Source blog: The Bearded Man
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Howzit

It has been a long week for me and I have been very busy with identifying, splitting and isolating video clips from the July Braai weekend from two weeks ago, and I whilst I am nearing the end, it has been very hard work and mentally exhausting.

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Exactly as I thought might happen, ZANU PF have thrown out the draft constitution,

They are obviously unhappy with it and do believe that it weakens their grip on power, leaves their leader to exposed in the event of defeat (which is almost certain), so all the months of negotiating and talking have come to nothing.

Which sounds very familiar to the power-sharing talks.

ZANU PF’s top decision making body ended a marathon meeting about the new constitution in the early hours of Thursday morning, stating it will not accept the draft in its current form.

The Politburo meeting started on Wednesday, amid speculation that Robert Mugabe’s party is deliberately stalling on making a decision. This was the fourth meeting since the draft charter was released late last month, with ZANU PF still not taking an official position.

Instead, the meeting ended at about 5am on Thursday with the party insisting that the current draft must be renegotiated. ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said that the party could not accept the draft without changes to several clauses.

“The party is expecting the amendments to be factored in by Wednesday next week, when the politburo meets to finalize its position on the draft constitution,” Gumbo said.

ZANU PF’s chief negotiator in the constitution reform process, Patrick Chinamasa, said after the last Politburo meeting that once the party executive had reached a final decision on the changes they want, this would be brought before the Constitution Management Committee.

Gumbo meanwhile had previously expressed confidence that ZANU PF’s partners in the government would renegotiate, saying: “We cannot afford to see the process come to naught.”

But the MDC formations in the unity government have both insisted that the negotiations have been finalised and no more changes can be made to the document. The two parties have thrown their weight behind the draft, both saying they will campaign for a ‘yes’ vote ahead of a referendum.

Blessing Vava from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that ZANU PF has cleverly manipulated the multiple flaws in the constitution reform process, saying the negotiation loophole is wide open.

“In a negotiated process, a process steered by politicians, we were likely to get such scenarios. This process is flawed and these are the loopholes that have exposed this,” Vava said.

He said that negotiating the document was a deviation from the original process that was meant to be people driven and this deviation “left the process open to manipulation and abuse.”

“ZANU PF is capitalising on a flawed process… this was never about the constitution, it was about the parties getting their preferred positions in place. And it’s very sad for Zimbabwe,” Vava said.

The NCA official also said that the MDC formations have been ‘duped’ by ZANU PF into believing that the document is a good one, despite the draft clearly favouring the ZANU PF position.

“It is ZANU PF that has gained more than the MDC, and all they are doing now is pushing for more concessions,” Vava said. He added that it was likely the amendments will be allowed, and soon we will see the Principals in government giving their approval.


When the draft constitution was leaked to the public, I do recall reading a comment that the draft wasn’t a constitution but a bundles of wishes written by the parties in an effort to strengthen their relevant positions.

I concur.

A constitution, in my limited understanding, is at the heart of a country’s law. It should be the irrevocable baseline of life within the country.

The draft constitution as I read it, fails in that respect.

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Mugabe has tried this trick himself. It is the carrot and stick method. He encourages the people – whether they are ZANU PF supporters or not – to back whatever plan he might have now, and he would promise a reward at the end of it all.

Then, having achieved his aim, he reneges on his promise leaving the people more desperate than before.

I am not suggesting that the USAwould renege, but attempting to entice Mugabe with a method so well known by his party can only reap suspicion.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Washington will reward efforts by Harare to pave the way for free and fair elections promising to “match action for action.'

Speaking at Cape Town University in South Africa Wednesday, Clinton who is on an 11-day tour of Africa said the international community has made it clear that the people of Zimbabwe deserve the right to have their voices and votes counted in a free and fair election.

She urged SADC leaders - including Zimbabwe mediator President Jacob Zuma of South Africa - to push for the adoption of the draft constitution appended by the three coalition partners but now being rejected by Zanu PF.

A new constitution will lead to the holding of fresh polls, five years after the violent and chaotic 2008 election.

Clinton urged regional leaders to ensure that Zimbabwe will hold a credible referendum and internationally supervised free and fair polls.

The position of the United States echoes that adopted by the European Union which imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.

