- Mugabe’s cabinet choices dash hopes of reform
- Has Mugabe floored Mnangagwa?
- Mandela epic
- US to destroy ivory stocks in effort to stop illegal elephant poaching
- ZCTU appeals to court over banned march
- MDC formations taken to task over Shadow Cabinet
- ZANU PF ups ‘sanctions’ rhetoric to pre-empt failures
- Dumped ballots should have been handed to Zanu PF – ZEC
- Zimbabwe Cabinet Announcement …with archive links
- Jonathan Moyo bounces back as Information Minister
- Mugabe retains dead wood in new Cabinet
- In Bulawayo, a decade of waiting for electricity
- Man Booker shortlist revealed
- Being a councillor is about serving, not self-enrichment
- Fears of disease outbreak in Harare as water woes persist
- MDC-T supporters denied drought relief food aid
- Tycoon ‘feeds’ army
- Mugabe cabinet delay hits education
- Mugabe under fire for Cabinet hold-up
- Recent literature on instability and intrastate conflict in Zimbabwe
- Mnangagwa scoffs at rift reports
- Zim banks ranked poorly
- Air Zimbabwe Boss Lands On Hard Patch
- Gold panning destroys Mazowe River
Mugabe’s cabinet choices dash hopes of reform by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Robert Mugabe’s cabinet choices dash hopes of reform – Telegraph by Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg9:31PM BST 10 Sep 2013 President Robert Mugabe’s new cabinet includes hardliners accused of murdering opposition supporters and of destroying the economy over the last 14 years. But his choices indicate that he narrowly supports vice president Joyce Mujuru to succeed him when he retires or dies. Mr Mugabe, 89, flushed with success of a landslide election victory has turned his back on any possibility of rapprochement with his western critics by appointing a cabinet dominated by hardliners who obstructed political reform in the recently ended inclusive government. The team includes his election agent, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who headed up the team which delivered victory at the July polls which many critics say were rigged. Mr Mugabe won more than 60 percent of the vote against his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who polled a feeble 37 percent. Mr Mnangagwa, who is known for his determined ambition to succeed Mr Mugabe when he retires or dies, is justice minister. He heads a justice system widely believed to be loyal to Mr Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, and lacking independence. He is also accused by human rights groups of involvement in mass murder of opposition supporters after independence. He is a trained lawyer and was tortured while in detention in what was then Rhodesia, but saved from the gallows by white lawyers who protested he was too young to die Mr Mnangagwa has been associated with many of the worst excesses of human rights violations since independence. However he has been moved away from the more powerful defence ministry in Mr Mugabe’s new cabinet – a move analysts say is designed to keep him secure in his job while also indicating that Mr Mugabe would rather not have him as his successor. Jonathan Moyo, the maverick one-time academic who designed repressive legislation in 2001 which curtails media freedom and which has resulted in the arrest of many journalists, has been brought in from the cold to head up the information ministry again. Mr Moyo regularly writes columns in the state media which some analysts describe as hate speech. Patrick Chinamasa’s tenure in the justice ministry saw extraordinary manipulation of laws to jail supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change. During this period many judges viewed as independent were forced from their jobs and replaced with judges loyal to Mr Mugabe’s Zanu PF party. He now heads up the finance ministry and is considered shrewd. However he takes over a country bankrupted by the costs of the election and which will struggle to even pay its public servants. Zimbabwe historian David Moore said Mr Chinamasa’s appointment as finance minsiter was critical: “Remember that Chinamasa was acting finance minister in 2008 when the Zimbabwean dollar was canned and Zimbabwe lost its effective sovereignty as it adoped its ‘multi-currency’ stance, meaning the US dollar became the real currency, and he has been reminded, in London, earlier this year that he should adopt West friendly policies if Zimbabwe was to return to the fold.” Other analysts were depressed at the retention of Mr Mugabe’s old favourites in favour of reformists: “This cabinet sends a message of reassertion of the old guard, and is sending a message of consolidation of the old Zanu PF strategy. There is no indication of reform in this cabinet. Unless there is a change of messaging in the next few months, Zanu PF is battening down the hatches and consolidating its indigenisation programme,” said veteran Zimbabwe political analyst Brian Raftopoulos. He said the results of the July 31 elections were “very depressing.” David Coltart, the outgoing education minister from the Movement for Democratic Change who served the inclusive government and managed to raise funds to re-open all Zimbabwe’s schools which closed during during the country’s world beating inflation, said his successor and former deputy Lazarus Dokora was “a decent man who will probably continue most of my policies but will struggle to finance them”. He and other analysts believe some of the most controversial ministers in the previous cabinet have been demoted from major ministries to minor ones. The man who drove the indigenisation policy which was the major plank of Mr Mugabe’s campaign, Saviour Kasukawere, has lost that portfolio and has been given water affairs. His successor, the former wildlife minister Frances Nhema, is so “incompetent”, according to an analyst, that insiders say he could not drive any indigenisation policy, indicating that Mr Mugabe may be worried about takeovers of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign-owned companies. Obert Mpofu, who conjured up a takeover by the state of private diamond mining leases, has lost the powerful mines portfolio and has been moved to transport. Mr Mpofu owns an undeclared multimillion dollar fleet of heavy transporters used in the mining industry. Retained as Local Affairs minister is Ignatius Chombo who ordered local authorities to write off millions in debt ahead of election – a move is likely to threaten delivery of services and jeopardise the salaries of municipal officials and workers. Mr Mugabe’s loyalists are largely divided into three factions, those who support him and no other; a group of moderates who favour Mrs Mujuru as his successor; and hardliners who support Mr Mnangagwa.
Has Mugabe floored Mnangagwa? by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Has Mugabe floored Mnangagwa? | The Zimbabwean by Adrian Mutigwe Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe today announced the first post-Government of National Unity cabinet in which he seemed to have dealt a body blow to Presidential aspirant, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ambitions. Mnangagwa has since independence served mostly in the security cluster but has now been relegated to the less powerful Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs portfolio from Defence now in the hands of Sidney Sekeramayi. Popularly known as the “Crocodile” in political circles, Mnangagwa, insiders were quick to point out, could still land the State Security Ministry and this was cemented by Mugabe’s failure to name a minister responsible for the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation for the first time since majority rule 33 years ago. However, the former guerrilla leader, in a move that has sent shockwaves in media circles brought back from the cold political turn-coat Jonathan Moyo to the fold as the Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister. Moyo wasted no time telling bemused journalists there would be no media reforms. “When one is given an assignment, you feel like hitting the ground running,” a visibly elated Moyo quipped. When asked if he would look at reforming the notorious Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, one of the most hated media laws, Moyo did not mince his words. “You do not reform something that is not deformed,” he said. Moyo will be deputised by former ZBC journalist and ZiFM propriator Supa Mandiwanzira Party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has been appointed Senior Minister in the President’s Office. There was no announcement of a second deputy president. Reports have indicated Mugabe now wants to turn the party’s annual conference set for December into a mini-congress and get Moyo into the presidium. As usual Mnangagwa was slippery coming out and getting past the hordes of journalists without a word. By contrast Mnangagwa’s arch-foe deputy President Joice Mujuru appeared hip-swaying. In an indication that could point to a shift in policy, Mugabe moved the acerbic Saviour Kasukuwere to an obscure ministry of Water. Obert Mpofu and Webster Shamu lost out with Mpofu being moved from the influential Mines ministry that presided over the country’s diamonds while Shamu has been thrown into a ministry that includes ICTs. The wily old fox could have outsmarted all factions battling to succeed him amid reports the 89 year-old leader will seek a fresh mandate to lead Zanu PF in December. The only causality from Mugabe’s previous cabinet is Herbert Murerwa whose lands ministry was given to Douglas Mombeshora while the Finance ministry has been given to Patrick Chinamasa. Chinamasa was Mnangawa’s preferred candidate for the party chairmanship post in the botched 2004 palace coup allegedly engineered by Jonathan Moyo. Another returnee is Dzikamayi Mavhaire famed for the “Mugabe must go” rant in the late 90s. He has been awarded with the Energy and Power Development portfolio. Mugabe also circumvented the new constitution that dealt away with provincial governors by appointing Ministers responsible for Provincial Affairs including the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.
