EU LIFTS SANCTION - WHY THAT MEANS NOTHING TO ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS
President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at State House after swearing in Ministers at the start of the Inclusive Government. The lifting of sanctions by the EU only serve to remind Mugabe that the man who asked for him to be put on the sanctions list is his Prime Minister today
So, the European Union has lifted sanctions against Zimbabwe. ZANU PF, Mugabe's party, has reacted by spitting in the EUs face.
This was to be expected. Mugabe and his party have long rejected the legality and morality of the sanctions. Tsvangirai, Mugabe's Prime Minister, together with the EU, have long played the semantic game of insisting these were not sanctions, but "restrictive measures" - Mugabe had so powerfully loaded that one word - sanctions - that Tsvangirai and the European Union suddenly became scared to even utter it.
But I see that, today, all reports refer to whatever these are as "sanctions." I do not hear the EU or Tsvangirai's party correcting these papers.
Mugabe and his party will never forgive the EU, Britain and the USA. This is fact. The Zimbabwean president has said the sanctions simply remind him of his time in jail, the 11 years he was locked up by the Rhodesian Government. He never capitulated then and he was not going to capitulate now.
The sanctions sought specifically to hold Mugabe down while Tsvangirai and the MDC beat him up.To cripple his ability to counter the MDC with either financial or or political counter-measures.
So, these guys, who effectively wished Mugabe dead (many have said it out loud), should not expect that simply allowing Mugabe to fly into Europe unencumbered will suddenly get him to be nice to Perfidious Albion and the "Anglo-Saxons".
That means there will be no invitation to Western Powers to come and observe the elections that Mugabe, in a provocative stance, wants held on June 29 this year, the exact date in 2008 when the vicious run-off campaign for the Presidency led Tsvangirai to throw in the towel and capitulate to Mugabe.
The West's opinion on those elections will be ignored.
The West, as far as ZANU PF and Mugabe are concerned, are only interested in seeing the back of Mugabe and there is no reason for him to extend a hand to them because they will rip it off.
Elections will come when Mugabe wants them, unless of course, he is pressured by SADC and Zuma of South Africa. That is not going to happen. Already, SADC leaders are complaining that Tsvangirai and his crew have become comfortable in office (not power) and have forsaken principle for expediency and lining of pockets.
It was only a couple of Sundays ago that Zimbabwe's independent Sunday Paper, Trevor Ncube's Standard, published a piece in which ambassadors from Southern African states complained that the MDC had now gone quite on the "outstanding issues" that go back to the beginning of the Inclusive Government.
The SADC emissaries further lamented that the MDC parties appeared to be waiting for SADC to become the opposition in Zimbabwe and start pestering Mugabe about the long outstanding issues.
We have not heard a squeak about Generals and certain Security Council meetings that never happened even though they were said to be an outstanding issue.
But we are on these sanctions being lifted........for Mugabe and ZANU PF, they should never have been put in place at all, so there is no reason to now adopt a different attitude to the West.
The sanctions have not been removed, they have been "Suspended", which means they can be reinstated and Mugabe is certain that they would be, should he win the election.
To make matters even worse, Mugabe and 10 of his top table have been left on the sanctions list.
This means no one at all in ZANU PF will dare to suggest a change of policy towards the EU as a result of this suspension of some sanctions. Anyone who does so will be seen as a traitor who is now happy to cast Mugabe aside for a chance to shop at Harrods and stay at the Dorchester.
Which means the next elections will pretty much be more of the same. (Coincidentally, the 2008 elections were the most peaceful in Zimbabwe since the MDC was formed, it was the run off so terrified the country that you could fear silently blowing like a breeze in the streets of Harare).
Those who think they can get another Inclusive Government are dreaming.
Mugabe, with nothing to lose, since no one in the world, he says, is ever going to change whatever they think of him, will be determined to bring back the Imperial Presidency he enjoyed before the Inclusive Government.
The growth that Zimbabwe is currently experiencing which everyone says will suffer this year as a result of the election will in fact get stronger. Those of us in Zimbabwe see no let up in new businesses coming onto the scene, South African investors remain pretty keen and are upping stakes they already have.
With the stabilisation of the economy ( a couple of friends of mine are actually sending money to relatives in London for upkeep!), the biggest threat that faced ZANU PF has markedly receded. Just ask the Heritage Foundation, Westminister Foundation and other western organisations that have recently released figures saying Mugabe is now more popular than Tsvangirai.
What now needs to be strengthened in Zimbabwe are institutions that police against corruption, avarice and other vices that keep typical African countries poor even as they sit on vast mineral wealth.
That job will have to be an African one. No one in Africa will be afraid to be seen to be standing against these vices.
As for sanctions, I can assure you it is all a sideshow, Mugabe has not even bothered to comment.
I expect he almost certainly will by the time Independence Day comes in about three weeks from now, when he makes the obligatory insults to the West in his Independence Day address at the National Sports Stadium or some such venue.
Life, in other words, goes on.
Zimbabwe Referendum - Mugabe and Tsvangirai Cosy Up
The referendum on the Zimbabwe Constitution, slated for the end of this week has given birth to the spectacle of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai campaigning on the same platform as President Robert Mugabe.
Both men are urging their supporters to vote yes, even as Tsvangirai now screams blue murder and insists that the elections that will follow in July will not be free and fair. There is intimidation, apparently, and even killings and deaths.
So why the embrace, seems to be the question most posted to me on this page in my absence.
Simple: Tsvangirai has the constitution that he wants, even though he would like more power in the hands of the president.
Mugabe simply does not care. He is sick and tired of what he calls "this multi-headed monster" - the Unity Government. He is impatient for the elections to come, sure he will wallop the MDC. He made this clear in an address to chiefs recently.
The Constitution is flawed, he said. but ZANU (PF) supporters must vote yes. Whoever wins the elections, Mugabe said, can then change the constitution to their taste.
So the urging of supporters to vote Yes is simply to get the whole thing out of the way . The referendum is of no significance to Mugabe, clearly. The referendum will not determine who rules the country. The elections will.
So, throw Morgan a bone.
Then use the referendum as essentially the beginning of the ZANU ( PF) General Election campaign. Tsvangirai will get his yes, and that will be the end of it.
The presidency and running of the country is where the real game is and Tsvangirai is simply playing into those hands brilliantly. Only recently did he realize that, while distracted by his excitement at the bone thrown him, ZANU (PF ) was already busy locking up votes.
Emboldened also by the fact that two research results coming from conservative groups in London and Washington both say Mugabe is more popular than Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe, the veteran Zim leader has now decided to also have a little fun with the Europeans.
A couple of weeks after giving the nod to the constitution, Mugabe told members of the ZANU (PF) politburo that he had also agreed to the yes vote to show the world that Europe was not sincere when it spoke of lifting sanctions after the referendum. He fully expects that these will remain, as will ZIDERA in the United States.
And he will take that into the election, now.
One of the things most underestimated by Mugabe's opponents in the west is that, in any country anywhere on earth, people tend to naturally revolt against what they see as an imposition from outsiders.
It has helped Mugabe a bit so far, this sentiment.
So, by taking the insincerity of the EU into the election, he will simply be playing up that nationalistic sentiment, telling all and sundry that the Europeans will only lift sanctions when an MDC government is in power.
They are, in other words, holding Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans to ransom because of their love for an MDC-T government.
Of course, propagandists will tell you about sanctions being targeted, and this is to be expected. But is working against the MDC-T with the general population. Whether we like it or not, the issue of sanctions touching every aspect of the ordinary Zimbabwean has been effectively drummed in by ZANU (PF). The MDC has failed to capitalise or even change strategy on this issue.
