By Tichaona Sibanda
17 April 2012
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday said independence must be
accompanied by respect for people’s basic freedoms.
Speaking on the eve of the country’s 32nd independence anniversary, he said
independence must come with the enactment of laws that show “a new culture,
a new ethos and a new thrust to respect the dignity and the freedoms of the
Zimbabwe attained independence from white minority rule in 1980 and Robert
Mugabe has served as the country’s leader since then. But under Mugabe’s
leadership, the country has slipped from being the breadbasket of Africa to
one of the world’s poorest countries.
The ZANU PF leader blames the country’s woes on his political opponents and
their ‘sponsors.’ However, many in the country and the international
community accuse him of being a dictator.
Tsvangirai, President of the MDC-T alluded to this when he said contrary to
expectations at independence, Mugabe’s leadership did not take long to
betray the very values central to the liberation struggle.
“Repression, violence and looting became the order of the day. Today, even
in the wake of an inclusive government, policy and ideological discord at
the instigation of some elements in this government has meant a further
betrayal of the people’s aspirations,” the Prime Minister added.
He discounted fears that members of his party will boycott the independence
celebrations in Harare on Wednesday, amid reports of lack of consensus on
theme for the day.
A cabinet meeting last week failed to agree to the proposed theme for this
year, ‘Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Economic Transformation.’
Tsvangirai revealed to journalists that they rejected it because they saw
the theme as more of a ZANU PF slogan than an inclusive, peace-building
theme which should be determined through consensus.
“We are not opposed to the day, but we are strongly opposed to the message
of indigenization and to use a national day to launch a ZANU PF theme; that’s
what we are opposed to,” the Prime Minister said.
He urged every Zimbabwean to claim the Independence Day and celebrate it
“nokuti hakuna rimwe zuva rakakosha kudarika irori” (as there is no other
important day like Independence on our calendar).
“We have disagreed in this government because there are others who want to
perpetuate the old culture of expropriation, looting and self-aggrandizement
clad in new and misleading nomenclature such as indigenization,” he said
He added: “It is regrettable that Independence Day has been monopolized and
personalised by one political party. This is a national day that is greater
than ZANU PF, the MDC, Mavambo or any other political formation.
Independence day is a day greater than Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe,
Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara or Simba Makoni.”
He continued: “To adorn Independence Day in a ZANU PF robe is to rob it of
its national character and its universal appeal to the diverse people of
Zimbabwe who are all too aware of its mammoth significance to the story of
Harare, April 17, 2012 - The Morgan Tsvangirai Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) will attend Wednesday independence celebrations under protest
because it is against the use of the indigenisation theme that Zanu (PF) has
“But despite the provocation around the theme, we will be attending tomorrow’s
event because we believe it is a national day, Prime Minister Tsvangirai
told journalists at his party headquarters on Tuesday.
“We refuse to be chucked out of a national day which has nothing to do with
Zanu (PF) but has everything to do with the collective history of all
Zimbabweans in their diversity. So we will be there to pay tribute to the
gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who sacrificed everything to free
“We rejected it because we find this a repugnant theme which sounds more of
a slogan for a political party than an inclusive, peace- building theme
which should be determined through consensus,” Tsvangirai said.
“There was no consensus on the current theme. While we support broad-based
empowerment of the ordinary person, our colleagues have taken indigenisation
to mean expropriation and nationalisation. There is no such policy of
government. Our problem is not about the day, but the theme of this day.
“A more unifying theme which captures the national sentiment at this time
would have been more appropriate. As Principals, we led the national call
for peace in November last year and it would have been ideal to have a theme
that revolves around this key issue ahead of the next election.”
Tsvangirai accused President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) of betraying the
aspirations of thousands of liberation fighters who died in the war of
liberation adding that the former ruling party has “monopolized and
“This is a national day that is greater than Zanu (PF)...or any other
political formation,” Tsvangirai said. “Independence day is a day greater
than Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe, Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara or
“Our personal caprices and the political parties we lead must subordinate
themselves to the iridescent nature and character of this day.
“To adorn Independence Day in a Zanu (PF) robe is to rob it of its national
character and its universal appeal to the diverse people of Zimbabwe who are
all too aware of its mammoth significance to the story of this land.”
Zimbabwe will be celebrating 32 years of gaining freedom from the British in
April 17 2012 at 07:50pm
Harare - Zimbabwe's prime minister describes a black empowerment theme
chosen by President Robert Mugabe for the nation's 32nd birthday as
“repugnant”, but says he won't boycott the anniversary parades.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday said Mugabe's party dedicated
the anniversary to black empowerment and its programme to seize 51 percent
of foreign and white-owned businesses.
Tsvangirai told reporters Tuesday that fighters who died to end colonial
rule in 1980 “will only be proud of us if we bring back the noise in our
silent factories”, attract investment and create jobs and economic growth.
He said Mugabe's party, in a shaky three-year coalition after violent and
disputed elections in 2008, has diminished the meaning of the nation's
symbolic freedom day on Wednesday. - Sapa-AP
Posted on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 13:57
By Janet Shoko
An official from Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party has
condemned the chaotic land reform orchestrated by her party in 2000 ahead of
the country's 32nd independence anniversary on Wednesday.
Youth leaders from across the political divide claim that they are sidelined
from the economy as they foresee a bleak future if radical changes were not
Zanu-PF secretary for Lands in the Youth Wing, Anastancia Ndlovu made rare
forthright of Mugabe and her party's stewardship of the once promising in
the last three decades and was particularly scathing on how the land reforms
She said youths were sidelined from the programme and those allocated pieces
of land, mostly loyalists of the 88 year-old president had failed.
"It is imperative that as we celebrate 32 years of independence, government
prioritises creation of meaningful empowerment opportunities for the youths,
recognising the role the youths can play in economic development," she said.
Ndlovu says the chaotic land reform orchestrated by her party in 2000 did
not uplift the livelihoods of the youths. She wants the coalition government
to repossess unproductive farms and allocate them to the youths.′′But most
of the farms were grabbed by members of her party.
Also read: Happy Birthday Mr. President Mugabe, A beauty pageant perhaps?
Mugabe has spent the past decade trumpeting the land reform programme as the
ultimate solution to the inequities brought about British colonialism.
The southern African country is embroiled in political squabbles pitting the
three governing parties, Zanu PF and the two MDC formations that have been
in an uneasy coalition since 2009.′′As the elephants fight, poverty, hunger,
unemployment, high food prices, and political violence stalks millions of
Zimbabweans who are beginning to question the relevance of independence
Unemployment stands at above 80 percent and millions have joined the great
trek to foreign lands in search of a better life. And observers say millions
of Zimbabweans are still to realise the better life they were promised at
In his 1980 independence speech, Mugabe said: "My government is determined
to bring about meaningful change to the lives of the majority of the people
in the country."′′This year's theme has been dubbed, "Indigenisation and
Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation."
Promise Mkwananzi, the youth assembly secretary general from Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC agrees with his Zanu PF counterpart.
"On the economic front, the youths are yet to benefit because government
hasn't come up with a comprehensive all encompassing youth policy that
satisfies the youths," he said. "We want the youths to unite and take
leadership positions while at the same time condemning violence."
Also read: Ex Ethiopian leader's future uncertain in Zimbabwe
In his independence speech, Mugabe appealed to Zimbabweans to be patient
with the proposed policies.
"May I assure you that my government is determined to bring about meaningful
change to the lives of the majority of the people in the country," he said
then. "But I must ask you to be patient and allow my government time to
organize programmes that will effectively yield that change.
"There are people without land who need land, people without jobs who need
jobs, children without schools who need schools and patients without
hospitals who need them"
But 32 years on these still remain outstanding issues.
The unfulfilled promises have led outspoken MDC-99 leader Job Sikhala to
call on Zimbabweans not to observe Independence Day as a protest against
Instead, Sikhala is urging Zimbabweans to "mourn the loss of our true
independence" under 32 years of Mugabe's uninterrupted rule.
