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Anglicans take back Zimbabwe cathedral

http://www.theaustralian.com.au

BY: ANGUS SHAW From: AAP December 17, 2012 4:42AM

MAINSTREAM Anglican Christians in Zimbabwe have taken back their cathedral
after a lockout of more than five years staged by an excommunicated,
breakaway bishop who claimed loyalty to the president's party and used
loyalist police to keep people out.

Worshippers from across the country and regional church leaders thronged the
central Harare square on Sunday for a service to "cleanse and re-dedicate"
the historic colonial-era cathedral towering over the square.

Bishop Chad Gandiya struck the main doors three times with a pastoral staff
to have them opened. He blessed what he called the "defiled" interior with
signs of the cross ahead of the first Eucharist service by mainstream
Anglicans since they were often violently banished from churches and
missions seized nationwide.

The nation's highest court has declared the seizures illegal.

Breakaway Bishop Nolbert Kunonga launched a campaign a decade ago against
the regional Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa to which
Zimbabwe belongs, claiming it supported gay rights. In outspoken sermons, he
backed militants of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in violent
elections and repeated much of Mugabe's criticism of his political opponents
and the United States and Britain, the former colonial power before
independence in 1980.

Kunonga seized church bank accounts and cars as his followers occupied
church schools, orphanages and other properties.

Gandiya's diocese officials said many of those facilities went into
disrepair - churches were locked and ousted worshippers held their services
in Catholic church halls, public areas and homes.

Some church buildings were turned into dormitories and food kitchens for
Kunonga's supporters. Others were turned into flea markets and drinking
halls that attracted prostitutes, officials said.

"We must all ensure this never happens again," Gandiya told cheering and
ululating congregants. "Let us be ready for the journey from the past to the
future. Let's press on to rebuild our church."

Kunonga removed burial plaques, tombstones, carvings and commemorative
displays honouring prominent colonial-era citizens as well as black soldiers
of the colonial African Rifles regiment who fought for Britain and its
allies in the First and Second World Wars. Those relics are believed to have
been destroyed.


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3 years on, Zim reform talks come to naught

http://www.iol.co.za

December 16 2012 at 03:57pm
By Peta Thornycroft

Zimbabwean parties this week once again went back to square one, re-opening
negotiations for a new constitution after President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF
rejected a draft constitution which it had helped write in more than three
years of hard bargaining.

But in a new cabinet committee set up to renegotiate the constitution,
President Robert Mugabe refused to budge on Thursday from the objections
Zanu-PF had raised to the charter its negotiators had agreed to in July.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) constitutional affairs minister Eric
Matinenga, who chairs the committee, said the team would meet again tomorrow
to try again. “It is work in progress, but something positive is happening,”
he said.

The high-level committee comprises the principals from each party in the
unity government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the bigger MDC,
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC and Mugabe, who
was confirmed last week as Zanu-PF’s candidate in the next presidential poll
scheduled to be held next year.

Ncube had at first refused to participate in the new committee, saying the
three parties had already agreed to a draft constitution. But he relented
this week.

The three parties had agreed in July to a draft constitution after three
years of hard bargaining and released it to the public.

The most significant reform in the draft charter was a considerable
reduction in presidential powers and some devolution of power from the
central government to the provinces.

Zanu-PF hardliners then intervened and overrode their own negotiating team,
releasing a 29-page document objecting to much of the draft, mainly those
sections which diminished the power of the president.

Zanu-PF’s politburo made the same objections which it brought to a
stakeholders’ conference in October. But the MDC rejected Zanu-PF’s proposed
changes, saying they had already made substantial concessions during the
three years of negotiations.

They said Zanu-PF should have raised its objections during those
negotiations and pointed out that the cabinet minister-level Zanu-PF
negotiators had reported to Mugabe all the way, so he knew what concessions
they had made.

Many MDC officials and analysts believe Zanu-PF is deliberately stalling the
process until the current unity government expires next year, so that they
can go into elections on the old constitution which favours Zanu-PF, as it
would leave its powers intact.

Mugabe appeared to confirm these suspicions when he told his party’s annual
conference last week: “If they do not (agree), I am going to declare sooner
or later the day of an election. Enough is enough. We cannot continue to
drag our feet on this.”

But Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, disagreed,
saying recently: “Zimbabwe clearly is not ready for an election; it’s
impossible to have an election in March. We will limp our way to some form
of acceptable agreement. Our people are tired. They want a solution. They
want peace. So I think we will reach an agreement because everyone is
exhausted.”

If or when it has been finalised, the draft charter is expected to be put to
a referendum, leading to the new elections, which would have to be held by
next October.

The delay in resolving the political impasse is aggravating Zimbabwe’s tough
economic predicament with a recent slow-down in the recovery that began
after the multiparty government was established in February 2009 and began
to repair the damage inflicted on Zimbabwe by 29 years of Zanu-PF rule.

The World Bank warned this week that anxiety over Zimbabwe’s next elections
and lack of clarity on Mugabe’s “indigenisation” policy had created a gloomy
outlook for the economy.

The latest research note released by the bank predicts that Zimbabwe’s
recovery or growth will be 6 percent next year, moderating to 5 percent in
2014 and 2015 “as (the) level of investment remains below potential”, reads
the report in part.

“The outlook remains fragile and clouded by possible compression of exports
due to the unfolding global economic slowdown, the risk of disorderly
unwinding of vulnerabilities in the banking sector, downside risk in the
agricultural sector, potential destabilising effects of (the) indigenisation
programme on the economy, external vulnerability and uncertainty from the
new electoral cycle.”

The World Bank noted Zimbabwe had not entered a sustained path to recovery,
adding that growth in the mining sector was inhibited by limited exploration
affected by increased fees for prospecting and exploration.

The mining sector accounts for more than 50 percent of the country’s
exports.

A manufacturer in Harare said this week: “I think our statistics will show
that the fourth quarter this year has been disastrous.

