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MKD and ZANU Ndonga announce pact with MDC-T

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai joins hands with Simba Makoni (MKD) and  Reketayi Semwayo (ZANU Ndonga)

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

The leaders of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) and ZANU Ndonga on Monday officially announced that they have made a pre-election deal to rally behind MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential race.

Under the terms of the pact both the MKD and ZANU Ndonga will campaign for Tsvangirai in his third-time bid to oust ZANU PF’s Robert Mugabe from power.

The MDC-T will in turn support Simba Makoni’s (MKD) and Reketai Semwayo’s (ZANU Ndonga) parliamentary candidatures in Makoni central and Chipinge central in Manicaland province.

Monday’s announcement in Harare, which was attended by Tsvangirai, follows that of the MDC and ZAPU’s who announced their alliance in Bulawayo on Friday ahead of the 31st July elections.

Makoni exuded confidence that the MDC-T, MKD and ZANU Ndonga coalition will win the upcoming election in the first round and called on all Zimbabweans to maintain peace as the country enters this critical polling phase.

Makoni, a former SADC executive secretary and Finance Minister in ZANU PF, confirmed that they had set their sights on a grand coalition which would have included the MDC and ZAPU, but they had failed to agree on the modalities.

There is hope the parties will use the time between now and the election date to work out a unified front.

Analysts believe that Mugabe and ZANU PF stand no chance against a united coalition. On Friday we had heard from a credible source that a grand coalition, with the five political parties agreeing to field just one presidential candidate, was expected to be announced this week. But this was vehemently denied by Ncube who told us this was a ‘lie.’

Dumisani Muleya, a respected journalist and editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent wrote on his Facebook page on Monday that ‘if Tsvangirai and Ncube can’t agree on a grand coalition, perhaps they only need a presidential election deal. It’s in their interest.’

The pact between ZAPU, led by Dumiso Dabengwa, and Welshman Ncube’s MDC, will see candidates from the two political parties working together and supporting each other during campaigns. But they have not yet agreed on who should be their presidential candidate.

Dabengwa told journalists last week that discussions for the formation of the alliance started in December, with the two parties forming technical teams to look into the modalities.

Speaking at a Harare hotel Makoni said they hoped their electoral pact can bring Zimbabweans together and help them overcome their challenges. For this reason he said they had entered into a coalition in a bid to garner the majority of votes in three weeks time.

For the Press Statement see


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Tsvangirai forges coalition to unseat Mugabe

Sapa | 08 July, 2013 15:53

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has unveiled a coalition with
former allies of Robert Mugabe, in a bid to unseat the veteran president at
elections later this month.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has joined forces with
Mugabe's former finance minister Simba Makoni and the ZANU-Ndonga party
ahead of elections on July 31.

The three formed a "coalition for change" behind Tsvangirai's bid for
president, according to a joint statement.

Makoni, a former senior official in Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), quit the party in 2008 to form his own
party Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn and challenge Mugabe in the presidential race.

The third partner in the coalition is ZANU-Ndonga, a party that was allied
with Mugabe during the fight for Zimbabwean independence, but later split.

The three partners said they will support each other in the parliamentary
and local authority elections and form a "government of national unity" if
they win the vote.

"The government of national unity will be based on the free will of the
people as opposed to the current coalition government created after the
subversion of the will of the people in the 2008 presidential election,"
Makoni said.

Mugabe, 89, and Tsvangirai, 61, were forced into a shaky power-sharing
government four years ago after a bloody presidential run-off election which
Tsvangirai boycotted citing violence against his supporters.

Some 200 opposition activists were killed in the election unrest.

New elections were supposed to be held 18 months after the formation of the
coalition government in 2009 but were delayed by frequent disagreements
among the parties over reforms to pave the way for free and fair polls.

The announcement of Tsvangirai's partnership with two other parties comes
just days after a splinter group from his MDC signed an agreement with the
powerful Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) to support each other's

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Biti freezes government payments to part-pay elections

By Violet Gonda
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has described the funding situation for upcoming elections in Zimbabwe as a ‘nightmare and like watching a horror movie’ and the cash strapped authorities have been forced to stop all government payments in order to fundraise for elections due on July 31st.

“I am now definitely sounding like a broken record … and what we have done as ministry is basically to freeze government. We are not paying ministries. We are not paying service providers in order to do what we are doing. We can’t pay for anything other than salaries,” Biti told SW Radio Africa on Monday.

Reports say $132 million is needed for the electoral process, but Biti said so far he has only managed to release $14million to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for things like the printing of ballot papers and the purchase of indelible ink.

He said part of that money will be used for the special voting of the uniformed forces that is set for 14th and 15th July.

The minister said President Robert Mugabe should intervene if the country is to successfully hold harmonized elections that include council, parliamentary and presidential elections in three weeks time.

“President Mugabe needs to come on board because we have the issue of diamonds and everybody knows that (Mines Minister) Obert Mpofu’s mining houses are not submitting a single cent to our coffers.

“There is that man called (Justice Minister) Patrick Chinamasa. He is frustrating all my efforts to get money from the international community – whether it’s the UN, whether it’s international donors. Now they are at war with SADC. So the whole thing is an undiluted dog’s breakfast.”

Biti said he had written to the regional body and SADC executive Secretary Tomaz Salomão said he would go around the region looking for funding for Zimbabwe’s elections, but there has been no feedback so far.

The Finance Minister said it is very difficult to go to the region with a begging bowl when Mugabe continues to insult them at the same time.

Last Friday Mugabe warned he would withdraw from SADC if the region ‘decides to do stupid things’ in connection with the country’s polls. He lashed out at President Jacob Zuma’s advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, describing her as an idiotic and stupid little woman for reportedly calling for an election delay to allow the implementation of reforms.

Biti said Mugabe’s comments were “brazenly sexist” and totally unacceptable, especially as it was directed at a diplomat. “It’s an act of aggression at international law when you attack the office of the Head of State of another country.”

We could not reach Zulu for comment, but Biti said there is no party that develops in isolation and his party will ensure that Zimbabwe remains a full member of the regional bloc, including mending relations with the Commonwealth and other international bodies.

The minister also said that Zimbabwe is lagging behind while many countries in SADC are adhering to international standards of conducting elections.

“International standards means you invite observers from anywhere in the world; the voters roll is open to everyone and everyone can scrutinise it; there are no funny things like special voting; the media is accessible to everyone and no Army General will utter a statement that ‘I will not salute x,y,z’.” Biti pointed out that these are some of the issues that makes Zimbabwe a laughing stock in the region.

Meanwhile, ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau confirmed to reporters that the government had released US$11 million for the special voting for the uniformed forces, election officials and the postal voting for those working at Zimbabwe’s embassies.

