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General elections in March 2013: Mugabe

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

26/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S general elections will be held at the end of March next year,
President Robert Mugabe said on Wednesday.
Mugabe made the revelations as he sought permission from the High Court to
delay the holding of by-elections in three Matabeleland constituencies.

It was also revealed that a long-awaited referendum on the country’s new
constitution will be held in the first week of November.

“Due to the unavailability of financial resources, President Mugabe is
asking that the holding of the by-elections be further extended to March 31,
2013, the idea being to subsume the holding of the by-elections in the
harmonised elections to be held in the last week of March 2013,” Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in the application filed on behalf of the
President.

He went on: "President Mugabe’s desire is to hold the harmonised elections
in the last week of March, 2013, and a proclamation to this effect will be
made at the appropriate time."

President Mugabe was ordered to make a proclamation of the election dates by
the High Court last November following an application by the former MDC MPs
who were expelled by their party.

He appealed to the Supreme Court, insisting that the government didn’t have
the financial resources. He argued that fulfilling the ruling would require
that he also calls by-elections to fill about 30 parliamentary seats and
over 160 vacant seats for councillors countrywide at a cost of about US$48
million.

But the Supreme Court threw out the appeal and had given him until August 30
to declare dates for the by-elections. He asked for a month-long extension
which expires on September 30.

Mugabe said in the latest court application that calling the by-elections
would suffocate the government which is struggling to pay its workers.

"I need to inform this honourable court that if we factor in the holding of
by-elections, there would be three key events to take place and to be funded
by government within the duration of six months," he said.

"These events are the referendum, the by-elections and the harmonised
general elections.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s estimates are that the
by-elections would require US$47,547,036, the referendum US$104,651,273,
while the general elections would need US$115,374,890.


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No agreement on final election date as Mugabe sets out ‘roadmap’

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
27 September 2012

The MDC formations in the coalition government have both insisted that there
is no agreement on a final election date, despite a ‘roadmap’ that Robert
Mugabe has laid down in court papers.

Mugabe’s office has applied for yet another extension on a court ordered
deadline to call by-elections for vacant constituencies, saying in court
papers that harmonised elections will be held in March next year. The court
application argued that there is not enough money for by-elections to fill
the many vacancies across the country. The application is also arguing for a
postponement on the basis that general elections will be soon.

“The applicant’s desire is to hold harmonized elections in the last week of
March 2013 and a proclamation to this effect will be made at the appropriate
time,” the application says. Mugabe’s office also said in the court papers
that the constitutional referendum will be held in November.

According to Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson for the MDC led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, Mugabe cannot decide on an election date with consulting his
coalition government partners. He told SW Radio Africa that nothing has been
set in stone, and emphasised that the implementation of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) was still a priority.

“For us it is not a question of when an election is held. It is a question
of the conditions the election will be held under. Right now, the conditions
aren’t right for free, fair, democratic elections. Key reforms (dictated by
the GPA) must be done first,” Mwonzora said.

The MDC-Ts spokesperson raised concern that Mugabe was using the court order
on by-elections as a ‘route’ to call general elections that have not been
agreed to by the rest of the government.

“We don’t agree with the abuse of the courts and if this is the route that
ZANU PF is taking, it is a manipulative, dishonest route, and we don’t agree
with that,” Mwonzora said.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube meanwhile also insisted that the court
application filed by Mugabe’s office is merely a legal process, “not a clear
an clarion call for elections.” This is according to the party spokesperson
Nhlanhla Dube who told SW Radio Africa that the country is not ready for an
election yet. He said that, while elections next year “are a given,” they
are more likely to be in June.

“A constitutional referendum in November is just not possible. It is more
likely to be next year, and then an election will follow,” Dube said.


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Mugabe condemns UN council's 'insatiable' war appetite

http://www.newzimbabwe.com
26/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
UN speech ... President Mugabe
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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday accused the UN Security Council of wielding an "insatiable appetite for war" as he condemned NATO's campaign that helped topple Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.

The 88-year-old firebrand critic of the West told the UN General Assembly that NATO's "military hegemony" in Libya showed how the alliance's members are "inspired by the arrogant belief that they are the most powerful among us."

He began by departing from his prepared speech to respond to US President Barack Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday in which he paid tribute to his slain envoy to Libya, Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist raid on the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11.

Mugabe told world leaders: “May I preface my speech with reference to the most glowing and most moving speech we listened to from the President of the United States, the import of which was to get us to condemn the tragic death of the US ambassador to Libya. I’m sure we were all moved, we agree it was a tragic death and we condemn it.

“But a year ago, we saw a barbaric and brutal death of the head of state of Libya, a representative of his country, a member of the African Union. That death occurred in the context in which NATO was operating supposedly in order to protect civilians.

“As we in spirit join the United States in condemning Stevens’ death, shall the United States also join us in condemning that barbaric death of the head of state of Libya, Gaddafi?”

Mugabe said Gaddafi’s death was “a great loss to Africa, a tragic loss to Africa”.

“The [NATO] mission was strictly to protect civilians, but it turned out that there was a hunt, a brutal hunt for Gaddafi and his family. They were sought; NATO caught up with them and they suffered the brutal deaths that we know about.”

The African Union's peacemaking efforts in Libya were "defied, ignored and humiliated," he added.

"May we urge the international community to collectively nip this dangerous and unwelcome development before it festers," he told world leaders.

NATO launched military strikes last year after the Security Council passed two resolutions on protecting civilians from Gaddafi’s crackdown to put down a rebellion. The new Libyan government and the West have hailed the campaign but Russia, China and others say now that they were tricked into accepting the action.



The Security Council ignores attempts to peacefully end disputes, Mugabe stormed.
"In contrast there appears to be an insatiable appetite for war, embargoes, sanctions and other punitive actions," he said.

Mugabe, whose country still faces sanctions by many western countries, also said the UN's "responsibility to protect" concept had been "seriously abused" and trespassed on the sovereignty of individual states.



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US calls Mugabe comparing deaths of Stevens, Gaddafi 'abhorrent'

http://www.reuters.com

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 27 | Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:00am EDT

(Reuters) - The United States accused Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on
Thursday of sinking to a "new low" by comparing the death of U.S. ambassador
to Libya Christopher Stevens to that of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"(Mugabe) cynically chose to compare the best of us with the worst of us, a
ridiculous and abhorrent comparison that we reject in the strongest terms,"
said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations.