"Robert Mugabe is a tyrannical oppressor masquerading as a liberator who
must be shunned by all right thinking people," Sikhala said a former
Harare, April 17, 2012 - Leader of the MDC-99, Job Sikhala, said on Monday
the Zanu (PF) regime had killed more people than the regime of Ian Smith,
former Rhodesian Prime Minister.
"The regime has presided over the deaths of more people than Smith since
1980,” said Sikhala whose party is a breakaway from the mainstream Movement
for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. “The regime
has driven more people into exile than Smith,” he told journalists on
“Unemployment is higher than during Smith’s time, dictatorship and
oppression has intensified more than during Ian Douglas Smith’s time.
Torture and detentions of political rivals has accelerated more than during
Ian Smith’s time.”
He said Zimbabwe was under a “new imperial order of black force oppressing
its own”. “Robert Mugabe is a tyrannical oppressor masquerading as a
liberator who must be shunned by all right thinking people. He has
monopolised the Independence Day to suit his own delusionary agendas and
those who gatecrash it are ridiculed,” he said.
He said as a result of continued denial of basic freedoms and human rights
abuses, Zimbabweans had nothing to cheer on Independence Day commemorated on
April 18 to celebrate Zimbabwe's attainment of independence from Britain in
The Zanu (PF) spokesperson dismissed Sikhala's outbursts as childish, saying
his actions were largely motivated by the desire to please his “paymasters
from the West”. “It is a shame that the beneficiaries of the liberation
struggle are the ones who are saying nonsense.”
He said Sikhala had benefitted from free University education because of the
sacrifice made by President Mugabe and other gallant sons of the soil.
Zimbabwe;s independence was attained after a protracted and bloody war waged
by combatants under the leadership of President Mugabe and the late Vice
President, Joshua Nkomo.
Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 11:59
HARARE - South African President Jacob Zuma has called for more patience in
the ongoing delicate mediation of the Zimbabwean crisis, as concerns mount
the slow pace of reforms could lead to sham elections.
Zuma was tasked by Sadc to facilitate dialogue and ensure a credible
election in Zimbabwe after the disputed 2008 presidential election.
Responding to concerns by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party that
negotiations for democratic reforms were stalling, Lindiwe Zulu,
spokesperson for Zuma’s facilitation team, said the MDC was being impatient.
Speaking to the Daily News from Pretoria yesterday, Zulu said Zuma was
seized with the Zimbabwe mediation efforts.
She urged the MDC to communicate its concerns to the mediator, but was quick
to add that Zuma was well aware of most of the problems blighting the Harare
"There is a continuous and constant negotiation," Zulu said. "We know their
concerns. We have already told you what we are doing. When the MDC has come
up with something, we can only comment when we speak to them. They haven't
indicated it to us," said Zulu.
President Robert Mugabe insists he will push through with elections
regardless of regional grouping Sadc insisting polls will only be held after
the full implementation of the power sharing Global Political Agreement
(GPA) and the election roadmap.
Two parties in the ruling coalition - Tsvangirai's MDC and Welshman Ncube's
MDC - say Mugabe’s push for elections is hollow because he lacks the
legitimacy to unilaterally call them.
Tsvangirai's MDC last week slammed "the insincerity of Zanu PF, the lack of
paradigm shift and its insatiable appetite for power manifested by its
decisive power retention agenda bordering on creating an atmosphere of
pandemonium, panic and uncertainty in the body politic of our country".
Tsvangirai's party called for tougher Sadc action after noting that Zanu PF
had contemptuously defied important Sadc resolutions on Zimbabwe reached in
Maputo, Livingstone, Sandton and Luanda.
"The party notes the slow pace of movement and urges Sadc to urgently
appoint the three person committee from the Sadc Organ Troika to work with
Jomic and also to ensure that dialogue on the roadmap is concluded," the MDC
said in resolutions passed after its April 12 national council meeting.
The extraordinary Sadc summit in Sandton called for the urgent creation of a
three-person implementation and oversight mechanism by Sadc to join
coalition government watchdog, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (Jomic) to ensure full implementation of the GPA.
The team is yet to be deployed. It is believed South Africa, Tanzania and
Zambia had forwarded the names of their deployees to join Jomic, but the new
Zambian President, Michael Sata has revoked his country's nomination and
wants to second his own deployee following regime change in that country.
"The (MDC) party expresses its disappointment with the slow and the
non-implementation of the GPA, the post-Maputo agreement and agreed portions
of the roadmap and the Review Document and urges the urgent creation of an
implementation and oversight mechanism, inside government and within Sadc,"
the resolutions added.
Zulu said a key moment will come when Zuma is expected to head to Harare
"soon". Zanu PF has already warned it reserves the right to reject Zuma's
Analysts warn that Zimbabwe may be hurtling towards a sham election that
could be devastating both for Zimbabwe and the Sadc region.
Asked if Zuma is still heading to Harare, Zulu said: "He still is, as soon
as he is free. It is in the pipeline, as soon as he is able, he will come."
Tsvangirai, speaking to the Daily News last week about the apparent defiance
by the minister of Information Webster Shamu to institute media reforms,
said he was pinning his hopes on Zuma's impending visit.
Tsvangirai said Shamu and permanent secretary George Charamba were defying a
Cabinet directive to implement key reforms in the media sector as agreed by
the negotiators and as directed by the principals of the GPA "because they
know if they lose control of the media, they lose everything."
"We will take it up again within the political structures especially when
President Zuma comes and say, 'this is what we agreed but the people in Zanu
PF are defying reform.' Mugabe must do something because it's his ministers
who are defying reform, it is his ministers who are defying agreed reforms,"
Tsvangirai told the Daily News.
The principals; Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube, and the negotiators of the
three political parties have agreed to proper media reforms, in particular
the reconstitution of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board,
the ZBC board and the Mass Media Trust.
The illegally constituted BAZ has already granted two radio licences to
Zimpapers and AB Communications - institutions perceived to be loyal to
Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
Zimbabwe has no independent radio or television station.
Besides media reforms, there are electoral and political reforms that should
Harare, April 17, 2012 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he wants
South African president Jacob Zuma to address the outstanding issue of media
reforms in Zimbabwe.
Zuma is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appointed
negotiator to the Zimbabwean political problem.
"Mugabe must do something because it’s his ministers who are defying agreed
reforms,” Tsvangirai told Radio VOP in an interview at his Strathaven home
Tsvangirai was referring to the refusal by Minister of Information and
Publicity Webster Shamu to implement fully agreed media reforms under the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and leader of the smaller MDC party
Arthur Mutambara agreed to re-constitute the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (BAZ) board as well as those of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC), Mass Media Trust and Zimpapers.
“We will take it up again within the political structures especially when
president Zuma comes and say this is what we agreed but the people in Zanu
(PF) are defying reform," he said.
“Media freedom is not an option, I don’t think we can achieve a society
which is robust without freedom of expression and access to information
because information is power. We can’t even move forward without media
“Inspite of the fact that I am Prime Minister and I am part of government I
am target for vilification and accusations. These people are not ashamed
because they know that if we portray the Prime Minister in a certain light,
they are advancing their own causes," he said.
"So that’s why you see it’s a natural reaction by people who know that if
they give people too much freedom they will lose power."
His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party will ensure that freedom of
expression is included in the country’s new constitution.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 April 2012
The regionally appointed mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis is this
week said to have called on the MDC-T to be ‘patient’, in the face of
criticism that progress towards fresh elections has been too slow.
According to the Daily News newspaper, the comments were attributed to South
Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, in a Monday interview with his international
relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, who is also the spokesperson for Zuma’s
Zulu was addressing concerns by the MDC-T that reforms that were agreed to
were not being implemented, largely due to resistance by ZANU PF. This has
created a deadlock that is frustrating progress towards a roadmap for free
and fair elections.
