The fear continues…

The worries about the Zimbabwean elections that are meant to be held in July 2013 still proceed. I do not think that Zimbabweans and  the other countries that are affected by its problems (importing and exporting countries) will be at rest until the final decision is made. Only then will the minds of Zimbabweans and others be able to accept the result and move on with new initiatives, or should I say plans to help the Zimbabwean economy. As of recent, The African Development Bank (an independent bank) said that, due to some areas of the country having too much rain fall and others the opposite, the newly planted grains have been “written off”. Due to this creating food shortage, it has also lead to the escalation of food prices and more and more Zimbabweans relying on food aid. This would mean that more citizens are starving, meaning that they are too weak to do their jobs (if have) to earn money. This is creating a vicious circle that is depleting the Zimbabwean economy even more. Approximately 242 000 tons of staple food is needed in Zimbabwe to keep the citizens/ customers going before there is new harvest.

It is not just the opposing side of Mugabe that are unhappy, but also the people that fall under him. Simba Makoni, a former finance minister under Robert Mugabe is an example of this. He admitted to himself that “the people of Zimbabwe” (including him) basically live on the edge of their seats, implying that they are all in fear everyday. For someone under Mugabes wing to be in fear is surprising, however those whom are not will be in a worse off position. I agree with Mokoni when he stipulates that this fear that everyone is experiencing should be one of the economies main priority to abandon or at least decrease a great amount. Once this fear has been lifted of citizens shoulders, positivity may fall in place and the country may be more at ease. Another down side that should be changed is the dual presidency between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. When there are two very opinionated leaders, with different intentions in mind, this is when the tension levels escalate and the economy (politics and economics) gets out of hand. Makoni described this dual presidency as “pathetic” and “dismal”. These are rather harsh descriptions, as they have not completely let the country fall apart. However, there must be a reason as to why he said this, as the country as well as the leadership is not where it should be at this present time? The fact that none of the conditionality’s that will enable the free and fair elections has been put in place almost reflects the “dismal” leadership provided by Mugabe and Tsvangirai. No wonder the citizens of Zimbabwe are living in fear daily. Anything could happen.

African countries loaning money to African countries? Advisable?

As we all know by now, Zimbabwe has been struggling financially for quite a while now and has had to use many different currencies in order to stabilize the country and help its people survive. Many international countries have helped Zimbabwe financially over the past few years, but not only from the international community, but also South Africa. South Africa has helped Zimbabwe a great deal, which is surprising, but also very encouraging to see. According to fin24, “South Africa has approved more $100m (R905m) in budgetary support to cash-strapped Zimbabwe, helping plug a gap in its finances ahead of elections expected in the second half of the year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday (15 April 2013)”.

 

Biti goes on to say that the South African cabinet has made a decision and feels that it is a “positive” one. Yes, it is a very positive call on Zimbabwe’s behalf, but how about South Africa? Not only the effects on the economy of South Africa but also its people? To be honest, South Africa could do with that extra R905million that they ‘loaned’ to Zimbabwe. South Africa is not as stable as it could or should be. The cabinet of South Africa does not need the consent from its people of the country; however, they should take them into consideration. I personally feel that the needs of South Africa’s should come above anyone else. For instance, there are many homeless, starving and sick citizens across South Africa that could easily be cared for with this lump sum of money. The issues of rape and murder could be decreased with money spent on more hidden cameras or more of the police force patrolling.  These are only a few examples that could be improved in South Africa. This decision that the South African cabinet has made may cause many citizens to get upset. They may turn around and say that they want to pay less tax seeing as the country has enough money to support another country.

 

In saying this, I am also very pleased to see that Zimbabwe will be receiving more funds into the country so that they will be able to hold the planned elections in July 2013. Zimbabwe should in fact get as much funds as possible in order to ensure that the elections do run as smoothly as hoped, with many officials overlooking the procedure, and hopefully minimizing the violence and ability to cheat. Zimbabwe should however not agree to the contract of a “loan” if they may not be able to repay the money to the countries that lent them the funds. This will cause great violence and tension, and Zimbabwe may end up in bigger trouble than it already is. The other problem that Zimbabwe also needs to try and resolve is the fact that the amount of money leaving the country for food imports exceeds the amount coming in. the government should rather leave it up to the private farmers to import and export their goods, rather than the government itself and its revenue.

Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

It has been known that over the years, Zimbabwe and South Africa have been through a great amount together. South Africa has definitely helped Zimbabwe a great deal, and been there for Mugabe and its people through all the thick and thin, when others were not there. One example of this is with the imports from South Africa to Zimbabwe, such as food, when there was barely anything on the shelves in Zim. Zimbabwe went from there being nothing to many varieties of South African food goods. However, as Malcom Sharara, from News24, states it in the article that Zimbabwe has a love-hate relationship with South Africa. This is because the trade affair is not exactly even.

 

The governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono said that 60% of Zimbabwe’s’ imports are from South Africa. It is not a bad thing that the imports are from South Africa (at least Zimbabwe is helping another African country produce, and not an international country). It is the fact that the products that are being imported are finished and completed. Not even half-heartedly done. I completely agree with Gono not being happy with this, and the fact that it is not going to help the Zimbabwe economy grow, because they are spending more on imports than they are selling as exports.  The people of Zimbabwe are slowly getting unemployed or staying unemployed because there are no available jobs for them, due to the fact that all the products are completed in South Africa. I for one know that this is not because the people in Zimbabwe are incapable of producing the same product; it is because there are no resources in Zimbabwe such as the machinery and raw materials. This is what Gono is trying to put across which is extremely delightful to see that someone in Zimbabwe is actually stating the obvious and trying to sort it out. This is on of the basics that Zimbabwe is lacking and so from here onwards it could hopefully only get better.

 

Trade has increased from $4.6bn in 2011 to $5.9bn in 2012. This is not a bad thing that trade has increased, because this is what is actually help keeps the economies going, and some people satisfied. However what needs to be changed is the fact that more foreign currency is leaving Zimbabwe than is coming in, making it poorer. When the people of South Africa want to invest in Zimbabwe, the problem lies with them trusting the economy and making sure that their money is safe. As soon as there is any failure in Zimbabwe, Mugabe is not afraid to take anyone’s assets away from them in order to help the economy. Not even an explanation is needed. Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

New Constitution?

Zimbabwe has finally got a new constitution – what a relief! Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are both very pleased with the result which is a very thrilling to see as it will not cause further drama and violence between the two parties and the citizens of Zimbabwe. Of course Mugabe is very pleased with the new constitution as he feels he still has so much power and is determined that he is going to win the elections. Hopefully with the new referendum being a great success, the elections that are going to be held will be as smooth and violent free as the voting of the constitution. But unfortunately, I do have some doubt that it is not going to go this way. Elections are a much more bigger event and taken very seriously with great tension between the two parties.

With the many citizens that came to vote (much more than expected), should definitely mean that there will be a greater number of voters when it come to the elections in July 2013. As I have said before, the fact that is Mugabe does win these elections, he could rule for another two, five-year terms (10 years), which would make him 99 years old. Weather you believe it is the correct thing for a government to be ruling a country at this age is up to you. However I feel that it is not particularly a good thing for the constitution for Zimbabwe because someone at that age does not have the correct mental stability to be governing. This will ultimately be very detrimental to Zimbabwe as a country and towards its citizens.  I back myself here by looking at how Zimbabwe, well Mugabe needs help from the United Nations (UN) in order to help him run his country. If he was such a good ruler then he should surly not need help of funds and protection?

 

On the other hand if Morgan Tsvangirai makes an extremely positive change to Zimbabwe, and does not let down the majority of the citizens, the fact that the government can rule for a decade is an extremely clever call. One would think that surely the people are now enough of the violence that goes on Zimbabwe, and that they would try prevent it, but there are still some groups of people that are determined to win, and hurt others. Here is the final draft of Zimbabwe’s new constitution that they will have to abide by.

