Sunday, July 31, 2016

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on RT Worldwide Satellite Television News Network: Syria Says Latest US-led Coalition Strikes Killed 45 Civilians Near Manbij
29 Jul, 2016 18:44

To watch this news segment featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:

Syria has appealed to the UN claiming that 45 civilians were killed and 50 injured in US-led coalition airstrikes outside the city of Manbij near Aleppo on Thursday.

“In two letters addressed to head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, the [foreign] ministry called for stopping attacks and atrocities committed against civilians, calling for bringing the perpetrators to justice,” stated the Syrian state news agency SANA.

“The letters went on to say that any counterterrorism efforts in Syria are doomed unless done in cooperation with the Syrian government in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.”

On Thursday night, US Central Command (CENTCOM) acknowledged that the airstrikes “may have resulted in civilian casualties,” but did not name a figure, pending a likely future investigation.

CENTCOM said the aerial bombardment had been aimed at driving out ISIS forces concentrated in Manjib, a strategic waypoint on the road to the Islamists’ “capital city” of Raqqa.

Commenting on the CENTCOM statement, White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said on Friday that “they’ll see if additional action is necessary,” without elaborating.

He added that “this administration, the United States government takes all measures during the targeting process to avoid or minimalizing civilian casualties.”

SANA said that a “massacre” occurred in the village of al-Ghandoura and “on the heels of this appalling crime, ISIS brutally murdered 24 civilians from the locals of al-Bweir village,” which is also located near Manjib.

“The ministry cited striking similarities between the massacres committed by the US-led Coalition and the terrorist organizations in an attempt to exacerbate the situation across Syria following the Syrian army’s recent wins in Aleppo city,” continued the letter to the UN quoted by the agency.

“Concluding the letters, the ministry vowed continued efforts to fight terrorism in parallel with political endeavors to reach a solution for the crisis through an intra-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference, urging the UN Security Council to enforce its anti-terrorism resolutions against the countries backing terrorism.”

The latest incident comes two days after the US opened an investigation into the deaths of at least 73 civilians in the same area during another Coalition airstrike on July 19.

Detroit-based journalist Abayomi Azikiwe, an editor at Pan-African News Wire, told RT that a lack of cooperation between the US government and that of President Bashar Assad, whose exit Washington considers “a prerequisite” for peace, may be the main reason American airstrikes are claiming civilian lives en masse.

“As long as they continue to not work with the Syrian government we are going to continue to see more of these attacks resulting in civilian casualties,” Azikiwe said, pointing out that Syria “never invited the United States to bomb any of its territory.”

Azikiwe noted that, while Washington admits it inflicts casualties and pledges to look into cases of civilian deaths, the US military is reluctant to prosecute its own officers and commanders, who bear responsibility for ordering strikes.

“These incidents occur on a regular bases and nothing is ever done about it,” the journalist said, while stressing it is “innocent people who are being killed, injured, and also being displaced, adding to the almost 11 million Syrians and foreigners who live in Syria and who have been displaced for the last 5 years as a result of this war.”

As long as the US pursues its current strategy in Syria, the conflict is unlikely to be resolved any time soon, Azikiwe acknowledged, saying that US officials “have no endgame in this entire process.”

Moreover, calls for more aggressive action to be taken against America’s so-called “enemies”– a term that Azikiwe says has not even been clearly defined – can be heard at major political events, such as the recently convened Democratic Presidential Convention.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Dunford to Visit Turkey Following Coup Attempt
July 29, 2016

The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford is set to visit Turkey on July 31 following the failed coup attempt in the country, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik said Friday.

Çelik said that they would discuss U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gülen's extradition.

About Gülen, Çelik said: "Gülen is even more dangerous than Osama bin Laden.

"Gülen has tried to annihilate the secular government of Turkey and replace it with deviant religious thought. They targeted Turkey's democratic state to install a military dictatorship instead."

Dunford has made several phone calls with Turkey's Chief of General Staff, Hulusi Akar following the coup.

Turkish officials as well as citizens claim the U.S. was not standing firmly against the failed military coup as they accuse it of harboring the plot's alleged mastermind.

Turkey contributes soldiers to U.S.-led efforts in Afghanistan, including training missions. The U.S. and Turkey have a shared airbase in İncirlik, southern Turkey, where they launch missions against Daesh.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed an American military official who expressed concern that some of the coup leaders were jailed in Turkey.

US Gen. Joseph Votel said Thursday "We've certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders, military leaders in particular. And so I'm concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue to move forward," Votel said at the Aspen Security Forum.

"It's not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place," Erdoğan said.

Çelik also described the U.S. Central Command chief's recent remarks about the purge of Turkish military officers as "totally wrong" and "incompatible" with strategic, military and regional realities.

He made the remarks on private NTV channel Friday, saying Votel should have condemned the coup attempt, especially since Turkey was the U.S.'s ally.

"Both countries are members of NATO. Inside the Turkish army under NATO body, there has been a riot. A high ranked commander in NATO army strictly should react against the rebellion in the neighboring army," he said.

"If it is not well-meant, it is totally wrong. It almost contains an implication favoring the coup attempt. It is very shortsighted, which cannot be made at all," he added. "The U.S. Defense Ministry should address this.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also criticized the comments, saying the jailed officers are "not the only ones with the capacity to fight" Daesh. Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said the purge of those suspected of being involved in the coup is rendering the Turkish army more efficient.

"When we weed out these bad apples... then our army is more trustworthy, more dynamic, and more effective," Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey, Once the Great Hope of the Middle East, Is Left Weak and Unstable
The destabilisation of Turkey is good news for Isis as Turkish security organisations devote their efforts to hunting down Gulenists

Patrick Cockburn @indyworld
Friday 29 July

Coup attempt and purge are tearing Turkey apart. The Turkish armed forces, for long the backbone of the state, are in a state of turmoil. Some 40 per cent of its generals and admirals have been detained or dismissed, including senior army commanders.

They are suspected of launching the abortive military takeover on 15-16 July, which left at least 246 people dead, saw parliament and various security headquarters bombed and a near successful bid to kill or capture President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In response, Erdogan and his government are carrying out a purge of everybody from soldiers to teachers connected in any way to the movement of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen accused of organising the coup attempt.

Among media outlets closed in the past few days are 45 newspapers, 16 TV channels – including a children’s channel – and 23 radio stations. People fearful of being implicated in the plot have been hurriedly disposing of Gulenist books and papers by burning them, throwing it into rivers or stuffing them into rubbish bins.

Five years ago, Turkey looked like the most stable and successful country in the Middle East – an example that its neighbours might like to follow. But, instead of Iraq and Syria becoming more like Turkey, it has become more like them in terms of political, ethnic and sectarian division.

Erdogan’s personal authority is being enhanced by his bravery and vigour in defeating the coup attempt and by the removal of remaining obstacles to his rule. But the failed putsch was also a sign that Turkey – a nation of 80 million people with an army 600,000-strong – is becoming weaker and more unstable.

Its leaders will be absorbed in the immediate future in conducting an internal purge and deciding who is loyal and who is not. While this is going on, the country faces pressures on many fronts, notably the war with Kurdish guerrillas in the south east, terror attacks by the Islamic State and diplomatic isolation stemming from disastrous Turkish involvement in the war in Syria.

The destabilisation of Turkey is good news for Isis because Turkish security organisations, never very assiduous in pursuing salafi-jihadi rebels, will be devoting most of their efforts to hunting down Gulenists. Both Isis and other al-Qaeda-type movements like al-Nusra Front will benefit from the anti-American atmosphere in Turkey, where most believe that the US supported the coup attempt.

The Turkish armed forces used to be seen as a guarantee of Turkey’s stability, inside and outside the country. But the failed coup saw it break apart in a manner that will be very difficult to reverse. No less than 149 out of a total of 358 generals and admirals have been detained or dishonourably discharged. Those arrested include the army commander who was fighting the Kurdish insurrection in south east Turkey and the former chief of staff of the air force.

Many Turks have taken time to wake up to the seriousness of what has happened. But it is becoming clear that the attempted putsch was not just the work of a small clique of dissatisfied officers inside the armed forces; it was rather the product of a vast conspiracy to take over the Turkish state that was decades in the making and might well have succeeded.

At the height of the uprising, the plotters had captured the army chief of staff and the commanders of land, sea and air forces.They were able to do so through the connivance of guards, private secretaries and aides who occupied crucial posts.