In an effort to deal with the lack of progress, SADC leaders at an
extraordinary summit in Sandton resolved to send a team to Zimbabwe to
assist JOMIC move things forward. More than a year later, that team is still
not in place. The new government of President Michael Sata reportedly wants
their own appointee on the team.
Zulu told the Daily News that mediation efforts were taking place all the
time behind the scenes and President Zuma was waiting for the political
parties to let him know when they were ready for his mediation. Asked when
Zuma would travel to Zimbabwe, Zulu said “when he is free and able to”.
The MDC-T chairperson for South Africa, Kwanele Moyo dismissed the press
reports attributed to Zuma, saying newspapers are there to sell papers and
he could not comment on their claims.
Moyo explained that as far as the MDC-T is concerned, they still have
confidence in President Zuma and his team. Moyo acknowledged that progress
in implementing the GPA has been slow but said there was no better solution.
“As Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, especially here in South Africa, we are
still happy with the progress so far, even if it has been slow. I think that’s
the best way forward otherwise the alternative is worse,” Moyo told SW Radio
The GPA was meant to be a temporary arrangement to bring peace and stability
to the country while the political parties worked on a roadmap towards
elections. But the police have remained partisan in favour of ZANU PF and
the security chiefs continue to publicly declare their allegiance to Robert
In a statement released after their national council meeting last Thursday,
the MDC-T said: “The party notes the slow pace of movement and urges SADC to
urgently appoint the three person committee from the SADC Organ Troika to
work with JOMIC and also to ensure that dialogue on the roadmap is
Moyo re-enforced this saying President Zuma has to make sure the reforms
agreed to in the GPA are implemented, as he was appointed by the regional
By Tichaona Sibanda
17 April 2012
ZANU PF officials who lost the District Coordinating Committee (DCC)
elections are challenging the results that they say were rigged by the
provincial leadership in Manicaland.
The top hierarchy of ZANU PF in the province is heavily linked to Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Most officials from the Mnangagwa camp occupy
influential positions both in government and private sector in Manicaland.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru reportedly enjoys the support of many cadres,
but they are said to be powerless as they are mostly in positions without
The party held its DCC elections in Mutare, Chipinge, Nyanga, Makoni and
Buhera over the weekend, amid reports of widespread intimidation and
vote-rigging. In Buhera for instance, the total number of party cadres
eligible to vote was 102. But to the surprise of many, the eventual winner
was able to secure more votes than those put down to vote, leaving many to
believe the vote had been rigged.
“There were two candidates vying for the DCC chairman and 102 voters
eligible to cast their votes. But after counting, the winner had about 115
and the challenger close to 50 votes which makes it farcical because already
there are more than 60 ghost voters that came from nowhere,” a Mutare based
journalist told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday.
Provincial chairman Mike Madiro has been the target of criticism from party
supporters with over 200 of them camped outside the ZANU PF headquarters in
Mutare. The supporters, drawn from districts that had elections over the
weekend are demanding a re-run, this time with officials from other
provinces supervising them.
“This is a fight that has erupted into an open warfare with both sets of
supporters from the Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions washing their dirty linen
in public. Most of those camped outside the ZANU PF offices in Mutare are
from the Mujuru faction who want the results annulled,” the journalist
By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 April 2012
The arrests of MDC-T members on trumped up charges and illegal police bans
of their activities is continuing, with ZANU PF intensifying this campaign
ahead of elections they are demanding this year.
Just this week alone, four MDC-T members were arrested in Kariba after they
met to discuss travel plans for the funeral of the late Deputy Minister of
Transport, Senator Tichaona Mudzingwa.
The MDC-T District Secretary George Masendu, the Youth Secretary Robbie
Tigere, activists Farai Chinobva and Elijah Garisamoyo were briefly detained
at Kariba Police Station on Saturday over this so-called “illegal meeting”.
They were released on condition that they report back to the police on
On Friday police in Gwanda arrested Nomathemba Ndlovu, the MDC-T
Matabeleland South Women’s Assembly chairperson, for distributing the Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s newsletter in the area.
Police summoned her to the station as she distributed the newsletter, which
is not illegal, and arrested her immediately upon arrival. She was charged
under the controversial Public Order and Security Act, but it is not clear
what the charges are for.
Responding to Ndhlovu’s arrest, the party said in a statement: “The
harassment of MDC members is meant to cow them by a panicking ZANU PF ahead
of the next elections.”
The MDC-T secretary for elections, Seiso Moyo, told SW Radio Africa that it
is “very unfortunate” all these unwarranted incidents were taking place at a
time when Zimbabweans are supposed to be celebrating Independence Day and
feeling a sense freedom.
“One is forced to think it is ZANU PF’s campaign machinery in place, using
the same old tactics of intimidation and violence to close up political
space for those perceived to be enemies of their party,” Moyo explained.
Asked whether the MDC-T has any new ways of dealing with it, Moyo said the
coalition government had put in place some structures to deal specifically
with the issues of violence in the provinces, although he admitted this may
not be enough to handle all the incidents.
Moyo was referring to Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC),
which is meant to be a watchdog over the unity government and to intervene
in cases where there is violence.
“We are also engaging all our members, civic society, and even the
perpetrators themselves to say let’s all work towards a peaceful Zimbabwe
and allow each other to have differing views,” Moyo stressed.
The MDC-T meanwhile said in a statement: “As a party, we condemn the
partisan manner in which the police are operating and we immediately call
for security sector reforms.”
Written by Sydney Saize
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:59
MUTARE - Dozens of disgruntled Zanu PF supporters are camped at the party’s
Manicaland provincial offices since Sunday protesting against the imposition
of candidates in the party’s district elections.
Party supporters dressed in Zanu PF regalia could be seen loitering at their
provincial party offices while a group of women and men were preparing food.
The former ruling party supporters have vowed not to leave the party offices
until the party’s provincial executive led by Mike Madiro vacates office.
Party members in Manicaland province accuse Madiro of using “dirty” tactics
such as rigging, intimidation and violence to impose candidates and win
district coordinating elections.
“We are sick and tired of the tricks used by Madiro’s administration. We now
want the executive to be dissolved and an interim one put in place while the
province is put in order,” said Brian Marange a Zanu PF member who was also
camped at the party’s offices situated along Herbert Chitepo Street.
Madiro was unavailable for comment while Zanu PF deputy provincial secretary
for information and publicity, Charles Samuriwo was non-committal.
When reached for comment, Samuriwo said he was in a meeting and would return
telephone calls. He however, had not done so at the time of going to print.
Marange told the Daily News that party supporters are angry with the
provincial top hierarchy who are in the business of imposing candidates on
He said apart from imposition of candidates, Madiro and his executive are
resorting to violence to cow members into submission.
“As members of Zanu PF, we are now requesting the national commissariat to
appoint a commission to run business on an interim basis which will replace
the Madiro-led executive until we have an election to come up with a
substantive leadership,” said Marange.
Some Zanu PF supporters have linked Madiro whom they say has increasingly
become unpopular to intra-party violence which occurred in Makoni, Chipinge,
Mutasa and Chimanimani districts where the party was electing their district
coordinating committee, DCC representative members recently.
Zanu PF supporters have clashed each with other as their DCC elections
continue in Manicaland province.
Despite the bloody clashes, there have not been any arrests of those
by Staff Reporter
A SENIOR MDC-T official has claimed that he is being threatened by alleged
Zanu PF youths demanding a 51 percent shareholding in his company.
John Kinard, the MDC-T treasurer for Midlands North said a mob led by a
self-styled local war veteran recently besieged his offices in Kadoma
demanding majority control of the firm.
“It is amazing that youths born after independence call themselves war
collaborators,” Kinard said in a party statement issued Monday.
“Which war did they participate in? It only reflects that the Zanu PF
programme is not to empower black people but exploitation of man by man.”
Under the country’s economic empowerment programme, foreign-owned companies
must transfer control of at least 51 percent of their Zimbabwe interests to
The policy, spearheaded by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is aimed
at helping economically empower the country’s historically marginalised but
majority black population.