Mandela epic by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Mandela epic sweeps Toronto film fest off its feet | Arts and Culture | Film | Mail & Guardian 10 SEP 2013 06:45 SAPA “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, due out in SA in November, has received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the film about the life of former president Nelson Mandela, received standing ovations and rave reviews when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday. “The film received an unprecedented eight-minute standing ovation coupled with a rapturous applause at the festival venue, the Roy Thomson Hall, resulting in social media platforms buzzing with praise for the film,” the producers said in a statement on Monday. Producer Anant Singh, who owns the rights to the autobiography on which the film is based, said the making of film was a long journey. “I am delighted that I finally got it done. It has been worth the wait and also worth all of the hard work that went into it over all of those years.” With a script written by writer and screenwriter William Nicholson – who has written Sarafina!, Les Misérables and Gladiator – this adaptation of Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom is said to be an “epic sweep” in the film industry. Singh began communicating with Mandela while he was still in prison and acquired the rights to the autobiography in 1996. The film features Idris Elba, who plays Mandela; the UK’s Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean) as the struggle activist’s wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela; and South African actors Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, Catch a Fire); Carl Beukes (Isidingo, Jozi) and Gys de Villiers (Verraaiers, Binnelanders), to name a few. The film will be released in South Africa in November and thereafter released to the rest of the world. – Sapa
US to destroy ivory stocks in effort to stop illegal elephant poaching by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via US to destroy ivory stocks in effort to stop illegal elephant poaching | Environment | theguardian.com by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent White House to crush 6m tons of seized ivory as it tries to elevate wildlife trafficking to an urgent national security concern The Obama administration said on Monday it would destroy all 6m tons of its stocks of seized ivory – potentially millions in contraband – stepping up efforts to crush an illegal trade that has brought wild elephants to the brink of extinction. The ivory destruction, announced at a White House event addressed by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, was part of a broader effort by the administration on Monday to elevate wildlife trafficking from narrow conservation interest to urgent national security concern. Destroying the ivory would signal that Obama was committed to stopping illegal trafficking in wildlife that has devastated species such as elephants and rhinos, and is a growing security threat, officials told the audience. “Rising demand for ivory is fuelling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent,” the interior secretary, Sally Jewell, said. “We will continue to work aggressively … to disrupt and prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory, and we encourage other nations to join us in that effort.” The destruction – which officials said would be public – was scheduled to take place on 8 October, officials said. Jewell also announced a new advisory council, made up of former administration officials, conservation and business leaders, to help guide the crackdown on the criminal poaching syndicates. Obama has given growing prominence to the dangers posed by wildlife trafficking over the last year amid an explosion of the illegal trade. Jewell said wildlife trafficking had doubled over the past five years into a global trade worth $10bn. Poaching of elephants had risen by a factor of eight in Tanzania. Killing of rhinos for their horns had gone up by a factor of 50, Jewell said. State Department officials now openly refer to wildlife trafficking as a national security crisis. As many as 35,000 African elephants were killed for their tusks last year. That amounted to 96 elephant killed every day, Clinton said. “At this rate, African forest elephants will be extinct within 10 years,” said Clinton. The profits from the illegal ivory trade were also fuelling extremist groups, including affiliates of al-Qaida in Somalia, she said. A zero-tolerance strategy was the only way to stop wildlife trafficking, Clinton said. “You can’t be a little bit OK with buying ivory goods, because that opens the floodgates. Therefore we are doing everything we can to stop the trafficking, stop the demand and stop the killing,” Clinton said. Most of the demand for trafficked ivory was from Asia, but there are also American buyers. The owners of two Manhattan jewellery shops were convicted last year of selling ivory trinkets. Conservation groups said America’s decision to destroy its ivory stocks would hurt the contraband market. A number of other countries – including the Philippines – have also destroyed their stocks of seized ivory. The Philippines crushed 15m tons of seized ivory beneath industrial rollers earlier this year. The stockpiles of contraband ivory were seen as a “time bomb” by conservation groups, creating confusion about governments’ seriousness to ban the ivory trade, and keeping prices high for trafficked goods. Officials said the seized US ivory included raw tusks and carved ivory intercepted by the authorities over the past 25 years. The administration was also thinking of introducing harsher penalties for wildlife trafficking. “I think the penalties are not significant enough for wildlife trafficking,” said David Hayes, a former interior official who was named to the advisory council on Monday. “We are not creating the kind of disincentive for wildlife trafficking that this problem deserves.”