The final draft and final day before constitution

Zimbabwe-flag1Tomorrow is finally the day that the voting for Zimbabwe’s new constitution is going to take place. This is going to be a very emotional day for some Zimbabweans, as they have waited a very long time for the constitution to change and be more ‘fair’. However, the draft constitution has taken over three years to be presented, which is no surprise for anything in Zimbabwe to take long and be postponed – and of course some sort of argument would happen with it. It is however pleasing to see that on Wednesday when Douglas Mwonzora, a leader of the parliamentary committee, produced the contract, he enforced that fact that it was non-negotiable. He is thankfully sticking up for the people of Zimbabwe and letting it be a vote for them and no one else. Unlike the police force (Zanu-PF), who try and abolish all human rights activists that are trying to justice for the insecure country. He is also trying to prevent the massive out cry of violence like the 2008 elections, which is a very encouraging point. I personally do not agree with the fact that there is a ban again all same-sex marriages. People should be allowed to marry whom they want to without the consent of others. It is their choice who they want to live and spend the rest of their life with. They have not asked anyone else to put up with their partner.

The only hiccup here with the new constitution and if Mugabe is elected again in July, he has the chance of ruling Zimbabwe for another two five-year terms (10 years). This may be seen as a negative due to Mugabe’s health issues and his age (89 years). Mugabe has also disappointed many people of Zimbabwe in the past, and so what makes them think that he will change his ways now if he hasn’t in the past. He may carry on destroying people lives even more?

Zanu-PF and MDC both have a lot of support behind them, and it is going to be very interesting to see what happens if Mugabe does not win the elections. The MDC promise to try and rebuild the economy of Zimbabwe again, which has altered many people and given them a very positive view towards the MDC, which is why Zanu-PF is facing great challenges and competition, hopefully more than before (2008 elections). In connection with this and the violence that is trying to be prevented, not only rivalry between the two parties but within the MCD party itself. This leads to more confusion for the people of Zimbabwe, because who do we really trust now? How can you have a party governing the country that are assassinating one another within the supposed ‘free’ of violence party?

We can only hope for the best from now, and see what tomorrows’ occasion has to offer Zimbabwe as a country and its humble people. We prey for their sake that all goes smoothly as wished for so that the elections in July will take place.

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

Here is an article from News24 entitled ‘Key points in Zim’s draft constitution’. This is a very relevant news article as the referendum of the constitution is meant to be taking place tomorrow, 16th March 2013. the people of Zimbabwe must be informed as to what they are voting for, as well as the rest of the world to be aware of what is to come.

Radios ban from foreign broadcast

http://www.news24.com/Multimedia/Africa/Zimbabwe-bans-foreign-radio-broadcasts-20130307

Radios are being confiscated by the police in Zimbabwe as the government does not want other people besides his own to know what is going on in the country. Sounds very risky to me?

Police not letting Zimbabwe move forward

ImageThe never-ending problem of violence in Zimbabwe has of course arisen again. The police, whom are obviously supporting President Mugabe’s party, Zanu-PF, aim to intimidate and scare the people of Zimbabwe in order to vote for Zanu-PF, however this instilling of ‘fear’ has now turned into actual physical violence.

It is astounding to see that people whom are suffering from Mugabe’s doings are actually making it worse for themselves. It is as if they enjoy the violent drama and get a thrill from arresting or brutally hurting another human being. The police force can clearly not see that “prominent civil groups” and “human rights monitors” are only trying to improve the country and help proved free flowing elections, not make matters worse.

In saying this, it is very pleasing and encouraging to see that the levels of violence and force have not escalated to the extent of that during the 2008 elections. AFP reported that more that 200 people were killed and many more were affected by either getting arrested, tortured and even disappearing. However, one cannot be too sure of whether the violence is to increase or not.

ImageIt is going against all human rights if the police are able to do this to citizens, and this is where the international community does need to step into place, not necessarily the African Nation Congress (ANC) as Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe are believed to be friends that support one another. A mutual party needs to be the one whom delegates and to try alleviate all tension. Although Mugabe and Zuma are ‘friends’, Mugage and his party can naturally gone again the coalition agreement put together by Southern African leaders. This includes cutting out all violence and spiteful arrests of opponents.

