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Foreign Office: borders will remain closed to Mugabe

Friday 13 July 2012

The Foreign Office reacted with horror last night to signals that the
European Union wants to lift the travel ban on Robert Mugabe and his closest

Senior sources in the department insisted that Britain's borders would
remain closed to the 88-year-old Zimbabwean president.

"That would be awful," a Foreign Office source told i. "I don't think that
he or his people will be visiting Britain any time soon – he has burnt his
bridges as far as this country is concerned. The idea of him shaking hands
with the Queen is appalling. He has shown no sign of contrition for his many

EU officials are considering easing sanctions on the Mugabe regime – first
imposed in February 2002 after the head of an observer mission to the
presidential election was expelled – in an effort to persuade it to stage
free and fair elections.

Under the plan, they would be lifted if Mugabe agreed a series of moves to
end internal repression in the southern African state, including the
adoption of human rights protections, the publication of a new constitution
and the guarantee of free elections in 2013.

Under the terms of a deal setting up Zimbabwe's power-sharing
administration, its government is committed to holding fresh elections next
year. Despite his advanced years, Mugabe has said he would stand as

Previous elections have been marred by violence, intimidation and
allegations of vote-rigging: Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party was widely
accused of "stealing" the previous election in 2008.

It is understood that a new constitution could be issued within weeks,
encouraging suggestions in Brussels that the sanctions could be eased in an
attempt to help draw Zimbabwe into the world community.

Talks are planned over whether to approve the move – although it is widely
felt that it cannot be agreed without Britain's approval.

The hostility of the UK Government to any initiative to ease the
international pressure on Mugabe suggests that is unlikely and the Foreign
Office believes it would be hard to extend an olive branch to Zimbabwe until
Mugabe has either stepped down or died.

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'No question' of lifting EU sanctions against Mugabe

14 July 2012, 20:11 CET

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union on Saturday denied it was about to lift
sanctions against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as part of a current
policy review by the bloc on the southern African nation.

"The EU is reflecting on policy towards Zimbabwe," said a spokesman for EU
foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"But there is no question of lifting sanctions (an asset freeze and travel
ban) against Mugabe or anyone involved in continued abuses of human rights,
incitement to violence, etc -- that is simply not up for discussion," said
Michael Mann.

The denial was prompted by reports in the British press of an imminent
lifting of the EU's 2002 sanctions against Mugabe.

In May, the bloc said it was involved in a "re-engagement" process with
Zimbabwe after the country's leaders agreed to draft a new constitution to
be put to a referendum before elections.

Three ministers from the three main political parties in the coalition
government of Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai travelled to
Brussels for talks at the time to press the case for a full removal of

Ashton's office said in May that "the EU recognised progress to date and
encouraged the reform process to continue in the same positive direction,
allowing progress towards normalisation of relations."

Zimbabwe was to send a letter setting out its case "which the EU side would
consider before the end of July," her office had added.

Foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc are to hold talks July 23 during
which they could touch on Zimbabwe.

Also at stake is the fate of EU aid to Zimbabwe under the Cotonou agreement
that was also suspended in 2002.

Mann said "the objective of the EU is to see the Global Political Agreement
implemented in full by the government of national unity leading to peaceful
and credible elections.

"It is only once such elections take place and their result -- that is, a
government reflecting the choice of the people of Zimbabwe -- is respected
that the EU would lift sanctions in full. The people of Zimbabwe have to be
free to select the government they want."

"This is the context for any strategic review of EU policy," he added.

In February, the EU removed a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of 150 people
targeted by the restrictive measures and 20 of 30 companies under EU
sanctions imposed in 2002.

It maintained sanctions against Mugabe, who is 88 and has ruled since
independence from Britain in 1980. After failed elections in 2008, he was
forced into a power-sharing government with his rival Tsvangirai in a move
meant to clear the way to new polls.

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Peter Hain urges wider Zimbabwe sanctions aimed at Robert Mugabe

Human rights group says blood diamond money being siphoned to finance the
president and his secret police

Tracy McVeigh, Saturday 14 July 2012 19.54 BST

A new supply of African blood diamonds is threatening to entrench the rule
of Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe, just as Britain and other European
countries plan to lift sanctions against the regime, it has been claimed.

Human rights charity Global Witness says money is being siphoned from
diamond mines to finance a "parallel government" and its secret police force
in Zimbabwe, helped by a Chinese businessman. It comes as a row brews over
plans to lift travel restrictions and partial asset freezes imposed on some
of President Mugabe's ministers by the EU.

