- My love letter to the Zimbabwean Judiciary
- SADC final report dismissed
- Tsvangirai rules out revolt over mayor
- Zanu-PF might rule for 100 years
- Trial of Beatrice Mtetwa continues
- Holdout leaders obstruct Africa’s rise
- SADC’s statement on elections flawed
- Gov’t Restores Tsvangirai’s Security Privileges
- Post-election exodus floods Musina Refugee centre
- SADC recommends closure of external Zim radio stations
- SADC questions fairness of Zimbabwe poll
- Zim gold output depressed
- Zimbabwe to lead diamond producers
- MDC to reject Cabinet posts
- Coltart passes the baton
- New parliament swearing in tomorrow
- Moyo risks being charged with contempt of court
- Fighting black imperialism
- Zimbabwe Freedom Charter – a Diaspora Alternative
- Sadc final report on elections today
- Brand Zimbabwe flag flying
My love letter to the Zimbabwean Judiciary by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via My love letter to the Zimbabwean Judiciary — Nehanda Radio by Rumbidzai Dube Dearest esteemed colleagues, honourable members of ‘THE’ noble profession, Judges of our revered Courts, I write this intimate missive to you -one lawyer to another. You have an onerous task; TO CHANGE SOCIETY FOR THE BETTER. In fulfilling that role you also face the challenge of trying to balance the interests of two of the most difficult and at times irrational groupings in our society, politicians and the citizenry. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. My lordships and ladyships; 120 years ago, on 9 February 1893, an American lawyer, politician and statesman who was also a Democrat presidential nominee 3 times-William Jennings Bryan said something profound, that I believe many of you-being widely read-have come across. He said, “Next to the Ministry [preaching the word of God], I know of no more noble profession than the law. The object aimed at is justice, equal and exact, and if it does not reach that end at once it is because the stream is diverted by selfishness or checked by ignorance. Its principles ennoble [lend greater dignity or nobility of character] and its practice elevates.” Sirs and madames; the wisdom in this statement remains relevant today as it was then. For what are we as lawyers, if we do not seek to see justice delivered? Can we call ourselves agents of change and justice if our work is driven by self-gain and selfishness? Do we retain our dignity and the dignity of our profession when we display blatant bias, towards things that trash justice and all its principles? I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Monsieur/madame le juge, my requests are few and simple:- Make decisions on merit not on political bias Have a quiet dignified presence. If the system is rotten, be the maverick within-not just any maverick but one for justice; independent, impartial, accountable. As Martin Luther King Jnr said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” You are entrusted with ensuring that the arc bends towards what is right, fair and true-please do not throw that trust to the dogs. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. My Lord and Ladies, I know you need to eat, but if you must eat won’t you have hard-earned and honestly attained worms than ill-begotten pudding? I assure you, for eating the worms-history will judge you kindly for your sacrifice. Don’t you think that your integrity and leaving behind a legacy of fairness and balance is much more honourable than serving your immediate needs? I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Lordships and Ladyships, a wise someone once said “ The judge who gives the right judgement while appearing not to do so will be thrice blessed in heaven, while on earth will not be so.” Is this something that you might want to guide you in making your decisions? I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Resepectfully, I know you are human beings before you are judges. I know you experience fear; fear of losing your jobs, fear of reprisals, fear of the unknown. Do not let fear expropriate your dignity. Rather as Thomas Pain so aptly put it, there is character in strength and choosing to do what is right, above what is convenient. He said, “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.“ I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Humbly, when I ask you for impartiality, I am NOT saying do not come to the Bench with any ideas. The truth and reality of it is that you already have them; for or against women, gays, lesbians, prisoners, rapists, murderers, politics, political parties, ideologies and struggles. So bring your ideas to the Bench, but do not let these cloud your judgement in delivering justice. If anything, acknowledge you have these ideas in your head already but challenge them or affirm them with thorough, well-reasoned, value-based, critical thinking entrenched in the two principles of fairness and justice. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Your honour, it begins with you to serve justice and yes, your contribution as an individual even if no one else will back you, does matter. Ask Justice Koome of Kenya how she did it. She had a one (wo)man show, where she observed the right and freedom of all individuals from unlawful detention. And so she cleared all cases in the courts of individuals who had been arrested for “insulting the President.” Guess what, even after making these “unwelcome” decisions, which possibly could have lost her a job and income, she remains a judge today. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Honourable judges, I believe you know the law is an unfinished publication, you continue reading as each chapter unfolds right in front of you. I have come across these words and would like you to hear them too. They were spoken by Professor John Dugard, a South African scholar of great repute in his criticism of South African judges under apartheid South Africa. He said “The judge is not a mere automaton who declares the law…he has a wide range of options open to him in fact-ﬁnding, in the interpretation of statutes, in the review of administrative action, in the application of precedent and in the selection of Roman-Dutch authority; and. . . in choosing between conﬂicting and contradictory principles of statutory interpretation, precedent and Roman-Dutch authority, the judge may legitimately select those principles, precedents or authorities from our liberal Roman Dutch heritage which best advance equality and liberty.” So think, think and think again before you hand down your decision. Think in favour of equality and liberty. Think in favour of fairness and justice. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. My Lords and Ladies, do not be afraid of labelling, if you are doing a good job, your record will speak for itself. As Justice Yvonne Mogkoro, former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court once said, “The role of a judge is not to be popular but to deliver justice, undiluted, unpolluted.” Your maturity comes with fearlessness and boldness. Do not cower from justice-deliver justice. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Oh my Lordships and Ladyships, humbly I urge, be careful in your speech, your utterances, your verdicts and your reasoning. You will be charged for it-maybe not in one of your courts of law-but in our collective memory as a nation. Jackie Assimwe, a friend and human rights defender from Uganda once said, “Once a judiciary is compromised, then the justice it delivers is tainted.” Do not let us doubt the efficacy of your footprints. Rather, regenerate in our minds the integrity and wisdom of the Bench. I ask you not to favour either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. In humility and gratitude, I salute those of you who were suspended for rightly releasing, wrongfully arrested and detained fellow lawyers and human rights defenders. I salute those of you who defend the rights of the defenceless, in particular prisoners as you ensure their right to fair trial and dignified existence while incarcerated. I salute those of you who uphold fundamental freedoms, of speech, expression, association, assembly and of the press. I salute those of you who recognise that divergent views within any society are patriotic as they foster constructive discourse. I salute those of you who refuse to be “cadrerised”-after all your greatest strength lies in independent thought and expression. May I invite you all to make these wise words by Mahatma Ghandi your daily mantra in executing your noble duty: “Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day: I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” My final humble request: I ask you not to favour me or either one of them [politicians or citizenry]; but please favour justice. Rumbidzai Dube is a lawyer. You can follow her blog Ma Dube’s Reflections
