Top stories September 21-25


ZANU-PF to probe dirty dozen – The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is to investigate party officials who it claims held secret meetings with United States embassy officials to discuss classified internal information and succession politics. It said the key embassy official is Eric Little. The ZANU-PF legislators now dubbed the “dirty dozen” include: Paul Mavhima (Gokwe Sengwa), Walter Kanhanga (Guruve North), Adam Chimwamurombe (Chipinge West), Chriswell Mutematsaka (Guruve South), Batsirayi Pemhanayi (Mutare North), Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge West), Tapiwanashe Matangaidze (Shurugwi South), Temba Mliswa (Hurungwe West), Kindness Paradza (Makonde), David Butau (Mbire), Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Uzumba). The only unnamed official is from Masvingo.

Tourism to slow down because of Ebola
Tourism is likely to grow by three percent in the second half of the year after rising by 12 percent in the first six months, with the outbreak of Ebola in west Africa seen reducing foreign travel to the continent, an industry official said today. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Ebola had now killed at least 2 793 people in five countries in west Africa and remains a “public health emergency of international concern.” While the affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, fears remain about possible spread to other African countries. Last week, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said 15 buyers from Botswana had withdrawn from next month’s tourism expo while the African Marketing Summit scheduled for Victoria Falls, also next month had been postponed citing Ebola fears. Some of the delegates were scheduled to come from countries that are grappling with the Ebola pandemic. “Our fear is the effect of Ebola on travellers (and how it would affect tourism arrivals),” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president, Tamuka Macheka. Domestic tourism was unlikely to grow either because of Zimbabwe’s struggling economy, he added. Arrivals increased by one percent to 867 163 in the first half of the year compared to 860,995 in the same period in 2013.

Gono out
Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono cannot take over the Manicaland Senate seat vacated by former politburo member Kumbirai Kangai. At least for now. He is not a registered voter in Manicaland. He is registered in Harare. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission boss Rita Makarau, a Supreme Court judge, said Gono could not even transfer his registration to Manicaland because the current legal framework does not allow him to. “Now that the function to register and transfer voters is vested in ZEC, the most practical way around the current difficulty would have been for Dr Gono to apply to the commission to transfer his vote from Harare to Buhera West. Again, Honourable Chairman, we regret to advise that, whilst we now have the constitutional mandate to register and transfer voters and are willing and ready to register and transfer voters, there is no legal framework on voter registration and allied matters as envisaged in section 157 (1) (b) of the Constitution, a vacuum that has made us hold back on voter registration, thereby prejudicing not only Dr Gono in this case, but the generality of the electorate in Zimbabwe,’’ Makarau wrote to Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front chairman Simon Khaya Moyo. Gono was imposed by the politburo and was not on last year’s party list. According to The Herald, party Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa said Gono would be appointed Senator even if that meant changing the law. “The politburo wants Dr Gono to be a Senator and if it means that the law would be amended, then let it be. No one will reverse the decision of the politburo. We will ensure that the law fits with the requirements of the party. Ukaona vakuru vachitadziswa kuenda pachigaro nekuda kwevaduku, then there is something wrong,” Mutasa said. It is not clear who he was referring to as vakuru (seniors) or vaduku (juniors), but Mutasa has been known for shooting his on foot of late as this is currently purely a legal matter, though the ugly hand of President Robert Mugabe’s succession seems to be hovering around.

Zimbabwe is not poor- IMF
Zimbabwe does not qualify for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative because it is not poor enough, but the International Monetary Fund is looking at a new flexible debt repayment schedule for the southern African nation, new country representative Dominique Fanezzi said today. Zimbabwe is saddled with an external debt of nearly $10 billion and owes the IMF $142 million in arrears accrued since 2000, and as such cannot benefit from monetary support from the fund, Fanezzi told delegates attending a breakfast meeting on Zimbabwe-IMF relations which was hosted by The Herald newspaper. He said Zimbabwe is not eligible for debt relief through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries model, which has helped countries such as Zambia settle their debts. “Some requirements for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries are that a country has to be very, very poor and you need to have a very high debt. Zimbabwe does not qualify for that,” said Fanezzi, who was seconded to the country by the Fund in July after an absence of more than a decade. “So that’s good on one side because you are not so poor. I think we should take our knowledge of the facts and move on with seeking what we call traditional rescheduling under the Paris Club.”

