TEXT only 16 September 2013

  • Will Parliament Amend Zimbabwe’s New Constitution?
  • Zim loses US$12bn in illicit financial flows
  • Tourism sector to get duty reprieve
  • No President Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary
  • Path cleared for Khaya Moyo to be VP
  • MDC to summon Bennett
  • Mudenda must uphold Parly’s legislative role
  • Cabinet headache! Sunday Mail
  • Govt imports grain to avert hunger in deficit areas
  • Hope is not lost – Tsvangirai
  • We’ll not give up – Tsvangirai
  • BAT profits slump on indigenisation costs
  • Clarity needed on provincial ministers
  • New cabinet’s calibre questionable
  • MDC-T celebrates in defeat
  • Salaries: ZCTU to engage govt
  • MDC-T hunts for Tsvangirai successor
  • Zim conservationist wins lifetime award
  • Zanu PF has forsaken us – Supporters
  • Speaker holds key to effective 8th parliament
  • More to Mugabe than 89 years
  • Gukurahundi: Cold War agendas held sway
  • Zim: Highlights as seen by Israeli Diamond Industry

Will Parliament Amend Zimbabwe’s New Constitution? by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Will Parliament Amend Zimbabwe’s New Constitution? by Gibbs Dube, Jonga Kandemiiri for VOA Zimbabwe 15.09.2013 Parliamentarians face an uphill task as they start next week to align several laws with Zimbabwe’s new constitution as fears mount that they will amend the supreme law to entrench Zanu PF rule. The government could be sued if it fails to bring the laws into line with the new constitution. Deputy Justice Minister Fortune Chasi told the state-controlled Sunday Mail that the House of Assembly is expected to institute comprehensive legal alignments when the eight parliament, which officially opens Tuesday, starts sessions September 24. Chasi is quoted by the newspaper as saying the laws that need to be enacted urgently are to cater for the operations of the provincial councils, alignment of terms of citizenship rights, new statutes on the death penalty and broadcasting services. New laws also need to be ratified to sanction the operations of the Attorney-General and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which is a new feature in the new constitution. Critics say laws such the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Public Order and Security Act should be amended as they violate some provisions of the new constitution. Zanu-PF has the parliamentary majority to amend the new constitution. But spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said his party will boycott the official opening ceremony. Mwonzora said Zanu-PF has no ability to change the new constitution. “Fortunately when we drafted the constitution we made sure that important clauses were not amenable to amendment unilaterally by parliament. Important provisions like the bill of rights and others can only be amended by a referendum.” Zanu PF parliamentary chief whip, Joram Gumbo, said it will be unfortunate for the MDC to boycott the official opening session. “If MDC members are going to stay away then what interest are they representing? Just for the lack of a better word, it’s political immaturity,” said Gumbo. At the same time, the MDC-T is seeking a High Court order to compel government to accept the appointment of non-councillors as city mayors. The party’s lawyer Tendai Toto said the case is expected to be heard Sunday evening. Government wants mayors to be elected councillors while the MDC has said it wants to appoint non-elected party members.

Zim loses US$12bn in illicit financial flows by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Zim loses US$12bn in illicit financial flows by Darlington Musarurwa for SundayMail Resource-rich countries have been losing money through multiple channels. However, it is believed that there are various reforms that can be implemented to plug these loopholes. Many countries, Zimbabwe included, are now actively fighting leakages in their financial systems Zimbabwe has lost a cumulative US$12 billion in the last three decades through illegal financial outflows ranging from secret financial deals, tax avoidance and illegal commercial activities, a new report jointly produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Washington-based US think tank Global Financial Integrity has shown. The haemorrhage is part of an estimated US$1,4 trillion that was lost by the African continent in the three decades from 1980 to 2009. Significant losses in the region were, however, recorded in neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique where outflows were measured at US$184 billion, US$31 billion and US$25 billion respectively. It is believed that between US$30 billion and US$40 billion is leaving Africa each year. Policymakers are concerned that although the outflows continue to increase, the inflows to the continent remain worryingly low. According to the report, which is titled Illicit Financial Flow and the Problem of Net Resource Transfers from Africa: 1980-2009, African countries received resources amounting to 2,3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1980s and just under 1 percent in the 1990s. It also concludes that Africa has generally become the net lender of resources. Resource-rich countries were the most affected. While the majority of African countries continue to rely on external development assistance, “with good resource husbandry” it is believed they could be in a position to finance the bulk of their development needs from their own resources. The report notes that within Sub-Saharan Africa, the per capita loss of illicit capital is mainly driven by Southern Africa, which lost nearly US$2 000 per person, while countries in West Africa and Central Africa lost about US$1 293 per capita. Estimates at a country-level indicate that losses in Southern Africa were mainly driven by South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe. “The report finds that during the 30 years covered by the study, Africa provided net resources to the world of up to US$1,4 trillion on a cumulative basis, far exceeding inflows over the same period. The illicit haemorrhage of resources from Africa is therefore about four times Africa’s current external debt and almost equivalent to Africa’s current GDP. “The resources lost to Africa from illicit financial outflows are large. If harnessed, they could plug the financing deficit that afflicts the continent, enable countries to extend their socio-economic infrastructure, create employment for their youthful populations, and safeguard their natural resource revenues. We should therefore accord efforts to address the proliferation of illicit financial flows from Africa as much importance as we are putting on domestic resource mobilisation and the attraction of foreign direct investment,” said the report. But there are indications that there were brief periods in the early1980s and the 1990s when Africa received small net resource transfers from the rest of the world. Crucially, it was observed that the main driving force behind the net drain of resources from Africa were illicit financial flows – largely unrecorded – which grew at a much faster pace than the net recorded transfers. Opinion leaders and policymakers on the continent are presently making efforts to try and sensitive African states about the negative effects of the outflows and the implications on development. In June this year a 10-member panel established by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU) and chaired by Mr Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, held a two-day consultative meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. More than 60 delegates comprising key stakeholders from East and Southern Africa attended the meeting.The new report, however, recommends that governments need to play a much more active role in promoting transparency in the financial system by ensuring that banks and offshore financial centres (OFCs) report regularly to the Swiss-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) detailed deposit data by sector, maturity and country of residence of deposit holders. Some quarters are pushing for the BIS to be permitted to publicly disseminate the cross-border banking data for specific source and destination countries, while it is also felt that the obscurity of information on the beneficial ownership of companies, trusts, and other legal entities must be addressed. Governments are also being urged to strengthen domestic laws governing financial institutions to make it illegal to open accounts without knowledge of natural person(s) owning the accounts. Since tax evasion is considered as a “significant component of illicit financial flows”, there are proposals to make it difficult for individuals and entities to shift income between countries. Adds the report: “Tax evasion is at the heart of the world’s shadow financial system and constitutes a significant component of illicit financial flows. One way to address the problem of tax evasion is for African countries to enter into automatic exchange of information (AEI) agreements with the destination countries where the proceeds of tax evasion are lodged. AEI agreements should be accompanied by double tax avoidance agreements, which set clear rules for countries’ ability to assess taxes and monitor compliance according to international norms, making it more difficult for individuals and entities to shift income between countries.” In addition, it is believed that multinational companies operating in African countries should be required to publish annual financial reports that explicitly include their activities in Africa. Other reforms that are considered workable include tax reforms that eliminate “built-in incentives” for evasion, a process that is already under way in Zimbabwe, creation of a national authority for the regulation and management of public procurement to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the contracting process. Reforming customs service procedures to curtail trade mis-pricing by removing ad hoc exemptions from customs duties, streamlining clearance and document control procedures, and efficient computerisation of payment and collection procedures in order to make procedures less cumbersome and more efficient is also regarded as crucial by the report. Of late there has been numerous allegations of rampant transfer-pricing or mis-pricing in the region, Zimbabwe included, especially from subsidiaries of being corporations that have offshore bases. There are instances where parent companies overcharge their local subsidiaries for services and goods as a creative way to avoid tax obligations. Zimbabwe has to a large extent made headway in dealing with most of these corporate vices. Also there has long been awareness by Harare of the need to plug loopholes through which the country was being exploited, particularly by foreign firms. In particular, the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act that was legislated in 2008 makes a deliberate attempt to place the economy into the hands of the locals. The latest report is similar to the Africa Progress Report which asserted that Africa is losing billions of dollars annually from the extractive industries as a result of defective contracts signed with foreign companies.

Tourism sector to get duty reprieve by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Tourism sector to get duty reprieve – The Standard by Ndamu Sandu September 15 GOVERNMENT is set to extend the duty reprieve for the tourism industry to enable the sector to retool, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi has said. Speaking to Standardbusiness after the swearing in ceremony of ministers last week, Mzembi said he had spoken to his Finance counterpart Patrick Chinamasa on the extension of the duty exemptions. “I was just talking to Chinamasa now that Statutory Instruments 124 of 2011 and 199 of 2012 should be extended,” he said. Statutory Instrument 124 of 2011 was related to the importation of duty-free capital goods to be used in hotels and restaurants, as well as boating equipment. It expired on August 31. Statutory Instrument 199 of 2011 suspended duty on imported motor vehicles by the safari industry. It ran from January 1 to June 30 2013. The duty exemptions are set to give a lease of life to the tourism sector that is billed to lure meetings and conferences into the country riding on the successful co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly with Zambia last month. The general assembly was held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone. In a bid to capitalise on a new conceptcalled Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (Mice), Mzembi said the sector would retain the professional conference organiser for the UNWTO and other service providers to build the base for future meetings. Speaking on Zimbabwe’s chairmanship of the Commission for Africa, an UNWTO body responsible for the growth of tourism on the continent, Mzembi said the post places a heavy responsibility on the country to grow both arrivals and revenue. Zimbabwe chairmanship of the Commission for Africa runs up to 2015. Africa contributes fewer than 5% to global tourism arrivals and revenue. “It is my desire that under our chairmanship, we can at least advance to about 8% market share as Africa,” he said, adding that the continent has to pursue issues deliberated at the general assembly such as pulling down barriers to boost tourism. The general assembly mandated Africa to work on accessibility and visa liberalisation. Mzembi said the matters discussed at the general assembly have to be taken to the African Union to amplify the message of pulling down barriers to the growth of tourism. Mzembi said the tourism industry is set to grow in the second half of riding on the prevailing peace and the successful co-hosting of the general assembly. In the six months to June, arrivals increased by 12% to 859 993 from 767 393 recorded in the same period last year.

