
who trusts that Mugabe can keep the spirit and letter of any
so at his/her own peril.' They listed as examples how Mugabe
duped ZAPU into
a deal in 1980 after independence, before reneging on every
he made. ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo was fired as Home Affairs
Minister 2 years
into the deal, ZAPU properties were confiscated and over 20
slaughtered during the Gukurahundi Massacres in the Midlands and
Matabeleland. There remains no guarantee that Mugabe will not do the same
and fire Tsvangirai as Prime Minister under the agreement.
meanwhile said it will be intensifying it's solidarity campaigns and
already planned a Southern African civil society conference,
and pickets on Zimbabwe.
Crisis in Zimbabwe - COSATU and ZCTU Statement
The General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Comrade
Wellington Chibebe, is in South Africa. He took the opportunity to brief the
COSATU National Office Bearers on the prevailing economic and political
situation in Zimbabwe. Arising out of these discussions, the statement below was
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Congress of South African Trade
Unions are deeply concerned at the deteriorating human crisis in Zimbabwe and
the failure to install a government with a democratic mandate from the people of
We warned against this imminent catastrophe many years ago and our political
leadership in SADC and African Union ignored us. Today the chickens have come
home to roost. The suffering that the Zimbabwean people are going through can no
longer be adequately articulated through words.
The political leadership of SADC and AU must take full responsibility for
this human tragedy. It is they who consistently refused to act. It is they who
chose to nurse Robert Mugabe and refused to be guarantors of democracy, in
blatant disregard of their own protocols and policies such as the SADC
guidelines on elections. It is they who allowed Mugabe a free reign to terrorise
and murder the citizens of his country.
The ZCTU, with COSATU’s support, is still demanding a Neutral Transitional
Authority, whose sole mandate will be to organise free and fair elections under
Any ‘unity’ government that rewards those who lost an election is setting a
very dangerous precedent.
The fundamental problem of the 15 September 2008 agreement between the
ZANU-PF and MDC, which was facilitated by President Thabo Mbeki on behalf of
SADC, is that is seeks to make the loser of the elections a winner and the
winner a loser.
We have reluctantly agreed to support the principle of a unity government but
only as an interim government whose main responsibility will be to create
conditions for the holding of truly free and fair elections as soon as possible.
It is our strong view that there can be no permanent solution without an
election. The will of the people must be sovereign.
The SADC and AU leaders have yet again failed the people, by continuing to
treat Mugabe as a legitimate head of state, despite being rejected by the
majority of his citizens in the 29 March 2008 elections. SADC even allow him to
remain in the Summit meeting after Morgan Tsvangirai had been asked to leave, so
that he could be a judge in his own case.
Both federations fully sympathise with the Movement for Democratic Change’s
reluctance to endorse the resolution of the SADC Summit Meeting on 26-27 January
2009 in Pretoria, despite the huge pressure the Heads of State are exerting on
them to accept it, aided by some of the media who are suggesting that “both
parties are equally to blame” for the impasse.
The MDC is surely right to object to the attempt to railroad them into a
potential political trap, in which their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is a purely
symbolic figure, to serve as window-dressing for a ZANU-PF government to gain
international recognition and acceptance.
SADC’s proposed government of national unity (GNU) leaves most power in the
hands of the defeated President Mugabe and his party who lost the elections on
29 March 2008.
The ‘preconditions’, which the MDC is asking for, are essential to ensure
that there is at least a genuine sharing of power in the new government. The MDC
should make clear to the world that they are entirely justified in rejecting
such an agreement.
The SADC proposals rely far too much on trusting Mugabe to honour the spirit
of the agreement. History does not suggest that anyone should place such trust
in this man. History is full of examples that show that anyone who trusts that
Mugabe can keep the spirit and letter of any agreement does so in his/her own
peril. We list below some of the reason why we are sympathetic to the stance
adopted by the MDC thus far:
1. After the 1980 Lancaster House agreement it had been agreed that ZANU
and ZAPU were to contest as one, under the banner of the Patriotic Front, with
Nkomo as the leader. But Mugabe reneged and fought the elections separately.
2. Thereafter, ZAPU’s Joshua Nkomo was appointed as Minister of Home
Affairs in the 1980 GNU but was dismissed two years later by the then Prime
Minister Mugabe. Then for the next five years Mugabe’s government waged a
campaign of terror in Matabeleland and the Midlands, allegedly to hunt down 120
‘dissidents’, in which 20 000 civilians died, a higher rate of casualties than
the 50 000 who perished when Smith was ‘hunting down’ about 55 000 fighters in
the liberation struggle, in the 14 years between 1966 and 1980.
3. Another act of bad faith was the state’s confiscation of properties
owned by demobilised ex-ZIPRA combatants, who had pooled resources to buy
properties. The state has still not returned their properties to this day. Even
an agreement that ZANU and ZAPU would abandon their party symbols, the cock and
bull respectively, was never honoured and the cock is still displayed on the
ZANU-PF HQ today.
To the Zimbabwean people this is the history that cannot be ignored because
of pressure by SADC and AU for a government of unity to be formed.
Already the Interim ‘President’ has unilaterally appointed 10 ZANU-PF members
as provincial governors, regardless of the level of support for them in the
province. For the record the MDC (Tsvangirai) won 5 provinces one (1) was won by
MDC (Mutambara) with ZANU-PF winning 4 provinces. Yet in the appointment of the
governors Mugabe ignores the will of the people.
Other party members who lost their seats in the elections remain in
government office after being appointed non-constituent MPs. The police are
still under the control of ZANU-PF, abducting, detaining and torturing political
opponents of the ruling elite.
There is still no guarantee that MDC ministers, including the Prime Minister
will not be dismissed by the ‘President’ who, according to the agreement, can
demand the Prime Minster reports regularly to him and dismiss him for
So the MDC is right to insist that any agreement is watertight. They will
lose credibility if they put their names to a deal that perpetuates the rule of
the party which lost the election, keeps control of the army and police in
ZANU-PF hands and sees their ministers being cast aside a few years down the
Meanwhile the situation within the country gets worse and worse. Unemployment
is still rising. Most goods are no longer being produced in the country, but are
imported from South Africa. Most Public servants turn up to work to use the
office equipment but do no work.
The Zim$ is no longer accepted at shops. Trade is conducted in US$, SA Rands,
Pula or bartered goods. Criminals are getting rich forging notes in these
currencies. Workers have been demanding, and striking for, payment of their
wages in US$.
Emigration into all the neighbouring countries is soaring. Schools have
remained closed for a year, hospitals also remain closed, cholera has now killed
3000 people and other diseases are rampant and rapidly spilling across
Zimbabwe’s borders. It is a complete tragedy.
COSATU will be intensifying its solidarity campaign, with an already planned
Southern African civil society conference, demonstrations and pickets on
Transcript: US Ambassador on cholera and Zimbabwe GNU
Public Affairs Section
January 29, 2009
Today, United States
Ambassador, James D. McGee, visited the Unicef
warehouse in Workington,
Harare. The visit by McGee followed the arrival,
last week, of a
USAID-provided consignment of nearly 440,000 bars of
soap-valued at nearly
US$365,000-to the UN Children's Fund, which will
provide it to humanitarian
organizations to distribute as part of hygiene
education programs in areas
most affected by the cholera outbreak. During
the tour, McGee inspected
warehouse commodities and received UNICEF briefing
on distribution and
general U.N. health and water, sanitation, and hygiene
What follows is a transcript of his remarks after the tour where he
took questions from journalists.
D. McGee: Congratulations, this is a wonderful operation and the
the United States are so happy to be able to supply the
the purification tablets- these are all very very
necessary in dealing with
this, unfortunately, man-made crisis of cholera
that we have here in
Zimbabwe. This is a crisis that did not need to happen,
but we are now
committed that the people of Zimbabwe have the tools
necessary to take care
of themselves and their families. I want to say what
a great job you and
your team are doing. We really do appreciate this. We
can assist you in
getting these items. We need somebody with your expertise,
your skills to make certain that these reach the people that
intended for, so again thank you so very very much for doing a
Roeland Monasch (Unicef Representative to Zimbabwe): Thank you
so much sir.
McGee: We have 57000 people who are now affected with
cholera. We have 3000
deaths and again, I will say, it's a shame because
this is a disaster that
did not need to happen to Zimbabwe. As I spoke to
some of you, some of you
are fortunate enough to have deep wells, deep
boreholes and not be worried
about that. Many of you, though, have shallow
wells, you get water straight
from the city water supply, and this is why
people are getting sick.
Something needs to be done and something needs to
be done now to deal with
this. And fortunately we have committed people who
are working on this but I
do call upon the government of Zimbabwe to do more
to help its own people. I
will answer a few questions.
Hopewell: What is
the position of your government regarding the issue of an
government? One of the reasons why we are here is because there is
McGee: there isn't? (laughter)
Hopewell: - no
government in Zimbabwe
McGee: You are saying that, I am not
McGee: No, we really don't have a position on this, on the
government. We know that the talks were happening down there in
Africa. We have seen the communiqué that's come out of there and we
also heard exactly what MDC had to say about that communiqué. We are
waiting, and we are hoping that the government will abide by the
agreement of September 15. We are hoping to see a government in
operational government in place here in Zimbabwe in the very near
Columbus: Sir, two questions, you said this is a man- made
McGee: I'm sorry-
Columbus: You said cholera is a man-made
crisis. Why do you say this? And
McGee: Cholera is
very easily, let me just stop you there, cholera is very
Number one: the water supply here has never led to this type
before. There has always been cholera but in very very small
numbers. Now all of a sudden, this number has blossomed as I
57000 people affected and almost 6 percent of those people are
deaths, that's unacceptable. This is something that if we had a
health system here, if we had a water company that was providing
people of Zimbabwe deserve, which is clean drinking water, it would
happened. So, of course it is a man-made crisis.
