TEXT only 24 August 2013

UNWTO once in a lifetime chance for Zim by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via UNWTO once in a lifetime chance by Southern Eye Editorial ZIMBABWE will be the centre of attraction beginning this weekend as it welcomes delegates from over 150 countries attending the six-day United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls. The prime resort town and neighbouring Livingstone in Zambia, will from tomorrow host the biggest event ever on the international tourism calendar — the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly. The tourism indaba is a golden opportunity, especially for Zimbabwe, to clear its battered image as the world’s tourism family will have first-hand experience of what the nation is all about. Organisers say this year’s UNWTO conference would attract the highest number of delegates in the history of the organisation. This is enough reason for Zimbabwe to feel proud. Zimbabwe will not be able to host this event again in the next 360 years. Everything is at stake, from image to business, as the two hosting countries seek to market their tourism brands as safe and worth visiting tourist destinations. The UNWTO indaba is about unlocking the tourism value of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s tourist attractions to the world for long-term benefits. Tourism players see the conference as a good platform to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination and an image-booster. Although most of the envisaged infrastructure projects such as the construction of a world-class conference centre in Victoria Falls did not come into fruition, the hosting of the conference would leave a lasting legacy for the whole Matabeleland region. Some of the benefits of hosting the event may not be immediately felt by the people, but the likely increase in the number of tourists visiting the majestic Victoria Falls and other attractions in the region would augur well for the economic recovery of Matabeleland. Those in the tourism sector must take advantage of the conference to position themselves for the growth of the industry and the economy at large. More importantly we must give the visitors reason to come back in future by showing them the hospitality we are renowned for.

ZCTF update 22 August 2013 by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013

The government has started relocating hundreds of wild animals from Save Valley Conservancy in Masvingo to beef up the animal populations in Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly scheduled for this weekend. National Parks has been mandated to relocate 151 wildebeests, 25 eland, 60 zebras, 100 impalas and 10 giraffes.
National Parks apparently haven’t had enough funds to pay their employees’ wages for the past 3 or 4 months so we wonder how they can afford to move these animals. We also find it strange that Parks are always claiming that Zimbabwe has an abundance of animals so if this is true, why is it necessary to move all these animals to Victoria Falls where the delegates of the UNWTO will be able to see them?
According to National Parks Statutory Instrument 56 of 2012, a schedule of prices for hunting animals and fish has been issued. This schedule lists practically every animal in Zimbabwe, even bush baby and rhino. We wonder who would want to hunt a bush baby and how would they do it? Does one shoot a bush baby? We have a copy of the schedule if anyone would like to see it.
Earlier on in the year, an article appeared in a Zimbabwean newspaper stating that the elephant population was around 45 000. Now, just a few days ago, another article appeared in the Zimbabwean Financial Gazette claiming that Zimbabwe has around 100 000 elephants. This is all part of their appeal to be allowed to sell ivory. We find it quite incredible that the population can have escalated from 45 000 to 100 000 in a few months!
Johnny Rodrigues Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Landline:        263 4 339065 Mobile:           263 712 603 213 Email:             galorand@mweb.co.zw Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZCTF-Zimbabwe-Conservation-Task-Force/246013052094585Website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

Coltart Urges Mugabe to Unite Zimbabweans by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Former Minister Urges Mugabe to Unite Zimbabweans by Nothando Sibanda With Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony giving President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party a fresh five-year mandate to rule, some opposition politicians are beginning to privately or publicly speak about the need for the country to unite and forge ahead. One such politician is Bulawayo-based David Coltart who is urging Mr. Mugabe to embrace all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation as he starts his new term. Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Friday, David Coltart of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Welshman Ncube, said there is no doubt that the July 31 polls were marred by irregularities but noted that it is time for the country to look ahead and find a solution to problems affecting Zimbabwe that include improving the economy. The former education minister said President Mugabe should embrace every Zimbabwean in the country as he starts his new term, adding the next five years should be well spent with all Zimbabweans working together for the betterment of the country. Coordinator Innocent Dube of the Christian Youth Forum of Zimbabwe said citizens should demand accountability from the new government. Dube said the nature of the inclusive government made it difficult for people to demand better service delivery as all the country’s then major political parties were in the coalition government. He added that the government has to work for the good of all Zimbabweans without marginalising some areas. Addressing the same meeting, Bulawayo East Member of Parliament-elect Thabitha Khumalo said it is important that Zimbabwe from now onwards start addressing problems affecting the country and not deal with symptoms as this has proved ineffective in the past. She said Zanu PF should change from its old ways, adding Zimbabwe’s economy and democratic governance structures need to be revived. Elected lawmakers in Bulawayo fear the region may be marginalised for voting for the MDC-T but speaking after being sworn into office to start a new five-year term Friday, President Mugabe promised to do all he can to revive the City of Kings, especially reviving industry in the region. He described Bulawayo as ‘a scrapyard’, adding its industrial revival will be his government’s top priority.

Report says Mugabe more paranoid since disputed poll by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Report says Mugabe more paranoid since disputed poll | SW Radio Africa By Tererai Karimakwenda 89-year old Robert Mugabe is reported to have displayed a growing sense of paranoia when he attended the SADC summit in Malawi last week, soon after claiming to have won a landslide victory in the July 31st elections. According to the Independent newspaper, Mugabe avoided travelling in vehicles provided by the regional grouping while in Lilongwe, “citing security reasons”. The paper quoted sources who alleged that Mugabe turned down the SADC-hired Mercedes Benz, claiming that “most European countries enjoy good relations with Malawi” and this increased “chances of an ambush by locally based agents”. The report said that Mugabe, having escalated his security after the disputed poll back home, “opted to use his official Zim 1 limousine sent to Malawi by road, arriving a day before the summit”. Two Toyota Hiluxes are said to have escorted the Zim1 by road to Malawi, via Nyamapanda and Mwanza borders. The ageing Mugabe’s behavior reportedly “surprised all members of the regional grouping because all logistics were in place with security on high alert”, the Independent newspaper said. But his spokesman, George Charamba, defended his boss, saying: “He has always been using his own car for regional engagements so there is nothing new here”. Commentator Luke Zunga from the Global Zimbabwe Forum dismissed Mugabe’s actions in Malawi, saying there were no enemies from the west hunting him down in Malawi. He added that Mugabe has an intelligence unit that would have advised him of this. “Maybe these enemies are in his own mind but I think there are not many people who want to hunt him down and kill him, because Zimbabweans are not really violent. They are peaceful people,” Zunga told SW Radio Africa. He added: “No-one has tried to kill him so far and I’ve never heard of an attempted coup or assassination in Zimbabwe, no! As I say Zimbabweans are peaceful people. They try other ways to resist or otherwise they leave the country.” According to The Independent, a senior government official in Malawi said President Banda had ordered that all ministerial vehicles be rented to SADC heads of state, leaving fleet vehicles for other duties. “Ordinary people with vehicles in excellent condition” were also given the opportunity to supply them for use by SADC delegates. The cost to Malawi for hosting the SADC summit was reportedly over US $1.3 million, most of it owing to car rentals, and the Malawian press blasted the government over this.

Botswana says its position on Zim has not changed by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Botswana says its position on Zim has not changed | SW Radio Africa  by Nomalanga Moyo The Botswana government maintains that its position on Zimbabwe’s recent election outcome has not changed, despite the country not voicing its concerns at the SADC summit in Lilongwe, Malawi. Going into the summit, Botswana had indicated that it would be demanding that the disputed poll be discussed, and that it would also be calling for an independent audit, following widespread irregularities observed during the poll. But the summit not only endorsed President Robert Mugabe’s re-election, it also saw him elected the deputy chairperson of the regional bloc, without any public objections from Botswana. It has now emerged that Botswana’s silence was a result of serious lobbying by Malawian President Joyce Banda, to convince Botswana’s skeptical President to endorse Mugabe’s election. The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper said Friday it took Banda three days to canvas support for Mugabe, starting with negotiations with the Botswana Foreign Affairs minister Phandu Skelemani, culminating in a tense one-on-one meeting between Mugabe and Ian Khama last Sunday. “Banda reportedly took Mugabe’s side throughout the meeting, prompting Khama to agree to withdraw his calls for an election re-run,” the Independent said. Despite going along with the rest of the SADC leaders, a Foreign Affairs Ministry official in Botswana told SW Radio Africa’s Tanonoka Whande on Friday that the country has not changed its stance on the Zim election. “While Botswana is maintaining its position, they are carefully managing the information they are putting out, I guess because even as Khama is well-known for being vocal, he also does not want to be seen to be antagonising SADC.” Crisis in Zimbabwe spokesman Thabani Mpofu said most SADC leaders had already pre-empted Botswana’s position by congratulating Mugabe before the summit. “What is important is that Botswana had already expressed its views about the irregularities it observed during the elections, and it did not alter that position during the summit. “Even if Khama had spoken, given the applause that the rest of the delegates extended to Mugabe, Khama’s protestations would have been like a dog barking at the sun,” Mpofu said. Mpofu also observed that by missing the opening ceremony where Mugabe was applauded, Khama had made his displeasure known. It is not clear what the regional leaders, led by Banda, said to shut Khama up. However, Whande said that most of Africa’s elections have been beset with reports of rigging and irregularities: “It is possible that some skeletons might have been mentioned to buy Khama’s silence.”