Sticking to the same script even as evidence points to its lack of impact, they are intent on preaching only to their congregation and Mugabe is aware of this. He will milk the sanctions thing and, now that we have a much more improved economic situation, there will not be an element of "throw the bastards out" at the next election, which benefited Tsvangirai and the MDC-T during hyperinflation because the suffering had reached such proportions that people simply wanted it to end, no matter what that took.
This is no longer the case and Mugabe is counting on the MDC-T continuing to behave as though we are in hyperinflation, forgetting that the dollarised regime has now shifted the goalposts closer to ZANU (PF) than MDC-T.
Still, this referendum is nothing but an inconvenience that Mugabe wants out of the way so that he can wallop the MDC-T at the next elections. This is why Mugabe and ZANU PF are not spending any money on the Yes, campaign, although Yes is also their position. They are letting Tsvangirai spend millions campaigning for a Yes vote, keeping their US$250 million war-chest to fight the elections, to be held probably in July.
ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT STITCHES UP INTERNATIONAL MEDIA OVER PLANE CRASH HOAX
This was the scene yesterday at the Harare International Airport, showing plumes of smoke rising from tyres being burnt to simulate a plane crash. The BBC, CNN and other international networks were hoodwinked for a while into believing that there had been a plane crash. Even hospitals and the Fire Brigade were not told it was drill and this was all "to test preparedness", according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwe, 06 August 2010
The Coalition Government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe has royally stitched up international media networks like the BBC and CNN, feeding them lies about a non-existent plane crash at Harare International Airport and then blaming them for reporting the lies.
Last night, the main news on Zimbabwe television went on and on about the sinister agenda of the BBCs and the CNNs of this world, how they have a hatred of Zimbabwe and insist only on reporting things that paint Zimbabwe in the worst possible light and so on and so forth.
International media reported that there had been a plane crash at Harare International Airport and that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe had confirmed this, saying there were not fatalities.
But it turns out this was just a safety drill, complete with plumes of smoke and all the rest of it.
Zimbabwe television immediately got in on the act, naming the BBC correspondent, Brian Hungwe, several times on the main evening news, asking why he jumped to "confirm lies his masters" in London about the drill. Hungwe had told the BBC in London that he was at the airport and could see plumes of smoke from the scene of the crash.
While it is true that only bad news (internationally, not just when it comes to Zimbabwe), is preferred by the news networks, the fact that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe confirmed this "accident" makes the government an active participant in the dissemination of the falsehood.
Which makes their noise against the international networks sound rather hollow. But of course, this Coalition government is sounding more and more like the old government, with the active participation of the new kids on the block, the MDCs.
A Civil Aviation Authority press conference held at Harare International Airport yesterday revealed that the drill had been so "realistic" that hospitals were not told it was a drill and were instead told that there had been a plane crash and that bodies and the injured were being brought to them.
Dummies were actually ferried to the hospitals, apparently, "to test preparedness". The Fire Brigade was also not told of this exercise in order to test how they would respond if this were a real emergency.
Many people say the secrecy was uncalled for and caused unnecessary panic.
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Tsvangirai Offers Makoni Finance Minister Job?
Simba Makoni holds up the Finance Minister's Briefcase in 2002, just before presenting Zimbabwe's national budget for that year. Even back then, Makoni was reluctant to take the job and hesitated until Mugabe called him to say he could not wait announcing his cabinet any longer and that he would announce the cabinet without a Finance Minister if he did not get a response from Makoni by the end of that day.Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 July 2010Dr Simba Makoni paid what was dubbed a "courtesy call" on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last week, amidst persistent reports from within the MDC-T that Morgan Tsvangirai has proposed him for the Finance Minister position in a bid to get rid of Tendai Biti, whom the Prime Minister is in a bitter fight with for control of the MDC-T.Sources in the Prime Minister's office say Tsvangirai proposed Makoni to Mugabe for the second time just last week, with the president refusing flat out to entertain the idea of the former Finance Minister bouncing back as a Tsvangirai nominee.Tsvangirai says it is his prerogative to decide who he appoints for the slots allocated to him in the Inclusive Government. He told reportedly told Mugabe that Makoni had resigned from the Finance Minister post in the earlier this decade because he did not agree with the policies of the then ZANU PF government but that he was sure the Interim President of Mavambo party would accept appointment now because Tsvangirai would guarantee him a free hand in trying to correct the economic ills besetting the country.Mugabe is said to have used the argument that Makoni was not MDC-T and could therefore, not take up any position reserved for the opposition in the coalition party.Some reports say the meeting between Makoni and Tsvangirai last week was for Makoni to tell Tsvangirai that he was not interested in the nomination or the post. Makoni, who is on good terms with Biti, would almost certainly not look kindly on being used to try and settle scores within the MDC-T.But Tsvangirai is in corner, unable to identify a suitable candidate who would be seen to be appointed on the basis of merit and not on the basis of "fixing" Biti.The MDC-T sources say that it would be a mistake to believe that Biti is now safe after the reshuffle, saying the Prime Minister is "determined" to see the back of his Secretary-General as Finance Minister of Zimbabwe."PM says Biti has grown too big for his boots, using the post he was given by Tsvangirai himself to position himself as the natural heir to the MDC-T presidency."They claim that Tsvangirai is continuing to look and even if Makoni remains adamant he will not join the Inclusive Government gravy train, the PM will source people from within the private sector itself to fill the post of Finance Minister.Tsvangirai wants to continue to push Mugabe on this and believes that, eventually, the President will have no option but to appoint a replacement if Tsvangirai identifies a replacement of quality.The Prime Minister says he will not, once that is done, hesitate to announce the suspension of "redeployment" of Biti back to the party and leave Mugabe in a quandary, with no Finance Minister to run this crucial ministry.The Finance Minister post in the Inclusive Government is not deputised, neither by a ZANU PF nor an MDC appointee, making Biti perhaps the only Minister in the coalition without a deputy.I remain doubtful that Tsvangirai will be able to convince Makoni to join the Inclusive Government, seeing as the former SADC Secretary - General and Presidential candidate is busy setting up structures of his own party.At the same time, sources in the PM's office say that Makoni also denied flat out to Tsvangirai that he had, as rumoured, met with the fired MDC-T ministers Fidelis Mhashu and Elias Mudzuri.Harare had been awash with talk that the former ministers were in discussions with Makoni, with a view to forming an alliance designed to presenting a united front against Tsvangirai at the next elections.Mudzuri is the Organising Secretary of the MDC-T, who was given the ultimatum by Tsvangirai to choose whether he chose to continue as Minister or to go back to the party and strengthen structures. He had told Tsvangirai that he could do both and thought the matter had been rested, only to get the shock of his life when he was told that he was being fired from government in order for him to go back and concentrate on party affairs.The talk about Tsvangirai offering Makoni the post of Finance Minister will almost certainly not abate until such time as Tsvangirai eventually finds a replacement.