Many people may turn around and blame Tsvangarai for not stepping in and helping the joint governance and for not trying to stop this violence. But after all, Mugabe is the one with the most power in Zimbabwe at this present moment, and he will make sure that anyone who steps in his way will be defeated. In correspondence to this opinion of Mugabe having all the power, I do not necessarily agree with Lovemore Madhuku, chairperson of the pro-democracy group the National Constitutional Assembly. He stated that the problems go further than the government, and that the state has a great amount to do with the issues that Zimbabwe face, such as poverty, financial crisis, and food and petrol shortages etc. As I mentioned earlier, Mugabe has all the mighty and control in Zimbabwe, and so he most probably alters whatever the state my say.

To be honest I do not see what is so wrong with distributing radios? There is obviously something that Mugabe wants to hide and not let anyone else but his community/ society know about? People have the right to hear what is going on if the media is broadcasting it. So yes, Madhuku would most probably be right when saying, “it shows the failure of our society”, and it is clear evidence of what is happening currently and not what is going to happen.

Third world countries helping Zim…

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There has recently been some more interference with the referendum on Zimbabwe’s constitution from other countries and parties such as the African National Congress (ANC), a party in South Africa, as well as the SADC countries. Firstly the ANC spokesperson, Keith Khoza has announced that they will support President Robert Mugabe and his party during this crucial time in order for them to hopefully win and remain in power.

Khoza said that: “Zanu-PF has been governing Zimbabwe since 1980 and we feel they have gained the necessary experience and wealth of knowledge over that time to benefit the people of that country and govern again”. This is not particularly true from my perspective. Yes the Zanu-PF have been governing for 33 years and have got a great amount of support from many of the citizens in Zimbabwe, and they may have experienced a lot and hopefully learnt from their mistakes, but unfortunately, I do not see many benefits or advantageous that have come out of this continued power. If Zanu-PF had learn from their mistakes the first round, Zimbabwe would probably not be in the position that it is in. The amount of troubles and problems that Zimbabwe’s people have had to deal with over the past decade due to bad leadership skills definitely outweighs the positives. I would comfortably argue against the fact that some people say Mugabe is “the most hated president or dictator in the world’’. As I mentioned above, Mugabe has many citizens following him in the country. However some are coerced to fight for his party but there are many Zimbabweans that join his party out of their own free will. One should also bear in mind that Zimbabwe is one of the greatest literate countries in Africa whom still have unlimited access to international media.

Of course it is up to Zimbabwe and South Africa to have their own ‘contract’ of how they want to help each other, but neither of these countries are well off and both are third world countries. Surely the ANC should be concentrating on their country and trying to sort out South Africa’s problems, instead of intervening in Zimbabwe’s complications, and ultimately pursuing for a government that could be detrimental to the economy of Zimbabwe. It should be only the people of Zimbabwe that vote for their government, with the ANC being strong enough to deny the request of getting involved?

It is incredibly pleasing to see that Khoza stated that not everything the Zanu-PF is correct and compatible, however that is a contradiction to what he stated above. How can one support a party but not fully agree with what they plan to do or are doing at the moment? The fact that the ANC is getting involved may cause extra violence and harm to the citizens with jealousy amongst the parties and the tension that is escalating. Violence may not only happen in Zimbabwe but what about the people of South Africa that are getting irritated with Zimbabwe calling for help?

International Community getting involved?

The most recent news on the agenda in Zimbabwe, which was announced the 9th March 2013, it that the leader of MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pleaded to implement the International Community in order to over look the elections and so that all procedures will hopefully try and run smoothly with minimum or no sign of violence at all. It would be a great pleasure and a massive change for the citizens of Zimbabwe to participate in smooth running elections for one, as “ this is Zimbabwe’s most important election since 1980”. Hopefully by allowing the International Community to over look everything, these elections will really be “free, fair and transparent”.

