Saturday, September 27, 2008

Zim power sharing deal faces disaster

from the UKTimes:

Zimbabwe’s power-sharing deal is close to collapse after only 12 days because Robert Mugabe and his generals are determined to thwart it, Western diplomats said yesterday.

“We are looking at the possibility of this thing failing,” a senior diplomat told The Times as Mr Mugabe demanded an end to the “illegal and unilateral” sanctions at the UN General Assembly in New York last night. Another gave the deal a mere 25 per cent chance of survival, saying Mr Mugabe had entered it in bad faith and had duped the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Both gave warning of catastrophe if the deal collapsed. One spoke of Zimbabwe’s “final implosion”, with “Ethiopian-style” mass starvation and another million desperate people flooding into neighbouring countries.

They said that Mr Mugabe believed he could flout the agreement with impunity because the world was distracted....

Mugabe asks west to lift sanctions

from Reuters, Africa.

Usual Mugabe complaints (poor Grace needs to shop....must lift sanctions)...

The important part is at the end:

"...The deal with Tsvangirai and the head of a breakaway opposition faction followed weeks of tense negotiations to end a political crisis compounded by the veteran leader's disputed and unopposed re-election in a widely condemned vote in June.

Under the deal, Mugabe retains the presidency and chairs the cabinet while Tsvangirai becomes prime minister, chairing a council of ministers supervising the cabinet.

Mugabe, interviewed by, said he was firm in that his party's allocation of cabinet portfolios must include four key ministries, which he described as "the security ones plus foreign affairs and local government."

He insisted he would remain on top in the new governing arrangement. "I am at the top as the constitution makes me head of state and head of government," he said...."

Translation: Mugabe says: Tsvangirai took a Sucker deal...I still run the place...

NYTimes article on Zuma

they can't figure him he good or bad?


Mr. Zuma, 66, has been president-in-waiting since December, when he bested Mr. Mbeki for the top job in the party hierarchy. His shadow has loomed over the government ever since, and it now becomes even starker.

He is a husky man with a shaved head, a high-beam smile and an outsize personality. Should people be afraid?

“I can’t tell you why, but he scares me to death,” said Rita Middleton, as she took in the newspaper headlines on Sunday in a neighborhood grocery....

Mr. Zuma considers himself a Zulu traditionalist. Some aspects of that tradition have upset human rights groups. Mr. Zuma has advocated the practice of testing virgins — inspecting girls to make sure they have preserved their virtue. A practicing polygamist, by most counts over the years he has taken six wives.

In 2005, on trial for the rape of a 31-year-old family friend, Mr. Zuma testified that she had seduced him by wearing a short skirt and sitting in a provocative way. He said that “Zulu culture” had left him no option but to oblige. Afterward, he said, he took a shower, believing it would minimize the risk of contracting H.I.V. He was found not guilty.

That same year, President Mbeki fired Mr. Zuma, his deputy since 1999. Evidence showed that a Durban businessman convicted of bribery had brokered payments from a French arms supplier. The money was alleged to have gone to Mr. Zuma.

“Some may think Zuma is a crook, but they don’t think he’s the big fish,” said Barney Mthombothi, editor of The Financial Mail.

Much of Mr. Zuma’s support within his party comes from the other two members of the “Tripartite Alliance:” the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Communist Party...."

Go to the article for the rest of the propaganda...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sorry for the lack of posts

We have had lots of rain from nearby typhoons (no direct hits, but rain and landslides in the hilly areas north of here).

Rain means brownouts and internet problems...the internet goes off and on, so I might start posting and then be off line for another 5 hours until it goes on for five minutes again...

Children eating roots, rats

From Reuters:

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Children in Zimbabwe are eating rats and inedible roots riddled with toxic parasites to stave off hunger because of chronic food shortages, an aid agency said on Thursday....

Jacobs said many people in the Zambezi Valley, the poorest and driest area, were now surviving on a vile-tasting, fibrous root called makuri.

"It's got no nutritional value whatsoever. It tastes disgusting and it also has a parasite which attaches to it which is toxic," said Jacobs, who has just returned from the region.

"This is all they have to eat. You see babies eating it and toddlers eating it, and it's not digestible. It creates terrible stomach pains."

People were eating anything to survive, she said. She had come across one child who had died after eating a poisonous root and young children eating tiny rats they caught in their huts....

It should be noted that Children may catch and roast them as snacks...the article doesn't distinguish this from eating due to hunger...
it would be like eating dog here in the Philippines: The rich eat dog as a gourmet item, but the poor just eat dogs because they are available.....

As for roots, during famines, people will eat "famine food"...this includes fruits, tubers, vegetables, etc. I am trying to find what the article means by "makuri"....some roots contain oxalic acid that need to be processed to remove the toxin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Risks in Zim from Mbeki's resignation

from the NYTimes

....Mr. Tsvangirai, 56, and Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, 84, are at an impasse in the first crucial test of Mr. Mugabe’s willingness to relinquish some of the complete control he has exercised during 28 years in power. Mr. Mugabe did not enter negotiations until July, after African election monitors concluded that a June runoff was not free or fair and African leaders insisted on talks. He said at the signing ceremony for the agreement that he was committed to it.

When Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai met on Thursday, Mr. Tsvangirai said, he proposed that their parties, the governing ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, equally divide the most critical ministries, with, for example, Mr. Mugabe’s party retaining the army and the opposition taking the police. Given the broken economy, Mr. Tsvangirai said he believed that the opposition should pick the head of the Finance Ministry, but Mr. Mugabe did not agree.

“They wanted everything, all the key ministries,” Mr. Tsvangirai said.

There are signs that Mr. Mugabe, known as a canny, ruthless survivor of challenges to his authority, may be resisting genuine power-sharing. The question is whether he is still guided by the slogan he used during this year’s disputed election, still visible on posters: “This is the final battle for total control.”

