TEXT only 12 August 2013

Headline news 12 August, 2013

The Battle Has Only Begun by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Zimbabwe:The Battle Has Only Begun | ZimEye.  By Vince Musewe : August 11, 2013 The seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared. I can only imagine the moment thousands of Zimbabweans decided to leave Rhodesia in order to join the struggle. It must have been a very excruciating but an indispensable and predictable occasion after years of hopelessness and oppression. They left all they had behind and went into the unknown with no suspicion of the consequences or what they would encounter. They must have been driven by an indescribable emotion that they could neither control nor understand. I am persuaded that they must have been inspired by something bigger than them; something worthy and something within us that attracts and unleashes greatness in our lives. In making that decision, I do not think they were driven by self interest at all or a promise of personal advantage or benefit after independence, because some of them would not even come back and see a new Zimbabwe. They still went. I think that Morgan Tsvangirai and those with him also felt this same emotion at some moment in the past, when they took the unpleasant and dangerous risk of challenging the status quo in Zimbabwe 14 years ago. I think we are underestimating the dangers they faced and the fact that even  the possibility of death was always a clear and present then, and yet, they did what had to done. For that, none of us can ever repay them. This includes all those who may not be prominent in our minds today, but paid the ultimate price. It also includes those who have lost everything in pursuit of our freedom and liberty. I honor and respect them. They are my heroes. Of course it is now easy and fashionable to point out Tsvangirai’s mistakes and to even blame him for the failures of MDC in achieving the monumental and seemingly impossible task of deposing a despot through peaceful means. But we all know that this task is never easily done. In the last few weeks, I have read thousands of analyses, theories, critiques and rather intriguing scenarios of what Tsvangirai should have done or not done.  I have seen men who stood by and watched and did nothing being quick to condemn and offer solutions to what is past. Not once have I heard people thanking him for taking us where we are today. Not once have I heard people showing their gratitude, concern or love to all those who fought the fight. The apathetic, the cowards and the charlatans have come out in their numbers. How shameful. As for me, I have seen a glimpse of a better future for Zimbabwe. I have seen that we can indeed become a better society and that we can be a free people. In the last few months, I have felt lifted and hopeful that, despite the circumstances we face, we can indeed overcome. I have seen hope in the eyes of the poor, expectation from the destitute, the old and the idle. I have seen a twinkle of hope in the eyes of little children in the ghetto who deserve a better future and a fair shot at life. Although it was but for a brief moment, yes I saw it and I like what I saw. For all this, I just want to thank Morgan Tsvangirai and those men and women who have taken us to where we are today. I truly think that because of their efforts and sacrifice, although it may not appear so, we are indeed closer to freedom in our country than ever before. Freedom is coming tomorrow. I am saddened by the news that deals are being made and that offers being thrown at some MDC cadres to participate in a government whose credibility and legitimacy remains questionable. I hear that some of our MDC leaders who may have dipped their mouths in the trough during the GNU and found it so sweet are now reluctant to let go. I encourage them to hold fast and stand firm. The devil is a liar. Yes, the trough, like sin,  may taste so sweet and yet it defiles. Our country needs people and leaders who are dedicated to the cause of freedom and cannot be swayed or easily moved by promises of material gain or riches or position. I have become melancholy and am beginning to understand that; until we are all truly dedicated to freedom with our whole being as Nelson Mandela was, we cannot and will not be able to create democracy in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. This dedication must come from within us, must be unshakable, nonnegotiable, invariable and utterly obsessed and gripped with the aim of freeing Africans from themselves. The battle has only begun. I leave you with some lines from Kahlil Gibran, from his book; “The Prophet” in which he speaks on freedom; “And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride? And if it is fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared” Asijiki, vele asijiki. Vince is an economic analyst in Harare and you may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

Mugabe’s new threat to SA firms by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Mugabe’s new threat to SA firms | African Business | BDlive  BY LONI PRINSLOO, AUGUST 11 2013, 10:54 NEWS that President Robert Mugabe will continue for a seventh term has left investors white in the face — not exactly a useful colour in Zimbabwe right now. Mr Mugabe will target the remaining 1,138 white- and foreign-owned companies left in the country, as well as local banks with foreign interests, to hand over 51% of their businesses to the Zanu (PF) government. Zanu (PF) this week ran full-page advertisements in local papers saying that its crushing, more than two-thirds, election win was an endorsement of its “indigenisation” plans that will see all foreign-owned companies forced to give up 51% of their equity to black Zimbabweans.

News that Mugabe will continue for a 7th term has left investors white in the face – not a useful colour in Zimbabwe right now.

“Over the next five years, Zimbabwe is going to witness a unique wealth transfer model that will see ordinary people take charge of the economy,” the adverts read. Saviour Kusukwere, one of Mr Mugabe’s ministers, revealed that the country planned to seize 51% of foreign-owned mines — worth an estimated $7bn — without any compensation. The Zanu (PF) government warned that mines that refused to surrender more than half of their assets would lose their licences. This is likely to scare some big South African companies with assets in Zimbabwe that now stand to be partly expropriated, including Aquarius Platinum, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, cement company PPC and SABMiller which owns Delta, the country’s largest beverage supplier. Dzika Dhana of Renaissance Capital in Harare said the country’s black empowerment policy, or “indigenisation”, had been part of Zimbabwean policy for three months before the election. However, Mr Dhana said that investors had hoped, before the election, that the policy would be dropped in a bid to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country — regardless of which party came out on top. FDI in Zimbabwe has dropped 76% compared with the same point last year. The country has managed to attract only $33m in FDI in 2013, despite its wealth of resources. This is unfortunate as Zimbabwe managed to attract more FDI during the previous five years, growing from $52m in 2008 to $400m last year. Mr Dhana pointed out that Mr Mugabe’s plan to take 51% of mines without compensation would go against the country’s laws. “Currently, we are working on the willing-seller, willing-buyer principle, which means the new Zanu (PF) government would have to change the laws,” he said. This would not be a difficult task as Zanu (PF )won the election by 61%, giving it enough control to alter the country’s brand-new constitution that came into effect in April. Zimplats, which is 87% owned by South Africa’s Impala Platinum, was previously offered $900m for a 51% stake in its mines — but Mr Mugabe’s newest plans would see them get not a cent. Implats refused to comment. The Zimbabwean Stock Exchange has taken quite a beating in the past week as those who can, try to run. On Monday, the first trading day after the announcement that Mr Mugabe would continue his reign of 33 years, the market fell 11%. The next day it fell a further 2%, and then more than 1% a day up until Friday. This represented the largest stock market drop since 2009, when the market came to a halt, and the country had to switch to the US dollar. • This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times .

