HARARE, December 12, 2010- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will this week
launch a regional diplomatic offensive to lobby heads of state on the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) as it emerges that
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) troika meeting to discuss
Zimbabwe's political crisis might be held next week, according to The Sunday
Facilitator to Zimbabwe's political problems, President Jacob Zuma of South
Africa, announced the troika would be held next month.However, the Sunday
Times understands there are moves to push the troika to next week, prompting
Tsvangirai to go for lobbying.It is understood that the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader will first travel to Pretoria, where he will
meet Zuma. Tsvangirai will brief Zuma on the progress made since the South
African president mediated two weeks ago and managed to persuade the
Zimbabwean prime minister and Mugabe to resume working together. The meeting
between Zuma and Tsvangirai is set for Wednesday.
From Pretoria, Tsvangirai is scheduled to travel to Malawi to meet President
Bingu wa Mutharika. Tsvangirai will lobby him both as a member of SADC and
as the chairman of the African Union (AU).Both the AU and SADC are
guarantors to the GPA and it is believed the prime minister will raise
complaints about Mugabe's reluctance to fully implement the
agreement.Tsvangirai is also planning a meeting with Tanzanian President
Jakaya Kikwete, who is known to be critical of Mugabe, for further lobbying.
An insider in Tsvangirai's office said: "We have been made to understand the
troika meeting is likely to take place in the next two weeks instead of next
year so we have to plan ahead.
"We are privileged to have President Mutharika as the chairman of the AU and
he is also a member of the SADC, so it will be very important to meet him."
The outcome of the meeting between Tsvangirai and Mutharika will be very
interesting given that the Malawian president has of late been preaching
democracy and at the same time he is a close ally of Mugabe.Last week he
asked Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo to hand over power to Alassane
Ouattara, saying Ouattara had won the elections.Mutharika said it was time
African leaders respected the will of the people at the ballot box and
Zimbabweans will be watching how he deals with Mugabe, who himself is known
not to be interested in giving up power.
MASVINGO, December 12, 2010 – Hunger stricken villagers from ward 13 in
Masvingo South constituency on Saturday teamed up and severely assaulted
their chief Ephias Murinye who had instructed aid agency Care International
to stop giving food hand-outs to people in the area.
Murinye who arrived at Chikarudzo business center where thousands of
villagers were receiving food aid from the donor agency clad in his
traditional regalia ordered an immediate stop for the distribution of food
in his area ‘until certain issues are ironed out’.
However, Murinye was not allowed to finish his speech as hungry villagers
started assaulting him before he rushed to his Mazda B18 truck and drove
off.Murinye refused to speak to RadioVop saying ‘whatever happened had
completely nothing to do with the press’.
“You are a journalist not a traditional leader, what kind of a solution do
you want to give us? Its better you concentrate on other things rather than
keep phoning for issues which do not have anything to do with you,” said
However, villagers said they were tired of traditional leaders who chase
away donors leaving them without anyone to help them with relief food.
“We wanted to receive food as usual but unfortunately the chief felt that
some protocols were not being observed and then came to order an immediate
stop of the food distribution. His order did not go well with hungry
villagers who teamed up and asked Murinye to sit down but as he refused to
sit down, some men ganged up and started to beat him,” said a villager who
refused to be named.Officials from Care International who were at Chikarudzo
business center said they were too junior to speak to the press.
By Chengetai Zvauya
Saturday, 11 December 2010 18:21
HARARE - The co-minister of Home- Affairs Theresa Makone has attacked some
politicians of accumulating wealth through corrupt means and evading arrest
because of their political clout.
Speaking during commemorations to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day
in Harare, Saturday, Makone said politicians have an obligation of
accountability to fight corruption because they were elected by the people
and use the tax payer’s money in their programmes.
Corruption, she said, "Is a cancer that can destroy the very fabric of our
society. It remains one of the most serious obstacles to achieving the
much needed progress for most governments.”
She noted that out of 178 countries assessed recently on corruption,
seventy-five percent of them scored less than five points out of ten with
zero being the most corrupt and 10 being the least corrupt.
Zimbabwe scored 2,4 points while Somalia scored 1.1 and Iraq scored 1,5
while Denmark, Singapore and New Zealand all scored 9,3 points each.
She observed that within the politics of Zimbabwe, patriotism has been
replaced by patronage and impunity from prosecution continues to protect
those most involved in corruption and theft of both public and private
“No society can be truly democratic, prosperous or free when corruption is
allowed to go unchecked.'' she said.
Although Makone did not name any politicians or political party belonging,
she attacked corruption in government institutions and said it was
characterised by ''intimidation, threats, and violence'' as there is a
deliberate campaign of substituting national policies for political party
programmes, whilst people were being impoverished and persecuted.
She also said many of the elite blamed the poor performance of the economy
on sanctions, without addressing their corrupt tendencies.
''There can be no excuse for such practises although the culprits in
Zimbabwe try to blame non- existent sanctions for the collapse of the
economy and wide spread poverty. But these alleged measures cannot explain
the enormous wealth that has been accumulated by the elite, the mansion,
cars, jewellery and expensive clothes accumulated by those that are meant to
be serving the people'' said Makone.
She said the Zimbabwean economy had been destroyed partly by a deliberate
campaign of intimidation,abuse of the rule of law and substitution of
national policies for political party programmes.
“The deliberate creation of a culture of impunity subverted the fragile
democratic processes that were in place, perverted what should have been a
genuine land reform programme and destroyed a once vibrant economy,” she
Makone said every diamond that is stolen means that there are less medicines
in our hospitals; every bribe paid means a parent has less money to educate
their children; every piece of land that is fraudulently sold means there is
less money to ensure safe drinking water and every chef who illegally
invades farm means that there is less land for the landless peasants and
less food for the hungry.
Zimbabwe is battling with corruption and this forced President Robert
Mugabe to set up the Anti- Corruption Commission, which has not handled
a single case involving a top politician facing corruption charges despite
allegations being levelled against many of them by the people.
The public is concerned about the multiple- farm ownership as several Zanu
PF leaders have multiple farms taken under the guise of the they land
reform programme which began in 2000.
In addition, some of the Zanu PF leaders stand accused of acquiring
several houses and residential and commercial stands countrywide yet many
people go without basic accommodation.
11 December, 2010 08:07:00 Times Live
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF hardliners are pushing for the arrest of
Home Affairs co-Minister Theresa Makone, alleging she interfered with the
judiciary by questioning the fraudulent grabbing of farms by officials using
fake offer letters.
Makone is a top aide of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The fake offer letters are still in circulation and being used to evict the
few remaining white farmers and foreigners who own farms in Zimbabwe.
