PRESIDENT MWANAWASA WAVES AT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO ESCORTED HIM TO THE AIRPORT BEFORE HE LEFT FOR EGYPT ON JUNE 29.DR MWANAWASA WENT TO EGYPT TO ATTEND THE AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT.BEFORE LEAVING FOR EGYPT, DR MWANAWASA OFFICIATED AT A REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR CATHOLIC BISHOPS AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE CHILD JESUS AND PROCEEDED TO THE AIRPORT FROM THAT VENUE. WHILST THERE, THE PRESIDENT SUFFERED A STROKE AND WAS TAKEN TO FRANCES' PERCY MILITARY HOSPITAL WHERE HE WAS ADMITTED UNTIL HIS DEATH
Posted Tuesday, August 19 2008 at 20:06
HARARE, Tuesday - The Zimbabwean government today claimed that African leaders were warming up to President Robert Mugabe after realising that they were misled by the opposition on his re-election.
African leaders broke with tradition to condemn Mr Mugabe’s June 27 run-off election where he ran alone following the last minute withdrawal from the race by main contender and opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
This was after more than 100 of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters were killed and thousands others displaced in an orgy of state sponsored violence ahead of the polls.
Refused to recognise
Countries such as Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, Zambia and Tanzania refused to recognise Mr Mugabe’s re-election. An African Union (AU) summit held a few days after the run-off poll called on the ageing dictator to share power with the opposition and refrained from recognising him as Zimbabwe’s legitimate leader.
But the state controlled Herald newspaper, which usually reflects government thinking, claimed that some Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders had apologised for their stance and accused Mr Tsvangirai of lying to them about the political situation in Zimbabwe.
The paper claimed that leaders from Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania expressed “embarrassment” at having “blindly supported” the opposition leader during the just ended SADC summit in South Africa after a briefing by President Thabo Mbeki.
“The biggest surprise, however came from Nigeria, which sent a high profile emissary to South Africa on Sunday to seek a meeting with President Mugabe and offer apologies for taking an “uninformed position” on Zimbabwe’s electoral processes during the last AU summit in Egypt,” the paper claimed.
Botswana, whose leader President Ian Khama boycotted the summit protesting against Mr Mugabe’s presence, is also said to have urged Mr Tsvangirai to accept a power sharing deal with Zanu PF.
“He (Botswana’s foreign minister, Mr Phandu Skelemani) said his analysis of the situation was that Tsvangirai had misled them on Zimbabwe’s political processes,” the Herald said.
Ayoub mzee with Mr Githongo
As former Permanent Secretary John Githongo arrived in the country on Tuesday night, there were probably equal amounts of excitement and trepidation about his home-coming.
Dressed in a brown leather jacked and exuding confidence and happiness at being in the country he fled three years ago, he said: “I am happy to be back. This is my country.”
He was received and hugged by his mother, friends and relatives and driven away in a private car with white security personnel.
Mr Githongo said he will be in the country for the next two weeks but declined a comprehensive interview.
To some, Mr Githongo is a hero who defied pressure and his own ethnic affiliations to expose grand corruption at the heart of the Narc administration.
But there are also those who view him as a traitor, both to his nation and to his own ethnic group, not just for uncovering the Anglo Leasing scandal, but also for what seemed to be extremely close links with the then British high commissioner to Kenya, Mr Edward Clay, who never minced words in his criticism of corrupt public officials.
Mr Githongo went into self-exile three years ago after announcing while on an official trip to London, that he would not be returning home. At the time, he had accompanied other high-ranking Government officials to the UK.
Mr Githongo’s most dramatic action was the BBC interview early in 2006 during which he aired tapes he had recorded during his discussions with the then Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kiraitu Murungi.
In the tape, Mr Murungi was heard advising Mr Githongo, who was the then advisor on corruption in President Kibaki’s office to “go slow” on the Anglo Leasing investigations.
The Githongo tape added a new twist to the Anglo Leasing saga and raised questions over whether there were more details that Mr Githongo was yet to reveal.
The tape led to the resignation of Mr Murungi and the then Finance minister David Mwiraria.
However, both were returned to the Cabinet in the run-up to the 2007 General Election after being cleared of involvement in the Anglo Leasing scandal.
Mr Mwiraria went on to lose his parliamentary seat last December after it was reported that he was in a list of top officials who would be denied UK visas over irregularities.
Mr Murungi was re-elected as the Imenti South MP and is now minister for Energy.
Another casualty of Mr Githongo’s crusade was Dr Chris Murungaru, the then powerful minister of State for International Security.
He, too resigned after he was adversely mention over the Anglo Leasing scandal in which the Government paid billions of shillings for a naval ship and for a forensic laboratory that was to have been built at the CID headquarters. Questions were raised over the suitability and pricing of the ship.
It also emerged that a shadowy company, Anglo Leasing and Finance, had been paid millions of shillings for work that had not been done.
You are invited to the
Unveiling of the Keiskamma Altarpiece
at Southwark Cathedral
Tuesday 7th October, 7pm
“The optimism contained in this powerful, unique and spectacular work can serve as an inspiration to all who see it”
Dr Carol Hofmeyr, South African Woman of the Year 2007
The stunning embroidery artwork of The Keiskamma Altarpiece represents the progress of a community struggling to come to terms with the devastation of HIV/AIDS and poverty. Inspired by Grunewald’s Issenheim Altarpiece, it also bears testament to the courage and artistry of the Xhosa and San people living along the banks of the Keiskamma River in the Eastern Province of South Africa.
A Serious Oil 'Supply Crunch' is Looming and Will Have a Major Impact on Global Energy Prices6 August 2008
The world will experience a serious oil supply crunch within five to ten years unless there is a collapse in oil demand. This is the conclusion of a new Chatham House report, The Coming Oil Supply Crunch, which predicts a resulting oil price spike that could exceed $200 a barrel.
Investment in new supplies has been and will be inadequate. This is partly due to incentives for international oil companies to return dividends to shareholders rather than reinvest them. It is also a result of a resurgence in ‘resource nationalism’ and some governments starving their national oil companies of investment funds.
To ward off a potential crisis, the report recommends helping producers manage ‘resource curse’ issues, welcoming sovereign wealth funds and bringing OPEC into the International Energy Agency's emergency sharing mechanism.
The rise in price itself has continued partly because OECD governments are reluctant to intervene in energy markets. The market alone cannot necessarily provide sufficient incentives for conservation, fuel-switching or bringing more energy on-stream, so this laissez-faire attitude has failed to either constrain demand or increase supply. But, given the coming price spike, governments may well be forced to change tack.
Professor Paul Stevens, the report’s author, explains the dynamics of current high prices in comparison with past oil shocks. The report argues that not enough money and expertise were invested in the 1990s to maintain excess capacity to produce crude oil if consumption continues along present trends. History shows us that whenever such excess capacity is run down, the oil price rises sharply.
Notes to Editors:Read The Coming Oil Supply Crunch .
Paul Stevens is Senior Research Fellow for Energy at Chatham House and Emeritus Professor at Dundee University. He has published extensively on energy economics, the international petroleum industry and the political economy of the Gulf.