Saturday, December 01, 2012

Kachingwe claims Nevers Mumba’s election as MMD president is invalid

Kachingwe claims Nevers Mumba’s election as MMD president is invalid
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, December 1, 2012, 1:39 pm

The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe has decided to invalidate the election of Dr. Nevers Mumba as party president.

In a letter to the National executive committee of the party, and obtained by media, Major Kachingwe said that he had decided to use powers vested in him by the constitution to cancel the election of Dr. Mumba to save the party from infiltration and destruction.

Major Kachingwe said that it had come to the attention of the party that Dr. Mumba is still a bonafide president of the Reform Party which he has not renounced or dissolved and that party records are still active at the registrar of societies.

Major Kachingwe said that this was against article 4 (A) (3) of the party constitution which stated that “to be accorded membership, a person must not be a member of any other political party in Zambia.

He also stated in the letter that when bidding for presidency, Dr. Mumba did not disclose the fact that his re-admission had been rejected and believably presented to the elections committee credentials obtained fraudulently.

Major Kachingwe noted that following Dr. Mumba’s expulsion from the party in 2005, his application for re-admission in 2008 was rejected at a meeting chaired by then party president, late Patrick Mwanawasa and attended by Kabinga Pande, Ronnie Shikapwasha and Mutale Nalumango among others.

He stated that this was also against article 6 (ii) of the party constitution which stated that “A member who is expelled from the party may be considered for re-admission upon re-application to the national Executive Committee.

Kachingwe further stated in the letter that the situation had potential to put the party into a dilemma if an election was to be held today because Dr. Mumba would be disqualified on technicalities for belonging to two political parties.

Dr. Mumba has also been accused of launching an illegal campaign for 2016 in Mufumbwe and sponsoring people to hound out the secretariat on flimsy allegations.

Meanwhile, MMD youths this afternoon hounded out party national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe out of his office, accusing him of dividing the party.

The youths dragged him from his office at the party secretariat in Rhodespark to the main road where he was forced to get onto a moving car belonging to one of the party officials.

This follows the letter that Major Kachingwe wrote to the party national executive committee informing them of his decision to nullify the election of Dr. Nevers Mumba as party president.

Present at the secretariat was party vice president for administration Brian Chituwo and Kabinga Pande.

And speaking to journalists after the incident, Mr. Chituwo said that what has happened is unfortunate because there is a more proper manner in which issue of the party can be addressed.


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(LUSAKATIMES) Sata meets 10 Nsenga chiefs from Eastern Province

Sata meets 10 Nsenga chiefs from Eastern Province
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, November 29, 2012, 8:18 am

President Michael Sata, yesterday met 10 Nsenga chiefs from Eastern Province. The chiefs who attended the closed – door meeting which lasted for over an hour included senior chief Luembe, senior chief Mburuma, chief Sandwe, chieftainess Nyanje, chief Nyamphande, chieftainess Mwape, chief Mumbi, chieftainess Mwanjabantu, chief Ndake, chief Nyalugwe and some members of the Nsenga Cultural Association.

During the meeting, the traditional leaders who spoke through chief Nyamphande praised the President for taking a bold step by revoking the recognition of Mr. Everson Mumba as senior chief Kalindawalo of the Nsenga people.

The chiefs stated that President Sata’s decisive and swift action on this long-standing dispute has freed the Nsenga people and brought dignity as well as harmony among the chiefs and traditional elders in Nsenga land.

They also expressed concern on the numerous border disputes between chiefdoms and requested that Government makes available boundary maps for chiefdoms to traditional leaders.

In response, President Sata said there was need for the Government and the people to respect chiefs and that traditional leaders should be included, and be at the centre of national development.

The Head of State directed the Minister of Education Dr. John Phiri to expedite the process of construction secondary schools in chiefdoms as per promise by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.

He said the PF Government was determined to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to rural areas to facilitate the development of schools, hospitals, chief’s palaces and roads among others.

President Sata advised deputy ministers and members of parliament to develop a habit of visiting chiefdoms whenever parliament goes on recess to assist in speeding up developmental projects.

The meeting was also attended by justice minister Hon. Wynter Kabimba, defence minister Hon. Geoffrey Mwamba, home affairs minister Hon. Edgar Lungu, agriculture minister Hon. Emmanuel Chenda, chiefs affairs minister Prof. Nkandu Luo, education minister Dr John Phiri, local government deputy minister Hon. Forrie Tembo, mines deputy minister Hon. Charles Zulu, agriculture deputy minister Hon. Nicholas Banda, chiefs affairs deputy minister Hon. Susan Kawandami, Eastern Province minister Hon. Malozo Sichone, Muchinga Province minister Hon. Charles Banda and Eastern Province permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba among others.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Maize-prices sky-rocket in Kabompo

Maize-prices sky-rocket in Kabompo
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, November 29, 2012, 7:30 am

Kabompo residents have appealed to government to offload large quantities of subsidized maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the district.

The residents want FRA to offload the maize so that they could from the market and mill it themselves because of the high increase in the price of both maize and mealie meal.

A survey conducted by ZANIS yesterday morning at Musamba and main markets in the district revealed that the price of maize has gone up from K10,000 to K30,000 per tin, and from K30,000 to K90,000 per 50 kilogramme bag.

Those talked to at the markets appealed to government to offload large quantities of FRA maize on the market for the general public to buy during the rainy season when the district faces hunger due to food shortages.

The survey also revealed that roller meal has run out in all retail shops in the district while a 25 kilo gram bag of breakfast meal is selling at K 75,000.00

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Sata Orders Army Exercise in Lukulu

Sata Orders Army Exercise in Lukulu
By By Roy Habaalu
Sat 01 Dec. 2012, 12:30 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says there is a clique of people in Western Province recruiting ex-servicemen to distabilise the country. And President Sata says he will authorise the minister of defence and his commanders to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and warn the warring parties not to distabilise the peace prevailing in Zambia.

During the 15th defence services command and staff college graduation ceremony, President Sata directed that graduating officers be sent to Lukulu district in Western Province to halt illegalities aimed at embarrassing the state.

"I would like to inform you that we have a clique of human beings in Lukulu called the Barotse Liberation Army (BLA). By yesterday (Thursday) they had recruited 275 human beings, they recruited 628 human beings and they have recruited ex-soldiers and ex-police men and ex-poachers. So I would like to ask the commanders to take these newly-trained people and yourselves, take them to Lukulu. We have to be ready because training when you are adopting theories is something else but when there is action, some of these soldiers here, they have never lifted a gun since they joined the army and they have retired. So they don't even know how to stand on parade with a gun because you don't know the velocity of that gun. So take them to Lukulu," President Sata said.

"Mr Chimese (ZAF Commander) provide airplanes and you Mr Chimese I told you before, its high time we sacrificed everything and let's have transport planes. You can't have an air force without transport planes. How am I going to lift these people to go and sort out the people in Lukulu? When you go there don't look at tribe." President Sata said it was the government's desire to see a defence force grounded in professionalism and possesses well rounded balanced knowledge not only in matters of defence and security but in other disciplines. The President said he was determined to equip the defence forces with abilities that would develop in them and capacity to continue developing the nation beyond their ears in defence and security services. He said the army currently appeared irrelevant because of lack of ammunition.

"How can you have an army without ammunitions? You have an army without guns," he said. President Sata said some time politicians become careless and incite people therefore the army should always be ready. "How can you say this country is totalitarian and yet you are using ZNBC? ZNBC is a government project," in apparent reference to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who was on ZNBC this week attacking government.

"So you people are using taxpayers' money to defend the peace of this country and you have to do it and take Lukulu as an exercise. We don't encourage exercises for obvious reasons but go and exercise in Lukulu." On the instability in the town of Goma in the DRC, President Sata said Zambia would send troops to that country like South Africa had done for peace keeping. But President Sata said the defence and security wings should not trivialise the current peace prevailing in Zambia because Luapula Province and Lake Mweru were porous border areas neighbouring the DRC.

"Comrade minister and your defence commanders, we shall give you authority to go to Congo and meet your counterparts in Congo and when you are listening to them go and warn them that they can play with other people, they cannot play with Zambia. If you people fail to handle them I will go to Matero and bring the youths they will come and sort them out," he said.

President Sata instructed the minister of defence to introduce marine transport saying issues of defence could not wait. He said the defence forces were solely for the purpose of national defence and that Zambia was committed to respecting the principles of non-interference in affairs of other countries. President Sata said Zambia stands ready to support all endeavours that would promote peace and would contribute to troops for peace keeping.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai will stand down if he loses to Mugabe

Tsvangirai will stand down if he loses to Mugabe
30/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MORGAN Tsvangirai will stand down as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) if he loses elections slated for March next year, he told supporters in Gweru on Friday.

Tsvangirai, who has led the party for 13 years, stunned supporters with the shock declaration even as he predicted his party would win.

“2013 election tikaruza, zvakaoma [if we lose, it would be difficult],” Tsvangirai said.

“You [should] take others and put them forward, isn’t that so?”

The former trade unionist, who became leader of the MDC at its formation in 1999, surprised supporters further by openly admitting the MDC had been an “apprentice” of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since 2009 when he joined a coalition government.

