By Jan Raath and Columbus S Mavhunga Apr 14, 2011, 15:22 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is reportedly beset by
ill-health and divisions in his party, admitted Thursday that there were
'sell-outs' within the ranks of Zanu-PF, which has ruled the country for the
last 31 years.
His appearance at Heroes Acre in Harare was closely watched, since the
87-year-old autocrat has made fewer public appearances than usual in recent
months due to his health.
Mugabe returned at he weekend from his fourth visit to Singapore for medical
treatment since December.
Mugabe has insisted on holding elections this year, even if a wide range of
democratic and electoral reforms set for the country's two-year-old
coalition government are not met, amid concerns in his party over worsening
'If you are raising your fist, are you a true supporter of the party?'
Mugabe asked the party top brass assembled at Heroes Acre. The Zanu-PF party
salute is with a clenched fist.
'Some of you are sell-outs and you are telling the secrets of the party,' he
Mugabe spoke for an hour at the gathering to pay tribute to deputy chief of
his secret police, Menard Muzariri who died on Monday at the age of 56.
Muzariri, he said, had exposed the spies within the party.
Mugabe appeared relaxed and comfortable, but walking with some difficulty
down some steps at the site. Two weeks ago, at a meeting of regional leaders
in Zambia, he looked gaunt and exhausted, and was transported around the
venue in a golf cart.
Assertions by officials that Mugabe's trips to Singapore were for cataract
surgery are not widely accepted, with observers convinced that his condition
is more serious.
'Each time he leaves for Singapore, he appears worn out and unsteady on his
feet,' said a medical specialist who asked not to be named. 'And then he
comes back looking revived. It appears he is undergoing some kind of
Mugabe is also under acute pressure for the first time from leaders of the
15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The regional political bloc wants to see an end to violence, intimidation,
hate speech and malicious arrest of supporters of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirais Movement for Democratic Change.
A fortnight ago, he lashed out at SADC, and accused it of interfering in
Zimbabwe's affairs. Observers said it was significant that he did not repeat
this defiance Thursday.
Instead, Mugabe denounced what he said were the 'unnatural things' happening
in Europe and Britain in particular, 'where women become men and men become
women, and the British want to call their country a gaydom, instead of a
'Dogs will become men and our people will become partners with bitches and
bulldogs. That is not our culture. You can keep your filth to yourselves.'
Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, said Thursday the country would
continue with its indigenisation and empowerment policy
Posted: Thursday , 14 Apr 2011
HARARE (Reuters) -
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday the government would go
ahead with the takeover of foreign companies, a scheme that has rattled
investors, and told Western countries to stop meddling in his country's
Mugabe's ZANU-PF is at odds with its coalition partner, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, over his plan to force
foreign-owned firms, including mines, to transfer at least 51 percent of
their shares to local blacks.
"We proceed with our indigenisation and empowerment policy and programmes
must be worked out to ensure that our resources are managed by us, they are
controlled and exploited by us and that they benefit the majority of our
people," Mugabe said in a speech during the burial of a top spy.
The unity government of the resource-rich state has sent mixed signals to
foreign investors, with Mugabe's ZANU-PF threatening takeovers and MDC
officials painting a rosy picture of an emerging economy where overseas
capital will be safe.
The government published regulations last month giving mining companies 45
days to set out their plans for transferring ownership stakes to black
Some of the companies affected include the world's top platinum producers
Anglo Platinum (AMSJ.J) and Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J), and global mining
titan Rio Tinto (RIO.AX).
Mugabe, 87, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has previously
accused foreign companies of working with the West in a plot to remove him
"If our economy is controlled by outsiders, similarly the politics will be
controlled by outsiders," he said.
The West has imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his allies on charges of
election rigging and human rights abuses but the veteran leader said this
was punishment for his seizure of white-owned commercial farms to
redistribute to blacks.
Mugabe, who is pushing for presidential and parliamentary elections this
year, two years ahead of schedule, needs cash to help him fund his campaign
and arm his soldiers as he tries to defeat the MDC, which has warned the
election could lead to a bloodbath.
Apr 14, 2011 3:19 PM | By Sapa-AFP
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Thursday condemned gay "filth" in
Europe, as he lambasted Western powers for maintaining their asset freeze
and travel ban on him and his inner circle.
"We don't worry ourselves about the goings-on in Europe," he told thousands
at the burial of deputy intelligence chief Menard Muzariri, who died Monday.
"About the unnatural things happening there, where they turn man-to-man and
woman-to-woman. We say, well, it's their country. If they want to call their
country British Gaydom, it's up to them. That's not our culture. We condemn
"We get alarmed when these countries have the audacity to schedule us as an
item to discuss in their parliament."
Homosexuality is illegal in the southern African country. While the Gays and
Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) association is allowed to operate, it suffers
"We must unite in opposing and condemning the sanctions," he said.
"We must demonstrate that we are ready to defend our country and sacrifice
our lives. The enemy will try by all means to destroy us, but if we are
united, we are strong."
Mugabe and members of his inner circle were slapped with EU and US sanctions
in 2002 following disputed presidential elections.
His call for unity comes in the wake of widening cracks in the power-sharing
deal with Prime Morgan Tsvangirai, a political rival.
Zimbabwe is drafting a new constitution to pave the way for new elections,
following disputed 2008 polls that led to the unity government, but the
process was often marred by violence.
Last month, Tsvangirai threatened to pull out of the unity government
following the arrest of his energy minister, Elton Mangoma.
Lupane, April 14 2011 - A Lupane Roman Catholic priest, Mark Mkandla was on
Wednesday night arrested by police in Lupane soon after attending a church
service organised by the organ for National healing and Reconciliation in
The co-minister of the organ, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, told Radio VOP on Thursday
that Mkandla was arrested on Wednesday evening at his home soon after the
meeting where the priest delivered a powerful sermon on violence.
“Priest Mkandla who is the head of the Roman Catholic diocese in Hwange was
arrested by the police in Hwange while attending a national healing church
service which I also attended as a core minister of the organ.I do not know
why the police waited for my and everyone’s departure to arrest the priest
whose only crime as far as I am concerned was to deliver a sermon on
violence. I am really disappointed by this development” said minister
The minister said both the core ministers of the organ including vice
president Jonh Nkomo had been invited at the meeting but could not attend
the function due to other pressing national events.
Ndlovu said he had arranged lawyers to secure the release of Mkandla who was
detained at Lupane police station. Mkandla’s arrest come hard on the heels
of the arrests of pastors and worshipers in Harare last weekend who were
attending a peace prayer meeting.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Staff Writer
Thursday, 14 April 2011 11:28
HARARE - The main faction of the MDC will discipline its members who were
involved in violence which rocked some of its provincial elections last
Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri said they identified some of the
supporters who were involved in the ugly scenes with fellow colleagues
during elections to choose new provincial leaders.
Mudzuri said his party did not support the violence that occurred during the
elections and the party was going to take disciplinary action against the
party members that were involved in the violent acts.
“We have managed to identify some party members who started violence and
the party does not support these acts and we are going to adopt a resolution
at the congress denouncing any form of violence in the party,’’ said
Last week, the elections to choose a new executive in Bulawayo were rocked
by violence rival supporters clashed at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, ZCTU, offices.
Minister of State Enterprises Gorden Moyo who was elected chairman after
narrowly edging Martson Hlalo in a tight contest, was accused of using
violence to bar his rivals supporters from voting.
But the new Bulawayo Province chairman has rubbished the accusations.
Mudzuri, however, said the outstanding elections in Mashonaland Central,
Midlands and Bulawayo, would be concluded this weekend.
He condemned the police action in these provinces which he blamed for the
disruptions of the elections.
“They are some overzealous policemen in the provinces like Mashonaland
Central, Midlands North and Bulawayo provinces who stopped us from
continuing with our elections in the night yet it was an internal meeting,”
“They stopped elections in these provinces, but however we shall finish them
this coming weekend,’’ said Mudzuri.
The MDC has concluded holding elections in eight provinces and the remaining
four provinces will be concluded this weekend.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said his party had changed the dates of the
elections to accommodate May Day celebrations.
“We are a party born out of the labour movement so we are shifting our days
to April 28-30, to allow our members who are of the ZCTU, to attend the day,’’
Initially, the congress had been slated for April 30 and May 1.
The major highlight of the congress will be on the last day when elections
for top leadership posts will be held.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe
are so far the only senior officials whose posts will not be challenged.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga will be the guest honour at the event to
be held in Bulawayo.
Chamisa confirmed that Odinga had accepted the invitation.
“Prime Minister Odinga has accepted our invitation and he is one of
democratic leaders in Africa and we share the same political ideology with
him and we are glad that he will be joining us at our congress,’’ he said.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
14 April, 2011
The leaders of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) have decided to take
their recent illegal arrests and harassment by the Mugabe regime to the
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Robert Mugabe
himself and the Zimbabwe government are to be named in the case being
brought to the Commission, which acts as the African Union’s human rights
monitor and safeguard.
