Before things change, we must change
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
No one openly claims to support corruption. Even the most corrupt claim to be opposed to corruption and they can even be ruthless in dealing with those who steal from them.
So when it comes to corruption, one's commitment to fighting it is seen from their daily actions. There are people who are never on the opposite side of the corrupt. They are always defending the corrupt.
And in their defense of the corrupt, they often use the law - accusing those who are fighting corruption of not following the law or of abusing the law. They even forget that corruption is not just a legal matter; it is also a moral or even religious matter. The bible is very clear on this issue. And Christ's entire doctrine was devoted to fighting against abuse, injustice, the degradation of human beings. Christ's doctrine was against stealing, selfishness and exploitation of others.
One doesn't need a constitution, a law to oppose corruption. All one needs is to have an attitude that is opposed to corruption, theft, abuse. And with that attitude, one will embrace a certain type of morality that is incompatible with corruption. And from that, laws that are opposed to corruption may flow. The fight against corruption doesn't start with laws. It starts with an attitude that hates or abhors corruption. This is why those who support corruption enact laws that allow corruption to flourish. We saw this under Rupiah Banda's regime when they went to parliament and weakened the law, changed the law against the corruption fight to allow impunity for the corrupt.
It is clear that when people decide to support certain corrupt elements or deeds, they try to hide their support for corruption under all sorts of legal arguments. Sometimes they are not even ashamed to resort to questioning comas, colons and semi-colons, full stops to justify their disguised support for the corrupt.
We have seen this support for the corrupt being disguised as a defense or a protection for the rule of law when in fact it is nothing but an attempt to protect the corrupt from accounting for their crimes.
Today we are seeing all sorts of arguments being advanced to protect politicians who have been found to be corrupt in their election campaigns. But we know that no matter how these arguments are disguised as defense for the rule of law, they are nothing but support for certain corrupt politicians who have been found wanting. Corruption is corruption no matter how much one wants to disguise it by all sorts of legal jargon or makeup. No matter how much Jaribu or Ambi is smeared on corruption, the Zambian people will not fail to see corruption beneath that.
If corruption is a moral issue, it is equally true that the fight against corruption rests on morality.
Morality is a sentiment, not a law. And morality rests on love for one's fellow human beings, citizens, and not on restraint. The true fight against corruption rests on morality. It is morally wrong to engage in corruption. Even if Rupiah had succeeded to maintain that law that allowed him and his friends to abuse public office with impunity, their actions, although legally permissible, would still be morally wrong. And all morally upright Zambians would not accept their abuses of public office that they have allowed to continue through the enactment of an enabling law.
It is clear that if we have to fight corruption effectively and successfully, we have to change our individual attitudes towards corruption and other abuses.
Before things can change, we must change and build alternative value systems. To acquire a new set of values and build our own capacities for transforming our society, we would need to go through an "Easter" experience. This involves dying and resurrection, letting go of our prejudices, letting go of our bloated ego, and allowing ourselves to be enveloped by the kind of humility and innocence that Jesus saw in small children, the only category of Jewish population Jesus could declare to be worthy of the Kingdom.
This new disposition would call for the adoption of new values that will face life with courage: such as to accept to be different, to stand alone, and even be ridiculed for fighting corruption and for defending justice. New values that will seek to assure the poor and the lowly that what they know is not necessarily inferior compared to the contribution of the so-called legal and other experts. They too have different but equally important world view, their own view of reality.
We believe that for things to get any better in our country, we will need to nurture a new set of values. We will need to develop capacity to listen to those of humble background; capacity to let go of our own professional ego, biases and prejudices; capacity to consider points of view of the ordinary men, women, youth and children, regardless of their socio-economic standing in society; capacity to accept our personal inadequacies and professional mistakes without pretence; capacity to consider others as better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) in their own areas of experience whether or not we are more or better schooled than they are.
We believe we can only begin to effectively build capacities in others when our own attitudes are right; otherwise how can we build others if we fear being corrected, if we fear being told when we are wrong, in fact if we believe we can never be wrong? We have groups of professionals in this country who think they are always right and only them and them only know.
How can we build others' capacities if we claim to possess the monopoly of knowledge and truth, if we believe that what others have to say is inferior or of less importance, how will we ever listen and learn from them?
How can we enable others to change their situation if we see ourselves as the only ones who can change things, the only ones who can tell right from wrong?
How can we build others' capacities if we are offended when people around us take liberty to be creative, and do things their own way?
There are many things that need to be changed in our lives and those changes should start with us. If we fear change itself, and if we fear being changed, will we genuinely love those who change status quo? It shouldn't be forgotten that 'status quo' is a Latin phrase that literally means 'the mess we are in'. Yet, according to an Ethiopian saying, 'change is the spice of life!' And 'to live is to change, and to live long is to change often'.
We have tolerated corruption, and especially electoral corruption, for almost two decades now. This can't go on forever. Things must change. And the starting point of this change is our own attitudes as the people towards this corruption and those who engage in it. Defending corruption, under whatever legal guises, is wrong. And where the law fails, morality takes over to create and enforce better laws. It is not the law that creates morality. It is morality that gives birth to better and appropriate laws. It is therefore difficult to understand how people try to hide behind comas in the law in their assault on morality. Corruption, in whatever form or guise, is morally indefensible.
High Court stays poll nominations
By Mwala Kalaluka and Kabanda Chulu
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT
LUSAKA High Court judge Mugeni Siwale Mulenga yesterday granted an injunction to stay today's filing of nominations for Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary by-elections.
This follows Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo's application for judicial review over their being barred from recontesting the seats they lost owing to corruption or illegal practices.
This is a matter where Siliya, Mwale and Sililo, who want to re-contest the nullified Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi seats respectively, have sued the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission of Zambia over their ineligibility to re-contest the polls slated for September 5.
"Upon hearing counsel for the applicants and reading the affidavit of Dora Siliya femme sole, Maxwell Moses Boma Mwale and Hastings Sililo respectively, it is hereby ordered that the applicants be and are hereby granted leave to apply for judicial review," judge Mulenga stated in her order.
"And further that the filing of nomination papers for the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary constituencies to be held on Tuesday, the 13th of August, 2013 be and is hereby stayed."
The matter will come for inter-partes hearing on August 15 before the judge.
The trio, through its lawyers, has argued that provisions of Article 65 of the Constitution of Zambia and the provisions of sections 22 and 104 of the electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 are not applicable to them. They are seeking the court to quash the decision of the Judiciary issued by the public relations officer and the decision of the acting Registrar of the High Court contained in a letter to the director of ECZ.
The trio also wants the court to quash the decision of the director of ECZ purporting to disqualify them from filing their respective nominations.
Siliya, Mwale and Sililo are further requesting the court to issue an order of mandamus to compel ECZ to perform its statutory functions under the provisions of Article 66 of the Constitution, section 33 of the electoral Act and accept nominations from them. The trio also wants the court to issue an order of prohibition restraining ECZ from barring them from filing the nomination papers on September 13th 2013 in their respective constituencies. Siliya, Mwale and Sililo also want the court to issue an order of prohibition restraining ECZ from conducting the filing of nomination papers today.
They are also seeking a declaration that provisions of section 22 as read together or in tandem with provisions of section 104 (6) and (7) of the electoral Act require that a person mentioned in the report by the High Court should be given an opportunity of appearing before the court and show cause why that person's name should not be so stated.
"A declaration that the purported report by the High Court issued under the hand of the acting Registrar does not conform with the provisions of section 22 as read together or in tandem with provisions of section 104 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act," they stated.
The trio is further seeking a declaration that a press statement issued by a non-judicial officer has no legal effect and judicial activism could only be evoked by an appropriately constituted court.
Siliya, Mwale and Sililo are also seeking a declaration that the purported report by the High Court issued under the hand of the acting registrar does not conform with the provisions of section 22 as read together or in tandem with the provisions of section 104 (6) and (7) of the electoral Act.
"It is therefore irregular insofar as it purports to refer to illegal and corrupt acts which purportedly occurred over one year ago contrary to the provisions of section 129(5) of the Electoral Act," they stated.
The grounds on which the trio is seeking relief include illegality, procedural impropriety and unreasonableness.
"The decision of the ECZ insofar as it purports to disqualify the trio from contesting the by-elections is illegal. The decision of the acting registrar of the High Court purporting to issue a report is illegal. The decision of the Judiciary published in the media in so far as it purports to bar the trio is illegal and void," they stated.
They stated that particulars of non-compliance with the provisions of section 22 of the electoral Act were evidenced in the failure to give adequate opportunity to Siliya, Mwale and Sililo to be heard prior to the purported report of the High Court.
"There was failure to comply with mandatory provisions of section 104 (6) (7) and (8) of the Electoral Act whereby the High Court shall at the conclusion of the proceedings, prepare a report," they stated.
"Failure to state the name and particulars of any person by whom the corrupt practice or illegal practice was, in the opinion of the court committed as stipulated in section 104."
They stated that decision of the ECZ stating that it will not receive nomination papers from aspiring candidates affected by the nullifications by the Supreme Court was illegal. The ECZ postponed the filing of nominations for three of the four parliamentary by-elections which were initially slated for September 5 to today.
The ECZ's action was in the wake of the Judiciary's statement that candidates whose election was nullified on account of electoral malpractices were not eligible to re-contest their seats.
