Thursday, September 19, 2019

Trudeau Scrambles to Halt Damage as Third Blackface Incident Emerges
Video of Canadian PM with his face, arms and legs painted black surfaced less than five weeks before federal election

Leyland Cecco in Toronto
Thu 19 Sep 2019 09.22 EDT

Justin Trudeau dressed as Aladdin, with dark skin makeup and a turban, at a 2001 function at a school where he was working. The image was originally published in Time magazine.
Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images

Justin Trudeau is scrambling to halt further damage to his re-election campaign after a string of racist images from his past put Canada’s image-conscious prime minister at the centre of yet another scandal.

Less than five weeks before the federal election on 21 October, the Liberal leader’s campaign was rocked when images emerged of Trudeau wearing blackface makeup.

On Thursday, new video emerged of a third instance of Trudeau in blackface – just hours after he had apologized for wearing what he described as “racist” makeup to a costume party in 2001.

The latest images came in a short, undated video clip published by Global News in which, Trudeau – his face, arms and legs painted black – waves at the camera and sticks his tongue out. The opposition Conservative party – currently neck-and-neck with Trudeau’s Liberals – confirmed it had sent the video to Global News earlier in the week.

A spokesman for the prime minister said he had spent the morning calling Liberal candidates and community leaders to fully apologize for what he did “knowing how racist and hurtful this type of thing was”.

The scandal erupted late on Wednesday, when Time magazine published an image of Trudeau dressed as Aladdin – complete with dark skin makeup and a turban – at a 2001 function at a private school where he was then working as a 29-year-old teacher.

Trudeau immediately apologized, and acknowledged that he had previously blacked up at a high school talent show, when he had sung Day-O, the traditional Jamaican song.

“I apologise profoundly,” Trudeau told reporters aboard his campaign plane. “I didn’t think it was racist at the time, but now I see, it was a racist thing to do.

“I’m pissed off at myself. I’m disappointed in myself,” he said.

Opposition politicians reacted swiftly, saying the decades-old images called into question Trudeau’s judgment, his commitment to diversity – and his fitness to lead the country.

“How do you look someone in the eye that has mocked the lived reality that I have lived – but, more importantly, what a lot of Canadians have lived,” said Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic party.

The Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer – Trudeau’s main opponent – said he was “shocked and disappointed” and claimed the prime minister had “lied” in his apology to Canadians.

But Scheer has also faced calls in recent weeks to eject members from within his own party for racist or homophobic statements. He told reporters he would stand by candidates who showed genuine remorse for previous actions – a standard he appeared unprepared to offer to Trudeau.

The Green party leader, Elizabeth May, said she was “deeply shocked by the racism shown in this photograph of Justin Trudeau”, saying the prime minister must commit to learning better social justice leadership at “all levels of government”.

A spokesman for Trudeau said that the prime minister had spent Thursday morning calling community leaders and Liberal politicians.

Greg Fergus, a Liberal MP in Quebec and member of the federal Black Caucus, said he was “hopeful” the incident could help spur “nuanced” conversations about systemic racism in Canada.

“I think the real measure of the man, and I think the thing we need to be talking about, is all the amazing things we have done for diversity,” Fergus said.

“What Justin Trudeau did was wrong. He has apologized. I know it is not representative of the man he is,” Mitzie Hunter, a black member of Ontario’s Liberal party, tweeted. “This is a teachable moment for all of us. I accept his apology and I hope Canadians do too.”

Others, were less forgiving of the prime minister’s previous actions.

“The privilege continues. There is no excuse for this. Apology is a first step. You should be aware of the history of #blackface and racism in this country and others. Apparently #diversityisourstrength? Deeply disappointed,” tweeted former colleague Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who left the Liberal party in March 2019.

After his landslide electoral victory in 2015, Trudeau was praised for his apparent commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as polices which appeared to offer an explicit rebuke to those of Donald Trump: he quickly named a young and ethnically diverse cabinet and initially welcome large numbers of Syrian refugees.

But he is fighting for his second parliamentary majority against the backdrop of a protracted political scandal: earlier this year Canada’s ethics watchdog found that Trudeau broke the country’s conflict of interest law when he allegedly pressured his attorney general to halt the criminal prosecution of the Quebec-based engineering giant SNC Lavalin.

Trudeau’s Liberal is effectively locked in a dead heat with rival Conservatives in terms of the popular vote, but they hold an edge when it comes to winning seats in parliament.

It remains unclear how the images will affect the prime minister, whose political career has benefited as much from his carefully curated public persona as from his policies.

When asked by reporters if he would eject a member of his own party for a similar image, he said he wouldn’t entertain “hypotheticals” and that each incident would be viewed on a “case-by-case basis”.

Asked why he should stay on as leader, Trudeau responded: “I’m asking Canadians to forgive me for what I did.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Country Has Overcome First Stage of Fuel Shortage With Minimum Impact
“We are not going to stop dreaming. Our people will continue to be happy, hard-working, creative, and joyful. This is part of the determination we have expressed to never surrender.”

Ronald Suárez Rivas |
September 17, 2019 10:09:07
Photo: Estudios Revolución

PINAR DEL RÍO- During a meeting to evaluate measures taken in the province to address the difficult energy situation, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez insisted, “We are not going to stop dreaming. Our people will continue to be happy, hard-working, creative, and joyful. This is part of the determination we have expressed to never surrender.”

The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers reiterated that the problem is a result of escalating hostility on the part of the United States toward the country, which has included the obstruction of fuel deliveries.

They are bogged down In Venezuela, he stated, the Bolivarian people are defending their revolution, resisting pressures and economic sanctions of all kinds. So the U.S. wants to blame their failure there on Cuba, and discount the heroism of the Venezuelan people.

Given the empire’s inability to force them to their knees, they decided to increase pressure on Cuba, and spread the idea that problems here are the result of government incompetency.

Díaz-Canel emphasized the importance of maintaining our condemnations of U.S. aggression and ensuring the people’s understanding of the causes of these conjunctural difficulties.

He reported that a tanker arrived on the 14th as projected, and that now the second stage of the response has begun, focused on ensuring that this limited supply of fuel lasts until deliveries arrive at the end of the month and in October, when the situation should return to normal.

“This fight will be won with much organization, much discipline, and by reinforcing austerity and conservation,” he insisted, adding, that the country has overcome this first stage of the fuel shortage with the least impact possible.
Ministry of Foreign Relations Statement: Cuba Strongly Rejects Activation of IRAT
Cuba’s Foreign Ministry denounces the shameful decision to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty that contemplates the use of military force

September 13, 2019 20:09:30
Photo: Granma

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces the shameful decision to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty (IRAT), a treaty that contemplates the use of military force.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly rejects its invocation under the pretext of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela being a threat to peace and security in the hemisphere, when in reality, the interventionist Monroe Doctrine implemented by the United States, hostility toward Venezuela, and the use of this treaty for such ends, that endanger the region’s peace and security.

Once again, the discredited Organization of American States was the vehicle for this outrage, in which an honorable group of nations openly opposed the decision.