Columbus: And then my
final question will be- this aid could have come
through the government. Why
did it not come through the government?
McGee: Let me be very frank about
that. Too many things disappear when they
go to the government. You all know
that. I will just cite one recent case.
Recently, 14 million dollars from
the Global Fund which was destined for
people who had HIV and AIDS
disappeared. And we went to the Government, they
said, 'well, we needed that
money for other things, - what's more important
than taking care of a person
who has HIV and AIDS, getting the anti-
retro-viral drugs that they need to
continue to live. But the government
took this money and freely admitted
that they took this money and used it
for something else. What? We don't
know. So of course, we are not going to
give this money to government. We
are not going to give these commodities to
government, until government
shows us that they can do the right thing and
take care of the people of
Zimbabwe. That's all we ask- something very very
small. Take care of your
own people. Since October of last year, 2007, a
year and a half ago, over US
$250 million have come into Zimbabwe in
assistance- 250 million dollars.
Since 2002, one billion United States
dollars has come to Zimbabwe in
assistance. I don't want to hear anybody
telling me about illegal sanctions.
A billion dollars- can the government of
Zimbabwe say that they spent a
billion dollars on their people during that
time? I don't think so. So I
don't want to hear anything about illegal
sanctions. It makes me angry when
U.S. tax dollars have to go to feed the
people of Zimbabwe, but I see a lot
of people in government with 60 bedrooms
in their house. You know what I am
talking about, don't you?
Ignatius: Are we going to see a policy
shift when the MDC were to join the
McGee: I have no
idea. I do not make policy for the United States
government. We have a new
administration in the United States; I have not
had an opportunity to speak
to that administration. I have no idea what
Kumbirai: Mr. Ambassador the allegations by the Reserve Bank governor
that you once recruited him to join a post at the World Bank. What is
McGee: (laughs) my reaction is I would love to get
a job at the World Bank
myself. How can I recruit somebody for the World
Bank? I work for the United
States government, State Department. The World
Bank is a completely separate
entity; I have no authority, no ability to
recruit anybody to work at the
World Bank, period. Now my colleagues who do
work at the World Bank, I have
friends who work there, say No, they have
never recruited Dr. Gono
Hopewell: Sir, your former boss,
Dr. Jendayi Frazer, said that the United
States government was not going to
support any deal anymore which included
You hit the key there- former boss
Hopewell: so, is there going-
McGee: We don't have any more
policy statements. Again, there is a new
administration in Washington; the
Obama administration is the only one that
we are talking about. I don't talk
about former supervisors; I don't talk
about former bosses. I talk about my
current supervisor, that is the Obama
administration, and until their policy
towards Zimbabwe is clearly
articulated, I am not going to try to guess on
what that might be.
SW Radio Africa
Urban patients now referred to rural
HARARE, 29 January 2009 (PlusNews) -
Rosa Chimbindi, pregnant with her first child, recently went Parirenyatwa
hospital, one of Zimbabwe's largest referral facilities, located in Harare, the
capital, to have her baby. Instead, staff at the maternity wing told her the
hospital was closed because of the health worker boycott.
Her doctor had
recommended that her baby be delivered by Caesarean section because she was HIV
positive and had previously suffered a hip injury.
In the government
guidelines on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, HIV-positive
pregnant women are encouraged to deliver by Caesarean, where facilities are
available, to reduce the chances of passing on the virus to the baby.
But even after the doctor's advice, the senior matron holding the fort
in the maternity ward told Chimbindi and other women already in labour to go to
the private sector, and if they could not afford this, they should travel to
mission hospitals outside Harare for treatment.
"The student nurses at
Parirenyatwa hospital referred us to Howard mission hospital in Chiweshe, and
Karanda hospital in Mount Darwin. They said there was nothing they could do, as
they were inexperienced," Chimbindi told IRIN/PlusNews.
"Can you believe
women already with labour pains were being told to travel more than 60
kilometres to Howard, or 150 kilometres to Karanda mission? As I sat there on
that hospital bench I felt really lucky - at least I wasn't in pain, and I had
come to admit myself for an elective Caesarean section."
is becoming common as more and more people requiring medical care in Harare are
forced to travel long distances to rural mission hospitals for treatment.
Some of the church-run mission hospitals, like Karanda and Howard in
Mashonaland Central Province, and Nyadiri and All Souls in Mashonaland East
Province, are financed by external funding and still running relatively smoothly
because they have not been affected by shortages of drugs, and the staff are
better paid than those in government health facilities.
state-run rural hospitals are in far worse condition. As a result of the huge
exodus of health workers, most rural hospitals and treatment centres are being
manned by primary health care workers who are given crash courses in basic
nursing care, according to the Community Working Group on Health, a network of
civic groups that promote health awareness.
Since October 2008,
government hospitals such as Parirenyatwa and the Harare hospital have stayed
closed after a work boycott by health workers protesting against poor salaries
and working conditions, and because they could not continue to endanger the
lives of patients by working in hospitals that were not properly equipped.
Since the walkout, senior staff like matrons have been providing a
skeleton service because they are not allowed to take part in strikes, but they
are only admitting accident victims and "serious cases".
All other patients are being referred to the
private sector or to rural mission hospitals. People like Chimbindi, who cannot
afford the fees in the private sector or the bus fare to hospitals in other
parts of the country, are left with little or no access to healthcare.
|For us to get to the extent where big hospitals
... are actually referring patients in need of medical care to rural hospitals
is the biggest scandal the health system has ever had to
AIDS activist Chitiga Mbanje noted that people living with HIV were hard
hit. "Can you imagine the strain of having to travel two or three hours to
remote parts of the country to get treatment for pneumonia? What happens when
you don't even have the bus fare to get there? It means you will just die at
home, when under normal conditions one could have been treated here in Harare."
Dr Amon Siveregi, the representative of the Zimbabwe Health Workers'
Association, told IRIN/PlusNews that before the crisis in the health sector,
mission hospitals used to send seriously ill patients or those in need of
specialised care to referral hospitals in urban centres. Now, it is the other
"For us to get to the extent where big hospitals such as
Parirenyatwa, Harare and Chitungwiza [about 30km from Harare] are actually
referring patients in need of medical care to rural hospitals is the biggest
scandal the health system has ever had to take," said Siveregi.
problems in the health sector did not start today - the situation has been
worsening over the years and government has been ignoring them, and today the
situation is completely out of control."
Health workers have said they
will return to work when government ensures that hospitals are properly
equipped. They are also demanding salaries of US$1,500 for nurses and US$2,000
for junior doctors.
The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, recently injected
about US$5 million into Zimbabwe's health sector, which is expected to go
towards incentives for health workers to return to work. In 2008 the UN
Population Fund paid out some allowances to midwives to allow the maternity
wings of hospitals to reopen throughout the country.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
opposes bail for MDC MP Meke Makuyana
By Tichaona Sibanda
State prosecutors this week opposed bail granted to the MDC MP for
South, Meke Makuyana, when he appeared before a magistrate facing
The 44 year-old MP is being accused of engaging in
activities bent on
destabilizing peace and stability in the country. These
from alleged incidents of violence last year during the
A Chipinge magistrate granted Makuyana Z$20 billion bail
when he appeared in
court on Tuesday, but state prosecutors immediately
opposed it. The MDC
spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, told us
reasons given by the
state for opposing the bail was that the legislator was
'Makuyana will be back in court next week
Tuesday to fight for his freedom,
which he deserves because these are
trumped up charges, we know it, ZANU PF
knows it, and so does the state,'
The MP was picked up from his home in Chiredzi by the
police on 14th
January. Since he defeated Enock Porusingazi, the notorious
former ZANU PF
MP in last year's elections, Makuyana has been detained,
harassed by state security agents. He has never lived in peace
defeated Porusingazi, whose name is synonymous with terror and
one time during the campaign period last year, Porusingazi and
kidnapped Makuyana and held him incommunicado for several days,
where he was
tortured by Porusingazi.
Meanwhile High court Judge Justice
Anne-Mary Gowora will on Friday make a
ruling on another bail application
for civic leader Jestina Mukoko and other
MDC activists, including Concillia
Mukoko is part of a group of 32 activists abducted by the
regime last year
on flimsy charges of recruiting people to train as
destabilise Zimbabwe. The abductees have been kept in custody
ever since and
have been beaten and tortured. They have made several failed
apply for bail.
hopes trading resumes soon -CEO
Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:39pm GMT
| Single Page
[-] Text [+] By Nelson Banya
HARARE, Jan 29 (Reuters) -
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has asked the
government to "dollarise"
trading to protect it from the economic crisis and
hopes to resume
operations after a more than two-month halt, its head said
Chief Executive Emmanuel Munyukwi told Reuters that the ZSE
also wants the
government -- whose national budget is due out on Thursday --
the battered economy.
"We put forward an application (to
President Robert Mugabe's government) to
dollarise the market and we're
waiting with bated breath for the budget
presentation to clear the way," he
"We hope to start trading again soon."