In-Fighting In Tsvangirai's MDC "Frightening" - PM's Office
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai chats with President Robert Mugabe at State House after the President had sworn in ministers nominated by the Prime Minister from his own party to replace those he had firedHarare, Zimbabwe 18 July 2010A source extremely close to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai this last week described the fighting in Tsvangirai's party as "frightening" while claiming that the opposition party is so disorganised that "we will never take power from ZANU PF".The source, a confidant of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, blamed all the infighting on the Prime Minister, saying he was told "not to rock the boat" but went ahead anyway to reshuffle the cabinet on his side."The source also confirmed that Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister in Zimbabwe's coalition government and MDC-Tsvangirai's Secretary-General was saved from being reshuffled or fired by President Mugabe himself."The PM came back from a Monday meeting one day and said he thought that Biti was now more liked by Mugabe than he was. I asked why and PM said Mugabe had told him point-blank that he would refuse to swear in anyone nominated by Tsvangirai to replace Biti because the president said Biti was doing an excellent job."Also confirmed was the firing of James Maridadi, the Prime Minister's spokesman. Although the fact has not been made public, my source says that Maridadi is now the new Director of Protocol in the Prime Minister's office.Maridadi apparently wanted to resign when he was told of the reassignment, but Ian Makone, the PM's Permanent Secretary, convinced him to accept the post of Director of Protocol, to which Maridadi replied on Friday last week (16 July 2010) saying he would think about it.It also emerges that, apart from their government salaries, the people in the Prime Minister's Office also each get US$4 000 from Harvest House, the MDC-T Headquarters.But much more interesting are descriptions of the war of attrition between Tsvangirai and Biti.Tsvangirai, reportedly against all advice, first made the mistake of firing Eliphas Mukonoweshuro and effectively replacing him with Jamieson Timba, who is now the most powerful man in the Prime Minister's circle.My source says: "How can you fire Mukonoweshuro and replace him with Timba, a drunk who spends all his time at the Quill Club at Jamieson Hotel drinking whisky and boasting to journalists.Mukonoweshuro is the only man to have made a Cabinet Presentation which was accepted by Mugabe and cabinet without debate. After he made his presentation, Mugabe said to the cabinet, "This is the best presentation I have ever listened to in Cabinet since I started presiding over these meeting in 1980. I recommend that we have nothing further to add and must adopt this presentation without amendment".Tsvangirai was apparently told not to do the reshuffle by members of his office and party officials but he was determined to weed out all elements he considered to be part of a grand strategy by Tendai Biti to wrestle power from him and hand it over to Strive Masiyiwa at the next Congress.Tsvangirai told my source: "Cut the roots and the tree will wither." This is what is behind the wholesale massacre currently taking place at the MDC and at the Prime Minister's office.The whole secretariat at Party HQ has effectively been demolished, with Biti loyalists being fired.According to my source, Elias Mudzuri, the fired Minister of Energy, is also so bitter that he has vowed that he will see Tsvangirai depart before he himself leaves MDC-T.While Timba is telling people that there will be no Congress next year and that Tsvangirai will stay at the head of the MDC for twenty more years, Biti and other detractors are determined to see him go.The fight is principally about whether a Congress should be held next year, when it is due. Tsvangirai says there should be no Congress so that the party can concentrate on the elections, while Biti, Mudzuri and many others in his executive say the rules and Constitution of the party should not be broken that way because it will set a bad precedent for any future leaders of the party, who will feel they can ignore the constitution if they are popular enough to railroad the party's executive.Executives in the party are dismayed that the Prime Minister continues to display strategic blunders, such as his daily conference calls with Americans helping him run his office and the seconding of a British official to his Office in Harare.Tsvangirai still believes that he has enough popular appeal to get away with anything. He has openly said that he could declare himself Life President of the MDC-T and still win a national election to become Head of State in Zimbabwe.The majority of the executive in the MDC-T, however, believe that he is no longer fit to lead the party and this is what has led Tsvangirai to rely more and more on his so-called "Kitchen Cabinet."Meantime, the former Spokesman, James Maridadi, is threatening to spill the beans on the infighting and deficiencies of Morgan Tsvangirai in a book. He has told his confidants that he has volumes of meticulously-kept diaries. "I sat with PM during his meetings with Obama at the White House, I sat through his meetings with Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street. I have been at the side of the PM constantly since he became PM and I have mounds of information," he is reported as telling one.Even I can't wait to read the stuff!
Mugabe Dons Christian Sect Regalia, Elections Campaign Confirmed
Pic: Sunday MailPresident Mugabe is seen here wearing the flowing white robes of the Johane Marange Apostolic Faith Sect in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe this last week. The president, in the clearest indication yet that he will stand for office at the next elections, attended the sect's annual gathering. He wants their votes at the next elections.Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 July 2010President Robert Mugabe appeared on the front page of the Sunday Mail in Zimbabwe today putting on the white robes of the Johane Marange Apostolic Faith sect.The Zimbabwean president was attending the sect's customary retreat in the mountainous Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.The sect is becoming a powerful force in Zimbabwean politics, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also being seen there last year. The reason for the homage being paid by politicians is that the sect has hundreds of thousands of followers all over the country and they tend to follow the teachings of their leaders closely.There is little doubt that the sect is behind ZANU PF and President Mugabe. The president even has some "Mapostori" (as they are known) amongst his bodyguards and his late famed Political Commissar, Border Gezi was a member of the sect.Men who belong to the sect are known for wearing flowing white robes and keeping flowing beards (the longer and bushier the beard, the more devout the adherent is considered). They also shave their heads religiously.But, perhaps the most important message sent by Mugabe's attendance at the sect's gathering this last week is that he intends to stand again for President at the next elections. The sect's gathering is a well-known campaign stop for the major political leaders in Zimbabwe.The only reason for the president's attendance, therefore, is to identify himself as one of the sect's admirers, if not adherents, and therefore guarantee himself their votes at the next elections.His presence is also a clear indication that the president and his party mean business when they tell the country that there are going to be elections in 2011. We will now almost certainly see elections next year, despite the protests of some organisations in Zimbabwe and in South Africa that the country is not ready for polls.Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accepted that Mugabe will the elections regardless what he and the MDC-T think or wish.So, if proof was needed that we are on the path to new elections in 2011 in which Mugabe will stand for the office of President of The Republic yet again, then here it is.Interesting times ahead.Meantime, one of the allegedly most important tasks of the Inclusive Government, National Healing, remains an illusion, with no activities whatsoever to kick-start the process. The ministers who are supposed to be in charge of the process in the Inclusive Government appear to be doing nothing but draw salaries for doing absolutely jack.Elections will come to a traumatised nation that will be further traumatised without the National Healing Organ having done a single thing to help their wounds from the last 10 or years heal.
President Mugabe Opens Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe
Prime Minister `Morgan Tsvangirai, Vice-president Mujuru and Deputy Prime Ministers Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe arrive at the Opening of the Third Session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday.Members of the Presidential Guard of the Zimbabwe Army take up their positions outside Parliament soon after the arrival of President Mugabe to open parliament in Harare, yesterdayPresident Mugabe whistling to himself as is his custom whenever he inspects the Guard of Honour. Behind him is the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantine ChiwengaPresident Mugabe arriving in his vintage Rolls Royce at the Parliament Buildings in Harare yesterday.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 14 July 2010President Robert Mugabe opened the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday as crowds watched from Africa Unity Square on a giant screen.
There was gridlock in the city centre, the traffic jam having been caused by the closing off roads leading to the parliament building to vehicle traffic. Pedestrians could still move freely, though.
The President displayed impatience with the Kimberley Process, which is delaying authorising the sale of Zimbabwe's reserves of 60 000 carat in diamonds from Chiadzwa in Marange, Eastern Zimbabwe. He said his government will go ahead and sell the diamonds whether the KP liked it or not.
That warning should be taken seriously.
There were even some very progressive policy proposals in Mugabe's speech, the most notable of which was the requirement for diamond producers to set aside 10% of their revenue for local diamond cutting and polishing. If done properly, this should see employment being created as an entirely new industry is set up. Because Zimbabwe's population is so well-educated but not that well-paid, the country could become another little Belgium as far as this particular down-stream industry of the diamond trade is concerned.
What I fear, though, is that we may well see the well-connected trying to corner this market through intimidation and fear. The government will have to be vigilant with this one, as they have proved to be with the Themba Mliswa issue, where a well-connected individual who had used his political connections to loot the country has now been brought to book and faces countless charges before the courts as I write this.