The MLF leaders Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas are facing treason
charges for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. They were
arrested early in March and accused of distributing flyers that called for
the separation of Matabeleland from the rest of Zimbabwe.
The MLF secretary for legal affairs, Sabelo Ngwenya, told NewsDay newspaper
on Wednesday that the group had made contact with the ACHPR and were
“working on” presenting their case soon.
The ACHPR makes recommendations to the African heads of state after hearing
human rights cases, but has no powers to punish or enforce any resolutions
made. This institution has dealt with various cases of human rights
violations by the Zimbabwean authorities in the past and made
recommendations, that were later ignored by the heads of state.
All three MLF leaders were granted $2 000 bail. Gazi and Thomas managed to
raise the money and were released. But according to MLF lawyer Ucaca Phulu,
Paul Siwela remains in detention waiting for the Supreme Court to set a date
for his bail appeal hearing.
Siwela was further detained after the Attorney General’s office brought up
an earlier case that was pending. “The Attorney General’s office used
controversial legislation that they always turn to in order to make sure
human rights defenders languish in jail for longer periods of time,” Phulu
He said there had also been a delay by the court in sending records to
Harare, but would not say whether the delay was deliberate. Regarding Siwela’s
$2,000 bail, Phulu said they might have difficulties raising that amount of
money because many people are opposed to what the MLF is advocating.
“Because they do not agree they won’t mind if he suffers longer in
detention,” said Phulu, referring to the separation of Matabeleland from
Zimbabwe, which the MLF supports.
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 April 2011
The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) is spearheading the
drafting of a new constitution and has identified the three people who will
be responsible for putting the final document together.
‘We sat down as the select committee and looked at individuals best suited
to do the job. In the end we came up with three professional people who were
chosen on the basis of their competence and experience,’ Douglas Mwonzora,
co-chairman of COPAC said on Thursday.
Mwonzora, who declined to reveal the names of the three, said they were
chosen from across Zimbabwean society, adding ‘two are black and one is
white.’ SW Radio Africa is reliably informed one of them is a retired High
The three principal drafters are expected to begin their work at the end of
May and will be assisted by six members from the three political parties to
the GPA. Mwonzora said each party will have two people in the drafting
committee and the three co-chairpersons of COPAC will complete the line-up,
making a total of 12.
425 people from across the country have already been appointed to work on
the thematic committees that will start work after the May Day holidays.
Mwonzora said they devised a formula that will see the delegates being
divided into 17 thematic areas.
‘These delegates will go through information obtained from outreach meetings
and will be looking at specific topics under their thematic areas. They will
view comments from district by district, meeting by meeting sifting through
the information and getting rid of irrelevant data.
This will enable them to do away with information they are not dealing with
and at the same time putting aside the appropriate data under their thematic
areas. This relevant data will be compiled into a thematic report that will
be sent to the drafting committee,’ Mwonzora added.
The select committee will study each of the reports from the 17 thematic
groups and the frequently raised issues will be picked out and forwarded to
the three principal drafters who will compress the information into a single
new constitution for the country.
‘Barring any delays, we should be able to meet the September deadline to
have a new constitution. We have been assured by the government and our
stakeholders that they will provide us with enough funds to ensure we
complete this exercise,’ said Mwonzora.
A new constitution is expected to pave the way for new elections, following
the disputed 2008 polls that led to the unity government.
By Lance Guma
14 April 2011
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will next month start
examining evidence against two of its most wanted fugitives. One of them,
Protais Mpiranya, is suspected of hiding in Zimbabwe.
The ICTR is a special United Nations court that was set up to prosecute
suspects who directed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where nearly a million
people of mainly Tutsi ethnic origin were massacred. Mpiranya was the
commander of the Rwandan Presidential Guard and is accused of “participating
in the planning, preparation and execution of a plan to exterminate the
Tutsi population of Rwanda”.
Last year in December the chief prosecutor of the ICTR based in Tanzania,
accused the Zimbabwean government of protecting Mpiranya. Justice Hassan
Jallow even petitioned the United Nations to ensure Zimbabwe cooperates in
arresting him. Not only is Mpiranya wanted by the ICTR and authorities in
Belgium but the United States ‘Rewards for Justice Programme’ has a US$5
million bounty on his head.
All this has not stopped Mugabe’s regime offering him sanctuary. Countless
reports have suggested the genocide suspect has built up businesses in
Harare and is heavily involved in the training of ZANU PF youth militias.
Last year the then co-Home Affairs Minister, Giles Mutsekwa, pledged the
government’s cooperation in bringing Mpiranya to book, if indeed he was in
But this week police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told the NewsDay newspaper
that they were not aware of the presence of Mpiranya on Zimbabwean soil.
The process by the ICTR to begin examining the evidence will allow it to be
preserved and archived for future use. Rwanda’s Minister of Justice,
Tharcisse Karugarama said; “It can take one, 10 or 20 years to arrest them,
but this evidence will remain fresh awaiting them. We are aware that as
years go by, witnesses age or die, evidence wears away and soon the ICTR
will close shop. This is a good and timely move.”
By Gugulethu Nyazema, Staff Writer
Thursday, 14 April 2011 16:16
HARARE - A health disaster is looming at the Harare Central Hospital which
has been hit by water shortages.
So dire is the situation that Harare residents have appealed to the city
council to intervene before critical services that are dependent on water
Hospital officials confirmed the reports and blamed the water shortages to
the out-dated pipes that were installed decades ago and the low water
pressure supply to the hospitals wards.
The water shortage has exposed the nursing staff and patients to a potential
outbreak of cholera.
“We are sitting on top of a mountain and when City of Harare cuts water
supply the obsolete pipes cannot pump water up. The pressure is very low. It
is a big challenge for the hospital to function fully,” said Dr Vera,
Clinical Director of Harare Central Hospital.
To avert a possible disease outbreak, said Dr Vera, the hospital is drawing
water from the boreholes, but they are not sufficient.
“We have boreholes on the premises, but they are not enough and the hospital
does not have the funds to drill more boreholes at the premises,” Vera said.
“We have many people here and water from tanks will not keep us going for
long. This water is enough for a short while.”
The Harare Residents Trust, HRT, said they were concerned about the
situation and have appealed to the city council to intervene.
“Harare hospital has gone without water supplies for the last three days,
forcing nursing staff and other employees at the hospital to spend time
walking long distances to get water,” said HRT membership officer,
“We received reports from our Glen Norah branch that the situation there is
not good and we are appealing to the council and other interested
organisations to intervene as a health hazard is looming, “he said.
Meanwhile the city council’s department of works has said it is aware of the
situation at Harare Central Hospital and is working to clear the problem.
“The main issue with water in that area is that when electricity goes the
water pressure levels are affected,” said Collin Rukodze, a technician who
works for the department.
In March there were media reports that the hospital had gone for three weeks
Harare, April 14, 2011 - Newly elected Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Harare provincial chairperson Paul Madzore appeared in court on Wednesday
for allegedly assaulting a police officer in 2006.
Madzore, the legislator for Glenview South in the MDC-T party led by Prime
Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, was on Monday served with summons to appear in
court on Wednesday for trial on charges of assaulting Detective Constable
Everisto Maponga, a police officer.
Prosecutors allege that Madzore unlawfully and intentionally assaulted
Maponga, a member of the Criminal Investigation Department, who was on
patrol in the suburb on 14 December 2006 at Makomva Shopping Centre in
Gleniew 2 suburb in Harare.
The prosecutors claim that Madzore punched Maponga with his hands on his
chest and he staggered as a result of the knocking.
However, Madzore’s trial could not commence on Wednesday and was rescheduled
to 17 May 2011 by Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba after his lawyer
Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) protested at being
served with State papers while in court on Wednesday morning.
The State has lined up two witnesses Maponga and Detective Constable Aaron
Chipadza to testify against Madzore during his trial.
Meanwhile in a separate incident related to the MDC-T, Abednico Bhebhe, the
ousted legislator for the Welshman Ncube led faction of the MDC, has
re-joined his former party.
Bhebhe who had joined the small faction of MDC when the party split in 2005,
was fired by Ncube in July 2009 together with two other legislators
Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu (Bulilima North) allegedly
for conspiring with Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s legislator in the House of
They were accused of voting for MDC T national chairman Lovemore Moyo as the
Speaker of Parliament in August 2008.
But Bhebhe, who is popular in Nkayi, has bounced back in the MDC- T
following his election as the deputy provincial chairperson for the premier’s
party in Matabeleland North.