"Ambassador Stevens represented the finest of America and spent his life
connecting people, not dividing them. Even for President Mugabe, this is a
new low," Pelton added.

Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Sept. 11 in what the United
States has called a "terrorist" attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, an
eastern Libyan city that was the hub for the Libyan rebel movement that
toppled Gaddafi last year with the assistance of NATO air strikes.

Mugabe opened his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday night by
comparing the death of Stevens to that of Gaddafi, killed by Libyan rebels a
year ago.

"The death of Gaddafi must be seen in the same tragic manner as the death of
Chris Stevens. We condemn both of them," Mugabe said.

"As we in spirit join the United States in condemning that death, shall the
United States also join us in condemning that barbaric death of the head of
state of Libya - Gaddafi? It was a loss, a great loss, to Africa, a tragic
loss to Africa," Mugabe added. Mugabe, a long-standing critic of the West,
is himself widely criticized for turning what was once one of Africa's
strongest economies into a basket case and has been accused of hanging on to
power through vote-rigging.

"President Mugabe had a chance yesterday to share with the international
community his plans for reversing the downward spiral his rule has inflicted
on the economy and people of Zimbabwe over the last three decades," Pelton
added.


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IATA suspends Air Zimbabwe over poor safety record

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 September 2012

Zimbabwe’s national airline has been suspended from the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) after failing to comply with global safety
standards.

The suspension was confirmed by the Transport and Communications Minister
Nicholas Goche, who said Air Zimbabwe had been given until November 31 to
comply with IATA’s international standards.

IATA is a global aviation body that works with airline members and the air
transport industry to promote safe, reliable and secure air travel. They
conduct Biennial Operational Safety Audits, assessing an airline’s
operations, flights, boarding procedures and other aircraft safety issues.

In June, Air Zim was given 90 days to renew its Operational Safety Audit
(IOSA) or lose its membership. A statement from IATA said that compliance
with the biennial safety audit was mandatory if Air Zim wanted to retain
their membership. But the airline has failed to meet IATA standards,
prompting the suspension.

Air Zim is reportedly in debt to the tune of US$140 million. Last year one
of their aircraft was impounded by creditors at Gatwick Airport, after
failing to pay an American parts company.

In March this year Air Zimbabwe was disbanded, following crippling strikes
by the staff and massive debts which led to the seizure of an aircraft in
London. Transport Minister Nicholas Goche immediately announced a
‘rebranding’, with the company becoming Air Zimbabwe Private Limited.


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Harare based news provider raided by police

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
27 September 2012

A Harare based group that provides daily news items for an externally based
TV station was raided by police on Wednesday, and accused of running an
illegal operation.

The raid saw scores of police officers storm the premises of the DDB Hash 3
advertising agency in Belgravia, which was believed to be supplying news
content to a television station called A TV. This station, said to be based
in the UK, streams its daily content on free-to-air satellite from 6pm
Zimbabwe time. This content includes a daily news bulletin, which is also
available to view on YouTube every day.

According to the state owned Herald newspaper, officials from the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and
the Post and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe had besieged
the DDB Hash 3 offices on Wednesday. The company’s employees and a number of
freelance journalists were also reportedly picked up for questioning.

In an interview, a senior police officer said they were acting on
information received about the company’s operations.

“We got information that there is a company which might be gathering news
and exporting it. In turn the news will flow back into the country. They
were doing it through a British broadcaster-A TV. The broadcasting is not
done here,” the police officer was quoted as saying.

The DDB Hash 3 advertising agency is owned by the same group behind A TV,
the Afro Media group. It is not yet clear if any charges are being brought
against the group as technically no law has been broken.

SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa explained that the way
A TV has been operating means it is not required to have a broadcasting
licence, because the daily broadcasts are not transmitted from Zimbabwe. He
explained that this most recent clampdown of non-state controlled media is a
sign of things to come.

“With elections coming, this clampdown on A TV is a signal to other media
that they must follow ZANU PF or risk the consequences,” Muchemwa said.


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Tomana plots SA constitutional court appeal

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

26/09/2012 00:00:00
by Business Day

ATTORNEY General, Johannes Tomana, says he is preparing to file an appeal at
SA’s Constitutional Court, after a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal
last week cleared the way for an auction of Zimbabwean property in Cape Town
to satisfy a debt owed to white former farm owners.

The protracted legal battle between the farmers, supported by
nongovernmental organisation AfriForum, and the Zimbabwean government could
sour diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"We have spent a lot of money fighting in the South African courts and it
all comes down to the fact that SA is disrespecting the diplomatic immunity
that governs relations between sovereign states and is defying a directive
by regional leaders to stop the work of the (Southern African Development
Community) Tribunal," Tomana said.

"The foreign affairs ministry will be handling our next course of action, as
we have had many properties attached in SA, which is a violation of our
diplomatic presence there. The South African courts are just playing
politics."

The appeal court last week ruled in favour of farmers Louis Fick, Richard
Etheredge and Michael Campbell, represented by AfriForum. The organisation
represents nearly 80 white commercial farmers seeking compensation after
they were evicted from their farms by Zanu (PF)-linked war veterans in 2000.

In a landmark judgment in November 2008, the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) Tribunal found that Zimbabwe’s farm seizures were racist,
and violated the right of access to courts and property rights. It ruled the
farmers had to be compensated. But Zimbabwe refused to implement the order
and refused to appear before the tribunal in successive applications to
force it to comply.

After the Zimbabwe high court refused to enforce the tribunal’s order, the
farmers turned to the South African courts, asking for the order to be
recognised in SA and for the court to authorise the attachment of certain
properties owned by the Zimbabwean government, to be sold to satisfy the
tribunal’s costs order.

The order was granted by the North Gauteng High Court, in the absence of an
opposing argument from the Zimbabwean government. Months later, Zimbabwe
tried to get the order rescinded but failed in the high court, prompting its
appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Zimbabwe’s Cape Town property was targeted as it was being rented out and
AfriForum argued that it was generating revenue.
Tomana said the legal argument being prepared for the Zimbabwean government’s
Constitutional Court appeal would centre on the fact that the Sadc Tribunal
had been disbanded.

This would render the appeal court ruling to have "neither the basis nor the
jurisdiction" to give the green light to the auction of the Cape Town house.

