August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
THE Sadc facilitation team, which was in the country earlier this week to
discuss progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and
in particular the constitution-making process, has raised security concerns
in the event a referendum is held.
Reported by Wongai Zhangazha/Brian Chitemba
South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe
Zulu, spokesperson Mac Maharaj and political advisor Charles Nqakula arrived
in Harare on Tuesday, but failed to unlock the deadlock over the latest
Copac draft constitution.
According to sources, Nqakula asked what plans were in place to ensure that
a peaceful environment prevailed to enable voters to freely express
themselves in the event of one or two drafts being taken to a referendum.
Nqakula also wanted to know when observers were likely to be invited for the
“Nqakula asked what provisions were in place to make sure a referendum will
be held peacefully,” said the source. “(Patrick) Chinamasa responded saying
the way referendums were conducted was different from elections as eligible
people would only be asked to produce their national identification
Previous polls have been afflicted by violence and bloodshed as Zanu PF
battled to retain power at all costs.The facilitation team is set to brief
Zuma on its latest Zimbabwe sojourn in Pretoria on Friday.
The MDCs have repeatedly rejected Zanu PF’s far-reaching amendments to the
Copac draft, and formally declared a deadlock in the constitution-making
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, representing party secretary-general
Tendai Biti, said the facilitation team reiterated the Sadc August 17 Maputo
resolution that the constitution-making process must be finalised and draft
taken to a referendum.
Mwonzora confirmed the deadlock, saying
the two MDC formations had refused to open negotiations with Zanu PF on its
266 alterations to the Copac draft.
He said the negotiators agreed with the facilitation team that a
three-member Sadc team be seconded to the Joint Implementation and
Monitoring Committee (Jomic) without further delay in accordance with the
Sadc Maputo and Livingstone resolutions.
There was also consensus that agreed GPA issues be implemented.
However, Zanu PF insisted it was not moving an inch from its current
position, arguing that declaring a deadlock is tantamount to calling for
immediate general elections under the Lancaster House constitution.
Chinamasa said there is nowhere in the draft where it says it’s (Copac
draft) final and said we must respect the will of the people on the gays
issue and death sentence, but this was dismissed by Priscilla
(Misihairabwi-Mushonga) who accused Zanu PF of hypocrisy, saying they were
not genuine in respecting the will of the people.
The MDCs also proposed taking the diaspora vote to a referendum but
Chinamasa shot it down, claiming it had been agreed that people living
outside the country would not vote.
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
JUDGE President George Chiweshe yesterday evening granted a consent order
allowing President Robert Mugabe a 30-day extension to today’s deadline for
him to gazette the dates for outstanding by-elections as ordered by the
Supreme Court last month.
Last month the Supreme Court upheld a High Court decision that ordered
Mugabe to call for by-elections in three constituencies once held by
Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu. The three were expelled
from parliament after their expulsion from the MDC.
Mugabe’s lawyer Advocate Ray Goba confirmed the court accepted a consent
order agreed between him and Beatrice Mtetwa who represented the three
former legislators. Mtetwa’s clients did not file an affidavit as they had
“The Judge President accepted the consent order that allows the president a
30-day extension and there was no question of costs arising. Each party will
bear its costs,” Goba said.
The ruling effectively means Mugabe now has until October 1 to gazette the
dates for all the outstanding 38 parliamentary constituencies. — Staff
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
FORMER Cabinet minister Fay Chung has strongly criticised the failure by the
inclusive government to solve a plethora of economic problems stalking the
country, saying Zanu PF and the MDC formations were equally entrenched in
“self-enrichment, corruption and power struggles”.
Report by Brian Chitemba
Commenting on the Freedom House survey which showed Zanu PF gained support
by 31% up from 17% while MDC-T popularity plunged to 20% from 38%, Chung
said both parties have abjectly failed to address key issues affecting
Rushing to elections to choose a new government, according to Chung, would
not solve the problems since the unity government partners were not facing
up to the real challenges facing the country.
She said Zanu PF was popular because of land reform and indigenisation while
the MDC-T was unpopular due to its links with its Western donors, but the
parties were trapped in the same gravy train and had a penchant for
Chung was dismayed the inclusive government claims to be broke while
ministers enjoy luxuries such as Mercedes Benzes and SUVs. The high cost of
foreign travelling which topped US$157 million in the past four years and
US$45m blown by Copac in hotel bills and car hire was an indication of the
rot in the inclusive government, she added.
“Amazingly, we are cutting the amount we spend on infrastructure. The 20%
which was supposed to be invested into infrastructure has been cut to 11%,
that is, from US$800m to US$374m. What a disgrace!” said the former
Education minister. “Only US$49,74m was invested on energy and power
development, yet electricity is essential not only for the growing of wheat,
but also for industrialisation.” Chung expressed concern over failure by the
inclusive government to ensure food security in recent years, urging the
coalition partners to prioritise agriculture.
She also suggested a slash of the 235 000 civil service by 15% over the next
two to three years so money could be channelled towards agriculture and
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
UNITED States research and advocacy group, Freedom House, has urged Sadc
leaders to be firm on resolving the Zimbabwean political crisis by ensuring
full implementation of the GPA before elections.
The organisation said the regional bloc should implement mechanisms that
monitor the political parties’ compliance with GPA provisions. Freedom House
senior programme officer for Africa Jenai Cox warned political violence
would engulf the polls expected in 2013 if they are held without
implementation of critical reforms.
“As the guarantor of the GPA, Sadc has a responsibility to the people of
Zimbabwe to ensure that the GPA is fully implemented,” said Cox.
Sadc leaders met in Maputo on August 17 to discuss progress in GPA
implementation which has dragged since the signing of the agreement on
September 15 2008. It resolved that the inclusive government partners — Zanu
PF and the MDC formations — should conclude the constitution-making process
Freedom House criticised Sadc for repeatedly calling for full implementation
of the GPA without outlining any consequences if elections were held without
democratic and electoral reforms.
It said since the violence-ridden 2008 elections, the inclusive government
has failed to make significant progress on reforms that include the adoption
of a new governance charter, media and electoral law transformation. — Staff
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
DEBT-RIDDEN Zimbabwe will in October engage the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) as the nation seeks approval from the Brettton Woods institution to
settle a ballooning debt overhang currently standing at US$10,7 billion.
Non-payment and accumulation of debt began in 1999 due to balance of payment
constraints with a proportion of the debt being inherited at Independence in
Newly-formed Zimbabwe Aid and Debt Management Office head Andrew Bvumbe told
delegates attending a High Level Economic Forum which ended in Victoria
Falls on Thursday that Finance ministry officials would meet with the IMF
executive board to propose the country’s debt relief and arrears clearance
This follows cabinet’s recent adoption of the Zimbabwe: Accelerated Arrears
Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy (Zaadds), a debt plan to deal with
the country’s arrears trap excluding the country from accessing capital from
global financial markets.
Zaadds was a compromise blueprint after divisions emerged within the shaky
inclusive government on whether the country should adopt the Highly Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC) status or mortgage its mineral resources to settle the
Addressing the same forum, World Bank Country Director for Malawi, Zambia
and Zimbabwe, Kundhavi Kadiresan said: “Arrears cannot be rescheduled, they
have to be settled before Zimbabwe can access funds,”. — Staff Writer.
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai clashed with party spokesperson Douglas
Mwonzora at a strategic meeting last week amid sharp divisions on the
findings of a survey commissioned by the United States-based organisation,
Freedom House, sources have revealed.
The survey, among other findings, indicates the MDC-T’s support base
dwindled from 38% to 20% in the last 18 months, while support for Zanu PF
went up from 17% to 31% in the same period.
