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Father Mkandla, Minister Granted Bail As Lawyers Protest Against Denial Of Food To Pastor

HRD’s Alert

19 April 2011

Hwange Magistrate Peter Tomupei Madiba on Tuesday 19 April 2011 granted bail to Catholic Priest Father Marko Mabutho Mkandla and Hon. Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, the co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation and Integration after they spend six and five nights in detention respectively for allegedly violating the country’s obnoxious security laws.

Magistrate Madiba ordered Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila-Ndlovu to pay bail amounting to $500 and to surrender their passports with the clerk of court. Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila-Ndlovu were also ordered not to interfere with State witnesses.

The lawyers, Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Nikiwe Ncube of Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners and Gugulethu Simango of Dube and Associates, who are all members of ZLHR raised complaints in court against the police for denying Father Mkandla food since his detention at Tsholotsho Police Station. Mkandla’s lawyers told Magistrate Madiba that the police denied their client food and only gave him water during his period in detention.

The lawyers also complained about the police behaviour in denying them access to their clients and refusing to disclose the details pertaining to his detention as they moved him from one police station to another.

Lawyers also protested against the police who brought their clients while in leg irons. Police also deployed their heavily armed anti riot unit at court.

Earlier on police in Hwange on Tuesday 19 April 2011 blocked Jamela, Chanayiwa and Ncube from reaching Hwange Magistrates in Matabeleland North province to represent Mzila-Ndlovu and Father Mkandla, who were set to appear in court in the morning.

The police blocked the lawyers Jamela, Chanayiwa and Ncube from reaching Hwange Magistrates Court after they surprising set up a road block as lawyers entered into the coal mining town to attend court proceedings for Father Mkandla and Mzila Ndlovu, who have been languishing in police detention since their arrest last week.

It appears that the police roadblock had been mounted specifically to target the lawyers for yet unknown reasons.

Eight MDC supporters who were on their way to Hwange Magistrates Court were also detained with the lawyers from 10:30 am to around 17:00 hours.

When stopped at the road block, one police officer quickly jumped into the lawyers’ vehicle and ordered them to drive towards Hwange Police Station. The police interrogated the lawyers about the registration of their vehicle before they were released and managed to represent their clients.

Father Mkandla and Bulilima West Member of Parliament Hon. Mzila Ndlovu were arrested on Wednesday 13 April 2011 and Friday 15 April 2011 respectively and charged with contravening the country’s tough security laws such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly convening a healing service at Silwane Primary School in Lupane, Matabeleland North, without notifying the police.

ENDS


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Police Frustrate, Interrogate Lawyers Representing Tormented Minister And Pastor

HRD’s Alert

19 April 2011

Police in Hwange on Tuesday 19 April 2011 blocked lawyers who were travelling to Hwange Magistrates Court in Matabeleland North province to represent the co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation and Integration Hon. Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Catholic Priest Father Marko Mabutho Mkandla, who were set to appear in court this morning.

The police blocked the lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Nikiwe Ncube of Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners, who is also a member of ZLHR from reaching Hwange Magistrates Court after they surprising set up a road block as lawyers entered into the coal mining town to attend court proceedings for Father Mkandla and Mzila Ndlovu, who have been languishing in police detention since their arrest last week.

It appears that the police roadblock had been mounted specifically to target the lawyers for yet unknown reasons.

When stopped at the road block, one police officer quickly jumped into the lawyers’ vehicle and ordered them to drive towards Hwange Police Station. The police are currently interrogating the lawyers and ZLHR fears that this could delay or fail them to represent their clients, who are supposed to appear in court this morning.

Father Mkandla and Bulilima West Member of Parliament Hon. Mzila Ndlovu were arrested on Wednesday 13 April 2011 and Friday 15 April 2011 respectively and charged with contravening the country’s tough security laws such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly convening a healing service at Silwane Primary School in Lupane, Matabeleland North, without notifying the police.

ENDS


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Mzila-Ndlovu pays the price for revealing dark secrets of the past

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 April 2011

Delving into ZANU PF’s dark secrets of the past led to the arrest of
National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration Minister, Moses
Mzila-Ndlovu, sources told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday.

Mzila-Ndlovu was arrested last week Friday after police accused him of
addressing an ‘illegal’ memorial service for Gukurahundi victims and
survivors, at a Roman Catholic Church Mass in Lupane on 13th April.

But MDC-N President Welshman Ncube told Newsday that the Bulilima West MP is
being persecuted for revealing that in 1984 the late CIO deputy Director
General, Mernard Muzariri, shot and killed Njini Ntuta, a former PF ZAPU MP
and Central Committee member. Mzila-Ndlovu is believed to have also talked
about this in Lupane last week, saying that Ntutha was shot at point-blank
range at his farm along the Victoria Falls Road, at the height of the
Gukurahundi massacres.

Ntuta was shot dead in the Nyathi area of Matebeleland North in November
1984. Three days before his death, Ntuta openly accused ZANU PF of being
behind the killing of six foreign tourists who had been kidnapped along the
Victoria Falls road.

In mid 1982 it was reported that six tourists had been kidnapped and troops
were sent into Matabeleland to find them. But their bodies were later found.
The government of then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe blamed the deaths of the
tourists on ZAPU, who were accused of sponsoring dissident activity in the
area at the time.

So when Ntuta, credited for being among the pioneers of free speech in
Parliament, accused ZANU PF of murdering the foreign tourists while blaming
it on ZAPU, he sealed his fate. Three days after his speech in the House of
Assembly the elderly Ntuta was chased from his homestead at his farm and
executed.

‘He was an old man who couldn’t outrun his assailants. He was first tortured
and was eventually shot dead at close range. This is what Mzila-Ndlovu told
people in Lupane last week and I hear it has left people in ZANU PF
indignant,’ a senior former ZAPU official said.

He added; ‘The state media blamed dissidents for his death but everyone
knows that dissidents did not target ZAPU leaders. In fact Mzila-Ndlovu is
believed to have directly said Muzariri shot Ntutha in cold blood.

Muzariri was never included on the EU or US targeted sanctions list,
despite being well known for masterminding violence and targeting the MDC.


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Zimbabwe to Seize Foreign-Owned Firms Without Compensation - Minister

http://www.voanews.com

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told South Africa's Sunday Times
that the value of the 51 percent stake in firms to be taken by the state for
indigenous Zimbabweans will reflect the mineral resources

Gibbs Dube | Washington 18 April 2011

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said the attempt by Mr. Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party to seize foreign-owned mining firms 31 years after
independence is not workable

Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has raised the ante in
black empowerment, saying Harare will seize control of foreign-owned mining
companies without compensation because all minerals belong to native people.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Johannesburg business meeting, Kasukuwere
told the South African Sunday Times that the 51 percent stake in such
enterprises to be acquired by the state in the name of indigenous or black
Zimbabweans will be determined in an assessment of the net value of mineral
resources for each mining operation.

He said in most cases the indigenization process will be carried out the way
land reform was, through the expropriation of property in the name of black
Zimbabwean.

President Robert Mugabe signaled Friday that there is no going back on
indigenization, which has rattled international investors. But Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the power-sharing government will not
nationalize foreign-owned enterprises.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said the attempt by Mr. Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party to seize mining firms 31 years after independence is not
workable.

"We have a government arm that is trying to disarm foreign companies through
dubious means and this is not going well with the other partners," Kuchera
said.


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Tsvangirai takes on Mugabe over nationalisation

http://www.businessday.co.za/

Zimbabwean Prime Minister condemns President Robert Mugabe’s plans to
nationalise foreign-owned firms.
CRIS CHINAKA
Published: 2011/04/19 06:47:46 AM

ZIMBABWEAN Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday denounced President
Robert Mugabe’s plans to nationalise foreign-owned firms as "looting and
plunder" by a greedy elite.

In a statement for Zimbabwe’s 31st independence anniversary, Mr Tsvangirai
also dismissed as "empty rhetoric" a drive by Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party to
force foreign companies to transfer majority shareholdings to black
Zimbabweans.

Mr Mugabe’s seizures of white- owned farms about a decade ago, under the
banner of correcting colonial injustices, had ruined the economy and
benefitted "avaricious politicians", Mr Tsvangirai said.

"Now, 30 years after independence, we are being told by multi- millionaires
and multiple farm owners that indigenisation will set us free," he said. "By
this, they are not referring to broad-based empowerment of the ordinary man
and woman, but the looting and plunder of national resources by a small,
parasitic elite."

