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Mixed reaction to MDC-T policy conference

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

MDC-T’s recent policy conference managed to rejuvenate the party that is
fighting to revive its wanning political fortunes, according to some


But others differed saying the party emerged from the conference weaker
because it failed to close ranks with the labour movement, which is opposed
to the party’s neo-liberal policies.

The conference held under the theme, Towards Real Transformation deliberated
on the party’s Agenda for Real Transformation (ART), an economic blueprint
which focuses on political, economic and social governance.

Analysts said MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai appeared confident as he told
the 2 000 delegates in Harare that he was ready to form the next government.

Tsvangirai, who is also the country’s Prime Minister, said the conference
proved that the party remained alive and stronger than ever before.

“We have, as a collective responsibility, come up with our ART of
governance, a comprehensive policy package that demonstrates our statement
of intent and our readiness to govern,” he said, adding that an MDC-T
government would bring Zimbabwe’s economy back on its feet by tackling high
unemployment, stamping out corruption and restoring economic stability.

Political analyst, Jabusile Shumba said policy conferences anywhere in the
world offered a healthy platform for debate and communicating key policy
positions with the electorate.

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MDC-T’s economic recovery strategy feasible — Analysts

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

Economist, Professor Tony Hawkins said the MDC-T had the potential to fly
Zimbabwe’s economy high.

“I think they [MDC] have the capacity if the policies they are talking about
are implemented efficiently. The policies are good, it’s a question of
putting them into practice. What is needed is to get the right direction
from the politicians. I don’t think there is much to criticise on the party’s
policies so far,” Hawkins said.

Political analyst and community development activist, George Makoni said
Tsvangirai emerged from the policy conference as a leader with a vision for
the country.
He said the policies envisaged by the MDC-T would go a long way in sprucing
the image of the party and silence critics who were accusing it of having no

He said the MDC-T’s realisation that poverty cannot be addressed without
resolving the weak and corrupt systems of governance was commendable.

Makoni said the MDC-T policies come on the backdrop of rampant corruption
particularly in the extractive industry where the proceeds from diamond
mining were allegedly being looted by well-connected and influential people.

“The MDC policy blueprint summarises the backbone of all challenges by
stating that the State has become highly centralised and autocratic and our
democracy, the result of a hard won independence struggle, is totally
compromised,” he said.

But another political analyst, Ernest Mudzengi, said while proponents of
free market policies were welcoming the outcome of the conference, others
such as workers were not happy.

“It depends on which side you are [on], but to some they can say the
policies are dangerous for workers. That is why those in the labour movement
are not happy with ART,” he said.

Former MDC-T strong ally and National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
chairman, Professor Lovemore Madhuku said nothing new came out of the

“They have always been talking about these things,” he said. “If anything,
the conference showed the level of intolerance within the MDC-T when the
party’s secretary general Tendai Biti refused to shake hands with Japhet
Moyo [ZCTU secretary general]. How can you invite someone to your conference
and refuse to shake hands with him?”

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Parliament just a talk shop — NCA

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

The National Constitution Assembly (NCA) said at Independence in 1980, the
country had 140 MPs, 150 in 1990, 216 in 2005 and by 2008 the number had
risen to 303.

“Despite its huge size, Parliament remains very weak. It is just a talk
shop. So why increase the number of MPs to join a talk shop? The political
parties are just creating employment for their supporters at the expense of
the people,” noted the NCA.

Though Madhuku’s “No” vote campaign failed to win the hearts and minds of
Zimbabweans, he is now vindicated, as more people have started raising the
same issues that he highlighted before the new Constitution became law.

Last week, Madhuku said: “This is what we have been saying but I don’t want
to comment because it will appear as if it’s sour grapes.”

National Association of Non-governmental Organisation (Nango) chairman,
Effie Ncube said the new Constitution creates a bloated government because
it is a compromise document between those who wanted democracy and those
determined to keep the status quo.

He said it was not very different from the Lancaster Constitution that
reserved 20 seats for whites because it was a negotiated document.

“It is not the best constitution that one would want to have. It was made
against so much resistance by Zanu PF, that resulted in some excesses such
as the increase in the number of ministers,” said Ncube. “Once this
dictatorship is gone, we need to sit down and get rid of those things that
are costly to the people of Zimbabwe.”

MDC leader, Welshman Ncube said the new constitutional establishments were
necessary for democracy to prevail.

“Democracy comes at a cost,” said Ncube. “If you want a democracy as a
people, we must be prepared to pay for it. It does not come for free.”

On the issue of the 60 seats reserved for women, Ncube said: “We need more
representation for women to ensure inclusivity.”

Women make up 52% of the country’s population but few of them occupy
influential government positions.

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‘New charter: Don’t pop the champagne yet’

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

A new Constitution, signed into law by President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday,
is not a guarantee for democratic reform or an assurance of free and fair
elections, civil society organisations have warned.


While the signing of the new charter was lauded as a key milestone, the
civil society groups warned that there was still much to be done to ensure
that the country becomes democratic.

Habakkuk Trust, chief executive officer, Dumisani Nkomo said the new
Constitution was a huge achievement on paper, but there was need for
political will to ensure its success.