Makarau said the 30 day voter registration and voters roll inspection that started last month will end Wednesday and anyone who registers after this deadline will not be able to vote, although their names will be added to the voters roll for future elections.

The electoral body has come under fire for failing to make information available to the general public. Civic leader Mike Davies said it’s ‘shocking’ that ZEC has not yet published the names of the candidates, 22 days before the harmonized polls.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is a tax funded body responsible for running elections. Additionally it is supposed keep ‘the public informed about…political parties and candidates contesting every election’ yet 10 days after the nomination courts; there are still no official lists of candidates and the relevant ZEC website pages merely say:
“Contesting Parties – COMING SOON, Election Calendar – COMING SOON, Registration Statistics – COMING SOON and the Facebook page is derisory,” Davies said.

Interview Biti on election funding

Interview Biti on Lindiwe Zulu



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Queue-busting MyZimVote praised as registration nears end

The website for

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

There is just one day left before the end of the voter registration and inspection exercise on July 9th, as the country edges closer to the July 31st election.

There had been hope that lessons would have been learned from an earlier 20-day trial run of voter registration, but numerous complaints from across the country suggest that the current exercise has been onerous and cumbersome.

Just last week women’s organisations expressed concern that the exercise did not take into account or respond to women’s specific needs.

In a petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission the groups said: “The registration process has also not given the elderly, pregnant women and women with disabilities special attention as registration points are inaccessible to these women and some officials have refused to accommodate their special needs,” read part of the petition.

Also last week, in Bulawayo, hundreds of potential voters were turned away after registration forms ran out.

These problems have left many questioning whether the country is prepared for the upcoming polls.

Lawrence Mashungu, of the empowerment group Youth Agenda Trust, said they had also observed that many young people were still being turned away without registering if they failed to provide proof of residence.

“This is despite Cabinet authorising the use of affidavits for those with difficulties proving their residence.

“What has been happening is that instead of telling aspiring voters about the affidavits, the voter registrars would turn them away. It would seem the non-disclosure was deliberate,” Mashungu said.

Mashungu said in urban centres the process was also very slow, with reports that in some centres people were queuing for up to seven hours either to register or check their names.

A number of people have expressed concern that all these problems in registering to vote are a deliberate policy by ZANU PF.

Mashungu commended the group behind the ‘MyZimVote’ initiative for providing an electronic version of the voters’ roll, which many Zimbabweans have been using to verify their registration status.

Mashungu said: “It is encouraging to see civil society organisations being innovative in sidestepping deliberate efforts by ZANU PF to delay and frustrate would-be voters.

“Through ‘MyZimVote’ those with access to the internet do not have to spend hours queuing just to check their names. I have used it myself and I have been sending the details to my friends who have also used it,” he said.

Launched on July 4th, the initiative has proved to be very popular with Zimbabweans both at home and in the Diaspora. Those wishing to visit the facility can do so from either a computer of their mobile phone.

Those checking from a computer can do so at; while those using a mobile phone (or device) should go to

For a step-by-step guide, please see:

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Mudede Warns Zimbabweans Against Relying on 'Distorted' Online Voters' Roll

Ntungamili Nkomo

WASHINGTON — Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede on Monday warned the public
not to rely on a voters’ roll posted online, describing it as “incorrect,
defiled and distorted.”

The said voters’ roll is provided by a website called, which
has been urging Zimbabweans to check their voter registration status by
submitting their identity registration numbers.

But Mudede took out advertisements in state-run newspapers Monday saying the
register is illegal and inaccurate.

A statement on the website says it obtained the voters’ roll legally from
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

But ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said recently her commission was
carrying out investigations to ascertain who was behind the portal.

Political commentator and Nango chairman Effie Dlela Ncube says voters
should use the official register provided by the government to be on the
safe side.

An email request to for an interview had not been responded to
by the time of this broadcast.

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Two days left, people still trying to register

WENDY MUPERI  •  7 JULY 2013 11:31PM

HARARE – With two days left before the curtain comes down on the second
voter registration exercise, frustration continues to characterise the
process as centres continue to serve a few people per day.

“I got here around 5am and I was number 20,” one elated first-time voter
told the crew after staying at the office for five hours before being

Hundreds of people are failing to make it into the vital book every day.

State media recently said nearly half-a-million first- time voters have
managed to register — but due to the limited time the officials have —
first-time voters are being deprived of the 30 days of voters’ roll
inspection, as required under the law.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (Zec) Rita Makarau, in an interview with
State media, said the organisation — responding to complaints — has deployed
more teams to speed up the process.

Six more teams were now on the ground in Harare while between one and two
were added in some needy rural communities.

Nevertheless, the number of people who will not cast their vote remains high
as thousands are being turned away every day for lack of the required paper
work — particularly the issue of citizenship.

Some commentators and political parties allege the delays and inefficiency
are meant to dishearten voters

especially in MDC strongholds.

Education minister David Coltart said massive-scale rigging will win Zanu PF
victory in the impending general election only if Zimbabweans succumb to

“However, that will only work if we are apathetic. If we all turn out and
vote — every last woman and man who want to change our beloved nation for
the better — rigging becomes more difficult. It is easier to rig an election
when few people turn out and becomes progressively harder the more who
 vote,” said Coltart in a Facebook post on Friday.

“But one cannot vote unless one is registered — every person still has that
opportunity until July 9. So if you are not registered please do so over the
next 5 days. We cannot afford to allow Zanu PF to steal the future of our
children again,” he added.

Zimbabwe’s second round of voter registration commenced on June 19 and is
expected to end on Tuesday July 9, this brings the total days devoted to the
process to 50.

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MDC-T to overhaul security services if party wins elections

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

A capacity crowd witnessed the launch of the MDC-T election manifesto in
Marondera on Sunday. Tsvangirai told party supporters to overwhelmingly vote
his party into power in the upcoming elections to bring change to Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai also rubbished the threats made by President Mugabe about pulling
out of SADC. During ZANU PF’s launch of its manifesto in Harare last week
Friday, Mugabe threatened to pull Zimbabwe out of the 15-member regional
grouping, apparently angry at the bloc’s insistence on the implementation of
electoral reforms before elections on July 31.

The 89 year-old presidential candidate for ZANU PF caused a diplomatic storm
after he described President Jacob Zuma’s foreign policy advisor Lindiwe
Zulu as a ‘stupid and idiotic street woman.’ Tsvangirai accused Mugabe of
failing to appreciate SADC’s role and castigated Mugabe’s ‘undiplomatic’
attack on Zulu.

The MDC-T manifesto titled; ‘A new Zimbabwe—the time is now’ seeks to
streamline the country’ security services, who have for so long been acting
with impunity.

