Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:44
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and other leaders of the main political parties,
including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, this week received South African
President and Sadc facilitator, Jacob Zuma’s damning report which has
angered Zanu PF officials and triggered a major diplomatic row in the
This came ahead of Sadc’s extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe scheduled for May
20 in Windhoek, Namibia. The meeting has been called to deal with the
simmering political problems, particularly in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
The Zuma report, seen by the Zimbabwe Independent, contains an introduction,
a detailed assessment of Zimbabwe’s political and security situation,
recommendations and the way forward.
The introduction warns Sadc leaders of the dangers of taking people for
granted with reference to uprisings in North Africa and elsewhere on the
The assessment section deals with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and
Government of National Unity (GNU) issues. The recommendations section
focuses on what needs to be done now and maps the trajectory towards free
and fair elections.
The Zuma report was largely based on findings of the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (Jomic) documents submitted to him.
Chairman of the Sadc Troika of the organ on politics, defence and security,
Zambian President Rupiah Banda, read extracts from the introduction to the
report in his opening speech at the recent summit in Livingstone.
The report also deals with GPA and GNU issues, including the
constitution-making process, the referendum and elections. Some of the
report’s contents on political violence, intimidation, harassment, hate
speech and other violations of the GPA were captured in the Livingstone
summit communiqué. It also addresses the need to appoint new Sadc officials
to beef up the facilitation team.
Other issues covered in the report include lack of progress on agreed
issues, including political reforms and commissions on human rights,
corruption and the media, particularly failure to open the airwaves to allow
new radio and television players. It recalls previous Sadc resolutions and
the facilitators’ meetings.
The Zuma report further highlights the need to reinforce the implementation
matrix, have a review of the GPA, strengthen the review mechanism, craft an
elections roadmap and have a workshop for negotiators and facilitators
before principals endorse guidelines leading to free and fair polls.
Although Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao was unreachable for
verification, officials at the Sadc headquarters in Goborone, Botswana,
confirmed yesterday that they sent copies of Zuma’s report to Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube.
Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba could neither confirm nor deny that his
boss got the report. “I don’t really know but I can confirm that the
principals got packages from the Sadc secretariat. I have no idea about the
contents,” he said. “What I do know is that Foreign Affairs got a summary of
President Zuma’s presentation (to the Sadc Troika of the organ on politics,
defence and security summit in Livingstone).”
The summit was held on March 31 in Livingstone, Zambia. The Troika, which
comprise Banda, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and Zuma, shocked
Mugabe by coming up with stern resolutions on Zimbabwe. Sadc chair,
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, also attended the Troika summit.
Mugabe, the leader of Zanu PF for almost 34 years, reacted furiously to the
Troika communiqué, causing a diplomatic uproar. The volatile row is likely
to explode at the forthcoming Sadc extraordinary meeting.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed his principal, who leads
the MDC-T, received the report. “Yes, I can confirm that the prime minister
got the report,” he said.
Ncube also said he got the report this week. Ncube said Mugabe and Zanu PF
have “failed to appreciate that the GPA gave them a lifeline to work with
others” and want to behave as if they have an “exclusive mandate” from the
people to lead on their own. He said Zanu PF’s attempt to rush the country
into elections under conditions of violence and intimidation on an uneven
playing field would plunge Zimbabwe back to a full-blown crisis.
“There is no point in rushing to elections before conditions for free and
fair polls are created,” Ncube said. “With what is going on around the
world, the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere on the continent, no
one will accept the 2008 situation. Zanu PF must learn from what is
happening in other countries.”
Jameson Timba, Minister in Tsvangirai’s office, described as “blatantly
false” Zanu PF claims that Tsvangirai or the MDC-T had submitted a report to
Zuma before the Livingstone summit. He said no one submitted a report to the
facilitation team, except views on the roadmap.
“To begin with it is false to say we submitted a report to the facilitation
team because there is no Tsvangirai or MDC-T report as some Zanu PF
officials claim. It is nonsensical and blatantly false to say Zuma’s report
is similar to that of Tsvangirai or the MDC-T when the prime minister or his
party compiled no report at all,” he said.
“This is a simple issue. The facilitator was appointed by Sadc and he
reports to the Sadc Troika of the organ on politics, defence and security
which in turn reports to the main Sadc summit. The facilitator does not
report to our principals or parties.”
Timba said there was nothing confusing about what Zuma is doing because his
mandate was clear.
“The facilitator’s mandate is clear: he facilitates dialogue among GPA
parties and as such part of his duty is appraise Sadc leaders on the GPA
implementation and the general political and security situation in
Zimbabwe,” he said. “The resolutions and communiqué of the Troika were
based on the report of the facilitation team and that of Jomic.”
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:42
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday confirmed the long-held suspicion that he
uses the country’s intelligence agency to spy on his political opponents.
An emotional Mugabe made this revelation at the burial of one of his most
fierce defenders, Menard Muzariri, at Heroes Acre in Harare.
Muzariri was the deputy director-general of the Central Intelligence
Organisation and had been a career spy in Mugabe’s office for 30 years.
Muzariri was first attested into the then Prime Minister’s office in 1981 as
a trainee intelligence officer under the CIO Internal Branch. He rose to
become officer in charge of the “B” Desk which deals with intelligence
gathering on political parties.
Mugabe questioned the loyalty of some senior Zanu PF members after the party’s
chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, was defeated by the MDC-T’s Lovemore Moyo in the
vote for parliamentary Speaker.
“Are all the members who are in Zanu PF really party members?” Mugabe asked.
“What do you do in the dark? Some run to our enemies and divulge our
secrets. Muzariri and company would tell us who was selling out. The party’s
intelligence does not come from books but intelligence officers who talk to
people and drink with them.”
Mugabe’s comments seemed to be a warning to party rebels who voted with the
MDC-T MPs in elections for the contested Speaker’s post. Several Zanu PF
meetings and caucuses have been held in an attempt to flush out the
The ageing leader attacked Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T
for being willing tools of governments such as Britain, France and the US.
“Some people want us to remain under the yoke of the British because they
are used to being led. They think they cannot be leaders; that is the
thinking of others we have in government,” said Mugabe.
He expressed anger at Britain, France and the US for making Zimbabwe a
discussion agenda in their parliaments.
“We get alarmed when these countries have to schedule us as an item for
their parliaments. They are pushing resolutions on the GPA, how elections
should be held and even how we should sell our diamonds,” the president
Mugabe reminded the EU and the US that they should keep a hands-off approach
on the country’s issues since Zimbabwe does not worry about the goings on in
“We never sit down in our country, Sadc or the African Union to debate how
their coalition is faring,” fumed Mugabe, in apparent reference to the
British coalition government of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
“We became independent in 1980. We are determined as a country to be free as
a UN member, AU member, Sadc member and Comesa member to debate our own
country. We don’t worry about the goings on in Europe where they turn men
into women and women into men.”
However, Mugabe’s speech was a major departure from a fortnight ago when he
accused South African President Jacob Zuma of meddling in Zimbabwe’s affairs
after he had tabled a damning report on the country’s government at the Sadc
Troika in Zambia.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:40
SADC has appointed a special panel comprising officials from Zambia,
Mozambique and South Africa to beef up its mediator President Jacob Zuma’s
facilitation efforts in Zimbabwe.
The panel was recommended at the last Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and
Security’s Troika summit in Zambia to help Zuma and his facilitation team
and the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee to end the country’s
political crisis by implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in its
entirety and agree on a roadmap to elections.
“The Troika noted with grave concern,” its members said, “the polarisation
of Zimbabwe’s political environment as characterised by the resurgence of
violence, arbitrary arrests and rampant intimidation. It called for an
immediate end to violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any
other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of GPA.”
The Troika impressed upon Zimbabwean officials the need to create a
conducive environment for peace, security, and free political activity.
It also expressed disappointment with “insufficient progress” in the
implementation of the GPA.
Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomão confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent
yesterday that the Troika’s mediation panel had been appointed and was ready
to work with Zuma’s facilitation team.
“The officials are from the Sadc Troika countries which include Mozambique,
Zambia and South Africa,” Salomao said. “Their appointment is according to
what was agreed on at the Troika summit. We are just implementing some of
“They are part of the key of the facilitator. The team will work with the
mediation team and come to Zimbabwe whenever the team comes,” he said.
Salomão was in Windhoek, Namibia, preparing for the Sadc Extraordinary
Summit on Zimbabwe and Madagascar to be held next month.