Trading on the ZSE
stopped on Nov.20 during a central bank crackdown on
banks and stockbrokers
accused of allowing traders to use fraudulent cheques
This week, state media have reported that lawmakers from Mugabe's
ZANU-PF have held talks to mull the use of foreign currency in
the national budget.
Zimbabwe's main business and
industrial bodies have recently called on the
government to formalise the
use of foreign currencies, after the Zimbabwean
Although the central bank only licensed 1,000 firms to trade
currency, the vast majority of businesses in the country no
the local unit.
In August, the Zimbabwean dollar traded
at about Z$10 to the U.S. dollar on
the black market, after the central bank
lopped off 10 zeroes -- the second
such redenomination in two
It is now trading at anything up to Z$40 trillion to the
Zimbabwe is grappling with an economic meltdown and a
crisis highlighted by a cholera outbreak that has
killed nearly 3,100 people
and infected 58,993 -- the worst death toll from
cholera in Africa for 15
Meanwhile, Munyukwi said the closure
of the ZSE had affected investors
seeking refuge from rampant
hyperinflation, officially put at more than 231
million percent last July,
and the highest in the world.
Munyukwi said the ZSE -- which, alongside
the property market, is seen as
one of few remaining safe havens in the
inflation-ravaged economy -- had a
total market value of about $4 billion
when it ceased trading.
+263 4 799112-5)
Chikane explains SA's Zimbabwe policy
29 January 2009
Transcript of briefing to the media by the Director General of
the Presidency, January 28 2009
Notes following briefing to the media by Reverend Frank Chikane on the
SADC Agreement on Zimbabwe, Union Buildings, Pretoria, January 28 2009
Good morning, you are welcome. Let me just clarify a number of things before
we start. After the session on Tuesday morning there was a press conference
where you were given the outcomes of the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit. There was a
view that we needed to do a briefing that was more than just a press conference
to give all the background information that is necessary so that we can have the
same sets of information.
Unfortunately the times did not work out well for Dr Salamao to be here.
I was going to speak to you as part of the Facilitation to give you
background information and Dr Salamao would have spoken on the SADC issues but I
am going to do both. Fortunately I am also part of the Chair of SADC because
President Motlanthe is the Chair.
Secondly, because I am a facilitator I am not here to make statements about
parties because facilitators do not do that. What they do is to facilitate, to
assist parties to agree. So my approach here will not be that if you were
briefed to come and ask me a particular question which will make the headlines
that "Frank Chikane said this about a particular party" - unfortunately you
cannot get it from me because when I start off this evening it is facilitation
The facilitation process for me is more important than controversy because
our task is to make sure that there is a settlement in Zimbabwe and that we
begin to turn the economy and people will then have a different quality of
I would like to start with the agreement to say that there is an agreement in
Zimbabwe on how to resolve the political challenges of Zimbabwe. The problem is
that most people work on the basis that there is no agreement as yet. That
agreement in Zimbabwe is based on a number of fundamental issues that the
parties agreed upon. I should have said the agreement is amongst the three main
parties, which are represented in Parliament.
The parties met, and we facilitated all the meetings, and they all start from
a common basis which most people do not start from.
There was an election in March and everyone accepted that those elections
were conducted under conditions that were conducive for free and fair elections.
The starting point will be that in those elections no one party got the majority
votes in the Parliamentary election - you will remember there were changes but
let me use the old numbers - it was 100 for MDC-T, 99 for Zanu-PF and 10 MDC-M.
So nobody won that election because nobody really got a majority. So if there is
going to be a government in a Parliamentary system you will need to make
coalition to govern, you could not govern without a coalition between two of the
parties to form a government because together they would have the majority. So
the minor party there is critical party because is the determinant party as to
who they go with. If you want to put it that way there is a "hung Parliament".
Any party would need another to govern.
About the Presidential election, indeed the first round was held under
conditions that were acceptable but nobody won the Presidential election because
they did not meet the requirements of the Constitution.
I am explaining these things not to speak against any party but to explain
the basis on which the agreement was built.
After the first round nobody got the 50% + 1 so in a sense you cannot use
that outcome as a basis for determining who the President of the country is; so
you had to do the second round. Now the second round was done and both SADC and
the AU and everybody agreed that the conditions for the second round were not
acceptable in terms of free and fair elections and there has not been any doubt
or controversy about that matter. Nevertheless there was an election. There is a
de facto President there and even you discounted those elections, once you do
that then the former President remains being President until you do a run-off.
So it means whichever way you go into it you will en up with a President until
another President is elected. I am just talking about Constitutional issues in
terms of the processes there.
The sad thing is that everybody after the 27th of June, because we met,
before and after, everybody agreed that to do another run-off was not going to
help anybody because the conditions were not conducive to hold an election like
that. So we needed a different route to deal with this challenge. The parties
then proposed to have a MoU - we did not think it was necessary - but they said
"No, we need a MoU". So we helped them agree on a MoU. Basically the MoU does
not say what the public discourse is and what the public discourse will listen
to - I will explain that public discourse because it confuses a lot of
In terms of the MoU, the parties agreed that the agenda by the parties will
be to deal with the objectives and priorities of the new government, which are
economic, political, security, communication - you will remember that. So that
is their choice.
They did not make a choice about who should be what. They made a choice about
how do we agree on these issues so that we can have a fresh start. A key issue
was that the agreement we produce must enable us to create the conditions for a
fair and free election. It was meant to create space for the parties to govern
together so that by the time they go to an election they worked together to
create conditions conducive for an election.
I think it is important to clarify this issue because that is why as
facilitators we tend to be focused on what we need to do and not listen to the
noise outside because the noise confuses you. You see there are people who are
campaigning and there will be people who campaign against the MDC-T; against the
MDC-M and people who campaign against Zanu-PF. There will also be people who
campaign against President Mugabe himself as their project. Now we are not in
the project of campaigning, we are in the project of facilitating a settlement
of the problem in Zimbabwe. You see the campaigners who put measurements and say
"you must achieve the following. If you do not achieve the following you have
failed because you have not met our conditions", rather than what did we set out
to do. We set out in terms of the SADC resolutions and the AU resolutions to
facilitate the establishment of an inclusive government. That is what we were
mandated to do. Some people measure you against a particular outcome that they
want and say: "no you have not met that requirement". I am saying that if you
measure what SADC is doing you must measure it against the resolutions of SADC
and those of the AU. Those resolutions are based on the agreement that the
people of Zimbabwe made.
The people of Zimbabwe agreed on an inclusive government and they determined
how it should be constituted. And in constituting it they did not say in the
agreement that one party would choose who would participate from the other
party. Each party has the right to choose the people they puts forward - Zanu-PF
has 15, MDC-T has 13 and MDC-M has 3 - who they are is not going to be
determined by the facilitator or by SADC or AU, not even UN. The parties make
their choices. We did the same in South Africa when the apartheid government
wanted to determine who comes to the negotiations and that the bad people they
did not like should not come to the negotiations and we said: "no it is not your
choice; it is the choice of the party". We should give the parties in Zimbabwe
the right to make their choices; I think it is part of democracy.
The agreement that was signed says that the implementation of this agreement
starts forthwith after the signatures of the parties on the agreement. So once
they signed on the 15th the agreement was in effect. There is no other
agreement, this is the real agreement.
This agreement says in paragraph 20.1.3 j - The President shall, pursuant to
this agreement, appoint the Prime Minister pending the enactment of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment 19 as agreed by the Parties.
As you remember to make sure they agreed on Amendment 19, we spent two or
three days to make sure that agreed upon it.
The Amendment 19 was agreed upon and was gazetted. In terms of this 20.1.3 j,
you appoint the Prime Minister pending the enactment of Amendment 19. So in a
sense immediately you agreed on Amendment 19 and enacted it you have to form a
government. That is why SADC works on the basis that once this is agreed you
form a government. Again Amendment 19, in 24.1 it says - The Parties undertake
to unconditionally support the enactment of the said Constitution of Zimbabwe
Amendment 19. So the agreement was that once it was agreed those parties must go
and vote for it. It is not a question of debate in Parliament because you agree
in advance and you go and fulfill the requirements in Parliament to make sure it
is passed. That is why they said 30 days and after the 30 days you implement
You remember in their agreement there is no reference to Governors, there is
a reference to Senators. You will remember that there was a dispute about the
copy of the 11th September and the copy of the 15th which was signed. There were
discrepancies between the two copies. We then agreed that the original copy they
signed during the negotiations is the valid copy, we relied on that copy. So the
Senators are part of the portions that have to be distributed according to a
The only thing that is not in the agreement is Governors. So as they signed
it the MDC wanted guarantees that these governors would be resolved even after
the signing and we agreed. The Facilitator then made an announcement at the end
of the ceremony to say the outstanding issue of the Governors was going to be
dealt with accordingly. All these matters were dealt with. By the way we also
facilitated them agreeing on Ministries which the negotiators were not mandated
to do. We facilitated and they ended up with 31 Ministries with names attached
to them. When they went to the Principals, the Principals scolded them to say
they did not mandate them to determine Ministries. Normally the Ministries are
determined by the President or the Prime Minister. The Principals agreed that
they had exceeded their limit.
Nobody really thought there was going to be a dispute on how you distributed
the Ministries. When we left on the 11th September we expected that they would
have put names next to the posts and that by the 15th we would announce the
government - we thought it was as simple as that. Unfortunately they did not
agree so we had to facilitate that. We facilitated it and all the time we
negotiated up to the Home Affairs as the only one remaining and we got a
deadlock which was "we will share the Ministry but who starts first?" You cannot
mediate who starts first. It is a matter of deciding who starts first. So they
could not agree. Then they escalated the matter to the Organ and it could not
agree; then they escalated it to SADC - we did say to the members that if you
escalate it beyond the Facilitator and Organ then SADC will have to make a
decision. You actually turn it into an arbitration thing; you go beyond
facilitation to arbitration for somebody to assist you to make a decision.
