TEXT only 12 September 2013

  • Zimbabwe to develop economy with new friends like China
  • Ex-MP wants diamond accountability
  • We must seek world class solutions
  • Chinamasa’s new finance role questioned
  • Mugabe’s new line-up does not inspire confidence
  • Media ‘hangman’ Moyo returns as Zim Information Minister
  • ZESA bows down to political pressure on debt relief
  • Has Mugabe violated the constitution?
  • Is this the best?
  • MDC turns 14
  • Youths want businesses
  • First Lady’s food parcels vanish
  • Industry, labour welcome new Cabinet
  • Recall of Moyo ‘hints at hard line’
  • New Cabinet a disaster
  • Chinamasa equal to the task: Gono
  • Where did they go wrong?
  • Help with the basics
  • Money & identity
  • ZEC’s contempt of court exposes its credibility
  • Recycled Cabinet No Surprise
  • The long wait is over | The Herald
  • Zanu-PF lawyer now Zimbabwe finance minister
  • One on One with VMCZ Chairperson
  • Female journalists abused
  • Media profession body moves to protect scribes
  • How the West helped Mugabe win
  • Jonathan Moyo does the impossible again
  • In the merry-go-round cabinet, Mnangagwa gets closer 

Zimbabwe to develop economy with new friends like China by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Zimbabwe to develop economy with new friends like China | Reuters by MacDonald Dzirutwe  Zimbabwe will increase economic ties with friendly countries like China to develop its economy as Western nations maintain their sanctions after President Robert Mugabe’s re-election, the new finance minister said on Wednesday. Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader at 89 who won a fresh five-year term in a July 31 vote his opponents say was rigged, on Wednesday swore in his cabinet, including Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa who was named on Tuesday. Pointing to multiple flaws in last month’s election cited by domestic vote observers, Western governments, especially the United States, have questioned the credibility of the outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe. However, African election observers broadly endorsed the voting and its result as peaceful and free. Chinamasa told reporters the ZANU-PF party government had accepted the reality that the West would not remove financial and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his senior allies and would not release any direct financial assistance. “Because the doors have been closed by those who used to be our traditional partners, we have to intensify new economic relationships and friendships. That means every country that is friendly to Zimbabwe, including China,” he said. After Western states imposed sanctions a decade ago against Mugabe over alleged violations of democracy and rights abuses in the former British colony he has ruled for 33 years, China has emerged as a major investor in the southern African state. It has built the largest alluvial diamond mine in the east of the country and runs the biggest ferrochrome producer. A Chinese-backed firm will start mining coal in western Zimbabwe and build a 600MW coal-fired power station next year. The government has also given $1.7 billion of contracts to Chinese firms to expand the country’s two largest power plants. “GET MONEY QUICKLY” Under the now dissolved unity government that followed a disputed 2008 election, the economy had begun to recover. The International Monetary Fund said in June it agreed to monitor economic programs until the year end, paving the way for the clearing of billions of dollars of Zimbabwe’s debt arrears. Chinamasa, ZANU-PF’s top legal official and a staunch defender of Mugabe’s re-election, refused to comment on whether these program would continue but said the economy faced enormous challenges. While Washington has made clear it intends to maintain U.S. sanctions, Belgium, the center of the global diamond trade, is demanding that the European Union lift sanctions on one Zimbabwean mining firm. Mugabe later told reporters on Wednesday his new cabinet would focus on agriculture and diamond and gold mining to raise money to re-start shut industries and increase government wages. “We should organize quick-yielding sectors of the economy and these are agriculture and mining. These are the sectors I am looking at to get money quickly,” the president said. Last month, he threatened “tit-for-tat” retaliation against companies from Britain and the United States if those Western nations persisted in pressuring his government with sanctions and what he called “harassment”. (Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Andrew Heavens)

Ex-MP wants diamond accountability by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Ex-MP wants diamond accountability | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe Former MDC-T legislator for Mutare West, Shuwa Mudiwa, has pledged to ensure that Marange villagers benefit from the proceeds of diamond sales. Mudiwa was recently acquitted on charges of holding an unsanctioned meeting with villagers in Chiadzwa where he told them to demand their right to benefit from mineral resources in their area. In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Mudiwa said together with other pressure groups in the area, he would lobby for policies that promote transparency and accountability with regards to mineral resources in Manicaland. In March, the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust reported that families relocated to Arda Transau by diamond mining company, Anjin Diamond Mining, were critically short of food after the company reneged on its pledge to support them. CCDT said most of the displaced families were yet to get land for agriculture after their displacement. Anjin relocated more than 800 families to Arda Transau to pave the way for its diamond mining operations. “We have been pushing to ensure that the people of Marange benefit from their mineral resources and as a former legislator, I feel bound to push for policies that promote transparency and accountability,” said Mudiwa. Apart from the erratic food handouts, the people have yet to see the benefit of their displacement; neither do they get priority for mining jobs. The companies in Marange include Mbada Diamonds, Anjin and Marange Resources. The discovery of diamonds in Marange has disrupted community life. Visitors to the area are restricted and police and mine guards have been accused of using heavy-handed tactics while enforcing security around the mines. Complaints of torture and victimisation abound, said Mudiwa

We must seek world class solutions by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via We must seek world class solutions | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe African solutions to African problems – this term denies Africa world class solutions to its social problems and creates an excuse for substandard leadership and solutions. I am amazed at how the full Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania, Bernard Membe, can keep his dignity after concluding that despite the absence of a voter’s roll, a critical factor to transparent and fair elections, our recent elections were credible. How can a flawed process result in an output that is credible? Even engineers will tell you that an outcome not dependent on process or input is impossible. The above continues to reflect how we as Africans tend to be selective in the application of logic – especially when it comes to possible outcomes that may not be politically convenient. We have had this problem in Zimbabwe since 2000, where a government acts and is then surprised by the obvious logical outcome of its action, but then claims exogenous factors as the reasons for those outcomes and not their misinformed actions. The reason why we face starvation today is because we have under-utilised land “owned” by those with limited competence in growing food for the country. Most would rather grow tobacco and not food. The reason why we had hyperinflation in 2008 was because Gideon Gono printed money like newspapers, which was not used to increase our productive capacity. The reason why we face drinking water problems today is because our water works were built in 1956 for a population of 300,000 and not the 2 million people living in Harare today. The reason why we face a liquidity crunch today is because our elections were not credible and therefore money will not flow into the system. The list goes on and yet we continue to hide under the myth of “African solutions to African problems”. This phrase reflects the limited thinking of Africa’s leadership. It is a term that denies Africa the best solutions to its social problems and creates an excuse for substandard leadership and solutions; be they political or social. We must reject this thinking and continually seek world class solutions if we are to accelerate the economic emancipation of African masses. We need new thinkers. Zimbabwe today faces unnecessary socio-economic problems because our politicians have refused to think of the logical consequences of the lack of democracy and how this will continue to arrest our development as a country. For me, politics is indeed an overrated career. Solutions to our water problems are quite obvious, we need to ensure that every second home in Zimbabwe has a borehole and we also need to ensure increasing water reserves through water harvesting and preserving our wetlands – and not letting the Chinese build on them. Solutions to our energy problems are as simple as using solar energy – given that we get an average of nine hours of sunshine every day throughout the year. We really need not pay the exorbitant ZESA charges for energy. A solar power industry would create millions of jobs and cheap energy. We should never experience food shortages – given the vast amount of under-utilised fertile land in this country. If the issue is about ownership, for goodness sake let us issue new land leases and allow our experienced framers to grow food for the nation. The “African solutions to African problems” mentality has clearly not provided us with the appropriate solutions that we require to accelerate our development. Instead, our so-called African solutions continue to take us backwards. Does it therefore mean that as Africans we are naturally backward? I don’t think so, I think that this term has been abused by Africa’s leaders to avoid scrutiny, to hide corruption and protect political vested interests – as is the case in Zimbabwe. Our education has taken us nowhere and today we have millions of smart Zimbabweans using their skills to build other countries. There is an African solution for you: spend millions on educating your people and then as soon as they are ready to contribute, create political conditions that force them to go elsewhere so that they cease to be a threat to your hold on power. Import maize from farmers you expelled – except this time, you pay 10 times more than if you had produced the maize yourself. Hide the voters roll, so that the fairness of elections cannot be scrutinized. At times I just have to pinch myself to check whether I am dreaming or not when I see what is happening in Zimbabwe. We are an embarrassment. We must create a new narrative that says we will adopt world class solutions to our problems because we are educated and informed. We really should not care where the solution comes from, especially in this information age. We can bridge the gap between the developed and developing countries quite quickly because information on solutions is freely available. What frightens me is that we are becoming backward compared to those other African countries that were behind us not so long ago. The world will not wait; progress and development will not stop as we dither and have to entertain political greed. Action, action, action is the only solution. We cannot afford the continued application of African solutions that deliberately regress our society. The myth must now be destroyed. Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

Chinamasa’s new finance role questioned by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Chinamasa’s new finance role questioned | SW Radio Africa  by Alex Bell Robert Mugabe’s decision to appoint ZANU PF acolyte Patrick Chinamasa to the head of the Finance Ministry has raised many questions, in the wake of Tuesday’s Cabinet unveiling. Chinamasa, a lawyer who was the Justice Minister in the previous government, takes over the key ministerial post from the MDC-T’s Tendai Biti. He joins other ZANU PF hardliners in the new Cabinet, which some analysts have said puts paid to any hope of change in Zimbabwe. As Justice Minister, Chinamasa oversaw the repeated arrests and detention of supporters and members of the MDC, and also supported the judicial system’s loyalty to ZANU PF. He has also been a key weapon in Mugabe’s arsenal, helping draft legislation that legalised the fast-track land grab campaign, and also legislation that saw the clampdown on media freedom in the country. Chinamasa has previous experience at the helm of the Finance Ministry when he performed the duty in an acting capacity in 2009 before the formation of the unity government. It was Chinamasa who decided to introduce a multi-currency system in Zimbabwe in 2009, after the local currency spectacularly collapsed as a result of ZANU PF induced hyperinflation and economic mismanagement. Chinamasa has also been a strong campaigner for the removal of targeted restrictive sanctions still in place on the Mugabe regime by Western nations, and it is thought he will continue this campaign as Finance Minister. Economic analyst Masimba Kuchera said that Chinamasa’s key challenge also lies in trying to deliver on the promises his party made during the election period, such as widespread debt relief and financial investment. “I think bringing Chinamasa into the Finance Ministry is a sign that Mugabe wanted someone he could trust in this position. If you look at the Cabinet now, there are very few people Mugabe could have trusted putting in that position,” Kuchera said.

