- New Cabinet: Mugabe plays cards close to chest
- Diamond revenue: Zimbabwe misses IMF target
- Zimbabwe’s economic future uncertain – World Bank
- Perception haunts Zim
- Tsvangirai fights back
- Over 135 exhibitors expected at Sanganai
- Sadc report causes storm
- Government to Lure Conferences to Victoria Falls
- Health time bomb as patients bring own water to hospitals
- Zanu PF will destroy local authorities
- African women politicians on the rise
- Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7 September 2013
- Mugabe splurges on £2m shindig
- Zim Lawyers Map Out Responses To Rising Attacks
- Chombo Orders Councils to Return Repossessions
- What an eventful three weeks
- GMB to distribute 10 000 tonnes of maize
- Workload on Govt’s desk
- Inside Mugabe’s memory bank
- Zim gems to rule world market
- No Zimbabwe Cabinet 16 Days After Inauguration
New Cabinet: Mugabe plays cards close to chest by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via New Cabinet: Mugabe plays cards close to chest by Patrice Makova Mugabe is playing his cards close to the chest as he quietly assembles his long-awaited cabinet. Mugabe, who has a huge pool to choose from after Zanu PF secured a two thirds majority in Parliament, had by yesterday not appointed a cabinet, almost 40 days after winning the July 31 elections. Sources said Mugabe had indicated that he was not in a hurry to announce his new cabinet as he was keen to do a balancing act in order to please the different factions which helped him win resoundingly against opposition MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. A senior government official said apart from vice President Joice Mujuru, only his closest aides among them chief secretary to the Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda were in the picture of how the new cabinet was shaping up. He said although there was intense lobbying for strategic portfolios by the factions within Zanu PF battling to succeed Mugabe, the 89-year-old president has left everyone guessing. The factions linked to Mujuru and defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa were said to be positioning their members for key portfolios, such as Finance, Mines, Defence, Local Government and Indigenisation. “People may mention all sorts of names as having been given this or that ministry, but this is all speculation as the old man (Mugabe) has kept his cards close to his chest,” he said. But another senior government official said indications were that Mugabe was likely to announce the cabinet on Tuesday. “It is not yet clear who will get what ministry, but all we have been told is to expect a lot of surprises. A lot of shifting of ministries will be done,” he said. He said some former ministers were likely to be re-deployed, including to the party headquarters. The official said although Mugabe would appoint many of his old guard who have failed in the past, new faces in the form of so called “Young Turks” and some technocrats were being considered as he assembles a cabinet under pressure to deliver. Political analyst, Shakespear Hamauswa said Mugabe was under pressure to appoint ministers who can deliver. He said Mugabe needed to strike a balance by rewarding those who helped him, among them war veterans, securocrats, youths, women and intellectuals. Hamauswa said Mugabe should have appointed an interim finance minister, like what he did before the formation of the Government of National Unity in 2009 when former Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa temporarily assumed that portfolio. “The supplementary budget will cater for the needs of farmers who are already running around preparing for the onset of the rainy season. Civil servants and students also need urgent attention of the government,” he said. Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba’s phone was unreachable yesterday. However names that were being touted for possible appointment as ministers include Mnangagwa himself who is tipped for Finance ministry. Minister of State in Mujuru’s office, Sylvester Nguni is tipped for the Indigenisation and Empowerment ministry previously held by Saviour Kasukuwere. The Mt Darwin MP is tipped for the labour portfolio. Former Mines minister, Obert Mpofu may go back to his old Industry portfolio. Former Tourism minister, Walter Mzembi is being touted as the possible new Mines minister. Local government minister, Ignatious Chombo is tipped to retain his position. But his loyalists accuse Chombo’s rivals in Zanu PF of a smear campaign to discredit his candidature following allegations raised in court linking him to corrupt land deals in Harare. Former Tsholotsho North legislator, Jonathan Moyo is tipped to take over the Media and Information ministry from Webster Shamu. The Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat may be deployed full time at party headquarters in order to start preparing for next year’s congress and the 2018 elections. Three medical doctors are fighting for the Health ministry. These are politburo member David Parirenyatwa, former deputy minister, Douglous Mombeshora and Paul Chimedza. Journalist-cum-politician, Supa Mandiwanzira may land the ICT portfolio, while former Agriculture minister, Joseph Made is tipped to be retained in his previous ministry. Mugabe may however make surprise appointments. Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said only Mugabe knew when the new cabinet would be place. “We are also waiting for him to announce the new cabinet, but I am sure it will be very soon,” he said.
Diamond revenue: Zimbabwe misses IMF target by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Diamond revenue: Zimbabwe misses IMF target by Ndamu Sandu ZIMBABWE has missed a June deadline to ensure diamond revenue from Marange flows into Treasury as part of reforms under a supervised programme by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This comes at a time the country has lost three months engrossed in election-related issues that had virtually paralysed government operations. In June, the IMF agreed to a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) on Zimbabwe after Harare had pledged to undertake a raft of reforms as it builds bridges with the multilateral financial institutions. The SMP — an informal agreement between country authorities and the Fund staff to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic programmes — came after intensive lobbying by the inclusive government as part of its re-engagement with the global lender. The SMP focusses on putting public finances on a sustainable course, while protecting infrastructure investment and priority social spending, strengthening public financial management, increasing diamond revenue transparency, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and restructuring the central bank. As part of the agreement, Zimbabwe said it would issue a Statutory Instrument by the end of June 2013 that would establish a clear formula for the calculation and remittance of any dividends to government from those entities it holds shares in. “This is an important step towards ensuring that all diamond revenue is remitted to Treasury, in keeping with the government’s commitment under the Diamond Policy. In addition, all rough diamonds produced shall be sold through a government-appointed agent,” Zimbabwe said in a letter to the IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde. Marange diamonds had been central to the tug of war among partners in the coalition government whose tenure ended last month. The MDC formations accused Zanu PF of using diamond proceeds to build its war chest in the run up to the July 31 harmonised elections. Former Finance minister, Tendai Biti complained during his tenure that Treasury was not getting enough from Marange diamonds despite producers increasing output. Biti accused Anjin, a company in which a Chinese firm is partnering the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, of not remitting dividends to the fiscus, an accusation the firm dismissed. The measures on diamond proceeds stem from the Diamond Policy that was approved by cabinet last year giving Treasury and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority the right to access trading and financial records of diamond companies. The policy gave joint responsibility to the ministries of Finance and Mines and Mining Development to ensure the accurate computation, accounting and repatriation of diamond proceeds from companies in which government has a stake. “On that basis, by end of June 2013, Treasury will produce a report accounting in detail for the diamond dividends, royalties and other diamond-related cash flows received in 2012 by Treasury from all enterprises in joint venture partnerships with ZMDC [Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation] involved in the diamond industry,” government told the IMF. The Statutory Instrument is still to be issued two months on raising concern on whether Zimbabwe will be able to undertake the reforms before the end of the SMP tenure in December. There are now fears that other timelines would not be met. Government also promised IMF that by the end of September, it would submit to cabinet amendments to the Precious Stones Trade Act to incorporate the principles contained in the Diamond Policy. The amendments would be presented to Parliament by end of December. Government told IMF it will submit a Bill before Parliament by the end of the month meant to take over the debt owed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). The central bank owes creditors over US$1,1 billion. The inclusive government had been working on the draft RBZ Debt Relief Bill but seems to have abandoned the project in the run up to the July 31 harmonised elections. Questions sent to the IMF had not been responded to by yesterday. Treasury and the central bank said they were waiting for the appointment of a new finance minister to map the way forward.
