Friday, 08 April 2011 08:44
By Staff Writer
AN extraordinary Sadc heads of state summit has been slated for next month
as regional leaders move to decisively deal with Zimbabwe’s protracted
political stalemate, amid mounting diplomatic tensions among leaders.
Diplomats based at the Sadc headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, said this
week consultations within the region have almost been completed and there
was consensus that the special Sadc summit — the supreme policy-making body
of the regional association — should be held on May 20. The venue is yet to
“There is going to be an extraordinary summit next month on Zimbabwe and
Madagascar,” a senior Sadc diplomat told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday.
“The situation in Zimbabwe and Madagascar has changed so much and is fluid.
We can’t wait until August for the regular summit to discuss those
countries. We need to move as a matter of urgency to prevent further
deterioration in those countries.”
Consultations about the extraordinary summit reached their height last week
during the Sadc meeting of the Troika of the organ of politics, defence and
security at Livingstone, Zambia. The Livingstone summit was attended by
Troika chair, Zambian President Rupiah Banda, South African President Jacob
Zuma, who is the troika deputy chair and facilitator, and outgoing chair
Sadc chair, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, also attended.
The extraordinary summit would bring together both Troika of the summit and
the organ on politics, defence and security. The Troika of the organ has
Banda, Zuma and Guebuza, while the Troika of the Sadc summit has Pohamba (AU
chair) Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos and DRC President Joseph
The Troikas are composed of the current chair, the deputy and outgoing
Diplomatic sources said the leaders agreed the extraordinary summit must be
held soon to decisively deal with Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi has confirmed the special
“The political situation in Madagascar and Zimbabwe remains difficult,
requiring a great deal of effort, not only from the region, but from those
countries themselves,” Baloi was quoted as saying in the Mozambican press.
He said the Zimbabwe and Madagascar situations were complex and needed to be
dealt with firmly.
By Tichaona Sibanda
8 April 2011
Six party negotiators to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the South
African facilitation team were on Friday still locked in talks that are
expected to create a roadmap for fresh elections in Zimbabwe.
President Jacob Zuma’s three member team jetted into Harare on Tuesday
evening and has since been in a number of meetings with individuals and with
The team, bolstered by a fresh SADC mandate to move full steam ahead and
ensure a speedy drafting and implementation of an election roadmap, is
expected to leave Harare armed with a document agreed to by all parties.
MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa confirmed to SW Radio Africa on Friday that
talks were still ongoing in Harare. The latest round of talks on the roadmap
formally started on Thursday following last week’s SADC Troika summit in
Livingstone, Zambia that censured Robert Mugabe for the slow pace of
implementing the GPA.
It has long been hoped that the full implementation of the GPA would allow
at least minimum conditions for a free and fair election. But Mugabe and his
ZANU PF party have delayed the process in the hope of unilaterally calling
an election without any reforms in place, including a new constitution.
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Apr 08 2011 17:12
Zimbabwe's mining industry proposed on Friday that "social investments"
count towards meeting new regulations that require foreign miners to sell
majority stakes to locals within six months.
Under new rules imposed last week, foreign mining firms must sell 51% stakes
to black Zimbabweans by September 25.
The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines said it believes that investments in social
projects such as roads, schools and clinics should count toward the equity
"The chamber's own proposals to government had been for a minimum
indigenisation quota of 26% equity, with the balance of 25% made up of
credits arising from corporate social investments," it said in a statement.
Such investments could include support to small miners, buying supplies
locally, training workers and launching new businesses, it added.
"The concept of indigenisation and economic empowerment is accepted and
supported by the industry," the chamber said.
"The industry believes it should be done in a way that will achieve the twin
paramount objectives of growth and development of the industry and the
Zimbabwe economy and broad-based economic empowerment."
The new law is strongly supported by veteran President Robert Mugabe but has
created tensions within the unity government, with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai charging that it will discourage investment.
Foreign mines operating in the country include London-listed Aquarius
Platinum and Australian-listed Zimbabwe Platinum Mines. -- Sapa-AFP
By Alex Bell
08 April 2011
The European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have this week both
pledged to support plans for an election roadmap for Zimbabwe, drafted by
the South African Development Community (SADC).
In a move likely to further anger the West-hating ZANU PF, both the EU and
UK’s Parliaments this week resolved to support SADC’s efforts, while
condemning the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.
Britain’s Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord
Howell, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that the UK, together with
other partners, was working towards ensuring a credible election in
“We are working with international partners, particularly the South African
Development Community, to support their efforts to create an election
roadmap leading to credible and properly monitored elections,” Howell said.
Howell said effective election monitoring was critical to avoid a repeat of
the violence and irregularities of the 2008 elections, which eventually led
to the drafting of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that formed the
“The UK stands ready to assist in any election monitoring effort, including
through multilateral partners such as the EU or Commonwealth. However, any
such efforts would have to be in response to an invitation by the Government
of Zimbabwe,” he said.
The European parliament meanwhile on Thursday resolved to step up pressure
on Robert Mugabe to halt human rights violations in Zimbabwe. The EU also
resolved to encourage Mugabe to adhere to the terms of GPA, through
engagement with SADC.
The EU Parliament also welcomed the SADC communiqué issued by the regional
bloc’s security organ, the Troika, in Zambia last week. European lawmakers
also resolved to step up cooperation with Southern African countries,
especially South Africa, to prevent intimidation related to upcoming
elections in Zimbabwe. The Brussels based Parliament went on to say in a
statement that it does not think an early election would resolve Zimbabwe’s
crisis, because current conditions are not conducive to a successful poll.
EU parliamentarians also condemned the recent surge of rights abuses in
Zimbabwe, including the persecution of MDC ministers. The Parliament also
insisted that “the Zimbabwean people should be given freedom of expression
and of assembly, that all intimidation of politicians and civil society
activists should cease and that every elected representative, irrespective
of political persuasion, as well as NGOs, political activists, the press and
ordinary citizens should be able to freely express their opinions without
fear of violent persecution, arbitrary imprisonment of torture.”
The full resolution from the EU parliament can be read by following this
Western involvement in SADC’s plans will be strongly resisted by ZANU PF and
Mugabe, who have on every occasion slammed Western states for imposing
targeted, restrictive sanctions on individuals in the regime. The EU has
insisted it will not drop the measures until there is significant change in
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa on Friday that
ZANU PF will use the resolutions by the UK and EU to further criticise SADC.
He explained that ZANU PF will accuse SADC of implementing a ‘Western agenda’,
and of being used as a “tool of the imperialists.”
“But none of this will save his hide,” Makumbe added. “The mood in Zimbabwe
is celebratory because SADC has finally said the right thing. SADC now needs
all the support it can get so it keeps doing the right thing.”
From the Zimbabwe Vigil
We are forwarding this press release at the request of Geoffrey Van Orden’s office.
NB Action for Southern Africa is holding a ‘Stop the Violence in Zimbabwe’ protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Zimbabwean Independence Day – Monday 18th April. Protesters will be outside the Embassy from 12 noon – 3 pm.
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
From: ECR Press
Sent: 07 April 2011 10:06
To: ECR Press
Subject: Keeping the pressure on Mugabe
Released by: Geoffrey Van Orden MEP
Contact: 0032 2 284 7332
Keeping the pressure on Mugabe
Strasbourg, 7 April 2011 -- The political situation in Zimbabwe has taken a serious turn for the worse. State security forces, controlled by President Robert Mugabe, have resumed a campaign of intimidation and brutality towards opponents of the regime, including those who are supposed to be taking part in the power sharing coalition. Governments of neighbouring countries have at last begun to toughen their stance.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who spearheads the European Parliament's campaign for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe, has commented as the Parliament prepares to express its condemnation of recent events:
"There has been an upsurge in violence and intimidation against those that Mugabe fears. This even includes arrests of MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) MPs and Ministers that are supposed to be partners in the Government of National Unity.
“It is reassuring that the SADC Summit on 31 March has at last recognised the true nature of the situation in Zimbabwe and called for an end to political violence and for free, democratic elections that meet international standards.
"We are calling on European governments and the EU to mobilise their political influence in Southern Africa to help bring about rapid change for the better and pave the way for properly monitored elections to be held in an atmosphere free from intimidation. Until there is evidence of real change the "restrictive measures", targeting Mugabe and his close allies, must remain in place."
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman. Over many years he has initiated the European Parliament's tough resolutions on Zimbabwe. He has been personally banned by Mugabe from entering Zimbabwe.
He can be contacted on: 0032 2 284 7332 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 08 April 2011 08:41
By Dumisani Muleya
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is tightening the screws on President
Robert Mugabe within the southern African region, further isolating him
ahead of an anticipated extraordinary Sadc summit on Zimbabwe next month
which could be a watershed meeting for the country.
This came as it emerged that Mugabe on Wednesday dispatched a top envoy to
meet with Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika to “extinguish the fires” in
“Mugabe’s remarks have triggered serious tensions within Sadc,” a senior
Sadc diplomat said this week.
“The situation has degenerated into a regional crisis. Most leaders are very
unhappy with what Mugabe said and want further measures to be taken against
him. However, Mugabe understands the depth of the problem and has as a
result sent one of his top advisors to Malawi on a fence-mending mission. Wa
Mutharika, who is close to Mugabe and was married to a Zimbabwean, would now
reach out to Sadc leaders and mediate. Zimbabwe’s diplomats in the region
are also fire-fighting.”
Diplomats said Zimbabwean envoys in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and
Namibia were working “very hard” to mend ruptured relations.