SADC final report dismissed by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via MDC-T rubbishes SADC final report | The Zimbabwean by Farai Mabeza MDC-T has dismissed as inaccurate and unscientific the report released by the Southern Africa Development Community endorsing the July 31 elections. In a statement released in Harare on Monday, the SADC Election Observation Mission described the elections as free and credible but would still not comment on the polls’ fairness. The party released a statement on Monday saying the stance taken by the regional body defied logic. “It defies any logic that the report raises quite some disturbing issues with regards to process and handling of the just ended election and still continues to declare the outcome as credible,” MDC said in its statement. “The MDC notes with grave concern the report’s failure to properly put into context the enormity and magnitude of the problem presented by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s failure to avail the voters roll to candidates on time,” the party said. MDC-T’s presidential candidate in the elections, Morgan Tsvangirai, garnered 34 percent of the vote while Zanu (PF)’s Robert Mugabe received 61 percent, according to the results released by ZEC. MDC-T, in the statement, said SADC the report failed to address a number of issues which the party felt affected the conduct of the elections. “The report which is also silent on many other irregularities such as chaotic voter registration, shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters, high number of assisted voters, is to all intent and purpose, highly fictitious, totally inaccurate and incredibly unscientific,” MDC said. MDC-T said the regional body’s refusal to condemn the elections had let Zimbabweans down. “It is clear that the people’s vote was stolen and SADC has once again let the people of Zimbabwe down by failing to condemn the rigging which took place,” MDC-T said.
Tsvangirai rules out revolt over mayor by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Tsvangirai rules out revolt over mayor by Nduduzo Tshuma MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai will not reverse the party’s decision to recommend academic Mandla Nyathi as Bulawayo’s new mayor despite reports that some newly elected councillors intend to ignore the directive, his spokesperson said yesterday. MDC-T last week nominated Nyathi, a lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology for the mayor’s post, while Ward 3 councillor Martin Moyo was selected to be his deputy. The decision was made at a Bulawayo provincial meeting attended by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khupe, national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednicho Bhebhe. However, elected councillors will have the final say on the candidate when they vote at their first meeting. There are reports that a group of councillors feel that Nyathi and Moyo were imposed on them, hence the alleged plot to sabotage the MDC-T’s plan for Bulawayo. Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday played down fears that councillors might defy the party leader. “All I can say is that there have been vigorous consultations,” he said. “Our president is not a dictator, but consulted a number of stakeholders including residents associations.” He ruled out any chance of a revolt saying the decision to recommend Nyathi was made after “wide consultations”. But MDC-T insiders insisted Nyathi was an unpopular choice and described the selection process as chaotic. They said Bulawayo lawyer Kucaca Phulu, who was eyeing the mayoral post, had to be called by some party members after he was not informed of Thursday’s provincial meeting where Nyathi was selected. Tsvangirai has nominated Obert Gutu for Harare Mayor and Thomas Muzuva as his deputy and in Chitungwiza he has nominated Isaac Manyemba for Mayor in what has been viewed by many within and outside the party as imposition of candidates.
Zanu-PF might rule for 100 years by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via SADC says Zanu (PF) might rule for 100 years | The Zimbabwean by Adrian Mutigwe Presenting the regional grouping’s final report in Harare, Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Membe, said President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF would rule for the next century if targeted sanctions are not removed. “On the issue of sanctions I will speak from the bottom of my heart. The opposition, if they are in this conference room, they should begin working with Zanu (PF) if they are entertaining any thoughts of taking power in 2018. “If they do not, this party (Zanu PF) will rule for another 100 years. I am giving them advice to take power. Sanctions will never work as a tool to win elections; they have never worked,” Membe said struggling to hold back laughter. He also called for the closure of exiled radio station and in typical Zimbabwean government language called them “pirate radio stations”. “In trying to gauge the fairness of this election, the Sadc Election Observer Mission (SEOM) focused its attention among others on the state media, pirate radio stations and the voters roll. “SEOM noted the media (pirate and state) were highly polarised and for the most part biased along political party lines. In this regard SEOM received accusations and counter accusations from contesting parties and saw merit in them,” the SADC report said. The SEOM head said SADC would order the closure of pirate stations operating within the region and send emissaries to foreign governments hosting “hostile” media broadcasting into Zimbabwe. “To this end SEOM recommends that ZEC implements the letter and spirit of Chapter 12 part 5, section 248 of the constitution on media reform to be read together with the electoral act section 160 (E) to 160 (H) ‘public broadcasters shall afford all political parties and independent candidates contesting in an election such free access to their broadcasting service as may be prescribed,’ SEOM recommends that the pirate media should end their operations forthwith,” he said. Membe said the elections, while being free, peaceful and generally credible, failed to pass as fair. “Our observers on the ground reported complaints related to the delay in issuing the voters roll on time and even in those areas where the roll was issued a few days before, people had no access to it until voting day,” said Membe. On the credibility of the elections, Sadc said while it also agreed with reservations from other stakeholders, “there were many elements that when put together elevated the election to a credible status.”
