TEXT only 27 August 2013


Tourism Night awakens Victoria Falls by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Tourism Night awakens Vic Falls – DailyNews Live by Maxwell Sibanda Tourism Night awakened the resort town of Victoria Falls as various musicians took turns to shine and receive delegates to the UNWTO assembly which officially opened on Saturday. The musical night which has been dubbed Tourism Night by organisers, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), lived up to the high expectations from the people of Victoria Falls and indeed the visiting guests who formed part of the blistering crowd. Taking place at Victoria Falls Primary School, thousands of people thronged the school’s spacious grounds and covered all space available. The crowds, in their thousands responded to the night’s music until 3am, Sunday without any incident. The concert started off early in the evening as the Zesa personnel battled to power the concert, only to be rescued by a generator. Crowd favourites Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah gave Victoria Falls audiences something to remember as each performed for 30 minutes in a tight programme that also saw performances by award winning Mbira Dzenharira. The UNWTO song was also presented to Zimbabweans for the first time and what a gem. Sugar Chagonda who was co-host at the event did an exceptional job as he punctuated messages on tourism in between performances. Mokoomba, the Victoria Falls-based group showed their home folks how they were conquering Europe and the rest of the world with a classic performance that left all spell and bound. The group which has been doing wonders across the globe had never performed before in Victoria Falls. Band leader, Mathias Muzaza speaking to the Daily News before his performance said the world was watching in admiration as the group continued to shine. “This is our first time to perform here and I am delighted that it is happening before all these thousands of people. Although I have performed in many countries at festivals, the crowd I see today is one of the biggest we have performed for before.” “As a group we are here to show our brothers and sisters what they have heard about our musical journey and success.” Singing in their native Tonga language, the band leader’s rising voice reminded many of the internationally-renowned music icon, Salif Keita. Even without understanding the lyrics, one is bound to  fall in love with the band’s sheer composing brilliance and a stage work so choreographed that it leaves little room for criticism. Dub poet Albert Nyathi performed during the night to the delight of the audience, most of whom had only seen him on television. But here was the poet himself, dressed in his traditional Zulu gear and thundering words throughout his performance. The crowds enjoyed Sandra Ndebele’s performance as the diva shook her stuff in seductive dance routines that are well known to be part of her act. Her dancing girls were top notch and the audience liked their performance. Our sister from Botswana, Slizer was equally good at her task, joining Ndebele for a dance before she took over the stage where she danced like no other. Slizer can dance and her accompanying disco sound complemented very well to a deserved 30 minute of non-stop music. Journalists and delegates from all over the world witnessed the musical.

Zim Labour Expert Urges Workers To Exploit New Governance Charter by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Zim Labour Expert Urges Workers To Exploit New Governance Charter By Roy Chikara Zimbabwe’s hard-pressed and poorly paid civil servants can now exploit some provisions in the country’s new governance charter to stage crippling work boycotts as such action has now been legalized. Labour Court President, Custom Kachambwa, said under the new constitution which was passed into law early this year civil servants are now entitled to embark on strike with the exception of members of the uniformed forces. Kachambwa told paralegals attending a joint International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) organized workshop held in Nyanga recently that said Section 65 (3) of the new constitution guarantees all workers the right to participate in a job action and or strike except members of the security forces and some civil servants who offer essential services. “Civil servants according to the new constitution are no longer excluded in participating in collective job action, they can now actually go on strike except members of the uniformed forces and those in essential services,” he said. Kachambwa said it was up to workers including civil servants to claim and exercise the constitutionally guaranteed right. “It is up to us to ensure that when the right is not given we claim it. The Labour Act should be in line with the constitution. Not every civil servant’s job is in essential service. What is the reason that anybody can put forward to exclude civil servants alone. Making tea for the Minster or Director is not an essential service,” Kachambwa said. Struggling public service workers particularly teachers earn paltry salaries far below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) pegged above $500. Already, labour unions among them the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Progressive Teachers Unions have already petitioned the government to improve teachers’ salaries to match the PDL level and improve their working conditions. ZCTU Secretary-General, Japhet Moyo recently warned the incoming government to brace for wild cat strikes if it does not hike workers’ salaries in both the public and private sector. “We are going to work with anyone who comes into government as long as they address the workers’ demands. But we want to warn Zanu PF which is going to be in government that if it ignores workers you will be in trouble,” Moyo said. In a bid to ward off protests, President Mugabe recently told soldiers during commemorations to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces that his new government will review salaries for civil servants who include teachers, nurses and those for soldiers and the police. The ZCTU has had several run-ins with President Mugabe’s administration over staging of work boycotts. However, the labour union has in recent years been weakened by internal fighting which led to the formation of a rival labour union led by the federation’s former President, Lovemore Matombo.

