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Zimbabwe raises $1.5 mn to release impounded airplane



(AFP) – 9 hours ago

HARARE — Zimbabwe's government has raised $1.5 million (1.2 million euros)
to pay off the national airline's debt and have an impounded airplane
released in London, the company chairman said on Thursday.

"The actual figure is $1.5 million and it was raised and transferred and
that jet will be released in the next 48 hours," Air Zimbabwe chairman
Jonathan Kadzura told AFP.

Spare supply company American General Supplies seized ZimAir's Boeing
767-200 at London's Gatwick airport on Monday over unpaid fees. AirZim had
to reroute and reimburse stranded passengers.

Financial problems beleaguering the airline were the result of unfair
international sanctions against Zimbabwe, Kadzura said.

"This is a nation under unlawful sanctions and it's difficult for government
to support its parastatals, so it's not failure on our part, but punishment
through these illegal sanctions which have affected our cashflows."

The United States government imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe and senior members of his party following presidential
elections judged flawed by western observers.

The airline, already struggling to pay its workforce and facing mounting
fuel shortages, needs about $40 million to clear some of its debts, acting
chief executive Innocent Mavhunga told state newspaper The Herald this week.

In June this year, the airline cancelled flights to London and South Africa
after gas companies stopped supplies for non-payment. This month a South
African firm that offers ground handling services seized one of AirZim's
planes over unpaid money.


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Angry Air Zim passengers demand answers

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
15 December 2011

Harare bound Air Zimbabwe passengers were on Thursday still stranded at UK’s
Gatwick airport. The plane had been seized at the airport on Monday over an
unpaid debt, but passengers had still been allowed to check in and have been
stranded ever since.

Anger towards the national airline increased as the Christmas travel plans
of over a hundred passengers were ruined. Tensions erupted anew as
passengers demanded answers, after their hopes of flying out on Thursday
were dashed.

The airline’s chairman had said the debt and been settled and this gave
passengers the impression the plane would be released immediately and allow
them to fly to Harare. Jonathan Kadzura told the AFP news agency in Harare
that government had raised $1.5 million to pay off the national airline’s
debt and have the impounded Boeing 767 released. The long haul aircraft was
seized by spare supply company, American General Supplies on Monday.

SW Radio Africa presenter Ezra Sibanda is one of the stranded passengers. He
told us passengers had nominated him and another man to approach Air
Zimbabwe officials at Gatwick to seek answers.

‘I think whilst people are obviously deeply upset about the inconvenience,
particularly at this time of year, of having their travel plans disrupted,
most of what I am hearing is a sense of outrage about the way they have been
treated since Monday,’ Sibanda said.

He added that the passengers were claiming that Air Zimbabwe did not do
enough to help them and are demanding compensation. He confirmed tempers
were fraying at the airport after the airline left the passengers on
Wednesday to scramble to find alternative flights, or temporary
accommodation, on their own.

Sibanda said it was the complete lack of communication and notification from
the airline that has left many passengers in limbo regarding accommodation
and, more importantly, knowing when they would fly out to see their families
in Zimbabwe.

David Mwenga, the airline’s Europe manager, told us the company had done its
best to find ccommodation for the stranded passengers.

‘Today (Thursday) we have managed to book them into a five star hotel,
hoping that everything will be sorted out soon,’ Mwenga said.


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Newspaper staff to face trial over ‘defamation’

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
15 December 2011

Staff from The Standard Newspaper will face trial for criminal defamation,
after a Harare magistrate dismissed their attempt to have the matter
referred to the Supreme Court.

Standard Editor Nevanji Madanhire, and former Standard reporter Patience
Nyangove, are being jointly charged with Alpha Media Holdings group human
resources Manager, Loud Ramakgapola.

The ‘defamation’ charges stem from an article published in late June this
year, titled: “MDC-T fears for missing Timba”.

The story was based on an MDC-T statement, which said that the party feared
for the life of its Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office,
Jameson Timba, after he was arrested for allegedly calling Robert Mugabe a
liar.

The three have been trying to get the case referred to the Supreme Court for
intervention, arguing that the charges infringe on their constitutional
rights. This is based on Section 24 (2) of the constitution which dictates
that, as members of the press, they can disseminate information “without
fear or favour.”

But Harare provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini on Wednesday dismissed
the application and said the matter should proceed to trial. He remanded the
case to January 24th next year.


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Chinese firm denies abuse at Zimbabwe diamond mine

http://af.reuters.com/

Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:37pm GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

MARANGE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - A Chinese mining group has denied violating
human rights at Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields where unlicensed
small-scale miners have clashed with security forces in the past.

The Anjin group told Reuters on a rare visit that it planned to boost output
at the high-security mining area, where even giant Baobab trees sport
surveillance cameras.

Marange, 400 km (240 miles) east of Harare, has generated controversy since
20,000 small-scale miners invaded the area in 2008 and were forcibly removed
by soldiers and police.

Human rights groups say up to 200 people were killed during the process,
charges denied by Harare.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in August that police and private security
employed by some mine owners were shooting, beating and using attack dogs
against unlicensed miners.

"There are no human rights issues here at Anjin," Munyaradzi Machacha, a
director at Anjin, told journalists during the tour.

Four companies operate the mines.

Two of them had already said reports of abuses were false: Diamond Mining
Company of Zimbabwe -- a new joint venture between the government and Pure
Diamond of Dubai -- and Mbada Diamonds, another joint venture between the
state and a Zimbabwean investor said to be close to President Robert Mugabe.

HRW mentioned only Mbada by name but rights bodies have also accused
Zimbabwean state security agencies working with Anjin of abuses.

Anjin is a joint venture between the government's Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation and China's state-owned Anhui Foreign and Economic
Construction Company and is run mainly by Chinese nationals.

Security is tight at all the fields, with electric and alarmed security
fences, flood lights and close-circuit television to stop illegal miners
from sneaking in.

At least five police check points guard the highway to Marange, there are
mandatory searches and armed guards with dogs patrol the area.

Rules forbid people from picking anything from the ground around the mining
area.

SPY CAMERAS

Marange is a hot and arid place where temperatures soar above 40 degrees
Celsius and it is home to Baobab trees as old as 200 years.

The mining firms have transplanted the trees to facilitate mining and Anjin
has put spy cameras on some of them. The firm says at least five people are
caught each week trying to sneak into the concession area looking for
diamonds.

The Marange fields span 71,000 hectares and contain large deposits of
alluvial and conglomerate diamonds - found in sedimentary rocks - but
companies are only mining on some 40,000 hectares.

The mining area hums with the sound of trucks and front loaders digging the
earth and sending ore to processing plants, which were imported from
neighbouring South Africa.

Anjin's mine reflects the nationality of its owners with high gates
decorated with guardian lions and dragons.

Some 210 Chinese are among the 1,700 workers employed by the company.

Three of the mining firms have been certified to export rough diamonds by
global regulator Kimberley Process, a scheme that imposes requirements on
member states to ensure gems were not obtained as spoils of conflict.

Earlier this month campaign group Global Witness pulled out of the Process,
saying it was unwilling "to stop diamonds fuelling corruption and violence
in Zimbabwe".

Anjin chief engineer Hu Shijie told Reuters he expected production to rise
next year, from one million carats mined in the first half year of
production from October 2010.

"We are looking at producing between 7 to 10 million carats," he told
Reuters in an interview on Wednesday through an interpreter when asked about
the production target for 2012.

"We want to put in a lot of investment to develop the economy of this
country."

Machacha told reporters that the mining firm had stockpiled 3 million carats
of rough diamonds and was now selling them after the Kimberley Process
allowed it to start exports last month.

He said Anjin had so far invested $310 million since it started operations
in August last year.

Hu said the mining firm will commission two new diamond processing plants on
Thursday, bringing the total to seven.


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Tsvangirai calls for reforms before vote



(AFP) – 1 hour ago

HARARE — Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai warned Thursday that
crucial reforms were needed before credible elections could take place.

President Robert Mugabe has said he wanted early polls to be held in 2012 as
his uneasy power-sharing deal with Tsvangirai was coming apart at the seams.

Speaking to lawmakers, Tsvangirai admitted the coalition had failed to
deliver on most of its targets and had become unworkable.

"We have had our success stories but this government largely remains
dysfunctional," said at his end-of-year address to parliament.

Tsvangirai led Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980, in the
first round of the 2008 presidential election but failed to win an outright
majority. He pulled out of the run-off citing intimidation, handing victory
to Mugabe.

Following an international outcry, sanctions on the ruling party and months
of arduous negotiations, a power-sharing agreement was reached in which
Mugabe kept his job and Tsvangirai became prime minister.

"The year 2012 must not be characterised by rhetoric about an early election
that is not accompanied by the necessary reforms that will ensure a free and
fair election," Tsvangirai said.

"Political stability is key to our prosperity as a nation and only a free
and fair election can guarantee legitimacy, peace and stability."

At a conference of his ZANU-PF party last week, the 87-year-old Mugabe said
Zimbabwe should hold a fresh election next year without fail, arguing that
he power-sharing deal was "undemocratic and illegitimate."


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Court Orders Mutambara To Step Down As MDC Leader

http://www.radiovop.com

Bulawayo, December 15, 2011- A Bulawayo High Court Judge has ordered
Professor Arthur Mutambara to stop purporting to be the president of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a principal in government and
exercising any functions vested on the party’s president.

High Court Judge, Justice Lawrence Kamocha in his judgment at the Bulawayo
High Court on Thursday morning confirmed a provisional order that was
granted in February this year against Mutambara directing him to stop
masquerading as the MDC president and principal.

“The applicants are entitled to the provisional draft order,” Justice
Kamocha said in his judgment read on his behalf by Justice Nicholas
Mathonsi.

Mutambara had filed papers opposing the provisional order maintaining that
he is still in charge of the party.

He had argued that the provisional order granted by the High Court in
February was silent on the principal issue, arguing that this means he is
the principal in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

However, Thursday’s judgment ordered Mutambara to stop forthwith from
pretending to be the MDC president and principal.

On February 16 this year, senior Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas
Ndou granted a provincial order interdicting Mutambara from purporting to be
the MDC leader.

Mutambara, who is Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive Government, was
further interdicted from exercising any function vested in the president of
the MDC. He was further interdicted from in anyway interfering with the
structures and organs of the party.

Welshman Ncube later approached the court’s seeking an order confirming the
provisional order and stopping Mutambara from acting as principal which has
since been granted by Justice Kamocha.

At the same time, Mutambara filed papers opposing the provisional order
against him.

The order stops Prof Mutambara from exercising any function vested in the
president of the MDC.

Ncube was elected MDC president at the party's congress in Harare in January
this year. That election was later challenged by a section of the MDC, which
argued that the correct process had not been followed.


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'I fear for my life but I try not to be paranoid' says activist

http://www.rnw.nl/

Published on : 15 December 2011 - 3:12pm | By RNW Africa Desk

“I receive death threats over the phone and sometimes I have strangers
following me wherever I go. I am constantly checking who is in front, behind
and at my side."

By Nkosana Dlamini, Harare

This is how human rights defender Farai Maguwu describes his case. Maguwu is
head of the Zimbabwean Centre for Research and Development (CRD), a
voluntary organisation that contests President Robert Mugabe’s regime by
documenting instances of murder, torture and the forced labour of civilians
at the controversial Marange diamond fields in Eastern Zimbabwe.

“Life has been extremely difficult. I live one day at a time,” says Maguwu.
“At our offices we have state agents parked outside the gates for most of
the day, monitoring who comes in and out. I fear for my life but I also try
not to be paranoid about security.”

The rights activist was jailed for a month earlier this year after allegedly
leaking documentary evidence of army brutalities to the world diamond
watchdog, the Kimberly Process. He was soon after labelled an enemy of the
state. For Maguwu, the human rights situation in Zimbabwe remains terrible.
“Citizens are not protected by the law,” he explains.

