Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Egypt Signs 2 Agreements With Kuwaiti Fund Worth $57 Million to Finance North Sinai Development Projects
Ahram Online
Monday 20 Nov 2017

The agreements will fund water infrastructure and cultivated land development projects

Egypt's Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed two agreements worth 17.5 million Kuwaiti Dinars ($57 million) in Kuwait on Sunday with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) for development projects in North Sinai, according to a statement issued by the ministry on Monday.

The first agreement, worth 12.5 million Kuwaiti Dinars ($41 million), will fund sustainable water infrastructure projects in Al-Arish city.

The fund will help finance the government’s $900 million three-year financing planned projects for the Sinai Development Programme, Nasr said.

The government has been financing the Sinai Development Programme through various funding agreements with the Saudi Fund for Development and other funds to establish water desalination plants and electricity projects, build schools and health units, and develop agricultural lands.

The second agreement signed on Sunday with the KFAED, worth 5 millionn Kuwaiti Dinars ($16.5 million), will finance a 400 thousand-feddan reclamation project in North Sinai. This fund would increase the area of cultivated land in North Sinai in order to offer job opportunities and establish a residential community as a way to achieve sustainable development.

“This is in addition to helping farmers by facilitating the movement of their crops to markets, facilitating access of fertilizers and pesticides and increasing livestock, besides providing more than 5000 individuals with job opportunities and encouraging investments in the area,” the statement read.

KFAED has so far provided $2.763 billion in financing to 44 projects in Egypt, in addition to $52 million in the form of 15 technical grants, according to Abdul-Wahab Al-Badr, director general of the KFAED.

On Monday, Nasr met with the Egyptian-Kuwaiti economic cooperation council to discuss the incentives offered to investors by the new investment law, including tax breaks of 50% on investments costs for projects in underdeveloped areas such as Upper Egypt and Sinai, according to another statement from the ministry.

The minister also presented to the council investment opportunities in the new administrative capital, the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and New El-Alamein City.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified the country's new investment law in June and its executive regulations were approved by the Cabinet last month.

The Egyptian-Kuwaiti economic cooperation council was established in November 2015 to boost economic ties between Egypt and Kuwait.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/281833.aspx
Egypt Parliament Approves 290 Mln Euro ERBD Loan to Upgrade National Railway System
Ahram Online
Monday 20 Nov 2017

Egypt's parliament approved on Sunday a financing program worth 290 million euros provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to pay for upgrades and fleet expansion of the country's national railway system, state-owned MENA news agency reported.

According to MENA, the program's approval was discussed by the House during its general assembly following a report presented by its transportation and economic affairs committees.

The deal, originally signed in June 2017, allocates the financing to Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to be used for the acquisition of up to 100 new diesel locomotives.

During Sunday's assembly, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said that "loans were the bitter medicine for the building up of the economy," adding that the agreement signed between Egypt and the EBRD was not as bitter as MPs initially perceived.

Egypt signed the deal with the European bank last June in an attempt to boost the ailing railway system.

Some 300 million Egyptian riders use trains annually. In the last two decades, mass-casualty train accidents became common in Egypt. Thousands of passengers have been killed or injured in fatal accidents caused by derailment of outdated carriages, fires due to poor industrial safeguards, malfunctions, or human error at manually operated signal-crossings. The government has also started to digitalise the archaic signal-crossing system, which has been the cause of many deadly collisions.

According to a statement by the EBRD, the bank will finance the acquisition of up to 100 new diesel locomotives under a supply-and-maintenance contract outsourced to the private sector in accordance with the EBRD’s procurement policy.

The EBRD will also provide "technical assistance support to ENR to develop and implement a comprehensive freight reform programme and a commercialisation plan for the freight sector."

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012, with the bank investing 2.3 billion euros in 47 projects in the country to date.

Egypt has recently signed various agreements and MOUs with a number of countries, including Hungary, Romania and china, to modernize its train carriages fleet and safety procedured.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/281824.aspx

Monday, November 20, 2017

Egypt, Cyprus and Greece: Consolidating a Mediterranean Alliance
Dina Ezzat
Monday 20 Nov 2017

In Nicosia today President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will pursue a closer engagement with two of his best Mediterranean partners: Cyprus and Greece

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to arrive Monday afternoon in Cyprus' capital Nicosia for talks with his counterpart Nicos Anastasiades.

During his visit to Egypt’s northern Mediterranean neighbour, El-Sisi is also expected to meet with Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece, considered in Egyptian diplomacy circles as one of the closest possible allies of Egypt in the European Union and in the Mediterranean zone.

The three leaders of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece were expected to hold a three-way summit to discuss their planned two-path cooperation: energy and security.

A top issue for the Egyptian president in Nicosia is the conclusion of a process to define maritime borders between Egypt and Greece. According to Egyptian and Greek sources, this process was launched a few years ago with firm support form both El-Sisi and Tsipras, who both wish to see this demarcation as a beginning for the full exploitation of the eastern Mediterranean's natural gas reserves.

“We cannot be exploring the potential fields without reaching an agreement on the demarcation with Greece,” explained an Egyptian official.

Egypt already reached a demarcation deal with Cyprus in 2004.

Iinformed European and Egyptian diplomats say that Cairo will go ahead with negotiating a three-way cooperation with an eye on two things: the first, to explore the potentially wide and generous natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, and the second, to consider the construction of a gas pipeline to allow for potential gas finds to be imported to markets around the Mediterranean and across Europe.

This ambitious project is something that the three governments are hoping would allow for a significant economic advancement which they desire.

“I guess one could say that there is a firm political will in the three capitals to move forward, but that the actual implementation requires the completion of the work of the legal and technical teams,” according to the same Egyptian official.

Meanwhile, during his talks in Nicosia, President El-Sisi will express Egypt’s appreciation for the political "support" Cairo has found from both its Mediterranean neighbours during the early phase of political transition in Egypt in the summer of 2013 and until now.

Informed Egyptian and European sources say that Greece and Cyprus have been instrumental in lobbying support for Cairo in the EU.

Moreover, the Egyptian president will discuss his counterparts from Cyprus and Greece matters related to the security of the Mediterranean with an eye on the fluid situation in Libya that allows for the transition of arms and militants through Mediterranean borders, as well as the commitment taken upon themselves by the three countries to curb illegal migration.

Another Egyptian official said that the three countries have worked very well together, especially this year, to serve these targets.

He added that the three countries are currently working on a “framework” to upgrade this cooperation, “potentially in collaboration with other Mediterranean partners."

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/281821.aspx
Nile Matter of Life or Death, Says Al-Sisi
November 21, 2017

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt’s share of Nile water is “a matter of life or death” for his nation.

“No one can touch Egypt’s share of Nile water,” President al-Sisi said in a televised talk during the inauguration of the Middle East’s largest fish farm in Kafr El-Sheikh province, Delta. It is Al-Sisi’s first remarks on the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) since negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia stalled over the project last week.

Last week, Egypt’s negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan failed to approve an initial study on the effects of Ethiopia’s new dam on the downstream states.

The irrigation ministers of Ethiopia and Sudan did not approve the consultant company’s introductory report of the studies despite Egypt’s initial approval, while asking for amendments that would affect the studies and make the report contentless.

President al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are scheduled to meet in Cairo next month to discuss the deadlock.

President al-Sisi noted that he understands the developmental goals behind the GERD, adding that the development for Ethiopia in this case is a “matter of life and death” for Egypt.

Egypt is worried about its annual share of 55,5 billion cubic metres of the Nile River water amid the GERD’s rapid construction.

