Grace Mugabe is suing a Zimbabwean newspaper for
$15m (£9.5m) for reporting allegations released by Wikileaks that
she had made "tremendous" profits in the illicit diamond trade, according to
The first lady launched a defamation suit
against the Standard newspaper in the high court in Harare yesterday. The
offending article quoted extensively from a US embassy cable that alleged Mrs
Mugabe was among a group of elite Zimbabweans making "several hundred thousand
dollars a month" from the sale of illegal stones mined in the Marange district –
scene of a frenzied diamond rush in recent years.
"Further, she is the wife of his excellency the
president of Zimbabwe. The
imputation of such conduct on a person of such high standing, the mother of the
nation, is to lower the respect with which she is held by all right-thinking
persons, to a point of disappearance."
In the cable released by Wikileaks, US
ambassador James McGee described a meeting between one of his political officers
and the representative of a mining company that had its Chiadzwa diamond claim
in the Marange district of eastern Zimbabwe revoked by the government. The
mining company official was reported to have said that "well-connected elites
are generating millions of dollars in personal income by hiring teams of diggers
to hand-extract diamonds" from Chiadzwa, before reselling the stones to shady
From 2006, thousands of illegal miners swarmed
to the diamond fields, among the world's richest finds in recent times, and
initially sold their stones to the government. The military soon moved in,
forcing people to work for them and later firing at groups of diggers from helicopter
gunships in an effort to control the
mining. There were also numerous reports of people close to the Mugabe
government profiting greatly from the trade at the expense of the state, which
was suffering grave foreign currency shortages at the
Sudarsan Raghavan Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, December 15,
2010; 11:28 PM
NAIROBI - The International Criminal Court on Wednesday
named six prominent Kenyans, including the East African country's deputy
prime minister, as suspects in the ethnically fueled violence that left more
than 1,000 people dead after a disputed 2007 presidential
The accusations come as other recent elections across Africa,
including those in Guinea, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, have been tainted by
violence, disputes and allegations of vote rigging and other fraud. Ivory
Coast, once one of the continent's most stable nations, has been mired in
turmoil since both its presidential candidates declared victory after an
election two weeks ago.
The court's announcement Wednesday appeared
to send a signal that such electoral violations would not be tolerated and
could incur broader international consequences.
period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation's
history," Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court's chief prosecutor, told reporters
in The Hague, referring to Kenya. "These were not just crimes against
innocent Kenyans. They were crimes against humanity as a
Moreno-Ocampo has requested that the court summon the men to face
charges including murder, rape and torture. The six are Deputy Prime
Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president; former minister
for higher education William Ruto; Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey;
cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura; former police chief Mohammed Hussein
Ali; and Joshua Arap Sang, a radio personality.
"These are the names
of the people we think should face justice. They are still innocent; we are
just presenting the prosecutor's evidence," Moreno-Ocampo said.
court would decide by next year whether to bring formal
Moreno-Ocampo alleged that Ruto, working with Kosgey and Sang,
plotted killings and forced evictions in Kenya's Rift Valley against allies
of President Mwai Kibaki a year before the election.
In a separate
case, he accused Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali of murder, deportations, rape
and other inhumane acts against supporters of Kibaki's chief rival, Raila
In statements or at news conferences, all - with the exception of
Ali, who could not be reached for comment - said they were
"My conscience is clear, has been clear and will always be
clear," Kenyatta said in a statement. "I have committed no crime. . . . I
expect the International Criminal Court process to be free and fair. I
welcome the chance to present my case, prove my innocence and end the
unnecessary speculation and innuendo that has been peddled over the last
Muthaura told reporters: "The suggestion that I have done anything
to warrant criminal investigation is manifest nonsense. It amounts to an
unwarranted slur on my reputation and is both unfair and
Ruto said he was "absolutely certain in my mind that I
neither participated, organized, financed or had anything to do with the
post-election violence at all."
Kibaki, the president, issued a
statement urging caution.
"The people who have been mentioned have not
yet been fully investigated, as the pre-trial process in The Hague has only
but begun," he said. "They therefore cannot be judged as guilty until the
charges are confirmed by the court."
Kibaki added that security has
been intensified around the country as a precautionary measure and that the
government would establish a local tribunal to address the post-election
President Obama, whose father was Kenyan, said Wednesday that
the country had made "tremendous progress" since the "dark days" of
post-election violence and was moving "from impunity and divisionism toward
an era of accountability and equal opportunity."
"The path ahead is
not easy, but I believe that the Kenyan people have the courage and resolve
to reject those who would drag the country back into the past and rob
Kenyans of the singular opportunity that is before them to realize the
country's vast potential," he said in a statement.
clashes erupted along tribal and ethnic lines after Kibaki, a Kikuyu, was
declared the winner amid allegations of vote rigging. The violence ended
only after former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan brokered a peace pact
that led to the creation of a coalition government in which Odinga became
prime minister. The violence stained Kenya's reputation as a pillar of
stability on a continent gripped by war and constant turmoil.
ROBERT Mugabe has slammed his cronies for leasing land to white
former commercial far-mers saying such disturbing behaviour was tantamount
to reversing what he called "the historic land reform
Mugabe made the remarks following recent revelations that
several farmers in his own backyard, Mashonaland West Province were leasing
their fa-rms to white former farmers. Sources said Mugab's message was
directed towards his local government Minister Igantious Chombo and Webster
Addressing the 83rd Ordinary Session of the Zanu-PF Central
Committee on the eve of his party’s 11th National People’s Conference that
gets under-way today in Mutare, Mugabe whinnged that some of his party
faithful were not putting land to maximum use.
feeling of inadequacy and du-plicity in some of our people threatens even
the very programmes that Zanu-PF put together for their economic
empowerment. Some abuses of the resettlement exercise stand as testimony to
this short-sightedness," he said.
Added the 86 year old dictator: "Where
some people have accessed the means of production, a certain paralysis
afflicts them and leads them into underhand deals with the same white man
who, yesterday, refused to share a resource that should be enjoyed by all
the country’s citizens.