Mugabe’s new line-up does not inspire confidence by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Mugabe’s new line-up does not inspire confidence | SW Radio Africa  by Tichaona Sibanda President Robert Mugabe’s new cabinet does not inspire any confidence as it was selected on patronage and not merit, according to analysts and senior opposition figures. The new line-up is packed with diehard loyalists, some of whom were members of the first post independence cabinet. With Mugabe at the helm of government since 1980, others who have been with him through thick and thin are Joice Mujuru (33 years), Sydney Sekeramayi (33 years), Emmerson Mnangagwa (28 years) and Didymus Mutasa (23). Mugabe and his leading cabinet ministers together hold more than 150 years of experience in government. But Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC-T’s deputy national organising secretary, equated the ‘new’ cabinet to one of the ‘world’s biggest dinosaur parks.’ ‘Most are already past their use-by date,’ said Bhebhe, adding that people think Mugabe is carrying too much deadwood in the cabinet as it contains ‘tired brains.’ ‘It has a lot of people that have been tried and failed not tried and tested. I don’t see them coming up with fresh ideas and skills to outshine the poverty that is prevailing in the country. ‘It is a heap of deadwood selected from patronage,’ said Bhebhe, who is a leading candidate to land a shadow portfolio post in the party led by former Premier Morgan Tsvangirai. The MDC-T MP for Nkayi South said there was nothing in the cabinet which inspired confidence that this government means business. ‘The composition of Mugabe’s new team does not show strong intent to bring about reforms nor is the incoming government serious in improving the current economic logjam the country is in,’ added Bhebhe. Gideon Chitanga, a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa, explained that there is also nothing new about Mugabe’s way of doing business, which is mainly that of rewarding loyalists. Chitanga told SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday that a sweeping cabinet makeover would have come as welcome evidence the government is moving in a different direction. ‘Mugabe’s two thirds majority victory gave him an opportunity to drop non-performers and stuff his cabinet with new faces to strengthen public support for the government. ‘But as usual he missed the opportunity and ended up recycling deadwood and some who have been politically rehabilitated, like Dzikamai Mavhaire,’ said Chitanga. He continued: ‘This is clearly attested by his cabinet which mostly comprises his legion of loyalists. There is also nothing new about his cabinet as some of these ‘new’ officials were in the first government of Prime Minister Mugabe of 1980. ‘This ‘new’ government is full of old relics. Zimbabwe shall continue going nowhere with this ‘new’ crowd. Mugabe’s passion is to personally consolidate his hold on state power and control and keeping ZANU PF together,’ Chitanga said.

Media ‘hangman’ Moyo returns as Zim Information Minister by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Media ‘hangman’ Moyo returns as Zim Information Minister | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell Media professionals in Zimbabwe have been left shocked by Robert Mugabe’s decision to reappoint Jonathan Moyo as the country’s Information Minister, with fears of a return to the media clampdown he once presided over. Moyo, who was the Information Minister from 2000 to 2005, is often described as a media ‘hangman’ after designing and implementing repressive legislation in 2001, which resulted in a serious clampdown on media freedom. The laws, which have never been repealed, saw the arrest of many foreign journalists, the closure of independent media groups and the hounding of non-state media professionals, many of whom fled into exile. Moyo is also renowned as a political flip-flopper, and notoriously swung from a staunch Mugabe supporter to one of his main critics, and back again. In recent years, he has been noticeably working his way back into Mugabe’s favour, regularly attacking ZANU PF opponents in state media articles while defending the party’s policies. This attempt at gaining favour did not work with the electorate, and in the July 31st elections Moyo lost his bid to win the Tsholotsho North Constituency. But Moyo has now come back into Mugabe’s favour, and the President has made him a non-constituent Minister and reappointed him to the Information Ministry. Journalist and author Geoff Hill said Moyo’s return is a “sad day” for Zimbabwean media, but he also expressed a lack of surprise at Mugabe choice. “From where Mugabe is sitting, Jonathan Moyo is a brilliant Information Minister. He did what Mugabe wanted him to do: he terrorized journalists, he clamped down on the free press. So I think he’s a very good information minister for a dictatorial state,” Hill told SW Radio Africa. He added: “This is his chance to ingratiate himself with Mugabe and the hardliners. This is a Cabinet of hardliners so I would have thought that Moyo would do his damndest to please his bosses and his bosses don’t like the press.” Hill also warned that there might be a reversal of the few media reforms that happened during the unity government, which saw the licencing of independent newspapers and a commitment in the new constitution to protect media freedom. “I imagine we are going to see ZANU PF winding back on the reforms that were made or not honouring the spirit of those reforms,” Hill said. One of the so-called ‘reforms’ included the controversial licensing of two ‘independent’ radio stations, which both have strong ZANU PF links. This includes ZiFM, whose founder Supa Mandiwanzira has now been appointed as Moyo’s deputy in the Information Ministry.

ZESA bows down to political pressure on debt relief by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via ZESA bows down to political pressure on debt relief | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo 11 September 2013 The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has finally bowed down to political pressure and cancelled utility debts amounting to $170 million. The power utility company is owed in excess of $600 million by ratepayers. But according to a statement issued Tuesday, ZESA will be writing off $80 million from the total debt owed by the farming community. For domestic users $90 million will be taken off their combined bill, which translates to $160 per household, according to the figures given by ZESA. ZESA said: “The debt relief to customers was devised after extensive consultations with farmers’ representatives and other stakeholders as a way of contributing to the general economic recovery and success of the agrarian reform in anticipation of the new planting season.” The energy supplier said the adjustments will be reflected on customers’ October bills, with prepaid meter customers getting electricity units equivalent to $160. However, ratepayers are not convinced this move is for their benefit. Combined Harare Residents association chairperson Simbarashe Moyo said it was clear that this was a political move meant to benefit politicians. “We are surprised by what the government is doing. First it was water bills, now electricity. This is happening at a time when residents have been contributing significantly to the reduction of their debts to ZESA through a plan that is already in place. “For us the benefit to residents is nothing compared to what the politicians, farmers and businesses stand to gain. These are the people who since 2000 have been consuming electricity without paying and owe ZESA huge amounts,” Moyo said. Moyo further criticised politicians for sending out a wrong message through the debt relief schemes: “What this essentially tells ratepayers is that if you don’t pay and five years lapse you can have your bill written off by politicians.” Moyo said residents were also concerned that as a result of the debt cancellation measure, ZESA may fail to service its own debt to energy suppliers such as Eskom of South Africa. “We will be hoping that the government has also put in place plans to take care of what ZESA owes its own suppliers as well as banks – otherwise this is a recipe for disaster which will see 24-hour blackouts,” he added. On Wednesday morning, Harare’s central business district was without electricity. Last month outgoing Energy Minister Elton Mangoma warned that ZESA would be thrown into financial difficulties if the forced debt relief, driven by ZANU PF deputy leader Joice Mujuru, went ahead. Mangoma said ZESA was running a breakeven tariff regime, and unless ZESA gets paid for services rendered, it will collapse. Even before ZESA announced the debt relief, reports suggest that it was already experiencing cash-flow problems as ratepayers withheld payments in anticipation of the government directive. SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said despite ZANU PF spinning the debt relief as a philanthropic move aimed at the majority of struggling Zimbabweans, it was party loyalists and senior officials who were the winners. “They are the real beneficiaries as they own most of these farms and businesses,” Muchemwa said.

Has Mugabe violated the constitution? by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Has Mugabe violated the constitution? | SW Radio Africa By Mthulisi Mathuthu Questions are being asked if President Mugabe has violated the constitution, after he avoided appointing an intelligence minister. Section 225 of the new constitution specifically provides that “the President must appoint a Minister to be responsible for any national intelligence service”. Sydney Sekeramayi used to hold this portfolio, as minister of state security, but on Tuesday Mugabe made him minister of defence and omitted the security portfolio from his cabinet, raising talk that he may have sacrificed the constitution for political reasons. It was the first time that Mugabe had omitted the intelligence portfolio in his cabinet announcement. A constitutional law expert told SW Radio that Mugabe may have reserved the administration of the ministry for himself, in accordance with section 104 of the constitution, which permits the President “to reserve to himself or herself the administration of an Act, Ministry or department”. However, the expert pointed out that ‘in the absence of clarity, Mugabe’s move ‘could be a violation of the constitution’. Journalist and Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Muleya, said Mugabe omitted appointing an intelligence minister, as a way of ‘steering clear of factional waters’. Muleya said Vice President Joice Mujuru was reportedly lobbying for her ally to take up the sensitive post and Mugabe’s move was a way of ‘carrying out a balancing act’. Mujuru’s faction is in contention with the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction over the succession issue. Other analysts however speculated that Mugabe’s move was meant to avoid accounting for the CIO activities, by hiding the bulk of their functions under his direct control. Analysts said while the constitution states that, “all institutions of the State and government at every level are accountable to Parliament” Mugabe could manipulate the system to avoid scrutiny. The CIO, largely seen as responsible for engineering Mugabe’s questionable July 31st victory, is known to act with impunity. Since independence the CIO has been fingered in numerous incidents, ranging from the Matebeleland massacres to the torture and murder of MDC activists. The CIO budget, which falls under the Special Services in the President’s office, is not subject to audit by the Auditor-General and numerous complaints about their activities have gone unheeded