ZCTU appeals to court over banned march by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via ZCTU appeals to court over banned march | SW Radio Africa The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has made an urgent High Court application, seeking to bar the police from interfering with their march planned for Saturday. Dzimbabwe Chimbga from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told SW Radio Africa Tuesday that the matter will be heard by Justice Mathonsi Wednesday at 11 am. Reports Tuesday said the police had banned the march against the violation of workers’ rights. In a shock u-turn the police banned the march citing ‘security fears’ soon, after giving it an all clear. According to Chimbga, on August 20th the police gave the march the nod only to write a week later withdrawing the permission. The ZCTU, the largest labour union in the country, intends to commemorate the September 14th 2006 crackdown on a workers protest, during which the police assaulted trade union leaders Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibhebhe. Plans are that the commemoration will start with the cleaning up of streets at Copacabana in the Kopje district of Harare, followed by a march to the Globe House between 9.30 am and 1 pm. A police notice however, said ‘the political situation is not yet conducive for such events as unscrupulous elements might take advantage and hijack the whole programme’. Chimbgwa said the ZCTU will argue in court that if the police had such intelligence it was incumbent upon them to discharge their duties and act accordingly. He said the police should go ahead and ‘monitor’ the proceedings, as they stated in their initial notice
MDC formations taken to task over Shadow Cabinet by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via MDC formations taken to task over Shadow Cabinet | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo The MDC formations have been urged to stop whingeing about President Robert Mugabe’s long-awaited Cabinet and put their own governance systems in place. Mugabe was declared the winner of the recent disputed poll on August 3rd and for five weeks, kept the nation guessing regarding the make-up of his new Cabinet. ZANU PF claimed that Mugabe was delaying because he was being “methodical” and “systematic” in his selection. But in the past two weeks opposition political parties have roundly criticised Mugabe for dithering, saying the absence of ministers was depriving government departments of much-needed policy direction. The MDC-T attributed the delay to the confusion within ZANU PF: “We are going to have a confused Cabinet and the explanation for the delays is that Mugabe does not have talent within his party from which he can pick his ministers,” MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News Tuesday. Nhlanhla Dube, of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said the indecision indicated that Mugabe was haunted by the failure that has stalked ZANU PF since. There were also suggestions that the selection process was giving Mugabe a headache, with reports of fierce jostling for posts from the two main factions in his party. Others said Mugabe was delaying in the hope that his main rival, the MDC-T, would finally relent from its stated position and accept posts in the new Cabinet. But human rights activist Irene Petras was the first to break ranks Tuesday, saying instead of complaining about ZANU PF’s failures, the MDCs should be putting their own systems in place and engaging Zimbabweans on crucial issues. “Instead of the MDCs crying louder than the bereaved about the delays in announcing a Cabinet – something which is totally out of their control – one would have expected them by now to have announced shadow cabinets and begun engaging stakeholders with their ideas and initiatives, putting themselves into the public domain and raising the level of public debate and input. “People are quickly tiring of the incessant complaints and victim mentality,” Petras said in a Facebook post. Economic rights activist Hopewell Gumbo echoed Petras’s sentiments, adding that the MDCs were “unnecessarily investing time debating what is in Mugabe’s head instead of crafting sustainable policies”. Speaking to SW Radio Africa Gumbo said: “Zimbabweans tend to waste a lot of valuable time trailing Mugabe when we would be better off planning and scheming ahead of him”. Gumbo said it would be naïve for anyone to think that the presence of a Mugabe-led Cabinet means an efficient government. He added: “Over the years Mugabe’s appointments have taken many forms, including the so-called War Cabinet, but these have not yielded any benefits for Zimbabweans. “Instead what we have seen is more and more ruin of our lives and resources, as well as a partisan form of ‘Cabineting’ that does nothing to improve the lives of citizens.” Gumbo said it would not have made any difference at all even if Mugabe had appointed his Cabinet a week after his inauguration: “What matters is the calibre of the appointees and whether or not their policy direction will be people-oriented – and that is something ZANU PF has failed to provide over the years.
ZANU PF ups ‘sanctions’ rhetoric to pre-empt failures by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via ZANU PF ups ‘sanctions’ rhetoric to pre-empt failures | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell ZANU PF is said to be deliberately increasing its rhetoric about the Western imposed targeted ‘sanctions’, as part of a pre-emptive strategy to secure a scapegoat for its failures. In recent weeks the propaganda about the restrictive measures has been ratcheted up to new levels, with ZANU PF officials and the state media repeatedly blaming the measures for all the problems Zimbabwe is facing. The US, the European Union, Canada and Australia have all maintained restrictive measures on Robert Mugabe, key members of his regime and some state linked companies, since they were imposed over a decade ago. The EU and Australia this year suspended some of the measures in a show of good faith, with the Western nations insisting that real democratic progress is needed before the restrictions are lifted entirely. Geoffrey Van Orden, a Member of the European Parliament who has campaigned for years for democratic change in Zimbabwe, said that the ZANU PF spin about ‘sanctions’ is “nonsense.” He explained that the measures were an international reaction to the brutality of the Mugabe regime. “The EU decided to introduce measures that would impact not on the people of Zimbabwe, but on those responsible for the brutality and the terrible infringement of human rights and the breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe,” Van Orden told SW Radio Africa He explained how the measures are specifically targeted against a relatively small number of people and companies linked to the regime. The measures include an arms embargo, travel bans and assets freezes, and are currently still in place only against 10 individuals and two entities. (See the current list here ) “Mugabe and his people have always screamed that this is why there are economic problems and hardships in the country and that is completely nonsense. This was a response to those hardships. It was the very fact that Mugabe was destroying a vibrant and successful economy and brutally taking it out on anyone opposed to him. It was in response to that,” Van Orden explained. In the wake of the disputed elections in Zimbabwe, observers and analysts have argued that democratic progress has not been achieved and not enough change has happened to warrant the removal of the Western measures. The US has already stated that it will be not be reviewing its policies towards Mugabe’s regime, as a result of concerns and irregularities reported during the July 31st poll. Australia and the EU have also echoed their concern about the polls, but have not made a final decision on the measures. ZANU PF’s rhetoric about the measures meanwhile continues to build, which political analyst Charles Mangongera said was a “pre-emptive move.” “It’s a realisation on the part of ZANU PF strategists that they have a monumental challenge to deliver on the electoral promises they made before and after the elections,” Mangongera told SW Radio Africa. He explained that promises of job creation, debt relief and massive financial investment made by ZANU PF are unrealistic promises, made as part of an electioneering campaign. He said that Western measures have always provided a convenient scapegoat for ZANU PF’s failures. “The propaganda now is a pre-emptive attempt to shift the blame from their ineptitude to the sanctions. They (ZANU PF) have to start creating imaginary enemies to blame for the failures to deliver, and sanctions are an obvious target,” Mangongera said
Dumped ballots should have been handed to Zanu PF – ZEC by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Dumped ballots should have been handed to Zanu PF – ZEC official tells court | The Zimbabwean. The person who found ballot papers dumped in a dust bin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) should have handed them over to Zanu PF not to the MDC, Tendai Pamire, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deputy director of public relations said at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts. This was said in court today by Pamire during cross examination by Alec Muchadehama, the defence counsel of Senator Morgen Komichi, the MDC deputy national chairperson. Senator Komichi is on trial facing false charges of contravening the Electoral Act after he handed over to ZEC officials an envelope with marked ballot papers. Pamire queried why the person who picked the ballot papers had decided to hand them over to Senator Komichi instead of handing them over to Zanu PF, or ZEC, which have offices closer to the HICC. “If the person who picked up the ballots wanted to hand them over to a political party and not the police or ZEC, why did the person not go to Zanu PF, which is closer to the HICC than Harvest House?” said Pamire. However, it was pointed out to him by the defence counsel that it was impossible and not logical for that person to do so as the ballot papers were marked in favour of the MDC and President Tsvangirai. The ballot papers belonged to a police officer, Mugove Chiginya who was supposed to have cast his vote during the special voting exercise on July 14 and 15. However, the papers were found dumped in a dust bin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC). “The ZEC officials were shocked as the security at the HICC was tight. We were shocked because with that security we could not imagine that a bin full of ballots could be found,” said Pamire. The trial continues tomorrow.