The interior minister complains that he knew nothing about the coup bid until a very late stage because the intelligence arm reporting to him was manned by coup supporters. Erdogan gave a near comical account of how the first inkling he had that anything was amiss came between 4pm and 4.30pm on the day of the coup attempt from his brother-in-law, who had seen soldiers blocking off streets in Istanbul. He then spent four hours vainly trying to contact the head of the national intelligence agency, the chief of staff and the prime minister, none of whom could be found. Erdogan apparently escaped from his holiday hotel on the Aegean with 45 minutes to spare before the arrival of an elite squad of soldiers with orders to seize or kill him.

There is little question left that the followers of Fethullah Gulen were behind the coup attempt, despite his repeated denials. “I don’t have any doubt that the brain and backbone of the coup were the Gulenists,” says Kadri Gursel, usually a critic of the government. He adds that he is astonished by the degree to which the Gulenists were able to infiltrate and subvert the armed forces, judiciary and civil service. The closest analogy to recent events, he says, is in the famous 1950s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which aliens take over an American town without anybody noticing until it is almost too late.

The coup attempt was so unexpected and unprecedented that Turkey today is full of people asking questions about their future, and that of their country – questions to which there are no clear answers.

Will Erdogan exploit the opportunity offered by the failed coup to demonise all opponents and not just Gulenists as terrorists? Some 15,000 people have been detained of whom 10,000 are soldiers. The presidential guard has been stood down. One third of the judiciary has been sacked. So far most of the journalists and media outlets targeted have some connection with the Gulenists, but few believe that the clamp down on dissent will end there.

“Erdogan’s lust for power is too great for him show restraint in stifling opposition in general,” predicts one intellectual in Istanbul who, like many interviewed for this article, did not want his name published. When one small circulation satirical magazine published a cartoon mildly critical of the government last week, police went from shop-to-shop confiscating copies.

For the moment, Erdogan is benefiting from a degree of national solidarity against the conspirators. Many Turks (and not just his supporters) criticise foreign governments and media for making only a token condemnations of the coup attempt before demanding restraint in conduct of the purge. They point out that, if the coup had more successful, Turkey would have faced a full-blown military dictatorship or a civil war, or both. Erdogan said in an interview that foreign leaders who now counsel moderation would have danced for joy if he had been killed by the conspirators.

Sabiha Senyucel, the research director of the Public Policy and Democracy Studies think tank in Istanbul, says that the evening of the coup attempt “was the worst evening of my life”. She complains that foreign commentators did not take on board that “this was a battle between a democratically elected government and a military coup”.

She has co-authored a report citing biased foreign reporting hostile to Erdogan and only mildly critical of the coup-makers. She quotes a tweet from an MSNBC reporter at the height of the coup attempt, saying that “a US military source tells NBC News that Erdogan, refused landing rights in Istanbul, is reported to be seeking asylum in Germany”.

Turkey is deeply divided between those who adore and those who hate Erdogan. Senyucel says that “there are two parts of society that live side by side but have no contact with each other”.

But, even so, it is difficult to find anybody on the left or right who does not suspect that at some level the US was complicit in the coup attempt. Erdogan is probably convinced of this himself, despite US denials, and this will shape his foreign policy in future.

“The lip-service support Erdogan got from Western states during and immediately after the coup attempt shows his international isolation,” said one observer. The Turkish leader is off to see Vladimir Putin on 9 August, though it is doubtful if an alliance with Russia and Iran is really an alternative to Turkey’s long-standing membership of Nato.

Erdogan can claim that the alternative to him is a bloody-minded collection of brigadier generals who showed no restraint in killing civilians and bombing parliament. But the strength and reputation of the Turkish state is being damaged by revelations about the degree to which it has been systematically colonised since the 1980s by members of a secret society.

Gulenist candidates for jobs in the Foreign Ministry were supplied with the answers to questions before they took exams, regardless of their abilities. The diplomatic service – once highly regarded internationally – received an influx of monoglot Turkish-speaking diplomats, according to the Foreign Minister. “The state is collapsing,” says one commentator – but adds that much will depend on what Erdogan will do next.

In the past he has shown a pragmatic as well as a Messianic strain, accompanied by an unceasing appetite for political combat and more power. His meeting last week with other party leaders, with the notable exception of the Kurds, may be a sign that he will be forced to ally himself with the secularists. He will need to replace the ousted Gulenist officers in the armed forces and many of these will secularist victims of past purges by the Gulenists.

Turkey is paying a heavy price for Erdogan’s past alliances and misalliances. Many chickens are coming home to roost.

The Gulenists were able to penetrate the armed forces and state institution so easily because between 2002 and 2013 they were closely allied him and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in opposition to the secularists. Isis has been able to set up a network of cells in Turkey because, until recently, the Turkish security forces turned a blind eye to salafi-jihadis using Turkey as a rear base for the war in Syria. Erdogan arguably resumed confrontation and war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as an electoral ploy to garner nationalist support after his failure to win the general election on 7 June last year.

Erdogan thrives on crisis and confrontation, of which the failed coup is the latest example. But a state of permanent crisis is weakening and destabilising Turkey at a moment when the rest of the region is gripped by war.
Turkey to Shut Military Academies As It Targets Armed Forces For ‘Cleansing’
Western allies rattled by scale of crackdown on more than 60,000 people after failed coup in Turkey

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan he will shut the country’s military academies. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Saturday 30 July 2016 21.18 EDT

Turkey will shut its military academies and put the armed forces under the command of the defence minister, Fikri Isik, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday in a move designed to bring the military under tighter government control after a failed coup.

Isik told broadcaster NTV the shake-up in the military was not yet over, adding that military academies would now be a target of “cleansing”.

The changes, some of which Erdogan said would likely be announced in the government’s official gazette by Sunday, come after more than 1,700 military personnel were dishonourably discharged this week for their role in the abortive 15-16 July putsch.

Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death on the night of the coup, said the military, Nato’s second-biggest, needed “fresh blood“. The dishonourable discharges included around 40% of Turkey’s admirals and generals.

Turkey accuses US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the coup, in which a faction of the military commandeered tanks, helicopters and fighter jets and attempted to topple the government. Erdogan has said 237 people were killed and more than 2,100 wounded.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US for years, denies the charge and has condemned the coup. So far, more than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and schools have been either detained, removed or suspended over suspected links with Gulen.

Turkey’s western allies condemned the attempted putsch, but have been rattled by the scale of the resulting crackdown.

“Our armed forces will be much stronger with the latest decree we are preparing. Our force commanders will report to the defence minister,” Erdogan said in an interview on Saturday with A Haber, a private broadcaster.

“Military schools will be shut down ... We will establish a national defence university.“

He also said he wanted the national intelligence agency and the chief of general staff, the most senior military officer, to report directly to the presidency, moves that would require a constitutional change and therefore the backing of opposition parties.

Both the general staff and the intelligence agency now report to the prime minister’s office. Putting them under the president’s overall direction is in line with Erdogan’s push for a new constitution centred on a strong executive presidency.

Erdogan also said that a total of 10,137 people have been formally arrested following the coup.

Analysis Erdoğan v the Gülenists: from political allies to Turkey's bitter rivals
The Turkish president has followed the attempted coup with a crackdown on judges, soldiers and even teachers, saying supporters of the the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen are entrenched in positions of power.

The shake-up comes as Turkey’s military – long seen as the guardians of the secular republic – is already stretched by violence in the mainly Kurdish southeast, and Isis attacks on its border with Syria.

The army killed 35 Kurdish militants after they attempted to storm a base in the southeastern Hakkari province early on Saturday, military officials said.

Erdogan said he planned to thin the numbers of the gendarmerie security forces widely used in the fight against Kurdish militants in the southeast, although he said they would become more effective with better weaponry and he promised to continue the fight against insurgents.

Separately, the head of the pro-Kurdish opposition said the government’s chance to revive a wrecked peace process with Kurdish rebels has been missed as Erdogan taps nationalist sentiment to consolidate support.

State-run Anadolu Agency reported that 758 soldiers were released on the recommendation of prosecutors after giving testimony, and the move was agreed by a judge.

Another 231 soldiers remain in custody, it said.

Erdogan has said it was “shameful” that western countries showed more interest in the fate of the plotters than in standing with a fellow Nato member.
U.S. Base in Turkey on Lockdown Amid Rumors of 2nd Coup

Turkish police said that the base is back to normal after deploying 7,000 personnel to surround the base.

The Incirlik base, which hosts thousands of U.S. troops and serves as a NATO outpost to Iraq and Syria, was shut down Saturday night amid rumors of a second coup attempt.

The entrances and exits were closed, and 7,000 riot police, counter-terrorism police and armored vehicles joined soldiers at the base in Adana to secure the premises.

