Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, will launch a final
effort to save Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement in Harare.
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 6:15PM BST 13 Oct 2008
He will seek to mediate between President Robert Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai, the opposition leader and prime minister designate.
The deal has almost collapsed over the appointment of a new cabinet, with Mr
Mugabe unilaterally announcing that all the key ministries would go to his
Mr Tsvangirai, who is under pressure from critics within his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), responded by threatening to abandon the deal.
Despite criticism for giving too much away, he may have achieved much.
A Zimbabwean economist, who declined to be named, said that even under Mr
Mugabe's unilateral list, Mr Tsvangirai's allies would run ministries like
health, energy and labour. Another MDC faction would have the education.
This would give Mr Tsvangirai the ability to "improve people's lives quite
quickly," said the economist. "This will be deeply significant at the next
Mr Mugabe sparked more outrage yesterday by inaugurating his two
vice-presidents, Joseph Msika, 84, and Joyce Mujuru, who is widely regarded
as a stooge of her husband, a retired general.
October 13, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Appearing to be determined to forge ahead with the establishment of
a new government following the signing of the September 15 Agreement,
President Robert Mugabe on Monday swore into office Zimbabwe's two vice
Joice Mujuru and Joseph Msika took their oath of allegiance in a low key
ceremony at State House in Harare. They were sworn-in in front of a handful
of government officials and figures from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, as well as
the service chiefs, a senior government official told The Zimbabwe Times.
The two vice presidents were hastily sworn into office ahead of a scheduled
visit to Harare by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki who has been
invited to break a deadlock over the allocation of cabinet posts made by
President Mugabe on Friday evening. The posts of vice president are not
affected by the current logjam over cabinet and governors' posts.
Missing from the occasion were the scenes of jubilation and celebration that
accompanied the installation of Mujuru as Zimbabwe's first woman vice
president back in 2005.
Mujuru's path to the vice presidency was cleared by a Zanu-PF congress
resolution three years ago, which stated that one of the party's two deputy
presidents must be a woman. Mujuru, a heroine of the war of liberation, was
a long-standing cabinet member before she became vice president. She is the
wife of the powerful and wealthy former army supremo, Solomon Tapfumaneyi
Msika, the first vice-president is 85, a year older than Mugabe. His
swearing-in defied widespread speculation that he would be retired because
Mugabe as president of Zanu-PF signed a power-sharing deal with the MDC in
September which seeks to end an ongoing political, economic and humanitarian
The agreement was supposed to have led to the creation of a new coalition
government, with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister.
The parties are currently deadlocked over the allocation of ministries and
Mbeki, ousted as South Africa's President last month, was expected to break
the logjam, but this time with his powers severely curtailed. He will
conduct the mediation as an ordinary citizen this time around.
The MDC has threatened to walk out of the deal. It says in spite of
continuing disagreement over the allocation of ministries between the two
parties, President Mugabe issued a Gazette Extraordinary at about 8pm on
Friday night, long after the Government Printer's normal business hours. The
document contained a General Notice listing the ministries which Mugabe had
arbitrarily allocated to the three parties.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa released the gazetted notice only to the
state media. It is still not yet available to the public.
According to the notice Mugabe relied on section 31D(1)(a) of the
Constitution, which authorises the President to assign functions to
ministries. He allocated to Zanu-PF every important ministry, including
Defence, Home Affairs - which controls the police - Justice, Foreign
affairs, Local Government and Information.
While Mugabe said the Ministry of Finance remained in dispute, he filled the
quotas of 13 and three ministries respectively for the mainstream MDC of
Morgan Tsvangirai and the breakaway faction led by Arthur Mutambara. Only
Zanu-PF still has room for another ministry.
Tsvangirai told supporters at a rally in Harare on Sunday that he would
rather forgo becoming Prime Minister than accept Mugabe's proposal.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly will resume sitting on Tuesday, October 14.
The Senate, which sat on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, adjourned until
The Zimbabwe Times heard that the Constitution Amendment No 19 Bill, set to
give legal and constitutional force to the new all-inclusive government, is
still not ready for tabling in Parliament.
Mail and Guardian
CRIS CHINAKA | HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Oct 13 2008 17:10
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sworn in two vice-presidents ahead of
talks on forming a Cabinet, a government official said on Monday, a move
that could further endanger power-sharing negotiations.
It follows Mugabe's allocation of important ministries to his Zanu-PF party
at the weekend, angering the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC said it doubted mediation by former South African president Thabo
Mbeki this week would get Zanu-PF to compromise.
A senior government official told Reuters: "The two vice-presidents were
sworn in this morning [Monday] because their positions are not in dispute."
The European Union could step up sanctions on Zimbabwe unless Mugabe sticks
to the terms of the accord.
"If the agreement is not applied we shall resume our sanctions and reinforce
them," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in Luxembourg. France
is EU president.
Existing EU sanctions include visa bans and asset freezes on top Zimbabwean
officials, including Mugabe.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday his party could walk away from a
power-sharing deal he signed with Mugabe if Mbeki's latest mediation failed
to end the deadlock on dividing key ministries.
"The visit provides a platform and opportunity for Zanu-PF to reverse its
unilateral action," MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said. "The Zanu-PF
mindset is not consistent with power-sharing. It cannot be power-sharing
when one party controls all key ministries."
Mbeki, who scored his biggest diplomatic coup last month when he nudged
Zimbabwe's bitter political rivals to sign a power-sharing deal, is expected
in Harare later on Monday.
A government notice on Saturday showed Mugabe had allocated three key
ministries to his Zanu-PF party, drawing fire from the opposition and
threatening the fragile pact.
Mugabe handed his party the ministries of defence, home affairs -- which is
in charge of the police -- and finance, which will be important in
eventually reviving the collapsing economy.
Zanu-PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa said there was only deadlock on the
ministry of finance, but his party was committed to dialogue. He expected
talks to start on Tuesday.
"As far as we are concerned, the only contentious issue is the ministry of
finance. The locomotive has been too long at the station and is now warming
its engine," he told reporters, referring to the paralysis that has gripped
the country since the March elections.
Chamisa said there was no agreement on key ministries including justice,
foreign affairs, information and local government.
Zimbabwe's economy is imploding, with the number of people in need of food
aid rising by the day, adding to the woes of a country suffering staggering
inflation of 230-million percent, the highest in the world.
Tsvangirai said on Sunday he would keep negotiating to try to reach an
agreement but added that the country's 10 posts of provincial governors
should be shared between Zanu-PF, a splinter MDC group and his party.
While the parties have been at loggerheads since the signing of the
September 15 pact on how to divide up 31 Cabinet posts, this has angered
Zimbabweans who had hoped the deal would bring an end to years of economic
Under the deal, Mugabe -- in power since Zimbabwe's independence from
Britain in 1980 -- retains the presidency and chairs the Cabinet.
Tsvangirai, as prime minister, will head a council of ministers supervising
Zanu-PF will have 15 seats in the Cabinet, Tsvangirai's MDC 13 and a
splinter MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara three posts, giving the
opposition a combined majority. -- Reuters
By Tom Burgis in Johannesburg and agencies
Published: October 12 2008 16:20 | Last updated: October 13 2008 15:14
The European Union threatened on Monday to step up sanctions against
Zimbabwe unless President Robert Mugabe adhered to the terms of a
"If the agreement is not applied we shall resume our sanctions and reinforce
them," Bernard Kouchner, foreign minister of EU president France, told a
His warning came as Zimbabwe's neighbours renewed efforts to shoehorn the
country's bitterly divided factions into a power-sharing government, after
the oppositon threatened to walk away from fractious negotiations with
Robert Mugabe's regime.
The autocratic president unilaterally announced on Saturday that he intended
to hand control of every critical ministry to members of his Zanu-PF party.
Mr Mugabe on Monday swore in two vice-presidents ahead of talks on forming a
cabinet, a government official said, a move that could further endanger the
Morgan Tsvangiari, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
told his supporters at a Harare rally on Sunday: "If this mediation fails we
will say: 'This marriage has failed to be consummated, and we cannot force
things.' There will be no option but to go our separate ways."
But mindful of the MDC's limited room for manoeuvre, he added: "As long as
there is an opportunity we will continue to negotiate until we reach an
South Africa's former leader, Thabo Mbeki, was set to return to Harare three
weeks after brokering a deal that raised hopes of an end to a stand-off that
impending humanitarian catastrophe has yet to break. However, any leverage
Mr Mbeki, who acts as mediator on behalf of the southern African bloc, was
able to exert over Mr Mugabe has been dramatically lessened after his
ousting as president at home.
Saturday's edition of the state-controlled Herald newspaper proclaimed that
ministers from Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party would be allocated portfolios
including justice, home and foreign affairs, defence and local government.
It also suggested that he hoped to retain control of the crucial finance
ministry - the engine of any recovery from the economic collapse that has
brought Zimbabwe to the brink of starvation.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change denounced what it called a
"barbaric ambush". Mr Tsvangirai, who beat his old foe in March's
first-round elections before withdrawing amid escalating violence, is
supposed to hold the post of prime minister in an uneasy division of power
with Mr Mugabe.
Control of the finance ministry is a deal-breaker for the MDC, which enjoys
the support of western governments standing ready to deliver a vast
reconstruction package should the new government begin to restore economic
equilibrium and halt abuses.
Senior MDC leaders have suggested their patience is wearing thin. But
Nqobizitha Mlilo, a spokesman, told the FT on Sunday that the party did not
consider the allocation of ministries a fait accompli. "You can only resolve
this thing through talking," he said. "If you withdraw, what's the
alternative?" Unlike many other opponents of authoritarian regimes, the MDC
has no armed wing.
"This is classic Mugabe midnight magic," said Bella Matambanadzo,
Harare-based head of the Open Society Institute's Zimbabwe programme. "But
Zanu-PF cannot run a country. Many civil servants have not been paid for two
Mr Mugabe's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Zimbabwe's neighbours fear a total collapse of the economy, in which the
official inflation rate of 231m per cent is considered a fraction of the
reality, could trigger mass migration. Millions have already fled.
By Jonah Fisher
BBC News, Johannesburg
Now four weeks after the signing ceremony, Mr Mbeki is back in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
He is trying to prove that the 30-page document he helped draft can be the template for a working government - and also a lasting legacy for his nine years in office.
The question is what strength does Thabo Mbeki now have to whip Mugabe into line?
Though hardly in keeping with the spirit of the deal, the 84-year-old's unilateral action was not strictly speaking in breach of the text.
Section 20.1.3 (l) of the agreement stipulates that President Mugabe "after consultation with the vice-presidents, the prime minister and the deputy prime ministers, allocates ministerial portfolios in accordance with this agreement".
Mr Tsvangirai says "not even an idiot" would accept the ministries' division
So ultimately the choice of who gets what ministries is up to the president.
"We have consulted with the MDC for four weeks and now we have allocated the ministries. It's very fair," Bright Matonga, former deputy information minister, told the BBC by phone from Harare.
Zanu-PF's version of fairness would mean them retaining control of the security forces through the home affairs and defence ministries.
They would also keep 12 other portfolios including foreign affairs, justice, information and mining.
The MDC factions have been given 16 ministries, including health, education and constitutional affairs.
Finance has been left unassigned - though tellingly only Zanu-PF has a ministerial seat vacant.
Zanu-PF: 14 ministries including:
Main MDC: 13 ministries including:
Constitutional and parliamentary affairs
Economic planning and investment promotion
Arts and culture
Science and technology development
MDC (Mutambara): three including:
Industry and commerce
Source: Government gazette
"It looks like MDC walked into the agreement in the belief that Mugabe had had enough and was willing to move country forward," says Immanuel Hlabangana, a Zimbabwean political analyst.
"I think MDC really didn't foresee the divisions within Zanu-PF and how much many of them disliked the agreement."
The MDC has so far stopped short of withdrawing from the process.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai spoke at a rally on Sunday telling his supporters "not even an idiot" would accept the current division of ministries but that they remained committed to negotiations.
"The question is what strength does Thabo Mbeki now have to whip Mugabe into line?" says Mr Hlabangana.
"This is all Mbeki has left as his legacy so he will be doubly determined to make it work.
"Nobody wants to be seen to walk away from this."
October 13, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Simba Makoni, former Zanu-PF politburo member, one time Finance
Minister, and a losing independent candidate in the March 29 presidential
elections, says demands made by his former party in the ongoing
power-sharing negotiations are both illogical and unjustifiable.