Zimbabwe Cabinet Announcement by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Cabinet Announcement Live Blog | The Herald September 10, 2013 [links to individuals courtesy of the ZimbabweSituation archivist, images courtesy of The Herald]
Webster Shamu – Information and Communication TechnologySavior Kasukuwere – Environment Lazarus Dokora – Primary and Secondary Education Olivia Muchena – Higher and Tertiary Education David Parirenyatwa – Health Kembo Mohadi – Home Affairs Oppah Muchinguri – Women’s Affairs Mike Bimha – Industry and Commerce Nicholas Goche – Labour Walter Chidhakwa – Mines Obert Mpofu – Transport Sithembiso Nyoni – Small and Medium Enterprises Simon Khaya Moyo – Senior Minister without Portfolio Joseph Made – Agriculture Flora Buka – Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Josiah Hungwe – Minister of State for Vocational Training Sylvester Nguni – Minister of State in Vice President Mujuru’s office Cabinet has been reduced from 33 to 26 The President appointed 5 non-constituency ministers in terms of the new constitution. They are Prof Jonathan Moyo, Lazarus Dokora, Dr Joseph Made, Martin Dinha Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs: Bulawayo – Eunice Moyo Harare – Mirriam Chikukwa Manicaland – Chris Mushowe Mash Central – Martin Dinha Mash West – Faber Chidarikire Mash East – Simbaneuta Mudarikwa Masvingo – Kudakwashe Bhasikiti Matebeleland North – Cain Mathema Matabeleland South – Abednico Ncube Midlands – Jason Machaya Deputy Ministers: David Murapira andPaddy Zhanda – Deputy Ministers of Agriculture Dr Sekeramayi has no deputy at the moment Ziyambi Ziyambi – Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Alice Mabuwa – Deputy Minister of Industry and commerce Munacho Mutezo – Deputy Minister of Energy Simon Musanhu – Deputy minister of Environment Dr Samuel Undenge – Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Paul Chimedza – Deputy Minister of Health Tendai Savanhu – Deputy Minister of Lands Biggie Matiza – Deputy Minister of Local Government Novert Mukonora – Deputy Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Tabeth Malinga – Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Petronella Kagonye – Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Abigail Damasane – Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs
Jonathan Moyo bounces back as Information Minister by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Jonathan Moyo bounces back as Information Minister | The Zimbabwean by Nelson Sibanda The much-awaited new cabinet following the July 31 polls won by President Robert Mugabe and his party, Zanu (PF) is being announced at State House, with information received so far confirming that Jonathan Moyo has bounced back as the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity.
Moyo held the same post until he was pressured out in late 2006 following his alleged involvement in a palace coup to topple President Mugabe. He is seen as the architect of loathed media laws that led to the closure of some newspapers and shrinking media space.
Mugabe retains dead wood in new Cabinet by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Mugabe retains dead wood in new Cabinet – DailyNews Live. President Robert Mugabe is retaining dead wood and old guard as ministers while new Members of Parliament and senators like Supa Mandiwanzira, Paul Chimedza, Tabitha Kanengoni, Tongai Muzenda, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Munacho Mutezo, Tendai Savanhu, Paul Mavhima, Joel Biggie Matiza, David Parirenyatwa, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, Fortune Chasi, Dzikamayi Mavhaire, Fred Moyo and Abgail Damasani will also get ministerial posts. The above new MPs and senators have been summoned to State House. The old faces that have also been invited to Mugabe’s office are, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Sydney Sekeramayi, Ignatius Chombo, Francis Nhema, Obert Mpofu, Kembo Mohadi, Saviour Kasukuwere, Nicholas Goche, Didymus Mutasa, Sylvester Nguni, Patrick Chinamasa, Webster Shamu, Olivia Muchena, Simbarashe Mbengegwi, Flora Bhuka, Samuel Undenge, Martin Dinha, Cain Mathema, Chris Mushowe and Walter Mzembi.
In Bulawayo, a decade of waiting for electricity by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via In Bulawayo, a decade of waiting for electricity | Radio Netherlands Worldwide By Lesley Moyo, Bulawayo Gladys Ndlovu always dreads the dawn of a new day. It always means making a long trek to the bush to look for firewood, the only source of energy for the 51 year old and her family. She’s been waiting 10 years for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to connect her suburb to the power grid. Ndlovu resides in one of Bulawayo’s sprawling, high-density suburbs, Cowdray Park, which is expanding rapidly. The latest census figures puts its population at over 50,000. The section of the suburb where she lives has gone for over ten years without electricity, as power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) drags its feet to connect them to the power grid. While the establishment of new suburbs has decreased the pressure on the city authorities, they’re still faced with a long list of people looking for housing. The city council housing waiting list is estimated at 100,000 people. Poaching wood “We walk for more than seven kilometres to look for firewood. Sometimes we are harassed by city council game rangers or farm owners who sometimes catch us poaching firewood on their farmland,” said a disgruntled Ndlovu. While alternatives such as gas and paraffin are easily available, these products are more expensive than firewood. Ndlovu simply cannot afford them and her meagre earnings from her pension cannot sustain her and the family. The city by-laws prohibit the cutting down of trees and perpetrators are often fined. But residents have long defied the city council on this matter. “A governance issue” Ambrose Sibindi, the organizing secretary of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), says that while his association does not condone the wanton cutting of trees, the residents are in a crisis. “There is a law that protects the environment but residents are in a difficult situation. We do not encourage people to cut down trees but there are people who live in suburbs like Pumula South, Cowdray Park and Emganwini who have gone for more than 10 years without electricity. “That is why these people then resort to using firewood. We do not blame residents because this is a governance issue,” said Sibindi. Deforestation Sibindi said there has been talks between the power utility and resident associations, but so far there has not been any move by the power utility to address the situation. The Forestry Commission’s forestry and wildlife ecologist, Mthelisi Msebele says deforestation is a serious problem. “In 2002, the forests were denser and there was more canopy cover compared to 2012, and that is why we are saying deforestation is a serious problem,” said Msebele. “The period between June and October is the time when we experience a growth in deforestation largely because of wood poaching and incidents of field fires.” Meanwhile, the long wait for electricity continues for many.
