Top stories January 21-25


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It’s all in God’s hands- Mugabe- President Robert Mugabe who turns 90 in exactly a month today said he did not know how he had lived this long. “It’s all in God’s hands,” he said at the funeral of his sister Bridget who was 12 years his junior. Bridget died on Sunday after spending three years on life support and was buried at the Mugabe rural home at Kutama in Zvimba. She collapsed at the burial of her elder sister Sabina in 2010 and was at Parirenyatwa Hospital until her death. Mugabe’s health has been under the spotlight for the past two weeks after the faceless facebook character Baba Jukwa claimed he had collapsed and died. Mugabe was on holiday in the Far East. Though his spokesmen said he was alive but on holiday, speculation went into high gear when Mugabe returned from holiday but was not shown on local television. The rumours were quashed on Sunday when Mugabe was seen on television welcoming people coming to pay their condolences. Even then the reports focussed on his health saying he was looking frail.

Britain says Zimbabwe now needs to deliver to its people
British Foreign Minister Mark Simmonds today said despite flawed elections, the political situation in Zimbabwe was stable. The government now needed to deliver to its people in particular its constitutional commitments. Simmonds was responding to a question from Kate Hoey in the House of Commons on what recent assessment he had made of the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. He said Zimbabwe’s economy remained fragile and his government was extremely concerned about the potential impact of government policies on ordinary Zimbabweans and the region.

 

US$230 000 a month salary
Suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere’s salary of US$40 000 a month, which raised eyebrows when it was disclosed in November last year, was peanuts. His boss, the chairman of the ZBC board of directors, Cuthbert Dube, was getting nearly six times that. According to The Herald, Dube was earning US$230 000 a month two years ago. It did not say what his present salary is. Dube is the chief executive officer of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) which used to be the Public Service Medical Aid Society catering for civil servants. The Herald said the aid society was reeling under a US$38 million debt. Muchechetere’s salary was close to that of some of the middle managers of PSMAS. The top executives were all getting more than US$60 000. Muchechetere was sent on leave last year pending investigations into the corporation after the board had failed to come up with a turn-around strategy for the national broadcaster.

 

They will not break me- Tsvangirai
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said his enemies will not break him because of his determination for national service and sacrifice. He said in his state-of-the-nation address “I have since taken a decision that whatever is done by enemies of this great people’s project will not break my spirit. Yes, they may needlessly continue to humiliate me, engage in protracted press wars against my person, batter me in a police station, kill innocent Zimbabweans and torture me and the millions who believe in democratic change. “All they may achieve is to slacken my pace but I can assure you they will not in any way weaken my resolve and determination for national service and sacrifice. I will continue to boldly stride with confidence and greater willpower in my quest to bring real change, democracy and positive transformation in Zimbabwe. “They may continue with their unbridled malice and open provocation, including stealing our vote in broad daylight as they did last year, but I tell you, they will not succeed in breaking our collective spirit.” The MDC leader said the only way forward for Zimbabwe was to provide interim relief while people organise a fresh ballot underpinned by comprehensive reforms. The country must dispense with the arrogance and mistaken belief that the whole world can go hang. The long-term solution to Zimbabwe’s woes was to ensure that the current environment is overhauled, that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission becomes truly independent, there are comprehensive political reforms and the environment is truly conducive to ensuring that the people are allowed to give a fresh mandate to a new government through a free and fair election. “We will as a country engender hope if, regardless of our diversity, we work towards a lasting solution by providing interim relief while we organize for a fresh ballot underpinned by comprehensive reforms. We must continue knocking on the door of possibility until we achieve our national dream. Power without character is meaningless. We shall continue to fight all manifestations of the unbridled pursuit of power retention for power’s sake that has nothing to do with the people,” he said. Tsvangirai dispelled reports about in-fighting within his party saying “we are focused as leadership on delivering on our agenda and we are impervious to the shrill cries of those who want to kill this people’s project. The MDC and its leadership remain a happy family of democrats committed to delivering the people’s expectations of positive change in their lives”.

 

Warriors beat Mali to reach CHAN semi-finals
The Zimbabwe Warriors today beat Mali 2-1 to reach the semi-finals of the African Nations Championship Cup (CHAN) being played in South Africa. Zimbabwe took the lead in the 11th minute when Simba Sithole scored. Kudakwashe Mahachi sealed the match with a brilliant goal in the 55th minute. Mali pulled one back in the 88th minute. This was the first goal that Zimbabwe had conceded in the tournament. They meet Libya in the semi-finals.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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