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Mugabe’s illness triggers panic

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:30

Dumisani Muleya

ZANU PF, which has dominated the country’s political landscape for over
three decades without a break, is now at a crossroads as President Robert
Mugabe’s health problems, worsened by old age, mount ahead of the next
crucial elections which could mark the beginning of the end.

Mugabe this week left for Singapore again — suggesting his prostate cancer
condition is increasingly critical — for further medical checks after his
recent visit there which he claimed was on family business, official sources

Informed reports say Mugabe is suffering from prostate cancer which
metastasised, spreading to other organs of the body, while creating tumours.
Doctors have reportedly advised Mugabe to retire to avoid straining himself
and worsening his condition, mainly before the 2008 elections.

The situation has now worsened since then. The story of Mugabe’s health
condition, which those close to him have tried to hide but failed as
information irretrievably filters out, has created panic and fuelled
instability in Zanu PF and state structures. Sources say senior party
officials and state security operators are scrambling to “interpret, contain
and resolve the situation” which has a serious bearing on elections and the
future of Zanu PF, as well as on the fate of influential individuals.

A detailed briefing of the Zimbabwe Independent this week by various
informed sources showed that due to health failures and old age, Mugabe is
now facing a turning point ahead of the party’s annual conference in
Bulawayo in December and elections. Mugabe himself admits the conference
would be “just as good as congress”, which usually elects a new party
leadership. He is under growing pressure to call for a full congress and not
a conference.Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo last week told the Independent
Mugabe was likely to be endorsed as candidate given that he was elected at
the 2009 congress, although the issue could be discussed in Bulawayo.

However, compared to previous conferences, there is no stampede in Zanu PF
to give him ringing public endorsements before the Bulawayo gathering,
signifying the heated debate and reflections going on in the party To Page
2over the divisive issue.Senior politburo members have told the Independent
there are divisions over whether to endorse Mugabe as the candidate or not.
This has further put pressure on the veteran ruler who is already battling
old complications, ill-health and debilitating internal strife.“President
Mugabe’s health situation has now become a major political issue, especially
in the party and within state security structures,” a senior politburo
member said.“The party is now definitely at a crossroads due to his old age
and ill-health. He is in Singapore now for health reasons and this has
created panic and uncertainty in the party in terms of his availability as a
candidate at the next elections. This issue will loom large at the
conference/congress in Bulawayo.”

Another official said the fear is that if Mugabe is endorsed as candidate in
Bulawayo and elections come further down next year or in 2013, Zanu PF might
find itself with a candidate who could not sustain the rigours of hectic and
taxing electioneering or in a fix over that.“Our fear is that what happens
if he can’t sustain a rigorous campaigning exercise? General election
campaigns are very demanding, taxing and exhausting, especially when your
backs are against the wall and contesting against a party like the MDC-T,
which has strong grassroots, financial and logistical support,” one official
said. “We have to ask ourselves critical questions now and prepare for
eventualities.”Sources said Mugabe’s trip to Singapore this week increased
the awareness in Zanu PF and state security circles all was not well,
fuelling anxiety and panic. Mugabe went to Singapore after he cancelled his
trip to the International Telecommunications Union summit on information
communication technologies underway in Geneva due to Swiss authorities’
refusal to give visas to senior members of his delegation, including his
wife Grace.“Mugabe’s health problem has serious implications on what
decision the party will make at its conference in December, even though our
room for manoeuvre is very limited,” a top party official said.

“The party is in a renewed state of flux because of this situation which we
have never faced before and the crisis is snowballing.”Sources said state
security chiefs were worried about Mugabe’s health condition because they
say it has serious ramifications for the political and security situation in
the country.“There is currently so much debate, discussions and agonising
goings-on within our structures over this issue,” a senior intelligence
officer said. “The issue has become even more critical due to the Zanu PF
conference in Bulawayo and the elections.”Mugabe’s health has become a big
issue both at home and abroad. While Zimbabweans are wondering what his real
condition is, foreign governments have also been scrambling to know what is
going on.

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Document leak deepens Zanu PF fissures

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:36

Faith Zaba

ACCUSATIONS and counter-accusations have been flying between Zanu PF
Constitution Select Committee (Copac) co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul
Mangwana and axed chairperson of the stakeholders’ committee Edward
Chindori-Chininga over allegations of leaking a party document to the
MDC-T.Officials at Zanu PF headquarters in Harare said the two senior party
officials were accusing each other of leaking the party’s position paper on
the draft framework of a new constitution in letters to administration
secretary Didymus Mutasa.

Mutasa signed Chindori-Chininga’s dismissal letter a fortnight ago based on
Mangwana’s allegations that the former Mines minister and Guruve South MP
had leaked the “sensitive” document to MDC-T’s co-chairperson of Copac,
Douglas Mwonzora.However, Chindori-Chininga points to Mangwana as the one
who gave the document to Mwonzora and his fellow co-chairperson Edward
Mkhosi of the MDC on October 4 at Pandari Lodge in Harare.The rushed
decision to fire Chindori-Chininga without giving him a hearing to respond
to the allegations and without following the party’s laid down disciplinary
procedures gives an insight of fissures presently afflicting Zanu PF.While
Mutasa claims that he consulted the presidium before firing
Chindori-Chininga, who has been a thorn in Zanu PF’s side for speaking his
mind, party chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo on Wednesday expressed ignorance
over the matter saying he was not consulted when the decision was made.

“It is not true (that the presidium was consulted). I don’t know anything
about it. It has nothing to do with Zanu PF. It is a Copac issue and Copac
has its own management structure. It is a Copac management issue, not a Zanu
PF issue,” said Khaya Moyo.The dismissal letter, which is dated October 6,
was signed four days before Mangwana wrote his complaint letter dated
October 10. In his response to Mutasa, Chindori-Chininga said:

“It came as a surprise and serious concern to me that my party Zanu PF had
decided to withdraw me based on one-sided co-chair Mangwana’s allegations
without due process, even before Mangwana had submitted a written
†complaint.”Mutasa told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that he would
soon announce Chindori-Chininga’s replacement. It is believed that deputy
Education minister Lazarus Dokora is the likely replacement. In his letter
to Mutasa, Mangwana said he did not email the draft framework to
Chindori-Chininga because the former cabinet minister had allegedly accused
him of excluding MDC in the process.

“I received a report from my PA that Cde Chindori-Chininga had refused to
co-operate saying “matanga vanhu veZanu PF kuita zvinhu mega pasina ve MDC”
(there you go again you Zanu PF people excluding MDC). I then instructed my
PA not to send the document, which to me was a very strategic document,”
Mangwana wrote.The document was then emailed to the party’s secretary for
legal affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa and five members of the select committee,
excluding Chindori-Chininga.“After the (caucus) meeting (on October 6) I
tried to investigate if Cde Chindori-Chininga had laid his hands on this
confidential Zanu PF document and discovered that he had been given this
document by (Godwill) Misimirembwa in Mutare on Monday October 3, yet he was
denying ever having seen this document.”

“I wondered why he had denied seeing the document which was now in the hands
of the MDC-T. I also could not understand his fit of anger and the threats
of assault he was directing at me. I then reported the matter to you for
action,” Mangwana wrote in his letter to Mutasa.

However, Chindori-Chininga denied leaking the document to MDC-T saying it
was Mangwana who gave the co-chairpersons of the two MDC formations.“Zanu PF
co-chairperson Mangwana is unpredictable. I do not know what state of mind
he was in, but he underestimated the reaction that was going to come out
after erroneously handing over the Zanu PF draft constitution framework with
preferred constitutional provisions. MDC-T co-chairperson Mwonzora and MDC
co-chair Mkhosi started accusing Zanu PF co-chair Mangwana of writing the
constitution before the drafting stage of the constitution,” read
Chindori-Chininga’s response to Mangwana’s allegations.

He also accused Mangwana of negotiating with the MDC-T co-chairperson and
signing cheques while drunk. This, Chindori-Chininga said, had resulted in
Zanu PF losing some strategic arguments during negotiations.“Mangwana errs
in judgment when he meets with MDC-T’s Mwonzora at important high stakes
meetings to the disadvantage of Zanu PF due to his early morning and all-day
alcoholic problem. Mwonzora knows of that weakness and takes advantage of it
to the disadvantage of Zanu PF,” said Chindori-Chininga.Chindori-Chininga’s
letter further claims: “Mangwana is an alcoholic.

He has chaired many select committee meetings when he is drunk and under the
influence of alcohol.”He also accused Mangwana of lying to the politburo
over pre-drafting preparation work, drafting dates, the constitutional
framework and identification of constitutional principles.

“Misleading the Zanu PF leadership, and particularly the president, who
depends on us to formulate electoral programmes is discrediting Zanu PF and
the president when dates suddenly change and we are seriously behind,” read
the letter.Contacted for comment yesterday, Mangwana refused to speak to the
Zimbabwe Independent.“I don’t want to speak to you because of the last story
you did,” he said.

The Independent carried a story two weeks ago on the Zanu PF preliminary
draft constitution framework, which included the party’s position on
prohibiting homosexuality and same sex marriage and devolution of power.
Zanu PF also wants the land issue as well as the indigenisation and economic
empowerment to stand as chapter headings. Chindori-Chininga and Mangwana had
a heated debate which almost degenerated into a fistfight two weeks ago
after the Guruve South MP questioned the latter over what he described as
false and conflicting statements he allegedly issued to the media.

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Parliament flexes muscles on evasive Made

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:19

Paidamoyo Muzulu

PARLIAMENT has flexed its muscles by slapping Agriculture minister Joseph
Made with contempt of parliament charges for deliberately skirting questions
about the creation of the US$600 million Chisumbanje-based Green Fuels
project through a partnership between the Agricultural Rural Development
Authority (Arda) and Ratings.

Made told the Agriculture Portfolio Committee earlier this year that he
could not adequately explain how Ratings and Macdom were given the green
light to build the ambitious ethanol plant since he was not the Agriculture
minister at the time the deal was concluded.Committee chairman Moses Jiri
indicated that they had started the process of charging Made for contempt
after he displayed “shocking ignorance on crucial issues under the ambit of
his ministry”.

