- Mugabe prepares for retirement
- Can Chinamasa lead Zimbabwe to Canaan?
- Made: A cat with nine lives
- Cash squeeze to worsen
- Cabinet to gobble up billions
- Mugabe govt mocks constitution
- ZSE warms to soft indigenisation approach
- ZSE defies weak sentiment
- Indigenisation and SMEs
- Zim elections: A regional security context
- Cabinet will rubber stamp: analyst
- New government to cripple human rights commission?
- China directed election rigging: leaked docs
- The chef who poisoned his own broth
- Mujuru is next: Gumbo
- Taking us ‘forward’ to yesterday
- The Truth about Targeted Sanctions
- U.S Foreign Affairs Committee to Discuss Zimbabwe Sanctions
- Mavhaire’s ‘second coming’
- Will new Cabinet revive economy?
- Japan helps support hunger relief in Zimbabwe
- Mugabe explains MDC-T cabinet snub
- Transcript: Mugabe outlines his vision
- President explains selection criteria | The Herald
- Old hands on deck as Mugabe surrounds himself with loyalists
- Zimplats expansion forges ahead
- Victoria Falls under threat
- Mugabe defends appointments
- Finance minister faces a daunting task
- Bennett wants Tsvangirai to quit as MDC-T leader
- Jonathan Moyo wants to heal media rift
- New Cabinet has potential: Gono
- Mugabe to continue takeover policy
- The stench of corruption and urine
- Easing visa policies will help boost economic growth
Mugabe prepares for retirement
via Mugabe prepares for retirement | The Financial Gazette by Staff Reporter 12 Sep 2013 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has sent the first clearest sign yet, signalling his intention to quit active politics possibly before the end of his five-year term by appointing an outright political Cabinet that blends the old guard with the young Turks, in what could be indicative of his desire for continuity, while also clearing the way for his successor, The Financial Gazette can report. President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 when the country attained its independence from Britain and will be turning 94 in 2018, when the current term, his seventh, ends. As had been expected, the veteran politician — buoyed by an overwhelming electoral victory at the July 31 polls — steered clear from rocking the boat, reposing his faith once more in trusted lieutenants who have been with him through thick and thin, some from as far back as the days of the liberation struggle that brought Zimbabwe’s independence. While he made attempts to shrink his Cabinet from 33 members, during the days of the inclusive government, to 26, the Executive still remains too big for the size of Zimbabwe’s economy, whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shrunk to slightly above US$5 billion from US$10 billion in 2000. Of course, he had difficult choices to make considering that his ZANU-PF party secured an absolute majority in the National Assembly, giving him a wider pool of ministerial material to pick from. Instead of bringing in technocrats, especially in the field of economics who could have been considered rank outsiders by party faithful, he appeared to have been swayed more by political considerations to avoid regrets in the twilight of his political career, with loyalty, tribal balancing and his succession being top on his mind. With political considerations being the primary objective, the economy seems to be occupying a secondary role. Real growth could therefore remain a mirage unless there is an uncharacteristic shift from populist policies, which is unlikely, or if there is significant investment to be made by investors from friendly states such as Russia and China. While the incoming Cabi-net’s commitment to serving its leader is quite apparent, of interest is the rising influence of Vice President Joice Mujuru. A number of individuals considered friendly to Mujuru were appointed to key ministries, possibly to shield her from her foes. Where Mujuru’s rivals gained a fair share of the appointments, President Mugabe has made sure that those who made it are more loyal to him in order to keep them on a tight leash and avoid dividing his party. Simon Khaya-Moyo, has bounced back into the fold as a senior Cabinet Minister, and nothing can stop him from ascending to the post of second vice-president left vacant following the death of John Nkomo in January. For now, the country might continue to operate without a second Vice President until ZANU-PF has appointed one at its congress next year. Alternatively, the party might convene an extraordinary congress to deal with this matter or better still use the people’s conference in December to do the same. While initial reports suggested the State Security portfolio had been dismantled to allow President Mugabe direct oversight to State Security matters, it later emerged these functions would be assigned to Presidetnial Affairs Minister, Didymus Mutasa, a Mujuru ally and President Mugabe’s confidante. President Mugabe also ignored, totally, those from the opposition, putting paid to speculation that he would reach out to his rivals so as not to do away completely with the unity displayed during the troubled life of the inclusive government. Arthur Mutambara, the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister, might however, be retained in the new government, possibly at the Planning Commission where he would be required to put his academic skills to good use by churning out economic prescriptions to move the country forward. The inclusion of sharp tongued ZANU-PF members in his Cabinet, notably Jonathan Moyo, could be indicative of the faltering hope for successful re-engagement with the West, which has refused to recognise his administration since 2000, and the toughening of President Mugabe’s stance towards his nemesis. Indications are that ZANU-PF could go for a bare-knuckled type of diplomacy with its perceived enemies and bring even closer its all-weather friends in the Far East. Not much change is expected in terms of foreign policy. If anything, Zimbabwe’s stance towards the West could worsen as President Mugabe has hinted that his government could hit back, in response to the sanctions imposed on the ruling elite by the United States and the European Union (EU). The biggest casualty would be the economy which is likely to remain stuck in the woods. Without the easing off of sanctions and clearance of bilateral passage with the West, there is little hope that the liquidity situation would ease. Traditionally, Zimbabwe’s economy borrows heavily from European models, which explains why it was badly hurt by the imposition of sanctions. President Mugabe has already hinted that the nation should brace for tougher times ahead in the wake of indications from the EU and the West that sanctions may remain in place. President Mugabe’s appointments demonstrated that he would still be guided by a hawkish approach to international engagement particularly with the West, which he has accused of seeking regime change in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe has been under international pressure for nearly 15 years since embarking on an agrarian reform that resulted in the expropriation of white-owned land for redistribution to blacks. The reforms, largely chaotic, were triggered by former British prime minister Tony Blair who, through his then secretary of state for international development, Clare Short, infuriated President Mugabe after writing a letter to then minister of agriculture and lands, Kumbirai Kangai, who died last month, rejecting Britain’s colonial responsibility for land reform in Zimbabwe. The letter sparked an angry response from President Mugabe who proceeded to expropriate white-owned farms under an exercise that turned violent and caused an international outcry. The result was Zimbabwe’s isolation from the international community, which alleged human rights violations by President Mugabe’s government which battled for power against the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which he accused of being sponsored by the West to remove him from power. The MDC-T’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled a shocker after winning a presidential vote in the March 2008 general elections against President Mugabe but failed to get enough votes to be declared the victor, forcing a presidential election runoff. Tsvangirai was to later pull out of the runoff election after an orgy of violence he said left at least 200 of his supporters dead. President Mugabe won that election which was not recognised by the international community, forcing him into a coalition government with Tsvangirai and a breakaway MDC formation led by constitutional law professor, Welshman Ncube. That coalition ended with a July 31 poll in which President Mugabe secured a landslide victory. The election was largely peaceful but concerns were raised over its credibility, mainly by Britain and the US. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which was involved in talks for a resolution of the political crisis in Zimbabwe, described the election as “free, fair and generally credible”. Now, there is a perception within President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party that their victory at the poll was a victory against imperial powers. They believe the country was isolated over a bilateral dispute between Britain and Zimbabwe after the expropriation of white-owned farmlands. As a result, it is unlikely President Mugabe’s government will try to reach out to its perceived enemies. But an EU representative in Harare said they were currently undertaking a “review of relations, including the restrictive measures, in the light of all the facts”. The facts, said the EU Head of Delegation in Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, were that the EU’s promise to “normalise relations” with Zimbabwe were based on the hope that elections would be peaceful, transparent and credible elections”. “The elections were peaceful, but the weaknesses in the process reported by observers mean that they were not wholly transparent and that impacted on their credibility,” Dell’Ariccia told The Financial Gazette. But President Mugabe has already said those questioning the credibility of the July 31 vote should “go hang”. The retention of Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as the Minister of Foreign Affairs appears to suggest that the new administration would not take a conciliatory stance in seeking to re-engage with the West. Mumbengegwi, a largely reclusive minister, is seen as anti-West and overly loyal to the current cause. Similarly, the appointment of former justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, as Finance Minister appears to suggest that Zimbabwe would not take a peace-making approach in its diplomacy with the West. Chinamasa, who is expected to nurture relations with international financiers revived by former finance minister and MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti during the inclusive government, this week railed at the EU after it sought meetings with Constitutional Court judges. Saying he was angry with the approach and “told the EU delegation off”, Chinamasa said: “I must say I blew my top. It’s unheard of that you have people coming to meet with your judiciary over matters which are before them or even on any other matter. Judges do not decide policy, if issues to be discussed were about policy.” Similarly, the appointment of Moyo as Information Minister also appears to bode well for a hawkish foreign policy — Moyo has previously openly lambasted South African President Jacob Zuma over what he thought to be meddling in Zimbabwe’s affairs when he was arbitrating between ZANU-PF and the two MDC formations. Widely seen as “a loose cannon”, President Mugabe has described him as a genius. For the opposition, particularly Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, they should not expect a bunch of roses from ZANU-PF. Going forward, there is likely to be spirited attempts to annihilate the MDC-T, which has so far been ZANU-PF’s biggest rival.
Can Chinamasa lead Zimbabwe to Canaan? by ZimSitRep – 09-12-2013
via Can Chinamasa lead us to Canaan? | The Financial Gazette by Paul Nyakazeya 12 Sep 2013 NEW Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is best remembered by the business community for formally dollarising Zimbabwe’s economy on January 31, 2009 at a time the country’s economy was in an unprecedented crisis. Then, he was in an acting capacity. The former justice minister, a lawyer by profession, was on Tuesday appointed to one of the most powerful and influential ministries, succeeding Tendai Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T). Chinamasa will be deputised by Samuel Undenge who previously was the deputy minister of economic planning. When he announced the dollarisation of the economy then, inflation was estimated to be over two billion. Questions are being asked if he and others appointed to ministries are equal to the task at hand. Is he being rewarded for his loyalty and will he ensure that the inflation rate remains stable? Is President Robert Mugabe trying to unite his party by rewarding loyalty without considering the best interests of the country? Will he be able to mobilise foreign assistance despite sanctions from western countries? How will he handle a national budget in which 70 percent is spent on salaries? Will Chinamasa be able to ensure that the business environment is not overly influenced by perceptions on political developments? Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Charles Msipa said Chinamasa and other ministers appointed to economic ministries had the confidence of the business sector. “As CZI, we are confident the minister, together with Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce) whom we work with often, would come up with policies that will improve capacity utilisation,” said Msipa. “Chinamasa can deliver and Bimha is a friend of the industry and we are very comfortable with their appointments. There will be a smooth take over as these two are not strangers to these ministries with Bimha having been the deputy,” he said. Msipa said the new government should come up with policies that balance imports and local production to revive industry. According to the CZI, the manufacturing sector is operating at 44,2 percent capacity and the economy is expected to grow by four percent this year. The most daunting challenge Chinamasa will face is to maintain economic stability and growth in a dollarised economy that had shrunk by 60 percent between 2000 and December 2008. Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president, Hlanganiso Matangaidze, said ministers appointed to economic related ministries should take a cue from the President’s inauguration speech. “The ministers have capacity to deliver and like the President said they should listen to the people’s needs as well as (those of) business, industry and farmers,” he said. Some analysts yesterday said there was need to sufficiently fund all sectors involved in the reconstruction and expansion programmes, from private sector to government. Economist, Brains Muchemwa, said liquidity challenges continue to pose the greatest downside risks in the economy. Substantial capital injection into the economy, coupled with investor friendly policies, would be the necessary starting point for sustainable growth. “The key focus should be on coming up with policies and incentives that ensure that the economy bolsters its ability to generate liquidity internally, whilst external sources of liquidity should also be pursued vigorously,” he said. Biti presented a US$3,8 billion national budget for the current year, which he said was demand driven and projected the economy to grow by five percent next year, assuming a normal rain season, firming of international commodity prices and implementation of reforms. Of the US$3,8 billion, about US$2,6 billion would go towards the employment bill and the government would be left with nothing for capital expenditure and other costs. Government officials hope the United States and the European Union would remove the remaining “targeted sanctions” against the elite in ZANU-PF and State-owned businesses, with Belgium already calling for this in respect of State-owned diamond mining companies. The World Bank is also keen to see the sanctions lifted in order to proceed with the urgently needed debt relief programmes for the country. An International Monetary Fund team is expected to visit Zimbabwe next month.
Made: A cat with nine lives
via Made: A cat with nine lives | The Financial Gazette by Staff Reporter 12 Sep 2013 AGRICULTURE, once the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy and Africa’s bread-basket is now a pale shadow of its former self, forcing the country to extend its begging bowl to its neighbours. The ironic reality is hard to comprehend. The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, headed by Joseph Made for the past 13 years was once responsible for Zimbabwe being described as the “jewel” of Africa, with rich productive farmland, producing enough to feed everyone and export the rest not only in Africa but as far as Europe. The agricultural sector supplied about 60 percent of the inputs to the manufacturing industry, contributing to high Gross Domestic Product growth rates and employing millions of people. The recent report by the United Nations World Food Programme indicating that over 2,2 million people in Zimbabwe needed food assistance over the next six months because the food situation has deteriorated and can be described as the worst since 2009, is probably the worst indicator as to what lies ahead for the new government. If this reality cannot persuade the new government to adopt extraordinary measures to revive food production, then nothing else will. Maize production has declined from over two million tonnes in 2000 to about 800 000 tonnes, while wheat production has deteriorated to a non-existent state. Cotton production, the backbone of rural development, declined to 145 000 this year. However, the tobacco sector has been recording growth since 2009 with an expected output of about 167 million kilogrammes. With this recovery in tobacco, there have been calls from stakeholders to revive the whole industry from food production, horticulture and livestock, with the most recent call from the President Robert Mugabe to ensure food security and bring to an end the perennial food imports. In his inauguration speech, President Mugabe promised to revive the farming sector. To spearhead that revival, Made was on Tuesday appointed once again as Agriculture Minister, despite being part of the 2005 “War Cabinet” described by President Mugabe in 2009 as the worst Cabinet in his reign. Made will be assisted by two deputies Paddy Zhanda responsible for the livestock sector and Davis Marapira, cropping, mechanisation and irrigation development. Made faces the mammoth task of reviving the same sector he has been accused of practically destroying when he was part of the team that spearheaded the chaotic land reform programme which also played a major role in bringing agriculture to its knees. Analyst, Rashweat Mukundu, expressed no confidence in the appointment of Made as the Minister responsible for agriculture. “Joseph Made presided over the collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector with his well documented blunders that included, among many, failure to rein in corruption at the Grain Marketing Board, which resulted in the corrupt selling of inputs meant for farmers as well as outright failure to ensure food security since 2000. “I do not see what else the Minister will bring to this sector other than the same lack of efficiency and lethargy. Zimbabwe’s agricultural Ministries need action oriented, strategic thinkers who deliver not clueless individuals,” Mukundu said. Despite driving the Agricultural Rural Development Authority into bankruptcy, Made has survived as Agriculture Minister and under his watch the sector has failed to ensure food security. Infrastructure has collapsed, irrigation, greenhouses, dams are all non-existent and Made and his team are required to move the sector to the next level. According to political analyst, Ricky Mukonza, the re-appointment of Made does not inspire confidence in the recovery of the agriculture sector because the sector has not been performing well under his stewardship in previous years. “This will go down as a lost opportunity for the ZANU-PF government to inject new leadership and new ideas into the Ministry. It can, however, be argued that what has been happening with the agriculture sector is not entirely a consequence of the actions or inactions of the minister of that portfolio but rather a reflection of the general policy direction chosen by the government of the day. “In that case, it will be unfair to judge Made on the basis of the Ministry’s past performance, while the appointment of two deputies is perhaps meant to demonstrate the seriousness with which the government is likely to treat this sector,” Mukonza said. He added that the revival of the agricultural sector would require all stakeholders such as farmers, seed and fertiliser manufacturers and equipment manufacturers to pull in the same direction. Economic analyst, Eric Bloch, urged Made to re-look at the agricultural policies that have contributed heavily to the collapse of production. The major task ahead for Made, according to Bloch, is ensuring that farmers are able to access funding from local banks to finance their agricultural enterprises. “The Minister should look at issues such as speeding up the processes of the 99-year lease to allow farmers to use these leases to access funding from banks in line with the new Constitution which has provided for the leases to be accorded negotiability and transferability,” Bloch said. The majority of new farmers have only received offer letters and not comprehensive leases, negatively affecting their performance.