Question time – Saviour Kasukuwere by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Facebook My questions for Mr. S. Kasukuwere by Oliver Mukome In light of the Rt. Honourable Kasukuwere recently answering ‘hard hitting’ questions from the youth and his open door policy which I commend him for, I thought I should also put my questions in the fray. 1). I have a friend named Natasha. Zimbabwean born and bred. She’s a straight ‘A’ student who studied at Chisipite before going to Rhodes University for a Mathematics degree which she again did very well in. She is currently in Zimbabwe taking a year off running her mother’s boutique before she does her Masters in Actuarial Science.  I suppose the minister would agree with me in saying, she is THE type of person that needs to be encouraged to participate in the indigenisation program. Particularly in the proposed Harare Stock Exchange. Her skills would be virtually priceless. Thing is sir, she’s mixed race. Her father is a white Zimbabwean  and her mother is a black Zimbabwean. So my question is this, does she qualify to participate in the Harare Stock Exchange? If so, what maximum level of whiteness is acceptable to the minister to be considered indigenous (a.k.a black according to your accepted translation)? Are we talking 50%, 25%…? 2).My second question requires your advise to the British government. Unemployment in Britain currently stands at 7.8% with youth unemployment close to a million. A considerable proportion of the unemployed is caucasian, white in layman’s terms. Would it be your advise sir, that the British Prime Minister David Cameron, creates a white-only stock exchange exclusively for white-owned companies in order to tackle unemployment?  Especially youth unemployment which falls in your kin-portfolio. Naturally, it would mean millions of Black-British, Asian-British and other immigrants are excluded from this special stock exchange. 3).My last question is, in this increasingly globalised  and  colour-blind world where people are fired for the slightest racial slur. Individuals, corporations and countries thriving to be seen as race-blind. Considering the crippling effect on business that mere association with any form of discrimination has had on multiple companies, how successful do you think the Harare Stock Exchange is going to be? What would be the knock-on effect on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the blue chip companies trading on it? More importantly, what cultural inheritance is this going to inspire in our children? It would be very gracious of the elected representative, blessed with this powerful portfolio,to respond to these rather simple questions in light of the need for a truly energetic drive of genuine economic growth and ’empowerment’. An idea which no Zimbabwean at home or abroad opposes.

Mugabe disowns Harare, Bulawayo by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Mugabe disowns Harare, Bulawayo – DailyNews Live by Ndakaziva Majaka Mugabe says his government will not assist Harare and Bulawayo residents after they voted against his Zanu PF party in the recent harmonised elections. Addressing thousands of mourners yesterday during the burial of Mike Karakadzai — a former liberation war fighter and head of ailing National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), at the National Heroes Acre — Mugabe said Harare and Bulawayo residents should go and demand service delivery from the MDC because they “don’t support” his party. “Did you really think that level of ignorance could run the country? Harare and Bulawayo actually voted for this amount of ignorance, chiendai munopihwa zvamakavhotera (now go and get what you voted for from them). I hope our country will never repeat this feat again,” Mugabe said. Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has never won meaningful seats in the two cities since the formation of the MDC in 1999, until this year when the ruling party managed to get six parliamentary seats from Harare — but still failed to get anything from Bulawayo. During his campaign, Mugabe promised jobs to Bulawayo youths and an improvement in service delivery, and with his party winning over two-thirds majority in Parliament, expectations are high from unemployed youths in the once industrial hub of Zimbabwe and indeed throughout the country. The former guerrilla leader — who has led the country since independence in 1980 also said military personnel will continue dominating key government institutions because his “Zanu PF cannot be separated from the military”. “We have not militarised the public sector, nothing could be further from the truth. Zanu PF is already militarised. “Yes, it has the political side for which its military fought for, but the life of the party which led to victory came from the armed struggle,” the octogenarian leader said. During his 33-year rule, ex-military individuals have been appointed to head key institutions especially parastatals. Some of the institutions that are still being led by either ex-serving or current soldiers include National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, and the State broadcaster, ZBC. Serving soldiers such as Douglas Nyikayaramba have been appointed to lead NRZ while Karakadzai — himself a retired Air Commodore — left the Air Force to revive the State railway company. During his reign as general manager of NRZ, the company struggled to survive with workers going for months without salaries while some locomotives were grounded. Mugabe said he will continue using military personnel in the civil service. “Whose civil service is it anyway? Is it not Zanu PF? So what’s this nonsense I hear? As Zanu PF, we are more of a military party, we went to the liberation struggle and freed this country through our military ranks.  I don’t see why people would be surprised with this,” Mugabe said. “These are people in the military who embody leadership virtues which enable them to lead the parastatals, they know what we fought for and how to preserve it,” he said. Senior military officers have in recent years been appointed to top posts in public institutions, including State-run companies and the judiciary, as the armed forces increase their influence. Military individuals such as Christian Katsande, a retired colonel, is deputy secretary in the office of President and Cabinet while Elliot Kasu — a retired Brigadier sits on the boards of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa). Another retired military boss who is active in public sector is Col Tshinga Dube — who is chairman of a State owned mining firm — Marange Resources. Opposition parties have accused Mugabe of holding on to power through the aid of the military, who also have in the past said they will not salute a president without liberation war credentials. On the eve of the 2002 presidential election, senior army and air force bosses issued a statement saying they would not support a president who lacked credentials from the 1970s war of liberation against white rule — a clear reference to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe, at the same function also took a swipe at the MDC leader, who lost the recent elections saying the former prime minister was an “ignorant person”. “An ignorant person who is aware of their ignorance is redeemable, but if you are ignorant of your ignorance we have a problem,” Mugabe said of his arch rival. He said this referring to Tsvangirai’s attempts to challenge his election victory in the courts after he had previously lashed out and questioned the impartiality of the judges. Mugabe was declared the winner of the disputed polls with a 61 percent margin compared to Tsvangirai who got 34 percent of the total vote. He attacked his former inclusive government partners for attempting to reform the security sector during the lifespan of the shaky coalition government. “What security sector reforms? I had never heard of that word before, sector reform ipi yaunoziva iwe (what reform do you know of)? Since when has a frog aspired to being a crocodile?” Mugabe said.