After the discovery of the fake offer letters, Makone raised the issue with
the attorney-general, Johannes Tomana, in a letter dated October 20, which
was copied to Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Chief
Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
Documents seen by the Sunday Times show that on November 9 Patrick
Chinamasa, a close confidante of Mugabe, wrote a letter to Makone,
threatening her with arrest for copying her letter to the chief justice,
saying it was a criminal offence.
Chinamasa said: "I feel compelled to draw your attention to the fact that
writing or copying communication to the chief justice, raising issues which
have been argued before the supreme court and over which judgement is
pending, constitutes a serious contempt of court.
"Contempt of court is a criminal offence and renders you liable to arrest
"The worst thing in your communication was regurgitating arguments almost
verbatim submitted to the supreme court by the legal counsel representing
white farmers and resubmitting, as it were, these same arguments to the
"I write to ask that you desist from sending communications to members of
the judiciary. Such behaviour is unethical and unacceptable and constitutes
a direct interference with the work of the judiciary."
Makone took issue with the way Zanu-PF officials and those connected to the
ruling elite of Mugabe's party were moving from farm to farm using fake
Makone did not get a response from the attorney-general, but the letter was
leaked to the state media, which attacked the Movement for Democratic Change
minister, accusing her of siding with white farmers and of trying to
influence the judiciary.
Zanu-PF is said to have been angered by Makone's letter, and said she was
crusading to reverse land grabs.
Makone defended herself, saying she wrote to Tomana as a government lawyer
seeking clarification on the law pertaining to land allocation.
In her letter to Tomana, Makone said her ministry had been receiving
complaints from members of the public as well as foreign missions about
general lawlessness in the conduct of land distribution.
In her letter, she said: "The common complaint is that some individuals,
often accompanied by rowdy thugs, have besieged farms armed with offer
letters and effected unlawful eviction of farmers.
"In many instances these evictions are carried out despite high court orders
specifically barring such evictions.
"Failure to follow the correct procedure for land allocation has opened up
avenues for corruption. The claim is that certain government employees from
the Ministry of Lands have been the source of these offer letters. There is
therefore a need for the law pertaining to land allocation to be clarified
and a clear message to be sent from within the government.
"I now implore you, as the chief law officer of government, to assist us at
the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that the law is applied accordingly.
If I have overlooked any part of the law, I humbly stand to be corrected by
yourself as our lawyer. I thought that it might be prudent to clear my
understanding before engaging the executive," wrote Makone.
The minister also attached a copy of a fake letter which was used by a
Charles Nyachowe, who is related to Mugabe and Local Government, Rural and
Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo.
According to Makone's letter, Nyachowe has occupied a farm after using a
fake offer letter, having forcibly evicted an 82-year-old woman.
Mugabe's bloody land grabs, which started at the beginning of the decade,
have been characterised by chaos, with most land being allocated to Zanu-PF
officials and their relatives at the expense of genuinely landless people of
11 December, 2010 10:46:00 By ZOLI MANGENA - Times Live
President Robert Mugabe is furious with vice-president Joyce Mujuru for
supporting Finance Minister Tendai Biti's bid to pass the national budget
through parliament after discovering that the minister wanted to wrest
control of the Exchange Control Act.
According to sources, Biti tried to steer the budget and amendments to the
Exchange Control Act through both Houses of Parliament, but was stopped in
his tracks by the Senate on Friday after Mugabe was warned of the "political
Biti, who is also secretary general for the MDC-T, struck a deal with
Mujuru, also Mugabe's deputy in Zanu-PF, to pass the budget through the
National Assembly on Wednesday.
Mujuru and Biti were involved in intense negotiations in which they
threatened to dismiss defiant MPs to ensure the budget was passed.
MPs were also promised new cars and to have their loans written off if they
voted for the budget in the House of Assembly.
However, the budget ran into a stonewall in Senate on Friday after Zanu-PF
Senators refused to vote for it following instructions from Mugabe's aides,
who warned that Biti wanted to emasculate the president under the guise of a
budget process and legislative amendments.
Biti wanted to amend a chapter of the Exchange Control Act to remove
Mugabe's regulatory powers which deal with exchange control issues,
including regulations on gold, currency, securities and exchange
The chapter also deals with the control of imports and exports from
Zimbabwe, transfer or settlement of property, payments and transactions
relating to debts.
A senior official in Mugabe's office, who spoke to the Sunday Times, said
the president was "shocked" after discovering that Biti has usurped his
"sovereign powers conferred to him by the Exchange Control Act".
"The president was really shocked to see that the minister intended to usurp
his powers under the guise of a budget process. What made the president even
more angry was that vice-president Mujuru was collaborating with Biti on the
issue," the official said.
"It's a scandal and someone will have a lot of explaining to do. They can't
get away with it. They are trying to play power politics through the budget
Another Mugabe aide said the president's advisors had detected "Biti's
Machiavellian" manoeuvres and warned the president.
"We realised that Biti's proposed amendments to the Exchange Control Act
would have serious implications on how exchange controls will be
administered in this country. After a careful analysis of the amendments we
discovered a sinister plot: that there was a plan to strip the president of
his powers and weaken his position," Mugabe's aide said.
Efforts to get comment from Biti, Mujuru and Mugabe's spokesman George
Charamba were unsuccessful. The situation is likely to deteriorate next week
when the Budget is taken back to the House of Assembly where it could be
passed again and sent directly to Mugabe who may or may not sign it
depending on whether Biti climbs down on his proposals.
Mugabe's aides said Mujuru is likely to suffer a 'serious backlash" for
backing Biti on the Budget process which they viewed as a plot to seize
crucial administrative power from Zimbabwe's ruler.
By Jan Raath Dec 12, 2010, 2:06 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwe's autocratic president, Robert Mugabe, is determined to
hold elections by June. With his Zanu (PF) party in shambles, and opinion
polls suggesting a drubbing, one might be forgiven for thinking the elder
statesman was beginning to lose it.
The country has been ruled for the past 19 months by a coalition government
involving the 86-year-old president and pro-democracy leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. The atmosphere between the two is so brittle they have not
spoken to each other in months.
'We don't look each other in the eye,' Tsvangirai said recently.
Mugabe has said he has no more use for the power-sharing administration,
that it would be dissolved next year and that presidential and parliamentary
elections would be held.
And yet, an election could hardly come at a worse time for him. The Zanu
(PF) hierarchy has admitted that the party's structures are 'shambolic.'
People in rural areas, where the bulk of his traditional support is found,
report that local Zanu(PF) committees, which once ran their lives, have
A survey published in August by the reputable Harare-based Mass Public
Opinion Survey Institute said that, if a presidential election were called,
Tsvangirai would win 57 per cent of the national vote, while Mugabe would
get just 10 per cent.
