Mujuru blasts MDC-T over disengagement
Zimbabwe Vice-President Joice Mujuru. The southern African nation has been subjected to a concerted destabilization campaign launched by Britain and the United States.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Zimbabwe Vice-President Joice Mujuru. The southern African nation has been subjected to a concerted destabilization campaign launched by Britain and the United States.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Vice President Joice Mujuru yesterday blasted the MDC-T’s disengagement from Government, saying it was a ploy calculated to derail preparations for the forthcoming agricultural season and discredit the land reform programme.
VP Mujuru was addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Bakasa Business Centre in Guruve during one of her tours of the district aimed at reminding people that they should remain focused and not be deceived by some political parties’ propaganda.
The meeting was attended by Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha, Zanu-PF provincial chairman and Mt Darwin North House of Assembly representative Cde Dickson Mafios and other party legislators.
"The real issue behind their (MDC-T’s) boycotting of Cabinet meetings is that they intend to derail the agricultural season which is imminent," she said.
VP Mujuru said the last Cabinet meeting which the MDC-T boycotted had resolved to use part of the US$510 million disbursed by the International Monetary Fund.
"We sat as Cabinet and agreed that the funds we received from the IMF would be used towards inputs procurement, health, roads and other developmental programmes," she said.
VP Mujuru said Cabinet also agreed that the cost of inputs like imported fertilizer should be subsidised to cushion farmers.
"When we continue importing we will be subsidising foreign farmers instead of our own," she said. VP Mujuru said MDC-T was hampering Government’s efforts to recapitalise the Grain Marketing Board.
"We have since agreed as Cabinet that all the 84 GMB depots should be opened so that farmers travel minimal distances when they go and collect inputs.
"In Mashonaland Central Cabinet agreed that eight more sub-depots should be opened in some remote parts of the country to assist the farmers," she said.
VP Mujuru said Cabinet had mandated Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made to announce subsidised fertilizer and seed prices next week.
She said Zanu-PF had fulfilled all its GPA requirements but MDC-T was making fresh demands outside the agreement.
She said provincial governors, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor and the Attorney-General were appointed by the President in his capacity as Head of State and Government.
She said the present governors, RBZ head and AG were appointed according to the law before the creation of the inclusive Government and MDC-T should only raise queries after their terms expired.
"But he (MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai) is saying no I would like to chair Cabinet and also be nominated Acting President when Cde Mugabe travels outside the country.
"We say no because the law does not allow that," she said.
She said MDC-T had not fulfilled its GPA obligations after it called for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
"They should go and tell Britain and America to remove the sanctions," she said.
VP Mujuru said there were reports that former white farmers were frequenting State-acquired land in the false hope that they would regain their farms from the new and rightful owners.
"Let us continue supporting the party (Zanu-PF) that brought independence and emancipated you from repressive colonial rule," she said.
Cde Mafios implored Government to look into the problems affecting Mashonaland Central ranging from roads, mobile networks and broadcasting services, which he said were in a deplorable state.
Tsvangirai ends boycott
From Morris Mkwate in MAPUTO, Mozambique
Sadc leaders yesterday convinced MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to end his party’s "disengagement" from the inclusive Government following a mini regional summit here.
Speaking to the media at the end of a summit of the bloc’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Mr Tsvangirai said they would, however, review their position after 30 days.
He did not say what course of action MDC-T would take if the issues he wanted addressed were not dealt with to his satisfaction at the expiry of the deadline.
Zanu-PF representatives could not be immediately reached to comment on the matter.
"We have suspended our disengagement from the GPA (Global Political Agreement) with immediate effect and we will give President Robert Mugabe 30 days to implement the agreement on the pertinent issues we are concerned about," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said he was "very satisfied" with the outcome of the summit.
The official summit communique had not been made public at the time of writing.
However, informed sources last night said Mr Tsvangirai’s announcement was in line with regional leaders’ expectations that his party engages the other partners in the inclusive Government to resolve any differences attendant to the GPA.