At a special debate to be held in the Commons on Tuesday, former cabinet
minister Peter Hain will urge the British government to keep measures
already in place and to add more names, including those in a new Global
Witness report, to the list of individuals and entities subject to

Measures against Zimbabwe are to be reviewed by the EU at the end of this
month, and there has been pressure to lift the "stigma" of sanctions to help
the beleaguered country prepare for elections planned for some time next
year. Whitehall sources say the government is happy to drop sanctions,
although any lifting of the travel ban against Mugabe himself is "not on the

"I am extremely alarmed by this apparent drift in the government's concern
for what's going on in Zimbabwe," said Hain. "Robert Mugabe has never to
date shown any inclination to accept defeat at the polls, and I do not think
sanctions should be lifted or relaxed."

Hain and other Zimbabwe-watchers have condemned any move to ease
restrictions on the power-sharing government of national unity, formed after
international outrage at a widely discredited election in 2008.

Instead, they want new sanctions to be imposed, including measures against
Sam Pa, a Chinese businessman accused of legally funnelling money from
diamond fields to forces propping up Mugabe's regime, which are
orchestrating a smear campaign against his enemies and organising the
oppression of opposition figures.

Hain said: "A new blood diamond phase is upon us and it's going to impact on
the whole industry. I am worried that the British government seems to be
prevaricating about sanctions. This is a decisive moment in Zimbabwean
history. We could see a political move towards total transformation with
free elections. All the evidence is that Mugabe and his cohort of thieves
are still siphoning off more and more of the resources that the people of
Zimbabwe so badly need, just to hang on to power."

The Global Witness report, Financing a Parallel Government?, claims Pa is
behind one of the companies involved in Zimbabwe's diamond fields. Pa is
also believed to be behind the purchase of trucks being used by operatives
of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation, several of whom have been
implicated in violent attacks on opposition members. Global Witness invited
Pa to respond to its claims, but he has yet to do so.

The report also claims mining firm Anjin Investments is part-owned by the
Zimbabwean defence ministry, has paid no taxes, and is not at present
subject to sanctions.

Profits from the gems are also funding a smear campaign against Mugabe's
political enemies, including the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Nick Donovan of Global Witness said: "Our biggest concern is the risk that
violence in the runup to the next election will be being funded
independently, not only undermining democracy, but propping up the
lifestyles of those who buy flashy cars and houses while people go without
basic needs."

Last month, the Zimbabwean finance minister, Tendai Biti, a member of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), expressed his concerns that
taxes were not coming in from the diamond-mining companies, leaving him
unable to fund the education and health services that the Zimbabwean people
so desperately need. Biti said Anjin had not provided "a single cent" and
there was a £385m shortfall in what the treasury had expected.

Biti said Anjin's opaque operations showed that Mugabe's claims that
sanctions were the cause of the country's economic problems were false.

Pressure is on both the EU and on the Americans to lift sanctions. Navi
Pillay, UN human rights commissioner, said earlier this year that the
restrictions were damaging the Zimbabwean economy, and that South Africa and
other Southern African Development Community countries are also keen to see
them lifted.

But Hain will be backed by leading figures in the Commons, including the
leader of the all-party committee on Zimbabwe, Kate Hoey MP.

She said it was clear that the succession battles, combined with a scrabble
for a share of diamond wealth, had brought the ruling Zanu PF party "close
to imploding", but that the focus for the UK had to be in ensuring as far as
possible that next year's elections were "free and fair". "That's the game
changer. As far as sanctions are concerned, then getting the balance right
is essential. It's very unsettling to hear what Tendai Biti has to say. He
has been able to do a lot so far, but if there's no money for him to plan a
budget with, then he's powerless."

"There's a lot of pressure to lift sanctions. Sanctions are seen as
political pariah by some, by a false stick that hurts no one by others.
We're all concerned about the next step and I'm meeting with the Foreign
Office this week to discuss the upcoming review.

"We've a direct interest as British taxpayers because we will be paying for
the rebuilding of a shattered country when its all over. So if the proceeds
of the country's resources are being siphoned out of the country then that
is an important issue."

Jonathan Moyo, the former information minister and a member of the Zanu PF
politburo, told Zimbabwean journalists last week that the "evil and illegal"
sanctions "should never have been imposed in the first place".