Before last year’s Sadc summit in Namibia, Mugabe visited Wa Mutharika, who
was then African Union chair. In the past Mugabe has clashed with a number
of Sadc leaders, prominent among them former South African president Nelson
Mandela, ex-Malawian leader Bakili Muluzi, the late Zambian president Levy
Mwanawasa and Botswana President Ian Khama. Last week’s clashes worsened his
After crisscrossing the region recently and diplomatically out-manoeuvring
Mugabe before last week’s crucial Sadc Troika summit in Livingstone, Zambia,
Tsvangirai did not rest on his laurels. He left yesterday for Lesotho and
will be travelling to Angola today to brief leaders there on the Zimbabwe
situation and lobby for support.
Tsvangirai in the past two weeks met with Zambian President Rupiah Banda,
chair of the Sadc Troika of the organ on politics, defence and security, his
deputy South African President Jacob Zuma, who is the facilitator in the
political dialogue, and Armando Guebuza of
Mozambique, outgoing Troika chairman.
Tsvangirai also met current Sadc chair, Namibian President Hifikepunye
The premier met leaders of Tanzania and DRC as part of his regional trips.
Tsvangirai has been telling Sadc leaders about his poisoned relations with
Mugabe, renewed political repression and violence, arbitrary arrests and
selective application of the law, and refusal to implement the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) and its perpetual violations. He has also said
Mugabe does not respect them.
Banda, Zuma, Guebuza and Pohamba attended last week’s Troika meeting which
drew up far-reaching resolutions and left Mugabe further isolated.
As Mugabe’s row with Sadc leaders escalated, his spokesman George Charamba
on Wednesday wrote a long article in the state-controlled Herald, distancing
his boss from the Sunday Mail remarks. Charamba also issued a series of
disclaimers, retractions and denials in the process, saying Mugabe was only
complaining about procedures and not Sadc resolutions.
He, however, indicated Mugabe’s discomfort with the new Sadc team which
would work closely with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee on
issues relating to the GPA and Government of National Unity (GNU) and the
return of Sadc facilitators on Zimbabwe, who are also Zuma’s personal
Despite Mugabe’s outrage, Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao said
Zimbabwe had not complained officially and Sadc was proceeding with its
activities. Zuma’s facilitators arrived on Wednesday and held meetings
Mugabe caused the crisis by reacting angrily to the Sadc decisions, accusing
regional leaders of meddling in his internal affairs and denouncing Zuma in
“There is a line of thinking in Sadc that a body should be created to point
certain things to us but Zimbabwe will not tolerate any group to prescribe
to us what to do. Facilitators should facilitate, he cannot prescribe to us
to do A, B, C, and D. We give ourselves the A, B, C, and D, in accordance
with our agreement,” Mugabe told his party’s central committee last Friday,
a day after the Sadc Troika summit.
Mugabe said Zuma could not tell him what to do.
“We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign
country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that,” he
“The facilitator is the facilitator and must facilitate dialogue. He cannot
prescribe anything. We prescribe what we should do in accordance with our
laws and our agreement. “The (opposition) MDC thinks Sadc or the African
Union can prescribe to us how we run our things.”
Mugabe opened the floodgates for the government-controlled Sunday Mail and
its columnists to insult Zuma and other Sadc leaders in unprecedented terms.
The Sunday Mail, which reflects the views and thinking of Mugabe, his
section of government and Zanu PF, described Zuma as a “dishonest broker”, a
surrogate of Western countries and “a huge liability, not only to South
Africa but also to the rest of the continent”.
“President Mugabe has clearly stated that President Zuma has no mandate to
craft an election roadmap for Zimbabwe,” the Sunday Mail claimed.
Mugabe’s remarks and those by his loyalists in Zanu PF and the state media
angered Zuma and Sadc leaders. Although Zuma has not spoken in public about
Mugabe’s statements, his office has said Zimbabwean leaders use the official
channels of communication.
A group of Air Zimbabwe employees owed US$400,000 recently obtained a court
order authorizing them to attach and sell airline vehicles, computers and
maintenance shop equipment.
Gibbs Dube | Washington 07 April 2011
Zimbabwe's Labor Court has ruled that the strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots and
other staff is illegal and has ordering them to return to work within 48
Labor Court President Loice Matanda-Moyo said the strikers did not follow
provisions of the Labor Act before launching their action. But she said
management should not penalize them for embarking on the strike, which was
in its third week.
The Zimbabwe Flight Crew Association and Air Zimbabwe management had no
Labor expert Davies Ndumiso Sibanda said the strikers risk being fired if
they stay away.
"If they go back to work they may be able to pursue the matter and end up
obtaining a court order allowing them to attach and sell the airline's
property to cover outstanding salaries and allowances," Sibanda said.
The workers say they are owed US$9 million in unpaid salaries and
A group of Air Zimbabwe employees owed US$400,000 recently obtained a court
order authorizing them to attach and sell airline vehicles, computers and
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has urged the government to fire the
airline’s management board which it accuses of being incompetent.
President Robert Mugabe had been expected to intervene in the dispute.
Reports said the airline, which has been posting a monthly US$3.5 million
loss, is too broke to raise even part of the outstanding salaries and
By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 April, 2011
Pilots and flight crews at the ailing Air Zimbabwe have decided to continue
their strike over unpaid salaries, despite a Labour Court ruling on
Wednesday that their industrial action is illegal. Local reports said the
striking pilots have appealed to the High Court challenging that decision.
The state owned Herald newspaper reported that the national airline is
losing an average of $100 000 every day and has offered a 60 percent stake
to the private sector. No proposals have been received yet.
Air Zim board chairman Jonathan Kadzura is quoted as saying the industrial
action was making the situation worse for the debt ridden airline, with
reported losses of more than $3 million a month.
"We are losing revenue everyday and our credibility," Kadzura was quoted as
But the Labour Court on Wednesday said the strike was illegal because the
pilots and crew did not follow basic procedures before embarking on the
Like other state run institutions in the country, Air Zim has been riddled
with corruption and mismanagement. The pilots went on strike last month,
demanding payment of outstanding salaries and allowances totaling about $12
Kadzura and the board have insisted they do not have the money and it is not
clear how the current stalemate will be resolved.
by Lindie Whiz
MAGISTRATES at the Bulawayo and Western Commonage magistrates’ courts did
not report for duty on Friday, defying a call by their union to end the
ongoing national strike for better pay.
On Thursday the Magistrates’ Association of Zimbabwe (ZMA) signed a joint
statement with their employer, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), and
the Chief Magistrate’s Office calling on officers to return to work while
However, only the provincial magistrate in charge of Bulawayo and
Matabeleland North provinces, John Masimba, turned up at the Bulawayo
magistrates’ courts while no sitting took place at Western Commonage.
Meanwhile, 15 new cases were brought before Masimba who remanded out of
custody all the suspects including two facing a robbery charge and a
juvenile charged with attempted murder.
Even in cases where suspects were pleading guilty Masimba would not record
any plea and remanded them 21 April.
Magistrates stopped reporting for work on Monday to press for higher pay.
Magistrates currently earn between US$206 and US$236 while regional
magistrates earn US$300.
The ZMA is demanding payment of US$600 for magisterial assistants, US$1,000
for junior magistrates, US$1,500 for senior magistrates, US$2,000 for senior
provincial magistrates, US$2,500 for regional magistrates, US$3,000 for
senior regional and deputy Chief Magistrate and US$3,300 for the Chief
The strike has left police chiefs fearing the possible breach criminal
suspects’ rights by holding them beyond the 48 hours allowed by law before
they are taken to court.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has advised police to fine suspects
arrested on minor offences, and refer more serious criminals to Zimbabwe’s
prisons after reports holding cells countrywide were filling up.
Also caught up in the strike are couples intending to wed, and those seeking
to force through their divorces. Marriage and divorce certificates must be
signed by a magistrate.
Harare, April 08, 2011 - Zimbabwe’s magistrates, who went on strike last
Monday to press for a review in their salaries, on Friday resumed duty after
government promised them a 100 percent salary hike.
Sources privy to Thursday's discussions entered between the magistrates and
their employer, the Judicial Service Commission told Radio VOP on Friday
that the entry point for a magistrate will now be US$490.
“The whole salary spectrum is between US$490 and slightly above US$1120,”
said a Harare magistrate on condition of anonymity.
Currently, Zimbabwe’s magistrates are getting salaries of between $200 and
$300. They were demanding salaries ranging from $1000 for the lowest paid to
According to the sources, the new salary structure is with effect from April
1 this year.
Another magistrate interviewed on condition of anonymity said the new
salaries, although falling short of what they were demanding, were
Reached for comment Magistrates Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) secretary
general Munamato Mutevedzi refused to discuss the new salaries.
“We issued a statement yesterday. We cannot comment on anything outside the
statement,” he said.
In Thursday’s statement issued jointly by the Judicial Service Commission,
the Chief Magistrate and MAZ, the parties agreed the magistrates would
resume work immediately while negotiations continued.
"Negotiations between the JSC and the MAZ are continuing. We wish to notify
wish to notify the nation that magistrates, being judicial officers, remain
deeply touched by the plight of the general public who have been prejudiced
by the impasse between us,” read the statement in part.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Staff Writer
Friday, 08 April 2011 09:34
HARARE - A day after President Robert Mugabe promised teachers substantial
salary increases, it emerged yesterday the inclusive government is
Reliable sources told the Daily News last night that government finances
were “over-stretched” as it is, and that there would have to be a
significant increase in its revenues before any such large allocations could
be afforded by the fiscus without causing serious harm to the economy.