Sadc leaders, including President Mugabe, have in the past two weeks stressed that it is up to the parties in the inclusive Government to sort out their problems.
Opening the summit, President Armando Guebuza, who chairs the Troika, said Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations had shown commitment to resolving their differences and maintaining political stability for the country’s economic recovery.
He said indications were the parties "share more common views than disagreements".
President Guebuza said they should work on strengthening areas of convergence for the benefit of Zimbabweans and Southern Africa.
The Mozambican leader made similar observations on the political situation in Lesotho.
The summit was held to review the general political situation in the DRC, Lesotho, Madagas-car and Zimbabwe.
"In both Lesotho and Zimbabwe, we are fully aware that the political parties share more common views than disagreements," said President Guebuza, who was flanked by Sadc executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao.
"They do the most they can to overcome these disagreements and have shown great commitment in implementing policies and programmes that can answer the great desires of their people.
"We would like to point out that the challenges that have emerged can be overcome.
"In this framework, they must do the best they can to maintain political stability to allow foreign direct investment and the relaunch of economic activity in the country."
President Guebuza challenged the parties to pledge full commitment to working together.
He added that the report of the ministerial mission that visited Zimbabwe last week to review the Global Political Agreement provided useful pointers on the way forward.
Prior to the summit, media reports claimed that the ministerial mission’s visit and yesterday’s meeting were a direct result of MDC-T’s lobby following that party’s "disengagement" from Government.
The Organ chairman, however, indicated that the developments were in line with prior Sadc arrangements made at a summit of regional Heads of State and Government in the DRC in September.
President Mugabe, who is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, attended the meeting after President Guebuza extended an invitation to him.
Mr Tsvangirai, Prof Mutambara and Ms Thoko-zani Khupe were also invited.
Apart from President Guebuza, other members of the Troika are Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda (deputy chair) — who was represented by his Defence Minister Dr Kalombo Mwansa — and Swaziland’s King Mswati III.
South African President Jacob Zuma was present as an observer.
Others present included Cdes Emmerson Mnangagwa and Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF), Mr Tendai Biti, Mr Elton Mangoma (both MDC-T), Professor Welshman Ncube, and Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (both MDC).
Sources said MDC-T raised its usual concerns about Roy Bennett’s swearing in as Deputy Agriculture Minister, the appointment of provincial governors and the status of Reserve Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono and Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana.
Zanu-PF has said MDC-T has not played its part in the implementation of the GPA by calling for the lifting of the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.
External interference in the country’s domestic affairs through the beaming of hate messages by pirate radio stations and the setting up of parallel government structures by the Prime Minister’s Office are also among Zanu-PF’s concerns.
"Zanu-PF maintains that these (MDC-T’s concerns) are peripheral issues compared to the substantial issue of sanctions.
"This embargo is hurting the generality of Zimbabweans," the sources said.
"In fact, there is dishonesty on the part of the Prime Minister because he wants to use sanctions as leverage against Zanu-PF.
"His party also wants to use the sanctions to get Zanu-PF to comply with its demands.
"There is evidence that they want the sanctions to remain in force and this was their brief to the EU Troika that visited the country recently. So Zanu-PF wants this addressed."
President Mugabe has pointed out that Bennett will only be sworn into office if he is cleared of the terror-related charges he is facing in the High Court.
MDC-T started boycotting participation in Government on October 16 and ministers from that party missed three consecutive Cabinet sessions.
President Mugabe indicated that State functions would not be paralysed by that action and Government would continue operating in the best interests of the people.
However, there were efforts at rapprochement and it is understood that had the three principals met on Monday, they would have agreed on a common position ahead of yesterday’s summit.
Nkomo nominated for VP post
By Lloyd Gumbo
Former PF-Zapu members who sit in Zanu-PF’s Central Committee met in Bulawayo yesterday and nominated national chairman Cde John Nkomo to fill the post of Vice President and Second Secretary left vacant following the death of veteran nationalist and hero Cde Joseph Msika in August.
