Friday, February 12, 2010

Zimbabwe News Update: ZANU-PF Names New Politburo

Zanu-PF names new Politburo

By Sydney Kawadza
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday announced a new Zanu-PF Politburo that contains a few surprises while a number of the old guard have been retained in an expanded organ with more committee members.

Opening an extraordinary session of the Central Committee at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday, the First Secretary and President of the party said the Presidium had given due regard to the state of the party and challenges it was facing in coming up with the Politburo.

Former committee member Cde Webster Shamu is now secretary for the commissariat.

He has the onerous task of mobilising and reinvigorating party structures.

Cde Shamu will be deputised by former deputy party spokesperson Cde Ephraim Masawi.

Former deputy secretary for administration Cde Rugare Gumbo takes over the information and publicity department from Cde Nathan Shamuyarira and he will be deputised by Cde Cain Mathema.

Cde Mathema is a career journalist and author.

Cde Shamuyarira becomes a committee member.

Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire rose to take over the department of production and labour, while Cde Obert Mpofu and Cde David Parirenyatwa were appointed to head the economic affairs and health and child welfare departments, respectively.

Former deputy secretary for youth affairs Cde Saviour Kasukuwere takes over the indigenisation and economic empowerment portfolio that was left vacant following national hero Cde Vitalis Zvinavashe’s death last year.

Cde Abigail Damasane heads the gender and culture department.

Cde Sithembiso Nyoni and Cde Francis Nhema have been appointed to the new portfolios of business development and liaison, and environment and tourism respectively.

Members who retained their positions are Cde Didymus Mutasa (administration), Cde David Karimanzira (finance), Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa (legal affairs), Cde Oppah Muchinguri (women’s affairs), Cde Absolom Sikhosana (youth affairs), Cde Ignatius Chombo (land reform and resettlement), Cde Stanley Sakupwanya (welfare of the disabled and disadvantaged persons) and Cde Olivia Muchena (science and technology).

Some Politburo members that have moved portfolios are Cde Sydney Sekeramayi (national security); Cde Stan Mudenge (external relations) and Cde Nicholas Goche (transport and welfare).

New and returning Politburo members include Cde Edson Ncube (deputy secretary for administration), Cde Charles Tawengwa (deputy, finance); Cde Abednico Ncube (deputy, external relations); Cde Samuel Mugande (deputy, transport and welfare); Cde Patrick Chinamasa (deputy, legal affairs); Cde Richard Ndlovu (deputy, production and labour), Cde Eunice Sandi-Moyo (deputy, women’s affairs); Cde Eddison Chakanyuka (deputy, youth affairs) and Cde Lazarus Dokora (deputy, education).

Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (deputy, economic affairs); Cde Douglas Mombeshora (deputy, health and child welfare), Cde Tendai Savanhu (deputy, indigenisation and economic empowerment); Cde S. Mukusha (deputy, gender and culture); Cde Herbert Murerwa (deputy, land and resettlement), Cde Joshua Malinga (deputy, disabled and disadvantaged persons), Cde Patrick Zhuwao (deputy, science and technology), Cde James Gumpo (deputy, business development and liaison) and Cde Nelson Mawema (deputy, environment and tourism).

Committee members include Cdes Solomon Mujuru, Tsitsi Muzenda, Victoria Chitepo, Kumbirai Kangai, A. Chimbudzi, Nathan Shamuyarira, Naison Ndlovu, Thokozile Mathuthu, Angeline Masuku, Khantibai Patel, Tshinga Dube, Munacho Mutezo, Cephas Msipa, Josiah Hungwe, Jacob Mudenda, Flora Bhuka, Cliveria Chizema, Edna Madzongwe and O. Maluleke.

President Mugabe said the new Politburo had to tackle a number of issues.

"We have to re-organise all our people so they remain in a state of permanent readiness. We have the constitution-making process, which is already underway.

"There are crucial issues to be decided through that process. Persistent attempts by outsiders at influencing matters being handled under the constitution-making process need to be warded off. What is the interest of these powerful outsiders in the writing of our constitution?"

President Mugabe said Zanu-PF needed structures that were in touch with developments.

