Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Britain's Head in the Sand Over Kenyan Abuses

Britain’s head in the sand

August 1, 2013 Opinion & Analysis
Southern Times
Elliot Ross

EVEN after the Mau Mau case the British will never stop kidding themselves about the crimes of Empire Torture comes cheap for the old imperial powers. Just £2 670 was paid out in June to each of the 5 228 elderly Kenyans judged eligible for compensation as the British government finally settled a case it has attempted to block every step of the way (between 2005 and 2011 it insisted that officials had “misplaced” or “forgotten about” a secret archive of 2 000 boxes of files detailing late colonial abuses from all over the world).

With characteristic cynicism, the government briefed journalists that there would be an apology, and then never made one.

Despite prominent reporting of that phantom apology, there has been merely an expression of “regret” from William Hague, and an insistence that “a line be drawn” beneath this awkward national embarrassment.

Unfortunately, at least in the British national consciousness, it looks like that is exactly what is happening.

Our colonial torturers, like those who survived our abuses, are old and dying (like the Scot Ian Henderson CBE, torturer-in-chief in Kenya in the 1950s, later nicknamed the “Butcher of Bahrain”, who died in June).

If a meaningful public reckoning with the crimes of our empire is ever to take place while the last of the perpetrators and the victims are still with us, then it has to happen now.

Yet even in the face of overwhelming documentary and testimonial evidence of the scale and brutality of our imperial sadism, this reckoning is simply not taking place.

Many of us Britain have our heads so stuffed with jingoism that we can’t make any sense of this part of our history, and so choose to ignore it.

We know from our official reports that we roasted people alive.

We know that the salient feature of the way that we tortured was our preference for overtly sexual techniques.

One of the five who brought the case, Jane Muthoni Mara, had bottles filled with boiling water pushed into her vagina (a technique that was not at all uncommon).

Like many of the men awarded compensation, Paolo Nzili and Ndiku Mutua were castrated.

As a society, we have been nowhere near appalled enough by these revelations.

I find myself at a loss to know what it would take for us to properly face up to our past.

Whether in Kenya half-a-century ago or in Iraq this past decade (Baha Mousa’s murder bears striking similarities to the kinds of abuse recorded in the Mau Mau files), we just can’t seem to take our history of torture seriously.

The national frenzy for vacuous expressions of “support” for “Our Boys” — regardless of who they are fighting or how — has created a public sphere in which anything but the most craven deference for the British armed forces is taken as a traitorous slur.

Blair’s wars have somehow deepened and popularised our collective post-colonial melancholia.

We have a national fairytale that Mau Mau was really about the rape of white women and white infants butchered in their beds.

That cover story is proving hard to budge from the popular imagination, and somehow “Mau Mau” remains a shorthand expression describing their brutality, not ours.

The BBC made an excellent documentary, “Kenya: White Terror”, over a decade ago now, and it deserves a prime-time re-run now that the case has been settled (don’t miss the segment from 32 minutes in, where former prison official Trevor Gavaghan silently eyeballs the interviewer when confronted about his abuses).

Cristina Odone’s unpardonable column in the Daily Telegraph (newspaper of middle England, older expatriates, military history enthusiasts and colonial nostalgists, which was also the first to report on the case back in 2005) was typical of the scornful reaction to the compensation claims two years ago.

Odone characterised the claimants as ungrateful natives, merely scrounging from the British as usual, and their lawyers as engaging in a kind of historical ambulance-chasing.

I know a little about the Mau Mau because my parents lived in Kenya just as their reign of terror drew to an end.

Local farmers, black and white, lived in fear for their lives during the 1950s and into 1960: rapes, pillaging, arson and torture were routine.

Although they are now being reinvented as freedom fighters, my parents remember that when the British colonial authorities tried to stamp out the Mau Mau rebellion, many native Kenyans were as grateful as their adoptive compatriots (or evil white imperialists, whichever you prefer) proof that the colonial government, with the explicit support of the Westminster authorities, carried out systematic human rights abuses is yet to surface.

Leigh & Day (the law firm) have spotted what some might feel is a lucrative niche: in our self-hating culture, where the Prime Minister felt he should publicly apologise for the legacy of the British Empire, the “victims” of colonial rule — deserving or not — will have the blessing of public opinion in their fights for compensation.

Any chance of an apology from the Mau Mau?

Odone hasn’t written on the matter since.
Neither has there been a cheep from our dunce of an Education Secretary Michael Gove, who gave the job of overhauling our namby-pamby history curriculum to noted bigot Niall Ferguson, whose ultra-thin skin is of course matched only by his mindless rah-rah enthusiasm for the British Empire.

Our history syllabuses have in fact been in need of reform for a long time — we learn about Nazi Germany and the European theatre of the Second World War ad nauseam, and very little else, which is one reason why young people in Britain are as likely as their grandparents to suffer from our weird national obsession with the Nazis (and therefore with our own role as history’s perennial heroes).

The American media hasn’t paid much attention to the case either (though David Anderson wrote a great column in the New York Times on some of the wider ramifications).

Barack Obama hasn’t said a word, despite journalists like the Guardian’s superb Ian Cobain reporting that Obama’s own grandfather was tortured by the British:

“Among the detainees who suffered severe mistreatment was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of Barack Obama.

“According to his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his fingernails and buttocks and squeezed his testicles between metal rods.”

Who knows?

Perhaps President Obama has his own reasons for not wanting to say too much about the torture and extrajudicial killing of “military age males” classed as anti-colonial insurgents.

Never mind that he is himself the beneficiary of decades of black radical struggle in America that took inspiration from the Mau Mau’s fight against the British.

History sometimes seems to move very fast.
Africa is A Country

Confessions of a British terrorist

Here’s the full text of an extraordinary letter by David Larder, the first registered British conscientious objector against colonial warfare, recently published in the Guardian following the settlement of the Mau Mau case:

I doubt if all the secrets of the Kikuyu uprising will ever be known.

Young soldiers were brainwashed into believing they were fighting in Kenya for our glorious empire.

Sixty years ago I was there as a 19-year-old national service officer.

I am delighted that the government has given some token compensation for Kenyans who suffered torture.

I still suffer from memories of the British apartheid system there and numerous instances of arbitrary killing and brutality by British forces, Kenya police and Kenyan African Rifles.

In reality we protected land-grabbing British farmers and enriched UK companies.

Young troops were encouraged to shoot any African on sight in certain areas. Prize money was offered by senior officers for every death.

The brains of one young black lad I shot with no warning (by orders) landed on my chest.

He had no weapons, only a piece of the Bible and part of an English-language primer in his pocket.

Before I burned his body near the farm where he had been working, I was ordered to cut off his hands, which I did, and put them in my ammunition pouches, as we’d run out of fingerprinting kits.

Of course, he was recorded as “a terrorist”.

I was told to shoot down unarmed women in the jungle because they were carrying food to the so-called “Mau Mau” — a word they never called themselves.

The whole of this Kenyan tragedy was predictable.

Although Kenyan black troops had fought for the British in the Second World War, they were rewarded with their land being taken away, no Press or trade union freedom, suppression of political movements and slave-like conditions of work, which I witnessed.

Yes, some black Kenyans did turn on others for not rising up against such indignities.

But many of those who were killed were local chiefs and their supporters, who had co-operated with hugely rich white farmers.

However, the revenge killings by the colonial authorities were totally disproportionate — with bombing raids, burning of villages and the forced movement of thousands of families onto poorer land, in the name of “protection”.

Very few white people were killed by Africans.

But it wasn’t just the black people who suffered. I remember telling my company commander that a young soldier whose medical records showed he was only fit for clerical work should not go on a military exercise.

I was laughed at. He was forced to go. After three hours’ steep climb through jungle, he died in my arms, probably from a heart attack.

Because I remonstrated, I was ordered to take a donkey and carry his body, which kept slipping off, for nearly a week to deposit him at HQ on the other side of the Aberdare mountains. His mother was told he was a hero who’d died on active service.

I was sickened by my experiences. I disobeyed orders and was court-martialled and dismissed from the service. I actually thought I was going to be shot.