Calls by political parties and SADC to reform the armed forces have been
resisted by Mugabe, who banks on the support of his military junta. If the
MDC-T wins the elections in three weeks time, the party has vowed to
dissolve the Joint Operations Command and create in its place a National
Security Council.

The 33 page MDC-T manifesto says the government will instill respect for
human rights and the rights of the citizens while ensuring protection for
the people, by exercising parliamentary oversight of the Central
Intelligence Organization

‘The party will establish a National Security Council to coordinate security
related actions, enforce a Code of Conduct for all service members and
introducing a citizen protection law in accordance with the Constitution,’
the manifesto added.

Meanwhile, ZANU PF’s 2013 election campaign manifesto mainly focuses on
indigenization and empowerment, the same theme the party used during the
2008 elections.

The 108 page document titled ‘Indigenize, Empower, Develop and Create
Employment, outlines a number of key goals set to define the party’s
policies over the next five years.

They include the usual mantra sovereignty, respect for the values and ideals
of the liberation struggle, patriotism, employment, housing and economic

In the manifesto, ZANU PF also outlines its past achievements that include
the attainment of independence, the land reform programme, education,
health, gender advancement and security.

The MDC-T 2013 Manifesto -

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Teachers union expresses concern ahead of elections

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has expressed concern
about the safety of its members as the country heads towards elections,
warning that teachers have in the past been targets of politically motivated

Zimbabwe’s elections are set for July 31st, after the Constitutional Court
last week dismissed all attempts to have the poll delayed.

This leaves just over three weeks until the elections are held, and
according to the PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe, the “political
temperature has gone up so much.”

The PTUZ claims seven teachers affiliated to the union died during the June
2008 polls and more than 60 other members were victims of harassment,
intimidation and torture. Those elections also resulted in sores of rural
teachers taking refuge in urban areas as well as in neighboring countries
such as South Africa and Botswana.

“The real challenge we face is that history of elections has witnessed
displacement of teachers, violence against teachers, harassment, brutality,
arson attacks and all sorts of negative,” Majongwe told SW Radio Africa

He explained that despite repeated calls over the past four years for
schools to be ‘peace zones’, teachers are already feeling threatened by
incidents of alleged politically motivated threats.

This includes the disruption of some schools during the ZANU PF primary
elections, as well as reported threats against MDC-T affiliated teachers in
Mashonaland Central, East and West.

“Year in year out we have demanded that politics be kicked out of schools,
and that hasn’t been respected. We believe that the political temperature
will keep rising even after the elections, and teachers are feeling
intimidated by what is happening already,” Majongwe said.

Schools meanwhile will be closing early (July 26th) to accommodate the July
31st elections. Education Minister David Coltart said in a statement last
week that the early closure of schools would enable teachers to participate
in the national exercise as polling officers.

Minister Coltart said in order to compensate for this early closure, the
third term would begin on September 3rd instead of September 10th, while the
closing date for the third term remains December 5th.

The PTUZ’s Majongwe meanwhile said that the early closure of schools, while
potentially disruptive, was not as disruptive as the political environment
the teachers find themselves in.

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Zimbabwe To Recruit South Korean Maths And Science Teachers

By Clement Moyo

Published: July 8, 2013

Zimbabwe Recruits Korean Maths & Science Teachers

Zimbabwe’s Education and Sports Minister David Coltart  has announced he is
flying to South Korea for bilateral talks between the two countries to get
Korean maths and science teachers to teach in Zimbabwe schools.

Minister Coltart on Sunday said the country currently faces desperate
shortage of maths and science teachers.

Announcing his departure in Harare, Coltart said, ”I leave for South Korea
this afternoon which is of course a most inopportune time to be making such
a trip in the midst of an election campaign.

“The background to this is that I have been involved in negotiations with
the Korean Ambassador this year to arrange for South Korean maths and
science teachers to come and work in Zimbabweans schools. A memorandum of
understanding was recently signed by me in this regard. We have a desperate
shortage of maths and science teachers in Zimbabwe and South Korea is
recognised as having one of the best education systems and teachers in the

“This trip was planned some time back and is intended to consolidate these
educational links at a World Ministerial Forum on Education and Youth being
held this week. Having committed to attending and speaking at this event I
feel obliged to honour my acceptance. I made the commitment well before the
illegal proclamation that the election be held on the 31st July.

“Aside from anything else it is important that we foster close educational
ties between South Korea and Zimbabwe as my vision has been that we should
seek to emulate the very high educational standards which obtain in Korea.”

Following Minister Coltart’s announcement of his travel, ZimEye quizzed the
minister if government saw the arrangement as either a temporary or
permanent solution to the problem. At the time of writing a response from
minister Coltart was awaited.

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ZBC demands $165,000 from MDC-T for coverage

By Violet Gonda
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2013

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s extreme bias was exposed at the
weekend when the state broadcaster demanded $165,000 from the MDC-T to cover
the party’s manifesto launch in Marondera on Sunday. This was despite
providing live, free coverage of ZANU PF’s campaign launch in Harare on

It is the duty of the public broadcaster to give all participating political
parties equal coverage in the run up to elections. All state media are also
supposed to comply with electoral guidelines in providing access to
candidates from all political parties, but only ZANU PF activities are being
given widespread coverage, three weeks before the general elections.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters at Rudhaka
Stadium in Marondera that he refused to make the payment after receiving a
quotation from the ZBC.

“We (have been) shut out of the public media which has taken a position to
cover live in the electronic media, the campaign of President Mugabe and

He said he was aware that ZANU PF did not pay for the coverage of their
campaign launch at Zimbabwe Grounds last Friday.

Part of Tsvangirai’s letter sent to the ZBC in response read: “Thank you for
responding to our invitation, however, your invoice quoted for US$165,000 as
coverage fee is in our opinion not competitive and grossly unfair given that
as a State broadcaster, the constitution requires that you give equal and
fair coverage to all political players at this time of election campaigning.

“The action by the national broadcaster is unacceptable and totally
deplorable, your attitude towards us and your expectation that we pay for
live broadcasting grossly and negatively affects the impartiality and
non-partisanship expected of a public broadcaster.”

Meanwhile, Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba accused the US ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, of behaving as if he was “an MDC councillor in
Harare” after the envoy expressed concern over the partisan political
coverage by the ZBC.

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ZBC TV ignores MDC manifesto rally


HARARE – A few days after refusing to air Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
advert, State broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC TV) on
Friday beamed the Zanu PF election campaign live on television for the whole

ZBC suspended regular programming to air the rm zbct, whose initial poor
attendance exposed President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s waning support
ahead of key elections.

On Sunday, the MDC launched its party manifesto in Marondera but was not
given the blow-to blow coverage that Zanu PF received.