Cash squeeze to worsen
via Cash squeeze to worsen | The Financial Gazette by Maggie Mzumara 12 Sep 2013 THE importation of maize to avert starvation in the face of looming hunger will have huge financial implications on the country which, among other things, may drain the fiscus and result in increased cost of borrowing on an already liquidity challenged domestic market, analysts have said. “Any significant food imports will exacerbate the situation and consequently, credit conditions in the market will remain tight and corporates will find borrowing not only difficult, but a bit more costly,” economist, Brains Muchemwa told The Financial Gazette this week. Yet the country has no choice but to import. According to estimates by a recently-published Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) Rural Livelihoods report, some 2,2 million people — one in four of the rural population — will need food assistance during the pre-harvest period of January — March 2014. The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) agrees that there is no option but to import. CFU statistics show that while national consumption is two million tonnes, maize production for this year was 650,000 tonnes, which is less than half the total needed. “We are in an absolute mess. Where is the difference going to come from?” asked CFU president, Charles Taffs. Last year’s figures stood at 750 000 tonnes, showing a repeated pattern of underproduction. The country has experienced intermittent food shortages since 2000. From 2009 to 2011, maize imports amounted to over 1,8 million tonnes. The trend continued into 2012 when over one million tonnes were required to make up for the shortfall. So far only plans emanating from an agreement between President Robert Mugabe and President Michael Sata of Zambia where Zimbabwe would import 150 000 tonnes of maize from that country have been made public. While the Ministry of Agriculture was not readily available to confirm the figures, it appears more maize imports would be needed to augment the consignment from Zambia. Grappling as it is with liquidity challenges on the market due to shrunken fiscal space, Zimbabwe can ill afford the imports it needs for its people. “The failure to have food security has huge financial implications not only on the fiscus, but equally on the market liquidity position as food imports drain significant amounts of cash resources from the domestic financial markets,” Muchemwa said. Once again, the United Nations and civil society will come to the aid of the country. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has already announced it is working with government and partners to respond to the looming food crisis and will start food and cash distributions to the most vulnerable next month. But Zimbabwe does not have to be in this situation, says the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU). “It does not make sense for Zimbabwe to import maize or to need any other food assistance for that matter. We have a comparative advantage when compared to our neighbours. We have the best climate, the best soil and the best hydrological factors,” said Berean Mukwende, vice president of the ZFU. It is not that famers cannot produce, Mukwende said, but that due to a poor pricing system for maize, farmers are prioritising other crops. “The controlled price for maize is too low to be viable for farmers. And farmers, because of the nature of their industry do not go on strike; all they will do is not produce and switch to more profitable crops like tobacco,” Mukwende said. “The damage will only be seen when the farmers have shifted to another crop and not produced adequate maize stocks.” Areas mostly affected by food insecurity are in the southern part of the country. These include areas such as Masvingo, Matabeleland and parts of Midlands. Areas such as Manicaland South, Kariba, Rushinga and Mudzi among a few others are also food insecure, according to the ZFU. The UN WFP and civic society partners are planning on assisting 1,8 million food insecure people in 43 of the worst affected districts. “WFP monitoring has found many people reducing their number of daily meals,” WFP country director, Sory Ouane, said last week. “We are working closely with the government and international community and partners to respond to this dire situation.” Between September 2012 and March 2013, 1,4 million people were assisted through WFP’s Seasonal Targeted Assistance Programme; 250 000 of them received cash transfers to purchase their cereals from local markets.
Cabinet to gobble up billions
via Cabinet to gobble up billions | The Financial Gazette by Shame Makoshori 12 Sep 2013 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s new, 29-member Cabinet, sworn in yesterday to take charge of government affairs for the next five years, will cost the cash-strapped administration billions of dollars in consumptive expenditure, which include top of the range vehicles and housing allowances. President Mugabe was naturally expected to rein in profligacy by trimming the Executive to save cash to fund crucial services such as health care and road construction and rehabilitation. Instead, he came up with a government that retained battle-hardened veterans at the helm, with 25 deputies, mostly young Turks who will also enjoy good packages. While on paper, the number of ministries were reduced to 26, from the 33 that were in place during the inclusive government, if Ministers of State were factored into the Cabinet line up, the number increases to 29 members. Cabinet ministers enjoy several perks, which include a latest Mercedes Benz plus another vehicle like a Prado or Range Rover. In Zimbabwe a Mercedes Benz is valued at US$ 170 000 each while a Prado or a Range Rover averages at about at about US$110 000 each. This means on vehicles alone, government will gobble about US$280 000 on each Cabinet minister. Total expenditure on vehicles for Cabinet ministers alone would be close to US$1 billion. Government will have to purchase vehicles for members of the expanded legislature, with 270 cars required for the National Assembly and 80 for the expanded senate, which will cost close to US$1 billion. These figures do not include vehicles for the 10 provincial Ministers of State and 25 deputy ministers unveiled by President Mugabe on Tuesday. Ministers earn about US$2 000 per annum, which translates to an additional US$1 million to be spent on the executive salaries in the next 12 months. This week, analysts warned that contrary to the perception that government had been trimmed, public expenditure on Cabinet Ministers would increase, and that would place excessive pressure on an already cash-strapped fiscus. The added expenditure for the new Cabinet could far outweigh Zimbabwe’s US$3,4 billion revenue projections for 2013. This had not been budgeted for, and could force government, which has been re-elected based on populist policies, to persuade both the Executive and the legislature to delay receiving their dues. “It (government expenditure) will be actually worse,” said the MDC-T’s secretary for economic affairs, Eddie Cross. It will be difficult to rein in expenditure by the Executive and legislative. Official statistics indicate that ministries and government departments have been depleting their budget allocations at an alarming pace. During the first half of 2013, the inclusive government expended 70 percent of the US$41 million allocated for full year foreign travel, and only US$13 million had been left for the remainder of the year. Government expenditure, with the 33 ministries in place, ended the first half at US$1,828 billion, against a budget of US$1,762 billion. Many felt that President Mugabe should have compensated for the expanded legislature by naming a much smaller Cabinet to save funds. “Cabinet is still bloated,” said Takunda Mugaga, head of research at Econometer Global Capital. If they could afford 33 ministers in the GNU, they could have afforded to have half the ministers with a single political party in government. In real terms, the Cabinet is still bloated, the expenditure envelope will grow,” Mugaga said. The Cabinet, described by many as mediocre given that it is made up of the same old faces, some of whom have been dismal failures in previous administrations, will have to confront an aggravating economic crisis characterised by continuing company closures, a deteriorating liquidity situation and unemployment.
Mugabe govt mocks constitution
via Mugabe govt mock new constitution | The Financial Gazette by Maggie Mzumara 12 Sep 2013 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s appointments to the new Cabinet reflect a “worrying’ deviation from the new Constitution which does not inspire confidence in some sections of society. Topping the list of the deviations is the gender composition of the Cabinet as well as the issue of devolution. In a Cabinet of 26 members, only three women have been appointed. “It is a mockery of the new Constitution which clearly states that there should be equal representation of women and men in public administration bodies at the national and local government levels,” said Virginia Muwanigwa, chairperson of Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe and director of the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre. Muwanigwa said not only did this violate constitutional provisions, but it also went against what the ZANU-PF party’s own manifesto purported. “In light of the new Constitution, it sends out a message, unfortunately very clear, that women’s rights and gender equality are not among government priorities, despite what the political party manifesto says,” she said, adding, “It does not inspire confidence and while this relates to the provisions for women, it has implications on respect for guarantees on socio-economic and humanitarian issues contained within the Bill of Rights, not just for women but for all the people of Zimbabwe.” Former minister of education, sport, arts and culture, David Coltart, told The Financial Gazette that President Mugabe’s disregard of constitutional provisions set a bad precedent. “I am concerned by the deviations from the Constitution. Clearly the objective of gender balance as provided for by Section 17, which must be read together with sub section 4, has not been met,” Coltart said. “How is it going to be possible to ensure that this objective is met at other levels when Cabinet has clearly deviated?” Muwanigwa concurred, saying that the implication of under-representation of women in Cabinet was likely to be echoed in other bodies and institutions of governance. “We may yet see more reneging of the commitments to respect women’s rights to not only representation in other bodies still to be appointed, but absence from key decision making posts such as chairpersons of Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, commissions, among others,” she said. While it may have been too much to hope for immediate adoption of the constitutional guarantees in full all at once, Muwanigwa said, “We would have wanted to see an increase in representation not lower than 30 percent and in light of the African Union Women’s Rights Protocol, closer to 50 percent.” Gender balance was not the only point of deviation observed. Coltart said he was also concerned with the appointment of resident ministers as it impacted heavily on the move towards devolution, as provided for in the new Constitution. “I am sure the President can appoint as many ministers as he likes but on the issue of the resident ministers what role are they going to play? Constitutional provisions in Chapter 14 and section 268 make provisions for provincial councils. It undermines the whole concept of devolution”
ZSE warms to soft indigenisation approach
via ZSE warms to soft indigenisation approach | The Zimbabwe Independent by Chris Muronzi September 12, 2013 Stocks rose on Wednesday, a day after President Robert Mugabe announced his long-awaited cabinet, driven by gains in heavyweight counters, but analysts warned this was not an endorsement of the appointments. The mainstream industrial index surged by 5,25 points, up 2,82%, to close at 191,14 points, on the back of gains in heavyweight counters such as Delta and Econet. Delta rose by US6,99 cents to trade at US127 cents, Econet added US3,49 cents to US55 cents and Seedco put on US2 cents to close at US80 cents. OK Zimbabwe went up US1,11 cents to US23,10 cents, DZLH edged up a cent to trade at US19 cents and Nicoz was US0,40 cents firmer at US2 cents. Economist John Robertson said the market had conditioned itself and saw no further bad news from Mugabe. “People might have been fearful of bad news and they could have seen that nothing will change, or things can’t get any worse at least. People have been watching and they have seen there is no further bad news perhaps. However, the change is not too significant, because there is no proper investment taking place,” Robertson said. He added: “We could see changes in policy, but I think people have just put up with the idea of living with the mixture. There is no guarantee that things will keep improving though, because you can see agriculture production is down and mining and banking are also not doing their best.” On the downside of Wednesday’s ZSE trade, Old Mutual lost US5 cents to trade at US22 cents, Mash dropped 0,42 cents to US3 cents, Padenga slipped US0,09 cents to close at US5,01 cents and Medtech eased US0,01 cents to close at US0,06 cents. The mining index put on 1,56 points, up 3,31%, to close at 48,73 points after Riozim was bid higher at US25 cents. Bindura, Falgold and Hwange were unchanged at previous trading levels. When Mugabe won the disputed July 31 presidential election, the ZSE, which had advanced a solid 51,72% since the beginning of the year, fell by a solid 11,09%, trimming the year-to-date gains from 51,72 to 34,89% in a single day. Market capitalisation fell by a hefty US$626,33 million to US$5,41 billion. Analysts said while the new cabinet did not inspire much hope for the economy, the appointment of Francis Nhema as Indigenisation Minister meant the aged leader wanted to calm the markets down and go for a softer approach on indigenisation. The perceptibly soft Nhema takes over from the brazen Kasukuwere. “Anybody who knows markets will start picking up a lot of these cheap ZSE bellweather stocks for a song. There are a number of companies that will continue to have solid future performance prospects, come rain or shine. Now is the time to buy, not recklessly, as markets tumble. A careful selection will yield handsome returns in the near to medium term for astute investors. A cardinal rule of stock markets is you don’t buy when the market is going up and you don’t sell when the market is going down,” an analyst advised. However, another analyst said Wednesday’s performance was unrelated to the appointment of a cabinet by Mugabe but mirrored a general business as usual approach post the election. “The market started firming on Friday before the cabinet announcement.I don’t think today’s performance is in any way related to the new cabinet. “The fact of the matter is people do not have confidence in the new cabinet, especially the person who has been seconded to the Finance ministry. The market is firming because people are taking a business as usual approach. They realise that life must go on.They are tired of waiting on the sidelines. Also, the blue chips were now cheap compared with regional comparatives in terms of valuations. Those are the shares that are moving,” an analyst said. While the market has adjusted to the “new normal”, analysts said the upward trend was not sustainable going forward. “The interest in blue chips only reflects caution,” an analyst said. Economist Takunda Mugaga said: “There is a possibility that the coming in on board of Francis Nhema is evidence of how Mugabe is softening his stance on indigenisation. Nhema is a testimony of Mugabe’s retreat, he is still moving forward but he is taking three steps forward and two backwards. “Nhema is a soft kind of minister in terms of his reputation and he is likely not to read too much into the Zanu PF manifesto. His appointment is evidence that a hulkish way of doing things is not viable. “It can also reflect a relief in the market regardless of who is in cabinet because it completes the governance status and investors are saying let’s move on. It might maintain a modest trajectory but there is room for more recovery. There is a mystery on how Nhema reacts, he may want to prove a point.”
ZSE defies weak sentiment
via ZSE defies weak sentiment | The Financial Gazette by Staff Reporter 12 Sep 2013 THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s industrial index soared 2,82 percent yesterday, discounting despondent sentiment President Robert Mugabe’s new Cabinet was unlikely to take the country out of its economic quagmire. Described as “old wine in a new bottle”, the new Cabinet consists of the same old faces which have graced President Mugabe’s government since independence in 1980, with a few new faces in inconsequential portfolios or in deputy ministerial positions. Deputy ministers’ positions are largely sinecure as they do not act as ministers in the absence of portfolio holders. The industrial index moved up by 5,25 points to close at 191,14 points. This was on the back of gains in heavyweight counters. Beverages group Delta rose by 6,99 cents to trade at 127 cents while telecommunications giant Econet added 3,49 cents to 55 cents. Seed producer, Seed Co put on two cents to close at 80 cents. Grocery retailer OK Zimbabwe went up 1,11 cents to 23,10 cents; Dairibord Zimbabwe edged up a cent to trade at 19 cents and insurance firm NicozDiamond was 0,40 cents firmer at two cents. A few counters lost yesterday but failed to tilt the scales in favour of the bears. Old Mutual lost five cents to trade at 225 cents; Mashonaland Holdings dropped 0,42 cents to 3 cents, Padenga shed 0,09 cents to close at 5,01 cents and Medtech eased 0,01 cents to close at 0,06 cents. The mining index put on 1,56 points (3,31 percent) to close at 48,73 points after RioZim was bid higher at 25 cents. Bindura Nickel Corporation, Falgold (which closed one of its mines this month due to liquidity constraints) and Hwange Colliery Company were unchanged at previous trading levels. Zimbabweans have been apprehensive about President Mugabe’s new Cabinet, which many fear might be unable to inspire confidence in the economy. It consists of individuals President Mugabe a few years ago said were “the worst” he had ever had to run government with.