"The Sadc Tribunal was disbanded last month and the courts are clearly in
defiance of the resolution passed by Sadc leaders who agreed to nullify the
tribunal and all its previous judgments," Tomana said.

Zimbabwean Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa said yesterday the farmers’ case had "no merit". And senior Zanu
(PF) leader Didymus Mutasa said on Monday Zimbabwe was a "victim" of SA’s
justice system.

A Zanu (PF) sympathy group, Resources Exploitation Watch, is raising funds
for the next round of the legal battle, as the cash-strapped unity
government is unlikely to be able to afford it on its own.

Resources Exploitation Watch spokesman Tafadzwa Musarara said yesterday the
organisation was urging that more resources be "mobilised" so the
attorney-general’s office could mount a legal fight against AfriForum.

"We also want the government to buy back these properties should the sale of
the same occur," Musarara said.
Last week’s judgment was the second high-profile ruling handed down by a
South African court this year against President Robert Mugabe’s government.

In May, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that SA was obliged under
international law to arrest the perpetrators of human rights violations in
Zimbabwe - should they visit SA.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre brought the case following the torture
of 15 Movement for Democratic Change activists captured in a police raid at
its Harvest House headquarters in 2007.


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Zimbabwe, Zambia to Raise $6 MIllion For UNWTO Meeting

http://www.voazimbabwe.com

Gibbs Dube
26.09.2012

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi says Zimbabwe and Zambia are expected to
raise $6 million for hosting the United Nations World Tourism General
Assembly next year to be co-hosted by the two Southern African nations as
concerns have been mounting over their preparedness to host the annual
event.

Mzembi told VOA Studio 7 Tuesday that each country will be required to raise
$3 million and provide the necessary infrastructure in Victoria Falls,
Livingstone and surrounding areas.

He said the two nations won’t fail to raise the money even if they are
facing serious financial challenges.

Mzembi, who is currently in New York where he is part of a presidential
entourage attending the United Nations General Sssembly, said he is expected
Wednesday to chair the Africa Travel Assocaition Annual General Meeting in
an effort to drum up support for the UNWTO general assembly set for August
next year.

He said global tourism generates more than $3 trillion annually and Africa’s
share is just a mere 4% of that revenue.

Mzembi estimates that Zimbabwe will net close to $1 billion this year in
tourism revenue. “We have seen phenomenal performance in the tourism sector
and I am confident that we will reach this figure by the end of the year …
in 2009 we only generated $324 million,” he said.

He noted that preparations for the UNWTO general assembly are in full swing
though Zimbabwe is not happy about the state of mind of some of its citizens
who are not realizing the positive impact of the event.

Tourism consultant Zifiso Masiye of Balancing Rocks Consultacy said Zimbabwe
should use its citizens living abroad to market the country’s tourism
industry.


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COPAC violence plot leaked

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Militants in Zanu (PF) are plotting a violent disruption of the Second
All-Stakeholders Conference scheduled for next week so as to force a
political re-negotiation of the draft constitution.
27.09.12
08:22am

by Tarisai Jangara & Thabani Dube

A Zanu (PF) Central Committee member told The Zimbabwean that the intricate
strategy involves using the national statistical report relating to
information gathered during the constitution-making outreach programme to
whip up emotion at the conference, after which party activists would be
deployed to cause mayhem.

Activists would be divided into two groups, one wearing Zanu (PF) T-shirts
and the other wearing MDC-T and MDC-N regalia to make it appear as if the
violence that would break out would be genuine intra-party chaos, he
revealed.

“The thinking among hardliners is that we still have to negotiate the Copac
draft. They don’t want the process to proceed without acceding to Zanu (PF)’s
major demands,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

“Even though not all in Zanu (PF) agree with that strategy, it can be
successful because sharp disagreements are bound to arise over how to treat
the national report and the proposed draft.”

Bickering among political parties has already set the tone for confrontation
ahead of the conference. Copac and both MDCs favour the position whereby the
conference would be used as a feedback platform. But Zanu (PF) is insisting
on a protracted discussion of the draft.

It wants the contents to be pitted against the national report, arguing that
the former deviated from the fundamental views given by the people during
the outreach programme, while the latter is an authentic reflection of the
people’s wishes.

“The hardliners anticipate heated debate on the first day of the conference.
Zanu (PF) will insist on comparing the draft and the national report, but
the other parties will disagree. After that, the party will deploy youths to
storm the venue and engage in acts of violence that will force the conveners
(Copac) to call off deliberations. This will give the party the chance to
call for further negotiations of the draft,” added the source.

The party’s National Chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, has openly told supporters
to go out and defend the party’s proposed amendments at the conference.
Alert to possible violence, Copac has engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police
to tighten security at the conference.

The First All-Stakeholders’ conference held in Harare in 2009 was disrupted
by Zanu (PF) activists who invaded the venue chanting party slogans, as
police stood and watched.

Police spokesperson, Tadius Chibanda, said he was confident no violence
would break out this time. “We are going to provide tight security because
our duty is to protect the citizens,” he said.

Zanu (PF) National Commissar, Webster Shamu, when contacted for a comment on
allegations that his party wanted to incite violence at the conference, said
he did not talk to the media over the phone, and hung up.

Copac has reduced the number of delegates to the conference from an initial
2,000 to 1,100. Of these, 246 delegates will come from political parties,
284 from Parliament and 571 delegates from civil society civil society.


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Zimbabwe lawyers publish analysis of COPAC draft charter

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 September 2012

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have published a “Summarised
Analysis” of the COPAC draft constitution, saying Zimbabweans need to
educate themselves on its content in order to make informed decisions when
they vote at the upcoming referendum.

The Lawyers’ analysis comes in the wake of a decision by COPAC’s management
committee to hold the 2nd All-Stakeholders Conference sometime in October.
This leeaves very little time for the public to familiarize themselves with
the issues in the draft constitution, and COPAC has not conducted any
educational meetings.

The lawyers group has now said it wants to help people to decide whether the
COPAC draft is better than the current constitution, whether it requires
more improvement and whether it will have a positive impact on the country
moving forward.

Lawyer David Hofisi told SW Radio Africa that the analysis was part of an
ongoing process that started before the COPAC outreach programme was
launched.

He said: “A lot of people who fancy themselves to be political commentators
have been very quick to appear either on television or radio programmes
pointing out what in their view this constitution says in a manner that was
neither comprehensive or holistic.”