“We are looking at charging Minister Made with contempt of parliament for
professing ignorance to questions about the Arda/Ratings deal,” said Jiri.
“The clerk of parliament is (set) to listen to the audio recording of the
hearing and give us directions,” he said.The committee postponed its public
hearings scheduled for Wednesday and would only resume them after the
conclusion of the contempt charges against Made.

“We moved this week’s meeting to devote our attention to make sure that
people called to give evidence should treat the process with respect. It was
disgusting for a minister to behave in that manner,” Jiri said.

Parliament is also contemplating to charge Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa with contempt of parliament after he told the Mines Portfolio
Committee that government was in possession of Shabanie and Mashaba Mine
share warrant certificates, but later failed to produce them when asked to
avail the certificates to the committee.

Members of the Agriculture Portfolio Committee were startled by Made’s
stance that the committee should ask former Agriculture minister Rugare
Gumbo why the Arda/Ratings deal did not follow the laid down indigenisation
policy. The policy stipulates that locals should control 51% of all business
operations in the country.Made said Ratings had proposed a 70-30
shareholding ratio in its proposal to the government on the project.

However, parliament was furnished with reports which prove that an
inter-ministerial committee and a Kudenga and Company audit report were
against the deal in its present structure.Made pleaded ignorance on the
existence of the two reports prompting the committee to adjourn the hearing
and consider other ways of obtaining information on the deal.

“The ministry is not aware of that report,” said Made. “Who commissioned it?
I would be happy to receive and read that audit report. I don’t go to the
ministry to read all the documents for the sake of reading the material,” he

Committee member Edward Raradza came to the minister’s defence: “Maybe this
is why we have problems in our ministries because there is no continuity.
Can we give him time to sort out this?”

Ratings and Macdom were given in excess of 10 000 ha of prime land to set up
a sugarcane plantation to feed the ethanol plant in Chisumbanje. The project
is a 20-year Build, Operate and Transfer agreement with Arda receiving an 8%
fee from the project.Green Fuel is the first ethanol production and the
company is now awaiting a licence from the government to start marketing its

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MDC-T, police feud over rallies

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:23

By Brian Chitemba

A WAR of words has erupted between Matabeleland North police and the MDC-T
over rallies which Prime-Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party accuses the
former of disrupting.

Tsvangirai had lined up rallies in Binga and Lupane before concluding his
Matabeleland North tour on Sunday at Chinotimba stadium in Victoria
Falls.But police wrote to the MDC-T on Wednesday informing them that they
did not have enough manpower to deploy to the party’s rallies owing to other
pressing issues in various districts.

Police say they must be notified of any meeting or political rally as
stipulated in the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) Chapter 11:17. The
MDC-T was granted an order to go ahead with the Chinotimba rally by the
Victoria Falls magistrates’ courts, but police have in the past defied
similar court orders and disrupted the party’s rallies.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe (pictured) yesterday lambasted
Matabeleland North police commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore
Veterai for being the major stumbling block in holding MDC-T rallies in the
province. Police were deployed to break up an MDC-T rally in Nkayi South
last week.

However, Veterai hit back at Khupe saying:

“She is barking up the wrong tree because I don’t regulate rallies. I am the
protecting authority. I don’t deal with rallies, I am above that. If we
allow the country to be run by security guards, then we have a problem. She
can come and see me anytime and I will explain what the law says about
rallies.Ӡ Khupe said.

Tsvangirai had executive powers and, therefore, did not have to seek police
permission to hold meetings.“Have you ever heard that President Robert
Mugabe has applied to hold rallies?” asked Khupe. “So why should a whole
Prime Minister be barred from addressing rallies by police officers?”The DPM
said it was absurd that police were determined to frustrate MDC-T rallies in
Matabeleland North where the party enjoys overwhelming support.

Tsvangirai has been visiting provinces to drum up support for his party
ahead of national elections pencilled in for 2012. Khupe said it was clear
that police were acting on instructions from Zanu PF to disrupt MDC-T
rallies in an attempt to weaken the party.“Veterai is a problem because he
is even holding the PM’s car which was impounded three years ago. Police
should respect all people in government and not apply the law selectively,”
she said.

MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe said it was pointless for
his party to even notify the police about rallies because they “never attend
the meetings to provide security, but to disrupt”.Bhebhe vowed that the
rallies would go ahead despite the police threats.“We will just go ahead
with the gatherings as planned. No one will stop us. Police say there will
be violence but they are the same people who cause the violence by spraying
teargas at our supporters,” said Bhebhe.

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‘Strip Mudede of his powers’

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:22

By Staff Writer

MEMBERS of the public have called on Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to be
stripped of powers to oversee production of the voters’ roll and for
election results to be announced within 48 hours of the end of voting.

They made their submissions during a public hearing on the contentious
Electoral Act Amendment Bill in parliament on Monday. Members of the public
also demanded that the secretariat of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(Zec) be reconstituted to weed out officials who botched the last elections.

There was a tense atmosphere outside parliament building with noisy Zanu PF
and MDC supporters, separated by riot police, demanding† to be let into the
chamber where the hearings were being held by the Justice committee chaired
by Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese. Similar hearings outside Harare have
been disrupted by political party hooligans.Changes to the electoral law are
part of a raft of legislative reforms contained in the 2008 Global Political
Agreement that gave birth to the present shaky coalition government
following the controversial and inconclusive presidential elections.

Among the mooted changes strongly criticised is the suggestion that the
voters’ roll be specific to individual polling stations. This would force
each polling station to have a different voters’ roll. Elections in Zimbabwe
have been marred by violence since 2000.

“The preparation of the voters’ roll should be moved from the RG’s office to
Zec which is independent from executive directions, unlike Mudede who
reports to a line minister,” said a member of the public. “In the same way,
the new Act should call for the announcement of election results within 48
hours after the polls. The Zec secretariat should be reconstituted after
they botched the last election. New faces should come in. How can we trust
those that let us down?”

However, pro-Zanu PF supporters echoed positions entrenched in their party
opposing the invitation of the EU and US election observers. They argued
that the voters’ roll should remain under the RG’s office and there should
be no rush to announce results.“The country should not invite observers from
the EU and US because they imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe,” said a Zanu PF

“The RG’s office should continue to handle voter registration, and election
results should be announced within 120 hours (five days),”.Institutions like
Veritas, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights submitted their recommendations in writing.

However, the Zimbabwe Independent has it on good authority that
recommendations from these institutions centred on issues of the voters’
roll, voter education and announcement of results.

“The institutions suggested preparations of a clean voters’ roll under Zec
supervision which runs all elections, giving room to civil society the
opportunity to engage in voter education in addition to Zec and political
parties and the timely release of results, preferably provisionally within
48 hours,” a member of the parliamentary committee said.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa is expected to move the Bill’s second
reading stage soon and allow MPs to make amendments to his draft. Earlier
there were reports that the executive had tried to block the public
hearings. — Staff Writer.

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‘Sterner stuff’ needed for Zanu PF succession issue

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:25

By Faith Zaba/Brian Chitemba

ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, a long-serving party member who was a key
official in the Dare reChimurenga during the liberation struggle, says
President Robert Mugabe’s succession can only be discussed in the politburo
if party members raise the issue.

Gumbo told the Zimbabwe Independent that free discussion on Mugabe’s
successor and leadership renewal was the preserve of the politburo, but so
far no one had dared to raise the issue in any of their meetings. However,
he was quick to point out that those wishing to raise the issue should be
made of “sterner stuff”.

“Leadership renewal issues are the preserve of the politburo,” said Gumbo.
“However, the politburo has not discussed that issue so far. If you are a
party member and you want to raise such issues, you are free to do so in the
politburo, but you should be made of the sterner stuff,” Gumbo said without

Although Mugabe at one time permitted little debate on his succession, he
swiftly moved to politically destroy anyone who declared any personal
ambition to succeed him.In 2003, a Zanu PF succession committee headed by
Vice-President John Nkomo was disbanded after it fuelled infighting over who
was the most suitable candidate to take over from Mugabe.

In May 2009 the politburo set up another succession committee chaired by
Nkomo and comprising Emmerson Mnangagwa, the late retired army commander
General Solomon Mujuru, Oppah Muchinguri, Sydney Sekeramayi and Didymus
Mutasa.This committee never took off and was dissolved last year without any
seatings to its credit. Some senior party officials said free debate on the
succession was an impossibility due to fear of retribution.

Politburo appointments largely depended on Mugabe, and members were,
therefore, afraid of crossing his path.They said Mugabe was also surrounded
by people interested in self-preservation and thereby unwilling to raise the
succession issue.Open and free debate on succession, they said, was likely
to remain a taboo until Mugabe opened the discussion himself because should
someone else do it, that would be misconstrued as an attempt to effect
regime change.

This view is supported by a recent WikiLeaks cable in which Public Works
deputy minister Aguy Georgias is quoted saying Mugabe did not trust the
politburo and his cabinet because they were absorbed with enriching
themselves.Georgias, who is also a renowned Zanu PF financier, told former
US Christopher Dell in 2006 that it was increasingly impossible for Mugabe
to trust his close lieutenants in the politburo and cabinet.

“Mugabe knew he couldn’t trust his politburo and cabinet, most of whom
either were so absorbed in economic self-aggrandisement or too politically
insecure to actively support meaningful outreach to the West,” Georgias

He said although Mugabe was isolated by the international community, he
still wielded power within Zanu PF. Georgias said Mugabe never got good
advice from Zanu PF because there was little meaningful debate in the party
as a result of the growing generational gap which hampered communication.

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Timba risks arrest

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:28

Paul Nyakazeya

RENAISSANCE Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL) former executive chairman
Patterson Timba risks having criminal proceedings instituted against him if
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) board of directors upholds its earlier
resolution† to report him to the police, following recommendations of a
forensic report on the goings on at RFHL’s subsidiary, ReNaissance Merchant
Bank (RMB), now under curatorship.

Minutes of two RBZ board meetings, held on June 28 and September 27 this
year, reveal that the central bank board had resolved to report Timba and
other senior RMB officials to the police serious fraud squad if the findings
of a forensic audit report on the bank by BCA Forensic Audit Services deemed
it so. Timba was also chief executive of RMB, in which he is majority
shareholder. A two-volume, 1015 page-long forensic report on RMB dated
October 11 has since been completed and has been handed over to the RBZ. The
first volume has 706 pages while the second has 709 pages.