Tsvangirai said the coalition government had been a blessing in disguise as the MDC was too inexperienced to rule in June 2008 when he pulled out of the presidential election, controversially, after more than 200 supporters were murdered in pre-election violence.

“For the last four years, we were in transition - being shown keys, being made apprentices, being taught how to run government,” Tsvangirai said.

“We now know the keys are here, there and there. God has a purpose. It was God’s plan to first put us in the GPA, otherwise we would have gone into the deep end without experience and ended up at each other’s throats.
“God wants a peaceful revolution, not a violent revolution.”

Tsvangirai presided over a damaging split in the party in 2005 when senior figures, including his late deputy Gibson Sibanda, chairman Isaac Matongo, secretary general Welshman Ncube, treasurer Fletcher Dulini Ncube, spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi and elections director Esaph Mdlongwa led a break-away, accusing him of failing to tackle violence within the party and undemocratic tendencies.

Tsvangirai’s latest pronouncements could encourage rising stars within the party, including the popular Finance Minister Tendai Biti and likeable Nelson Chamisa, to step up their interest in the top job.

MDC-T supporters yearn for a re-unification of the party, but most accept that this would not be possible under a Tsvangirai leadership. Tsvangirai and Ncube, according to insiders, have a mutual hatred of each other.

Meanwhile, Ncube and Biti – both lawyers – are known to be close, and are amiable to the idea of a united front against President Mugabe’s uninterrupted 32-year rule.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai slams indigenisation policy

COMMENT - The neoliberal MDC is pleading to the Zimbabwean people to let foreign corporations keep everything, so they will 'bring jobs'. Jobs, not ownership is their motto.

Tsvangirai slams indigenisation policy
30/11/2012 00:00:00
by AFP

Scaring away investors ... Morgan Tsvangirai

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Thursday said the country's laws that force foreign firms to cede majority stakes to local blacks is driving away desperately needed foreign investment.

"That policy discord is what has led to the crisis of investment in this country," Tsvangirai told his Movement Democratic Change supporters as he launched the party's economic blueprint in Harare.

The two-year-old "indigenisation" law compels all foreign-owned companies to surrender 51 percent of their share-holding to black Zimbabweans in an attempt to reverse the inequalities caused by the country's colonial past.

It is a key area of contention between Tsvangirai and his coalition government partner, President Robert Mugabe.

The three-year-old power-sharing deal helped prevent the southern African country from tipping into a full scale conflict and stabilised the economy after bloody elections in 2008.

"Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly industrialised nation within a generation," said Tsvangirai in what is seen as a precursor an electoral platform, ahead of a 2013 vote to end the uneasy coalition government.

"We intend to raise Zimbabwe from failed state status where perception and suspicion run riot within the investor community whenever Zimbabwe is mentioned as a possible investment destination."

Tsvangirai said the indigenisation policy pushed by his rival Mugabe is not the solution to the investment crisis and a runaway unemployment rate of over 80 percent.

"The crisis we face... is opportunities for jobs," he said.

Duringthe week, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a member of Mugabe's Zanu PF party, warned that foreign companies which fail to comply with the controversial law will face prosecution.

Tapiwa Mashakada, Zimbabwe's Economic Planning Minister and deputy secretary general of the MDC said investors are avoiding Zimbabwe and instead choosing the booming economies of Angola and Mozambique.

The law "kills investor confidence. You cannot bring your money to invest in Zimbabwe when someone takes over 50 percent. Capital is timid," said Mashakada.

Several companies like Zimplats, the Zimbabwean unit of South African's Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum's mine in Zimbabwe, Unki, have submitted their plans to hand over majority shares to local people.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

(GLOBALRESEARCH) Are the Venezuelan People’s Gains `Solely Because of Oil’?

Are the Venezuelan People’s Gains `Solely Because of Oil’?
By Paul Kellogg
Global Research, November 30, 2012

While most eyes in North America have been on the presidential election in the United States, for people in the South another election last month was actually of more interest. In the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, incumbent president Hugo Chávez was up against a strong challenge, from a – for once – united opposition. Gwynne Dyer (2012) was not alone when he speculated, days before the vote, that this could be “Hugo Chávez’s swan song”.

However, when the vote came, it wasn’t really close, Chávez winning a third term as president with 55.08% of the vote, far ahead of the 44.3% obtained by his challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski (CNE 2012). Neither candidate in that other presidential election in the Americas can even dream about this kind of a victory margin.

There was good reason for huge interest “South of the Border” in the results of the election. The Chávez presidency has been at the centre of an assertion of sovereignty in Latin America and the Caribbean, an assertion of sovereignty that has put up a wall against economic, political and military encroachments by the Global North. To take one example from each of the spheres of economics, politics and the military, this wall of resistance has seen:

1. the 2005 collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), scheduled to be implemented that year, but which is now completely moribund;
2. the 2009 decision by the Organization of American States (OAS) to end its exclusion of Cuba from the organization (OAS 2012);
3. the 2009 suspension of Honduras from OAS membership because of a right-wing coup against President José Manuel Zelaya (OAS 2010).

None of these would have been conceivable just a few years previous. The fact of a growing group of states willing to defy the U.S. is a huge change from the 1990s. None of it would have been possible without the accession to office by Chávez in 1999, the first government in some years in the region (except for, of course, the one in Cuba) to openly oppose U.S. hegemony.

The accomplishments of the Chávez presidency are almost always minimized in the Global North press. Dyer is typical, acknowledging that “Chávez’s rule has benefited the poor in many ways” but saying that this is solely because of oil. Chávez, he says, “has enjoyed the advantages of big oil exports and a tenfold increase in the world oil price” so that “almost all the growth in Venezuela’s economy since Chávez took power is due to higher oil prices” (Dyer 2012).

This is quite misleading. Alberta in Canada has oil, and is one of the most developed areas of the world. By contrast, Nigeria in Africa has oil, and is mired in deep, debilitating poverty and underdevelopment. Using a resource like oil for national development, or alleviating poverty, is not an inevitable question, but a political question, and the situation Chávez inherited when he took office in 1999 was politically retrograde.

Since 1976, oil extraction, refining and distribution in Venezuela, has been under the umbrella of a state-owned oil corporation, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). But PDVSA did not operate in the interests of either the Venezuelan economy or the Venezuelan poor. It was, in effect, a front for Global North oil corporations, which maintained most of their privileges, paying exceedingly low royalties and taxes. In the Orinoco tar sands area, for instance, “the PDVSA capped the royalties to be paid by these projects at 1 percent” (McNew 2008, 153). An elite in PDVSA and the Venezuelan government became wealthy, but the economy remained in bad shape, poverty grew, and the oil wealth flowed out of the country.

Changing this situation proved extraordinarily difficult. In 2006 Chávez would call his plan for the oil industry “Full Sovereignty Over Oil” with the aim of gaining majority control of the 32 joint ventures with foreign companies, raising income taxes to 50% and increasing “royalties payable to the government from as low as 1 percent to 33 percent” (Carreño 2006; Collier 2006; McNew 2008; O’Grady 2005). In 2000, the objectives were much more modest. In November 2001, he passed the Hydrocarbons Law, whose key provision was to introduce royalties on a sliding scale from 20% to 30%.

The source for the details about the Hydrocarbons Law is an otherwise dry as dust publication called “The Oil Daily”. Interestingly, in the same issue of that publication, the authors highlight another aspect of the Chávez reforms that they consider problematic. “Also controversial is new land reform legislation that allows the expropriation of areas deemed unproductive by the government” (The Oil Daily 2011). There is a fascinating consistency to these spokespeople for big business, concerned to protect the interests of Global North corporate profits, and the Global South privileged, landed elite.

It was this modest attempt to push back against the privileges of the oil industry, which provoked the social crises of 2002 and 2003. The corruption in Venezuelan society was not limited to the corporations. The leaders of the main trade union central, the Workers’ Confederation of Venezuela (CTV) – including its most important section, the oil workers of Fedepetro – joined with the main bosses’ organization, Fedecamaras, to oppose Chávez. This perverse united front of privileged managers and corrupt union leaders, bent every effort to roll back the reforms.

The highlights of this struggle are well known. April 2002, there was an attempted coup against Chávez, stopped by massive mobilization of the poorest sections of Caracas, and a split in the armed forces. In the winter of 2002-2003, there was a strike (really a lockout) centred in the oil industry which brought the economy to its knees. This was only ended when the blue-collar workers who supported Chávez, pushed aside the white-collar workers who supported the opposition, and began to restart production. In the end, 18,000 PDVSA employees – half of the PDVSA workforce, but fully “90 percent of PDVSA’s white-collar workforce” were dismissed (Collier 2006; Clough 2008).

It is only after this massive social upheaval lasting almost two years, that Chávez was able to assert the very basic right to increase royalties on oil production in the country. The point is, there is nothing automatic about being able to direct profits from the extractive industries towards national economic development, let alone social assistance for the poor. There were very serious class forces opposed to these steps being taken, and two years of intense class struggle before these very modest reforms could be implemented.

