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Senator Michael Carter's Speech to the Senate PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 May 2015 22:05

5ht May 2015 

The concept of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM-ASSET) was at the centre of the President’s Speech. ZIM-ASSET is an appealing idea that needs US$27 billion to implement. Proof of its success, will be the creation of 2 million jobs. Job creation is the result of a growing economy. Sadly, it is not something that Zimbabwe has at the moment. A growing economy cannot be forced; it depends on a political and economic climate which is trustworthy, enabling and has integrity.

At the heart of ZIM-ASSET, there is a need to attract foreign-direct-investment, but this is difficult and is only partially working. The reason is that we are not providing what investors seek. They seek security and growth for their investment. This is exactly the same climate which local business requires. It is not different whether you are local or foreign, you will need the same environment for your business to be secure and for it to grow. The fact that local businesses are shrinking means that we are failing to provide the correct climate for them to succeed.

Government is literally taxing them to death as the Minister cannot balance his books. Therefore, we have the danger of the State and business becoming hostile to each other. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development as well as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are seeking to rebuild the integrity of our financial institutions. They deserve political support.

I met a friend recently who wants to buy a brick –making machine from China and he would like to bring it back here where his home is. However, for him to import it to Zimbabwe will cost him 45% of tax on the price of that machine. Instead, if he takes it to Botswana, he can take it there for free, he does not get taxed at all. Sadly, his decision will be to take it to Botswana and set up a new business there. Government needs to create the environment to allow the re-building of local businesses. If we can provide an investor-friendly environment for local businesses, it will be strange but very interesting because then, foreign-direct-investment, as if by magic, will start to come in because they will

see that the environment here is promoting locals and they would want to be part of it.

For local businesses to flourish, we need to provide equality before the law and secure property rights which are the foundations for growth. Do we provide a level playing field for all our citizens before the law? Sadly, we have not yet arrived at that point. The result is that we are not accountable enough to attract foreign investment or to enable our local businesses to flourish and sadly, corruption continues.

We have a long list of financial scandals which were motivated by political patronage. Do we have secure property rights? Certainly not in the agricultural sector.

Agreement amongst politicians is needed, just five things to promote growth and ZIM-ASSET could begin to be implemented;

1. Development must be our main priority and we must create a domestic investor-friendly environment.

2. To attract foreign-direct-investment, we need this domestic-friendly environment first of all, but then we also need to be regionally competitive. Therefore, we have to look at the region and be more attractive than our neighbours.

3. Thirdly, this is what I proposed in my motion last year which found some sense of feeling, but sadly did not go through but I still believe it; agricultural land requires security of tenure. Security of tenure on the agricultural land will empower farmers; it will relieve poverty, increase production, restart the manufacturing sector and begin the economic recovery of our nation. Zimbabweans are sufficiently educated, intelligent and mature enough to have the right to own agricultural land.

4. We need to get serious about corruption and accountability needs to become a value that we all cherish, not something we just speak about. Sometimes, when there is a clash between loyalty and accountability, the truth is not told because loyalty is a higher value than accountability or honesty. If people want to be accountable they have to be truthful.

5. Lastly, we need to include all the tribes of Zimbabwe, including the whites and the brown tribes as equal before the law and part of the vision for Zimbabwe.

Madam President, these things are achievable and are similar to those confronted and overcome by most successful companies and countries.

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Failure by the government to deliver basic services is the powder keg that will trigger an uprising in Zimbabwe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 May 2015 09:04

By the late 1990s, some 120 countries around the world – more than 60 percent of the world’s independent states – had become electoral democracies.

 

Underlying these changes in political systems was a massive social transformation as well. The shift to democracy was a result of millions of formerly passive individuals around the world organizing themselves and participating in the political life of their societies. This social mobilization was driven by a host of factors: greatly expanded access to education that made people more aware of themselves and the political world around them; cheap travel and communications that allowed  people to vote with their feet if they didn’t like their government; and greater prosperity, which demand better protection of their rights.