Trial of Beatrice Mtetwa continues by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Trial of human rights lawyer Mtetwa continues | The Zimbabwean THE trial of persecuted human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa resumed on Monday 2 September 2013 at the Harare Magistrates Court with the second witness out of nine lined up by the State testifying. Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage testified as the second witness before Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa after Mtetwa and her lawyer Harrison Nkomo finished cross examining Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi. Chibage appeared to be damaging the State’s evidence which it is relying upon to secure a conviction after he indicated that Mtetwa could not have interfered with the police search of outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and communications office located in Avondale suburb as she was under arrest and detained in a police vehicle and at the same time hand cuffed. Mtetwa, who was arrested on 17 March 2013 was charged with contravening Section 184 (1) (g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly defeating or obstructing the course of justice. Tawanda Zvekare, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Attorney General’s Office is leading the prosecution. During Mtetwa’s trial, some truncheon wielding police officers loitered inside the court house. Some of the State witnesses who are lined to testify include Detective Constable Ngatirwe Mamiza, Detective Sergeant Taizivei Tembo, Assistant Inspector Thabani Nkomo, Chido Chawanikwa, a police officer, Stembiwe Vera, a caretaker at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s research and development office, Brian Mutusva, a computer technician in the PM’s Office and a driver, Zororai Mudariki. Meanwhile, the trial of Arnold Tsunga, the MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect for Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency together with 49 other MDC-T supporters commences on Tuesday 3 September 2013 at Mutare Magistrates Court. Tsunga was arrested on 19 July 2013 together with 49 other MDC-T supporters and charged with committing criminal nuisance in contravention of Section 46 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23. The 50 MDC-T supporters were arrested while exercising their political rights to association and expression after conducting a door to door political campaign on the eve of the harmonised elections. Tinoziva Bere of Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners, Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Passmore Nyakureba on Maunga Maanda Legal Practitioners are representing the 50 MDC-T supporters.
Holdout leaders obstruct Africa’s rise by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Feature: Holdout leaders obstruct Africa’s rise – Times LIVE The great democratic and economic strides made by African countries in the last decade risk being checked by aging leaders unwilling to pass the baton. For generations of foreign investors accustomed to the likes of Uganda’s Idi Amin and the former Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, it took a while to shake off the stereotype of African leaders as psychotic kleptocrats hell-bent on retaining power. And not without justification. From 1960 to 2010, during 653 elections on the continent, the incumbent conceded defeat just 16 percent of the time, according to an African Development Bank study. But as better governance has swept from Senegal to Lesotho, the world’s perceptions have slowly caught up. Investors who once fearfully dipped their toes in African waters, have seen that the old crocodiles are dead or dying and have begun to wade in. Progress has not been universal, but in much of Africa, “Number One” is as likely to be a former World Bank economist as an army general. So last week when 89-year-old Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president for another five years, it was something of a blast from the past. “I still have ideas, ideas that need to be accepted by my people,” Mugabe — who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 — told the New York Times on the eve of the vote. If the election results are accurate, Mugabe’s anti-colonial message won him 61% support in a country where 60% of the population have never experienced colonialism. But Mugabe is far-from the only independence-era leader still kicking about in the presidential palace. The average age of leaders on the African continent is around 60 years old, yet half of the population is under the age of 19. “What’s wrong with us?” Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim recently asked, wondering out loud whether Barack Obama could have become president of Kenya aged 47. Probably not, concluded Ibrahim, who in 2006 created a foundation that awards prizes for achievement in African leadership and monitors good governance on the continent. In Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been in power for fractionally longer than Mugabe’s 33 years. He won another five-year term last year. The Angolan economy is growing at a clip, but corruption is rife and while the rich have done well, wealth has not spread very far from Dos Santos’s inner circle. His daughter Isabel dos Santos is rumoured to be worth around $3 billion (2.4 billion euros). Aside from Mugabe and Dos Santos, there is a long list of African leaders old enough to draw their pensions. They include Ethiopia’s Girma Wolde-Giorgis (88), Cameroon’s Paul Biya (80), Zambia’s Michael Sata (76), Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang (71) and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (69). Having old leaders is not unique to Africa, and it has long been suggested that a culture of respecting elders could explain the predominance of relatively old leaders. That may be so, but it is not without consequence. African leaders have a proclivity to die in office, with often destabilising results. When Malawi’s Bingu wa Mutharika died in office in early 2012 his death was kept secret and his body flown around Africa as would-be successors plotted ways of staging a constitutional coup. In the end the plots were averted and vice president Joyce Banda took power, but the risk was real. Around the same time Guinea-Bissau suffered a very real coup after president Malam Bacai Sanha died in a Paris hospital. The country is still in crisis. The age gap between the governors and the governed also leads to a generational chasm of ideas. But according to analysts, the fact that many ageing leaders have been in power for decades is a greater problem. “Older people ruling for lengthy periods like 30 years is almost always a symptom of dictatorship and authoritarian regimes,” said Keith Gottschalk of the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa. “Age in itself is not important. (Moamer) Kadhafi seized power in a coup when he was 29 years old.” But according to Alex Vines of London’s Chatham House, the number of long-serving African leaders is reducing and those that remain have had to curb their ambitions. “Following Arab Spring in North Africa, leaders like Dos Santos have reconsidered ambitions for dynastic succession,” even if others like Obiang still favour that model. “African leaders that have served over 30 years as leaders are increasingly rare.” “Where there are freer votes, we are seeing Africa’s youth bulge play a role.”
SADC’s statement on elections flawed by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via MDC says SADC report is highly fictitious by InsiderZim MDC says SADC report is highly fictitious Monday, 02 September 2013 The Movement for Democratic Change which lost the 31 July elections dismally today said the report by the Southern African Development Community which cleared the elections was highly fictitious, totally inaccurate and incredibly unscientific. The party said SADC had once again let the people of Zimbabwe down by failing to condemn the rigging that took place. “It defies any logic that the report raises quite some disturbing issues with regards to process and handling of the just ended election and still continues to declare the outcome as credible. “The report which is also silent on many other irregularities such as chaotic voter registration, shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters, high number of assisted voters, is in all intends and purpose highly fictitious, totally inaccurate and incredibly unscientific,” the MDC said in a statement whose full text is below.SADC’s statement on elections flawed The MDC takes note of the summary statement of the SADC Election Observation Mission on the just ended election that was presented in Harare today. However, the MDC notes with grave concern the report’s failure to properly put into context the enormity and magnitude of the problem presented by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s failure to avail the voters roll to candidates on time. The report’s attempt to compare the extent of bias by the state media with what they refer to as “pirate radio stations” and or the private media is quite misleading. It defies any logic that the report raises quite some disturbing issues with regards to process and handling of the just ended election and still continues to declare the outcome as credible. The report which is also silent on many other irregularities such as chaotic voter registration, shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters, high number of assisted voters, is in all intends and purpose highly fictitious, totally inaccurate and incredibly unscientific. It is clear that the people’s vote was stolen and SADC has once again let the people of Zimbabwe down by failing to condemn the rigging which took place.
