The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Knives out for Mnangagwa

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

Sunday, 10 February 2013 12:20

HARARE - A Zanu PF faction led by Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa fears
he may be the target of a suspected factional crackdown that led to the
suspension of the Mike Madiro-led executive over alleged embezzlement of
over $700 000.

Top Zanu PF insiders yesterday told the Daily News on Sunday that there are
mounting fears that a process of “freezing out” the Mnangagwa faction is
starting in the wake of a damning report into financial malpractices arising
from cash allegedly collected from diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa.

Until now, Mnangagwa has been a powerful figure leading the race to succeed
President Robert Mugabe.

On Friday, secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, said to be
sympathetic to the Joice Mujuru faction, served suspension letters on
Madiro — a key Mnangagwa loyalist -— together with youth provincial
chairperson Tawanda Mukodza, youth provincial secretary for administration
Mubuso Chinguno, youth provincial secretary for security Admire Mahachi and
Clever Mparutsa.

All the officials were suspended from carrying any duties or activities in
the name of the party.

“This is in light of the current investigations being conducted by the ZRP
into allegations of fraud, corruption, theft, embezzlement, or dishonesty
that have been levelled against you,” their letter of suspension said.

“By copy of this letter, therefore, you are hereby suspended with immediate
effect without prejudice to any due processes that may ensue in line with
the constitution of the party.”

The attempt to sideline Mnangagwa loyalists over corruption allegations will
undermine his campaign that has been running for the past four years to win
public support for his position as Mugabe’s heir apparent.

The strategy has been largely successful, showing growing backing for him to
take over from Mugabe.

The Mnangagwa faction has been uneasy for some time that their influence
could be diminished from corruption charges, which are now being handled by
the police.

Mutasa said the suspensions were based on the police probe.

Now the Mnangagwa faction, which was rebuilding its base from the foiled
2004 Tsholotsho coup plot, is anxious the Defence supremo may be targeted in
this latest debacle.

The 2004 plot sought to block the elevation of Mujuru to the vice
presidency, and at the end, it claimed the scalp of six provincial
chairpersons, including Madiro.

Ironically, investigations into the Manicaland diamond saga were reportedly
initiated by Mujuru when she was the acting president during Mugabe’s annual
vacation in December.

Such worries came remarkably to the fore last week, when charges against the
Manicaland executive were pursued even though affidavits deposed by diamond
mining executives suggested that no cash exchanged hands.

Given that the matter was brought to the attention of the police by Mutasa,
who in turn alerted Mujuru, the Mnangagwa faction thinks this is just the
start of a process that could be aimed at freezing the Chirimhanzu-Zibagwe
legislator’s succession bid.

The faction’s concerns are growing after the ousting of the Madiro
executive —which now faces criminal prosecution.

Madiro has been one of Mnangagwa’s staunchest supporters because he helped
co-ordinate many schemes in the faction, having served as financial director
of the party at one point.

Faction loyalists feel that the diamonds cash scandal was a distraction,
overshadowing the Mnangagwa faction’s work, including constructing the first
conference centre for the party outside Harare.

“It’s pretty obvious that the political knives are out for Ngwena
(Mnangagwa),” said a Mnangagwa faction member who is also a Zanu PF
consultative assembly member.

Like other aides spoken to, he also declined to be named. He claimed the
suspensions were a way to wield “political knives” to attack Mnangagwa’s bid
to succeed Mugabe, expressing disappointment that affidavits from diamond
executives clearly stating that no cash exchanged hands were ignored.

“There is no credible evidence, all the diamond companies have said they did
not give them any money, isn’t that right?” said a politburo member loyal to
the Ngwena faction.

“We know their plan to suspend the suspension after the elections.

“All of the evidence confronts them, frankly ... we just did not see enough
time spent on discussing those issues. They just wanted to suspend them.”

A former Zanu PF provincial chairperson warned that it was such “injustices”
that catalysed the so-called bhora musango strategy.

“The guys who have been loyal to Madiro can clearly see this is
victimisation. Do you expect such people to campaign for the party? We are
shooting ourselves in the foot here.”

Mnangagwa was unreachable yesterday.

None of the faction’s top officials have abandoned him, meaning Mujuru
faction’s loyalists would have to resort to procedural tactics to try to
nail him.

A distraught Madiro, who was suspended from Zanu PF for five years from 2005
but bounced back as chairperson, has pleaded his innocence, saying he is at
loss of words why he has been singled out for vindictive treatment. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zinasu blames GNU for ‘appalling ‘O’ Level results’

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 10 February 2013 12:20

HARARE - Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) has squarely blamed the
coalition government for the appalling Zimsec 2012 ‘O’ Level results.