Mr. Mugabe left Harare on Friday to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York with an entourage that included his wife and son, but not Mr. Tsvangirai, who is supposed to become his partner in governing. Mr. Tsvangirai acknowledged that the authorities had yet to provide him with a passport some three months after he ran out of pages for new visa stamps, though he hopes they will soon....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mbeki resigns


The country faces a period of economic and political instability, likely to be deepened if large numbers of Cabinet members quit in the coming days out of loyalty to Mbeki.

An interim president, probably National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, is expected to be named this week. Zuma, the ANC's leader, is likely to run for the office in elections scheduled for next year.

Mbeki, clad in a dark blue suit, looked solemn and dignified and avoided lashing out at his opponents in the ANC.

"I have been a loyal member of the ANC for 52 years. I remain a member and therefore respect its decisions," he said. "It is for this reason that I have taken the decision to resign as president of the republic, following the decision of the national executive committee of the ANC" on Saturday to "recall" him.

Mbeki's opponents gained the needed ammunition to drive him from office when a high court judge, Chris Nicholson, threw out fraud and racketeering charges against Zuma on Sept. 12, saying it appeared that he might have been the victim of a political conspiracy in the ANC.

The National Prosecuting Authority has said it would appeal the judge's ruling. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said Saturday that the party's ruling body decided to remove Mbeki because of concern over the motives behind the authority's appeal.

In his televised address to the nation, Mbeki strongly denied ever interfering with the prosecution or the judiciary....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zim's long road to recovery

from UK Financial Times

..(The UNDP )The report, "Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe", is due to be published today....

A minimum of $5bn (€3.5bn, £2.7bn) in foreign aid, including debt relief, will be needed over the next five years - $1.62bn of that in the first year - if the government is to plug financing gaps, revive infrastructure and stave off hunger among the 5m Zimbabweans threatened by starvation. This would make it one of the largest recipients of aid in Africa.

Those figures would be significantly higher if pensioners were reimbursed for savings eviscerated by the collapse of the currency, and thousands of white farmers driven from their land by Mr Mugabe's resettlement programme compensated.,,,

At the same time, at least 2m of the 12m population have emigrated to South Africa, the UK, Botswana and other countries, many of them skilled workers and professionals. Eighty per cent of medical personnel trained since 1980 have left the country.

A prerequisite for recovery will be plugging vast budget deficits financed in recent years by money-printing and credit creation. This has driven inflation to a world record of about 40m per cent and created a nation of pauperised trillionaires. The mechanisms used to tackle hyperinflation could make the difference between a short-term bust followed by recovery, and a near-term consumption boom followed by recession.

In a "lost" decade Zimbab-we's economy has contracted 37 per cent, while the rest of sub-Saharan Africa made average gains of 40 per cent. It would take uninterrupted growth of 5 per cent annually until 2020 to recover peak per capita income levels. A more likely average is less than 4 per cent, the report's authors suggest.

The government will need to act decisively at the outset when "opposition to radical reforms is likely to be weakest", the report argues, warning of the dangers of "a constrained decision making fostering consensus style compromises that both delay and undermine reforms".

Britain, the US and the European Union have all reacted cautiously to last week's deal, partly because they believe this is the most likely scenario...

Mbeki resigns!

From the BBC: Mbeki was left with few choices.

Thabo Mbeki was left with a simple choice. Resign or face the full force of a party that no longer wanted him.

That the African National Congress (ANC) had seen enough was made clear at a news conference on the outskirts of Johannesburg...

The real reason: the repeated prosecution against Zuma...after a second court threw out the charges, the prosecutors decided to appeal the verdict, it was just too much...

So when Mbeki resigns, Parliament will elect someone to take his place until elections are held. Since Zuma is not a MP, he can't be chosen, but he can run in the next election and is expected to win.

As for Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe's already fragile power-sharing agreement has lost both its architect and driving force.

The ANC says it is keen for Mr Mbeki to continue with his mediation role, but without the badge of office his influence and political clout will be much diminished.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mbeki's presidency teeters but holds for now

from the NYTimes, who needs a better headline writer ("teeters" ? like in teetertotter?)

JOHANNESBURG — The presidency of Thabo Mbeki teetered precariously near an ignominious end on Friday, as members of his party’s national executive committee met late into the night deciding whether to tell him to resign before his term expires next year.

“The debate is actually in the middle of nowhere,” Gwede Mantashe, the secretary general of the African National Congress, told reporters...

Last December, Jacob Zuma, who was once Mr. Mbeki’s deputy, defeated his former boss for the leadership of the A.N.C.....

Summary: after a court again threw out charges against Zuma, his supporters are mad, figuring Mbeki was behind the will he resign, or will they have to impeach him?...

Zimbabwe beyond the endgame

MP3 podcast discussion HERE.

How Green Activists harm Africa

from the UKTimes:

Western do-gooders are impoverishing Africa by promoting traditional farming at the expense of modern scientific agriculture, according to Britain's former chief scientist.

Anti-science attitudes among aid agencies, poverty campaigners and green activists are denying the continent access to technology that could improve millions of lives, Professor Sir David King will say today.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Europe and America are turning African countries against sophisticated farming methods, including GM crops, in favour of indigenous and organic approaches that cannot deliver the continent's much needed “green revolution”, he believes.

Speaking before a keynote lecture tonight to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, of which he is president, Sir David said that the slow pace of African development was linked directly to Western influence. “I'm going to suggest, and I believe this very strongly, that a big part has been played in the impoverishment of that continent by the focus on nontechnological agricultural techniques, on techniques of farming that pertain to the history of that continent rather than techniques that pertain to modern technological capability. Why has that continent not joined Asia in the big green revolutions that have taken place over the past few decades? The suffering within that continent, I believe, is largely driven by attitudes developed in the West which are somewhat anti-science, anti-technology - attitudes that lead towards organic farming, for example, attitudes that lead against the use of genetic technology for crops that could deal with increased salinity in the water, that can deal with flooding for rice crops, that can deal with drought resistance.”