He added: "It's very destabilising to say 'We are holding a big axe over
your head if you don't run elections in a way that's acceptable to us'
because it will be used by some political parties to get what they want. It
will create a situation where it's heads, MDC wins and tails, MDC wins.

"If the Europeans want to help us, they must leave us to run our own
affairs — we don't need to be treated like naughty children rewarded with
sweets. It's a very patronising attitude."In WikiLeaks-released diplomatic
cables, Moyo was said to have pressed America to introduce sanctions on
certain members of his own party, Mugabe's Zanu-PF, leading to criticisms
that the international community was being manipulated by individuals for
their own gain.

Another member of the Mugabe cabinet said: "Who cares about travel bans to
Europe? Its cold and unfriendly there and they are very arrogant if they
think they can tell us what to do with our own Zimbabwean resources."

2006 Discovery of diamonds in the Marange district of Zimbabwe causes a rush
as illegal miners flock in. In coming years government crackdowns kill
scores of them.

2009 The Kimberley Process, an initiative to stop the flow of blood diamonds
(gems sold to finance military activity), bans the export of Zimbabwean
stones, after reports of human rights abuses.

2011 The ban on exports is lifted, and pressure group Global Witness leaves
the Kimberley Process in protest.

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US Envoy Warns Zim Leaders

Harare, July 14, 2012 - United States ambassador to Zimbabwe-designate Bruce
Wharton says although his country’s policy is not about regime change, the
US will not stand by if the rights of Zimbabweans are trampled on by their

Giving testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on
Thurday, Wharton who will succeed Charles Ray if he is endorsed by the US
senate, said only the people of Zimbabwe had the right to change their

President Robert Mugabe accuses the US and other Western governments of
sponsoring local parties to topple his regime.

Wharton said the notion was wrong.

“Our policies support principles, not parties or people,” he said. “However,
when the right to self-determination is denied, as it has been in Zimbabwe
through restrictions on citizen rights, through political violence, and
fraudulent and mismanaged elections, the United States cannot stand idly

He said the US had taken principled steps to demonstrate its concern about
“the actions of those responsible for, and those who profit from,
miscarriages of the promise Zimbabwe offered at independence”.

“We will always stand up for the rights of Zimbabweans to speak, write,
read, meet, organise, and fully participate in their nation’s political
processes,” Wharton said.

The US slapped sanctions on Mugabe, senior Zanu (PF) officials and state
companies accused of abetting human rights violations. Mugabe was accused of
electoral fraud.

There are reports that the European Union plans to suspend its embargo on
Zimbabwe when the block meets later this month.

But Wharton said he would only recommend such a move by his country if there
was evidence of reforms in Zimbabwe.

“The United States stands ready to alter the current restrictions on our
relationship with Zimbabwe and to forge stronger economic and political
ties,” he told the committee.

“The full implementation of the Global Political Agreement, progress on the
Southern African Development Community’s roadmap toward elections, and well
managed and credible elections will be a trigger for the US to open a much
more dynamic relationship with one of Africa’s most important countries.”

He said Zimbabwe, despite its complex challenges, still had a bright future
and the US should be involved in efforts to help the country realise its

“It is in the interest of the United States to be a partner in that process
and, if confirmed, I will continue the work of building productive and
respectful relationships with all Zimbabweans of goodwill,” Wharton said.

He said there was need to grow the relation between the two countries beyond
one that was defined by aid.

If confirmed, it would be Wharton’s second posting to Zimbabwe after he
previously worked at the US embassy.

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Zimbabwe man survives 'face to face' lion attack

The Associated Press

Jul 14, 7:17 AM EDT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- A Zimbabwean state-run newspaper reports a farmer
is recovering after surviving a lion attack in the remote northwest of the

The Chronicle reported Saturday that a lioness pounced on farmer Joel
Ngwenya near the Hwange nature preserve, goring his arms and upper body and
leaving him unconscious. Lions had been preying on livestock in the

"The lioness looked straight into my eyes, staring and roaring," Ngwenya
told the paper from a hospital.

It pinned him down with its claws and continued staring at him "face to
face," he said. The lioness briefly moved away toward a lion cub then turned
back on him.

He regained consciousness, realizing "it just left me lying down and went
away," the paper further quoted him as saying.

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African Leaders Need Mugabe's Wisdom, Guidance - VP Mujuru

Tsholotsho, July 14, 2012 - Vice President Joice Mujuru has described
President Robert Mugabe as a living legend, saying African leaders continue
to benefit from his guidance.

