- Zimbabwe boys, you bloody beauties
- Zimbabweans’ love affair with strange names
- Mugabe confirms he is in charge of state intelligence
- Zimbabwean Women Protest Low Number of Cabinet Slots
- US to Maintain Sanctions on Mugabe, Zanu PF Officials
- ZCTU Procession Goes Ahead
- Transcript Tsvangirai speech 14 September 2013
- Mugabe’s Cabinet “an expensive pension scheme”
- Challenging times for NGOs ahead
- Supreme Court restores Whitehead’s citizenship status
- Mugabe says few women educated enough to be ministers
- Tendai Biti misses Chatham House Prize
Zimbabwe boys, you bloody beauties by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via What They Said About: Zimbabwe’s Test victory over Pakistan in Harare | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo The cricket world reacts to Zimbabwe beating Pakistan by 24 runs in Harare, to record their first Test win against a country other Bangladesh in 12 years As Zimbabwe closed in on victory, the anticipation and excitement built… “Dare we start to believe.” Former Zimbabwe bowler Mluleki Nkala “It would be a brilliant test win for Zimbabwe… The players deserve the win after what they’ve been through.”Former Zimbabwe allrounder Sean Ervine “GO ZIMBABWE CRICKET!” Even Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal and Gambia, Trudy Stevenson was cheering the team on After Rahat Ali was run out, the celebrations began… “Well deserved Brendan Taylor and the boys!!! Well done boys!!!! So proud!! Great day ‘babwe!!!” Former Zimbabwe batsman Charles Coventry “Congrats to Zim on their win today, the boys deserved a win after everything they had to put up with !” Fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, who recently left Zimbabwe to take up a county cricket contract “The boys deserve everything for that win!!! Great heart and determination to make a difference! Well done to Brendan Taylor. Great finish” Zimbabwe batsman Craig Ervine
Zimbabweans’ love affair with strange names by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Zimbabweans’ love affair with strange names – Life – monitor.co.ug by Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi We have all grown up with people called Hope, Peace, Grace or their vernacular translations and this seems normal. Parents chose the names largely to celebrate overcoming a huddle like waiting long to have a child or a child had during challenging times or situations. Others name children in the faithful belief that the name will shape the child’s path to success in life. Others use the name to simply send a message to their foes. Take, for example, former vice president and Busiro North MP Prof Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya, who explains in his book, Through Intricate Corridors to Power, the reasons behind his Balibaseka name which means “they were laughing (at me).” Bukenya says he was born of a poor mother under a tree in the compound. His father was at best an absentee father who cared less and the mother brewed waragi, a local gin to raise him and his siblings. The name, Bukenya says, was a prediction of triumph by his mother who somehow foresaw success in her son against the sniggered comments of neighbours who saw no future in him. Indeed, Bukenya was to grow and assume the second highest office in the land as vice president and now eyeing the presidency if he goes ahead with his plans to vie for the job at the next elections. Prof Bukenya was also to become successful as an academic, attaining the highest rank of professor of medicine he has financial success. That end, his mother’s prediction that those who laughed at her would later bury their heads in shame came to pass as her son was able to give her a comfortable and happy life and a decent burial. Her faith and investment paid off. Some names don’t turn out as predicted. The better for those given doomsday names, and a matter of regretful eulogy for those given positive and hopeful names. Mind boggling But, welcome to Zimbabwe where the names will blow off your imagination. On a visit to this southern Africa country in July, I was mystified by what some parents think when giving certain names. Unlike Uganda, where the more dramatic choices are hidden in local languages, Zimbabweans carry theirs proudly in the English language for all to know. With my group consisting of three other Ugandans, our