There is consternation in Zimbabwe that nearly 82 percent of students have
failed their basic school leavers’ exams.

Although Education minister David Coltart claims this is a marked
improvement from 2009, when 86 percent flunked, Zinasu blamed under funding
by the GNU for the poor results.

“The union blames this poor performance on under-funding of the education
sector and the man- made economic and political crisis our country was and
is still going through,” said Zechariah Mushawatu, Zinasu national
spokesperson.

“Throughout last year, the union had meetings with parliament, wrote many
letters to various newspapers, made press releases, spoke on talk shows of
progressive radio stations and made other numerous efforts to put pressure
on the GNU to increase funding of the education sector and refrain from its
ignominious prodigality which took place in the form of costly foreign trips
by government officials with monolithic delegations and the purchasing of
expensive top-of-the-range vehicles for ministers and other government
office holders.

“Apparently the union’s calls fell on deaf ears and the undesirable results
are now there for all to

Mushawatu said it was shameful the same government which spends little on
education is always shouting from the top of the mountain about the country’s
high literacy rate and brilliant education system.

“These actions of the government of Zimbabwe can be equated to a parent who
fails to buy his children school essentials opting instead to globe trot and
buy expensive vehicles but when the child somehow manages to produce good
results they go around bragging about the child’s educational brilliance,”
he said.

“At the rate things are going, the government is soon going to have nothing
to brag about as Zimbabwe’s education system is fast turning into a pale
shadow of its former self.”

Coltart has blamed the pathetic 2012’s Zimsec ‘O’ Level results on a lack of
adequate textbooks caused by poor funding of education by the GNU, among
other things. - Staff Writer


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Diaspora can still register to vote - Chinamasa

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

Staff Reporter 5 hours 58 minutes ago

The Draft Constitution, which is scheduled to be presented before a
referendum next month, is a victory for the country owing to its defence of
the national interest, a Cabinet minister has said.
In an interview last week, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa said Zimbabweans should vote for the document in the impending
poll.
He said going against it would defeat the interests of Zimbabwe and the
fight against imperialism.
“This is a beautiful document. If by chance it is rejected, I can assure you
it will be a defeat for the interests of Zimbabweans and those who
sacrificed their lives for the independence of this country,” he said.
“We have managed to protect those issues that are dear to us. The land issue
is a foregone conclusion. We agreed that it is irreversible. The issues
which were in contention are now history.
“We have made sure that our revolution has been consolidated.”
Chinamasa said concessions made around the devolution of power also made the
proposed supreme law a worthwhile piece of legislation.
He said it was in the interest of Zimbabwe that parties to the Global
Political Agreement acceded to ensure power was delegated to the smallest
unit of the country.
“As a party and Government we have always wanted to delegate duties to the
smallest unit of our community throughout the country.
“We have never had problems with that arrangement as a party.”
The minister added that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will not be barred from
voting provided they are on the voters’ roll.
“We, as a Government, have never denied people in the Diaspora the chance to
vote, provided these people are registered voters. Those who can afford to
come and vote should do so.
People just want to make noise and most of these noises have no
justification. Why should we do that? Are people asked to produce their
passports so that they can cast their votes?
“All you need to do is to produce your national identification and be on the
voters’ roll.” He also urged all Zanu-PF supporters to vote “Yes” during the
constitutional referendum.
“People also need to realise that it is a compromise document. However, I
can assure all Zimbabweans that we have successfully defended all those
issues which are dear to us.
“So, it is all systems go for a ‘Yes’ vote. What we are not going to do is
take our few resources to go and register people in the Diaspora to vote.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) will not do that. The
Registrar-General’s Department will also not do that. Let those who want to
vote come and vote.”
Zimbabwe will next month hold a constitutional referendum to vote on the
Draft Constitution crafted through a process led by the Constitution Select
Committee.
Last week, the Draft was tabled before the House of Assembly and Senate
where legislators threw their weight behind it.
President Mugabe is now expected to announce the date of the referendum.
Presenting the document in the Lower House last Wednesday, Copac co-chair Mr
Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabweans should support the Draft.
“This constitution is a very good document. It has brought national healing
amongst us as legislators,” he said.
“We were always together. You would not have been able to distinguish
between MDC-T and Zanu-PF officials during the (crafting) process.”
“We have shown tolerance, peace and love amongst ourselves; we have shown
the oneness in nation-building during this constitution-making process.” -
Sunday Mail


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF bribes Mapostori with stands

http://nehandaradio.com

on February 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

By Moses Matenga

ZANU PF on Friday upped their game of winning Apostolic sect members,
dishing out residential stands to Johane Masowe worshippers and urging them
to vote for the party in this year’s watershed polls.