The MDC- T confirmed in a statement Bhebhe’s election into the provincial
executive for Matabeleland North. He will deputise trade unionist, Sengezo
Other executive members are Secretary Hwange East MP, Gift Mabhena, Deputy
Secretary, Angeline Keswa, Treasurer S. Dube, Organising Secretary T.
Sibindi, Deputy Organising Secretary, and S. Mabhena, Information and
Publicity W. Luphahla, Director of Elections, F. Dube.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Staff Writer
Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:01
HARARE - The wife of one of the South African drivers, effectively held in
Zimbabwe as ransom for botched deal in which First Lady lost US$1 million to
a Johannesburg based partner, is gravly ill and could die if authorities do
not allow her husband to travel to South Africa immediately.
Cassim Jee Bilal’s wife, Nazmeera, is hospitalised in the intensive care
unit and is waiting to go for an emergency heart transplant in South Africa.
But for that critical, life-saving operation to happen, her husband must
travel to Johannesburg immediately to process and authorise the urgent
To make matters worse, the couple has a five-year-old daughter whom Nazmeera
cannot take care of, in the absence of her detained husband, due to her poor
Bilal and three other South African nationals were arrested in Harare in
February this year, on allegations that their employer fleeced the First
Lady in a botched truck deal involving a shadowy Chinese businessman, Ping
Sung Hsieh, a former close and long-standing associate of the Mugabes.
Although the four men were granted bail by the High Court, they were ordered
to remain in Zimbabwe until Sung Hsieh is extradited, a development their
lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has said is scandalous and tantamount to extortion
given that Sung Hsieh’s extradition hearing may take many years.
The First Lady, using one of her aides, Olga Bungu, contracted Sung Hsieh to
buy six trucks from South Africa three years ago, which Sung Hsieh allegedly
did not deliver as per their agreement.
In February, Sung Hsieh sent four of his drivers to Harare, including Bilal,
with old South African-registered trucks, to be delivered at Grace’s
orphanage. The four men were promptly arrested on their arrival.
Grace’s son from her first marriage, Russel, has also been mentioned as an
important player in the saga and botched deal.
In a letter to Chris Mutangadura of the attorney general’s office, Mtetwa
lays bare the horrifying and devastating effects of Bilal’s continued stay
The letter, in the possession of the Daily News, reads in part: “As has
previously been intimated to you Mr Mutangadura, Cassim Jee Bilal’s wife is
seriously ill and is currently on the heart transplant waiting list.
“We are instructed that due to her husband’s absence she is likely to remain
on the waiting list as his presence is necessary for the transplant to
proceed for both legal and ethical medical reasons as he is the next of kin
who must authorise all other procedures that may become necessary as a
result of the transplant.
“However, the longer she waits for the transplant, the graver her medical
condition, with the result that her chances of a successful transplant now
depend on the operation being done as soon as possible. As expected, this
impasse has put considerable stress not only on our client but on the entire
The letter continues: “We therefore kindly request, on humanitarian grounds,
that you consent to our client returning to South Africa so that his wife
might have a chance of having her life saved. Our client would be prepared
to abide by whatever conditions you might deem necessary to impose”.
The Daily News has also got in its possession a copy of a letter written by
South African cardiologist, Professor Mohammed Rafique Essop, in which he
makes an emotional appeal to Zimbabwean authorities to release Bilal.
“This unfortunate young lady has been severely ill, is in our heart
transplant list in the cardiac unit at Milpark. She has been hospitalised in
the intensive care unit on multiple occasions this year. She has a young
five year old that she is unable to care for and is almost entirely
dependent on her husband.
“His presence is required urgently back in Johannesburg, both for assistance
to her and for us to plan her forthcoming heart transplant which has been
delayed for the past two months.
“Your help in expediting his return home on humanitarian grounds would be
greatly appreciated,” said Essop in his passionate appeal.
An unimpressed Mtetwa said her clients were having a difficult time in the
country as they were not allowed to work, but were supposed to pay rent for
the house they were staying in, in Highlands.
‘’They have no idea of what is going on in their trial, these are
professional truck drivers from South Africa who were asked to bring in
trucks to Zimbabwe not knowing that the consignment involved Grace Mugabe
and her son Russell who had been having a misunderstanding with Hseih.
This Hseih guy just contracted them to drive the trucks to Zimbabwe,’’ she
The second hand trucks were delivered to Grace’s orphanage where they were
to be received by Stanley Mhari, a farm manager at one of the Mugabes’ many
There have been allegations by lawyers both in Zimbabwe and South Africa
that the four South Africans are effectively being held in Zimbabwe as
ransom to force Sung Hseih to either hand himself over to Zimbabwean
authorities or for the Chinese national to refund the First Lady her money.
Henry Radebe, Samuel Baloyi and Sydney Sekgobela are the other South African
drivers involved in the matter.
Bungu and Mhari, who are both state witnesses in the case, raised eyebrows
when they signed court affidavits claiming that they were unemployed and
wanted to start a trucking business – yet it is well known that they work
for the First Lady.
Mhari appeared in state media last year explaining the goings on at one of
Mugabe’s farms, while Bungu told Sung Hsieh’s lawyers in South Africa that
she works for Grace and usually accompanied the First Family on their
numerous trips overseas.
Bulawayo, April 14, 2011- A Zimbabwe widow, Patrica Nabanyama, is suing the
Attorney General for refusing to prosecute suspected killers of his husband
who was abducted 11 years ago under mysterious circumstances from his Nketa
home here for his involvement with the mainstream Movement for Democratic
Patrick Nabanyama wants the AG, Johannes Tomana to prosecute six surviving
war veterans accused of kidnapping and murdering her husband.
Nabanyama was abducted in front of his family in June 2000. Nine war
veterans were implicated in the abduction and disappearance of Nabanyama who
was also a polling agent of the current Education Minister, David Coltart.
The nine war veterans implicated are Stanley Ncube, Ephraim Moyo, Julius
Sibanda, Edward Ndlovu, Howard Ncube, Simon Rwodzi, Cain Nkala, A Mr Moyo
and Ngoni as well as the late Cain Nkala were initial arrested in connection
with Nabanyama’s disappearance but were never charged with kidnapping and
murder as that offence was covered by the amnesty pronounced by President
Robert Mugabe in 2001. Three of these have since died. These are Nkala,
Ndlovu and Ncube.
The MDC activist was declared dead by Bulawayo Provincial Magistrate, Rose
Dube last year. However soon after Dube's declaration Nabanyama’s widow,
Patricia Nabanyama through human rights organisation Zimbabwe Victims of
Organised Political Violence Trust (ZIVOVT) made an application to Tomana's
office seeking issuance of a certificate that would allow her lawyers to
carry out a private prosecution against her husband killers.
But Tomana has since refused to offer her the certificate for private
prosecution of her husband’s killers and Patricia is now suing him.
“It’s over a year now and we haven’t got any response from AG’s office on
the issuance of this certificate that will allow lawyers to carry out a
private prosecution against Patrick’s killers. So Patricia has no other
option but to sue the AG’s office. Our lawyers are working on her papers and
Tomana will be dragged to court,” said ZIVOVT secretary Bhekitemba Nyathi.
Nyathi said they visited AG’s office several times to seek clarification on
this issue but were chased us away. He added that his organisation won’t
give up until Nabanyama’s murderers are prosecuted.
When contacted AG Johannes Tomana said: “I am not going to answer that, just
write what you want.”
Says Swazis are united against protests 'inspired by foreigners'
Apr 13, 2011 10:46 PM | By Nkululeko Ncanain Swaziland
Swaziland's Foreign Affairs Minister, Lutfo Dlamini, yesterday played down
the protests in his country despite recent violent clashes between
protestors and the police.
Though Dlamini told a press conference in the administrative capital,
Mbabane, that "Swazis had united against protest action", violence again
flared up in the kingdom's commercial capital, Manzini.
Several youth leaders accused of being agitators were arrested.
Swazis took to the streets on Monday, calling for regime change and the
dissolution of King Mswati III's government.
Dlamini said that, contrary to the information the protestors were spreading
around the world, the Swaziland government was a "democratic one" because
ministers were directly elected by their constituencies.
Dlamini said reports that political leaders had been detained, and some
placed under house arrest, were not true.
"Swaziland is a place of peace and tranquillity . We have no political
detainees, no one in exile and no banned political structures," he said.
Dlamini dared the organisers of the April 12 uprising to "show themselves"
because they had "been faceless".
He said the 24-hour roadblocks and military patrols were justified because
those planning the protests had threatened the country's security.
"We have been threatened as a nation by outsiders that there will be an
"We needed to guarantee the safety of all Swazis and that is why we have
these roadblocks. We are not trying to inconvenience anybody," he said.
"It's all over," Dlamini said. "There is no protest. It's over. Today there
"The country has a king and government that is elected as compared to
popular belief. We regard his majesty as a unifying force."