None of this history matters for commentators like Dyer. He berates Chávez for overseeing a rate of economic growth that has been slower than in Brazil or Colombia. Of course economic growth in Venezuela has been slower. First, Brazil is the biggest economy on the South American continent, with a domestic market many times the size of that in Venezuela. Second, Colombia’s growth has been as a virtual client state of the U.S., and the price of its growth has been the displacement of millions from their land, and the death of thousands at the hands of right-wing death squads. Third, while Venezuela was able to assert control over oil by 2003, the oil industry in the country has never fully recovered from the loss of the 18,000 white-collar professionals. It is absolutely understandable why they were fired – their alliance with the bosses’ federation pushed the country to the brink of chaos. But the modern oil industry is extraordinarily complex, and their skill and expertise has yet to be replaced in the oil fields and refineries.

Veteran Latin American Commentator Mike Gonzalez in his analysis of the election, identifies some real problems in contemporary Venezuela. “[W]hoever travels to Venezuela with open eyes cannot fail to notice the conspicuous consumption of the bourgeoisie with its shopping centres, restaurants, the permanently guarded houses and estates, and the fourwheel drives with tinted windows that speed through the streets” (González 2012). He is right. There is a new elite developing around the state apparatus. The privileges of the old elite are still remarkably intact.

But Gonzalez makes his critique less persuasive by offering a confusing assessment of the election results. “Although official spokespeople of the government insist that the vote for Chávez grew, in reality, despite a large campaign backed up by immense resources, the vote he received was much lower than any since 1998” (González 2012).

In fact, the exact opposite is true. This is not the lowest vote total for Chávez since 1998. It is his highest vote total ever. The chart on this page makes this very clear. It shows the total votes counted in the last three presidential elections, the total vote for Chávez, and the total vote for his chief opposition candidate (CNE 2006; CNE 2012; IFES 1998).

There are several remarkable aspects to this chart. First – voter participation has exploded. The total votes cast in 1998 were just under 7 million. This jumped to almost 12 million in 2006 and more than 15 million in 2012. More than twice as many people cast ballots in 2012 compared to 1998.

This can only partly be accounted for by population increase. The other key factor has been the increase in overall participation. In 1998 63.76% of the eligible population cast a ballot. In 2006 that figure jumped to 74.69%. This year it reached the astonishing figure of 80.52%. These levels of voter participation are higher than in Canada, and far higher than in the United States. Perhaps we need editorials in the Globe and Mail and the New York Times, bemoaning the lack of democracy in the Global North, and praising Venezuela for high levels of citizen involvement in elections.

Then look at the vote totals for Chávez. He was first elected, in 1998, with 3.7 million votes. He almost doubled this in 2006, to a total of 7.3 million. This year he received almost 8.2 million votes, an increase of more than 800,000 from the total of 2006.

The 2012 elections did see a narrower margin of victory for Chávez, in the context of a massive voter turnout. Clearly what was going on was a serious mobilization by the right wing to oust Chávez. That his vote increased in the face of this tidal wave of right wing organizing, is impressive.

It was the fact of this right wing surge which shaped political attitudes in Venezuela. The only position to take in the 2012 election, with whatever criticisms, was to support Chávez, something that, as Jeffrey Webber points out, “was recognized by close to the entirety of the Venezuelan left over the last several months, including those sectors especially critical of the limits to the political economic program of the government and the lingering influence of an important conservative bureaucratic layer within the ruling party” (Webber 2012).

Outside of Venezuela, we face a different challenge. Chávez’ great crime in the eyes of the leaders of the United States, Britain and Canada, is that he has presided over a movement which has restricted their ability to drain oil profits out of the country, a movement which has instead diverted those profits towards social programs. As a result, the transnational oil companies, and the Global North governments will be only too ready to support any mobilization of the right-wing against Chávez, and we have to be ready to do our bit to oppose them, if and when they embark upon such a course of action.


Carreño, Rafael Ramírez. 2006. “Full Sovereignty Over Oil.” Sitio Web PDVSA.

Clough, Langdon D. 2008. “Energy Profile of Venezuela.” The Encyclopedia of Earth.

CNE. 2006. “Elección Presidencial – 3 De Diciembre De 2006.” Poder Electoral.

———. 2012. “Divulgación Elección Presidencial – 07 De Octubre De 2012.” Poder Electoral.

Collier, Robert. 2006. “Chavez Drives a Hard Bargain, but Big Oil’s Options Are Limited.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 24.

Dyer, Gwynne. 2012. “Hugo Chavez’s Swan Song in Venezuela?: He Could Lose; He Could Die. But What He Has Built Will Survive Him.” The Spectator, October 2.

González, Mike. 2012. “Venezuela: El Chavismo Contra Un Candidato No Tan Nuevo.” En Lucha, October.

IFES. 1998. “Election Profile for Venezuela – Results.” Election Guide.

McNew, B. Seth. 2008. “Full Sovereignty over Oil: A Discussion of Venezuelan Oil Policy and Possible Consequences of Recent Changes.” Law and Business Review of the Americas 14: 149–158.

O’Grady, Mary Anastasia. 2005. “Americas: Oil Wells Refuse to Obey Chavez Commands.” Wall Street Journal, May 20, sec. A.

OAS. 2010. “Member States.” OAS – Organization of American States: Democracy for Peace, Security, and Development.

———. 2012. “Member States.” OAS – Organization of American States: Democracy for Peace, Security, and Development.

The Oil Daily. 2011. “Venezuelan Strike Poses Big Challenge.” The Oil Daily, December 10.

Webber, Jeffrey R. 2012. “Latest Step in a Long Road: The Venezuelan Elections.” The Bullet, October 12.

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(GLOBALRESEARCH) Breaking: Western-backed Terrorists in Syria Slaughter Christians in Bombing

Breaking: Western-backed Terrorists in Syria Slaughter Christians in Bombing
By Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, November 30, 2012

Al Qaeda terrorists, backed, armed, funded, and diplomatically recognized by the West, have detonated 2 car bombs in Christian-Druze quarters in Damascus, killing dozens.

Twin car bombs carried out by the Western-backed so-called “rebels” have killed dozens of civilians in a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus, highlighting the sectarian extremism, not “democratic” aspirations, as well as the level of depravity, driving opponents of the Syrian government. Immediately after the explosions, and as casualty figures began trickling in, Associated Press (AP) attempted to spin and downplay the act of terrorism, claiming in its report, “Twin car bombs kill 20 in Syria, hospitals say,” that:

“Syrian hospital officials say twin car bombs have killed at least 20 people in a Damascus suburb that is mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad.”

Excusing egregious acts of terrorism aimed at Syria’s civilian population by claiming those targeted were “mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad” has been a favorite tactic of AP, BBC, CNN, Fox News, and others.

In reality, the vast majority of Syrians, from Christians to Druze, from Shia’a Muslims to moderate Sunnis, are targets of the sectarian extremist, Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrinated terrorists the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have been funding, arming, importing from across the region, and arraying against the people of Syria since at least 2007.

The terrorists in Syria have recently received a boost by the West, arranging for them a political front in Doha, Qatar to act as the reasonable “face” for their armed terrorism, portraying the premeditated destabilization by foreign terrorists as an indigenous struggle for “freedom and democracy.” Already, even that front has suffered setbacks, as its newly US-Qatari appointed leader, Moaz al-Khatib, has been revealed as not only involved with Western oil corporations, but also has declared on Al Jazeera his intentions of establishing an “Islamic state.”

Clearly, blowing up a neighborhood full of Christians and Druze would fall in line with just such a plan, driving yet more of Syria’s diverse population beyond its borders to live as permanent refugees – not with alleged plans of “freeing” the country, or gracing a multicultural society that has lived together for centuries with “democracy.”

To reiterate, the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia had planned as far back as 2007 to specifically use sectarian extremists to overrun and overthrow Syria. This was revealed in a report published by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, titled “The Redirection.” Citing US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials, as well as former US intelligence agents, Hersh reported:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Hersh’s report would also include:

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Clearly, that is exactly what is playing out now in Syria, despite the Western media’s best efforts to portray otherwise. The US Army’s own reports indicate that very hotbeds of violence in Syria today, match precisely with 2007 identified Al Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood epicenters that were supplying terrorists to Iraq to fuel similarly deadly sectarian violence there.

Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”

Additionally, the sectarian nature of these Western-backed terrorists was also warned against in Hersh’s 2007 report, specifically noting that if the plan went ahead, a sectarian bloodbath would ensue – and those hit hardest would include the Levant’s Christian populations. Hersh would report:

“Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Clearly this threat has now expanded over to neighboring Syria’s Christian populations. Western-backed terrorism has already targeted Christians across Syria, as reported in the LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” as well as in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” With the recent bombing of a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus to add to the list, it is clear a concerted campaign of genocide is aimed at Syria’s many minorities by Western-backed sectarian extremists – on record, purposefully arrayed against Syria for this very purpose.

Image: Libyan Mahdi al-Harati of the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), addressing fellow terrorists in Syria. Harati is now commanding a Libyan brigade operating inside of Syria attempting to destroy the Syrian government and subjugate the Syrian population. Traditionally, this is known as “foreign invasion.”

