The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Army joins forces with China for $2 Billion gas & coal project

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 December 2012

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma was sidelined from the
US$2 billion coal and methane gas project that was commissioned on
Wednesday.

The project, which falls under his ministry’s jurisdiction, was commissioned
by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the defence minister.

Mangoma told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that everything to do with the gas
project was done behind his back. The minister was even excluded from the
ground breaking ceremony in Gwayi.

‘I wasn’t even invited to the ceremony and I don’t even know that the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces are involved in the project,’ Mangoma said.

The deal is a joint project between Sunlight Energy of China and Old Stones
Investment, an arm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. ZDF commander General
Constantine Chiwenga was present at the commissioning.

‘I have been getting phone calls from people asking why I wasn’t at the
ceremony. The honest truth is I was never invited and the whole thing was
done behind my back,’ the minister added.

Operations at the project are set to start next year and according to the
state media will create 4,000 jobs. Two power stations will be built and
powered by coal mined in the area.

Reports say the investment will also create a chemical company which will
utilize the methane gas to manufacture fertilizer and coal tar for road
construction.

However it is the military’s involvement and the lack of transparency that
is raising eyebrows. Economic analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga said concern will
be raised over the secretiveness of the deal that is meant to benefit the
country.

‘We know of the plunder in Marange and the question to be asked is will the
gas project be transparent to the extent that the public would be informed
of the exact resources generated from the operations,’ queried Mhlanga.

According to a recent report $2 Billion worth of gems have so far been
stolen from the Marange diamonds fields by President Robert Mugabe’s ruling
elite.

Partnership Africa Canada, a group campaigning against ‘blood diamonds’,
claims revenue that could have revived the country’s ailing economy has been
channelled into a ‘parallel government’ of police and military officers and
government officials loyal to Mugabe,

The Marange fields were discovered in 2006 and are one of the world’s
biggest diamond deposits. But funds from diamond sales have not reached the
state treasury and there is evidence that millions have gone to Mugabe’s
inner circle.


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DR Congo Crisis: Zimbabwean troops advance into North Kivu province

http://www.afriquejet.com/

Zimbabwean troop into North Kivu - Zimbabwean troops, some of them on
military tanks, have been advancing progressively into several places in
North Kivu province, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC), marking the escalation of tension near the border with Rwanda, PANA
reported, quoting journalists reporting from that part of Congo.

They said that the movement had affected the recent calm in the area.

Zimbabwean infantry units were reported present in Goma and Bukavu's suburbs
(North and South Kivu), according to Rwanda's newspaper online 'igihe.com'.

They said the M23 rebel fighters in North Kivu were readying their weapons
to repulse any offensive likely to be launched by a joint Congo regular
forces-Zimbabwean troops.

The Zimbabwean movement has come as a surprise since Robert Mugabe's
government had previously shown reluctance to deploy its troops to DRC to
help drive out M23 rebels from some strategic cities under its control.

Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia mobilized troops in 1998 to help DRC, under
Laurent Desire Kabila, beat back armed rebel groups about to overrun
Kinshasa, the DRC capital.

Pana 20/12/2012


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At least 800 typhoid cases recorded in Zimbabwe's capital

http://www.globaltimes.cn

Xinhua | 2012-12-20 10:16:15
By Agencies

A fresh outbreak of typhoid has hit Harare, Zimbabwe's capital city, since
October this year, with at least 800 cases of typhoid have so far been
recorded.

The disease that is being blamed on contaminated boreholes has spread to the
dormitory town of Chitungwiza since October, according to reports by New
Ziana on Wednesday.

Speaking during a full council meeting, Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi said
the cases in districts like Glenview, Dzivarasekwa and Budiriro were as a
result of contaminated boreholes.

Mahachi said that of the 235 boreholes sunk in the city since 2008, 19 were
polluted and we did superchlorification but three remained contaminated.

He said efforts were underway to stabilize the situation. "We have partnered
with a company which is assisting in buying inline chlorinators and we are
going to put them on all boreholes to make the water safe," he said.

The government has reactivated a taskforce to deal with the outbreak of
typhoid and cholera amid fears it could reach the 2008 proportions.

Zimbabwe has over the past four years suffered from outbreaks of waterborne
diseases with stakeholders admitting it was a result of the lack of safe
water and proper waste management.


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Zimbabwe and China ink $400 mn electricity deal


(AFP) – 4 hours ago
HARARE — Zimbabwe signed a $400 million deal with China's state-owned
SinoHydro on Thursday to increase electricity production and ease daily
blackouts.
The deal will mean a 400 megawatt upgrade for the Kariba Hydro power station
on the Zambezi river, meeting an extra 18 percent of peak demand.
"We know that this project is badly needed to meet the requirement of the
life of the people," said Yuzhi Wang, a SinoHydro official.
Zimbabwe production shortfall leaves residents without power for as many as
12 hours a day.
The country needs around 2,200 megawatts at peak consumption, but generates
just under 1,300 megawatts thanks to increased demand, ageing equipment and
a lack of investment.
"Zimbabwe and indeed the whole southern African region faces a critical
power shortage and will continue to do so in the next few years," said
Victor Gapare, chairman of the state-backed Zimbabwe Power Company.
Plans are also underway to revamp the Hwange thermal power station in the
west of the country


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Govt owes €16m

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 19:18
ZANU-PF has acknowledged that the takeover of farms covered by the Bilateral
Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) during the chaotic
land reform programme over the past decade plunged the country into debt,
which it will be forced to pay up despite claims by the party that
compensation for farms taken was out of the question.
A Central Committee report to the ZANU-PF 13th people’s conference held two
weeks ago revealed that the farms covered under the BIPPAs remain a headache
to the government after Dutch farmers approached the International Centre
for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and won a claim of 16 million
Euros.
Although the report does not say how many BIPPA farms were acquired, ZANU-PF
acknowledges this debt along with another yet to be finalised claim by a
German family, of US$600 million.
“The Dutch farmers who took the country to the ICSID and won have not been
paid. In addition, a German family, the Von Pezolds’ have also taken us to
the ICSID for their farms (Forrester Estates and Border Timbers properties),
which we acquired and partly resettled,” says the report.
Some of the farms since acquired by government covered by BIPPAs are of
nationalities from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands and
Switzerland.
The BIPPAs require that government pay fair compensation in currency of
former owners’ choice for both land and improvements for farms acquired.
According to the ZANU-PF report, the Dutch farmers who won at the ICSID
still remain unpaid.
The report states that the Attorney General’s Office is preparing the
country’s defence outline with regards to the Von Pezolds’ claim of US$600
million.
According to the Bretton Woods project, the ICSID, which is part of the
World Bank Group, is an arbitration forum between governments and foreign
investors to settle investment disputes.
Investment and free-trade treaties offer compensation to foreign investors
if the government from the 'host' country 'expropriates' the investment or
disrupts it. Most treaties contain an investor-state dispute resolution
mechanism.
Using this mechanism, companies can by-pass domestic courts and go directly
to international arbitration when they believe their contracted rights have
been violated.
The website www.brettonwoodsproject.org states that ICSID is known as a
secretive court as no arbitration has permitted public attendance.
“Reports of the tribunals need not be published if a disputing party
objects. ICSID, operating as an ad hoc arbitration panel and not a court
with permanent judges, lacks a formal appeals process. Instead there is a
review committee, which lacks the power to overturn judgments made by the
original panel,” says the website.
The Bretton Woods project says 70 percent of ICSID cases have favoured the
investor with the legal fees and arbitration costs borne by the losing
party.
Meanwhile, the ZANU-PF Central Committee report states that there are 210
former white farmers under prosecution for failure to vacate gazetted land
as required by the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act Chapter
20:28 of 2006, the majority of who had been given time to wind up their
operations.
“Some of these whites are citing support from party members for refusing to
vacate their former farms,” says the report. — Staff Reporter


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Zanu PF says 30 issues holding up new charter

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

19/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PROSPECTS of a new constitution under the current unity establishment dimmed
even further on Thursday with Zanu PF announcing a bloated list of 30 issues
it says are stalling progress.