Zim judges under fire for contravening UN rules by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Zim judges under fire for contravening UN rules | SW Radio Africa By Alex Bell Zimbabwe’s judges, notoriously aligned to the Robert Mugabe regime, are under fire for contravening international principles that protect the legal profession, by targeting human rights lawyers. Nicole Fritz, the Director of the Southern African Litigation Centre, said that recommendations by High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu, that lawyers representing MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai be arrested, are “outrageous.” Bhunu called for the lawyers to be arrested over statements in Tsvangirai’s High Court application that the “judiciary is not independent from the executive, and politically, from ZANU PF.” Tsvangirai’s application, made in an attempt to secure information from the Electoral Commission, also included the claim that Mugabe appointed numerous judges without consulting him while he was Prime Minister, in violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). According to Judge Bhunu, these statements amount to an attack on the dignity and integrity of the judiciary. “It is ironic that Judge Bhunu makes an outrageous punitive order, directed at the lawyers ostensibly to protect the integrity of the judiciary, when there can be no surer way of bringing the courts into disrepute than by having a judge issue orders in clear contravention of the uniformly recognised and upheld principles protecting the legal profession,” Fritz said in an opinion piece published on Thursday. She explained that the United Nations (UN) Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers stipulate that “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.” Furthermore, “lawyers shall enjoy civil and penal immunity for relevant statements made in good faith in written or oral pleadings or in their professional appearances before a court.” Fritz said that the calls for the lawyers to be arrested demonstrates that “the elections herald no change, that a culture of repression and authoritarianism is set to continue, and that despite token espousal of the rule of law there will be no meaningful implementation of such an order.” Fritz went on to accuse Bhunu of using apartheid style legislation to secure the mass detention and criminal charge of a group of MDC-T activists in 2011. The 29 activists have all been charged in connection with the death of police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View in 2011. According to Fritz, the prosecution in the case “relies on the controversial doctrine of ‘common purpose’ to impute liability to the activists – a doctrine that became notorious in apartheid South Africa for its use in targeting persons and groups opposing apartheid.”

Mugabe’s victory wasn’t credible, SADC disappointed us: says UK by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mugabe’s victory wasn’t credible, SADC disappointed us: says UK – My Zimbabwe News THE United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague says there should be an independent audit of Zimbabwe’s elections before the poll results can be deemed credible. President Robert Mugabe was yesterday sworn-in after the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Tuesday declared the July elections free, fair and credible. “I am extremely concerned that the MDC-T had to withdraw its legal challenge due to concerns over the independence of the judiciary. I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible,” said Hague in a statement. “As I have set out previously, I have grave concerns over the conduct of the election, and the flaws highlighted in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and African Union (AU) observation missions’ initial assessments. These included the failure to produce the voters’ roll, the large number of voters who were turned away on election day, the very high numbers of extra ballot papers that were printed, as well as the reforms that were not completed as part of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), including to the media environment and security sector.” Hague said while Sadc withheld judgment on whether the election was either fair or credible, due to the flaws, “I am disappointed that the election result was endorsed at last weekend’s Sadc Summit. “I hope that the Sadc and AU final reports will take into account the full impact of the failure to complete the reforms outlined in the Global Political Agreement, as well as the numerous and serious irregularities highlighted on the day.

Controversial Partners taint Meikles key Mining venture by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Controversial Partners taint Meikles key Mining venture  The Zimbabwe Independent by Chris Muronzi MEIKLES Africa Ltd’s mining venture risks being tainted after it emerged this week that its mining partner – Centar Asian Resources – is owned by an assortment of controversial and powerful global business figures who have been linked to the scramble for mineral resources worth several billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan, businessdigest has established. Well-placed sources this week said a director of Centar, Richard Williams, who has been in and out of the country touring various mining assets with a view to help raise funding, acquire and add value to the mining companies the UK-based firm had identified, is a former high ranking British officer. Williams served with the UK’s Special Forces, the 7th Armoured Brigade (as the Brigade Chief of Staff), the paratroopers, infantry, and on the Directing Staff of the Joint Services Command and Staff College. This service enabled him to participate in military operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia (with UNPROFOR), South America, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, West Africa, and the Horn of Africa, as well as numerous UK mainland-based counter-terrorist operations. He was in active command of troops during all of these deployments, with the exception of his time in Kosovo, where he served as Chief of Staff of the Multi-National Brigade (Centre) and wrote a manual on offensive doctrine for Peace Support Operations. Sources said Zimbabwean authorities are suspicious of the British investor, given his role in Afghanistan and other troubled countries and as most of his fellow executives have military backgrounds in the Rhodesian Selous Scouts regiment and the British SAS respectively. Williams, who retired from the British army in 2008 when it was largely felt he was headed for the very top, sits on boards of various companies around the world. He is a non-executive director of a listed mining company, Gem Diamonds Ltd which he joined in February 2008, a founding member of Central Asian Resources Ltd, a mining investment company focused on Central Asia, was CEO of Afghan Gold and Minerals Company, a company that had vast exploration and mining rights in Afghanistan. Williams is also the founding director of Henderson Risk Limited, a private UK and Africa based risk management business focused on developing new defense and security technologies. Centar was founded in June 2011 by Ian Hannam, the former JP Morgan Cazenove rainmaker who was fined by the Financial Services Authority over market abuse allegations and irregular share dealings in London Stock Exchange- listed companies earlier this year and was unceremoniously forced to step down from JP Morgan bank. Hannam holds 45% of the company and has brought in a number of prominent investors, chief among whom is Jan Kulczyk, reputed to be Poland’s richest man, Peter Hambro, Clifford Elphick, founder and chief executive of Gem Diamonds and Chip Goodyear (former CEO of BHP Billiton). Investors in the company also include Joshua Fink, the son of Blackrock founder Larry. Kulczyk’s company, Kulczyk Investments, owns 28% of Centar and Kulczyk is chairman of the company. So far, they have injected US$40m (£25m) into the Centar. But reports this week said Centar Mining was ready to invest up to US$500 million. Hannam was drawn into the prospect of developing Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, initially by the US State Department which was keen to help promote foreign investment in that country. Apart from Williams’ military backgrounds, sources say the other directors have served in the Rhodesian army and its notorious Selous Scouts regiment links, something sources in the mining industry said was a concern to most of the companies Centar was talking to amid fears such firms might be misconstrued by President Robert Mugabe’s regime, which is blatantly anti-British. Meikles Africa Ltd last year announced the formation of Meikles Centar Mining (Pvt) Ltd, a partnership with Centar. This comes a few days after Meikles said its partners had raised US$500 million in capital for the mining venture. Addressing shareholders at the company’s 76th annual general meeting this week, one of the company’s directors, Mark Wood, said Meikles would have 51% shareholding in the new company while Centar mining will hold 49%. Shareholders approved the joint venture and establishment of Meikles Centar Mining Ltd. “Before the elections they (Centar) sent us a partner with US$500 million capital. The partner came, but we didn’t finalise anything as all things went into elections mode. Now, we want to see who will be the next (mines) minister who we will have to talk to,” Wood said. The partnership, according to Meikles, has already been approved by the Indigenisation ministry and the investment authority while it was yet to be approved by the Competition and Tariffs Commission. “We took our potential investors to the Indigenisation ministry and they were happy with what we are trying to do,” he said. The deal would see the company mining close to seven minerals in the country, including gold, tantalite and iron ore. Wood said the country has a lot of distressed gold mines, some of them under care and maintenance. Meikles said Centar was supported by prominent and experienced investors from countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Poland and Kazakhstan. Meikles announced last year that it had submitted applications to exploit opportunities in the Zimbabwe’s resources sector, with the first mine expected to be operational in 2014. Meikles’ executive chairman John Moxon, once targeted by Zanu PF bigwigs during the controversial Kingdom Meikles Africa Ltd demerger saga and for externalisation of foreign exchange, reportedly played an important role in the acquisition of an assortment of single and double-cab 4×4 vehicles for the now ruling party, including several Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300, Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50 off-road vehicles. Curiously, around the same time, Moxon’s flagship company Meikles Africa Ltd, formed a mining arm, Meikles Resources (Pvt) Ltd, and applied for a diamond mining licence which was being considered by the Mines and Mining Development ministry, with government’s Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation(ZMDC) as a possible partner in a joint venture. In the Meikles group’s interim results for the period to September 30 2012, Moxon said profits from Meikles Resources were expected to exceed those anticipated for the entire group over the coming years and would therefore be of material significance. It is still not clear whether the Meikles vehicle donation was linked to the company’s application for the diamond mining licence although sources said this could not be ruled out. Efforts to reach Moxon and Williams proved fruitless at the time of going to press, while other efforts to reach Meikles Africa FD Onias Makamba were also in vain as his mobile phone went unanswered. Text messages to his mobile phone had not been responded to at the time of going to press.

