TEXT only 16 August 2013


Mugabe is not an African hero: SA survey by ZimSitRep – 08-15-2013
via Mugabe is not an African hero: SA survey | The Zimbabwean The results of a recent survey of South Africans suggest that President Jacob Zuma’s statement on the Zimbabwean situation does not reflect the sentiments of the population of that country. Citizens of South Africa are almost unanimous in their conviction that Zanu (PF) did not achieve a landslide victory.

77% of the total sample maintain that Mugabe should be overthrown and face charges for crimes against humanity

Mugabe disempowered: 77% say YES Robert Mugabe’s iconic relevance for the African continent was dismissed by a massive majority of 87% of respondents. More than two-thirds of the population would like to see him stripped of authority. In rebuttal of popular opinion, that Africans are not willing to dethrone their hero (Mugabe), the survey points to the contrary: 87% did not subscribe to the notion that Robert Mugabe is an African Hero. In the Black population segment, 85% dismissed the proposition that Mugabe is a hero. 77% of the total sample maintain he should be overthrown and face charges for crimes against humanity.Commissioned by a European based NGO and conducted by an international market research agency, the online survey was done from August 5 – 9, and comprised 1,000 South African citizens, with quotas set on gender, age, ethnicity and region to reflect national representative dimensions. Most South Africans doubt the credibility of AU and SADC, with 40% and 44% respectively, delivering a clear verdict of non-credibility with a further 50% (AU) and 41% (SADC) demonstrating uncertainty with ratings between 4 and 7 (ambivalence). On the outcome of the Zimbabwean crisis, nearly everyone is expecting intervention from the region or the international community to defuse the situation. Only a small percentage anticipates a wider crisis or open protest, or harbour hopes for a peaceful cooperation of the opposition. 17% fear an escalation. A large majority (66%) disagreed with Zuma’s statement to the press in which he extended his profound congratulations to Mugabe on his successful re-election and urged all parties to accept the outcome. Non-endorsement of the statement was particularly pronounced in the 30 – 39 and over 50 age segments. Black and Mixed-Race citizens were predominantly not in agreement – 63% and 70% respectively. A striking 93% do not believe in the Zanu (PF) 61% landslide victory. This claim to electoral victory is particularly implausible for the over fifties (98%). Asked what the best approach to resolve the crisis might be, most frequent suggestions were a re-run of elections (45%) or an investigation (45%); both courses of remedial action under the auspices of the international community. Only 5% echoed Zuma’s advice that people accept the results and go back to daily life. On the question of what they thought might ultimately happen in Zimbabwe, a determining majority of 96% said they expect an outside body will intervene and mediate to resolve the crisis. Whilst hopeful that international intervention could lead to a resolution, one in three was apprehensive about a developing crisis with destabilizing effects for the entire Southern African region.