Gov’t Restores Tsvangirai’s Security Privileges by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Gov’t Restores Tsvangirai’s Security Privileges Harare has restored police and state security privileges that were stripped off former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following the disputed July 31 national elections the labour-backed party says were rigged in favour of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party. The elections marked the end of the unity government formed by Mr. Mugabe and the MDC founding leader in 2009 following another disputed poll of 2008. Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora of the MDCT told VOA the initial withdrawal of the security privileges was wrong in the first place. He says as a former Prime Minister Mr. Tsvangirai is a statesman and should enjoy the privilege of state security until the end of his time. State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi was not available to comment as his phone went unanswered. Also unavailable was Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri whose phone also was not answered. Mr. Tsvangirai, who has been working with Mr. Mugabe, holding meetings at State House every week as one of the country’s executives for the past four years, uses a state convoy operated by security operatives, while his residence had round-the-clock armed police officers before their withdrawal after the elections. It is not clear why the police and state security departments have had a sudden change of heart towards the former trade unionist. What is also not clear is the exit package agreed on for Mr. Tsvangirai as he leaves office. Besides his official Mercedes Benz, Mr. Tsvangirai uses a Highlands state house. Some in the MDC think the security reinstatement is a strategy by Mr. Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to persuade Mr. Tsvangirai to engage the veteran leader in talks to form another coalition government following the disputed polls. But others dismiss that saying Mr. Mugabe’s government is doing the right thing by restoring the security privileges, adding the decision to strip the former Prime Minister of the service could been taken hastily by overzealous officers following the disputed elections.
Post-election exodus floods Musina Refugee centre by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Post-election exodus floods Musina Refugee centre | SW Radio Africa By Tererai Karimakwenda The chief patron at the Musina Refugee Centre in South Africa has reported a fresh wave of arrivals from Zimbabwe following the disputed July 31st elections, adding to the thousands there from across Africa who flee conflicts back home. According to The Zimbabwean newspaper, the centre’s patron Pastor Simon said the increase was in the number of Zimbabweans “claiming to be victimised for voting for the MDC-T. The paper said this centre, located 15km from the border post, currently has more than 8,000 Zimbabweans. Pastor Simon said most of them are sleeping in the open and the centre “cannot cope” with the influx. “Very few of them are wounded but a lot seem to be traumatised and we have to arrange counselling for them,” Pastor Simon is quoted as saying. Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), told SW Radio Africa that many people have started leaving the country again since the disputed elections because there is no hope in a ZANU PF government. “So many people were hopeful that an MDC-T government was going to come into power and others had even come back home from outside the country hoping to stay. But people have lost hope,” Zhou explained. He added that it is dangerous to try and cross the border into South Africa, but it is even more dangerous to stay in Zimbabwe “under a rogue ZANU PF government that uses patronage and violence”. Zhou said unfortunately, the so-called greener pastures that many seek elsewhere “have turned brown” and there are very few opportunities for a better life. Despite claiming to have won a landslide victory over the MDC-T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, ZANU PF has waged a retribution campaign against those who supported the party in any way during the elections. Illegal evictions, assaults and intimidation have been reported countrywide by those who stood as candidates, served as polling agents or helped campaign for the MDC-T. Innocent civilians accused of voting for the party have also been targeted, with the police taking no action against known ZANU PF perpetrators.
SADC recommends closure of external Zim radio stations by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via SADC recommends closure of external Zim radio stations | SW Radio Africa By Tichaona Sibanda The SADC election observer mission has recommended that external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe should immediately end their operations. In its final report on the conduct of the July 31st elections, SADC said the poll was ‘free, peaceful and generally credible.’ Once again choosing not to say it was fair. The four page report was presented by Tanzania’s foreign minister Bernard Membe. Membe made a point of continually referring to the external radio stations as pirate broadcasters and said SADC was certainly going to shut down those operating in SADC countries and would take on the challenge of having the others closed down. This is despite the fact that Membe admitted it was difficult for parties other than ZANU PF to get access to the state broadcaster. SADC’s final verdict, especially on the recommendation to ban external radio stations, leaves many to wonder if the regional bloc is now the enforcer of the country’s media laws. While the regional body applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections it ignored rigging accusations made by the MDC-T and civil society organizations. Membe said the mission did note several shortcomings. Problems included the late publication of details of polling stations and media taking sides. The SADC statement noted that the voters roll was not made available on time and said: “The provision of the voters roll in time goes to the very heart of fairness in the election process. If the voters roll is not made available on time, the fairness of the election is brought into question.” But SADC and Membe seem to have disregarded this important point and said despite some negative things being said about the conduct of the elections, there were many other elements that, when put together, elevated the election to a credible status. ‘The free election environment, the peaceful environment in which the election took place, free expression and campaigns, transparency and free voting constitutes the credibility under the prevailing circumstances particularly when compared to 2008 elections. Therefore, this election was generally credible,’ Membe said. On polling day at least 300,000 voters were turned away while 206,000 received ‘help’ from officials to vote. Many voters who were turned away had their names missing from the voters’ roll, or they were registered in another ward. Mcdonald Lewanika, a director at Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said SADC’s final verdict on Zimbabwe was not surprising, given the trajectory the body seems to have been taking in the last month. ‘They had already adjudged that the elections were free and peaceful. This unfortunate position seems to have been carried through in the final report. ‘The only surprising thing in the report released today (Monday) is that it reads more like something written by an interested party in Zimbabwe’s politics more than an objective regional body,’ Lewanika said.