Dlamini said it was not in his government's nature to arrest journalists but
that many had been detained because they had not applied for accreditation
to cover the protests.
The Swaziland Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has
opened and is dealing with the accreditation of journalists.
The roadblocks have prevented the protestors from organising themselves but
organisers told The Times that they expect sporadic protests in various
parts of Manzini.
The activists' objective is to take the protests to Mbabane.
The South African government is yet to make an official comment about the
situation in Swaziland.
Harare, 14 April, 2011 - Rooftop Promotions-produced, play Rituals that has
seen some of its actors being arrested because of its candid look at
political events in the country, will be staged at the Harare International
Festival of the Arts (Hifa).
Hifa runs from April 26 to May 01.
Daves Guzha, the Rooftops executive director, said he was ecstatic that he
had been accorded an opportunity to stage the play at Hifa.
"Nothing is as good as having a cosmopolitan crowd witness fine art at
play," he said. He allayed fears that the play might be banned: "Art will
always talk and when there is an ear to listen to it no one can go against
The play was written by award-winning Zimbabwean author Stephen Chifunyise
and director-cum-producer Daves Guzha produces the play.
Since its opening at Theatre in the Park the play has been well received,
had a performance at the All-Africa Festival on Peace in Nairobi, Kenya and
saw 100 performances all over Zimbabwe.
Silvanos Mudzova, one of the members of the cast, speaking to Radio VOP from
Zambia where the play is on a tour said: "This is a play that will give
those who did not see it an opportunity to appreciate Zimbabwe talent."
He said the persecution they suffered at the hands of Zimbabwe's police only
gives them power to do more as theatre "is a mirror of the society."
Can a legal settlement to political violence supersede the spiritual
settlement of appeasing the avenging spirit in the case of murder?
How possible is it for an activist to confess knowledge of murder and
compensate the dead person’s family with a daughter without risking arrest
and condemnation for abusing the right of the girl child? Such are the
questions that Rituals brings to the fore.
JENNY GROSS Associated Press
April 14, 2011
JOHANNESBURG — Unrest in Libya has gone from bad to worse, thousands have
been killed in Ivory Coast clashes and Nigeria is about to take on elections
that could rock the already volatile oil-rich country.
With Egypt's economy battered after the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak
and governments like Zimbabwe rife with corruption, the outlook for
stability in the world's poorest continent is bleak.
Yet, when it comes to the continent's future, many economists are echoing
the same message: invest. And investors are actually following the advice.
Inflated commodities prices — oil is trading at its highest in more than two
years — have swelled returns on the resource-rich continent, full of
untapped reserves of metals such as gold, platinum, copper and iron ore.
That, coupled with a growing middle class of more than a billion people
means huge economic potential, said Johan de Bruijn, a portfolio manager at
Emerging Markets Management, an investment firm based in Arlington, Va.
"It's absolutely inevitable that despite any kind of political upheaval or
cross border risk, the world attention is focusing more and more on Africa,
" de Bruijn said.
Investors are starting to view more developed emerging markets like Brazil,
Russia, China and India, which have brought back soaring 150 percent returns
since the global meltdown, as overvalued, says Richard Marston, the director
of a center for international financial research at the Wharton School at
the University of Pennsylvania.
As a result, they are now moving to frontier markets: the less developed
emerging economies such as markets in Africa.
"You have a bit of a scramble right now from investors who want to be the
first and want the reward of being first," said Bobby Pittman, the vice
president for infrastructure at the African Development Bank, which provides
loans and grants to promote investment in Africa.
Nile Pan Africa Fund, one of a few U.S. based actively managed mutual funds
focusing exclusively on Africa, has seen some of those rewards. It
outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by 16 percentage points in its first
eight months since going public in April 2010.
Some of the world's biggest corporations are also eyeing the continent's
potential: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is finalizing plans for its billion-dollar
takeover of a South African retailer.
To be sure, investing in Africa isn't for the weak-hearted, especially those
who can't endure short-term volatility.
High-reward investment destinations come with high risks. Aside from the
conflicts currently rolling across North Africa, the continent is facing
more than a dozen presidential elections this year. The continual political
unrest is a reminder that the continent may not be as stable as investors
would wish. The Nile Pan Africa Fund, for example, fell 4 percent in the
first quarter of 2011.
What makes Africa even riskier than other emerging market funds is that —
aside from South Africa — it's made up of relatively small markets, said
Karin Anderson, a mutual fund analyst for Morningstar.
"Given all the volatility we can expect this year, it seems like a very
difficult place for most investors to stick with," Anderson said. "You're
kind of playing a couple of sectors in a couple countries, which means more
volatility and goes against the idea of adding diversification to a
Anderson also said Africa doesn't have the depth, trade valuing, regulation
levels and corporate government levels of other emerging markets, making it
harder for fund managers to determine which firms to invest with.
But some experts say that investors with long-term views will ride out the
Indeed, even the turmoil in northern Africa could be a positive for
investment down the road.
"As a result of these demonstrations, you're getting change in governments
in North Africa," said Mark Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets,
which manages $54 billion in emerging market funds. The Templeton frontier
markets funds — ones focusing on emerging markets with less liquid markets
such as in Africa — have increased 12 fold to $1.2 billion since they opened
two years ago.
Mobius added, "The biggest barrier to growth in these countries is the
governments — governments taking too big a share of the wealth and not using
if efficiently." Better corporate governance means better disclosure, which
makes it easier to predict when to invest and when to withdraw, he said.
SADC Lawyers Association
Statement by the SADC Lawyers Association on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to take advice from regional leaders and institutions
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Lawyers Association is concerned about recent media reports indicating that the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is refusing to take advice from the SADC appointed Facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma or from regional institutions including the Southern African Development Community and the African Union. Addressing his party ZANU PF’s 84th Ordinary Session of the Central Committee on the 31st of March 2011 in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe is reported in the Zimbabwe Government owned daily newspaper The Herald and other media outlets to have said that “the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security or any other organization cannot dictate how Zimbabwe should run its internal affairs” and that “even our neighbours should not tell us what to do”. He also said the facilitator Jacob Zuma should not prescribe what Zimbabwe must do.
These remarks followed a statement from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security following its meeting in Livingstone, Zambia condemning political violence as well as arrests and intimidation of political and human rights activists in Zimbabwe. This is the strongest statement to come from SADC ever since the political crisis in Zimbabwe started more than a decade ago. The position has been welcomed by human rights organizations in and outside Zimbabwe as a positive development in the quest to find a lasting solution to the country’s decade long crisis.
President Robert Mugabe and his government have unfortunately failed to accept this position as a positive development towards finding a lasting solution to the country’s crisis. This is particularly disturbing considering that the advice is coming from African leaders and institutions. In the past, President Mugabe and his government have accused the British, European Union and the Americans of interfering in the internal Affairs of African countries, including Zimbabwe. Many Africans therefore expect President Mugabe to take advice from African leaders and African institutions. His latest position is therefore a direct contradiction to his long held position on Pan Africanism and the need to find African solutions to African problems.
The SADC Lawyers Association therefore:
1) Urges the SADC appointed facilitator on Zimbabwe, South African President Jacob Zuma and SADC to continue to work towards finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.
2) Calls upon President Robert Mugabe and his party to respect SADC regional and African leaders and institutions in the spirit of Pan Africanism so as to allow Africa to find African solutions to African problems
Issued for and on behalf of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association
By Mrs Thoba Poyo-Dlwati
7 April 2011.
Health Minister Henry Madzorera said that given the rejection of the
alternative strategic plan proposal, the Round 11 request will have to be
reworked to secure funds to maintain ongoing programs
Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 13 April 2011
Efforts by Zimbabwe to secure additional funds from the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have not been successful as the country’s
application did not meet Global Fund guidelines, sources informed on the
process said Wednesday.
Zimbabwe health officials had submitted the national strategic plan
application hoping to obtain funding to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases
through an alternative method.
Officials in Harare said that in submitting the application they were fully
aware that due to the an ongoing restructuring of Zimbabwe’s five-year
strategic plan, they would be unable to include requisite details on budgets
and implementation monitoring.
But the Ministry of Health said its application for Global Fund Round 11
funds will be considered by the international organization. Zimbabwe was not
awarded funds in Round 10, but officials say there is funding available from
Health Minister Henry Madzorera said that given the rejection of the
alternative strategic plan proposal, the Round 11 request will have to be
reworked. He said Zimbabwe needs to secure funding in Round 11 to maintain
programs at current levels.
Global Fund sources said success rates for annual rounds are about 50
percent. They noted that Zimbabwe has received more than 14 grants and has
four active plans.
But HIV/AIDS program coordinators reliant on donor funds say a lack of
funding will be fatal. Justice AIDS Trust Coordinator Albert Chambati told
reporter Tatenda Gumbo that if funding is not replenished many health
sectors and patients will feel the impact.