“We can see persistent decline in manufacturing to a level we last saw
before the collapse in 2008 through hyper-inflation.” - Sunday Independent


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MDC-T, Zanu PF politicians spar over radio signal jamming

http://www.newzimbabwe.com
16/12/2012 00:00:00
by Violet Gonda l VOA
Jamming threat ... VOA's Studio 7

A recent Zanu PF conference proposed to jam the signals of foreign-based radio stations such as VOA’s Studio 7, Radio Voice of the People and SW Radio Africa that party officials accuse of pushing a Western-backed regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. But critics say such a move would deny the majority of people access to important alternative sources of information to make informed decisions.

They argue that President Robert Mugabe’s party wants to continue its domination of the airwaves in order to maintain the status quo. But Zanu PF officials maintain these radio stations are breaking the law and should be jammed. For perspective, VOA reporter Violet Gonda (VG) spoke to the MDC-T’s Settlement Chikwinya (SC) chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Media Information, Publicity and Communications Technology, and Simba Mudarikwa (SM), a Zanu PF official who sits on the same media committee.


SM: Violet, thank you for bringing about that topic and actually noting that unfortunate revolution from the Zanu PF 13th conference. It is quite unfortunate because Zanu PF is a party to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which gave birth to the inclusive government and therefore Zanu PF must be seen to be committed to provisions of the Global Political Agreement. I will refer you to Article 19, sub-section C2 of the GPA, which says the government shall encourage the Zimbabweans running or working for external radio stations, broadcasting into Zimbabwe, to return to Zimbabwe.

We have a case in point of Voice of the People (VOP), which made an application when the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) called for applications when we wanted to issue out licenses for two commercial radio stations. The inclusive government should actually have turned Article 19 from a statement of intent to a statement of action by actioning the provision of licensing VOP - therefore showing its commitment to the provisions of media diversity and plurality.

But unfortunately they only gave them to extensions of ZBC, they only gave them to mouth pieces which can only promote Zanu PF. So it is quite unfortunate that they want to jam foreign funded radio stations when they still control news content here in Zimbabwe.

VG: Mr Mudarikwa?

SM: Let us clear the whole thing. The first and foremost thing - is the only foreign based radio station which applied for a license is VOP. SW Radio Africa did not apply, Studio 7 did not apply. Some local radios applied but did not meet the criteria and they appealed to the Parliamentary Committee on Media and Information - to say we have made an application and this is the anomaly. So these other radios never really even cared to apply and later on never even cared to appeal.

The issue of broadcasting in Zimbabwe is a constitutional issue, it is part of the GPA, as honourable chairperson is mentioning, but radio broadcasting as it stands, I think the honourable chairperson is aware that they are building up base stations in Zimbabwe for community radios. The whole of Zimbabwe there will be community radios. When we met with relevant authorities they were now building base stations for opening up of the airwaves. We now have more than 10 media houses now registered, publishing more than 3 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, monthly magazines, plenty plus. But we must never remain in the past. We must always continue to look into the future.

VG: But Mr Mudarikwa let me just come in there, if you say we must always look into the future, why is it that Zanu PF continues to threaten these external radio stations by wanting to jam their signals?

SM: Why should you broadcast in America for Zimbabwe when there is nobody in Zimbabwe broadcasting to America?

VG: But you know why these radio stations are broadcasting from outside Zimbabwe - mainly because Zanu PF actually controls the airwaves in Zimbabwe…(interrupted)

SM: No, No, No…

VG: Furthermore, if you have a problem with specific broadcasters like Studio 7 or SW Radio Africa, doesn’t it seem unbelievable that you would actually allow these same broadcasters to have FM licences in Zimbabwe?

SM: You can get a licence, that’s why I am saying you are still living in the past. You still believe Zanu PF doesn’t want to hear shortwave radio when we listen all the time. I listen to your station because it actually reaches all the other areas. You think Zanu PF doesn’t want to hear what you say. What is it that you are scared of to make an application?

VG: But VOP was denied a license. That is one example - one of the external radio stations… (interrupted)

SM: No, No, No… Are you VOP?

VG: Zimbabweans have a right to access information from whatever source and basically, why should it be up to a certain political party to determine who should have a license in Zimbabwe?

SM: So what you want is for people to bring license forms to your office so to make an application? Why should you get that special treatment?

VG: Mr Chikwinya your thoughts?

SC: Yes, I’m quite happy that honourable Mudarikwa is actually alluding to the fact that Short Wave Radio Africa and Studio 7 are actually reaching out to all areas in Zimbabwe. That is basically one of the reasons why we are crying out for radio stations with enough capacity to be able to distribute news content to everyone in Zimbabwe - so that people will make informed choices especially at this time when we are going for elections.

However honourable Mudarikwa is a veteran of the liberation struggle - he will know that when Ian Smith muzzled the broadcasting airwaves in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF established a radio station in Mozambique and that radio station managed to assist in waging the liberation struggle until the colonial powers were defeated.

The fact of the matter is that if you muzzle broadcasting space in your own country, people of the same country will move out and establish broadcasting stations operating from other countries which are actually friendly to democratic processes, which are actually friendly to progressive forces which promote democracy and media freedom.

Therefore, it is Violet Gonda a Zimbabwean person who is broadcasting from America. It is actually Jonga Kandemiiri a Zimbabwean child broadcasting from America. So the same concept which worked during the liberation struggle is the same concept which is working now because the people of Zimbabwe, in as far as the media is concerned, are still waging a liberation struggle in order for them to free themselves, for them to be able to actually have media diversity and media plurality.

I am also quite happy that honourable Mudarikwa mentioned about community radio stations. I just want to assist and correct him in this manner. The government of Zimbabwe is planning to establish community radio stations, not community radio stations which are going to be controlled by communities but community radio stations which are going to be controlled by government! And this is again is the same scenario which Ian Smith did during the liberation struggle when he established Radio Jacaranda in Zim.