The reasons could hardly be more obvious. Until the inauguration of the
coalition government, in February 2009, the country had been dragged through
economic ruin, violence and mayhem as Mugabe fought off attempts at change.
Since February 2009, Harare's municipal workers have been collecting
household garbage and filling potholes. National mobile phone coverage has
soared, from 11 per cent to 55 per cent of the population.
Beyond that, the economy has begun to grow after eight years of a cumulative
40 percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP), with GDP now forecast to
hit 9 per cent in 2011. Hospitals shut in 2008 have reopened. The ratio of
schoolbooks to pupils is increasing dramatically.
Zimbabweans know this is no coincidence.
'The reason is because the MDC is now in the government,' said Tonderai
Chakubva, a corporal in the army. 'Mugabe has been in power for 30 years and
all he has done is ruin the country.'
But even if most indicators of the electoral mood appear to be against
Mugabe, that is unlikely to trouble him. Five of the six elections held
since 2000, when he began to face real opposition for the first time since
gaining power, took place amid fraud and violence.
Commenting last month on Zanu (PF)'s defeat in the country's only peaceful
elections, held in March 2008, Mugabe's defence minister, Emmerson
Munangagwa, told voters: 'In the last elections you voted for the wrong
party. If you don't vote for us in the next election, we will rule, even if
you don't want.'
The Zanu (PF) has already started deploying its violent militia in rural
areas to re-establish previous patterns of brutal intimidation. Last week,
non-governmental organizations said Zanu (PF) was also taking control of
famine relief deliveries.
Meanwhile, the private sector has been voicing alarm about Mugabe's populist
programme of economic 'indigenization' - which forces foreign and
white-owned companies with assets of more than 500,000 dollars to give up 51
per cent of their shares to black Zimbabweans.
'Take what is yours,' Mugabe says. Many believe his cronies are already
positioning themselves to grab the richest pickings once the law comes into
'The country has advanced significantly since early 2009,' said a Western
diplomat. 'It's pulled out of the misery of the previous year because there
are new partners in government who seem to have an idea on how to run a
'But Mugabe is perfectly happy to throw all that out and drag the country
back to what it was just to stay in power.'
12 December 2010
The government has restored higher education grants after they were scrapped
about a decade ago due to Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis. The
restoration of grants came after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pleaded
with students to stop a planned class boycott against deteriorating
standards and promised the government would address their concerns.
Student unions had complained that Zimbabwe's inclusive government, formed
in February 2009 after a unity pact between long-time autocratic ruler
President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai - his arch rival and leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - had failed to address plummeting
standards in higher education.
In one tangible step forward, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told parliament
recently, while unveiling the country's 2011 budget, that with effect from
January next year the authorities will reintroduce grants to both state-run
institutions of higher learning and to students.
"One of the things which we are doing is on the absence of a loan grant
scheme. With a local financial institution ZB Bank and government chipping
in with US$15 million, we are reinstating the student loan. We are going to
increase grants to our institutions - one of the things dear to our hearts,"
Biti, a lawyer by profession, was trained at the University of Zimbabwe, the
country's prime and oldest institution of higher learning, which has in
recent years been reduced to a shadow of its former self due to a shortage
of lecturers that has seen a number of faculties closed.
The minister added that US$30 million has been set aside for the
rehabilitation of halls of residence that have been closed indefinitely at
some institutions of higher learning, such as at the University of Zimbabwe,
due to the absence of functioning toilets and lack of clean drinking water.
Last year, UNICEF sank nine boreholes at the University of Zimbabwe to avert
a cholera crisis but the situation remains dire. Biti said the institution
would be given US$3.5 million to construct a water tank and rehabilitate its
halls of residence, among other improvements.
Apart from universities, the minister said polytechnics and teacher colleges
have also been provided with funds for the upgrading of equipment and
rehabilitation of buildings.
The minister added that Zimbabwe was increasingly facing a brain drain in
pharmacy and dentistry and for this reason $1.5 million has been set aside
for a cadetship programme in these departments. The programme compels
beneficiaries to serve the state for the number of years they would have
received government funding.
Father Christmas brought the Vigil several early presents. Perhaps the most welcome was a break in the freezing weather. Suddenly the icy wind was gone and the temperature soared to 7 degrees. We know you back home will not be impressed by this. But after our sub zero temperatures and snow and slush it lifted our spirits immensely.
Our thanks to Father Christmas – but
expressing this to him proved a problem as we were overwhelmed by hundreds of
them and couldn’t thank them all. They were on their way to a Father Christmas
The day began well when we received
a large box of money. Always welcome. The box came from an anonymous donor with
the message: ‘We heard your protest vigil needed some money – enjoy’. The
message continued ‘proudly printed in
We were also cheered by a group of
students: Hana, Seb, Katie and Tom from Colfe’s School in Lewisham who showed
great interest in our protest and were keen to do a charity fundraiser for
us. They will speak to their teachers
and get back to us if they can go ahead with their plan. From our point of view just raising awareness
of the plight of
We get our message over in many
different ways. One of our supporters
who is in prison tells us in one of his precious letters that he was given an
opportunity to speak to inmates about the situation in
Vigil supporters also took part in
an event at City and
Spreading the message about what is going on in Zimbabwe is what the Vigil is about so we were a bit puzzled that some people have expressed fears that Mugabe may capitalize on American diplomats’ reports on Zimbabwe published in Wikileaks (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec11a_2010.html#Z15). These reports have not contained any real surprises. Zanu PF may well bleat about them but we don’t believe it is necessary to propitiate tyranny. It’s like the argument over targeted sanctions: this is just a Zanu PF excuse for not observing their obligations. Remove sanctions and they will find another excuse.
Another point: Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi expressed the alarm of the
Vigil that South African former President Mbeki has been sent to try and resolve
the differences after the disputed Ivory Coast election (See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news081210/sadc081210.htm).
Dumi said it would be a disaster if Mbeki imposed his
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.
FOR THE RECORD: 102 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
The Restoration of Human Rights in
Zimbabwe (ROHR) is
the Vigil’s partner organisation based in
Christmas Virtual Vigil.
25th December. We will not be
meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy because there will be no public transport
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
‘Through the Darkness’, Judith
Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.
receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and
postal address to email@example.com
0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners
Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust
bursaries to needy A Level students in
Workshops aiming to engage African
men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins
Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429
Sunday, 12 December 2010 15:41
BY SIMBARASHE MANHANGO AND INDIANA CHIRARA
HATCLIFFE Extension residents, most of them victims of the notorious
Operation Murambatsvina say they fear a more devastating cholera outbreak as
the settlement still has no proper sanitation, five years after its
The most affected residents are members of three housing cooperatives namely
Residents Consortium, Mt Pleasant Cooperative and Chimurenga 3 that were
allocated stands in one of Harare’s most populous suburbs.