The startling revelations emerged even as some officials in both MDC
formations have been saying only a few unresolved matters remain.

An inter-party ministerial panel formed last month to deal with the enduring
disagreements on the charter failed to meet for the third time on Wednesday.

Zanu PF Copac co-chair Paul Mangwana said among the outstanding issues were
devolution, dual citizenship, executive powers, Land Commission, reform of
the security sector and the judiciary.

“There are 30 sticky issues, not two as touted by other people,” Mangwana
told the Herald.

He accused the MDC-T of not committing itself to finalisation of the
long-delayed constitution.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga would not say how many issues
of contestation remain, but some in his party have been claiming about six.

Mangwana vowed that his party will not compromise on issues that it claims
were rejected by delegates at the last stakeholders conference, including
dual citizenship.

“Delegates at the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference were clear that they
want what is in the current Citizenship Act where there is no dual
citizenship, but the MDC-T does not want that,” he told state media.

Some of the contested issues as claimed by Mangwana include:

# Executive powers - No agreement on whether the executive authority should
be vested in the President only or in the President and Cabinet.

# No agreement on whether or not the President should seek approval of
parliament when declaring war.

# Zanu PF wants the President empowered to declare war before informing
parliament.

# Security sector - MDC-T does not want a General to be transferred from one
defense arm to another.

# No agreement on whether the constitution should provide for appointment of
the minister responsible for police.

# Judiciary – Disagreement on whether there should be a separate
Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court should transfer itself into a
Constitutional Court when there are constitutional issues arising.

# Differences on whether or not the Clerk of Parliament should preside over
the election of House Speaker or Senate president.”

# Land Commission – Zanu PF wants land commission scrapped, but MDC
formations favour it.

# Attorney-General – Disagreement on fate of Attorney-General’s office and
introduction of a National Prosecuting Authority to assumes prosecutorial
functions, currently a mandate of the AG.

# Devolution – Zanu PF wants it removed saying it may encourage secession
movements.

# Appointment of governors – Disagreement on whether or not governors should
be indirectly elected or appointed by the President.

# Disagreement on whether the Constitution should provide for the
appointment of a civil service minister.

# Whether or not there should be term limits for Clerk of Parliament, chief
executive officers or heads of statutory bodies.

# Whether or not judges must be guided by the ideals of the liberation
struggle in their interpretation of the law.

# Running mates for presidential candidates.

The endless list of argumentative issues emerged as the MDC-T’s National
Council vowed after a Wednesday meeting that it will not cave to Zanu PF’s
demands.

“The party reaffirmed its endorsement of the Copac draft describing it as “a
panacea to the socio-economic and political crisis confronting Zimbabwe,” a
party resolution said.

It also said that elections should be held only the "implementation of the
agreed road man, when all requisite reforms necessary to create a legitimate
credible and sustainable election have been attended to."

A recent Zanu PF conference resolved that if there is still no common ground
on the new charter by Christmas, President Robert Mugabe should dissolve
parliament and call new elections without reforms.


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Tsvangirai says no to Mugabe

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Thursday, 20 December 2012 12:54

HARARE - The MDC says it has resisted Zanu PF demands to amend the draft
constitution and is hoping that today’s meeting between its leader Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and security sector commanders will help end
militarisation of civilian life.

Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary general, said his party will not allow Zanu
PF to railroad amendments that have a bearing on the free conduct of
elections next year.

Zanu PF has made 24 amendments to the Copac-written draft constitution but
Biti yesterday said only piecemeal concessions have been given to Zanu PF,
while major issues such as the issue of a running mate, the whittling of
presidential powers, devolution and the establishment of a prosecuting
authority have not been altered.

While Mugabe says Principals — Tsvangirai and Industry and Commerce minister
Welshman Ncube and himself, have the final say on the contents of the final
draft, Biti said the people of Zimbabwe are the prime principals.

“We remain committed to the Copac (the parliamentary body charged with
writing a new constitution) draft. This final draft should be taken to the
people of Zimbabwe who are the true principals."

“We have resolved to resist attempts by Zanu PF to revise the draft
constitution. Any changes that have been made to the draft have been very
few and insignificant, because we agreed before the Second All-Stakeholders’
Conference that where there is agreement there will be no changes,” said
Biti after a national council meeting yesterday.

Faced with an unyielding MDC, Mugabe has in the past threatened to declare
elections with or without a new constitution.

But Biti yesterday said Tsvangirai as a Principal will have a say on the
date for the much-awaited election as the “date for the next election will
be process-driven”.

Among other reforms that the MDC insists should be met before polls are held
are security sector realignment, media reform and a brand new voter
registration exercise.

The MDC’s last national council meeting this year also resolved to adopt a
code of conduct for the beckoning watershed election and a referendum.

“...urges the endorsement of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties by
the Facilitator to the Zimbabwe dialogue, Sadc and the African Union as
guarantors to the Zimbabwe dialogue,” read one of the party’s resolutions.

Today, Tsvangirai will come face to face with security chiefs some of whom
have vowed not to salute him even if he is elected by the majority.

Biti said the National Security Council meeting which includes service
chiefs, security ministers and Mugabe at State House will discuss the
continued incarceration of five MDC activists who are still languishing in
remand prison.

“Our comrades who are still incarcerated should not be in prison at all. We
are concerned that our members are still incarcerated, they deserve to be
free. We are going to raise this point at the National Security Council
meeting tomorrow (today).”

Biti said the meeting will also discuss the resurgence of violence in
different parts of the country after the national council noted the
re-establishment of torture bases and a renewed onslaught on civilians
allegedly by Zanu PF activists.


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MDC-T dismiss threat of elections without new charter

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 December, 2012

Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross, who is the MDC-T director for policy
research, has dismissed a report in the state run Herald newspaper Thursday
suggesting that Robert Mugabe would call for elections under the current
Constitution if the reform exercise was not completed by Christmas.

The report said the Cabinet committee set up by the government principals to
break the current deadlock has made no progress so far, apparently because
they are failing to meet to discuss the 30 unresolved issues that ZANU PF
wants to be changed in the new draft charter.

According to the Herald, the delay is now threatening an election without a
new constitution and election dates determined unilaterally by Robert
Mugabe.

The paper quoted Munyaradzi Mangwana, the COPAC co-chairperson from ZANU PF,
who blamed the lack of progress on the MDC-T, saying their representatives
had failed to turn up for meetings on three occasions this week.

The Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who also chairs the
committee, said they had failed to raise a quorum each time because “either
representatives from one of the political parties would be absent”. He said
they would probably meet next Monday.

But Eddie Cross, the MDC-T director for policy research, sent a more
positive signal on Thursday. He dismissed the Herald story, saying there is
no chance Zimbabwe will hold elections without a new constitution.

Speaking on our Crisis Analysis programme, Cross said: “I saw Minister
Tendai Biti and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa this morning and they are
both of the mind that these differences were relatively minor now and they
were going to be dealt with,” Cross explained.

He added: “Our position in the MDC is the one that will prevail. And our
position from the start has been that we are not prepared under any
circumstances to accept further changes to the draft constitution, which
have not been adopted by the COPAC process.”