Egypt’s ties with Ethiopia have seen ups and downs since the latter started the dam project in April 2011 as Egypt has been suffering from turmoil following an uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

— Xinhua.
‘China Paying Close Attention to Zimbabwe’
November 18, 2017
Zimbabwe Herald

IN the wake of the intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces into the affairs of Zanu-PF ostensibly to, in their own words, to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may have resulted in violent conflict; there have been various theories and conspiracy theories as to what led to the intervention and those involved. Below we reproduce reactions from the Chinese government, which has been accused in some quarters of complicity.

Q: According to the website of China’s Defence Ministry, General Constantine Guveya Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, was in China last Friday. Did he inform China of his plan on “military takeover”? What is your comment?

A: Just like you said, the Defence Ministry already released information on the visit of General Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. I can only tell you that his visit is a normal military exchange mutually agreed upon by China and Zimbabwe.

As for the details of his visit, I have little to share. If you need more information, I would refer you to the Defence Ministry.

Q: Sources said the former Vice President of Zimbabwe had fled to China. Can you confirm it and comment on the current situation in Zimbabwe?

A: As a friendly country to Zimbabwe, we are closely following the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s peace, stability and development serve the fundamental interests of the country itself and other regional countries. It is also the common wish of the international community. We hope that Zimbabwe could properly handle its internal affairs.

As for the whereabouts of the former Vice President of Zimbabwe, I can assure you that he is not in China.

Q: Zimbabwe is an important partner for China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the African continent, and now it is in political turmoil. Will China adjust its investment risk assessment on Zimbabwe accordingly in light of the latest development?

A: I already gave my response to the situation in Zimbabwe yesterday. China has been paying close attention to what is unfolding in Zimbabwe. We sincerely hope that Zimbabwe could maintain political stability and the relevant issues be resolved peacefully and properly.

As for China’s investments and projects in Zimbabwe you asked about, the friendly cooperation between China and Zimbabwe is an all-around one and beneficial to the peoples in both countries. China’s friendly policy towards Zimbabwe will not change. We stand ready to develop our friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe under the principle of equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation.

Source: Foreign Affairs Ministry, China
ZANU-PF Congress to Tackle Burning Issues-- President Mugabe Says in National Television Address
November 20, 2017
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe shakes hands with Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantino Chiwenga  before addressing the nation in Harare yesterday. -Picture by Innocent Makawa

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter

President Mugabe has admitted that there is a crisis in the country and concerns raised by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and citizens relating to the state of the economy are genuine.

In a televised State of the Nation address at State House last night, President Mugabe said Zimbabwe would now chart a new path aimed at restoring normalcy in the country.

His address followed a meeting he held with military commanders yesterday that focused on several issues both at Government and party levels.

President Mugabe, who was flanked by the service chiefs, admitted that Zanu-PF was also facing challenges that required attention that would be dealt with at the forthcoming Extraordinary Congress that he said he would preside over.

“As I address you, I am also aware of a whole range of concerns which have come from you all citizens of our great country, and who thus deserve our untrammelled attention,” he said.

“Today’s meeting with the command element has underscored the need for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy, so all our people can go about their business unhindered, in an environment of perfect peace and security, assured that law and order obtain and prevail as before, and endure well into the future.”

President Mugabe continued: “Among the issues discussed is that relating to our economy which, as we all know, is going through a difficult patch. Of greater concern to our Commanders are the well-founded fears that the lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both party and Government was translating into perceptions of inattentiveness to the economy.

“Open public spats between high-ranking officials in the party and Government, exacerbated by multiple, conflict messages from the party and Government, made the criticisms levelled against us inescapable. Amidst all this, flagship projects already adopted by Government stood stalled or mired in needless controversies. All this now has to stop, as we inaugurate a new work culture and pace which will show a strong sense of purpose and commitment to turning around the economy in terms of our policy, ZimAsset.

“Government remains committed to improving the social and material conditions of the people. Government will soon unveil an entrepreneurial skills and business development programme which will empower and unleash gainful projects at our growth points and rural areas.”

President Mugabe said all issues raised concerning the party would be attended to.

“In respect of the party issues raised both by the Commanders and by the general membership of Zanu-PF, these, too stand acknowledged,” he said.

“They have to be attended to with a greater sense of urgency. However, I am aware that as a party of liberation, Zanu-PF has, over the years, written elaborate rules and procedures that guide the operations of all its organs and personnel. Indeed the current criticism raised against it by the Command element and some of its members have arisen from a well-founded perception that the party is stretching or even failing its own rules.

“There has to be a net return to the guiding principles of our party, as enshrined in its constitution, which must apply fairly and equitably in all situations and before all members. The era of victimisation and arbitrary decisions must be put behind us as we all embrace a new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our party, and nourished by an abiding sense of camaraderie.

“To all this must be a general recognition that Zanu-PF is a party of traditions, and has been served by successive generations who are bound together by shared ideals and values which must continue to reign supreme in our nation. Hints of inter-generation conflict must be resolved through a harmonised melding of old, established players as they embrace and welcome new ones through a well-defined sense of hierarchy and succession. Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming Congress, within the framework of a clear roadmap that seeks to resolve once and for all any omissions or contradictions that have affected our party negatively.

“The Congress is due in a few weeks from now. I will preside over its processes which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or to compromise its outcomes in the eyes of the public.”

President Mugabe said it should be cherished that Zimbabwe was born out a protracted liberation struggle and heroes of that war should be remembered and taken care of.

Commenting on the intervention by the ZDF to contain a potentially volatile situation the country President Mugabe said: “The operation I alluded to did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order. Nor was it a challenge to my authority as Head of State and Government. Not even as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. To the man, the Command element remained respectful, and comported with the dictates and mores of constitutionalism.”
ZANU-PF Youth League Slams ‘Uncultured’ First Lady
November 20, 2017
Herald Reporter

GRACE Mugabe lacked grooming and true motherhood as shown by her foul language during interface rallies, the Zanu-PF Youth League said yesterday. The wing also called for the expulsion of Dr Mugabe from Zanu-PF and for President Robert Mugabe to step down as President and First Secretary of the party and President of Zimbabwe.

It further resolved to expel Youth League secretary Kudzanai Chipanga, his deputy Mpehlabayo Malinga, its commissar, Innocent Hamandishe, secretary for finance Tongai Kasukuwere, the wing’s secretary for external affairs, Anastancia Ndhlovu, and deputy secretary for Administration, Xavier Kazizi.

Addressing a press conference at the Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday, Youth League spokesperson Cde Yeukai Simbanegavi distanced the Youth League from the statement made by Cde Chipanga denouncing the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga.

“We, as the progressive members of the Zanu-PF Youth League, who clearly understand the ethos and values of our liberation struggle, pledge our undivided solidarity and support to the ZDF for decisively dealing with economic criminals who have intentions of reversing our hard-won independence through their corrupt and unethical dealings.

“The Zanu-PF Youth League subscribes to the African values of the ubuntu/hunhu. We have been raised to respect our elders and revere our liberation fighters. However, of recent times the Youth League had been hijacked by counter-revolutionaries bent on misleading and confusing the youth,” she said.

They castigated Chipanga for siding with the First Lady instead of belonging to the revolution.

“The likes of Kudzanai Chipanga, his deputy Mpehlabayo Malinga, Youth League commissar Innocent Hamandishe, Youth League secretary for finance, Tongai Kasukuwere, and the wing’s secretary for external affairs, Anastancia Ndhlovu had become the voice and face of the Youth League, looting and plundering at the expense of millions of grassroots youth they purported to represent. They would say ‘Pana Amai ndopane Mwana’, but we say the youths belong to the revolution and not to individuals.