Zimbabwe's economy, according to the president, grew by just over 5% (a fact confirmed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti in his mid-term Fiscal Policy Review earlier today).
The benefits of this growth are still not being felt by the majority, though, who are still unemployed and are struggling to put food on the table.
On the issue of the diamonds from Chiadzwa , the president had this to say:
"The Kimberley Process Monitor's report declared the country (Zimbabwe) as having fulfilled the Kimberley Process minimum requirements as per the Joint Work Plan agreed to in Swakopmund, Namibia. The same report indicated that the country should be allowed to proceed with the immediate exportation of its diamonds. However, those ill-disposed to us have have not given up the use of absurd conditionalities and other dilatory tactics in a bid to block the sale of our diamonds. Let there be no doubt whatsoever about our resolve to sell our diamonds for the benefit of our country and our people."
The President also announced the coming of several bills before parliament during the sitting of this session.
Another significant policy proposal was the opening up of power generation to the private sector, although Mugabe couched it in uncertain language saying new players will be brought in either as entirely private power generators or as part of some form of Public-Private Partnerships. Knowing the ideological slant of both the MDC and ZANU PF, it is unlikely that entirely private power generation will be allowed.
But this is exactly the sort of thing that would ease pressure off the national, government-owned company, ZESA, that currently carries the burden for supplying the country with power and is clearly failing dismally.
Even PPPs are not looked on favourably by either party in government and it is very likely that we will remain with the undesirable status quo for some time to come.
Still, it was a hopeful speech by Mugabe and one that makes all the right noises. Implementation is another matter entirely, which we will now wait to see if it comes from parliament and cabinet.
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Tsvangirai Minister In Hot Water Over Detained Mugabe Minister's Son
Theresa Makone, (above) of the MDC-Tsvangirai and now co-Minister of Home Affairs in Zimbabwe's Coalition Government, ganged up with her relative, the ZANU PF Minister in charge of the Secret Police to "intimidate" police officers and demand the release of the ZANU PF Minister's son, who is in police custody for invading and grabbing a white-owned company. He and an accomplice, Themba Mliswa, who is a nephew of the ZANU PF Minister, are still behind bars, with the Zimbabwe police making public complaints through the state media that the two ministers' actions are "tantamount to defeating the course of justice". The ZANU PF Minister says that is nonsense, while Makone has refused to comment.Harare, Zimbabwe, 05 July 2010
Theresa Makone, the newly-installed co-Minister of Home Affairs in the Coalition Government has already started using her new powers: to demand the release of the detained son of a senior ZANU PF Minister.
Makone is wife to the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Ian Makone. She and her husband are seen as very close to PM Tsvangirai. The two have even been accused of being part of the Tsvangirai "kitchen cabinet" that makes decisions in private and imposes them on the party.
Makone ganged up with Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF (President Mugabe) Minister for Presidential Affairs to go and demand the release of Mutasa's son, who is locked up together with Themba Mliswa, a Mutasa nephew, over an incident in which they invaded a company and forcibly took over 50% shareholding in it.
The white owner of the company was barred from the premises of his own company and he says "bouncers" were hired by Mutasa's son and Mliswa to enforce the ban.
Zimbabwe police have complained that the behaviour of Mutasa and Makone was tantamount to defeating the course of justice and they want action taken against both of them.
Makone, apparently, is related to the ZANU PF Minister of Presidential Affairs (and in charge of the Secret Police of Zimbabwe), so this was more a personal thing that a party (MDC-T) mission.
Now, the MDC-Tsvangirai itself is now up in arms over Makone's interference in the matter. Senior members are quoted by the local media as saying that Makone has brought the opposition party into disrepute.
That she has.
They question why she is not as zealous in ensuring that MDC-T members who are in jail are released and also ask what her actions will mean to ordinary members who have languished in prison without any protest from Tsvangirai's party.
In the same breath, these senor figures also express the fear that whole matter ill be swept under the carpet because the Makones are Tsvangirai confidants and friends. The more loose-tongued in the MDC leadership have even revisited claims that first surfaced in 2008, that there is an improper relationship between Theresa and Tsvangirai, although I suspect this is the only the talk of the Zimbabwean mind that says no man can be close friends with a woman unless there is something else behind it.
With Makone being so close to Tsvangirai and having only just taken over at the Police Ministry, it is unlikely that any action will be taken against her. The tongue-waggers are correct: nothing will be done to Makone.
But this will not stop MDC-T supporters celebrating rumours of her being disciplined. They will remain just that.
Mutasa, father of the man behind bars and a Mugabe favourite, says the police are talking "nonsense" in blaming him for "defeating the course of justice." He says he went to the police station only as a "father visiting his son".
In any other country, the Prime Minister and President would have received two resignation letters last week from the Ministers, but this is Zimbabwe.
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Tsvangirai In All Out war Against Tendai Biti
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, seen here holding hands with President Mugabe after the swearing-in of new MDC-T Ministers to replace those fired by Tsvangirai in his struggle to contain infighting within the opposition party has now gone ahead and fired
Harare, Zimbabwe, 04 July 2010
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also president of the MDC witha surname (the MDC-T), has taken gloves off and taken the fight to Secretary General Tendai Biti (also Zimbabwe's Finance Minister in the coalition government).
Tsvangirai last week fired high level officials at Harvest House, the MDC-T's Head Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Among those to go were the Finance Director of the party and members of the Secretariat, which Tsvangirai is accusing of being in service of Tendai Biti in his alleged bid to unseat Tsvangirai at the next Congress of the MDC-T.
This is coming after Tsvangirai fired several ministers and demoted others in a recent reshuffle of his ineffective rump of the Coalition Government.
The amputation of what are seen as Biti's limbs in the party comes just a couple of weeks after the Prime Minister called a meeting of senior officials of his party to confront them with a report he said had been compiled by the MDC-T's Security Department and which alleged, amongst other things, that Biti and his allies were mobilising membership behind their bid to take over the party while badmouthing the Prime Minister all over the country.
Biti denied everything, pointing out that he had not even met some of the officials he was said to be plotting with.
But Tsvangirai has faith in the reports from his cohorts, people like Gandhi Mudzingwa, who are clear that the Prime Minister is in imminent danger of being toppled by the Biti faction and replaced either with Biti himself or with Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet Wireless International and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister is extremely jittery just now, hence this decimation of the Secretariat at the MDC-T Head Office.
The ostensible reasons for the firings include incompetence but those fired, including one Rumbi, who was in the Finance Department of the party, say that this is pure victimisation for taking orders from the Secretary General, Tendai Biti.
They argue, however, that the SG is like the CEO of the party and, the nature of his position is that he controls and directs events at the office.
Tsvangirai is having none of it, apparently.
Still considering Biti too powerful and too popular to sack from wither government or party, the Prime Minister and MDC-T leader has now decided to maroon Biti in office, cutting off "the limbs" that were doing doing his biding at the party HQ.
There is a mood of uncertainty that has gripped Harvest House.
This does not bode well for the opposition party led by the Prime Minister, with elections having been agreed between Mugabe and Tsvangirai as due in March 2011 or May of the same year at the latest.
It means that the opposition party goes into the elections with a disenchanted support base, split from all the infighting and unable to present a united front to ZANU PF or Simba Makoni's MKD.
What should be more worrying for Tsvangirai is the fact that MKD offices are now being besieged by the disgruntled people who are leaving the MDC-T. Makoni's party membership cards are reported to have run out, with most of those expressing interest now simply paying their one dollar subscription fee to be put on a waiting list for when cards are available again.
Further to this, the rural areas of Zimbabwe remain a no-go area for the MDC-Tsvangirai, with NGOs reporting that camps from the Presidential election run-off of 2008 are being revived. Currently these are said to be used purely for intimidating people on the Constitutional outreach program underway.