All forces, "like those that served on July 15," were deployed to deal with the "crisis" situation, announced Adana police.

They added two and a half hours later that everything was back to normal. The minister of EU affairs also tweeted that the lockdown was part of a "safety inspection" and that "there is no issue."

No one will be allowed to enter or exit the base until more is found out about the "danger," reported Hurriyet. The entrance to the Hilton and Sheraton hotels were also closed.

This is the second time the base is on high alert in two weeks.

The air space around Incirlik was closed during the attempted coup amid concerns a tanker aircraft commandeered from the base was used to refuel aircraft involved in the attempted overthrow, but was reopened in the days after the attempted coup so that U.S. warplanes could continue their operations in Syria and Iraq. The base's electric power was also shut off, allegedly by the coup plotters, and the base operated on generators until last Saturday.

The Turkish commander of the base was detained for complicity, a senior official said. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said some troops at the base were involved in the attempted coup. Rumors also circulated that some 1,500 U.S. military staff were held captive at the base.

On Thursday, thousands protested U.S. presence at the base and accusing the U.S. of playing a role in the coup. Some burned U.S. flags, reported Military Times, chanting against the large U.S. nuclear arsenal held at the base.

U.S. Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford arrived in Turkey hours later to visit the base.
The Agrarian Feminine Touch
Phides Mazhawidza

The Women Farmers Land and Agriculture Trust was established in 2006 to interrogate how the land reform programme was benefiting women and to facilitate efficient and effective land utilisation in order to produce enough food for the nation.

More than 200 members from the Women Farmers Land and Agriculture Trust have been short listed to benefit from the recently launched command farming scheme that seeks to ensure national food security.

In total, 2000 farmers are going to benefit from the programme.

Using the focused approach, identified farmers will be provided with inputs, irrigation and mechanised equipment to increase maize production.

Women contribute a lot towards national food security, hence their inclusion in the programme.

The Women Farmers Land and Agriculture Trust was established in 2006 to interrogate how the land reform programme was benefiting women and to facilitate efficient and effective land utilisation in order to produce enough food for the nation.

The target is to acquire markets and funding for the country’s agricultural products.

In 2006, around 1423 women had been allocated land; 18 percent of those beneficiaries were A1 farmers, 12 percent were A2 and the rest were communal farmers.

Later on, more women ventured into farming.

The Trust’s members, who are raring to go, have been very production on their land. Some of them have been growing small grains in drought stricken areas.

A dairy farming project is being rolled out for the farmers. So far, more than 10 dairy farmers from the Trust are contracted by Nestle.

While over the years, most of the Trust’s farmers have been practising horticulture, more are now venturing into tobacco farming as it has a ready market.

In order to solve the funding problem, some of the farmers are contracted to companies like Cairns,Windmill and SeedCo.

The Trust negotiates contracts for its farmers in order to get better deals. There is need for good partnerships so that farmers can produce commercially and benefit from it.

Government’s policy which looks at partnerships in agriculture is commendable.

Due to climate change, we have been experiencing severe changes for the last five seasons.

The good thing is that most farmers now know the dynamics of the summer cropping seasons such that they are now more prepared than ever.

All along we used to plant in October, we then shifted to November.

During the last season, those who planted in November did not do so well but those who managed to plant in mid-December did exceptionally well.

A study carried out by the Women Farmers Land and Agriculture Trust in 2012 established that only 12 percent of the women in farming were doing well.

Those with immovable property are at an advantage because they can borrow money from financial institutions while those who do not have any collateral are not reaching high productive levels due to financial constraints.

However, despite having inadequate resources, 78 percent of A1 female farmers are doing a good job at their farms.

Sadly, most A2 farmers are still living in urban areas and have less time to concentrate on their land. Most of them are professionals in various fields other than farming.

To become more productive, they rely more on hired qualified personnel.

These, of course, come expensive and must be paid timeously so that they can work harder.

In contrast, most A1 farmers have received training from Agritex officers and therefore can do many things on their own.

However, the farmers need to be educated more on agricultural loan facilities so that they do not abuse them.

Farming is an industry, one performs better after training.

Female farmers are urged to acquire proper management skills, they should keep all records and have knowledge of farm equipment.

One must know how a tractor works, what seed they require, their type of soil, how to sow the maize seeds, among other such crucial information.

The Trust’s members have already been linked to various agriculture extension officers across the country to equip them with farming knowledge.

Between 2012 and 2014, a number of workshops were held to develop the female farmers’ skills.

Zimbabwe can bring back its glory in farming. It is high time we show the world that we are capable of doing just that.

The command agriculture programme will surely ensure food security.

Phides Mazhawidza is president of Women Farmers Land and Agriculture Trust
Lindiwe Zulu Reflects on President Mugabe
Hon Lindiwe Zulu

South African President Jacob Zuma’s then international relations advisor and Sadc facilitation team member, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, was not widely known in Zimbabwe before 2013. That all changed in the heated run-up to the 2013 elections. Last week, Morris Mkwate, for the Zimpapers’ television project, spoke to Ms Zulu – now South Africa’s Minister of Small Business Development – in Johannesburg on a wide range of issues, among them her fallout and reconciliation with President Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s import controls, and other issues. We publish excerpts.

We must always understand that every country wants to create jobs (for its people). Even South Africa wants to do that.

But, as we’ve said before, there’s no point in South Africa living in a better space in a sea of poverty.

I remember former President Thabo Mbeki said that quite a while back, and even President Jacob Zuma says the same thing – that it’s important for us to grow our economies collectively.

For South Africa to grow its economy when, for instance, the Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe economies are not growing, is not helpful to us.

At the same time, there are Sadc protocols and agreements signed by these countries. South Africa and Zimbabwe need to engage each other long before a decision is made.

Continued discussion is required so that we don’t end up with what we saw at the Beitbridge (Border Post) – the burning and destruction.

The rest of Africa cannot afford that, neither can South Africa and Zimbabwe.

My view, therefore, is that let there be engagement at all times.

Let us not engage because there seems to be a crisis somewhere. Let us engage because consistently, continuously we want each other to grow. The growth of Zimbabwe and its manufacturing sector is of interest to South Africa.

And it should also be of interest to Zimbabwe where South Africa can produce things that can be sold in Zimbabwe.

I’m also conscious of the fact that many people, especially in the region, complain that there is unfairness as trade is tilted in South Africa’s favour.

Zimbabwe needs to also see its product trade flow to South Africa and the rest of the region. Ultimately, (there is need to) engage, engage, engage. I’m aware that a delegation went to Zimbabwe for a conversation, and very soon there will be a delegation that comes this side to have another conversation. We always have to work towards a win-win situation as regional economic growth depends on us all.

South Africa has always wanted engagement; what we need to do, on both sides, is not to sign agreements and put them aside and only wake up when the two principals are supposed to meet. These documents must be alive, living with us on a day-to-day basis.

Let’s follow up on the things that we agreed upon because what then happens is when you sign agreements and put them aside, you only wake up because there is a problem. This is what, for me, is a continental challenge.

I think we are good at putting these policies and agreements together, but lack a little bit on making sure there is sustainable action around those signed documents.

(South Africa has similar restrictions). You know why? I go back to what I said earlier. Every country wants to create jobs.

At the end of the day, it is about ensuring job-creation and economic development, and that we don’t end up with a whole lot of cheap products from different places that make it difficult for our own manufacturing sector to grow.

Zimbabwe needs its manufacturing sector to grow, too, so does every other country. We are inter-dependent.

South Africa cannot say we are closing our borders and forget about everything because it’s not going to happen.

Zimbabwe, too, cannot close its borders without engagement because of the linkages and the interdependency of our economies.

Even our politics are interdependent. What happens in Zimbabwe has an impact politically on what happens in South Africa and vice-versa.

Restrictions are necessary, in my view.

Look; we have Chinese imports flooding South Africa. Where are the jobs being created? We should ask ourselves that question.

The jobs are created somewhere else.

As a country, we cannot afford to be consumers only, neither can Zimbabwe – for the rest of its life – just consume without ensuring jobs are being created at home. At the level of our bilateral relations, what do we agree upon? What pushes us into agreements?

Of course, the South African economy is much bigger, and most people would complain that it is big and, therefore, South Africa must also enable others to grow. But we can’t also afford not to grow our economy because who are we going to be feeding? Our people are knocking on our door on a day-to-day basis.

They want jobs, housing, education, and those things cannot be served if our economy is not growing.

Fallout with President Mugabe

Well, it was quite a difficult situation because to be in any negotiation is not very easy. You have parties that are in disagreement with each other.