Political analyst John Makumbe disagreed with the report, saying ZANU-PF has
not become more accountable and has continued to plunder the nation and to
use violence to intimidate its political and civil opponents
Benedict Nhlapo & Patience Rusere | Washington 13 April 2011
The South African-based Solidarity Peace Trust on Wednesday issued a report
analyzing how Zimbabwe's 2008 Global Political Agreement, the basis of the
unity government that has been in place in Harare since February 2009, has
worked out since then, concluding that it has increased accountability by
the former ruling ZANU-PF party.
Launching the report, entitled "The Hard Road to Reform," Solidarity Peace
Trust Senior Researcher Brian Raftopoulos told journalists in Johannesburg
that 26 months of power sharing have also given the two formations of the
former opposition Movement for Democratic Change a chance to show that they
can effectively govern.
But the report said the MDC and civic groups must step up lobbying of the
Southern African Development Community and the African Union to press
ZANU-PF to more fully comply with the terms of the GPA, correspondent
Benedict Nhlapho reported.
The organization called for democratic forces in Zimbabwe to boycott
elections in the event - unlikely, it said - that President Robert Mugabe
chooses to ignore resolutions by SADC calling for further reforms before a
new ballot, and calls snap elections.
Political analyst John Makumbe was quick to dismiss the report's
conclusions, however. He said ZANU-PF has not become more accountable and
has continued to plunder the nation and to use violence to intimidate its
political and civil opponents.
Makumbe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that it is naïve to think
ZANU-PF has changed at all as the party has become even more corrupt since
April 14th, 2011
GALZ Press Release: Statements by President Robert Mugabe castigating gays and lesbians at the burial of Menard Muzariri at the National Heroes Acre on Thursday 14 April are nothing new and only serve to reinforce our call for constitutional protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people that has been met with state sponsored homophobia of alarming levels.
It is time for the Zimbabwean government to reflect seriously on its thinking around human rights including those of its lesbian and gay citizens and Government should be implementing measures which proactively encourage a culture of meaningful human rights protection in this country.
Statements by the President are a contradiction of article VII of the Global Political agreement in which the President pledges to promote equality, national healing, cohesion and unity. The President should strive to “create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency”.
Activists in Zimbabwe are not puppets of foreign forces, as government would have everyone believe: we want a responsible government that is responsive to the needs of all Zimbabweans and we are fighting for our own good and for our own benefit as citizens of Zimbabwe.
The President needs to provide leadership in overcoming Zimbabwe’s challenges in areas such as violence, unemployment, education and health rather than fostering antipathy and intolerance.
Sokwanele note: Robert Mugabe is reported to have said this at the funeral:
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Thursday condemned gay “filth” in Europe, as he lambasted Western powers for maintaining their asset freeze and travel ban on him and his inner circle.
“We don’t worry ourselves about the goings-on in Europe,” he told thousands at the burial of deputy intelligence chief Menard Muzariri, who died on Monday.
“About the unnatural things happening there, where they turn man-to-man and woman-to-woman. We say, well, it’s their country. If they want to call their country British Gaydom, it’s up to them. That’s not our culture. We condemn that filth.
“We get alarmed when these countries have the audacity to schedule us as an item to discuss in their parliament.”
MEDIA NOTICE – 13th April 2011
Stop the Violence in Zimbabwe
Exiled Zimbabweans and supporters are marking Zimbabwe’s Independence Day on Monday 18th April by protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London against increasing political violence.
Only last week police broke up a prayer for peace at the Church of the Nazarene in Harare using teargas and batons to disperse the congregation, including children, who had to break church windows to escape. Four priests were among those arrested.
The London protest is organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, supported by the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy since 2002 in protest at human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
A card marking Zimbabwe’s 31st anniversary will be handed in calling on the Ambassador to pass on demands for an immediate end to the violence, free and fair elections and justice for the people of Zimbabwe.
Date: Monday, 18th April 2011 from 12 noon – 3 pm.
Venue: Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2.
Contact: Rose Benton (07970 996 003 / 07932 193 467), Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775), Ephraim Tapa (07940 793 090).
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
On 18 April Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) will mark the 31st
anniversary of Zimbabwean independence with a lunchtime vigil, outside the
Zimbabwe Embassy. It will pay tribute to those who fought, suffered and
sacrificed for the liberation of Zimbabwe and call for democracy, justice
and rights and an end to the violence.
In recent weeks the people of Zimbabwe have experienced a surge in violence
and repression. Politicians and prominent civil society leaders have faced
arbitrary arrest on trumped up charges; there has been intimidation,
harassment and violence.
ACTSA is fearful that the level of violence will return to that during the
2008 presidential run off elections when Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to
pull out. That left one candidate and the Southern Africa Development
Community said that the electoral process was not in accord with the
principles and guidelines it, including Zimbabwe, have agreed for the
conduct of democratic elections.
The vigil will be attended by ACTSA supporters, members of the Zimbabwean
diaspora and trade unionists. During the vigil ACTSA supporters will present
an anniversary card to the Embassy condemning the violence and calling for
democracy, rights and justice.
Tony Dykes, Director of ACTSA said:
“Today, as Zimbabwe marks the 31st anniversary of its independence, we pay
tribute to those who sacrificed so much for the freedom of their country.
That struggle was for democracy, rights and justice. This is why we are here
today; to support democracy, rights and justice for Zimbabwe.
Whilst the eyes of the world look elsewhere, the people of Zimbabwe are
being beaten, intimidated and harassed by militias, the army and the police
simply because they are viewed as not supporting one political party.
ACTSA condemns the violence and harassment perpetrated against the people of
Zimbabwe, including political and civil society activists, trade unionists
and especially women.”
Heart of the Matter
by Tanonoka Joseph Whande
One thing I appreciate about religion is that it is a personal thing between
a believer, a worshipper and their god.
No one can come between the two, even if they tried.
God cannot be manipulated by anyone and for that, we are thankful.
Politicians would have loved it if they were able to take God to a corner
and whisper something into his ear.
Imagine if ZANU-PF had as much access to God as they have to Jacob Zuma!
The world would long be dead.
I mean, can you believe these people?
What would Robert Mugabe be today were it not for the role played by the
Church, especially the Catholic Church, in his education and upbringing?
I am also reminded of Jean Bertrand Aristide, a one time Catholic priest who
went on to become a brutal and murderous dictator in Haiti.
I am reminded of Jean-Bédel Bokassa, a Catholic who fidgeted with Islam for
a while, and who rivaled Uganda’s Idi Amin Dada in brutality and murder of
Like Amin, Bokassa was also accused of cannibalism.
Men who grew up in God’s shadow turned against God because of the taste of
political power they experienced.
I cannot understand Mugabe’s behaviour against the Church and how he
reconciles his beliefs with what he is doing.
It’s no longer just politics; it is now the perpetration of evil.
Some years ago, a colourless praise singer, Tony Gara, now late, stood up in
parliament and said that Mugabe was “God’s other son”.
The nation expected Mugabe to censure this old fool for blasphemy but,
instead, Mugabe rewarded him with a cabinet post!
It was an admission by Mugabe that he felt big enough to consider himself at
par with Jesus Christ.
Time after time, Mugabe has grudgingly used the church for his own ends and
never felt guilty that he abuses God’s name in a futile attempt to elevate
himself to God’s level, if not higher.
Ndiko kunonzi kufarisa uku!
Mugabe sees our God as a competitor, not as his master. He has become so
mentally corrupted that he feels he must sit at the same table with God.
It is painful to see a human being so lost and stupid.
Then there is the sad issue of how he has always used the church of the
Vapostori to prop up his waning political fortunes and hoodwink illiterate
people into supporting and voting for him.
I sit here wondering if some of these churches are genuine or if they are
proxies for the devil. How can anyone not see the evil that Mugabe and
ZANU-PF are reining in Zimbabwe?
How can any church leaders bow down to a political leader who has been on a
war path against Christians as much as Mugabe has been?
Then there is Mugabe’s friend, defrocked Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga who
tried to use the Anglican Church as an extension of Mugabe’s power base.
Kunonga, along with some staunch Mugabe supporters on the legal bench, is
allegedly the beneficiary of farms violently seized from their owners.
Failing to deliver the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe to Mugabe, Kunonga did
several things that caused his church to censure him and eventually
He resisted expulsion and influenced some worshippers to stand by him.
During the religious and legal battles that followed, Kunonga was able to
use church funds to pay lawyers who were instructed to obtain a legal
directive to bar some parishioners from entering and worshipping in the
His role became that of stopping people from worshipping, not to find lost
souls and bring them to church.
Seeing his friend on the ropes, Mugabe weighed in with the CIO, police and
army to ensure that only those who supported Kunonga in his battles with the
church had access to the church to worship.
