Week 33

A weekly selection from Zimbabwean newspapers

SADC Election Observer Mission meets Zanu-PF | The Chronicle (state owned)

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Head of Electoral Observation Mission Dr Nevers Sikwela Mumba on Thursday met with Zanu-PF secretary general Cde Obert Mpofu. 

The SADC Election Observer Mission arrived in Harare on Wednesday morning ahead of next week’s harmonised elections. 

Emerging from the meeting at the ruling party’s headquarters, Dr Mumba said the closed-door discussions were fruitful. 

“We had a productive discussion listening to the plans in this election, to the concerns that they might have and how we can work together between the observers and the participants,” said Dr Mumba. 


The Magic of a Water Safari Through Zimbabwe | Condé Nast Traveler

It is day three of a nine-day unforgettable African river adventure. The ambitious CroisiEurope itinerary takes a maximum of 16 guests across four countries: South AfricaNamibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. In each, we spend time on land with the people and animals. But in three of the four, there’s a bonus: time spent cruising the continents’ scenic and vital waterways. 

Having the opportunity to explore from both land and water makes booking with CroisiEurope appealing, and it’s the European cruise company’s first foray into Africa. Most luxury African safari operators whisk guests away to a plush lodge and then offer twice-a-day open-jeep safari rollouts into the wild. CroisiEurope’s African Dream itinerary offers a similar lodge stay (it owns two lavish properties on the edge of the Zambezi River where Namibia borders Botswana), but takes it a step further with multiple trips out on water safaris and a three-night stay on one of two intimate houseboats in Zimbabwe. The advantages of exploring the countries by both land and water are almost immediately evident. 


Ghost voters haunt Zimbabwe elections – The Mail & Guardian

Zimbabwe votes to elect the president and legislature on 23 August in what analysts expect to be a tense affair, amid a crackdown on dissent and a disaffected population battling hyperinflation, poverty and high unemployment. 

Suspicions over possible election irregularities are rife in a nation that has been ruled by Zanu-PF since independence in 1980 and has a long history of disputed votes. 

Activists at Team Pachedu, a civil society group, say an analysis of the roll suggests such fears are well grounded.  

“We have discovered a lot of irregularities,” said Tafadzwa Sambiri, a spokesperson for the group. “Chief among them is the recycling of IDs.”  

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) did not reply to a request for comment.


Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Foreign Affairs to lead Commonwealth observers for Zimbabwean Elections | Commonwealth

On 23 August 2023, Zimbabweans will vote to elect councillors, members of parliament, and a president. Ambassador Amina Chawahir Mohamed, former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Foreign Affairs of Kenya, will lead a team of Commonwealth election observers to Zimbabwe for the upcoming election.  Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a membership assessment process to rejoin the Commonwealth and this election marks a significant step in Zimbabwe’s democratic governance. This will be the second successive COG to observe the country’s harmonised elections since Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in December 2003. 

Approximately 6.6 million people are registered to vote in this year’s election and will have the right to cast their ballot for the presidential candidate and candidates for both houses of the national assembly, and local councillors.


Mthuli pleads with citizens to embrace local currency

TREASURY boss Mthuli Ncube has pleaded with Zimbabweans to embrace the local currency for the country to achieve growth and stability objectives of National Development Strategy 1 economic blueprint. 

“This, combined with other structural reforms underway, creates the necessary conditions for currency stability,” Ncube said in his Mid-Term Budget and Economic Review yesterday. 

“The attainment of durable macroeconomic stability, combined with improved electricity supply situation is expected to spur economic growth above the projected 5,3% in 2023.” 

Today, the Zimdollar remains highly volatile at US$1:$4 555,75 against $7 000 on the parallel market despite this being a general improvement from June. 


Zanu-PF Nketa candidate donates water purification bags | The Sunday News (state owned)

ZANU-PF National Assembly candidate for Nketa constituency and Bulawayo businessman, Cde Tawengwa Zidya, recently donated more than 200 water purification bags — Safe Water Safe life (SaWa) to two Christian denominations, as he took his campaign to the house of worship. 

Cde Zidya said his campaign was in line with Zanu-PF’s campaign strategies and this was part of its intensification programmes in the campaign towards the harmonised elections slated for 23 August. 

He said the donation was in response to the city’s water crisis, where there have been several reports of people getting admitted to health facilities due to ingesting contaminated water. 

According to the SaWa bag developer, the purification technology is based on PET bottles’ 40-year-old Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) process, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed as a safe way to purify water.


The PVO Amendment Bill: Sent to President for Signature

Parliament has told Veritas that this Bill has been sent to the President for assent and signature. 

The President’s Office will now send copies of the Bill to the Attorney-General for a certificate stating that the Bill is in legal order and the President can sign it. 