Invoking the IRAT, which the United States used to justify military interventions and aggression in the region, causing so much pain and death to Latin Americans and Caribbeans, is a deliberate attempt to provoke a situation that could lead to the use of force to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro Moros, in flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

By rejecting this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls upon the governments and peoples of Our America and the world to resolutely oppose this measure that pretends to justify, via an artificial legal framework, intervention in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which is unacceptable.

Havana, September13, 2019
Raúl and Díaz-Canel Congratulate the Democratic Republic of Korea on Its 71st Anniversary
Raul reaffirmed the value Cuba gives ties with Pyongyang, based on the special relations shared by their leaders, while Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez also saluted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on its anniversary, on behalf of the people and government of our country

National news staff |
September 10, 2019 10:09:58

The Communist Party of Cuba’s first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, sent a message of congratulations to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, September 9, on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In his message, Raul reaffirmed the value Cuba gives ties with Pyongyang, based on the special relations shared by their leaders, according to a report on Cubavisión.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez also saluted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on its anniversary, on behalf of the people and government of our country.

Cuba and the DPRK established diplomatic relations August 29, 1960, and have maintained fraternal ties since that time, based on mutual respect and admiration, and the friendship shared by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz and the great leader Kim Il Sung.
Comandante Juan Almeida in Life 
The Cuban people have always considered him the third most important figure in the Cuban Revolution, after Fidel and Raúl. On the 10th anniversary of his death, Granma remembers Comandante Juan Almeida

Granma |
September 11, 2019 14:09:49
Comandante Juan Almeida in life.
Foto: Granma Archives

The Cuban people always considered it the third most important figure of the Cuban Revolution after Fidel and Raúl. Along with Armando Mestre, Almeida met the young Fidel at the University of Havana following the Batista coup of March 10, 1952. A revolutionary was born.

He came from a humble family, the second of 12 siblings, raised in the Havana neighborhood of Poey. By nine years of age, he was helping his parents support the family. He cleaned shoes, held a spoon like a bricklayer and scissors like a barber.

He was among the young rebels who assaulted the Moncada in 1953; went into exile in Mexico after being imprisoned with Fidel, returning on the Granma to fight in the Sierra Maestra.

He is the same modest, Black man who, in the battle of Alegría de Pío responded to a call to give up, shouting: No one here surrenders! The revolutionary who left a deep mark among those who lived through the war with him, inhabitants of Santiago’s eastern mountains, who had him as their delegate of the Party Political Bureau in Oriente; on his subordinates in the Central Army; on the men and women of the Party and deputies, in short, on everyday Cubans who identified him as what he was: Hero of the Republic of Cuba.

The humanity that always accompanied him, his guerrilla spirit, his books and songs, that penetrated deeply into the cultural heritage of Cubans, mean that he is, and will always be, in the hearts of our people.
Cuba’s Response to the Blockade: More Revolution!
Addressed at length on Cuban television, with the participation of President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and the Council of Ministers, were the tense energy situation the country is experiencing; its causes; and measures taken to minimize the impact

Granma |
September 13, 2019 14:09:34

To minimize the impact of this conjunctural situation on services for the population, limited resources will be allocated to priority areas, as discussed and approved by the Party Political Bureau, led by its first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz. Photo: Juvenal Balán

Addressed at length on Cuban television’s Mesa Redonda program, broadcast from Revolution Palace with the participation of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, were the tense energy situation the country is experiencing; its causes and bitter roots in the U.S. blockade; and especially measures taken to minimize the negative impact on the national economy and services for the population.

The problem involves only energy, the President said, not other essential supplies.

Ships carrying food are reaching the island, with grains, wheat flour, and other items. This situation obliges us to adopt measures, but the situation is purely conjunctural, he emphasized.

Referring to the aggressive imperialist escalation, Díaz-Canel recalled the words of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, delivered July 26, 2018.

“For us, just like Venezuela and Nicaragua, it is very clear that the blockade is being tightened, and our people must remain alert and ready to respond to any challenge with unity, firmness, optimism, and unwavering confidence in victory.”

The current U.S. administration, reiterated the Cuban President, is increasing its hostile actions against Cuba with the goal of impacting the basic needs of the people and their daily activities, and blaming the government for this. They want to disrupt the social fabric to force political concessions. The ideological subversion continues unabated.

He acknowledged that the aggressive stance against Cuba is also related to the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Venezuela.

Recently, he noted, new measures were announced to disrupt Cuba’s access to foreign exchange and prevent the arrival of fuel to the country

These unilateral measures have impacted contracts with shipping companies and some have withdrawn. This has caused a shortage is diesel fuel.

He explained that to minimize the impact of this conjunctural situation on services for the population, he said, limited resources available will be allocated to priority areas, as discussed and approved by the Party Political Bureau led by its first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.

The President reiterated that the U.S. has no new plan; that the government´s genocidal, perverse policy continues with the same goal: dishearten the people.

Given the current circumstances, Díaz-Canel emphasized the need to:

÷÷ Think as a country and assure the people´s understanding of the situation

÷÷ Work with courage, remembering that there is beauty in the challenge.

÷÷ Be proactive and think outside the box, proposing solutions with intelligence, creativity, and courage, without lamentations.

÷÷ Act differently. Generate new responses to problems that are not new. Keep the people informed and explain the importance of everyone´s participation.

The President stressed the need to call on all to assume the tasks required to confront the current situation. He added that we must have confidence in youth, and in the case of directors and cadre, said that this is the time to demonstrate convictions with appropriate action.

Strengthening the people’s spirit of resistance, while preventing any criminal behavior and denouncing opportunistic attitudes, are all important, he stated

Díaz-Canel called on the people to assert their control, to ensure that measures are implemented correctly, saying this is a victory for the strategy of thinking as a country, insisting, “On this aspect, there can be no retreat… This is a practice of the Revolution. The country’s development plans must be faced with popular Revolution.”
Wallerstein Without Anesthetics
Sep 17, 2019 by Atilio A. Borón
Originally published: Alai (September 9, 2019)   |

The death of Immanuel Wallerstein deprives us of an exceptional mind and an astute critic of capitalist society.(1) This is a doubly lamentable loss at a moment as critical as the present, when the international system suffers under the combined pressures of the tensions provoked by the decline of U.S. imperialism and of the systemic crisis of capitalism.

Wallerstein was an academic with a long career that extended over something more than a half century. He began with research on the countries of post-colonial Africa, in order to later begin the construction of a great theoretical synthesis on capitalism as an historic system, a task that he began in the decade of the eighties and that led to the production of a great number of books, papers for specialized journals and articles directed to international public opinion.

Wallerstein not only faithfully fulfilled the ethical principle that demands that an academic becomes a public intellectual, so that his ideas can feed into the debate that every society should have about itself and its future, but also, he followed an uncommon trajectory in the university realm. He began from a theoretical posture framed within the dominant paradigm of the social sciences of his country and with the passage of time came closer to Marxism, ending up, in his later years, with a basic coincidence with theorists such as Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, Andre Gunder Frank, Beverly Silver and Elmar Altvater, among many others, on the nature of the capitalist system and its unresolvable contradictions.