The Troika agreed to develop terms of reference, time frames and provide
regular progress reports on the Zimbabwe situation. The first report would
be presented at the Windhoek extraordinary summit reviewing progress of the
Sadc has said elections in Zimbabwe could only be held after the completion
of all the necessary steps, including the finalisation of the constitutional
amendments and a referendum.
“Sadc should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in
holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance with
the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections,” reads
the Sadc communiqué.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:40
GOVERNMENT could have exposed itself to legal challenges amid legal
consensus that the controversial Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act
and regulations violated constitutionally enshrined rights.
Legal representations made to the Chamber of Mines’ executive committee by
legal gurus Nick Willsmer and Sternford Moyo show that the empowerment laws
were ambiguous. The lawyers question the underlying premise of Zimbabwe’s
system of rights such as property rights, freedom of association and freedom
Willsmer said definitions contained in the Act and regulations were
“poorly-drafted” with several legal loopholes.
He said: “The poorly-drafted definition of ‘controlling interest’ in
relation to any business other than a company is so broad as to be
nonsensical. The definition of ‘indigenous Zimbabwean’ and the general
application of the legislation are not restricted (as they could have been)
by references to citizenship of or residence in Zimbabwe, as was the case
with the Immovable Property (Prevention of Discrimination) Act No 19 of
1982, Section 5 (3) of that Act.
“There is no question, of course, that black persons who were born in
Zimbabwe qualify as indigenous Zimbabweans. Can it be said, however, that
persons of mixed race or other races who were born in Zimbabwe were born
‘naturally’ in the region? The poor definition of ‘indigenous Zimbabwean’
allows a Maori who suffered unfair discrimination in New Zealand as a result
of his or her race to qualify as an indigenous Zimbabwean.”
Willsmer said the term “indigenous Zimbabwean” was misleading arguing that a
“person who qualifies as an ‘indigenous Zimbabwean’ need not be either
indigenous or Zimbabwean”.
“The power apparently given by Section 3(1) (a) to publish regulations and
other measures (apart from statutes) which endeavour to secure indigenous
ownership of at least 51% of the shares of every business in the country is
a very wide one indeed, not least because it apparently allows the
indigenisation of all businesses which do not meet any net asset value
threshold whatsoever. The constitutionality of this apparent grant of power
has not been tested,” he said.
He said the question of whether the Act or the regulations were
“constitutionally permissible” and “legally binding” needed to be considered
and decided by the courts.
Willsmer said Section 25 of the Global Political Agreement could be
interpreted to mean that legislation such as the regulations should first be
presented and accepted by cabinet irrespective of the fact that it is a
subsidiary legislation and that it must then be presented to and approved by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was of the same view when Indigenisation
minister Saviour Kasukuwere gazetted the first regulations in January 2009.
He dismissed the regulations as “null and void” saying prior cabinet
approval and parliament had not been obtained.
Willsmer added that although Tsvangirai has not maintained this stance, his
original stance could still be legally correct.
“Even if retrospective decisions were taken by the Prime Minister and the
Cabinet (but not by Parliament) to approve the Regulations, this would not
legitimise the regulations if they were unconstitutional in the first
place,” he said.
Willsmer said an “indigenisation implementation plan” was not a legally
binding undertaking but a mere “proposal.”
“Section 3 of the Regulations says that the general objective of the
Regulations is that “every business of or above the prescribed value
threshold” is to be indigenised within five years.
“Section 3 is poorly-drafted,” said Willsmer.
He said the section supposes future disposals by businesses of controlling
interests while at law businesses cannot dispose of shareholding saying
“interests” can only be disposed of by the owners of such interests.
He added that companies cannot compel their shareholders to transfer their
shares at law.
“Subject to whatever rights of preemption may apply in respect of private
companies, companies cannot control share transfers and shareholders who
transfer their shares may well thereby upset the resulting ratio between
indigenous and non-indigenous shareholders,” he added.
Willsmer said it would be impossible to ensure that a company whose shares
are traded daily on a stock exchange is 51% owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.
He also attacked a section which states that if a valuation arranged by
Kasukuwere showed that a business undervalued its net asset value by 10% or
more, the business would be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up
to level 12 or imprisonment for up to five years saying a “a business cannot
He said the introduction of official “designated entities” as the recipients
of mining interests was in conflict with the “plainly-stated” purpose of the
Act to empower indigenous Zimbabweans, arguing official bodies “do not
qualify as indigenous”.
He noted that the compulsory transfer of mining interests was the
“equivalent of nationalisation.”
Moyo, a senior partner at Scanlen & Holderness, also blasted a clause in the
regulations that gives Kasukuwere the discretion to come up with valuations
of companies by taking into account the state’s “sovereign rights” to
minerals as an attempt to ensure that “little or nothing” was paid for the
He added that the regulations’ provision that Kasukuwere can impose partners
on mining companies violated freedom of association protected by Section 21
of the constitution. Moyo also said freedom of expression would be trampled
underfoot should government compel companies to submit empowerment plans.
He said: “Section 20 of the constitution enshrines freedom of expression.
That freedom includes the right not to communicate if one does not wish to
do so. The constitution does not, therefore, provide for submission of
empowerment plans. Consequently, the duty to produce a plan within 45 days
appears to be challengeable.”
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:39
AIR Zimbabwe’s plans to buy two A340-500 Airbuses at an undisclosed cost to
service the Harare–London and Harare–Beijing routes collapsed after the
cash- strapped national airline failed to raise the money.
Insiders said the debt-ridden airline wanted to pay for the planes with
proceeds from the Chiadzwa diamonds, but the deal fell through after
government cited other “important issues to attend to with proceeds from the
Air Zimbabwe chairman Jonathan Kadzura confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent
that proposed plans to buy the airbuses had been put on hold indefinitely.
Kadzura said it was always the board’s desire to ensure that the national
airline is completely revived for the better.
According to the initial plan, Air Zimbabwe should have taken delivery of
the first plane at the end of November last year with the second one being
delivered in January.
Insiders revealed that the troubled national airline was currently in talks
with Zambezi Airways of Zambia to increase the frequency of its flights
between Harare and Johannesburg, as well as servicing some domestic routes
after failing to reach a deal with its striking pilots.
Two weeks ago, Air Zimbabwe leased an aircraft and flight crews from Zambezi
Airways to service its Harare–Johannesburg route. The plane currently flies
to Johannesburg three times a week.
The insiders said if Zambezi Airways agreed to the proposal, daily flights
to South Africa from Harare and domestic routes would resume.
Zimbabwe pilots and flight attendants went on strike a month ago demanding
payment of overdue salaries and allowances amounting to US$4 million. The
Airline is also saddled with crippling debts amounting to US$108 million.
Air Zimbabwe only has five operational aircrafts but employs 49 pilots and
CEO Innocent Mavhunga told MPs on Monday that the airline’s planes lacked
modern facilities and were expensive to maintain.
“We have on numerous occasions aborted flights and incurred losses,” he
said. “We believe having new planes at some point will enable us to pay the
pilots’ salaries within six months. If we are recapitalised, this would mean
new routes, new partners and salary increases.”
He added: “All the four contracts with the pilots’ union were entered into
under duress and the pilots have not considered the company’s capacity to
pay them as it is not in a position to settle all the arrears simply because
it does not have the resources.”
Chairman of the Zimbabwe Pilots Association Courage Munyanyiwa said the
airline was overstaffed with 280 engineers servicing a single plane.
With ageing equipment and a demoralised staff, Air Zimbabwe has been
reportedly making losses of US$3 million a month.
A total of 18 international airlines have left the country due to negative
publicity on Zimbabwe as a result of the country’s political chaos.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:37
INTENSE bickering has engulfed the Attorney-General’s office after a former
Beitbridge-based prosecutor complained of abuse and victimisation by
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Florence Ziyambi.
The dispute is just one among mounting complaints of abuse of power against
Ziyambi by prosecutors.
Former prosecutor Tarcisius Moyo has threatened to sue the Ministry of
Justice and Legal Affairs permanent secretary David Mangota, the Public
Service Commission, and the office of the AG for damages.
In letters to Mangota and made available to the Zimbabwe Independent, Moyo
stated that his working relationship with Ziyambi first turned sour in 2007
while he was working on the State versus Clemence Tsatsa case.
Tsatsa, who worked as a night auditor at Holiday Inn Beitbridge, had been
accused of raping fellow employee Surprise Pembere’s daughter.
“It was known to me as the local prosecutor through the police that Tsatsa,
the night auditor, was investigating Pembere, the buyer, for improprieties
in procurement procedures including fraud. Pembere and his friend then went
to report Tsatsa and his friend for rape allegedly on her young daughter,”
He said two government doctors had discounted a sexual assault while a
private doctor secured by the complainant on his own initiative concluded
that there could possibly have been a sexual assault.