Indigenisation and SMEs
via Indigenisation and SMEs | The Financial Gazette by Farai Mutambanengwe 12 Sep 2013 HAVING been writing this column for the last two and a half years, one of the things I find interesting when penning certain thematic issues (such as liquidity and indigenisation) is the way those issues — as well as my thinking — have evolved over time. One of the key assumptions that shaped my thinking around indigenisation was the belief that most people preferred formal employment to self-employment. The Finscope survey results (and perhaps the elections?) debunked that hypothesis, and literally turned previous arguments about the issue belly-up. In retrospect, I should admit that the evidence supporting the indigenisation agenda was always around, but perhaps historical perspectives on the issue, as well as the media noise always kept most of us from realising the true position. The takeover of the down-town area by foreign players has been highlighted over and over again, and so have issues such as transfer pricing (extractive industries), not supporting local businesses (banking) and putting the interests of foreign parent companies ahead of local considerations. It has been said that the most powerful weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed, and this has been particularly true of the post-independence situation in most African countries. Because of colonial conditioning, formerly colonised people have an inherent disbelief in their abilities, an inferiority complex that leads them to believe that certain things are best done either by former colonisers or by foreigners. The biggest struggle that post-colonial governments face is getting rid of this mental colonial overhang while maintaining stability in the economy. For Zimbabwe, the realisation that the economic status quo had to change came at the turn of the century, ushered in by the fast-track land reform programme. The most commonly expressed sentiment around this program was that it was a good policy, but the implementation left a lot to be desired. The words “chaotic” and “violent” feature prominently in discussions on the programme; so does the opinion that it should have been done earlier rather than later. In fact, the timing and manner of its execution led most to see it as being a program of expediency, rather than empowerment. The indigenisation policy has attracted the same tag as the land reform program: a good policy, but people are skeptical over whether or not it will be implemented well. Doomsday scenarios have been painted over the likely outcome of indigenizing Standard Chartered Bank or Zimplats. Mental and actual obstacles have also been raised, and the responsible implementing Ministry has surreptitiously been tarred and feathered, such that many do not want to be associated with it. It does not help that several people at the forefront of implementing the programme have tainted pasts. If it is agreed that the role of government is to create an enabling environment, and that of the private sector is working within the environment so created to ensure economic prosperity, then surely the burden of implementation lies on us, the people. A major complaint raised about Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in South Africa was that it benefited a few blacks, who were already in the elite. These so-called fat cats’ response was that the rest of the people did not step forward to benefit, and it was valid. Blacks were happier to be used as fronts and smokescreens by whites, rather than to rightfully claim what was theirs. Despite the programme being positively viewed worldwide, most of the affected whites were also very reluctant to let go of their former advantage, and therefore passively resisted or covertly sabotaged the programme. No matter how competent, it was unthinkable for these die-hard characters that blacks could sit on the same boardroom table as them. Thus up to now, BEE in South Africa is still facing teething problems. It therefore stands to reason that in Zimbabwe, given our already existing polarised and pariah status, the program is likely to be that more difficult to implement. To ensure proper execution, it is thus necessary that first and foremost we change mental attitudes around the program. Poor implementation can only be the result of lack of engagement and participation, because we certainly have the necessary brainpower to successfully carry out this programme. If Barclays Bank could operate as ABSA in South Africa, why can’t a similar arrangement be set up here? We have so many Zimbabwean experts in the mining field both locally and internationally; why should we believe the mines will shut down if the ownership is localised? Mutumwa Mawere is famously known for having bought Shabanie Mashaba Mines without using his own money. Can we only structure such transactions when they are for individual benefit and not for the national good? Year after year it has been said that the Municipalities should not grant shop licenses to foreigners, and yet we still see them running all the down-town shops, evading taxes and usurping our balance of payments positions. That is not Government’s problem. That is our problem, especially at the level of associations and chambers. Why do we sit and do nothing when the rights of our members are violated? Why are we not increasing lobbies and activism around such areas? I am not, for one moment advocating for xenophobia. I am saying that the 51:49 shareholding structure should apply. Locals should, in the truest sense of the word, be leading partners in all such ventures. That way, the bulk of profits are retained in the country, and we rise out of the liquidity crunch we are currently facing. It does not help us one bit that someone from China lands a container here for US$20 000, and leaves with US$80 000 in cash, having paid minimal amounts towards rent and underpaid wages, and completely foregoing the tax element. At a higher level, I once sat in a meeting where the head of SME banking for one of the large foreign banks bluntly stated that they were happy to lend to someone going to Brazil to bring back a container of chickens, but would not support small-scale chicken farmers locally. This stance was not as shocking as the fact that it was coming from a fellow black Zimbabwean’s mouth. What saddens me most is the fact that most of our local SMEs bank with these international banks, yet these banks’ policies unequivocally state that they will not lend amounts below figures as high as fifty thousand dollars — and they want all the bells and whistles as far as stringent conditions are concerned. Most executives of such foreign-owned institutions are not able to tailor solutions that are suitable for local conditions as they are under strict instruction from their parent head offices. Many also aid their foreign owners in carrying out activities such as transfer pricing, in exchange for personal perks and rewards. One would think that a person in such a position is better off advocating for localisation of their operation, but perhaps that inferiority complex sits deeper, even in more educated minds. It is better under such scenarios to be on the side of Zimbabwe and to craft workable indigenisation strategies, than to become an obstacle which will need to be removed once the process has been rammed down your company’s throat. You can actually end up as major shareholders as has happened in companies like Schweppes. The long and short is that indigenisation is an imperative, and it is going to happen whether or not people like it. No one disputes that it is a good policy, therefore we need to participate if we are to make it happen the way we would like to see it. The land reform program has seen over 250 000 families benefiting; we want to see the 2,8 million Zimbabwean SMEs come out winners from this round. Zimbabweans working in “affected” companies need to see it as an opportunity, not as a threat. As business associations and chambers we need to engage with Government and our members to ensure that this program succeeds resoundingly. Farai Mutambanengwe is the founder and Executive Officer of the SME Association of Zimbabwe. For details on the Association, visit www.smeaz.org.zw or email@example.com. You can join the debate around this issue on the SME Association of Zimbabwe group page on LinkedIn.
Zim elections: A regional security context
via Zim elections: A regional security context | The Financial Gazette Allen Hungwe 12 Sep 2013 THE Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) statement on the regional bloc’s final report on elections is out. The verdict is now fully established; the elections according to SADC were “free, peaceful and generally credible”. That endorsement also translates to an unconditional acceptance of President Robert Mugabe’s new five-year tenure. I don’t think anyone expected anything different from the position that SADC took in its preliminary report, released immediately after voting on August 2. This was further buoyed by the endorsement from SADC Heads of States and governments summit in Malawi on August 18, where President Mugabe was then elected to be vice chairperson of the regional bloc. Botswana, which had earlier asked for an audit of the elections, eventually joined in the regional chorus in Malawi and accepted the outcome of the elections. In looking back at the Zimbabwe elections and the position of SADC, one cannot ignore the convolutions of regional politics and security. Regional politico-security is one of the key anchors of how decisions in the Zimbabwean election were made and this demonstrated the centrality of such matters in the region. SADC is not merely driven by open-ended principles and propositions. These must find location in the regional politico-security matrix if they are to have any traction. This politico-security matrix cannot also be understood from a vacuum. Rather it is built from the historical perspectives that are so pregnant with liberation history. At one point, around 2011, South African President Jacob Zuma, who was facilitator of the Zimbabwe mediation process, seemed to have gained courage to placate the region out of its compelling historical influence. He, at a meeting held in Livingstone, Zambia, was the first to be openly critical of President Mugabe intransigence on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). Zuma’s direct confrontation with President Mugabe was significant because it defied the contemporary way of politics in SADC. Firstly, SADC had never been known to be confrontational with a sitting Head of State, no matter how much they toed out of line. Secondly, President Mugabe, considered as the political father figure in the region, had up to then never been politically challenged. The only attempt had been made by Nelson Mandela when he was president of South Africa in the late 1990s. He and President Mugabe openly clashed on the structure, composition and mandate of the newly created Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Thirdly, the internal matters of member states had always been considered to be sacrosanct and fully submissive to the sovereignty clause of the SADC Treaty – never to be openly interfered with. Some saw Zuma’s stance at the SADC Livingstone meeting as a new shift and a change of political paradigm in the region. This seemed to herald the evolution of a new way of politics in the region, able to untangle historical incapacities and sensitivities. The Zimbabwe election was a major test of this shift in SADC approach and position. Given all the irregularities that characterised the elections, the new SADC approach as propounded by Zuma’s confrontational approach to President Mugabe, should have found traction in condemning this election. We even hear that within the SADC observer mission there were major differences and a split along country lines. There was a bloc of countries that wanted to take a very critical position on the Zimbabwe elections. There was a second group that wanted to take a position that would allow continuation of the coalition and power-sharing government. Then there was another group that wanted to a take a position in defence of ZANU-PF and President Mugabe’s win, as a way of ultimately endorsing a return to their political dominance in the region. Ultimately, all these groupings agreed to provide a very mild preliminary statement, and then wait for the Heads of States and governments summit in Malawi to proffer the decisive direction on Zimbabwe elections. The endorsement from the summit then settled matters. How on earth did the three varying positions evolve into one congruent and resolute position? What factors affected the SADC position? The SADC position was influenced by what many have referred to as the regional security position. The region is considered to be very sensitive to security issues, especially with impression of emerging instability. In Mozambique, RENAMO is once again on the upsurge — having caused some level of instability in the country very close to its borders with Zimbabwe. In Angola there is rising suspicion that the rebel activity in Cabinda region will likely rise in the coming few years. The instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues unabated. Botswana’s close military links with the United States which at one time raised suspicion of the Africom base being set up in this SADC country is also a fresh and sensitive issue in the region. All these cases made the Zimbabwe election central to the security concerns in the region. Perceptions in the political corridors in the region are that, Western powers are likely to take some role or have already done so in these conflicts, as has happened in the past. There is a school of thought that says that in the southern African region, the West has lost the socio-economic and political battle to the Chinese. In that regard, the backlash of the western powers cannot be overt but will rather be through subtle means. One such way maybe by reverting back to their direct or indirect historical support for movements like RENAMO, UNITA and other such forces that may arise in the region. The current instability in the DRC is also largely seen as a result of the West’s historical involvement in that country. Given that background, there is a group of very strong-headed SADC regional leaders who are arguing that the region is once again under a new threat of Western interference and destabilisation. Their regional priority is security issues and their preference is building a lineage of regional leaders able to resist and stand against this new wave of perceived Western offensive. This is exactly where President Mugabe’s eminence in the region has suddenly resurfaced. I should hasten to highlight that, it is not all of the regional leaders who have this frame of thinking and perception, but those that do have such a compelling effect in how SADC should proceed. President Mugabe is seen as a relevant cog in the new politico-security dynamics in the region. His sustained leadership of Zimbabwe is a guarantee to other regional leaders of bounteous resistance to this evolving threat. This is also against the background of other regional leaders’ suspicion of Tsvangirai’s warm relations with the West. That could have been the most emphatic nail in the coffin that buried Tsvangirai’s hopes of SADC support in the past election. His perceived cordial interactions with the West were also considered in a scenario of him having won the elections. Should that have happened, then the strong-headed regional leaders I mentioned earlier feared Zimbabwe turning from being the cornerstone against Western regional security threats to a launch pad against regional security. Politics is nearly always about perceptions. For the Zimbabwean elections, regional perception could have plaid a central and key role. SADC’s surprising withdrawal from insisting on reforms before the elections; its acceptance to hold elections under conditions that were not so conducive; the regional bloc’s congelation into a unanimous decision to endorse the election without much reservation; President Mugabe’s elevation to vice chairperson of the regional bloc and the emphatic call against sanctions on Zimbabwe — all indicate the influence of a head-strong group of regional leaders, whose priority in the Zimbabwe election was not “freeness and fairness” but rather, implications for regional security. The security question may not have been the only sway on SADC’s position, but it’s one of those that is not so much in the public domain but contributed much to the eventuality. The Zimbabwe election was not only about domestic democratisation processes, it was also about regional security concerns, whether justified or not, real or perceived.
Cabinet will rubber stamp: analyst
via Cabinet will rubber stamp: analyst | The Zimbabwean by Nelson Sibanda With the Zanu (PF) dominance in the legislative and executive arms of government, the Politburo will formulate government policies from Zanu (PF) headquarters and Parliament will be reduced to a rubber stamp, says political analyst Shakespear Hamauswa. He said President Robert Mugabe’s winner-take-all stance virtually reduced cabinet ministers to employees of Zanu (PF). “Cabinet will be accountable to Zanu (PF), whose policies will prevail for the next five years,” said Hamauswa. “The fact that most parliamentary committees would be predominately chaired by Zanu (PF), objective reports like the one compiled by the late legislator Chindori Chininga on ‘scandalous’ diamond mining activities by some big fish, will not see the light of the day,” he added. In such a situation the watchdog role of the media was of utmost significance, he said, and objective, non-partisan and informative reportage was vital. He lamented the polarised nature of media that had resulted in hate speech and unfair reporting by journalists. Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said Zanu (PF) dominance in Parliament would help speed up the country’s democratisation process. “The current parliamentary composition is the best arrangement Zimbabwe will ever get regarding the delivery of democracy,” Gumbo told The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview. MDC-T shot down Gumbo’s position and said nothing positive would come out of the Zanu (PF) dominated parliament. “Zanu (PF) is not a reformist party and will not further democratic interests in Parliament,” said MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora. But he added that Zanu (PF) would have to repeal laws that were outlawed by the new constitution, expressing hope that the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Privacy Act, would go. The next Parliament is set to be officially opened on September 17.
New government to cripple human rights commission?
via New government to cripple human rights commission? | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe Zanu (PF) looks set to weaken the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to avoid embarrassment because most abuse cases are rooted in that party’s culture of violence, analysts have said. Established in 2009, the ZHRC has yet to start work in earnest due to low funding and lack of capacity. Prof Reginald Austin, the commission’s founding chairman, quit last year citing a surfeit of operational challenges, including lack of staff, office space and staff, the absence of a political will and doubts about ZHRC’s independence. Austin said the commission had “no budget, no accommodation, no mobility, no staff, and no implementing act or corporate legal status”. Zanu (PF) is likely to keep this vital constitutional body in such a hopeless state to further its political interests, says Thabani Nyoni of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a civil society advocacy grouping. After Austin’s departure, Jacob Mudenda took over. Mudenda, a staunch Zanu (PF) loyalist and now Speaker of the House of Assembly, neither put together a secretariat nor followed-up on the issues Austin cited as cause of his departure. “It is difficult to assess the work of a human rights commission that has not given a framework of how it is going to do its work,” Nyoni said. “The commitment of Zanu (PF) to the observance of human rights is very questionable. For them, the issue of human rights is not a priority and this is worsened by the fact that most of the perpetrators are from Zanu (PF).” Michael Mabwe, the spokesman for National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations said civil society must push the government to support the operations of various commissions. The view was shared by Okay Machisa, the ZimRights Director. He said that ZHRC has done nothing since its inception. “You cannot work and produce meaningful results when you are not funded. This is an institution which should be well fuelled from all angles but they have not been capacitated to produce meaningful results,” said Machisa. Despite its mandate, resource constraints have rendered the ZHRC moribund. The state must support the constitutional commission so that it can regain the people’s confidence. “If we do not have that, we will continue to have perpetrators of human rights abuses walking Scot-free,” said Machisa. “Government has to invest in funding these commissions,” added Abel Chikomo, the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. “Our expectations are that the government does not subvert these constitutional commissions. We expect the government to make sure that it empowers the human rights commission.”