“We take exception to the vulgar language which had become part of Mrs Mugabe’s vocabulary and clearly showed that she lacked grooming and true motherhood. It is unfortunate that the President allowed her to usurp executive authority from him thereby destroying both the party and
The Youth League said it would investigate activities and assets of Chipanga and his allies.

They called on President Mugabe to rest and become an elder statesman.

“The course of justice should take its path without fear or favour.

“All criminals, particularly the likes of Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Ignatius Chombo, Letina Undenge, Mandiitawepi Chimene and others should pay dearly for causing untold suffering to Zimbabweans.

“Upholding of the party and national constitution is of paramount importance as such we are recommending that all the expulsions which were done in the Youth League from 2014 onwards be declared null and void.

“We also strongly condemn the unprocedural expulsion of our Vice President and Second Secretary, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa from both the party and Government and recommend immediate reinstatement,” she said.
Zanu-PF Recalls President Mugabe
November 20, 2017
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

ZANU-PF yesterday recalled President Mugabe from the position of party First Secretary and replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom the ruling party also reinstated as a Central Committee member.

Cde Mnangagwa’s election as the Zanu-PF President and First Secretary would be ratified at the Extraordinary Congress slated for next month.

The party also said that President Mugabe must resign as State President by midday today failing which the party’s Chief Whip, Cde Lovemore Matuke, would institute impeachment proceedings in line with Section 97 of the national Constitution.

The party also expelled several members for various charges including Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Dr Grace Mugabe, who was the Secretary for Women Affairs.

Also read:

Zanu-PF Central Committee resolutions

These decisions were made during a special Central Committee meeting held at the party’s headquarters yesterday.

The Central Committee is Zanu-PF’s highest decision-making organ outside Congress and yesterday’s meeting was attended by 201 members out of 300 members.

Reading out the resolutions of the meeting yesterday, Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa said: “The first resolution was that the Central Committee on behalf of Zanu-PF expressed profound gratitude to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for their intervention efforts in the internal affairs of the party as the governing party with a view of bringing normalcy both in the party and Government.

“The Central Committee congratulated the masses of Zimbabwe for their participation in the historic solidarity march yesterday in support of the Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Association.

“The Central Committee also passed the following resolution -that the unconstitutional removal of Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF and his expulsion from the party be and is hereby nullified forthwith. The resolution also goes to restore him to his position as a member of the Central Committee.

“There were recommendations made by the provincial coordinating committees suspending and expelling members from the party, the resolution is that these suspensions and expulsions be and are hereby nullified. Further, that all members of Central Committee who were elected at the 2014 Congress and who were subsequently suspended or expelled from the party subsequent to the Congress on the basis of fictitious or fabricated allegations by the G40 cabal for protection of criminals be and are hereby reinstated.

“Further resolution is that members from the lower organs of the party, that is provincial, district, branch councils who were suspended or expelled from the party subsequent to the 2014 Congress be and are hereby reinstated forthwith to the positions they held.

“That Cde R.G. Mugabe be and he is hereby recalled from the position of President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF forthwith. Further, the resolutions that Cde R.G. Mugabe should resign forthwith from his position as President and Head of State and Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and if the resignation has not tendered by midday tomorrow 20 November 2017 (today), the Zanu-PF Chief Whip (Cde Lovemore Matuke) is ordered to institute proceedings for the recall of the President in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“That Cde Phelekezela Mphoko be and is hereby recalled from the position of Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF for being divisive, a member of the cabal, protecting criminals, preaching hate speech and behaving in a manner inconsistent with the Office and decorum of the Office.”

Cde Chinamasa continued: “That members of the cabal, namely Cde Mphoko, (Saviour) Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Ignatius Chombo, Patrick Zhuwao, Letina Undenge, Grace Mugabe, Kudzanai Chipanga, Walter Mzembi, Paul Chimedza, Makhosini Hlongwane, Anastancia Ndlovu, Mandi Chimene, Dr Samuel Undenge, Sarah Mahoka, Mtehlabayo Malinga, Xavier Kazizi, Tongai Kasukuwere and Innocent Hamandishe, Eunice Sandi Moyo and Shadreck Mashayamombe be expelled from the party.

“That Grace Mugabe be and is hereby recalled from the position of Secretary for the Women’s League of Zanu-PF for promoting hate speech, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to her office. That Cde ED Mnangagwa be and is hereby appointed as interim President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF pending ratification by the Extraordinary Congress scheduled for the 12th to the 17th of December 2017.

“That Cde E. D. Mnangagwa be the party’s nominee to be appointed to fill the vacancy of State President in terms of Part 4, paragraph 14 sub paragraph 5 of the Sixth Schedule of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20. That the Extraordinary Congress scheduled for 12th to the 17th of December 2017 should proceed for purposes of ratifying the decisions we have taken this afternoon, in particular ratifying the appointment of Cde ED Mnangagwa as the First Secretary and President of Zanu-PF. The Extraordinary Congress should also ratify the decision we have taken today to recall Cde R.G. Mugabe as President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF.”

Cde Chinamasa said some of the resolutions touched on amendments of the constitution to remove the clause of one centre of power and restoration of the district coordinating committees.

He said it was agreed that war veterans should be appointed in strategic positions both in the party and Government as long as they had the requisite qualifications.

Cde Chinamasa said the Central Committee resolved to fill the position of national chairman that had been vacant for four years.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Information Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the meeting also resolved that Cde Mnangagwa should be the party’s Presidential candidate for next year’s harmonised elections.

He said it was also agreed that the Politburo should revert to its subordinate role of being the secretariat of the Central Committee.

Said Cde Khaya Moyo: “Cde R.G. Mugabe was removed from the position of President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF by a unanimous vote.”

Secretary for Finance Cde Obert Mpofu, who chaired the meeting, said it was unfortunate that President Mugabe was leaving in a sad manner.
Zanu-PF Central Committee Resolutions
November 20, 2017
Zimbabwe Herald

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa (left), Ziliwaco national chairman Cde Pupurai Togarepi (right)follow proceedings during a Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting in Harare yesterday. Behind them are Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa (second right) and Central Committee member Monica Mutsvangwa (right) and other members — Picture by Memory Mangombe

Statement by Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa after yesterday’s Central Committee meeting.

We have met today as members of the Central Committee, the 19th of November 2017 and we considered a wide range of issues affecting our party and Government.

The first consideration was whether we constituted a quorum.

The membership of our Central Committee is 300 members. I am happy to say that of the 300, 201 have been present and participated in today’s deliberation.

I will now run you through the resolutions that were passed this afternoon.

Unfortunately these are hand written, but we are going to clean up and provide you a clean copy later.

The first resolution was that the Central Committee, on behalf of ZANU-PF, expressed profound gratitude to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for their intervention efforts in the internal affairs of the party as the governing party, with the view of bringing normalcy both within the party and Government.

The Central Committee congratulated the masses of Zimbabwe for their participation in the historic solidarity march yesterday, the 18th of November in support of the Zimbabwe War Veterans Association.

The Central Committee also this afternoon passed the following resolution – that the unconstitutional removal of Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as Vice President and Second Secretary of ZANU-PF and his expulsion from the party be and is hereby nullified forthwith.

The resolution also goes to restore him to his position as a member of the Central Committee.

There were recommendations that were made by Provincial Coordinating Committees, suspending and expelling members from the party.

The resolution is that these suspensions and expulsions be and are hereby nullified.

Further that all members of the Central Committee, who were elected at the 2014 Congress and who were subsequently suspended or expelled from the party subsequent to the Congress on the basis of fabricated allegations by the G40 cabal for the protection of criminals be and are hereby reinstated.

