Civic and Legal Failings
- Written by: Blog Post by Michelle Gavin
While Zimbabwe’s ruling party continues its campaign to quash opposition forces post-election, the Southern African Development Community takes a “business as usual” approach.
November 13, 2023 9:20 am (EST)
Following Zimbabwe’s shambolic August elections, even the normally accommodating Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) observation mission acknowledged that the process “fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.” So, what did Southern African leaders do at the most recent SADC Summit in Luanda? They “noted” the observation mission’s report, and nothing more. At a time when African citizens are clearly signaling [PDF] their frustration with manipulated elections and democratic window-dressing serving as cover for corrupt and authoritarian leadership, SADC leaders bury their heads in the sand.
It’s certainly not because the post-election trend line in Zimbabwe is positive, or because “quiet diplomacy” is bearing any fruit. Political violence persists in the wake of the elections. In early November, opposition member of parliament Takudzwa Ngadziore reported being abducted and violently assaulted, becoming at least the third opposition figure to report such treatment since the August elections. Still more have been arrested on spurious charges.
The state also has sustained its campaign of aiding and abetting political identity theft. First, a group with little real political base was assisted by Zimbabwe’s pliant judiciary in co-opting the name and resources of the Movement for Democratic Change, the country’s main opposition party for years, and forcing the real opposition to rebrand as the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in 2022. Most recently, after a person claiming to be the “interim Secretary-General” of the CCC wrote to the speaker of the National Assembly claiming that fifteen newly elected opposition parliamentarians were no longer members of the party, riot police were dispatched to expel them from the chamber. The letter’s author has no legitimate claim to any leadership position in the CCC; he simply gave himself a title and carried on to pursue the agenda of the ruling ZANU-PF, which aims to hold by-elections to fill those seats in their quest to build a majority large enough to change the constitution. The same imposter has asked the Minister of Local Government to remove elected mayors and city councilors who were elected under the CCC banner. The absurdity of the situation is in part intended to convey the notion that petty infighting pervades the political scene, and that Zimbabwean citizens should simply steer clear.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his inner circle believe they can act with near-total impunity. While Southern African leaders bemoan the way Zimbabwe’s protracted crisis leads to politically explosive migration and dampens investor enthusiasm, they are unable or unwilling to confront the problem. It’s the same failure of leadership that has plunged other African regions into dangerous instability.
Reina Patel contributed to the research for this article.
- Written by: Tony Reeler
Zimbabwe’s problem is Zanu PF’s intimidation and kleptocracy, not the country’s youth: Tony Reeler
- First, Zambia, like every single other SADC country, has the military firmly under civilian control. Unlike Zimbabwe, which has been a closed securocrat State since 2008, and, following the coup in 2017, clearly a militarised State.
- Second, Zimbabwe and all its institutions are captured under this arrangement. Any reliance on the separation of powers or the independence of State institutions is mistaken.
- Third, the rampant comprador behaviour, the corruption on an industrial scale, the total absence of oversight by Parliament over government (so clearly shown in the reports of the Auditor-General), and collapse of public services have reduced virtually the entire population to penury.
Youth unemployment in Zimbabwe
Politics matters too
Tony Reeler is co-convener of the Platform for Concerned Citizens. He is also a long-standing human rights activist and researcher on rights and governance. He writes here in his personal capacity.
- Written by: Super User
The mainstream media can now assess Zimbabwe's COP26 performance in a couple of words - Booze Cruise!
This tragedy for the population of Zimbabwe is a result of 41 years of oppression, mismanagement, corruption, looting and extreme human rights abuse [ abductions, torture and deaths]. The [illegal] Zanu PF regime in Zimbabwe, can trick and fool their own populations due to a captured State TV, Newspapers and other media - but this counted for nothing when on Sunday 31st October, on the pretext of a COP26 invitation, two thoughtless bozo's, proudly proclaimed that the "party has started".