Government started allocating unserviced stands in 2005 in the aftermath of
the clean-up operation that left more than 700 000 people homeless
The majority of people especially members of the Mt Pleasant Co-operative
still live in plastic shacks with no access to water, sanitation,
electricity, sufficient health and education facilities.
Merinia Vhinyu who stays in one of the shacks said when they moved to the
area they were assured that sewer systems and proper ablution facilities
will be in place within a few months.
But five years on they still do not have running water and toilets.
“The conditions we are living in are bad and we have constant fear of
contracting diseases, considering that our dwellings are in swampy areas,”
Between 2008 and last year Harare was hit by the worst cholera epidemics in
history that claimed thousands of lives.
Health experts blamed the high death toll on poor sanitation and the state
of the health infrastructure.
Mary Mutasa who has been living at Chimurenga 3 for a year said council
had failed to fulfill its promises to improve sanitation.
“These people are full of empty promises.
“They promised us a long time ago that efforts to establish proper toilets
and running water were in progress but up to now nothing has been done,”
She said in June and July residents were asked to pay US$50 in development
fees to speed up the laying of sewer and water infrastructure but nothing
had happened since then.
Council spokesman Leslie Gwindi blamed the lack of progress on the
cooperatives saying they lacked proper leadership.
“These co-operatives lack a defined leadership through which they can obtain
“They are required to submit their petitions to the council and come up with
contributions that might see changes being initiated.
“But there has been lack of co-ordination from the people living in that
A number of settlements around Harare including Hopley Farm also face the
same predicament and there are fears of more disease outbreaks during the
rainy season that is already underway.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 14:57
DESPITE the fact that the economy is recovering, several high-flying
indigenous businessmen have apparently fallen on the hard times.
In the past few weeks, scores of them have had their properties attached for
failing to settle debts for money they borrowed to recapitalise their
Sources said the deputy sheriff recently had to stop the auctioning of
several properties belonging to “renowned” businesspeople allegedly after
pressure from senior government officials.
“There was an instruction to the deputy sheriff to stop all the sales at the
last minute,” said one source. “Then the deputy sheriff also instructed the
auctioneers to stop the auctioning.”
Efforts to get a comment from either Indigenisation minister Saviour
Kasukuwere or chairman of the National Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment board David Chapfika were fruitless last week.
But officials at Ruby Auctions on Friday confirmed that they had received
instructions to stop the auctioning of attached properties because most of
it belonged to local indigenous businesspeople who are still struggling to
stand on their own feet.
Efforts to get a comment from the deputy sheriff were unsuccessful.
Indigenous firms and people whose properties have been attached include
TeleAccess boss Daniel Shumba, David Govere’s Harambe Holdings, Lobels (Pvt)
Limited owned by a consortium of local business people as well as Jaggers
Jaggers, once one of the leading distributors of fast-moving consumer goods,
was acquired by businessman and farmer Cecil Muderede.
Muderede gained a controlling equity of the wholesale giant after buying out
the previous major shareholder, Metcash Africa, a South African company,
through his investment vehicle Borlscade Investment (Pvt) Ltd.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 14:50
BY KUDZAI CHIMHANGWA
THE atmosphere is charged and the villagers seem to be looking at each other
with suspicion. An elderly man rises up to make a point.
“There are a number of graves in those valleys, our properties were looted
and houses burnt,” he said, kick-starting an animated debate that ended in a
near-exchange of blows between high-ranking MDC-T and Zanu PF officials.
“We are really concerned about the violent actions of some criminals around
here, a crime cannot just be wished away,” the elderly man continued.
The platform was a Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic)
meeting at Muzarabani High School, where Zimbabwe’s biggest rival parties
Zanu PF and MDC-T were brought together to find solutions to the
unprecedented violence that plagued the 2008 elections.
Jomic was set up by the three parties in government to monitor the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement.
Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central was considered the epicentre of the
violence that accompanied the elections, which killed an estimated 200 MDC-T
supporters and displaced thousands.
The meeting held under a giant tree at the school grounds showed that little
has changed and with the prospects of fresh elections next year, another
“war”may be looming.
Most of the villagers who support the MDC formations were unanimous that
they did not want a fresh round of elections fearing a repeat of the deadly
“We have heard several reports of violence, refugees and deaths in this
area,” said Shepherd Mushonga, the MDC-T MP for Mazowe Central.
“There is no other place in Zimbabwe that beats Muzarabani in terms of
But Edward Raradza, the Zanu PF MP for Muzarabani South said: “Let us not
dwell on the past by continually saying crimes do not disappear.We have
convened here to discuss progress and development.”
Zanu PF supporters threatened to end the meeting prematurely while MDC-T
supporters remained defiant.The meeting eventually ended in chaos as Raradza
and Mushonga exchanged harsh words.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 14:45
By Mugove Tafirenyika
VIOLENCE rocked the MDC-T in Chitungwiza on Thursday after suspected Zanu PF
infiltrators fiercely resisted attempts by the leadership to eject them from
the party. According to the Chitungwiza South district chairman, Yotam
Chigwada, pandemonium ensued soon after he had served a district executive
member Theresa Chinodakufa with a letter of suspension on allegations that
she was a Zanu PF agent, out to destabilise and tarnish the image of the
But Chinodakufa would have none of that as she allegedly ordered youths to
attack Chigwada, Tabeth Kaliati, Elsie Anusa, Clara Goche and Juliet Goche,
all members of the district and ward executives.
Chinodakufa is said to have argued that the district had no locus standi to
suspend her. She allegedly declared that the party would not be governable
in the constituency if she was forced out.
“When I handed her the letter, she charged that I had no mandate to suspend
her bragging that even the provincial executive would not dare touch her,”
“She ordered the mafia type of youths, most of whom I did not recognise, to
attack me and my district colleagues. They assaulted us indiscriminately
with fists and we took to our heels and sought refuge at Misheck Shoko’s
residence. Shoko is the member of the House of Assembly for Chitungwiza
Chigwada said his executive would stand by the decision to suspend
Chinodakufa from the party noting they were guided by the party
Shoko confirmed the incident and admitted the party was riddled with chaos.
He pledged to support the district’s decision.