I agree...we grow organic rice, but do use hybrid high yield seeds; our fertilizer is organic, but we add minerals as needed; and we use hand plows (large rototillers) that save a lot of energy in preparing the fields.

When we harvest, we use a thresher to separate the grain from the stem...but we still dry on the road (in the sun) but there are grain driers if a typhoon is around and theatening to keep the grain wet and prone to mold...

and with proper irrigation, we get two crops a year...and are trying to figure out if we could get three crops, as is done in the Mekong Delta.

History books on Rhodesia on line

Some history books on Rhodesia (written by Europeans, of course) are on line.

BOOK 1:1,000 miles in a machilla: travel and sport in Nyasaland, Angoniland, and Rhodesia, with some account of the resources of these countries; and chapters on sport by Colonel Colville, C.B (1911)

Book2:Resources in Rhodesia, implications for U.S. policy : hearings before the Subcommittee on International Resources, Food, and Energy of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, second session, April 13 and May 6, 1976 (1976)

Book 3
: Rhodesia and its government (1898)

Book 4
:Southern Rhodesia. Despatch to the high commissioner for South Africa, transmitting draft letters patent providing for the constitution of resposible government in the colony of Southern Rhodesia, and other draft instruments connected therewith .. (1922)

Book 5: Sunshine and storm in Rhodesia; being a narrative of events in Matabeleland both before and during the recent native insurrection up to the date of the disbandment of the Bulawayo field force (1896)

I haven't read any of these...but link to them for those interested in the subject..

Long road ahead for Zim

from Zenit News:

HARARE, Zimbabwe, SEPT. 18, 2008 ( Though the Zimbabwean government finally reached a power-sharing deal to end conflict over contested elections, the real priority for the country remains feeding the people, affirms an episcopal conference official.

Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe bishops' conference, emphasized the challenges that lie ahead, despite Monday's agreement between long-ruling Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. Under the deal, Tsvangirai becomes prime minister and chairs a board that will oversee the cabinet.

After attending the signing of the deal on Monday, Father Chiromba said that getting food and medicines to Zimbabweans were among the immediate challenges. The once prosperous country is in total economic collapse, with inflation officially listed at over 11 million percent.

"There is a great need to provide basic food aid as people are coping with a bad harvest and of course, the country's dire economic situation," Father Chiromba said.

Some 2 million Zimbabweans depend on aid from international organizations in order to eat. Caritas feeds some 1 million people and aids another 3 million with their projects.

All of the problems combined with poor harvests have caused some 3 million Zimbabweans to flee the country.

"There are also no medicines in the hospitals, doctors do not even have aspirins to give out," said Father Chiromba.

While the episcopal conference official affirmed that the people of Zimbabwe are relieved by the signing of the deal, he stressed that those traumatized by violence need healing and reconciliation.

"The Catholic Church has always played a pivotal role in prioritizing the needs of the people and will continue to do so," he said, "as we all hope and pray that people's lives will now change for the better."

Bullcaca. the Catholic "liberation theology" types with the World council of churches helped get Mugabe his job. The hunger is from Mugabe's economic policies, which are the Marxist policies that caused starvation in other countries. But until Catholic bishops at all levels learn a little basic economics, we will continue to hear nonsense and platitudes like this...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lie of the land (BBC discusses the land issue)

from the BBC

....In his opinion, the land audit will weed out those who are not serious about farming and the security of tenure will spur growth.

Mr Smith agrees the leases will be a good compromise to allow farmers to raise cash - and it is money that the agricultural sector desperately needs.

"I'm on the ground and basically everything has been laid to waste - buildings and barns - all the boreholes need to refitted, dams need to be repaired," he says.

'Once bitten, twice shy'

The deal calls on the international community to support land reform, and in particular it asks the UK to pay compensation to white farmers who lost their land.....

As I have written before, land reform similar to other countries could have been allowed those working on the land to get their share, and give long term mortgages to pay compensation to the owner (which frequently were never paid...but never mind) the same time, the owner was allowed to keep so many acres...with a maximum number of acres per person. This allows some large families to own quite a bit of land, but not the huge farms of the past...

Cabinet posts in deadlock

from the BBC:

...According to a power-sharing deal, the MDC and a breakaway faction will have 16 ministers in the new cabinet, while Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party will have 15....

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said talks on Thursday had been "inconclusive".

Zanu-PF was "claiming all the powerful ministries" but discussions were continuing, Mr Chamisa said.

"It was a deadlock and has been referred to the negotiating teams for further work to try and find common ground," he told the Reuters news agency.

Before the parties met, an opposition source said Zanu-PF wanted control of powerful portfolios such as finance, defence and information, while the MDC wanted an "equal share"....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

US and European Union continue sanctions for now

from the BBC

chief Javier Solana said a decision on lifting sanctions on Zimbabwean officials had been postponed until October.

The International Monetary Fund, which suspended financial and technical assistance in 2006, said it stood ready for talks with the new government about stabilising the economy.

But it added that Harare would have to take clear steps to resolve the economic crisis in a country where inflation stands at more than 11,000,000%.

'Painful compromises'

In a statement, the 27 EU ministers said they would watch for the agreement's implementation, especially the "immediate cessation of all forms of intimidation and violence". ...
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, said: "We haven't yet had a chance to study the details of the agreement, nor do we know who will be in the cabinet of this new government, so in some ways it's a bit premature for us to comment until we have the full picture." ...

Mugabe won't be prosecuted

from the LATImes

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- Zimbabwe's new prime minister said President Robert Mugabe could not be held accountable for the political violence during his 28-year rule but that others might face prosecution in the future....