According to a party source, Deputy Senate President Cde Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, who had expressed interest in the post, was nominated to take over as party national chairman.
According to the 1987 Unity Accord, the two positions, as well as that of Home Affairs Minister, will be filled by cadres who belonged to PF-Zapu before the merger with Zanu-PF.
Speaking on condition of anonymity after yesterday’s meeting, a former senior PF-Zapu and Central Committee member said Cdes Nkomo and Ndlovu were unanimously endorsed as the candidates of choice.
"All the Central Committee members who attended the meeting unanimously endorsed Cde John Nkomo as VP and Cde Naison Ndlovu as the party national chairman.
"This was the best meeting we have ever had. We hope other groups will take a leaf from this and we are proud that this nomination had good representation from all the provinces.
"We are there to give an advisory opinion to other provinces and we are sure the other provinces are going to rubber-stamp our decision," the source said.
In an interview last night, Zanu-PF’s acting political commissar, Cde Richard Ndlovu — who presided over the meeting — could neither confirm nor deny that Cdes Nkomo and Ndlovu had been nominated.
He simply said one name had been agreed on for the VP post and similarly for that of national chairman.
Cde Ndlovu said the candidates were nominated in line with the 1987 Unity Accord and everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
"We were consulting on who we want to assume the Vice President’s position and the national chairman and we all agreed on the candidates.
"However, I can’t divulge their names at the moment because it will be premature at this stage. I can only confirm that the nominations were unanimous.
"The meeting was very cordial and everyone was happy with the nominations and we believe the other provinces will consider our nominations because this was in line with the Unity Accord," he said.
Cde Ndlovu said former PF-Zapu Central Committee members from all the 10 provinces graced the occasion and those who failed to attend sent solidarity messages.
He said the nominations would be done on November 14, but the names would only be revealed at December’s national congress.
"All former PF-Zapu Central Committee members from all the provinces attended the consultative meeting and we spoke with one voice. Nominations by other provinces will be done on November 14 but the names are only going to be made public at congress.
"This meeting was part of our consultations and so far we are on track, but the final nominations will be done by all provinces," Cde Ndlovu said.
Zanu-PF’s Politburo last week directed former PF-Zapu members sitting in the Central Committee to consult and nominate a candidate of their choice to fill the vacant post.
The decision was in line with an understanding following the Unity Accord that one of the two Vice Presidents should come from the most senior surviving member of the former PF-Zapu still holding a senior post in Zanu-PF.
Central Committee nominations deferred
ZANU-PF has deferred to November 14 the nomination for Central Committee members that had been set for this weekend.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, the party’s secretary for administration, Cde Didymus Mutasa, said various issues necessitated the postponement.
"We want to inform our members countrywide that the nominations of Central Committee members have been shifted from November 7 to 14. This was as a result of many reasons beyond our control.
"Firstly, we have noted that the nomination date was clashing with the Harare provincial elections set for this Saturday.
"We also wanted to give the Matabeleland region time to finish their consultations on coming up with a candidate to fill the position of the Second Secretary of the party," he said.
Cde Mutasa expressed optimism that the Matabeleland region would finish the consultations before the nomination date.
"There was a lot of advice for the Matabeleland region during the last Politburo meeting and I am sure that they will meet the deadline," he said.
Cde Mutasa said the party’s administration department was also yet to write to provinces informing them about their Central Committee membership quotas.
According to the party’s constitution, Cde Mutasa said, the nominations for the Central Committee members should be held on the same day in all provinces.
"The nominations for Central Committee members have to be done on the same day countrywide, so as a result of this Saturday’s commitments, we decided to shift the nomination dates," Cde Mutasa said.
He also took the opportunity to encourage provincial leadership to nominate mature and eligible members capable of dealing with the challenges facing the party.
Meanwhile, information at hand indicates that the party’s information and publicity department was seized with the drafting of the theme for the National People’s Congress set for next month.
The theme would be forwarded to the President and First Secretary of the Party, Cde Mugabe.