Zimbabwe’s economic future uncertain – World Bank by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Zimbabwe’s economic future uncertain – World Bank THE World Bank has said the 2014 outlook for Zimbabwe’s still ailing economy remains increasingly uncertain due to a host of internal and external factors. In its September Economic Briefing, the bank said growth in Zimbabwe was rapidly fading, and after 4, 4% recorded in 2012, the growth projections for 2013 have been revised downwards to 3%, with little prospects for a recovery in 2014. “The economy faces uncertainty both from expected volatility in the global economy, and on the domestic front after July elections, amidst worsening macroeconomic indicators and increased vulnerability of the banking sector,” the bank said. As Zimbabwe’s external position has been supported by substantial short-term capital inflows, the situation would be compounded by the risk of capital outflows from emerging markets, as the United States Federal Reserve progressively unwinds its expansionary monetary policy. “Growth performance has been stymied by continued slowdown of the key sectors of the economy, amidst easing of international commodity prices, low investment, tight credit conditions, and policy uncertainty after the July elections,” the bank said. The briefing also noted that concerns over the new government economic policies, including extensive implementation of indigenisation legislation, were bound to extend the wait-and-see attitude of both domestic and foreign investors that characterised the run-up to elections. The expected increased volatility of commodity prices would affect Zimbabwe’s export growth, worsening the current account deficit, shrinking fiscal revenues and upsetting the economic recovery process. Agriculture’s growth prospects have been revised downwards and the sector is expected to slightly contract by -0,3% while the decline in international prices is dampening growth of the mining sector. Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector growth is projected at 1,5%, stunted by low investment, declining competitiveness amidst tight credit conditions and the services sector will remain the biggest contributor to Gross Domestic Product, at 41%. The bank said that as fiscal revenues stabilise around US$4 billion, Treasury can no longer keep the pace of the past fiscal recovery to absorb new commitments. Zimbabwe’s external position remained under pressure in 2013. National statistical agency Zimstat’s data showed that exports reduced to US$1,55 billion in the first six months of 2013 compared with US$1,56 billion in 2012 with mineral exports and tobacco contributing towards the bulk of exports.
Perception haunts Zim by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Perception haunts Zim – DailyNews Live by Roadwin Chirara Poor international perception of Zimbabwe’s public institutions continues to weigh the country down, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said. According to the latest WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2013–2014, public institutions continue to receive a weak assessment, particularly related to corruption, security, and government favouritism, although overall the assessment of this pillar has improved somewhat since a few years ago. “Yet major concerns remain with regard to the protection of property rights), where Zimbabwe is among the lowest-ranked countries at 137, reducing the incentive for businesses to invest,” said WEF. In the latest survey released on Wednesday, Zimbabwe marginally moved up one position to 131 out of 148 countries. The WEF said the country, whose economic growth is currently premised on the Medium Term Plan, still required more efforts to ensure its macroeconomic stability. “Despite efforts to improve its macroeconomic environment — including the dollarisation of its economy in early 2009, which brought down inflation and interest rates — Zimbabwe still receives a low rank in this pillar (114th), demonstrating the extent of efforts still needed,” the survey noted. Zimbabwe was also found to have weaknesses in areas of health ranked at 132 in the health sub-pillar, low education enrolment rates, and formal markets that continue to function with difficulty, particularly with regard to goods and labour markets, ranked 130th and 140th, respectively. The WEF Index is a tool that assesses the competitiveness of 148 economies across all geographies and stages of development. It aims to capture the complexity of the phenomenon of national competitiveness, which can be improved only through an array of efforts in different areas that affect the longer-term productivity of a country, which is the key factor affecting economic growth performance of economies. Zimbabwe’s neighbour South Africa was ranked 53 out of 148 countries surveyed on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index. South Africa ranked ahead of all its Brics partners except China, who remained in 29th position, taking over second place from Brazil, who is now ranked third in 56th place, followed by India in 60th place and Russia at 64. It took second placing in Africa behind Mauritius, who climbed nine places to 45th position. Behind South Africa was Rwanda (66th), Botswana (74th), Morocco (77th) and Nambia (90th). The top 10, in order, are: Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, Germany, the United States, Sweden, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom. South Africa scored highly on the quality of its institutions, ranking 41st overall and ranked first for the regulation of securities exchanges for the fourth consecutive year. Director of issuer regulation for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange John Burke said: “We are very pleased with this accolade for South Africa, which indicates that the JSE is a secure and credible environment to raise capital and in which to invest.” South Africa was also ranked first for strength of auditing and reporting standards; efficacy of corporate boards and the protection of minority shareholders’ interests. It took third place for financial market development. South Africa performed badly with regards to its hiring and firing practices (147th ), its labour-employer relations (148th place) and education system (146th), no doubt encouraged by the ongoing labour issues in the mining sector. The report said, “The country’s strong ties to advanced economies, notably the euro area, make it more vulnerable to their economic slowdown and likely have contributed to the deterioration of fiscal indicators: its performance in the macroeconomic environment has dropped sharply (from 69th to 95th place).” Released annually in September, the report rates countries on competitiveness in terms of quality of infrastructure and institutions, efficiency, market sophistication as well as capacity for innovation amongst others. — With BusinessDay
Tsvangirai fights back by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Tsvangirai fights back – DailyNews Live by Thelma Chikwanha Former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai is set to address a rally at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare on Saturday with the MDC claiming that their leader will reveal to supporters how the July 31 polls were “stolen.” The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that President Robert Mugabe had won 61 percent of the presidential vote while his Zanu PF won by a two thirds majority in Parliament but the MDC immediately described the election as a farce claiming Zanu PF had rigged. The rally dubbed What Happened? will also be used to commemorate the party’s 14th anniversary. The MDC turns 14 on Wednesday. Tsvangirai’s party is still devastated after losing the July 31 elections. The party’s national organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Tsvangirai will provide answers to how Zanu PF “rigged” the elections. Sadc has since endorsed the election result as “free, peaceful and generally credible.” Last week, the MDC claimed that a Sadc report on the July 31 election presented by Tanzania’s foreign minister Bernard Membe was false. Political analysts like Trevor Maisiri said the endorsement of the election by Sadc sounded a death knell on the MDC’s hope of securing any help from the regional body. Said Chamisa: “We will hold a rally to commemorate our 14th anniversary and come up with a way forward. We did a forensic report and it has damning discoveries which we want to share with the whole country at Sakubva Stadium on Saturday.” The party which has presented the biggest challenge for Zanu PF had prior to the election raised issues of the electoral irregularities which included; the failure of political parties to access an electronic and hard copy of the voters’ roll. Local observers under the umbrella of Zimbabwe Election Support Network say that close to one million people in urban areas failed to cast their votes after they were turned away for not being registered as voters and several other reasons. In rural areas, however at least 90 percent of registered voters managed to cast their votes on election day amidst concerns of the very high number of assisted voters. A local research organisation Research Advocacy Unit (RAU) also said that there were at least one million people who were either deceased or had left the country who appeared on the voters’ roll. Rau also stated that close to a million people between the ages of 18 and 30 had failed to register as voters yet the youth constitutes 60 percent of the country’s population. The organisation also revealed how in some areas the number of registered voters did not tally with the population of the people according to a census conducted last year. But political analysts on one hand say the MDC, which has its roots in the labour movement, lost the election because they lost touch with their supporters who mainly consist of the poor working class. Leader of the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe Munyaradzi Gwisai says the party lost because Tsvangirai failed to listen to people who were advocating for the NO vote during the referendum because Mugabe was using it as a dress rehearsal. “As Tsvangirai and his ministers were busy telling the world that they were lucky to be Mugabe’s apprentices, war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda camped for a year in Masvingo terrorising villagers. “Then the MDC made a huge blunder in pushing forward ward-based polling and counting of ballots,” Gwisai was quoted as having said by the local media. Gwisai who once represented the MDC as a member of Parliament for Highfield added that; “This exposed rural opposition voters to intimidation. With no protection from the MDC and with memories of the terror of June 2008, many rural people voted for their security.