Vice-President Mujuru, Apostolic Faith Church’s Bishop Mika Mutungamidzwa
and Media, Information and Publicity Minister Cde Webster Shamu share a
lighter moment at the official opening of an AFC church building in
Mhondoro.
In what can be interpreted as vote-buying, acting governor Alfred Tome, who
was representing the Zanu PF secretary for lands who is also the Local
government minister Ignatius Chombo, handed over the agreements of sale to
34 members of the church.

The party pledged to dish out more land under the Zvido Zvemagamba housing
co-operative to the church followers, whose membership is estimated to be
around five million. Tome warned the church against applying for land via
MDC-T councillors saying they would never get any from them.

He went on to urge them to vote “wisely” in the coming elections. “We say
‘No’ to homosexuality, use this rod to take those who are lost
(politically). I once heard that Mapostori don’t vote but I know you will
vote.

“Never ever trust a white man even those boys in council who used to sell
juice cards (MDC-T councillors). They will never give you land even if you
apply, but if you come through our offices, we will give you land,” he said.

One of the church leaders Lawrence Katsiru, a known Zanu PF sympathiser,
assured Tome that his church was resolute and will remain “ideologically
correct”.

“In Africa, we are more than 5 million black people in the church, no white
men even if they come with their epilepsy we won’t help them because of
their sins,” Katsiru said. “We remain resolute and ideologically directed
and we will stand by you. We are very principled,” he said.

Zanu PF is determined to score high in the next elections and to lure
members of apostolic churches and Pentecostal churches to increase chances
of defeating their main rival, the MDC-T.

Observers say the Apostolic sect is being rewarded for their loyalty and
declaration of allegiance to Zanu PF that has seen them “stealing the
thunder” from other groupings in national gatherings where they are bussed
to sing praises for the party and President Robert Mugabe.

Top Zanu PF bigwigs have gone steps further to lure members of the Apostolic
sect with people including Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Media and
Information Publicity minister Webster Shamu and Chombo seen clad in white
garments to associate themselves with the sect that has millions of
potential voters in its midst.

According to Zanu PF’s resolutions for 2010, 2011 and 2012 national people’s
conferences, the party resolved to target the church, youths and women in
their campaigns.

Zanu PF is pinning its victory hopes on populist projects like the
indigenisation programme and dishing out flea markets in suburbs and giving
out stands to groups that declare their allegiance to the party. NewsDay


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘Tsvangirai for polls before UNWTO’

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

Sunday, 10 February 2013 12:32
HARARAE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai hopes an election before the
United Nations World Tourism Conference (UNWTO) slated for August would put
fetters on Zanu PF’s violence machinery since world attention will be firmly
trained on Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai’s coalition partner in the unity
government, has made a major climb-down from his earlier assertions that the
country would hold elections by March.

While Tsvangirai’s MDC has upped preparations for the watershed polls having
already received names of election candidates, Zanu PF is lagging behind as
it haggles over the criteria that should be used in its primary elections —
that are likely to further divide the faction-riddled party ahead of
national polls.

Tendai Biti, MDC’s secretary-general has already indicated that his party
wants elections in June or July, but Zanu PF is yet to make a formal
position, heightening speculation that the liberation party is now in
retreat.

Alex Magaisa, Tsvangirai’s aide, told the Daily News that the PM will work
flat out to ensure the conference succeeds.

Magaisa said the PM would push for funding for the UNTWO conference, which
is $11 million short.

“The PM is consulting with his fellow principals over the funding of the
event,” Magaisa said.

“Politically, it is an important occasion because it would incentivise good
behaviour among political players. It is important that we facilitate the
conference otherwise it will be taken from us. The threat of the conference
being taken from us is very real.”

Successive elections since 2000 have been blighted by violence, as the world
attention would be fixed on other troubled spots, however, in this year’s
polls, where Sadc guidelines on elections will be used, the world will be
looking at Zimbabwe.

Biti, who is also the Finance minister, recently announced that the
government is prepared to sponsor observers and monitors’ stay in the
country who will come for the referendum until well after the decisive
polls, dates of which are yet to be agreed by Principals.

Apart from counting on the UNTWO conference, the MDC has also been pushing
for security sector and media reforms.

With the army generals apparently unfazed by talk of reforms and Zanu PF
seemingly reluctant to touch the contentious issue, sources in the MDC say
the UNTWO would rein-in the security sector, which continues to threaten the
impeding polls, notwithstanding Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s commitment to peace.