Man Booker shortlist revealed by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Man Booker shortlist revealed | The Bookseller The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2013 has been revealed. Shortlisted are: NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names (Chatto), Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (Granta), Jim Crace’s Harvest (Picador), Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland (Bloomsbury), Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate) and Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary (Viking). Two writers have previously been shortlisted: Jim Crace in 1997 for Quarantine, and Colm Tóibín for The Blackwater Lightship in 1999 and in 2004 with The Master. Catton, who will be 28 by the date of the winner announcement, is the youngest on the shortlist. Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane told this morning’s press conference: “We looked for books that sought to extend the power and possibility of the form. THis is in keeping with the history of the novel. We wanted novel novels.” He added: “The judging process has been more UN than Dodge City. Our tools were evidence, advocacy and debate.” Jon Howells, Waterstones spokesperson, commented: “With a multicultural shortlist dominated by women I think the bookies [who have backed Jim Crace’s Harvest] may be wrong this time. It’s five years since the last ‘surprise’ winner – The White Tiger – and I think this shortlist gives the judges a lot of options. The question of ‘what is a novel?’ is raised again with Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary – at 101 pages it makes Julian Barnes’ 160 page The Sense of an Ending look, if not like War and Peace, then at least Crime and Punishment. “This is an impossibly tough year to call, but I will be placing a small bet on Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being: I think it shares some of the spirit of Life of Pi that was such a memorable winner in 2002, and I think it might be time for another surprise.” Jonathan Ruppin, web editor at Foyles, said: “I genuinely think – everybody always says it is a diverse shortlist – but I think it is genuinely true this year. There are a lot of commercial titles in it, I think there is something in this shortlist for everybody. There is no Hilary Mantel to take away all of the headlines, but if anyone other than Jim Crace or Eleanor Catton wins it, I will be absolutely staggered. Those are two outstanding novels that would have been a contender for any year of the Man Booker.” The Bookseller’s fiction previewer Cathy Rentzenbrink commented that it was a “very exciting” shortlist, saying: “Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries and Jim Crace’s Harvest seem to be very clearly fancied, and considered particularly exceptional. I’d also say that Nao, a character who features in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, is the most compelling character I’ve come across all year.” The shortlisted authors all win £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book, while the winner of the Man Booker Prize—to be announced on 15th October—will receive a further £50,000. The judging panel comprises chair Robert Macfarlane, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Natalie Haynes, Martha Kearney and Stuart Kelly.
Being a councillor is about serving, not self-enrichment by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Editorial commemnt: Being a councillor is about serving, not self-enrichment | The Herald Everyone expects local councils to perform, regardless of whether they are city councils, municipalities, town boards or rural district councils. Zanu-PF has already put those councillors who belong to that party on notice that they will be monitored and that the party will have no hesitation in getting rid of those who cannot deliver. Legally, since they are elected, this might mean that the party will not sponsor them in anything ever again, but the message is clear: “Deliver or your political career is dead.” We hope the MDC-T will follow suit. Almost all councillors belong to one of these parties and all need to understand that there will be no forgiveness if they foul up. The next election is only in five years and some very healthy competition from the two main parties over whose councillors are best will certainly help the residents of their areas. All councillors need to understand for a start that their job is very much part-time. It is not a living, and it is not a career. The allowances are simply to cover costs, these days petrol or bus fares plus airtime. The councillors give their own time for free with the allowances simply there so they are not out of pocket. Councillors basically have two functions. They have to attend the meetings of the committee they sit on and the full council meetings, and they have to keep their finger on the pulse of their ward. The meetings are the formal part of the job. Decisions have to be made. Council officials prepare agendas with the full reports required and the options available and councillors debate and vote. That is simple. A few dollars a month for transport is all that is required for fuel or fares, since the tea at meetings is free. The second part of the job, keeping an eye on their ward, does not take up much extra time. Councillors almost always live in the ward they represent. Going to work, going to the shops, taking children or grandchildren to school, going to church and they criss-cross their ward every day doing the sort of things everyone does. So long as they keep their eyes open as they do the normal rounds and have their phone handy they can sort a lot out without effort. The big difference between them and their neighbours is that they can do something about problems. They turn a tap and nothing happens, so they phone the water engineer. They see a pothole, or a pipe leak, and they phone their district office. They notice garbage bags out on a street at 3pm, and they inquire why the truck has not come.And unlike the rest of us if the pothole is still there tomorrow, they can phone again, and again and again until some harassed official shuts them up by filling the thing. This does not require a lot of extra time or cash, just a few dollars a month in airtime, the rest of the allowance, and a list of numbers. The odd report back meeting can help, but few ever attend these. So standing in a supermarket queue, chatting in a school carpark, talking to neighbours as you walk the dog, and a councillor is likely to hear more than in a formal meeting. Keeping close touch with the party leaders in a ward can also provide useful information, and a councillor should keep in touch with both his own party and the other one. So far as we can see, none of this requires a residential stand in a fancier suburb, a business stand in the nearest growth point, official council transport or even a laptop as Harare councillors demanded. In fact, a councillor should be “one of us”. We agree that some councillors need to have qualifications to be effective committee chairmen or mayors, but careful selection of candidates should have produced suitable councillors from at least some wards. “One of us” from Borrowdale, say, might well be an accountant, just as “one of us” from Glen View might well be a retired teacher with their head screwed on tight. Being elected councillor used to be regarded as an honour, telling everyone that your neighbours thought you were the person who knew what was going on and could do something useful. As towns and rural councils grew in size, modest allowances were introduced to cover transport costs and postage, these days that tending to mean phone bills. All councillors now need to return to the old ideal, that a stint on council is the way they serve their neighbours, not themselves.
Fears of disease outbreak in Harare as water woes persist by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Fears of disease outbreak in Harare as water woes persist | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo Most Harare residents spent the weekend without any water, amid reports that the city’s major hospitals were drowning in filth as a result. Over the weekend Harare City authorities were forced to issue to a statement after residents, who had experienced erratic supplies for a week, demanded an explanation. The authority blamed maintenance work on leaking valves and pumps at the Morton Jeffrey Treatment Plant for the water shortages. A Herald newspaper report quoted Harare Water director Christopher Zvobgo saying the repairs were complete and “by Monday everything will be back to normal”. But SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said it was highly unlikely that the city’s water supply will return to ‘normalcy’ anytime soon. By Monday afternoon there were indications that most eastern and northern suburbs still had no water, including parts of Glen Norah A. Muchemwa said unless there was a complete overhaul of the whole water infrastructure the burst pipes and leaking valves and pumps will continue to interrupt water supply. “The infrastructure that is still in place dates back to the colonial period, and it was meant to cater for less than a million people, not the current three million. The pipes are old and no amount of repairs will fix the natural wear and tear,” he said. “There is also the issue of intermittent electricity supply which is affecting sewerage treatment works, and the amount of water being pumped into main water supplier Lake Chivero. “Lake Chivero is also downstream, and pumping the water back to residential areas which are located upstream requires a lot of power, which ZESA does not have,” Muchemwa added. Last week Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, which imports the bulk of the country’s power, said it was increasing load shedding, citing ongoing maintenance work at its supplier the Hydro Cahorra Bassa. Adding to the problems has been the fact that just before the July 31st elections, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo ordered the country’s local authorities to write off debts accrued by ratepayers between February 2009 and June 2013. The move, seen by observers as a political and populist move aimed at vote buying by ZANU PF, has left many authorities struggling to provide essential services including purchasing chemicals for water treatment. On Sunday, a report in the privately-owned Standard newspaper indicated that Harare and Parirenyatwa hospitals were struggling to cope, with visitors now having to take their own water into the premises for patients. The paper further reported terrible smells from the hospitals’ toilets as well as an overspill of human waste, raising fears of a disease outbreak. Visitors told the paper that they were being forced by circumstances to provide their ill relatives with drinking and bathing water, although this is not allowed. However, an official at Parirenyatwa Hospital downplayed the problem, saying the water crisis “just like the rest of the city,” the Standard quoted Thomas Zigora, the chief executive, as saying. Zigora added that the hospital had a couple of boreholes and a reservoir to rely on. But according to Muchemwa, this Plan B is thanks to foreign donor-funded initiatives that responded to a looming health crisis in Harare. He said: “Last year, agencies such as United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Development Programme provided funding for the sinking of wells and boreholes throughout Harare to alleviate the outbreak of waterborne diseases.” Reports say the Chinese have offered the Harare city Council a loan of $144 million to revamp the ailing water supply infrastructure, starting October. The Harare Residents Trust responded to the news by saying that it hoped the loan “will be used transparently to contribute significantly to the improvement of water supplies, the quality of the water, the distribution network and also the upgrading of the sewerage treatment plant at Firle. “It is unfortunate that very little is known about this deal between the City of Harare and the Chinese Eximbank, but what is known is that residents will repay this loan at an interest rate above 10 percent.” The current water problems mirror the general state of decline being witnessed in other sectors including education, health and transport infrastructure. Late last month, President Robert Mugabe caused outrage when he threatened to deprive residents of Harare and Bulawayo of essential services for ditching him in the July elections.