The silence of the UN, as well as the continued covering up by Western media agencies regarding this premeditated genocide is an egregious crime against humanity, one becoming increasingly difficult to cover up. The fraud of NATO’s Libya intervention is now fully revealed, with Libya’s “freedom fighters” exposed as Al Qaeda thrust into power by Western arms, cash, and diplomatic recognition. In Syria, before the legitimate ruling government has been destroyed, the West’s “freedom fighters” are now revealed for what they truly are.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Pick n Pay sabotaging economy: Chinamasa

Pick n Pay sabotaging economy: Chinamasa
29/11/2012 00:00:00
by Paradzai Brian Paradza

JUSTICE Minister Patrick Chinamasa has accused retail group Pick n Pay of deliberately sabotaging the country’s agriculture by continuing to import fresh produce from South Africa.

South Africa-based Pick n Pay acquired a 49 percent interest in TM Supermarkets last year in a US$13 million deal which was part of the group’s regional expansion programme.

But Chinamasa told an empowerment conference in Harare that the company’s operations in the country were proving detrimental to local producers and highlighted the need to restrict certain sectors of the economy to locals.

“Personally I do not see the need to celebrate and applaud foreign direct investment in the retail, wholesale and fuel sectors; those should be reserved for local investors,” he said.

“Visit any Pick n Pay supermarket and you will see that 99 percent of their goods are imported from South Africa. In fact Pick n Pay is in support of South Africa’s export strategy. They are importing lettuce, cabbages and tomatoes products which are locally produced.

“If you look at Section 25 of the Zimbabwe Investment Act you will see there are clear distinctions and the Indigenisation Act is much clearer on which sector for foreign investors and which ones for locals. We have to empower the locals and we might need to look at legal instruments available to ensure compliance.”

Chinamasa however, said there was no conflict between investment promotion and economic empowerment adding critics of the indigenisation programme were ill informed.

“This (indigenisation) is not a policy unique to Zimbabwe. Other countries have, in one way or another, implemented it and have achieved economic growth. If you look at the so-called Asian Tigers and the BRIC countries, the indigenous ownership of the economy is critical to achieving economic growth,” he said.

“Indigenisation and FDI are mutually inclusive. Other people talk carelessly of the two as if they are mutually exclusive. Indigenisation has not stopped FDI anywhere in the world. Investors are even known to go anywhere provided there is an opportunity to make money.”

Meanwhile, the government has started consultations on the 30-yearZimbabwe Broad-based Economic Empowerment Framework 2013-2042(ZIBEEP) which is expected to fine tune the current Indigenisation Act as well as value addition.

Announcing the plan, chairperson for the Research team Jane Chipika said the policy would also help transform and integrate the SMEs sector into the formal economy.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) I’ve given up on foreign banks: Biti

COMMENT - Why on earth is anyone asking a geriatric neoliberal like Eric Bloch for advice?

I’ve given up on foreign banks: Biti
29/11/2012 00:00:00

ZIMBABWE plans to amend its Banking Act after repeated attempts to sell Treasury bills failed to attract bids at rates acceptable to the central bank and Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said.

“I’ve written foreign banks off, they’re not worth their salt,” Biti said Thursday.

“That is why we are amending the Banking Act.” He declined to elaborate on the changes he plans to make, though he said in his Nov. 15 budget speech that the government would step in to regulate banks after the “misadventures” with T-bills.

Foreign banks that operate units in Zimbabwe include the U.K.’s Barclays Plc, Old Mutual Plc and Standard Chartered Plc, Togo’s Ecobank Transnational as well as South Africa’s Standard Bank Group and Nedbank Group.

Biti and the central bank are trying to rejuvenate the country’s capital markets after a decade-long recession ended in 2009 when the 15-nation Southern African Development Community intervened to facilitate a political settlement.
A coalition government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change was then formed.

Zimbabwe hasn’t been able to fund development projects or infrastructure repair through tax collection, while foreign aid has been sparse because donors aren’t confident about the southern African nation’s power-sharing agreement, Harare-based independent economist John Robertson said in a phone interview.

Attempts to raise money for government expenditure through the sale of Treasury bills, the first since the country abandoned its currency for the dollar, failed this month when rates offered by banks were rejected by the Finance Ministry and central bank, Robertson said.

“Banks are resisting because they’re not sure government will be able to repay the bills,” Robertson said. “Government likely wants to borrow at about 4 percent and it’s likely that 8 percent to 10 percent would ultimately be acceptable to the banks.”

Lending rates between banks are as high as 25 percent, he said. Annual inflation in Zimbabwe was 3.2 percent in September, according to the national statistics agency.

Zimbabwe’s indigenisation minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, said foreign banks are “determined to ignore” the country’s laws. The government on July 3 ordered all foreign-owned banks to transfer 51 percent stakes to black Zimbabweans by July 2013.

“The gloves are now off as they’re opposed to the aspirations of our people,” he said. “We tried to use moral persuasion, but this has failed. We now have to crack the whip.”

Four banks hold about 80 percent of deposits in Zimbabwe, Biti said in his November budget speech, without naming them. Lending rates will be capped at a maximum rate of not more than 10 percent above a bank’s weighted average deposit rate, he said in the speech.

Biti declined to say whether he had held talks with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe about the plan to force banks to buy negotiable certificates of deposit.
“It would be disastrous if he decides to marginalize the foreign banks,” Eric Bloch, a Bulawayo-based economist, said.

The effect will “be considerable” as it may cause job losses and “also worsen confidence in the sector at a time when it’s illiquid.”

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(NEWZIMBABWE) New farmers swell tobacco ranks

New farmers swell tobacco ranks
25/11/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) says it has registered more than 62,000 tobacco growers up from the 25,000 in the last season. TIMB Chief Executive Officer Andrew Matibiri said with grower numbers increasing, the focus was on now on improving the quality of the crop. At least 80 percent of the registered growers are small scale farmers.

“Now that the number of farmers has increased we wish that farmer organisations really work with the growers and that includes us to ensure that farmers do not concentrate on the quantity of the crop but the quality,” said Matibiri.

Matibiri said so far, more than 19,000 hectares of land has been put under tobacco. Prices for the crop in the last season closed 34,2 percent firmer, averaging US$3,69 per kg compared to US$2,75 last year.

The Medium-Term Plan (MTP) had forecasted tobacco output at 180 million kg this year, which could not be achieved due to limited funding among other constraints.

Still, overall sales volumes for the season reached 144million kgs.

Tobacco production has continued to record steady recovery over the years but officials say the industry needs US$200 million in fresh capital to return to peak production levels of 237 million kg recorded in 2000.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) KP to withdraw Zimbabwe monitor

KP to withdraw Zimbabwe monitor
29/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE can sell its diamonds from Marange on the world market under relaxed conditions, the Kimberley Process will say on Friday.

A meeting of the global diamond industry watchdog’s Working Group on Monitoring chaired by the European Union will say that the four mines in Marange – Mbada Diamonds, Anjin, Marange Resources and the Diamond Mining Corporation – have complied with KP requirements.

The Marange diamonds were blacklisted by the KP over alleged human rights violations, but the ban was lifted after Zimbabwe agreed to hold diamond auctions only in the presence of an external KP monitor and implement reforms.

Now the Kimberley Process is ready to withdraw its monitors, Abel Chikane and Van Bockstael, while reverting to the standard peer review system applied to other KP members, completing Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation.

The decision also means new diamond operations in Marange will be licensed by Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister without being subjected to external scrutiny.

Zimbabwe is hailing the breakthrough which comes as South Africa – one of Zimbabwe’s most vocal supporters – is set to assume the KP chair from the United States of America.

Speaking from Washington DC on Thursday where the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is holding its plenary meeting, Tafadzwa Musarara, chairman of the Zimbabwean NGO Resources Exploitation Watch, said the KP move was a massive coup for Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

"The decision to stop external monitoring of Marange diamond fields by KP is a big success for Mpofu and his team. It is intriguing to note that the EU, which is chairing this sub-committee, has now turned around to support the free trading of Zimbabwe’s diamonds,” Musarara said.

"It again seems that the United States wanted to have the Zimbabwe issue resolved during its chairmanship in order to get some credibility as it seemed obvious that incoming chair, South Africa, was going to deal with the matter in favour of Zimbabwe.”

The KP will also urge greater openness by the Zimbabwean government in the diamond trade, which Mpofu says is already being addressed under a new Bill.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says there are heavy leakages from Marange, which he says has potential to form the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy if the extraction and sale of the diamonds is done transparently.

At a diamond conference in Victoria Falls earlier this month, President Robert Mugabe said the Diamond Policy and the Diamond Bill due to be passed in the new year would addressed industry-wide concerns.

But Mugabe also accused the United States of imposing sanctions on the diamond mining firms and threatening buyers from Asia. This had reduced the market for the Marange diamonds internationally and lowered their price.

“Given (our) commitment to upholding of international industry standards and requirements, it goes without saying that diamonds from Zimbabwe must, in the same spirit, be allowed market space in order to trade competitively and fully benefit the nation,” Mugabe said.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T plan 'will turn Zim into $100bn economy'

COMMENT - And who exactly would own this '$100 billion' economy? Let me guess... Anglo-American De Beers, Morgan Tsvangirai's 'former' employer?

MDC-T plan 'will turn Zim into $100bn economy'
29/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T unveiled Thursday an economic plan it said would create one million jobs and reverse laws compelling foreign businesses to sell or surrender 51 percent ownership to Zimbabweans.