Speaking at a press conference he called in Harare Monday afternoon, Makoni
said the demands made by Zanu-PF had the potential to lead the negotiations
to a situation that would worsen the plight of Zimbabweans.
The press conference was attended by a number of diplomats representing
various embassies to Zimbabwe.
Responding to questions on the justifiability of Zanu-PF's demands for the
Finance, Home Affairs, and Defence Ministries, amongst others, Makoni told
journalists and diplomats that Zanu-PF's misrule over the last 28 years had
landed Zimbabweans in the current crisis. The party, therefore, had no locus
standi to demand that it occupies in any new dispensation the same
ministries in which it had failed to deliver.
"We all know why we are in this mess and who brought us here," he said. "It
would be illogical and unjustifiable for people to demand posts they know
pretty well they failed to deliver in the last 28 years.
"Without saying it, it is pretty clear that there are some ministries that
cannot go to one party because of its failure to deliver the goods over the
last 28 years."
He lamented the continued defiance of Zanu-PF officials when it comes to
issues of ministries, saying the continued holding of offices by Zanu-PF
officials was a direct assault on the agreement signed on September 15.
"Whereas the agreement emphasizes the primacy of the rule of law and the
constitution, we are struck by some blatant disregard for such laws and the
constitution. More than six months after some people lost in the harmonized
elections, the same still parade as officials of state."
He also lashed out at the failure by the government to put in place
priorities that would ensure food security for the people of Zimbabwe,
saying instead of procuring food for the people, the government was busy
expending on items that "do not pass for life saving assets".
"Profligate state spending continues unabated," Makoni said, "completely
oblivious of the structures and discipline of laws governing state resource
mobilization and utilization. Whilst more than half the citizens are either
facing starvation, or have crossed the borders to escape the threat of
hunger, big money is spent importing materials that do not pass for life
On the agricultural front, the former finance minister said while it was
expected that the nation would be ready for the forthcoming agricultural and
farming season, there was a high degree of ill-preparedness on the part of
the state for the coming farming season.
He said former South African president, Thabo Mbeki's advise that the nation
should gear itself for the task that lie ahead of it in terms of agriculture
had fallen on deaf ears.
"The rainy season is almost upon us and yet we are in a state of
unpreparedness that has never been seen before, threatening the livelihoods
of Zimbabweans across the country," he said. "The people have been made to
understand that the signing of the (power-sharing) agreement would unlock
the much-needed support in inputs for the summer season from our friends in
SADC and the African Union and the international community, but none of that
Makoni also took a swipe at President Robert Mugabe's assurances that
Zimbabweans would not starve, saying that villagers were now surviving on
wild fruits and roots which have been supplemented by food handouts from
"Where do those that claim to be in our leadership stand on this (matter of
food availability.) We have had numerous assurances that no one will starve
in this country, but the people are indeed starving. They now depend on wild
fruits, roots, and donor handouts for their survival."
In fact, there have been reports of people starving to death in some rural
On his Mavambo/Kusile/ Dawn movement's transformation into a fully-fledged
political party, Makoni said the movement's leadership had covered immense
ground and that the launch of the party could be delayed as they wanted to
make sure that all outstanding matters were addressed.
"There has been a deliberate delay in launching the party. Our draft
constitution is now in place and consultations with other activists and
citizens of this country are underway. This process will culminate in the
adoption of the constitution and the launch of the party. No date and name
have been arrived at yet," Makoni said.
October 13, 2008
By Geoffrey Nyarota
THE human being is a gregarious creature.
Timely acts of support by neighbours, as well as assistance, advice or other
forms of amicable intervention, all contribute to a spirit of conviviality.
Among African people certain forms of neighbourly intervention are taboo,
however, unless exercised within the immediate family.
Among the indigenous people of Zimbabwe, for instance, the clandestine
intervention of a man's brother is perfectly acceptable when a marriage
remains childless for a long period. Often such surreptitious mediation
meets with a successful outcome and everybody lives happily ever after. But,
any misguided young neighbour, however virile-looking, who contemplates
similar intervention while being totally unrelated to the man of the house
would, of course, never live to tell the tale of his ill advised act of
Many Zimbabweans, the MDC leadership included, grudgingly accepted the role
of Thabo Mbeki, then President of South Africa as mediator in Zimbabwe's
ongoing political crisis. The outcome of his intervention was the
power-sharing agreement signed by Zanu-PF and the MDC on September 15.
The party leaders should have ensured all angles were covered before they
appended their signatures to the deal three weeks ago. The prospect of
Mbeki, totally emasculated, now arriving back in Harare today to help us to
figure out how best to distribute ministries among the various parties that
were signatories to the deal, is what invoked in my mind images of a
neighbour traversing territory normally reserved for family members. The
new-found fascination of the MDC with Mbeki is intriguing, given the fact
that the party has in the past vehemently opposed the intervention of the
same former President of South Africa in the original negotiations between
that party and Zanu-PF.
The MDC openly accused Mbeki of being partisan on the side of President
Mugabe. It is now an open secret that Mbeki actually has a soft spot for the
breakaway faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara. It is these vagaries
of Mbeki's mediation that have prolonged the negotiation process.
Yet the MDC now appears contented enough to appeal to the same Mbeki to help
Zimbabweans to decide which party should get the crucial ministries of
Defence, Home Affairs, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Information.
Even if Mbeki were both genuine and sincere in his mediating role, the stage
has now been reached when the people of Zimbabwe must prove to the world
that they have not become totally inept or dependent.
The way our political leaders have become so totally dependent on
outsiders -Mbeki, King Mswati III, Jakaya Kikwete, Levi Mwanawasa (May his
soul rest in eternal peace), Seretse Khama - has now become a matter of
grievous concern and embarrassment to perceptive Zimbabweans.
Mbeki might as well be appointed full-time consultant for Zimbabwe in the
twilight of his political career. Meanwhile we have become the laughing
stock not only of those countries in the region that we expect to be our
saviours, but also of a world that genuinely fails to understand how a
nation of citizens intrepid, enterprising and astute enough to overthrow a
century of colonial rule can be held to ransom by one elderly politician.
We invite Mbeki at every turn because we have failed dismally to appreciate
or refuse to come to terms with the exact nature of the problem that
confronts Zimbabwe today. As long as Mbeki addresses the symptoms rather
than the problem itself, our problems will continue to defy solution.
Our problem arises from the shameful conduct of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission under the leadership of George Chiweshe.
Chiweshe failed dismally to implement a credible electoral process. Managers
who fail to deliver are normally fired. Chiweshe's role was partisan in
favour of Zanu-PF. Soon after he delivered presidential election results
five weeks late, not only was Chiweshe decorated for meritorious service by
President Mugabe, he was even given a new mandate - to organise the second
presidential election. Predictably, Chiweshe delivered a landslide victory
to his principal. Mugabe won an election in which he was the only candidate.
Notwithstanding his many shortcomings, Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar
General, conducted many fairly successful elections. The problem with
Chiweshe is that he received his brief from those alongside whom he was
subsequently decorated by Mugabe - the members of the so-called Joint
Operations Command - Constantine Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, and Perrence
It is no coincidence that Chiweshe is a retired military man. This was all
part of the strategy that we now expect Mbeki to unravel merely by
requesting Tsvangirai and Mutambara to sign documents.
For as long as we continue willingly to allow the service chiefs to pull the
strings from behind the scenes, while we pretend not to know the exact
nature or the origin of what we now call the impasse, Mbeki will never
prescribe a lasting solution.
It is not as if the securocrats did not declare openly that they would never
salute Morgan Tsvangirai if he won the presidential election. When he defied
them by proceeding to secure victory in the March 29 election, they
instantly swung into action. The JOC invited Chiweshe to an urgent meeting.
Chiweshe then sat on the election results for five weeks, an unprecedented
act in the history of democratic elections. Then he called for a second
round of voting. Finally he delivered the required victory to Mugabe.
Meanwhile, we all pretend we do not know this. As a result we marvel as
Mbeki addresses only the symptoms of our deep-rooted problem.
Mbeki is not the cause of Mugabe's arrogance and inflexibility. It is the
The MDC errs when it pretends it is not aware of this.
The MDC's first mistake was to agree to participate in secret negotiations
with Mbeki as mediator when they knew the South African President was not an
It was an error of judgement for them to agree to negotiate with the
spoilers from the breakaway faction of the MDC. They erred in agreeing to
sign a document whose terms were neither clearly nor conclusively
elucidated. It was a serious error of judgement on their part to assume that
once defeated at the polls Mugabe would step down graciously without putting
up a fight.
For all the foregoing reasons, it would be further folly for the MDC to now
suddenly pull out of negotiations at this stage and allow Zanu-PF to
revitalize and re-energize itself ahead of elections in 2013.
It is part of Zanu-PF current strategy to get the MDC to pull out after
legitimizing Mugabe's presidency. Mugabe's intransigency and inflexibility
is all part of a grand strategy to provoke the MDC into withdrawal.
If the MDC pulled out Zanu-PF would celebrate.
Let the MDC continue to negotiate with Zanu-PF from within the modified
structures of power. Zimbabweans have suffered for more than a decade. What's
another week, another month? Pulling out would be playing right into the
hands of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
Pulling out would signal the beginning of the end of the MDC as we know it
today. There must be other politicians waiting in the wings for the MDC to
withdraw from centre-stage so that they can immediately fill the resultant
The MDC should never have assumed that dislodging Mugabe from power was
going to be a simple process. As they continue to negotiate with Zanu-PF and
Mbeki, the MDC must make serious efforts to engage the JOC.
October 12, 2008
By Our Correspondent
BULAWAYO - A militant teachers' union has called for street protests against
President Robert Mugabe's surprise move to allocate key ministries to his
party after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had declared a deadlock over
power sharing talks.
The mainstream MDC and Zanu-PF have reached an impasse over the sharing of
cabinet portfolios, which has led to the recalling of mediator and former
South African President Thabo Mbeki.
However, in a government notice published in the state-controlled Herald
newspaper on Saturday, Mugabe unilaterally allocated the contested key
ministries to his own Zanu-PF party.
The power-sharing deal was signed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur
Mutambara, the leader of a breakaway MDC faction on September 15.
Mugabe allocated to Zanu-PF the key ministries of Defence, Home Affairs,
Local Government and Foreign Affairs although discussions on the allocations
had been inconclusive. Mugabe said only the ministry of Finance was still a
subject of dispute.
The MDC has reacted angrily to the move calling it contemptuous and
Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said his union would lead protests on Monday against Mugabe.
He said Mugabe's action betrayed the spirit of the power-sharing deal.
Majongwe was speaking at a public lecture organized by Bulawayo Agenda, a
Bulawayo-based civic organization which promotes public debate and dialogue
on topical issues related to human rights and governance among others.
"I urge all members of civic society and Zimbabweans in general to get onto
the streets, in all cities and towns, in a clear sign to Mugabe that we are
not accepting this," he said. "Zimbabweans should all go out and say this is
"We should demonstrate against Mugabe who grabbed all the key ministries for
his party. Zimbabweans should be militants and protest and say we cannot
continue to let Mugabe hold the country and us to ransom."
The public lecture was attended by more than 500 people, among them various
civic society organizations that were exhibiting at a two-day "Ideas
Festival" organized by Bulawayo Agenda at the Small City Hall .
The opposition MDC has said Mugabe's move jeopardized the power-sharing deal
signed over three weeks ago. The agreement is now seen as teetering on the
brink of collapse, with Tsvangirai threatening to pull out of the deal if
Mugabe refuses to let go of key ministries.
The unity government had been heralded as a panacea to the country's
political crisis, deep economic recession characterised by 231 million
percent inflation and shortages of all basics.
Jenni Williams, the leader of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), addressing the
same gathering also called for popular protests against Mugabe's move to
grab key ministries from the MDC.
"Mugabe should not be allowed to steal away our future," said Williams. "The
deal, despite its shortcomings, is the only sustainable foundation to
rebuild Zimbabwe ."