Over 135 exhibitors expected at Sanganai by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Over 135 exhibitors expected at Sanganai – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere More than 135 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Zimbabwe Premier Tourism Travel Exhibition, Sanganai/Hlanganani, as the country continues to bask in the glory of the recent United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly. Sugar Chagonda, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson, said about 137 exhibitors have confirmed their participation. “We also have 18 foreign exhibitors from the country’s traditional source markets such as the United Kingdom, China, Germany, South Africa and Indonesia who have also expressed interest to come and showcase their products,” he said. Chagonda noted that the sixth edition of Sanganai — which will be held from October 10 to 12 at the Harare International Conference Centre — is taking a business thrust as a way of encouraging interaction within the tourism industry. “We are hoping to maximise on the successful hosting of the UNWTO general assembly that Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosted in Victoria Falls and Livingstone. The event presented the country’s tourism sector with an opportunity to attract leading regional and international tourism players,” he said. The last four editions of Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Fair were a resounding success as leading regional and international exhibitors and buyers converged in Zimbabwe to promote growth and development of the sector. Last year’s edition of the tourism fair attracted 85 foreign buyers and more than 1 000 exhibitors. Zimbabwe is the second largest tourism destination in southern Africa behind South Africa and continues efforts to develop new methods of improving the sector. The southern African nation’s tourism industry is on a recovery path after a decade-long crisis that triggered dwindling arrivals due to a flurry of travel warnings from key markets like Japan, the United States of America (USA), Germany and Britain among other countries, in response to a political and economic crisis as well as worsening international relations. According to a report released last week by ZTA, Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals in the first half increased by 12 percent to 859 995 spurred by growth in regional trade and commerce through transiting business visitors. The study revealed that the market share for the overseas arrivals into Zimbabwe stood at 13 percent compared to the market share for African arrivals, at 87 percent. “The combined arrivals from all overseas markets rose by 20 percent this year compared to last year, on the backdrop of exceptional increases from Europe (26 percent) and Asia (60 percent) with UK, France and China specifically registering outstanding performances,” said ZTA. In the six months to June, mainland Africa saw a 11 percent increase in arrivals having risen from 675 727 in 2012 to 749 301, with South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia contributing over 70 percent of all arrivals from this region. The Americas declined by three percent, having fallen from 24 462 in 2012 to 23 764 on the background of a six percent decline in USA arrivals. Asia exhibited a sterling performance having recorded a 60 percent growth in arrivals into Zimbabwe.
Sadc report causes storm by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Sadc report causes storm – DailyNews Live by Maxwell Sibanda The Southern African Development Community, Sadc Election Observer Mission, Seom, last week released the final election report of the July 31 elections which has caused a storm in Zimbabwe’s political field. Bernard Membe, Tanzanian foreign affairs minister and the head of SEOM and his team of observers have been blasted for being biased towards Zanu PF with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and civic organisations dismissing his report. Tsvangirai says the Sadc election observer mission has failed to live up to its set guidelines for free and fair elections. He said the observer team produced a “saddening” report that is “factually wrong”. “What I fail to read in the report is first and foremost that in Maputo, Sadc was very clear that certain reforms and processes were key if free and fair elections were to be conducted. “And secondly, Sadc has guidelines; they don’t even mention whether our elections passed the test of those benchmarks, they don’t even make that reference.” The Daily News on Sunday spoke to social and political commentators on their take on the Sadc final report. Playwright Cont Mhlanga says it is clear that the Sadc report is aimed at getting Zimbabwe to move on and get out of the election mood and a disputed election stance will defeat that purpose. “In this situation it was best for Sadc to avoid the issue of fairness. Let’s not forget that it was the same Sadc that insisted that the election road map and reforms must be carried out to the letter before the election to achieve fairness, but they know as much as we all know that the reforms were not implemented to the dot. “However the debate on fairness was undermined by the over confident opposition who all agreed to participate in the election before the full implementation of the reforms and by a too wide a margin in the results in favour of the now ruling party,” says Mhlanga. He believes the gap is just too wide to raise issues of fairness and Sadc finds itself in a compromised situation created by the opposition itself. “Sadc handled the report the best way they could under the circumstances in the interest of moving the country forward and I agree with them a hundred percent. “Every Zimbabwean should work at getting the country out of the election mood in all ways possible to them,” Mhlanga says. Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu says the report is a balancing act to mollify all contesting parties in Zimbabwe, this regardless of the critical position taken by the MDC. “The Sadc report falls short of saying the election was not free by describing the voter roll access challenges as a key matter that informs whether an election is free or otherwise. “Despite the affirmation of the credibility and fairness of the election, Sadc has made a strong point on areas that need reform for future elections. It is a way out for Sadc from a difficult political situation,” says Mukundu. Harare residents Trust, HRT director Precious Shumba says the Sadc report reflected the thinking within the Sadc region. “Realising that the regional block has concluded the Zimbabwe election matter, it is prudent for all Zimbabweans to plan for the future and those who are aggrieved by their loss in the elections must not hold the country back but separate their political grievances and the positive development of Zimbabwe as a whole. “Every citizen has a responsibility to contribute positively towards the development of Zimbabwe where everyone is treated equally before the law. “The report must be regarded as the source document to address challenges observed. Let us take the contents of that report to inform civil society’s lobby and advocacy approaches,” says Shumba. Pan Africanist Thomas Deve says the tone of the Sadc report comes as no surprise to many people since the observer team had passed very positive statements in the run up to the election. “Ironically, there were indications that the majority of Sadc member states were more inclined towards a process that would deliver a Zanu PF government on the assumption that this will be surest way of guaranteeing the so called solidarity enjoyed since the days of the anti-colonial struggle,” says Deve. A United States non-governmental organisation research group, the Freedom House, has blasted Sadc for its position on Zimbabwe’s just ended elections which saw millions take to the poll with large numbers being turned away. African director for Freedom House, Vukasin Petrovic said: “These elections were plagued with voters’ roll manipulation and widespread intimidation from the ruling Zanu PF and were, therefore, neither free nor fair,” reads the statement. “Local NGOs noted systematic disenfranchisement during the election process, with significantly more voters being turned away in urban strongholds of the opposition MDC than in rural Zanu PF strongholds.” “However reports of vote rigging should not come as a surprise because election results were decided long before election day,” said Vukasin without disclosing the evidence for his assertions. Last year, Freedom House in a poll survey said Zanu PF had recovered from 2008 election disaster gaining ratings from 19 to 31 percent while the MDC dramatically dropped from 39 to 30 percent in the same period.
Government to Lure Conferences to Victoria Falls by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Government to Lure Conferences to Victoria Falls. GOVERNMENT will intensify efforts to lure conferences to Victoria Falls riding on the back of a successful 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister, Walter Mzembi has said. Zimbabwe and Zambia are on a crest after the 20th session, that ended last week, was described as the best in 38 years, in terms of attendance by UNTWO secretary general Taleb Rifai. “Victoria Falls will never be the same gain. We want to sustain everybody who ensured that the event was a success. We will go and bid for conferences,” Mzembi said. Mzembi said the co-hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly had brought with it opportunities and Zimbabwe has already bagged two meetings slated for next year. A blood transfusion Africa conference will be held in Victoria Falls as well as the 9th Routes Africa forum. Routes Africa is a forum in which aviation and tourism representatives meet to explore opportunities in line with the growth of their industries on the continent. Mzembi said the ministry was also exploring twinning Victoria Falls with Cape Town and Durban to collaborate on meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (mice). “If we are serious about collaborations, Indaba should be partnering Sanganai,” he said. Indaba is the continent’s largest tourism expo in Durban annually. Sanganai/Hlanganani is Zimbabwe’s leading tourism and travel expo that has managed to attract European and Asian buyers among others. He said the conference facility which hosted the General Assembly will undergo some makeovers including a new foundation. In the medium-term, government would audit each province to see what facilities were there to be used for meetings and conferences.