I think, though, that what was important for us as the team was the fact that we had a mandate, a specific mandate as to what we were expected to do.

We were supposed to help Zimbabwe come out of violence and conflict and to finally have elections. One of the things that we were supposed to assist Zimbabwe with was the lifting of sanctions.

All parties were agreed, but unfortunately, to date, those sanctions have not been lifted despite the fact that Zimbabwe has gone through the elections and everything. The sanctions have not been lifted and I think that on its own has a negative impact on the economy of Zimbabwe. Our team worked very well, doing what we were expected to do until the end. And, of course, in between the process of facilitating, there will be understandings and misunderstandings.

What was good was that we fulfilled the mandate that had been given to us by President Jacob Zuma and the country, and I think Zimbabwe has come out of that; to a very large extent.

There are still challenges here and there, and when the economy is not growing, when there seem to be political dynamics and challenges putting Zimbabwe in a bad spot, we get worried as South Africa.

But, of course, we know they have the capacity to deal with those challenges. We did what we needed to do, and we completed our mission.

I did indicate even then at the time that my understanding was that in any negotiation, especially at a political level, if there is a misunderstanding, there will be things that will be said that might be hurtful.

It was quite painful for me to hear that being said (by President Mugabe when he called me an idiotic street woman). It was quite painful, especially because I’m an African. I come from a culture of respect; where elderly people are respected.

I still hold that even today.

Elderly people need to be respected. Even when you don’t agree (with them), there is always a way of dealing with the disagreement. That’s why I never wanted it to be (like) I’m (being) pushed into a platform of tit-for-tat as I didn’t think that that was going to help the situation.

I also had to ask myself the question: Where is it that I might have fallen short and said something that might have ended up upsetting the President? Or some people misunderstood what I might have said and that ended up with him saying the things that he said?

Remember, we used to meet with the President, and not even once at those meetings had the President ever expressed displeasure with what we were doing.

So, I needed to take a step back and look at where I had gone wrong. I understood where things might have been misunderstood.

When you speak because you have a mandate and you point out the wrongs of both parties, there might be a misunderstanding. No. I never had a mandate of supporting anybody. Our mandate was bringing the parties together to have a conversation about taking the country to the next level. And that’s all we did.

What was very important was that at the end, it was President Robert Mugabe himself who did manage to speak to me.

I was with (President Zuma) and President Mugabe did indicate to me that in the heat of the moment and when people are campaigning, things like that happen.

For me, that was an experience; it was a pain when those things were being said.

Somewhere down the line and even then, I felt there would be a moment when the truth was going to be put on the table.

There was never an intention on my side to go outside of the mandate that was given to us. I wasn’t alone, by the way.

I was with other very respected members of the African National Congress (like) Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula, and these are people I also have respect for. They are older than me and I always look for guidance from them.

I knew that somewhere along the line the truth will be put on the table and this will be laid to rest. Now, I guarantee you that that has been laid to rest.

There were lessons learnt also from my side inasfar as managing certain situations. Also remember that we were in the midst of media and communication, and you got chased around, with some asking: “Why did you say this? Why are you not saying this?” So, I consider that as part of my growth and the lessons that I learnt.

I still stand firm on the fact that what I did in Zimbabwe, we all did it in accordance with the mandate that had been given to us and I never got out of that mandate.

(Smiling) Oh, President Mugabe gave me a good hug and said, “You are young, you are growing up; you will grow up in the politics. These are things that will happen from time to time.”

I was comfortable with that, especially also considering that the attitude of my own President was very positive.

When we were in an African Union meeting where I had to go and talk to the President, my President walked with me towards President Robert Mugabe. I think whatever ill-feeling that might have been is gone. What happened is a lesson into the future: Negotiations are unending.

Views on President

To be honest, I’m just amazed at a person who has such capacity, knowledge and memory.

Because you go to a space and the media says, “Ah, no, what are you talking about? The man is forgetting and the man is this.”

What I experienced of President Robert Mugabe – the first time in his office – when he was taking us through the history of the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe and where we were was quite amazing.

There were a lot of lessons for me to learn. And, of course, I was with the older generation of people who had known him better, who had engaged him better than I had in the past. I came out really feeling (that) there is a wealth of knowledge that sits in there.

I still think that post that time, if one can have the opportunity of sitting with President Robert Mugabe and engaging much deeper outside of being there to facilitate; just as a person, I think there is a lot, a wealth of information that needs to come out. I also feel there is something we are not doing very well as Africans: We are not writing so much of our history, and President Robert Mugabe is one of the elder statesmen we have.

I don’t know how much books are out there that can be read by the younger generation. Also it’s about the younger generation looking at history as it is told by our own; not just history as it is being told by others. I also learnt a lot from the history of Zimbabwe itself and the country’s liberation struggle.

I’m a member of the African National Congress ultimately, and most of the time when I was doing my military training, the history that I learnt more about was the history of Zapu, your Joshua Nkomo, and the relationship between the ANC, Umkhonto weSizwe and Zapu at the time.

We need to celebrate things that Zimbabwe did in its history of growth.

There are lessons that can also be learnt from the things that led to that conflict of 2008 and onwards.

Having a conversation with President Robert Mugabe could give some of us a much better insight.

I was there with just a narrow mandate, but I think a lot can be dug up as lessons for the future, and I think young people do not need to be diverted by other people who’ve got other interests in what our leaders do and the decisions they make.

I’m not saying decisions made by our leaders are always correct – there will be good decisions and others not so great.

So, I will, hopefully, get an opportunity to sit with President Robert Mugabe outside of the (facilitation) mandate and begin to go just deeper into discussions about how to take this continent to the next level.
‘No Hard Feelings With President’
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

South African President Jacob Zuma’s former international relations advisor, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, has opened up on her fallout with President Mugabe in 2013, saying the matter was resolved amicably and there are no hard feelings.

Speaking extensively on that episode for the first time, she told the Zimpapers television project in Johannesburg, South Africa last week that President Mugabe’s rebuke jerked her into reviewing her role in talks between Zanu-PF and the MDCs.

Ms Zulu — now South Africa’s Small Business Development Minister — says she got over the “heartbreak” after President Mugabe told fellow Sadc Heads of State and Government that he “loves her”.

She expressed admiration for the President, saying his expansive capacity, knowledge and memory put him in good stead to bequeath a rich heritage for younger Africans.

Ms Zulu encountered troubled waters when Zanu-PF adjudged her to have overstepped her mandate after she reportedly advocated postponement of the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections.

President Mugabe labelled her “some stupid idiotic woman” and “this little street woman”, and appealed to President Zuma to restrain her.

But at the Sadc Summit in August that year, warm relations were restored, with President Zuma jokingly demanding a “bride price” from Zimbabwe, and President Mugabe reciprocating with a kiss on Ms Zulu’s cheek.

It was a merry occasion that made Ms Zulu smile even during last week’s interview.

She reminisced: “Oh, President Mugabe gave me a good hug and said, ‘You are young, you are growing and will grow up in the politics. These are things that will happen from time to time’.”

She went on, “It was quite painful for me to hear that being said (by President Mugabe). It was quite painful, especially because I’m African and I come from a culture of respect where elders are respected.

“Elders need to be respected. Even when you don’t agree (with them), there is always a way of dealing with that disagreement. That’s why I never wanted it to be (like) I’m being pushed onto a platform of tit-for-tat.

“I also had to ask myself the question: Where is it that I have fallen short and said something that might have ended up upsetting the President?

‘‘Or some people misunderstood what I might have said and that ended up with him saying the things he said?

“What was very important, though, was that in the end, it was President Robert Mugabe himself who spoke to me. I was with (President Zuma) and President Mugabe indicated to me that in the heat of the moment and when people are campaigning, things like that happen.

“For me, that was an experience; it was a pain when those things were being said. (But) somewhere down the line, the truth would be put on the table and this would be laid to rest. Now, I guarantee you that that has been laid to rest.”

Minister Zulu said she was pleased President Zuma’s facilitation helped Zimbabwe overcome political challenges, but regretted that the team failed to have Western economic sanctions on the country lifted.

Regarding President Mugabe, she said, “To be honest, I’m just amazed at a person who has such capacity, knowledge and memory. Because you go to a space and the media say, ‘Ah, no, what are you talking about? The man is forgetting and the man is this (and that).’

“What I experienced of President Robert Mugabe — the first time in his office when he was taking us through the history of the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe and where we were — was quite amazing.