Sources said Mwonzora and other senior party officials were in the firing
line and left with egg on the face after hasty attempts to denounce the
report on the grounds there was no way Zanu PF could have gained support
because of its history of violence and intimidation were crushed by
“Tsvangirai was not amused by Mwonzora and other party information chiefs
who rushed to deny the authenticity of the report instead of using the
information to solve the party’s problems and planning adequately for the
coming elections,” a source said.
Said another source: “Tsvangirai was not happy with the press statement
released by Mwonzora who was asked to read the statement in the meeting and
questioned why it was different to what had been agreed on.”
It was agreed in the meeting to acknowledge and respect the Freedom House
report and ideas were tabled on how the party was going to respond, the
sources said.Tsvangirai’s sentiments resonate with those of MDC-T
secretary-general Tendai Biti who, in an article in a weekly paper
yesterday, said it was clear a chasm had developed between the party
grassroots and its members seconded into government as suddenly, “one group
was now driving Mercedes Benzes and on the face of it now at par with the
Zanu PF effigy of power and corruption”.
In the past surveys by Freedom House have been favourable to the MDC-T. —
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
SINCE the formation of the coalition government in 2009, MDC-T officials who
joined central and local government have quickly jumped on the gravy train
together with their Zanu PF counterparts as corruption and greed took centre
stage tarnishing the image of the party and alienating it from the masses.
According to MDC-T secretary-general and Finance minister Tendai Biti, the
trappings of office, luxury and corruption associated with his party has
cost it dearly in terms of popular support as indicated by the recent
Freedom House survey.
Biti wrote in a local weekly yesterday that the MDC-T’s presence in unity
government brought its own contradictions and challenges.
“The first was that internally a clear chasm developed between the grass
roots party and its members seconded to government. Suddenly, one group was
now driving Mercedes Benzes and on the face of it now on par with the Zanu
PF effigy of power and corruption,” he said.
Biti’s observations are backed up by an internal party investigations report
titled Corporate governance and service delivery audit of 10 selected
MDC-run Local Authority Councils, gleaned by the Zimbabwe Independent.
The investigation, conducted by members drawn from the MDC-T’s national
executive and the women and youth assemblies wings, and led by party deputy
secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada, shows how councillors corruptly acquired
vast tracts of land, fleets of luxury vehicles and built mansions through
proceeds from corrupt activities.
The report covers 10 councils, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Chinhoyi,
Marondera, Bindura, Kwekwe, Zvishavane and Gokwe.
It notes the “shocking change of lifestyle of some councillors and sudden
accumulation of movable and immovable property”.
Procurement is singled out as the breeding ground for corruption and
self-enrichment among the councillors.
Harare deputy mayor and councillor for Ward 42 in Hatcliffe, Emmanuel
Chiroto, is fingered by the report as one of the party’s most corrupt
Chiroto was allegedly involved in the awarding of a tender to his mistress
to buy 28 Toyota Spacio vehicles for council officials.
“He went to Beitbridge and personally assisted his mistress to import and
clear the vehicles as belonging to the City of Harare,” reads the report.
“His mistress owns a company called Glyns Bolts which supplies bolts and
nuts to the City of Harare. These Spacio vehicles were later purchased for
US$5 900 (each) instead of the purchase price of US$4 500 approved by full
Chiroto is also accused of influencing the Marondera municipality to award a
tender for connecting water pipes from Wenimbe Dam to the town to a company
called BaseQuip, which is believed to be owned by the same mistress.
The report also says Chiroto is building a three-storey mansion in Mount
Pleasant using proceeds from irregular deals and owns a fleet of cars.
Chiroto also stands accused of manipulating a tender to supply 27 compactor
vehicles and three skip trucks for refuse collection. The compactors were
reportedly US$24 000 more expensive than other suppliers.
It states Chiroto allegedly influenced the system to award the tender to a
Puzza Busta which deals in Isuzu vehicles and further claims he was rewarded
with a brand new Isuzu D-tech vehicle by the company.
He is accused of converting US$3 000 from the US$15 000 donated by the
Australian embassy in the 2008 for councillors’ welfare to his own use. The
report says Chiroto leads one of the powerful council factions which
influence the awarding of tenders.The party’s investigations committee
recommended that Chiroto be suspended from holding public office for a
Another councillor fingered in the report is Peter Gandidzanwa Marange of
Ward 29 Highfield West who is said to have joined the party with nothing,
but his lifestyle had dramatically become a “rags to riches” story.
Marange, the report says, now owns a fleet of cars which include a Jeep
Cherokee, Mazda Cronos and Nissan Narvara, among others.
He has been a member of the National Employment Council (NEC) since 2008 and
the group corruptly pays members hefty allowances, which include a US$500
monthly retainer, US$100 per seating and travel allowances calculated at
US$1 per kilometre.
“NEC meetings are conveniently held in Victoria Falls, Kariba and Nyanga in
order to maximise,” the report says.
The probe team recommended immediate and effective suspension of Marange
pending dismissal from the party.
Councillor of Ward 22 Hatfield, Phumulani Musagwiza, was accused of
establishing a housing cooperative “whose membership is fictitious in order
to personally benefit from the 80 residential stands he acquired in Msasa
The investigating team questioned why the case Musagwiza was investigating
as chairperson of the Audit Committee Council probing the theft of 300
beasts from a council farm by Moses Chingwena died a natural death.Musagwiza
is also accused of conniving with council management to allocate him a
residential stand in the affluent Borrowdale West, as well as owning four
vehicles “from nowhere”.
The probe report recommended that Musagwiza be suspended pending dismissal.
It concludes by saying some councillors had become ambitious as a result of
their “ill-gotten financial muscles” and were seeking to topple sitting MPs
at the very “earliest opportunity” through vote buying.
Reached for a comment yesterday, Chiroto said he had not seen the report and
did not know anything about the alleged corruption. — Staff Writer.
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
THE long-stalled Essar deal in which the Indian company signed a US$750
million takeover of the defunct Ziscosteel looks set to be finally
implemented after a delegation from the firm met President Robert Mugabe
last week to thrash out the shareholding structure that had been a major
sticking point.Report by Brian Chitemba
The deal was first signed in August 2011 giving Essar 54% control of the new
company NewZim Steel, while government had 40%, minority shareholders 6%.
As part of the deal, Essar was also awarded 80% ownership of NewZim
Minerals, formerly Buchwa Iron Mining Company, with government holding the
remaining 20%, but the Indian firm could not start operations after
government moved to reverse its decision on the grounds that the value of
its iron ore claims, which some allege is US$30 billion, should be verified
As the impasse unfolded, government again shifted the goalposts and demanded
that the deal be restructured in line with the controversial indigenisation
Government wants Essar to reduce its stake in NewZim Minerals to 49%,
notwithstanding the fact that the company had assumed Ziscosteel’s debt of
over US$340 million and spent a further US$12 million paying salaries to
more than 3 500 workers it inherited.
Government wants its shareholding in NewZim Minerals increased from 20% to
Essar suspended workers’ salaries in May to press government to finalise the
agreement. The deadlock seems to have been broken after Essar’s
representatives met Mugabe, who then instructed Industry and Commerce
minister Welshman Ncube to table the latest agreement in cabinet.
Ncube said he would have tabled the report for discussion on Tuesday but
cabinet did not sit because Mugabe is away at the Non-Aligned Movement
summit in Iran. Cabinet does not sit in Mugabe’s absence.
“Operations are likely to resume at NewZim Steel following a series of
meetings with the Essar delegation last week,” said Ncube. “Contents of the
agreement between the government and Essar will be announced after cabinet
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told journalists this week that the Essar
project has to proceed and the debate over mining concessions should now be
a thing of the past.