Tsvangirai, however, has an insurmountable task ahead of him as he sweats
over funding for the referendum and elections, with the tourism indaba
adding to the list of competing priorities.

Already, a broke Cabinet has written to the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) pleading for a massive $250 million cash injection to fund
the elections.

MDC formations in the government say money from diamond mining should be
availed to bankroll the crucial national programmes.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

EU gives $520 000 for ECD centres

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 10 February 2013 11:59
HARARE - The European Union (EU) delegation to Zimbabwe yesterday officially
launched the ‘’Early Child Development (ECD) Centres’’ programme in
Mhondoro- Ngezi, Mashonaland West in its continuing efforts to improve the
living standards of vulnerable Zimbabweans.

The programme, to which the EU contributed about $520 000, will support 108
ECD centres in primary schools, 25 of which will be established, renovated,
furnished and equipped.

‘’This programme supports government policy introduced in 2005, which made
ECD education mandatory for primary school entry but was constrained by lack
of funding.

“The EU is pleased to support the Rural District Councils of Mhondoro-Ngezi,
Zvimba and Chegutu to implement this critical programme that provides a
supportive and child-friendly environment, that is an effective way of
ensuring the normal psychological and social development of infants,’’ said
Jorge Pereiro- Piñon, the head of the Social Sectors at the EU delegation,
at the launch.

Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council CEO, Andrew Mawonde expressed
gratitude to the EU and JF Kapnek Trust, which is a partner in the project.

He encouraged parents to enrol infants at the ECD centres, which will
provide fortified porridge daily, and regular health checks and immunisation
services.

The centre will also assist infants to acquire birth certificates.

The ECD programme will complement the Education Transition Fund (ETF),
another programme supported by the EU and other development partners, which
provided more than 20 million textbooks to school children across the
country.

The EU also supports health and food security sectors in the country. -
Staff Writer


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ten candidates for primaries in Kariba

http://nehandaradio.com

on February 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

By Tatenda Mabasa

KARIBA – Ten names from both the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Zanu PF were submitted for vetting for
party primaries to select the candidates for elections to elect the MP for
Kariba town.

Mugabe (left) is relying on the army to remain in power while Tsvangirai
(right) and his party are asking for SADC intervention to prevent this abuse
of the army.
General elections are due later this year. According to MDC-T sources, at
least seven party members submitted their names for vetting by the party
provincial executive committee in January.

Among those who submitted names are sitting MP Cleopas Machacha, senator
John Masaba, Thomas Makwasha, John Houghton, Mavhuradona Chafulatira, Kuda
Mandishona and Elson Sefilani.

“Houghton is likely to step down and resubmit as mayoral candidate as there
are many people vying for the MP position” said another source who declined
to be named. The list could not be verified independently.

MDC-T provincial party spokesperson Big Haurobi refused to comment on the
screening process of aspiring candidates both at local council and MPs
positions.

“I can confirm that there are many of our members who are gearing themselves
to represent the party during elections in councils and constituencies in
the province. We have aspiring candidates who include senior party members,
Zanu PF defectors, intellectuals, civil society members and youth as well as
women assembly officials. We did our part as Provincial Executive committee
on CVs submitted on 26 January 2013. We await action from National Executive
for further screening. I am not at liberty to reveal the names submitted for
vetting as of yet but all I can say is that MDC-T is geared for elections
anytime”.

However Zanu PF sources say the party has Gilbert Chibayamagora who is
former Nyaminyami rural council chairman and a hospital official identified
as Kazuva. There is no selection criteria yet from Zanu PF and some aspiring
candidates are campaigning clandestinely.

Former Kariba MP during the 2000 election, Isaac Mackenzie, is preparing for
a comeback on a Zanu PF ticket, according to insiders. Mackenzie stands
accused of sponsoring a terror campaign team of Zanu PF youths that killed
MDC-T supporter Luckson Kanyurira in 2001 in cold blood.

The gang was led by one Muneri Chakwana nicknamed Black Jesus.

“Zanu PF voted itself out here due to terror campaign by the Mackenzie
youths and people are against a violent party at all costs” said a fisherman
who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

MDC claims 200 of its supporters were killed during the 2008 June
presidential elections after Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai. A run off election
engineered by Mugabe’s regime saw Tsvangirai pulling out due to the violence
and murder.

Zimbabweans are bracing themselves for a referendum that will chart a way
forward for elections to be held later this year. Nehanda Radio


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Health secretary grilled over stolen funds

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 10 February 2013 12:27
HARARE - Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has suffered serious financial
prejudice from theft and fraud by its staffers, resulting in the
misappropriation of $68 000 and 18 000 Rand.