Violence erupted and unchristian words were thrown around as the army stood
by in support of Kunonga.
Thus, Kunonga became the center of conflict within God’s church.
This long-running conflict in the Anglican Church Diocese of Harare hit a
new low last Sunday when Kunonga’s supporters prevented the burial of a
long-time Anglican parishioner because he belonged to a rival faction.
Kunonga loyalists blocked the burial of lifelong church worker,
seventy-year-old Edward Rinashe, at a cemetery just outside Harare.
The late Rinashe had refused to recognize Kunonga’s authority and attended
services led by church-recognised Bishop Chad Gandiya, designated head of
the diocese by the Province of Central Africa.
Over the years, Kunonga has been supported by the police in gaining and
maintaining control over church property, just like Mugabe and his war
veterans did with private property and farms.
Witnesses said that after skirmishes at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Rinashe’s
coffin was taken back to the funeral home which had prepared him for
Nothing could be more disgusting than a supposedly Christian president
behaving in such a manner, deliberately getting into God’s way.
Mugabe has gone too far and, without doubt, will get his comeuppance.
Just last week, Mugabe’s men disrupted a church service in one of Harare’s
suburbs because the church service was being held under the theme ‘Saving
Zimbabwe, the Unfinished Journey’.
It was aimed at “praying for peace in the country that has been saddled with
politically motivated violence, internal displacements of people as well as
arbitrary arrests of human rights activists and politicians”.
Reports say the pastors and others were arrested when baton wielding police
stormed the Church of the Nazarene in Harare’s Glen Norah suburb and threw
choking teargas inside the church to disperse the worshippers.
Parishioners, among them old women and children, were forced to break
through the church windows to escape the menacing police.
The service also intended to commemorate the events of March 11, 2007, where
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, human rights activists that included Dr
Lovemore Madhuku were brutally attacked by police at a ‘Save Zimbabwe’
As long as anything is done in his support, Mugabe will not stop it.
He will not admonish those who kill in his name.
He won’t criticise those who commit acts of vandalism in his support,
especially when they destroy property belonging to members of other
It’s always as if Mugabe is daring God.
The heart of the matter is that our fight with Mugabe and his ZANU-PF is no
longer just a political fight.
Zimbabweans are fighting state-sponsored evil and it is therefore the
responsibility of every Christian to fight Mugabe and ZANU-PF at all fronts
so that we can retrieve our children who have been corrupted by Satanists
masquerading as political nationalists.
Send me your comments to email@example.com.
In Genesis 16:12, we are warned that: “He will be a wild donkey of a man.
His hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he
will live in hostility towards all his brothers.”
Mugabe has led a crusade to kill our people.
He has gathered our sons and daughters to murder their relatives on his
He has not given Zimbabwe anything but has taken just about everything
Yes, Christians have watched as this wild donkey of a man killed people,
abused the elderly, starved the children and now defiling our churches
because Mugabe considers himself a warrior who can go toe to toe with our
Our God remains untouched because we are not defeated.
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF have raised the stakes by clearly making God part of
There cannot be any compromise with any Christian.
We cannot continue to watch as Christians are abused by thieves and
murderers who have ruined a nation so much blessed by God.
Christians must fight this crusade because there appears to be no bigger
Satan than Mugabe and his ZANU-PF.
Mugabe knows who his judge is and moronically believes that getting rid of
the judge will enhance his chances of avoiding punishment.
Soon, Mugabe will meet his Maker and there won’t be any gnashing of teeth.
Mugabe will just be put in his rightful place.
I am made to understand that hell is hotter than hell itself. That’s very
good because the one who deserves hell more than any other Zimbabwean is on
Christians must not tolerate this defilement of their faiths anymore. We are
the custodians of our faith and God will punish us for not stopping Mugabe.
We, as Christians, must fight off Mugabe’s evil defilement of our churches
The old song: Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war…comes to mind.
Let Christians stop evil; let Christians stop Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it
is today, Thursday, April 14, 2011.
by Prof Sabelo Gatsheni-Ndlovu Thursday 14 April 2011
A NUMBER of myths and distortions of history have combined to fuel tensions,
conflicts and violence in Zimbabwe. There are indeed a series of myths and
distortions that have filtered into the Zimbabwe national question.
Let me list some of the myths and distortions of history that have
negatively affected the nation-building project:
The first is that the Shona originated in Zimbabwe and are therefore the
only authentic natives and owners of the country.
The second is that of the Ndebele as a unique human species, blood thirty
destroyers of human life and violent invaders and foreigners to Zimbabwe who
survived by plundering other communities including enslaving the
The third is that the Shona were and are a unique human species, weak
people, peace-lovers, who never engaged in raiding and conquest, who were
mere victims of aggressive Mfecane refugees from the South such as the
Ngoni, Gaza, Swazi and Ndebele.
The fourth myth is that what today exists as Zimbabwe is constituted by two
hostile and contending ethnic groups of the Ndebele and Shona.
The fifth is that ZAPU was reluctant to confront the Rhodesian colonial
state violently and that this reluctance led to the split of 1963 that gave
birth to ZANU.
The sixth is that ZANU and ZANLA are the only authentic
revolutionary-liberation force that fought for the liberation of the country
from colonial rule.
The seventh is that in the 1980s there were politically-motivated, organised
and armed Ndebele-speaking dissidents that were sponsored by PF-ZAPU and
supported by the people of Matabeleland and the Midlands regions who sought
to dethrone the legitimately elected Zanu PF government.
The final myth is that in the 1980s there was a Shona army that had the
blessings of the entire Shona-speaking community that was launched into
Matabeleland and Midlands regions to eliminate every Ndebele-speaking
I know that here I am touching some raw nerves but these myths and
distortions of political history of the peoples today inhabiting the lands
lying between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers have caused so much tensions,
conflicts and violence.
I will try to unpack each of the myths and distortions with a view that
perhaps if we debunk some of these, we might be able to reduce tensions,
conflicts and violence that have visited us as a people across the
pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial epochs.
The Cameroonian historian and philosopher, Achille Mbembe, wrote about what
he termed the “power of the false” in 2002. Zimbabwe suffers greatly from
this disease of the “power of the false”. Some of the falsities, fallacies,
myths and distortions have permeated our oral cultures, novels and history
books. Some of our folk tales talk of “madzviti” who were fearsome and lived
like vampires through attacking, raiding and capturing women, cattle and
children and taking them away routinely.
Let me try and unpack each of the myths and distortions. The Shona are part
of Bantu group just like the Nguni. Their origins do not lie in Zimbabwe but
in the Benue Cross Region. This is confirmed by linguistic and archeological
evidence. That they migrated first into the Zimbabwe plateau does not make
them more indigenous than other African peoples inhabiting the lands lying
between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers.
Pre-colonial African history, like all other ancient histories, is a tale of
migrations, conquest and settlement. The original inhabitants of Southern
Africa are the San and the Khoi Khoi. Get me correct here. I do not doubt
that Africa belongs to Africans. What I am worried about is the attempt by
some Africans to indigenise themselves while occidentalising others.
The Rwandan genocide was caused precisely by this powerful but dangerous
politicisation of myths of origins, together with the role of German and
Belgian colonialism that survived through dividing and ruling the Tutsi,
Hutu and Twa.
Perhaps what has not been thoroughly debated in pre-colonial African history
are the grades of nativity and indigineity—how long does one have to live in
a particular place to be accepted as a native and indigenous person?
Liberals have a clear rule of graduation of foreigners into natives: after
five years a foreigner can apply for permanent residence and after ten
years, a permanent resident can apply for full citizenship. This is
problematic, but there is a clear trajectory to be followed.
What is beyond doubt is that the groups that today call themselves Shona
came to the Zimbabwe plateau ahead of the Ndebele by centuries. But
archaeological evidence that includes research done at Mapungubwe heritage
site indicates a Shona movement from the South into Zimbabwe.
Now on the Ndebele, are they a unique human species? The Ndebele belong to
the Bantu group just like the Shona and others. Their history is traced to
the coastal areas lying between the Indian Ocean and the Drakensburg
Mountains in South Africa. They were originally part of the Nguni groups
comprising the Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Gaza and others.
Prior to the Mfecane (that revolution that took place among the Nguni and
Sotho-Tswana groups involving increased warfare, state formation and forced
migrations), the Nguni ancestors of Ndebele existed as decentralised clans
near Ngome Forests dominated by the Khumalo who eventually emerged as the
In the first place, the Khumalo clans were conquered by Zwide Nxumalo of the
Ndwandwe conferederacy, but by 1818, Mzilikazi Khumalo, the son of Mashobana
whose mother, Nompethu Nxumalo, was a daughter of Zwide, broke away from his
maternal uncle during the battle of Mhlathuze and joined the Zulu nation led
by Shaka. Within two years, Mzilikazi could no longer entertain Shaka’s
authoritarianism and he broke away from the Zulu nation in 1820 and migrated
across the Drakensburg Mountains into the Sotho-Tswana dominated
It was a norm by then to raid, conquer and incorporate defeated groups into
one’s emerging state and nation. The Ndebele were not an exception. After
breaking away from Shaka, the followers of Mzilikazi gained a new name
Matebele from the Sotho of King Moshweshwe, which eventually became Ndebele.