Mbeki, who brokered the power-sharing talks, is expected in Harare on Monday
to mediate in the dispute.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Bulawayo)
13 October 2008
Posted to the web 13 October 2008
IN the first trial of the week, two members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA) are set to appear in the Bulawayo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday 13th
Cynthia Ncube and Trust Moyo had been arrested in Bulawayo on 5th May and
charged with distributing materials likely to cause a breach of the peace.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had applied to the Attorney General for
the matter to be reviewed due a lack of evidence. (The evidence against
Trust Moyo was that he was carrying a banner reading 'we want bread and
roses'). A decision is expected to be handed down tomorrow.
On Wednesday 15th, the 14 members who had been arrested in Harare on 28th
May during a peaceful procession are also due to appear on trial in Harare
Magistrate's Court. They had been arrested near the Zambian Embassy in
Harare, where they were to hand over a petition to the SADC chair calling
for an end to post-election violence. 12 of the group spent 17 days in
custody in Chikurubi and Remand Prisons, whilst two, Jenni Williams and
Magodonga Mahlangu, spent 37 days in Chikurubi Female Prison.
The trial was due to have taken place on 26th August but Magistrate Shomwe
allowed the state's application for the trial to be postponed on grounds
that the prosecutor, Zvekare had fallen ill. The stand-in prosecutor
insisted that the state's case had been finalised and that Harrison Nkomo,
the defence lawyer could receive a copy of the docket. However the docket
was not available in the office and the defence has since received no
documentation. As a result a further request that the group be removed off
remand will be submitted.
Under the agreement between the ZANU PF and two MDC formations (resolving
the challenges facing Zimbabwe) the case against both groups of members
should be dismissed. (See Article 18 - "Security of persons and prevention
of violence Clause (j) that while having due regard to the Constitution of
Zimbabwe and the principles of the rule of law, the prosecuting authorities
will expedite the determination as to whether or not there is sufficient
evidence to warrant the prosecution or keeping on remand of all persons
accused of politically related offences arising out of or connected with the
March and June 2008 elections.")
It remains to be seen whether this agreement clause can be implemented when
the whole agreement is at present deadlocked.
Anyone who is interested in attending either trial is cordially invited to
For more information about the cases or details of the trials, please
contact +263 912 898 110/2. The legal documents pertaining to both cases are
available at www.wozazimbabwe.org in the legal documents section.
Names of those appearing on Wednesday are as follows:
1. Jennifer Williams
2. Magodonga Mahlangu
3. Tracy Doig
4. Nolwandle Simunye
5. Celine Madukani
6. Melba Nhavhaya
7. Alice Kasinamunda
8. Clara Manjengwa
9. Veronica Chshambwa
10. Rejoice Chauke
11. Lilian Ntefula
12. Tarisai Zheke
13. Verina Muchegu
14. Mandlenkosi Moyo (male member)
13/10/2008 18:00 - (SA)
Harare - President Robert Mugabe's decision to swear in his two
vice-presidents was "meaningless", the main opposition party said on Monday,
ahead of expected talks aimed at saving a power-sharing deal.
"Whatever appointments or acts that do not address the woes of the country
are meaningless," said Nelson Chamisa, spokesperson for the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
"Any appointments by Mr Mugabe that do not take the country out of the
current economic quagmire are meaningless," he added.
Mugabe swore in the vice-presidents early on Monday, as former South African
president Thabo Mbeki was preparing to visit Harare to try to break an
impasse over the power-sharing deal that he brokered four weeks ago.
State media announced on Saturday that Mugabe would give the most important
cabinet posts to members of his own party, ensuring his control over the
military, police and other security agencies.
The announcement prompted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to threaten to pull
out of the deal. He insists that his party should control the home affairs
ministry, which oversees the police, while Mugabe keeps the defence
The agreement is meant to end months of political turmoil, after the MDC won
control of Parliament in March.
October 13, 2008, 12:00
The European Union (EU) has condemned moves by Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe to take control of key ministries in defiance of a power-sharing deal
with opposition parties.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says the EU does not support what
he terms the attempted power grab being made by the Mugabe regime. He was
addressing EU foreign ministers currently meeting in Luxembourg. Miliband
says he hopes former president Thabo Mbeki can mediate a solution that will
allow opposition groups to share power with Mugabe as was agreed in
Zimbabwe's ambassador to the UN, Boniface Chidyausiku, says the post of
finance minister is still open for negotiation. The government and the
opposition MDC remain deadlocked over cabinet posts. President Robert Mugabe
has already allocated key cabinet posts to his own Zanu-PF party.
Mbeki is due in Harare today for further mediation efforts aimed at breaking
the impasse. Mbeki will be accompanied by former provincial and local
government minister Sydney Mufamadi, Director-General in the Presidency
Frank Chikane and advocate Mojanku Gumbi. The group will return to South
By Lance Guma
13 October 2008
The Secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
Raymond Majongwe, and Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leader Jenni Williams,
have both called for street protests against Mugabe's move to grab the key
ministries. The state owned Herald on Saturday published a list of
ministries allocated to ZANU PF and the MDC, by Mugabe using a government
gazette. The ZANU PF leader grabbed Home Affairs, Defence, Justice,
Information, Local Government and Foreign Affairs Ministries while giving
the MDC minor ministries.
Speaking at a public lecture organized by pressure group Bulawayo Agenda,
Majongwe urged, 'all members of civic society and Zimbabweans in general to
get onto the streets, in all cities and towns, in a clear sign to Mugabe
that we are not accepting this.' He described Mugabe's unilateral allocation
of ministries as a betrayal of the power sharing accord signed last month
adding, 'we cannot continue to let Mugabe hold the country and us to ransom.'
WOZA leader Williams echoed Majongwe's call saying, 'Mugabe should not be
allowed to steal away our future. The deal, despite it's shortcomings, is
the only sustainable foundation to rebuild Zimbabwe.'
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) says it is planning
a big demonstration Tuesday to coincide with the opening of parliament.
ZINASU President Clever Bere told Newsreel although the continued closure of
the University of Zimbabwe would pose a challenge for them they had
committed students who were still going to come and participate. Other
colleges planning to join include the Harare Polytechnic and other tertiary
institutions in the city. Bere said they wanted to hand in a petition
listing their demands to the 'elected members of parliament.'
The students are demanding free and quality education, a people driven
constitution that guarantees education as a fundamental human right,
improvements in learning conditions, lifting of suspensions and expulsions
for student activists, repealing of repressive legislation and an
improvement in the working conditions of academic and non-academic staff.
ZINASU has also expressed its outrage at Mugabe's move to grab key
ministries. 'The list effectively removes the two MDC's from being partners,
to spectators in the governing and running of the affairs of the country,'
the union noted. They also expressed disappointment that ZANU PF wants to
control the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education despite the party
demonstrating 'a history of failure as evidenced by the current collapse of
the education sector.' Although the students have reservations about the
power sharing deal they said, 'it provides a framework for moving ahead.'
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Monday, 13 October 2008 15:35
The Zimbabwe National Students Union is totally outraged by
Mugabe's barbaric behavior, contempt of the Power Sharing arrangement and
lack of political will to assist the nation in finding a lasting solution to
the crisis bedeviling our country. Mr. Mugabe announced a new cabinet list
without agreement and due consultation with the other partners in the all
The list effectively removes the two MDCs from being partners to
spectators in the governing and running of the affairs of the country. We
are further disturbed that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education has
been given to Zanu Pf contrary to our expectations. ZANU PF has demonstrated
a history of failure as evidenced by the current collapse in the education
sector. ZINASU has expressed its reservations to the deal although we feel
it provides a framework for moving ahead. In this light we had hoped that a
new dispensation in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education will in
the transition address some of the challenges facing students.
With all Zimbabweans expecting maturity and genuine commitment
to have Zimbabweans working together for the renaissance of Zimbabwe, the
only country we have, Mugabe went on to defy, betray and frustrate the
aspirations of the people.
We urge Mugabe to get back to his senses, the people invested
confidence in the September 15 political settlement. The students and the
people have suffered and demand a solution now.
Our demands as students remain as reflected below:
Free and quality education
A people driven constitution that guarantees education as a
fundamental human right
An improvement in the quality of life and learning conditions
Lifting of suspensions and expulsions for students
An improvement in the working conditions of academic and
Grants for students
Repeal of oppressive legislature (University ordinances, POSA,
AIPPA etc) and restoration of full civil liberties.
On behalf of the students of Zimbabwe,
KAROI, October 13 2008 - Long queues continued on Monday despite the
increasing of the maximum withdrawal limit to Zd50 000 by the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono.
A snap survey conducted in Karoi farming town, 204 kilometers
north-west of Harare, revealed that some banks had resorted to giving their
clients a maximum of $40 000 as they did not have enough cash.
"We can only give out $40 000 per individual as the RBZ is yet to
release the new notes to our headquaters in Harare" said a teller at CBZ
bank in Karoi.
Other banks including CABS, Beverley, ZABG as well as Agribank, had
not received cash from the RBZ by late Monday.
Bank officials blamed RBZ governor Gono for only 'making public
announcements without taking any action to avert the cash shortage thereby
exerting unnecessary pressure on banks'.
Gono is in a fire-fighting mood, in the light of record breaking
inflation, pegged at 231 million percent.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
13 October 2008
Barely two weeks after it introduced new notes for Z$10,000 and Z$20,000 in
a bid to relieve cash shortages, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Monday
issued a Z$50,000 bank note while increasing the daily limit on bank
withdrawals for individuals to that amount.
Despite the release of the new note, sources in Harare said many banks ran
out of cash due to the higher withdrawal limit, as the Reserve Bank had not
supplied them with the larger bank notes. Sources in Bulawayo said much the
same situation developed there.
Economist Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that the Reserve Bank must move to control inflation instead of
continuing to issue larger notes.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions demanded the abolition of withdrawal
limits despite the central bank's recent moves. Last month it gave the
Reserve Bank an ultimatum to take action to relieve cash shortages, failing
which it would launch industrial action.
ZCTU Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo said the union is still consulting
with its members as to how to proceed amid continuing shortages of cash for
Financial Gazette (Harare)
11 October 2008
Posted to the web 13 October 2008
RESPONDING to critics irked by his penchant for extravagance by flying his
children in a private jet to school in France, former Zairean strongman
Mobutu Sese Seko had this to say: "Those who peddle such criticism do not
attach much value to time. They are ignorant of time husbandry and how much
saving flying makes."
While Mobutu had little regard for his people and a warped appreciation of
economics, at least he could value time albeit in his small world.
In Zimbabwe, time has lost meaning.
Analysts this week said the Zimbabwean authorities are guilty of doing
little to save the long productive hours being spent daily in queues as
workers battle to access cash and other basics.
Companies, fighting bankruptcy spawned by the worsening economic crisis now
in its ninth year, are losing a lot of revenue as employees are now spending
long hours in bank queues.
While a number of companies have resorted to providing staff with food
hampers and transport allowances paid for in cash, their efforts still fall
far short of what the employees require to face up to the daily challenges.
Last month the Reserve Bank of Zimba-bwe increased daily cash withdrawal
limits from $1,000 to $10,000 and $20,000 for companies and individuals
respectively, following an outcry from members of the public.
The daily cash withdrawal limit for individuals meant that employees have to
queue on a daily basis to make ends meet.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions head Lovemore Matombo was quoted telling
Voice of America that the situation in industry was dire, with the
manufacturing industry having virtually collapsed.
"Some people have suggested that they can only work for eight hours for the
whole week, suggesting that four-fifths of production is lost per week," he
Lovemore Kadenge, president of the Zimba-bwe Economics Society (ZES), said
since labour was one of the key factors of production, the absence of
employees at work places during normal working hours was weighing down
"In terms of potential output that these idle labour hours could have
produced, it is not surprising that the economy might be losing
approximately 40 to 60 percent of its normal Gross Domestic Product," said
The ZES president said controls such as the limit on cash withdrawals and
price controls effected on industry last year can only lead to inefficient
usage of economic resources such as labour.
"Apart from that workers are less motivated all the time because of failure
to withdraw their money from the banks. At the end of the day they are
compelled to buy (basic products from the supermarkets) using ex-pensive
methods of payment such as debit cards or other electronic transfer methods
where punitive pricing systems are a constant thorn in their flesh," said
The Financial Gazette has established that most companies are now resorting
to a shorter working week of say two to three days because of the reduced
Others have introduced a rotational system where employees are given a few
days to attend to personal problems outside the week-ends when most
businesses are closed.
"From every direction, cash shortages have affected production. If you can't
get cash you can't spend cash," said economic consultant John Robertson.