That further resolution is that members from the lower organs of the party, that is provincial, district and branch councils, who were suspended or expelled from the party subsequent to the 2014 Congress be and are hereby reinstated forthwith to the position.

That Cde RG Mugabe be and is hereby recalled from the position of President and First Secretary of ZANU-PF forthwith.

Further the resolution is that Cde RG Mugabe should resign forthwith from his position as President and Head of State and Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and if resignation has not been tendered by midday tomorrow, the 20th of November 2017, the ZANU-PF chief whip is ordered to institute proceedings for the recall of the President in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

That Cde Phelekezela Mphoko be and is hereby recalled from the position of Vice President and Second Secretary of ZANU-PF for being divisive, a member of the cabal, protecting criminals, preaching hurt speech and behaving in a manner inconsistent with the office, and the quorum of the office as Vice President.

That members of the cabal namely Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo, Ignatius Chombo, Patrick Zhuwao, Letinna Undenge, Grace Mugabe, Kudzanai Chipanga,Walter Mzembi, Paul Chimedza, Makhosini Hlongwane, Anastancia Ndhlovu, Mandi Chimene, Dr Samuel Undenge, Sarah Mahoka, M Mpehlabayo Malinga, Xavier Kazizi, Tongai, Kasukuwere and Innocent Hamandishe be expelled from the party. Sorry I have left out, it is on my list here Shadreck Mashayamombe.

That Grace Mugabe be and is hereby recalled from the position of Secretary for Women’s League of ZANU-PF for promoting hate speech, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to her office.

That Cde Mnangagwa is hereby appointed as interim president.

That Cde ED Mnangagwa be and is hereby appointed as interim president and the First Secretary of ZANU-PF pending ratification by the extra-ordinary congress scheduled for the 12th to the 17th December 2017.

That Cde ED Mnangagwa be the party’s nominee to be appointed to fill the vacancy of State President in terms of Part 4 paragraph 14, sub paragraph 5, the six schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment number 20.

That the Extraordinary Congress scheduled for the 12th to the 17th of December 2017 should proceed for the purposes of ratifying the decision that we have taken this afternoon in particular, ratifying the appointment of Cde ED Mnangagwa as the President and First secretary of ZANU-PF.

The Extraordinary Congress should also ratify the decision that we have taken today.

The resolution was to recall Cde RG Mugabe as president and first secretary of ZANU-PF.

There were some resolutions which touch on amendments to our party’s constitution.

The first was that we should propose an amendment to our constitution to remove any notion of one centre of power.

The resolution also was that some years ago we abolished the district coordinating committees, we have made a resolution today that this should be restored as an organ in our party constitution.

Further resolution was that we should place war veterans in strategic positions in the party and Government as long as they have the requisite qualifications.

An administrative resolution, we have a position in our party of a national chairman.

This has gone unfilled for four years, the resolution is that it should be filled.

Let me just correct or add a name to the members of the cabal who are to be expelled, please include which I had omitted, Cde Sandy Moyo.

Lastly, this Central Committee resolved to acknowledge the roles and assistance given by the Frontline States in our libation struggle in particular Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola.

I thank you.

Friday, November 17, 2017

World Reacts to Zimbabwe Defense Forces Intervention
Guinea President Alpha Conde is current African Union Chair.
November 17, 2017
Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Herald

UNITED Nations Secretary-General Mr António Guterres yesterday called for calm and preservation of human rights following the political and socio-economic stabilisation intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces on Wednesday.

This comes as the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation met in Botswana yesterday and called for the settling of differences in a peaceful manner.Sadc also called for the convening of an urgent Extraordinary Summit, a development observers said was akin to jumping the gun given that the ZDF was intervening in an internal party not State matter. Zanu-PF is not party to Sadc.

The ZDF took corrective measures early Wednesday morning as they sought to pacify a “degenerating political, social and economic situation in the country which, if left unchecked, would have resulted in violent conflict”.

The process was executed in a peaceful manner. Business has continued normally around the country with shops, banks, transport operators and other service providers operating normally. There were no reports of violence. Civil servants are also reporting for duty without hindrance. Mr Guterres’ deputy spokesperson, Mr Farhan Haq, said they were gathering information on the developments.

“The Secretary-General has been monitoring the evolving situation in Zimbabwe. He appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint. Preservation of fundamental rights including freedom of speech and assembly is of vital importance,” he said. Mr Haq added: “The Secretary-General stresses the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means and dialogue and in line with the country’s Constitution.”

In a communique, the Sadc Troika said: “Sadc Organ Troika noted with great concern the unfolding situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe. Sadc Organ Troika further reaffirmed the need for Sadc member states to remain guided by their constitutions. Sadc Organ Troika called upon all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to settle the political challenges through peaceful means.”

African Union chairperson and Guinea President Alpha Conde said: “The AU immediately calls for the restoration of constitutional order and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint, to ensure respect for lives, fundamental freedoms and integrity of Zimbabwe. We demand respect for the Constitution, a return to the constitutional order and we will never accept the military coup d’etat.”

The ZDF are on record as saying there was no military take-over in Zimbabwe as they reaffirmed their allegiance to the Commander-in-Chief, the Head of State and Government, President Mugabe.

African Union Commission chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat said they were closely following developments. He urged all stakeholders to address the current situation in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and relevant instruments of the AU. Mr Mahamat said it was crucial that the “crisis” be resolved in a manner that promotes democracy and human rights, as well as the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe.

He added that the AU was working closely with Sadc and regional leaders to come up with a workable solution in Zimbabwe. China dismissed reports that ZDF Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, who was in the Asian country recently, had visited to discuss a military coup in the country. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mr Geng Shuang, said Gen Chiwenga’s visit was a normal military exchange.

“What I can tell you is that his visit was a normal military exchange as agreed by the two countries,” he said. Zimbabweans, churches, trade unions, business community and opposition political parties have welcomed the intervention by the uniformed forces saying it was done in the spirit of national interest and security. Legal experts weighed in saying the intervention was in accordance with the dictates and tenets of the Constitution and in respect of Sadc and AU security protocols. There has been no bloodshed and peace has been prevailing.
President  Mugabe, General Chiwenga Meet
November 17, 2017
Herald Reporter—

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday met Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga at State House in Harare. The meeting, that was also attended by South African envoys comprising Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo, was also attended by Roman Catholic cleric Father Fidelis Mukonori, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, Air Vice Marshal Elson Moyo, Permanent Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba, among others.

Details of the meeting were not available at the time of publishing as the parties remained tight-lipped.

The ZDF on Wednesday announced they had taken action to pacify the degenerating political, social and economic situation in the country which they said if left unchecked would have resulted in violent conflict as they emphasised that their action was not a military takeover as they wanted to flush out reactionary and criminal elements around the President.
ZANU-PF Talks: We Have Made Progress: ZDF
November 17, 2017
Herald Reporter—

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces say significant progress has been made in their operation to weed out criminals around President Mugabe adding that they had accounted for some of the criminals in order to bring them to justice though others were still at large. No names were given. The criminals, the ZDF said in a statement this morning, were committing crimes that were causing social and economic suffering in Zimbabwe.

They said they were currently engaging with the Commander-in-Chief President Robert Mugabe on the way forward and will advise the nation of the outcome as soon as possible. ”Defence attaches accredited to Zimbabwe have been briefed to appraise their principals on the obtaining situation in the country,” the ZDF said.

Bureaucrats had also been advised to brief their co-operating partners.  The ZDF implored other security services to continue operating and carrying out their duties without any form of impediment to their operation.

“While we appreciate the enthusiasm by certain individuals and groups within society, we want to make it clear that they should not purport to be speaking on our behalf,” they added.