No President Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
NoPresident Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th September 2013  A pom pom from the Vigil for NoViolet Bulawayo who has been chosen as one of the finalists for the prestigious Man Booker prize for best novel of the year written by someone from the Commonwealth (still including the Irish Republic and Zimbabwe!) NoViolet, whose book is titled ‘We Need New Names’, says her own name means ‘with Violet’ in memory of her mother who died when she was eighteen months old. The Vigil hopes she wins the prize but to have progressed from the long to the short list is a great honour anyway. The winner will be announced on 15th October. The publishers Chatto and Windus gave us some copies of the book and we have been passing them around so everyone can read it. ‘Harrowing but compelling’ was how our first review went (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/503-no-good-gnus–zimbabwe-vigil-diary-6th-july-2013). NoViolet, now 31, gave an interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper earlier this month about a visit home in April – the first time she had been back for thirteen years. It is clear that she shares our fears as we face the consequences of another stolen election. ‘It was a strange country,’ Bulawayo told the Guardian. ‘I went there in search of the Zimbabwe I knew and it was a shock: power cuts, water cuts, just driving down the streets the potholes were amazing, and 80% of the population not working. Just seeing the desperation, wherever you went, people were struggling. That was a picture of the country that I never knew.’ She expressed dismay that Mugabe was hailed by some abroad as one of Africa’s leading statesmen and went on ‘My  generation is known as the born free generation: we really don’t buy this stance against the West because we are aware of our problems, and our problems are really specifically home grown. I feel like it’s a distraction, it’s time people faced up to who and what is our problem. The election wasn’t stolen by the West, the violence of 2008 wasn’t carried out by the West. It’s time to deal with facts as they affect us.’ NoViolet continued: ‘For me, life outside the homeland is a story of perpetual mourning for what is gone’ (see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/noviolet-bulawayo-homecoming-mugabe-zimbabwe – NoViolet Bulawayo tells of heartbreak of homecoming in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe).  The Vigil expects that this mourning is likely to continue for the foreseeable future judging by the cabinet announced by NoPresident Mugabe. For all their big talk, a bleak picture is painted in the latest economic report on Zimbabwe by the World Bank (see: World Bank paints a gloomy outlook for Zim – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_world-bank-paints-a-gloomy-outlook-for-zim/). Although salaries already take 70% of government revenue, new public service minister Goche says a priority is to raise civil service pay . . . but even if all government revenue is devoted to the payroll there will still not be enough money to lift civil servants above the poverty datum line! Other points

  • ·         Another report for our occasional SADC Watch. ANC’s ‘turd’ force: An article by the leader of the South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, exposes the hollowness of President Zuma’s democratic pretensions. Ms Zille is the Premier of the Western Cape, the only South African province not ruled by the ANC. She speaks of ANC activists inciting a violent rebellion against the provincial authorities with the connivance of national leaders (see:http://www.da.org.za/newsroom.htm?action=view-news-item&id=12818 – SA Today: A Thin and Broken Blue Line).
  • ·         Although we were few in numbers we were visited by some starry fashion models taking part in London’s Fashion Week. They posed with us wearing clothes by the Russian designer Annoush on their way to a catwalk show down the road at Somerset House.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.  FOR THE RECORD: 19 signed the register. EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It’s next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • ·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
  • ·         Zimbabwe Vigil’s 11th Anniversary. Saturday 12th October.
  • ·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.
  • ·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe ishttp://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
  • ·         Facebook pages:

–         Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts –         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515 –         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

Vigil co-ordinators The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

Path cleared for Khaya Moyo to be VP by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Path cleared for Khaya Moyo to be VP – DailyNews Live by Maxwell Sibanda  15 SEPTEMBER 2013 The newly-appointed Cabinet has received a lukewarm reception from political and social analysts, with many doubting the capacity of those appointed to turn around Zimbabwe’s dwindling fortunes. Tabani Moyo, a political activist says it feels like Zimbabwe is back to the year 2000, when the country had the so-called “War Cabinet”, which brought the economy to its knees. “That Cabinet looks very tired and does not inspire confidence to deliver new thinking nor can it postulate paradigm shifts,” says Moyo. The appointments show that Zanu PF was not concerned with serving the people but consolidating its power, nothing more, nothing less. Moyo says he hopes Zanu PF will respect the 1987 Unity Accord, which reserves one of the two vice president posts for a former Zapu cadre. “The reason why they left (Simon) Khaya Moyo without a defined ministry is that he can assume the VP position, but in the interim, he is assuming the role of Prime Minister. Senior Minister is as good as declaring him as PM.” Precious Shumba, Harare Residents Trust director says his organisation welcomes the final appointment of the Cabinet after a long wait. “The fact that he has reappointed them means that he has confidence that they will execute their mandate in line with his vision or mission for Zimbabwe in this current term ending in 2018,” says Shumba. He believes Zanu PF is not in a hurry to replace the late John Nkomo as vice president because it has retained two-thirds majority in Parliament. “They may organise a special congress to fill vacancies in the party’s presidium where their membership will be involved,” Shumba said. “In my view, Simon Khaya-Moyo has only been parked in order to facilitate the process of electing the second vice president at an appropriate forum of Zanu PF. If they use the seniority system, Khaya-Moyo will be the replacement to the late vice president John Nkomo, and obviously they will also have elections to choose who the party’s national chairpeson becomes. “Zimbabwe will continue to have two vice presidents, as long as Zanu PF is in charge of the government of Zimbabwe.” Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu says the new cabinet signified a recycling of the same and failed team. “Some have been ministers since 1980 and some since 2000 and we cannot expect them to do any better this time around. It’s a Cabinet that shows clueless leadership from the top and rewarding political loyalty ahead of professionalism and capacity,” says Mukundu. He believes Khaya-Moyo may still be appointed VP and believes the Senior Minister post maybe a way to orient him for higher office. “Mugabe is however not under pressure from the former PF Zapu anymore as the current Zapu leadership are lowly juniors and cannot counter Mugabe as either Joshua Nkomo or Joseph Msika would do,” Mukundu said. “Essentially this marks the end of the marginal influence that PF Zapu had on Mugabe, from now on he can afford to ignore the PF Zapu team.” Thomas Deve, a Pan Africanist, says Mugabe has continued to reward loyalty and not competence but “also has sent a signal that this is his understanding of a revolutionary leadership or team that can deliver on his vision of a post-GNU Zimbabwe. “He also reinforces an old notion of the vanguard leadership rooted in patriarchy and devoid of the new thinking around the energy one can harness from women and youths,” says Deve. Playwright Cont Mhlanga says when one looks at the new Cabinet, you see a “go fix it Cabinet.” “But how are they going to fix the nation, no one knows yet. Let’s hope whatever they are going to fix is going to be good for the economy because that is their biggest challenge.” Mhlanga believes there are going to be very little surprise on the other vice presidency post. “If you know how Zanu PF operates…seniority and party hierarchy will determine who the vice president becomes.” Shingi Munyeza, a hotelier, believes that after the swearing in of the “new” Cabinet, what’s left was to announce the performance targets for each economic and social ministry. “We need a government that is accountable to its people by delivering its mandate,” Munyeza said. “Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans need to move forward. When the different tribes came to crown David as king at Hebron, they came with their skills to deliver. I am praying for a better, progressive, peaceful and united Zimbabwe.”

MDC to summon Bennett by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via MDC to summon Bennett – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 15 SEPTEMBER 2013 Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will summon  exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett to seek clarification on statements he made that the MDC president must quit. Bennett, who is in self-imposed exile, called for a new leadership of the troubled opposition party, suggesting that Tsvangirai’s continued stay in power did not reflect the will of the people. In an  interview with the Daily News, MDC chairman Lovemore Moyo, said his party was summoning the former Chimanimani legislator for clarification on his statement. “I am yet to read the interview where Bennett made these statements but I can confirm that I have heard about it,” Moyo said. “As the party chairman I am going to summon and ask him to explain these statements you are referring to.  We have internal processes which we use to discipline our members who make statements that bring the party into disrepute.” “Bennett is a senior member of party and should know better, and he has to explain to us what he meant in the interview he made about the party leadership. Otherwise, I don’t want to comment much on the issue without hearing his side of the story.” Bennett, now living in South Africa and United Kingdom since he fled the country in 2010 facing charges of treason, told South African newspaper Business Day that Tsvangirai should resign. “Tsvangirai has served two terms and is nearly completing a third,” 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. Regrettably, some within our leadership, as is the case with many political parties, do not wish the grassroots democratic will of the people to prevail.” Notwithstanding Bennet’s stance, Moyo said the party still believes in the leadership of Tsvangirai and other members of the national executive who were chosen at the party’s congress. “We still believe in Tsvangirai as our leader as I know that he has the mandate of the party members to lead them,” said Moyo. “I am still the national chairman of the party until 2016 when we go to the national congress for the elections of new leaders of the party.” “The struggle for democracy is not yet over, and the elections results are a minor setback, we shall bounce back. I can tell you that if Zanu PF had not rigged the elections we had defeated them and this is why we had gone to the courts to challenge the elections results. “We are not going to cooperate with Zanu PF in any way as we don’t want to legitimise them because they stole the elections.”