The fight is over whether there should actually be Congress at all this year or early next year.
Tsvangirai is against a Congress before the next elections because he fears that he will lose his position at that Congress and, with that loss will also evaporate his chance of being president of Zimbabwe should the MDC-T win.
Biti and others want a Congress in order to "clean house" and get rid of Morgan Tsvangirai, who has proved incapable of dislodging Mugabe no matter how well the opposition does in elections.
By getting rid of those seen to be rebelling against him, Tsvangirai hopes to rally the remaining people behind him at HQ through fear.
The more things change, I say, the more they stay the same.
Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono In Car Accident
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono (right) seen here with Mugabe a his (gonos) brothers funeral some time back, has not died but was indeed involved in an accident along Chiredzi Road. The main news in Zimbabwe has just confirmed that Gono is not dead but has been silent on his accident, although my sources at the Reserve Bank confirm that Gono was involved in the accidentHarare, Zimbabwe, 25 June 2010
Today, Zimbabwe was flooded with SMS messages claiming that Gideon Gono, the powerful Zimbabwean Central Bank Governor had been in an accident and died.
But a call to my sources at the Reserve Bank only confirmed that the Governor had indeed been in an accident on the road from Chiredzi. According to my sources, as far as they know, Gono did not die in the accident.
Local television news tonight also reported that Gono has not died and is alive and well. He was at work today, according to the news.
The bit about him being at work is rather doubtful because the Governor was indeed in a car accident and was not shown on TV speaking for himself, which is chance he would not have missed, knowing him.
Gono is also known as Mugabe's personal banker and was at one time perhaps the second most powerful central banker in the world after Alan Greenspan, whose word could move the New York Stock Exchange up and down almost at will.
At the height of his powers, Gono was effectively the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, with the power to reduce mere ministers to tears. There was so much animosity towards him that Mugabe posted his own armed and uniformed guards on the pavement outside the Central Bank building on Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. He moved with a mini-motorcade of three cars filled with guards back then.
This was before the advent of the Unity Government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
The armed soldiers have now gone from the pavement but Gono is still guarded by armed officers in his own office.
The messages circulating today may well be just the rumour capital of the world (as Mugabe called Harare) doing its thing. More likely though, it is all about the residual animosity towards the Governor showing in this wishful thinking.
So, ignore the SMS messages and the online newspapers. The truth of the matter is that Gono has actually not died and has just been on an accident, which my sources at the Reserve Bank actually confirm.
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Tsvangirai Fires Energy Minister Mudzuri And Others
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai At the Press Conference today when he fired Energy Minister Elias Mudzuri and shifted some deck chairs on the Titanic Government.Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 June 2010
Clearly, the knives are now out for those said to be plotting against Morgan Tsvangirai's Life Presidency of the MDC that carries his surname.
The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe has fired one of the two heavyweights against him in the party. Elias Mudzuri, the Minister of Energy, is now no Minister at all, "redeployed to the party", according to Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tendai Biti the PM left alone. This is basically a shot across the bow for the Finance Minister. Now he knows Tsvangirai means to be elected president at the next Congress and still has power to destroy careers for the leaders of the MDC-T.
Indeed, the tone of the press conference left no doubt at all that the Prime Minister had said he was firing Mudzuri for incompetence.
Mudzuri also suffered for what Tsvangirai considered bad judgment on his party when he announced to the nation that he had ordered power cuts to be suspended during the World Cup. Only to be called names in public after, on the very first day of the World Cup 2010 tournament in South Africa, huge chunks of residential areas were promptly switched off by ZESA.
Fidelis Mhashu, who was hit on the head by robbers in South Africa a while back, has also been sent out to pasture. Mhashu headed the utterly pointless Ministry of Rural Housing and Social Amenities. His place as Minister in Charge of Mud Huts and Public Toilets will be taken by the clearly demoted Giles Mutsekwa, formerly co-Minister of Home Affairs. We thought Tsvangirai said Mutsekwa was working "fantastically well" with ZANU PF just last April?
Tsvangirai blames him for the open rebellion of the Chitungwiza structures. Mhashu, by the way, is also the National Executive Council member for Chitungwiza in the MDC with a surname.
Gift Chimanikire is rewarded for crossing the floor back from the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara and is now w Deputy Minister in Charge of Mines and Mining Development. I expect ZANU PF will, like they did with his predecessor in the post, Murisi Zvizvai, soon run circles around him, his head spinning so fast he will start to sing the ZANU PF songs and shout "Pamberi na Mugabe!" (Forward With Mugabe).
Obert Gutu, a Tsvangirai favourite and a senator in the bloated twin-chambered Legislature of Zimbabwe.
Thamasanga Mhalangu, the Deputy Minister of Youth to Saviour Kasukwere, fast-becoming a heavyweight who toyed with the Deputy Minister as though he just but a ragged doll.
You will recall that Mhalangu was hauled before the courts by JosephChinotimba (he who farms baked beans) and accused of having stolen the War Veterans leader cellphone. Mhalangu deferentially to see Saviour Kasukwere, the Minister of Youth and his superior and beg him to talk to Chinotimba to drop the charges and show kindness.
The Deputy Minister was eventually acquitted, but the damage had been done.
So, poof! He is no Deputy Minister now. Fired.
The rest of it was simply the moving of deck chairs on the Titanic called the Inclusive Government, scheduled to sink sometime in May 2011.
Elton Mangoma, a Tsvangirai confidant and trusted one, takes the fired Mudzuri's place as Minister of Energy. Lets see if he can give us more electricity than we had been getting from this MDC-T ministry so far. Bets on how long before he starts issuing "orders" for people not to pay their electricity bills while at the same time promising even more electricity.
Teresa Makone, wife of the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, is now co-Minister of Home Affairs. Lets see if she will be able to see any warrants for the arrest of her supporters before they are executed.
Gorden Moyo, formerly a Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office will now be a proper and full Minister of State Enterprises. Lets see how he manages, if at all.
His place, rather predictably, goes to Jamieson Timba, former Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity. He is a Tsvangirai fan through and through, and an Advisor to the Prime Minister at both government and party level.
Timba will now be Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office.
Zvizvai, his head spinning from the circles run around him during his tenure at the Mines Ministry, has now been thrown into the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity and Information. It would be good to hear journalists say what this says about Tsvangirai's approach to the ongoing Media Reform process.
Jesse Majome has also been demoted, from being Deputy at the Justice Ministry to being Deputy at the Women's Affairs portfolio. Everyone knows that that this Ministry is a ZANU PF Ministry and all she can do really once she gets there is sit in a corner and keep quiet. That is how it will be.
Despite the PM saying that this reshuffle and the firings were done for the national interest, the truth of the matter is that the Prime Minister is simply using his power of patronage to reward and punish. He is settling internal MDC-T discord by flexing his governmental muscles.
Here is his statement to the press in full:
Statement by Morgan Tsvangirai, via MDC Press Release:
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here today to announce a ministerial reshuffle. This reshuffle is about the MDC delivering to the people of Zimbabwe what they are looking for – real change.
Over the past 16 months, we have recorded definite success in certain areas.
- We have brought sanity and stability to the economy.
- We have revived the health sector, which had all but collapsed.
- We have got the schools back up and running, and textbooks distributed.
- We now have independent daily newspapers registered to operate.
- Basic services such as sewerage reticulation, refuse collection and water provision have been restored in many areas.
However, we still have many challenges; and these frankly overshadow our successes to-date.
- The pace of reform has been painfully slow
- Abuses of power are still all too common
- Many people are still struggling to make a living wage, and provide for their families.
