Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Of all the feeble excuses for imposing Z$ Minister Mthuli Ncube's excuse takes the biscuit - sanctions P Guramatunhu

Of all the feeble excuses proffered by this Zanu PF regime for ending the use of the multi-currency basket in favour of the local currency as the only legal tender; Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube’s excuse takes the biscuit! Sanctions!

“There were certain banks that were told to stop supplying US dollars to Zimbabwe because certain transactions would involve entities in Zimbabwe that are under sanctions.,” he explained.

“CBZ was fined US$350 million for doing some transactions where they thought they were helping and we are still negotiating a way out of that liability.

“Therefore the more we used US dollar, the more we expose the transactors and businesses to fines.”

China, South Africa and Botswana have not imposed any targeted sanctions on anyone or any company in Zimbabwe so why did the Minister end the trade in the US$ and British Pound and retained local trade in the Yuan, Rand and Pula?  

The truth is the regime hurriedly enacted Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 banishing the basket of other foreign currency as legal tender to impose the local currency as the only legal tender to forestall the growing trend by traders and workers refusing to be paid in the local currency and demanding to be paid in the stable foreign currencies instead. The local currency had been losing its value as inflation has risen from about 10% in January 2019 to 97% at the time SI 142 was enacted.

Having impose the local currency as legal tender, government has been able to meet its soaring expenditure by printing more money at a time when its revenue has been sinking because to reduced economic activity due to the savage up to 19 hours a day power cuts, cyclone Idai, drought, etc. Printing money has solved one problem but created an even bigger problem – it has fuelled inflation. Since the passing of SI 142 inflation has soared from 97% to 175%, almost double in three weeks!

The hyperinflation gene is out of the bottle, there is no putting it back! Zimbabweans remember only too well the hyperinflation of 2000 to 2008 when inflation peaked at 500 billion % and the local currency was not even the paper it was printed on, at Z$ 35 quadrillion (35x10^24) = US$1.00. Most economic activity seized, it was impossible to do business and be paid in a currency who value was disappearing like water poured in the desert sand. It was not worthwhile going to work, shop shelves were empty and finding enough to eat and other essentials was a nightmare. We are heading for those 2008 nightmare days again!

The Z$ was scrapped and the multicurrency as legal tender was introduced in November 2008 to restore confidence in a stable currency. One only hopes that sanity will prevail and the stable currency reintroduced long before inflation hit the dizzying height of 2008 and survival is once again near impossible!

"Sikhala case expose MDC confusion" - Zanu PF is no better; must clear deck for clean start N Garikai

Dear Noble Runyanga

Ref: your Bulawayo 24 article “Sikhala case exposes MDC confusion, dilemma”

You are right that MDC is a party with no sense of direction and purpose, given to prevaricating and even when they act it is only to issue a perfunctory statement no one, not even the party leaders and supporters themselves believe.

“If Chamisa was a serious leader worth the term he would unequivocally condemn Sikhala's utterances irrespective of the party members' views thereon. He should have told them of the negative consequences of the statements and the legal implications thereof. Chamisa generally loves populism. It enables him to make up for his lack of substance,” you said.

“Given this background, Chamisa and his hangers-on are torn between toeing their handlers and owners' line of dialogue and development and the party's own unnecessarily confrontational approach.  They are torn between losing their members who desire a non-existent Chamisa win and "Government" like yesterday and pleasing their masters by participating in dialogue which will take the country forward. He is insisting on the non-existent illegitimacy issue as the sole trump card to while up some time for, as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the patience of the world, which includes his handlers, will snap leaving him exposed.

“The world has watched as Chamisa and the late Morgan Tsvangirai, before him, claimed election rigging on the part of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in favour of ZANU PF to make up for their own party's shortcomings only to embarrass themselves by failing to adduce any irrefutable evidence to buttress their claims.

You are right that no one beyond MDC leaders, their sheepish supporters and the Zimbabweans so desperate for change they believe anything, has ever supported Chamisa’s foolish claim that he “won” the presidential race. But if the truth be told the same people have also rejected Zanu PF’s claim of electoral victory for the same reasons; ZEC “failed to adduce any irrefutable evidence to buttress Zanu PF claims”!

“The electoral commission (ZEC) lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner,” stated the EU Mission final report.

“The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability. Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.”

And yet in your article you talk of the international community accepting Zanu PF’s election victory claim.  

“After the congress and Chamisa's ominous threats of "war" one would have expected a repeat of the 14 to 16 January protests within a week in gargantuan proportions given his propensity for student activism-like destructive and violent protests but this has not happened. This is because the owners of the project, which he fronts as a titular leader, have moved from the "Mugabe/ Mnangagwa must go!" politics of yesteryear to give President Mnangagwa and his team a chance following his poll victory last year. They now prefer dialogue to Chamisa's baseless confrontation. They have accepted the reality of a Mnangagwa electoral victory and the resultant Government,” you claim.