The sources said Mugabe’s promises had taken most of the members of the
cabinet by surprise – a sentiment that was given weight by public service
minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro who said: “I have read about the salary
increases in the press and I’m yet to be informed officially. (as of now) I
know nothing about it’’.
Although the Daily News could not reach finance minister Tendai Biti, the
man who pulls government’s purse strings, the sources claimed that he was
also “completely in the dark” about the promised increases.
“It is possible that teachers can get money at some point. But for that to
happen, the government would have to get that money from somewhere as it
does not have the money at the moment – unless, of course, there are more
diamond finds and sales than has been disclosed,” one of the sources said.
Many teachers and their representatives canvassed by the Daily News, while
desperate for the salary increases, were sceptical about the chances of
this happening soon. Analysts dismissed increase proposal as “cheap
The beleaguered Mugabe, under pressure at home and abroad, on Wednesday met
teachers’ representatives at State House where he promised to increase their
salaries substantially by June. He said he would talk to Biti about how
this could be done.
In January, Mugabe also promised civil servants a massive hike in their
salaries, claiming that he would do so through inflows from diamond sales.
However, Biti embarrassed him by telling disclosing that government income
from diamonds was not as big as the president claimed or had been made to
This forced civil servants to push for a meeting with Mugabe – which finally
culminated in Wednesday’s gathering and fresh promises.
Biti has in the past said that the government has no money to increase civil
servants wages – unless the reported 75 000 ghost workers, believed to be
Zanu PF youths, are removed from the wage bill.
Progressive Teacher’s Union, PTUZ, spokesman Oswald Madziva told the Daily
News last night that although it was too early to celebrate, Mugabe, by
putting his head on the block again, would honour his word.
“By any standards the money being proposed by President Mugabe is below the
Poverty Datum Line and no union will easily accept that. The feedback we are
getting from members is that the money is still low but in desperate
situation like ours others will be tempted to accept the offer.
“(Although) Mugabe did not state where the money will come from, we don’t
really care. He has given us two months and maybe he has something in his
mind and people will be tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt,” he
Political commentator John Makumbe said Mugabe was playing politics and
“grandstanding as usual” to win civil servants’ support.
“Mugabe is playing politics with them. He did not mention where the money
will come from and whether the money will come as basic salary or as housing
“Mugabe has failed to explain to the nation what is happening to money from
the diamonds from Chiadzwa, where this increment is supposed to have come
from. The money he is talking about is not budgeted for, so he is fooling
everyone and we cannot take him seriously.
“Some civil servants think he is in control of the affairs of the country
but they are wrong because he is not in charge. It is the military chiefs
who are controlling the country,’’ Makumbe said.
Charles Mangongera, another political commentator concurred with Makumbe
saying: “Mugabe is clearly playing politics with the civil servants. He is
trying to create an impression that he cares for them. Why did he not look
after the civil servants for the past 10 years when they were reduced to
paupers. There is no money in the fiscus and he wants to create tension
between Biti and the civil servants. We all know that there is no money in
A teacher who requested anonymity described Mugabe’s offer as peanuts.
“This is nothing compared to the amount of work we are doing and what the
chefs are earning. It is still below what we want and in any case, I doubt
if the money will come at all because these politicians lie time and again
to gain votes.
“In January, Mugabe also promised us money only to be told by Minister Biti
that there was no such money,” he said.
Civil servants are demanding a minimum salary of US$502, but Mugabe offered
Madziva also said that Mugabe had failed to address the political
victimisation and harassment of their members, particularly during the
bloody 2008 presidential run-off elections.
“We are worried he (Mugabe) did not even address the suffering that teachers
go through especially in the rural areas during election time. We want the
harassment of teachers to stop once and for all,’’ he said.
Teachers constitute the bulk of the civil servants, numbering more than 100
by Business Reporter
ANALYSTS have indicated the Zimbabwe government expects China to step into
the breach should the country suffer any adverse effects from its
controversial indigenisation laws.
Zimbabwe is insisting that all foreign-owned firms localise at least 51
percent of their shareholdings as part of efforts to empower the previously
disadvantaged black majority.
The Chamber of Mines said it had proposed a combination of equity and
credits for social investments as ways of fulfilling the requirement but
these were thrown out by the government.
“(Our) own proposals to government had been for a minimum indigenization
quota of 26 percent equity, with the balance of 25 percent made up of
credits arising from corporate social investments,” the Chamber said in a
statement published on Friday.
The government has since given miners up to May 9, 2010 to submit their
indigenisation plans which, once approved, must be implemented within six
The announcement, made last month, hit the shares of platinum producers
Zimplats and Aquarius as punters sold-off on the back of mounting concerns
over the policy.
‘‘Indigenisation should be done in a way that will achieve the twin
paramount objectives of growth and development of the industry and the
Zimbabwe economy and broad-based economic empowerment,’’ the Chamber of
Critics say the policy will likely hit companies’ expansion plans as well as
deter new investment at a time the country is in dire need of foreign
capital to sustain economic recovery.
But an Africa specialist with Executive Analysis, Robert Besseling says the
Zimbabwean government always had a back-up plan in the event there was an
adverse effect on the economy.
“Zimbabwe has always had a back-up plan and it has come to fruition in the
last few weeks whereby they have been able to attract Chinese investment,”
Besseling said in an interview with the BBC.
“The country has a huge amount of platinum, gold as well as an un-projected
amount of diamonds. So for China there is certainly a huge commercial
potential especially with Western companies pulling out or being pushed out.
Other countries such as India and South Korea can also move in.”
Last month China concluded a US$700 million loan agreement with Zimbabwe,
the biggest package of loans from Beijing to the mineral-rich country.
Chinese investors have also been assured that their investments in the
country would be exempt from the indigenisation laws which, government
officials insist, will particularly target companies from countries that
imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Besseling said although there were concerns about Chinese activities on the
continent, Zimbabwean authorities felt that the country could only benefit
from dealing with China since there was no chance of any meaningful
investment and or budgetary support from the West.
Friday, 08 April 2011 12:04
Njabulo Ncube, Assistant Editor
ZANU-PF’s failure to capture the coveted post of Speaker of Parliament last
week might have unintentionally unified the two camps of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in future elections. In a dramatic week that also
saw the SADC troika reading the riot act to President Robert Mugabe over his
insincerity in the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) he signed with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara in September 2008, legislators from the MDC
factions shrugged-off their sharp differences to wallop ZANU-PF candidate,
Simon Khaya-Moyo for the speakership.
The previous week, ZANU-PF had been hoodwinked into believing that the
Welshman Ncube-led faction of the MDC, which has seven legislators in the
lower chamber, would be abstaining from participating in the polls.
As they say a week is too long in politics, Ncube’s formation suddenly had a
change of heart and resolved to root for Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s
Lovemore Moyo in the polls.
Critics point out that it was folly for ZANU-PF to bank on the Ncube faction
to do them a favour by abstaining from the polls. Ncube had and still has an
axe to grind with President Mugabe for refusing to swear him in as one of
the principals to the GPA after the professor of law ousted controversial
Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara in a bloodless coup at the party’s elective
congress in January this year.
You scratch my back, I scratch yours: It was time for Ncube to hit back. And
hitting back he did on Tuesday by using his parliamentary vote to swing the
tide in MDC-T’s favour.
For the first time since the infamous split in October 2005, the two MDC
formations out-witted ZANU-PF as a united front, albeit temporarily. The
rest is history.
ZANU-PF’s failure to recapture the Speakership has inadvertently set the
ball-rolling for a possible reunification of the two bitter enemies that
severed ties in October 2005 over whether or not the former united party
should participate in the senate elections held in November of the same
year. Last ditch efforts to forge an alliance in the bloody 2008 polls
failed after the two formations found it difficult if not impossible to bury
the hatchet and face ZANU-PF as a single entity.
While there is still no love lost between Prime Minister Tsvangirai and
Ncube, the rare show of unity between the two MDC factions last Tuesday has
raised prospects for a united front as the country looks likely to hold
fresh polls anytime this year as intimated by President Mugabe. Announcing
the MDC’s change of heart, secretary general Priscilla
Misihai-rabwi-Mushonga, said the events of the past days leading to the
parliamentary election, merited a change in position.
The timing of the re-arrest of Elton Mangoma, the MDC-T Minister of Energy
and Power Development over a second fresh charge of abuse of office, and
the alleged threats of further arrests of MDC-T Members of Parlia-ment by
the police, influenced the M-DC’s position to support the candidature of
Lovemore Moyo against Khaya-Moyo.
On his part Ncube said: “I had stated earlier that we as the MDC will only
reconsider our position if ZANU-PF subverts the electoral process to secure
victory by underhand means or through misuse and abuse of the law through
such things as arrests made primarily for the purpose of influencing the
outcome of the vote.”
“In that event, they would have lost their moral equivalence with the MDC-T.
It is now clear that ZANU-PF have decided to do exactly that.
“On that basis, the MDC standing committee decided to vote against the
ZANU-PF candidate and vote for the MDC-T candidate for the position of
Speaker of the House of Assembly. This is not an endorsement of the MDC-T
candidate but in the interests of serving the people of Zimbabwe we no
longer see moral equivalence between ZANU-PF and MDC.”
Reverend Useni Sibanda, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Christian
Allia-nce, said ZANU-PF was probably kicking itself after it unintentionally
united its enemies.
While noting that the Ncube faction had demonstrated the kind of political
maturity lacking in Zimb-abwe, Sibanda said the two formations should now
push and work towards a fully fledged unification.