Meanwhile, the new Alexio Musundire-led provincial executive’s election is
being contested on allegations of irregularities in the manner in which the
election was conducted. A complaint has been raised through the national
organising secretary Elias Mudzuri who has since established a commission of
inquiry to look into the allegations.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 14:37
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
MDC-T is reportedly in a quandary on how to deal with its director general
Toendepi Shonhe after he was caught in a compromising position with a
Shonhe was suspended last month together with Sandra Mutsimba who works in
the party’s information department after a man who claimed to be Mutsimba’s
husband raided their love nest at a Bulawayo lodge.
They were accused of bringing the name of the party into disrepute but it
has since emerged that the investigation into their conduct may come to
naught as there were fears that dealing with the matter decisively will open
a can of worms.
Shonhe’s supporters now claim he is not the only one who has been caught
offside when it comes to matters of the heart.
Some named senior MDC-T officials who allegedly committed similar offences
were never disciplined, the sources said.
The sources said there were a lot of known sexual relationships at Harvest
House but were being swept under the carpet.
"This case is set to further widen divisions in the party as some officials
feel there is selective application of the rules,” a senior party official
"We know there are some senior officials who have done worse things but were
never hauled before a disciplinary committee.”
The probe team comprises of national executive members Norman Mabhena, Lucia
Matibenga and prominent Harare lawyer Innocent Chagonda.
The committee was supposed to complete investigations within eight days but
it is now over three weeks after they started investigations.
Party officials were querying why Shonhe, a close confidant of Finance
minister Tendai Biti, was quickly hauled before a disciplinary committee
when others such as Kwekwe Central MP Blessing Chebundo, who made headlines
when accused of rape charges, were never disciplined.
Chebundo was later cleared of the charges by the courts.
Sexual relationships are not new in the party. The late MDC national
chairman Isaac Matongo had a relationship with former MP Evelyn Masaiti,
which resulted in a marriage.
A host of others have been accused of embezzling party funds but were never
fully investigated, party officials said.
“Harvest House is not a boarding school where love affairs are prohibited,”
said one official. “If the affairs do not compromise party business what is
wrong with that?”
But MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said Shonhe’s case was different
because it involved party employees while the others involved politicians.
“Shonhe is not a political officer but a technical officer,” Chamisa said.
“We have a duty to protect the party, to see if there was abuse of office or
acts of misconduct.”
He said those questioning the action taken against the two were “politicians
trying to get mileage from a non-political matter.” The probe team was still
compiling a report on Shonhe.
“They are still compiling the report and as soon as they are through they
will hand it over to the leadership.”
Party insiders insist that Shonhe was a victim of a serious power struggle
in the party which pits MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti and Tsvangirai’s
so –called kitchen cabinet.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 15:13
BY OUR STAFF
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will sell non-core assets to fund its
retrenchment exercise designed to leave the bank with a leaner staff
complement so that it can concentrate on its core business.
RBZ governor Gideon Gono told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget,
Finance and Investment Promotion on Monday that the central bank wants to
retrench 1 600 employees.
Only 530 jobs will be spared.
Standardbusiness heard last week that Treasury is not financing the
Rather, the debt-ridden central bank has to dispose of its non-core assets
to fund the exercise, which is estimated to chew US$30 million.
Of its non-core assets, RBZ has shares in companies listed on the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchanges, a mine and various properties across the country among
Standardbusiness heard last week that an asset disposal committee has been
set up to see how the non-core assets would be sold.
Unlike in previous auctions where RBZ assets went for a song, this paper is
reliably informed that the assets will go to the highest bidder.
Early this year, RBZ assets went cheaply after a farm implements supplier,
Farmtec obtained writs of execution to attach the central bank’s property
over a debt incurred during the farm mechanisation programme.
The retrenchment exercise is penciled to start before the end of the month
or early next year.
According to the plan, the affected workers will get a huge pay out and the
balance will come in instalments after the bank has sold more assets.
“Retrenchment will depend on the ability of the balance sheet of the
institution, not shareholders,” a source said.
“Theoretically the money is there but are there buyers interested in the
The remaining assets would be housed in a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that
is awaiting a legal instrument to enforce.
RBZ owes US$1,3 billion and the debt has been assumed by government.
The SPV will takeover both the assets and the liabilities of the bank.
The liabilities include those incurred when by the stroke of a pen
government directed the central bank to fund pressing national commitments
such as the mechanisation programme.
Before the amendment of the RBZ Act, government would instruct the bank to
make money available to meet national needs such as funding elections.
Of its numerous companies, RBZ would remain with Fidelity Printers and
Refiners as well as Aurex.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 15:06
BY NDAMU SANDU
A POTENTIAL investor has been found to buy a controlling shareholding in SMM
former flagship, AA Mines (AAM) as government intensifies efforts to sell
assets seized from Mutumwa Mawere six years ago.
The identity of the investor could not be verified last week although
sources said it could be of Malaysian origin.
Government seized SMM from Mawere through a Presidential decree in 2004.
The decree was later replaced by reconstruction laws, which deemed Mawere’s
empire to be state indebted by virtue of owing money to parastatals and
quasi government bodies.
Correspondence seen by Standardbusiness shows SMM administrator, Afaras
Gwaradzimba informing his principal, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa of
the interest by an investor to buy 76% in AA Mines.
AA Mines has operations in Mashava and Zvishavane in the Midlands province.
“The agreed purchase/sale price (“the price”) of a 76% shareholding in AAM
is US$115 million, of which US$37 million will be invested directly into AAM
and the balance will be used by SMM to pay its liabilities.
“The investor is currently working on the modus operandi of transferring
this money to Zimbabwe,” Gwaradzimba wrote.
“The investor has so far paid a commitment amount of US$2 600 000 which,
when all terms and conditions of the IA (Investment Agreement) are
fulfilled, will form part of payment of the investor amount.”
Contacted for comment Gwaradzimba said: “I am not going to be talking about
SMM at this stage.”
Since he took over the reins at SMM, the administrator disposed of six
companies he viewed non-core by way of management and employee buy-outs.
Only managers and employees not identified by the administrator as culpable
persons for the problems facing SMM were allowed to participate in the
management and employee buy-out of the non core assets.
The companies sold are CR Words and Images, Fortress Travel & Tours, Best
Practices, Regatta Financial Advisory Services, Midsec Security and FSI
The proposed disposal of assets comes at a time the Zimbabwean born
businessman is fighting to regain his empire.
Mawere contends that he should get his assets back by virtue of the removal
of specification as per the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Under this legislation, the assets of a specified person are kept and only
returned once specification is revoked.
Section 10 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act prohibits the disposal of
property of a specified person by anyone without the approval of the
Section 10 (7) stipulates that any transaction carried in contravention of a
clause that prohibits the sale of property of a specified person without
authority of the investigator “shall be void and where any property has been
transferred as a result of any such transaction, the investigator may, on
behalf of the specified person, recover any such property by proceedings in
In a ruling dismissing Mawere’s challenge of specification because he was
legally disabled, the Supreme Court said in 2008 that specification of an
individual under the Prevention of Corruption Act was simply a declaration
and neither an arrest nor detention.