It is grossly disturbing to learn of the extent
to which some of our people have gone towards literally giving back the land
to white farmers, all for a pittance of the farm profits at the end of the
Mugabe warned such behaviour should end forthwith.
not work towards reaping the entire profits for one’s family?
this slavish regard, slavish mentality of hero worshipping the white man,
our coloniser just yesterday, end, in order to allow our people to exercise
and realise their full potential? That slavish mentality should end," he
Mugabe said it was Zanu-PF’s wish to empower people through
ownership of the country’s vast resources.
He challenged Zimbabweans
to explore areas of economic empowerment.
"Not too long ago, on a Tuesday
after our weekly Cabinet meetings, I decided to look through applications
for exclusive prospecting orders that had recently been brought for my
consideration by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development (Obert
True to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's claim that Mugabe
lacks private sector knowledge, the aging dictator said, "I decided to meet
the applicants, if only to understand their mentality and the resources they
would commit to their chosen field.
There were whites who had just
returned from the cold climates of European countries, whites who told me
about the differences in geology of Tuli, Lupane, Bubi, Chimanimani and
other places. I wondered why they wanted to go into coal, that dark, dusty
mineral, until they indicated — without hesitation — that for the next 10
years coal is where all the money will be. I asked myself how many of our
own people have this knowledge?
"Indeed, how many of our indigenous
entrepreneurs are willing to venture into such enterprises?" Mugabe
He said Zanu-PF wanted indigenous Zimbabweans to possess such
knowledge and to be ready to make a positive difference in the country’s
"It is neither possible nor desirable for Government to keep
spoon feeding you on the areas you should direct your economic endeavours,"
He challenged Zimbabweans to pronounce without fear or
hesitation ownership of their God-given resources in line with the theme of
this year’s National People’s Conference – "Total Control of Our Resources
through Indigenisation and Empowerment."
"The resources are ours.
Geology, history and the liberation struggle made it a reality that these
resources are ours. But are we ourselves? Resources may be ours but do you
believe in yourself truly as you should be?" he said.
Mugabe said people
who still believed in the white man’s supremacy were not truly independent
On the inclusive Government, he said it was necessary
for Zanu-PF to review its participation in the Sadc brokered political
"What is galling is the discovery or perhaps, confirmation,
that the people we thought were our partners in running the country, were
most of the time, serving other masters who are not the people of this
"This is why even as we tried to call for a united and
uncompromising stance against sanctions, we could not get the level of
commitment we hoped for," he said.
President Mugabe, however, noted
that the life span of the inclusive Government was fast ending and urged
Zanu-PF to vigorously prepare for elections.
"This is where we want
to find the party ready for campaigns, ready for elections, so that we can,
once more, show that Zanu-PF is here to stay," he said.
attempts by the enemy to destroy Zanu-PF were so blatant to such an extent
that even Western ambassadors were organising against the party and openly
supporting the opposition in full violation of the United Nations Charter on
non interference in the domestic affairs of another country.
who dabble in the business of leaking information find it difficult to
remove or disconnect Zanu-PF from the masses, the brave and valiant masses
who carried us through the liberation struggle, supported us in the
establishment of our new country and have since stood by us on every
building-block of the country," Mugabe said.
On WikiLeaks he said:
"For those who take time to learn, it is our hope that the WikiLeaks
exposures will by now have shown them the evil and dangerous nature of the
policies being followed by our former colonisers and their
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the Politburo
examined the Central Committee report and reviewed the party’s activities in
the last 12 months. He said Mugabe donated 10 laptops to the party’s
information and publicity department.
Gumbo added his voice to calls
that Prime Minister Tsvangirai should resign after he was exposed by
WikiLeaks, that he worked with imperialists to effect an illegal regime
"If he is a man of integrity he has to resign. I am surprised and
baffled that the Prime Minister says he is not concerned when every body is
concerned," said Gumbo.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on
Thursday that only a presidential vote was needed next year to resolve the
power-sharing dispute in his unity government with President Robert Mugabe.
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The two were pressured into the coalition by
regional leaders after Mugabe's ZANU-PF party lost its parliamentary
majority to Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for the first
time in a March 2008 election and Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the parallel
Tsvangirai was unable to take power because election
authorities held onto results for five weeks and then announced that he had
not won by enough votes to avoid a run-off, which he boycotted accusing
Mugabe's supporters of violence.
Zimbabwe's next presidential and
parliamentary elections would normally be held in 2013, but Tsvangirai said
earlier this month that parliamentary elections could not be held until
there had been a referendum on a new constitution and an election commission
had been set up.
"The next election should be solely for the disputed
presidential election of 2008," Tsvangirai told reporters after a meeting of
his party's top decision-making national council.
"So there is no
need to go for harmonised elections when we have not resolved the disputed
presidential election first."
Tsvangirai spoke as ZANU-PF prepared for
its annual congress in the eastern city of Mutare that will endorse Mugabe,
86, as its candidate in the election he wants to be held by
ZANU-PF and MDC legislators are against elections that will cut
short their five-year term for a second time. The previous term ended
prematurely in 2008 following a 2005 vote.
The next election will be
the eighth major vote in Zimbabwe since 2000 and critics say rushed polls
without political reforms, including a new constitution guaranteeing basic
rights, would favour Mugabe and ZANU-PF, who have held power since
independence from Britain in 1980.
Tsvangirai also accused Mugabe of
deploying members of the security forces in the countryside before the vote
to intimidate villagers. The MDC made major gains in ZANU-PF's traditional
rural strongholds in the last elections.
The current leader of the revived ZAPU party, Dumiso
Dabengwa, has officially been removed from the US targeted sanctions
Dabengwa and fellow former ZANU PF politburo member, Thenjiwe
Lesabe, were among a group of 17 people removed from US sanctions lists
around the globe. Dabwenga’s daughter, Ijeoma, was also removed from the
Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs Minister in Mugabe’s ZANU
PF administration, left the party in 2008 when he threw his weight behind
Simba Makoni’s presidential bid. He later parted ways with Makoni to revive
ZAPU. Lesabe meanwhile used to be ZANU PF Women’s Affairs Minister and the
party’s Women’s League chairperson. She is now chairperson of the ZAPU
council of elders.