We facilitated Amendment 19 and made sure it is dealt with it. The
outstanding issues we dealt with them as well. I understood that the MDC in
particular were saying the Governors were outstanding and we all agreed that
they needed to be dealt with. Then there were new issues that were raised like
the National Security Council because the agreement says the Prime Minister
shall be a member of the National Security Council but they wanted legislation
so we said: "Ok we will deal with that". Then there is the issue about Amendment
19 - it is gazetted so it is not an issue any more. What they are saying in
their statement is that it should be enacted. There is an issue about the
allocation of portfolios. Then there is the issue about the Governor of the
Reserve Bank and the Attorney-General, which they are saying were appointed
during the time of the negotiations - that matter had to be dealt with as
The statement on Monday basically says: "pass Amendment 19 even if the
agreement says you should form government before you pass it. Now that we are
where we are it is water under the bridge and the notice that was given for
which was the requirement of the current Constitution of Zimbabwe, pass that
Bill". The date is the 5th February. The original proposal was to form
government and pass the Bill. This is a radical chance in this new decision that
you enact the legislation and form government just to make it easier because of
the demand of the MDC. And then swear in the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime
Ministers February 11 - by the way they could have been sworn in without
Amendment 19. Then swear in the Ministers from the 13th to conclude the process
of forming the inclusive government. If you read that with 5, it says: The
allocation of Ministerial portfolios endorsed by the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit
held on 9th November 2008 shall be reviews in six months time. In November it
said the portfolio of Home Affairs shall be reviewed in six months time, this
one now includes everything there. You are basing it on the agreement on the 9th
November because the issue of portfolios was dealt with on the agreement of
Then there was the issue of the Reserve Bank governor. They discussed the
matter for the first time by the way, because there was no debate about this
matter in September. Then they said the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor
and the Attorney-General will be dealt with by the inclusive government after
its formation. It means it is a question of appointments. That is a natural
problem. If you delay forming government and contracts of people end, the de
facto government makes the appointment.
On the issue of the National Security Council and the provincial governors it
is in 7: The negotiators of the Parties shall meet immediately to consider the
National Security Bill submitted by the MDC-T as well as the formula for the
distribution of the provincial governors. So it is our task as the Facilitator
to help them to deal with the issue of the formula to share the governors. We
agreed that we are going to deal with this matter from today on.
The MDC was asked to draft the National Security Bill and we are going to
look at the draft to deal with that matter.
The last thing is the issue of JOMIC. It was that once we have signed the
agreement then we must form a structure called JOMIC which will consist of four
senior members of each of the three parties and gender considerations must be
taken into account in relation to the composition of JOMIC. So when we go there
on Friday the 30th we will make sure that JOMIC is formed and the committee
shall be co-chaired by persons from the parties. We will enable them to appoint
co-chairs who will then deal will the issues. So all those issues about bridges
and security related matters, this agreement says this Committee shall receive
reports and complaints of any issue related to the implementation, enforcement
and execution of this agreement (22.3 c).
So you can see that this agreement took care of all the aspects - it took
long and by the way they drafted it and we just facilitated. There are some
people who say Mbeki forced people to agree but the people of Zimbabwe are very
proud people who believe in taking charge of their lives and would choose to
draft their document - even the language is Zimbabwean technical language.
This product of Monday and Tuesday, ultimately SADC sat in its own Summit, go
full report of what happened up to Monday and once they were finished they
invited the parties to sit through and debated each one of the concerns the
parties raised - that is why it took so many hours. Everything that is in that
agreement was agreed upon on the basis of consensus. Now there is the different
agreement and consensus. It means I may have had a different view but the
consensus is that "now we are going this way". All members of SADC were in
attendance and they all agreed. I think a good thing that happened Monday and
Tuesday was that SADC came out united; and that is a critical issue because it
could easily have been divided. And they agreed on this outcome.
I realise the media asks "but did the parties agree to?" Now if consensus is
built in your presence, and I think we must respect the MDC''s right, if you are
a party and you agree on a consensus which is not everything you have asked for,
you have to go back to your council. There is nothing wrong to do that. It is a
normal process. They also raised the concern that they did not get everything
they asked for. That is why they need to go to the national council.
Obviously everyone knows that nobody goes to a negotiation process and expect
that everything you demanded; the outcome of the negotiations will be exactly as
you demanded against every other demand of other people. Negotiations do not
work like that. So you do lose things and gain things in a negotiations process
and each one of the parties can tell you what they lost and what they gained in
the process. I think MDC and the other parties have the right to say that not
everything that they asked for they got.
We lost a lot during the negotiations. We started by saying there would be no
round table but two sides of the table with the Bantustan leaders and the
apartheid government on one side and us on the other side - we did not want to
sit on the same side. What did we end up with? A round table and everybody else
was equal in that round table. We lost a number of things. We thought we would
change the generals and remove everybody else but we ended up with a new South
Africa with General Meiring and General Fivaz. So you could have your demands
but when you negotiate you come out with something different.
Indeed the National Party also is aggrieved. There are lots of people who
still blame Mr. de Klerk for selling them out because he made compromises there
When you go to negotiations you make compromises.
There are many people since November and December who say: "remove President
Mugabe" but none of these parties ever asked for that. It is outside people who
are asking for it. None of the MDC factions are saying the solution is to remove
President Mugabe. Their agreement says they need to go through a transition to
create conditions for a free and fair election. There is also no clause in the
agreement that says you shall not allow Mr. Tsvangirai to be part of government.
So when you judge the SADC agreement judge it against the agreement by the
people of Zimbabwe.
I thought we should go through this so that we remove all the preconceptions
and wrong conceptions about what this is all about. By the way it is not
The only thing the people of Zimbabwe require is for the government agreed by
the people of Zimbabwe to be formed and deal with the challenges; and then deal
with the economic recovery. They have agreed what needs to be done - it is in
the agreement. We just need to start the process and get the people of Zimbabwe
to have a better life than the life that they are going through at the present
moment. I have been there; I have dealt with the humanitarian issues and spoke
to the people. It is tough. We need a quick resolution. We cannot delay forever.
That is why SADC put dates on each on of the things that need to happen as soon
Questions and Answers
Question: What happens if the National Council of the MDC rejects the
agreement? Secondly, there is a report in the London Times today saying that
President Obama and (inaudible) are considering fresh drive fro increased UN
sanctions against President Mugabe and they are taking this to the UNSC and are
confident they can get Russia and China to abstain from this matter. What is
your response to this?
Answer: Unfortunately I will not answer that question because it
borders into a political debate. The only question for me is that all the
parties should consider seriously the resolution that the leaders of this region
reached after many hours, which is a product of a consensus where all of them
agreed that this is the best way to resolve this matter. And I hope that all the
parties will endeavour to cause the government to be formed. I think it is
critical. It is for the sake of the people of Zimbabwe. By the way it does not
rob any party of its own dynamics every party has its dynamics.
By the way there was a time when there was a deadlock. Mr. Mandela said he
would never talk to de Klerk and they went for two months without talking
because of Boipatong. I was General Secretary of the Council and the deadline
was coming and I had a sense that the MK lot was preparing for the ultimate
failure to meet the demand and they would do certain things. I had to go with Dr
Bayers Naudè to Mr. Mandela to say: "let us deal with this thing differently"
and the following day Mr. Mandela and de Klerk were talking. I am just saying in
negotiations you do not get everything. I am hoping that all the parties will
consider the resolution and find a way of forming the government speedily.
Then the issues of sanctions do not become relevant because it means that
little girl should go through that pain longer whereas if you form a government
tomorrow, you can fix the economy and we get on with business so that the people
of Zimbabwe do not have this problem anymore.
Question: I wonder if you could say something more about the Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee. How will that work?
Answer: The details are in paragraph 22 which elaborates on what they
should do in 22.3 and then in 22.4 the reporting process about compliance and
grievances to JOMIC. Remember this JOMIC is to be implemented with the first
thing being the formation of an inclusive government. So it will report to the
inclusive government to assist in resolving the problems.
If they fail then the guarantors of the agreement - the Facilitator, SADC and
the AU - then kick in.
Question: MDC are also complaining that Mr. Mugabe was allowed to sit
in the closed session of the plenary and that how he could be allowed to be the
judge at his own court. Why was it that he was allowed to sit in the closed
Answer: Unfortunately Mr. Salamao is not here, I think he should
answer that question. I think my understanding is that a Summit is a Summit of
member countries. I think that is the basis on which they deal with that matter.
There could be a complaint about a member country in the UN but that member
country sits in the UN, so that is the basis. I do not think that had anything
to do with choosing who sits in or not. That is a SADC protocol matter
Question: What will happen if these deadlines are not met?
Answer: I really will not answer a question of presupposition because
you just encourage people to make sure they do not get met. We have to meet
those deadlines. It is a plan of action. Once you agree on something you put in
a plan of action to execute. You must have deadlines. In fact if you look at the
previous mandate there were deadlines, which were put by the Organ with the
Chair of SADC in Harare. The MDC turned those deadlines around to start with
other things before the enactment and the formation of the government. So you
can see in this agreement that I follows in the main that switch. The others
said "form government and deal with the rest" and this one says "enact Amendment
19 and then form government".
