Showing posts from July, 2009

31 July 2009: Tsvangirai Comes Face to Face With Defence Forces Commanders

Mugabe, seen here with Defence Forces Chief General Chiwengwa (whose car allegedly abducted Deputy Minister of Agriculture-designate Roy Bennett from Charles Prince Airport in February) remains firmly in control of the Defence Forces and Justice portfolios and the National Security Council meeting yesterday reinforced that with a tightly controlled agenda. This was the inaugural meeting of the NSC, from which nothing much should be expected. JOC remains active and PM Tsvangirai got no response to his "encouragement" to the body to dissolve.
The National Security Council (NSC) finally met for the first time yesterday under the Chairmanship of Robert "The Solution" Mugabe, whom the State Media now never mention without adding "Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces."
The service chiefs made a point of attending the meeting in civilian clothing.
The Service Chiefs reportedly sat stony-faced throughout. The meeting was tightly …

31 July 2009: Gono Indicates He Will Scupper Deal To Officially Adopt The Rand

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Gideon Gono, seen here with Mugabe at a warehouse where some of foodstuffs and goods from his quasi-fiscal operations were stashed, has come out publicly to defend his role as Monetary Policymaker, setting him on a collision course with Biti yet again.

Gideon Gono's festive Monetary Policy tradition came to end yesterday. Instead of calling all and sundry (even our advertising agency got an invite) to his Mount to hear the Sermon, he called in only bank industry CEOs this time.
He is much more restricted now, with the ending of quasi-fiscal activities and therefore can not pronounce policy position on all sorts of areas as he used to.
One notable thing that came out of his Monetary Statement yesterday was an indication that he and Mugabe are balking at one of the demands from the South Africans for Zimbabwe to join the Rand Monetary Union.
"Our strong views and preference, however, are that as Zimbabweans, we must have our own currency and auton…

31 July 2009: Diamond Body Recommends Banning Zimbabwe Diamonds

Chiyadzwa Diamond Fields, where small-scale miners (Makorokoza) made fortunes in the confusion of 2006/7 and into last year. There was a brutal clampdown at the Fields and it is sad some 80 or so people died at the hands of soldiers, the story is denied by both the MDC and ZANU PF since they got into government together. The Kimberley Process Team which was here earlier this month, has recommended a ban on Diamonds from Zimbabwe for at least six months

Despite the Herald shrilling propaganda from their pages during the recent visit of the Kimberley Process Team to Zimbabwe, that very team has now announced that it is recommending a ban on Zimbabwe trading in diamonds through the process for "at least six months".
It is a big deal because the Process is literally the only legitimate way in which diamonds can be sold on the world market. It was set up to certify diamonds as free of blood ( diamonds funded and fuelled the horrific conflicts of Sierra Leone, DRC and Liberia, a…

30 July 2009: Why Tsvangirai Has Now Agreed To The Kariba Draft

It is all about ZIM 1, the presidential number plate in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai has also now joined the plotting of Mugabe. But it is almost certain that his embrace of the Kariba Draft in the hope that it can help him to secure the presidency will certainly come to grief.

It was reported this last Sunday that JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee), which is the arbitrator and overseer of the Inclusive Government's GPA, has now endorsed the Kariba Draft as the basis of a new constitution.
It is a victory for Mugabe and ZANU PF, clearly, that this body, which houses very senior figures from all parties (especially the negotiators themselves) has now genuflected to this hard stance taken by the Solution and his cronies.
What is more puzzling to observers is why Tsvangirai's negotiators agreed to this travesty at all. Why did they bend (seemingly) to Mugabe's will?
The answer is simple enough and was given to me a few moments ago by a senior figure within the MDC-T.

30 July 2009: Mnangagwa Explains Why Service Chiefs Will Not Salute Tsvangirai

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Minister of Defence and Mugabe's now-certain heir, seen here with PM Morgan Tsvangirai in parliament, answered questions in the House yesterday after a delay of some months during which parliamentarians complained to the Speaker and the media that the Minister was not availing himself to answer their questions. He was asked about the failure or reluctance by the Service Chiefs to salute the Prime Minister and he fobbed them all off with a flimsy explanation.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Minister of Defence and Mugabe heir-apparent yesterday told parliament why the service chiefs will not salute Tsvangirai in an explanation that was clearly lacking in sincerity, as I will explain.
Mnangagwa was shown on Newshour on ZTV last night explaining that the Service Chiefs only salute the president of the country as the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. He pointed out that the Service Chiefs were also absent at the very low-key swearing-in of Vice-Presidents a…

Mugabe "Strengthens Structures In The Diaspora" As He Kidnaps The Presidency Once Again

Mugabe, seen here swearing-in Morgan Tsvangirai on February 11 this year, now wants to "strengthen" his structures in the Diaspora and is now certain to run again for President against Tsvangirai. He has said before that if the results are the same as last time, "we may continue with the arrangement" of having Tsvangirai as Prime Minister and he as President.