Missing the point completely but used to lying in his public position as a spokesman [propaganda] in Zimbabwe, Nick Mangwana celebrated the booze buying duo as a positive event [at a Climate Conference no less?]. Not fully appreciating that social media was already full of [illegal] President E D Mnangagwa, with his 100 hangers-on in his private jet was hitting the Carbon Dioxide tonnage to arrive at this Climate Event. In this case the sh*t really did hit the fan! With International Coverage of this utter hypocrisy!
The Times - United Kingdom, Daily Mail Article, Metro Article, Scottish Sun, Celex s205, eminetra and Inews Article regarding Booze all covering this absurd display of childish excess [so far!]. UPDATE: It gets worse, the UK TV BBC Comedy Programme, "Have I Got News For You" on Thursday night on the 4th Novembebr 2021 Mocked the Zimbabwean Delegation with this video clip - Total International Mockery - a tragedy for the real Zimbabwe and their diaspora [click the text here to see it on our Twitter Account]. At least the iNEWS team gave a mention to the hundred of Zimbabwean [and other] Protesters outside who were extremely vocal [ with singing protest songs to music and drums] about the long list of failings of this [illegal] Zimbabwean Zanu PF Government [Junta or Cabal or Mafia are better descriptors]. To that list they now have Climate Ignorance and Self Aggrandisment !
On the Tuesday the 2nd November the protesters listened with incredulity to Mnangagwa's [scripted] speech. The News Channel "Zim Eye" captured to mood with a Live Video as Mnangagwa trotted out his platitudes and request for more money. He also shoe-horned into his talk on the Environment, with a complaint about the [Targeted] Sanctions [he claimed were on Zimbabwe, but in practice they are on the criminal individuals and corporations looting Zimbabwe]. The protest group were completely unimpressed.
The tragedy however, is that Zimbabwe needs so much support and assistance now. All entirely due to 41 years of corruption, mismanagement, human rights abuse and environmental ineptitude - allowing indiscriminate mining practices.
Zimbabwe is a disaster - all down to the Zanu PF regime. Even their pleas for Climate Change assistance - are hollow due to their Environmental ignorance. Funds sent by well-wishing agencies and other Governments have never been spent on alleviating damage caused, for instance, by Hurricane Ida. The degradation and deforestation allowed by Chinese Mining Organisations in Zimbabwe, clearly demonstrate an 'administration' devoid of any concept of soil erosion and mining pollution. These are not "Climate Emergencies, but a callous disregard for the duty of "Stewardship", the protection of "Mother Earth", Gaia and all other concepts to do with balance and harmony with Nature.
In complete contrast, and without a script, but from the heart Chief Ndiweni was being interviewed many times with the protest group [Video on Twitter courtesy of Valarie Karimakwenda], regarding the solutions to the clearly man-made [Zanu PF junta] crises in Zimbabwe. The sewage in the streets, the lack of available drinking water, the rationed electricity supply, the state capture of the Institutions and such like. In fact the Zimbabwean Government appear to have failed every single one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals [UNSDG's] - Every one! As part of the protest consortia, we have produced a petition to Boris Johnson, which will be re-presented on Thursday November the 11th to 10 Downing Street, as evidence of the multitude of failings of this Zanu PF regime in its 41 year tenure CLICK HERE TO READ. This petition will be annexed with a critical write up of the performance of the Zimbabwe Zanu PF regime at COP26 - not a very good performance at all.
As a group we had sought to plea with Alok Sharma [President of COP26] and Vicky Ford; MP [and Minister for Africa], to permit Chief Ndiwendi to be allowed to speak at the COP26 meeting - not with the current President - as his knowledge and passion for the Zimbabwean Environment is without parallel. However we received no response to our e-mails.
- Written by: Super User
Steve Hanke is a professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a columnist at Forbes and a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Over four decades Hanke has advised dozens of world leaders from Ronald Reagan to Indonesia’s Suharto on currency reforms, infrastructure development, privatization, and how to tame hyperinflation. You can follow him on twitter @steve_hanke.
United States (US) economist, Steve Hanke, says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not only corrupt but "totally ignorant" when it comes to economic issues.