second taxi driver after the one for the airport pick-up, was called Jealous! But he was a fine gentleman, a complete opposite of the name his parents chose for him. Mr Davidson Serunjogi, board member with the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, who was on the team, noted once, “but he is a fine gentleman, he doesn’t look anything like his name.” On our itinerary, one of the key people we met was a Mr Psychology Maziwisa. Psychology is a firebrand young member of the ruling Zanu-PF party. In his 30s, we learnt he had been a rabid critic of the party in the media until he was convinced to see the light in the ruling party and thus facilitate his cross-over. An assistant to Zanu-PF’s spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, Psychology tries to live up to his name’s billing trying to tease out answers from those he interacts with. At an NGO, we were to meet a Memory, and then a Thank You (Tatenda in Shona) at the concierge of the hotel we stayed in. Actually, many Zimbaweans are named Memory and many are called Thank You. However, their name bank has more for a first time visitor to this country, there was someone called More–blessings, another called Love, Clever, Lovemore, Integrity, Finest, Gain, Happiness, Timely and Remember. For Love, you can find a Ugandan equivalent in Ngonzi, Kugonza or Kwagala. For Integrity, you can find a Mananu or Mazima, for Clever the local equivalent will be a Magezi which confuse a visitor unless translated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mugabe confirms he is in charge of state intelligence by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Mugabe confirms he is in charge of state intelligence | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu 13 September 2013 As debate over the newly announced cabinet continues, it emerged that Mugabe has allocated himself the administration of the intelligence portfolio, under whom the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) falls. Reports said Mugabe confirmed to journalists that he will personally be in charge of the state intelligence – a first since he became Zimbabwe’s leader. The Daily News quoted Mugabe saying there was ‘no vacancy’ for an intelligence minister as ‘Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa will be in charge, together with me.’ Mutasa, who has previously served as intelligence minister, is one of Mugabe’s trusted loyalists. Suggesting that there was nothing awkward about the new development Mugabe said: ‘In other countries they don’t even appoint a minister (of state security)’. Mugabe was responding to questions from journalists soon after he swore in his new cabinet Wednesday. In his cabinet line up announced this week Mugabe curiously omitted the intelligence portfolio, sparking speculation that he may have violated the constitution. A constitutional law expert told SW Radio Africa this week that section 104 of the constitution, permitted the President “to reserve to himself or herself the administration of an Act, Ministry or department”. But observers were quick to question Mugabe’s capacity to run an organisation of such complexity and sensitivity given both his advanced age and busy schedule. Mugabe 89 is routinely out of the country either on official business or for medical check-ups in Singapore. Recent reports have said his health is deteriorating, raising prospects that he won’t cope with the demands. International Crisis Group (ICG) analyst Trevor Maisiri, thinks otherwise. Maisiri told SW Radio Africa that Mugabe will be ‘competent’ as long as Mutasa, the heads of the CIO and other state departments remain loyal to him. Maisiri said the overriding concern for Mugabe was loyalty and control and if the composition of his latest cabinet is anything to go by he has already secured both. Among some of Mugabe’s loyalists appointed Monday are defense and justice ministers, Sydney Sekeramayi and Emmerson Mnangagwa. However, Maisiri further speculated that by taking charge of the state intelligence Mugabe could be seeking to bring ‘the CIO’s growing influence’ under his direct control. The CIO, known to act with impunity, are not only seen to be responsible for Mugabe’s controversial re-election but of his overall political survival in the face of stiff competition from the MDC formations, making them even more influential.