"However, many companies have come to terms with reality and they now allow
their employees to do their personal business then come to work at least two
to three days a week," he said.
Bulawayo-based chartered accountant Eric Bloch said ageing plant and
equipment, high costs of production and low staff morale have combined to
make the operating environment difficult.
Bloch said there was despondency among workers caused by the
hyperinflationary environment and diminishing job security as companies
downsize while others close their plants altogether.
James Chirandu, a production manager at a Harare clothing company, could not
believe his eyes when only two employees out of a staff complement of 25
reported for work one Monday morning.
The company had secured a massive export order that needed to go through the
production line immediately but had to be delayed due to the shortage of
"I phoned all the supervisors enquiring about their whereabouts. The first
one said he was in a meandering queue at the bank and was only likely to get
to work around 3pm as his bank had not received cash from the Reserve Bank.
"The second supervisor was trudging to work on foot because he had used up
the transport allowance we gave him the previous day on food for his family.
"The third supervisor could not make it to work that day because transport
fares had gone up, while the wife of the fourth supervisor who responded to
my call indicated her husband had gone to South Africa the previous night to
buy some groceries," said Chirandu.
This example starkly illustrates the depressing state most Zimbabwean
companies have to contend with.
The Zimbabwe Coali-tion on Debt and Deve-lopment (ZIMCODD) said the signing
of a power-sharing agreement between ZANU-PF and the two factions of the
Movement for Democratic Change last month sets the political framework for
The decline of the economy has been characterised by a corresponding
collapse in social service delivery, with vulnerable groups such as workers,
people living with HIV/AIDS, women and children being hardest hit.
"The problems of access to clean water, skills flight in local medical and
health institutions, poor infrastructure development and maintenance,
shortages of equipment for delivering amenities and other related problems,
vividly illustrate the current poor state of social services.
"The genesis of this social decline can be located in the implementation of
neo-liberal policies linked to ESAP (the Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme), which left a legacy of increasing poverty, high unemployment,
and a decline in health and educational standards, among other things," said
Financial Gazette (Harare)
11 October 2008
Posted to the web 13 October 2008
A DIRECTIVE by the National Incomes and Pricing Commission (NIPC) to have
all prices rolled back to September 26 levels has emptied supermarkets
shelves while driving parallel market prices of basic goods to new highs.
Last week the Commission ordered private sector companies to revert back to
prices that prevailed before the introduction of high-value notes by the
central bank last month.
NIPC chairman, Godwills Masimirembwa, said businesses had taken advantage of
the new $10,000 and $20,000 dollar notes unveiled to the market on September
30 to hike prices and stoke the inflation fires.
This is the second time in as many months that the state-run NIPC has had to
The first directive to slash prices by half came in July last year, leading
to the arrest of scores of business people on charges of flouting the
Soviet-style price controls.
A survey by The Financial Gazette revealed this week that supermarkets had
emptied their shelves for fear of spontaneous raids by crack NIPC units. A
number of fast food outlets closed shop soon after the directive was issued.
Most retailers said they had stopped restocking because the replacement cost
was far more than the revenue earned at the controlled prices.
"We have stopped restocking," said Simon Chauruka, a Harare-based retailer.
"We cannot do anything but watch as our shops remain empty."
Innscor Africa Limited's fast foods chief executive officer Givemore
Munyanyi said his division had scaled down operations to minimise losses.
"Following instructions by the NIPC that we have to revert to the prices of
September 26 we have had no option but to scale down our operations pending
approval of the new prices.
"The September 26 prices have constricted business viability as we are not
able to replace our stock. If the NIPC approves our new prices, we should be
able to re-open before end of day tomorrow," he added.
Economist, John Robertson, described the NIPC directive as "crazy" adding
that the government has not learnt a thing from its past mistakes.
He said: "This is a crazy idea. Remember what happened during last years'
price controls. Shops were empty and since then they have never been able to
restock. This will make the situation considerably worse and many more
people will lose their jobs."
But Masimirembwa has remained adamant. He said yesterday the Commission had
dispatched letters to various companies instructing them to comply with the
"Those who don't comply will be prosecuted. Every sector should revert to
prices obtaining on September 26," he said. "There is a formula for pricing
imported commodities. If a person wants to charge using the local currency,
it is the cost of importing an item converted at the inter-bank rate plus 50
percent mark-up. If one decides to sell in foreign currency, they should
mark up the cost of importing by 30 percent," he added.
October 12, 2008
(Transcript of SW Radio Africa Hot Seat programme - Please note this interview was broadcast on Friday night 10 October 2008, before ZANU PF announced its cabinet posts).
Journalist Violet Gonda’s guest is MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa. The MDC official says the power sharing agreement signed on the 11th of September is different from the document that was signed on the 15th.
Violet Gonda: Nelson Chamisa the spokesperson of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai is my guest on the programme Hot Seat. How are you Nelson?
Nelson Chamisa: How are you Violet?
Gonda: We are fine here in London but things are not the same there in Zimbabwe. What is the latest on the talks?
Chamisa: The latest is that there is a deadlock, in fact this afternoon the Principals of the three political parties represented in the dialogue met and agreed to disagree. In fact it is just the tale of deadlocks ever since we met. You are aware it is now exactly 25 days after the signing of the global agreement but there is no agreement in sight, in terms of the cabinet positions as well as the issue of the governors in the country.
Gonda: So what does this mean now? You say they have agreed to disagree what happens now?
Chamisa: I am sure you are aware that ZANU PF were reluctant to have this matter declared a deadlock and were also reluctant to have this matter referred to the next port of call - that is SADC. You are aware that in the deal the clause that deals with the insurance mechanism in the event of any mischief - sights SADC and the African Union as the guarantors to the deal.
What we have to do is that we have to take the matter to SADC and the African Union, and in this case the mediator Mr Mbeki would have to try and intervene to try and assist as a matter of necessity as well as an inevitable outcome of the impasse and logjam we find ourselves in.
Gonda: So at present you are waiting for the facilitator the former South African President Thabo Mbeki. So any word from him?
Chamisa: Well there hasn’t been any communication by way of when he is coming. There has just been communication in regards to the acknowledgement of our notice of disagreement and impasse because we indicated to him as well as SADC and the African Union that we had hit a logjam in terms of the key posts in the cabinet as well as the issue of the governors. So he indicated to us that he was aware and he had taken note of our notice. Now what is left is for him to make the necessary steps to make the shepherding of the process possible.
Gonda: It appears the roles have now been reversed. Before the signing of this power sharing deal Mugabe was for Thabo Mbeki facilitating, but now it’s the MDC that is calling for Thabo Mbeki to come back. Are you aware of the irony of begging Mbeki to return to mediate?
Chamisa: Well what you have to understand is that we have absolute faith and total confidence in African institutions in terms of the ability and capacity to deal with any mischief in the consummation and implementation of the deal itself. So in that regard we have written to SADC and Mr Mbeki is the point man in terms of dealing with the situation in Zimbabwe. So we have confidence in the point person and in institutions that are mandated and given legitimacy by our own institutions to try and resolve the problems.
So I understand what you are saying about the irony but what you have to understand is that we have a nation on fire. We have people who are suffering, we have people who are hungry, and we have people who are almost overwhelmed by the anger and anxiety . So we need to respond to that desire and the only way is to find somebody who is going to unfreeze the impasse.
Gonda: Some media reports allege that Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to sign this agreement. Was he forced by Thabo Mbeki to sign the power sharing deal?
Chamisa: Well forced I think is too heavy a word. But what I would say is that we had insisted, through our President, that signing this deal without being conclusive would invite a lot of problems, in particular the problems we are seeing. But there was insistence on the part of the mediator as well as other authorities to say please go ahead we are going to be the guarantors in terms of any other outstanding issues.
This is why President Mbeki insisted on mentioning that there were outstanding issues and in particular he mentioned the issue of ministries - the allocation of the cabinet as well as the issue of governors - to say those matters were still outstanding.
So those are the issues that are supposed to be dealt with. In addition, Violet, there is also the issue of the actual agreement that was signed. It has some omissions which are still to be corrected because you will find that certain distortions were actually identified and detected well after the signing. And I think this is not going to be a big mountain to climb for the concerned parties.
Gonda: But how could you sign an agreement that had omissions? Even Mr Tsvangirai mentioned this at his press conference in Harare on Thursday. And some people are describing it as an extraordinary disclosure that the agreement was signed but that some of the things in the agreement were not included - the full details. Are you not worried about that?
Chamisa: Well it is a situation that is worrisome but what I must also indicate is that you are aware that the actual signing was done on the 11th of September. What was done on the 15th of September was just the public relations and a public ceremony. So the document that was signed on the 11th of September is different from the document that was signed on the 15th and what we seek to do is to harmonise and eliminate discrepancies in terms of certain omissions that were inadvertently effected in the document that was signed on the 15th.
So that is what we really seek to correct because what was signed on the 15th is the public document but in fact it has some omissions.
Gonda: So can you tell us what some of these omissions are and also when will it be made public?
Chamisa: Well just the issue of the numbers of various political parties in terms of the allocations to the Senate as well as the replacement of people or persons who are either Vice Presidents or Vice Prime Ministers within the House of Assembly, as well as the issue of the appointment of Ambassadors and other key government officials.
Gonda: Did this also include the issue of the cabinet posts and the governors - the stuff that was taken out?
Chamisa: The issue of the cabinet posts and the governors was just a shared understanding but those are issues again that are going to be managed separately. What I am referring to are the issues that I have just cited. These other two issues there was an understanding and there is some kind of documentation to prove that understanding was valid and it has to be pursued to its logical conclusion.
Gonda: So who removed those details in the final agreement?
Chamisa: Well it’s not about the removal of the details. I suppose its typo errors and hopefully it’s going to be corrected. This is why we are not interested in making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Gonda: But Nelson are you seriously saying those were typo errors? Typo errors can happen maybe once or twice but you have listed quite a few things that do not appear in the final agreement.
Chamisa: Well I am a super optimist. I am very positive that it’s not possible to have people who would come with ulterior or sinister motives. This is why I am saying it was a typo error. If it is that it was mischief we hope that it is going to be eliminated, and this is why we a just taking note of it to make sure that we eliminate any zone of differences or confusion. I think it’s in good order.
Gonda: You were quoted in the South African media saying it was a big mistake singing before the deal had been concluded. Do you still stand by that statement?
Chamisa: It was really out of context. What I indicated was to say that what is proving to be problematic is the fact that we signed an inconclusive deal. I didn’t say it was a big mistake. I said it was an omission, which omission is really costing the country in terms of time, effort, in terms of hope and we could have done things in a manner that would have sort of arrested this mischief we are beginning to see.
Gonda: Now critics of the power sharing agreement say ZANU PF’s plan is to use the MDC to get the money; to bring back investors and get sanctions lifted. What are your thoughts on this?
Chamisa: It is their intention but it doesn’t mean that their intention is what is going to prevail, Violet. We are very clear, we are in this deal with all the genuineness, with all the magnanimity, the generosity to try and help the people in our country. We are in this thing not just for the sake of power. Ours is not about power. Ours is about the responsibility we have been given by the people especially as mandated on the 29th of March. We need to have equal responsibility to serve people, to make change possible. To make sure that people’s lives are improved - to have food, jobs and health. Those are the issues we would want. This is why our focus is just not about having positions. It is about having platforms where we are able to make the lives of the people different and this is where we differ with ZANU PF.
For ZANU PF the ultimate is power. That is their religion but for us the ultimate is the wish of the people - the aspirations of the common Zimbabweans.
Gonda: So in terms of the cabinet posts what are the ministries that the MDC Tsvangirai would want to control and why?
Chamisa: You are aware that we are being accused of trying to negotiate in public so please don’t help my detractors or the detractors of the party by being drawn into the specific ministries. But what we are simply saying is that for us to be able to move forward we need to make sure that we build sufficient confidence in the country so that the population will have confidence in the government. We need to make sure that within the region, on the continent and the whole world we inspire hope, trust and confidence - things that we have lost over the past decade and that is only possible if we have sufficient power on an equal basis. So that we have ZANU PF controlling some posts and we control some posts that are equally powerful.