The deal leaves in question whether Mugabe will dominate the new government and how Tsvangirai will work with bitter opponents in the long-ruling ZANU-PF. Many likely members of the Cabinet, which will be divided between the ruling party and the former opposition, are hostile to the new prime minister; some were responsible for past violence against his colleagues and supporters.

Tsvangirai desperately needs to attract Western aid to rebuild the shattered country. Critics are questioning why Tsvangirai signed the accord without knowing who will control the security forces and which Cabinet posts his party will get...

He acknowledged that Western governments were cautious because the deal left Mugabe as president. But he asked them to recognize the accord as a positive step and support it, "because they were supporting the democratic struggle in the country."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

agreement a deal or a sell out?

From Bloggernews:


Crucially, the entire military will report to Mugabe, while the smaller and lesser-armed police will report to Tsvangirai. Is this a recipe for civil war? Only if Tsvangirai is able to remove police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri.

Chihuri is one of the all-powerful, six-member Joint Operations Command (JOC). This is the military junta that assumed power when Mugabe lost the presidential election to Tsvangirai back in March. All the commanders of Zimbabwe’s armed forces, including the Chihuri, have openly said that they’ll never “surrender” to any authority other than Mugabe and Zanu-PF. Chihuri has been particularly vociferous in his condemnation of Tsvangirai and the MDC. During the latest elections, he was responsible for the suffering of thousands of opposition activists and supporters. Will he accept, or undermine and destroy his new political master?

And there’s no mention yet of who will control Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). This vast, sinister unit reports to Mugabe and infiltrated every element of Zimbabwe’s state institutions to ensure that everyone remained loyal to Zanu-PF. With the CIO looking on, will any police officer dare to support Tsvangirai?

One small glimmer of possible hope emerged last weekend, when a senior army general and a CIO chief held secret negotiations in South Africa with Mbeki’s people in an effort to secure amnesties from any future prosecution in return for supporting regime change in Zimbabwe.

This may mean real change could come out of the deal. ...

The Agreement

Full PDF here.

BBC summary:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, have signed a power-sharing deal, aimed at resolving the country's political and economic crisis.

Here are the main points of the agreement detailed in the 30 pages of the 80-page deal that have so far been made public:


The parties hereby declare and agree to work together to create a genuine, viable, permanent, sustainable and nationally acceptable solution to the Zimbabwe situation and in particular to implement the following agreement with the aims of resolving once and for all the current political and economic situations and charting a new political direction for the country.


The parties agree... to give priority to the restoration of economic stability and growth in Zimbabwe. The government will lead the process of developing and implementing an economic recovery strategy and plan.


The parties note the present economic and political isolation of Zimbabwe by the United Kingdom, European Union, United States of America and other sections of the international community over and around issues of disputed elections, governance and differences over the land reform programme.

Recognising the consequent contribution of this isolation to the further decline of the economy... the Parties hereby agree:

(b) that all forms of measures and sanctions against Zimbabwe be lifted in order to facilitate a sustainable solution to the challenges that are currently facing Zimbabwe;

(c) commit themselves to working together in re-engaging the international community with a view to bringing to an end the country's international isolation.


Recognising that colonial racist land ownership patterns established during the colonial conquest of Zimbabwe and largely maintained in the post independence period were not only unsustainable, but against the national interest, equity and justice.

Accepting the irreversibility of the said land acquisitions and redistribution.

Noting that in the current constitution of Zimbabwe and further in the draft constitution agreed to by the parties the primary obligation of compensating former land owners for land acquired rests on the former colonial power.

The parties hereby agree to:

(a) conduct a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land audit, during the tenure of the seventh parliament of Zimbabwe, for the purpose of establishing accountability and eliminating multiple farm ownerships;

(d) call upon the United Kingdom government to accept the primary responsibility to pay compensation for land acquired from former land owners for resettlement.


Mindful of the need to ensure that the new constitution deepens our democratic values and principles and the protection of the equality of all citizens, particularly the enhancement of full citizenship and equality of women.

The parties hereby agree:

(a) that they shall set up a select committee of parliament composed of representatives of the parties whose terms of reference shall be as follows:

(b) that the draft constitution recommended by the select committee shall be submitted to a referendum;

(c) that, in implementing the above, the following time frames shall apply:

(i) the select committee shall be set up within two months of inception of a new government;

(ii) the convening of the first all stakeholders conference shall be within three months of the date of the appointment of the select committee.


The parties hereby agree:-

(a) that the responsibility of effecting change of government in Zimbabwe vests exclusively on and is the sole prerogative of the people of Zimbabwe through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means;

(b) to reject any unlawful, violent, undemocratic and unconstitutional means of changing governments;

(c) that no outsiders have a right to call or campaign for regime change in Zimbabwe.


Recognising that the right to canvass and freely mobilise for political support is the cornerstone of any multi-party democratic system, the Parties have agreed that there should be free political activity throughout Zimbabwe within the ambit of the law in which all political parties are able to propagate their views and canvass for support, free of harassment and intimidation.


The parties have agreed:

(a) to work together in a manner which guarantees the full implementation and realisation of the right to freedom of association and assembly; and

(b) that the government shall undertake training programmes, workshops and meetings for the police and other enforcement agencies directed at the appreciation of the right of freedom of assembly and association and the proper interpretation, understanding and application of the provisions of security legislation.


State organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties.


The parties hereby agree:

(a) that in the fulfilment of its obligations… the government and all state institutions and quasi-state institutions shall render humanitarian and food assistance without discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity gender, political affiliation or religion;

(c) that all displaced persons shall be entitled to humanitarian and food assistance to enable them to return and settle in their original homes and that social welfare organisations shall be allowed to render such assistance as might be required;

(d) that all NGOs [Non-Governmental Organisations] rendering humanitarian and food assistance must operate within the confines of the laws of Zimbabwe.