MDC-T supporters denied drought relief food aid by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via MDC-T supporters denied drought relief food aid | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda MDC-T supporters are reportedly being denied drought relief food aid that government is meant to distribute to everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. Reports from several areas around the country indicate that post-election retribution is at the heart of these illegal acts by ZANU PF agents, and the police are said to be opening case files without pursuing investigations further. The latest report came from Mashonaland East where Piniel Denga, the MDC-T losing candidate for Chikomba constituency, said there have been evictions, houses being burned and intimidation on a wide scale. Denga said: “ZANU PF has been on a spree. They are claiming they won the election but act like people who lost the elections. They are victimizing people in my constituency and as you know, burning down houses.” According to Denga, the home of MDC-T official Adam Katsiga, which was burned down last week after midnight while his children slept, was targeted because he had gone to Harare two days earlier to report that his family and party members were being denied food aid. Chikomba said that Katsiga had been warned but felt he had no choice because people in his area need food. As reported on SW Radio Africa last week, a report was made to the police but no action was taken. “They are doing this to instil fear in the electorate so that next time they will not vote for anyone but ZANU PF. They want people to remember what happened to them again, just like they did in 2008 and reminded people years later,” Denga said. According to Denga, the police say that their hands are tied and they cannot pursue cases against ZANU PF supporters, whose bosses also give orders to the police
Tycoon ‘feeds’ army by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Tycoon ‘feeds’ army – DailyNews Live by Tendai Kamhungira Zimbabwean troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were fed by controversial businessman John Bredenkamp, the High Court has been told. In his evidence-in-chief against the controversial 73-year-old businessman, who is accused of a $4,2 million fraud, self-styled financier Yakub Ibrahim Mohammed told the High Court yesterday that the cash that Bredenkamp had borrowed for his DRC mine had been used to finance Zimbabwe army supplies through Raceview Enterprises (Raceview). “I later realised that the company (Raceview) was set up for providing a feeding programme of the ministry of Defence,” he said, as Bredenkamp’s trial opened yesterday before High Court judge Felistas Chatukuta. Asked by Bredenkamp’s lawyer Eric Matinenga, who appeared together with Innocent Chagonda and Deepak Mehta on where the misrepresentation which would constitute fraud was emanating from, Mohammed said when the businessman borrowed the money, it was on the basis that he was to fund his mining operations in the DRC but he discovered that Bredenkamp used the money to fund the army. “At that particular time I considered the accused to be a man of integrity, honesty and a man of means and my friend,” Mohammed said. Mohammed said he only decided to take legal action against Bredenkamp in 2008 after he realised the businessman was failing to pay back the money. According to Mohammed, the civil court proceedings were abandoned after an agreement for an out-of-court settlement was proposed. Mohammed said after he realised that Bredenkamp was failing to pay back the money as per promise, he instituted criminal proceedings. He said the Attorney General’s office declined to prosecute the matter in 2009, on the basis that the case was civil in nature and that it involved national interest. Mohammed, however said despite numerous requests for his money, Bredenkamp continued making excuses, despite having paid back $400 000 in 2001. Mohammed said Bredenkamp accused him of telling various people in the community that he had lent him money. “One particular person was Billy Rautenbach. It was at that time that he and Rautenbach had a bad relationship,” Mohammed said. For long, considered one of Britain and Europe’s richest men, Bredenkamp made a payment attempt in 2006, the court heard. Mohammed told the court that his bank returned the money, after it emerged that the businessman was under fraud investigations in the United Kingdom. Allegations against the businessman arose when Mohammed advanced the foreign cash component from proceeds of his Sahawi International (Private) Limited cigarette trading business in South Africa. Bredenkamp — famous for his helicopter shuttles in Harare — had promised to pay back the money after disposing off his Kababankola Mining Company in the DRC. According to the agreement between the two businessmen, the advance was to attract a six percent interest per year, capitalised on a monthly basis and Bredenkamp also stands accused of obtaining this money without the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s exchange control approval. In the same court papers, it was said that Mohammed imported cigarettes into the country under a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority bond at Bak Storage and upon selling them within the southern African region, he got substantial amounts of forex. At the time, the country was still using the Zimbabwean dollar. Bredenkamp denied defrauding Mohammed, claiming he did not borrow the money in his personal capacity. He told the court that the matter was civil and was still pending in the courts. “As further particulars are still pending, accused is unable to specifically address the timing of the alleged intention to defraud and the exact nature of the misrepresentation he allegedly made. “This prosecution is malicious and a gross abuse of the court’s process,” Bredenkamp’s lawyers said. His defence outline further reads, “Accused will say that a company in which a family trust had a substantial interest KMC Limited then carrying out mining operations in the DRC, borrowed money to finance its operations in the DRC and to finance other related companies of which some were supplying goods and services during Zimbabwe’s DRC campaign.” He also denied contravening the Exchange Control Regulations and said Mohammed and his friends were the ones who were involved in an externalisation ring. Editor Mavuto, Michael Reza and Innocent Chingarande appeared for the State.