Permanent secretary Gerald Gwinje on Friday briefed the portfolio committee
on Public Accounts that the ministry has been struggling to recover the
money from the employees, with some having fled the country after being
reported to the police.

Appearing before the legislative committee chaired by MDC legislator for
Highfield West Simon Hove, Gwinje, together with director of finance in the
ministry Leonard Mabhadhi, exposed expenditure overruns, fuel usage, and
cannibalism of government vehicles by the ministry’s workers.

Gwinje was asked to account for the misappropriated $68 000 and 18 000 Rand
and another $72 000 that was not accounted for from money received from
Treasury.

“We made reports to the police to help recover the money and in one case
someone was arrested and about $3 000 was recovered but the other
outstanding money is still to be recovered,” Gwinje said.

“We have now introduced courses of financial management and bookkeeping to
our managers so they can know how to handle the cash.”

Gwinje said $72 000 had been used to repair vehicles in the ministry and was
paid to several garages in the country.

He also said some of the misappropriation happened before he was appointed
permanent secretary in the ministry.

“Some of the things happened before my time and this is why some of the
audits were not done, but when I was appointed in April 2009 I have tried to
put tight financial systems to control the abuse of funds, and so far it has
worked,” said Gwinje.

He said as a measure of controlling the abuse of fuel by senior health
managers and medical officers, the ministry had introduced the use of
coupons as opposed to vehicles collecting fuel from hospital tanks.

Gwinje also told the committee that he had also stopped some cases of double
payment as 45 employees were receiving two salaries, one from government and
the other from the Global Fund.

“This was notified during the audit and it was rectified as it was realised
that it had happened for a long from 2008 before I become permanent
secretary and I had to stop it because regulations do not allow that,” said
Gwinje.

Hove advised Gwinje to rein-in his staff and introduce tight financial
mechanisms as the public funds were being fleeced.

Gwinje admitted that the abuse was happening at the district hospitals and
main referral centres as people are paying cash to hospitals to seek
treatment.

The committee also complained about the attitude and arrogance that patients
were being subjected to by nurses and doctors as many patients were spending
long hours waiting to be treated.

“It now takes eight hours for one to be attended at the major hospitals like
Parirenyatwa and Harare Central Hospital and this is the reason why the
former minister of Health Herbert Ushewekunzwe once visited them in disguise
and beat up nurses and doctors who were neglecting patients,” said Hove.

Gwinje admitted the problem but blamed it on the young and inexperienced
staff manning the hospitals.

“We have faced challenges in that we have lost experienced staff and this is
why we having these problems, but we are trying to address it by emphasising
on the course of medical ethics to our trainee students,” said Gwinje.

He said the health sector was on a recovery path as most of the public
hospitals had medicines and equipment that was being donated by foreign
partners.

Parliament committees act as watchdogs to various government ministries and
have powers to summon Cabinet ministers and senior government officials to
appear before to them to answer issues and questions that are in the public
interest.

Most of the meetings are open to the public for hearing with some of them
being closed sessions.

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare has suffered a lot of challenges
including misappropriation of funds in hospitals.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Satanists to be deported: Mohadi

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

09/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

TWO Congolese nationals face deportation from Zimbabwe for devil
worshipping.
George Renee Lungange and Ngezi Ngendo Bragxton were residents of the
Tongogara Refugee Camp in 2011 when they were arrested for trying to convert
fellow refugees to Satanism.

The two men are now locked up at Harare Prison where they made a show for
journalists who visited the facility last Wednesday on a guided tour.

Now ministers and prison authorities say the two men’s refugee status will
be revoked, and the pair will be deported back to the Democratic Republic of
Congo.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has told prisons chief Rtd Major General
Paradzai Zimondi to isolate the two to stop them from “polluting” other
prisoners with their beliefs.

Mohadi said: “Satanic practices are immoral and intolerable in Zimbabwe. We
have no room for such wayward and evil practices.”
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is set to revoke the two men’s refugee
status within days, allowing their removal from the prison and deportation.

Mohadi said: “The mandate of the prison is to rehabilitate, and it is our
general feeling that they prison authorities have to get rid of such
unrepentant elements in the soonest possible way.”

Harare Remand Prison officer-in-charge Chief Superintendent Billiot Chibaya
said prison authorities only learnt that the two were Satanists recently.

He revealed: “We didn’t know until the time they wrote a letter to me,
seeking authorisation to conduct nocturnal prayers and start their satanic
cult here. That is when we interrogated them. They then confessed to being
Satanists.

