TEXT only 1 September 2013


Mugabe fumes at farmers by ZimSitRep – 09-01-2013
via Mugabe fumes – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba Mugabe yesterday took a swipe at unproductive new farmers, whom he alleged were using outdated farming techniques. Officially opening the Harare Agricultural Show, Mugabe slammed resettled farmers for using Stone Age farming techniques. “Tinoda machengeterwo emombe akasiyana neaiitwa nanasekuru vedu (We want to rear cattle in a different way from what our ancestors used to do),” Mugabe said. “Now people with A2 farms are practising just like my grandparents but they have the knowledge and so many degrees.” Zimbabwe has been on the edge since 2000, when Mugabe, now 89, ordered the seizure of white-owned farms. The land seizures were widely seen as a move to bolster his sinking popularity. White farmers, aid officials and Western diplomats agree that land redistribution was needed to undo colonialism’s legacy in Zimbabwe, where whites made up one percent of the population but owned 70 percent of the most fertile land. FROM P1 But they say the programme’s fast pace and Mugabe’s hardball tactics spawned violence and aggravated the food crisis. Some white farmers were killed during the land redistribution campaign. More than 4 000 were evicted without compensation, according to the Commercial Farmers Union. Mugabe called on new farmers to “embrace new technologies  in order to empower our agriculture.” The Zanu PF leader admitted that the country’s livestock production was still stuttering and promised to assist farmers to jump-start the agricultural sector which used to be the mainstay of the economy before the advent of the land reform programme in 2000. After chiding new farmers for employing archaic methods, Mugabe turned his focus on black farmers leasing out their properties to evicted white farmers. “Let’s change our methods, zvanezuro zvekuti dai agriculture yafondoka varungu vadzoke tozoratidza mhuri yeZimbabwe kuti hatigone pasina varungu ndezvezvibwasungata zvinoda kuramba zvichiyamwa mazamu anaMrs. Hatingarambe tichishandira bhunu ratisingazive kuti rakabva kupi. (What was happening in the recent past when some were saying agriculture should collapse in order to prove that blacks are not good farmers so as to bring back white farmers is a wishful thinking by sell-outs. We cannot continue working for the whites),” Mugabe said. During the tenure of the inclusive government, Zanu PF rejected a land audit amid allegations from the MDC that several top government officials are multiple land owners. Ex-minister of State in the President’s Office, Didymus Mutasa, who is also Zanu PF administration secretary, has said the three land audits he conducted had confirmed that the poor black masses were the major beneficiaries, not the cronies named in several audit reports; and therefore there was no need for another land audit. Government did not take up an offer of $31 million from the European Union to bankroll the planned land audit. The European Commission in Zimbabwe has said the EU was ready to fund an “inclusive, transparent and comprehensive land audit” but said no one had come forward to claim the money. Fresh from winning an election albeit under controversial circumstances, Mugabe is pushing for yet another black empowerment programme targeting foreign firms similar to the land reform programme. Mugabe was on cloud nine, boasting of his re-election for yet another term in a disputed poll. He said he was glad the country had successfully co-hosted the world tourism indaba in Victoria Falls this week. “The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) which we successfully co-hosted with Zambia showed that nothing is enchanting and enduring as people united in achieving the same goals they have set for themselves,” said Mugabe.

MDC-T says Zanu (PF) intensifying violence against its supporters by ZimSitRep – 09-01-2013
via MDC-T says Zanu (PF) intensifying violence against its supporters | The Zimbabwean by Thabani Dube Zanu (PF) has been accused of perpetrating post election political violence in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe after its militia reportedly attacked and displaced an MDC-T local councillor candidate for Ward 5 in the recent elections, Gift Kapawu, and his family. In a statement, the MDC-T said the defenceless Kapawu, his wife and four children aged one, five, nine and 12 years, respectively, have since sought refuge elsewhere. The party said the victims made a police report but no action was taken. “The Zanu (PF) militia, which was heavily armed with knobkerries and machetes, accused Kapawu of daring to contest against their… candidate in the just ended disputed elections. The Zanu (PF) thugs went on to destroy Kapawu’s homestead and stole some household goods. “Kapawu reported the incident to the police at Chitsungo police station but…no action has been taken,” reads part of the statement. The MDC-T said it was disturbed by the fact that Zanu (PF) continued with such attacks on MDC-T supporters even when they claim to be victors in the just ended elections. “More disturbing is the police’s inaction in these acts of violence by Zanu (PF) thugs, in an apparent endorsement of impunity within the party. “The continued persecution of people of dissenting and divergent views by Zanu (PF) clearly exposes the level of intolerance entrenched in the party,” said the party. The MDC-T demanded the immediate cessation of hostilities by Zanu PF and called on the people of Zimbabwe, regional and international bodies to roundly condemn such barbaric acts. Efforts to get comment from Zanu (PF) national spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable.