The parties hereby agree:

(a) to promote the values and practices of tolerance, respect, non-violence and dialogue as means of resolving political differences;

(b) to renounce and desist from the promotion and use of violence, under whatever name called, as a means of attaining political ends;

(c) that the government shall apply the laws of the country fully and impartially in bringing all perpetrators of politically motivated violence to book;

(h) to work together to ensure the safety of any displaced persons, their safe return home and their enjoyment of the full protection of the law.


The parties hereby agree:-

(a) that the government shall ensure the immediate processing by the appropriate authorities of all applications for re-registration and registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Services Act as well as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

(d) that steps be taken to ensure that the public media provides balanced and fair coverage to all political parties for their legitimate political activities.


  • There shall be a president, which office shall continue to be occupied by President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
  • There shall be two vice-presidents, who will be nominated by the president and/or ZANU-PF.
  • There shall be a prime minister, which office shall be occupied by Morgan Tsvangirai.
  • There shall be two deputy prime ministers [from each faction of the Movement for Democratic Change], one from MDC-Tsvangirai and one from MDC-Mutambara.
  • There shall be 31 ministers, with 15 nominated by the Zanu-PF, 13 by the MDC-T and three by the MDC-M. Of the 31 ministers, three (one per party), may be appointed from outside the members of parliament. The three ministers so appointed shall become members of the House of Assembly and shall have the right to sit, speak and debate in parliament, but shall not be entitled to vote.
  • There shall be 15 deputy ministers, with eight nominated by the Zanu-PF, six by the MDC-T and one by the MDC-M
  • Ministers and deputy ministers may be relieved of their duties only after consultation among the leaders of all the political parties participating in the inclusive government.


  • The executive authority of the inclusive government shall vest in, and be shared among the president, the prime minister and the cabinet, as provided for in this constitution and legislation.
  • The president of the republic shall exercise executive authority subject to the constitution and the law.
  • The prime minister of the republic shall exercise executive authority subject to the Constitution and the law.
  • In the exercise of executive authority, the president, vice-president, the prime minister, deputy prime minister, minister and deputy ministers must have regard to the principles and spirit underlying the formation of the inclusive government and accordingly act in a manner that seeks to promote cohesion both inside and outside government.


  • Chairs cabinet;
  • Exercises executive authority;
  • Can, subject to the constitution, proclaim and terminate martial law;
  • Chairs National Security Council [commonly called the Joint Operations Command (Joc) which includes army, police, and secret services];
  • After consultation with the vice-presidents, the prime minister and deputy prime ministers, allocates ministerial portfolios in accordance with this agreement;
  • Exercises executive authority;
  • May, acting in consultation with the prime minister, dissolve parliament
  • Must be kept fully informed by the prime minister on the general conduct of the government business and;
  • Shall be furnished with such information as he/she may request in respect of any particular matter relating to the government, and may advise the prime minister and the cabinet in this regard.


  • Chairs the Council of Ministers and is the deputy chairperson of cabinet;
  • Exercises executive authority;
  • Shall oversee the formulation of government policies by the cabinet;
  • Shall be a member of the National Security Council;
  • Shall report regularly to the president and parliament.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/09/15 19:12:57 GMT

Zim rivals sign agreement

from the NYTimes:

LINK is a pdf copy of the agreement.


Despite questions about how the agreement would be implemented after so much acrimony and hostility between the two men, Mr. Mugabe said: “We are committed to the deal. We will do our best.”

Opposition supporters at the ceremony in a conference center at a Harare hotel celebrated the signing and were jubilant when Mr. Tsvangirai appeared, hooting and applauding. Among the audience were many opposition workers who had gone into hiding in the run-up to the election in March or been beaten in government-sponsored violence over the last eight years.

Godknows Nyamweda, 36, a local ward councilor here in Harare, rolled up his sleeve to show the scars where he said he had been sliced by a knife.

“I came to make sure my big fishes have not betrayed me and to make sure I’m walking in a free country,” he said.

There was still an undercurrent of fear that that the repression could yet return with a vengeance, and some people were afraid to be quoted by name....


With Zimbabwe’s economy virtually collapsed and inflation running at more than 11 million per cent, the new government in Zimbabwe is likely to need huge financial support from some of those outside powers Mr. Mugabe blamed so vehemently for its woes.

And some of those outsiders remained skeptical about the implementation of the agreement....

Zim's dire forecast

From AlJezeerah:

Discusses the economy, and then goes on to discuss if the diaspora will return:

But will they? One methodical research study suggests that the more skilled Zimbabweans will stay in the Diaspora, rather than giving up good jobs for the uncertainty of a long and painful economic recovery.

Some economists reckon it will take 10 to 15 years for incomes to return to pre-crisis levels.

Economic recovery will be seriously constrained by the country’s infrastructure "deficit" especially electric power.

Foreign currency will be scarce during a period when the country will need billions of US dollars to finance food imports (already a third of the population is being fed by international donors) and another crisis year looms for agriculture.

Emergency assistance will be needed to rebuild the health and education systems and to finance fuel and electricity imports.

Most serious of all is the void so often overlooked by businesspeople, investors and diplomats.

That void is the country's "soft" infrastructure – the institutions that keep a country functioning, the judiciary, the police, the public service rule of law, the public service, the media, the schools and health providers.

These have been systematically undermined and corrupted by the Mugabe government.

Ten years ago, when Mugabe set out to "empower" his people by seizing privately-owned farmland and instructing his central bank to print trillions, quadrillions, of local dollars to foot the bill, Zimbabwe was blessed with above-average institutions for an African country.

Today, much of that institutional fabric has gone.

It will take decades to revive and replace.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pact signed

from the uKGuardian
The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, and the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, today shook hands perfunctorily after signing an agreement to share power that could be the prelude to western financial help for the country's wrecked economy....

In a sign of the changing times, Tsvangirai - who will become prime minister under the deal - addressed the dignitaries first after the signing rather than Mugabe. He appealed for unity among Zimbabweans and for help from the international community to rebuild the country.