Stripped of my uniform, I was told to make my own way home. Then I wrote to Bessie Braddock, the Labour MP, and was put back in my uniform to fly home in a RAF plane.

After campaigning around the country for Kenyan Independence, I received new call-up papers, because I had not finished my national service.

I then decided to stand trial and become the first British man allowed to be registered as a conscientious objector against colonial warfare.

History has proved me right.

With these expressions of “regret” by our Foreign Secretary, I now feel vindicated for being pilloried as a “conchie”.

—Southern Times

Sudan President Bashir to Attend Iranian Presidential Inauguration

Sudan’s Bashir, Chinese culture minister to attend Rohani swearing-in

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:21PM GMT

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is due to visit Iran to take part in the upcoming inauguration ceremony of Hassan Rohani as Iran’s new president.

Bashir will travel to Tehran to participate in the ceremony scheduled for August 4, one day after Rohani’s endorsement ceremony by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The Sudanese president plans to meet a number of senior Iranian officials during his stay in Tehran, and will discuss bilateral ties as well as regional and international developments with them.

In another development, Chinese Minister of Culture Cai Wu will also attend Rohani’s inauguration ceremony as a special guest.

Lawmaker Mohammad Yasrebi revealed on Sunday that ten heads of state, five Parliament speakers, and six foreign ministers would participate in Rohani’s inauguration ceremony.

He added that the presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, and Tajikistan as well as three prime ministers, including the prime ministers of Syria and Swaziland, would take part in the event.

Yasrebi stated that the parliament speakers of Russia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Oman, and the Congo would be also present at the ceremony.

Sudan Soldiers Killed in Rebel Ambush in Abyei

Sudan in rebel ambush kills 9 soldiers transporting fuel to UN troops in Abyei

Published July 31, 2013
Associated Press

KHARTOUM, Sudan – Sudan's Foreign Ministry says a rebel ambush on an army convoy has killed nine soldiers.

The convoy was transporting fuel supplies for the U.N. mission in Abyei, a disputed region between Sudan and South Sudan.

In a statement Wednesday, the ministry said two of the dead were officers. Another 35 soldiers were wounded in the Saturday attack.

The statement said rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement of Jibrel Ibrahim fled with the fuel before destroying the military's transport trucks.

Abyei is a volatile area because of the dispute between the two neighbors. The U.N. mission there helps mark the border in the oil-rich desert region and monitors a demilitarized zone.

Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting the local rebel movements.

U.S. War in Somalia Centered on Oil Resources

U.S. Pushes 'Secret War' in Somalia While Oil Companies Fish for the Gold

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 14:30 1
Special to the NNPA from GIN

In a good week, reports from the Horn of Africa couldn’t be more upbeat. “Somalia is a good news story for the region—for the region, for the international community, but most especially, for the people of Somalia itself,” declared Johnnie Carson, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs last October.

This year, however, the news picture went from upbeat to grim. Foreign Policy magazine reported that the U.S. has upped its aid to Somali intelligence agencies allied against al-Shabaab, the country’s Islamist insurgency.

Training camps were preparing Ugandan peacekeepers to fight Somalia militants, and Predator drones, fighter jets and nearly 2,000 U.S. troops and military civilians were being parked at a base in neighboring Djibouti.

Despite billions in U.S. aid being spent on Somalia to, as President Obama observed, “strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace,” a new U.N. report confirms that “the military strength of al-Shabaab, with an approximately 5,000-strong force, remains arguably intact in terms of operational readiness, chain of command, discipline and communication capabilities.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. is pulled deeper into this costly and seemingly unwinnable war, Western oil companies from Canada and Norway are trolling Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions—Puntland and Somaliland—for potentially enriching oil exploration contracts.

In some cases, Somaliland and Puntland have awarded licenses for exploration zones that overlap.

The UN Monitoring Group warns: “Potentially, this means that exploration operations in these blocks, conducted by both DNO [Norwayand Africa Oil [Canada] under the protection of regional security forces, its allied militia or private forces, could generate new conflict between Somaliland and Puntland.”

“It is alarming that regional security forces and armed groups may clash to protect and further Western-based oil companies interests,” the U.N. report said.

12 Bombs Defused in Occupied Libyan Capital of Tripoli

Libya rebel forces defuse 12 bombs in Tripoli: Interior Ministry

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:52PM GMT

Libya’s U.S.-backed rebel Interior Ministry says security forces have defused 12 bombs planted in a vehicle outside a hotel in the capital Tripoli.

According to a statement released by the rebel Interior Ministry spokesman Rami Kaal on Tuesday, the bombs were found Monday night in the car parked outside the Radisson-Blu Hotel in central Tripoli.

“The explosives, which had been set to be activated from a distance, were defused,” the statement added.

In recent months, armed men have launched several attacks on buildings including foreign embassies in Tripoli.

On July 25, unidentified assailants carried out an attack against the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the Libyan capital.

The attackers reportedly fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the UAE compound, which houses both the embassy and the ambassador’s residence.

Following the attack, Libyan Interior Ministry said in a statement that there were no injuries in the attack in western Tripoli’s Siahia neighborhood and that “an investigation is under way.”

On July 13, a rocket hit a residential building near the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli.

In April, two French guards have been injured in a car bomb attack targeting France’s embassy in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, has seen a wave of violence in recent months. Benghazi is the cradle of the 2011 imperialist-engineered war which toppled the revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi. The city has been the scene of numerous attacks and assassinations since then.

Over the past months, eastern Libya has been hit by bombings and assassinations targeting judges as well as military and police officers who worked under martyred revolutionary leader.

In February 2011, Libyan rebels backed by the Pentagon, the CIA and NATO rose up against Gaddafi’s four-decade rule and deposed him in August 2011. He was slain in his hometown of Sirte on October 20 of the same year.

Former Libyan Education Minister Order Executed by Misrata Rebels

Libya: Gadhafi-Era Minister Sentenced to Execution

Esam Mohamed July 31, 2013

(TRIPOLI, Libya) — A criminal court in Libya’s western city of Misrata sentenced a Gadhafi-era education minister to death on Wednesday for murder and for inciting violence during the 2011 imperialist war led by the Pentagon and NATO.

It was the second such guilty verdict by the same court in recent days.

A judge found Ahmed Ibrahim guilty of inciting residents in Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte to fight the rebels that were seeking to overthrow the Libyan leader. Ibrahim also was convicted of spreading false news through the local radio station and terrorizing and demoralizing the public.

The judge also found him guilty of killing a man named Moftan Sadiq el-Sofrani after kidnapping him from a hospital, as well as giving orders to kidnap and kill five other people from the el-Sofrani family.

The el-Sofrani family’s lawyer, Salim Dans, told The Associated Press that the case will be sent to Libya’s Supreme Court, which will either accept the initial sentencing or accept an appeal, if filed.

According to Libyan law, Ibrahim will be executed by a firing squad. No timeframe was given.

Gadhafi was captured by rebel forces in October 2011 and killed.

A few days ago, the same court in Misrata sentenced Masnour Al-Daw Gadhafi to death for his role in the civil war. He belongs to the Gadhafi family and was a top security chief of one of Libya’s most-hated security bodies called the Popular Guard. He also had been captured by rebels.

Egypt Reiterates Rejection of African Union Suspension

Egypt reiterates rejection to AU suspension

31 July 2013 04:12

Egyptian officials reiterated Tuesday their rejection to the decision to suspend Egypt's participation in the African Union (AU)'s activities, APA reports quoting AP.

The remarks came at a time when Alpha Oumar Konare, head of a nine-member African delegation currently visiting the country, stressed the decision was not part of a conspiracy against Egypt's pioneering role in Africa.

Two days after the ouster of Egypt's Islamist-oriented President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, the AU's Peace and Security Council suspended the country's membership, describing the overthrow of Morsi as "unconstitutional."

In response, Egypt sent high-level envoys to African countries to explain the Egyptian point of view, asking them to revoke the pan-Africa organization's decision.

The AU high-level panel for Egypt is visiting Egypt from July 27 to August 5 to collect information and consult with the Egyptian authorities as well as other stakeholders the situation here.