Imprisonment
During his incarceration, Maguwu fell very ill but doctors were banned from
attending to him by detectives investigating his case.

“My condition worsened and for a while I began to smell death,” he explains.
“I cried at one point, thinking my life was being prematurely terminated.”

Doctors later performed an operation to remove his swollen tonsils but he
was still forced to spend two weeks recovering from the effects of the
medical operation while in a prison cell.

“When I was released from jail, I was under intense pressure to slow down. I
began to realise the high risks involved in my work as the surveillance
around me intensified,” he says. “But at the same time, I had a strong
conviction that told me not to betray my conscience. I decided to continue
with my work. I have committed my life to God and I take refuge in his
hands.”

But it is not always gloom for the rights activist who speaks of cases where
he sometimes shares lighter moments with his tormentors.

“I joke with a number of security agents. Recently I met one at an
intersection in Mutare and he shouted, ‘Maguwu, when will you be arrested
again?’”

Diamonds & blood
Thirty percent of the world’s rough diamonds are currently mined in
Zimbabwe. Following a decade long economic crisis, the Zimbabwean government
is keen to protect this lucrative industry, even if it means turning a blind
eye to human rights abuses. Maguwu himself has been accused of working as an
agent for hostile western governments, with the aim of shutting down
Zimbabwe's diamond trade.

“We are saying that the government should stop brutalising its citizens in
order to secure diamonds,” argues the outspoken activist. “Diamonds must not
enrich a few people, as is the case now and for the foreseeable future, but
rather should benefit the whole country.”

But for Maguwu, the decision by the Kimberley Process in November to lift
the ban on Marange’s diamond trade will only serve to line the pockets of a
corrupt minority rather than tackling the serious human rights abuses at
stake. “It is largely a blank check to the privileged few who are making a
killing out of Marange diamonds,” he adds.

Extraordinary activism
Human Rights Watch recently honoured Maguwu, graduate of the European
University Centre for Peace Studies, with the Alison Des Forges Award for
extraordinary activism.

“Being chosen amidst many great people doing incredible human rights work
around the world is something very special. I keep asking sarcastically,
‘why me!?” It looks like Maguwu's work is far from over yet.


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Locadia’s sister exposed as leader of violent militia

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga

By Lance Guma
15 December 2011

The woman who nearly became Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s sister-in-law is today exposed by SW Radio Africa as having led a violent militia, who terrorized MDC-T supporters ahead of the presidential run-off in June 2008. It’s also alleged she instigated the abduction of former TV presenter Jestina Mukoko.

Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga, the ZANU PF MP for Goromonzi West, is sister to Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo, the Harare businesswoman at the centre of a media storm over whether the PM had married her or not.

SW Radio Africa has in its possession a dossier detailing abuses committed by Nyamupinga’s militia and how she has cracked down on any perceived opposition voices in her area.

In November 2008 Nyamupinga is reported to have left a workshop fuming with anger that Jestina Mukoko, the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, had given a presentation citing Goromonzi West as having gone through a wave of severe political violence that year. She warned Mukoko that she would pay for it and a few days later the former TV presenter was abducted from her Norton home by state security agents.

SW Radio Africa understands a car similar to Nyamupinga’s Mazda 626 vehicle was seen at the scene of Mukoko’s abduction. Our dossier says: “Many victims have reported being assaulted by the army, based at Domboshava barracks in her constituency, reportedly at the instigation of the MP.”

During this period Nyamupinga was campaigning for Mugabe in the presidential run-off. Although Tsvangirai won the March poll, he withdrew from the run-off citing violence and the murder of his supporters.

As the MP for the area Nyamupinga moved around the Domboshava and Chinhamhora communal areas, accompanied by a troop of ZANU PF militia and suspected state security agents.

“This team was always seen driving in two Mitsubishi trucks, followed by Nyamupinga’s car, a Mazda 626 cream in colour. This group hunted and terrorized MDC-T supporters in the Goromonzi West constituency,” witnesses said.

SW Radio Africa has also been supplied with a list of people who fell victim to the abuses committed by her militia.

On the 29th of May 2008 Ben Mbidzo, an MDC-T activist in Goromonzi West, was abducted from his home by the ZANU PF militia led by the MP. “They heavily assaulted him first, destroyed his homestead, took away his household property and subjected his wife and children to another thorough beating that lasted for hours.”

Mbidzo was then taken to the torture base at Chogugudza Primary School for another round of beatings. He was released after the 27th June elections.

In the evening of 11th June 2008 Nyamupinga’s militia, disguised as a campaign team, abducted Ishumael Chitunhu who owned a small retail shop at Chinhamhora Growth Point. These militia were led by Tendayi Maruta and used a car provided by Nyamupinga.

Chitunhu was severely assaulted at his shop before being taken to Chogugudza Primary School base. He was tortured and transferred to another base in Bindura. It was in Bindura that he later managed to escape and flee to Mozambique, where he sought refuge until October 2008.

Another victim was Violet Mubauka, who was attacked at her home on the 17th June 2008 by the same gang. They accused her of supporting the MDC-T before assaulting her on the buttocks. Although she sustained severe injuries she was warned not to seek any medical help or she would be killed.

On the 19th June Nyamupinga and her convoy of three vehicles went to Pote Primary School in her constituency. Led by Peter Maruta the youths in her group looked for and apprehended Tito Munyanyi. They assaulted him in the presence of the MP and she made no attempt to stop them.

Munyanyi was then taken to the militia base at Chogugudza Primary School where he was further tortured. It was only when they asked him to collect his MDC-T regalia and bring it back to the base that Munyanyi picked his chance and fled to Harare.

On the 28th June the same mob, using Nyamupinga’s car, descended on the home of Peter Chamhumha in the Domboshava area. Fortunately Chamhumha was told in advance that the militia was looking for him and managed to leave before their arrival. This incensed the ZANU PF gang and they destroyed his entire homestead.

On the same day the Headman of Chiringa Village, Elias Chiringa, was assaulted by Nyamupinga’s gang during a meeting the MP was addressing. One of her youths, Reuben Zulu, pointed to Chiringa and accused him of being an MDC-T activist. Chiringa was assaulted while everyone at the meeting watched, including the MP.

Although Chiringa pleaded with the MP to stop the gang from beating him, Nyamupinga told him it was his fault and he must go through the ‘cleansing’ process. Efforts by SW Radio Africa on Thursday to get comment from Nyamupinga were fruitless.

Next week SW Radio Africa continues with this dossier and looks at other individuals accused of directing or engaging in political violence, including: ZANU PF MP’s Saviour Kasukuwere (Mt Darwin South), Paddy Zhanda (Goromonzi North), Nicholas Goche (Shamva North), Olivia Muchena (Mutoko South), Edward Raradza (Muzarabani South), Kudakwashe Basikiti (Mwenezi East) and ZANU PF Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa.

See:


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KISS FM sues the broadcast authority over radio licenses

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 December, 2011

Problems have continued to mount for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ), over the board’s recent decision to award the country’s first two
commercial radio licenses to Zimpapers and AB Communications.

According to the state run Herald newspaper, one of the applicants denied a
license has decided to take the matter to Administrative Court. KISS-FM,
headed by Sharon Mugabe and popular musician Oliver Mutukudzi, is
challenging the BAZ decision.

This follows the introduction of a motion in parliament by the MDC-T,
seeking to nullify the licenses and calling for the reconstitution of the
BAZ board, as agreed to by the principals in the inclusive government.

Zimpapers publish the state run newspapers, including the Herald itself, and
AB Communications is headed by former journalist Supa Mandiwanzira, a
staunch ZANU PF supporter recently introduced as a potential party candidate
for Nyanga.

“KISS-FM director and spokesperson Ms Sharon Mugabe said in a statement that
the decision will be challenged on the grounds that BAZ made crucial
oversights in its adjudication process,” the Herald said.

The Herald pointed to Sharon Mugabe’s background and her role in Robert
Mugabe’s campaign during the 2008 presidential election, plus her links to
Banc ABC, whose chairman Douglas Munatsi also chairs KISS FM.

Njabulo Ncube from the watchdog Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
said: “It’s like two bulls from the same kraal fighting. It’s no surprise.
We must not rule out that there is factionalism within ZANU PF.”

Ncube strongly criticized the Herald for not dealing with the controversy
surrounding the constitution of the BAZ board, which was appointed
unilaterally by the Minister of Information Webster Shamu.

“Apart from the BAZ board being unconstitutional, they are people that have
a conflict of interest. Whether they will recuse themselves or whatever
happens, there is still that conflict of interest.” Ncube explained that the
conflict lay in the board members’ known links and loyalty to ZANU PF.

Meanwhile the issue of the BAZ board’s constitution surfaced in Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s end of year address to parliament on Thursday.

Tsvangirai told the nation that Information Minister Webster Shamhu has
defied instructions from Robert Mugabe to appoint a new board, and created
confusion by awarding radio licenses to Zimpapers and AB Communications.


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Mugabe Begs International Support For Overcrowded Prisons

http://www.radiovop.com

Ntabazinduna, December 15, 2011- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on
Wednesday begged for help from international donor community saying they
should give support to Zimbabwe prisons, which are still in deplorable
conditions despite formation of a unity government.

“I call upon churches, international donor community, civic groups
businesses and others to continue to support our prisons...” said Mugabe who
was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 514 prison guards at Ntabazinduna
Zimbabwe Prisons Service (ZPS) training depot just outside Bulawayo.

Mugabe also said ZPS should utilise farms which the prison service was
allocated by government recently.

“At independence in 1980 ZPS had 13 farms but now we have you allocated
another 11 to make a total of 24 and we expect you to utilise these farms,
so that you can be able to feed inmates,” said the President.

Zimbabwe prisoners die in their hundreds every month due to mainly a
shortage of food and drugs. Food shortages in the country’s prisons have
seen an increase in incidences of pellagra, scabies and other diet related
diseases. Apart from grappling with food shortages, Zimbabwe’s prisons also
battle with diseases such as tuberculosis, and HIV/Aids.

Zimbabwe has 55 prisons including satellites with a holding capacity of 17
000 inmates, according to Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and
Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO). ZACRO is an independent prisoner
rehabilitation organisation.

Among those prisons guards who graduated 368 were male while 147 were
female, five dropped out before completing the course for various reasons.


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Senate Human Rights Committee Tours Zimbabwe Prisons

http://www.voanews.com/

14 December 2011

Justice Ministry Permanent Secretary David Mangota recently said the country
was losing millions of dollars in taxpayer money due to serious
over-crowding in remand prisons

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Senate Human Rights Thematic Committee Chairman Misheck Marava, senator for
Zaka, said conditions in Zimbabwean prisons have greatly improved from 2007
and 2008, when prisoners were often severely affected by the country's
profound economic woes.

Marava said that since last year his committee has been touring prisons and
members are currently investigating conditions in Bulawayo and Matabeleland
North provinces.

Zimbabwe has 42 prisons with a holding capacity of 17,000 inmates. At
present such penal institutions hold just 14,600 - 3,500 of them in remand
custody awaiting trial.

Justice Ministry Permanent Secretary David Mangota recently said the country
was losing millions of dollars in taxpayer money due to serious
over-crowding in remand prisons.

Marava told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that while things were looking
better in the prisons in general, the needs of female prisoners with babies
must be met.


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Gwisai’s trial takes new twist

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

By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Thursday, 15 December 2011 15:06

HARARE - Munyaradzi Gwisai’s case yesterday took a dramatic turn as the key
state witness told the court that the Egypt and Tunisian revolution videos
purportedly watched by the group and is being used as evidence was only
watched to pass time.

