TEXT only 30 August 2013

  • Welcome to the Real World by Eddie Cross
  • MDC-T deny Mugabe offered Tsvangirai vice presidency
  • Baba Jukwa: The giant still lives
  • UN defends Zimbabwe as world tourism summit host
  • ZISCO: Mnangagwa’s grand promises
  • Australia takes ‘wait and see’ stance
  • Lessons from the Open Letter to Robert Mugabe in 1980
  • We need tighter benchmarks
  • Will Mugabe deliver?
  • Hello and welcome to Disneyland Zimbabwe
  • Mugabe to Unveil New Cabinet Next Week
  • Muchauraya to appeal against conviction
  • BILL WATCH 42/2013
  • House of Lords question: Philip Machemedze
  • Open letter to Mugabe in 1980
  • Zim tourism theme park plans criticised

Welcome to the Real World by Eddie Cross by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Welcome to the Real World by Eddie Cross – posted 27 August 2013 Three weeks into the new world order created by a ruthless oligarchy in Zimbabwe, they are slowly coming to appreciate that they face some real problems. Firstly they face the challenge of legitimacy. No one believes they won the election – all major western Nations have said that the elections were a sham, restrictions on the old leadership will remain and they emphasize that it cannot be business as usual. Then there are the economic realities, the Zanu PF manifesto – indigenisation, empowerment and jobs are directly in conflict with each other – if they follow through on their indigenisation programme, capital flight will continue, new investment will dry up and existing business will hold back on everything, including maintenance. Morgan Tsvangirai said they can rig the elections, but they cannot rig the economy and already the markets are punishing them. Cash has drained away from the banks leaving many in dire straights and the economy is again going underground. The announcement that people need not pay their accounts to local authorities has shrunk inflows of revenue – in some cases by two thirds, overall by half. Councils are unable to pay salaries and to crown it all, the national coffers are empty and the government has, for the first time since 2009, missed a payroll. Some two months ago, after three years of intense negotiation, the process of reengagement with the multilateral financial institutions started with the President signing the agreements that initiated a Staff Monitored Programme with the IMF. If successful this would have resulted in debt relief for some $13 billion in long overdue debt, a resumption of lending on a concessionary basis by the Funds and the resumption of ability to borrow on global markets. But the programme lays down stringent and detailed prescriptions for economic management. It commits the State to greater transparency in all its dealings, strict monetary and fiscal discipline and limits on expenditure on major items such as the salaries of the Civil Service. Step out of line and the penalties will be immediate – especially since the major powers in the IMF and World Bank are the same countries that are maintaining political restrictions on Zanu PF leadership and are deeply disappointed in the failure of regional leaders to contain the excesses of the old regime; especially the failure of the whole GPA exercise to deliver a credible democratic transition in leadership. So the Zanu PF leadership finds itself on very thin ice and if they make one wrong step, they will break through and freeze to death. They simply cannot make good on their promises to pay higher salaries to Government workers and the armed forces, they cannot improve allowances and pensions to war veterans. They have to resume debt collection with tough penalties and they have to persuade a skeptical business world that there is life after the elections and under Zanu PF leadership. That is a tough call – on the front page of the Daily News today is a photo gallery of the panel of candidates for the Cabinet – every one of them shouting out loud, “here we are, the team that gave you 231 million per cent inflation in 2008, the team that destroyed the economy and wiped out the accumulated cash savings of a century of hard work and enterprise. The team that collapsed the education and health system – halved our life expectancy and brought us the highest infant and maternal mortality in the world. This is the team that tripled our death rate and drove a third of our population into exile.” These are the characters that before the GNU took their human rights away from them, looted the Reserve Bank of at least $1,3 billion a year, Noczim of $150 million a year and stole $3,4 billion from NSSA over the preceding two decades. These are the very people who took probably the most advanced agricultural system in the third world and smashed it to pieces in a few years; in the process looting billions of dollars in private and corporate assets in total disregard to their own laws and the basic rights of the investors, most of whom lost everything they owned. Can we really think that this motley crew, who has just pulled off one of the greatest electoral heists in history, will keep their hands out of the till, obey the rule of law and stick to signed agreements? Hardly and until they demonstrate otherwise they have to contend with a hostile global environment of their own making, a totally skeptical business community and a system of economic justice that will punish them instantly whenever they break the rules. It’s scary. Already traders are holding back on credit lines to local retailers, wholesalers and distributors. Our imports run to $600 million a month and there is a gap between imports and export earnings of about $3 billion per annum. Much of this is funded by inflows and remittances but companies provide local business with informal lines of credit that keep our markets supplied with product. They do so because they trust their local buyers and those buyers have been able to pay on time and in full on a regular basis. Any talk of a resumption of the old fiscal and monetary regime and these lines of credit will vanish and Zimbabweans will be back in perpetual fuel and food queues; back to buying bread in Botswana, good for Francistown, bad for Zanu PF. Welcome to the real world. Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 25th August 2013

MDC-T deny Mugabe offered Tsvangirai vice presidency by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via MDC-T deny Mugabe offered Tsvangirai vice presidency | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda Media reports that Robert Mugabe had offered a vice presidency position and cabinet posts to Morgan Tsvangirai have been dispelled by the MDC-T, who on Thursday repeated their resolution not to participate in government. The 89 year old Mugabe has delayed announcing his new cabinet after claiming a 61% landslide victory over Tsvagirai in the July 31st elections, and his ZANU PF party claiming a two thirds majority win in parliament. The delay has led to speculation that Mugabe may be considering Tsvangirai for the vice presidency. The independent NewsDay newspaper contacted presidential spokesperson George Charamba about this issue and he said: “I don’t know. We will come back to you when ready. Don’t force us.” NewsDay also published statements allegedly made Monday by the MDC-T National Youth leader, Solomon Madzore, claiming such an offer had been made. “Our President Morgan Tsvangirai has been approached by ZANU PF offering him the post of First Vice-President” and “some of our think-tanks have been approached with a view to offering them ministerial posts,” Newsday quoted Madzore as saying. But the MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that no such offer had been made by Mugabe. He said “some overtures” had been made by “people purporting to represent ZANU PF” but nothing official had been received from Mugabe. “We certainly know nothing about that and I doubt whether it is true. I don’t think Mugabe is that benevolent at all, but we have not received anything formal from ZANU PF at all,” Mwonzora explained. Regarding the NewsDay report quoting Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T spokesman said he had contacted the youth leader who denied ever making such a claim, only saying that he “was quoted out of context”. Mwonzora went further to confirm that their National Council had resolved on August 3rd that they would not be part of government at the cabinet level, and would not accept such “benevolence” from ZANU PF. Mwonzora also confirmed that the MDC-T would participate in parliament and local councils, because he said those party officials had won the positions under difficult conditions and deserved to be there.