China directed election rigging: leaked docs
via China directed election rigging: leaked docs | The Zimbabwean by Staff Reporter 11.09.13 The Chinese Communist Party played a major role in advising Zanu (PF) and rigging the July 31 elections, according to documents leaked to The Zimbabwean this week. Documents leaked to The Zimbabwean “Director Mr Chung Huwao (mobilisation) Chinese Communist Party will lead a parallel registration and mobilisation structure in systematic sync with NIKUV International Projects and Registrar General’s office to minimise neutralise (sic) hostile votes in urban areas counter populating, under-registration (age band 18-15) (sic – should read 35) and over registration (age bands 35-90),” read the minutes of a joint meeting between the Zanu (PF) commissariat and the Joint Operations Command held at Manyame Air Force Base on June 3, 2013. “As advised by CPC the approach to be used in peri-urban areas centres on land ownership – membership to vote. The message communicated must be that hostile votes will lead to loss of land entitlement. Ownership of flea markets and stalls must be based on card carriage and re-orientation meetings attendance. Absolute neutralisation of the enemy in the areas is recommended when necessary.” The minutes show that Zanu (PF) acknowledged that it had lost support since 2008 and was worried about declining membership. To counter this, the party brought in the JOC, the Chinese Communist Party and Nikuv International Projects to assist the Registrar General’s office in manipulating the voters roll to produce an election victory. “As at May 25 2013, party records show a membership of 700,000, down from 775,000 in 2008. Collaborative intelligence shows that the potential voters are 670,000 as at June 3 2013, against potential hostile votes of 1,000,000 (at) the same date,” say the minutes. “Records, reconnaissance and collaborated intelligence show that Midlands province alone has potential of producing (sic) 450,000 votes by July end. Mashonaland Central and West can produce a total of 1,2 million votes over and above already recorded friendly votes. “Zimbabwe military intelligence will coordinate and evaluate mobilisation tactics informing the party commissariat, led by Dir Sydney Nyanungo and A.V Marshall H Muchena. Major-General Martin Chedondo will join the team of (Staffing and logistics),” say the documents. In the urban areas the documents show that there was parallel registration at Zanu (PF) offices under the supervision of NIKUV. “Intelligence officers will take a lead role in party structures to set housing schemes, re-orient the beneficiaries and populate them on the voters roll through party offices and Nikuv International projects. It said one DT Nhepera, the CIO Director (Internal), together with Nyanhungo and Muchena, had chosen Nikuv “basing on their excellent record from 2002”. “Nikuv International Projects will assist in populating the (voters’) roll, computing figures and modeling results before and during elections to counter unfavourable voting outcomes in major cities” and would be paid $13 million. The committee also recommended that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission voter registration exercise must be led by security personnel and trusted party cadres, with ZEC being directed to ensure that they registered less than 10 people per centre per day. The minutes indicate that, in rural areas, youths would be deployed at ward level by national security to neutralise the party’s opponents, while traditional leaders would also be roped in to help. According to the minutes, “pirate” radio stations posed the “greatest danger (to Zanu (PF)) in rural areas” and, to counter that, the party and its partners were installing new Shortwave jammers while updating the old equipment in Harare and Makuti. In the rural areas the documents show that the meeting decided that trained youths would be deployed in various wards, led by security personnel “as advised by the Chinese Communist Party”. “These will direct enemy neutralisation, depopulation and population of provinces with the help of traditional leaders. Banning of enemy gatherings, regalia and occasional disciplinary action to (sic) enemy leaders must produce absolute liberated zones,” say the documents.
The chef who poisoned his own broth
via The chef who poisoned his own broth | The Zimbabwean by Tawanda Majoni 10.09.13 I had decided to abandon talking about President Robert Mugabe’s threat to disown Bulawayo and Harare for voting for MDC-T in the July polls – until I learnt that his message had already permeated the grassroots with so much oomph. Because of that, I will not relent. I am told that winning Zanu (PF) MPs and councillors are telling MDC-T supporters that they should not expect anything from them, “advising” them to approach their losing horses to give them livelihood projects, food and all the other things expected from office holders. Like President, like MP, like councillor, so to speak. When Mugabe made his threat, I nudged the person next to me as I followed the proceedings at Heroes Acre during the interment of Mike Karakadzai on a public telly and asked: “What message is the Old Man trying to send?” His students, clearly, did not miss a single lesson from his speech, and, being the docile disciples they are, are practising it in full. We have seen this kind of retributive tendency from Zanu (PF) in the past. Earlier this year, for instance, I almost cried while doing an investigative piece around the manipulation of food aid. I was listening to an old woman testify how she had been excluded from the grain loan scheme because her son, who works in Gweru, was suspected of belonging to MDC-T. I was also left utterly dejected when I listened to the story of some orphans whom the Zanu (PF) structures had thrown out because their late parents had been MDC-T. The narrative, therefore, is not new. But I am worried that the gangrene is going to spread like a veld fire, mostly because Mugabe’s talk is unbecoming of a national leader. Even if he meant it as public rhetoric, the point remains that there are so many people holding positions of influence who have swallowed his spin rod, line and bait. But the propaganda is set to swallow the fisherman, Mugabe himself, too. All along, I assumed that the Old Man was so much seized with leaving a lasting legacy for himself. Readers will remember that I invariably attributed his pre-election calls for peace to his anxiety to make people remember him as an amicable, constructive and relenting leader in his political twilight towards the grave. With a single breath, confusingly, he has destroyed all that possibility. Now, I and certainly millions of others will remember him, with much distaste and pain, as a cruel leader who brooked no dissent, and sought to punish all those who dared tell him that the robes he thought he donned were in fact his birthday suit, a bizarre and shameful nudity. More than a million people who voted MDC-T, and millions of others who did not vote, will also hate him for condemning them to the dust bowl of poverty, marginalisation and retribution – simply because they dared to make choices in keeping with their constitutional and statutory rights. Many will go hungry, as the coming farming season waves before us the placard of starvation because of continuing poor policies, corruption and patronage. As that happens, President Mugabe will be snugly tucked up in his lavish Borrowdale home, dining and wining with Grace, Chatunga and his family. He might have forgotten what he said at Karakadzai’s burial, but we have not. Right now, there is no water in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and the other towns, and it seems no-one appreciates the high possibility of a relapse into the cholera era. Why should I not forgive people living in those places if they conclude that their voting sins have come back to haunt them? What will people think if the industries in Gweru and Bulawayo are not resuscitated, and the Zambezi water project remains in the pipeline as it has done all these decades? The Old Man must surely have understood that by threatening the two biggest cities as he did, he was in fact taking out the gas can to torch further violence, vengeance and hatred among his people, while at the same time entrenching fear among us. When he boasted of possessing degrees of violence, we know what happened. People were tortured and maimed; many were killed and so many children are now orphans because of such reckless speeches. That, certainly, does not look like the type of legacy any respectable statesman would want to nurture for himself. I would have wanted to sing a glossy eulogy for Mugabe, but these are the words, if permitted, I will scratch on his tombstone when he dies: “Gone at last, here lies the chef who poisoned his own broth”. – For feedback, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mujuru is next: Gumbo
via Mujuru is next: Gumbo | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe 11.09.13 Despite the existence of two factions in Zanu (PF), party spokesman Rugare Gumbo is adamant that President Robert Mugabe’s succession is not up for debate. “There is no succession crisis in the party,” Gumbo told The Zimbabwean. “There is no doubt in Zanu (PF) about the issue of succession. The party’s hierarchy is clear. We have the President, the Vice President, the National Chairman, the Secretary for Administration and that is the hierarchy that is followed by the party. Those below the hierarchy wishing to become President are just wasting their time.” The two main factions in Zanu (PF) are headed by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. In terms of the party’s constitution, Mujuru occupies the second highest position while Mnangagwa is ranked number 11. Gumbo said any talk of succession was inconsequential as the party’s hierarchy “leaves no doubt as to who will take over after Mugabe”. That reference was an indirect indication that Mujuru, as the party’s vice president, could land the post without a challenge upon Mugabe’s departure from office. In November last year, Mutasa told The Zimbabwean that Mujuru was set to replace Mugabe by virtue of the fact that she is his deputy. Political analyst, Alexander Rusero, said that although Zanu (PF)’s hierarchy could help in resolving the succession issue in the party, it was premature to talk about the matter. Rusero said by contesting in another election at an advanced age of 89, Mugabe had demonstrated that he was unlikely to retire soon. “You cannot talk about the succession of someone who has recently been elected. You cannot expect Mugabe to step down anytime soon. To me, it is a premature discussion and as long as that hierarchy is there, there will not be any succession issue to talk about,” said Rusero. Another political analyst, Shakespeare Hamauswa, said that Zanu (PF) lacked a formula in terms of succession hence Mugabe’s continued stay in power when he should be handing over to one of his trusted party members.
Taking us ‘forward’ to yesterday
via Taking us ‘forward’ to yesterday – DailyNews Live by Luke Tamborinyoka 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 On Saturday, the MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, who turned 35 this year, will be the master of ceremonies at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare where the people’s party will be holding its 14th anniversary celebrations. This week, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sydney Sekeramayi are part of the Cabinet team President Robert Mugabe reappointed for the umpteenth time and by the time their term ends in 2018, they will have served a total of 38 years as members of Mugabe’s Cabinet. Talk of career Cabinet ministers! They have been in Cabinet for almost the same time young Nelson Chamisa has lived on this earth! Mugabe’s latest Cabinet is just a big joke, to say the least. If Zimbabweans and the world at large have been waiting for the new Cabinet to get the message of the policy direction Zanu PF wants to take this time around, everyone has been disappointed. It’s more of the same. Mugabe has simply taken the forward to yesterday. With an average age of around 70 years, it would be unfair for the Facebook generation of this brave 21st Century to expect salvation from this lot. The youth and the women largely remain by-standers while Mugabe and his old guard take the mantle of both the party and the country. It is a Cabinet which does not inspire any confidence at all. It ranges in irony from a minister of Media more known as a media hangman for his closure of independent newspapers to a deputy minister of Information who owns an “independent” and “privately-owned” radio station in the country. We now have full-fledged ministries to deal with “courier services”, “climate” and “psychomotor” activities in when these could at best have been departments in other ministries. How ridiculous can we get. The prospects remain bleak for my beloved media fraternity. Ten years ago, when I was the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, I was taking Jonathan Moyo to court over the unconstitutional provisions of Aippa. And he still disagrees with Sadc and the rest of us that this is an area where reform is necessary. We are back to square one. For our sins, we could see the return of PaxAfro by next week and 1 000 percent local content in all our media by tomorrow to mark the second coming of the good Professor. The return of this doyen of hate speech is certainly no good news to an industry expecting media reform and the full implementation of the provisions of the new Constitution in relation to information access and the role of the State media. And then the new minister of Energy, Dzikamai Mavhaire is old, tired and weary to the extent that he needs the energy himself first before he gives it to the rest of the nation. Josaya Hungwe (responsible for Psychomotor activities) is just another joke. There is basically no new person among the Cabinet ministers, only a sprinkling of new faces among the deputies. More like rearranging the chairs of the Titanic in the hope of changing its fate. Lazarus Dokora, Hungwe, Mavhaire, Paddy Zhanda etc give one the impression that this is more about providing a lifeline to expired cadres than anything else. If ever there was need for any evidence that this party, and the country is finished, this is it. The old man simply wants to take his party, and unfortunately the country, to his grave. Only two ministers have apparently been demoted, Savior Kasukuwere , now minister of “Climate change” and Obert Mpofu, the minister of Transport. If one looks at recycled material such as Joseph Made, Ignatius Chombo, Simbarashe Mbengegwi, Kembo Mohadi and Emmerson Mnagagwa, one gets the confirmation that the President is taking too far the gospel of the green revolution; of recycling as being good for the environment! This is simply a party of yesterday people that wants to lead us today, tomorrow and the day after. As for Webster Shamu, the newly-appointed minister of Information, Communications Technology, I am not even sure if he can use an Ipad. Then there is the apparently laughable plot to dilute the MDC’s influence in the two metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo by appointing ministers of State for Provincial Affairs, whatever that is. Zanu PF does not believe in the new Constitution, particularly the issue of devolving power to the provinces. That is why they have recentralised by appointing these ministers of Provincial Affairs. This is a major statement against the Constitution and we all have to prepare for more attacks on the people’s charter that we regarded as a revolution. In the battle of the factions, it appears the faction that was behind the theft and violence in 2008 and the grand theft in 2013 has benefitted handsomely, if one looks at the figures who have landed a sizeable handful of the influential posts. From the Speaker of Parliament to the Finance minister and the minister who will do the spin, the survivors of Dinyane appear to be very much still with us! Indeed, they have survived to fight another day. As for the influential Mines ministry, we have chosen to take it to Zvimba. We cannot gamble with such a key ministry and so we have decided to take it to our village in Zvimba by giving the portfolio to our close relative, Walter Chidhakwa. It remains a Cabinet of archaic minds that could still return to Chinhoyi in the belief that pure diesel can ooze out of a rock. A quick glance at the picture combo of those who solicited help from the diesel n’anga will show that the characters who went to Chinhoyi remain in Cabinet. In this brave 21st Century, we have Cabinet ministers who go to a sangoma with the sanction of the full Cabinet in the belief that Zimbabweans can end up getting their fuel from a rock! Well, this must have been the original meaning of the word Cabinet — something made of (dead?) wood! *Tamborinyoka is the spokesperson to MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes in his personal capacity.
The Truth about Targeted Sanctions
via The Truth about Targeted Sanctions – Special with SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell Alex Bell: Hello Zimbabwe and welcome to tonight’s special programme on SW Radio Africa, your independent voice. I’m Alex Bell and tonight, with the state media increasing its propaganda about the Western targeted sanctions, I’ll be unpacking the truth about the measures. In recent weeks, ZANU PF has upped its usual rhetoric about the so-called sanctions imposed by Western nations, including the US, Canada, Australia and the European Union. Despite the measures being specifically targeted against Robert Mugabe and key members of his regime, and NOT against the country itself, ZANU PF continues to use the measures as the scapegoat for the problems created by the party’s control of Zimbabwe. This includes blaming the measures for issues like the economic turmoil Zimbabwe faced pre-2009, and even the cholera epidemic of 2008. So what is the truth? My first guest is Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who is the Chairman of the European Parliament ‘Friends of Zimbabwe’ group, and who has for many years spearheaded the Parliament’s campaign for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe. Mr. Van Orden, thank you for joining us on SW Radio Africa. First off, please explain what the targeted sanctions imposed by the European Union are and why they were imposed in the first place?
U.S Foreign Affairs Committee to Discuss Zimbabwe Sanctions
via U.S Foreign Affairs Committee to Discuss Zimbabwe Sanctions by Blessing Zulu for VOA Zimbabwe 11.09.2013 WASHINGTON DC — The United States House Foreign Affairs Committee is Thursday expected to discuss U.S and Zimbabwe relations following the disputed July 31 general election. According to a statement from the Congress Sub-committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, the committee is set to hear testimony on how U.S policy has failed to “provoke reforms that would have ensured respect for human rights by the regime of Robert Mugabe.” The hearing will examine U.S policy, especially the effect of current sanctions imposed on Harare following the 2002 presidential elections, in the aftermath of yet another “problematic election and in light of pressure from the region to remove sanctions against the Mugabe government”. The panelists are Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs in the State Department Shannon Smith, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Bureau for Africa USAID, Todd Amani and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum International Advocacy Coordinator Arthur Gwagwa. The United States imposed targeted sanctions on President Mugabe, members of his inner circle and selected companies alleging human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The U.S had promised to remove the sanctions if Zimbabwe held what it would consider free and fair elections. Washington condemned the July elections saying they did not represent the will of the Zimbabwean people. Crisis in Zimbabwe Regional Coordinator Joy Mabenge said Washington has to be tough on Harare.
Mavhaire’s ‘second coming’
via Mavhaire’s ‘second coming’ | The Financial Gazette 12 Sep 2013 MASVINGO — Former Masvingo governor, Dzikamai Mavhaire, who has been lingering in the political wilderness after a fallout with President Robert Mugabe, has bounced back as Minister of Energy and Power Development. Famed for his “Mugabe must go” mantra that saw him relegated to the political dustbins and reduced to a vendor in Masvingo where he was selling oranges at Mucheke Bus terminus with a ramshackle vehicle that often needed a push to start. The pint sized politician, linked to a faction loyal to Vice President Joice Mujuru, has sensationally made a come-back in Cabinet. Mavhaire, once said President Mugabe should “go” and hand over power to new blood, but nobody supported his position. For that, he was punished for several years and became a pale shadow of his former self. He lived an ordinary life, anchored on farming at his farm a few kilometres outside Masvingo town. Few thought he would bounce back, considering the gravity of his crime and President Mugabe’s nature. The incumbent is considered to be a ‘forgiver who hardly forgets’. But sooner or later, Mavhaire, who is considered by many to be a shrewd politician, started picking up the bits and pieces. In 2008, he contested for a senatorial post but was defeated by the party’s Maina Mandava in primary elections considered rigged in favour of the latter to eliminate Mavhaire. But he did not tire. He was later compensated with a politburo post — secretary for production and labour. From there, he rode on the fame of his newly formed farmer organisation, the South East Growers Association (SEGA) to garner support and he became Mujuru’s blue eyed boy, organising rallies under the guise of SEGA prize giving and field days. He also woke up one day to tell the world that he was the director of Bikita Minerals and became influential in the lucrative sugar growing Lowveld region of Chiredzi. Despite having a fight over supremacy with his nemesis, Josiah Hungwe, also a politburo member and former governor over ZANU -PF, Mavhaire got the last laugh after secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, endorsed him and set the record straight telling party supporters that Mavhaire was more senior than Hungwe. Hungwe, at his rallies in the run up to the 2013 polls, had claimed to be more senior than Mavhaire in the province. Earlier this year, Mavhaire survived a serious accident along the Harare-Masvingo road when his car was sideswiped on his way from a politburo meeting in Harare. He spent several months with a plaster but has since recovered. But few never thought he would recover from his fallout with President Mugabe. To the surprise of many, Mavhaire has had his second coming, after being given a Cabinet post. Many, however, are questioning whether he will be able to live up to expectation, considering the challenges the energy sector faces.