It seems likely therefore that the Bill will be published as an Act in the near future, probably before polling day. 


Court cases discredit polls: ERC

In an interview, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director, Musa Kika, said the involvement of courts in elections has a negative impact on the credibility of the polls. 

 Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director, Musa Kika  

“It is unfortunate that our courts are taking center stage in these elections particularly because in the context of Zimbabwe we cannot trust our courts to reindeer fair rulings on the basis of the law,” Kika said. 


Zimbabwe’s Impending Elections: A Challenge for International Observers – Just Security

Zimbabweans head to the polls on Aug. 23 for the second time since Robert Mugabe’s nearly four decades in power ended in 2017. As many countries do, Zimbabwe has invited international observers to monitor the elections. But delays in inviting and then accrediting such missions and limits imposed on their activities suggest the government is doing so somewhat reluctantly. The tensions pose significant challenges for those observing the upcoming elections and, more generally, for anyone concerned about the role of observers in assessing the quality of electoral processes around the world. 

Given ongoing negotiations with the international community to clear the country’s debt arrears, Zimbabwe’s government needs the imprimatur that international observers could provide but is sensitive to any potential criticism of its conduct. Still, even in the short time left before the vote, there are steps the government can take to enhance the quality of the elections. 

(Just Security is based at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law)

Zimbabwe’s election: what are the parties saying about land, agriculture and rural development?

At last one of the major parties contesting Zimbabwe’s election on August 23 has produced a manifesto – in this case the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), which was launched last week. ZANU-PF remain without one, claiming that they are running on their record. Other parties have produced them, including ZAPU, but two are no longer relevant, as the Douglas Mwonzora and the MDC-T dropped out and Saviour Kasukuwere was disqualified by the courts. 

Right now there are ten presidential candidates, but in the end only two matter – Emerson Mnangagwa of ZANU-PF, the ruling party that has been in power for 43 years, and Nelson Chamisa, the head of the new party, the CCC, which emerged from the Movement for Democratic Change that was led for so long by the late Morgan Tsvangirai.


Candidates pledge to be ambassadors of peace in Matobo

Aspiring council candidates for Matobo Rural District Council have vowed to promote peace in the area ahead of the harmonised elections slated for August 23. 

Matobo has not been spared from political violence following the violent skirmishes that took place in Ward 2 during the by-election campaigns in 2022 following the death of the then Councillor Tom Moyo. A wave of violence reared its ugly head in Ward 2 when alleged ruling party gangs descended on the ward injuring several people. The country was outraged at images of grown women being stripped of their clothes to the point of half-nakedness. 

Speaking to Community Podium, Matobo Ward 19 aspiring candidate Nqobizitha Ngwenya (CCC) said he believes it is progressive for every candidate and politician to advocate for peaceful elections.


Nigeria’s Former Electoral Commission Chairman to Lead Carter Center’s Election Observation Mission in Zimbabwe

ATLANTA (Aug. 11, 2023) — The Carter Center announced today that Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, will lead the Center’s international election observation mission in Zimbabwe. 

The Carter Center launched its mission in late July following an invitation from the authorities of Zimbabwe and accreditation of its observers by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. 

“It’s an honor to lead the Center’s mission to observe Zimbabwe’s Aug. 23 harmonized elections,” Jega said. “I urge all Zimbabweans, including political party members, candidates and voters, to show their commitment to democracy and peaceful elections.” 


A Zimbabwean entrepreneur’s journey into the waste management industry

DURING the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe of 2008, Odilo Linzi lost four people close to him. The outbreak took place between August 2008 and June 2009 resulting in the loss of 400 lives. 

Deeply moved by the crisis, Linzi pledged to dedicate his efforts towards developing a solution for waste management. It would be years before he could finally act. Graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe, Linzi started a waste management company in 2018. 

“I started Oleans Waste Management Services by using my personal funds. Actually, I only had US$5, and I had to borrow US$50 from a relative in order to register the company. I got my first client through marketing on Facebook; the lady saw the advert there and got interested in our services and contacted me,” Linzi explained. 


Gukurahundi victims remain bystanders in elections

Thousands of Gukurahundi victims do not have identity documents (IDs) following the 1980’s mass killings in Matabeleland and Midlands.  

Former speaker of Parliament,  Lovemore Moyo, says it is unfortunate that Gukurahundi victims remain stateless and will again fail to vote in the upcoming elections. 

The massacres only stopped with the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 between the late former president and Zanu leader Robert Mugabe and PF Zapu leader, the late Joshua Nkomo. 

Years later, the majority of the victims have no IDs. 

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission voter population statistics, Matabeleland has the fewest registered voters.  


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