Mudenda must uphold Parly’s legislative role by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via ‘Mudenda must uphold Parly’s legislative role’ – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 15 SEPTEMBER 2013 Our Parliamentary Editor Chengetai Zvauya (CZ) talks to former Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo (LM) about his tenure and that of his successor Jacob Mudenda.  Below are excerpts of the interview. CZ: What was your relationship and experience working with Zanu PF legislators in the 7th Parliament? LM: I had a cordial relationship with all Zanu PF MP’s as we had mutual respect for each other as stakeholders for Parliament business. I did not have a challenge with a specific Zanu PF MP, as I executed my mandate in a professional and non-partisan manner. CZ: Are you saying that all was well in Parliament? LM: Yes, it was okay except for an unfortunate incident in 2010. I remember that Jonathan Moyo, (now) minister of Information who was an independent member during my tenure, took me to court challenging my election as speaker of Parliament. I think it was a time he was trying to find his way back into Zanu PF which he eventually did. I was suspended from my post by the Supreme Court ruling of Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku in March 2010. The House of Assembly members had to vote again for a Speaker and I was re-elected. This is the only time in Zimbabwe Parliament history that a Speaker of Parliament  had to be elected twice in one session. These are sad and unfortunate moments during my time as Speaker but I tend to forget them quickly as it was a short period of suspension from March 11 to March 29, 2010. However, after my re-election, I managed to complete my tenure without problems from the legislators across the political divide. CZ: Have you met the new Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and what is your message to him? LM: Yes I had a meeting with him the day he was sworn in as I handed over to him the office and all the documents I was using during my tenure. I gave him an insight on how to work as a Speaker. We had a good chat and he promised me that I will remain a resourceful person to him when he needs my help in the running of his office. The late vice president John Nkomo who was my predecessor did the same procedure with me as he guided me through during my time as Speaker on how to conduct my Parliament business. My attitude is that Parliament is a bigger institution than individuals and political parties. My message to him was that he should not turn the Parliament into a Zanu PF institution as it will cause Parliament to lose its legislative role. CZ: Are you going to attend the official opening of the 8th Parliament by President Robert Mugabe and have you received any invitation from Parliament? LM: It depends on the powers that be to invite me to the occasion, but I am no longer a member of Parliament and I cannot attend where I have not been invited. As a political party we have taken a party position about the official opening of Parliament so we shall cross bridges when we get there. CZ: What can you say were the major achievements during your tenure as Speaker of Parliament? LM: History will record that I guided Parliament in the process of drafting of the new constitution for the country until it was signed by President Robert Mugabe in March this year.Nobody will take away that milestone achievement from me and the legislators involved in the constitution-making process. All the legislators worked well to have a new constitution for the country despite their political differences. CZ: Did you make any attempts to improve the welfare of the MPs during your tenure? LM: We pushed in Parliament through the Standing Rules and Order Committee to President Mugabe to have the service conditions of MPs improved and we managed to have a review of the MPs’ salaries, introduction of funeral assistance to the MPs who would have been deceased and increment in their sitting allowances and the continuation of a vehicle loan scheme.  Remember our MPs are not full time but are part time legislators.CZ: The 8th Parliament will be dominated by Zanu PF as it has the majority of 197 members in the National Assembly with MDC having 70,  whilst in the Senate it has 37, whilst your party has 21. What is your feeling on the matter? LM: It is a matter of fact that we are going to be the minority in Parliament but it does not mean that our members have to attend Parliament to sleep in the house. They have to debate and defend our democratic space and we have to live up to the expectations of the people who voted us in our constituencies. This is the time to continue fighting for our political relevance in the country as we still have the support of the people in the country. CZ: Talking about your political party MDC, what happened in the July 31 elections? LM: It is very disappointing because we did not win the political power as everyone knows that the elections were stolen from us by Zanu PF as they were rigged. In my constituency I lost with only 81 votes against Never Khanye as I got over 5 000 votes with him getting almost the same number of votes. The results were manipulated in his favour. I know that this is what happened in many constituencies countrywide to my other colleagues. CZ: What is the way forward as a party and do you still believe in the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai? LM: I am still the national chairman of the party until 2016 when we go to the national congress for the election of new leaders of the party. We still believe in Tsvangirai as our leader as I know that he has the mandate of the party members to lead them. The struggle for democracy is not yet over and the election results are a minor setback but we shall bounce back. I can tell you that if Zanu PF had not rigged the elections we had defeated them and this is why we have gone to the courts to challenge the election results. We are not going to cooperate with Zanu PF in any way as we don’t want to legitimise them because they stole the elections. CZ: This week Mugabe appointed a new cabinet and what is your opinion on it?LM: I was looking at the list of the individuals in the cabinet. It is made up of deadwood. There is no renewal or energy from these individuals. It seems that the appointments were based on patronage and it is a political club. If one looks at the ministers of State for Matabelleland provinces — what improvements can they bring to the provinces? These people were in power for 33 years and failed to deliver anything and we cannot expect them to do so now. There is no hope in this Cabinet. CZ: What is your message to the incoming legislators? LM: They have to keep on working for the people and should follow our example as we did well in the 7th Parliament session. We have laid the foundation for them to follow. CZ: What are you doing at the present moment, since you are no longer involved in Parliamentary work? LM: I am a businessman running his business enterprises and I am also reading for my Master’s degree at National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and I am a serious politician continuing working for my party and interacting with people in my constituency working on developmental projects. CZ: Thank you for finding time to talk me. LM: It is always my pleasure to speak to you, Zvauya and your newspaper journalists.

Cabinet headache! Sunday Mail by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Cabinet headache! by Kuda Bwititi for Sunday Mail  15 September 2013 Newly sworn-in Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians face a mammoth task soon after the Official Opening of Parliament this Tuesday as it has emerged that several legal statutes should be quickly aligned with the new Constitution for the Government to avoid operating in breach of the supreme law. The Government could attract lawsuits if it fails to bring the identified laws into line with the Constitution. Among the laws that need to be enacted urgently are provisions for the operationalisation of the provincial council, regularisation of new commissions, alignment of terms of citizenship rights, new statutes on the death penalty, procurement and broadcasting services. New laws also need to be ratified to articulate the functions of the Attorney-General and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which is a new feature birthed through the new Constitution. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Fortune Chasi told The Sunday Mail last week that Government would immediately institute a process for comprehensive legal realignments. He said authorities would work expeditiously to avoid appearing before the Constitutional Court for breaching provisions of the Constitution. “We are going to institute a process, in earnest, to carry out a study of all the statutes in order to make sure that they are aligned to the Constitution. As it stands, there are dozens of statutes that are not in line with the very high standards. These have been set out in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. “The ministry will have to tackle this issue. It is one of its key deliverables that will be put on the table to make sure that every Act is in line with the Constitution. The Constitution is the Supreme law of the country, which means all laws must be in sync with it. The idea is to avoid a litany of cases being brought forward to the Constitutional Court.” Former Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) co-chair Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana likened the situation to 1980 when the incoming majority Government had to deal with numerous Acts. He said Government should not fail to adhere to Constitutionalism. “If you look at the Constitution, there are several sections, which propose that an Act of Parliament should be put in place to make sure that the Constitution is implemented. “This Parliament has an unprecedented workload that is almost similar to 1980, when the Lancaster House Constitution was put into effect,” he said. “We have now reached a stage where we need a legal revolution. If we do not implement the provisions of the new Constitution, we will fail to provide for the governance of the country. Ministries should be made aware of these provisions. “Government would have failed to adhere to thefundamentality of Constitutionalism. If it does not implement these provisions, people may sue the State for not complying with the Constitution. “This Parliament has an unprecedented workload because it requires so many changes. “Every piece of law in the country must be in total conformity with the Constitution because if this is not so, it can be challenged in the Constitutional Court.” Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma said Parliament should immediately address the legal processes so that it executes its oversight role efficiently. “You should realise that according to the new Constitution, Parliament is now required to increase its oversight functions on the Executive. As such, there is need for the requisite laws to be passed so that Parliament executes its functions without any legal hurdles. “In general, if any law is inconsistent with the Constitution, then it is invalid. All laws must conform to the Constitution.” The new Constitution was signed into law by President Mugabe on May 22, 2013 following the March 16 referendum, which overwhelmingly endorsed the document. Among the new features of the charter include the exemption of women from the death penalty; the setting up of a land commission as well as a peace commission; and the introduction of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Govt imports grain to avert hunger in deficit areas by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Govt imports grain to avert hunger in deficit areas by Sunday Mail Reporter  15 September 2013 The new Zanu-PF Government has begun importing grain from Zambia to feed people in drought-hit areas in fulfilment of the party’s election promise that no one will starve. Last Thursday, Zimbabwe took delivery of over 3 000 metric tonnes of grain from Zambia which is being distributed to the southern parts of the country. In an interview last week, Grain Marketing Board general manager Mr Albert Mandizha said the delivery is the first as others consignments are expected later this month.  “This week only, we have received 3 000mt of maize from Zambia and distribution has already started in the southern parts of the country where the drought is severe,” said Mr Mandizha. “The grain would complement the 10 000mt from our own strategic grain reserve that we have since been ordered to distribute among the most affected areas. “Out of the 150 000mt we agreed on with Zambia, Zimbabwe has only received 12 000mt of grain because the programme was stopped due to differences in the inclusive Government,” he said. Earlier this year, President Mugabe had an agreement with his Zambian counterpart, President Michael Sata, over the importation of 150 000mt of grain to feed thousands of people in Zimbabwe who face hunger following a poor 2012/13 summer cropping season. However, the programme has been sabotaged by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti who stopped it citing financial challenges when only less than a quarter of the grain had been delivered. The grain is set to be distributed in the most affected parts of the country which include Matabeleland South, parts of Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland North. There are also other parts of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West which lie within the Lowveld areas that were affected by drought. According to the 2012 Ministry of Agriculture final crop assessment report, 45 percent of the planted 1 689 786 hectares of maize was a write-off in the 2012/13 summer cropping season. Also, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee Survey (Zimvac) 2012, estimated that at least 1,7 million people in Zimbabwe require food assistance.