 

Fast forward to 2015, some of the above mentioned factors are evident in today’s Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are amongst the most educated people in Africa and the world at large. Zimbabweans are more aware of themselves and most are very patriotic. I do not subscribe to the notion that Zimbabweans are docile or passive. No, they are not. It could be that they are well educated and can understand the futility of grabbing a machete to behead fellow country-men. An educated person is more likely to think of the consequences before acting. This could be one of the reasons why Zimbabweans are always hesitant to run amok in the streets demanding good service delivery from their government. 

 

Still, the opposition political party members may disagree with the above notion. Their view could be that Mugabe’s regime has been so brutal to such an extent that an uprising is not an option. The dreaded state security agents will not spare a life of an agitated revolutionary.

 

Today, due to the harsh economic conditions in their country, Zimbabweans are among the most travelled people in the world. Zimbabweans are well connected and many, including the poor rural peasants, own a mobile phone.

 

Why then are Zimbabweans treated like dogs in foreign lands and still adamant to go back to their motherland? Xenophobic South Africa has exposed the wretchedness many Zimbabweans are going through.

 

At large, Zimbabweans are generally poor. The prosperity has not been spread amongst the general populace. Only a few have prospered in Zimbabwe and thousands are living in abject poverty. Therefore, the poverty will imply that many Zimbabweans are not in a position to demand better protection for their rights.

 

Zimbabweans are victims of politics of patronage. It is rife that some fellow Zimbabweans are happy to kiss the bum of a Chef (an influential political figure) in order to get wealth.

 

However, the inability to organise ourselves has been our down fall. How often do we read in newspapers that opposition political parties are bickering and fighting each other?  It is no wonder that the main opposition political party in Zimbabwe, The Movement of Democratic Change has split up into several political parties since its inception. In all circumstances, the beneficiary is the revolutionary and ruling party ZANU-PF.

 

Zimbabweans are tribalistic. Some voters in Zimbabwe, especially the rural peasants will not vote for political programs; rather, they support the Chef from their tribe. If the Chef can get elected to parliament, the new MP will use her/his influence to direct government resources back home, to help supporters with things like school fees, construction projects, fertilizers etc. As a result, politics of patronage, nepotism and corruption is bred. However, this phenomenon is not only exclusive to Zimbabwe. I do believe the community from Nkandla in South Africa has hugely benefited since Zuma became President. Maybe the community from Zvimba in Zimbabwe, Mugabe’s rural home, have also seen the benefits of having a Chef at the top. Votes are traded for political favours.

 

The political system in Zimbabwe has failed us in the sense that our government has dismally failed to deliver the basic services that we demand from it. The mere fact that Zimbabwe has got an elected government [albeit the vote rigging and Nikuv controversy] tell us very little about whether it is well or badly governed. This failure to deliver the basic services we demand is the greatest challenge to the legitimacy of Zimbabwe political system. Failure by the government to deliver basic services is the powder keg that will trigger an uprising in Zimbabwe.

 

Tendai Kwari @tendaikwari

 
South Africa stop Xenophobia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 April 2015 13:56

Poem by Esther Nyambi

 

South Africans let us remind you that during apartheid

All your neighbouring countries welcomed you with open arms

Harboured you, fed you, educated you, gave you jobs and comfort

We helped you defeat apartheid

 

When you attained your independence

We flooded in to South Africa to help our brothers in need

The post apartheid era left a vacuum that needed to be filled

So brothers came from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Mozambique

With strong arms we helped you to lift and sustain your economy

 

We brought our skills and started businesses

To give you time to learn and grow

We hoped you would learn and emulate

So you may learn and go

Instead you thank us with hatred and violence

 

Is this what Tata Mandela taught us?

He taught us forgiveness and reconciliation

Is this what Thabo Mbeki taught use?

