by Simplicious Chirinda Friday 23 October 2009
HARARE - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday told Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to go back to Harare and re-engage coalition partner
President Robert Mugabe, the South African President's special political
adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, told ZimOnline on Thursday.
A statement released by Zuma's office after his Wednesday meeting with
Tsvangirai said he had told the Zimbabwean premier that Pretoria was ready
to assist the Harare coalition partners resolve their differences.
The statement that also said Zuma had expressed concern with the situation
in Zimbabwe appeared a thinly veiled statement of support for Tsvangirai's
calls for Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to intervene
to diffuse the crisis in Harare.
But Zulu said while Zuma expressed his sympathy with Tsvangirai's concerns,
he was more worried by the Zimbabwean Prime Minister's decision to disengage
from all cooperation with Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.
Zulu said Zuma also made it clear to Tsvangirai that he had to go back to
Harare and try to resolve his problems with Mugabe because there was simply
no alternative to the power-sharing government.
"President Zuma told him that the only mechanism on the table is to remain
in government and ensure the implementation of outstanding issues," said
"This is the only mechanism available and there is no other. President Zuma
and South Africa cannot afford to let Zimbabwe go back to last year's
condition. The way forward is to engage, engage and engage," she added.
Zulu said Zuma suggested "Tsvangirai and Mugabe must sit down and iron out
their differences as a matter of urgency".
Tsvangirai last week announced his MDC party's decision to boycott Cabinet
and cut all cooperation with Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, blaming the
veteran leader's obstinacy for failing to fulfil the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the unity government, and the slow pace
of democratic reforms.
The MDC's action was also to protest the indictment of its treasurer general
and deputy agriculture minister-designate, Roy Bennett, as well as what it
says is the continued harassment and politically motivated prosecution of
its activists and legislators.
As a result of the disengagement, Tsvangirai's and his ministers boycotted
this week's Cabinet meeting.
Tsvangirai, who met Zuma in Cape Town, has since Monday visited key regional
capitals to explain his party's boycott of the unity government and to try
to persuade regional leaders to exert pressure on the 85-year-old Mugabe to
fulfil his power-sharing commitments.
But Zulu said: "President Zuma is worried by the disengagement from the GNU
(government of national unity). He fears that it will put the whole
arrangement in jeopardy.
"The MDC has to go back to the agreement and do their best to make it work.
South Africa and other countries will on the other hand rally around the
implementation with an understanding that all role players must play their
part in a positive manner."
Asked what the South African leader proposed as the way forward, Zulu said
Zuma urged SADC's special politics, defence and security organ - also known
as the Troika - to visit the country and assess the progress of the GNU.
The organ was last month tasked by regional leaders to monitor Zimbabwe's
February coalition administration. Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland make up
the Troika, while South Africa attends the Troika's meetings on Zimbabwe as
mediator in the crisis.
"The SADC Troika should speed up its engagement with Zimbabwean leaders.
They should visit the country and review the process and look at other
arising issues," said Zulu.
Tsvangirai on Tuesday met Troika chairperson and Mozambican President
Armando Guebuza who reportedly promised to send representatives of the
Troika to assess the situation in Zimbabwe and meet with MDC and ZANU PF
officials, including Mugabe.
Analysts have warned that if the MDC's move did not yield any pressure from
SADC, it could prove a costly gamble and the party could lose any leverage
over ZANU PF.
Mugabe could in future make unilateral decisions to frustrate Tsvangirai and
drive the former opposition party from government. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Friday 23 October 2009
JOHANNESBURG - The European Union (EU) presidency on Wednesday urged
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to swiftly implement a power-sharing
agreement he signed with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and end a fallout
that is threatening to collapse the country's coalition administration.
The EU presidency - currently held by Sweden - in a statement also called on
Mugabe, who formed a unity government with Tsvangirai last February to end a
political crisis following inconclusive elections last year, to speed up
The statement follows last week's decision by Tsvangirai and his MDC party
to boycott all cooperation with Mugabe and his ZANU PF party, blaming the
veteran leader's failure to fully implement the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) that gave birth to the unity government.
Sweden took a swipe at hardliners in Mugabe's ZANU PF party whom it accused
of retarding meaningful progress towards implementation of the power-sharing
pact which the EU said was "the key to re-engagement" with the southern
"However, elements within (Mugabe's party) have consistently failed to
accept real power sharing and to demonstrate a willingness to assist in the
implementation of the reforms to which they have committed," the statement
The EU called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South
Africa - brokers of Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement - "to make all
efforts to create a constructive environment in which outstanding issues can
be resolved" to end the current crisis.
The MDC announced a boycott of the country's power-sharing government,
saying it will not "sit in meetings with an unreliable and unrepentant
partner" after the re-arrest and detention of Tsvangirai's to ally Roy
Bennett on terrorism charges.
The former opposition party, which says the charges against Bennett are
political, says Mugabe's prosecution of Bennett is a further breach of the
GPA under which Mugabe undertook to halt all political prosecutions.
Under the GPA Harare is supposed to stabilise the southern African country's
economy that has been in decline for the past decade, liberalise the media
and democratise key state institutions that have been under the control of
Mugabe's ZANU PF party since independence in 1980.
The unity government should also write a new constitution for the country
after which free and democratic elections should be held.
Western donor nations have refused to provide direct financial support to
the Harare government demanding more political reforms and a return to rule
of law on commercial farms that are key to economic recovery and food
security. - ZimOnline
By Blessing Zulu
22 October 2009
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pursued a regional diplomatic
initiative on Thursday, briefing Democratic Republic of Congo President
Joseph Kabila, current chairman of the Southern African Development
Community, seeking support in the runup to next week's meeting in Harare of
SADC's troika or committee on security and defense.
Mr Tsvangirai met with President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique late Tuesday
and South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday in Cape Town. Mozambique
currently holds the chair of the SADC troika or working group, which
includes Swaziland and Zambia.
Following his talks with Mr. Kabila, Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the
Movement for Democratic Change issued a statement saying the prime
minister's message was that SADC "must grapple with" the constitutional
crisis that has arisen in Harare.
The statement quoted Mr. Tsvangirai as saying that "SADC must live up to its
responsibility" as a guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for
power sharing by "ensuring that all parties to the agreement abide by" its
letter and its spirit. Mr. Tsvangirai added that SADC leaders had the right
to know the situation first-hand, the statement said.
The troika will try to reconcile Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC with its ZANU-PF
governing partner, from which the prime minister announced Oct. 16 that his
party has "disengaged" while making clear that the MDC formation is not
quitting the government as such.
President Robert Mugabe, for his part, Wednesday hosted top officials of
Angola's ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola at State
House, including MPLA Secretary General Juliao Mateus Paulo. Sources in
ZANU-PF said Mr. Mugabe updated the Angolan delegation, adding that the
meeting was intended to pre-empt Mr. Tsvangirai's scheduled meeting late
this week with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that DRC President Kabila undertook to actively help
resolve the crisis.
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao was expected to meet meantime with
Mr. Zuma and his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, SADC's longtime mediator on
SADC sources said Salomao wanted to persuade the two men to join the members
of the troika in Harare next Thursday, but Zuma spokesman Vincent Magwenya
professed ignorance about the meeting, saying his boss has no plans to
travel to Harare at this point.
Salomao himself declined to comment on the matter in an interview with VOA.
Political analyst and human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga said bringing Thabo
Mbeki back into the controversy in Harare will not advance the work of the
Elsewhere, scores of MDC supporters in the Chiweshe communal lands of
Mashonaland Central province have fled their homes amid alleged intimidation
by ZANU-PF party activists and war veterans which has revived fears of a
resumption of political violence.
Local MDC members said threats followed Mr. Tsvangirai's declaration of
"disengagement" from ZANU-PF, as VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi
APA-Kampala (Uganda) The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on
Thursday challenged African leaders to step up risk and disaster prevention
strategies in order to minimize the ever increasing numbers of refugees and
internally displaced persons.
In a speech read by Antonio Gutierrez of the UN High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) to the special summit on refugees, returnees and internally
displaced persons (IDPs) at Commonwealth Resort in Kampala, the UN boss
saluted African leaders in coming together to address the causes generating
the refugee situations and finding remedies. He hoped the outcome of the
summit would give a ray of hope to the refugees and IDPs.
The host President Mr. Yoweri Museveni flanked by Rupia Banda from Zambia
and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe said "we need to build our capacity to predict
disaster and conflict situation and provide necessary responses to the
problems of refugees." He said there is need for proper diagnosis of the
causes for the right prescription to the problem adding that it is wrong to
sweep the dust from under the carpet instead of dealing with the causes.
He told the summit that in conflict situations, proper distinction ought to
be made between freedom fighters and terrorists, saying some wars are
justified using proper methods. Why should one target women, children or
innocent civilians instead of the armed combatants in a war ?" he asked. He
proposed that state institutions like the army and police need to be
strengthened to prevent or deal with conflict situations.
He said even in justified wars, all peaceful methods must be exhausted
before resorting to violence.
He also castigated the habits of interfering with the environment by way of
settling in drainage areas leading to floods, drought and other vagaries of
weather that displace people.
Museveni said the refugees and the displaced must have their right to
security, education, medical care, shelter and clothing as well as
empowerment in various practical skills so that their time in the camps is
not put to waste. He also suggested that with the land becoming scarce,
absorption and integration of the refugees should be encouraged in urban
areas where they are least likely to conflict with the locals over resources
He said for instance that there is a big community of Somali refugees in
Kampala city who have contributed a lot especially in the transport industry
and they live harmoniously with the locals.
He commended the World Food Programe and the UNHCR for their continued
support to the refugees and the IDPs in terms of relief.
The summit closes on Friday with an anticipated "Kampala Convention on
refugees and IDPs after the heads of state and other experts discuss the
draft recommendations from the extra-ordinary session, in a closed session.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 21:33
A SPECIAL audit report on ministerial accounts has exposed corruption
through gross abuse of state resources by top government officials and
unlawful recruitment of over 10 000 youths during the countdown to last year's
violent presidential election run-off.
In a damning report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, Mildred
Chiri, for the first quarter of 2009 financial year, several ministers and
their deputies and permanent secretaries took away vehicles, some as many as
four, from ministries where they had been working before the formation of
the inclusive government.
The audit also revealed irregularities and inadequacies in the payroll
administration in several ministries.
The Ministry of Youth Development was singled out as the worst case of
abusing government recruitment procedures when it employed 10 277 youths
between May and June 2008 without the existence of posts on the ministry's
The youths were deployed throughout the country as ward officers in
what Chiri said was a violation of a treasury instruction that stated "no
officer shall be appointed unless an appropriate vacancy exists on the
authorised establishment and no unestablished officer shall be appointed for
specific work unless adequate provision has been made for the purpose".
"In terms of the authorised establishment supporting the 2008 Budget
estimates, the ministry had an establishment of 144 youth officers," reads
the report. "This was based on the criteria that there would be two youth
officers in each of the country's 72 districts.
In a clear violation of Treasury Instruction 1101, in May and June
2008 a further 10 277 names were added to the ministry's payroll. Although
no provision had been made in the estimates, a decision had been taken to
the effect that the additional appointees would be deployed up to ward level
throughout the country and designated as ward youth officers."
Between May and June 27 - the day of the presidential run-off - there
was widespread political violence in the country. The Morgan Tsvangirai-led
MDC alleged that close to 200 of its supporters were killed and thousands
tortured and injured by Zanu PF youths, war veterans and state security
The audit said public service appointment procedures were flouted as
there were no public advertisements for vacant posts, no offers of
appointment and no letters of engagement issued.
"The appointees were not subjected to a medical examination as
required by the public service regulations quoted above. Declarations of
official secrets were not completed and there was no staff files opened at
either the ministry headquarters or the provincial and/or district offices
in all the provinces and districts covered by audit."
The audit report reveals that there was duplication of 458 names on
During the audit there was the absence of personal details of the
employees and the very "likelihood of some of these or the majority thereof
being ghost employees".
"The appointment process was unprocedural as evidenced by the
following irregularities: duplicated names and surnames with the same ID,
individuals appearing in two ministries, no appointment documents, same date
of birth for most employees and same bank account used for paying
employees-imprests accounts," reads the report.
The Auditor-General said though salary cessation was effected in March
using IDs as the controlling key to identify duplicates after the revelation
of ghost employees by the print media, there was no evidence that
disallowances were raised to recover salaries from non bona fide employees.
The auditor raised concern that there was no evidence of the fraud
having been refereed to the police for investigations. There was also no
evidence that disciplinary action had been taken or a board of enquiry
The audit said when the ministry's accounting officer was taken to
task, he conceded that the ministry's establishment had no room for any
vacancy. He indicated that some 1 260 existing posts of ward officers under
the Ministry of Women's Affairs were going to be converted and transferred
to his ministry to cater for the recruitment.
He attributed failure to follow laid-down procedures and the absence
of personal files to budgetary constraints to facilitate the purchase of
files and stationery.
The accounting officer promised that he would produce a "vigorous and
extensive audit" in the ministry, but it was never submitted to the
Auditor-General, the report reads.
Last night, Youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed seeing the
report, but said it had a "lot of inaccuracies".
"I saw the report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General which is
based on her own findings," Kasukuwere said. "We are still studying the
report as we feel that there are a lot of inaccuracies. The ministry's
accounting officer is looking at all the issues raised and carrying out our
own investigations. Once we have completed, we will make an official
The audit report also exposed the misapplication of funds in the
Ministry of Agriculture.
"It was observed that US$21 738 for the Agricultural Revolving Fund
was used for minister (Joseph Made)'s business cards, Internet router, head
office provisions and hotel bill. Audit considered that the above
expenditure did not fall within the ambit of the Agricultural Revolving Fund's
core business," the report said. "Funds allocated to statutory funds should
only be applied to the services for which those funds were established.
Accordingly, the minister should consider making arrangements to refund to
the fund the monies thus spent."
In the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, the Auditor-General
uncovered unvouched expenditure.
The auditee incurred expenditure amounting to US$1 909 without
supporting documents. However, a statement was prepared by the auditee to
confirm the expenditure amounting to US$382."