Hope is not lost – Tsvangirai by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Hope is not lost – Tsvangirai | The Zimbabwean by Clayton Masekesa 15.09.13 The MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai has said he has evidence on how the military was used to rig the 31 July harmonized elections and also how millions of money from diamonds mined in Chiadzwa were abused to fund Zanu PF’s election campaign. Addressing its supporters who had gathered at Sakubva stadium to celebrate the party’s 14th anniversary today, Tsvangirai said the military recruited 35 000 youths who were forced to vote for Zanu (PF). “We have information and evidence that there 35 000 youths were recruited in the military. This resulted in double voting and some others had numerous voting slips per person, clearly showing that there was massive rigging,” he said. Tsvangirai said diamonds mined at Chiadzwa were sold to Angola and the proceeds were used to fund the Zanu (PF) election campaign including printing of the regalia. “We have information that money from diamonds was abused and all the proceeds were channelled towards the Zanu (PF) campaign materials. The nation is crying foul that resources such as diamonds were used for wrong purposes,” said Tsvangirai amid a thunderous round of applause. The MDC President added that Zanu (PF) paid NIKUV $35m dollars to rig the elections. “It is sad that Zanu (PF) pays such money to NIKUV to rig elections, while we have people suffering. What kind of leadership qualities are that?” said Tsvangirai. He said traditional leaders were abused by Zanu (PF) to force the villagers to vote the party against their wishes. “The traditional leaders were told to force people to vote for Zanu (PF). We know that the villagers were afraid of their safety and they voted for Zanu (PF),”he added. Tsvangirai, however, said hope is not lost for his party and said the party will continue fighting for the struggle to bring real change in the country. “Mugabe and Zanu (PF) should know that they have formed a illegitimate cabinet and government that is against the wishes of the people,” he said. “Yes, they might say that they are in control, but, I want to tell them that there is no power that is greater than the people’s will,” Tsvangirai said. He said Zanu (PF) was faced by a crisis of national expectations. “They have a dead cabinet and now that they are in power, we want them to deliver the promises that they made to the people,” he added. Tsvangirai said the MDC was a mass movement and will be moving to the grassroots in all provinces strategizing and getting the views from the people on its quest to move forward. “We shall pursue on our agenda of democracy and bringing change. We shall recover all what we lost and we shall over take all our enemies,” said Tsvangirai.

We’ll not give up – Tsvangirai by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via We’ll not give up — Tsvangirai – DailyNews Live by Bernard Chiketo 15 SEPTEMBER 2013 Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan Tsvangirai consoled his supporters at his party’s sombre 14th anniversary celebrations in the aftermath of a disputed electoral loss to Zanu PF in the July 31 election. “Today, our collective challenge is not to give up…For the sake of our country, which we love and for which we have sacrificed so much, we cannot as a people and as a movement be held captive by despondency and despair,” Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters who thronged Mutare’s Sakubva Stadium yesterday. The former trade unionist blamed his party’s loss “on the greatest electoral theft of our time as characterised by the mood of national mourning that still grips this country”. Tsvangirai called  for peace, but tensions remain high. He said Zimbabwe needs not follow the example of some African states that in recent years have been convulsed by riots and mass protests to protest the “subversion of their will”. “Our agenda is to respect the rule of law, to respect the Constitution and act in line with the Constitution,” Tsvangirai said. He, however said his party continues to receive “frightening information, most of it from some of the players involved in the electoral theft.” Tsvangirai said the election was highly-militarised. “The militarisation started with the deployment of military personnel such as former Air Vice Marshall Henry Muchena and several other former intelligence officials to work at the Zanu PF headquarters. “We have a list of 10 senior military officers who were deployed as co-ordinators for the July 31 election in each of the provinces,” he said. The MDC leader also said they now had “impeccable information that 35 000 youths were trained and deployed specifically in Harare, all Matabeleland provinces and here in Manicaland after Zanu PF said the people in these provinces were resisting re-orientation programmes run by civilians.” “Inkomo Barracks in Harare had 7 343 recruits who went through training and were deployed three days ahead of the election. Named intelligence and military intelligence department officials were working with Nikuv to manipulate the voters’ roll in both rural and urban areas,” Tsvangirai said. “We now know who stole how many carats, on what date, who took them to the intermediary in Angola and how much was paid as the regime mopped national resources to fund electoral theft. “We now know which countries, which individuals and companies were at the centre of this electoral theft. I now have the dossier with me, which I will be sharing with heads of State in Sadc and the rest of Africa,” he said. Tsvangirai also said six weeks after the election,  they are yet to be furnished with a copy of the voters’ roll, adding there was a deliberate ploy to prevent registration for a certain age group and people from perceived MDC strongholds. “For example, during the initial voter registration period, Mashonaland East, a perceived Zanu PF stronghold, had 18 mobile registration teams while Harare had only five. As a result, Harare had only 27 000 newly-registered voters after the intense 30-day registration exercise while Mashonaland East had more than 50 000,” he said. “750 000 people in urban areas were disenfranchised while the limited time allocated for voter registration resulted in the disenfranchisement of over two million potential voters, 350 000 of these in Harare alone,” Tsvangirai said. He also said to date, “no one has accounted for the printed ballots and we now understand 300 000 presidential ballots were printed for the special voting even though there were far much less that 100 000 people eligible to vote during the special voting. “The fact that Zec printed 8,7 million ballots against 6,4 million registered voters raised suspicion. “We have requested for a full national audit of the production and distribution of ballots but that was not done and we were denied access to the required material.” The MDC leader also said voter registration slips were abused. “On election day, we unearthed a scam where tens of thousands of fraudulent slips were issued out and used to vote. In Hatfield Constituency, six people were arrested on election day and they confessed to being part of a large group of people that had been issued with fake registration slips,” Tsvangirai said. The other area of concern to the MDC, he said, was the abuse of traditional leaders who were told to lead their people on voting day to vote for Zanu PF. “We have a case of three village heads in Mashonaland East who were suspended after the election for not doing what every village head had done, to commandeer their people to the polling station to vote for Zanu PF. “We also had teachers, including school heads and principals, nurses and other professionals who are still prepared to testify in court on how they were made to claim illiteracy so that they could be assisted to vote,” Tsvangirai said. “This is probably the only election where headmasters and other senior civil servants were assisted to vote by Grade Two drop-outs after they were asked to plead illiteracy. “In short, it was a peaceful but rigged election. A coup by ballot,” Tsvangirai fumed. The MDC leader said he sympathised with Sadc for having been fooled by the complex rigging machinery but promised to enlighten regional leaders on how the rigging took place.

BAT profits slump on indigenisation costs by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via BAT profits slump on indigenisation costs – DailyNews Live by Kudzai Chawafambira  15 SEPTEMBER 2013 Cigarette-maker BAT Zimbabwe incurred a $1,4 million loss after tax in the half-year to June 2013, weighed down by a $10,6 million indigenisation expense. The loss comes on the back of a $5 million profit after tax recorded in prior comparative period. Kennedy Mandevhani, the group’s chairperson, pointed out that on a non-adjusted basis, operating profit for the period reduced to $2,4 million as a result of the company’s efforts to comply with indigenisation policy — compelling foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent shareholding to locals. Last year, BAT committed a 26 percent stake to Zimbabwean locals in compliance with indigenisation laws. The company gave a 10 percent shareholding to a newly-established employee share ownership scheme and another 10,74 percent to a Tobacco Empowerment Trust for the benefit of development and support of indigenous tobacco growers. This translated to four million shares worth a combined $20 million. The remaining 5,26 percent stake will be retained by existing indigenous shareholders. “This expense represents the fair value of share awards made to employees by our Employee Share Ownership Trust as part of the company’s compliance with Indigenisation and economic empowerment legislation (10,2 million) plus the associated payment of dividends to employees participating in the Trust of $400 000,” said Mandevhani. However, Mandevhani pointed out that the impact of the loss was “partly offset by other income of $3,3 million due to the forgiveness by a related party of payables for services which had been accumulated during the country’s period of hyperinflation.” In the period under review, local cigarette volumes dropped by 16 percent due to increases in excise duty coupled with low consumer disposable income and a tight liquidity market. This comes as the listed cigarette maker pointed out that the cigarette manufacturing industry’s volumes were significantly reduced as a result of a slowdown in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and on-going challenges that consumers in the country continue to face. “Successive increases in excise duty which impacted cigarette retail prices in 2011 and 2012 have been compounded by coinage constraints resulting in consumers often paying higher prices than those recommended by manufacturers simply due to the unavailability of coins,” said Mandevhani. He pointed out that despite the decrease in sales volumes across all brands, the Madison brand proved more resilient while its global drive brand, Dunhill grew volume by 44 percent compared to last year, albeit off a small but growing consumer base. Notwithstanding the volumes challenges, BAT’s local market share according to independent research, stands at over 75 percent. BAT’s total revenues remained flat at $23,1 million compared to last year due to manufacturer increases net of excise on key brands in December last year which offset on part the impact of lower sales volumes. Cost of sales came down to $7,1 million from $9,6 million recorded in prior comparable period. Gross profit increased by $2,5 million to $16 million in the period from $13,4 million registered in prior comparable period, largely driven by strong management focus on cost reductions while operating profit declined to $2,4 million from $7 million recorded in same period last year. Going forward, Mandevhani said that trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the second half of the year as the country continues to look for economic stability. Due to the loss for the period, the group resolved not to declare an interim dividend.