“The videos were being shown as a time killer, because the speakers had not
yet arrived,” said Jonathan Shoko, who was unmasked as a state security
operative in court by the defence lawyer.

Shoko, who claims he was part of a meeting where Gwisai and other social
activists were arrested, yesterday admitted under cross examination that he
had watched the Egypt and Tunisia uprising video clips on one or two
occasions on TV before he watched them at the meeting.

The video footage showing political revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, which
resulted in the toppling Presidents Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali respectively, is being used as evidence against the social justice
activists.

The state alleges the group was using these video footage as a template to
mobilise Zimbabweans to revolt against the government.

Gwisai, 43, is jointly charged with Antonater Choto, 36, Tatenda
Mombeyarara, 29, Edson Chakuma, 38, Hopewell Gumbo, 32 and Welcome Zimuto,
25.

The state initially preferred treason charges against the six but later
settled for a lesser charge of conniving to incite public violence.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba told the court the six convened a meeting at
Zimbabwe Labour Centre in Harare, where they connived to disturb peace in
the country on February 19 this year.

Meanwhile, the issue of Shoko’s real identity took centre stage in court.

Gwisai’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama yesterday stated in court that Shoko is
known in 13 different names and that he is a member of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

“You are known in 13 different relations and this is typical CIO,”
Muchadehama said.

Muchadehama proceeded to produce photographs purportedly belonging to Shoko,
while he was at an MDC dinner which was held at Rainbow Towers on September
9 where he allegedly masqueraded as a journalist using the name Rodwell
Chitiyo.

On some of the photos he was photographed together with Piniel Denga, the
MDC legislator for Mbare and journalist, Valentine Maponga, whom Muchadehama
said can be called in to testify in court.

Shoko rejected charges that he was the one appearing on the photographs and
told the court he suspects the photos were doctored.

On November 7, during cross examination, Muchadehama told Shoko that his
actual name was Rodwell Chitiyo, before producing photographs showing his
resemblance since the time he was in high school at St Faith’s Mission in
Rusape and an extraction of his Facebook picture.

Shoko denied attending St Faith’s Mission and knowledge of the person who
was on the pictures.

Despite his identity denials, Muchadehama did not stop with his battle to
prove Shoko was not the witness’ name and that he was not a police officer
but instead a CIO “operative”.

He went on to produce copies of Chitiyo’s identity card, passport and birth
certificate. Shoko is the second state witness after Rinos Chari who
testified on September 14.

Muchadehama continues cross-examining Shoko tomorrow.


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Robert Mugabe makes poll plans to bury power-sharing

http://www.theaustralian.com.au

by: Bruce Loudon
From: The Australian
December 16, 2011 12:00AM

HE is just two months shy of his 88th birthday, but Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe isn't giving up.

On the contrary, the most despised of Africa's despots - to the despair of
adversaries and those who have so long forecast his political demise - is
preparing to mark the occasion by standing for re-election for another
six-year term.

Not for him the sort of retirement at 87 of that most famous of postwar West
German chancellors Konrad Adenauer, who took office at the age of 73.
Rather, having been in power almost 32 years, Mugabe, it seems, may be
seeking to emulate the longevity in office of that other notable central
African potentate, the Homburg-hatted Hastings Kamuzu Banda, of Malawi, who
was 101 when he died in 1997, three years after he reluctantly left office.

It would be an "act of cowardice," Mugabe told 6000 cheering delegates of
his ruling Zanu-PF party during a two-hour, Fidel Castro-style harangue the
other day, for him to retire now. "It would be wrong, completely wrong, when
the West is still holding sanctions against us and pursuing regime change,"
he said. "I am not a coward. I am lucky God gave me this longer life than
others to be with you."
Free trial

On cue, they nominated him by acclamation as the party's candidate for the
election Mugabe is determined to hold early next year, aimed, he says, at
"digging the grave" of the power-sharing deal he was forced to accept with
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

It was a powerful performance by the octogenarian demagogue, one that
confounded critics and those expecting to see him on his last legs. And in
it was a telling reminder of just how little progress has been made by the
international community in getting rid of Mugabe and dismantling his brutal
regime.

There have been years of opprobrium, isolation, and sanctions. Even
neighbouring African countries have turned against him. He has looked
vulnerable. But as he cunningly sets about plotting the destruction of the
power-sharing government, the old boy has a surprisingly strong deck of
cards to play.

This was seen during the Zanu-PF conference when Gwede Mantashe, powerful
secretary-general of South Africa's ruling ANC, pledged direct help to
ensure the re-election of Mugabe's party. It is a stance that is
diametrically at odds with longstanding South African policy to pressure
Mugabe not to hold elections until after constitutional changes to ensure
they are fair and free.

Given the unique potential South Africa has to influence events in its
landlocked neighbour, the assurance of direct ANC help will have been music
to Mugabe's ears. But it's not his only good news. Amid the moves to bury
the power-sharing government has come a welter of controversy about the
personal life and loves of opposition leader Tsvangirai, most dramatically
with an unedifying account of how he has walked away from a "marriage" that
embarrassingly lasted 12 days - a spectacle he blames on dirty tricks by
Mugabe's notorious spy agencies.

The "marriage," Tsvangirai said, had been "hijacked" and was a "dark patch
in my private life." This and other "brief flings" have, it seems, done
little for his standing. Hence his Movement for Democratic Change, victors
in the election Mugabe outrageously stole in 2008, is against the ropes.

As well there is the sudden lifting of international sanctions on the sale
of "blood diamonds" from Marange, a field estimated to hold more than a
quarter of the world's diamond reserves and which will realise a staggering
$2 billion a month, providing the regime with an unmatchable war chest to
buy votes and crush the opposition.

The 2008 election is acknowledged to have been a travesty. But the outrage
and sanctions that followed have done little to mend Mugabe's ways. And now
as he prepares to force an election aimed at destroying the power-sharing
government, the cards all seem to be falling his way.

With his pretty, 47-year-old wife Grace Marufu (Gucci Grace, to some) on his
arm, Mugabe exudes confidence that he has years at the helm ahead of him.
That is both a fearful prospect for long-suffering Zimbabweans, and a sad
comment on the international community's inability to get rid of one of the
world's most loathed despots.


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Politicians Implicated In WikiLeaks Have No Case To Answer - Tomana

http://www.radiovop.com

Ntabazinduna, December 15, 2011 - Zimbabwe’s Attorney General, Johannes
Tamana has said politicians being investigated for allegedly committing acts
of treason arising from the WikiLeaks cables have no case to answer as a
number of reports in the whistle blower website were false.

Treason attracts a prison sentence of up to 20 years according to Zimbabwean
laws.

“WikiLeaks was considered as any source of information and as the AG, I had
a duty to investigate thoroughly because the cables pointed to areas of
violation of the country’s laws which therefore necessitated prosecution by
our courts.

“We have done our investigation and what we have found out is that most of
the WikiLeaks information was not true that is why we have not prosecuted
those who were being investigated on the basis of the WikiLeaks cables,”
Tomana said on Wednesday in an interview.

“We cannot just prosecute the politicians on the basis of the WikiLeaks but
on the basis of evidence that would have been found through our
investigation. But so far, what we have found does not necessitate
prosecution. We are still investigating though.”

Tomana had set up an independent panel of legal experts to probe into what
he called “treasonous collusions” by the country’s high profile politicians
among them, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai and other government ministers
for supplying state information to United States Ambassadors to Zimbabwe.

When the leaked cables were first published, Tsvangirai and members of his
party were said to have met with US envoys and suggested that they maintain
targeted sanctions while publicly calling for their lifting, revelations
that prompted Tomana to say that he would instigate a probe into what he
called “treasonous collusions.”

However, WikiLeaks, a whistle blower website which has caused a sensation by
leaking confidential US diplomatic cables, later released cables exposing
President Robert Mugabe’s top allies as hypocrites who supped with the
87-year-old’s enemies by night.

Among the senior officials in the line of fire are: Vice President Joice
Mujuru, politburo members Saviour Kasukuwere, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Jonathan
Moyo, Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, army officials and Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono among others.

The leaked cables which were published on the WikiLeaks website released
minutes of meetings held by political leaders with US government officials
where they divulged sensitive information about the country and their
respective parties.

Vice President Mujuru held a secret meeting with the US ambassador and
suggested more meetings saying they were useful.


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Zimbabwe Medical Authorities Warn Consumers Against Fraudulent Drugs

http://www.voanews.com

14 December 2011

Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for
Human Rights, said it is proper practice for all medical practitioners to
only dispense or use medicines approved by the authority

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

Zimbabwean medical authorities are warning consumers not to fall for
popularly advertised drugs that have not been approved for human
consumption.

Such drugs, advertised in local media, often promise cures of serious
illnesses including high blood pressure, diabetes and even HIV/AIDS.

The Medicine Control Authority of Zimbabwe said it has not approved such ads
which are considered illegal. Under the law and the guidelines of the MCAZ
all medicines distributed in the country must be licensed and regulated by
the authority.

Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for
Human Rights, said it is proper practice for all medical practitioners to
only dispense or use medicines approved by the authority.

Gwatidzo told VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo that illegal drugs have become a
challenge as many consumers take them without medical advice.

He said the many of the counterfeit drugs have not been passed for
consumption and the long-term side effects could outweigh any short term
health benefits.

In Johannesburg, meanwhile, more than 100 sex workers, including many from
Zimbabwe, gathered in Johannesburg today to remember their colleagues who
died while pursuing their trade, and to demand the legalization of their
activities.


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More farm seizures ahead

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

At least 200 farms will be seized from white farmers and handed over to Zanu
(PF) supporters, according to a report tabled at the party conference last
week.
14.12.1108:35am
by Staff Reporter

About 4000 white-owned farms have already been occupied – some violently -
by supporters of President Robert Mugabe in the controversial land reform
programme.

The remaining land now earmarked for seizure makes up the remaining 10
percent of farms previously owned by white Zimbabweans.

The plan is contained in a Central Commitrtee report tabled at the
conference which also states that another 223 white farmers are facing
prosecution for failing to vacate their land. The government said nearly
55,000 blacks had received their own commercial plots, while the rest had
been allocated space on communal land.

War veterans were guaranteed land if they have not yet been allocated it,
the party resolved at its 12th annual national people's conference that
ended in Bulawayo on Saturday. The announcement comes amid unconfirmed
reports that the majority of farms taken from white owners have been given
to high-ranking party officials, rather than redistributed to poor
Zimbabweans.


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Bulawayo Mayor insists donated pink bins will be used

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
15 December 2011

Bulawayo’s Mayor Thaba Moyo has insisted the City Council will be using 20
dustbins donated by a gay and lesbian rights group, amid media reports that
the Council had deliberately removed the bins.

The metal bins are pink in colour and bear the name of the group which
donated them, the Sexual Rights Centre. But according to the NewsDay
newspaper the bins were “withdrawn” because of complaints from local
residents and civic groups. The newspaper quoted the Bulawayo United
Residents Association as saying that the Council should have consulted
residents before accepting the donated bins.

The Association’s Secretary General Samuel Moyo is quoted as saying: “The
issues of gays and lesbians is a very controversial national problem and
council was, therefore, supposed to consult the people as accepting the
donation could be misconstrued to mean the local authority subscribes to gay
rights.”

But the City Mayor told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the bins were never
removed, they had just not been placed for public use yet. He said the bins
were still being kept at the City Council’s Cleansing Department in
Thorngrove, which is near Khami Clinic.

“We really welcome this donation and we are busy trying to arrange to put
them in strategic places that receive a lot of traffic,” Mayor Moyo said.

He added that the claims that the city was bowing to pressure from upset
local groups was “rubbish,” saying that the Council is “desperate for any
assistance in clearing refuse.”