We are calling for truly community based radio stations, radio stations like Radio Kwela, Radio Makomo in Manicaland, Radio Masvingo in Masvingo province, they are there currently and are ready to establish, but the government does not want to issue them with licenses. It wants to issue state controlled community radio stations where it continues to have an extension of muzzling democratic freedom in as far as media is concerned.

VG: You seem to be crying foul all the time, but what is the MDC doing about this? What are you doing about making sure that there are proper media reforms in Zimbabwe?

SC: The MDC is truly a part in the inclusive government, and as the MDC we have lobbied at the SADC forum that we reform the bodies that actually control the editorial policies that govern news contents at the public broadcasters. You would recall that in August of 2010 SADC made a resolution that the governing bodies of state media - like the Mass Media Trust, the ZBH board - must be reconstituted in recognisance of parliamentary representation of the three political parties, to say the 5-5-3 formation. But the chairperson of cabinet is President Robert Mugabe.

He is the implementer of such resolutions, that’s the first thing. The second issue is that the minister responsible for Media and Information and Publicity is honourable Webster Shamu - again the conduit responsible for bringing the necessary legislation to parliament. But we can only do so much if the executive is reluctant - especially the minister responsible and the President who chairs the cabinet. S we cannot go far. This is why the Prime Minister said on May 3 2011 that ‘if I had a way I was going to fire Webster Shamhu because he is refusing to reconstitute the BAZ, he is refusing to reconstitute the Mass Media Trust, he is refusing to reconstitute the ZBH Act”.

And if Webster Shamu refuses to reconstitute these bodies with the blessing of President Robert Mugabe, we can only place the matter before the public for the public to know that they are being denied media freedoms and media diversity because of the Zanu PF arm in government.

VG: So basically what you are saying is the MDC has failed?

SC: We have not failed because we are not alone; if we were alone we would have said we have failed. We have played our part. We have won the SADC resolutions. We have won even in as far as having a say to the editorial content of even those perceived radio stations which are perceived to be extensions of ZBC - the Star FM and ZiFM.

You and I would agree that Zimbabweans are quite happy to the extent to which Star FM and ZiFM are actually having their editorial content. However, their space is limited because you can see the shadow of George Charamba hovering above them and they are limited.

However, they are trying to please us because we mentioned to them at the time they were licensed that if you are going to be an extension or a clone of Zanu PF, we will make sure that your licenses are revoked. So we have done our apart, but we could do better if we were alone as a government. We could do better if we were in control of the media ministries. We could do better if Morgan Tsvangirai was the President and chair of cabinet.

VG: Mr Mudarikwa, what do you make of these accusations being made by Mr Chikwinya?

SC: We have to look at this thing in an open way. We don’t want to mention names or anything. Honourable Minister Shamu is not the Chairperson of the Media Commission. The Media Commission was legally constituted; the SORC was responsible for interviewing the people in the Media Commission. In that media commission there are people who were recommended by MDC, there are people who were recommended by Zanu PF to be in the media commission. I have the minutes and he (Chikwinya) also has the papers. Everything is in black and white.

Our unfortunate situation is that most of the people who are with ZiFM and Star FM once worked for ZBC. They are doing excellent work now. They have massive listenership but you can’t tell a broadcasting station to say you must be a ‘Chinja maitiro’, that’s not it. A broadcasting station is an independent institution with people who have their own editorial policies. Same applies with your station, you have editorial policy.

And it’s unfortunate that their editorial policy differs with that of MDC. That is part of democracy, we cannot all be the same, we differ in views but at the end of the day we must all agree that we are Zimbabweans, we must broadcast from Zimbabwe.

VG: Unfortunately Mr Mudarikwa and Mr Chikwinya, I’ve run out of time. Thank you very much for talking to us.



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Bill Gates on Zimbabwe safari

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

16/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

AMERICAN billionaire Bill Gates is in Zimbabwe on a safari holiday, reports
said on Sunday.
The Microsoft boss, the world's richest man from 1995 to 2009, arrived in
the country last Tuesday on a six-day visit, according to the Sunday Mail.

The newspaper said Gates, his wife Melinda and their two children touched
down at the Buffalo Range Airport in Chiredzi on a small private jet and
checked into the exclusive Malilangwe Game Reserve.

The Mail said Gates – the world’s second richest man – was staying at the
first-class Singita Pamushana Lodge where a five-bedroom luxury private
boarding costs US$5,785 per night

The Gates family has interests in Zimbabwe. Last year, Melinda – a
world-famous philanthropist – availed a US$5 million fund through the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation for developmental projects in Harare.

The fund is expected to see the construction of houses for low-income
earners and less-privileged members of society in Dzivaresekwa township.

Part of the funds will be used to improve waste management in the capital.

Bill Gates' visit is a boon for the country's tourism industry which has
been on a recovery path since 2009 when a coalition government eased
political tensions in the country.

"'If Gates can holiday in Zimbabwe, then anyone can' is the message that
Zimbabwe will hope to send to the world," said a tourism expert.

Early this year, Donald Jnr and Eric Trump – the sons of American
billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump – were photographed on a big game
hunt in Zimbabwe during which they killed an elephant, a leopard and a
buffalo. The grissly pictures attracted condemnation from animal rights
groups.


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WikiLeaks haunt US ambassador

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Jeffrey Muvundusi, Own Correspondent
Sunday, 16 December 2012 14:10
BULAWAYO - Explosive WikiLeaks diplomatic leaks which exposed how the likes
of political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo advised Americans on best ways to
topple President Robert Mugabe are haunting new US envoy to Zimbabwe Bruce
Wharton.

The leaked cables shook both Zanu PF and the MDC to the core after they
exposed how senior ministers and officials from both parties told different
US envoys how they distasted Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
leadership qualities.

Some, like Moyo were so dutiful in their cooperation with the Americans that
the US envoys referred to him as a “useful messenger”, according to leaked
cables.