Will new Cabinet revive economy?
via Will new Cabinet revive economy? – DailyNews Live 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s appointment of his cronies into Cabinet has left some experts predicting doom and gloom for the economy. While the veteran leader might be celebrating that he has consolidated his political hold on the country by appointing his comrades — some who have been with him in government since independence — the same cannot be said of the economy. The country’s economy is agriculture-based and the appointment of a failed minister like Joseph Made to this key ministry will ensure that agriculture will remain rooted in the abyss. It is Made who a decade ago, reportedly flew around in a helicopter assessing the crop situation in the country, and reported to Cabinet that there was a lot of food in the country when actually what he had seen were tree leaves not crops. Zimbabwe’s agriculture, once rated among the best in Africa, turned into a basket case under the supervision of Made. Only recently government was forced to import 150 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia to avert hunger in the country — when Zimbabwe used to export the commodity all over Africa. We also strongly feel that the appointment of Patrick Chinamasa to the Finance ministry will not only reverse the gains brought in by the former minister Tendai Biti, but will also not instil confidence in the economy. Biti made serious inroads toward integrating Zimbabwe back into the international market, made progress in reducing our external debt and helped bring modest foreign direct investment. The economy is currently at crossroads with this year’s growth forecast already slashed to 3,4 percent from the initial target of five percent due to lack of industrial activity and falling metal prices. We were all hoping that some technocrats from the private sector would be invited to drum up investment from the Western countries. Chinamasa has been there before and maybe we need to give him a chance. However, Mugabe appears to have turned his back on any possibility of rapprochement with the progressive world by appointing a Cabinet dominated by hardliners who obstructed political reform in the inclusive government formed with the MDC following the disputed elections in 2008. It really boggles the mind whether Ignatious Chombo, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Josiah Hungwe, Obert Mpofu, Nicholas Goche, Olivia Muchena and David Parirenyatwa — who critics accuse of destroying the southern African country’s economy over the last 14 years — will bring anything new to government through their key ministries that they have failed to do in the past 30 years? Political analyst Philip Pasirayi aptly summed it up when he said that the new Cabinet was nothing short of “jobs for the boys”, rather than a team appointed based on merit.
Japan helps support hunger relief in Zimbabwe
via email: Joint News Release: 12 September 2013 Government of Japan and United Nations World Food Programme HARARE – The Government of Japan has announced a contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) of more than US$4.2 million to boost food and nutrition security among some of the poorest families in Zimbabwe. Japan’s support comes at a time of looming food crisis in the southern African country. Some 2.2 million people will need food assistance between January and March 2014, according to a recent study undertaken by the Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with the United Nations and other organisations. The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) Rural Livelihoods Report estimates that one in four of the rural population could face hunger during the coming lean season. Japan’s contribution will help fund various WFP initiatives including programmes to assist vulnerable rural households until the next harvest and malnourished HIV/TB patients, women and children. “Unfavourable weather patterns continue to have a negative effect on harvests, resulting in widespread food insecurity,” says the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr. Yonezo Fukuda. “Our support is designed to sustain the most vulnerable and make them better able to cope during difficult times.” WFP and partners are preparing to assist some 1.8 million vulnerable people through food distributions and cash transfers beginning in October. “Japan’s support enables WFP to increase its assistance to people most at risk so they can lead more productive lives,” says WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. At this year’s Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Japan reaffirmed its commitment to fostering development in Africa by pledging contributions of $32 billion to the continent over the next five years. The Government of Japan has been funding food assistance to developing countries since 1968. In the past decade, Japan has contributed more than US$35 million to WFP’s operations in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe explains MDC-T cabinet snub
via Mugabe explains MDC-T cabinet snub NewZimbabwe by Gilbert Nyambabvu PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said Wednesday he did consider MDC-T officials for cabinet because the opposition party has refused to accept its defeat in the July 31 vote and continues to dismiss as a monumental fraud an election that was endorsed by African observers. The Zanu PF leader, who won a new five-year term in office in the July 31 elections, named his new cabinet this week, making minor tweaks to a team largely comprising trusted lieutenants who have served in successive governments since independence in 1980. But there was no place for officials from the MDC-T party with which Zanu PF shared power in a fractious coallition government over the last four years following violent and disputed elections in 2008. Quizzed by reporters over the exclusion as the new ministers were sworn into office, Mugabe said he could not be expected to work with people who have refused to accept his re-election. “Are you saying when a party wins, it must necessarily have members of the opposition included in its Cabinet? That is matter that should be discussed between the parties,” he said. The MDC-T came close to toppling Mugabe in the 2008 ballot after claiming a marginal majority in the lower house of Parliament while party chief Morgan Tsvangirai edged the veteran Zanu PF leader in the first round of the presidential ballot. But this term the party suffered a stunning reverse as Zanu PF claimed a landslide victory in both the legislative and presidential elections. Tsvangirai has however refused to accept defeat, claiming the vote was a huge farce. Despite failing with a Constitutional Court challenge against Mugabe’s re-election, the MDC-T insists the vote was rigged and has ruled out working with a Zanu PF government although its MPs will represent their constituents in Parliament. Mugabe said once the MDC-T said it would not work with Zanu PF in government again, they had pretty much ruled themselves out of any possible return to cabinet. He said: “You must agree – when we had the results of the elections, the MDC-T started saying it does not recognise the elections; It does not recognise even the election of the President and as far as they are concerned the elections were rigged. “And once you have the opposition with that attitude what do you do? Tell me what should I have done?” Last month Tsvangirai claimed that Mugabe had attempted to talk to him after the elections but the Zanu PF leader said he never reached out to his rival. “I would have expected that the opposition would say aah, we have lost, we accept defeat – fine, but we are prepared to work together. No. They started even making statements – there are indications that the President would want some of us to be in the Cabinet; we do not want it,” he said. “The President had never made an indication like that. Zvino maiti todiiko? Mushandirapamwe tinouda asi unotauriranwaka. Zvino kana vamwe vachibva vava that negative tovaita sei? Tovasungirira?” Mugabe also discussed the thinking behind his new cabinet selection which was delayed, he explained, by unavoidable constitutional requirements which included the swearing in of new members of parliament. He said the ministers had to be committed party cadres, people of sound character and education adding it was also necessary to considers issues such as balance in provincial representation. “The party which won is Zanu PF. Are you Zanu PF? ‘Vanhu vakavhotera Zanu PF handizvo here? So you must belong to Zanu PF because that is the wish of the people,” he said. “And if you belong to Zanu PF, how much of Zanu PF are you? Takabva kupi newe tikasvika kupi? How long have you been with us? Yes, in Zanu PF hatidi madofo ainzi namai vangu madofo. This is 33 years after independence, tave mumakore eruzivo, technological periods – years of technology. “How educated are you; are you just Ordinary level? Ipapa we were able to say just one or two were just O-Level, the rest are degreed. Hameno kuti mungazviwana kupi? Even in Europe, you get all those 24 or 25 degreed people. “Madzimai, varume the same … ane principles dzakanaka. Hunhu hwake tinenge tichihuda. Was he a winner and also respected by his own community kuConstituency kwake? What is the standing? “It is not everyone who comes out with the same good standing, but you cannot just punish people because of what is being said. Kuti uyu aah ndozviri kutaurwa ane zvakati, zvakati. “Tinenge tichida kuona kuti are all our provinces represented as much as possible, at least two ministers. Kungaita madeputies zvako kune mamwe, but I think we managed to get about three in a province.”
Transcript: Mugabe outlines his vision
via Transcript: Mugabe outlines his vision NewZimbabwe Remarks by President Robert Mugabe to the media after the swearing in of the new Cabinet in Harare on Wednesday 11 September 2013: GREETINGS to you all. You have come to witness an event and the event speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself. Yah, well people were all these days saying when is the Cabinet going to be set up? You don’t set up the Cabinet until the steps and other motions have gone through. Every member of the Cabinet except five of them or three of them had to be sworn in first, they had to become MPs, sworn in, and the swearing in took place on Tuesday. So it was only after that had happened that I was in a position to say that these now are valid peas. They are not just people who have been elected, they are elected and now they have had the baptism of Parliament. They therefore can be looked at in terms of whether some of them can be chosen to constitute the Cabinet. So that is the exercise we had to do after people had been sworn in on Tuesday and today is Wednesday. So yesterday we set up the Cabinet and today the swearing in now which they have to do as Cabinet ministers was done. But that is the ceremonial aspect. The political aspect is that these now are the Team that should lead Government into action along the policies that had been stipulated by the party which has won elections and from whom these derive. And programmes of Government, therefore, for the next five years will be a programme of continuing some of the work that the previous Government left undone but still requiring to be finished. That has got to be done and therefore we would expect that our ministers will look at their portfolios, examine what the previous ministries were doing? What was accomplished and what was not accomplished? And get on with that which was accomplished, but even look at that which was accomplished and see whether it cannot become the starting point for new programmes. But I would want to say that our emphasis will not just be on continuing what was left undone but it will be on our programmes as envisaged by us and expressed by us in our manifesto. We will need to revive some of the institutions and establishments that the previous Government left to go into oblivion or neglected and you obviously are aware we were not yet one within that Government in terms of policies and in terms of outlook and in terms of ideology and therefore things did not go well all the time. Where, for example, we wanted assistance given to industries, to factories, companies that we rely upon for production, this was not done. In some cases what was done was very little, not adequate to enable those establishments to really be on valuable grounds and so we will look at that. We will look at the various sectors in agriculture; what is it that requires to be done, looking at the land, looking at the farmers, looking at their requirements, what assistance can be given. The assistance is not an act of generosity; it is an act of facilitating the farmers to do business. Are there facilities which farmers can rely on using their own capacities now to do business, to be productive. The financial aspect, for example, financial system, financial institutions, and the banks, are they liquid enough? Are they also fronts, financial fronts, that are enablers to our farmers? We have to discuss this with our financial institutions. Money must not be unnecessarily expensive. Interest rates have got to come down to levels that are affordable, but we also must ensure that the institutions are liquid enough so that they can carry out that function of lending to agriculture. We know that loans to agriculture are never long-term loans, they are short term, seasonal, and we would want to see more production of tobacco, more production of maize, soya beans, cotton, etc. We would want to see also our livestock being taken care of and our farmers those who look after, who have livestock and depend on livestock like in Matabeleland have got to be assisted and also given direction. Extension officers must be at work giving advice, instructions as to what animals really, what breeds they need to keep at certain areas and for what purposes? We need animals for beef and for beef export. We need animals also for dairy products, milk, butter, cheese, etc. Domestic consumption, for export purposes and we should encourage the rearing of other breeds than our own and linking our breeders of such animals, exotic animals with society elsewhere so they can continue to take into account whatever new ideas are afforded them and that can help to look after those breeders in a more productive manner. But that’s looking at agriculture as a whole and agriculture has not been suffering as much as the industrial side because we have seen at least the tobacco farmers not only increasing in number but also giving yields in terms of quality that are being praised by those who know what good tobacco is and what tobacco that is not good is like. We need, accordingly, to look at other crops there. We have cotton, cotton was suffering, maize production suffering from the hazards, climatic hazards that visit us all the times that is drought, drought year in year out. And how do we take care of that? Well, it means we must conserve as much water as possible, building dams and after doing that have irrigation schemes, mechanisation of agriculture, it’s absolutely necessary. Conservation of water, absolutely necessary. And this has got to be done, done in an effective manner, not just, you know leaving it to a farmer here and a farmer there doing their little dams, no, we must look at our country, look at also areas where massive dams must be established, then look at those dams we have already made. Tinana Tokwe Mukorsi still building and about to be finished now. Kune mamwe atakamboita which have no irrigation schemes. We have to get irrigation schemes there otherwise why have all this water in the dam just to wait for evaporation to take place, for it to once again go into the air, into the atmosphere, no that’s it. So you have that aspect also to look after. Are there new crops, a while ago we were talking of dry, dry, dry semi-desert areas of West Africa where now rice is being produced and exported? We are not as dry as some of those areas. And why can we not produce rice? We import rice from Thailand, other places and so on. Import substitution, export dzinozouya from that dzinozotibatsira ma exports acho to also increase our revenue. But for industry, companies look at the companies. Bulawayo was made the industrial city tichiri vana vadiki isusu. When we grew up, Bulawayo was the talk of our city which was the industrial, where employment was available much more than other cities. Harare was to be the administrative capital. But pakazouya Federation in 1953, December although it lasted only for 10 years December 1963 it was dead. So, but it drew now much more investment into Salisbury and Salisbury started having industrial, industrial, industrialisation on a larger scale than Bulawayo because this was also the federal capital apart being the territorial capital. And then started having skyscrapers here and none in Bulawayo. The first one was Livingstone House. Mamwe akazouya much later before you were born, I am sure. Some skyscrapers are much older than you are, shame! You should have been born much earlier, makanonokerei? Okay that’s Harare, that’s how it grew and outstripped Bulawayo. I am saying so because by the fact of my employment and fact that my father stayed in Bulawayo for 10 years and was employed there as a teacher first at Empandeni a year, then Hope Fountain outside Bulawayo, 10 miles therefrom. If you don’t know what miles are, don’t ask me I am British. (Laughter) 10 miles out of Bulawayo, I was there, and I hopped to South Africa to Fort Hare from there. So I have that Bulawayo culture in me. It was a very nice city and very beautiful. I went there when I was a bachelor and that means quite a lot (laughter). So now when I look at it, it’s like a dying city, it was vivacious, full of life, social life I didn’t know Harare until I returned from Ghana actually to join politics then I started knowing ma streets and suburbs and even the suburbs we did not know very well because the whites didn’t want you to move into the suburbs unless you were servants and were working as domestic servants for them or they would ask, the police “ini wena funa lapa?” Anyway, Bulawayo is like a dead city now, we must enliven it. We must bring back that capacity which it had, industrial capacity it had and do much more and bring back even that employment capability which it had. So we talk about it, but this is not just because I stayed but also because it really grew into a capital not just of the industries of our industries, our industrial capital but it was also our railway capital, ndiko kwakaiswa headquarters, also you have it much closer to Botswana, much closer to South Africa, but Harare grew in faster strides and kwakazouya Soweto to keep the natives away from the closeness of the city. Harare was getting too congested. Highfield, Chitungwiza, what did I say? Soweto oh! Oh! That was to be our Soweto and Chitungwiza and I think the population of Chitungwiza now is much more than some of the smaller cities. Smaller countries in Africa. The life there, the people couldn’t drive the whole way into the main part of the city for employment. Industrialisation could have started, we tried to do a few things there, earlier on during the first 10 years for our independence, 20 years for our independence, a few companies were established, but that was not enough, much more could have been done. Anyway, this is our look. Enliven production, activate it, reactivate it and to do that you have to boost the productive sectors. Agriculture, in manufacturing, commerce will result from what happens from other sectors, that’s retail now, but there are tools that you need to regulate the system, where shall the companies be. Well, the main city, main town, the main areas of the city. But you can expand the commercial sector, the best way of expanding it is really first expand one which requires that you have residential areas first in certain parts of the country’s