His trajectory is the inverse of that of many colleagues who, critical of capitalism in their youth or in the beginnings of their university life, ended up as publicists of the right, such as Daniel Bell and Seymour Lipset, prophets of the neoconservative reaction of Ronald Reagan in the eighties, or Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno who, having begun their intellectual and political work in the Frankfurt School, sank to the point where they abstained from condemning the war in Vietnam. Or that of writers or thinkers who, having started out in the left camp–such as Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa and Regis Debray–went on to become spokespersons of the empire and of reaction.

Wallerstein differed from all of these, not only in the substantive area of social and political theory, but also with his active insertion in the social struggles for a better world. He was an assiduous participant in successive meetings of the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, held conversations with [Mexican Zapatista leader] Subcomandante Marcos and other popular leaders in different parts of the world, participated in events organized by social movements, and stood out for his contributions to the epistemological discussion as revealed in his magnificent work of 1998: Open the Social Sciences. In this text, he proposes a radical critique of the methodological paradigm dominant in the social sciences, whose rigid positivist nucleus condemns these sciences to an incurable incapacity to understand the complex dialectic and historicity of the life of societies.

In line with this perspective of analysis, his projections on the course of imperialist domination could not have been more to the point. In one of his articles from the year 2011, he warned that “the vision of the United States is in decadence, in serious decadence, it is a banality. Everyone says so, except for a few American politicians who fear to take the blame for the bad news of the decadence if they discuss it”.(2)

In Latin America, on the other hand, among the dominant classes, the politicians of the establishment and the intellectual mandarins, a Hollywood-style vision still predominates on the health of the Empire, which continues to hold sway in a good part of the population. According to this perspective, Donald Trump represents the renewed vigor of the Empire and not the desperate floundering of those who resist admitting its slow but inexorable decline.

Nevertheless, there was not an ounce of infantile triumphalism in this diagnosis when he noted that even if “there are many, many positive aspects for many countries because of the decadence of the United States, there is no certainty that in the crazy rocking of the world boat, other countries can in fact benefit as they hope from this situation”. Or—we might add—those countries whose governments adopt a policy of national self-determination could benefit by maximizing their margins of autonomy in the global economy and world politics. Those who on the other hand submit to the dictates of the Empire will accompany it in its slow decline. The criminal warmongering of the Trump administration in response to the irreparable collapse of the post-war world order that had its axis in the United States, confirms the projections formulated by Wallerstein.

His prognosis on the future of capitalism is discouraging for the world bourgeoisie and their propagandists. In effect, in a conference dictated in Madrid in 2009, he sustained that “what we are seeing now is the collapse of the speculative period that took off in the seventies. Up to that point, everything in order”(3) But, he added, there is an extraordinary element and this is nothing less than “the end of the present capitalist world-system and the consequent transition towards another system. We still do not know what will take the place of capitalism because this will depend on the result of a political struggle that is still underway”. And he completes his reasoning declaring that “We can be sure that in thirty years we will not be living under a capitalist world-system. But, in which system will we live, then? It could be a system that is much better or much worse. All possibilities are open. We will find a solution when the conflict is resolved between what I call the spirit of Davos and the spirit of Porto Alegre”.

But what left little uncertainty in the thinking of Wallerstein was the evolution of a growing economic, social and cultural polarization that characterized contemporary capitalism. Concentration of wealth, knowledge and power in the hands of a few, within nations and in the international system, gave rise to the primacy of the enormous oligopoly conglomerates–in the real economy, finance, the media–the erosion of democracy, the exorbitant concentration of wealth and income and unequal access to education and the Internet.

This polarized world oppresses, exploits and excludes millions and crystalizes long-term tendencies that, far from declining, have intensified with the passing of time, confirming Wallerstein’s worst forecasts. This was his last investigation, in which I had the enormous privilege of being part of his international team of researchers, and which was published in a book whose original version, in English, appeared towards the end of 2014 and in Spanish, edited by Siglo XXI, in 2016. The title well synthesizes the findings of the different members of this working group: The world is out of joint. World-historical interpretations of continuous polarizations, 1500-2000.(4)

Given what has been exposed here, to where or to whom can we turn to nourish us theoretically and enable us to understand and transform this disjointed and chaotic world that Wallerstein’s book alludes to, going definitively beyond capitalism and leaving behind this painful and barbarous pre-history of humanity? Obviously, it is essential to read his dense and extensive work. But as he himself affirms “I have argued that the analysis of the world-system is not a theory but a protest against denied or hidden themes and against misleading epistemologies”.(5)

Much more than this is required, and in a message directed to the younger generations the master spelled it out thus: read Marx and not so much those who write about Marx. “One should read interesting persons” –he said– “and Marx is the most interesting scholar from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There is no doubt about this. No one is comparable in terms of the quantity of things he wrote, nor for the quality of his analysis. Hence, my message to the new generation is that it is most worthwhile to discover Marx, but one must read him, read him and read him. Read Karl Marx!”

This was one of his last counsels for understanding the nature and the dynamics of a system, capitalism, to which in 2009 he assigned two or three decades of survival. It would be a good thing if the Latin American universities would take note of this advice, given the ostracism to which the work of Marx and Marxists is usually relegated, rejected by the “good thinking” of the academy as expressions of an ideology and not as a theory and a philosophy that bring more than any other to the understanding of the world today. But as Bertolt Brecht opportunely recalled: “capitalism is a gentleman that does not like to be called by its name”, and Marxism precisely has the daring to do this, hence its marginalization in the university cloisters.

Thank you Immanuel for the insights that you have brought over so many years! Your work will not be forgotten and you will always be with us and with those who continue without a pause the historic struggle to overcome capitalism and to put an end to the domination of capital.

An abbreviated version of this article was published by Página 12 in its print edition of September 2, 2019.
Cf. “Las consecuencias mundiales de la decadencia de los Estados Unidos”, La Jornada (México), August 28 2011.
Carlos Prieto, “El capitalismo no existirá en 30 años”, interview with Immanuel Wallenstein in Público (España), January 31 2009.
The original version was published under the title The World is out of Joint. World-historical interpretations of continuous polarizations (Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Publishers, 2014)
Translated for ALAI by Jordan Bishop

Translator’s note: the quotes originally in English have been retranslated from the Spanish.
Pauline Reflects on Tribulations of Women Singers
18 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Godwin Muzari
Arts and Lifestyle Editor
Zimbabwe Herald

Issues of abuse and neglect of female musicians have been sensitive for a long time and seem to irk songstresses.

To some critics, the issues have been overplayed and tend to portray a crybaby mentality, but such judgments can be suicidal in the realm of gender narratives.

Female musicians continue to sing loud and often-times, emotionally about their quest for respect and protection.

It was same theme that Pauline Gundidza amplified in a recent interview with online show, “The A-List”.

Choosing an engaging narrative over emotional eruption that usually characterises such stories, Gundidza shared her views and experiences.

She seemed mostly worried about a stereotypical image that has been cast upon, mostly secular, female musicians for many decades.

The assumption that songstresses are of loose morals remains a stubborn perception.

“It is not proper to call us names. We are women working just like in any other profession.

“There are many talented musicians that have been heartbroken because their would-be in-laws could not accommodate a woman of loose morals in their families. And that judgement comes simply because the lady is a singer,” said Gundidza.