Rule of the elderly by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Twitter / AFP: A look at the world’s oldest ….

 The world’s oldest presidents

Transcript – Mugabe’s inauguration speech 22 August 2013 by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
Full text of President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s inauguration speech as he took the oath for a seventh five-year term on August 22, 2013:Vice president Cde Joice Mujuru, Heads of State and Government, Former Heads of State and Government, Outgoing members of cabinet, Esteemed delegates representing various countries and organisations, Representatives of sister liberation movements and parties, Newly elected Members of Parliament, The Chief Justice and Members of the Judiciary, Senior Civil Servants, Representatives of War Veterans, Detainees, Restrictees and War collaborators,  Representatives of the Business Community, Representatives of our Farming Community, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of the Civil Society, Student activists, Invited guests, Comrades and friends. On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, I wish to extend to you all a very warm welcome to this joyous occasion marking the end of our electoral processes, and the beginning of steps towards shaping a new administration which shall mind the affairs of our Nation for the next five years. In welcoming you, I am aware of the inconveniences you suffered from what really was a short notice to this event. Our invitations reached you very late, forcing you to set aside equally pressing commitments you may have scheduled for the same time. We apologise most profusely for this inconvenience created by certain Constitutional requirements that perforce precede the inauguration of the President-elect. We had to allow for petitions as required by our Supreme Law. Yet it is this positive response to this short notice on your part which attests to the deep affinities between you and ourselves. We are truly humbled and today our hearts are aglow with happiness which we readily share with you on this joyous occasion. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, The just-ended harmonised polls whose high point we now gathered to celebrate, do mark and usher in a new Constitutional dispensation for our country, Zimbabwe. This poll is the first we have held under a new home-grown Constitution which has replaced that which we negotiated at Lancaster House with our erstwhile colonial masters, the British, in 1979. While the Lancaster House Constitution served us well as we moved from war to peace, from a settler colonial administration to black African self-rule, the passage of time and the sheer weight of emerging issues progressively made the document rather too old.We thus had to work on a new Constitution. Consequently, we sat together as a united people and produced a draft document that was subsequently endorsed by the majority of our people through a well-subscribed Referendum we held early this year. True, today’s event marks the inauguration of the President, but it is also a celebration of our new Charter which shall guide our society for the foreseeable future. A key feature of this Constitution is its blending of first-past-the post electoral approach and proportional representation.Elections for Presidency, for the Lower House or House of Assembly, and for Local Government are managed under first-past-the post principle, while membership of the Upper House or the Senate is drawn up on the basis of proportional representation based on votes garnered by each vying party, while recognising the Constitutional need for gender parity. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, comrades and Friends, I have no doubt that the days of our elections were quite engrossing, if not, nail-biting to some of you. The undue politicisation and publicity of our polling processes, the ominous auguries that stalked those harmonised polls, could have made you fear for us, indeed may have triggered deep anxieties regarding our prospects here.  Routinely we were imaged as a society at war, a society riven by conflict. After all, the preceding elections of 2008 had been disputed on allegations of violence, itself a fertile backdrop to these rumours of war. Since that disputed poll, Zimbabwe had hung on an uneasy peace, indeed had tenuously held together on a fraught coalition, an inclusive Government of three uneasy partners. Genuine friends feared that the five uneasy years during which the coalition had survived — barely — would soon see Zimbabwe to this violent patch which had slurred its electoral honour. Our enemies and detractors sought to goad us toward such a self-destructive path. Happily, this negative augury, this hell-fire vision of Zimbabwe and its electoral prospects now stands confounded by the durable peace that reigns over this land. We have had peaceful elections. We have had free elections. We have had fair elections, with our Constitution allowing for any challenges from whomsoever. Well done Zimbabwe! We pledge to ensure that the peace we have built endures. And that the attainment of that peace we pay unstinting tribute to all our people who accepted the exhortations to peace from us all, who practiced and radiated it reciprocally in their immediate neighbourhoods. The result was local peace which built towards and fed into perfect national peace. I want to pay tribute to my partners in the Global Political Agreement for joining hands in these peace-building efforts. Equally, I salute church and community leaders who prayed for it, demonstrated it through personal example. I have no doubt that I continue to count on them all for durable peace that subsists for all times. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, Except for a few Western dishonest countries, our elections have been hailed as peaceful, free, fair and credible. Sadc, Comesa, the African Union, the ACP, the United Nations as well as many nations of good will have praised our elections here. We welcome this positive spirit, this encouragement which should see us do even better, move forward faster as a nation. But like in all elections, there will always be bad losers, real spoilers. It is a part-price we pay for electoral democracy, indeed an inevitable phase in our growth as a people wedded to democratic practices. Where such a grousing stance remains non-antagonistic, where it expresses itself within the four corners of the law, it must be tolerated as part of the democratic tussle, part of the post-electoral adjustment. As of those odd Western countries who happen to hold a different, negative view of our electoral process and outcome, well, there is not much we can do about them. We dismiss them as the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn. They are entitled to their views, for as long as they recognise the majority of our people endorsed the electoral outcome, indeed for as long as they recognise that no Zimbabwean law was offended against. And for us that is all that matters. After all, Zimbabwean elections are meant for Zimbabwe’s voting citizens. After all, Zimbabwean democracy is meant for the people of Zimbabwe who must, within set periods, go to the polls to choose and install a government of their choice. It is their sole prerogative and no outsider, however superior or powerful they imagine themselves to be, can override that right, let alone take it away from them. It is our inherent right. We fought for it when it was lost .We won it through our own blood. We keep it for us and posterity; we reserve forever as an expression of our sovereignty as a free people. Today we tell those dissenting nations that the days of colonialism and neo-colonialism are gone, and gone forever. The era of white colonial “whispers behind the African throne” passed on and got buried together with Lord Laggard the author of this anti-African, neo-colonial notion. Having struggled for our independence our fate has irrevocably orbited out of colonial relations, indeed can no longer subsist in curtsying and bowing to any foreign government, however powerful it feigns itself to be and whatever filthy lucre it flaunts. We belong to Africa. We follow African values here. We follow our conscience. We abide by the judgment of Africa as indeed, we did in 2008 when Africa advised us to set aside results of the disputed elections. Today it is Britain, and her dominions of Australia and Canada who dare tell us our elections were not fair and credible. Today it is America and her illegal sanctions which dare raise a censorious voice over our affairs. Yes, today it is these Anglo-Saxons who dare contradict Africa’s verdict over an election in Zimbabwe, an African country.Who are they, we ask? Who gave the gift of seeing better than all of us? Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends,With the elections now behind us, we can now focus on rebuilding our nation which has been ravaged by illegal sanctions imposed on us by the West. If yesterday the pretext for imposing those sanctions was to do with a deficit of democracy here, today we ask those culprit nations what their excuse is now? Whose interest are those sanctions serving? Zimbabwe is an open, friendly country. We seek friendship across geographies, across cultures, and quite often against past wrongs. We seek partnerships with all nations of goodwill, but partnerships based on sovereign, equality and mutual respect. Those are the sacred principles that upon which the global architecture, as defined by the United Nations, is founded. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, Elections here were fought over the question of sovereignty gained in 1980 after a gruelling armed liberation struggle. Today the flag of that sovereignty flutters gaily in the winds of our spring. We sing our national anthem, itself a compendium of all that we aspire for, with full-throated ease. We have a government through which we define policies, itself the prime agent for implementing those same policies. That government reigns over our territory, its authority firmly felt to the remotest corner of our territory. We have sought the political kingdom, we have found it. But much remains to be done before we assume full sovereignty, well beyond the owning of politics, indeed beyond symbols and rituals of independence. Our resources have not yet fully come. Yes, we regained control over our land and our people are happy. Today they revel in the ownership of that land which has now come. They are beginning to use it profitably, using it for durable wherewithal. They have become key players in agriculture, proving that they are as good farmers as any in the world, once they have access to key inputs. It has been a key milestone. But our dominion goes beyond land. It extends to all those resources found in and on our territory, including those lying beneath our land, principally minerals. And nature has been generous, prodigal in fact, granting us oversized portions of almost all minerals that matter on earth. It has been a generous serve. The time has come for us to extend our dominion to all those resources which the Almighty has been so generous enough to give. That is the next revolution whose first step is this administration, this new Government. I stand before you as now a sworn President of Zimbabwe. My mandate comes from the just ended election which my party won resoundingly. But there are key truths that come with that victory, which come with that honour. The peasant who cast his vote on July 31, created my victory and thus made a portion of my Presidency, I am at his service, and his emissary and servant. He or she did not cast that precious vote in vain, did not repose it in us without expectations of a good, deserved return. Similarly, the unemployed youth who cast his vote did so amidst great expectations. He, too, moulded my Presidency. He, too, claims it. It must work for him, deliver to him. The woman — that larger half of mankind voted for me V a man! She has deep hopes that must be fulfilled! The businessperson, he or she too, voted for me, contributing a limb to my Presidency. He or she has definite expectations founded on his or her role in society as a creator of wealth. The farmer — small, medium, big — voted for my party, thereby assigning my Presidency. His vote was his input; he must now turn the soil, broadcast seed in the hope of plenty. I am the instrument of his dream. The self-employed, that small man and woman always struggling on the margins of the formal economy, he or she, too, has expectations, great expectations at that. So, too, are those who did not vote me, those who voted for other parties. They have hopes and expectations which must reside and repose in my Presidency. As we move into the future, our work as a nation is cut out for us. Although God may favour us, not all men do. We have been under sanctions for a decade and three years. Most likely we shall remain under these sanctions for much longer. But we have held our own. Our will has been our principal resource. We have to raise ourselves by our bootstraps.  Let me share with you my vision for the future, lay out for you the work that must be done. Foremost, we must always believe in ourselves by turning to our own resources. Luckily they exist in fair abundance. The mining sector will be the centrepiece of our economic recovery and growth. It should generate growth spurts across sectors, reignite that economic miracle which must now happen. The sector has shown enormous potential, but we are far from seeing its optimum. We have barely scratched our worth, even in the sense of merely bringing above ground what we already know to be embedded in our rich soils. We need to intensify the exploitation of existing deposits. More mineral deposits remain unknown, unexplored. We need to explore new deposits, developing new greenfield projects in the mining sector. Above all, we need to move purposefully towards beneficiation of our raw minerals. The scope is great and I call upon you all to summon your full will, to give your utmost. That is what will empower us, develop us, indeed create employment for our people. As we go about reorganising this critical sector, our policy reflexes must be oriented towards the goals of indigenisation and economic empowerment of our people. This was the centrepiece of our manifesto. This is what the people voted for. It must become the centrepiece of our development endeavours. We dare not let our people down. We are aware that people of ill-will have cast aspersions on our hallowed policy of indigenisation and economic empowerment. Well, it is a set policy, our chosen path to full sovereignty. The premise of what policy is an easy one. Our minerals are a depletable resource. We cannot grow them again once they have been exploited. Consequently, we cannot be bystanders in their exploitation. We need a share, a controlling share in all ventures that exploit our non-renewable natural resources.Where we can, we can go it alone. Where we cannot do so, we seek partners on a 51/49 percent shareholding principle. Genuine partners should find this acceptable. We reject totally as skewed the economic principle which puts capital, technology or expertise before natural resources. It is a principle of imperialism, the source of unequal agreements which have been the bane of our ever exploited Africa. That is our reckoning here and we stand by it. Unequal agreements are unacceptable; they reek of colonial and neo-colonial relations. But where an investor brings in his or her capital, technology, expertise and raw materials, we will not insist on the principle! The five years of the inclusive Government have seen a slowdown in agriculture. Our farmers — big and small — have gone without the support of Government. They have not been assisted in accessing inputs and capital from banks. Except for tobacco which has been funded by the private sector, food agriculture which tended to lean on Government support declined. Yet agriculture remains the mainstay of our economy, the source of raw materials for our manufacturing sector. We must become a food secure nation, and that means sensible agriculture policies that recognise support to the farmer by way of inputs.  No nation on earth does without such support. The new Cabinet will be expected to move with full speed in mobilising adequate inputs. Equally, issues around electricity and irrigation must be tackled definitively so that this season marks a return to food sufficiency, and anticipates an active winter season which should see us growing part of our wheat requirements again. After all, agriculture provides livelihoods and direct employment to thousands of our people. There are pressing social service challenges which must be tackled immediately. Taps are dry in most of our cities and towns, worse so in Bulawayo. Water must be restored; taps must run again. The search for durable solutions to water supply for our towns and cities must begin almost immediately with the announcement of a new Cabinet. We cannot have erratic water supply in urban conurbations without risking outbreaks of serious diseases. And of course our hospitals, clinics and dispensaries must be well equipped for health delivery. Often our clinics have run out of essential drugs, vital pieces of equipment and accessories. Rural areas have been hit hardest. That area must be stabilised as a matter of urgency. Another key area of urgent attention has to do with infrastructure. Happily we had already begun working on our road networks, with many rehabilitation projects in the offing. These must be expedited so mobility of people, goods and services is expedited. The same also passes for other modes of transport. The road maintenance equipment which the responsible Ministry has been acquiring for rural development agencies should see us maintaining feeder roads in anticipation of the agricultural sector and other economic activities. It is gratifying to not that the community share ownership programmes have also played their part in hastening community development. A key facet of infrastructural development shall relate to water provision and sanitation, especially in rural areas. Equally, the supply of electricity must be stabilised both for the sake of our domestic users and for the sake of agriculture, industry and commerce. We have key power projects which are about to take off, and which, if completed, should augment internal power generation. All these are key enablers which must now kick in. There are many financing models which the new Government will explore, including public-private-partnership on the strength of which some projects have moved. When all is said and done, our financial system or policy will need to be examined including the banking institutions and their supporting role to industry. Partly as a result of sanctions and partly because of regional manufacturing and trade dynamics, Zimbabwe has declined as a regional manufacturing centre. We are fast turning into one huge warehouse, a dumping ground for all manner of imports. Our cities and towns are dying. Bulawayo, for a long time the industrial capital of Zimbabwe, has now become a sorry industrial scrap-yard. And this has been an indicative trend for all manufacturing centres in the country. We have become a net importer of finished goods, while also being a net exporter of raw materials. Even our cotton industry, for a very long time an area of comparative advantage, has collapsed, with it many small cotton growers. This has become a structural handicap which we must tackle head on, and urgently too. Plans to resuscitate our ailing industries never took off largely because of internal contradictions during the era of the inclusive Government. That era is gone and we must now move purposefully. Internationally and diplomatically we remain friendly and well disposed towards all nations. We seek friendships. We seek partnerships. We seek to diversify our relations to encompass new, emerging regions of the world. Principally; we continue to look East, hoping all those countries which had held back on fears of our unsettled situation here can now move forward to partner with us on clear parameters laid out in our policies. We seek peace; we work for peace and exhort the rest of the world to do likewise. We do not brook any form of interference in the internal affairs of other nations. A strong sense of right must always temper might. As our own case demonstrated, often it is local solutions which work best in curing problems that may rise within and between nations. The current Western policy of sponsoring conflict in the Middle East must be condemned. As the desperate situation in Syria has shown, such a policy brings enormous grief to affected nations. We watch helplessly as small nations get wrecked by high-handed nations. We hold deep fears for Egypt, that great African country. We hope that peace can return to it soon, and hold for all time. In concluding, I want to thank countries of Africa, both singly and organised as sub-regions. In particular I thank Sadc and AU for standing with us during our difficulties. I thank the sister Republic of South Africa, I thank its leadership which, in succession, played the difficult role of facilitating political dialogue and settlement in our country. It was a trying task but the two men burdened with that role, firstly, former president Thabo Mbeki who is here with us, and later President Jacob Zuma bore it all with amazing patience and perseverance. I am sure today is a happy day for both men. They can walk tall in full knowledge that they have signed off a rare but glorious chapter on African solutions to African problems! Siyalibonga sonke! Lastly, I owe nothing but praise and respect to my GPA-era partners who are also my fellow countrymen. I am referring to former Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and, much later, Professor Welshman Ncube. We have worked together. Initially compelled by GPA protocols, we eventually found each other and proceeded to produce the current Constitution. This is our land, our country together and for as long as our nations subsist, so will elections and the opportunities they offer. Our common destiny bids us to work together, never at cross purposes. More important, that destiny bids us to work for the well-being and in defence of our people who must always come first. I thank you all! I thank you Zimbabweans of all tribal cultures, of all religious and political affiliations, thank you traditional Chiefs, thank you all civil servants, all students, all social groups, all youths, mothers and fathers, well done. Ndinotenda! Ngiyabonga! Zikomo kwambiri, Asante sana! I thank you! RGM

