Harare -- A research institution has said the government faked indigenization and economic empowerment policies for votes and patronage ahead of the last election in July 2013.

The policy which was taunted as the centre piece of economic revival in the ruling party, Zimbabwe African Union Patriotic Front‘s (Zanu-PF) manifesto has also been criticized by economists as scaring away investors, while Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) in a recent research: Madness and indigenization: A history of insanity and age of lawlessness, claims the rhetoric was merely meant for elections.

 

“...a veneer of compliance was all that Zanu-Pf required for electoral purposes, plus the relinquishment of some cash to assist campaigning,” says the research unit.

“A symbiotic relationship developed between the Ministry [of Indigenisation, Youth and Empowerment] and companies, whereby the Ministry claimed to have compelled companies to indigenise, and companies claimed to have been so compelled.

“To facilitate this illusion, details of the indigenization proposals made and accepted were kept under wraps by the Ministry.”

 

RAU revealed that the government is now saddled with the dilemma of abandoning the policy it knows was insincere; to now attract foreign direct investment, without clearly making pronouncements which expose that it told lies to the electorate.

“After the elections, general consensus emerged that the remedy to Zimbabwe’s economic malaise was foreign direct investment – FDI,” says RAU.

Since a different approach to resource nationalism appeared to be the only way to prevent Zimbabwe’s economic decline and attract FDI, in the first quarter of 2014, rumours began to circulate that Zimbabwe will backtrack on its indigenization policies.

“Given the centrality of the policy in Zanu-Pf’s election manifesto, this could not be done without considerable embarrassment.”

 

The research unit said mention of the affirmative policy had been minimized in the post-election economic blueprint, ZimAsset because the ruling party was aware that the policy would not raise USD 7. 3 billion for economic growth as claimed in its manifesto.

“Although the new government economic blueprint, ZimAsset, drawn to guide the country’s economic policy for the next five years was declared to be based on Zanu-PF’s election manifesto, the issue of indigenization was muted,” says RAU.

“The drafters of ZIMASSET were all too aware that the $ 7.3 billion of Zanu-Pf’s election manifesto would be unavailable to rescue Zimbabwe’s increasingly dire economic position.”

 

RAU said the government had mostly received dummy cheques from companies such as Zimplats towards elections as well as little amounts of money from Old Mutual to abet its campaign.

 

Recently, government ministries particularly the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Youth and Indigenisation have been making conflicting statements on whether the economic policy will be amended or not.

 

In its publication RAU recommended that the ruling party needs to do more than just offer veiled assurances that the policy will not be applied to foreign investors as it had purported in the heat of electioneering, and repeal the law as well as fundamentally change economic governance culture.

“If the ZANU PF government is hoping that investors will have the nous to realise that its statements in regard to its indigenisation policy are ambiguous on account of the fact that it cannot unequivocally state a change in policy due to the expectations raised by its election manifesto and that a new approach has in fact been adopted, it may well be disappointed,” says RAU.

The track record of those at the helm of government is such that something more than vague assurances from officialdom is required.

“It may even be possible that a change in the indigenisation law itself will not suffice.

“What may be required is a clear indication that those who have directed the unappetising and unstable policies of the past are no longer able to do so and that there is a new leadership in place, with new style of governance and a new way of doing business.”

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:47

Congratulations WiPSU

Congratulations WiPSU

 

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) would like to congratulate the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) for its outstanding performance and recent recognition at a gender summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

WiPSU scored high marks in the non-governmental organizations segment, contributing with other sectors to Zimbabwe as a country becoming the overall winner in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

 

We would like to express our hearty congratulations to WiPSU for the great work they do on a daily basis to lobby and advocate for the upliftment of women in the country through active participation in political processes. CiZC would also like to take this opportunity in acknowledging the outstanding work of WIPSU given the operational limitations they confront working in a closed environment in Zimbabwe.

 

CiZC takes pride to be associated with WIPSU, and its hardworking, competent and intelligent secretariat, board members and membership.

 

We also congratulate Zimbabwe for coming top at the Summit, after beating 14 other countries from SADC to clinch eight awards for implementing gender-sensitive service delivery programme.

 

It is our hope that this milestone and national achievement will translate into sustainable and progressive work towards the empowerment of the women of this wonderful nation.

 

Your recognition is well deserved.