“There were a lot of lessons for me. I came out really feeling (that) there is a wealth of knowledge that sits in there.”
VP Mnangagwa Breathes Fire Over Lacoste
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he has no association with the so-called Lacoste group linked to a plot to either topple or succeed President Mugabe by hook or crook, and has reaffirmed his long-standing and unwavering loyalty to his boss.

VP Mnangagwa said he and President Mugabe shared a “personal relationship” dating back to the 1960s and 1970s when he was Special Assistant to the President. And after Independence that relationship continued to flourish as President Mugabe appointed him to various portfolios leading to his elevation to State VP and ruling party VP and Second Secretary.

He said divisive elements abusing his name and linking him to factionalism, including Government ministers, were doing so in violation of the spirit and letter of the Constitution and their Oaths of Office.

The private media have long claimed VP Mnangagwa leads a ruling party faction called “Lacoste” that is fighting the “G40” faction to take over from President Mugabe in both Zanu-PF and Government.

The private media allegations gained the support of, first, Zanu-PF Women’s League secretary for finance Cde Sarah Mahoka, who in February challenged the VP not to “sit like a lame duck” and to pronounce himself on the matter at a gathering at the party’s headquarters. Then last week, Manicaland Provincial

Affairs Minister Mandi Chimene openly called for President Mugabe to sack VP Mnangagwa over factionalism.

However, Zanu-PF’s President and First Secretary put his foot down, telling the thousands in attendance that the party leadership would remain intact.

Yesterday, VP Mnangagwa told journalists at his Munhumutapa Office in Harare that he would not tolerate the false allegations against him.

He also described as unfounded claims linking him to a treasonous “communiqué” released after a Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association meeting in Harare on July 21, 2016.

“I have never at any one time directly or indirectly established, formed, convened or sought to benefit from the alleged grouping (Lacoste), or other such groupings of dubious and libellous character as alleged.

“Equally, I have been on the receiving end of various people who are said to use my name and office for personal gain, self-aggrandisement and political clout, amongst other benefits, only known to themselves.

“I abhor this corrupt ascription and despicable malpractice which I have never sanctioned at any point and want the perpetrators to stop.”

When The Sunday Mail asked him what action would be taken against those abusing his name, he said the relevant party structures would decide.

“That decision cannot be made by an individual; it can only be made collectively by the party in its various fora such as the Politburo or Central Committee,” he said.

VP Mnangagwa described his long “personal relationship” with President Mugabe, and his party membership spanning more than 50 years.

“Let it not be forgotten that both during my incarceration for a period of 10 years — from 1965 to 1974 — and after my release in 1974, I have always had a personal relationship with the President, Cde RG Mugabe, who to me is not just a father figure but a principal mentor, after whom I fashion all my political behaviour.

“Again for the sake of the young generation in the party, it was the President, Cde RG Mugabe, who selected and appointed me in 1977 to take up the sensitive post of Head of Security during the armed struggle as the Special Assistant to the President in charge of both military and civil divisions.”

He went on, “That same confidence expressed itself in 1980 at Independence when the President, Cde RG Mugabe, then Prime Minister, appointed me Minister of State Security. All these appointments leading to what I am today speak of the close and trustworthy relation I have maintained with my President.

“It is a relationship I cherish and regard dearly that I will not allow anyone to malign or soil. To that end, as I have done for the better part of my life, I re-affirm and pledge as in the past, to defend and stand by the person and legacy of His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of our tried and tested revolutionary party.

“I have in no way, either by acts of commission or omission, sought to arrogate power and authority to myself, away from His Excellency the President and First Secretary, Cde RG Mugabe.”

The VP also said: “However, I have recently witnessed a disturbing and alien trend whereby party cadres concoct unfounded, unproven, blatant lies, and callous utterances and accusations against me with the ultimate objective of deprecating and maligning my person and standing.

“I have further observed with grave concern as members of the Party at various levels exhibit untoward behaviour and make utterances contrary to the dictates of the party constitution and protocol. Equally, some fellow Government ministers have made statements based on unfounded, unproven and disrespectful allegations against me in contravention of the spirit and letter of the national Constitution and their Oaths of Office.

“The war veterans, being a reserve force, under the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, are guided by known professional and ethical standards and expected decorum, and any divergence from this is not acceptable.

“As Vice President and Second Secretary of the tried and tested revolutionary Zanu-PF party, I have not offended against or diverted from the ideology of the party, its canons, precepts, principles and established practices. I have served the Party for over 54 years, often with my life, all the time showing unflinching dedication, undivided loyalty and absolute commitment.”
Final Nail in Mutsvangwa’s Coffin

THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association will soon hold a special congress to elect a new leadership to replace the Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive, a Cabinet minister has said.

Welfare Services for War Veterans, Collaborators and Ex-Detainees Minister, Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube, told The Sunday Mail that following President Mugabe’s intervention, his ministry was engaging the free fighters to prepare for a special congress this year.

He said, “The President took a stance to call for new leadership of war veterans and as (the) minister responsible I will work to do what is best for these comrades. This process of leadership renewal for war veterans is going to be done constitutionally and without violating the principles of the association.”

Rtd Col Dube explained that it was difficult for the war veterans association, an affiliate of Zanu-PF, to work with an executive led by Mr Mutsvangwa as he had been expelled from the ruling party.

“We are also going to approach Cde Mutsvangwa to persuade him that for the good of the war veterans, he needs to step aside,” he said. “Although it is a sovereign association the war veterans association cannot be separated from the party. This is because war veterans and Zanu-PF share the same revolutionary principles and they cannot do without one another. So you have to understand that the war veterans and Zanu PF share the same DNA. War veterans are the people who brought Zanu PF into being and similarly the party is what it is because of war veterans.”

Rtd Col Dube said the party could not watch the war veterans association going astray.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Mail has gathered that Rtd Col Dube had invited war veterans for a meeting on the same day that a faction of the group issued a “treasonous communiqué”, insinuating that the minister knew of the existence of the communiqué before it became public.

ZNLWVA elder Cde George Mlala told The Sunday Mail on Friday that he was invited by an official from Rtd Col Dube’s office on July 18, 2016 for the July 21 meeting. However, the same official then phoned Cde Mlala on the evening of July 20, 2016 advising him that the meeting had been cancelled.

The minister confirmed to us he had cancelled the gathering, but was unaware that ZNLWVA secretary-general Mr Victor Matemadanda had convened another one where the communiqué was then read.

“We didn’t know about the Raylton Club meeting; we only read about it in the Press. I have explained this to Mlala but he doesn’t want to understand. We had called for two meetings — one for war veterans and another for collaborators but we cancelled the one for war veterans; it was our own decision. The war collaborators meeting was a preparatory one for an indaba with the President,” said Rtd Col Dube.

But Cde Mlala claimed he raised his allegations against the minister in a meeting last Thursday at Zanu-PF headquarters with President Mugabe and Cdes Dube, Sydney Sekeramai (Zanu-PF Secretary for War Veterans), Ignatius Chombo (part Secretary for Administration), Mandi Chimene, Joseph Chinotimba and Patrick Nyaruwata.

Cde Mlala said he challenged Rtd Cold Dube to explain the agenda of the meeting that he then cancelled.

“Up to now Cde Dube has failed to explain if the meeting which they had invited us was different with the one which was held at Raylton Club. What was the agenda of Cde Dube’s meeting and why did he cancel it? …

“I raised all these issues even when the President was there, so that we expose the root of the problem we are dealing with now. If Cde Dube had not called for the July 21 meeting, maybe the communiqué would not have been read,” charged Cde Mlala.

Cde Mlala singled out Mr Mutsvangwa as the author of the communiqué.

The Sunday Mail has also established that the communiqué was the culmination of meetings between some ZNLWVA leaders and lower structures countrywide.

Sources said the plot to pen the document began after the war veterans met President Mugabe in April.

“After the meeting with President Mugabe at Harare City Sports Centre, some association leaders began provincial meetings purporting to be giving a feedback of the meeting with our Commander-in-Chief to members who did not attend.

“In those meetings the leaders were pushing the agenda that was in the communiqué. Then after the Raylton Sports Club meeting they released the communiqué to the media.”

The source said the communiqué had not been read during the meeting at Raylton Sports Club.

The meeting had on its agenda the welfare of war veterans, the state of Zanu-PF and a report on developments following the meeting with President Mugabe in April, added the source.

“The meeting at Raylton ended around 4pm after it was resolved that there was need to engage the President again. This was after concerns had been raised that school fees of war veterans’ children had only been paid for the first term,” said the source.

“There was also the issue of delays in payment of monthly payouts as it was felt the war veterans (were) not being prioritised together with other Government pensioners. It was also felt that the reports presented by leaders of thematic committees during the meeting with the President in April omitted some issues which needed to be addressed.