“We don’t regret receiving this donation and we won’t listen to anyone who
disagrees with having them on the street,” Moyo said.

The Bulawayo Council is in the middle of trying to deal with a serious waste
removal crisis across the City, which SW Radio Africa’s correspondent Lionel
Saungweme has described as a “health hazard.” The Mayor said on Thursday
that plans are in place to start dealing with these issues, including buying
new refuse compactors. He said they are hopeful the funds to buy these
compactors will be available “soon.”

Saungweme meanwhile explained that the dustbins were donated last Tuesday,
specifically to coincide with the ZANU PF conference in Bulawayo last week.
The party and its leader Robert Mugabe are harshly opposed to gay rights,
despite some of the senior ZANU PF members alleged to be gay.

On the other hand, MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has
previously called for gay rights to be enshrined in a new constitution.
Saungweme said the timing of the bins being donated was done deliberately to
highlight the differences between the two parties.


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Mugabe's huge gamble

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Thursday, 15 December 2011 09:35

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is set to become the oldest presidential
candidate in the history of elections, thereby taking a huge gamble that
could spectacularly backfire on him and his staggering party, analysts and
Zanu PF MPs said yesterday.

The analysts said Mugabe was taking a huge gamble by running for another
term of office at a time he is plagued by obvious ill-health associated with
old age, he has increasingly lost support even in his former strongholds in
rural areas.

Mugabe, at least according to whistle blower website WikiLeaks and quoting
his own people, has become a liability to the party.

Briefings to the Daily News yesterday showed that while Mugabe was endorsed
at the party’s rubber-stamping conference last week, discord continued to
prevail as nobody dared challenge the 87-year-old.

Zanu PF MP’s, who cannot be identified for fear of victimisation, expressed
fears that Mugabe’s bid for life presidency could virtually destroy the
party if it loses elections expected in the next two years.

“President Mugabe said we are not going, and we are also not going. There
must be no primaries for all of us (Zanu PF MPs), we just want to contest.

“What is also clear is that President Mugabe will cost us elections like he
did in 2008 so the MPs are saying let’s repeat the bhora musango (the
process where some Zanu PF officials urged their supporters to vote for a
party Parliamentary candidate but vote for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
or Mavambo leader Simba Makoni in the last presidential poll).

“There is no doubt that President Mugabe no longer has the energy, there is
no doubt that he does not have a clear message and in any case, what new
things does he want to bring on the table.

“The voters are very clever and Mugabe’s candidature is catastrophic,”
charged one MP.

“Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo defended Mugabe and said: “The issue of
presidency has nothing to do with age. He (Mugabe) was elected at our
congress last year. It is only the congress which has the mandate to choose
the president of the party, our constitution is very clear when it comes to
the president and presidential candidature.

“It states that whoever is the president of the party during that period
automatically becomes presidential candidate.”

Khaya-Moyo denied that Mugabe wanted to be life president: “We don’t have
such a policy as life president; it is the mandate of the people who go to
the congress and choose the leader of the party.

Khaya-Moyo said even if elections are held in 2014, as long as Mugabe is the
president of Zanu PF.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News believe that Zanu PF cannot come up
with any other viable candidate besides Mugabe notwithstanding his advanced
age.

They said even if they had an alternative, there was simply no one who could
muster enough courage to tell him to step aside. But in secret briefings
with American diplomats, top Zanu PF officials have openly spoken about
their desire to see the old man step aside.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Professor John Makumbe said
Mugabe wanted to die in office.

“Though he does not have any chances to rule, this is an attempt to die in
office. He will be 90 in the next two years. All he is doing is creating a
platform for humiliation from Tsvangirai,” Makumbe said.

Makumbe said Mugabe’s party does not have the capacity to “rejuvenate”
itself.

“Zanu PF does not have an alternative for a President, there are some who
would have wanted but no one has enough courage to stand against him. They
endorsed an old man whose health is not the best and who might struggle to
campaign. Zanu PF is failing to renew its leadership and revive itself as a
party,” he said.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said at his age, Mugabe will find it
difficult to mount a campaign due to his advanced age. Mangongera said he
feared Zanu PF will once again attempt to use violence to win the poll.

“I cannot imagine how he would run a country at 90,” Mangongera said. “He
wants to die in power unlike the thoughts of some elements in Zanu PF who
are hoping he will retire and pass on the baton that is if he wins, which
again is unlikely.

“At 88, I doubt he will have the energy to mount an election campaign but
the Youth League will do it for him and this would mean a heavily
militarised campaign.”

Former Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China Chris Mutsvangwa, a strong Mugabe
supporter, insisted the 87-year-old President is in good shape and Zanu PF’s
strongest candidate.

“He is a tried and tested leader and in good health, it is not about how
many years he has but how much he can offer the country and the party,”
Mutsvangwa said.

Mutsvangwa further told the Daily News that Mugabe’s candidacy was roundly
endorsed by all the 10 provinces, and if his party wanted him to be life
president, so be it.

“If anybody feels he should not be President, then they should work hard and
win the elections. If they feel he is a weak candidate, they should call for
elections as soon as possible, if they are not afraid.”

The MDC has rejected Mugabe’s plan for a snap poll, saying the inclusive
government must first complete the necessary democratic reforms. Sadc, who
are guarantors to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which brought about
the GPA has also insisted on reforms before elections.


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Chinese companies under scrutiny in Zimbabwe

http://www.opendemocracy.net/
Ten years into the Look East policy, Zimbabwe is showing itself to be a not-so-satisfied customer of Chinese investment.
About the author
Andrew Mambondiyani has covered illegal mining in Zimbabwe for more than five years and is worried that a very few people are benefiting from the diamonds.

About a decade ago, the government of Zimbabwe launched the much-hyped “Look East Policy” in an attempt to offset the loss on western investments in the wake of the country’s economic collapse. The government wanted to capitalise on the fast growing Asian economy after the relationship between Harare and US and EU countries went sour following the Zanu PF government’s chaotic land reform programme in 2000.

The initial policy leaned towards Malaysia and it later shifted towards China. But is the Look East Policy, which has resulted in China’s effective colonisation of the country, the panacea to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic problems?

Although complaints most commonly voiced in Zimbabwe are about the poor quality of Chinese goods, the flip side is that low prices have made many types of goods accessible to people who could not have dreamed of owning them before, even though the ownership experience is relatively short.

Because of the poor quality of Chinese products, Zimbabweans have termed them “Zhingzhong”. But this has not deterred the Chinese businesspeople, who have spread their tentacles to various sectors of the economy, from mining down to the stalls at flea markets, thereby effectively bootinga locals out of business. Local manufacturers cannot compete with cheap products from China and observers are worried that the aggressive Chinese are slowly taking over the country.

MDC-T legislator, Obert Gutu recently warned the Zimbabwe government that “modern-day China is a capitalist nation and the majority of its corporations may be state-owned, but they are fiercely capitalistic in both their mode of production and marketing”.

“They are first and foremost, profit-driven. There are absolutely no meaningful benefits to be derived by Africa if small and weak African nations continue to enter into fragmented and uncoordinated bilateral economic contracts with China,” claimed Gutu a renowned legal expert.

The operations of Chinese companies in Zimbabwe have come under scrutiny amid reports that the Chinese companies were ill-treating and exploiting local employees.

Against this backdrop, a high-level delegation from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee (OCC) of the National People’s Congress of China came to Zimbabwe in June this year to encourage Chinese nationals to live harmoniously with locals in an effort to boost relations between the two countries.

The leader of the Chinese delegation, Yu Linxiang, who is the chairperson of the OCC however, said trade between the two countries was increasing and now amounted to more than $500 million despite the reports of poor relationships between Chinese companies and their Zimbabwean employees.

However, hardly three months after the visit by the high-powered delegation, Chinese companies have yet again been accused of physically abusing, overworking and underpaying employees. In the eastern border city of Mutare in Manicaland, a labour wrangle exploded recently at a Chinese-run construction company, Sogecoa Zimbabwe (Pvt) Company- where workers took their employer to the Labour Court accusing the company of exploiting them and violating their rights. Sogecoa is a sister to the diamond company, Anjin, one of the companies awarded licences to mine Marange diamonds. The workers said they were being paid a measly US$4 a day for working long hours.

The $4 a day was far below the gazetted Zimbabwe National Employment Council (NEC) Construction rates. The National Employment Council rates for the construction industry vary between US$1, 06 and $1, 51 per hour with a 44 hour week.

Workers at another local construction company in Harare were recently up in arms against their Chinese employer whom they accuse of ill-treating them.
Shanxi Corporation workers were
accusing their employer of charging them exorbitant rentals for sub-standard company accommodation, according to media reports.

The National Union of Quarry Workers of Zimbabwe early this year also accused Chinese employers at Ngezi Mine in Zvishavane in Midlands Province of allegedly ill-treating and underpaying their workers. Union leader Onias Munenga was quoted in the press as saying the Chinese miners were not abiding by the country’s labour laws.

And on September 2, 2011, the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Workers’ Union chairperson Enjula Mpofu told delegates at the Build It Expo in Harare that the union had problems with Chinese employers ill-treating workers.
“We are trying to work to address these issues and we are engaging the Ministry of Labour regarding these matters. We have problems with Chinese employers who are ill-treating workers. They do not give them protective clothing: they work in tattered overalls. The Chinese say nothing can be done to them because they have government immunity,” she said.

The Confederation Industry Federation of Zimbabwepresident Philip Chiyangwa told the same expo that he was not amused by the level of cruelty by the Chinese:

“We have failed to put heads together and make sure those who come, do not eat first before us.We have laws that protect us, but there are people who are making sure they give preference to Chinese who are even beating up workers here.Along Borrowdale Road (in Harare), they start working at 4am until 12midnight with some lights on in the middle of the night and the Chinese monitoring the Zimbabweans working.”

But the inaction by the government is baffling as unscrupulous Chinese companies continue to ill-treat employees with impunity.

Last year, the government said it was probing Chinese companies for ill-treating workers and violating health and safety regulations. Zimbabwe Labour minister Paurina Mpariwa told a local newspaper last year that the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) had instituted the probe after receiving reports that the Chinese were ill-treating workers to the extent of even physically assaulting them. Initial findings, she said, were that some of the companies were not even registered.

“National Social Security Authority through its Occupational Safety and Health Division conducted the necessary investigations through site visits to ascertain the accurate position. Of the companies visited so far it was established that eight companies were violating health and safety regulations. The major violated regulations,” she said, “included lack of toilet provisions, poor electrical installations, lack of personal protective clothing, absence of personal guards on moving machinery and non registration of the companies. NSSA suspended operations at the sites until all safety requirements are met. Where fatal accidents occurred, the authority recommended prosecution and the prosecution procedure is being followed”

But a year on, nothing has so far been done to improve the welfare of employees working for Chinese companies.


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Political violence perpetrators and their crimes

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Aquilinah Katsande : Mudzi West Constituency

Aquilinah Katsande is the Zanu PF MP for Mudzi West constituency, MDC
supporters in Mudzi district have terrible stories to tell about her
brutality. She orchestrated a reign of terror in the period April to June
2008, she was so thorough in her persecution of known MDC activist that she
personally moved around the entire Mudzi district hunting for her quarry and
was present when most heart rending punishments were meted out on MDC
activists in her constituency. At the height of the Presidential run off
campaigns in 2008 , her son George Katsande joined in the fray, he teamed up
with the notorious killer Bramwell Katvsairo and took to the perpetration of
violence like a duck to water , and has never stopped since.

