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Zim drops on world peace rankings; Second Republic blamed for toxic political environment – New

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE has continued to slide on the Global Peace Index (GPI) rankings and is currently perched on number 127 in the world and number 31 out of 44 nations in sub-Saharan Africa.

The latest rankings come as the world today commemorates International Day of Peace under the theme “End Racism, Build Peace.”

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) national spokesperson, Obert Masarure, in a statement to mark the day, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s so-called Second Republic has presided over an escalating political situation characterised by political intolerance and violence.

Said Masaraure: “lndeed, peace is worth celebrating where it exists, as it is the cornerstone of sustainable and inclusive development. Peace is what has held communities, nations and the globe together and provided the foundation for some of humanity’s greatest achievements and advances to date.

“It is unfortunate that this year’s edition of the International Day of Peace comes at a time when Zimbabwe has continued to slide down the Global Peace Index, being placed number 127 in the world and number 31 out of 44 nations in sub-Saharan Africa.

“In 2017, when President Mnangagwa took over power, Zimbabwe was on number 118, and since then, the country’s peace ratings have continued to retreat.

“This trend has been largely attributed to the government’s failure to effectively tackle the scourge of political violence, which is itself the
result of a country that is always seemingly in ‘election mode’.

“Political polarisation seems to have split the country into two irreconcilable political camps, fanned by political leaders and cascading
into the communities and virtually all facets of life. This political polarisation remains the greatest threat to peace in Zimbabwe.”

Masaraure said local citizens continue to be subjected to an even worse form of violence – economic violence – which the government of Zimbabwe and including the ruling party infrastructure, continues to perpetrate on citizens, both within and outside the ruling party.

“Beyond selective application of the law, the government and ruling party have also made it an ‘unofficial’ policy to selectively accord (or deny) citizens economic opportunity and a chance to attain a livelihood, based on political party affiliation.

“Beyond such tendencies bordering on democide, such denial of equal access to economic opportunity is the greatest driver of outward migration of Zimbabwean citizens to other countries.

“Economic violence against citizens has also found expression in the high-level corruption and looting of national resources, which now all seem to have the blessing of the ruling party.”

The government, CiZC noted, cannot guarantee its citizens basic social services and goods, decent livelihoods and a properly functioning economy.

The spike in violent crimes was an indicator the centre could nolonger hold, Masarure highlighted.

“The increase in violent crime across the country negates any parotted progress under the Second Republic, and is a clear sign that the
government’s dalliance with ‘speculative’ capital is not only exploitative, but is itself a danger to any long-term and sustainable recovery of the Zimbabwe economy.

“The current government’s key international capital alliances are unlikely to result in sustainable economic growth, but just the plunder of national resources and enrichment of a few politically connected elites.”

CiZC implored the government and the ruling party Zanu PF, to rise above toxic, violent and destructive politics based on hate and discrimination, and for once, begin to show genuine political will towards the respect for the Constitution’s principles on peace, good governance and democracy.

“It is indeed worrying when the government of the day and the ruling party continue to be champions of undermining peace and democracy; actively pursuing the politics of persistent inequality, selective law application, political conflict, and ethnic and tribal discrimination.

“It is these tendencies which have collectively worked to destabilise our Zimbabwean society and in the process, undermines the very legitimacy of government.

“Cases of political violence, with the ruling Zanu PF party as the major perpetrator, continue to soar ahead of what is likely to be a violent 2023 general election,” said Masaraure.

State security agents, Zanu PF supporters and militia have continued to collude in unleashing violence on opposition supporters, journalists and civil rights activists and human rights defenders, especially those that have sought to speak out against government’s excesses and hold it to account, he added.

“Communities in rural areas have continued to report incidents of intimidation, harassment, hate speech and assault, while the government has continued to systematically ban or curtail opposition and civil society activities.

“As we write, 16 opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party activists, including two legislators, have been detained for over three months and lawyers representing the 16 have said the detainees are being treated in remand prison as hardcore criminals and they are being denied visitors and food.

“Yet, these citizens have a right to bail. That the perpetrator of the heinuous murder of Moreblessing Ali, at whose funeral wake these activists were arrested, is out on bail, represents a great travesty of justice, which is not conducive for building peace.