Robert Mugabe’s Election Fiddle Darkens Zimbabwe’s Future Further by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via IBTimes UK – Robert Mugabe’s Election Fiddle Darkens Zimbabwe’s Future Further Electoral tampering by Zanu PF paints even bleaker outlook for troubled Zimbabe, argues Daniel Molokele By Daniel Molokele: It would not be a Zimbabwean electoral process if it just came and went without any acrimonym now would it? And so it happened that, just like controversial polls before it, the much anticipated 2013 general election brewed up another big shock. This one is being viewed by many observers as the most cunning of them all. Zanu PF’s Robert Mugabe has been known since time immemorial as an ingenious electoral engineer but this time he might have even outdone himself. The 2013 election results are his most brilliant electoral masterstroke to date, and will go down in the annals of Zimbabwe’s political history as his ultimate coup de grace. In the run-up to the elections, one of the most frequently asked questions centred on Mugabe’s return to his old sense of bravado and camaraderie. Even though it was a well-known fact that he had long lost his moral influence and political credibility among the Zimbabwean electorate, Mugabe was curiously keen for the polls to happen sooner rather than later. Many were puzzled and wondered aloud as to why he was brimming with so much confidence this time around. Alas, unbeknown to his long-standing rival and hitherto coalition partner, Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe had invested the five years of their so-called all-inclusive government in conjuring electoral magic. By the time election day dawned, Mugabe already knew that he had an ace up his sleeve that would guarantee him a crushing victory over Tsvangirai. To all practical intents and purposes for wily old Mugabe, the 2013 elections were by no means a popularity contest. He already knew that he was no match for the much more popular former labour leader Tsvangirai. Instead he focused on tampering with the outcome of the electoral process and the manner in which the results were announced. Therein lay his trump card. I was in Harare when the results were being broadcast to the nation and I can fully confirm that everyone was shocked by the so-called landslide. Neither the supporters of Tsvangirai’s MDC, nor Zanu PF, knew how to react. Curiously, despite the results showing that Mugabe had garnered an astonishing two million votes in less than 24 hours, there was not one bit of public celebration. Zimbabweans fear for the future Everyday life across Zimbabwe remained normal as if nothing had happened. The truth is that most Zimbabweans feared for their future. The word on the street was that Mugabe’s prolonged stay in power was not good for the political ir socio-economic prospects of the country. But that will not cause Mugabe any sleepless nights at all. It seems he plans to continue in active politics until his last breath. All indications are that he will try to unite his heavily factionalised Zanu PF party and also preside over his succession process. On the other hand, he will continue to close any form of open democratic space against all his political rivals and the civil society voices. There are also fears of a police-led crackdown against all perceived enemies of the state in the next few months ahead. Zimbabweans are a peace-loving people and have even been accused of being docile. Mugabe has gambled on the fact that it is highly unlikely that his stranglehold on power will ever be challenged through mass street protests. Zimbabweans have tried this before and failed dismally. They have even failed to stage boycott actions such as the stay-aways. The few opponents who dare to express their disapproval on the streets will be rounded up and charged with treason. Nothing else will then happen afterwards. Zimbabwe is stuck with Mugabe for life. Even worse, Zimbabwe may be stuck with Zanu PF for a long time if the party manages to successfully resolve the thorny matter of Mugabe’s successor. Buoyed by this hollow victory, Zanu PF will now confidently go ahead with its destructive populist policy of indigenisation and continue to destroy whatever little is left of the economy. Most Zimbabweans will bury their heads in the sand and continue to try to make ends meet with or without the support of their government and state. Others will give up on the hard life in the country and reluctantly seek greener pastures outside Zimbabwe. They will inevitably join the ever-growing numbers of the diaspora that is estimated at three million people. This is a huge figure when one considers that the 2011 census put the national population at around 13 million. To make matters worse for Zimbabwe, most of the people in exile have a lot of skills and work experience. This is the sort of human resource capital the country desperately needs to have any chance of reviving the economy. Most Zimbabweans in the diaspora are unlikely to return to the country anytime soon. If anything, it now appears that some of them have given up on their hopes of ever returning. Given these dark realities, it seems as if things will have to get worse first before they become better for Zimbabwe – that is if they will ever become better. Daniel Molokele is a Zimbabwean pro-democracy human rights lawyer and international coordinator for the Global Zimbabwe Forum (GZF), a network for all organisations representing Zimbabweans living outside the country