He said cabinet had made a decision and the inclusive government partners
expect operations at the new steel manufacturer to start.
“After two years, we must thank Essar for being patient with us,” said
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
THE European Union this week sternly warned Zimbabwe it could find itself
under renewed economic sanctions over the controversial granting of Save
Wildlife Conservancy hunting permits to Zanu PF officials and cronies,
barely a month after they were suspended.Report by Herbert Moyo
The EU in July lifted development aid restrictions but Zimbabwe, which is
only due to benefit from direct economic assistance in the EU’s 2014-2020
plan for African countries, could lose out if authorities do not reverse the
Save Conservancy grab. In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this
week EU ambassador to Harare Aldo Dell’Ariccia warned of the possibility of
restoring the sanctions although he expected “reason to prevail” after
meeting Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who is expected to table the issue
of reversing the hunting permits before cabinet.
“You will recall that the EU suspended the effect of the restrictive
measures because of progress achieved by the GNU towards democratising
Zimbabwe and respecting bilateral investments, but anytime those measures
could be re-imposed if progress is reversed,” Dell’Ariccia said. A fortnight
ago Dell’Ariccia raised the possibility of boycotting the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe
and Zambia next August saying the parcelling out of the conservancy amounted
to a violation of bilateral investment protection agreements Zimbabwe
entered into with EU countries.
The vice-chairman of the Save Valley Conservancy, German national Wilfried
Pabst said there could be “immediate tourism sanctions and investment
warnings followed by a scaling down of EU and American governments’ support
for the economic rescue of Zimbabwe”, in response to questions emailed to
him. “How can foreign governments spend their tax money on a country like
Zimbabwe if the government allows a wholesale slaughter in high profile
tourism destinations like the Save Valley Conservancy?” asked Pabst.
The conservancy was founded in 1991 and is co-owned by groups of foreign
whites and black Zimbabweans who control hunting and manage it to protect
the endangered wildlife that includes elephants, rhinos and buffalo. Since
its establishment, the conservancy has been run in partnership with the
Agriculture and Rural Development Authority.
Pabst said Zanu PF officials like former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa simply
wanted to make quick profits as shown by a letter she allegedly sent to
owners of Savuli Ranch in the conservancy on August 8, 2011 asking them —
according to Pabst — to “please deposit at least US$20 000 from this year’s
hunting in my account before Saturday August 13 2011 for my up-keep. Account
details are Shuvai Mahofa, Barclays Bank, Chiredzi Branch, Account Number 25
“They have little economic background and don’t understand the principle of
philanthropic investment so they think that where a successful businessman
like me is involved, there must be money,” said Pabst. “Well, there isn’t
and most of us would be very happy if we can just break even.”
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday condemned events in the Save
Valley Conservancy saying “they send the wrong message at a time when we are
preparing to host the UNWTO.” Tsvangirai met Mzembi and Environment and
Natural Resources minister Francis Nhema to discuss the issue.
August 31, 2012 in News, Politics
COPAC co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) on Wednesday told a
Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe discussion his party’s amendments to the draft
constitution reflected what the people had said during the Copac outreach
programme, as heated debate on the latest draft continued at several public
fora in Harare and on national radio stations.
Mangwana is however on record as saying: “The truth about the constitution
that Copac is crafting for the country will come out very soon and media
reports that we dumped people’s views are not true. We wrote the contents in
the draft constitution on the basis of what people said during the
constitutional outreach programmes and such media reports are misleading and
were written by people ignorant of the constitution-making process.”
Zanu PF representatives across the platforms had a torrid time trying to
defend their party’s wholesale amendments which restore the imperial
presidency, after the last draft incorporated the party’s proposals
contained in a 29-page document with over 200 changes. At the Media Centre
discussion Godwills Masimirembwa, one of Zanu PF’s Copac technical advisers
argued Copac had acquiesced to political control the moment it accepted a
management committee that was not part of a parliamentary committee.
On new radio station Star FM, Zanu PF MP for Mhondoro-Ngezi Bright Matonga
was at pains to explain that a deadlock would be pronounced only after party
principals meet, thus for now the draft could still be amended by
However, the MDC formations remain adamant they would not re-open
negotiations and Zimbabweans should be the arbiters of the draft at the
Copac information and publicity sub-committee chairperson Jessie Majome
(MDC-T) told journalists at the Quill Club that Zanu PF was in political
paralysis because the MDCs would not give in to its draft amendments. She
defended the Copac draft saying it captured the views of the people and
should be taken to a referendum without alterations.
Civil society organisations and other political parties left out of the
Copac process argue the final draft is flawed because it was produced
through an exclusionary process limited to Zanu PF and the two MDC
Audiences at the public fora were as divided as the political players,
making the outcome of the referendum — if the principals decide to put the
draft to the people — appear uncertain. — Staff Writer.
August 31, 2012 in Business
THE Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) is finalising negotiations with
the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDCSA) on a US$30
million fund for possible disbursement as of October this year.
The bank’s director of marketing and business development, Joseph Mverecha,
said the funds were expected to bring relief to cash-strapped sectors of the
economy. Agribank received a similar facility last year which was disbursed
to several productive sectors. About a third of the funds were disbursed to
the agricultural sector and this was expected to be the same this year.
The bank, which is to be privatised according to a cabinet approval of May
2011, intends to maintain its bias towards the agricultural sector.
“There are indications that several investors are taking a long term view of
the economy, the central role of agriculture in the economy and the
strategic role of Agribank at the heart of agriculture and agro-based
manufacturing production value chain. These investors have shown interest
and will get an opportunity to expressly take up equity in the near future,”
The privatisation exercise will see government, the sole shareholder,
retaining 51% shareholding after disposing of the remaining stake to a
strategic partner. Mverecha said government had floated a tender for a
financial advisor for the privatisation process.
Privatisation would also help Agribank to meet the new US$100 million
minimum capital requirement as recently stipulated by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe.The bank is currently capitalised at US$13,7 million after
government injected an additional US$1 million early this month.
Agribank this week reported its financial results for the half year ended
June 30 2012, in which it made an after tax loss of US$2,4 million, which
loss it attributed to increased operating expenses. The bank had over the
past year invested US$2,7 million in ICT upgrade and branch connectivity,
which increased operating costs and resulted in the loss.
The bank said it had put in motion a process for comprehensive review of all
operating costs and was implementing a cost containment programme that would
yield visible gains to the bottom line in December this year.
Revenue in the period under review grew slightly to US$9,2 million compared
to US$8,7 million in the comparative period last year. The bank’s total
asset base increased by 7% to US$110,2 million while deposits grew by 13% to
US$78,2 million. Mverecha said interest income constituted 40% of revenue.
Mverecha said although the bank was pursuing cost cutting and control
measures, it was not considering any retrenchments and would continue
exploring new revenue lines through new product offerings and strategic
August 31, 2012 in Business
SEED CO Ltd is this year set to reduce production by nearly two-thirds due
to carry over stock from last year, according to CEO Morgan Nzwere.
Nzwere told shareholders at an annual general meeting this week the company
would cut seed production to 24 000 tonnes compared to last year’s 64 000
tonnes, a move aimed at clearing carry-over stock. “Closing stocks by
year-end will be reduced by 47% as compared to prior year,” he said.
This, however, comes after the company early this year anticipated to
produce 68 200 metric tonnes of seed for 2012/13 in correspondence to the
Apart from carryover stocks, the company had been set back by debtors,
particularly government, which had however committed to pay the US$13
million it owed the company by end of this August. Payment by other debtors,
who owe the company US$16 million, was slow due to the persistent liquidity
challenges, Nzwere said.