One would think that the MDC has done this in their favour, as they know the power and strength that Mugabe is capable of. You could say that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’ to clarify this point, and you can not blame the MDC party for being worried that the voting of the referendum as well as elections could go sour, as they have done so in the past. If Tsvangirai and his party had to win, and there was an outcry from Mugabe’s side, the MDC will have enough support to lean back on and prove that the elections were fair.

The constitution has also been an expensive and long process, which does not need to be altered by little implications and let it go to waste, which is what the International Community can prevent. The call that Tsvangirai has made here is an extremely clever and vigilant one, showing true leadership skills, which hopefully he can carry through if the elections go his way.

Due to many of the foolish mistakes that Mugabe has made in the past, which led Zimbabwe into an economic or financial crisis, this problem has crept up on us again. As mentioned above, the cost of the referendum and the election that is taking place in July is outrageous, which means that the country will struggle, stated by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti. These mind blowing figures are as follows: US$85 million for the referendum and the elections costing a further US$40 million.  This ultimately means that Zimbabwe is going to also have to ask the United Nations, without hesitance, to assist them through this important time, which may ultimately end Mugabe’s 33 years of power. Biti said that it is vital that Zimbabwe get financial help from the International Community.

This referendum of the new constitution does indeed need to take place this coming weekend, on the 16th March so that the elections in July can happen. It is extremely important and crucial that all runs smoothly with sufficient funds because Zim still has the potential to improve dramatically – definitely in the long run.

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Tension continues to escalate a week away

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It is extremely pleasing to see that there is still daily news about the happenings in Zimbabwe, leading up to the referendum of the constitution. Not only one newspaper shows concern and interest, but many. It is however extremely sad to see that this fight is still carrying on and that many citizens are still struggling to find peace and comfort in their own homeland. It is going to be a tough few months ahead for the people of Zimbabwe, with the rivalry between the two parties, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu-PF. SAPA reports that the Secretary-general of the MDC party and Minister of Finance Tendai Biti insists that all Zimbabweans that are working in South Africa should come home in order to vote for the new constitution that has been seen as “a miracle” and it is one of the “finest” like South Africa’s.

Biti reiterates the downfall that Zimbabwe was in 2008 when Mugabe won the elections through unfair play and voting strategies. We need to keep reminding ourselves how bad Zimbabwe actually was before the US dollar was introduced and the state many citizens health was in. It was only Zimbabwe that was dealing with these major problems, so surely it has got something to do with the Government? It is very pleasing to see that there is finally a new constitution that has been made and Zimbabwe has a chance of picking up again. In saying this, I have had hope for many years now, but we cannot give up on such a great country. This is why Biti is so concerned with the fact that Zimbabwe citizens must return home in order to vote, because the MDC has a big chance in winning the 2013 elections, and hopefully changing a lot in Zimbabwe, as the MDC has kept positive and have shown a great interest in battles of Zim. The MDC is not a political party, but rather a people’s project, which is extremely encouraging for the people of Zimbabwe as their best interests are being looked after.

I do agree that the joint government that took place in 2009, helped lift the country quite dramatically, however one party needs to be the only one ruling now to get some sort of order. It would be advisable for the people that are struggling in Zimbabwe to go home and vote so that the new constitution can be put to work, and hopefully as Biti said the MDC will win the upcoming elections. Of course there is going to be great tension and conflict which needs to be monitored by fence-sitters, due to the fact that Mugabe is still threatening some of the people to vote from him.

Mugabe knows that he has a very slight chance on winning; after all he is 89 years old and does have mental condition to say the least. One would think and hope that he had already given up by now.  It is encouraging to see the leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC, sticking up for Mugabe and having some sort of faith in him even though he has put his people of Zimbabwe through absolute tragedy. The guidelines of SADC hope to sustain the ‘free, fair and peaceful elections’; however this was ignored on the first day that the referendum was announced.

I believe that Zimbabwe will eventually come right through all the thick and thin and hardship, but once there it would have been worth every conflict (well almost every conflict!).