“They say ‘these people spend time performing in bars and they go home in the morning, they are just like prostitutes’. People should respect female musicians and stop calling them names. The fact that our workspace is different from others does not make us immoral.”

There are many female musicians that quit their art after getting married as their husbands made decisions to turn the tables.

However, Gundidza could not dismiss the fact that some individuals within their sector could have set bad examples and gave ammunition to their critics.

“As female artistes, we should also respect ourselves to earn respect from other stakeholders in the industry.

“If our behaviour is questionable, we give people negative impressions. For example, if you do not immediately go home after a show and you are seen getting into a promoter’s car and you start drinking together while other band members go home, what does that show? People will be forgiven for making negative conclusions.

“Let us be professional.”

She saluted women like Virginia Sillah Jangano, Stella Chiweshe and Susan Mapfumo for standing out in a male-dominated industry to open a way for female musicians that have graced the scene as lead singers and band leaders over the years.

“They had to stand above the stigma and show that women can also make it as leaders in music. Many that came before them were dancers and backing vocalists, but today many women are prepared to start their own bands.”

Gundidza works with an organisation that promotes women’s rights and she also spoke about general social ills that affect women.

She said all women need respect because they are mothers of the nation.

She alluded to a common trend in cities where women are verbally or physically abused because their dressing. She also encouraged parents to support their daughters academically to prepare them for bright future.

“The A-List Show” fights for women’s rights through engaging celebrities to share their views on the issue.

It is produced by United Kingdom-based actress, dancer and choreographer Enisia Mashusha.
Hre, Byo Restructuring Complete by December
18 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Joseph Madzimure
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

ZANU-PF expects the Bulawayo and Harare restructuring exercise to be completed before the 2019 party’s annual conference to be hosted by Mashonaland East Province, political commissar Cde Victor Matemadanda has said

In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Cde Matemadanda said  the restructuring of Bulawayo and Harare was underway.

“We have stopped the exercise for some weeks to pave way for by-elections. So the teams leading the exercise in the two provinces are working tirelessly to put proper structures. By the time we go to the conference, all the structures should be in place,” he said.

By year end, Cde Matemadanda said all structures should be in place.

“We need to have provinces being run on a full-time basis,” he said.

Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mnangagwa dissolved the party’s structures in Bulawayo and Harare in March this year.

The move sought to address problems that have resulted in the party perennially losing elections in the two metropolitan  provinces.

Said Cde Matemadanda: “As you are aware, there are some teams dispatched in Harare and Bulawayo by the Politburo. I understand the teams are now finalising the process. They have completed the setting up of cells, branches and are now finalising setting up structures at district levels.

“They are working tirelessly to put the party structures in place.”
ANC, Mbeki Honor Mugabe at South Africa Memorial
18 SEP, 2019 - 00:09 
Yeukai Tazira
Herald Reporter

THE African National Congress (ANC) yesterday held a memorial service for former President Robert Mugabe in KwaZulu-Natal and described him as an African statesman who played a key role in the liberation of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Speaking at Durban City Hall yesterday, former South African President Thabo Mbeki said the late Cde Mugabe’s contribution to the liberation of the African people will never be forgotten.

Cde Mbeki, who was the guest speaker at the memorial service, said he had kept contact with Cde Mugabe while he was hospitalised in Singapore.

“Cde Mugabe will be remembered as an outstanding fighter for the liberation not only of the people of Zimbabwe, but also all other colonially and racially oppressed peoples,” he said.

“Having begun his involvement in that struggle as a member of the ANC Youth League at Fort Hare (University), he grew to become an important member of the group of Frontline States in Southern Africa which made a sterling contribution to our own struggle for emancipation from apartheid.

“Zimbabwe has lost a father of the nation! As Africans, we have lost an eminent leader of our victorious struggle for national liberation.”

Cde Mbeki was among a number of African and international leaders who came to Harare for Cde Mugabe’s State funeral service held at the National Sports Stadium on   Saturday.

In a statement released earlier yesterday, ANC KZN provincial secretary Cde Mdumiseni Ntuli said it was important for his party to honour Cde Mugabe since he was a graduate of the ANC.

“He was part of the ANC Youth League detachment. He was one of the students who were educated at Lovedale College as well as Fort Hare University. He is essentially part of us. He is not only a highly respected Pan-Africanist and a leader of the national democratic revolution, but equally, he is seen by many of us in a way that we see President Nelson Mandela and President Oliver Tambo.

“He really played a significant role in the formation of the ANC Youth League. That’s why we felt it was appropriate for us to remember and honour him in this dignified manner,” said Cde Ntuli.

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor also said South Africa sympathises with Zimbabweans and the Government over the death of Cde Mugabe.

She described him as a great freedom fighter who played a sterling role in the freedom of Africa as well as in leading the struggle and building democracy in Zimbabwe.

The memorial at Durban City Hall was attended by over 5 000 guests.
Government Averts Disruption of Services at Hospitals
18 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Paidamoyo Chipunza
Senior Health Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Government has moved to avert the possible disruption of services at hospitals by deploying medical professionals from the uniformed forces.

Health professionals have been boycotting work since Monday claiming they wanted Government to furnish them with the whereabouts of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president Dr Peter Magombeyi, who was reported missing at the weekend.

Addressing journalists at Munhumutapa Building in Harare yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said in addition to medical professionals in the security sector, there were also some doctors who pledged to assist in public health institutions.

“The army are going to give us assistance and there are also some other doctors who have decided to continue providing services,” said Dr Moyo.

He said although the number of medical professionals in the security forces might not satisfy the burden of care in health institutions, patients with critical conditions would be able to get medical attention.

“There is quite a sizable number from each and every institution, not as much as we would have wanted them to be, but at the moment the information I have is that we have some coverage in our hospitals. So we will keep monitoring,” he said.

Dr Moyo further appealed to the striking doctors to return to work while giving security agencies a chance to investigate circumstances surrounding the missing doctor.

“As I mentioned yesterday (Monday), the matter was taken up by the securocrats and you heard from the securocrats, Minister (Cain) Mathema (Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage) and Minister (Owen) Ncube (Minister of State for National Security), they have given you the assurance on what the situation is and in the meantime we are concerned about service provision.

“I want to, as usual, encourage our workers to come back to work while investigations are taking place,” said Dr Moyo.

In a statement yesterday, the Health Apex announced that its members were also withdrawing their services in solidarity.

It also said it was suspending Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Panel meetings until their security was guaranteed.

However, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza told journalists yesterday that while employees had a right to demonstrate, there were set procedures that are supposed to be followed.

“They have the right to demonstrate, however, there are processes of negotiations that need to be followed because they represent the essential services meaning that we put the lives of patients first. So I would encourage them, very strongly, that this is a situation where we must consider the lives of the patients first,” said Minister Nzenza.

Government always makes use of medical professionals from the uniformed forces (army, police and prisons) in cases of crisis mostly posed by striking health workers.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Mugabe Mausoleum Construction Begins
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Zvamaida Murwira
Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Chronicle

CONSTRUCTION of a mausoleum for former President Cde Robert Mugabe has started with preparatory work at the site commencing while work on the design is still to be completed.