Question: Some spokes person from MDC said there was no agreement
reached on Monday. Is that Morgan Tsvangirai saying "yes I am not happy but I
agree that we go this way" or that "I cannot agree, let me go and consult?"
Answer: I was not in the meeting so I cannot answer this question in
detail but the agreement says, and the parties have the right to consult their
mandating bodies. I do not work on the basis of what spokespersons and other
people say, we work on the basis of agreements and documents.
They have the right to say the things. Our job is to ensure peace is achieved
in Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe''s conditions are changed.
Question: One of the most emotive issues that arose is the abduction
that began in September of MDC supporters. Can you offer any comments on the
abduction [and about allegations of Botswana training guerrillas]?
Answer: I cannot answer that question because it is a SADC question;
I think the Executive Secretary can answer that question. This is about the
training and SADC processes.
Those issues about the arrests of people etcetera, the Facilitator and the
Chair of SADC have been engaging the parties about those matters, even the
issues about a ruling of the court which was not followed. We intervened; we did
a number of things. But I do not think I should go into detail here. If I go
into detail they will accuse me of violating the MoU, which says we should not
go public about these things. Indeed we are as concerned as anybody else and we
will deal with the issues as they come. But we have emphasised that the best way
to deal with those matters is to be together in government to make sure that
such things do not happen. The more we delay more things will happen and it will
be problematic because you do not have the agreement enforced.
Issued by the Department
of Foreign Affairs, January 28 2009
moves to mend relations with Zimbabwe after SADC summit
By KITSEPILE NYATHI,
NATION CorrespondentPosted Thursday, January 29 2009 at
Botswana has moved to restore normal ties with Zimbabwe
after endorsing a
regional timeline for the formation of a power sharing
President Robert Mugabe and his rivals.
Seretse Ian Khama's government broke ranks with the rest of the
African Development Community (SADC) after Mr Mugabe's
controversial June 27
re-election and refused to recognise his government.
country, which in the past issued some of the most critical
comments on Mr
Mugabe's regime, said it now looked forward to a new era of
the ageing leader and his long time rival, Mr Morgan
Zimbabwe's two biggest parties Zanu PF led by Mr Mugabe
and Mr Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday finally
agreed to a SADC
timetable to form a unity government by February
"We support the recommendations of a formation of a new government of
national unity because the deal states that the prime minister and vice
prime ministers should take office on February 11 this year, and the
ministers and vice ministers on February 13, " Botswana's Foreign Affairs
Minister, Mr Pandu Skelemani told reporters.
"What is important for
both parties is to trust each other. The people of
Zimbabwe are suffering
and there is no need for political games.
"We also believe that the
people of Zimbabwe should be given a chance to
find a solution for these
"The two parties should sit down and resolve their
There were reports that Mr Mugabe had sent a senior Zanu PF
Gaborone ahead of the SADC extra-ordinary summit on Zimbabwe
hosted by South
Africa for talks to clear the air.
relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa were further strained
year after Mr Mugabe's government accused his neighbours of
linked to the MDC to topple his government.
Several MDC officials and
supporters are currently facing trial in Harare
for allegedly recruiting
people to undergo military training in Botswana.
Analysts say the treason
trials were being stage managed to force the MDC
into the unity
Botswana also gave refuge to Mr Tsvangirai during his
self-imposed exile late last year as the Zimbabwean Government
issue him with a new passport.
According to the SADC
timetable, the first step in forming the government
would be the passage of
a Constitutional Amendment Bill by February 5, the
swearing in of the Prime
Minister and his two deputies by February 13.
Botswana is one of the
regional countries that have borne the brunt of
economic collapse with thousands of immigrants
crossing its borders every
day in search of food and jobs.
Interview transcript: Monsiuoa Lekota
Published: January 29 2009 17:13 | Last updated: January 29 2009
The Congress of the People, South Africa’s new opposition party, launched
in December 2008, arose out of the most serious division within the governing
African National Congress in half a century. Earlier this week Richard Lapper,
the FT’s bureau chief in Johannesburg, interviewed Monsiuoa Lekota, a party
founder and its president. An edited version of the transcript of the interview
Q: Why did you launch Cope? And why did you launch the
party when you did? How long has all this been brewing?
A: During the first term of [Thabo] Mbeki [president between 1999 and 2008]
all of us [within the leadership of the ANC] identified as a problem - there was
a creeping tendency towards careerism - that people saw the ANC as a
stepping-stone to self-ambition. Some of these people who had always been
members of the organisation but who were losing focus. The president addressed
the issue as a central problem [in 1999]. It was affecting the quality of
leadership in the organisation.
You could see the tensions in the provinces. You could see comrades using
their positions and using them to secure well-paid positions in government. So
that in many instances very good comrades were losing out and being jettisoned.
[These were] people that were very valuable to the organisation. Comrades were
arrested. There were cases of fraud. Corruption was creeping in the ranks. This
general pattern of things worried us. It worried the leadership. The central
issue to address was this issue.
Q: Was that a problem that worried Thabo Mbeki as
A: All of us sat and discussed this. We decided it was something that needed
to be curbed. There were several areas around tenders. Sometimes at national
government [level], sometimes in the provinces. There was a general concern:
corruption here, corruption there. The rhetoric was that we condemned it and it
had to be fought. I must say towards the 51st conference in Stellenbosch [in
December 2002] we remained generally united. If not action, certainly in
rhetoric we remained as one.
After Stellenbosch there was the case of Schabir Shaik [a businessman and
long-time associate of Jacob Zuma, the ANC’s presidential candidate who was
found guilty of corruption in 2005 and condemned to 15 years in jail]. And we
supported the president’s decision that Zuma had to go. [Zuma] preferred not to
resign so that he could defend himself. Most people don’t realise that his
dismissal was actually an agreed thing. The president asked him to resign
because he had to respect the determination of the judiciary. He preferred to be
dismissed leaving his position so he could defend himself afterwards.
Q: Were you concerned more broadly about the arms deal
[the R30bn deal at the centre of South Africa’s main corruption scandal]? You
took over as defence minister [in 1999] after the arms deal had been agreed?
A: Joe [Modise, former defence minister] retired at the end of Madiba’s
[tribal name for Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s president between 1994 and 1998]
presidency. I then became minister of defence at the beginning of Mbeki’s first
term. For all intents and purposes the deal had been agreed when I took
Q: Many people would argue that the ANC signed the
deal to generate funds for the organisation. What do you think about the deal
now? Was it the right deal? Should it have been re-examined?
A: No, the central understanding is that the arms deal was an imperative. It
was not the ANC that determined we needed new equipment. The National Party had
already determined before it went out of government that South Africa needed to
rebuild its defences. A lot of the equipment had been acquired in 1965 and 1966.
It had been depleted. We were cannibalising equipment. I approved it. There was
need for the country to rebuild its defences. And of course you have to think of
the thinking of the post-cold war period. Nobody anticipated there would be a
long, long period of general peace and so on. Globalisation had not come into
its full swing. It was reasonable given that state of mind that you should have
this. This question of whether it was right to acquire new weapons and so on,
that was not in debate.
The first review was done and approved by parliament. There were certainly no
big objections from any quarter as such. It was when allegations of corruption
came out that now people began to ask why after all did we have to have this.
You can’t say that the deal was wrong because someone was corrupt.
Q: What did you think of Mr Mbeki’s government? It was
criticised as being authoritarian and some of its policies – in particular on
HIV Aids – were hugely controversial. I ask that question especially because
many people say that leading figures in the Cope are in effect Mbeki supporters
A: The first thing to say is this. It is important to remember that during
the period under discussion Thabo and Zuma were tongue and saliva. This is a
very important element. I was seen as an outsider. Everything they did they did
together. Their thinking was the same. Their attitudes towards many of us –
including my self - was to see us as a symbol of opposition, even though I
didn’t see myself as being in opposition to them. I was always working for the
movement from inside South Africa. My approach was always one of open
above-ground work. But the comrades who were in exile took an almost
militaristic approach. The approach was to want people to be to loyal to them
all the time. When we criticized certain things we were seen as almost like
challenging their authority. They didn’t seem to enjoy debate. They seemed to
feel threatened by these debates. Those of us who didn’t come from the military
were never really very comfortable with it. You would see people saying – well
the ’chief would not like that, would not like that.
Q: So you didn’t like Mr Mbeki’s style of
A: Let’s say I didn’t find it appropriate. I thought we needed to have to
have a much more open...but it was not just Mbeki, it was Mbeki’s and Zuma’s
style. These people were tongue and saliva they were like that. It would be
wrong to place the burden on either one or the other. Both of them were like
Q: What about the policy issues though that have been
so controversial, like HIV-Aids and Zimbabwe?
A: Comrade Thabo was quite an intellectual person. He likes intellectual
debates. Very much so. In the case of HIV Aids I think he just approached it, he
engaged in a debate, in a polemic. People saw his engagement as if that were
government policy. It was not. I tell you if you look even in the years of
Comrade Thabo it was under his leadership that the government began to put
serious amounts of investment in the social awareness programmes, to raise the
awareness of people.
We were cautious of course of the anti-retrovirals because some of them had
not been tested sufficiently. Some of them were not allowed in the countries of
origin to be distributed. And yet other governments were allowed to distribute
these things here when they were not allowed in the countries of origin. And we
said no, we had experiences under apartheid where the apartheid regime allowed
certain pharmaceuticals to be distributed which damaged the faces of large
numbers of women. If you think back to thalidomide and so on there were cases
where children were born deformed and all of that. There was no proper testing
of this drug. It was really against the backdrop of that experience under
apartheid that we felt we had to be very cautious in allowing for retrovirals.