Mr Mugabe signed into law the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in
2008, which forces foreign-owned companies worth more than $500000 to
achieve at least 51% black ownership within five years.

Mr Mugabe defended the policy later in the day at an independence rally also
attended by Mr Tsvangirai. He said a government notice giving foreign mining
companies until May 9 to submit their plans on the share transfer was part
of a broad economic empowerment programme.

Mr Mugabe also denounced political violence and avoided his usual attacks on
Mr Tsvangirai in a seemingly reconciliatory speech.

Zimbabwe, he said , had stabilised politically after a power-sharing
government brokered by regional leaders was formed in 2009 .

Although he called for peaceful political co-existence, he made no direct
reference to a spate of clashes between his supporters and backers of Mr
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) or the arrest of
opposition officials.

Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, a minister from a small MDC faction led by Industry and
Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, was detained at the weekend on charges of
addressing an illegal meeting and using hate speech. Last month nearly 50
Zimbabweans were arrested and beaten for attending an address on the
uprising in North Africa. Reuters


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Robert Mugabe Hounds Rivals in Zimbabwe, Parties Say

http://www.nytimes.com/

By CELIA W. DUGGER
Published: April 18, 2011

HARARE, Zimbabwe — More than a quarter of President Robert Mugabe’s
opponents in Parliament have been arrested since agreeing to join the
government in a shaky power-sharing arrangement, part of an intensifying
campaign of harassment intended to drive them out of office, officials from
both sides say.

Ever since the two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change, the party
founded to fight Mr. Mugabe’s rule, accepted a power-sharing arrangement
with the government in 2008, about 30 of their 109 members of Parliament
have been arrested at one point or another, with some of them being taken
into court shackled in leg irons, according to human rights lawyers and the
M.D.C.

“They’re trying to force us out, and they’re not sophisticated enough to
hide it,” Elton Mangoma, a cabinet member and M.D.C. leader who helped
negotiate the troubled power-sharing deal, said between two recent stints in
jail.

The latest arrest of an opponent came on Friday, despite warnings from
Zimbabwe’s neighbors that such detentions must stop. The police accused
Moses Mzila Ndlovu, co-minister for national healing, of attending a meeting
held without their authorization. It was a memorial prayer service for the
thousands of civilians from the Ndebele minority slain in the early years of
Mr. Mugabe’s 31-year rule.

As Mr. Mugabe, 87, seeks another term, his political anxieties are showing,
and not just in the arrests of his opponents. He is also deeply worried
about disloyalty in his own party, ZANU-PF, and leaks from insiders about
his health and his party’s violent political strategy for the elections it
is demanding sometime this year.

At a funeral last Thursday for a leader of his vast spy service, Mr. Mugabe
complained about party members who “run to our enemies to tell them the
details of our meetings.” And he warned these “sellouts” that intelligence
agents were watching them.

There are now two aggressive new newspapers in Zimbabwe challenging the
state’s version of reality, and as an ill-concealed battle rages in Mr.
Mugabe’s own party to succeed him, some ZANU-PF officials are maneuvering to
advance their own interests.

“Now that he’s clearly old, the different factions are moving in,” said Dewa
Mavhinga, regional coordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an
alliance of more than 300 civic groups. “It’s clear there has to be thinking
post-Mugabe, most so within his own party.”

The president’s allies are striking out at those who challenge him. Even a
sardonic sense of humor can be a criminal offense if the punch lines zing
Mr. Mugabe, who controls the police, prosecutors and prisons.

Douglas Mwonzora, an M.D.C. leader who lectures on Roman law at the
University of Zimbabwe, recently stood in court, gazing at the omnipresent
portrait of Mr. Mugabe. Mr. Mwonzora was handcuffed, shackled and clothed in
prison-issue khaki short pants (no underwear allowed), facing a charge,
which he denied, of inciting public violence. The magistrate had not arrived
yet, so Mr. Mwonzora said he respectfully addressed the portrait.

“How are you, father?” he asked Mr. Mugabe, widely rumored to have prostate
cancer. “How is your health?”

People in the courtroom burst out laughing — but on April 8 the police
charged Mr. Mwonzora with insulting the president, an offense punishable by
up to a year in prison.

Mr. Mwonzora, who heads Parliament’s constitution-making committee for the
M.D.C., had already been jailed almost four weeks in February and March
before being released on $50 bail. He had slept for days on the concrete
floor of a cell, next to a toilet. For weeks, he shared another cell with
inmates accused of rape and murder — a cell earlier inhabited by an M.D.C.
senator.

“ ‘That’s where we put M.D.C. M.P.’s,’ ” Mr. Mwonzora said prison guards
told him.

The menacing buildup to the voting seems like a replay of the violent,
rigged elections that have plagued Zimbabwe over the past decade. But calls
by ZANU-PF officials for the arrest of the M.D.C.’s leader, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, seem to have galvanized South Africa’s president, Jacob
Zuma — the regional mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis — to demand a
halt to political arrests and violence.

The efforts to goad Mr. Tsvangirai are many. The police have banned his
rallies and arrested his drivers for using blue beacon lights without
authorization. The state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper published rumors
that Mr. Tsvangirai, a widower, was sleeping around, accompanied by a
photograph of him being hugged by someone the paper described as “that
unidentified white woman.”

But Mr. Tsvangirai, who has survived arrests, a police beating,
assassination attempts and a treason trial over the past decade, insists
that he will not quit the government, no matter the provocation.

“They want to push you out so they can run the elections under their own
conditions,” he said.

Already, ZANU-PF is cranking up the electoral machinery it used to decimate
the M.D.C. and drive Mr. Tsvangirai out of the 2008 presidential runoff,
according to officials in ZANU-PF and the security services, as well as
human rights groups.

“That we can’t win a fair election is not a secret,” said a senior ZANU-PF
official.

Speaking anonymously to discuss ZANU-PF’s confidential election strategy,
the official confirmed that the party was engineering the arrests of M.D.C.
lawmakers in hopes of driving them out of the government.

Further confirmation came from a senior army officer critical of the
violence. He said Mr. Mugabe’s senior lieutenants decided months ago to
deploy army officers, on paid leave, to manage the ZANU-PF youth militia and
war veterans who assault and harass M.D.C. supporters in rural areas.

“What was curious is that most of the people who were appointed are the ones
who ran the violent campaign in 2008,” the officer said.

Mr. Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, rejected the claim, saying senior
military leaders like Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena of the Zimbabwe Air
Force had resigned their positions to help run the election effort as a
patriotic duty, not to orchestrate violence.

“The time has come to save the revolution again,” Mr. Charamba said.

Volunteers who track cases of intimidation and assault for the Zimbabwe
Peace Project, a nonprofit group, have recently spotted army deployments in
rural areas of many provinces, said the group’s leader, Jestina Mukoko.

“We seem to be revving up for an election,” she said.

Ms. Mukoko was abducted by intelligence agents on Dec. 3, 2008, after her
organization documented the violence that stained that year’s election
campaign. Two men took turns beating the soles of her feet with truncheons,
she said.

Hilton Chironga, a ward-level M.D.C. organizer, is also continuing his
political work, despite past attacks. Mr. Chironga recalled the morning of
June 20, 2008, when a ZANU-PF mob surrounded the yard of his family’s
homestead, shot him in the arm and leg and killed his brother Gibbs, a newly
elected M.D.C. ward councilor.

An affidavit Mr. Chironga signed at the time listed 61 people he recognized
in the mob, including two ZANU-PF members of Parliament. Not one has ever
been arrested.

“We are still praying that sooner or later, we’ll get justice,” he said.


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Mujuru Apologises To Zuma

http://www.radiovop.com

19/04/2011 13:04:00

Harare, April 19, 2011 - The Zimbabwean government, through Vice President
Joice Mujuru, has apologised to South African President Jacob Zuma for its
recent attacks on the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
recently.

Two weeks ago ZANU (PF) through its controversial prodigal son, Professor
Jonathan Moyo, attacked Zuma for announcing during a SADC Troika meeting
held last month in Livingstone Zambia that the regional bloc was going to
establish an election road map for Zimbabwe.

President Zuma is the SADC facilitator to Zimbabwe’s Global Political
Agreement, which formed the country’s coalition government.

Sources within the Foreign Affairs Ministry told Radio VOP that Vice
President Mujuru, last week visited the South African Embassy and
apologised.

“VP Mujuru after reprimanding Professor Jonathan Moyo personally met South
African diplomats at their Zimbabwean embassy and tried to extinguish the
fire. At the meeting she explained that Moyo’s utterances were not Zanu (PF)’s
position, but his (Moyo) opinion, “the source said.