Seed Co was striving to reduce borrowings in the current financial year to
US$40 million, compared to US$44 million in the year ended March 31 this
year. Borrowings in the year March 31 2012 had doubled to US$44 million to
fund carryover inventory. This resulted in net finance costs going up 70% to
US$4,33 million from US$2,92 million the previous year.
The Seedco group recorded a 20% rise in turnover to US$117 million in the
year under review, helped by a 22% increase in sales volumes to 67 240
In terms of contribution by market, Zimbabwe brought in 38% to turnover,
Zambia 23%, Malawi 10%, East Africa 9%, Botswana 7%. Cotton seed producer
Quton contributed 13% to group turnover.
Zimbabwe sales volume grew 74% as the group fought to increase market
coverage, taking into account the abundant viability of stocks. Nzwere said
the company’s market share in Zimbabwe remained flat at 70%, Zambia 51%,
Malawi 50%, Tanzania 46% and Kenya 10%.
The group reported a net profit of US$19,08 million, an increase of 10% in
the comparable period, while earnings per share also grew 10% to 9,90 US
Nzwere said a new seed processing plant was currently being installed in
Kenya while an acid delinting plant was also being installed in Malawi and
August 31, 2012 in Comment, Opinion
FREEDOM House, the United-States non-governmental organisation which
conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedoms and human
rights, last week released results of a controversial public opinion survey,
mainly indicating the MDC-T’s popularity was plunging ahead of crucial
elections.Editor’s Memo: Dumisani Muleya
By contrast the survey says Zanu PF is recovering from years of decline. The
study polled a sample of 1 198 adult Zimbabweans between June 23 and July 7.
Topics addressed included political power, elections, fear and violence, the
constitution, and socio-economic conditions. The survey follows similar
Freedom House polls conducted in November-December 2010 and September 2009.
The survey, commissioned by Freedom House and conducted by South African
political analyst Susan Booysen and Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare,
says Zimbabweans remain anxiously uncertain about the political future of
Findings from Change and ‘New’ Politics in Zimbabwe say despite widespread
optimism the next elections will bring change, many Zimbabweans continue to
fear the lead-up to polls will be characterised by heightened levels of
political violence and intimidation.
However, the key findings of the survey show 47% of respondents said they
would not vote, or refused to indicate who they would vote for (up from 41%
in 2010). Of the 53% who declared their choice, 20% said they would support
MDC-T (down from 38% in 2010) and 31% Zanu PF (up from 17% in 2010).
Responses from different political parties, civil society groups and
analysts were varied and attention-grabbing. Some approvingly endorsed the
survey, others angrily rejected it, while certain stakeholders were
sceptical. Yet others reacted with paranoia and conspiracy theories.
In the end, it appears Freedom House, accused of being a US foreign policy
instrument and linked to the CIA despite no such evidence in public, has
thrown the cat among the pigeons, leaving a lot of people worried.
Zanu PF was divided on its take. The reformist wing said it was good as it
revamped the battered image of the party and shored up its popularity ahead
of elections. Hardliners, prisoners of their own propaganda, had no choice
but to dismiss or at least be coy about it.
Even the state-controlled media, Zanu PF’s propaganda platforms which have
dismally failed to influence voters’ choices judging by the party’s
persistent defeat in urban areas where state mouthpieces occupy vast swathes
of public space, were confused about it.
In the MDC-T, the survey wreaked havoc. The party’s top leadership, which in
the past endorsed favourable Freedom House surveys, had no choice but to
grudgingly accept the bitter pill to swallow. However, others tried to
discredit it, forcing their bosses to come out and clear the air to avoid
charges of hypocrisy and denial.
Conspiracism was also prevalent. Those who push it say the survey is a plot
aimed at either lulling Zanu PF into a false sense of security (in the
process helping the MDC-T), leaving it to suffer a shock defeat, or an
indication Western powers have now ditched the MDC-T and want to work with a
reformed Zanu PF.
Some conspiracy theorists claim the survey is designed to put MDC-T leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on notice that he has become a liability and will be
dumped in favour of secretary-general Tendai Biti. They see the survey as a
product of a secret plot to redefine the electoral landscape ahead of
elections to achieve hidden political agendas.
Booysen argues it reflects the current political environment and trends
since the formation of the inclusive government. Biti’s piece in the media
yesterday concludes as much.
Whatever the case, certain issues are clear. The MDC-T involvement’s in the
unity government — some say joining the gravy train — has undoubtedly
damaged its reputation. The party is now seen as part of the problem, not
necessarily a solution in many respects as it has been tainted with the same
brush as Zanu PF.
The MDC-T now stands accused of leadership and policy failures, incompetence
and corruption, service delivery miscarriage, as well as detachment from
reality and the masses. This feasibly explains the survey’s findings.
It is possible Zanu PF is benefiting from the MDC-T’s decline. But the
explanations given for the party’s purported recovery, which include land
reform, indigenisation and other such controversial policies, leave a huge
credibility gap and somewhat impugns the contentious findings.
Although the MDC-T must take it seriously and confront the elephant in the
living room — its plunging popularity — analysts have to interrogate the
findings. Otherwise, it could be premature and irrelevant as findings could
only be meant to justify methodology. But in the absence of alternative
material, the survey stands despite paranoid reactions from all over the
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
IN this penultimate instalment of the latest Global Witness report,
Financing A Parallel Government? which makes interesting revelations about
Chiadzwa, the article, through analysis, identifies which companies are
controlled wholly or partially by members of the Zimbabwe’s intelligence
The Global Witness report sheds light on activities unfolding at Marange
diamond fields, detailing who is involved and the intricate networks
comprising the Chinese and Zimbabwe security forces dealing in diamonds,
cotton and property sectors.
In July 2010, Cotton Ginners Association of Zimbabwe (CGAZ) filed a case at
the High Court, in which they accused Sino-Zimbabwe Cotton of purchasing
cotton already contracted to other companies and violating terms of their
Sino-Zimbabwe Cotton denied the allegations entirely. In a media report
Jimmy Zerenie, described as Sino-Zimbabwe Holding’s director, said the
company had not “induced any contracted farmers to breach the law” and the
application had misled the court. In the case against Sino-Zimbabwe Cotton,
the judge ruled that the case had been brought in the wrong forum.
CGAZ then made an application to the Cotton Marketing Technical Committee,
asking them to withdraw Sino-Zimbabwe Cotton’s licence. During meetings
between the parties, Global Witness was told that Sino-Zimbabwe Cotton was
represented by former (and one serving) members of the CIO.
The dispute was settled out of court and Global Witness has seen no further
evidence to suggest impropriety or improper behaviour by Sino-Zimbabwe
Cotton Holdings in the cotton sector.
Properties Sino-Zimbabwe Development is reported in the press and in
Zimbabwean government documents seen by Global Witness to have bought
include Livingstone House, Gecko Gardens hotel and conference centre,
Highlands Park Hotel, the Pangolin Lodge, and Imba Matombo Lodge, all
located in Harare.
Structure of Sino-Zim Development
Here we describe the corporate structure, directorships and shareholdings of
related companies — first in Zimbabwe, then in Hong Kong, and finally in
Singapore and the British Virgin Islands. Through this analysis companies
controlled wholly or partially by members of the Zimbabwean intelligence are
Sino-Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has claimed that
Sino-Zimbabwe Development is established as a joint venture with the ZMDC.
However, in reality this claim merely provides cover for the involvement of
Sino-Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd was incorporated in Zimbabwe on the May
14 2010. Its offices are at the 3rd Floor Livingstone House, Samora Machel
Avenue, Harare and 14 Selous Avenue, Harare. The Zimbabwean directors of
Sino-Zimbabwe Development are Gift Kalisto Machengete and Pritchard Zhou.