“The new Constitution is still a piece of paper for now and is not a
guarantee for the democratisation of the Zimbabwe political space,” he said.

“What is critical at this point is for those in authority to respect the
Constitution and in that way we can expect a democratic state.”

Nkomo said the new Constitution was also not an assurance of a free and fair
election, as parts of the supreme law will only take effect after the
swearing in of a new government after the polls.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) coordinator, Rodrick
Fayayo, although acknowledging the new Constitution as a milestone
achievement, said there was need for constitutionalism to take root, if the
country is to enjoy full democracy.

“The new constitution, despite being a quantum step towards the
democratisation of Zimbabwe, will not mean anything if authorities do not
respect it,” he said.

Fayayo concurred with Nkomo, that there was no guarantee that the country
would hold a credible election, pointing to the chaotic voter registration

Christian Alliance director, Useni Sibanda said the new Constitution was a
positive development and would drive forward the process of national

He gave an example of the Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and
Integration that was set up in 2010, but was still ineffective despite being
a noble idea.

Constitution may not change political culture —Analyst

In a statement, MDC president Welshman Ncube also said the new constitution
was a positive step towards attaining a full democracy.

“We finally have a constitution that we can truly call our own, a
constitution by which the people have reclaimed their rights and their power
to determine through devolution, their own local affairs and ultimately
reserved for themselves the powers to determine the use of their local
resources,” he said.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera however said Zimbabweans must not pop
the champagne yet because the new Constitution is “only a rule book that can
be shredded”.

“There is a risk that the Constitution might fail to transform political
culture in Zimbabwe,” said Mangongera. “Having a good Constitution is one
Respecting that Constitution is something else.”

He said many experts have observed that the Lancaster Constitution had many
good clauses that would have guaranteed rule of law and respect for human
rights but because the political leaders had no culture of
constitutionalism, they routinely violated it.

“I think we need a new generation of leaders that will respect the
Constitution. I do not see how Mugabe and his henchmen are going to respect
this new Constitution because constitutionalism is not in their political
DNA,” said Mangongera.

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‘AU did not snub Tsvangirai’

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed reports that he was barred
from the African Union (AU) Golden Jubilee celebrations summit in Ethiopia,
insisting that he cancelled the trip because of the sudden illness of his
wife, Elizabeth Macheka.


The State media last week reported that the AU had snubbed the premier from
attending the celebrations because it was only meant for the Heads of State
and Government.

However, the premier’s office yesterday said Tsvangirai did what every
responsible husband would do, given the condition of his wife.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka said the State media has gone
ballistic in its attacks of the premier.

“The Prime minister was going to the African Union but because of the sudden
illness in the family, Amai Tsvangirai vakarwara [Mrs Tsvangirai got ill],
he cancelled his trip,” said Tamborinyoka. “The principals on Monday
discussed this issue. The President [Robert Mugabe] was actually very
confident that the three of them should go to the AU summit, which is why
the President and the Deputy Prime Minister are already in Addis attending
the AU summit.”

Tamborinyoka, who could not divulge the nature of illness, said the premier’s
wife was recovering.

He said the continental body was aware of the visit by the three principals
in the inclusive government because the arrangement is a peculiar one.

“The AU is aware of the unique circumstance in Zimbabwe because they are the
guarantors and curators of our inclusive government. The PM was not barred
by anyone which explains the presence of the other two principals in Addis.”

Under pressure from the Southern African Development Community and AU,
Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government in 2009 to mend an
inflation-ravaged economy and avoid a political melt-down, after a bloody
presidential run-off election.

The MDC-T has said at least 200 of its supporters were killed by State
security agents and Zanu PF youth militia.

Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai had scheduled and confirmed meetings in
Ethiopia with other Heads of States. He said the Prime Minister was supposed
to meet President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, President Joyce Banda of
Malawi and President Michael Sata of Zambia.

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Mnangagwa faction fights back

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

A Zanu PF faction loyal to Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa is making
counter measures to block the ascendancy of Vice-President Joice Mujuru as
heir apparent to President Robert Mugabe.

This came after the agenda of a special congress earmarked to fill vacant
top positions was leaked and following complaints that a probe team led by
national chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo was on a witch-hunt for certain
provincial executives.

Sources said Mnangagwa, the Zanu PF’s national secretary for legal affairs
and his deputy justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa were key to any
resolution which will determine Mugabe’s successor.

“He (Mnangagwa) is silent at the moment because he knows that efforts to
anoint Mujuru in the manner being suggested will be illegal. There will be
spanners along the way.  For any resolution to be passed, it has to pass
through the hands of the legal committee,” said a Politburo source.

He said Midlands with the support of others provinces has already renewed
attempts to  have the Zanu PF constitution amended to make it mandatory for
politburo and all other senior posts in the party directly elected by

“The President (Mugabe) has repeatedly spoken against imposition of
candidates. If Mugabe himself is directly elected by the people why should
politburo members and those in the presidium, not be subjected to the same
process?” asked the Politburo member.

He said efforts to restructure provinces have hit a brick wall following
resistance by several provincial executives who feared to meet the same fate
as that of the dissolved Manicaland and Bulawayo executives.