Clarity needed on provincial ministers by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Clarity needed on provincial ministers – DailyNews Live by Staff Writer 15 SEPTEMBER 2013  Mugabe’s move to bring in provincial governors disguised as ministers of State responsible for provinces is likely to create constitutional challenges as it effectively suppresses devolution of power. The move makes a mockery of an agreement reached between Zanu PF and the two MDC parties that saw devolution of power form part of the new constitution for Zimbabwe. Negotiating teams led by Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and the secretary-generals of the two MDC factions Tendai Biti and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga pumped in hours and hours negotiating that the provincial chairperson will come from the party with majority seats in that particular province and the chairperson must be elected by the provincial council. It was a fantastic deal, the country’s 10 provinces will each have a provincial assembly made up of Members of Parliament and Senators from that area, representatives of local authorities and 10 individuals elected by proportional representation as well as a provincial governor. The provincial assembly was supposed to nominate two possible candidates for governor which they will forward to the president who will choose from the two. Under the Lancaster House constitution, the president appointed governors who were invariably members of his party and he seems hell bent on reinstating those powers, albeit unconstitutionally. There is really nothing surprising here because Zanu PF has always vowed not to support any constitution with devolution of power, with officials claiming it would encourage secession advocates in Matabeleland to push for a withdrawal from Zimbabwe. Of course that was all hogwash. The move by Mugabe to appoint provincial ministers of State is a slap in the face of the two MDC  parties and millions of their supporters — who have placed devolution at the heart of their policies. What Mugabe has done is tantamount to rejecting people’s views after the issue registered high during an outreach programme led by a parliamentary committee to collect the people’s views. Devolution must be accompanied by measures to ensure that provincial and local governments are democratic, transparent and accountable. In the absence of such measures provincial and local governments will be inefficient and corrupt, and incapable of gaining and retaining the trust of the people. Under the current circumstances, there is no doubt that devolution is under severe threat with the appointment of Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs putting paid to any hopes of decentralising power. It is trite to note that those provincial ministers will report directly to the president, hence their interaction with provincial councils or mayors of respective areas will be superficial. They will override every programme set to be taken in their respective provinces. Infact, this makes the provincial councils a sub-structure of local government, rendering mayors redundant.

New cabinet’s calibre questionable by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via New cabinet’s calibre questionable – The Standard by Patrice Makova September 15, 2013 Mugabe’s new cabinet will only be able to deliver on its promises if competent people are appointed to key positions within the different ministries, analysts have said.They said while there has been an outcry on the qualifications of some of the cabinet members as they have failed in the past, it was inadequate to judge the performance of a whole ministry on the basis of individual ministers. But other analysts maintained that there was little hope that the new cabinet would perform “miracles”, as some of the ministers were no longer energetic due to old age, while others were only interested in enriching themselves. Oxford University lecturer, Phil-lan Zamchiya said while there has been so much “hullaballoo” about individuals cabinet members, ministers were political figures and appointees. He said it was Mugabe’s prerogative to appoint ministers of his choice from the elected MPs. Zamchiya said the ability of the new cabinet to deliver would not be determined by individual ministers, but the whole governance structures which include permanent secretaries, principal directors and deputy ministers. “Let us not be blinded by looking at individual ministers. They are part of the puzzle, but merely as figureheads,” he said. “The permanent secretaries and principal directors will in fact be driving public policies, while ministers will just give political direction.” Zamchiya said deputy ministers would also be part of the matrix and work towards ensuring government delivers. He said a number of newly appointed deputy ministers were technocrats and could complement their bosses who might be old and less skilled. Zamchiya cited Zanu PF politburo member and deputy minister of Energy and Power development Munacho Mutezo, who is an engineer by profession. Mutezo deputises another Zanu PF politburo member, Dzikamai Mavhaire who has been in the “wilderness” for decades now after he was booted as Masvingo provincial governor. Other notable technocrats and so-called “Young Turks” appointed deputy ministers include journalist Supa Mandiwanzira (Media and Information), Paul Chimedza (Health), Biggie Matiza (Local Government), Fred Moyo (Mines) and Win Mlambo (ICT). Zamchiya said Mugabe’s chief secretary, Misheck Sibanda has already outlined to the new ministers, the government’s socio-economic blueprint which will guide them for the next five years. He said one does not need a university degree to be a State President, simply the vote of the people. “You just need to surround yourself with competent people,” said the Oxford University fellow. “Look at President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. He has no formal training but has surrounded himself with some of the best minds in that country. Zuma has thus done fairly well in terms of performance.” But University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Shakespear Hamauswa differed with Zamchiya. He said while cabinet ministers worked with qualified staff members, they were the fall guys if government failed to deliver. Hamauswa said Mugabe should have struck a balance when he appointed his cabinet. “You need both veteran politicians and technocrats who have the confidence of the international community, and can easily come up with strategies that can revitalise the economy,” he said. Hamauswa said while some politicians could be good at mobilising people, they could be clueless when it came to running technical portfolios such as Energy, Climate Change, Finance and Industry. He said by appointing Young Turks as deputy ministers, Mugabe was already looking ahead to 2018 elections. “These deputy ministers are already being groomed for full ministerial positions. For the next five years they have to prove themselves, while also at the same time getting the necessary political experience,” said Hamauswa. Notable appointments to cabinet include Patrick Chinamasa (Finance), Joseph Made (Agriculture), Walter Chidhakwa (Mines), Francis Nhema (Indigenisation), Jonathan Moyo (Media), Mike Bimha (Industry), Obert Mpofu (Transport), Lazarus Dokora (Primary and Secondary Education) and David Parirenyatwa (Health). The new cabinet has to tackle corruption and an unemployment rate of over 80%, as well as revive industries and restore decaying infrastructure. It also has to provide basic services such as health, education, water and electricity. CABINET TO IMPROVE ZANU PF’S BALANCE SHEET — cizc Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) executive director, Macdonald Lewanika said whereas people expected a cabinet to enhance the country’s economic fortunes, what they got were ministers “adept at improving their own and Zanu PF’s balance sheet”. “It is apparent from the foregoing that the cabinet has also been used as part of a reward system that only entrenches Zanu PF’s patronage system,” he said. He said CiZC’s view was that, depending on who would be chosen, it would indicate whether the government, would, in terms of the transition, regress, stagnate or move towards further reform and consolidation of some of the positive gains from the GNU period. “The cabinet, as announced by Mugabe, is symbolic of the oxymoronic situation where the way forward is stated as being backwards,” said Lewanika. “The new cabinet’s resemblance to the retrogressive, economy wrecking, freedom arresting war cabinet of 2002 is striking, both in terms of key actors and the politics represented.”

MDC-T celebrates in defeat by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via MDC-T celebrates in defeat – The Standard by Obey Manayiti and Clayton Masekesa September 15, 2013 MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday stood brave rallying his supporters to stay put, and not be discouraged by the massive defeat in the just-ended harmonised elections. Addressing a half-empty Sa-kubva Stadium in Mutare yesterday during the party’s 14th anniversary, Tsvangirai urged supporters not to give up until it dislodged Zanu PF from power. He said the MDC-T remained relevant and the biggest platform to bring governance change in Zimbabwe. “I want to congratulate you all for winning the elections, for voting for change,” the MDC-T leader said before a thunderous applause. “But there were thieves who do not want the people of Zimbabwe to be free.” Tsvangirai said his defeat and that of the MDC-T was due to massive rigging by Zanu PF, claiming this has thrown the whole nation into “mourning and created a serious national crisis.” He said MDC-T remained the answer to the country’s problems, hence his message that people should not to be despondent. Tsvangirai said when the MDC-T was formed, the party knew it was not going to be a walk in the park to unseat Zanu PF. “In this struggle, the party will not be held captive by shenanigans such as election rigging,” he said. Tsvangirai said under a Zanu PF government, the economy and the general livelihood of its citizens has gone under, due to mismanagement and corruption. He said the MDC-T would continue to use peaceful means to unseat Zanu PF. The MDC-T leader said although Zanu PF was in power, the ruling party had no clear agenda. He outlined several ways in which the elections were allegedly rigged by Zanu PF. Tsvangirai said his party always believe in legitimate elections maintaining that the struggle would be completed through free and credible elections. “As a party, we have been meeting and engaging the people on the mass line. From today onwards, we will continue coming to your branches and villagers to talk about the way forward,” said Tsvangirai. “We want to engage the people, so that they tell us what action we should take. We will be there with you and we will maintain our vision. We shall protect our space.” Meanwhile, about 10 MDC-T supporters from Chitungwiza who were on their way to attend the anniversary celebrations were arrested for undermining the police authority, the party’s spokesperson said. Douglas Mwonzora said the supporters were picked before they arrived at the venue. He said this was a ploy by security details to intimidate people from attending the celebrations. Lawyers representing the supporters confirmed the detention. “They are facing charges of undermining police authority. It is reported that the driver failed to stop after being ordered to do so by traffic police. Police on patrol then followed the supporters where a misunderstanding ensued,” said lawyer Chris Ndlovu. “Likelihood is that they will go to court on Monday,” added Ndlovu.