suburban parts of the city, so you avoid concentration on the city on the main part of the city and decentralise and you bring business also to those areas and employment to those areas.Then improvement of infrastructure, communication systems have seen some start and will continue to work on what has been begun so our communication systems, these have seen some start, and we continue to work on what has been done and our communication systems have become also enablers of industrialisation or enablers of domestic life, enablers of our services, of schools, hospitals and so on. The communications we have at the moment, you have areas where people have no telephones. Now I don’t know how much of mobile systems have helped to enhance our landed system. We have Econet; we have NetOne and Telecel. We will look at them and see how far these have developed. Some might need to be overhauled. Roads, we have been very slow in attending to our narrow roads. Once upon a time the Rhodesians, I think they are the ones with the culture of these narrow little things, they didn’t have the money to do tarred roads. So from here to Bulawayo, you had strip roads just following where the wheels the cars would move and you tarred those strips one to the right one to the left hand side right up to Bulawayo like that. In the middle part, no tar but just strip and just imagine the strain it had on the driver, but that’s how it was before, but now we have got rid of that and when they got rid of that was to patch the middle part to tar that. And small, small roads. Just two lanes, actually in some cases just no lanes, the two lanes don’t exist, just narrow roads and the drivers must be particularly careful and the numbers of accidents had to increase. Keep right, keep left of the road but you need bigger roads at least two lanes to the left and two to the right so those who are coming one way and you follow and there is no possibility of collision of vehicles unless someone is drunk, which can happen of course, but the police are there for those who take more than their fair share of the liquid. But anyway some work had started in this regard and we are happy. We have friends in a number of companies who are offering to do that and we want to do all our roads and even our streets should be redone and should be kept up to standard. So our cities should have that look, attractive look, facelift that we deserve as a country of a progressive nation. Our people, of course, are the factor, the main factor. We are going to do all this. Yes we may get investors, yes we may get experts, but it’s our people who must work for themselves in all these regards. All that I have been talking about must be done by our own people and what are they in terms of their capacity, it means education of course and we are happy at least we started well. The education institutions are there and you look at them and see whether these institutions have been kept abreast, in other words, to the things that are taught, have relevance to the lives of the people. Is it an answer to our lives, does it make us happier? Does it give us better skills than before? Open our minds much more than before? Make us healthier than before? Our institutions, service, education and health we must attend to them. Diseases, are we educating our youngsters seriously to look after themselves as they grow up? What is the trust that we are giving to the eradication of some of the diseases that are robbing us of our young people dying that early? What can we do to prevent that as we carry on with our education system and in its improved manner? And when these skills are given to our people, do we then enable our people to participate in industry, to participate in activities that constitute the various programmes across and along the policies that we enunciate for ourselves? Grand, grand skills, therefore, for our people, but when all is said and done we must have the resource. I didn’t talk about the mining sector. We will have to reorganise our mines. Our main products, gold, diamond, platinum, coal, chromium, iron and ensure that some real serious work is taking place not just scratches to be taking place at the moment. Look at Botswana; it’s just a small country, sure. Perhaps not as well developed as we are educationally, and in other respects, they have diamonds, they have coal. But their diamonds are managed only by two huge companies and both of them used to be mainly De Beers. MaJudah iwayo De Beers, kuno uku vaiva neAnglo American, vanaOppenheimer from Johannesburg ndivo vene vacho. Now they are headquartered in London. They thought of leaving Johannesburg to headquarter themselves in London. I was talking to President Khama the other day ku Malawi pataive ne Sadc meeting ikoko, the last Sadc meeting, and he was telling me kuti imi, you decided on 51 percent:49 percent ratio in Zimbabwean whether it’s Government having 51 percent foreigners 49 percent, isusu we are kuma 80 percent and tinoti De Beers can take 17, 18 percent chete. We noticed they were taking us for a ride, for a long, long time we sat down and said enough is enough and so they did that by way of taxation. When we say the investor can come nema foshoro ake, no matter how sophisticated and how large, anongova mafoshoroka chete, okucheresa wowana 49 percent. In some cases, the old law was zvaachera ndezvake kana iye ariye akavheneka ipapo akaona kuti pane madiamods apa the claim was his, if he gets equipment and comes and digs there that is his what he gets there and what you get is pay to your workers who work there and what is charged by the Ministry of Finance through taxes chete. Ah, achitakura upfumi hwese ihwohwo? Imagine mazikomba anoiswa iwaya. What do you do to replace that part of your earth, of your world which has been taken away? Vana De Beers were kwaMarange uko tisati taziva vachitakura huge, huge soil kuno tester ku South Africa alluvial diamonds. “Tichiri kutester, tichiri kutester”, 10 years muchi tester? Zvino tazovabata ndipopavakasiya kwavakutiza vosiyira ACR timbo patakati Government must take over. So you can see the amount of cheating? No, you cannot allow that to happen, you are being deprived of wealth that belongs to you. Even matumbu enyika yenyu haadzoki kana atakurwa. You cannot manufacture rock anymore, soil anymore. And no we have said, we can’t be cheated that way. Your economics is unacceptable, the theory of economics that you preach kuti capital matters more no, our resources matter much more. You bring your capital, what is it? Mafoshoro iwayo? No matter how sophisticated, they are but still mafoshoro. That part of digging does not make you owners of the material that you take out of our earth, matumbu enyika yedu. That is ours. To us that is fundamental. Your capital is not as, to us, important as our own wealth. What God gave us, which lies beneath, is treasurable. Is also not just our own, we who are there now, it is a possession that should be passed on as a legacy to future generations, ad infinitum, dakara Armageddon panonzi nyika yaparara. Zvino we cannot deprive those who will come many, many centuries after us of what they are entitled to by nature. Imi muchiti mauya ne capital, nekamari kenyu ikako, muchiti mauya necapital, it’s worth much more than that. Just the value when you look at it, the value of this world, this earth no matter how small that part of the world that is dug out is greater than what you might think of. Your capital is not worth more than our wealth therefore our contribution in any venture is what we have. Uko zvainzi hapana zvamuri kuisa imi, kana muchida joint venture motoisa wo capital. Kana musina tokuposhai mozodzora, ndizvo zvatakaramba izvozvo. But you see in economics it can work where together you begin a venture, you don’t have raw resources, you had to get these raw resources from somewhere, but when we have raw resources, no we refuse to accept that capital is worth much more than our fixed assets. So that is why we say 51 percent, but ipapo zvichitoera but va Khama vakanga vati kana muchida kuziva tinga tumire vedu vakomana vagouya vozotaura nemi or you can send some people to us we will discuss among ourselves and see what we can do in order to get ideas of how they have been mining all along, but anyway the principles are there. You are the owners, imi, but some of you don’t think you are complete, you think in order to be complete you need a white man next to you. Ah ini I think a white man next to me diminishes the reality of what I think I am. The totality of me. Your ownership of resources is inherent, is given you by God, if you don’t believe in God, believe in nature. You were born here, you own the soil, you own all that grows, all that lies beneath those are the things we own that is what we believe and varungu havade kunzwa izvozvo. Because if you were to go to West Africa you get to a country, Gabon and others, France was given the ownership of the oil resource kunzi ndeyenyu yese, you can mine it and sell it isu mozotipawo a percentage and vanopa 12 percent to 13 percent. President Bashia was telling kuti we had to kick out the Americans because of that. And they got Chinese and Malaysians. Because they were giving them 15 percent thereabout, ivo votora the rest, 85 percent, that’s exploitation, that’s theft by using crookish means, using economics to steal the wealth of Africa, ah. Let’s reject that. Anyway, that’s our thinking, zvinonzi vaMugabe vanofurira vamwe. We are going to try and do our best initially and obviously will do our best, we know we should look at our people first and was talking of education and need for you to be healthy but look at us our position now. People are unemployed we have got to try and correct that and to correct it is to get into business, to get people into business. What I was saying provides an answer, improving the industrial set-up, promoting agriculture, building infrastructure, all these avenues that can provide employment. But, of course, you need salaries. Vanhu vakamiririra masalaries, VaMugabe vakati tozokupayi salary. It’s true we feel people have not been receiving what they are worth in public services. And we will look at that in line with what we drew in order to ensure that we organise the quick yielding sector of the country in agriculture and mining and agriculture, you have to look at which sub-sector can give us quicker returns. Mining diamonds, mining gold.
President explains selection criteria | The Herald
via President explains selection criteria | The Herald by Tendai Mugabe September 12, 2013 PRESIDENT Mugabe says his choice of Cabinet was driven by the members’ individual qualities and commitment to serve the people, while ensuring that all provinces were well-represented in Government.Speaking at a Press conference soon after swearing in the new Cabinet at State House in Harare yesterday, the President said selection into this Cabinet was mainly guided by educational qualifications and balance of provincial representation. “The party which won is Zanu-PF. Are you Zanu-PF? ‘Vanhu vakavhotera Zanu-PF handizvo here? So you must belong to Zanu-PF because that is the wish of the people. And if you belong to Zanu-PF, how much of Zanu-PF are you? Takabva kupi newe tikasvika kupi? How long have you been with us? Yes, in Zanu-PF hatidi madofo ainzi namai vangu madofo. This is 33 years after independence, tave mumakore eruzivo, technological periods — years of technology. “How educated are you. Are you just Ordinary level? Ipapa we were able to say just one or two were just O-Level, the rest are degreed. Hameno kuti mungazviwana kupi? Even in Europe, you get all those 24 or 25 degreed people. “Madzimai, varume the same . . . ane principles dzakanaka. Hunhu hwake tinenge tichihuda. Was he a winner and also respected by his own community kuConstituency kwake? What is the standing? It is not everyone who comes out with the same good standing, but you cannot just punish people because of what is being said. Kuti uyu aah ndozviri kutaurwa ane zvakati, zvakati. “Tinenge tichida kuona kuti are all our provinces represented as much as possible, at least two ministers. Kungaita madeputies zvako kune mamwe, but I think we managed to get about three in a province.” President Mugabe explained that it took a while to announce the Cabinet because there were some constitutional provisions that needed to be done before the selection of Cabinet. “Well, people were all these days saying when is the Cabinet going to be set up,” he said. You do not set up the Cabinet until other steps, motions have been gone through. Every member of the Cabinet except five of them or three of them have to be sworn in first. They have to become MPs. The swearing in took place on Tuesday, so it was only after that had happened that I was now in a position to say these now are valid MPs. “They are not just people who have been elected, they are elected and now they have had the baptism of Parliament. They therefore can be looked at in terms of whether some of them can be chosen to constitute the Cabinet. “So that’s the exercise we had to do after people had been sworn on Tuesday and today is Wednesday. So yesterday we set up the Cabinet and today the swearing in.” President Mugabe said the new Cabinet would drive the country for the next five years based on policies enunciated in the Zanu-PF manifesto. “The political aspect is that these now are the team that should lead Government into action along the policies that had been stipulated by the party which has won elections from whom these derive. “The programme of Government therefore for the next five years would be a programme of continuing some of the work that the previous one left and done but still requiring to be finished. That has got to be done and therefore we would expect that our ministers look at their portfolios, examine what the previous ministries were doing, what was accomplished, what was not accomplished. “But I would want to say that our emphasis will not just be on continuing what was left undone, but it will be on our programmes as envisaged by us and expressed by us in our manifesto. We will need to revive some of the institutions and establishments that the previous Government left to go into oblivion or neglected. Obviously, I am aware that we were not at one within that Government in terms of policy, outlook and ideology. “Therefore things did not go well all the time where for example, we wanted assistance given to industries, to factories, companies that we rely upon for production, this was not done in some cases whatever was done was very little, not adequate to enable those establishment really on viable grounds and so we will look at that.” President Mugabe said the new Government would look at what needed to be done on specific sectors as a way of reviving the economy. For instance in agriculture, the President said Government would look at the needs of the farmers and the kind of assistance they required. “And assistance is not an act of generosity – is an act of facilitating the farmers to do business. There are facilities which farmers can rely on using their own capacities now to do business – to be productive. The financial aspect for example, financial system, financial institutions the banks are they liquid enough? Are they also financial fronts that are enablers to our farmers? We have got to discuss this with the financial institutions. “Money must not be unnecessarily expensive. Interest rates have to come down to levels that are affordable but we also must ensure that the institutions are liquid enough so that they can carry out that function of lending to agriculture. We know that loans to agriculture are never long term loans but short term –seasonal and we would want to see more production tobacco, soya beans and maize,” he said. He said livestock should also been taken care of and farmers in that area assisted and given direction by extension officers.
Old hands on deck as Mugabe surrounds himself with loyalists
via Analysis: Old hands on deck as Mugabe surrounds himself with loyalists | Daily Maverick by Simon Allison 11 September 2013 The post-election fun has begun in Zimbabwe with the appointment of a brand new cabinet (which looks suspiciously like the old cabinet, just with no place for the MDC). SIMON ALLISON runs through the key appointments that give us some idea of what Comrade Bob is thinking and where he plans on taking his country.
Cabinet appointments are the crystal balls of the politics world. Gazing into the movement of ministers and the assignment of portfolios is how we journalists and analysts piece together the balance of power in governments. The more opaque the government, the more important this can be.
Robert Mugabe’s new cabinet, announced on Tuesday and sworn in on Wednesday, is no exception to the rule – it is an insight into Zimbabwe’s murky future, and tells us a little bit about how Mugabe plans to tackle his seventh term in office, and who he plans to do it with.
There were few surprises in the announcement made at State House in Harare. Many of the faces in the new cabinet have been around for a long time; some have served in government since 1980. It is also a typically gender-biased cabinet, with just three of 26 cabinet positions going to women. Don’t expect the government to put its weight behind gender equality initiatives any time soon.
Despite this, Comrade Bob made a few intriguing decisions which have given us plenty of things to ponder.
The miraculous return of Jonathan Moyo
Say what you like about Jonathan Moyo, and there are plenty of people who do, but the man has an unparalleled ability to bounce back from professional adversity. He’s the new information minister, a job that he’s held once before, between 2000 and 2005, a period that just happened to coincide with perhaps the most restrictive crackdown on Zimbabwean media in its history. But Moyo was bundled out of government in disgrace when he got himself on the wrong side of one of Zanu-PF’s interminable faction fights, and proceeded to make a name for himself as a vocal critic of the president he once served as a columnist in the very newspapers he once restricted.
After successfully running for Parliament as an independent – an experience he described recently as “horrible and miserable” – he was eventually welcomed back to the party, only to unexpectedly lose his seat this year to a challenger from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). No matter, for Mugabe had a much more important position in mind for him, recognising that Moyo had proved his loyalty.
“Despite his defeat in the elections, Mr Moyo’s inclusion is seen by political observers as a reward for his hard-line stance adopted against Mr Mugabe’s political opponents and his dressing-down of South African President Jacob Zuma’s mediator Lindiwe Zulu during negotiations in the run-up to the election at the end of July,” commented Zimbabwean journalist Ray Ndlovu in Business Day.
As information minister, he’ll be the government’s spokesperson-in-chief and will set the tone for all official communications (expect that tone to be vitriolic and combative). He’ll also be in charge of state media, as well as the implementing and enforcing regulations for private media. Given his record, independent newspapers will be very nervous indeed.
Emmerson Mnangagwa and the mysterious disappearance of the state security ministry
Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as the crocodile, is one of the main contenders to succeed Mugabe (the other being Joyce Mujuru, who retained her vice-presidency). He’s headed the defence ministry for the last few years, an immensely influential position: he who controls the guns can control all sorts of other things. No longer. Mnangagwa has been moved to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which on the face of it seems like a sideways move at best. Sure, the courts are important, but it’s not like they weren’t under Zanu-PF control already. And it removes Mnangagwa from a key power base.