Professor Johnathan Moyo had written in state-run Sunday Mail newspaper
blasting Zuma's proposed roadmap as a regime change tool.

In a full page hard-hitting opinion piece, Professor Moyo suggested Zuma
wanted to use the roadmap to overthrow Zimbabwe’s embattled President Robert
Mugabe in the same way the South African leader voted for last month’s UN
resolution that imposed a no-fly zone over Libya.

Since then President Mugabe has been trying to re-build relations with Zuma
by praising SADC for its facilitation initiative to the implementation of
the GPA.

At its conference in December last year, President Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party
resolved not to move any step further, saying sanctions had to be removed
first.


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Mass rally in Soweto to take SADC to task

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
19 April 2011

A mass public rally that will take place in Soweto on Wednesday is set to
take the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to task, by demanding
peace and democracy in the entire region.

The rally will see civil society groups from Zimbabwe and Swaziland come
together with social movements in South Africa, to put pressure on SADC
leaders to respect the will of the people in the region. The demonstration
will also serve as a warning to SADC leaders that civil uprisings, seen in
North Africa and the Middle East recently, could also break out in Southern
Africa, if they do not step in and ensure democracy for all.

The rally comes almost a week after a planned three day protest against the
King Mswati regime in Swaziland was suspended, after a heavy security
clampdown resulted in hundreds of arrests. The country’s security forces
were deployed in key areas of the Manzini urban centre, to stamp out any
sign of public unrest. Labour union leaders who led the protest action,
eventually called the protests off to restrategise a way forward.

The rally meanwhile also comes as the situation in Zimbabwe continues to
deteriorate, with ongoing intimidation of MDC supporters, arrests of MDC
members and a crackdown on any form of public protest.

Gabriel Shumba, the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, told SW
Radio Africa’s Diaspora Diaries program that Zimbabwe and Swaziland are
‘twinned’ in their equal lack of democracy. He explained that the rally on
Wednesday will demand that SADC urgently takes step to show its commitment
to good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

“SADC needs to demonstrate its commitments to democracy for the entire
region,” Shumba said.

He added: “If SADC does not step in and intervene in the crises in Zimbabwe
and in Swaziland, then they must know the protests like we’ve already seen
in North Africa, will happen here.”

The rally will take place on Wednesday at Thokoza Park in Rockville, Soweto,
from 11am to 3pm.


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Matland Secessionists Burn Zim Flag In Joburg March

http://www.radiovop.com/

19/04/2011 16:39:00

JOHANNESBURG, April 19, 2011- More than 500 Zimbabwean exiles from
Matebeleland province took part in a controversial march for freedom
organised by the militant and secessionist Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF)
whose campaigns for a separate state have led to the arrest of the
movement's senior leaders in Bulawayo.

The march which was closely monitored by police attracted scores of South
Africans sympathetic to the plight of the people of Matebeleland. During the
march a Zimbabwean flag was burnt to ashes by the protesters saying it was a
symbol of oppression and discrimination against ethnic groups in
Matabeleland province.

“ Our march was very successful and attracted many South Africans who are
sympathetic to our cause, ” said MLF spokesman Sabelo Mavikinduku Ngwenya, a
lawyer by profession.The toyi-toying protesters singing struggle songs
brought business to a standstill along Sauer and Bree Streets.

The organisers of the march also sent a delegation to the Zimbabwe Embassy
in Pretoria to deliver the group,s document outlining how the state of
Mthwakazi would be created and which districts in Zimbabwe would be part of
that country.The delegation has been instructed to deliver the document
directly to Ambassador Phelekezela Mphoko, a struggle hero and Mugabe
loyalist.Mphoko also comes from Matabeleland province but has openly opposed
those campaigning for secession.

Officials at the embassy in Pretoria said they did not receive any document
from MLF.President Robert Mugabe is on record as saying Zimbabwe will never
be divided into two ethnic based states.But secessionists in Matabeleland
say the people of the region have suffered enough marginalisation and
discrimination under Zimbabwe,s unitary system.MLF leaders who include Paul
Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas are currently facing charges related to
treason.If they go for trial and are convicted, they could face death
sentence.


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SADC Tribunal review upholds unlawful land grab judgement

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
19 April 2011

A controversial review of the role and functions of the regional human
rights Tribunal has defended the court’s findings in the legal battle
against land seizures in Zimbabwe.

The Tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ruled in
2008 that Robert Mugabe’s land grab campaign was unlawful, and ordered the
government to protect farmers from future attack. The landmark case was
brought to the court by 79 Zimbabwean commercial farmers, who were all
victims of the campaign that has all but destroyed the country’s
agricultural sector.

But Mugabe’s regime has repeatedly refused to honour the Tribunal’s rulings,
despite being a signatory to the Treaty that formed the SADC leadership
bloc. Instead, the regime has undermined the Tribunal, saying it has no
jurisdiction in Zimbabwe and its rulings are ‘null and void’. The Zim
government also argued that the Tribunal was never legally constituted,
despite being part of the proceedings that formed the court, and even
nominating one of its own judges for appointment to the court.

For farmers the Zim government’s refusal to abide by the rulings of the
regional court has meant ongoing harassment by land invaders and many more
farmers have been forced off their properties since 2008. So, in a desperate
bid to have the Tribunal legally recognised in Zimbabwe, farmers last year
took their appeal before SADC leaders at a heads of state Summit in Namibia.
But, instead of taking action against the Zim government for its contempt of
the Tribunal, SADC leaders decided to review the court, effectively
suspending it.

Observers said this was a brazen show of allegiance to Mugabe, who SADC has
allowed to hold onto power in Zimbabwe by drafting the terms of the unity
government. The move also prompted numerous warnings that SADC was setting a
dangerous precedent that could leave SADC residents with no legal recourse
against their governments.

But the review has since been concluded and has defended the Tribunal’s
findings. It found that SADC law should be supreme over domestic laws and
constitutions and concludes that all decisions made by the court should be
binding and enforceable within all member states. It states that the SADC
Tribunal has the legal authority to deal with individual human rights
petitions, that its rulings should be binding over member states and that
the SADC ruling on the land grab issue “cannot be faulted”

The report and its findings will only be presented to the SADC Heads of
State at their next session later this year, who will then decide the
ultimate future of the court.

Nicole Fritz from the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) told SW
Radio Africa on Tuesday that the findings of the review are welcome, but
added the battle is not over yet. She expressed hope that SADC leaders will
fully reinstate the workings of the Tribunal, explaining that any weakening
of its mandate is a serious threat to the region.

“Alarmingly, there is a possibility that individual access to the court will
be scrapped and that only interstate disputes will be entertained,” Fritz
said. “A decision along these lines would deal a fatal blow to the rule of
law in the region. It puts human rights in jeopardy, as well as future trade
and investment, and long- term economic growth.”

Fritz added that although the review does not recommend this, it will be up
to SADC leaders to determine the fate of the court, and they could be swayed
by “political push back.” But she said it would be “difficult for them to
make this decision, because there is no legal road they can take.”


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Minister buys house for 48 cents

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:39

HARARE - In a shocking revelation of how Zanu PF leaders are abusing their
positions, the resident minister for Mashonaland Central Martin Dinha bought
a Bindura council house three years ago for a paltry 48 Zimbabwe cents.

The contentious purchase – described by one analyst as “one of the clearest
and typical examples of the corruption and executive excesses of the past 31
years” – has prompted an outraged Elected Councillors Association of
Zimbabwe (ECAZ) to institute a wide-ranging investigation into the disposal
of state-owned properties over the past 11 years.

“The ECAZ Anti-corruption unit will be working flat out to unearth all
corruption that has gone unchecked since 2000 and assures the people of
Zimbabwe that they will get to the bottom of all thefts of council
properties,” it said yesterday.

Dinha, one of President Robert Mugabe’s most zealous followers, is one of
many senior Zanu PF officials who have benefitted from these kinds of
controversial purchases.

What makes Dinha’s purchase of the 48c house, on a stand measuring 3025
square metres, even more gobsmacking is that it happened during the time of
quintillions and quadrillions – at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis,
marked by ridiculously high inflation. At that time, 48 Zimbabwe cents
could not even buy sweets or even a single tooth pick.

The purchase was sanctioned by the minister of local government, Ignatius
Chombo, who himself has been under pressure from local authorities who are
investigating him for his ownership of more than 100 stands and houses
throughout the country – many of them acquired in different councils under
controversial circumstances.