- Infrastructure rehabilitation and energy supply continue to inhibit development.
I am acutely aware that these and other challenges have led to a loss of confidence in the new administration amongst the electorate. In response to this, as Prime Minister and President of the MDC, I have just completed a comprehensive review of the performance of the Government, and in particular of my Office and those Ministers who represent the MDC.
As a result, I have decided on a number of changes needed to strengthen the performance of the MDC in government and outside government, in order to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe. These changes, are being made with immediate effect, and the new ministers will be sworn in tomorrow, Thursday 24th June.
The changes that are being implemented are as follows:
The following Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers are being redeployed within the Party to strengthen and add momentum to Party programmes:
- Elias Mudzuri, formerly Minister of Energy and Power Development, and the Party’s National Organiser
- Fidelis Mhashu, formerly Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, and the Party’s National Executive Member for Chitungwiza
- Evelyn Masaiti, formerly Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender & Community Development, and the Party’s Secretary of the Women’s Assembly
- Thamasanqa Mhalangu, formerly Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation & Empowerment, and the Party’s National Youth Chairperson.
The following will become Cabinet Ministers:
- Jameson Timba, formerly Deputy Minister of Media, Information & Publicity, will become Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office
- Tapiwa Mashakada, will become Minister of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion
The following will become Deputy Ministers:
- Gift Chimanikire will become Deputy Minister of Mines & Mining Development
- Obert Gutu will become Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs.
- Tongai Matutu will become Deputy Minister of Youth, Indigenisation & Empowerment
The following Cabinet Ministers will change portfolios, as follows:
- Elton Mangoma formerly Minister of Economic Planning & Investment Promotion, will become Minister of Energy & Power Development
- Theresa Makone, formerly Minister of Public Works, will become Minister of Home Affairs
- Giles Mutsekwa, formerly Minister of Home Affairs, will become co-Minister of Housing & Social Amenities
- Gorden Moyo, formerly Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, will become Minister of State Enterprises & Parastatals
- Joel Gabuza, formerly Minister of State Enterprises & Parastatals, will become Minister of Public Works
- The following Deputy Ministers will change portfolios, as follows:
- Murisi Zvizvai, formerly Deputy Minister of Mines & Mining Development, will become Deputy Minister of Media, Information & Publicity
- Jesse Majome, formerly Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs, will become Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender & Community Development
Ladies and Gentlemen, the MDC agreed to form this inclusive Government as it represented the most practical means of moving Zimbabwe forward and halt the needless suffering of the people. In undertaking this task I have been humbled and encouraged by the commitment of all members of the MDC’s leadership, both within and outside of Government and I believe we are truly embodying the principles of a Party of Excellence.
I therefore wish to thank those Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are returning to the Party for their commitment and hard work and I call upon those remaining in the Government and our new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to join me in redoubling our efforts to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe.
You will now almost certainly see the fissures in the MDC-T now erupt out in the open.
The gloves, after all, have been taken off first by Tsvangirai.
He has, in effect, taken the fight to the discontented in his party.
Watch them fight back.
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Beaten To Death By Wife For Wanting To Watch World Cup Soccer Instead of Gospel Show
This is what a Limpopo man died for: the match between Germany and Australia on June 13 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Limpopo is on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The 61-year old man fought for the remote with his wife and children and resorted to changing channels by hand when they overpowered him. At which point they beat him to death. All because they wanted to watch a gospel show and not soccerHarare, Zimbabwe, 19 June 2010
David Makoeya, a South African man in the Limpopo province of South Africa, on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, was beaten to death this last week by his wife and two children after insisting on watching Germany play Australia in the World Cup on television.
Makoeya, who was 61, had his remote control confiscated by his wife, who insisted that she and the children wanted to watch a gospel show at that time.
Furious, Makoeya attempted several times to take back the remote but failed. At which point he then stood up and changed channels by hand, switching to the Germany/Australia match, to the chagrin of his wife, 32-year old son and 23-year old daughter.
They pounced on him and assaulted him viciously before the son threw him against the wall.
South African police believe that he bashed his head against the wall and fell down unconscious, at which point the family then called the police and an ambulance. By the time the medics arrived, however, the 61 year old was dead.
His 68-year old wife and the 32-year old son are still behind bars, while the daughter has been given bail.
World Cup fever has gripped Southern Africa to alarming levels. Through the night, all over Harare, for instance, one can hear the melodious trumpeting of the Vuvuzela (a plastic horn) being blown by fans watching games on television in their homes, trying desperately to recreate the atmosphere of being right there in the stadium.
So bad has the blowing of horns become that the main South South African Sunday paper, the Sunday Times, for instance, reported this last Sunday that a woman ruptured her throat in a Vuvuzela-blowing contest in that country. She claims she is healing well.
World Cup tickets were being sold at exorbitant prizes in Zimbabwe and only the elite and well-heeled have managed to make it down south to watch some matches live.
What's more, although it is clear that Zimbabwe does not register at all on the radar of World Cup fans in South Africa, Zimbabwean companies have been attempting to cash in on the fever, holding World Cup promotions and so on.
The brain drain that has bedeviled the country, however, means that there are very few savvy marketers left in the country. This is seen in the amateurish attempts by most of these Zimbabwean companies, trying to jump on the latest bandwagon.
They are advertising on Zimbabwe television and in Zimbabwe newspapers, although common marketing sense would tell them to advertise in the South African papers instead.
But, it must be said also that the owners of the businesses in Zimbabwe itself also contribute to this, as they still retain the hyperinflation mentality of having a captive market that has no choice. So, instead of investing in their marketing efforts, they scrimp on expenditure and still expect that a First World audience currently in South Africa will be attracted by their sub-standard and cheapskate efforts!!!
In any case, we have a couple of weeks before the World Cup ends, and when it does, that is actually the time when people will be looking to see what else they can do around South Africa or neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe.
Right now, as evidenced by the death of the Limpopo man, all attention is focused on the game itself and the matches. Someone who would have traveled from Europe or the Americas to watch soccer in South Africa is obviously an ardent fan, who is unlikely to turn his or her attention away from the beautiful game until after the World Cup ends. By then, of course, the cheapskates would have exhausted the few thousand dollars they would have put aside for their "promotions"!!
One thing that is noticeable right now is how, when the countries in soccer are playing, Zimbabwean streets are close to deserted. You see very little pedestrian traffic, although vehicles continue moving as though nothing was going on.
The news of Makoeya's death has predictably made headlines all over the world, since the world media was on edge already, waiting for the notoriously violent South Africa to put on a show of its true violent character during this tournament.
I am sure we will hear more of violence before the tournament ends.
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Tsvangirai No Longer In Control At MDC-T, Shocking New Details Confirmed
The Econet Founder and Rockefeller Foundation Trustee, Strive Masiyiwa, is now said to have effectively taken over the MDC. Those in the MDC-T aligned to Tsvangirai believe that the man wants the job of leading Zimbabwe and the opposition for himself, but they may be mistaken. What is not in doubt is that Masiyiwa will be a nominee, from the floor, for president of the MDC-T at the next Congress.Harare, Zimbabwe, 19 June 2010
Lets cut right to the chase:
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai lost control of the MDC-T six months ago, it has now emerged.
Yes, the latest news from Zimbabwe is that the Prime Minister lost his party to Strive Masiyiwa, the founder of Econet and a man many believe would make a good president, seeing as he has already done wonders in the private sector, is a staunch christian and is unlikely to filch funds from the state like some of the so-called leaders we have now have been known to do.
News of Strive's takeover of the party has been clouded for some time by the man's aversion to publicity, which causes questions of its own when it comes to an aspiring national leader.
But the details are now so well-known in the upper circles of the MDC-T that even Morgan Tsvangirai now realises that he has lost the battle for supremacy within his own fiefdom.