“What is there to probe in the provinces? If anything the provincial
executive which was supposed to face the chop is the Harare one led by Amos
Midzi. It has performed dismally and Zanu PF continues to lose grounds to
its opponents,” said the official.

According to sources, the proposed special congress was expected to see Moyo
being elevated to vice-President following the death of VP John Nkomo in
January this year. The congress, whose dates remain a closely guarded secret
among very senior officials, will also clearly spell out that in the event
that Mugabe retires or is incapacitated before next year’s full congress,
the three other most officials in the party would be automatically elevated.

Another senior Zanu PF official said Moyo and his probe team have torched a
storm in the whole party after announcing that certain politburo members
were more senior than others and anointing them as provincial godfathers.

This followed Moyo’s pronouncement recently that Zanu PF politburo secretary
for production, Dzikamai Mavhaire was the party’s godfather in Masvingo
ahead of another politburo member Josaya Hungwe, considered an ally of

Moyo told The Standard that Mavhaire and Hungwe had been fighting over who
was the most senior in the province following the death of party’s secretary
for external affairs and Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Stan

Hungwe, the Chivi-Mwenezi senator had assumed the “godfather” mettle in the
divided Masvingo province. This came after Mugabe at the burial of Mudenge
at the Heroes Acre in October last year hinted that he would always refer to
Hungwe on the “goings on” in the province.

“What the probe team did is illegal because there is no provision in the
Zanu PF constitution which states that certain politburo members are de
facto provincial leaders or more senior than others,” said the official.
“This issue of heading a portfolio is immaterial. Who amongst them can say
they were more senior to the late general Solomon Mujuru who was a mere
politburo committee member.”

The probe team has also confirmed Zanu PF national secretary for
administration, Didymus Mutasa as the undisputed godfather in Manicaland.
This followed the suspension of provincial chairman, Mike Madiro and the
subsequent petition to Mugabe asking him to rein in Mutasa accusing him of
dictatorial tendencies and imposition of candidates, allegations he has
flatly denied.

But Moyo insisted that his probe team, which has already been to Bulawayo,
Manicaland, Harare, Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West, was
not on a witch hunt. He said the exercise was meant to strengthen Zanu PF
ahead of elections and iron out differences within provincial structures.

Zanu PF is currently riddled with factionalism with two factions loyal to
Mujuru and Mnangagwa positioning themselves for Mugabe’s succession. Both
Mujuru and
Mnangagwa have denied leading factions or harbouring presidential ambitions.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment, while
Mutasa was not answering his phone yesterday.—By Patrice Makova

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MDC-T bigwigs fall in primaries

May 26, 2013 in Local, News, Politics

Confirmation of sitting MP’s and MDC-T primary elections to choose
candidates ahead of forthcoming elections started in Harare yesterday with
several party heavyweights and cabinet ministers falling by the wayside.

MDC-T’s Harare provincial spokesperson, Senator Obert Gutu said by last
night several party heavyweights and sitting MP’s had failed the
confirmation process, meaning that primary elections open to other
candidates would be held in the respective constituencies.

He said among the MP’s  who had  failed the confirmation process by the
constituents were Science and Technology minister Professor Heneri
Dzinotyiwei of Budiriro, Pearson Mungofa of Highfield East, and Willas
Madzimure of Kambuzuma.

Gift Dzirutwe of Glen Norah, Elias Jembere of Epworth and Margret Matienga
of Sunningdale were also rejected by their constituents.

“In Sunningdale constituency, the sitting Margret Matienga has failed the
nomination process,” said Gutu. “Out of 204 voters in the district, only 24
voters confirmed her. This means that there will be a primary election in
Sunningdale constituency on a date to be announced.”

Mungofa is the MDC-T deputy secretary for mines while Madzimure is party
secretary for Harare province.

Dzinotyiwei said the failure of confirmation of some candidates including
himself, meant the field was open for them to campaign before primaries are
held at a later date.

“I did not lose the elections, what was happening today was confirmation of
Members of Parliament, where the district council approves two thirds of
members to participate, yes we had more than two thirds in this regard and I
failed in terms of confirmation,” said Dzinotyiwei. “In this round there
were six candidates including myself and they had a common agenda. What this
means is that the candidates can now campaign in the primary elections.”

The MPs who had been confirmed by last night included Paul Madzore of Glen
View South, Fanuel Munengami of Glen View North constituency, Social welfare
minister Paurina Mpariwa-Gwanyanya of Mufakose and deputy gender minister,
Jessie Majome of Harare West.

“Thank Harare West MDC-T family for renewing my mandate to serve Harare West
as MP. Free and Fair Elections here we come!,” said Majome on her Facebook
The confirmation process where more than one candidate had been endorsed by
the MDC national council began at various centres in and around the city
yesterday from 8.00 in the morning.

The party’s Organizing Secretary Nelson Chamisa described the process as
free and fair and expressed the hope the process would be completed before
the end of the night.

“Tomorrow (today) we move on to Chitungwiza and Bulawayo, then Monday we are
in Matabeleland South and North, then after that we go to Mashonaland West
and East hoping to conclude by the weekend with Manicaland and Masvingo,” he

In Bulawayo, there are fears of an outbreak of violence similar to a clash
two years  ago between rival factions fighting for the control of the
Chamisa said so far there were few challenges experienced.