In fact we have said the MDC cannot surely take all the positions but equally we cannot lose all the positions that are key to ZANU PF. This is why we have advocated for some kind of working together. But what you must remember Violet is that the deal itself as configured and constituted is a very good deal. The only difference is that you can actually have a good deal but if you have bad actors and bad players in that deal it makes the whole story completely different and this is the challenge we are facing.
Gonda: I spoke with Tendai Biti your Secretary General on Tuesday and he said ZANU PF cannot have the finance ministries because ZANU PF has messed up the economy, ZANU PF put Zimbabwe in this crisis but that the MDC had agreed to negotiate in terms of ZANU PF getting the security ministries. What does that mean?
Chamisa: Well what we had indicated and what the Secretary General indicated is that we would want a situation where we are able to remedy our past misdeeds. Where we are able to correct our past failures. But for that to happen you cannot be a solution when you are part of the problem. So this is why we had put forward the argument that we want certain ministries particularly in the economics cluster. In the security cluster of course ZANU PF would have the greater part of the security ministries, but we also need certain security ministries, the same with the resource ministries. The same with the human rights and social ministries so that there is an equilibrium in government.
I have argued that it is not possible for us to be a junior partner to ZANU PF or to be an accessory to ZANU PF government. Or for us to be reduced to just mere lipstick on a body that is principally ZANU PF. What we would want is a situation were we are able to equitably share responsibilities so that we can all make meaningful contribution. In any case this is an inclusive government so let it be an inclusive government through word, through the latter and the spirit; not for some in ZANU PF who seem not to understand power sharing. I don’t know which part of power sharing they don’t understand.
Gonda: And when I asked you which ministries you wanted to control you said you cannot say this because you are bound by confidentiality clauses. But don’t you think Zimbabweans are hungry and tired of this crisis and that they deserve to know what is happening in the country?
Chamisa: We are aware of the hunger, we are aware of the fatigue and we try to be sensitive. This is why we have been giving briefings and feedback from time to time on where we are but in terms of the exact ministries I am sure it is now common cause on the ministries that we would want. We have indicated that we would hope to obviously have fundamental posts and I can see that you are trying to come through the backdoor by trying to extract from me the ministries we would want.
We would want virtually half of the key ministries so that ZANU PF takes the other half and it would be quiet good for example if ZANU PF would get say Defence and Security and we would get Home Affairs. Equally if we were to get Finance for example in the economic cluster, ZANU PF will also get some of the resource ministries. If we were to get for example Parliamentary and Legal Affairs ZANU PF will get Justice in that order. So that it is comfortable, so that it is a confidence building arrangement not a situation whereby if we were to swap sides the other side will not be happy. That is not what inclusive government is all about.
Gonda: So what ministries do you have so far?
Chamisa: Like the President has indicated - you see when you are having these discussions you are not in a position to say you have conclusively agreed. SO we can’t say we have managed to bag certain ministries by way of taking them home because this is on the table and we are still trying to negotiate. These are just ongoing discussions. You can only talk about the ministries you have after you have conclusively agreed on the issues because taking one position is going to affect the other concessions you are going to make. In fact it is almost like a puzzle if you don’t get it right just on one column you have to start all over again and that is the situation.
Gonda: You have said earlier on that it is a good document but with a bad guy. But your critics say most of what is in that document are ZANU PF intentions. And people want to know from you what is in that document that you can say is good?
Chamisa: You see this is very unfortunate that you have people who are looking at this very beautiful woman for the simple reason that they have other ulterior motives, they would want to characterise this woman or this man who is very handsome differently. The document has everything that would inspire confidence among Zimbabweans. It would give us a perfect opportunity to remedy the things that we have done wrong but more importantly what we entered into this dialogue about.
We entered into this dialogue for four issues: The first thing Violet is we entered into this dialogue for democratization; the issue of constitution making. And we have that constitution. The fact that constitution is going to be written within 18 months is a clear time frame. For us we feel that it is a big boost for democracy for our country and for the future stability of our country.
The second issue is the opportunity for us to undergo national healing. To undergo national healing because once you have the MDC and ZANU PF working together we are then going to deal with the professionalisation of State institutions so that they serve Zimbabweans not serving ZANU PF, not serving the MDC but serving Zimbabweans.
Those are the issues we feel are important and the fact that we have actually agreed that for some time we are going to have some kind of a politically stable environment that would give us the opportunity to dedicate our resources to reconstruction and rebuilding of our country.
Gonda: But Chamisa, still people will say - and I have interviewed people like Dr Lovemore Madhuku from the NCA, and they say there is nothing good in that document. And some of the issues they raise are that what is there in that deal that is good when it says; collectively you are agreeing that the land is the source of the problem, that the militia will not be disbanded, that there is no clarity on where power resides between the of Council of Ministers and Cabinet and also that there is no clarity on perpetrators of violence. What can you say about that?
Chamisa: This is a compromise document. You don’t get everything you want in a document where you sign. It is a painful compromise. We have given some things like I said but we have also taken some things. There are good things we do have but I think it would be unfair and unfortunate for us to just go to the negatives. There is no way we are going to rescue our country without such painful compromises.
Just to go back to the various issues you have highlighted Violet. For example the issue of perpetrators of violence it’s very clear that the rule of law is going to take its course but you are not going to have retributive language in black and white to say ‘we are going to be following so and so for what was done.’ That is not in the spirit on nation building. That is not in the spirit of making sure that we have a stable society and a progressive and successful country.
Those things are there. Once we have a professional police force people who commit crimes, people who have committed crimes they are just going to go through the normal process but without even seeking retribution because that is not going to be our primary objective. The primary objective is reconstruction and part of it has to do with national healing. But national healing will have to then go to the justice aspect through the rule of law. So I don’t see any contradiction.
For those who are saying this is not a perfect document they are justified but you see the proof of the superiority of this document is going to be in the implementation. Let’s wait and see the implementation. We have a perfect opportunity to take off but if we are all going to deflate the wheels of this aeroplane it will not take of and it will be disastrous for this country.
Gonda: But are you not worried with the attitude of ZANU PF? Like for example only on Friday one of the ZANU PF chief negotiators Patrick Chinamasa actually attacked the MDC and called for a paradigm shift by all the political parties and if I may quote the Herald, Chinamasa wondered why external radio stations were still operating. So on that particular issue did you sign an agreement that asked for external radio stations to be shut down? Can you explain what Chinamasa is talking about here?
Chamisa: Look it is their interpretation. In our view under circumstances where there is a free media in the long run it will be up to anybody to run any kind of media station from wherever they want. The fact that ZANU PF are trying to put it on us to say that ‘you must shut down radio stations’ is because there is no space in this country. This is what has actually given effect to the kind of position we find ourselves in. So the issue that you are saying we signed a document that is going to close radio stations, we have signed a document and I am sure you are still operating. It shows that we have not moved an inch in any way. In fact it’s not an act of bad faith because there are certain things that are just not possible to implement and we signed for those things we are able to implement within our own context. And so… (interrupted)
Gonda: But Nelson that issue was in the agreement. It was in the agreement that external radio stations will be shut down.
Chamisa: Radio stations are operating. So there is no contradiction.
Gonda: Yes radio stations are operating now but the signing is for you to start a new process and so the agreement is saying …(interrupted)
Chamisa: Yes. We are hoping that by the time we really take off SW Radio Africa is not going to be broadcasting from where it is broadcasting from. It should broadcast from here in Zimbabwe because we will be having the space and freedoms for the media to operate from our own borders. So there is no contradiction there.
Gonda: What about …
Chamisa: We are looking …
Gonda: Sorry go on.
Chamisa: We are looking into the future. It is not about the past and we are hoping for the best for the future and that will entail all radio stations, Voice of the People, Voice of America, even BBC, SW Radio Africa. They would then broadcast from this country without any hassles, without any problems because we envisage a very democratic dispensation and that is what we remain loyal to.
Gonda: Now speaking of the harassment of journalists. The Zimbabwe Independent reported that some journalists were barred from covering a press conference by Morgan Tsvangirai at his house in Harare. That they were blocked by his security guards. What can you say about this?
Chamisa: You see there was a small issue there where journalists were being asked to prove their identities. You see this is a security matter and when you are dealing with people who come to a particular protected area you would want to screen people. So certain people were actually saying they didn’t want to be screened because they were known and unfortunately there is this misunderstanding between security functions and our own duties as an information and publicity department. But we have since clarified that one.
It was not a big issue, we don’t believe that it was a big issue. This is not the first time we have invited journalists, we invite journalists now and then at our rallies, at our functions, at our various conferences and when they come there they are the happiest of guests because we even give them drinks. We protect them, we do everything better than any other organisation in this country.
Gonda: What’s your position on sanctions? Mr Chinamasa also said in the Herald that you had agreed as the parties that the sanctions must be lifted but he was wondering why no one from the MDC Tsvangirai had privately or publicly called for the lifting of sanctions. What can you say about that?
Chamisa: Violet I think by listening to Mr Chinamasa you are listening to the wrong voice. Mr Chinamasa is very interested in just finger pointing but we have just gone beyond that stage. This is now the stage of building our country together. This why we have actually said that certain people would want serious assistance and help to have that paradigm metamorphosis, a paradigm shift because they haven’t changed. They are still locked in that oppositional mindset of finger pointing, pointing at the MDC and stuff like that.
But I wouldn’t want to really say we are going to remove the sanctions. Even if we say we would want sanctions removed we are not the ones who put those sanctions. Those sanctions were put there for a particular reason and to the extent that there is deficit in terms of actions and deeds on the part of the people who are victims of those sanctions they will not be removed; but once we have dealt with the outstanding issues, once we deal with the governance deficit , the human rights violations and other issues I am sure the issue of sanctions becomes almost none issues. But because we have not changed in the manner and fashion we are approaching issues we will continue to have problems.
Gonda: It’s interesting the way you are describing Patrick Chinamasa. These are the people you want to work with. Some people say it seems to be a loose agreement that you have signed with ZANU PF and mainly basing it on political good will. Would you agree with that?
Chamisa: Well any agreement works, even a marriage Violet, works on the basis of good will. It is about faith. It is about the other partner. And this is the same thing. It’s about all players, all the stakeholders. The MDC led by Professor Mutambara, MDC led by our President , ZANU PF - we all have to show good faith and we all have to exhibit acts of good will and that is what is going to put our country together and that is what is essential as an ingredient in the stability and prosperity of our country. And this why it is important that in any dispensation we have to think as Zimbabweans and that love is what should guide us and that care for one another is what should guide us and not the past period of rapture, of disharmony, acrimony and hatred. We have to bury that chapter and construct a new dispensation characterized by ethos of love, ethos of care, ethos constructive criticism.
Gonda: So Chamisa you know talking of doing things in good faith and exhibiting acts of good will has Morgan Tsvangirai received his passport now and have the treason charges against Tendai Biti been dropped?
Chamisa: Well we raised that at the press conference on Thursday that we are still worried, that there seems to be rigidity, inflexibility on the part of ZANU PF by trying to use Mr Tsvangirai’ s passport as a political weapon. By also trying to use Mr Biti’s trumped up charges as a political weapon those are things we are trying to deal with in the context of cultivating and fertilizing that spirit of rapprochement that spirit of good- naturedness.
Gonda: So by going into this agreement as the MDC are you forgoing the issue of Mugabe’s legitimacy?
Chamisa: Look this agreement was meant to be some kind of a soft landing mechanism to try and locate exit points to the crisis we are facing. This is not the best of what we would want under normal circumstances but this is what we are trying to find as some kind of a way out for the country. We are saying that to the extent that this is a transitional kind of arrangement we are prepared to cohabit and sort of co-run the country until we create sufficient circumstances that would enable our country to have a legitimately elected government because as it is, it is just an inclusive transitional arrangement. But to the extent that this government has not been elected Zimbabweans still have a right to choose a leader of their choice.
Gonda: So is ZANU PF acknowledging that you have sacrificed a lot by recognizing Robert Mugabe?
Chamisa: Well this is what we have indicated that for us to accept ZANU PF - the party we actually defeated in the elections - to be with us in this kind of arrangement is an act of exceptional magnanimity. The fact that we have decided to even work with them when they are supposed to be in the opposition is something that should be commended. In fact we have been extra magnanimous. But that is the character of good patriots. That is the character of great leaders. We believe that our compromise is something that is going to be written in the history of our country. That we did these things not out of power, we did these things not out of greed but out of the desire to find the best way forward for future generations and prosperity.