Mugabe attacks Europe over tourism cake by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Mugabe attacks Europe over tourism cake | The Zimbabwean by Zivai Maenzanise President Robert Mugabe has lashed out at European countries for short changing Africa through their tourism sector policies. Mugabe made the remarks when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the 20th United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in Victoria Falls yesterday. The summit is being co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia and commenced on Sunday, ending August 29. He said Europe was putting in place punitive policy frameworks to safeguard their tourism sector at the expense of the African continent. “It is very critical that Africa evolves strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. This assumes even greater importance in view of Europe’s efforts to keep the tourism dollars within the Euro-zone, by imposition of punitive airport departure taxes for its intercontinental travellers,” he said. Mugabe said it was still disappointing to note that Africa had only four per cent share of global tourism revenue despite being richly endowed with massive natural and cultural tourism resources. “From 1981, we remained active members of the UNWTO until 1999. Unfortunately during the period 2000 – 2008, we faced immense challenges occasioned, in large part, by illegal debilitating sanctions imposed upon us by some sections of the West. “These sanctions sadly came hard on the heels of the IMF/World Bank’s ill-conceived Economic Structural Adjustment Programme that, amongst other negatives, disabled our active participation in bodies like the UNWTO,” he said. However, Mugabe acknowledged that the Government of National Unity brought stability that saw the country retaining its UNWTO membership. “The GNU led in to the somewhat softening of the stances against us on the part of our political and economic detractors,” he said. Mugabe then called for Africa to evolve strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. He and his Zambian counterpart, President Michael Sata, have since signed the Golden Book of Tourism. That makes them global tourism ambassadors, but critics question Mugabe’s credibility regarding that status. Mugabe further backed the introduction of a Univisa for Africa, lobbying for the further opening of borders on the continent. “The need for open borders, through regional block visa regimes, which we are trying to implement as Univisa through RETOSA, will not only allow easier travel amongst SADC citizens, But will also make it easier for the long haul intercontinental visitor and investor,” he said.

Enos Nkala caused me suffering: Dabengwa by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Enos Nkala caused me suffering: Dabengwa by Nduduzo Tshuma I Southern Eye ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa has revealed for the first time how the late former Defence minister Enos Nkala offered him a Zanu PF card while he was incarcerated at the height of Gukurahundi, saying if he did not accept the card, he would rot in prison. Dabengwa said Nkala, the late Edison Zvobgo and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa visited him in Chikurubi Maximum Prison in 1986 after the death of Zipra commander Lookout Masuku offering him freedom on condition he joined Zanu PF. In an wide-ranging interview, Dabengwa also revealed how Nkala had been at the forefront of ensuring that the Patriotic Front was divided, resulting in Zanu and PF Zapu going to the 1980 elections as competing parties. “I met him (Nkala) at the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP), but we were not close,” he said. “I got to know him after our arrest where NDP demonstrated in Bulawayo and we spent almost four months at Grey (Street) Prison (Bulawayo) and shared a cell.” Dabengwa said after his release and after Zapu had been banned, Nkala went on to form Zanu along with President Robert Mugabe, Ndabaningi Sithole and others. “At the Lancaster House Conference in 1979, Nkala was one of the most vocal people against PF Zapu and Zanu going into the 1980 elections as a united front,” he continued. “We understand Nkala was strongly against participating in elections as the Patriotic Front, hence Zanu went it alone to the elections.” The former Zipra intelligence supremo said he did not have much contact with Nkala after the elections, as he was preoccupied in the army. “When I retired from the army, we went to see Nkala who was then Finance minister. I was with (the late) Ackim Ndlovu after registering a transport company, where we would import vehicles from the United States,” Dabengwa said. “He liked our idea and gave advice on a few issues. However, the project never took off as we were arrested afterwards.” The Zapu leader said Nkala visited him at Chikurubi Maximum Prison with Zvobgo and Mnangagwa. “It was in 1986 after the death of Lookout Masuku we spoke and they said if I agreed to join Zanu PF and accepted the party card that they had brought for me, on that very day I would be released out of Chikurubi Prison and be a free man,” Dabengwa said. “I said to them that could only happen over my dead body. “I made it clear that I would not betray Zapu. I would not turn my back on the people that were being killed by them.