Mugabe victory brings wave of intimidation against women activists by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via CSMoniter – Mugabe victory brings wave of intimidation against women activists Johannesburg An election victory by Robert Mugabe and his party usually means trouble for opposition supporters in Zimbabwe, especially those living in remote rural areas. Following results of the July 31 disputed polls that saw Mr. Mugabe and his Zanu PF party shock the opposition with a two-thirds majority, a long-running tradition of post-election violence has returned. International human rights group Amnesty International raised the first alarm last week, after some villagers, most of them women, were forced to flee their homes in Mashonaland Central Province, following alleged retributive violence from Mugabe supporters. More and more villagers in rural Mashonaland, along with Zimbabweans in the capital, Harare, have been internally displaced on accusations that they either supported or voted for challenger Morgan Tsvangirai and his opposition MDC party. Mugabe and his allies accuse the opposition of being “Western puppets,” created to effect an “illegal” change of regime in the landlocked southern African nation, a charge denied by Mr. Tsvangirai. The MDC said this week that hundreds of its supporters were facing intimidation and torture, while others had been displaced after the polls. Tsvangirai last week launched a court challenge to have the election nullified and a fresh one announced in 90 days, The allegations of intimidation have been confirmed by Amnesty International and other human rights groups inside and outside the country. “Women political activists in rural Zimbabwe told Amnesty they had been threatened with violence and forced to flee with their children for refusing to reveal their vote to supporters of Robert Mugabe’s party during harmonized elections,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa. The women allegedly resisted instructions from Zanu PF members to feign illiteracy, blindness, or physical injury, which would have allowed someone else to mark the ballots on their behalf. The Zimbabwe Election Commission, the official body, last week said that more than 200,000 civilians had been “assisted” in casting their ballot, implying it was irregular. At least six women, accompanied by more than a dozen children, said they were forced to leave their homes after facing intimidation from village heads in Mukumbura district, Mashonaland Central Province, soon after the July 31 poll. Mugabe supporters apparently wanted to ensure these women did not vote for the other parties and tried to compromise the secrecy of the ballot, said the Amnesty official. The numbers of “assisted” votes were significant in rural areas for reasons that included illiteracy even though Zimbabwe has a literacy rate above 90 percent, the highest level in Africa. Numerous families in the Mukumbura district are living under threats of violence. Cases of threats are reported in the Mberengwa and the Midlands regions; the latter area is where an MDC political candidate was forced to flee her home with three children last weekend. Violence and intimidation have been reported even in constituencies where Mugabe won the elections, as the party made sure it “converts” all opposition supporters. More threats have been reported in the Midlands, where Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of Mugabe’s possible successors, won an election for the first time in three tries. “MDC officials and perceived supporters of our party are being visited during the night and threatened, being accused of being sellouts,” said Fransisco Masendeke, the MDC’s deputy chair for Midlands South. That area saw considerable violence in the runup to the presidential election re-run of 2008, when Zanu (PF) terrorized suspected MDC supporters by amputating their hands. This has hardly been forgotten. Victims were asked if they preferred a “long sleeve” – an amputation from the shoulder – or a “short sleeve,” a wrist amputation. Amnesty had challenged the Zimbabwean police to guarantee the safety of political activists in rural areas following increased reports of politically motivated displacements. Such calls have failed to solicit a positive response from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, whose commissioner-general, Augustine Chihuri, publicly proclaimed his support for Mugabe and his party. The police are also accused of playing a part in the violence. Bishop Paul Verryn, who assists more than 2500 Zimbabwean refugees at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, reported an increased number of new arrivals before and after the vote. “More and more people are coming here and they say they are running away from violence,” said Mr. Verryn.

Zanu PF wants to mend rift with Western countries by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via Daily News – Zanu PF wants to mend rift with Western countries Bryn Gumbo HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has said it will work to heal a rift with Western countries as stipulated in the party manifesto. Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF’s spokesperson, told the Daily News Zanu PF will keep its doors open for Western countries who wish to open a new page of “mutually respectful re-engagement.” Amid measured criticism from Western countries of the July 31 elections won by Mugabe and Zanu PF by a landslide, the revolutionary party wanted to open a new chapter. The United States and European Union have questioned the election, but observers from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc) said the vote had reflected the “will of the people.” Gumbo said Zanu PF will not confront Western countries about their position. He said: “If the international community considers it necessary to reject the July 31 election, Zanu PF will continue as if nothing has happened.” The former Mberengwa East Member of Parliament said notwithstanding misgivings on the electoral results from certain quarters, the guerrilla war movement is plodding ahead and will implement its policies outlined in the manifesto. “It is up to those same countries which have imposed illegal sanctions on us to extend an olive hand to Zanu PF and the Zimbabwean government,” he said. This year, the EU suspended most sanctions after the country’s voters approved a new constitution, limiting presidential powers and paving the way for elections, but the US has largely maintained its targeted measures. A cheerful Gumbo refused to discuss the contested July 31 poll outcome, saying it is time to pop the champagne bottles instead of focusing on the negatives. Asked whether the revolutionary party is going to tinker with the new constitution now that it has a two-thirds parliamentary majority, Gumbo maintained that the party that amended the Lancaster House Constitution for a record 20 times is in no spirit to lacerate the “people driven” charter it co-authored with the MDC formations. “We made this constitution after we had consulted the people of Zimbabwe, so there is no way we are going to change the constitution without the people’s consent,” Gumbo said. “Zanu PF is a people’s party and if need to amend arises, we will go back to the people who have approved this same constitution. But our position is that we don’t have any intentions of changing the constitution,” said Gumbo. Dodging questions related to policy, in particular the land audit and indigenisation programme, Gumbo said such issues would only be addressed by relevant ministers in the incoming Cabinet. The 73-year-old Zanu PF spokesperson said indigenisation remained the party’s key policy. “Questions related to that ministry can only be answered when the new cabinet comes into power but l can tell you that, indigenisation is our key policy,” added Gumbo.