Irregularities were also found in the Ministry of Industry and
Commerce where the ministry's total vehicle holding had been depleted after
former Minister Obert Mpofu and his ex-deputy Phineas Chihota and permanent
secretary took possession of cars they had been using before leaving the
"The former cabinet minister took possession of two motor vehicles
which he had been using before leaving the ministry, the former deputy
minister was authorised to purchase the vehicle which he has been using
before leaving the ministry, the former permanent secretary took possession
of four motor vehicles which he had been using when he left the ministry and
one vehicle was allocated to an officer who was assigned to carry out duties
outside the country," reads the report. It further states the allocation
Former Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Chris
Mushohwe and his ex-deputy Hubert Nyanhongo and permanent secretary are said
to have taken possession of three motor vehicles each they were using before
they left the ministry and relevant authorities for the acquisitions were
not produced during the audit.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 21:27
THE SOUTHERN African Development Community (Sadc) will next Thursday
dispatch to Harare a fact-finding ministerial team - drawn from countries
represented on the regional bloc's organ on politics, defence and security
cooperation - to deal with the Zimbabwean political situation.
The move would mark Sadc's intervention in Zimbabwe's political crisis
following the partial withdrawal from government by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) last week.
Diplomatic sources said the Sadc organ on politics, defence and
security cooperation chair, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, told
Tsvangirai on Tuesday when they met in Chimoio that a ministerial team would
visit Harare on Thursday to kick-start a regional mediation process to sort
out the current situation.
The team would comprise ministers from Zambia, Swaziland and
Tsvangirai also met Sadc chair, DRC President Joseph Kabila, yesterday
in Kinshasa and would be meeting Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos in
Luanda today for further talks on Zimbabwe with regional leaders.
James Maridadi, Tsvangirai's spokesman, yesterday confirmed the
"The prime minister has just met with President Kabila to discuss the
Zimbabwe situation," he said. "He appraised him on the current events in
Zimbabwe and President Kabila made a commitment to treat the issue as an
urgent matter. He will engage with his Sadc colleagues, particularly
President Guebuza on the way forward."
Sources said all necessary arrangements for next week's meetings have
already been made by the Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao who has been
seized with the issues since last week. Salomao visited Zimbabwe last
weekend for talks with the political leadership, including President Robert
Mugabe, to lay the ground for Sadc intervention.
Salomao also attended the Chimoio meeting and was frantically trying
to hold talks with South African President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe mediator
Thabo Mbeki to brief them on the outcome of the Chimoio meeting. Sources
said Mbeki remains the mediator in Zimbabwe and might soon visit the country
if the current political deadlock remains.
Salomao has indicated Zimbabwe's problems must be primarily resolved
by the country's fighting political principals, a view shared by Mbeki and
some Sadc leaders. Smaller MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara has been
trying to broker a meeting between Mugabe and Tsvangirai which is expected
to take place anytime now.
Prior to meeting Kabila yesterday, Tsvangirai met Zuma on Wednesday in
Cape Town for talks. Maridadi confirmed all the meetings. A statement issued
by Zuma's office said the South Africa leader had "expressed concern at the
situation in Zimbabwe" and said "Zimbabwe should not be allowed to slide
back into instability".
Zuma, who relinquished the Sadc chairmanship last month, remains
influential in the regional bloc since South Africa remains part of the Sadc
summit troika which also includes the DRC and Namibia. The summit troika is
different from the Sadc organ on politics, defence and security troika which
has Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland as its members.
Tsvangirai and the MDC partly pulled out of government - via a boycott
of cabinet and the council of ministers - citing Mugabe and Zanu PF's
refusal to fully implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and a series
of outstanding issues.
Mugabe's press secretary George Charamba has dismissed the MDC boycott
as "monkey business" - a move "full of sound and fury signifying nothing".
However, MDC deputy Information minister Jameson Timba said Charamba's
remarks reflected his "political naivety".
"If it's a non-event why is he talking about it? It shows his
political naivety," Timba said. "Charamba is a civil servant who should not
dabble in issues that don't concern him."
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:56
TSHOLOTSHO North villagers want to summon their member of parliament
Jonathan Moyo in a fortnight so that he can explain his decision to rejoin
Zanu PF. If he snubs them, the villagers said they would bar him from
visiting the constituency.
Villagers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent on Tuesday said they
were shocked to hear through foreign radio stations that Moyo was back in
Zanu PF after repeatedly vowing during his campaign last year that he would
never rejoin the party.
Some of the villagers said they still doubt the authenticity of the
information and now want Moyo to personally address them.
"We are not 100% convinced by reports that our MP (Moyo) has gone back
to that party (Zanu PF). We only heard it on radio stations. We will only
believe it when Moyo comes down here to address us," said Mbonisi Ndlovu,
who said he was in Moyo's campaign team last year.
Last weekend, villagers from the constituency met to discuss Moyo's
re-joining Zanu PF and resolved to summon him in the next two weeks.
A letter will be sent to Moyo on Monday to inform him of that
decision, said Ndlovu.
"Many people are now confused by his (Moyo's) action (if what we hear
is true) and we have resolved to summon him within two weeks to Tsholotsho
to explain his move. Why is he taking so long to do that if he rejoined Zanu
PF?" asked Ndlovu.
Another villager at Jimila Business centre, Mfokababa Nxumalo, said if
Moyo still respected the electorate he should be humble enough to explain
his decision in person.
"It's shocking that the same Moyo who used to tell us that he will
never rejoin (President Robert) Mugabe's party has done it," Nxumalo said.
"We have not forgotten he said that once he rejoins Mugabe we have the right
to take drastic action against him. This leaves us with no option but to
summon him here and if he refuses we will bar him from ever setting foot in
Tsholotsho North and we will do it."
He wondered what Moyo was promised by Zanu PF, which he said must have
been "too tempting to resist".
However, some villagers said they were not worried about Moyo
rejoining Zanu PF as long as he did not abandon them.
"Moyo is a likeable person and action-oriented. He started several
critical projects like electrification, borehole drilling and helping in
schools. We would be disappointed if he abandons us now that he is back in
Zanu PF," said Monica Ncube, another villager in Tsholotsho North.
Earlier this year, there were media reports that Mugabe wanted to
appoint Moyo Minister of Media, Information and Publicity but faced stiff
resistance from some top Zanu PF politburo members.
In a recent interview with state media, Moyo claimed that people in
Tsholotsho North "are without doubt Zanu PF people or those sympathetic to
Zanu PF's ideology and principles and who appreciated the development
projects that have been done there through Zanu PF".
But some villagers said they only voted for him on the understanding
that he was no longer a Zanu PF member as they did not want to be associated
Another villager who campaigned for Moyo, Agrippa Moyo, said: "He is
an MP because we don't want Zanu PF here and that (MDC leader Morgan)
Tsvangirai did not have a candidate, he knows that. We wanted to vote for
Moyo is the only independent MP in the House of Assembly.
He is accused of having crafted Zimbabwe's tough media laws that saw
several private newspapers shut down during his tenure as Information
But he fell out of favour with Mugabe when he allegedly masterminded
the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in November 2004 to re-arrange the Zanu
Mugabe blocked his nomination to the central committee and dropped him
from the politburo.
Moyo was fired from the party after he decided to contest the election
as an independent candidate in the 2005 parliamentary election for
Tsholotsho North, a seat which Zanu PF had reserved for a female candidate.
Moyo retained the Tsholotsho North seat last year by a slight margin
after beating a candidate from the splinter MDC formation led by Arthur
Mutambara and a Zanu PF candidate.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:47
THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC last week resolved to "disengage" from
Zanu PF in cabinet and the council of ministers, but at the same time
remained in the inclusive government. Our news editor Constantine Chimakure
on Tuesday posed questions to the party's spokesperson Nelson Chamisa on the
meaning of the disengagement and its implications, among other issues. Below
are the excerpts.
Chimakure: In layman's language, can you explain your party's decision
to "disengage" in relation to Zanu PF and the inclusive government.
Chamisa: We have a right of freedom of dissociation from Zanu PF
because of its dishonesty, unreliability and inconsistencies, lack of
paradigm shift and its lack of respect for us as an equal partner. Zanu PF
has exhibited encyclopaedic levels of insincerity and palpable deficit of
goodwill. However, we are not disengaging from the government. There is no
pullout from government because we are government ourselves. It is
impossible for one to pull out of themselves.
Zanu PF is not government and government is not necessarily Zanu PF.
The inclusive government has three parties which are signatories to the
global political agreement (GPA). There cannot be any inclusive government
without any one of the three. We won the people's mandate. We have a
covenant with the people; that promise, a promise of leadership, the duty to
lead, the call of representation. Who are we to abdicate a responsibility to
govern given the overwhelming confidence the people of Zimbabwe have in the
party of excellence, the MDC? Disengagement is only a gesture of
disenchantment, a demonstration of unhappiness over a political logjam in
the implementation of the GPA. Disengagement is a signal call to the
guarantors to expeditiously intervene and adjudicate as a way of unlocking
the political gridlock.
Chimakure: What were the reasons for the disengagement? Was it because
of the incarceration of your treasurer-general Roy Bennett?
Chamisa: It is important that the gains and processes of the inclusive
government do not slide back, that is, there are irreversible and bankable.
We have been worried as a party that each time we are planning, others are
plotting. Each time we are building, others are destroying. When we see
lights others create darkness.
In this inclusive government it is supposed to be give and take
affair. Unfortunately, we have been giving and giving and giving without
taking anything in retain. We know that the Bible says blessed is the hand
that gives than the one that takes. In our case we are simply asking
blessings as the hand that has been giving.
The people of Zimbabwe deserve hope, food, jobs, medical care and a
happy life. To deliver the above, stability and credibility of government
are key ingredients. It is in this context that all outstanding issues that
threaten the stability and credibility of the inclusive government are
The reasons for disengagement are therefore self-evident and have to
do with the continued failure to honestly resolve the outstanding issues in
the GPA. The selective application of the rule of law, non-appointment of
governors and ambassadors, senior government appointments, the vile and hate
speech in the public media are just a few manifestations of fundamental
issues which we cannot just sit and watch.
Chimakure: Does the disengagement affect business of government at
operational level, for example, duties and responsibilities of ministries
under the MDC?
Chamisa: This disengagement fundamentally affects those platforms
where we have direct contact with Zanu PF, which means cabinet and the
council of ministers. Our ministers are going to their offices and executing
their duties diligently as ministers of excellence.
Chimakure: Why have you not informed President Mugabe of your
Chamisa: The statement by the party president on 16 October 2009
reached every living room in Zimbabwe. Every citizen is aware of that
progressive and patriotic decision, including our colleagues in Zanu PF and
their First Secretary.
Chimakure: During your party's national council meeting in Bulawayo on
September 13 there was a resolution to consult your party structures and
Zimbabweans at large on whether or not the party should disengage from the
government. The consultations were still going on when you decided last
Friday to disengage. Why that decision when consultations were on going?
Chamisa: The MDC is about the people, for the people and from the
people. Indeed, we took a decision to consult the people on the
sustainability and worthiness of the inclusive government in delivering real
change. That process is proceeding exceedingly well since October 1 2009. So
far, the party has held 1 233 meetings in the various wards and by the time
we complete the exercise, we hope to have held meetings in all the 1 958
wards in the country. Every village, every suburb, every farm shall be
The decision to disengage from Zanu PF is not a pre-emption of the
on-going consultative process, which in essence will be a referendum on the
inclusive government. The action we have taken is directed at Zanu PF
pending the direction from the people.
Chimakure: In your view, how can this impasse be resolved?
Chamisa: Coalition governments are always difficult propositions. The
forces of continuity are always in contestation with the forces of change.
It is this contest that should make the political parties constituting the
coalition to constantly and genuinely communicate; to forever create the
meeting of the minds on the interpretation, the letter and spirit of the
Chimakure: What should the Sadc and the AU do given the current
Chamisa: It is important that African problems be resolved by African
institutions. African challenges require African responses. In this regard
it is important for African institutions to deal speedily, expeditiously and
satisfactorily to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. More importantly, logic
must be caused to visit our colleagues in Zanu PF on the profit and benefit
of implementing the GPA to the full. No political party or signatory should
be allowed to run away from their signature either in word or in deed. A
special meeting to deal with all the outstanding issues wholly and squarely
would be the best prescription for the ailment afflicting our country. Sadc
and the AU, as guarantors, occupy the umpire's role in the resolution of the
Chimakure: What do you say to allegations peddled in the
state-controlled media that your decision was influenced by the US, Britain
and other Western countries who are pushing for fresh elections?
Chamisa: That is a tired song. The state media behave like an old
record stuck in a groove. The state media have become a theatre of fiction,
a factory of falsehoods and a conveyor belt of perfidy.
It is an insult perpetrated by a few elites that black people in
Zimbabwe cannot think for themselves. Ian Smith used to suggest that "his
blacks" were the happiest on the continent and were only being influenced by
The neo-colonial inheritors of Smith's legacy still want to perpetuate
the condescending myth that black Zimbabweans cannot think for themselves.
Our decisions are coined and passed in the villages and suburbs of Zimbabwe
by ordinary men and women in the countryside and in urban areas. This is why
the party won the majority of votes. It is an insult to the people of
Zimbabwe that a party controlled from Washington or Berlin is the majority
party in Zimbabwe. Generally, in life, allegations usually grow on weak
minds and dishonest hearts.
Chimakure: Are elections the best solution to the political crisis and
can the elections take place before the crafting of a new constitution?
Chamisa: Ideally, a people-driven constitution is the foundation of a
free and fair election. In all cases elections are inevitable. The GPA is
implicit that elections will be held after the consultative process. It is
important that this country holds free and fair elections to finalise the
unfinished business of 2008.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:44
GOVERNMENT has given a lifeline to the constitution-making process,
which had stalled due to lack of funds, by agreeing to release the US$11,3
million in batches for the reform process, whose completion has been delayed
by at least three months. Co-chairperson of the parliamentary select
committee on the constitution, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, told the Zimbabwe
Independent yesterday that they were expecting the first batch of US$3,6
million from treasury either today or early next week.