On January 1, 2010 George Katsande now a seasoned killer was roaming the
area armed with a gun, following in the footsteps of her equally vicious
mother Aquilinah, attacked Bennizah Nyapfunde Mutize atRukondeSchool in
Mudzi. This group of assailants was reported to be very ruthless they
indiscriminately bashed Nyapfunde, even his children were not spared, they
were beaten up as George Katsande in the true spirit of his mother displayed
his wrath of aggression. George was accompanied by Asmore Simoko, Tichafa
Kativhu, Josiah Nyamuda, Punzu Charles , Martin Mutaundi, Daniel Chitedega,
Misheck Pengapenga, Dinga David, Solomon Chingwete, Tonde Chipwanya and four
other unknown men. The group is now revisiting the victims at night and many
MDC activists are sleeping in the bush and going back to their homes in the
morning. Aquilinah through her son George is sponsoring this new wave of
terror; George has vowed to shoot all MDC supporters in Mudzi West.

Many of Aquilinah Katsande’s victims have reported their cases to the police
and despite the glaring evidence linking her to the horrible offences she
has remained untouchable and continues to seat in the house of assembly.
She apparently has manifested a complete disregard of the GPA and will
continue to maim and displace people with impunity, whilst the nation
solemnly preaches the gospel of national healing reconciliation and
integration. Some of the details of reported acts of politically motivated
violence directly linked to Aquilinah Katsande are narrated below

April 6, 2008

Aquilinah Katsande and Peter Nyakuba the local Zanu PF councilor called for
a rally at Bensen Mine where the MP for Mudzi West Aqualinah Katsande
informed Zanu PF supporters that they should assault all MDC supporters who
had campaigned for Morgan Tsvangirai in the March 29 elections. She added
that,” these beatings were meant to compel them to rejoin Zanu PF, if any of
the MDC supporters foolishly resist kill them all, we have been granted
authority by the president to kill MDC supporters”. Immediately after this
rally Zanu PF youths and war veterans went on the war path, many MDC
supporters were brutally assaulted, homes were destroyed and livestock
forcibly taken for food, to feed comrades at the torture bases.

June 1, 2008

George Katsande and Tawanda Mazunze leading a gang of Zanu PF militia
abducted Fianda Katiyo onJune 1, 2008. They took him to Nyahondo torture
base using a vehicle provided by Aquilinah Katsande. Fianda Katiyo was
subjected to a terrible bout of torture through out that night and was
released the following morning. The group had worked him over so seriously
that he was terribly frail and died a week after his release

June 1, 2008

Tafadzwa Meza was accussed by the local Zanu PF militia of transporting MDC
supporters to rallies using his pick up truck. Bramwell Katsvairo in the
company of George Katsande and three unknown people looked for Tafadzwa and
could not get him for several days. They finally caught up with him at
Nyamuyaruka Business centre near Kotwa on1 June 2008. Tafadzwa tried to flee
but Bramwell Katsvairo shot him in the leg ,Tafadzwa jumped off his truck to
hide under some bushes close by as it was getting dark probably hoping that
the killers would not find him. George and the band of killers set Meza’s
truck on fire and the resultant light from the flames betrayed Tafadzwa’s
hiding spot, they dragged him to their vehicle then took him to the Broken
bridge in the Nyamanyora Area, where Tafadzwa’s body was recovered the
following morning. Witnesses reported that George Katsande using his mother’s
gun , shot Tafadzwa Meza at close range killing him instantly. George is
reported to have boasted about his shooting skills for quite some time after
Tafadzwa Meza’s death and Aquilinah Katsande have always used Tafadzwa Meza’s
death as an example at all her meetings in Mudzi a habit which led to
Tafadzwa’s mother suffer a stroke in 2009 she however survived the stroke
but has reported that she is always reminded of her son’s death each time
the Katsandes addresses a rally.

June 28, 2008

DK an MDC ward official was abducted from his home on 6 June 2008. He was
bundled into Aquilinah Katsande’s truck and taken to Nyamanyora base. There
he was assaulted by Nyamaromo, Mangwende, George Katsande and other Zanu PF
supporters. They kept on assaulting him for several days before releasing
him, he never recovered from the injuries inflicted on him and passed away
at his home on28 June 2008.

July 5, 2008

On 5 July 2008 Aquilinah Katsande in the company of Peter Nyakuba caught up
with Gwindiri Mutadza an MDC activist they had tried to capture before the
27th June elections but had failed. Witnesses say Gwindiri Mutadza had
returned from hiding on the assumption that since the elections were now
over the coast was clear. But alas Aquilinah and company had other plans for
him, they quickly descended on him in full view of all the people who had
gathered at Chimukoko Business Centre. Aquilinah Katsande, Peter Nyakuba and
assisted by two other unknown men heavily assaulted Gwindiri Mutadza with
fists and booted feet they bashed him all over the body , he passed out and
died on the spot. On realizing that Gwindiri was dead, Aquilinah and gang
jumped on to their double cab truck and sped off from the murder scene.

August 8, 2008

Tambadzi Gombe who was coming from a meeting that had been organized by
Aquilinah Katsande met Winnet Makaza whose name had been mentioned by
Aquilinah Katsande as amongst MDC activists still on the wanted list.
Tambadzi accused Winnet of being an MDC supporter and started assaulting her
with fists and booted feet. The assault was so severe that Winnet is
reported to have screamed only once, she collapsed and died during the
attack. Relatives reported the incident to the police but nothing was done ,
they did not even care take the corpse to the mortuary. Tambadzi Gombe is
still a free man in Makaza village. Aquilinah Katsande issued an order
forcing the Makaza family to bury Winnet without delay or they would also
meet with the same fate. .

Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga – MP Goromonzi West Constituency

Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga is the member of parliament for Goromonzi West
constituency. During the run up to the presidential run off elections in
June 2008 , MP Nyamupinga moved around the Domboshava and Chinhamhora
communal areas campaigning for the Zanu PF presidential candidate. She was
always accompanied by a troop of Zanu PF militia and suspected CIO agents.
This team was always seen driving in two Mitsubishi trucks, followed by
Nyamupinga’s car a Mazda 626 cream in color. This group hunted and
terrorized MDC supporters in the Goromonzi West constituency. The names of
the people listed below fell victim to the atrocities of the Nyamupinga
militia.

May 29, 2008

Ben Mbidzo an MDC activists in the Goromonzi West Constituency was abducted
from his home on 29 May 2008 by the group of Zanu PF militia led by
Beatrice Nyamupinga . They Heavily assaulted him first, destroyed his
homestead, took away his household property and subjected his wife and
children to another thorough beating that lasted for hours. They then took
Ben away to their Base atChogugudza Primary School for another round of
torture and beatings he was released after the 27 June elections.

June 11, 2008

Ishumael Chitunhu who owned a small retail shop at Chinhamhora Growth Point
was abducted in the evening of 11 June 20089 from his shop. The people who
attacked him were all members of the Zanu PF campaign team. These militia
were led by Tendayi Maruta and was using a car provided by Beatrice
Nyamupinga the MP. Ishumael was severely assaulted at his shop before being
taken toChogugudzaPrimary School base; he was tortured and transferred to
another base in Bindura (Mashonaland Central). He managed to escape from the
Bindura base and fled toMozambique where he sought refuge until October
2008.

June 17, 2008

Violet Mubauka was attacked at her home on 17 June 2008 by a gang of Zanu PF
Militia sent by Beatrice Nyamupingu. They accused her of supporting the MDC,
they assaulted her on the buttocks and she sustained severe injuries. She
was warned not to seek any medical help for they would kill her for doing
so.

June 19, 2008

Beatrice Nyamupinga and her convoy of three vehicles went to Pote Primary
School in her constituency. The youths in her group were led by Peter Maruta
who looked for and apprehended Tito Munyanyi , they assaulted him in the
presence of the MP and she never stopped them from carrying out this
barbaric act. They even went on to take him in their vehicles and deposited
him at their base atChogugudzaPrimary School. Tito was tortured at the base
and was later instructed to go and collect his MDC regalia and bring it to
the base, Tito grabbed this chance and fled toHarare.

June 28, 2008

A group of Zanu PF youths using a party vehicle that had been availed to
them by Beatrice Nyamupingu descended on the home of Peter Chamhumha in the
Domboshava area looking for him. Fortunately Peter had got wind that the
militia was looking fro him and had managed to leave before their arrival.
This incensed the Zanu PF gang that they destroyed his entire homestead to
the ground.

28 June 2008

Elias Chiringa the headman of Chiringa village was attending a meeting
addressed by the MP, when Reuben Zulu pointed him out that he was an MDC
activist . Zanu PF youths who were accompanying the MP manhandled him and
assaulted before all the people gathered at the meeting. He pleaded with the
MP to stop them but she said it was his fault and that he should go through
the cleansing process.

November 2008

Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga was reported to have a left a workshop fuming with
anger , that Jestinah Mukoko the director of ZPP, had given a presentation
which cited that Goromonzi West constituency had gone through a wave of
severe political violence in the period preceding the June 27, 2008
elections. She warned Jestinah that she would pay for it and surprisingly
enough Jestinah was abducted from her a few days later. She was only
produced by the state a few days before christamas. Unconfirmed reports say
a car similar to her mazda 626 was seen at the scene of Jestinah’s
abduction. Many Victims have reported being assaulted by the army based at
Domboshava barracks in her constituency reportedly at the instigation of MP
Beatrice Nyamupinga.

Changara Kasekete – Traditional Chief Muzarabani District

Chief Changara Kasekete is a paramount traditional leader in the Dande
communal areas of the Muzarabani District. As a traditional leader Kasekete
is the custodian of traditional customs and culture, his subjects looks up
to him for guidance in conflict resolution. His manner is in sharp contrast
to these popular expectations. Chief Changara Kasekete’s weird character has
puzzled the communities in Muzarabani district.

On assumption of his chieftainship Kasekete was a very popular and promising
leader instrumental in attracting developmental projects into the semi arid
region. Little did the people know that they were celebrating the
installation of a monster that was to devour them and their children.
Whenever there is a gathering in his area Changara Kasekete declares undying
loyalty to President Robert Mugabe and the Zanu PF party. He promised that
MDC was never going to be allowed in Muzarabani and over the years Kasekete
has proved to be a man of his word, many MDC supporters have been butchered,
maimed, tortured and displaced in Muzarabani. Though Kasekete has gained
notoriety due to his determination to ban the MDC from Muzarabani through
political violence, the intensity of his fierce concentration and commitment
to the perpetration of political violence in 2008 was overwhelming.

Kasekete teamed up with a high profile Zanu PF terror squad that included
Edward Raradza (MP), Luke Mushore(MP), Jenia Manyeruke( Senator),
Kamusengezi (ZNA), Yahwe (CIO), Chief Chiweshe, Proud Pfotso, Godfrey
Katsiru, Chibau (Zanu PF district chairman) and Avozhi Chibedebede. This
team was in command of a group of over 400 Zanu PF militia and armed
soldiers. Chief Changara Kasekete and his accomplices were responsible for
the abductions and murder of MDC ward officials namely the late; Tennyson
Manyimo, Titus Goho, Canaan Dzamwarira, Clemence Chirozva, Learnmore
Chingani, Muzumbe, Taurai Chamboko, Ratidzayi Dzenga , Freddy Macheka and
Biggie Zhuwawo.

On 3 June 2008 Chief Kasekete addressed a rally atHoyaPrimary School and
ordered all Zanu Pf supporters and militia to burn all MDC supporters’ homes
that Saturday night. That instruction spelt disaster for MDC supporters in
Muzarabani, Zanu PF went on the rampage homes went up in flames, men women
and children were ruthlessly assaulted and tortured, broken bones and
lacerated wounds were the order of the day. Roads were blocked and victims
were not allowed to seek medical help, many suffered in silence and only
managed to access help several weeks later, some with their conditions
having developed complications due to the delays, others have consequently
suffered permanent disabilities.