SADC questions fairness of Zimbabwe poll by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via SADC questions fairness of Zimbabwe poll – Times LIVE The fairness of Zimbabwe’s election is questionable, the Southern African Development Community said Monday, stating that the voters’ roll was distributed by the national electoral commission too late for it to be verified. “If the voters’ roll isn’t made available on time, the fairness of the election is brought into question,” Bernard Membe, Tanzanian foreign affairs minister and head of the SADC election observer mission, told journalists in the capital Harare. Overall, however, the polls were “free, peaceful and generally credible,” Membe added. President Robert Mugabe won Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections with 61% of votes, followed by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai with 34%. Tsvangirai refuses to recognise the outcome, saying his Movement for Democratic Change party received the voters’ roll only on the eve of the elections, which made it impossible to audit the register of 6.4 million people. After the election results were announced, the MDC challenged Mugabe’s victory, but Zimbabwe’s constitutional court dismissed the case. Summary statement available from The Zimbabwean
Zim gold output depressed by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Zim gold output depressed – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere Zimbabwe’s gold production slumped 8,64 percent in June 2013 as the sector remains under pressure from falling price of the yellow metal. Gold prices plummeted to $1, 198 per ounce as at June 7, the lowest since April 2013. Figures released by the African Development Bank (AfDB) show that the country’s month-on-month total gold deliveries for June 2013 slumped from 1 131 27 kgs in May 2013 to 1 033 49 kg in June 2013. On a year-on-year basis, total gold deliveries declined by 9,89 percent from 1 146 94 kg in June 2012 to 1 033 49 kg in June 2013. Deliveries by primary producers declined by 11,51 percent from 931,15 kg in June 2012 to 823,98 kg in June 2013 while deliveries by small-scale producers also declined by 2,91 percent from 215,79 kg to 209,51 kg during the same period. Small-scale miners have said the exorbitant mining levies and punitive policies are responsible for the declining production saying government policies were not promoting small-scale mining. Zimbabwe last year raised the pre-exploration fees for most minerals by as much as 8 000 percent to discourage speculative holding of mineral claims which had become prevalent. However, the fees and levies were reviewed in March as government tried to accommodate the small-scale miners. Despite the decline in gold deliveries this year, mining has continued to dominate the economy with mineral exports rising by 230 percent between 2009 and 2011, making mining the leading export sector. The average share of mining to the gross domestic product also grew to an average of 16,9 percent during the same period, eclipsing agriculture. Mineral exports accounted for 64,5 percent of Zimbabwe’s total exports.
Zimbabwe to lead diamond producers by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Zimbabwe to lead diamond producers: Report by NewsDay Business Reporter ZIMBABWE has the potential to become the world’s top diamond producer should the gems be sold on an open market, a Canadian firm has reported. In its commentary on the diamonds sector, Kitco, a company that buys and sells precious metals, said nearly 60 diamond mining firms around the world, which include Zimbabwean ones at Marange fields, are this year expected to account for 84% of this year’s projected global output of 130 million carats. [see Kitco Commentary by Paul Zimnisky] The balance (or 16%) of global production not included according to the commentary comes from small-scale operations, where production data is unreliable or not available at all. Experts say currently Zimbabwe’s gems are being sold at below 25% of the normal price due to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. “According to Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation projections, Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields are expected to produce 16,9 million carats in 2013, which would make the project the largest in the world in terms of carats produced annually,” Kitco said in the report. “Partnership Africa Canada, a non-profit organisation, estimates that production from Marange fields would be as high as 30 to 40 million carats annually if Kimberley Process restrictions did not exist (the Kimberley Process is a global non-profit organisation established to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds). “While the Marange fields may produce more carats than any other project in the world, the quality of the diamonds produced are among the lowest in the world, averaging only $60/carat (the global average is approximately $100/carat according to Kimberly Process data). Zimbabwe is the fourth largest diamond-producing nation in the world, and the Marange fields represent almost all of the nation’s production.” While output of the gems is expected to rise in the coming years, critics say the country has not fully harnessed the precious stones to drive the economy. Already, government has revised economic growth rates due to underperforming mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Also see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/2013-ranking-worlds-diamond-mines/
MDC to reject Cabinet posts by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via MDC to reject Cabinet posts – DailyNews Live by Gift Phiri and Fungi Kwaramba Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said yesterday President Robert Mugabe had not offered his party posts in the Cabinet, and that if he did, the MDC would reject them. Mugabe is to begin forming a Cabinet this week and there is speculation he will offer the MDC — which he shared power with for almost five years in a fractious coalition — posts in a new government. But Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson of the MDC, dismissed any talk of joining a Mugabe administration. “The national executive and the national council of the party ruled that we are not going to take any position in Mugabe’s Cabinet and we stand guided by that ruling,” Mwonzora said. “We maintain that this election was stolen and it was a huge fraud and we are not going to bless the fraud.” Mugabe, who at 89 is Africa’s oldest leader, has angrily rejected the fraud allegations and was sworn in on August 22 for a fresh five-year term in the southern African nation that he has ruled since its independence from Britain in 1980. Earlier, the MDC retracted an earlier threat to boycott Parliament, saying their elected officials are going to assume their roles and safeguard national interests but will stay away from the State official opening of Parliament. Mugabe feels confident enough to make this offer because his party won 197 of the 270 seats in the new Parliament, while the MDC has only 70 seats. When it comes to forming a government, the numbers are on Mugabe’s side. While Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said no invitation will be extended to the MDC to join the next government, the prerogative to invite MDC ministers into Cabinet lies solely with Mugabe and is an option he could explore. “We have a big pool of our party members for the president to choose from,” Gumbo said. Aside from allowing Mugabe to appear magnanimous in victory, a deal with Tsvangirai would have another central advantage for the Zanu PF leader. He would avoid alienating Western administrations by creating a hard-line government, dominated by Zimbabwe’s extreme right. Mugabe and prominent members of his Zanu PF party are under financial and travel sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over vote fraud and human rights violations. Britain said last week that Mugabe’s re-election could not be deemed credible without an independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities, while the US has said the poll was flawed and will keep sanctions on Zimbabwe. Bruce Wharton, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, has said much depends on the kind of Cabinet Mugabe will install. “So we are going to look at what comes next, I think the composition of the new Cabinet would be an important indicator of where we could work,” Wharton told the Daily News last week. “I will not give up on the relationship, I will continue to look forward to the sort of developments, policy and program developments that will allow us to revise our policies but we are not there yet.” Nothing will work, however, without the support of Tsvangirai, who leads the centre-left MDC party and holds the balance of power in Parliament. If Tsvangirai accepts Cabinet posts and agrees that MDC ministers join a government led by Mugabe, he will be left with an exceptionally difficult choice. He could accept his rival’s Cabinet offer, with MDC ministers serving as the international face of an administration filled with hawks. Or Tsvangirai’s MDC could go into opposition. Senior MDC officials who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity insist that they could still serve in the Mugabe administration given that the left of Zimbabwean politics has been eviscerated in this election, leaving it with very few natural allies and without a majority in the 8th Parliament — which takes oath of office tomorrow. “The people have not told us to join the Cabinet, we stand guided by the people of Zimbabwe and we are sure that the people don’t want us to go in bed with Zanu PF,” Mwonzora said. Asked whether there have been any overtures from Zanu PF, Mwonzora said: “Certainly, certainly incorrect. We were never in talks with Zanu PF, there were informal approaches but nothing formal ever took place.” The ex-majority party is challenging poll results in 39 constituencies having trimmed the number because of the prohibitive $10 000 appeal fees for every petition.