The Congress is expected to draw more than 10 000 delegates.
Tsvangirai driving Rhodesian agenda
By Alexander Kanengoni
POLITICAL events happening over the past two weeks have been so quick it took some time to understand them.
First, there was President Mugabe opening Parliament two weeks ago challenging the West for engagement.
Then followed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s surprising announcement that he was ‘‘disengaging’’ from the inclusive Government.
Then there was the flurry of movement from Sadc that culminated in the visit by the DRC president, Joseph Kabila of course this does not include UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowark’s unscheduled visit that unceremoniously ended in the VIP lounge at Harare International Airport.
The case for engagement with the West as part of efforts to get Zimbabwe out of the current economic problems cannot be over-emphasised.
But it is Tsvangirai’s announcement to disengage from the inclusive Government that is quite revealing.
The observation that the Rhodesian lobby could be controlling MDC-T, and therefore responsible for most decisions that the party takes, is frightening.
It was the Rhodesians that we fought against during the liberation war.
Although they may agree on many things, the West and the Rhodesian lobby are not the same. The two major distinguishing features of the Rhodesian lobby are:
-rabid racism and;
-a misplaced belief that they will one day, return to the farms
The Rhodesian lobby has always had disagreements with the West, particularly the British.
The lobby disagreed with the British over their view of Africans who the lobby regarded as unfit to rule the country.
A political deal the British had struck with nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo in London in 1960 envisaged a gradual increase in African representation in Parliament that would take up to 100 years for blacks to attain a parliamentary majority to enable them to elect the country’s first black ruler.
It was that deal that gave rise to popular euphemisms like: "The country is around the corner!" or "The country is in my briefcase!"
The Rhodesian lobby was livid. It would never give the blacks such a chance! "Not in a thousand years!" Ian Smith would boast three years later in 1963 after his Rhodesian Front party wrenched power from Winston Field’s Dominion Party.
Two years down the line in 1965, Ian Smith would rebel against the British Crown and declare independence.
Harold Wilson, the British Prime Minister promised to crush the rebellion by force, but he never did it.
It must be noted that it was the rise to power of the Rhodesian lobby that precipitated the split in the nationalist movement.
Hardliners, who included Robert Mugabe, Ndabaningi Sithole, Leopold Takawira, Enos Nkala, Edgar Tekere etc broke away from Zapu to form Zanu arguing that there was not much to expect from the British but to take the Rhodesians head-on through armed insurrection.
We are our own liberators! was the rallying call at the Gwelo (now Gweru) congress where the new party was launched.
The point is the British and the Rhodesians have not always agreed. In his book, The Great Betrayal, Ian Smith accused the British of selling out the Rhodesians at Lancaster House, declaring Rhodesians were prepared to fight the nationalist guerrillas to the last man.
Implicitly, he was still holding on to the myth that blacks should never have been allowed to rule. The man went to his grave clinging to that delusion believing strangely the war between the Rhodesians and the nationalists had not yet been settled.
The tragedy is Ian Smith was not an eccentric voice speaking on the fringes of a defeated community.
He was speaking on behalf of a community that had regrouped in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada.
It’s one thing to see the Rhodesian lobby in other countries outside our borders but quite another to see it rearing its ugly head in our midst, through the opposition (MDC-T is still an opposition by virtue of opposing in the inclusive Government).
Because, when a high-ranking opposition leader, Eddie Cross, recently said the clause in the GPA that the land reform programme was irreversible be revisited, one could not help seeing a frighteningly Rhodesian agenda.
The Rhodesians still dream of going back to the farms.
His secretary for information, Nelson Chamisa tried to douse the anger and panic the statement had ignited but it was too late because the Rhodesians had spoken.
When Tsvangirai decided to ‘‘disengage’’ from the inclusive Government primarily over the case of Roy Bennett, most people were surprised by the power and influence that the Rhodesian lobby wields within the opposition movement.
There have been other black MDC-T leaders, including Government ministers, arrested in the past for various offences, but the party’s response had not been as swift and as resolute as it was in Bennett’s case.