Lebensraum, coming to a street near you by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Zimbabwe Situation Facebook  By Oliver Mukome Still shocked by the election results?! I am too. Of all things, one strikes fear onto my very soul. No, it’s not the possibility of Justice Minister Chinotimba or Finance Minister Kereke. Its that they could have rigged the elections to just a simple majority but it had to be a two thirds majority. The significance of this should be of concern to everyone in the know of the Zimbabwe situation. Basically, a two thirds majority is needed to pass laws in most of the world including Zimbabwe. Two thirds is the magical number which all democratic parties vie for before which they would have to seek collaboration from other parties which in most cases have different ideologies. In essence, Zanu is saying, WE are government and most importantly, WE are parliament. It removes the need for working across the political divide. The need to argue the content of policy. Faced with the huge challenges we have ahead of us, one would think now is the most critical time where scrutiny of all policies has got to be done robustly by an effective opposition. Instead, having done the heavy lifting for most of them that have won, the new intake of Zanu pf MPs is heavily indebted to Robert Mugabe for putting them there. So rather technically Mugabe has stuffed parliament with ‘yes men’. It will definitely be his way or the highway with no chance for the likes of Mliswa to argue a different position to any avail. Better yet, marvel at how easy it has become now for Mugabe’s ultimate price: Constitutional change!!! Forget the economy. So what you need a job. So what you have no school fees. Constitutional change is the ultimate price. Amendments to ‘solidify our sovereignty from the British who….EU and America that…’ I get tired even thinking about it. The constitution that so many people fervently voted for is about to be turned on its head and guess what we’ll have in the end, his much beloved defeated constitution of 2000. The imminent death of Mugabe is shaking Zanu pf to its core so it will seek to solidify it’s position. Whoever comes after Mugabe will be not have his following which Zanu has been counting on to carry it through. The constitutional way will mean the highest court in the land will support it not covertly as now but overtly BY LAW! No one will be able to challenge it’s authority again. Forget opposition parties, forget elections, forget freedom of expression, dual citizenship…what? Thought you lived in a dictatorship before? You ain’t seen nothing, as they say. Learning from their dear friends in China they will have us chanting ‘ein volk, ein furhier ein reich’ sooner rather than later. Little do they know, China runs by a deal with its people: peace for prosperity, otherwise chaos. They don’t even have to do a lot of work to achieve this police state. In a country of 13 million people, all they need to do is to ‘inspire’ a few Gestapos.  A Chipangano here, another one there to make sure Mai Muzembe does not use the president’s name in vain. Maybe finding the respectable name to call the commander in chief and whatever. Something like… maybe ‘He-who-must-not-be-named’?! But, remember, this is all for your own good. Since you cannot think and decide for yourself, let Chimanasa do it for you though he might hit a couple of women MPs in the process…USSZ. Like all communists, Zanu sees people as a mass. Not as a group of individuals with unique sets of likes and dislikes. This very aspect is the bedrock of what it means to be human. The reason for the friends you have, the clothes, the food you like. They will seek to control the masses. How they think by state media as other forms will be banned ‘for hate speech’. How our young ones grow by making youth service compulsory and school books filled with as much propaganda as possible while they read Plato and John Grisham and send their children to western universities. Is this not the paradox of Osama bin Laden and Kim Jung-il…obsessed with pornography but bashing America for sexual immorality. This is the world created by Lebensraum in Germany after 1933. The law that allowed someone unnamed to become the beast he eventually became. Yes, all that which happened, all that, all 6 million of them was made legal because of Lebensraum. This world is about to happen to us. By giving himself this prized majority at such a critical juncture in Zanu pf political life, if his presidency is recognised as legitimate, Mugabe is free to do whatever the hell he wants to do.