No one of substance has ever backed Mnangagwa’s call for dialogue and his Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) forum because it is nothing but a talk-shop with no power to change anything.

No one has backed Chamisa’s proposed power sharing Transition Authority (TA) because it is nothing but a watered-down version on the 2008 to 2013 GNU. The latter failed to implement even one democratic reform. “We sat and ate and did nothing!” Chamisa admitted last week. There is nothing to suggest MDC leaders will do anything else other than sit and eat in the TA.  

Zimbabwe is in this seeming intractable economic and political mess because the nation has had the great misfortune of having an incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical ruling party Zanu PF. Asking MDC to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship has not worked because the opposition turned out to be equal corrupt, incompetent and “confused”, as you said. To get out of the mess we need to think outside the box, to look beyond Zanu PF and MDC!

Last year’s elections were flawed and illegal and failed to produce a legitimate winner or runner up. Both Zanu PF and MDC conspired to go ahead with the elections knowing the whole process was a farce. It therefore does not make any sense for the nation to look to either of these two parties to chart the nation’s way out of the mess.

Both Zanu PF and MDC are now part of the problem and therefore can never be part of the solution too!     

As long as the country remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous thugs there will be no meaning economic recovery. This is a fact and a reality!

After 39 years of ruinous Zanu PF misrule the people of Zimbabwe must finally grasp the nettle and stamp out this curse of rigged elections and bad governance. Zanu PF rigged last year’s elections, the regime is illegitimate and it must step down now. MDC must step down too for their part in participating in flawed elections. We need to clear the political deck and have clean start!

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

We rewarded Zanu PF with absolute power for rigging elections, sowing the wind to repeat whirlwind - have we learned P Guramatunhu

"Zimbabwe is burning. The country is in the throes of a serious political and socio-economic crisis. The resolution of this crisis has become a matter of extreme urgency. It is clear that soft-landing the crisis has to be done to avert an impending and inevitable implosion. Zimbabwe is heading for a disaster, it's facing an abyss. Bold steps must be taken to avoid catastrophe," said Nelson Chamisa, the President of the MDC opposition party.

To say the country “is heading for a disaster” is an understatement. With unemployment still a nauseating 90% plus, ¾ of the population now living in abject poverty, basic services like health care and supply of clean drinking water all but collapse and the country facing the hyperinflation of 2008, etc.; we are in the middle of a disaster. The disaster is getting worse and worse and no one in the ruling party, Zanu PF, or the opposition know what to do to revive the economy and end the mess.

According to daily News, the Nelson Chamisa-led party in the end decided to momentarily ice dialogue efforts with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and will now instead roll out demonstrations to force the Zanu-PF leader to the negotiating table.

Nelson Chamisa and his party have reportedly decided to stage peaceful street protest to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government to force to yield to MDC's demands for political dialogue leading to a power sharing arrangement comparable to the 2008 GNU.

"We want dialogue that is bankable and irreversible," said Chamisa. "It must be scaffolded, underwritten and guaranteed by the international community and the people of Zimbabwe,” said Chamisa.

The devil is always in the detail! Whilst MDC accepts that last year’s election was “illegal and not free and fair” and thus making this Zanu PF regime illegitimate. The MDC’s proposal of restoring legitimacy after the party goes into a power sharing arrangement with Zanu PF is not bankable for four reasons:

1)     Only the people of Zimbabwe, in free, fair and credible elections, have the power and authority to confer the mandate to rule legitimacy. It is any outrage that anyone else should be so presumptuous as to believe they can confer legitimacy upon themselves, especially when they are the one who conspired to rig the elections!

2)     Zimbabwe is in this economic chaos because it is a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging thugs. The inclusion of MDC leaders in the present illegitimate Zanu PF regime will not change the pariah state status of the regime. As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state, there will be no meaningful economic recovery.

3)     Both Zanu PF and MDC were involved in the 2008 to 2013 GNU and we all know that they failed to get even one democratic reform implemented. Not one! Hence the reason Zanu PF was able to blatantly rig 2013 and last year’s elections. There is nothing in the proposed power sharing to suggest the two would implement the reforms and thus finally end this curse of rigged elections and pariah state.
4)   Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because for the last 39 years Zanu PF has rigged elections to stay in power and the nation has failed to stand up to the regime. Instead of punishing Zanu PF for rigging elections we have rewarded the party with absolute power. We sowed the wind and in the economic ruins and political paralysis of the last 39 years, we have reaped the whirlwind! Surely we have suffered enough to have finally learnt the lesson never again to appease those who have nothing but contempt for rule of law, freedoms and rights of others including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life. 