“We interview other inmates daily, but none of them has told us that they
have been convinced to join them.”
Bragxton and Lungange told journalists last Wednesday that they drank their
own blood as part of their initiation into Satanism during a ceremony held
in South Africa.

Bragxton said: “Satan has provided all we need. I already have a vehicle
showroom and a line of supermarkets back in Congo. Nothing surpasses what
Satan has given us.”


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZiFM goes nationwide ‘in 36 months’

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 10 February 2013 11:56
HARARE - Journalist-cum-businessman Supa Mandiwanzira has disassociated his
radio station ZiFM from any political party saying it was a professional
broadcaster which has no bias whatsoever.

The parliamentary portfolio committee on Media, Information and
Communication Technology toured the station’s studios in Highlands on
Thursday to familiarise themselves with the operations of the station.

The legislators were keen to know how the station was operating since it was
granted a licence last year in August by the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (Baz).

Mandiwanzira told the committee he was ready to accommodate everyone,
allowing every party to air their views without fear or favour.

“I have invested $1,8 million into this project and there is no way I can
allow my money to sink if I start to broadcast MDC or Zanu PF propaganda, I
will start to lose listeners,” Mandiwanzira said.

“I stive to balance up things and report fairly and objectively with
favouring anyone.

“When I appeared for a public hearing before this committee last year,
during the interview for a licence, I stated there will be no partisan
reporting in my studios as I am running a commercial business venture.”

Prosper Mutseyami, MDC MP for Musikavanhu Constituency, had asked
Mandiwanzira whether his station was aligned to any political party.

The legislators were following-up on a motion that was moved by MDC MP for
Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, and Zaka East MDC MP Harrison Mudzuri during
the fourth parliamentary session calling for the dissolution of Baz,
arguing it had issued licences to Zanu PF-aligned cronies.

MDC legislators called for the withdrawal of licences to Zimpapers’ Star FM
and AB Communications’ ZiFM arguing they favoured Zanu PF in broadcasting.

Mandiwanzira employs 30 people that include journalists, marketing officers,
engineers and drivers. The radio station has a listenership of over 100 000
people.

Anadi Sululu, MDC MP for Silobela, said: “Your audiences are mostly
executives in the cities. Why are you not coming to the rural areas, as
there are also audiences?”

Mandiwanzira said the radio station had a three-year programme which it aims
to roll-out countrywide.

He said ZiFM had started in the cities and shall be moving to other areas
once it has installed transmitters.

“We have started in Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare, Kadoma, Masvingo,
Mutare, Mutorashanga, Nyanga and Victoria Falls as this is where we have set
up transmitters. However, we shall move out to other areas in the next 36
months,” said Mandiwanzira.

Last year the parliamentary committee toured the Zimpapers-owned TalkRadio
which was later rechristened to Star FM .


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Hoping for a miracle – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th February 2013

Every week sees the ‘credibility gap’ between Harare and the outside world grow wider. Last week we were told that Zimbabwe’s agriculture was powering ahead – despite another appeal for international food aid. This week we were told by Tendai Biti that the elections will be free and fair – despite the failure to implement any of the GPA reforms (see: Free, fair poll: Biti confident – http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/news/zimbabwe/63564/free-fair-poll-biti-confident.html?utm_source=thezim&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=listarticle&utm_content=headinglink).

We are accustomed to Biti’s fantasies but were disappointed that President Zuma is apparently content to allow the elections to go ahead without the reforms ‘provided there is commitment on both sides of the political divide that the polls would not be preceded by violence and anything that would produce a contested outcome’ (see: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Softens Zumahttp://allafrica.com/stories/201302071271.html?page=2).

So no plans to stop the security services interfering in the elections? No cleansing of the voters’ roll? No purge of the partisan electoral commission? No opening up of the airwaves? In short, no guarantee of a level playing field?

Under these conditions the Vigil believes the MDC leaders will need a miracle. One would think that all they want now is GNU Mark 2 and a luxury carriage on the gravy train.

The Vigil supports the call by Human Rights Watch for the EU to continue targeted sanctions until free and fair elections have been held (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb8_2013.html#Z8Zimbabwe: No Hasty EU Retreat on Sanctions). Furthermore we urge the EU not to contribute to the $250 million begging bowl Biti is sending around to pay for the referendum and elections unless the EU is allowed to send observers.

We think Biti should ask his new friend Gideon Gono to see what his prophet pals can do. Gono obviously thinks nothing is beyond their miraculous money making powers (see: Central bank governor blasted for ‘sanitising’ Makandiwa & Angel – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb7_2013.html#Z14). Or Biti could bet his last $217 on free and fair elections – the Vigil will give him a million to one.