“Nkala said to me, ‘it’s your fault, we will take the key to your cell and throw it away and you will rot in prison’.”
After his release, the Zapu leader said he was surprised to receive an invite to Nkala’s wedding in 1987.

“We discussed this with friends and I did not know what he wanted from me because of the way he had treated me in prison, I did not want to talk to him,” he said. “My friends advised that I attend his wedding.” Dabengwa said he did not see Nkala until 2008 and was surprised to hear him criticise Zanu PF, a party he helped form. “I would ask him why he was criticising Zanu PF yet he helped form the party and blocked the Patriotic Front, as well as his involvement in Gukurahundi and the statements he made at the time,” he said. “He denied everything, even statements that were recorded in the media. “He said Nkomo had succeeded in skipping the country because he was the one who warned him that there were people who wanted to take his life.” Dabengwa said he visited Nkala when he fell sick and was admitted at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo adding that he was not surprised by Mugabe’s stance on his hero status.

“He was the mastermind in forming Zanu, mainly because of his personal dislike of Nkomo,” he said.

“It was because of a domestic matter that I do not know up to now. “I knew at the time of my incarceration that Nkala was not happy with Nkomo’s leadership. “There was a domestic issue that did not have anything to do with the party, that is why he provided his house where Zanu was formed.”

Dabengwa said besides his flaws, Nkala was a seasoned nationalist, “and not founding nationalist as some papers have reported”.

“He was outspoken and spoke his mind. “He had an independent mind and contributed to the independence of the country. “To an extent he deserves to be given good points, but after independence there is nothing, all is wiped out by Gukurahundi and the Willowvale (Car) scandal,” he said. “I have bundled them into one, Nkala, Mugabe and Mnangagwa and all those that caused my suffering and forgiven them. But like I always say, I will never forget what they did to me. “Each time we spoke, I would remind Nkala of the things they put me through and tell him that at times I regretted talking to him.”

Dabengwa and Masuku were arrested and charged with high treason at the height of the Gukurahundi genocide.
Despite being acquitted by the courts, they remained incarcerated.

Masuku was released to hospital in 1986 and died shortly afterwards. Dabengwa was freed after the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987.