“We are using translucent ballot boxes and ballot papers approved by the
electoral colleges. We are using candidates’ lists that were approved by the
leadership, with over 900 members of parliament candidates,” he said.

Although Chamisa insisted that no senior party official was being spared
from being challenged, there are reports that himself, as well as Finance
minister Tendai Biti, Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone, Economic
Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada were some of the leaders uncontested.

The confirmation process was still going on in some constituencies by the
time of going to print last night.

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Mavhaire, Hungwe battle over control of Masvingo

May 26, 2013 in Local, News

MASVINGO — A towering figure and gravel-voiced, former Masvingo governor
Josaya Hungwe stands in sharp contrast to his nemesis, Dzikamai Mavhaire.


Mavhaire, a soft-spoken politician, is almost half the height of Hungwe, who
is the Chivi-Mwenezi Senator.

They can aptly fit into the Biblical David and Goliath tale.

However, the two have few things in common; they are both former Masvingo
governors and senior Zanu PF members in the province.

But despite belonging to the same party, the two do not see eye- to-eye as
they jostle for the control of the province.

Hungwe has been on the record claiming that he was the most senior Zanu PF
member in the province, following the death of Higher and Tertiary Education
minister, Stan Mudenge.

He recently told the media that Mugabe anointed him as the party’s
provincial godfather at the burial of Mudenge at the National Heroes’ Acre
in Harare.

At the burial, Mugabe hinted he would always refer to Hungwe on the “goings
on” in the province.

Mugabe’s statement was interpreted as anointing Hungwe as the party’s
provincial leader.

On the other hand, Mavhaire, who has not been very forthcoming in talking
about his seniority in public, has dared anyone to check the politburo line
up to prove he is more senior.

Mavhaire is said to be linked to a Zanu PF faction loyal to Vice-President
Joice Mujuru while Hungwe is said to be sympathetic to Defence minister,
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mujuru and Mngangagwa factions are reportedly engaged in underground wars to
succeed President Robert Mugabe in the event that he hands over power in the
Hence, Mavhaire and Hungwe’s fight goes beyond what the eye can see.

It is not just the fight for supremacy, but it’s the battle for the minds,
hearts and souls of the people.

“The two are the point men for either Mujuru or Mnangagwa and their task is
to mobilise and campaign for their godfather and godmother,” a senior Zanu
PF said.

For a while, the two were separately claiming that either of them was
senior, leaving many supporters confused.

However, the jigsaw puzzle was solved last weekend though it remains a
contested issue.

Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF party Secretary for Administration, broke the earth
shattering news in Triangle, Chiredzi last week.

“Zanu PF has a straightforward leadership that knows its hierarchy. The most
senior member here is Dzikamai Mavhaire. We said it in Masvingo town
yesterday at our provincial executive meeting and I will repeat it,” said
Mutasa. “That’s the position he [Mavhaire] has been given by none other than
the President. President Robert Mugabe gave him the biggest post here.”
Mutasa said Mavhaire assumed the top post following the death of Mudenge.
“Minister Mudenge was the most senior here, and now that Cde Mudenge is no
more, Mavhaire becomes more senior,” Mutasa said.
And like the Biblical David versus Goliath tale, Mavhaire finally had the
last laugh, despite his less advantageous physical might.

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Govt owes Harare City Council US$130m

May 26, 2013 in Local, News

HARARE City Council is failing to provide clean water and other services to
residents because the government has not been paying the money it owes the
struggling local authority.


City mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said they would have been able to improve
service delivery, including clean water provision, had government
departments paid part of the US$130 million it owes the local authority.

Businesses and residents also owe the city several millions of dollars in
unpaid rates and service charges.

The city requires US$2 million for the procurement and installation of 47
pressure reducing valves, a project that could reduce burst pipes by over

It also needs US$14 million for the replacement of key sections of the
distribution network consisting of about 150km of piping in a move hoped to
avail water to over 60 000 households in Greater Harare.

“We had hoped they [government] would prioritise these projects and pay us
from the US$130 million we are owed by various government departments,”
Masunda said last week. “We also need money to pay our suppliers like
Zimphos and the engineers who are fixing our pumps.

“We also need to pay for the servicing of our pumps and as you know, people
nowadays want payment upfront.”

In an interview with The Standard in February, Masunda said the city’s water
situation was set to improve next month if Harare managed to raise US$16
million to install the PRVs and replace 150km piping with technical support
from South Africa’s Ethekwini Municipality.

Masunda last week said the Harare water situation had improved, although not
to a level the council had wanted.

It is understood that Local Government, Urban and Rural Development
minister, Ignatius Chombo last week wrote to cabinet pressing upon the need
for the city’s debtors to pay up to facilitate more improvements on the
water network.

Efforts to get a comment from Chombo were fruitless last week.

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Nursing graduates relieved to be in employment

May 26, 2013 in Community News

GUGULETHU Moyo of Bulawayo could not believe it when she saw a screaming
newspaper headline stating that government had lifted a ban on recruiting
graduate nurses.
She had to phone her colleagues to confirm whether what she was reading was
indeed true.