Baba Jukwa: The giant still lives by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Baba Jukwa: The giant still lives | The Zimbabwean by Mxolisi Ncube When President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) were declared the winners of the election, which many believe was stolen, many thought it would signal the demise of Facebook darling, Baba Jukwa. But his popularity has refused to wane. The “rogue spy” had just under 300,000 followers when the polls were conducted and barely a month later, has added more than 68,000 new ones. Some of his posts still solicit as many as 850 comments and close to 1,000 likes. He has vowed to continue fighting “till my evil party Zanu (PF) goes”. “It is funny if people think that I am finished,” said Jukwa recently. “When the crocodile goes under water, it doesn’t mean to say that it is dead. It is dreaming about its next prey. Baba Jukwa is alive, fit and fine. Those who think the Vapanduki (rebels) train has derailed are misguided. We will continue to expose evil until our land is free from the evil we are experiencing.” Last weekend, Jukwa exposed a clampdown code-named “Operation Clean House”, targeting influential Zimbabwean opposition politicians, army deserters and incisive journalists in exile, who include freelance reporter Thuso Khumalo and The Zimbabwean’s duo of Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio. “There is a team of S.A.S men who are deployed in South Africa to capture and assassinate Roleen Gandiwa (former Presidential Guard member) whom they believe is based there, Roy Bennett, Alexio Roache who is said to be a French Secret Service, a Nyathi Butho and also, Major Kembo has a score to settle with Kodzi, who he bashed and dumped in a crocodile infested dam but survived by the God’s grace,” said Jukwa. “Also targeted are journalists from The Zimbabwean who include Mkhululi Chimoio and Mxolisi Ncube a former cop as they have covered the desperately sort soldiers stories and Thuso Khumalo with Voice of America studio 7. Other journalists targeted include Robyn Curnow of CNN Reporter and Andrew Harding, a BBC Reporter, for interviewing Baba Jukwa.” The team is said to be led by Major Kembo as its Director of Ops and alternating bases around Randburg, Hillbrow and Kensington in Johannesburg. “If anything happens to any of the above mentioned people please make sure the world knows Zanu (PF) is responsible. The task of abducting and killing these three journos is initiated through a man masquerading as a pastor Mlamuli Simango who is with external operations of CIO and this man also disguises himself as a Zapu member and knows the journos very well.”

UN defends Zimbabwe as world tourism summit host by Shelley – 08-29-2013
via Investors.com – UN Defends Zimbabwe as World Tourism summit host HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The largest global tourism summit organized by the United Nations ended Thursday with officials defending Zimbabwe’s role as co-host after years of abuses of human and democratic rights in the southern African nation. The 180-member United Nations World Tourism Organization said it re-elected Taleb Rifai of Jordan for a second four-year term as its secretary general at the end of the summit in the Zambian town of Livingstone, across the border from Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls resort. Rifai earlier brushed aside criticism the six-day meeting gave legitimacy to President Robert Mugabe’s government in the aftermath of disputed presidential elections. “We are not here to deliberate on grand issues, we can do that anywhere else in the world,” he said. “It was the correct and right decision. The excitement, optimism and hope this meeting has created made everything worthwhile.” About 1,200 delegates discussed tourism development programs for mostly poor, developing nations, accompanied by carnival parades in the two towns overlooking the Victoria Falls, a wide curtain of falling water and rising spray whose local name roughly translates as “the smoke that thunders.” Mugabe, speaking at a banquet Wednesday, urged delegates to promote Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination to counter Western allegations of rights violations in the country he has led since 1980, the state broadcaster reported. Mugabe was also quoted by state radio as saying U.S. State Department advisories on safety risks in Zimbabwe were erroneous. “We are not terrorists,” the president said, calling on Western critics to visit Victoria Falls to “have their minds repaired.” Australia, Canada, the U.S. and former colonial power Britain are not members of the UNWTO. Western governments are generally skeptical of the value of the biennial meeting attended mostly by nations with a poor record in tourism, conservation and political stability. Zimbabwe hired management consultants to run the summit, saying it did not have local expertise to meet the UNWTO’s specific needs for all the arrangements. It dropped the slogan “Zimbabwe-Africa’s Paradise” after non-Christian communities took offense, officials said, replacing it with “Zimbabwe-A World of Wonders.” Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s tourism minister, told the summit that the country plans to set up a world-class Disneyland-style theme park outside Victoria Falls town for the projected cost of $300 million. The famed arch-span iron railroad bridge adjacent to the falls was built in 1905. It has been floodlit for the summit and, commercial sponsors say, will remain lit at night for the next 15 years as a legacy of the summit. Mzembi said the Victoria Falls theme park would include shopping, banking, exhibition, entertainment and casino facilities. It is not clear where funding for the project will come from as Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party pushes ahead with a sweeping black empowerment program to take control of the last 1,200 foreign or white-owned businesses, as the party promised voters who returned it to power. According to official figures, Zimbabwe received 404,280 visitors in the first three months of 2013, compared to 346,300 in the same period last year. The rise was attributed mainly to improvements in the economy driven by liberalization and Western-friendly investment policies of the finance ministry controlled by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who shared power with Mugabe in a shaky coalition forged by regional leaders after the disputed elections of 2008. The coalition ended July 31 after elections Tsvangirai said were massively rigged. Mugabe did not allow Western observers to monitor the polls.

ZISCO: Mnangagwa’s grand promises by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via ZISCO saga: Mnangagwa’s grand promises | The Zimbabwean by Brenna Matendere The Zanu (PF) government will take necessary steps to revive the ailing Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, including paying $2 million of salaries owed to workers, said Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party’s Legal Affairs Secretary and outgoing Defence Minister. He made the promise at a conference organised by the Midlands Show Society recently. Mnangagwa is one of the top Zanu (PF) officials accused of plundering ZISCO. He then allegedly stalled a deal brokered by outgoing Industry Minister Welshman Ncube that was supposed to see Essar Africa Holdings making a $750 million investment into the company. “ZISCO is under utilised because of the inclusive government. All that is gone because Zanu (PF) had a sweeping victory (in the July 31 polls). We will now ensure that ZISCO is back on its feet. All the problems faced by ZISCO will soon be over. We have the means,” said Mnangagwa. His statements are contrary to reports by Ncube that Zanu (PF) stalled the Essar deal through Mines Minister Obert Mpofu who refused to give up iron ore claims, forcing the Indians to renege on their investment.

Australia takes ‘wait and see’ stance by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Australia takes ‘wait and see’ stance on Zimbabwe | African Business | BDlive by Brendan Ryan The Australian government is in “wait and see” mode over developments in Zimbabwe following the recent elections, but believes the country at this stage is a “very risky place for people to invest”. That is the view of Australia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, who was addressing the Africa Down Under conference being held in Perth, Western Australia, on Thursday. Two years ago Mr Neuhaus appeared more optimistic on the country’s prospects when he told delegates at the same conference: “There is a considerable difference of views on the issue of indigenisation and the requirement for 51% indigenous ownership is not a position endorsed by the Zimbabwean cabinet. “I believe that by the end of the year there will be greater clarity on indigenisation and in a more positive direction.” Asked what had happened at question time, Mr Neuhaus denied being unduly positive or negative and maintained that Australia’s view on Zimbabwe for the past two years had always been one of a cautious “wait and see” approach. Mr Neuhaus said he believed a 51% indigenisation requirement, to be introduced over an extended period, was “doable” but proposals made by President Robert Mugabe during the election campaign to go for 100% indigenisation would be “the end”. Mr Neuhaus pointed out that the gross domestic product of neighbouring Zambia was already three times that of Zimbabwe, which he said was “unimaginable to those who know Zimbabwe”. It remained to be seen whether this was just political rhetoric meant for electioneering, Mr Neuhaus said, and the next month would indicate the way things were likely to go. “We are hopeful that a sound economic policy will emerge but there is another factor to be considered and that is the chaos factor. “There are people who might do things that are against the economic interests of the country because it is in their own personal interests to do so.” Mr Neuhaus said key social and political issues included how the new government would approach Zimbabwean civil society -in particular, the political opposition -as well as developing a succession plan for Mugabe. On the economic front Mr Neuhaus said any move at this stage to reintroduce the Zimbabwean dollar to replace the US dollar would be “disastrous”. He said the imposition of a 100% indigenisation requirement on the country’s banks would result in the collapse of the banking sector and any move to require 100% indigenisation by the country’s mining companies – in particular Zimplats -would be “the end” of Zimbabwe’s mining industry. Zimplats – which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – is Zimbabwe’s largest platinum producer and is controlled by Impala Platinum. Mr Neuhaus said the influence of the West on the Zimbabwean government was limited because Western nations and corporations were not able operate in the way that other countries, such as China, were. “The Chinese take a very different approach to doing business and the Chinese are very close to Zanu (PF). The Chinese now own large tracts of agricultural land in Zimbabwe and a Chinese company, Anjin, is the largest of the three companies mining the Marange diamond deposit. “Anjin is part of a larger Chinese defence-industrial conglomerate which has other business interests in Zimbabwe.” Mr Neuhaus described the marketing arrangements for the diamonds produced from the Marange mine as “opaque”. He said Marange generated about $1bn in revenue a year, which meant about $400m-$500m should be reflected as royalties and taxes in the country’s national accounts. “Former finance minister Tendai Biti has told us the Treasury received about $40m for the first six months of this year and about $200m for the whole of last year from Marange.”