Zimbabwean Women Protest Low Number of Cabinet Slots by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Zimbabwean Women Protest Low Number of Cabinet Slots by Sebastian Mhofu for VOA Zimbabwe Women’s groups in Zimbabwe have responded angrily to President Robert Mugabe’s decision to appoint just four women to his 30-seat Cabinet. Defending his decision, Mugabe told journalists that women must do better in elections to be eligible for Cabinet posts. Women say the road to gender equity in Zimbabwean politics is a long one, given their disadvantaged background. Only 12 percent of Zimbabwe’s new Cabinet is female, well below women’s 52 percent share of the population recorded last year in Zimbabwe’s census. After swearing in his new ministers on Tuesday, President Robert Mugabe said there is nothing abnormal about having few women in his Cabinet. “Education is for all now. It is mixed. The yield is the same. It is no longer necessary for us to have affirmative action, it is now free for all. Let women contest alongside men without any preferential treatment,” said Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s new constitution, approved earlier this year, provides legal protections for women, including equal rights in the workplace and a 50-50 representation in all public offices, which would appear to include the Cabinet. In addition, the Southern African Development Community has mandated that its members give women 50 percent political representation by 2015. After this week’s Cabinet announcements, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe convened to strategize on increasing women’s participation in the political, legal and economic sectors. The group’s chairwoman, Virginia Muwanigwa, said her members are not happy with Mugabe’s appointments. “We are disappointed that we have not been able to achieve the number of women in Cabinet according to what we expected in the constitution, which is actually 50-50 or 50 percent,” she said. “And we are particularly disappointed because it is not just about the Cabinet, but what the Cabinet represents in the lives of people of Zimbabwe.” An official with the Women in Politics Support Unit, Patricia Muwandi, says not all hope is lost. She explains why women in Zimbabwe lag behind in politics. “The historical imbalances that have seen most women not getting enough opportunities as their male counterparts in terms of accessing education and the gender roles the women expect to play,” she said. “So this where we are saying; as an organization we want to work with the women to ensure that those with some qualifications can go further.” The women, who come from the business world, academia, the church, and civil society, say they hope the Zimbabwean government will eventually live up to the constitution and appoint equal numbers of women and men to all public offices and commissions.
US to Maintain Sanctions on Mugabe, Zanu PF Officials by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via U.S to Maintain Sanctions Imposed on Mugabe, Zanu PF Officials by Blessing Zulu for VOA Zimbabwe American lawmakers say they will not lift sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle, though they say they may try to refine the sanctions to reduce the impact on average Zimbabweans. The United States House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing Thursday entitled “The Troubling Path Ahead for U.S.-Zimbabwe Relations.” Chairperson Representative Christopher Smith said the purpose of the hearing was to examine US policy, especially the sanctions, following what he termed a “problematic” election. Testifying before the committee, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs, Shannon Smith, called the presidential and parliamentary elections of July 31st a missed opportunity for Zimbabwe. “The United States and other members of the international community had clearly communicated, both publicly and privately, a willingness to consider rolling back sanctions and other restrictions on Zimbabwe and charting a path to full normalization of relations – if Zimbabwe demonstrated that it was ready to allow its deserving people to freely choose their next government through a fair, peaceful, and credible election.” Deputy Secretary Smith argued that sanctions are intended to punish individuals in Zimbabwe who want to maintain power and wealth while suppressing ordinary people. “We therefore continue to maintain targeted sanctions aimed at those who are actively undermining democracy in Zimbabwe and thus depriving all its citizens of a more democratic, prosperous future.” But according to Zanu-PF, it is the sanctions that are responsible for depriving citizens of prosperity. This claim, Deputy Secretary Smith noted, is a “misperception.” “In the future, we will not be swayed by the attempts of President Mugabe and his party to blame Zimbabwe’s economic misfortunes and disastrous economic mismanagement – on the United States and other governments that maintain targeted sanctions on a select group of individuals and entities. We do, however, want to communicate our message clearly. Those who benefit most from the status quo – influential officials within the Zimbabwean government and the defense and security sectors – will no doubt remain the most vocal critics of the United States and other Western countries, and they will continue to rely on state domination of the media to perpetuate misperceptions about U.S. policy.” Speaking at the same hearing, Representative Ed Royce also took a swipe at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for rushing to endorse President Robert Mugabe after a flawed election. “The performance of SADC has really been a disappointment here. Heralded by the administration at the start of the summer as a force for positive change in Zimbabwe, SADC in my opinion is still adding to the problem as they failed in the past to speak out and this time the Parliamentary group assessment of the July elections I think, terribly missed the mark. Miraculously they concluded that the elections were a credible reflection of the will of the people, free and fair.” Royce compared the SADC statement with views from civil society organizations and other domestic observers, which found “rampant voter roll tampering, political harassment and intimidation.” Also giving testimony, United States Agency for International Development Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, Todd Amani, said Washington will now shift its focus from good governance to humanitarian aid as Zimbabwe is facing a food crisis. “A recent vulnerability assessment indicates that due to a poor agricultural season, as many as 2.2 million vulnerable people may require food assistance during the upcoming hunger season (September 2013-March 2014) – an increase from 1.6 million estimated in need from the prior year and the highest level since 2009. In anticipation of this season’s humanitarian response, USAID has already provided nearly $15 million in food commodities and anticipates providing additional emergency food assistance resources before the end of this fiscal year.