It should have been a stroll in the park for Wharton to gain the confidence
of locals behind closed doors since he is a sort of a “local boy”.

Wharton ingratiated himself well with the local fraternity during his stay
in Zimbabwe as an embassy public affairs officer and spokesperson between
1999- 2003.

But the WikiLeaks saga is making Wharton’s job difficult, at a time he
desperately needs to feel the pulse in Zanu PF and the MDC — not from
kowtowing NGO leaders telling him what they know he wants to hear.
Fresh from being snubbed by Bulawayo provincial governor Cain Mathema for a
courtesy call, Wharton readily admitted the disclosed cables are hurting his
efforts.

“WikiLeaks has come up in my conversations. People are concerned,” said the
58-year-old diplomat.

“Officially I can’t confirm nor deny that those supposed telegrams were
genuine. So what I said was that a lot of diplomacy is done on the basis of
trust,” said Wharton.

As part of the new office duties, Wharton visited Bulawayo Province last
week where he met a wide range from politicians, civic society leaders,
artists and HIV activists.

But he could not meet the top man in the province.

Mathema refused to meet with the new ambassador the same way he spurned
Wharton’s predecessor, Charles Ray. Mathema muted something to do with
sanctions, although observes noted meeting a US envoy now would not carry
much favour with Mugabe.

Speaking to journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club later, Wharton admitted
that some of his hosts were concerned and wary about the WikiLeaks issue.

He said one of his early jobs in Zimbabwe is to develop relationships.

“If I tell somebody that they can speak to me in confidence, I am trying to
establish those relationships with people from all of the political parties
in Zimbabwe,” he said.


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Kasukuwere, KFC in chicken war

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Sunday, 16 December 2012 14:10

HARARE - One of the world’s most popular chicken franchises, Kentucky Fried
Chicken (KFC)’s bid to fly back into Zimbabwe is facing huge challenges.

Indegenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere has slammed Kevin James, the
franchise holder for the fast-food giant for opting for South African
imported chickens as he re-establishes KFC in Zimbabwe in the New Year.
Kasukuwere said the move is meant to stifle efforts to empower local
producers.

“We are not going to let this provision hold, with an already flooded
poultry industry, we would be stupid to let James import South African
chickens,” Kasukuwere told the Daily News on Sunday.

“The Finance minister will tell you that our import-export bill is not
looking good so we cannot allow South African chickens into our market,
leave out the fact that their chickens are genetically modified and our food
industry is organic,” Kasukuwere said.

James, owner of Consolidated Farming Investments Limited, a leading investor
in the fast food sector in Zimbabwe, is heading KFC’s re-entry into
Zimbabwe.

James is also the CEO of South Africa-registered company, Country Bird
Holdings Limited, the third largest chicken supplier in that country.

The franchise holder is reportedly lobbying ministers to be allowed to
import chickens from South Africa, the objective being for KFC to be granted
an import duty exemption, or to be allowed to import chickens at a lower
duty tariff.

The last KFC franchise holder in Zimbabwe was Firmside Investments, which
also runs the Wimpy franchise, who got hit by the economic meltdown that
affected Zimbabwe from the turn of the decade to 2009.

David Haslack, an Administrative Director at Irvine’s Chickens (a local
chicken supplier) told the Daily News on Sunday that although the franchiser
had initially approached his organisation for a contract to supply chickens,
KFC pulled out “at the last minute” and abandoned the deal.

In the countries that it operates, KFC has made headlines through the use of
growth hormones on their chickens. This allows them to mass produce chickens
with large body mass at very short time intervals.

Some of these chickens die due to obesity before slaughter.

KFC’s request for special treatment has riled the local poultry industry
which has welcomed the new import duty regime of $1, 50 per kg or 40
percent, whichever is higher.

The Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) said it hoped the new duty regime
would see some of the $65 million spent on imports going to local breeders.

ZPA said although they do not have legislative powers, government is their
last card in the KFC battle.
“As far as we know, South African chickens were banned in Zimbabwe.

“However, as we all know Zimbabwe is looking for foreign investors, so we
will wait and see how government tackles this issue,” said Mario Beffa, an
administrator at ZPA.

“The local poultry industry is already flooded. We hope government will act
in the interest of the nation and make sure KFC make use of local organic
chickens,” said Beffa.

Efforts to get a comment from James were futile as he was said to be out of
the country.


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We are powerless: Zanu PF

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Sunday, 16 December 2012 14:10

HARARE - For three decades, the Zanu PF politburo acted as a de facto
government, directing State arms at every turn.

But President Robert Mugabe and his band are getting used to being reduced
to wishful thinkers harmstrung by a decline that has forced them to share
power in a shaky coalition as well as requiring the regional Sadc body for
actions such as calling elections.

At the recent Zanu PF conference held in Gweru, party cadres again produced
a long wish-list: return of the Zimbabwe dollar, abandoning the
constitution-making process by Christmas, elections by March under the
Lancaster House constitution.

Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo admits the once-mighty “revolutionary party”
simply no longer wields the power to effect resolutions it has consistently
passed at different gatherings in the past four years.

He told the Daily News on Sunday after the conclusion of Zanu PF’s annual
pilgrimage that the party is suffering from “the reality on the ground”.

“What happens in terms of implementation is that sometimes the resolutions
we make are torpedoed by the reality on the ground. We cannot just force
things through without considering what the situation demands,” he said.

“In some instances, the situation dictates that we change tact,” Gumbo said.

The Zanu PF information supremo was responding to questions on why his party
has continued to demand elections, the return of the Zimbabwe dollar and
self-renewal through integrating youths into its higher echelons without
seeing these through.

Since Mugabe was forced into a coalition government by Sadc and the African
Union in the aftermath of the disputed 2008 presidential election run-off,
the Zimbabwean strongman has taken every opportunity to declare he would
dissolve Parliament and call for elections to no avail.