To ask for ZBC to cover an entire MDC manifesto rally could be asking for
too much from the State broadcaster as it had refused to air Tsvangirai’s 50
seconds-long advert saying it was waiting for the greenlight from the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) before airing political content.

ZBC is mandated by law to give all political parties airtime on their
station as Zimbabwe approaches the D-day for the make-or-break election
scheduled for July 31.

But on Friday, Zimbabweans who had just been switched off the popular SABC
channels had to do with hours of the Zanu PF campaign launch.

Those with no alternative to ZBC TV were forced to watch the channel, where
pro-Zanu PF musicians who performed at the event such as Jah Prayzah and
Mathias Mhere did their best to ease the boredom as they managed to get the
crowd on its feet.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, said ZBC TV’s reluctance to
flight “a politically colourless advert” while “devoting an entire day” to
covering the Zanu PF campaign launch exposed the broadcaster’s double

“But more importantly, this shows why Sadc agreed with the prime minister
that Zimbabwe cannot hold free and fair election without media and security
sector reforms,” said Tamborinyoka.

“The abuse of State resources by Zanu PF cannot continue to go unchecked.
The other day we witnessed police officers acting as polling officers during
Zanu PF primaries and now it is ZBC.

“But the people will not be hoodwinked. Zanu PF will be booted out precisely
because of this kind of abuse,” said Tamborinyoka.

In a letter dated June 28, undersigned by Tarzen Mandizvidza, ZBC general
manager, the broadcaster cites statutory instrument 33, 2008 of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission’s (Zec) which compels the public media to avail a
platform for all political parties to advertise.

“We are now in the election period and we are guided by the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission media coverage of elections regulations,” says the

“The regulation requires us as a public broadcaster to allocate airtime
equitably between the election period.”

However, Tamborinyoka says ZBC is missing the point because the premier’s
advertisement was not coming from the MDC office but from government.

“We have no problems with the regulations of Zec but this was an advert that
was paid for similar to Zanu PF adverts that were flighted at the material
time,” said Tamborinyoka.

He added: “This shows the imperative need for reforms at ZBC.

“It remains a concern that a politically colourless advert from the prime
minister was not flighted but Zanu PF continues to have unlimited access.

“This is the reason why we are insisting on media reforms.”

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Charamba blasts US envoy over ZBC

07/07/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s spokesman has accused US ambassador, Bruce
Wharton, of behaving as if he was "an MDC councillor in Harare" after the
envoy expressed concern over partisan political coverage by the ZBC.

Wharton wrote to the ZBC to express his concern after it emerged that the
corporation demanded US$165,000 from the MDC-T to cover party leader and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s election campaign launch in Marondera on

The MDC-T said it refused to pay the cash with Tsvangirai telling supports
at the rally: “We (have been) shut out of the public media which has taken a
position to cover live in the electronic media, the campaign of President
Mugabe and Zanu PF.”

ZBC covered live President Robert Mugabe’s own campaign launch in Harare on
Friday. It was not clear whether Zanu PF paid for the coverage.

In a letter to ZBC chief executive, Happison Muchechetere, Wharton said: “In
seeking to support peaceful, credible and transparent elections in Zimbabwe,
elections that will strengthen the nation at home, in the region and
internationally, I believe it is crucial to respect Zimbabwean law, the
Global Political Agreement, and the Sadc guidelines on elections.

“In that context, I wish to express concern about lack of access by
political parties to ZBC, a situation which appears to run counter to these

“This letter is an expression of my desire to support a credible electoral
process in Zimbabwe and be clear about the elements I believe are important
in that process. I will not distribute or share this letter with media,
political parties, or civil society organisation.”

But the letter drew the ire of information secretary, George Charamba, who
said the envoy’s conduct was unheard of.
“It’s unheard of for an ambassador, especially from a perceived super power
like America to write to an executive of a parastatal,” Charamba told the

“He (Wharton) can’t even write to the President and there he is writing to
the executive of a parastatal jumping foreign affairs, which is his country’s
contact point.

“He skips the ministry of Media, Information and Publicity which is
responsible for the media and leaps past the ZBC board which is the
governing authority at the parastatal and lands on the desk of Muchechetere.
Ooh, how the mighty have fallen!

“I am very happy that the ambassador is aware of the GPA and its various
demands. I hope he can now tell his government that in this very important
document called the GPA, there is some reference to pirate radio stations
which must stop invading our airwaves. One of these pirate radio stations is
Studio 7, which is funded by the Americans.”

Zanu PF strategist and former information minister Jonathan Moyo added: “How
can the ambassador of a country that is funding Studio 7 try to lecture to
us how ZBC should conduct its business?

“His hands are dirty, his mouth is dirty and he must be advised to shut up
because that pirate radio station, Studio 7 is not only violating Zimbabwean
laws, the GPA and Sadc guidelines but also international law.

“Nobody needs a lecture from this outpost of tyranny called America. They
call ZBC, ‘dead BC’ so is the ambassador seeking to go to the grave with
ZBC? Our elections will be free and fair if America and its friends
including a neighbouring country leave us alone.”

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Zim must be strong, just — US envoy

STAFF WRITER  •  7 JULY 2013 11:38PM

HARARE – Zimbabwe should avoid “irritating” the international community by
upholding democratic tendencies, a US envoy has said.

In his speech during the US Independence Day on July 4, ambassador Bruce
Wharton said Zimbabwe should work together with the international community
in creating a conducive environment for cooperation and fulfilment of human

“In interdependence, the US offers access to our markets, our investors, our
universities, our development and humanitarian assistance programmes, and
our technologies,” Wharton said.

“In exchange, we seek partners who support the rule of law, transparency,
fair trade, and good-faith efforts to work peacefully on the issues that
inevitably irritate international relations.

“I need my Zimbabwean colleagues and counterparts to help me accomplish the
goals President Obama has given me. And, I hope that I can help Zimbabweans
do their jobs and accomplish their goals. The United States needs Zimbabwe
to be strong, just and prosperous so that, together, we can build the
stability, opportunity and democracy that our people deserve.”

The US is a vocal critic of Zimbabwe’s poor governance and violation of
human rights and has imposed economic sanctions in protest at electoral
fraud and repression.

Wharton — punctuating his speech by citing pro-democracy legends like Thomas
Jefferson, John Adams and Ben Franklin — said criticism was a crucial
component of building politically and economically democratic states.

“We also accept that interdependence includes constructive critics to help
us recognise and address our own shortcomings in open exchanges of ideas and
ideals,” he said.

The ambassador quoted Obama’s speech in Dar es Salaam which dwelt on how the
problems of one state can easily upset the development of another.

“Obama was saying, in essence, that independence, true independence, is not
a solo effort,” Wharton said. “It has to be a team effort.