In an interview yesterday, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga said initial construction work had already commenced.

“What the nation might want to know is that work has commenced. In as far as design is concerned, yes, work is being done. The costs will only be known once we have the design,” said Deputy Minister Mhlanga.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage secretary Mr Melusi Matshiya said they were co-ordinating efforts with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

“Yes, work is going on but the lead Ministry is that of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing when it comes to construction work,” said Mr Matshiya.

A newscrew from our sister paper, The Herald, that visited the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday witnessed the moving in of earthmoving equipment and personnel.

Government conferred a special honour on the country’s ex-leader, Cde Mugabe, and decided to construct a mausoleum at the National Heroes’ Acre’s hilltop where the former leader will be buried.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), President Mnangagwa, told journalists last Friday that Cde Mugabe would only be buried upon completion of the mausoleum, to be built at the apex of the hill that hosts the national shrine.

President Mnangagwa said this at State House after meeting Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is among Heads of State and Government that came to pay their condolences.

President Mnangagwa said he was not sure about the timeframe that it would take to complete construction of the structure.

A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people.
RBZ Explains Exchange Rate Depreciation
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Farirai Machivenyika
Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Chronicle

THE depreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar against the United States dollar and other currencies in recent weeks is as a result of the closure of the tobacco marketing season which is a major foreign currency earner for the country.

This was said by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Deputy Governor, Dr Kupukile Mlambo, who was standing in for RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya, when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in Harare yesterday.

He said the country relied on four major foreign currency earners; tobacco, gold, chrome and platinum.

“The movements of the exchange rate are a reflection of the fact that we have come to the end of the tobacco marketing season.

“This country relies on four commodities for foreign currency; gold, tobacco chrome and platinum and between February to the end of August or early September we had all the four but at the end of August we had only three, so the amount of foreign currency has declined and these movements are a reflection of that. “They (the movements) are a reflection of what’s happening in the market. They have nothing to do with Treasury Bills because the Minister (Professor Mthuli Ncube) was very clear on that that he doesn’t borrow from the RBZ anymore and that’s the only way we can increase money supply through the issuance of TBs,” he said.

The tobacco marketing seasons opened in March and ended at the end of August with the country having sold 758,18 million kilogrammes worth US$526 million.

The value of the tobacco was, however, down from the US$737 million realised from the 753 million kgs sold last year.

Gold has earned US$500 million in the first half of the year while other minerals contributed US$910 million with platinum constituting US$573 million of that and chrome concentrates and high carbon ferrochrome contributing US$36 million and US$148 million respectively.

The local currency has in the past three weeks depreciated from around US$1: $9 to around US$1: $13,5 at the interbank rate.

Dr Mlambo said the existence of a black market for foreign currency was reflective of a shortage in the market.

“The existence of a parallel market is a reflection of a shortage in the system or wrong incentives in the system. Clearly we have to fix that and deal with that (black) market and the best way to deal with that is to make sure the interbank rate is sufficiently priced and there is always sufficient foreign currency,” he said.

Dr Mlambo said the only way they could control the parallel market was if the RBZ had control of all the foreign currency in the market.

“The only way we can control those kinds of markets where there is a parallel market is when the Central Bank has control of all the foreign currency in the system. As things stand we don’t have control of all the foreign currency in the system, a lot of it is outside our powers or purview and we have no way of knowing where it ends,” he said.

Dr Mlambo was also taken to task over the availability of new bank notes on the parallel market yet they were in short supply in the formal banking system.

“We interact with the public through commercial banks, we don’t sell money to the public. We give money to the commercial banks and we supervise them, and they give us returns.

“But if there is evidence anywhere please let us know so that we can act but at the moment we don’t have evidence,” he said.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: President Ramaphosa Apology for Xenophobia Welcome
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Zimbabwe Chronicle

WE welcome the public apology issued by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the African continent for the recent wave of xenophobic attacks on foreigners of African descent in his country. The apology will go a long way in placating the victims of the attacks, who include Zimbabweans, and assist in reducing tensions between South Africans and foreigners. In his eulogy during the State Funeral of the late former President, Cde Robert Mugabe, in Harare on Saturday, President Ramaphosa said the recent flare-up of violence goes against the spirit of oneness that was championed by pan-African stalwarts such as Cde Mugabe and former South African leaders, Cdes Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

Violence against foreign migrants has led to 12 deaths – including two Zimbabweans – and looting of foreign-owned businesses. “In the past two weeks, we as South Africans have been going through a challenging period,” said President Ramaphosa to the uneasy crowd at the National Sports Stadium.

“We have had acts of violence erupting in some parts of the country, some of which was directed at nationals from other African countries. “This has led to the deaths and injuries of a number of people, some of whom were nationals from other countries and the majority were South Africans.

“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret, and to apologise for what has happened in our country. “What has happened in South Africa goes against the principles of the unity of the African people that President Mugabe and President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and the great leaders of our continent stood for,” he said in a gesture that was cheered and applauded by the attendees.

His government, he added, was working “very hard” to encourage the “people in South Africa to embrace people from all African countries”. President Ramaphosa thanked his fellow African leaders for the support offered to his government in the wake of the violence. “I would like to state it here and now that South Africans are not xenophobic, South Africans are not against nationals from other countries.

“We welcome people from other countries and we are going to work very hard that we encourage and promote social cohesion of the people of South Africa working and living side by side with people from other parts of our continent. 

“This we shall do because we want to embrace the spirit of unity that President Mugabe worked for throughout his life.” Indeed xenophobia is abhorrent and goes against the spirit of African unity and Ubuntu. The gesture by President Ramaphosa is important in that it demonstrates the South African Government’s stance against xenophobia and the various steps it is taking to eliminate the scourge.

Yesterday reports from South Africa indicated that President Ramaphosa had dispatched special envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to several heads of State and Governments across Africa in the wake of the recent violence targeted at foreigners.

“The special envoys will deliver a message from President Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property,” spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement.

The team, which includes Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, and Dr Khulu Mbatha are expected to visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

According to the SA Presidency, the special envoys are tasked with “reassuring fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity”. In addition, the action is also meant to reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law.

“The special envoys will brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and to hold the perpetrators to account,” Diko said.

We commend the South African Government for the important steps it is taking to tackle xenophobia and hope that their efforts will bear fruit. The xenophobic violence has strained relations with the rest of Africa with reprisal attacks aimed at South African businesses being reported in Nigeria and Zambia.

There was palpable hostility towards President Ramaphosa before he addressed the crowd at the NSS on Saturday but after his apology and impassioned plea for African unity, the gathering warmed up to him. That spirit of oneness should be encouraged and inculcated in the psyche of South Africans so that the violence does not flare up again.

We are aware that the perpetrators of xenophobic violence constitute a small component of the South African population but their actions have dented the image of the entire country.

The Government of South Africa therefore has a lot of work to do to educate its citizens that they need to live harmoniously with foreigners and not regard them as enemies. President Ramaphosa’s apology was an important first step towards African unity and solidarity.
Minister Condemns Doc’s ‘Abduction’
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Mashudu Netsianda/Fungai Lupande
Senior Reporters
Zimbabwe Chronicle

THE Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, has condemned the alleged abduction of Harare Central Hospital medical practitioner, Dr Peter Magombeyi, saying he has since engaged State security agencies to intensify efforts to find him.

