Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zimbabwe News Update: President Mugabe Off to Libya for Africa-EU Summit

President off to Libya for Africa-EU summit

Deputy Editor
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe left Harare yesterday for Tripoli, Libya, to attend the third Africa-European Union Summit that begins in the Libyan capital today.

The President, who was accompanied by several senior Government officials, will join heads of state and government drawn from over 80 countries from Africa and Europe as well as the top brass of the African Union and EU, among them AU Commission chair Dr Jean Ping, European Council president Mr Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Mr José Manuel Barroso.

The summit — being held under the theme ‘‘Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation’ — will seek to examine the uneasy relationship between two continents tied by a history of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism.

The leaders will seek to find ways of ensuring that Africa and Europe work together for mutual economic benefit, a development analysts say calls for a major mind shift on the part of some EU states that still essentially consider Africa their backyard.

Priorities for Africa-EU co-operation for the future and reinforcing of partnerships between the two continents are part of the summit agenda.

The Heads of State and Government are expected to discuss strategies for sustained growth of the two continents, and as a means to establish partnerships between the participating countries and the consolidation of their relations.

The eradication of poverty, climate change, peace and security are the other issues up for discussion at the two-day summit.

It will be interesting to see how these issues pan out given the EU’s approach to the purely bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain, a dispute that flared over the latter’s refusal to honour its colonial obligations to fund land reforms in Zimbabwe, a development that saw the EU buy into Britain’s fight by imposing illegal economic sanctions, including travel bans to EU territory and an arms embargo, on Zimbabwe, in violation of the Cotonou Agreement that guides relations between African, Carribean and Pacific member states.

The AU has since condemned the illegal EU embargo, which the EU went on to extend by another 12 months in February this year.

The embargo has compromised relations between Zimbabwe and the EU over the past decade and has largely remained the elephant in the room at the two previous summits in Cairo, Egypt, in 2003 and Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007.

The Lisbon summit launched the Africa-EU Strategic Partnerships founded on a joint strategy and action plan that sought to foster strategic partnerships in eight priority areas: peace and security; democratic governance and human rights; trade, regional integration and infrastructure; Millennium Development Goals; energy; climate change; migration, mobility and employment; and science, information society and space.

The partnership made some headway on the MDGs, peace and security, regional integration and trade though the Commission maintains that more progress is needed to overcome the fragmentation of policies and financial instruments.

The summit is likely to end with a joint declaration welcoming progress to date, but also highlighting the countries and issues that are most off track. A joint action plan for 2011-2013 is expected to be adopted, detailing concrete actions to be pursued to achieve these.

Farming surest way of busting illegal sanctions

Herald Reporter

The success of A1 farmers is the surest way of busting illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, the councillor for Ward 26 in the Zvimba Rural District Council, Cde Francis Mukwangwariwa (Zanu-PF), has said.

In an interview after donating inputs worth US$300 000 to his area yesterday, Cde Mukwangwariwa said support for A1 farmers was necessary for economic turnaround.

"These illegal sanctions have impacted negatively on the economy and we should come up with home-grown solutions to deal with this cancer.

"Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy and if A1 farmers are supported fully, they have the potential to bust the illegal Western sanctions," he said.

About 1 500 small-scale farmers benefited from the inputs and the councillor promised to assist them with tillage before mid-December.

Cde Mukwangwariwa said Govern-ment should prioritise provision of farming inputs to farmers before making budget allocations for food imports.

"The nation is losing huge sums of money through importation of food. We are saying we should not import food when we have potential to grow enough for ourselves.

"If these inputs are put to good use we can do away with food shortages. We want to ensure that our people are empowered economically and become major stakeholders in the country’s economy.

Cde Mukwangwariwa, who is a member of Zanu-PF’s Zvimba East District Co-ordinating Committee, also thanked CBZ Bank for supporting farmers with loans.

Be loyal, police force urged

Herald Reporter

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri last Friday said force members must be loyal, patriotic and infused with the ethos and values of the liberation struggle to jealously defend Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

He said the country’s independence was blood-bought and the police must not stand idle while the nation was under a Western onslaught characterised by illegal sanctions.

Comm-Gen Chihuri said this while debriefing 150 officers who visited Chimoio and Nyadzonia shrines in Mozambique from November 12 to 15, 2010.

The two places are the sites of massacres of freedom fighters and refugees by the racist Rhodesian forces during the Second Chimurenga.

"As you are aware the ZRP is mandated by the constitution with the responsibility of maintaining peace, tranquility and eternal security.

"It is, therefore, of paramount importance that as you are charged with this worthy, honourable and critical duty you will have a deeper, accurate, comprehension and understanding of the history of the country particularly its tortuous journey to independence," Comm-Gen Chihuri said.

Comm-Gen Chihuri said police should be on the lookout for elements that try to "confuse, pollute, contaminate and sway" them from their mandate.

