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Mnangagwa ‘mutilates’ Zanu PF constitution – The Zimbabwe Independent

ZANU PF president and first secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa has mutilated the party constitution introducing sweeping changes, ostensibly, to remove some provisions that hounded his firm grip to power.

The new amendments were presented by the former party secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana at the 7th Zanu PF National Congress held in Harare, a fortnight ago.

Mnangagwa was re-elected party first secretary and was named as the presidential candidate for elections next year.

National chairperson Oppah Muchinguri also told congress that the amendments were adopted.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday, Mangwana confirmed the changes.

However, political commentators argued the constitutional changes were cosmetic while others said Mnangagwa was gearing up for the elections.

One major topical amendment was the provision for a female member of the presidium — be it a woman vice president or party chairperson. The position of national chairperson was also included in the presidium.

The national secretary for administration will be the secretary to the presidium.

An amendment to Article 5 (6) indicates that “there shall be a presidium, of four members at least one of whom shall be a woman, consisting of the president and first secretary, two vice presidents and second secretaries and the national chairperson”.

This, according to observers, protects the status quo, especially the positions held by vice presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.

Confirming the changes, Mangwana said: “Yes, there was the provision for a female vice president but that amendment makes it clear that a woman can take any of the positions in the presidium.”

Another amendment includes the need for the secretary for administration to give a 14-day notice to convene an extraordinary session of congress in case of a vacancy for the president.

Mnangagwa has been facing a court case with a party supporter Sybeth Msengezi, who is challenging the former’s ascendancy following the late Robert Mugabe’s ouster in 2017.

Mangwana dismissed assertions that the amendment was made to make the court case irrelevant.

Other observers noted that Mnangagwa was in breach of the party constitution after failing to appoint a full politburo during the congress.

Section 49 (Appointment of members of the politburo and the deputy heads of departments) states that Mnangagwa should appoint the 24 members “immediately” after his and central committee elections during the sitting of the congress.

The politburo, according to the constitution, would have 24 heads of department, five committee members and 24 deputy secretaries.

However, Mangwana said Mnangagwa had, in appointing the vice presidents, national chairperson and five heads of departments, avoided violating the party constitution.

“There is a politburo in place, technically, because the president announced heads of department and other members of the presidium during the congress.

“He will continue making the appointments using his discretion because there are no provisions that the politburo will have a certain number of people heading the departments. The President is acting constitutionally and, remember, he is a lawyer and he knows what he is doing,” Mangwana said.

Mnangagwa appointed Obert Mpofu (secretary for administration), Mike Bimha (political commissar), Patrick Chinamasa (finance) and Lovemore Matuke (security) during the congress.

He also confirmed the position of women’s league and war veterans league bosses to Marble Chinomona and Douglas Mahiya, respectively.

Changes, including new departments, were included in the amendments amid reports that Mnangagwa would introduce new faces and technocrats in the politburo.

The new departments include war veterans, lands and agriculture, business and development, local governance, devolution and housing; and ideology and heritage training.

While Mahiya’s position was confirmed, other departments could  see cabinet ministers like Mthuli Ncube and Sekai Nzenza joining the politburo.

Party sources told the Independent that firebrand characters like Jabulani Sibanda, a former war veterans boss was likely to join the top organ.

The new departments are also part of Zanu PF’s moves to reflect appointments at cabinet level to ensure oversight in case the party retains power.

The amendments also cemented the incorporation of the war veterans’ league into the Zanu PF structures while also re-introducing District Co-ordinating Committees (DCCs).

The amendments formally incorporated the council of elders, associate members and Diaspora districts.

The council of elders would comprise former presidents while Mnangagwa has the discretion to appoint other members from former members of the presidium and politburo “on account of their probity”.

In an interview, South African-based political analyst Ricky Mukonza said the amendments were Mnangagwa’s attempt to appease war veterans.

“There are clauses that have been added that talk about their importance and role in the party. This could be a reward for the role that they played in ED’s ascendancy to power in 2017,” Mukonza said.

“This could also be Mnangagwa again playing politics of appeasement to his VPs. It could also be an outcome of behind-the-scenes negotiations. Zanu PF was also trying to close the gaps exposed by Musengezi’s challenge of Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power in the party. However, with these changes that have been brought in, does it not prove Sybeth’s case?” Mukonza added.

Political analyst Alexander Rusero, however, noted the insignificance of the changes citing that Mnangagwa was once a victim of the Zanu PF constitution.

Mnangagwa lost the race to succeed the late Simon Muzenda when former vice president Joice Mujuru was elevated from the post of the women’s league boss at the 2004 congress.

 “It was just an ad hoc provision that stopped Mnangagwa from becoming the party vice president after being endorsed by nine provinces. That is when we learnt out of the blue, that there was a provision for a woman vice president with Mugabe doing so to checkmate Mnangagwa,” Rusero said.

He, however, expressed doubt that Mnangagwa, at 80 years old, would change the constitution to consolidate his grip on the party.

“The good thing about the Zanu PF constitution is that it does not have presidential terms. I think that is all one needs as a president. There is nowhere that a whole party can torpedo the president due to the balance of forces that are in and outside Zanu PF.”

