Finance Secretary Mthuli Ncube presented the new state Budget on November 22, which can only be described as a harsh austerity budget, tempered only by the promise to pay the 13th month pay within the financial year, a big improvement on past years. Some of the austerity is good – cutting wages to ghost state employees. But most of it will crush down on the people – higher fuel taxes and transaction tax, an end to ‘Command Agriculture’, and an end to state bailout of private companies.
Last week marked the first anniversary of the deposing of former President Robert Mugabe by the military putting him and his wife Grace under house arrest, and then the ZANU-PF MPs resolving to impeach him. There was no celebration as the country struggled with economic collapse, disappointment and ongoing political paralysis.
The new government of President Mnangagwa has not only run into a panic buying crisis, but also an alleged scandal of corrupt management of the US dollars everyone needs so desperately. It is alleged that the whole state has been captured by Sakunda Holdings owner Kuda Tagwirei. Sakunda Holdings has a private monopoly over fuel imports. The new Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and the Reserve Bank Governor appear paralysed by the situation.
The preventive arrest of 20 Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions last Thursday was aimed at stopping mass protests at a new 2 per cent tax on all electronic transactions. This state action demonstrated that despite the rhetoric of democratic change, important democratic rights to assemble and to protest are not respected. Yet this is just what President Mnangagwa has been trying to convince the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the Commonwealth and his African neighbours he stands for.
It is now the beginning of October, and the national elections took place on July 30 – seemingly an age ago. It took the Supreme Court challenge before a new government could be sworn in on September 7. All the while the defeated MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, maintained that he had won the election outright, but was cheated by ZANU-PF and cheated next by the Supreme Court, and until today he has continued to insist that President Mnangagwa and his government are illegitimate.
The Zimbabwe Information Centre has been waiting for a clear picture to emerge following the national and provincial and local elections held on Monday, July 30, 2018. The election day was remarkably peaceful and happy, with a very large number of international and national observers reporting in these terms.
In the days prior to the July 30 national elections in Zimbabwe, former Senator and Special Minister of State Mrs Sekai Holland made a six-minute video message.
Please click on this link.
February 16, 2018,
Movement for Democratic Change—T
Dear Elias and all MDC-T Leaders and members,
The Zimbabwe Information Centre Inc was established in 1999 to support the democratic movement and sustainable development in Zimbabwe, and Morgan has been a focus of our admiration, support and concern in all the years since.
By Dominique Schwartz on PM,
Australian Broadcasting Corporation