Saturday, June 21, 2008

(HERALD) ‘MDC-T lies to discredit polls’

‘MDC-T lies to discredit polls’
Bulawayo Bureau

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday chided MDC-T for compiling a list of alleged victims of political violence claiming they were its supporters so as to justify claims that the polls will not be free and fair. Earlier, the President told captains of industry in Bulawayo that Zimbabwe was negotiating with Equatorial Guinea to secure more fuel at regular intervals from the oil-rich West African country.

He then addressed thousands of people at White City Stadium in Bulawayo as his campaign for the June 27 run-off reaches fever pitch.

President Mugabe’s sentiments on MDC-T came as some wire reports suggested that the opposition party was developing jelly feet and contemplating pulling out of the race claiming the "electoral playing field is uneven’’, the usual cry that the opposition makes each time it stares defeat in the face or actually loses an electoral contest.

"The MDC people have been busy at their Harvest House compiling names of what they say are victims of political violence. They have been saying their supporters are being beaten up by our soldiers. They say this so that they can later say the elections were not free and fair. Which is a damn lie!

"Ndafamba maprovinces akawanda and where there have been incidents of violence, arson or destruction yemusha hapana yakaitwa nemaforces edu,’’ Cde Mugabe said.

"I was in Matabeleland North yesterday, it’s all very peaceful. I was in Matabeleland South, a day before yesterday and it’s also peaceful except for a (recent) incident in the northern part of Gwanda where the MDC destroyed an office, a sub-office yedu. Here in Bulawayo. Khonapha ko Bulawayo, there is absolute peace. People are campaigning, yes but we are campaigning in peace. So on 27 June let us go in peace tinoita cast vote, a historic vote. We dare not make a mistake. Don’t vote against yourself. Siyekele ukuzibulala,’’ the President said.

At the business meeting held at a local hotel, President Mugabe said the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired Lieutenant-General Mike Nyambuya was in Equatorial Guinea, leading a team from Zimbabwe to negotiate the fuel deal.

Cde Mugabe was responding to a question from businesspersons who wanted to find out if the Government could provide more fuel for public transporters.

"Let us wait and see if we get more fuel," said President Mugabe.

"The Minister (of Energy and Power Development) is there (Equatorial Guinea) to negotiate for more fuel and also for us to get it more regularly. Then we could be able to do that."

A few days ago, the Government launched a fuel subsidy scheme in Bulawayo.

The facility has enabled passenger transporters to reduce their fares from $2 billion a trip to $500 million.

The President said the Government was committed to ensuring that the transport sector got more reliable fuel supplies.

However, he said public transport operators have disappointed the Government in the past after they failed to reduce fares despite accessing cheap fuel from Noczim.

"If fuel becomes available and all (passenger transporters) get cheaper fuel, can we rely on them to make fares cheaper? The commuter transporters have disappointed us," he said.

President Mugabe said once more fuel supplies were secured, the Government could find ways of ensuring that private importers, who were selling fuel in foreign currency were made to operate like Noczim was doing by charging affordable prices.

Turning to MDC-T leader Tsvangirai, President Mugabe said voting for Tsvangirai, who is a front for British neo-colonial interests, was tantamount to going back to colonialism so that another war could be fought to liberate the country from the shackles of colonisation for the second time.

He said lives were lost for the liberation of this country and therefore Zimbabwe’s independence and sovereignty should be held dearly by all its inhabitants.

"Nezuro kuNkayi North, ndakaratidzwa nzvimbo pakamira Baba weZimbabwe, Umdala Wethu, achitambira magamba adzoka tapedza hondo kuZambia,’’ said Cde Mugabe.

"Saka tavakuenda musi wa27 next week tinosungirwa kuenda tichifunga nhoroondo iyoyo. Kufunga vakafa, vakava zvirema kuhondo. Kufunga anaLobengula, hatizivi kwaakazofira, anaMashayamombe. Hondo yavakatanga ivavo yakatipa moyo wokubvisa mabhunu. Hatidi kuti tidzokorodze imwe hondo yokubvisa mabhunu zvakare nokuti matadza kuvhota. Mawar veterans arikuti kwete. Silabo lapha. Lo uchairman weprovince (Cde Macleod Tshawe) ngomunye wabo.’’

He reiterated that the war veterans had vowed to put up a fight against recolonisation embodied in the existence of MDC on Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

"Mawar veterans arikuti vanhu ngavayeuke kuti isu takarwa nepfuti imi muri kupiwa ballpoint pen chete.

"The ballpoint pen must not defeat the gun. Zvanzi hatidi kuona ballpoint pen ichinzi yakunda,’’ said the President drawing applause from the crowd.

"Vari kuti ivo ballpoint ngaitevere nzira yomubhobho. Ukada kuita nharo mubhobho versus ballpoint, hazvife zvakaitika.’’

He said Government had programmes such as people’s shops where affordable basic commodities could be bought as well as people’s buses among others, meant to mitigate the effects of the sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe over the land reform programme — which was the source of the standoff between Harare and London.

Cde Mugabe implored the people of Bulawayo to join the rest of the country in defending Zimbabwe’s independence and emphasise the City of Kings’s place as the second largest in the country by voting resoundingly for Zanu-PF.

"Tibude tose. Vote yomuno muBulawayo iri vote of the capital city.’’

He appealed for voters in the Mpopoma-Pelandaba House of Assembly constituency by-election to vote overwhelmingly for the ruling party candidate, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, whose works, he said, were there for all to see.

Dr Ndlovu, who is the Minister of Information and Publicity, said the constituency which he was contesting in had a pride of place as it had been once held by some of the nation’s founding fathers — the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo and Vice President Joseph Msika.

"Mhlaka 27 uPresident Mugabe ewofisini, uDr Ndlovu Ephalamende,’’ said Dr Ndlovu to thunderous applause.

Labels: ,


(HERALD) Zimbabwe: Place of dreams, Copy of horrors

Zimbabwe: Place of dreams, Copy of horrors

I suppose in this day and age of abrasive neo-liberalism, very few people care to read of, even know about a British leftist literary and cultural critic called Raymond Williams. Alongside other leftist scholars of his generation, Williams is credited with providing cradle to what we presently term "cultural studies", and whose most notable scholar arguably is Stuart Hall, presently with the British Open University.

I will recall one thought Williams made so forcefully in one of his early publications, "The Long Revolution", which made its first appearance in 1961. Drawing a sharp distinction between "abstractions" and "actual relationships", Williams warns against confusing "our abstract ideas about society" with the society itself within which we all live, within which our diverse experiences as living, relational organisms find summation.

Abstract ideas, or simply our reading of the society we live in, are "interpretations" or "our ways of describing the organisation and of conceiving relationships, necessary to establish the reality of social life but also under continual pressure from experience". Experience is thus primary, is what matters, in fact is what ultimately shapes and reshapes our abstractions on or interpretation of that lived experience.

For Queen and Country

He goes on to note that theories on society largely stand of fall by their starting point: "the particular experience that is seized as determining". England, from feudal days to this day, uses the figure and place of the King or Queen as its starting point for abstractions.

The king is the experience, the palace the place, and both the sole purpose for English life and society. Long after Thomas Paine and his "rights of man" discourse, the English people have obdurately viewed themselves as demure subjects of "Her Majesty’s Government", minors in the creation of the reality we call United Kingdom, which is the other name for their Kings or Queens.

The tragic side to this abstraction plays itself out in the rugged and cruel battlefields of Afghanistan where English youngsters serving in Her Majesty’s army, sweetly take fatal bullets from Talibans (who are rightly and righteously defending their land and territory), firm and holy in the belief that they are dying for Queen and Country, their conception of the latter always deriving from their reverence of the former. For Britain, time is frozen, which is why the modern common Briton is no wiser than the serf of yore who saw his interest and welfare as the same as the welfare and "maintenance of his lord".

However, archaic the monarchy is or may be, however, modern Britain ever becomes, the regal institution will always remain as the prime instrument for manufacturing the consent and obedience of ordinary Britons. Williams clinches the point by stating the life of society is "unequally regarded . . . seen practically through the needs of the established order" which must be considered sacred and God-given, immutable, permanent.

Revolutionary ruptures only occur where citizens begin to question and challenge existing social abstractions — usually formulated and perpetuated by the dominant force of a given society — to found a new view of relations between the common citizen and those in authority, between community and larger country.

Certified dead by the media

I drew this elaborate social theory to make a few points this week. What Raymond Williams could not have foreseen is the present overbearing role of Western global media networks in drawing abstractions or interpretations of our experiences.

You notice I called them "Western global media networks" deliberately to foreground their ownership, identity and character, and distinguish this ownership factor from the projection and scope of their operation and influence which is global. Often — and our media lecturers are not guiltless — we confuse ownership with scope, ending up with the misleading epithet of "global news networks". Such a mischaracterisation imparts a false legitimacy to these highly partisan, exclusively Western mind networks whose role in global affairs is highly ideologised and affiliated to the West’s overall machinery of global dominance.

It suggests — wrongly — that these news networks are there to serve all peoples of the globe, placing them next to godliness. It gets worse. These Western expressions of global mind dominance in the field of the media are increasingly and mistakenly perceived as evidence and test of the presence and enjoyment of civil liberties, principally that related to expression. Designed and launched to encourage false interpretation of our societies, their starting point is to falsify their real origins, role and purpose in our societies which host them.

We see them as bearers of truth, nothing but the whole truth. When they pronounce our societies dead, we begin to feel dead, thoroughly dead. When they pronounce us undemocratic, we begin to feel hemmed within never-never structures of imagined autocracy.