Mujuru indicated that Africa has benefited from Mugabe’s fight against
neo-colonialism, adding that Zimbabwe and Africa needed Mugabe’s wisdom and

“From his early days in detention and out of detention, in the bush, after
independence and up to today, his capable skills, wisdom and knowledge of
shedding light to his compatriots will always be legendary," Mujuru told an
audience at the commissioning of the Landa John Nkomo High School at Manqe,
in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North on Friday.

“He (Mugabe) remains the repository of Pan Africanism where other African
leaders continue to tap wisdom and guidance from him. Mugabe is a living
African legend. Zimbabwe and Africa has benefited a lot from Mugabe. We need
him,” Mujuru said in her address.

The commissioning of the school also saw the launch of the Presidential High
Schools eLearning programme for Matabeleland region.

Mugabe, VP Nkomo, Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khuphe, government
ministers and officials attending the commissioning of the Landa John Nkomo
High School.

Mugabe donated 15 computers to the school and said Zimbabwe’s education
sector need to adapt ICT technologies in order to catch up with the rest of
the world.

Mugabe is Africa’s serving leader alongside Jose Euardo Dos Santos of Angola
and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guniea who have been in power for 32
years respectively.

Mugabe led his Zanu party to victory at the elections in February 1980 after
Zimbabwe had won its independence from Britain.

But he is no longer a global favourite and the opposition accuses him of
destroying the country in a bid to stay in power.

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Chombo Denies Firing MDC Council Officials

Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, July 14, 2012 - The Minister of Local Government,
Rural and Urban Development, Dr Ignatius Chombo has denied allegations of
frustrating and dismissing Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) council
officials to replace them with Zanu (PF) management committees.

“All those who feel that l am a pain in their life and l am frustrating
their operations at Councils around the country have a right to challenge
their dismissal at courts and its unfortunate most of those council
officials who have faced the axe one way or the other they have cases to
answer so who am l to hire and fire when the Urban Councils Act is my
shield,” said Chombo told Radio VOP while laughing.

“All the councillors who have been fired so far had abused their office or
committed offences as stipulated in the Urban Councils Act. People who
peddle these lies are uninformed, they must go to those who have been fired
and ask them to go to court and appeal because they know in their hearts
that they are guilty,” he said.

On Bulawayo City Council (BCC) up-date on investigation on corruption,
Chombo said he was scheduled to receive the report anytime.

He urged residents to elect into office councillors with integrity, who go
into council to offer public service not those who work on their personal
business and agenda.

However, High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou, recently granted the final
order sought by Chinhoyi Mayor, Claudius Nyamhondoro’s lawyers suspending
the disciplinary hearing or inquiry into allegations of misconduct levelled
against the MDC mayor.

Nyamhondoro and Councilor Owen Charuza are each being charged with three
counts of misconduct, which they deny.

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Latest on Zesa scandal

Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Saturday, 14 July 2012 13:28

HARARE - Senior government officials who owe State power firm Zesa Holdings
(Zesa) millions of dollars in electricity bills are yet to settle their
staggering tab, the minister of Energy and Power Development has told

Zesagate, the biggest scandal to rock the country in more than a decade, was
unearthed by the Daily News.

Among the highest debtors is President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, who
owed over $345 000 as at December 31, 2011.

The defaulters include legislators from across the political divide in the
ruling coalition, judges, provincial governors, ministers and their deputies
and permanent secretaries.

Elton Mangoma, the mister of Energy and Power Development, squirmed under a
tough probe on why the big wigs continued receiving electricity when they
were yet to settle their power bills.

While the power utility has been on a nationwide power disconnections
campaign against defaulting consumers involving urban areas in domestic,
commercial and industrial categories who have not paid bills, it has
conveniently ignored the big wigs, who are stratified under the so-called
“sensitive customers.”

None of the defaulting senior officials have been disconnected.

Mangoma told Parliament they have entered into payment negotiations with his

Mbizo MDC legislator Settlement Chikwinya queried why defaulting senior
officials continued receiving power supplies at their homes and farms when
they have not yet cleared their massive bills.

Mangoma presented his national report on the measures being taken by his
ministry in order to improve the power situation in the country.

The minister informed Parliament that his ministry had made individual
arrangements with ministers and MPs for payment of their bills which had
spared them from being switched off.

“Everybody is a consumer, they are being treated equally,” Mangoma said.