This, he said, would enable the committee to start training the teams
of about 860 people, set up offices, recruit administrative staff, hire
vehicles and thereafter deploy the teams for the outreach programme.
Mangwana said the consultations should be done by January next year
and they need US$4,2 million for the outreach programme. This includes funds
to hire about 165 cars for select committee members and allowances for the
"We were promised money from the Ministry of Finance," said Mangwana.
"The management committee approved our budget and they promised to release
the money on a monthly basis. Although nothing has come yet, we are
expecting the first disbursement either tomorrow (Friday) or next week.
"This will enable us to start consultations, recruit staff and set up
offices. We will be able to set into motion our administrative machinery. We
will be able to start training and that will take us a week and thereafter
we will deploy the teams. We need 65 working days to carry out
To expedite the process, the three principals of the global political
agreement (GPA) agreed that the six negotiators of the unity deal -- Patrick
Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche of Zanu PF, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma of
MDC-T, and Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga of the
MDC-M -- would form the constitution-making organ's management committee
together with three members of the 25-member select committee of parliament.
The management committee will have an independent secretariat.
According to the timetable outlined in the GPA, the outreach programme
was supposed to be completed in mid November, four months after the
stakeholders meeting which was held in July.
Consultations had been scheduled to start on August 25 and should have
been completed by November 13.
The only thing that the select committee has managed to organise since
it was constituted in April was the stakeholders meeting, which was chaotic
because of disruptions from Zanu PF supporters.
The draft of the constitution is supposed to be tabled within three
months of completion of the public consultations to a second stakeholders
The draft and the accompanying report should then be debated in
parliament and the debate concluded within one month.
A referendum on the new draft constitution should be held within three
months of the conclusion of the debate.
The whole process, according to the GPA, was supposed to take 18
months before the referendum is held, paving the way for free and fair
Mangwana said because of lack of funds, disagreements and infighting,
the process has been delayed.
The fight was over control of the process between the select
committee, parliament administration and Constitutional Affairs minister
Eric Matinenga, while there were also disagreements over the use of the
Kariba draft constitution as the basis for the process and negotiations were
While Zanu PF wanted to use it, MDC-T was insisting that the process
should be driven by the people with the Kariba draft constitution used as a
reference document like the NCA draft, the Lancaster constitution and the
rejected 2000 draft constitution.
"Obviously we will not be able to meet our timetable outlined in the
GPA. Already there is a delay of three months but at least things are now
looking up now that we are under a management committee.
Progress has been done to see that we are autonomous and able to run
this process," Mangwana said.
To go round the Kariba draft issue, the select committee is working on
a questionnaire or talking points to use during the outreach programme.
Asked how the disengagement of MDC-T from Zanu PF would affect the
process, Mangwana said he did not foresee any problems because the ministers
were attending to their ministerial duties and the Finance minister, Tendai
Biti, would still be able to disburse the funds during this crisis period.
"They (MDC-T ministers) are at work full time. Tendai Biti will be
able to release the funds we are expecting. I don't see any problems and the
disengagement will not affect our process," he said.
MDC-T has disengaged from Zanu PF, but says it will remain in
government until all outstanding issues including the appointments of
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and
provincial governors are resolved.
They also want their treasurer-general Roy Bennett sworn in as deputy
Thematic committees of the constitution-making process were now being
reconfigured so that all the three political parties chair five thematic
committees each, with the other two being chaired by traditional chiefs. The
17 thematic committees will lead the consultative phase of drawing up the
The representation of people in the committees will remain the same.
Civil society, chiefs and other stakeholders still maintain a 70%
representation, while parliament will remain with 30%.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:41
WHEN the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) launched the electric
train more than two decades ago, the long dreary journey between Harare and
Dabuka, south of Gweru, became an enjoyable one. Although long overdue
considering that the first electric train was launched more than a century
earlier in 1879 in Germany, it was a step in the right direction.
While the electric train would not travel the entire journey linking
the country's two largest cities, Harare and Bulawayo, the effort was
However, 20 years later, the electric locomotives have all been
suspended after the overhead wires which are used to transmit power were
NRZ public relations manager Fanuel Masikati confirmed that they had
suspended the electric locomotives as a result of extensive vandalism.
"Between six and eight of the electric automotives have been suspended
as a result of vandalism and this means that we have to use locomotives
which were meant for other routes to service the Harare - Dabuka route," he
Masikati said apart from the massive vandalism of the overhead cables,
the thieves were also targeting the poles supporting the wires as well as
the machines which are used for control.
This is straining NRZ which is the backbone of the country's transport
sector as it is the most cost-effective mode when it is fully operational.
Replacing the vandalised infrastructure would cost an estimated US$10
million, Masikati said.
A number of industries, especially those that transport heavy or
voluminous materials, are directly affected by the vandalism of NRZ
Agriculture, for example, relies heavily on railway transport for
transportation of inputs such as seed and fertilisers because road transport
costs three times more.
Profit margins in the agricultural sector are so narrow that farmers
would prefer rail because it is the cheapest mode of transport and its
infrastructure needs to be replaced to serve the nation.
However, before the country looks at replacing the vandalised
infrastructure, NRZ and other companies which have been hit by vandalism
should put in place measures to eliminate cases of cable theft.
"We need to address the issue of theft and vandalism before we replace
the equipment because once someone is used to vandalism, then they would do
the same to the installed wires," Masikati said.
One of the major problems is that there is a ready market for the
wires, in Zimbabwe and in the region.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the vandalised equipment was
usually used by the informal sector with "some contraband being targeted for
the export market".
One way of curbing cable theft is to heavily guard the infrastructure;
this could be done by either private security guards or the security forces.
An increase in security could deter cable thieves who have become daring to
the extent of vandalising electrical cables within the high-density areas of
The other option is to have deterrent sentences for vandalising,
buying or selling copper cables.
Masikati said NRZ, together with TelOne and Zesa, have been lobbying
for a total ban on trade in scrap copper as well as a stiffer penalty for
those found guilty.
Convicted cable thieves now serve a minimum five years in prison and
this is a result of the lobby by companies which have been hit by vandalism.
Gwasira said they were holding various anti-vandalism and anti-theft
"We have also lobbied for the ban on trade in copper and aluminium
trading as the only copper producing mine, Mhangura Copper Mines, closed
down in 1999 and it defies logic where the vandals and thieves are sourcing
their scrap copper," said Gwasira.
It is also important to note that the thieves also take advantage of
the power cuts as they are only able to cut the cables when the lines are
"dead", thus an improved power supply could also contribute towards the
reduction of cases of cable theft.
NRZ has tried to reward members of the public who have reported cases
of cable theft which lead to successful arrests.
Under this arrangement, a whistle blower would get a percentage of the
total cost of the cable recovered.
Zimbabwe's train journey may be going full circle if the sector
reverts to steam as was suggested at the turn of the century when the
country was faced with a massive shortage of fuel.
This would have meant going two steps back in terms of technological
advancement, since the country would have moved from the use of electricity
to diesel and then to the use of coal.
Steam engines are powered by coal and Zimbabwe argues that it has
abundant coal resources compared to diesel which was scarce at that time as
a result of low levels of foreign currency.
Two decades ago NRZ electrified 300kms of railway line between Harare
and Dabuka, but now all that has been reversed for personal enrichment.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:22
LACK of finance continues to hamper a proper rebound of tobacco
production as the planting of irrigated tobacco started last week. Financing
of the 2009-2010 tobacco season has been unstable, with prospective
financers still to make a full commitment.
This is likely to affect the anticipated increase in production which
has far reaching effects on the entire economy.
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president Kevin Cooke confirmed that the
planting of the dry land crop started last week.
"Basically planting of the dry land crop went ahead well but there are
problems with the unavailability of inputs and finance for the production of
the crop," said Cooke. "There is a large number of tobacco farmers who have
not received inputs on time and this may affect ultimate production."
A rebound of tobacco production has continuously been hampered by
unavailability of inputs.
"We are aware that the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) is
going to support farmers towards production of the crop and we are hoping
that this goes well," added Cooke.
Apart from TIMB, there are other contractors who have supplied inputs
to tobacco farmers.
Last season, 57 million kgs of tobacco were produced and the industry
was targeting 65 million kgs for the 2010 selling season though some players
have put the figure at 80 million kgs.
Contractors accounted for the greater part of tobacco which was
produced last year and it is expected to be the case this season.
Cooke said with proper planning it was possible to increase production
beyond the targeted 65 million kgs.
Players in the tobacco industry have been arguing that it is an 18
month crop and planning should be done well in advance to avoid hasty
preparations which would have a bearing on production.
There has been an increase in the number of tobacco farmers compared
to last season mainly because of the improved returns at the auction floors
where producers were paid in hard currency.
Tobacco, at its peak production levels, accounted for more than half
of total agricultural exports and this translated to 30% of the country's
Tobacco production peaked at 260 million kgs in 1998, which is almost
five times as much as what the industry is producing 11 years later.
At its peak, the crop earned the country around US$270 million and it
accounted for 10% of the country's gross domestic product.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:12
ZIMBABWE'S banking institutions might not witness any foreign
investment in future due to the unfavourable laws and procedures required by
the Reserve Bank, Zimbabwe Investment Authority and the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange for listed banks. According to information gleaned from the country's
financials institution this week; Zimbabwe might not witness a new bank or
foreign investors coming on board soon.
Given the structure of the banking law and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
(ZSE) regulations, any significant injection of capital by foreign investors
into a Zimbabwean bank would require upfront exemptions to be given to the
potential investor by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Finance
and the local bourse.
Exiled businessman Gilbert Muponda told businessdigest on Wednesday
that: "Zimbabwe was a very high risk investment destination. Apart from
banks look at Meikles Africa and Shabanie Mashaba Mines. All similar cases
but treated differently. Laws are selectively applied so no foreign investor
would want to come moreso in the financial sector."
Coronation Financial Services economic analysts Lance Mambondiani said
technically, it was easy to attract foreign investment into Zimbabwean banks
since all sectors in the economy, particularly the financial sector, are
facing liquidity constraints as a result of dollarisation.
"There are however several practical challenges such as the
credibility of the Reserve Bank as an efficient, competent and impartial
regulator, the stability of the sector itself after the 2003 crisis and
whether the banking sector has the capacity to be profitable in a market
generally considered as overbanked," he said
"The Reserve Bank's new capital requirements in terms of which banks
are required to have a minimum capital of US$6,25 million whilst well
intended, may be too high for a market where banks are hardly able to cover
their overheads or pay their employees in US dollars.
"In my opinion, it is not likely that we will see an influx of foreign
investors into the banking sector just yet," Mambondiani said.
Economist Brains Muchemwa told businessdigest this week that while the
environment might not be favourable for foreign investors it was important
to find out if "banks were adequately capitalised to meet the demands of the
economy, or whether we need more foreign investors to start new banks and
inject more capital and expand credit creation to bring down cost of funds".
The country's banking regulations and rules are said to be impediments
to bank mergers or takeovers with specific reference to foreign investors.
"Historically, Zimbabwean banking institutions have held their capital
in Zimbabwe dollars and as a consequence were able to paper over
inefficiencies, capital inadequacy and poor performance. Hyper-inflation
used to mask a lot of mistakes," an analyst with a commercial bank said.
However, dollarisation of the banking sector has left the players
exposed as the Zimbabwe dollar tide disappeared, and left the institutions
semi-naked, for all to see - warts and all. Everyone can now see who had
been swimming naked.
Economic analyst John Robertson said foreign investors to not want to
be treated like they are committing a crime to invest in the country.
"Investors always look for a friendly and rewarding environment. Ours
has not been when compared to what is happening in other countries,"
"Foreign investors are even more cautious when it involves the
financial sector, where a lot of money will be changing hands. Given the
unfortunate incident when a lot of depositors have lost their money no one
in their right mind will come to Zimbabwe," he said.
For listed banks, in terms of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)
regulations, a foreign investor may only hold up to 10% of the issued share
capital of a listed company, irrespective of whether it is a bank or banking
The total shareholding that foreigners can collectively have in a
listed company is 35%. Therefore, subject to structuring, the maximum
shareholding that a foreigner can have in a listed banking institution is
"It is therefore difficult, under the current ZSE regulations, for a
foreign investor to invest a significant chunk of capital into a Zimbabwean
banking institution in return for only 10% or a maximum of 35% equity," an
In the event of a rights offer being made, it will take between 52 and
58 days to be complete if managed well.
Under ZSE rules, should the shareholding exceed 35%, the investor
might be obliged to make a compulsory offer to the minorities and take over
the entire institution.
An investment in a financial institution requires not only sufficient
capital injection but also significant changes in the management and board
of the institution, post investment that are directly controlled and
regulated by the Reserve Bank.
Economist Eric Bloch said financial institutions had a great need to
access international lines of credit, partially because their capital
resources have also been eroded, and substantially because of the very
considerable funding requirements of their clients.
"Zimbabwe's bankers need to be conservative in their operations, but
such conservatism should not be excessive," Bloch said.
"In the interests of their own viability, their clients operations and
the progression of economic recovery, they need to reassess their present,
non-constructive stance. Their current policies are fuelling national
illiquidity, which is slowing the critically needed economic recovery," he
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:08
IF the South African-owned platinum mining company, Zimplats, had
thought it had found new friends in government when President Robert Mugabe
showered it with praise last week it must have been shocked at the weekend
when the opposite was dished out by a government minister. Zimplats must be
wondering what triggered a tirade against the company for what Media,
Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu said was its "self-centred"
approach to business.
The outburst from Shamu came two days after Mugabe commissioned the
Zimplats Ngezi expansion programme where he praised the South African-owned
company for complementing government development goals through projects
"outside the realm of mining".
In an apparent disagreement with his boss, Shamu criticised Zimplats
for what he described as its "self-centeredness".
He was speaking at the burial of Chief Chivero, whose chieftainship
oversees the platinum-endowed Ngezi area.
In a news report by the state broadcaster, ZBC, Shamu lashed out at
the mining group for not honouring chief Chivero.
The Chegutu East Zanu PF MP said the late traditional chief had died
"without anything to show for large quantities of platinum ore that is being
mined by Zimplats in his area".