Rusero also highlighted the military factor in Zanu PF.

“Mugabe was not removed through the power that resided in Zanu PF but elsewhere. So the army showed us where Zanu PF’s power resides because the whole 2017 operation was choreographed, mediated and operationalised by the military.

“Otherwise, by November 6, 2017, we saw that by the time of his dismissal, Mnangagwa’s faction had been politically grounded. It was only resuscitated by the military intervention,” Rusero said.

He said it would be “naive” for Mnangagwa to avoid balancing the military whose face in the matrix of things is Chiwenga.

Rusero also argued that while the Zanu PF system was complex, constitutions, from a Marxist view, were written to perpetuate and prolong politicians’ stay in power.

Zanu PF activist Masimba Mavaza said it was mischievous to suggest that Mnangagwa was amending the constitution at a whim.

“The constitution is not a yoke. It does not control people. People control the constitution. The constitution is made for the people by the people, not vice versa. The Zanu PF constitution requires that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation,” Mavaza said.

He said the requirement of a woman in the presidium has not been tampered with adding that the constitution had been amended to encompass the chairmanship in the presidium.

“If the chairman is a man then one of the Vice Presidents will be a woman. This amendment is in line with accommodating women into leadership,” he said.

The United Kingdom-based lawyer added that the Musengezi case had become moot.

“It died a natural death. What he has been praying for in court has been healed by congress. His application has been overtaken by the events of the congress,” Mavaza said.

He, however, argued that the appointment of members of the politburo was affected by failure to define the word “immediate” and it was up to the president to define it.

Zanu PF has been battling serious divisions ahead of the congress but the leadership is expected to form a united front as they face  Nelson Chamisa, who formed the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) early this year.

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S Africa’s Ramaphosa faces impeachment threat over farm scandal – Zimbabwe Independent

An independent panel appointed by the speaker of South Africa’s parliament has found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office, findings that could lead to his eventual impeachment.

Parliament will examine the report, which was submitted on Wednesday, and decide whether to push ahead with impeachment proceedings next week.

This comes just weeks before an elective conference that will decide if Ramaphosa gets to run for a second term on the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) ticket at 2024 polls.

The president immediately denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

“I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the South African presidency on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he delayed an appearance in parliament to answer questions, requesting time to consider the report, noting that the panel’s recommendations had “implications for the stability of the country,” parliament said in a statement.

In June, it emerged that an estimated $4m in cash was stolen from Ramaphosa’s game farm in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise of fighting corruption, acquired the money and whether he declared it.

The three-person panel was set up in September and tasked with ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Ramaphosa committed a serious violation of the constitution or the law or grave misconduct, National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said when she was handed the report earlier on Wednesday.

The panel said Ramaphosa should face further scrutiny on his ability to stay in office.

“In all the circumstances, we think that the evidence presented to the Panel, prima facie, establishes that the president may be guilty of a serious violation of certain sections of the constitution,” the report found.

These include not reporting the theft directly to police, acting in a way inconsistent with holding office and exposing himself to a clash between his official responsibilities and his private business.

While Ramaphosa has confirmed that a robbery occurred at his farm, he said the cash was from proceeds from the sales of game. He has denied breaking the law or any regulations relating to his office.

John Steenhuisen, the leader of South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said Ramaphosa was in a tight bind, Reuters news agency reported.

“The report itself leaves the president in a virtually untenable position, particularly as it relates to his own party’s step-aside rules and the strong line that he has taken against others within his party,” he said.

Ramaphosa came to power in 2018 on a promise to root out graft after the corruption-stained era of his former boss, Jacob Zuma, and has generally insisted that any party official accused of corruption leave office pending investigations.

The alleged cover-up has tarnished the president’s reputation and overshadowed his bid for re-election at the helm of the ANC.

Ramaphosa, 70, is the favourite to win at the ruling party’s December 16-20 conference, where he faces a challenge from Zweli Mkhize, 66, an ex-health minister who resigned from the government last year amid corruption allegations.

In November, the spokesperson to the president, Vincent Magwenya, told journalists that Ramaphosa would “gladly step aside” if he were to be criminally charged.

The chances of impeachment are slim given the ANC’s dominance of parliament, where it holds 230 seats, or nearly 60 percent of the total, and typically votes along party lines. Impeaching a president requires a two-thirds majority.

The inquiry is separate from a criminal investigation that police are conducting, and which Ramaphosa has welcomed.

The report will be debated in the national assembly on December 6, said the speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula.

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America, Europe easing their stance on Zimbabwe – Bulawayo24 News

The current economic stability prevailing in the country is indirectly forcing the West to mend its relations with Zimbabwe, economic analysts have said.

Economic analysts, Abednigo Matsika said that the recent developments that include the invitation to the US-Africa summit and proposals towards re-joining the Commonwealth were a manifestation of how President Mnangagwa’s Engagement and Re-engagement policy was bearing fruits.

“We are witnessing a change of stance by the West on Zimbabwe. Of late, the West has been warming up to the Government and has been pouring money to support various developmental projects in the country. Recently, the EU pledged over 100 million Euros to support women empowerment and agriculture programmes in the country. This shows that relations between the West and Zimbabwe are thawing,” said Matsika.