Lesabe held several posts within ZANU PF and the
Mugabe led government after the Unity Accord with ZAPU in 1987. But she fell
out with Mugabe after a group in ZANU PF, linked to Emmerson Mnangagwa,
lobbied for her to replace the late Vice President Joseph Msika in 2004. The
group’s plot, now known as the Tsholotsho Declaration, was described by
Mugabe as a coup attempt. Lesabe was however spared being dragged before a
disciplinary hearing, which saw six provincial chairpersons expelled from
The US said on Tuesday that it had dropped Dabengwa and Lesabe
as “circumstances related to these individuals no longer warrant their
inclusion on the US sanctions list.” The removal of the three Zimbabweans,
and the 14 other individuals from the US lists, is part of the US
government’s commitment, “to continue its review of the targeted sanctions
list to ensure it remains current and addresses the threat for which it was
US Embassy spokesperson Sharon Hudson Dean is quoted as saying
that circumstances no longer warrant having Dabengwa, his daughter or Lesabe
on the list, because Dabengwa and Lesabe are no longer members of ZANU PF.”
Hudson Dean said: “Both individuals left ZANU PF to re-launch the ZAPU
party, which publicly supports constitutional reform and multiparty
The targeted, restrictive sanctions remain ZANU PF’s
favoured weapon against the West, with the measures being blamed for the
country’s destruction. Mugabe has also refused to abide by the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), which formed the basis of the unity government,
saying he refuses to make ‘concessions’, until the targeted measures are
The US and European Union (EU) have both insisted that their
targeted measures will remain in place until there is meaningful change in
Zimbabwe, change that still has not happened. But concern is high that both
Western superpowers are beginning to relax their attitude towards ZANU
But political analyst John Makumbe disagreed with this assessment on
Thursday, telling SW Radio Africa that the amendments “indicate very clearly
that, even when reviewed, the bulk of the sanctions will remain in
“This shows that ZANU PF screaming for the sanctions to be
removed is going in one ear and out the other, and rightly so,” Makumbe
The analyst continued by saying that it is likely that the US and
EU will use the next elections, pegged for 2011, as the yard-stick to
measure what change, or lack thereof, ZANU PF is responsible for. Makumbe
said that the obvious lack of change means “the sanctions won’t be lifted,
at least not in the near future.”
He added that ZANU PF will be
“foaming at the mouth” over this latest amendment to the sanctions list,
“especially because it comes right as they are due to start their
“I think there will be a lot of anger and fury because its
means that the people still on the list can’t go shopping in 2011,” Makumbe
On Wednesday Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa snubbed
the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy again, failing to
turn up for cross-examination for the third time in less than a month.
Chinamasa is wanted to give evidence in the case involving the government’s
illegal takeover of businessman Mutumwa Mawere’s Shabanie and Mashava
Instead of a strong reprimand or punitive action, the committee
chairperson, Edward Chindori-Chininga, said the committee had resolved that
a letter will be written to the Minister advising him that the committee
‘did not appreciate the fact that there was no confirmation in writing that
he would not make it’.
He explained that the committee had agreed to
give Chinamasa a ‘final date of appearance’ on January 10th 2011. "If he
fails to appear after three requests, then the committee will take the
necessary measures to ensure the Minister is forced to appear before the
portfolio committee," Chindori-Chininga said. But he did not specify what
these measures would be or how they would force Chinamasa to do
The Mines and Energy committee is trying to determine whether
Chinamasa breached any anti-corruption and reconstruction laws and whether
all the administration issues were dealt with, according to the law. They
also want to know why Shabanie and Mashava mines closed, even though money
had been provided by the state to support them.
We contacted Mutumwa
Mawere but he said he could not comment until the committee had completed
its investigation. But exiled Zimbabwean businessman Gilbert Mponda, who
fled after the government took over his CFX Bank, said this case is bigger
than Chinamasa, because it involves the country’s global reputation for
dealing with investors.
Mponda explained that the government should speed
up the case and let Mawere have his company back because investors would
then trust Zimbabwe’s business environment. “The town of Zvishavane has
become a ghost town and people are turning to illegal activities like
prostitution and gold panning,” said Mponda, referring to the area where
Mawere’s Shabanie Mashava Mine is situated.
Mponda said the case
should be handled by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Finance Ministry,
because they administer the anti-corruption and reconstruction
Businessman Mutumwa Mawere has already appeared in front of the
committee and given testimony that is damaging to the Justice Minister. He
said that his company, SMM Holdings Zimbabwe, was taken over by the
government after Chinamasa misled the nation about the
Chinamasa failed to appear for questioning by the committee on
December 6, 13 and 15, each time giving unconvincing excuses. This time it
was reported that he telephoned the House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo
and parliament’s Deputy Clerk Kennedy Chokuda, saying that he needed more
time to prepare for the cross-examination.
But it was already known
to the committee that the Minister was on his way to a ZANU PF central
committee meeting, which takes place ahead of the party’s national congress,
which opens in Manicaland Friday. The parliamentary committee had gathered
and was waiting for him, when the message arrived that he would not be
Mponda said Chinamasa will never be prosecuted and the whole case
is just a ‘charade’.
The MDC in South Africa on Wednesday said it was
disappointed in the Zimbabwean government for failing to help its exiles,
amid growing anger over the Zim documentation project.
for Zimbabweans to apply for relevant work or study permits to remain in
South Africa has still not been extended, despite acknowledgments by South
African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that there is a massive
backlog. Getting the permits depends entirely on having the right
identification, but Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs department has only been able to
process less than ten thousand passports in recent weeks.
than a million Zimbabweans are believed to be without proper documentation
and there is anger that Zimbabwe’s government has done nothing to ensure its
nationals are assisted in South Africa. Minister Dlamini-Zuma this week
blamed her Zimbabwean counterparts for not issuing enough passports in time,
saying this has led to the massive backlog on South Africa’s side. She said
one of the main problems facing Zimbabweans was that their own government
was incapable of producing more than 500 passports a day. The MDC in
South Africa has also added its voice to the growing anger, saying they are
“deeply disappointed in our own government for not being able to meet the
South African government halfway.” MDC SA chairperson, Faustine Moyo, said
at a press briefing in Johannesburg that the delay was “sabotage and
deliberate” on the part of the Zimbabwean government.
Moyo called on all
Zimbabweans in South Africa to use the remaining two weeks of the deadline
to apply for their papers, to ensure their stay in the country becomes
“Dlamini-Zuma assured us that deportations will not immediately
resume after December 31, so I urge all Zimbabweans to go and sort out all
their documents,” Moyo said.