The non-Zimbabwean directors of Sino-Zimbabwe Development are:
Lo Fong Hung, a Chinese citizen. Lo is a director of at least sixty other
companies in the Queensway syndicate;
Veronica Fung Yuen, a Chinese citizen and director of at least 30 other
companies in the Queensway syndicate;
Jimmy Zerenie, a Singaporean. All of the non-Zimbabwean directors record the
same residential address, in Chisipite, Harare in company records.
One source told Global Witness that Masimba Ignatius Kamba holds a
leadership position in the company, however, it has not been possible to
Jimmy Zerenie holds 49% of the share capital of Sino-Zimbabwe Development
while Gift Kalisto Machengete, owns the other 51% cent. Global Witness
believes Machengete holds these shares on behalf of the CIO rather than for
his personal benefit, given his senior role in the CIO, the presence of
other CIO members as directors, and the funding which sources say Sam Pa
gave to the CIO.
Hong Kong: Sino Zim Diamond Ltd
Jimmy Zerenie is also a director of Sino Zim Diamond Ltd, registered in Hong
Kong. The other director of this Hong Kong company is Eliezer Nefussy, an
Israeli citizen resident in Namibia.
Nefussy is also director of Orient Treasure International Trading Ltd, which
is registered in Hong Kong and owned in turn by Samicor, registered in
Namibia. Nefussy is also the chief executive of Samicor. The registered
address of Sino Zim Diamond Ltd is 27/F, 8 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
LESOTHO Prime Minister Tom Motsoahae Thabane, on what the government called
a “state visit” to Zimbabwe last week, said his country was praying for
President Robert Mugabe to take a leading role in Sadc if he finishes with
the country’s politics. Report by the MuckRacker
He showered Mugabe with praise describing him as “courageous”.
“We pray to God that if President Mugabe finishes with his politics he can
devote his time to Sadc,” Thabane said. The Lesotho PM was here to open the
Harare Agricultural Show.
But for those reading between the lines the message was obvious: It’s time
The distasteful pill was clearly manufactured by Sadc and sugar-coated with
heaps of praise to assist digestion! His Zimbabwean hosts obviously missed
the point and concentrated on the praise. Not only was this dimension given
emphasis, but Thabane’s official visit, as we pointed out last week, was
elevated to the status of a state visit when obviously it wasn’t.
There was another point which Thabane had clearly been mandated to convey.
“The people of Lesotho join you in support of the full implementation of the
GPA,” he said.
Again that was a sugar-coated pill as it was tied to a call for the lifting
of sanctions. And Thabane kept on reminding his audience that he was a
junior leader obeying Mugabe’s command to visit Zimbabwe.
“When an elder statesman of his age and stature invites an equally young
newly-elected PM like me, the invitation is a command,” he said.
So there you have it. Thabane’s “state” visit had a diplomatic sub-text.
“Time to go”.
Muckraker was interested to see how the Freedom House report on Zimbabwe
would be “spun” by Zanu PF’s apologists. Zanu PF had overtaken the MDC-T in
the popularity stakes according to their report on data from a survey
undertaken by the Mass Public Opinion Institute mid-year.
It claimed that support for the MDC-T had dropped from 38% to 20%. In 2009
it put support for Zanu PF between eight and 10% and for the MDC at 57%. The
report claimed most Zimbabweans relied on the state media and trusted the
But Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperso01n Luke Tamborinyoka gave a neat twist
to the claims as reported in the Sunday Times.
“With all those satellite dishes at police stations and even at army
barracks, the Freedom House-sponsored survey says the state media is the
media of choice in Zimbabwe? That Zimbabweans trust the army and police?”
Obert Gutu, the MDC-T spokesman for Harare and Deputy Minister of Justice
and Legal Affairs described the survey as fatally flawed.
“It is the height of intellectual delinquency for any right-thinking person
to argue that all of a sudden the people of Zimbabwe now have increased
faith and trust in the army, police and CIO as well as the AG’s office. More
poignantly, it is an unmitigated absurdity for any sane person to believe
that ZBC is the most trusted source of news in Zimbabwe.”
The state media gave the survey a muted reception. The reason is not
difficult to find. It used all its resources to denounce the 2009 MPOI
report and its authors. It can hardly argue now that Freedom House and the
MPOI are credible sources!
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo recently claimed that despite claims by
other parties that they are sabotaging the constitution-making process, they
are actually protecting the “national interest”.
The MDC formations endorsed the draft constitution while the “revolutionary
party scrutinised the whole document” making proposals to include some views
of the majority that had been left out, we are told.
According to Mugabe Zanu PF is an “enlightened” party that will not accept a
document that goes against its “revolutionary ideals”.
Mugabe and his party’s approach to constitution-making is quite strange.
They take the draft, make a whole range of amendments, and then Gumbo
declares nobody else will be allowed to do the same thing.
“Zanu PF won’t move an inch,” Gumbo says. Having thoroughly politicised and
re-written the draft, he claimed the constitution was a national initiative
that did not belong to individual parties.
However, experts who, according to ZBC “have been following the constitution
making-process” say Zimbabwe can hold elections using the Lancaster House
constitution because of the current stalemate.
Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo said the essence of the GPA was never
about writing a new constitution, but to create a conducive environment for
conducting free and fair elections.
Sharing similar sentiments National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman,
Lovemore Madhuku, said it was very clear from the beginning that no
constitution was ever going to be produced by the political parties as they
have to agree on all the issues.
“It was clear from the beginning that the three political parties would not
produce a new constitution,” he said.
“Elections should be held using the old one. The parties should just agree
so that we go for elections,” Madhuku said.
Fancy seeing Madhuku singing from the Zanu PF hymn sheet! Was Zanu PF the
party he was referring to when he said in April that he would relinquish his
post at the NCA and venture into “active party politics”?
The Sunday Mail’s columnist Udo Froese once again showed a farcical
appreciation of Zimbabwean issues.
Perched in Johannesburg, Froese opined that the “foreign guiders of the
opposition” had limited the powers of the president in the draft
constitution to ensure they were safe since they were not sure that the MDCs
will actually win.
Despite the draft constitution being a product of all the parties in the
inclusive government including Zanu PF, Froese now claims it is the product
of the West.
“The president would have two terms of office only, together amounting to 10
years,” complains Froese as if it is a really bad thing.
“Let us be honest and pragmatic,” Froese asserts, “despite being part of the
inclusive government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his Minister of
Finance, Tendai Biti, were not successful in having the sanctions against
their country lifted.”
“So, why then vote for a failure?” he asks.
According to Froese, this is the question in the minds of most Zimbabweans,
“even of those living here in South Africa”.
Zimbabweans living in South Africa, Froese would have us believe, are more
concerned with sanctions on Mugabe and his coterie than the economic havoc
engineered by his regime which left them with no choice but to brave the
crocodile-infested Limpopo River and xenophobic attacks in the townships.
Despite admitting that the government “dropped its currency, the Zimbabwe
dollar, and based its economy on the United States dollar and the South
African rand”, Froese does not bother to explain why.
“With a booming mining industry, Zimbabwe was able to rejuvenate its economy
and to improve the lives of her people,” Froese declares.
The writer is clearly in cloud- cuckoo-land!
Despite ZBC defending its steep licence fees of US$20 annually for radio
fees and US$50 for television per household, saying they are necessary to
meet operating costs, they on the other hand stopped paying the royalties
due to musicians for the music which they play on air.
ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango recently declared that paying licence fees
was a statutory requirement and viewers/listeners should abide by the law or
face the consequences.
This, however, does not apply to ZBC itself as far as its own obligations
According to the Herald, the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) has
applied for a court interdict stopping ZBC from playing music on their radio
and television stations. This is due to non-payment for the second time, of
royalties due to Zimura by ZBC since 2009.