Coltart passes the baton by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Coltart passes the baton – David Coltart (Official Website) from News Day by Nduduzo Tshuma OUTGOING Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart has urged the new Zanu PF government to retain the Education Transition Fund (ETF), which he said was instrumental in reviving the country’s education sector. President Robert Mugabe is expected to announce a new Cabinet this week and Coltart, who was instrumental in wooing donors to the education sector, is not likely to be retained as he lost during the July 31 parliamentary elections. Zanu PF has also ruled out any chance of incorporating Coltart’s MDC and the MDC-T in the next government. The veteran Bulawayo-based human rights lawyer is regarded as one of the few ministers who shone in the previous Cabinet. But he was singled out in the Zanu PF campaign manifesto for allegedly spearheading donor-driven programmes “camouflaged by the sanitised language of humanitarian and developmental assistance to cover up sinister regime-change intentions”. Zanu PF’s election victory has heightened fears that programmes such as the ETF would be abandoned to the detriment of the education sector that was brought to its knees before it was rescued by the inclusive government in 2009. Coltart said his successor should understand that the ETF was the only salvation for the education sector because Treasury was virtually broke. “The first thing my successor would do is to decide whether or not ETF is illegal as they claimed,” he said. “If they decide that it is illegal, they would not want to continue with it. “If they decide that they were not telling the truth in their manifesto and ETF is legal, then they will continue with it. “There was no money from Treasury to fund Education, it was the ETF that financed the sector.” Coltart said some of the projects funded through the ETF were at pilot stage and would transform the education sector if fully implemented. “Firstly there is the issue of curriculum review and reform, the process had already started,” he said. “The curriculum has not been reviewed in a long time and the recommendations of the Nziramasanga Report in 1999 have not been implemented. “There is also the School Improvement Grant programme with a funding of $62 million. “We had a pilot scheme in Goromonzi (district). The plan was to extend the scheme to all schools. “The purpose was infrastructural development because we realised that most schools had not been refurbished for more than a decade. “In Goromonzi, we had identified 100 schools where we were repairing roofs, buying desks and making sure that the infrastructure is rehabilitated.” Coltart said the programme was important because it was meant to ensure a friendly learning environment in the country’s schools. “There are quite a number of projects that we might take hours (to talk about them), but what is important to note is that the ETF is most critical in all these projects as it is the source of the funding,” the MDC secretary for legal affairs said. According to the Zanu PF manifesto, non-governmental organisations had, during the life of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), poured in $2,6 billion to support “nefarious activities”, which the party infers included the ETF.
New parliament swearing in tomorrow by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via New parly to be sworn-in – DailyNews Live by Gift Phiri Zimbabwe’s new Parliament will be sworn in tomorrow, with the largest Zanu PF contingent in the nation’s history, sending a message that President Robert Mugabe’s three decades of iron-fisted rule remain unchallenged. Newly-elected lawmakers will come to the Parliament building for the oath-taking ceremony amid tight security and escalating worry over possible post-election unrest. Austin Zvoma, Clerk of Parliament, dressed in his black and white ceremonial robes, will administer the oath to lawmakers, with the ceremony likely to be broadcast live on television.
Moyo risks being charged with contempt of court by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via ‘Moyo risks being charged with contempt of court’ – The Standard by Silas Nkala Roselene Nkomo, the MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect for the Tsholotsho North constituency, says former MP Jonathan Moyo risks being charged for contempt of court for describing a recent ruling by Judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha as a wrongful denial of a vote recount. In her opposing affidavit filed on Friday, Nkomo said Moyo’s appeal for a new election within 60 days should be dismissed, as there was no evidence to warrant the setting aside of her electoral victory. She said Moyo, a former minister of information, must be careful how he couches “his case least he falls foul of the contempt laws of the country”. Nkomo submitted that Moyo’s petition papers were replete with the material defects to render the petition seriously flawed. She said she prayed that the petition be dismissed. “Rules of the court and the [Electoral] Act require the petitioner to clearly spell out the grounds upon which he relies upon to bring the petition,” she submitted. “The petitioner has failed dismally in doing so, as he only sought to defer the explicit requirement to the affidavit he has done. “I submit that this requirement does not allow such a course of action.” Nkomo said Moyo failed to outline the relief he sought, and he only wanted to bring the issue of a recount, which she says cannot be raised as grounds for the petition. She said it was obvious that Moyo filed the petition just because he lost the election. Nkomo also submitted that the court must reject the abuse of its process by Moyo, a Zanu PF politburo member, as he was not a special person, and he must abide by the law. “The petitioner has to be advised that he has to be careful how he couches his case, lest he falls foul to the contempt laws of the country,” she submitted. “The recount was stopped at this honourable court by an order of Justice Kamocha. The order was lawfully sought and lawfully granted.” Zec ordered a recount, but the decision was quashed by Justice Kamocha following an application for review by Nkomo. Nkomo polled 4 800 votes to beat Moyo who garnered 4 646. In his petition, Jonathan Moyo had indicated that many voters were turned away and cited a flawed voters’ roll, and that some voted using slips while they were unregistered, an issue which Nkomo said was national and cannot be the basis of setting aside the outcome of the election. Moyo also said he was not properly served with the papers of the application for review, which Nkomo filed against him. The former Information minister challenged the result and demanded a recount, alleging numerous irregularities in the way the process was handled by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
Fighting black imperialism by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Fighting black imperialism | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe I understand that the British Empire was founded upon the plunder of treasures through the use of arms against other weaker countries. Its expansion was based on the tacit approval by the British monarchy at that time, on the use of violence and subjugation of natives for profit, under the pretext of spreading Protestantism: Africans were deceived. Funny enough, we are now aware, that even though the liberation struggles in Africa were based on the moral values of the attainment of freedom and liberty for black Africans, it has turned out in most cases, that this was merely a historical social transformation process, where a black “enlightened” elite, backed by indigenous armies of freedom fighters, sought to depose the colonialist- and replace them. This was under the pretext of fighting imperialism but the motive was, and has remained, the attainment economic advantage for that elite. Africans were, once again, deceived. Just as the British used Protestantism to gain economic advantage over black Africans, so has liberation struggle politics been used by the black elite imperialist class, to gain economic advantage over the black African masses. Our case here in Zimbabwe is a classical example of this. The imperialist is now the black African elite class, made up mostly of those who participated in the liberation struggle backed by the military. The crude fact is that, they continue to claim their sole entitlement to political power in “liberated” Africa. Because of that, we now find ourselves imprisoned by our “liberators”. The solution to this problem