The United States and Zimbabwe should be supporting members of that team.

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Chinese company to contract 80,000 Zimbabwean tobacco growers

editor | July 8, 2013

The Chinese company Midriver Enterprises is expected to contract nearly
80,000 Zimbabwean farmers to produce tobacco during the 2013-2014 season,
according to a story in the Zimbabwe Herald.

And because some farmers have been facing financial problems, the company
will offer to supply them with inputs and working capital to pay wages. The
company will supply also coal for curing so as to reduce deforestation and
promote sustainable practices.

Midriver’s production manager, Johannes Muchimika, said that most farmers
had not been producing high-quality crops because they had had limited
inputs. Farmers would apply inadequate amounts of fertilizers because of
financial constraints, he added.

In addition, Muchimika said, some farmers had faced difficulties paying
workers, especially for reaping and curing, a situation that had resulted in
huge losses.

Midriver, which will buy the crop from the contracted farmers, says it will
provide the inputs at reasonable prices to farmers since it would be buying
them directly from the manufacturers.

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UNWTO: Mzembi begs private sector aid

July 8, 2013 in Business

THE Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi says there
has not been sufficient fiscal space to finance the United Nations World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly, leaving the ministry to seek
help from the private sector.


The 20th session of the UNWTO is co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in
Victoria Falls and Livingstone respectively from August 24 to 29.

Mzembi said last week that his ministry had put a budget of US$12 million to
finance preparations for the meeting but nothing had been disbursed by
Treasury amid growing national commitments.

“There hasn’t been sufficient space for the General Assembly within the
fiscal environment,” Mzembi said at the handover of the communications
command centre by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe on Friday.

“We have an election that requires US$132 million. We have just come off a
referendum that also gobbled quite a lot of millions,” said Mzembi.

“We had Copac for over four years in addition to other recurrent national
processes and issues on our budget — food security, water, electricity and
within all those competing demands you place the demands of a General

“That has prompted us to look outside fiscus to people with goodwill for an
event like this.”

Econet handed over the command centre equipped with state- of-the-art
computers and high- speed internet.

The mobile operator is also building another centre in Victoria Falls that
would be ready by next month.

In addition to that, the country’s leading mobile operator has also put up
15 base stations and micro stations in Victoria Falls to allow efficient
communication during and after the meeting.

The World Tourism Organisation is the leading international organisation in
the field of travel and tourism.

It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues. Its membership
includes 138 countries and more than 350 affiliates.

‘Victoria Falls to be a cyber city’

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi said Econet had
responded to a fundamental need in the hosting of a General Assembly — that
Zimbabwe host a paperless General Assembly in mind with the green
environment that Victoria Falls symbolises.

“The General Assembly prescribes that Victoria Falls be a cyber city by the
time we commence activities on August 24.

“We are required to declare Victoria Falls a cyber city. It’s a condition
that we must answer to the General Assembly secretariat,” Mzembi said.

Isaiah Nyangari, Econet’s chief marketing officer said on the partnership
with the ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry:
“It was an easy decision for Econet, we saw a lot of opportunities; an
opportunity to showcase what Zimbabwe has.

“We feel we have the infrastructure to take Zimbabwe forward. We have
invested in optic fibre and mobile network,” he said.

Next month’s UNWTO meeting has been equated to the tourism’s World Cup with
the co-hosts capitalising on the spin-offs arising from the successful
hosting of the event.

This is the second time that Africa will be hosting the tourism event in six
years after Senegal in 2007.

Hundreds of delegates representing local government, tourism associations
and private sector companies, including airlines, hotel groups and tour
operators, are expected to attend the event.

On a rotational basis, Zimbabwe can only host the General Assembly in 2357.

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Mzembi's 'dodgy' degrees

7 JULY 2013 11:54PM

HARARE - TOURISM minister Walter Mzembi is embroiled in a “dodgy degrees
scandal” amid allegations that he has been failing to “pay” for a Mexican
honorary doctorate in management.

This also comes as the smooth-faced Masvingo South legislator has been
struggling to extricate himself from a multi-million dollar United Nations
World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) tender row surrounding the appointment of
a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) for this major event.

According to information at hand, Mzembi — who has also been calling himself
an engineer despite carrying a diploma — has allegedly fallen short on his
promises to wire cash or money for an honorary degree under a deal
facilitated by controversial professor Lovemore Mbigi.

“We are not allowed to discuss student details because it’s normally
confidential. However, the guy (Mzembi) you mentioned from Zimbabwe has made
tremendous contribution around their tourism industry,” the South
African-based academic told the WeekendPost.

“We don’t issue certificates, but we partner universities that confer
degrees (and) getting an honorary doctorate isn’t based on what you have
achieved in life,” Mbigi said, adding a key consideration in this
controversial drive or programme was “one’s curriculum vitae and have made
tremendous achievements towards the development of your country”.

According to him it takes about three to six months for someone to be
evaluated for a doctorate degree and only two or three Zimbabweans have
qualified “for this honour” — even, though, inquiries have been coming in
thick and fast.

Crucially, Mbigi said it costs people like Mzembi a cool $6 000 to land
these coveted prizes or qualifications from little-known universities such
as Azteca in South America.

While the Zanu PF minister — innocently voted top performer of the year by
the Daily News last year — was unavailable for comment Thursday, his mobile
phone went unanswered much of last week.

In the meantime, a recent political resume seen by this paper shows that the
controversial politician — fingered in the destabilisation of RioZim-owned
gold miner Renco in recent times — has a Bachelor of Business Administration
(BBA) from the same Mexican university.

The interesting paper, also extolling the 49-year-old minister’s working
life, achievements and tourism awards, shows that Mzembi has a Zambian
technologist diploma, which has earned him “engineer-ship” status for years.

The same CV also shows the Harare businessman has another BBA from
Nicaragua — a Central American outpost famous for its coffee, sharks,
volcanoes and lakes.

Interestingly, Mzembi also has a diploma in business and governance studies
from the United States.

His working life also includes stints as Ag-Venture marketing director and
general manager of Stewards & Lloyds — a company once associated with
President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Leo and ex-Zimbabwe Football Association

Between 1988 and 1990, the former Eddison Zvobgo protégé was a mines
inspector in the then ministry of Mines.

Apart from the Renco debacle, Mzembi has also had run-ins with several
political rivals, including Leslie Humbe, a Central Intelligence
Organisation employee he once accused of running a smear campaign against
him in early 2011.

And in the UNWTO PCO fiasco, the Zanu PF "rising star" and his office stand
accused of advancing - one way of the other - the cause of South African
company for the provision of services at the key event and tourism summit.

While diploma holders like Mzembi have been allowed to carry the prestigious
title of engineer due to a pre-2010 revision of the criteria used for one to
qualify for such an honour, a Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE) officer
told the WeekendPost recently that things have since changed.

