Ruth Weiss' Column about Zimbabwe (38)


Post election

Zimbabwe has to settle down with President Robert Mugabe and his new cabinet yet to be announced, but likely to include some familiar faces.. The cabinet has a tough job ahead of it. The ailing industrial sector has to be revived, the issue of agricultural development tackled, the infrastructure must be improved. Yet Mugabe is anxious to implement his industrialisation and empowerment policy, which may stymie investment, as several economists have pointed out.(1) He has indeed threatened action against against western companies, as a retaliation for their government's "harassment".(2)

As the outgoing Minister of Education David Coltart pointed out, there is need for Mugabe to unify a divided people.

The signs for that to happen are not good. At a recent funeral Mugabe dismissed Bulawayo (where gained no seats) and Harare (where he managed six for the first time), saying they should look to MDC for help, as they voted for that party.(3) There are also fears that the new government will not implement reforms such as those of the media, initiated by the previous coalition government.(4)

Defending the appointment of military personnel to parastatals, Mugabe described his Zanu-PF party as a military entity, as the party had emerged from the armed struggle.(5)

Despite his victory, the President appeared more paranoid than ever by refusing to use vehicles provided by SADC, apparently fearing "western agents".(6) Meanwhile outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has had his security personnel withdrawn.(7)

Botswana has explained that thanks to intensive lobbying by Malawi's President Joice Banda resulted in Zimbabwe election results not being discussed at the Malawi summit. Botswana had not changed its position on the Zimbabwe issue.(8) Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson of President Zuma's facilitation team blamed MDC for not pushing through required reforms. There was a clear roadmap, with each party free to push through their policies. MDC had not insisted on the reform programme. Zulu had been silenced by President Jacob Zuma, after Mugabe had called her a "street person" for criticising the election preparations, (9) Former South African President Thabo Mbeki said he regretted that Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn his court appeal against the election results, as this would have given SADC an opportunity to scrutinize the polls. However, he also criticised the West for not accepting the result, once it had been endorsed by African countries. Curiously, he also expressed disapproval of Mugabe's land expropriation policy, which he said should not be followed by other countries.(10)


The aging of Zanu-PF leadership was underlined of the deaths of three former heavyweights in quick succession: Enos Nkala, founder-member of the party, Mike Karakadzai ex-freeedom fighter and head of the National Railways and Kumbirai Kangai, the first Labour Minister after Independence.(11) Railway workers are said to have boycotted Karakadzai's funeral, complaining that they suffered from unpaid salaries.(12)

The current favourite thought to be likely to succeed as Mugabe's successor is outgoing Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.(13) Mugabe is expected to remain in office during his lifetime, with factions anxious to take over at his demise fighting for posts in the new cabinet. The most coveted posts are Security, Defence, Finance, Mining, Local Government.(14)

The popular anti-Zanu-PF Facebook blogger Baba Jukwa has not vanished but reports himself alive and well. He recently claimed that a special hit team led by one Major Kembo was out to get a number of exiles and wellknown journalists considered Zanu-Pf's enemies.(15)


The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO meeting of 1 200 delegates from 155 nations was a once-in-a lifetime occasion for co-hosts Zambia and Zimbabwe and an image booster for President Robert Mugabe, who opened proceedings with Zambia's President Michael Sata. In his opening speech Mugabe once again claimed the West's "smart" sanctions harmed the country's economy and attacked Europe for punitive policy frameworks, which he said safeguarded their tourism sector at the expense of Africa.(16).

Zimbabwe was chosen to head UNTWO's Commission for Africa. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) had criticised the relocation of animals shortly before the conference from Save Valley Conservancy to the Zambezi National Park, which was depleted of game. ZCTF saw it as a marketing gimmick to show the country was a good conservation manager, which was far from being the case.(17)

Accreditation was slow and chaotic. Diplomats and delegates were kept waiting for hours and complained of overzealous security personnel.(18) Nevertheless the opening musical night got off to a rousing start.(19)


Chitungwiza has appealed to the government for help in its water crisis, worsened by the pre-election Ministry instructions to write off all local government debts.(20)

To coincide with UNWTO, the government produced an investment handbook, highlighting investment opportunities in tourism, energy, transport, agriculture (mechanisation, value addition of agriculture produce, horticulture, dairy and livestock), infrastructure and mining. The 78 parastatals are to be restructured and privatized. Before land reform, Agriculture provided employment for 60-70 percent of the population and contributed 15-19 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Workers at Hwange Colliery Company went on strike over unpaid salaries.(21)

  1. ITV News 25.8
  2. Daily News 26.8
  3. VOA Zim.27.8
  4. The Zimbabwean 25.8
  5. The Zimbabwean 24.8
  6. SW Radio Africa 29.8
  7. SW Radio 23.8
  8. Zim. Independent 25.8
  9. NewsDay Zim. 28.8
  10. Daily News 25.8
  11. The Zimbabwean 28.8
  12. Nehanda Radio 28.8
  13. Zimbabwe Mail 25.8
  14. The Zimbabwean 29.8
  15. The Zimbabwean 26.8
  16. SW Radio Africa 21.8
  17. The Zimbabwean 24.8, 25.8
  18. Daily News 26.8
  19. Daily News 27.8
  20. Daily News 28.8
  21. Daily News 27.8

Letzte Änderung: Sunday, 06-Oct-2013 09:05:03 CEST [an error occurred while processing this directive]