Matebele was a Sotho name for strangers from the coastal areas who
encroached on their territory. Prior, to the adoption of the name Ndebele,
the followers of Mzilikazi were known as Zulus and they spoke IsiZulu.
Mzilikazi and his people had no intentions to migrate to the Zimbabwe
plateau. It’s a myth that Shaka pushed the Ndebele into Zimbabwe. Shaka died
in 1828. The Ndebele migrated into Zimbabwe in 1837-8. This was ten years
after Shaka’s death. They were pushed out by the Afrikaners who had migrated
from Cape Colony in 1834-5 in what is known as the Great Trek. The
Afrikaners in alliance with the Griqua and Korana, managed to push Mzilikazi
and his people from Marico and Caledon Valleys in Transvaal because they
were armed with modern firearms.
It is important to note that before migrating across the Limpopo River, a
Ndebele nation was already born comprising of Nguni, Sotho and Tswana
elements. What actually migrated was a full-fledged “migrant kingdom”
comprising of livestock, women, girls, boys, children and men. What is also
important to note is that during the pre-colonial era, warfare was not
conducted to annihilate communities. Human beings, just like cattle, were a
form of wealth. They had to be accumulated rather than destroyed.
The first group of the Ndebele arrived in present day Mzingwane area in
1838. They found the Rozvi kingdom already very weak and in a state of
disintegration due to internal power struggle as well as attacks by the
Ngoni of Zwangendaba, Nxaba and the Swati of Queen Nyamazana. In fact, that
last Mambo known as Chirisamhuru was killed by the Swati of Queen Nyamazana.
This means that the Ndebele easily assimilated some of the Rozvi into their
ranks and pushed those who were resisting out. The case in point being that
of Muntinhma, who chose to resist and migrate.
The bulk of Moyos of Matebeleland came from the great Rozvi state and many
of them are today proudly Ndebele. In Ndebele memory, Mambo of the Rozvi and
Mzilikazi Khumalo of the Ndebele are proudly remembered together as great
founders of the Ndebele nation. Those from Matabeleland and the Midlands
regions would remember the Ndebele traditional song which goes like this:
“Kudala kakunganje; kwakubusa uMambo lo Mzilikazi (In the past it was not
like today, kings were Mambo and Mzilikazi).”
Thus to the Nguni-Sotho-Tswana social layers was added another one of
amaHole comprising of various people found in the south-western part of the
Zimbabwe plateau. AmaHole were not of Shona origin only. Some were of Venda,
Tonga, Shangwe, Nambya, Kalanga and Birwa extraction. The other collective
name of AmaHole was AbeTshabi. By the time the Ndebele state was destroyed
by the colonialists in 1893 and 1896, those people originating from the
Zimbabwe plateau comprised about 60% of the Ndebele population and those of
Nguni-Sotho-Tswana origin constituted about 40%.
What must be dispelled is that amaHole were enslaved people. How can 60% of
the national population of the Ndebele society be enslaved by 40% of the
population? AmaHole were full Ndebele citizens. Their children were drafted
into amabutho (age-set groups) just like every other youth. Let me also
explain that the Ndebele nation was socially organised according to where
people originally came from: AbeZansi meant those from the South, AbeNnhla
meant those from the North and amaHole those found on the Zimbabwe plateau.
Of course, the Ndebele just like all other pre-colonial people practiced
raiding as a security and defence measure to keep threatening neighbours in
perpetual state of weakness. Neighbours of the Ndebele such as the various
Shona groups, the Ngwato, the Gaza, and Kololo as well as the Afrikaners
were raiders too and could not be taken for granted. They needed to be kept
in check as they posed a danger. Raiding was a political ploy rather than a
branch of Ndebele economy.
The Ndebele were competent agriculturalists and pastoralists. When they
entered the Zimbabwe plateau, they had numerous cattle including Afrikanders
(amabula) they took from the Afrikaners at the battles of Vegkop of 1836
where they managed to force the Afrikaners to hide inside a laager, leaving
their cattle outside. The Ndebele collected over 6,000 cattle, goats and
sheep from the Afrikaners. The cattle that were raided from Mashonaland were
what became known as iminjanja (today known as hard-Mashona type) from
This takes me to the question of whether the Shona were a unique human
species that was weak and always victim to the Ndebele raids. In the first
place, it must be remembered that state formation among the Shona just like
among other African groups took the form of raiding and conquest of weaker
groups as well as assimilation and incorporation into new state. No wonder
that Mutapa meant pillager and Rozvi meant destroyers.
General Tumbare of the Rozvi was a great fighter and raider. A group known
as the Dumbuseya was a renowned Shona raiding community. In short, the
various Shona groups raided each other as well as the Ndebele. What sparked
the Anglo-Ndebele war in October 1893? It was a Shona raid on the Ndebele
conducted by Gomani and Bere’s people. When the Ndebele forces conducted a
punitive counter-raid, the white settlers resident in Fort Victoria
intervened on the side of the two Shona chiefs and used the incident
(Victoria incident) as a pretext to destroy the Ndebele state.
It is also not true that the Ndebele attacked the Shona groups
indiscriminately. The case in point is that of the Chivi people who remained
neighbours of the Ndebele throughout the existence of the Ndebele state,
sometimes paying tribute and at time resisting Ndebele raids successfully.
What also needs to be opened to debate is the notion of amadzviti as
reference to the Ndebele. The term amadzviti meant violent strangers. There
were many madzvitis who were not Ndebele. The Gaza from the Eastern border
was a strong raiding group. The Ngoni of Zwangendaba passed through the
Zimbabwe plateau prior to the arrival of the Ndebele and they attacked the
Shona before migrating to Zambia and Malawi. Queen Nyamazana of the Swazi
also entered the Zimbabwe plateau and attacked the Shona. The Ndebele are
remembered only because they were the last group to come into the Zimbabwe
plateau in the late 1830s.
The other myth that needs debunking is that of Zimbabwe as comprising of two
antagonistic Shona and Ndebele ethnic groups. Eighteen languages are spoken
in Zimbabwe including Shona and Ndebele. Zimbabwe is a multi-ethnic and
multi-lingual society. The language ecology of the country consist of
chiManyika, chiZezeru, chiKaranga, chiKorekore, chiNdau, isiTshangane,
isiNdebele, isiKalanga, isiTonga, isiVenda, isiSuthu, isiDombe, isiXhosa,
isiTonga seMudzi, isiTshwawo, isiTswana, chiBarwe, isiSena, isiDoma,
Chikunda, isiNambiya and isiChewa. These languages have their proud speakers
and they must be recognised rather than compartmentalised into hegemonic
Shona and Ndebele languages.
The history of liberation of Zimbabwe is also spoiled by deliberately
constructed myths and distortions. By the time ZANU broke away from ZAPU in
1963, ZAPU was actively engaged in preparing for armed struggle. As early as
1961, cadres were already sent for training in Ghana. By 1962, Joshua Nkomo
had sourced firearms from Egypt to launch the armed struggle. What is clear
is that ZAPU and ZANU were consistently competing for opinion, ideological
space, minds, hearts, and recognition just like Zanu PF and MDC political
formations today competing for friends in the region, continent and across
the international community as well as for local support.
It must be noted that throughout the liberation struggle, ZANU struggled to
penetrate a world that was used to ZAPU just like the MDC formations trying
to penetrate the SADC region and continent used to Zanu PF. ZANU made a
break-through in Ghana because President Mugabe had worked there as a
teacher, Tanzania because the late veteran nationalist Herbert Chitepo had
worked there as a public prosecutor, China because of the Sino-Soviet
squabbles and Mozambique because ZAP, by the early 1970s, was hit by a
second split and could not take up the training bases offered to it by its
But ZAPU and ZIPRA remained committed to the liberation of Zimbabwe just
like ZANU and ZANLA. Yet history has this tendency of being written from the
perspective of victors in any struggle and Zimbabwean nationalist history is
not an exception. Once ZANU and ZANLA triumphed in the 1980 elections, they
immediately appropriated nationalist history including raiding and taking
ZAPU and ZIPRA archives to make sure their contribution to the liberation of
this country is down-played and in order to sustain the myth of PF-ZAPU and
ZIPRA as a danger to the postcolonial nation and state.