Dr Magombeyi, who is the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), was allegedly abducted from his house in Harare’s Budiriro suburb on Saturday night by three unidentified armed men.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Moyo said they were alarmed by the disappearance of the doctor.

“We have been made aware of the reported disappearance of Dr Peter Magombeyi, the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA and our employee at Harare Central Hospital in a case of reported kidnapping. As the Ministry responsible, my Ministry is concerned about the welfare, safety and well-being of all its cadres. We are taking this matter very seriously and we condemn any illegal acts by whosoever with the revulsion it deserves,” he said.

Dr Moyo said no stone would be left unturned as police intensify the hunt for the suspects.

“As the Ministry of Health and Child Care, we are alarmed by this. I have personally engaged the State security agencies who have undertaken to deploy resources to look for Dr Magombeyi and they are seized with this matter with no stone left unturned,” he said.

The Minister urged Dr Magombeyi’s family and his colleagues to remain calm and direct their efforts towards assisting police with relevant information that could lead to his return.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they since have launched investigations into Dr Magombeyi’s alleged abduction.

He said while they were seized with the matter, they have, however, noted that there was a possibility that the alleged abductions could be for political expedience. He said they could not rule out the possibility of a third force behind the alleged abductions aimed at tarnishing the image of the country.

Asst Comm Nyathi urged members of the public with relevant information to contact any nearest Police Station or the National Complaints Desk in Harare on (0242) 703 631 or on their WhatsApp platform number 0712 800 197 or alternatively the Harare Operations telephone number (0242) 748 836.

The Government is concerned about reports of alleged abductions and torture of citizens by unknown assailants and is looking into the cases to ensure all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.

In a statement last month, the Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, said since the advent of the Second Republic, there has been a force comprising discharged and disgruntled former members of the old establishment who have shown determination to impair President Mnangagwa’s image and attract international outrage.

He said there were some traits that indicated that there could be a third force in the abductions of citizens that was keen to tarnish the image of the President and Government.

On Sunday, a group of disgruntled doctors staged a solidarity march at the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) carrying placards denouncing the alleged abduction of their colleague.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) yesterday told the High Court in Harare that there is no connection between the two security institutions and the abduction of acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), Dr  Magombeyi.

The ZRP and CIO said they are “exhaustively” investigating the matter.

Dr Magombeyi’s sister, Elizabeth, through her lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, filed an urgent chamber application for an order of “habeas corpus ad subjuciendum”.

Habeas corpus is a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the State to bring the prisoner to court.

The respondents in the application are Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema, Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office, Owen Ncube, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and CIO Director-General ,Isaac Moyo.

Their lawyers, Messrs Gift Chihuta and Takudzwa Mutomba, told the court the application pointed fingers at the law enforcement agents as primary suspects in the matter while the concession was that Dr Magombeyi was abducted by unknown assailants. — @mashnets
Dr Magombeyi’s ‘Abduction’ the Work of a Third Force – SB Moyo
17 SEP, 2019 - 11:09
Nqobile Tshili
Chronicle Reporter

GOVERNMENT on Tuesday said the abduction of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) acting president Dr Peter Magombeyi could be the work of a third force out to tarnish the country’s human rights image at a time when a top United Nations official is expected to jet into the country.

In a statement in the morning, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the country is today expecting Mr Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Assembly and Association

He said Mr Voule will be in the country on a 10-day fact-finding mission and the country’s detractors could have used Dr Magombeyi’s abduction to soil the country’s image.

Dr Moyo said Government has already started investigations to find Dr Magombeyi and return him to his family.
Work on Mugabe Mausoleum Begins
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Zvamaida Murwira
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

The construction of a mausoleum for former President Robert Mugabe has started, with preparatory work at the site under way, while work on the design is still to be  completed.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga said: “What the nation might want to know is that work has commenced. In as far as design is concerned, yes, work is being done. The costs will only be known once we have the design.”

Secretary for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Mr Melusi Matshiya said they were coordinating efforts with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

“Yes, work is going on, but the lead ministry is that of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing when it comes to construction work,” said Mr Matshiya.

A Herald news crew that visited the National Heroes Acre yesterday witnessed the arrival of earthmoving equipment and personnel.

Government conferred a special honour on Cde Mugabe and decided to construct a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre’s hilltop where the former leader will be   buried.

President Mnangagwa told journalists last Friday that Cde Mugabe will only be buried upon completion of the mausoleum.

President Mnangagwa said this at State House after meeting Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is among Heads of State and Government that came to pay their condolences.

President Mnangagwa said he was not sure about the period it would take to complete construction.

A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people.
ED, Belarus Envoy Hold Crucial Talks
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09

President Mnangagwa welcomes Belarusian Chief of Presidential Affairs General Colonel Victor Sheiman at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

Zvamaida Murwira
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mnangagwa and Belarusian Chief of Presidential Affairs General Colonel Victor Sheiman yesterday held crucial talks to assess progress on investment opportunities which are set to transform Zimbabwe into the region’s transport and logistical hub.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) held a three-hour-long meeting with Gen Col Sheiman at State House that was attended by three Cabinet Ministers and representatives of other ministries.

Gen Col Sheiman’s visit follows President Mnangagwa’s trip to Belarus in January this year where they discussed investment opportunities in agriculture, mining, energy, transport and construction, among other areas.

President Mnangagwa and his Belarusian counterpart, President Alexander Lukashenko, sealed eight agreements and advanced a grand infrastructure scheme that could make Zimbabwe a regional transport and logistics hub.

Briefing journalists yesterday, President Mnangagwa said discussions sought to reflect on progress registered to date on the investment areas whose effect would be to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Gen Col Sheiman has come over to review the progress so far achieved. We have gone over all the items which we agreed on when I visited Belarus in January. It is work in progress on almost every area, but it is up to you to ask him,” said President Mnangagwa while responding to Press enquiries on what they had discussed.

Gen Col Sheiman said their discussions centred on how they could set up a solar-powered energy
generation that had the capacity to produce 100 megawatts.

“One other issue we discussed is on the energy sector. We have a task to create an energy generation company. This company will have a solar power plant. The power station will have the capacity of 100MW and will be installed 40 kilometres from Harare. This company will be engaged in transmitting electricity and distributing equipment,” said Gen Col Sheiman.

He said the company would also be involved in road construction and other infrastructure.

“It will be one of the biggest construction companies. According to instruction from President Mnangagwa we are going into agriculture which will be a joint venture between Zimbabwe and Belarus,” he said.

On transport, Gen Col Sheiman said they intend to have a joint venture for the movement of cargo.

“It (joint venture) will be involved in moving cargo in Zimbabwe and Southern African countries. It will transport cargo from seaports in Mozambique to Zimbabwe, providing transport services from Zimbabwe to seaports of Mozambique. We will then include this network of Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. Second stage is the creation of biggest logistic centre to facilitate the work of this company, this logistic centre will convert into dry seaport of Zimbabwe,” he said.