Labels: BY-ELECTIONS, HIGH COURT, MUGENI SIWALE MULENGA
Sata's ministers giving him wrong advice - Nawakwi
By Henry Sinyangwe
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT
EDITH Nawakwi says President Michael Sata is surrounded by wrong ministers who are giving him wrong advice. And Nawakwi, who is Forum for Democracy and Development leader, says the labour sector is in a mess.
Nawakwi said ministers like Fackson Shamenda were failing to provide answers to various issues concerning national development.
"These people are not advising our head of state properly because they are too emotional. So if you tell people that Edith is being emotional, so what? The likes of Shamenda like to stereotype women and tears are only associated with women; I am not crying. So really I think my brother should reflect," she said.
Nawakwi said the nation needed to be assured that the economy was on the right course rather than the ministers' emotional responses whenever they were criticised.
"And on the fact that do people have secure jobs? Do people have security of tenure? That is the role of a Minister of Labour and Social Security, and he addressed none of those. Instead, in their usual style, he took the emotional position. Being a Christian, he should go back and read the book of Proverbs. When someone is telling you something, listen to the words, don't look at who is talking about it," she said.
Nawakwi said she expected Shamenda to concentrate on answering the discussion on the flouting of labour regulations by immigrants on the pretext that they are investors.
"When you use word like 'frustrated', frustrated with what? I honestly want to contribute to my country in a manner which people can see as being of value, and if someone is as emotional as Shamenda, they actually mislead the government. We want to get responses from the minister responsible as honorable Chikwanda has rightly responded.
Shamenda is ignoring his portfolio; the labour sector is in a mess. He should address that," she said. Nawakwi challenged the government to state when it would clean up the UNZA payroll.
"However, we have raised specific points. If we are doing fine, why is there no insulin in the clinics? We raised issues about the university, why haven't we responded as to when government will clean up the payroll at the university. We raised issues about these Chinese and other nationals who are selling vegetables on the streets and the market," Nawakwi said.
She said some of the ministers had no direction.
"Some of these ministers have no direction because people like Shamenda. I raised very critical issues which he should address. Why do we have foreigners selling vegetables at the markets, Tuesday Market?" she asked.
Last week, Shamenda dismissed as mischievous allegations by Nawakwi that the country was headed for a K5 billion budgetary deficit by the end of the year.
Shamenda said the allegation was symptomatic of a frustrated and failed politician who wanted to use lies to gain cheap political mileage.
"Ms Nawakwi once served as Minister of Finance under the MMD government when corruption and general mismanagement of the country's economy thrived, which this government is now working hard to reverse," stated Shamenda.
"She should, therefore, not pretend to have answers to the management of the country's economy now which she failed to provide then."
Nawakwi had challenged finance minister Chikwanda to shed light on expenditure concerns from local and the international communities.
Labels: EDITH NAWAKWI, FACKSON SHAMENDA, MICHAEL SATA
Mulongoti calls for 'soberness' over ECZ decision
By Kombe Chimpinde and Stuart Lisulo
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT
INSPECTOR General of Police Stella Libongani has warned of stern action against candidates and their supporters insisting that they will turn up for nominations after the decision by the ECZ to disqualify them from contesting parliamentary by-elections.
And People's Party president Mike Mulongoti has observed that there is a need for 'soberness' over the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to postpone the filing in of nomination papers for the Petauke Central, Mulobezi and Malambo constituencies. In an interview, Libongani said police would not condone any unlawful conduct by anyone over the filing of nominations slated for today.
"My word of advice to the supporters as well as parties participating is to ensure they abide by what ECZ has said over the people who are qualified to file in their nominations," said Libongani.
"We are well prepared for the constituencies and we have enough officers to ensure the nominations are done in a peaceful manner," she said.
She said police's stance was that elections should be a violence-free election process.
Yesterday, MMD president Nevers Mumba vowed to ensure that Dora Siliya files her nomination papers to ECZ today.
Mumba said the MMD would use all options, including legal, to ensure that the Constitution is protected.
And the ECZ said its decision to disqualify Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo from contesting parliamentary by-elections was final.
ECZ director Priscilla Isaacs said in an interview that all was ready for the filing of nominations today.
Isaacs said the ECZ would not accept nominations from individuals who had been disqualified.
"We are ready for tomorrow's filing of nominations. Concerning the candidates who have been disqualified, our position still remains the same," said Isaacs
And Mulongoti said it was important to approach the matter from a sober position.
"In the midst of the confusion that was surrounding the whole process, it was the right thing they did," said Mulongoti.
He said it was necessary for political parties to consult among themselves.
"It is a very delicate situation and my appeal is that let us be sober about it," he said.
Mulongoti urged all relevant stakeholders to adhere and respect the decision in the interest of peace and security.
He further said the ECZ was very wise in its decision observing that all the relevant political parties required sufficient time to field candidates of their choice.
Meanwhile, Mulongoti revealed that the People's Party was currently on the ground making progress.
"Our priority is not to win elections, but to provide checks and balances,'' he said.
He said as a member of the opposition political fraternity, the focus was on ensuring that the government of the day was exercising prudence in the spending of state resources.
Labels: BY-ELECTIONS, ECZ, MIKE MULONGOTI, STELLA LIBONGANI
ZCF calls for increased investment in small-scale irrigation
By Chimwemwe Kasanje
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
THE government should intensify providing affordable irrigation equipment for small and medium-scale farmers, says Zambia Co-operatives Federation.
ZCF director general James Chirwa said irrigation farming among small and medium-scale farmers would increase productivity as cropping would be done more than once a year.
Chirwa said farmers across the country were faced with a challenge of low yield and food insecurity whenever there was poor rainfall in a particular cropping season.
"For us in the cooperative movement, we feel irrigation farming among our farmers is a solution to high crop production and this directly increases incomes at household level and reduces poverty," Chirwa said in an interview.
Chirwa said farmers needed more of perennial cropping activities that could be enhanced by irrigation farming methods than the Farmer Input Support Programme.
He said the government needed to channel funds from FISP to give soft loans to small and medium-scale farmers to acquire affordable irrigation equipments like water pumps.
Chirwa cited irregularities relating to the FISP administration amounting to K14.16 million in 2011 revealed in the Auditor General's report as funds that could have been prudently utilised in the area of irrigation farming.
The Auditor General's report exposed corruption in the issuance of FISP packs to unqualified recipients across the country, costing Zambia resources that could benefit the agriculture sector.
Labels: IRRIGATION, JAMES CHIRWA, ZCF
ILGAZ implores govt to re-introduce grain levy
By Kabanda Chulu
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
THE government should consider re-introducing the grain levy to help broaden the revenue base for councils, says Institute of Local Government Administrators of Zambia vice-president Bwanga Kapumpa.
And local government deputy minister Nicholas Banda has advised town clerks and council secretaries to familiarise themselves with the PF manifesto as they implement government policies.
During the 2013 ILGAZ annual general meeting and graduation dinner in Lusaka on Sunday night, Kapumpa said the system of local government had been abused in the past.
"In the past, central government treated local government as opponents instead of partners. We commend the PF government for changing things and for giving a clear road map on decentralisation. Once implemented decentralisation will create jobs and improve social service delivery," said Kapumpa. "We are happy that has taken over the wage bill but we need other grants that have been taken away and we also urge government to reconsider bringing back the grain levy to help broaden the revenue base especially for councils located in rural areas."
ILGAZ president Dan Longwe said the institute has proposed a draft bill to the government that would regulate professional conduct of members through an Act of Parliament.
He also proposed that councillors should be properly oriented in the field of local government and corporate governance if positive change is to be seen in councils.
Officiating at the function, Banda said the government was putting in place policies aimed at uplifting people's lives through service delivery.
"Meaningful development will only come if powers and resources are devolved to local authorities and this is why we shall implement the decentralisation policy and we expect ILGAZ members to strictly follow guidelines when administering constituency development funds and other resources in order for people to benefit," Banda said.
He advised councils to reposition themselves and embrace public-private-partnership (PPP) initiatives to enhance service delivery to people.
"Government will continue providing salaries for council employees so that locally generated resources are channeled to social service delivery but councils should also embrace PPP initiatives as well as getting familiarised with the PF manifesto as they implement government policies," said Banda.
ILGAZ admitted 14 town clerks and council secretaries as fellows and associates of the institute.
Labels: ILGAZ, TAXATION
Sichinga toasts EP for low maize output cost
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
COMMENT - To the Minister - yield per hectare is not everything. Seven metric tonnes per hectare is not low, it is at the high end for maize yield. What really produces a high yield per hectare are root crops - cassava, sweet potatoes, even ginger can produce 30 to 50 tonnes per hectare. It is this colonial era obsession with maize that is limiting production, in my opinion. - MrK
AGRICULTURE minister Robert Sichinga says Zambia's production per hectare is low. And Sichinga says the cost of producing a 50kg bag of maize is highest in Western Province compared to other parts of the country.
Speaking at a press briefing in Chipata on Saturday, Sichinga said as a country, Zambia produces an average of 1.89 metric tonnes per hectare which was lower than what Malawi and Zimbabwe produced. He said Malawi produced six metric tonnes while Zimbabwe produces seven metric tonnes per hectare.