“First, this is the kind of maturity in politics that we need to see being
demonstrated by our politicians. The MDC-Ncube acted correctly; if you find
a woman being abused you cannot be neutral about it, you have to intervene
on her behalf,” said Sibanda.
“This move should signal a shift towards a more strategic unification of the
democratic forces to ensure that this transition towards a more democratic
society is completed. There is need to revive broad platforms that unite
people and create space for strategic actions that will benefit the people
of Zimbabwe,” said Sibanda.
Bekithemba Mpofu, ano-ther analyst, said it was Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s
time to now scratch Ncube’s back.
“It was a well calculated move from the MDC. What is interesting are the
reasons cited for the reversal of their initial decision, given that ZANU-PF
will not change their dirty tactics one is left wondering if the comment
will not come back to haunt the MDC as they will be expected to act in line
with this comment. We will therefore expect the differences between the
parties to narrow and cooperation to increase against ZANU-PF, more so that
MDC-T now has to return the favour,” said Mpofu.
by Staff Reporter
A SECOND member of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front, held on a treason charge,
has been released after his US$2,000 bail was paid by the Welshman Ncube-led
Charles Thomas, 44, would have been freed last Thursday after a judge
granted him bail along with John Gazi, 54, but his family failed to raise
the bail money.
But after a week in jail, the MDC stepped in just before lunchtime on Friday
and paid Thomas’ bond – meaning he would spend the weekend with his family
for the first time since his March 3 arrest.
Gazi was released on Monday after his family stumped-up bail.
Edwin Ndlovu, the MDC’s chairman for Bulawayo province, said the assistance
rendered to Thomas was “unconditional”.
He told reporters: “We realised as a party that the MLF members had become
vulnerable and could not raise money to pay Thomas’ bail.
“Our belief is that people must co-exist with different views and
principles. Our principles are different because we are for devolution of
power, while they are for cessation.
“The assistance we gave to Thomas is unconditional.”
Paul Siwela, 49, a third member of the Mthwakazi Liberation Front also
arrested on March 3, remains at Khami Prison after High Court judge Justice
Nicholas Ndou allowed prosecutors to challenge the granting of bail.
All three men will next appear in court on April 15.
Prosecutors say on March 1 this year, the trio in the company of seven
others who are still at large, and all of them members of the pressure
group-cum-political party, held an executive meeting at Siwela’s office at
Number 3 Princess Court in Bulawayo.
The State is alleging that they connived and agreed to distribute fliers
which carried the message: “Vukani njengabantu base Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt
le Tunisia ngabantu labo njengathi balegazi bo (Rise up like the people of
Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Tunisia. They are people with blood like us).”
Prosecutors say the men were trying to incite the people to rise up and
overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government through unconstitutional
All three men deny the charges.
Harare, April 08, 2011 - The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said
in the absence of magistrates who had been on strike suspects and detainees
had a right to be taken before any High Court judge for initial remand and
the opportunity to be granted bail.
The ZLHR said this was in line with the country’s laws in particular, the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The lawyers' statement contradicted that of Justice and Legal Affairs
Minister Patrick Chinamasa who told the state-owned Herald that that
suspects and detainees could be incarcerated in prisons pending an end to
the strike by magistrates without being brought to court.
“What is most worrying are reports that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
and the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs are proceeding on the
dangerous misconception that accused persons can be lodged in remand prisons
without the right to be brought before a Magistrate, or Judge, to be placed
on remand and apply for bail," ZLHR told Radio VOP in a statement. "Our laws
allow for such accused persons to be taken before any Judge, thus before the
High Court of Zimbabwe to argue for their liberty as guaranteed in the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.”
Chinamasa told the state-run Herald newspaper on Thursday that there was an
option of taking suspects to facilities such as Chikurubi, to “off load some
of them there” while police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena told the Financial
Gazette that all Gazette that all persons in police custody would be
detained until themagistrates’
ZLHR warned the Zimbabwe Prison Service to “refuse to accept detainees for
incarceration in remand prisons without a valid warrant for imprisonment
issue by either a Magistrate or a Judge". It said the police and Chinamasa
must “desist from misleading the public into believing that detainees can
simply be imprisoned without due process of the law.”
Large numbers of people have been over detained in police custody since
Monday when magistrates across the country went on strike to demand an
improvement in working conditions and an adjustment of their salaries.
The magistrates called off the strike on Thursday after pledges to respond
to their grievances.
By Lance Guma
08 April 2011
Exiled MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett has denied media reports that he is
chasing away investors from Zimbabwe.
Bennett ruffled a few top feathers last month when he used an investment
conference in Cape Town to tell the London listed company, Old Mutual, to
withdraw controversial shareholding in a company involved in the “illicit”
diamond mining that is occurring in Marange.
Speaking on our Question Time programme Bennett said; “ZANU PF have taken a
spin on this and said I am discouraging investment from Zimbabwe, far from
the truth. Ethical investment is welcome, has happened, will continue to
happen and will continue to be there for the long term future of Zimbabwe.
Bennett, who was forced to relocate to South Africa owing to persistent
victimization and endless cooked-up court cases, said; “Unethical
investment, at the expense of the people, at the expense of human rights,
that fuels hatred, violence and anything against the people, is
Old Mutual has a 16 percent shareholding in the New Reclamation Group, a
company that partnered the government to extract diamonds in Marange.
Bennett argues the diamond fields are controlled by the military junta and
were “attained over the dead bodies of hundreds of impoverished
“That is a totally shady deal with Mbada Diamonds and the Mineral Marketing
Board. You have the community of Marange that has been displaced, that have
been killed, that have been brutalized around those diamond fields. If
anyone should benefit from those resources it’s the people of Marange.
Bennett added; “The investment has not met the standards of transparency and
the monies out of those diamond mines basically ends up fuelling the
violence against the people of Zimbabwe to endorse an autocratic
Bennett, who says he will continue to speak his mind, is also questioning
Old Mutual’s shareholding in Zimpapers, the publishers of The Herald, The
Sunday Mail and other state run papers.
“Their stake in Zimpapers is seriously questionable. If we look at the
hatred that is spewed out and fanning the violence and fanning every ‘ism’
that is possible, it is those dirty little rags.”
By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Friday, 08 April 2011 10:47
HARARE - Jostling for positions in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
ahead of their watershed congress at the end of the month intensifies at the
weekend, with the holding of provincial elections.
MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, said nine provincial elections will be
held on Saturday and Sunday to elect provincial leadership in preparation
for the end of April congress.
Elections have already been held for Chitungwiza, Harare and Mashonaland
West provinces. On Saturday provincial elections will be held in Bulawayo,
Matabeleland North, Midlands North, Midlands South, Mashonaland Central, and
On Sunday elections will be held in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and
Matabeleland South provinces.Tight contests are expected in the rescheduled
Masvingo Province elections, Bulawayo and Manicaland provinces.
In Masvingo, Wilstaf Stemere will battle it out again with Bernard
Chiondengwa for the chairperson position, after the party nullified last
weekend’s election won by Stemere, saying they had spotted anomalies.
“We made a ruling, as a party leadership and the national standing
committee, that as much as we took note of the congress that was held last
weekend, there was a communication lapse from head office because we somehow
communicated two dates, so this confused the lower structures,” Chamisa
“We appealed to our structures to then re-convene and reconstitute the
provincial (Masvingo) congress on Saturday. It is an instruction from the
party, there is no more discord.”
Masvingo Province is being fiercely contested and tensions are said to have
risen high last week, resulting in skirmishes.
In Bulawayo, Gorden Moyo, Tsvangirai’s aide, is fighting for the party’s
leadership against Mzilikazi Senator, Matson Hlalo.
Again this is being hotly contested and last month, Tsvangirai had to fly to
Bulawayo to cool down tensions.
Mutasa North MP, David Chimhini will contest for the Manicaland chairperson
position against the MDC governor’s nominee for the province, Julias
Jostling for top party posts at the congress has already begun in the party
at the Bulawayo congress, which may see senior executive members losing
their posts, sources in the MDC have said. MDC is set to announce names that
will be contesting for the senior executive positions at the congress.
Sources told the Daily News that senior posts that are likely to be heavily
contested are the chairpersons of positions that include organising
secretary, Women’s Assembly, Youth Assembly, Information department chair,
secretary-general and the party chairperson post.
The deputy president position held by deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani
Khupe, is said to be up for grabs.Sources said Elias Mudzuri, the current
organising secretary, is set to be challenged by Morgan Komichi, his current
deputy, and Joel Guebuza has also been said to be eyeing the same post.
Mudzuri is under pressure from the party structures to prove that he
deserves the post.
The Women’s Assembly chairperson position is likely to be contested by
Theresa Makone, Evelyn Masaiti and Gladys Gombami, it has been said.Sources
have said Khupe is going to be challenged by Thabitha Khumalo.
The Youth Assembly chairperson, which is being vacated by Thamsanqa
Mahlangu, is set to attract a contest from Mkoba North MP, Amos Chibaya,
Solomon Madzore, Godfrey Costa and former students leader Prosper Mkwananzi,
it has been said.
Another hot contest is set for the party’s chairperson position which is
currently held by Matobo North MP and Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo.
Party sources confirmed that he will face a stiff challenge from former
Women’s Assembly chairperson, Lucia Matibenga, Sipepa Nkomo and Gift
Mabhena, all of whom are said to be interested in the same post.
Party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa’s post being eyed by Masvingo Urban MP,
Tongai Matutu and Chisipite senator, Obert Gutu.
Tendai Biti, the party’s secretary general may face competition from Ian
Makone, the director in Prime Minister’s office.