"ZRP expects bold fearless members and officers whose hearts, soul and spirit are deeply rooted in their country," he said.

Referring to the Bible, he added: "We must refuse vehemently to be like Esau who sold his own birthright for a single meal."

Comm-Gen Chihuri vowed that Zimbabwe would never be a colony again and urged officers to vote wisely in next year’s election.

"This country came through blood and the barrel of the gun and it will never be re-colonised through a simple pen, which costs as little as five cents," he said.

The officers visited Chimoio and Nyadzonya and were drawn from the three police training institutes — Morris Depot, Ntabazinduna and Chikurubi.

The police chief organised the trip.

In their testimonies, the officers said the trip was an eye opener.

They acknowledged the importance of educating youths on the liberation struggle saying this would help them appreciate why Zimbabwe is where it is today.

Tsvangirai a liability

By Nancy Lovedale
Zimbabwe Herald

MORGAN Tsvangirai is an embarrassment to the people of Zimbabwe. It has to be categorically stated and the time for diplomacy regarding this man is simply over.

When I heard that he was a keynote speaker at the 43rd Annual Conference of the International Association of Political Consultants and Public Affairs (IAPC) in Paris, France, on November 8-10 2010, I thought this was just another visit, and we are accustomed to MDC leaders receiving bonuses for their work for the West.

Remember Tsvangirai won a "Human Rights Award" from this organisation in 2002. Our naive media could not even remember that. They reported that he had gone to receive an award. Tsvangirai had gone to "repay" them for that 2002 award.

The significance of that trip and its symbolism is very troubling. Tsvangirai later attended commemorations in Paris. This was very significant and I don’t know whether Tsvangirai and his team are simply naive or deliberately contemptuous.

The date 11 November (11th Hour of the 11th day) is Armistice Day. It is also variously known in the West as Poppy Day, Remembrance Day or Veterans Day.

On that very day/date, our own Prime Minister wore a red poppy in France, together with Roy Bennett, Nelson Chamisa and other MDC-T officials commemorating the cessation of hostilities of the First World War.

They stood there, among Westerners, to observe a one minute silence in memory of Allied soldiers. These are the same people who had boycotted the Heroes Day commemorations held at the provincial heroes acre in Masvingo in August this year, among other boycotts.

Tsvangirai, on that cold winter day, also stood there and listened to Roy Bennett lie about Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and twist Zimbabwe’s history; while Europe commemorated its war dead.

Bennett lied that Zanu-PF had fought against its own people from its inception. He could not tell the same group that Zanu-PF brought democracy to Zimbabwe, and that he had been a member of Zanu-PF in the past.

He also subliminally praised the role played by whites in Zimbabwe, in the full glare of Tsvangirai, Chamisa and their MDC-T functionaries.

This is pathetic and an indictment on our quest for freedom, human dignity, independence and sovereignty. How low can one stoop, when they stand there idly and hear their history twisted by the same people who killed, maimed and stole from their forefathers? Chaminuka, Nehanda, Kaguvi, Mzilikazi, Lobengula and all those who fought for us must be turning in their graves.

MDC-T leaders now jet in and out of Europe meeting Western leaders, without meeting their supporters, since Tsvangirai was jeered at and heckled at Southwark Cathedral in 2009 and he has abandoned his dwindling flock ever since.

Another senior MDC-T official secretly visited the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on September 29 this year and MDC-T supporters never knew "their man" was in the country.

The MDC-T has ceased to be an important political party on the continent; that is why it gets snubbed by regional organisations that are beginning to express their assertiveness internationally. The MDC-T has become a thorn among roses on the continent; and an itch that needs scratching.

Their pathetic attempt to seek redress for their political misfortunes from Sadc is laughable; given that barely two years ago they were chastising the same grouping for being slow and lazy with regards to Zimbabwe.

Sadc is simply tired of the MDC-T’s tantrums and will never tolerate their ever-shifting demands anymore. That time is over. The region has more pressing issues to deal with than MDC-T’s hormonal imbalance.

The words of former South African president Thabo Mbeki will haunt the MDC-T forever. After Tendai Biti had written to Sadc leaders calling them "cowards", Cde Mbeki responded in a terse, but straight-to-the-point letter: "Realistically, Zimbabwe will never share the same neighbourhood with the countries of Western Europe and North America, and therefore secure its success on the basis of friendship with these, and contempt for the decisions of its immediate African neighbours

"Such manner of proceeding might earn you prominent media headlines. However, I assure you that it will do nothing to solve the problems of Zimbabwe."

Now the party is seeking an audience from "cowards". That is the unfortunate position they find themselves in as they become increasingly isolated on the continent; and internationally too as the world order starts shifting.

Nancy Lovedale writes from Beijing in China and can be reached via nancy_lovedale@

Govt turns up heat on Heatly

Herald Reporter

THE Immigration Department will liaise with the Foreign Affairs Ministry on how Briton Mr Charles Heatly was reportedly engaged as a "consultant" by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office without a work permit.