"So we are very low as far as productivity is concerned. Malawi, Zimbabwe and other countries are doing far much better in terms of productivity. Zambia is the least in terms of the productivity yet we have got the water, we have got the soils and we have got the land. So it's a matter of these methods that we use that are causing us to lose on this. So one of the things that we are doing is to improve on productivity to work on the yields," Sichinga said.
He also said the government had carried out a countrywide production cost survey to find out how much it costs to produce a 50kg bag of maize. Sichinga said the production cost of a 50kg bag of maize is region specific.
"The cost of producing a 50-kilogramme bag as an average in every province is as follows; the lowest cost is in North Western Province which is K30 per 50-kilogramme bag of maize, Muchinga is at K31 per 50-kilogramme, Luapula K35, Northern K38, Central K41, Lusaka K55, Copperbelt K56, Southern Province which has been our granary up until now produces at a very high cost of K63. I am pleased to say to you that Eastern Province is one of the lowest; it produces a 50-kilogramme bag of maize at K30. The worst performing is Western they produce at K86," he said.
Sichinga said that in Western Province, people spend more money in producing maize than any other province in the country.
Labels: EASTERN PROVINCE, MAIZE, ROBERT SICHINGA
Parliament recommends rejection of Kangaluwi mining project
By Kabanda Chulu
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
A PARLIAMENTARY committee has recommended the rejection of mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park by Mwembeshi Resources because the mining licence was issued fraudulently.
According to a special report by the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism on the proposed Kangaluwi mining project in the national park, the mining licence that Mwembeshi Resources holds was issued without following the requirements of the law and procedures.
It stated that Mwembeshi Resources was issued with a minimal (prospecting) mining licence by the ministry responsible for mines prior to it undertaking an environmental impact assessment (EIA).
"The issue of prospecting does not necessarily mean that a mining licence will be given. The licence is invalid and should be revoked. There should be no mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park which should be reserved and preserved as a conservation area and heritage for purposes of tourism development," it stated.
"The government should ensure that the issuance of mining licences follows the legal and laid down procedures and the work of the inter-ministerial committee should be strengthened."
Last year, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) rejected mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park, citing environmental concerns but Mwembeshi Resources appealed to environmental protection minister Wilbur Simuusa, who has since generated a cab memo.
Labels: ENVIRONMENT, PARLIAMENT
Judiciary upsets the corrupt
Mon 12 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
Nevers Mumba is talking like a confused, desperate man. Indeed, Nevers has a lot to be desperate about. Things are not going well for him and his league. But this shouldn't be a licence for him to talk nonsense about other people.
It requires just a little memory, if a little is all one has, to remember that following the 2001 elections, Sikota Wina petitioned the election of Michael Mabenga as member of parliament for Mulobezi.
Indeed, the court found Mabenga to have engaged in corrupt or illegal electoral practices and had his election nullified. Mabenga could not re-contest that seat. But despite this, the MMD went ahead to elect him as chairman of the party. The Post opposed this and denounced the MMD for electing a person who had been found to be engaging in corrupt practices as its chairman. We have been very consistent on this score.
And equally, the MMD has been very consistent in its support for corruption. Today, the MMD is defending corrupt elements to continue being members of our National Assembly. This is not surprising because the MMD leadership has no problems with corruption. Rupiah Banda, who not very long ago was the MMD president, is today in court facing corruption charges. And its current president, Nevers, is also in court facing corruption charges.
Maxwell Mwale, whose seat was nullified for corruption both by the High Court and the Supreme Court, is also in court for corruption. Dora Siliya, whose election as a member of parliament was nullified by the Supreme Court, is also a subject of corruption investigations. The list is endless.
This issue has nothing to do with us. With or without us, the MMD still remains a political party that defends the corrupt and corruption.
Equally, their partners in the UPND don't have a problem with corruption. The UPND is today at the head of the column defending Rupiah's corruption. The UPND has even recruited Mwale, whose election as member of parliament was nullified by our courts of law for corruption. The UPND cannot even wait for Mwale to be cleared of his corruption cases in court. The UPND has no problem fielding corrupt individuals as members of parliament. They have always been ready to get corrupt elements from the MMD and field them as their candidates. They did this in Lukulu West with Misheck Mutelo; they wanted to do the same with Mwale in Malambo and they were courting Dora in Petauke Central. Corruption is not an issue with UPND as well.
Contrast this with the position of the Patriotic Front on this issue. There are people who tried to jump to the Patriotic Front and launder themselves. Here we are talking about people who had engaged in corrupt or illegal electoral practices under the MMD. The Patriotic Front has refused to adopt them for parliamentary seats. This is not a small feat in a country where politicians don't care much about corruption. And even if the Patriotic Front had joined the others in fielding candidates who have been found to be corrupt, our position would still remain the same. We have never hesitated to denounce corrupt elements and those who shield them whoever they may be.
Again, it doesn't require much memory to recall our position on the Patriotic Front when it gave sanctuary to Frederick Chiluba when he was being pursued for corruption. We denounced the Patriotic Front and Michael Sata for that. But this is what differentiates Michael from our other politicians: he listens to advice and changes course when necessary. Michael is not permanently wedded to wrong things. We all sometimes get things wrong. However, what differentiates us as human beings is our capacity for contrition and change. If something is wrong, it is wrong, and there is no need to cling to it.
Electoral corruption is wrong. And it doesn't matter who is involved in it or what their political affiliations are. A corrupt Patriotic Front politician is no different from a corrupt MMD or UPND colleague.
There are in our body politic many and grave ills, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure and attack upon every evil man whether politician or businessman, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business or in social life. We hail as benefactors every person who, with merciless severity, makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful.
Nevers says they will ensure that Dora files her nomination papers tomorrow. How? Morally and legally, the position Nevers is taking is indefensible. If Nevers has no regard for the law as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court, he should at least, as a pastor, have respect for morality. To try and insist on fielding a candidate who has been found to be corrupt speaks volumes of Nevers' sense of morality let alone his respect for the law against corruption. Anyway, this is understandable. This is a political party, a group of people, that had gone to Parliament to remove a law that punished corruption, abuse of public office and replace it with a law that permitted impunity when it came to corruption matters and other abuses of public office.
And Nevers is accusing the Patriotic Front of harassing MMD members through the Judiciary. How else can those in government deal with such abuses or illegalities if not through the Judiciary and the law? This is what the rule of law entails - taking matters to court and letting the courts decide.
But Nevers is also being dishonest on this issue. Wasn't the MMD government taking people to court? We want Nevers to answer this question in an honest way if there is still a bit of honesty remaining in him.
Anyway, all this is not surprising because the MMD is a party of corruption, and corruption defines the MMD's character as a political party.
Nevers is accusing us of being used by the Patriotic Front to churn out illegalities. What illegalities? We know the law a little bit more than Nevers to distinguish between what is legal and what is not. It is not legal to bribe the electorate and think one will get away with it. We are not for hire. We can never be hired out. Nevers and his friends were in government, they had state power and a lot of money at their disposal; did they hire us?
We freely choose to support that which we believe is right. And we sincerely believe that electoral corruption is wrong and must be opposed and eradicated from our politics and elections. Where there is electoral corruption and illegalities, people will not be able to freely choose their leaders. For our country to prosper, our politics should be cleansed of corruption, especially during elections.
Nevers is accusing us of misinterpreting the statement from the Judiciary. We are not clerks; we are reasonably educated people with the necessary experience required by the tasks we are performing. We have the duty to analyse things for our readers and not to leave them guessing what the stories we are publishing are about. The candidates whose elections were nullified by the Supreme Court are not so many; it is a small number of well-known people. This being the case, we have a duty to mention who these people are, and we mentioned them. What is wrong with this? One doesn't need a degree in law to realise that what we did was the right thing. There are a lot of things we know that Nevers may probably not know because he doesn't have the necessary qualifications, experience and exposure to these things. It is important for people in top political positions like Nevers not to express opinions or to give unilateral judgments on things or processes they don't fully understand or they know very little about.
Nevers says the Zambian people are upset with the illegalities we have been churning out over the last few days. Pastor Mumba, learn to be honest with yourself and others. Which Zambians are upset? Zambians don't support corruption to be upset by a campaign against corruption. It is you yourself, Nevers, who is upset and should learn to tell the truth.
We maintain that the individual does best in a strong and decent community of people with principles and standards and common aims and values. Today's politics should be about the search for a more just, fair and humane society. We must build the strong and active society that can provide that. We must work together for it. We cannot buy our way to such a society. We must plan for it together. We can't protect the ordinary against the abuse of power by leaving them to it; we must protect each other because this can only be done together.
Leaders lead, but in the end the people govern. Those who win elections should win not because their opponents are despised, but because they are better understood, supported, trusted. There should be no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled.
Labels: JUDICIARY, MMD, NEVERS MUMBA
MMD sticks to Dora
By Allan Mulenga
Mon 12 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT
MMD president Nevers Mumba has vowed to ensure that Dora Siliya files in her nomination papers to the Electoral Commission of Zambia tomorrow. And Mumba has accused The Post of being used by the PF to churn out illegalities.
Meanwhile, a team of lawyers are seeking judicial review of ECZ's decision. They also want an injuction against to stop tomorrow's parliamentary by-elections nominations.