Mugabe cabinet delay hits education by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Mugabe cabinet delay hits education by NewZimbabwe Staff Reporter TEACHERS’ unions say delays in appointing a cabinet by President Robert Mugabe has led to paralysis in the education sector after schools opened last week without enough teachers. Unions are angry with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) whose directives to provincial education officers on temporary teacher recruitment have caused confusion countrywide. And the teachers’ representatives say without a minister in charge following the dissolution of government on August 22 when President Mugabe was inaugurated, they have found it increasingly difficult to get clarity. Raymond Majongwe, the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, said: “It is worrying that some of these instructions are done in a mysterious manner because we don’t know who is giving them. “The Cabinet is not yet in place so that we have a specific person to deal with this issue.” The CSC is a creation of the country’s new constitution adopted in May, and is a successor organisation to the Public Service Commission (PSC) which was responsible for the employment of public sector workers. Unions feel the change-over has resulted in a communication breakdown which only a minister could resolve. Said Majongwe: “This scenario [absence of a minister] has created challenges because we now have areas that still do not have teachers. Remote areas like Binga and Jotsholo are having problems yet there were people who were recruited there. “We have not found any joy since the CSC took over and we’re not clear as to who is implementing directives issued from there. Schools have not even been given a circular but we just see things happening without clarity.” The CSC issued a directive last month freezing all new public sector appointments – in the process disempowering provincial education officers from recruiting temporary teachers. A second directive specifically for the education sector said priority should be given to college and university graduates with teaching and non-teaching diplomas and degrees, retired personnel and returning teachers aged below 50. O’ and A Level holders came last. Zimbabwe Teachers’ Union (ZIMTA) CEO Sifiso Ndlovu said: “Generally, there is a blackout in communication regarding this issue. We are getting lots of concerns but the commission has not communicated anything to anyone since it took over. “It seems the CSC is not in tune with the modern developments on the importance of communicating with stakeholders. We expect them to brief stakeholders on what is happening since they took over but they have not done anything. We feel this is a display of arrogance. “They should have engaged all the concerned people but it seems they do not want that. If this is how they would conduct themselves then that is a false start.” Mugabe was expected to name a Cabinet last week but he has kept the nation waiting just 10- days short of a month since he was sworn in for a new five-year term. David Coltart is the outgoing Education Minister.
Mugabe under fire for Cabinet hold-up by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Cabinet hold-up: Mugabe under fire – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba Opposition parties have come out guns blazing against President Robert Mugabe for crippling government operations by delaying the announcement of a new Cabinet. However, Zanu PF yesterday said the nation should be patient. Although Mugabe won elections resoundingly, albeit in controversial circumstances on July 31, the 89-year-old is yet to compile a Cabinet that will serve for the next five years, stalling key policy issues which should be directed by ministers. Opposition parties told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe was holding the nation at ransom. Job Sikhala, who leads MDC-99, slammed Mugabe’s delay in announcing a new Cabinet. “Zimbabwe without a Cabinet is truly affecting the functioning of the State,” Sikhala said. “Whatever is brewing in the head of Mugabe the victor still surprises all of us. For government departments to function, they need policy direction from their ministers and its departments. Problems that need the attendance of ministers are indefinitely postponed until a new minister is in place. Sometimes you wonder why this plastic victory has created the arrogance of fools in Zanu PF?” Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leader Simba Makoni said the country is now functioning without crucial cogs. “The country is functioning without a government; it is not good and paralyses everything. For now the civil service is running the government. It is worrisome that there is no strategic direction,” said Makoni. Mugabe, in power since 1980, is reportedly in a quagmire as he seeks to reward different factions in his party keen on harvesting the merits of a landslide victory that ended the coalition government. Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson of the smaller MDC, said Mugabe is probably trying to play a balancing act so as not to upset the election maxim “bhora mugedhi” which saw all factions fighting from the same corner as opposed to 2008. “The question that should be asked is, are they now motivated by fear of failure that they take long to reach decisions,” Dube said. “They don’t want to create a Cabinet that will reverse what they achieved but again people will ask can a leopard change its spots. These delays create doubt because Zanu PF has done the same things since 1980 it has failed and is now ruled by fear.” Dumiso Dabengwa, the leader of Zapu, said the delay in announcing Cabinet was an indicator that Mugabe was now too old. “Normally you would expect Cabinet to be announced within a week or two weeks,” Dabengwa said. “This delay could not have taken place 10 years ago when Mugabe was younger. Now he is suspicious of everyone. Old people don’t want to be pushed. He is suspicious of any advice that he gets and we should now get used to that.” Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson of the mainstream MDC, said Mugabe was now clueless. “This delay shows the character of decision making that we are going to have for the next five years with Mugabe as president,” Mwonzora said. “We are going to have a confused Cabinet and the explanation for the delays is that Mugabe does not have talent within his party from which he can pick his ministers. “We are glad as the MDC that we are not part of this embarrassing confusion and vacillation.” But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo called on Zimbabweans to be patient, saying “Cabinet will be appointed very soon, there is no question about that. “The president is a very systematic father, he is a very methodical man who looks at every aspect of people who he wants to appoint in his Cabinet,” Gumbo told the Daily News. “We can’t blame him. We should bear in mind that we have had a traumatic experience in the past 10 days when we buried three heroes. The president only started work on Monday (last week).”
Recent literature on instability and intrastate conflict in Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via DFID – Research for Development > Recent literature on instability and intrastate conflict in Zimbabwe Author: Lucas, B.Query: What recent literature (reports, assessments, and analysis published within the last two years) exists which assesses and analyses instability and intrastate conflict in Zimbabwe? There is consensus in the recent (2011-13) literature on Zimbabwe that although the country has stabilised considerably since the last elections in 2008, the risk of internal conflict during the period surrounding the 2013 elections is high. The principal factors underpinning the potential for conflict are:
- The bitter divisions among the main political parties, the apparent desire to seek power at any cost, and the established practice of using violence as a political tactic.
- The aftermath of the ‘Fast Track’ land reform initiative, which has left controversies over allocation of land.
- Unresolved issues about justice for abuses carried out in the elections of 2008.
- The diamond trade and the triangular relationship between control of diamonds, the security forces, and the Zanu-PF.
- The destabilising influence of the arms trade and particularly China’s role in supporting the current regime.
Experts contacted in the course of preparing this report commented that there has been little research published recently on Zimbabwe. The most recent commentary on the 2013 elections has not yet appeared in peer-reviewed journals or other research publications and is not included in this report.