If anyone ever doubted that MDC-T was at the beck and call of Bennett, it was time to awaken to the fact.
There has been idle talk that MDC-T queues at Bennett’s office at the end of each month for its stipend.
It’s hard not to believe it now.
The other interesting point is the choice of Bennett for the ministry of agriculture.
But considering the power that he wields in MDC-T, he must have assigned himself to that ministry.
The question becomes why he gave himself that ministry. But it is easy to understand within the context of Rhodesians’ delusion of returning to the farms.
The anger reflected in the vandalism that one sees along the highways and the country’s infrastructure, most of which is senseless, can only be attributed to people with the mentality: if we can’t have it, then no one else should have it.
All the road-signs along the highways are gone.
Some of us thought it was the aluminium that the vandals wanted for resell. But when they also destroyed the concrete blocks showing the distances along the roads, then the agenda became purely Rhodesian.
The same applies to the other infrastructure that is being destroyed without any intention to resale.
The Rhodesians want to come back.
If it is true that Prime Minister Tsvangirai wants the power and influence of war veterans in state institutions like the army and police force diluted before he can return to the inclusive Government, that is another frightfully Rhodesian agenda.
War veterans symbolise the defence of the gains of the liberation war.
They are the people who toppled the Rhodesians from power and the last people Rhodesians want to see.
Calling for the dilution of their influence is tantamount to calling for their demobilisation from the army and the police force.
It’s like calling for the people to lay down their arms in the middle of a war. Prime Minister Tsvangirai is driving a Rhodesian agenda.
The Rhodesian lobby is Tsvangirai’s burden.
But the problem with him for us is when he tries to facilitate their return.
When President Mugabe talks about engaging the West, he is certainly not talking about engaging the Rhodesians.
The only place to engage the Rhodesians is the battlefield.
That has been the nature of the relationship.
Ian Smith went to his grave, less than a decade ago, still believing blacks were not fit to rule; that it was the British who sold out the Rhodesians at Lancaster House.
He died unrepentant. But is it not said shamelessly that Rhodesians never die?
Several years after independence, Peter Godwin, a former Rhodesian, published a book with the title Rhodesians Never Die.
The case for engaging the West that President Mugabe raised in his opening address to parliament recently is significant.
It is such an engagement that will eventually lead to the lifting of economic sanctions. To expect the opposition to tell the West to lift sanctions would be folly because the powerful Rhodesian lobby will not allow them to do it.
There will be other voices besides ours, calling for the lifting of sanctions; Sadc and the AU for instance. But it will be us engaging the West, particularly the USA and Britain, that is key to getting sanctions lifted.
I don’t think there is much difficulty in that regard because the basis for such engagement already exists — the Lancaster House Agreement.
Both the British and the Americans were there and are signatories to the agreement.
There are still outstanding commitments agreed at Lancaster House.
The British pledged 36 million pounds towards paying off the white farmers and supporting a future land reform programme.
The Americans pledged an equal amount. I believe those commitments need to be revisited. We should ignore the letter by the then British secretary for International Development, Claire Short in November 1997 that reneged on her government’s commitment, as agreed at Lancaster House, to pay for the land because it is dishonest.
I believe it was that letter which was largely responsible for the tragedy that occurred between 1998 and 2008.
I do not believe the case for re-engagement with the Americans to repeal the US sanctions law; ZDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) is complicated either.
If we accept that the Americans enacted ZDERA in return for British military support for the invasion of Iraq and that Obama was elected on the promise of getting the Americans out of Iraq, then theoretically, the reasons for ZDERA fall away.
There are other reasons that make re-engaging the Americans less complicated.
There are many things about us that must fascinate the Americans, our resilience and prowess. The attempt to lure Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Gideon Gono to the World Bank was a clearly American initiative.
I believe there are two things they wanted to achieve.
They had correctly identified that he was the man preventing the country’s economic collapse and they wanted to remove him to hasten the process.