My last comment is on Gukurahundi (Fifth Brigade) and dissidents. Is it
correct to depict the Fifth Brigade as a Shona army? Is it correct to depict
dissidents as a Ndebele army? The Fifth Brigade was comprised of
ideologically whitewashed Shona-speaking men. There was no pretence that it
was a political party army that was used to politically and physically
eliminate PF-ZAPU and ZIPRA. It targeted Ndebele-speaking people on the
basis of a myth that PF-ZAPU was a Ndebele party and ZIPRA was comprised by
Ndebele-speaking men and women.
But is it true that PF-ZAPU was a Ndebele party and that ZIPRA comprised of
Ndebele men and women only? Was this not a myth created by Zanu PF to
provincialise and tribalise PF-ZAPU and ZIPRA and in the process down-play
its instrumental role in the liberation struggle? In this context, is it
not possible that dissidents were manufactured by Zanu PF to justify its
crackdown on PF-ZAPU and ZIPRA? More research is needed into this issue.
Have we not seen similar accusations against the MDC-T that it was training
armed groups in Botswana as an attempt to justify a crackdown? Were stories
of armed caches found in the eastern part of the country not concocted in an
attempt to implicate MDC formations just like what happened in 1982 to
implicate PF-ZAPU in dissident activities?
In the Ndebele language, they say zinqunywamakhanda ziyekwe (you cut the
head of the ants and leave them like that)! But for the sake of progress on
nation rebuilding, myths and distortions that cause tensions, conflicts and
violence need to be confronted head-on without fear or favour if Zimbabwe is
to survive. The Zimbabwe national question is clouded by too many myths and
historical distortions that need sober analysis and debunking.
Finally, let me say that a country like Zimbabwe with its complicated
history needs a very astute leadership well versed on the country’s
political history and social complexion. It needs a leadership that is able
to synthesize various histories into new accommodative and generous one
rather than those who actively take part in further dividing people on
ethnic and partisan lines into patriots, puppets, war veterans, and
Let us avoid use of obscene language and name-calling and engage these
issues. A culture of civil debates is very healthy for nation-building and
democracy. I leave the ball in your court!
Professor Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni teaches development studies at UNISA. He
is writing in his personal capacity. He can be contacted at
Shake Hands with the Devil: A Date with Chiminya’s Murderers.
By Sanderson N Makombe
I have reflected in some of my previous articles about the tragic and barbaric deaths that befell my colleagues Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in 2000 at the hands of Joseph Mwale and other ZANU PF functionaries. Today, 15 April 2011, marks eleven years of their deaths. Instead of focussing my thoughts on the pursuit of justice, I choose today to reflect on a rather personal experience I endured in the aftermath of their deaths.
Aljazeera TV ( England) recently showed a very moving and touching documentary about the military dictatorship that took over after overthrowing a democratically elected government in Argentina in 1976.The coup was led by Gen Rafael Videla.Soon after thousands of civilians were tortured, and murdered under Argentina’s so called ‘dirty war’. One of those tortured was Gerardo Brusezzi, a Uruguayan journalist who was accused of being a communist terrorist. Gerardo would 30 years later come back to Argentina to confront the very person who tortured and sodomised him, Julio Simon, in front of the cameras. Simon was in prison awaiting trial for his role during the dirty war torturing sessions.
Watching the documentary revived my recollection of a scene described in Shake Hands with The devil: The failure of Humanity in Rwanda, written by Lt Gen Romeo Dallaire, who headed the doomed UN mission to Rwanda during the genocide. There, Romeo had come face to face with Robert Kajuga,president of the interahamwe,the Hutu militia credited with the mass killings that saw about a million mainly Tutsi’s slaughtered with machetes and panga’s in the most primitive way possible. The encounter would shake Romeo’s conscience as he searched for an explanation on why a fellow human being can be so callous and cold. It is this encounter which provided the title of his book, Shake Hands with the Devil: meeting Satan personified.
How would you feel if today you meet the real devil, Satan himself? How would you feel meeting someone who tried to murder you? Or someone who did terrible things to you, maybe rape, sodomy, torture? What would you say to them? Grab them by the throat and squeeze the life out of them slowly or seek an understanding? It is strange how sometimes victims react toward their abusers. Some have shown remarkable attachment to their abusers leading to the emergency of the so called Stockholm syndrome. I remember vividly when Saddam Hussein was being led to the hanging chambers broadcast live on television. When they tied the rope round his neck moments before his death, I felt so sorry for him. Just recently the near same scene was repeated in Ivory Coast when Laurent Gbagbo was captured. Suddenly the strongman was reduced to a nobody and watching Outtarras forces move him violently I felt sorry for the poor man.He was wearing the most undignified fatigues for a ‘president’, and his wife Simone was dishevelled; in essence broken souls.
How could I feel sorry for much people who have caused so much terror, abuse and deaths for their country man?. I am a firm believer in ‘just deserts’, but here I am feeling sympathy for the very people I despise.
In the aftermath of the Buhera murders I was called to the MDC offices then at Eastgate in Harare. For the first time I met Topper, one of the many people who were giving expert technical support to the MDC.He wanted me to provide a written statement on the deaths of Chiminya and Mabika as I was one of the few eye witnesses. Having written the statement, I was taken aside by one Donald Chiringa who was working in the office that time. As we chatted towards the exit doors I noticed two middle aged man sitting gingerly and sheepishly by the door. Donny asked if I knew them of which i answered in the negative. Then in a whisper he said ‘Ndo vakomana vekuuraya Chiminya vaina Mwale ka ava’ (These are the guys who killed Chiminya in cohort with Mwale).I went very cold, and shocked . I had not anticipated this encounter. Confusion reigned and I did not know what to say. As we approached them i tried looking them in the eyes, trying to understand if they understood what they had done. Then we stopped, greeted them, and then moved off. If they knew me, they didn’t let it out. The meeting was brief.
Ghandi Mudzingwa, an advisor and PA to the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai had hinted to me about this development. I remember it was in May 2000 when president Tsvangirai addressed a rally at Chiwetu Shopping centre in Makoni West constituency near Rusape.Ghandi had taken me aside and told me latest developments were that some of the people who had participated in the murder of Chiminya were now hallucinating in broad day light in Buhera. In addition, two former ZANU PF youth members who had been part of the group that attacked us had defected. One was Itai Mudzingwa (now late) and the other whom I shall call X because of security reasons. Apparently they had not been paid what they were promised to partake in the gruesome murders and decided to defect and spill the beans. These are the same guys I had just met in our office. Murderers!…For me the most difficult part was the reason why they had defected. It was not sorrow, remorse, guiltiness or the realisation they had committed a serious crime. They just had not got what they expected or had been promised.Money.Blood money.
I loathed these two individuals so much. However I also appreciated their cooperation and the risk they had taken by defecting. I would go on to work at the party HQ as National Youth Coordinator for almost four years. I would meet these guys nearly every day of the week as they became permanently present in Harare since their defection. Our relationship was cold, just the simple greeting. I never developed the courage to ask them why.
In the Aljazeera documentary I cited above, when Gerardo encountered Simon, his torturer, he did not jump and scream at him. He was remarkably civil and they exchanged greetings so cordially that you would think they were long lost friends. Initially Simon was arrogant and tried to deny he tortured Gerardo. He would throw back all allegations. Later he would admit his role but then defensively argued he was following instructions, or that whatever he did, it was above board, nothing personal. However Gerardo shows amazing skill, probing Simon and reminding him he raped and sodomised him. In the end, it gets to Simon, he becomes emotional and sobs. Then you realise these arrogant bastards are cowards after all, They are human! ‘You did not break me’, says Gerardo. ‘You actually made me stronger’.
It is important to note how in this case the traditional justice model is complemented by restorative justice principles in the deliverance of peace, justice and reconciliation. Simon was in jail awaiting prosecution. Gerardo was a victim actively seeking closure and justice. When the time comes for truth and reconciliation in Zimbabwe, we have a lot to learn from this case study.
How I wish all victims of torture, rape and other gross violations would be afforded the opportunity one day to face those who violated them and seek answers for closure. One of the major short comings of the Zimbabwean justice system is the negated and reduced role victims play in the justice system. It seems they are only important as state witnesses and after that their input is minimal. It is prudent that victim’s voices be heard especially in seeking to make sure the offender understands how their actions impacted on the victim. This aspect of restorative justice aids closure in victims and helps develop a sense of parity. I have witnessed the impact of victim statements during sentencing here in the UK court system and how most times offenders come to terms with evidence of how their actions affected individuals and communities. Then the victim is not just a statistic or an abstract identity. The victim is a person, a human being.
Chiminya left a young family and today would have been proud to see how Faith and Brighton have progressed. More importantly Fay and Bee would want to know from Mwale why he took their father in such a callous and barbaric manner.
The writer can be contacted as firstname.lastname@example.org