Monday, 15 July 2019

Open letter to Zimbabwe diplomatic corp

Dear Zimbabwe desk

Hope this  email finds you well.

Here is an article I wanted to be certain you did not miss:

In the article, MDC leaders admit that they failed to implement any meaningful democratic reforms during the last Government of National Unity (GNU).

The party is blaming the lack of a plan at on set of the GNU for their failure. This is a lie because SADC, the regional grouping, produced a Global Political Agreement which tasked the GNU to implement the raft of democratic reforms to ensure future elections were free, fair and credible. These are the reforms MDC now admit they failed to get implemented.

MDC is proposing the formation of a new GNU in which both Zanu PF and MDC will be the key players, as a way forward. We strongly object to this as there is no reason to believe the two will implement the reforms this time.  

It should also be noted that MDC leaders have also admitted that last year’s elections were not free and fair. "Legitimacy is an issue - last year's elections were illegal, and not free and fair. All reasonable observers concede that," admitted David Coltart, MDC Treasurer General.

We believe Zanu PF must be pressured to accept the reality that last year’s elections were not free and fair and, per se, the party is illegitimate and must step down. The country’s worsening economic situation is piling up the pressure on Zanu PF to accept the need for change as the situation cannot go on.

We, in the Zimbabwe Social Democrats, and many other ordinary Zimbabweans view the proposed political dialogue a way of sinister move by those who fail to deliver free, fair and credible election to legitimise their betrayal and extend their rule. We are asking the British government to use its influence with both Zanu PF and MDC to push them to accept the need for meaningful change now and end the tragic human suffering taking place in the country.

Best regards

Wilbert Mukori
Secretary General 
Zimbabwe Social Democrats.

Video: Political discussion with Sally and Thoko

Please copy and paste the address below for the video.

"ZACC will leave no stone unturned to rid of corruption" - sit and eat and spare us the chutzpah N Garikai

In Zimbabwe, corruption is deep; it is a key pillar of the Zanu PF dictatorship’s patronage system. It is fair to say that to uproot corruption one must first dismantle and uproot the Zanu PF dictatorship itself. It is therefore naïve, to say the least, to hear individuals like former MDC MP Jessie Majome boasting that she and her fellow ZACC will up root corruption.  

“We Are Rearing To Go. We will leave no stone unturned to rid society of corruption.” Newly Sworn In Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commissioner Jessie Majome twittered.

Yeah right! Zanu PF has corrupted every state institution including Zimbabwe Elections Commission, Zimbabwe Republic Police and ZACC itself to the point of turning these into all but departments of the ruling party in all but name. As a former MP herself she should know Zanu PF’s modus operandi of systematically eroding the independence and authority of state institutions to effect total state capture.

“You can’t expect us to reform ourselves out of power!” former Zanu PF Minister of Information and the self-appointed chief propagandist and strategist, Professor Jonathan Moyo once boasted. He said before the November 2017 military coup by the Mnangagwa led Zanu PF faction that ousted former dictator Robert Mugabe and the main G40 faction leaders including Professor Moyo. Any upstart like Jessie Majome is now telling us she will reform Zanu PF out of power!

Ms Majome remind me of Professor Mthuli Ncube, who too told he would revive the comatose Zimbabwe economy regardless of the reality of the country remaining a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging thugs. Professor Ncube was warned that Zanu PF had just rig the 2018 elections and corruption was rampant and he ignored the warning. His glassy eyes were focus on the prestigious office of Minister of Finance and did not care for anything else.

No doubt, Ms Majome has her eyes fixed on the limo, generous salary and perks, a former white owned farm, etc. she will receive as ZACC commissioner. She will not be the first MDC politician to enjoy the trappings of the gravy train and forget where she is there for; everyone in the MDC did that during the 2008 GNU and failed to implement even one reform.

“We got in the inclusive government and just sat there, spent five years in there. We came out without doing anything,” said Nelson Chamisa, the MDC President. There was not even a hind of shame in his voice, as if selling out the nation for thirty pieces of silver was perfectly normal.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa swore-in the eight ZACC commissioners including another former MDC MP, Gabriel Chaibva and Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, the wife of Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who is the chairperson for the commission.

“We will leave no stone unturned to rid society of corruption!” How naïve, who owes ZACC! We all know you are there to sit and eat, do so quietly and spare us the patronizing chutzpah!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

"MDC went into GNU with no plane, sat and ate!" - SADC will be amused and irritated in equal measure P Guramatunhu

“Chamisa: We went into GNU with no plan, sat and ate!” screamed the headlines in New Zimbabwe.