Albert Nyathi, Zimura’s board chairman, said a High Court interdict to bar
the broadcaster from playing any music will soon be put into effect.
Musicians also accuse ZBC of robbing them of their full payments by
submitting inaccurate music log sheets to Zimura.
Undeterred by this shocking duplicity ZBC in May issued 40 people from
Chitungwiza with warrants of arrest for failing to pay ZBC television and
ZBC Legal and Corporate Services Manager Irvin Mhlanga said ZBC will “bring
to book” all radio and television licence defaulters.
The question is who will bring ZBC to book for cheating musicians and
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Harare provincial secretary for information and
publicity, Claudious Mutero, recently tried to distance his party from the
activities of gang leaders extorting kombi crews.
The Herald reports that Harare kombi operators said they were worried by
government’s failure to protect them from the “thugs” who were forcing them
to pay protection fees which at some ranks is US$2 per trip per kombi.
Donning Zanu PF regalia, they operate “mafia-style” and collect over US$1
Mutero, however, tried to dissociate his party from the shadowy groups
contradicting Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa’s recent
admission that groups like Chipangano are aligned to the organisation.
Mutasa proceeded to instruct Zanu PF Harare province chairman Amos Midzi to
ensure the unruly youths are brought under control.
Mutero, however, would have us believe Chipangano is not Zanu PF when we all
know it is.
Said Mutero: “These are people trying to soil the name of the party. They
are just using the name of our party. We do not get money as a party from
As far as soiling Zanu PF’s image is concerned that ship sailed a long time
Muckraker was amused by a picture on the back page of the Herald on Monday
headed “DeMbare, You Beauty”. It was captioned “On top of the world…Dynamos
fans are in seventh heaven and show which newspaper they read as they
celebrate their first goal at the National Sports Stadium…”
Everybody was holding up a Herald billboard saying “Come on Dembare!”. What
we weren’t told was that these were in all probability troops of Herald
vendors out there!
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
OF Zimbabwe’s many economic ills, the greatest must be the magnitude of
poverty of its population. According to estimates, 80% of the employable
population lacks formal sector employment. Most people are struggling to
survive on incomes below the poverty datum line (PDL), and survive as a
result of support from those few gainfully employed and from relatives
Report by Eric Bloch
In desperation to survive, some are resorting to crime ranging from
burglaries to car-jackings, armed robberies and corruption.
As if living below PDL incomes is not bad enough, more shocking is that
almost 60% have incomes below the food datum line (FDL), and therefore
suffer from under-nourishment and malnutrition which endanger their lives.
However, a close second in the economic ills that afflict Zimbabwe, which is
also an indirect contributor to the population’s poverty, is Zimbabwe’s huge
national debt. In his 2012 mid-year budget review, Finance minister Tendai
Biti disclosed that national debt is more than US$10 billion — more than
three times Zimbabwe’s annual total economic output (GDP).
Moreover, even if Zimbabwe now succeeds in adhering to the minister’s
declared objective of containing expenditure to revenues instead of
recurrently incurring further debt, the interest burden on the existing debt
increases national loan liabilities as Zimbabwe does not generate sufficient
income to service the interest charges.
Despite Biti’s endeavour to contain state expenditure to match revenue, and
the intense attempts by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to increase
receipts, the reality is that the sum of expenditures government must incur
continuously exceeds revenue. Zimbabwe’s essential infrastructure is aged
and in need of urgent maintenance and upgrading. This includes its energy
generation resources, water procurement and delivery, rail and air services,
telecommunications, roads, health and education. But state revenue is
grossly inadequate to meet infrastructural costs, in addition to ongoing
government’s operational expenditures.
So that despite the declared intention to progressively reduce national
debt, the reality is that government still has to resort to borrowings,
resulting in its debts increasing by a combination of unserviced interest
charges and additional borrowing. Zimbabwe is consequently becoming, to all
intents and purposes, more and more insolvent.
Admittedly, there are many (including politicians and civil servants) who
contend that Zimbabwe’s borrowing is not excessive in relation to the
magnitude of its mineral reserves which include gold, platinum, diamonds,
lithium, chrome, coal, methane gas, uranium and much more. This contention
is fallacious, for although Zimbabwe has such reserves, they are intangible
assets because of Zimbabwe’s inability to access and process them
They are not realised reserves, but only potentially realisable and they
yield comparatively little for the servicing of national debt. Zimbabwe is
thus over-borrowed, and the extent of the increasing indebtedness is
Because Zimbabwe is virtually insolvent, and because of its recurrent
failure to service its debts on time, the country has very limited access to
the loan funding it requires for overdue infrastructural maintenance and
Many of the world’s key lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank are precluded by their constitutions from making advances to
debt-servicing defaulters. Others, not precluded from making advances to
Zimbabwe, are reluctant to do so for they inevitably perceive Zimbabwe
defaulting in its debt servicing.
Therefore, government is very constrained in seeking desperately-required
loans from the few countries (and their institutions) willing to provide
funds. Those countries do so not out of magnanimity and generosity, but in
order to gain benefits over and above the accrual of interest. Countries
still willing to loan fund Zimbabwe are from the Far East. In so doing,
they are not driven by philanthropy or generosity, but by the benefits from
Among the benefits are concessions in the award of mining rights. They also
demand trading benefits that include concessions on import duties
(notwithstanding the resultant harm inflicted on Zimbabwe’s manufacturing
sector, which is unable to compare with imported products benefitting from
Other benefits demanded by loan providers include exemptions from Zimbabwe’s
empowerment laws, tax concessions, residence permits, encumbrance of state
assets and awarding of government contracts (frequently at high charges) in
respect of the infrastructural projects funded by the provided loans.
Often, political concessions and support are also sought in exchange for
loan funding, such as in the deliberations of the United Nations and the
Thus the consequence of government’s self-imposed quasi-insolvency has been
to mortgage Zimbabwe and its economy to an untenable extent. This has
resulted in increased poverty and suffering, with Zimbabwe virtually
forfeiting its Independence. The situation will continue unless Zimbabwe
repairs its damaged international relationships with many countries, and
seeks debt forgiveness and substantial foreign investment.
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
ZANU PF’s proposed amendments to the latest Copac draft constitution, which
largely curtail President Robert Mugabe’s imperial powers widely blamed for
his authoritarian rule and ruining the country, are likely to be rejected
ahead of elections by the people clamouring for reforms that promote
democracy, human rights and good governance, among other things.
Report by Brian Chitemba
Analysts say if the amendments are to be put to a referendum as part of what
effectively amounts to an alternative Zanu PF draft, they would be rejected
by voters mainly because the agenda behind them — the attempt to retain the
status quo — is thinly-veiled. The far-reaching changes are seen as an
effort to save and reinstate the current executive presidency, with all its
imperious powers, to defend Mugabe’s waning career and ward off his possible
defeat in the coming crucial elections by June next year.
After the Copac draft was completed on July 18, the Zanu PF politburo held
meetings day and night which lasted about 50 hours ostensibly to rewrite the
document to “reflect people’s views” although the move was designed to
retain Mugabe’s sweeping powers significantly whittled down by the draft.
The two MDC formations have rejected the amendments off-hand, insisting
there would be no further negotiations on the draft with Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also MDC-T leader, saying “we cannot negotiate in
perpetuity”. He even rejected the idea put forward by MDC leader Welshman
Ncube of putting both the Copac and Zanu PF drafts to the referendum,
arguing it would “complicate our people’s lives”.
Tsvangirai’s suggestion: “My advice to Zanu PF is vote against the Copac
draft if they are not happy.”