The 26-year-old nurse is among thousands of graduate nurses who failed to
get jobs after government froze recruitment in 2010, citing budgetary

The Finance ministry had said the recruitment of more nurses was
unsustainable as it gobbled almost 73% of the national allocation to the
health ministry.

Despite the freeze, the country continued to churn out at least 1 500 nurses
from its training schools each year.

But Moyo was last week over the moon after finally landing a job as a nurse
after government lifted the ban early this year.

“The long wait is over,” said Moyo, who said she had been deployed to work
at a clinic in Matabeleland South. “I can’t believe that I have found a job
after such a long wait.”

Moyo qualified as a nurse three years ago.

Since the lifting of the ban, offices of the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare in Bulawayo have been swarmed with several nursing graduates seeking
the elusive employment contract.

Another nurse, Rachel Khumalo said she had lost hope of getting employed as
a nurse. Out of desperation, she had taken up a job as a shopkeeper at a
local Chinese shop in Bulawayo.

“Some of us were now hopeless, we didn’t think we would ever work as
 nurses,” said Khumalo. “Imagine I had to work as a shopkeeper despite being
a qualified nurse.”

The government announced in March this year that it was unfreezing over 2
000 posts for registered general nurses (RGN) around the country.

Most of the posts fell vacant due to deaths, retirement and resignation as
nurses sought greener pastures outside the country.

According to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Henry Madzorera, his
ministry was going to fill in all the vacant posts.

“What we are doing now is filling these vacancies with our trained,
unemployed RGNs who qualified a long time ago,” he said. “We start with
those who qualified in 2009, 2010, 2011 before we come to those who
qualified in 2012.”

At least 1 800 qualified registered general nurses have so far been
recruited in public health institutions since early this year.

Health experts had warned that the move to freeze posts in the health sector
would result in Zimbabwe failing to meet three of the Millennium Development
Goals that address health issues such as reduction of child mortality,
maternal health and combating HIV and Aids and Malaria by 2015.

recruitment will improve service delivery

The job freeze policy, which was effected in 2010, had also affected the
health delivery system amid revelation that most hospitals and clinics were
now run by students.

Mpilo General Hospital clinical director, Wedu Ndebele said the freeze on
nurse recruitment had put the burden on the few staff that were running
health institutions around the country.

“If someone leaves the job for greener pastures, we have been unable to
recruit and replace them because of the freeze. If you go to Mpilo, UBH or
Ingutsheni during the night you will find only one qualified nurse being
assisted by a few students working in one ward with over 40 or 50 patients,”
Ndebele said recently, just before the lifting of the ban.

Mpilo and UBH serve as the major referral health centres for hospitals in
the country’s southern Region that encompasses such areas as Masvingo,
Gweru, Victoria Falls, Gokwe and Beitbridge.

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Zimbabwe losing millions to gold smuggling: MMCZ

May 26, 2013 in Business, News

ZIMBABWE is losing over US$50 million worth of gold every month to smuggling
activities, according to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe


Owing to the inability of government to financially capacitate the central
bank subsidiary, Fidelity Printers, to purchase gold at competitive prices,
a large number of gold producers are increasingly opting for foreign

MMCZ director, Tendai Munyoro said the biggest problem with gold smuggling
in the country was the absence of Fidelity Printers as a regulator and as a

“Producers of gold and barons have financed the purchase of gold illegally
and smuggled it to South Africa where they get a better price from the rand

This gold is then sent over into Switzerland as an export,” he said.

Before the inception of the multicurrency regime in 2009, Fidelity Printers
used to buy the precious metal from registered gold producers that included
primary producers, small-scale miners and custom millers under a government
support price facility.

However, the lack of funds and lack of vibrant institutions that purchase
gold competitively on the domestic market have only served to fuel smuggling
of gold out of the country.

“The MMCZ is working on a scheme with some partners and financiers from
Shanghai and the Middle East with a view towards unveiling a multimillion
dollar scheme that will see Fidelity Printers coming back on board and
offering competitive prices for gold that is produced locally,” said
Munyoro.“We can’t stop the smuggling of gold overnight but in the next 12
months, people will see the advantages of selling gold locally.”

Munyoro said MMCZ, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and Zimbabwe National
Roads Administration (Zinara) would in the next six months be unveiling
ultra-modern weigh bridges, to be mounted at all points of entry and exit at
the country’s borders.

This, he said, would be a step towards curbing the rampant leakage of gold
at the country’s borders through illegal channels.

According to the Chamber of Mines, gold production increased by 13,4% in
2012 to 14,7 kg.

Strong performance came from large-scale gold producers that increased
production by 17%.

Munyoro said the MMCZ had since realised that a huge proportion of the
country’s gold comes from the small-scale mining sector but operators
continued to be hampered by the lack of appropriate equipment and the
failure to access loans from financial institutions.

A lot of the equipment used by small-scale miners is very rudimentary and is
sometimes not available at all.

Small-scale gold miners are presently working on increasingproduction to
over four tonnes per year, as the use of a multicurrency regime helped to
eliminate the middlemen, ensuring small-scale-miners obtained fair value for
their gold.

Munyoro said MMCZ and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would, in
the next 60 days, roll out a mining mechanisation programme aimed at
capacitating small-scale miners with the requisite and proper equipment.