His wishes have come unstuck as power-sharing Global Political Agreement
(GPA) guarantor Sadc has put its foot down and demanded reforms first, in
particular a new constitution.

As one of its resolutions last week, Mugabe’s party demanded that those
saddled with crafting a new governance charter for the country come up with
an agreeable draft by Christmas or its leader calls for elections.

“The party implores the GPA parties to conclude the constitution-making
process before Christmas this year, failing which the Head-of-State and
Commander-in-Chief of the defence forces should in terms of the law issue
the relevant proclamation dissolving Parliament and fixing a date for the
holding of harmonised elections under the current Constitution,” the
resolutions read.

Then big brother (Sadc)spoke to the effect that Zanu PF was dreaming.

A Sadc Extraordinary Summit of the Heads State and Government held in
Tanzania during the same week poured cold water on the Zanu PF demands, by
issuing its own resolutions demanding that the coalition partners in
Zimbabwe complete the constitution-making process before any election is
held.

“Summit urged the political stakeholders in Zimbabwe to fully implement the
GPA and urged the political stakeholders to finalise the constitutional
process including referendum before the holding of...the elections in 2013,”
the resolutions read in part.

A man who has constantly denied Zanu PF’s wish of turning the Zimdollar,
Finance minister Tendai Biti, said some of Zanu PF’s resolutions belong to
dreamland.

In an interview with South African cable television channel e-TV Africa,
Biti said Zimbabwe’s struggling economy cannot sustain the return of the
country’s comatose currency.

“The currency of any country is related to production. We have a disastrous
current account position where our imports are three times the size of our
exports. We need to work on the supply side, reforms and create an economy
that can sustain the return of the Zimdollar,” Biti said.

“Zanu PF has no capacity to run the economy and that is why we are in this
mess. They are trying to score cheap political points,” Biti said.

Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn president Simba Makoni, who reportedly left the party to
contest the 2008 elections as a strategy to neutralise votes and save Mugabe
from outright defeat, said Zanu PF should not be taken seriously anymore.

“Zanu PF is very insignificant in the life of Zimbabweans going forward.
Nobody takes what they say seriously anymore. This party does not have the
energy or capacity for self- renewal,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

He said Mugabe and Zanu PF were on a leash.

“Mugabe and his party’s political livelihoods are dependent on Sadc hence
they would not do anything to antagonise the regional body. It is all
political hogwash,” Makoni said.

Political analyst Jonah Gokova said Zanu PF has lost capacity to generate
new ideas.

“This party has lost capacity to generate new ideas. We need new thinking,
not the constant recycling of slogans, policies and people.

“They should be thankful to Sadc for delaying their demise. If they continue
on this path with no innovation as we go for elections, I can tell you the
end of Zanu PF is nigh,” Gokova said.

“The resolutions coming out of Gweru show that Zanu PF is not ready for
elections even if they are held in June. It is all rhetoric, hot air
signifying nothing,” he said.

Gumbo, on the other hand, insisted that Zanu PF is grooming young people for
leadership.

“We hold workshops and youths have been urged to take up various positions
in the party. They just need to understand the party ideology, values and
our inspiration. The willingness is there,” he said.


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Mugabe forgives Zanu-PF bribe-seeking Ministers

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

Staff Reporter 7 hours 23 minutes ago

CORRUPT ministers fingered in high level graft by President Robert Mugabe at
the just-ended ZANU-PF people’s conference have been let off the hook with
no action likely to be taken against them until Parliament is dissolved
before next year’s polls.
The ZANU-PF leader divulged at the party’s indaba held in Gweru that former
South African president Thabo Mbeki had told him that some local ministers
had demanded kickbacks from South Africans who were seeking to invest in the
country, claiming President Mugabe also wanted a share of the spoils.
Although President Mugabe did not state when the report was made to him by
Mbeki, no minister has been arrested or investigated despite the seriousness
of the claims, with the former generalising that those who are corrupt would
be fired.
This week, Mbeki’s spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga declined to reveal the
names of those said to have been exposed by the former South African leader.
“I think you should approach the spokesperson for President Mugabe.
“The matter did not reach the public domain via us. It reached through
President Mugabe,” said Ratshitanga.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba could not be immediately reached
for comment.
However, sources in ZANU-PF said two of the party’s ministers who are among
the most active Cabinet ministers were at the centre of the scam.
They also claimed that President Mugabe was not likely to crack the whip on
the two ministers as they were part of those who submitted reports on their
respective departments at the conference, with nothing being mentioned about
their actions.
Besides lifting the lid on Mbeki’s claims, President Mugabe in a foreword to
the Central Committee report presented at the party’s conference also
revealed that the corruption cancer has extended to some ministers deployed
by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations, but again no action
has been taken.
“The leadership of the opposition MDC formations have spent their time in
office lining up their pockets and seeking the trappings of luxury but with
no achievements to show on the policy front.
None whatsoever! In the process, the leadership of the opposition MDC
formations have abandoned their own supporters for self aggrandisement,”
said President Mugabe.
Critics say a number of known looters occupy positions in government, but
no action has been taken against them, with the Anti-Corruption Commission
proving to be a toothless bulldog bent only on draining the fiscus with no
tangible results on the ground. There are unconfirmed allegations that some
of its commissioners have since joined the gravy train.


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Ex-player Adam Ndlovu killed in crash, Peter improving

http://in.reuters.com

Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:00pm IST

REUTERS - A car accident in Zimbabwe on Sunday killed former professional
footballer Adam Ndlovu and seriously injured his younger brother Peter.

The brothers, who both represented Zimbabwe at international level, were
travelling to a friendly match when their BMW X5 struck a tree near Victoria
Falls after a tyre burst.

Elder brother Adam, 42, spent seven seasons playing in Switzerland
representing SC Kriens and SR Delemont before moving to FC Zurich.