“At initial appearance I was of the view that at that stage there were
contradictions as to what to go by and I declined to remand and directed the
police to get expert opinion. I advised Pembere, the complainant,
accordingly. He stormed out of the office and threatened to deal with me
through his aunt. I did not and still do not know his aunt though subsequent
events were a revelation,” he wrote.
Moyo said that evening he received a call from Ziyambi accusing him of being
incompetent. She said she had received an anonymous call and without going
through the dockets CRB289/01/07 and CRB205/6/07 ordered that Tsatsa be
rearrested and placed on remand.
“I had accused rearrested, placed before a magistrate one Jabulani Mzinyathi
and honestly had it put on record that I was working under instructions of
the Attorney-General’s delegate though I shared a different view. Accused
persons were placed on remand.
“The presiding magistrate in his wisdom decided to send the record on
review. Justice (Nicholas) Ndou became seized with the matter. He affirmed
the Director of Public Prosecutions’ right to direct the local prosecutor
and rebuked the magistrate for sending the record for review, concluding
that there was nothing reviewable,” he wrote.
Moyo said all hell broke loose when the judgement was out and he alleged
that Ziyambi called him and attacked him for putting her request from an
anonymous caller on record.
“She repeated her allegation that I was incompetent, that she would charge
me and strip me of authority to prosecute and that I was a fool,” he said.He
said two years later in a different case involving Hardson Mhlanga and two
others who were brought to court facing charges of kidnapping and assault,
the trio was charged and released on summons. However, two days after their
release, they were re-arrested in “what the police said were instructions
Moyo said Ziyambi again claimed to have received an anonymous call to the
effect that prosecutors at Beitbridge had been bribed.
He said that Ziyambi managed to give instructions that bail be opposed and
the accused were told to apply at the High Court for bail.
“This decision was based on information supplied by a faceless person and
was to have far reaching consequences for the rights of the accused
Ziyambi instructed senior public prosecutor, a Cheda, to have Moyo arrested
for criminal abuse of office and a docket CR37/12/09 was opened but
Beitbridge police closed the docket indicating that their investigations had
shown that no offence had been committed.
“The director, not satisfied with the outcome of investigations by the
Beitbridge police and clearly now pursuing a personal agenda, personally
went to Harare Central Police Criminal Intelligence Unit and opened yet
another crime record against me, CR13/12/09. She ordered Harare police to
effect an arrest on me,” Moyo alleged.
He said a court docket was opened, CRB B110/10, and he was tried for 10 days
In addition, Moyo says he was suspended for six months and appeared before a
disciplinary hearing and was again acquitted.
Ziyambi then requested that he be transferred to work at the head office in
Harare. Moyo said he indicated that he had no intentions of resisting a
transfer but preferred a genuine re-deployment not used as a punitive tool
“I have suffered systematic and sustained abuse and victimisation by the
Director of Public Prosecutions. I have been traumatised by the
unsustainable charges both at criminal and disciplinary levels. My family
has suffered the same trauma and my self esteem has taken a heavy knock,” he
However, for failing to comply with Ziyambi’s order, AG Johannes Tomana
immediately withdrew Moyo’s right to practise as a prosecutor in a letter
dated November 12 2010.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:35
SECURITY ministers and service chiefs snubbed Vice-President John Nkomo and
ministers responsible for the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation
who had summoned them last week to a meeting to address selective
application of the law and political violence.
National Healing and Reconciliation co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu told
guests at the Independent Dialogue in Bulawayo on Wednesday that Nkomo last
week tried in vain to summon Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, State
Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo
Mohadi and Theresa Makone as well as Defence Forces commander Constantine
Chiwenga, army commander Philip Sibanda, police Commissioner-General
Augustine Chihuri and CIO director-general Happyton Bonyongwe.
Ndlovu was speaking to participants at the Independent Dialogue, which is
organised by the Zimbabwe Independent, under the theme Transitional
Justice — how do we bring to closure atrocities of the past? at the Bulawayo
Ndlovu said he and co-minister Sekai Holland had sought Nkomo’s
intervention, but came up against a red flag since the service chiefs report
directly to President Robert Mugabe.
“There is contempt for the organ by the security apparatus because they
receive instructions from elsewhere…their questions to you (Patrick)
Chinamasa and (Nicholas) Goche where, are these instructions coming from
because Mugabe, (Prime Minister) Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube are in
agreement that violence must come to an end. Without institutional reforms
national healing is not possible,” said Mzila-Ndlovu.
The security chiefs have openly declared their allegiance to Mugabe and Zanu
PF vowing never to salute anyone without liberation war credentials.
Ndlovu said national healing could only be achieved if the security
institutions were reformed through retraining of the police, army and
intelligence officers to respect the rule of law and human rights.
The minister told the gathering that he was barred from addressing a
national healing meeting organised by a non-governmental organisation in
Kezi, Matabeleland South, on Tuesday after police dispersed villagers.
He also bemoaned the lack of authority of ministers, whom he said were
constantly harassed by junior policemen.
“We don’t have power because constables do as they please. They tell a
cabinet minister that he can’t address an important meeting. We also know
that the army can instruct the police to arrest Zanu PF opponents. That’s
how bad things are although we wonder if Mugabe really knows what is
happening in communities,” said Ndlovu.
Participants at the dialogue were unanimous that the organ of national
healing and reconciliation had failed to achieve anything since its
inception at the formation of the inclusive government.
“The organ of national healing has not addressed key issues regarding
emotional and psychological torture that people experienced during the
Gukurahundi period. Nothing has been done so far,” said MDC-N in Bulawayo
spokesman Nhlanhla Dube.
MDC organising secretary Qubani Moyo echoed Ndlovu’s sentiments and
suggested that there was an urgent need to reform the security sector which
is highly partisan.
He said they were running all the arms of the government with the blessing
of Mugabe who rewarded most of them for committing atrocities in
Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi killings in the 1980s.
“It is sad that security men who killed and maimed people in the
Matabeleland region were rewarded by becoming heads of departments giving
the wrong impression to the youths that for one to be a hero they have to
kill. We don’t need to be brutal to be rewarded,” said Moyo.
The North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade and the dreaded CIO were deployed in
Matabeleland and Midlands to deal with Mugabe’s opponents and dissidents in
the mid 1980s.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:17
ZANU PF has tasked its politburo members to visit every province to mobilise
party supporters to back the indigenisation programme in what has been
widely viewed as an election campaign by the former liberation movement.
According to some politburo members, a resolution was passed at last month’s
politburo extra-ordinary meeting where President Robert Mugabe instructed
senior party members to roll out the programme before September.
Mugabe and Zanu PF are currently pushing for elections to be held in
September despite squabbles over the drafting of an election roadmap by the
three parties which form the coalition government.
Zanu PF is expected to launch its indigenisation drive in provinces next
week in the same manner that it launched the anti-sanctions campaign.
The party is set to hold primary elections in May and the indigenisation
push is seen as mere electioneering.
Spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed that senior party officials had been
mandated to spearhead the indigenisation push in the provinces.
“We will be explaining the procedures and need for our party members to
participate in the programme. The whole process will kickoff next week and
we want Zanu PF members to benefit from the country’s resources,” said
He defended the move saying it would empower disadvantaged Zimbabweans and
denied criticism that the controversial policy was being used as a Zanu PF
“We have always been champions of empowerment with or without elections. Our
aim is to give resources to the majority of Zimbabweans so that they control
their wealth rather than depend on wages,” Gumbo said.
A white businessman revealed that some Zanu PF bigwigs were targeting
white-owned gold mines just outside Bulawayo as well as businesses in the
“We have been receiving all sorts of proposals from top Zanu PF officials
seeking to partner us but we don’t trust these guys. We have suspended
operations for now until further notice because of the so-called
indigenisation threats,” said a white businessman who owns a gold mine in
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:10
PRIME MINISTER Morgan Tsvangirai faces a major political test as his MDC-T
party prepares for its third elective congress at the end of this month
where the vote over his leadership is likely to reflect growing
dissatisfaction within party ranks.
The congress, to be held in Bulawayo, will have Kenyan Prime Minister and
Orange Democratic Movement leader, Raila Odinga, as its guest of honour.
Although there is little doubt that Tsvangirai will be re-elected as leader
of the MDC-T, the party has been rocked by factionalism and allegations of
favouritism and forces opposed to his leadership have threatened to coalesce
around his rivals in a bid to reduce his political fortunes.
Tsvangirai will be hoping to use recent legislative success which saw
dethroned parliament Speaker Lovemore Moyo retain his post as an incentive
to encourage the majority of party members to contribute to the collective
goals of the party instead of jostling for positions.