“Basically for one to be given the title engineer, you ought to have an
engineering degree from a recognised university. A university alone is not
sufficient to make one an engineer, but you ought to be registered with the
Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ) after acquiring at least three
years... in the engineering field,” Wilson Banda, the institute’s membership
services and training officer, said.

“Nowadays, one cannot be recognised as an engineer without approval by the
ECZ and without having minimum qualifications of a university degree (from a
recognised institution),” he said, adding “back in the days ECZ would also
accredit diploma holders as engineers” but this has since stopped onwards of
November 2010.

Banda emphasised, though, that those accredited before this cut-off date
would still be recognised as engineers, although “all certificate and
diploma holders are only referred to as technicians”.

The Mzembi storm also comes as several other Zanu PF-aligned politicians are
scrambling for doctorate degrees from fuzzy universities.

Although a furore has been raised after flamboyant businessman Philip
Chiyangwa’s recent conferment from a Philippino college, it would seem that
the St Linus University alumni — championed by Pythias Chinovava — is
growing with MBCA Bank Limited chief executive Charity Jinya being the
latest recipient.

However, the Native Investments Africa Group chairman and founder has
vehemently defended his business leadership conferment on the grounds that
it was from an institution recognised by the Commonwealth, and United
Nations. — Weekend Post

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Ncube's MDC set for Chikomba campaign launch

07/07/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Professor Welshman Ncube is set
to launch his party’s official election campaign in Mashonaland East
province this Friday, an official has confirmed.

MDC deputy national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi told
Sunday that the launch would be staged in Mashonaland East’s Chikomba area
where the party has had several campaigns in the life of the inclusive

“We are officially launching our election campaign in a Mashonaland province
because it is our stronghold contrary to perceptions that we only exist in
Matabeleland. The whole idea is to wrestle seats from Tsvangirai and Mugabe.
The MDC is fired up and has started the hunt for the state house keys,” he

Chihwayi however, said the launch of the MDC’s manifesto would be done in a
completely separate occasion in Matabeleland North’s Binga area where he
said his party also enjoyed huge support.

“We are launching the campaign and the manifesto separately because we are
nationally represented. We are represented in all provinces. We are going to
take a supersonic take off from Chikomba central and finish Mugabe and
Tsvangirai in Matabeleland on the 20th of July,” said Chihwayi.

“Our theme is A.C.T.I.O.N.S for Devolution: Devolution is our new
revolution. Our manifesto is anchored on democratic decision making
processes where consensus, full participation and representation are the

“Accountability, competent and empathetic leadership that is reliable,
hardworking, accessible, open to criticism and serves the people; equality,
just and fair Zimbabwe, tolerance and diversity of

Ncube, who last week announced a surprise coalition pact with former Home
Affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa’s ZAPU, would be third among the five
presidential hopefuls to officially launch his campaign for the top job.

President Mugabe launched his re-election campaign in Harare’s Highfields
suburb last Friday where he promised to resuscitate the country’s economy
through his party’s indigenisation drive.

Similarly, MDC-T presidential candidate Prime Minister Tsvangirai launched
his election bid at Marondera’s Rudhaka stadium, again in Mashonaland East,
a perceived Zanu PF stronghold.

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Zimbabwe's circumcision drive fails to take off

HARARE, 8 July 2013 (IRIN) - Funds for the male circumcision programme in
Zimbabwe are lying idle, as the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare says
not enough men are coming forward to use the service, which was launched as
part of an HIV-prevention package.

Following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO),
Zimbabwe introduced the male circumcision programme in November 2009.
Studies have shown that the practice can help reduce HIV transmission in men
by about 60 percent. The government plans to circumcise about 3 million men
by the end of 2015, but the target may be overly ambitious, as less than 10
percent of the targeted population has yet been circumcised.

A huge challenge in the promotion of male circumcision is that Zimbabwe is
traditionally not a circumcising country. The practice is common among only
a few communities in Zimbabwe, particularly the Shangani tribe of Chiredzi,
in the Lowveld part of the country.

Owen Mugurungi, coordinator of the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis unit in the
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, admitted that the response to the male
circumcision programme has been extremely low, despite high levels of
optimism when the programme was launched.

“We are not happy with the response for male circumcision... We have only
circumcised close to 8 percent of the target population, whereas we need to
make sure that we go way beyond 85 percent of the target population, so we
need to work hard to reach that target,” he said.

According to Mugurungi, the government could save about US$3 billion in HIV
treatment if uptake of the programme is increased; through circumcision, the
country could reduce the rate of infection from around 130,000 annual new
infections to less than 50,000 by 2020.

Fears of surgery

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights HIV/AIDS manager Tinashe Mundawarara has
called for research into the reasons behind the programme’s low uptake.

“If there is that much belief in male circumcision out there, demand would
have been overwhelming. Traditional social marketing has failed to push it
in the manner it has done in the promotion of condom use,” said Mundawarara.

Another barrier to the programme’s success is the fact that male
circumcision is a surgical procedure, and people are generally fearful of
medical procedures. Social marketing efforts should aim to allay people’s
fears about circumcision, he noted.

The government hopes that the recent WHO approval, or "prequalification", of
PrePex - a nonsurgical device - could help service providers address some of
the fears over surgical procedures.

PrePex uses an elastic band that compresses the foreskin against a stiff
plastic ring. The elastic band cuts off blood supply to the foreskin, which
loses sensation and dries out, similar to the process of removing the
umbilical cord of a newborn. The PrePex has to be worn for a week, after
which it is removed and the dead foreskin is cut off.

More promotion needed

According to UNAIDS country coordinator Tatiana Shomiliana, extensive
consultations are underway to understand why there is such a low uptake of
the circumcision programme. Preliminary investigations show that poor
messaging could be a contributing factor.

“We need to talk more as stakeholders. We need to talk more as the
Zimbabwean community about these issues because the rates of male
circumcision are really low,” said Shomiliana.

Zimbabwe has received about $15 million from the US President’s Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for voluntary medical circumcision.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Zimbabwe pays back IMF debts

July 8, 2013 in Business

ZIMBABWE has agreed to make monthly and quarterly payments to three
international financial institutions as it begins a journey to resolve its
US$10,7 billion external debt.


The commitment is contained in a letter to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) managing director, Christine Lagarde arguing Zimbabwe’s case for an
IMF supervised economic programme.

Last month, the IMF approved a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) on Zimbabwe.

An SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and Fund staff
to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic programme.

Among Zimbabwe’s creditors are the World Bank (US$976,45 million), IMF
(US$127,4 million), European Investment Bank (US$244 million) and US$587
million owed to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Zimbabwe is using the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance and Debt
Development Strategy (Zaads) to deal with the debt issue.