By Guthrie Munyuki Thursday, 16
December 2010 09:47
HARARE - The South African government has waived
some registration requirements for Zimbabweans seeking to work and reside
there in a bid to accelerate their applications and has said it will not
deport illegal immigrants before it has completed its documentation exercise
which closes on New Year’s Eve.
A meeting between the Zimbabwe
Exiles Forum (ZEF), the South African Home Affairs minister Nkosazana
Dhlamini-Zuma and Director General of Home Affairs Mkuseli Alpeni, was held
in Johannesburg Tuesday to try and accelerate the processing of documents
for “illegal” immigrants living in South Africa.
The South African
government has said it won’t move its December 31 deadline which it has set
for Zimbabweans who have been living there without proper documents as the
cut off date for regularising their documents.
“In order to deal with the
issue of congestion, the Ministry of Home Affairs has graciously decided to
waive the requirement to have fingerprints taken and applications can now be
submitted from the queues as forms have now been given to ZEF and others to
distribute so that prospective applicants can fill them in before they go to
Home Affairs,” ZEF executive director Gabriel Shumba said from
“It is critical to note that ZEF and other organisations
were able to obtain major concessions from the South African Home Affairs
Department. Chief among these is that having regard to the difficulties of
obtaining the Zimbabwean passport and other documents, starting from today
the 15th of December 2010, all Zimbabweans who are in possession of receipts
indicating that they have applied for a birth certificate, Identity Card or
Passport will now be able to use the receipts to submit applications for
“All those who will be in the system by the end of the deadline
will be served. In addition, no deportations will commence whilst the
process has not been finalized. Mobile stations that will make it easier for
farm workers to submit applications from the farms will also begin
operations this week.”
Shumba said the meeting was held to try and
understand the delays in documentation and proposed for the extension of the
deadline which the civic group says is justifiable given the monumental
challenges that have beset the process since its commencement in
Since the process commenced on September 20, the South African
government has received 116 000 applications of which 37 000 were vetted
resulting an approval of 27 000 and rejection of 10 000
Those pending determination stand at about 79
Zimbabwe has received 46 000 applications for passports and has a
backlog of about 36 000, casting a big doubt on the country’s ability to
help desperate people anxiously waiting for their fate in South
The Zimbabwe inclusive government fears it cannot cope with a
flood of its nationals who are expected to be flushed out of South Africa
once the deadline has passed.
Desperate Zimbabweans fled the country
between 2005 and 2008 during the political and economic turmoil which
pervaded the entire once vibrant southern African nation.
estimated that 4, 5 million Zimbabweans are domiciled in the diaspora; the
largest chunk is housed by South Africa.
Shumba applauded Nkosazana
Dhlamini and her team for their transparency during the engagement process
which he hoped could result the extension of the deadline.
“ZEF therefore calls for all Zimbabweans to take advantage of this
opportunity before the expiration of the deadline.
also assures employers that they will not be subjected to prosecution as the
amnesty extended to those illegally staying in SA has also been extended to
“The organisation also wants to express its deep disappointment
with the Zimbabwean Home Affairs Ministry for its failure to take advantage
of the offer made by South Africa to ensure that Zimbabweans obtain
documentation on time.”
Zimbabweans stand outside the
Wynberg Home Affairs office in Cape Town waiting to apply for the Zimbabwean
Dispensation Project. Photo: Sam Clark
A steady rain made the wait
particularly miserable for Zimbabwean immigrants crowded outside a South African
immigration office, trying to legalise their status before a feared wave of
As many as 3 million
Zimbabweans are believed to be living and working in South Africa after fleeing
entwined economic collapse and a political crisis in their homeland. South
African authorities, who had allowed many to stay without even passports,
announced the crackdown in September, saying that those who did not apply for
legal status before December 31 would have to go home.
That has led to crowds at
immigration offices across South Africa on Wednesday, with some Zimbabweans
lining up for several days before even getting in the door to apply for work or
study permits. Human rights groups complained that four months was insufficient
and that bureaucrats in Zimbabwe and South Africa were unprepared for the large
numbers of applicants.
“Just being legal, it would
change my life. I would be more comfortable,” said Frank Nkathazo, a 37-year-old
gardener who was waiting to submit his application Wednesday with little hope of
reaching the doors before they closed at 4 p.m.
Zimbabweans make up the
largest immigrant group in South Africa. Rights groups say legalising
Zimbabweans would ensure they pay taxes and that their children go to school so
that they can grow up to contribute to the economy of their adopted country,
echoing arguments in immigration debates in the United States and Europe.
The decision to document
Zimbabweans is “very worthwhile”, said Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh of the
Johannesburg offices of Lawyers for Human Rights, but she stressed that the
deadline should be extended.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said deportations would not start until all applications
are processed, acknowledging that could take some time. Speaking to reporters on
Tuesday, she said she could not say when deportations would begin.
In early 2009, South Africa
announced Zimbabweans could travel here on a free 90-day visitor's permit and
apply to do casual work during their stay. It was the end of that “special
dispensation” that was announced in September, with South African officials
citing improved economic and political conditions in Zimbabwe.
Nkathazo, the gardener from
Plumtree in western Zimbabwe, stood under his umbrella outside a handsome
concrete and brick office tower on the edge of downtown Johannesburg, clutching
a purple plastic folder stuffed with his new passport and a letter from his
employer. He even brought a South African ID card he had lied to obtain years
ago. South African authorities have said those who obtained South African
identity documents illegally will get amnesty if they return them.
Nkathazo had arrived at 6am
to find hundreds already there even though the office did not open until 8am.
Nkathazo said he would wait all day, and come back earlier the next time if he
failed to get in on Wednesday
To qualify, applicants must
prove they have been in South Africa since at least May this year. Nkathazo has
been here 15 years, and the ease with which he has regularly ferried between his
wife and four children in Zimbabwe and his job in South Africa demonstrates how
just how porous the border is.
Ahead of Nkathazo a woman
sat wrapped in a blanket, huddling under an umbrella on a concrete stump planted
at the entrance to the building to keep cars from parking too close.