Inauguration speech dampens confidence by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Inauguration speech dampens confidence | The Zimbabwe Independent PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, sworn in yesterday for a new five-year term after his recent controversial re-election in what was initially billed to be a grand historic occasion, gave no hope or confidence to Zimbabweans about the future in his rather wishy-washy address. Zimbabweans, and certainly investors, had been waiting with bated breath for his inauguration speech to ascertain whether there would be fresh ideas and a positive policy shift, as well as a new direction, after weeks of uncertainty and anxiety. However, Mugabe’s address, which contained acres of space on history, politics, elections, anti-Western rhetoric, land, sanctions and vague promises to deal with current problems facing the nation, dampened expectations as he rigidly stuck to his stale ideas and mantras. No fresh or progressive thinking filtered through his rambling speech. Apart from acknowledging well-known economic and social problems and making promises to halt the tides of failure buffeting cities and towns, mainly Bulawayo, fixing social service delivery problems such as water and electricity, addressing the current food deficits and repairing collapsing infrastructure, Mugabe did not prescribe any solutions. He merely recited problems, saying they must be dealt with urgently but did not say how, suggesting he is clueless on the way forward. As we have repeatedly said in this column, Zimbabwe needs serious policy proposals and initiatives to address issues such as strengthening fiscal management, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and improving the business climate to attract investment in a bid to ensure sustained and inclusive growth. While indigenisation is important insofar as bringing the subaltern majority into the mainstream economy, on its own it would not ensure recovery or growth because it does not inspire investor confidence and bright prospects. Zimbabwe needs a friendly business environment to attract local and foreign direct investment to help resuscitate closed companies or those operating at well below capacity utilisation. It also needs investors to plough in new capital to create employment, boost domestic consumption and growth, while tackling poverty. Accelerating dubious models like indigenisation, riddled with corruption, bribery and extortion, will only further damage recovery prospects. Progressive indigenisation needs to be executed in a structured and measured way, ensuring transparency and property rights, to avoid rocking the foundations of the economy. At least Mugabe now agrees there is need for flexibility on indigenisation. Improving the business climate is critical to strengthen competitiveness, build investor confidence, and boost growth. Without stemming company closures and relocations, as well as bringing in new investment to revive production, Zimbabwe will increasingly become a giant supermarket for other countries, mainly South Africa and China. “We are fast turning into one huge warehouse, a dumping ground for all manner of imports,” Mugabe said yesterday without realising his failed rule is actually the main cause of all that. “Our cities and towns are dying. Bulawayo, for a long time the industrial capital of Zimbabwe, has now become a sorry industrial scrapyard.” Mugabe’s mediocre speech and his lack of ideas partly explain why the entire Zimbabwean economy is fast becoming an industrial desert.