"The ideological side of our party needs revamping so we are able to be a party which defines issues, debates emerging ones, indeed, one which places new matters on the national table.

"The party needs a strong underpinning on policy issues and we shall be making further proposals.

"We are a national party and all our people must identify with the structures we create and persons assigned to man them.

"Once Zanu-PF is divided or any of its organs is faulted on whatever grounds, a negative message is transmitted in our nation.

"We cannot be all leaders at one time. What is more, there are no persons who are more leaders than others in the party. What we have are persons wielding higher responsibilities for which more is expected out of them.

"It is a call to serve, never an opportunity for flaunting imagined power. The power rests with the people and the party emerging from the organisation.

"We have huge duties to discharge, bigger battles to fight, great wars to win. And victors do not bicker."

The announcement of the new political bureau was deferred at the Fifth National People’s Conference in December 2009 to allow for more consultations.

The Presidium consists of First Secretary and President Cde Mugabe; Second Secretaries and Vice Presidents Cdes Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo; and National Chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo.

GPA: Central Committee backs Politburo

Herald Reporter

Zanu-PF’s Central Committee yesterday endorsed a Politburo decision to stop their party’s negotiators from making any more concessions in current talks on the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement until illegal Western economic sanctions on Zimbabwe are lifted.

Addressing the organ at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe said MDC-T had been the biggest beneficiary of the sanctions at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans.

"Regrettably, we have not heard or seen as much clarity and forthrightness from the other formation, namely the MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Let us be very clear. When the British Foreign Secretary (David Miliband) told the world that his government would lift sanctions upon request by its partners in the MDC, he was clearly telling us that those hurtful sanctions have continued to this day, because a request to have them lifted has not yet been made by the MDC-T.

"We also note that this is a message the British government has constantly made, namely, that it has always worked with the MDC on this matter, beginning with the drafting of the sanctions measures themselves."

President Mugabe said MDC-T could not run from the responsibility of calling for the removal of the sanctions.

"There are individuals on the sanctions list.

"Their relatives and friends have also been put on these lists. But the British do not know our relatives. So who has given them our names?

"The MDC has benefited from the sanctions. They can travel anywhere. They are still getting funding at the expense of unity and the ordinary people.

"Chii chinoita kuti munhu atadze kutaura kuti masanctions abviswe? Zvinorevei izvozvo? Asi zvirikuremera vamwe.

"The Government and the country we are running together have been affected by sanctions.

"Why can’t there be vigour and clarity to have them removed because they are hindering progress?"

Speaking after the meeting, newly-appointed secretary for information Cde Rugare Gumbo said: "The Central Committee approved the decision to stop making concessions until other parties honour their obligations.

"Sanctions remain the key outstanding issue in the ongoing talks and the whole process will not go anywhere until this issue is addressed."

Cde Gumbo said the party acknowledged progress made by the inclusive Government after a briefing from Cde Patrick Chinamasa.

He said a major concern raised was the illegal broadcasting by pirate radio stations based in Botswana and Madagascar into Zimbabwe.

The Central Committee, Cde Gumbo said, recommended that the issue be addressed by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee to the satisfaction of GPA requirements.

China to invest in Zim power projects

By Reuben Madzivo

Harare and Beijing are finalising agreements that could see Zimbabwe’s power generation capacity topping 5 000 megawatts if completed, making the country a net exporter of electricity.

The deals will see the construction of new power generation plants as well as the expansion of existing power stattions.

In an interview with The Herald on Thursday, Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Hubert Nyanhongo said China had shown great interest in investing in Zimbabwe and expressed optimism that the projects would soon go through.

Though he could not be drawn into giving figures, enquiries by this paper show the projects are potentially worth over US$1 billion.

"China has shown great interest in investing in this power project. Three companies to be shortlisted by the Chinese government will undertake the projects.

"I am hopeful that the project will bring the current power deficits to an end," said Deputy Minister Nyanhongo.

He said the first project will be the construction of two additional units with a capacity of 600MW at Hwange Thermal Power Station.

Hwange is currently producing 700MW of electricity, about 200MW short of its full capacity.

Kariba Hydropower Station will get two more units with a total capacity of 300MW.