The campaign in the lead-up to the much anticipated congress recently turned
ugly and has been characterised by fierce rivalry similar, if not worse,
than that which informed the infamous 2005 split.
Disgruntled party members from Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Bulawayo have
petitioned Tsvangirai to intervene and stop the party from disintegrating
The Mashonaland West outgoing executive wrote a stinging letter to
Tsvangirai exhorting him to act decisively on irregularities encountered in
the provincial congress, among them vote buying and partiality of the
The petition was signed by vice chairman Lawrence Mlambo and 21 members of
his outgoing provincial executive.
“This petition is intended to ask you to declare the sham congress held in
Chinhoyi null and void. We also advise you that there is an agenda to
destroy the party from within starting from where the party was most
successful, that is in Chegutu West and Chinhoyi,” the outgoing executive
wrote in the petition.
They also alleged that five districts, Zvimba North, Mhangura, Hurungwe
East, Chegutu West and Chinhoyi were prevented from attending the congress
by thugs bused in by some interested parties.
Masvingo provincial congress suffered the same fate last weekend when nearly
half of the delegates boycotted the event. The MDC-T in Masvingo has since
split into two factions, each controlled by incumbent MPs.
Zaka West MP Festus Dumbu confirmed that his faction did not attend the
congress last week where a new leadership was installed and would only
attend what he called the “official congress” over the weekend.
“Some members arranged a purported meeting which they called a congress. The
real congress will be held this weekend,” Dumbu said.
Tongai Matutu is said to be the kingmaker of the rival faction that held its
congress last week.
Tsvangirai is reported to have ordered a rerun of the Masvingo congress with
all delegates in attendance.
However, Tsvangirai has shown little enthusiasm towards complaints from the
hotly contested Bulawayo provincial vote won by the party’s political new
boy Gorden Moyo, who is also the State Enterprise and Parastatals minister.
The Bulawayo elections were marred by allegations of rigging, vote buying
and violence and Moyo’s vanquished rival Matson Hlalo’s supporters have
accused Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe of being sympathetic to
Hlalo’s backers and the anti-Moyo lobby have threatened to mobilise and
disrupt the national congress if the result is not nullified and a fresh
They alleged that delegates from Mpopoma, Pelandaba and Magwegwe were
suspiciously disqualified from voting by the national committee presiding
over the provincial vote.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:02
THE Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration’s drive to
realise transitional justice is being hampered by a culture of suppressing
the truth deeply entrenched in Zanu PF as well as the exclusion of victims
of violence, politicians and human rights activists have said.
Speaking during the Independent Dialogue in Bulawayo on Wednesday, the
politicians and activists stressed that for national healing to be achieved
and accepted by all citizens, conditions to attain that must include
legislative reforms, political will, restorative justice and visible
But bickering within the organ and lack of an enabling law was derailing the
Kucaca Phulu, a human rights lawyer, said Zimbabwe’s culture of blanketing
the truth was a hindrance to national healing.
“The truth is elusive in Zimbabwe because the previous Zanu PF government
took deliberate steps to ensure that the truth is suppressed as a way of
resolving scars and atrocities of the past,” said Phulu. “So for this
exercise to succeed there is a need to develop a culture of telling the
truth and we cannot arrive at the truth through a referendum or an
He said citizens should be given the platform to freely discuss the past.
“Today we do not know whether the bones that were exhumed in Mt Darwin are
remains of people killed by the (Ian) Smith regime, people butchered by Zanu
PF during Gukurahundi or as recent as 2008. This is an example of how we do
not know the truth,” said Phulu.
Co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing Moses Mzila-Ndlovu concurred:
“The issue of national healing, during negotiations was presented as a
talks-breaking item – either you take it or leave it and the two MDC
formations made concessions around the faulty clause called Article 7 in the
admit that the starting point around transitional justice was faulty because
the agreement itself was faulty and the justice we envisaged will not be
“Because of the vagueness of the GPA, it is not possible for the organ to
deal with issues of transitional justice because there is too much
controversy. The aspect to truth-telling is not a top priority in the organ’s
agenda because we are simply encouraging people to desist from violence,
then we can go for elections and have a new government. But that presents
problems for the organ because as co-ministers, we come in with our party
positions. It is clear to me that other parties (Zanu PF and MDC-T) are
content with the current set up.”
Mzila-Ndlovu said one of the major hurdles facing the organ was the
interference of the alleged perpetrators.
“There is no opportunity for the organ to create a framework for
perpetrators of injustice to be brought to book simply because they
(perpetrators) are still in power. So is it possible to have perpetrators in
power and still allow a process that demands them to account for their
actions to take place?” asked Mzila-Ndlovu.
He said this cascaded down to communities which feel that they are not free
to tell the truth.
Mzila-Ndlovu said for the past two years the organ had failed to engage
communities due to undue interference by police through banning meetings.
He said despite an existence of a cabinet directive that the organ‘s
activities should not be interfered with, that had not been the case. On
Tuesday police blocked Mzila-Ndlovu from engaging villagers on national
healing in Kezi.
Phulu agreed that there was a need for security reforms.
“In most cases atrocities are committed by state actors which include the
police, army and intelligence services. There is a system geared towards
torture which was inherited from Rhodesia and these should be reformed,”
Radio Dialogue Director Debra Mabunda said there was no clear break with the
past whose traces of violence are still visible.
“How do we start talking about the past when the past is still present
because until we stop the atrocities happening today, how do we expect to
look into the past, expect the same people who are supposed to be answerable
to come forward and agree to face justice?” asked Mabunda.
Ephraim Ncube, a Bulawayo councillor, narrated how his wife was burnt in a
hut during the Gukurahundi era in the 1980s but expressed fear that he had
exposed himself to state security agents.
“At one point I was being hunted down during Gukurahundi and my house was
burnt with my wife inside and I later got jailed for five years at Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison. The national healing issue is becoming a talk show
as there are no tangible results,” said Ncube.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:41
THE setting up of the historic national Central Securities Depository (CSD)
by a local consortium that won the bid last year could be delayed after it
emerged that the group is now seeking to have the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
(ZSE) as an equity partner, businessdigest has learnt.
Chengetedzai Depository Company Ltd, a local consortium that won the
Securities Commission of Zimbabwe (SEC) tender to manage and operate a CSD
last December, has approached the ZSE to court investment.
A CSD is an organisation holding securities either in certificated or
uncertificated (dematerialised) form to enable book entry transfer of
In general, each country will have only one CSD although there are some that
split equities, fixed-income, and funds into separate CSDs.
Sources close to the development said the ZSE was, however, opposed to
partnering Chengetedzai saying the exchange has the capacity to run the CSD
The ZSE, according to informed sources, had since 2001 failed to upgrade
trading and settlement systems at one of Africa’s oldest markets owing to
Currently, the ZSE utilises a call-over system to execute trades. Critics
say paper-based operations of the exchange were fraught with inherent risks.
Clearance and settlement is done between stockbrokers with payment against
delivery of physical scrip on a T+7 calendar days basis.
A letter sent to the ZSE by Chengetedzai in the possession of businessdigest
shows that the company was seeking an audience with the exchange in an
apparent move to raise capital and partner the bourse.
“It is and has always been our intention to work with all key market
shareholders, of which the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is one of them,” reads a
letter dated March 3. “This meeting would also serve the purpose of
exploring the ZSE’s participation as a strategic partner, through an equity
The sources said the ZSE, which is planning to demutualise by year end,
wanted to independently run the CSD.
The sources said the exchange last November wrote to the British Embassy
after a British company that was contracted to supply and install the CSD
system advised the ZSE to get confirmation from the embassy on whether the
exchange, its members or its board were on the European Union sanctions list
targeting President Robert Mugabe and his party officials.
At preliminary stages of the tender bid last May, four consortia —
Chengetedzai, Zimbabwe Central Securities Depository Company, CDF Trust and
Land Fortune Farming Ltd — submitted tender documents to the SEC.
After an independent evaluation of the bids, CDF Trust and Land Fortune
Farming were eliminated from the tender before Chengetedzai subsequently won
SEC CEO Alban Chirume said the commission was satisfied with the awarding of
the tender and that the “parameters of raising finance and confirming the
pledged financing is not contradictory to the process undertaken through the
due diligence and the RFP (Request For Proposals) stages”.
He said in written responses: “Government through the Ministry of Finance
has, however, now taken up the process as the stated view that the project
is of national interest, has meant, from a policy perspective, government
must undertake further processes. The Ministry of Finance is best placed to
answer more fully and provide guidelines on the length of those processes.