Entrepreneurs sold brightly coloured plastic envelopes to keep precious
documents dry. Business was brisk for the envelopes and for umbrellas as rush
hour traffic splashed by.
Bryan Khumalo, a 27-year-old
computer consultant, said he had lined up for four days to apply in September,
and last week received a cell phone text message informing him he had been
granted a work permit. He arrived at 4 a.m. Wednesday, but was still 87th in
line. Experience had taught him only 50 or 60 people make it inside on any day,
and he was resigned to returning.
Written by Ndumiso Mlilo Wednesday, 15
December 2010 07:33
JOHANNESBURG - A South African-based human rights
organization is calling for the arrest of the Zimbabwean President and his
cronies. (Pictured: Mugabe) The Zimbabwe Youth Wing on Monday handed over
a petition to the United Nations Security Council Office in Pretoria. In
their demands the Zimbabwe Youth Wing calls for the arrest of Zimbabwe’s JOC
(Joint Military Command). This comprises of the high ranking officials from
the army, the police, the air force, the prison and the Central Intelligence
Organization. The organization further calls for the arrest of the President
Robert Mugabe, some war veterans and the Zanu (PF) militia for human rights
abuses. The group’s president, Ishmael Kauzai, said: “The Zanu (PF) regime
perpetuates the abduction, torture and killing of Zimbabwe's citizens to
this very day. Those responsible remain unaccountable. We want these people
to be arrested and tried in the International Curt of Justice. They have
been doing this for a long time. They committed human rights abuses during
the Gukurahundi era, land invasion, operation Murambatsvina and when the
Movement for the Democratic Change was formed. They continue to do so. This
will increase next year as we approach the elections.” The organization
accuses Mugabe of militarizing the parastatals. Former military personnel
aligned to the president have been appointed to head parastatals like the
Grain Marketing Board, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe and
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Ishmael said the youth had lost faith in
the regional organizations like Southern African Development Community
(SADC) and African Union (AU). He accused SADC and AU of inactivity when the
Zimbabwean government was butchering their citizens and called on the UN
Security Council to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis.
The new Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa, Phelekezela
Mphoko, who was appointed by Robert Mugabe six months ago, has not yet
presented his credentials to President Jacob Zuma. The delay continues
several months after Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai asked South
Africa and EU member countries to ignore the credentials of ambassadors who
had been “unilaterally” appointed by Mugabe.
Mphoko cannot perform any of
his official duties until he has presented his credentials to
Mphoko was among a host of ambassadors Mugabe appointed in July.
Also appointed at the time were new envoys for the European Union,
Switzerland and the UN.
These appointments were made apparently
without consulting Tsvangirai. EU countries said at the time they were
concerned about the development as they felt ambassadors should represent
the whole government of Zimbabwe and not just a part of it.
contentious power-sharing agreement that led to Zimbabwe’s unity government,
which was brokered by the Southern African Development Community, has
remained mired in disagreements.
Speaking from Harare yesterday, Nelson
Chamisa, spokesman for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party,
said that the “unilateral” appointment of Mphoko and other ambassadors had
set back South Africa’s mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.
appointments of these people have undermined the legitimacy of the
Zimbabwean government and the confidence our people have in us, and defies
the togetherness of the government,” said Chamisa.
office downplayed the new Zimbabwean ambassador’s predicament. Zuma’s
communications adviser, Zizi Kodwa, said the delay in receiving credentials
from the Zimbabwean envoy had nothing to do with the spat over
He said there had been no time for Mphoko and ambassadors
from other countries to present their letters of appointment to
“There are many ambassadors waiting to present their letters of
credence to the president. These are arranged by the Department of
International Relations and Cooperation with the Presidency, based on space
in the diary, and understanding the importance,” said Kodwa.
the next session for ambassadors to present their appointment letters to
Zuma would be before the state of the nation address next year.
been mediating between Mugabe and Tsvangirai for more than a year without
any real success. Mugabe, 86, who is expected to be named as his Zanu-PF
party’s presidential candidate this weekend, has insisted on fresh polls
But Chamisa was less than diplomatic about the problem,
saying: “We can’t start to talk about the road map when we have not agreed
on the appointments.
“We are not reading from the same page as
Zanu-PF. We are not even reading from the same book. Zanu-PF talks white and
acts black,” said Chamisa.
The life of the Zimbabwe unity government,
which Mugabe has described as “semi-legal”, ends in February. -TNA The New
HARARE -- Zimbabwean firms have continued laying off workers
despite an improved operating environment and an economy showing impressive
signs of recovery, Labour Minister Paurina Mpariwa said on
According to figures released by Mpariwa’s ministry, about 5
000 workers were retrenched in the first nine months of the year, with the
banking industry shedding the most jobs or 19 percent of its workforce – in
a country where unemployment is estimated at anything above 90
Mpariwa, who said she expected more retrenchments as firms
battle to keep wage bills and other running costs down, described the fresh
wave of job cuts as worrying to the power-sharing government of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe.
Ministry responsible for labour we tend to be worried by the magnitude of
retrenchments at a time when we think the economy is starting to grow,”
She added: “It is expected that retrenchments will
persist as there is no significant improvement in industrial capacity
utilisation which is reported to be between 30 percent and 40
Inability to secure credit lines has hampered efforts to
recapitalise Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector, while in the banking sector
deposits remain low, with banks struggling to regain the public’s trust
after a 10-year economic crisis marked by hyperinflation that discouraged
people from keeping money in banks where it would instantly lose
Firms have responded to the resultant cash crunch by cutting jobs,
even as the economy is forecasted to grow by 8.1 percent this year after
expanding by 5.7 percent the previous year.
The mining and
agriculture sectors that are seen driving economic growth have also seen
massive job cuts this year contributing 8.6 percent and 3 percent
respectively to the total retrenchment figures recorded by the third
The clothing industry has also been hard hit by
retrenchments with, for example, two of the giants in the sector, Edgars and
Archer, trimming their staff base by 600 workers between them as competition
ushered in by cheap imported textile goods cuts deep.
The pulp and
paper industry weighed in with 244 employees being chopped with the majority
coming from the country’s sole newsprint maker, Mutare Board and Paper
Workers at government parastatals have also not been spared with
those at the Grain Marketing Board, Air Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company being the biggest causalities.