Since its arrival on Sunday, the African group has met with interim President Adli Mansour, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, and representatives from the Tamarud, a campaign launched earlier this year to demand Morsi's stepping down, and the 6 April youth movement.

During his meeting with the AU panel Tuesday, Minister of Transitional Justice Amin el-Mahdi reiterated Egypt's rejection to the African decision, stressing that the terms of membership suspension are not applicable in the case of Egypt.

"The AU Peace and Security Council has failed to see the popular revolution on June 30. The military stance was in line with the people's demands to have an interim civilian president and to amend the constitution."

"The Armed Forces intervened to protect millions of peaceful citizens and prevent clashes after a political solution could not be reached," el-Mahdi said, underlining that what happened in Egypt cannot be considered as "unconstitutional change" of governments.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Foreign Minister Fahmi said the "rushed" African Peace and Security Council decision was based on " completely false" information.

For his part, Konare refused to answer a question whether he describes what happened in Egypt as a military coup or popular revolution. While his delegation also wants to meet with Morsi, reportedly held incommunicado since his overthrow, and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, the Salafist party, and the country's religious leaders.

Egypt FM calls South Africa coup statement 'an insult'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

In response to official statement regarding 3 July 'coup', Egypt FM calls on South Africa to address its own protesters before 'interfering' in Egyptian internal affairs

Egypt's interim foreign minister issued a statement on Tuesday expressing discontent with South Africa's "inaccurate" reading of the current situation in Egypt following the popularly-backed army removal of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

"The insistence on describing Egypt's popular revolution as an unconstitutional change of government, and the continued acknowledgment of the former president's an insult to the will of millions of Egyptians," read the statement.

The ministry's comments come in response to a statement issued by South Africa on Tuesday in which the country reiterated its disapproval of the "unconstitutional removal of the democratically elected president and the suspension of Egypt's constitution," describing it as a breach of the norms and standards adopted by the African Union (AU).

The South Africa statement also expressed concern regarding the excessive violence used against supporters of the deposed president, a reference to the killing of at least 80 protesters in clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and the police on Saturday.

The Egyptian foreign ministry responded by accusing the South Africa government of disregarding the alleged use of weapons against security forces in Saturday's clashes.

The Egyptian statement went on to urge South Africa to focus on the rights of protesting mine workers in their country "instead of interfering in internal matters of an African country the size and greatness of Egypt."

Egypt has maintained tense relations in recent years with fellow African countries, especially those Nile Basin countries with which it is in dispute regarding water distribution.

Egypt's interim foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised countries that call Morsi's overthrow a military 'coup,' on the grounds that these countries do not have a clear understanding of Egypt's political situation.

The AU suspended Egypt's membership on 5 July, two days after Morsi's removal,in accordance with its strict rules against unconstitutional changes of government.

On Tuesday, AU head Alpha Oumar Konare met with Egypt's transitional justice minister Amin El-Mahdi in Cairo, where he emphasised that the AU's decision was "not a conspiracy against Egypt's leadership" but rather part of the union's efforts to stop military coups in African nations.

Egypt's Morsi meets AU delegation, saying he feels " unfairness"
2013-07-31 20:34:43

CAIRO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- A visiting African Union (AU) delegation has met with Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, during which the latter said he "feels unfairness," Egyptian official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.

The nine-member African delegation, dubbed African Wise Panel, is headed by former president of Mali, Alpha Oumar Konare.

"We met the deposed president Tuesday night and he told us that he was ousted from power and that he feels unfairness," former president of Botswana, Fetus Mogae, was quoted by MENA as saying.

"We told Morsi that he should take part in achieving peace and preventing violence and that we support opening dialogue with all sides to reach a peaceful solution for the current situation," he added.

Meanwhile, Konare, head of the delegation, said that his mission was briefed on details clarifying the June 30 event as " uprising, not a military coup."

He also noted that the decision of suspending Egypt's activities in the AU wasn't a "punitive" measure, but a measure to helping the AU's legation acquire information and open dialogue.

Konare also emphasized that the delegation's visit to Egypt comes within the "friendship" and "brotherhood," expressing its support for Egypt's comprehensive reconciliation.

The AU high-level panel visits Egypt from July 27 to Aug. 5 to collect information as well as consult with the Egyptian authorities and different parties the situation here.

Since its arrival on Sunday, the African group has met with Egypt's interim President Adli Mansour, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, and representatives of the Tamarud (Rebel) campaign, an opposition group demanding Morsi's stepping down, and the April 6 youth movement.

It will meet with other political forces' representatives, including the Muslim Brotherhood, in the following days.

African Union delegation meetings continue

Rana Muhammad Taha
Daily News Egypt
July 31, 2013

A fact-finding delegation from the African Union (AU) met on Tuesday with Minister of Defence Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.

The delegation arrived in Cairo on Sunday to meet with the leadership following the country’s suspension from all union activities.

The delegation was scheduled to meet with representatives from the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy (NCSL) on Tuesday. Mohamed Soudan, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) spokesman in Alexandria, said the delegation was visiting to further investigate the “massacres” taking place in the country.

At least 53 civilians were killed in clashes which occurred between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces outside the Republican Guards headquarters on 8 July. On Saturday, violence broke out near the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in leaving at least 80 protesters dead.

“The delegation is here to know more about the massacres, meet with the victims, see the protesters who have been sitting-in at Rabaa for 31 days,” Soudan said. The delegation is expected to meet coalition members at the Rabaa sit-in.

Soudan said the NCSL supports the AU’s decision to suspend Egypt’s membership from all union activities.

The delegation also met with representatives from the Tamarod rebel movement and 6 April youth movement founder Ahmed Maher on Monday.

In a statement released on Monday, 6 April said Maher explained to the delegation members that what happened starting from 30 June was “the third wave of the January 25th revolution.”

Mai Wahba, Tamarod media coordinator, said she believed relations with the AU would take a positive turn after the delegation’s visit. Wahba was one of the Tamarod representatives who met with the delegation.

“The delegation members explained that suspending Egypt’s activities was only a precautionary measure taken due to the frequency of coups which took place in Africa,” Wahba said.

The delegation is chaired by Alpha Omar Konaré, a former president of Mali who also chaired the African Union Commission from 2003 to 2008, and includes the Prime Minister of Djibouti and a special representative from the office of the Botswanan President.

The delegation had already met with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Sunday.

The commission is due to present a report of their findings to AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the coming weeks.

AU delegation in Egypt avoids 'coup' description

World Bulletin (

A nine-member high-level delegation led by Konaré arrived in Cairo earlier today to reassess the situation in the country after a decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to freeze Egypt's membership following Morsi's ouster.

The head of the visiting African Union delegation, Alpha Oumar Konaré, on Sunday avoided describing the army ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi as either a "military coup" or a "popular revolution."

In a joint press conference with interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Konare, the former president of Mali and former chairperson of the African Union Commission, refused to answer a question on whether he would describe what happened as a "military coup" or a "popular revolution."

"We would not want to go into these details. We just arrived in Cairo," he said.

A nine-member high-level delegation led by Konaré arrived in Cairo earlier today to reassess the situation in the country after a decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to freeze Egypt's membership following Morsi's ouster.

Konaré said the delegation came to stand by the Egyptian people and meet with all parties to work together to end violence and initiate a dialogue to meet the challenges ahead.
He did not clarify whether that included meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Asked whether the visit would be a step towards reversing the AU's membership suspension decision, Konaré stressed that Egypt would want to see that happen.

The AU delegation, which is expected to stay in Egypt for several days, is also expected to meet interim President Adly Mansour, though it was not clear when.

The AU has suspended Egypt’s membership following the army's removal of Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, on July 3.

The decision is an automatic measure taken by the body following any military interruption of constitutional rule in a member state.
Egypt has sent high-level envoys to African countries to explain the latest developments in the country and demand revoking the decision.

The Foreign Ministry said last week that AU officials had "shown understanding" regarding ongoing developments in Egypt.