Lessons from the Open Letter to Robert Mugabe in 1980 by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via ZimbabweSituation Facebook as a follow on to “Open letter to Mugabe in 1980” by InsiderZim By Andrew M Manyevere Comparing people’s perceptions on Robert Mugabe in 1980 and in 2013 is unfair. These are two different time periods with different outlook altogether. Who ever made an introduction to Tanzania Foreign Minister Hon Mr. Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu needed not to have discredited his otherwise well-meaning letter then? Babu is a respected Scholar and had commented openly to Mugabe in the hope he was professional to listen to colleagues views. In fact the letter reveals that many people assumed Mugabe was a revolutionary which is not by definition, correct. Robert Mugabe had neither espoused a theory on revolutionary concepts nor taken active part in being a part to the process. It is, in my opinion, these distortions that had grown extreme and misplaced esteem for President Robert Mugabe who had initially appeared gentle to distant observers. The fact that many of us do not take time to understand ourselves let alone the self-imposing leadership under any guise, leads to cult veneration that has left many leaders on the African continent looked at as small ‘gods’. Somehow this poverty in cultural awareness has played a negative role regarding the way we view leaders on the continent. By far President Nelson Mandela of South Africa is a revolutionary who stood by certain humanistic philosophies from his early days in politics to mature political statesman that he has come to be and world revered leaders. Babu assumed Mugabe was going to acknowledge pitfalls in the need for national reconstruction. The need to polish people towards mastering change and transition from colonial dictatorship to choice of who people want were all disregarded by Mugabe and instead he replaced dictatorship with another dictatorship so long as there were different people and of different colors. Mugabe is under developed and monarchical in outlook even though he professes being a ‘revolutionary’ who supports democracy. If Mugabe believed in one party democracy then he would have long left presidential seat for someone else from within the party on the basis he respected there were others better than him to carry the legacy of good leadership on. If he was a multi-party democrat we would not be where we are now: In deep political, economic and cultural stress, because Mugabe did not take advice of political admirers to heart in view of his natural dictatorial life style that was just beginning to take sharpe. Honourable Babu had gone to trouble to give statistics to then Prime Minster Robert Mugabe and give indication of how well placed we were from both a GDP and per capita comparing Kenya then and Zimbabwe who had populations of  14 and 7 million respectively. While in 1980 our per capita was 550 today it is far much lower, a true indicator of mismanagement and incompetency on the party of Robert Mugabe. If we as Zimbabweans agreed on these simple facts then perhaps even he Mugabe would be seeing sense in his failure. But when men professed educated close their eyes to realities and chose instead to stay in denial, and praise mischief and mismanagement as the way, how can Zimbabwe move away from poverty which she never was in before? The Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs had also observed that Zimbabwe was an agro based industrial country with a good infrastructure and could grow stronger given careful management. He warned though that too much aid would give agriculture the kiss of death. Yet Mugabe went, in his hey days, for a ZIMCORD conference which was to put in debt Zimbabwe from finances that were borrowed and misallocated and mismanaged. Zimbabwe was free of debt when we took over in 1980. Even though I do not agree with the Hon Minister then who commented cooperatives as a means to develop responsible agriculture among upcoming Zimbabwe agronomists, I believe he meant well given the level of Tanzania’s economic development when colonial legacy ended. The point is Robert Mugabe did nothing on the lines of what he was given by an admirers who had been in government long before him. President Nyerere had warned Mugabe with same caution: Zimbabwe is developed in contrast to many African countries at independent. Therefore do not be insensitive to other people handle your country smartly so you keep it a jewel. The country then with potential has turned into a desert without its own foreign currency but completely poor. The country whose currency was at par with the American dollar today has adopted the dollar to try and rescue bankruptcy. There is a big difference between 1980 and 2013 in that in 1980 people well come Robert Mugabe just as he was well come by other progressive people as progressive. Today Mugabe is not well come at all despite that he keeps imposing himself on people through fraud and rigging. Mugabe failed to create internal investments in the country instead he destroyed chances and opportunities except for favouring his cohorts with farms, tractors, and funds from the fiscus. A health economy begun bleeding but Mugabe would not see it. In his honey moon as in his dark days he blamed everything on western powers. He progressed to blame sanctions too. In 1980 he received some victory to test his loyalty to the people’s worn freedom and independence. In 2013 he is consolidating his fraudulent styles in election manipulation and rigging compounded with unsupervised poor governance. The open letter has helped us to see the treacherous way with which we have been navigated away from days of better management to days of poverty, insecurity and abuse by Mugabe government. Farm management received the worst government attention and people`s lack of accommodation received an equally worst handling in the record of both black and white control history. How can we begin from a record so ugly and with poor accounting as we live in today and hope to prosper? All our neighbours and Africa have benefited from the wild whims of Robert Mugabe in the name of freeing Zimbabwe. Expert farmers have boosted neighbours`GDP while Mugabe still breathe hot air on whites and the west. He has even begun insulting citizens abroad because he cannot associate criticism, despite his so-called education, with anything but the west.