Tendai Biti has predicted the mining and agriculture sectors to accelerate
economic growth to more than nine percent next year.
But analysts say
Zimbabwe’s long-term growth outlook remains in doubt with investor fears
over Mugabe’s controversial drive to transfer control of all foreign firms
The analysts also say elections expected to take place by
mid-next year could undo the economic gains of the last 22 months, amid
fears the vote could see a return to violence because the unity government
has not implemented required political reforms including restructuring the
armed forces to ensure polls are free and fair. -- ZimOnline
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava
said the voters roll update is welcome, but should have been overseen by the
recently reformed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Studio 7 Reporters |
Washington 15 December 2010
Zimbabwe's Office of the
Registrar-General office says it has been updating the national voters role,
though Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede says the exercise is not related to
widespread expectations President Robert Mugabe may call elections in
Mudede told reporters on Tuesday that teams from his office have
been collecting information since August around the country on voters who
have died. He said some 32,000 cases of expired voters have been identified
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai
Chipfunde-Vava told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
list-cleaning exercise is welcome, but should have been overseen by the
recently reformed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga told reporter Chris Gande that the voters
roll cleanup will not work if the entire process is not
Elsewhere, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangirai, which has long demanded reform of the
voters roll and the electoral system, says most of its young rural members
lack identity cards thus are ineligible to vote.
MDC National Youth
Assembly Chairman Thamsanqa Mahlangu said this is a matter of great concern
in a country with so many young people.
Mahlangu told VOA Studio 7
reporter Tatenda Gumbo that the assembly has an ongoing registration program
to help all youths who are unable to sign up to vote.
But he added
that an up-to-date and transparent voters roll is critical.
MARONDERA WEST - Zanu (PF) MP for Marondera West, Retired
Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, last week sent a chill down the spines of MDC
supporters who were forced to attend saying he was ready to kill people who
continued to oppose the reign of President Robert Mugabe and his
Mutinhiri told villagers who had been forced to attend the meeting
at Landasi Shopping Centre, where MDC-T supporters had been forced to
surrender their membership cards, that he was good at killing and was ready
to go to war.
His statement follows that of the feared Minister of
Defence Emerson Mnagagwa who told people in Kwekwe his home town that he was
taught to kill.
"We were forced to attend the meeting and at that meeting
Mutinhiri told us that those who supported Tsvangirai were living in the
past and that it is time now when Zanu (PF) takes over. He said that he
fought in the liberation struggle and fighting was in his body," said a
former MDC -T senior member who has since resigned.
villagers who attended the meeting have already surrendered their MDC
membership cards after the chilling statement from Mutinhiri a former
cabinet minister. MDC-T parliamenatry hopeful Patrick Kunaka this week
surrendered to Zanu (PF) and pledged his vehicle to be used by Zanu (PF)
during mobilisation of resources for the impending congress, scheduled for
next week. (He is the source of the story and is now with Zanu
"Many people have started buying Zanu (PF) cards in order to
protect themselves. They had to do that after the threats from Mutinhiri or
leave the constituency," said MDC-T Chairman for Marondera West, Eddington
Magwenzi. -The Zimbabwean
Zimbabwe is one of two southern African countries represented at the ongoing
World Black Arts Festival taking place in Dakar, the country’s ambassador to
Senegal, Trudy Stevenson said in a statement issued here
Eight Zimbabwean sculptors and painters are exhibiting various
stone sculptures and paintings at the Zimbabwean embassy in Dakar and at the
main festival venue at the Biscuiterie.
Stevenson said she has
presented two lectures on contemporary Zimbabwean art since the festival
started on December 10.
“The embassy held a very successful preview
exhibition for the diplomatic community and media on 1 December,” she
The artists whose works are being exhibited are Lazarus Takawira,
Taylor Nkomo, Thakor Patel, Lovemore Kambudzi, Virginia Chihota, Victor
Fire, Gideon Gomo and Tapfuma Gutsa
Zimbabwe’s Arts and Culture
Minister David Coltart is being represented by a senior official from his
ministry while the exhibitions are being coordinated by Harare’s National
Gallery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
South Africa is the
other southern African country participating at the festival which ends on
Morgan Tsvangirai’s address to the media
Thursday, 16 December 2010
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this press
conference which comes after day-long deliberations by the national executive
committee and the national council of the MDC. Let me say at the outset that
the MDC is a people-centred party and the people are always at the core of our
business and deliberations. We are the true repository of the people’s
aspirations and we have a duty to make a public announcement when we take
far-reaching decisions in the interest of the people of Zimbabwe.
remained resolute, in the full knowledge that we are the true people’s
representatives because of the clear mandate given to us in a legitimate
election. Today’s meeting of the national council is the last meeting of the
year; a tumultuous year in which we have experienced both progress and
frustrations in our quest to bring about real change to the people of
It is a year in which evidence abounds that our participation
in government has added value and improved the lives of the people. But it is
also a year in which we have recorded frustrations as a result of stagnation in
the resolution of the outstanding issues of the GPA and President Robert
Mugabe’s unilateral and unconstitutional acts.
These frustrations have
slowed the pace of democratic reforms, which are the core business of the
inclusive government if we are to prepare conditions conductive for a free and
fair election as spelt out in the GPA. However, these frustrations have not
dampened our spirits, but have instead spurred us to continue with our
collective journey of hope towards a new Zimbabwe and a new
The MDC National Council met today and among other
things, the Council debated the following;
The state of the State and the general living conditions of the people of
The state of the Party ,
The issue of the country’s resources including the issues of diamonds and
The question of violence, the rule of law and security of the person,
The question of elections and the country’s state of
Having so debated the above issues, Council resolved
1. THE STATE OF THE PARTY a. Council noted the
provisions of Article 5.2.2 of the Party’s Constitution with regards to the
holding of a Congress and therefore directs that the Party Congress shall be
held by the 30th of May 2011.
b. Council further waives strict
compliance with the time limits provided in the Constitution.
CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS a. Council notes the problems of
legitimacy, violence and infringement and assault of the constitution-making
process. b. The party further notes the derailment of the peoples’ will in
this process. c. Be that as it may, Council directs that the current
constitution making process must be concluded and a referendum must be
3. THE GLOBAL POLITICAL AGREEMENT a.
Council notes the existence of the following outstanding issues;
The swearing-in of Roy Bennett,
The issue of the RBZ Governor and Attorney General,
Review and reallocation of ministerial mandates,
The unilateral alternation of ministerial mandates,
b. Pursuant to the aborted Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the
SADC Organ Troika of the 20th of November 2010, Council calls on SADC to
immediately reconvene the aborted meeting to discuss the following
The outstanding issues,
The roadmap to elections, and
Toxic issues including the issue of violence, deployment, of security agents
in the countryside and a corrosive media.
expresses its regret at the failure to execute the 24 agreed issues and now
calls on the Principals of the parties to take measures to implement and execute
the agreed positions as reflected in the Negotiators report dated the 3rd of
April 2010 and more importantly, to enforce and uphold the Implementation Matrix
as agreed by the Principals on the 8th of June 2010.
AND ELECTORAL PROCESSES
a. Council notes and restates the
position that an election in Zimbabwe should be held to deal with the question
of illegitimacy associated with the farcial Presidential run-off election of
b. For the avoidance of doubt, Council resolves that
the next election should be solely for the disputed Presidential election of
2008 with a harmonised election to be held in 2013 as prescribed in the
c. Further, Council restates that Zanu PF nor its
President do not have the right of unilaterally calling for the aforesaid
Presidential election and that Article 23.1.b of the GPA and the 8th Schedule of
the Constitution which requires agreement, should be
d. Further, Council notes that the SADC Roadmap on
elections dealing with
The creation of adequate conditions for a free and fair elections,
Guarantees against violence and security of the person,
Proper monitoring and policing of the election including the question of
SADC presence six months before and six months after the election, and
Guarantees with respect to the honouring of the peoples’ will,and urge that
the same be put in place before the aforesaid elections.
CONDITIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE
Council notes the suffering of the Zimbabwean people and the attempts of the
Inclusive Government to mitigate the aforesaid suffering.
However, Council notes the leakages, corruption, opaqueness and lack of
accountability associated particularly with minerals and extractive industries
i. Council therefore applauds and supports the
Government decision that all alluvial diamonds should be owned and mined by the
State, and ii. Urges the immediate crafting of the Diamond Act that will
legalise the above issue and create the National Sovereign
d. Civil Service Audit
i. Council notes the existence of thousands
of ghost workers in government who are affecting government capacity to
remunerate the genuine civil servant. ii. Council therefore urges the
immediate publication and execution of the long awaited public service
6. VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION
Council condemns in the strongest language all acts of violence targeted
against MDC members by rogue elements within the State,
Further, Council notes the deployment of serving and retired security
personnel in the countryside as a machination of inculcating a culture of fear
amongst the rural people,
Council therefore calls on the withdrawal of all deployed security personnel
in the countryside.
Council calls on the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and
Integration to speed up the process of national healing to abate any forms of
Council calls on the International Criminal Court to name and prosecute all
perpetrators of post election violence in Kenya.
Further, Council calls on the Attorney General and the Judiciary to
prosecute all perpetrators of violence.
Furthermore, Council calls on the South African Government to release the
South African Judges Report into electoral violence of 2002 and the South
African Generals’ Report of the 2008 electoral violence.
RESOLUTION ON IVORY COAST
Council applauds the people of Ivory Coast for voting peacefully.
Council notes the defiance and lack of respect of democracy and the will of
the people by losing candidate Laurent Gbagbo in failing to relinquish power
tantamount to a military coup.
Council applauds ECOWAS and the AU in their efforts to finding sustainable
peaceful solutions in Ivory Coast.
Further, Council calls on Mr. Laurent Gbagbo to respect the will of the
people, the election results and concede state power to Mr. Alassane Quattara
and his political party to allow for stability and growth in the West African
8. RESOLUTION ON WIKILEAKS
Council notes attempts to divide the party and cause division in the Party
by Zanu PF and state agencies.
Council also notes the continuation of this agenda through various channels
including diplomatic leaks now known as WikiLeaks.
Council therefore condemns the aforesaid attempts to divide us and indeed
the reports in the aforesaid WikiLeaks.
Council restates the strength of the party and reaffirms that the party
cannot be divided or de-branded by the loony actions of a dying Zanu PF empire.
An address to the Zanu-pf National Conference by a Zimbabwean
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and
It gives me great pleasure and honour to
address this august assembly on the occasion of your party’s national
conference being held in Mutare from 16-18th December 2010. Although I am
not a member of any party, I believe that as a Zimbabwean national, I have
every right to lobby your members for the good of our country. Rather than
ask what Zimbabwe should do for us, I think we should ask what we can do for
our country. The urgency in finding a lasting and viable solution to
Zimbabwe’s problems cannot be over-emphasised, neither should it be left to
partisanship while our country is the only one with a coalition government
in the sub-region.
In the Declaration of Dar-es-Salaam, the former
President of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere
‘Man can only liberate himself or develop himself. He cannot be
liberated or developed by another. For Man makes himself. It is his ability
to act deliberately, for a self-determined purpose, which distinguishes him
from the other animals. The expansion of his own consciousness, and
therefore of his power over himself, his environment, and his society, must
therefore ultimately be what we mean by development” (infed.org, accessed
Some may ask, “What are you talking about? Are we not already
liberated? Liberate ourselves from what?” The obvious answer is liberate
ourselves from under-development. It’s no longer colonialism or even the
rhetorical neo-colonialism. An empirical frame of reference is Zimbabwe’s
profile on the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) showing trends from 1980
to present (hdrstats.undp.org accessed 15/12/10). Human development denotes
both the process of widening people’s choices and improving their
well-being. According to the UNDP, the most critical dimensions of human
development are: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of
living. Additional concerns include ‘social and political freedoms’
While Zimbabwe’s HDR 2010 Report was poorly received in some
circles, it frankly shows that between 1980 and 2010 Zimbabwe’s HDI declined
by -1.8% annually from 0.241 to 0.140 today which gives the country a rank
of 169 out of 169 countries with comparable data. Another point of concern
is that the HDI of Sub-Saharan Africa as a region increased from 0.293 in
1980 to 0.389 today, placing Zimbabwe below the regional average. The UN
contends that the HDI trends tell an important story both at the national
and regional level and highlight the very large gaps in well-being and life
chances that continue to divide our interconnected world.