He added that Zimplats should have tarred the road to the chief's
According to ZBC, Mhondoro MP Bright Matonga together with traditional
chiefs petitioned Zimplats management earlier this year over their
employment policies which they alleged were unfavourable to locals.
However, last Thursday Mugabe said Zimplats' operations and social
corporate responsibility were a model for the country.
Mugabe summed up the investment prospects by saying: "It is pleasing
to note that despite the economic challenges which have largely been forced
on our country through illegal sanctions, you have committed yourselves to
completing this major investment for the furtherance of your business and
the sustenance of our economy."
He went further to say: "I have no doubt that the achievements you
have made are of great benefit for the future of both your operations and
that of the local community, and ultimately, the well-being of our country's
"The strides that you have made in assisting government to invest in
infrastructural development will go a long way in creating a conducive
environment for those businessmen who may wish to set up their operations in
So what could have triggered this backlash against a company that is
widely regarded as the largest investor in recent years? Could Shamu's fury
have been set off by Impala Platinum (Implats) Holdings chief executive,
David Brown's criticism of government's half hearted commitment to
In a frank speech at the commissioning of the programme, Brown warned
that government could lose more foreign direct investment due to lethargic
bureaucratic inertia in fulfilling mining agreements. The company signed two
agreements - the Framework of Agreement and the Release of Ground Agreement
which outlined ground rules for operations.
"It is important to stress Your Excellency that as investors our
confidence to embark on such a significant investment, particularly at a
time when other investors choose other destinations, was premised on the
agreements referred to earlier," Brown said.
Zimplats, a subsidiary of Implats, invested in Zimbabwe's platinum
deposits -- third largest after South Africa and Russia - when leading
mining group BHP ceased operations 10 years ago after citing viability
"Speaking as an investor I would like to stress the importance of
adherence by both parties to the letter and spirit of all agreements."
Government, Brown added, is yet to resolve obligations under the
Framework of Agreement signed in 2001. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority
during the inaugural Investment Conference also alluded to government's
"reluctance to fully honour agreements" which could constrain growth of the
Subsequent to Mugabe's first visit to the mine in 2006, negotiations
for a working partnership for the exploitations of platinum group metals on
the Great Dyke were successfully concluded.
This has resulted in Zimplats offering a third of its claims to
government, thus creating a diversity of investors in platinum mining.
Government in return promised a favourable taxation incentive among other
The future of the automobile industry, currently dogged by the
financial crisis, Brown said, could determine the prices of metals on the
Implats has over the last eight years injected US$600 million in
Zimbabwe creating 5 000 jobs. The mining company also funded a 132Kv power
line to complement the widely politicised government rural electrification
According to company officials, Zimplats constructed the Ngezi road in
a "record time" and funded the fibre optic switching equipment for
state-owned telecommunication company TelOne, spurring development in the
These impressive investments benefiting the local economy are what
Shamu calls "self-centredness" because they didn't result in
a road to the chief's home. Crude populism, it seems, trumps national
On the controversial indigenisation law, Brown said that there was
need to amend the law to "take into account" the concerns of the investors
while allowing for "meaningful indigenous participation" in the economy.
Foreign investors have expressed concern over the "empowerment" which
law which makes them surrender 51% stake of the business venture to locals.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:56
GOLD production at New Dawn Mining's Turk Mine has continued to
increase since the company resumed production early this year. This comes at
a time when RioZim has reported that gold production at Renco Mine,
Masvingo, is set to increase to 80kgs a month from the current 60kgs.
New Dawn Mining said gold production for September was 1 029 ounces
which translates to 32kgs which is a slight improvement on the 1 019 ounces
which is equivalent to 31,7kgs produced in August.
An increase in production last month marks the sixth consecutive month
that the mining company has recorded an improved output.
Last month, New Dawn Mining realised US$965 900 from the sale of
around 977 ounces of gold which was selling at an average price of US$988
per ounce of the yellow metal in September
"We are well on our way to achieving our first sustainable production
target of 1 200 ounces of gold per month or between 14 000 and 15 000 ounces
of gold on an annualised basis," commented Ian Saunders, president and CEO
of New Dawn Mining. "We believe that New Dawn is well-positioned to move
forward over the near-term with its plans for increased production and
exploratory activities in Zimbabwe."
New Dawn Mining last month announced that it was disposing
of its operations in South Africa so that it would focus more on
production and exploratory activities in Zimbabwe.
Saunders added that as at the end of September the company had an
additional 733 ounces or 22,8kgs of gold which were to be exported for sale
in South Africa.
At the end of August, the mining company had 770 ounces of the yellow
metal which awaited exportation to South Africa.
Another gold producer, RioZim, last week announced that it was
targeting an output of 80kgs of the precious metal by the end of the year. -
Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:56
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says capacity
ultilisation in the manufacturing sector for the first six months of the
year was at 32,3%. According to the 2009 CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey,
the sector has improved from below 10% largely due to the dollarisation of
the economy. CZI president Kumbirai Katsande said despite improvements in
economic activity, government should still come up with bold decisions to
ensure that the manufacturing industry thrives.
"The challenge is what to do next. Unless we build from where we are
there is a risk of us going backwards again," Katsande said.
The survey also showed that 83% of companies that took part did not
make any investment owing to lack of funds to undertake such projects.
"There is notable improvement in the country's economy but the
environment needs to be supported by the political will as recent political
uncertainty has slowed down economic activity," he said.
A total of 89,2% of the respondents recorded a positive output growth
while 10,8% recorded negative growth in output.
About 89,2% of the respondents recorded volume of exports growth
greater than zero while 28% of the surveyed firms cited uncompetitive export
markets as the major reason for not exporting during the first six months of
High cost of production and the unavailability of working capital were
also cited as hindrances to exports as well as incapacity to import enough
requisite inputs to produce high quality goods demanded in international
"If we are to do a score card of the inclusive government there is
more that has been done than that has not been done but we continue to focus
on what has not been done to our detriment," he said.
This year's survey was launched under the theme 'Cost competitiveness
key to industrial recovery'.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:35
THAT a settlement between Kingdom Bank founder Nigel Chanakira and his
rival Kingdom Meikles Limited (KML) front man John Moxon was in the offing
could be seen coming a month ago.
But what few had seen coming was Chanakira emerging with a handsome
49% stake, much more than he has ever had in Kingdom Financial Holdings
Limited (KFHL) post KML de-merger.
It seemed on the surface, at least, that things would get a little
complex for the banker given that he did not hold real control of his bank
but relied largely on alliances with business associates Strive Masiyiwa and
initially Moxon to call the shots at KFHL.
And without such key support, his future even post demerger seemed
Had Moxon opted not to sell his KFHL shares, he would have emerged as
the major shareholder in KFHL as well. But Moxon possibly weighed his stake
in KFHL against his holdings-hotels, agriculture and retail-and thought:
"Why the hack should I keep fighting."
The Moxon family also regains about 50% of Meikles, one of the oldest
businesses in the country.
And Econet's unclear position in the fight also fed into the
speculation. Even Chanakira himself according to his draft affidavit, could
no longer tell his enemies from his friends a few weeks to the settlement.
He alleged conflict of interest on the part of his then lawyer and
negotiator Tawanda Nyambirai who also doubled as his go-between with Moxon.
Now, Chanakira seems to have put the KMAL chapter behind him. He
believes once the de-merger is complete, he will pursue his dream - a
listing on the Wall Street.
He also wants to see KFHL shares trading on the JSE once separation is
Last month Chanakira said: "Once the de-merger is behind us, we can
move forward and are looking to take the company further than just Zimbabwe.
I remain confident that in the next month or two we will have a resolution
on the de-merger and be able to move on."
Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited was formed in January last year by
combining Kingdom, Meikles and Tanganda.
KMAL announced on June 26 the businesses would separate after
disagreements between John Moxon, who was the biggest shareholder in Meikles
Africa, and Chanakira, Kingdom Meikles' former chief executive officer.
Earlier this year, government placed Moxon and associate companies
under specification amid allegations of externalisation of foreign exchange.
Kingdom is looking to raise private capital, having already put about
$12,5 million in the bag, or about half, of what is needed for the company
to "get back to business," Chanakira told Bloomberg last month.
After that, the financial services group says the company wants to
raise as much as $100 million so that it can expand into Africa, he added.
Kingdom got a licence to operate in Cameroon and is already active in
Malawi at FDH. The group is also planning a move into South Africa where it
says it "will run a niche operation for the four million or so Zimbabweans
living there," he said.
Kingdom is "positive" that it will be able to increase earnings from
individual savings accounts in the next two years as Zimbabwe's economy
begins to improve.
Moxon believes the settlement was the end of a "horrific period" in
his life. But is it really the end of that nightmare?
Observers are keen to see how fast government will revoke the
specification. This is because Zanu PF officials could be eyeing Meikles
Africa's assets which cut across agriculture, hotels, retail and printing.
The market fears Chanakira could have opened Pandora's box and might
not have control over the specification even though he sealed a rather
handsome deal that will see him emerge with more control of the bank than he
has had since listing.
Moxon stands accused of "externalising" $22,3 million - banking
euphemism for smuggling foreign exchange out of the country. In government
circles exetrnalisation is a serious crime judging by the way offenders are
The specification, analysts say, only shows how government machinery
can be manipulated for political and personal ends.
Moxon is also planning.
"The general view after . negotiations was that the specification will
be lifted, and fairly soon. But it has to be lifted by the courts."
Moxon doesn't seem worried about the specification hanging over his
empire and is already looking into the future.
According to Moxon, the resolution of the KMAL dispute could pave way
for South Africa retail giant Pick n Pay to invest more money into Zimbabwe.
Pick n Pay owns 25% of TM Supermarkets, which is controlled by Moxon's
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:26
SOUTH African retail group, Pick n Pay, is "anxious" to reinvest in TM
Supermarkets but has been awaiting a settlement in a shareholder dispute in
Kingdom Meikles Ltd (KML), John Moxon said. Moxon told South African media
last week that Pick n Pay, which holds a 25% stake in TM Supermarkets, the
largest retail chain in Zimbabwe, has been holding back investment until a
settlement was reached between himself and former KML CEO Nigel Chanakira.
Moxon, whose family owns 43% of KML, said: "Pick n Pay have been quite
anxious to extend their investment in Zimbabwe. They want to rejuvenate the
stores, starting with the equipment, but they did not
want to go ahead until this was resolved."
Pick n Pay CEO Nick Badminton confirmed he had been in discussions
with Meikles about investing more in TM, but did not give details.
Ironically, Moxon's comments come after another South African retail
group - Shoprite - announced it would not be pursuing opportunities in
Zimbabwe saying the company needed to be "sure" that the economic climate
Shoprite chairman Christo Wiese was quoted as saying: "It was simply
one of those cases where the buyer and the seller could not agree on terms."
But insiders say Shoprite wanted to pay a discount to OK's share price
as the stock hardly traded and the market value does not reflect true value.
Shoprite was in talks with OK Zimbabwe in a deal worth around R375
million (about US$37 million) on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange but reports say
the parties could not agree on the price for the second largest retail group
in the country.
Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson said: "We need to be sure that the economic
climate has stabilised and is showing good growth, and we just do not think
it is at that stage yet".
Basson says the KML saga was not the reason for pulling the plug and
believes once they are positive indicators on the ground the group would
Basson said: "The grass in Zimbabwe is not long enough for us to make
an investment decision. We are not ruling it out again at all - it sits
right next to our SA business after all. We just need more positive
Moxon was specified earlier in the year for allegedly externalising
US$18,6 million and R21,2 million out of the country without exchange
Last week saw the end of the corporate brawl between Moxon and
Chanakira after they reached an agreement which analysts believe was an
amicable settlement between the warring factions.
Chanakira claimed he urged Moxon, his then chairman, to repatriate
funds back to Zimbabwe before alerting the police with no success.
Moxon then attempted to remove Chanakira from the board sparking a
Meikles Africa Ltd merged with Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd in
November 2007 to form KMAL.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:36
IT'S a crisis by any definition. And the clumsy attempt by Zanu PF
spokesmen to pretend otherwise won't wash. Let's be clear about this. The
treatment of Roy Bennett is only one dimension to this falling out. The
central complaint is that of insincerity.
Certain targets were identified in the GPA and there has been no
attempt to meet them. What happened to the provincial governors? Why has
there been no progress on that front?
A free media was agreed upon together with the unimpeded return of
journalists in the diaspora. Why then is President Mugabe sitting on the
list of nominees for the Zimbabwe Media Commission submitted to him weeks
ago? And why is the Media minister unable to give the assurances he is
required to in this regard? Instead he has announced board members for
media-related parastatals that he should have consulted on, and which
contain many manifestly unsuitable individuals including army officers who
know nothing about the media.
As for the weightier matter of the Attorney-General and Reserve Bank
governor, nothing could be more emblematic of Zanu PF's deceit. It was
agreed in the communiqué of the Sadc extraordinary summit in Pretoria in
January that these matters and other outstanding issues would be resolved by
agreement between the parties immediately upon their return to Harare. But
Mugabe refused to budge, claiming it was his constitutional right to make
the appointments. The GNU was thus confronted with its first fait accompli.
It may indeed have been his constitutional right to make senior
appointments. But Mugabe had at the same time agreed to uphold the Sadc
Pretoria protocol. He gave a solemn undertaking to his future GNU partners
and then ignored their objections. It was to become the pattern of things to
come. These include accommodating more ministers than the GNU agreement
The Bennett affair is actually the straw that broke the camel's back.
Bennett, it will be recalled, had experienced appalling treatment at the
hands of Zanu PF including the seizure and pillaging of his coffee farm and
a lengthy prison term for pushing Patrick Chinamasa to the floor after he
had insulted Bennett's forebears in parliament.
Bennett's real offence was his popularity. Mugabe to this day
splutters with indignation when he is asked to explain his campaign against
Bennett. He points to Bennett's past as sufficient grounds for excluding him
This is where Zanu PF lives - in the past. They could not understand
how their record of violence, coercion and deceit could have lost them a
series of elections. The people were "voting with their stomachs", it was
explained as if hunger and misrule were not grounds for political rejection!