The powerful army ousted elected Morsi, suspended the constitution and installed Mansour, the head of Egypt's constitutional court, as interim president.

Since then, thousands of Morsi loyalists have been staging daily demonstrations and sit-ins to defend his democratic legitimacy and demand his reinstatement.

United States Senate Rejects Proposal to Halt Egypt Aid

US Senate rejects proposal to halt Egypt aid

AP, Wednesday 31 Jul 2013

The U.S. Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday to take money meant for aid to Egypt and instead spend it on building bridges at home, after a potential Republican presidential candidate challenged the Obama administration's refusal to label the ouster of Egypt's president a military coup.

Sen. Rand Paul's amendment to next year's transportation bill would have halted the $1.5 billion in assistance the U.S. gives Egypt each year. Most of it is military assistance.

Paul cited the U.S. law that bans most forms of support for countries that suffer a military "coup." The administration has said it won't make that determination about the Egyptian army's July 3 ouster of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

"Our nation's bridges are crumbling," said Paul, a strict conservative who has previously failed in attempts to cut U.S. support programs for Egypt, Libya and Pakistan. "I propose that we take the billion dollars that is now being illegally given to Egypt and spend it at home."

The Senate voted 86-13 against the measure. It was the first to be proposed in either chamber of Congress since the army arrested Morsi, suspended the constitution and cracked down on his Muslim Brotherhood. A series of deadly protests have taken place since then in what was once Washington's strongest ally in the Muslim world.

The vote exposed a division among Republicans, with libertarians like Paul against others such as Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who plan to visit Egypt next week at President Barack Obama's request to press for new elections.

"It's important that we send a message to Egypt that we're not abandoning them," McCain said. Right now, Egypt is "descending into chaos. It's going to be a threat to the United States."

Graham told reporters on Tuesday that holding the vote at all could send the wrong signal to Egypt. He has argued that cutting off the aid could threaten Israel's security and U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

The Obama administration told lawmakers last week it won't declare Egypt's government overthrow a coup, guided by similar concerns about suspending programs that secure Israel's borders and fight weapons smuggling into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

It also fears losing its greatest source of leverage with Egypt's military leadership.

Pro-Morsi Demonstrations No Longer Acceptable Says Military-Appointed Cabinet In Egypt

Pro-Morsi rallies no longer acceptable: Egyptian cabinet

Ahram Online, Wednesday 31 Jul 2013

Cabinet extends mandate to interior ministry to confront 'acts of terrorism and road-blocking', says pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda Square 'threat to national security'

Egypt's cabinet says it will take "all legal measures necessary to confront acts of terrorism and road-blocking" in an apparent warning to supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who have been camping out in two Cairo sit-ins since the president's ouster.

"Based on the mandate given by the people to the state, and in preservation of the country's higher interest, the cabinet has delegated the interior ministry to proceed with all legal measures to confront acts of terrorism and road-blocking," said interim information minister Dorreya Sharaf El-Din in a cabinet statement Wednesday evening.

"The cabinet has reviewed the country's security situation and has concluded that the dangerous situation in Rabaa and Nahda Squares, including the terrorist acts and road-blocking that has occurred, is no longer acceptable as it constitutes a threat to the country's national security," El-Din added.

Egypt's interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced on 27 July that the police and the army were working in coordination to discuss a suitable day for dispersing the two pro-Morsi sit-ins, which hold tens of thousands of protesters.

Ibrahim's statement came following mass demonstrations in Cairo and other cities responding to army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's call for Egyptians to take to the street on 26 July and give the army a "popular mandate to confront terrorism and violence." The Egyptian presidency later accused Morsi supporters of orchestrating organised attacks against the opposing protesters.

In the hours following Friday's protests, police clashed with Morsi supporters near the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square sit-in, where at least 80 protesters were killed.

Supporters of the elected Morsi – deposed by El-Sisi on 3 July following nationwide protests – continue to press for his reinstatement through demonstrations that have often turned into violent clashes with police forces and unknown assailants.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has rejected political negotiations, insisting that 3 July was a coup d'état and that Morsi must be reinstated before any dialogue takes place.

Egyptian Military-Backed Regime Orders Police to Remove Opposition From the Streets

Egypt’s government tells police to break up pro-Morsi protests

By Michael Birnbaum and Abigail Hauslohner, Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 11:37 AM
New York Times

CAIRO — Egypt’s military-backed government on Wednesday ordered the police to break up demonstrations in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, saying the protests pose an “unacceptable threat” to national security, the Associated Press reported.

Morsi backers have camped out in two locations in Cairo — outside a mosque and a university campus — ever since the July 3 coup. Egypt’s interim leaders appear increasingly determined to clear the pro-Morsi demonstrators away – a process that would likely be tremendously violent. Dozens of protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces in recent weeks.

In a televised statement, Information Minister Dorreya Sharaf el-Din said police are to end the demonstrations “within the law and the constitution,” AP reported.

Late Tuesday, Morsi was visited by a group of African Union officials, the second time in recent days he has been allowed to meet with a foreign delegation after being held incommunicado for four weeks.

News of the meeting came as Morsi’s former prime minister was ordered to prison for a year. The ruling by a Cairo misdemeanor court against former Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, who was not a member of the Morsi-affiliated Muslim Brotherhood but was seen as sympathetic to Islamists, further broadens the wide-scale crackdown on Morsi allies, with an increasing number of Islamist politicians and leaders being arrested and thrown in jail.

But Egypt’s government also has allowed more access to Morsi since Monday, raising the possibility of some sort of negotiation between the president who was deposed on July 3 and his successors.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Morsi late Monday. Neither she nor the African Union group disclosed where Morsi is being held or the substance of their conversations, although both delegations said that Morsi appeared to be doing well. The African Union delegation met with him for an hour late Tuesday, a member said at a Wednesday news conference.

Qandil, a technocratic prime minister who served during Morsi’s year in office, was ordered to a year in prison by Judge Mohamed el-Sawy after losing an appeal of a court ruling decided April 9. The case stemmed from a 2005 decision to privatize a state-owned company, seven years before Qandil took office. An administrative court ordered that Qandil’s cabinet undo the privatization; it did not, and Qandil was held liable for the failure to uphold the order.

Egypt’s judiciary, comprised largely of appointees from the time of former President Hosni Mubarak, tangled frequently with Morsi and his associates, and the April 9 ruling was one of those instances.

Ashton’s Monday meeting with Morsi was the first contact with an independent official since he was taken into military custody almost a month ago. By allowing the meeting, Egypt’s military signaled that it may be willing to work with Morsi toward a political solution to the country’s ongoing crisis, which has spawned repeated violence between security forces and the ousted president’s supporters.

Ashton, a low-key British diplomat, said she was taken by military helicopter late Monday to meet with Morsi. She declined to go into detail about her two-hour conversation with him, but she said he had access to newspapers and television and was in good condition.

After her meeting with Morsi, Ashton met Tuesday with Egypt’s interim vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, a liberal leader and key interlocutor for the military-backed interim government. He said at a joint appearance with Ashton that he thought Morsi had “failed” during his year in power but that his Muslim Brotherhood allies should be part of the new political “road map” going forward.

“We would very much like them to be part of the political process,” said ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency who has been slow to criticize the security forces’ crackdown on pro-Morsi demonstrations.

Ashton’s two-day visit appeared to have at least temporarily calmed the tense capital after a weekend of violence left at least 80 pro-Morsi demonstrators and a police officer dead, according to the Health Ministry. Morsi’s supporters rallied in Cairo on Tuesday night and marched toward the military intelligence headquarters, although no violence had been reported by early Wednesday.

During her trip, Ashton met with a wide range of Egyptian political figures, including Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, the commander of the armed forces; liberal activists and politicians who supported the coup; and a hard-line Islamist party that backed Morsi’s removal but has since wavered in its support for the military. She also met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ashton said Monday that she hoped the meetings would facilitate conversations that might lead to a political solution. But she stressed that Egyptians, and particularly those in power, must ensure that the country moves forward along a democratic path.

“In all of my conversations, we have emphasized a few things,” Ashton said. “First of all, we are here to help. We are not here to impose. The people of Egypt will determine their own future.”