Gonda: So you said the matter has been taken back to SADC and you hope that Thabo Mbeki will come back to help break this impasse but what if you fail? Can you go back to say Mugabe is illegitimate since you endorsed him in front of the whole world?
Chamisa: You see once you have endorsed you can withdraw your endorsement. Once you append your signature you can withdraw your signature Violet. The fact that we have endorsed Mr Mugabe is not supposed to mean that we have done that ad infinitum or into perpetuity. We have just done this to make sure that we move together. To the extent that there is no agreement we go back to the original position that we have an unresolved issue of the executive branch in this country and we would have to have an election that would legitimately give Zimbabweans the ability, the space and platform to choose the person they would want to lead them. Otherwise if there is no agreement then we would have to go back to square one. Where we were just after the 29th of March, before the 27th of June because as far as we are concerned the 27th of June was a non event and there was no election. It was just a one man show to try and prove a point which he failed to prove.
Gonda: And finally Nelson, Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga one of the negotiators from the Mutambara MDC indicated earlier on this programme that the issue of posts is also being hampered by personal interests of negotiators and party members who are now negotiating for their own interests. What can you say about that?
Chamisa: I don’t agree with my sister, Cde Priscilla, that there are people who are negotiating for themselves. Maybe it’s from their side I think there is a problem. She was speaking on her own behalf but as far as we are concerned people who are at the negotiating table they negotiate with a clear mandate. They negotiate with clear parameters and clear demarcations. They cannot go outside the orbit of what is defined as the zone of operation by a particular political party - especially in our way of doing things. Our modus operandi is such that when we are given a mandate that mandate has to be executed to the latter and spirit. So I don’t know what she was talking about. As far as we are concerned it is not our problem. Maybe it is a problem in the MDC led by Professor Mutambara and possibly in ZANU PF.
Gonda: Thank you very much Nelson unfortunately we have run out of time but thank you very much for talking on the programme Hot Seat.
Chamisa: Violet thank you very much.
Gonda: And we also tried to get a comment from ZANU PF but this is what happened when I called one of the negotiators Nicholas Goche.
Gonda: Hello Minister Goche?
Nicholas Goche: Yes?
Gonda: Hello this is Violet from SW Radio Africa. How are you?
Goche: From ?
Gonda: from SW Radio Africa
Goche: What do you want?
Gonda: I wanted to find out about the status of the talks.
Goche: I have no comment on this.
Gonda: What about …(Goche hangs up)… Gonda: …hello?
by Lizwe Sebatha Monday 13 October 2008
BULAWAYO - A top ZANU PF member and relative of two senior government
ministers at the weekend evicted about 50 families from a farm in Umguza
district in Matabeleland North province because he wants the property for
grazing land for his cattle.
Tinus Mumbengegwi, who is a cousin to brothers Finance Minister Samuel
Mubengegwi and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mubengegwi, drove the
families from Lettersdert Farm with the help of police.
The families, who themselves occupied Lettersdert Farm at the height of farm
invasions in 2000, have since Friday been living in the open after being
evicted by Mumbengegwi who claims the farm was allocated to him four years
"Police evicted us from the farm and dumped us with all our belongings by
the roadside," said a man who only identified himself as Mr Moyo and one of
those evicted by Mumbengegwi.
"We have been staying in the open since our eviction. Mumbengengwi said the
farm was allocated to him in 2003 and the land is earmarked for grazing land
for his cattle," added Moyo.
Mumbengegwi confirmed evicting the families who he said were staying on the
farm illegally after the Ministry of Lands had allocated it to him.
"I was allocated the farm in 2003 by the lands resettlement ministry and as
such the eviction of the families is not illegal," said Mumbengegwi, who
also produced copies of letters from the government offering him the farm.
"I am transporting a number of cattle to the farm. I intend turning the farm
into grazing land for my cattle and the families cannot share the farm with
my cattle as they might steal my cattle," Mumbengegwi said.
It was not possible to immediately verify the authenticity of Mumbengegwi's
land offer letter with the Ministry of Lands.
Top officials of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and their relatives
have benefited the most from his controversial land redistribution programme
having grabbed the most lucrative farms seized from whites, with some having
as many as six farms each.
The chaotic and often violent land redistribution exercise that Mugabe says
was necessary to ensure blacks also had access to arable land is blamed for
destabilisng the key agricultural sector to leave Zimbabwe facing severe
food shortages. - ZimOnline
HARARE, October 13 2008 - MISA Zimbabwe has condemned the continued
use of repressive media laws to harass practitioners during the transitional
period and has called for the immediate cessation of harassment and the
complete repeal of the restrictive media laws in the country.
Several journalists were on Thursday, 9 October 2008, allegedly barred
from entering the Prime Minister Designates Strathaven home for a press
The journalists were barred from entering the premises by security
guards on the basis that they had failed to produce accreditation cards from
the Media and Information Commission (MIC).
"Ironically, the Movement for Democratic Change has in the past
criticized the creation of the MIC under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the licensing of journalists by the
commission," said Misa Zimbabwe.
"Ironically, the Movement for Democratic Change has in the past
criticized the creation of the MIC under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the licensing of journalists by the
commission," said Misa Zimbabwe.
The security guards are alleged to have claimed that they had been
given instructions from the 'top' not to allow journalists without MIC
accreditation cards. Attempts by journalists to explain that they were
freelance journalists were fruitless.
The press conference was however, deferred to 10 October 2008.
In Article 19 of the Agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDC
formations of 15 September, 2008, the parties agreed to ensure the immediate
processing by the appropriate authorities of all applications for
re-registration and registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Services
Act (BSA) and The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
IN their few and scattered moments of excitement, MDC supporters normally
chant the classic "Zanu Yaora baba", which foreign journalists incorrectly
translate as Zanu PF is rotten.
The proper translation is that Zanu PF is decayed. What the MDC song misses
is the fact that the state itself is decomposing or rather is in the last
and highest form of decomposition.
The announcement this week that Grade 7 students will not sit their exams is
indeed proof of this degenerate state. The fact that the University of
Zimbabwe has not reopened for the September semester and that in the
majority of schools countrywide, students have not attended classes for the
whole year, is indeed as unacceptable as it is a measure of the grandiose
failure of this regime.
Perhaps the saddest thing is the fact that all exam classes at Grade 7,
Ordinary Level and Advanced Level may actually not sit in the year 2008 and
would have to repeat in 2009. At the core of the crisis is the state's
failure to pay teachers and lecturers adequate salaries and the state's
failure to provide books and other materials to schools.
The collapse of the education system is indicative of the general collapse
and retreat of the state. That same decay is found in the health sector,
where our people are suffering the indignity of feudal diseases such as
cholera and tuberculosis. No wonder our life expectancy is now 34 for women
and 37 for men; statistics that are only rivalled by Somalia and Sudan on
the African continent.
This must be judged in the context of the fact that at least three million
of our people have to receive food aid and currently 40% of the rural
population are surviving on wild berries, competing with donkeys and other
animals for access to the same. In some areas, chiefs and headmen are fining
villagers who let loose their animals to the detriment of the supply side of
chakata and other fruits.
Our people in the urban areas continuously tango with endless banking
queues, the product of an erratic, dishonest, inconsistent, psychopathic
monetary policy being brewed at Samora Machel Avenue.
The pursuance of eclectic, half-understood, haphazard, ill-baked monetary
measures by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono have done more harm to this
country than 28 years of Mugabe's rule. The printing of money and the
vicious assault on the Zimbabwe dollar by unleashing RBZ agents to buy money
on the black market has ensured the death of the half-baked measures the
very same governor is attempting to execute. The net result is inflation
that in real terms exceeds 200 million %, and a Zimbabwe dollar that is not
worth the cost of printing the same, a banking system on the verge of
collapse and a Frankenstein economy that knows no description in modern
In short, the RBZ has redefined economic failure and economic
bastardisation. They have shown that there is no such thing as a breaking
point or tipping point in African economies. That collapse is as elusive as
the horizon. You can see it but you can't touch it.
However, it is the collapse of the public education system that is
unpardonable, cruel and totally criminal. Education is at the core of the
dignity and decency of any nation. Education is that fundamental
foundational matrix that a new future and a new Zimbabwe can be built. This
regime understands this more than anyone else, which is why in the first
decade of Independence it spent in real terms 3% of its GDP investing in
education. The result was massive enrolment of students and extensive
capitalisation, particularly in the rural areas. The net product is that in
Africa, Zimbabwe, with a literacy rate of 85%, is second only to Tunisia and
has more degreed citizens per capita than Kenya, Ghana or Nigeria.
Sadly, the crème de la crème of our education system has been sucked up in
the diaspora. You will find a Zimbabwean at the UN, at Goldman and Sachs and
at virtually every decent university in the world.
That this regime can therefore be allowed to kill the education system is
unacceptable. Moreso when one considers that the majority of these pedagogy
terrorists have their children in schools and universities outside Zimbabwe.
What is indeed most unacceptable is the fact that for five years Gono has
been allowed to run amok, dabbling in quasi-fiscal activities. These
activities have seen him become the de-facto prime minister of the land. In
2008 alone, he has spent over US$150 million in the farm mechanisation
programme. He also spent millions of dollars bankrolling the Zanu PF
campaign in the March 2008 election. In short, his hands have been seen
everywhere where clientelism is an issue. For instance, he spent huge
amounts buying the judiciary vehicles, generators and satellite dishes.
Thus, Gono could easily have saved the 2008 education year if he so wished.
That however could not happen for three reasons. Firstly, there is no
immediate short-term benefit for Zanu PF. Secondly, teachers and their ilk
are perceived to be MDC territory. Thirdly, his children are not in the
Gono aside, the fact of the matter is that this regime has failed.
Central to the failure is of course the limitations of nationalism.
We have made the point over and over again that nationalism has a limited
agenda; that of the national question captured in the slogan one-man,
one-vote. Beyond the national question, nationalism is out of depth and is
limited. Moreso when it is the inheritor of the little enclave, gatekeeping
colonial state totally corrupted by the vagaries and avarice of
Faced with the frustration of failing to transform the colonial state during
the national democratic stage of the struggle, nationalism degenerates and
decomposes into neo-patrimony, clientelism, the imperial presidency and
patronage. In short, it converts the state into a rogue state where
violence, corruption and personal accumulation become vehicles for the
continued reproduction of the state.
The Abhurian State, so brilliantly described by Ngugi wa Thiongo in The
Wizard of the Crow, which state had been fore-written by Chinua Achebe in A
Man of the People, Sembene Ousmane in The Last of the Empire and Ayi Kwei
Armah in The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born. At that stage, the highest
level of decomposition, nationalism needs to be saved from itself or it will
take the nation with it.
That is exactly where Zimbabwe is at the present moment. Zanu PF needs to be
saved from itself or it will annihilate the construct that Zimbabwe is.
The September 15 2008 agreement must thus be seen in this context; an
attempt to save Zanu PF from itself so that Zimbabwe can be saved. Sadly,
Zanu PF, which can't see beyond its nose and is on autopilot to ultimate
self-destruction, continues to frustrate that agreement by refusing to
consummate the same and more importantly by making demands that will reduce
the MDC to an innocent and disinterested bystander in that cabinet.
For us in the MDC, we are fully aware of the historical duties on our
shoulders and will do everything to save this agreement. However, our
elasticity is only marginal.
Tendai l. Biti MP
By claiming major cabinet posts, the Zimbabwean president is trying to
ensure he doesn't suffer further humiliation at the polls
Monday October 13 2008 18.00 BST
Nothing surprises me any more. Robert Mugabe the eloquent democrat has
become a murdering monster, and will do everything he can to cling to power
until the very end. Sadly, the monster retains all the intellectual
faculties and abilities of the democrat.
He cunningly orchestrated the power-sharing deal after losing the March
elections and being forced by the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to make a
sham of the June run-off. This had lost him credibility even among some
By engineering the deal, Mugabe forced Tsvangirai to acknowledge him as
president in return for the premiership and a few cabinet seats. This
regained him the right to swan around the world as the legitimate president
of Zimbabwe. Ergo, he does not need Tsvangirai any more.
But he does not want to be the one to kill the deal - as this would lose him
credibility once more. So he skilfully manoeuvres things so that the MDC
will be forced to walk away from the table - leaving Mugabe where he fully
intended to be all along - in the driving seat.