Let them in, but let them be managed.
Some of these things too have to be accompanied by proper nutrition and if
you give them to very poor families, which have no proper nutrition at all you
[indistinct]. But even despite these concerns we still put out huge amounts of
investment in programmes against HIV and Aids. Unfortunately the comments of the
president, his participation in that polemic simply overshadowed the very good
work that otherwise was done. Even the question of encouraging nutrition we
never said that nutrition should be substitute for medical treatment – we said
we needed a combination of prescribed medicine and proper nutrition. And we
identified nutrition that together with the anti-retrovirals would reinforce
each other. But now the impression, the ridiculous impression was created that
people must just eat beetroot and eat garlic and things like that. That is just
ridiculous. Ours was a multi-faceted attack on the problem of HIV and Aids.
Honestly, look at the government we got. Look at how much money we spent in
awareness programmes. Look at how much money we spent in rolling out programmes.
The president’s persistent participation in the polemic left the impression…you
know it just simply distorted the correct government position.
Q: Surely though that made the policy less
A: But look, you have to separate what we were doing from what the president
Q: What about the Zimbabwe policy?
A: I broke rank on that policy on a number of occasions. Everybody knows in
this country that I didn’t agree with our soft-pedalling with regard to
Zimbabwe. We could have taken a much firmer position. Sometimes it was said that
I was very sensitive to the fact that Zanu [the pro-Chinese guerrilla
organisation led by President Robert Mugabe, which subsequently became an
integral part of Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe’s governing party] had not shared our
political perspectives. Zanu was allied to the PAC [South Africa’s own
pro-Chinese liberation movement and a fierce rival of the ANC] and not to the
People have always thought that my position was influenced by the fact that
we were allied to Zapu [a rival pro-Moscow Zimbabwe guerrilla group that
subsequently fused with Zanu-PF]. Frankly, whether you take it that way or not
it has always been my view that we couldn’t agree with things that flew in the
face of the premises of democracy. So when they [the Zimbabwe government]
attacked the land issue I made my point quite clear that that was wrong. It was
unacceptable. That in South Africa we would not allow a similar thing to happen.
Because that was the destruction of the commercial sector in Zimbabwe. An issue
that has now produced the consequences we now see. There is no food production
in Zimbabwe right now. Because all their commercial sector has collapsed.
Q: We must move on to Cope now. Take me through the
thought process that led to the decision to break with the ANC and form a new
party. When did it first occur to you?
A: Certain people had an opinion about that earlier than myself. I don’t
know. I think after Polokwane [the ANC conference in December 2007, where the
party voted by a 60 per cent to 40 per cent to replace Thabo Mbeki as leader
with Jacob Zuma]. You could see step-by-step of mistakes being committed and
therefore a gradual process in which now we were being increasingly overwhelmed
by backward tendencies. So that whereas at the beginning one had the hope and
conviction that we would be able to arrest and correct this it proceeded in a
manner where the chances of correcting things were getting remoter and remoter
as we went along.
For instance in the Communist Party a lot of comrades – many of them sober
and focused thinkers - were driven out. In the union movement many seasoned
trades unionist were also pushed out. At Polokwane these people overwhelmingly
just took over the ANC. After Polokwane the issue was of reversing this tide. As
soon as Polokwane was over – the pronouncements, the actions of this group were
even more emboldened. Comrades who had disagreed with their approach were purged
out of the organisation structure. They were purged out of governmental
structures. Essentially there was just mayhem.
Some people tried to sound reasonable. And then when they attacked the
judiciary, the attacked the national prosecuting authority; the police,
including the scorpions were under attack. One had to confront the reality that
our democracy as such was in danger. And then of course even when they got rid
of Thabo Mbeki there was absolutely no respect, no regard taken of the
provisions of the constitution.
Q: What are the key differences between the Cope
platform and the ANC?
A: Look, the main point of difference is the constitution and the
interpretation of the constitution. Frankly, the issue of the respect for the
constitution is a vital issue. The major difference between us and the present
leaders of the ANC – such issues as the rule of law, the independence of the
judiciary, especially the principle of equality before the law, because now this
call that Zuma must be judged politically – means a movement away from the
provisions of the national constitution, in fact you would have to amend the
constitution to achieve something like that.
They have said that they don’t want to do that now. They say they are in
favour of a legal solution. They can say that before the elections. You have no
guarantee that after the elections they will not do that. And I can tell you
Zuma does not want to go to jail. And so they will do this thing. As a nation we
can’t take risks on a matter like this.
Q: What are the other key ways in which the ANC
violated the constitution?
A: At the present time if you look at section 199, sub-section 7a-7b, it is a
violation of the constitution to have the South African police service
affiliated to a trades union. Once you have affiliated them to Cosatu [the
pro-ANC trades union confederation which plays a central role in the party’s
policy formulation process] which is in political alliance with the ANC you are
taking the police and security services and making them part of an alliance with
the ruling party. When it is like that the police, prison services and so on are
now an instrument in the hands of the ruling party.
Q: This is something that has been happening in the
last year or two?
A: No, it has been happening for some time. When I was minister of defence I
said that the South African National Defence Force can have a trades union but
they cannot be allowed to affiliate to Cosatu, which is what [Zwelinzima] Vavi
[general secretary of the congress of South African Trades Unions] and Blade
[Nzimande, general secretary of the South African Communist Party] want. They
took me to the courts they lost, they took me to the constitutional court and
the constitutional court ruled in my favour. If I had not been the minister it
is probable that by now the South African National Defence Force would also have
been in alliance with the ruling party. Now, the reason that Zimbabwe the armed
forces and the security forces can say that even if you win the election you
cannot come to the state house is because they are allied to Zanu. The thing
people don’t understand is that all the leaders of Southern Africa - Frelimo
[the liberation movement and ruling party in Mozambique] trained in the Soviet
Union, we were trained in the Soviet Union, Zanu in Eastern Europe. MPLA [the
ruling party of Angola], Swapo [Namibia’s governing party] – now, these people
were trained in a one-party states.
One of the critical things is to ensure that the security forces of this
country are neutral and loyal to the constitution and not to any particular
political party. We must depoliticise the public service. It is a vital issue.
If we lose on this South Africa is going to go the route of Zimbabwe. I am quite
The police are already in alliance with the ANC. It needs to be stopped and
reversed. On the judiciary you want the judiciary to return only verdicts that
you want. You can get rid of the people that are there are put your lackeys so
that you return verdicts that you want.
Q: What about economic policy?
A: In terms of orientation we want to transform South Africa into a united
disciplined nation of men and women who work hard every day to make South Africa
better. We don’t want to cultivate a nation of people who are sitting there
waiting for grants. It is a different mindset from a system where they say we
will give you this grant, we will give you that grant and so on. The government
might have to look after that minority which is absolutely unable to look after
itself. We want to cultivate a nation with a new mind set and a new approach.
Leave aside the current world economic crisis interventions have to be made
in regard to that, naturally. Our own approach is that South Africa must remain
a free market system. What we need to do is open up opportunities within our
society which will create jobs. ……We want to return people to the land, don’t
interfere with the commercial sector that is already in place. What you do need
to do is ensure in large numbers people to go and work on the land. That
presents you with an opportunity to create new and sustainable jobs that are not
there today and it ensures your food production. [Another example would be in
energy] where we want to relax the monopoly over energy that Eskom [the
state-run energy provider] has. We want to use the private sector to increase
the supply of energy.
Q: What do think about the idea of the developmental
A: We want a state that participates in the economy. Not just to tax. The
state should cushion the ups and downs of the market. I would say we want to
create a party like the Nordic type social democratic parties.
Q: So how will you do in the election?
A: All I’m am prepared to say is ….look, her we are the Cope is 41 days old
today. Now even the fact that we are discussing the question must say something
about the political potential of Cope. I think that the result will be very,
very astounding to many people. Everything that has happened has opened people’s
eyes to something. Very many people have had it up to here with the ANC. The
honeymoon is finished. Africans don’t think with their stomachs. They think with
their brains and their sense of values is as important as bread. They take into
account the moral standards of the presidential candidate that a party puts
forward. These things are important to them. The ANC thinks that you can win
votes just by promising bread and butter. The people who run the services are
acting for their own benefit...
Q: You talked about non-racial
empowerment, but in your manifesto you simply commit yourselves to implementing
more effectively existing black economic empowerment policies. What is the story
A: Our affirmative action programmes must take into account that we are
committed to a non-racial order of society. When government sets up affirmative
action – we must ensure that poor white benefit as well. Because there is no
doubt about blacks are the huge majority of poor in this country. But one cannot
deny that a small percentage of white South Africans are poor. So those
affirmative action programmes that have been put in place must be accessible to
South Africans irrespective of their colour. They must assist the poor. They
must know these programmes are open to them as well.
Q: Your nickname. Why do they call you ’Terror’?
It is from football. I was given my sports master who said I was terrorising
defences. It stayed with me. It stuck. Many people think it is my actual name.