That station is presently producing 250MW.

The Chinese have said they will construct two new hydroelectric power stations on the Condo and Batoka gorges.

At Batoka, a dam and two hydropower stations will be built on either side of the Zambezi River with a total capacity of 1 600MW.

The dam on the Condo Gorge will have a capacity of 150MW.

Zimbabwe and China will partner to construct a thermal power station on a build-operate-transfer basis in Gokwe North with a total capacity of 1 400MW.

Deputy Minister Nyanhongo said one of the projects would see the rehabilitation of the existing electricity transmission and distribution network.

The network has suffered at the hands of vandals over the years.

Zimbabwe presently produces 950MW of electricity from Kariba and Hwange power stations against infrastructural capacity of 1 800MW and has been relying on imports from Mozambique, South Africa and the DRC.

The Energy Ministry has said with output of 2 200MW and at present industrial and domestic use, the country will not experience any power cuts.

Deputy Minister Nyanhongo said: "We are currently relying on 950MW of electricity from Kariba and Hwange, but the country needs between 2 000 and 2 200MW of electricity."

Zim labour standards hailed

Labour Reporter

Zimbabwe has been rated the best country in terms of observing fair and best labour standards among African Regional Labour Administration Centre members, Labour Minister Paurina Mpariwa has said.

In an interview yesterday after the week-long 36th session of the Arlac governing council of ministers meeting in Kariba, Minister Mpariwa — who is the Arlac chairperson, said Zimbabwe had the best record in observing workers rights in the region.

"Zimbabwe is rated first in the region on the International Labour Organisation country decent work programme after our social partners agreed and signed a decent work declaration last year.

"Arlac members started by presenting their labour experiences and briefs and from there it was realised that our country, despite the challenges we are facing, is a step ahead.

"We are not far away from achieving Millennium Developmental Goals in terms of fair labour standards.

"Some have argued that it is because we are the host of Arlac headquarters but we believe it is because of the dedication and commitment that our social partners have towards uplifting labour standards. There are, of course, some areas that we need to improve as a country but compared to other member States we are the best," she said.

Ministers pledged to improve working conditions.

"The ministers acknowledged the effects of the global financial crisis as it hinders the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

"The region has agreed to work together in improving labour policies within the region," she said.

Minister Mpariwa said the United Nations Development Programme pledged to extend technical assistance.

"Arlac as our regional administration centre was tasked to properly disseminate labour market information so as to help member states develop strategies and measures to improve labour standards," she said.

Ministers shared experiences on how members were implementing the Global Jobs Pact of 2009. They also deliberated on how to guide national and regional policies aimed at stimulating economic recovery, generating jobs and providing protection to workers and their families.

Twenty-four African ministers attended the meeting, four of them as observers.

Arlac members are Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Eritrea, the Gambia, Mozambique and Tanzania attended the meeting as observers.

MPs honour Msika

Herald Reporter

The House of Assembly on Thursday united in applauding the late national hero Vice President Joseph Msika’s contributions to Zimbabwe’s independence and development.

The fearless, founding nationalist died in August last year..

Legislators from across the political divide were unanimous in acknowledging that Cde Msika was a great leader. Mazowe West House of Assembly representative Cde Richard Chirongwe (Zanu-PF), had moved a motion to take note of the late VP’s sterling role in Zimbabwe’s liberation.

He implored the House to make a resolution conveying its deepest sympathy to the nation and the Msika family.

Cde Chirongwe chronicled Cde Msika’s life.

Goromonzi East Member of House of Assembly, Cde Biata Nyamupinga (Zanu-PF), said Cde Msika had walked a painful road leading to the liberation of Zimbabwe.

"He was not selfish, neither was he greedy.

"He admired farming and the best honour we can give him is to farm extensively," Cde Nyamupinga said.

Zanu-PF legislators who contributed to the debate include Cde Simba Mudarikwa (Uzumba), Cde Margaret Zinyemba (Mazowe South), Cde Betty Chikava (Mt Darwin East) and Cde Ailess Baloyi (Chiredzi South).

Insiza Member of the House of Assembly Mr Siyabonga Ncube (MDC) hailed VP Msika’s work saying he was a frank and forthright man.