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Friday, 08 April 2011 10:32
HARARE - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors in Harare are at
each other’s throat after at least three of them were accused of working in
cahoots with the Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo fight their
Chombo has so far fired and suspended six elected councillors in Harare
since 2008 on allegations of fraud and mismanagement of council funds as
well as well evicting residents from their stands.
Some of the fired councillors have been investigating the minister over his
acquisition of vast tracts of prime council land.
The Daily News is reliably informed that some of the fired councillors were
approached by their colleagues now working with Chombo to apologise to the
minister so that they would be “forgiven” but they refused and were
One of the fired councillors told the Daily News that he faced the same
charges with a councillor who is now believed to be close to Chombo but he
was expelled while his colleague named as Herbert Gomba was absolved.
He suspects Gomba went and begged for forgiveness to Chombo and was
immediately roped into the minister’s side.
“I was approached by councillor Gomba and he told me that I should go and
see the minister so that I could make up with him. He told me that he had
mended his relations with him,” said the councillor who refused to be named.
When reached for comment Gomba said the allegations were total rubbish.
“We were charged differently and those councillors failed to defend
themselves. I was charged with two cases, the first being that of getting a
stand outside my ward while I was not on the waiting list, the second was
that I bought a stand without a council resolution, “said Gomba.
“I proved beyond reasonable doubt that I was on the waiting list and there
was a council resolution to that effect” said Gomba.
“Those are cheap political statements that are meant to paint a wrong
picture against me especially now when we are restructuring our party, I don’t
even have Chombo’s number and I have never phoned him before,” he said.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said he was not aware of such developments
and blamed Chombo for the axing of their elected councillors.
“I have not heard about that, all I can say is Chombo is trying to attack
our people and silence those who are outspoken by firing them,” said
Efforts to get a comment from the minister were fruitless as his mobile
phone went answered.
Harare, April 08, 2011 - The Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma has
threatened legal action against Tendai Biti for defamation after the Finance
Minister allegedly called him a “willing appendage of Zanu (PF)".
A letter by Zvoma’s lawyers, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha dated 29 March 2011,
Which Radio VOP is in possession of shows that the parliament chief wants
Biti to retract the claims.
The lawyers said that they had a copy of the Newsday edition dated 23 March
2011 in which Biti is said to have stated that: “Zvoma has become a willing
appendage of Zanu (PF), which is not ready for this election…”.
The lawyers claimed to have an audio recording of the interview in “you
(Biti) threatened unspecified action on our client (Zvoma)”.
“With respect the statement is per se defamatory. We are instructed to
demand that you retract the statement and offer an unqualified apology by
our client whom has to be placed on the same page of the newspaper
concerned,” the lawyers demanded.
“We trust that you will do the honourable and offer the apology within seven
(7) days of the date of this letter, failing which our instructions are to
commence civil proceedings,” Zvoma’s lawyers added.
Biti could not be reached for comment on the matter as he was said to have
been attending a council of ministers meeting.
By Alex Bell
08 April 2011
A community radio station in Harare is set to take its fight to be licensed
to court, filing an application with the High Court this week.
Community Radio Harare filed the application on Monday, in an effort to have
its broadcasting licence application considered by the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). The radio station also wants a court order that
will force the regulatory board to call for broadcasting licence
In its court application, the radio station says that it wrote to the
government authority last September, applying for a community radio
broadcasting licence. They also notified the authority of their readiness to
broadcast once a licence was issued to them.
But the application was declined in January this year, on the grounds that
there had been no call for licences, as provided for by the Broadcasting
Services Act. The Act states that applications can only be received and
processed after BAZ has made an invitation for such applications.
The radio station is arguing that it has not been possible to apply for a
licence since the broadcasting authority has not called for licence
applications since 2004. The station argues that the authority’s failure to
call and issue licences “...is on its own an illegality and must be
Community Radio adds that BAZ has a duty to enable eligible applicants to
apply for and obtain radio licences and that as an aspiring broadcaster,
they have a legitimate expectation to be provided a fair and reasonable
opportunity to apply and be granted a licence.
The airwaves remain completely dominated by the state’s mouthpiece ZBC, with
the government refusing to license any independent entity. This is despite
the terms of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which call for major media
reforms, including licensing of independent radio stations.
by Tobias Manyuchi Friday 08 April 2011
HARARE – Zimbabwe faces a fresh political storm should elections be held
this year, with President Robert Mugabe likely to use violence to retain
power should he lose the vote, the London School of Economics (LSE) has
Democratic reforms envisaged under Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s power-sharing pact known as the global political agreement
(GPA) have not been implemented and the pact remains a work in progress, the
Without reforms to ensure free and fair polls as well as a smooth transfer
of power to the winner, Zimbabwe is likely to end up with another unity
government, the LSE said in its latest report on the southern African
country titled: "Zimbabwe and Political Transition".
"2011 could be ‘a perfect storm’ …. if an election is held, will it see the
removal of ZANU-PF at the ballot box? Yes," the report said.
"Will ZANU-PF cede power? No. As Mnangagwa (Emmerson, Minister of Defence)
said, ‘If you don’t vote for us in the next election, we will rule even if
you don’t want.’
“The likely outcome is therefore re-booted coalition government,” the report
said referring to recent media reports quoting the Defence Minister as
saying ZANU PF would not give up power even if it lost elections. Mnangagwa
has not disputed the reports.
No date for elections has been set but Mugabe has publicly said they must be
held this year, while the rising reports of political violence suggest a
vote is imminent either at the end of this year or early next year.
Under the GPA Zimbabwe must first write a new and democratic constitution
before holding fresh elections.
A multi-party parliamentary committee leading the writing of the new
constitution expects to have a draft charter ready to be taken before
Zimbabweans in a referendum by September.
But civil society groups say Zimbabwe should not hold elections this year
even after a new constitution has been enacted because the charter and
several proposed electoral reforms would need to be given time to take root
to ensure the next vote is free and fair.
Zimbabwe’s elections have been characterised by political violence and gross
human rights abuses with the last vote in June 2008 ending inconclusively
after the military-led a campaign of violence and murder that forced then
opposition leader Tsvangirai to withdraw from a second round presidential
Tsvangirai had been tipped to win the second round election after beating
Mugabe in the first round ballot but without the percentage of votes
required avoiding the second round run-off poll
The former foes eventually bowed to pressure from southern African leaders
to agree to form a government of national unity. -- ZimOnline
By Maxwell Sibanda, Staff Writer
Friday, 08 April 2011 10:45
HARARE - Social commentator and author, Mark Twain, could have had a
prediction of what could have happened when Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor Gedion Gono, thought up sunshine schemes in futile attempts to rein
in galloping inflation.
Twain said: a banker is a fellow who lends his umbrella when the sun is
shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
A few months ago, Gono withdrew his umbrella that he had lent to more than
a thousand workers, leaving them to face the vagaries of turbulent economic
weather on their own.
And this is not the first time that the maverick Gono has shown an uncanny
penchant in making employees redundant.
Gono’s deft hand descended on 1 457 workers, who suddenly lost their jobs
at the central bank becoming the seventh lot of employees that the banker,
true to Twain’s words, took the umbrella back from when it began to rain.
This is the seventh company that the governor has wielded his axe, sending
workers into the streets and in the process hurting thousands of households.
There were agonising cries in 2001 when Gono spearheaded a retrenchment
exercise at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) that left 435 experienced
staffers without jobs.
As chairman of ZBH Board of Directors, Gono showed the workers the door
under an obscure programme code-named Vision 30. He promised them severance
packages, which took its toll of human frustration and patience among
employees to materialise.
Most of the ZBH employees became destitute due to inordinate delays in
getting their retrenchment packages on time, and when some of it was finally
released it had been heavily whittled by inflation.
Gono worked hand-in-hand with Jonathan Moyo, who at the time was Minister of
Information. Moyo was quoted saying then: “Someone like Dr Gono, with his
experience in banking, will provide the necessary leadership in terms of
transforming the current structures at ZBH.”
But that was not to be.
The ZBH’s programming deteriorated as Moyo, in cahoots with Gono, went on a
hiring expedition, which brought on board greenhorn personnel to take over
Vision 30 brought misery to 235 families, but at the same time benefited
those who were close to Zanu PF as they were offered jobs to spearhead
political campaigns and spew out propaganda.
In his short career as a banker, Gono has overseen six other retrenchment
exercises, which have thrown workers in the street.
These include at Zimbabwe Development Bank (now Infrastructure Bank of
Zimbabwe) in the early 1990′s; at CBZ in the mid and late 1990s; at
University of Zimbabwe as Council Chairman in the late 1990s; and at the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (now ZBH) between 2000 and 2003.
The year 2011 sees Gono’s hand at it again as he is spearheading the
retrenchment of 1 455 workers at RBZ. And this will affect the lives of 1
457 households whose bread winners have been rendered jobless.
The governor said the budgeted cost of the retrenchment package is
approximately US$30 million with an additional US$40 million in back pay,
leave-pay and other statutory payments.
As head of a public institution, the ordinary man could be asking where the
RBZ is getting all the money to pay the affected workers when it is
virtually broke and owing ordinary people and businesses millions in unpaid
Gono said in recent Press statements: “The initial pay-out pay is being
funded by an advance of US$7, 5 million given to us by the Ministry of
Finance and this should see the retrenchees going away with about US$5 000
each and the balance will be paid during the course of the year.”
And here is Gono’s catch: “The rest will be funded from the sale of non-core
assets, which exercise is underway.”