Health time bomb as patients bring own water to hospitals by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Health time bomb as patients bring own water to hospitals by Phyllis Mbanje Erratic water supplies to hospitals countrywide have created a health time bomb, in some cases patients, including expecting mothers, forced to bring their own water to the institutions. The situation is most dire at Harare and Parirenyatwa Groups of Hospitals in the capital city. Experts say health institutions without running water should be shut down in accordance with international law. There is growing concern that there could be serious disease outbreaks at the two institutions if the situation is not urgently addressed. The unreliable water supply has virtually paralysed operations, forcing relatives and friends of the patients under hospitalisation to bring water from home for bathing and drinking. A visit by The Standard to the two health centres revealed a sorry state especially in the paediatric, surgical and maternity wards. Toilets at both institutions emitted an overpowering smell while others had overflowing days-old faecal matter. People who visited the toilets could be seen covering their noses due to the unbearable smell. Many who had come to visit their sick were using their own water to wash their hands after visiting the toilets. “It is very difficult to carry water to the hospital every day for the patient to bath so we have now resorted to dry washing as an alternative. A 20 litre bucket will last a week,” said Ropafadzo Dhirau from Harare’s Manresa suburb. Dry washing is a method of bathing which saves water by only focusing on certain parts of the body but is grossly inadequate in hospital situations. Dhirau’s mother has been in Parirenyatwa Hospital for more than a week and the family has been taking turns to bring water. However, a security guard at one of the entrances said it was illegal for people to bring water into the hospital. “It is not permissible to bring water into the hospital and we turn back those who try to smuggle in water,” she said. But The Standard witnessed many people scrambling for the few taps outside and carrying buckets into the hospital. “The staff tries to fill up some water containers and when patients bath they do not throw away that water, instead they use it for flushing the toilet,” she said. One toilet in a paediatric ward A3 at Parirenyatwa was swarming with flies attracted by human waste and the resultant smell. There was great concern among relatives as children have been known to be susceptible to infection. “My niece was throwing up on Thursday and I could not get water to mop up the vomit and ended up using my wrapping cloth to clean the surface,” said Mbuya Fushai from Murehwa. Harare Hospital clinical director, George Vera said the institution’s plight was most desperate because it was built on high ground. “Those who are in low lying areas like Rugare are in a better situation than us who are on higher ground. We have boreholes but they are not enough,” he said. Vera said the combination of over 5 000 staff members and the many visitors who pass though the institution overwhelmed the few boreholes. “There are plans currently to build a reserve tank and engineers have been on site doing their assessments,” he said. Parirenyatwa Hospital chief executive officer, Thomas Zigora said the hospital was affected by the water crisis “just like the rest of the city”. “If you are affected at your house then it should not be any different from the hospital. It’s not an issue in isolation but it is being experienced everywhere,” he said. “If you want clarity about the water situation go to the city council.” He said it was not newsworthy that the hospital had no water even though the situation could result in the outbreak of diseases. Zigora said the hospital had a couple of boreholes and a reservoir. “We have our back-up plan in the form of boreholes and a reservoir.” he said. But Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) chairperson, Dr Rutendo Bonde said according to international by-laws a health institution which does not have running water should be closed. “There are many health risks involved such as cross infections, and incidences of what is called nosocomial infections,” she said. Nosocomial infections are hospital acquired infections that can be passed on from one person to the other. Bonde said routine medical checkups would be compromised in the absence of water. Diseases that can be acquired from these infections include pneumonia, urinary tract complications and many bacteria-based diseases. “The toilets are the breeding grounds for these infections because people will use them to relieve themselves and cannot wash their hands immediately until they get home,” she said. “These infections are difficult to treat and do not always respond to antibiotics,” she said. Most suburbs in Harare and Chitungwiza have been receiving erratic water supplies for several weeks now. Residents are getting water from makeshift open wells, burst drainage pipes and even from nearby rivers. Suburbs that have also been hard hit by the water crisis include Mabelreign, Ashdown Park, Westgate, Kuwadzana, Warren Park, Waterfalls, Prospect, Msasa Park, Mabvuku and many others. The government recently scrapped water bills to ease the burden on residents who owed council thousands of dollars in arrears. But hardly a month after residents celebrated the scrapping of the bills they now have to deal with the severe water cuts. Harare City Council has warned residents to brace for more water woes this season due to high demand coupled with failing equipment at most of the local authority’s waterworks.
Zanu PF will destroy local authorities by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via ‘Zanu PF will destroy local authorities’ by Musa Dube FORMER local government deputy minister, Sesel Zvidzai says the new Zanu PF government was likely to destroy the local and urban authorities because of its populist policies. Zvidzai, a senior MDC-T official, said during the inclusive government they had managed to craft a constitution that guided the proper governance of local authorities. He said he feared that all efforts by the inclusive government would go down the drain as the Zanu PF administration takes over. “My own guess is informed by history, their unmatched ability to demolish what serves people. I guess, therefore that we will begin to see retrogression, excessive controls and the decay of governance and services,” said Zvidzai. Outgoing Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo in July directed local authorities to scrap all outstanding rates as at June 30 2013, in what observers viewed as a vote buying exercise to lure the electorate to Zanu PF ahead of elections. Since then, some local authorities have not been able to pay their workers’ salaries while service delivery plummeted. Zvidzai said rural and urban councils faced serious challenges before 2008 but some were addressed by inclusive government. “Rural and Urban Councils were at their worst ebb in 2008 when the inclusive government took over from Zanu PF. Rewind and think of the cholera menace, impassable roads, environmental damage, and absence of potable water. There were no services to talk about. Rural water points had died with no attention at all. The situation was worse than dire,” he said adding that he feared the situation would slide back to the 2008 era with Zanu PF government in place. “The new government is a re- run of pre-2008 situation. This is a government that was born out of electoral fraud. It has got no reason to thank people,” he said. “History will repeat itself again and massive dispossessions of assets will set in, populist approaches will carry the day again, and unemployment will rise as more of what remains withers,” said Zvidzai. He said the new government’s top priority should be to “actualise the peoples demand for devolution and autonomous sub national governments”. “When such foundation is firmly laid, things such as water and sanitation, housing delivery and waste management will be dealt with more effectively, thus providing more than value for money services,” he said.