Dinha’s contested purchase of the house prompted an investigation by ousted
Bindura mayor Tinashe Madamombe, who was fired by Chombo as soon as he
started carrying out the probe and gathering evidence.

One of the reasons given for Madamombe’s firing was that he awarded council
employees bonuses at a time that the Bindura municipality did not have the
resources, a charge that Madamonde said was not just flimsy, but also
without any basis.

Dinha openly admitted that he bought the house in question for 48 Zimbabwe
cents when the Daily News contacted him at the weekend.

He said that the shocking purchase was part of his exit package which every
executive mayor had benefited from. He added that he was not the only one
who bought houses for “peanuts” at the time, but could not give the names of
others involved.

“I bought that house for that price because it was a negotiated price and it
is not Dinha alone who benefited from the scheme. Every council employee
then who was staying in a council house was given an opportunity to buy a
house,” Dinha said.

Chombo’s involvement in the sale of the house to Dinha for ZW$48 cents is
contained in the deed of transfer, which the Daily News has in its
possession.

The deed of transfer partly reads:“…Japhet Kabanga as the Town clerk of
Bindura Municipality under the instruction from the minister of local
government, public works and urban development, (Chombo) dated 27 February
2008 and the said appearer (Dinha) that the mentioned property has been duly
sold to him at the half price with consent from the minister of urban
development dated 27 February 2008 and that he in his capacity as attorney
aforesaid hereby transfer to Martin Tafara Dinha.”

Dinha is also alleged to have bought other properties and stands in the same
way, although this could not be established at the time of going to Press.

Dinha bought the council house in June 2008, just a few days before the
swearing-in of new MDC councillors who were elected in March 2008. The same
scenario prevailed in Harare where top Zanu PF officials grabbed prime land
in 2008, just before the coming in of MDC councillors – suggesting a
systematic and elaborate looting scheme, analysts say.

MDC councillors have always accused Zanu PF officials of going on a looting
spree across the country in 2008, soon after it dawned on them that Mugabe’s
party had lost in almost every local authority election throughout the
country.

Madamombe insisted in an interview with the Daily News that he was fired by
the minister after he instituted investigations over council properties
involving Dinha.

“The problem started when I instituted an audit of council properties after
we discovered that Dinha had taken many properties from the council,
including the house which was sold to him at that low price, and vehicles
which were said to be exit packages,” he said.

“It went on to the extent that he started working with some councillors to
undermine my authority and these councillors became so corrupt such that on
average, each one of them has at least five stands.

“To show that Chombo was working with them, he even sided with them at one
of the meetings we held at his office, saying they could have as many stands
as they wanted,” Madamombe said.

The six councillors involved have since been fired by the MDC in their bid
to root out corruption in local authorities, but remain councillors at the
behest of Chombo. The six councillors are said to have petitioned the
minister to fire Madamombe.

He said Chombo’s actions were promoting corruption in councils.

“In 2008 they fired Mugogo who was refusing to give Dinha the house and now
the labour court has awarded him US$1million as compensation and this is
going to be funded by the residents who are battling to get good service
delivery from the council,” he said.

Bindura residents have since declared that they will stop paying rates until
Madamombe is reinstated as the mayor. They further say that the continued
interference by Chombo and Dinha in the affairs of the local authority has
affected service delivery.

Madamombe is not the only councillor to be fired for investigating theft of
council properties in the 2008 period.

In Harare, councillors Warship Dumba and Casper Takura were fired by Chombo
after leading an investigation which implicated Chombo and Phillip Chiyangwa
in alleged illegal acquisitions of prime land in Harare. Chombo is in the
process of returning one of the pieces of land.


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ZDF commander Chiwenga back from China

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 April 2011

Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, General Constantine Chiwenga is back in
the country after spending a few days in China reportedly for a medical
check-up.

The four-star General attended the Independence Day celebrations at the
National Sports Stadium in Harare. He accompanied Robert Mugabe when he
inspected a guard of honour.

Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa last week confirmed to NewsDay that the
army chief had gone to China for medical attention.

“Yes, I can confirm that Chiwenga went to China to seek medical treatment,”
said Mnangagwa. He will be coming back into the country Friday. What I know
is that he had gone for medical checkups; we all go for medical checkups.
Don’t you go for routine medical checkups yourself?” Mnangagwa asked the
Newsday reporter.

During the heroes’ celebrations on Monday, the master of ceremonies Webster
Shamu went on the public address system to inform the audience of Chiwenga’s
presence in the stadium.

’We can see that the Commander of the ZDF is here and is very fit. Are those
newspapers that claimed he was ill not ashamed now?" Shamu said.

Chiwenga reportedly scoffed at the reports he was sick, saying he remains
fit and well.


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Crisis outrage over plans to tear down POSA billboard

http://www.swradioafrica.com

by Irene Madongo
19 April 2011

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition says it is outraged to learn that Mutare City
Council plans to tear down its billboard calling for people to encourage
their Senators to amend the Public Order Security Act (POSA).

Crisis explained that the billboard has a message with the words: “Push your
Senator to act now” and “Abasha POSA – POSA kills freedom.”

On Tuesday Nixon Nyikadzino, Senior Programs Officer at Crisis said: “The
president’s office in Mutare has instructed the Mutare City Council to pull
down a billboard that seeks to push Senators to support amendments to the
Act in the upper House.”

Nyikadzino said when he heard that the Council had sent workers to tear it
down, he informed Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who said they
would contact the Mutare City Council about the matter.

“We are all shocked by this and as we speak, they are already pulling it
down. I have already spoken to ZLHR who are verifying what is taking place
in Mutare. The Billboard is along Dangamvura road. You can maybe send
someone to go and verify,” Nyikadzino said on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s not only a blow to the advocacy of freedom of expression, freedom of
assembly, here in Zimbabwe. It also affects the ordinary person because we
are trying to allow the ordinary person to play a critical role,” Nyikadzino
explained.

The highly unpopular POSA bill is used as a tool by the partisan police to
arrest and detain political activists and civilians, mainly by barring them
from holding meetings. However, under the Global Party Agreement leaders
agreed it would be amended, but this has yet to happen.

Under the proposed changes, political parties will be able to hold meetings
in venues that are not open to the public and in indoor public places, such
as public halls. Mutare Central MP Gonese successfully steered the POSA
Amendment Bill in the lower House of Assembly last December. It is now to be
debated in the Upper House.


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Thugs who assaulted elderly headman taunt villagers

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Lance Guma
19 April 2011

On Monday we reported how 82 year old headman Rwisai Nyakauru (who was
arrested and tortured by ZANU PF youth militia and war vets) died from his
injuries on Saturday. The militants targeted him because he had attended an
MDC-T rally addressed by Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora.

Now SW Radio Africa understands the three ZANU PF thugs who abducted and
tortured him are taunting villagers in Nyanga about his death.

On the 14th February Wilfred Pokoto, Tawonga Mutsiwawo and Kilborn
Masunungure were part of a group of ZANU PF militants who abducted Headman
Nyakauru from his home, took him to the Taziwa Hotel and brutally assaulted
in one of the rooms. They kicked him all over the body, especially the chest
area.

During the assaults Pokoto used a ‘safety’ shoe with an iron tip inside the
front end. The assault was so serious that when they finally handed him over
to the police for arrest he collapsed and started vomiting blood. Nyakauru
was to spend 25 days in custody alongside Mwonzora and 23 other villagers.

“The assailants are roaming free in the villages of Nyakomba. They are
teasing people about the death of the old man as we speak and they don’t
face justice,” Mwonzora told us in an interview.
The Nyanga North legislator paid tribute to the headman for being resolute
throughout his ordeal. He said that while still in custody Nyakauru vowed
that Mugabe’s regime would not last forever. On his release the MDC-T set up
a press conference, which Nyakauru insisted he would conduct on his own and
it was during this that he narrated what the ZANU PF militants had done to
him.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa, Kerry Kay, the MDC-T Secretary for Welfare,
said she was horrified that the 82 year old Nyakauru and another elderly
person, 75 year old grandmother Evangelist Machirita, had been held in
custody over trumped-up charges of public violence. She paid a visit to
Nyanga where she saw Nyakauru, who looked frail and kept saying, ‘I don’t
know what I’m doing here?”