However, Kinard blasted the policy claiming it was a ruse aimed at making
richer already wealthy individuals in Zanu PF.
“The rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer because individuals
are lining their pockets by evicting owners from their companies and taking
over the premises,” he said.
“Most of the companies in Zimbabwe which were seized by the government are
struggling to operate fully. Production is going down because the government
is failing to capacitate the companies due to lack of capital and resources.
“Economic empowerment should benefit everyone but the Zanu PF programme
intends to benefit senior members from Zanu PF only who are well-known and
loyal to the top brass.”
The MDC-T says while it backs the principle of black economic empowerment,
the approach taken by Zanu PF would undermine economic growth while
benefiting very few people.
The party says it would implement an alternative indigenisation approach
which helps grow the country’s economy, create employment as well as benefit
the broad majority of Zimbabweans.
by Staff Reporter
BUSINESSMAN, Philip Chiyangwa’s property development firm was allegedly
handed 68,000 hectares of land in Kariba for just over US$200,000, council
officials have claimed.
The resort town has now run out of land for expansion and officials are
blaming the deal reached with Chiyangwa’s company some five years ago for
“It is true he (Chiyangwa) has 68,000 hectares. He paid us about US$150,000
(and) still owes us about US$60 000,” Kariba town clerk, George Makunde told
“He had started servicing his land but he does not have an Environmental
Impact Assessment report. He was stopped until he submits that to the
Environmental Management Authority.”
Chiyangwa however, dismissed the allegations insisting his company owned no
more than 40 000 hectares.
“My land is so small and they (council) have plenty of land. It is not more
than 40,000 hectares,” Chiyangwa said.
“Everything is being politicised because it is an MDC council. We are not
their solution and we as Pinnacle are not the only people with land in
Kariba. They cannot speak on my behalf.”
Council officials have since approached the National Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority of Zimbabwe for more development land.
But the proposal was shot down by Parks Authority boss Vitalis Chadenga.
“The parks estate is for wildlife management and conservation and as far as
we are concerned it remains so. We are not in the business of altering Parks
boundaries,” Chadenga said adding no talks had been held with the town
“We have certainly not been involved. I would be the first one to know about
that and I do not know who they are talking to. If areas were designated as
parks we cannot alter their boundaries.”
16 April 2012
Violet Gonda | Washington
The Zimbabwe cabinet has approved a draft code of conduct that seeks to
compel political parties to publicly campaign against violence and forbid
harassment of opponents, among other issues.
Co-chairperson, Sekai Holland of the National Healing Organ said her
ministry consulted people at the grassroots level before coming up with the
code, which includes a policy that focuses on infrastructure for peace.
“The policy document and the principals are now going to the attorney
general's office, who drafts bills and then come back to the cabinet
committee that drafts Bills," Holland said. "Whatever comes out of cabinet
will go into the legislature.”
“The incoming information will be debated and that is what will give us the
Peace and Reconciliation Act, which will give birth to a national peace and
Holland added: "This council is expected to have nine members who will be
tasked to come up with a structure that will address issues of national
healing and come up with mechanisms to deal with Zimbabwe’s culture of
Critics dismiss the code, which is a voluntary document for and by political
parties, as a waste of time and money.
The solution to politically-motivated violence, they say, is the
establishment of a non-partisan police force which applies the law without
fear or favor.
By Alex Bell
17 April 2012
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are set to once again gather to protest against
the ongoing political crisis back home, during the fourth round of the Free
Zimbabwe Global Protests.
The demonstrations, dubbed the 21st Movement, have been taking place on the
21st of every month since January, calling on South Africa to urgently solve
the ongoing crisis. South Africa is being targeted as the mediator in the
political stalemate, with protests happening outside that country’s
embassies and consulates around the world.
The movement has been organised by the international executives of the MDC
led by Morgan Tsvangirai and calls on Jacob Zuma to, among other things,
pressure Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF to honour its commitments to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).
The April round of demonstrations will get underway on Saturday in London,
the US, Australia and South Africa, with the UK and American events
culminating in Independence Day celebrations in the evening.
Den Moyo, the MDC-T USA Chairman told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that it is
important to mark Zimbabwe’s independence 32 years ago during the Free
Zimbabwe protests, to remind people “that they need to choose their leaders
“This reminds us that although we gained political independence from white
minority rule, we also gained ZANU PF oppression and repression for 32
years,” Moyo said, accusing Mugabe’s party of “enslaving the country.”
In the US all MDC-USA Districts will converge in Washington DC for a
combined demonstration at the SA Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue at 10am.
The morning rally will be followed by a dinner fundraiser to commemorate
Zimbabwe’s independence. MDC-T Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa is the
guest of honor.
In London MDC-T Midlands South District is joining hands with the London
based Zimbabwe Vigil, which holds protests outside the Zimbabwean Embassy
every Saturday, to lead the UK demonstration. These protests will culminate
in presenting two petitions, one at the South African Embassy and another at
the Downing Street office of UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The London demonstrations will start at the Zimbabwean Embassy at 1:00pm and
move to the South African at 2:30, before moving to 10 Downing Street for a
4.15 pm presentation.
Harare, April 17, 2012 - A Zimbabwean Cabinet minister has promised the
government of Rwanda that Harare will do everything it can to arrest
fugitives of the 1994 genocide reported to be holed up in Zimbabwe.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga made the promise to
the Rwandan justice minister, Tharcisse Karugarama, during a visit to the
central African country to learn from Rwanda’s experiences.
“Our Security Minister has already tabled that issue in the parliament and I
am sure the answer for the Genocide fugitives will be obtained,” Matinenga
told the Rwandan justice minister in Kigali on Monday.
Close to one million Rwandans of Tutsi origin were killed in 100 days. But
Rwanda has progressed magnificently from being ravaged by war and genocide
to register one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
Zimbabwe has been accused of not acting on reports that one of the most
wanted fugitives, Potrais Mupiranya, is hiding in the country. Zimbabwean
police last year denied the presence of the genocide fugitive in the
Mpiranya is accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and conspiracy to
commit genocide, genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide which he
committed in his capacity as commander of the elite force.
Zimbabwe is among the southern African countries that are yet to respond and
sign the extradition treaty with the Rwandan government to arrest and
extradite genocide perpetrators.
“It’s quite unfortunate that these countries are still harbouring the
killers. What we want is they either arrest and try them in their countries
or extradite them to Rwanda,” the Rwandan minister, Karugarama said.
On Sunday survivors of the genocide demanded that countries such as Zimbabwe
should apprehend genocide fugitives who have fled to their countries and
bring them to Rwanda to face justice.
Other countries believed to be harbouring the fugitives include the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Malawi,
Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Harare, April 17, 2012 - Survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide want
countries such as Zimbabwe to apprehend genocide fugitives who have fled to
their countries and bring them to Rwanda to face justice.
“I don’t know the reason why, these countries are not arresting them?Jean
Baptist Sakindi, whose family was wiped out during the genocide told The
Sunday Times in Kigali.
"They have been indicted by the Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit (GFTU) but
still move freely in Western and some African countries,” Sakindi said.
John Bosco Siboyintore, the head of GFTU in National Public Prosecution
Authority (NPPA), said delayed justice was justice denied. It had taken 18
years to bring the fugitives to justice.
Other countries believed to be harbouring the fugitives include the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Malawi,
Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Zimbabwe is accused of harbouring one of the most wanted fugitives, Potrais
Mupiranya, a former commander of the presidential guard during the genocide.
Justice Hassan Jallow, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR), wrote to the UN Security Council last year saying there were
difficulties in apprehending Mpiranya.
Zimbabwean police last year denied the presence of the genocide fugitive in
Mpiranya is accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and conspiracy to
commit genocide, genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide which he
committed in his capacity as commander of the elite force.