Chinotimba says Biti is a like a rapist who deflowers a girl then cries foul that she is not a virgin
Buhera South Member of Parliament said Renewal Team leader and former Finance Minister Tendai Biti was equally to blame for the present economic crisis and likened him to a rapist who deflowers a girl then goes around degrading her because she is no longer a virgin. “Please understand me, I am not saying Hon. Biti is a rapist but it is just a figurative speech that states that he was also responsible for the damage to the country and its economy, yet he is now blaming somebody for that,” Chinotimba said. He was contributing to the debate on Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s mid-term fiscal policy statement. Biti brushed off the statement as feja-feja economics, insisting that people should eat what they kill. Chinotimba said it was important for legislators to unite because they would never achieve anything if there was a tug-of-war all the time. “We will never achieve the desired results if we are in a tug-of-war and speaking in different tongues. We are supposed to be talking in unison, we are representatives of the people and when we spent our time bickering, the people we represent are suffering. We are better off than the people in our constituencies because we are receiving some allowances as Members of Parliament but when we look at the people out there, the factories and business are closing down and people are not benefiting anything. As a result, let us speak with one voice, let us speak in unison and we will go to Britain, America and ask these countries to remove the sanctions. “I have very high respect for Hon. Biti and I am sure if you were to send Hon. Biti and Hon. Chinotimba, we will gladly go together and you will be assured that we will succeed with Hon. Biti having that aura and stance. He left his party since he is aware of the problems which were within that party and he is now on a renewal path, crafting new ways which are going to create wealth for Zimbabweans,” Chinotimba said.

Gono blames factionalism for disqualification from Senate
Former Central Bank governor Gideon Gono has blamed his disqualification for the Manicaland Senate seat left vacant by former politburo member Kumbirai Kangai on factionalism within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. He said he did not want to break any law and would wait his turn even if this meant having to wait for nine more years. “It is clear that someone from outside the province is playing games hoping that they can torpedo the ZANU-PF politburo and Manicaland Province as well as the Buhera District’s choice. “Fortunately, I have all the patience in the world to wait for whoever needs to do their job to do it even if it means waiting till 2018, 2023 or beyond. No one from outside Buhera can hope to replace those born in Buhera,” he said. The decision to disqualify Gono was made by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which is headed by former Supreme Court judge Rita Makarau. Makarau said Gono could not contest the seat because he was not registered as a voter in Manicaland. He is registered in Harare. She said though the ZEC could transfer a voter, the legal framework did not currently exist. There are ostensibly two main factions within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Patriotic Front, one led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mujuru recently said she did not lead any faction and belonged to the Mugabe faction. This was the same sentiment Gono echoed. “No amount of blackmail though can change my stance of remaining out of all factions except that of and led by the President and First Secretary of our Party, Cde R G Mugabe and all that he stands for. I will never appease anyone by joining a faction in order to fast-track my confirmation and swearing in because no appeasement the world over has ever bought permanent peace. So, let the law take its course as long as no one is seeking to change my gender, or place of birth. “The race to succeed a sitting president – even to position oneself for it while he is still there reflects very badly when pitied against our culture and is nothing but vulturous; opposition parties should do that not a ruling party. The practice divides investors and splits all branches of government into enclaves of inefficiency to the detriment of professionalism and the ordinary man and woman in the street. Besides, factionalism breeds corruption and tolerance of both corruption and mediocrity. We must all shun that and rally behind the President Mugabe chete. If it means that for rejecting factionalism I will be kept out of the political structures, so be it.”

Jonathan Moyo says Gono’s outburst shows he is desperate to become senator
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo says former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono’s outburst that factionalism in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was responsible for his disqualification as Senator for Manicaland was a clear indication that Gono was desperate to become senator. “It is abundantly self-evident that, by any means available or not Dr Gono is desperate to be Senator for Manicaland province, a provincial parliamentary seat he apparently mistakes for Buhera district. This explains why he has become so emotional and reckless about his comments to the point of displaying his ignorance of the law in public.” Moyo also said there was nothing like a Mugabe faction. Gono and Vice-President Joice Mujuru have said they do not belong to any faction except that of President Robert Mugabe. “It is preposterous and objectionable in the extreme for Dr Gono to claim that he is “remaining out of all factions except that of and led by the President”. President Mugabe does not have and does not lead a faction. The President leads ZANU-PF, the government and the nation of Zimbabwe. In other words, President Mugabe leads not some, but all of us Zimbabweans. An aspiring Senator is ordinarily expected to understand this basic fact.”


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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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