He said the first phase which involves purchasing equipment such as jack
hammers, compressors and generators among others would cost US$3 million.

The entire project is expected to cost US$10 million and would cover the
whole country.

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‘Mineral resources should revive ailing economy’

May 26, 2013 in Business

ZIMBABWE is failing to take advantage of the current global demand for
mineral resources whose earnings have the potential to revive its ailing
economy, World Bank country economist, Seedwell Hove has said.


Hove said Zimbabwe was failing to fully exploit its resources that are in
abundance, in order to revive its struggling economy.

“The 2009-2011 re-bound has seen a marked growth in mining in the country.
Although still recovering, the country was not able to take full advantage
of the global boom in mining prices,” said Hove. “Zimbabwe should take
advantage of the current wave of high demand for natural resources to foster
a new wave of industrialisation and structural transformation.”

Speaking in Bulawayo during his presentation entitled, Unleashing Growth
Drivers and Creating the Linkages that Build Value in the Zimbabwe Economy,
Hove said the country had great potential to develop from its abundant
natural resources if they were fully explored and exploited.

“The mining sector has potential for autonomous growth and there is need to
leverage on the mining sector as the key driver to support the whole
economy. Given lack of exploration, infrastructure weakness, and current
persisting uncertainty, there might be no major increase in activity in the
medium run,” said Hove.

He said mineral resources such as gold, coal and chrome had the higher
potential of absorbing new investment.

“The mining sector is capable of autonomous growth in the current recovery
of the economy. The manufacturing sector can be more dependent on internal
demand generated by the mining and agricultural sector,” he said.

“Policies in the mining sector are key to Zimbabwe’s growth in the medium
term as they may have downstream effects on other sectors if linkages are
strengthened,” he said.

The World Bank official said the mining sector could also help increase
domestic savings and accommodate increased flows of imports for capital

“There is need to deal with bottlenecks in economic transformation, for
example infrastructure, institutions and business environment, and align
them to international best practice,” he said.

He said the agriculture sector also had potential for rapid recovery and
“transition to rapid agricultural growth if the current super-cycle of
international prices continues”.

He added that the new small-holders sector required temporary stronger
support to unlock its potential.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara recently said Zimbabwe’s mining
sector has continued to be the lead in economic performance, contributing an
estimated 16% to GDP in 2012, up from 13% in 2011.

He said the sector also continued to lead in export earnings, rising to US$2
billion in 2012, from US$1,8 billion in 2011.

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The AU at 50: Lessons for the future

May 26, 2013 in Africa, Opinion

Yesterday Africa remembered 50 years of the establishment of the
Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was replaced by the African Union
(AU) in 2002. While there are various opinions as to whether the OAU/AU
realised the vision of unity among Africans that founders of the continental
organisation sought to achieve, there is no doubt that Africa does not need
more than five decades to learn from past mistakes.

At the May 25 1963 founding summit of the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it
was clear that the driving force behind the then African leaders was to
“liberate all African people” and form effective solidarity among them.
Leaders such as Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Algeria’s Ahmed Ben Bella and
their supporters, the so-called Casablanca group, wanted immediate
unification of all African people and the elimination of all tariffs and
boarders (The Africa Report, May 2013). The golden opportunity to start the
unification process was lost when opponents of the Casablanca group, under
the so-called Monrovia camp, took the day with their proposal of a much
looser organisation that would not prevent them from maintaining stronger
ties with their former colonial masters.

Even though Africa failed to take the route of a stronger federation at the
OAU founding summit, there have still been numerous opportunities over the
last 50 years to come back to the right path. Unfortunately, Africa is not
yet unified; it is a continent of 55 artificial entities, not nations, some
of which ought not to have been called countries in the first place,
according to some commentators.

Post-independent Africa, as well as their successors, failed to realise the
aspirations and hopes of self-determination and unity that African people
had at decolonisation. Those dreams died in May 1963. While recognising that
the end of colonisation and South Africa’s apartheid were strong steps
towards African unity, the lack of political will has since prevented
Africans from being united. This article proposes five basic but important
steps that AU member states need to take now without waiting another 50
years for Africans to be on the path to full integration.

The Casablanca-Monrovia divisions did not end at the 1963 summit. Barely
three years after the establishment of the OAU, a military coup overthrew
Nkrumah, thus weakening the pro-unification camp. Splits among OAU leaders
were further deepened by proxy wars between the US and the former Soviet
Union during the years of the Cold War. For instance, in the mid 70s AOU
leaders could not agree on which liberation movement to support in Angola
out of National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (NUTIA), the
People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (PMLA) and the National Front
for the Liberation of Angola (NFLA). In 1984, when the OAU recognised the
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Morocco, one of the strongest supporters
of federalism, left the organisation.

Furthermore, another attempt to revive talks on the establishment of a
Government of Union at the 2007 AU summit in Accra, Ghana, did not achieve
any results.

Those supporting an immediate federal government of Africa and those
favouring a gradual integration process through the strengthening of
regional economic communities could not agree on a decisive solution. AU
leaders contented themselves with a recommendation to transform the
secretariat of the AU, the African Union Commission, into a more powerful
secretariat, the African Union Authority, but that proposal has since then
been forgotten.