“Most of those people who were switched off and who owe large sums were put
on terms. Those who were not and could not be put on terms are still
switched off as I speak. The people that MP Chikwinya is asking about, we
have made special arrangements with them to pay off.”

Chikwinya asked what Mangoma was doing to recover the money in light of the
punishing load-shedding schedule and failure to import adequate electricity
due to debt.

He said the public was keen to know what had happened to the senior
officials exposed in the Daily News’ electricity bills scoop that has come
to be known as the “Zesagate” scandal.

“The minister at one point took a bold decision to expose the defaulters,
many of whom are among us in this House and very senior politicians,”
Chikwinya said. “To date, the defaulters are still enjoying power, they
have not been cut-off, they still owe Zesa and the ministry is crying that
it wants money.

“What decisive step is he going to take to ensure that members of the
politburo, Members of Parliament present in this House who owe Zesa
thousands and thousands of dollars are disconnected.”

Zanu PF MPs heckled him accusing him of trying to politicise the Zesa story.

In March, the Daily News broke the Zesa scandal, helping to refocus the
national agenda on the topic of double standards used by the power firm to
stratify clients, and unveiling a nation-wide culture of entitlement and
blatant refusal by the senior officials to pay for electricity supplies.

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Zimbabwe undergoing ICT revolution: Mugabe

14/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE is “just setting into an information communication technology
revolution” and has set a 2015 target for all schools to produce school
leavers with the requisite 21st century skills to play a part in the
worldwide digital economy, President Robert Mugabe said on Friday.

Launching the government’s e-learning programme at a newly-built school in
Matabeleland North, Mugabe pledged his government’s commitment to put
computer technology at the heart of the school curriculum.

“Comrades and friends, the speed of global technological and economic
transformation demands that we move abreast of other developing countries if
we are to derive the full benefits of the ICT revolution and turn the
digital divide into digital opportunities for the nation,” Mugabe said.

The schools e-learning programme was launched at Chogugudza Secondary School
in Mashonaland East last March, and Friday saw it shift to the southern
region with the launch at the Landa John Nkomo High School in Manqe,

Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa said it was
their vision that every school in the country – both secondary and primary –
must use computer technology by 2015.

“Our agenda is benchmarked on 2015, we have a digital programme that by 2015
Zimbabwe should be fully on the digital platform, we are building a
knowledge economy and our citizens must be digital natives,” Chamisa said.

“All schools ultimately are going to benefit, we have in excess of 8,000
schools countrywide and I am working with David Coltart [Education Minister]
who is the implementing minister and the President to see this programme

Under the programme, the ICT ministry will give out computers to schools,
train the teachers and provide maintenance through the government-owned
technology company, ZARNet.

The ministry also works hand-in-hand with the Rural Electrification Agency
to ensure power – both solar and electric – is extended to all schools

“We have a standard agenda on ICTs,” Chamisa went on, “as you may know ICTs
are becoming part and parcel of teaching tools. Gone are the days when
teachers used chalk board and duster, now you need PowerPoint, Keynote and
projectors... that’s the direction that this country is taking. We are
moving from mere pedagogy to webagogy.”

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Kasukuwere isolated

Clemence Manyukwe, 10 hours 4 minutes ago

YOUTH Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, Saviour
Kasukuwere, is under pressure to recuse himself from the indigenisation of
local banks following the collapse of a financial institution linked to him
and failure to meet some of his financial obligations.

Kasukuwere and National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board
chairperson, David Chapfika are championing the indigenisation of banks. But
questions have been raised over their competence and intentions after two
financial institutions in which they had stakes collapsed.

Chapfika was part of Unibank, which collapsed in 2000 while Kasukuwere had a
sizeable stake in Genesis although he argues he sold his interest before the
investment bank surrendered its banking licence to the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) after failing to meet its minimum capital threshold.

Recently, Kasukuwere also confirmed in the House of Assembly that he was one
of the ZANU-PF officials fingered for defaulting on payments to power
utility, ZESA, a development partly blamed on increased load-shedding
straining industry.

The pressure on the two to recuse themselves comes at a time when the
Affirmative Action Group said it was not aware of the persons who were
benefitting from the empowerment programme with RBZ governor, Gideon Gono
saying universally anyone who was near a failed bank was not a fit and
proper person to deal with banking matters or to ever own, run or talk about
the ownership of a bank again until cleared by the central bank.