Thoughts on Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via August 12: Thoughts on Mugabe | JPost | Israel News. In my book, this qualifies Mugabe as the world’s stupidest man. Sir, – Since 1980, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has succeeded in transforming a country then known as the breadbasket of Africa into a land where 49 percent of the population is malnourished (seven million citizens are to receive assistance from the World Food Program), at least 85% is unemployed, and 83% lives on less than $2 a day. Life expectancy is 40. In 2008, because of a lack of access to clean water, cholera swept the country. In 2009, a 100-trillion banknote of the local currency (since abandoned) was insufficient to buy a local bus ticket. In my book, this qualifies Mugabe as the world’s stupidest man. Now, from what we learn in “‘Zimbabwe agreed to export raw uranium to Iran’” (August 11), we can add to Mugabe’s curriculum vitae a very high ranking among the world’s most sinister individuals. GERRY MYERS  Beit Zayit Sir, – It is interesting to note that human rights abuses, atrocities and racism instigated by Robert Mugabe generally have been ignored by the rest of the world. With the new information that Zimbabwe might in the future supply Iran with uranium, suddenly everyone is taking note. And for good reason: This could be a threat to world peace, and to Israel and America, in particular. One also wonders about the conditions under which the uranium will be mined. Readers should Google a BBC Panorama program on diamond mining in Marange. Mugabe’s “victory” in the country’s recent flawed election is further evidence of his Machiavellian manipulations. Just a thought. SALLY SHAW  Kfar Saba

Zimbabwe Succession Rivals Square Off After Mugabe Win by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Zimbabwe Succession Rivals Square Off After Mugabe Win – Bloomberg  by Brian Latham & Franz Wild – Aug 11, 2013 11:00 PM GMT As President Robert Mugabe starts a new five-year term to rule Zimbabwe until he’s 94, his party faces a succession battle between his vice president, who’s nom de guerre was “Comrade Spill Blood,” and a former spy chief known as “The Crocodile.” The contest pits Vice President Joice Mujuru, who took the name of Teurai Ropa, or “Spill Blood” in the Shona language, when as a teenager she joined the fight for independence, against Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who at age 19 led a sabotage unit known as the “Crocodile Gang.” “The succession issue remains a challenge to the party,” Patrick Chinamasa, a politburo member of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National-Patriotic Front and the justice minister, said in Aug. 7 interview in Harare, the capital. “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 started a program of seizing white-owned commercial farms that led to a 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. Mugabe 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. Mujuru would probably dilute Mugabe’s program known as indigenization that seeks to force foreign-owned companies such as Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) and banks to cede 51 of the shares in their local operations to blacks or the government, Rosenberg said. During his 33 years in power, Mugabe has controlled the internal struggles in his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party over ethnic rivalry and patronage. Mugabe, who has denied reports that he’s received treatment for prostate cancer, has had medical check-ups in Singapore several times. After casting his vote in the election, Mugabe said he would serve out his term. Party Divisions There are “too many tensions and divisions for Mugabe to step down,” International Crisis Group researcher Trevor Maisiri said in an Aug. 5 interview in Harare. “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 southwestern region of Matebeleland in the 1980s, resulting in the death of as many as 20,000 civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority. The operation was known as Gukurahundi, or the early rain that washes away the chaff in Shona. At 25, Mujuru became Zimbabwe’s youngest minister working her way up to vice-president in 2004. Her husband, Solomon Mujuru, led the main guerrilla army during the independence war and was the nation’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 the Sapes Trust, a Harare-based political analysis group, said in an interview. “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 Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, the head of police, 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 Zimbabwean 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.
To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Latham in Harare at blatham@bloomberg.net; Franz Wild in Harare at fwild@bloomberg.net  To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

Official media celebrate Zanu (PF) victory by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Official media celebrate Zanu (PF) victory | The Zimbabwean. The government controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers group on Friday hosted thank you parties for Chronicle and Herald journalists for supporting Zanu (PF) during the just ended controversial elections won by Zanu (PF) and President Robert Mugabe. During the period leading to the elections, newspapers under the Zimpapers stable went on an unprecedented propaganda overdrive attacking the MDC –T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Speaking at one of the thank you bashes in Harare, Justin Mutasa, the Zimpapers Group Chief Executive Officer, thanked the journo for “defending the national values”. “Everything went well .We are here to defend the national interest of our country and we do not apologise for that.Everyone rose beyond their call of duty,” he said. In Bulawayo the party which was held at a local hotel was boycotted by some journalists who felt that the company was shortchanging them by hosting expensive parties while they got meager salaries. “What is the point of celebrating a Zanu (PF) victory when journalists under the leadership of that party have suffered a lot. Most reporters at Zimpapers are taking home a salary of less than $500 and it’s only people like Mutasa who are benefitting from Zanu (PF),” said one journalist who boycotted the party. In the run up to the July 31 polls, Mutasa openly campaigned for Zanu (PF).