We need tighter benchmarks by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via We need tighter benchmarks | The Zimbabwean by Editor There is need for stakeholders—local, regional and continental—to tighten the benchmarks regarding the legitimacy and fairness of elections in order to guarantee that the will of the people prevails all the time and a popularly desired government rules. Recent elections in Zimbabwe make this not only desirable, but urgent. In the 2008 elections, following a bloody runoff, President Robert Mugabe, who ran alone when Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew citing widespread violence, still proceeded to be inaugurated and formed a cabinet. Attending international summits, he was recognised as Zimbabwe’s Head of State. Granted, the regional, continental and international communities condemned the runoff as illegitimate, but the fact remains that most of them still recognised Mugabe, even before the formation of the Government of National Unity. In effect, even if there was no coalition government set up in early 2009, Mugabe would still have ruled and enjoyed recognition from probably most of Africa and other parts of the world. Last month’s poll that was clearly corrupted by irregularities that even authorities like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have acknowledged. This included the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters through a shoddy and too-short registration exercise, the failure to avail sufficient voter education campaigns and the exclusion of externally based Zimbabweans, in addition to seemingly deliberate exclusion of close to a million voters based in urban areas. There were numerous reports of the manipulation and intimidation of voters and the partisan nature of the ZEC, which is supposed to be an independent body, together with the suspiciously high numbers of people who voted without appearing on the voters’ roll. MDC-T has withdrawn its poll petitions from the courts, but this does not mean that claims of fraudulent elections fall away. That is why we are calling for clear and quantifiable benchmarks to assess elections. Instead of, as has been the case in Zimbabwe and other parts of the continent, depending mostly on subjective terms such as ‘free and fair’ . These terms ignore realities on the ground – mostly out of expediency by observers. We need to state categorically what is needed for an election to be acceptable and legitimate. The starting point would be local laws that ought to state clearly what must obtain in terms of voter registration and education, polling, ballot counting, delimitation and conduct of political parties – as opposed to using vague terms like “free”, “legitimate” and “fair”. The electoral law must state, for instance, that where a fifth of the population fails to register, any election that follows is null and void, or that, if there is evidence of voter manipulation in one third of the constituencies, the elections cannot be popularly acceptable.

Will Mugabe deliver? by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Will Mugabe deliver? | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe The silly season of free cell phone vouchers, gallons of scarce cooking oil and free goats is over. Promises were made and now they must be kept. Although it took very little to convince those in Mazarabani to vote for Zanu (PF) and act illiterate, some of us in the urban areas are now waiting with much expectation after our disappointment and utter shock. His Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe must now deliver to us to soothe the pain. That is the least he can do. We have all mourned and I think the time has come for us to accept those things we cannot change and focus on those we can. We can indeed change how we feel about the future and how we must engage the incoming government. We can shape the future; yes we can! We must make the best of the worst. We must choose to stand up and be counted as we shape our country over the next five years with Zanu (PF) in charge, whether we like it or not. It is now evident that the challenges we are facing can never be captured in a popular political manifesto. Nor can they be fathomed by a politburo of yesteryear. Despite our downheartedness, we dare not revert to our past behaviour as passive participants in our country of birth. The quality of leadership we get will define who we become, but more important will the quality of followers we become. In listening to the President’s inauguration speech, I am convinced that he is aware what has to happen, but I wonder whether he has available to him the resources required and the character of men and women who must assist him. Time will tell. It cannot be business as usual. Despite the fact that our country has so many talented people, politics unfortunately has a tendency of closing out people based on their political loyalties. Because of that, we have tended to operate at a less than optimum level. However, ordinary citizens must now reject this, and ensure that we all contribute positively to our future and apply our skills. The revival of agriculture cannot happen while the majority of our farmers expect seed hand-outs from the government every year and operate their businesses like tuck-shops. It cannot happen when we shut out farmers who have the necessary experience and know-how, simply because they happen to white. We must feed the nation. The revival of our mining sector will not feed us until participation in this industry is broadened so that it is not only the “chefs” and their hangers-on who benefit. We expect the government henceforth to account for resource earnings and remove political barriers to entry for all. The delivery of services to citizens through local government will not happen as long as we have a minister who manages by decree. We must refuse to comply. Indigenisation will result in the concentration of wealth in a few hands as long as it remains a political process not driven by the private sector. Our ideas must be implemented to our benefit. Zimbabwe will not have adequate skills available as long we shut out those in the Diaspora and those who may differ with the world view of our politicians. We are tired of party politics and the disregard of skilled Zimbabweans because of their race or political affiliation. We must expose this. Zimbabweans not only want peace. Morgan Tsvangirai offered a new chapter, a new beginning and the challenge is now for Zanu (PF) to prove us wrong. As long as we have dark streets in Highfield, clinics with no medicine and the stress of finding clean drinking water, as long as we have graduates selling airtime vouchers and uncollected rubbish in Mbare, we shall forever wonder how things could have been. If, in a little while, nothing has fundamentally changed, then we shall know that the promises made to us by the President are empty. The only thing exciting about the future is that we can shape it. I therefore encourage my brothers and sisters that it is time to wipe our tears and stand up and be counted. Now is not the time to hope and wait. It is time for concerted effort by all of us to create a new democracy and, if necessary, to force matters so that we ensure Mugabe delivers. I am ready are you? Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

Hello and welcome to Disneyland Zimbabwe by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Hello and welcome to Disneyland Zimbabwe! | Daily Maverick by Simon Allison This week, Zimbabwe’s tourism minister Walter Mzembi announced plans to build a $300-million entertainment complex, which he described as “Disneyland in Africa”. Even though it hasn’t been built yet, Mzembi is so excited about the project that he’s already written the speech he’s going to give at its official opening. SIMON ALLISON got an exclusive look at the transcript. Distinguished guests and comrades, hello and welcome to Disneyland Zimbabwe! It is an honour and a privilege to be here with you on this auspicious occasion. A special welcome to all the visiting dignitaries, most notably our guests from the African Union and SADC election observer missions – we thought we’d show you a real circus this time round! It has taken us a long time to complete this ambitious project, and we have had to fight the regressive actions of the imperialist doom-mongers at every step, but our spirit remains unbowed and our great country now takes its rightful place amongst the top tourism destinations of the world. With the opening today of Disneyland Zimbabwe, we can truly say that we are a Mickey Mouse country. For many years, Zimbabwe has failed to maximise its tourism potential. Even with our abundance of natural wildlife, and the magnificent Victoria Falls on our doorstep, which will be even more magnificent when we finally get round to renaming it after a true liberation hero, visitors were not flocking to our country in the numbers it deserves. After an exhaustive review process, myself as minister of tourism, along with my dedicated team, concluded that the only thing lacking was a theme park with adventure rides, casinos and personal interaction with everyone’s favourite cartoon characters. Except for California, Florida, France, Hong Kong and Japan, this concept is uniquely Zimbabwean. Of course, we have not forgotten our deep commitment to the principals of nationalisation and indigenisation, and these cartoon characters must not think they can come to Zimbabwe and bring their white tendencies with them. To better reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe, and to honour our great President without whose inspirational leadership none of this could have happened, we have taken the liberty of renaming and remodelling a few of these characters, who will undoubtedly become beloved icons of a new generation of children in Zimbabwe, and the world. Mickey Mouse will henceforth be known as Mickey Mugabe, and his features and colouring altered to mirror the ethnic make-up of Zimbabwe. The same goes for Minnie Mouse, who shall be called Mini Mugabe. We can assure you that the passing resemblance between Mini Mugabe and Julius Malema is completely accidental.We have also replaced the duck family completely, so you will have to say good-bye to Donald, Daffy and Dewey. This is because we don’t have that many ducks in Zimbabwe. What we do have are chickens. There’s even a rooster on the symbol of our ruling party, this is how much we at the Zanu-PF like chickens! So keep an eye out for the all new, all-Zimbabwean Chenesai Chicken and Rangirirai Rooster. As you can see, we have obtained a beautiful plot of land for this project. It is 1,200 hectares, and right next to the international airport, making it very convenient for the busy traveller. And we only had to expel seven white farmers to get the land! Haha! Actually, that’s just a little Zimbabwean humour. The white farmers were already gone. Before I conclude my remarks and you begin your tour of the park itself, I just want to give you an idea of what you can expect inside. Of course, there will be all the usual rides and entertainments, including a rollercoaster and a bungee jump. Don’t worry, we’re very careful with safety here, so there is no chance of the bungee rope breaking. That only happens in Zambia. In addition, we have taken the opportunity to showcase our country with a few special attractions that really are unique to Disneyland Zimbabwe. My personal favourite is Murambatsvina Mania, in which we see how long it takes you to thoroughly demolish ten corrugated iron shacks. There is an added incentive: if you can do it in under 10 minutes, then we’ll give you a job with the police in Harare. Another favourite is the Gukurahundi Growler. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I won’t spoil the fun though by telling you anything more; you’ll have to experience it for yourself. So, please go out and enjoy yourself now. One housekeeping note: only Zimbabwean dollars are accepted in the park, so make sure you exchange your American ones at the government-approved exchange rate before you enter. Feel free to store the money in the complimentary trolleys we have provided, but be sure to return them to Shoprite afterwards. Thank you, once again, for celebrating this momentous event with us. It is with great pride that I can now officially declare Disneyland Zimbabwe open for business. DM