This week, financial analyst, Lance Mambondi-ani, said Kasukuwere’s approach
to the issue was damaging.

“I am on record saying I do not believe that Kasukuwere’s approach is
helpful. What is needed is a sectoral approach, and the other thing is that
the banking sector is sensitive,” said Mambondiani.

The analyst said the other problem is that there is a conflict between the
country’s quota law and the banking Act.

Economic commentator, Eric Bloch, said as a result of the pair’s performance
and history it was long overdue that the two excused themselves from matters
concerning banks.

“I believe they should recuse themselves because they are assuming powers
which Parliament never gave to them. They are acting far beyond the
Indigenisation Act and they should cease to be engaged in with this,” said

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) South Africa branch also had no
kind words for Kasukuwere and Chapfika.

“Saviour Kasukuwere is behaving like a rabid dog that believes it has to
bite someone or something to relinquish its own pain and suffering as
evidenced by his continued mad approach to indigenisation,” said the South
African chapter of the MDC.

“The effects of his smash and grab tactics have begun to be felt in the
economy with companies reporting retrenchments as a result of the poorly
thought and irrationally executed indigenisation programme.” - Fingaz

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To speak out or not to speak; Mnangagwa’s dilemma

Tinashe Madava 9 hours 38 minutes ago

DEFENCE Minister and ZANU-PF’s secretary for legal affairs, Emmerson
Mnangagwa is in a tricky catch 22 situation over how to respond to the
apparent attack on his perceived presidential ambition, which rightly or
wrongly led to the controversial disbandment of District Coordinating
Committees (DCCs) that had become the latest battlefront for party
heavyweights jostling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Before the decision to terminate the DCCs which were ironically the
brainchild of former defence minister, Moven Mahachi (now late) and Didymus
Mutasa, the ZANU-PF secretary for administration,protégés and close
associates of Mnang-angwa had made a clean sweep of the 13-member committees
in most provinces where elections had been held, notably in Midlands,
Mani-caland, Masvingo and even in the Mashon-aland provinces where his rival
enjoys support.

Mnangagwa’s protégés also had an upper hand in President Mugabe’s home
province of Mashonaland West, where the provincial chairperson, John Mafa
was being subjected to pressure because of his political leanings to Ngwena,
as the Defence Minister is affectionately known because of his complex

Impeccable sources said Mna-ngagwa is now under pressure from his
lieutenants to at least do something to salvage his and their political

They claim that after the Tsholotsho debacle in 2004, where the minister was
said to have been their preferred beneficiary had the plan to parachute him
into the presidium succeeded, most of those in the rank and file of his
so-called faction were left to lick their wounds as the President yielded
the axe on them.

The Tsholotsho plan incensed the top leadership of ZANU-PF resulting in the
suspension of six provincial chairpersons who had clandestinely nominated a
new leadership for the endorsement of the 2004 congress whereby Mnang-agwa,
who had no fingerprint linking him to the plan, was to succeed the late vice
president, Simon Muzenda.

Inside sources say due to fears of a repeat of the 2004 Tsholotsho debacle,
Mnangagwa’s lieutenants want him to respond decisively. They say the manner
in which the issue of scrapping DCCs was brought about at the Politburo and
eventually at the Central Committee was not procedural. More so, they claim
that the scrapping of DCCs itself was unconstitutional.

But the Defence Minister is said to be pondering his next move as acting or
not acting has grave consequences. The same sources say he is caught between
a rock and a hard place.

For starters, if he acts, he will be moving against the orders of the
President although he will gain marks in the court of public opinion for
defending internal democracy in ZANU-PF. That in itself is considered
political suicide in the party.

But if he does not act, he will have angered a constituency that has stood
by him in ensuring that he stands a good chance of succeeding President
Mugabe should the veteran leader decide to exit office.

Also, he faces the humiliation of being eliminated from the presidential
race in which he has been a front-runner along with his nemesis, Vice
President Joice Mujuru. Added to that, there is an unhappy section in the
security sector that has supported him and pushed for his eventual takeover
of the highest office in the land.

All these people say that because Mnangagwa’s lieutenants were in control of
the levers of power in the DCCs, this had presented a huge threat to Vice
President Mujuru who then managed to pull the rug under Mnangagwa’s feet.

The decision to do away with the grassroots structures was made in Mnangagwa’s
absence, as he was reportedly on a working visit in China. Sources said
Mnangagwa’s rivals in the highest decision-making body of the party took
advantage of his absence.