Every SADC leader involved in the Zimbabwe political crisis during the 2008 to 2013 GNU was amused and irritated in equal measure to read the article.

“We got in the inclusive government and just sat there, spent five years in there. We came out without doing anything,” said Nelson Chamisa.

“We will not do that, dialogue must have timelines that are very clear, the international community must tick us, mark us on the boxes.”

SADC leaders would be amused that MDC leaders are finally admitting that they wasted the golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the GNU. Credit where credit is due, SADC leaders did try their best to remind Tsvangirai and company to implement the reforms and they were ignored.

Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office; the ministerial limo, generous salary and unlimited overseas travel, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc., etc. With their snouts in the feeding trough, MDC leaders “sat and ate” and forgot about the reforms for five years of the GNU. FIVE YEARS of doing nothing!

SADC leaders made one more desperate attempt to postpone the 2013 elections until reforms are implemented, according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza who attended the regional grouping’s Maputo summit in June 2013.

“In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there,” he explained to Violet Gonda.

“I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws.

“After that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done’.”

Once again MDC leaders ignored the warning and participated in the elections. As expected, Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the elections.

“MDC leaders were busy enjoying themselves in the GNU and forgot why they were there!” remarked one SADC leader in sheer exasperation at just how breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt MDC leaders had proven to be during the five years of the GNU.

The SADC leaders would have been irritated by the stupid remark that there was no plan at the start of the GNU. That is just nonsense, there was a plan. SADC leaders, especially SA President Thabo Mbeki and his staff, were heavily involved in the drafting of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The GPA formed the legal basis of the GNU. The primary task of the GNU was to implement the of raft democratic reforms designed to stop a repeat of the blatant cheating and wanton violence that marred the 2008 elections.  Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara signed the agreement on behalf of Zanu PF and the two MDC factions respective; as the internal political parties to implement the reforms. President Mbeki signed on behalf of SADC as the guarantor of the agreement.

Of course, SADC leaders wanted to see an end to the political chaos and economic meltdown in Zimbabwe; it was holding back the region’s development and causing instability in the whole region. As stated above, SADC leaders did their best to remind MDC leaders to implement the agreed reforms but were ignore. Of course, they were disappointed that a golden chance to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis was wasted and irritated that the upstarts who wasted the chance have chutzpah to blame SADC leaders for not having a plan.

Even if there was no GPA, as the victims of the cheating and violence, one expected MDC leaders to go into the GNU determined to change the law to ensure the cheating and violence will never happen ever again.

Nelson Chamisa has just launched the MDC’s policy blue-print titled Return to Economic Recovery, Legitimacy, Openness and Democracy (RELOAD) calling for a new Zanu PF and MDC GNU. The plan calls for the implementation of the democratic reforms. He vowed there would be no repeat of the “sat and ate” failures of the last GNU, now that the MDC has a plan!

As we have seen above it, the “sat and ate” failures of the last GNU were because MDC leaders are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent. Having the GPA and SADC leaders to remind them at every turn to implement reforms did not make the slightest difference. There is no one more blind that one who close their eyes and mind and the promise of the gravy train lifestyle have left many staring with glassy eyes and a black-box sealed mind.

There is nothing in MDC’s RELOAD plan to address much less end the MDC leaders’ incompetence and insatiable greed. This is a plan to get some MDC leaders back on the gravy train so they can sit and eat. They will not implement any meaningful democratic reforms and, come 2023, Zanu PF will blatantly rig those elections.

Zimbabwe is in a serious economic mess with unemployment a dizzying 90%, ¾ of the population now living in abject poverty, health care that all but collapsed, etc. and all because the country has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship that rigged elections to stay in power. We need to end the curse of rigged elections and pariah state if we are ever to get out of this mess.

Zanu PF cannot be trusted to reform itself out of office and hence the reason the party must step down so we can appoint an interim administration to implement the reforms.  MDC’s RELOAD plan is just an excuse to keep Zanu PF in power in return for Chamisa and other MDC’s getting seats on the gravy train.

No SADC leaders much less the more savvy UN would ever agree to another Zanu PF and MDC led GNU because they know the two parties will never implement any meaningful reforms and they, SADC, would be blamed yet again for two “sitting, eating and doing nothing”. SADC leaders proposed the last GNU to give Mugabe and Zanu PF a soft landing, it would be insane for SADC to make that foolish mistake again!

Zimbabwe has been hurting to do the right thing for the last 40 years. Well here is the right thing for us to do: get Zanu PF to step down and implement the democratic reforms. It is a simple choice; either we do and get out of the mess or we don’t and continue to suffer and die!