Mugabe to Unveil New Cabinet Next Week by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Mugabe to Unveil New Cabinet Next Week via VOA Zimbabwe by Blessing  Zulu President Robert Mugabe is next week expected to name his cabinet after Zanu-PF’s disputed landslide victory in last month’s elections. Zanu-PF sources told VOA Studio 7 that Mr. Mugabe is currently consulting senior party leadership, known as the presidium, that includes Vice President Joyce Mujuru and party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, who is tipped to become the second vice president to replace the late Vice President John Nkomo. But party insiders emphasized that under the new constitution, Mr. Mugabe alone has the prerogative to appoint ministers. The party insiders also say Mr. Mugabe will try to balance two factions in his party, supporters of Miss. Mujuru and of Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are said to be vying to succeed the 89-year old president. But the same sources say Mr. Mugabe would also like to trim his cabinet from 42 members during the government of national unity to something more easily managed and less expensive. Regardless, sources say Mr. Mugabe is likely to retain most key figures in their current portfolios, including Indigenization Minister Savior Kasukuwere, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Studio 7 is hearing that Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo might be moved to telecommunications.  Former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara may also be part of the five technocrats permitted under the new constitution. Calls to presidential spokesman George Charamba to ask about the cabinet were unanswered, but Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo says Mr. Mugabe has the final say on who will or will not serve in the cabinet. Senior analyst for the International Crisis Group Trevor Maisiri says putting the new cabinet together will not be easy.

Muchauraya to appeal against conviction by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013
via Muchauraya to appeal against conviction | SW Radio Africa By Tichaona Sibanda Pishai Muchauraya, the former MDC-T MP for Makoni South who was convicted on Tuesday for making death threats to a political rival, will appeal against the conviction at the High court. Muchauraya is alleged to have threatened his political contender Geoff Nyarota and the party’s treasurer for Women’s Assembly in the same constituency. He was also fined US$200 (or 20 days in prison). He pleaded not guilty to the two counts of threatening to commit murder when he appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe. ‘Whilst I’m not at liberty to make some comments on the conviction or conduct of the court, I think it is very important to note that it was politically motivated and the judgment was political,’ the former MP said. He added: ‘We are going to appeal against the conviction and not necessarily the sentence, because it is within the confines of the law, but it is the harshness of the determination of the conviction that we do not agree with.’ The MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland said while he had no problem with Nyarota, he had no kind words for the MDC-T leadership, which he blamed for what he went through. When Nyarota and Muchauraya fell out earlier this year, both of them made representations to the senior leadership to try and intervene, but nothing was done, leading to the issue being dragged to the courts. ‘Nyarota would still be useful in some of our party systems. Technically we need him but we should not only strive for general democracy in our party but also internal democracy. This will allow paying attention to views of some people who might not be occupying senior posts in the party,’ Muchauraya added.

CONSTITUTION WATCH 35/2013 by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013


[28th August 2013]

Giving Effect to the New Constitution Continued Introduction In Constitution Watches 33 and 34 of 2013 Giving Immediate Effect to the New Constitution – Parts I and II we dealt with legislative amendments which should have been made to give effect to those provisions of the new Constitution that came into operation on 22nd May.  In this Constitution Watch we turn to further amendments that must be made as soon as possible now that the new President has assumed office and the Constitution has come fully into operation. National Prosecuting Authority Under the Lancaster House constitution the Attorney-General was the Government’s chief legal adviser and was also responsible for prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of the State.  Under the new Constitution these two functions are separated:  the Attorney-General continues to give legal advice to the Government [section 114] but responsibility for criminal prosecutions is transferred to a new National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] established by section 258 of the Constitution.  The NPA is headed by a Prosecutor-General [section 259].  Mr Tomana, who was previously Attorney-General, has become the Prosecutor-General by virtue of paragraph 19(2) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, which states that “the person who held office as Attorney-General immediately before the effective date continues in office as Prosecutor-General on and after that day”  [the effective date for this provision of the Constitution was 22nd August].  The post of Attorney-General remains vacant. In the absence of legislation setting out its structure and organisation the NPA’s existence remains largely theoretical.  Presumably all public prosecutors and members of the criminal division of the Attorney-General’s Office are continuing to carry out their functions as before, but their authority to do so is doubtful in the absence of a law which states that they are employed by the NPA.  In terms of section 259 of the Constitution an Act of Parliament must provide for the NPA’s organisational structure and for a board to employ its staff.  Parliament must pass this Act as soon as possible, because until it is enacted there cannot be a board to employ public prosecutors — and in the absence of a board to employ them they are arguably not members of the NPA’s staff, and so not entitled to prosecute. Publication of Criteria for Instituting Prosecutions Under section 260(2) of the Constitution, the Prosecutor-General must formulate and “publicly disclose” the general principles by which he decides whether or not to institute and conduct criminal prosecutions. The principles need not be set out in legislation, though embodying them in a statutory instrument would be one way of publicly disclosing them, but they must be published as soon as possible to avoid suggestions that criminal proceedings are being instituted for improper motives. Constitutional Court and Constitutional Jurisdiction of Other Courts In Constitution Watch 34/2013 of 23rd August, it was recommended that rules of court should be published immediately to regulate the Constitutional Court’s power to hear cases arising out of the recent general election. Even though the result of the Presidential election is settled it is necessary to regulate all the other aspects of the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction under section 167 of the Constitution, in particular the court’s power to:

  • ·      deal with cases involving alleged violations of human rights
  • ·      advise on the constitutionality of proposed legislation
  • ·      determine whether Parliament or the President has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation
  • ·      confirm declarations by other courts invalidating laws and administrative conduct on constitutional grounds.