“We will periodically make press releases to keep the public informed of developments in the country. The ZDF commended the nation for remaining patient and peaceful as they carry out the operation.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Peace-loving Zimbabwe, ZDF Should Be Commended
November 17, 2017
Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Herald

As events in Zimbabwe continue to unfold, with the situation remaining calm as people across different sectors of life go about their business normally, we should commend the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for sticking to the statement that they issued on November 15, that their action was not a military takeover, but that they intended “to address the human security threats in (the) country”. They assured the nation that President Mugabe, together with his family were “safe and sound, and their security guaranteed”.

ZDF spokesperson Major-General Sibusiso Busi Moyo, who read out the statement on the public broadcaster, said the military was “only targeting criminals around him (President Mugabe), who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice”.

The ZDF also assured the nation that as soon as they accomplish their mission, they expected the situation to return to normalcy. As the nation awaits the peaceful conclusion of the matter, we would also like to point out that it is quite normal for members of the international community to interpret events of November 15 in the best way they see them because Zimbabwe has hogged the limelight for decades.

However, we feel that some of the remarks we have been reading go against the spirit of peace that prevails in Zimbabwe. The ongoing normalcy cannot be ignored, because worldwide, when the military intervenes in civilian affairs, there is bloodshed, humanitarian crisis and they take over the levers of power – the Executive, Parliament, the Judiciary and the Fourth Estate. This is not what happened in Zimbabwe.

The ZDF also assured members of the international community, including regional and continental bodies – Sadc and the African Union – that their action was “not a military take-over of Government”. They explained that what they were doing was “to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in violent conflict”.

As the unfolding events continue to make headline news the world over, Sadc is now ceased with the responsibility of ensuring that the normalcy currently obtaining is maintained and that the impasse is resolved amicably.

Some in the international community have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, while others are encouraging major stakeholders to continue on the path of peace, which is very encouraging. AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Wednesday that they were closely monitoring developments, adding: “I urge all stakeholders to address the current situation in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the relevant instruments of the African Union, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.”

China, one of Zimbabwe’s major allies, said through its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, that they were also closely following developments in Zimbabwe. According to Xinhua news agency, Geng said “maintaining peace, stability and development in Zimbabwe conforms to the fundamental interests of Zimbabwe and its neighbouring regions, and is also the common aspiration of the international community”.

We also noted sentiments attributed to the United Nations Secretary-General, Britain, the European Union and the United States of America and wish to say that Zimbabwe’s situation is not unique in Africa.

In fact, the ZDF has a long history of peacekeeping in Africa and beyond. And, they have performed those duties with distinction. We do not see them suddenly changing tact, when their major objective was to rescue the country’s revered revolution from being hijacked. They therefore deserve to be commended for the manner they have handled their intervention. It is therefore uncalled for some of our global partners to make statements that are not in sync with what obtains on the ground.

Some of the remarks attributed to certain members of the international community calling for calm etc are uncalled for. There is calm. The coming days call for people who put on their thinking caps, people also guided by wisdom, for when all is said and done, the responsibility falls on Zimbabweans to resolve their differences in an amicable way, and so far we have demonstrated just that.
Zanu-PF Needs Candid Inter-generational Talk
November 17, 2017
Lovemore Ranga Mataire  Senior Writer
Zimbabwe Herald

At any critical juncture of a country’s trajectory, the truth is always the first casualty. Out of uncertainty and genuine fear, many journalists fail to objectively assess the impact of certain developments on ordinary people especially if such issues involve the military. The dream that the information age would provide greater space for critical discourse is rendered a mirage as journalists stampede to be the first to get to know the first turn of events, but remain lethargic in giving a balanced analysis based on the country’s national interests.

Yet the role of the Fourth Estate is not just to inform, educate and entertain, but also to put everything in perspective and proffer alternative realities of existence. Reporting on what has happened or is happening is the basic task of the Press, but there is also a need for a more incisive, impartial analysis of what is at stake.

The dramatic intervention of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces led by General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga into the political spectrum must be viewed and interpreted in the context of serious disharmonious developments in the governing party which, if they had been allowed to fester, had the effect of degenerating into open conflict.

What is conveniently ignored by most journalists and pseudo-political analysts is the incontestable fact that the bulk of the current top leadership in the defence forces are products of the country’s protracted liberation struggle. In essence, before they were professional soldiers or even trained guerilla fighters, they were first and foremost political players, schooled and oriented by ZANU and ZAPU — the two liberation movements that fought in the country’s war of independence.

It is this historical fact that makes Zimbabwe a uniquely structured country inasfar as its defence forces are concerned. When General Chiwenga stated that the army is a major stockholder in respect to the gains of the liberation, he is not bluffing. What he simply means is that the governing party is the custodian of the revolutionary ethos and values that sustained and liberated Zimbabwe from colonial oppression. It logically follows that any threat to those values and ethos is a direct threat to what defines Zimbabwe as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.

It is for that reason that on Monday, November 13, 2017, in a Press briefing, General Chiwenga began by quoting the country’s Constitution which speaks of: “Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggles and honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country.”

What the military and all those who participated in the liberation war found repugnant was the attempt by some within the revolutionary party to denigrate, ostracise, isolate and marginalise the same liberation struggle that resulted in the loss of more than 50 000 lives. How on earth can someone in his sane mind embark on a crusade to denigrate the liberation struggle when its main architects are still alive and some still serving in the defence forces? This attempt to besmirch the struggle is viewed by many who participated in it as an attempt to rewrite the country’s historical trajectory and render the struggle as an irrelevant archival incident.

It is for that reason that General Chiwenga and his compatriots viewed such machinations as attempts to whitewash the history of the revolution that gave birth to present-day Zimbabwe. It is for that reason that General Chiwenga urged the party to stop purging party cadres with liberation backgrounds. So the intervention by the defence forces to halt the continuous haemorrhaging of the party was meant to protect the revolution’s legacy for the present and future generations.

At the heart of the disharmonious state of affairs in the revolutionary Zanu-PF party was the apparent widening disconnect between war veterans (those who participated in the war and nationalists) and the newer post-independence membership. Ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that war veterans are re-aligned into the party not just by providing the ideological grounding, but to become an integral part of the party like the youth and women’s leagues.

Of course, the demographic reality demands the party to acknowledge that the youths constitute the bulk of its general membership and as such must remodel itself to cater for their aspirations.

However, while it must be understood that the youth’s numerical advantage can never be a licence to denigrate those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the majority. More than any other time in its history, Zanu-PF is in dire need of an inter-generational conversation that seeks to establish a common ground that glues together the multifarious stakeholders.

Following General Chiwenga’s intervention, Zanu-PF needs to introspect on a number of issues. One of the issues needing serious introspection is the matter of orientation. The rigorous orientation that was the hallmark of its survival during the struggle seems to have slackened. Although military approaches of recruiting membership need re-engineering to suit post-war dynamics; its foundational ethos must at all times remain the guiding signposts for all.

New members must not only be familiar with the party’s constitution, but also have a full appreciation of its ideological thrust, a culture of absolute respect and allegiance to the hierarchical order. New members, particularly those aspiring for leadership positions at whatever level, need to have a deep understanding of ZANU-PF’s ideological principles before they can be cleared to contest in any election. The absence of a rigorous foundational induction or orientation strategy has over the years resulted in members failing to entrench themselves in the party’s belief system and, therefore, becoming easy instruments for manipulation and destabilisation.