By Professor Matodzi Harare, April 17, 2012 - Zimbabwean students sponsored
under President Robert Mugabe scholarship fund to attend universities in
neighbouring South Africa have been banned from engaging in political
Students who left the country to take up studies at various South African
universities recently, were made to sign signed an agreement committing
themselves to stay away from engaging in any political activism of any sort.
Radio VOP has seen a bonding agreement for the Presidential Scholarship
Agreement which was signed by students and the Presidential Scholarship
Department headed by Manicaland provincial Governor Chris Mushohwe.
“This shall constitute a ground for the withdrawal of the scholarship. The
said withdrawal of the scholarship shall result in the student reimbursing
the full amount the GOZ would have spent on him or her, during the course of
study,” reads part of the bonding agreement.
Falling pregnant or impregnating someone before completion of studies will
result in withdrawal of scholarships and students will be ordered to
surrender their study permits.
On completion of their studies, students are bonded for a period of not less
than three years.
Under Mugabe’s scholarship scheme, young people are sent to study at
universities mainly in South Africa such as Fort Hare.
However, the programme has been criticised by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change which says it only benefit
children whose families are aligned to Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party.
Harare, April 17, 2012 - Zimbabwe prisoners are complaining of lack of food
and an absence of meat in their diet, according to a Parliamentary portfolio
committee report on human rights.
The committee, chaired by MP Misheck Marava, told Parliament that prisoners
were also lacking basic necessities such as clothing, toothbrushes,
toothpaste, blankets, towels, bathing and washing soap among other things.
In some cases prison officials at Khami and Binga prisons had resorted to
using personal funds to assist in the running of prisons.
The Parliamentary portfolio committee toured Khami, Mlondolozi, Binga and
Hwange Prisons in Matebeleland North province.
Over crowdedness was still a problem in prisons, particularly at Khami
Maximum prison which was holding about more than 100 prisoners more than its
capacity of 1472. The committee recommended deporting foreign prisoners to
The committee also recommended improvement in treatment of prisoners living
A prison guard at one of the prisons was cautioned for wearing political
party regalia while addressing prisoners.
By Godfrey Marawanyika and Brian Latham - Apr 17, 2012 7:01 PM GMT+1000
Zimbabwe’s decision to increase fees for mining licenses and applications by
as much as 5,000 percent may have been unconstitutional, a parliament
committee said in a report.
“There was no regard to whether the application to mine would succeed or
not,” the Legal Parliamentary Committee said in a report obtained by
Bloomberg News today. The fees “impose a hefty financial burden on citizens
and non-citizens alike who opt to invest in the mining sector.”
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu raised mining fees and license costs in a decree
in February, requiring diamond miners to pay as much as $5 million for a
mining application. The legal committee reviews laws and decrees to
determine their compliance with the constitution. Mpofu didn’t immediately
respond to calls seeking comment today.
Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), Zimbabwe Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum
Ltd. (IMP) and Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) are among Zimbabwe’s biggest miners.
By Alex Bell
17 April 2012
Condolences have been pouring in for the victims of this week’s horror bus
crush in Masvingo that claimed 21 lives.
The accident occurred in the early hours on Monday morning near Ngundu
Growth Point when a bus heading from Harare to Beitbridge veered off the
road and crashed into a tree. The bus driver and a two month old baby were
among the 21 fatalities, while another 45 people were injured.
Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke on Monday urged the government to declare
the accident a national disaster.
“If it is granted that status, at least families of the deceased can be
assisted in as far as burial is concerned,” he told reporters while visiting
the scene of the accident.
The MDC-T meanwhile passed on its condolences, adding “it is high time that
Government seriously looked into the state of our roads especially the
Harare-Masvingo highway, which has become a highway of death.”
More condolences were also expressed by the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party headed
by former Finance Minister Simba Makoni. Makoni said in a statement that the
nation has been “plunged into mourning.”
The accident follows the death barely a month ago of another 25 people in
Nyanga and Mbembesi in separate road accidents.
Makoni said he and his party are “very worried by the continued loss of
lives in the country’s roads.”
By Busani Bafana
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Apr 17, 2012 (IPS) - Residents of Zimbabwe's
water-scarce city, Bulawayo, are concerned about the government’s slow
response to finding a permanent source of water to cover their needs.
In March the city announced that it would only have a 20-month supply of
water left if the seasonal rains do not come. Zimbabwe has experienced poor
rains over the past few years.
Though the Zimbabwe Meteorological Services Department had predicted
rainfall would peak from October to December 2011 for some parts of the
country, it forecast that Matebeleland, would receive below average
rainfall. Bulawayo is the country’s second-largest city, and although it is
located in the former Matebeleland province, it is now treated as a separate
Four of the city's five supply dams, which have a total capacity of 362
million litres, are half full. The fifth dam is not operational.
As a result, municipal authorities have implemented a water rationing
programme. Currently Bulawayo's daily water use is 145,000 cubic metres,
which the city council says needs to be reduced to 120,000.
"Domestic consumers are being allocated 400 and 350 litres a day in the high
and low income areas, respectively," city director of Urban Planning Job
Ndebele told IPS. "Water-based industries are being rationed to 80 percent
of their average consumption, while other industries are being allocated 75
percent of their average consumption."
But residents like Henry Sithole are worried that water rationing may become
a permanent feature. Many feel that the government’s plans to revive a
100-year-old idea to draw water from the Zambezi River for Matabeleland
South province, which includes Bulawayo, may take far too long to implement.
"Water rationing is serious and I think residents have experienced it for
too long," Sithole told IPS. "The Zambezi scheme should not be the only
solution talked about because it will not end water rationing today or
tomorrow, even though it is the major part of the solution."
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project is a grand scheme, first suggested to
ease Bulawayo’s water problems in 1912 through the construction of a
pipeline from the Zambezi River to the city. The scheme has been postponed
by successive governments because of the high cost of building the over 400-
However, in March the government announced that 900 million dollars had been
sourced from a Chinese bank for the building of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, the
first phase of the project. It is estimated to cost a total of 1.3 billion
But residents and civil society organisations want the government to declare
Bulawayo a water crisis area, to speed up corrective action.
Civil society representatives drew up a petition in March. They aim to
collect a million signatures to lobby the government to act on finding a
secure water source for Bulawayo.
The regional chairman of the National Association for Non-Governmental
Organisations, Goodwin Phiri, told IPS that a solution needed to be found
"The government cannot ignore the issue of water because it is a national
issue…we are saying it is time government proved its commitment because,
without water, the region is as good as dead."
Though the government is currently building a 42-km pipeline from Bulawayo
to the Mtshabezi Dam, in Matabeleland South province, the project has faced
resistance from local communities.
The Gwanda Municipality in Matabeleland South has complained that it was not
consulted, and raised concerns that if implemented, the project would leave
the town of Gwanda without water. Although the project is moving ahead for
now, it remains uncertain whether it will be completed.
But water appears likely to become a political negotiating tool for votes as
President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front,
one of the partners in the Government of National Unity, wishes to hold
general elections later this year.
Civil society organisations see this as an opportunity to get political
parties to act on the issue. However, no concrete date has been set for
elections as the country battles to find common ground on a new
Economic analyst Eric Bloch, who was involved in the 1987 Matabeleland
Zambezi Water Project, which has since become a national initiative, said
that there was finally action on the project because it was aimed at drawing
"Now with the awareness that we are likely to have the country’s
most-contested elections, there is growing concern about acquiring votes
within Matabeleland. Hence the government’s creation of the Distressed
Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) and the progress on the
Zambezi water scheme are all a vote-catching exercise. But it will happen
because the project will have commenced under its contract before the
elections," Bloch told IPS.
More than 87 companies closed in Bulawayo in 2011. This prompted government
to set up the 40- million-dollar fund that year. Dimaf is to help companies
that have faced viability problems, including those that have closed down.