Mnangagwa scoffs at rift reports by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Mnangagwa scoffs at rift reports | The Herald Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has dismissed stories that there are divisions in the revolutionary party. Speaking during the party’s victory celebrations in Ward 31 Chirumhanzu- Zibagwe constituency at the weekend, Cde Mnangagwa said reports of divisions in Zanu-PF existed in the Press. “I read that through newspapers, no one has said that there are divisions in Zanu-PF. I have never said that. The Press creates such statements and believes them. We are so united in Zanu-PF. People share different views in the party and it’s healthy for the party,” he said. His comments come in the wake of reports in the private media that the revolutionary party was divided into two factions led by Cde Mnangagwa and Vice President Joice Mujuru. Both leaders have repeatedly denied that they are factions in the party. Cde Mnangagwa took a dig at the MDC-T for trying to manipulate the results of the harmonised elections. “This is the mentality of losers. Where does the rigging come into place? Zimbabwe has held one of the cleanest elections in the southern Africa region. “We pride ourselves for having held the cleanest elections in the region.” Cde Mnangagwa said he will work for the development of the area with projects for the youths, including cattle fattening, chicken rearing and other projects that will enhance development of the constituency. President Mugabe and Zanu-PF romped to a resounding victory, getting 160 National Assembly seats to MDC-T’s 49, with one seat going to an independent candidate. President Mugabe garnered 61,09 percent of the votes against MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s 33,94 percent. Three other contestants Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC), Dr Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu) and Kisinoti Mukwazhe (ZDP) shared the remaining 4,97 percent. Zanu-PF now dominates the National Assembly with 197 seats, to MDC-T’s 70 and MDC’s two. In the Senate, Zanu-PF dominates with 37 seats to MDC-T’s 21, while the MDC has two seats.
Zim banks ranked poorly by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via Zim banks poorly ranked – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere Zimbabwean banks have been ranked among the worst financial institutions in the world due to low capitalisation levels and systemic risks inherent in the economy.According to the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s global competitiveness 2013 to 14 report released recently, the country was ranked 137 out of 148 countries on soundness of its banks. The southern African nation was also ranked 140 in terms of venture capital availability. WEF’s global competitive index also revealed that affordable financial services remain elusive to the majority of Zimbabweans as the country scored 3,2 points out of seven and was ranked 134 out of 148 countries. “…despite efforts to improve its macroeconomic environment — including the dollarisation of its economy, which brought down inflation and interest rates — Zimbabwe still receives a low rank… demonstrating the extent of efforts still needed to ensure its macroeconomic stability,” the WEF report said. It added: “Weaknesses in other areas include health (132nd in the health sub-pillar), low education enrolment rates, and formal markets that continue to function with difficulty (particularly with regard to goods and labour markets, ranked 130th and 140th, respectively).” This comes as the country has been facing an acute liquidity crisis since adoption of the multi-currency system in 2009, a challenge which has been compounded by the lack of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s capacity as lender of last resort. Zimbabwe currently has 26 banks, 16 asset management companies and 172 microfinance institutions under the supervision of the Reserve Bank. However, due to poor corporate governance and risk management systems and inadequate capitalisation, two banks — Interfin Banking Corporation and Genesis Investment Bank — closed shop in 2012. Prompted by the need to protect depositors’ funds, the central bank last year raised capital requirements for banks tenfold. RBZ governor Gideon Gono said the increase in minimum capital levels for banking institutions was necessitated by the dynamic nature of the financial landscape, regulatory requirements, increase in competition and economic uncertainties, which placed an unprecedented pressure on banks to be adequately capitalised. “A fragmented banking system characterised by numerous weak and undercapitalised banks will not only increase the vulnerability of the financial system but also of the economy as a whole,” he said then. Gono noted that the new capital requirements would strengthen both local and international banks so that they play a meaningful role in the development of the economy. Under the new system, commercial and merchant banks are required to have minimum capital of $100 million from $12,5 million and $10 million respectively. Minimum capital requirements for building societies were also raised from $10 million to $80 million, finance and discount houses from $7,5 million to $60 million and $1 million to $5 million for micro-finance institutions. These should be fully compliant by June 2014. Economic experts say the country’s poor credit rating — which has also deteriorated due to huge external debt — has destroyed international financiers’ confidence in the nation. Foreign direct investment as well as other forms of offshore capital, has not been adequate as the nation lost its appeal as a safe investment destination.
Air Zimbabwe Boss Lands On Hard Patch by ZimSitRep – 09-10-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Air Zimbabwe Boss Lands On Hard Patch Air Zimbabwe’s acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga has landed on a hard patch after being suspended from employment, Radio VOP can exclusively reveal.Information stitched together by Radio VOP show that Mavhunga was shown the exit door last Friday by the Ozias Bvute-led Air Zimbabwe Holdings’ board of directors after being fingered in a scam from a report of a forensic audit done on the airline in 2011. “They (the board) are blaming him on all those things (audit findings). They are saying he was the one in charge when the scam was unearthed,” insiders at Air Zimbabwe told Radio VOP on Monday. The suspension of Mavhunga comes barely five months after the struggling airline’s board of directors dismissed four senior executives in April in connection with anomalies noted from the forensic audit. The senior executives include Moses Mapanda, the general manager for Air Zimbabwe Passenger, Nicholas Munjere, the general manager for finance, Cephas Tarenyika, the airline’s director for technical operations and Bothwell Gavhumende, the general manager for purchasing and his whole departmental staff. The sources said the board appointed Edmund Makona, Air Zimbabwe’s head of Corporate Quality, Safety and Security to temporarily fill in Mavhunga’s post. Air Zimbabwe spokesperson Shingai Taruvinga professed ignorance about the forced departure of Mavhunga when reached for comment by Radio VOP. “I am not aware of that,” said Taruvinga. Mavhunga was appointed acting CEO in January 2011 following the resignation of Peter Chikumba.
Gold panning destroys Mazowe River by ZimSitRep – 09-09-2013
via Gold panning destroys Mazowe River | The Herald by Fungai Lupande Herald Reporter Villagers in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe are facing a serious water crisis as gold panning activities along the Mazowe River have negatively impacted on efforts to access drinking water. In an interview one of the residents, Mr Joseph Kafura of Nyandoro village in Pfungwe, said the water is no longer potable following massive alluvial mining along the river. Mr Kafura registered his concern that some parts of the river have dried up due to the mining activities. “We are appealing for assistance because the mining activities have filled up our river. We are worried because we rely on this river for drinking water and other domestic activities. “We are now digging ponds in the river in search of clean drinking water because the water running through this river is dirty,” he said. Mr Kafura appealed to alluvial mining companies in the areas to drill boreholes for residence. The community has one borehole which is 6 kilometres away. “We were hoping that the coming of these companies would create employment for our children but only four got jobs,” he said. However, Environment Management Agency has warmed alluvial miner along Mazowe River against mining in the river. Speaking to journalist during a media tour in UMP, EMA environment and publicity officer Mr Astas Mabwe encouraged miners to do their activities 30 metres away from the river. “EMA is not happy with what is happening along Mazowe River. Most of the miners from Nyaguhwu River stretching to Rushinga are not registered. “We are also urging the miners to regularise their papers and practice proper alluvial mining habits. So far the relationship between EMA and alluvial miners was that of a cat and a mouse,” he said. One of the mining companies, Lightweight Pvt (Ltd), was recently fined US$5 000 for operating without an environmental impact assessment report. Speaking to the media one of the directors of the company, Mr Garry Cornilius, said they have ceased operations in order to put in place a de-siltation programme. “We have alredy done landscaping for the de-siltation programme which will see us taking all the material away from the river and allow the dirty water to sink in ponds before it returns clean back into the river. “The programme is part of Zinwa initiative,” he said.