Is this the best? by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Is this the best? – DailyNews Live After more than a month of waiting, President Robert Mugabe yesterday announced his cabinet, and as expected, the 89-year-old leader recycled deadwood at a time Zimbabweans expected a development cabinet judging by the economic challenges facing the nation. Zimbabwe is at a crossroads, the economy has taken a nosedive since the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF had won the July 31 harmonised elections. The public was on tenterhooks, itching to know what type of leadership Mugabe was going to appoint to oversee national matters. It is obvious though that this has been a complex task with the public not expecting a musical-chairs affair. Zimbabweans have had sufficient time to let the poll outcome sink in after another bout of a highly contested plebiscite and were waiting in anticipation for a development orientated cabinet where Mugabe would name new faces to bring in the much needed confidence for investors to flood in. But the nation was shocked yesterday when Mugabe appointed a total of 63 ministers, deputy ministers and ministers of state for provinces. What a bloated team for a small country suffering from acute economic challenges. We don’t need all these ministers, do we? While the bloated government will surely raise concerns among progressive thinking Zimbabweans, we are shocked by some strange appointments Mugabe made. How on earth does Dzikamai Mavhaire become minister of Energy at a time the nation is in a crisis over electricity shortages? What is Mavhaire’s background with regards the energy sector, is this not factional balancing? It is clear from Mugabe’s cabinet that he is trying to please everybody. But one lesson he should have long grasped in his political career is that he cannot please all people all the same time. For example, the strange appointment of Josiah Hungwe as the minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education (whatever this means) is ridiculous to say the least. Mugabe was clearly balancing the long held faction fight between the so-called Edison Zvobgo faction and the Hungwe faction in Masvingo. However, there are certain appointments which make sense like the bringing in of Fred Moyo as deputy minister of Mines and Supa Mandiwanzira as deputy minister of Information. But we still wonder what the old guard and those who were recycled by Mugabe will hope to achieve given the problems we are facing as a country. Time will tell.Is this the best?

MDC turns 14 by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via MDC turns 14 – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba 11 September 2013 MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is still limping from a heavy election defeat, says his party, turning 14 today, is here to stay and “fight a brutal dictatorship using democratic means.” Tsvangirai, who polled 34 percent of the presidential election votes in the July 31 harmonised elections, maintains that the polls were rigged and has shrugged off suggestions and insinuations that the labour-backed movement lost the elections because of complacency and the imposition of candidates. Today, September 11, marks the day when the MDC was formed by a group of students, academics, trade unionists and other civil rights campaigners. Since its formation, the MDC has blossomed, metamorphosing into a formidable party that has changed the political landscape of the country. The highlight of the MDC struggle to dislodge President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF in power since 1980 was perhaps in 2008 when Tsvangirai handed Mugabe his first electoral defeat. He, however, failed to get enough votes to form a government, triggering a presidential election run-off that was derailed by violence, leading eventually to formation of a coalition government in 2009. At the behest of Sadc, Tsvangirai and Mugabe went on to form a coalition government that salvaged the country from the edge of a precipice, ended runaway inflation and combated medieval diseases such as cholera which were ravaging the country. That is now history, with the MDC leader now reeling from the party’s heavy defeat in the July 31 elections. He now has to retreat to opposition politics albeit as the leader of a minority party in a Parliament where Zanu PF has the lion’s share of seats. Notwithstanding the setback, Tsvangirai seems to have taken defeat in his stride, piling the blame on Zanu PF’s rigging “shenanigans”. On Saturday, to mark the party’s anniversary, Tsvangirai and his team travel to Mutare in Manicaland where the party’s dominance has been turned upside down. In the July 31 polls, Zanu-PF won 22 National Assembly seats in Manicaland, while MDC only managed four — a huge reversal to the results in 2008 when the MDC won 20 seats with Zanu PF clinching just six. Apparently keen to banish the ghost and horror of the recent elections, Tsvangirai is holding a post election rally where he is likely to buoy his supporters to keep eyes on the 2018 elections. “I will be at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare with the MDC family on Saturday for the party’s 14th anniversary celebrations,” Tsvangirai wrote on his Facebook page yesterday. “The occasion could not have come at a better time as we seriously reflect on the monumental July 31 fraud.” Critics such as Rejoice Ngwenya say for democracy to flourish in the MDC, there is need for the party’s 61-year-old leader to step aside. “In terms of effective party democracy, a party leader has a mandate to win elections,” Ngwenya said. “If this was Australia or England, Tsvangirai would have been booted out in an internal party coup in 2008. If he appreciates political branding beyond simplistic populism and if internal democracy flourishes in he should ‘concede defeat’ and step down as party leader. “A new leader will bring a new vision and impetus in the struggle against dictatorship.” But Tsvangirai, who already has the backing of several provinces to retain the party’s presidency come 2016 congress, is looking ahead. “The mission to pursue and recover the people’s stolen voice remains a priority,” he said. “The MDC is a national project and no amount of electoral theft, thuggery or persecution will stand in the way of the national agenda for change. For 14 years, the MDC has fought a brutal dictatorship using democratic means and will not relent. We are here to stay.”

Youths want businesses by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Youths want businesses | The Zimbabwean by Regerai Tututuku Hundreds of Zanu (PF) youths last week demonstrated here to demand claims to businesses perceived to be owned by Zimbabweans of foreign ancestry. The placard-waving youths moved along the streets and gathered at John Lambat’s premises, demanding that he hand-over some of his buildings. Visibly drunk and rowdy, the youths clad in party regalia threatened to assault a businessman of Indian descent and demanded that he be deported. “This man owns a lot of properties in Masvingo and we are saying he should give us some these properties so that we can start businesses,” said one of the youths. “We voted for Zanu (PF) and won, therefore it is time for us to repossess some of these buildings that were taken from our forefathers.” Fear and uncertainty has gripped the business community in Masvingo. “We are living in fear because we do not know what is going to happen to us and our property”, said a white businessman. “We cannot just surrender our properties to people we do not know. If these youths need buildings they should just approach us in a good manner.” Lovemore Matuke, the Zanu (PF) provincial chairman for Masvingo, dissociated his party and himself from the demonstrators. “We are not aware of such a demonstration and we do not condone violence,” he said. Zimbabwe desperately needs foreign direct investment as towns and cities are on the verge of collapse.

First Lady’s food parcels vanish by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via First Lady’s food parcels vanish | The Zimbabwean by Tamuka Maregere Food parcels donated by First Lady Grace Mugabe in the run-up to the July 31 elections have still not reached beneficiaries, more than a month after they were delivered to party officials in the city. Grace donated 50 tonnes of maize, 20 tonnes of sugar beans and 1, 200 cases of cooking oil to Copota Mission School for the Hearing and Visually Impaired, Mucheke Old People’s Home, Alfer Cottages, an orphanage and several other organisations. The food, according to Lovemore Matuke, the Zanu (PF) Masvingo Provincial Chairperson, was delivered a few days after the July 26 rally. He said although the food arrived three days after the pledge made at a campaign rally for Robert Mugabe’s presidency in the run up to the elections, the quantities were insufficient to cover all the institutions in the province. Opposition political parties challenged the timing of the donations, charging that they amounted to vote-buying ahead of a crucial plebiscite, an assertion Zanu (PF) dismissed. The party argued that Grace has a right to donate to charities in her official capacity at any time.

Industry, labour welcome new Cabinet by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Industry, labour welcome new Cabinet | The Herald by Zvamaida Murwira  September 11, 2013 INDUSTRY and labour yesterday welcomed the new Cabinet appointed by President Mugabe yesterday saying it comprised of tried and tested individuals and was a source of inspiration.Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries immediate past president, Mr Kumbirai Katsande, said the newly appointed Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha was conversant with the needs of industry. “We are excited by the new appointment particularly with regard to the Ministry of Industry. Minister Bimha is not new, he has been a deputy minister before and prior to that he has been in the sector. He knows our needs as industry he is also approachable,” said Mr Katsande. He said the immediate challenge that industry expected the Minister to address was manufacturing particularly issues to do with power, water and raw materials. Zimbabwe is facing power shortages and experts say this has had a serious bearing in the manufacturing of goods mainly fertiliser that drives agriculture. “We need to attract investment. The manufacturing sector needs urgent attention,” he said. Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general, Mr Japhet Moyo, said while they were happy with the new Cabinet, they were particularly thrilled by the appointment of Cde Nicholas Goche as Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister. “We have been given a person whom we have been working with as labour before. This means we are not going to start afresh to explain to him our challenges,” he said. Mr Moyo said Cde Goche had come up with lots of plans for labour, but could not implement most of them owing to the coming into being of the now defunct inclusive Government. “The issues he left were not attended to by the inclusive Government,” he said. Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general, Mr Raymond Majongwe, hailed President Mugabe for giving Cde Nicholas Goche the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. He said Cde Goche was a tried and tested leader whose return to the ministry was likely to see most of the challenges facing civil servants being solved. “As civil servants, there are so many positive things that we are expecting. He has a lot of experience. It’s a man we have worked with and we are looking forward to working with him very well given that he is an experienced minister, level headed and approachable,” he said. In the education sector, Mr Majongwe said Cde Lazarus Dokora who had been deputy minister, had vast experience of the short and long-term challenges his ministry was supposed to tackle in order for the education sector to move on. “As deputy minister for such a time, I am sure he learnt a lot about the needs to be dealt with. We want to see how he is going to deal with the teachers’ problems. This is time to say let’s work for the betterment of our education sector,” he said. Advisory Services and Research chief executive officer, Mr Gilbert Muponda, said most of the faces in the new look Cabinet were seized with the challenges faced by the economy hence it would be easy for them to look for solutions. “These are people who have been there when the economy faced challenges. They will not allow the economy to go where it was before,” Mr Muponda said. He lauded President Mugabe for ending anxiety by constituting Cabinet. Mr Muponda said it was critical that Zimbabweans supported those who had been thrust into Cabinet to steer the country forward. President Mugabe unveiled a 26 member new Cabinet where he retained some ministers from the previous Cabinet and infused new blood from the party’s young Turks. He also reassigned some of the Ministers who have been presiding over some Ministries.  Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive, Mr Manuel  Nyawo,  lauded President Mugabe for creating two ministries from the education sector, The Ministry of Education led by Cde Dokora and Sports, Arts and Culture under Cde Andrew Langa. He said the creation of the two ministries was going to harness expertise and develop mainly the sporting sector at national level that had been devoid of success for long. “The separation is a welcome development. We have been yearning for this for too long. Some countries like South Africa have a separate ministry for sport. This at law is what we call “Trias Politica”, the doctrine of separation of powers.  This is very welcome because it will have split in the area of education and sport. It is going to bring expertise that will not interfere with the education part. “In the long run we are going to see an improvement in the sporting arena at national level because we are going to see experts being sourced to deal with sports only, not cases were they were also taken from education. People should give this time, it will work,” he said. Mr Nyawo said former Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga, created chaos now obtaining in the education sector, adding that they were happy that these areas were now being led by experienced ministers.

