Top stories September 1-5


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Air Zimbabwe requires US$368 million for recapitlisation- The national airline Air Zimbabwe requires US$368 million to buy new aircraft and for operational costs, the acting chief executive Edmund Makona said today.  He said the airline requires US$330 to buy new aircraft and US$38 million for operations expenses, according to APA news agency.  The national airline has been paralysed by debts which amount to US$180 million according to Deputy Transport Minister Petronella Kagonye. She said the airline could not fly to London or Beijing because it owed US$32 million which had to be cleared first. Transport Minister Obert Mpofu said the airline was likely to resume flying to the two destinations as it was on the brink of signing a technical partnership to service the two routes. The airline has 10 aircraft but only two are said to be operational.

Another ugly turn in ZANU-PF politics

The twists and turns in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, as people fight to position themselves for the party congress in December, took an ugly twist yesterday when party spokesman Rugare Gumbo claimed that some elements within the party were pretending to love President Robert Mugabe when they in fact wanted to get rid of him. But unlike Harare youth leader Godwin Gondwe who named senior officials like Didymus Mutasa, Tendai Savanhu, Noah Mangondo and Amos Midzi for creating chaos in the party, Gumbo did not name anyone. “We must all be wary of elements that feign love for President Mugabe and ZANU-PF yet their real agenda is to divert President Mugabe’s attention from the core business of government in order to create problems for the party and for President Mugabe in 2018 when elections are due. We have always known that there is a regime change agenda in place, only this time it is being pushed by our own people under the guise of loving President Mugabe. This is unacceptable behaviour, which smacks of deceit and a very high level of wickedness,” Gumbo said in a statement, reminiscent of what Vice-President Joice Mujuru said at the beginning of the year during the salary-gate scandal which everyone condemned. Mujuru told women in Mashonaland West: “Nditeererei madzimai, chandiri kukuudzai ndochinhu chekupedzisira. Iyi nyaya yatiri kutaura iyi yehuori hwemaparastatals muchenjere kuti ndeimwe nzira yaunzwa nevanhu vari kuda kupwanya nyika ino iyi. Vari kuziva kuti chii chakabata nyika yeZimbabwe. They know what is done by our parastatals. They will go and talk to some of our people and do what is happening. Vanotaura kuti kana tabva kuZBC, toenda kuZESA, toenda kuZINWA. Regai kuzoti vanhu vacho havasi veZANU-PF, aiwa, zvinonzi kana usingagone kumukurira unomujoina, worova uchibva mukati make, saka mochenjera. Saka tiri kuti nyaya iri mumaoko mehofisi President.” In his statement yesterday Gumbo went on: “Anyone who misdirects their focus to dwell on petty, narrow and immature politics is not only showing disrespect to President Mugabe who is genuinely determined to improve the welfare of the people — but is on the wrong side of history and should be ashamed of himself or herself. ZANU-PF won a historic five -year-mandate to address critical matters of national interest and that is what we should all focus on.” Gumbo was one of the rebels that objected to the new leadership of ZANU-PF just before independence and was detained in Mozambique. He was released just before the 1980 elections.

 

 

Has muzukuru Zhuwao spilled the beans?

President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao might have inadvertently spilled the beans by calling on the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front spokesman Rugare Gumbo to name and shame senior party officials who are pretending to like Mugabe while they are actually working to push him out. “I am inclined to agree with Cde Gumbo that there are some senior leaders who are pushing for regime change in ZANU-PF but falsely claiming to be supporting President Mugabe. Unfortunately, Cde Gumbo does not name those who are pushing the regime change within ZANU-PF but as Zimbabweans we apply our minds in analysing who the usual suspects for this regime change are,’ he told The Herald. “In conducting this analysis the first port of call is who the usual suspects are. Zimbabweans need to know kuti ndiani akambopandukira VaMugabe tiri kuhondo? Zimbabweans also need to know people who have issued statements intending to push vaMugabe out including an unfortunate statement that was issued about 15 years ago saying ‘Mugabe must go!’ So tikatanga neivava ava, tikatanga neipapa, it would help us identify the unnamed culprits in Cde Gumbo’s statement. The second port of call is to analyse the statement and actions of those who purport to support President Mugabe. The most dangerous of which is the unfortunate reference to the Presidium.”  If one goes by Zhuwao’s analysis, it appears Gumbo shot himself in the foot as he was one of the “vapanduki” during the liberation war. Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire was one of those who publicly stated that Mugabe must go and was suspended from the party. Ironically this was exactly 15 years ago. And the presidium is only three people at the moment- Mugabe, Joice Mujuru and Simon Khaya Moyo. Need one say more?