Despite the country collapsing around him and millions suffering from hunger
and disease, there is method in Mugabe's madness. He is positioning himself
for the next election - determined to reverse his humiliation at the hands
of the electorate on March 29. He will never forgive Zimbabweans for
This is why he has insisted on retaining control of the power ministries,
while giving MDC the service ministries. He needs the police and the army,
home affairs and defence ministries, to seal off the rural areas, disrupt
the MDC's activities and thrash and threaten its supporters. In addition,
home affairs is responsible for the conduct of elections. He needs local
government to retain control of the chiefs and keep them on side. He needs
information to maintain his stranglehold on the media, keeping people in the
dark - as is the wont of every dictator. Access to information for millions
through the publication of the mass-circulation independent weekly, the
Zimbabwean, is what cost him the March election - according to his election
agent, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
And he needs foreign affairs to continue his world-wide campaign of
hate-speech and disinformation against the west, and to continue to wag his
tail for the Russians and the Chinese.
His henchmen, the military chiefs, have a particularly vested interest in
keeping control over the police - most, if not all, of them could and
certainly would be arrested by an MDC-controlled police force on a wide
range of charges, from crimes against humanity to theft and corruption.
Mugabe wants the MDC, now united as Arthur Mutambara has been forced by his
party to abandon his flirtation with Zanu-PF, to walk away from the deal.
That's why he doesn't want Thabo Mbeki, the lame-duck turned dead-duck
president/mediator, to come and fix it.
With a power-sharing agreement signed, Zimbabweans are asking:
RW Johnson, National Post Published: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This week's power-sharing deal between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
and two opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, marks,
as Tsvangirai noted in his first speech as prime minister, "the rebirth of
our nation," and the "building of a New Zimbabwe."
The signing ceremony, conducted before notables from the United Nations, the
African Union and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC), paid fulsome tribute to the mediator of the settlement talks,
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. The watershed, it is hoped, will
bring to an end nine years of strife, which has caused over a third of the
Zimbabwean population to flee abroad, and killed perhaps another million
through starvation, political violence, AIDS and the collapse of the
country's health system.
The settlement provides for Mugabe to preside over a cabinet of 31
ministers, 15 belonging to his previously ruling Zanu-PF party, 13 to
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and three to Mutambara's
splinter MDC. In addition, Tsvangirai will chair an overlapping council of
ministers that supervises the government. While Tsvangirai will control the
police, Mugabe will still aim to control the armed forces.
In his own speech, Mugabe rambled widely, accused the opposition of
violence, boasted of his own greater experience -- and was frequently booed.
What his speech showed is that the deal is almost certainly unworkable: The
man who has ruled the country alone since 1980 has not really accepted the
change for what it is, and clearly hopes to continue rule by presidential
Indeed, the whole ceremony papered over Mugabe's monstrous bad faith in
recent months. Tsvangirai clearly led Mugabe by a considerable margin in
this year's presidential elections -- until Mugabe conducted a campaign of
all-out violence that forced Tsvangirai to withdraw. Even so, the opposition
managed to win the parliamentary elections. In any even half-way democratic
country, Mugabe and his party would now be out of power. It was only thanks
to support from Mbeki-- who is now posturing as a great savior and
mediator -- that Mugabe was able to hold out for a compromise deal.
With two centres of power and, in effect, two conflicting cabinets, the deal
is almost certainly unworkable. Tsvangirai said he signed the deal because
"my belief in Zimbabwe and its peoples runs deeper than the scars I bear
from the struggle." The word "scars" here is meant quite literally. In 1998,
Mugabe's thugs tried to throw Tsvangirai out of a 6th floor window. Less
than two years ago, Tsvangirai was beaten within inches of his life. No
wonder Tsvangirai added that the deal "can only be a temporary measure, like
a candle in a dungeon."
Tsvangirai said the first task of the new government would be to "unlock the
food already in the country and distribute it to our people" -- without
mentioning that it has been kept locked up by Mugabe, who wished to ensure
it got distributed only to his supporters, while opposition supporters were
The crunch is bound to come quickly. Mugabe and his henchmen have everything
to lose from this. Probably the first big issue will be the sacking of
Gideon Gono as Governor of the Reserve Bank. Mugabe has used Gono, a key
henchman and his own private banker, to control the economy; and Gono has in
turn been rewarded with stolen farms and other looted assets. Foreign donors
have made it clear that not a cent will be handed over while Gono remains in
office; but if he goes, so does Mugabe's control of the economy.
Another point of contention is Tsvangirai's determination to invite back the
British Military Assistance and Training Team (BMATT), which trained the
army and police after Zimbabwe's independence. This would mean 200 British
military personnel on the ground. It would also mean the professionalization
of security forces that until now have acted as partisan thugs for Mugabe
and his henchmen. In particular, BMATT's first order of business would be to
help crack down on the murderous "war vets" and Green Bomber youth league,
both of which were instrumental to Mugabe's efforts to terrorize white
farmers and opposition blacks.
In other words, the agenda favoured both by Tvangirai and the major Western
donors will serve to dismantle Mugabe's violent and corrupt system, and
prepare the way for free elections in which both Mugabe and his party will
In his speech, Mugabe raged on about those who had the temerity to want to
see him leave the scene after 28 years in power: He still cannot believe
anyone would attempt such sacrilege. The next few weeks will show whether he
intends to subvert the deal now reached -- or whether he will be pushed
aside by a determined opposition seeking to restore hope and order to a
nation that has been systematically looted and ruined by Robert Mugabe. - RW
Johnson is emeritus fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Southern Africa
correspondent for The Sunday Times.
BILL WATCH 40/2008
[11th October 2008]
The House of Assembly will resume on Tuesday 14th October
The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday 4th November
Bills: None – the Constitution Amendment No 19 Bill is still not ready
Statutory Instruments: See end of Bulletin
Controversy Rages over Allocation of Ministries
ZANU PF action
In spite of continuing disagreement over the allocation of Ministries between parties, the Government issued a Gazette Extraordinary at about 8pm on Friday night [well after the Government Printer’s normal business hours] containing a General Notice listing the Ministries which Mr Mugabe has allocated to the three parties. Mr Chinamasa released the gazetted notice to the state media, but it is not yet available to the public.
Mr Mugabe has used section 31D(1)(a) of the Constitution, which authorises the President to assign functions to Ministries, as if the Power-Sharing Agreement had never been signed.
The General Notice is not a law – It is no more than an official notification for public information of an allocation of Ministerial functions by Mr Mugabe. That purpose could have been achieved by a press release or any other form of public announcement. The notice is also unprecedented. Never before have Ministries being gazetted without a simultaneous appointment of Ministers to run them. The General Notice does not mean that the distribution of Ministries between the parties cannot be changed. If Mr Mugabe is persuaded to change his mind, the distribution can be changed immediately, with or without further gazetting.
MDC categorical that no agreement has been reached
Mr Tsvangirai said on Thursday “there has been no progress made on this entire section as ministries can only be negotiated comprehensively and not individually..….In this regard we have declared a deadlock and therefore the process can not move forward except in the presence of the facilitator.” On Friday Mr Tsvangirai, Mr Mutambara and Mr Mugabe met again but still failed to break the deadlock, and agreed to call in Mr Mbeki. The fact that there is still no agreement was confirmed personally by Mr Tsvangirai today [Saturday] after the publication of the Gazette Extraordinary. The MDC-T spokesman also issued an outraged press release saying they had been “ambushed.”
Opposing Lists of Allocated Ministries
In the Government’s General Notice the key Ministries of Defence,
Home Affairs, Justice and Legal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Media, Information and
Publicity, Local Government, Mines and Mining Development and Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement ,
Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment were given to ZANU-PF. The
other key Ministry, that of Finance, was stated to be still in dispute.
[Electronic version of General Notice available on
The MDC-T has emphatically rejected the gazetted allocation and published its own very different list, claiming that theirs captures the general understanding during Friday’s deliberations. It allocates some of the same key ministries, such as Home Affairs, Justice and Legal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Media, Information & Publicity, Local Government, as well as Finance, to MDC-T. [Electronic version of MDC-T list available on request.]
Mr Mbeki is expected in Harare on Monday 13th October.
Mr Mbeki has been confirmed as facilitator by SA, SADC and AU. On
October 2nd the new South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe, informed the
SADC Executive Secretary Dr Salomao that the government of South Africa supports
former President Thabo Mbeki's continued role as facilitator. On October 8th
the AU and SADC issued a statement reaffirming their support for the continued
role of Thabo Mbeki as the SADC mandated mediator and stating that, as
guarantors of the implementation of the Agreement, both the AU and SADC will
spare no effort in supporting its full and effective implementation.
Appointments to Executive Posts
No official announcements of have been made of appointments to Cabinet, or of Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
All 10 of these posts were given to ZANU PF in contravention of the Power-Sharing Agreement and are still the subject of dispute between the parties.
Senate: The two sittings were brief – 30 minutes on
Tuesday, just over an hour on Wednesday. Apart from a few contributions to the
debate on the President's speech, no business was conducted . No move was made
to elect the Senate's representatives on the Committee on Standing Rules and
Orders, in spite of the fact that Senate Standing Order 14 requires this
election to be conducted “as soon as possible after the commencement of each
Parliament”. [See under Parliamentary Committees.]
House of Assembly: There is one item on the order paper [agenda] for the House of Assembly – the debate on the President’s speech delivered at the opening of Parliament on the 26th August. The speech outlined his proposed programme for this Parliamentary session [Electronic version available]. Of course a new government might change the programme or the priorities, which goes to show the absurdity of carrying on as normal when there is no new government. In the absence of movement on the formation of the new Inclusive Government, it is likely that next week's House of Assembly meeting will follow the same pattern, culminating in an early adjournment until a date in November.
Supplementary Budget Getting Urgent: It will soon be necessary for the Government to introduce a Supplementary Budget to obtain Parliamentary confirmation of the special measures that must have been adopted to fund Government operations after the funds voted by Parliament in the last Appropriation Act [passed in December 2007] were exhausted. Under section 103(7) of the Constitution such special measures must cease not later than three months after the opening of the new Parliament. So a supplementary budget and an Additional or Supplementary Appropriation Act will be needed before 26th November.
Parliamentary Committees: Committees play an important role in the work of Parliament. The early business of a new Parliament, therefore, must include setting up the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO], which in turn appoints the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees. Some members of CSRO are ex officio or appointed [see below] but others have to be elected by each house sitting separately. This is why it is odd that elections did not take place in the Senate.
Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO]
This is the principal Parliamentary committee [Constitution, section 57(2), House of Assembly Standing Order 14, Senate Standing Order 14]. Each House has to elect a certain number of members to this Committee [see below], and Standing Orders require these elections to be conducted “as soon as possible after the commencement of each Parliament”. The Committee is responsible, inter alia, for determining the size of and selecting the chairpersons and members of all other committees, including the Parliamentary Legal Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committees [House of Assembly Standing Order 155, Senate Standing Order 145]. It consists of:
· the Speaker and the President of the Senate and their deputies
· members of the House of Assembly appointed by the Speaker
· Senators appointed by the President of the Senate
· members elected by the House of Assembly by secret ballot
· members elected by the Senate by secret ballot
The number of elected members must be greater than the number of appointed members, and the election of members of this Committee "shall be based, inter alia, on (the) political and gender composition of Parliament" [Standing Order 14].
Other functions of the CSRO include the appointment of the Clerk of Parliament and other officers of Parliament [Constitution, section 48] and a nominating or consultative role in the appointment of persons to various constitutional and statutory bodies [for example, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Media Commission] and important public offices [for example, the offices of Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector].
Parliamentary Portfolio Committees
In the last Parliament these Committees were joint Committees of Senators and members of the House of Assembly, but Standing Orders provide for either joint or separate committees as decided by the CSRO. There have been calls for each House to have its own separate portfolio committees, most recently by Senator Coltart in his speech in the Senate on 8th October.
Election-Related Court Cases
Election petition appeals update: None of the appeals
noted to the Supreme Court has been set down for hearing. Set-down has been
delayed pending receipt of the records of the proceedings from the Electoral
Court challenge to Minister's appointment of councillors:
The Government has lodged notice of its intention to oppose the court
proceedings challenging the Minister of Local Government's appointment of nine
additional councillors to the Bulawayo City Council. Although under the Urban
Councils Act appointed councillors do not have a vote in council decisions, they
can take full part in council proceedings and influence them. These appointed
seats were supposed to be reserved to represent special interest groups [e.g.
the aged, the handicapped, etc.] but the court challenge states appointments
have in fact been used to increase ZANU representation.