The younger Ndlovu, 39-year-old Peter, had a lengthy career in England
between 1991 and 2004 where he made over 400 appearances for Coventry City,
Birmingham City and Sheffield United.

An update on his condition was given to the BBC by a close friend and former
manager Winston Makamure, who said: "Peter is now out of danger. He is now
conscious and is communicating.

"He has internal injuries, head injuries, broken ribs and a broken leg."

Former club Coventry City, the first English club to discover and offer
Peter Ndlovu a playing contract, issued a statement upon hearing news of the
accident.

"Coventry City sends its best wishes and condolences to the Ndlovu family
who will be in our thoughts," a statement posted on Coventry's website said.

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also offered his condolences to
the Ndlovu family.

In message posted on his Twitter account, Tsvangirai said: "I am saddened at
the passing on of Adam Ndlovu and injury of Peter. My prayers are with the
Ndlovu family. I wish Peter a speedy recovery."


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Mugabe risks isolation if he defies SADC

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

Staff Reporter 7 hours 8 minutes ago

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe risks regional isolation if he resists pressure from
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to institute requisite
reforms ahead of next year’s polls.
SADC leaders, meeting in Tanzania last weekend summit to discuss the region’s
trouble spots, urged the political stakeholders in Zimbabwe to fully
implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA) before holding fresh
elections after an inconclusive presidential poll in June 2008.
The summit further urged President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube to finalise the
constitution-making process.
ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
are deadlocked over contentious issues in the draft constitution produced by
the Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) although an
executive committee drawn from the three parties has been set-up to try and
find common ground on the sticky issues.
The MDCs accuse ZANU-PF of being directly responsible for the slow
implementation of the GPA as well as being unwilling to implement agreed
reforms.
Addressing the ZANU-PF people’s conference in Gweru last week, President
Mugabe threatened to dissolve Parliament and proceed to call for elections
if a three-member Cabinet committee set up to unlock the impasse failed to
resolve the contentious issues by the end of this month.
The ZANU-PF leader added that if the new constitution was not ready by the
end of this year, the country would revert to the compromise Lancaster House
Constitution under which fresh harmonised polls would be held in March next
year without fail.
But regional diplomatic sources yesterday said SADC and the African Union
(AU), the guarantors of the power-sharing pact, would continue to apply
pressure on President Mugabe and ZANU-PF “to listen to the voice of reason”
and adhere to the latest regional resolution.
South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC appointed mediator in the
Zimbabwe crisis, who last Friday briefed the regional grouping on his
facilitation in Harare, is expected to raise the issue at next month’s AU
annual summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
While the ZANU-PF conference resolved that elections be held in March next
year without fail, regional diplomats said President Mugabe should at least
ensure that minimum conditions needed to hold free and fair elections were
in place as per SADC guidelines.
There is concern in the region that reforms agreed under the GPA have not
been implemented nearly four years after the consummation of the
power-sharing pact.
President Mugabe’s partners in the GPA are pushing for wide-sweeping
security sector reforms, something the ZANU-PF leader has publicly stated is
tantamount to effecting regime change.
The MDCs accuse the state security agents, including the military and
police, of being complicit in the political violence that charcterised the
2008 presidential elections, and further want the role of state security
agents in the next elections clarified.
While the disputed Broadcasting Authority of Zimba-bwe (BAZ) has
controversially awarded two independent broadcasting licences to companies
said to have links with ZANU-PF, the MDC formations want BAZ re-constituted
as agreed by the principals in the GPA in 2011.
They also want the State-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which is
seen as a mouth-piece of ZANU-PF, to be transformed into a truly public
broadcaster that serves every citizen irrespective of their political
affiliation and there are also calls for the establishment of community
radio and television stations.
On its part, ZANU-PF has demanded the unconditional removal of sanctions and
the disbanding of foreign-based radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe
from the United States and the United Kingdom.
ZANU-PF’s partners in the GPA have also raised concerns over the
independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission they claim is staffed with
officers from the military and the Office of the Registrar-General.
There are allegations the country’s voters’ roll is shambolic as it still
comprises names of dead people.
The SADC resolution on the need for Zimbabwe’s political gladiators to fully
implement the GPA ahead of polls has received rave views from the country’s
civil society organisations that of late have been on a lobbying crusade
around the region, push- ing SADC leaders to ensure the country held free
and fair polls.
Gladys Hlatywayo, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Civic Education
Trust, said the resolutions were highly commendable and in line with what
civil society has been lobbying for in the region.
“The reason why the GPA came into being was because of a disputed election
hence it’s only logical to ensure that all is in place before the next
election to avoid yet another discredited election. Without reforms, it is
clear that we are heading towards disaster, a sham election,” said
Hlatywayo.
She added that it was clear that SADC would not support an election that is
rashed without full implementation of the GPA.
But Hlatywayo was quick to add that it was very likely that ZANU-PF would
try to dig in and even force an election in the absence of reforms, judging
from pronouncements emanating from the party’s just-ended conference held
last week in Gweru.
“ZANU-PF might want to appear as renegades who do not play by the book, but
they will not enjoy the endorsement of SADC.
“I think they will emerge weaker and exposed in that scenario.
“After all, SADC has been acting as a buffer protecting ZANU-PF from
missiles from the rest of the world. They will have no one to turn to and
their Pan African rhetoric will crumble,” she said.
Phillian Zamchiya, the regional coordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, said President Mugabe risked isolation if he defies SADC’s latest
resolution on Zimbabwe.
“I am confident that SADC will be able to apply pressure to Presi-dent
Mugabe to implement the necessary reforms.
“I think already he is becoming isolated and SADC is losing patience with
(President) Mugabe and ZANU-PF yet SADC is their last line of defence,” said
Zamchiya. - Financial Gazette


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Stone Age Attitude – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th December 2012

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8486/8276016188_ba17a77506_m.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8347/8276033578_c8673d6647_m.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8356/8274959691_6525048b49_m.jpg

The results of the 2011 census in England and Wales were released this week and they show some extraordinary changes since the last stocktaking a decade earlier.