They were fascinated by how he had, literally single-handed, managed to save the country from economic collapse.
There is no doubt that the Americans are fascinated by our military prowess in Mozambique and the DRC. Our army cleared Renamo from the Beira Corridor and stopped Kinshasa from falling.
Who would not envy an army with such a string of accomplishments? There are many things about us that fascinate the Americans that they would jump at the slightest opportunity to work with us, sometimes at even the level of individuals as they tried to do with Dr Gono.
As far as the British, the land reform programme is a fait accompli.
It’s the powerful Rhodesian lobby and their own huge ego that they have to deal with. The lobby wants President Mugabe out of power in order to go back to the farms.
The British would want President Mugabe out of power not to facilitate the Rhodesians back to the farms, but as a way to exact revenge on the man who challenged their global supremacy openly and embarrassed them.
Such vengeance would soothe their bruised ego.
But I am sure they are already looking at their interests in Zimbabwe beyond the land reform programme.
An MDC-T official confessed recently in a discussion that the inclusive Government was the best thing to happen because if MDC-T had tried to govern alone, that government would have collapsed from ignorance and inexperience.
I cynically quipped his fears were unfounded because the Rhodesians would govern for them.
A colleague with us encapsulated the implications: "If the Rhodesians come back, then it will be another war!"
What does Morgan know about heroes?
Tarwireyi Matsika Chifambayi Tirivavi
EDITOR — In 2002 we came across a cartoon of Morgan Tsvangirai entitled "The Dreamer" which showed a sleeping Tsvangirai slouched in an easy chair, obviously in dreamland, an empty scud by his side.
The cartoon showed Tsvangirai dreaming of success in those aspects of his life where he had dismally failed. Consequently, he was dreaming of passing ‘‘O’’ Level, dreaming of joining the liberation struggle and dreaming about being President of Zimbabwe.
All along we thought The Dreamer cartoonist was being cruel to Tsvangirai because we thought the Right Honourable Prime Minister was not that much of a dreamer as depicted.
Alas how wrong we were, for how else can we explain the dream where he, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, expected to be consulted about the late national hero Cde Misheck ‘‘Makasha’’ Chando’s hero status.
Or perhaps Tsvangirai is against the hero status of Cde Makasha because to him Cde Makasha was a terrorist who had a bad habit of shooting at people like Roy Bennett?
Surely, the Prime Minister needs help, because it appears he does not understand a lot of things about Zimbabwe, which perhaps explains why during his sojourn to Germany early this year, Chancellor Merkel had to show our Prime Minister the Zimbabwean flag at the start of their joint Press briefing.
She had to literally drag Tsvangirai from the side of the podium that had the German flag to the side with the Zimbabwean flag.
Quite rightly, the ETV news presenter commented that "someone has to teach the Zimbabwean Prime Minister how his country’s flag looks".
That is Tsvangirai for you. Now he wants the Zanu-PF Politburo to consult him on liberation war heroes yet he fled the struggle to work, first in a textile mill in Mutare then at Trojan Nickel Mine in Bindura.
What would he know about what was going on in the bush?
We wonder how Tsvangirai wants grieving comrades to consult him when he has disengaged from Zanu-PF. Furthermore, he has to attend the Politburo meeting where the issues are discussed.
The hogwash about MDC-T contributing to the liberation struggle should end because MDC-T is full of Selous Scouts like Bennett and Rhodesian Front members like Giles Mutsekwa. The reality is that Zanu-PF liberated this country and there is nothing anyone can do about that.
If MDC-T has its own ideas of heroes, fine, they should get a farm from somewhere and build their heroes’ acre of quislings, Selous Scouts, ex-Rhodesian Light Infantry, ex-Rhodesian African Rifles, ex-Pfumo Revanhu, sanctions mongers, and so on.
Come to think of it, MDC-T can also use its heroes acre to bury all its imaginary dead activists as well.
Tarwireyi Matsika Chifambayi Tirivavi.
Zimbabwe Heritage Project.