Congratulations! Amhlope! Makorokoto!

 

Monday, 30 June 2014 09:16

CiZC warns SADC of looming crisis

South Africa, Johannesburg -- THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) warned the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that it could be forced to yet again deal with an imploding socio-economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe if it chooses to neglect the Southern African country.

 

Briefing media, civil society, diplomats and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday, June 25, CiZC Chairperson Dewa Mavhinga urged SADC and the international community to pay attention to the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and demand that Harare pursues democratic reform in line with the demands of a new Constitution.

(Media Briefing Panel)

CiZC urged the regional body to demand clarity on Zimbabwe’s economic policy, pinpointing the ambiguous stance on indigenization and uncertainty over the trajectory of economic blueprint the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

 

Such clarity, the CiZC leadership argued, should be used as a precondition for regional and international engagement on Zimbabwe.

“SADC and the international community must assist in the resuscitation of multiple donor trust funds targeting the economy and social service delivery in Zimbabwe.

“There is need for the international community to develop a principles and milestone based mechanism for re-engaging the Zimbabwean government,” a statement released by the Coalition said.

 

These recommendations come in the wake of continued delay in implementing the country’s new Constitution which was signed into law on May 22 2013.

 

The government has been accused of stalling the process of setting up independent commissions which support democracy, among them the Gender and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commissions.

 

Speaking at the media briefing, Blessing Gorejena from the Human Rights NGO Forum said human rights abuses recorded in the run up to the June 2008 elections have not yet been investigated, causing much concern and anxiety amongst those seeking justice.

There can never be peace in Zimbabwe if past human rights violations remain unresolved,” she said.

What we are currently witnessing is negative peace as perpetrators of human rights violations are walking free.

“We can’t have peace when there is no justice.

 

CiZC also expressed grave concern at the collapse of the service delivery system in Zimbabwe, stating that although the Constitution guarantees socio-economic rights, these rights continue to be violated on a daily basis.

 

CiZC Spokesperson Mfundo Mlilo stated that at least 900 cases of diarrhoea had recently been reported in the high density suburb of Mabvuku in the capital Harare.

 

He singled out the failure by government to provide water to Bulawayo residents and several other areas, which exposes citizens to waterborne diseases.

 

Political Economist, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, who spoke at the briefing, urged civil society organizations in Zimbabwe to insist on the need for peaceful transition in the country and allow the Constitution to be the guiding principle on any issue of concern.

 

Zimbabwe will assume the SADC Chair in August 2014 when it hosts the SADC Summit.

MASVINGO -- CIVIL society has been told to intensify its work in raising awareness on the contents of the new constitution in order to empower citizens, and promote active and meaningful citizen engagement.

 

Speaking at a constitutional consultative meeting hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) in Masvingo on Thursday, June 19 2014, participants noted that while there has been hype in calling for implementation of the constitution there was need for civil society to conduct intensive civic education on the document.

 

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) Spokesperson Mfundo Mlilo told participants at the meeting that the new constitution has been experiencing slow implementation and lack of awareness of the contents since its passing in May 2013.

 

Mfundo urged civil society to be proactive and engaged and push for alignment of laws with the constitution, while intensifying civic education.

“CSOs need to be engaged, we need to increase civic education in terms of the constitution,” said Mfundo.

 

Jeremiah Bamu from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) noted that Zimbabweans needed to be committed in observing and protecting the values of the new Constitution.

 

Bamu added that delays in alignment were beneficial to politicians in maintaining spheres of unconstitutional power.

 

He called on civics to take up several strategies to push for implementation of the constitution and promote constitutionalism.

As Zimbabweans we have developed a culture of leaving everything to politicians, this is very sad and needs to change.

“There are several draft amendment Bills representing different sectors of civil society. We should use these to petition Parliament,” Bamu said.

 

Wilmore Makamure of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) concurred with other speakers at the meeting and cautioned against waiting for lawyers or politicians to take action.

We should stop the ‘Waiting for Messiah’ syndrome.

“It is not for politicians or the lawyers to deal with realignment.

“We should start living the new constitution; we ourselves can render the constitution useless,” said Makamure.

 

Ms. Mabel Sikhosana of Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe called on apex bodies’ organisations like Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) and Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe (WCoZ) to coordinate efforts of civil society during the alignment process.

Coalitions and experts are letting us down,” Sikhosana said.