“As a result, it was proposed that we meet the President again but this time in small numbers to enable clear dialogue with the leader. So the communiqué was a premeditated move that it would be given to the media to say this is what we agreed during the closed door meeting.”

Security and law enforcement agencies are investigating the origins of the communiqué.
Of War Vets, Unity and Discipline
July 30, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Herald

Dominating news headlines this week has been the relationship between the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) members and their patron, President Mugabe.

A “communiqué” issued last week on Thursday was the centre of much gossip with few, particularly those of the regime change persuasion, gleaming with hope at the possibility of the veterans of our liberation struggle abandoning their Commander-in-Chief.

On Monday, under-fire ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa distanced himself from the communiqué when he said: “I definitely have no copyright to the English language. The infiltrators are the ones ascribing authorship to me. I did not attend the meeting and I am yet to have a brief on proceedings.”

Government, through Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, said investigations were underway to determine the origins of the document.

He further stated that it was possible that this was the work of a Fifth Column determined to undermine the party and Government from within.

This week on Wednesday, war veterans turned up in their numbers to dismiss suggestions that they were unhappy with their patron and distanced themselves from the communiqué.

The meeting, which took place at zanu-pf Headquarters in Harare, was in solidarity with President Mugabe.

It was also an illustration of the bridging of generations as the war veterans were joined by their children and other members of the zanu-pf Youth League.

The key message that came out of the meeting as stressed by President Mugabe was that of unity.

“Let’s keep together and help us also with your unity at the base,” he said.

“The unity of zanu-pf is in the provinces and I want to thank the provincial chairpersons who are here. Your unity is crucial because that is the basis of the whole party.

“We can’t talk of a united party when the provinces are not united. We can’t talk also of a united party when the wings of the party – the Youth League, the Women’s League – when these are not united. So the unity of the party is crucial and I am glad that so far, we have maintained that unity and I hope that we shall maintain it until 2018.”

This is an important message and one that the war veterans must heed.

The war veterans must remember that they are an extension of the armed forces.

Without discipline and the ability to follow orders they illustrated while fighting for independence, Zimbabwe’s liberation might have taken longer to achieve.

It is in a similar vein that they must exercise discipline and abide by President Mugabe’s call for unity.

They must remember that aside from being their patron, as the reserve force, he is their Commander-in-Chief and as such they must adhere to the principles and values they had when they were combatants.

The disturbing feature of the Wednesday meeting was when Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Mandi Chimene made accusatory statements directed at Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

She insinuated that he was leading a faction within zanu-pf and that he should be replaced.

In response to this, VP Mnangagwa said these false allegations would not deter him from performing his duties.

He added that it was the nature of politics that one will always have accusers.

He, however, said one should not be deterred from their work but rather find strength in these accusations and continue to do what they are mandated to do.

The VP is right that within the arena of politics one will always find mudslingers.

However, for such to take place at a ruling party event which was called to express solidarity with the President is problematic.

It is quite alarming and disturbing that a senior party official and Government minister would show such insubordination to a sitting Vice-President at such a public forum.

One wonders what inspired her to put on such a performance in front of other party members as well as the Head of State and Government.

Surely, if there were serious concerns on any of the issues she raised then there are more procedural and diplomatic means of bringing these up.

This also at a time when the President has repeatedly called for unity in zanu-pf, a time where there are concerns of divisive elements within the war veterans’ association.

Why would the individual stated to be the acting chairperson then choose to act in the manner she did?

The meeting at zanu-pf Headquarters was to show solidarity with President Mugabe. This should have been the only focus of the day. Any other issues should have been brought up behind closed doors.

This is indeed what President Mugabe went on to say in his response, making it clear that zanu-pf would not change its leadership based on unsubstantiated rumours.

He even mentioned that the party had ways of dealing with contradictions.

“During the liberation struggle we learnt a lot from China during Mao’s time on how they would solve internal differences. The Chinese sit down and discuss with squabbling parties, giving their ideas.

“Those ideas that conform to the party ideology will be taken on board. That is how contradictions were settled in China. That is how we were settling them also in our camps outside the country. Let us not fight each other. We do not want war. We don’t want violence,” he said.

As a liberation war veteran, Cde Chimene is aware of these methods used within the party to solve contradictions.

It is these that should then be called upon should any issues arise within the party.

All that such performances serve to do is create disunity and confusion among party members, which is against what the President of Zimbabwe and the First Secretary of zanu-pf has called for.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Editorial Comment: Western Embassies Must Respect Convention
July 29, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Herald

IT is no longer a secret that some Western embassies have shamelessly reduced themselves to opposition political party players in violation of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations.

The violations have been going on for some time, with the French ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse clearly showing he is in the country for other reasons far removed from building ties between Harare and Paris.

We single out Delahousse because his hand has been very visible in efforts to destabilise a country he found at peace with itself, its neighbours and progressive members of the international community.

Initially, Delahousse funded the Occupy Africa Unity Square activists.

He thought he was doing so covertly only for the activists to fight over “donations” from the French Embassy.

Earlier, he had vainly funded the Itai Dzamara demonstrations in the hope of turning Zimbabwe on its head.

Delahousse and other Western ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe were also actively involved in Evan Mawarire’s “Shut Down Zimbabwe” rhetoric. We use the word rhetoric because the campaign was nothing, but a heap of manure as Zimbabwe is still standing in the face of demonic aggression by political activists in embassy regalia.

We remind Delahousse and his regime change gang that such efforts were tried with zeal by their predecessors, but still yielded thorns.

It is this belief by men from the West that Africans are inferior that drive them to do the unimaginable to prove their superiority. They disrespect us as if we were still their colonies. They want to decide for us who should be the next President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as if we were an ignorant lot who need serious hand-holding in choosing our leaders.

Now that they have failed to topple Zanu-PF and President Mugabe from power via the ballot, they are resorting to all kind of dirty tactics to throw the country into turmoil and place a stooge at State House.

No, the Vienna Convention is very clear on the role of diplomatic missions. Since most Western embassies accredited to Zimbabwe appear to have fast forgotten their mission here, we do hereby remind them. The Vienna Convention, especially in Article 3, clearly informs diplomats on their roles abroad.

It spells out the functions of a diplomatic mission as;

Representing the sending State in the receiving State; protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law and negotiating with the Government of the receiving State.

Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State; promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations.

It is also clear in Article 9 that offending diplomats qualify for dismissal by the receiving State “at anytime”.

“The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable.”

It is either time for the diplomats to respect the Vienna Convention or dismiss themselves from Zimbabwe. Not so funny enough, some of the Western diplomats whose countries try to lecture Zimbabwe on democracy and human rights are the worst violators of the same.

France, for example, owns almost all the resources in its former colonies, denying those nations the right to their own resources or how such resources can be exploited.

In the US, blacks are being slaughtered daily by the police with President Barack Obama doing nothing more than moaning. It is unimaginable to think that blacks are being killed by none other than the POLICE.

We want to remind our guests from the West that all animals are equal. To claim otherwise is a dangerous half truth!
Zimbabwe President Fires Salvo at NGOs
President Mugabe flanked by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa (far left) and Phelekezela Mphoko (far right), Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi (second from left) and National Defence College Commandant Air Vice Marshal Michael Tedzani Moyo poses for a photo at the college in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Fidelis Munyoro Senior Writer
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe yesterday savaged Western-sponsored non-governmental organisations for their open campaigns to subvert African economies in pursuit of regime change.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces urged African States to unite to resist the machinations of the West.

“There is a vicious and comprehensive national drive as well as regional and continental vicious campaign to subvert our economies, economies of Africa through a proliferation of what I call NGOs,” said President Mugabe.

“In Africa, this is all over. There is no country without NGOs supported from outside.”

He made the remarks at the National Defence College where he was guest of honour at the presentation of a National Security Policy and Strategy paper by participants in the Course 4-2015.

The participants are drawn from across security institutions here and allied countries including Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia and Zambia.

The NGOs, said President Mugabe, had become the West’s weapon to subvert African economies.

He said when he was AU chairman, he visited several African countries where he was appraised of the phenomenal proliferation of NGOs with sinister motives of regime change.

“They (NGOs) have become pests on our continent,” said the President.

These agents of external forces, he said, were also visible in the country’s opposition Press, which he said was leading the attack on Government on a daily basis.

“We know it is sponsored from outside and there is a drive and campaign, for a long time, for regime change,” he said.

“This can be handled by the State which has its own (legal) instruments at Government level.”

President Mugabe also said Francophone countries were still reeling under the bondage of their former coloniser who dictates the affairs of their countries.