In May 2010 two MDC supporters who were victims of 2008 violence reported
that, they were dragged before Chief Kasekete’s court , their crime was that
they had approached one of the perpetrators who took away their cattle in
2008 to return them. Chief Kasekete accused them of talking about political
issues and insulting the complainant who is a Zanu PF official . They were
initially fined US$30 each and were handed over to the police where they
were charged with public nuisance and paid an admission of guilty fine of
US$5 each. The perpetrator now the complainant armed with copies of the
receipts from the police instituted a civil suit against the two victims.
The case was presided over by Chief Kasekete himself; he awarded the Zanu PF
perpetrator damages of three cows and two goats. The cattle and goats were
forcibly taken away from the victims’ homes by Kasekete and handed over to
the perpetrator as compensation for the pain caused by the accusation and
insults.

During the campaign period towards the presidential run off elections in
June 2008 chief Kasekete was personally involved in numerous incidents of
political violence some of which are outlined below;

April 1, 2008

On 1 April 2008 a group of Zanu PF militia led by Chief Kasekete abducted
Biggie Zhuwawo from his home. Biggie was subjected to a heavy and brutal
assault such that he passed out and died on the spot.

April 16, 2008

Chief Kasekete and his gang of Zanu PF militia abducted Liven Mapfumo who
operated a small general dealers shop in the area. They assaulted him all
over the body and destroyed his entire home. Chief Kasekete then ordered
Mapfumo to supply groceries for theIndependence celebrations.

April 26, 2008

Eric Chinzima reported that a large group of Zanu PF militia led by Chief
Kasekete got to his home during the day. They accused him of supporting the
MDC and viciously assaulted him he lost his upper teeth after being kicked
in the mouth with a booted foot.

May 1, 2008

Zanu Pf militia apprehended Simbarashe Manzizi on his way home , they
accused him of voting for the MDC in March and started beating him up there
and then as punishment for his support of MDC. They then took him to his
home where they destroyed all the huts there and left him in the open. He
noted that among the group was Chief Kasekete who was giving the orders.

May 2, 2008

The local Zanu PF youths around Hoya school accused Freddie Matonhodze of
campaigning for Tsvangirai in the area. On 2 May 2008 Chief Kasekete and his
band of thugs destroyed Matonhodze’s entire homestead, his family fled and
sought refuge with relatives away from the area. Their clothes, property and
utensils were all burnt.

May 1, 2008

On 1 May 2008 Chief Kasekete ordered Lucky Mutengwa to be brought before
him. Lucky was accused of supporting the MDC they harassed and tormented
him, kasekete threatened him with death if he continued living in
Muzarabani. Mutengwa deserted his family and property and lived in another
district until after the June elections.

May 1, 2008

Chief Kasekete in the command of more that 50 Zanu PF youths and war
veterans attacked Christopher Mondera at his home. They heavily assaulted
him, looted and destroyed his home.

May 1, 2008

The Zanu PF supporters in their orgy of violence on 1 May 2008 caught
Wanzirai Magodo at his home. They heavily assaulted him with a variety of
weapons and he sustained serious injuries all over the body. Having worked
him over to their satisfaction they turned their anger on his property
destroying anything in sight. All the family’s clothes were burnt, Magodo
lost his only tractor that was burnt in the attack. Magodo identified
amongst others Chief Kasekete, Edward Raradza, Luke Mushore and Avhozhi
Chibedebede .

May 2, 2008

Saymore Gweru was abducted and interrogated by chief Kasekete, he was
accused of refusing to divulge information on where his brother was hiding.
He was assaulted and tortured for a longtime before he was released . His
abductors confiscated 2 goats from his home for food at their base.

May 2, 2008

A large group of Zanu Pf supporters attacked Dzikamayi D Gono at his home
during the night . Some of the assailants were in military uniform, they
destroyed the whole homestead. Gono identified some of the perpetrators as
E . Raradza, P Pfotso,T Diamond, O Sosono, C Chiringa, CP Mutonga Njiva, B
Mazhuwana, P Chashaya and Chief Kasekete,

May 2, 2008

Zanu PF youths in the company of senior party officials surrounded Clemence
Chirozva’s homestead nearChamindaPrimary school. They ordered him out of his
house and started assaulting him with a variety of weapons. Clemence
sustained serious injuries that never healed until he passed away in 2009.
The group that killed Chirozva included MP Raradza, MP L Mushore,
Manyeruke, Chief Kasekete, Chief Chiweshe, Pfotso, Katsiru, DCC Chibau, and
Chibedebede

May 3, 2008

A group of Zanu Pf stormed Siiraishe Charunda’s homestead they interrogated
and assaulted him .The gang destroyed his house and property the property
destroyed includes bed, radio, food, clothes.The people where Raradza, Luke
Mushore, J Manyeruke, Chief Kasekete, Chief Chiweshe, Pfotso, Katsiru, DCC
Chibau and Chibedebe

May 6, 2008

Chief Kasekete leading his gang of Zanu PF militia wielding axes, iron bars
and guns surrounded Angelina Ngorima’s homestead during the night. They
ordered her out of the hut she was sleeping in and set it on fire. All the
structures were demolished , she lost everything she had.

May 7, 2008

Lucky Mutemaunga got wind that ZNA officers were looking for him and that he
had been targeted for elimination by the local Zanu PF leadership. Lucky
never wasted time he bolted out of the area and walked on foot through out
the night. He only boarded a bus the following morning toHararewhere he
sought refuge for the whole of 2008. The army was being assisted by
Madhongi, Chief Kasekete, Norman Chizeya, Paramanzi and Kanhutu.

May 3, 2008

Luke Mushore, Edward Rraradza, Chief Kasekete and the other members of Zanu
burnt the home of Sunungurai Musengeni. They beat him up to a pulp and as if
that was not enough they drove away his three cows for food at the base.
They burnt what ever was in sight at his homestead, and he lost everything.

May 1, 2008

Chief Kasekete accompanied by a large group of Zanu PF youths some of them
in army fatigue, assaulted Obert Tayi at his home. They destroyed his huts
and took away 9 cattle, 4 sheep and 3 goats.

May 5, 2008

Prisca Mutizwa was beaten up by local Zanu PF youth who accused her of
supporting Morgan Tsvangirai. She reports that after the assault Chief
Kasekete took away 2 tonnes of maize and 4 bales of cotton as punishment for
her supporting the MDC.

Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa – Losing Candidate ; Norton Constituency

Christopher Mutsvangwa was the Zanu PF candidate for the Norton house of
assembly seat in the March 2008 general elections. He lost to a little known
MDC-T candidate and it appears Mutsvangwa was heavily humiliated and
terribly hurt that he immediately unleashed a reign of terror in the small
town. Christopher Mutsvangwa a former director of the infamous Central
Intelligence Agency (CIO) still commands respect and support from this spy
agency. His links with the CIO in his campaign of violence were manifested
in the fact that about 60% of political violence cases in his constituency
were reportedly perpetrated by CIO agents. Mutsvangwa once served as the
chief executive officer of the ZBC were he persecuted workers who failed to
toe the party line thus constantly singing praises for Zanu PF and its
Leader Robert Mugabe. Christopher Mutsvangwa is well known for his hate
speeches towards Morgan Tsvangirai Leader of the MDC and has never failed to
sing praises for Robert Mugabe and his party. He has appeared on national
television an enumerable number of times as a so called independent analyst,
where he has invariably churned out horribly biased analyses. Of particular
note is when in 2008 at the height of political violence he appeared on
ZBC-TV vehemently denying that there was any political violence in the
country, calling the MDC spokesperson a damning liar, hell bound on
destroying the image of Zanu PF and yet Mutsvangwa himself was personally
involved in the hue, murder and plunder. In August 2009 he is reported to
have shot and killed Costa Matete and two other people inHighlands. The
widow of one of the victims has since filed a law suit against Mutsvangwa
for the cold blooded murder of her husband. She claims the murder was
politically motivated as against Mutsvangwa’s robbery allegations he is
citing in his defence. Despite these serious murder charges he is facing,
President Mugabe has appointed him to sit on the Zimbabwe Media Commission.
Some of the known and reported acts of violence directly linked to
Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa are listed below.

1 May 2008

Gibson Nyandoro a war veteran who fell off with his comrades after he had
openly campaigned for the structures of the MDC in Norton. Reports from
locals note that his activities in the MDC incensed the Zanu PF leadership
in Norton that they summoned him to appear before a kangaroo court comprised
of Zanu PF party stalwarts that was chaired by Christopher Mutsvangwa as the
senior member in the constituency. He was reportedly warned about his links
with the MDC activities in Norton and it appears Gibson could not be
deterred as he continued to pursue the new path he had chosen. Two weeks
later Gibson Nyandoro was reported missing by his relatives and his body was
discovered floating in a local dam a few days later.

12 June 2008

On 12 June Mutsvangwa addressed Zanu PF militia teams at the local community
hall and during the evening following the meeting a group of youths
including Oliver Tembo, Ian Kazungu, Wilson Asau and Adas Kudiwapfava and
accompanied by local CIO agents abducted Moses Mutandwa to the hall where he
was heavily assaulted with sticks under the feet and all over the body. They
detained him at the hall for two days after which they were released
together with other detainees, when Mutsvangwa visited the base and assigned
the militia on other missions.

12 June 2008

On 12 June 2008 Oliver Tembo one of Mutsvangwa’s campaign team member led
Zanu youths who abducted Chris Kakanga to the local Zanu offices in Katanga.
Where he was savagely assaulted with steel bars and logs until he sustained
a fractured arm and leg. His tormenters told him that his MDC activities in
Norton were nauseating their chief Christopher Mutsvangwa and had therefore
send them to deal with him once and for all.

12 June 2008

Moses Mutandwa was taken from home to a campaign meeting held at the local
community hall, where he was heavily assaulted with sticks under the feet
and all over the body. Witnesses note that as the prisoners were being
tortured, Mutsvangwa personally delivered food supplies to be used at the
base. The perpetrators were noted as Oliver Tembo, Ian Kazunga, Wilson Asau,
Adas Kudiwapfava and many other unknown armed people.

13 June 2008

After the 29 March harmonized elections Christopher Mutsvangwa was reported
to have held a meeting with his campaign team at a house in Norton where
they agreed to set up torture Bases at some of the Zanu PF officials houses.
Mutsvangwa supplied the tents that were pitched up at Matambo’s and
Knowledge Ndiya’s houses respectively. These were subsequently used as
torture and detention centers. On June 13 2008, John Kwangware reported that
CIO operatives broke into his house and blindfolded him. They took him to
Matambo’s house where they severely assaulted him and his left eye is
permanently damaged as they allegedly tried to remove it.

18 June 2008

David Mupandasekwa was an MDC polling agent in the March 29 elections, and
was targeted by the Zanu PF militia attacks . On June 18, 2008 Zanu PF
supporters chanting Zanu slogans and holding Mugabe and Mutsvangwa campaign
posters abducted David from his house and hauled him blindfolded to some
place where CIO agents heavily assaulted him and left him for dead.

21 June 2008

Theresa Kamasula was abducted to Knowledge Ndiya‘s house, where a tent had
been pitched by Mutsvangwa’s team. On arrival she was taken into the tent
and was subjected to a terrible assault and torture, the youth who assaulted
her threatened to kill her if they wanted. They informed her that they had
orders to kill from Mutsvangwa and it was up to them either to kill or spare
her. She was then ordered to report to Ndiya’s house everyday to carry out
household chores until after the 27 June Election.

21 June 2008

On 21 June 2008 a team of Zanu PF youths riding in Mutsvangwa’s twin cab
truck driven by a local CIO agent known only as Simba , broke into Brian
Takaruza’s house in Maridale Norton , They ransacked the house and stole
some personal items , destroying furniture and kitchen utensils. They took
all the MDC regalia and used the register to track and assault MDC members.