To this day Mugabe and his inner circle believe the Americans, through
the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, deprived them of their historic right
to misgovern the country.
This explains why extraordinary steps - such as reviving the youth
militias and appointing military men to parastatal boards - are being taken
to ensure the next election doesn't go against them. The public media which
should be opening to a variety of voices has become a crude instrument of
mind-control in the hands of last year's losing party.
Mugabe sees the GNU as a means to lift sanctions and sanitise his
rule, not a genuine means to share power and engineer recovery. He doesn't
see himself as the loser he is and hopes to turn the tables on Morgan
Tsvangirai. And he doesn't seem to understand what is needed for economic
Meanwhile, as we report today, the optimism of the business sector so
evident six months ago is fast evaporating. It is inevitable given the
failure of the GNU to act in concert. Clear and predictable policies -
essential for success anywhere - are invisible here. And then we have a
chorus of denunciation when Tsvangirai understandably draws a line in the
sand. What is the point of the MDC remaining in government when they cannot
make a difference?
Zimbabweans must impress upon the reactionary clique around the
president that there is no future in isolation. Arthur Mutambara made this
point forcefully this week. Charges against him for voicing his views last
year - and many others - remain outstanding. This is not "healing".
Twenty years ago the Berlin Wall fell and East Europeans recovered
their liberties in a largely peaceful transfer of power. Today they live in
modern democratic societies. Zimbabwe is still in thrall to a Stalinist
cabal holding the country back. We need to pull down the wall that separates
us from the liberties to which we are entitled, and which are clearly spelt
out in the GPA as preconditions for recovery.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:26
A QUESTION I am frequently asked these days is: What is Jomic? The
simple answer is that Jomic is an acronym for Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee. It was constituted under Article XXII of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed on September 15 2008 between the
leaders of Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC. That is where the "joint" comes from.
The committee is composed of 12 senior members, four each from the
three signatory parties to the GPA. The committee is co-chaired on a monthly
rotational basis by leaders of the parties' representative members. It needs
to be stressed that all 12 members of Jomic are senior members in their own
In summary, the functions of Jomic are to ensure the full
implementation of the GPA, create mutual trust between the parties, promote
continuous dialogue and to receive "reports and complaints" relating to the
implementation of the GPA. Jomic is the "principal body dealing with issues
of compliance and monitoring" of the GPA.
The three political parties themselves also undertook under the GPA to
"channel all complaints, grievances, concerns and issues relating to
compliance with this agreement through Jomic and refrain from any conduct
which might undermine the spirit of cooperation necessary" to fully
Jomic has in the past few months been criticised for not "doing
anything" or "not doing enough" to enforce compliance with the provisions of
the GPA by the signatory parties. Many have called it a toothless dog or
suspect it of being an agency of one party or the other. It is not clear why
a committee composed of four senior members each from all the three parties
to the GPA should be an agency of one of them. Jomic is in fact the
collective face of the three political parties in action.
A pivotal function of Jomic is to monitor compliance with the GPA. It
is also there to receive complaints from any member of society or group,
including political parties, about the implementation or lack thereof of the
GPA. It must then "sensitise" the principals to the GPA, President Robert
Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara about these complaints and deficiencies in the implementation of
It cannot force parties to perform any specific provision. Jomic can
only persuade the parties to be faithful to the letter and spirit of the
GPA. Where the parties hit a deadlock, Jomic's role is to try and break it
or propose alternatives.
More importantly, because of its role as a "permanent" negotiating
forum of the parties to the GPA, Jomic cannot afford the luxury of standing
on hilltops to attack or condemn its constituent partners for infringements
of the GPA. It operates by way of "continuing dialogue" between the parties.
If Jomic is relatively "invisible" as some critics tend to say, it is
because by the nature of its mandate it cannot draw light unto itself. What
Jomic seeks to make most visible is the GPA. We want to make as many members
of the public as possible more acquainted with the GPA and its provisions.
Jomic cannot be expected to monitor the implementation of the GPA
alone nor can members of the public raise pertinent complaints about
non-compliance with the GPA when they have not read it, let alone be
familiar with its provisions.
In the interests of transparency and inclusivity, we believe it is
only when people have turned the GPA into a bedtime story book that they can
make informed comments and decide for themselves what they believe to be top
priorities of the new government.
It is lack of familiarity with the provisions of the GPA which has led
to either misdirected accusations against Jomic or misplaced expectations of
its role and functions.
We believe it is because a majority of the people are not familiar
with the provisions of the GPA that we have not been getting any direct
complaints or comments about its implementation, except what newspapers tell
them are the priorities.
To date the only direct complaints the Jomic secretariat has received
since it was set up in July have been about "fresh" or "continuing" farm
invasions or "disruptions" from the Commercial Farmers' Union.
Some farmers have personally brought their cases to our offices. We
have complemented these initiatives through site visits to randomly selected
farms from the list we have to find out the situation on the ground.
It is these farm tours which have revealed a gap between what the
media report and the situation on the ground, and the chasm between Jomic's
mandate under the GPA and people's expectations on the acquired farms.
For instance, the most embarrassing question we have had to face is a
farmer whose land was acquired by the state as early as 2002. He is excited
about the Jomic team's visit, clearly hoping that finally his "troubles" are
What do you tell him when at the end of his narration of the history
of the farm he asks the Jomic team what he should do? "Should I continue
farming or not?" asked several farmers we have visited in Mashonaland West,
Central, East and Manicaland.
Where I have been able to comment on this question, the truth of it
has left most of them disappointed. My observation has been that Jomic is
not taking over the role of the police, the courts or the Ministry of Lands.
Cases which have to be reported to the police must be reported, those
in the courts will be handled by the courts and the Ministry of Lands, not
Jomic, executes government policy on land reform and farm allocations and
the issuing of offer letters. Jomic's power is limited to what the
principals to the GPA decide based on the information placed before them.
Joram Nyathi is Jomic communications manager.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:12
THE government media, controlled by the hard-liners in Zanu PF and
their vitriolic spokesmen, seem to think we should be worried by United
States support for the prime minister's office. Every few days there is a
new fit of hysteria about the Americans providing funds to Morgan Tsvangirai's
But the purveyors of these shrill stories are not getting the public
response they seek. Most people want donor funds to be kept out of Zanu PF's
grasping hands. They are perfectly comfortable with the Americans funding
the PM's office.
The state media has been playing the nationalist card, attempting to
whip up indignation over US support for the MDC. But nobody buys this any
more. They just want things to get better. And that won't happen if the gang
around President Mugabe intercept funds from the US and EU. Their populist
policies have spelt disaster in the past.
We had a mysterious "African diplomat" on Sunday suggesting there was
a shift in US policy "necessitated by the creation of the inclusive
government, the stabilisation of the economy following measures announced in
Minister Patrick Chinamasa's budget, the reengagement of Zimbabwe and the
mounting campaign against sanctions".
This is all laughable. We are now led to believe it was Chinamasa's
budget that saved us from penury, not Tendai Biti's fiscal measures. And the
"African diplomat" obviously didn't hear Sweden's ambassador say there would
be no help from the EU so long as there was a lack of commitment to the GPA.
Ambassador Sten Rylander, whose country holds the EU presidency, said
last week the renewed indictment and subsequent detention of Roy Bennett was
"nothing less than provocative given the ongoing political processes in the
"This action, taken just prior to very important donor discussions on
Zimbabwe, together with other important developments recently - such as the
implied threats against independent media practitioners and the intense
attacks on Finance minister Tendai Biti in his efforts to pave the way for
continued macro-economic reforms and debt relief - does not facilitate the
ongoing dialogue to normalise relations with Zimbabwe," Rylander said.
So much for re-engagement! And for those who have suggested Zimbabwe's
civil servants are professional and politically neutral, it would be useful
to get George Charamba's remarks on the record.
"The MDC-T has disengaged from nothing," he said. "It's sound and fury
signifying nothing. There's no amount of monkey business that will change
things on the ground."
Did somebody say professional? The MDC have been delinquent in
allowing this partisan posturing to go on unchallenged. If Charamba doesn't
agree with the inclusive government, he should leave it. It is
unconscionable to have one of the most senior public servants in the country
publicly opposing laid-down government policy - and encouraging others to do
the same thing.
The Zanu PF public relations machine has been telling us that Mugabe
doesn't care about the MDC walkout. It won't change anything.
So why then does Mugabe in all his public pronouncements say how
wonderfully well the GNU is working; how convivial relations are with
Tsvangirai? Why does he tell investors that everything is going amazingly
well and reforms are surging ahead?
The current claims that Mugabe doesn't give a hoot about the boycott
are manifestly at variance with his frantic messages of the past few weeks
that include TV interviews, statements at the UN, and remarks made to
parliament. You can't one week say relations with your partners in the GNU
are just fine and dandy and then the next week your spokesmen say they don't
give a damn that Tsvangirai no longer wants to work with you because you are
an "unreliable partner".
Surely, even those who want to show off their Shakespearean erudition
can grasp that contradiction!
Our thanks to Professor Welshman Ncube for clarifying the issue. He
pointed out that the incarceration of Bennett had the potential to cause a
"The AG's office should be sensitive to the fragile political
environment and decisions should not be made recklessly," he told a business
meeting in Gweru before news of Bennett's release became known. "There are
people driven by a desire to undermine political stability," he said. "Do
you think that the incarceration of Bennett is so important that we can risk
the entire collapse of the inclusive government and what it has achieved so
Still on the Bennett case, we were interested to see President Ian
Khama's comments on the crisis in the GNU.
"If it was to collapse for genuine reasons," Khama said, "we would
certainly not recognise a Zanu-only government or certainly not one headed
by President Robert Mugabe because he certainly did not win the presidential
election last year."
Phew Ian! That was three "certainlies" in the same sentence.
And there we were being told the other day in Kinshasa that Botswana
had switched sides and now saw things from Zimbabwe's point of view.
"Certainly" not, it seems!
South Africa's Department of International Cooperation spokesman
Nomfanelo Kota said that as a member of Sadc, South Africa was "very
concerned" about the latest developments in Zimbabwe.
He urged the parties to recommit themselves to the GPA and "move
towards resolving outstanding issues".
We don't think he was talking about sanctions!
Meanwhile, back home the state media was telling us "Tsvangirai still
This was because Mugabe's pompous officials were claiming he hadn't
got permission to travel outside the country. Ian Makone's efforts to notify
them were described as "frantic". And Tsvangirai wouldn't be getting any
funds for his trip because it wouldn't be of "benefit to government as a
Let's hope Makone remembers that the next time Zanu PF wants one of
its ministers to accompany his MDC counterpart overseas.
Then we had headings in the Herald like "Outrage over MDC-T decision".
The "outrage" was shared by just four people out of the five
interviewed in a "snap survey". Among those responding was the Zimbabwe
Sovereignty Preservers and Economic Survival Support Network. Ever heard of
it? Nor have we. Its secretary-general, Kingston Chimbwanda "blasted the
MDC-T's 'cry-baby' attitude" and said their type of politics was "Bohemian".
He didn't elaborate but it could have something to do with gypsies.
It's amazing isn't it? The Herald is located in a city that voted
overwhelmingly for the MDC-T in successive elections. But it can only find
Zanu PF supporters in a "snap poll". Quite a feat! And what on earth is the
Zimbabwe Sovereignty Preservers and Economic Survival Network? Any relation
of the Zimbabwe Heritage Project? Or Lawyers for Justice?
Is there a dark little room in Munhumutapa Building where these
outfits are dreamt up?
Herbert Murerwa has been engaging in a bout of uncharacteristic
demagoguery. He was quoted on Tuesday as saying Zimbabwe would not accept
funding for the land audit from foreign countries and groups that want to
push "dubious agendas".
This was in the wake of the EU's offer to assist with funding and
expertise. The audit would only be carried out on the government's terms,
So what have you got to hide Herbert? There appears to be some panic
in the ranks of the multiple-ownership gang. They want to hide their
"dubious agendas". Also, we should remember Zanu PF's need to signal to its
lootocratic followers that it is still in charge.
But at the same time donors need to emphasise the need for full
disclosure in the interests of justice and fair play. Can you imagine the
uproar if politicians were able to hang on to their ill-gotten gains.
EU governments would have difficulty justifying that to their
Last week, South African Justice minister Jeff Redebe told parliament
in Cape Town that South Africa had halted all arms sales to Zimbabwe. He was
answering a question from the Democratic Alliance.
Radebe, who heads the National Conventional Arms Control Committee,
said since July South Africa had decided to halt all pending arms sales to
Zimbabwe. But it would be sending arms to Venezuela, he said.
Strange how the state media didn't think this story was important
enough to carry. By the way, what came out of the talks between President
Mugabe and Hugo Chavez last month?
Chavez is busy silencing Venezuela's independent media. Meanwhile, he
appears on government-controlled TV for hours at a time beating his chest
and denouncing the "gringoes". But unlike his newfound Zimbabwean allies, he
likes Obama to whom he handed some reading matter recently. Obama was
careful not to look too pleased!
Finally we note the Mo Ibrahim Foundation will not be making an award
this year for good governance in Africa. Apparently there wasn't any!
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:01
IT IS clear that Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe have never been
serious about engaging the MDC-T and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
specifically, and about the concept of power-sharing in general. Whereas
Zanu PF has acted in bad faith throughout the life of the inclusive
government, the MDC-T itself has also acted in a manner that does not
inspire confidence in their ability to rise above the problems bedevilling
Since the inauguration of the inclusive government, the premier has
insisted at every opportunity that everything is well, that "Mugabe is
genuine", "Mugabe is not the problem, but other people around him", and
"Mugabe is committed to power-sharing" despite warnings and clear evidence
to the contrary.
This went on even as the prime minister's MPs, Deputy Minister of
Agriculture-designate Roy Bennett and MDC-T supporters were persecuted and
harassed all over the country. Yet, now the prime minister says "in this
period, we have seen a complete lack of paradigm shift on the part of Zanu
Everyone could see this, even as the premier told the world "Mugabe is
indispensable and irreplaceable".
We note with concern that the issues over which the MDC are
disengaging from Zanu PF are issues of "jobs for the boys and girls" and not
policies that can deliver real change for Zimbabweans.