A shorter version of the report, a 49-page summary prepared on August 15,
confirmed what had been suspected earlier that some of Timba’s activities
bordered on the criminal. Referring to one instance where US$2 million was
transferred to capitalise an RFHL Ugandan subsidiary, the condensed report
said: “In our own opinion, the abuse of the depositors’ funds in the
capitalisation of RCL was criminal, amounting to theft and or fraud.”Timba
said this week he was not aware that the forensic report had been completed.

According to the minutes of the RBZ board meeting of September 27, Timba was
saved by the bell after board members moved that police action only be taken
after a comprehensive forensic report was completed. “Some members (of the
RBZ board), however, expressed their unhappiness at delays in reporting the
matter to the police since this gave suspects an opportunity to erase
evidence. It was observed that ordinarily, a mere suspicion would be
reported to the police,” the minutes say.

However, after further deliberations, the board resolved to wait for a more
substantive report from the forensic auditors establishing a “watertight
case which could help to secure a conviction,” read the minutes. Asked by
the Independent, this week, as to what action would be taken now that the
comprehensive report was out, RBZ governor Gideon Gono said the bank does
not discuss internal board or management discussions with the press.

“I have advised you before that we are neither in the habit of sharing our
internal board or management deliberations with the press nor do we want to
pre-empt our board-approved strategies on the matter you are referring to or
any other for that matter,” he said.“Go back to whoever is your mole in the
bank and seek details of the matter you are enquiring about. If your source
is a banker or one of my team members, then God help us all. He or she will
need to revisit his/her lecture notes on banking ethics and confidentiality
of client/bank affairs,” Gono added.

The RBZ governor said the fact that Timba was freely going about washing
dirty linen all over as a ploy to court public sympathy does not make it
correct or desirable for the Reserve Bank “as the apex bank to follow his
script and we have been consistent so far in refusing to entertain public
debates on matters before or about to be placed before the courts or any
other authority for that matter. If you need more, I refer you to the
Minister of Finance,” Gono said.

Indian businessman Jayesh Shah, whose loan to Timba is said to have opened a
can of worms at RMB, reported Timba to the police in June to have him
arrested for breach of contract. Meanwhile, Timba is being accused of trying
to control activities at the bank from his Borrowdale home despite having
his contract terminated. This comes amid allegations that he wanted to make
two senior appointments to the bank and allegedly influences decisions at
the bank, which is currently under curatorship.

According to High Court papers, case number 9989/11 filed by Renaissance
Financial Holdings Ltd Managing Director, Bartholomew Mswaka on Wednesday,
Timba wanted to make senior appointments to the bank despite having his
contract cancelled.“Members were informed that Mr Timba had written to the
curator proposing two senior appointments, that is, a Managing Director and
a Chief Operating Officer for the bank, subject to the approval of such
appointments by the regulators. Mr Timba has also gone further to notify
NSSA about the proposed appointments,” said Mswaka.Mswaka said board members
discussed the proposed appointments and it was noted that neither the RFHL
Board nor the chairman had been involved or formally engaged on the issue.

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President’s health cause for concern

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:32

By Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s health situation has been attracting the attention
of locals and foreigners alike following another flight to Singapore this
week. Americans have for a long while been monitoring his health as they
believe it is critical in assessing the political and security situation in
the country.

This is revealed by WikiLeaks in its recent release of United States secret
diplomatic cables filed from Harare over the past two decades.Zimbabweans
and foreign governments have been absorbed by Mugabe’s health issue for a
long time, with different stories of what he is suffering from circulating.

While Mugabe has maintained that he is only suffering from cataracts — a
clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye that obstructs the passage of
light and causes poor eyesight — WikiLeaks disclosures suggest he has
prostate cancer.The US cables say Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread
to other organs of the body and was advised by his physician to step down in
2008 to avoid endangering his life. Mugabe was said to have accepted that he
would contest the 2008 elections and retire afterwards, although the doctor
wanted him to quit before the polls.

In the cable dated June 2008, written by James McGee, the US ambassador in
Harare, central bank governor Gideon Gono was cited as indicating Mugabe had
“prostate cancer which has metastasised”, although Gono has denied this.In
one of the cables, former US political and economic officer Glen Warren in
the Harare embassy quotes Zanu PF politburo member and ex-Information
minister Jonathan Moyo as saying Mugabe was suffering from “throat cancer”.

Moyo has not denied the cables and urged his Zanu PF colleagues to own
up.Another US cable dispatched from Harare also says Mugabe now has
difficulties in standing up from a chair due to old age and ill-health. Yet
another cable says Mugabe was once spotted at a cancer treatment centre in
Singapore which he frequents. Mugabe is currently in Singapore. He has been
frequenting the country since the beginning of the year.

This is his eighth visit this year.A further cable says Mugabe consulted a
United Nations specialist on his medical problems. The dispatch says former
UN resident representative to Zimbabwe Victor Angelo told ex-US ambassador
to Harare Joseph Sullivan that Mugabe’s ailments include “periodic
convulsions and stroke-like episodes (perhaps ischemia) brought about by
diabetes and a lipid disorder which affects the covering of the brain”.In
another dispatch on September 8 2000, former US ambassador Tom McDonald says
he had received reports Mugabe had collapsed due to growing health problems.
“Rumours about Mugabe’s health surface regularly here. We, however, have
seen or heard nothing to suggest that the 76 year-old president is suffering
from debilitating health problems or deteriorating in mental acuity,”
McDonald’s cable says. “He did have surgery for throat problems in 1996 and
received treatment for a urinary tract disorder in 1994.”

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SA envoy breaks mould on invasions

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:31

Vincent Kahiya

SOUTH African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela (pictured) has sought to
break the mould by speaking out strongly against the treatment of his
country’s farmers by President Robert Mugabe’s government.Mavimbela’s candid
approach has, however, only helped to incense Mugabe’s government which
official sources said had resolved not to budge on the issue.

In fact Mugabe’s government is likely to react to this public rebuke by a
foreign diplomat in the usual brutal arrogance which has become its only
weapon in the face of international censure.In a meeting with Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai a fortnight ago, Mavimbela registered his country’s
concern at the invasions which he said had the “possibility of violating the
(bilateral investment) agreement” between the two countries.

His approach on the subject –– a major departure from the stratagem of his
predecessor, Professor Mlungisi Makalima –– appears not to have† gone down
well with Mugabe’s government which discourages any public censure on the
conduct of the land reform by diplomats. On Saturday the government of
Zimbabwe gave its most apparent reaction to Mavimbela, who on the face of
it, was just playing his diplomatic role to speak for his compatriots who
are victims of expropriation.† “Some of the things seem to be happening not
only to the South African companies, but also to the farmers and this has
got a possibility of violating the agreement. We raised that concern,”
Mavimbela said of the meeting with the PM.

“Some of the clauses in that agreement say that even if farmers are evicted
they need to be compensated for improvements made on the farms,” he
added.Mugabe’s information handlers last weekend quickly jumped on the
diplomat to lay down the law. Through a columnist in the state-controlled
Herald newspaper, Nathaniel Manheru –– whose weekly disclosures usually
reflect the thinking of President Mugabe’s inner cabal, the paper launched a
bare-knuckled attack on Mavimbela. His crime was calling for the protection
of white farmers which the paper said had the “effect of compromising the
land question, itself a wartime goal of the liberation struggle”.

To Mugabe’s government, there is very little room for negotiation in this
area. Manheru reminded Mavimbela that the land issue was a major sticking
point in the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement signed
by the two countries in 2009 and that the Zimbabwe government was not going
to relent on its hard line position. He described Mavimbela’s approach on
the land issue as revealing “awesome semantic redolence”.

He pressed on the attack: “It is very hard to imagine that the great envoy
seriously thinks we should stall or revise our land reforms solely for the
sake of a bunch of whites who are visiting his embassy for stipends. Or that
such a visit delegitimises our land reforms.”In other words, the ruling
establishment in Zimbabwe believes that Mavimbela is punching from the wrong
corner. He has no business rooting for a “bunch of whites”.

His government has to look at the issue of land reform through Zanu PF
lenses which only register two colours: black and white.Mugabe’s handlers
have always been ready to brand as “Uncle Toms” black leaders seeking to
protect white farmers from expropriation. This tried and tested strategy is
most likely to be employed on President Jacob Zuma’s government if it
continues to make public pronouncements in support of dispossessed white

The attack on Mavimbela could be the beginning of the quest to tell him to
shut up. This is how Zanu PF has sought to bring closure to the issue; by
just not talking about it.Mugabe has been at pains to export his brand of
land reform to his regional colleague using the liberation struggle
camaraderie as the rallying point. While his project has received no takers,
Zanu PF stalwarts have been waiting impatiently for South Africa to go the
Zimbabwe route. Mugabe sees South Africa as an implementing partner in the
land project and Zuma’s government has therefore no business trying to amend
the plan.

Analysts in Harare have already started to talk of a major diplomatic row
between Harare and Pretoria, but the escalation of the conflict is most
likely going to depend on President Zuma’s willingness to press on with
demands for dispossessed farmers to get compensation. The two leaders have
been there before, but the engagements on the issue have not been
confrontational.Over 200 farmers from South Africa, who were forced to leave
Zimbabwe, have over the years battled to get their government to protect
their interests, but without success.

In late 2008, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Tribunal
ruled against Mugabe’s government, insisting unanimously that a group of 79
farmers had been denied access to justice in Zimbabwe and further ruling
that they had been discriminated against because they were white. President
Mugabe has thumbed his nose at the tribunal ruling, saying it had no

In April, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the government
was not liable in cases related to the unlawful land grab in Zimbabwe. It
ruled that the High Court decision ordering the government to compensate a
South African farmer for land invasions in Zimbabwe was wrong in law.The key
issue is, however, that no Sadc leader has been willing to confront
President Mugabe on the issue and Zuma has a tough task to make Mugabe
change course. Mavimbela’s comments have however given impetus to the issue,
perhaps a sign that Zuma wants to be treated with more respect.l

Vincent Kahiya is the Editor-In-Chief of Alpha Media Holdings, the
publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and NewsDay.