However, it is mired in controversy as no company has benefited from the
17th Apr 2012 14:47 GMT
By Youth Forum
Youths Should Know and Defend the Genuine Gains of the Liberation Struggle
The liberation struggle or fight against colonial and racial rule that was
fought by our erstwhile liberators and the many that perished during that
civil war in then Rhodesia, is an important chapter in the history of our
That this liberation war was fought mostly by the young people goes without
What is and should be more important however, is what that struggle fought
to achieve and more importantly how we as young people of today can be
active in defending these gains and, in our lifetime contribute to the
making of the Zimbabwe that so many died for.
Three fundamental points summarize the aspirations of the nationalist
leaders as they led the black majority in the fight for political
independence: the wide disparities in wealth distribution, largely favouring
the white minority at the expense of the black majority; majority rule and
the right to vote for leaders and a government of their choice (commonly
referred to as ‘one man (woman), one vote’) and the redressing of the land
question as many had been removed from their fertile lands and driven into
reserves, keeps and other such barren areas.
When political independence came about in 1980 after a protracted armed
struggle, it was greeted with enthusiasm and euphoria from the black
majority. Expectedly, this majority was expectant that the ideals that had
driven the war and what they sought to get out of the armed struggle would
be fulfilled by the leaders they had entrusted with political power to drive
a new Zimbabwe through the elections of 1980.
32 years after independence however, the ordinary black majority continues
to face the same, if not worse challenges to what they did those many years
ago before political independence. In essence, the yoke they carried under
white oppression has been painted ‘black’ as they continue to suffer and
wallow in poverty under a black administration. Ironically, the three
fundamentals that drove and spurred many to fight white injustice and
racialism remain unfulfilled and a pipe-dream for the majority, and a
painful reminder that the struggle for a better Zimbabwe for all that live
in it is still far from over and the dream far from realized.
In Zimbabwe today, there is glaring evidence of wide disparities in wealth
distribution – a new black political elite has replaced the white minority
in ownership of critical state and non-state resources. While ‘one man
(woman), one vote’ has been realized, the majority are still not free to
elect leaders and a government of their choice – there is evidence of
election fraud in elections dating as far back as 1985, which has worsened
over the years and finally culminated in the sham June 2008 election, the
bloodiest in the electoral history of Zimbabwe.
While we have and continue to be told the contrary, the noble initiative of
land redistribution has by-and-large benefitted this new black political
elite, at the expense of the formerly landless peasants in the ‘reserves and
keeps’ – prime land has been parcelled out along political patronage lines,
with many of those holding some form of political power being multiple-farm
owners when other ordinary civilians have nothing.
Just as a reminder, the war of liberation was not fought so that a few
Zimbabweans (and non-Zimbabweans) can enjoy the fruits of the
resource-endowed nation that is Zimbabwe. What Comrades Tongo, Zvogbo,
Chitepo, Mugabe, Nkomo, Sithole, Dabengwa and Mujuru amongst others fought
for was that each and every Zimbabwean, regardless of ethnicity, colour,
tribe or other considerations is able to live peacefully, enjoy fundamental
rights and freedoms and enjoy an equal opportunity to prosper and achieve
self-actualization in a socially-justiciable manner. At the height of that
protracted struggle, they all acknowledged and defended this line wherever
they went, even in the British and other capitals they continued to grace
through diplomatic efforts. Then, they were very clear that despite
assertions to the contrary, suggesting that they were Marxist extremists,
the nationalist leaders were able to present a formidable and morally
justified reason for waging this armed struggle – their quest to rid
Zimbabwe of the injustices of colonialism and ushering in of majority rule,
a phrase that has commonly come to be replaced by democratic rule.
However, despite the insurmountable evidence that all these noble causes and
fundamental ideals formed the basis of the liberation struggle, evidence on
the ground today point to a scenario in which this noble African agenda has
been driven off the rails by an insensitive sect of greedy politicians and
plunderers who have usurped the power of the masses and vested it in a
closely-knit political cabal. Some members of this murderous crew have
forgotten that just 35 years ago they led the armed struggle on the backdrop
of popular support for majority rule. They even had the support of the same
British, American and other nations across the globe backing them in calling
for majority rule, which the Rhodesians worked tirelessly to prevent, but
albeit eventually surrendered through negotiations as the war heated up.
Despite the fact that such history is well recorded and documented, the new
black ruling elite of Zimbabwe have over time managed to re-write history to
suit their own parochial intentions. They have chosen to negate and
plagiarize the rich history of our nation through telling it in their own
concocted way so as to justify the various heinous crimes that they have and
continue to perpetrate on the civilian masses. This they have managed to
achieve largely by destroying or willingly neglecting to document the
numerous physical evidence of our liberation struggle.
Today, it is very difficult for any young person in this country to know of
the true history of our liberation struggle. The only few available places
to learn about this history have been so politicized and abused out of any
meaning that they have lost meaning to what we all know, through one means
or the other, as the real reasons and chain of events behind our liberation
struggle. The issue of our National Heroes Acre quickly springs to mind.
Despite being a noble initiative in respect of entrenching the history of
our liberation struggle, it has been hounded and degraded of any moral value
by the manner in which this ruling black elite under the guise of Zanu PF
have clandestinely determined through their Soviet-style ‘politburo’ who is
buried there. This has been to the extent that known cheats, thieves and
murderers such as Chenjerai Hunzvi lie buried at our national shrine. It is
a real pity. This case of our national shrine is just but one case in point.
The history of apartheid South Africa and its subsequent post-apartheid era
poses huge lessons for Zimbabwe as it struggles to meet the dreams and
expectations of those who waged and supported liberation struggles. This is
true not only for Zimbabwe, but for a whole range of African and non-African
nations that have fought colonialism and white imperialism over the years,
in pursuit of self-determination as indigenous people. While Zimbabwe and
many other African nations attained their political independence well before
South Africa, it is the manner in which South Africans have been able to
build on their history in resolving the various injustices and inequalities
of the past. And this has to a greater extend been achieved through the
manner in which government particularly the ANC has managed to push for the
documentation and preservation of the country’s history, partly through the
Truth and Reconciliation processes as well as building of physical
structures to preserve the memory of their struggle against apartheid and
why it was necessary to fight this struggle.
It is in this regard that Zimbabwe as a nation has failed dismally. Of the
many lived realities, peoples, sites, documents, and other such
paraphernalia that depicts and is relevant to our liberation struggle, very
few are of any value today, especially to the younger generation who may
have not been present to witness for themselves the uncensored truth of the
liberation struggle or still, were too young to have known anything
significant was happening in the country. Ask any young person what is
‘Gonakudzingwa’ or where it is (if it is still there) and this sad reality
will dawn to you. What we have seen is the complete abdication of this very
valuable history of our country, to serve the interests of our new black
elite, who behave in every sense colonial as did the Rhodesians during that
sad period of the liberation struggle and the times before it.
If you are going to speak to a lay person on the street about the lived
realities of the many people who lived during the liberation struggle and
how they understood the struggle and the reasons for waging it, you would be
baffled at how the reality today does not resonate with the wishes and
aspirations of the black majority that lived through and suffered under
colonialism. What is further perplexing is the ‘new ideals and values’ that
form the DNA of the new ruling black elite who today occupy the top echelons
of power in Zimbabwe. It seems their first and foremost rule and ideal is
self-enrichment and aggrandizement at the expense of the Zimbabwean masses.
Look at our minister Chombo and you will begin to understand this DNA of our
new ruling black elite.
The important questions young men and women of today must ask ourselves are:
Did the attaining of independence after a protracted armed struggle fought
by the young people of that time more than three decades ago usher in the
expected results? If not, (as is the obvious case here) then what are we
going to do as the youths to ensure that our country attains true
independence and defend the genuine gains of the struggle?
As young people, we need to ensure that the ‘one wo/man one vote’ principle
is adhered to and the subsequent result of any election is respected. This
entails fighting for peace in our country and encouraging each other to
participate positively in all elections. Without fighting for and defending
our votes, our situation is not much different from that in the 60s when our
parents could not determine who leads our lovely Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia).