“The processes stated above are not complete until a formal application is
made to the Securities Commission requesting the registration of the CSD
Company. The Commission will then assess the application and grant
registration if they meet the Securities Act (Chapter 24:25) and Statutory
Instrument 100 of 2010.”
The slow pace in implementing the process could be a tip of the iceberg
highlighting the war of attrition between the ZSE and the SEC.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:40
ZIMBABWE should restore competitiveness and have consistent policies before
the troubled country extends the begging bowl, a World Bank official says.
Speaking at an African Regional Strategy workshop in Harare recently, the
Word Bank country manager in Zimbabwe, Nginya Mungai Lenneiye, said the
country should not depend on multilateral institutions to kick-start the
economy, adding the World Bank was not yet ready to assist the nation.
“Zimbabwe should produce competitive goods with competitive prices and those
goods must be of higher quality. This is what Zimbabwe should do first
before begging for money,” Lenneiye said.
“There should be consistence in the implementation of the country’s polices.
Yesterday it was Look East, today it’s indigenisation. There should be a
clear policy, not inconsistence of polices.”
However, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and
Investment Promotion, Desire Sibanda, said the Southern African country
needed good infrastructure to revive its economy.
“The World Bank should start opening lines of credit, SAPs (structural
adjustment programmes) killed Africa. What we need is infrastructure. You
cannot improve competitiveness and quality without the infrastructure,” said
In the World Bank’s regional strategy document, the Bretton Woods
institution said the private sector has a role to play in sustainable
poverty reduction and wealth creation.
The World Bank said Africa’s weak investment climate is due to poor
infrastructure, poor business environment (policies and access to finance)
and insufficient technical skills.
But Sibanda said the World Bank must stop using uniform policies for the
whole of Africa saying that the World Bank takes problems that affect
Liberia and Sierra Leone as the same as those affecting Zimbabwe Lenneiye
said there was need for regional integration and cooperation so that any
approach offers the prospect of large scale and lower unit costs in the
provision of key infrastructure.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:29
ZIMBABWE’S perennial problems at the tobacco auction floors are far from
over despite an increase in the number of auction floors operating in the
country, experts have said.
Last week, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) suspended new
deliveries and bookings at the then two operating auction floors — Tobacco
Sales Floor and Boka Tobacco Sales Floors — a few days before a new
operator came on board.
The industry regulator said the move was aimed at easing congestion at the
floors as farmers besieged the auctions demanding instant payments.
The suspension was lifted last week and deliveries resumed a day after.
But industry experts said tobacco marketing reforms are required to restore
efficiency at the floors. They say the coming in of Millennium Tobacco
Company, Zimbabwe’s third auction floor, is not enough to deal with the
problems unless some changes are made to the marketing of the cash crop.
A recent visit by businessdigest at the country’s auction floors showed how
desperate tobacco growers have become as they patiently wait for payments
Farmers patiently sitting on the concrete floors, restless and wailing
children and long queues of grumbling growers at enquiries desks have become
a common feature at the floors.
Auction floor operators blame farmers for not following “proper booking
procedures” before visiting the floors.
Currently, tobacco growers are required to register with TIMB regional
offices before they make deliveries to the floors.
They say an expected increase in tobacco output this season has also
compounded the problem. Government is projecting 150 million kgs of the cash
crop this year up from 123 million kgs sold last year.
Independent estimates show that the figure could rise to as high as 187
Contract farmers, according to the official projections, are expected to
drive the resurgence of the industry which suffered at the height of the
chaotic land reform exercise, which targeted white commercial farmers.
“Most farmers come to the floors before their crop is booked at TIMB’s
regional offices across the country,” said Richard Chabata, Millennium
“Another issue that could be leading to the congestion is the pricing.
Farmers are thronging the floors for speculative reasons. Last year the
marketing season opened with relatively high prices and closed on a low
note. So farmers feel that approaching the floors earlier, even without
following booking procedures, will give them better prices.”
A kilogramme of tobacco averaged US$2,88 last year.
Official statistics show that currently this year’s average price is
TIMB CEO Andrew Matibiri said the temporary suspension of trading at the
floors was meant to reduce bottlenecks during the tobacco marketing season
which opened in mid February.
“The congestion has been cleared after we dealt with the backlog,” he said.
“We are considering having transporters register and ensure that they are
paid through the central stop order system. This would ensure that growers
have followed marketing regulations.”
Industry sources also say failure by Zimbabwe Industry Tobacco Auction
(Zitac) — currently under liquidation — to reimburse Mashonaland Tobacco
Company, a tobacco merchant, US$350 000 for last year’s tobacco sales has
led to mistrust between the auctioneers and the buyer.
This, they said, had resulted in some merchants abolishing pre-payments of
the crop which could in turn also result in payment delays to growers.
Matibiri, however, said only smaller merchants were paying auction floors
upon presenting daily invoices, saying big buyers were still making advance
At least 10 of Zimbabwe’s commercial banks have opened shop at the floors as
business grows at the auctions.
Farmers who spoke to businessdigest accused auction floors of underhand
dealings although marketing of the crop is done on a first -come-first-serve
Edward Tome, the treasurer-general of the Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe,
blamed auction floors for allowing farmers to approach the floors before
booking as competition intensifies.
“We are not happy and we blame the auction floors for the chaos that
happened before TIMB suspended deliveries to the floors,” Tome said. “The
floors disregarded a working document we prepared last year that says
farmers should come to the floors only when they are booked.”
He, however, said the congestion is expected to ease in a fortnight
following TIMB’s intervention.
Efforts to get comment from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, an
organisation representing predominantly white commercial farmers, were in
vain at the time of going to print.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:52
By Pedzisai Ruhanya
BEATINGS, assaults, torture, manipulation of the party structures,
tribalism, nepotism, cooked up voters’ rolls, intolerance, vote buying,
elections taking place under the cover of darkness, the use of long
incumbency to remain in power and the imposition of candidates by the party’s
top leadership. All these read like a Zanu PF script of conducting the
national electoral process that has led to the decade-long legitimacy and
governance crisis Zimbabwe has been grappling with.
Alas, it is not Zanu PF this time around. The above describes how the
leadership of the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) is
managing its provincial congresses ahead of the party’s national congress in
Bulawayo at the end of April.
Like the Zanu PF elite, the “democratic elite” in the MDC have shown that
their political values and culture differ little from their political foes,
particularly the way the culture of violence and impunity in the party has
been left to spread within its structures.
Apart from the Mashonaland West provincial congress where the leadership
there was elected in a decent manner, the majority of the MDC electoral
processes and gatherings were marked by acts of violence, alleged vote
rigging and vote buying.
The emergence of a fine thread of violence in the MDC has been going on for
some time and this has led to both de facto and de jure impunity in the
The party disciplinary machinery has been rendered impotent because people
who commit acts of violence and other violations of the MDC constitution do
it at the behest of members of the powerful standing committee of the party.
A case in point is the failure by the MDC disciplinary committee to bring to
book Prosper Mutseyami, the provincial organising secretary of Manicaland
and former Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa, on allegations of
violence against party supporters, including the assault of Thamsanga
Mahlangu — the party’s national youth chairperson in 2010. Mahlangu, despite
his national position, was asked to go back to Matabeleland because he would
not be allowed to operate in a “foreign province”, Mutare. These incidents
happened during the restructuring of the party in that province.
What stinks about the Mutseyami controversy is the persistent allegations
that he is linked to a vigilante group made up of party youths called
“Hunters”. This group commits acts of violence against its opponents. It is
alleged that the Hunters do so at the behest of Mutseyami and his handlers
in the standing committee of the party who avoid being disciplined by the
There are worrying allegations that the MP for Mutare Central, Innocent
Gonese, is being hounded by this group which says that he should go back to
his home province of Masvingo. It is therefore not surprising to hear
reports that Gonese had to run for his life during the party’s provincial
congress in Mutare last weekend after the thugs threatened his life. They
accused him of being a “traitor”, not because he is one, but because he does
not share their Zanu PF tendencies in organising the party.
If it is true that the MDC is fighting against impunity, why does it seem
apparent that those who abuse the rights of party members are left scot
free; why are these people allowed to continue holding party positions
without recourse to an internal justice system?
I would want to draw similarities between Gonese’s incarnations on tribal
grounds to that of Paul Mangwana who was hounded out of Mashonaland West by
Zanu PF politicians and relocated to his home district of Chivi in Masvingo
where he was elected MP in the 2008 elections.