Is democracy overrated? by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via BBC News – A Point of View: Is democracy overrated? Democracy is championed as a universal good by the West, but we over-estimate its power to guarantee personal and political freedom, argues Roger Scruton. For some time, the leading Western nations have acted upon the assumption that democracy is the solution to political conflict, and that the ultimate goal of foreign policy must be to encourage the emergence of democracy in countries which have not yet enjoyed its benefits. And they continue to adhere to this assumption, even when considering events in the Middle East today. We can easily sympathise with it. For democracies do not, in general, go to war with each other, and do not, in general experience, civil war within their borders. Where the people can choose their government, there is a safety valve that prevents conflicts from over-heating. Unpopular governments are rejected without violence. The championship of democracy has therefore become a settled feature of Western foreign policy. In retrospect, the Cold War has been seen as a conflict between democracy and totalitarianism, in which democracy finally triumphed. And with democracy came the liberation of the people of the former communist states. Where there had been tyranny and oppression, there was now freedom and human rights. And if we study the words of Western politicians, we will constantly find that the three ideas – democracy, freedom and human rights – are spoken of in one breath, and assumed in all circumstances to coincide. That, for many of our political leaders, is the lesson to be drawn from the Cold War and the final collapse of the Soviet empire. In my view, the idea that there is a single, one-size-fits-all solution to social and political conflict around the world, and that democracy is the name of it, is based on a disregard of historical and cultural conditions, and a failure to see that democracy is only made possible by other and more deeply hidden institutions. And while we are willing to accept that democracy goes hand in hand with individual freedom and the protection of human rights, we often fail to realise that these three things are three things, not one, and that it is only under certain conditions that they coincide. Democracy was introduced into Russia without any adequate protection for human rights. And many human rights were protected in 19th Century Britain long before the emergence of anything that we would call democracy. In the Middle East today, we find parties standing for election, like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which regards an electoral victory as the opportunity to crush dissent and impose a way of life that for many citizens is simply unacceptable. In such circumstances democracy is a threat to human rights and not a way of protecting them. I had the opportunity to study some of these issues during the 1980s, when visiting friends and colleagues who were attempting to plant the seeds of opposition in the communist countries. These were public-spirited citizens, who ran the risk of arrest and imprisonment for activities which you and I would regard as entirely innocent. They ran classes for young people who had been deprived of an education on account of their parents’ political profile. They established support networks for writers, scholars, musicians and artists who were banned from presenting their work. They smuggled medicines, bibles, religious symbols and textbooks. And because charities were illegal under communism and religious institutions were controlled by the Communist Party, all this work had to be conducted in secret. The totalitarian system, I learned, endures not simply by getting rid of democratic elections and imposing a one-party state. It endures by abolishing the distinction between civil society and the state, and by allowing nothing significant to occur which is not controlled by the Party. By studying the situation in Eastern Europe, I came quickly to see that political freedom depends upon a delicate network of institutions, which my friends were striving to understand and if possible to resuscitate. So what are these institutions? First among them is judicial independence. In every case where the Communist Party had an interest, the judge was under instructions to deliver the verdict that the Party required. It didn’t matter that there was no law that the victim had breached. If necessary, a law could be invented at the last moment. If the Party wanted someone to be in prison, then the judge had to put that person in prison. If he refused, then he would end up in prison himself, if he was lucky. In such circumstances the rule of law was a complete fiction: law was simply a mask worn by the Party, as it dictated its decisions to the people.

Attempts to bring democracy to Egypt have run into trouble

Then there is the institution of property rights. Normal people in the communist state had virtually nothing to their name – nothing legal, that is. Their houses or flats were owned by the state, their few personal possessions could not be freely traded in the market, and their salary and pension depended on their political conformity and could be removed at any time. In these circumstances the entire economy went underground. No court of law would enforce the contracts that people needed if they were to get on with their lives. You might have a deal with your neighbour to exchange vegetables for maths lessons. But if one of you defected and the other took the dispute to law, the only result would be that both of you went to prison for conducting an illegal business. All transactions therefore depended upon personal trust, in a situation in which trust was in shorter and shorter supply. Hence society was riven by conflicts and suspicions, which neither law nor politics could remedy. And the Communist Party rejoiced in this situation, since it prevented people from combining against it.

Democracy in a few words

  • George Bernard Shaw: “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve”
  • Winston Churchill: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
  • Clement Atlee: “Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking”
  • Tom Stoppard: “It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting”

Then there is freedom of speech and opinion. The freedom to entertain and express opinions, however offensive to others, has been regarded since Locke in the 17th Century as the pre-condition of a political society. This freedom was enshrined in the US constitution, defended in the face of the Victorian moralists by John Stuart Mill, and upheld in our time by my dissident friends. We take this freedom so much for granted that we regard it as the default position of humanity – the position to which we return, if all oppressive powers are removed from us. But my experience of communist Europe convinced me of the opposite. Orthodoxy, conformity and the hounding of the dissident define the default position of mankind, and there is no reason to think that democracies are any different in this respect from Islamic theocracies or one-party totalitarian states. Of course, the opinions that are suppressed change from one form of society to another, as do the methods of suppression. But we should be clear that to guarantee freedom of opinion goes against the grain of social life, and imposes risks that people may be reluctant to take. For in criticising orthodoxy, you are not just questioning a belief – you are threatening the social order that has been built on it. Also, orthodoxies are the more fiercely protected the more vulnerable they are.