He taught us about African renaissance

Bishop Tutu too taught us truth and reconciliation

 

As we stand here today, we say we forgive you South Africa

For burning our shops and killing our children

We forgive you

For looting and maiming

We forgive you

 

We implore you today South Africa

Stop the attach on fellow brothers South Africa

Stop this xenophobia South Africa

Stop this Afrophobia South Africa

 
Text of letter to the Westminster Police PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 11 April 2015 20:07

We wish to inform you that the Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to stage a demonstration from 10.30 am – 2 pm on Friday 17th April 2015 at our usual gathering place outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.

 

The Vigil and other Zimbabwean exile groups have over the past month been seeking information from the Embassy about the abduction of our friend the human rights activist Itai Dzamara who was last seen being bundled into a car with obscured number plates in Harare on 9th March. Mr Dzamara had been exercising his constitutional rights and leading a protest in Africa Unity Square in Harare since last October calling on President Mugabe to resign because of the catastrophic failure of his 35-year-long regime to serve the interests of the people.

 

It is believed he was taken by agents of the brutal Central Intelligence Organisation which has a history of extra-legal activities against Mugabe’s opponents. They are known to routinely torture people, some of whom are never heard of again. Some bodies may later be found in the bush while others are thought to have been disposed of in acid baths.

 

Lawyers for Human Rights in Zimbabwe have offered a reward for information about Mr Dzamara’s disappearance and say they are taking the Mugabe regime to court over its failure to observe a court order to search for him.

 

The European Union, along with the United States, Canada, Australia and others, has expressed concern at the disappearance of Itai Dzamara, with whom the Vigil was in regular contact before his abduction.

 

As you know, the Vigil has been bearing weekly witness outside the Embassy to the evils of the Zimbabwe regime since 12th October 2002. We long to return to a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe and are distressed that the world has stood aside while the situation has steadily deteriorated. In brief:

  • All elections are rigged

  • The regime flouts the law with impunity

  • The economy has been destroyed by corruption

 

There is indisputable evidence of Mugabe’s genocidal history (Gukurahundi), the enforced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people (Murambatsvina) and his tribal and racial ethnic cleansing (farm grabbing among others).

 

These have led to a forced exodus of Zimbabweans who are now scattered around the world, which continues to turn a blind eye to this evil regime which, the Vigil believes, is helped to stay in power by British aid.

 

We are planning to send a small delegation into the Embassy to present the Ambassador with a letter. If the Embassy is closed we will push the letter under their front door. 

 
BRING BACK ITAI DZAMARA FUND APPEAL PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 March 2015 12:54

Itai Dzamara, a respected journalist and pro-democracy activist, founder and leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square Movement, was abducted on 9th March 2015 in Harare. The movement had its origins on 17th October 2014 when Dzamara submitted a petition to Robert Mugabe over the "failure of your government to properly and effectively manage the country". He was seen being bundled into an unmarked car by five unidentified people. His whereabouts are still unknown.

 

“Itai was the breadwinner and his wife Sheffra has to survive through help from family members. The couple have two children, a boy of 7 and a girl of 3, and the kids are traumatised,” Patson Dzamara, Itai’s brother said.

 

Please make a donation to assist Itai’s family. Your donation could help in buying food for the children and paying for legal fees.  After his abduction, his wife approached the High Court in Harare to force the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to search for her husband.

 

All donations should be directed to Patson Dzamara, Itai Dzamara’s brother, via money sending services such as Western Union, World Remit or Moneygram or contact Patson Dzamara: 00263772889217, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

If you use money sending services please send the receipt ONLY, showing what is required for the recipient to collect the money in Zimbabwe such as MTCN number, test question and answer etc and the amount donated to Tendai Kwari: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . He will forward the information to the recipient

 

Please share or forward this appeal to your family and friends to help spread the message.

 

At the Zimbabwe Vigil on Saturday 14/03/2014, £67.52 was collected and has been sent to Itai’s family.

  

Thank you for taking your time to read this appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

Tendai Kwari

OCCUPY AFRICA UNITY SQUARE – UK Chapter.

Twitter #BringBack ItaiDzamaraSupportFund.

 
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