is a complex one. This is simply because; even those who condemn the new black imperialists, and want to replace them as they hide under the skirt of liberating the masses, may not necessarily liberate us. Our challenge is how to ensure that our future leaders reject black imperialism, and do not seek political power merely to be the new black imperialists themselves. We must not accept that deception again. I think that the root to a lasting solution must lie in us understanding first that; politicians and the practice of politics do not inevitably create freedom and liberty as we expect. Second, we have inherited a flawed process of democracy that purports to produce or elect the political leadership which we require. Throughout the ages, we now know that politics is essentially a game of deception in order for a certain class of individuals, regardless of geography or climate, to attain to political power and followed by economic advantage. The ideals of politics remain as; the attainment of the advantage of political power, in order to manipulate events or resources to the profit of those in power and their cronies who fund them. Secondly the processes that we call “democratic” in the selection or election political leadership, has tended not to produce the quality of people that we require, but rather, the best at manipulating events and processes so that they may appear to be the best people for the job. Zimbabwe has surely shown us this that; those who have the resources to spend, those who have a historical advantage and control national resources and institutions, will almost always succeed. My mind refuses to accept the imperialism rhetoric and the victim mentality that liberation struggle organisations in Africa continue to display. I sincerely doubt that their motives are about the universal freedom and liberty of man and the black African in particular. Our history can indeed be used to commit crimes; it can be used as a crutch to gain unfair economic advantage. This has been the recent case in Zimbabwe. South Africa too is a clear example, where the ANC continues to claim its legitimacy to power based on its historical role in the armed struggle, and not on their success in the economic emancipation of black South Africans in general. But I digress. The further conundrum we must face is that, the replacement of ZANU (PF) in Zimbabwe, for example, may not necessarily mean that we achieve a change in the philosophy and practice of politics; this being the attainment of an advantage by those that seek political power to achieve personal advantage. This is simply because we have flawed political systems in determining or electing who should lead us next. Having said that; I must then follow on, and offer alternative ideas on these matters, if my estimations are to be of use to anyone. Firstly, I think that we must cease to give too much responsibility to politics as the panacea of our socio economic problems. We must diminish its impact and effect on our social and economic circumstances. This requires the witling down of the real or perceived power politicians have in the control and allocation of our resources. We must change the structure of government and its authority on society. The governance model that gives unlimited authority to central government will not create the circumstances we desire. Rather we must empower local government; the devolution of power as promoted by the MDC-N in the last elections, is therefore critical to empowering communities and citizens and removing power from the centre and thus diminish its abuse to the detriment of all but to the advantage of a few. Second, those who seek political leadership must clearly be of a different aptitude and inclination. Our election processes do not currently allow us to evaluate characters and personalities of those who are elected into political leadership. Rather, as mentioned above, it is those who have resources to campaign and manipulate events to their advantage who “win”, and not necessarily those who stand for the values and principles that are necessary in order for Africans to achieve freedom, liberty and economic emancipation. It is therefore important and central to our future that we seek to change our social systems. We have been deceived too many a time by politics as a source of freedom and liberty and economic prosperity for all. It is not and it has never been. Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare an you may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadc final report on elections today by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Sadc final report on elections today | The Herald by Tendai Mugabe HEAD of the Sadc Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe, Tanzanian foreign affairs minister Mr Bernard Membe arrived in Harare last night to deliver the regional bloc’s final report on the harmonised elections held on July 31. The report will be delivered at 10am today.The SEOM preliminary report was released on August 3, and described the polls as free and fair.
Mr Membe was welcomed at Harare International Airport by outgoing Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and several senior Government officials. Speaking on arrival at the airport, Mr Membe said the presentation of the final report was in line with Sadc principles and guidelines on elections. “According to the regulations and laws that govern the elections of Sadc, we are required as chair of the monitoring team called SEOM – the Sadc Election Observer Mission – I am supposed to deliver a report outlining the outcome of the process and also commending the nature of the elections,” he said. “So, we had 30 days that is until tomorrow (today) to make that report public. This is why myself as the head of the Sadc Election Observer Mission together with the Sadc secretariat we deliver the Sadc report on the July 31 election that was held here to the public. So, this is why we are here and the report will be delivered tomorrow (today) at 10:am.” Sadc deployed 573 observers for the harmonised elections that also drew at least 20 000 local and international observers and hordes of local and foreign journalists. All the countries and organisations that observed the harmonised elections have endorsed the polls as free, fair and credible, and a reflection of the will of Zimbabweans. The only dissenting voices have come from the Western-funded Zimbabwe Election Support Network that was funded to the tune of US$5 million ahead of the elections, as well as the MDC-T’s traditional backers comprising of the United States, Britain and its dominions Australia and Canada; that however were not invited to observe the elections. The African Union, Comesa, the African Caribbean and Pacific countries have since endorsed the elections as free, and fair. At its last meeting recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU Peace and Security Council congratulated Zimbabwe and its political leadership for holding elections that conformed to AU principles as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The AU also called for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the west’s illegal sanctions regime saying it had brought suffering to the Zimbabwean populace. Sadc heads of state and government who met for their 33rd Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi recently, also called for the lifting of the sanctions that have been condemned by Comesa, the ACP and Non Aligned Movement among other regional bodies. President Mugabe and Zanu-PF convincingly won the harmonised elections with devastating margins. President Mugabe romped to victory with 61, 09 percent of the vote to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s 33, 94 percent with the other three contestants sharing the remaining 4.97 percent. Zanu-PF also garnered a two thirds majority amassing 160 seats out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies to the MDC-T’s 49 with the remaining seat going to independent candidate Mr Jonathan Samkange who pitched for but failed to land the Zanu-PF ticket in Mudzi South to give the revolutionary party a crushing 76 percent dominance. After factoring in 60 women’s quota seats elected by proportional representation of six for each of the 10 provinces, the final composition of the National Assembly comes to 197 seats for Zanu-PF, 70 for MDC-T, two for the MDC, and one independent giving Zanu-PF just under 73 percent of the total seats in the National Assembly but well over the two thirds majority of 180 seats. Zanu-PF also dominates the local authorities after winning 1 493 wards against a mere 442 for MDC-T.