Cross stressed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been extremely busy
meeting with officials from key institutions, to ensure that all the reforms
that need to be in place to hold a credible, free and fair election will be
implemented.

He said SADC was tired of the crisis dragging on and were fully behind the
GPA process agreed to by the political parties.

However, some independent observers have said there is no sense of urgency
to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

The facilitation team representing President Jacob Zuma met with the
political parties in Harare last month and returned to inform him of the
persistent differences. There has been no word from Zuma, the SADC appointed
chief negotiator, since then.

In addition, a SADC Troika team appointed to assist the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC), never got to do their job. The team was
reduced from three members to two, then left the country without meeting
with JOMIC, because they were said to be too busy working on the
constitution.


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‘Mugabe can call for polls without new constitution’

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 19:11
Njabulo Ncube, Assistant Editor

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has the constitutional right to dissolve the present
Parliament at least by midnight on June 28, 2013 and then call for elections
within four months under the current Constitution, experts said this week.
The incumbent was sworn in on June 28, 2008 following a controversial
one-man presidential election run-off after Prime Minister (PM) Morgan
Tsvangirai boycotted the race citing alleged State-sponsored violence his
formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claim killed about 200
of his supporters.
With the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union
(AU) and the international community describing President Mugabe’s
controversial re-election as a sham victory, the ZANU-PF leader was forced
into a power-sharing truce with the PM and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM)
Arthur Mutambara.
But President Mugabe has been insisting on holding fresh elections in March
with or without a new constitution although his partners in the coalition
government are adamant that the Global Political Agreement he signed with PM
Tsvangirai and DPM Mutambara prevents him from unilaterally pronouncing
elections without the adoption of a new constitution.
They want the veteran ZANU-PF politicians to roll-out constitutional and
electoral reforms before the next harmonised polls.
There is pressure for President Mugabe to at least call for fresh polls
after June 28, 2013, to coincide with the expiry of his current presidential
term and that of the present Parliament, something understood to be flatly
resisted by hawks in ZANU-PF.
His partners in the coalition say a new constitution was one of the
pre-requisite reforms for staging of fresh polls.
Constitutional experts canvassed by The Financial Gazette this week said
there was no legal requirement for a new constitution before the staging of
fresh polls, hence the ZANU-PF resolution at its conference in Gweru to
forge ahead with the polls in March.
The constitutional experts told The Financial Gazette President Mugabe would
be within his constitutional mandate to call for polls after the dissolution
of the current Parliament at least by June 28, 2013 which is the expiry of
his current presidential term.
They also postulated that President Mugabe would have at least four months
to call for a fresh poll between June 28, 2013 and September 2013.
Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law expert and chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, said there was no legal requirement for a new
constitution before the next elections adding that the current government
would by that time be “retired” by what is called “operation of law”.
He said the term of office of the government is five years and at the end of
each term a government could only remain in office for purposes of enabling
the holding of elections.
“There is a window period of four months for this latter purpose. The latest
date for a valid election is October 28, 2013. At the end of five years,
Parliament is not dissolved by the President: it is dissolved by operation
of law. Section 63(4) uses the words ‘stand dissolved’. In other words, at
midnight on June 28, 2013, Parliament shall ‘stand dissolved’ by the mere
fact of the expiration of five years. At strict law, there is no legal
requirement for a presidential proclamation to dissolve Parliament at the
end of five years,” said Madhuku.
He added that the President’s term of office will also come to an end on
that day.
“However, the Constitution allows the President to remain in office until
the election of a new President. The issue is: when should new elections be
held after June 28, 2013? The answer is very clear in section 58 of the
Constitution. Elections must take place not later than four months from June
28, 2013. This is why October 28, 2013 is the last day for a valid election
under the current constitution,” said Madhuku.
Greg Linnington, a constitutional law expert at the University of Zimbabwe,
said President Mugabe would be within his constitutional right under the
Lancaster House Consti-tution to dissolve Parliament by June 2013 and call
for fresh polls thereafter.
“But there has to be a presidential election as well thereafter,” said
Linnington.
Qhubani Moyo, the director of policy implementation in Welshman Ncube’s
formation of the MDC, concurred with the constitutional experts that
President Mugabe has up to four months from the dissolution of the current
Parliament to call for fresh elections.
“The life of Parliament starts from the day the President is sworn-in and
expires five years from that date. In this case, President Mugabe, after a
controversial presidential election, was sworn-in on 28 June 2008, meaning
the life of the current Parliament is counted from that date,” said Moyo.
“In the midnight of 28 June 2013, the life of the current Parliament
automatically comes to an end. Elections should be held anytime within four
months from that date, which means between 30 June and 30 September, 2013,”
said Moyo.
DPM Mutambara, speaking to a Washington-based radio station early this week,
alluded to the fact that the current Parliament would expire in June next
year.
“If we don’t make progress by June 28, 2013, we will be forced to go into an
election without a new constitution. SADC can encourage us to work together
but the AU and SADC cannot force us to violate the Constitution.
“There is no way that SADC and the AU can extend the Zimbabwean government
and the Zimbabwean Parliament beyond June 28, 2013,” said Mutambara.
He added that he would prefer constitutional and electoral reforms to be in
place before the next elections, adding that “if we don’t do that we are
going towards acrimony and I don’t desire to have elections on the Lancaster
House Constitution.”
But critics see ZANU-PF pushing for a March election in the belief that PM
Tsvangirai has been rendered vulnerable by the perceived implosion in his
party coupled with sex scandals they believe the MDC-T leader might not
fully recover from.
There is also agreement in ZANU-PF that the party’s indigenisation mantra
has endeared it to the electorate said to be miffed by corruption in MDC-T
dominated local authorities.
Two independent opinion polls, which suggested that President Mugabe has
eclipsed PM Tsvangirai in the popularity stakes are also understood to have
buoyed ZANU-PF, hence the rush for early polls next March.


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Militarised election body a problem for Zimbabwe

http://nehandaradio.com/

on December 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm
By Lance Guma
Chances of Zimbabwe having a credible, free and fair election remain slim because the secretariat of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) remains “problematic, partisan, and militarized.”
A policy briefing presented by the newly formed Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) noted that “most of the ZEC commissioners at some point worked for the government security establishment.”
Given the “partisan role of the security establishment in the political and electoral affairs of Zimbabwe” the ZDI believe the presence of these individuals means the capacity of ZEC to deliver a credible poll is very doubtful.
According to the ZDI there is clear relationship between most of the ZEC employees and the army whose top brass regularly promises to subvert electoral outcomes should any other candidate apart from Mugabe wins the election.
The current ZEC Deputy Chair Joyce Kazembe has “eleven years’ experience (and complicity in sham elections)”. She presided over disputed and violent elections in 2002, 2005 and the June 2008 pre-election bloodbath.
Her commission withheld presidential election results for weeks in March 2008, amid reports the period was used to manipulate and massage the figures that denied Morgan Tsvangirai an outright victory over a shocked Mugabe.
The current Chief Elections Officer is Lovemore Chipunza Sekeramayi, a former member of the President’s Office. The notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) falls under the President’s Office and Sekeramayi’s deployment in such a strategic position is very deliberate.
The two directors who work under Sekeramayi, Utoile Silaigwana (Operations) and Notayi Mutemasango (Administration and Finance), are former soldiers fiercely loyal to Mugabe. Silaingwana is responsible for polling, training, election logistics, voter education and public relations for the commission.
It was this same ZEC secretariat that was responsible for the sham election in June 2008, marked by bloodshed, enforced disappearances and outrageous human rights violations, all of which were a violation of the Electoral Act. The same individuals went on to declare the election free and fair.
During the 2002 presidential election the recently promoted Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba was the Chief Executive Officer of the commission. He made sure the body was stuffed with soldiers, state security agents and Zanu PF militia. His recruits are still there and set to ensure Mugabe wins.
ZDI said apart from Geoff Feltoe and Mkululi Nyathi “the other commissioners have a long history of working under the Zanu PF government. How these employees are recruited is unclear and remains shrouded in mystery. There are no public advertisements for the recruitment process,” ZDI said.
There is a close relationship between the President’s Office, the military and the ZEC secretariat in the management of elections in Zimbabwe. This relationship is both overt and covert. This nexus makes the ZEC secretariat unfit to administer credible, free and fair elections.” ZDI said.
Click here for the full Zimbabwe Democracy Institute briefing on ZEC