What naturally interested us as Zimbabweans in the UK is that the figures showed a surge in immigration which has left white British people as a minority in London.

Last year 7.5 million residents of England and Wales were foreign-born, making up 13% (or 1 in 8) of the population of 56.1 million. Fourteen per cent of the population described themselves as non-white.

People from all over the world, including us Zimbabweans, have made a home in the UK and more than 140 languages are spoken. So much for the idea that the British speak only English! “British”? Yes, immigrants are invited to be British.

The situation here is in stark contrast to the Stone Age racist culture at home, where even people whose families have lived there for generations are not considered to be Zimbabweans – not only whites but Malawians, Zambians, Mozambicans etc. (Zanu PF does not discriminate in its bigotry!)

One of the repulsive elements in the joke of a constitution which has been accepted by all parties is institutionalized racism. Here in our new home in the UK racism is illegal. Britain embraces the new: Zimbabwe is stuck in the past.

For the Vigil one of the most depressing of the resolutions passed at Zanu PF’s Gweru Conference called for increased censorship of foreign broadcasts and means of communication.

We Zimbabweans in exile believe there is no future in shutting out the world and looking backwards.

Other points

The Vigil noted with amusement Mugabe’s comment at the Gweru conference: ‘Looking back to April 2009 when Copac was set up, after a long, inexplicable and wasted 44 months, it is clear that the electoral cowards and enemies of the values and ideal of our liberation struggle have violated public trust by abusing their participation in the GPA-mandated constitution-making process to sabotage our electoral process.’ (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec11_2012.html#Z8 – Zanu PF admits losing support).

Wave after wave of jolly Father Christmases (some of them seemed to be Mother Christmases) passed the Vigil, many joining in our dancing and signing our petitions. We sold out of our stock of ‘Mugabe must go’ bracelets.

We had with us a student from Edinburgh making his second visit to talk to people at the Vigil about what motivated exiles to keep working for change in their home countries. He is preparing a documentary film and he remarked how friendly and helpful people at the Vigil were.

The distressed lady we looked after last week was put in touch with her family and is now in hospital for treatment. She phoned us today to thank the the Vigil for our help.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th December from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani). To download the band’s theme song Vigil Yedu visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to www.justgiving.com/Mike-Campbell-Foundation.

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


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COURT WATCH 22/2012 of 15th December [Court News and Judgments in By-Elections and Maguwu/CIO Cases]

COURT WATCH 22/2012

[15th December 2012]

Court News

Court Closure for Holidays

The Supreme Court and the High Court started their six-week Christmas “court vacation” on 1st December. The vacation will end when the first court term of 2013 begins on Monday 14th January 2013. The 2013 court calendars for the Labour Court, Supreme Court and High Court have just been re-gazetted in GNs 605/2012 and 606/2012 [available from veritas@mango.zw].

During the vacation no appeals, trials and contested court applications will be heard. This does not mean that all the judges will be on holiday for the whole of the period. Duty judges will be available at all times to deal with urgent matters and chamber applications. Since 1st December, for example, High Court Judge-President Chiweshe sitting in chambers dealt with the latest episode in the Kunonga/Anglican Church case, and in the Supreme Court a chamber application has been heard for bail for accused persons in the Glen View murder case.

Circuit Courts Revived in Magistrates Courts

The Judicial Service Commission has announced that since it took over the administration of the judicial service in 2010, it has succeeded in reactivating 37 magistrates circuit courts. These courts had been shut down in 2008 owing to lack of resources and essential staff. All 50 prescribed circuit courts are now operational. Circuit court arrangements permit resident magistrates to hold court periodically – say, once a week – in remote parts of their magisterial districts, eliminating the expense and inconvenience involved in witnesses and police having to travel long distances for court hearings and bringing justice closer to home.

Justices of Peace for Attorney General’s Office

In accordance with a previous long-standing practice, the Attorney General, his three Deputy Attorneys-General and 15 State Counsel Grades I and II have been gazetted as Justices of the Peace by the co-Ministers of Home Affairs. Under the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act, Justices of the Peace are ex officio commissioners of oaths and also have powers to have disturbers of the peace arrested. Under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act they also have power to issue arrest warrants, search warrants and warrants for further detention of arrested persons. But, unlike English Justices of the Peace, they do not judge cases in courts.

Two recent High Court Judgements Available

The By-Elections Case: The President v Bhebhe, Mguni and Mpofu

Note: The official text of Judge President Chiweshe’s latest judgement in the High Court in the by-elections case has become available. It contains the reasons for his decision of 17th October [see summary of third High Court case below] which extended the deadline to the 31st March 2013 for by-elections to be called.

Background In August 2009 three sitting MPs lost their House of Assembly seats after their expulsion from the party [then MDC-M] on whose ticket they had been elected in the 2008 general election. Under the Constitution and the Electoral Act, the President should have promptly called by-elections to fill the vacancies. But, as with the many other Parliamentary vacancies that have arisen since July 2008, no by-elections were called.

Summary of Cases [see Court Watch 14/2012 of 28th July and Bill Watch 43/2011 of 14th October 2011 for more detail]

First High Court decision In mid-2010 the three former MPs, wanting to seek re-election in their former constituencies, applied to the High Court for an order compelling the President to call by-elections. Despite the President’s opposition, Justice Ndou granted an order in October 2011 directing the President to gazette dates for all three by-elections within fourteen days. The President appealed to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court decision In July 2012, the Supreme Court, after hearing full argument, rejected the President’s arguments and dismissed the appeal, but altered the High Court order’s out-of-date 2011 deadline and gave the President until the end of August 2012 to act. Under the altered High Court order the President was “ordered to publish in the Gazette a notice ordering new elections to fill the vacancies as soon as possible but by no later than 30 August 2012”. The Supreme Court said its reasons for its decision would be handed down later, but they have still not been released.