Although Ashton has sometimes struggled during her E.U. tenure to publicly articulate a unified message on behalf of the bloc’s 28 member nations, she is known as a charming envoy behind closed doors. She has previously been involved in tough international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In Cairo on Tuesday, her reticence about the substance of her conversation with Morsi appeared at least partly intended to help jump-start discussions between the interim government and the ousted Brotherhood-backed leaders.

Officials from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, from which Morsi hails, told Ashton that any political solution for Egypt must be based on “the return of the president,” the party said in a statement.

The statement said the demonstrations in support of Morsi would not stop until “constitutional legitimacy” was restored. His backers have used that phrase to refer to returning him to power, as well as to reinstating the country’s Islamist-dominated parliament and the constitution ratified under Morsi through a popular referendum.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by telephone Tuesday with Sissi, a Hagel spokesman said, adding that the secretary urged “restraint” in dealing with protesters and called for “an inclusive reconciliation process.”

Amer Shakhatreh also contributed to this story.

Transcription of Press Conference With Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on July 30, 2013

I’m a law-abiding citizen, says President

July 31, 2013 Opinion & Analysis

President Mugabe addressing the press conference at State House yesterday:

I want to begin Cde Minister (Emmerson Mnangagwa) and Cde Secretary (George Charamba); I want to begin by welcoming everybody to State House and to this Press conference. As you can see it’s about sunset now and as the sun is setting so is our campaign which was quite a vigorous campaign, also coming to an end.

Tomorrow is another exercise but which is the final part of what was quite a rigorous, vigorous and energy sapping campaign by all of us in the country.

The various parties, various members of the parties and especially the leaders and leading groups of those parties. On behalf of my own party, I would want to take this opportunity to thank all members, leading members of my party for the very important and very energy sapping exercise that they undertook in organising our campaign.

I believe we ran a successful campaign. I believe the campaign also showed us that the people still support the principles of Zanu-PF and believe in Zanu-PF. I want, therefore, as I thank them, to wish all those who are candidates on our behalf that are standing on our behalf every success.

But I would also want to thank other parties big and small, the MDCs and their leaders for what was a joint exercise, a joint appeal to our nation for peace, for a fair and violence free campaign.

There might have been a few incidents here and there but those of you who were with us from the beginning of the campaign to this day, you will have noticed, that our meetings, the interactions, were very peaceful indeed and we owe this to the decision we undertook, all of us to emphasise the need for a peaceful process.

All of us, the principals; the three principals. It’s not just the President alone it’s the President, Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister (Arthur) Mutambara and even the Cabinet.

So we go out and tell the people that this is a national election, a national election which is really an opportunity for our people to go out and cast their vote for the party of their own liking.

And I am glad this has paid dividends and we do hope that we remain this way even after the elections.

There have been a few hitches here and there. Of course, we had to attack each other politically, which is what we are supposed to do in an election campaign.

I got my fair share of criticism and I also dealt back right, left and uppercuts and all that kind of thing.

That is a game and we do hope that it has been a model for future campaigns. At the end of it all, in a selfish way, because I am Zanu-PF and a leader of Zanu-PF and hope that the people will vote for Zanu-PF and see once again Zanu-PF as the government of our country.

And so I would want to once again thank our people for a peaceful campaign. I say there have been a few hitches here and there but one of the hitches was the delay in the delivering of voter registers and we got them late. I suppose this had to do with the printing and whatever other hitches those who handled the printing exercise and the distribution of it had to overcome.

That has been overcome now so I am told. And all stations and all those who should have the registers now have them. And we do hope that as the voting starts tomorrow, these registers would be at all stations and will enable the process to start, and start being regulated, and regulated in the normal way.

I am not campaigning here but greeting you and giving you an opportunity to ask questions and of course, I expect to ask you also in return my own questions. So over to you!

Question (German Press Agency): Your time in office has been very lengthy. There has been concern that Zanu-PF has become conflated during your stay in power how do you respond to this criticism?

President: We are the people’s party and you must remember that there is no other party that has conducted the revolution to redeem the country from the colonial grip. Which was running closer to, to nearly a century, a century is 100 consecutive years from 1890 to 1980. Our people were then under colonial rule and that was quite a period of oppression.

And it took a party like Zanu-PF now combined. Earlier on, we were Zanu, Zapu and previously as we started we were ANC (1957) then the National Democratic Party (1960-61) thereafter that Zapu alone and the split came.

Zanu, Zapu but the same objectives!

Redeeming the party, fighting for our self-determination. And it’s a people’s party and so it’s not like any other parties. We have parties that have been hatched in Britain. We were not that and those who criticise us are not members of the party naturally or outsiders like those in Europe and America who don’t know much about us except that we are subjects of their oppression.

Question (BBC news): If you lose, are you prepared to hand over power to the victor and stand down?

President: That’s a normal thing if you go into a process and join a competition. Well, there are only two outcomes. Win or lose, you can’t be both. You either win or lose. If you lose, then you must surrender to those who have won. If you win then those who have lost must also surrender to you, this is it. We will do so, yeah, comply with the rules.

Question (ITv): You have been a ferocious critic of British governments. What is your approach and attitude towards this British government, of David Cameron?

President: I have said very, very little about David Cameron. I say quite a lot about British imperialism and colonialism.

I worked with Margaret Thatcher very, very, shall I say, sincerely on my part and she too was sincere. Conservative party mind she was, we got our independence when she was Prime Minister, but we went along very well.

I visited, I invited her, and she invited me to Britain that was the relationship. Then came of course (John) Major. Conservative too, still we worked very smoothly we hosted the Commonwealth here in 1991 November thereabout and we worked very well with Major. But then came the defeat of the Conservative party by Labour.

We had worked very well with Labour. They had invited us as a liberation movement to their conferences. I attended as an observer obviously but hadn’t been invited by the Labour party still struggling to get into government.

Then when the man called Mr (Tony) Blair took over, the trouble started. He seemed to come from some wilderness or some street of London. He seemed not to know what had transpired. He wanted to reverse the land reform programme which we had agreed with the previous British government at Lancaster.

We had spent close to three months — October to December just before Christmas 1979 when the talks ended. The main issue was not just freedom and independence, it was freedom and independence plus the return of our land. But there was Blair saying no to our land. Well, we said, if you are no longer able to pay the compensation you are supposed to pay us, we said well, keep your money but Zimbabwe and its land belongs to us.

We will keep our land. That was the cause of the problem. That was the quarrel. It was this one man whom we quarrelled with. But who was he after all? Look at him as he followed (George) Bush to go and attack an innocent man Saddam Hussein, accusing him of having weapons of mass destruction which he didn’t have.

They swore he had them knowing full well he didn’t have them, telling lies to the rest of the world, the United Nations and going there even without the go-ahead of the UN. ‘With or without the UN I will go’, said Bush and ‘so will I’, said Blair. So the two went and attacked dishonestly this innocent man.

Killed him in the process! Yes they pretended he was tried thereafter they declared he didn’t have those weapons of mass destruction having told that gigantic lie. The same with us, there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe, there is no democracy, there is violation of human rights, which was a lie.

We had differed with them on this issue of the land, which I have made reference to and of course, he wanted us to be punished for defying him. And we pursed acquisition of the land from the white farmers here and giving it to our own people. Yes! That is that!

Yes, we are not there to make enemies, we are there to make friends and if the British people are open to friendship, we actually like them. We have not said anything against Her Majesty the Queen. She came here when we had our Commonwealth conference and had an occasion to reminisce about the last time she visited in 1947 when she was still a young woman.

I was also invited to London and was taken to the palace there by Her Majesty. We have great respect for the Queen and we have great respect for Prince Charles and the other princes and so on.

There it is! Yes! Sure! We would have that friendly disposition, that readiness to work together, with those who imposed sanctions on us yesterday. Provided they remove the sanctions, of course, so we are not a hostile people, never.

Question: Prime Minister (Morgan Tsvangirai) accuses you of being a puppet of the military, what is your response?