They certify everything about us, or more accurately, everything they want about us, they want imputed on us. Williams may have given us a presentiment of this new and pervasive global force; but he did not prepare us for its present overbearing status.

The Zimbabwe of BBC

We Zimbabweans have garnered enough experience and pain to bear testimony to this unwholesome development which has since disfigured international relations. The Zimbabwe the world reads, is not the place of our abode, the place and the lived experience arising from a complex web of interactions and relations we all contribute to as living organisms collectively labelled "Zimbabweans".

The Zimbabwe of the media is an abstraction, an interpretation, as Williams would have told us. An interpretation which is and should remain heavily fortified against the subversion of the truth of our lived experience to assure it of undisturbed continuity.

It is a synthetic Zimbabwe designed to meet the propaganda needs of the United Kingdom and its European and American allies. For that reason this synthetic Zimbabwe does not evolve; should never evolve but must remain unremittingly unchanging, unremittingly bad, worse and worst. A place condemned, a Sodom and Gomorrah which can only be cleansed and redeemed through the brimstone of Anglo-Saxony bombs and other incendiaries! And, of course, the "place" has got one "Lucifer" — Robert Mugabe — whose ambition cost him British grace, earned him a fling into dark perdition, a toss into the bottomless pit which John Milton so elaborately drew and painted in his Paradise Lost.

It was Lucifer who was guilty, not Milton’s god who would not brook a new relationship of equals in heaven. After all, being the victor, Milton’s god lived to give the world account of the rebellion. The condemned Lucifer is long way from telling his own side.

Prologue to worse fate

Clearly the media no longer report; the media now have a deeper role, namely that of manufacturing lies that justify wars, that justify aggression of the weak by the powerful.

Those whom the West want to conquer, CNN and BBC render diabolic. This is unknown to most Zimbabweans who do not view the present circle of demonisation of their country as a prologue to a worse fate. The last few days have seen a ratcheting up of anti-Zimbabwe propaganda in the Western global networks. From this poisoned perspective, Zimbabwe is daily descending into gratuitous orgies of mindless violence.

It has become an un-livable hell, deserving redemption through Anglo-Saxony aggression. And Britain and America who must lead that aggression are painted as shy suitors who will not be goaded by so many expostulations into a "saving" bloody invasion.

Zimbabwe has to be burned to save it! As with Iraq, Britain and America are using African voices for legitimacy: Paul Kagame, Raila Odinga, former presidents, bishops of varying holiness, etc, etc to suggest deserved invasion necessitated by a consensual African call. It is an evil hour of betrayal.

Harmed by friends

An unwitting variant to this betrayal is what Zimbabwe’s allies are doing, but without realising what mortal danger they bring to our doorstep. We have had a number of friendly countries joining in the call for a Government of National Unity (GNU), ironically thinking they are doing Zanu-PF a great favour.

A great favour because they wrongly read that Zanu-PF is acutely vulnerable, judging it all from the March result. From this misreading of March, they reasoned Zanu-PF could only be made to hang in there through this creature called a GNU. So they have been pushing the concept for reasons completely different from that of the MDC and its Western supporters, thinking we would be grateful for this "saving" intervention.

Of course, they have not read March correctly, are not reading the present national mental temperament ironically triggered by the same result.

They have gone by abstractions from the Western media. But contrary to this misleading interpretation, Zanu-PF has come back with a vengeance and seems irrevocably set for a dramatic win on June 27.

What is damaging about our friends is not their misreading of the political dynamics which are shaping voter opinion. That can be corrected in the fullness of electoral time.

Senselessness from friends

What is damaging is their attempts at forcing GNU as a political formulae in our present circumstances, forcing it by building false arguments against the run-off election. One easy way has been to suggest for various reasons — real or imagined — that Zimbabwe is not ready for the run-off.

One real reason given is that the Zimbabwe economy cannot afford the run-off. This suggests democratic rituals are not a requirement, but a matter of volition. It suggests elections are not mandatory. I mean anyone can "decline" the economy to stave off a plebiscite, is it not? Since when has a sound economy become a qualification for holding elections?

If it was, how many nations would hold elections? Why this sudden permissiveness with Zimbabwe? Would the suggestion have been entertained if it had come from President Mugabe?

How does this differ from the idea from the Goromonzi Conference two years ago suggesting postponement of elections in order to harmonise the electoral calendar? Why did such a suggestion which is so similar to the present one raise such fury at home and abroad?

Figment of violence

Another way is to exaggerate political violence in the country to suggest Zimbabwe is sliding into civil war.

This is the most dangerous act from these friends. They think by exaggerating political conflict, they are able to persuade us and the international community to obviate elections through GNU.

The argument is bolstered by a reading that Zimbabwe is polarised. How on this good earth do you run an election without polarising society? Is that not what elections inherently mean, namely splitting society through choice? How can a natural and inevitable concomitant of democracy be purveyed as the reason for abolishing that same democracy? But this is the academic side of it all. There is the sinister side relating to destruction of a sovereign nation born out of a bloody struggle.

Serving the British agenda.

The British and the Americans have been dying for an excuse to intervene militarily in order to reverse the revolution. But what revolution? Well, principally one related to how Zimbabwe has decided to restructure its relationship with the colonial West, largely Britain. From the calculated obeisance of the 1980s and part of the 1990s, Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s Zanu-PF from 2000 embarked on an aggressive course of self-assertion through control of its resources, starting with the land. In a very short time, the Queen and her government, whose rebellious protégé government here called UDI had been militarily and politically ousted here, soon found herself de-centred in the affairs of this young self-assertive nation.

Her sons in the Diaspora here — the white settler farmers — found themselves asked to share the land with blacks — the rightful owners. These whites were never evicted outright. Nor were they told to go back to their original home Britain, in one giant seizure of African xenophobia.

No, merely told to let go of excess land. It was only when they resisted that the hand got firmer, geography and boundaries got visibly marked and drawn. And, of course, Britain aggravated matters by showing its hand in the affairs of this country, in the process confirming what we have always known, namely that whites we have here could only function as our colonial rulers, or as Britons with an unchallenged pride of place overseas.

Never as Zimbabweans, never as Africans who happened to be white. After all, to make them ordinary Zimbabwean citizens under a black Government, or worse under Mugabe, is to symbolically and vicariously subordinate Her White Majesty to Conrad’s pitchy black authority, to unenlightened African leadership itself a taboo in the present global order where power is racially hierarchised.

A Zimbabwe without a British King, a Zimbabwe without the British Queen — both symbolically and materially — this is what the present stand-off between Zimbabwe and Britain, between Mugabe and Brown, is all about.

A Zimbabwe with the British Queen, a Morgan Tsvangirai with a Brown in his flaps, is what the MDC wants, is what endears the MDC to the British and American establishments. Hence the genii that popped out the MDC bottle soon after the harmonised March elections, invading the land we thought we had secured.

To get the Queen back and revered, to get the settler white farmers back and farming: that is the struggle which shall be settled on June 27. Friends are made and recognised by where they stand on this one matter. A war will be provoked on this one matter; fought and settled around this one question. This is what is not quite known or appreciated by those who facilely see Mugabe’s assertion that the white man will never be allowed back, whether directly or indirectly, as proof of his autocratic hunger for power.

War or peace.

One does not wish war for one’s country but I reluctantly say that given present levels of propaganda abstractions of Zimbabwe, reality could very well only obtrude and reassert through this very bloody business.

The MDC and its masters are aware they will lose the run-off. They have started to prepare the world for a rejection of results of the run-off.

They are also toying with the idea of war — proxy war using the MDC and a few African countries harbouring different grievances against Zimbabwe.

This, not claims of local violence, is what will bring about a real post-election crisis. And only then will the world realise Mugabe is not alone. In the meantime, Zimbabwe’s friends need to reach and encompass Zimbabwe the real country, not Zimbabwe the horror copy of Anglo-Saxony propaganda calculations. Icho!


Labels: , ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) Britain reneged on its obligations – Mugabe

Britain reneged on its obligations – Mugabe
Floyd Nkomo
Thu, 19 Jun 2008 01:12:00 +0000

PRESIDENT Mugabe has said that Britain is to blame for all the troubles bedeviling the country today because they reneged on their pledge to fund the land redistribution programme as agreed at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979 which paved way for a transitional constitution for an independent Zimbabwe. Speaking during his election campaign in the second largest city of Bulawayo, the Zimbabwean veteran leader said although the Conservative Party led by Former British Prime Margaret Thatcher and later John Major agreed to fund the programme, the Labour government under Tony Blair reneged on the pledge through a letter written by one of Blair’s ministers, Claire Short.

President Mugabe was referring to a letter written by then Secretary of State (for International Development), Claire Short, wrote to Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Kumbirai Kangai.

She said: “I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers.”

Almost immediately, Britain stopped payments for land reform.

At Lancaster House USA and Britain had promised £2 billion for land redistribution, yet by 1997 they had made payments of only £44 million in honouring their commitment.

"The Labour Party did not want to co-operate with us. They reneged on the agreement. ‘We derive our own authority from our own principles, not the Conservative Party,’ they (the Labour government) said," said the President.

He also said that the government of Zimbabwe tried to reason diplomatically with Prime Minister Blair to continue making the land redistribution payments but they shut all doors.

"Then we said, keep your money, we keep our land. Why should they now cry foul?"

President Mugabe also said his government taught the British democracy as there was no democracy in colonial times.