He cited examples of African countries that were dissuaded by France from coming to officiate at the annual Harare Agricultural Show.

He said they were told not to come to Zimbabwe.

“That is a form of instrument that the West is still using to undermine our independence and socio-economy,” he said.

President Mugabe bemoaned the rush by many students at university level for business subjects while shunning sciences.

He said Bindura University of Science Education was established to cater for Science and Mathematics, but ended up taking students for business studies.

“Science and Mathematics is what it was established for, but the disease of business studies also afflicted them,” he said.

The President queried why the country’s state universities were negating the call to look at the country’s socio-economic challenges.

“Look at the needs of Zimbabwe. Look at our agriculture, we need more engineers. Look at mining, we need more mining engineers, metallurgists. Look at our roads, we need engineers,” he said.

President Mugabe urged professionals to take advantage of the country’s indigenisation and economic empowerment policies to form their own companies instead of seeking greener pastures abroad.

“We are educating experts… but it is true we may not give them higher salaries compared to other countries like South Africa, Namibia or Australia,” he said.

“But they don’t have the initiatives but to work for whites baas so, so, Rio Tinto and so on. But form your own Rio Tintos.”

President Mugabe also warned farmers that are clandestinely partnering former white farmers on their farms. He said that was another way of bringing back expelled white farmers. He said a land audit would soon expose them.

Speaking at the same occasion, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi said the national security policy and strategy was a major exercise on the NDC programme, which required participants to put into practice the theories learnt in phases 1, 2 and 3 of the exercise.

He said the exercise put into perspective the four main pillars of the State—defence, economics, media and politics.

“In that context, the regional security is viewed as the ability of a nation to order internal life without external interference,” he said.

“The exercise is based on the assumption that there is no institutionalised planning process for national security policy in Zimbabwe, hence the roadmap has been made to provide a sustainable format to assist its strategic planners and participants.”

Minister Sekeramayi said in coming out with the format, they had studied various models of the planning process being followed by countries such as China, USA, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa.

He said the aim of the exercise was for participants to practise broad policy formulation at strategic decision-making levels.

At the end of the exercise, Minister Sekeramayi said, participants should be able to comprehend the national security strategy formulation process.

The exercise, dubbed Course 4/2015, which started last year in September, ends on August 12.

Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa, Phelekezela Mphoko, Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Christopher Mushohwe, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, Service Chiefs and other high ranking Government officials attended the event.
“Reinstate Vuyo Mvoko, the Last Man Standing and Kept Outside of the SABC!”
28 July 2016

Not three, Mr Motsoeneng, not four, not seven … We demand the reinstatement of the entire SABC 8!

One of the SABC 8 is not yet reinstated. The South African Communist Party campaign continues.

We, the SACP, have stuck to our vow to continue campaigning until all the SABC 8 are reinstated. We have staged protests and pickets regularly at the SABC`s headquarters and at most of its regional offices, and we have voiced our support and backing for the eight and their colleagues at the SABC, urging the workers to resist Hlaudi Motsoeneng`s illegal and anti-democratic attempts to deny the South African people accurate information in news reporting because of his censorship decree.

Legal action has compelled Motsoeneng, who illegally occupies the SABC post of Chief Operations Officer - and being vastly overpaid for so doing, to reinstate seven of the SABC 8.

The SABC 8 had the courage to stand up to Motsoeneng when he illegally sought to censor SABC TV news reports on violent protests. They fought their suspensions and dismissals and, in an unprecedented move, won the support last Friday of hundreds of SABC journalists, who wore black to demonstrate their opposition to Motsoeneng`s illegal, apartheid-style censorship.

The SACP salutes the workers and journalists of the SABC for fighting back against illegal, unconstitutional and anti-democratic actions by despotic regime that has established its control at the SABC, and for having the courage to do so under extremely oppressive conditions.

Now only one of the SABC 8, journalist and veteran news and current affairs anchor Vuyo Mvoko, awaits reinstatement.

When he took his case to the Johannesburg High Court today, members of the Gauteng SACP`s Red Brigades picketed in support. The case has been postponed to Tuesday - a day before South Africa`s local government elections.

Mvoko`s case is complicated by the fact that he works for the SABC on a contract, rather than as a full-time employee. The dictatorial regime at the SABC is attempting to use this technicality to keep Mvoko off air.

But Mvoko is the most senior of the SABC 8 editorially, and has been the most public in exposing the rampant censorship the unlawfully appointed Motsoeneng and his gang of self-promoting loyalists have imposed on the SABC. His principled opposition has included writing a front-page lead in The Star newspaper, headlined “My Hell at the SABC” and detailing how Motsoeneng and his collaborators sought to control and direct the news.

And, as contributing editor, his editorial influence at the SABC was potentially significant, holding the line against the Motsoeneng`s censorship edict.

And his On the record current affairs show has been a key political analysis platform for all South Africans.

For Mvoko, Tuesday is D-Day.

The SACP also urges all workers and their organisations at the SABC to take action to compel Motsoeneng, the corporation`s executive directors and the entire board, to be declared legally personally liable for the millions of rands of public funds thrown into the gutter in the SABC`s vain courtroom attempts to defend Motsoeneng`s illegal actions, and his illegal occupation of the COO position. They must be forced to repay those millions to the SABC.

Time has come for Motsoeneng to be removed as SABC COO and for the paralysed SABC board to do the right thing, resign!

The struggle continues!

Forward to a genuine public broadcaster, forward!

Forward to an end to parasitic and private monopoly influence or control of the SABC, forward!

Issued by the SACP



MOBILE: 082 9200 308
OFFICE: 011 339 3621/2

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COSATU Statement on 95th Anniversary of the SACP
29 July 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions wishes the South African Communist Party ,a successful and revolutionary 95th anniversary tomorrow. This unique milestone for the vanguard of the working class ,reflects its unquestionable credentials in the struggle for liberation and the pursuit of socialism in this country.
COSATU is deeply proud to have such a reliable ally, in the form of the SACP ,to work together with in the struggle against unemployment, and inequality. The SACP and Cosatu will continue to work together to build working class hegemony in all key sites of struggle and also to overcome the challenges facing the workers, the unemployed and the poor.

We shall continue to develop joint programmes and fight side by side in the trenches to deepen democratisation, revolutionary social transformation and ensure that the working class voice is heard.
The federation is looking forward to developing joint campaigns with the SACP ,to deepen the fight against corruption and corporate capture of the state and our broader movement. This will include a fight against factionalism, social distance from the membership and mass base, patronage and distortion of internal democracy.

Our formations have successfully worked side by side in campaigning for the ANC in the forthcoming local government. We issue a call to all the workers and the working class in general ,to overwhelmingly vote for the ANC on the 3rd August 2016, in defence of the revolution. All COSATU National Office Bearers will attend the anniversary in Port Elizabeth tomorrow.

The details of the anniversary are as follows:

Speakers: - Comrade Blade Nzimande, the SACP General Secretar
- Cosatu President Cde Sidumo Dlamini,
- Cde Pravin Gordhan representing the ANC
- Cde Yershen Pillay, National Chairperson ,Young Communist League
Logistic details are as follows:
Date : Tomorrow, Saturday30 July 2016
Venue : Lilian Ngoyi Community Sports Centre, Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Metro
Starting time: 10:00 am

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Communications Unit
Congress of South African Trade Unions
COSATU HOUSE | 110 Cnr Jorissen & Simmonds Str | Braamfontein | 2017
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 / Direct: 010 219 1339 |+27 60 975 6794 |+27 82 558 5962 E-mail:
ANC Urges Employers to Make Arrangements to Enable Workers to Vote on August 3rd Election
27 July 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) views voting as an act of active patriotism where the people of South Africa exercise their hard won right to choose a government of their choice. This inalienable right should at all times be protected and upheld.It is for this reason that the 3rd August 2016 has been declared a public holiday to enable all eligible South Africans to cast their votes.

While we note that some businesses will continue to regard this day as a trading day, the ANC appeals to employers to consider the needs of workers who are registered to vote in their respective voting districts, which may be a distance from their place of work. We call on these employers to plan in advance to enable workers to visit polling stations and cast their ballots. In considering their options, employers are urged to also consider the real challenges of availability of public transport on a public holiday, as well as the voting hours - which are from 07:00 to 19:00. A failure to do this, in reality, amounts to disenfranchisement from active citizenry and undermines our collective commitment to credible, free, fair and peaceful elections.