President: I thought I accused him of being a puppet of Europe and the whites. So he has dealt me one good one in return. So it’s all over now, we can shake hands. We have worked together, this was the expected.

Did you think he was not going to box me?

And did you think I was going to open myself to being boxed without dealing with it in return what I learned over all these years? Eighty-nine years of boxing the British and imperialism gave me quite some experience.

Question: Allegations of intimidation in the rural areas, intimidation of voters by the chiefs?

President: Do you mean that the chiefs are there to intimidate their own people? How can the chiefs ever leave their thrones to intimidate the very citizens they rely upon for the respect they get?

They are there you know, to serve the people and to ensure that there is order.

Have you got any example of any real specific example? Where it has it happened? You know the rural areas also have lions and elephants. You might have mistaken them for chiefs.

Question (BBC): Your political rivals are alleging that the voters’ roll was delivered only yesterday. That it was deliberate. They are also saying that your party Zanu-PF has been working to manipulate the voters’ roll. In light of that, could this be your last term in office should you win?

President: On the first part, no, sir! I only got my copy of the voters’ roll yesterday and that could never happen. We don’t do things like that. We are not going to the elections for the first time. We had elections before, democratic elections. The West might not have accepted them as democratic but our people know that we have done no cheating.

Never ever! And we are also Christian. As to whether this is my last election, why do you want to know my secrets? Tell me?

Question: Some people are saying you are aged 89 and may not be in a position to come back.

President: I will have gone, is it? So you think. According to Europe and perhaps America I died, I don’t know how many times I died. They never talked of my resurrection. I was dying and dying even though dead I was dying again and again but never would they say I have resurrected. I am not dead yet.

Question: How do you see the relationship with South Africa?

President: If there is criticism of one person, a woman who was given to opening her mouth in an irregular manner, just that one person, does that become a criticism against South Africa? Does it become a criticism against Zuma? I am glad that was corrected and I am glad that she now has learnt to zip her mouth.

Question: What do you say to those who may choose to resort to violence after the elections?

President: Well, we will say the law is there to take care of them and it will take care of them. Those who break the law naturally land themselves to being arrested. We will not accept that. Why would one resort to violence if they do not accept the results of the elections and allege that some irregularities have happened? Why not appeal to the courts?

Question: Will you reappoint the same ministers you had in the inclusive Government?

President: Well, I will look at those who will have won on the Zanu-PF side that is. We had an inclusive Government but we have had even before an inclusive one that had a number of cabinet ministers.

Well, if they are appointable, yes. Well, sure, why not if they have had good record? Why should they not be appointed? They can be appointed; they are amenable to being appointed. That is not going to say I am going to appoint them per se.

Question (New York Times): Can you continue governing with the MDC?

President: Could MDC continue governing along with Zanu-PF? That is what you want to say isn’t it? Well that circumstance is not envisaged this time. I don’t think we will have the same result. I think we will have an outright victory. If it’s not outright, we will discuss, we don’t tell. We cannot foretell what we shall do before we know the actual fact.

Well, let the facts be delivered to us by the voters tomorrow and we will know which way to go. It all depends with what we get from the voters-what the voters want you to do.

Question: If you are victorious in this election what are the main policies we can expect in your administration?

President: We have enunciated the most important. You call them reforms, we call them developmental plans. We have said, as our theme indicated that our indigenisation programme will continue.

Indigenisation policy and empowerment programme will be the guiding principles as we embark on the various sectoral development programmes.

We will obviously want to ensure that the sectors that we had not addressed as completely as the way we have done in the land area, the land sector, that is the agriculture side which we were dealing with.

We will look at the mining sector. The manufacturing sector at the moment, we have problems of the manufacturing sector, which because of sanctions and the economic crisis that had visited us, nearly collapsed that sector. We will look at the main players in that sector and see what we can do.

If we can re-invest, get the companies to be back on their feet. We will do so and this certainly is an area which requires urgent attention. And we will give it that urgent attention but we also have, of course, our financial sector — the banks and so on. Those need to be invigorated. We need to ensure that they are made liquid.

At the moment, they suffer from liquidity and so their own capacity to lend money inhibits borrowing.

And it’s important because our investment will depend on investors wanting to borrow money from them. If the financial institutions cannot lend then, you cannot invest. If you cannot invest then you cannot get greater productivity happening in the sectors, then your development is not going to have an upward trend.

You can have that downward look all the time. It’s all sectors but in each sector we will have to look at points that need greater emphasis. We are more worried at the moment by the collapse of the manufacturing sector. The mining sector, there has been quite some vigorous activity there.

The discovery of diamonds, the discovery of platinum but we need money. These are much more competent.

Our gold mining too has suffered. We used to produce close to 30 tonnes of gold a year.

We had come down to five (tonnes) but we are now up to 13 tonnes, which is not good for Zimbabwe which has depended on gold and tobacco as the mainstay of the country’s economy. We will have to look at our currency also.

We are using the American dollar at the moment and we will see how we can introduce our own Zimbabwean currency in the process. And we will take time to adjust before we can introduce the modifications.

Question (Xinhua): Do you think your chances are better than 2008 or 1980?

President: As far good as the chances we had in 1980? As we began, the enthusiasm of the people and just the crowds that we got, just marvelous and it’s come back to reality. People have realised that they had lost their direction and they are back to the revolutionary direction we gave them.

Question: What about the meeting with (Olusegun) Obasanjo and his impression about the election climate?

President: I have met him and we have worked together in the past. In the Commonwealth and in the AU and he was not a stranger to this country and I am not a stranger to Nigeria and to him.

We reminisced a bit but our meeting was for about 20 minutes and he said so far so good. And he hoped the election climate he found and had reports that he got from his people, he said, he hoped that again we continue to speak the same language of calmness and the peace that obtains and prevails right up to the end.

Question: What’s your take on threats by military and police generals that they won’t accept the results for a leader who does not have liberation war credentials?

President: If one or two said so, it’s just those two. They are not the army. And they are not the authority anyway. But that was their own view and I thought it was corrected. They are law abiding people. It’s military discipline that they obey, not the discipline you and I are used to. We get up as we like and do things as we like. It’s left, right, about turn, left march.

Question: Allegations are that you have power to manipulate the electoral process in favour of Zanu-PF?

President: I don’t have the power. Are you giving me the power now? If you give me the power I will say no I don’t need it. I have the law in my country. It is the law that manipulates us all. I don’t control the electoral process. I comply with and obey the electoral law.

And I move in accordance with the demands of the electoral process-that is moving in accordance with the law as set. That is the electoral law. I am very obedient. I am a lawyer myself. I am also a person who believes in order. I have been brought up obeying father and mother, obeying systems, obeying customs, obeying elders and that’s it.

We obeyed when it was said our election in 2008, presidential election was tarnished by violence. That was the view given to us by others but we didn’t think that they were so tarnished as really to be completely ignored or set aside.

In comparison with elections elsewhere in Africa and other developing countries, we are much ahead.

But we said that was the view and it was a view exerted on many of us by mainly the West and Europe which wanted naturally to see regime change.

We accepted when Africa said we should re-do the elections. That was obedience, to the views of others and compliance with the thinking of others, with the majority thinking.

That we should re-do our elections and we agreed to re-do them. We together sat here to establish an inclusive Government. We agreed to work together and we were working together right to the end and we were not law breakers.

Question: How do you intend to spend your time afterwards if elections go the other way?

President: You are asking a man who is 89 years old about how to spend his time. How did I ever spend all these years? I will spend my time the same way I spent those years.

You look at Zimbabwe and you think there is nothing to do? I am an educationist, I am an economist. I can’t do that? I am a politician. I am also now a good story teller, you know. I can spend my time telling stories or writing them.

Question (ZBC Radio Services): The EU say they are credible observers and that if they are not invited then the elections will not be credible.

President: Their creed is not our creed. What they believe in is not always what we believe in. Their judgement of us is always the judgement of a superior who wants to impose authority. That’s what we fought for and we are a revolutionary country. A revolutionary people and we have our own decision.

We are masters of our own destiny and we don’t listen to Europe and say what Europe says is what we do. Quite contrary, because we know from experience that what they say is always what we would never say nor want to hear.