I’m not done with Zim: Zuma by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via Daily News – I’m not done with Zim: Zuma Fungi Kwaramba HARARE – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has dismissed as mere gossip reports that he is finished with his mediation in Zimbabwe following Zanu PF’s disputed landslide victory in July 31 polls. In a statement posted on the South African presidency website yesterday, Zuma, who is the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) mediator on the Zimbabwean dialogue, said media reports which claim he is going to tell his counterparts at the forthcoming regional summit in Malawi that he has accomplished his mission were false. “We wish to clarify that should president Zuma or the South African government have any position on Zimbabwe, such information is communicated directly through to the Southern African Development Community, Sadc, or publicly when necessary,” Zuma’s statement said. “The presidency distances itself from this rumour and rejects the utilisation of gossip and rumour to communicate a serious matter as South Africa’s mediation role in the neighbouring Zimbabwe.” Early this week, South African media reports suggested that Zuma was expected to tell his fellow regional leaders at a summit in Malawi on Saturday that he had accomplished his mission in Zimbabwe. The story goes on to speculate that Zuma would tell regional leaders at the Sadc Summit that “they should relieve him of his job as facilitator and they are likely to agree with him.” Although South Africa has endorsed the disputed July 31 polls, outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he is preparing a dossier of evidence detailing how president-elect Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF rigged the elections. Tsvangirai who reluctantly went into elections which he described as illegal got 33,9 percent of the votes while Mugabe romped to victory with 61 percent votes. While most African nations including regional bodies such as the African Union and Sadc have described the elections as free, Botswana has dissented, calling for an audit of the vote. The disharmony in Sadc over Zimbabwe is likely to take centre stage when the regional leaders meet in Malawi this weekend.

Anti-Mugabe graffiti explodes in Harare by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via Daily News – Anti-Mugabe graffiti explodes in Harare Fungi Kwaramba HARARE – Graffiti has exploded across Zimbabwe’s capital Harare protesting the disputed results of the July 31 vote that saw President Robert Mugabe romp to a landslide victory. After weighing the risk of staging mass action against Mugabe’s re-election and deciding to refrain from confrontation, graffiti alluding to the “stolen election” under the “Zanu PF dictatorship” has erupted everywhere, with others drifting toward a style questioning the continued leadership of Mugabe and Zanu PF. Bottled up emotions had been kept in check after Tsvangirai urged his supporters to remain calm as he pursues peaceful means in order to overturn Mugabe’s victory. Apart from going to the courts, the MDC is also preparing a dossier of alleged poll irregularities which it will hand-over to Sadc member states as proof that elections were rigged. Several walls in Harare’s central business district and some high density suburbs such as Budiriro, Glen View and Mbare are littered with messages of protest against Mugabe’s landslide win which gives him another five year term. Window panes of popular shops in the city centre have not been spared either. Some of the messages inscribed on the walls read, “Mugabe rigged elections, batai munhu: We want a re-run.” Other graffiti messages are openly inciting Zimbabweans to rise up against the “Zanu PF regime”. “Election fraud: Arise and protect your vote”. The graffiti is mainly anti-Mugabe messages plastered on city walls, streets and billboards. Some of the messages are scribbled on billboards located at main bus termini such as Market Square and Copa Cabana. Anti-Mugabe graffiti in Zimbabwe is an outlaw art done in the cover of darkness. Political analysts say the political propaganda is being fuelled by the “stolen election” and the contest for power in elections which Mugabe controversially won. No-one has claimed responsibility for the messages. Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, said whoever was defacing walls through the damning graffiti was breaking the law. “I haven’t seen the writings, but obviously it is a crime,” she warned.

Villagers threatened over elections by Shelley – 08-15-2013
via The Zimbabwean – Villagers threatened over elections Community and hospital workers in Ward 20’s Muonde area in the Midlands have been threatened for voting for the MDC in the recent elections. by Sofia Mapuranga A worker at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had been told that Zanu (PF) believed results at Muonde polling station indicated that voters ‘had confidence in the opposition party’. MDC Vice Chairperson for Midlands South, Francisco Masendeke, said villagers were being threatened with violence because they voted for ‘sellouts’. “Hospital staff and villagers were threatened with violence and told that the ‘short sleeves’ would come back,” said Masendeke. During the run up to the 2008 disputed elections, Zanu (PF) terrorised suspected MDC supporters by amputating their hands. Victims were asked if they preferred a ‘long sleeve’ – an amputation from the shoulder, or a ‘short sleeve’ – a wrist amputation. Masendeke revealed that although Zanu (PF)’s Emmerson Mnangagwa had beaten his rivals, Ishmael Jeko of the MDC- T and Janet Zinyemba of the Weshman Ncube led MDC, the party wanted to ensure that all villagers belonged to Zanu (PF). “Suspected MDC sympathisers are being visited at night and told that if they do not repent soon, they are going to be victimised,” he said. An official at Muonde Driefontein hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Zanu (PF) had delivered maize at the hospital two days before election day. The source revealed that the workers were reluctant to take the maize because of the conditions attached to it. “The maize was supposed to be distributed among the workers before election day but the workers only distributed it last Saturday,” said the worker. Another worker said the maize had been delivered under the guise of a Zanu (PF) project, despite it being a grain loan initiative. “The conditions attached to this maize are that we are supposed to pay it back and we were instructed to sign forms indicating that we had received 50kg of maize when we only got a 20l bucket.” Efforts to get a comment from Zanu (PF)’s Mnangagwa were fruitless.