All these, as well as time-limits for instituting proceedings in the court, procedures for the issue of summonses, warrants and other documents, and the conferring of supplementary powers on the court, should be dealt with in a new Constitutional Court Act along the lines of the Supreme Court Act and High Court Act. In addition, because section 175 of the Constitution gives all courts power to make constitutional rulings, the Acts which establish those courts must be amended to enable them to exercise their new powers. Provincial and Metropolitan Councils A new Act must be enacted setting up provincial and metropolitan councils in accordance with Chapter 14 of the new Constitution.  Strictly speaking the councils have been established by the new Constitution itself, but until legislation is enacted the councils will have no venues, no structures, no procedures and no staff — and there are large numbers of newly-elected councillors waiting for something to do. The Act must also provide for capital grants and other payments to be allocated equitably between provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities, as required by section 301 of the Constitution. Electoral Amendments Perverse though it may seem, the much-amended Electoral Act needs to be amended yet again. The most recent amendments to the Act were seriously flawed.  The public were not invited to discuss proposed amendments, and political parties outside the Inclusive Government were not consulted at all.  The amendments were enacted by the President through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, so their legality was debatable.  In any event, the regulations which enacted the amendments will expire just before Christmas [because regulations under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act remain in force for only 180 days], so the amendments must be re-enacted by Parliament before then. Rather than re-enacting the amendments, Parliament would be better advised to replace the Act entirely, for the following reasons:

  • ·      Some of the recent amendments do not comply with the new Constitution. To give just two examples:

o    Section 67 of the new Constitution, as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] belatedly acknowledged, gives all adult citizens the right to vote in elections.  Section 155(2)(b) reinforces this by imposing a duty on the State to ensure that every eligible citizen has an opportunity to cast a vote. This means that citizens who are living outside Zimbabwe or who are in prison or who are immobilised in hospital are entitled to vote in elections and must be given an opportunity to do so.  The amended Electoral Act contains no procedure which would enable them to vote — indeed it effectively prevents them from doing so by denying them the right to a postal vote. o    The amended Act preserves ZEC’s virtual monopoly over the provision of voter education.  No one may provide voter education without ZEC’s approval;  the nature or content of any such education must also be approved by ZEC;  and the provision of voter education by anyone other than ZEC must be funded solely from local sources.  All this violates the right of citizens to participate in peaceful political activity [guaranteed by section 67(2)(c) of the Constitution] and their right to freedom of expression [guaranteed by section 61 of the Constitution].

  • ·      Some of the recent amendments, though constitutional, may have been ill advised.  This is certainly so with special voting, which was intended to give persons engaged in election duties an opportunity to cast their votes before polling day.  The special voting procedures were inadequate for the purpose, and as a result ZEC had to rule that the large number of people who were unable to cast their special votes would be allowed to vote at ordinary polling stations on polling day.  This ruling was in direct contravention of section 81B of the Electoral Act, which expressly prohibits a special voter from voting in the ordinary way on the general polling day.  The Minister of Justice has since suggested that special voting would be abolished.

Enabling Acts for New Commissions The new Constitution has created three new commissions:

  • ·      the Zimbabwe Gender Commission
  • ·      the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
  • ·      the Zimbabwe Land Commission.

Although the Constitution outlines how they are appointed and their functions, these commissions need enabling Acts to regulate their procedures and staffing, and to confer ancillary functions and powers upon them, in the same way that enabling Acts have been passed for commissions such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, which were established under the previous constitution. Further amendments The legislative amendments outlined in this Constitution Watch have to be made as soon as possible, in order to give effect to the new Constitution.  There are numerous other legislative changes that need to be made — for example, to require the Constitution to be taught in schools in compliance with section 7 of the new Constitution, and to enforce the principles of public administration laid down in Chapter 9 — but they are not so urgent and will be dealt with in future Constitution Watches.

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BILL WATCH 42/2013 by ZimSitRep – 08-29-2013

BILL WATCH 42/2013

[27th August 2013]

Swearing in of New [8th] Parliamentary Set for 3rd September

Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe Began on 22nd August

The swearing-in of the President on Thursday 22nd August marked the beginning of the new Parliament’s 5-year term.  Section 143 of the new Constitution provides that: “Parliament is elected for a five-year term which runs from the date on which the President-elect is sworn in and assumes office.”   In fact, Parliament’s term could be slightly less than the full five-years, because under the new Constitution, sections 143 and 144, polling in the next harmonised elections must take place within the last 30 days of the life of Parliament and “Parliament stands dissolved at midnight on the day before the first polling day” in the next election Note: As the new Constitution is now fully in force, from now on all references to the Constitution are to the new Constitution unless otherwise stated. The Constitution no longer provides for the former annual Parliamentary “sessions”, the beginning and end of which were dictated by the President by means of annual proclamations.  Apart from the first sitting after a general election, which must begin on a date fixed by the President, the two Houses of Parliament will decide for themselves when they will sit and when they will recess – as long as they do not go into recess for more than 180 days.  Under the Constitution, sections 146 and 140, the President, does, however, have the power to summon Parliament to meet at any time “to conduct special business”, and must at least once a year address a joint sitting of both Houses on “the state of the nation”

Swearing-in of Members of Parliament: 3rd September

The Clerk of Parliament has announced that by direction of the President members of Parliament will be sworn in on Tuesday 3rd September.  This was initially set for 27th August, but that date was rendered unsuitable by the scheduling of Heroes’ Acre funerals for ZANU-PF notables and the need for MPs to attend other important events.  The new date still complies with section 145(1) of the Constitution, which states that the first sitting of Parliament after a general election must “not be later than thirty days after the President-elect assumes office”.  The Clerk of Parliament will preside over the swearing-in proceedings. MPs in both Houses of Parliament should within thirty days of their election, relinquish any public office they were holding when elected.  [Section 129(1)(h) of the Constitution stipulates that if when elected a member was a “public officer” [e.g. a serving member of the Public Service or the uniformed services or the holder of any other paid office in the service of the State] or a member or employee of a statutory body, a Government-controlled entity, a provincial council or a local authority, he or she must relinquish that office, membership or employment within 30 days of being declared elected.]  Failure to relinquish will entail automatic and immediate forfeiture of his or her Parliamentary seat.

Election of Speaker and President of Senate

Immediately after the swearing-in proceedings, members of the National Assembly must elect the Speaker and Senators must elect the President of the Senate.  These elections must be by secret ballot and must conducted by the Clerk of Parliament under the supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC].  The successful candidates must be sworn in by the Chief Justice, or next most senior judge available, before they commence their duties.  To qualify for election:

  • ·      as Speaker: a person need not be a member of the National Assembly, but must be qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly, i.e., be a registered voter at least 21 years old
  • ·      as President of the Senate: a person need not be a Senator, but must be qualified to be elected to the Senate, i.e. be a registered voter at least 40 years old.

Note: The old Constitution required a candidate for either office to be a member or former member of Parliament.  That requirement has been omitted from the new Constitution.  If a sitting member of Parliament is elected Speaker or President of the Senate, the seat held by the person elected immediately falls vacant.  If, as seems likely, former Senate President Ednah Madzongwe is elected President of the Senate, her seat as a Mashonaland West party-list Senator will therefore fall vacant. Deputy presiding officers   Also on 3rd September, both Houses must elect their deputy presiding officers.  These elections, too, must be by secret ballot and be conducted by the Clerk of Parliament under the supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.  Only sitting members qualify for election, and they do not lose their seats if elected [Constitution, sections 123 and 127].