Commenting on the ECZ's statement that the commission will not receive nomination papers from Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo following the guidance from the Judiciary that individuals whose seats were nullified for corruption or illegal practices are disqualified to re-contest, Mumba said the MMD would use all options, including legal, to ensure that the Constitution is protected "against a government that has absolutely no regard for the rule of law".
"This is a reckless way of governing the country. It is diabolical; it is going to disturb the very peace that we have been enjoying in this country," he said.
"We think the PF wants to bring destruction to this country and anarchy in terms of the law. So, we will use every avenue, including the legal option to ensure that our candidate files in nomination papers."
Mumba accused the PF of harassing MMD members through the Judiciary.
"We don't expect our Judiciary to overlook their own procedures in order to fix political opponents of the party in government. Our members are being harassed by PF through the Judiciary and they are going to lodge in their nominations on Tuesday; the law is on their side. If some of these institutions decided to back an illegality or a desire by President Sata and the PF, they will stand by the judgment of people and we will stand on the side of the law, and that is our position," he said.
Mumba also accused the PF of abusing the Supreme Court and making it a slaughter house for democracy.
"To advise them, I would say that in a democracy, you win some seats and you lose some seats. If they can behave like this now just by losing three seats, how are they going to respond when they lose the 2016 election? We have to stop them now so that in 2016, they can hand over power in peace like MMD handed over power in peace to them," he said.
"Looking at their behaviour after losing three seats, Zambians are very concerned that maybe we have in place a government that does not want to adhere itself to the people but rather bulldoze its way by doing illegalities; destroying the Supreme Court; abusing the Supreme Court and obviously trying to make it as a slaughter house for democracy. We hope that the Supreme Court will refuse to be used to fulfil desires of the Patriotic Front."
Mumba wondered why ECZ changed its position on candidates whose seats were nullified on grounds of corruption after receiving the guidance from the Judiciary.
"The statement of the ECZ, if you remember, was very clear that those three were eligible to re-contest their seats because the nullification of their seats does not equate to barring them from standing in their constituencies. Unless there has been a due process of the law according to section 104 subsection 7 and/or the report provided by the High Court that there was a reason for which they needed to be preliminary charged," he said.
"None of those things are present. Our position as the MMD and myself is that it is either that document from the Judiciary is a forgery because our Judiciary doesn't work like that."
And Mumba has accused The Post of being used by the PF to churn out illegalities.
"If you notice, they gave you as The Post the statement which was erroneous; it was illegal and you should have even asked them whether that was a forged letter. Because there is no judiciary that operates like that; you should have known that as The Post and then interpreted it and extended its interpretations and mention names of people that were barred and yet that statement in itself did not even say that," he said.
"You know how the Supreme Court works and how the Judiciary works; it doesn't work through the newspapers. By the time you received that document as The Post, the ECZ had not yet seen that document, which was the body which was supposed to look at it and be able to respond to it. Everybody knows that this is a political thing; it has nothing to do with legality; those people have not been convicted of any criminal offence regarding the fact whether they can be barred or not."
Mumba said Zambians would judge The Post harshly for endorsing illegalities by the PF.
"What has happened over the past four days is extremely sad and the media that have been used to be able to churn out these illegalities also have to do a very deep heart reflection because the Zambians are upset. Zambians are watching this and they feel that even those that are helping them to push these illegalities, Zambians will not take it kindly. I think it is beyond MMD; it is beyond Nevers Mumba; it is now in the domain of the intelligent Zambian people to make deductions as to why the PF is so afraid of losing these elections after they had lost those three," said Mumba.
Labels: CORRUPTION, DORA SILIYA, MMD, NEVERS MUMBA
By-elections budgeted for - Chikwanda
By Kabanda Chulu
Mon 12 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT
FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda says there is no modicum of budget overrun due to by-elections and that the gaps in the budget are genuine economic gaps. And Chikwanda says the by-elections being conducted countrywide have not caused any upheaval in the economy because they were budgeted for under contingency funds.
Chikwanda also says that macroeconomic objectives, including GDP growth rate projected at above seven per cent, might come down to six per cent due to the externally induced shocks that are causing some challenges in the country.
During an interaction with the media in Lusaka yesterday, Chikwanda, who led a high-powered team of senior government officials, representatives from Zambia Revenue Authority and Bank of Zambia, said Zambia could not be insulated from what was happening in the world.
"There is very little growth rates in the global economy. In the US, the economy is growing at two per cent, in Europe it is worse and for the past decade, it is the emerging economies like China and other members of the BRICS Brazil, India, China and South Africa that have hugely accounted for the global economic growth," Chikwanda said.
"Troubles in the big economies of Europe reverberate in other parts of the world, including Zambia, so deficits are a normal part of life…there has not been a single year when there has not been deficits in this country but we have the ability to manage these issues since the gaps in the budget are a management factor and not fundamental... it is how you balance up."
He said there was nothing the government could do if unfavourable economic factors were externally induced.
"We resort to borrowing locally and internationally but we keep borrowing within limit to avoid getting back into indebtedness and we also avoid crowding out the private sector, which is a critical component in job creation, so currently, borrowing is at five per cent of GDP," Chikwanda said.
"I am very constrained to comment on statements made by former finance ministers since we can dialogue but Edith Nawakwi's views are neither here nor there because there are certain things that prop up but there will be no overrun; just gaps in the budget which are easily manageable, especially with the removal of subsidies."
On Friday, Nawakwi said Zambia risked being in K5 billion deficits due to unbudgeted for expenditure.
In his budget speech last year, Chikwanda said under macroeconomic objectives, policies and strategies for 2013 and the medium term, the government was targeting to achieve real GDP growth of above seven per cent, attain end year inflation of not more than six per cent, achieve domestic revenue of at least 20 per cent of GDP, limit the overall fiscal deficit to 4.3 per cent of GDP of which domestic borrowing will be 1.5 per cent, maintain gross international reserves of at least four months of import cover and creation of at least 200,000 decent jobs.
However, borrowing stands at five per cent, inflation is at 7.3 per cent and GDP might come down to six per cent.
But Chikwanda said the targets would be near projected figures because the global economy may rebound towards the end of year.
"Inflation has moved upwards but this is not a worrying scenario; we are performing and we are going to deliver and move the nation forward," he said.
Chikwanda, who avoided to explain how much the five per cent borrowing could be in monetary terms and if a bloated Cabinet and by-elections were major contributors, said the government was watching its national debt profile.
"We are critically watching our expenditure patterns because we don't want to get back into debt. By-elections have not contributed to budget gaps; they were covered for under contingency funds," said Chikwanda.
"By-elections have not caused any economic upheaval. There is not even a modicum of overrun due to by-election, but the gaps in the budget are genuine economic gaps and there is no way Ministry of Finance can spend finances without parliamentary approval or using underhand methods."
Labels: ALEXANDER CHIKWANDA, BY-ELECTIONS
Govt cautious on sanctioning economic projects - Simuusa
By Kabanda Chulu
Mon 12 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
ENVIRONMENT minister Wylbur Simuusa says the government is taking a cautious approach to sanctioning economic projects that are located within game management areas.
And Simuusa has denied assertions by Zambezi Resources chief executive officer Frank Vanspeybroeck that senior ministers in the Zambian government were surprised at the decision by ZEMA to reject the construction of a copper mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Confirming receipt of the appeal lodged by Zambezi Resources, whose US$494 million Kangaluwi Copper project has been rejected by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Simuusa said Zambians must decide what is good for the country.
"I have received the appeal from the developers of the Kangaluwi project and we shall make a final decision over the matter within this month but I want to assure the nation that the decision to be taken will be in the interest of the country," Simuusa said in an interview in Lusaka. "Also the people should take a keen interest in matters of this nature, especially that most of Zambia's oil and gas reserves are found in game management areas. So how do we handle these issues? Anyway, the decision that we shall come up with will be a landmark one since we have to weigh the advantages of having an economic project against environmental protection, human and wildlife."
He also questioned the motive by officials at the Ministry of Mines that sanctioned exploration activities at the Kangaluwi project.
"In the first place, why were licences given? So, it seems the whole process has not been right from the beginning and this is why we shall get to the bottom of the issue and come up with a decision to safeguard the interests of the country," said Simuusa. "And it is not true that ministers are surprised at the decision; maybe there are others but I am not involved and this is why I want to understand the matter and make the right decision."
Following the rejection of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted to ZEMA, Zambezi Resources, the developers of the Kangaluwi project, through Vanspeybroeck, announced to shareholders in a posting to the Australian Stock Exchange that the company was currently taking steps to seek a review of the ZEMA decision as provided for in the environmental management Act 2011.
"The review is considered by the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. Senior ministers in the Zambian government, including the Minister for Mines, Energy and Water Development remain fully supportive of the project and have been surprised at the decision of ZEMA," Vanspeybroeck stated.
"The newly elected Zambian government has gone to great lengths to convince the overseas investment community that Zambia is a safe place to invest and is encouraging of such investment in particular in the mining and resources sector."
Nevertheless, environmental activists have challenged Simuusa not to consider overturning the decision made by ZEMA to reject construction of a copper mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
In the event of massive objections to the findings of an Environmental Impact Statement and ZEMA turns down construction of a project, the Minister has powers to allow the project.
For example, the MMD regime allowed the Chinese to begin mining at Ichimpe forests in Kitwe without following correct procedures.