Both those principles are surely obvious from the reaction of Islamists to criticisms directed at their religion. Just as it was in the wars of religion that ravaged Europe in the 17th Century, it is precisely what is most absurd that is most protected. And critics are not treated merely as people with an intellectual difficulty. They are a threat, the enemies of society and, for the believer, the enemies of God. So it was too under communism, in which a system of government had been built on theories that may have looked plausible in the early days of the industrial revolution but which in the post-war economy of Europe were palpably ridiculous. For that very reason it was the greatest heresy to criticise them. Finally, there is legitimate opposition. This was perhaps the greatest casualty of communism as it afflicted Europe. When Lenin imposed the communist system on Russia it was in the form of a top-down dictatorship, in which orders were passed down to the ranks below. It was a kind of military government, and opposition could no more unite against it than soldiers in the ranks can unite against their commanders. In times of emergency this kind of discipline is perhaps necessary. But it is the opposite of civilised government. It has been assumed in this country from the time of the Anglo-Saxons that political decisions are taken in council, after hearing all sides to the question, and taking note of the many interests that must be reconciled. Long before the advent of democracy, our parliament divided into government and opposition, and except in stressful periods during the 16th and 17th Centuries it was acknowledged that government without opposition is without any corrective when things go wrong. That is what we saw in the Soviet Union and its empire – a system of government without a reverse gear, which continued headlong towards the brick wall of the future. In the underground universities of communist Europe, my friends and colleagues studied those things, and prepared themselves for the hoped-for day when the Communist Party, having starved itself of every rational input, would finally give up the ghost. And the lessons that they learned need to be learned again today, as our politicians lead us forth under the banner of democracy, without pausing to examine what democracy actually requires

SA work in Zimbabwe is done by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via SA: Our work in Zimbabwe is done – City Press.  Carien du Plessis @carienduplessis  11 August 2013 14:00 President Jacob Zuma is expected to inform the Southern African Development Community (SADC) next weekend that the four-year facilitation process, which he headed, is over, following the conclusion of Zimbabwe’s elections. A source close to the process told City Press: “As far as South Africa is concerned, we have ended mediation in Zimbabwe.” SADC heads of state will gather for a two-day summit in Lilongwe, Malawi on Saturday where they will focus on the recent elections. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, who heads the SADC organ that was concerned with Zimbabwe, is due to present the regional observer mission’s final report. Almost 600 observers from the region monitored the elections. Based on the report, South Africa will officially be released from its mediation task, the source said. The regional body is also expected to lobby Western countries like Britain and the US to drop sanctions against Zimbabwe as part of a plan to help its economic recovery. “We want to keep Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe and the country must be able to feed its people. If there are sanctions, it leads to more people fleeing because of the economic conditions,” he said. Britain and the US questioned the validity of the elections soon after Robert Mugabe’s re-election was announced last Saturday. The final SADC report, the source said, is set to focus on how elections were peaceful and free. There will be less emphasis on problems with the fairness of the process, which SADC questioned in its preliminary report released late last week. The summit is set to conclude “the elections have been fair and peaceful and . . . reflect the will of the people”, said the source. “The (summit’s) final statement will say something to the effect that all parties must give the internal processes a chance to run their course. No external audit of the elections will be accepted by SADC,” he said. Botswana is the only country in the 14-member body that has called for an audit, but it is most likely to be overruled. Jakkie Cilliers, the executive director at the Institute for Security Studies, said Zuma had enough domestic challenges and would be happy to let go of his facilitation role. “Nobody in the region has the time and energy to invest in this issue any longer,” Cilliers said. He said Zuma had built an alliance of nations in the region to help keep the country in check. SADC and the African Union, which has also given the election a preliminary thumbs up despite concerns, “always choose stability over democracy and they have done so again”, Cilliers said. He said an external challenge of Zimbabwe’s election results could cause instability in the country and the region. “It is, in a sense, a reflection of reality more than it is a choice, given the challenge that you face of an obstructionist leader who holds on to power by any means.” Former president Thabo Mbeki, who helped Zimbabwe broker the Global Political Agreement in 2008 that led to a unity government, on Monday told students at his African Leadership Institute that Zimbabweans had the right to “self-determination”. “There has been a sustained campaign before the (Zimbabwe) elections to discredit them before they happen,” Mbeki said.