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe's party, ZANU PF, is "strengthening our structures in the Diaspora to ensure that they spread our message."
The statement was made on Tuesday by Savour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Youth and one of those accused by the MDC-T of being behind the disruption of the Constitutional Conference at the Harare International Conference Centre.
Those in Diaspora can rest assured that they will soon see some of their comrades living it up as money from the Diamond Fields is poured into their coffers in order for them to "spread the message."
This statement comes as…

29 July 2009: It's Official, Mavambo is Now Bugged

While the Inclusive Government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai says it has no money to collect such rubbish as in this picture, which is piling up in cities all over Zimbabwe, they can find the resources to waste on bugging the Mavambo phones and the like.

I told you a couple of days ago that our phone lines went dead and our Internet connection also disappeared.
The lines came back yesterday of their own accord, after TelOne said as far as their systems were concerned, everything was working fine and they had no idea what had happened to our switchboard.
It turns out now that a group led by a CIO operative named Cleopas Chidhakwa intercepted our lines at a "green box" along Fourth Street and did their thing. One of the people who assisted him was Givemore Murapa, also of the President's Office.
They were in two cars as they did the job over the weekend and into Monday: a black Toyota Yaris and a Mazda B2200 pick-up, both of which had no number plates (the President's Office ve…

29 July 2009: MDC Tsvangirai Minister Arrested For Stealing Mobile Phone

Inclusive Cabinet Being Sworn in, February this year. A deputy Minister from the MDC Tsvangirai in this cabinet had been arrested for stealing a cellphone belonging to "War Veterans leader" Joseph Chinotimba.

First, apologies, it appears I spoke too soon. No sooner had sung the praises of Nelson Chamisa than Internet connection in Zimbabwe collapsed entirely.
While we are back online at the Mavambo offices, with out phones and internet connection restored, my other internet connections went completely dead.
Curiously, last night, as I was working on some posts for the blog and doing other housekeeping things, electricity at the office was also switched off. It is almost unheard of for power to go in the city centre and, even more suspicious, the power went only on the block where our offices are (about ten building on one side of George Silundika. As I drove out, everywhere else there was power).
But we could never expect anything else from this Inclusive Misgovernment.

Trade Unions, NCA Blast Tsvangirai and Mugabe

Deputy Prime Ministers Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara are seen here with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at State House in Entebbe. The two were taken on a junket by Robert "The Solution" Mugabe as he starts his offensive to charm the MDC-T leadership into submitting to his will. He appears to be winning. Meantime, back home, all hell is breaking loose, with Civil society partners of the MDC-T declaring their marriage to the opposition party dissolved.

Former allies of the MDC-T, the Zimbabwe Congress Of Trade Unions and the National Constitutional Assembly have blasted Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe over their failures on not only the constitution but also the running of the country in general.
Almost all of the criticism was directed at Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T, signalling that the myopic days of "why criticise Tsvangirai, criticise Mugabe instead" are over.
Indeed, it serves no purpose to harp on about the geriatric Mugabe, who everyone agrees s…

28 July 2009: How Many Of You Noticed Mugabe's Latest Ploy?

Mugabe is seen here with Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda over the weekend in Kampala, where he is attending a Global 2009 Smart Partnership Dialogue Conference. Behind the two leaders is Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe of the MDC-T, who was splashed on the front page of the Sunday Mail yesterday deciding on seats on the Presidential plane with Mugabe. Arthur Mutambara, the other Deputy Prime Minister, is also on the trip.

I just wondered how many of you out there noticed that Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has launched a charm offensive against the MDC-T top leadership.
Yesterday, a photo of Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Khupe was splashed on the front page of the Sunday Mail. The two appeared to be joking around and enjoying each other's company.
They were off to Uganda, for some summit or other, at which another Strongman, Yoweri Museveni, launched a broadside at Britain and the west, asking them to "leave Zimbabwe alone."

What you are seeing is the s…

27 July 2009: Attempts to Harass and Frustrate Mavambo Start?

After the All Stakeholders Conference on the Constitution, the National Constitutional Conference (NCA) has now convened its own All Peoples Congress on the Constitution. It started today and there were no kind words for Mugabe or Tsvangirai in that hall.

Had a visit today from a resident of the Pfungwe area in Zimbabwe and he told me something that would be funny if it were not so sad. This is the area where an MDC supporter was beaten so thoroughly a week or so back, that she can hardly speak.
Apparently, the "talk" amongst ZANU PF hardcores is: "Makabatanakutownikoko, kwetekunoku" - meaning, "Your unity applies only in the towns, not out here."
Mugabe's party enjoys crushing majorities in the area and has done so since Independence. Last year, for the March elections, Mugabe had the bright idea of splitting the area into three constituencies, thereby gaining three seats where he would have got just one.
But that was aside.
Now, two things:
First, some…

27 July 2009: Diesel From A Rock Medium Was Aided and Abeted By Registrar-General

Big Man humiliated: Didymus Mutasa, former Defence Minister Sydney Sekeremayi, Kembo Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs and other senior ZANU PF officials are seen here paying homage to the woman who claimed diesel was seeing from a rock out in Chinoyi. It turns out she has a lot of support from senior echelons of government and remains abroad, allegedly in Guruve, unmolested, even as her trial and sentencing proceeded in her abscence. Some governmen officials are still paying her visits.