The ANC once again encourages all South Africans to come out in their numbers to cast their votes on the 3rd August 2016. We must continue to give effect to our demand encapsulated in the Freedom Charter that "The People Shall Govern". We have achieved much together and our challenges can be overcome by standing together. The ability to further improve the lives of all our people lies in your hands.

Issued by:
Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
South African Police Service Says Ready For Local Elections
JULY 29, 2016

The South African Police Service is committed to ensuring peaceful local government elections next week on 3 August.

More than 50 000 police officers will be deployed at 22 612 voting stations countrywide as South Africans take to the polls in the 2016 Local Government Elections and elect the leadership of their choice.

Speaking on Thursday at a New Age business briefing, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko reiterated that come next week, there will be zero “no-go areas”.

“Our point of emphasis is that we have to secure the environment to such an extent that communities are able to excise their constitutional right to vote,” Minister Nhleko.

As of June, the police had 1000 voting districts which were classified as high risk areas. This number has since been reduced to 650.

“This tells you that because of our operations, we have been able to reduce the number. I am confident that we will be able to do our bit from the police side,” said Minister Nhleko.

However, he said, the overall success of the election requires all stakeholders in the country to play an active role in ensuring they are peaceful, free and fair.

Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane echoed these sentiments. He said the success of the police is highly dependent on the collaboration between communities and visible policing.

Regarding the violence in the area of Vuwani, in Limpopo, he assured the residents they will have a platform to vote which will be secured by the police.

“The Vuwani that we have experienced is not going to be repeated. What happened there is unfortunate. We have revised our plans and done the necessary deployment,” said General Phahlane.

He said one of the measures for the Limpopo area included that a number of the new cadets that are graduating today will be deployed in Vuwani.

Regarding the violent protests that broke out in Tshwane, which saw shops being looted and roads being barricaded, Minister Nhleko said the police secured and stabilised the city in 24 hours.

“We can assure that it’s not going to happen again. We are paying specific focus to ensure that people go to the elections freely.”

National Deputy Head for the Hawks Major General Yolisa Matakata said the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation was working on gaining intelligence to ensure safe elections.

“We are working with all the role-players within the police and intelligence community to ensure that we link that information and plan accordingly,” she said.

With regards to the 25 politically-related crimes during the election period, with 14 cases opened for murder and attempted murder, Minister Nhleko said nine suspects have been arrested.

“We continue to follow leads on a number of these particular cases. We are also working with prosecution authorities in fast tracking some of these particular cases.”

He added that the police will continue to do what is necessary to ensure that the matters are resolved.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Election Reflections 2016: The Democratic Party in Disarray at National Convention
Masses of working people and oppressed remain without political representation inside the United States

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia revelations surfaced that was by no means surprising to keen observers of electoral politics in 2016. A series of thousands of e-mails surrounding the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair indicate that a conspiracy was carried out against the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to prevent him and his supporters from securing the nomination for the presidency.

Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the outgoing DNC chair, was taunted when she addressed a Convention gathering at a DNC breakfast for Florida delegates on July 25. Sanders who has endorsed the Clinton campaign, was jeered when he once again urged his supporters to vote for the former Secretary of State also on the opening day of the Convention.

The New York Times reported “Hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters drowned out the Vermont senator with boos Monday as he tried to make the case that his fans would need to vote for Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald J. Trump. At a meeting filled with Sanders delegates, Mr. Sanders tried to convince those gathered that Mr. Trump was dangerous and a threat to the Constitution and that as a result, they needed to vote for Mrs. Clinton. However, as he made the argument, the crowd shouted over him and instead chanted, ‘We want Bernie.’” (July 25)

There is virtually no enthusiasm for the Clinton candidacy even among card-carrying Democratic Party members. The former first lady to United States President Bill Clinton during the 1990s has numerous trust and credibility problems. In recent weeks she was under investigation for the use of State Department e-mail servers that were hacked for classified information.

Nonetheless, the U.S. Justice Department failed to indict Clinton amid allegations that the decision was politically motivated by the administration of President Barack Obama where she served during his first term. Obama has pledged to campaign for Clinton despite the fact that she used racism against him in 2008 amid her failed bid to gain the Democratic nomination.

At least 20,000 e-mails from Wasserman Shultz documented that high-level collusion was in operation to disenfranchise the millions of Sanders supporters around the U.S. who secured victories in dozens of primaries and caucuses. Sanders attracted crowds of tens of thousands of people, mainly youth, who wanted an alternative to the war-mongering and Wall Street friendly Clinton.

Sanders Campaign May Loose Credibility by Not Opposing Clinton Nomination

Of course monumental efforts will be underway to prevent the Wasserman Shultz scandal from reaching the Convention floor. A floor fight over reform issues promoted by Sanders will ring hollow amid the business-as-usual Clinton campaign.

Clinton represents everything that most working and nationally oppressed peoples want to eliminate from American politics. The top-down political culture which favored Clinton was destabilized through the grassroots efforts of Sanders’ supporters. Moreover, results from numerous primaries and caucuses won by Clinton were secured through questionable methods particularly in Iowa, Illinois, New York and other areas. Clinton’s Wall Street and White House connections were utilized to stifle and silence the voice of millions throughout the country.

Many supporters of the Vermont Senator, who identifies as an “independent socialist”, are not prepared to take their political energy and channel it into an electoral campaign for Clinton which does not challenge any of the policies enacted by Obama over the last eight years. Clinton was the public face of the continued militarism of the Bush years. Clinton as a Senator for New York voted in support of the U.S. intervention and occupation of Iraq. The Iraq war was based on lies and deceit leading to the deaths of at least a million Iraqis; the killing of 4,500 U.S. troops, the wounding of tens of thousands more; and the rendering into disability of hundreds of thousands of others with closed-head injuries and psychological illnesses conveniently labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In Libya, where there was a stable government and the most prosperous state in Africa, Clinton served as the public face for the blanket-bombing of the oil-rich country and the brutal assassination of its longtime leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Today, Libya, like Iraq, is in ruins serving as major sources of instability in Africa, the Middle East and the European continent. Wars of regime-change in Syria and Yemen are also by-products of these failed foreign policies.

Syria, one of the most beautiful and stable countries in the world, since 2011 has been destroyed by violent opposition groups trained, armed and given political cover by the Obama administration. In Yemen, the U.S. has backed the Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bombing campaign which utilizes American-produced fighter aircraft, refueling technology, intelligence coordinates, and the public relations largesse of the State Department.

Tens of thousands of people in Yemen, the poorest state in the Middle East, have been killed and injured since the U.S.-backed war was launched in March 2015. This war represents ongoing efforts by Washington to dominate Yemen as a bulwark against Iranian influence and other political tendencies seeking to operate independently of U.S. imperialism.

Consequently, contradictions within the proclaimed representation of African Americans, Latinos and working people in the U.S. by the Democratic Party is starkly contrasted with both foreign and domestic policies that reinforce the status-quo characterized by imperialist war, rising poverty, the unjustified use of lethal force against oppressed peoples, the decline in urban education and public services, along with increasing environmental degradation solidified by the consistent evisceration of minimal bourgeois democratic practices in developing and enforcing laws that govern public affairs.

The Need for Independent Political Organization

Between the racism and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s neo-fascist candidacy on behalf of the Republican Party and the bank-led militarism of the Clinton camp tinged by its legacy of draconian legal measures that fueled the prison-industrial-complex relying on the incarceration of African Americans and Latinos, there are no avenues for reform let alone revolution within both ruling class parties. At the same time as the bankruptcy of the political party system within the U.S. has been laid bare for all to see in the U.S. as well as globally, mass demonstrations and rebellions are still very much in evidence.

Millions protested the vicious police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Crown Heights, Minnesota. Police agencies and their supporters within the corporate media have been quick to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for the deaths of law-enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, yet the deaths of over 1,000 people during 2015 at the hands of the cops, with many of those slain being African Americans, takes on a secondary role when assessing the current state of police-community relations and the burgeoning anger on the part of people against racist violence.

There is no other alternative for African Americans, Latinos, progressive women and whites but to form their own political party that speaks directly to their class, gender and national interests. Such a party would fight for the right to full equality and self-determination among all oppressed nations and national minorities. The concerns of working people would be paramount in the party’s analysis, program and style of work.

Until this revolutionary party or alliance of mass organizations is formed the bi-polar and ostensible bipartisan ruling class politics will continue to shape the discourse within the U.S. The party of the working class and oppressed would break out of the empty and disingenuous rhetoric and sloganeering of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties and their functionaries to advance the required discussions and debates that are needed to organize and mobilize the overwhelming majority of people inside the U.S. operating in genuine solidarity with all working and oppressed peoples around the world.