Wealth distribution has seen even worse skewedness after independence, with
the majority of the young people owning or controlling no means of
production while a few, because of their again skewed liberation war
credentials, feel they should own everything and anything. It is our duty as
young men and women to fight for the equal distribution of wealth, to make
sure that we also have access to resources and these privileges can never be
delivered to us on a silver platter, we must demand and fight for them until
we also get a piece of the cake.
Whilst ZANU PF claims that land was redistributed, it is important to note
that the re-allocation was fundamentally wrong with the political elite
clandestinely getting all the fertile landmasses while the few peasants who
benefited only got sandy and dry areas. The youths of today must demand an
audit into the land redistribution exercise and demand to know what criteria
was used to allocate certain fertile pieces of land to the subsequent
beneficiaries and put in place measures to ensure that such malpractices are
not repeated in future.
It becomes important to critically think of Frantz Fanon’s words of wisdom:
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission,
fulfill it or betray it.” Do we know our mission and are we going to fulfill
it or betray it, spelling doom for future generations?
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Tomorrow will be an important day for us all as we celebrate our country’s Independence Day. It is a day that encapsulates Zimbabwe’s painful story. As a people, our independence was not a stroll in the park. We had to wage a brutal and protracted liberation struggle to end colonialism. Brave sons and daughters of this land perished in that struggle.
Indeed, they died so that the national aspiration for dignity and freedom could live again. Yet others were maimed and lost limb so that the whims of future generations could walk again. The bones of the patriotic children of this land are strewn throughout the forests and bushes of Southern Africa.
In Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Tanzania, the sons and daughters of this country lie in shallow graves; their blood selflessly shed to irrigate the national aspiration for true freedom and national happiness. On 18 April 1980, we terminated the brutal era of colonialism and hoisted our new Zimbabwe flag with pride and honour.
We occupied government offices and claimed new political space.
Many people gave the new leadership the benefit of the doubt. We all expected our leaders to return our dignity by crafting policies that benefit the ordinary citizen and poise the country for economic growth and development. Contrary to expectations, the new leadership did not take long to betray the very values central to the liberation struggle. Repression, violence and looting became the order of the day.
Outraged by this combination of impunity and bad governance, the people of Zimbabwe demanded and thrust us to lead a new struggle to complete the unfinished business of the liberation struggle. Independence alone is not enough. Independence must be accompanied by respect for people’s basic freedoms. It must come with jobs and economic growth.
Independence means a new leadership with a new set of values that are in the interest of the people. It must come with the enactment of laws that show a new culture, a new ethos and a new thrust to respect the dignity and the freedoms of the individual.
Today, even in the wake of an inclusive government, policy and ideological discord at the instigation of some elements in this government have meant a further betrayal of the people’s aspirations. We have disagreed in this government because there are others who want to perpetuate the old culture of expropriation, looting and self-aggrandizement clad in new and misleading nomenclature such as “indigenization.”
It is such wild political jingoism that stands in the way of investment promotion and job creation for the people. It is regrettable that Independence Day has been monopolized and personalised by one political party. This is a national day that is greater than Zanu PF, the MDC, Mavambo or any other political formation. Independence day is a day greater than Morgan Tsvangirai , Robert Mugabe, Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara or Simba Makoni.
Our personal caprices and the political parties we lead must subordinate themselves to the iridescent nature and character of this day. To adorn Independence Day in a Zanu PF robe is to rob it of its national character and its universal appeal to the diverse people of Zimbabwe who are all too aware of its mammoth significance to the story of this land.
I wish to state that we had a discussion in Cabinet last week about the proposed theme for this year, which is Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Economic Transformation. We rejected it because we find this a repugnant theme which sounds more of a slogan for a political party than an inclusive, peace-building theme which should be determined through consensus.
There was no consensus on the current theme . While we support broad-based empowerment of the ordinary person, our colleagues have taken indigenisation to mean expropriation and nationalization. There is no such policy of Government. Our problem is not about the day, but the theme of this day.
A more unifying theme which captures the national sentiment at this time would have been more appropriate. As Principals, we led the national call for peace in November last year and it would have been ideal to have a theme that revolves around this key issue ahead of the next election.
But despite the provocation around the theme, we will be attending tomorrow’s event because we believe it is a national day that is greater than political parties. We will attend because we will not allow Zanu PF to privatize this day.
While we reject the theme, we refuse to be chucked out of a national day which has nothing to do with Zanu PF but has everything to do with the collective history of all Zimbabweans in their diversity. So we will be there to pay tribute to the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who sacrificed everything to free this country. The only way to placate the spirit of the departed cadres of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle is to respect the dignity and freedoms of the ordinary citizen.
We can only truly stand on the shoulders of heroes by building a peaceful country where government respects the people’s freedoms. Joshua Nkomo will smile in his grave if we build a new Zimbabwe where all people live in peace and harmony despite their tribal, racial, religious and political differences.
Hebert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira will truly say they fought a good fight when we begin to create jobs for the millions of unemployed Zimbabweans; when we stop repression and violence against each other. Yes, Josiah Tongogara, Sheba Tavarwisa, Solomon Mujuru will only be proud of us if we bring back the noise in our silent factories, promote investment and set this country on a new path to economic growth and development.
This is what the true revolutionary sons and daughters of this land died for. This is what they wanted. Once we execute their dreams, Independence will begin to have a new meaning, touching our very lives and setting the tone for a bright future for our children.
As we brace for the next election, there must be peace in the land. We should all stand united against violence. The youths of Zimbabwe must refuse to manipulated and bribed for political gain. There must be security of the person, security of the vote and security of the people’s will. This is the true freedom that our liberators fought for.
As we celebrate Independence Day, I urge all of you to remain united, to promote peace and above all, to share a thought for the thousands who perished to liberate this country. Some of them are still alive but struggling to barely survive and to send their children to school. This is an indictment on this inclusive government.
In the villages, we are all aware of the role played by our mothers, our sisters and our brothers towards meeting this national dream of charting a future for ourselves.
Today, we remember them. We salute them.
The collective story of this country is painful. Zimbabweans must be stand firm in defending the legacy of our protracted struggle by calling on us as leaders to be democratic, transparent and accountable.
Above all, we must respect and protect the people’s freedoms of choice, association, speech and movement. Only then will this day reclaim its true meaning.
Happy Independence Day!
God Bless You!
And God Bless Zimbabwe!
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and President of the MDC
MDC Information & Publicity Department
By: Tsudao Gurirab
TOMORROW, our neighbours, the Zimbabweans, will celebrate 32 years of
independence. It is a milestone.
Independence day affords the citizens an opportunity to reflect on the
events and values which gave life to the new nation. These are not easy days
in Zimbabwe, with a large number of its citizens of all walks of life trying
to make a living outside their country against all odds.
It is a country whose currency is no longer worth the paper it is printed on
and which now operates a multi-currency regime.
It is a country whose economy has shrunk beyond recognition. It is a country
that continues to be at the bottom of the league of tables in almost all
welfare and development indices by international (or is that imperialist)
This is the legacy of President Robert Mugabe’s catastrophic stewardship of
his nation and people for this period of 32 years.
True, no country any longer lives in a cave, in the fashion of Robinson
Crusoe, but Zimbabwe’s woes are largely endogamous and are closely tied to
the political fortunes of President Mugabe and his disciples.
A ‘marriage of inconvenience’ midwifed by SADC, after the cataclysmic
non-elections of 2008 has arrested the free-fall of the economy and returned
some measure of normalcy which stemmed the new wave of millions streaming
across the borders. Such is the climate under which Zimbabweans will commit
to memory the warriors of the first Chimurenga and others tomorrow.
But the Zimbabweans only know too well the extent of official brutality.