“We taught them the principle of one man, one vote which did not exist under Ian Smith,” he said adding that “Democracy also means self-rule, not rule by outsiders,” referring to Western interference in the affairs of the southern African country.

President Mugabe also vowed that he will never let Zimbabwe go back to the colonials through the MDC-T party.

President Mugabe hailed Zimbabwe’s education system, saying it was the second best on the continent after Tunisia.

Labels: , ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe's history cannot be re–written

Zimbabwe's history cannot be re–written
Nancy Nyamhunga and Arthur Gwagwa — Opinion
Thu, 19 Jun 2008 00:05:00 +0000

ON 27 June 2008, Zimbabwe goes for a presidential run-off that has the potential of rewriting our country’s history for better or for worse. People will be casting their vote under both duress and undue influence as a result of hunger and fear of the unknown that is being induced by an invisible hand.

However, there is no consensus among Zimbabweans in identifying whose hand this is but what is certain is that this hand is wielding a pen that is trying to rewrite our history. In this article, we will try to highlight some of the major events that have happened in the history of Zimbabwe, and by doing so, hopefully empower Zimbabweans so that the decision they make on the 27th June, will be made from an informed choice rather than under compulsion from this invisible manipulative hand.

We have noted that the Western media have and is trying to re-write Zimbabwean history, and in the process trying to divorce the current political impasse from Cecil John Rhodes`s invasion of Zimbabwe in 1890. The two cannot be separated; the injustices perpetrated then have still not been resolved. The western media is deceptively trying to ignore these injustices, but instead concentrating on the latest shortcomings of the current Black government in the hope of arm-twisting world-opinion in the hope of maintaining the current unequal ownership of land in Zimbabwe.

In difficult times like these, our nation needs strong non partisan leaders from the civic society who rally people behind value-based decisions. These leaders must make a war cry to help people regain perspective before they make crucial decisions which have the potential of reversing our country a century backwards. Such leaders have the ability to scale the biggest tree in the wilderness in which Zimbabwe is, survey whether we are cutting the right bush in the first place and if not, signal to the voters accordingly. If they don’t do that, the whole nation will climb a ladder that is leaning against the wrong wall!

In this article, we will humbly but patriotically endeavour to provide this leadership at this crucial hour by casting vision and providing direction to disenfranchised Zimbabweans. Our advice to the voters is to know where we are coming from as a nation (Our history and heritage), where we are on the journey including what we can achieve (Our progress, purpose and potential), who we are (Our Identity and values) and where ought to go (Our Destiny). By taking this criterion into cognisance, one is able to regain perspective and cast a vote that would preserve our heritage, which is true to our identity that resonates with our values, which recognises our purpose, while acknowledging our potential and is guided by our common destiny.

The following is a simple chronology of our country’s history as we know it and not as the westerners know it:

Where we are coming from:

1889 – 1890 The British government gives Cecil John Rhodes a blank mandate to steal land, kill and destroy anybody and anything that was black that stood in his way. Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi are crucified in the process. No-one was ever prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

1892- 1893 – The Ndebele uprising against British settlers is crushed by the BSAC. Many black natives lost their lives.

1930 – The theft of the land by the British intensifies through the enactment of the Land Apportionment Act and the Black people are pushed into destitution and their way of living is completely decimated as they find their hunting grounds all fenced up. In the process, Black natives who had large herd of livestock, had their cattle either confiscated by the British settlers, or they were simply destroyed. No one ever apologised for this.

1930-1960s – The Black people begin pockets of resistance against British rule and this leads to the breakdown of the federation and the independence of Malawi and Zambia in 1963.

1965 – 1966 Ian Smith unashamedly continues to cling to the land his ancestors had stolen, and the Western countries impose nominal sanctions against him but continue to supply food to him. War of liberation begins at Chinhoyi. (Up until his death, Ian Smith remained an unrepentant racist bigot, but the western press never labelled him criminal, murderer, despot, sadist or dictator – he was granted his dignity and died in his ripe age.)

1972 - Guerrilla war against white rule intensifies, with the fighters operating out of Zambia and Mozambique.

1978 - Thousands of black Zimbabweans are massacred at Nyadzonya and Chimoio at the behest of Ian Smith and no one was ever prosecuted for this. New government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa was installed that sought to protect the rights of the white community against the black natives. Margaret Thatcher could not commit British troops in Zimbabwe then to sustain this puppet government because the troops were committed in Northern Ireland at the time. The Prime Minister of Australia then, Fraser discourages Margaret Thatcher from installing Muzorewa but recommends that a proper election takes place. Civil War continues in the meanwhile.

1979 – 1980- When the Coloniser is faced with imminent defeat and the embarrassment of being found in possession of stolen land, he removes the hat of a thief and wears that one of a peace Umpire. During the Lancaster House conference, he makes sure that he gives the Blacks only political power and deceptively clings onto the land through section 16 of the Constitution which could only be revisited in 1992. The war pauses and Mugabe becomes the Prime Minister and extends the hand of reconciliation to Ian Smith and his former security services.

1983 –1987 Operation Gukurahundi in Matabeleleland is launched by the government which claimed that it was responding to threats paused by dissidents sponsored by white SA to cause destabilisation in independent Zimbabwe. Many innocent civilians lost their lives and the government was later to admit it was “a moment of madness”. There was never any outcry from the western press and instead President Mugabe is conferred several honorary degrees by western universities including The Knighthood from the Queen of England.

1991 – The government of Zimbabwe is arm-twisted by the IMF to adopt the notorious ESAP. Morgan Tsvangirai, then chief of the trade union, once said “The IMF are devils” in response to the economic hardships brought by ESAP.(Note ESAP was prescribed at the expiry of Section 16 of Lancaster House agreement that barred the government from repossessing Land from colonial settlers)

1992- 1997 -The government painstakingly negotiates with the White farmers to give back some of the land that had been stolen by their ancestors and at the same time ESAP was taking its toll. The economy was declining and the farmers (all white) couldn’t buckle but instead threatens the government with court action.

The courts that were staffed by White Judges strongly warn the government not to interfere with property rights. An invisible hand begins to equip young Black intellectuals to fight the government. A period of (confusion) ensues with constant violent clashes between university students and the police. There is sudden activism for the rule of law and respect of property rights. The young black elite begin to own big cars, others were granted dubious scholarships to study at prestigious universities with a pre-condition that they speak against their government. Civic society mushrooms, several “human rights” movements were formed and received generous funding from international organisations.

1997- Clare Short writes to the government of Zimbabwe reneging on the British government responsibility to fund the land reform as agreed in 1979 by the Margaret Thatcher government. This incenses the War Veterans who see this as a ploy to ensure that the land remains in the hands of the White farmers and thereby setting the Black government to fail since it did not have the funds to compensate the White farmers.

1999- The MDC is formed by people from different organisations, e.g. NCA, ZCTU and other civic groups and gets its financial lifeline from the White Farmers and Westminster Foundation to avert the imminent land seizures. Most urban intellectuals and youths fall in love with MDC mainly due to the popularity of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a veteran Trade Unionist and as a protest against the declining economic situation.

2000- The war that had paused in 1979 subject to the land issue being settled resumes as the War veterans begin to seize white owned farms.

2001- Most western Donors, including the World Bank and the IMF cut aid because of the land seizure programme. Most people left the country to claim political asylum in western countries particularly UK. Those who failed to qualify are threatened with removal from UK.

2002 - The European Union imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe and pulls out its election observers after the EU team leader is expelled.

2002 – Zimbabwe pulls out of the Commonwealth after being suspended for violation of “gross human rights” and failing to protect “property rights”.

2005 January - The US labels Zimbabwe as one of the world's six "outposts of tyranny"?
Where we are at:

2006-7 – The economy declines rapidly and inflation reaches staggering proportions.

2008 – General Election takes place and produces a hung parliament. Both the opposition and ruling party fail to get majority vote. The Presidential vote goes the same way with Morgan Tsvangirai leading (47.9%) against President Mugabe (43.2%). The constitution requires a winning candidate to get 51% to avoid a run-off and since none of the candidates achieved the required 50+ percentage vote, a run-off is due to take place on the 27th June 2008.

Political violence is reported from both the opposition and ruling party during the campaigning of the presidential run-off vote.

Aid agencies are reportedly campaigning for the opposition and the government respond by stopping their activities.

Where we ought to go:

The person we ought to vote for must first and foremost protect the progress we have made so far as a nation by assertively confronting the injustices caused by the Land Apportionment Act of 1930. However, he must also be aware of where we are, how we got there and how to progress from where we are. He must do this by connecting with strategic people and involve them in the planning. As a prerequisite he ought to cast a compelling vision that inspires hope and crucially identify strategic global equal partners to support us as we limp out of the current economic quagmire. There must also be a realisation that Zimbabwe does not exist in a vacuum, it needs international partners but on an equal basis. This may mean a give and take situation.


When a prominent blind Entrepreneur was asked what was worse than being born blind, she responded that it was having eyes but without a vision. Many Zimbabweans currently have eyes but have lost vision due to a warped perspective caused by our distorted history. We hope that the above chronology will provide the voters with the right perspective to regain their vision to vote from an informed perspective.

Nancy Nyamhunga and Arthur Gwagwa
Leicester and London respectively

Labels: , , ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) Commentary: Does the MDC-T 'transition document' exist or not?

