July 29-August 18, 2015
Compiled by – MIGS Desk Officer for Zimbabwe – Mike Taylor
- Mujuru snubs Zanu-PF
- Zimbabwe's economy is tanking
1) Mujuru snubs Zanu PF
Daily News, August 4, 2015. “Mujuru turns down Mugabe, Zanu PF” by Fungi Kwaramba
- It has now allegedly been confirmed that former Vice President Joice Mujuru and others who were purged from Zanu PF in recent months will not be returning to the ruling party.
- Former Masvingo minister of State, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, one of the main players in the new Zanu “People First” party, said that Mujuru would not be “lured back” to Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
- Bhasikiti said that he, former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo would be speaking on behalf of the new movement. This was jointly decided with former VP Mujuru.
- Mujuru, Mutasa and others, have publicly apologized for being a part of “the brutal system that has misruled this nation.”
- MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is said to be “warming” to the group.
- Bhasikiti said that the new party would be led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru. Didymus Mutasa said that there was no doubt in Mujuru’s mind about her political future.
- Referring to Zanu PF as a corporation, and its members as the private property of Robert Mugabe, Bhasikiti said that the group would soon be recruiting and it will welcome Zanu PF defectors.
Daily News, August 11, 2015. “Mujuru snubs Heroes bash” by Mugove Tafirenyika and Ndakaziva Majaka
- Several liberation war “stalwarts” including former Vice President Joice Mujuru and Morgan Tsvangirai have “snubbed” Heroes Day commemorations around Zimbabwe.
- Mujuru’s husband and war veteran, Solomon Mujuru is buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare. Mujuru did not make an appearance at the national cemetery.
- At the ceremony at the National Heroes Acre, Mugabe castigated Joice Mujuru and her allies. Mugabe threatened that they would not be allowed to be buried at the cemetery as war veterans.
- Mujuru and her allies are associated with a new political party called Zanu “People First” which will challenge Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.
2. Zimbabwe economy tanking
The Zimbabwean, August 6, 2015. “Mugabe’s 2M jobs go up in smoke” by “Jera”
- Two years after Robert Mugabe won a seventh term in office, he has failed to deliver on a promise of 2.2 million jobs for Zimbabweans.
- Mugabe has been rebuffed in several places, including China, Russia and India, in an attempt to find funding for the country’s ZimAsset (Zanu PF’s economic plan).
- Over the last two weeks, Zimbabwe has seen over 6,000 employees dismissed from their jobs.
- National Railways of Zimbabwe, a state-owned company, has shed 355 job recently. National Railways of Zimbabwe has gone from transporting 18 million tonnes of cargo par year at its peak to transporting just three million tonnes per annum in recent years.
- Phelekezela Mphoko has fired several workers from the chain of stores that he owns, citing Rhodesian case law as justification for job termination.
- China is ostensibly holding back on doing business with Zimbabwe because Chinese issuers of insurance seem unwilling to invest in a country that is $1.5 billion in debt to it. China also seems worried about the political risk around Mugabe’s age and lack of a succession plan.
Zimbabwe Independent, August 7, 2015. “Job losses intensify” by Kudzai Kuwaza
- While job losses across Zimbabwe intensify, the government, which is bent on stopping the losses through legislation, must wait until September. Parliament does not reconvene until then.
- 20,000 workers in the formal sector have lost their jobs after a Supreme Court ruling on July 17. The ruling allowed employers to lay off workers on “three months’ notice without retrenchment packages.
- The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is poised to fight the termination of contracts in court. The organization has collected 3,600 letters of dismissal indicating unfair termination of employment.
- Newspapers the Herald, the Sunday News, the Sunday Mail and the Chronicle from the government-controlled Zimpapers group are ostensibly planning layoffs.
- Other independent media groups have also begun to lay off workers. Many other state-controlled corporations have already or are preparing to lay off several employees.
Daily News, August 9, 2015. “Zim’s economy dying” by Helen Kadirire and Sharon Muguwu
- Analysts have concluded that contrary to government propaganda, Zimbabwe’s economy is “definitely dying.” This conclusion comes while there are “worsening liquidity challenges, company closures and job losses.”
- The analysts have blamed Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF who appear incapable of solving the myriad of economic issues currently affecting Zimbabwe’s economy.
- A “leading think-tank” believes that there is potential for Zimbabwe to become a potential conflict zone as the economy declines.
- Political scientist Eldred Masunungure believes that Robert Mugabe is purposefully allowing for job losses to continue. Mugabe could theoretically stop the losses through decree. Masunungure believes that Zanu PF wants to unload “surplus labour.”
- Zimbabwe’s economy, with a rate of unemployment estimated at 95 percent, cannot afford another economic contraction. NKC African Economics, a South Africa-based research institute affiliated with Oxford University has said that although Zanu PF has been resilient amidst adversity in the past, this economic slum may see the patience of the population grow increasingly thin.
Daily News, August 12, 2015. “Horror of 2008 back as economic meltdown accelerates” by Bridget Mananavire
- Analysts have said that Zimbabwe has hit the “depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008” when the country slipped into a state of political violence.
- Joblessness and poverty continue to spread as the economy nose-dives, yet the supermarkets remain full of food. The availability of food is the major difference between 2008 and 2015. However, the food may be available but not necessarily affordable.
- The analysts say that Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have been too focused on factionalism and have been ignoring serious governance issues.
- Mugabe’s age and exclusion of the political opposition have also been mentioned as serious hindrances to the economy.
The Herald, August 11, 2015 “Mining attracts investors” by Munesu Nyakudya
- Zimbabwe’s mining industry is currently the biggest target for foreign investors according to Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Fred Moyo.
- Mining currently accounts for 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s foreign export earnings.
- The mining sector has been in decline since 2000. Mine closures and “viability” problems have negatively affected the sector although an increase in demand has seen a comeback for mining.
- The deputy minister also said that coalbed methane is a resource that has been identified in Zimbabwe for exploitation.
The Herald, August 14, 2015. “Job market to self-correct on economic recovery”
- An expert has said that the 20,000 job losses seen in Zimbabwe in less than four weeks are a “necessary evil that will correct itself if allowed to play out.”
- Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management Africa director, Dr. Chris Kasiyazi said that the move was “laying the ground for positive medium-term economic feedback.”
- Kasiyazi said the move was “overdue” in order to instigate an economic recovery. He said that the job losses make up for labour laws biased against employers and investors. The laws left the owners with an inefficient labour force with a “low work ethic.”
- New amendments to labour legislation will be designed to protect both employers and employees.