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Activists urge Sadc to play role in Zimbabwe’s elections

http://www.bdlive.co.za/

BY KHULEKANI MAGUBANE, 20 DECEMBER 2012, 12:18

CIVIL society group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said on Wednesday that the
participation of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and
international observers was important to ensure elections taking place in
2013 are free and fair.

The coalition held a briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday and called for
Sadc to ensure the transparency of the elections, and for activism to
continue among civil society groups in the region and internationally.

However, Zimbabwean political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said last week that
elections would most likely take place in 2015 because the country’s laws
were not fully aligned with the new constitution.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said on Tuesday that the elections
would go ahead in 2013 regardless of whether the new constitution is adopted
and that the current constitution would determine when elections are held.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director McDonald Lewanika said it was in the
region’s best interests to ensure the elections were free and fair, for the
sake of stability in the region.

"We already have trouble spots in the region and it is not in Sadc’s
interests to add one more through a disputed election in Zimbabwe," Mr
Lewanika said.

Thabani Nyoni, a spokesman for the coalition, said Sadc, and especially
South Africa, had a critical role in ensuring the "democratisation of
Zimbabwe".

"South Africa has been mandated by the Sadc community of nations to ensure
that it mediates Zimbabwe into credible, free and fair elections. Their role
continues to be expected in terms of ensuring the full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement reforms," Mr Nyoni said.

Combined Harare Residents’ Association CEO Mfundo Mlilo said he did not
expect Zimbabweans living and working in other continents to return to
Zimbabwe to vote but partners were trying to motivate those in neighbouring
countries to return and cast their ballots.


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Food, Jobs Top Prime Minister 2013 Agenda

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

Staff Reporter 3 hours 2 minutes ago
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said Zimbabwe is poised for growth in 2013, premised on the conduct of free and fair elections, which he is widely expected to win, a comprehensive jobs plan and infrastructure rehabilitation.
In an end of year wide-ranging interview with the Prime Minister's Newsletter, the Head of Government said Zimbabwe has potential to become one of the leading developed nations in Africa if toxic political issues were solved.
To read more, please go to latest downloads for the full PDF of the Prime Minister's newsletter.


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Lawyer slams ‘state crackdown’ on ZimRights

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
20 December 2012

A human rights lawyer in Harare has slammed what he called a deliberate
‘crackdown’ on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), which has
been targeted by the state with arrests and intimidation.

The ZimRights offices in Harare and Bulawayo have both been raided by police
in the past week, with one official from the capital being arrested last
Wednesday. ZimRights programs manager Leo Chamahwinya has remained in
detention at Harare remand prison since last week, after being charged with
‘conspiracy to commit fraud’.

He was originally arrested on allegations that he was involved in ‘illegal
voter registration’. His lawyer, Trust Maanda, told SW Radio Africa on
Thursday that Chamahwinya’s case now also involves three other individuals
that the state has dragged in to implicate him.

“We don’t actually know who they are. They don’t work for ZimRights. They
were arrested two days before Leo and the state is alleging that they
implicated Leo. But they don’t even know him,” Maanda said.

The other three individuals are Dorcas Shereni, Tanaka Chinaka and Farai
Bhani who are all being accused of forgery, fraud and publishing ‘false
statements’. The state has alleged that the group forged voter registration
certificates “to tarnish the name of the Registrar General.”

“But this is clearly a way of targeting NGOs ahead of elections. There is a
general crackdown on NGOs and this is a deliberate target on ZimRights,”
Maanda explained.

One of the three individuals arrested before Chamahwinya has told lawyers
that he was beaten by ‘violent youths’ who ransacked his home early last
week. Maanda said that these youths then dragged his client to the police,
who then accused him of holding the forged documents.

All four of the accused deny the charges against them but still remain in
detention. Maanda explained that a bail application was made this week, but
the judge has reserved making a decision until Friday.


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Court grants Masvingo workers right to sell council property

http://www.herald.co.zw

Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Masvingo Municipality workers yesterday got a High Court green light to
auction council property they attached to settle US$3,5 million salary
arrears. This was after the municipality’s urgent chamber

application to block the auction was thrown out by the High Court.
Justice Andrew Mutema ruled that the mere fact that council pleaded hardship
and fears for collapse of service delivery did not constitute the urgency
contemplated by the High Court rules in applications of that nature.

The court found that council could have acted as soon as the arbitration
award was registered in October this year and not to wait until attachment.

“The need to act, having arisen on October 9 2012, what did the applicant
(council) do? Did it act? It did nothing save to sit back and bay-watch to
await the imminent arrival of the day of reckoning, that is, seizure and
removal of property as if it did not know that the process was inevitable
following the registration of the award.

“One cannot be faulted in concluding that even the service of the notice of
attachment and seizure failed to jolt the applicant into acting to protect
its property. It remained inert as if perhaps relishing in a utopian dream.
The applicant is simply pleading hardship or mercy but these cannot ground
the urgency contemplated by the rules of the court.

“Hardship is what the applicant ought to have foreseen and guarded against
when the need to act arose,” ruled Justice Mutema.

The court, Justice Mutema said, could not bend the rules on the grounds of
seeming hardship in a situation where a legally represented litigant
remained “sluggard” for close to two months without sound explanation.

The workers attached the movable property, including fire tenders,
ambulances and computer servers, on December 5 in fulfilment of a Labour
Court award.

The Labour Court ordered council to pay its workers salary arrears to the
tune of US$3,6 million. The award was registered at the High Court,
prompting the deputy sheriff to execute the order.
Council, through its lawyers Chihambakwe, Makonese and Ncube argued that it
had filed an application to rescind the judgment and that execution should
be stayed pending determination of the application.

Council also argued that its operations would collapse if the property were
sold. It also challenges the quantification of the arrears.

But the Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union secretary-general Mr Moses
Mahlangu deposed an affidavit challenging the authenticity of the
application for rescission of judgment.

“Until today, first respondent’s (Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers’ Union)
legal practitioners of record had never been served with the alleged
rescission application.

“Until today, the first respondent has not served the rescission application
to first respondent or the workers committee,” he said.

The net conclusion to the case, according to the workers, was that the
rescission application could be an afterthought by council. Quantification,
the workers say, was done by consent and the award in question was never
contested.

Meanwhile, the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association
yesterday accused the city councillors of gross incompetence it says led to
the attachment of council’s movable assets.


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Biti rubbishes anti-Western talk on funding

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

19.12.12

by Edgar Gweshe

Harare- Finance Minister, Tendai Biti has described as unacceptable,
sentiments by Zanu (PF) that Zimbabwe will not accept money from Western
nations to bankroll the referendum on the new constitution and elections set
for next year.