Asked whether the COPAC draft reflects the views of the people of Zimbabwe,
Hofisi said the differences between the political parties within COPAC made
it difficult for them to speak with one voice. The result is a negotiated
document representing the divergent views of the three political parties.

Hofisi added that there is not enough time for COPAC alone to educate the
public on what the draft constitution says. No written copies had been
widely distributed, especially to those in remote areas, and the parties
have invested more energy in contesting each other.

“There is a real danger now that that the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference
may be a purely, purely political exercise that may implode into violence
over the radically different position that some parties hold regarding the
contents of the draft,” Hofisi said.

The lawyer expressed deep concern that the views to be presented by
stakeholders at the Conference will be documented, debated and considered by
the same three parties who make up the COPAC committees. The resulting draft
will then be debated in parliament, by legislators who also sit on COPAC
committees.

Meanwhile, police in the Mashonaland Central district of Shamva are reported
to have violently disrupted a meeting organized by MDC-T members, who had
planned to update villagers on developments in the constitution making
process.

According to the Crisis Coalition, four policemen led by Constable Mutinha
from Chakonda police station disrupted the meeting last Saturday and ordered
participants to vacate the premises. The police also threatened to unleash
dogs and teargas on them, causing many to run to safety.


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Zimbabwe’s debt reaches US$11bln: IMF

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

26/09/2012 00:00:00
by IMF

On September 21, 2012, the Executive Board of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) concluded its Article IV consultation with Zimbabwe and following
is its report on the country’s economic situation

AFTER a prolonged period of economic and political crisis, Zimbabwe’s
economic stabilization and recovery began with the end of hyperinflation in
2009, supported by the formation of a coalition government, a favorable
external environment, the adoption of the multicurrency system and cash
budgeting, and the discontinuation of quasi-fiscal activities by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The economic rebound is moderating following a period of robust growth, with
real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging some 9 percent during
2010–11, sustained by strong external demand for key mineral exports and
continued recovery in domestic demand. Real GDP growth in 2012 is projected
to slow to 5 percent, reflecting the impact of adverse weather conditions on
agriculture, erratic electricity supply, and tight liquidity conditions.

Mining production is expected to benefit from the lifting of restrictions on
diamond exports from the Marange fields as a result of certification by the
Kimberley process. Inflation slowed to 4 percent in June 2012 from 4.9
percent in December 2011, reflecting in part some moderation in imported
goods inflation.

Background
The external position remained precarious, albeit with some recent
moderation in the current account deficit. Despite higher exports, the
current account deficit widened to 36 percent of GDP in 2011 (from 29
percent of GDP in 2010), due in part to a spike in imports associated with
some one-off factors. The deficit was financed by debt-related flows,
arrears, and a drawdown of SDR holdings, as uncertainties regarding policy
implementation continued to affect foreign investment flows.

Usable international reserves remained very low at 0.3 months of imports at
end-2011, amplifying the country’s vulnerability to shocks. The current
account deficit is projected to narrow to 20 percent of GDP in 2012, as the
2011 import spike is reversed and exports continue to expand. Zimbabwe
remains in debt distress with total external debt estimated at $10.7 billion
(113 percent of GDP) at end-2011, of which 67 percent of GDP are in
arrears. The large debt overhang remains a serious impediment to medium-term
fiscal and external sustainability.

The public finances came under pressure in 2011 and early-2012. Despite
better-than-expected revenue performance, central government operations
recorded a cash deficit of 0.6 percent of GDP in 2011 and domestic arrears
accumulation of about 1 percent of GDP, due mainly to two salary increases
that raised employment costs by 22 percent, crowding out social and capital
investment. The effect of the salary hikes was compounded in early-2012 by
an increase in employee allowances and unbudgeted recruitment.

Fiscal pressures were exacerbated by significant underperformance of diamond
revenues during the first half of 2012. In response to the fiscal slippages,
in July the government announced expenditure and revenue measures, as well
as a reassessment of diamond revenue flows. The measures include a hiring
freeze, suspension of a number of diamond-revenue-financed projects,
increases in excises on fuel, and enhanced monitoring of the mineral
resources.

The financial regulatory framework is being enhanced after a long period of
forbearance, but financial system vulnerabilities persist. The banking
system is recovering from a recent liquidity crunch, following a period of
rapid credit growth funded by unstable short-term deposits, but liquidity
remains relatively low and unequally distributed across banks. The RBZ
raised the prudential liquidity ratio from 25 percent to 30 percent by
end-June 2012.

Some banks, particularly the small ones, show weak capitalization,
insufficient liquidity, and low asset quality, reflecting unsound lending
practices and poor risk management. The situation of three troubled banks
came to a head in mid-2012, with the RBZ placing one in recuperative
curatorship and two surrendering their licenses. In August 2012, the RBZ
announced steep increases in the minimum capital requirements to be phased
over a two-year period.

The medium-term outlook, under an unchanged policy scenario, is for growth
to moderate to average some 4 percent, although constraints on energy supply
and weak competitiveness may pose a challenge to achieving these rates.
Foreign investment is likely to be hampered by a poor business climate,
uncertainties over the implementation of the indigenization policy and
political instability, while domestic investors may face difficulties
accessing long-term credit. A vigorous program of structural reform and
strengthened macroeconomic management would allow the country to sustain
higher rates of growth.

Assessment
Executive Directors welcomed Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and stabilization
in recent years. Progress has however been uneven, and the impact of adverse
weather conditions on agriculture, an uncertain political situation ahead of
elections, and a difficult global environment pose further risks to the
outlook. To achieve sustained and inclusive growth, Directors stressed the
importance of full commitment to policies focusing on strengthening fiscal
management, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and improving the
business climate.

Directors urged the authorities to fully implement the measures announced in
the mid-year fiscal policy review, and take additional measures if
necessary, to address earlier slippages and close the financing gap. They
underscored the need to rebalance the expenditure mix, especially by
containing the growth of the wage bill, to create the fiscal space needed
for increased social spending and public investment.

Improving public financial management would help reinforce expenditure
control. Directors emphasized that enhancing transparency in the diamond
sector, including timely finalization and implementation of the Diamond Act,
is key to strengthening revenues and reducing fiscal pressures. They noted
that a prudent medium-term fiscal framework remains critical for restoring
fiscal sustainability.