Commentary: Does the MDC-T 'transition document' exist or not?
Sat, 21 Jun 2008 14:22:00 +0000

TENDAI Biti today is incarcerated because a document he is alleged to have authored was apparently seen by the Government. The Movement for Democratic Change (Tsvangirai) denied the existence of that document; now infamously known as the MDC-T Transition Document. The MDC-T spokesman denied the existence of such a document. “As a party, we want to place it on record that there was no such document,” said Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa denied the existence of the document saying this was merely another sortie in the Government’s battle to prevent Tsvangirai from taking power by frightening the higher echelons of the bureaucracy and security services about an MDC administration.

Fair enough.

But after this denial Chamisa says: "Our documents would not be circulating around Harare, unless it's a CIO means to try to cause panic."

What documents? This document? So does the document exist, or not?

Then Ambassador McGee ‘spills the beans’. He said he had seen the original MDC-T's transition document which he described as ‘a routine plan for any political party’.

Never mind the authenticity of the document, McGee contradicted Chamisa’s statement. Chamisa categorically denied the ‘existence of the document’. So a document exists; but it’s not the one we saw? And why is McGee privy to future state documents for Zimbabwe? Isn’t he just an ambassador or his mandate has been extended? He is not even a High Commissioner.

McGee went on and said a forged version had been circulating that raised issues not contained in the genuine document, including calls for punishing Mugabe hard-liners.

How does McGee know the forged one from the original one? Did he author it, perchance?

And how about the MDC-T clearing the air by showing us the authentic version — the one that McGee saw, at least? Maybe not us, but the police at least so that Biti is freed?

Then one would say to us: Why worry so much about a ‘transition document’?

Well Biti faces the death penalty over that document and that document only. It is the only piece of evidence that both the prosecution and the defence have for both their cases.

The penalties for the other charges are not as damning. He could get away with a fine.

It is now clear someone, somewhere, somehow, is lying about this document. But one thing is now clear: there’s a document. I don’t think Ambassador James McGee would come from thousands of miles to lie about having seen a ‘transition document’. Or would he?

Labels: ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) Brown mishap exposes British propaganda

Brown mishap exposes British propaganda
Philip Murombedzi
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 00:49:00 +0000

THE mishap by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in parliament on Wednesday when he said that Jacob Zuma was president-elect of South Africa and that the country (SA) was sending 1 000 election observers to Zimbabwe shows how much pressure the PM’s job is putting on the former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It is an insight into the general attitude of Western leaders towards African countries.

Brown, in a sense, revealed that he preferred Zuma to be the next president of South Africa, and given recent Zuma’s utterances on Zimbabwe, this is not surprising.

Westminster, generally, seems to be making these mistakes lately. The story about the 'ship of shame' is another example.

William Hague, the Tory foreign affairs spokesman, concerned about the shipment of Chinese arms which was trying to find its way to Zimbabwe, issued a press release calling on David Miliband, foreign secretary “to take urgent action with regard to the Chinese ship, currently heading to Uganda carrying arms bound for Zimbabwe”.

This was a press release, not just an impromptu statement.

How would a Chinese ship offload its weapons in a land-locked country in the heart of Africa?

We never heard from Mr Hague after this press statement — on how this ship would sail the dry lands of Africa.

Such over-reactions are triggered off by their desire to instantly paint a bad picture of Zimbabwe and look like they know exactly what is going on and thereby justify their actions.

What else have their not told the truth about?

To add insult to injury, one report on a Zimbabwean news website and many other sites said the ship was also headed for Angola. Given Hague’s statement, that would have been impossible as Angola is not near Uganda and is on a different coast.

So the ship would have had to go from Durban in South Africa, go through Madagascar and Mozambique, past the 1 424 kilometres of the Tanzanian Coastline and on to the Kenyan coastline, and the past dry land to reach landlocked Uganda?

As rumours said the ship was finally offloaded in the DR Congo, how did it go from the East Coast (Kenya) to the West Coast (DRC) when it was headed for Uganda? And we know Zambia and Botswana would not have provided safe passage.

This is the extent of the propaganda being fed to a ‘hungry and vulnerable’ Zimbabwean population.

Labels: , , ,


Omnia Group invests in jatropha agronomics research

Omnia Group invests in jatropha agronomics research
By Fridah Zinyama
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

THE Omnia Group has made an investment of about K11.6 billion into research on jatropha agronomics in Zambia. Jatropha has been widely regarded as the 'next-best-thing' for biodiesel production as it is resistant to drought and pests and produces seeds containing up to about 40 per cent oil. Omnia Group chief executive officer Rod Humphris, told Engineering News Online, that it was an exciting investment, as it would help the company better understand the yields that can be attained from the Jatropha tree.

He added that there was a fertiliser spin-off, if jatropha becomes a bigger crop in the southern African region.

"We would be well-placed to really understand the nutrients required for that and then, obviously there is the fertiliser sale which we would be able to achieve in improving the jatropha economics," Humphris said.

"Omnia would continue to spend the necessary capital on research in this field on an ongoing basis."

The research will be conducted in Zambia for a number of reasons, and largely because it could not be done in South Africa because that country's government has declared jatropha an invasive plant.

"The one advantage that Zambia has, being a land-locked country is that import parity of fuel into Zambia certainly is more expensive than here in South Africa, and I think the driving force there to establish biofuel production is higher in Zambia than what it would be in South Africa," said Humphris.

And Humphris added that the "golden age for agriculture" had arrived and would continue into the next decade.

"The global shortage of raw materials in the agricultural sector drove the group's fertiliser producing division's operating profit up 98 per cent, to K122.3 billion for the year ended March 2008," he said.

Humphris said the improvements in this division had come largely from price increases, and not from volume increases.

"Omnia felt the production volumes would remain fairly constant going forward, as there was not much room for increased volumes in the South African market as there was only so much fertiliser required. Volume growth would benefit export markets.

Although that could change overnight if South Africa became more bullish with biofuels," added Humphris. "We have seen a complete shift in the agriculture sector over the last 12 months - suddenly the world appreciates agriculture."

Humphris said many of the factors driving the greater demand for raw materials were said to have taken place quite suddenly, particularly the emergence of biofuels.

Labels: , ,


CIMA attributes corporate failure to poor board recruitment

CIMA attributes corporate failure to poor board recruitment
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

POOR board recruitment and composition has led to corporate failures in a number of institutions, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Zambia president Victor Nyasulu has observed. Nyasulu said a lot of corporate failures in the public and private sector, including the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia, resulted from problems such as poor board recruitment and composition, creating serious strategic business risks.

"However, there seems to be little realisation and sensitisation in the country about this strategic business risk. Professional bodies therefore, have a critical role to play in helping to see to it that board membership is not about partisan cadre pacification, friends and relatives but about shareholder value creation and growth," Nyasulu said.

"It does not matter whether it is non-profit or profit making organisation because in both types of organisations, there are stakeholders that need to be satisfied and so a poor council or board can be ill afforded by corporations and indeed Zambia's private limited companies."

Nyasulu also disclosed that CIMA Zambia would next week sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Directors (IoD) for enhanced efforts in advocating for good corporate governance among institutions.

"Consequently the CIMA Zambia branch and the IoD will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding to join hands in advocating for good corporate governance in Zambia, seeing that there is unprecedented economic re-awakening in virtually every sector in the country," Nyasulu said.

The IoD has been championing calls for good corporate governance among public and private institutions as a critical component for business enhancement.



Income inequalities threatens poverty reduction,observes CSO

Income inequalities threatens poverty reduction,observes CSO
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

RISING costs of foodstuffs need to be tackled alongside existing income inequalities, Central Statistical Office (CSO) head of living conditions monitoring branch Kambaila Munkoni has advised. And Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) social conditions programme officer Miniva Chibuye called for increased investments in agriculture in order to tackle rural poverty and rising food prices.

Munkoni said high inequalities in income distribution were posing a serious threat to poverty reduction efforts as monthly earnings of a majority of workers were far below the average cost of living.

"Household incomes and household assets contribute to poverty alleviation but the income inequalities in the country have become a major challenge to poverty alleviation," said Munkoni during a discussion on rising food prices and their impact on Zambia's economy held at the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF) in Lusaka on Thursday.

According to CSO's recent data, 75 per cent of the country's workforce earn below K600,000 per month while only 25 per cent take home more than that.

"If we had to do another survey this year, the figures could be a bit different because civil servants have been awarded salary increments," Munkoni said. "We are getting into an income crisis because of rising costs of food and people's expenditure patterns have been disturbed."

Munkoni noted the need for increased investments in rural areas where the economy is largely driven by agriculture.

"We need to invest more in rural areas because that is where we have the farmers," Munkoni said. "When we place investments in rural areas, we will be assisting in reducing the number of people living in poverty."

Recent data compiled by the CSO indicates that Western Province still remains the poorest region, with 84 per cent of people living below the poverty line while Lusaka has the lowest at 29 per cent.

And Chibuye said farmers have failed to increase their production levels owing to inadequate infrastructure and reduced funding to the sector.

"How can the farmers take advantage of the current food crisis to grow a lot for the country when no significant investments have been made in the agriculture sector?" asked Chibuye. "Infrastructure development is also something that needs to be looked at. We also need to diversify our food portfolio to include crops such as cassava."

Labels: , ,


Income inequalities threatens poverty reduction,observes CSO

Income inequalities threatens poverty reduction,observes CSO
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

RISING costs of foodstuffs need to be tackled alongside existing income inequalities, Central Statistical Office (CSO) head of living conditions monitoring branch Kambaila Munkoni has advised. And Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) social conditions programme officer Miniva Chibuye called for increased investments in agriculture in order to tackle rural poverty and rising food prices.