The transition has been hijacked: Biti by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via The transition has been hijacked: Biti — Nehanda Radio by Tendai Biti The day that was came and passed. Zimbabwe now has a new President – officially sworn. Except he in fact is not new, and even the great Kofi Olomide could not escape the gloom and fear arresting the motherland. As expected, the circus was in town in full glory. Men and women from all walks of life came to witness a coronation. They were there for all different reasons but they were there all the same. I wonder what was going on in each of their minds as the dear leader read a speech that they all had heard before, and will hear it again in yet another platform. I saw former South African President Thabo Mbeki there, in a very pensive mood. Almost like he was not there and I really wonder what was going on his head. That this indeed is a cursed country, if not worse, perhaps? That indeed we have gone a full circle but at the end of it, the country is back where it came from – namely square zero? The Global Political Agreement [GPA] which Mbeki negotiated was intended to carry the country forward to another level. It was meant to be a bridging transition to democracy. In that sense, it was a delicate compromise between stability and democracy but with one certainty: the country was in genuine motion. Yet nearly five years after it was executed, the government of national unity has not achieved its purpose. The transition is a stolen one. The transition has been hijacked. So, four and half years has been a wasteland, where hopes have been wrecked and a lot people and institutions have come up with ruined reputations, and tattered credibility. One institution that must critically examine itself is SADC and those that control it. Only on June 15, 2013, a summit was held in Maputo wherein the strong clear and unambiguous resolutions were made, that there had to be reforms in Zimbabwe before the election and that the court determined date of July 31 had to be moved. Six weeks later a different song is being sung. An unrecognisable litany of discord that is a mixture of some endorsement and some abandonment. What explains this Jerkil and Hyde conundrum? Whilst the reasons are many and varied, three stick out. The first is obvious fatigue. The Zimbabwean crisis has too long been on the agenda of SADC meetings. It has detained these leaders for endless hours deep into the early throes of a morning. Second is the self evident fact that in a few of these SADC countries, critical elections will be held next year. Third may have been the lack of desire to pursue a process of confrontation, so appeasement becomes the softer option. Whatever the reasons, and they are many, the consequences are clear as a pike staff. That is, the Zimbabwe crisis is undermining the credibility of Africans to resolve their own problems. One of the reasons why Mbeki’s GPA was applauded had less to do with its content, but the fact that some African solution had been found to a malignant African problem. Not only that, the crisis is undermining public international law. Public International is a body of international law based on international morality and restraint. In the case if SADC, it has developed as part of its corpus a set of rules known as the SADC Guidelines on Elections that were adopted in Mauritius in August 2006. These rules have been flagrantly breached in the context of the Zimbabwean election, and yet the body itself has been unable to protect its rules. Thirdly, if Zimbabwe could get away with it, then potentially every rigged election will fly in the region. More importantly SADC has not acquitted itself sufficiently as to remove the tag that it is but a bad boys’ club. It must be noted that all that has been pronounced has been done without the final observer reports being tabled. SADC, therefore, has a small window of redeeming itself when it considers the full reports from the observer missions. As submitted in earlier posts, this is a crisis that is far from over. The original SADC resolution of March 2007 in Dar es Salaam was clear: let’s restore legitimacy and credibility to Zimbabwe. To the extent that this has not been accomplished, with great respect it would be wrong for SADC or anyone else to claim that the SADC mandate terminated on July 31. This is a country mired in crisis and its challenges will not go away. But of course SADC is also right in implying, very obviously, that Zimbabweans must resolve their problems amongst themselves. How do they do this? That is the million dollar question. In the present mood of artificial triumphalism, a solution does not appear likely. All avenues of democratic redress including the courts are being shut. This is most unfortunate in that history teaches us that illegality always breeds illegality. It follows that the stolen transition will in effect be a delayed transition. But history is very funny. It is like a game of cricket. Betting collapses occur so dramatically and unexpectedly. We saw this in the Fourth Ashes test. The Aussies grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory. In this critical juncture in our history, one thing is clear: illegality is unsustainable. Illegality will put a premium on the people. Any return to the past is not on. Five years of chaos are unimaginable and therefore a return to legality is critical. That I suspect is what was so obvious to any who was part of the coronation on Thursday. That I suspect is what poor old Enos Nkala may be carrying to his grave. May his soul rest in peace! Tendai Biti is the MP for Harare East and MDC-T secretary general.

MDC-T Spends $5M Supporting Political Violence Victims by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Tsvangirai MDC Spends $5M Supporting Political Violence Victims by Irwin  Chifera The Tsvangirai MDC formation says it has since 2000 spent more than $5 million assisting thousands of supporters who were victims of political violence around the country. Party activists faced violence right from the beginning in 1999 when the party was launched as Zanu PF supporters resisted  the formation of the new party. Thousands were beaten up, intimidated, harassed, displaced and in some instances murdered leaving the labour-based movement to pick up the pieces. MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told VOA the party had to provide financial, material and moral support to affected families. He said they also had to provide psychological counseling to victims of political violence. “We have done a lot as a party but it has not been enough,” said Mwonzora. “We had to pay for safe houses, medication, families’ upkeep and related issues.” Mwonzora said his party also assisted in burying murdered cadres as well as providing building materials to re-build homes that were destroyed in arson attacks by alleged Zanu PF supporters. Due to lack of resources the party has not been able to attend effectively to all needy cases, he said, adding the MDC is worried by the resurgence of political violence in some areas following President Robert Mugabe’s re-election and swearing in. Mutoko South MDC activist, Chamunorwa Mundete, whose home was torched in 2008, told VOA the party assisted him with building material to re-construct his hut. Mundete, whose homestead was again razed to the ground following the 2013 July elections, plans to approach Harvest House this week for more support. In its 2013 election manifesto, the MDC promised to compensate all victims of post-independence atrocities, including Gukurahundi and Operation Murambatsvina.