It is believed the Defence Minister was not consulted and had no input in
the decision to scrap the DCCs. His close aides say this situation was
“totally unacceptable”.

But inside sources say the Politburo claimed it had evidence money was used
to “impose” candidates on the electorate during the DCC elections. Yet
critics of the decision argue that most senior members of the party were
also guilty of using cash and influence to sway voters in breach of rules
passed at the Bulawayo conference last December.

An attempt to speak to the Defence Minister through his mobile phone was
fruitless as he did not answer calls placed to him.

Political analyst, Dewa Mavh-inga, said it was high time the Mujuru and
Mnangagwa factions unite to enable President Mugabe to deal with his
“It is high time Mnangagwa throws his weight behind Joice Mujuru to support
her candidature — so that when the two main factions in ZANU-PF unite, they
will be able to force President Mugabe to deal with the succession issue
without playing the factions against each other,” said Mavhinga.

The DCC elections had become the battleground for ZANU-PF factions tussling
for control of strategic party structures in the battle to eventually
produce a successor to President Mugabe.

Infighting rocked DCC elections in Masvingo, Manicaland, Mash-onaland East,
Bulawayo and Matabeleland North and South provinces, as the factions led by
Vice President Mujuru and Mnan-gagwa fought for control of the provinces.

The divisions, which had torn the party apart were complicated by the
emergence of two strong security establishment-based groups rooting for
President Mugabe to stay on while another was pushing for Mnangagwa to
eventually succeed the President.

Internal strife has been so pronounced that it forced President Mugabe to
publicly denounce factions and their leaders, saying they were destroying
the party.

Mnangagwa had for a long time been seen as the blue-eyed boy of the
President. But his fortunes had dipped in 2004 as he was seen as the leader
of the Tsholotsho fiasco. -Financial Gazette

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Funny, we thought it was about human rights

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been a roller coaster week in Zimbabwe with major developments
which will have a huge impact on the future of the country making news
every day. First came news that a Zimbabwean woman who admitted to
being actively involved with Zanu PF gangs and beating farm workers
during two farm invasions has been denied refugee status in the UK. At
the UK Appeal Court, the Secretary of State found that the woman’s
actions amounted to ‘crimes against humanity,’ were deemed to be
‘inhumane’ and determined the woman should be “excluded from
refugee status.” This ruling has shown Zimbabwe the way.

Then came more good news. A leaked report from a chapter in our draft
constitution, which has still not been released, apparently states
that every Zimbabwean by birth will retain their citizenship even if
they have subsequently taken foreign citizenship. It’s hard to
believe that we might be taking such a progressive step in our new
constitution. It is one which acknowledges that a large proportion of
our population is in the Diaspora and reminds us how much work,
lobbying and petitioning has gone on by people outside the country.
For this we thank them. Most estimates put the number of Zimbabweans
who have fled the country in the last decade at three to four million
– more than a quarter of our total population. This dual citizenship
story is far from over because voting rights for Zimbabweans by birth
but now classed as ALIENS, both living at home and in the Diaspora,
are not automatically guaranteed until amendments are made to the
Electoral Act.

Next came sad news. After two years of delays, parliament finally
passed the Human Rights Bill which will allow our established but
impotent Human Rights Commission to investigate human rights abuses.
The passing of the Bill should have been cause for huge celebration
but in fact it came with a proviso which has left us saddened,
disgusted and feeling betrayed. The proviso to the Human Rights Act is
that the Human Rights Commission will be barred from looking into any
human rights atrocities committed before February 2009. These
atrocities, spanning decades and involving multiple thousands of
people, will apparently be dealt with in a yet to be crafted piece of
legislation by some yet to be identified institution at some yet to be
specified time in the future. MDC MP’s were quoted as being
delighted with the passing of the Human Rights Bill. One MDC MP said
that people should ‘take solace’ because any violations in the
next election would be dealt with. “We are fighting to win an
election,” he said. Funny, we thought this was about justice for
victims of human rights atrocities, not winning elections. The new
Human Rights Act is small comfort for people whose loved ones are in
their graves or for victims who still see their tormentors walking
free on the streets amongst them.

The roller coaster came to a juddering stop with the rumour that the
EU are apparently considering dropping the last of their targeted
sanctions against a hundred odd individuals in Zimbabwe. The rumour
was denied but as we know so well here, there’s no smoke without
fire. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 14th July 2012.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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