Our efforts need to be coordinated and targeted.

“We should not be single handily pushing for our sector specific issues if we are to make impact.”

 

Gilbert Sibanda of Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) said civil society organisations should stop using resources as an excuse at this critical stage.

 

He added that a lot can be done with little or no resources.

There are about 123 civil society organisations in Masvingo,” said Sibanda

Stop giving resource excuses.

“These organisations can conduct civic education on the constitution, mobilise people to petition the courts or responsible institutions against unconstitutional laws or practices.”

Mutare -- THE Government of Zimbabwe has been criticized by civil society and other stakeholders for keeping the laws that it wants to change so as to conform to the new Constitution “secret” in violation of people’s rights.

 

The criticism was made at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) consultative meeting in Mutare on June 19, 2014 where various civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders deliberated on the constitution implementation process.

“The executive is dragging its feet on realignment,” said Mr. Blessing Nyamaropa from Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR).

“To date Independent Commissions are still not functioning and the Ministry of Justice has never published the 400 laws to be realigned.

“The laws are kept as a secret and it is a violation of people’s rights.”

 

The consultative meeting was essentially meant to come up with strategies through which CSOs could engage the government with regards to the realignment of old laws and drafting new ones to implement the new constitution (Amendment 20).

 

Different speakers echoed that it was time for CSOs to push government as the latter had shown a paucity of commitment in the process of implementing the constitution and was now using the word “realignment” to justify the delay.

 

Nyamaropa said CSOs were supposed to come up with mechanisms that would push and closely monitor the progress of the implementation of the new Charter.

We had CISOMM, (Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism) to monitor the GNU (Government of National Unity) but now the GNU is gone and we now have a new constitution,” he said.

We must now push to monitor its implementation.

“Let’s flood the Constitutional Court and take the Ministry of Justice aboard because it is responsible for the alignment of laws.”

 

Crisis Zimbabwe in Coalition Program Manager, Mr. Nixon Nyikadzino concurred that the provisions of the new constitution were not being recognized and respected as government had since adopted a culture of using the term “realignment” as an excuse.

“The government has actually turned into using the word realignment as an excuse for the delay of this process (implementation of the constitution),” he said.

 

Gladys Nyakureba from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said government had failed to print the constitution in local languages as cited in Chapter 7 (a) of the Constitution.

 

She said there was need to push government through civic education and raising awareness amongst the people.

We work with people in communities. You go to them with the English version of the constitution they ask for a Shona version.

“The government promised to print the vernacular copies and it is provided for in the constitution so let’s push government to comply,” she said.

 

Other participants agreed with Ms. Gladys and said there was also need for civic activism where people stand against what is wrong.

 

They said there was need for CSOs to execute workshops where different sectors for example women and youth groups, would meet and deliberate on the constitution and impart the knowledge they would have attained to the citizens.

 

Other contributors suggested having billboards for the constitution akin to those used during election times so that the masses are stimulated and kept aware of the constitution.

 

At the end of the discussion, the participants concurred that there was need for Zimbabweans to start “living” the constitution and that CSOs should push and closely monitor the constitutional implementation process and that people must be educated on the importance of the Supreme Law, which is, the constitution.

Friday, 27 June 2014 17:34

Flood victims get donations

Harare -- VICTIMS of flooding caused by the Tokwe-Murkosi dam in the southern province of Masvingo received overwhelming support at a recent Shirt and Soap Winter Festival held by civil society in solidarity with their plight.

 

The Festival saw local artists such as Fungisai Zvakavapano, Progress Chipfumo, Cynthia Mare, Sniper Storm, Baba Shupi, Leonard Zhakata, Pastor Charamba, and Jah Prayzer supporting the cause by performing at the event on Saturday, June 21.

 

The donations which included soap, clothes and blankets reached about 2 tonnes, and will assist victim of Tokwe-Mukorsi floods at Chingwizi holding camp in Nuanetsi ranch and victims of flooding in Tsholotsho in Matabeleland.

Speaking at the event on behalf of the Mayor of Harare, Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere thanked Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC), BHASO and Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) for mobilising the support.

 

The flood victims have been living in squalid conditions and in great need of assistance for over four months with government appearing overwhelmed and scarcely up to the task.