African women politicians on the rise by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via African women politicians on the rise – DailyNews Live by Sharon Muguwu Women are becoming more powerful in Africa; they are getting empowered and gone are the days when society would say “a woman’s place is in the kitchen.” Now the African woman’s place is anywhere she wants it to be, whenever and wherever. There are others who believe the increased visibility of women in key positions is a result of years of advocacy on gender equality, application of affirmative action policies or quota systems in some countries, and more educated women. In recent years Africa has witnessed women rise to power with the example of Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who was declared “the Most Powerful Woman in Africa” by Forbes Africa Magazine. The magazine notes: “Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected in 2005 Liberia’s 24th president and Africa’s first woman president. Prior to her election, she worked for the World Bank and Citibank. She is a member of the prestigious Council of Women Leaders. In October 2010, she signed into law a Freedom of Information bill.” Being the first woman president in Africa has inspired other women fighting for political domination in a world where female politicians had for decades failed to ascend to the presidium. Malawi’s Joyce Banda, who was a vice president and took over the presidency from Bingu waMutharika following his death, has showed her political muscles by effecting drastic changes in the southern African country — some controversial and some widely accepted. “I had to get on course with IMF, devalue the Kwacha (Malawi currency) by 40 percent, and I am grateful for some of this money that goes towards cash transfers which will help cushion the shock that (the) devaluation has brought about,” she was quoted saying. Banda is in the process of turning around her country’s economy, which has been struggling for some decades. Our very own vice president Joice Mujuru is another powerful African woman politician who steadily rose through the ranks to deputise President Robert Mugabe. She is also second in the pecking order in her Zanu PF party. Mujuru became the first female vice president of Zimbabwe and was number five among the most powerful women in the Forbes Africa Magazine. Her credentials are punctuated with exploits in the armed liberation war during the colonial era and has held several ministerial posts since independence. She also made political history in Zimbabwe as the youngest Cabinet member taking the portfolio of Sport, Youth and Recreation and also as a Telecommunications minister. Zimbabwe has also witnessed the rise of Thokozani Khupe — a Zimbabwean politician and the vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). She is former deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, serving from February 11, 2009 until August 2013. She is a senior member of Parliament for Makokoba Constituency. In 2005, Khupe was elected vice president of the MDC taking over from veteran trade unionist Gibson Sibanda. Born in Bulawayo on November 18, 1963, Khupe graduated from Turin College, Italy in Information Technology and also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies. Another powerful woman is Luisa Diogo, Mozambican Prime Minister. She won the 2008 Global Women’s Leadership Award for her hard work as an anti-poverty and health advocate, waging a battle to stop the HIV/Aids epidemic in her country. Africa has come of age. And 2013 will be a landmark year: it is the 50th Anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now the Africa Union (AU); it is a year Africa celebrates progress in liberating Africa from colonialism; it is the first year the AU is being headed by a woman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She was an anti-apartheid activist, participating in the fight for South African freedom and has held several ministerial posts which include Health, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma commented: “The African continent is increasingly seen as the continent of the future and we need to applaud the prominent role that women are playing in running the affairs and shaping the destiny of the continent.” In Nigerian there is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Finance minister. Before she took this position, she was vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group, a prestigious position for Africa, more-so being held by a female. There are other women who hold high positions in banks, big corporates and many others. Rural women are also producing the bulk of the food; women cross-border traders and women in the markets are contributing to the economies of their countries, women executives, women on corporate boards, women in the media are driving this economic growth for Africa.
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7 September 2013 by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via email SADC can feed Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th September 2013 It’s not surprising that Belgium should be leading the call to lift sanctions on the Zimbabwe mafia. A country whose best-known modern artwork is Marcel Duchamp’s pisspot could hardly be expected to have much to say about freedom, justice and democracy. Certainly, the Belgians didn’t pay much attention to these values when they urinated over the ‘Belgian’ Congo setting a standard of rapacious cruelty unmatched by any other European colonizer. The Vigil expects Belgium’s diamond thirst to prevail and that the EU will lift the remaining targeted sanctions. After being told that – despite being the major donors to Zimbabwe – they would not be allowed to observe the elections they blithely said the EU would be guided by SADC as to their credibility. Well, SADC leaders ignored their own election guidelines and closed their eyes to all the evidence, hailing the blatantly-rigged elections as a triumph for Mugabe and going on to choose him to chair the organisation next year. Even President Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu has seen the glittering light reflected by the diamonds and is now calling on the West to be nice to Mugabe and, furthermore, close down ‘pirate’ radio stations. Perhaps Mugabe was more justified than we thought in calling her ‘an idiotic street woman’. Idiotic, certainly, otherwise she would know that the West cannot close down radio stations operating perfectly legally or they would have to close down the BBC World Service. Street woman? – well, Zulu has now jumped into the same bed as Mugabe . . . So what difference will it make if the sanctions are dropped? Well, it will legitimize Zimbabwe’s stolen elections. But Africa and much of the world have shown that they are quite happy with stolen elections – or Assad’s use of banned chemical weapons, for that matter. The Vigil thinks that one positive outcome of the end of sanctions could be that Mugabe would have to find another excuse for the cataclysmic failure of his governance of Zimbabwe. When he came to power Zimbabwe was the second biggest economy in SADC. Now it is one of the poorest. Previously despised Zambia now has a GDP three times as big. What worries us most in the diaspora is that the UN says it will have to feed a quarter of the rural population in the coming months. This is at a time when the UN says it is running out of money to feed desperate Syrian refugees. The Vigil has an idea for the British government. Why not feed the starving people in Zimbabwe with money from the $1 billion or so it donates to SADC countries every year? These countries have shown they want to help Mugabe. This would allow the UN to devote its scarce resources to the urgent needs of the suffering people of Syria. After the Vigil many supporters went on to our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum at which we discussed plans for an all-stakeholders’ meeting of the diaspora to be held in London. It was agreed the initiative would be called ‘restore Zimbabwe’ and it was proposed that the diaspora should be invited to coalesce around ideas such as:
- · Scrapping indigenisation and encouraging foreign direct investment.
- · Giving freehold title to farmers to enable them to get bank loans or sell their properties (economists say this would at a stroke stimulate agriculture).
- · Nationalising the diamond mines.
- · Privatising the parastatals.
- · Requiring senior elected and non-elected leaders to disclose their assets.
- · Replacing the judiciary and reforming the police and armed forces.
It was agreed that the conference should be an all-day event on a weekday in the last part of October. The date would be set depending on availability of key speakers. Thanks to Joseph Chivayo, Helen Rukambiro, Deborah Harry and Fungayi Mabhunu for their help in setting up the Vigil Thanks also to Helen for looking after the register and merchandise throughout the Vigil. For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
- · Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It’s next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- · Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
- · Zimbabwe Vigil’s 11th Anniversary. Saturday 12th October.
- · Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-
vigil-diary/467-vigil- highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.
- · The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
- · Facebook pages:
– Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.
- · Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/
- · Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe
Vigil co-ordinators The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
Mugabe splurges on £2m shindig by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
Zim Lawyers Map Out Responses To Rising Attacks by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Zim Lawyers Map Out Responses To Rising Attacks Under Mugabeâ€™s Regime By Professor Matodzi Zimbabwe’s leading legal defense group, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has protested against the classification of human rights lawyers as endangered species for simply executing their professional duties in the country. On Friday, ZLHR became the first legal body in the country to break its silence over the sustained attacks and harassment of legal practitioners in Zimbabwe. The human rights group raised concern that lawyers were now much vulnerable following the rising attacks on legal practitioners in Zimbabwe which recently culminated with a High Court judge recommending the prosecution of lawyers. “ZLHR has observed with great concern that lawyers continue to be an endangered species in Zimbabwe. ……Where a lawyer is targeted without just cause and/or due process, this has a chilling effect on other lawyers who will censor themselves and not deliver justice for their clients and the greater national cause,” ZLHR said in a strongly worded statement released on Friday. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu recently urged the country’s prosecuting authorities to punish MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyers, who filed two urgent applications demanding an audit of the country’s disputed election result. Bhunu claimed that Tsvangirai’s lawyers Lewis Uriri, Alec Muchadehama and Tarisai Mutangi acted unethically after they sought to rely on a dossier compiled by the MDC-T leader criticising the judiciary. In March police arrested prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and charged her with attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice while she was executing her professional duties. In June, The Herald newspaper attempted to malign ZLHR’s reputation after publishing a series of stories attacking the legal defence group for allegedly leading the MDC-T litigation crusade. The newspaper breached professional legal ethics by publishing communications between lawyers and their clients and embarked on a blatant propagandistic attempt to interfere in serious litigation that was pending before the courts and sought to set the legal profession on a collision course with the judiciary. To protect the lawyers, ZLHR called all concerned stakeholders to promote mutual understanding and respect within the legal profession and to increase substantive engagement between lawyers in the private and public sectors and members of the judiciary at all levels. The Prosecutor-General, ZLHR said, must without fear or favour, take swift and effective measures to ensure the prosecution or disciplining of all offenders who carry out unwarranted attacks on members of the legal profession, so as to discourage this practice and the growing culture of impunity. “ZLHR finally reiterates that, whilst members of the legal profession are not above the law, any action taken against them must respect and safeguard their constitutional rights and regional norms and standards, and must only be taken in accordance with the principles of natural justice and after due process has been afforded them. Where this is not done, justice delivery will be the ultimate loser and confidence in the authorities – not only by the legal profession, but also by society at large – will be adversely affected,” ZLHR said. Meanwhile, the Law Society of Zimbabwe has called for an extraordinary general meeting of its members schedule for late Friday to map out responses to the rising threats and attacks on legal practitioners in Zimbabwe.