For instance, Ian Kay, the Marondera farmer and Member of Parliament in Tsvangirai's party, has now been confirmed by four different sources as moving around Mashonaland West openly de-campaigning Tsvangirai, saying the time has now come for the baton to be passed to a new generation of leaders who have fresh ideas and can take the party beyond where Tsvangirai has got it. The belief is that Tsvangirai has essentially reached the apex of his power and ability. He can do no more, even if he wanted to.
The genesis of Strive Masiyiwa's take-over of the MDC-T has its roots in the changing of the constitution of the MDC-Tsvangirai to essentially make Tsvangirai Life President of the MDC-T and perhaps of the country as well, should he take over the presidency from Mugabe and ZANU PF.
Immediately after the unilateral changing of the constitution of Tsvangirai's party, the Econet founder and owner moved to ensure that the support that had been given to Tsvangirai and his party all through the two previous elections was stopped.
The MDC-T as a party started struggling for funds, which is one of the main reasons Tsvangirai was forced into the fatal embrace of Mugabe and ZANU PF. He simply does not care any more.
Masiyiwa is widely spoken of in the MDC-T as one of the main backers of the party financially, pouring funds into that party to keep it afloat and funding the lives and lifestyles of its leaders.
Tsvangirai has already found an angle with which to Masiyiwa, telling a group of businessmen he met in Harare last week that Masiyiwa was even less likely to be palatable than he (Tsvangirai) was because the Econet founder is known to shun supporting fellow black businessmen.
"Muchapedzwa mukatamba naye," Tsvangirai is reported to have observed, meaning: "He will finish your businesses off if you entertain him."
The gloves, then, are definitely off.
It must be said that Masiyiwa has always been careful to keep this personal allegiance and support separate from his business in Zimbabwe, the giant cellphone company, Econet. The reasons are obvious. Even Masiyiwa's managers in the business in Zimbabwe only have suspicions that they can neither confirm nor deny about the link between their leader and the MDC-T.
The camp in the MDC-T which are said to belong to Biti, the Secretary General, is a smokescreen and the MDC-T Secretary General knows this, which is why he has never been forceful enough in his denial of the existence of a camp aligned to him.
Biti is nothing but a front for the ambitions of Strive Masiyiwa. Plain and simple. Biti knows this. Roy Bennett, who is also a Masiyiwa supporter, knows this. Ian Kay knows this. Morgan Tsvangirai knows this.
This latest news on Zimbabwe's opposition politics is even history to ZANU PF, hence the continual targeting of Econet as a business to try and starve the MDC of funds from Masiyiwa.
But ZANU PF knows that this is very unlikely to be effective, because Masiyiwa's wealth is now independent from Econet in Zimbabwe. His cellphone companies in New Zealand, Lesotho and other African countries, as well as his satellite business in the United Kingdom, mean that he was able to continue funding Tsvangirai and the MDC-T even as Zimbabwe experienced an economic meltdown of biblical plague proportions.
In addition to this, Masiyiwa is also a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, linked to the super-rich Rockefeller family. He is in a league of his own, really.
It now emerges that, because of the immense power wielded by Strive in the MDC-T, most of the disparate groups that were floating around without a leader are rallying to his secret leadership bid.
Anyone who cares to take a bet on the following should send me an email:
At the next MDC-T Congress, Strive Masiyiwa is going to be nominated as President of the MDC from the floor by a delegate from the Midlands. The motion will be seconded by a delegate from Mashonaland East, after which two other delegates, one from Masvingo and another a national leader within the MDC-T current National Council, will also speak in favour of his candidacy.
The so-called rebels fully expect that Tsvangirai will try to bus in youths, Mugabe-style, to teh Conference and have them intimidate delegates and eventually cause chaos and havoc, which Tsvangirai will step in to diffuse. He will try to use the incident to tell the delegates that he is (just as Mugabe is in ZANU PF), the single unifying force within the Movement for Democratic Change. He should, therefore, he will argue be allowed to continue as President in order to maintain party unity until state power is gained.
It is unlikely that he will succeed, because it is now clear that several key people in the MDC-T leadership are done with him.
Senator Roy Bennett, for instance, believes that Tsvangirai let him rot in jail and failed to help him with his troubles with Mugabe because the Prime Minister considers the Senator a Masiyiwa person. Hence the misleading talk of Bennett, as Treasurer-General, starving the Tsvangirai MDC of funds because he is mad at him and such.
The funds dried up at source, not from Bennett.
Another recently arrested Member of Parliament from the MDC-T even believes that the arrest was with the concurrence of the Prime Minister and his co-Minister of Home Affairs, because the MP was said to be publicly going around telling MDC-T supporters that Tsvangirai was "just another Mugabe".
The vitriol directed at the Prime Minister in his own party is shocking, to say the least and one has to hear it to believe it. The leaders of the MDC structures have even suggested that Mugabe is a "better dictator" than Tsvangirai.
All that is saving Tsvangirai now is a residual respect being forced on the MDC supporters by the support the Prime Minister has from foreigners who can not vote in Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister is fighting back.
Understand this, then: when you see people within the MDC-T inexplicably trying to bring down Econet, when you see them complaining about the cellphone company polluting the sites around Harare with their billboards, when you see city council workers being targeted and sometimes fired by an MDC council for allowing Econet to emblazon its colours along Harare's roads, you are witnessing people simply listening to their Masters (Tsvangirai) voice.
As always, there will be snorts of derision, which will dry up once the truth of this article is exposed. Then you will not hear a single comment from the usual Tsvangirai apologists and they will start pretending that even they were for Masiyiwa all along.
Tsvangirai and Girlfriend Photographed At Church
Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's Prime Minister in a government with Robert "The Solution" Mugabe, is seen here sitting with his new girlfriend, Locadia Tembo, at an evangelical function in Harare last week. Tembo appeared to get along well with Tsvangirai's daughter, Vimbai, with whom she was in deep conversation throughout the proceedingsHarare, Zimbabwe, 18 June 2010
Prime Minister Mini-me, Morgan Tsvangirai was at a evangelical function last week with his new girlfriend, Locadia Tembo.
Tembo was reported by The Standard as being in deep conversation with Tsvangirai's daughter, Vimbai throughout the service, which was being conducted Joyce Meyer.
Naturally, there was a photographer just waiting to pounce and the picture duly made it to the front page of The Standard this week.
When contacted for comment, Tembo told the reporter to write whatever they wanted to write because they have been writing all along without talking to her.
Locadia sat just behind Tsvangirai throughout the service, while the PM himself sat with his cose confidant, Ian Makone, who is now Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister.
The service was heavily advertised in Zimbabwe, with the mobile phone company, Econet, whose founder, Strive Masiyiwa, is a staunch Christian, donating not only billboards but also adverts in the main newspapers.
The relationship between Tsvangirai and Tembo seems to be going on despite the objections of some senior figures in the PM's party, who are against Tembo because she is a sister to a ZANU PF legislator and is seen as having links to senior figures in Mugabe's party. Some have even suggested that she may be a CIO plant to compromise Tsvangirai.
But that is almost certainly just the inherent paranoia that envelops opposition people in Zimbabwe, where they see Secret Police under every bed and behind every door.
BACK TO FRONT PAGE FOR LATEST ZIMBABWE NEWSRelated Posts: Tsvangirais New Girlfriend Causes MDC-T Split
Tsvangirai Appoints Girlfriend As Ambassador
Tsvangirai And Tendai Biti In Heated Exchange
"Oh my God! Is that a gun you are holding, Morgan!" Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai are shown here before they came into office (but not power) in the Inclusive Government and before Tsvangirai doctored the MDC-Tsvangirai constitution to abolish term limits for the presidency of his party.Harare, Zimbabwe, 13 June 2010
Morgan Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, on 2 June called a surprise emergency meeting of the MDC-Tsvangirai National Leadership to confront Tendai Biti, the Minister of Finance and MDC-T Secretary-General over allegations that the Minister was undermining the Prime Minister and blocking funding.