Mugabe’s soft landing, exit strategy by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mugabe’s soft landing, exit strategy | The Zimbabwe Independent Editor’s Memo with Dumisani Muleya IF one had to land in Zimbabwe these days from outer space, particularly before President Robert Mugabe’s rather uninspiring inauguration yesterday, they would be thunderstruck by the hype — mostly in the state media — about the re-election of the country’s frail, nearly 90-year-old leader. The real surprise would not necessarily be about Mugabe’s re-election at 89, a potential entry in the Guinness World (Book of) Records, which on its own is absurd, but the hysteria among his fanatics which might suggest to a stranger that he had been elected to such high office for the first time. So the question to those who know Mugabe has previously won elections many times before, albeit controversially so since 2000, and led Zimbabwe for 33 years while he started yet another five-year term yesterday which will possibly extend his rule to 38 years in office at 94 without a break is: what’s the fuss all about? Although it might appear like much ado about nothing to some, there seems to be a method in the madness. There is a lot about this victory beyond defeating former premier Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party, and by extension their Western allies and, if you stretch it using Zanu PF’s warped Cold War logic, neo-colonialism and imperialist forces behind them. The real issue appears to be about Mugabe’s grand exit. It looks like there is a script behind all this. In fact, the whole chain of events, starting well before elections, seems to be choreographed to give Mugabe, after years of failure, sustained scathing criticism at home and abroad, and humiliation, a great send-off. Of course, Mugabe still has five years to serve ahead and he claimed before the polls he will see them through, but the grand exit script looks written all over this. While he might have wanted his last inauguration yesterday to be a grand historic occasion, it turned out to be a lacklustre affair. However, the script remains intact. Its thrust appears to be winning the elections first — which Mugabe and his cronies never doubted and even said so in public, begging the question: why? — and then co-opt Tsvangirai and others, including perhaps Welshman Ncube, and run a new government based on elite cohesion. There was a hint at that towards the tail-end of Mugabe’s speech yesterday. That way Mugabe gets legitimacy, which he badly needs, and an opportunity to ensure political and economic stability and recovery. This will enable him to have a grand exit from politics, whenever he will go whether before or at the end of his new term, leaving behind a stable Zimbabwe while rescuing whatever remains of his tattered legacy. After his controversial rule characterised by political repression, human rights abuses, including killings, and economic ruin, as well as isolation, such an end to his reign would be a major turnaround. Besides, it also gives him an opportunity to resolve his party’s protracted succession issue to save Zanu PF from possible disintegration after his departure. Obviously state media journalists, vociferously singing praises for Mugabe, are largely happy simply because his win helps them retain their jobs, not because of any serious ideological convictions or political imperatives beyond keeping their snouts in the feeding trough. So their celebrations and hagiographical eulogies, quite apart from crude ethical and professional aberrations, are understandable. But the bigger picture is Mugabe’s grand exit. Evidently there are so many hurdles ahead, but if he pulls it off, such a plan would at least close some parts of the horror-ridden chapters of his disastrous authoritarian rule in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe in dilemma on new cabinet by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mugabe in dilemma on new cabinet | The Zimbabwe Independent by Faith Zaba WHEN the euphoria of his inauguration among his supporters dies down, President Robert Mugabe will have to grapple with the predicament of appointing a new cabinet in which he not only needs to delicately balance regional and ethnic diversity, but also has to deal with the factional issues within his deeply divided Zanu PF, while taking into account experience and renewal. With many former ministers, outgoing ones who were in the coalition government and a new generation of MPs to select from, Mugabe certainly is in a quandary over who to appoint or drop, given competing interests and an array of issues he has to deal with to come up with a team which has to measure up to public expectations on social service delivery and economic recovery. Close to 30 former cabinet ministers and over 15 former deputy ministers won National Assembly and Senate elections and would largely be eyeing ministerial posts as this forms part of their personal survival given their lack of means and professional alternatives. Out of the 20 Zanu PF ministers in the previous unity government, only former Agriculture minister Joseph Made lost elections after falling in the party’s primaries. Zanu PF insiders told the Zimbabwe Independent this week Mugabe is in a dilemma over who to drop among those who were part of the unity government to accommodate other former ministers who served him in the past and the young turks who are expecting positions in the new government after campaigning vigorously for his re-election. Mugabe also has to accommodate technocrats, who economists hope he will appoint among the five permissible outside parliament, to head key ministries like finance, industry and commerce as well as agriculture. “The president will have a headache over who to appoint from his former ministers who won the elections and have been lobbying for selection in the past weeks. The problem is to balance the old guard and the young turks to form a dynamic and pragmatic cabinet,” said a top party official. “He has his loyalists who have delivered victory for him, who obviously expect to be rewarded, while at the same time he wants to exit with a bang by appointing a young and dynamic team that will extricate the country from the current abyss.” Another official added: “This puts him in a quandary. Obviously, he does not want to disappoint his party loyalists, but at the same he knows he is under pressure to deliver and exit with a bang.” To make matters worse for Mugabe, if speculation of plans to appoint MDC formations officials as ministers to form a new unity government succeeds, he would have to eject even more Zanu PF cabinet hopefuls. Newly-elected outspoken Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa said: “They (old guard) were more concerned about their own businesses and forgot about the people. That is why we joined politics to improve what is there and provide leadership, and as result Zanu PF now has more than two-thirds majority and we will also do the same in the next elections.” Analysts say Mugabe, who is desperate to restore legitimacy and credibility as an effective and efficient leader, needs to appoint a lean cabinet of about 20 ministers, as opposed to 42 (including ministers of state) in the previous cabinet, which is vibrant, dynamic and market-oriented to move the country forward and secure his legacy going into the sunset of his long political career spanning over 50 years. A Zanu PF politburo member said: “The fact that people expect a lean government, in which he does away with some ministries created to accommodate loyalists in the unity government by the three political parties, puts him under even more pressure like what happened in 2009.” In February 2009, the swearing-in ceremony of cabinet ministers into the inclusive government was delayed by about four hours after Mugabe attempted to increase the number of ministers from his Zanu PF in order to accommodate excluded party loyalists. A cabinet list released on the eve of the swearing-in contained 22 names, instead of the 15 agreed to under the Global Political Agreement. Eventually, Mugabe dropped former Health minister David Parirenyatwa, former Anti-Corruption minister Paul Mangwana, former Agriculture deputy minister Sylvester Nguni, the late vice-president John Nkomo, who at that time was the party chairperson, and former minister of state Flora Bhuka. However, Nkomo, Bhuka and Nguni were later appointed ministers of state. The five had participated in rehearsals for the event, only to be left out on the day. Mangwana stood visibly upset with his wife in the State House car park while the event was taking place. Parirenyatwa left in a fit of rage. Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere had initially been left out until the day before. He was reportedly only accommodated after profusely pleading with Vice-President Joice Mujuru. While some ministers were left frustrated, some openly showed their gratitude after being accommodated. Information minister Webster Shamu even knelt before First Lady Grace Mugabe to demonstrate his gratitude in a move which showed Mugabe’s wife plays a role in cabinet appointments. A senior party official said: “The problem is that people want to hold on to ministerial posts because it has become their source of livelihood. So when they are dumped, they leave with nothing and struggle to make ends meet. That is why they are jostling to be in cabinet or want to remain there forever.” Former Transport minister Enos Chikowore committed suicide in April 2005 after he was left out of cabinet. One official suggested Mugabe must park the old guard in the politburo and appoint young performance-driven individuals in cabinet.

Mutasa vows to deal with Mnangagwa loyalists in Manicaland by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mutasa vows to deal with Mnangagwa loyalists in Manicaland | The Zimbabwe Independent by Clayton Masekesa AS the battle between Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensifies, Zanu PF national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has vowed to deal with the Manicaland wing of the Mnangagwa faction for “causing divisions in the party”. In an interview this week, Mutasa, who is ranked fifth in the party hierarchy and hails from Manicaland, said he would not sit and watch the province continue be divided on factional lines. The battle for succession between Mujuru and Mnangagwa, who both deny that they harbour presidential ambtions, has spilled over to Zanu PF’s provincial structures. Mutasa is allegedly leading the Mujuru camp in Manicaland while Zanu PF’s negotiator in the just-ended Global Political Agreement Patrick Chinamasa is said to be heading the Mnangagwa bloc. Mutasa’s outburst comes after he invited all Zanu PF MPs and senior party officials to his 78th birthday-cum-Zanu PF election victory celebrations last week, but members aligned to Mnangagwa snubbed him. Some of the Mnangagwa camp notables who did not show up included Chinamasa, Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri, former Manicaland governor Chris Mushowe, former Labour deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Nyanga North legislator Hubert Nyanhongo and central committee member Mandy Chimene. “We do not know why they did not come, but this is a sign that we are not united as a party in Manicaland,” said Mutasa, a self-proclaimed Zanu PF godfather in Manicaland. “But I want to tell them that there is no one bigger than the party. It is high time we told each other the truth so that we can work with people who understand what Zanu PF is all about. I am the senior person in this province and if they do not want to work together with us, then we can always find possible solutions to deal with them.” He added: “We thought we had solved our differences and this election victory was supposed to unite us as a party, but we have seen that we are not telling each other the truth. “I am going to have a meeting to discuss this issue and those that do not want to work with others should find somewhere else to go. I have that capability; we do not want more troubles in the party as has been the case before. This is the time to tell each other the truth.” Mutasa said he had tasked Manicaland provincial chairperson John Mvundura to put the issue on the agenda for the next provincial co-ordinating committee meeting to be held soon. During the party’s primary elections, Mutasa lashed out at Chinamasa and Muchinguri for causing divisions in the province. But the two in turn blamed Mutasa and are said to have led top Zanu PF officials from Manicaland to petition Mugabe to rein him in.

Mugabe (89) Africa’s oldest leader by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via President (89) now Africa’s oldest leader | The Zimbabwe Independent Mugabe (89) took the oath of office as Africa’s oldest head of state in front of a packed National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday. The stadium has a capacity of 60 000 people. The inauguration was Mugabe’s fifth since Zimbabwe created the executive presidency in 1987. He won presidential elections in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008 and this year. Notable regional and continental leaders who graced the occasion were Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete (63), Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (71), Swaziland’s Barnabas Dlamini (71), DRC’s Joseph Kabila (42), Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza (70), Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba (78) and Mauritius’s Rajkeswur Purryag (66). South Africa was represented by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe (64). Other Sadc countries like Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Angola and Botswana also sent representatives in place of their heads of state. Six former heads of states in attendance were Tanzania’s Ali Hassan Mwinyi (88) and Benjamin Mkapa (74), South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki (71), Namibia’s Sam Nujoma (84), Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda (89) and Botswana’s Festus Mogae (74). Meanwhile, Sudan-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim castigated ageing African leaders who have clung onto power crowding out young leaders. “And here we have somebody in a neighbouring country at 90 about to start a new term,” Ibrahim said in Cape Town recently. The inauguration was the second such public event after the one at Independence at Rufaro Stadium in 1980. Thereafter inaugurations have been held at State House before invited guests.