Labels: ENVIRONMENT, GAME PARKS, WYLBUR SIMUUSA
FRA maize in Chikankata marooned due to poor roads
By Gift Chanda in Chikankata
Mon 12 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT
TRANSPORTERS in Chikankata are shunning to ferry maize from satellite depots to the main hoarding depots due to the poor road network, FRA officials have revealed.
Speaking to journalists after touring the Chikombola satellite depot, located about 104 kilometres from the Mazabuka-Chikankata turn-off on Saturday, Stephen Liato, FRA Southern B provincial marketing co-ordinator, bemoaned the poor state of the roads.
He said there was a lot of maize in the area but the road network was hampering its transportation to the main hoarding depot. According to Liato, 4,300 *50kg bags of maize were marooned at Chikombola satellite depot as of Saturday.
"We are trying to reduce on wastage but the roads are hampering our operations here," he said. "The road is extremely bad, so all the possible transporters are shunning this place. There is just one female transporter who has agreed to assist us but she only has four trucks; and out of the four, only two are on the road, so it is a big challenge."
FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula said it was a pity that such a high maize producing-area could have such poor state of roads.
In addition to the poor road network, the topography of Chikankata - mostly hilly - weighs hard on transportation in the area.
A journey which would otherwise take 15 minutes usually takes over an hour and half.
"Once it starts raining, this area will be cut-off, so we will try as much as possible in the remaining weeks to make sure that all of this maize is moved to a safer storage facility," Kafwabulula said.
He said the safety of the maize depended on the cooperation of transporters to move the maize to safer storage facilities.
"Once transporters being to shun certain routes then we have a problem," he said.
Meanwhile, Kafwabulula was pleased that maize at most satellite depots was being moved to main hoarding depots once they reached the 600*50kg bags as per his instruction.
He said the move would save a lot maize from theft and wastage.
Kafwabulula instructed depot supervisors to ensure that the maize is properly cleaned as some of the stock was destined for export markets in future.
Labels: FRA, MAIZE, ROADS, STEPHEN LIATO
(NEWZIMBABWE, BLOOMBERG) Focus shifts to succession after poll rout
Looking ahead ... Vice President Joice Mujuru with President Robert Mugabe
AS President Robert Mugabe starts a new five-year term in office focus in his Zanu PF party has shifted to the succession battle which is said to pit top lieutenants, vice president Joice Mujuru against defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The succession issue remains a challenge to the party,” Patrick Chinamasa, a Zanu PF politburo member and justice minister, said last week. “We are fully cognizant of the divisive nature of the succession issue. We need to deal with it without losing cohesion.”
With the backing of many in the armed forces, intelligence and police chiefs, Mnangagwa would probably focus on keeping military leaders in control of diamond fields and some of the country’s best farmland, according to analysts including Mark Rosenberg of Eurasia Group and Gilbert Khadiagala of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand.
Mujuru may seek to repair relations with the international community to boost her faction’s investments in banking and retail, Rosenberg said.
“Mujuru and her allies are vested in industries like finance, retail and hospitality that demand more rational policies to grow,” Rosenberg said.
In 2000 Mugabe launched the country’s controversial land reforms which are blamed for the decade-long crisis in which the economy slumped 39 percent and inflation soared to an estimated 500 billion percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
But the veteran leader won the July 31 president race with 61 percent of the vote, which his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, described as a “farce” because of alleged rigging.
After casting his vote, Mugabe, who has denied reports that he’s received treatment for prostate cancer but has had medical check-ups in Singapore several times, said he would serve out his term.
During his 33 years in power, the veteran leader has controlled the internal struggles in Zanu PF over ethnic rivalry and patronage.
Mujuru would probably dilute Mugabe’s program known as indigenisation that seeks to force foreign-owned companies and banks to cede 51 of the shares in their local operations to blacks or the government, Rosenberg said.
But there are “too many tensions and divisions for Mugabe to step down,” International Crisis Group researcher Trevor Maisiri said. “The succession battle is going to be more intense than it was before.”
Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have been in Mugabe’s cabinet since independence in 1980.
Mnangagwa has served as head of the ministries of security, justice and rural housing and as the speaker of Parliament.
He was the chief of intelligence when Mugabe ordered the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to crack down on rebels in the Matabeleland Midlands regions in the 1980s, resulting in the death of as many as 20,000 civilians from the Ndebele ethnic minority.
At 25, Mujuru became the country’s youngest minister working her way up to vice-president in 2004. Her husband, Solomon Mujuru, led the main liberation army during the independence war and was the country’s first army chief. He died in 2011 in a fire at his home.
Legally Mujuru, 58, is first in line to succeed Mugabe.
“She represents the gentler mode of contemporary politics - unifying, motherly, compassionate and national,” Ibbo Mandaza, a former Mujuru adviser who’s the director of political analysis group, the Sapes Trust, said.
“She’s the kind of person who would require and rely on a good team of advisers. She’s pragmatic, she listens.”
Mnangagwa, 66, is the chief of the joint operations command. He can draw on the support of powerful figures including defence forces chief Constantine Chiwenga, ZRP head Augustine Chihuri, and Happyton Bonyongwe, who runs the Central Intelligence Organisation, Rosenberg said.
The military controls parts of the eastern Marange diamond field, according to non-profit groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch and Partnership Africa Canada. A parliamentary committee said in June said tens of millions of dollars in diamond revenue hasn’t been paid to the Treasury.
Mnangagwa is “the typical strongman and therefore likely to be very ruthless. He’s not given to entertaining debate,” Mandaza said.
On the economy, he’s “pragmatic,” he said. “He’s never been part of the indigenization campaign.”
Mugabe’s choice of who sits in his new cabinet in the coming says should indicate which faction has the upper hand.
“We are waiting to see how the securocrats, who are responsible for the election outcome, will show their hand now,” Mandaza said.
Labels: JOICE MUJURU, ROBERT MUGABE, ZANU-PF
(NEWZIMBABWE) Liz Tsvangirai cheats on PM: report
Trouble in paradise ... Smitten Tsvangirai with Elizabeth
by Staff Reporter
MORGAN Tsvangirai’s marriage was in crisis last night after bombshell revelations that his wife, Elizabeth Macheka, cheated on him just months after their wedding last September.
The Prime Minister’s 36-year-old wife rekindled an old affair with a married man, Kennedy Ngirazi, whom she referred to as “sweetie” in e-mails and arranged secret trips with him to Cape Town.
And just a day after the July 31 elections, Liz – as her associates call her – flew to South Africa to be with her three children from previous relationships and did not return until August 5, leaving the MDC-T leader to pick up the pieces from a heavy electoral defeat to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
The shock revelations by the Sunday Mail newspaper will hit Tsvangirai, 61, like a freight train given the trouble he went through to marry Macheka, against the advice of close aides who said she was of questionable character.
Tsvangirai tied the knot with Liz barely months after paying bride price for another woman, Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo, only to dump her 12 days later claiming that pro-Mugabe state security agents had “weighed in to force and direct proceedings... which has undermined my confidence in this relationship.”
Currently fighting in the courts to annul the election results showing Mugabe winning by a landslide, Tsvangirai finds himself this week battling a more intimate affair – revelations that the woman who said ‘I do’ barely a year ago has been cheating on him.
The Sunday Mail published several e-mails showing exchanges earlier this year between Liz and Ngirazi, said to be the father of her five-year-old daughter.
On January 21, 2013, at 1801hrs, she emailed Ngirazi: “Baba Tashinga — What you did on Friday reminds me exactly how you used to treat me, how you used to hurt me, how you used to break my heart. Still I would patiently wait for you, until that day I just decide to give up on us... no stress, it’s just a reminder.”
Two days later, on January 23 at 0909hrs, Liz is alleged to have again e-mailed Ngirazi from a Nokia Lumia 920 apparently questioning his commitment to her.
She wrote: “Why ndisingaitwewo good morning, good night. Ndakatsamwa. Asi you are still deciding? Or you haven’t made up your mind. Asi mune confusion. Kasikai ku maker decision Mrehwa.”
Ngirazi e-mailed back at 1243hrs, signing off with “I love you always”. An excerpt of the e-mail published by the Mail said: “Good afternoon my love. You know very well you are always on my mind. Hapana chekumbo decider. My quietness does not mean I’ve forgotten about you but it’s to keep you safe. You are too delicate to mess up. I love you always.”
His e-mail appeared to strike a chord with Mrs Tsvangirai, who excitedly wrote back at 1558hrs: “mwa — I like the word delicate, wow it’s mesmerising. Uri wangu sweetie.”
The Mail said Ngirazi, who has four children with his wife, Denise, also appeared to have facilitated the purchase of two vehicles – a Mercedes Benz S500 and a Range Rover – from South Africa, apparently for Liz’s benefit.
Emails from January 12, 2013, show Liz desperate to force through the acquisition of the Range Rover. She emailed her lover to travel with her to Cape Town.
She wrote to Ngirazi: “I’m so sorry to bother you. I think this guy is just buying time for reasons he knows better. He is a car dealer, there is no way he can say he doesn’t sapco document. I’m very worried, are you free to travel to Cape Town today?”
Ngirazi replied saying: “I can what do you think?”
Liz then responded saying: “There is a BA ya2pm to Joburg connecting 5 to Cape Town. What do you think.”
Later in the day, Ngirazi replied: “I’ve gone to Cape Town with SAA. Will be in Cape Town at 19:15.”