“Beyond the selective application of the law, the enactment of draconian and colonial era laws also fans hatred and undermines peace.

“The mooted PVO Amendment Bill isa sign of an unrepentant political elite that is refusing to be bound by norms of good governance. Most of the laws that the government is increasingly relying on are ultra vires the Constitution, which again is another source of conflict that undermines peace.”

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Chief declares Zhombe no-go area for Zimbabwe opposition – Bulawayo24 News

ZHOMBE traditional leader, Chief Samuel Samambwa, has declared the district a no-go area for opposition political parties, but complained that successive Zanu-PF governments have failed to electrify his homestead.

Speaking during the commissioning of Sherwood Clinic recently, the traditional leader said the opposition was not going to get any votes from his area, declaring it a preserve of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He insisted that his subjects would vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in next year’s general elections.

Chief Samambwa pledged his loyalty, and that of his subjects to Zanu-PF, in the presence of Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Larry Mavhima.

“Minister, I want you to take this message to President and tell him that he has our support here in Zhombe. He must be rest assured that the opposition is not going to get anything in Zhombe; that is a Zanu-PF stronghold,” he said.

President Mnangagwa owns a thriving farming enterprise in Sherwood Block, just a few kilometres from Zhombe.

The farming enterprise falls under Samambwa’s jurisdiction.

The Chief however, took opportunity of the event to lash out at government for failing to instal electricity in his village.

“I want to tell the minister that I don’t have electricity at my place. I need electricity, the minister must, therefore, look into that issue,” he said.

Local traditional leaders stand accused of helping coerce their subjects to vote for Zanu-PF in contravention of constitutional provisions clearly stating that they must not leaders must not “be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics … act in a partisan manner (or) further the interests of any political party or cause”.

Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president Fortune Charumbira has been defiant over the issue, declaring that “Chiefs will never leave Zanu-PF’.

“On behalf of all chiefs in this country, I want to tell you that we are together. It’s true we are together. We are behind you. I want to repeat this because there are people who ask us why we come here,” Charumbira told Zanu-PF’s annual conference in 2021.

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South Africa’s beleaguered Zuma open to return to politics – New

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By Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG: Beleaguered former South African President Jacob Zuma says he is ready to make a surprise return to politics by standing for a top position at the ruling African National Congress’ elective conference in December — if he is nominated by party members.

The 80-year-old Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018 before he was forced to resign amid wide-ranging allegations of corruption in government and state-owned institutions.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison last year for defying a court order to testify at a judicial commission investigating corruption during his tenure, and has since been released on medical parole. Zuma is also facing trial for corruption in a separate case involving a major arms deal the South African government was negotiating more than 20 years ago, around the time Zuma was a deputy president of South Africa.

In a statement released late Monday, Zuma said he had been approached by some ANC members to consider contesting for the position of party chairman at the end of the year.

“I have indicated that I will be guided by the branches of the ANC and that I will not refuse such a call (to contest for the chairman position) should they deem it necessary for me to serve the organization again at that level or any other,” Zuma said.

The party meeting at the end of the year will be crucial to the future of current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is facing stiff opposition to be re-elected ANC leader and stay on as the country’s president.

Zuma has been critical of his successor and the pair are seen to be part of opposing factions within a divided ANC.

Zuma also endorsed his ex-wife, current government minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to contest for the position of president of the ANC against Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa’s position has been weakened by his struggle to get a grip on corruption, a scandal of his own involving a large amount of cash stolen from his ranch, and an ongoing electricity crisis that has recently left Africa’s most developed economy in power blackouts for up to 10 hours a day.

Zuma is still popular among some factions of the ANC and at grassroots levels in some regions, but it’s unclear how he would deal with an ANC rule that anyone facing criminal charges may not stand for leadership positions. The rule also demands that those occupying leadership positions should “step aside” from their positions if they are charged.

The corruption charges Zuma faces are linked to a 1999 arms deal, and the case covers a time when he was a political figure on the rise and then deputy president. He is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales to provide political protection for the multi-billion dollar deal. Zuma has denied the charges and has moved to have the prosecutor taken off the case, claiming he is biased.

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UK: Opposition MP apologises for calling finance minister ‘superficially’ black – New – The Zimbabwe News You Trust is Zimbabwe’s leading online newspaper and published by New Zimbabwe Media Ltd.

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