Salaries: ZCTU to engage govt by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Salaries: ZCTU to engage govt – The Standard by Christopher Mahove September 15, 2013 Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said it will soon engage the new government on a number of issues including advocating for salaries above the poverty datum line (PDL) to ensure workers live comfortably. Speaking at an event to mark human rights abuses of September 13 2006 by police, ZCTU president, George Nkiwane said the labour body would continue to push for the betterment of the welfare of workers in the country. Nkiwane’s speech was read on his behalf by ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo. The event was to mark 13 years after the brutal attack and arrest of 147 trade union leaders and activists by the police, while demonstrating against deteriorating workers’ living standards at a time of skyrocketing inflation. “You are also aware that we pronounced that the elections did not pass the credibility test,” said Nkiwane. “That as it may, it is now water under the bridge and the ZCTU looks forward to engaging the authorities on a number of issues, and the top priority is the issue of poverty-datum-line-linked wages, as well as the harmonisation of labour laws.” Zimbabwe’s PDL for an average of five persons per household stood at US$541 in March but most workers are earning far less. However, the government has already announced plans to review salaries and benefits for civil servants. Nkiwane accused government of violating trade union rights, citing attempts by the police to ban ZCTU commemorations in various regions across the country. “It is such rule by iron fist that led the International Labour Organisation [ILO] to send a commission of inquiry into Zimbabwe in 2009 that unearthed massive trade union abuses by the government,” he said. “It seems the authorities in this country don’t learn anything from that,” he said. He said what happened in 2006 should not be allowed to happen in a democratic society. “We still have people who are permanently disabled due to police brutality but our demands have not yet been fulfilled. We will continue to make those demands until we achieve them,” he said. Nkiwane said a high-level technical team from the ILO was expected in the country next month, to assess the implementations of the 2009 recommendations by its Commission of Inquiry. In Harare, the commemorations were attended by more than 100 workers and started with a clean-up exercise at Copacabana bus terminus, followed by a march to the ZCTU regional offices. The police, who had banned the march, claiming that there were elements waiting to hijack the process, provided escort throughout the procession.

MDC-T hunts for Tsvangirai successor by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via MDC-T hunts for Tsvangirai successor – The Standard by Patrice Makova September 15, 2013 MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai is mulling over a special congress for his party early next year in order to reinstate his legitimacy after losing the July 31 elections to President Robert Mugabe, it has emerged. But senior officials in his party are already pushing for leadership renewal saying the MDC-T president was past his political prime time. This comes amid widening cracks within the party, with different factions making accusations and counter-accusations on who was to blame for MDC-T’s heavy defeat at the hands of Mugabe and Zanu PF. Some senior officials, notably self-exiled treasurer-general, Roy Bennett were already openly calling for a leadership renewal and Tsvangirai’s resignation. Sources said Tsvangirai raised the issue of an early congress at a recent meeting of the MDC-T national standing committee. A senior MDC-T official said Tsvangirai has also been consulting individual members of the national standing committee. He again raised the issue of a congress at the party’s national executive meeting on Friday. “Tsvangirai knows that his rivals in the party are blaming him for the MDC-T loss. He no longer has the respect and confidence of some of his subordinates,” he said. “This is why he now wants an early congress, to resolve this leadership crisis and bury his rivals once and for all.” An MDC-T national council member confirmed the proposal. But he said the party was sharply divided over the issue, with some saying an early congress would likely further fragment the party. “The fear is that we might not have an MDC-T to talk about come the 2018 elections,” said the party official. He said Tsvangirai would go to the congress knowing that he still has popular support among the MDC-T supporters compared to any potential rivals. “Tsvangirai will fight like a wounded buffalo. He will prevail, but the results of such a congress will be disastrous for the party,” said the official. He said those who were supportive of the idea of a congress were secretary-general, Tendai Biti and national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, who are both being touted as possible future successors of Tsvangirai. “Biti and Chamisa appear to be daring each other, with each of them saying let’s go for an early congress,” said the official. Bennett last week told South Africa’s Business Day that Tsvangirai’s continued stay in power did not reflect the will of the people, saying he has served two terms and was nearly completing a third one. “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,” he said. The MDC-T lost elections to Zanu PF amid allegations of imposition of candidates, arrogance, lack of tact and complacency by the party leadership. But the party still insists that Zanu PF rigged the elections, allegations which are yet to be proved. MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora and deputy treasurer-general, Elton Mangoma were said to be opposed to an early congress. Mwonzora yesterday said an early congress was out of the question, insisting the event was still set for 2016. “The national executive and national council met yesterday [Friday]and resolved that our congress will be held in 2016,” he said. Mwonzora however confirmed that the Friday meeting also discussed Bennett’s utterances. He added Tsvangirai, who has led the party since formation in 1999, agreed that indeed the issue of leadership renewal must be openly debated within the MDC-T and by the public. “However, there is also a need that leaders maintain discipline with regards to where they air their views. But more importantly, Tsvangirai said the issue of succession must be talked about,” he said.

Zim conservationist wins lifetime award by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Zim conservationist wins lifetime award – The Standard September 15, 2013 ZIMBABWEN conservationist, Clive Stockil has won a lifetime Prince William Award for Conservation for his work with Rhinos. The award, which was presented by Prince William himself at the Tusk Conservation Awards held at the Royal Society in London last Thursday, comes with a £30 000 (US$47 000) grant. Another accolade was given to Kenyan conservationist, Tom Lalampaa. Hosted by journalist Kate Silverton, the event recognises outstanding figures in African conservation. It was attended by nature lovers from across the globe and the Prince’s wife Kate Middleton, whose official title is the Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William is the charity’s royal patron since 2005 and he is largely involved in the work carried out by Tusk Trust. Stockil has been described as Africa’s greatest conservation pioneer with over 40 years in conservation work. He is recognised more for helping create Zimbabwe’s biggest private reserve in the Save Valley, which is now home to one of the biggest rhino populations in Africa. Tusk Conservation Trust hailed Stockil for his passion in conservation. “We are honoured that Clive Stockil, long-time champion of wildlife and communities in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, including Gonarezhou National Park and the Save Valley Conservancy, is a shortlisted nominee for these awards,” said the Trust. This is not the first time that Stockil has been honoured for his efforts. In 2011, he was awarded one of France’s highest honours for his outstanding contribution to conservation efforts in the Save Valley. He was presented with the Order of Merit from France’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Francois Ponge, on behalf of President Nikolas Sarkozy. The order was created in 1963 by General de Gaulle. CNN is expected broadcast a documentary on conservation featuring Zimbabwe and Clive Stockil today.

Zanu PF has forsaken us – Supporters by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Zanu PF has forsaken us — Supporters – The Standard by Tatenda Chitagu and Blessed Mhlanga September 15, 2013 SCORES of people who were recently evicted from farms across the country soon after the July 31 Zanu PF electoral victory last week said they were “used and dumped” by the ruling party. Several Zanu PF supporters in Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland East province were in the past few weeks evicted from farms they had occupied for over a decade, rendering most families homeless. They said before the polls, senior Zanu PF officials would visit the farms urging them to stay put in their bid to secure votes. The supporters would be given “assurance” that they would not be evicted from the farms if Zanu PF won the elections, as resettlement was part of the party’s empowerment programme. One such victim is Simukai Dowa (56), a Zanu PF supporter whose structures were demolished by riot police last week in Masvingo province. Dowa, a widower and originally from the rocky and mountainous area of Bikita under Chief Mukanganwi’s area, was shocked to be evicted from a farm he had invaded over a decade ago. Dowa, who was together evicted with 300 other families from Sundowns, Hungoidza, Chitemere, Potyo and Mukaro farms, said he felt he was used and dumped, especially since it’s soon after voting for President Robert Mugabe’s party, which promised empowerment of ordinary people before the elections. Most of their children no longer go to school and have very little to eat. They are drinking water from a nearby stream and use the bush for ablution. “We voted for Zanu PF and after that, this is what we get,” said Dowa, who was donning a Zanu cap and pointing to what remains of what used to be his home at Chitemere Farm, about 35 kilometres off the Masvingo-Mutare highway. Kundzai Ganyata under Chief Ziki in Bikita said she was left with only the clothes she was wearing after her huts were torched. “I am left with only the clothes on my back after my huts were torched while I was away.” Evicted families living in the open John Fire Gumbo (72), a political detainee, moved from Gokwe-Nembudziya eight years ago at the height of the land invasions and settled at Farm 27 in Chimagora area in Gokwe, where he built a new home. But two weeks ago and less than two months after Zanu PF won the elections, Gumbo was convicted of trespassing and illegally settling on the farm which belongs to one Farai Magadzire. He is one of the 75 families that were made homeless following their evictions from Farm 27 two weeks ago. The eviction followed a Gokwe Magistrates court ruling delivered in September 2012, only 41 days after Zanu PF won the July 31 harmonised elections. “It is as if they wanted us to vote for them first before evicting us,” said Gumbo. “These politicians came hear and campaigned, and gave us a message of hope saying land belonged to Zimbabweans and we would never be moved.” The families have been living in the open along the Gokwe-Kwekwe highway, exposing their families to diseases as they do not have clean water, toilets and sufficient food. Their homes were razed to the ground by police who allegedly defied pleas from Chief Misheck Njelele to stop the destruction of homes. The chief wanted to find a “political solution” to the problem. Eighty more families were last Thursday evicted from another farm belonging to Star FM presenter, Innocent Siboniso Tshuma in Chemagora. Police dragged 15 settlers from his farm and charged them with trespassing and contempt of court. They were each fined US$100. Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Peter Zhanero professed ignorance over the matter, saying he was yet to get the details. “I have no comment at the moment. I am still to get the details and honestly, I cannot comment over something which I am not privy to,” said Zhanero. The settlers accused the farm owners of also being fronts for the whites, a charge which could not be verified, as the owners could not be reached for comment. Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo were fruitless last week. However, the party is on record saying that those who need land should follow the proper procedures. Zimbabwe’s once flourishing commercial farming community of about 5 000 farmers was decimated by a campaign of violent seizures unleashed by Zanu PF since 2000. The seizures triggered the collapse of the country’s agriculturally-based economy, and drove a myriad of farm workers — more than double the number of people purportedly resettled — into homelessness and poverty.