The people want stable and permanent jobs, economic development,
repair of dilapidated infrastructure, food, functioning health and education
systems and social support networks. The people want their dignity and
respect back. In this regard, we note that since they entered the inclusive
government, the MDC-T have not put forward policy initiatives aimed at
pulling the country out of crisis. The modest improvements that have
occurred in people's lives over the past year are the result of the default
dollarisation which commenced in early 2008 and was formalised by Zanu PF
before the inclusive government.
The MDC-T says it is unhappy that it still has no ambassadors posted,
no provincial governors and resident ministers appointed and that Bennett
has still not been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
In principle, MKD stands opposed to a bloated government, especially
the executive. We would have expected that, instead of fighting for posts
that will expand government and burden the struggling Zimbabwean taxpayer,
Tsvangirai would be fighting Mugabe over policy matters that can improve the
economic fortunes of the country and the well being of citizens.
One such policy we are still waiting for from the premier and his
party is the reduction in the avaricious consumption of limited resources by
the bloated executive, freeing up what little resources we have for the
improvement of the quality of life of all Zimbabweans.
Indeed, while it is patently obvious that Mugabe has no intention of
sharing real power with Tsvangirai, the premier and his party is expected to
at least show that they have what it takes to change the fortunes of
Zimbabweans. The people expect them to propose effective development
policies, not just fight for public sector job opportunities.
The people expect MDC-T to champion causes such as national
reconciliation and healing, in order that we never get a repeat of the
violence and brutalities that have characterised recent elections.
The people expect the MDC-T to demonstrate better governance
competency than Zanu PF, instead of helping implement destructive Zanu PF
policies, as they have been doing since they entered the inclusive
The people want the MDC-T to demonstrate they can govern the country,
facilitating prosperity through policies that are different from what we
have come to expect from Mugabe and Zanu PF.
This is not happening.
Political will to bring social stability and economic well-being and
create jobs seems to be lacking in both MDC-T and Zanu PF. The focus is all
about power, command and control, creating room at the feeding trough of
government for themselves and a small number of their supporters and
officials, while at the same time pursuing destructive policies that belong
to the dinosaur age of the Zanu PF regime of the last decade.
On careful examination, it emerges that the reasons for the MDC-T
disengagement from Zanu PF have nothing to do with delivering real change to
the people of Zimbabwe. The fight is about the MDC-T being allowed a bigger
share of public sector jobs, cars, travel allowances and good living.
We urge both Mugabe and Tsvangirai to show genuine concern for the
suffering people of Zimbabwe, to apply themselves diligently to resolving
their power disputes. We further urge Mugabe, especially, to show that he is
committed to genuine partnership and power-sharing with the MDC-T, a party
that defeated him in the March 2008 elections. This will enable the
inclusive government to formulate and implement the policies required to
create jobs, stimulate economic growth that benefits all our people and
bring Zimbabwe back into the 21st Century where it belongs.
Also of concern to us is that even this action of "disengagement from
Zanu PF" by the premier and the MDC-T is not clear in its meaning. The MDC-T
cannot have their cake and eat it. They say they have "disengaged from Zanu
PF" and from cabinet and yet they are still in the inclusive government,
they are still reporting for work and they are still executing their duties
as cabinet ministers? So what exactly is the meaning of their action as
announced last Friday? Can the prime minister clearly spell out to a
concerned and confused nation the practical meaning and effect of this
action because the people cannot see its significance?
At the same time, we are aware, as is the entire nation, that there
are three parties to this agreement and this inclusive government. How is
the premier relating to the third party in government, the MDC-M? Is he
meeting with them in the cabinet room in the absence of Zanu PF? Is he
engaging them at all or ignoring them?
The people of Zimbabwe are genuinely concerned and confused over this
unclear position from the MDC-T. They have the right to an explanation from
their prime minister.
It is time to stop playing with the people of Zimbabwe over petty
positions and power. It is time to deliver real change to the long-suffering
people of Zimbabwe. If the amount of attention that is being given to who
gets what post in the inclusive government was directed towards delivering
jobs, economic recovery, social harmony and stability, this country would
have been much further down the road to prosperity than it is now.
It is time to bring real change to the people.
It is time to Get Zimbabwe Working Again.
Simba Makoni is the interim president and chairperson of the national
steering committee of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party.
By Simba Makoni
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:57
WHEN the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai announced last week
that it had disengaged from Zanu PF, but had not quit government, many
people were confused as to what this meant exactly. A local journalist at
the press conference called to announce the disengagement last Friday asked
Tsvangirai to "explain to me as if you were doing it to a four year old,
what the MDC has done", but the premier brushed him off and asked for the
The journalist was right in seeking clarification and Tsvangirai
should have tried to make clear what disengaging from Zanu PF meant. He said
his party would not attend cabinet chaired by President Mugabe and the
council of ministers, which he chairs.
"It is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner.
In this regard, whilst being government, we shall forthwith disengage from
Zanu PF and in particular from cabinet and the council of ministers until
such time as confidence and respect is restored amongst us," said
Political analysts interviewed by the Zimbabwe Independent have raised
a pertinent question. They have asked how MDC could disengage from "itself"
since it is the government, together with Zanu PF and the other MDC
formation led by Professor Arthur Mutambara.
Clarifying that position, MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa pointed out
that it would be "foolish and stupid" for anyone to claim that they had
disengaged from government when they were the government.
"But we can't say business is as usual with all these outstanding
issues," said Chamisa adding that: "If Zanu PF is ever claiming that this is
a non-event - certainly we are not there, and when we are not there, there
is a missing link and they can't say it's business as usual."
But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that MDC ministers will
attend to daily government business? Will Finance minister Tendai Biti
authorise disbursement of funds to, for example, the Ministry of Health if
need arises during the period of disengagement? Will the budget be announced
if the crisis continues to November when Biti is supposed to present the
2010 budget after consulting his Zanu PF counterparts?
Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent revealed that some
ministers have cancelled meetings in and outside the country and were only
going to their offices for a few hours and not attending to their
Political analyst Takura Zhangazha said although there is no quorum
required for cabinet meetings, politically, the disengagement put Zanu PF in
Technically speaking, he said, Zanu PF ministers can meet without
their MDC colleagues but decisions as stated by the global political
agreement (GPA) should be done collectively.
"We wait to see if Mugabe will wait or whether he will make major
decisions without MDC. If such decisions are made, will MDC have the
capacity to reverse those decisions? What this means is that the inclusive
government is under threat and whoever backs down will be humiliated," said
While Zhangazha says Zanu PF might concede to issues relating to the
appointment of provincial governors and deployment of ambassadors without
giving in on Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney-General Johannes
Tomana, University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor Joseph Kurebwa does not
see Zanu PF compromising on any of the issues the MDC is raising.
The MDC wants all outstanding issues resolved before re-engaging Zanu
Kurebwa said Zanu PF might want to see all issues dealt with,
including the removal of sanctions and stopping the beaming of anti-Zimbabwe
messages by pirate radio stations.
The outstanding issues which the MDC is raising have been said by the
politburo to be non-issues because the appointments of the governor of the
Reserve Bank and Attorney-General were done in accordance with the
constitution and so was the appointments of provincial governors, which they
said was a prerogative of the president.
But for an ordinary Zimbabwean, does this mean the possibility of
going back to last year's levels which brought tremendous suffering? People
also want to know if it means that the unity government is on the verge of
collapse, if Zanu PF refuses to budge.
Academic and former newspaper publisher Ibbo Mandaza feels that it was
more of a threat than a real disengagement.
"He (Tsvangirai) can't say he has disengaged but remains prime
minister. It is a threat rather than a real disengagement," Mandaza said.
"Neither can do without the other and they both have to agree on policy.
Zanu PF might be playing up but they are worried."
He said Zanu PF, despite appearing indifferent, could not afford to
return to the pre-January 26 period when Mugabe did not have legitimacy and
when he faced both local and international threats. On January 27 Sadc
issued a communiqué that enabled the formation of the inclusive government.
"The implications are that GPA is now threatened and Mugabe is the
main beneficiary of the agreement and he cannot afford going back to the
period before January 26," Mandaza said.
Zhangazha said the disengagement created a functional problem and
could only become a constitutional crisis if Mugabe decides to fire
Tsvangirai or appoint acting ministers for the posts held by the MDC.
He said the MDC had three options - firstly to backtrack and secondly
to lobby the guarantors of GPA, the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) and the African Union (AU) to intervene. The third option, Zhangazha
said, would be to insist on fresh elections, but it would have to be clear
which elections they want - just presidential or harmonised.
Chamisa said it was now up to Sadc and the AU to try and resolve the
crisis by putting pressure on Mugabe to fulfill all outstanding issues,
including the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as deputy Agriculture minister and
an end to harassment and persecution of MDC officials.
He said if intervention by the region fails, the MDC would be left
with no option but to call for internationally-supervised elections.
While the MDC might have some faith in Sadc and the AU, which
Tsvangirai has been lobbying this week in his 10-day tour of the region,
Mandaza said the MDC leaders was better off returning and fighting it out
with his Zanu PF counterpart at home.
"Sadc is a toothless talking shop. It's a club of heads of state and
therefore almost completely precluded from taking any decisive positions on
such matters. Tsvangirai must come home and fight it here and discuss the
problems. If you are part of the state, it's better to fight it from
within," pointed out Mandaza.
Kurebwa said Tsvangirai would not get much joy from Sadc.
Mutambara, whose party attended Tuesday's cabinet meeting, concurred
with Mandaza saying Mugabe and Tsvangirai should sit down and iron out the
issues at home.
"The inclusive government is the best arrangement that this country
can have for the moment. It is the best way we can move forward to creating
conditions for free and fair elections," he said. "If we were to pull out
now without a new constitution, without political reforms, without media
reforms then we cannot have free and fair elections and we will be back to
square one. We need to use the inclusive government to create conditions of
free and fair elections."
While Mutambara describes MDC's disengagement as grandstanding,
Kurebwa believes that the party overreacted because the main reason for the
disengagement was Bennett's detention and he has since been released on bail
and his trial postponed to November.
"After raising all the dust, two to three days later, there was no
need. He overreacted and the decision was not based on principles. When he
does not get what he wants he is quick to boycott. In Zimbabwe, the
political culture does not have respect for boycotting as a political
strategy," Kurebwa said. "Tsvangirai was under pressure to be seen to be
recognising Bennett internationally. That action is offending, it gives a
very nasty picture and I don't think MDC wants the race factor hanging over
their head. He wants to uphold the rule of law and at the same time he wants
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:51
NOW Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother
would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God
will give you." Jesus said to her, " Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the
resurrection of the last day."
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in
me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me
shall never die.." (John 11 verses 21-26).
And so, according to the scriptures, Jesus went on to perform one of
his many miracles and Lazarus was brought back to life.
Last week, a mere mortal called Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo claimed in a
local weekly that he was the Messiah who would spur another "Lazarus moment"
which would lead to the instant resurrection of a dead political party -
While Zanu PF is "Lazarus", the major question as to who would be its
"Jesus" appeared to have been answered by the professor's desperate attempt
to play the knowing old Coaster, suggesting he was the Messiah who had
returned to rescue his people.
And if Moyo is the Messiah to rescue Zanu PF from its Lazarus moment,
the nation would be happy to know who in Zanu PF are Lazarus' sisters; the
Marys and Marthas in Zanu PF who fell down at his feet and begged him to
come back and bring the party back to life!
It was Moyo himself who announced the political death of Zanu PF when
he told journalists at the Quill Club earlier this year that the party was
dead and awaiting burial.
It was Moyo himself who told us that after almost three decades in
power, "Mugabe Must Go" had become more than just an opposition slogan but a
political reality. It was Moyo who bared his heart and revealed how Zanu PF
had become a party for the archives; a relic of antiquity fit for a
But today, he claims to have returned to bring the glamour back to a
party that he himself wrote off; a party that Zimbabweans have unambiguously
rejected and condemned to the cemetery.
Moyo's return to Zanu PF is nothing but a stroll in the graveyard; a
celebrated harlot's meaningless visit to her erstwhile boyfriend's grave in
the vain hope that her bouquet of flowers will resurrect her former bosom
partner of five years!
He may deny it in his long monologues in the Sunday Mail, but it is a
fact that he is politically promiscuous: a person of loose political morals
prepared to bed any political organisation that hops along, including those
who only four years ago threw him naked out of the bedroom window.
A politician who venomously attacks a political party in 1998, joins
it in 1999, is fired from it in 2005 and rejoins it in 2009 is nothing but a
political turncoat. In the murky world of espionage, he would not even be a
double agent, but a triple agent who is as dangerous as they come, even to a
fickle and unsophisticated spy agency.
Moyo is mistaken that some of us are worried that he has rejoined Zanu
PF. That is where the devil belongs. Zimbabweans will only be happy that the
devil has returned to his lair. What Zimbabweans will not tolerate is Moyo's
unbridled abuse of the public media to vilify and malign ministers of
government because they are MDC.
What Zimbabweans will not tolerate is Moyo's hate speech against the
democratic forces simply because they are saying what he himself said about
Zanu PF in the 1990s and as recently as February 2009!
Forget the dry, sulking monologue and the long sentences of more than
100 words each, Moyo is a man of contradiction. In last week's issue of the
Sunday Mail, while claiming that sanctions, the US and imperial Europe were
the real enemies of Zanu PF, he was to make a telling admission in the same
article that "Zanu PF's problems are entirely internal as evidenced by the
rise of factions.".
But never mind his glaring inconsistencies and his persistent and
consistent life of political malice. Never mind his diatribe in the public
media, the truth is that Zimbabweans, and Moyo admits these include one of
his own daughters, are clear that it is only the MDC which will deliver real
change to the people.
From Msampakaruma to Mandidzudzure, from Kazungula to Tamandayi, from
Zaka to Nyafaru, from Kazangarare to Sianchundu, Zimbabweans rejected Zanu
PF and Robert Mugabe on March 29 2008. No amount of propaganda will undo the
people's loud and unambiguous verdict.