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Air Zimbabwe can fly

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:34

By Erich Bloch

BRENDON Beham said that “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how
it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it

This is true of the innumerable critics of Air Zimbabwe for an extended
period of time, and especially so of many of the governmental hierarchy,
most of the media, and the majority of Zimbabwe’s business community, in

It is also true of those who† must travel extensively, domestically,
regionally and internationally, and many in the travel and tourism
industry.It is indisputable that, for many years, Air Zimbabwe has been
unable to meet the needs of travellers, providing an inadequacy of routings,
many flights being extensively delayed (with flight schedules more often
than not being hypothetical), and numerous flights being cancelled, often at
very short notice.† It is incontestable that Air Zimbabwe has, for prolonged
periods (and especially in recent years), failed to meet critical travel
needs, and that has not only accorded travellers great inconvenience, but
has also been† prejudicial to business in general, to tourism in particular,
and hence to Zimbabwe’s traumatised economy.

However, endlessly most of the virulent criticism has been targeted at Air
Zimbabwe’s management, and at its boards of directors, notwithstanding that
in reality the causes of the service deficiencies were neither caused by
management or the directors, nor capable of being addressed and resolved by
them.† In fact, all of Air Zimbabwe’s service ills have been, and continue
to be, a direct consequence of governmental policies and actions and
failures by government to resort to appropriate corrective actions.

That fault lies almost entirely with government which has not only deterred
the state authorities from denying culpability, and from resorting to
necessary corrective policies, but has also motivated their repeated
criticism and castigation of Air Zimbabwe’s management and directors, mainly
in order to divert attention from causing the airline’s ills, and from its
failure to address those ills.The reality is that one management after
another has battled to keep Air Zimbabwe operational despite the endless
hurdles placed before them.† The over-riding hurdle has been that at all
times the airline† has been grievously under-capitalised.

One government after another has been intractably determined to have
absolute ownership of the national carrier, but has failed to match that
determination with the provision of adequate capital.† Instead, the
successive governments have forced the airline to be heavily dependent upon
costly borrowings, and the capital inadequacies have severely constrained
Air Zimbabwe’s ability to have a sufficiency of suitable aircraft required
to service diverse routes which would assure operational viability.
Instead, it has to strive to operate with few aircraft, most of those being
untenably aged, and not suited for long-distance routes, and the airline’s
infrastructural deficiencies and limited routings inevitably resulted in
recurrent operational losses, with consequential unsustainable

As the airline’s financial circumstances progressively intensified and
worsened, it became more† constrained in even fully maintaining at optimum
levels, its limited fleet of aircraft.This† resulted in frequent
non-operationability of much of that fleet, and therefore frequent flight
delays, or cancellations.† It was also unable to service numerous
international debts, restricting its access to essential services, and in
recent times could not even pay staff salaries timeously, resulting in
highly counterproductive strike actions by crews, to the prejudice of the
airline and its struggle to survive.On the positive side, the airline and
its personnel, place passenger safety ahead of all else, that being their
foremost concern.† They will not fly if they have even the very slightest
safety reservations, and when flying give foremost attention to passenger
safety and compact.† Very few airlines have as enviable a safety record as
does Air Zimbabwe.

Coupled with this commendable service responsibility, both ground staff, and
cockpit and cabin crews† consistently strive to accord passengers maximised
attentiveness and comfort, notwithstanding the immense pressures and
stresses that staff and crews are recurrently subjected to, in consequence
of prolonged delays in receiving salaries, of frequent passenger
irritability and aggression, caused† by the frequent flight delays and
cancellations.The tragedy is that not only could Air Zimbabwe have been
highly viable and successful, had past or present governments provided it
with necessary funding but, in the absence of their so doing, viability
could nevertheless have been readily achieved if those governments had not
dogmatically resisted and refused to privatise the airline, wholly or

This could easily have been achieved, for in the past there were numerous
international and regional airlines who were† desirous of acquiring
ownership, wholly or partially, of Air Zimbabwe.† They would have injected
the much needed capital resources, provided additional and suitable
aircraft, provided technological inputs, and enabled access to many
remunerative routes.† But the Zimbabwean governments were rigidly determined
to retain sovereign ownership of their so-called “national carrier”, and
consistently resisted all privatisation approaches.† Concurrently, they
denied any culpability for the airline’s ills, endlessly attributing blame
wholly to the airline’s board of directors, its management, and to virtually
non-existent “illegal international sanctions”.Bearing in mind the
over-traded principle of “better late than never”, it was a slight ray of
hope of forthcoming transformation of Air Zimbabwe when, last week, the
Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Gorden Moyo, informed the
annual general meeting of the Bulawayo and District Publicity Association
that government has now resolved to privatise partially the embattled

He stated that cabinet had agreed upon such long overdue action.† Moreover,
with a recognition of realities generally far beyond cabinet ability, it was
realised that the objective of partial privatisation had no prospect of
being achieved if the airline remained encumbered with its very pronounced
accumulation of debt, which is stated to exceed US$136 million. None will be
interested to invest in a pronouncedly insolvent enterprise.

Therefore, cabinet decided that the airline’s accumulated debts must be
“warehoused” by government which, to all intents and purposes, means that
the debts will be assumed by the state, and the airline will be rendered
debt-free to enable its privatisation.Although this† decision by government
is† heartening, nevertheless it will be meaningless, and of no resolution to
the airline’s ills, unless the partial privatisation is not only rapidly
pursued before new considerable debts accumulate, but also that the
partiality of the privatisation is at least to an extent that will vest
control in the hands of the new investors, not being retained by government,
and that those investors are successful airline operators. They should
invest requisite capital and resources into Air Zimbabwe.† In that event,
Airzim can, and will fly, beneficiating the economy, tourism and the
populace in general.

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MuckRaker: Zim once again on wrong side of history

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:32

‘COLONEL Muammar Gaddafi’s heroic last stand against Nato hegemony is a
defining moment in this era of UN-backed imperialism,” the Sunday Mail told
us. “He could have fled Libya but he did not. Col Gaddafi chose to fight
alongside the people of Libya to his last breath. He stood his ground until
the end refusing to flee, choosing to be martyred on Libyan soil.”

So what was he doing hiding in that drainpipe?

“Fighting alongside the people of Libya”? And what did the people of Libya
think of his “last stand” when they caught up with him? They finished him
off, their ecstatic delight impossible to conceal. Far from making a stand,
he hid from his people like a sewer rat, his favourite term of abuse for the
rebel fighters. And when they finally found him he tried to buy them off
with gold –– a martyr indeed!Far from vindicating him, as the Sunday Mail
believes, history will remember the graves of the prisoners executed in the
courtyard of Abu Salim Prison in 1996. Their crime had been to complain
about appalling prison conditions.† But the Sunday Mail is right to describe
this as a defining moment. The people of Libya, and indeed of North Africa,
have chosen to abandon the ideological claptrap of the past and to situate
their revolution in the broader context of freedom and democracy. It was
first and foremost a fight against Gaddafi’s tyranny as the multitudes
dancing and singing in the streets demonstrated. British, French and
American help was important but the revolution was manifestly home-grown.

The AU heads of state at first refused to identify with the Libyan uprising.
It didn’t fit their brief of defending incumbents. They wanted a solution
that incorporated the dictator. But he proved impervious to Jacob Zuma’s
overtures.In the end they could ignore the popular impulse no longer. It was
a disaster for African diplomacy as Libya chose its own path and asked aloud
why African states preferred to side with Libya’s tyrant when his tanks were
firing on his own people to suppress their quest for freedom.That freedom
was finally won on Sunday following the demise of the dictator last week.
What are significant now are the voices of reaction as Zimbabwe’s political
elite tries to justify its abiding attachment to a cruel despot and his
blood-soaked legacy. As the Sunday Mail editorial reveals, Zimbabwe’s rulers
have once again placed themselves on the wrong side of history.

One by one their vicious allies are going down to defeat, Ceausescu in 1989,
Mubarak earlier this year and now Gaddafi who paraded upon the international
stage dressed as a figure from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. But he was far
from comic. In 1980 he dispatched hit quads to eliminate political opponents
abroad.Perhaps the most succinct verdict came from Egyptian president Anwar
Sadat who declared that Gaddafi was “100% sick and possessed by the devil”.
Ronald Reagan branded him the “Mad dog of the Middle East”. The Saudis
openly called him a hypocrite. When he first received news of the democratic
rising in February he railed at the “rats” in Benghazi and promised to
exterminate them.In the end it was they who exterminated him! The Herald
published details from the colonel’s will this week. It contains the
following declaration: “This is my will, I, Muammar bin Mohammad, bin
Abdussalam, bin Humayd bin Nayil al Fuhsi Gaddafi…Isn’t there a “bin”
missing somewhere here, like the “dust bin of history”?

Jamaican reggae star Cocoa Tea says Zimbabweans should not despair. “Do not
worry that much about the Western-imposed sanctions and all the negativity
they bring because in the end you will conquer, no one will take away what
is yours,” he declared. Cocoa Tea comes in the same music package as
Luciano, Sizzla, Kalonji, Buju Banton and Beenie Man. Some were brought here
as part of a programme by the government to win popularity with the younger
generation. Some of the artistes imported by government are barred from
appearing at certain venues in Europe because of their enthusiasm for lyrics
that involve killing people. Few of them know very much about Zimbabwe and
indeed are prepared to make statements that ignore the will of the
Zimbabwean people. Instead they sing for their supper by expressing support
for President Mugabe. It would be useful to know under whose budget these
musicians fall and how much is spent on bringing them here.

The Sunday Mail carried a good piece last Sunday on the ordeal people have
to go through to obtain a passport. The long queues and overnight stays on
pavements make it a miserable experience. A whistle is blown at 5am to get
applicants to join the queue. Despite claims from the government that
conditions had improved, the situation on the ground is worse, applicants
say.All this despite an increase in passport production. Zimbabwe is the
only country in the region that fails to avail passports to its nationals,
the article says. “Despite the high amounts being paid by passport
applicants the RG’s office has failed to clear the long queues. Then there
are the unhygienic conditions in the nearby areas. City of Harare health
director Dr Stanley Mangofa said he was not aware of the health threats but
promised to investigate.“As people search for answers,” the article
concludes, “everyone is asking: ‘Why is Zimbabwe failing to furnish its
citizens with passports?”Muckraker has the answer to that. Because people
like Tobaiwa Mudede are in charge, that’s why.