 

Chinamasa says China does not give cash but it is prepared to fund any bankable projects

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa today said China does not give budgetary support to any country but it is prepared, without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects. He was responding to questions from Members of Parliament who wanted to know what the minister had brought back from his trip where he was joined by President Robert Mugabe and several government ministers. “China is interested in funding infrastructural development for our countries. The dialogue and the negotiations with the Chinese authorities are about funding infrastructure in our country, addressing issues of power deficit, dualisation of our highways, railway rehabilitation, water and so on. Those are the projects that China is interested to fund. We came back with a commitment that they are prepared without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects,” the Finance Minister said. He dismissed allegations that when China embarks on projects, it brings its own labour and cited projects in which China was already involved in in Zimbabwe. The Minister was shielded from answering a question on what Zimbabwe had promised China in return for its investments after the acting Speaker ruled that this was not a policy question.

 

 

US sanctions buster’s lawyer says he wants Mugabe to testify

The lawyer for an alleged United States sanctions buster, C. Gregory Turner, who is accused of illegally lobbying for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, says he would like President Robert Mugabe to testify for his client when he visits the United Nations on 23-24 September.  Michael Leonard would like to record Mugabe’s testimony on video to present it to court in Chicago where Turner, 71, is appearing. He says Mugabe’s testimony is crucial and he is central to the allegations against Turner. “One of the primary bases for the government’s prosecution of Mr. Turner in this case is its allegation that Mr. Turner specifically acted for and at the direction of Mr. Mugabe,” Leonard said in his filing with the court according to the Chicago Tribune. “…If the government is truly interested in the pursuit of justice, it should welcome Mr. Mugabe’s videotaped testimony.” Turner and co-defendant Prince Asiel Ben Israel are said to have entered into a consulting deal with the Zimbabwe officials to be paid $3.4 million for their efforts.  Ben Israel, 72, pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 7 months in prison. Turner’s trial is scheduled to begin on 29 September.

 

 

Mugabe still optimistic about help from China

President Robert Mugabe is so optimistic that China will bail out Zimbabwe and help it revive its economy. But unlike what most people thought, this will not be a cash bail out. “Takabva KuChina masvondo maviri apfuura aya, aiwa vekuChina vakativimbisa kuti aiwa maprogramme enyu amuinawo ese angava eagriculture kana ekugadzirisa migwagwa imi monyora pasi kuti zvamunoda ndezvizvi tinokubatsirai. Saka vaifunga kuti hatina shamwari vachitiisira zvirango pamusana pekuti takatandanisa mabhunu muno — haiwa ngavaone kuti tichiri neshamwari,” Mugabe said at the installation of two chiefs in his home area.  Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that China does not give budgetary support to any country but it is prepared, without limit, to fund any bankable, feasible and viable projects. He was responding to questions from Members of Parliament who wanted to know what the minister had brought back from his trip where he was joined by President Robert Mugabe and several government ministers. “China is interested in funding infrastructural development for our countries. The dialogue and the negotiations with the Chinese authorities are about funding infrastructure in our country, addressing issues of power deficit, dualisation of our highways, railway rehabilitation, water and so on. Those are the projects that China is interested to fund,” he said.

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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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