Mugabe, Mujuru in discord over West by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
via Mugabe, Mujuru in discord over West  by NewsDay DISCORDANT foreign policy pronunciations have rocked Zanu PF over the past few days with Vice-President Joice Mujuru saying Zimbabwe was keen to re-engage the international community including the West, barely two days after President Robert Mugabe threatened a clampdown on Western companies operating in the country. Speaking at the burial of national hero Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai on Sunday, Mugabe attacked the West for maintaining sanctions against Zimbabwe and for casting aspersions over his recent re-election. “They (Western powers) have companies here and we have not imposed controls or sanctions against them, but time will come when we will say tit-for-tat. You hit me, I hit you. You impose this on me, I impose this on you,” Mugabe said. “Our attitude is not going to continue as it was in the past — passive. We have had enough and enough is enough.” A day later, Mujuru was singing a different tune saying: “As a nation we are now focusing on investing in our economy to generate business, employment and raise the social welfare of our people. Further, Zimbabwe will continue engaging the international community for political, economic and social co-operation. “We constitute the international community and it is our wish to remain a member of this family,” said Mujuru, in a speech read on her behalf by outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Engineer Walter Mzembi at the just-ended United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in Victoria Falls. “True, we once had our problems, which, with the assistance of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, I am glad to say we have managed to resolve successfully.“ The United States and European Union imposed targeted sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on Mugabe, members of his inner circle and several companies following the 2002 disputed elections and alleged human rights abuses. Analysts said Zimbabwe needs to adopt a policy of engagement with various international players including the West to encourage foreign direct investment necessary for the revival of industry and the creation of jobs. Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi, however, said there was no need to read much into Mugabe’s angry reaction as the common position in Zanu PF was to re-engage the West. “The statements came from two different contexts. If you follow closely what he (Mugabe) has been saying, he wants re-engagement, but sometimes he has to grandstand. What Mujuru said accurately represents the Zanu PF position and the President’s statement was just an angry reaction. He has indicated the need to re-engage even in his inauguration speech,” said Mudzengi. Another analyst Prosper Manjoro said that Zanu PF was desperate to re-engage the West and Mugabe’s statements were just politicking. “The only truth is that re-engagement is inevitable, the biggest challenge is what the conditions are. The spirit of moving forward is a given. Mugabe was speaking at a political party-like function and Mujuru at a government function and usually it is the party position that prevails,” said Manjoro.

SW Radio withdraws VMCZ membership by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
via SW Radio withdraws VMCZ membership NewsDay SW RADIO, a privately-owned Zimbabwean radio station domiciled in the United Kingdom, has withdrawn its membership from the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) in protest against the council’s decision to congratulate Zi-FM Stereo Radio on its first anniversary. Zi-FM, which is owned by newly-elected Zanu PF Nyanga South MP Supa Mandiwanzira, is perceived to be sympathetic to the ruling party. In a statement, SW Radio director Gerry Jackson said: “As station manager, I have listened online to many of the discussions hosted by Mandiwanzira on his radio station. Most of them are fit only for broadcast on the State media. His discussion on private radio stations was nothing short of farcical.” “He is now a Zanu PF MP and has shown his support for Zanu PF, which was the reason he was given a licence. There is a belief that Zi-FM is funded by State security,” she said. Jackson also accused Mandiwanzira of working in cahoots with State security agents in several sting operations involving the Central Intelligence Organisation. However, VMCZ board chairperson Alec Muchadehama defended his organisation’s decision saying the VMCZ works with all media that subscribe to its code regardless of whether they are State or privately-controlled. “The VMCZ in its congratulatory statement made no reference to personalities, but the institution that is Zi FM on the basis of its subscription to the VMCZ Media Code of Conduct,” said Muchadehama in a statement on Wednesday. Contacted for comment, Mandiwanzira said: “The withdrawal is irrelevant. They voluntarily joined the VMCZ and they voluntarily withdrew. If it is true (what we are hearing), we think that they are a danger to the media industry. “In fact, it’s a pirate radio station that should never exist and those funding them should know they are funding a hostile institution.”