The program, known as The Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment Plan, or JUICE, aims to create a million new jobs from 2013 to 2018, expand the economy by 8 percent a year over the period and increase power generation to 6,000 megawatts, according to the policy document.

Zimbabwe has forced miners such as Zimplats and cigarette makers including British American Tobacco (BAT) to draw up plans that will hand cede control within five years.

“The problem that indigenisation poses is that it kills investor confidence,” the party’s deputy secretary general and Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada told reporters at the launch of the programme in Harare.

“Capital is timid, so once you say you are going to take 51 percent, why not go to Mozambique, Angola or DRC,” he said, referring to Democratic Republic of Congo.

But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the project was unworkable because “indigenization is a reality and it is not reversible.”

Still, Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the plan would “lift Zimbabwe from failed-state status” and establish a $100 billion “first-world economy” by 2040.

“The crisis we face for ourselves and our children is opportunities for jobs. Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly industrialized nation within a generation,” he said.

Tsvangirai blamed Zanu PF for Zimbabwe’s economic problems as the country’s struggles to shake off the effects of a decade-long recession adding the indigenisation programme was vindictive and targeted companies which did not support President Robert Mugabe and his party.

“Who will come to invest his money knowing very well that he has to forfeit a big chunk of it? We want to create a conducive business environment which will attract our genuine indigenous business people like Strive Masiyiwa back into the country,” he said.

The MDC-T leader joined Mugabe in a coalition government after violent but both leaders agree to arrangement is no longer workable due to bitter policy and other differences.

Fresh polls are expected next year but the MDC-T is pressing the full implementation of political reforms senior insist will ensure the outcome is not disputed.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

(HERALD ZW) Espionage: President speaks out

Espionage: President speaks out
Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:00
Fidelis Munyoro and Takunda Maodza

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday expre-ssed concern at allegations that British American Tobacco was collaborating with South African tobacco firms to engage in corporate espionage to sabotage local cigarette manufacturers.

He warned that individuals involved would face the wrath of law. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said police were already investigating the matter.

He was speaking at the official launch of the BAT employee share ownership scheme. The President said security informed him this week on the goings-on at the company.

“The good thing you have done today, I hope reflects the good ethics and good practices of BAT. But I am dismayed by information we have received over the week that BAT, operating with groups in South Africa, have been taking illicit action against another group called Savanna and a lot of things have been happening.

“Matrucks carrying fodya yeSavanna have been disappearing. Police are handling the case just now. These are briefings we got from security this week,” he said.

The President’s remarks come in the wake of reports that South African tobacco firms could be hiring hijackers to pounce on export cigarette consignments in transit to that country.

In the past years or so, indigenous cigarette manufacturers exporting to South Africa have lost an estimated R100 million worth of their products to the organised armed gangs.

Among the hardest-hit firms are Savanna Tobacco, Breco (Fodya Private Limited), Cutrag, Trednet and Chelsea.

BAT, which dominated the market for decades, is spared from the hijackings.

The syndicate also involves former policemen, military, intelligence individuals, Zimra officials and the judiciary.

Investigations by The Herald show that one of the country’s leading courier services provider is reportedly co-ordinating the espionage.

“I hope all will be well. In a bid to kill competition, you try to undo a competitor in that way? It is not acceptable. Some people will answer for it. It is quite a huge case. I will say it might affect you very soon,” President Mugabe said.

He hinted that police could have been corruptly involved the scam too.

“That is the information we have. I hope management was not aware of it, but I know you were. It is not good to do those things.

“Let us be straight-forward and honest. Your product should be good and honest,” he said.

However, BAT Zimbabwe spokesperson Ms Shungu Chirunda, denied claims that the firm was involved in any possible espionage to fend off stiff competition from indigenous cigarette manufacturers.

“We deny the allegations. Our position is we wait as the President said the matter is under investigations,” said Ms Chirunda.

“We wait until we have been approached. Our position at this time is we deny the allegations. We will wait until we are approached for our position as part of investigations the President said are already underway.”

BAT yesterday ceded 10 percent shareholding to its 170 employees, amounting to two million shares worth US$9,2 million.

Another 10 percent, amounting to two million shares worth US$9,9 million, were ceded to a tobacco empowerment trust earmarked for youths and women involved in tobacco growing.

BAT, which hopes to have relinquished 51 percent shareholding in line with the law by 2015, said 5,2 percent shareholding would be retained by indigenous shareholders.

It donated six tractors to the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment to be handed over to young tobacco farmers in the country.

BAT also donated 50 computers towards the Presidential schools’ computerisation programme.

President Mugabe once again rallied Zimbabweans to embrace the black economic empowerment programme.

“We must re-adjust as Zimbabweans. You are greater than what you think you are in your circumstances . . . Let us be masters of our own destiny,” he said.

President Mugabe said Zimbabweans should urgently move out of the mentality that they were born to slave in foreign owned companies.

He said the time was now ripe for indigenous Zimbabweans to form and successfully run their own companies, as economic empowerment was one of the goals of the liberation war.

“The process of taking 51 percent shareholding is only a process of empowering our people in companies that exist. The greater part is of our own people forming their own companies, to do that on their own not just taking what has been done by others. Establish your own mining enterprises, this is where I have a battle with you educated young people,” he said.

President Mugabe urged the indigenous Zimbabweans already in business to be disciplined and castigated a tendency by some to engage in corrupt activities in a bid to “get rich overnight”.

“Please, my people, getting rich is not possible in a stroke. You have to work for it. It is a process. You cannot do it in a day,” he said.

He took a swipe at some bankers who have helped themselves to depositors’ money saying such behaviour was unethical and unwanted.

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(HERALD ZW) Ambush on Zim escalates tensions

COMMENT - More rule by NGO. They are not there to ensure 'good governance', they are there to prevent the Zimbabwean government from breaking economic sanctions by selling the people's diamonds on the open market and getting a good price for it.

Ambush on Zim escalates tensions
Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:00
Brezhnev Malaba in WASHINGTON DC

A CRUDELY-EXECUTED ambush on Zimbabwe at the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme plenary by European Union-funded non-governmental organisations has escalated tensions here. Ms Marie Muller, who works for an EU-sponsored organisation, sparked outrage when she told the plenary that the Government of Zimbabwe was intimidating and even threatening the lives of activists in the diamond industry.

Shocked by the audacity of the attacks on the Marange mining operations and fearing that the plenary could degenerate to a farce, the outgoing US chair of the KP, Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, swiftly apologised to Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu and the rest of the Zimbabwe delegation.

Ms Muller, who works as a researcher for the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), alleged that “open threats” were made against a civil society activist by Government officials following the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference which was held in Victoria Falls from November 12 to 13. She rubbished claims that Marange was “a KP success story” after attaining full certification to export diamonds.

“Some people have called Marange a KP success. But if Marange were a true success, the re-definition of conflict diamonds would not be an issue at all,” said Ms Muller.

Ambassador Milovanovic quickly sought to douse the flames by castigating Ms Muller for making allegations about issues “that are beyond the KP”.

The BICC is an EU-sponsored organisation established in 1994 and headquartered in Bonn, Germany.

The focus of its work is “the conversion of military facilities and equipment to civilian purposes”, and this entails “the re-allocation of military expenditures, restructuring of the defence industry, closure of military bases, and demobilisation”.

Western-funded NGOs have in recent years accused Zimbabwe of militarising the Marange diamond operations.

BICC’s latest propaganda onslaught is meant to peddle the allegation at the international level.
The same EU, which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, is funding a propaganda war against the nation in a bid to scuttle diamond exports, an economic lifeline seen as a potential sanctions buster.
BICC has in the past been fingered for fanning diamond-related propaganda wars in Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.

Minister Mpofu described the behaviour of Western-funded NGOs as unacceptable. Western-funded NGOs are intensifying their attacks on Zimbabwe in the hope that the KPCS plenary would revoke the certification of Marange exports.

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(HERALD ZW) Sponsored war against Zanu-PF bound to fail

Sponsored war against Zanu-PF bound to fail
Thursday, 22 November 2012 21:12
Bowden Mbanje and Darlington Mahuku

Last week various provinces in Zimbabwe reaffirmed their endorsement of President Mugabe as the Zanu-PF presidential candidate for the harmonised elections scheduled for 2013. What is fascinating is the way the private media in their world of fantasy has gone into overdrive trying to suggest a presidential candidate for the revolutionary party. This clearly exposes signs of panic within the donor community. The endorsement of President Mugabe has clearly upset their hideous plans since they actually know that the man commands a lot of support countrywide.

What is written in the private media shows a veiled acknowledgement that it is not possible to unseat President Mugabe in 2013. Zanu-PF, as a tried and tested revolutionary party would never be foolish enough to be swayed by opinions coming from a group of Western acolytes who have an agenda.

The frustration and displeasure of seeing President Mugabe standing once more in what most progressive Africans see as the final battle against Western sponsored puppets has seen the private media launching an offensive against the person of the president.

This should not come as a surprise since there are quite a number of former Rhodesians who have business interests in Zimbabwe and they are clandestinely conniving with some Zimbabweans to establish business ventures if ever the revolutionary Zanu-PF party loses next year’s elections.
The private media and its foreign funders are very much obsessed by almost anything that takes place within the Zanu-PF leadership structures. This has always resulted in disappointment or disillusionment when the revolutionary party acts contrary to their narrow minded and myopic agenda setting expectations.