 

Meanwhile, the victims who number over 4000 have not been compensated for the loss of homes and livestock they incurred due to the Tokwe-Murkosi dam project, which unleashed the floods in Masvingo after heavy rains, which fell before the delayed government-led relocations.

Harare -- DISTRAUGHT Zimbabweans have broken the silence on the current re-engagement efforts between Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU), which is poised to see more friendly relationship between the bloc and individuals and entities that are accused of human rights abuses and impunity in Zimbabwe.

 

The hyped reconciliation has publicly taken a new turn in the aftermath of a recent think tank meeting organized by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) on Tuesday after EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia, although emphasizing that he was speaking in his personal capacity unexpectedly declared that Zimbabwe had “no leadership crisis”.

The envoy said the bloc was re-engaging with Zimbabwe, although he did not outline the benchmarks guiding the process, while his overtures to government were seen by many Zimbabweans, including civil society as inaccurate, especially about the quality and state of national leadership in the country.

 

Although civil society almost agreed that the restrictive measures/ targeted sanctions should be removed, they said this did not mean that the failings of the government should be glossed over.

 

CiZC Spokesperson Mfundo Mlilo said the re-engagement efforts should be painstaking and a step-by-step approach informed by clear democratic and human rights principles to safeguard the moral point the previous disengagement and targeted measures sought to communicate.

“Our position on US and Western restrictive measures is very clear,” he said.

We demand an objective assessment of the human rights situation that led to the imposition of these moral disapprovals.

“We contend that there must be a principles-and-milestones based engagement framework between the international community and the Zimbabwe government.”

 

Mlilo said the measured approach could strengthen the direction towards better governance as opposed to a blind embrace of Zimbabwe’s leaders.

 

Mlilo said the new Constitution which is an important bank of human rights and social justice was a long way from being implemented by the government.

 

The government has been slow to set up constitutional institutions such as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) that are tasked with healing wounds left by a string of gross human rights violations or reform laws that limit basic freedoms.

 

This also comes after Zimbabwe held an election which all observers said were not fair and hence a violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

 

Pedzisai Ruhanya, Director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) said on social networking site Facebook that the leadership void in the country was palpable.

A failed economy and failing to pay government workers meaningful salaries on predictable dates is a leadership crisis,” said Ruhanya.

 

As the EU softens its moral stance on Zimbabwe, there have been questions on what other considerations have come into play, but with the answer difficult to pin down.

 
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 17:08

Government must engage other stakeholders

Harare -- CIVIL society has said that the government must consult other various stakeholders when coming up with national development policies and plans.

 

Speaking at a think tank meeting on the economy and international re-engagement efforts hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) in Harare on Tuesday, June 17, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) Director, Dr. Godfrey Kanyenze made the remarks.

 

Kanyenze said engagement was important for consensus and national ownership of key government programs by all local players, saying the architects of the economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset) had failed on this score.

 

“It was clear that government highlighted that the blueprint came from the politburo.

“That is one of the problems, that ZimAsset is not nationally owned,” he said.

 

He said some members of the ruling Zanu-Pf had revealed to him at a recent economic forum that they did not support its unilateral nature.

 

When government cobbled the blueprint amid unveiled hype, it did not hide the fact had solely derived it from the election manifesto of the ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

Dr. Kanyenze urged stakeholders such as civil society to keep on demanding their space, despite the state being captured by military and political elites, who are seen as benefitting from the current state of affairs.

“Development is political so as civil society, we need to mobilize, organize and engage.

“Those who are benefiting do not want reform,” said Dr. Kanyenze.

 

He added that there was need to restart and rebuild the value chains that were destroyed by the chaotic and violent land redistribution, which dramatically started in 2000 without planning.

 

These detrimental land disturbances continue to manifest in evictions of hordes of black farm workers and unaudited land ownership patterns that are believed to be hindering agricultural productivity.

 

The economist said Zimbabwe should embrace a broad social contract that includes all stakeholders in crafting and implementing national programs.

 

 

European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia said the government formed after the elections in July 2013 did not have a development strategic document yet, but just an economic blueprint in the form of ZimAsset and “the work is not completed”.

 

Patrick Zhuwao, a Zanu-PF member said the new Constitution was a social contract that was indisputable to all political players, praising civil society for its role in coming up with the Supreme Law.

 

He urged civil society to push for government to adhere to the social contract which is inherent in it.

 
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