Chombo Orders Councils to Return Repossessions by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Chombo Orders Councils to Return Repossessed Houses, Stands by VOA Former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo says urban and rural councils should surrender houses and residential stands repossessed from aspiring home owners who failed to pay for them due to lack of money. The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mr. Chombo as saying the councils which were run by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations from 2000 up to July this year, should have given residents at least 20 years to pay for the houses and residential stands. He told the newspaper that councils should also extend payment periods and housing development deadlines of up to 20 years to allow struggling people to pay their dues. Chombo recently ordered local authorities to write-off residents’ debts amounting to millions of dollars backdating to 2009. He was not reachable for comment Saturday as his mobile phone was not being answered. But Albert Mhlanga, Member of Parliament for Pumula in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, said this directive is not workable. However, independent political analyst Livingstone Dzikira said Mr. Chombo’s directive can be implemented if councils work hand in hand with the affected people and their lawyers.
What an eventful three weeks by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via What an eventful three weeks! by Garikai Mazara of SundayMail Phew! What a three weeks it has been. Those who are religiously inclined would argue that a week begins on Sunday, whilst the business-minded would counter-argue that Monday is the beginning of the week. Whichever way, the three weeks gone by might rank as probably the most eventful three weeks of the year. Sunday August 18 saw the Southern African Development Community, Sadc in short, give a rousing endorsement of the July 31 harmonised polls. If the endorsement had been limited to speeches and congratulations, we could have easily dismissed it as grand-standing. But Zimbabwe was chosen to be vice-chair, which means that come next August, the Sadc Summit will be held in Harare, or whichever city the Government fancies. That is a definite seal of approval. Whenever such big meals are served, there has to be side platters — and it came in no better form than Lindiwe Zulu, yes, getting a Presidential kiss. Those who might have wanted to dismiss all this as another grandstanding occasion must have been surprised when Lindiwe and South African Vice-President Kgalema Motlanthe landed in the city for President Mugabe’s inauguration. As much as Zulu was getting Presidential kisses (whereupon President Jacob Zuma jokingly inquired when he would receive his bride price), Botswana leader Ian Khama was feeling the heat of swimming upstream. It was in Malawi, joining other Sadc Heads of State, that he finally saw sense and acknowledged that our electoral processes had been as democratic as they can be. Equally feeling the heat was South African-domiciled Mutumwa Mawere, who is being fingered in an embarrassing lottery scam, to the tune of R4,5 million. On Monday August 19 it was reported that his bank accounts down south had been frozen. And the social media, always quick to act as prosecution, jury and judge, were quick to nail him as a failed businessman. If the South African courts are to follow the same reasoning patterns as shown by social media bloggers, then Mawere’s fate is sealed. The Warriors, who are being called the Worriers by some, drew blanks against Zambia, in a match many had hoped would bring a glimmer of hope to a nation which is suffering embarrassing losses on the international scene, in the sporting sense. But that doom and gloom was to be wiped out a week later, when Ian Gorowa’s charges beat Chipolopolo in their own backyard. Not to be outdone was the cricket side. After their dismal whitewash by Bangladesh, few gave the locals any chance against visiting Pakistan. In a One-Day International series, Zimbabwe grabbed the opener, winning by seven wickets, Zimbabwe’s first victory over Pakistan since 1998. But that joy was to be short-lived. A day later, the two teams were squaring off again, Pakistan emerging the winners, by 90 runs, making the subsequent game a decider. Zimbabwe lost. Then on Tuesday August 20, the political atmosphere was getting electric, exciting. The whole drama started with Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyers disowning the losing Presidential candidate’s founding affidavits, presented to the Constitutional Court. In the affidavits, Tsvangirai questioned the impartiality and integrity of the courts, the same courts he was approaching for judgment. He had withdrawn his unsworn affidavits the Friday before, which did not stop the ConCourt from making a determination. To those who were keenly following the ConCourt proceedings, it must have been with little surprise when it was announced that Tsvangirai had lost his case. Besides losing his case, his lawyers faced possible prosecution for labelling the courts incompetent. The matter was referred to the Attorney-General’s Office for prosecution. By Tuesday August 20, Simon Chimbetu’s widow, Angela, was still holed up in Chitungwiza Central Hospital, after suffering bouts of pneumonia and high blood pressure, presumably as an after-effect of the energy-sapping commemorative concerts held to remember the eight years since the Dendera musician had passed away. The Tuesday marked a week she was in hospital but as fate would have it, she was not going to see another Tuesday, as on Saturday she passed away, to join her husband in heaven. She was buried at Warren Hills Cemetery on Monday. It was the same Tuesday that Harare woke up to the shocking news that Irvine Mereki, a once-respected businessman in the capital, and son to Mereki (who founded the popular KwaMereki but was no longer running any business enterprise there by the time of his death), had committed murder and suicide. In what psychologists call “orgasmic anger” Irvine shot his girlfriend Claris Chopamba (some say she was his second wife), soon after making love. Presumably, as they were both found dead and naked in Chopamba’s bedroom in Avondale. They were to be buried, albeit at different resting places, on the same Saturday Mai Chimbetu was to pass away. Also breathing his last was veteran nationalist Cde Kumbirai Kangai, who was buried at the National Heroes’ Acre last week. Still on guns-and-romance-gone-wrong, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who is alleged to have sent his lover to the heavens rather prematurely on Valentine’s Day this year (of all days), was found by the South African courts to have a case to answer. His case will go to trial in March next year. He was formally charged with premeditated murder. In the face of Tsvangirai losing his ConCourt application, as per Constitutional expectations which stipulate that the winning candidate has to be inaugurated within 48 hours of any court ruling, Thursday was duly declared a national holiday to allow for the inauguration of President Mugabe. But as the mood was getting expectant in the country, that the four-or-so years of forced marriage were virtually coming to an end, that mood was somehow dampened by the deaths of two citizens of high social standing, Retired Air Commodore Michael Karakadzai and Cde Enos Nkala, one of the founding fathers of Zanu-PF. Incidentally, Zanu-PF was formed at Cde Nkala’s house in Highfield on August 8 1963. Rtd Air Commodore Karakadzai was to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre on Sunday, whilst Cde Enos Nkala was interred on Thursday. It was in the same week, in a move that startled many, especially the hard-pressed consumer, that telecommunications regulator Potraz ordered Econet to revert to the normal 25 cents per minute billing, instead of the 10 cents per minute promotional campaign that Econet had embarked on. Many queried whether Potraz got its calculations right, and whther it had not overstepped its mandate, because if any competition rules were compromised, the matter should have been handled by the Tariffs and Competition Commission and not Potraz. It goes without saying that the biggest event of that week had to be President Mugabe’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium. The venue was packed, as expected, to the rafters. The fully subscribed ceremony which saw heads of state and government, past and present, converging on Harare, ended in the wee hours of Friday morning, as a musical fiesta followed the afternoon proceedings. Aside from the historical significance of the event, the other talking points in town were the two pieces of chicken, a can of cool drink, a cap, T-shirt and “Zambia” cloth that was given to almost everyone upon entry into the stadium. As weary legs and sore minds digested the week’s events, of which the inauguration clearly stands out, punctuated by the presence of Jamaican reggae band Black Uhuru, it was kick-off time for the Harare Agricultural Show and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly. The Agricultural Show was officially opened on Friday by President Mugabe, with the UNWTO officially opened last Sunday with the closing ceremony held on Wednesday. The General Assembly was co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia. On Monday, the Sadc Election Observer Mission, which observed the country’s July 31 poll, released its final report. The mission reported that the elections were peaceful, free, fair and credible. This was the verdict. But losers are still complaining, accusing the mission of producing a flawed report. Of course, what could they say? They would not have said the same thing had the elections produced a different result. And on Tuesday, Parliament came alive with the swearing in of new legislators. The unmistakable feature was the coming on board of new members under the proportional representation system. Cde Jacob Mudenda was elected National Assembly Speaker while Cde Edna Madzongwe retained the position of Senate President. Cdes Mabel Chinomona and Chenhamo Chimutengwende were elected Deputy National Assembly Speaker and Deputy Senate President respectively. It was a joyous occasion for Zanu-PF, one that came after a resounding victory on July 31. The First Session of the Eighth Parliament is scheduled to begin on September 17, marking the beginning of serious legislative business. In any normal week, Mereki’s shooting of his girlfriend over waning business fortunes should have dominated headlines for the whole month. But in a three-week period that was so congested with events, it might even be argued that Energy Mutodi could have been the happiest person on earth, after being finally granted bail, over fraud allegations. His joy must have been short-lived, as he came home to the news that his disenchanted band members were looking for greener pastures.