Munkoni said high inequalities in income distribution were posing a serious threat to poverty reduction efforts as monthly earnings of a majority of workers were far below the average cost of living.

"Household incomes and household assets contribute to poverty alleviation but the income inequalities in the country have become a major challenge to poverty alleviation," said Munkoni during a discussion on rising food prices and their impact on Zambia's economy held at the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF) in Lusaka on Thursday.

According to CSO's recent data, 75 per cent of the country's workforce earn below K600,000 per month while only 25 per cent take home more than that.

"If we had to do another survey this year, the figures could be a bit different because civil servants have been awarded salary increments," Munkoni said. "We are getting into an income crisis because of rising costs of food and people's expenditure patterns have been disturbed."

Munkoni noted the need for increased investments in rural areas where the economy is largely driven by agriculture.

"We need to invest more in rural areas because that is where we have the farmers," Munkoni said. "When we place investments in rural areas, we will be assisting in reducing the number of people living in poverty."

Recent data compiled by the CSO indicates that Western Province still remains the poorest region, with 84 per cent of people living below the poverty line while Lusaka has the lowest at 29 per cent.

And Chibuye said farmers have failed to increase their production levels owing to inadequate infrastructure and reduced funding to the sector.

"How can the farmers take advantage of the current food crisis to grow a lot for the country when no significant investments have been made in the agriculture sector?" asked Chibuye. "Infrastructure development is also something that needs to be looked at. We also need to diversify our food portfolio to include crops such as cassava."

Labels: , ,


Global mining companies on acquisition trail

Global mining companies on acquisition trail
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

CHIEF executives of global mining companies are on the acquisition trail as they believe mining companies are still being undervalued by a market that has not fully grasped the story of China and other fast-developing countries. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a new generation of mining CEOs believes demand for metals will outstrip supply by far in the near future as they have learnt that bringing on new supply is difficult and costly.

A review of global trends in the mining industry conducted by PWC indicates that the CEOs of mining giants believe the market and analysts still do not fully comprehend the story of China and other fast developing countries that will lead to the increase in demand to occur over the next decade.

Mineweb reports that Hugh Cameron, African Mining leader at PWC, notes that the high level of cash generated at the top of the industry, implied that large companies did have the cash to make acquisitions.

"The CEOs believe that analysts haven't understood the China and India story and that the future prices they are using in their models are out of date," said Cameron. "The subprime crisis has also carried a silver lining for big miners as it has led to lower stock prices, while it would now also be more difficult to finance projects owned by juniors."

Interestingly, companies based in emerging markets are expanding globally and mining CEOs recognise the top end of the industry is not the domain of Western companies any longer.



Mugabe to retire once land is in hands of black majority

Mugabe to retire once land is in hands of black majority
By George Chellah in Harare, Zimbabwe
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has said he will only retire from office once he is sure that the land is truly and safely in the hands of the black majority in Zimbabwe. And the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed that four of its activists, who were abducted in Harare's high-density suburbs of Chitungwiza, were found dead on Thursday morning.

Speaking on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Thursday, President Mugabe, who was addressing ruling party supporters in Tsholotsho and Nkayi in Matebeleland North Province, said he had to ensure that the land, which was stolen by the British settlers, was returned to the rightful owners before thinking of relinquishing power.

“Others are saying ‘this Mugabe, this old man does not want to let go’. I was left with a job, I will not leave until the land is in your hands,” said President Mugabe in a mixture of Shona and Ndebele, amidst laughter.

President Mugabe said he could not permit sellouts to mortgage the country.

“I don’t want to betray Umdala Wethu our big man Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda, Nikita Mangena and others. That is why I am disappointed when people vote MDC,” President Mugabe said. “Once I am sure this legacy is truly in your hands, people are empowered, the land is in our hands without the British wanting to take over the land, then I can say... Aha, the work is now done.”

And MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa yesterday told The Post that four MDC youths were found dead after suspected ZANU-PF and state security agents abducted them in Chitungwiza the previous day.

“Yuana Jenti, Archford Chipiyo, Ngoni Knight and another who has only been identified as Tyson at the moment were found dead in the early hours of this morning Thursday with serious body injuries showing that they were heavily tortured until they died,” Chamisa said. “There is a sombre mood in Chitungwiza as the residents are failing to come to terms with these shocking deaths. The four were abducted at the MDC councillor for Ward 19, Councillor Philimon Chipiyo in Unit F.

“Archford is the son of the councillor. Just before the abduction, the home of the councillor along with four other houses in the area had been petrol-bombed by ZANU-PF thugs. The other house that was petrol-bombed is that of St Mary’s MP, Marvellous Khumalo.”

But police spokesperson chief superintendent, Oliver Mandipaka, dismissed the claims by the opposition political party that four of its youths were found murdered in Harare.

“We are not aware of any of those murders,” Mandipaka told the state media.

Mandipaka said the incidences of political violence had reduced throughout the country. However, he said there were a few isolated cases that were still being reported.

“We have been on the ground and managed to persuade party supporters to desist from violence and tolerate each other,” said Mandipaka.

Labels: , ,


IPI urges action against media attacks in Zim

IPI urges action against media attacks in Zim
By Mwila Chansa
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

INTERNATIONAL Press Institute (IPI) members have called on AU and SADC to take a public stand against the Zimbabwean authorities' action on freedom of expression in that country. According to the resolutions made by IPI members after their Annual General Assembly on June 16, 2008 in Belgrade Serbia, the members stated that uninformed and intimidated citizenry could not benefit from free and fair elections.

"IPI members call on President Robert Mugabe to take effective measures to stop the violence and judicial attacks against the media, and to permit fair elections which include unfettered access to information, and the unhindered presence of the international media," the members stated.

They also condemned the surge of attacks on the media in Zimbabwe sparked by disputed election results that had further deteriorated conditions for journalists and threatened the legitimacy of the runoff slated for next week Friday.

The members stated that cosmetic amendments to the 'notorious' Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act had triggered confusion with journalists required to seek accreditation from an agency that was yet to be formed, and electoral coverage requiring two levels of permission, one from a legally defunct entity.

"The country's bureaucratic requirements, long burdensome, have become increasingly inscrutable. As the recent banning of multiple media outlets and prosecutions of journalists, both local and foreign demonstrated, these inconsistencies have not prevented authorities from using legislation to stifle critical coverage," the members stated.

They stated that physical attacks were on the rise and that in the last few months, several freelancers had been brutally beaten.

They added that judicial harassment had also increased and that an editor was prosecuted for allegedly publishing false statements prejudicial to the state and contempt of court after running a column by an opposition politician, and a media lawyer charged with "undermining the authority or insulting the president" for an alleged remark suggesting that President Mugabe should step down.

They added that the State-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation had been particularly hit by the recent clampdown and that the head of the organisation was reported fired for refusing to comply with an order to deny positive coverage to the opposition.

"In a blatant attempt to intimidate, in early June, eight other ZBS employees were placed on two-month-long paid vacation, ordered to surrender their ZBS identity cards, and instructed to stay away from both other employees and ZBS premises," they stated.
And the members expressed concern at the failure by a number of countries to comply with provisions of Article 19.

Article 19 provides that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression and that this right include; freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

They stated that the failure to uphold Article 19 resulted into the media being frequently assailed by punitive and other measures that obstructed the free flow of information.
The Assembly was concerned at the growing number of arrests targeted at journalists and photographers reporting or photographing police's actions at crime scenes or other incidences in South Africa.

"On several occasions in the last year, journalists have been summarily bundled into police vans and imprisoned sometimes for a night. In all circumstances, the alleged crimes they had committed-never clearly spelled out at their time of arrest - have been thrown out of court mainly on grounds that there was no evidence on which to base a prosecution," they stated.

They also raised concerns over the impunity of perpetrators of killings of journalists in Serbia and urged the authorities there to intensify their investigations into such cases.
The members observed that failure to bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks sent dangerous signals, with journalists increasingly seen as easy targets.

They also condemned measures that diluted journalists' right to protect the confidentiality of their sources everywhere, particularly in Europe.

The members stated that they were alarmed at the growing number of missing journalists in Mexico and the continuing failure of the authorities to bring to justice those who perpetrate attacks against members of the country's news media.

They also called on governments to respect journalists' rights to report freely on natural calamities and their aftermaths, permitting them to collect and disseminate information about such events.

The members also strongly condemned the recent bombings of offices of the Bilbao edition of the Spanish daily newspaper, El Correo.
and leading journalists dedicated to the protection of press freedom.

Labels: , , , ,


It will be difficult to recognise Zim runoff results, observes UN

It will be difficult to recognise Zim runoff results, observes UN
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

THE United Nations has said it will be difficult for the international community to recognise the outcome of next week's run-off presidential poll if the current volatile conditions prevail. And SADC ministers have said Zimbabwe's run-off election is very unlikely to be free and fair.

UN undersecretary-general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe, while attending a round table on Zimbabwe at UN Headquarters on behalf of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday said Zimbabwe was currently so polarised that whatever the result of the election, a "winner-takes-all" strategy would not bring peace and stability to the country.

"We must be prepared to send a strong message to ensure that the will of the Zimbabwean people is respected and to call for renewed efforts to restore security and the rule of law in the country," he said.

"It is of utmost importance that the violence is stopped immediately and that humanitarian assistance is facilitated, not prevented."

President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai are set to face each other amidst escalating political violence in the run-off scheduled for next Friday.

The MDC has reported that 70 of its activists have been killed, 300 hospitalised with severe injuries while 25,000 have been displaced. ZANU-PF has reported that six of its activists have been killed.