Speaker holds key to effective 8th parliament by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Speaker holds key to effective 8th parliament – The Standard by Patrice Makova September 15, 2013 ATTENTION this week shifts to the eighth parliament, whose first session is set to be officially opened on Tuesday with analysts saying the new Speaker must give adequate opportunities to all parties of the House to air their views. President Robert Mugabe, who last week appointed his long-awaited cabinet, is expected to set the ball rolling, outlining some of the Bills which need to be passed. Aligning of old Acts to the new Constitution, which was endorsed in a referendum four months ago, will be a priority of this first session. Laws which need to be aligned include the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, the Civil Evidence Act and the Broadcasting Services Act. The Defence, Police and Prisons Acts also need aligning. Parliament is now dominated by Zanu PF after the party won a two thirds majority in the July 31 elections. The MDC-T, which had a slight majority in the previous parliament and was in a coalition government with Zanu PF for the past four years, has now been relegated to the back bench. Zanu PF central committee member and former Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson, Jacob Mudenda has since been elected as Speaker of the national assembly, while Edna Madzongwe was retained as President of Senate. But analysts said parliament’s presiding officers — particularly Mudenda — has a delicate task of balancing the needs of his party while maintaining the dignity of parliament. While the few voices of the opposition are expected to be drowned by those of Zanu PF, analysts said the Speaker must be diplomatic, firm and persuasive. They said the Speaker occupied a pivotal position in a democracy and is looked upon as a guardian of the third arm of the state, the legislature, which goes along the Executive and the Judiciary. ‘Mudenda must be impartial’ Analysts said Mudenda has to conduct his duties in an impartial manner and protect the independence of the legislature. Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) executive director, John Makamure said the Speaker has many duties ranging from administration, judiciary to regulation. He said while there were two presiding officers of parliament, the new constitution now made it clear that the Speaker was the head of the whole institution in terms of  section 135 (1). Makamure said in the last parliament, it was not clear who was the overall head of the whole institution between the Speaker and President of Senate. The Speaker is the chairperson of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee (Sroc), the supreme policy making organ of the parliament. “He must come up with rules of procedures that allow for a strong and effective parliament,” said Makamure. He said Mudenda must ensure that the public gets access to parliament. Makamure said this was in line with section 141 of the new Constitution which now explicitly says the public must have access and be involved in parliament business. “The Speaker must now come up with rules stipulating how the public will be involved,” he said. Makamure said the Speaker must ensure that parliament enacts good laws, in line with its primary legislative function. Political analyst, Ernest Mudzengi said a Speaker played a critical role in guiding and moderating debate in parliament. “He can supress a motion in a way, if he wants to,” he said. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) executive director, Irene Petras said the Speaker occupied a unique position, with only the President and his vice higher than him in terms of hierarchy. “Basically, his role is to oversee and regulate parliament in terms of debate that MPs will be making. He must ensure that the process of passing Bills goes smoothly,” she said. Petras said as chairperson of Sroc, Mudenda would oversee public hearings and the appointment of members of independent commissions such as ZHRC, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Zimbabwe Media Commission. The Speaker also supervises the Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma. The Clerk is the head of Administration and Accounting Office and reports to the Speaker. But in the last parliament, some MPs were not comfortable with the long-serving Clerk, who they viewed as too powerful and intimidating for them. Last year, he was saved by the courts after some MDC-T MPs moved a motion for his removal accusing him of abusing his powers as CEO of the country’s bi-cameral parliament. But it is unlikely that Zvoma will clash with Mudenda, analysts said. Mudenda will be responsible for maintaining order, putting questions after debate and overseeing the voting in the House. The previous constitution stipulated that in the event of a President dying in office, the Speaker would be the Head of State in an acting capacity for three months. But under the new Constitution, the first VP now automatically assumes that office until the next election.

More to Mugabe than 89 years by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via More to Mugabe than 89 years – Sunday Independent | IOL.co.za by Mcebisi Ndletyana September 15 2013 The Zimbabwean state opens up possibilities for big business deals, and political rivalries are always about access to capital accumulation, writes Mcebisi Ndletyana. Johannesburg – However much Zimbabwe’s ruling party embellishes Robert Mugabe’s re-election, it cannot conceal the tragic nature of this episode. And, I’m not referring to whether or not the election was rigged. It was probably engineered. The new electoral terminology invented especially to describe this election – “free and credible”, instead of the customary “free and fair” – is a clear admission that the electoral process was flawed. It was manipulated to return the incumbent. Notwithstanding the aberration of a stolen election, the tragedy for me is encapsulated in the person of the incumbent, Robert Mugabe. This man is 89 years old. That’s hardly an appropriate age for a president, but quite common in retirement. That is why you won’t easily find an 89-year-old running a country – anywhere in the world. Mugabe is the second oldest head of state, following the Israeli President, Simon Peres. At this rate, Mugabe may even take the title away from Malawi’s Kamuzu Banda, who still holds the title of oldest head of state in Africa. Banda left the presidency when he was 96 years old. And not because he retired. He lost an election. Banda was still rearing to go. Is it really Mugabe’s ambition to beat Banda’s record? I don’t have the answer to that question. Rumours of Mugabe’s retirement have been making the rounds for more than ten years now. Here he is, starting yet another five-year term, just six months short of making 90. Who am I to say Mugabe is not rearing to go for 10 more years. I cant, truly. A possible explanation for this spectacle, however, is that Zanu-PF is unable to resolve succession. No 89-year-old should be running a country. Forget what the spin-doctors are telling you. The body and mind simply cannot meet the demands of the job. Not that there’s no young-blood to succeed Mugabe. Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa have long been touted as possible successors. They even went toe-to-toe for the position of vice-president in 2004, when it became vacant following the death of Simon Muzenda. Mujuru was appointed over Mnangagwa, whom observers had tipped as the leading contender to succeed Mugabe. The vice-presidency placed Mujuru ahead in the succession race. The belief was that Mugabe would retire before the 2008 elections, paving the way for Mujuru not only to become president, but also to lead the party in that election. That didn’t happen. Mujuru’s succession, it turns out, is not certain after all. She’s obviously facing a stiff contest for the top job. Neither wants to make way for the other. Though probably admitting that Mugabe has over-stayed, they’d rather have him than their rival in that job. It’s factionalist politics at its worst. It seems incomprehensible, doesn’t it? Quite the contrary, factionalism is a logical feature of politics. It has to do with the State, especially its central role in capital accumulation. The State is never neutral but actively advances the interests of capital. It even went to war to advance capital expansion. Africa was conquered through wars to secure the supply of raw material to the industrialised West and to serve as its market for manufactured goods. America’s recent invasion of Iraq, based on a false claim, paved the way for a number of American companies into Iraq. “Commerce follows the flag”, they say. That is why American business invests so much in electoral contests. In addition to opening up Iraqi oil to Texan oil-men, President George Bush Jnr lowered taxes for America’s wealthy. Political power is no less critical in postcolonial Africa. It is contested precisely because it affords control over the state, which, in turn, is employed in pursuit of capital accumulation. In the case of contemporary Zimbabwe the political rivalry has occasioned a stalemate. The rival factions – represented by Mujuru and Mnangagwa, are fighting to the bitter end. And each represents business interests, whose prosperity has been facilitated entirely by political influence. Take the Zimbwean Defence Force, for instance. ZDF’s participation in the conflict that afflicted the Democratic Republic of Congo from the mid-1990s secured business deals for Zimbabwe’s senior military officers and politicians. Kabila’s army and the general populace needed weapons, equipment and clothing, which Zimbabwean business-people supplied. Business was made possible by the army brass, who informed them of the opportunities, facilitated contact, distributed the goods and provided protection. In a journal article published in 2001 in African Affairs, Michael Nest cites a typical example of one Harara base as follows: The company that transported diamonds by air to Zimbabwe, through Lubumbashi airport, was guarded by the ZDF, and used military personnel to avoid Congolese customs. The company worked with one particular officer who for his services received a commission of 5 percent of the diamonds’ value. Luarent Kabila gave mining concessions to Zimbwabean ventures and brought Zimbabweans to run mines. One such Zimbabwean, writes Nest, was Billy Rautenbach, who was made chief executive of a DRC parastatal, Gecamines, involved in mining. Rautenbach is apparently a close associate of Mnangagwa, who reportedly ran the military operation in the DRC. Another company that secured DRC business was Osleg (Operation Sovereign Legitimacy), which “is officially the commercial unit of the ZDF but in reality privately owned”. Its shareholders at the time included Permanent Secretary of Military Defence Job Whabira, and the Commander of the ZDF, General Vitalis Zvinavashe. Control over the State thus opened up opportunities for business. The entry of Mnangagwa and General Solomo Mujuru – Joice’s now deceased husband – into business was undoubtedly enabled by their political prominence. Both are veterans of chimurenga. Upon independence, General Mujuru headed the army, while Mnangagwa became a central figure in the party and has served in a number of ministries from intelligence and justice to defence, housing and local government. Whilst alive, Solomon Mujuru, together with Mnangagwa, was cited among the richest in Zimbabwe. And they appeared to be rivals in business as well. Joice Mujuru is said to have used her ministerial influence to block Mnangagwa’s business deals while facilitating her husband’s. Because political power facilitates business, its capture has become the ultimate prize among Zimbabwe’s feuding politicians with business interests. Each faction fears that the ascension of one to the presidency threatens the prosperity of the other. The faction in power would marginalise the loser and threaten their prosperity. This is the nub of the Zimbabwean impasse: the failure of local business to develop an appreciation of itself as a class with common interests. The State should promote the growth of the entire class, not a faction. Promoting one faction over another creates instability. The losing faction will most certainly plot to unseat the other. Where business is promoted equally, there’s less interest for business to support rival candidates. South Africa’s ruling party suffers from a similar weakness. Thabo Mbeki’s detractors castigated him for favouring one set of business people over others. The incumbent is now doing exactly that. If you want business from the State, make your own president – that’s the lesson, as well as the source of endless factionalism. * Mcebisi Ndletyana is Head of Political Economy at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection. ** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Gukurahundi: Cold War agendas held sway by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Gukurahundi: Cold War agendas held sway – The Zimbabwe Independent by Timothy Scarnecchia September 13, 2013 THIS is a continuation of the article by Kent State University’s Professor Timothy Scarnecchia, an expert on Zimbabwean and African history, on the Zimbabwean government and apartheid South Africa’s role in the Gukurahundi campaign. See additional articles – originally sourced via Zimbabwe Independent:

THE South African Department of Foreign Affairs representatives in Harare were good at maintaining their official ignorance of “Operation Drama” – Pretoria’s destabilisation campaign. One of the key double agents working for the South Africans while also serving in Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, Kevin Woods, admitted in a 2006 interview he worked with these South African-trained Super-Zapu agents and that he was aware at the time they were responsible for much of the dissident violence, including the murders of white farmers. Geoff Hill, who has written extensively on Gukurahundi, quotes a 2002 BBC Panorama documentary that investigated Britain’s support for the then premier Robert Mugabe during the Gukurahundi. Hill notes that Sir Martin Ewans, British High Commissioner in Harare at the time, admitted on camera that his instructions from London were to “steer clear of it” when speaking to Mugabe. “I think Matabeleland was a side issue,” he said. “The real issues were much bigger. We were extremely interested that Zimbabwe should be a success story, and we were doing our best to help Mugabe and his people bring that about.” Given this avoidance of the issue from London, it is informative to examine how South African diplomats in London read the British’s lack of concern about the Gukurahundi. In early February 1983, Britain’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Cranley Onslow, and Minister of State for Overseas Development, Timothy Raison, visited Harare. After the two returned to London, South African diplomats interviewed the head of the Central African Department of the FCO, a Miss T Solseby, about Onslow’s and Raison’s visit. Given the South African diplomats’ confidence about the absence of South African involvement in destabilising Zimbabwe, they presented a rather sanctimonious attitude about British support for Mugabe during the Gukurahundi and the trials of the white Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) officers – both of which, to some extent, were influenced by South African destabilisation efforts, as the sabotage of the Zimbabwean air force base had been supported by South Africa. While the exchange demonstrates South African diplomatic duplicity, it also demonstrates the FCO’s defensiveness over their support for Mugabe and Zanu PF. In the Cold War context, the British were able to look the other way on Fifth Brigade atrocities by offering further development funds and even new planes to the Zimbabwe government to replace those blown up by white Rhodesians working for the South Africans. The FCO’s position, as projected through the South African narrative of the meetings, was that South Africa’s destabilising efforts in Zimbabwe continued to impede Britain’s efforts to build a strong non-communist ally in Mugabe. Thus it was futile for South Africa to continue to criticise the FCO for co-operating with Mugabe. The meetings exchanges reveal the strategies at work and Zimbabwe’s ability to benefit from British Cold War priorities. According to the report of the meeting, Solseby explained that the reasons for Onslow and Raison’s visit to Harare had to do with “the deterioration in the security situation in Matabeleland” which had “caused the FCO to re-evaluate its views of the progress towards internal reconciliation”. In addition to the “security situation in Matabeleland”, other reasons for the visit were the allegations regarding white Zimbabwean air force officers being tortured by Zimbabwe’s CIO agents while in prison after the bombing and destruction of aircraft at the Thornhill air force base. The result of the visit, according to the South African’s record of what Solseby indicated to them, was that the UK was “encouraged by Mugabe’s continuing commitment to pursue a policy of reconciliation with Nkomo, the Matabeles in general and with the white community”. Based on these commitments from Mugabe, “Britain has assured the Zimbabwe government that previous policies and aid pledges will be maintained.” Evidence of Britain’s support came from Raison who “signed an agreement for a 20m [million] pound transfer”. Raison also reiterated Britain’s commitment “to provide 30m [million] pounds for land resettlement … as part of the overall commitment to provide 115m [million] pounds in aid.” Both Onslow and Raison pledged that Britain would assist Zimbabwe in rebuilding the AFZ, and although Raison did not mention South Africa by name, he did make “a public statement which deplored acts of sabotage against Zimbabwe’s road, rail and pipeline links as well as the AFZ”. In the interview, Solseby said that “Onslow was concerned about allegations that South Africa was actively destabilising Zimbabwe.” And while Onslow “did not state his concerns publicly”, he “regards it as being significant that numerous Zimbabwean whites made such allegations to him.” The interpretation of Raison and Onslow’s concerns, according to the South Africans, was that “by destabilising the country, South Africa is playing into the hands of the extremists in Mugabe’s cabinet who advocate stronger repressive measures.” The argument that the South Africans put to the FCO was that “notwithstanding the attempts to blame South Africa for all their problems, are Mugabe’s own actions against Nkomo not the determinant factor?” The South Africans “pointed out that, no sooner had Onslow left Zimbabwe than the Zimbabwean government announced that it will move a motion of censure against Nkomo and Zapu.” According to the report, the FCO’s response to the South Africans was that while they had to appreciate that the Zimbabwean situation “moved in cycles” – it had its ups and downs. This and similar platitudes were stated in a totally unconvincing way. Within a few hours of the interview, latest atrocities committed by the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland were major news in the electronic media. The South African analysis of Whitehall’s views concluded: “We cannot believe that the FCO is itself convinced that the situation is as ‘encouraging’ as they say it to be. Nevertheless, the reputation of the [Thatcher] Government and the FCO remains closely linked with the diplomatic ‘success’ of bringing Zimbabwe to recognised independence.” The British asked South Africans if they had any information on whether Zapu and the dissidents were trying to get Soviet surrogates to support them. The FCO said it had some information to suggest this is the case. South Africans replied that they did not know although they assumed, however, that the object of the question might have been to suggest that support for Zapu would further aims of the Soviet Union. One of the more telling comments from the South African DFA diplomats in London, and consistent with the “ignorance” of their Harare counterparts, was that the FCO had no response to their counter-arguments regarding destabilisation. This was in accordance with the current FCO attitude which is essentially a refusal to accept that South Africa is in no way involved, for instance in supporting Renamo. The London representatives of the DFA continued to deny South Africa’s role in the destabilisation of Zimbabwe, or even Mozambique. Roger Pfister suggested that after the South African securocrats took over the control of the South African government in 1980, “the military significantly curtailed the DFA’s influence after 1981”. However, the continued denial by South African diplomats in London and in Harare of Pretoria’s involvement in Zimbabwe would seem to indicate the important ongoing role of the DFA in providing cover for the destabilisation operations. While the South Africans carried out a covert strategy of destabilisation, they refused to provide any direct support for dissidents. One case found in the DFA files was a passionate appeal from a purported Matabeleland activist in London who sought out South African support for the creation of a Ndebele state through the supply of weapons to his organisation. Amos Dlamini, who was working as a social worker in London in 1983, nonetheless made claims to a large network of followers in Matabeleland. Dlamini impressed the South African Embassy in London with his links to Nkomo and the ANC’s Oliver Tambo, but they were unconvinced by his appeal. They forwarded his letters and an account of their meeting to the DFA officials in South Africa. One DFA official noted in the margin that an appropriate response to the London embassy would be to say “we do not know Dlamini and do not give him any information. It may be a trap.” The assumption was that the Zimbabwean government may have set Dlamini up to make a request for weapons in order to expose South Africa’s destabilisation efforts. Once he realised that the South Africans were not going to take his appeal for support of an independent Ndebele state seriously, Dlamini lashed out in a subsequent letter to the South Africans for choosing destabilisation rather than support for the non-communist government he proposed. Dlamini concludes: “In effect therefore your government prefers a containment by destabilisation rather than a containment by stabilisation … South Africa is not a friend … It is cold, aloof and full of spite for the black skinned person.” Given the realities of the Gukurahundi against the backdrop of the Cold War and South Africa’s regional strategy, Zapu was virtually “friendless”, while Zanu PF managed to obtain support of the West, the Soviets, and to a certain extent even South Africa so long as Zanu PF and the Fifth Brigade continued to target Zapu, Zipra, and by extension the ANC’s ability to operate in Zimbabwe to fight apartheid South Africa.

Zim: Highlights as seen by Israeli Diamond Industry by ZimSitRep – 09-15-2013
via Post-Election, Zimbabwe Cabinet Gets Reshuffle from Israeli Diamond Industry 15 September 2013 Obert Mpofu, the man who has been at the helm at Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Ministry for the last four and a half years, has been transferred to the Transport Communications and Infrastructure Development Ministry, Diamond Intelligence reports. In his stead, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appointed Walter Chidhakwa, also a fellow member of his own ZANU-PF party, to guide the nation’s mining policy. Having secured a larger percentage of the state legislature in recent national elections, Mugabe was also able to replace the man who served as the country’s key Finance Minister in the previous session of parliament, Tendai Biti of the rival Movement for Democratic Change party. Biti’s replacement is Patrick Chinamasa. After the new government ministers were sworn in, Chidhakwa called for increased foreign investment in Zimbabwe’s mining sector, while Chinamasa spoke in favor of increasing the economic participation of indigenous Zimbabweans, according to Diamond Intelligence.