GMB to distribute 10 000 tonnes of maize by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Govt orders GMB to distribute 10 000 tonnes of maize by Sunday Mail Reporters Government has ordered the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to distribute more than 10 000 metric tonnes of maize from the country’s Strategic Grain Reserve to five provinces that are facing food shortages. Outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Joseph Made told The Sunday Mail last week that distribution is expected to commence this week. He added that Government has sent a team from the GMB to Zambia to take delivery of part of the 150 000 metric tonnes of maize, which is part of a grain deal the two countries signed early this year. He, however, did not disclose the amount of maize expected. “We have ordered GMB to distribute 10 000 metric tonnes of maize to areas that have been worst affected by drought and are facing imminent food shortages,” said Dr Made. “Government is continuing to import maize from Zambia under a government-to-government arrangement where we purchased 150 000 metric tonnes of maize. “We are yet to take full delivery of all the maize since it is being delivered in batches. As we speak we already have a team from the GMB who are loading the grain in Zambia and we expect them to conclude anytime soon. “The programme will continue in order for the country to feed people in areas without food.” Dr Made added that priority will be given to people in the southern parts of the country. “The first priority would be given to people in Matabeleland South, parts of Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland North. “There are also other parts of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West which lie within the Lowveld areas that were affected by drought.” He added that distribution of the grain from Zambia will commence once the 10 000 metric tonnes from the strategic reserve has been exhausted. The 2012-2013 summer cropping season was adversely affected by delayed rainfall as well as a prolonged dry spell. According to the final crop assessment report by the Ministry of Agriculture, 1 689 786 hectares were put under maize during the 2011/12 agriculture season, but 45 percent of the crop was a write-off. Among the worst affected provinces are Masvingo, which had 155 484 ha, Midlands with 137 663 ha and Manicaland (94 271) of their maize crops written off. According to the 2012 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee Survey (Zimvac), an estimated 1,7 million people in Zimbabwe require food assistance. However, President Mugabe has assured Zimbabweans that no one will die of hunger as the Government has sourced enough grain.
Workload on Govt’s desk by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Workload on Govt’s desk by Lincoln Towindo SundayMail The eagerly anticipated new Government, which President Mugabe is expected to announce any time soon, has a mammoth task on its hands. The team of women and men who will be tasked with engineering an economic development agenda will have their work cut out. The job at hand entails dealing with the ravages of unemployment, ageing physical infrastructure, spurring economic development, instigating sound housing-for-all programmes and ensuring access to health services for all. Speaking at his inauguration ceremony in Harare last month, President Mugabe, who will captain the team, outlined what is expected of the incoming Government. He told the thousands who gathered for the historic event that among the key delivery areas the Government will focus on include mining, the revival of industries, employment creation and support for agriculture. he Zanu-PF manifesto, which delivered a landslide victory for the revolutionary party in last month’s elections, proposed to implement what it termed “People’s Goals” once elected into power. As it emerged, the issues addressed under the “People’s Goals” section of the manifesto proved to be the ones which Zimbabweans hold dear. Below we look at some of the key deliverable “People’s Goals” expected from the incoming Government and how it could achieve them.Economic development and prosperity “To meet the national goal of economic growth over the next five years through Indigenisation and People’s Empowerment, Zanu-PF is committed as a matter of policy to ensuring that the Zimbabwean economy maintains a Gross Domestic Product growth rate that will not be less than six percent,” reads part of the manifesto. But with an economy under siege from illegal economic sanctions, how can the Government ensure that it realises this goal? Economic analysts who spoke to The Sunday Mail last week urged the incoming Government to implement consistent economic policies as a way of securing investor confidence and its goal of an above 6 percent Gross Domestic Product growth over the next five years. Said Buy Zimbabwe economic analyst Ms Vandudzai Zirebwa: “Focus should now be on developing the manufacturing base through consistent economic policies that would spur development and employment creation. “Support for agriculture will also be critical going into the next five years, given that Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy. Also, there is need to synchronise the indigenisation programme with our established economic blueprint because the policy can reach its full potential when employed on a moving economy.” Another economic analyst, Mr Brains Muchemwa, concurred. “Government needs to see to it that its medium term plans are seen to the end and the goals met,” he said. “This would, in turn, boost confidence in the local economy because it sends the right signals of consistency to investors.” Employment creation Critically, it is the goal of every Zimbabwean, especially the youth, to be gainfully employed and the new Government will need to sink its teeth into this matter of employment creation with urgency. The manifesto promised the creation of “a ministry responsible for creating employment opportunities”, adding that the “Indigenisation and People’s Empowerment is particularly designed to create unprecedented employment opportunities over the next five years.” Ms Zirebwa believes employment creation is fundamental and should be achieved through improved capacity utilisation and support for agriculture. Support for the development of small to medium scale enterprises will also be critical for the next five years given the fact that industries are operating below capacity. Therefore, the persons who will be charged with the key economic cluster ministries will need to synergise their efforts towards employment creation. Housing for all The swelling housing waiting list has become a source of much disaffection among Zimbabweans and the new Government will need to ensure the provision of affordable housing is a centrepiece of its five-year agenda. The incoming Government will also need to regularise land tenure for the thousands who were allocated housing stands on peri-urban farms under the land reform programme. Government should also implement a vigorous housing programme “using financial resources from assets to be unlocked from the indigenisation of foreign-owned companies”, as was promised in the manifesto. Critically, though, the incoming Government will need to revive the implementation of the 14-year-old National Housing Policy that was checkmated by illegal sanctions over the years. Said local government expert Mr Percy Toriro: “This is one sector the new Government is expected to focus on. Addressing the problem of housing requires a multi-pronged approach. “This includes revisiting the targets set out in the housing policy as well as adopting a cocktail of people-centred strategies that will facilitate housing delivery. “Some of the strategies that Government can adopt are supporting initiatives that harness resources within the people while Government mobilises larger resources for infrastructure. Co-operatives have worked as a model and so should be supported.” Infrastructure development The country’s physical infrastructure is in poor condition. Economic enablers such as energy, roads, railway, information communication technologies and dams have suffered for years from the effects of the illegal economic sanctions. “Zanu-PF Government will unlock value from idle assets within the Zimbabwe economy in order to augment the US$7,3 billion of assets to be unlocked from the indigenisation of 1 138 foreign-owned companies to capacitate IDBZ, Agribank and Sedco,” reads the manifesto. Analysts argue that the capitalisation of the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) would be fundamentally importance over the next five years in order to spur infrastructure development. Zimbabweans expect better roads, bigger dams, reliable electricity supplies and a functional rail service. “Infrastructure development projects require that funding be sourced from friendly emerging economic giants with huge reserves such as China,” said Mr Toriro. “Such financing should be mobilised by Government as well as larger local authorities.” Health