Second High Court decision At the end of August, just before the Supreme Court’s deadline expired, the President applied to the High Court for an order extending to the 1st October “the period within which to comply with” the deadline set by the Supreme Court. Mr Bhebhe and his fellow would-be MPs consented to this being done, and the extension was granted by Justice Chiweshe on that basis. Because the three agreed to the extension, there was no need for written reasons for judgment to be given.

Third High Court decision At the end of September the President applied to the High Court for another extension, this time to 31st March 2013. The affidavit justifying the request was made by Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa; it explained in detail that the reason for the application was that the Government was “yet to mobilise the resources with which to conduct the three by-elections”, i.e., a repetition of the reason given in August. This time there was spirited opposition from Mr Bhebhe and his colleagues, but Justice Chiweshe, on 17th October, granted the President’s application and gave the President until 31st March 2013 to gazette dates for by-elections, saying his written judgment would follow. [This is the judgment now available and summarised below.]

Justice Chiweshe’s Judgment [available from veritas@mango.zw]

Jurisdiction Justice Chiweshe dismissed the argument that he had no jurisdiction to extend a deadline ordered by the Supreme Court. He said that the Supreme Court had merely altered Justice Ndou’s original order without substantially changing its nature; Justice Ndou’s order therefore remained extant as a High Court order, meaning that the High Court accordingly had a discretion “on good cause shown” to extend the time within which it own order should be executed.

President’s explanation for delay accepted as “reasonable” Having first stated that “it stands to reason that without resources the by-elections cannot be held notwithstanding any order of this court to the contrary”, Justice Chiweshe held that the President had shown good cause for an extension by demonstrating that the Government lacked the necessary resources to conduct by-elections.. No reason had been advanced to doubt the averment in Mr Chinamasa’s affidavit to that effect. The judge likened this to a plea of impossibility of performance, and constituted a reasonable basis for granting an extension.

Objection to the Chinamasa affidavit dismissed There was an objection to the acceptance of Mr Chinamasa’s affidavit, because he had not produced written authority to testify on behalf of the President. Justice Chiweshe dismissed the objection, ruling that by virtue of his Ministerial position Mr Chinamasa had authority to speak for the President. He also dismissed an objection that the application did not qualify as “urgent”.

Appeal noted Dissatisfied, Mr Bhebhe, Mr Mguni and Mr Mpofu noted an appeal to the Supreme Court. Their grounds of appeal include the point that as a High Court judge Justice Chiweshe had no power to cannot modify a Supreme Court decision. The hearing of the appeal cannot take place until the first court term of 2013, which starts on 14th January.

Comment: Perhaps the noting of the appeal will spur the Supreme Court to speed up the release of its written judgment giving the reasons for its decision of 12th July. As the Government’s claimed lack of the financial resources needed to conduct by-elections was one of the grounds put to the Supreme Court when it first heard this case, current arguments between the parties’ lawyers about the relevance or otherwise of this excuse are taking place without the parties knowing the Supreme Court’s thinking on it.

Illegal confiscation of property by CIO: The Farai Maguwu Case

Background Farai Maguwu is the director of the Centre for Research and Development, a Zimbabwean advocacy group well-known for its documentation of human rights abuses in the Marange diamond field. In September 2011 he went to Harare International Airport en route to a Human Rights Defenders conference in Ireland. After checking in for his flight and passing through immigration formalities, he was intercepted by a man and a woman in civilian dress who refused to identify themselves, but later turned out to be CIO agents. Without giving reasons, they searched his person and luggage, and without providing any warrant of seizure or inventory, seized and retained his boarding pass and certain items of property, including laptop, wallet, US $2000 and camera. Forced to abandon his flight, Mr Maguwu reported the incident to the police and made an urgent application to the High Court to recover his property. He was granted a provisional order for the return of his property pending the hearing of an application for a final order to declare the seizure unlawful and to compel the disclosure of the identities of the two CIO agents. The provisional order was directed to, among others, Minister Sekeramayi, the Minister of State for State Security, under whose authority the CIO falls.

The property was not returned and the Minister opposed Mr Maguwu’s application for a final order. He disputed Mr Maguwu’s claims as to what had been confiscated [denying taking of the valuables], claimed that his department had received intelligence information that Mr Maguwu was going to Ireland to “subvert the government of Zimbabwe” and claimed there was nothing legally wrong in any of the actions taken by his agents.

Justice Mathonsi rejects CIO defence

Justice Mathonsi was not impressed by the Minister’s opposition. He rejected the Minister’s evidence that Mr Maguwu’s laptop and other valuables had not been seized, declared the seizure of all his property by the State agents “wrongful, unlawful and unjustified” and ordered its return. A person's property, said the judge, can only be seized under the authority of the law, and neither the Minister nor his lawyer had been able to cite any law giving the CIO agents such authority [full judgment available from veritas@mango.zw].

CIO must comply with the law Referring to the Minister’s reliance on State security and the fact that the CIO does not operate under any law, Justice Mathonsi said: “Zimbabwe is a democratic country which subscribes to the law ... State security is undeniably paramount, but what is done in pursuit of State security must be justifiable in a democratic society and must conform to the rule of law”. On the facts, the judge said the Minister had “flatly refused to disclose the identity of the State agents who conducted the seizure” and had contented himself with “hedging behind vague allegations of subverting the Government.” He had failed to demonstrate any basis for action under the State’s general powers of seizure in terms of section 49 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which requires the existence of reasonable grounds for suspecting the commission of an offence.

Note: One of the disputed issues in the Roadmap to Elections is the MDC-T’s demand for the enactment of an Act of Parliament to regulate the CIO and subject it to Parliamentary oversight. The COPAC draft constitution does not make such an Act essential, but says there must be either an Act or a Presidential or Cabinet directive or order establishing the CIO; and also that the CIO “must be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to the civilian authority”.

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

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