The creation of the vigilante group, Hunters, in Manicaland, is similar to
Zanu PF’s vigilante groups such as Chipangano in Mbare and Top Six in
By failing to address these cases of impunity, violence and tribalism, the
MDC leadership is failing the nation by mimicking Zanu PF’s political
culture that many Zimbabweans and most of its supporters are fighting
against. Others lost their lives attempting to create a society opposite to
that established by the Zanu PF dictatorship.
They envisioned a new Zimbabwe that is founded on the rule of law; a country
that does not discriminate on the basis of creed, tribe, sex, age, colour,
political affiliation and gender.
The party leadership is also sending a message that theirs is a struggle for
power and not necessarily a democratic struggle because all the incidences
described are inimical to the values of a liberal democracy that Zimbabweans
want to establish.
This culture gives an impression that the party is attempting to create a
pseudo democracy that serves the interests of the “democratic elite” in the
MDC supporters and the pro-democracy movement in Zimbabwe have been fighting
against vote rigging and lack of transparency in the administration of the
voters roll by the Registrar-General’s office.
It’s sad that the MDC supporters were complaining about the same tactics by
their rivals at the party congress. Some party structures were manipulated
at the provincial level and endorsed by members of the standing committee
whose interests will be better advanced by that group during the congress.
By doing that, the MDC congress runs the risk of being divisive and a circus
because it violates what is expected from a party that has been fighting to
democratise the affairs of the state for more than a decade.
It is not too late to change course.
The party is in some instances doing business similar to the way Zanu PF has
been behaving until the people of Zimbabwe lost patience with the regime and
decided to dump it beginning with the February 2000 constitutional
The MDC and those who blindly condone the growing undemocratic tendencies in
the party should appreciate that the chickens will come home to roost, as
Zanu PF knows well. In the early 1980s, Zanu PF and its leader President
Robert Mugabe committed wanton human rights violations in Matabeleland and
Midlands. Those who questioned the acts of genocide when more than 20 000
people were killed were dismissed as sell-outs.
The party blindly claimed that it was popular and would never lose power as
it relied on Stone Age repression.
My frank advice to the MDC leadership is that they should read and follow
the history of all dictatorial regimes, including that of Zanu PF, and they
will realise that people can never be taken for granted. As a democratic
movement, the MDC should promote a culture of tolerance of different
opinions and even the acceptance of defeat during internal electoral
This is critical as the party prepares itself for a possible electoral
victory in the next national elections.
It is generally true that the accepted norms of democracy which emphasise
non-violent solutions of problems such as the ones arising out of the MDC
provincial congresses and the institutional structures prevent political
parties or governments from utilising terror as a way of resolving disputes.
The MDC leadership should make sure that its internal dispute resolution
structures are functional and that nobody, especially those in the standing
committee of the party, should work to subvert it. The selective application
of party rules to protect thugs is inconsistent with what the party stands
for and what a new Zimbabwe requires.
If the MDC uses democratic structures in the party constitution, its members
will realise the futility of using repression as a tool to retain power and
decrease the benefits leaders in these rogue provinces might have from
violating the rights of their supporters.
Currently MDC party leaders are using violence as a tool because the party’s
internal justice system is dysfunctional and less dependent on the opinion
of the ordinary members, but those connected to the “democratic elite” in
the party’s standing committee.
The MDC standing committee should urgently appreciate that of all human
rights, the most basic is to be free from arbitrary violence and impunity.
Pedzisai Ruhanya is a human rights researcher based in Harare.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:51
ANOTHER week, another dictator bites the dust.
The fall of Laurent Gbagbo was a lesson to other rulers who don’t listen to
the voice of the people, UZ analyst Eldred Masunungere told NewsDay.
“It is important to listen to the voice of the people and not to suppress
that voice,” he said. “Gbagbo was doing that in the Ivory Coast. People had
spoken loudly that they wanted someone else and he defied the voice of the
people. These are the consequences of such defiance. The lesson to all
others who are in governance is that you need to take special care of those
you govern. No one has an eternal right to govern.”
There you have it. And what did fellow African rulers think of their
reception in Benghazi? Not exactly a warm welcome was it? The problem is the
people of Libya recall only too well that these rulers, currently attempting
to negotiate a ceasefire, were on hugging terms with Gaddafi not so long
ago. And suddenly they expect the good folk of Benghazi, on the receiving
end of Gaddafi’s brutality, to be reconciled to the dictator and his greedy
sons. Not likely.
As is often the case dictators never seem to learn. They dig in when they
are supposed to dig out and this is even more true of Gbagbo. It was a
curious sight to watch him –– on Monday –– emerge from his subterranean
hideout four months after losing a democratic election to Alassane Ouattara.
Just a few weeks earlier, before he was smoked out, he had told a radio
station: “You are telling me to leave. Leave, to go where? My rival did not
win the elections. It’s me who won the elections.”
He is not likely to thank his Paris-based advisers and apologists who told
him to soldier on despite Abidjan being under siege from Ouattara’s forces.
“He has no intention of standing down or giving up his power. He will in the
coming hours have proposals for the armed opposition,” Toussaint Alain, his
European adviser had said.
Speaking of apologists, Goodson Nguni is not doing his handlers or
unfortunate ZTV viewers any favours with his drowsy “analysis” on Newshour.
A slouching Nguni struggles to keep the attention of viewers including that
of the anchor, whilst spewing his indigestible dose of propaganda.
“The MDC-T is an excessively violent party,” he drones on, while anchor
Grace Tsvakanyi reads questions from a script whose origins become ever
We were amused to read a Telegraph story about Gaddafi’s extravagance.
Gaddafi’s nurse, Oksana Balinskaya, claimed that the Libyan leader gave his
staff Italian gold watches every year on the anniversary of his taking
“On September 1st every year, the date when Gaddafi [assumed power], we were
given Italian gold watches with his picture on them. People who work for him
for six to eight years have a whole collection,” she said.
Gaddafi was a generous boss, personally ordering that the nurses received an
allowance when they visited New York so that they could go shopping, she
said, calling the leader “Papa”, or Father.
“You can only tell somebody who works for Papa by their watch,” she said.
“Watch” this space.
The Herald has attached enormous importance to a confrontation between MDC-T
and Zanu PF youths at Warren Hills cemetery last week. The incident, the
paper claimed, exposed MDC-T violence at a time Morgan Tsvangirai was
describing Zanu PF as “merchants of death”.
He was speaking at a memorial for five MDC-T activists killed in the
political violence of 2008. It is not clear where the Zanu PF adherents came
from but reports link them to a commuter company or Chipangano supporters
Police spokesman Inspector James Sabau said they condemned unprovoked
violence and would not hesitate to arrest anyone involved “without fear or
This is a nice irony. A welcome warning that the police will arrest anyone
engaging in violence. It followed a ceremony to mark the violent death of
Tonderai Ndira and four other MDC activists.
What steps have law enforcement officers taken to arrest those who were
responsible for those deaths? Ndira died a particularly gruesome death. Has
his murder been investigated? Has anybody been arrested?
Perhaps the Herald can tell us.
We were amused to see a letter to the Editor of the Herald from someone
calling himself “Cde TJ Mapfumo of Mapfumo & Partners, Legal Practitioners,
The letter, headed “Let’s all rally behind the anti-sanctions drive”,
occupied the place normally reserved for the regime’s spokesmen. It said the
anti-sanctions campaign was a “master-stroke which has come at an opportune
time in the people’s struggle against imperial depredations”.
“It is a master-stroke in numerous respects, the primary one being that in
conjunction with the indigenisation and empowerment drive, the struggle
against imperial plunder of resources is very much in earnest.”
This is as it should be, the comrade lawyer continued, because the resources
belong to the people and “it is they who must defeat the imperial monster”.
He proposed centres where people could just walk in and “throw their
anti-sanctions missiles through the barrel of the pen”.
Can you imagine this guy in court throwing his missiles around the court
What is funny is that the next letter headed “Hands off our diamonds”
sounded very much like the last one! Either that, or there are a number of
comrade lawyers hanging around!
Then we had Thabo Mbeki fretting over the fate of “African solutions to
African problems”. He complained petulantly that, “denied the right to solve
its own problems, Africa will inevitably fall victim to ever-continuing
conflict and instability”.
Anybody following the Libyan conflict will know just how anxious the West is
to have Africa making at least some attempt to solve its problems!
Herald columnist Tichaona Zindoga claims the West is bankrolling “thousands”
of parties and organisations to see that Zanu PF loses power.
“To this day,” he says, “albeit with some close shaves, Zanu PF has won all
major elections against the Western-funded MDC…”
Really? You have to be seriously delusional to make claims of that sort, but
it is a measure of Zanu PF’s desperation that they can churn out such
The West didn’t endorse any of the outcomes in the elections supposedly
“won” by Zanu PF, Zindoga complains. He should add, nor did South Africa or
Sadc. In particular the 2008 outcome was not accepted as legitimate.