In a tweet, Hanke said the Zimbabwe dollar has depreciated by 93% against the United States dollar since the local currency was reintroduced in 2019. He said:
Corrupt @edmnangagwa brought back the Zimbabwean dollar 2yrs ago. Since then, the Zim dollar has depreciated by 93% against the mighty USD. President Ed is not only corrupt but, when it comes to economics, he is totally ignorant. https://twitter.com/steve_hanke/
This comes as the forex rate has plummeted on the black market, with the currency changing hands for up to Z$200 per US dollar, while the official rate is pegged at Z$90.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) – the largest representative body for local business, has warned that the country’s currency is in danger of collapsing as businesses resort to United States dollar transactions.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Hanke said threats by the Zimbabwean government to suspend businesses using black market rates will end in tears. He wrote:
"Zimbabwe's currency is in a "death spiral". Now, the corrupt government is threatening to suspend all businesses using black-market exchange rates to price goods. I’ve seen this movie before. It has a tragic ending."
Zimbabwean authorities have in recent weeks arrested scores of foreign traders accused of manipulating the volatile Zimbabwean dollar by trading on the black market.
But in a letter to its members, CZI said it had cautioned the government against clamping down on firms and traders. It said: The greatest risk facing the economy right now is an inappropriate policy response to the rising parallel market premium. Clamping down on informal exchange trading in the absence of a viable formal market will have catastrophic consequences for the economy.
"Every day I publish Hanke's #InflationSatellite. It's an interactive map that contains my accurate, up-to-date #Inflation measurements & black market (read: free market) data for 40+ countries. It is updated daily & currently contains data as of 10/13/21 Zimbabwe heading for the top od this unenviable chart with 98% Inflation - so far. Steve Hanke on Zimbabwe's Inflation Horror
In the midst of this attack on Mnangagwa's poor leadership, vision and past record of failure, the OCCRP have exposed yet more corruption in Zimbabwe - with apparent Government involvement.
Kudakwashe Tagwirei, who is close to Zimbabwe’s president and his inner circle, leveraged his privileged access to fuel and mining markets to strike a lucrative partnership with commodities giant Trafigura. Sanctioned by the U.S. and U.K. for corruption, Tagwirei continued to do business by relocating his network to Mauritius.
- Tagwirei has earned at least $100 million in fees from a partnership with Swiss-based Trafigura. Together, they have profited extensively by dominating Zimbabwe’s fuel market since 2013.
- Trafigura quietly extended $1 billion in loans to the Zimbabwean government, at exorbitant interest rates.
- As controversy grew, Tagwirei moved his business network offshore to Mauritius, where he secured a new near-monopoly fuel deal with the government. He is still active in mining and fuel deals in Zimbabwe.
- Government officials appear on key company records and Tagwirei’s own correspondence, indicating that there might be more powerful people behind the network
The payments made to Tagwirei raise a red flag, according to Global Witness’s Natasha White.
“Red flags include the personal involvement of politically exposed individuals in such deals. It would be extremely concerning if payments have been made into a personal account of Tagwirei by Trafigura, whether or not he was sanctioned at the time,” she said.
This article explains the insensitive invitation and links to both an online petition to oppose Ed's visit and the physical petition hand over to Boris Johnson on the 21st October 2021, the UK Prime Minister to block Mnangagwa and his 70 strong "team" of hangers-on and "security staff" LOL
- Written by: Take2Zimbabwe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. disappointment with Zimbabwe’s government keeps growing amid the heavy-handed response of authorities to any form of opposition, a senior State Department official said on Monday following a crackdown last week against protesters.
“The disappointment just keeps getting worse and worse, unfortunately,” said the official, speaking on background to reporters. “The government seems to be getting even more violent in their response to any form of opposition.”
The official said Washington had made clear to the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa what it would take to improve relations between Zimbabwe and the United States. U.S. officials have previously called on Mnangagwa to change Zimbabwe’s laws restricting media freedom and allowing protests.
Mnangagwa’s government last week banned anti-government protests by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which accuses the authorities of political repression and mismanaging the economy. Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds and barred access to the MDC’s Harare offices.
In March, President Donald Trump extended by one year U.S. sanctions against 100 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe, including Mnangagwa, saying his government had failed to bring about political and economic changes.