Other points

· At another cold and wet Vigil we were cheered by the sadza and nyama brought by supporters today.

· Once again we were joined by Chinese and Japanese students from the London School of Economics and also by students from Belgium. They were very interested and helpful.

· Sad misunderstanding. We apologise to the homeless man who asked us to pray for him. We thought he was asking us to pay for him and were puzzled when he said others were much more Christian than us….

· Next week Amnesty International is to mark the 10th anniversary of WOZA’s Valentine Day’s protest by laying roses on the doorstep of the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

· Ben Freeth, author of ‘Mugabe and the White African’, is to speak at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 7th March about the situation in Zimbabwe. Other speakers include Professor Craig Richardson from the USA who will explain how the seizure of commercial farms has undermined the Zimbabwean economy. For further details see ‘Events and Notices’.

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: 40 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

· WOZA: 10th Anniversary Rally. Saturday 16th February from 1 – 2 pm. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Bring a rose to lay at the Embassy door in solidarity with WOZA. Please contact Maggie Towse, Country Coordinator for Zimbabwe AIUK at: maggie.towse@amnesty.org.uk

· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 23rd February 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd March from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The meeting will take place straight after the Vigil. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

· Mike Campbell Foundation: Hope in a Desert. Thursday 7th March at 7 pm. Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers are Ben Freeth, Dr Craig Richardson and Gillian Higgins. The event will be chaired by Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe. Tickets: £15. Check: http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/images/rgs2013flyer.pdf for more information.

· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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.

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

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

· 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.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The MDC Today

http://www.mdc.co.zw

Friday, 08 February 2013
Issue - 511

One of the biggest challenges that faced the Government of National Unity is
to do with policy discord as manifested in the infamous Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA) which is sponsored by Zanu PF. The somewhat
aggressive and clumsy implementation of the IEEA, since 2010 has created the
impression that investors are an unwanted lot in Zimbabwe and that indeed
has been the heaviest impediment to investment in the country.

The tragedy is that Zanu PF wants to project itself as uncompromising in
defending the masses even if it means fighting business. Unfortunately this
stance has become hostile to foreign investors; President Tsvangirai speaks
on this and more;

“The challenges we faced largely arose from policy discord especially around
indigenisation. It would appear the Government was split with Zanu PF going
with its so called indigenisation plan which scared away investors.

The policy discord affected investor confidence in the country because of
the manner in which indigenisation was implemented. It created so much
discord. We hope the nation will be able to set the real priorities when we
come to economic empowerment which we all subscribe to...” President
Tsvangirai said.

One of the biggest challenges that faced the Government of National Unity is
to do with policy discord as manifested in the infamous Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA) which is sponsored by Zanu PF. The somewhat
aggressive and clumsy implementation of the IEEA, since 2010 has created the
impression that investors are an unwanted lot in Zimbabwe and that indeed
has been the heaviest impediment to investment in the country.

The tragedy is that Zanu PF wants to project itself as uncompromising in
defending the masses even if it means fighting business. Unfortunately this
stance has become hostile to foreign investors; President Tsvangirai speaks
on this and more;

“The challenges we faced largely arose from policy discord especially around
indigenisation. It would appear the Government was split with Zanu PF going
with its so called indigenisation plan which scared away investors.

The policy discord affected investor confidence in the country because of
the manner in which indigenisation was implemented. It created so much
discord. We hope the nation will be able to set the real priorities when we
come to economic empowerment which we all subscribe to...” President
Tsvangirai said.

President Tsvangirai also singled out the selective application of the law
as scaring away investors, “In the MDC we have always not been happy about
the selective application of the law mirrored by the Glen View activist
arrests and denial of bail. The perception that there is selective
application of the law does not bode well for a government that is crying to
instil a sense of rule of law” President Tsvangirai said.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The Zimbabwean constitution: A necessary compromise

http://www.politicsweb.co.za

Eddie Cross
10 February 2013

Eddie Cross says the document the best that could be achieved in the
circumstances

A New National Dispensation

In 1997, a young man I knew as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions made a statement to the effect that the crisis in
Zimbabwe was being caused by two things - a faulty Constitution and a rogue
Government that had lost its way. He launched the National Constitutional
Assembly (the NCA) and then, after the food riots that year, when several
people were shot dead by the security forces, he called for a Working
Peoples Convention to decide what to do about the rogue State. The result
was the formation of the MDC in 1999 and the launch of a protracted struggle
to change the way the country is governed.