Gutu named as the new Mayor of Harare by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Gutu named as the new Mayor of Harare | SW Radio Africa By Tichaona Sibanda Prominent Harare lawyer and out going deputy Minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, has been chosen by the MDC-T party to become the new mayor of Harare for the next five years. Gutu replaces lawyer Muchadeyi Masunda, who was said to have been interested in another term in office. He will be deputized by Kambuzuma councillor-elect Thomas Muzuva, who was nominated for the post of deputy mayor by the MDC-T. The 50 year-old Gutu, who will take a ceremonial oath of office next week, will start off his first term as mayor with a promise to sort out the basics, while getting the city’s ‘sunshine’ status back. His tenure in office will be defined by the cooperation he gets from the next Local Government Minister, to be appointed in due course. If the new minister decides to be on his back, it will be tough for Gutu as countless mayors and councillors will testify. Under Ignatious Chombo’s decade long reign as Local Government Minister, several Mayors and councillors lost their jobs due to his crackdown on MDC-T officials. The new mayor also takes charge of a city with problems all too familiar; a major water crisis, an unacceptably high unemployment rate, battered roads and housing shortages. Political scientist Gideon Chitanga said the appointment of Gutu as Harare mayor represents a group of emerging leaders who are not tainted by corruption or any wrong doing. Corrupt councillors who represented the MDC-T in the last inclusive government tarnished the image of the party and contributed much to its dismal performance in the July 31st elections. ‘Harare needs investment in infrastructure, transport and housing and in Gutu, the city will be served by people who will not be inspired by self enrichment but who are inspired by public service. ‘Obviously he faces a mammoth task and he should be imaginative and innovative in terms of coming up with good models of local governance that will allow a system that is accountable and also deliver on the needs of the residents of Harare,’ Chitanga said. The elevation of Gutu from deputy Minister to mayor comes at a time when officials who were part of the inclusive government have re-joined professions they had left in 2009 after being appointed government ministers. Outgoing ministers Jessie Majome deputy minister of Women and Gender Affairs, Finance minister Tendai Biti, Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga and deputy minister of Youth Development Indigenisation and Empowerment Tongai Matutu, who are all lawyers, are now reportedly back at their offices. Prior to joining the coalition government, the four senior MDC members had been running vibrant law firms. Meanwhile residents in Chitungwiza are up in arms over the appointment of Ward 2 councillor-elect Phillip Mutodi as the town’s deputy mayor. The Newsday newspaper reported that the residents have disapproved of the appointment, claiming he did not have the requisite qualifications for the post. MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told the newspaper the party settled for Mutodi last week following a rigorous selection process. However in a statement, Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CRT) said: “The MDC-T after its caucus meeting and interviews at Harvest House in Harare, has appointed a man of no known educational, academic or professional credentials or competencies beyond street vending. The uproar over the deputy mayor coincides with threats by President Robert Mugabe to punish urban dwellers, especially those in Harare and Bulawayo, for ditching him and his party in favour of MDC-T in the just-ended harmonised elections. Mugabe told his party supporters at the burial of Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai in Harare on Sunday that city dwellers should not come to his government, but go to Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T for service delivery, jobs and anything else they may need. “People from Harare and Bulawayo, to vote for the MDC-T, what do you admire in that party? Now, go and get from the MDC-T what you were promised during the elections,” Mugabe said.

Confusion dogs UN tourism conference by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Confusion dogs UN tourism conference | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell The UN tourism conference that was officially opened on Sunday night has been dogged by confusion, with many delegates waiting hours just to get accredited, among other issues. Hundreds of delegates from around the world have descended on Victoria Falls for the six day UN tourism General Assembly. But while the event is being lauded for being the ‘best attended’ tourism conference yet, there have been serious issues. The main problems have been linked to accreditation, with diplomats, entertainers and journalists all reporting having trouble. Some delegates from Zambia, Angola and Tanzania said they had to wait for more than three hours in long queues before they were accredited. Local and foreign journalists also expressed concerns over the accreditation process. Joseph Mwamba, a Zambian journalist, has been quoted as saying that “it is confusion all over.” “The security staff is not co-operative at all. This is being worsened by some police officers who are harassing and intimidating the delegates instead of assisting them,” Mwamba said. At the same time, according to reports, delegates were also battling with local transport issues. On Sunday night some delegates who were invited to a ‘bush party’ outside Victoria Falls were unable to secure transport because there were no cars and no petrol. Meanwhile three buses transporting the delegates got lost, with local drivers not knowing where to find the dinner event.

$300m ‘Disneyland’ park set for Victoria Falls by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via $300m ‘Disneyland’ park set for Vic Falls by New Ziana THE government is planning to set up a US$300-million theme park in Victoria Falls to exploit full potential of the resort town. Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told New Ziana that the government had acquired 1,200 hectares of land to construct the park he described as the “Disneyland in Africa.” The Victoria Falls park would house among others shopping malls, banks and exhibition and entertainment facilities such as casinos. “We have reserved 1,200 hectares of land near the Victoria Falls International Airport to construct hotels and convention centres,” Mzembi said on the sidelines of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe from Aug 24 to 29. Mzembi said the Victoria Falls was not benefiting the country financially at present as it was being used as a transit zone by tourists who flew in to visit the falls and left without spending much in the country. He hoped that the park would help ensure Victoria Falls town attracts and retains capital in the country. “We want to create a free zone with a banking centre where even people living outside Zimbabwe can open bank accounts there,” he said. With Victoria Falls declared a cyber city, Mzembi said that the government is also planning to expand the town’s airport to provide easy access to larger aircraft. Zimbabwe’s tourism sector earned US$300 million revenue last year.