Tanzanian foreign minister, Bernard Membe, said on Thursday that it was very unlikely that the elections would be free and fair.

"There is every sign that these elections will never be free nor fair," Reuters quoted Membe as saying.

Membe said their judgment on the conduct of the poll was based on evidence from 211 observers already inside the country. He was speaking in Tanzania on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) peace and security troika.
Tanzania is the current chair of the African Union.

Membe said he and the foreign ministers of Swaziland and Angola would write to their presidents "so that they do something urgently so that we can save Zimbabwe".
Membe said both political parties had indicated they would not accept defeat.
"The statements being made by both sides ... are disheartening. Let us expect a lot of trouble to erupt in Zimbabwe after June 27.”

"As Tanzania, we have told the government of Zimbabwe to stop the violence. We have told our observers not to be threatened, that they do their work without fear. People of Zimbabwe are hurting and it pains us," Membe was quoted as saying.

Labels: , , ,


Zambia's corrupt diplomats

Zambia's corrupt diplomats
By Editor
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

THE statement made by President Levy Mwanawasa that preliminary information he has gathered on the special audit of Zambia’s mission abroad indicate that there is gross abuse of public resources is worrisome but expected. We say worrisome but expected because the type of people we have been sending to our diplomatic missions has not always been of high standards. And the basis on which we have been making appointments to our diplomatic missions also raises a lot of questions of nepotism and outright corruption.

How can we expect people who have been appointed on nepotistic and corrupt basis to be upright in their dealings? In some way, we are actually reaping what we sow.

We shouldn’t forget that corruption sometimes comes in more subtle ways than a serpent and sometimes worse than rats. Rats anaesthetise their victims as they gnaw on them, and they are able to pull off a hunk of a person’s flesh in the middle of the night. That’s the way our corrupt officials gradually anaesthetised the nation and pulled off chunks of its flesh.

All that one needs to be a diplomat is be close to the appointing authorities, either as a relative, friend or ruling party member who cannot be easily deployed locally for various reasons. Being a ruling party member seems to be a way of obtaining privileges and favours of this nature.

it wouldn’t be wrong for one to say that many people join the ruling party more out of self-interest than conviction and a spirit of self-sacrifice or a dedication to public service.

The ruling party seems to exist so that people can obtain privileges. And not because if there is any duty to be done, the one whose duty it is to do it is the ruling party member. The ruling party is increasingly becoming a source of privileges, of corruption, and a source of abuse of office.

We are not one of those that criticise leaders simply to please their opponents. We are not going to be so foolish as not to say something we have the right to say.

We have always had a high opinion of President Mwanawasa as a man of honour, an ethical man. He is certainly one of our country’s most honest politicians. But the way he appoints people to diplomatic missions leaves much to be desired and we have criticised it before in this same column.

Diplomatic missions are not useless jobs where useless relatives, friends and ruling party cadres are dumped or pensioned off. These are very important jobs in the highly globalised world in which we today live and in which most of our problems require global solutions. Our faith lies in the tremendous strength of ideas, in what we have learnt about the value of ideas and of knowledge. And yet there are still dangers, so we should always try more and more, educate those who represent us in other countries.

We say this because today the globalised world forces you to have more and more knowledge and to look for and find global solutions. This can only be achieved if we have honest, incorruptible, knowledgeable, dedicated and selfless diplomats. This cannot be achieved if we continue to appoint people to diplomatic jobs in a corrupt and nepotistic manner.

We should start to believe strongly in ideas and believe in awareness, in knowledge, in culture, and especially in political culture. We should devote more time to creating an awareness, and we should have great faith in education and culture, especially in political culture. We shouldn’t forget that we live in a world that lacks political culture.

The quality of life lies in knowledge, in culture. Values are what constitute true quality of life, the supreme quality of life, even above food, shelter and clothing. Of course, we are not trying to minimise, in the slightest sense, the importance of material needs - we always have to give them priority, because in order to study, to achieve a higher quality of life, certain needs have to be satisfied - and those are physical, material needs.

And as President Mwanawasa has correctly pointed out, our public servants, our diplomats and indeed all our people need to realise that our government, our country doesn’t have sufficient resources - it is ranked among the world’s poorest countries. therefore, we should truly exercise prudent management of the meagre resources available to us.

To get our country out of poverty and on the road to prosperity needs several decades of intense effort, which should include, among other things, the effort to practice strict economy and combat waste and corruption, that is, the policy of moving our people out of poverty through diligence and frugality.

The principle of diligence and frugality should be observed in everything, we must pay special attention to economy. Thrift should be the guiding principle in all government expenditure. It should be made clear, as President Mwanawasa has done, that corruption will not be tolerated.

We should always bear in mind that it is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one from the other.

We invite everyone, the entire nation, to take part in the fight against corruption, whether petty thievery or grand larceny that takes place. It is clear to us that all these things are happening because of a lack of deep economic, political and social awareness we have failed to inculcate in our people.

We should think about that more than anything else: our failings, our mistakes, our inequalities, our injustices. We should all be involved in this battle against vices, against the diversion of public resources. We have several thousands of parasites that don’t produce anything, that don’t want to do serious and honest work, yet want to get rich.

It will be interesting to see how President Mwanawasa will deal with the culprits of this corruption that has rocked our missions abroad.

He has already told the nation that the preliminary information he has gathered indicate that there is gross abuse of public resources. We say this because of the special or close relationship these people have with himself or the ruling party.

Labels: ,


We've no intention of blocking Sata - Levy

We've no intention of blocking Sata - Levy
By Amos Malupenga
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

President Levy Mwanawasa yesterday said the MMD government has no intentions of blocking Patriotic Front president Michael Sata from participating in the 2011 presidential election by inserting an age limit in the new constitution. In an exclusive interview, President Mwanawasa said he had heard with disappointment sentiments from some politicians and other stakeholders accusing the MMD government of wanting to make a national constitution which is targeted at fixing certain individuals or promoting its agenda.

“There has been wide condemnation of the MMD government following defence minister George Mpombo's last week's statement withdrawing his earlier proposal to the National Constitution Conference (NCC) to come up with an upper age limit for presidential candidates in the new constitution. Mpombo said his new position was in line with the reconciliation between President Mwanawasa and Sata and more importantly that a constitution should not be seen to be targeted at an individual.

But a cross-section of people condemned Mpombo and the government saying his U-turning showed how petty the government was on the issue of constitution-making process which they wanted to suit their agenda as opposed to the people's wishes and desires.

However, President Mwanawasa yesterday said such comments were very unfair for the government because he had made a public statement on the matter long before his reconciliation with Sata.

"I said this before and I am saying it again that there is no need to put any age limit in the Constitution," President Mwanawasa said.

He said Mpombo's personal opinion or statement could not represent the MMD policy or that of the government on the constitution-making process. President Mwanawasa said the MMD's national executive committee was the highest policy-making body of the party while Cabinet comes up with government policies.

"As regards Mr Mpombo's change of heart, I think Mr Mpombo should not be attacked in anything he said because indeed, there should be no upper age limit in the Constitution for anyone to stand for the presidency. Maybe now he has appreciated this point because this is what I have always been saying on behalf of the government," President Mwanawasa said. "It has never been our policy to put the age limit in the Constitution.

I have said before that Mr Sata is not a factor for us in 2011 because we are ready to face him and we will defeat him. Now, if we start putting age limits we will be giving Mr Sata an excuse. He will say 'I could have beaten the MMD if they didn't stop me from contesting'. If you remember, sometime back, I even said if anyone wants to put an age limit, let them put 140 years as the limit so that no one is disadvantaged."

President Mwanawasa said his government meant well in the constitution-making process and was looking forward to coming up with one which would stand the test of time.

Labels: , , ,


Sakwiba is bitter for nothing, says HH

Sakwiba is bitter for nothing, says HH
By Lambwe Kachali and Agness Changala
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

OPPOSITION UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said he does not want to engage in politics of hatred with United Liberal Party (ULP) leader Sakwiba Sikota. In an interview on Thursday from Milanzi Constituency where he had gone to drum up support for UPND candidate Chimwala Phiri, Hichilema said he had insisted on inviting Sikota to his party because he harboured no grudge against him. Hichilema said Sikota's statement was malicious and misleading because he (Hichilema) had met him on several occasions over the need to reconcile.

"I think, as leaders, we need to be honest and sincere. Before the 2006 convention, I met Hon Sikota at Pamodzi Hotel and this meeting was presided by Hon David Matongo Pemba member of parliament in which we discussed that each of us should accept the outcome of the convention. And after the convention, I met him at Dr Kenneth
Kaunda's residence and we discussed many issues.

There have been many emissaries used between these two years to have us come together so that we deliver this country forward," Hichilema said.

"So, it is clear that my brother Saky is bitter for nothing. You know, I believe in honesty and sincerity and it will be important that Hon Sikota accept that. We cannot be perpetrating enmity for two years. That's not constructive politics."
Hichilema said UPND's invitation to Sikota was genuine and that he had never issued tribal sentiments as alleged.

He said people promoting issues of tribalism lacked important issues to talk about because UPND believed in unity regardless of people's affiliations.

"This is not the first time Sikota has issued such derogatory tribal statements against me. He has been circulating many statements which I have not reacted to because I believe they are not worth reacting to," Hichilema said. "As politicians who seek public office, we should not promote hatred the way Sikota does. Anyway, Zambians will judge at the end of the day."