Commenting on the challenges the party was facing in helping victims of
violence and torture Kay said they had not been able to help in the way they
wanted to because of financial and logistical challenges. Kay said from 2008
about 20 000 people had gone through medical facilities for treatment, after
being brutalized by ZANU PF militants. They also recorded ‘just under 300
verified deaths’ of MDC activists.

In addition to those beaten and killed Kay said they had in their database
‘over 3,000 homes destroyed at the time,’ and they have not been able to
help these people fully. She said ZANU PF is responsible for this suffering
and should be compensating the victims of their violence campaigns.

Meanwhile Kay said a website set up by exiled MDC-T Treasurer General, Roy
Bennett, (FreeZimbabwe.com) was also an attempt to help raise money to
assist victims of violence in Zimbabwe.


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Air Zimbabwe announces fleet renewal

http://www.africanmanager.com

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

PANA

Air Zimbabwe said Tuesday it would retire its entire fleet of Boeing 737-200
aircraft and replace them with new planes.

The state-owned carrier has three Boeing 737-200 planes, which it says are
now too old and obsolete to operate.

In a statement, the airline said it would acquire new aircraft and lease
more modern ones as part of an ambitious fleet renewal planned.

Last week, Air Zimbabwe leased a Boeing 737-500 plane from Air Zambezi of
Zambia to operate on domestic and regional routes.

"This (the lease) is part of a fleet replacement programme which will see
the gradual phasing out of the entire B737-200 fleet the airline has been
operating," Innocent Mavhunga, the airline's chief executive, said.

The carrier is presently paralysed by a month-old strike by pilots and cabin
crew over unpaid salaries and allowances amounting to US$12 million


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NCA pleads with SADC over violence

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

NCA PREE RELEASE: 19 April 2011

NCA pleads with SADC over violence
By Blessing Vava

Johannesburg- Zimbabwe’s leading civic group, the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) warned SADC leaders to act decisively in averting sporadic
violence in the country that it blamed on ZANU PF. Speaking at a press
conference held at COSATU House yesterday 18 April 2011 in Johannesburg,
bemoaning Zimbabwe’s failed independence, NCA regional co-coordinator
Munjodzi Mutandiri said SADC needed to be more proactive in saving human
life.

“Leaders of SADC should take the aspirations of the majority of people
seriously,” said Mutandiri referring to protecting electoral decisions that
Zimbabweans made in 2008 March polls. Zimbabwe’s autocratic leader, Robert
Mugabe, is believed to have been defeated in the 2008 March polls.

The NCA also warned those perpetrating violence against women and children
saying it was preparing a dossier and would hand it to those in capacity to
act and bring justice. The civic movement launched its campaign against
violence on women last December and has dedicated 2011 to raising awareness
on this issue.

Mutandiri further reiterated that the reported elections might see areas of
interest such as Chidzwa-Marange diamond fields attracting violence due to
their economic significance. Some reports already indicate that ZANU PF
intends using the income from alluvial deposits for its campaign in the
forthcoming elections.

Addressing the media at the same occasion, the Crisis Coalition’s Regional
Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga said Zimbabwe’s civic groups were monitoring all
the violations of the Global Political Agreement and will present its
findings to the SADC mediation and troika team ahead of the SADC special
summit on Zimbabwe.

“We are closely monitoring Zimbabwe’s political leadership, particularly
those in ZANU PF who, de facto, wiled significantly more political power, to
ensure that they fully implement SADC troika resolutions, including
immediately ending to all forms of violence and intimidation,” read part of
the statement by the civics.

The NCA together with Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
called for reforms in security sector, media and to undertake a genuine
people driven democratic elections. Gabriel Shumba, the Zimbabwe Exiles
Forum leader said it was a tragedy that as Zimbabwe celebrate its 31st
birthday the country was still heavily dependent on economic handouts.

--
National Constitutional Assembly
348 Hebert Chitepo Avenue


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Zimbabwe bans chrome exports, to boost refining

http://af.reuters.com/

Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:57pm GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has banned the export of chrome from Wednesday
as it looks to build internal refinery capacity, the Ministry of Mines and
Mining Development said on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe, along with South Africa, holds about 90 percent of the world's
chromite reserves and resources, according to the U.S. Geological Survey,
and the ban will affect exports to China and South Africa.

There are three large-scale ferrochrome miners in Zimbabwe, including
Zimbabwe Alloys and Zimasco, which is owned by China's Sinosteel. Zimasco
recently told state media it planned a $300 million investment in the second
half of 2011 to ramp up output and build a new smelter.

Zimbabwe already has three smelters that have the capacity to handle 1.5
million tonnes of chrome.

The ministry in November 2009 allowed the export of chrome for another 18
months, a period which will expire on Wednesday.

"We wish to advise all exporters of lumpy chrome that with effect from this
date, no more exports of shall be entertained", the ministry said in a
notice published in the local newspapers.

Zimbabwe exported 600,000 tonnes of chrome in the 18 months from November
2009, mostly to China and South Africa, according to official figures.


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Broke Copac Gets US$10m From Donors

http://www.radiovop.com

19/04/2011 12:58:00

Harare, April 19, 2011 - THE financially-beleaguered Constitutional and
Parliamentary Committee (Copac) has received a much-needed US$10 million
shot in the arm from the cash-strapped Government of Zimbabwe and the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we can now reveal.

The Government gave US$5 million while the UNDP chipped in with another US$5
million for the broke constitutional-making process which has caused
numerous headaches for everyone, including the three Principles of the
Global Political Arrangement (GPA).

The three GPA Principles are namely, President Robert Mugabe of the former
ruling party, Zanu (PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the now ruling
MDC-T (Tsvangirai) party and current Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
ousted and former boss of the splinter MDC.

"The Project Board is very grateful for the commitment shown by the
Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) through its recent contribution of another US$5
million, making a total of US$12,5 million in direct cash contribution to
this process, as well as contributions in kind in terms of providing
logistical support, office accommodation and secondment of staff in the
provinces during outreach," Advocate Eric Matinenga, a Member of Parliament
of the MDC-T (Tsvangirai) party and current Minister of Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs said in a statement on behalf of the government.

"We are also very pleased to announce that donors supporting the process
have further contributed another US$5 million through the UNDP," the
statement said.

"These contributions from Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the
United Kingdom (UK) are in addition to the US$12 million already provided by
the 11 contributing donors, including the UNDP."
The donors said they hoped the cash would help "implement the plans for the
remainder of the Constitution-making process".

"The implementation of this process is an important step towards fulfilment
of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and hence an important contribution
to the development of the country," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Copac Project Board overseeing the Constitutional-making
process said it had approved "the activities to be carried out during the
Second Quarter of 2011".


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Civil society demands end to Mswati's rule

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 18:08

HARARE - Zimbabwe and Swaziland civil society groups with South African
social movements will tomorrow hold a peace and democracy rally in South
Africa demanding peace and democracy in the entire Southern African region.

The rally is meant to urge the Sadc leadership to demonstrate its total
commitment to good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights.

In a statement issued to commemorate Zimbabwe’s 31 years of independence,
the civil society called upon the Sadc leadership to ensure human rights are
respected.

Reads part of the statement: “We demand that Sadc takes urgent note of the
desires and aspirations of its people and takes vital steps … to suspend any
member state that wilfully violates Sadc principles and standards on
elections, democracy or violates the basic rights of its citizens.”

The rally will be held in solidarity with the democratic forces in Swaziland
who are demanding an end to the dictatorship of King Mswati.

The civil groupings have urged Sadc to police Zimbabwe so that the Troika
resolutions are implemented by President Robert Mugabe.

“We strongly urge Sadc to ensure that its Troika resolution on Zimbabwe
taken on March 31 in Livingstone, Zambia are fully and timeously
implemented.”

“As Zimbabwe civil society groups in South Africa, we register unfettered
support and endorsement of the democratic struggle that the people of
Swaziland are engaged in and we wish to strongly urge our Swazi brothers and
sisters to remain focused and committed to the struggle until victory is
achieved.

“This is the same struggle we are fighting in Zimbabwe, and our common
vision is of a democratic, peaceful and socio-economically developed
Southern Africa,” the statement adds.

The civic society groups warned Sadc of the dangers of suppressing the
people and drew parallels with what is happening in North Africa.

“We wish to categorically warn African governments, in particular, those of
Swaziland and Zimbabwe, to note that if citizens are continually subjected
to the subversion of their will, they may end up resorting to popular
uprisings in the nature of what has been witnessed recently in North Africa
with the direct effect of destabilising the region and reversing any gains
made.”