The final “anti-sanctions” report has been compiled, ZBC reports, and will
be presented to President Robert Mugabe for approval. Over two million
people have signed against the “illegal embargo” we are told.Zanu PF
spokesman Rugare Gumbo said following the “overwhelming” response, Zanu PF
will host an anti-sanctions gala that involves local and international
artistes as part of efforts to tell the world that the “illegal sanctions”
are “evil and should be lifted unconditionally”.The EU will now surely be
shaking in their boots since Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana, has set up a
team of legal experts to sue the EU. Tomana had said that if the EU failed
to give a “satisfactory answer” within two weeks he was going to lodge a
lawsuit at the General Court of European Court of Justice.However, EU
Managing Director for Africa, Nicholas Westcott, responded to the threats by
saying that the Western bloc was ready for the legal battle with Harare.“If
anybody disagrees with that, there is a due legal process which is open to
anyone,” he said. “If the government of Zimbabwe wishes to avail itself of
that, that is fine. We are governed by the rule of law. It is a process I
recommend to all countries to ensure that there is an impartial judicial
system which will enable anyone to challenge decisions or actions by a
government or in our case an international organisation and allow a free
judiciary to make its decision,” he said.It seems that Westcott’s response
was satisfactory judging by the fact that Tomana is yet to lodge the lawsuit
by the time of going to press.Speaking of sanctions, George Charamba was
quoted in the Sunday Mail talking about solidarity between Zimbabwe and
Libya. Charamba said that when Libya was under sanctions, President Mugabe
was also against the sanctions imposed on it.“Our President defiantly flew
into Libya soon after the sanctions were removed,” Charamba said.Muckraker
was left perplexed by this statement. How can Mugabe “defiantly” fly into
Libya when the sanctions had been removed? To whom was he being defiant?

Meanwhile Munyaradzi Huni took hyperbole to dizzying heights this week in
his account of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the death of
Samora Machel.According to Huni, one professor from Eduardo Mondlane
University asked: “If Samora Machel was here today, what do you think he
would say about Mozambique in particular and Africa in general?” Mozambique’s
former president, Joachim Chissano, who –– according to Huni –– “quickly
went into overdrive” said: “I always answer that question this way. Samora
is not here.”“If he was alive he would have his brain functioning. Now he is
not here, so I don’t know what he would say.”Some delegates “were not happy”,
Huni claims, with Chissano’s somewhat “arrogant” response and so when
President Mugabe later responded to the above question, he received a
standing ovation. “In Maputo, President Mugabe did not receive a standing
ovation only after speaking about what Cde Machel would say about Mozambique
and Africa if he was alive. Just like in South Africa, the people in
Mozambique just adore President Mugabe,” Huni gushed.“President Mugabe
clearly showed that he is a fountain of knowledge in the mould of people
like Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and Samora Machel because his
contributions at the symposium left political science students from Eduardo
Mondlane University calling for more.”Oh please! If Huni believes that he
will believe anything. The only arrogance we see here is by those who are
hijacking Machel’s legacy for self-serving purposes. Viva Chissano, the only
one who talks sense.

Muckraker was intrigued by the involvement of the police as well as
Information minister Webster Shamu in the burial proceedings of Johanne
Masowe WeChishanu apostolic sect leader Madzibaba Godfrey Pegnick Nzira.The
Herald reported on Wednesday that it was only after the intervention of the
police and Shamu that Nzira’s family agreed to bury him in Chitungwiza after
having insisted that he be buried in Mhondoro.Nzira had, in March 2003, been
slapped with a 42-year prison term after being convicted of seven counts of
rape and one of indecent assault involving two women at his shrine.However,
10 years were suspended on condition of good behaviour before another 12
were slashed by the High Court on appeal. He was a beneficiary of a
presidential pardon.Shamu said at the funeral that Nzira remained
“unflinching” in his support for President Mugabe hence the link between the
party and the church.“Though this often attracted criticism and vilification
from his detractors, he stood firm and continued supporting the government,”
he said.His second wife, Sphelile, described him as “a man of unity”.“He
always wanted to see us happy as a family and he brought people together,”
she said.“He was not selective and treated everyone with the respect he or
she deserved.”The women that were raped and indecently assaulted would beg
to differ, we are sure.

Finally we were amused to learn from George Charamba that Switzerland has
“not heard the end of this matter” following its refusal to issue visas to
the president’s bloated delegation. “We certainly have other ways of
expressing our displeasure,” he declared. Ooh!What’s he going to do we
wonder? Refuse to buy Swiss chocolates?

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Globalisation, democracy and the African agenda

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:06

LAST week’s edited version of this paper presented by South African
Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, discussed democracy making the point
that it is imperative to appreciate that the quest of the people to deepen
and expand democracy today goes beyond government, parliament and
party-political frameworks. In this final instalment Mavimbela argues that
the struggle for the pursuit of the African agenda needs the people in all
their organised formations.

In a nutshell, by the African agenda I mean the collective pursuit of the
people of the continent to deliver themselves from the legacy of colonialism
and neo-colonialism with the aim of situating themselves on the global stage
as equal and deserving contributors to, as well as beneficiaries of, the
achievements of human civilisation.

The pursuit of an African continent that is collectively constructing an
integrated, growing and sustainable economy, one that can contribute to,
assimilate and take advantage of other world economies. A continent that
forges a united voice and exercises meaningful positive influence in the
realm of international relations, among other things. So in what way do
these two aspects of democracy and globalisation relate to the pursuit of
the African agenda?

We discussed the aspect of democracy to make the point that it is imperative
to appreciate that the quest of the people to deepen and expand democracy
today goes beyond government, parliament and party-political frameworks. We
made the point that the essence of freedom today entails accepting this
reality and riding the crest of its positive elements in order to gain
greater freedom. We made the point that this is an inexorable force which we
can only oppose or ignore at our own peril.The struggle for the pursuit of
the African agenda needs a motive force to drive it.

That motive force cannot be limited simply to governments, parliaments and
party-political frameworks. It needs the people in all their organised
formations. It needs vibrant and active democracy. It needs the will of the
people. It needs the leadership that appreciates the necessity of an active
and vibrant democracy. Those who do not appreciate this necessity shall
spend a great deal of their limited time on earth and their people’s
resources opposing and fighting the motive forces needed to drive the
African agenda, fighting the same people they are supposed to set free.

That is exactly the drama we have witnessed on our own continent in Tunisia,
Egypt and Libya. It is a classical case of the regimes that for decades
refused to appreciate this necessity in their own countries. They were able
to stall the inexorable desire and will of their people to be free, but they
could not stop it forever. It just needed a spark of a frustrated hawker in
Tunisia to ignite a tinderbox that set off the prairie fire.

The issue of globalisation as encapsulated in global governance also relates
intrinsically to the capacity of the continent to pursue the African agenda.
We made the point earlier on that as we join regional, continental and
global institutions we are also spreading and deepening global governance.
We are subjecting ourselves to higher structures of governance for them to
harmonise our relations with other nations and other institutions.
Sometimes, as governments, we find ourselves compelled to surrender part of
our authority and sovereignty to higher institutions in order to seek
assistance to our challenges.

We can bring the point home by referring to the authority and sovereignty
that our individual countries have surrendered to the Southern African
Customs Union (Sacu), the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and
the African Union (AU). Indeed, Sadc, the East African Community and
Economic Community of West African States are currently forging new forms of
governance to which we are going to subject our countries and our
people.These are all examples of a centrifugal force, an inexorable force
pulling outwards driving all of us into an increasingly shrinking global

As Hegel would counsel us, we are freer if we appreciate the necessity of
such a force. Sadc is currently seized with the challenges of peace and
stability in a number of countries in the region, including Madagascar,
Zimbabwe and until recently Lesotho. These are examples of countries that
decided to temporarily surrender part of their authority and sovereignty to
a higher body in order to seek help in meeting what are largely their
difficult internal challenges. This condition ought not to be interpreted as
interference in the authority and sovereignty of a member state.

Rather it should be seen as the effort of the higher body to employ the
collective political suasion of the higher body to improve and protect the
health of the member state and the entire region from the negative
consequences that might result from the internal strife. It is with this
understanding in mind that President Dos Santos, in assuming the
chairmanship of Sadc in Luanda recently said:“We have to realise that peace
and stability are the backbone of our development. Over the past we have
paid particular attention to the situation in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and the

We have tried to find satisfactory solutions through dialogue. Sadc has to
ensure that our motto prevails…Countries need to put in place democratic
mechanisms and understand that power can be held through free and fair
elections. Resorting to violence and war simply brings immeasurable damage
to those countries. Political power can be won through free and fair

As the statement by President Dos Santos above indicates, the final
responsibility for facilitation, whether in Madagascar, in Zimbabwe, in
Lesotho, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or anywhere else where such an
intervention might be required, rests with Sadc as an entity. The
facilitators in all these instances are simply agents of Sadc as a
structure. For example, Sadc needs to ask itself the hard question: have we
pooled all our possible levers and resources in the effort to resolve the
challenges of peace, security and democracy in the region?

It might well be that the work of facilitation in the region can be greatly
enhanced by giving an added consideration to this question.One attempt at
answering that question is to investigate the role that civil society and
government institutions across Sadc can play in forging a more integrated
region. We have to investigate in what way all these institutions can
exercise their institutional suasion in an effort to help issues of peace,
security and democracy, not only where Sadc is facilitating, but in the
entire region.We have to ask the question: what role can be played by
business organisations, military and intelligence formations, the police
forces, the education institutions, faith-based organisations and so forth.
All these formations, in one form or another, have regional forums that
encompass the whole of Sadc.

There is a little known fact that the dialogue between the Apartheid regime
and the ANC leadership that was based in exile was initiated by both the
Afrikaner intellectual and business formations as well as the Apartheid
intelligence community, the very institutions that had served the regime
with distinction for decades and hugely benefited from it. The delegation
that included Afrikaners big business and Afrikaner intellectuals met the
ANC leadership in Dakar in 1987. On the other hand the leadership of the
Apartheid intelligence services secured discreet meetings with ANC
intelligence in different capitals in Europe.For Apartheid big business, the
continued isolation and sanctions against the regime were hurting their
ability to grow, expand and compete internationally.