Composition of Parliament

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] gazetted the complete election results [excluding results for urban and rural councils], naming all the individuals elected, in a series of General Notices in the Government Gazette of 9th August: GN 388/2013      Presidential election result GN 389/2013      National Assembly constituency seats results GN 390/2013      Party-list results [proportional representation] for Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Councils GN 391/2013      Election of Senator Chiefs GN 392/2013      Election of Senators to represent persons with disabilities. [Available on the Veritas website www.veritaszim.net or, for those without Internet access, from veritas@mango.zw]

National Assembly Membership

Note: “National Assembly” is the new name for the Lower House of Parliament, which was previously called the House of Assembly.There are no ex officio or appointed seats.  There are 270 National Assembly seats in all, 210 for constituency members and 60 for women MPs elected by a party-list system of proportional representation, 6 for each of the ten provinces, based on how many votes each participating party got in the constituency elections in each province. As at 22nd August, the breakdown by political party of the these 270 members was as follows:                ZANU-PF      MDC-T        MDC                                                      IND Constituency seats                        160              49              0                                                          1 Party-list seats for women               37              21              2                                                          0 Total                                             197              70              2          1 These figures are subject to change, depending on the results of election petitions lodged with the Electoral Court.  A large number of petitions have been lodged.  The Electoral Court must finalise these petitions within six months. Two-thirds majority ZANU-PF’s 197 MPs give it more than the two-thirds majority [180 MPs] needed for the National Assembly to pass a Bill amending the Constitution.

Senate Membership

There are no appointed seats in the new Senate.  There are 60 party-list Senators, 6 for each of the ten provinces, based on how many votes each participating party got in the constituency elections in each province.  The allocation per party is identical to the allocation of the 60 special seats for women in the National Assembly. The breakdown of the 80 Senators by category and political party is as follows: Party-list Senators ZANU-PF ………………………… 37 MDC-T…………………….………. 21 MDC…………………………………. 2 Chiefs ex officio…………………..….. 2 Chiefs………………………………….. 16 Disabled persons reps……………… 2 Total…………………….……………… 80Two-thirds majority?   ZANU-PF will have a two-thirds majority [54 Senators] only if supported by at least 17 other Senators.Comment:  As Chiefs have in the past almost always voted with the governing party, ZANU-PF can probably count on a two-thirds majority if it should ever need one. Ex officio seats [2]  The President and Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs are ex officio Senators.  The previous incumbents of these positions, Chiefs Charumbira and Mtshane, were re-elected at a meeting of the Council of Chiefs on 19th July. Elected Senator Chiefs [16]  All 16 elected Senator chiefs, 2 for each of the eight non-metropolitan provinces, were elected at provincial assemblies of chiefs that met on Friday 2nd August. Senators representing disabled persons [2]  2 Senators to represent disabled persons were elected by an electoral college that met in Harare on Friday 2nd August.

House of Lords question: Philip Machemedze by ZimSitRep – 08-28-2013
via email

Question Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass
to ask Her Majesty’s Government , further to the Written Answers by Lord Wallace of Tankerness on 21 June 2011 (WA 290), Lord Howell of Guildford on 22 June 2011 (WA 316), Baroness Browning on 14 July 2011 (WA 213-4), and Lord Henley on 19 March 2012 (WA 145), what is the residential status of Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organisation operative Philip Machemedze, who has admitted kidnapping and torture, and is now resident in Wales.[HL1904]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): For reasons of confidentiality, the Home Office does not routinely comment on the residential status of individuals.