Recall of Moyo ‘hints at hard line’ by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Mugabe’s recall of Moyo ‘hints at hard line’  BDlive by Ray Ndlovu President Robert Mugabe announced a new cabinet on Tuesday drawn from members of his Zanu (PF) party, with the leader making the surprise inclusion of a former minister, Jonathan Moyo, who he fired from his government eight years ago. Political observers said the new cabinet, which was reduced from 33 to 26, did not inspire confidence and indicated a return to a hard-line political stance. Nevertheless, Mr Mugabe also appeared to want to appease foreign investors and aid agencies by removing the hawkish Saviour Kasukuwere from the indigenisation ministry and replacing him with the more moderate Francis Nhema, son-in-law of the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo. Mr Mugabe’s announcement put an end to weeks of speculation. He was sworn in for a seventh consecutive term in office last month, but had remained tight-lipped about the choice of his inner circle. Several ministries, such as education and finance, have ground to a halt, waiting for the appointments to be made. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), which is crying foul over the election results, indicated that it would not participate in a cabinet led by Mr Mugabe, saying to do so would only help to “sanitise” the new government. Political observers said the biggest winner in the new cabinet was Mr Moyo, a key Zanu (PF) strategist in the election, who was appointed as information and publicity minister. Mr Moyo was fired from the same post in February 2005 by Mr Mugabe after he was linked to a plot to block the ascendancy of Joyce Mujuru to the post of vice-president, casting his support in favour of Emmerson Mnangagwa at a Zanu (PF) elective congress in 2004. Chairman of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute Rashweat Mukundu said Mr Moyo’s return appeared to indicate Mr Mugabe would adopt a hard-line stance against his political opponents. “Mr Moyo’s appointment is the most surprising of all appointments, judging that Mr Mugabe earlier had said he would not include in government any person who had lost their parliamentary seat,” said Mr Mukundu. Mr Moyo lost his seat in Tsholotsho to the MDC-T’s Roselene Sipepa-Nkomo. Speculation is that Mr Mugabe will appoint him in one of the five nonconstituency seats he is entitled to fill in parliament under the new constitution. Mr Moyo, now a staunch defender of Zanu (PF), is credited with being the architect of stringent media regulations in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in his first stint as information minister. “Clearly, he (Mr Mugabe) is in a fighting mode politically and the inclusion of Mr Moyo, who thinks like him and can implement his policies with dead accuracy, is evidence to that. “The private media has to roll up its sleeves, as we will see a return to the 2000-era crackdowns,” said Mr Mukundu, One of the main architects of the new constitution, former justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, was rewarded with the all-important finance ministry. His colleague Mr Kasukuwere was shafted to the environment and water affairs ministry, a decision most said was meant to pacify foreign investors. Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, a Mugabe loyalist, was retained as minister of foreign affairs. Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose ambitions to succeed Mr Mugabe are well known, was moved to the justice ministry from the ministry of defence. That portfolio was given to Sidney Sekeramayi. Mr Mnangagwa’s main rival in the presidential succession race, Joyce Mujuru, retained the vice-presidency position. Former Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, who was tipped to become the second vice-president, was inexplicably appointed senior minister without portfolio. Other inclusions in the cabinet are Andrew Langa (education), Walter Mzembi (tourism), David Parirenyatwa (health) and Kembo Mohadi (home affairs). Obert Mpofu, who was largely responsible for Zimbabwe’s chaotic and secretive diamond mining project, was shunted to the transport ministry and was replaced by the politically unknown Walter Chidakwa. Struggle stalwart Oppah Muchinguri was appointed the minister for gender. Former information minister Webster Shamu was demoted to the ministry of information technology, postal and courier services. Olivia Muchena retained the higher education portfolio. “This is not a reform-oriented cabinet. Mr Mugabe had to stick with people that think like him,” said political analyst Dumisani Nkomo in Harare.

New Cabinet a disaster by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via New Cabinet a disaster: Analysts – DailyNews Live  by Thelma Chikwanha 11 September 2013  President Robert Mugabe’s new huge Cabinet is a disaster, analysts said yesterday, as the veteran leader retained most of his loyalists who have been blamed for bringing the economy down over the past three decades. Ibbo Mandaza, a respected academic and political scientist, said Mugabe’s new Cabinet did not bring any new surprises. He however, said it was too early to predict its effectiveness. “What is clear is there is a provincial balance of three per province but I do not see the gender balance as there are only eight women in cabinet,” Mandaza said. He said the fact that few young Turks including Supa Mandiwanzira who was appointed deputy minister of Information, and Paul Chimedza, who was made deputy minister of health, showed that a political establishment was not easy to split. Philip Pasirayi, a political analyst said the new cabinet was nothing short of “jobs for the boys” rather than a team appointed based on merit. “Instead of change, there is going to be continuity of the same policies that have hurt our politics and our economy,” Pasirayi said. “Most of the people who have been brought back to Cabinet like Jonathan Moyo, Savior Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and others have nothing new to offer to the people. It is a huge disappointment.” The director of Centre for Community Development said the only positive thing about the new administration was the demotion of former Transport minister Nicholas Goche and former Mines minister Obert Mpofu and Kasukuwere. “But the president should have sent a clear signal that corruption will not be tolerated in the new government by excluding some of his ministers who were fingered in corruption in the mining sector, lands, local government and parastatals,” Pasirayi said. University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Shakespear Hamauswa said it is simply a reshuffling of the old guard. “Another explanation is that Zanu PF’s primary focus is on consolidation of power. This explains why the old guard came back. These are the people who are Zanu PF to the core, so economic development is actually secondary,” Hamauswa said. Sydney Chisi, a human rights activist, said the new government was an attempt by Mugabe to mix reformists and hardliners. “The movement of people like Francis Nhema is an indication that Mugabe wants someone who is ‘soft’ at sight to deal with issues of indigenisation and allow foreigners to see the programme with a different lens,” Chisi said. “The opposite is for people like Jonathan Moyo, Sydney Sekeramai and Mnangagwa who retain the hard militant stance around the discourse of sovereignty and independence, a reminder of the pre-GNU war cabinet.” He added: “The deputy ministers who are generally young are not of much influence in a government where deputy ministers are as good as non-existent, but good for grooming. “What shocks me is the bouncing back of Dzikamai Mavhaire into the fold and for him to hold such a critical portfolio, which is a national asset.” “The thinking in that appointment is not far from thinking that Mugabe wanted to deal with factions, remember Mavhaire was appointed the most senior in Masvingo province, the balance was to give Josiah Hungwe some funny ministry.” Chisi said the role of extractive minerals in Zimbabwe’s economy will be quite academic especially in the advent of the West’s position and the Kimberly Process, hence a good legal mind is required to ensure that the economy is set to challenge any legal provisions from the international community. “The bouncing back of Muchinguri, the non-moving of Sithembiso Nyoni and the move of Olivia Muchena to an Education ministry for a former lecturer shows that Zimbabwe is driving whilst looking in the rear view mirror,” he said.