They didn’t realise it was not my actual name.
for change, despite unity agreement
By Alex Bell
The pressure on African leaders who have so far allowed Robert
cling to power, appears set to remain firm, despite Morgan
apparently agreeing to form a unity government with the ageing
The weeks leading up to Monday's SADC
summit in South Africa saw pressure
continue to build, with human rights
groups, high profile activists and
international leaders declaring their
outrage about the ongoing rights
abuses still taking place in Zimbabwe. This
week the European Union
strengthened its list of targeted sanctions against
the Mugabe regime and
even newly inaugurated US President Barack Obama was
tougher action against Mugabe and his cronies.
the same time, South African activists and Zimbabwean solidarity groups
that country pledged their commitment to a rolling hunger strike, in
solidarity with the Zimbabwean people to protest inaction over the crisis.
The coalition of groups and individuals, under the banner of the Save
Zimbabwe Now campaign, took to the streets outside the venue of the summit
on Monday to air their grievances and hand a petition to SADC leaders. But
the action ended in violence when South African police used force and a
spray of rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. The delegation set to deliver
the petition was also forced into police vans and taken away from the talks
Included in a list of demands stipulated by the Save Zimbabwe
was the formation of a unity government, but the group's action
is set to
continue, despite the outcome of the talks. A new branch of the
being launched in South Africa's KwaZulu Natal province on
Friday and the
Honorary President of the World Alliance for Citizen
Naidoo, is now set to take the appeal for change in
Naidoo, who is more than a week into his 21 day hunger
strike, will be
addressing leaders at the AU summit on Sunday about
Members of the international public are now also being
urged to pledge to a
one day fast on Sunday to give power to Naidoo's
The pledge, which is also being supported by Avaaz.org, a global
organisation, has already seen more than 16 000 people commit to
the one day
power really be shared?
Jan 29th 2009 | JOHANNESBURG
From The Economist
A claimed breakthrough may still not end the political
A DEAL or not a deal? That is the question. On January 27th
Motlanthe, South Africa's president, who is also chairman of the
African Development Community (SADC), declared after an all-night
the 15-nation regional club that a "unanimous" agreement had at
reached to set up a power-sharing government in Zimbabwe by
This would end 11 months of instability, international
isolation and a
growing humanitarian crisis. That, at least, is the
Under the deal, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition
Democratic Change (MDC), would be sworn in on February 11th as
minister of a coalition government. The ministers, to be assigned
portfolios in accordance with a SADC agreement last November, would be
in two days later. Robert Mugabe, who turns 85 on February 21st, would
remain as president.
But the MDC promptly denounced the
arrangement. It fell "far short of our
expectations", the party said, and
resolved none of the outstanding issues,
such as its demand for certain key
ministries, including home affairs (which
controls the police), and a
definition of the president's and prime minister's
relative powers. The
composition of the powerful National Security Council
was also unclear.
Indeed, this new package looked very much like the one the
rejected three months ago.
It began to look as if SADC, after its failed
mediation over the past two
years, may be claiming a breakthrough to save
face. This appeared credible
when Mr Tsvangirai's own spokesman said it was
"completely malicious" to
suggest that the MDC leader had signed up. But
then Mr Tsvangirai himself
declared he had indeed agreed to the formation of
government-although the proposed timetable was not cast in stone
be altered if problems remain unresolved.
So what is going
on? A power struggle may be under way behind the scenes
Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti, the MDC's general secretary and its
brains. Having reportedly opposed the original power-sharing deal
Messrs Mugabe and Tsvangirai in September, a harder-line faction led
Biti now hopes to persuade the party to reject the latest one at a
of its national council. It would then refer the matter to an
summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, and later to the
UN, a strategy
apparently backed by the United States and Britain.
They have long
supported the MDC in the hope that it would eventually kick
ever-more-despotic Mr Mugabe out at the polls. The MDC nearly succeeded
March, when Mr Tsvangirai beat Mr Mugabe in the first round of a
presidential race and the MDC won a majority in a concurrent general
election, though it remained in a minority in the Senate. Mr Tsvangirai
pulled out of a much-delayed run-off for the presidency after more than 100
of his people were murdered and thousands beaten up, arrested and tortured
in government-sponsored violence. Both the United States and the EU,
Zimbabwe's biggest donors, have said they will not resume aid until a
power-sharing government is set up. The EU squeezed Mr Mugabe harder this
week by adding 27 Zimbabwean officials and 36 companies to a black list,
with assets frozen and travel in Europe barred.
catalogue of disasters is lengthening. A cholera epidemic has
than 3,000 Zimbabweans and infected nearly 60,000 others. The
health-care system has all but collapsed. The sick and the
being turned away from hospitals for want of medicine and
schools and universities have closed. Inflation, at an estimated
per cent a month, has rendered the country's currency worthless.
troops have gone on the rampage, demanding to be paid in American
South African rand, the only currencies now accepted in many
central bank, which recently said it would issue notes for 100
Zimbabwe dollars, is reported to have drawn up plans for an
"randisation" of the economy, with all civil service salaries to be
rand within six months, though how this would be financed is anyone's
In the past few months, an array of foreign leaders (though
ones) have been calling for Mr Mugabe's removal. Some people,
such as South
Africa's Desmond Tutu, a former archbishop, have even
suggested using force.
Just before the latest deal was announced, America's
new secretary of state,
Hillary Clinton, said she was "very concerned" about
the situation. But
without the concerted backing of Zimbabwe's neighbours,
there seems little
that she or anyone else can do.
Tsvangirai and his MDC must not listen to SADC
29 January, 2009
There now exists no reason why SADC should not
be brought before the
International Court of Justice for human rights
SADC has, in ways that are more direct than we care to admit,
great deal to the genocide, human rights abuses and the mayhem
Like all other malcontents and undesirable individuals and
groups, SADC is
one organization that must be banned and whose leadership
should be rounded
up and dealt with.
The damage SADC caused in Zimbabwe
cannot be ignored; they must be made to
account for it.
proved beyond any doubt that SADC is an organization created by
shield fellow dictators as they massacre innocent African
is causing the deaths of Zimbabweans while the European Union funds it.
really now wonder who is using who because it is just not possible
world cannot see the evil that SADC is supporting or perpetrating
its inaction and complicity through silence.
It is time to deal with
Someone is paying SADC to distablise the region and to murder the
SADC even had the gall to threaten dropping the
Zimbabwe issue altogether
and, instead, refer Zimbabwe to the African
After literally "overseeing" the deaths of so many Zimbabweans, SADC
failure and like all other failures such as Mugabe, they want to
SADC now wants the Zimbabwean people to pay for its
Am I to believe that the SADC
Secretariat equates the likes of Ian Khama,
Rupia Banda and Jakaya Kikwete
with the likes of Gaddafi?
SADC must change its name to Murder, Inc. for how
can they so efficiently
and calmly preside over the deterioration of the
region like they are doing?
How they pick their way around so many skulls and
skeletons is a mystery
never meant to be solved.
It is a matter of
public record that Robert Mugabe lost the elections and
refused to yield the
presidency so as to protect himself and his fellow
murderers from facing the
law for all the crimes, both economic and
political, that they
It is a matter of public record how Mugabe destroyed not only a
economy but abused millions of innocent people, killing thousands of
who were not impressed by his leadership and character.
leaders of neighbouring states are frantically running up and down,
for donations from foreign governments so that they can fight the
cholera in their countries.
Cholera made in Zimbabwe.
South Africa has now
already started reporting several cholera deaths among
Cholera imported from Zimbabwe, courtesy of Robert Mugabe's
And yet all of Zimbabwe's neighbours know how that cholera
came into being
and how and why it crossed the borders into their
The September 15, 2008 agreement was brokered and signed under
of SADC and SADC was very proud of the 'achievement' they had
Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.
They congratulated each other,
collected their allowances and left.
But the work, anchored on shaky ground,
was not complete yet because it was
SADC itself that was supposed to oversee
the implementation of that
agreement. They did not bother as the agreement
failed to take off with
Mugabe continuing to kidnap people, arresting
opponents and, like a starved
bandit, grabbed all in sight for himself.
Mugabe refused to obey a SADC
sponsored agreement and kept all cabinet posts
SADC's response was to apply pressure but on the wrong
as if he was the one holding up the implementation of
the faulty SADC
SADC dropped any pretense at impartiality,
accepted Mugabe as Head of State
at the expense of the legitimate winner of
the elections and ignored the
will of the Zimbabwean people.
this week, SADC, led by South Africa's now unconvincing Motlanthe, was
pleased with itself as, again, it applied pressure on Tsvangirai instead of
Mugabe, an electoral thief who sat calmly among SADC leaders yet he had a
case to answer.
SADC, instead of zeroing in on Mugabe and brokering an
honest outcome of the
Zimbabwean treachery, themselves became keepers of
stolen property by
voluntarily taking care of Mugabe who had stolen an
election and refused to
adhere to anything suggested by SADC, not even
SADC's so-called guidelines
governing democratic elections.
preferable for SADC to ditch its phony gospel of democracy and,
oppressed a popular political party that had turned up at SADC's
presenting itself before SADC for both protection and assistance.
a political child who had crawled into its bosom for assurance,
backing to safeguard the result of a semi-democratic election
held under SADC's own guiding principles for 'democratic
SADC is complicit in the abuse and deaths of
SADC has stolen democracy from the Zimbabwean people; it is
region and its own reputation.
What state in the region shall
ever listen to SADC or take it seriously?
What service, if any, can SADC
offer to its member states?
What SADC did to Zimbabweans in Pretoria
early this week is deplorable and
It was malicious and the fact
that it was done by our own leaders is a
terrible indictment on the caliber
of leaders we have in Africa.