He said if Sikota was against the idea of reconciliation, he should not use lies.
"Even if Sikota is trying to insult me, I will not insult back because we have been vindicated since the majority of ULP members have come back to their original party, UPND. So there is no need to argue with such a person," he said.

And Hichilema complained that The Post editorial comment, which was carried in the Thursday edition was discriminatory and injurious to his party.
Hichilema said The Post had no authority to question UPND's campaigns because they were at liberty to do so across the country.

He said newspapers should not be used as tools of oppression against other political parties.

"If there is something wrong I have done against you The Post, please call me and we can resolve," said Hichilema.

And former ULP chairperson for elections Lawrence Nyambe said Hichilema's olive branch to ULP members to rejoin UPND was genuine.

Nyambe, who recently resigned from ULP to rejoin UPND, said the call for Sikota to rejoin the party was based on Hichilema's strong desire to unite Zambians to work together and achieve social and economic development and reduce poverty in the country.

Nyambe said tribal sentiments at the UPND convention were uttered by Ngande Mwanajiti and Syacheye Madyenkuku and it was unfair to ask Hichilema to apologise over the sentiments.

On Tuesday, Hichilema asked Sikota to join UPND in the spirit of national unity and development but on Wednesday Sikota said the UPND leader's invitation was not genuine.

Labels: , , , ,


Implement CEE cautiously, SA urges Zambia

Implement CEE cautiously, SA urges Zambia
By Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday June 21, 2008 [04:00]

South Africa has advised Zambia to be cautious when implementing the Citizens' Economic Empowerment programme by ensuring that majority Zambians benefit from it. In an interview in Lusaka on Wednesday, South Africa's North Western Premier Edna Molewa said Zambia should be careful as it implemented the empowerment programme, saying there were lessons to draw from South Africa's black economic empowerment (BEE), which only created a few billionaires.

Molewa said her country made a mistake in the implementation of the BEE whereby only a few people benefited and became very rich while the majority of South Africans did not benefit and were still poor.

She urged Zambia to ensure that the economic empowerment programme was as broad-based as possible so that many Zambians could be empowered and not just a few.
Molewa said though the economic empowerment programmes were good, they had to be checked.

She said after discovering that the BEE had only benefited a few people, the South African government decided to review the programme.

"The black economic empowerment is a good policy, however, I think as we went through that back economic empowerment we discovered that it was able to empower just a few people very quickly," Molewa said.

"It was for that reason that we said let us also rather focus on broad-based black economic empowerment and that is the outcome of the commission that was set up by the President Thabo Mbeki and the government to investigate whether we are still on track."

Molewa said the commission had recommended that the BEE should be broad-based.
"The recommendation is that let us have a broad-based empowerment so that you can empower as many people as you can instead of just a few," said Molewa.

The BEE is South Africa's programme aimed at empowering black South Africans.
It is a pragmatic growth strategy that aims to realise the country's full economic potential. Zambia has embarked on a similar programme called the Citizens' Economic Empowerment.

Labels: ,


Friday, June 20, 2008

(MARAVI) McCain's Saffron Revolution

This is the legal end of one of the US's colour revolutions. This one happens to be against Burma. The one against Zimbabwe is called the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA, S.494)

2172 IS
1st Session

S. 2172
To impose sanctions on officials of the State Peace and Development Council in Burma, to prohibit the importation of gems and hardwoods from Burma, to support democracy in Burma, and for other purposes.


October 16, 2007

Mr. MCCAIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


To impose sanctions on officials of the State Peace and Development Council in Burma, to prohibit the importation of gems and hardwoods from Burma, to support democracy in Burma, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Saffron Revolution Support Act of 2007'.


Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Beginning on August 19, 2007, hundreds of thousands of citizens of Burma, including thousands of Buddhist monks and students, participated in peaceful demonstrations against rapidly deteriorating living conditions and the violent and repressive policies of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the ruling military junta in Burma, to--

(A) demand the release of all political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi; and

(B) urge the SPDC to engage in meaningful dialogue to pursue national reconciliation.

(2) The SPDC, in a display of brutal barbarism, violently confronted unarmed demonstrators, killing, injuring, and imprisoning citizens, including several thousand Buddhist monks, and continued to forcefully restrict peaceful forms of public expression.

(3) The Department of State's 2006 Reports on Human Rights Practices found that the SPDC--

(A) routinely restricts freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement;

(B) traffics in persons;

(C) discriminates against women and ethnic minorities;

(D) forcibly recruits child soldiers and child labor; and

(E) commits other serious violations of human rights, including extrajudicial killings, custodial deaths, disappearances, rape, torture, abuse of prisoners and detainees, and the imprisonment of citizens arbitrarily for political motives.

(4) Aung San Suu Kyi has been arbitrarily imprisoned or held under house arrest for more than 12 years.

(5) The President announced on September 25, 2007, that the United States would tighten economic sanctions against Burma, and block property and interests in property of certain senior leaders of the SPDC, individuals who provide financial backing for the SPDC, and individuals responsible for violations of human rights and for impeding the transition to democracy in Burma.

(6) The President also announced on September 25, 2007, that the United States would impose an expanded visa ban on individuals--

(A) responsible for violations of human rights; and

(B) who aid, abet, or benefit from the SPDC's efforts to impede the efforts of the people of Burma to transition to democracy and ensure respect for human dignity.

(7) The Total Oil Corporation of France and the Chevron Corporation of the United States own a significant stake in Burma's Yadana natural gas field and pipeline and generate millions of dollars in revenue that help the repressive junta government maintain its grasp on power.

(8) Burma is home to approximately 60 percent of the world's native teak reserves. More than one quarter of the world's internationally traded teak originates from Burma, and hardwood sales, mainly of teak, represent more than 11 percent of Burma's official foreign exchange earnings.

(9) Burma officially exports tens of millions of dollars worth of rubies, sapphires, pearls, jade, and other precious stones each year and the SPDC owns a majority stake in all mining operations within the borders of Burma.

(10) On October 11, 2007, the United Nations Security Council, with the consent of China, issued a statement condemning the violence in Burma, urging the release of all political prisoners, and calling on the SPDC to enter into a United Nations-mediated dialogue with its political opposition.

(11) The leaders of the SPDC will have a greater incentive to cooperate with diplomatic efforts by the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and China if they come under targeted economic pressure that denies them access to personal wealth and sources of revenue.


In this Act:

(1) ACCOUNT; CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNT; PAYABLE-THROUGH ACCOUNT- The terms `account', `correspondent account', and `payable-through account' have the meanings given the terms in section 5318A(e)(1) of title 31, United States Code.

(2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(3) PERSON- The term `person' means--

(A) an individual, corporation, company, business association, partnership, society, trust, any other nongovernmental entity, organization, or group; and

(B) any successor, subunit, or subsidiary of any person described in subparagraph (A).

(4) SPDC- The term `SPDC' means the State Peace and Development Council.

(5) UNITED STATES PERSON- The term `United States person' means--

(A) an individual who is a citizen of the United States or who owes permanent allegiance to the United States; and

(B) a person that is organized under the laws of the United States, any State or territory thereof, or the District of Columbia, if individuals described in subparagraph (A) own, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the outstanding capital stock or other beneficial interest in such entity.


It is the policy of the United States to--

(1) condemn the continued repression carried out by the SPDC;

(2) support the legitimate democratic aspirations of the people of Burma;

(3) provide all appropriate support and assistance to aid a transition to democracy in Burma; and

(4) hold accountable individuals responsible for the repression of peaceful political activity in Burma.


(a) List of Officials of the SPDC-

(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of--

(A) officials of the SPDC who play or have played a direct and substantial role in the repression of peaceful political activity in Burma or in the commission of other human rights abuses, including any current or former officials of the security services and judicial institutions of the SPDC; and

(B) any other Burmese persons who provide substantial economic and political support for the SPDC.

(2) UPDATES- The President shall regularly update and submit the list required by paragraph (1).

(b) Sanctions-

(1) VISA BAN- A person included on the list required under subsection (a) shall be ineligible for a visa to enter the United States.


(A) BLOCKED PROPERTY- No property or interest in property belonging to a person described in subparagraph (C) may be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt with, if--

(i) the property is located in the United States or within the possession or control of a United States person, including the overseas branch of a United States person; or

(ii) after the date of the enactment of this Act, the property comes within the possession or control of a United States person.

(B) FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS- No United States person may engage in a financial transaction with a person described in subparagraph (C).

(C) PERSON DESCRIBED- A person described in this subparagraph is one of the following:

(i) The SPDC.

(ii) A person included on the list required under subsection (a).

(iii) An immediate family member of a person included on the list required under subsection (a), if the President determines that the person included on the list--

(I) for purposes of subparagraph (A), effectively controls the property; or

(II) for purposes of subparagraph (B), would benefit from a financial transaction.

(c) Authority for Additional Banking Sanctions-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Treasury may, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General of the United States, and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, prohibit or impose conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or payable-through account by any financial institution (as that term is defined in section 5312 of title 31, United States Code) or financial agency that is organized under the laws of a State, territory, or possession of the United States, for or on behalf of a foreign banking institution, if the Secretary determines that the account might be used--

(A) by a foreign banking institution that holds property or an interest in property belonging to a person on the list required under subsection (a); or

(B) to conduct a transaction on behalf of a person on the list required under subsection (a).

(2) AUTHORITY TO DEFINE TERMS- The Secretary of the Treasury may, by regulation, further define the terms used in paragraph (1) for purposes of this section, as the Secretary deems appropriate.