Mujuru gets upper hand in Manicaland by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Mujuru gets upper hand in Manicaland – The Standard.  August 11, 2013 BY CLAYTON MASEKESA MUTARE — A Zanu PF faction loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru has gained an upper hand in Manicaland province after several candidates aligned to the camp won the house of assembly seats in the just-ended harmonised elections. In shocking results, Zanu PF won 22 of 26 provincial seats. The MDC-T, which used to control the province, only got four seats. Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mujuru are reportedly fighting to succeed Mugabe but the two have publicly denied leading factions or harbouring presidential ambitions. Sources in Zanu PF last week however said 15 of the 22 seats were taken by MPs loyal to Mujuru while the remainder went to a faction sympathetic to Mnangagwa. President Robert Mugabe is set to appoint a new cabinet and highly placed sources said about 11 of the 22 Zanu PF MPs that won in Manicaland might get posts. Of the 11 MPs, seven are aligned to the Mujuru faction. “The President is happy about what happened in Manicaland, as we have wrestled the seats from MDC-T. As you might be aware, Manicaland province has been an Achilles’ heel for the party as we have been losing to the opposition in many elections,” said the source. “But with this resounding victory, MPs from Manicaland who won under the Zanu PF ticket are likely to be rewarded for a job well done.” Didymus Mutasa, the party’s national secretary for administration and also the Minister of Presidential Affairs, has championed Mujuru’s cause in Manicaland. Former Energy minister and Manicaland governor Michael Nyambuya, who is also a retired Lieutenant General in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and an ally of Mujuru, has a strong curriculum vitae that might see him getting a ministerial post. Nyambuya, who won the Nyanga-Mutasa seat, is currently the chairman of the national indigenisation board and the Zanu PF Manicaland vice-chairman. Also in Mujuru’s camp is Munacho Mutezo, who won the Chimanimani West seat. He is a former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Development. “Mutezo is one of President Mugabe’s loyalists and I can safely say he will get the ministerial post because he has been a minister before and he is a close lieutenant to the President,” another source said. Other winning incoming MPs believed to be sympathetic to the Mujuru faction include Samuel Undenge (Chimanimani East), Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South) and Nyasha Chikwinya (Mutare South). Undenge was a deputy minister of Economic Affairs and Planning during the coalition government GNU tenure. “Porusingazi and Chikwinya have been shining examples of the party and they will be rewarded for that. They might be considered for deputy ministers’ posts,” said the source. He added that Agriculture minister, Joseph Made who lost to Kudzanai Chipanga in Makoni West would be considered by Mugabe on the special appointments. Made is aligned to the Mujuru camp. New entrants that might have some cabinet considerations include police Senior Assistant Commissioner, Ronald Muderedzwa (Buhera Central) and Assistant Commissioner Oliver Mandipaka (Buhera West), both believed to be loyal to the Mujuru camp. Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa deny leading any factions in Zanu PF.

Mujuru leading battle to succeed Mugabe by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Mujuru leading battle to succeed Mugabe IOL News August 11 2013 at 12:04pm  Sunday Independent  By Peta Thornycroft President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF now face the task of running the country without their former partners – Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mugabe has delegated the task of drawing up a new Zanu-PF-only cabinet to his vice-president, Joice Mujuru, according to Zanu-PF insiders. Though that is officially part of her job, Zanu-PF watchers are wondering whether the decision has given her an edge in the struggle to succeed the ageing Mugabe, which is bound to hot up now. Mugabe’s swearing-in as president after his 61 percent to 34 percent victory over Tsvangirai in the July 31 presidential election was postponed on Friday when the MDC lodged a challenge to the presidential and parliamentary election results at the Constitutional Court. The court has 14 days to hear the MDC’s complaint that Mugabe and Zanu-PF rigged their victories in both elections. But neither the MDC nor anyone else expect the court to take long to reject the challenge, and they believe Mugabe will be sworn in well before the 14-day deadline. Zanu-PF converted its slim minority position in parliament into a plus-two-thirds majority over Tsvangirai’s MDC-T. Welshman Ncube’s smaller MDC was also eliminated, losing its seats. Mujuru has had a heavy schedule of meetings over the past week as Zanu-PF’s old guard and a new group of younger MPs began calling her, angling for positions in the new cabinet. Mujuru represents the kinder, gentler face of Zanu-PF and many moderate Zimbabweans are pinning their hopes on her now that the party is back in full control of the government. Because the 89-year-old Mugabe’s eyesight is failing along with his concentration, Mujuru has effectively been running the cabinet for the past four months. Her main difficulty will to be to find talent in the new cabinet to replace and continue the work of the MDC ministers who inherited a paralysed, bankrupt state when they joined the unity government in 2009. They managed to move the country far enough down the hard road to recovery before the power-sharing deal ended. Mujuru’s task will be aggravated by the fact that the older Zanu-PF leaders seem likely to dominate the next cabinet, as they did past ones, according to veteran economist John Robertson and many business leaders. They say they are resigned to more of the same in the next cabinet, as it was the old guard – veterans of the wartime Zanla high command – who delivered the election victory, one way or another, and therefore they would be rewarded with the top positions. “We hoped there would be a breakthrough in Zanu-PF this time, with such a huge win, but at present it looks like the old guard will be back and Zimbabwe will be stuck again,” said one businessman who has been pleading with Mujuru to look around for new talent. “We are still relieved Zanu-PF won because if MDC had won, the generals would not have allowed it, and there would be violence. And there is little of that at the moment.” Some insiders believe the finance minister to replace the MDC’s Tendai Biti will be Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was defence minister in the unity government. He ran Zanu-PF’s finances for years and, somehow, the party survived this, probably because some of its revenues were filched from the state fiscus. Zimbabwe has little money in its banks, especially “indigenous” banks, no new investment coming in and continuous shrinkage in manufacturing. As things stand, it probably cannot pay civil servants beyond a month or two… at most. Mnangagwa, so his supporters claim, has the clout and inside information to grab some diamond money, bang it into the Treasury to pay civil servants and keep the show on the road – and also do the same with informal gold production, with which he is familiar. But analysts believe Mujuru is unlikely to allow her chief rival in the “contest” to succeed Mugabe. They believe she will feel safer if the post goes to Patrick Chinamasa, the justice minister in the unity government who is a good, smart lawyer. However, his record does not aid him – he was finance minister when Zimbabwe was reduced to astronomical inflation and deflation leading to empty supermarket shelves before 2009’s inclusive government. Whoever becomes finance minister will inherit the reform plan agreed by Biti and the International Monetary Fund, which includes public sector reform (deleting ghost workers from the pay roll), strengthening the wobbly banks, of which there are too many, and measures to ringfence the payment of social services. If that plan holds, the next step will be to settle Zimbabwe’s R120 billion foreign debt which was run up by the Zanu-PF administration before 2009. MDC’s Elton Mangoma, a chartered accountant, was energy minister in the unity government and apparently did a fair job. Electricity supply is more reliable than it was five years ago and there are plans to increase power generation via expansion of existing facilities. Though where the money will come from is uncertain. It did not help that Mujuru confirmed on Thursday what her colleague in the local government portfolio, Ignatius Chombo, had said before the elections: that no one has to pay their outstanding electricity bills. However, economist Erich Bloch believes this remains a pure election promise. “What they say is not necessarily what they will do,” he said. Even Mugabe respected MDC education minister David Coltart’s contribution during the unity government to rebuilding education which had begun falling apart about 20 years ago, especially in rural schools. Who will Mujuru find to replace him? It is a ministry Mugabe particularly wants to be run well. And health? Perhaps David Parirenyatwa again. He was accused of human rights abuses in the last elections but denies the accusations.