However, Zanu PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa said negotiating was the only
way forward given the nature of the process. “The PM is aware that the
constitution-making process is built on consensus and that without the
support of Zanu PF the process will not move forward,” he said.
When it gets to parliament, parties need each other because the draft
requires a two-thirds majority to pass. No party has such a majority in
Zanu PF’s extraordinary politburo session last Saturday insisted its
alterations be incorporated into the Copac draft despite resistance by
coalition partners, arguing they represented “the views of the people” as
captured during the constitution-making’s outreach programme.
Mugabe handed over his party’s amendments to Tsvangirai and Ncube last week.
After Copac produced its last draft, incorporating last minute Zanu PF
proposals contained in a 29-page documents with over 200 changes, the MDC
parties quickly endorsed the revised draft charter, but the politburo
virtually shredded the document, making wholesale modifications while
expunging chapters, clauses and sections including those proposing
presidential running mates and devolution.
Zanu PF’s draft retains the current imperial presidency by restoring all the
presidential powers, and consolidating them through a new provision stating
cabinet can only exercise authority under the direction of the president who
takes precedence over other people.
The Copac draft, on which Zanu PF negotiators appended their signatures
alongside those of their MDC counterparts, provides for executive powers to
be partly dispersed to the legislature and judiciary.
Although parties involved in the constitution-making process are all making
claims that people’s views have not been captured and reflected adequately
in the Copac draft, they are either unwilling or unable to publish the
national report for people to read and make their own conclusions.
Ncube described the Zanu PF draft as worse than the current Lancaster House
constitution amended 19 times, mainly to consolidate power in Mugabe’s
However, Zanu PF politburo member and party strategist Jonathan Moyo has
defended the amendments, saying they purportedly reflect “people’s views”.
Analysts say Zanu PF hardliners like Moyo want to use Mugabe to ensure early
elections under the current constitution to secure their own uncertain
Political analyst Rodrick Fayayo said one of the challenges in the current
constitution-making was the emergence of self-centred extremists who include
Moyo and others within Zanu PF ranks.
“Zanu PF political extremists’ rely on Mugabe for their political survival,”
said Fayayo. “Without Mugabe, they are doomed. It is against this background
that they want, and desperately so, to have elections like yesterday under
the current constitution or any other which they prefer,” Fayayo said.
MDC director of research and policy Qhubani Moyo said Zanu PF’s amendments
were designed to provoke a deadlock to enable Mugabe to call for elections
under the Lancaster House constitution which tilts the playing field in
He said the Zanu PF hardliners would not be open to progressive negotiations
because they knew their survival lies in an imperial presidency and an
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said taking
the two drafts to the referendum would further polarise the already tense
political environment, triggering violence and intimidation before the
“If we have a Copac document and the so-called Zanu PF document or other
drafts for people to choose during the referendum, what it means is we are
simply going to have an election where people choose what is perceived to be
MDC or Zanu PF,” Matinenga said. “Such situations are often characterised by
political violence and it means we are going to be in election mode for up
to 15 months and violence for a long time. Zimbabweans do not want to see
The latest Zanu PF demands appear to be a clear indication that the party is
determined to spoil the already delayed constitution-making process, despite
earlier complaints about the constitution-making process dragging on. This
has betrayed Zanu PF’s “throw-in-the-spanners at the works” strategy to
scuttle the adoption of a new constitution.
Zapu spokesperson Methuseli Moyo said Zanu PF was likely to face resistance
from Zimbabweans because of the reactionary amendments, particularly on
devolution and dual citizenship.
“It is the same Zanu PF that created economic turmoil which drove away
millions of people out of the country, but now wants to deny them dual
citizenship,” said Moyo. “That is going to spark a fight with the masses.”
Moyo said Zanu PF’s resistance to devolution was futile because the current
situation demands that power must be distributed from the centre to the
provinces through an effective decentralisation model.
He said the likely scenario out of many other possible ones was that Zanu PF
amendments would be rejected and Mugabe would call for polls using the
Due to the long-running battle among coalition partners, Sadc has repeatedly
urged Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC to conclude the constitution-making process to
pave way for fresh elections.
Sadc mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team
arrived in Harare on Tuesday to get an update on the contentious
But analysts say major obstacles have to be overcome for the process to move
“What is simply going to happen is that supposing all the drafts were put
before the referendum and people decided to vote for the Copac draft for
instance, then Zanu PF can decide to block it in parliament where it needs
two-thirds approval by MPs in the House of Assembly,” constitutional expert
Greg Lennington said.
As matters stand, the situation remains touch-and-go, showing major hurdles
ahead and the country may well be heading for renewed trouble before and
after what promises to be watershed elections unless a breakthrough is
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
IN the next 12 months Zimbabwe will hold elections but we need to ask
ourselves several critical questions. The most central concern is what these
elections will really be about. Are these elections merely going to be about
removing President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in as far as the MDC formations
Report by Dumisani Nkomo
At a more critical level, what is at stake for ordinary Zimbabweans and will
elections change their lot? Does the MDC-T — which according to the Freedom
House survey has plunged in popularity ratings — deserve our vote and will
they deliver real change or will they perpetuate the Zanu PF legacy of
kleptocracy, dictatorship, corruption and poverty?
Does Welshman Ncube’s MDC have anything to offer and does his party stand a
realistic chance of making an impact in the elections? Will these political
parties proffer quality candidates and quality policies beyond the tired
“Mugabe must go” mantra when people are beginning to ask, “and then what
Or will this be an election without a choice given Mugabe, Tsvangirai and
Without a shadow of doubt, the rallying call for elections in 2000, 2005 and
2008 has been the “Mugabe and Zanu PF must go” slogan. The major beneficiary
of it has been MDC-T and Tsvangirai.
While it is quite obvious to all right-thinking Zimbabweans that Mugabe and
Zanu PF do not deserve another term of office, it is increasingly becoming
clear that the electorate needs political parties and leaders who offer much
more than promising to remove Mugabe without a clear plan of how they
intend to govern the country afterwards. This probably explains why possibly
Tsvangirai and the MDC-T’s support is now dipping. They have not really
offered much beyond the “Mugabe must go” refrain.
Political parties have to offer serious and quality policies through which
they intend to transform the country from a poor authoritarian to a
prosperous democratic state, and possibly a regional economic giant. Parties
have to lay on the table clear policies on how they are going to deliver
socio-economic reform and change. This must go beyond shallow and deceptive
party manifestoes that promise everything and deliver nothing.
The electorate has to know how the MDC formations, Zapu, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn
and other parties will create industrial growth, activate the potential of
the extractive sector and unlock value in the tourism sector, for instance.
Voters want to know how these parties are going to formulate policies that
will lead to economic recovery, growth and employment as well as effective
efficient service delivery.
Whoever is running for president must convince us that he or she has a
holistic plan for the revival of infrastructure, the health delivery system,
education and to combat the ever-growing threat of unemployment and poverty.
Candidates for the presidential elections should as is the norm in
democracies debate issues that affect the nation and the electorate. The
days of demagogues’ ranting and raving through political monologue at
rallies will come to an end as the voters mature and start demanding
Zanu PF – which the Freedom House survey claims is recovering lost ground –
appears articulate in terms of ideological clarity concerning land,
indigenisation and a unitary system of governance even though their policies
are discredited. This is regardless of the fact that their policies and
positions on these issues is steeped in the authoritarian politics of social
engineering and political control which has systematically decimated the
economy. What is troubling though is the inability of alternative political
parties such as the two MDC formations to clearly articulate alternative
policies covering these and other issues.