Directors welcomed actions taken to strengthen the financial regulatory
framework and address systemic liquidity. Noting recent bank failures and
persistent vulnerabilities in the banking system, they called for more
proactive banking supervision and enforcement of prudential regulations,
focusing on banks with low liquidity buffers and high risk exposures.
Directors urged the authorities to fast-track the restructuring of the
financially distressed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. They also underscored the
importance of increasing the level of reserves, over time.

Directors agreed that addressing Zimbabwe’s large debt overhang and
achieving external sustainability will require strong macroeconomic policies
and a comprehensive arrears clearance framework supported by donors. They
urged the authorities to refrain from further nonconcessional borrowing and
avoid selective debt servicing as these may complicate reaching agreement
with creditors on a debt resolution strategy. Directors also cautioned
against further use of SDR holdings to finance expenditures.

Directors underscored that improving the business climate is necessary to
strengthen competitiveness, build investor confidence, and boost the growth
potential. In particular, they stressed the importance of ensuring that the
indigenization and empowerment policies are implemented in accordance with
transparent rules and preserving property rights.

Directors welcomed Zimbabwe’s continued improvement in cooperating with the
Fund on policies and payments to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust
(PRGT) as this will allow the lifting of relevant technical assistance
restrictions, making it possible to advance toward negotiation of a
staff-monitored program (SMP) to support the country’s reform efforts. Most
Directors indicated their readiness to support such a lifting.

Directors commended the authorities on meeting the outstanding marker on
steps towards removing irregularly hired workers from the payroll, which
allowed the initiation of a stock-taking on the feasibility of the SMP. In
this regard, Directors welcomed the authorities’ renewed commitment to make
regular payments to the PRGT.

They concurred that strong implementation of recently announced measures to
address policy slippages would be an important demonstration of policy
cooperation. Some Directors particularly stressed that a credible government
commitment to comprehensive reforms will be necessary before embarking on an
SMP.


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Tsvangirai suffers maintenance claim setback

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

27/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A HARARE court Thursday threw out a bid by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
to block a US$15,000 spousal maintenance claim by his estranged wife,
Locardia Karimatsenga, as the MDC-T leader’s family scrambled for a solution
to the public spat between them.
Tsvangirai’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu had asked Harare magistrate
Rueben Mukavhi to dismiss Karimatsenga’s claim on procedural grounds arguing
that: “(The) application is void. Being void nothing can be put on it. It is
an unnecessary burden on the court roll and must be deposed off.”

He added: “If this court does not follow the law, the effects are that of
reducing the court into a headman sitting under a Muchakata tree. The
application was not served in terms of the Maintenance Act and the
regulation.

“If service is not properly done then proceedings are invalid. This
application is dog’s breakfast for its failure to comply with the law.”

But Karimatsenga’s attorney Everson Samkange countered that the MDC-T leader’s
defence bordered on the “mischievous”.
“The application complies with the requirements of the Maintenance Act.
Reference to the regulations is not only misplaced but is intended to delay
and circumvent a clear and just cause,” Samukange said.

“The honourable thing that should have been done by the respondent is to
file their notice of opposition. They had ample time, they should have done
so.”

The magistrate agreed with Samukange and ruled that the application was in
order and the matter should proceed to be heard on its merits. The case will
now be heard on October 15.

Karimatsenga successfully blocked Tsvangirai from marrying new flame,
Elizabeth Macheka, two weeks ago after convincing the courts that she was
married to the MDC-T leader under customary law.

She has taken Tsvangirai to court demanding US$15,000 every month to sustain
the lifestyle she had become accustomed to after their marriage last
November.

“I looked to him (Tsvangirai) for financial support for the past year (and)
as my husband, has a responsibility to maintain me,” she said. “(Tsvangirai)
is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and is handsomely paid. He also has means
of the income.”

She says $4,000 will be used for groceries, $3,000 for rent, $1,700 for hair
and beauty expenses, $1,500 being a wardrobe allowance, $1,200 for telephone
bills, $1,000 for motor vehicle and fuel expenses, $700 for medical aid,
$500 for electricity bills, $500 for a maid, $350 for a driver, $300 for a
gardener and $250 for water.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s family has moved in to try and resolve the
public row which analysts say has damaged Tsvangirai’s reputation.

A delegation that included Tsvangirai’s mother, Lydia, his uncle Philemon
Makuvise and his late father’s brother, Robert, met at the premier’s
Highlands home in Harare this week in a bid to find a traditional solution.

Said the PM’s mother Lydia: “Locardia came (to our rural home in Buhera)
with her aunt and a driver in November last year around midnight and knocked
on my window. It was raining and I asked them to get in.

“She said they had come from the Karimatsenga family and they knew Morgan. I
didn’t do or say anything bad to her. Morgan was not born by the court, I am
his mother and I am here to ask him if he is the one who asked her to go to
court.

“She knows our home and she has to come there and we sit down. Even if
Morgan marries several wives, in our rural home there is a man called
Mutsengi who had 15 wives. Morgan had a wife and we didn’t go to their home
and said he now wants to marry. He doesn’t get a wife from the courts.”

His uncle Robert added: “As our daughter-in-law, she (Karimatsenga) has to
come home and we call other family members and ask Morgan why he spent two
months without coming to see his wife and we hear what both of them have to
say and not to rely on what we read in the newspapers.”


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Poachers caught using anti-tank mines on elephants

http://wildlifenews.co.uk
elephant tusk

Anti-tank mines are now being used against elephants for their ivory.

Guns, poisons and electrocution have all been in the armoury of poachers as they target elephants for their tusks. Now another weapon is being used by the poachers in order to kill elephants and that is anti-tank mines.

Mozambique police moved in on a gang of 6 poachers after receiving intelligence from local people that elephants were being targeted with the devices. The police moved in on premises in central Tete province and arrested 6 poachers including 3 from Zimbabwe. One of the Zimbabweans is said to be a sergeant in the army and bought the anti-tank mines into the country.

Police spokesperson in Tete, Jaime Bazo, told Radio Mozambique “The suspects were captured on Sunday in possession of ivory that they extracted from slaughtered elephants in the district of Mogoe in Tete province. They were trying to sell them in the city

The police did not reveal how much ivory or how many anti-tank mines they recovered but they did say that they believed the poachers had been operating in the area for quite some time.