MDC-T to Boycott Heroes’ Celebrations by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: MDC-T to Boycott Heroes’ Celebrations. BY DALPHINE TAGWIREI, 11 AUGUST 2013 THE MDC-T has said it will not participate at tomorrow’s national heroes’ celebrations in protest of the July 31 election “stolen” by President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, who has ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1980, beat MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is claiming that the election was rigged in favour of the 89-year-leader. Thousands of people, mainly Zanu PF supporters who will be celebrating Mugabe’s election victory, are expected to throng the National Heroes Acre in Harare to commemorate the lives of heroes that sacrificed their lives for the liberation of this country. MDC-T party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that his party would boycott the national event. “The nation is mourning and we have nothing to celebrate though we honour the fallen heroes,” said Mwonzora. “However, we will do it in our own way.” The MDC-T participated in national heroes events in the past four years it had been part of the coalition government. Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), which formed an alliance with MDC-T in the elections, confirmed their participation in the celebrations. MKD spokesperson, Evans Sagomba said: “Our leaders will be present because the heroes’ celebrations are a national event hence our leaders will effectively participate in the celebrations.” MDC spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dube chose to be diplomatic. “Does this mean we have to travel to the moon to celebrate it because for us we will celebrate it whether we are at home or whatever place we might be,” he said. Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) former secretary for projects, Andrew Ndlovu said while the country celebrated Heroes’ Day, it was important to reward the surviving former fighters who were struggling to survive. Ndlovu accused the government of reneging on promises it allegedly made to the former freedom fighters. “They promised the war veterans a 20% stake in every sector of the economy in 1997 when we met Mugabe at State House,” said Ndlovu. “There is no recognition yet they speak positively of us and even show television images of the exhumations of the remains of war veterans but there is nothing for those of us who are still alive.” Ndlovu said he was part of the late Chenjerai Hunzvi-led ZNLWA executive, which forced Mugabe to doll out Z$50 000 to each war veteran in 1997. The unplanned for pay-outs resulted in the economy taking a nosedive.

Opposition split as Mugabe plots round-up of 100 rivals by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Sunday Times received by email: Miles Amoore and George Arbuthnott Published: 11 August 2013 ZIMBABWE’S intelligence service has drawn up arrest warrants for 100 leading opponents of Robert Mugabe as the country’s leader tightens his grip on power after an election victory last month that was widely condemned as rigged. Tendai Biti, the former finance minister, and other leading anti-Mugabe figures are on the list, which is contained in classified intelligence documents seen by The Sunday Times. The documents, dated August 3, show that Zimbabwean police are planning raids on the offices and homes of human rights advocates, politicians and journalists. The intelligence service, the CIO, also plans to step up its surveillance of emails, telephone communications and social networking sites after having obtained intelligence that Mugabe’s opponents plan to hold protests on Wednesday in Harare, the capital. The clampdown will increase pressure on the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party. It is demoralised and divided over how to respond to the defeat of its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, by 33%-61% to Mugabe in the July 31 poll. “A crackdown is something that is a strong reality,” said McDonald Lewanika, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a group of more than 350 civic society organisations. Lewanika’s name is among those on the arrest list. “It’s worrying. I only hope the state will not want the political risk a crackdown of this magnitude entails,” he said. Last Thursday Mugabe, 89, hailed his re-election, which will see him extend his 33-year stranglehold over the country, as a victory over the “British and their allies” whom he branded the “real enemies”. This was despite a report by the electoral commission that 305,000 voters had been turned away from polling stations — and 207,000 had been “assisted” in casting their ballot. The MDC has filed a legal challenge to have the result declared null and void and a new vote held within 60 days. It cites 15 grounds, including alleged bribery and manipulation of the electoral roll. Yet the strategy, championed by Tsvangirai, has been attacked as futile by critics within his own party who say the courts are stacked with Mugabe loyalists. “He [Tsvangirai] should only carry on if he acts more positively and is more proactive,” said Ian Kay, who lost his parliamentary seat at the elections. “He should be calling for rallies and leading more visibly. The silence is disturbing.” The discovery of the warrants has also prompted some figures to call on the party to form a government in exile. “Very shortly you are going to see the arrest of MDC leaders and the imprisonment of MDC supporters around the country,” said Roy Bennett, the MDC’s treasurer, who has been in exile in South Africa since 2010. “The MDC needs to get its leadership out of the country, form a government in exile and then take these guys head on with a full-blooded revolution.” Bennett said he believed there was enough pro-MDC support within the military to overthrow the “small clique” of Mugabe loyalists who hold senior command positions in the army and police. Other opposition figures, led by Tsvangirai, are less confident about the success of mass resistance. “People are afraid of the security services,” said a senior adviser to the party. “What I know for sure is that any mass action will be greeted with brutal force from the police. That’s the main reason why Tsvangirai’s not calling for protests.” Memories of such state violence remain fresh in the minds of Zimbabweans. In 2008, after another disputed election, pro-Mugabe militia squads rampaged through the countryside murdering MDC supporters, raping women and looting properties. In order to avert further bloodshed, Tsvangirai then withdrew from the presidential run-off even though he had won the first round of voting. He later became prime minister in a government of national unity under Mugabe. Tsvangirai’s response to election defeat has prompted some within the MDC to challenge not just his tactics but also his position, with calls for him to be replaced by Biti, who served as finance minister in the unity government. “Biti projects an aura of fear in the party. He is tough,” said one MDC source. “If he can see a strategic proactive route that he believes will achieve worthwhile goals, he will take it.” Tsvangirai loyalists counter that Biti is politically immature, brash and too technocratic to be able to rally enough support to take on Mugabe. As the two MDC camps appear increasingly polarised and fears of a security crackdown mount, civic society leaders have stepped in to plug the vacuum with plans for this week’s protests — whatever the consequences. “If people want to punish me it comes with the territory,” said Lewanika. “I would get worried only if I start hearing about guns pointed at my head.”