“It [specification] is a declaration that is made in order to facilitate an
Mawere argues that no investigations were done while Chinamasa was in charge
of administering the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“It was only after the change of responsibilities that a review was done of
the various order issued in respect of many businesspersons accused of
If Chinamasa was still in charge of the PCA, I will still be specified,” he
Mawere had been specified in 2004 on foreign currency externalisation
Before the appointed investigator, Reggie Saruchera had completed his work,
government struck via a Statutory Instrument declaring that Mawere’s
companies were indebted to the state by virtue of owing parastatals and
quasi government bodies.
He could not successfully launch a challenge against the reconstruction laws
on the basis that he was legally disabled by the specification.
Home Affairs co-Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone were not reachable
on when they would return Mawere’s assets following his despecification in
June and on the fate of his assets which were sold while he was legally
Saruchera was unreachable on Friday to explain whether or not he had
authorised the disposal of Mawere’s companies whilst he was specified.
His office said he was in a meeting.
In the meantime, Mawere is waiting for a ruling in a Supreme Court case
where he is challenging the constitutionality of the Reconstruction laws.
The case was heard in June and judgment is pending.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 15:04
The main reason why corporal punishment is discouraged in schools is that it
inculcates in the minds of impressionable children the lesson that violence
is a legitimate way to solve problems. Research has shown that people who
are exposed to corporal punishment as children at home and in school are
more likely to use violence in an attempt to solve social problems.
One can extrapolate and say the use of violence in any situation is likely
to have far-reaching consequences that manifest themselves even decades
after the violence has been committed.
Zimbabwe has had a long history of violence both in pre- and post-colonial
periods. Colonial laws in Rhodesia institutionalised the use of violence to
suppress dissent. These laws were adopted and tightened in independent
Zimbabwe. Psychologists would aver that because the colonial state used
violence on black people seeking change, the new black rulers also saw
violence as a legitimate way to suppress dissent.
The use of violence in independent Zimbabwe climaxed during the Gukurahundi
when a whole brigade was sent into Matabeleland and the Midlands to suppress
the siNdebele-speaking people who were seen as standing in the way of a
legislated one-party state that the ruling Zanu PF was seeking. Thousands of
people were killed, thousands others were displaced and maimed.
Ironically – and this is the point of our little lesson in educational
psychology – Jabulani Sibanda has lived up to the prophecy and so has Simon
Khaya Moyo. Sibanda is the leader of the war veterans while Moyo is the
national chairman of Zanu PF. The two experienced directly the violence that
was visited upon Matableland and the Midlands. Moyo must even now experience
a chill down his spine when he thinks of how his mentor the late Joshua
Nkomo was hounded out of the country by those who sought to suppress his
Sibanda is wreaking havoc in Masvingo province while Moyo has given the
military the express permission to kill journalists who report on the
activities of the armed forces. Violence was inculcated in their psyches
during the Gukurahundi, so they feel they must use it against those who do
not agree with them. This way the vicious circle of violence continues and
the police, also steeped in violence, do not do anything about it.
Many years ago while he was a simple minister in the government that emerged
after the signing of a unity accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu, journalists
would remember a demure Moyo having lunch in the Quill Club almost every
day. Always well-groomed he revelled in chatting to journalists. He
presented himself as an open-minded, futuristic leader.
What was not known then was that still waters indeed run deep. Who would
have guessed that words such as those below could ever come out of Moyo’s
“In some countries if you criticise security forces you won’t last a day;
you will be crushed, killed and destroyed. I warn journalists in the private
media to stop this, because it won’t be tolerated and we will hunt them and
“You hear them talk about press freedom. What press freedom?” Khaya-Moyo
His career as a diplomat seems to have failed to moderate his language.
Last week Vice-President Joice Mujuru was speaking like a true politician
when addressing businesspeople in Harare. She seemed to come out strongly
denouncing violence but a closer look at her speech reveals that it was “the
equivocation of the fiend” as a character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth painfully
realised after being duped by the witches’ double speak.
“Why do we have to sleep with one eye open thinking somebody is going to
harm me?” Mujuru said. “It has happened in the communities and we end up
saying it’s President Robert Mugabe. Yet, it’s someone else who has
orchestrated that mishap on you. (President) Mugabe doesn’t know.”
Cleverly she seems to be regretting the violence that was perpetrated
against the people but she doesn’t take ownership. She cleverly distances
President Mugabe and Zanu PF from the violence which everyone has admitted
“If anyone is being followed by the police, it’s not the policy of
government. It’s individuals abusing the state apparatus for personal
interests,” VP Mujuru said.
But surely VP, tell us who is heading the government and what he or she is
doing about it. Tell us also who has enacted the invidious laws which the
police use to crack down on people’s civil liberties such as Posa, Aippa and
the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
“If you are out there and you kill in the name of Zanu PF, the law will
catch up with you because an offence (once) committed should be brought to
justice. Zanu PF won’t protect you. We don’t want be a country known for
murder and harassment.”
But VP, how many people have come forward to the police and pointed out
perpetrators of violence and the police have done nothing about it? Tell us
what you personally have done to have the likes of Joseph Mwale brought to
book? Everyone knows the people he killed and where he is right now and who
is protecting him!
“Most people think that (President) Mugabe knows everything, but the truth
is he doesn’t know. His lieutenants don’t tell him everything. This is what
has been happening. I have often heard him say, ‘Mai Mujuru, is it true that
things can happen that way?’ It shows that his lieutenants have not
presented facts in the correct format.”
But who are his lieutenants? You are his closest lieutenant being his vice
both in the party and in government. What have you been telling him?
VP Mujuru missed a great opportunity to effectively launch national healing
and reconciliation in her address. She ought to have taken ownership of the
violence that was meted out on innocent civilians by her party and made the
first step at building bridges. Instead she chose to be clever through
doublespeak and sophistry. That’s not the way to go.
Sunday, 12 December 2010 15:02
Among its many disclosures, Wikileaks had an interesting revelation last
week that has implications for Zimbabwe: China is losing patience with the
regimes in Burma and North Korea.
Burma considers China its closest ally, so does North Korea. Zimbabwe is a
relatively new dependency.
A Chinese diplomat told a US counterpart that Beijing was losing patience
with the Burmese military regime over its failure to implement political and
other reforms. He said China was "fed up with the foot-dragging" of Burma's
strongman, General Than Shwe, and his inner circle.