In 2006, just six months after the split in the leadership of the MDC
following an attempt by the Secretary General (Welshman Ncube) to take over
the leadership of the Party, that same man, called for a Congress of MDC
structures and membership in Harare and in response 22 000 people, just
ordinary people, small scale farmers, cross border traders, street sellers,
builders and workers from all sectors of the economy, walked, hitchhiked and
rode on trains and busses to Harare where they arrived on late Friday
afternoon, slept hard on the ground that night and in the next two days,
endorsed Morgan Tsvangirai as Party leader and selected a new team to work
with him on the future of the Party and the Country.

It was a festival of democracy and simple human dignity and courage. On the
Sunday afternoon that large crowd of ordinary men and women did an
extraordinary thing - they adopted a simple road map for the way ahead to a
new Zimbabwe. They stated that they would wage a democratic struggle for
power, would not use violence in any form to achieve those ends, force Zanu
PF to the negotiating table to agree on new conditions for the next
elections, then force through a new Constitution and win the subsequent
election and go on to form a new Government that would restore their
freedoms and dignity.

Just 24 months later, they beat Zanu PF in another lopsided contest and were
denied victory by regional leaders who were not prepared to accept that such
a movement led by a man with little education, could defeat one of the great
liberation Parties in Africa and depose a man with six University degrees.
But in the following melee, all involved recognised that like it or not, the
MDC could not be excluded and the result was the GNU in February 2009.

The man who started it all, turned his attention back to the need for a new
Constitution. Forced to share power with his erstwhile enemies, the MDC
leadership started work on a new Constitution. We knew what we wanted but
the problem for Zanu was that if they conceded all that we demanded, they
would be sunk. Despite intense opposition, progress was made and eventually
in late 2009, the Constitution making process began.

In the subsequent 4 years, a Committee of Parliament was formed (COPAC), a
million Zimbabweans were asked what they wanted from the process and a
comprehensive and a detailed record made. Then came the negotiations between
the bitter rivals. After two and a half years, final agreement was reached
and was signed in June 2012.

Even then the hardliners were not satisfied, they demanded hundreds of
changes. The MDC said that the concessions made in the negotiations were the
limit to what we would accept. In the subsequent struggle, both sides stuck
to their guns and the impasse was only unlocked when three weeks ago
regional leaders intervened and Zanu PF was forced to accept the final draft
prepared by COPAC. Last week this was taken to Parliament and in three days
the draft was adopted and sent to the country for a referendum.

Now the debate begins on the referendum and this will not be easy because
the draft runs to 172 pages, the drafting instructions used by the drafters
is 145 pages long and the other documents run to perhaps a 1000 pages. Most
people will simply have to take our word that we are satisfied that this is
the best we can do while we are in the GNU and to trust us to correct the
shortcomings once we are in power alone.

This is the first time this country has been allowed to participate in
drafting its own Constitution. This is the first time the process has been
carried out by local Citizens and the actual legal drafting has been done by
local lawyers and specialists. It is a home grown deal but its faults come
from the fact that it eventually had to be negotiated by political Parties
with a totally different view of the State and the future. Both sides made
compromises, both sides got what they wanted; that is the very nature of a
negotiation.

For us in the MDC we wanted a devolved State that was governed by a smaller
Government with reduced power at the centre and term limits - not just for
the President but for all senior officers of the State. We wanted a stronger
Parliament and a completely restructured Senate that would not be a
hindrance to change when the time came.

We wanted a strong and independent and professional Judiciary with complete
autonomy and responsibility for the rule of law. We wanted a Constitutional
State where the Constitution would become a part of every Citizens Highway
Code. We wanted a Constitution that for the first time would give every
person dignity and rights and every woman, equality in society, before the
law and in the State.

We wanted a Constitution that would treat every Zimbabwean, irrespective of
their race, tribe, colour, gender absolute equality in all spheres of life.
If you are born in Zimbabwe, have at least one Zimbabwean parent, you can
never be deprived of your citizenship. For hundreds of thousands this is a
real step forward and an end to the nightmare where they had found
themselves "non persons" under Zanu PF. We wanted and got an independent
prosecuting authority and now the Attorney General will be the legal advisor
to the State.

We got new rules for elections and a series of Commissions that will act
independently of the State in pursuing the wider interests of the People in
so far as the process national healing, human rights, the land commission
and so on.

Overall I think it's quite a decent document that will help us carry out the
task that lies ahead of us in July when once again, for the sixth time, we
face Zanu PF in an election which will determine all our futures.

Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his
website www.eddiecross.africanherd.com


Back to the Top
Back to Index