An election without President Mugabe would have given them false hope of an MDC victory. The foreign private media owners after realising that their aspirations have since been overwhelmingly quashed have thus decided to unleash a media blitz against everything that Zanu-PF stands for.
Arguably such propaganda will not be effective since the electorate is now very much aware of the shortcomings of Western sponsored political parties. It is also very irresponsible on the part of the media to attempt to indirectly participate in choosing a candidate for any political party.

Such short-sightedness is alarming and depicts ignorance of the functions of a political party. Political parties are organisations that sponsor candidates for political office in the party’s name. This automatically means that it is the privilege of political parties to choose candidates they deem or regard competent enough to represent them in any election be it local council, parliamentary or presidential.

We strongly believe that it will be suicidal for any political party to have candidates for political office dictated to them by external actors. It therefore becomes very interesting when Zimbabwe’s private media tries to suggest a “suitable candidate” for Zanu-PF to contest in the next presidential elections.

Had this same madness been extended to other political parties then maybe we would have said they are really concerned about who should govern. Nomination of candidates for public office is the sole prerogative of all political parties.

The MDC has shown some weaknesses in this regard as any external Tom, Dick and Harry is given the right to nominate a candidate of his choice to compete for public office merely because he would have provided financial assistance to the party.

It is a mandate of the political parties to help their candidates’ campaign for public office. They see to it that their nominated candidate canvasses or drums up support among the electorate.

This can be done through the holding of rallies, adverts in the print and electronic media, door to door campaigns and composing songs praising the candidates and so on. The media plays a crucial role in dissemination of information to the electorate as to enable them to make informed choices concerning the candidates competing for public office.

The agenda of the media should therefore be to promote balanced and fair news coverage that condemns bad things and acknowledges the good regardless of where they might be found.
In Zimbabwe, the media is bent more on vilifying those they dislike and praising the ones they like. The media is heavily polarised to the extent that it will be foolish and naive for anyone to suggest that the private media is fair and well balanced in its reportage of political events. It is also irrational and stupid to expect the public media to sympathise with the former colonisers.

This is the norm everywhere and Zimbabwe is no exception. This has therefore seen the private media openly and unashamedly campaigning for MDC candidates. That is what politics is all about and that is what the media also stands for since those who own and control the media cannot be passive observers in politics.

As an interest group the private media also seeks to affect the operations of government and individual politicians to act in accordance with their own interests. The private media is also made up of a group or body of individuals who share some political, economic and social goals and they also try by any means possible to influence those who hold public office.

In the UK, Rupert Murdoch and his media empire had such influence on many British politicians and parliamentarians. Many people tend to ignore the power that media houses wield especially when it comes to setting of political agendas.

Political parties also narrow policy options, so that the desires and demands of citizens are converted into a few policy alternatives.

The political party in power finds out what people want and looks for a way to combine and address those demands. This power to decide who gets what, when and how or to be in control of the authoritative allocation of values to society is one of the major reasons why the private media would want an MDC victory in 2013.

The whole issue is centred on power. What they want is a candidate who will serve the various interests of those who are funding the private media.

Claude Mararike contends that owners of the media are in most cases interested in a political agenda. Their reasons for setting up newspapers are to promote their political agendas and those of their friends or particular groups of people. The private media in Zimbabwe actually supports some candidates for political office especially those they feel will represent their interests when they get into public office.

It is no hidden secret that the private media does not conceal its admiration for PM Morgan Tsvangirai and that in itself glaringly shows the candidate they prefer to win in 2013. Anything to do with Zanu-PF has been portrayed in a very negative way and this because the people demanded “their own pound of flesh” that is control and ownership of their own resources.

This is the crime that Zanu-PF party committed against the private media’s handlers and editorial team.

The private media seeks to influence election process so that in the long run they will exert influence on the politicians they support so that their own interests will also be considered. It should never be taken for granted that those who own and control the media are also involved in national power struggles, politics and conflict.

Mararike is therefore of the opinion that it is nonsense to claim that the media is independent, free and above politics, economics, race, colour or creed. The private media through its foreign funders becomes vulnerable to Western manipulation as it ends up supporting the political ambitions of the MDC formations as well as British and American interests.

It is therefore very obvious that the majority of those who work for the private media are not necessarily professional journalists, but opportunists driven by a desire to make money. This money loving group does not mind doing the bidding on behalf of their Western handlers.

The private media in Zimbabwe has become an extension or appendage of the Western media as it openly supports the views of the former colonisers. Such media can never be said to be independent or fair.

In the 2008 presidential elections Tsvangirai had all the political, social and economic advantages tilted in his favour, but this time around it’s now a very different case. Many civil servants are bitter at the way they were hoodwinked into believing that Tsvangirai and his MDC cronies would unlock the keys to revive the economy.

It is now almost three years since the formation of the inclusive Government and yet not much has changed as regards the plight of civil servants. Zanu- PF should do something in 2013 for the struggling civil servants especially the teachers and nurses.

If Tsvangirai was to go to the moon today, he would of course get all the international media publicity Armstrong and his team of astronauts got from all corners of the world, but that would never give him a political edge over President Mugabe’s people centred policies.

Zimbabweans have travelled the bitter road of treachery, making them a bit wiser along the way. Americans were able to predict an Obama victory over Romney and Zimbabweans are also quite aware of who will be the victor in the 2013 elections.

It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to predict such an outcome. No wonder the private media is now panicking at the endorsement of President Mugabe to contest in the 2013 presidential elections. The electorate will always reward those who are committed to their cause.

Bowden Mbanje and Darlington Mahuku are lecturers in international relations, and peace and governance with Bindura University of Science Education.

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(HERALD ZW) The ‘We are so good’ rhetoric

The ‘We are so good’ rhetoric
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 21:34
Reason Wafawarova

Zimbabweans are heading for elections in March 2013 and this is the time when politicians cry out the “we are so good” message with so much conviction that makes it fashionable for all others to believe the rhetorical utterances from the self-anointed custodians of our opinions — the loud mouths that hail from the powerful political community.

The fundamental principle that runs political parties is “we are so good,” — “we” being the political elites that occupy leadership positions in the political arena. This of course is based on the totalitarian principle that conveniently asserts that political parties and the people are one — more for the need to lure votes from the public and less for the need to pursue the real needs and wants of the people. No known state on this planet has been spared this deception.

Ordinarily it must be apparent that matters have reached a pretty bad patch when informed commentators are compelled to conclude that democracy in Zimbabwe must rely on a person like Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party.

Democracy within the MDC was tragically and single-handedly failed by Morgan Tsvangirai in October 2005 when the man unilaterally overturned a popular vote in favour of contesting pending senatorial elections — of course leading to the splitting of the party into two factions initially, and to at least four such factions as things stand right now.

In September 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai simply overruled his party’s constitution and decided to stay beyond the 10-year limit as the party’s leader. Nelson Chamisa was instructed to tell all those who dared to question that the counting of Tsvangirai’s term limits was to begin in 2006, since the first five years had been “nullified” by the 2005 split. The supposedly perfect logic in Chamisa’s announcement was that Tsvangirai was now leading a new political party.

Those in the MDC-T who questioned the sense behind this explanation were roundly dismissed as Zanu-PF implants or infiltrators from the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation. These two labels are extensively used to control dissent within the MDC-T, as they are also used to explain away scandals and blunders, including the perpetual sex scandals.

In 2007 Morgan Tsvangirai used Thokozani Khupe to usurp the people’s will as she unilaterally imposed Theresa Makone as the chairperson of the MDC-T’s Women’s Assembly ahead of the people’s choice Lucia Matibenga. Violence and intimidation was extensively used to buttress the unpopular decree.

In 2008 Morgan Tsvangirai imposed at least 10 parliamentary and senatorial candidates for the pending election and the Midlands province was worst affected — leading to the late Patrick Kombayi leading a group of disgruntled renegades who proceeded to contest as independents. Resultantly the vote was split in favour of bitter rivals Zanu-PF, who were no less guilty themselves.

Of course Zanu-PF suffered the same fate in Manicaland and other areas where the party resolutely stuck to its notorious tradition of imposing candidates on the electorate — giving away close to a dozen seats to the MDC-T in the process and taking absolutely no blame for it. It was all blamed on the independents whom we were told had failed to put the interests of the party ahead of their own.
Now the MDC-T has crafted a way of retaining seating MPs as candidates for the March 2013 elections, and the party leader has so far predictably shown endorsing reticence.

Douglas Mwonzora explains that the seating MDC-T MPs will all participate in a one candidate contest each against him or herself — with a handful of colleagues in the party’s leadership structures having to confirm their political worthiness; literally against no one in contest. Once confirmed this way the seating MP will have the green light to represent the party in the 2013 elections. Cool bananas for everyone!

Only those stupid enough to fail to win against themselves will be send to meet the wrath of the grass root masses — who of course are waiting behind their popular new candidates, ready to punish the lazy and thieving lot that sordidly betrayed their trust in the last five years.