Matsika added that days of Zimbabwe’s isolation by the West were coming to an end. He said the sudden surge of traffic by the EU, US and the United Kingdom (UK) into Zimbabwe was positive and will lead to the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

In explaining how Zimbabwe-West relations were warming up, Matsika said that last week, the country and EU signed financial agreements totalling US46 million under the Zimbabwe-EU cooperative programme. Matsika added that the US46 million aid was an affirmation that the engagement and re-engagement drive with the international community was bearing fruits and that the EU was rapidly moving out of the sanctions orbit.

According to Matsika, the recent visit by the Commonwealth delegation led by Assistant Secretary General, Luis Franschesci shows that the bloc was willing to have Zimbabwe as member of that community. He added that the imminent readmission of Zimbabwe to Commonwealth would spur economic growth and open an avalanche of business opportunities for the country.

Meanwhile, a source within CCC said that the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West had triggered uncertainty within that party which traditionally survives on Zimbabwe’s isolation from the rest of the World. The CCC feels that these developments would rob it of an advantage of boasting that they have the keys to the removal of sanctions and to good relations with the West.

The source said that CCC was plotting to stage violent demonstrations to tarnish the image of the Government.

“The CCC leadership has been shocked by the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the West. We are now planning to stage violent demonstrations in a bid to compel the state security to arrest participants. The idea is to portray Zimbabwe as a country that represses the opposition voice,” said the source.

The source further claimed that Chamisa recently held a caucus meeting with his few trusted lieutenants and expressed worry over the surveys that continue to signpost a ZANU PF victory in the forthcoming elections.

According to the source, Chamisa informed his friends in the region and beyond that a political strategist had advised him to stage violent protests in the country and blame ZANU PF for the same. The move according to the source is meant to force the West to tighten up screws on sanctions.

“Without sanctions, we are gone. We must create conditions that help our supporters, including those in the UK and US to disrupt the reengagement process. We would disrupt the current economic stability .We need economic pain to win,” said the source.

The source added that Chamisa was assembling a team of ruffians who would stage the demonstrations and subsequently get arrested.

On the other side, a ZANU PF supporter Regai Chandiwana of Seke argued that the improvement of relations between Zimbabwe and the West and the possibility of the removal of sanctions would level the electoral playing field which had, hitherto been skewed in favour of the opposition.

“They had the advantage of holding the electorate hostage by threatening to ensure that sanctions would continue to bite if citizens do not vote for the CCC. If   sanctions are lifted, then for the first time in history elections would be fair,” said Chandiwana.

Meanwhile, efforts to get a comment from CCC interim national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere were futile as her phone was not reachable.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24’s community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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National Foods new mill to increase capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month – The Zimbabwe Mail

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed food processing giant National Foods Holdings Limited’s new mill at their Bulawayo site is set to increase wheat milling capacity by 2 000 tonnes per month.

In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the new mill is set to start operating early next year.

“The installation of the new mill at our Bulawayo site has commenced and the mill remains on track for commissioning early in 2023.

The new mill will increase wheat milling capacity by around 2 000 tons per month,” he said.
The establishment of the new flour mill in Bulawayo comes at a time the Government is pushing its devolution agenda of industrialising production zones to boost local economies through employment creation.

In an annual report for 2022, the company’s chairman Mr Todd Moyo said the new mill is set to start operating early next year.

The food processing giant is also embarking on an exciting period of expansion with the entry into a number of new categories, as it seeks to value and add its portfolio of basic products.

Mr Moyo said the introduction of a new milling plant will see the localised manufacturing of products, which had previously been imported, reducing foreign currency requirements and increasing demand for locally processed products.

This is in line with the Buy Zimbabwe campaign, which has seen more people buying more Zimbabwean-made products and is fully supported by the Government as it is critical in attaining an upper-middle-class status by 2030 anchored by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

“The prospects for the current winter wheat crop look encouraging which is a most welcome development as it will reduce import dependency. National Foods continues to play a major role in supporting the local contracted wheat crop,” he said.

The Buy Zimbabwe campaign has helped drive a robust private sector-led initiative resulting in increased local products and the creation of jobs consistent with NDS1.

The chairman added that National Foods continues to keenly support contract farming of maize, soya beans, wheat, sugar beans, sorghum and popcorn.

“During the current winter season around 12 000 hectares of wheat has been planted, representing a significant portion of the contracted crop.

that National Foods continues to keenly support contract farming of maize, soya beans, wheat, sugar beans, sorghum and popcorn.

“In addition to this, 40 000 tons of maize and soya beans were delivered during this year’s summer cropping programme.

“The various products grown under this programme now constitute a significant portion of the Group’s raw material requirements,” he said.

Meanwhile, the food giant’s revenue for the year increased by 33 percent to record $128,4 billion, driven by both volume growth and inflation-driven price increases.

The food giant’s revenue for the year increased by 33 percent to record $128,4 billion, driven by both volume growth and inflation-driven price increases.

The group’s volume for the period increased by eight percent to 569 000 tonnes from 523 480 tonnes compared to the prior year.

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