(d) Termination of Sanctions- The sanctions imposed under subsection (b) or (c) shall apply until the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the SPDC has--

(1) unconditionally released all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy;

(2) entered into a substantive dialogue with democratic forces led by the National League for Democracy and the ethnic minorities of Burma on transitioning to democratic government under the rule of law; and

(3) allowed humanitarian access to populations affected by armed conflict in all regions of Burma.

(e) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.


Section 3(a)(1) of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) is amended by striking `a product of Burma.' and inserting `produced, mined, manufactured, grown, or assembled in Burma, including--

`(A) any gemstone or rough unfinished geological material mined or extracted from Burma, whether imported as a loose item or as a component of a finished piece of jewelry; and

`(B) any teak or other hardwood timber, regardless of the country in which such hardwood timber is milled, sawn, or otherwise processed, whether imported in unprocessed form or as a part or component of finished furniture or another wood item.'.


(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no United States person may invest in Burma.

(b) Applicability- The prohibition on investment under subsection (a) includes a prohibition on--

(1) investments in Burma based on investment agreements reached prior to May 20, 1997;

(2) approval or other facilitation by a United States person of an investment by a foreign person if the investment would violate the prohibition in subsection (a) if made by a United States person; and

(3) payments to the SPDC by a United States person related to divesting assets in Burma to comply with subsection (a).

(c) Penalties- The Secretary of the Treasury may impose a penalty under section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) on a United States person that violates the prohibition under subsection (a).


The Secretary of State may award grants to nongovernmental organizations, universities, and other organizations to establish a searchable Internet database that contains evidence of human rights abuses carried out by the SPDC or persons associated with the SPDC.


(a) In General- The President is authorized to use all available resources to assist Burmese democracy activists who are dedicated to nonviolent opposition to the SPDC in their efforts to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 to the Secretary of State for each of the fiscal years 2008 and 2009 for the following purposes:

(1) Aid to democracy activists in Burma.

(2) Aid to individuals and groups conducting democracy programming outside of Burma targeted at a transition to democracy inside Burma.

(3) The expansion of radio and television broadcasting into Burma.

(4) Support for individuals and groups compiling evidence of--

(A) the SPDC's efforts to repress peaceful political activity; and

(B) the commission of other human rights abuses by the SPDC.


It is the sense of Congress that the Director of National Intelligence should utilize appropriate intelligence resources to identify persons responsible for--

(1) the crackdown sponsored by the SPDC against peaceful protestors that began August 19, 2007; and

(2) ongoing gross abuses of human rights against civilians in Burma.


(a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report containing a list of countries that provide military aid to Burma and describing the military aid provided by each such country.

(b) Military Aid Defined- For the purposes of this section, the term `military aid' includes--

(1) the provision of weapons, military vehicles, and military aircraft;

(2) the provision of military training; and

(3) conducting joint military exercises.

(c) Form- The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) ‘Land must be yours before I can retire’

‘Land must be yours before I can retire’
Bulawayo Bureau

PRESIDENT Mugabe says he will only retire from office when he is satisfied that the land is truly and safely in the hands of the black majority. He also launched the first-ever people’s shop at Gwelutshena Busi-ness Centre in Nkayi District, as the Government moved in to cushion citizens against wanton price increases. Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at two rallies in Nkayi and Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North, Cde Mugabe, who is Zanu-PF’s candidate in the run-off election scheduled for June 27, said he had to ensure the legacy of returning land stolen by the British settlers to its rightful owners — the black people — before entertaining any thoughts of relinquishing power.

"Vamwe vanoti iye Mugabe uyu, okungumdala lokhu akufuni kutshiya,’’ he said amid laughter.

"Ndakasiirwa basa. Handimbofa ndakabva until land yava mumaoko enyu.’’

Cde Mugabe said he could not allow sellouts to mortgage the country to its erstwhile coloniser, Britain.

"I don’t want to betray Umdala Wethu, Dr Joshua Nkomo, Cde Simon Muzenda, Nikita Mangena and others. That is why I am disappointed when people vote MDC. Linjani kanti bantu bakithi?

"Once I am sure this legacy (of returning land to the blacks) is truly in your hands, people are empowered, nyika yava mumaoko edu pasina maBritish wanting to take over the land, then I can say: Aha, the work is now done.’’

Blood was shed for the liberation of the country from colonial bondage and, therefore, there was no way in which revolu-tionaries like himself could let Zimbabwe slip back into the hands of the British, who mai-med and killed the indigenous population for resisting colonisation.

"I walk on this land. I farm on this land. I sleep on it. My house is built on it. Our children play on it. Our schools are built on it.

"That is truly our number one legacy. Ndiyo nhaka yedu yekutanga. Haitengeswe, haitengeswe, please!’’ he said.

"If I take a handful of sand from the ground like this, to me that is my treasure, it’s from my land. It’s not from Britain. It’s Zimbabwean soil. That is our treasure. Regayi kutengesa (nyika). Tinga-tengese zvimwe but not our land. Ngiyacela! Ndinoku-mbirisisa!’’

President Mugabe said June 27 2008 was an opportunity for all patriotic Zimbabweans to reject attempts to recolonise the country once and for all.

"Zuva ra27 June izuva ratinosungirwa kuti titi kwete, kwete, mabhunu kwete. Never! Never! Never again shall Zimbabwe be a colony!’’ he said amid thunderous applause.

"What kind of a people would we be to say the country should return into the hands of the British? We would reduce ourselves to be the laughing stock of the whole of Africa. Tinosekesa. Imi hamuoni kuti chimusangano ichi cheMDC chimusangano chekutengesa? Asigcineni ilifa lethu. Tibatisise. We give the land to the people. Please let the people remain united in the land, on the land, using the land.’’

He said former freedom fighters told him that the defence of the country’s independence, sovereignty and land from foreign threats was not an issue that could be left to an election process such as the one that will take place on June 27.

"The war veterans came to me and said: ‘President we can never accept that our country which we won through the barrel of the gun, be taken merely by an ‘x’ made by a ballpoint pen.’

"Zvino ballpoint pen ichirwisana neAK? Is there going to be a struggle between the two? Ipapo munoona kuchirwiwa zvakakomba. Asikana ma‘x’ achitevera nzira yakatarwa nepfuti? Is that alright? Liyekele ukuphikisana lombhobho. Tasunga-naka. Tohwina shudhu,’’ said President Mugabe.

Cde Mugabe said that Zimbabweans should realise that Morgan Tsvangirai wanted to reverse the gains of independence and was clueless on policy and had no vision to steer the country to prosperity.

He said when there was propaganda being bandied around that Tsvangirai had managed to garner enough votes to be declared President of Zimbabwe, white former commercial farmers started trooping back into the country to reclaim what they called "our land’’."Vaiti tadzoka. Vachiti ‘tavakutora mapurazi edu’. Vaiita izvi muzita reMDC nokuti MDC ndiwo musangano wavo, ndivo vakauvaka. The policy of the MDC is that it will reverse everything good that we have done. Vamwe pavakati Tsvangirai handei kuhondo, akatiza munzira, achidzoka. Akadududza. He reversed. Zvese zvakanaka anoda zvidududze. He must reverse everything like he reversed himself,’’ said Cde Mugabe.

In Tsholotsho, traditional leaders and a group running a people’s shop supported by Government where basic commodities are sold at affordable prices gave Cde Mugabe two goats in appreciation of his leadership of the country.

Earlier in Nkayi, President Mugabe opened a people’s shop, saying Government took the initiative to alleviate the suffering of the rural communities by bringing basic commodities to them through the people’s shops.

"This (people’s shop) is the first of its kind in the whole of the country. The Government will assist by making available basic commodities and we have started distributing these to the communities.

"This means that the prices will be within the reach of most of you," said President Mugabe, drawing applause from the big crowd.

He told the crowd at a rally after the opening that the move should not be taken as a vote-buying gimmick.

"This is not meant to buy your vote, but the people will vote for the leader of a party which is a party for the people," said President Mugabe.

"As the leadership of the party, we are concerned about your needs and we always do our best where we can."

The President said cash problems could be overcome by engaging villagers in public works programmes.

"We need to expand these public works programmes so that they can involve a sizeable number of people in the community. The money paid will have to be reviewed from time to time."

He told the rally that the country was facing serious economic problems due to illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and her allies.

"We are working hard towards alleviating some of the economic problems that the country is facing, but the problem is that we have some companies that are working against the Government," said President Mugabe.

"The aim is to make the people revolt against me and the Government and vote for MDC, but if you vote for MDC it means our hard-won independence will go to waste."

President Mugabe said MDC-T was a British-sponsored party. Despite the economic hardships, the Government was doing its best to give assistance until total empowerment was achieved.

President Mugabe, who is being challenged by Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T, urged the people of Nkayi to vote wisely on Friday next week.

He said this was an election which would decide the fate of the country, as voting for the opposition would be a betrayal of the gains of independence.

President Mugabe encouraged the people of Nkayi to be self-reliant by starting small to medium businesses, which would economically empower them.

He told the gathering that they were fortunate in having Cde Sithembiso Nyoni as their MP because she was a champion of SMEs.

Thanking the President, Cde Nyoni told him that the people of Nkayi had not benefited from land reform, as they did not get farms.

She said the district had a lot of livestock and people would like to venture into cattle ranching and goat rearing.

The other problem, she said, was lack of a reliable water supply as two dams in the area had breached their walls during the last rainy season.

Basic commodities worth billions of dollars, including bath and washing soap, cooking oil, sugar and salt, were then sold at gazetted prices yesterday.

Labels: , ,