And what of the “thousands” of bogus organisations Zanu PF has invented ––
like the Zimbabwe Children of War Liberators Association, Zimbabwe Coffin
Makers Association, Zimbabwe Exhumers Association, Youth in Natural
Resources Management, the Zimbabwe Congress of Student Unions, Journalists
for Empowerment, Destiny for Afrika Network, Zimbabwe Revolutionary
Volunteers Front, the Federation of Civil Society Organisations, Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Justice, Upfumi Kuvadiki, and the Millionaires Cashflow Club?
Phew, that was exhausting. And there are dozens more!
One item slipped our attention in coverage of last week’s Livingstone
summit. Not a single reference to the anti-sanctions campaign in the
communiqué. At least Sadc is no longer swallowing Zanu PF’s propaganda, even
if it is forced down the throats of gullible locals like the Johannes Masowe
weChishanu women and children seen signing up on the front page of Monday’s
Then of course there was the ruling against the disgraceful exhumations at
Does anybody feel sorry for Zanu PF with all these setbacks? First the loss
of the Speakership contest; then the humiliation in Livingstone where the
Zimbabwe delegation had to cool their heels while everybody else talked
about them; then the ruling in Bulawayo where the nation’s disgust at the
political exploitation of the dead was expressed. What a terrible week for
But then Nelson Chamisa spoilt it all by giving a hostage to fortune. He no
doubt intended his cabinet note to be amusing but doesn’t he know Zanu PF is
so desperate for some good news that it will seize on anything that comes
its way! Is he a serious politician or not? His lengthy explanation looked
suspiciously like the original. In these situations the less said the
Muckraker was hugely amused by a letter to the Herald from one “Cde Cad
Mash”. He had this to say: “Zimbabweans in the know are fighting hard to
keep the British out of Zimbabwe’s politics. The MDCs are working hard to
smuggle them in. Involving the British in Zimbabwe’s politics is akin to
entrusting a hungry tiger with the treatment and recovery of its wounded
And where was “Cde Cad Mash” writing this patriotic epistle from? Britain of
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:48
By Eric Bloch
UPON reading Psychology Maziwisa’s reply in last week’s issue of this paper
to my recent articles on Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and economic laws, my
initial reaction was to ignore it and thus accord it the contempt that it
blatantly deserved. That is not to say that Maziwisa is not entitled to his
opinion (even when he is wrong!), but that entitlement does not include a
right to misinterpret, misrepresent and insult without foundation.
However, despite the deserved scorn that should be accorded Maziwisa’s
response that was the immediate sense imbued by his diatribe, this columnist
has since received many calls and e-mails to place on record the many
falsehoods that constitute the Maziwisa tirade, hence this response.
First, Maziwisa’s contention that my expressed views are “a campaign to
champion the selfish desires of the privileged few over the real and urgent
needs of the common man” is devoid of foundation. For 53 years, since 1958,
I have vigorously advocated the need for, and the importance of, Zimbabwean
indigenisation and economic empowerment. However, it always has been, and
remains, my conviction that achieving that must be pursued in a manner
Economically empowers the majority of the populace, instead of only the
favoured, politically-connected few, and thereby ensures economic wellbeing
for the masses and not the oligarchy. Indigenisation and economic
empowerment must be the vehicle of improving the wellbeing and lot of an
overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans;
Stimulates and grows the Zimbabwean economy, instead of subjecting it to
even greater emaciation and contraction than is already the case;
Is pursued in a just and equitable manner which has unequivocal,
absolute respect for human and property rights and which accords with
international laws and norms, and with the Zimbabwean constitution and laws.
Maziwisa demands that this columnist should “condemn the police and the
government for pouncing on the poor and the vulnerable … (and to) denounce
the municipal police for dispossessing black impoverished vendors”.
He is clearly imbued with selective hearing and reading, for this column has
often done so, such as after government’s appalling and horrendous Operation
Murambatsvina, and after many other such instances. On the one hand the
poor and the vulnerable must keep, comply and conform to Zimbabwe’s laws,
but on the other hand the authorities must apply those laws with compassion,
understanding, and without unjustified harshness, cruelty and destruction of
On specifics, Maziwisa’s contends that “government’s plan to enjoy 51%
control of all mining activities currently in the hands of foreign companies
is a step in the right direction”, and that “a share of 49% anywhere is a
hell of a lot”.
The hard fact, the world over, is that holders of 49% of the shares in any
enterprise are totally subordinated to the whims and determinations of the
holders of the other 51%.
That investors should fund 100% of the capital, the technology and expertise
in the development of the mines, and having sustained all the start-up risks
and costs be reduced to minority status without say or ability to protect
that which they have invested in is extremely unjust and unrealistic.
Government refers repeatedly to partnership between the existing mine owners
and the intended indigenous ownership, but a 51%-49% relationship is not
partnership; it is subordination and subjugation!
Maziwisa then virtually implies that there is legitimacy to theft, if it is
perpetrated by government. He states that “debate about what constitutes
fair compensation” is a joke, and “this is no time for jokes”. He continues
by contending, “Suffice it to say if anyone receives a cent as reparation,
Harare would have demonstrated a show of considerable magnanimity!”
How can any government of integrity conceivably justify expropriating
assets, developed by the investment of billions of dollars, without fair and
equitable compensation? How can any government, other than one devoid of
good character and probity even contemplate doing so? Admittedly, Zimbabwe’s
government seeks to justify such action by contending that more than fair
compensation has been given by virtue of the existing investors having had
recourse to Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth.
In pursuing that specious contention, government conveniently and studiously
disregards the fact that the mines not only sustained very considerable cost
in accessing the minerals but, in addition, have paid considerably for the
extracted minerals by way of prescribed royalties, licence fees and
taxation. In addition, the nation and the fiscus have benefited markedly
from the substantial downstream economic activity generated by the operation
of the mines.
Maziwisa compounds his devious and misrepresentative attack on this
columnist by repudiating the contention “that foreign investors will feel
inhibited by the empowerment law”, and by alleging that that contention “is
as mendacious as it is deceitful. None of the foreign investors in this
country has expressed an intention to pack his bags and leave the Zimbabwean
However, I never ever suggested that existing investors have voiced intent
to withdraw. What was stated, and is now categorically reiterated, is that
potential foreign investors who were contemplating investment in Zimbabwe,
be it in mining or in any other economic sector, have been almost wholly
deterred from pursuing the possibility of such investment.
They have, progressively since February last year, and especially so in the
last few weeks, become more and more convinced that such investment would be
parlous, with the threats of expropriation looming ever greater and possible
compensation for expropriation being minimal.
Maziwisa concludes by suggesting that this columnist “is promoting a
peculiarly nasty agenda”. My agenda is, first and foremost, to do
whatsoever possible to promote constructive programmes to alleviate the
intense poverty, misery, suffering and distress of most Zimbabweans.
Moreover, for over half a century I have argued that for that agenda to be
achieved, an indisputable requirement is wide-ranging, meaningful, and just
indigenisation and economic empowerment.
Maziwisa’s contrary intentions as to my agenda prove that although his first
name is Psychology, he is in critical need of a psychologist!
Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:00
WE are living in interesting times, witnessing history in the making.
Political events unfolding in the Middle East and various hotspots in Africa
are instructive. They are enlightening insomuch as they give us fresh and
useful insight into what happens when people are oppressed for too long.
Although myopic denialists around President Robert Mugabe and their toadies
have of late been claiming events in the Middle East and elsewhere in Africa
cannot be correlated to the situation in southern Africa, the eruption of
discontent and protests in Swaziland show the demand for freedom has become
universal and repression is now globally detested.
People everywhere, whether in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Ivory
Coast or Swaziland, want freedom and justice. They want democracy,
accountability and transparency. They want prosperity. They don’t want
tyrants and their record of failure.
Despite differences in history, conditions and even religion, there is a
common thread running through authoritarian states in different
geo-political space: the quest for freedom. People want to be liberated from
oppression and poverty.
As stubborn dictators continue to fall or stumble in the Middle East and
Africa, Zimbabwe is increasingly shifting into sharp focus, putting Mugabe
in the spotlight. The world is closely watching to see if the winds of
change will also blow across Zimbabwe’s political landscape and how Mugabe
is going to react and deal with such events. It’s going to be interesting to
watch that space.