Last month, Zanu (PF) national spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, told The
Zimbabwean that Zimbabwe would not accept cash to run elections from Western
countries as they had imposed sanctions on the country.

He accused Western nations of harbouring sinister motives to topple
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF).

However, Biti, who was addressing journalists at the MDC-T’s headquarters on
Wednesday, said Western countries had been instrumental in funding critical
sectors in Zimbabwe, adding that elections should not be an exception.

“It’s not acceptable that you want people’s money for other things and when
it comes to elections, you want to say no,” said Biti.

“These (Western countries) have been helping us in most areas that include
health and education, just to mention a few. So there is nothing new when it
comes to the referendum and the elections,” added Biti.

The constitution making process has received financial aid from the United
Nations, through UNDP.

In contrast to Zanu (PF’s) claims that Western observers will not be invited
to Zimbabwe in the next election, Biti said: “We need election observers and
monitors from any part of the world, from China to America, to be stationed
here six months before the election.”

Biti expressed concern over the surge in cases of political victimization of
MDC-T supporters ahead of the elections.

“We are concerned with the continued politicization of food aid in the
country as well as the violence being perpetrated against our supporters by
Zanu (PF) militia,” said Biti.

Biti commended peace calls by principals in the Government of National Unity
ahead of elections but said there was need for action to stop political
violence.


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Zanu PF abusing Adam Ndlovu funeral

http://nehandaradio.com

on December 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

By Lance Guma

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is being accused of deliberately
engineering delays to have the burial of legendary striker Adam Ndlovu on
Unity Day (December 22) this Saturday for political purposes.

The famous Ndlovu brothers Adam, Madinda and Peter
According to family sources Adam Ndlovu should have been buried on Thursday
but Zanu PF was keen to exploit his death and resurrect the Unity Day
holiday which has meant nothing to a region plagued by under-development.

Zanu PF on Wednesday turned down a request to confer hero status on Adam
Ndlovu with Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa launching an attack
against the party’s Bulawayo province for asking for the recognition.

Mutasa claims that hero status was not for sportspersons, but people who
participated in the liberation struggle. This after politburo member
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said the Matabeleland province had requested hero status.

But we now know the whole charade and pretence of deliberating on the matter
was designed to make the Ndlovu family delay the burial and allow the party
to capitalise on the burial of a legend from Matabeleland on Unity Day.

Nomqhele Tshili the woman who also died in the same accident that killed
Adam Ndlovu was due to be laid to rest in Esiphezini her rural home about
20km from Bulawayo today in the morning at 9 am. The Highlanders community
we are told assisted in her funeral.

The state media reported that the First Family had donated ‘food assistance
and other amenities’ while super rich Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said he
taken over the payment of medical expenses for Peter Ndlovu and funeral
expenses for his brother Adam.

This is despite a funeral policy set up by Highlanders Legends being
adequate to cover Adam’s burial. Chicken Inn whose team Adam coached to
third place in the past season are also providing daily food deliveries to
the mourners.

While there is nothing wrong in the offer of help, several Ndlovu family
members who spoke to us said they felt betrayed by Zanu PF for toying with
the family on the hero status and they feel their donations are not sincere.

“People in Bulawayo do not even care about all this pretence from Zanu PF
that they care about us. We know they just want to get political mileage. We
should have buried Adam on Thursday and they were stringing us along for no
reason.”

“Adam died on Sunday and we are burying him 6 days later, why? Just because
some people wanted to promote a holiday that people in this region have
never taken to heart because it was all superficial from the start,” our
source said.

According to state radio and TV President Mugabe has declared Monday a
public holiday. It was not clear whether this was because Unity day this
year is falling on a Saturday.

Unity Day celebrates the signing of a political accord that joined Zanu PF
and PF Zapu in December 1987 thus ending the Gukurahundi era when an
estimated 20 000 innocent civilians in the Midlands and Matabeleland
provinces were killed for their perceived support of dissidents loyal to
Zapu.

Meanwhile the Secretary for Political Affairs in Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s Office Alex Magaisa has said: “Adam and Peter are icons of
Zimbabwean football and popular culture, and their names have permanent
places in the biography of this country.

“I have no doubt in my mind that if there were a fair and impartial system
of selecting national icons and heroes, Adam Ndlovu’s place on that list,
alongside Safirio Mukadota Madzikatire and other sporting and cultural
legends, would be uncontested,” he said.

Deputy Justice minister Obert Gutu said “In a normal functioning country
that respects patriotism, honour and integrity, patriots like Adam ought to
be duly recognised,” he said on Facebook. Adam represented Zimbabwe with
distinction as a footballer and oh yes, . . . he deserves national
recognition.”

Zifa Bulawayo provincial treasurer Siphambaniso Dube said “Truly Adam Ndlovu
is a national hero if politics is not the only sphere of influence for one
to be declared a national hero, like was done for Jairos Jiri,” he said.


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Parents face criminal charges after trying to bring their children to SA

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
20 December 2012

A group of Zimbabwean parents living in South Africa could now face
potential criminal charges, after arranging to be reunited with their
children across the border.

The 17 children, aged between two and 17 years old, do not have legal travel
documents so their parents had arranged an illegal crossing to try and get
them into South Africa.

The crossing was set to be undertaken by a 33 year old Bulawayo man called
Never Chuma. But he was caught in South Africa with the 17 undocumented
children, and has since been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri is quoted by the state media
as saying that the parents of the children face arrest and are likely to be
charged under the Children’s Protection Act. It is not yet clear what will
happen to the 17 children, who have no other way to be reunited with their
parents.

Diana Zimbudzana from the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum in South Africa told SW
Radio Africa on Thursday that this situation was “sad, particularly for the
children who are left vulnerable.” She explained that many people “are
forced into making illegal agreements because they just don’t have any other
choice.”

Millions of Zimbabweans have fled the country, seeking to earn a living and
escape the political and economic turmoil back home. Most fled without any
form of documentation to prove their nationality or that of their children.

“People are now stateless and going through a process of proving themselves
to be Zimbabwean. But getting documentation or getting passports is beyond
the reach of many living in South Africa, either because of the high cost or
other challenges,” Zimbudzana explained.

She said that passport applications for Zimbabweans in South Africa cost at
least R700 each. But with the average Zim national earning only R150 – R250
a week, the price of passports is a luxury many cannot afford.

“So it makes sense that people choose an illegal route,” Zimbudzana said.

She also said that these sorts of incidents are not isolated, with many
parents desperate to get their children out of Zimbabwe and into countries
where their children might have a chance at receiving an education.

“We had a client who ran a shelter for migrants and it was mainly children,
and they were faced with the challenge of trying to get kids across the
border illegally because none of them have documents,” Zimbudzana said.

She added that the real tragedy was that many children in such situation are
targeted by criminal gangs and other predators, because they are so
vulnerable.

“There is never any assurance that these children will be safe and people do
take advantage. It is a terrible situation,” Zimbudzana said.


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Judge slams prosecutor in CIO, cop case

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

Thursday, 20 December 2012 12:38
HARARE - High Court Judge November Muchiya has slammed the State team for
lacking autonomy in the ongoing bail hearing of an ex-Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) operative accused of leaking government secrets.

Justice Muchiya said this yesterday during the bail hearing of ex-CIO
operative Obediah Dodo who is jointly charged with a police officer Collen
Musorowegomo.

The State alleges the two leaked State secrets to an American think-tank,
but both men deny the charge saying the documents were academic research
papers. Dodo is employed by the Bindura University as a lecturer and the cop
is a student.