In a joint letter signed by Finance minister, Tendai Biti and central bank
chief, Gideon Gono, Harare told Washington that it was committed to making
regular payments to the Fund to clear its debt under the Poverty Reduction
and Growth Trust Fund.

“Given the tight fiscal space, we are committed to making monthly payments
during 2013 of US$150 000. We also intend to make payments to the World Bank
in the amounts described in their Interim Strategy Note, and comparable
payments to AfDB, during the rest of 2013,” Zimbabwe said.

Zimbabwe will make quarterly payments of US$900 000 to the World Bank with
the amount expected to increase following the improvement in the capacity to

During the SMP that is set to run up to December, Harare promised Washington
that it would only resort to grants and concessional loans to finance
national development, adding that it could only resort to non-concessional
loans in exceptional circumstances. These non-concessional loans would be
contracted only “to implement critical projects in the areas of water and
sanitation, electricity and roads.”

However, the amount of non- concessional borrowing would not exceed 3% of
Gross Domestic Product (US$330 million) during the SMP period.

Zimbabwe has also committed itself to assessments from AfDB, the Development
Bank of South Africa or the World Bank to ensure that the identified
projects would have high economic and social impact before signing any

Biti told Standardbusiness recently that the huge external debt acted as
sanctions on the country as it could not access lines of credit required to
reboot the economy. He also said Zimbabwe could not access cheap funds awash
on the world’s capital markets due to the unresolved external debt.

IMF is considered a financial “Commissioner of Oaths” and its actions on a
country are closely followed by would-be lenders.

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Zimbabwe vulnerable to external shocks—WB

July 8, 2013 in Business

ZIMBABWE’S international reserves are low at less than a month of import
cover, far below the benchmark required for dollarised economies, leaving
the country susceptible to external shocks, a World Bank (WB) recovery note
has warned.


“International reserves remain very  limited, estimated at 0,6 months of
import cover, far below the three months benchmark for dollarised economies,
thus increasing the country’s vulnerability to external shocks,” the bank
said in a three-year Interim Strategy Note for Zimbabwe.

Although the import cover — the number of months of imports that could be
paid for by a country’s international reserves and as such gives a clear
picture on the country’s preparedness to use its reserves in the event of a
crisis — is low, there is a slight improvement from last year’s.

A report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year said the country
had reserves covering only 10 days of imports.

The WB’s strategy document said the outlook remained further clouded by the
possible “compression of exports [due to global economic slowdown] and the
risk of disorderly unwinding of vulnerabilities in the banking sector”.

The warning by the WB comes at a time Zimbabwe had converted its Special
Drawing Rights (SDR) holdings totalling US$260 million to meet critical
needs  from the about US$400 million given to the country by IMF to help
shore up its reserves.

In 2009, IMF gave members US$250 billion to shore its reserves following the
global financial crisis.

Zimbabwe has promised IMF that it won’t make any further conversions on the
SDR holdings.

International reserves constitute an acceptable form of payment between
central banks of different countries. It can be in the form of gold or

In a dollarised environment, reserves are not only insurance against
external shocks but also a key tool for managing domestic financial

International reserves can also be used to meet timely international payment
obligations, for instance, imports needed for the economy.

Reserves can also act as a boost to the country’s creditworthiness when
access to international capital markets is difficult or impossible.

International reserves act as a fall back when an economy experiences a drop
in revenue and would need to fall back on their savings as a life line. A
good external reserves position would readily provide this cushion and
facilitate the recovery of such economies.

The World Bank said Zimbabwe’s external position was precarious with current
account deficit easing to 22% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 31%
of GDP in 2011.

Current account — the difference between a nation’s total exports of goods,
services and transfers, and its total imports of them — is closely followed
as an indicator of trends in foreign trade.

The precarious current account position has been further worsened by
deteriorating exports.

This comes at a time imports have been on the rise, widening the trade

In the first quarter of the year, imports stood at US$1,66 billion against
exports of US$813 million.

The majority of the imports were consumables, fuel and motor vehicles.

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Mugabe Can’t Withdraw Zimbabwe From SADC, Tsvangirai Says

By Godfrey MarawanyikaJuly 08, 2013

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe doesn’t have the authority to withdraw
the country from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change, was responding
today to Mugabe’s July 5 threat to withdraw from the regional body if it
“decides to do stupid things” before Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections.

The 15-nation group, which in 2009 brokered an end to a decade-long
political dispute in Zimbabwe, this month asked Mugabe to seek a delay to
July 31 elections to allow reforms, that form part of a new constitution, to
be enacted.

“In fact, SADC pulled us from the precipice” by mediating a power-sharing
government after failed elections in 2008, Tsvangirai told reporters in the
capital, Harare. Mugabe’s threat “can only mean one thing, if we are to
measure the reaction of President Mugabe, that he is a character who would
want to burn down the building with all of us in the building,” Tsvangirai

Zimbabweans will vote in parliamentary and presidential elections July 31,
ending the four years of power-sharing government.

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SADC exit threat: Mugabe clearly overreacting

Time up ... President Jacob Zuma with President Robert Mugabe

07/07/2013 00:00:00
     by Takura Zhangazha

AT the launch of his political party (Zanu PF) manifesto for the July 31
2013 harmonised elections last Friday, President Robert Mugabe made some
rather shocking remarks as regards the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) The statements may be forgivable given that they were made
within the context of our never ending electoral campaign season but they
would still warrant reasonable critique.

When President Mugabe intoned that SADC was after all a membership
organisation and that Zimbabwe reserved the right to withdraw its membership
if it felt its rights as a sovereign state were being violated, it was as
though he was speaking about the Commonwealth or our membership of some
abstract nostalgic colonial organisation. President Mugabe opinions, on the
face of it, may appear to be fair statements were it not for the fact that
Zimbabwe owes components of its liberation struggle and achievements to the
then Frontline States and subsequently the Southern African Development
Coordinating Committee (SADCC, now referred to as SADC).

Given the fact that SADC is not an ahistorical, let alone, simplistic
geographical grouping of nations, President Mugabe’s statements were
unfortunate; more-so because they come from a liberation struggle icon not
only in Zimbabwe but also in the Southern African region. This is an
important point to make because even if Zimbabwe’s inclusive government was
established via the facilitation of SADC, the meaning of the political
importance of the latter cannot be downplayed on the basis of an ephemeral
diplomatic tiff.

As has been widely reported in the media, when President Mugabe accused
members of the SADC facilitator’s mediation team of being ‘street kids’, he
probably meant South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations
advisor, Lindiwe Zulu.  While one cannot argue with the President in finding
fault with the manner in which Zulu has conducted herself as regards the
Zimbabwean political impasse, the fact that he then had to intimate that our
country would possibly ponder a withdrawal from SADC was to say the least,
an over-reaction.