Late last month Wikileaks disclosed that China thinks that its Asian ally
North Korea behaves like “a spoilt child” and would support a unified Korea.
The cables said China shared the same concerns as the US about the country's
instability and was keen to work with Washington in promoting change.
Burma is considered an international pariah that brutally cracks down on
pro-democracy activists and, although it held an election early last month,
the poll was denounced as fraudulent.
A senior US diplomat in Rangoon in 2008 said: “The Chinese can no longer
rely on the generals to protect their interests here and recognise the need
to broker some solution that keeps the peace, including bringing in the
Zimbabwe considers China as one of its main allies. The usual refrain is:
“Zimbabwe and China enjoy good bilateral relations dating back to the
liberation struggle and have continued to co-operate in political, economic
and cultural programmes.”
But the Wikileaks cables have shown that, with regard to Burma and North
Korea, Beijing has used a policy of being “publicly supportive while
What is clear in all this is that China considers its national interests as
paramount and, like all “colonial” powers, knows that its interests can best
be served by promoting political stability.
Xinhua’s big screen, unveiled with much hoopla in First St last week, is
only the latest manifestation of strategic friendship. But what is missing
here is China’s quiet concern for political stability which Zanu PF is
blissfully unaware of. It will soon become clear. Not all is what it seems
thanks to Wikileaks!
Saturday, 11 December 2010 14:55
By Michelle Hakata
The past decade has seen thousands of Zimbabweans leave the country to
settle abroad or in neighboring countries with the largest group settling in
Over the years the vast majority have gained invaluable skills and furthered
their education while living outside their country. Sadly some have been
deskilled and turned to menial jobs for minimum pay just to get by.
The changes that have swept the country in the past 18 months have spurred
many Zimbabweans into seriously looking at the prospect of returning home
while others wish to increase their contribution and investment in the
country. They look at their countries and observe other nationals, from the
Chinese, South Africans to the Lebanese and Nigerians finding space in their
motherland and realize they are in danger of being left out in the race to
gain a foothold in the land that is home to them.
Available estimates put the number of Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora at
4,5 million. The sheer number of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora demands that
serious attention be paid to their contribution to economic recovery and
development of the country.
The inclusive government’s recovery plan is ambitious in nature and
therefore requires sizable and skilled human capital to realise it. Some of
the skills which will be needed exist in the Diaspora and my experience is
that thousands of Zimbabwe will want, in some way, to contribute to some
type of skills exchange programmes. Various small programmes are already in
place which allow professionals in the health, engineering and other sectors
to come home temporarily to put their expertise to use in our institutions
There is therefore need to encourage the retention of skilled workers, the
voluntary return of those who wish to come home and facilitation of skills
I also believe that there is increasing frustration by some in the Diaspora
with their adopted countries. For instance, job cuts and the recession in
Europe and other parts of the world have made it harder to get jobs or to
progress in chosen career paths. From the end of December it will be harder
for undocumented Zimbabweans to work in SA. For those who have acquired
business skills they see many opportunities in Zimbabwe. All this is making
Zimbabwe seem an attractive option for its nationals in neighbouring
countries and abroad
I am not advocating for a mass return home. Given the diversity of the
Zimbabwean Diaspora I’m aware that people are at different stations in their
careers and there are a myriad of interests to consider before making a
long-term choice. Conversation about the Diaspora has tended to focus on
remittances, yet there are other ways in which they can contribute to their
country without necessary returning home in the physical sense or indeed,
There already exist a number of groups, organisations, associations,
societies, that seek to and do represent the Diaspora in various parts of
the world. There is need to complement the efforts of these groups and
create an effective and efficient interface between the Diaspora and the
Zimbabwe government, civil society, business community and also enhance
synergies and efficiencies of these organisations. Many of the organisations
have been fundraising for their old schools, clubs and communities. More
than ever there is a need for appropriate strategies of working with these
individuals through a variety of programmes on the part of government and
creative options on the part of Diaspora.
The Zimbabwean Diaspora is a social, economic and cultural resource. It is
one of the country’s wealthiest resources and Zimbabwe should harvest this
resource. I believe that the Diaspora retains a stake in national affairs
and can play a critical role in national development. The contribution of
this group is vital to the promotion of national cohesion and the success of
any national projects.
Hakata is a media and communications consultant who is based in the United
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
1. Killian Mazibuko - Time for SADC to act
2. CFU'S ZJIRI SCHEME - Clive and Ann Hein
1. Killian Mazibuko - Time for SADC to act
As a Black Zimbabwean, I believe it now time for SADC to stand up for the
rights of the people of Zimbabwe.
One of these fundamental rights that the people of Zimbabwe have been
denied is the right to own property in the form of farmland. The
government failed to recognize the property rights of the white farmers
who were on farms and refused to compensate the value of the land. This
is a serious international crime and a clear violation of international
law. Whatever argument they had with Britain, they could have approached
international organisations to settle their disputes before resorting to
jambanja. Instead they ignored all this and are apparently guilty of
violating international law. It should be clear that what the government
of Zimbabwe is trying to do is to evade its responsibilities under the
SADC Treaty by the simple method of domestic legislation. You cannot
sign a treaty, do the opposite of what it says and expect everyone to
respect that. It is either the Zimbabwe government withdraws its
signature from the treaty or abide by the rulings of its Tribunal. The
Zimbabwe economy is mainly driven by Agriculture and to destroy
Agriculture is to create refugees. The SA government is trying to cope
with Zimbabwean immigrants and should prioritize the resuscitation of the
economy by restoring property rights so people can farm commercially to
feed the nation. This will save them the burden of chasing immigrants.
Do they recognize this?
It is up to the next SADC summit to reinstate the SADC Tribunal and
recognize and implement its decisions. We want the land question in
Zimbabwe to be settled once and for all. Right now, the ownership of the
land is contested because it has no ownership. People are given '99-year
leases' which say for the next 99 years the land will belong to the
state. The people are not allowed to buy, sell and attach this land as
collateral. Isn't this a violation of property rights. I believe we
need to restore Property rights to fully redeem our economy. This means
settling all land disputes and compensating those who were discriminated
against. A Land Audit is therefore necessary. I believe JAG and other
organisations should lobby SADC states when they discuss the SADC
Tribunal to recognize the consequences of denying the people of Zimbabwe
their God given property rights. The land belongs to God. Rule of law
was also trampled upon because the courts could not hear these cases due
to the effect of Amendment 17. It is an international human right to be
fairly heard in the court of law.
I urge all people to continue in Prayer that this situation will be
settled once and for all. I believe God will bless Zimbabwe.