Credible political parties do not primarily depend on propaganda to
win elections because ultimately propaganda will not walk to the polling
booth. Credible political parties primarily depend on the people who will
ultimately vote for them come election time. And the MDC is a people's party
that won the presidential election on March 29, has a majority in parliament
and controls the majority of local authorities throughout the country.
Moyo may blasphemously claim to be Zanu PF's political Messiah. And
his colleagues in the archaic, feudal party may prematurely start writing
their own celebratory scripture: "The second coming of Jonathan Moyo."
But for now, Moyo's false prophecy of the resurrection of a political
cadaver called Zanu PF will remain what it is; the far-fetched dream from
the most decorated political turncoat of our time.
Luke Tamborinyoka is the director of Information and Publicity in the
MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. He can be contacted at
email@example.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:45
NINE months have elapsed since Zimbabwe effectively demonetised its
currency, and replaced it with a basket of international and regional
currencies, and yet the country is still pregnant with conflicting views and
opinions on the currency that Zimbabwe should use. The president, and many
of those in his political entourage, recurrently demand reinstatement of the
Zimbabwean dollar, contending that usage of any other currency constitutes a
surrender of national sovereignty.
But the Zimbabwean dollar is so appallingly worthless that reverting
to its usage at the present time represents naught but sovereignty over
Many others earning monies in US dollars, but incurring the greater
portion of their expenditures in the South African rand (which is
particularly prevalent in Bulawayo and its surrounds, undoubtedly primarily
due to the close proximity to South Africa) have been significantly
prejudiced by a major reduction in spending power.
This is as a consequence of the strengthening of the rand against the
US dollar. In the past six months the rand has moved from approximately
ZAR10:US$1 to ZAR7,2 to US$1, resulting in a decline in the number of rands
realised for each US dollar earned of about 28%, and therefore a
corresponding decrease in purchasing power.
There are diverse reasons for the strengthening of South Africa's
currency, amongst the foremost being that the substantial economic recession
sustained in USA in 2008 and early 2009 has eroded confidence in the US
dollar, with a consequential weakening of the currency against many others,
especially those not as greatly affected by the global financial recession.
A by-product consequence has been that with the decline in confidence
in the US dollar, demand for gold has substantially increased, driving its
price upwards from approximately US$900 to over US$1 040. South Africa,
being a very major gold producer, has benefited greatly from the surge in
the gold price, with resultant strengthening of the rand.
Responsive to the greater decrease in value of the US dollar for those
whose expenditures are mainly in the rand, those US dollar earners are
embittered by the movement in the currency cross-rates, and therefore
vigorously demand that Zimbabwe adopt the rand as its currency, and should
abandon the multi-currency basket.
In doing so, and focused wholly upon their current stressed
circumstances, they ignore that in the same manner as the strength of the
rand surged upwards, so it could reverse in the future and very greatly
weaken in value against the US dollar and other currencies in the future.
Should the rand become Zimbabwe's currency and future weakening
occurs, all advantage from abandoning other currencies and tying wholly to
the rand will be lost, and buying power would become even less than is
currently the case. But the advocates of a rand-based currency are oblivious
to such a possibility, being only conscious of the current stresses
Yet a third school of opinion suggests that in view of the declared
intent of Sadc to introduce a regional currency for the 15 countries
comprising Sadc (in the same manner as the euro is the currency of most of
the countries constituting the European Union) it would be premature for
Zimbabwe to adopt any one currency, or to reintroduce its own currency, only
to be faced with having to replace such currency with the intended new Sadc
Although such argument has some substance, for recurrent currency
changes are economically disruptive and undesirable, it must nevertheless be
borne in mind that it is probably at least five years before a Sadc currency
comes into being.
With the volatile and evolutionary state of the Zimbabwean economy, it
may well be undesirable to await the introduction of a Sadc currency, albeit
that it is equally undesirable for Zimbabwe at this time to concentrate
exclusively upon one regional or international currency.
For Zimbabwe to commit itself to any one existing currency could be
extremely disadvantageous, especially if that currency is the rand.
Although that country's economy has demonstrated a surprisingly great
resilience to the impacts of the intense international financial and
economic recession, there is regrettably a likelihood that that economy will
recede to a significant extent in the foreseeable future, although for the
sake of Zimbabwe, and its neighbours, one must hope that that will not be
so. However, there are harsh facts suggesting a South African economic
decline is imminent.
Nearly 70% of South Africa's textile industry has collapsed and ceased
operations primarily due to an inability to compete against imports from the
Far East, in general, and China in particular.
Similar circumstances are progressively impacting upon South Africa's
formerly substantial clothing industry. South Africa's construction sector
has been riding high, thanks to the magnitude of the 2010 World Cup
projects, but as those projects attain completion, there is great
uncertainty as to future demands on that sector of South Africa's economy.
Concurrently, the global recession has impacted negatively upon
demand, and therefore market prices, for diamonds, and diamond production is
a meaningful component of the South African economy. And, although the gold
production sector is enjoying a heyday as the global recession diminishes,
and aligned thereto the US dollar strengthens, the world gold price may well
recede, with inevitable adverse impacts upon the South African economy.
Growing labour unrest is also beginning to impair that economy's
In the regrettable event that the South African economy does
experience a decline, that decline will inevitably necessitate substantial
changes to South Africa's monetary policies.
These changes may, and probably will, be very desirable and positive
for South Africa, and for an economic recovery, but could be totally
unsuited to then prevailing Zimbabwean circumstances and needs. But if
Zimbabwe is exclusively using the rand as its currency, it will then be
locked into those monetary policies. Hence, adopting the rand as Zimbabwe's
currency would be unwise in the extreme.
Similarly, it would not serve Zimbabwe's economy's best needs to adopt
any other country's currency as its sole currency, for doing so would then
commit Zimbabwe to that country's monetary policies. In contradistinction,
if Zimbabwe continues to use a multiplicity of currencies until such time as
it is opportune to reintroduce a Zimbabwean currency, or a regional currency
is introduced and adopted by Zimbabwe, then Zimbabwe is linked to a
multiplicity of monetary policies, acting as hedges against negative
consequences of any of them.
Therefore, despite the current cross-rate prejudices suffered by some,
the national interest and the medium to long-term wellbeing of all, Zimbabwe
should adhere to the current currencies' basket for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:16
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to "disengage" his MDC
party from the (GPA) "partnership" with President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu
PF party on October 16 will have surprised many observers at home and
abroad, especially given both the timing and his own assertion, only a few
days earlier, that he had established a good working relationship with the
president except for a few difficult factors from the "old order" (Sky News,
October 7). Even in his statement through which he announced the
disengagement last Friday, Tsvangirai acknowledged that "we have papered
over the cracks and have sought to persuade the whole world in the last
eight months that everything is working".
For, indeed, the inclusive government is in place, ministers have
taken up their posts and, as Tsvangirai's interview confirmed a few days
earlier, the two "executives" have been co-existing functionally.
So, what is it that accounts for this drastic turn of events for which
the Roy Bennett affair might only be a pretext? For we have here, no doubt,
a political crisis which, if allowed to escalate, can only plunge Zimbabwe
into a bigger mess than the country experienced in the post-March election
period last year.
Of course, there have been problems, including the unresolved issues
highlighted in Tsvangirai's statement.
But it is also true that the inauguration of the transitional
government in February this year heralded a period during which the country
experienced real respite from the political and economic tribulations of the
previous months. Not to mention the nightmare of post-election violence and
economic meltdown which the country had to endure in the months before the
signing of the GPA on September 15 2008.
And even as this crisis is simmering, few observers at home and abroad
would fail to acknowledge the relative peace across the country nor the fact
that the economy is certainly out of the emergency ward and beginning to
This is not to suggest that the GPA and its inclusive government were
already over the horizon, one year since September15 2008.
The land question has been central in all this, with the beginnings of
its resolution hinged on the outstanding land audit, a "landmine" that still
stands to make or wreck the transitional government for real, depending on
how Mugabe and Tsvangirai navigate through it; and the constitution-making
exercise, a lesser "landmine" than the land audit by any standards, but one
which nevertheless remains a barometer on the basis of which to assess both
the pace of the democratisation process and the resilience of the inclusive
Apart from these two "landmines", all else - even the posts of
Attorney-General and Governor of the Reserve Bank - appeared on course for
resolution. For example, the MDC should have seen its provincial governors
and ambassadors take office by August 1 and sources within the inclusive
government were suggesting last month that the president and prime minister
were close to an amicable solution over Tomana and Gono.
So why this delay in resolving these outstanding issues until, it
would appear, the case of Bennett became the final straw as far as the MDC
is concerned? Or, is it mere administrative backlog within a transitional
government that has not yet found the groove, or is bogged down under the
burden of "dual executive" machinery?
Perhaps this also accounts for the embarrassing situation in which the
inclusive government finds itself, to quote Tsvangirai's statement: "There
has been no review of the GPA nor of the ministerial positions six months
after 26 January 2009; and the National Security Council itself has met only
once in nine months".
More seriously, however, are the allegations contained in Tsvangirai's
statement, namely the partisanship (to Zanu PF and the old order) of
sections and individuals in the national security apparatus, and the
"extensive militarisation of the countryside through massive deployment of
the military and the setting up of bases of violence that we saw after the
March 29 2008... including over 16 000 of Zanu PF youth functionaries who
have been imposed on the government payroll."
Likewise, the MDC's complaint against the Herald and the ZBC, both of
whom "continue to treat the MDC and our leaders in government as if they
were a third rate treasonous and sell-out element instead of a genuine and
equal partner in the transitional government".
Admittedly, these are serious enough matters to confirm that all is
not well in the transitional government, even though many will be inclined
to ask why these had not been sufficiently highlighted and placed in the
public domain until the occasion of Bennett's indictment for trial on
October 14. Equally, the less pessimistic about the GPA and its inclusive
government will have been "persuaded", to use the PM's own words, that
"everything is working" and that the MDC "as the dominant party in Zimbabwe",
would in due course overcome and persevere.
So there could be a contradiction in the position taken by Tsvangirai
and his MDC, as much in word as in deed. The element of threat to collapse
the inclusive government is implicit throughout the PM's statement of
October 16, but less evident is what "disengagement" from a "dishonest and
unreliable partner" really means in practice. For the MDC "is not pulling
out of the GNU", it disengages "whilst being government", and even the
Herald (October 20) was careful to highlight (in its headline) the correct
constitutional position, namely that Morgan Tsvangirai is still prime
minister (after "disengagement"!)
In the meantime, neither the president nor the PM can cause or affect
a policy without the concurrence of the other. That is the import of the
GPA and the practical implication of the current "dual executive" order. It
means a paralysis of policy rather than a collapse of the government per se.
But, contrary to the partisan and even propagandist statements published in
the Herald this Wednesday, it cannot be "business as usual" nor can Cabinet
function smoothly as long as one element of the inclusive government is
As such, there is no obvious constitutional crisis, only a political
one which, if allowed to escalate, might mean a premature end to the GPA,
through the holding "of a free and fair election to be conducted by Sadc and
the AU and under UN supervision". Thus, concluded Tsvangirai's statement
last week, albeit, with a less than veiled threat thrown thereby at his
counterpart, President Mugabe.
It remains to be seen whether the MDC can carry out this threat,
assuming Zanu PF laughs it off altogether and does nothing to resolve the
outstanding issues attendant to the GPA. Less certain in this regard is
whether the MDC leader's visit around Sadc will yield any more than was
agreed upon at the regional organisation's extraordinary meeting of January
26, namely the formation of the transitional government, the resolution of
the issue of provincial governors, the Reserve Bank Governor and the
Attorney-General, and the review of the allocation of ministerial positions
after a period of six months.
Of course, there are factors within Sadc - particularly Ian Khama of
Botswana and Jajaya Kikwete of Tanzania - who would have wanted to see a
more decisive position taken at the last extraordinary summit in January:
that is, to reject the idea of an inclusive government (which they feared
would not work as long as Mugabe remained in place); and support the
"self-evident solution" of holding of a free and fair election to be
conducted by Sadc and the AU and under UN supervision. But, fearful that
such a position might escalate into the upper echelons of the world order
and attract the attention -- and possibly also the wrath - of the UN
Security Council, South Africa in particular steered the summit to the
compromise that saw the birth of the inclusive government.
There was also (more than) speculation about the threat of "external"
intervention in those days, had Sadc failed to reach this compromise and the
Zimbabwean crisis thereby worsened further into a humanitarian and economic
Clearly, it is the "international community" factor (read USA, Britain
and the rest of the EU) upon whom Tsvangirai and his MDC depend as the other
card (in addition to the mass base at home) with which to raise the stakes
against Mugabe and his Zanu PF. It is not difficult to imagine a possible
convergence between these external forces and the MDC's own calculations
vis-a-vis a president who, though the main beneficiary of the GPA, is not
willing to rein-in those of his camp so blind to the objective realities of
the balance of forces within and around Zimbabwe.
One does not have to be alarmist, especially if, as most of us hope,
the crisis can soon de-escalate on the back of good sense and judgement on
the part of Mugabe and Tsvangirai. But, unless that happens, we have here a
recipe for a real disaster, perhaps worse than that which Zimbabwe witnessed
during the post March 29 election last year, but with an end about which
none of us can safely predict.
Ibbo Mandaza is a Zimbabwean academic, author and publisher.
By Ibbo Mandaza
Thursday, 22 October 2009 20:15
THE last time President Mugabe visited Uganda to attend a Smart
Partnership dialogue, he took with him Deputy Prime Ministers Thokozani
Khupe and Arthur Mutambara whom he put to good use as billboards advertising
the smooth functioning of the inclusive government. At Munyonyo resort in
July host president Yoweri Museveni had this to say in his welcome speech:
"Mzee Mugabe has brought with him two deputy prime ministers (Khupe and
Mutambara); please can you stand up, which is a symbol of political smart
partnership we are not used to here in Uganda, where the two deputy prime
ministers are part of the higher echelons of government though they are
coming from two different political parties."
Our ruler was then able to strut his stuff at the shindig to lecture
his peers on his "inclusivity and national vision" as a statesman.
Mugabe this week returns to the Munyonyo resort to attend a rather
low-key African Union summit on refugees and displaced persons. The
glamourless event will fortunately for Mugabe not afford him the opportunity
to tell gathered heads of state about the inclusive government.