Chinamasa equal to the task: Gono by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Chinamasa equal to the task: Gono by NewZimbabwe Staff Reporter Gideon Gono says Zimbabwe’s new Finance Minister is “more than equal to the task” of providing strong economic leadership. Patrick Chinamasa, who held the position on an interim basis between 2008 and 2009 and is credited with dollarising the economy, was named Finance Minister in President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet announced on Tuesday. “Minister Chinamasa is not new to the portfolio and we are confident that he is more than equal to the task,” Gono said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “On our part as a central bank and financial advisors to government, our board, management and staff are excitedly ready to play our part within the confines of our mandate.” Gono said the Cabinet team announced by Mugabe had “lots of potential” to consolidate the economic stability which has prevailed since 2009 when a power sharing government took office after President Mugabe agreed to share power with his MDC rivals. He added: “A Cabinet is like a football team. It takes the whole team to win a match. Yes, there will always be individual flashes of brilliance in any team but ultimately, what we now have is Team Zimbabwe Cabinet which if it pulls together in the same direction, putting aside sectarian interests in favour of national interest and cohesion, can make a positive difference in a very short space of time. “Out there people expect results like yesterday and no excuses. That being the case, one sees lots of potential in Team Zimbabwe Cabinet but potential alone is not enough. It is the translation of potential into specific energy and dexterity towards deliverables consistent with the said people’s expectations which matter most.” Mugabe, 89, won a new five year term after his Zanu PF party captured a two-thirds majority in parliament in the July 31 elections. Mugabe has pledged to accelerate plans to take stakes in banks and mining companies to return control of the economy to black Zimbabweans. Under its indigenisation policy, Zimbabwe has forced mining companies such as Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) to cede majority stakes in their local assets to black Zimbabweans or the government. Zimbabwe has the world’s second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves, as well as diamond, gold and coal deposits. Gono – who is set to leave the apex bank in November – has urged caution in the indigenisation of banks, insisting that the “one-size-fits-all” approach used in other sectors of the economy would not work in the financial services. The Reserve Bank chief would have been warmed by President Mugabe’s decision to ship the former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere out to the Water, Environment and Climate ministry. Francis Nhema, seen as a moderate, was named the new Indigenisation Minister. Gono and Kasukuwere clashed repeatedly, with the central bank chief accusing the youthful minister of “irrational exuberance during these times of necessary soberness” after he threatened foreign banks with the withdrawal of their licences if they failed to comply with the indigenisation laws.

Where did they go wrong? by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Where did they go wrong? | The Zimbabwean by Magari Mandebvu After citing the need for armed struggle, Zanu’s 1972 policy document states that the party, unlike ZAPU, was concerned with and distinguished by its policies for an independent Zimbabwe. They also accused ZAPU of having a “cult of personality” as a substitute for credible policies. Whatever the facts may have been in 1972, this sounds outlandish today, where Zanu (PF) seem to have very little to say except slogans of loyalty to their leader. The leader reciprocated by devoting his recent speeches to a string of complaints about historical grievances and threats against his perceived personal enemies. No practical suggestions on how to right the perceived wrongs, just threats to destroy everything he personally dislikes. No suggestions on how he might “indigenise” what remains of our formal economy without scaring away the skilled personnel we need to run it, and foreign investors; not even a hint of how ZESA is to pay wages and buy fuel while the biggest debtors (who are firstly parastatals or government departments, followed by himself and a number of his Zanu (PF) leaders) have their bills cancelled. It’s not just policy that is lacking there, but knowledge of basic economics. “Mwenje 2” admits that it is a provisional document, with a lot to be filled out later, so its plans for redistribution of productive resources are only outlines, but they are there. Control by the workers and peasants was to be expressed by either state ownership of the means of production or by forming co-operatives, as appropriate in each case. The workers’ committees we heard so much about at the time of independence could have served an important function in this transfer of wealth. I suspect they really fell victims to Zanu’s desire for total control. As for co-operatives, Fred Shava, who had some responsibility in this area, told me in 1980 that the farms belonging to Zanu (PF) would be run by ex-combatants as co-operatives. A few months later, his story was that the proposed co-operators were too independent-minded so managers were being put in to run them as conventional commercial farms. You may remember that the collective co-operatives, in industry as well as agriculture, which did succeed were mostly run by ex-ZIPRA fighters, who had a stronger motivation for the difficult task of merging individual interests into those of a productive community. In the same era, Langford Chitsike, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Co-operatives, was recorded as saying “Co-ops are the dustbins where we dump the unemployable”. In short, Zanu (PF) had given up on them. I never managed to find out whether they had any other ideas about what socialist production would look like. After the introduction of ESAP in 1989-90 that question was no longer relevant. Zanu (PF) announced they had changed their party ideology to market capitalism – as quickly and as smoothly as they might change their jackets. Certainly, although our state media gave a lot of publicity to our Cuban socialist allies in the early years and we had the only embassy of Free Nicaragua in Africa, these practical and popular socialists did not take our government’s profession of socialism seriously. They certainly could not consider us as effective allies in their struggle for the economic independence of Latin America and Africa, which would have meant a revolutionary economic break with capitalist colonialism. Even Muammar Gaddafi, hardly socialist, but an advocate of a new alternative form of ownership of the means of production to make Africa economically independent of the old colonial powers, showed his contempt for Zanu’s pretensions when, on his tour after the meeting in Lusaka which transformed the OAU into the African Union, he entered Zimbabwe on foot over the Chirundu bridge, publicly discomfiting the governor of Mashonaland West, a man who had grown to such truly political proportions that walking to the middle of the bridge gave him great difficulty. You might say that was another of Gaddafi’s theatrical tricks, but it made a good point.

Help with the basics by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Help with the basics | The Zimbabwean by Mxolisi Ncube The mainstream MDC has launched a programme that seeks to compensate those who have been affected by Zanu (PF) violence. The party’s district organising secretary for Johannesburg, Trust Ndlovu, told The Zimbabwean that the programme, already in full swing, would see the MDC-T helping less fortunate activists and the families of those who died in the “struggle for democracy”. “We have decided to begin the process in Bulawayo by assisting the family of the late Patrick Nabanyama, who was abducted and killed by Zanu (PF) just before the 2000 elections, after which we will go to other provinces,” said Ndlovu. “Mrs Nabanyama is not the only one we have identified in Bulawayo, but I mention her because hers has been one of the biggest test cases of the party’s ability to come to the aid of those that have died fighting for democracy in the MDC ranks. We want to show our activists that the party of excellence will not forget them and that they did not make a mistake by joining the MDC.” The party has donated food, blankets and other forms of humanitarian assistance to keep the families afloat. The MDC-T’s Johannesburg district two years ago launched a programme to identify activists who were affected by Zimbabwe’s post-1999 political violence and who are still struggling to recover from their ordeals. The first phase of the programme was focused on creating a database of party members who were displaced, brutalised and killed by Zimbabwean state security agents since the formation of the MDC in 1999.

Money & identity by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Money & identity | The Zimbabwean by Chenjerai Hove Meeting businessman Pascal Chikara in the streets of Harare in the 1980s was like an encounter with some kind of a financial saviour of the nation. Before enquiring into matters of your health, he would assert that he was Zimbabwe’s youngest millionaire – even if that was uncalled for. Glamorously-dressed and ruthlessly pushy, the man’s over-sized ego betrayed the power of his banked millions for all to see. Chikara had ‘solid Zimbabwean millions of cash’ in his bank accounts, and was not in the habit of hiding it. But then years later when the Zimbabwean dollar was breathing its last, I remembered an old tale in which the animals held a big conference for the purpose of each one announcing what its identity was. That is, what identifies you: that which we can say if it is not there, you are not there? Some boasted about their thunderous roar. Others, especially the small ones, identified themselves by their long tails or squeaky sounds, large eyes, magnificent ears like the rabbit’s, or soft ,sheep’s coats, brightly spotted fur, or long, elegant necks. Some even went as far as showing off their speed in the hunt. The tortoise sat quietly among them. He had forgotten his shell at home, but was brave enough to announce that he was, indeed, the tortoise and could only be identified by his shell house. Mischievous rabbit stood up and laughed, of course, with his usual missing front tooth and large ears. He shouted: ‘What is a tortoise without its shell? If you have no shell, you are not a tortoise, simple and clear.’ The tortoise shamefully slumped to the floor amid loud applause for the rabbit’s wit. Identity, that is the question, and national identity, that is the crux of the matter.Many Zimbabweans, at home and abroad, always hide behind the mask of ‘it’s our culture’ when unpalatable aspects of their nation are discussed. There is a tendency to think that ‘our culture’ is a good shield against all argument. The animals were, indeed, discussing the issue of individual and collective identities. Identities are a complex subject. A tortoise without its shell is not a tortoise just as a rabbit without large ears is simply a cat. But a tortoise is also other things, and a rabbit is also other things. We all have multiple identities – just like the animals. Some of the national badges of identity are symbols – like flags, languages, anthems and Coats-Of-Arms. Zimbabweans have even adopted the Flame Lily as part of their grand national identity. Unfortunately, our national identity is never complete without the treacherous national currency, which, if one might say, is a major part of our personal and national ego. After the massive inflation in Zimbabwe a decade ago, I sat and wondered if ‘the youngest millionaire in Zimbabwean dollars’ would still introduce himself as such in a country where every citizen, child or adult, had become a multi-billionaire. Faced with inflation to the tune of over one billion per cent, the national currency became worthless. The question is: with the death of our national currency, have we also become worthless? I could imagine the millionaire gentleman probably feeling as worthless as the banked millions he used to parrot about to everyone he came across. Before, he had been king of his personal and public space, but when every beggar or maid became a billionaire, the man, alongside others, lost ‘value’ just as his millions had become stale. For me, a national currency is a citizen’s pride. It is part of the arithmetic of our lives when we are born and learn how to count. Yes, we might begin with counting stones and sticks, but we soon learn how to count goats, sheep and cows. We soon learn how to buy basic commodities in our little village or corner shop, waiting for some change. People don’t learn to count just for the sake of it. A national currency carries our national dignity, and identity. A currency crisis is also a crisis of individual and national identity, fracturing the national ego with disastrous consequences. It was the same with the Germans when their currency was worth nothing overnight. Hitler was able to use that humiliation in order to restore the dignity and identity of the German nation. Someone had to be found to carry the burden of blame. In Hitler’s world, it was the Jews. President Robert Mugabe focused his wrath on the ‘whites, Western imperialists and colonialists.’ The lack of respect for the currency amounts to a massive degradation of self-respect as citizens hate to own worthless money which does not buy them anything. As the national currency became ‘nothing’ the nationals began to feel they were nothing, worthless, as undesirable as the national currency. No thief would even bother to steal or take those worthless billions which became a symbol of humiliation and national mockery. Then, through the back door, enter the American dollar, of all currencies. RIP Zimbabwean dollar. The currency of the so-called ‘imperialist colonizers’ probably feels like a curse in the pocket of the colonized. It must be a heavy burden of conscience for President Mugabe to spend most of his waking hours condemning the Americans while waiting for his monthly salary paid in US dollars, not South African rands or Angolan kwanzas.The implications of a worthless currency are grave. We ask ourselves what it means to do business in the currency whose features you do not identify with. I asked a Zimbabwean: ‘what are the words on the American dollar which is now our currency?’ He did not know. As for the picture on the note, he had no idea. He only knew it was the United States dollar. ‘Corruption became worse after this American dollar came,’ my brother, a priest says to me. His assessment made sense: the American dollar does not carry Zimbabwean identity, so to cheat in that currency does not bring the same guilty feeling one would have if they had been cheating in a currency carrying important national symbols like The Great Zimbabwe ruins and the Flame Lily. ‘All serious gangsters deal in other currencies, never their own money with their own national symbols,’ a friend joked to me not so long ago. Indeed, no Colombian or Zimbabwean drug dealer would want to be paid in Colombian pesos or Zimbabwean dollars. No Nigerian kidnapper wants to be paid in Nigerian naira. All crooks charge for their services in foreign currencies which do not carry their national identities. When the noise-makers of sovereignty shout about their own sovereignty, I wonder what it is to argue sovereignty when their pockets are full of American dollars. ‘No interference in the internal affairs of our country,’ they say, while American dollars are allowed to interfere in the sovereignty of their pockets. Zimbabweans are ashamed of themselves for not having a national currency. Without the national currency as identity, a citizen does not hesitate to cheat in a foreign currency which does not mean anything personal to them. Corruption in Zimbabwe became worse with the use of foreign currencies from other lands. Cheating in US dollars is not the same as cheating in Zimbabwean dollars. It is the same with the national flag: seeing a foreign flag burning does not arouse the same emotions as seeing your own national flag on fire. Much as people protest against their dictatorial or tyrannical regimes, they would never burn their own flag. They can burn effigies of their presidents, but never the flag. In the countryside, land is the currency. If you take away a villager’s piece of land, you have reduced him to a worthless rascal, a wanderer who owns nothing on this earth and does not deserve a place in joyful folk tales. That is why the liberation war was headed by ‘vana vevhu’, children of the soil. If the liberation war had been waged on the theme of occupying the presidential palace, no parent would have allowed their child to join it. Once the crowd symbol, land, was put to the front, then the thirst for land was worth fighting for. Other rights come low on the priority list of Zimbabweans. But our politicians have this rare lack of a sense of irony. They spend most of their time talking about ‘our national sovereignty’ and condemn the so-called ‘imperialists’ whose currencies are in their pockets. A country without its own currency is doomed to own a false identity dressed in a shallow national imagination. But what I loathe is a dual currency: an ‘imperialist-colonialist’ US dollar for those who have investments in colonialist countries, and a Zimbabwean dollar for the economically-crippled peasants and workers of our country with its shattered identity. – (C) Chenjerai Hove, 2013