This is Zimbabwe, however, which means the plot is always thicker. Mugabe has downsized his cabinet from the previous 33 ministries to just 24 (with a couple of ministers without portfolio). Some ministries have been merged, some split, some lost. One of the losers is the Ministry of State Security, previously led by Sydney Sekeramayi (Sekeramayi has moved back to defence, which he was in charge of for eight years before being replaced by Mnangagwa in 2008). State security oversaw the activities of Zimbabwe’s nefarious intelligence community, and it’s unclear which ministry will now take over this responsibility. It’s not inconceivable that it will fall under Mnangagwa’s Justice – the crocodile made his name as a spy chief, after all. This would make his new role potentially very powerful in the succession battle that is sure to come.
Indigenisation was a central plank of the Zanu-PF election campaign, and even on winning the election the party did not soften its stance. “We will do everything in our power to ensure our objective of total indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment is realised,” said Mugabe in one of his first speeches after his win was confirmed.
Yet for all the bluster, his appointments in the two ministries most involved in this project – mining and indigenisation – have given foreign companies a glimmer of hope. Walter Chidakwa is the new mining minister, while Francis Nhema takes over indigenisation. Both are inexperienced at the highest levels of government, and both viewed as relatively moderate. They are certainly a far cry from Saviour Kasukuwere, Nhema’s predecessor as indigenisation minister, who made a name for himself as Mugabe’s attack dog on the subject. He would almost certainly have pushed the indigenisation and nationalisation agenda harder and faster than Nhema and Chidakwa will, but he’s been stuck over in the environment, water and climate ministry, where he shouldn’t be able to do quite as much damage to the economy.
No room for the MDC
This is not a unity government. Five years of awkward power-sharing wasn’t enough to convince Mugabe of the merits of conciliation, and he hasn’t felt the need to extend any kind of olive branch to the vanquished MDC, who have been cut out of executive government altogether. But even if he had gone soft in his old age, there’s no guarantee that the opposition would have accepted any kind of role. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had already refused to contemplate serving in this Mugabe government, arguing that his presence would only serve to give it a veneer of credibility.
“The fact is I am not talking to anyone about the possibility of joining a government which the majority of Zimbabweans consider as illegitimate,” he said. Tsvangirai is still bitter over July’s elections, which were tainted by widespread problems with the electoral role and several accounts of ballot manipulation (though this was not enough to damage the credibility of the result, according to African Union and SADC observers).
More interesting than the MDC’s non-participation, which is hardly a revelation, is the fate of the two ministries that the MDC really made their own during the unity government years: finance under Tendai Biti (of Tsvangirai’s MDC faction) and education under David Coltart (of Welshman Ncube’s MDC faction).
Education is being taken over by Lazarus Dokora, who was Coltart’s deputy, so it might be in safe hands. At the very least we can expect some continuity.
Finance, on the other hand, went to someone ominously underqualified: Patrick Chinamasa, a loyal apparatchik described by Reuters as “a combative political lieutenant with little experience in running a treasury”. Oh dear. Zimbabwe’s tentative development over the last five years has been underpinned by the emergency reforms made by Biti, particularly his replacement of the Zimbabwean dollar with the US dollar. Will Chinamasa have the vision or commitment to see these through? Somehow, it doesn’t seem likely.
Out with the old… and in the with old guard
Despite all the shuffling of seats, this is essentially the same cabinet Zimbabwe’s had for the last five years – minus any opposition figures. In fact, some of the faces are the same that graced Zimbabwe’s first post-independence cabinet in 1980. For Zanu-PF, this is a remarkable achievement. Maintaining the status quo like this takes considerable application and skill. For Zimbabwe, however, it’s a bad sign. The men who haven’t been able to fix the country before are in charge of fixing it now, and none of them have given any reason to suggest that this time might be different. DM
- President Mugabe appoints new cabinet, on The Herald
- Mixed reaction to Mugabe’s cabinet picks, on New Zimbabwe
- Robert Mugabe’s cabinet choices dash hope of reform, on theTelegraph
Zimplats expansion forges ahead
via Zimplats expansion forges ahead – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) is forging ahead with its multi-million dollar Ngezi Phase II expansion project after engaging South Africa-based Robor Pipe Systems (Robor) to supply steel pipelines. This comes as the platinum group metals producer (PGM) — 87 percent owned by Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Impala platinum Holdings — had last year indicated that it would miss its project deadlines due to funding constraints. “The company has stated publicly that its Phase II project will be delayed due to cash flow constraints triggered by the fall in metal prices and difficult borrowing conditions. This has necessitated a revision in the scheduled delivery of houses that fall under this expansion project,” Busi Chindove, Zimplats corporate affairs head said then. The $460 million expansion project, initiated in 2010, entails the development of a new two-million-tonne-a-year underground mine, an additionally-sized concentrator and associated module, as well as other infrastructure. This will not only add an additional 90 000 ounces per year of platinum to the group’s yield, but will also take production at Zimplats to 270 000 ounces per year of platinum when it reaches nameplate capacity, expected in the 2015 financial year. Robor was contracted by project management company DRA Mineral Projects South Africa to supply the Steel Polypipe, which Zimplats will use to convey mine slurry. Deon Kruger, the Robor sales director, said his company was supplying Zimplats with Steel Polypipe in standard and custom lengths, during February and March this year. “The jointing method employed in the Robor Steel Polypipe system enables the flanges to be locked together, sandwiching the blow rings and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) stubs to create a solid joint equivalent to the pipe strength, he said. As a result of the jointing method, the bolts are torqued to the setting applicable to steel. This eliminates ‘sponginess’ and the risk of leaks, owing to pipeline movement or the loosening of bolts. Kruger says the HDPE-lined Steel Polypipe is suited to convey slurry in tailings lines at mine sites, owing to its high corrosion resistance. HDPE-lined Steel Polypipes are environment friendly, as the HDPE liners are easily decontaminated and fully recyclable. Further, the reclaimable steel pipe lends itself to being factory relined, as worn linings are easily removed and disposed of for recycling. “The advantage of HDPE liners is that they do not depend on adhesion to steel and possible disbonding after wear, which may cause system blockages during disbonding,” said Kruger. Besides supplying the steel piping product, Robor will provide on-site assistance at Ngezi should maintenance pipe replacements need to be undertaken. “Robor manufacture, import and supply conveyance pipe solutions with flange, ring or groove ends, for either water, steam, slurry or acids, and also offer fittings, linings and coatings for corrosion protection,” he said. The Ngezi mine operation is situated on the Hartley Geological Complex in the Zimbabwean Great Dyke, 150 km south-west of Harare. This is estimated to be the largest PGM bearing complexes in Zimbabwe, containing 80 percent of the known PGM resources in the country, two thirds of which is held by Zimplats. — With Miningweekly
Victoria Falls under threat
via Victoria Falls beauty under threat | Times of Zambia by James Muyanwa THE attractiveness of the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, is under threat if Botswana goes ahead with its planned extraction of large volumes of water from Chobe River for local consumption. According to media reports from Zimbabwe, Botswana, a neighbour to both Zambia and Zimbabwe wants to use huge volumes of water to meet the growing demand for the essential commodity in that country. This would affect foreign currency inflows for both Zimbabwe and Zambia which come from tourists who flock to the falls annually to witness the “smoke that thunders” on both sides. According to eTurboNews, a global travel industry news source, Botswana has notified other southern African countries of its intentions to abstract some 30 cubic metres from the Chobe River. The water would be abstracted where Chobe River meets the Zambezi River for a planned irrigation scheme in the Pandamatenga area and for domestic water supply. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo recently told Parliament in that country that Zimbabwe was considering Botswana’s submission. He, however, noted the project might have serious repercussions on Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world, which is 1,708 metres wide. “They have notified us because the Zamcom (Zambezi Watercourse Commission) agreement requires them to do that and we are now considering their submissions. “Though more studies may be necessary, it looks like 30 cubic metres is a lot of water which might deprive the attractiveness of the Victoria Falls. “Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did to David Livingstone in the 1860s,” Mr Sipepa-Nkomo was quoted as saying. During the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly which Zambia and Zimbabwe co-hosted last month, the falls was the centre of attraction for delegates who were mesmerised by it. The two countries partly owe the falls for their successful joint bid to co-host the event which they won two years ago.
Mugabe defends appointments
via Mugabe defends appointments – DailyNews Live by Thelma Chikwanha and Guthrie Munyuki 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Mugabe yesterday defended his Cabinet appointments which analysts have slammed as recycling of deadwood. Speaking to journalists at State House soon after the swearing-in of ministers and their deputies yesterday, Mugabe said his decisions were based on party loyalty. “The decision was based on how much of Zanu PF are you, how long have you been with us and how educated you are?” Mugabe said. He said his new administration comprised holders of university degrees save for one or two who had only attained Ordinary Level education. The 89-year-old leader said he tried to strike a provincial balancing act. “Are provinces represented as much as possible, at least three ministers in a province,” Mugabe said. Reacting to criticism that women representation in Cabinet was appalling as there were only three women out of 26 ministers, Mugabe retorted: “Give us the women. This time we did proportional representation but there were just not enough women. Women are few in universities. It’s no longer necessary to do affirmative action; it’s free for all. “Let women contest without preferential treatment. But this time around, we had to do affirmative action but the women would not emerge.” Mugabe said some ministers were moved to new portfolios not because they performed poorly. “Don’t judge people by their characteristics, don’t think that the one who talks too much performs better,” Mugabe said. “Kasukuwere is an extrovert and Nhema is an introvert. If the introvert goes to sleep we will take him away.” The veteran leader went against public expectation by not naming a State Security minister when he announced his new Cabinet on Tuesday — leading to speculation that he had not yet made a firm decision on who to appoint. But he said he will run the national spy agency — the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) — historically one of his pillars of power. Former State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi was reassigned to the Defence portfolio and there was no replacement. “There is no vacancy,” Mugabe said. “It (CIO) has been always under the President’s Office. Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa will be in charge of the affairs, together with me,” Mugabe told journalists during a question and answer session. “In other countries they don’t even appoint a minister (for State Security)”. Among the ministers who have run the CIO are Emmerson Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche and Sydney Sekaramayi, with some among the lot, more than once. Mugabe pledged to put in place people-oriented programmes highlighted in the Zanu PF manifesto. “The programme of government therefore for the next five years will be a programme of continuing some of the work the previous government left undone,” he said. Mugabe said the cancer of corruption was difficult to detect. “The one that one has emerged rich may not be proof of corruption, but those who know that there have been payments made must be able to come out and tell us. We cannot victimise people merely because they are Zanu PF,” he said.
Finance minister faces a daunting task
via Finance minister faces a daunting task – DailyNews Live by Gift Phiri 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 9:34AM The man President Robert Mugabe tapped on Tuesday to be his new Finance chief was not his first choice. Indeed, as the architect of the multi-currency regime when he served as acting Finance minister in 2009, he may well have been his last. But more than any other Zanu PF politician, Patrick Chinamasa is a party heavyweight who now stands responsible for convincing Western and skittish investors the world over that Harare is capable of reforming the Zimbabwean economy and making good on its financial obligations. With no growth to speak of and a government debt burden equal to 150 percent of its annual economic activity — one of the highest in the world — such a task may well be too much for any one person, regardless of his political skills. Yesterday morning, Chinamasa took oath of office and an important first step of trying to fix an economy damaged by sanctions and the profligacy of previous governments. As expected, Mugabe’s reconstituted government helped solidify his socialist party. In the July 31 vote, Zanu PF overcame the opposition of the MDC party to win a desperately needed crunch poll. Now Chinamasa, 66, a constitutional lawyer with minimal economic policy-making experience, must persuade Parliament next week to pass the government’s supplementary budget and steer the most recent economic plan — centered largely on macro-economic stabilisation and the recovery of the economy. That is the requirement imposed by Western countries and the International Monetary Fund for an IMF-staff-monitored programme (SMP) to help Zimbabwe pursue economic reforms and clear its debt arrears. Zimbabwe asked for the staff-monitored programme in November 2011 to “accelarate economic growth, step-up the creation of sustainable jobs and help reduce poverty.” The IMF suspended Zimbabwe’s voting rights in June 2003 as the country’s economy deteriorated and Mugabe’s government fell behind on debt repayments, but restored those rights in February 2010 in view of a significant improvement in the country’s cooperation on economic policies. The former British colony, which is slowly emerging from years of isolation, has set up a “Debt Management Office” in Harare to interface with the Paris Club of creditors to discuss ways to deal with its $10 billion debt arrears to the IMF, the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB). Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group think-tank, said despite what some in Zanu PF have said, the country desperately needs new capital injection, which local sources cannot provide. “The country also needs to continue discussions with multilateral institutions in restructuring its debt, which it cant immediately pay for,” Maisiri said. “There is also a great need for humanitarian aid to address food shortages, water, health, education and other social services. This has historically been provided by the donor community.” More crucially, Chinamasa must succeed in doing what no other politician in Zimbabwe has done before him: persuade Zimbabweans to do more belt-tightening and get public sector unions to accept the shrinking of the State. The State bureaucracy believes he is equal to the task Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono said: “Hon. minister Patrick Chinamasa, the new immediate Finance boss is not new to the portfolio and we are confident that he is more than equal to the task.” “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.” Observers say Chinamasa is a political animal who knows the law and the political tricks of how to get the job done. They cite Chinamasa’s experience in negotiating a deal with the powerful MDC for a new Constitution and his role as Finance minister prior to the formation of the GNU in 2009 as examples of his ability to get things done. Unlike most Zimbabwean politicians, his friends and associates say that he leads a spartan, workaholic existence — eschewing, for example, the holiday home on a nearby Nyanga enclave that is de rigueur for much of the ruling elite. And while he has the thrusting ambition of the politician pushing for the top, his less ideological bent allows him the opportunity to hear an opposing view. “What is critical is the development of the appropriate policies to deal with the problems facing Zimbabwe,” said Hopewell Gumbo, a social justice activist. “The minister has a very big task in appreciating this and that is what Chinamasa will be judged on. He has failed before and his recycling will be under scrutiny as Zimbabwe staggers to restore social and economic growth.” Chinamasa, as both Finance minister and chief economic adviser, will be the president’s domestic point man. People who have spoken to Chinamasa say he plans to distinguish himself from his predecessor Tendai Biti by focusing less on increasing taxes to raise revenue and more on revitalising the beaten-down agriculture and tourism sectors that are so crucial to the Zimbabwe economy. But such efforts, crucial as they may be over the longer run, will do little to halt the rapid deterioration of the budget deficit. For all the hopes invested in Chinamasa, most economists say it is simply too late to stave off bankruptcy by following the prescription laid down by the IMF. In Harare, though, many people argue that if he can not do it, nobody in Zanu PF can.