NIKUV paid $10M to rig Zimbabwe polls by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via MDC : NIKUV PAID $10M TO RIG POLLS newsdzeZimbabwe Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed astonishing claims that the Registrar General’s office paid controversial Israeli-based company, Nikuv Projects International (NPI) over $10 million to assist Zanu PF rig the July 31 polls.The MDC exposed the sensitive details in a court application filed yesterday, in which  Tsvangirai is contesting the presidential election result. According to the court application filed at the Constitutional Court yesterday, MDC sensationally claims that registrar of voters Tobaiwa Mudede made several payments to Nikuv to assist the party in rigging the election between January and July this year. The Daily News has in its possession court papers with reference numbers of telegraphic transfers allegedly made to the Nikuv. “What is also worrying is the involvement of an Israeli firm Nikuv Projects International, an Israeli firm in the development, management and manipulation of the voters’ roll. In a letter dated 12 July 2013, Zec denied the involvement of Nikuv in the preparation of the voters’ roll. “However, we have it on record that Nikuv has been operating in Zimbabwe since the 1990s. “We present the table (below) payments that were done by the Registrar General’s office to Nikuv between February and July 2013,” the party claims. The court document details how the Registrar General’s office made transactions involving several thousands of dollars to the firm through the telegraphic transfers. According to court papers, $10 578 335 was paid to the company for the job. The MDC has claimed that systematic rigging and various election irregularities, including voters’ roll anomalies and the contracting of Nikuv, were used to manipulate the votes in favour of Zanu PF. A private South African-based intelligence, Nasini Projects also sensationally revealed last week that the Israeli firm supplied a special watermarked ballot, which was used to give Mugabe and Zanu PF a resounding victory. This could not be independently verified. Though Zec and the Registrar General have denied contracting Nikuv to work on the voters’ roll, the Israeli firm on its website cites Zimbabwe’s electoral process as one of its success projects. “Using and implementing the most advanced state-of-the-art technologies in the field, NIP has successfully carried out large-scale projects in the government sector in various African countries,” the group wrote on its website. The shadowy group went on to claim that part of its successful projects in Zimbabwe include assistance in the country’s population registration system, election system — presidential, parliamentary, local government and senatorial elections, referendum, passports system, ID card system, human resource system, birth and death system marriage/divorce system. The Israeli firm is alleged to have been involved in activities in Angola, Zambia and Lesotho among other African countries. The controversial firm was taken to court in 1996 in Zambia on allegations of election rigging. Its engagement in the country’s poll system was rejected after opposition parties unearthed the group’s record of meddling with the voters’ roll and their suspected rigging expeditions. “Nikuv was hired to prepare the voter registers’ roll in 1995, prior to the 1996 parliamentary and presidential elections. “These rolls were rejected by Zambia’s opposition, because preliminary checks revealed anomalies such as people being placed in wrong polling stations, incorrect names and in some cases, people who had registered to vote were simply omitted in the final registers,” a Zambian website, Zambiawatchdog.com revealed. “While in the past voters were issued with voters cards on registration, under the new system voters had to collect cards at a later date. The registration exercise failed to capture a large number of eligible voters. “Out of about 4,5 million eligible voters, only 2,3 million registered. In a number of cases, voters were registered under wrong polling stations and as a result, were unable to find their names in the registers on polling day. A more serious problem to emerge was the large number of cases of people who had the same national registration numbers,” Zambiawatchdog.com wrote. In Lesotho, the firm’s offices were recently raided by the country’s Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses over a suspicious  $30 million passport contract amid allegations of bribery, while in Botswana it got a controversial $9, 42 million contract with the country’s Home Affairs and registry offices.

Nikuv in Zimbabwe – earlier reports by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via MUGABE ZIMBABWE ISRAEL | Cambridge Forecast Group Blog in April 2008 Israel helping the ruling parties in an  African country to rig ElectionsNikuv International Projects This was not the first time that Nikuv — a subsidiary of Formula Systems, a publicly traded information technology group in Israel — was accused of helping the ruling parties in an African country to rig elections. In 1996, Zambia’s opposition party, the United National Independence Party, similarly accused the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy of trying to rig the elections with Nikuv’s help. Ibbo Mandaza, a senior member of presidential candidate Simba Makoni’s campaign team, told Johannesburg’s newspaper Mail & Guardian that the Mossad devised the roll, on Mugabe’s instructions. Mossad agents, he alleged, had expertise in vote rigging and had been active in Zimbabwe for the past six months.