For those who followed the ZHB retrenchments saga, this money will be hard
to come by.
Gono told a special parliamentary portfolio committee hearing last year that
the RBZ had a huge debt, which was affecting operations. “We are currently
saddled with a huge debt that strictly speaking, belongs to Government,
which stands at US$1, 2 billion,” said Gono.
Gono said 35 percent of the debt was incurred during his tenure to cover
critical Government programmes such as the 2008 harmonised elections, farm
mechanisation and procurement of maize, medicines and repayments to the
International Monetary Fund.
RBZ also owes undisclosed amounts to the Malawi Central Bank, Reserve Bank
of South Africa and Equatorial Guinea and local corporate and
Some of the RBZ workers laid off had served the institution for more than 30
years, while others were employed when the central bank engaged in rabid
quasi-fiscal activities a few years ago.
Biti has indicated that Government has no money to give retrenchment
packages to RBZ employees, as treasury was already struggling to pay
salaries for civil servants.
The RBZ workers used to be the highest paid in the country, on top of other
benefits such as free vehicles and houses. Today, they were among the
poorest, earning salaries of US$150.
The bank used to print billions of dollars to finance Zanu (PF) operations.
At the peak of the RBZ non-core activities, Gono had wielded so much power
that he used to be viewed as the de-facto Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.All his
powers were frittered away when Tendai Biti became Finance Minister and
literally took the umbrella from the central banker.
- Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe
PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY
Government Watch : Issue 25
Sokwanele : 08 April 2011
The inclusive government continues to falter and with an increasingly tense political environment is even reversing some of the gains post its formation. In January, President Mugabe was increasing pressure for the discontinuation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and pushing for early elections, while the MDC-T led by Prime Minister Tsvangirai still hopes that the GPA will be fully implemented before any forthcoming election. Zanu PF has embarked on a violent campaign against opposition forces whilst upping the rhetoric that the West is to blame for Zimbabwe's problems.
In the month of February, the number of media articles catalogued for this edition of the Zimbabwe Inclusive Government (ZIG) Watch jumped from 90 to 132 - an increase of 36%.
Each recorded article signifies a unique breach of the terms set out in the GPA. By categorising these articles according to the nature of the breach, we have generated representative statistics.
This month, violations in the form of intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality remain in first place, with 56 reports (42.4% of total). Significantly, in second place, cases of legal harassment jumped to 27 reports (20.5% of total). Cases of corruption, or efforts to entrench corrupt practices, were third with 16 instances (12.1%), whilst denial of freedom of speech rose to fourth place with 9 articles (6.8%). In total, these four categories of breaches accounted for 81.8% of the total analysed.
Within these categories, Zanu-PF were either responsible for, or involved in, 94.4% of the violations recorded. 27.7% of those breaches involved preparations by Zanu-PF for control and manipulation of a possible election in 2011, with 44.4% of the latter involving violence and / or intimidation in some form.
Below we list ten articles that are representative of this month's media activity. We should note that whilst the latter are representative, they do not represent the real volume of violations and crimes being committed with impunity against the people of Zimbabwe. We therefore invite all our readers to review the summaries of all 132 articles (and if possible, previously captured articles) on the webpage http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch and appeal to you to share this information with your colleagues and other interested parties.
Starting with articles covering violence and related issues, our first report details how the youth wing of MDC-T has threatened revenge attacks against Zanu-PF. MDC-T youth chairman Thamsanga Mahlangu said party youths would not stand idle and become victims as in the 2008 polls. "We are prepared to defend the defenceless, if the police continue to stand aloof and be indifferent to Zanu-PF violence," said Mahlangu. Threats to conduct retaliatory attacks on Zanu-PF members must be recorded as a breach of the terms of GPA.
Meanwhile the Police have threatened to crush any Egyptian-style protests by the MDC-T. Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriyarwa said that Egyptian-style mass protests would not be tolerated, "The situation in Egypt will never be tolerated in Zimbabwe ... we are fully prepared for such violent activities ..." he said. His statements were swiftly condemned by Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone of the MDC-T, who called them inflammatory. The Commissioner was obviously ignoring the facts that in Egypt, it was the protestors who were peaceful, and that they were attacked by the security services of the Mubarak regime and its supporters - a scenario clearly reminiscent of that in Zimbabwe.
The basis for the growing levels of violence is Robert Mugabe's campaign for re-election in polls that may be held in 2011. Mugabe has apparently outsourced his election campaign to the country's military. Zanu-PF has brought on board recently retired, as well as serving, military officers to prop up its crumbling structures, for what is likely to be an extremely violent campaign. The Joint Operations Command (JOC) is playing a significant role in this process. The JOC has deployed Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena to take over the position of Zanu-PF director of the commissariat. Political analyst Charles Mangongera called the move "chilling".
In an unusual occurrence this month, eight Zanu-PF members were arrested on Monday after they looted the Gulf Complex in Harare and have appeared in court. The eight, Brian Matonga, Joachim Mabukwa, David Vanhuvaone, Daniel Mapfunde, Prince Nyandoro, Givemore Mpofu, Tawanda Chingwena and Peter Meki appeared in court before presiding magistrate Don Ndirowei. Despite Zanu-PF's denials of involvement in violence, the accused all revealed that they had received orders from Zanu-PF heavyweights to attack foreigners and that the violence was systematically coordinated from the party's Harare provincial. All eight indicated that they joined the protesters because they had been promised shops owned by foreign nationals in town - Nigerians in particular.
Refocusing attention on violence issues in the rural areas, Zanu-PF's controversial war veteran, Jabulani Sibanda, is being accused of child soldier training in Gutu. He defended himself by saying he is 'only teaching the children to be patriotic'. He has ordered boys aged 12 and above to report at various bases in the district for training, where they have been seen marching, singing and toi-toiing for about two and half hours every day. "We are not going back [on our plans] because you don't want us to train our children to become patriotic," he said. Parents in areas such as Chitsa, Guzha, Mutero, Maungwa and Magombedze said they were planning to hide or send their children away to stay with relatives in towns.
And in our last article covering the topic of violence, Prime Minister Tsvangarai has said that President Mugabe is aware of the security forces' resistance to the inclusive government. Tsvangirai is holding the veteran leader responsible for the forces' relentless effort to block democratic reform. He went on to say that the security forces have deliberately defied civilian authority, even those under the direct control of their Commander-In-Chief, Mugabe. Tsvangirai concluded his statement by saying that either Mugabe is aware of what is going on, or that there is now a Third Force that has assumed control of the country without the mandate of the people.
Moving on to the topic of legal harassment, the MDC-T MP for Nyanga North Douglas Mwonzora, is facing charges of instigating political violence, was granted $50 bail by a Nyanga magistrate. However, his release was immediately suspended by state prosecutors using Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Mwonzora appeared in court together with 24 other MDC activists also arrested for allegedly instigating the violence during his own constituency feedback meeting. The 24 activists were granted $50 bail each, but the state also invoked section 121 on all of them. Mwonzora's incarceration is also seriously delaying his work as co-chairman of COPAC - the parliamentary body responsible for overseeing the preparation of a new Zimbabwean constitution.
In our second article exposing legal harassment by Zanu-PF, Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 other student and trade union activists, were arrested and subsequently charged with treason, or alternatively, plotting to 'overthrow a constitutionally elected government. The activists were arrested during a meeting in Harare, during which video footage of the protests in Egypt and Tunisia was shown. Police allege Gwisai was addressing the meeting to show that Zimbabwe was led by a dictator who had been in power for too long, and had caused the suffering of many people, whilst encouraging a similar action to that in Egypt. This is the first high-profile Zimbabwean case in which the regime change brought about in Egypt has been cited, and the rush to impose the harshest charges indicate that Zanu-PF is trying to cow any would-be protestors from taking to the streets. The question that needs answering is whether or not the charges can be justified against the paltry evidence.
Turning to corruption, the sheer scale of the fraud indicated in the following article is staggering. More than 75 000 ghost workers, mostly unqualified Zanu-PF militias and supporters, have been unearthed in the Zimbabwean civil service through a comprehensive payroll and skills audit done by Ernst & Young on behalf of the Ministry of Public Service. The discovery of thousands of ghost workers - including 6 861 employed in one day in one ministry - has alarmed government ministers and stakeholders who say it revealed the extent of Zanu-PF's abuse of office to create a huge patronage network using the public service at the expense of taxpayers. The audit shows that there are more than 75 000 ghost workers out of a total of 188 000 employed in various ministries.
And in our last article on the topic of denial of freedom of speech, MDC-T has launched a complaint against the state controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation following a recent surge in criticism and a blackout of its officials by the broadcaster. The letter of complaint was copied to South African President Jacob Zuma - as the SADC mediator to the Zimbabwe crisis - plus the three principals to the GPA, Information Minister Webster Shamu and JOMIC. In the letter addressed to ZBC chief Happison Muchechetere, MDC-T party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said they wanted to place on record what appeared to be 'an insatiable, and unhelpful desire to perpetuate selective vilification of senior MDC officials and Cabinet ministers.' Chamisa also complained that the ZBC rarely gave them airtime to explain policies on issues of national significance.
MDC youths threaten to hit back
Zim Online (ZW): 02/02/2011
The youth wing of MDC-T has threatened revenge attacks against Zanu-PF, a development that could worsen current political violence in many parts of the country. There have been increasing reports of cases of political violence and intimidation mostly blamed on militant Zanu-PF supporters, war veterans and in several cases members of Zimbabwe's armed forces. MDC-T youth chairman Thamsanga Mahlangu said party youths would not stand idle and become victims as in the 2008 polls, when at least 200 MDC supporters are said to have died. ".... we are .... prepared to defend the defenceless .... if the police continue to stand aloof and be indifferent to Zanu-PF violence," said Mahlangu.