26 June 2008

Opah Mukweni was abducted on 26 June 2008 from her house and taken to Ndiya’s
home to the tent used as the torture base. She was told that the MP
(referring to Mutsvangwa) had identified her as the pivotal MDC activist in
the constituency and had instructed that she be punished, she was taken
through a terrible torture and re-education session that lasted the whole
day. The major perpetrators identified were Fungai Garapo ,Tarirai Javangwe
under the instruction of four unidentified but armed men.


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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s End-Of-Year address to Parliament

Harare

15 December 2011

Introduction

Mr Speaker Sir, it is with great pleasure that I stand before this august House to make a year-end statement to the honourable members on my reflections for the past year and to give a projection of government priorities for the coming year.

In the spirit of accountability, the executive should periodically come before this House of elected people’s representatives to update the people on key issues and the challenges that government is facing.

The State of the Inclusive Government

We have had our success stories but this government largely remains dysfunctional, perhaps mainly because we sought to engage and preoccupy ourselves with more issues than a coalition government can reasonably deal with.

With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been more prudent and practical to concentrate on the GPA issues and those issues that guarantee economic stability and guarantee a free and fair election without chewing more than what a government of ideologically opposed players can achieve.

However, even within the limitations of a coalition government, we have managed to make some notable progress in areas such as health, education and provision of clean water in most cities and towns.

Like any coalition, there are no shared values and no shared vision and we have worked on the minimum understanding that collectively, and despite our political differences, we need to get this country working again.

Mr Speaker Sir, more could have been done, particularly in dealing with the GPA issues that have remained outstanding three years after it was signed.

We are no longer talking about selected outstanding issues.

The entire GPA is largely an outstanding issue with key matters remaining unresolved despite Cabinet adopting an implementation matrix with time limits.

Key reforms such as electoral reforms, political reforms and media reforms as agreed in the GPA remain unimplemented.

Mr Speaker Sir, non-implementation of agreed issues has been the major challenge confronting this government and because of the nature of our coalition where various political parties seconded their people into government, it is impossible to take decisive action on errant Ministers some of whom have resorted to open defiance.

Government Work Programme

The Economy

  1. 1. Considerable progress has been made in the following areas;
    1. Macro-economic stability

Inflation has been contained at 4.2 per cent which is a reasonable figure compared to the hyperinflationary environment before the consummation of the inclusive government.

  1. Economic growth

Economic growth has been projected at 9.3 per cent in 2011, up from 8.1percent in 2010 and is projected to go up to 9.4 per cent in 2012.

Mining has been the biggest contributor to growth while capacity utilisation stands at 57 per cent, up from 44 per cent in 2010

  1. Infrastructure

The rehabilitation of road infrastructure, especially in local authorities has been commendable but more needs to be done to expedite progress on the main trunk roads. Water infrastructure has also registered a significant improvement in both urban and rural communities.

  1. Social service delivery

This has improved at the back of development assistance largely from the EU, UK and USA, with $370m realised by end of September mainly in the areas of health, education social protection.

In the past year, I launched the Education Transition Fund and the Health Transition Fund which have changed the face of the health and education systems in the country, thanks mainly to development partners.

Mr Speaker Sir, due to these two critical interventions, the health delivery system has largely seen a positive transformation while every pupil in all our primary and secondary schools is now assured of textbooks in the core subjects.

As Cabinet, we have also discussed and agreed that we need to have a comprehensive input support scheme to support our farmers and not the current ad hoc system which has caused confusion and misunderstanding.

On Chiadzwa, we agreed to resettle the displaced families in the area and to ensure that the proceeds arising from the sale of diamonds benefit all the people of Zimbabwe.

The green fuel from Chisumbanje will provide a major boost to the country and we agreed that it must be made available to the people subject to meeting government conditions through the relevant Ministry.

The one-stop shop which the government launched this year, has also become a major convenience for prospective investors as it reduces transaction time for those people who have shown confidence in our economy.

The launch of the Medium term Plan in July also helped set out the growth trajectory of the economy over the next five years and provided a framework for government operations.

Mr Speaker Sir, ICTs are a critical enabler to growth and economic development and the fibre-optic cable and the phenomenal growth in internet and mobile phone usage is a positive sign for the future of this country

  1. 2. Despite the notable successes, more could have been done in the following areas:

a.Investment and FDI promotion

Mr Speaker Sir, there has been stagnation in this area mainly due to the way we have handled the indigenisation policy as well as the political discord arising from the slow implementation of the GPA. The indigenisation policy has largely been turned into political rhetoric which has intimidated investors as some political players sought to make cheap political gain out of this policy.

We need a new thrust that creates jobs and protects investors while at the same time promoting investment and empowering the ordinary person.

  1. b. Fiscal revenue performance

Diamond revenue has been disappointing at $122m in 2011. Recurrent expenditure has been crowding out the capital budget hence service delivery is suffering.

Employment cost at 63% is the biggest culprit. We have an untenable situation where deficits are being funded from reallocations of expenditure.

  1. c. Infrastructure

The power deficit (target of 1600mw versus actual output of 1105mw) means that industry could not perform to capacity, thereby affecting projected growth targets. Slow delivery on irrigation and public works infrastructure owing to poor cash flows has also been a major let-down.

  1. d. Social service delivery

The high salaries bill means that little was left for social service delivery which also meant over-reliance on development partners.

  1. e. Civil servants condition of service

Notwithstanding the unbudgeted salary increase in excess of $400m, the conditions of service for civil servants remain a challenge that we have to deal with.

Going into 2012, the following is critical;

  1. Improving revenue performance through transparency with diamonds revenues; the promised additional $600m from diamond sales in 2012 following the KPCs certification of Zimbabwe diamonds was allocated to specific social programs. This means that to a large extent, our ability to deliver as a government depends on the performance of this industry. In this respect, we call for greater transparency in the sale of diamonds and full accounting of the proceeds thereof so that we can be able to fund critical projects.
  2. Civil servants’ conditions of service

While there is no provision for an increase in the current budget, the only hope is that diamond revenues will exceed the budgeted $600m, with the surplus being put to improving conditions of service for civil servants.

Today, I want us to salute our civil servants; the unsung heroes and heroines of this country; the men and women who have chosen to work for their country for a pittance.

We expect that with increased inflows from the diamond sales revenue, we must be able to make a meaningful adjustment to civil servants’ salaries and conditions of service.

  1. Social service delivery

There is need to improve the business environment so that revenue performance and cash flow improvements will support timely implementation of the budgeted programs especially in the rehabilitation of education and health infrastructure.

We have started on a good note in terms of social services and we hope to put more effort in ensuring that people access quality and affordable services especially in health and education.

  1. 3. Legislative reforms

There has been very slow progress in bringing Bills to Parliament and significant improvement is needed in this area. There is no seriousness by the various Cabinet ministers to bring forward the bills before Parliament and this is an issue that I have raised with the President.

For example, for the third session of Parliament, the Legislative Agenda outlined 24 Bills but of these, only seven were introduced.

What is only commendable is that of those seven Bills, key Bills were brought before Parliament and these include the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill. However, these Bills need to be finalised before the first quarter of 2012 to enable these Constitutional Commissions to become operational.

Important Bills which were supposed to be brought before the third session include the Media Practitioners’ Bill, the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform.) No explanation has been given for why these important Bills have been given as to why these Bills have been dropped off the Legislative Agenda.

Even though the Legislative Agenda for the fourth session was enunciated in September 2011, we are now in December and the principles of four key Bills have not yet been introduced before Cabinet. These are: The Referendums Amendment Bill, the Diamond Bill, the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill and the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Bill.

  1. 4. Constitutional Commissions

Although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission were appointed in 2010, and the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2011, none of these have been highly effective as they have been under-funded.

The Bills for ZEC and the ZHRC have not yet been finalised in Parliament and this has severely affected the ability of the ZHRC in particular to operate. The ZHRC has no offices, no staff and no equipment.

Without a legislative framework for the ZHRC, this Commission remains a Commission only in name.

The funding given to all four Commissions in the current budget budget is only $5 million. This falls far short of the budgets submitted by each Commission averaging $30 million per Commission as the amount they need to execute their respective mandates. There will be need for a revision mid-2012 to add more resources to these Commissions, otherwise crucial work in the area of democratic reforms will continue to lag far behind.

  1. 5. Media Reform (Board appointments and Licences)

To all intents and purposes, this has become a national joke.

One of the key reforms as envisaged in the GPA and as agreed by the Principals is the issue of comprehensive media reforms, which includes introduction of more and diverse players in both the print and electronic media as well as the immediate cessation of hate speech.

To date, there has been outright arrogance and intransigence from the responsible Minister and his officials.

The appointments of the BAZ board, the board of the Mass Media Trust and the ZBC board have not been effected despite adoption by Cabinet and agreement by the Principals in 2010. The editorial policies of the State newspapers and the State broadcaster has remained partisan and unreformed, and the media field remains dominated by the same partisan State players.

The current illegally constituted BAZ board is now adjudicating and approving broadcasting licences unlawfully. The current BAZ board needs to be directed to stop operating immediately and the licences it has dished out immediately revoked.

The Minister of Media, Information and Publicity should finalise appointments of all the media boards.

  1. 6. National Security Council

The NSC had one major output in 2011 and this was the production and adoption of the National Security Sector strategy.

However, this strategy is still outstanding and the issues arising from a security sector that is not realigned to the principles of the GPA adversely affects the operations of the inclusive government. This compounds the perception of the country as undemocratic.

  1. 7. Constitutional Reform

The progress in Constitutional reform has been slow and painful. Challenges have been both political and financial. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention the commendable role played by development partners, through the UNDP, in supporting our Constitution-making process.

However, donor funding cannot be the sole source of funds. There is a perception that the government is not putting sufficient resources into democratic reforms and we hope that with the projected increased revenue from the sale of diamonds, Treasury can have enough room to fund some of these important processes.

Way forward for 2012

The year 2012 must not be characterised by rhetoric about an early election that is not accompanied by the necessary reforms that will ensure a free and fair election as agreed by the parties under the facilitation of SADC.

Political stability is key to our prosperity as a nation and only a free and fair election can guarantee legitimacy, peace and stability.

Mr Speaker Sir, in the coming year, we need to implement what we agreed, to poise this country for growth and above all to guarantee peace and give confidence to Zimbabweans, the region, Africa and the broader international community that we are able to conduct a free election.

The all-party indaba that we recently held in Harare should find meaning in our citizens that indeed the leadership of this country is truly committed to tolerance, peace and non-violence.

Mr Speaker Sir, the next year must register growth, set a firm foundation for a free and fair poll and above all, give every Zimbabwean hope that indeed, the future of this country is our shared concern.

Mr Speaker Sir, I have traversed the whole country and the issue of food security is a national emergency. We should make sure that no one starves and as government, we will put in place a mechanism to move grain from the surplus areas to vulnerable communities.

Lastly, I wish to commend the people of Zimbabwe for their patience as we navigate this delicate transition.

We leave you a message of hope that we remain alive to your concerns and that 2012 should bring better prospects for peace, tolerance, growth and prosperity.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Indeed, may the good Lord bless you and your families and expand your territory.

God bless you.

And God bless Zimbabwe.

I thank You


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Tomana is not fooling anyone about Wikileaks

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri,15/12/11

Zimbabwe’s Attorney General Johannes Tomana should not think that we are
fools by making a u-turn on WikiLeaks just because the accused are now
Zanu-pf top brass.

Right from the outset, it is important to clarify that nobody should be
prosecuted for what is in the Wikileaks cables as they have already been
punished by the publicity of their secret liaisons. That includes people
from all parties.