Tsvangirai Turns Down Zanu PF Overtures For Second GNU by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Tsvangirai Turns Down Zanu PF Overtures For Second GNU By Professor Matodzi and Simplicius Chirinda Harare, August 14, 2013 – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday disclosed that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is courting him with the aim of forming a hybrid government and labeled the octogenarian leader’s claim to victory the “biggest fraud”. In a graveside speech at the funeral of his party supporter, Rebecca Mafikeni, aged 29, who passed away on Monday after falling ill while incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison on charges of murdering a police officer, Tsvangirai revealed that Mugabe’s Zanu PF party had made some overtures for him and his party to form a coalition government. “We have said to them if you won the election let’s see how you are going to govern. Now that they have stolen the election, they now want to talk to Tsvangirai but we have nothing to talk about. You have to solve your legitimacy question first and the only solution for the people of Zimbabwe is to go back to another free and fair election,” said Tsvangirai to cheers from his party supporters, who thronged Warren Hills cemetery in Harare’s Warren Park suburb to pay their last respects to Mafikeni. He said Mugabe’s controversial victory declared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in last month’s harmonised election was a monumental fraud. “We are mourning here but we are in national mourning over an election which represents the biggest fraud this country has ever seen even in the whole world. Mugabe and Zanu PF know that they stole this election,” Tsvangirai said. According to ZEC, Mugabe won the presidential election with 61 percent of the vote while the former trade union leader garnered about 34 percent. Tsvangirai scoffed at Mugabe’s pledges to hike civil servants’ salaries and lower water and electricity tariffs. “It is just rhetoric without substance,” he said. The MDC leader encouraged his restive youthful party supporters to resist the urge to commit violence in protest over the alleged stolen election. “This old man has a problem of being power hungry, let’s not act in emotion, let’s act with conviction because that’s what will bring change. We can’t do much but we will not burn the house,” he said. Speaking at the same event, MDC-T chairperson for Harare Province Paul Madzore held the state accountable for the death of the MDC activist, who marked her past two birthdays in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare. “We are saddened that Rebecca died in the hands of the state probably with shackles on her body,” said Madzore. For his part the party’s national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa described Mafikeni as a “cadre” who died fighting for the democratic cause. “She defended the party even when she was being forced to accuse some senior MDC party members for killing a policeman in Glen View,” said Chamisa. In his address, MDC-T national youth assembly chairperson Solomon Madzore, who was incarcerated together with Mafikeni on the same charges but was later freed on bail appeared to be daring Zanu PF saying Mugabe’s party must not mistake his party supporters’ calmness for fear. “We have a funeral here but if it continues like this then we won’t be pained by the struggle to free Zimbabwe. We don’t want to be pushed into violence but let not anyone mistake our calmness for passivity,” said Madzore. Rebecca’s mother told mourners that the late MDC-T activist was her family’s bread winner and pleaded with the party to continue supporting her family. “Rebecca was the pillar of strength for my family. I cry today because I didn’t know that she had so many friends. I have lost my hero, my keeper, my husband, my father and my everything has been taken away by Zanu PF, now I wonder who will look after me,” she said in her graveside speech. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court will on Saturday hear an election petition filed by Tsvangirai challenging the election results in which ZEC declared Mugabe as the winner. The MDC-T leader has demanded that the electoral authorities hand over to him registers of assisted voters at all polling stations, where people cast their votes during the elections. He alleged that a high number of assisted voters were forced to feign illiteracy and other excuses so that they could be assisted by some Zanu PF officials to cast their votes in favour of President Mugabe’s party even though they supported his MDC-T party. The former trade union leader has also demanded unlimited access to all the presidential election materials used in the harmonised elections held on July 31 and to be furnished with the full set of presidential results per constituency, copies of the voters’ roll used in all the polling stations including the one used in the special voting process held in mid-July.