The bail application for the two was supposed to proceed yesterday but
prosecutor Edmore Makoto said he wanted to get instructions on the case,
prompting Justice Muchiya to grill him why he did not have a mandate to make
decisions himself as a State representative. The bail hearing was deferred
to today. The duo’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama told the court that the bail
hearing was delayed by an “uncooperative” Bindura magistrate who failed to
provide the transcript.

Muchadehama said they had to approach the office of the chief magistrate for
the record of proceedings to be released. Dodo and Musorowegomo have been
jointly charged with publishing or communicating false statements
prejudicial to the State as defined in Section 31(a)(i) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Dodo, who retired from the spy agency in 2008 to take up a job as lecturer
at Bindura University, is accused of sending damning documents to the
American Internal Journal of Contemporary Research.

The CIO operative and cop allegedly authored a document titled Political
Intolerance, Diversity and Democracy: Youth Violence in Bindura urban
Zimbabwe.

The two however, say the paper was an academic research document and had
nothing to do with spying. The document accuses State security institutions,
including the CIO and army, of playing a role in youth violence from 1999 to
2011.

“Accused falsely stated that according to ZRP most of the criminal cases
(assault, arson, rape and kidnapping) went unreported as victims feared more
reprisals and the fact that during the (2008 election) period, the police
force had been disempowered technically as they could not handle any case to
do with politics,” reads part of the State outline. - Tendai Kamhungira


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Mystery surrounds death of Zimbabwean woman in Kenya

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Staff writer
20 December 2012

Mystery surrounds the death of a Zimbabwean woman in a Nairobi hospital in
Kenya. Reports suggested she had become stateless in that country following
her deportation from Scotland where she had sought political asylum.

The reports said Nemakonde was imprisoned at Kenya’s Lang’ata Women’s Prison
where she fell ill and was admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Media reports quote the hospital’s public relations officer, Simon Ithae,
confirming her death. It is believed that sometime last week Nemakonde was
in court complaining about the facilities at the Lang’ata jail.

But the court dismissed the application and ordered that she continued being
detained at the prison. It appears this decision forced her to go on a
hunger strike, which led to illness.

Attempts by SW Radio Africa to find out more about the tragic death of
Nemakonde, or to find out if she was receiving any form of assistance from
the Zimbabwe mission in Nairobi, proved unsuccessful.


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Diamond looters cornered

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 19:21
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

THE legislative assembly has cast into the spotlight the controversial
Chiadzwa diamonds in a bid to plug alleged leakages that are said to be
enriching an elite few within ZANU-PF at the expense of the generality of
the population, with the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy
recommending that lawmakers should have an oversight over all the diamond
deals, The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal.
Accusations and counter-accusations have dogged the handling of revenues
from Chiadzwa diamond exp-orts ever since the government seized the hugely
prolific fields from the private sector in 2006. The discord worsened
following the formation of a coalition government in February 2009, with
head of the exchequer, Tendai Biti, suggesting that the country could be
losing diamond revenue to some fat cats that might be taking advantage of
the secrecy involved in the marketing of the local gems.
The mistrust around the Chiadzwa gemstones have also triggered disputes in
the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) where members are divided
over the controversial ban on Zimbabwe diamonds by the United States and its
allies.
Members of Parliament now want all new mining deals to be approved by the
august House first before being endorsed by the Executive to improve
accountability and transparency. They have also recommended that government
must renegotiate all previous mining deals, amid claims of loses to the
nation due to corruption, smuggling and other malpractices.
In their end of year report, members of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines
and Energy said government was losing huge sums of money due to corruption,
illegal mining, under-declaration of exports by miners and illegal marketing
of minerals due to poor monitoring and surveillance.
The MPs said since last year there has been no change with regard to these
issues, adding that about US$563 million worth of diamonds were exported and
only US$43 million in dividends was remitted to Treasury.
The committee said there is still a vast area in Marange being guarded by
security forces, but it was high time government allocated more diamond
concessions to ensure that the responsibility of area security is
transferred to operating companies as has been done with Diamond Mining
Corporation, Mbada, Marange Resources and Anjin.
“A law should be enacted where all major mining contracts should be ratified
by Parliament before they become binding. At the same time, all major mining
contracts should have a clause, which makes it mandatory for the contract to
be reviewed after a certain period of time in order to reflect the
socio-economic conditions prevailing at the time,” reads part of the report.
The report said government should record progress towards re-negotiating
most of the major mining contracts in the country so that they are more
beneficial to the nation.
Sanctions imposed on Chiadzwa diamonds by the US and its allies were said to
have resulted in loopholes leading to theft and loss as the gems are
channelled through informal procedures in order to circumvent the trade
embargoes.
While Cabinet had previously resolved that Chiadzwa diamond fields be
nationalised to maximise benefits to the State, the decision is still to be
implemented by the Executive.
This week, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said he was still to be presented with
the report by the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy. The committee
is headed by ZANU-PF Guruve South MP Edward Chindori-Chininga.
“I am on leave. I have not seen the document,” he said in a tease response.
Mpofu has insisted in the past that all diamond revenue due to the State was
being accounted for. Recently, he found support in Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa who challenged anyone with evidence of the army being funded from
diamonds or the funding of a parallel government from the proceeds to come
forward.
Despite the denials of any wrongdoing on the part of ZANU-PF ministers,
Biti, the Finance Minister, has maintained that there is lingering secrecy
in the matter, a development that forced him to cut back his US$4 billion
2012 national budget after the projected US$600 million revenue from diamond
sales failed to materialise.
The World Bank (WB) also believes that the government is hoarding massive
quantities of diamonds, rough and polished. In an internal document of the
WB which was viewed by South African business news website, Fin24, the
authors claimed that the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
(ZMDC) had amassed troves of rough diamonds that might amount to up to US$5
billion.
These rough diamonds stored by the ZMDC are said to be of low quality and of
lesser dollar value per carat. They are also supposed to have been collected
before the KPCS voted to permit the Zimbabwean diamond industry to sell on
the global market with Kimberley Process approval.
The WB report also noted that without intervention, Zimbabwe's diamond
production will peak at an annual rate of 12 million carats in the years to
come, but that this rate can be increased by over 25 percent in the next six
years if the country invests US$150 million.
Global Witness also claimed recently in a report that proceeds from Marange
diamonds were being used to finance a parallel government in the coalition,
imploring the international[ends here...]


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The MDC Today – Issue 493


Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in Hwange has been ordered by the Labour
Court to reinstate over 39 workers who were dismissed in 2008 on charges
that they were MDC members.

The ZPC management was on 30 June 2008, forced to dismiss the 39 workers on
the orders of a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative Romeo
Mutengwende and three Zanu PF members only identified as Muza, Muzamani and
Zvidzai.

The four claimed that the 39 workers were MDC activists and should be
dismissed as they were not supporting Zanu PF or attending the party’s night
vigils. Zanu PF and its President Robert Mugabe had been defeated in the
March 2008 elections by the MDC and President Morgan Tsvangirai. The CIO
operative Mutengwende was later appointed security manager at ZPC.

In a ruling made by the Labour Court on Wednesday, ZPC was ordered to
reinstate all the 39 workers to their original positions without loss of
salary and benefits from the date of the unlawful dismissal.

“In the event that reinstatement ordered above is no longer tenable, the
respondent is ordered to pay claimants negotiable amounts of damages in lieu
of reinstatement, failure of agreement, parties are given leave to approach
this tribunal for assessment of such damages,” part of the ruling made on
Wednesday reads.

The spokesperson for the 39 employees, Tafara Nkole said the workers were
satisfied with the ruling as the laws of this country had been applied
fairly. “We are very happy that in Zimbabwe we now have people like our
lawyers who can stand up to Zanu PF and fight for the people’s rights,” said
a pleased Nkole.