International Advocacy Coordinator of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Arthur Gwagwa, told the committee that from the Zimbabwean perspective, there are options—including the status quo or the total removal of sanctions, or a progressive removal of sanctions. Here he refers to sections of a brief submitted to the hearing. “Firstly, the maintenance of sanctions until all agreed reforms per Appendix 1 are achieved or remedied. The second option is for the immediate removal of all sanctions, on the basis of collective but diverse reasons per Appendix 2. Finally, the USA could pursue a third option, which involves a staggered review of sanctions in response to progress.” President Mugabe said Wednesday that Zimbabwe will not be “destroyed” by Western sanctions and will rely on its natural resources and friendly countries for survival. Mr. Mugabe made the remarks during a press conference soon after swearing in new cabinet ministers for another five-year term. Currently, the Specially Designated Nationals on the US sanctions list includes 113 individuals, including President Mugabe and now Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. There are 70 entities on the list, as well, including the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe and Oryx Diamonds Limited. Beyond the issue of sanctions, Representative Royce also criticized the makeup of the new cabinet, calling it a recycling of old Zanu-PF hardliners. Royce singled out Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and Mr. Chinamasa for suppressing media reforms and the independence of the judiciary, respectively. Imani Countess is the Africa Region Program Director for the Solidarity Center, an International Worker Rights Development Organization. Speaking on behalf of labor, Ms. Countess accused Mr. Mugabe’s government of infringing on workers’ rights prompting the International Labor Organization to act. “In October this year, the International Labor Organization (ILO) will send a high-level technical team to Zimbabwe to implement recommendations made by a Commission of Inquiry in 2009 and 2010 on respect for Freedom of Association and the Right to Bargain Collectively. Zimbabwe’s ongoing and systematic failure to respect Freedom of Association led to Zimbabwe’s inclusion in the June 2013 hearings at the ILO’s Committee on Application of Standards as one of the 25 worst countries regarding labor rights violations. “In addition to some of the events noted previously, legal submissions made to the international body noted that Zimbabwe has failed to uphold international labor standards and even failed to ensure compliance with national laws.” No one representing the government of Zimbabwe was at the hearing. But VOA Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reached Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo who said he is not amused by the U.S. actions. “America wanted the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to win the elections. The sanctions are a regime change agenda and they are hurting ordinary citizens.” The United States of America imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his top officials in 2001 for alleged human rights abuses.
ZCTU Procession Goes Ahead by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via ZCTU Procession Goes Ahead, Attracts Many Workers by Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye for VOA Zimbabwe The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ procession to promote workers’ rights and commemorate the September 13th 2006 march in which some of their members were beaten, went off without incident after a court order was granted in the last minute to allow the labor body to go ahead with the event. ZCTU Regional chairperson for the Western Region, Reason Ngwenya, said the police backed off from interfering with the procession after they were shown the court order. Ngwenya said the procession was well attended despite earlier news of its cancellation. He said some of the issues raised involved the non-payment of workers by employers, water problems in Bulawayo and the closure of industries in a town that was once the country’s industrial hub. “We will soon engage the recently appointed Labour Minister Nicholas Goche to discuss the challenges facing our workers especially those in Matabeleland where many are working for months without pay and most of the big industries have now closed shop,” said Ngwenya. “We hope that our workers can also benefit from the indigenisation drive currently underway so that they can actively assist in reviving our ailing economy,” he added. A similar procession is expected to be held in Harare on Saturday after an urgent chamber application quashed a police ban Thursday.