Sham or not, election flaws unlikely to unseat Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via Sham or not, election flaws unlikely to unseat Mugabe by Brian Raftopoulos Professor at University of the Western Cape The recent elections in Zimbabwe were always likely to be problematic. Despite the hope of former South African president Thabo Mbeki in 2007 that his mediation efforts would lead to an vote that was “conducted in a manner that will make it impossible for any honest person in Zimbabwe to question the legitimacy of their outcomes,” this was the case neither in the 2008 nor the 2013 elections. In the run up to the latest elections there were several issues that militated against a generally acceptable outcome. These ranged from Zanu PF’s persistent obstruction and widely reported problems around voters’ registration and the voters’ roll, to the persistent, though reduced, tensions over the sanctions conditions imposed on the Mugabe regime by the West from the early 2000s. A combination of Zanu PF’s ruthlessness in dealing with opposition parties, the allure of employment opportunities, the shrinking social base of the opposition and the limits of Southern African Development Community’s response to a recalcitrant Mugabe regime, all constrained threats from the now factionalised Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of mass action against yet another stolen election. Zanu PF ‘victory’ dwarfs 2009 Thus the results of the recent elections were only a surprise to the extent that Zanu PF’s “victory” was so overwhelming. In the March 2008 election Mugabe received 45% of the presidential vote while his party won 99 parliamentary seats, while in the same election Morgan Tsvangirai received 48% of the presidential vote and his party 100 seats. In 2013 Mugabe’s share of the presidential vote leaped to 61% while that of Tsvangirai plunged to 33%, with their parties receiving 159 and 49 parliamentary seats respectively. How did this happen? It is still too early to make a thorough assessment of the 2013 elections. However some general remarks can be proffered. Firstly there is little doubt that Zanu PF’s deliberate obstruction in fully implementing the reform measures, in particular changes to the security sector, made it difficult for the MDCs to fully exploit any political spaces that may have opened up under such reforms. But it cannot be denied that the performance of the MDCs left much to be desired, and their lack of political co-ordination allowed Mugabe to weaken their effectiveness and exploit the differences between the two factions. The legacy of the violence of 2008 also appears to have played a role – while the run up was peaceful this time around, memories of violence combined with verbal threats could have been sufficient to intimidate voters into not voting for the opposition in 2013. ZANU’s coercive power over who has access to council flats and vending stands could also have influenced voting. Sham or not, election flaws unlikely to unseat Mugabe

Avaaz petition to protest 2013 Zimbabwe Elections by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013

by email
A Zimbabwean support group has set up a worldwide online petition on Avaaz.org, a global campaign network site, to protest against the rigged 2013 Zimbabwe Elections and their premature endorsement by Zimbabwe’s regional neighbours. The petition will be delivered to Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South African President Jacob Zuma. The group is hoping that as many people as possible from around the world (including Zimbabweans) will join them and sign the petition to pressure SADC and president Zuma to reject this sham election and respect the long history that this region shares in its fight for Democracy, Justice and Freedom. Sign now to voice your protest in support of democracy in Zimbabwe (your email address will not be published):


If we reach very high numbers of signatures, it will definitely add to the public pressure and surely there will be another delivery to the respondents of the petition, with respective coverage in the media.