for all In its manifesto, Zanu-PF identified “the shortage of skilled professionals and healthcare staff, an eroded infrastructure with ill-equipped hospitals or clinics and lack of critical medicines and commodities” as the major factors impeding access to health by all. But how could all these challenges be addressed? Firstly, the repatriation of medical professionals who left for the Diaspora at the height of the economic challenges will be instrumental. Also there is a need for successive national budgets to have an apparent bias towards the health portfolio. While the training of medical professionals would be of great importance, the Government will also need to do away with the recruitment freeze that has threatened to cripple operations at Government health facilities. Innovative measures towards assisting vulnerable groups and people living with HIV and Aids will also be key for the health and social welfare clusters. Education for allZimbabwe will over the next five years need to capitalise on its record of having the most literate population on the continent. With the country moving towards a knowledge-driven economy, skills development and investment in education have become more pronounced. Harare-based educationist Dr Lovemore Mapuranga argues that aligning the secondary school curriculum with the country’s specific economic needs will lead to a more relevant education system. “We need to invest more in education and this should be reflected in the national budget,” he said. “Our universities are in dire need of recapitalisation, while there is need for more focus on teacher training given the number of unqualified teachers we have working in our schools. “Remuneration of staff needs to be addressed quickly to avoid unnecessary disturbances and contestations within the sector.” With the clock fast ticking towards 2018, the need to deliver is imperative, given the millions of voters who bought into the ideas enunciated by Zanu-PF during the elections. The time to deliver is now.
Inside Mugabe’s memory bank by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Inside President Mugabe’s memory bank by SundayMail Last week, we [SundayMail] published the first part of President Mugabe’s speech at the burial of Cde Kumbirai Kangai at the National Heroes’ Acre which was well received by many readers both in and outside the country. Below we publish the last part of President Mugabe’s speech. In 1977, we had to sit and now organise ourselves. We had new people who had come into Mozambique from prison. We had gotten rid of the Zipa group and were now going to run the entire affair, which included the struggle and the political work. It was then we decided to sit and then organise ourselves in 1977. Then it was decided that I should act as President. We gave Kangai transport nelogistics; welfare work yema refugees and so on and so forth. He was a hard worker, Kangai. Very straight-forward, very correct, very respectful also and the years we spent together in Mozambique were years I got to know him better.
Zim gems to rule world market by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via Zim gems to rule world market Diamonds mined in Marange are projected to dominate the world market for the next five years amid reports that production from other countries is rapidly dwindling. This comes as Zimbabwe is expected to earn about US$700 million from the sale of the precious stones this year, with a record 16,9 million carats set to be produced from Marange. According to a report released by the Companies Diamond Industry Series last month, the country will satisfy up to 30 percent of world diamond demand by 2015 as leading diamond groups such as Alrosa (Russia) and De Beers are likely to reduce production by venturing into underground mining. Marange diamonds, which are being mined in an area covering over 120 000 hectares, are closer to the ground, as they are mined through the open cast system. The report was compiled by internationally reputable consultants to give insights into world diamond trade. Reacting to the report, Resource Exploitation Watch chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said the developments would force hostile nations to change their stance on Zimbabwe. He said this has happened in countries such as Angola where Westerners were initially working against authorities in that country. “The prospect of Zimbabwe leading in the diamond industry will automatically force hostile countries to change their foreign policy on Zimbabwe,” he said. “This clearly shows that the sanctions that were imposed on Marange are not only hurting Zimbabwe, but also suffocating keen investors.” The report states that the Marange diamonds are a key discovery with a massive impact on the international market. It also lauds the companies operating at the fields for their large-scale production. Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Marange Resources, and Diamond Mining Corporation are the companies mining in Marange. “Diamond forecasters place confidence in their forecasts for declining world diamond production because it is relatively easy to monitor what is happening at kimberlite mines,” reads the report. The majority of the world’s important kimberlite mines are moving into full underground mining, a clear sign that diamond reserves have become greatly depleted. “Moreover, underground mining increases the chances that producers will miss production targets as it is more expensive and more complex. Add to this, it can take anything from five to 20 years for a newly discovered kimberlite pipe that contains diamonds to go into production. “Our view is that diamonds from Marange are a major discovery of diamonds in the global scheme of things. Companies operating in Marange are reportedly producing four carats per tonne, which really is quite impressive.” The report warns Western countries working to discredit Marange diamond sales to seriously consider working with Zimbabwe, as the gems will increasingly become crucial to the world market. It also states that although only five companies are operating at the fields, there is vast scope for more firms to operate in the area. “Those still holding out against Zimbabwe must be urged to accept trade in Marange diamonds. Conflict and human rights violations in Zimbabwe are tremendously exaggerated to comply with political positions. “Diamond experts estimate that between 11 to 16 mines can profitably do business in Chiadzwa and each could produce about 10 million carats per year. Mining experts also added that over 200 diamond kimberlite pipes have been discovered countrywide. Production statistics from the Kimberley Process show that Zimbabwe officially produced 3,8 million carats of diamonds valued at $174,8 million between the years 2003 to 2009, and 8,5 million carats in 2010.” Another report by local financial institution AfrAsia Kingdom estimates Marange will produce 17 million carats this year alone. The report notes that although Zimbabwe’s huge diamond deposits are an advantage, the country’s Achilles’ heel is that its gems are sold at some of the lowest prices on the market because of a combination of factors that include their roughness and sanctions imposed on the country. “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. Zimbabwe is the fourth largest diamond producing nation in the world, and the Marange fields represent almost all of the nation’s production,” reads the report.
No Zimbabwe Cabinet 16 Days After Inauguration by ZimSitRep – 09-08-2013
via No Zimbabwe Cabinet 16 Days After Mugabe Inauguration by Gibbs Dube President Robert Mugabe has not yet appointed a new cabinet, 16 days after he was sworn in following a general election in July this year which his party won with a resounding majority. Although presidential spokesman George Charamba was not reachable for comment, critics said President Mugabe is facing serious challenges in choosing his cabinet as he wants to appoint individuals who will allow him to re-engage the West which imposed sanctions on Zanu PF’s inner circle. The critics also said the president’s advanced age, the succession issue in the former liberation party and attempts to appoint a strong leadership are delaying the whole process. Reacting to President Mugabe’s current cabinet issues, political analyst Professor Shadreck Guto of the University of South Africa said the Zanu PF leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe for 33 years, is possibly assembling his last cabinet. “We are really dealing with a situation where the choice of the cabinet is highly contentious. Secondly, we are dealing here with a president here who is really in an advanced stage of ageing,” he said. Professor Guto said constitutionally the president is empowered to appoint people from other parties like the Movement for Democratic Change formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Some political commentators have indicated that it is unlikely for President Mugabe to pick some members of his cabinet from opposition parties as the succession debate heats up in Zanu PF.