The United States and European Union maintain sanctions against the president and his colleagues. The E.U. agreed to lift most sanctions imposed on Mr. Mugabe’s inner circle - but not those against him and his family - if the country adopts a raft of democratic reforms.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said Clinton’s call is welcome though he urged Harare to adopt reforms without waiting for international pressure.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said Mr. Tsvangirai, who is on a diplomatic offensive ahead of the regional Southern African Development Community regional summit next week, has a successful meeting Wednesday in Maputo with Mozambican President Armando Guebuzza.

In a Facebook message, Luke Tamborinyoka said Mr. Tsvangirai is expected to hold another important meeting on Thursday with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.

At the same time, the Prime Minister’s MDC has described as barbaric moves by suspected Zanu PF militia, members of the Central Intelligence Organization and the military to take over venues for training enumerators in some parts of the country.

In a statement, the party said the action by the police and soldiers 'is a deliberate and well-calculated scheme to derail the population census expected to kick off next week'.

The MDC said armed riot police in Harare descended on Harare Girls High School and ordered all enumerators undergoing training to leave.

The party said these Zanu PF aligned state agents are trying to block the holding of a transparent census and referendum and free and fair polls next year.

The party believes that Zanu PF does not want the process of counting people to continue as this will “affect their traditional rigging plans when the delimitation exercise for constituency boundaries starts.”


Put very simply, Mugabe will be aware that the USAwill be using his own methods against him.

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ZANU PF have made it very clear that the National Heroes’ Acreis a Mugabe party domain. So why then, do they insist on taking money forcibly from people who have little or no interest in the project?

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claims some Zanu PF officials in Mashonaland East Province are forcing villagers to contribute cash for holding this year's national heroes celebrations.

MDC Mashonaland East provincial chairman Piniel Denga said they are receiving reports that villagers were being forced to make these contributions as far afield as Kotwa in Mudzi, Mutoko, Uzumba, Maramba-Pfungwe and Murehwa districts.

Similar reports have been made in Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces where ordinary people are being told to pay .00 per household. Companies are forced to fork out .00.

Denga told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that people should not be forced to commemorate national events.

But Paddy Zhanda, Zanu PF member of parliament for Goromonzi North denied the MDC claims saying those who were being forced to make the contributions should report these incidents to the police.

Villagers in most parts of Zimbabwe are usually forced by Zanu PF to pay varying amounts for heroes celebrations.


If ZANU PF want to celebrate their war heroes, then let them finance it themselves.

Yesterday, we read of a source of money within the President’s office that is not subject to audit. Let him use that!

Oh – sorry – he already used it for some other equally useless project.

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It is obvious that this report is a veritable fireball for not only South Africa, but also for Mugabe and ZANU PF.

So what is wrong with releasing it to the public?

North Gauteng High Court judge Joseph Raulinga said he was “left standing between a rock and a hard place” in having to decide whether a South African observer report about Zimbabwe’s hotly contested 2002 elections should be released to the public.

The government has since 2008 been fighting the Mail & Guardian’s attempts to access the report, which detailed “legal and constitutional issues” in the run-up to the disputed election.

The report was written by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Constitutional Court Justice Sisi Khampepe after being sent to Zimbabwe by former president Thabo Mbeki.

After two days of arguments, Judge Raulinga reserved judgment and gave both sides the opportunity to file further legal arguments. He suggested he would like to be addressed on whether the public interest outweighed the possible harm that would follow if the report were to be released.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act says that information sought must be provided if it will reveal a substantial contravention of the law, and if “the public interest in the disclosure… clearly outweighs the harm contemplated in the provision in question”.

Counsel for the state, Marumo Moerane SC, quoted extensively from President Jacob Zuma’s affidavit, which said releasing the report now would have a negative effect on SA’s continuing mediation attempts in Zimbabwe.

Given Zuma’s assertion, it could not be said the public interest in the release of the report “clearly” outweighed possible harm that would follow were the report to be released. “The report must be seen in its proper political context,” Moerane said.

But counsel for the Mail & Guardian, Frank Snyckers SC, said vague and speculative assertions by politicians that the “world would come to an end” if the report were released were not good enough. “Do not let politicians just say the world will come to an end. They must show you how the world will come to an end”.

Instead, government “specifically declined” to do so, he said.
 

One word which is bandied around a lot in political circles is ‘transparency’, yet it is more than apparent that Mugabe was up to no good in the 2002 election, and he doesn’t want the world to know all about it.

What confuses me, is the import that the South African government put on it all, and I am unsure why..


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My trip to Londonwas obviously not required and I am quite relieved as I am, for some unknown reason, quite physically tired.

Take care.

‘debvhu