Focus on succession after election rout – August 2013 by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via Focus on succession after election rout by Bloomberg AS President Robert Mugabe starts a new five-year term in office focus in his Zanu PF party has shifted to the succession battle which is said to pit top lieutenants, vice president Joice Mujuru against defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. “The succession issue remains a challenge to the party,” Patrick Chinamasa, a Zanu PF politburo member and justice minister, said last week. “We are fully cognizant of the divisive nature of the succession issue. We need to deal with it without losing cohesion.” With the backing of many in the armed forces, intelligence and police chiefs, Mnangagwa would probably focus on keeping military leaders in control of diamond fields and some of the country’s best farmland, according to analysts including Mark Rosenberg of Eurasia Group and Gilbert Khadiagala of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand. Mujuru may seek to repair relations with the international community to boost her faction’s investments in banking and retail, Rosenberg said. “Mujuru and her allies are vested in industries like finance, retail and hospitality that demand more rational policies to grow,” Rosenberg said. Economic crisis In 2000 Mugabe launched the country’s controversial land reforms which are blamed for the decade-long crisis in which the economy slumped 39 percent and inflation soared to an estimated 500 billion percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. But the veteran leader won the July 31 president race with 61 percent of the vote, which his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, described as a “farce” because of alleged rigging. After casting his vote, Mugabe, who has denied reports that he’s received treatment for prostate cancer but has had medical check-ups in Singapore several times, said he would serve out his term. During his 33 years in power, the veteran leader has controlled the internal struggles in Zanu PF over ethnic rivalry and patronage. Mujuru would probably dilute Mugabe’s program known as indigenisation that seeks to force foreign-owned companies and banks to cede 51 of the shares in their local operations to blacks or the government, Rosenberg said. Party divisions But there are “too many tensions and divisions for Mugabe to step down,” International Crisis Group researcher Trevor Maisiri said. “The succession battle is going to be more intense than it was before.” Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have been in Mugabe’s cabinet since independence in 1980. Mnangagwa has served as head of the ministries of security, justice and rural housing and as the speaker of Parliament. He was the chief of intelligence when Mugabe ordered the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to crack down on rebels in the Matabeleland Midlands regions in the 1980s, resulting in the death of as many as 20,000 civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority. At 25, Mujuru became the country’s youngest minister working her way up to vice-president in 2004. Her husband, Solomon Mujuru, led the main liberation army during the independence war and was the country’s first army chief. He died in 2011 in a fire at his home. Unifying candidate Legally Mujuru, 58, is first in line to succeed Mugabe. “She represents the gentler mode of contemporary politics – unifying, motherly, compassionate and national,” Ibbo Mandaza, a former Mujuru adviser who’s the director of political analysis group, the Sapes Trust, said. “She’s the kind of person who would require and rely on a good team of advisers. She’s pragmatic, she listens.” Mnangagwa, 66, is the chief of the joint operations command. He can draw on the support of powerful figures including defence forces chief Constantine Chiwenga, ZRP head Augustine Chihuri, and Happyton Bonyongwe, who runs the Central Intelligence Organisation, Rosenberg said. The military controls parts of the eastern Marange diamond field, according to non-profit groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch and Partnership Africa Canada. A parliamentary committee said in June said tens of millions of dollars in diamond revenue hasn’t been paid to the Treasury. ‘Typical strongman’ Mnangagwa is “the typical strongman and therefore likely to be very ruthless. He’s not given to entertaining debate,” Mandaza said. On the economy, he’s “pragmatic,” he said. “He’s never been part of the indigenization campaign.” Mugabe’s choice of who sits in his new cabinet in the coming says should indicate which faction has the upper hand. “We are waiting to see how the securocrats, who are responsible for the election outcome, will show their hand now,” Mandaza said.

From the archive April 2012: Mujuru rules out Mugabe challenge by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via Mujuru rules out Mugabe challenge From the archive April 2012 VICE President Joice Mujuru has ruled out challenging President Robert Mugabe for the leadership of the country as long as he remains in office. “Handimbochichemera chigaro chavo (President Mugabe) kana varipo. Tinozviziva kuti kune vakuru, kuti kune order . . . Hatife takapanduka isu vamwe nekuti takabikwa tikaibva (We will not seek the Presidency as long as Mugabe remains in office … We would never betray the leadership because we are disciplined)” Mujuru told state media over the weekend. Mujuru – seen as a possible successor to the aging Zanu PF leader — said she has learnt a lot from Mugabe since first meeting him during the liberation war in 1975. “I have now known him for 37 years. Our problem as Zimbabweans is that we do not understand our President. Had we understood him well, we were not going to have any challenges. Hanzi n’anga haikudzwe nevayo,” she said Her remarks come after Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa also dismissed media reports claiming he had reached a secret deal with Mugabe to take over after the next elections. “I was as surprised … to learn that there was a pact between the President and myself to take over office. I also read about it in the Press. This is a strategy by our enemies,” Mnangagwa said. “There is no such thing and these are the efforts of detractors bent on causing alarm and chaos among the authorities, both in Zanu PF and the government. It is only a subject that exists in the minds of those who do not wish us well as a nation. “There is really nothing to it. It’s just wishful thinking from our enemies. The fortunate thing is that we are too mature to be distracted by such mentally-deranged people. I, therefore, rest my case.” Mujuru and Mnangagwa are said to lead rival Zanu PF camps in the fight to succeed Mugabe which has resulted in bitter divisions within the party. However, analysts say neither would challenge Mugabe – who turned 88 this year – as long as he remains in office. Mujuru’s chances were dealt a significant blow with the death of her powerful husband and former army chief, General Solomon Mujuru who was killed when an unexplained fire razed his Beatrice farmhouse last August. But Zanu PF administration secretary, Didymus Mutasa insisted she was still the odds-on favourite for the top job. “We have a hierarchy that we follow as a party; Mai Mujuru is better placed (to succeed Mugabe) as well as (co-vice-president) John Nkomo and even Simon Khaya Moyo (party chairman),” Mutasa said when reacting to the media reports claiming a Mugabe-Mnangagwa deal. The latest speculation over succession was sparked off by new concerns over Mugabe’s health after his recent trip to Singapore where he has previously had medical attention for what officials said was a minor eye problem. Mugabe insists he is in robust health and has demanded that new elections must be held this year to end the coalition government.