Apart from those divisions at the continental level, this half-century of
the OAU’s existence was also marred with regional divisions that made
continental integration just a far-sighted dream. For instance, the conflict
between North and South Sudan continued, over the decades, without any
solutions from African leaders. Even after the independence of South Sudan
in July 2011, there are still thorny issues between the two countries that
continue to divide opinions among African leaders. The 1996 conflict in the
Democratic Republic of Congo is another example of how Africa did not show
any signs of walking towards the path of continental integration. In that
conflict, more than 11 African countries were involved and fighting in two
opposing camps. The war in the DRC is far from being resolved.

African leaders have also failed to agree on principles and values that
would govern the united Africa that all Africans aspire to see. While there
are over 42 charters, conventions and protocols that OAU/AU member states
adopted, the implementation of these legal instruments is largely slow or
non-existent. Sadly, these instruments outline guidelines, values and
principles that ought to characterise a continent for the people and by the

It would be very deplorable for African people if this 50th anniversary did
not provide an opportunity for the whole continent to learn from our past
mistakes and embark on an integration trajectory without waiting for 2063 to
realise what many independent movements fought for across the continent five
decades ago. There are five steps that African leaders can take now and not
in the next 50 years.

First, Africans should be able to finance all activities of the African
Union. It is an illusion to say that we are independent countries while the
institution that is supposed to foster our integration is still financed by
our former colonisers and their allies.

The second step is to resolve issues around land and natural resources. It
will be impossible for Africa to unite if there are still conflicts over
land and other natural resources in many AU members.

Thirdly, AU member states need to give teeth to the African Court on Human
and People’s Rights. The African Court on Human and People’s Rights was
established in June 1998, as a continental mechanism to ensure protection of
human and people’s rights in Africa. The lack of adequate funding from
African countries denies Africans from having a legal framework that
understands their contexts and that can promote and protect their rights and
those of their communities.

A fourth step towards the realisation of the aspirations and hopes of the
African people is to stop adopting more charters and conventions and instead
recommit to concentrating on genuine implementation processes.

The fifth step is to allow free movement of people and goods. Millions and
millions of Africans wonder why an African cannot freely move from one
corner of the continent to another one, while some non-Africans have the
freedom to do so.

Yves Niyiragira is Program-me Manager at Fahamu. The views in this article
do not represent those of Fahamu; they are solely those of the author.

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Democratic elections tied to access to information

May 26, 2013 in Opinion

Elections are a key component of any functioning democracy in any society.
They provide the most credible and respected platform or mechanism upon
which societies and nations are able to exercise their right to choose
leadership of their choice.


It is a platform where citizens express themselves and expect their choice
to be respected. This is especially so if the elections are held in a way
that makes key stakeholders feel they were free and fair. We are aware of
the fact that there are some schools of thought who have argued and
questioned whether democracy is the best system of governance i.e Is it the
best way that ensures better quality of life to the governed.

While I respect this opinion, I believe that though democracy may not be
good, everything else is worse, hence the need for countries, communities,
organisations or even families to embrace democratic principles in their
governance or better still, in their leadership.

One of the most critical components of democracy is participation. The
active participation of communities is critical at all levels, be it in the
establishment of electoral frameworks, preparation, voter registration and
power transfer systems.

The just-ended mobile voter registration process is a case in point. This
piece argues that the lack of vibrant community media such as community
radios hamper the full active participation of our citizens in the
democratic process, thereby negating the whole democratisation process. In
order for citizens to participate actively, they must have adequate useful
information so that they are able to make important decisions.

The fact that the voter registration process was very unsuccessful
considering the numbers of people who registered to vote and the number of
potential new voters in our communities has more to do with the extent to
which  these communities were able to access information than anything else.

This is very disturbing given the fact that our government continues to
frustrate efforts to promote the growth of the community broadcasting

Organisations such as the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations
(Zacras) and Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)  that work daily to
promote the growth of this sector must be applauded and the government of
Zimbabwe must embrace them as development partners, as opposed to enemies as
they work with many community radio initiatives dotted around Zimbabwe.

In the face of limited access to airwaves, these organisations have been
working with these community radios to provide alternative media platforms
to promote access to information in rural and other outlying communities.

If the pending harmonised elections are held without this important media
sector, then we are likely to have a meaningless election where the majority
of citizens will again not vote or will vote for what they don’t know, as
was the case in the constitution referendum.

The government must ensure that community media is available, supported and
allowed to operate freely. It is dangerous to go for elections without this
important sector. In a community where a newspaper costs US$1, and more than
70% of the population live on less than US$1, it is inhuman for a government
to expect citizens to participate actively in local and national development
processes without reliable sources of critical information.

While the Sadc Rules and Guidelines on the Holding of Democratic Elections
are clear on issues of equal access to media for the candidates, we think
the same must be said of the electorate. No one should be marginalised and
play the role of a victim when it comes to information and free expression.
Kudzai Kwangwari is a human rights and community media activist.

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The world still owes women safety, equality

May 26, 2013 in Opinion

Hardly a day goes by without a news story on some violation of women’s
rights. In recent months, appalling incidents of violence against women and
girls, from Delhi to Johannesburg to Cleveland, have sparked public outrage
and demands to tackle these horrific abuses.