Zimbabwean poachers have been known to operate in Tete province before. In June a gang of poachers including Zimbabweans had been caught using poison pills to kill the regions elephants for the ivory.


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MDC-T: State witnesses fail to identify informants

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

State witnesses fail to identify informants
Two police officers who were called today to testify as State witnesses in
the High Court murder trial in which 29 MDC members are being falsely
charged with murder, failed to name their informants involved in the arrest
of the accused persons.

Timothy Guta, who arrested Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly
chairperson on 4 October 2011, told the court that after some informants had
informed the police that Madzore was part of the group that was in Glen View
when Inspector Petros Mutedza died.

Guta said he did not know if Madzore was in Glen View on the date the
offence was committed but was only working on assumptions made by the
informants. Asked to name the informants, Guta said he could not do so as
they were only known by the investigating officer, Detective Inspector
Clever Ntini. Ntini is yet to testify in court.

Guta’s response led to a query by the defence lawyer, Alec Muchadehama as to
why the informants were “nameless and faceless” yet they were heavily
relying on their information.

The police however failed to make a follow up on Madzore’s alibi, which
states that on the day in question he had visited the MDC Harare Youth
Assembly chairperson, Shakespeare Mukoyi who was unwell after he was
assaulted by the police.

Later in the day on 29 May 2011, Madzore accompanied his wife to the doctor
as she was also not feeling well.
Another witness called in after Guta, Obert Maida who was in May Last year
heading the CID Homicide Section at Harare Central failed to recall the
names of the police officers who accompanied him to make arrests or to name
the people who were arrested during the raids.
Maida is now a Detective Chief Inspector with CID Homicide based at the
Police Headquarters.

The situation in today’s trial was made worse by Edmore Nyazamba, the State
prosecutor who failed to submit statements made by the State witnesses
before the trial to the defence lawyers. Nyazamba said the non-submission of
the statements to the defence was an oversight and promised to submit the
statements when the trial resumed after lunch.

However, the trial failed to kick off in the afternoon after Nyazamba said
he could not locate the statements.
The MDC has continued to maintain that the 29 accused persons are innocent
and their lengthy incarceration is persecution and not prosecution. They
have been in remand prison for 16 months.

On Tuesday, the defence registered a formal protest with the trial judge,
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu against Nyazamba for engaging in delaying tactics.
Justice Bhunu said he was wondering why Nyazamba was always late for court.
MDC @ 13 – The last mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!


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Solomon Madzore Message from Chikurubi Prison

http://nehandaradio.com

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 2:35 AM
371 6 0 386

By Solomon Madzore
Winston Churchill once remarked that; “One thing we have learned from
history, is that we never learn from history” That is very true of all
dictators. The handiende syndrome threatens to reverse the gains Zimbabwe
had when it attained independence in 1980.

Solomon Madzore Message from Chikurubi Prison
That is selfishness of the day in Zimbabwe today. Wise people have
maintained that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest and
powerless citizens. I guess these are the orphans, the elderly, the
homeless, those living with disabilities and prisoners.
In Zimbabwe today, these people are treated like nonentities and peripheries
of our society while some few people under the guise of having fought in the
war of the liberation of Zimbabwe enjoy the fruits of their “entitlements”
to power and riches.
They use such false “entitlements” to create a culture of impunity and
disdain for the rule of law. These people even want to defy themselves, when
they take to the podium, they even have the audacity to claim that we are
all equal and yet we clearly know that these Zimbabweans are more
equal than others.
My message to the young people of Zimbabwe today is, the majority of the
youths suffer from abject poverty and depend on handouts yet at the very
same time, the children of Zanu PF top hierarchy are suffocating with
wealth, both locally and abroad.
The majority of the youths struggle to put food on the table but our nation
is hyped to possess a huge industrial base of minerals. The youths still
suffer due to HIV/ AIDS, malaria, TB, hunger, extreme poverty, poor or no
housing at all, lack of access to education and poor health and unemployment
among other ills. I am still to regain my liberty, the unlawful Zanu PF
detention continues unabated. Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF do not comprehend
the sacredness of freedom.
They continue to live in perpetual fear, the fear of the unknown and the
fear of the very people they helped to liberate. Dan Brown in his book, The
Davinci Code, noted that; “Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they
fear than to obtain what they desire”. That is true of Zanu PF.
This monster is so afraid of the people of Zimbabwe that they have chosen to
digress in every facet of life and brutality and intimidation is their
default ideology. Whenever they look at the youths, they see loss of their
power instead of seeing progress and rejuvenation.
They have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that like a mule, they are not
able to reproduce themselves, locking away political opponents does not help
their cause in any way. Interestingly, my being in prison has helped me to
witness the pathetic and sorry state and conditions under which
Zimbabwean prisoners live, most of them being youth offenders.
Their crimes include robbery, stock theft, fraud, aggravated assault and
murder, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and rape among others. The majority
of these crimes are the economic meltdown of the past 12 years. The criminal
justice system in this country is a complete mess and a disservice to the
citizens, exacerbated by an overzealous, corrupt, partisan, arrogant and
ignorant police leaders and an equally evil and vampire-like Attorney
General’s office.
These institutions of terror have been used by Zanu PF’s top to hand very
stiff sentences ranging from 10 to 250 years. Zanu PF uses the police, the
courts and prison services to continue their hold on power.
Overcrowding is the order of the day in all Zimbabwe’s prisons, punctuated
by poor diet, poor clothing and poor health delivery to inmates. There is no
rehabilitation going on, and whatever little facilities that is used and was
left by the colonial regime in 1980 are now obsolete.
Zimbabwe has the largest number of prisoners outside war zones. People are
imprisoned without parole or amnesty; they serve long prison sentences for
petty crimes and live under harsh conditions.
Homosexuality is practiced almost openly by some desperate inmates.
Remember there are no conjugal rights; there is no psychological counselling
or systematic skills training to empower and rehabilitate offenders. The
justice system is not swift and one can spend many years before the State is
ready to prosecute. Quite a number of offenders do not complete their
sentences because they die in prison.
It is a sad story in Zimbabwe today that the police, the courts Zimbabwe
Prison Service represent Zanu PF’s illegitimate and unorthodox means of
social and political control. Their role includes protecting Zanu PF
loyalists from prosecution.
One thing is true though, prison life comes to an end one day. This life
matrix can also be applied to dictatorships of all kinds; they come to an
end one way or another. I am certainly not the first to suffer under Zanu PF’s
oppressive and coercive machinery.
My consolation is that victory against this oppression, repression and
suppression is nigh. If my unlawful detention and that of my fellow accused
men and women is part of the price we have to pay for a better Zimbabwe
then, so be it! We will always be together in spirit.
I am alive to the fact that you aspire to live productive and meaningful
lives, free from harassment and all forms of State sponsored violence. I
know you want education but you can not access it.
Education has been reduced to a privilege by the ruling elite; health
delivery is very poor due to an acute shortage of health workers, medication
and poor health facilities. Unemployment hovers above 90 percent however
there is hope after all this shadow of hopelessness, there is a meaning to
our lives beyond this political crisis created by a tired, hopeless,
archaic, myopic, clueless and brutal Mugabe and his Zanu PF.
We are sick and tired of lack of progress in our lives. The ball is in our
court, we must make sure that each eligible young person is registered to
vote, both in the referendum and in the general elections.
I have no doubt whatsoever that at the end of it all, Morgan Tsvangirai
shall lead Zimbabwe to a better future. They can demonise him left, right
and centre but we will vote for him and the winning team.
I have no doubt that Mugabe will go after elections. Forget the empty
threats by the so called army generals. We do not eat threats. The youths
are already aroused to mobilise and organize a historical and unprecedented
youth voter turn out that has never been seen in this country.
We want change and indeed change is what we will get. We refuse to drink
from the poisoned chalice of the Kasukuweres of this era; we refuse and
reject the “Mahosorisation” of our thinking and intelligence.
We refuse to be brainwashed by political prostitutes like Jonathan Moyo. The
youths of Zimbabwe are too smart for such cheap and devious talk on both
State sponsored TV and radios. Democracy entails the minimum bundle of
rights, freedom of choice and also the right to change leaders regularly.
Politicians must come and go and should not wait to be forced out like Mali’s
Toumani Toure, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo, DRC’s
Mobuto Sese Seko or die in office like Bingu waMutharika and many others.
All had a choice to retire peacefully and with dignity but chose to cling to
power against their people’s will. Their ends were disgraceful. Even the
bible says it in Judges 4 and Isaiah 14.
We must prepare ourselves to sacrifice in a way that we have not done before
by ensuring that our votes are registered, cast, counted and protected.
Voting is our right. Let me urge you the youths of Zimbabwe to go in your
multitudes and register to vote. We want to ensure 80 to 100 percent youth
voter turn out.
I encourage all of you who have turned 18 and above, meaning those doing
their, A Levels, college and university students, young single mothers and
fathers, the employed and unemployed, living with disabilities and all
legible voters to go and register to vote and be ready to make a difference.
As for some of us who are in prison, the Zanu PF machinery can only imprison
our bodies and never our spirits. We are free inside ourselves. They are the
ones shackled in perpetual prison of fear, guilty and shame.
Sizafika Nomakhanjani!!!
Solomon Madzore – MDC Youth Assembly Chairperson