“All Sadc leaders must ensure, protect and promote the fundamental rights of
their peoples fully respecting the principles and standards they have signed
to in terms of various Sadc protocols, in particular those regarding the
holding of free and fair elections as well as guaranteeing effective citizen
participation in government and free political activity,” said the
statement.


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Online service bids to transform African money transfer

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/BUSINESS/04/13/world.remit.ismail.ahmed/index.html
From Nima Elbagir, CNN
April 13, 2011 -- Updated 1035 GMT (1835 HKT)
Click to play
Mobile money rising
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ismail Ahmed is founder and chief executive of money transfer service WorldRemit
  • The business allows users to send money without visiting agents and banks
  • Ahmed says the system helps Africa move towards a cashless economy

(CNN) -- Remittances sent from abroad are a lifeline for millions in Africa, and now online services are aiming to make it quicker and easier to transfer money to the continent.

According to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, members of the African Diaspora send home around $40 billion every year. But the actual figure is likely to be significantly higher as a large proportion of funds are transferred through various informal channels.

Now, Ismail Ahmed, founder and chief executive of WorldRemit, says he's found a way to make the whole process easier, while helping Africa minimize its dependence on cash.

His service allows users to send money to family and friends without having to visit agents and collect cash from their bank accounts. They can process transactions online, while funds are immediately available for collection in Africa, or credited to mobile accounts of recipients.

Speaking to CNN's Nima Elbagir, Ahmed said: "We are helping to move towards cashless economies in many parts of Africa."

An edited version of the interview follows.

Regulators in the West are still concerned in the fact that people can carry their money on a mobile.
--Ismail Ahmed, WorldRemit CEO

CNN: The use of mobile phones to transfer funds is not new -- it's something that's been growing hugely in Africa. But what is new is the degree to which you've managed to refine the compliance.

Ismail Ahmed: That's true, because regulators in the West are still concerned in the fact that people can carry their money on a mobile. So what we've done is we've built a robust compliance system which does more than what is required to screen both the senders and the recipients. And this meets the regulator requirements, in particular in Europe and North America.

CNN: Because one of the main issues with the transfer of money has always been, and definitely with Islamic names, you get a lot of false positives, a lot of alarm bells ringing in the system, because there's a similarity with a name that's on a terrorist watch list.

IA: In the case of Arabic, Muslim names, we get something like up to a 40% false match.

Just to give you an example, I share both my names with the former spiritual leader of Hamas. My name is Ismail Ahmed, his name is Ahmed Ismail. So every time I use a money-transfer service, including mine, the screening software comes up with a 100% match.

But imagine someone who lives in a small village in Africa, who shares all of his names with someone on the sanction list -- that is much harder to prove that the person is not the terrorist.

CNN: And given how dependent many African economies are on money being sent back home from the diaspora, things like these might sound like small irritations but they have a huge impact on the economy.

IA: Remittances are lifelines for most of the economies in Africa, particularly east and southern Africa. So yes, we're talking about something where some places like the Horn of Africa, up to 40% of houses rely exclusively on remittances for their livelihoods.

And some of the transfers are for urgent reasons -- somebody is ill or going to hospital, for school fees, so even a small delay could be critical.

CNN: It's interesting that in Africa, the way that the technological market has worked is that mobile phones completely circumvented the need for landlines, and it almost seems, with your system, you're circumventing the need to have local bank branches around the continent.

IA: That is true, and we are helping to move towards cashless economies in many parts of Africa. Africa is leapfrogging and moving closer to a cashless society.

In Kenya you have 13 million Kenyans who use the local money-transfer service. In Somaliland the local mobile operator introduced local domestic money-transfer services a year ago. Now, 90% of local transactions are conducted through online, so Somaliland is becoming literally a cashless society.

So we're helping from this end and saying, if people can do that in Africa, why would a migrant who's working need to travel one or two hours to send cash?


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Mugabe in bullet-proof vest fails to liven up 31st independence anniversary

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

18/04/2011 19:10:00 By Andrew Meldrum

President Robert Mugabe, 87 and in power for 31 years, said Zimbabwe had
made progress economically and politically and was on track for
constitutional reforms before elections. Mugabe did not set a date for the
elections, but many speculate that he will call early elections this year.

Mugabe blamed the country's troubles on the personal sanctions against him
and his 200 closest associates. But he said the U.S. and Europe Union are
not prepared to discuss lifting the sanctions.

“We have had disappointing results so far in our efforts to re-engage the
Americans and the European Union over sanctions,” he said. “When will Europe
ever realize that there is international law which forbids us from
interfering in the domestic affairs of others?”

A totally different message came from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, 58,
who said Zimbabwe is suffering "looting and plunder" by Mugabe and his
ruling party, Zanu-PF.

Tsvangirai lambasted Mugabe's plans to force all businesses and mining firms
to have 51 percent black ownership within five years. The Indigenization and
Economic Empowerment requires all foreign-owned companies worth over
$500,000 to have at least 51 percent black ownership within five years.
Tsvangirai said the plan would enrich Mugabe and his cronies in Zanu-PF but
would impoverish the nation's economy.

Tsvangirai and others have said the "indigenization" of Zimbabwe's
businesses and mining is like Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms over the
past 11 years. The farm grabs are widely blamed for destroying the country's
once productive agriculture sector and causing widespread hunger. Zimbabwe's
economy has been in a tailspin since 2000 when the land seizures began.

Who is right? Mugabe or Tsvangirai?

Mugabe defended his plan to force foreign mining companies to submit their
plans to cede 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans. The
companies, including mining firms, have until May 9 to submit their plans to
transfer shares to black Zimbabweans. Mugabe said it is part of a broad
economic program to empower black Zimbabweans.

But critics say that the scheme will channel lucrative shares to Mugabe's
inner ruling circle. "Now thirty years after independence, we are being told
by multi-millionaires and multiple farm owners that indigenization will set
us free," he said.

"By this, they are not referring to broad-based empowerment of the ordinary
man and woman, but the looting and plunder of national resources by a small,
parasitic elite," said Tsvangirai, according to Reuters.

Economists widely agree that Mugabe's management of Zimbabwe's economy has
impoverished a once prosperous nation. Once known as "the breadbasket of
Africa" for its agricultural productivity, Zimbabwe has been dependent upon
international food handouts for years.

Mugabe's control of the economy brought hyperinflation that many say was the
worst the world has ever seen. How bad was that inflation? At the height of
the inflation in 2008, prices increased by nearly 100 percent every 24
hours. That works out to an astounding 80 billion percent per month,
according to Johns Hopkins applied economics professor Steve H. Hanke, who
developed the Hanke Hyperinflation Index for Zimbabwe (HHIZ).

“Zimbabwe’s inflation rate … peaked at 80 billion percent a month," said
Hanke. "That means around 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent a year –
or 65 followed by 107 zeros. To get a handle on it, realize that it’s
equivalent to inflation of 98 percent a day. Prices double every 24.7
hours.”

Inflation was only brought under control after Mugabe created a coalition
government with opposition leader Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic
Change party. One of Tsvangirai's deputies, Finance Minister Tendai Biti,
jettisoned the Zimbabwean currency and currently the economy operates by
using the U.S. dollar, the British pound and the South African rand, as well
as the Botswanan pula, the Zambian kwacha and the Mozambican metecai.

Mugabe let Tsvangirai and Biti bring down inflation, but he did not stop
hounding their party. MDC supporters have continued to be beaten by Mugabe's
supporters and they get little to no protection from the police. Many
Zimbabweans say the beatings — which have been reported countrywide — are
the way the Mugabe campaigns. Mugabe is expected to call for early elections
this year so that he can be voted president for yet another five-year term.

However, all is not rosy for Mugabe. He came under unexpected pressure at
the end of March when he met with South African President Jacob Zuma and
Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba and Mozambican president Armando
Guebuza in Livingtstone, Zambia, in the shadow of Victorial Falls. The thee
leaders met with Mugabe as representatives of the 15-nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC). subjected Mugabe to unusually harsh criticism,
telling him to stop all violence.

Usually the SADC summits have been tame affairs for Mugabe because South
Africa and the other SADC members have supported Mugabe's rule. It was SADC
that enabled Mugabe to stay in power even though he lost the 2008 elections.
SADC came up with the solution of a power sharing government in which Mugabe
retained virtually all power and Tsvangirai did all the sharing.

But the March 31 summit in Livingstone was decidedly different. Zuma lashed
out at Mugabe, charging that the violence and repression was making a
mockery of the government of national unity and threatening its viability,
according to reports from the summit.