Brand Zimbabwe flag flying by ZimSitRep – 09-02-2013
via Brand Zimbabwe flag flying – SundayMail The outgoing Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Engineer Walter Mzembi, has said “Brand Zimbabwe is flying” after the just-ended 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation that the country co-hosted with Zambia. He said Zimbabwe emerged victorious after it secured the presidency of the 20th session of the assembly and was unanimously elected to chair the body’s Commission for Africa. In an interview with The Sunday Mail yesterday, Eng Mzembi said: “Our take home from the 20th session of the UNWTO is our leadership of the global tourism sector. We emerged out of this historic event capped with two critical positions on the leadership of the sector. First is the 20th session presidency of the UNWTO assembly which we shall carry forward to the 21st session when we shall hand over the presidency by acclamation to Colombia. We are going to share this presidency with Zambia, our co-host. “We were asked to assist Colombia on their preparations for the 21st session, just like Korea was with us until the beginning of our session on the 24th of August when they surrendered the presidency. “The second position which I think perhaps is the most important one is the chairmanship of the Commission for Africa which was bestowed on Zimbabwe. This was an elective position and what was interesting was that it was moved by Tunisia and seconded by Algeria. All countries supported Zimbabwe’s candidature; we were unanimously elected.” He said Zimbabwe would soon be offered many positions of leadership in several African bodies after showing, through President Mugabe’s victory in the July 31 elections, that “we can fight an African fight and win.” “Speaking to Southern Africa, they really like Zimbabwe’s strong stance on leadership issues which they see through the person of President Mugabe. Our general election was monitored by many African countries who were watching this theatre between western imperialism and Pan-Africanism represented by Zimbabwe. “When Zanu-PF came out with the two-thirds majority, many countries came forward to congratulate Zimbabwe because what had won was Pan-Africanism against western imperialism. That victory is now cascading down to other sub-sectors like tourism. You will see us now going into the season of leadership. You will see us being offered leadership positions in other sectors because we have demonstrated through President Mugabe that we can fight — and fight for the African cause. “Also our support for secretary-general re-election in Serbia two months ago at the 95th executive council was upheld by the general assembly. “The question going forward now which is doing the rounds in Africa is when are we sponsoring the next African secretary-general for the UNWTO as much as that question is now being asked as to when we are going to take leadership of other specialised arms of the UN as Africans? “As Africans we don’t have much presence in these UN bodies and we don’t seem to have a strategy to sponsor leadership of these specialised agencies yet they are the highest policy organs of the UN. “There is debate raging on now to say, when will it be our time? But overall, I am happy to tell you that Brand Zimbabwe is flying high after the UNWTO,” said Eng Mzembi. He said the UNWTO also gave the President an opportunity to charm the international community with his well-received opening and closing addresses. “The other aspect was the engagement of President Mugabe with the global audience. In his opening and closing remarks the President was able to explain issues around Zimbabwe, around himself, the demystification of ‘Brand Mugabe’ within the context of ‘Brand Zimbabwe’. “The international community was able to experience his charming side, his intelligent side, in a manner that they had not experienced. Many of them among the delegates were clapping continuously throughout the President’s speech,” he said. Eng Mzembi said President Mugabe and President Michael Sata had clearly articulated their positions regarding open borders, open skies, the need for intra-Africa trade to increase, the need to unite around the African brand to the extent where there were declarations around the United States of Africa. He, however said: “The danger comes when you ask us ministers to interpret that vision. “It gets worse when the bureaucrats are roped in because we then complicate the vision to the point where I can guarantee you now that if you go back to Victoria Falls on Monday, the borders will be closed between Zimbabwe and Zambia. They will be back in their bureaucratic turfs and yet the presidents were very clear that let this be the rule rather than the exception.” Eng Mzembi said Zimbabwe had really managed to brand itself globally but added that the UNWTO had exposed a few challenges that the country should address. “We achieved the goal of global branding. You measure that in the turnout of countries that attended the assembly. As you heard by the secretary-general himself, this is the best attended assembly ever in history of UNWTO dating back to 1975. “About 120 countries, 700 bona fide participants, 900 media and affiliate organisations attended. I am talking about real players in the tourism sector who turned up to contribute. Most of them are still in Victoria Falls enjoying themselves including the secretary-general who is living tomorrow (today) with his entire team. This includes a technical visit to Great Zimbabwe by about 55 members who had come for the assembly. So we secured our endorsement. “What is left is for us to look at ourselves going forward. A lot of gaps were exposed by this general assembly. We need to attend to our infrastructure — fix issues about Victoria Falls airport and other airports around the country. I am happy the Victoria Falls airport issue is being attended to through the facility to upgrade the airport. “The other area we need to attend to — if we are going to do conferencing going forward — is the area of protocol. We need to fix this issue just by our people, self-regulating themselves, knowing where they fit and where they don’t fit. “We also need to improve on our services. Our hotels did very well, they did a spending job, but they can’t respond to a 24-hour-open call. That is what we need to fix. “The other challenge we need to fix is entertainment. This is very limited and there are very few entertainment options in Victoria Falls. “Visitors need entertainment after watching the Falls. This is where the idea about Zimbabwe’s own Disneyland came from. “Many people think I am dreaming, but essentially what I am saying is you can’t attract youthful visitors to the Victoria Falls beyond one day. “I am being very realistic because for this to happen we are not going to use our money. What Government is contributing is 1 200 hectares of land and maybe ensure that all services are available. This project should be packaged and that’s why we brought in the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers and their Zambian counterparts, we invited the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe and these bodies went on to invite regional civil engineers to workshop around an ultra-modern Victoria Falls. “We are waiting to get feedback from that workshop, but going forward we will also invite our local architects to dream again around the various concepts that can be put together. “This master planning is also missing in other resorts around the country. If you look at Victoria Falls, it could pass just like any other growth point. There is nothing other than the Falls and the few recreational activities. “This place we are designating for is about 20km from Victoria Falls near the airport. It’s no-man’s land. It’s State land — no animals and was given to us for exactly this purpose. We won’t be destroying or interfering with any environment at all,” Eng Mzembi explained.