The MDC-T last night claimed the publication of the story was a “diversion” from what it says is a “stolen election”, but a party spokesman batted away questions on whether the e-mails were genuine.
“This is a diversion from the fact that the election was stolen. The MDC is firmly behind its president Morgan Tsvangirai,” party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.
Asked directly if the e-mails were genuine, Mwonzora said: “I have given you the party’s response.”
A senior aide to the Prime Minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “as far as I’m aware these allegations are not true”. He added that the timing of the publication of the claims was an indication that “Zanu PF realise that their election victory is pyrrhic”.
“If Morgan Tsvangirai is the dead donkey they say he is, why are they still flogging him? They are gripped by fear, their victory is hollow and they know it,” the aide said.
But another associate of Liz Tsvangirai told New Zimbabwe.com that she would not be denying inappropriate contact with Ngirazi.
“What Tsvangirai will get is an apology, but Liz will stand her ground because he isn’t much of a saint himself. She has no intention of leaving him and there isn’t much he can do about it either. Their marriage is poisoned for sure, but Tsvangirai also knows the cost of getting out of it now – both financially and politically,” the friend said.
Sex and scandal are not new to Tsvangirai. Before his first wife Susan's death in a car crash in March 2009, he was known to be involved sexually with a woman who lived in Norton and later left for the United Kingdom with his help.
Following his wife’s death, he had a child from a one-night-stand with a 21-year-old Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi, at the same time as he was having an affair with another married local woman, Aquillina Pamberi.
Just before he married Liz, a South African woman, Nozipho Regina Shilubane, took him to court seeking to stop the wedding claiming that he had also promised to marry her after they were introduced by her pastor who gave them keys to his Harare home which they used as a love nest.
Shilubane revealed that Tsvangirai insisted on not wearing a condom, backing claims by another UK MDC-T activist who, after a night of passion with the former trade unionist, remembered him telling her: “Ndikapfeka condom haitombomiri [If I wear a condom it won’t get up].”
Tsvangirai also paid US$280,000 as a divorce settlement to Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo who had also threatened to stop his wedding to Elizabeth Macheka.
The Mail reported on Sunday that Ngirazi’s wife has previously sought a peace order against Liz and the matter is still pending at the High Court.
Liz Tsvangirai is the daughter of former Zanu PF mayor for Chitungwiza Joseph Macheka and was once married to an Air Force commander, Mabasa Guma, who died in a car accident along the Harare-Bulawayo road about nine years ago.
The PM’s wife runs a boutique in the Avenues area.
Labels: MDC, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI
(NEWZIMBABWE) US warns Zim against Iran uranium deal
COMMENT - Can't win an election, so they have to smear a country's reputation. Zimbabwe doesn't have a uranium mine, so how can they sell uranium to Iran? - MrK
THE United States has warned Zimbabwe against selling uranium that could be used in a nuclear weapons programme to Iran saying any such deal would violate international law and lead to severe penalties.
“UN Security Council Resolution 1737 prohibits the sale or transfer of uranium to Iran, except for low-enriched uranium when it is incorporated into assembled nuclear fuel elements for light-water reactors,” a US State Department official told the UK-based Times newspaper on Monday.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is bound by its commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant legally binding UN Security Council resolutions.
“The United States is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We urge all countries to fully implement and enforce their obligations under multiple UN Security Council resolutions not to provide Iran with materials that could be used to develop a nuclear weapon.”
The warning followed a weekend report by the British newspaper claiming that Zimbabwe had agreed a secret uranium trade deal with Iran.
The claim was dismissed as wishful thinking by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.
“We are free to trade with any country but my ministry has not signed an agreement about uranium with Tehran,” Mpofu said.
“It is fiction and usual wishful thinking of the Western media. Why would we have a secret deal when we are a free country?”
The Times had quoted deputy mining minister, Gift Chimanikire, as saying: “I have seen (a memorandum of understanding) to export uranium to the Iranians.”
Chimanikire admitted speaking to the newspaper but said his remarks had been “deliberately misrepresented” in a bid to “tarnish the country’s image”.
"It is a speculative and dangerous story. We have nothing to export because we have not mined," he said.
“We have no capacity to handle uranium as a country, and besides we don’t even know the quantity of uranium. We signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran, which covers various agreements in mineral trading such as diamonds, gold and other minerals.”
Zimbabwe sits on considerable mineral riches, including platinum, chrome, gold, diamond, and iron ore. But there is no estimate of uranium reserves.
The US and its allies imposed sanctions against Iran's energy and financial sectors to force the Islamic republic to stop its uranium enrichment activities over fears that Tehran might produce nuclear weapons.
Iranian authorities have, however, insisted that the nuclear program seeks to harness energy and is only for peaceful means.
Zimbabwe is also a target of Western sanctions, led by the US and European Union who accuse President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party of electoral fraud and human rights failings.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mail reported that police had launched a manhunt for the journalists responsible for the report - Jan Raath and Jerome Starkey - which officials said "could undermine Zimbabwe's foreign relations".
Starkey tweeted about the alleged “manhunt” by local police.
However, ZRP spokeswoman Charity Charamba claimed not to know about the search for the journalists.
“I have not heard about it. I only got a call from someone else who was inquiring,” she told AFP, saying she would have to look into it.
Labels: IRAN, URANIUM, ZIMBABWE
(NEWZIMBABWE) Mawere faces R5m SA lottery fraud charge
by Staff Reporter
COMMENT - It is difficult to expect ethical behaviour from a man who owns an asbesthos mine. - MrK
SOUTH Africa-based businessman Mutumwa Mawere is facing charges of allegedly defrauding the national lottery of nearly R5 million, according to a report. Mawere, who holds both South African and Zimbabwean citizenship, was picked up in Johannesburg last week. He was initially reported to have been arrested for tax fraud.
But, according to local media reports on Sunday, the former SSM Holdings owner is alleged to have used his African Heritage Society organisation to fraudulently secure a R4.5m grant from the National Lottery Distribution Fund, which is predominantly used to fund charities.
South Africa’s crack crime fighting unit, The Hawks, confirmed they had been investigating allegations that Mawere used lottery funds to enrich himself.
He allegedly applied for the grant under the pretence that his organisation would build a “corporate heritage museum” in Rivonia, Johannesburg, to promote South African heritage. According to Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko, Mawere lied to the lotteries board about how the money was spent.
“He claimed that a two-day workshop was held at a luxury hotel in Sandton, but it was later revealed that it had in fact hosted the launch of his book titled Conversations with Mawere,” Ramaloko told the newspaper.
Lotteries board chief executive Charlotte Mampane told the newspaper her organisation was aware of the investigation, but had not been formally informed about his arrest.
Mawere’s lawyer, Rod Montano, told the Sunday Independent that preparations were being made for his bail hearing on Wednesday.
The businessman successfully sued the Zimbabwe government last month after being refused a passport and publicly backed MDC-T leader and out-going Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the July 31 elections.
A former World Bank employee, Mawere was self-exiled from Zimbabwe in 2004 following legal troubles at Shabanie Mine where he was accused of defrauding the government of Z$300 billion.
He successfully fought attempts by Zimbabwean authorities to extradite him but subsequently lost his companies which were expropriated.
Labels: FRAUD, MDC CORRUPTION, MUTUMWA MAWERE
(TALKZIMBABWE) Chimanikire denies Zim-Iran uranium deal story
This article was written by Our reporter on 11 August, at 07 : 36 AM
Police in Harare have launched a manhunt for British journalists Jerome Starkey and Jan Raath for spreading falsehoods that Zimbabwe signed a secret deal to export uranium to Iran for the manufacture of “a nuclear weapon”.
In a case likely to embarrass the British media, outgoing Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire yesterday denied statements the journalists attributed to him confirming the said deal.
Chimanikire described the story as “silly, speculative and dangerous”.
The Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, Prince Mupazviriho, also revealed that Zimbabwe does not have a uranium mine.
While police remained tight-lipped last night for fear of jeopardising investigations, impeccable sources privy to the case said law enforcement agents were keen to interview the two scribes and Chimanikire.
In a story published under the headline “Mugabe signs secret deal to sell uranium to Tehran” in British newspaper The Times yesterday and picked by numerous news agencies, Starkey and Raath alleged the Government undertook to supply Iran raw materials for nuclear weapon production in breach of international sanctions.
Quoting Mr Chimanikire, the two journalists, who co-authored the article with Michael Evans and Hugh Tomlinson, also wrote that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed last year to facilitate the exports.
The article could undermine Zimbabwe’s foreign relations.
The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme citing fears that Tehran intends to construct a bomb.
Iranian authorities have, however, since made it clear that the programme seeks to harness energy.
Mupazviriho dismissed the journalists’ report as false, adding that Zimbabwe does not even have a uranium mine.
“That is a blatant lie. Whoever is saying that is being malicious. We have never issued any licence to any Iranian company. We do not have any uranium mine at the moment,” said Mupazviriho, who also chairs Zimbabwe’s Mining Affairs Board, which, among other duties, considers mineral exports.
Chimanikire said Government has not issued uranium mining licences since exploration was still being conducted in Kanyemba, Zambezi Valley.
He said Starkey deliberately misrepresented information he gave him in an interview last Thursday to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe.