Police hunt down British journalists by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Police hunt down British journalists | Sunday Mail Reporter Police in Harare have launched a manhunt for British journalists Jerome Starkey and Jan Raath for spreading falsehoods that Zimbabwe signed a secret deal to export uranium to Iran for the manufacture of “a nuclear weapon”. In a case likely to embarrass the British media, outgoing Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Mr Gift Chimanikire yesterday denied statements the journalists attributed to him confirming the said deal. Mr Chimanikire, in an interview with The Sunday Mail, described the story as “silly, speculative and dangerous”. The Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Mr Prince Mupazviriho, also revealed that Zimbabwe does not have a uranium mine. While police remained tight-lipped last night for fear of jeopardising investigations, impeccable sources privy to the case said law enforcement agents were keen to interview the two scribes and Mr Chimanikire. In a story published under the headline “Mugabe signs secret deal to sell uranium to Tehran” in British newspaper The Times yesterday and picked by numerous news agencies, Starkey and Raath alleged the Government undertook to supply Iran raw materials for nuclear weapon production in breach of international sanctions . Quoting Mr Chimanikire, the two journalists, who co-authored the article with Michael Evans and Hugh Tomlinson, also wrote that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed last year to facilitate the exports. The article could undermine Zimbabwe’s foreign relations. The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme citing fears that Tehran intends to construct a bomb. Iranian authorities have, however, since made it clear that the programme seeks to harness energy. Mr Mupazviriho dismissed the journalists’ report as false, adding that Zimbabwe does not even have a uranium mine. “That is a blatant lie. Whoever is saying that is being malicious. We have never issued any licence to any Iranian company. We do not have any uranium mine at the moment,” said Mr Mupazviriho, who also chairs Zimbabwe’s Mining Affairs Board, which, among other duties, considers mineral exports. Mr Chimanikire said Government has not issued uranium mining licences since exploration was still being conducted in Kanyemba, Zambezi Valley. He said Starkey deliberately misrepresented information he gave him in an interview last Thursday to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe. “I wouldn’t have said that (the alleged uranium deal). No licence has been issued. I never said such a silly thing. We are exploring and not mining. He thought of selling his paper by being untruthful. I tried to call him after hearing about the article, but his phone is not reachable. “It is a speculative and dangerous story. We have nothing to export because we have not mined. He just showed the typical mentallity bent on saying negative things about Zimbabwe.” Mr Chimanikire, a high-ranking MDC-T official, said Starkey approached him for the interview while also clearly demonstrating a preconceived agenda to soil Zimbabwe’s diamond trade. “That journalist was very notorious (mischievous). His name is Jerome Starkey, the Africa correspondent for The Times of London. He came to my office on Thursday asking whether Zimbabwe’s economy would recover. “I gave him a synopsis of the mining sector. I told him that figures released at the recent Mine Entra showed that we need US$5 billion to recapitalise the sector. His (Starkey’s) thrust was to say diamonds are being stolen. So, I told him that: ‘No, there is no proof.’” He added: “I also told him of our mineral reserves and that exploration is yet to be conducted in some areas. When I told him that uranium exploration was taking place in Kanyemba, Zambezi Valley, he then asked who our customers were and whether Iran was among them. “I told him ‘no’, we do not determine customers; we market through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe. I also pointed out that in any case, we cannot be in a position to export uranium. I also mentioned that the Iranians were into textiles here. “He then insisted on allegations of diamond theft to which I replied saying inspectors are allowed to go into Chiadzwa (Diamond Fields).” via Police hunt down British journalists.

Zimbabwe Backtracks on Uranium Deal Claim by ZimSitRep – 08-11-2013
via Zimbabwe’s Deputy Leader Backtracks on Claim of Secret Iran Uranium Deal – IBTimes UK Gift Chimanikire, Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister, said he had seen the deal Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister has attempted to row back on his earlier claim that his country had a secret deal to supply Iran with the uranium it needs to develop nuclear weapons. Gift Chimanikire had earlier told the Times that he had seen a written agreement with Tehran to export uranium, in defiance of international embargos. “I have seen [a memorandum of understanding] to export uranium to the Iranians,” Chimanikire said. He alluded to similar deals for Zimbabwe’s diamonds, which he said had been made without his knowledge. Only a handful of people at the top of Zimbabwe’s government knew about the uranium deal, he said. But hours later, Chimanikire told Bloomberg that he had been misquoted, and that although an agreement existed, it was only aimed at “future exploration”. “We have no capacity to handle uranium as a country, and besides we don’t even know the quantity of uranium,” he said. Washington has warned that a deal between two nations would result in “serious ramifications”. Chimanikire is a member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party which was trounced by Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in elections last month. He said Zimbabwe struck the deal last year as it struggled to cope under the strain of Western sanctions. “Mining is Zimbabwe’s ticket,” Chimanikire said. Western companies are banned from trading with Zimbabwe’s state-owned mining companies due to human rights abuses by the regime. Iran is also subject to strict international sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme. British security officials said they were aware that Iran was attempting to buy uranium from the Zimbabwean government, and had been involved in secret negotiations for more than two years. Chimanikire said a Chinese company was surveying yellow-cake deposits in the northeast of the country, and that Mugabe’s government had been seeking buyers. China is also hungry for uranium. Both Iran and China are thought to have offered fuel, finance and construction projects in exchange for mining licences. Analysts said it could be many years before the uranium reserves, estimated at up to 45,000 tonnes, are ready for export. Mugabe, 89, prompted speculation of a deal in 2010 when he received Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then Iran’s president, in Zimbabwe, describing Tehran’s quest for nuclear power as a “just cause”.


  • comment-avatar
    Ashli 11 years ago

    Well done for trying to upgrade the website but it is unreadable, no paragraph breaks just clumps of text to struggle through, non-user friendly font. Sorry but that’s just my view

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    Giles Wakeling 11 years ago

    The text version is very useful to see what you want to read. Thank you.