Most of the affected were general workers.

Meanwhile, Masvingo town residents have said the move taken by council
workers in attaching council property was uncalled for, since the workers
are receiving their monthly salaries. The residents said the move was
unnecessary and they are convinced that the move is political and meant to
tarnish the image of the MDC led Masvingo Town Council by some Zanu PF
aligned workers.

Last month the council workers took the council to court over the
non-payment of backdated salaries and were given an order to attach council
property. Masvingo Town Council employs 460 people.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!


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Transcript of Diaspora Diaries interview with Mashonaland West farmer Piet Zwanikken

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

Posted by Alex Bell on Thursday, December 20, 2012 in Diaspora Diaries,
Featured | 0 comments
18th December 2012

Alex Bell: Hello Zimbabwe and welcome to Diaspora Diaries on SW Radio
Africa, Zimbabwe’s independent voice. I’m Alex Bell and welcome to the show
tonight. Well we’re doing things a little differently tonight and we’ll have
a special edition and we’ll be hearing from a Mashonaland West farmer who
was shot in the face on his Banket property on Monday night and is now in
hospital recovering. We’ll also hear from Justice For Agriculture about this
latest horrific violence against the farming community.

Well first up tonight, Dutch national and Mashonaland West farmer Piet
Zwanikken was rushed to hospital on Monday night after a man, known to be
working for a CIO agent who wants the farm, shot him in the face. Zwanikken
says he’s lucky to be alive after escaping an assassination attempt. Just
hours ago he spoke to me from his hospital bed and explained what led to the
shooting on Monday night.

AB: Piet it’s an absolutely horrific ordeal that you’ve gone through and I’m
sure you must think yourself very lucky to be alive after that shooting
incident. But maybe you can explain to us what actually happened? What
actually, first of all, led to this incident and what happened last night?

PZ: Okay what’s been happening on the farm is that an A2 (settler) had an
offer letter and he’s been trying to force me, um, take over the farm. When
he didn’t get his way through the court, we went and got a court order
against him from disturbing us. He then tried to go through the Lands
(Ministry) to try and get me convicted and thrown off. When we saw that the
progress wasn’t going that well there, then I think these guys made a plan
to try and assassinate me.

AB: So you do think that this was an assassination attempt?

PZ: Definitely.

AB: So what actually happened last night? This happened in the evening on
the property?

PZ: On the property at my gate, the three guys who I know well, are A1
farmers and they work for this A2 to the degree that they’re helping him to
try and remove me from the property. They called me to the gate and I went
out with a torch so I clearly could identify all three of them. I said yes,
what do you want? The shooter was a guy called Macheka and he started to
tell me a story about some of my tobacco being stolen and I think it was
just a ploy to try and get me closer to the actual gate, maybe even to open
it. I didn’t realize he had a handgun behind his back and when I didn’t come
closer, all of a sudden there was just, out of the corner of my eye, a
flash, a big bang and he took a shot at point blank range, probably about a
metre away. Thank God I turned my head. The round went through my nose and
grazed my cheek at which time, my son was there as well, we both just we
yelled and ran back to the house. We were so lucky that that bullet didn’t
kill me.

AB: Now I know that you are of course now are in hospital and you had to be
rushed to hospital. What was going through your mind during that journey to
the hospital?

PZ: All I just can’t believe how lucky I am still to be alive you know. Yah,
it’s a terrible situation to be in because apparently the three guys have
already been rounded up but they’re saying they weren’t anywhere around,
they had nothing to do with what happened yesterday.

AB: This is despite both you and your son seeing them very clearly?

PZ: Yes, yes, we’re both witnesses to the fact. I think these guys thought
if they killed me there would be no more, there would be no witness to
actually what happened.

AB: Now you say you do know all these people involved and who is this A2
beneficiary then who’s been harassing you? Do you know who he is and is he
definitely responsible do you think for what’s going on?

PZ: Yes his name is Charles Mupanduki; he apparently is CIO and I know that
he’s been seen carrying a side arm at the farm but he’s very careful not to
get involved directly. He uses these A1 farmers to do all the dirty work but
I have no doubt in my own mind that he is somewhere in the back of the scene
organizing things because he said so, in actual fact during one of our
cases, that all these guys actually work for him and they operate under his
orders.

AB: How are you feeling now than? There must be a certain amount of fear and
apprehension – if they’ve gone this far in what appears a deliberate
assassination, a deliberate hit, how do you feel now?

PZ: Yes well obviously we’re shaken and I’m hoping that the law will take
its course in this case. Yah I’ll have to be very careful and probably run
my farm from a distance for a while.

AB: It must be very hard for you of course because you are a Dutch national
and you are supposed to be protected by a bi-lateral agreement. Are you
surprised then that something like this agreement has been ignored in this
way?

PZ: Absolutely not. A lot of these BIPAs were never honoured in the first
place so it’s absolutely no surprise that somebody took a liking to my farm
and decided well, ‘we’ll get it at all costs’.

AB: How long have you been on the farm, if I may ask?

PZ: I have been there for 15 years and I took over from my father-in-law by
Order of Cessation in 2002. The farm at that time was not acquired.

AB: And when did this process of intimidation and threats against you begin?

PZ: Yes that started with the Ministry of Lands came in January with this
guy with an offer letter to say ‘well you should wind up your operations
this year because this guy’s going to take over, he’s now going to be the
legal owner of the farm’, a portion of it anyway. And when I refused to
budge, the legal action started to take place at the end of July where we
were locked out of our gates. They tried the old jambanja tactics. They
actually took over the farm in August for a few days in which we lost $10
000 worth of equipment and we only got back into control by a Peace Order
which they then went to ignore and finally when we got a Contempt of Court
order against them, that’s when they finally realised well they can’t
actually interfere with me otherwise they’ll go to jail. That seemed to work
at the time.

AB: Is there a next step that you can take at the moment? I would imagine
that this has already been reported to the police – do you think that the
rule of law will be successful in this case?

PZ: I’m hoping that they will take action, appropriate action and that in
this case, the rule of law will be applied to. As regards to what will
happen in the future – that I can’t tell you but I certainly intend to
continue farming.

AB: Well that was Piet Zwanikken. He’s a farmer from Mashonaland West who’s
also a Dutch national that was shot in the face on his property on Monday
night. Now as you can hear, Mr. Zwanikken has had surgery on his face after
the bullet went through his nose and grazed his cheek. He of course agrees
that he is very lucky to be alive.

We will be bringing you more news on this incident as we go forward. For now
though let’s focus on some of the reaction coming from the farming
community. The Commercial Farmers Union has already absolutely slammed this
attack on the farmer and just expressed its concern for what is happening
and urged farmers across the country to be safe. I also caught up with John
Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture who gave this reaction to this
latest violent attack on a member of the farming community.

JWW: Yes (I’m) very sad and alarmed but certainly not surprised to hear
this. We have been expecting it for some time; we’ve been monitoring an
escalation of pressure being brought to bear on farmers who are still out
there. That’s to be expected; farmers have always taken the brunt of
political attack especially in the lead up to elections so that’s par for
the course on this one. We have been privy to a hit list which has involved,
we’re told, two farmers on it and that was declared that this was to have
maximum effect and ripple effects through the communities. This shooting, we’re
very fortunate that it’s not a murder of another farmer and he’s very
fortunate to have got away with his life, but he has been politically
targeted with a view to getting him off the farm and it’s on the back of
frustrations of the perpetrators who have been trying to get him off the
farm and it does involve chefs. Every indication is that it is a political
chef driving it. They’re legally frustrated in that the legal action, some
of which has been initiated by them, has failed and has resulted in them
getting added legal protection in terms of a Peace Order over himself and
the property. And it’s on the back of that as well as the frustration that
they’ve gone to this length to get rid of him.