They could not realise their global potential and the economy was stagnant.
They came back from that engagement with the ANC and told Apartheid
political power that the health and expansion of the South African economy
needed a democratic dispensation. On the other hand, the intelligence
leadership of the regime made its own intelligence analysis and estimation
on the prospects of the regime going forward. They came to a conclusion that
the regime had reached a crisis and cul-de-sac politically and economically.
Their analysis and estimation had the foresight to see that there was no way
out for the regime except to initiate negotiations with the ANC and help
establish democracy. These two examples go further to show that the
resolution to tough political challenges is not always and entirely the
preserve of political principals.

The other challenge for the project of the African agenda is that the
institutions of regional, continental and global governance are a terrain of
contestation and perpetual struggle. So the surrender of authority and
sovereignty upwards goes with the responsibility to ensure that the
institutions are so geared and so transformed as to promote rather than
hamper the project of the African agenda. Furthermore, the other challenge
is that the project of the African agenda goes in a series of concentric
circles. As demonstrated above, it starts with the individual country, its
leadership and the amount of space given to the people to exercise active
and vibrant democracy.

It then moves to the regional body; the ability of the regional body to
ensure that all its member states move in harmony to uphold its principles
of cultural, economic and political democracy and regional integration. The
inability of one or several of the member states to uphold these principles
affects the workings of the entire regional body. It then moves to the
continental body and the same principles and relations of accountability
apply. So the health of each concentric circle, in the final analysis, is
important for the wellbeing of the entire project of the African agenda. The
success of the project of the African agenda stands on two legs; deeper and
expanded democracy to the citizenry on one hand and good and transformed
global governance on the other. This is an edited version of a paper
presented by South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, at SAPES
Trust Policy Dialogue Forum on September 22 in Harare.

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Indigenisation: From one crisis to the next

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:14

By Itai Zimunya

THE discourse on indigenisation has dominated recent national policy debates
in Zimbabwe. Amid the plethora of scenarios cast in these discussions, two
distinct conclusions appear dominant.

On one side, the Indigenisation and Empowerment minister, Saviour
Kasukuwere, argues that international capital has to sell 51% of their worth
to locals. On the other hand, some economic scholars caution that such a
policy risks destroying the already vanquished industry. But it appears too
simplistic to narrow this discussion to these two poles. The questions need
to be recast.

Does the selling of 51% of foreign owned capital mean development? Who is
this “local” referred to in this discourse? Is there an alternative? This
article seeks to unscramble the current indigenisation programme and proffer
policy alternatives for consideration.It is crucial to firstly set the
groundwork for this discussion by asserting that indigenisation is
inevitable in any post-colonial state.

The unjust socio-economic relations created by the colonial state cannot
continue. So the issue of indigenisation is not a Zanu PF, MDC or Zapu
strategy. It is a national programme, way above party politics. Therefore it
deserves a national, supra-party political attention.At this point, it is
key to recast the question. Is the current drive by Kasukuwere good for the
people of Zimbabwe?

Is it development?The current process is missing the big economic disease of
dualism, and thus is merely replacing a few white elite with new black
elite. In all this madness, the ordinary people suffer two big kicks,
falling incomes and lost hopes.Policymakers need to understand that the
Zimbabwean economy is a two-in-one or dual economy. A dual economy is a
creation of colonialism which was set to serve the interests of two
communities, one for the settlers and the rest for the natives. So, in one
economy, there is the centre and the periphery.

Post April 18 1980, the Zanu PF government did not change the frame of our
economy. They maintained this dualism, and instead substituted the largely
white merchants with themselves. The substitution took place through land
reform and is now happening through this 51% indigenisation policy or
programme, whichever it is. Oppression on the basis of race motivated the
liberation struggle to extricate the majority from the jaws of the few
powerful elite.

Celebrated liberation war hero, Josiah Magama Tongogara, clearly understood
that when he said the liberation struggle was all about bringing equal
opportunities irrespective of one’s race.That target has been missed since
Independence. A leading developmental scholar Godfrey Kanyenze describes
this elite class of socio-economic luxury as an “enclave”.  Enclavity is
systematic, legislated and sadly for Zimbabwe, it is now part of our psych
and is being perpetuated by sub-conscious actions which also need to be
expunged.With this enclave frame of the economy I argue that no matter how
he tries,  Kasukuwere will perpetuate locating the masses at the periphery
by keeping the economy in the hands of a few.

Some critics of land reform assert that the programme largely failed in that
it replaced a few white land barons by even fewer black barons. Meaning, the
masses remain worse-off as a new small but powerful black elite emerges.
That is the similar risk that this 51% drive suffers.So the lesson for
Kasukuwere is that the struggle for liberation was not necessarily because
the oppressor was white, but because the masses wanted an equitable share of
their national heritage.

The economy is the platform on which governments rise or fall. And the post
indigenisation state of Kasukuwere risks instability that could maul its
henchmen, the new black elite.  The current empowerment discussion promises
that the government will create community trusts to benefit the people. It
has to be stated that this community trusts proposal is neither new nor
exciting. The problem is the framework under which these trusts are
formulated, managed and sustained. Using the Communal Areas Management
Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) model, these Campfires worked
to some extent before some corrupt rural district council leaders usurped
them from the people. That is the current threat to this new empowerment
model based on community trusts.

Before I proffer indigenisation policy alternatives, I wish to restate that
wealth redistribution is inevitable in any post-colonial state. So from this
perspective, Kasukuwere must be credited for pushing an unsettled national
agenda even though he is knowingly or unknowingly taking the country from
one crisis to another crisis. Zimbabwe needs a policy framework that focuses
on two fronts: framing Zimbabwe as a democratic developmental state, and
placement of citizens at the centre of development. At present Zimbabwe does
not seem to have a coherent and comprehensive developmental paradigm. The
level of confusion and policy inconsistency in this government is legendary.
On one hand, the Ministry of Mines is creating joint ventures with Chinese
companies in the gold and diamond sector whose shareholding and terms are
beyond parliamentary scrutiny. On another side, the Ministry of Youth
Development and Indigenisation is issuing ultimatums and pronouncing an
incoherent 51% equity redistribution policy. In the same government, the
Ministry of Finance and the central bank have their own views and priorities
on indigenisation.

The state security ices the cake by refusing parliament, a key institution
of government, permission to monitor progress at the Marange diamond fields.
 All this madness displays a conspiracy against the ordinary citizens who
patiently expect service delivery from this government.   In summary, I will
discuss the policy package whose combination can set Zimbabwe towards
people-centred development. Zimbabwe needs to adopt a developmental
framework that brings government, citizens and the private sector towards
the same vision of improving the human conditions of all citizens (not the
few elite, as is the current Kasukuwere drive). This means marshalling
national resources to focus inwards to support production, education and
accessible quality health care.

If the government and private sector stop foreign education and medical care
including the presidential scholarships, Zimbabwe’s colleges, industries and
hospitals will rise again.  Leadership is necessary to expel the ghost of
dualism. Political leaders are central in this. MPs must reside in their
areas of representation and avoid the “enclave rush” towards the leafy
suburbs indirectly suggesting that the rural and/ or high density areas they
represent are marginal and backward. By staying in their areas and getting
their children schooled and nursed there will help expunge the false and
colonial belief of good life in the leafy suburbs.

Good life must be created in the “ghettos” and in the villages too. The
voters in the villages and ghettos must also have manifestos that reject
councillors and MPs who relocate† soon after election — only to return at
the next elections.The private sector, especially the banking sector must
play its proper role of economic development. The government must always
regulate this sector — not to squeeze it — but to facilitate growth. All
revenues realised from the sale of anything Zimbabwean must be banked in
Zimbabwe to erase this false situation of a dry market. If international
markets get liquid by platinum, diamond and gold, why is Zimbabwe dry? The
people of Zimbabwe must not stampede to board planes to foreign capitals to
borrow their tobacco, gold, platinum and diamond money on hostile terms.

By the same token, our monetary management system must allow legitimate
funds outflow since Zimbabwe is part of a global trade network.National
institutions must be independent and accountable. The judiciary must work
independently, not in the current fashion where in reality or perceptively,
it is held up by so many dirty hands. Corruption and other “isms” in
government and the private sector may not be checked if the guarantor of
accountability, the judiciary, is itself vulnerable.The definition of
“locals” needs to be revisited. Citizenship is vague in Zimbabwe.
Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and politics is wrong and
must not find a place in a developmental state. The Zanu PF default position
that every problem in Zimbabwe is caused by white people needs to be

The oppressed lot, including whites and descendants of Malawi and Mozambican
parents are Zimbabwean and must benefit from national programmes. Kasukuwere
must be aware of the unhealthy ethnic bitterness in Zimbabwe, especially the
real or perceived Zezuru hegemony.  The assumption that a certain people are
supreme is a recipe for ethnic rupture. And inclusive developmental policies
can surely avoid such. I would strongly argue that Kasukuwere is very
correct in pushing the redistribution agenda but very wrong in his framing
of such. His current drive offers nothing to celebrate as he is substituting
a crisis of colonial white minority supremacy by a post colonial crisis of
minority black supremacy — leaving the masses on the margins. Zimbabwe needs
to move away from this dual socio-economic state. Government leaders
including Mps, the president and the prime minister must show leadership by
banking, shopping, getting health care and educating their children in
Zimbabwe. Management of our natural resources must be directed towards
national development, not racial, gender, ethnic or politically based
enclaves. Another Zimbabwe is possible!Itai Zimunya is a development
consultant working with OSISA.  He writes in his individual capacity.

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Let the political games begin!

Friday, 28 October 2011 09:57

By Collins Rudzuna

RENEWED† economic growth has been achieved from the time the country
abandoned the Zimbabwe Dollar in favour of a multi-currency system.

The formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) also ushered in a
relatively stable political environment where the parties to the Global
Political agreement have thus far co-existed in an uneasy,† yet mostly
manageable† alliance.