“I wouldn’t have said that (the alleged uranium deal). No licence has been issued. I never said such a silly thing. We are exploring and not mining.
“He thought of selling his paper by being untruthful. I tried to call him after hearing about the article, but his phone is not reachable.
“It is a speculative and dangerous story. We have nothing to export because we have not mined. He just showed the typical mentallity bent on saying negative things about Zimbabwe.”
Chimanikire, a high-ranking MDC-T official, said Starkey approached him for the interview while also clearly demonstrating a preconceived agenda to soil Zimbabwe’s diamond trade.
“That journalist was very notorious (mischievous). His name is Jerome Starkey, the Africa correspondent for The Times of London. He came to my office on Thursday asking whether Zimbabwe’s economy would recover.
“I gave him a synopsis of the mining sector. I told him that figures released at the recent Mine Entra showed that we need US$5 billion to recapitalise the sector. His (Starkey’s) thrust was to say diamonds are being stolen. So, I told him that: ‘No, there is no proof’.”
He added: “I also told him of our mineral reserves and that exploration is yet to be conducted in some areas. When I told him that uranium exploration was taking place in Kanyemba, Zambezi Valley, he then asked who our customers were and whether Iran was among them.
“I told him ‘no’, we do not determine customers; we market through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe. I also pointed out that in any case, we cannot be in a position to export uranium. I also mentioned that the Iranians were into textiles here.
“He then insisted on allegations of diamond theft to which I replied saying inspectors are allowed to go into Chiadzwa (Diamond Fields).”
Labels: GIFT CHIMANIKIRE, IRAN, JAN RAATH, JEROME STARKEY, JOURNALISM, PRINCE MUPAZVIRIHO, PROPAGANDA, URANIUM
(TALKZIMBABWE) Election system tamper-proof: ZEC chairperson
This article was written by Our reporter on 11 August, at 07 : 43 AM
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau has reiterated that last month’s harmonised elections were credible, free and fair, saying the system is tamper proof and those who say otherwise should bring the evidence.
She reiterated that those spreading rumours of rigging were doing so “from a position of ignorance”. The ZEC boss conceded that holding the elections within a short time frame was always going to be a challenge but hailed her team for rising up to the challenge.
Several election observers passed the polls as free and credible while the MDC-T and its Western allies insist that there was rampant rigging during voting.
However, without singling out the MDC-T which on Friday filed a petition at the Constitutional Court seeking the nullification of the presidential election citing poll irregularities, Justice Makarau challenged those making rigging allegations to produce evidence to back their claims.
“The elections were free firstly because we did not receive any report of anyone who was compelled to vote in a particular way.
“We did not receive any report of any case of violence inside or outside the polling stations throughout the country,” she said.
“The atmosphere was peaceful. People were free either to go and vote or to stay at home and Zimbabweans were free to go and vote for a candidate of their choice.
“As ZEC, we are saying the elections were fair since no political party was prejudiced in all our processes. We treated all political parties fairly.”
Justice Makarau added that although the voters’ roll was not provided on time to all political parties, the processes and procedures did not favour any political party.
Justice Makarau noted that the voting process left no room for any party to rig the elections.
“The process was very, very clear,” she said.
“We spelt out the electoral processes. Those processes did not give room for rigging because all the party agents were present from the time we opened our polling booths until closing time.
“I would be surprised if anybody says there was something amiss.”
Justice Makarau noted that the more than 18 000 polling agents who represented the contesting parties accepted the results at the polling station they were stationed at when voting ended at 7pm.
The ZEC chairperson, however, said that the commission faced a number of challenges in its execution of its mandate.
“The biggest challenge, I would say, was the tight time-frame we had to operate in. The funds were released late and they came in drips and drabs,” she said adding that work was already underway to ensure that challenges faced in the last election are addressed.
“There are areas that we need to start working on now as we prepare for the next elections. There are grey areas that we may feel will need amendments to the law. We will have a re-look of some parts of the process,” she said.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), RITA MAKARAU
(TALKZIMBABWE) Zim elections were free, fair and credible: Botswana opposition
This article was written by Our reporter on 11 August, at 10 : 35 AM
The leader of the opposition coalition in Botswana, Duma Boko has dismissed Gaborone’s position on the elections in Zimbabwe, saying they were not as flawed as his home government has been claiming.
Boko told a news conference in Gaborone that it made little or no sense for Botswana to poke holes on Zimbabwe Electoral process when there are glaring irregularities in his country’s electoral system.
Responding to a statement issued by Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister that there is need for an audit into the just ended Zimbabwe polls, which handed victory to President Robert Mugabe, Boko said his country should first deal with loopholes inherent in her electoral system before lecturing neighbours about how to improve their own.
“Before rubbing Zimbabwe the wrong way by breaking ranks from other countries in the region, Botswana should at first deal with those problems here by introspecting and improve her electoral system,” he said.
He added: “We can’t be acting like we are perfect. We have problems and we must deal with them before pointing fingers at others”.
Boko also castigated Western countries for what he called their unreasonable criticism of Zimbabwe, saying they should desist from interfering in African matters and let Africans resolve their problems.
Boko who aims to dislodge the ruling Botswana Democratic Party led by Khama from power in the 2014 general elections is the leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), an opposition coalition, comprising the Botswana National Front, the Botswana People’s Party and the Botswana Movement for Democratic Change.
His remarks come days after Botswana called for a review of Zimbabwe votes as the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai called the election “null and void”.
Gaborone’s relations with Harare are set for the worst as President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party accused Botswana of financing the campaign machinery of the MDC. Quoting an unnamed Zanu-PF source, the Herald newpaper said the Botswana government provided material support to the election campaign by the MDC-T led by outgoing PM Tsvangirai.
Accusing President Ian Khama’s government of a “Monkey-See, Monkey-Do approach”, the Zanu-PF sources said Botswana was parroting views by the West over the outcome of Zimbabwe’s elections won by the party.
“Botswana committed three heinous crimes. It pushed in lots of campaign material in support of the MDC-T. We allowed the material to pass our borders because it was an excellent opportunity to build a case against the Botswana government,” one source told the paper.
Khama and his government are yet to react to the allegations.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), BOTSWANA, DUMA BOKO
(TALKZIMBABWE) Lesotho, Eritrea, Benin, South Sudan congratulate President Mugabe
This article was written by Our reporter on 9 August, at 15 : 55 PM
African leaders continue to send congratulatory messages to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF following their huge victory in the harmonised elections. The leaders of Lesotho, Eritrea, Benin, South Sudan and founding president of the Republic of Namibia have added their voices to the chorus of world leaders who have welcomed Zanu PF’s victory.
In his message, King Letsie III of Lesotho said President Mugabe’s re-election to the high office is a clear demonstration of the confidence and trust that the people of Zimbabwe have in his leadership.
King Letsie III assured President Mugabe of Lesotho’s unwavering commitment to working closely with Zimbabwe in further strengthening the fruitful co-operation in Sadc and maintaining the long-standing friendship between the two countries.
President Boni Yayi of Benin who addressed President Mugabe as Mr President and Elder, said Zanu PF’s victory will allow the President to continue the noble and exciting mission of nation building in social harmony.
President Yayi said the victory is a sign of confidence that the people of Zimbabwe have in President Mugabe and that it proves that the majority of Zimbabweans recognise President Mugabe’s qualities.
South Sudan leader Salva Kiir Mayardyt extended his country’s congratulations for what he called an ‘impressive victory’.
Namibia’s founding father and leader of the Sam Nujoma Foundation also sent his message, saying Zanu PF’s victory is also the victory of SWAPO and the Namibian people.
He saluted Zimbabweans for showing resilience as demonstrated by their adherence to Zanu-PF’s clarion call to continue the economic struggle.
He said President Mugabe and Zanu PF’s re-election is a sign of the trust that the people of Zimbabwe have in the party and leader to defend the hard-won freedom and independence against the neo-colonial onslaught whose purpose is to enslave Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent with the aim of continuing to exploit the abundant natural resources.
Dr Nujoma thanked Zimbabwe for the technical support it continues to give to the sister Republic of Namibia saying he looks forward to new opportunities in their bilateral cooperation.
Several other African countries including Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa and the facilitator, President Jacob Zuma and observer missions such as the African Union, Sadc PF, Sadc, ACP and others have pronounced the Zimbabwean polls as free and fair.
Labels: 2O13 ELECTIONS (ZW), AU, SADC
(TALKZIMBABWE) Malawi President Banda congratulates President Mugabe
This article was written by Our reporter on 9 August, at 11 : 57 AM
Malawi President Joyce Banda has ignored Western pressure to alienate President and has congratulated him on being re-elected as leader of Zimbabwe. President Banda, set to assume the chairperson role of SADC later this month, sent a signed congratulatory message to the President.
State broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) reported on Thursday that President Banda has signed and wired the congratulatory message.
President Mugabe won 61 per cent of the vote, compared with 33 per cent for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) opposition leader Tsvangirai, who had been prime minister in a tense power-sharing deal with the president.
President Mugabe has now officially be given another five-year term in office.
The Zanu-PF party also won two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate, which allows them to amend the laws of Zimbabwe.