need an outsider to tell us what is holding Zimbabwe back. It’s not targeted
sanctions either, because they are not on the country but individuals,
contrary to deafening propaganda. Reports that Dumiso Dabengwa and Thenjiwe
Lesabe have been de-listed by the United States Government shows that the
travel bans have nothing to do with the country. Some sanctions targeted
certain state corporations like the Zimbabwe Minerals Marketing Corporation,
Zimbabwe Defence Industries and so on which were allegedly propping up a
repressive system. The reinsurance corporation was de-listed.
is nothing treasonous in calling for the retention of EU and US targeted
sanctions because that is the only way of making certain individuals
accountable for their actions which impact on good governance. Furthermore,
Zimbabwe is not at war with the UK, USA or the EU, therefore there is no
question of treason as if one is dealing with an enemy state. Zimbabwe still
has diplomatic relations with the UK, USA and the EU, and it is legitimate
to engage their diplomats where necessary contrary to the impression given
by those who are seeking to get seats on the politburo as they create the
impression that we are at war, therefore whoever talks to their
representatives is a sell-out. Not at all.
Despite relative economic and
political stability since the formation of the coalition government in
February 2009, Zimbabwe remains at the mercy of a politically charged
environment that threatens to devour its children if people dare want to
exercise their democratic right to vote. Ironically, we fought for one man
one vote but now people are afraid to vote. The country is gripped with
tension amidst a lot of political posturing and grandstanding,
militarization, intolerance and corruption. This can be summed up in one
phrase ‘a scotched earth policy’- a military or operational strategy which
involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while
advancing through or withdrawing from an area (wikipedia.org). That is not
very different from farm and business seizures some of which now lie idle in
the name of indigenisation.
Unimpressed investors have voted with their
feet because of uncertainty due to the indigenisation law albeit suspended
and the unresolved Zanu-pf succession issue. Tourists and donors are taking
a wait-and see attitude as they study the high political temperature
prevailing in the country. Similarly, the economy is witnessing stagnation
and capital flight while the politicians squabble ad infinitum. Meanwhile a
massive 95 percent unemployment rate is feared to be a fertile recruitment
ground for ‘coup plotters or warlords’ apart from prospective border
jumpers. Zimbabwe is sitting on a time bomb.
Mr Chairman, this
conference should be a platform to reflect on these challenges and chart the
way forward as a nation and not in isolation or partisan basis because the
barriers which are holding our country back are of our own making. However,
they are not insurmountable as long as we make a paradigm shift. We need to
be honest with ourselves and stop passing the buck. Our leaders should not
be shy to say ‘sorry’ where necessary. This is the moment of truth as the
country awaits constructive dialogue and resolutions meant from your
conference to take Zimbabwe to a peaceful and prosperous future and not
Operation Headless Chicken or all the mayhem being bandied about.
Chairman, the underlying problems which are holding our country back which
the Zanu-pf national conference should urgently address include: bad
governance, political and security sector reforms, rampant corruption, lack
of a road map for the 2011 elections, human rights abuses, flouting of the
rule of law, denial of basic freedoms e.g. of assembly, expression or the
media and so on. For a start, Zanu-pf should abolish the notorious AIPPA and
POSA laws which have resulted in human rights abuses.
It has been a
long time since Zimbabweans experienced the 8 characteristics of good
governance in full, namely: participation, rule of law, transparency,
responsiveness, consensus oriented, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness
and efficiency as well as accountability as defined by the United Nations.
These principles can be facilitated by political reforms which are long
overdue such as conclusion of the new constitution, organising and
conducting of a referendum on the new or alternative constitutions, leading
to a clear road map to elections 2011. If Kenya did it, why can’t we do
Mr Chairman, the people of Zimbabwe are afraid of elections because
of politically motivated violence by those who view regime change as evil
whereas our constitution provides for change of government through
elections. People would like to be assured that they will be safe before,
during and after the hopefully internationally supervised, free and fair
elections. The whole world also needs assurances that election monitors from
the EU, UN, AU and SADC will soon be invited to ensure a legitimate
The Zanu-pf 2010 national conference needs also to squarely
address the issue of security sector reform and set the ball rolling. People
are anxiously waiting for the service chiefs to unlock development by
bravely addressing the nation simply saying:
‘We, the members of the
Joint Operations Command do hereby express our deepest regret for the pain
and anguish we have caused the country during a time of madness since
Operations Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Hakudzokwi, Makavhotera Papi and
others. We are really sorry and ask for forgiveness to all the people of
Zimbabwe regardless of race, colour, creed, gender, tribe, ability, origin
or political affiliation. We are asking to be spared any retribution whether
domestically or internationally for our past mistakes in return for our
recognition of and loyalty to the democratically elected Government of
Zimbabwe of the day regardless of political persuasion. We are willing to
step down and allow for a peaceful transition to a new dispensation with the
assistance of the United Nations and undertake not to engage in any
political or insurgent activities.”
Such a courageous move would
electrify the atmosphere in Zimbabwe and definitely usher in a new
democratic and peaceful era characterised by national healing and genuine
reconciliation supported by a truth and reconciliation commission and state
compensation for victims of political violence. Such a bold statement of
regret, apology and loyalty by the service chiefs should be made in public
e.g. televised as an unequivocal demonstration of sincere contrition and
remorse while they will also get assurances of no retribution. That will
also ensure transparency and the need to move on.
Only then can
Zimbabwe witness an anticipated huge injection of donor aid for
reconstruction and development. The economy would also grow exponentially as
soon as an internationally recognised and accountable government is in
office conducting a transparent land audit and ensuring that the Marange
diamonds are clean of any rights abuses. Zimbabwe would then return to
normalcy by reclaiming its membership of the Commonwealth and attract
investment. Exiles would most likely flock home with jubilation. Even
targeted sanctions would become unnecessary.
Mr Chairman, if any of these
ideas could influence the outcome of your conference, it would have
delivered a memorable and invaluable Christmas present to the 12 million
Zimbabweans. I hope, I am not the only one who continues to be inspired by
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s wisdom and admission of errors in nation building
and development where necessary.