No statutory instruments were published in Friday’s regular
Government Gazette, but three were published in a Government Gazette
Extraordinary published on Friday afternoon:
SIs 145 and 146/2008 – SI 145 sets new listeners' licence fees with effect from 17th October 2008 and SI 146 provides for new categories and definitions of licences [electronic versions available on request]. Incidentally, these SIs are made by or with the approval of the Minister of Information and Publicity. This post is still being filled by Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who is no longer eligible to be a Minister. As a non-member of Parliament he was only entitled to continue serving as a Minister until 28th June [3 months after the dissolution of Parliament on 28th March] with an extension until the new Parliament opened on 26th August [Constitution, section 31E].
SI 147/2008 – this authorises the issue of a $50 000 banknote.
every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal
for information supplied.
Sunday, 12 October 2008 17:57 Phil Matibe
Robert Mugabe has asked white farmers from South Africa to come to the aid
of corrupt absentee ZANU (PF) landlords in Zimbabwe.
The very greedy persons who occupy farms, misappropriated from the relatives
and friends of these South African farmers and subjected Zimbabwean white
farmers to summary evictions, now seek the assistance of their kith and kin
to assist ZANU (PF) cultivate crops on stolen properties that are now
derelict. How many of the white South Africans farmers are displaced
Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana has asked AgriSA's white
commercial farmers at their Congress to join the Agriculture Department in
coming to the aid of Zimbabwean farmers to prevent a food crisis.
What an oxymoron!
Competent Zimbabwean professional farmers, some who were evicted from their
properties as early as last week now sit in apartments in Harare and
elsewhere, yet ZANU (PF) has the audacity to invite foreign white farmers to
come and abet tyranny. Agricultural knowledge and skills are the only
variables missing in Zimbabwe's food deficit matrix.
Zimbabwe and South Africa share the same weather patterns, soils, labour and
input requirements for cereal husbandry. Will these farmers bring their own
fuel, tractors, workers, security guards and Rands? Can these farmers
operate in a hyperinflation environment? How will war veterans distinguish
the AgriSA farmer from the Zimbabwean white farmer whom they loathe?
These ZANU (PF) connected politicians are the multiple farm proprietors who
accessed public funds, machinery and inputs from the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s quasi-financial activities, which were misused for
fraudulent non-agricultural activities, that exacerbated the food crisis and
In 2000, ZANU (PF) embarked on a violent, disorderly fast track land
invasion exercise, which culminated in white Zimbabwean farmers being
dispossessed of their farming properties under the guise of correcting a
colonial imbalance. Zimbabwe's white citizens are all treated as descendents
of colonial land grabbers and are no longer entitled to land ownership in
Reduction of poverty through land reform should have been the goal of any
agrarian reform programme but what occurred in Zimbabwe is the exact
opposite. A cost benefit analysis of the land redistribution programme
reveals that Zimbabwe's once proud competent communal farmers are now poorer
overall and less productive. Before this ill-advised exercise, our resilient
communal farmers were confident and looked forward to acquiring more land to
increase productivity. That dream has since evaporated and the farmers have
been humiliated and cunningly reduced to perpetual beggars by their own
Progressive communal farmers with the help of some proactive commercial
farming sector colleagues accessed hybrid and short season variety seed
suitable for our harsh growing conditions, fertilizers, draught power and
transport. In some cases, white commercial farmers provided extension
services and agronomic advice that enabled Zimbabwe's small-scale communal
farmers to produce over 70% of the nation's commercial maize output.
In the 1985/86 agricultural season communal farmers alone delivered 819 140
metric tonnes of maize to the GMB. Farmers always retain some maize for
their own consumption before selling any surplus to the GMB, thus the
small-scale communal farmer production figures are actually higher.
By the end of 1986, the country's maize reserve was at a peak of nearly 2
million metric tonnes and, even though 1987/88 was a drought season,
Zimbabwe managed to export 500,000 tonnes of maize. In 1990 Zimbabwe
exported 731 000 metric tonnes and in 1991,407 000 metric tonnes.
In 1992, our national food security was threatened by a severe drought that
resulted in virtually no harvests throughout the country. The Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) domestic maize intake during the year was about 13 000
tonnes, just enough for two days consumption and yet ZANU (PF) exported 268
000 tonnes metric tonnes of maize from the nation's strategic grain reserve.
In 1993,195 000 metric tonnes of maize was exported and in 1994,564 000
Zimbabwe was a net exporter of grain prior to the 2000 referendum, in which
the ZANU (PF) constitutional proposals were rejected by 58% of the
population. The ensuring backlash against white farmers and the war veterans
appeasement policy that followed precipitated Zimbabwe's agricultural
production decline and has made our country a food importer. In the
referendum, only 9% of Zimbabweans felt that land was important.
The land invasions began two months after the rejection of a referendum on a
new constitution that would have allowed the government to grab the farms
without paying compensation.
Today, Zimbabwe is facing its worst food deficit since the beginning of
organised agriculture over a century ago. The United Nations' Food and
Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has classified as food insecure, 45 % of the
population, 5 101 800 people, for the 2008/2009 season.
Starving Zimbabweans do not care if a war veteran or a white farmer grows
their food. White ex-Zimbabwean commercial farmers evicted from their farms
only a few years ago, grow and export maize that Zimbabwe now imports from
Zambia. White farmers in the EU and the USA grow nearly all the World Food
Programme (WFP) emergency assistance grain that is keeping starving rural
Maize is the most unproblematic crop to grow in Zimbabwe. Small-scale
farmers should be empowered to grow all of Zimbabwe's maize, leaving
commercial farmers to produce labour intensive, export-oriented crops that
create jobs and earn foreign currency.
Zviripachena saDhiraivha wetarakita.
Help support our pensioners or the Courtney sparrow medical assistance fund
at http://www.hopeunlimited.net, you can donate via credit card or paypal.
Zimbabwe Pensioner Supporter August Trip Report 18th to 26th August 2008
Our August trip was once again done by Hannes and myself although we were
very ably accompanied by the Mobile Clinic manned by Chemist Johan Snyman
and Elbe Britz in their Clinics for Christ vehicle and also Annette van der
Merwe who is one of our most ardent supporters from the Eastern Cape. It was
from her community that we managed to fill the new truck with food parcels
about a month ago.
To say that this was an interesting trip would be the understatement of the
decade. Our enemy, Satan tried every trick in the book to waylay the success
of our purpose yet our God was there ready to help us overcome each attack.
18th Aug left Duiwelskloof at 5am we headed for our rendezvous with the team
as noted above. On arrival in Musina I noted that the coupling hitch of the
trailer had almost sheared off completely. There, within minutes I was
introduced to an ex Zim gentleman, Hennie Ferreira, who did a temporary
repair job on the roadside so we could move the rig to his workshop where he
did the complete 100% job for no charge. To God be the Glory, and Satan once
again failed. We pressed on and eventually crossed the border at 01.15 of
Tuesday morning, having spent about 10 hrs there. Less than 1 km into
Zimbabwe the truck's turbo or injector pump malfunctioned resulting in a
serious over revving that damaged the engine and crippling the truck making
it impossible to proceed. As I stood and looked at the oily wreck I could
only think to praise God who teaches us to thank Him in all things because
He is able to make all things work together for our benefit. We agreed that
Hannes proceed to our first destination and plan from there. I would sit out
the night and at day light see how to get assistance. I inevitably dozed off
and in that short period of about 40 mins a group of raiders snuck up and
cut open the canvas of the trailer and helped themselves to a copious amount
of the goods we carry. They took Lux soap, cooking oil, canned fish, canned
meat Mealie meal and a lot of other goods. After rationalizing the loss I
realized that all people in Zim are hungry and they would hopefully sell
their loot to get food. I released the loss and had immediate peace. At
7.00am I contacted my dear wife Liz in Duiwelskloof, telling her of our
predicament and she soon managed to organize someone, namely Rob Elliot to
organize the removal of our truck to his depot for safe keeping, thank you
Rob and Mrs. Elliot for your kindness and the lovely steak roll prepared the
way I like it, unbeknown to you. God Bless you. In the meantime, Hannes
contacted an old farmer friend in Kwe Kwe, Jan Fritz, who without hesitation
sent his similar truck to our assistance and we were able to transship the
load and proceed on our way. En route their truck had a front wheel blowout
but donated our spare to him and continued on the trip.
Why have I made mention of all this? Friends, to know God is to love Him and
when you are in His will He will come up for you, and you will have
experiences like this where all Satan's plans to derail you are turned
around and used to pave a straight road for you. Wait for the next report to
see how He will use others to bless us because of the ministry of blessing
we do for others as is the mandate God gave Hannes years ago.
Wed 20th Well, now for the nitty gritty regarding our purpose, spreading
the food and medicines that we carried. We visited Kings Haven in Esigodini
where many of the folk received not only medicines but also medical
attention and a tender loving ear for the 1st time in months. All around the
country we heard of people who had not seen a doctor or medic for many, many
months and who had to suffer in silence as pain and other med was
In Bulawayo we did our usual rounds of the homes, namely, Coronation
Cottages, Edith Duly frail care, Jacaranda House, Queen Mary, and some of
the needy folk outside in the city. At Garden
Park Clinic we bumped into a young Indian doctor, who seeing the Christian
logo's on our vehicles came and asked us if we had certain medicines and
medical things like sutures, gloves and needles etc they were very short of.
The most basic of stuff is unavailable. The situation is pathetic in every
area, not only in foodstuff. Most people are severely malnourished. Needless
to say, we were able to grant her, her wishes.
Thurs. 21st Did Bogies and Huis Vergesig in Gweru, M.U.U.S in Sherugwe and
drove on to Kadoma where we spent the night with our friends, Clive and
Estelle O' Reily. During our visits our medics were once again inundated
with requests for medicines and we saw the great need they fulfilled. Even
the dreaded "jabs" were administered. Their presence brightened up many
faces and in many cases, their care gave folk the unction to go on as they
had found a new friend. To the three of you, you have made a contact that
will be looking out for you each trip. Even our hosts and hostesses were
inspected to see if they were ok.
Fri.22nd.We rose early, did Westview in Kadoma and then Lynbrook in Kwe Kwe
and Hubert Lee in Redcliff after which we hightailed it to Harare to spend
the night. Here we were put up by a new connection, Sarah English, who as a
matter of interest was a member of the 1980 Zimbabwe hockey team that won
Gold in the Olympics in Moscow that year. Thank you Sarah for having room in
your "inn" and putting us all up, and trust we will continue to build our
relationship with you.
Sat.23rd Up early again and off to Sunningdale in Chinoyi. Here we did our
usual food drop and the medics were once again overwhelmed by the need,
especially in the care unit of the home. We also met two of the local Cuban
doctors who also stood ready to receive much needed medicines for their work
in the local hospitals. Even they could not say no to a batch of food from
the fund. Praise the Lord we had a few spare to give. From there we went via
Harare to Chivhu and left the hampers with Albert and Leanie Kirstein who
see to the distribution of it. We pressed on to Masvingo where we once again
came to rest with our friend Gerard Burger where we are always spoiled as
with our other hosts and hostesses to the best they have. The team had done
their ministry work there on the 19th so they were up, up and away early the
next day to return to various loved ones south of the border. Our heartfelt
thanks to Annette, Elbe and Johan for a job well done and looking to see you
all again on a trip somewhere down the line. You are all stars. No mishaps
next time I hope. Hannes and I stayed the next two days to chill and get our
paperwork started for the next trip.
Tues26th. We finally crossed the border with Gerhard's help as Hannes towed
our dead Dyna and I and one trailer across and Gerard towed our other
trailer across. We left the truck with our new friend Hennie Ferreira in
Musina who is busy doing an engine transplant as this report goes out.
So, friends, if your focus is on your goal and not on your adversary, he
will not be able to beat you, and in fact, all his efforts to do you down,
will work in your favor. As I said before, "Watch this space." Remember to
pray for the people of Zimbabwe.
Thank you to all of you who faithfully pray for us on our trips, and all of
you who faithfully donate towards this worthy cause.
God Bless you all. Pastor Attie Botha.