ZANU-PF risks blighting its stupendous electoral record by accepting within its ranks people who are not only contemptuous of the party’s culture and hierarchical order, but also seek to introduce a new brand of politics alien to the tried and tested way of doing things. Other issues that need urgent address concern members, some in senior positions, whose main motivation in joining the revolutionary party are narrow and selfish ends as reflected in their venality. This brand of materialist politics being championed by some members is a departure from Zanu-PF’s tried and tested pro-majority and pro-poor policies.

The Commissariat Department must never allow politics of personality to get the better of politics of principle and ideology. Elections are won through focused mobilisation programmes that seek to sustainably win the hearts and minds of the people to your cause. The revival of the Chitepo Ideological College is one way of dealing with the disconnect that has occurred between the old and young membership.
Chipanga a Creature of Habit
November 17, 2017
Rodney Dangarembizi, Correspondent
Zimbabwe Herald

Yesterday, the leader of the Zanu-PF Youth League Kudzanai Chipanga issued an apology to the Defence Forces. Instead of owning up to his gross and grievous error in judgment he chose to implicate me and insinuate I was the author of the misconceived statement. I would like, from the outset, to categorically and unreservedly deny any involvement with the said statement and any association with the Press statement in any manner. This is not the first time Chipanga has issued abusive statements aimed at national leaders and this was not the first invective-fuelled Press statement he has issued and certainly not the last.

He is a man given to hysterical and imposing dreams not centred on reality. As such, the Press statement he issued is consistent with his abrasive nature and he should not impute blameworthiness on innocent souls like me. I am a private individual and businessman who has no inclination or propensity to abuse or scorn others as that does not improve my business or associations with other people.

Accordingly, I regret the day I met Chipanga and entertained him, not knowing that he was merely looking for a scapegoat whom he would blackmail and pin his acts upon. A demonstration of my detachment from these issues is that Mr Chipanga came to my house in the company of Jonathan Moyo and Minister Kasukuwere, urging me to attack Vice President Mnangagwa in retribution for an article that had appeared in the Independent newspaper.

In the article I was alleged to have promised General Trust Mugoba a role as General in return for him joining the G40. A ready-made statement was handed to me and I was supposed to sign it. I refused to sign it or associate myself with G40 and its destructive politics.

The person who writes such statements is well known in Zimbabwe’s political circles and was the one agitating for me to sign the document. That person’s hand is evident in the infamous Press statement and the language, diction and style is familiar to most Zimbabwean readers.

He is the one who wrote the statement not me. I am reliably informed that there is a WhatsApp screenshot circulating, where Jonathan Moyo is ordering Tongai to ensure Chipanga reads the full statement. This explains why Chipanga was jittery. No wonder why everyone is happy with the stance taken by the military to place these culprits behind bars.

In any case, Zanu-PF is a party of protocol and works with its structures that drive its organs. I am not a member of its structures and there is no way I could have given him this statement as he takes orders from his superiors in the party he, does not want to name and use me as a scapegoat.

My investigations reveal the following;

(i) Kudzi Chipanga scheduled the Press conference a night before. What document did he propose to read out at the conference?

(ii) He alleges he received the document from me at 0800hrs, assuming this is true, which assumption is not an admission but hypothesis, he only read it out at 1000hrs. What was he doing with the document for those two hours? Was he editing it or seeking approval for it?

(iii) He does not say he was coerced or induced to read the statement, showing he did it on his own

(iv) It is not a defence for an adult man to say he was influenced to commit crimes

(v) He ends his statement by banging the table and shouting “Pasi neLacoste!”, showing he owned the statement and was running the show.

(vi) All this shows that Chipanga’s story is manifestly defective and demonstrably false.

I now turn to the Generals of the (Zimbabwe) Defence Forces. As an individual, I applaud the men in uniform for arresting a deteriorating political, social and economic situation in the country. You acted at the opportune time and you will go down in history for preserving the fabric of our nation and saving a revolution which had begun to eat its own children. Given the few interactions I have had with some of the armed forces, I know that there are brilliant business minds in the military, who will take the country to a new level. We have all the trust in you.

Long live the revolution!

My appeal to you as a young businessman is to have leniency and the grace to continue dealing with the situation peacefully and with wisdom and without recriminations on those who did certain actions out of ignorance. Most of the people are young and they have been exposed to only one centre of power their whole life . . . It is fear, immaturity and the folly of youth tempered with a fear of the unknown that motivated certain rash actions and decisions.

My heart and soul will support you to the end!

As for people like Chipanga, my advice is never let your mouth write a cheque your body can’t cash!
Chipanga Under Bus, Dangarembizi Sings
November 17, 2017
Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth Cde Kudzi Chipanga
Herald Reporter—

RODNEY Dangarembizi, the man Zanu-PF Youth Affairs Secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga accused of originating the statement that denigrated Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga and the ZDF hierarchy, yesterday categorically denied involvement in the invective-filled statement as he dismissed the embattled youth leader as a creature of habit given to hysterical and abusive rants.

Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo as the author of the statement. Cde Chipanga on Wednesday apologised profusely to Gen Chiwenga and the ZDF for his derogatory remarks on Tuesday. He said the statement he read was given to him by Mr Dangarembizi. Mr Dangarembizi yesterday said Cde Chipanga should own up to his mistakes without trying to soil innocent people.

“The leader of the Zanu-PF Youth League Kudzanai Chipanga issued an apology to the Defence Forces. Instead of owning up to his gross and grievous error in judgment he chose to implicate me and insinuate I was the author of the misconceived statement. I would like from the outset to categorically and unreservedly deny any involvement with the said statement and any association with the press statement in any manner,’’ Mr Dangarembizi said.

‘‘This is not the first time Chipanga has issued abusive statements aimed at national leaders and this was not the first invective fuelled press statement he has issued and certainly not the last. He is a man given to hysterical and imposing dreams not centred on reality. As such, the press statement he issued is consistent with his abrasive nature and he should not impute blameworthiness on innocent souls like me.”

Mr Dangarembizi then spilled the beans. “A demonstration of my detachment from these issues is that Mr Chipanga came to my house in the company of Jonathan Moyo and Minister Kasukuwere urging me to attack Vice President Mnangagwa in retribution for an article that had appeared in the Independent newspaper. In the article I was alleged to have promised General Trust Mugoba a role as General in return for him joining the G40.

‘‘A ready-made statement was handed to me and I was supposed to sign it. I refused to sign it or associate myself with G4O and its destructive politics. The person who writes such statements is well known in Zimbabwe political circles and was the one agitating for me to sign the document.”

“That person’s hand is evident in the infamous press statement and the language, diction and style is familiar to most Zimbabwean readers. He is the one who wrote the statement not me,’’ Mr Dangarembizi said in apparent reference to Prof Moyo.

‘‘I am reliably informed that there is a WhatsApp screenshot circulating where Jonathan Moyo is ordering Tongai (Kasukuwere) to ensure Chipanga reads the full statement. This explains why Chipanga was jittery. No wonder why everyone is happy with the stance by the millitary to place these culprits behind bars,” he added.
Water Crisis Hits Chiredzi
November 17, 2017
Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Zimbabwe Herald

Chiredzi town has been hit by a crippling water shortage after water conveyancing pipes at the treatment plant burst. The shortages have resulted in the emergence of a black market. It now costs $1 to buy five buckets of water in some areas. Most suburbs have been without running water since Monday and council attributed the problem to burst pipes.

Town engineer Mr Wesly Kauma yesterday said all the town’s storage tanks had been emptied to allow the damaged pipes to be repaired.

“We have been busy trying to reconnect the water conveyancing pipes for the greater part of this week and we ended up draining all the water from the storage tanks because it was impossible to fix the pipes with water inside the tanks,” he said.