Transcript Tsvangirai speech 14 September 2013 by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Full text of Tsvangirai speech during MDC 14th anniversary celebrations — Nehanda Radio By Morgan Tsvangirai 14th September 2013 MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai’s speech on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the Movement for Democratic Change. Tsvangirai told the thousands gathered that Zanu PF “can have the manufactured majority in Parliament and cabinet but they don’t have a people’s mandate.” Sakubva Stadium, Mutare Vice President Hon. Thokozani Khupe Members of the Standing Committee Members of the National Executive and the national council The leadership of the host province of Manicaland Members of the Diplomatic Corps Ladies and gentlemen
Mugabe’s Cabinet “an expensive pension scheme” by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Mugabe’s Cabinet “an expensive pension scheme” | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo September 13, 2013 President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet is nothing more than a pension scheme for his cronies, an analyst has said. On Friday, the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper revealed that Mugabe’s new 26 Cabinet ministers, 24 deputies, 3 ministers of state, and 10 ministers of provincial affairs, would gobble up almost a billion dollars in benefits, including luxury cars. Nixon Nyikadzino, of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said Mugabe’s Cabinet was unnecessarily large for such a small country. “This Cabinet is more of an expensive pension scheme for ZANU PF sympathisers who have been plundering the national fiscus. “Just thinking about what this will mean for the economy is scary. To start with, there is no indication that this is a Cabinet that will be mending relations with the international community. “We are saddled with a huge debt and I do not see this government engaging with international institutions to try and have our huge debt cancelled,” Nyikadzino said. Nyikadzino added that the idea of doing away with provincial governors in the new constitution was aimed at reducing cabinet appointments. “But Mugabe has reintroduced them through the backdoor in the form of ministers of provincial affairs. This is not someone who is committed to managing government spending at all, as these people will be enjoying the same ministerial privileges,” he added. Already, there are indications that the new government is working on increasing civil service salaries, a move that many fear will destabilise the already jittery economy. “There can only be funds for revised salaries if ZANU PF stops the corruption in government and in the minerals sector. “It’s not about having a Cabinet but an attitude geared towards good, transparent governance, and that is what they need to be working on.” The civil service wage bill takes up two-thirds of the total revenue, estimated at $7-$10 billion, in a country that has almost no exports or manufacturing capacity. Mugabe himself admitted that his appointments were mainly about rewarding party loyalists and those who delivered during elections, besides education. Speaking after the appointments, Mugabe revealed what he had considered: “Are you ZANU PF? And if you are ZANU PF, how much of ZANU PF are you? How long have you been with us?”