Botswana is so far the only country in Africa, together with Western nations, contesting the Zimbabwe vote which Tsvangirai rejected the results as fraudulent, calling for fresh elections following what he described as “political theft”.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), JOYCE BANDA, ROBERT MUGABE
(HERALD ZW) ZEC speaks on turned away voters
August 10, 2013
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has attributed the relatively high number of people who were turned away on the voting day to several factors that include improper documentation and turning up at the wrong polling station in the just ended harmonised elections. In some cases, names of those who intended to vote were not appearing on the voters’ roll.
About 304 980 people were turned away on voting day for various reasons. In a statement yesterday, ZEC chief elections officer Mr Lovemore Sekeramayi said some people were turned away for failing to produce the required documentation such as valid passports or national identity cards.
“Voters were turned away for not bringing their (national) identity cards or valid passports to prove their identity,” he said.
“Expired passports, torn or illegible documents all led to voters being turned away. Photocopies of national identity documents or invalid passports and drivers licences are not accepted at polling stations for voting purposes.”
In some cases, Mr Sekeramayi said those who were turned away were not registered at all. “Voter registration in Zimbabwe is not compulsory, however, due to peer pressure during elections, some unregistered persons also turn-up at polling stations to present a semblance of compliance with the national programme of elections.”
Mr Sekeramayi said some registered voters had transferred from wards where they are registered as voters hence they could not vote. He, however, said most in such circumstances went back to their original wards and exercised their right to vote while those that had brought wrong documents went back and collected proper documentation.
Mr Sekeramayi said people who registered as voters after the July 9 mandatory voter registration deadline were also turned away.
He said in some cases persons under the age of 18 accounted for the number of turned away people as they showed up at various polling stations. On the number of assisted voters, Mr Sekeramayi said there were a large number of older persons who turned up to vote.
“The main reasons for assisted voters are old age — there was a high turnout of the old aged people in this election which category has a high illiterate rate,” he said.
Mr Sekeramayi said some of the assisted voters were blind and handicapped people.
In future, Mr Sekeramayi said, the number of assisted voters could be reduced by intensifying voter registration.
“While not much can be done about the status of those who get assisted, the turned aways however, can be reduced by effective and continuous voter education by the commission throughout the electoral cycle to educate the electorate especially in urban areas about their wards and ward boundaries with enough voter educators per ward,” he said.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), ZEC
(HERALD ZW) MDC-T leader struggles for evidence
August 9, 2013 Shingirai Huni
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the presidential election last week, has filed two separate applications at the Electoral Court requesting several election materials and information that he intends to use in drafting his main election challenge. This comes amid reports that the MDC-T leader was struggling to come up with evidence to back his claims of widespread rigging.
President Mugabe won 61 percent of the presidential votes, with Mr Tsvangirai trailing at 33,9 percent while the other three contestants shared the remaining 4,97 percent.
In one of the applications filed by Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practice, Mr Tsvangirai wants the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be compelled to provide him with:
a) The specific number of spoilt ballots that were cast in the presidential election per constituency.
b) The specific number of assisted voters that cast their vote in the presidential poll per constituency.
c) The specific number of voters that were turned away and failed to cast their ballot on polling day per constituency.
In the second application prepared by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners, Mr Tsvangirai made a request for 14 different election items, including:
* Full Presidential results per constituency
* Copies of the voters’ roll used in all polling stations.
* Copies of voters’ roll used in the special voting process on July 14 and 15 2013.
* Register of those who managed to cast their vote in the special voting process of July 14 and 15.
* Register of those who had been authorised to vote but failed on July 14 and 15 2013.
* Register of special voters who subsequently managed to vote on July 31 after failing to vote on July 14 and 15.
* Registers of assisted voters at all polling stations in the election
* Copies of the voters roll used in the postal voting delimited by ward and constituency.
* Copies of electronic voters’ roll.
* Register of those who were turned away from the polling stations and reasons thereof.
* Registers of those whose names did not appear in the voters’ roll but were allowed to vote using slips.
* Register of authorised postal and special voters.
* Contents of the closed and sealed ballot boxes and sealed packets delivered to ZEC’s chief elections officer,
* Number of spoilt ballot papers recorded nationally.
Mr Tsvangirai indicated in the two applications filed yesterday that he was in the process of drafting a petition that will be filed with the Constitutional Court and he needed the material urgently so that he meets the seven-day period allowed to do so which expires tomorrow.
The applications were filed late yesterday and they were still to be set down for hearing.
In the applications, Mr Tsvangirai argues that the material he required was in the custody of ZEC chief elections officer and that the sealed boxes cannot be opened without a court order.
Mr Tsvangirai’s lawyers wrote to ZEC requesting for the material on August 4 this year, but there was no joy due to the absence of a court order.
He highlighted his intention to challenge the election saying the special ballot was chaotic and that it might have resulted in the manipulation of the vote.
Mr Tsvangirai also argues that failure by the Registrar-General to timeously avail the electronic voters’ roll used in the special vote and on July 31 created real apprehension that the voters’ roll was tampered with.
He further argues that failure by ZEC chief elections officer to ensure safe and proper custody of election material relating to the special vote also created a window for manipulation of the vote.
Mr Tsvangirai also contends that the ballot papers may have been tampered with in terms of design and printing.
The ink used in the voting process, according to Mr Tsvangirai, could easily be washed off and hence creating the real risk and possibility that those who voted on July 14 and 15 may have been allowed to vote again on July 31.
Meanwhile, another MDC-T losing candidate Mr Jameson Timba also took ZEC to the electoral court with demands almost related to those by Mr Tsvangirai.
Mr Timba lost the National Assembly seat to Zanu-PF’s Cde Jason Passadi and is challenging the result.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), JOMIC, MDC
(HERALD ZW) Jomic reports expose MDC-T
August 10, 2013 Shingirai Huni Headlines, Top Stories No comments
Hebert Zharare Political Editor
MDC-T’S duplicity has been exposed by leaked Jomic Election Observer Mission reports that endorsed the harmonised elections as free, fair and credible with the party’s co-chairs feverishly working to ensure the report is not released into the public domain to abet their claim that the elections were farcical.
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has since filed an application at the Constitutional Court seeking to nullify the election results pursuant to having a rerun within the next two months.
However, 10 reports covering the country’s 10 provinces leaked to The Herald yesterday, confirmed that the elections were held in a flawless manner, a development that exposes for a sham the MDC-T’s refusal to accept the results that plunged the party to its worst defeat since its launch on September 11, 1999.
Although Zanu-PF had indicated that it was pulling out of Jomic alleging rampant abuse of the organisation’s assets by the MDC formations who were using them for partisan purposes, the Jomic secretariat working with the Zimbabwe Institute that acted as a conduit for donor funds proceeded to include Zanu-PF officials in the observer group.
The Jomic report exposes for a sham MDC-T’s pronouncements on the election results and flies in the face of the European Union, US, Britain and its dominion Australia that have been questioning the credibility of the harmonised elections..
The Anglo-Saxon alliance pumped an undisclosed amount of money into Jomic ahead of polls expecting a damning report from the body with an egg in the face, highly-placed sources disclosed yesterday.
Sources say some Jomic members (Mr Elton Mangoma MDC-T) and (Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga MDC), whose parties lost to President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, were refusing to convene a meeting to endorse the Jomic report and make it public.
By injecting millions into Jomic, the EU and Britain made it the largest single observer mission in the country.
Jomic was formed in 2008 in line with Section 22 of the Global Political Agreement and is composed of members of Zanu-PF and the MDC formations.
Some of its duties include ensuring the implementation of the agreement that died a natural death after the demise of the inclusive Government after the July 31 polls.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday said although Zanu-PF had indicated that it was quitting Jomic, protesting abuse of resources among other reasons, donors still tried to use Jomic with the hope of getting a negative report.
“The donors were working with the Zimbabwe Institute led by (Mr) Isaac Maposa to mobilise money for the elections.
“The Zimbabwe Institute was a conduit for donor money and Jomic proceeded to observe the elections and ignored Zanu-PF’s pullout and assembled a team of 30 000 observers so that there were at least four observers at each polling station,” he said.
Each political party seconded 10 000 election agents to the 9 500 polling stations established by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
After realising that all credible observers to polls — among them Sadc, Comesa, the African Union, Chinese observer team — had endorsed the polls, Jomic then defied its Western funders and came up with a favourable report.
“Contrary to what the donors wanted, some underhand measures have been made to put the report under the carpet.
“Some of the key MDC-T people like (Mr) Mangoma who lost the elections (and Mrs Mushonga) did not meet to authorise the release of the report. They want it to die a natural death. These people were never interested with free and fair election at all,” said Prof Moyo.
Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said the Jomic report was now immaterial after all organisations that mattered released their reports endorsing the elections.
“Jomic is a creation of Sadc and it (Sadc) has finished its work and produced its report and Jomic report is neither here nor there. So the deal is done.
“In this case, Sadc is supreme. Any other reports cannot be at variance with Sadc,” he said.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora yesterday Jomic was yet to release its report, adding if their representative, Mr Mangoma was refusing to authorise it, that meant he did not agree with its contents.
“It means (Mr) Mangoma does not agree with what is in the report. The fact that two thirds are not in agreement means there are serious disagreements. We trust Mangoma; he is an intelligent man, why should he sign a report whose contents he does not agree with? As a party we respect his judgment. What Mangoma tells us is what we do,” he said.
The other members of the MDC formation, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga and spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), JOMIC, MDC