"Let us not be divided by the past but united in the hope for the future," Tsvangirai said in a speech frequently punctuated by cheers and applause. He left until the end of his address to mention Mugabe, saying he was extending the hand that had signed the power-sharing agreement to the president....

Under the broad outlines of the deal, Tsvangirai would become prime minister and would chair a council of ministers that supervised the cabinet. Mugabe's Zanu-PF party would have 15 cabinet seats, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change 13, and a splinter MDC faction three seats.

The opposition has demanded control of the police, while agreeing to allow Mugabe – who has been in power since independence in 1980 - to retain control of the military. Both the police and military have been blamed for state-orchestrated violence and torture of Mugabe's opponents....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

From Google News (short headlines)

Zimbabwe crisis deal faces international doubters
AFP - 3 hours ago
HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will sign a deal on Monday aiming to end a bitter political crisis ...

Envoys to pore over small print
Financial Times, UK - 5 hours ago
By James Blitz in London and Daniel Dombey in Washington The European Union last night said it was reconsidering plans to levy renewed sanctions against ...
'Deal won't end Zim's problems'
News24, South Africa - 9 hours ago
Harare - Zimbabwean aid groups predicted on Saturday that a power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition would not end the country's woes ... The ban on NGOs was lifted two weeks ago but authorities imposed stringent measures including regular submission of details relating to their funding and stocks.

Security is first test of Zimbabwe deal
Times Online, UK - 9 hours ago
A CALL for British troops to return to Zimbabwe and train its army will provide a crucial early test of whether an agreement to be signed tomorrow by ...

(presumably the troops would keep an eye on the military, and retrain them to be professional soldiers again)

Can unity deal turn around Zimbabwe?

from the Tanzania Standard

Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal faces a tough credibility test to determine whether it is enough to kick start the country's emergence from catastrophic economic collapse. President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday agreed to share power in a pact ending a deep political crisis compounded by the veteran leader's disputed and unopposed re-election in June....

"The deal will only survive on a lot of goodwill, commitment and strategic thinking by all the key players because it can easily collapse even on small things and misunderstandings," he said( Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe.)....

. Initially the MDC opposition will be anxious to ensure that it has its hands on some levers of power, and that Mugabe is not merely trying use it as cover to win back international approval and vital financial aid to rescue an economy mired in the world's worst inflation - over 11 million per cent.

Key foreign donors, who have promised a massive rescue package if democracy is restored, are likely to take a cautious approach. The European Union on Friday welcomed the deal as a step forward and said it was rethinking plans to extend sanctions against Mugabe's government. But it said it needed to see the detail before making a final decision, as did former colonial power Britain.

Troubled times for service chiefs

from SWRadioAfrica

A senior advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday said that they expect the country’s service chiefs to follow the laws of the country and support the government of the day and the new political dispensation, or resign....

MDC seeks control over Economy, Police

from Reuters, Africa

HARARE, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition MDC wants to head the home affairs, justice and finance ministries under a landmark power-sharing deal agreed with President Robert Mugabe, an opposition official said on Saturday.

The three portfolios would give it control over the police and prisons, and responsibility for rescuing an economy reeling from the world's highest rate of hyper-inflation, more than 11 million percent.

In return, the MDC is ready to agree to leave Mugabe's ZANU-PF in charge of other key power ministries.

"Mugabe can have the defence and state security ministries but the MDC should get the home affairs ministry, that is our position, along with the finance portfolio," the opposition official said.

"The reasoning is that security ministries should be shared and ZANU-PF is agreeable to that and for the MDC to have the finance ministry....

translation: The Military and others won't get prosecuted for their crimes against the Zimbabwean people...but since the alternative would be civil war (with the military having the guns) it is a good compromise.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Details leak out

from the Zimbabwe Times


In terms of the agreement Robert Mugabe, president of Zanu-PF will retain his position as President of Zimbabwe with two vice-presidents, also from Zanu PF and presumably the current incumbents, Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru. As the head of state and government, Mugabe will chair a Cabinet comprising 31 ministers.

The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, will be appointed to the new position of Prime Minister. He will have two deputies, one from his own party and the other from the breakaway faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara.

When the talks adjourned on Wednesday there was a deadlock over the proposal by Mbeki that four deputy prime ministers be appointed on a rotational basis – two from the mainstream MDC and one each from Zanu-PF and the rival Mutambara-led MDC.

As Prime Minister, Tsvangirai will preside over a new council of ministers, and generally supervise the ministers, while formulating and implementing policies. He will head government business in Parliament and also sit on the National Security Council, the successor to the current controversial Joint Operations Command (JOC).

The JOC was widely regarded as having usurped executive powers from Mugabe in the aftermath of his defeat and the defeat of Zanu-PF in the harmonised elections on March 29. The JOC was instrumental in manipulating a reversal of the presidential election re-run to ensure a “landslide” victory for Mugabe on June 27. But his victory was dismissed as a sham in and out of Zimbabwe after his only rival pulled out at the last minute, citing violence and intimidation of his officials and supports during the campaign....

This article has more at link...

And notice the details reported are different than those in the UK paper...

Zimbabwe: Deception or Dawn?

From the UKTimes...