We say keep your own views to yourselves. If you don’t like our elections or the results of our elections, well, it’s up to you. We will go ahead. Sanctions or no sanctions, but don’t interfere in our own country. If they want to be friendly, we are open. We have never ever said they are enemies. It is they who have made us enemies and not the opposite.”

Question: Seated next you is Minister (Emmerson) Mnangagwa in the absence of your deputy. And he is seen by others as someone who is vying to take over from you. Are you in a way endorsing him for the Presidency?

President: Your mind has run wild. You want me to tell you why he happens to be here?

He had come to deliver a paper to me on something else. And we were discussing and he asked why all these people were here and I said I was going to have a press conference.

And he asked if he could stay and I said yes. He is not even invited. He has invited himself and I said you are welcome. In Africa we don’t chase people.

At wedding and gatherings, you don’t have to call people. Everyone who wants to attend a wedding comes, they get their feel, food and so on.

He happened to have seen you gathered here and he wondered how you, even strangers much more of strangers to me than him could be here.

Was it for his ministry of defence? You can say perhaps that he feared that you people gathered here were out to commit some mischief and he wanted to be present to defend me. So you can see he sat here and very mute and listened to you and perhaps enjoying your questions.

Question: What positives would you take from the current inclusive government?
President: We have discussed the issue of working together and that’s very important. We were able to work together and for a start we feared each other and we feared, even Tsvangirai would not drink a cup of tea and I said I would not put any poison.

I said you watch if I drink from this pot you also drink from it, so that if there is poison, it would kill me first. Later on he got adjusted, we have never been close to each other and now he could ask for tea and so forth. Even now as we went into this boxing match. Although we boxed each other it was a friendly boxing and not as hostile as before.

We also emerged with this need for us to appeal for peace but we said if we are to appeal to observe peace, we must demonstrate it ourselves. In Cabinet, we had become very friendly, there was a very friendly interaction, you could not say this was Zanu-PF, MDC-M, MDC-T or MDC-N. That was the greatest achievement, that virtue of being able to work with your opponents. We hope we can continue like that.

Obviously we managed in pursuing our task of ensuring that the development of our country does not get to the stage of collapsing. We managed to prop it in spite of the sanctions and although we accused the MDC of having appealed for sanctions but there we were, together fighting sanctions and that get-together was very important.

President’s Closing Remarks

We hope that all these faces will not just report this event of the elections as you have seen it objectively.

You know the damning reports of a Zimbabwe that is disturbed with violence, where there is dictatorship and negative reporting. Completely subjective and not objective but that could be avoided. We do know of course that your own masters, and some people on top of you who require that even when you have seen the truth and you would want to tell the truth they will say oh, no, don’t say this but say that.

That happens when you are not the master and someone is your master. I do not know whether some of you here are masters of yourselves or you are going to report to your own masters and these masters are going to accept what you are going to report.

Damn these masters who impose on you, who see their own views and don’t want you to express yourselves in an objective way.
Damn their policies of being in the negative, where you would want to be objective and positive.

I would say, damn your own views if they are your views. Can’t you have positive views? When a thing is wrong, if it is wrong tell it, say it.

Don’t be blunt about it, say it is wrong. If Mugabe is a thief or robber, say so.

But if Mugabe is right and Blair is wrong please say so.

Indigenisation Brings Transformation to Kwekwe

Indigenisation brings transformation to Kwekwe

July 30, 2013 Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Herald

The plant can crush 600 tonnes of fresh ore per day and 1 000 tonnes of sandy ore per day

Isdore Guvamombe Features Editor

Distant pounding and crushing hits the ears from far away, increasing in tempo and crescendo with each kilometre that we consume driving towards its source.The pounding and crushing becomes more audible, and the source reveals itself as a gold processing plant, with huge jaws that break stones into smaller particles until the stones release gold.

Believing in the past, there should be a consortium of white men running the gold plant, given the size of the plant and the equipment.

But the present tells a different story, Midkwe Minerals, a 100 percent indigenous company, is running the gold plant on the outskirts of Kwekwe, courtesy of Zanu-PF’s land reform, and indigenisation and economic empowerment programme.

Mounds of gold ore awaiting crushing come in from the 47 mining claims in the area carried by huge trucks that criss-cross and the three crushers use their iron jaws to reduce the size of the stones pregnant with ore.

The mine manager is an Engineer Thabani Wayne Ndlovu, a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe, a pointer to Zimbabwe’s education prowess.

“We are products of President Mugabe’s land reform and indigenisation vision and subsequent projects. We took over this plant — which is one of the largest in Zimbabwe — courtesy of the land reform programme.

We are now doing everything on our own and we produce up to 8kg of gold per month, when fortunes are good.

“Once the ore comes in from our 47 claims, they come through this screening and processing plant.

“There are two such screening and crushing points and here the stones are screened in terms of particle size until the stone size is reduced to 80mm and below.

“Ore is further pounded to powder size of about -75 microns, for optimum gold liberation,’’ Eng Ndlovu said.

Midkwe Minerals is a high volume plant that operates 24 hours and seven days a week, which can crush 600 tonnes of fresh ore per day and 1 000 tonnes of sandy ore per day.

“At full production we employ 200 workers full-time. The plant is fully equipped with geo-chemical carbonation and we do chemical analysis and we monitor every process to enable us to do maximum liberation of gold.

“At some stage ore goes through a trash screen where dirt is removed, then moved to the thickener where the ore moves to six tanks where we use the carbon leach process. The gold solution is attracted to carbon and trapped there.

“It is a bit of a complicated process but we strip the gold from the impregnated carbon. That is a very hot solution where we use electrolysis of gold, using electro-weavers.

“But what is important for Zimbabwe and the world is that Zimbabweans are running this mill professionally and profitably because of the land reform and indigenisation programmes.

“We run this plant 24 hours and we salute President Mugabe for his vision and wisdom and for his knowledge that we must own and exploit our resources,’’ Eng Ndlovu says.

In Rhodesia and indeed in the formative years of Zimbabwe’s independence, the mining industry remained largely the preserve of white businessmen and huge conglomerates, while black Zimbabweans remained mine workers or gold panners.

To date, under the national indigenisation programme, Zimbabweans have moved to own real mines and mine profitably.

More Zimbabweans Rally Behind President Mugabe

UMD rallies behind President Mugabe

July 31, 2013
Herald Reporter

THE United Movement for Democracy has urged their supporters to vote for President Mugabe in today’s harmonised elections.

Speaking during a press conference in Harare on Monday, UMD spokesperson Mr Tafirenyika Chipato said their party had been instructed by their President Mr Mutumwa Mawere.

He said their party had a fallout with MDC-T policies which are against the development of the poor.

“Our President Mr Mutumwa Mawere directed us to urge all our supporters so that they vote for President Mugabe. We held a meeting including members from the country’s 10 provinces and we urge all supporters to vote for Zanu-PF on election day.

“Our policies and those of Zanu-PF are almost the same it’s just implementation which differs. Mr Mawere is one of the pioneers of indigenisation and supporting it is in the interest of the people. We are benefiting from loans and empowerment programmes facilitated by Zanu-PF,” he said.

Mr Chipato said the Government of national unity was not doing enough mainly because of insincerity from the MDC-T.

This comes after Mr Mawere denied that he had formed the United Movement for Democracy and said he harboured no presidential ambitions for Zimbabwe.

He hailed President Mugabe for his wisdom and experience as a leader.

Aliens throw weight behind Zanu-PF

July 31, 2013
Herald Reporter

Aliens who registered as voters following the consummation of the new Constitution have thrown their weight behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF in today’s harmonised elections.The Zimbabwe-Malawi-Mozambique-Zambia Association which has a million members, said 200 000 of them had registered as voters.

Its president, Cde Right Banda, on Monday said it would be an insult to their forefathers if they supported any other political formation other than Zanu-PF.

“Our fathers and mothers were exploited by the Smith regime,” he said. “As we are all aware, we were the backbone of the labour force for this country and our parents worked on farms. It will be an insult to the legacy of this country for MDC-T, a mere brainchild of the colonial regime that oppressed and exploited our parents, to suggest that they are responsible for our empowerment.