They cannot afford to and have not forgotten the full wrath of Gukurahundi
of the 1980s – the state sponsored violence visited upon the citizens in
Matabeleland when they resisted the amorous overtures of President Mugabe
and his Zanu-PF.
In 2008 we had the dubious honour to serve as an election observer for the
Pan African Parliament (PAP) during President Mugabe’s presidential
We listened to daily unbridled accounts of state-sponsored violence against
communities and chilling accounts of rape of women.
We listened to reports of nightly ‘pungwes’ in Chitungwiza and other
locations where citizens were forced on pain of death to declare allegiance
to the rulers, of roadblocks where citizens would disappear.
We witnessed, first hand, in Kwekwe hospitals overflowing with victims of
political violence and listened to accounts of traumatised and bewildered
villagers in Gokwe of how whole communities would be herded in pungwes and
young men disappearing never to be heard from again.
We remember, in particular, an elderly peasant couple who managed to escaped
one of these nightly raids and pungwes recounting their harrowing
experiences with us with the sole prized possession they managed to flee
with – their 13-year-old son’s green school blazer. We refuse to contemplate
his fate... This is the nightmare Zimbabweans conjure as they listen to the
drum beating about impending elections. But it is largely because they have
little faith in the guarantors of Zimbabwe’s peace, namely SADC leaders.
The collective and individual actions of the regional leaders, the manner of
the implementation of the GPA in stops and starts are bound to unnerve even
the most trusting of Zimbabweans.
The present crisis started with the rejection of government’s referendum of
2000. It is thus a crisis raging for more than a decade with the rulers in
Harare becoming brazen by the day.
In recent times, our continent has been a fulcrum of dramatic civil strife,
war and revolution starting in Tunis with its latest manifestation in Mali
where Captain Sanogo and his ragtag army stormed the palace du goueverment.
As they say, those who fail to learn from history stand to be condemned by
history. And it is in this sense that response to crises of the leaders of
our region lack urgency when compared to others. ECOWAS was not going to
wait for 10 years for Ivorians to sort themselves out or going about on
parades with Captain Sanogo holding his hand in public as demonstration of
some misplaced ‘African’ mode of conflict resolution.
They spoke decisively and gave the recalcitrants ultimatums or else... And
when the time came acted swiftly and decisively in concert with the
‘coalition of the willing’ beyond Africa.
It is in this respect that our region risks being one of laggards who fail
to rise in defence of democracy and the legitimate rights and expectations
of our citizens.
Our band of leaders sells us short. In resolving conflicts in delinquent
regimes we need to throw the book at them – the SADC/AU treaties on
elections and good governance they have signed up to and deal swiftly and
decisively in the fashion of ECOWAS and their allies beyond our troubled
That is the only manner to deal with Harare instead of being squire miss. In
our region, instead of speaking up for the victims of violence and
kleptocratic regimes our first instinct is to draw a laager around the
leaders. It is this culture which account for incongruent actions such as
degrading regional institutions such as the SADC Tribunal to dance to the
tunes of an errant regime. In these circumstances, Zimbabweans are left to
rely on common decency and solidarity of the citizens of our region as they
embark on the third Chimurenga. We shall join the celebrations in Harare
soon when their deliverance comes.
Happy Independence Day. Chimurenga!
Current affairs, Documentary
Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, a film by Shrenik Rao, is an enquiry into how
Zimbabwe, from its successful independence 30 years ago has collapsed
dramatically. The film presents a terrifying story, plotting Mugabe’s three
decades of bloodshed, terror and corruption and documents how he turned hope
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 17 April 2012.
Zimbabwe’s 32nd anniversary of independence is sadly no cause for
celebration as it comes at a time of deeper crisis of governance and the
rule of law.
It is sad that Zimbabwe is toasting to “looting, lies and hunger” thanks to
the self-seeking opportunists who are bent on a voracious primitive
Of course, there were some achievements from the liberation struggle and
from gaining independence such as one-person one-vote, the right to
self-determination, sovereignty and the feeling of freedom.
Those good old days are yearned-for by many including Mugabe’s spin doctors
who have dusted the former Prime Minister’s 1980 Independence speech and
uploaded it online.
“The wrongs of the past must now stand forgiven and forgotten. If ever we
look to the past, let us do so for the lesson the past has taught us, namely
that oppression and racism are inequities that must never again find scope
in our political and social system,” said Mugabe.
He added: “It could never be correct justification that because whites
oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them
today because they have power.” He did not stop there.
“I must admit that I was one of those who originally never trusted (the late
Lord Soames, Governor of pre-independence Zimbabwe), and yet I have now
ended up not only implicitly trusting but fondly loving him as well,” Mugabe
Unfortunately all that rhetoric gave way to looting, lying and revenge.
Gukurahundi massacre was soon ruthlessly executed with military precision.
And revenge was also awaiting white farmers.
Speaking at a rally in April 2000, President Robert Mugabe promised to fight
white farmers who opposed his plans to confiscate their farms.
“If they (whites) want to go, we will open the borders for them. We will
give them a police escort,” he told supporters in Bindura, North East of
Harare (BBC, Mugabe threatens white farmers, 07/04/12).
He also accused the 4,500 white commercial farmers, of bankrolling the MDC
ahead of an election in May 2000.
In 2002 Mugabe threatened to take retribution against white Zimbabweans if
Britain and other countries continued to exert pressure on his government.
“We saw who they were (white farmers), what they were and we realised we had
nurtured enemies among us, so we started treating them as enemies, enemies
of our government, enemies of our party, enemies of our people.”
Despite the signing of the Global Political Agreement and the formation of a
coalition government in 2009, state backed farm seizures have continued with
white farmers being murdered, beaten, jailed and bankrupted as MDC watches
helplessly not even issuing a statement of condemnation.
A case in point is that of the late Kobus Joubert (67) who was shot dead and
his wife Mariana (64) was assaulted by assailants who also robbed them of
US$10,000 in cash in October 2010.
At independence, few ever thought that an ordinary Zanu-pf supporter like
Shuvai Mahofa would have eight farms under her belt by the time of
celebrating 32 years of boom and bust.
Shuvai Mahofa allegedly grabbed the following farms for herself and despite
the coalition government:
Spring Spruit farm in Masvingo owned by O.H. Kahn; Lothian Farm of Masvingo
owned by A.R. Millar; Lochinvar Farm of Masvingo owned by G. Olds; Eyre Farm
of Gutu owned by H.S. Veldman; Lauder Farm of Gutu owned by H.S.Veldman;
Wrangley Farm of Gutu owned by H.S. Veldman and recently Save Consevancy:
Savuli and Zaka Scheme.
While indigenisation is not an issue in principle, it is the
implementation - the timing, and the partisan criteria which are
Dr Ibbo Mandaza aptly described African nationalists saying:
“So, left to themselves, the African nationalists – and their agenda and
ideology – had no loftier goal than one of stepping into the colonizer’s
shoes, by inheriting the State and the (bourgeois capitalist) economy and,
in general, the pursuit of embourgeoisement, albeit in the vain hope that
the majority, if not all the people, would find the fullest fulfilment in
the post-colonial dispensation,” Tekere A lifetime of struggle, p 6.
Please note that I know that the liberation struggle was for land and that
we thought that it would be distributed fairly but that did not happen. For
speaking up against Mugabe’s false assurances of reconciliation at
independence, I have received two death threats from his foot soldiers but
that won’t stop me from criticising.
I have said in the past, Zimbabwe would not be having 90 percent
unemployment and hunger if Mugabe had not gone back on national
reconciliation. Government could have simply taxed the unutilised land
rather than embark on a bloody ethnic cleansing campaign.
We could still have distributed land fairly and transparently using donor
funds for compensation and would be still the bread basket of Africa, not a
basket case as is the case now.
I have been described as a sell-out and other un-printables but that does
not bother me. The struggle for the Diaspora Vote, true freedom, justice and
peace, human rights, the rule of law, a free press and real empowerment
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,