“Once the burst pipes have been repaired we expect the water supply situation to improve, the problem is at the pipes that draw water from the treatment plant.’’ Mr Kauma said Chiredzi was perennially blighted by water shortages caused by leakages, which required the town to overhaul the water conveyancing systems to curb loses.

“Our team is working flat out to address this problem. We really understand how critical water is to the residents and that is why we are frantically trying to fix the fault,” he said. Chiredzi Residents and Rate Payers Association chairperson Mr Jonathan Muusha rapped council for failing to update residents on the water situation.

He said council should have dispatched water bowsers to the town’s suburbs to mitigate the crisis. “Residents are unhappy because only a few suburbs are getting water supplies.

“The dire water situation is forcing desperate residents to buy water on the black market being sold by those from the few areas that have running taps. Desperate residents are buying five buckets of water for a dollar,” said Mr Muusha.

Residents fear that if the water woes persist, Chiredzi might be hit by an outbreak of diseases such as typhoid and cholera. Chiredzi has since signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to upgrade the city’s water conveyancing system and meet rising demand caused by a population boom.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Africa Buys Into Nuclear Dream
November 17, 2017
Opinion & Analysis
Lynley Donnelly  Correspondent

While questions swirl around the progress of South Africa’s nuclear plans, Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom is losing no time in selling the atomic dream to other African countries. Last week the company signed project-development agreements with the Nigerian government for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant and research centre housing a multi-purpose research reactor.

Nigeria has extensive oil and gas reserves, but suffers from chronic electricity shortages. Media reports suggest the deal could cost about $20 billion, but Rosatom said the costs have yet to be determined. The agreements were signed in order to adopt the appropriate approach and establish the project’s implementation details, a Rosatum official said.

“Cost estimations and project specifications will be evaluated in accordance to this agreement,” the official said. In Egypt, plans for the construction of a nuclear plant at El Dabaa are at an advanced stage. The government has reportedly signed a $25 billion loan with Rosatom, which has yet to begin construction. South Africa’s nuclear ambitions have raised questions about affordability and the need for added nuclear power, given poor economic growth and low electricity demand. It remains to be seen whether there are similar misgivings in Nigeria’s case. The country’s fiscal balances are very susceptible to oil price and production shocks so affordability might be a major concern, according to Cobus de Hart, Nigerian analyst at NKC African Economics.

On Wednesday, credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Nigeria’s sovereign credit rating further. It was already junk, or sub-investment grade, and its rating was cut from B1 to B2, in part because of the government’s unsuccessful attempts to address the structural weaknesses that leave it exposed to oil-price shocks. Whether Nigeria could afford a nuclear deal would ultimately depend on the terms of the agreement and other factors such as repayment time frames, De Hart said. Nigeria’s current power plants are operating below capacity, maintenance is poor and there are frequent disruptions to gas flow, he said, and a proposed nuclear deal might signal that the country wants to diversify its energy mix. Nigerian authorities are on a privatisation drive and are trying to sell 10 natural gas-fired power plants, he said.

“However, Abuja has struggled to sell these plants due to chronic natural gas shortages, ascribed to sabotage attacks to pipelines and the fact that producers often prefer to export their natural gas rather than supplying it to domestic power plants as the former option is often more profitable.” The Nigerian Atomic Energy Agency did not respond to a request for comment. But environmentalists are asking why Nigeria is considering nuclear power.

“Nuclear energy always comes with the risk of something going horribly wrong, (and) human error combined with very complicated technology can lead to disasters on a massive scale,” said Penny-Jane Cooke, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa. Nigeria has huge renewable energy resources available and renewable energy is currently the cheapest and most technically feasible technology available. In South Africa, the government’s nuclear plans face continued opposition, but the newly appointed Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo, remains committed to plans to expand nuclear power.

City Press reported that he is pushing his department to finalise a revised integrated resource plan (IRP) amid fears they may attempt to artificially boost the case for nuclear procurement. But treasury officials and the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, have stated that South Africa cannot afford nuclear power. Nomvula Khalo, media liaison for the Ministry of Energy, said it is “not aware of any attempt to manipulate the document when the right to determine policy interventions is being exercised”. The need to complete the IRP is driven by the need for policy certainty, which is necessary to support investor confidence, she said. Both Gigaba and Mahlobo have stressed the issues of pace and affordability, she said. Michael Sachs, the deputy-director general of the budget office, told Parliament’s standing committee on finance last week that “not only can the budget not afford it, but the country cannot afford it.”

Work done in 2015 by the treasury indicated that the proposed 9,6 gigawatt nuclear programme would be imprudent until the national debt had stabilised. The treasury found it “would have significant implications for national income, the total debt burden the balance of payments for taxpayers and electricity consumers who will bear the full cost of the programme”.

— M&G.
How Africa Can Negotiate an Effective Continental FTA Pact
November 17, 2017

Only 15 percent of the goods traded in Africa are produced locally, leading to an annual food import bill of over US$35 billion

Calestous Juma Correspondent

African countries are forging ahead to complete negotiations for a continental free trade area between 55 countries by early next year. The idea, adopted by the African Union in 2012, is to create a single market which includes the free movement of goods, services and people. The integrated African market covers 1,2 billion people and a combined GDP of over USD$3,5 trillion. Large markets are job-creating as they support more trade in goods, services and assets. It is expected that a well designed agreement would help Africa boost industrial development, promote economic transformation and create new wealth. The benefits won’t be automatic but will require continuous national, regional and continental efforts.

Large regional markets are also essential for industrialisation. This is because they attract investment into firms that can diversify their product lines and stimulate the creation of related industries. This includes the supply of spare parts, distribution of goods and provision of advisory services. Some of these may start as their supplies but they may also grow into independent enterprises. Viewed against the odds of success in getting 55 countries to foster meaningful regional integration, Africa has made commendable progress in crafting its own creative approach. But reports from recent talks and a slowdown of regional integration efforts suggest a disturbing trend.

Some government delegates are likely to seek to include protection for existing products and industries. This would be detrimental to the process if these lists ended up shaping the final agreement given the 2018 signing deadline. Such a retreat would run counter to recent advances in Africa’s trade integration efforts. In 2015, for example, three regional trading blocs, covering 650 million people in 26 countries, signed the landmark Tripartite Free Trade Area with a combined GDP of over USD$1,5 trillion.

Agreement challenges

The trade agreement nevertheless needs to be carefully thought out, particularly given that Africa is starting with a low intra-regional trade of 15 percent compared to 19 percent in Latin America, 51 percent in Asia and 72 percent for Europe. There is the risk that rushed negotiations could result in an agreement with too many exceptions to cover protected industries. This could include using non-tariff barriers – like safety measures – to protect local industries. A range of African countries use non-tariff barriers to curb imports of goods such as maize, milk, sugar, food oil products, and steel and iron.

Sensitive and excluded products – like sugar and dairy products – might in some cases cover up to 600 tariff lines (product codes used at the national level). But these exceptions should be used sparingly to enable domestic industries to access the larger regional and global markets needed for their growth. In addition, the trade agreement needs to address the effects it may have on existing industries, environment, peace and security. It also needs to provide the policy space needed for governments to promote social policies such as job creation that could provide new performance standard for industries. Such policies should also balance between social goals and the need to be competitive on the global market.

Concerns over the expansion of foreign imports, rather than regional trade integration, also needs to be carefully assessed to avoid the free trade area becoming a conduit for imports. This could undermine Africa’s goals to increase its industrial and trade capacity. At present, nearly 85 percent of the goods traded in Africa come from outside the continent. Only 15 percent of the goods traded in Africa are produced locally, leading to an annual food import bill of over US$35 billion.