Indigenisation has to be flexible by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via ‘Indigenisation has to be flexible’ | The Zimbabwe Independent  by Owen Gagare Mugabe yesterday sought to clarify the controversial indigenisation policy — which has destabilised the economy and divided his officials — saying while the 51/49% equity model Zanu PF has been pursuing remains the framework, there will be flexibility in other areas outside the resource-based sectors. Besides his critical remarks on indigenisation, Mugabe also promised at his inauguration yesterday to deal with socio-economic problems afflicting the country, including reviving collapsed industries, fixing social service delivery, food deficits and revamping infrastructure, although he did not say how. Mugabe’s remarks trash the storming one-size-fits-all approach zealously pursued by outgoing Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere whose campaign damaged the economy as it scared away existing and potential investors. Kasukuwere had to be halted in his tracks as he threatened to rampage across all sectors of the economy in a predatory mode. “Where an investor brings in his or her capital, technology, expertise and raw materials, we will not insist on the principle,” Mugabe said. “However, where finite natural resources such as minerals were concerned, the country could not be bystanders in their exploitation.” He added: “We need a share in all ventures that exploit our non-renewable natural resources. Where we can, we go it alone. Where we cannot do so, we seek partners on a 51/49% principle.” This means the new government is likely going to push for such shareholding in the mining industry, while other sectors like banking are likely to have different thresholds. Kasukuwere and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono constantly clashed over this issue. But Mugabe said: “Genuine partners should find this acceptable. We reject totally as skewed the economic principle which puts capital, technology or expertise before natural resources.” Mugabe also promised to resolve the country’s water and electricity problems and improve other social services, among them the health delivery system, although he did not say how he plans to do this. He said his government would rehabilitate infrastructure as well as industries, blaming failure over the last few years to problems in the inclusive government, sanctions and trade dynamics. “Partly as a result of sanctions and partly because of regional manufacturing and trade dynamics, Zimbabwe has declined as a regional manufacturing centre. We are fast turning into one huge warehouse, a dumping ground for all manner of imports,” Mugabe said. “Our cities and towns are dying. Bulawayo, for a long time the industrial capital of Zimbabwe, has now become a sorry industrial scrapyard. And this has been an indicative trend for all manufacturing centres in the country. “Plans to resuscitate our ailing industries never took off largely because of internal contradictions during the era of the inclusive government. That era is gone and we must now move more purposefully.” On international relations, Mugabe said: “We seek to diversify our relations to encompass new, emerging regions of the world. Principally, we continue to look East, hoping all these countries which had held back on fears of our unsettled situation here, can now move forward to partner with us on clear parameters laid out in our policies.”

Mugabe rejects Sadc vehicles by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mugabe rejects Sadc vehicles | The Zimbabwe Independent  by Elias Mambo in Malawi APPARENTLY fearing for his life, President Robert Mugabe last week rejected the use of Sadc vehicles during the just-ended 33rd Sadc heads of state and government summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi, citing security reasons, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal. Sources said Mugabe was paranoid and did not want to accept a Sadc-hired Mercedes Benz because most European countries enjoy good relations with Malawi so chances of an ambush by locally based agents were high. Upon his arrival at Kamuzu International Airport on Friday evening, Mugabe blasted the West for refusing to accept his victory and opted to use his official Zim 1 limousine sent to Malawi by road, arriving a day before the summit. Sources said Mugabe, who is already heavily guarded, has escalated his security after the July 31 polls were disputed amid allegations of rigging and irregularities which the MDC-T failed to prove in court arguing lack of supply of crucial material from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission it needed to prove its allegations. “Mugabe does not want to risk his safety, especially after the controversy surrounding the elections,” the source said. “The West were in the forefront in refusing to accept the elections results and this raises security concerns especially when one is out of his country.” Malawi enjoys cordial relations with the West since President Joyce Banda took over from the late Bingu Wa Mutharika making Mugabe feel insecure because of their presence. A senior Malawian government official said Banda ordered that all ministerial vehicles (Mercedes-Benzes) be rented to the regional body for heads of states while fleet vehicles in the ministries were for other duties. The Malawi government also flighted an advertisement for ordinary people with vehicles in excellent condition to apply and supply them for use by the regional bloc’s delegates. An outcry over the US$1,3 million used for hosting the Sadc summit was awash in the private media in Malawi with much of the budget going towards the hiring of vehicles. Despite shock displayed by the Malawian officials, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said there was no need for alarm as the president “always” used his official car for regional engagements. “He has always been using his own car for regional engagements so there is nothing new here,” Charamba said. On Thursday last week, three vehicles, two Toyota Hiluxes registration numbers ADB 3789 and ADB 3721 accompanied the Zim1 by road via Nyamapanda and Mwanza borders to Malawi. A senior Sadc official said Mugabe’s move surprised all members of the regional grouping because all logistics were in place with security on high alert. “Sadc leaders are still shocked that Mugabe brought his own official vehicle when all logistics were in place,” the official said. “The issue has been worsened by the fact that he did not send any message to alert the organising team that he would not require the Sadc hired vehicle.” Security aides were surprised at Kamuzu International Airport when Mugabe was led by his chief of protocol to his personal vehicle instead of the Sadc hired one. “Security aides had to rush and label Mugabe’s vehicle to cover the Zim1 number plate.” the official said. Mugabe took a swipe at the West for supporting the regime change agenda and for condemning the just-ended peaceful elections. “The West wants to think for us and take decisions for us and give us direction,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe’s grand exit plan gets underway by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via Mugabe’s grand exit plan gets underway | The Zimbabwe Independent  by Brian Chitemba/Owen Gagare PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who was sworn in yesterday in Harare for another five-year term after his controversial re-election in what was initially billed to be a historic occasion, has a plan to manage his victory to ensure a grand exit from the political stage when the time to go comes, it has emerged. Informed sources say Mugabe’s grand plan, stretching to the period before the elections, entailed winning the polls at all costs, co-opting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other officials from the MDC parties to form a new unity government which would bring Zimbabweans together and present a national façade unity to ensure his legitimacy and help him maintain peace and stability. “Mugabe’s plan was to win the elections, form a new inclusive government on his own terms and work to ensure he leaves behind a unified, cohesive, stable and thriving Zimbabwe when his time to go comes,” a source said. “This will help him rescue his legacy and make a grand exit when during or at the end of his term.” Tsvangirai was invited to Mugabe’s inauguration yesterday but he boycotted. The MDC-T leader also boycotted Heroes Day and Defence Forces, while he put a fierce resistance to Mugabe’s victory by 61,09% to his 33,94% which he rejected as “null and void” before taking him to the Constitutional Court where he lost. Presidential spokesperson George Charamba confirmed Mugabe had extended an invitation to Tsvangirai to attend the inauguration, but the former premier indicated he would be away in South Africa. Charamba last said Tsvangirai had sent signals via an African ambassador that he would want to work with Mugabe, although the MDC-T leader said it was the other way round – the president was bidding to rope him in. These events, including Tsvangirai’s public rejection of overtures for talks, are said to be spoiling Mugabe’s plan also inspired by his anxiety to salvage his legacy and secure a grand exit whenever he decides to leave office or he is forced to go by circumstances. A unity arrangement would also give him an opportunity to resolve the convoluted Zanu PF succession crisis threatening to split and disintegrate his part if he goes without resolving it as it would guarantee national reconciliation and stability. The sources also said Mugabe is already under pressure from within Zanu PF to resolve the succession issue and indicate when he would leave given his age and frailty. “Now that the elections have come and gone, there is renewed pressure in the party for the succession issue to be resolved. Some leaders want this sorted during the annual conference at the end of the year, since it can be transformed into a mini-congress, while others want the party to want until the scheduled congress next year.” Indications that Mugabe’s succession issue has exploded again were shown by Vice-President Joice Mujuru when she said last weekend she was ready to step in rule if the veteran leaders dies. Mujuru had earlier during the party’s first post-election politburo meeting warned his rivals in faction led by outgoing Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to avoid claiming the elections victory as theirs when it was a “Team Zanu PF” win. Sources said Mugabe’s grand exit plan is still intact even though there are challenges triggered by the blazing row over the alleged rigging of the elections. Although Mugabe was belligerent in his speech yesterday attacking Western countries for rejecting his disputed re-election and describing Tsvangirai and the MDC parties as “bad losers” and “real spoilers”, he was conciliatory at the tail-end of his address, saying “our common destiny bids us to work together, never at cross-purposes”. “Lastly, I owe nothing but praise and respect for my GPA-era partners who are also my fellow countrymen. I am referring to former Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, former Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara and, much later, Professor Welshman Ncube,” he said. “We have worked together, initially compelled by the GPA protocols, we eventually found each other and produced the current constitution… our common destiny bids us to work together, never at cross-purposes. More important, that destiny bids us to work for the wellbeing and in defence of our people who must always come first.” Mugabe, the sources said, knows he is serving his last term and wants to leave office with the nation “united”, hence the overtures of high- level unity talks which are likely to be escalated now that the court battle over results has ended and Mugabe has been inaugurated. The sources said Mugabe had planned a big inauguration ceremony, hoping to send a message across the world that he is still popular in Zimbabwe and in the region. He wanted yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony to be similar to that of 1980 when he first assumed office. Sources said he had invited 51 heads of state and former heads to the occasion in a bid to show he still had popular support, especially in Africa. The list was cut down to 40 and then 30 leaders but only six heads of state and government attended the ceremony, while some countries sent representatives at lower levels. Even though Mugabe lashed out at European Union (EU) and United States (US) for rejecting his re-election, he also struck a peacemaking note as his grand exit plan can only work well if he ends his international isolation and is re-admitted back to the global community of nations. “Internationally and diplomatically we remain friendly and well-disposed towards all nations. We seek friendships. We seek partnerships. We seek to diversify our relations to encompass new, emerging regions of the world,” Mugabe said yesterday. “Principally, we continue to look East, hoping all those countries which had held back on fears of our unsettled situation here can now move forward to partner with us on clearer parameters laid out in our policies.”