Mr Shepherd Mushonga (Mazowe Central, MDC-T) said: "Throughout our campaigns in Chiweshe, his home area, he would not advocate for violence.

"He did not want a racially-based land reform programme; that is why he would protect some of the white farmers.He was a dedicated politician.

"What we learnt from him is that Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans and not about race."

Cde Msika was buried at the National Heroes acre on Heroes’ Day 2009.

Civil servants’ strike illegal

By Felex Share
Zimbabwe Herald

THE Public Service Commission has declared the ongoing civil servants’ strike illegal and ordered all State employees to report for duty or face the legal consequences.

In a statement yesterday, PSC chairman Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwah said the process of negotiations was not yet over and civil servants should follow the dictates of the Public Service Act before declaring an industrial action.

Dr Nzuwah’s statement came as unionists described Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s remarks that civil servants should not complain about the salaries they are getting as "irresponsible" and the utterances of a "heartless politician".

Civil servants’ representatives yesterday also said PM Tsvangirai should dismantle parallel government structures in his office and use the money being paid to his select group to ensure that State employees are better remunerated.

However, Dr Nzuwah said: "In terms of the law, and by their admission, there is no deadlock between the employer and the public service employees.

"Accordingly, any strike or industrial action by civil servants is premature and illegal in terms of the law . . .

"In light of the foregoing, the Public Service Commission notifies members of the public service who are not reporting for duty that they are doing so in violation of the standing regulations and statutes.

"Any member of the public service who does not report for duty should be prepared to face the consequences of his or her actions."

Dr Nzuwah said civil servants must comply with Section 16:04 of the Public Service Act and the Public Service Regulations (2000).

The cited sections of the law spell out the processes for negotiations and declaring any deadlocks of industrial action.

According to the law, negotiators first engage each other, and if no solution is found, they can call in an independent arbitrator.

If the arbitrator’s decision does not go down well with the employee, that party can then proceed to give notice of a strike; which did not happen in the present case.

However, union leaders yesterday vowed to press on with the strike and would be in Chinhoyi on Monday to update their membership on their chosen course of action.

Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Manuel Nyawo told a rally in Mutare that PM Tsvangirai should redirect money being spent on parallel government staff to genuine civil servants.

"We are talking of the same Government which is broke paying some individuals US$7 000 a

"How many civil servants can be paid with these resources?

"The Prime Minister should divert this money to Treasury because it is creating divisions among civil servants.

"No one is superior to anyone; we are all Government workers.

"We want to emancipate ourselves from the vagaries of political manipulation by some heartless politicians who only remember that we are vital come election time.

"We condemn such behaviour by the Honourable Prime Minister," Mr Nyawo said.

In an interview, Pubic Service Association president Mrs Cecilia Alexander said Government was yet to communicate with them.

"The inclusive Government has failed the workers.

"Our strike is not a political issue but all parties must put their heads together and find a way out because we are digging in and drumming up support everyday," she said.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu added: "We are talking of bread and butter issues here and no politician can influence us because we are driven by our members.

"If he (PM Tsvangirai) is serious he should have engaged us in dialogue not to tell us to return to work without anything.

"Government has not come forward to us asking for negotiations since the strike started and we read in the papers that (Public Service) Minister (Eliphas) Mukonoweshuro will be meeting us."

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe said the PM wanted them to return to work on empty stomachs.

"We are saying to our members; the struggle continues until we are given something," Mr Majongwe said.

Minister Mukonoweshuro told the media on Tuesday that he would meet union leaders on Thursday, but civil service representatives insisted they had received no communication to that effect from him.

PM Tsvangirai on Thursday said: "When they downed tools they said Tsvangirai promised us money but I did not say how much Government would give the workers."

A few hours after President Mugabe swore him into office last year, PM Tsvangirai told a rally that civil servants could expect a meaningful salary review in a matter of a few months.

He is also on record as saying he had the "keys" to unlock resources.

The civil servants’ strike, the first since the early 1990s, has coincided with the first anniversary of the inclusive Government and has been going on for over a week now.

Some State employees have been reporting for work while others have heeded the strike call.

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