But the focus of the negotiations should not be the fear of imports. Rather the focus should be on scaling up export production in existing niche markets through the creation of new industries. Examples of growing industries include the supply of semi-processed processed foods that are turned into final products by importers. African firms such as the Agro Chemical and Food Company in Kenya are also producing speciality chemicals which are used in a variety of medical and manufacturing in- dustries.

Moving away from protectionism

The alternative to protection is therefore market growth. This involves having deeper knowledge of markets through the collection of key information market, eliminating trade barriers, reducing subsidies and upgrading the quality of infrastructure. It also involves building capacity to manage the rules of origin of products to avoid illegal dumping of goods, customs and trade procedures and reporting and resolution of trade barriers.

The negotiations need to shift their focus from protectionism to greater regional trade integration. One way to do this is to set up a high-level expert committee or panel – drawn from government, private sector, academia and civil society – to include other relevant perspectives on issues such as infrastructure, technological capacity, and industrial growth. This would help to broaden discussions to reflect Africa’s current needs view of trade as an instrument for economic transformation.

This committee would be guided by evidence-based research as well as by Africa’s own regional trade experiences. There are many examples that show how quickly Africa is learning about the risks of using bans and exemptions to restrict regional trade. For example, Zambia’s positive decision to reverse a ban on fruit and vegetable imports. The committee would also need to draw on lessons from other regions of the world. As I set out in “Emergent Africa: Evolution of Regional Integration”, Africa has a lot to learn from regional trade integration, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations .

The bloc’s approach to integration transcends the traditional focus on the free movement of goods. It includes measures such as the creation of industrial parks to foster industrial development. The region also uses technology-based agreements covering key fields such as information and telecommunications technologies. This is particularly important because of the role of engineering and technology in all aspects of trade covering product design, production and distribution through international logistics chains.

The future is open

The challenges facing African trade negotiators are not easy. Africa’s regional integration efforts are the most complex ever undertaken. They are not just about emulating trading rules used in other regions of the world. They are about remaking the continent to create new networked interactions between sovereign states in a flexible way. This makes for a more open future with expanding possibilities to use regional trade integration to spread pros- perity.

Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard University
African Governments Urged to Invest in Land
November 16, 2017
 Abdalla Hamdok - pic from  Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Ruth Butaumocho in Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

AFRICAN governments should seize the opportunity to invest in its land, through strategies and interventions that focuses on women and youth.

Speaking at the official opening of the land policy in Africa conference here on Tuesday, the United Nations Economic for Commission for Africa, (Uneca), deputy executive secretary Mr Abdalla Hamdok said African nations should use land as a major resource to enhance food production, peace and security, while ensuring environmental protection.

“Equitable access and land utilisation and its resources is vital for sustainable economic growth, increased agricultural productivity and the development of a robust agribusiness on the continent.

“Land forms the basis for agriculture, forestry, mining, industry, tourism and urban development. But to maximise on the benefits of land and its resources, inclusion of land users in decision making, on how land is governed and managed is crucial, ” he said adding that access to land by the women and youth would transform into economic empowerment.

A youth and women representative from Kenya, Ms Rachel Mwakali said women and youth on the continent needed to secure lands rights in their respective countries to ensure that they contribute to economic growth.

She however noted with concern that women and youth were failing to access land because of inheritance and customary practices, which regarded them as minors with no direct access to claim land.

The majority of women in Africa were the most affected, and often failed to acquire land in the event of the death of their spouses, she said.

“Why would you put extra effort to develop land that is not and that you won’t be able to pass on to your children? More than 70 percent of African population is made up of the youth, but sadly only a negligible percent own land,”she said.

Running under the theme ”The Africa we want;Achieving socioeconomic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by the youth”, the conference comes at a time when the African Union declared 2017 as African’s year of youth as agents of socio-economic transformation.

Africa is the most youthful continent with 65 percent of the population said to be between the ages of 15 to 35 years.

During the conference, which ends tomorrow (Friday) a delegation from Zimbabwe are expected to present a paper on Guarded urban boundaries:Implications for peri urban land policy in Zimbabwe.
FAO Strengthens Southern African Countries to Fight Crop Pest Outbreak
November 15, 2017

LUSAKA. — The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday that it has managed to build capacity in southern Africa and elsewhere to combat possible armyworm outbreaks in the fall.

The crop-munching pests broke out in the region during the 2016-2017 farming season, destroying large swathes of planted crops. Reports in Zambia have indicated a possible outbreak in the 2017 farming season.

George Okech, the FAO representative in Zambia, said capacity-building programs, especially on early warning systems, have been conducted to prepare the countries against the pests.

“We are currently collaborating with the (Zambian) Ministry of Agriculture and agriculture research institutions in order to build capacity in them. We have … provided expert and technical programs … to detect and prevent the pests,” Okech told Xinhua. Pheromone traps and lures have been placed in strategic areas to trap the moth. Other innovative technologies such as drones and remote sensing were being considered, he said. According to Okech, FAO has distributed 2,600 traps to the countries. 

– Xinhua
SADC Envoys in Zimbabwe for Mediation Talks Between President Mugabe and Military at State House in Harare
President says he must serve out his term until 2018

16 NOVEMBER 2017 - 07:56
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The South African delegation to Zimbabwe is meeting with the country’s defence force and President Robert Mugabe, Communications Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane told reporters in Parliament on Thursday.

The government has denied reports that the envoys - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo - were turned away.

President Jacob Zuma has said he has spoken to Mugabe, who was confined to his home but was “fine”.

She was briefing reporters on the outcome of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Kubayi-Ngubane said: “Cabinet supports the intervention by President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as chair of Sadc in response to the Zimbabwean situation.”

She said Zuma would brief Angolan President João Lourenço, who is the current chair of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) organ for politics, defence and security.

Mapisa-Nqakula and Bongo arrived in Harare on Wednesday evening. They left the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria at 6pm and landed shortly after 7.30pm.

Zuma dispatched them in his capacity as Sadc chairman.

The pair have been tasked with holding talks with the besieged 93-year-old leader and Zimbabwean army generals‚ who have so far denied their military takeover on Wednesday morning was a coup.

Zimbabwe’s military seized power on Wednesday‚ saying it was holding Mugabe and his family safe while targeting "criminals" around him.

A Sadc statement said Zuma had called for a meeting of the Sadc Organ Troika and the chairman of the Sadc Council of Ministers to discuss the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe.

The meeting is expected to be held in Gaborone‚ Botswana‚ on Thursday.

"The meeting will be attended by the ministers responsible for foreign or external affairs from the Sadc Organ Troika member states‚ namely‚ Angola‚ Tanzania and Zambia‚ plus the Sadc Council chairperson‚ who is the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation for South Africa (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane)‚" Sadc said.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said the envoys were on a fact-finding mission and would not mediate in talks between the governing party Zanu (PF) and the ZDF.

Zuma has called for "calm and restraint" and for the ZDF to ensure "peace and stability are not undermined".

Meanwhile‚ African Union (AU) Commission chairman Moussa Faki has thrown his weight behind Zuma on the Zimbabwean crisis.

In a statement‚ Faki expressed the commitment of the AU to "working closely with Sadc and the leaders of the region‚ and to support their efforts".

"In this regard‚ the AU associates itself with the statement made by President Jacob Zuma of SA on behalf of Sadc‚" he said.

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and balking at mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup, sources said on Thursday.

A political source who spoke to senior allies holed up with Mugabe and his wife, Grace, in his lavish “Blue House” Harare compound said Mugabe had no plans to resign voluntarily ahead of elections scheduled for next year.

“It’s a sort of stand-off, a stalemate,” the source said. “They are insisting the president must finish his term.”