However, we disagree with the Attorney General Johannes Tomana in his latest
attempt to spin the truth in order to save the reputation of his fellow
Zanu-pf allies.

There should not have been any WikiLeaks investigation in the first place if
Jonathan Moyo with the help of the Zanu-pf orientated state media had not
criminalised MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. People expected the rule of
law to extend to Zanu-pf.

According to RadioVop, Thursday 15 December 2011, Tomana said politicians
being investigated for what he alleged as acts of treason arising from the
WikiLeaks cables have no case to answer because he claims that most of the
information was not true.

“We have done our investigation and what we have found out is that most of
the WikiLeaks information was not true that is why we have not prosecuted
those who were being investigated on the basis of the WikiLeaks cables,”
Tomana said in an interview with RadioVop.

However, Tomana should tell the truth - that “we were just trying to wind-up
the opposition and buy time by pretending to probe Zanu-pf officials.”

In any case, had Tomana proceeded to prosecute his henchmen for alleged
treason, how many members would Zanu-pf have remained with given that it now
has five hundred thousand members (including ANC SA and forced army
recruits?) in a population of about eleven million people?

The AG should stop deluding himself into thinking that every utterance made
by any Zimbabwean regardless of political persuasion constitutes treason
because the views expressed are critical of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship and
overstaying his welcome.

Tomana’s climbdown on prosecuting Zanu-pf top brass for treason was
obviously expected given Zanu-pf’s culture of impunity and double standards.

We have not forgotten how Jonathan Moyo threw all the toys from his cot and
cried treason until his voice went horse on learning that the early cables
had allegedly implicated the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai.

However, the Zanu-pf “law of treason” had to be suddenly revised if not
temporarily suspended when Jonathan Moyo and his fellow Zanu-pf politburo
and central committee members became the centre of WikiLeaks cables. Moyo
confessed having sleepless nights.

Not that we seek to criminalise people who go about expressing their
opinions freely, but simply want fair play and justice rather than hypocrisy
and waste of taxpayers money by intimidating the opposition in order to
appease tyrant Robert Mugabe who may not be paying any taxes of significance
in the first place.

Johannes Tomana should be reminded that he risks possible prosecution and or
civil lawsuit for among other things, alleging that “most of the WikiLeaks
information was not true”, possible abuse of office and the misuse of
national resources for partisan wars.

What if the State Department initiated an indictment against Tomana for
suggesting that American diplomats were filing false information? Also, how
can Tomana justify the accusation he makes or aspersion he casts on the
WikiLeaks website?

Can Tomana show cause why he should not step down as the AG having failed to
serve in an inclusive and non-partisan manner in the administration of
justice in the Republic of Zimbabwe by using his position to arguably
terrorise the opposition?

Knowing how much Tomana wants to sound big with high profile cases which
always collapse e.g. Bennett’s and the almost aborted lawsuit against the
European Union for sanctions before it even started, nobody was worried
about his WikiLeaks probe.

Tomana is not fooling anyone about WikiLeaks, except himself.

The only advice to give the learned Attorney General of Zimbabwe is that,
when you are in a hole, you should stop digging.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
zimanalysis2009@gmail.com


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Court Watch 4/2011 [Press Freedom Cases - The Independent and Standard Appeals to the Supreme Court]

COURT WATCH 4/2011

[December 2011]

There are several important current court cases involving press freedom. The Constitution enshrines press freedom in the Declaration of Rights in section 20. The State has taken several cases against reporters, editors and owners of the independent press. Zimbabwe Independent staff were charged two and a half years ago and their appeal on constitutional grounds has still not been decided. More recently there has been another case involving Standard journalists and their application for an appeal to the Supreme Court has just been turned down – this rejection will probably be appealed. There is also likely to be an application for another Standard case to be referred to the Supreme Court. These cases call into question the constitutionality of provisions of the Criminal Law Code which affect freedom of expression. There has long been a call, as part of the law reform agenda paving the way for free and fair elections, to amend sections of the Criminal Law Code affecting both freedom of expression and of association. In the meantime, until such reforms take place, it is important that the Supreme Court decide these constitutional cases promptly – as the country’s highest court, whose decisions are binding on all other courts, it is its responsibility to provide legal guidance, not only for the press, but also for magistrates, prosecutors and police, the legal profession and members of the general public.

Case Against the Zimbabwe Independent Journalists

State v Chimakure and Kahiya

This case has dragged on and on. It started in May 2009. It came before the Supreme Court in June 2010 and nearly eighteen months later the Supreme Court’s decision has not been delivered.

Background: An article was published in the Zimbabwe Independent of 8th-14th May 2009 titled "CIO, police role in activists' abduction revealed" It was written by Constantine Chimakure; Vincent Kahiya was the Independent editor at the time.

The article covered an impending criminal trial in the High Court which was set down to begin on 29th June 2009, involving a group of MDC-T activists who had been reported missing in late 2008 but had been brought court on criminal charges just before Christmas. The article purported to rely for its facts on public documents – indictments and State case summaries already served on the accused activists, revealing that the activists were either in the custody of the CIO or police during the period they were reported missing and referring, with names, to the roles played by police and intelligence agents in their abduction, unlawful detention and mistreatment.

11th May 2009: Journalists’ arrested: The police had looked for Mr Kahiya and Mr Chimakure unsuccessfully at the newspaper’s offices on 9th May, so they presented themselves at the Law and Order Section of Harare Central police station on the morning of 11th May 2009, in the company of their lawyer Innocent Chagonda. They were interrogated for several hours, signed warned and cautioned statements and were then arrested and detained in police cells overnight. The finance director of the Independent’s publishing company, Mr Mike Curling, was called to the police station to represent the company as the third accused, but was not detained, merely warned to attend court the next day.

Charge: The police complaint was that the names of and roles played by police and intelligence agents in the abduction, unlawful detention and mistreatment of the persons accused in the High Court indictment had been falsely reported in the story. Although the accused denied that any of the information published was false, charges were brought against Kahiya and Chimakure in their personal capacities and against Curling as representative of the company. The charge was contravening section 31(1)(b) of the Criminal Law Code, which makes it an offence to publish a false statement intending to undermine confidence in a law enforcement agency.

12th May: Magistrates Court bail hearing

After their night in police cells the two journalists were taken to court, where they were joined by Mr Curling. Harare Magistrate Catherine Chimanda granted all three bail of $200 and placed them on remand to face trial. The bail conditions were that they must report to the police Law and Order Section once a week and to come to court periodically for further remand [remand usually lasts 14 days at a time unless a longer period is accepted by an accused person].

30th July 2009: Application for referral to Supreme Court granted: At a remand hearing on 30th July 2009 the magistrate granted a defence application to refer the constitutionality of section 31(1)(b) of the Criminal Law Code to the Supreme Court for a definitive ruling. Under section 24(2) of the Constitution, if a possible infringement of the Declaration of Rights is raised during court proceedings, the presiding magistrate or judge must refer the case to the Supreme Court if requested to do so by a party, unless the request is considered frivolous or vexatious. At the same time Curling was discharged. Kahiya and Chimakure, however, remained on remand. Their criminal trial was indefinitely postponed pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

3rd June 2010: Case at last in Supreme Court: The case took nearly a year to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court.

Hearing in the Supreme Court: June 2010

There were five judges on the bench: Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Justices Vernanda Ziyambi, Misheck Cheda and Paddington Garwe. For Chimakure and Kahiya, their lawyer Innocent Chagonda delivered a powerful argument attacking the constitutional validity of section 31 of the Criminal Law Code. Although the State opposed the appeal, observers in court assessed the State presentation as an ineffective counter to Mr Chagonda’s argument. At the conclusion of the hearing the court reserved judgment. Nearly eighteen months later the Supreme Court’s decision is still awaited.

The defence argument for the nullification of section 31 as unconstitutional can be summarised as follows:

section 31 infringes the constitutional right to freedom of expression enshrined in the Declaration of Rights, section 20 of the Constitution [The State prosecution did not contest this point];

although the right to freedom of expression is admittedly not absolute, the only infringements permitted by the Constitution are those which are authorised by a law, are imposed for certain limited purposes specified in the Constitution and are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;

section 31 does not qualify as a “law” because it lacks essential qualities of a law, i.e., the degree of certainty and clarity which enables persons affected by it to know what conduct is prohibited and what is not;

section 31 does not fall within the permissible purposes claimed by the State which were the interests of defence, public order or public safety;

section 31 is not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

The argument was backed up by citation of cases decided in many jurisdictions, several of them decided by the Supreme Court itself. In one Zimbabwean case cited, the judgment had been written by Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

Present Status of the Case: The Supreme Court reserved judgment. Nearly eighteen months later its decision has not been delivered. On 18th March the magistrates court, with State acquiescence, removed both Kahiya and Chimakure from remand, relieving them of the burden of repeated court appearances. Depending on the Supreme Court decision, the State is free to renew the charges by issue of summons.

Case Against Standard Journalists

State v Madanhire, Nyangove and Ramakgapola

Standard Editor Nevanji Madanhire, reporter Patience Nyangove and Alpha Media Holdings HR manager Loud Ramakgapola have since 30th June 2011 been facing trial for criminal defamation over a Standard story published the previous weekend, stating that there were fears for the safety of MDC-T Minister of State Jameson Timba after his arrest by a “notorious” named senior police officer. Police claimed the named police officer had not been present or involved in the arrest of Mr Timba. All three Standard staff were interrogated, but only Mr Madanhire was detained for the night in police cells – the others were allowed to go, on condition they reported back to police the next day. Taken to court, they were granted bail and placed on remand on charges of criminal defamation under section 96 of the Criminal Law Code. Section 96 makes it an offence for anyone who, intending to harm another person’s reputation, publishes a false statement which causes serious harm to that other person’s reputation or creates a real risk of such harm; the penalty is a fine of up to $5000 or 2 years imprisonment or both. After further remand hearings the defence lawyers on Monday 12th December applied for the constitutionality of section 96 of the Criminal Law Code to be referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling. As was done in the Chimakure and Kahiya case, their lawyer invoked section 24(2) of the Constitution which says that if a possible infringement of the Declaration of Rights is raised during court proceedings the presiding magistrate or judge must refer the case to the Supreme Court if requested to do so, unless the request is considered frivolous or vexatious.

Application for referral to Supreme Court dismissed: In a surprise decision handed down on 14th December the magistrate dismissed the application and remanded both accused for trial on 24th January. The only ground on which such an application can be dismissed is if it is considered to be frivolous or vexatious. The options now open to Mr Madanhire and Ms Nyangove are either:

to undergo trial in the magistrates court, and, if convicted, to appeal against conviction and raise their constitutional arguments as part of their appeal, or

to take immediate steps to apply to the High Court for review and correction of the magistrate’s decision, or

to make a direct application to the Supreme Court challenging the magistrate’s decision as being itself a denial of their constitutional right to protection of the law.

Another Application for Referral to the Supreme Court?

Case 2 against Standard Journalists

Standard Editor, Nevanji Madanhire, reporter Nqaba Matshazi and company representative Loud Ramakgapola were arrested and detained by police on 15th November 2011. They were charged with criminal defamation under the Criminal Law Code, section 96, and theft of documents from the complainant, an influential businessman. The criminal defamation allegation is based on a story in the Standard about financial problems alleged to be facing a medical aid society run by the complainant. The accused spent a night in police cells before being taken to court on 16th November, when a magistrate freed them on $100 bail and placed them on remand for trial in due course. It was a bail condition that they surrender their passports. Notwithstanding the rejection of their application on 14th December to have the constitutionality of section 96 in their other case referred to the Supreme Court, the defence intend to make an application to the magistrate’s court for the constitutionality of section 96 to be referred to the Supreme Court in this case.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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