Robert Mugabe threatens to expel foreign firms from Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 08-26-2013
via Robert Mugabe threatens to expel foreign firms from Zimbabwe | World news | theguardian.com Newly re-elected president says ‘there will come a time when we lose our patience’ with pressure for democratic reforms Robert Mugabe insists his party won ‘a resounding mandate’ in the last election and denies allegations of voting fraud. Zimbabwe’s long-serving president Robert Mugabe has threatened to expel foreign-owned companies over what he said was the west’s interference in the politics of the country he has led since 1980. Mugabe said on Sunday he wanted no “ideas from London or Washington”, speaking before supporters at the funeral of a military chief in Harare. He warned the west that although his government had not “done anything to your companies, time will come when we will say tit for tat”. He said: “You hit me, I hit you. We have a country to run and we must be left free to run it.” Britain, the former colonial power, the European Union and the US have refused to endorse Mugabe’s landslide victory in the 31 July elections, citing evidence of vote-rigging. The west maintain economic restrictions on Mugabe and leaders of his ruling party. Mugabe insists his party won “a resounding mandate” in the last election and denies allegations of voting fraud. Zimbabwe’s state election panel said Mugabe won the elections with 61% of the presidential vote. Mugabe, who was sworn in on Thursday for another five-year term at the age of 89, said “there will come a time when we lose our patience” with the west’s pressure for democratic reforms. “I want to assure you our attitude will not continue to be passive,” Mugabe said Sunday. “We have had enough and enough is enough.” Since winning another term, Mugabe has vowed to push ahead with a black empowerment programme to force foreign and white-owned businesses to cede 51% ownership to black Zimbabweans. Some economists warn that the programme will trigger another economic downturn similar to that Zimbabwe suffered after Mugabe’s government seized white-owned farms in 2000. Mugabe, however, says the economic plan to force black control of companies will create jobs and economic growth that had been hindered by what he called “a tenuous and fraught coalition with uneasy partners” in the opposition led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai had favoured attracting western investment during the five-year coalition forged by regional leaders after the last disputed elections in 2008. Mugabe says Britain has opposed black empowerment since he forced thousands of white farmers to surrender their land. Critics of the programme say it disrupted Zimbabwe’s agriculture-based economy, shut down industries and scared away foreign investment in mining and other businesses.

UNWTO opening speech by ZANU-PF leader robert mugabe by ZimSitRep – 08-25-2013

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly was declared open today by Zanu (PF) leader, robert mugabe