Challenging times for NGOs ahead by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Challenging times for NGOs ahead as Chikomo’s trial commences | The Zimbabwean by ZLHR 14.09.13 THE trial of Abel Chikomo, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum for allegedly running an “unregistered” organisation commences on Monday 16 September 2013, in yet another official harassment of civic organisations and human rights defenders. Chikomo, whose trial was initially set to commence early last month will appear in court 5 at Harare Magistrates Court building after prosecutors served some of the State papers to the human rights campaigner’s lawyer, Selby Hwacha, who is a board member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Prosecutors claim that Chikomo contravened Section 6 (3) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act Chapter 17:15 after he allegedly conducted some activities without being registered with the Social Welfare Department under the PVO Act. The charge, which he denies, came after the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, a non-governmental umbrella organisation conducted a survey on transitional justice in Harare’s Highfield suburb. The State says this was illegal since the organisation is not registered as a PVO. The State claims that he unlawfully instructed two of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s employees to commence or carry out a survey in Harare’s Highfield suburb with the intention to obtain people’s recommendations on the preferred transitional justice mechanism for Zimbabwe, without his organization registering with the Social Welfare Department under the PVO Act. Last year, Chikomo’s trial on the same charges, which first arose in February 2011, was shelved after State prosecutor Innocent Chingarande withdrew summons issued against him as the State was not ready to proceed with the matter. Over the past two years Chikomo has been interrogated and asked to report to the police station on several occasions on the activities carried out by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
Supreme Court restores Whitehead’s citizenship status by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Justice at last as Supreme Court restores Whitehead’s citizenship status | The Zimbabwean by ZLHR 14.09.13 THE Supreme Court on Friday 13 September 2013 restored the citizenship status of Topper Whitehead, an election expert who had been stripped of his citizenship and forced out of Zimbabwe, seven years ago, after being declared an “undesirable inhabitant”. It took the perseverance of lawyers at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights led by Bryant Elliot and Advocate Lewis Uriri, the organisation’s member lawyer, who mounted an appeal in the Supreme Court after the High Court dismissed Whitehead’s initial application. The Supreme Court which on Friday 13 September 2013 heard Whitehead’s appeal for the restoration of his citizenship status was of the unanimous view that a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth cannot lose his citizenship and that he cannot be declared a prohibited immigrant as had been done by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi. Whitehead was forced out of Zimbabwe in 2006 after Mohadi declared him an “undesirable inhabitant” in December 2005. Supreme Court Judges of Appeal Justices Vernanda Ziyambi, Paddington Garwe and Antoinette Guvava declared that Whitehead is a citizen of Zimbabwe in terms of section 36 of the Constitution. In 2002, Whitehead helped unearth ghost voters and challenged President Robert Mugabe’s 2002 disputed election victory before being deported. The State represented by Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General of Citizenship opposed the application arguing that Whitehead is a South African citizen and Zimbabwean law does not allow dual citizenship. However, his lawyers argued that he was forced to take up South African citizenship after being left stateless by the Zimbabwean government, which confiscated his passport as he urgently needed a travel document to conduct business in Zambia and South Africa. The lawyers argued that in doing this, Whitehead did not do a ‘voluntary act’ but was rather acting out of necessity because he has a right to a nationality and a right to freedom of movement and to earn a living. In his appeal, Whitehead argued that he is a Zimbabwean citizen by birth. He was born in 1944 to a Zimbabwean mother and a father born in South Africa. Now based in South Africa, Whitehead committed to renounce his South African citizenship and surrender his South African passport if he once again gets recognised and accepted as a Zimbabwean citizen. Whitehead got into trouble with authorities after he exposed massive loopholes on the voters’ roll, including ghost voters. He irked them more when he became part of a team of experts in the Movement for Democratic Change legal challenge to Mugabe’s contested 2002 election win.