Mr Heatly is understood to work for the UK overseas intelligence service, MI6, through an organisation called Adam Smith International.

Last week, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mark Canning revealed PM Tsvangirai had asked the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to "assist" him and this had seen Mr Heatly getting access to classified Government information.

In an interview on Friday, Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Mr Evans Siziba said they wanted an explanation as to how Mr Heatly was engaged to work in Zimbabwe without a work permit.

"We don’t deal directly with embassies but since the British Embassy confirmed that Mr Heatly was engaged as a consultant in the Prime Minister’s Office, we want to know who authorised this.

"We will engage the Foreign Affairs Ministry to get in touch with the British Embassy for that explanation.

"He (Mr Heatly) was supposed to come through us or the Foreign Affairs Ministry before he started working in Zimbabwe and as it stands we need clarification as to who authorised him and on what basis he was working in the country," he said.

Mr Siziba said they had established that Mr Heatly left Zimbabwe last week.

Sources said he high-tailed out of Zimbabwe on learning that immigration officials were onto him.

Indications are that Mr Heatly entered the country soon after the formation of the inclusive Government last year and briefly worked from PM Tsvangirai’s Munhumutapa Offices before relocating to MDC-T’s premises in Avondale.

Mr Heatly is said to have had access to classified information without being bound by the Official Secrets Act as is the security norm.

Sources say he helped the PM’s Office generate several documents they tried to introduce as State policy positions.

Ambassador Canning said Mr Heatly was in Zimbabwe at the PM’s request for "technical assistance" and through a scheme facilitated by Adam Smith International.

Adam Smith International is packaged as a British government development agency but is understood to work as a think-tank for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the M16.

Mr Heatly is said to have been previously deployed to four other countries where Britain has pursued an illegal regime change agenda — Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Kenya.

Deport regime change expert

EDITOR — The British agent that Tsvangirai sought to assist him "technically" should be deported immediately as he is a threat to national security.

This MI6 agent is known to be an expert in regime change agendas. He is said to have worked in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kenya.

He is credited for having done the hatchet job in Kenya for Raila Odinga who is the Prime Minister of Kenya.

In MDC-T, we are dealing with a foreign power, which wants to remove Zanu-PF from power. How do you explain the presence of foreign agents working in cahoots with a local political party?

This British agent is working flat out to do an Iraq on Zimbabwe. The aim is to remove President Mugabe from power. Now that this plot has been uncovered, this agent should be escorted to the airport, the Andrew Meldrum way.

MDC-T is committing treason with impunity and the right signal should be sent by deporting this Charles Heatly unless he wants to have a taste of local prisons like his compatriot Simon Mann.

Campion wekwaMereki.

Mutasa warns NGOs against ‘cooked stats’

Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT has put in place measures to ensure production of statistics to tackle challenges brought by illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa has said.

He made the remarks while opening the joint World Africa and Statistics Day in Harare on Friday.

Minister Mutasa said knowledge of statistics was pivotal in mapping development policies.

"The role of statistics is critical in the design and implementation of national policy frameworks such as the Zimbabwe Mid-Term Plan 2010 and international programmes such as the Millennium Development Goals.

"Statistics facilitate analysis of complex social and economic issues.

"They enable both government and the private sector to make appropriate policy choices as well as to monitor and adjust policies in order to achieve their maximum impact," he said.

The joint commemorations were held under the theme, "Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics".

Minister Mutasa warned international non-governmental organisations against meddling in Zimbabwe’s internal politics.

"Allow me to express gratitude to co-operating partners for availing financial and technical assistance to Zimstat to allow it to undertake its work.

"I wish, however, to take this opportunity to urge these co-operating partners to steer clear of politics and focus on their professional mandates.

"Government is averse to certain practices where certain non-State actors, masquerading as partners, concoct and promulgate statistics that are designed to undermine and discredit the Government of Zimbabwe.

"Such concocted statistics have over the past decade attracted sustained adversity from the country’s detractors, some of whom have enacted hostile policies that continue to threaten Zimbabwe’s national security.

"Let me; therefore, warn organisations that subscribe to such ulterior agendas; when Government responds — as it indeed shall in the interest of national security — there will not be any sacred cows."

Zimstat is the main source of statistics in the country and plays the supervisory and co-ordination role in the national statistical system.

World Statistics Day is commemorated on October 20 while the African Statistics Day falls on November 18.

The United Nations designated the commemorations in recognition of the contribution of official statistics to development.

This year’s celebrations saw the dissemination of the Multiple Indicator Monitoring Survey (2009), Zimbabwe Migration Profile (2009), Report on Assessment and Description of the Environmental Sector Statistics system in Zimbabwe and the Economic Survey Results Covering the period 2005-2010.

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