Zimbabwean Police Vow to Crush Any Egyptian-Style Uprising in
VOANews (USA): 04/02/2011
A senior official of the Zimbabwe Republic Police has threatened to crush any Egyptian-style protests by the MDC-T formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, further stressing the power-sharing government. Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriyarwa, in charge of Harare province, told Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that Egyptian-style mass protests would not be tolerated. "This is wishful thinking," he said. "The situation in Egypt will never be tolerated anywhere in Zimbabwe. .... we are fully prepared for such violent activities and our officers are already on the ground to ensure peace and tranquility prevails in the country." His statements were swiftly condemned by Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone of the Tsvangirai MDC formation, who called them inflammatory.
Zimbabwe President Mugabe Causes Alarm By Outsourcing Election
Campaign to Feared Military
VOANews (USA): 09/02/2011
Robert Mugabe's campaign for re-election in a ballot that has yet to be called has been outsourced to the country's military, sources say. Zanu-PF has brought on board recently retired, as well as serving military officers, to prop up its crumbling structures, for what is likely to be an extremely violent campaign. The Joint Operations Command (JOC) is playing a significant role in this process. Comprising senior securocrats, it was supposed to have been disbanded at the inception of the unity government, but is still meeting clandestinely. The JOC has deployed Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena to take over the position of Zanu-PF director of the commissariat. Political analyst Charles Mangongera said "the move .... is chilling".
'We were given orders to attack foreigners', Court told
Eight members of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party who were arrested on Monday after they looted the Gulf Complex have finally appeared in court at Harare Magistrate's courts. The eight, Brian Matonga, Joachim Mabukwa, David Vanhuvaone, Daniel Mapfunde, Prince Nyandoro, Givemore Mpofu, Tawanda Chingwena and Peter Meki appeared in court before presiding magistrate Don Ndirowei. All of them stunned the court when they revealed that they received orders from Zanu-PF bosses to attack foreigners and that the violence 'was systematically coordinated from the party's Harare provincial offices at 4th Street'. All the eight indicated that they joined the protesters because they had been promised shops owned by foreign nationals in town and Nigerians in particular.
Zanu-(PF)'s Controversial War Vet In Child Soldier
Gutu - Zanu-PF's controversial veteran of the liberation war Jabulani Sibanda is being accused of child soldier training here, but has defended himself saying he is 'only teaching the children to be patriotic'. He has ordered boys aged 12 and above to report at various bases in the district for training, where they have been seen marching,singing and toy-toying for about two and half hours every day. "We are not going back because you don't want us to train our children to become patriotic," he said. Parents in areas such as Chitsa, Guzha, Mutero, Maungwa and Magombedze said they were planning to hide or send their children away to stay with relatives in towns.
Mugabe behind army actions - PM
Zim Online (ZW): 17/02/2011
President Robert Mugabe is aware of the security forces' resistance to the unity government and its change programme, says Prime Minister Morgan, virtually holding the veteran leader responsible for the forces' relentless effort to block democratic reform. .... Tsvangirai said Mugabe - who is supreme commander of the armed forces and appoints the country's police, secret and prison service chiefs - was in the know .... "They (security forces) have deliberately defied civilian authority ..., even those ... under the direct control of the Commander-In-Chief," Tsvangirai said in ... Harare ... Tuesday night. ... is aware ... or there is now a Third Force that has assumed control in this country without the mandate of the people."
Mwonzora & 24 MDC activists granted bail, but remain jailed
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 21/02/2011
The MDC-T MP for Nyanga North Douglas Mwonzora, ... facing charges of instigating political violence, was on Monday granted $50 bail by a Nyanga magistrate. But his release was immediately suspended by state prosecutors using Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Mwonzora appeared in court together with 24 other MDC activists arrested a week ago, following disturbances during a rally he hosted in his constituency. Mwonzora was arrested last week Tuesday for allegedly instigating the violence during the constituency feedback meeting. According to Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, the 24 activists were also granted $50 bail each, but the state also invoked section 121 on all of them.
Gwisai and 45 activists charged with treason
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 23/02/2011
Munyaradzi Gwisai, plus 45 other student and trade union activists, were on Wednesday charged with treason or alternatively plotting to 'overthrow a constitutionally elected government.' The activists from the ISO, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Zimbabwe National Students Union, were arrested during a meeting in Harare. During the meeting video footage of the protests in Egypt and Tunisia was shown. Police allege Gwisai addressed the meeting to the effect that Zimbabwe was led by a dictator who had been in power for too long and had caused the suffering of many people. They allege that he told the crowd that what happened in Egypt should also happen in Zimbabwe to remove the dictator.
Zanu-PF militias among 75 000 ghost
Zimbabwe Independent, The (ZW): 10/02/2011
MORE than 75 000 ghost workers, mostly unqualified Zanu-PF militias and supporters, have been unearthed in the civil service through a comprehensive payroll and skills audit done by Ernst & Young (India) on behalf of the Ministry of Public Service. The discovery of thousands of ghost workers - including 6 861 employed in one day in one ministry - has alarmed government ministers and stakeholders who say it revealed the extent of Zanu-PF's abuse of office to create a huge patronage network using the public service at the expense of taxpayers. The payroll and skills audit shows that there are more than 75 000 ghost workers out of a total of 188 000 employed in various ministries.
MDC-T complains to ZBC
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 24/02/2011
MDC-T has launched a complaint against the state controlled ZBC, following a recent surge in criticism and a blackout of its officials by the broadcaster. The letter of complaint was copied to South African President Jacob Zuma, as the SADC mediator to the Zimbabwe crisis, plus the three principals to the GPA, Information Minister Webster Shamu and JOMIC. In a letter to ZBC chief Happison Muchechetere, MDC party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said they wanted to place on record what appeared to be 'an insatiable, and unhelpful desire to perpetuate selective vilification of senior MDC officials and Cabinet ministers.' Chamisa also complained that the ZBC rarely gave them airtime to explain policies on issues of national significance.
We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!
Friday April 08. 2011
It was Hugh Masikela, that legend of Afro-Jazz who some years ago recorded a
song called ‘What is it makes a man want to stay in power forever?’ I
remember that he mentioned Mugabe by name even then. That question has been
the ongoing theme of the past few weeks, first in Egypt, then throughout the
Middle East as dictators face the wrath of the people. Hosni Mubarak at
least had the sense to realise that his time was up; not so Libya’s Colonel
Gadaffi who is still there and vowing to stay put despite the efforts of
NATO forces. Almost inevitably the unrest has reached Africa. No wonder
President Rupiah Banda of Zambia saw fit to warn countries in the SADC
region “to heed the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt. The legitimate
expectations of our citizens” he said, “cannot be taken for granted.”
Watching the tragedy unfold in the west African country of Cote d’Ivoire is
a reminder of the suffering inflicted on the masses when one man refuses to
listen to the will of the people. By international consensus, including the
AU, Laurent Gbagbo lost the election of 2010 but has refused to give up
power. His opponent Alasanne Outtara gained 54.1% of the vote but Gbagbo
still maintains he is the legitimate president. At the age of 66 he might be
expected to have learnt by now that it’s a wise man who knows when his time
is up. Like Mugabe, Gbagbo is a highly educated man, a history teacher by
profession but he seems to have learnt nothing from history. Instead he
chooses to remain holed up in the basement of the presidential palace like a
cornered rat, guarded by some 200 troops. Outside the palace the battle
rages between Outtara’s forces and those soldiers still loyal to Gbagbo
while the terrified residents shelter in their homes without food, power or
water. Banks in the capital have been closed for over two months and without
money Ivorians are unable to buy even the little food that is available.
Just 5 and half hours away by air, in Zimbabwe, calls for the 86 year-old
Robert Mugabe to retire by his once sycophantic allies in SADC have been met
with anger and contempt by the former strong man of Africa. “We will not
brook any dictation from any source…we are a sovereign country” he said when
he arrived back in Harare from Zambia where he was allegedly rebuked by
President Banda and told that he was talking nonsense as he attempted to
excuse the ongoing violence against MDC members. An observer who was there
at the Zambian gathering is said to have remarked that Mugabe was behaving
‘like a spoilt child’ in his reaction to SADC criticism. Even South Africa
has finally found the courage to speak plainly to the Old Man, “You could
end up like Cote d’Ivoire if you rush into elections” Mugabe was told but he
listens to no one. Just like a spoiled child he must get his own way and in
the process he is making enemies left right and centre. As far as one can
gather only Angola, Namibia and the DRC are still fully supporting him.
Worrying reports of an arms shipment from China suggest that Mugabe is
prepared to go to any lengths, not excluding military force against his
Russia, Ukraine and China are reportedly supplying arms to the Mugabe
regime. And the Chinese, who have just loaned Zimbabwe $700 million are
anxious to protect their numerous investments in the country, “We hope that
Zimbabwe will protect the legitimate right of Chinese businesses in the
country.” the Chinese delegate remarked. Meanwhile, the attacks on the
opposition continue with unabated fury. The notorious Chipangano gang
attacked a funeral crowd in Mbare this week and 5 MDC activists were killed.
How will the Old Man explain this to the South African facilitators who are
currently back in the country? After the Sunday Mail launched its vitriolic
attack on President Zuma last week, it’s hard to believe the South African
facilitators will just accept Mugabe’s word as they have in the past. Old
habits die hard however and despite SADC’s very open criticism of Mugabe it
remains to be seen whether they will follow through. Hugh Masikela’s
question remains as relevant today as it ever was: What is it makes a man
want to stay in power for ever?