AB: John we’re talking about someone who is a Dutch citizen; there’s been a
lot of developments regarding the Dutch for, the most notable of course
there’s been a group of Dutch farmers who’ve made quite an international
stir over legal, an outstanding legal case that they have with the Zim
government. Any thoughts as to how this could be related? Is there any
suspicion that this could be related?

JWW: Yes indeed; certainly there has been, historically there have been a
lot of legal action taken by Dutch farmers. The case in the international
arbitration court at the World Bank by the Dutch farmers, won their case,
eleven Dutch farmers won their case and they still, the Zimbabwe government
to agree to the time to pay them out something to the tune of 13 million
Euros, they’ve failed to do that. Further legal action is being taken as we
speak to recover that compensation. But it’s not confined to that; the Dutch
Embassy here has been quite vociferous of late, in condemnation of what is
happening in the country and it certainly fits in terms of retribution and
vindictive action and it fits, or seems to fit.

AB: A final comment then John; we’ve spoken before about things like BIPAs,
these bi-lateral investment protection agreements – it seems that it’s an
on-going situation where this doesn’t offer any form of protection in
Zimbabwe. Does this put Zimbabwe further out of line with anything like
international investment?

JWW: Yes indeed and at a time like this when a country desperately needs
that investment to try and limp forward. But there hasn’t been respect for
those BIPA agreements and it’s come back to bite them through legal actions.
And the big legal action at the moment is in the courts and they’re coming
to fruition hopefully in February in Singapore, is the (inaudible) action,
again in international arbitration court under the World Bank and obviously
this is becoming more and more a thorn in the government’s side – the fact
that they did target these farms and continue to target them.

AB: Well that was John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture. That
just about brings us to the end of tonight’s special edition of Diaspora
Diaries and thank you very much for joining me. Don’t forget that at any
time you can email me on alex@swradioafrica.com or you can follow me on
Twitter on @albell88 if you’d like to make any comments or queries about the
show. Don’t forget go to the web site at any time – that’s
www.swradioafrica.com. There are more details about this attack on Piet
Zwanikken as well as all other news available on line. I guess I’ll be
saying goodnight now, thank you very much for joining me. So from me Alex
Bell, goodnight.


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Media Notice from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 20th December 2012

Petition to Zuma

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK are to submit a petition to the South African High Commission on Saturday calling on President Zuma to put pressure on Mugabe to stop blocking the way to a referendum on the proposed new constitution.

Although the constitution has been signed off by Mugabe’s representatives, Zanu PF is deliberately dragging its feet to prevent reforms before new elections as provided for in the Global Political Agreement of 2008.

The petition reads: “Petition to President Zuma of South Africa: Exiled Zimbabweans call on President Zuma to put pressure on President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to implement the Global Political Agreement. If they continue to refuse we urge South Africa to take measures against the Mugabe regime.”

The petition will be accompanied by the following letter:

Dear President Zuma

Zimbabweans in the diaspora congratulate you on your re-election as ANC leader. We hope that you will now have more time to devote to your obligations as mediator for Zimbabwe.

We believe your intervention is needed now more than ever as Zanu PF is determined to block any progress.

More than 3 million Zimbabweans have been forced from our country. Many of them are in South Africa. we long to return home but can do so only after free and fair elections have freed us from bondage.

To go to elections without reforms will be a disaster for Zimbabwe and South Africa and the region as a whole. We will end up another Equatorial Guinea.

Yours sincerely, Vigil Co-ordinators

The petition has been signed by nearly 5,000 people who have stopped by the Zimbabwe Vigil which is held every Saturday outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, around the corner from South Africa House in Trafalgar Square.

The submission of the petition is part of the 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest which has promoted a series of protests about the situation in Zimbabwe around the 21st of every month since January of this year.

This month’s protest will also draw attention to the suffering of ordinary people in Zimbabwe at Christmas while the country’s political leaders loot the country’s resources.

Timetable for Saturday 22nd December

2pm – Meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy where people can sign the petition before it is submitted

3.30 pm – submit petition to the South African High Commission.

4.30 pm – turning on of Vigil’s mourning Christmas lights

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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Experiences of Student Rights Activists in Zimbabwe

http://nehandaradio.com

on December 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Nehanda Radio will begin serialising the book “Solid Impact Stories:
Experiences of Student Rights Activists in Zimbabwe (2000-2012)” beginning
this week on Thursday courtesy of the Students Solidarity Trust (SST).

Below is the foreword from a former student leader.

By Itai Masotsha Zimunya

The pre-independence and post-independence history of Zimbabwe locates
student activism at the core of the struggle. The current Zimbabwe National
Students Union (ZINASU) motto that “struggle is our birth right” is apt and
most relevant within the context of a post-colonial vampire state.

Against the promise of independence, many students suffered victimisation by
the post-colonial government in Zimbabwe. The state’s duty to protect and
educate was substituted by its affinity to control and eliminate young
bright and visionary minds. This book therefore captures some sad but
powerful and motivating stories.

During my days as a student activist, I encountered many injustices
including arbitrary arrests, abductions, detention, torture, kangaroo court
student disciplinary hearings and brutalisation by the state security- all
which culminated in the necessity of a social safety net for students.

The rise of the Student Solidarity Trust (SST) as a social safety net is
owed to various institutions and people. Salutations are due to the various
student activists who put their lives in defence of their country’s freedom,
and to salvage it from the capture of native bourgeoisies- the ruling elite
(most of whom are former student leaders of yester-years).

Whilst we celebrate these solid stories of various student activists,
including those that are not captured herein, including that of Batanai
Hadzizi and Lameck Chemvura among others, the historiography of liberation
and leadership in contemporary Zimbabwe must inspire within this generation
of activists, a higher level of dedication to human dignity, freedom and
development.

The current (now late) Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr. Stan
Mudenge- himself a solid student activist in the 1970′s is an example of
what not to become. He laid his life fighting for independence, only to
become an oppressor of student activism and academic freedom in post
independent Zimbabwe.

I have no doubt that change is coming to Zimbabwe. It is also beyond doubt
that this generation of student activists shall occupy key positions within
the post-one party state government. The challenge, therefore, is for these
solid leaders to remain solid to the end-in defence of a just and free
society.

Student voices of the next generation must never be suppressed however
irritating they may be. Contemporary history of Zimbabwe reveals that the
voice of students is the voice of God- whoever ignores it does so at their
own peril.

Whilst this book does not tell every story it is an excellent contributor to
capturing and preserving the role of young, intelligent, energetic,
inquisitive and risk taking students.

I salute those who initiated this project; those who worked on the material
and those who sponsored the project. It is evidently expanding the body of
knowledge on the role of students in the post-colonial democratisation
process of Zimbabwe.

Finally, I urge all former student leaders not to be detained by the ghosts
of yesteryear, but look ahead and continue to shape a better Zimbabwe.
National developmental questions of a patronising and rent seeking native
bourgeoisie, militarisation of the state and endemic violence in society
including in student politics all need visionary leadership.

The prophecy of old must continue. Africa awaits a generation of leaders
that believe and will wash away the ‘begging” tag that it unfortunately and
wrongly carry given its natural resource and human potential.

I anticipate that activists and researchers from all walks of life will find
this compendium handy and motivating.

Itai Masotsha Zimunya, Former Student Leader


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