Studio 7 Among Top Credible News Sources in Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
via Survey: Studio 7 Among Top Credible News Sources in Zimbabwe from VOA-Zimbabwe by Irwin  Chifera, Gibbs Dube A media credibility index compiled by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) shows the Voice of America’s Studio 7 is among the top media outlets that provide the most trustworthy news in Zimbabwe. Presenting the findings of the credibility index compiled after a three-month survey of 11 media outlets, MMPZ programs officer, Sibusisiwe Dube, said the electronic media carried the most credible news with an overall credibility rate of 97 percent. Surveyed media outlets in the electronic category were Studio 7, Star FM, Zi FM and Zimbabwe Television and SW Radio Africa. Studio 7 and ZiFM came out tops having carried the most credible stories between April and June this year.  The index shows that all the 98 stories carried by Studio 7 during the survey period were credible. The three daily newspapers surveyed, The Herald, The Daily News and Newsday, achieved an aggregate credibility standing of 94 percent. Individually, The Daily News scored 99 percent credibility rate for stories it carried during the period, Newsday 98 percent and the state-controlled Herald newspaper 86 percent respectively. The index says The Herald carried the highest number of untrustworthy stories during the period under review. Weekly newspapers got an aggregate credibility rate of 96 percent with the Standard singled out as the most professional in terms of journalistic practice. The surveyed media collectively carried 1,036 stories in the three-month period and of these 993 were credible. Other key findings of the survey are that Studio 7 stories were exclusively based on named sources while the Herald had the highest number of stories with unnamed sources followed by ZiFM and the Zimbabwe Independent. The MMPZ said during the period under review, the public or state-controlled media carried the most undependable news with a combined credibility rating of 88 percent, 11 percent lower than the aggregate 99 percent achieved by the private media. The media monitoring group said common weaknesses in monitored stories included misrepresentations, lack of balance, fairness and downright manipulation of facts to further particular interests. Thabani Nyoni, spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said it’s true that most Zimbabweans listen to VOA Studio 7 for balanced news. He said state-media are unpopular because they promote Zanu PF interests. But Zanu PF activist Morris Ngwenya disagreed, saying state-controlled media are the most credible sources of news and information in the country.

Mugabe goes biblical by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
via Mugabe goes biblical – DailyNews Live  by Bridget Mananavire and Xolisani Ncube Mugabe yesterday went biblical, saying people wished to live longer but emphasised that only the spiritual life was perpetual. In an address to mourners at the burial of Enos Nkala, a founding member of Zanu and former Cabinet minister, the 89-year-old Mugabe said people should not worry about where and how they live. President Robert Mugabe being sworn-in for a seventh term. “The pastor said its only transformation (from one life to another), but pastor we are men of flesh, we live not the spiritual life, we live the physical life,” Mugabe told mourners at the National Heroes Acre. “We want our bodies to live life long if they can sustain. “It’s a wish, against God’s wish that life can be perpetual… but we live for a short period and the spiritual one is eternal.” In an address lasting for more than one hour, Mugabe, said the shorter life on earth is the one he deems superior. “But this short one, the one where we interact and we have the consciousness of mind, the one where we are organised, family, land… it’s the one that seems to matter more than the other,” Mugabe said. “We have to be taught to realise that it’s the inferior life. “We are men of flesh, if we realise we are just bundles of flesh in this life then we wouldn’t worry about where we live and how we live, but God also wants us to worry about this life, because then as we are taught if you live it in accordance to certain rules, then it will save us for the other life.” He said it is because of the earthly worries that man fight for their rights and the reason why Zimbabwe has refused to be colonised. Mugabe has looked increasingly to God to shore up his claim to leadership. In power since 1980, the political firebrand and outspoken foe of the United States and Britain, has made repeated trips to Singapore for cataract treatment, the most recent of which came before his re-election. The Zanu PF leader, spent the entire address speaking about the history of the liberation struggle and how the two personally knew each other before and after independence. Mugabe appeared strong and fired-up during the presidential campaign, and managed to win another term that extends to 2018. Meanwhile, some official from Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC attended Nkala’s funeral. Sekai Holland, outgoing MDC minister of National Healing said her party paid tribute to Nkala, whom she said had fought a democratic struggle. “The (MDC) Guardian Council is here from the party in our personal capacities, the democratic struggle that was waged and won through the liberation goes on,” Holland said. “Multiparty democracy is part of the democratic struggle there is no contradiction.” “So I am a proud MDC member as the chair of the Guardian Council and we are here to pay tribute to a liberation hero that’s all. Even (James) Makore who worked with him a lot is here with me.” She said she had had the opportunity of personally working with Nkala. “I first met Nkala when he was released from prison. After 10 years of incarceration, we met at the Mulungushi Village (in Zambia). “I was the representative of the party in the Australian and Asian region, and when we met them in Mulungushi Village; it was the first time that the Central Committee, the Dare Rechimurenga and the diplomatic men met as the Chimurenga General Council. It was in 1974,” she said.