However, as 2012 draws near, there are certain political realities that we
must now face; the parties to the alliance are bracing themselves for a
dispensation that does not envisage the continuation of a marriage of
convenience!† Politically-charged statements from both sides of the
political divide suggest politicians are already selling their respected
envisaged scenarios to the electorate. Media reports quote one politician as
having told the BBC that he supported gay rights. Apparently, his exact
words were “…I hope the constitution will come out with freedom of sexual
orientation…” In a country that seems to be determinedly homophobic, such a
controversial statement could be meant to sell his party as both progressive
and accommodating ahead of a possible election next year.

On the other hand, the other major rival political party has been on a
strong indigenisation drive. It is apparent that politicians are bracing
themselves for an election and electioneering will start in earnest soon.
Our country is blessed with numerous natural resources, chief amongst them
prime farmland and mineral deposits. The potential for economic development
is exciting. But it takes substantial financial resources and sometimes
specialised technology to unlock the full potential of these resources.
Zimbabwe’s capacity to meet these financial and technological needs alone is
very limited and we need to work hand in hand with foreigners. But
foreigners are a fussy lot when it comes to the security of their
investments and one way to reassure them is to maintain a peaceful political

We have to make sure that if we hold elections, they are peaceful and
accepted as free and fair by the international community. The ongoing
constitution- making process and the ensuing election are therefore an ideal
platform where our ability to place compromise ahead of emotion and exercise
political maturity to encourage rather than discourage investment will be
tested. It is rather unfortunate that the constitution-making process has
been put so close to the election because this now puts pressure on
politicians to adopt populist policies that may well scare away investors.
Indigenisation, for example, is one area where politicians need to tread
carefully and try to attain a balance that leaves the indigenous electorate
feeling appeased and the investing foreigners feeling their investment is

Giving way to mob rule will be our undoing, as it may lead to highly
polarised and unbalanced decision-making. Ahead of an election however,
politicians are likely to play to the emotions of voters rather than submit
to sober reasoning.This expected growth in politically-motivated populism
will have important implications for fiscal policy as pressure will mount to
divert funds to election-linked spending. Aside from the direct cost of
running an election, we are also likely to see partisan excuses being used
to disburse funds to voters in order to win their hearts. Given that fiscal
space is already squeezed, funds are likely to be diverted away from other
areas of need, particularly much needed capital expenditure, the benefits
from which take time to show.

The year 2012 may be the most important year post dollarisation as far as
determining the political future of the country is concerned. It may be the
year that the marriage of convenience, that is the Government of National
Unity, ends in an acrimonious divorce. A lot hinges on whether the “divorce”
will be a legally managed one, if the parties are willing to compromise or
not. Should we fail to peacefully regularise the political landscape,
investors may well give up on the country despite the allure of our natural
resources.† So where are the markets likely to go, given the potential for
politics to be the overriding theme in next year’s investment environment?

While we hope that political leaders and their people will approach next
year’s elections calmly and collectively, we would be engaging in wishful
thinking if we bet on this happening without clear evidence of it. Based on
recent history, we fear there will be some form of friction and jostling for
power. Foreign investors are likely to adopt a “wait and see” approach.
Foreign investors are the major providers of liquidity, and apathy on their
part will lead to low trading volumes on the stock market. An even more
important question to ponder is where the markets, or more importantly the
economy, will go beyond 2012.

This of course hinges on how the political dust settles and how power is
retained or transferred. Without speculating on which political party is
likely to emerge as the winner in the event of an election, it is apparent
that one key issue will be how the election is won. The other consideration
of course is what policies will be put in place by whoever the winner is.
Only a free and fair election will give investors confidence to buy into our
future. And it is up to us the Zimbabwean electorate, and the politicians to
conduct ourselves with political maturity so as to give confidence to
potential investors.

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Iron-fisted rulers meet similar fates

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:16

Brian Chitemba

THE bloody end of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was as brutal and ruthless
as his 42-year iron rule of the oil rich North African country.

However, Gaddafi is not the only dictator who met a violent end because
history shows that iron-fisted rulers have met a similar fate, and in most
cases, with the same brute force they used to assume power.Gaddafi is the
victim of the Arab Spring, the popular uprisings which swept across Arab
countries and forced out former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Ben Ali fled the country while the ailing Mubarak is currently facing trial
on a battery of charges from embezzlement, and corruption to human rights
violations.Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, in power since 1978, is also
presently fighting to remain in power as fierce protests against his rule
continue to sweep across the country. While he has managed to fend off the
protests, the protesters are likely to be bolstered by the successful
struggle against Gaddafi to violently remove him from power.

Some despots in Africa and Europe have been executed in the past following
popular uprisings by the masses whose freedoms have been denied through
rampant oppression and gross human rights violations.Gaddafi seized power in
a coup on September 1 1969 which overthrew King Idris Senussi. He then
scrapped the Libyan constitution and introduced laws backing his political
ideology he termed the Third International Theory.

He ruled Libya with an iron fist and in the process amassed extensive
wealth, making him one of the richest people in the world.Apart from being
one of the longest ruling dictators in Africa, he also displayed some
eccentric ambitions, such as establishing a United States of Africa with him
at the helm.He also referred to himself as the “Brother Leader or King of
Kings”, and in one of his many bizarre quotes, he said democracy meant
permanent rule.But despite all the glitz and glamour he displayed in his
42-year rule, Gaddafi was summarily executed by a teenage rebel fighter last
week after being flushed out of a drainage pipe he was found hiding in.

This was in stark contrast to the opulence he had surrounded himself with
during his four-decade rule.Other well-known African dictators who suffered
the same fate as the eccentric Gaddafi were former Burkina Faso president
Thomas Sankara, who was executed by an armed gang led by his former
associate Blaise Compaore in 1987. Compaore is the current president of
Burkina Faso. Sankara had been helped to stage a coup by Gaddafi in 1983.One
of the most notorious and longtime dictators Mobutu Sese Seko was also
deposed as president of Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Mobutu had come to power after violently overthrowing Joseph Kasavubu
from power in 1965. Mobutu was driven out of power by a rebel force led by
Laurent Kabila and suffered a lonely and miserable death in Morocco in 1997.

Mobutu was thought to have embezzled over US$5 billion from the DRC, which
he ruled like his personal company.Interestingly, Kabila was also killed in
cold blood by one of his bodyguards in 2001.What seems to be a pattern is
that most dictators fail to interpret the changing sentiments in their
respective countries resulting in them being overthrown and killed or being
forced into exile.Gaddafi had a chance to step aside in June following calls
by the African Union, but he vowed to fight the rebels, describing them as
rats.While it is sad that dictators’ families disintegrate and die
violently, political pundits say the autocrats lose it all when they treat
their people inhumanely when they come to power.With Gaddafi now dead,
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Nguema Mbasogo is now the longest
serving leader in Africa having grabbed power in a 1979 coup.

Nguema survived a coup attempt in 2004 and he responded by executing those
he perceived to be behind the move. Nguema† is followed by Josť Eduardo dos
Santos who also came to power in 1979. President Robert Mugabe, who has been
in power for 31 years, is third followed by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya,
who was recently “re-elected” for a sixth term following 28 years at the
helm.† Political analyst Nyamutatanga Makombe said these long-serving
leaders overstay their welcome partly because their top aides do not want
them to step down.“These authoritarians may not know when to leave office
because they don’t realise they have failed,” said Makombe. “Unlike former
Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere who gave in after accepting that he had

He said Gaddafi was a victim of the Arab uprisings and it was unfortunate
that he had failed to read the changing political climate. National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) secretary-general
Goodwin Phiri warned that dictators may hold on to power for long, but
eventually people successfully resist them. He said African leaders should
emulate former South African president Nelson Mandela who stepped down after
a five-year term despite having spent 27 years in jail. “The same people who
fought colonialism can be prepared to fight against their fellow African
leaders who don’t want to relinquish power,” Phiri said. Phiri said where
there was no respect for human rights, chances were high that the masses
would rise against their government. “It’s clear that it is what the
dictators like Gaddafi do that force people to slaughter their leaders. The
issue is all about democracy,” he said.

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Nationalise Marange diamond fields –– Cross

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:22

By Paidamoyo Muzulu

MDC-T MP Eddie Cross (pictured) on Tuesday moved a motion in parliament
calling on the government to cancel all mining licences issued to explorers
and nationalise the Marange diamond fields, which include the controversial
Chiadzwa fields.

Cross claimed that the Marange diamond fields had deposits worth about US$70
billion and a capacity to generate over US$4 billion in revenue annually,
which would be enough to foot the country’s national budget.

The diamond fields had an output of 8,5 million carats, at a rate of 23 000
carats a day in 2010. This makes the fields one of the largest in the global
diamond industry.Cross told the House that his motion was an opportunity for
MPs to intervene for the benefit of all Zimbabweans in pursuit of economic
recovery and development. He said it would be criminal for MPs to allow the
present situation to prevail for another day.

“The solution to all of this is a proposal made to cabinet last year that
the whole of the Marange deposits should be nationalised formally and
brought under government control,” said Cross. “Everyone who is currently on
site extracting diamonds formally and informally must be removed, the area
fenced and guarded by the armed forces,” he said.

Cross said the country was being bled of revenue to the fiscus by the six
licensed operators at the fields who have only contributed US$200 million to
treasury yet they were making more than US$4 billion annually.

The operations of the mines remain shrouded in secrecy without consolidated
production figures being released.The six companies are Mbada Diamonds,
Anjin/Zimbabwe National Army, Marange Resources (ZMDC and formerly
Canadile), the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Central Intelligence
Organisation and the National Prison Service.“If this is true then we would
be looking at annual sales from these three operators of over US$4 billion a
year at present.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it is clear from these figures that the Minister of Mines
has misled this House on the issue of the magnitude and value of diamond
sales from the Marange fields,” Cross added.After the nationalisation of the
diamond fields and revoking of licences the government should put out a
tender for mining companies interested in a partnership to exploit the
resources.“We should go out to the international tender for an operator.

Such a tender would state the condition of the resource, the type of
geological formations that are found on site and other particulars. It
should ask for offers to take over the whole operation in partnership with
the Government of Zimbabwe and the Marange community,” Cross suggested.