Bennett wants Tsvangirai to quit as MDC-T leader
via Bennett wants Tsvangirai to quit as MDC-T leader | African News | BDlive by Ray Ndlovu SEPTEMBER 11 2013, 06:37 HARARE — Exiled senior Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) official Roy Bennett has called for a new leadership of the troubled opposition party, suggesting that Morgan Tsvangirai’s continued stay in power did not reflect the will of the people. Delivering a sharp assessment in an interview with Business Day, he was at odds with the rest of the MDC-T’s top brass, who have endorsed the opposition leader. Mr Tsvangirai has had the MDC-T change its constitution, which limits the leader to only two terms, saying he would stay on as party president for as long as the rank and file wanted him to. “Mr Tsvangirai has served two terms and is nearly completing a third,” Mr Bennett said. “Deep introspection needs to be undertaken by our national collective leadership, not for purposes of looking for scapegoats, but for our party to reinvigorate its leadership with a leadership which reflects the will of our people.” Mr Bennett, who served eight months of a one-year jail sentence in Zimbabwe after coming to blows with then justice minister Patrick Chinamasa in 2004 during a parliamentary debate, has been living in exile in South Africa for the past three years. He fled to South Africa in September 2010 before the Zanu (PF) government could arrest him on renewed charges of treason. Efforts to have him return to Zimbabwe to take the deputy minister of agriculture position given to him by the MDC-T in the unity government, were sabotaged by President Robert Mugabe. Mr Bennett has remained a key figure and strong fundraiser for the party, having been re-elected treasurer-general in absentia at the MDC-T’s congress in 2011. “Regrettably some within our leadership, as in the case with many political parties, do not wish the grassroots democratic will of the people to prevail,” he said. Party insiders say Mr Bennett’s questioning of Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership has brought to the surface the “unspoken differences and disgruntlement” that has been brewing in MDC-T structures for some time. The fissures also surfaced during the party’s election campaign, with allegations being made of imposed candidates and factionalism. The Manicaland executive absconded from Mr Tsvangirai’s “star rally” in the province in protest against his imposition of candidates there. It remains unclear if Mr Tsvangirai will seek a fourth term as party leader. His spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka on Tuesday said the prerogative (for an extended term) was in the hands of the party and the elective congress due to take place in 2016. “The congress will determine that, but so far it has reaffirmed the position of Mr Tsvangirai as party leader.” However, political analyst Simukai Tinhu said a further manipulation of the party constitution to cushion Mr Tsvangirai’s presidency bid would set off alarm bells and provide cannon fodder to his political opponents. “Mr Tsvangirai has already once amended his party’s constitution to allow him to have a third term as leader. “Hanging on to the MDC-T leadership for yet another term would no doubt provide ammunition to Zanu (PF), which could paint him as hypocritical, while western supporters would no doubt find it more difficult to back a man engaging in undemocratic practices within his own party,” said Mr Tinhu. While asking for a reinvigoration of the party, Mr Bennett pointed out that the MDC-T still enjoyed support at grassroots levels and ruled out the possibility of a fresh split in the party. “There might be differences at leadership level, as … in most democratic political parties, but at grassroots levels the MDC-T continues to be strong and united.” Meanwhile, the MDC-T is scheduled to hold its 14th anniversary celebrations in Sakubva stadium in Mutare on Saturday. A defiant Mr Tsvangirai intimated that he would keep his grip on power and said: “For 14 years, the MDC-T has fought a brutal dictatorship using democratic means and will not relent. We are here to stay.” Mr Tamborinyoka said the event would celebrate the founding of the MDC-T.
Jonathan Moyo wants to heal media rift
via Jonathan Moyo wants to heal media rift – DailyNews Live by Xolisani Ncube 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 9:46AM HARARE – Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has moved to allay fears of a media crackdown as he begins his new Cabinet term of office. Moyo told reporters at State House yesterday soon after taking oath of office that his return to government did not in any way signify “Armageddon” for the media. He said he was looking to heal the rift. “I would like to use a word that was so common during the era of the inclusive government, which is, ‘if we can find each other, let us look for one another’,” Moyo said. “If it means having an indaba with (media) stakeholders to find each other, we will do so.” He pledged to open up the media industry to new players. “If you talk about pluralism, yes that is an on-going process as you are aware we already have two more private stations and we will look at increasing that, but also being cognisant of the digitalisation which could open up more space,” he said. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has licensed two private radio stations, the Zimpapers-run Star FM and Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM. Despite constitutional provisions for freedom of expression, officials have displayed an openly hostile attitude towards media freedom, and a draconian legislative framework continues to effectively inhibit the activities of journalists and media outlets. “We would need to have benchmarks in line with the digitalisation thrust,” Moyo said. Walter Chidhakwa, the newly-appointed minister for Mines and Mining Development, said he would push for value addition of all minerals before they are exported. “The country has suffered a lot because of exportation of raw materials,” Chidhakwa said. “I think it is time we begin to do a lot in terms of value-adding on our minerals so that we earn enough.” Paul Chimedza, the newly-appointed Health and Child Care deputy minister, said it was high time the well-being of Zimbabweans was taken seriously and promised more infrastructure development in rural clinics. Joe Biggie Matiza, the new Local Government, Public Works and National Housing deputy minister, said his thrust wouldbe to ensure that there was housing delivery and better services in both rural and urban areas. Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga, the new Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister said she would push to stop piracy in the arts sector so that artistes benefited from their creativity.
New Cabinet has potential: Gono
via New Cabinet has potential — Gono – DailyNews Live STAFF WRITER • 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 9:42AM Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono says the new cabinet announced by President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday has the capacity to carry the country forward. Gono also hailed the appointment of former Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa as the finance minister saying it was extremely reassuring that a new Cabinet had been installed and said the new finance boss will be equal to the task. “Like everyone else in the country, we welcome the appointment and congratulate all those who have been honoured by His Excellency the president to occupy the frontline benches of service to our nation through the just-ended political processes,” Gono told the Daily News. The new Cabinet takes office with an economic crisis in sight. Under the inclusive government, Zimbabwe dug its way out of a crisis and has thrived. The economy just posted its fourth consecutive growth; inflation is expected to be below five percent this year; and officials anticipate gross domestic product will surge. Gono emphasised the need for teamwork in the new Cabinet team. “A Cabinet is like a football team,” he said. “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 should pull together in the same direction, putting aside sectarian interests in favour of national interests and cohesion, can make a positive difference in a very short space of time. “Out there, people expect results like yesterday and no excuses.” He added: “That being the case, one sees lots of potential in Team Cabinet Zimbabwe 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.” The Cabinet tasked with putting Zimbabwe back on track after the pro-business MDC’s ouster faces enormous challenges, from fixing the shattered economy to restoring democracy. Some Zimbabweans who became disillusioned with the inclusive government rule are willing to give it a chance. “With less than a day in office, it is unfair and premature to prejudge the team negatively,” Gono said. “This is the best team available and they collectively and individually deserve everyone’s support. “Of course every team needs time to assemble before starting to delight spectators with results — so as a nation we should allow this team time to settle down, set out its priorities and pronounce itself before taking pole positions in judgment.”
Mugabe to continue takeover policy
via Zimbabwean President Mugabe to continue takeover policy – CNN.com by Columbus S. Mavhunga September 12, 2013
- Mugabe confirms continuation of seizing the majority stake of foreign-owned firms
- He says Africa lags behind because “whites” are exploiting its mineral resources
- The opposition describes the new cabinet as “dead wood”
HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe swore in his new government Wednesday and confirmed that the new 26-member Cabinet, mainly composed of allies from his previous appointments, will not abandon his controversial policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign-owned firms. The 89-year-old leader told journalists after the Cabinet’s installation that Zimbabwe’s economic recovery will be anchored on mining, manufacturing and agriculture industries. “We want to see the drive and we want to see indigenization done,” Mugabe said at State House after he had been asked if a change of personnel in the Indigenization Ministry, which oversees the takeover policy, meant a change of stance. Zimbabwe had had no functioning Cabinet since the July 31 elections when Mugabe was re-elected. Between 2009 and this year, Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party shared power. The new Cabinet retains the Ministry of Indigenization, the policy of seizing the majority stake of foreign owned firms and giving them to black Zimbabweans. Critics of the policy have said it mainly benefits a few elites. On Wednesday, Mugabe said most African countries like Sudan and Gabon are lagging behind as “whites” exploit the continent’s resources. “That is exploitation. That is theft by using crook-ish means to steal the wealth of Africa. Ah. Lets reject that,” said Africa’s oldest leader, who will finish his new term when he is 94 and will be able to stand for another term The Cabinet also includes Jonathan Moyo as media, information and broadcasting services minister. He was the one who drafted tough media laws in 2002 that have resulted in the deportation of foreign journalists and the closing of some media organizations. Mugabe tossed him out of Zanu PF after Moyo stood as an independent in the 2008 elections. Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is now the finance minister, taking over from Tendai Biti, who was from the MDC party under the 2009-2013 coalition government. On Wednesday, the opposition described the Cabinet as “dead wood.” Mugabe and Zanu PF got more than a two-thirds majority in parliament in the July 31 elections.
The stench of corruption and urine
via The stench of corruption and urine | The Zimbabwean by Jera The Zimbabwe anti corruption commission is looking into several complaints against former local government minister, Ignatius Chombo. One case implicates Chombo in fraud relating to the acquisition and sale of a piece of land designated as public space in the suburb of Glen Lorne. Whatever the nature of these allegations, the press report suggests it is a long list of charges. We wait with baited breath to see if Mugabe picks him for a cabinet post, ignoring the stench of alleged corruption. In a separate matter involving Chombo, the MDC-T has reversed its decision to nominate non-elected councillors for mayoral posts in Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and Harare. Prior to the announcement of the U-turn, the MDC lodged an appeal with the electoral court, seeking an interdict to prevent Chombo from interfering with the mayoral election process. However, the electoral court rejected the case, stating that it did not have jurisdiction on such a matter. The U-turn spares Morgan Tsvangirai potential embarrassment, as his legal team had already got off to a poor start by taking the matter to the wrong court.
The country is waiting for Mugabe to announce his new cabinet. But only the chirping of crickets can be heard from Munhumutapa Building. Rumours of courting the MDC have refused to go away. Poor old Bob must feel like the girl who has been invited to a party and all her dresses are dirty. There are some things that $10,5 million cannot buy. The state has reopened a Z$300,000 case from 1999, involving MDC-T’s Douglas Mwonzora and his client Lameck Kunjeku. The complainant, Kunjeku, withdrew his charge but the state insists on proceeding with the matter. Regional Magistrate, Themba Kuwanda, returning public belief in the judiciary, said ‘general law of practice says once a complainant says he is no longer interested, the matter is withdrawn’. The judge said the prosecutor’s actions brought unnecessary suspicion on the system.’ Give that man a Bells. Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku swore in the newly elected parliamentarians last week. Thereafter, the MPs voted Zanu (PF)’s Jacob Mudenda as speaker of the national assembly. The MDC abstained from the election in which their vote would have been pointless, given Zanu (PF)’s advantage in numbers.
Real Madrid mining
Ex-Real Madrid and Barcelona footballer, Louis Figo was in the country, to explore investment opportunities in mining. Hang on. Are we not screaming “indigenisation” from the tops of soap boxes? Is Figo in possession of a Makombe building-issued green bomber passport that we are not aware of? Walter Mzembi, the baby-faced interim custodian of the tourism ministry, has announced plans for the construction of an ‘Eden’ in Victoria falls, comprising a skating rink, a zoo, a replica of the Victoria Falls bridge and a garden. The government has allocated 200 hectares of land for the ambitious project. Perhaps we have so much land that we don’t know what to do with it. The desperation to return Zimbabwe to the tourism map has intensified. Previously, the government roped in international celebrities such as RnB singer, Joe Thomas, to whom former environment minister, Francis Nhema – we paraphrase – said ‘go and spread the world about us’. What might bring more tourism is the respect of human rights and conducting unrigged elections. Also, it makes no sense to invite tourists to see caged animals in a zoo when what the continent offers is the chance to see animals in their natural habitat. If Mzembi thinks a few monkeys swinging on iron bars inside a cage can draw as many visitors as the Serengeti or Kruger park, then he might just be as naïve as his smooth face suggests. New York-based Human Rights Watch has written to Robert Mugabe, urging him to take steps to fulfil human rights obligations, which include press freedom, security sector reforms to guarantee neutrality of the defence forces and ensuring accountability for past human rights abuses. This is the sort of thing that would cause Zanu (PF) to slap their collective thigh and roll over the floor in teary-eyed laughter. For 33 years the party has trampled on human rights. A letter post-marked New York is not going to suddenly inspire a behavioural change.
A public lashing
Tapiwa Matambo of Epworth has been given a 10-year jail sentence for stealing TelOne cables believed to be valued at $84. Matambo sustained gunshot wounds to his legs as he attempted to evade arrest. The law is a strange creature. The combined cost of Matambo’s trial, surgery to extract bullets from his legs and feeding him during his prison stay, calculated at, say, a dollar per day, will cost more that $3,000. No logic can explain the madness of the law. While we cannot condone vandalism of our national infrastructure, keeping him in jail will cost the taxpayer a heck of a lot more. Perhaps a public lashing – say 10 strokes per day for an entire week – or hard labour on a government farm would be a better punishment. David Hazangwi of Dzivarasekwa has appeared in civil court on allegations of spousal abuse. His wife, Venus Rusike, claims that he once ordered her to place her hands on a hot stove as punishment for not opening the door quickly enough. In a separate story, a magistrate granted a protection order against Munashe Murangwani, preventing him from coming near his wife, Patience Pundo. Murangwani, it is alleged, poured urine over his wife’s face. Perhaps it makes him feel more manly? We are two months away from the November, in which the world observes 16 days of activism against violence on women and children. To set aside 16 days in a year implies that men are free to terrorise their families for 349 days of the year and pay lip service to the cause, come November. As a nation, we need to act against spousal abuse. It is everybody’s civic duty to act. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke. – On that note, my pen is capped. – email@example.com
Easing visa policies will help boost economic growth
via Easing visa policies will help boost economic growth | Economy | BDlive by Nicky Smith, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 SECURITY considerations aside, improvements to visa processes and policies benefit travel and trade, with direct benefits to gross domestic product (GDP) growth and job creation. As a result, problems in much of the world with obtaining visas should be addressed as a trade issue, says Thea Chiesa, head of aviation, travel and tourism at the World Economic Forum. Her comments come amid a boom in trade and the rejuvenation of border towns after South Africa eased visa restrictions for Zimbabweans and Mozambicans. Both countries are members of the Southern African Development Community, among whose main objectives is easing travel among member states. Negotiations with Angola have been described as “ongoing”. “Linking the issue (of visas) with trade and connectivity” is central to gaining traction with governments and security agencies to solving the often slow process of issuing visas to allow people to travel, says Ms Chiesa, She was attending the World Travel and Tourism Council annual regional meeting in Seoul, Korea, this week. She says that governments respond better to the idea that travel is related to trade, and there is a need for changing the dialogue to use words that they better respond to and understand. “We are looking at creating a process of processing visas to expedite (it) … to make the traveller able to apply online, while at the same time injecting the security parameters that are necessary so that national security agencies are able to screen (travellers) before that traveller even moves or is in the decision phase of the visa.” The World Economic Forum has made the problems of accessing visas one of its priority focus areas this year, in an effort to boost the travel and tourism sector which, according to its statistics, made a total contribution to global GDP of 9.3%, or $6.84-trillion. Asean (the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations) “is looking at a common visa process. This is work in progress, and they are trying to understand how to implement the common visa … whether it will be something like a Schengen visa (is not clear). They are in the process of making those decisions,” Ms Chiesa says. The Schengen visa allows cross border access to 25 European member states with a single visa. Doug Anderson, the president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel — which is one of the world’s largest travel companies, managing 60-million travel transactions last year and assisting its clients with 250,000 visa applications — says addressing the issue of visa policies is crucial to the industry. “The challenge in many cases is that business travel is decided on short notice. When visa processing gets in the way, business suffers, and that has implications for the economic growth which would be associated with the transactions (business people do),” Mr Anderson says. One of the reasons why governments were slow to act on making travel less cumbersome was security concerns. Visit Britain chairman Christopher Rodrigues says this was because there was a need to “keep the bad guys out”, while letting the “good guys” travel. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Sustainable Tourism-Eliminating Poverty chairwoman Young-Shim Dho says visas “being the biggest barrier to travel” are getting more attention from governments, and were a subject of discussion at the organisation’s general assembly held in Victoria Falls last month. “When we talk about visa barriers, let’s be honest with each other. This is not just cumbersome bureaucratic processes but also we are talking about money,” Ms Dho says. She says if in Africa a prospective traveller wanted to visit more than one country, for example Ghana and Togo, it could cost the traveller between $100 and $200, with the money generated from the visa sales being ploughed back into the industry. The second issue “is tax”, such as eliminating the need for travellers to pay value added tax. “Who are the biggest enemies to this? Bureaucrats in the tax office,” Ms Dho says. It was only after a presidential decree in South Korea that amendments were made. Governments “still” fail to grasp “how integral travel is to national economies”, Mr Rodrigues says. However, some ground is being gained, says Ms Chiesa, who praises the work done by institutions such as the International Civil Aviation Authority, the International Air Transport Association, the World Travel and Tourism Council and World Economic Forum for helping get the message across. “Governments are starting to get it and the dialogue has shifted and it is shifting towards trade, calling tourism trade. If you link it with trade it becomes a completely different argument, because they understand trade,” Ms Chiesa says.