From the archive April 2012: Mnangagwa dismisses succession claims by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via Mnangagwa dismisses succession claims 20 April 2012 DEFENCE Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has denied reaching a secret “gentlemen’s agreement” with President Robert Mugabe to take over power. Mnangagwa dismissed the claims Thursday while presenting a public lecture at the Midlands State University in Gweru insisting: “I was as surprised as you to learn that there was a pact between the President and myself to take over office. I also read about it in the Press. This is a strategy by our enemies.” The UK-based Telegragh newspaper recently claimed that Mugabe – 88 this year and in power for more than three decades – would contest elections one last time, possibly this year, before handing over to his feared lieutenant. Mugabe reportedly made the offer after losing to Tsvangirai in the first round of the 2008 Presidential ballot and assured Mnangagwa he would take over if the Defence Minister helped engineer a second round victory. But Mnagwagwa said the reports were the work of enemies bent on causing havoc within Zanu PF. “There is no such thing and these are the efforts of detractors bent on causing alarm and chaos among the authorities, both in Zanu PF and the government,” he said. “It is only a subject that exists in the minds of those who do not wish us well as a nation. There is really nothing to it. It’s just wishful thinking from our enemies The fortunate thing is that we are so mature to be distracted by such mentally-deranged people. I, therefore, rest my case.”Mnangagwa – who has long been rumoured to be Mugabe’s choice as successor – is said to lead on of the two major factions within Zanu PF with the other understood to be backing Vice President Joice Mujuru. However, in yet another indication that he faces a tough fight from within the party, secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa insisted that Mnangagwa was far from being a shoe-in for the top job. “We have a hierarchy that we follow as a party; Mai Mujuru is better placed (to succeed Mugabe) as well as (co-vice-president) John Nkomo and even Simon Khaya Moyo (party chairman),” Mutasa said. “These are the people who can take over today. Whoever is funding this succession agenda has a wrong motive and should not be allowed to continue doing so.” Internecine fights within Zanu PF have worsened lately amid increasing concern over Mugabe’s health and advanced age. The Zanu PF leader insists he is in robust physical condition. Still, critics say the party is trying to force elections this year worried that the ageing leader would struggle to cope with a rigorous campaign if the ballot is delayed further. The MDC formations which partner Zanu PF in the coalition government argue that new elections cannot be held until political reforms that include work on a new constitution are completed.

Police arrest and release journalist Jan Raath over Iran nuclear deal story by ZimSitRep – 08-14-2013
via Police arrest Times newspaper journalist Jan Raath over Iran nuclear deal story — Nehanda Radio Jan Raath, a journalist with British newspaper The Times was arrested around 5 pm in Zimbabwe today over a story he wrote about President Robert Mugabe’s regime entering into a secret deal to sell Uranium to Iran. Nehanda Radio understands at the time of the arrest Raath was with Harrison Nkomo, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. He was later released and asked to write an affidavit on the Zimbabwe-Iran uranium deal. The Times story published on Saturday quoted outgoing deputy minister of mines Gift Chimanikire saying that Zimbabwe signed a deal with Iran to supply the Islamic republic with the raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon. But Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu told AFP “that’s fiction because I have never been asked by the Iranian government or anyone from Iran for mining concessions.” “They never applied for mining licences whether to mine uranium or any other mineral. The country is not mining uranium. If Chimanikire told the reporter about an agreement to export uranium to Iran maybe it was in a dream,” Mpofu added. According to the Zanu PF controlled Sunday Mail newspaper Zimbabwean police were looking for Jan Raath and Jerome Starkey, for “spreading falsehoods” in the uranium deal story.