Because of this, sadly some of Zimbabwe’s urban and emerging young populace,
particularly the generation which was young when the MDC was formed in 1999
and may not necessarily share its vision (whatever that is) may fall for the
Zanu PF empowerment bait in the absence of clear alternatives from other
Critically though, as we head for the elections it is cardinal for parties
which want to be taken seriously to be coherent in their vision and strategy
concerning the following issues:
Parties must come up with well-though-out policies and programmes on
re-industrialisation,competitiveness, value-addition, enhancing regional and
international trade, productivity and how to situate Zimbabwe in the
changing global economic landscape.
We do not need them to talk about de-industrialisation as we are
sufficiently and practically informed about what has been in that area.
Parties thus should prescribe solutions to de-industrialisation, not just
outline and harp on the problem.
Parties must convince the electorate that they have strategy to restore
reliable, efficient and effective service delivery through a governance
system that ensures equitable and sustainable resource allocation,
responsiveness to citizen–consumer demands and good governance.Given the
critical role of energy in how the economy functions and people live,
parties must proffer solutions to the endless challenges we have been
experiencing in accessing regular and efficient supplies of power.
They have to convince us that they have a plan to ensure there is
alternative “green energy” in the context of what is happening around the
world. The debate on “green energy” in Zimbabwe is disappointing and the
political leadership does not seem to be providing leadership or direction
on this matter. In fact, the stalled and controversy-ridden Chisumbanje
ethanol project shows government leaders, including ministers, simply don’t
understand these things.
Parties also need to give clarity on how they will address issues relating
to water supply, infrastructure and transport, among other things. Any
political party that does not provide a clear plan on how these issues
should be addressed face rejection by the people.
Civil society and the media will play a key role in giving space to various
political players to articulate their policies through public debates,
inter-party dialogue, opinion pieces, live debates and broadcasts, and
internet communications. Obviously, there is a huge challenge in Zimbabwe
because the electronic media is firmly in the grip of Zanu PF but this is
not an excuse for any political party to fail to articulate its policies in
this age of the internet.
Linked to the above issues, leaders and their parties must commit themselves
to building a democratic and developmental state anchored on a good
constitution which protects civil and political liberties, human rights,
rule of law, good governance and accountability. They also need to rebuild
democratic institutions and foster a new political philosophy, culture and
value-system which embrace diversity and tolerance.
To achieve these things, parties must field quality candidates during the
elections. I am not necessarily referring to educational or academic
qualifications, although they are a key component, because it is quite
possible to have academically capable suitable but functionally illiterate
In essence we need leaders with a track record of leadership and delivery in
their life endeavours. These leaders must be social entrepreneurs (people
able to respond creatively and proactively to relevant situations) who have
the ability to tackle socio-economic challenges in their constituencies.
They should have basic social intelligence as well as ability to engage in
complex national and policy issues. It is simply scandalous and
counter-productive to blindly vote for leaders who lack leadership
credentials and capacity to deliver.
In short, Zimbabwe desperately needs serious and effective leaders to rise
from its ruins. The country has great potential but lacks visionary
leadership and direction.
Nkomo is CEO of Habakkuk Trust and spokesperson of the Matabeleland Civil
Society Forum. He writes in his personal capacity.
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org and dumisanionkomo.blogspot.com
August 31, 2012 in Opinion
In the fifth part of his article on the topical issue of Zanu PF succession,
Derek Matyszak takes a further look at the administrative and co-ordinating
bodies within Zanu PF and their influence, functions and duties.
Report by Derek Matyszak
Last week we noted Zanu PF’s executive posts roughly match the executive
positions noted in respect of the elected and co-ordinating bodies, though
several additional departments have been established. The intention seems to
be to create positions which accord governmental ministries and positions,
which are as follows:
i) President and first secretary;
ii) Two vice-presidents and second secretaries;
iii) National chairperson;
iv) Secretary for administration;
v) Secretary for finance;
vi) Secretary for commissariat;
vii) Secretary for external relations;
viii) Secretary for national security;
ix) Secretary for transport and social welfare;
x) Secretary for information and publicity;
xi) Secretary for legal affairs;
xii) Secretary for indigenisation and economic empowerment;
xiii) Secretary for production and labour;
xiv) Secretary for health and child welfare;
xv) Secretary for economic affairs;
xvi) Secretary for women’s affairs;
xvii) Secretary for youth affairs;
xviii) Secretary for education;
xix) Secretary for gender and culture;
xx) Secretary for welfare of the disabled and disadvantaged persons;
xxi) Secretary for land reform and resettlement;
xxii) Secretary for science and technology;
xxiii) Committee members;
xxiv) Deputies to the heads of departments of the politburo.
The persons occupying these positions, and 10 other members appointed at the
same time by the president from the central committee, form the body known
as the politburo. In terms of the party constitution, there should thus be
53 members. In fact, some 58 persons are part of the politburo currently
appointed by Mugabe. The list of members as set out in the party
constitution and reproduced above, is also stated to be the “rank” of
members “in order of precedence”.
The last in the order of precedence, the 19 deputies, have no voting powers.
The politburo’s function is to act as the secretariat to the central
committee. It is the administrative organ of the central committee, and
implements all decisions, directives, rules, and regulations of the central
committee. It meets at least once a month, or more often as directed by the
president. With the central committee holding all the plenary powers of
congress, and with the politburo comprising the persons charged with
executing these powers, this is the most powerful body within Zanu PF.
In theory, the principal body of Zanu PF is the national people’s congress.
It is composed of:
i) All members of the central committee;
ii) All members of the national consultative assembly;
iii) All members of the women’s league;
iv) All members of the national council of the youth league;
v) All members of the provincial co-ordinating committees (PCCs);
vi) All members of the district co-ordinating committees (DCCs);
vii) The chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, political commissar and
treasurer, and two members each from the women’s and youth league from every
Executive council of the party
The powers of congress have already been described in relation to the
central committee which, as stated, exercises most of the powers of congress
when it is not in session. Although congress ordinarily convenes every five
years, extraordinary sessions of congress may be convoked at the instance of
the majority of the members of the central committee, or by the president at
the instance of not less than one-third of members of the central committee,
or following the resolution to do so by five provincial executive councils.
However, six weeks’ notice is required to convene such an extraordinary
session of congress. The procedure for the business of congress is
determined by the central committee. Nominally, congress has elective
powers, which will be considered further below.
In addition to congress, there are two other consultative bodies, the
national people’s conference and national consultative assembly. The former
is composed of:
i) All members of the central committee;
ii) All members of the national consultative assembly;
iii) All members of the national council of the women’s league
iv) All members of the national council of the youth league;
v) All members of the PCCs;
vi) All members of the provincial councils;
vii) All members of DCCs; and
viii) All members of the district executive councils as may be determined by
the central committee from time to time.
The “people’s conference” convenes yearly and the press often erroneously
refers to its meeting as a Zanu PF “congress”, though it is obviously
important to distinguish between a conference and a congress. The purpose of
these yearly conventions is somewhat vaguely defined and loosely
interpreted. It is essentially to receive feedback from and to monitor the
central committee on the implementation of decisions and programmes
determined by congress. It also considers reports submitted to it by the
As stated, it is also required to “declare the president of the party
elected at congress as the state presidential candidate of the party”. The
last body to be considered under this head is the national consultative
i) All members of the central committee;
ii) All members of the national assembly of the women’s league and their
iii) All members of the national assembly of the youth league and the
iv) All members of the 10 provincial executive councils;
v) Such other members designated by the central committee on account of
their contribution to the liberation struggle or development of the country
after Independence; and
vi) All former members of the central committee.
This body convenes twice yearly and is intended as a sounding board for the
central committee. It debates issues of policy referred to it by the
president or central committee, with a view to making appropriate
recommendations to the central committee.
— To be continued next week.
Matyszak is a former University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, constitutional
expert and researcher with Research and Advocacy Unit.