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of the Dube
books, the latest of which Sami’s Story is available on Lulu.com.
BILL WATCH 16/2011
[6th April 2011]
Commentary on the New Indigenisation Requirements for Mining Sector
Summary of the New Requirements Affecting the Mining Sector
Summary of Amendments to the 2010 Indigenisation Regulations which affect all Business Sectors including the Mining Sector
Need for Scrutiny of the New Requirements by the Parliamentary Legal Committee – Unconstitutional and Ultra Vires Provisions
How to Make Submissions to the Parliamentary Legal Committee
In a Government Gazette Extraordinary released late on Friday 25th March there were two legal measures dealing with indigenisation, both made by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment and both coming into effect immediately:
· General Notice 114/2011 setting out minimum requirements for indigenisation implementation plans for businesses in the mining sector [summary below]
· Statutory Instrument 34/2011 amending the Indigenisation and Empowerment (General) Regulations [SI 21/2010] [summary below]
Summary of the New Requirements Affecting the Mining Sector
The new requirements are to be found in General Notice 114/2011 [Electronic version of GN available.]
· All mining businesses hit The GN hits every mining business not already 51% owned or controlled by indigenous Zimbabweans [it actually refers to every mining business “whose net asset value is of or above one US dollar”, which covers all solvent businesses].
· 10th May deadline for submission of implementation plans Those mining businesses that have not already submitted compliant indigenisation implementation plans must do so within 45 days of 25th March, i.e. by not later than 10th May. There is no specific penalty for failure to do this.
· 24th September 2011 deadline for completion of indigenisation Every mining business must meet its “minimum indigenisation and empowerment quota” by disposing of a controlling interest or 51% shareholding to “designated entities” within 6 months of 25th March [i.e. not later than 24th September] but with provision for the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment to grant a 3-month extension, to 24th December.
· “Designated entities” The “designated entities” to which mining businesses must dispose of shares and/or interests are: the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Fund; the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation [ZMDC] or companies incorporated by ZMDC for the purposes of the indigenisation exercise; the proposed statutory sovereign wealth fund; and share ownership schemes or trusts for employees, managements or communities. [Comment: If shares are transferred to designated State entities, what is to stop them being subsequently disposed of in less than transparent circumstances, to political associates, for example? Parastatal boards have in the past been filled through political patronage – are they truly independent? The ZMDC’s past record, for instance, does not inspire confidence in its independence from political influence.]
· Valuation to take into account State’s ownership of minerals The 51% shares or interest must be disposed of on a basis of valuation agreed between the Minister and business, taking into account the State’s “sovereign ownership” of the minerals being or to be exploited. [Comment: If this means that the value of proven reserves will not be included when valuing a mining business, it runs contrary to standard practice in the mining world under which proven reserves are included in the value of a mining business. This provision has been described as a device to minimise the amount to be paid for shares disposed of.]
· Nationalisation in disguise? Compulsory transfer of shares to State entities amounts to partial nationalisation, which is not what the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is all about. Nationalisation would require a further Act of Parliament and possibly a constitutional amendment.
Summary of the New Amendments to the Indigenisation Regulations
Statutory Instrument SI 34/2011 amends the Indigenisation Regulations which are set out in SI 21/2010 [Electronic versions available of new SI 34/2011 and also the principal regulations, SI 21/2010, updated to include these amendments.]
These amendments of the principal regulations do not relate specifically to the mining industry. They are designed to strengthen implementation of the principal regulations generally, but obviously also apply to the mining sector. Highlights are:
· New Timeframe for Minister’s responses to indigenisation plans The Minister will be allowed 90 days to reach his decision, up from 45.
· Criminal penalties, not only for failure to submit an indigenisation implementation plan when specifically notified to do so by the Minister, but also for missing a deadline specified by the Minister when granting an extension of time for submission of a plan. $1000 or five years
· Re-submission where plan rejected A business whose indigenisation implementation plan has been rejected by the Minister must resubmit it within 45 days of the rejection.
· Criminal penalty for an investor who, without the prior written approval of the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment and the Minister responsible for the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act, acquires a controlling interest in a business in a sector listed in the Third Schedule to principal regulations, SI 21/2010. The penalty on conviction is a fine of up to $2 000 or a gaol sentence of up to 5 years or both. [According to the Third Schedule’s heading, businesses in the sectors listed in the Third Schedule are “reserved against foreign investment in favour of indigenous Zimbabweans”, but this is not supported by anything in section 9 or elsewhere in the regulations. The new criminal penalties apply, if at all, only to acquisitions on or after 25th March. The need for double Ministerial approval has been in section 9 of SI 21/2010 from the beginning; what is new is the criminal penalty. But section 9 is still unclear and confusing – see Bill Watch 6/2010 of 22nd February 2010 – so the criminal penalty is for contravening an unclear and confusing provision, which is bad law. The amendment also leaves unchanged the problem for investors of having to convince two different ministries, with great potential for delay – it is difficult to see why permission should not be left solely to the Investment Authority, whose duty it is to see all laws are complied with.]
· New supporting documents required Every indigenisation implementation plan must be accompanied by a “secondary document” containing proof that the “responsible person” submitting the plan has been properly authorised to do so, e.g., by a resolution of the company where the business is a company. Where plans have already been submitted, the secondary document must follow on or before 10th June.
· Ministerial certificate of compliance There is a new provision for the Minister to provide a business with a certificate that its indigenisation implementation plan has been approved and that it has achieved or exceeded its minimum indigenisation and empowerment quota.
· Criminal penalty for undervaluing assets Any business that undervalues its net asset value by 10% or more commits an offence and there is also provision for the court convicting a business of this offence to grant summary civil judgment ordering the business to pay the costs incurred by the Minister in obtaining a second valuation. The penalty on conviction is a fine of up to $2 000 or a gaol sentence of up to 5 years or both.
Need for Parliamentary Legal Committee Scrutiny
Both GN 114 and SI 34 merit urgent special attention by the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for consideration of whether some of their provisions are unconstitutional and ultra vires
Under section 40B of the Constitution, the PLC must examine every statutory instrument gazetted, and may report not only whether it is consistent with the Constitution but also whether it is ultra vires – i.e., beyond the powers conferred by the enabling Act on the Minister or other authority making it. In addition Parliamentary Standing Orders oblige the PLC to ensure that no statutory instrument contains matters more appropriate for parliamentary enactment. [Note: Although GN 114/2011 is not labelled as an SI, it is nevertheless a statutory instrument for the purposes of the Constitution – it is a notice having the force of law, and section 113 includes “any notice having the force of law” in its definition of “statutory instrument”.]
Normally the PLC should report on a statutory instrument within 26 business days of the end of the month in which it is gazetted. But as GN 114 and SI 34 have such a potentially adverse impact of the mining sector and the general economic outlook of Zimbabwe, the PLC is urged to consider these instruments urgently.
Constitutional and Ultra Vires Issues
Some of the constitutional and legal issues raised by the new measures [this is by no means an exhaustive list] are:
Do the New Mining Rules Provide for Unconstitutional Expropriation? Most of the designated entities that will benefit under GN 114 are State-controlled entities. The effect of this restrictive list is to provide for compulsory acquisition by the State of shares or interests in businesses. Compulsory acquisition laws must comply with section 16 of the Constitution, which deals with the compulsory acquisition of property and makes detailed provisions for assessment and payment of compensation and recourse to the ordinary courts. Neither the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [“the Act”] nor GN 114 complies with section 16.
Unconstitutional violation of freedom of association The effect of GN 114 is to impose partners on mining businesses – which may infringe the constitutional freedom of association [Constitution, section 21]. By contrast, the Act allows business entities freedom to choose partners. So this provision of the GN may be ultra vires as well as unconstitutional.
Ultra vires change of emphasis from indigenisation to compulsory acquisition by State? The Act envisages that over time at least fifty-one per centum of the shares of every public company and any other business will be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans. The term “indigenous Zimbabwean” refers to individuals and companies, associations, syndicates or partnerships of which indigenous Zimbabwean individuals form the majority of the members or hold the controlling interest. The State is not an indigenous Zimbabwean as defined, nor is the Government. To provide for transfer of control to Government-controlled entities is, therefore, inconsistent with the object of the Act and accordingly beyond the Minister’s powers under the Act.
Departure from principles of natural justice GN 114 appears to rule out “empowerment credits” for the mining sector, even in individual cases where the Government has previously agreed to allow them. To do this without having given mining companies notice of the proposals and an opportunity to make representations, amounts to a breach of natural justice principles in breach of the Administrative Justice Act.
Regulations badly drafted SI 34 does little to make SI 21/2010 more comprehensible. SI 21/2010, even as now amended for the third time, still falls far short of the standard of clarity that citizens are entitled to expect of laws that lay down rules governing their conduct. This, too, is something the PLC should look into.
Submission to the Parliamentary Legal Committee
Any interested persons or organisations can make written submissions to the PLC on the constitutional and legal aspects of GN 114 and SI 34. Submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, Parliamentary Legal Committee, Parliament. If delivering, please use the Kwame Nkrumah entrance to Parliament and supply six copies of your submission. If emailing, use this address: email@example.com
PLC membership The members of the PLC are: Hon Shepherd Mushonga [chairperson], Hon Innocent Gonese, Hon Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, Hon Beatrice Nyamupinga and Hon Thandeko Mnkandhla.
Requests for available electronic versions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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