Tsvangirai produced a report, which he claimed had been compiled by the Security Department of the MDC-T. The report alleged that Biti and his loyalists were busy going around the country "re-organising" party structured to pack them with their own sympathisers ahead of the MDC-T Congress slated for some time next year.
The meeting was attended by Tsvangirai, Biti, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, Martin Magaya (Chairman of MDC-T in Chitungwiza), Thabani Mlambo (also an executive from Chitungwiza), Shorai Zvavare and Aelxio Muzvindiri (Zengeza East MP for MDC-T).
Tsvangirai opened the meeting by saying he had called the meeting to establish if "if allegations that the Secretary-General and his faction are trying to undermine the authority of the President (Tsvangirai) are true."
Tsvangirai then read the report, which he said had been compiled by MDC-T Security. The document, amongst other things, claims that the Secretary General and his "faction" have been telling donors to stop fund the MDC-T until there is leadership renewal.
The document further alleges that Biti was sore that, last month, youths loyal to Tsvangirai caused havoc at the MDC-T head office, Harvest House during which an alleged Biti ally, named as Shonhe, was attacked. The youths claimed to be obeying the orders of Morgan Tsvangirai in unleashing the violence.
Biti and his allies at the meeting would not take it lying down and instead demanded to know who authored the document. Tsvangirai would not say.
Those present say there was an air of fear about Tsvangirai, who would not ask Biti point blank about the allegations, instead asking the meeting in general whether there was any truth to the allegations.
Tsvangirai is, of course, falling into the classic leadership trap, where all-powerful leaders are told only what they want to hear and nothing more.
Tsvangirai is particularly rattled because the report was heavily informed by his loyalists in Masvingo and the Midlands Provinces of Zimbabwe.
These two provinces are known to be anti-Tsvangirai within the MDC-T. In the Midlands, Tsvangirai's own people publicly stated in 2008 that they had voted for Simba Makoni. The MDC-T leadership in the Midlands say that Tsvangirai is dictatorial and has imposed people in leadership positions. He also stands accused of having barred one member of the National Executive from the Midlands from attending meetings although he has not been formally suspended from leadership or from the party.
The structures for the MDC-T in the Midlands are known to "belong" to Biti and to another lady MP in Harare.
In Masvingo, the structures there are said to be for Mudzuri, the MDC-T Organising Secretary who has now been effectively stripped of that title by Tsvangirai. Another Morgan, Komichi, who is nominally deputy to Mudzuri, has been instructed by Tsvangirai to take over the post until the next Congress, when Tsvangirai hopes to whip his supporters into line and have them vote his own choice in the Organising Secretary post.
Compounding Tsvangirai's problems is the fact that people like Roy Bennett, the party's Treasurer-General, are now also suspected of being against the MDC-T president. Bennett is particularly upset that the Prime Minister has not fought hard enough for him to be sworn into government.
He is also upset that, in February 2009, when the Inclusive Cabinet was sworn in, Tsvangirai went ahead to attend the ceremony at State House, joking and laughing with Mugabe while he, Bennett was thrown into police cells in the city of Mutare, where he spent a couple of days and nights with the corpse of a prisoner who had died behind bars.
Tsvangirai believes there is a conspiracy against him at the highest levels of his party but is too scared to take direct action lest it backfires on him.
Worryingly, though, the tiff within the MDC-T is now taking on tribal undercurrents, with Tendai Biti dragging that old ZANU PF trick out of the hat. A source close to the Finance Minister told the Sunday Times of South Africa that Biti suspected that the "conspiracy" against him was tribal because most of those feeding information to Tsvangirai were from Masvingo and Midlands.
It is dangerous ground to tread, obviously. It is the sort of mentality that could take Zimbabwe down the Burundi and Rwanda route.
I do not know what tribe Biti belongs to. Nor do I care.
Unfortunately, the MDC-T is picking up too many bad habits from ZANU PF and this is only one them.
Biti must fight Tsvangirai only the basis of the Prime Minister's increasingly questionable democratic credentials. Tsvangirai is proving to be no democrat.
That the PM is courageous is beyond doubt. But so is Mugabe. Courage to face a formidable enemy does not a democrat make. If anything, tyrannies are established by those so fearless that they care nothing for their own well-being. Witness Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and many others. Very rarely do you get a liberator (courageous by definition) like George Washington, who then goes on to ensure that they are out of a job as quickly as possible.
Today we have career politicians, lining their pockets and that being their only motivation for going into the business in the first place, not public service or the good o
So, instead of conducting "sniffing out ceremonies" at the Party Headquarters, he must simply move into the 21st Century and get with the programme.
Biti must continue to demand that no man can doctor the constitution to give himself Life Presidency within the party, lest the country gets another Kamuzu Banda in Morgan Tsvangirai.
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Econet Has Gone To The Dogs
Harare, Zimbabwe, 12 June 2010
While Econet is claiming that it is now the largest mobile phone network in Zimbabwe, most of its vaunted huge subscriber base have been failing completely to make phone calls since last week.
The company to have greedily chased numbers while completely neglecting its infrastrcuture. While putting out dubious claims of base stations being built, it is clear Econet has fallen into the same trap as befell Netone a year or so ago: failure to invest in infrastructure in order to continue giving service to customers.
Super dividends and profits are being declared by Econet, which it now turns out is a bad move because that money should have gone to ensuring good quality service.
People on Econet right now just get the message: "Disconnecting" when they are trying to call out. This has been happening for a week and just as the World Cup starts.
Previously, these companies (like Econet) could blame their incompetence on the bad politics and the bad economy. But now, they are able to give away millions of dollars in dividends to shareholders and buy fleets of cars of staff members, so there is no excuse. It all boils down to poor planning and taking the market for granted.
In any other country where the mobile phone companies offer world class service, there would have been an explanation to the people in the form ads or some sort of announcement explaining why Econet subscribers are flushing money down the toilet buying airtime and the like.
One person I know, a Finance Director at a local company, says that Econet have now become arrogant because they think they are so big and that Zimbabweans have no choice.
He refuses to spend any more money on Econet airtime and has switched back to NetOne. He is also looking to get a Telecel line and vows he will never return to Econet.
Such is the anger.
But there are graver implications:
The mobile phone company is doing this now, when tourists are expected to come into Zimbabwe during the World Cup in South Africa next door to us. These tourists demand seamless and world-class communications networks, which Econet will not be able to give considering what they are doing to Zimbabweans at the moment.
All that will happen is that stereotypes about Zimbabwe and African businesses will be reinforced.
Econet has, for some time now, behaved with the utmost arrogance and has treated its customer base like idiots.
Should one experience problems with Econet's service, one can rest assured that they will not get their problem resolved. There is no service centre to speak of. Should you call the so-called Customer Care numbers, consider yourself very lucky if you hold on for an hour and end up speaking to a person.
Most people end up throwing in the towel.
One wonders what sort of business sense the people at Econet have.
Of course, government is also to blame. They refuse to open up the market and allow more players in. This is the best way to engender competition. Let the market decide who is good enough to get their money and who is not.
Right now, the three networks are a virtual monopoly and behave as though they are doing the people of Zimbabwe a favour by supplying mobile phone services!!
One of these days, we will get a government that will ensure that the people of Zimbabwe get the country they deserve, no thanks ti Econet or MDC or ZANU PF!!
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