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EDITORIAL: A legal lesson for Zanu (PF)

http://www.bdlive.co.za/

SEPTEMBER 27 2012, 06:34

ZIMBABWE attorney-general Johannes Tomana’s announcement that he will
challenge a South African Supreme Court of Appeal judgment in the
Constitutional Court is most welcome — it could be a timely lesson for Zanu
(PF) in how a constitutional democracy works.

This week, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the North
Gauteng High Court that a Cape Town property owned by the Zimbabwean
government be auctioned to pay the legal costs of a group of farmers who
sought compensation after they were evicted from their farms by Zanu
(PF)-linked war veterans in 2000.

In 2007, the farmers challenged the seizure of their land before the
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Tribunal, and the following
year it ruled that the Zimbabwean land reform process was illegal and
racist, and that the farmers had to be compensated.

When the Zimbabwe government refused to enforce the tribunal’s order, the
farmers then turned to the South African courts, asking for the order to be
recognised in South Africa and for the court to authorise the attachment of
certain properties owned by the Zimbabwean government so that they could be
sold to satisfy the tribunal’s order and ensure that the farmers’ court
costs could be paid.

Although formed with best intentions, the tribunal proved toothless as it
was unable to enforce its rulings.

Last month, regional leaders, under strong pressure from Zanu (PF), resolved
to limit the jurisdiction of the tribunal and agreed that it should be
reconstituted under a new protocol and with a new mandate.

It is in this context that Zimbabwe now seeks to challenge the legality of
the South African courts enforcing an order granted by the Sadc Tribunal.

In its challenge to the high court ruling, Zimbabwe’s government argued
that, according to the Foreign States Immunities Act, it should have
sovereign immunity from civil proceedings in South Africa. Yet, by
submitting itself to the Sadc Treaty and Protocol, Zimbabwe expressly waived
this immunity. The Supreme Court of Appeal also found that the Zimbabwean
government failed to oppose the order when it was brought before the high
court.

The comment by Mr Tomana that the South African courts are just "playing
politics" is indicative of how far removed the Zimbabwean judicial system
has become from the rule of law.


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Mugabe speech to 67th UN General Assembly

http://nehandaradio.com
NEWS, SPEECH — BY ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 5:20 AM

New York – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday accused the United Nations Security Council of wielding an “insatiable appetite for war” as he condemned Nato’s campaign that helped topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Below is the full speech…………..

By President Robert Mugabe

STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE COMRADE ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 67TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26, 2012:

Your Excellency, Mr. Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Your Majesties,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.

On behalf of my delegation and my own behalf, I extend to Your Excellency, Mr Jeremic, our warmest congratulations on your election as the President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Your extensive experience in both regional and international affairs will undoubtedly enrich the debate and proceedings during this Session. I wish to assure you of the full cooperation of Zimbabwe as you discharge the onerous duties of this high office.

Mr. President,

Let me begin by reaffirming the rightful and important role of the United Nations in the management of issues affecting international peace and security. In the quest for a more just and equitable international order, Zimbabwe strongly opposed to unilateralism, is committed to multilateralism. We therefore would like to see a United Nations that continues to be a guarantor of world peace and security, and a bulwark in the fight for justice mad equality among nations.