ZEC’s contempt of court exposes its credibility by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via ZEC’s contempt of court exposes its credibility: MDC-T | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe The MDC-T has blamed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for contempt of court after the latter disqualified the party’s candidate for Ward 12, Mt Darwin East, from contesting in the July 31 elections against a High Court order to the effect that the contestant was eligible to participate.In a statement, the MDC-T said that Christopher Chigwande had earlier on been told by ZEC hat his papers were not in order and this disqualified him from contesting for the position of Ward 12 Councillor. Following the development, Chigwande approached the High Court on July 8 and lodged an appeal against the electoral body’s decision. The case was heard before Justice Happias Zhou “After going through the appellant’s case in Case No: EC15/13 Justice Zhou duly granted Chigwande the right to contest and ordered ZEC to accept his nomination papers and to duly register him as a candidate for Ward 12 in Mt Darwin East. “However, on 31 July 2013, the day of voting, Chigwande’s name was missing on the ballot paper. This allowed the Zanu PF candidate to win uncontested for the position of councillor in the ward. Despite having launched a complaint on the matter with ZEC, the electoral body has not been cooperative,” read the statement. The MDC-T claimed that ZEC’s behaviour was a huge cause for concern that raises doubt over the electoral body’s credibility and non-partisan approach to electoral issues. “ZEC’s behaviour raises serious questions on the credibility of the electoral body particularly its impartiality in the handling of the just ended disputed election,” read the statement. The party’s spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora’s phone went unanswered when contacted for comment on the way forward.

Recycled Cabinet No Surprise by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Zimbabwe:The Recycled Cabinet Was No Surprise |OPINION | ZimEye By Chris Tongogara Published: September 11, 2013While I take this opportunity to wish all the newly-appointed Ministers the best in the next five years, I must quickly add that the cabinet was not a surprise at all. It merely served as the only way to thank and appreciate loyalists in the party most of whom who have buoyed Mugabe to rule to this day. Some are even shocked to be on the list because they do not even know their purpose and functions to this day. I was still awestruck to realize that old habits die hard. Why in the world we would have resident Ministers and a Minister without portfolio just left me wondering. What would a Minister without portfolio do? As he would prepare to head to office what would be his day like? What exactly would he be paid to do? I wondered? Why all the unnecessary expenses blowing tax payer funds on a Minister without portfolio in this day and age? I was then slightly happy that the cabinet was shrunk from 33 to 26. I am sure some reality knocked on the door. Then the reshuffle was awesome too. Those weak in brain power saw themselves heading to lesser challenging zones as those considered more powerful were assigned to challenging roles. It was interesting to analyze the shift of positions as the new cabinet would be expected to deliver miracles under such inhibitive conditions. That there were few women ministers was not a surprise as well. ZANU PF has always played a chauvinistic approach when appointing women. Not even a single woman got a powerful role in the cabinet. They were simply invited to the table to see men take the fatherly “head of household roles”. The other aspect was that the cabinet resembled the same ole same ole recycled people who have created some controversial issues before. There were no new brains in the top ranks. Most of them would simply trade seats and continue the same old song. In the same example we saw Mnangagwa heading back to the Justice Ministry that he once led in the nineties as Patrick Chinamasa was the Attorney General. Then we saw Chombo retaining the local government seat. We will see how he will work with the new mayor of Harare who is from the MDC-T. I then wondered the authenticity of such a cabinet that had seen so much happen on its clock and yet failed to deliver. Then the very fact that a lawyer, Chinamasa would be the head of finance seemed interesting. That was because many had believed Biti as a lawyer had done well in that category. So the persuasion to get another lawyer into the hot finance seat came as not a surprise. Many will be interested to see how things will change. Be that as it may, we will have to see how these men and women so full of hope and promise will live to deliver to the electorate. There had been so much blame on the GNU as being an impediment to progress. So many peope pointed fingers at each other. Corruption was the main subject as leaders traded brickbats. Now the ball is in your court ZANU PF. We will be watching you closely as you make decisions that will impact the nation. I would kindly appeal to you to stop the blame game now, tie your boots and start delivering. There is so much to be done and please stop some make-believe ideas like a Disneyworld in Zimbabwe when people do not even have enough clean water, medical drugs and books. I would kindly ask that you know the basic needs of your people first. Good luck bringing change!