....the agreement apparently reached on Thursday is far from clear. It will not be until Monday, when the two sides officially sign a deal to share power in a new government, that the details are made public. Those details are crucial. For this agreement is either a long-awaited breakthrough, the first step towards ending the Mugabe dictatorship and reviving the shattered country, or it is yet another ruse by the 84-year-old autocrat to hang on to power and escape retribution for years of tyranny.....
The latest compromise on the key issue of where power rests proposes to make Mr Tsvangirai Prime Minister with responsibility for the Cabinet. At the same time, a new council of state under Mr Mugabe would be created, which will oversee the Cabinet. The President, who would be joined by two of his deputies, would however have no veto on the council. This looks like a recipe for confusion and deadlock - or else a loophole through which Mr Mugabe, a shrewd political operator, can escape from any attempt to undermine his powers....

the article then says Tsvangirai will have power over the police, while Mugabe will have power over the mention about the green bombers...and of course Mugabe won't have to answer for his genocidal actions against the Ndebele in the 1980's...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Power sharing deal reached

From the UKTelegraph:

Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai have agreed to share power after a decade of bitter enmity, the impoverishment of millions of Zimbabweans, and a brutal election campaign that saw more than 200 opposition supporters killed....

The agreement will be signed at a formal ceremony in Harare on Monday, he said, declining to go into details on how the pact would work, although it is widely expected that Mr Mugabe will remain president while Mr Tsvangirai becomes an executive prime minister.

The key question has been whether Mr Mugabe would be willing to give up sufficient power to bring Mr Tsvangirai, who came in first place in the first round of the presidential election in March, into government.

A MDC source said last night that under the agreement Mr Mugabe would chair the cabinet, as he has long insisted, but Mr Tsvangirai would chair a "Council of Ministers", which would supervise the cabinet

It remains to be seen how the arrangement will work in practice, and hanging over it is the shadow of the Unity Accord of 1987, when Mr Mugabe brought his long-term foe Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu party into government after massacring as many as 20,000 of his supporters in Matabeleland, then sidelined him and created a one-party state.....

Unity Deal?

from the BBC:

....The government and the opposition MDC had already agreed that Mr Tsvangirai would be prime minister with Mr Mugabe staying on as president. ....

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the BBC: "Both political parties are committed, it's our wish that the deal will be successful."

Zimbabwe's envoy to the UN, Boniface Chidyausiku told the BBC that the deal was a "triumph for African diplomacy".


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mutambara interview

KubatanaBlog has a description of an interview with Mutambara...

Zimbabwe allows foreign currancy

From the uKTelegraph

..."Some of you may ask, 'are we now trying to dollarise the economy?' No, the Zimbabwe dollar remains the legal tender," Mr Gono insisted.

But de facto dollarisation has been under way for weeks and months. Carrying ever-larger bundles of increasingly worthless Zimbabwe dollar notes is inconvenient for shoppers, let alone businesses, and the US dollar and South African rand, along with fuel coupons, are far more useful alternatives which will not lose half their value in a matter of days.

The move is also partly an attempt to bring more foreign currency into the government's own depleted coffers - by legalising the trade, it hopes to move business from the black market to official channels, where it will collect 25 per cent of private companies' export earnings and 15 per cent of domestic traders'. ...

One, this will cut into the black market that buys dollars, Euros, Rands etc.
Two: if the companies don't give a decent exchange rate, things will stay the same.
Three: they need a way for people to send money from outside the country so that the dollars will be given to the person, not Zim currancy at the "official" exchange rate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Optimism on talks

from AlJazeerah:

The ruling Zanu-PF, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a breakaway MDC faction entered fresh talks to end the stalemate this week.

Earlier negotiations to form a unity government stalled over who should wield the most power, the main sticking point in the two months of political wrangling.

But Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, said after several hours of meetings on Tuesday said that progress had been made in some areas....

Translation: Mugabe will join with

the breakaway faction so that the naive and the corrupt in the UN can look the other way and say he now has a majority.

Zim bloggers try to get the news out

LATimes story

Lots of the bloggers mentioned are linked at right...

Barclay's exhilaratingly undiplomatic, at, veers from humor reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves books to bleak horror. Zimbabwe, he says, is a country where "good manners and repression go hand-in-hand.",,,

....Bev Clark, who calls herself an "electronic activist" and helped found a website named, portrays Zimbabwe's bizarre contradictions and numbing frustrations with wry, cynical humor that sometimes bubbles into anger.

Comrade Fatso, a lanky, dreadlocked Zimbabwean poet whose real name is Samm Farai Monro, elegantly captures the atmosphere of a country that is waiting, trapped, afraid.

Cathy Buckle, a 51-year-old divorcee and author who lost her farm in Mugabe's land seizures, posts angry, poignant letters on about the bare supermarket shelves, the deprivations of Zimbabwe's "Fourth World" conditions, and the Msasa tree leaves pattering on her roof, promising a new season and hope.....

Hunger in Zimbabwe

long report at link at the BBC:

One thing that will stay with me from this trip is how proud and dignified people were.

Not once did anyone ask for help.

Postive signs at talks

from the BBC:

....After two days of discussions in a hotel, the two men both said they hoped the South Africa-brokered talks would be concluded on Wednesday.

"I must say that there is a positive development," Mr Tsvangirai said.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Mugabe noted there had been "progress - and lack of it - in some areas".

South Africa's national broadcaster, the SABC, reported earlier that a fresh document had been tabled providing the opposition leader with more power, as an executive prime minister. ....
Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway MDC faction who has also attended the talks, talked of "tremendous progress". ...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Chances for settlement remote

from Reuters SA

"Our assessment is that they are simply trying to put spanners in the works, and they are not serious about reaching a workable power-sharing arrangement," the ZANU-PF official told Reuters.

"If that is their approach, and we believe it is, there are just no prospects for any agreement. Instead of a power-sharing arrangement they are looking at deposing ZANU-PF and transferring power to the MDC through these talks."

The sides were due to meet again on Tuesday for talks mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Two months of meetings in South Africa and Harare have so far failed to ease divisions over how to share executive powers and Mugabe has threatened to form a cabinet without Tsvangirai.


Tsvangirai said on Sunday he would rather quit talks than sign a bad deal and challenged Mugabe to hold a new election.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


From SWradioafrica

At least nine residents of Harare’s Chitungwiza Township are believed to have died this week after a deadly cholera outbreak in the community – with unconfirmed reports claiming the death toll is closer to 20 people.