Disputes with the SADC-appointed facilitator’s representatives cannot be
allowed to undermine the historical political integrity of SADC.  Zimbabwe’s
independence would not have been won without our neighbours. Agreed, the
same can and should be said for South Africa (which has found itself in the
unenviable role of a post-colonial hegemony) which attained its independence
after a collective regional push for the freedom of its people from the
clutches of apartheid.

It is trite to note that the visionary leadership of the late Samora Machel
and Julius Nyerere as well as the living Kenneth Kaunda remains evidence
enough of the significance of SADC to Zimbabwe’s liberation as well as that
of the country with which President Mugabe appears to have differences with
(both as a facilitator and a pretender to the Southern African political

It, therefore, becomes important to emphasise that Zimbabwe has an umbilical
cord with the Southern African region. It’s independence and that of those
states that attained liberation after Tanzania and Zambia was contrived from
a unique African regional solidarity that not only united liberation
movements but the peoples of Southern Africa. Dar es Salaam and Lusaka were
liberatory cities, not in and of themselves but more because the Southern
African peoples thought and felt them to be the cities of our liberation
from colonialism. It is therefore borderline (and can only be) moot to wish
to withdraw from a regional organization that represents our rich liberation
struggle history.

Perhaps latter day leaders do not understand this history as much as
President Mugabe, given the fact that he too is a product of the same said
regional history of struggle. It is however key that the Zimbabwean
President understands that he is one of the key harbingers of this same
history which he cannot dismiss with angst all because of a regional
facilitator’s assumed misdemeanours. Southern Africa, if the truth be told,
is the sum total of its liberation struggle related historical past and its
organic present.

To put into the public arena, the thought of a Zimbabwean withdrawal from
SADC is thoroughly ahistorical and unfair to the narrative of peoples’
struggle solidarity across borders. In contemporary times, the revolutionary
solidarity of old may no longer exist and neither is the world as binary as
it was during the Cold War. And frankly speaking, in our region national,
leaders will react differently to various issues depending on their
political aptitude as well as their domestic challenges. Whoever they are
and whatever their challenges they cannot easily dismiss the history of
Southern Africa’s people-centred struggle for liberation and the attendant
regional solidarity that accompanied it.

It has been said elsewhere that South Africa’s current president may not
have as nuanced, let alone as organic a view of international relations, but
that does not mean his perceived mistakes are tantamount to an outright
dismissal of the political significance of SADC. Indeed Zimbabwe has been on
the backburner of global and regional hegemons, but in the case of SADC, no
matter how upset we might get with whoever is interacting directly with us,
we cannot ever think of withdrawing from it.

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Mugabe’s language is abusive

by Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo
Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo

The Director of the Kwekwe based Zimbabwe Organization For the Youth in
Politics (Z.O.Y.P) Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo has described President Robert
Mugabe’s language as abusive and violence-inciting. Speaking at a Z.O.Y.P
closed door meeting in Kwekwe today, Moyo has criticized the speech
delivered by President Mugabe yesterday as full of abusive language,
emotional and incited for violence in the coming polls. President Mugabe
told thousands of his ZANU PF supporters at Zimbabwe grounds yesterday that
he will pull out of SADC if they continue forcing him to implement key
reforms before elections. In his words Mugabe described SADC actions as
stupid and went on to label one of the key SADC negotiators Ambassador
Lindiwe Zulu as a ‘street woman’ for her continuous call for free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe.

‘President Mugabe violated the rights of Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu by calling
her a street woman simply because that woman is advocating for free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe, a street woman is a person loose morals in other
words a prostitute who sleeps over every where”, Moyo continued and told
Z.O.Y.P members that such a language is supposed to come from the mouth of a
drunkard not from the President and Head of state. If the President can
verbally abuse a woman publicly like that what will the men out there learn
from him, he set the wrong precedence and as a result this what motivates
terror groups like Chipangano and Al Shabab (Al Shabab is a terror group
based in Kwekwe and allegedly sponsored by ZANU PF) to perpetrate violence,”
said Moyo who was looking disturbed as he was delivering his speech. He
concluded by asking Mugabe to withdraw his statements and apologize not only
to Lindiwe Zulu but to the women out there to save himself from a serious
embarrassment waiting for him in the coming polls.

The Zimbabwe Organization For The Youth In Politics (Z.O.Y.P) is a non
partisan non-profit making youth organization based in the small mining town
of Kwekwe in Midlands Province in Zimbabwe. Its Director Nkosilathi Emmanuel
Moyo (26) is the first person to be convicted and jailed for contravening
section 25 of POSA (Public Order and Security Act) after he called for a
peace meeting in Kwekwe and the police arrested him saying the meeting was
not sanctioned. Moyo is a prominent human rights activist in Kwekwe and for
more about him google ‘Nkosilathi Moyo Kwekwe’ or ‘zoyp kwekwe’.

Z.O.Y.P Department of Information.
For interviews call Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo on +263 775 037 579

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New Report: Widespread Human Rights Violations Threaten Elections in Zimbabwe


RFK Center Releases Report One Month before Election

Click Here to download the report

With just weeks to go before a watershed election, a political atmosphere of intimidation and violence has taken hold in Zimbabwe. Rather than promoting an environment in which civic participation and political tolerance are encouraged, the government of Zimbabwe has engaged in a systematic crackdown on civil society and the human rights community, including arbitrary detention of activists and opposition supporters, and widespread violations against freedom of expression and access to information.

These are the findings of a report released today by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) entitled, “A Promise in Peril: How Widespread Rights Violations Undermine Zimbabwe’s Elections.” The report comes one month before Zimbabwe’s July 31 election, and presents findings that were collected during an international delegation organized by the RFK Center in March 2013.

“The routine intimidation, harassment, and arbitrary criminal prosecutions of human rights defenders, lawyers, and political activists in Zimbabwe threaten the rights of all citizens to participate freely in public affairs,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center. “With an election upcoming, the government must ensure an electoral environment that is consistent with international standards.”

“These ongoing human rights violations set the stage for the type of violence and chaos that has marred past elections in Zimbabwe. State authorities have engaged in a pattern of suppression that specifically targets groups engaged in voter registration, education, and mobilization initiatives,” said Santiago A. Canton, Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights. “This behavior is unacceptable and represents clear breaches of domestic and international law.”

In the report, the RFK Center urges the government of Zimbabwe—which is largely dominated by President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front—to immediately cease the continued harassment, intimidation, and violence perpetrated against civic actors. The report also encourages the government to respect international legal conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party or state signatory, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa.

Meaghan Baron
Director of Communications
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New York, New York 10022
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