Botswana has the same model in exploiting its diamond resources where it
partnered with De Beers in a 50-50 partnership. Where similar conditions
prevail in the diamond industry, over two thirds of all revenue from the
sale of raw diamonds accrues to the State.

Zimbabwean government in 2006 turned down African Consolidated Resources
(ACR) that could have had the state accruing 70% of the revenue from
diamonds. This would be equal to $2,8 billion slightly above the current
revenue to the state from all the other taxes.Zimbabwe currently is selling
its diamonds outside the Kimberley Process Scheme after the international
community claimed local diamonds were “blood diamonds”.

Blood diamonds is a term used to refer to diamonds used in furthering
conflict and the suppression of human rights.The army stands accused of
gross human rights abuses when it moved over 40 000 illegal panners from the
Marange fields using brute force. However, the government is in contact with
KPS to address the concerns.

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CandidComment: Decongesting Harare: Take employment to the people

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:19

ALL roads in Zimbabwe lead to Harare. Ironically, it appears these roads are
only one way and do not simultaneously lead away from Harare.

Travelling around the country from the capital one notices that save for the
old cities that were founded as mining towns or agricultural centres, most
places do not appear to be centred on any major economic activity. Apart
from the cities that had grown before Independence, there doesn’t seem to be
any town or city of significance that has emerged since then.

The major urban centres are still Harare itself, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and
Masvingo. Ironically, Kwekwe, which contributes most significantly to GDP is
hardly ever thought of as one of the major cities in spite of it having more
economic activity than Gweru. Since being the first location of the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange, Gweru has refused to give up its prime position to its
Midlands neighbour. In terms of major industry, Kwekwe surpasses Gweru,
having been built on gold mining, iron mining in nearby Redcliff, and chrome
mining from the middle dyke. The industrial minerals are beneficiated in the
city, while gold has to be sent to Harare.

So, 30 years after Independence, and we have no new city to talk about. Some
may mention Chitungwiza, but this was already growing before Independence,
its industrial claim to fame being the Heinrich Chibuku company. Harare
meantime, continues to grow, absorbing most of the urban population in the
country. The first census post-Independence, held in 1982, put the
population of Harare at around 700 000.

Then, the overall population of Zimbabwe was at seven million, or 10% of the
total population. With the overall population of Zimbabwe now estimated at
some 13 million-odd, (interestingly it’s always the same as that of the
geographically much larger Zambia), Harare’s population has variably been
put at two million, or 15,3% of the total population. It then comes as no
wonder why services in the city have become a major challenge, starting from
housing, transport, water, electricity, roads, street lighting, refuse
collection, ambulance and fire services, medical facilities, schools, police
presence etc.

Thanks to mobile telephony, having access to telephone communication has
improved tremendously.However, like an octopus, Harare’s belly has long
tentacles that reach out to the furthest corners of the country and through
those tentacles sucks the economic energies of those areas. All the other
centres are drying up, if they haven’t already done so. So what are the
authorities doing about it? Well, if they are, they are doing so very
silently we can’t even hear about it. At least, in the 1990s there was much
effort to decentralise economic activity by giving business incentives to
invest in the outlying areas.

There shouldn’t be any let up in this effort, lest we end up with the kind
of situations one witnesses in cities such as Lagos. The decision to move
the administrative capital to Abuja should have taken place much earlier. An
Angolan friend tells me that in the capital Luanda it takes on average at
least three hours for one to move from home to their workplace and vice
versa; six hours of productive time lost each day!The idea really is not
that we should concentrate on decongesting Harare, but we should make sure
that employment, the major incentive for people who migrate to the capital,
should be found in close proximity to the areas where people live. Take work
to the people!

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Editor'sMemo: Zanu PF set to entrench airwaves domination

Friday, 28 October 2011 10:18

SCEPTICISM is the prevailing attitude on the outcome of the public hearings
on the application of radio stations. This is because the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) is chaired by none other than Tafataona Mahoso,
a Zanu PF apparatchik.

Four out of the 14 aspiring radio stations were shortlisted for the public
hearings, namely Zimbabwe Newspapers Talk Radio, AB Communications, KISS FM
and Radio Voice of the People. Of these only two have been awarded
licences.Mahoso has, over the years, been dubbed as the media hangman after
he closed down at least five newspapers and banned several foreign and local

Mahoso’s superintending over the registration of the media casts a dark
shadow over the prospect of the genuine opening of the airwaves. Added to
this, the constitution of Baz is another point of concern. Zanu PF
functionaries like Mahoso, Vimbai Chivaura and Goodson Nguni should be
replaced by apolitical technocrats who will judge the applicants on merit
and not on party affiliation. NewsDay, this week, reported that Mahoso had
to restrain Nguni during a public hearing on the application for a radio
station by journalist-cum-businessman Supa Mandiwanzira.

Nguni asked whether Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications would play songs and
jingles composed by the MDC-T which he alleged denigrated heroes of the
country’s liberation war. This shows that party loyalists will only be
concerned with their narrow political interests rather than the technical
and operational considerations. This leads us to conclude that it is
unlikely that the applicants who do not parrot the Zanu PF line will be able
to secure licences. This process might see the extension of Zanu PF
propaganda into the realm of radio, particularly with elections looming on
the horizon.

We sincerely hope that Mahoso and Baz prove us wrong on this one.We agree
with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s sentiments regarding Zimpapers’
application.He said: “We cannot have a situation in which the same people
who are controlling the print media want again to go into radio.” Whilst
they are legally entitled to do so, we fear that they are an extension of
Zanu PF hegemony over the media, judging by their newspaper stable’s
slant.Few will find comfort from the words Zimpapers Talk Radio Board of
Directors member Tapuwa Mandimutsira made to the Baz board that they would
remain an autonomous entity that would “bring a distinct product to the

He vowed that if granted a licence, they would break away from the “patent
bias” towards Zanu PF demonstrated in their papers.Tsvangirai, during the
inaugural session of Prime Minister’s Question Time, said that the
principals in the inclusive government had agreed to the reconstitution of

“I want to assure you that myself, his Excellency the President and
Honourable (Arthur) Mutambara, one of the critical interventions that we are
looking at and that we have directed the Minister of Information to do
is...that the broadcasting authority must be rectified, the board must be
reconstituted,” he said.

We hope that this time around the principals will be more expeditious, so
that it does not end up in the now cobwebbed outstanding issues folder.The
opening up of the airwaves can no longer be negotiable, particularly in the
21st century. It cannot be sacrificed on the altar of sectional and party

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IndependentComment: Key lessons from Gaddafi’s death

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:27

THE dramatic turn of events in Libya last week in which eccentric dictator
Muammar Gaddafi ≠— whose 42-year brutal reign was a tale of ruthless
repression, murder and looting — would have taken few by surprise.

His demise was not amazing at all, not only because he was already cornered
in his home town of Sirte where he died as a tribal supremacist, not a
national hero, but also due to his poor battle plan and tactless
intransigence. What would have shocked many, though, was the manner in which
he was killed. It was vicious, brutal and merciless. Therein lies lesson
number one for African leaders and people.

Nobody, even Gaddafi, deserves to die that way. Of course, Gaddafi didn’t
give a damn how his victims died, but Africans must stop cruelly killing
each other with impunity. Gaddafi, after being taken captive as a
frightened, wounded and humiliated tyrant, should not have been killed to
begin with, let alone that way.The rebels spoiled their own party by
executing a captured dictator who should have been hauled before the courts
for televised trial for crimes against humanity and shame. Now Gaddafi has
become an object of pity, mainly by those who use the rhetoric of
anti-imperialism to hide his atrocities. People are now debating the way he
was killed instead of the way he killed.Gaddafi’s tragic fate must teach
African leaders to stop taking their people for granted.

The Libyan ruler didn’t seem to understand the depth of discontent simmering
underneath his society and the anger of his people against him.He certainly
lived in a fool’s paradise. He didn’t seem to appreciate his own people were
fed up with him and that his new-found, convenient Western allies would dump
him as soon as they realised his time was up. Given his appalling record, he
was always going to find it difficult to have anyone serious defending him,
except his hardcore cronies, supporters and alarmed apologists for dictators
elsewhere. Gaddafi’s rule was untenable. A passing check of his reign shows
he treated his own people like “rats” and “cockroaches”. His rule was
characterised by fear, arrests, detentions, executions, hit squads and
terror gangs.

Gaddafi’s regime was also a kleptocracy — rule by thieves. His family and
close relatives controlled the state, oil wealth and siphoned off billions
in public funds. Granted, Gaddafi recorded some achievements in economic
development and social service delivery, as well as supporting liberations
movements in Africa, but this all pales in comparison to the damage he
inflicted upon his own people, nation and neighbours. His modest
accomplishments are irredeemable compared to his dreadful rule.Gaddafi lived
and died by the sword. Violence begets violence.

Although his brutal execution cannot be morally justified, it must be noted
he was the author of his own demise. He had long committed suicide the day
he believed in the fantasy of his own infallibility and invincibility. For
the record, pointing out Gaddafi’s well-documented excesses is not the same
as justifying foreign intervention. We have consistently said Nato’s
intervention was wrong and unhelpful even though suffering Libyans wanted
it. Foreign interventions usually lead to chaos and instability. Besides,
Nato’s involvement hijacked Libyans’ revolution.

No doubt Gaddafi would have used deadly force to suppress the revolt if Nato
didn’t intervene, but Libyans would have eventually won the struggle
anyway.The trouble with Nato’s UN-approved intervention was that it would
have always appeared like a script straight from the same old neo-colonial
playbook by oil-chasing imperialist forces. Nato spoiled the party for
Libyans who started their own revolution after rioters in neighbouring
Tunisia and Egypt ousted entrenched dictators demanding democracy, freedom
and prosperity.From this African leaders must learn to rule democratically
and know when to leave.

They must also learn how to resolve their own conflicts. The AU’s
performance on Libya was pathetic. African leaders must further learn to act
timely and effectively to prevent foreign intervention. They must know
foreign involvement by powers with vested interests will not help Africa.
But above all, they must realise the futility of coercive rule. Nelson
Mandela and others of his ilk taught us this. Let’s hope someone is reading
the writing on the wall.

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