His Excellency Mr. Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, The Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Mr. Taleb Rifai, Members of the diplomatic community, Our host Ministers of Tourism here present and other Ministers from the Republics of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Delegations and our distinguished guests from the UNWTO family,Our traditional leaders, Chief Mvuto and Chief Mukuni, who share the iconic Victoria Falls, Captains of the tourism industry,Ladies and gentlemen, Comrades and friends, It is my pleasure, indeed an honor for my country, Zimbabwe, to host the UNWTO family tonight and during the next five days. The hosting of this United Nations Specialized Agency’s General Assembly constitutes for us an important milestone in the economic history of our two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. We expect to leave an indelible mark on our memories, and that it be part of our generational legacy, marking a clear turning point in the tourism fortunes of our two countries, our regions and indeed our continent. Mr. Secretary General, your decision to hold this important global event at this destination inspires us in our ongoing and continuous efforts, since the coming into being of the state of Zimbabwe, to maintain friendly relations with the whole international community, even with those countries with which we may not agree on all matters. The selection of this venue from a number of competing candidates will doubtlessly strengthen our determination to leverage tourism for the economic well-being and advancement of our people in Zambia, Zimbabwe and the whole of Africa. We are enthused by the endorsement of our two countries as worthy hosts of such a meeting, and the recognition of this destination as one that is safe and secure for the world’s tourists. Following the independence in 1980, Zimbabwe, and as early as 1981, recognized the efficacy of the UNWTO social and economic development strategy, with its emphasis on long-term sustainable growth in less developed economies, aimed, in part at achieving at least three of the Millennium Development Goals. We remained an active member of the organization until 1999. Unfortunately during the period 2000 to 2008 we faced immense challenges occasioned, in large part, by illegal debilitating sanctions imposed upon us by some sections of the west. These sanctions sadly came hard on the heels of IMF/World Bank’s ill-conceived Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) that, amongst other negatives, disabled our active participation in bodies like the UNWTO. Happily in 2009, with the facilitation of SADC and the AU, we formed a government of national unity, the GNU, which led to the somewhat softening of the stances against us on the part of our political and economic detractors. I am very satisfied that the then newly set up Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry swiftly reactivated our membership of the UNWTO and, with your active support, Secretary General Rifai, proceed to become a very active member of the organization, acquiring a seat on the organization’s Executive Council in the same year. Since then we have not looked back and, following our successful two-nation bid with Zambia to co-host this session, we find ourselves here tonight. President Sata and I have since signed the Golden Book of tourism, this becoming ambassadors for global tourism – never mind the chagrin of some of our detractors over this matter. Please let all of you know, that the signing of the golden book of tourism was not a matter of mere ceremony for us, for through that act we recognized the important political and economic role that tourism can play in our two countries and on our continent. We are committed to leveraging this sector as a key driver of our economic growth. Let me take this opportunity to reiterate Zimbabwe’s commitment to the founding values and principles of the United Nations, notwithstanding our adversity to the hegemonic tendencies of some of the world’s economic and military super-powers who dominate the organization. We are very satisfied that the United Nations is a vital body for all humanity. We are particularly happy that its specialized agency like UNICEF and the UNWTO have an increasingly important impact on the welfare of mankind. Dr. Rifai, ladies and gentlemen your organization’s emphasis on sustainable tourism has great resonance with the importance Zimbabwe places on the principles of development with equity and empowerment of the masses. It is on that basis, that I, without reservation, have my full support to the Zambia-Zimbabwe bid to host this General Assembly. I am very glad that the organization decided to hold the General Assembly here. That gesture attests to the organizations commitment to the development of tourism in Africa. This indeed, is as it should be. The current situation where Africa only has a four percent share of global tourism revenue, in spite of its massive natural and cultural tourism resources is a matter of great concern to us. This is especially so when seen in the light in which Secretary General, you highlighted some points in your White Paper of the year 2010. In that paper, you underlined the tourism sector’s resilience during economic hard times, even during global economic distress, and its capacity to alleviate poverty by its inherent positive disposition to community projects that can be led by women and youths. These are of great importance to us. In this regard, I must conclude by putting on record our appreciation for the assistance that the UNWTO has extended to us this far as a region. This of late included technical support extended to SADC, through RETOSA, whereby the latter has received assistance towards the establishment of a Tourism Satellite Accounting System (TSAS). The TSAS will help us to fully account for the full contribution by tourism to our national and regional GDP. I also note with great satisfaction that the UNWTO has approved community based initiatives for Zimbabwe, and their Sustainable Tourism for the reduction of poverty (STEP) program will run under the theme “Enhance the participation of youth and women in the tourism sector.” This is an effective empowering tool which will promote equity and access to tourism revenue. It also resonates resoundingly with the people empowering initiatives that my government is pursuing. The thematic thrusts you intend to pursue in this conference are summarized by the catch phrases “Open borders and open skies, removing hurdles to the growth of tourism in Africa.” are very apt in our times. There is no way Africa can increase its portion of the global tourism cake without first promoting intra- African travel. Indeed connectivity of African cities, regions and attraction augurs well for growing Africa’s share, as it serves, ultimately, to integrate the African tourism product and its marketing and promotion, which in turn makes it more attractive to the long haul traveler than is the case now. The need for open borders, through regional block visa regimes, which we are trying to implement at UNIVISA through RETOSA, will not only allow easier travel amongst SADC citizens, it will make it easier for the long haul intercontinental visitor and investor. IT is very critical that Africa evolves strategies that effectively lure tourists to the continent. This assumes even greater importance in view of Europe’s effort to keep the tourism dollars within the Euro Zones, by imposing punitive airport departure taxes for its intercontinental travelers. The type of seamless border between Livingstone town and Victoria Falls town that has been put in place for purpose of this conference should become the rule rather than the exception, for all adjacent touristic border communities throughout SADC, and ultimately throughout Africa. Africa can only benefit from increasingly behaving like a single common market. Comrade President Sata, it is my fervent hope that the dream and vision of the founders of independent Africa, of a United States of Africa will become a reality one day sooner rather than later. Events like this one, Secretary General, which you have constructed and positioned as “A uniquely African General Assembly,” may be small, but critical in the realization of an integrated economic-political entity called Africa. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the Victoria Falls and wish you the best in your deliberation and resolution. Please do enjoy our truly African hospitality. Here you will every morning wake up to the chirping of our birds and the aura of the African sun, and at the end of each day go to sleep under the star-filled African sky. With these remarks I declare the 20th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly officially opened.


  • comment-avatar
    Kurauone 11 years ago

    Why didn’t Davengwa talk about what Nkala did to him when he was still alive? Nkala, a Ndebele, was just as evil as his ZANU counterparts. However, at least people know that the Gugurahundi was not pioneered by a Shona person, the reason why there is so much tribal tension among the Shona and Ndebele.

    On the president’s disowning of Harare and Bulawayo, i think the main issue is that he doesnt have a solution to the problems the country faces so he wants to hide behind MDC supporters’votes. If he means what he said, lets see him developing the so called ZANU PF stronghold areas. Viva Zimbabwe viva!