On agriculture, Gen Col Sheiman said Zimbabwe and Belarus would enter into a joint venture on production of wheat, corn, maize and soya beans and explore ways to increase milk production and processing of the milk.

He said they intend to secure a 10 000 ha piece of land for agricultural production.

“In this place we will also have poultry and poultry meat which will be large scale production. There will also be chicken and eggs. There will also be production of beef and milk, from the Belarus we will supply livestock, we will produce cows and buffaloes. We will increase the production of milk, the next thing is to install processing facility of milk for internal Zimbabwean market. We have a task from President Mnangagwa to produce low cost beef and milk for the internal market of Zimbabwe,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Ministers Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Winston Chitando (Mines and Mining Development), Sibusiso Moyo (Foreign Affairs and International Trade).
New HIV Infections Fall
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Sallomy Matare
Herald Reporter

The country has recorded a 27 and 9 percent decline in new HIV infections among children and adults respectively in the past three years, Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Agnes Mahomva said yesterday.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Principal Director (Preventive Services) Dr Gibson Mhlanga at the launch of HIV programmes review in Harare, she attributed the decline to collective efforts from Government and the private sector.

“As a country, we have made significant strides in curbing the HIV epidemic.

“New HIV infections among adults have declined by 9 percent, while in children by 27 percent from 2015 to 2018.Through the Mother-to-Child Transmission programme, 11 880 infections were averted in 2018, while 63 000 deaths were prevented through the Antiretroviral programme during the same year,” she said.

Dr Mahomva said over one million people were receiving lifesaving Antiretroviral Therapy with improved quality of life and productivity as people live longer on treatment.

Some of the programmes the ministry put in motion include voluntary medical male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis, comprehensive condom programming, HIV testing programme, elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, prevention and management of STIs and Antiretroviral Therapy programme.

Dr Mahomva said the launch of the review programme was meant to probe into weaknesses of the programmes and make way for new ideas to end the disease by year 2030.

“The review programme will help identify key programme gaps, achievements, best practices and innovations as Zimbabwe endeavours to achieve the 90-90-90 UN fast-track targets by 2020 and ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” she said.

“Zimbabwe is also reviewing the national health strategy and it is my hope that the findings from the review will feed into and inform the national health strategy.”

18 external experts and 80 internal reviewers were commissioned in the different parts of the country to conduct the process set to last for two weeks.

The Zimbabwe National and Sub-National HIV Estimates report 2017 from the ministry also reports a decrease in the number of AIDS-related deaths by more than 60 percent from 2010 to 2017.

The reports attributed this improvement to the wider coverage of Anti-retroviral Therapy.
Magombeyi Went to All-night Prayer, Hospital Memo Reveals
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Kudakwashe Mugari
Deputy News Editor
Zimbabwe Herald

Missing Harare doctor Peter Magombeyi bade his house-mate farewell and told him to lock up the door since he was going for an all-night prayer, an internal hospital memo has exposed.

According to a Harare Central Hospital internal memorandum dated September 16, 2019 and addressed to the chief executive officer Dr Tinashe Dhobbie by the Human Resources Department, Dr Magombeyi left home intentionally.

“On the 15th of September 2019, we visited Dr Magombeyi’s residence on number 2915 Budiriro 2, Harare. On our way, we passed through Budiriro Police Station where Dr Jena, his house mate was reporting the case. From there went to their house where Dr Jena showed us Dr Magombeyi’s bedroom. On the bed there was laptop and clothes Dr Magombeyi had removed that night,’’ reads the memo.

“Dr Jena told us that the last time he spoke to Dr Magombeyi was the previous night and Dr Magombeyi said that he was going out for an all-night prayer. He also instructed Dr Jena to lock the door since he was not coming back,’’ reads the memo.

Dr Dhobbie last night refused to comment over the phone.

“I haven’t met you and I don’t know you, so I can’t give you the comment,’’ said Dr Dhobhie.

News of Dr Magombeyi’s alleged abduction and disappearance last Friday has been spreading, with opposition and civil society blaming it on State agents.

There has been a series of such abductions lately, which have strongly been suspected to be either staged for publicity purposes or directed by some agents to besmirch the image of Zimbabwean Government ahead of regional and international forums such as Sadc summit and the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting to be held in New York, United States.

Typically, the United States Embassy in Harare, strongly believed to have a hand in “black operations” to justify continued interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs,  yesterday waded in, accusing Government of being behind the spate of alleged abductions totalling 50 since the beginning of the year.

But details emerged yesterday in a confidential memo released to The Herald that Dr Magombeyi may have left his house in the high density suburb of Budiriro, voluntarily.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were investigating the case after receiving the complaint.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in charge of Presidential Communications Mr George Charamba said the recent alleged abductions were choreographed ahead of the President’s United Nations General Assembly meeting and the maiden visit of a UN Special Rapporteur  who is due to arrive in the country today.  ‘

‘This is a characteristic propaganda stunt by the opposition and its supporters. They are aware that UN Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule is visiting the country, paying his maiden visit after a long hiatus,” said Mr Charamba.

“As you are aware until now under the First Republic, the Zimbabwe Government would refuse to entertain such a personage.

“The opposition thinks it can draw his attention through such propaganda stunts,” said Mr Charamba

UN Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule will visit Zimbabwe to assess the country’s achievements and challenges in relation to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the country.

This is the first official visit by an independent human rights expert, appointed by the Human Rights Council, to Zimbabwe.

The Special Rapporteur, who is visiting at the invitation of the Government, will meet with Government officials, representatives of the Judiciary, Legislature, independent institutions and civil society.

He will also meet members of the international community including UN officials.
WHO Warns of Dangerous Measles Comeback
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Bulawayo Bureau
Zimbabwe Herald

ZIMBABWE will next week hold a national measles-rubella vaccination campaign for children under the age of five, following a “dangerous” measles comeback, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.

Vitamin A supplementation will also be administered to children during the campaign.

In a report, WHO said the vaccinations and Vitamin A supplementation will be administered to children aged between six and 59 months on September 23 to September 27.

“Ensure all children aged between six and 59 months (below five years) are taken to the nearest vaccination point during the vaccination period. Take the child health card of vaccination along with you,” read the report.

WHO expressed concern over some of the irreversible effects of measles and rubella. According to WHO, measles is a preventable highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious health complications such as lung and brain infections in children.

“Deafness, cataracts, heart defects mental retardation, and spleen damage are some of the irreversible birth defects caused by congenital rubella,” read the report.

WHO warned of a dangerous measles come back last week set to affect many countries, including in Africa, as cases have been increasing since the beginning of the year.

“Every region in the world, except the Americas, is experiencing an increase in cases of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease that can kill or disable children,” said WHO in a statement last week.

“Nearly 365 000 cases have been reported globally this year, the highest figure since 2006, which represent only a fraction of the 6,7 million suspected cases. Measles caused an estimated 109 000 deaths in 2017 as shown by recent figures.”

WHO blamed weak health systems and misinformation about vaccines for the measles comeback. It urged social media outlets and communities to make sure information about preventing the highly contagious disease is accurate.