In Bangladesh and Cambodia, the shocking loss of life by garment factory
workers, many of them women, sparked global debate on how to secure safe and
decent jobs in our globalised economy. In Europe, the disproportionate
impact on women of austerity cuts, and the use of quotas to get more women
on corporate boards continue to make headlines.

Even though women have made real gains, we are constantly reminded how far
we have to go to realise equality between men and women.

World leaders recognised the pervasiveness of discrimination and violence
against women and girls when they signed onto the visionary Millennium
Declaration in 2000. Among the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
they included a goal to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

With these goals set to expire in 2015, we are now in a race to achieve
them. We are also in the midst a global conversation about what should
replace them. It’s time for women to move from the sidelines to the centre.

In a new post-2015 development agenda, we must build on the achievements of
the MDGs, while avoiding their shortcomings. Everyone agrees that the goals
have galvanised progress to reduce poverty and discrimination, and promote
education, gender equality, health and safe drinking water and sanitation.

The goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment tracked progress on
school enrolment, women’s share of paid work, and women’s participation in
parliament. It triggered global attention and action. It served to hold
governments accountable, mobilise much-needed resources, and stimulate new
laws, policies, programmes and data.

But there are glaring omissions. Noticeably absent is any reference to
ending violence against women and girls. Also missing are other fundamental
issues, such as women’s right to own property and the unequal division of
household and care responsibilities.

By failing to address the structural causes of discrimination and violence
against women and girls, progress towards equality has been stalled. Of all
the MDGs, the least progress has been made on MDG5, to reduce maternal
mortality. The fact that this has been the hardest goal to reach testifies
to the depth and scope of gender inequality.

To make greater progress, UN Women proposes a stand-alone goal to achieve
gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment that is grounded in
human rights and tackles unequal power relations. We envision three areas
that require urgent action.

First, ending violence against women and girls must be a priority. It is one
of the most pervasive human rights violations, and carries tremendous costs
for individuals, families and societies.

Second, women and men need equal opportunities, resources and
responsibilities to realise equality. Equal access to land and credit,
natural resources, education, health services including sexual and
reproductive health, decent work and equal pay needs to be addressed with
renewed urgency. Policies, such as child care and parental leave, are needed
to relieve working women’s double duty so women and men can enjoy equality
at work and at home.

And third, women’s voices must be heard. It is time for women to participate
equally in decision-making in the household, the private sector and
institutions of governance. Despite progress in recent years, women comprise
just 20% of parliamentarians and 27% of judges. For democracy to be
meaningful and inclusive, women’s voices and leadership must be amplified in
all public and private spaces.

Any new development agenda must be grounded in human rights agreements that
governments have already signed onto. This includes the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), the 1995
Beijing Platform for Action, and UN resolutions, including the recent
agreement of the Commission on the Status of Women on eliminating and
preventing all forms of violence against women and girls.

There is plenty of evidence to show that countries with a higher status of
women also enjoy higher levels of social and economic performance. There is
also evidence to guide countries on what works, from equitable labour market
policies, to the removal of discriminatory laws and policies, to universal
social protection and social services, to security and justice reforms that
end impunity for violence against women and girls. The activism of the women’s
movement everywhere has been critical in demanding and driving change in all
of these areas.

Lakshmi Puri is Acting Head of UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General.

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Unity must transcend to the grassroots

May 26, 2013 in Opinion

Zimbabwe’s political leaders on Wednesday put on a show of companionship at
the State House, where President Robert Mugabe signed the new constitution
into law.

Holding hands, patting each other and cracking jokes, the leaders — Mugabe,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and
Vice-President Joice Mujuru — appeared like genuine friends.

Mugabe used the historic occasion to try to further cultivate an image of a
peace-loving leader who wants to see Zimbabweans living in harmony. He once
again called for peace and tolerance among people of different political

Mugabe’s performance left some commentators thinking that the politician,
now in the twilight of his career, may finally be keen to end a culture of
political violence that has taken root in Zimbabwean politics.

However, these peace calls alone won’t help unless Mugabe’s new found zeal
for peace and harmony transcends to the grassroots, where rivalries along
political lines are still rife and wounds are still festering.

Mugabe should move away from mere rhetoric and start to rein in youth
militias responsible for unleashing violence in the communities. Just a few
kilometres from the State House where the leaders exchanged pleasantries,
residents of Mbare are living in fear of the notorious Zanu PF terror group

In other cities and towns, similar groups are wreaking havoc on opponents of
Zanu PF. Prominent among these are Chinhoyi’s Top six and Kwekwe’s Al

Jabulani Sibanda is also among the war veterans accused of instilling fear
in the hearts and minds of MDC supporters.

Statements coming from Mugabe’s inner cabal, including service chiefs, have
also not helped matters. Recently Media, Information and Publicity minister
Webster Shamu vowed the country would not be taken through the power of the
pen, meaning that Zanu PF would not accept defeat in the forthcoming

The state media also continues to churn out hate speech directed mostly at
Tsvangirai and his MDC party. Such actions do not bode well for peace.

If Mugabe’s calls for peace are to be taken seriously, he should deal with
these hate mongers and allow police to disband militias that are operating
in the name of Zanu PF.

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