How could a group of Head of States connive to
force Zimbabweans to accept a
leader they rejected at the polls?
absconded from its responsibilities and, instead of dealing with a
that they had more or less created and nurtured, forced Tsvangirai
party to join a unity government when, in effect, it should be
had to be brought to heel.
Ironically, Tsvangirai is the one expected to
uphold the agreement, altered
by Mugabe's proxies without Tsvangirai's
knowledge, and his refusal to do so
made the so-called Head of States angry
enough to give him a date by which
he ought to be sworn in.
genuine issues that the Zimbabwean people were concerned about were
by SADC which just told Tsvangirai to be prime minister by February
Is it not a pity that by refusing to cooperate with both Mugabe
Tsvangirai and the people of Zimbabwe retain their strength, power
Tsvangirai must not capitulate. We are stronger when we
refuse to cooperate
with Mugabe and this has now become a battle between
good and evil but its
up to SADC leaders to choose which side they
Tsvangirai must not capitulate and his National Executive meeting
should never consider working with Mugabe just because malcontents
SADC degreed so.
We have not come this far just so as to betray
ourselves at the last hurdle.
Besides, Zimbabweans have shown that they can
survive without the support of
African leaders. Ian Khama, Rupia Banda and
Jakaya Kikwete are fine for us
The heart of the matter is that
he, Tsvangirai, and the MDC were given a
mandate by the people. They must
not retreat an inch; they must not listen
After all, as events
have shown, there is absolutely nothing to be gained
from receiving SADC's
The likes of Pohamba, Kabila and Guebuza who continuously sacrifice
citizens to satisfy their bloodthirsty Mugabe can all go hang.
path do you think the MDC's National Executive Committee should take
Send me your comments on email@example.com
Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans is the way it is
today, Thursday January 29, 2009.
Zimbabwe crush Kenya with record
January 29, 2009
Zimbabwe 351 for 7 (Matsikenyeri 90,
Chigumbura 68, Waller 63) beat Kenya 200 (Tikolo 56) by 151 runs
These two sides are next to each other at the bottom of the
one-day rankings, but a vast gulf is emerging after Zimbabwe took a 2-0 series
with a crushing 151-run victory in Mombasa. They piled up their highest ODI
total of 351 for 7 after a second ballistic contribution from Elton Chigumbura,
who cracked 68 off 29 balls, to follow up Stuart Matsikenyeri's career-best 90
and Malcolm Waller's maiden ODI half century.
|Stuart Matsikenyeri top-scored for
Zimbabwe with a career-best 90 in their highest ODI total © Getty
It was the first time Zimbabwe had
passed 300 in consecutive ODIs and they went beyond their previous best team
effort of 340 for 2, set against Namibia in 2003. Chigumbura's late assault,
where he found the boundary at will against an attack that had lost all
confidence, made the difference between a handsome total and a record one.
Unsurprisingly, Kenya never got close in the chase and fell to 200 all out in
the 46th over with Thomas Odoyo unable to bat with a thigh injury.
Chigumbura reached fifty off 22
balls, the second fastest by a Zimbabwean behind Doug Marillier, taking a
combined 46 off the 48th and 49th overs bowled by Peter Ongondo and Nehemiah
Odhiambo. Those two overs alone produced six fours and three sixes before
Chigumbura finally fell off the penultimate ball of the innings. Zimbabwe's
tactic of holding back their batting Powerplay for the final overs had worked
Matsikenyeri and Waller, the son of
former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Waller, combined in a fourth-wicket stand of 105 in
14 overs to give the innings a crucial push. Waller played positively, requiring
46 balls to reach his fifty, as the Kenya attack once again struggled to stem
the tide. However, the home side weren't helped by the absence of Odoyo who
managed just two overs before having to leave the field.
Zimbabwe's innings was given a swift
start by Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda as the pair opened with 44 in eight
overs. Odhiambo boosted Kenya by trapping Masakadza with a delivery that struck
him around ankle height, but the visitors steadily built a solid platform.
Sibanda and Keith Dabengwa (25) were
both dismissed after useful efforts alongside Matsikenyeri before he and Waller
took control. The Kenya bowlers sent down plenty of loose deliveries and both
batsmen latched on quickly. Matsikenyeri was in sight of a maiden one-day
century when he fell sweeping at Collins Obuya. Waller went three overs later,
clubbing down to long-on, but the lower-order had been given a license to hit
As in the first match, when he
hammered 79 off 38 balls, Chigumbura took up the charge. The nine overs that he
was at the crease produced 104 runs as the Kenya bowlers were left dazed.
Chigumbura has now scored 147 off 67 balls in the opening two matches of the
series and Kenya didn't know what has hit them.
Their reply started poorly when Seren
Waters dragged on in the first over. They were soon two down as Chigumbura's
fine day continued when he removed Alex Obanda with a catch at first slip.
Captain Steve Tikolo played his shots during a 48-ball 56, but it had already
become a hollow effort. He added 87 in 13 overs with Kennedy Otieno before Ray
Price made the breakthrough, trapping Otieno lbw as he tried to sweep.
Tikolo's brisk effort ended shortly
afterwards when he pulled Prosper Utseya to mid-on. Zimbabwe's spinners - all
four of them - again impressed, far out-bowling their Kenya counterparts, with
Graeme Cremer's legspin chipping out two middle-order scalps. The series now
heads to the capital, Nairobi, and on this evidence the hosts will do well to
avoid a whitewash.
Comment from a correspondent
I see your correspondent Tendai Dumbusthena
is at it again..she must have a
bank I say ,where she stores the tons of
'good anger'(passion perhaps?)she
harbours in her effort to make her case.
And since she owns this bank she
can afford to do a run on it with orgasmic
That she expresses her views freely and eloquently is not
deniable. It is
her right and it is thanks to you at Zimbabwesituation that
we get to read
about her views and make comment on them where necessary. One
thing needs to
be clear from the onset though,' none of us is better than
all of us.'I
should expand this to say none of us is the receiver general of
The MDC(T) are an organisation that represents the aspirations of
majority of zimbabweans. That they need to listen to advice from all
quarters is essential but not mandatory. What is mandatory in this matter is
that they were given a mandate by their supporters to negotiate on their
behalf. The fact that they may be digging a political pit for themselves is
a moot point and it remains just that. When you agree to negotiate you must
accept that you may win or lose some.
This coming together of the two
parties is not cast in stone.Rather, what
the MDC is saying is we have been
negotiating outside for far too long
without getting anywhere why dont we
try it from the inside? Now what is
wrong with that? Platforms for
negotiations are always changing and the
circumstances in which we carry
those negotiations are never static or are
they? Remember 'nothing is
constant except the law of change'
I think the move made by the MDC(T)
is the most pragmatic that it has made
to date. What the agreement does is
that it removes the ball from their
court and places it sqaurely in the ball
of the other party. You see Tendai,
the last months MDC have been forced
into a a corner and labelled spoilers,
now that tag has been wiped off from
the slate and it is now the other guys
that must prove to the Zimbabwean
people, SADC and all that it is sincere.
And you rightly say the other party
was almost finished and they have been
thrown a lifeline by the MDC and you
also state that they are not fools,(no
contradiction here?) having said this
what interest would it serve ZANU to
put the spanner in the works at this
stage? MDC(T) have made a major scoop
presently as they have exposed the
other party to more scrutiny by those who
did not know the issues at stake
well.Now if the agreement were to fail MDC
would be vindicated in all their
earlier assertions that the other party was
negotiating in bad faith..do you
see the ZANU guys wanting to carry this tag
so soon in the game? I agree
with Mr. Tsvangirai that there is still 'work
in progress' an astute and
perceptive way of tasting the sincerity of the
other party while the
international cameras are still focussed on
Zimbabwe.As an aside this school
of thought, a myth really, that suggests
that the old ZAPU was swallowed by
ZANU some mystical nonsense that we have
carried with us for far too long.
If you bother to go back to the political
demographics of the 80s you will
find ZANU had 64 seats to ZAPUs 15 after
the 1985 elections. In the Unity
agreement of 1987 ZAPU got the vice
presidency and the chairmanship of the
united party.Fair distribution would
have dictated otherwise. In short ZAPU
got the best out of the Unity accord
of 1987 if we work with numbers alone.
So lets get this nonsense about being
swallowed out of the way.The fiction
that this other party MDC is
negotiating with are all monsters belongs
elsewhere in the environs of
Ingutsheni or the PU unit at Harare or Pare
Hospital(openning soon we
hope)not in places where people look at issues
objectively. That the
ZANU(PF) party has has sold the people of zimbabwe
short in the past ten or
more years cannot be denied but it does not mean
that we should 'throw away
the baby with the bathwater'. Lets not allow our
objectivity be made host to
our anger...please.With the way the things have
been going on in this
country of late obectivity appears to be the only
currency we have left lets
not lose that too.
My belief is contrary
to the many prophets of doom this agreement is
actually going to hold
because the people of zimbabwe have signalled that
they have a stake in it.
In other words the people of Zimbabwe have taken
ownership of the agreement
and any party that does not listen to this plight
will be doing so at its
peril and I believe our collective national
leadership would be really
foolish not to realise this.
Tendai could in the future use her 'good
anger' to promote the GNU as this
'baby' appears to be here to stay and the
generality of Zimbabweans across
the political divide have heaved a huge
sigh of relief and with good reason
too. It is thanks to Morgan and his
collegues for allowing us to dare dream
I say this because
Tendai writes with a passion fit for the gods, more ink