There will be no real opportunity to discuss the politics of the
country, in public that is, but privately one of two heads would want to
know from Mugabe what has happened to the inclusive government which was
feted at the same venue only three months ago. In fact one brazen ones might
want to know from Mugabe what he is doing at a refugees conference when
there are problems at home.
What boosted Mugabe's profile at the Smart Partnership Dialogue in
July was the company he had from the inclusive government. Partners in the
inclusive government have clothed Mugabe under a sheen of legitimacy and
respectability. But that veneer is peeling off and cannot be restored by
boisterous statements dismissing the partial pull-out of the MDC from the
inclusive government as a non-event.
It is a notable event because Mugabe's handlers know all too well that
the GNU was consummated to solve an economic and political crisis that
threatened lives in this country. Therefore mechanical faults in the
functioning of that vehicle specially designed to bring change is a glitch
to achieving reform.
Mugabe also knows very well that the only way investors can believe
his promises for reform and creating a conducive environment for business is
when he speaks as a facet of the inclusive government. He cannot preach
reform and change from the Zanu PF altar.
At Zimplats last Thursday he spoke well to listening business people,
commending the platinum miner for showing confidence in this market and for
investing in basic infrastructure. That was well-received.
Compare this with the dissonant eruption by Media and Information
minister Webster Shamu at Chief Chivero's funeral the next day at which the
minister attacked the mining company for not building a house for the chief
or tarring the road to his homestead.
There is no doubt which audience Shamu was trying to excite - Zanu PF
reactionaries who have since day one of the formation of the inclusive
government been working towards its downfall.
We expect a lot of that political gibberish in this environment of
serious contestations in the inclusive government. There will be many
dancing out of tune, much to the detriment of business which is still trying
to find its feet. Potential investors are not pleased either.
The reactionaries were quick off the blocks to celebrate disengagement
by the MDC and condemn the party. They will now not push for a resolution of
the crisis but will want to see a full escalation of hostilities which will
result in the MDC pulling out altogether. They want power at any cost.
The challenge from Mugabe on his return from Munyonyo is dealing with
this bhora mudondo grouping. Notably this is the grouping which pushed
provinces and party organs to endorse Mugabe as party leader ahead of the
December congress. Mugabe has basked in this new-found popularity in the
party but it comes at a cost. He has to return the favour. He will be
manipulated by the strong faction leaders.
He cannot be seen to be giving in to the demands of the MDC ahead of a
crucial congress. This is not the time to show your soft underbelly; the
hardliners will urge him to be defiant.
Mugabe has two clear options: to sit down with Tsvangirai and agree to
sort out the outstanding issues in order to keep this economy on the rails
and move forward, or to give in to pressure from strong faction leaders in
order to save his throne come December but sacrifice all the good that has
been achieved since February.
The choices seem very clear and Zimbabweans must demand an outcome
that does not set us back to the era of zeros.
Tsholotsho Betrayed by the Constitution
Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:49
WHILE we cherish, celebrate and to a large extent embrace the freedom
of association which is accorded to everyone in this country courtesy of our
constitution, we must therefore make sure that we do not disadvantage others
when exercising this freedom. I have been prompted by the recent readmission
of Jonathan Moyo to Zanu PF. My argument to this regard is that while it is
more than okay for the professor to join a party of his choice, my major
concern lies however with the plight of the people of Tsholotsho.
The majority of the people in this constituency expressed beyond doubt
that they have no love for Zanu PF or the MDC hence they voted for someone
who did not represent the above-mentioned.
Is it not betrayal to the electorate when someone they chose decides
to stab them in the back and join the party they rejected.
The laws of the land allow it as was said by Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa, but surely there should be a certain office somewhere, where
these kinds of grievances can be aired in the interest of the defenceless
and betrayed electorate.
Those elected on a party ticket are barred from crossing the floor and
should they decide to do so, their seats are declared vacant.
But those elected as independent candidates can decide to join any
party and still maintain their seats. In my view I think this is not fair to
If the type of democracy practised here was the same as that practised
in other countries, I am sure the electorate of Tsholotsho would have been
allowed to petition for their MP's removal for such a treacherous move or to
at least pass a vote of no confidence in him and demand his removal.
Growers are the ones being ripped off
Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:32
IN response to the letter written by "Spud" on potato prices "Local
potato prices a rip off" (Zimbabwe Independent October 9), I say please do
not blame the grower. I am a grower who does the following:
* Pay for the soil to be tested to make sure that I apply the correct
* Buy diesel for ploughing, discing, ridging, spraying chemicals and
* I buy seed,
* I pay for the labour, electricity for irrigation,
* I pay Zinwa for the irrigation water,
* I tend the crop for nearly four months before I get any returns.
* I then buy packaging and pay the transporter to deliver to "Spud"'s
The total cost to me per pocket is US$4,50 and I sell at US$7,50 and
get a return of US$3 after a four month wait but "Spud"'s retailer sells for
US$12-15 and makes between US$4,5 to $7,50 within a week.
Who is ripping who off?
Muckraker got some facts wrong
Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:31
WHILE I am an avid reader of the Zimbabwe Independent, I believe that
Muckraker (Independent October 9) got a few facts wrong in his opening piece
on Namibia's former president Sam Nujoma.
As a Zimbabwean who has been resident in Namibia for a few years, I
think a few points need to be made and clarified. Nujoma did not try to
"hang on to office for three terms; he actually did hang on for a third term
In other words he was the president from Independence in 1990 to
The country's constitution was amended to allow for the third term on
the argument that for the first term (that began at Independence) he had not
been democratically elected by the people but by parliament.
According to them his first "proper" term began in 1995/6 when he was
"popularly" elected by the people.
The Swapo party in no way would have the guts to tell him "to go" as
you put it. In fact they officially refer to him as the founding president
and the "Father of the Namibian Revolution/Nation".
For good measure, there is an official office of the founding
president (like a government department with special assistants) that
receives its own allocation from the national budget
I also disagree with your statement: "Namibia has been out of step
with its Sadc neighbours by backing Robert Mugabe's continuation in office
and his assault on civil society."
I believe there are many more neighbours that have taken the same
route, namely Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland (although technically
the last two are not neighbours but are part of Sadc).
The current president Hifikepunye Pohamba is not as young as you would
want to put it. In fact at 76 or thereabouts, he is in the same generation
as Nujoma, who is 80.
The good thing about Swapo is that there was a relatively smooth
succession transition that, although marred with low level clashes, allowed
leadership renewal and a change in the CEO of the country without a
prolonged stay in office of the so called "revolutionary pioneers of the
armed struggle against imperialists".
Justice, Democracy Must Prevail
Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:25
JESTINA Mukoko and other activists were abducted tortured and
illegally detained on trumped up charges of banditry and terrorism. The
state-controlled media made a lot of noise about the charges. Today Mukoko
walks free and the state-controlled media has become deaf and dumb.
Is this the Zimbabwe we want? I am a Zimbabwean and this is not what I
want. As a Zimbabwean I can't wait to see the day that the people
responsible for tormenting Mukoko and others are in court. I
might not be well versed with the Zimbabwean laws but I believe these
violators of law deserve a life sentence as what they did was illegal and
that is banditry at its best.
It seems we have our own Bin Ladens in Zimbabwe walking around with
state badges.We want security in Zimbabwe. If the people who are supposed
to be protecting us are the ones victimising us then who do we turn to. As a
Zimbabwean I feel betrayed by Zanu PF. We all know that such thuggery can
only emanate from Zanu PF.
We want real change, real freedom and real security. I put my hopes on
MDC to deliver such and I urge real Zimbabweans to do so too without fear
for God is on our side and democracy is in our hands.
SMS The Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 15 October 2009 18:25
BARACK Obama did not deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize ahead of PM
Morgan Tsvangirai. Whilst I concede that he has good intentions and talks
about creating a better world free of conflict, we are yet to see the
results of his policies. Tsvangirai however has toiled to bring democracy
and peaceful coexistence in Zimbabwe. To me he deserves to be the winner.
IF ever there was a man deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize then Morgan
Tsvangirai is it. Deserving because of what he has achieved rather than what
he might bring about as is the case with Barack Obama.
MORGAN Tsvangirai gave up a presidency in order to avoid violence
continuing against his constituents. He suffered beatings, torture and
imprisonment in order to bring peace to his people. He deserved the Nobel
THE move made by the MDC-T leadership to retain the current leadership
is good because we would go to the elections with a tried and tested
leadership structure to guarantee success. We do not need new leadership at
the moment since they would need time to establish themselves before the
WILL PM Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T please answer my question: are
white Zimbabweans not allowed to own farms in Zimbabwe?
AS long as Zanu PF zealots continue with unjustified farm invasions
and disruptions, no sane person will ever take Zimbabwe seriously. The means
can never justify the end particularly now in 2009. This is a crying shame.
THANK you Independent for exposing Zanu PF for what it is. Repression,
poor governance and corruption are just too prickly to be packaged as
AS part of your social obligation can you please run a free dating
service for civil service bachelors? We are tired of being rejected since
everyone knows our salaries. Maybe you could partner with Malawian and
Zambian female civil servants.
BOSSO is the team to beat next season. Coach Mohammed Fathy is the man
and we should give him all the support he needs.
TO Jonathan Moyo I say it is more humiliating to continue in sin than
to repent and sin no more. Let's go the HIPC way and help redeem the nation.
Deliverance comes with an acceptance of one's wrongs and a commitment to sin
no more. This is what is missing in 99% of our so- called leaders.
JONATHAN Moyo is evidently very ambitious and what he wants is very
clear: to get to the highest office in the land. He should however be
reminded that voters hold the key to whether he succeeds or not.
I REALLY do not understand Jonathan Moyo's political ideology. Some
years back he was a critic of Robert Mugabe only to change and support him
in 2000. In 2005 he had another about turn and started to speak out again
against Mugabe.Now he is at it again with his political acrobatics. I don't
think that at this stage anybody can take him seriously.
READING Jonathan Moyo's interview in the Sunday Mail, I could not help
but feel sorry for Zanu PF that they have been reduced to putting their
hope in such a person.
ONLY those who still tune in to ZBC must pay their television and
radio licences. For ZBC to coerce us to pay for services that are not
friendly to our ears and eyes is totally unjust.
THE process of getting a driver's licence is now very expensive. Why
can't we just go straight to VID without having to pass through CMED?
A RECENT environmental degradation discussion highlighted the
devastating effects on our ecosystem of discharging plastic hair imports. A
quick glance at women in the streets suggests that they have adopted this
phenomenon without due regard to the dire consequences they have on the
CAN the authorities concerned deal decisively with the plunder and
destruction of natural resources at Darwendale dam. This once beautiful
resort area, which brought enjoyment to nature lovers has now deteriorated
to unacceptable levels. Environment minister Francis Nhema must do something
I APPEAL to cell phone network operators to install base stations in
Chiweshe, October 22, 2009 - Over 15 teachers of Jingamvura Primary
and Secondary schools in Chiweshe were on Tuesday beaten and and forced to
vacate the schools by suspected Zanu PF supporters because 'their' party
President Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the Inclusive Government.
Sources at the school said the affected teachers, who were last year's
political violence victims, were once again being beaten and chased away
from the schools. The schools were last year temporarily closed during the
height of political violence.
"A group of well known ZANU-PF youths stormed the school on Tuesday
midnight knocking doors and shouting out names of the teachers whom they
wanted. They destroyed several doors in search of the victims...they
assembled them and gave them orders to vacate the school before being
assaulted," said one teacher who witnessed the violence.
"For fear of their lives they had to flee that particular time because
of the threat they had received and they spent the whole night in theBanje
Mountain, in fact they had been threatened with death," said another
Police chief spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said
the police is still investigating the case. "That report has not yet reached
my office, but however we are going to investigate and bring the culprits to
Prime Minister Tsvangirai last week said his party was partially
withdrawing from taking part in government activities until such a time
President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party showed genuine commitment in the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
October 23, 2009
By Owen Chikari
ZVISHAVANE - Workers at the Shabanie and Mashava mines, who were forced to
return to work this month following a one and half month strike, now say
they want Mutumwa Mawere, the exiled former owner of the troubled asbestos
mines, back in charge.
Three workers were shot and seriously wounded by government security agents
during the strike.
The workers have accused the government of neglecting them. They say they
are now considering what measures to take to facilitate the return of the
exiled Mawere so that he may take over his former empire.
The two mines which are the only asbestos producers in the country were
expropriated from Mawere by the government in 2004 after Justice Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa specified the Zimbabwean
businessman who now lives in South Africa.
"We are contemplating taking legal action against the government so that
Mawere returns to take over his properties", said a member of the workers
committee who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.
"The government through its administrator has completely failed to cater for
our needs as workers.
"We are living like beggars and some of us have not been paid salaries since
April this year.
"We have approached our legal adviser and we are ready to fight a court
battle so that Mawere returns. We never experienced this kind of situation
during Mawere's time and I think as workers we should have a say in what is
happening in this company".
Another worker who only identified himself as Abraham said the employees
were working under protest since their grievances were not resolved
following their month long industrial action.
"We are working under protest because we were forced to go back to work when
our grievances were not resolved", said Abraham.
"The only way forward is for us to push government through any other means
to ensure that Mawere returns."
It emerged this week that some of the workers were earning a paltry US$30 a
month while others have not been paid since April.
It also emerged that nearly 400 jobs are on the line at the two
government-run mines as management seeks to dismiss them for engaging in the
The two mines have a total work force of about 1 285 people, excluding
The government appointed administrator Alfas Gwaradzimba refused to comment
on the new developments, only saying that all the workers had returned back
"What I can tell you is that all the workers are now at work," said
Gwaradzimba. "I have no further comment besides that one."
Workers at the mines were forced to return back to work by security agents
who knocked on doors and ordered them to resume their duties.
Some workers fled into nearby mountains as security agents, including
members of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation CIO, went on the
rampage while seeking to end the industrial action.
Three of the workers were shot and seriously wounded when the riot police
opened fire on the strikers.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union officials say the injured were transferred
to Harare for specialist treatment.
No comment could be obtained from Mawere in South Africa.