The Mwonzora-Chamisa confirmation venture is an exercise in gruesome mischief — only designed to sideline the masses and their popular candidates, and of course to protect the seating MPs against the wrath of the voters. There is simply no other plausible cause why the primary vote should be evaded or avoided.

Zanu-PF has simply labelled those who pose a political threat to its incumbent cadres “infiltrators” and the party has indicated that only those defined as cadres by the party leadership will be allowed to be popular with Zanu-PF supporters at grass roots levels. Going ahead to be popular with the constituencies without the nod of sitting leaders is an unacceptable mischief and such mischief will not be tolerated.

In other words one has to be popular first with those they seek to displace in the political structures of Zanu-PF before being popular with the masses themselves — and of course this is supposed to make perfect logic — unless someone has no idea on how gwara remusangano works.

The rhetoric leading to elections always dramatises the operative principle that says “we are so good,” and on an immediate practical level it ratchets up the peril of lies and deception in politics — the torturous trait of propaganda.

The manifesto of the MDC-T in particular carries an appreciable risk of ultimate doom. In Senator Obert Gutu’s words the party’s MPs and councillors are “a bunch of clowns,” and author Miles Tendi asserts the party “has a culture of mediocrity.” The party leader himself is technically so crippled that he needs “massive handholding,” according to American diplomat Christopher Dell.

Morgan Tsvangirai makes more news with his zipper and women than he does with policy matters and he has the temerity to brag about it all — of course on the basis that he only equals some of his political rivals in Zanu-PF when it comes to immorality. Regardless of whatever moral shortcomings Tsvangirai clearly commands, his party arrogantly prides in the indecency that allows its spokespersons to continually brand their corrupt entity the “party of excellency.”

Critics of the MDC-T have aptly labelled the outfit a “party of sexcellency,” and that is probably quite apt — given the graphic detail in the public domain over the sexual shenanigans of the party’s leader, described by Zanu-PF’s Jonathan Moyo as “a man with an open zip and shut mind” character.

The MDC-T run councils have in a short three years elevated public office-pilfering to levels of culture. These are the kind of people who sit and vote in favour of the idea that the need for luxury cars is more life threatening than flowing sewage in the streets of Harare and Bulawayo.

We are so good they tell us, so good that people must appreciate the need for all of us to lead by the excellent example of driving around in the most expensive of cars. That seems to be the logic in Zimbabwe’s political arena across the divide, and there is no trace of remorse whatsoever.

Didn’t our parliamentarians recently make decent claims for golden exit packages “in case this is our last time in Parliament,” and was that not meant to make perfect sense to our generality? Politics has become a vehicle of enrichment and our own politicians have popularised and normalised this tragedy.

Is it a wonder that the African political community makes up the biggest market for Mercedes Benz? We have a political tradition that says we are so good that we deserve the best and our people must adjust to the aspirations of their political leadership — including their insatiable appetite for wealth. After all luxury is not the opposite of poverty, only of vulgarity. So we are told. Even our own church pastors have religiously and zealously embraced this gluttonous trait.

The people of Zimbabwe must by definition appreciate that those among us who fought to bring us freedom and independence are so good that pointing out their shortcomings can only be tantamount to egregious sinning. This is precisely why some of our political leaders find it highly effective to wield before our sorry eyes war credentials each time they feel they are running out of sound political ideas, or they have been caught out doing unacceptable things.

Matters cannot be allowed to come to such a dire situation that we have to solely rely on the glory of our past to make a political impact in domestic politics. That we make quisling parties like the MDC-T appear noble intended.

This is why Zanu-PF has to expand its scope and strength on the basis of empowering beneficiaries of the land reform program and also empowering indigenous entrepreneurs through the policy of majority shareholding for locals in all major business enterprises, locals being a reference here to our grassroot people, not to some political elites enjoying the wealth of our country on our collective behalf.

Our liberation history must be the inspiration behind our resolve to defeat unsparingly the wreck of imperialism. It must not be a source of elitism on the part of those who sacrificed their lives for our collective emancipation and freedom.

That only defeats the heroism behind the liberation legacy and those who seek elitist recognition on the basis of having fought for national independence are worse traitors than the puppet politicians that receive instructions from Western capitals. A people’s solidarity cannot be blackmailed.

While the explicit critique of the state of the MDC-T in relation to the threat to the survival of democracy within the party is very harsh and bitter, it must be noted that the implicit critique of the Zanu-PF leadership in regards to the legacy of the country’s revolution is equally harsh and bitter, if not a lot more dire.

When disregard for moral values becomes a point of pride for those in support of our Prime Minister’s shortcomings we must be reminded that the species we call integrity is now threatened with extinction.

When our political leadership openly regards political office as a means to gather illicit wealth we must stand reminded that the species we call democracy has been decimated — never mind how many international observers declare our elections free and fair — something the MDC formations notoriously believe defines democracy.

We cannot allow our politicians the luxury of fooling our populace with this good for nothing “we are so good” rhetoric; whose only justification is the badness of political opponents from the other side of the divide, as if that in itself creates goodness on the other side.

There is no such thing as a lesser evil in politics or in the generality of life. Evil is evil, nothing more, and nothing less — and so is good; it is just that, good.

We Zimbabweans must vote wisely in 2013 and as it stands the only wise thing worthy voting for is the democracy that will allow us to fully control our wealth and our natural resources — in reality the only true meaning of democracy; not this vacuous numerical democracy measured by measly elections structured to ratify the wishes of political elites or those of their wealthy foreign backers.

Elections whether free and fair or not, in a country whose people have no control of their own means of production are a mere ratification of egregious exploitation. As such elections of this nature must be discredited and abandoned.

The two most outstanding democratic achievements ever achieved in Zimbabwe’s 32-year history are the land reclamation exercise and the economic empowerment policy.

On these two we can build a truly democratic society in full control of its destiny and posterity will forever cherish the legacy of those that have spearheaded these policies — particularly President Mugabe, a man also renowned for his early ’80s highly successful mass education policy.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.

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(HERALD ZW) Buhera: Tracking the hole that sank the Premier

Buhera: Tracking the hole that sank the Premier
Friday, 23 November 2012 20:43

My profuse apologies, dear reader, for not delivering on my commitment last week. What Nathaniel Manheru proposes, the good Lord disposes! But I am sure those opposed to the column must have sighed with relief, however ephemeral the relief might have been. Upset by my absence last week, one of my loyal readers decided to nudge me by way of an SMS joke which has been doing hot rounds in the nether.

You may have seen or read it already. If so, my apologies, but I will repeat it here for those who might not have received it: “Dear Auntie Rhoda, I am a man aged 50 something.

“My ex-girlfriend threatens to stop my wedding with another woman. Ndoita sei? Ndovaroora vese here kana kuti ndotsvaga mumwe futi? Yours Anonymous. Auntie Rhoda replies: Pfutseke iwe Tsvangirai!”

The hole that sank the premier

Just what is wrong with our Prime Minister? Last week he kicked over a busy anthill in Buhera when he sought to mobilise his rural neighbours to celebrate a two-hectare crop of green mealies donors put together for him and his mother in Humanikwa.

But pandemonium broke a day before the supposed celebration.
His irate neighbours mounted a spirited demonstration against him. And their grievance? Well, the Prime Minister had apparently sunk a new, deeper borehole next to a communal one.
This new, deeper borehole then stole water from the shallow communal one which had sustained the village — the Prime Minister’s family included — for years!

We was robbed, cried the villagers!
With the village borehole sunk to a mere 50 or so metres a long time ago, the Prime Minister’s was bored a deeper 65 meters, in the process upsetting the water table against the community.
What is worse, the new, deeper and well equipped borehole was off-limits to the whole village, dedicated as it was to Mbuya Tsvangirai, and of course to the lush, insatiable two hectares of drip-lined greens!

When the worm finally turned
But the community was also not too happy that it was being invited to an investment of narrow, personal value, never mind that the otherwise green patch was so pink with many Western envoys who had trooped down to witness this eighth wonder of the world in dusty, dry and congested Buhera.
The whole venture was viewed senyemu-nyemu yevakuru, as a boisterous display of power and means.

Were they being invited to learn anything at all, to be fed even, or this was a rustling, hissing brag by the Tsvangirais, a brag so well calculated to leave the whole village overawed and greener with envy? It was not a community investment.

Not even for Makanda Primary School, through which the Zesa line that powers the project passes, but parsimoniously without donating an amp of power, indeed without relieving the school of its engulfing darkness.

A real case of the neighbourhood curse! These factors triggered anger, anger that spontaneously organised a protest demonstration in a setting otherwise habitually phlegmatic and almost genetically authority-fearing.
They had been pushed to the darkest corner and yes, the worm finally turned!

Kicking a vote in the mouth
If the embittered village knew what Manheru knows, I have no doubt that a worse fate would have visited our beloved Prime Minister and his project. The water hole was drilled by Government, at no cost to the Prime Minister.

Similarly, power was extended to his home, again at no installation cost to him. Why not use your clout to as well deepen the hole of the community? To light up Makanda?
What is more, why not use the same Israelis to do even a comma five of a hectare for the community so your investment for your mother does not sit oddly, indeed, bears a semblance of motherly care, however fawned this may be?

Who would refuse to do that for the community, at the Prime Minister’s request? Now you turn an already poor community thirstier, angrier, in the wake of self-family glory? And this in a communal home which gave you votes in 2008, but has nothing to show by way of constituency development?