Shocking revealations today about how the n'anga (medicine woman) who fooled Mugabe's government with cliams of diesel pouring from a rock managed to pull it off.
The n'anga, told the court that she got some of the diesel to pour into pipes hidden in this hills from Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar-General.
Mudede has not been questioned or tried in connection with this. The Registrar-General keeps a very low profile.
Rotina Mavhunga, the spirit medium, is still on the run. Although several govern…

27 July 2009: Mugabe Now Virtually Confirmed Life-President

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe now has the endorsement of not only Morgan Tsvangirai, but also three ZANU PF provinces to die in power. With Tsvangirai telling stunned audiences all over the world, "Mugabe is the solution. President Mugabe is not going anywhere....", ZANU PF Youths in Harare as well as Manicaland Province have now added their voices to the Midlands Provincial Executive of ZANU PF in supporting Mugabe to continue as president of ZANU PF "and the country". It appears what the people think (more than two million have cast a vote against Mugabe and his party) does not come into this at all.

When Morgan Tsvangirai repeatedly told audiences in South Africa, the United States and Europe that, "President Mugabe is not going anywhere..", he had not consulted the people of Zimbabwe about this.
He also had no idea whose language he was speaking, or did he?
The ZANU PF Harare Province Youth Wing came out at the weekend to endorse The Solution as…

26 Jully 2009: How The MDC-T Is Losing It's Majority in Parliament

This map from Sokwanele shows the seats that have fallen vacant and now require by-elections. Some of these vacancies go back to 2008. They also note that, at law, the calling of by-elections is not for Mugabe as president to do with as he sees fit. He is required to consult cabinet. He has not done so. In fact, the issue has not been put on the cabinet agenda at all. And who sets the Cabinet agenda for every Tuesday? None other than Mugabe, of course. Which is why Tsvangirai was asking last week that he also wants to in on setting cabinet agenda.
Following my article a few days ago in which I told you that Robert "The Solution" Mugabe had resolved to stand against the MDCs and other parties in forthcoming by-elections, Sokwanele have produced the most complete and the most detailed analysis of how the MDC has lost its majority in parliament.
ZANU PF has indeed lost seats due to deaths, three of them. In those three, Mugabe enjoys majorities of 2945, 6496 and 8975. Considerin…

26 July 2009: Why The Inclusive Government Is Bad For Zimbabwe's Economy

Nearly six months after the formation of the much-touted Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe, the country still faces massive power cuts, no running water almost permanently in most suburbs and cities.
Industrial capacity is still well below 50%, despite the dreamt-up figures quoted by the Minister of Finance. Investment is still giving Zimbabwe a wide berth. Schools that are now largely functional remain at the mercy of demotivated teachers, lack of basic services and educational tools in those schools.
The list of woes is endless indeed.
But why?
The problem lies in a crucial ingredient to the success of any modern economy: business and consumer confidence. In Zimbabwe, the existence of the Inclusive Government itself is the cause. It is impossible to instill confidence in the future when Deputy Minister designates are being arrested and denied the freedom of movement.
Foreign investors, like their governments, like the IMF and the World Bank, look at the scenes unfolding in Harare everyday…

25 July 2009: Mugabe Threatens To Boycott Healing Process If Makoni Invited

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe looks sideways at Tsvangirai to see reaction to the joke he had just cracked yesterday at the launch of the so-called "Healing" process at a 5 star hotel in Harare. Mugabe and Tsvangirai gave two widely differing speeches, with Mugabe, who threatened to boycott the event if Dr Makoni was invited, insisting that the process started at Independence and that what he wanted was unity and not really healing or reconciliation or truth

The Solution and his sidekick, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, launched a weekend of "National Healing" yesterday in Harare at their favourite 5 star hotel in Harare.
At the beginning of the occasion, to which Mavambo and Simba Makoni had originally been invited, Mugabe cracked a joke that had Tsvangirai rolling with laughter. As Mugabe cracked the joke, he looked sideways at Tsvangirai to gauge reaction.
He was mighty pleased to see his prime minister responding as he should, rolling with laughter.

25 July 2009: Mutambara Fight Gets Messy

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, seen here with his wife, Mugabe and Tsvangirai at the burial of former Defence Forces Chief General Zvinavashe at the Heroes Acre, is in a bit of a pickle, with his own MPs, who rebelled and started campaigning against him, escalating their fight against him, refusing to attend disciplinary hearings, taking the matter to court and threatening a "political" fight. It's getting messy.

I broke the story about the rebellion in the MDC Mutambara on this blog in April of this year in an article entitled Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara about to be fired.
There was a flurry of activity after that article and even media outside Zimbabwe called me to see if they could speak to my source.
A little while later, all hell broke loose, rallies were held at which Mutambara was denounced by Job Sikhala, Bhebhe and others as a sell-out.
Mutambara reacted swiftly. The MPs were suspended from the MDC-M (by the way, the official title of the so-call…