2. CFU'S ZJIRI SCHEME - Clive and Ann Hein
RE: CFU'S ZJIRI SCHEME
In 2000 we were identified and approached by the then CFU Chairman (and
only by CFU) to put forward a farm for the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement
Initiative (ZJIRI), a CFU project. It was "for the farming community",
and we would be paid in full by the CFU, we were assured.
Remember in 2000 we had no idea of the Jambanja's of 2001-2002. We were,
in hindsight it seems, innocent and naive. We relinquished the farm for
ZJIRI / CFU initiative. We have waited patiently all these years in the
expectation of full payment from the CFU.
For the past two years we have been persistently asking the CFU about our
payment for this farm.
We have been passed from the CEO to the President, from President to CEO,
from CEO now, to the CFU lawyer. Nobody at the CFU wants to talk to us
about this or explain their position.
Is there anyone else out there, in a similar predicament, waiting for
payment for the CFU's ZJIRI programme. Some people, we believe,
were paid. We did not give up a farm to save a farm, nor cede this farm
in any way - it was a bona fide business transaction involving full
payment at market value.
Anyone out there in a similar position re ZJIRI please contact
Clive and Ann Hein. / The Midlands
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters,
and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for Agriculture.
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London 11/12/10
Jonathan Moyo’s anti-Tsvangirai rhetoric has reached an unprecedented
hysterical level, with a headline in the Zanu-pf Herald entitled “Calls for
Tsvangirai to resign mount” allegedly for urging the Americans to maintain
targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies. Without saying which MDC
structures are calling on Tsvangirai to resign, the Zanu-pf spin doctor who
is unable to conceal his pathological hatred of Tsvangirai’s popularity
alleged the MDC President had committed a litany of treasonous offences. Not
We now know that it’s Zanu-pf’s strategy that each time we are approaching
elections, the MDC president must be charged with treason and eventually
acquitted. They did that in 2002, almost repeated it in 2008 and now ahead
of 2011 polls, there are threats to arrest Morgan Tsvangirai on trumped up
charges so as to create maximum fear and rig elections so as to buy time for
Over the past 10 years Morgan Tsvangirai has survived three assassination
attempts comprising the one in 1997 when some unidentified assailants tried
to throw him from a 10th floor office window, then he was brutally assaulted
in 2007 by Mugabe’s policemen when he was going to a prayer meeting and
thirdly that tragic road ‘accident’ in March 2009 in which his wife perished
(MSNBC.com, 24/05/08; Telegraph.co.uk, 20/06/09)
For those who are not in the picture, Jonathan Moyo has of late found an
opportunity to interpret Wikileaks cables in a hypocritical way as expected
by targeting the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai for ridicule and waging a
nasty psychological warfare. For example, although a yet unnamed Zanu-pf
Member of Parliament was reportedly quoted in the Wikileaks cables as urging
sanctions on individuals to remain ‘if justified by the behaviour of these
individuals’, Moyo has not asked that MP to resign or to be charged with
‘treason’ which he alleges was committed by the MDC leader.
Interestingly, Jonathan Moyo has conveniently avoided reference to some of
the documents released by Wikileaks that are critical of Mugabe and his
wife. For instance, those which allege that the illicit diamond trade in
Zimbabwe has led to the murder of thousands, enriched those close to Robert
Mugabe including his wife and been financed in part by the central bank (The
Zimbabwean, 10/12/10). Instead, a Herald Reporter’s story ‘EU delegation
hails President’ is there on the government’s newspaper for everyone to
Moyo has characteristically upped his hate and inflammatory speeches ahead
of the 2011 elections in an effort to raise Zanu-pf from political death
which he described as ‘Zanu-pf’s ‘Lazarus Moment’ in October 2009.
“Surely, if you go into a general election with a two-thirds majority and
you come out with less than a simple majority, as did Zanu-pf in 2008, you
have every reason to be very worried because you are politically dead, so to
speak. I have called this political death Zanu-pf’s ‘Lazarus Moment’ based
on the Lazarus experience in the Bible which I am sure you are familiar
with. Zanu-pf’s dilemma since the last election is how to rise up from
political death”, Jonathan Moyo said in an interview with Munyaradzi Huni
(Sunday Mail, 11th Oct 2009).
In response to Jonathan Moyo’s analogy of Zanu-pf’s ‘Lazarus Moment’, Luke
Tamborinyoka, before he became Tsvangirai’s Press Secretary wrote:
‘While Zanu-pf is “Lazarus”, the major question as to who would be its
“Jesus” appeared to have been answered by the professor’s desperate attempt
to play the knowing old Coaster, suggesting he was the Messiah who had
returned to rescue his people’ (‘Resurrecting a Cadaver: Moyo’s Mission
Impossible’ Zimbabwe Independent, Thursday, 22 October 2009).
Another possible reason why Jonathan Moyo could be getting desperate and
impatient is that, with every day that passes, election 2011 draws nearer as
Mugabe’s public approval ratings plummet due to the use of violence by the
army, war veterans and the CIO, while Tsvangirai’s ratings rise.
This could also be linked to an interesting disclosure which Moyo made last
year that one of his five daughters asked him why he was rejoining Zanu-pf
and thus, in her view, risking losing at the next polls when he could join
MDC-T which she said seemed to have better prospects of winning the next
Moyo claimed to have told his daughter ‘emphatically’ that ‘for me it would
be better to lose an election with revolutionary nationalists and Pan
Africanists than to win it with reactionary sell-outs who suffer from the
false and treacherous belief that the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe
started in 2000’ (Sunday Mail, 11/10/09).
Even a primary school child would not be convinced about the wisdom of
preferring to lose than to win for such illogical reasons as those advanced
by the learned professor from Tsholotsho. Moyo also revealed that one of his
daughters would like to enter politics. It would not be surprising to find
that Moyo’s daughter might not subscribe to her father’s weird political
Despite denying that he is a political turncoat but admitting to be an
opportunist, it is a fact that Jonathan Moyo was an anti Zanu-pf university
lecturer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then joined Zanu and became a
Zanu-pf Minister, was expelled from Zanu-pf after meddling in the succession
issue and became an Independent only to re-apply and re-admitted last year
to his present unspecified job in Zanu-pf.
All that Jonathan Moyo has said about his current job is that he is not on
anyone’s payroll without elaborating his job title, job description and who
he reports to:
“Some have guns and I have my laptop and the internet” (The Zimbabwe
17 /07/10). Maybe, one day, we will know who pays Jonathan Moyo by keeping
our ears to the ground.
Meanwhile, with more Wikileaks cables said to be on the way, Moyo’s laptop
might need a memory upgrade as he drafts his hysterical anti-Tsvangirai
rhetoric. What a sad waste of knowledge!
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London