We do know dictators are either unwilling or unable to learn from history,
but Mugabe has a perfect opportunity to pick up some valuable lessons from
events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya, among other countries. Even
though dictators hardly learn from history, which is why they are always
doomed to repeat it, Mugabe has just what the doctor ordered: a golden
opportunity to rescue himself and his threadbare legacy from the ruins of
his failed rule.
If he squanders this chance by becoming more intransigent and impervious to
advice, he risks exiting in a humiliating and disgraceful way like Laurent
Gbagbo of Ivory Coast. Gbagbo was dragged out of his bunker, wearing a white
vest and looking haggard and terrified. He actually wailed like a banshee in
the process of his capture –– all the phony bravado and chauvinism gone! His
wife was also seized in an embarrassing manner.
It is interesting that Gbagbo recently said he understood why Mugabe was
“right” to dig in through violence and intimidation after losing the first
round of elections in 2008. Mugabe must learn from Gbagbo and his embattled
ally Muammar Gaddafi. Of course, Mugabe must also learn from his other two
associates, Hosni Mubarak and King Mswati.
It won’t be easy. Mugabe, like other dictators, is surrounded by mediocre
opportunists and lackeys; men and women with little competence and integrity
who maintain their positions through patronage, nepotism and boot-licking.
His diehards, who have become as dogmatic and delusional themselves,
imitate, as best as they can, his intolerance. They will always mislead him
into believing he is secure until the last critical moments.
Mugabe and his clique of political dinosaurs don’t seem to realise the world
is changing –– and changing fast. What is happening now is history repeating
itself. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, various dictatorships –– of
both internal and external origin –– collapsed when confronted by defiant
and mobilised masses.
When the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, other dictators also fell. Often
seen as firmly entrenched and impregnable, some of the dictatorships proved
unable to withstand the concerted political, economic, and social defiance
of the people. Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania comes to mind. His police state,
so admired by Zanu PF, collapsed like a pack of cards when push came to
Given what is happening around us and the hardening attitude of citizens and
the international community, including Africans, towards dictators, it is
clear Mugabe is living dangerously on borrowed time. No matter how devoted
his dwindling band of loyalists who bury their heads in the sand, Judgement
Day is just around the corner.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:59
By Constantine Chimakure
IN a sagacious and powerful address to the Organisation of African Unity
(OAU) (now the African Union) in June 1998, liberation struggle icon and
then South African President Nelson Mandela said: “We cannot abuse the
concept of national sovereignty to deny the rest of the continent the right
and the duty to intervene when, behind those sovereign boundaries, people
are being slaughtered to protect tyranny.”
Thirteen years down the line, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is
presiding over a country torn apart by political squabbling and is clinging
tenaciously to power through ruthless crushing of dissent, instilling fear
into opponents and unleashing political violence against the citizenry.
When chastised by regional colleagues for his anti-democratic actions, he
hides behind the facade that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and cannot be
dictated to by Sadc, or any other country.
The decision taken by the Sadc Troika a fortnight ago to finally take
Mugabe’s intransigence by the horns was long overdue. Now, more than ever,
the regional bloc needs to take a cue from what Mandela said in 1998.
The intervention should come in the form of nudging –– and if necessary ––
coercing partners in the wobbly inclusive government to craft a progressive
and revolutionary roadmap to free and fair elections.
The roadmap should have benchmarks, chief among them being that no elections
should be held without a new constitution as spelt out in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA). Attempts by Zanu PF to deviate from the letter
and spirit of the GPA on this matter have not gone unnoticed.
A radical transformation of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should
also top the priority list of the envisaged roadmap. State spies should be
flushed out of ZEC’s secretariat and the commission should be responsible
for voter registration. Analysts have run out of words to describe the
shambolic nature of the voters’ roll and this issue needs to be addressed
sooner rather than later.
The roadmap must lead to the independence and impartiality of ZEC and also
that during delimitation of constituencies gerrymandering does not take
A credible election would entail a complete turnaround in the modus operandi
of monitoring and enforcement of electoral laws. So far we are yet to see
any evidence of those changes.
The roadmap must give room for international observers to be in the country
way before and after the elections to avert violence and intimidation. If
adequately resourced observers are timeously deployed in the country’s over
55 districts, violence would be significantly minimised.
Sadc must also be wary of the influence of the securocrats in elections
which seems to go beyond the call of duty. Service chiefs and soldiers
currently deployed throughout the country bidding for Mugabe should go back
to the barracks and should not have any political role to play. Their duty
is to protect our territorial integrity, not to be political commissars of
Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Above all, the roadmap would be in vain without real media reforms.
Zimpapers and ZBC cannot anymore sacrifice their roles as public media on
the altar of propping up Mugabe and Zanu PF. Why can’t we emulate our
neighbours like South Africa, Botswana and Zambia who give airtime to all
political parties? This abuse of the public media being used as Mugabe and
Zanu PF’s attack dogs against his opponents must come to an immediate end.
Sadc should play its role and should bear in mind what Mandela said at the
OAU in June 1998: “For as long as the majority of people anywhere on the
continent feel oppressed, are not allowed democratic participation in
decision-making processes, and cannot elect their own leaders in free and
fair elections, there will always be tension and conflict.”
Zanu PF and Mugabe should also traverse “past mindsets that seek to heap all
blame on the past and on others.”
Well said Madiba.
Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:58
By Itai Masuku
PJ O’Rourke, a journalist cum author of renown, once said: “No drug, not
even alcohol causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for
the source of our troubles we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should
test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and the love of power.”
He may as well have been talking about Zimbabwean society, especially when
it comes to greed, and also some fairly stupid decisions taken by seemingly
clever people. One hates to say “I told you so” but it’s barely a week since
we wrote about policy inconsistency and greed driven by some well placed
members of our society, particularly those in the higher political echelons.
Greed, one of the seven deadly sins, is the progenitor of corruption, itself
the centre of our economic ills in Zimbabwe. The ink had no sooner dried on
our newspaper than government confirmed our argument. A decree was issued
concerning the importation of second-hand cars this week.
We say decree because, as it turns out, it is superseding the written legal
instrument on the issue. Importation of second-hand vehicles older than five
years was supposed to end on October 31, according to the relevant statutory
But the Secretary for Transport, Communication and Infrastructural
Development, Patson Mbiriri, insists his pronouncement that the deadline is
June 30 –– which pronouncement has no legal instrument to support it ––
Funny we should still be getting ruled by decree, just one week before we
celebrate Independence. But as we know, the profit motive, driven by greed,
is a very powerful one. As we have said, whenever such controversial
statutory instruments are brought about, the ulterior motive is to line the
pockets of some political big fish somewhere.
We were wondering who was behind all this car import hullaballoo. Now we
have been told of one Cde CM who intends that once car imports, mainly from
Japan, are banned, the new source will be our dear friends in the east,
The comrade is already waiting in the wings with the Chinese imports, and,
given the insatiable demand for passenger vehicles, there is a huge killing
to be made, especially for one who has been given a head start in the race.
Whether the vehicles will be of comparable quality to those of Japan remains
to be seen.
The Chinese are renowned for making good quality products for Europe and
junk for the “other” parts of the world such as Africa; that is us. Needless
to say, we have had a preview through the FAW buses that graced our roads
not so long ago. None exist today. By comparison, the “chicken buses” from
AW Dahmer are still on the road, traversing as far as South Africa.
This brings us to an important point. We would have understood if the
ministry had taken this decision in order to protect the local motoring
industry, which basically is involved in motor assembly.
There are two major motor assembly plants in this country, Willowvale Mazda
Motor Industries and Quest Motor Corporation. Historically these two have
been the providers of small passenger vehicles in the country.
There was supposed to have been one for assembling heavy trucks, but this
was not to be because one politician insisted that he be paid a “commission”
before the Swedish manufacturers would be allowed to set up their plant.
How many such opportunities did we miss one wonders. And the fact that some
European countries give tax credits for their companies that had paid bribes
to African governments, doesn’t help us either. This is because according to
the Europeans, it is a fait accompli that African governments demand bribes
for any deals that should benefit their countries.
Need we remind you of the Willowgate scandal whose ghosts still haunt our
For those who might not remember, this was a scandal caused by the shortage
of motor vehicles in the country as Willlowvale Motor Industries was the
major assembly plant. Car imports were virtually non-existent as foreign
exchange was in dire shortage. In fact we had silly laws that banned people
from having foreign exchange. Sense only dawned in 2009, 29 years after
As such those with access to WMMI, who were government officials since WMMI
was government- owned, used to buy the cars cheaper and sell at three to
four times the price. If WMMI were still producing to capacity perhaps we
would have understood government’s move in that we would have assumed they
were doing this to protect the local vehicle assembly industry. But we are
still a long way from having that kind of thinking.