Improving sardines’ habitat
One blunder breeds one too many more. What was the Prime Minister’s message to the few, obliging villagers? Amazingly insensitive, inappropriately national. Tsvangirai used a dry, thirsty settlement to fight and score in a national altercation.

Land reform was unnecessary, he opined. I could feed the whole country from my two hectares, he added, eyes holier than those of Jesus who only managed to feed 5 000, all against our Premier’s 12 million from two hectares!

He said those things to an instigating applause from western diplomats copiously in attendance.
He is still fighting land reforms for the white man, a good 13 years later.
And he is doing it in style. Use technology to get packaged sardines to swim happily in a tin, and tell them you are at sea!

The Prime Minister thinks he is being novel, innovative. He forgets he is being diligently consistent with the Rhodesian philosophy of keeping the native happy in baboon country, so the white landed gentry occupies the land unmolested, unchallenged!

His staff should, if it has time to read at all, study what the Rhodesians did after the Land Apportionment Act, all to make the native appear to thrive in the sandy soils to which he had been consigned, condemned and confined.

By way of innovative farming methods, by way of fertility enhancement, by way of small, irrigation projects, by way of seed engineering for multiplier effect, by way of community development theory, birth control, among other practices.

The point was not to develop the native; the point was to stretch the capacities of poor land, to create an illusion of contentment in an environment of inexorably diminishing returns. It was to mask land alienation, to create an illusion of renewed possibilities in native minds, possibilities which did not apply to the white man on huge swaths of fertile land. Or worse, to get the native to blame himself for his ever declining livelihood.
This is how the Prime Minister’s drip, drip intervention is meant to do.

Where is the money for the eighth wonder?
Not that communal farmers should not be exposed to new technologies of farming. But that such efforts, if really well meant, should never translate into lessons on why land reforms should not have taken place, why land should have been left in the hands of the white man who then creates the Prime Minister, his politics and party in vengeful embitterment in the wake of reassumption of sovereign control by indigenous Zimbabweans.

Such an interpretation poisons well-intentioned interventions, and that is my gripe. Even resettled farmers do need drip irrigation, the same way an Israeli farmer uses it today, only on Palestinian land. But communal interventions must always be right-sized, development administration theories always caution us.

How much does it take to get a hectare of land productive under drip technology? How much is the borehole if you are not a Prime Minister?

How much is the power line, again if you are a mere villager? And the drip lines, the underground pipes, the valves, the filters and all?

With the Premier at 60, why did Ambuya Tsvangirai have to wait until her son rose to Premiership before she got the facility, if at all the technology is so accessible to communal families?
Or will the Premier retort: that is what Government must do? The same Government which can’t get a single bag of fertiliser for the communal farmer?

Failing to do so under his happy watch!
Is it not true that his people fondly remind us he supervises ministries under the Ministers Council, under the Government Work Programme (GWP)?
What small point was William Bango trying to make through his lame reaction to the President’s distribution of inputs under well-wishers’ programme? Who has really failed?
Who deserves to be sacked? Who has the powers to sack who, anyway?

Lesson of big shoes and small feet
Overall, I supposed the Prime Minister is not privy to Schummacher’s small is beautiful development theory, less for its postulates which I reject, more for its criticism of oversized shoes in small feet. As the Prime Minister shall see in the intervening weeks, it is very easy to handle the same matter differently so that it does not end up creating lots of food for thought for him, while hardly yielding a cob for the village stomach! Drip technology is capital intensive. Drip technology does not resolve issues of landlessness, rather, it comes in to turn land reforms to agrarian reforms, the latter being a broader stage in the development and elaboration of a land-based empowerment programme.
So issues of access to land should not be confused with issues of productivity, which is what drip technology takes care of, Mister Prime Minister! Of course I could have dwelt on the bigger problem which the Prime Minister and his party are facing, that of a relevant election message.
But that is for another day.

What is the story, Newsday’s?
Talking about useless messages, just who is driving the bankrupt News Day to go on and on about the mythical city at Mount Hampden? A story which gets more absurd with each installment? What is the paper referring to as the new city near Zvimba?

Could it be referring to the new site atop Mount Hampden for the proposed new parliament which the Chinese have offered to build at no cost to Government and the people of Zimbabwe? Could that be it?

I suspect so, given the paper’s reference to the Kopje site. The Chinese made it clear to Government that the Kopje site would be quite expensive to work on, with the greater part of the grant for the project going towards making the ground usable. That was made public and the media covered it. Towards end of last year, the President then led a whole group of Central Committee members to the new Mt Hampden site for an appreciation.

That visit was open to the media, although the media missed it due to own delays. Then Minister Chombo led a media facility visit.
Again more coverage followed. So what is the story, if someone at News Day could please tell me?

Swapping fate
Of course, there is a story, although it has nothing to do with the project about to start.
The real story stems from the newspaper’s anxiety that the telegenic project will redound to Zanu-(PF) electorally, thereby further weakening a struggling MDC-T. And the counter-strategy is to mobilise an attitude against it.

This is where the linkage with Zvimba vainly comes in! And a vain effort indeed it is! Which is nearer to Mount Hampden Zvimba communal lands or the Prime Minister’s Mabelreign home?
Which is nearer Zvimba, Norton or Mt Hampden? In what way does a proposed structure at faraway Hampden become the President’s home city the way that the nearer Norton does not?

I never thought journalism could become that bald. No wonder bonus-related petitions are flying between angry newsrooms and broke executive offices. We are a discerning readership and only foolish publishers allow equally foolish editors to ruin their enterprises on such a low-stakes game. I mean, in what way are adversities of the MDC-T News Day’s concern, let alone obsessive tragedy? In case they are, well then the publisher must embrace the shared fate that awaits him after March 2013!

What time takes care of
And still another senseless one. I have followed with amusement this whole debate about the constitution making process and the role of principals. I took note of Mwonzora’s petulant assertion that principals should not be allowed any nearer the document. I suppose he craved for principals as shouting partners. The principals did not oblige. Why would they given that with the submission of the document to the management team, Mwonzora’s role would wither away. Never waste in energy what time takes care of. It is now all quiet on the Mwonzora front! Then you had Minister Matinenga trying to make sympathetic noises in the wake of Mwonzora’s petulance. He would not agree to a process that would take the exercise outside Parliament, he said, citing the chapter and verse from an apotheosised GPA which today bedims the heavenly aura of the 10 commandments! Well, he didn’t have to agree; he is only an outgoing Minister who serves to the pleasure of the appointing authority. If he had indicated the job was beyond him, whether on grounds of capacity or conscience, another Minister would have been found or reassigned by the appointing authority. And he never told the principals all that he was bawling about through the press, which is why no one took notice. But that is not my main point.

Expletives with no sense
The process has now moved, with the principals meeting over it only last Monday. Before them was a report submitted as amended to the management committee by COPAC, of which the ex-ZANU Ndonga guy is a member. After looking at the document, the Principals cleverly ask Matinenga to reconcile the points of divergences as articulated during the Second Stakeholders Conference.

Matinenga is thrilled, boisterously telling the media he is in total charge of the exercise assigned to him by principals! Ha ha hahahaha! So that is what was at issue? Well, enjoy sekuru! I hope Professor Madhuku is taking full note in preparation for the last laughter. Billy Bango, it would appear, has made a second coming full of hard expletives, but hardly carrying any grain of sense. His abusive statement against Professor Madhuku conveyed more a sense of embitterment and betrayal than it gave a reasoned response to an opinion it so intolerantly and insolently sought to outlaw.


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(NEWZIMBABWE) Kasukuwere: Foreign firms face prosecution

Kasukuwere: Foreign firms face prosecution
28/11/2012 00:00:00
by Paradzai Brian Paradza I AFP

EMPOWERMENT Minister Saviour Kasukuwere warned on Wednesday that foreign companies that fail to cede majority stakes to locals as required by a controversial law risk being prosecuted.

Kasukuwere said most foreign companies submitted compliance plans but added that some businesses had ignored the law and reminded them to "realise the folly of what they are doing."

"Over 400 employee share ownership schemes have been established and more will be established as more companies comply with the legislation,” Kasukuwere told an economic conference in Harare.

“But I wish to make it clear that the law will take its course in such matters of deliberate disregard of the rule of law," said Kasukuwere during an economic conference in the capital Harare, attended by President Robert Mugabe.

Kasukuwere said anyone who "does not want to comply with the laws of this country or associate themselves with the aspirations of black Zimbabweans has no place in the affairs of our country."
The two-year-old law forces foreign companies to cede 51 percent of their shares to indigenous Zimbabweans.
"This programme is irreplaceable as it is founded on the ideals of our independence struggle," he said.

Several companies like Zimplats, the Zimbabwean unit of South African's Impala Platinum, have submitted their plans to hand over majority shares to local people.

Kasukuwere also dismissed claims industry and economic commentators that the policy would hinder foreign investment saying all the companies which have submitted their compliance proposals have gone on to make additional investments.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said there was need to have the Investment Act and Indigenisation Act administered by one minister to ensure harmony. Presently Kasukuwere administers the Indigenisation while the Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada is responsible for the Investment Act.

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