“That is a mockery of the liberation struggle that was fought even by the parents of this blasphemous MDC-T crew, which purports to be representing our people,” he said.

He said through Zanu-PF’s empowerment initiatives, they received education and were proud owners of land in Zimbabwe. He said Zanu-PF had also allowed them to contest for parliamentary seats in tomorrow’s elections.

“We have intensified our efforts to mobilise our members in support of Zanu-PF in the elections and we unreservedly believe that only Zanu-PF was instrumental in addressing the imbalances from the colonial regime.”

The association was founded in 1990 and it is represented in Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces.

Julius Malema Backs ZANU-PF

Malema backs Zanu-PF

July 31, 2013
Zimbabwe Herald

Newly formed South African political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) yesterday called on Zimbabweans to vote overwhelmingly for Zanu-PF in the July 31 harmonised elections to protect the gains of the war of liberation.The EFF party is led by former ANC youth league leader Julius Malema.

“The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) calls upon the revolutionary people of Zimbabwe to defend the Zimbabwean revolution by voting for Zanu-PF and retaining comrade Robert Mugabe as the President of that liberated nation,” the party said in a statement.

“The gains of the Zimbabwean revolution must be defended.

“These gains find concrete expression in the historic and unparalleled land redistribution programme that took land from 4 000 white settler farmers who owed 80 percent of Zimbabwean land, and redistributed it to more than 274 000 Zimbabweans! It is your victory. Defend it by any means necessary!”

The EFF said Zimbabweans stood to benefit economically by retaining a Zanu-PF government which has over the years implemented pro-poor policies aimed at uplifting the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

The party saluted Zimbabweans for enduring and surviving a brutal and illegal economic sanctions embargo imposed by the West as punishment for returning the stolen land to its rightful owners.

“The people of Zimbabwe have been punished as a strategy to separate the people from the revolutionary leadership of Zanu-PF and leadership of President Mugabe. We say do not allow the schemes of the enemies of Africa to succeed. Vote for liberation! Vote Zanu-PF!

“We implore the people Zimbabwe to realise that the Zimbabwean revolution is still under massive attacks and new plots are being hatched and new schemes cooked to reverse the gains you have made.

“The demonisation of Zanu-PF and comrade Mugabe is part of the plot to divide the nation for re-colonisation,” it said.

The EFF also called on Zanu-PF to continue implementing the indigenisation programme in order to complete the economic emancipation of the black majority.

The party warned the electorate not to be swayed into thinking that the western funded MDC-T would bring economic salvation to the country.

“We say you have already suffered enough for your liberation now; defend and deepen it; only Zanu-PF has demonstrated beyond doubt that it has the foresight, courage and never-die spirit as warriors for African dignity.

“We warn the people of Zimbabwe not to hand over your country to the stooges of the West in the form of Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.

“Zimbabwe has its land back. We in South Africa draw courage and inspiration from your achievements.

“In South Africa we remain landless, poor and under attack from racism every single day of our existence. Our freedom is empty words.

“We note with joy the indigenisation programme which now extends decolonisation of the economy through ownership of the economy by Zimbabweans.”

The party noted that the indigenisation programme was a threat to western imperialism, hence their continued demonisation of the noble programme.

“We call on the Zimbabwean people to defend, deepen and fast track the indigenisation programme to complete this second and most difficult phase of your glorious revolution.

“You know who your true leaders are! You know which party can and has stood against Western arrogance and has emerged victorious.”

Zimbabwe votes on Wednesday in a crucial election that Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe has been widely tipped to win over his fiercest rival, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

— New Ziana.

African Union, SADC Endorse Zimbabwe Poll Preparations

AU, Sadc endorse poll preparations

July 31, 2013
Herald Reporters

ALL is set for the harmonised elections today with 6.4 million Zimbabweans, representing 95 percent of eligible voters, expected to cast their ballots in 9 760 polling stations set up countrywide to elect a President, National Assembly and local authority representatives.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said all logistics were in place and the credibility of the voters’ roll, which will be used for today’s harmonised election, was not in question.

The Head of the African Union Observer Mission, former Nigerian president General Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Head of the Sadc Observer Mission, Tanzanian foreign minister Mr Bernard Membe, expressed satisfaction with preparations for the harmonised elections after paying separate courtesy calls on President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday.

“I have come to touch base with the President (Mugabe) and tell him how I see things going, so far so good and I wish this country all the good fortune that this country can have,” Gen Obasanjo said, adding that he had been briefed by various stakeholders, among them ZEC, the police and other stakeholders who expressed their readiness for the elections today.

“From what I have heard from ZEC, from what I have heard from the security, everybody is prepared and tomorrow (today) we will be out there in the field to see the action,” he said.

The former Nigerian president also acknowledged challenges that the country was facing, saying no country had a perfect election.

“From what I have seen, you can never talk of a perfect election anywhere in the world, it is only God’s action that is perfect not us humans but the preparations that have been made are adequate,” he said.

Mr Membe also expressed satisfaction at the peaceful environment prevailing in the country.

“At this stage what I must applaud all Zimbabweans is that what we get from the entire observation mission across the country is that there is tranquillity, peace and violence free elections and this we have recorded.

“This is impressive because if you went to other countries this time people will be running up and down but at least we are getting reports that it is a violence free environment. That is what we expect tomorrow we should maintain this degree of violence free,” Mr Membe said.

He urged Zimbabweans to come all out in their numbers to cast their vote today. Mr Membe was in the country to observe the referendum and his team also said the elections were free, fair and legitimate.

On Monday US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Bruce Wharton and his Swedish counterpart Mr Lars Ronnas also applauded Zimbabweans for maintaining peace during the run up to the elections while the EU envoy Mr Aldo Dell’Ariccia also made similar remarks two weeks ago.

The commendations by various ambassadors fly in the face of unsubstantiated claims by the MDC-T that the environment has been characterised by violence and intimidation.

ZEC yesterday met the National Multi-Party Liaison committee to appraise them on preparations.

Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau assured the committee that no political party would derive any advantage from the voters roll, as all parties had been given equal access to the electoral register.

“The voters roll does not work in anyone’s favour. There is no party that can claim that it was disadvantaged because of the voters roll. It (voters roll) was made available to everyone at the same time. The best way now is to move forward and accept this voters’ roll,” she said.

ZEC deputy chairperson Mrs Joyce Kazembe explained that although there could be names of dead people on the voters’ roll, this could not be used as a basis to discredit the register.

“It is acceptable for names of dead people to appear on the voters roll. After all, people die every day so it is very practical to have dead people on the voters roll. What we should understand is that it is no longer possible to recall the voters roll from all the polling stations and improve it,” she said.

In a statement after the multiparty liaison meeting, ZEC said the discussion had ended pleasantly although the issue of the voters roll was the contentious one.

“Today July 30, ZEC met with the National Multiparty Liaison committee to discuss among other issues, the voters roll, printing of ballot papers, the special vote, the role of traditional leaders and incidents of violence and intimidation reported by the MDC-T.

“The issue of the voters roll remained heatedly debated and contentious. The commission explained the other issues to the satisfaction of the meeting which ended on a very cordial note.”

The electoral body said all was set for the poll that is expected to be incidents free.

“ZEC reiterates that everything is ready for the harmonised election scheduled for July 31. All those who are in possession of registration slips are encouraged to carry these to the polling stations especially if they registered during the mobile voter registration exercise.”

ZEC also stated that “the secrecy of every voter’s ballot shall be protected and no one will know who each voter will vote for”.

Yesterday’s committee meeting was attended by Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and Cde Chaunoita (Zanu-PF), Mr Tendai Biti and Mr Obert Gutu (MDC-T), Mr Frank Chamunorwa and Mr Michael Mukashi (MDC), Mr Julius Mudakuvaka (ZDP) and Mr Mjobisi Noko and Ms Emilia Mukaratirwa (Zapu).

ZEC dispatched all the voting materials to various centres countrywide on Monday.