The long wait is over | The Herald by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via The long wait is over | The Herald by Takunda Maodza  and Daniel Nemukuyu September 11, 2013 PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday appointed a leaner 26-member Cabinet, down from the Inclusive Government’s 33-member team, which was tailored to accommodate representatives of the three political parties that made up the coalition government.The incoming Cabinet is set to be sworn in at State House in Harare today.  The appointments, which were announced by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, who was flanked by Presidential spokesman Mr George Charamba at State House, came 40 days after the harmonised elections and 20 days after President Mugabe’s inauguration. The Cabinet was whittled down by collapsing and merging several ministries. Justice and Legal Affairs was merged with Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs to create the new ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that is now headed by Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, with Cde Patrick Chinamasa landing the Finance portfolio which he superintended in an acting capacity when he introduced the multi-currency regime on January 29, 2009 ahead of the formation of the inclusive Government a fortnight later. Water Resources was merged with Environment to create a new ministry of Environment, Water and Climate headed by Cde Saviour Kasukuwere. Higher and Tertiary Education was merged with Science and Technology Development to create one portfolio headed by Dr Olivia Muchena, who is deputised by Cde Godfrey Gandawa. The ministries of National Housing and Social Amenities, and Public Works were collapsed and merged with Local Government, Rural and Urban Development to create the new Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing headed by Dr Ignatius Chombo. The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts, and Culture was split into two to create a Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture headed by Cde Andrew Langa who is deputised by Cde Tabeth Kanengoni; while the new Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, a throwback to the late 80s Cabinet, is headed by Dr Lazarus Dokora, who is deputised by Professor Paul Mavhima. While the previous Cabinet had 11 women, including deputies, the incoming team comprises only three women as full ministers and four deputies. Ministries of State Security, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, State Enterprise and Parastatals, Regional Integration and International Cooperation have been collapsed. Eight ministers retained their portfolios, a reaffirmation of the President’s faith in their capabilities. Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi; Small to Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni; Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa; Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made; Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and the Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Mujuru’s Office Sylvester Nguni retained their respective portfolios. Minister Mzembi, fresh from the successful hosting of the 20th edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, could not hide his joy. “Obviously I am happy for the reappointment to the ministry. It is a reaffirmation of the President’s faith in the work that we are doing and the discharge of the mandate and interpretation of his dream for tourism and hospitality. “The glory is not mine, it belongs to the people of Masvingo who have chosen me to continue representing them, in the process, making me available for deployment by the President. “I would like to express gratitude to the sectoral stakeholders, the ministry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the public and international community at large, who have contributed to my success as the minister.” Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said his reappointment would ensure continuity in tackling outstanding issues. “We look forward to reviving the plans of financing the farming sector. Farmers are ready to move forward but they are facing funding challenges,” he said. Minister Made hailed the appointment of two deputy ministers in the ministry, saying this would go a long way in restoring Zimbabwe’s bread basket status. “I now have two deputies, one responsible for livestock and the other for crop and mechanisation. I think this is a well-directed effort to tackle the multifaceted nature of the portfolio in coming with the desired results.” Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo returns to the portfolio he held when he was last in Government in 2005. Said Prof Moyo: “With this appointment you feel like hitting the ground running. I am coming to do any assignment given by my boss. I am coming in as Team Zanu-PF and Team Zanu-PF has a captain.” Asked whether he would institute any media reforms, Prof Moyo said: “You do not reform anything that is not deformed. I will have to wait for my assignment.” Cde Didymus Mutasa said President Mugabe retained him in Presidential Affairs Minister out of trust. “I remained where I was. I did not grow up or grow down. I think the President trusts me the way I trust him too. We have come a long way together since 1963 and it is very difficult not to trust each other,” he said. Cde Mavhaire said his appointment was a reward by the President to the people of Masvingo after the province won all the 26 seats. “The fact that we got 26 out of 26 seats is a good testimony to say we tried our best. It is the people of Masvingo who demonstrated and corrected their mistakes. “I am happy His Excellency, the President recognised the effort we put and rewarded us,” he  said. Cde Chombo said it was time to deliver services to the people across  the country. “This is a new situation, a new term in which we expect Zanu-PF to deliver because we have a very clear blue print. People expect services. We really have to start running.” The following were appointed Ministers of State in the Office of the President, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo (Senior Minister of State), Cde Flora Bhuka (Minister of State for Presidential Affairs) and Cde Josiah Hungwe (Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education). Cde Sylvester Nguni remains Minister of State in Vice President Mujuru’s Office. President Mugabe also appointed Ministers of State for the 10 provinces namely Cdes Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo (Bulawayo), Miriam Chikukwa (Harare), Christopher Mushowe (Manicaland), Martin Dinha (Mashonaland Central), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Mashonaland East), Faber Chidarikire (Mashonaland West), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Masvingo), Cain Mathema (Matabeleland North), Abednigo Ncube (Matabeleland South) and Jason Machaya (Midlands). Dr Sibanda said President Mugabe exercised his Constitutional right in appointing non Constituency members Professor Moyo, Dr Made, Cdes Chidarikire, Dinha and Dokora as ministers.

Zanu-PF lawyer now Zimbabwe finance minister by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Mugabe appoints Zanu-PF lawyer as Zimbabwe finance minister – Times LIVE  Reuters | 11 September, 2013 In a surprise line-up, Mugabe also appointed two inexperienced officials to head the mining and empowerment portfolios, both at the heart of a push to increase black ownership of the economy by forcing foreign firms to cede majority stakes to locals. Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader at 89, and his Zanu-PF party were declared overwhelming winners of the July 31 vote but his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, dismissed the result as fraud. Western nations have questioned the credibility of the election. In the cabinet announced at State House, Mugabe appointed justice minister Patrick Chinamasa as his finance minister to succeed Tendai Biti from former Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Chinamasa, a lawyer who led Zanu-PF negotiations to form a unity government with the MDC after a previous disputed election in 2008, was one of Mugabe’s staunchest defenders in the immediate aftermath of this year’s vote. “When 3.95 million people go to vote in cold weather you call it a farce?” he told a news conference days after the July 31 voting, responding to opposition allegations of widespread fraud and vote-rigging. Zimbabwe’s new constitution approved in March ended the post of prime minister but also partially limited presidential powers. No MDC figures were included in the new cabinet. In other key appointments, environment minister Francis Nhema will head the “indigenisation” ministry while the mines ministry goes to Walter Chidhakwa, a cousin of Mugabe and junior minister in a department managing state companies. Mugabe has been in power since the former white-ruled Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980. Pointing to multiple flaws in the July 31 vote cited by domestic observers, Western governments – especially the United States – have questioned the credibility of the outcome and are considering whether to prolong sanctions against Mugabe. But the veteran leader has drawn comfort from African observers who endorsed the vote as largely free and orderly. Western observers were barred and Mugabe has told critics to “go hang,” arguing he won fairly. Analysts say the impact of individual personalities on policy or the pace of implementation will be limited in a government tightly controlled by Mugabe and the ZANU-PF party. Chinamasa’s biggest challenge will be to try to mobilise foreign assistance, despite the sanctions, for a government which spends 70 percent of its budget on civil servants’ wages. Mugabe has said mining will be at the centre of an economic revival programme after his re-election.

One on One with VMCZ Chairperson by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Towards redemption for Zimbabwe’s media industry: One on One with Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) Chairperson by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Following the recent launch of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ)’s report titled “The State of Journalism Ethics in Zimbabwe July 2013”; the Crisis Report sought out the views of VMCZ Chairperson and veteran journalist Tapfumaneyi Machakaire (TM). Below are his views on the way forward for Zimbabwe’s media practitioners and how journalists can redeem themselves from the follies of unethical conduct that have become normative in the profession. Crisis Report: According to the report, the standards in the journalism industry have been seriously lowered due to rampant unethical conduct – do you think that the industry can recover? TM: Yes the industry can recover but a lot needs to be done for that to happen. Politicians should stop abusing and dividing the media into two camps with the public media being forced to regard their role as that of defending the ZANU (PF) government while the private media sees its role as fighting against the ZANU (PF) Government. Media practitioners should realize that polarization of the media was born out of the polarization of the forces behind the media. Crisis Report: What can be done to facilitate such recovery? TM: There is need for more workshops that combine journalists from public and private media to deal with issues of ethics, accuracy, fairness, and balance. Journalists who attended workshops that were held before the July 31 harmonized elections from both camps indicated that they are prepared to adhere to ethics. Crisis Report: What challenges or obstacles are likely to impede this process? TM: The major challenge is with the Editors who tell them that the story has to have a particular slant against or for Mugabe and his party. The bigger challenge however would be convincing the editors to adopt a professional approach. For a start however, if we can have reporters dishing out balanced stories and avoiding self-censorship, we will have gone a long way towards achieving our goal. Crisis Report: How can the editors’ cooperation be facilitated? TM: VMCZ should continue to monitor and expose media organisations that continue to run unprofessional and unbalanced stories and denounce the use of hate language. VMCZ should also emphasize that politicians recognized and accepted their undue interference with the media by including a section in the GPA, which focused on improving professionalism in the media industry. Crisis Report: Do you think journalists are prepared to restore ethics in the industry? TM: In the report we released there are comments from journalists from both the private and public media who indicated that they are happier producing balanced stories if something can be done to influence their editors to be professional which I see as a good starting point. Journalists often tell us that they deliberately give the slant just to please the editors and earn a living but will be doing it against their conscience. If you, for instance, are able to read stories that are written by journalists from the public media to the foreign based website masters you can easily tell that they are clearly aware that they are being abused. Crisis Report: What can be done to ensure that journalists stick to this ethical path? TM: There is also need for an improvement in working conditions of journalists so that they are not forced into “prostitution” to get the extra cash for survival. I believe that there are very few “bad apples” among our journalists and it is normal under the circumstances to have such individuals. Efforts should be made to convert those and make them realize that their role is to be the watchdog of society and not to be the megaphone of certain politicians. Politicians will come and go and the journalism profession will remain. The VMCZ ethics committee shall continue to preach the gospel of professionalism and advance the one family concept where journalists by adhering to professional ethics become members of one family, the Fourth Estate.

Female journalists abused by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Female journalists abused – ZUJ from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition WOMEN journalists live in constant danger of being sexually manipulated and subjected to gender-based abuse from the learning institutions right up to the various newsrooms in the country throughout their career, a professional and labour body Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has revealed. Foster Dongozi, a veteran male journalist and the ZUJ Secretary General made the startling remarks, while presenting on the topic, “Safety, Security and working conditions of media practitioners” at the Annual Media Stakeholders’ Conference organized by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) held in Harare on September 4, 2013. “In line with the working environment, the issue of sexual harassment is the big elephant in the room that we don’t want to talk about,” he said. “But the debates that we have held across the country have indicated that from university the female journalism students are abused in exchange for higher marks by lecturers. “It does not end there, when they go to the news room they are abused and harassed by colleagues and senior people in the newsroom and also subjected to sex for in return for better recommendation, or something like that.” Dongozi further claimed that the problem was not being perpetrated by lecturers and bosses alone but implicated news sources from different sectors of society as being part of the culprits in this abominable usage. “And it gets even worse because even the news sources, very respectable men and women that we did not expect to do such things end up stalking them as well,” Dongozi said. “But obviously following our interventions the cases have reduced because we are talking about them and we are naming and shaming the culprits. “So some people while you mention it, they will think that you are talking about them so they will quickly stop whatever they are doing which is a plus for us.”