Ordinarily the final communiques issued after the SADC summits are bland,
bureauratic statements — but not this one. It boldly states that things must
change in Zimbabwe. "There must be an immediate end of violence,
intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any other form of action that
contradicts the letter and spirit" of the power sharing government, states
the communique. It went further to urge Mugabe to "create a conducive
environment for peace, security, and free political activity" and to
"complete all the steps necessary for the holding of the election including
the finalization of the constitutional amendment and the referendum."

This was a slap to Mugabe. He was told to change his ways. Of course Mugabe,
a master political manipulator, has finagled his way out of jams like this
before. But at the Livingstone summit he looked weak and tired. At 87,
Mugabe is beginning to show his age.

Mugabe looked frail, according to insiders attending the summit in Victoria
Falls. He had difficulty walking unassisted and went everywhere, even very
short distances, slumped in a golf cart. Always by Mugabe's side was
Emmerson Mnangagwa, his much-feared henchman and minister of defense.

There is considerable speculation that Mnangagwa and others in Zanu-PF want
Mugabe to call early elections and to use the same violence used in other
elections to achieve a Zanu-PF victory that will permit the party to rule
for another five years. They fear that Mugabe's health is deteriorating so
quickly that he could not lead the party in elections next year.

It's no surprise that most Zimbabweans find little to celebrate on the
country's independence day. But it seems that Robert Mugabe, beset by old
age and challenges to his rule, does not have much to celebrate, either. -
GlobaPost


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Making Mugabe Laugh

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/opinion/19godwin.html

By PETER GODWIN
Published: April 18, 2011

BARELY was Laurent Gbagbo, wearing a sweat-damp white tank top and a
startled expression, prodded at rebel gunpoint from the bombed ruins of his
presidential bunker in Ivory Coast, than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton announced this conclusion: His ejection, more than four months after
he refused to accept electoral defeat, sent “a strong signal to dictators
and tyrants throughout the region and around the world. They may not
disregard the voice of their own people in free and fair elections, and
there will be consequences for those who cling to power.”

Zimbabwe’s 87-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, who began his 32nd year in
power this week, must have chortled when he heard that one.

The parallels between Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe are striking: both were once
viewed as the singular successes in their respective regions, the envy of
their neighbors. Both Mr. Gbagbo, a former history professor, and Mr.
Mugabe, a serial graduate student, are highly educated men who helped
liberate their countries from authoritarian regimes.

Both later clothed themselves in the racist vestments of extreme nativism.
Mr. Gbagbo claimed that his rival Alassane Ouattara couldn’t stand for
president because his mother wasn’t Ivorian; Mr. Mugabe disenfranchised
black Zimbabweans who had blood ties to neighboring states (even though his
own father is widely believed to have been Malawian).

The two countries have also been similarly plagued by north-south conflicts.
And when they spiraled into failed statehood, both leaders blamed the West,
in particular their former colonial powers — France and Britain — for
interfering to promote regime change.

Finally, the international community imposed sanctions against both
countries, including bans on foreign travel and the freezing of bank
accounts, that have largely proved insufficient.

But here’s where the stories crucially diverge — why Laurent Gbagbo is no
longer in power, while Robert Mugabe, who lost an election in 2008,
continues to flout his people’s will.

The most important point of departure was the sharply contrasting behavior
of regional powers. The dominant player in West Africa, Nigeria, immediately
recognized the validity of Mr. Ouattara’s victory in United
Nations-supervised elections, and worked within the regional alliance, the
Economic Community of West African States, to unseat the reluctant loser.
But Zimbabwe’s most powerful neighbor, South Africa, played a very different
role. Instead of helping to enforce democracy, it has provided cover for Mr.
Mugabe to stay on.

Partly this is due to what is called “liberation solidarity.” Most of the
political parties still in power in southern Africa were originally
anti-colonial liberation movements — like those in South Africa, Mozambique,
Namibia and Angola — and they tend to abhor the aura-diminishing prospect of
seeing any of their fellows jettisoned.

It is also because South Africa eyes the Zimbabwean opposition — which
morphed out of a once-loyal trade union movement — through the suspicious
lens of its own trade union movement’s contemplation of opposition politics.

As a result, instead of supporting the Zimbabwean opposition in 2008, Thabo
Mbeki, then the South African president, bullied it into a power-sharing
government of national unity headed by Mr. Mugabe. This democracy-defying
model has threatened to metastasize into the mainstream of African politics;
that same year it was also applied to Kenya, where a unity government was
set up to end post-election bloodshed. When Mr. Mbeki was deputized by the
African Union to broker a solution in Ivory Coast, that was the Band-Aid he
reached for — but it was rightly rejected by Mr. Ouattara.

Of course, the other crucial difference is that in Ivory Coast, the dictator’s
ejection came at the hands of men with guns. The northern rebels moved on
Abidjan. The United Nations peacekeepers, trussed by restrictive mandates as
always, nevertheless protected Mr. Ouattara until the French expanded an
airport-securing operation into something altogether more ambitious. They
basically prized Mr. Gbagbo from his bunker, though to avoid bad
postcolonial optics, they brought the rebels in to make the final move.

In contrast, for refusing to plunge the country into a civil war, Zimbabwe’s
democratic opposition has been rewarded by the international community by
being largely ignored.

Next month, a group of southern African nations will discuss Mr. Mugabe’s
continued resistance to agreed-upon reforms intended to pave the way to free
elections. Either South Africa must get Mr. Mugabe to honor them, or it must
withdraw its support for him. If it won’t, then the international community
needs to push South Africa out of leading the negotiations, and engage more
directly.

Zimbabweans need help if their voices are to be heard. If the United States
wants to prove that Mrs. Clinton’s words were more than empty rhetoric, it
should begin by pressuring South Africa. Otherwise Zimbabwe’s hopes for
freedom will founder, even as Ivory Coast regains its stolen democracy.

Peter Godwin is the author of “The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of
Zimbabwe.”


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When will Robert Mugabe free the airwaves?

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri 19/04/11

Pressure is building up on the Zimbabwe regime to free the airwaves amidst
the dishing out by the Zimbabwe Media Commission of newspaper licences like
confetti than previously anticipated. Notably, by 15 April, a total of 22
publications had been licensed since last year although no private radio or
television station has been licensed as the same time.

While welcoming the diversity of the print media, experts are concerned that
some of the new publications are being set up to ‘prop up a government whose
fortunes are waning by the day’ (The Daily News, Free the airwaves now,
15/04/11).

Of interest has been the licensing of the National Day and the Patriot. The
former is said to be owned by the late businessman Roger Boka’s family,
however, there are claims that it is being financed by the Chinese
Government and Zanu-pf Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa (The Zimbabwe
Mail, 17/02/11). Sources say The Patriot is owned by Supa Mandiwanzira
another Mugabe ally.

Women Affairs Deputy Minister Jessie Majome has said the inclusive
government has failed Zimbabweans by continuously depriving rural
populations of their right to freedom of expression and association by its
reluctance to free the airwaves and licence new radio stations (Zimeye,
01/09/10).

Subsequently, agitation for the freeing of the airwaves has gradually
increased at a time when there is talk of possible elections. Freeing the
airwaves would tremendously benefit the country’s majority rural population
some whose radio sets were confiscated by bthe CIO and the police.

Furthermore, alternative independent radio stations have been jammed by the
regime’s security agents something that is likely to increase in the run-up
to the referendum and elections unless SADC prevails on Zanu-pf.

Adding their voices to the campaign was a coalition of civil society
organisations in Zimbabwe called CISSOM. In a report covering the period
February 2010 to February 2011 the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism
(CISSOM) condemned the status of the radio and television sector. CISSOM
accused public broadcasters of ‘aggressively’ promoting Zanu-pf and
‘presenting biased coverage of national events ‘(Audiencescapes.org,
14/03/11).

More pressure came from the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA
Zimbabwe) which on 8th April 2011 in partnership with Artists for Democracy
in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZ Trust) and Nhasi Mangwana Trust staged a concert
titled ‘Free the Airwaves Now’ (The Zimbabwean, 11/04/11).

Zanu-Pf has reportedly indicated that it was not going to comply with the
remaining GPA outstanding issues including the opening of airwaves if the
MDC does not call for the removal of targeted sanctions.