According to WHO the biggest outbreak of measles is raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine.
Chief Zvimba Blasts Zhuwao
17 SEP, 2019 - 00:09
Heather Charema Mash West Bureau
Zimbabwe Herald

Chief Zvimba has blasted some relatives of former President Robert Mugabe who are trying to politicise his burial while tainting President Mnangagwa’s name

Speaking to The Herald on the sidelines of a farewell ceremony at Murombedzi Growth Point yesterday, Chief Zvimba said the former President was not a chief, but belonged to the Zvimba royal family.

“Mugabe belonged to the Zvimba clan and he was a member of the Zvimba royal family and former President of this country.

“He was not a chief and the chief’s burial that you are hearing is not the truth,” he said.

“It’s a strict burial initiated by the Zvimba clan and the Government. We are working together with the Government. Whatever they want to do, they consult, so there is nothing that is done outside the requirements of the family and outside Government requirements.

“We work together with Government to the logical conclusion of the burial and there is nothing private or fishy about it. We will make the rightful announcements at the right time and there is no speculation.”

He said all those who were in exile should not confuse Zimbabweans by commenting from foreign lands, but urged them to make their contributions in person.

“I believe that Patrick Zhuwao left Zimbabwe after committing an offence. There is nothing that President ED Mnangagwa has done to chase out all those who went into exile, including Patrick Zhuwao. I can say that the guilty are afraid, ED as President has not expelled anyone from Zimbabwe,” he said.

“He is our nephew, but everything that he is saying is wishful thinking and people will not listen to him.

“What we expect as people of Zvimba and Zimbabweans, is people talking to us in their physical form and not announcing things in a foreign capital.

“Mugabe was a revolutionary par-excellence and iconic figure and founding father of Zimbabwe. He was a person who would tell you that you are a fool in your own country.

“We are full of praise for him as the people of Zvimba because he brought about the Land Reform Programme. We have mining rights which we enjoy today and free education. The Presidential Scholarship Programme promoted a lot of students who went to foreign capitals to learn there.”

Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi expressed gratitude to President Mnangagwa for taking care of former President Mugabe up to the time of his death.

“We are very grateful to his Excellency for the honour that he bestowed to the founding father of Zimbabwe who hails from Mashonaland West.

“It is a befitting honour and we want to thank him for everything he has done for him from the time that he was unwell in Singapore to the time when he passed on and also for hiring a plane to go and ferry him from Singapore.

“He was indeed our icon who united everyone during the war and after the war and embarked on economic empowerment to ensure that people of Zimbabwe get back their land.”
Taliban Delegation in Iran for Talks on Afghanistan Peace
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:36PM

Taliban representatives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (Photo by TASS)

Members of Taliban's Qatar-based political bureau have visited Tehran and held talks with Iranian officials on the latest developments of the Afghan peace process, including the breakdown of US-Taliban negotiations.

The delegation has reportedly conferred with a number of political and foreign ministry officials of Iran on the Afghan peace talks and the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The visit to Tehran was the second foreign trip of the Taliban delegation after the collapse of its talks with the United States. The Afghan group earlier paid a visit to Moscow, Russia.

A senior Taliban leader in Qatar had earlier said, “The purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and [US] President [Donald] Trump’s decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement."

US President Donald Trump canceled high-level talks with the group last week, citing a deadly bomb blast in Kabul that also left an American soldier dead.

“They thought that to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position when they did that they killed 12 people … And you can’t do that can’t do that with me. So they’re dead as far as I’m concerned," he said.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror. Some 18 years on, Taliban has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country and Washington has sought a truce with the militants.

After nine rounds of negotiations in Doha, which began in October 2018, American and Taliban officials agreed a draft accord that would have seen some 5,000 US troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

However, Trump cancelled the talks in a move that surprised the Taliban leaders.

The group said that an agreement had been “finalized” and that discussions had ended in “a good atmosphere,” but the deal had been sabotaged by Trump.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Iran Defends Yemen Drone Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities as 'Self-defense'
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:06PM

This satellite overview handout image obtained September 16, 2019 courtesy of Planet Labs Inc.  shows damage to oil/gas infrastructure from weekend drone attacks at Abqaiq on September 14 2019 in Saudi Arabia. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's president says the Yemeni army's recent drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities were merely for legitimate self-defense, and no one can expect them to remain silent when their country is destroyed.

The people of Yemen "have to respond" to the foreign aggression and the influx of US and European weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, President Hassan Rouhani told a briefing held in Ankara on Monday after his trilateral summit with Russian and Turkish counterparts.

"They cannot avoid legitimate defense when their country is being destroyed. What Yemenis do is legitimate self-defense, and reciprocal attack," Rouhani stressed.

His remarks came after Yemen's Ansarullah movement and their allies in the Yemeni army deployed as many as 10 drones to bomb Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco before dawn Saturday.

The unprecedented attack knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or 5% of global supply, prompting Saudi and US officials to claim without any evidence that it probably originated from Iraq or Iran.

Two sources briefed on Aramco's operations told Reuters it might take months for Saudi oil production to return to normal. Earlier estimates had suggested it could take weeks.

Astana Process good model for Yemen

In his Monday remarks, Rouhani also called for the end of the Saudi aggression against the Yemeni nation as a principal solution to end the war.

"We believe a political solution is needed to settle the Yemen crisis, and maybe what we witnessed in the Astana Process could be a role model for Yemen, and regional countries would be able to restore peace and security to the region."

The Astana Process is an initiative by Iran, Russia, and Turkey which mediate peace negotiations between representatives from the Syrian government and opposition groups in several rounds held in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) and other places since January 2017.

Trump: Looks like Iran behind Saudi attacks

US President Donald Trump on Monday once again claimed that it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia.

Asked by a reporter in the White House if Iran was behind the attacks, Trump said, "It's certainly looking that way at this moment and we'll let you know. As soon as we find out definitively we'll let you know but it does look that way."

"We have a lot of options but I'm not looking at options right now we want to find definitively who did this. We're dealing with Saudi Arabia. We're dealing with the crown prince and other of your neighbors. And we're all talking about it together. We'll see what happens," he said.

Trump claimed he is a person who "would like not to have war". "No, I don't want war with anybody but we're prepared more than anybody."

Earlier on Monday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry released a statement in which it refused to directly accuse Iran of being behind the attack, but said the Kingdom is capable of defending its lands and people and can respond strongly to these attacks.

Riyadh said in the statement it will invite international experts including those from the United Nations to participate in investigating an attack on its oil facilities.

“Saudi Arabia condemns this grave attack, which threatens international peace and security, and maintains that the aim of this attack is directed primarily at the global energy supply, and is an extension of previous hostile acts against pumping stations of Saudi Aramco through the use of Iranian weapons,” the statement alleged.

The so-called Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia later claimed that investigations indicated the weapons used in the attacks were Iranian.

The allegations come as Iran has repeatedly dismissed the claims of its involvement in the drone attacks, saying “futile allegations and blind statements as such are incomprehensible and meaningless within the framework of diplomacy.”

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of its vassal states in waging war on Yemen since March 2015 to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who resigned from presidency and fled to Riyadh in January 2015 amid popular outcry over corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Houthi Ansarullah fighters then took over state matters to prevent the country from descending into chaos.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

The war has taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.