Media profession body moves to protect scribes by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Media profession body moves to protect scribes by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition ZIMBABWE Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Secretary General Foster Dongozi revealed in Harare on September 4 that his organisation plans to set up a fund and hire lawyers on retainer to protect its members in times of occupational danger after admitting that the work environment for reporters in the country was littered with security problems. “On the issue of security for journalists particularly given the kind of environment that we are operating in we have since launched a safety fund which will be used to defend journalists in any form of problem whether be it legal or otherwise,” said Dongozi, speaking at the Annual Media Stakeholders’ Conference organized by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ). “And because we are a labour organisation we have also put a network of lawyers around the country. “It’s a rapid response force of lawyers that is going to respond to any cases that warrant or need attention.” Dongozi also revealed that the media profession body, seeing the gravity of the security issues had decided to carry out safety trainings for journalists, but added that the government was suspicious of the trainings. “When IMS sponsored a training in Zambia, the next thing was that we were being accused of undergoing military training in a foreign land,” Dongozi said. Dongozi also claimed that there was a lot of snooping activities by global governments on journalists on the pretext of security enforcement. “With the internet fast becoming the major route of communication, authorities across the world have made snooping on journalists their top priority, Interception of Communications Act and so on. “We have been seeing a lot of evidence that there has been quite a lot of snooping on our telephones and internet that goes on depending on the level of your prominence,” he said. Dongozi said that there was little chance that professional journalism and the ethics of news reporting will be strictly adhered to in an environment where journalists felt threatened and news reporters were susceptible to corruption if they did not get adequate remuneration. “At the International Federation of Journalists we say in an environment of fear and poverty, no professional or ethical journalism can be expected to thrive,” he said.

How the West helped Mugabe win by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via How the West helped Mugabe to win the 2013 Zimbabwe elections by InsiderZim.com Tuesday, 10 September 2013 The West was shocked when Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Robert Mugabe won the 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections securing a 61 percent poll while his party won a two-thirds majority in the lower house. While the West has rejected the result, it unwittingly contributed to Mugabe’s victory. The 2013 elections were a contest between liberalisation and indigenisation. They pitted 61-year-old Movement for Democratic Change leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai against 89-year-old Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader and President Robert Mugabe who has been in power for the past 33 years. Tsvangirai promised a new, young leadership, greater democracy and to transform the country, creating one million jobs in five years. Mugabe promised to consolidate his fast track land reform programme under which some 245 000 people were resettled after initially invading white-owned farms and to indigenise the economy by giving locals a stake in the 1 138 foreign-owned companies in the country. The West has been fighting for more than a decade to get Mugabe to retire and has been financing Tsvangirai. But this time, they did not provide enough funding to finance his campaign. Though they wanted change, it appears the West believed that Zimbabweans would just reject Mugabe because he was too old, has been in power too long and was incapable of turning around the economy. They also believed in the “black disaster” myth that surrounded the land reform programme unaware that it had become a huge success and people preferred farming to working for someone else. They also ignored the paradigm shift that was brought about by hyperinflation. Most Zimbabweans now believe in working for themselves than in being employed because they realised that you could starve with a full-time job. The demonization of Mugabe as a tyrannical dictator has backfired. People, across the region and the continent, now regard him as a hero because he is one of the few people that has stood up against the West which is bullying everyone across the globe. Though polls by United States organisations like Freedom House indicated that Mugabe was gaining popularity, no one imagined the magnitude of this change in thinking. The world was shocked when Mugabe won 61 percent of the vote in the 31 July elections. His party, which had 99 seats in 2008, shot up to 160 while Tsvangirai’s MDC dropped from 100 seats to 49. Complacency by the West and perhaps a belief in their own propaganda helped Mugabe to pull off one of his biggest election victories- a victory that could convince him to retire- happy that he has delivered the land, the economy, and an overwhelming victory for his party that Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe said could ensure that his party can rule for another 100 years unless the opposition changes tact. This is the introduction of a 9 400 word (18-page) article on How the West helped Mugabe to win the 2013 Zimbabwe elections which is now available as a kindle book.

Jonathan Moyo does the impossible again by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via Jonathan Moyo does the impossible again  by InsiderZim.com Wednesday, 11 September 2013 Jonathan Moyo has done the impossible again. He is back in government though he lost his Tsholotsho seat in the 31 July elections courtesy of President Robert Mugabe. The former Information Minister is back in his old post and Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, and once again as a non-constituency member. Moyo was very clear about his mission: “With this appointment you feel like hitting the ground running,” he told The Herald. “I am coming to do any assignment given by my boss. I am coming in as Team ZANU-PF and Team ZANU-PF has a captain.” What is not clear is whether Mugabe is doing Moyo a favour or returning a favour. Either way, the question remains, for doing what? Moyo was catapulted to the government in 2000 after lobbying for the new constitution which was rejected in a national referendum in February 2000, but was appointed Minister of Information and Publicity. He revolutionised that ministry, fired all the old editors and replaced them with young reporters, introduced 100 percent local content on radio and television and became official government spokesman, shutting out nearly everyone else. He lost favour in 2005 after he refused to stand down for a woman candidate for the Tsholotsho seat which he won as an independent. But Moyo had lost favour after the 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration during which a number of ZANU-PF leaders had objected to the appointment of Joice Mujuru as vice-President of the party and was supposedly asked not to contest the Tsholotsho seat as a punishment. Moyo held onto the Tsholotsho seat as an independent in the 2008 elections but returned to ZANU-PF the following year and was soon brought back to the politburo. Moyo’s comeback was unprecedented in the history of ZANU-PF raising questions as to why Mugabe found him so useful to re-admit him to the party. Whispers said Moyo was readmitted to spearhead Mugabe’s re-election campaign. The whispers said Moyo was handy because he had been heavily involved in Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s 2008 campaign. The whispers even said Moyo, a composer in his own right, was responsible for the Morgan is More campaign strategy. If this was true then, Moyo is adequately being rewarded because he delivered. But how?

In the merry-go-round cabinet, Mnangagwa gets closer by ZimSitRep – 09-11-2013
via ZimbabweSituation Facebook notes Recycling dead wood, loyalists and corrupt cadres is a major component of ZANU PF’s DNA. The inclusion of Francis Nhema, Joseph Made, Ignatius Chombo, Josiah Hungwe and many others in the new cabinet, therefore, did not surprise anyone. As for Made, it would be most befitting to rename his to Ministry of Grain Imports. When it comes to political juggling, I must admit, there are not many leaders on this planet that can beat President Mugabe at this game.  Nominated Secretary General in absentia when ZANU was formed, there was no indication whatsoever that the junior and hesitant appointee (by his own admission) would one day rise to become president of the revolutionary party for decades.  But here we are! Where he gets his ideas from and how he shuffles his cards, just dazzles the mind. This man is a great schemer! Two years ago, when asked how he found working with President Mugabe and what his perception of the veteran leader was, Morgan Tsvangirai replied “He is old but he remains as cunning as ever”. After the2004 Tsholotsho debacle, President Mugabe did not hesitate to wield the axe where several plotters associated with Dinyane fell by the wayside. Emmerson Mnangagwa, a shrewd student of the master, survived as usual. While it was clear that Ngwena was the godfather of the group, there was no tangible evidence to nail him down. Nonetheless, the junior ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities was created for him as a naughty corner or a place of repentance. But the survival spirit lived on. Nine years on, cognisant of the factional dynamics in Masvingo, a function, “Liaising on Psychomotor Activities etc” was created for Josiah Hungwe. Even the retired primary school teacher from Chivi has no clue what this entails except that the privilege comes with a Mercedes Benz and an attractive package. Again, this is designed to keep the resurrected Dzikamai Mavhaire in check, just in case.  Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, now the de facto provincial governor, will also be on hand if required. If it was a movie, it would probably be called The Battle of The Three Primary School Teachers from the South. As for provincial councils, these will now be a matter for academics given the suspicious creation of Provincial Affairs Ministry. Elsewhere, Obert Mpofu, Saviour Kasukuwere, Francis Nhema, Joseph Made and others would have been shown the exit door. In our land, such elements are rewarded with redeployments and life goes on. This is Zimbabwe! However, it is not all doom and gloom. Demotion of Obert Mpofu and Saviour Kasukuwere, retention of Walter Mzembi and elevation of Mike Bimha might be some of the few positives. The biggest challenge for Mike is that there is no serious industrialisation to talk about and that is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future. The thrust for the new cabinet is succession and power; economic development will be at the back burner. Looking closely at the composition, it would appear that the merry-go-round has favoured Emmerson Mnangagwa despite losing the powerful Defence portfolio. Sydney Sekeramai can be viewed as a safe pair of hands in that ministry. The team of feisty cheerleaders has landed influential posts in this cabinet.  Jonathan Moyo (the political Lazarus), Patrick Chinamsa (Dzunguman) as well as Oppa Muchinguri are all in strategic positions. I’m inclined to shed crocodile tears for Rugare Gumbo. Nobody came to his aid. Speaking from Japan not long ago, President Mugabe assured the nation that anybody disowned by the people will not be elevated to the status of honourable member. Does he still remember making this Fukushima Declaration? All non-constituency MPs, including Jonathan Moyo, have been picked from the rejects shelf. What has changed, Sir? And what do you have in mind for the “astute young professor” Arthur Mutambara? “I can say without equivocation that this Bill, in its original form, was the most calculated and determined assault on our liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, in the 20 years I served as cabinet minister” – this was Eddison Zvogbo in 2001 when he lambasted Jonathan Moyo’s AIPPA. With the return of the vampire, there are likely to be vibrations at Mudadirwa’s grave. Soon, independent newspapers will disappear from the streets and journalist will be regular guests in police cells. Indeed, we have moved a full circle! Though he remains unpopular beyond his faction and constituency, for once, we must give it to Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The man is tactful, calculative, smart, intelligent and extremely patient. He literally caused the creation of Chirumhanzi-Zibabgwe to remain relevant after Blessing Chebundo became a menace in Kwekwe.  After many years of scheming, it would appear his time has finally come. However, one question begs an answer; what does the conspicuous exclusion of securocrats from cabinet coupled with redeployment to a less influential position mean? It must be evident to the MDC that the ball game has changed. Soon, it will be very hot in there. There is no better time to reflect seriously on Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Moses Chamboko writes in his personal capacity. He can be reached on chambokom@gmail.com.