Open letter to Mugabe in 1980 by ZimSitRep – 08-28-2013
via Open letter to Mugabe in 1980 by InsiderZim President Robert Mugabe’s victory in the 31 July elections was reminiscent of his victory in 1980. He was the most disliked candidate. Bishop Abel Muzorewa, who had been Prime Minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia was the front runner. Zimbabwe African People’s Union leader Joshua Nkomo was the second favourite. But Mugabe won 57 of the 80 seats reserved for blacks. Muzorewa won only 3 down from 51 out of 72 a year earlier. Soon after Mugabe’s victory, former Tanzanian Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, regarded as one of Africa’s foremost thinkers, wrote an open letter to Mugabe, then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Babu was now an economics professor in the United Kingdom. We reproduce the letter here published in Babu’s collection. The letter was also published in the New AfricanOpen letter to Prime Minister Mugabe New African May 1980  Dear Comrade Mugabe,  Warm congratulations on your victory and comradely salutations from your admirers! In the last five years or so since you took over the reins of ZANU you have shown magnificent qualities of leadership – resolute without being dogmatic, daring without being adventurist, and flexible without being lax. But above all, you have revealed yourself during this period as an outstanding strategist and tactician both in political organisation and in war. With all these rare qualities it would be presumptuous even to attempt to tell you and your gallant comrades-in-arms what is to be done in independent Zimbabwe. Moreover, you know better than any outsider the concrete situation in the country. This letter does not claim to tell you anything you don’t know; it only seeks to reemphasise some salient points which we may lose sight of in the euphoria of freedom. The enemies of Africa are anxious to prove that every new African country is doomed to failure and, to ensure that this does indeed take place, they will want to entangle you deeply in their world system so as to destroy you. Proof? Look at what is happening in practically all sister countries: economic chaos, shortage of food and other basic necessities, corruption, and so on, is the order of the day. You, as a revolutionary, will be a special target particularly because of Zimbabwe’s proximity to South Africa. You are, however, fortunate in that Zimbabwe is the last but one arrival into the world arena, as a proud, free country, and so you can learn from the mistakes of other countries that have preceded you. This is the purpose of this open letter. If you have thought about the problem along the lines discussed below then this letter is redundant. If you don’t agree with it, then it is irrelevant. In either case, it will still be worth our whole to repeat to ourselves all the points raised if only to keep them fresh in our minds. The other reason for this exercise is that we owe it to Africa and to history to share our past and present experience in order to arm ourselves against possible pitfalls which are all too common in the challenging period of national reconstruction. We have been struggling and continue to struggle against many odds, natural and man-made, and we need not be ashamed or scared of making mistakes. We learn through mistakes. Our task is to minimise them when we can, and this we can do by reminding ourselves again and again of the obvious ones. This is the spirit of the letter. Unlike many developing countries, you are taking over a country with considerable potential. Let me give some comparative statistics. Kenya, a fairly “prosperous” country, has double the population of Zimbabwe (14m to your 7 m) and yet its Gross Domestic Product is only $2 900m compared to your $3 560m (1976 World Bank figures), or a per capita income of $220 to your $550. (Incidentally when the bourgeoisie took over France in 1792 the country’s per capita income was just about $600.) Zimbabwe has a fairly solid industrial base most of which was made possible thanks to the “sanctions” which forced the country to look inward. It was what you might call a blessing in disguise. (Looking back, one wishes that sanctions had been imposed against all African countries soon after independence. What a happy people we would have been! It was “aid” that proved to be the kiss of death.) Your agricultural base, too, is fairly healthy. From this level Zimbabwe has an excellent chance to move rapidly to a self-sustaining development. As a socialist you will no doubt want this development to be accompanied with social justice. And here is the crux of the matter. How do we restructure an economy whose social basis was to exploit the majority for the benefit of the minority? Seemingly the easiest way is to take over the “commanding heights” of the economy and transform it into a popular based one. But this is easier said than done, with enormous potential dangers. We often tend to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task and consequently fail to raise the most essential, most basis question: Where to begin? While it is impossible for outsiders to know the concrete situation without a thorough investigation, there are, nevertheless, generally acceptable principles that may be applicable to any country at a given level of the development of its productive forces. If the latter are at a low level then it is imperative that their development be regarded as top priority, even over that of the relations of production. In Maoist terms, development of the productive forces in this case becomes the principal aspect of the contradiction with production relations as a secondary one. This strategy has variously been called the New Economic Policy, or N.E.P, or the New Democracy, in which capitalist relations are allowed to co-exist with socialist ones. And this was done for very practical reasons: to allow maximum opportunity and facility for the productive forces to develop as rapidly as possible without in the meantime causing economic dislocations and subjecting the people to unjustified hardships. It cannot be over-emphasised that people are our most precious capital and, therefore, they must eat well, be housed and clothed well. This, then, is our starting point. The economy must be so structured as to provide adequate food, good housing and cheap but good clothing. In the course of providing these the economy will also develop a good agricultural foundation, together with engineering and extensive textile industries. All these will create vast employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people currently un- or under-employed, who in turn will help expand the home market- essential for further industrial and agricultural development. For this to take place, one will of course need to generate investible resources or accumulation for investment. One of the most unfortunate experiences of developing countries is that they all sought these resources from external sources, either in the form of loans or aid, which has led to heavy and unbearable debt burdens (bankruptcy, you might say) which now threaten our very survival as sovereign states. To avoid this monumental pitfall, it is essential for a country to generate its investible resources internally, first and foremost. How? There are two ways: by taxing (but not over taxing) the private sector; and by utilising for this purpose the surpluses that will come from future state enterprises. At this level of development it may be advisable to allow maximum (but disciplined) play of individual initiative in economic activity guided by the principle of “utilise, win over and control”. You utilise the existing private skills and resources for rapid development of the productive forces; you win over through education and persuasion all good elements to serve social rather than individual ends; and you control private sector incomes through fixing the sale prices of their products (allowing, of course, for proper incentives); tax their profits, control its repatriation and encourage ploughing back. It could be made into a principle that at least 50 % of the accumulation from this source should go into state productive investments annually and the rest can go into paying recurrent expenditure and the building up of economic and social infrastructures. This principle will discipline the bureaucracy and prevent them from indulging in unnecessary low priority expenditure while, at the same time it will help to build step by step the state industrial sector that is nonexistent at the moment, for example, iron and steel industries, machine tool industry, metallurgy, petrochemical industry and so on; in short, heavy industry or Department No.1. It will not be worthwhile to pay serious attention to such pundits as Rene Dumontand their like who urge us to concentrate on small-scale production on the argument that small is beautiful. No country in history has developed on that basis. But given our condition of uneven development in Africa, perhaps the best way will be to combine large-scale and intermediate production. Where, for instance, you already have large farms you either expand them where necessary or you maintain them at their present level and thereby enjoy the benefits of large-scale farming. Where production is still peasant based you may want to develop it to an intermediate level with producers cooperatives as their basic units. Experience elsewhere has taught us that the taking over of ongoing viable farms has invariably led to almost total collapse of agricultural production and has forced the countries concerned to incur heavy foreign debt to import food. As foreign borrowing without repayment cannot be sustained for a long time the countries are forced literally to beg for food on an international scale. This is undesirable from both the economic and political standpoints, to say nothing of national dignity. It is a painful history fact that in Zimbabwe such large-scale farms are owned by white settlers, some of whom are liberal and others incorrigibly reactionary. To expropriate them will amount to economic disaster, at least in the short run. To allow them to continue as before will amount to perpetuating a national injustice. This is a serious dilemma. Probably you and your party have already made up your minds on how to tackle it. To an outsider it will seem possible to avoid both of these undesirable consequences by: *where possible, surrounding all these settler farms by producer agricultural cooperatives; * making obligatory for the settler farms, as a condition for their existence to share their facilities (farm implements, expertise, marketing, dispensary service etc.) with the newly established cooperatives. This will help; first, to develop viable cooperative farms at a minimum cost and make maximum use of the existing stock of agricultural implements in the country. Secondly, it will help diminish the imbalance between settlers’ and people’s production and thereby correct the existing situation in which the settler farms are isolated like prosperous islands in the midst of mass poverty. Thirdly, it will help distinguish between good elements among the settlers who are genuinely willing to work with the new government in improving the living conditions of the people, and the diehards. It will then be possible to win over the first group and isolate and eventually ease out the latter. Fourthly, and this is most important it will help consolidate people’s as opposed to individual production without any large-scale economic dislocation (and its attendant consequences) during the transition. The rising rural incomes entailed in this strategy will expand the home market for industrial consumer products as well as broaden the tax base. It will then be possible to accumulate from the latter to pay for further development of the former, which means not only the development of nationally integrated, independent industrialisation but also the rapid rise of the proletariat. All this, of course, is based on the assumption of a planned and proportional development of the national economy. Going by your public statements since you took over, it appears that this is broadly what you have in mind. If so, you are definitely on the right track; and all well-meaning people will back you in your obviously very difficult task. We will all wish you the very best. Yours fraternally,

Zim tourism theme park plans criticised by ZimSitRep – 08-28-2013
via Zim tourism theme park plans criticised | SW Radio Africa  By Alex Bell Zimbabwe is facing criticism for planning to build a multi-million dollar theme park in Victoria Falls, with the plans being dismissed as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘bizarre’. ZANU PF’s Walter Mzembi, who was the Tourism Minister in the last government and whose future role is yet to be determined, announced the plans for ‘Disneyland in Africa’ this week. He was speaking on the sidelines of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly taking place in Victoria Falls. Mzembi said the theme park development, planned to be built across 1,200 hectares of land, would house shopping malls, banking and exhibition facilities, and other entertainment services such as casinos. He said the estimated cost stands at about $300 million. “We need a bit of development. In the distant environs we must see ultra-modernity emerging which can attract the youthful market into this destination. Current visitors are very elderly couples as the youth are a bit bored,” Mzembi was quoted as saying by the state media. Political analyst Clifford Mashiri called the plans “bizarre,” telling SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the country has more pressing issues that should be addressed. This includes providing countrywide access to basic amenities like water and electricity, which remain out of reach for most of the population. “People have no basic requirements in the cities and the rural areas. For some reason Mugabe wants to divert attention from these issues and try to appear like he has made a 21st century country by having a theme park. It’s rather crazy, it’s not wise and it’s not necessary and it’s just to divert attention,” Mashiri said. At the same time, tourism experts have said the plans are inappropriate. The UK Telegraph newspaper quoted Chris McIntyre of Expert Africa, a specialist tour operator, as saying: “People go to Zimbabwe because it actually offers something that is authentically African.” “They are not going to want to go there for a Mickey Mouse experience. It would be completely inappropriate,” McIntyre reportedly said. Lisa Grainger, an Africa travel specialist was also quoted by the Telegraphy as calling the plans “crazy”. “It would be like building a casino beside the pyramids. The reason people visit the falls is because it’s unspoilt and natural; it’s a glorious part of the Earth. Not because they want to buy candy-floss and be immersed in an American-style theme park,” Grainger told the newspaper. In the meantime, the state media has been at pains to justify why ZANU PF individuals are illegally representing themselves as government ministers at the UNWTO conference. There is still no functioning government in Zimbabwe, with plans to swear in a new Cabinet and a new house of MPs being put on hold. This means all the officials at the conference are technically misrepresenting themselves, including the former Tourism Minister Mzembi. The ZANU PF mouthpiece newspaper the Herald has since sought legal justification of this, quoting experts who said that: “Technically, his term has expired, but practically there is need for continuity without any break.”