The outbreak, which is believed to have first struck on Monday, comes after weeks of increasing numbers of cases of serious diarrhoea reports across the city, as a result of a failing clean water system and numerous sewage spills that have contaminated Harare’s water reservoirs.

The deaths have prompted the Combined Harare Residents Association to lash out at the government as well as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). The Association has also demanded that the city’s water and sewer reticulation services be handed over to the Harare council, saying ZINWA has failed to address the crisis. In a statement released by the Harare Residents Association on Friday, the group said, ‘the decision by the previous cabinet to authorise ZINWA to take over water and sewer reticulation services from the city councils was not only irresponsible, but also reckless.’...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why Mutambara joined Mugabe

from Zimdaily:

Part of the deal is that the former student leader was guaranteed by Mugabe the position of deputy prime minister as well as appointment into parliament of his faction's secretary general Welshman Ncube and his deputy, Priscilla Mishairabwi Mushonga.

In return, the Mutambara faction pledged to support Mugabe's proposed power structure that effectively puts Tsvangirai into a merely ceremonial position of prime minister.

In addition, Mutambara was also hired by Mugabe to join and help him in taking an anti-Tsvangirai and anti-west stance characterised by lashing out at the aged dictator's perceived enemies.....

Mutambara has already embarked on that mission and lately been on a warpath against the west as well as taking every opportunity to demean the person and leadership of Tsvangirai....

Mugabe offered him the position of deputy prime minister in return for support of his policies and proposed power sharing arrangement which Tsvangirai has been rejecting," an official directly involved in the talks efforts stated.

Zimdaily confirmed through a top source, whose identity we cannot reveal, that the proposed power structure that Tsvangirai has been refusing to sign has Mutambara as the deputy prime minister, with of course Tsvangirai as the prime minister but both reporting to Mugabe.....

ZINWA must go

From the Zimbabwean:

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) maintains that the city council must reclaim total control of the water supply and sewer reticulation management from the bankrupt Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). The water and sewer crisis bedeviling the once sun shining city of Harare is a direct result of ZINWA’s general incapacity to effectively execute the mammoth task of providing water to the residents. Recently the ‘Deputy Minister’ of Water and infrastructural development issued a statement that his ‘Ministry’ will engage the city council to address the water and sewer crisis. CHRA reasserts its position that ZINWA has failed and the city council must take charge now!....


From SWRadioAfrica:

The Combined Harare Residents Association has called for the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to hand over control of water supply and sewer reticulation management to the Harare city council.

It comes after one person died and almost 30 more people have been hospitalised this week following an outbreak of cholera in the crowded Harare township, Chitungwiza. It’s understood the outbreak occurred on Monday after weeks that saw an increasing number of chronic diarrhoea reports, as a result of a failing clean water system and numerous sewage spills that have contaminated the city’s water reservoirs.

The country’s ongoing political and economic crisis has seen the almost total collapse of infrastructure in the once thriving Zimbabwean cities. The deteriorating water and sewerage systems have led to a number of cholera outbreaks in recent years. Zimbabwe Water Authority officials have said the situation is constrained by costs, poor funding and frequent power cuts, which mean that water cannot be properly purified, if at all....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Zambia reassures China....

from the Times of Zambia

ACTING-President Rupiah Banda has assured the Chinese government that developmental projects initiated between Zambia and China will continue despite the demise of President Mwanawasa....

"The economic zones, the construction of the stadium, hospitals, schools in rural areas and many have become a responsibility that we have to achieve and with the necessary speed, we have to complete and move to other areas. Whatever we have agreed upon would have to be fulfilled," Mr Banda said....

Pressurize Mugabe

From AFP:

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe's main opposition called on regional powers on Monday to pressure President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party to be more flexible in power-sharing talks....

"ZANU-PF has to be persuaded to be rational and put the people first. The dialogue is not just about power. It has to go beyond that," Chamisa told AFP.

"They (ZANU-PF) are not committed to finding a solution to the problems bedevilling the country. All they want is power," he added.

The talks, which began in July, have stalled amid differences over how to share executive powers between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a national unity government....

Monday, September 01, 2008

Zim talks end without deal

From the BBC:

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has said two days of power-sharing talks with the ruling Zanu-PF have ended without agreement.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the BBC the balance of power was in dispute.

He said President Robert Mugabe wanted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to become a titular prime minister without real authority, which was "unacceptable".

Mr Mugabe last week threatened to form a new government without the MDC....

Zim doctors advise: Don't give sick

from Seattle PI:

... A report by six independent Zimbabwean doctors indicates the scale of the collapse.

"Elective surgery has been abandoned in the central hospitals and even emergency surgery is often dependent on the ability of patients' relatives to purchase suture materials from private suppliers," it said.

"Pharmacies stand empty and ambulances immobilized for want of spare parts ... this is an unmitigated tragedy, scarcely conceivable just a year ago."

The doctors who compiled the six-page report for circulation among aid and development groups withheld their names because comments seen as critical of Mugabe are a punishable offense.

In an interview this year, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said lack of foreign currency due to sanctions was hindering efforts to maintain equipment. But political violence has added to the burden. The human rights group Amnesty International said hospitals ran out of crutches for victims of attacks blamed on Mugabe's forces.

The independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, an alliance of human rights campaigners, said doctors and medical staff were chased from rural clinics to keep them from helping opposition supporters, while many city hospitals couldn't cope with the number of patients injuries sustained in beatings and torture blamed mostly on militants of Mugabe's party and police and soldiers.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says at least 200 of its supporters died in the violence, with thousands more beaten and made homeless.

No data is available on how many lives have been lost because of the medical crisis, but the report said hospital admissions declined sharply because of the cost of treatment and transportation over long distances to clinics and hospitals.

In recent years, 70 percent of births took place in health facilities; now it's under 50 percent, the report said....
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