Mugabe says few women educated enough to be ministers by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via Shock as Mugabe says few women educated enough to be ministers | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo 13 September 2013 There has been an angry response to President Robert Mugabe’s condescending remarks regarding the near-absence of women in his Cabinet. On Wednesday, just after swearing in his new appointees, Mugabe implied to journalists that the three women he included were all he could manage, as there were not enough educated women to choose from. Only Oppah Muchinguri (Women’s Affairs), Olivia Muchena (Higher Education), and Sithembiso Nyoni (Small & Medium Enterprises) made it into Cabinet. “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,” he said. “Education is for all now. It is mixed. The yield is the same. It is no longer necessary for us to have affirmative action. Let women contest alongside men without any preferential treatment,” Mugabe told the press. Mugabe further said that despite the affirmative action efforts aimed at promoting women’s access to education, women had not utilised these opportunities and “simply failed to emerge”. But women’s groups say they are disappointed with such an attitude, especially coming from the country’s President who should know better. Writing on Facebook Betty Makoni, founder of the Girl Child Network, said: “To think our President today says that after 20 years of sweating in schools we are not educated as Zimbabwean women is shocking. “I think giving most political cabinet positions to men is like a father who treats boy children better than girls. Zimbabwe might be amongst countries with the highest number of educated women,” she wrote. She went on to say that with this attitude boys grow up with a negative feeling towards women and women end up seeing themselves as inferior. Responding to Makoni’s post, former broadcaster Lydia Mavengere said: “I get the feeling he (Mugabe) doesn’t like a good sensible argument or challenge from a woman. As a result he chose the few he perceived to be the least antagonistic. For men like that, it also helps them live in their comfort zone where women are seen and not heard. “But we all know Zimbabwean women are great, featuring amongst the most educated most hardworking and most resourceful,” Mavengere said on Facebook. In yet another comment posted on Facebook, feisty feminist-activist Everjoice Win said she couldn’t care less about Mugabe’s appointments. “Please don’t ask me for comments, or ask me to get engaged. I never cared why Hitler didn’t have women in the leadership of the SS. I did not lose sleep over the lack of women in the 5th Brigade when they massacred my mother’s people in Matebeleland. “I certainly am not going to care now how many are in that Retirement Home Inc Cabinet,” Win added. Speaking on behalf of the umbrella Women’s Coalition, Virginia Muwanigwa told one newspaper that member groups were disappointed that the composition of the Cabinet disregards the new constitution. She added: “We are particularly disappointed because it is not just about the Cabinet, but what the Cabinet represents in the lives of people of Zimbabwe.” Speaking to SW Radio Africa Friday Merit Rumema, of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, said they were disappointed that Mugabe had actually reduced the number of women in Cabinet. “We had hoped there will be more women this time considering that there is a pool of 60 extra women to choose from as a result of the parliamentary quota system. “The new constitution also makes provisions for the inclusion of technocrats in parliament and so in terms of capacity there is enough of that in parliament. “Some of the women have been parliamentarians for more than 30 years and surely they know what they are doing and can head ministries. Rumema said it was “abnormal” to have just three women in the Cabinet, adding that the President had demonstrated a lack of commitment to the various international agreements he signed on gender equality and equity. “The regional protocol on gender, which the president signed, says there should be 50-50 representation of women in key roles by 2015 but just two years before this year, this is the kind of Cabinet, and situation, we find ourselves in.” Rumema said ZWLA was in the process of compiling a list of all the educational qualifications of women parliamentarians, to prove to Mugabe that there are enough educated women to head ministries if that is the criteria. Rumema was also cynical about the ministries that Mugabe had reserved for women, saying they were “soft” portfolios that lack clout. “Without taking anything away from the women, as women’s groups we would love to see a woman heading the finance, or legal affairs ministries for example because they are capable. You begin to wonder whether this is patriarchy at play, politics or attitude,” she added. Kumbirai Mafunda, of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Mugabe had insulted women
Tendai Biti misses Chatham House Prize by ZimSitRep – 09-14-2013
via TENDAI BITI LOSES OUT TO HILLARY CLINTON NewsdzeZimbabwe Former finance minister, Tendai Biti has lost out to former US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who was voted the winner of the Chatham House Prize 2013. Biti had been nominated for stabilising and de-politicising the Zimbabwean economy and being instrumental in the re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community. Biti has developed a reputation within the government of national unity for engaging constructively with all parties while driving a hard bargain on economic reform. He ended the period of hyper-inflation that had crippled the country, and his budget for 2013 has been praised for assisting the poor and empowering young people and women. Biti has been instrumental in the re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community. In recognition of this and his economic policies, in 2009 the executive board of the International Monetary Fund approved the provision of technical assistance to the country, and in 2010 he negotiated the restoration of Zimbabwe’s voting rights and access to resources. The annual Chatham House Prize is awarded to the statesperson who is deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year. The selection process draws on the expertise of Chatham House’s research teams and three presidents, who nominate candidates. Members are then invited to vote for the winner in a ballot.