MDC-T sweats over mayors by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via MDC-T sweats over mayors | The Zimbabwe Independent THE MDC-T national leadership is sweating over the selection of mayors for Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza and Mutare amid revelations provincial structures are resisting imposition of senior party members who lost in the general elections to occupy the posts. The race to lead the Harare and Bulawayo councils has intensified among senior party leaders since the MDC-T lost. The mayorship of the country’s largest cities comes with the added responsibility of chairing the newly established metropolitan provincial councils. The battle for mayoral posts comes hard on the heels of a party still trying to come to terms with the consequences of imposing parliamentary candidates, a move that resulted in 29 party members contesting as independents. Among those vying for the Harare mayorship are the party’s deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, former senator Obert Gutu and former councillor Warship Dumba. In Bulawayo, the race pits national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, lawyer Kacuca Phulu and National University of Science and Technology lecturer Mandla Nyathi. Ironically, both Mwonzora and Moyo are vying for positions in other provinces having lost parliamentary elections in their backyards in Nyanga North (Manicaland) and Matobo South (Matabeleland South) respectively. Chitungwiza aspirants include former Housing minister Fidelis Mhashu, Isaac Nyemba and Fortune Mangwiro. MDC-T secretary for local government Blessing Chebundo said: “The party is still making consultations and assessment on those who have applied for the positions of mayor in local authorities we won. The process starts at the national elections directorate and only those names that qualify will be forwarded to the local government secretariat.”

No budget for provincial councils by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via No govt budget for provincial councils | The Zimbabwe Independent by Paidamoyo Muzulu INAUGURAL provincial council members will have to wait a bit longer before they get down to business after it emerged there is neither funding provided for in the 2013 budget nor designated venues for their assembly in addition to the absence of an enabling Act. Provincial councils are a creature of the new constitution gazetted in May this year. The constitution, among other things, expanded the Bill of Rights and created a bloated government with an enlarged parliament. It also created eight provincial councils and two metropolitan provincial councils that will spearhead local development. Mayors of Harare and Bulawayo will chair the Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces respectively. The provincial councils were established to accommodate growing calls from Zimbabweans for a devolved state since the 1999 constitutional review exercise. A watered down version of devolution was finally included, but the financing and enactment of an enabling law was left to the first parliament elected under the new constitution. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza confirmed that implementation of devolution may take a little bit longer because of procedural matters that should be dealt with first. “The eighth parliament should first pass an enabling Act for provincial councils. The last parliament unfortunately expired before it debated the harmonised Local Government Bill,” Mabhiza said. Local government in Zimbabwe is currently controlled by two Acts; the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act; but both do not have any clauses that can be used to run provincial councils. Mabhiza added that permanent secretaries met on Tuesday to discuss ways they could make their ministries and departments’ operations be aligned to the new constitution. Top on the agenda is the ministry of local government’s draft amendments to harmonise local government legislation. “Local government officials are working on the draft so that parliament will quickly work on enacting a law to enable operations of provincial councils,” Mabhiza added. This is not the first time the state has created institutions without an enabling act or adequate funding. In 2010, government created the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which spent two years doing nothing. It, however, remains unclear how the provincial councils’ sitting calendar will be aligned to the National Assembly and senate sittings. MPs will be members of provincial councils too, according to the constitution, in addition to 10 provincial council members elected through proportional representation on party lists.

MDC in crisis by ZimSitRep – 08-23-2013
via MDC in crisis | The Zimbabwean by Staff Reporter MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has summoned his troops to an emergency strategic retreat this weekend in a desperate attempt to hold his party together in the face of widespread frustration, anger and despair following the fraudulent July 31 elections. “The main message is that the struggle continues as the elections were stolen and the people should stand up and resist the daylight robbery. The (MDC-T) president will also be meeting with strategic partners such as civil society organisations,” said an inside source. The party is reeling from Zanu (PF)’s monumental electoral fraud and SADC’s shocking announcement in Lilongwe at the weekend that Mugabe would succeed Malawi’s Joyce Banda as the chairperson of the regional body next year. Party members are devastated by what they see as a lack of leadership and have lashed out at those at the top – especially those who they perceive to have missed the golden opportunity to effect change while sitting in Parliament for the past five years. The party’s long-standing treasurer, Roy Bennett, resigned last week saying he was utterly frustrated at the arrogance of those in leadership. Social networks are awash with calls for an armed struggle or some form of passive resistance to provide a focus for people’s frustrations. Tsvangirai is said to have launched a nation-wide grassroots outreach campaign to fortify his supporters in the wake of the shocking failure by regional and African bodies to conduct an audit into the mountain of rigging evidence amassed by opposition parties and civil society organisations. “Tsvangirai considers the outreach offensive a crucial strategy that will not only bring faith back into the party but also give a rude awakening to Mugabe and Zanu (PF) that they stole the election and cannot get away with that,” said the source on condition of anonymity. The national spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the emergency meeting, saying “We will be reviewing our position at a special retreat of the National Executive. We are going to be re-strategising regarding how we can carry forward with the struggle but I would like to assure you that we are not going to tire in fighting tyranny.” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, insisted to The Zimbabwean that the party still had options to revitalise itself in the post-election period, maintaining that they had not yet exhausted the diplomatic route. “Of course, what happened at the SADC summit dampens spirits but we remain positive. SADC is still to issue its final report on the elections and we are engaging all the countries in the region,” he said. Both SADC and African Union observer teams, whose assessments are considered key, are yet to issue their final reports on the elections, which in their preliminary reports they described as free and credible, but held back from declaring fair. Our contact acknowledged that there were hawks within the National Executive Council who wanted to use the election disaster to dislodge Tsvangirai, saying they were not coming out in the open yet “because they fear political suicide”. “The reality is that these people know that it will be an uphill task because, unlike Tsvangirai, they don’t have grassroots support. They cannot win against him,” said the source, adding that a small number in the youth and women’s wings also wanted Tsvangirai to go. There have been reports of Tendai Biti, the Secretary General, gunning for Tsvangirai’s position and mobilising a faction in the nationwide structures to achieve that, but he has dismissed that. Tamborinyoka dismissed talk of jostling for his boss’s post as unfounded. “It is hogwash. Leadership is an issue for congress. The party’s national council, which is the supreme body outside of congress, met recently and affirmed Tsvangirai as the party leader. We are a democratic party and congress is the only platform for leadership challenges. Anything else is just bar talk or emanating from Zanu (PF). “Tsvangirai is a victim of (electoral) fraud and there is no way that we can be tempted to victimise the victim,” he said. Other highly placed sources confirmed that Tsvangirai had resolved to go back to the grassroots to engage the people because his lieutenants were letting him down. “He (Tsvangirai) does not trust some of the key leaders anymore because he has discovered that they have hidden agendas and misrepresent facts to him. He is taking more responsibilities to be with the people and assess the situation on his own,” said another contact at Harvest House. Official results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission claim that President Robert Mugabe got 61 percent of the votes in the presidential race, against Tsvangirai’s 34 percent, while Zanu (PF) garnered 160 seats in Parliament and MDC-T 49. Several dossiers of incidents of rigging have been compiled by both wings of the MDC as well as local and regional NGOs.

Govt must invest in education: Coltart by ZimSitRep – 08-22-2013
via Govt must invest in education: Coltart | The Zimbabwean  by Edgar Gweshe The new government needs to ensure “massive” investment in the education sector to guard against further deterioration of standards, outgoing Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, David Coltart, has said. Coltart said the education sector was critical to the development of the country hence the need to ensure that it is prioritised. He said it was imperative for the next government to ensure that competent people were entrusted with the running of the country’s education sector. “The future of the education sector depends on who is appointed as Minister of Education and the level of support that person gets from Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance. It’s critical for the next government to make education a priority. “Education survives with adequate funding and if they starve the education sector of funding, we will see education standards falling. The bottom line is that education needs massive investment,” said Coltart. Coltart acknowledged the progress made by the inclusive government in bringing sanity back to the education sector, which he said had been “under-funded for the last couple of years”. He, however, played down fears that Zimbabwe’s contested election could lead to donors pulling out their support. “I think you would acknowledge that the donor community that supported Zimbabwe’s education sector is very much concerned about children and I doubt very much that they will change their attitude. They are likely to continue with their support of the education sector,” he said. Before the formation of the inclusive government, Zimbabwe’s education sector suffered a critical shortage of funding that saw a significant drop in standards and the situation was worsened by the exodus of teachers who went to seek greener pastures in neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Botswana. In 2010, the situation was however rescued by the launch of the Education Transition Fund, a multi-donor funding mechanism. The ETF was launched by the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, in partnership with UNICEF and the international donor community.