New Dawn shuts down Zimbabwe gold mine by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
via New Dawn shuts down Zimbabwe gold mine | MINING.com  by Frik Els Shares in New Dawn Mining (TSE: ND) plunged nearly 14% on Friday after the junior gold mining announced it’s shutting down its 85%-owned Zimbabwe mine. The Toronto-listed small cap is little traded and is worth $12.7 million with 45 million shares outstanding. The Dalny mine located in the Kadoma region 175km southeast of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and produced 4,711 ounce in the first half of the year. New Dawn produced some $19,000 ounces from its six mines in the Southern African country. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority cut power to the project over problems with bill payments and a statement by the Toronto-based company blames the “substantial fall in the price of gold over the last nine months, exacerbated by the impact of previously reported operational problems at the mine, has resulted in a serious liquidity problem.” The Dalny mine which employs 900 people will be put on care and maintenance and staff have been placed on unpaid leave. The mine’s outstanding trade payables currently total about $3 million. New Dawn said increasing power and staff costs, harsh royalty regime and an illegal strike contributed to the decision and the company also lays some of the blame for the shutdown on the African nation’s indigenisation policy: A major underlying factor contributing to the Dalny Mine’s current difficulties has been the more than two year delay in the still incomplete approval process for the Company’s proposed Plan of Indigenisation. A timely approval of the Plan of Indigenisation had been expected to provide the Company with access to sufficient investment capital to fully fund the development of a cost efficient operation at the Dalny Mine. After years of underdevelopment, had an investment program in the Dalny Mine been implemented and completed as originally anticipated, the Dalny Mine would have been positioned to maintain profitable operations in today’s environment of lower gold prices and increasing costs.

Komichi’s trial casts more doubt on ZEC’s credibility by ZimSitRep – 08-31-2013
With email comment by Eddie Cross: “Komichi is the Vice Chairman of the MDC. He is a professional Engineer who used to help manage a major coal fired power station in Zimbabwe. In the past elections he was responsible for relations with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Just after the Special Voting exercise, a cleaner found discarded completed ballot forms in a dustbin. This was reported to the MDC who collected them and handed them to the Vice Chairman for submission to the ZEC as part of our evidence that the Special Voting Exercise was shambolic and open to fraud. He was arrested and has now been in custody for 6 weeks. His “trial” is a complete mockery of justice and a clear example of the use of the whole judicial system to intimidate and suppress all opponents to the Zimbabwe regime. The fact that he is being held in leg irons and handcuffs even though he is no threat or flight risk is yet another example of the appalling record of the judicial system in Zimbabwe. It take great courage and determination to stand up to this system and I salute Mr. Komichi for his stance and pray for his family.” via Komichi’s trial casts more doubt on ZEC’s credibility The MDC’s position that the just ended elections were not credible, free and fair was further strengthened in court today in the trial of Senator Morgen Komichi after it emerged that there were serious irregularities in the special voting exercise. Senator Komichi is the MDC deputy national chairperson who is facing false charges of contravening the Electoral Act. The confusion which marred the special voting and harmonised elections continued to emerge after it was exposed at the Harare Magistrares’ Courts that Mugove Chiginya did not vote in the local council, parliamentary and presidential elections during the special vote period despite his ballot papers showing that he had cast his vote. The ballot papers were presented in court as part of the exhibit. Chiginya is a police officer based at Mbare Police Station and his ballot papers were found dumped in a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre which was the command center of ZEC. These details were revealed at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts during the cross examination of Utoile Silaigwana, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), deputy chief elections officer by the defence counsel, Alec Muchadehama. Senator Komichi was arrested last month after handing over ballot papers belonging to Chiginya to senior ZEC officials. It emerged in court today that although Chiginya’s ballot papers were delivered to Mt Pleasant Hall polling station where the special voting exercise was taking place on 14 and 15 July, the police officer did not cast his vote although the ballot papers presented in court showed that he had voted. It further emerged in court that the special voting exercise was shambolic as there was no voters’ roll but a voter register, making the voting process highly porous as people including those not on the voters’ roll being able to vote more than once.` Silaigwana failed to explain why ZEC had failed to stop the chaos claiming that he was not well versed with most of the questions asked by the defence counsel. Meanwhile, Muchadehama had to seek the assistance of the trial magistrate, Tendai Mahwe for Senator Komichi to be removed from leg shackles during the trial proceedings. Since the start of the trial on Tuesday, Senator Komichi has been appearing in court in leg irons and would spend the whole day in such a state, a situation which restrained him during proceedings.