As if to prove that point ZBC has refused to play MDC songs while saturating
the airwaves with Zanu-pf jingles. Asked why they have not been playing the
MDC album, a ZBC public relations manager, Sivukile Simango reportedly said:

‘We did not play it and we will never play it on ZBC, never. I can refer you
to Muchechetere (ZBC chief executive) so that he can comment on issues of
policy, but as of now can just tell you, we will never play that music’ (The
Daily News, 10/04/11).

The question on every person’s mind is: ‘When will Robert Mugabe free the
airwaves?’

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis@gmail.com


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Bill Watch 17/2011 of 19th April [General Laws Amendment Bill amended by House of Assembly]

BILL WATCH 17/2011

[19th April 2011]

The Senate has adjourned to Tuesday 10th May

The House of Assembly has adjourned to Tuesday 17th May

General Laws Amendment Bill Passed with Amendments by House of Assembly

The Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] returned a non-adverse report on this Bill in March, but only after the PLC and the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs [“the Minister”] reached a compromise under which the Minister agreed that he would withdraw the copyright clause [clause 16] and modify the civil aviation clause [clause 7]. The PLC’s non-adverse report was conditional on these changes being made. [See Bill Watch 10/2011 of 15th March.] The Bill proceeded with its second reading and committee stage during which other changes were also made by the House [see below for details]. The Bill was passed on its third reading, then transmitted to the Senate for consideration when it resumes sitting in May. Because of the amendments it is now numbered H.B. 8A, 2010 to distinguish it from the original Bill, which was H.B. 8, 2010. [Electronic version of amended Bill available.]

Second Reading Debate

After the Minister had explained the Bill to the House, the reports of two portfolio committees on the Bill were presented by the committee chairpersons.

Portfolio Committee Reports

Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development The committee had received submissions on the Bill from the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association and the Local Government Association. It recommended the dropping of the Bill’s clauses providing for procurement of goods and services by local authorities to be under the control of the Government Tender Board. Instead, the Committee recommended that the Minister of Local Government should devise a model procurement law for use by all local authorities.

Committee on Justice, Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs This committee had received submissions from stakeholders, calling for:

the dropping of the Bill’s clause on copyright in Acts, statutory instruments, court judgments and other official publications and the clauses on local authority procurement, citing inconsistency with the Constitution;

the reduction of the proposed mandatory minimum sentences for rhino poaching from 9 and 11 years to 5 years

reconsideration of the clause for imposition of civil penalties by the Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] on offenders against regulations made under the Aviation Act.

Minister’s Response

In his reply to the debate, the Minister:

refused to budge on the mandatory gaol sentences for rhino poaching, saying they were needed to deter the killing of this endangered species

said he would move an amendment removing the local authority procurement clause. The Minister said it would be up to the Minister of Local Government, if so advised, to come up with a separate Bill dealing with procurement by local authorities.

also said the copyright clause would be removed from the Bill in accordance with the decision previously reached

confirmed that he would move an amendment to the clause on “civil penalties” for the aviation industry – this would make it clear that the civil penalties could be challenged in court.

The Bill was then read the second time, clearing the way for the Committee Stage, which is when a Bill is considered in detail, clause by clause, and changes can be made to its contents.

Committee Stage

The major changes that were made to the Bill were all proposed by the Minister and were as follows:

Removed from Bill

Copyright in Acts, Government Gazettes and court decisions – clause 16 was entirely removed from the Bill. This means that the present law will remain unchanged, i.e., there will be no Government copyright in the text of Acts, statutory instruments, court proceedings and judgments, and the contents of official registers. It will still be possible, therefore, for such material to be published without Government permission.

Local authority procurement procedures – clauses 18 and 19 were also removed. The clauses would have amended the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act to place local authority procurement of goods and services under the Government Procurement Board.

Modifications

Modification of civil penalties amendment of Civil Aviation Act The House adopted the Minister’s amendment, under which a civil penalty may be challenged if the CAA attempts to enforce it by court process. [Industry stakeholders may regard this as a less than satisfactory response to their basic objection to the clause, which is that it is unconstitutional for a Bill to empower the imposition of penalties – even if described as “civil penalties” – by a body that is not an independent court or tribunal – Constitution, section 18.]

Labour Court – provision for completion of part-heard cases The original clause to amend the Labour Act [now clause 18] has been expanded to insert a new section in the Labour Act to cover what will happen when a Labour Court President retires, is appointed to the High Court, dies or is removed from office, before completing a case. In the case of retirement or High Court appointment, the outgoing President will complete the case. Other cases will be reassigned to another President, either for continuation from the point already reached, if the parties so agree, or, if they do not agree, for rehearing from the beginning. These administrative changes are deemed to have come into force on 31st December 2005, which is the date of commencement of the last amendment to the Labour Act.

Labour Court – leave to appeal to Supreme Court Appeals against Labour Court decisions can be made to the Supreme Court on questions of law only. In addition leave to appeal must first be obtained from the President who handed down the decision. Clause 18 of the Bill, as amended, will change that to allow leave to appeal to be given by another Labour Court President “in the absence of” the original President. This change, too, is deemed to have come into force on 31st December 2005.

New clauses added to Bill

Backdating of commencement of National Biotechnology Authority Act The Minister did not explain the need for this clause, which provides that the Act shall be deemed to have come into operation on 1st September 2006, which is when it was originally gazetted. The date of commencement of the Act should have been fixed by the President by statutory instrument, but the need to do so was overlooked and the Authority has in fact, if not in law, been operational since 2006. So this clause is an attempt to clothe the Authority’s operations over the last four years with legality. There is an important proviso, however, saying that provisions creating criminal offences will only come into operation when the present Bill eventually becomes law. [Note: the proviso is necessary because the Constitution forbids the retrospective creation of criminal liability.]

Amendment of Banking Act – minimum capital requirements for banking institutions The current section 29 of the Banking Act requires banking institutions to maintain “minimum equity capital” at levels to be prescribed in regulations made under the Act. This new clause drops the word “equity”, so that when the Bill becomes law banking institutions will have to abide by “minimum capital” requirements as prescribed. The clause provides a definition of “minimum capital” referring to the “permanent commitments” by an institution’s shareholders that will qualify as minimum capital.

Backdating of US dollar tariff for legal practitioners costs to February 2009 The new clause 19 backdates to 1st February 2009 the High Court (Fees and Allowances) (Amendment) Rules gazetted in SI 12/2011. This will enable successful litigants who have been awarded their costs by the High Court to claim their legal costs since 1st February 2009 in US dollars. The 1st February 2009 was when the multi-currency regime was inaugurated – but the fees and allowances permitted by the High Court rules continued to be stated in Zimbabwe dollars until SI 12/2011 was gazetted on 4th February this year. [A question: Why doesn’t the clause also refer to the magistrates court tariff enacted in SI 2/2011? During the Committee Stage on the Bill the Minister said the new clause covered both High Court and magistrates court cases.]

[Comment: The changes to the Bill in response to recommendations from the portfolio committees and the PLC illustrate how the committee system can assist in giving interested parties a real chance to influence legislation passing through Parliament – and also demonstrates that it is worthwhile lobbying committees even after a Bill has been approved by Cabinet and gazetted.]

Further Changes to Bill Still Possible

It is not too late for further changes to be made to the Bill as it goes through the Senate. The Minister and Senators can therefore be lobbied to improve the Bill by making amendments during the Senate Committee Stage. Clauses that are obvious candidates for further change are—

Aviation Act Civil Penalties [clause 6] – aviation industry stakeholders may feel that the provision for the imposition of civil penalties by the Civil Aviation Authority is still unsatisfactory despite the amendment made by the House

Backdating of Legal Costs [clause 19] – this clause could be improved by being broadened to cover costs in the magistrates court as well as the High Court.

Note on Bill’s Amendment of Ombudsman Act

Contrary to a press article this week, clause 5 of the Bill, amending the Ombudsman Act, does not introduce a new procedure for the appointment of the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector. It was Constitution Amendment No. 18 that in 2007 (1) adopted the name “Public Protector” in place of “Ombudsman”, and (2) introduced the new appointment procedure, under which the President, before appointing a Public Protector or Deputy Public Protector, must consult the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [as well as the Judicial Service Commission which has always been and remains involved]. Clause 5, therefore, is merely a belated, purely formal, follow-up to changes made to the Constitution by Constitution Amendment No. 18 of 2007: it amends the Ombudsman Act to incorporate the “new” term “Public Protector”, updates the preamble to the Act by reciting the current wording of the two short constitutional provisions dealing with the Public Protector, and changes the title of the Act to “Public Protector Act”.

Requests for available electronic versions should be emailed to veritas@yoafrica.com

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