It behoves us all, therefore, to take the necessary steps to ensure that the United Nations is not marginalised on international issues. Equally important, the United Nations must in future never allow itself to be abused by any member state or group of States that seeks to achieve parochial partisan goals. The Charter of the United Nations clearly stipulates it as an international body that should work for the good of all the peoples of the world.

Mr. President,

We recognise that there are existing and emerging threats and challenges that continue to frustrate our individual and collective efforts to attain greater economic development and social progress, as well as peace and security. But the increasing trend by the NATO States inspired by the arrogant belief that they are the most powerful among us, which has demonstrated itself through their recent resort to unilateralism and military hegemony in Libya, is the very antithesis of the basic principles of the United Nations. In that case of Libya, the African Union and its peace-making role was defied, ignored and humiliated. May we urge the international community to collectively nip this dangerous and unwelcome aggressive development before it festers.

In this regard, Mr President, the theme you have chosen for this session, namely “Bringing about Adjustment or Settlement of International Disputes or Situations by Peaceful Means,” is very appropriate. The warmongers of our world have done us enough harm. Wherever they have imposed themselves, chaos in place of peace has been the result.

The situation created by the Bush-Blair illegal campaign of aggression against Iraq has made worse the conflict between the Sunnies and Shiats. Leave alone the disastrous economic consequences of that unlawful invasion. Libya has been made equally unstable, following NATO’s deceitful intervention under the sham cover of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations and the phoney principle of the responsibility to protect.

Mr. President,

Zimbabwe firmly believes in the peaceful settlement of disputes between and among States, in a manner that is consistent with the principles and purposes of the United Nations. In the maintenance of international peace and security, much more needs to be done to prevent conflicts from erupting in the first place, and to prevent relapses once a situation has been stabilised.

Beyond deploying adequate resources to manage conflicts, it is important to address their underlying causes, and to pursue, more proactively, a comprehensive approach focusing on conflict prevention, peace-building, peace-sustenance and development. In pursuing this cause, my delegation strongly believes that adherence to the Charter of the United Nations should be a solemn obligation of all Member States.

Mr. President,

We have noticed, with deep regret, that the provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with the peaceful settlement of disputes, have, on occasion, been ignored by the Security Council. In contrast, there appears to be an insatiable appetite for war, embargos, sanctions and other punitive actions, even on matters that are better resolved through multilateral cooperation.

Instead of resorting to the peaceful resolution of disputes, we are daily witnessing a situation where might is now right. Mr President, we need to take stock of the inspiring preamble to the United Nations Charter, where the plenipotentiaries who met in San Francisco in 1945 undertook to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” This is especially so when global events represent a radical departure from that solemn and noble declaration as is happening at present. What do the NATO Alliance members say about this? One may ask.

Mr. President,

It is therefore important that the United Nations Security Council should respect and support the decisions, processes and priorities of regional organisations. In contrast, recent events, as has already been stated particularly with reference to Africa, have demonstrated the scant regard that is given by the United Nations and certain powerful members of the international community to the pivotal role of regional organisations. Effective cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations will only become viable and sustainable when developed on the basis of mutual respect and support, as well as on shared responsibility and commitment.

Mr. President,

It is regrettable to note that certain unacceptable concepts are currently being foisted upon the United Nations membership, in the absence of inter-governmental mandates. For instance, there is no agreement yet on the concept of “responsibility to protect,” especially with respect to the circumstances under which it might be evoked. We are concerned by the clear mad growing evidence that the concept of “responsibility to protect” has begun to be applied and seriously abused, thus inevitably compromising and undermining the cardinal principle of the sovereignty of states and the United Nations Charter principles of territorial integrity and non-interference in the domestic affairs of countries.

Mr. President,

For the international community to successfully deal with global economic, social, security and environmental challenges, the existence of international institutions to handle them and a culture of genuine multilateralism are critical. The United Nations, its specialised agencies, and international financial institutions, are the only instruments available for responding effectively to the global challenges we face in this global village. It is therefore critical that these structures are reformed, and realigned in response to both global challenges and our contemporary realities, in order to better serve our collective interests.

Mr President,

This august Assembly is the most representative organ within the United Nations family. We must therefore dedicate ourselves to finding consensus on measures to revitalise it, so that it fulfils its mandate in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. We wish to reiterate our deep concern that the mandate, powers and jurisdiction of the General Assembly are shrinking as a consequence of the Security Council gradually encroaching upon the Assembly’s areas of competence. This, in our view, upsets the delicate balance envisaged under the Charter, and undermines the overall effectiveness of the United Nations system. The General Assembly must remain the main deliberative, policy-making organ of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

We have been seized with the debate on the reform of the Security Council for far too long. My delegation fully supports the current intergovernmental negotiations on the reform and expansion of the Security Council. However, we wish to caution against an open-ended approach which short-changes those of us from regions that are not represented at all among the permanent membership of the Council.

Zimbabwe stands by Africa’s demand for two permanent seats complete with a veto, if the veto is to be retained, plus two additional non-permanent seats, as clearly articulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

For how long, Mr President, will the international community continue to ignore the aspirations of a whole continent of fifty-four countries? We shall not be bought-off with empty promises, nor shall we accept some cosmetic tinkering of the Security Council disguised as reform. It is indeed a travesty of justice that the African continent, which accounts for almost a third of the membership represented in this august Assembly, has no permanent representation in the Security Council. Is this good governance? Is this democracy? And, is this justice?

My delegation condemns unreservedly, the economic sanctions imposed against my country and people in an unjustified effort to deny them the chance to fully benefit from their natural resource endowment. We wish to remind those who have maintained sanctions against us that there is international consensus, fully supported by the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement and the rest of the progressive international community, that these sanctions must immediately and unconditionally be lifted.

Mr President, in the interest of justice, fairness and good relations, we call on those countries which have imposed sanctions against us to review their positions. Zimbabweans have suffered for too long under these completely illegal punitive measures.

Mr. President,

Allow me to conclude by reaffirming Zimbabwe’s commitment to the principles that have brought us together in the United Nations for the last 67 years. My country is confident that in this inextricably interdependent world, our commitment to the common good, which this Organisation embodies, will be resolute and enduring. Zimbabwe will continue to stand firm, and to condemn unilateralism, the imposition of unwarranted and illegal sanctions on nations, and the unwarranted extra-territorial application of national laws.

I thank you.

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