The Guardian is accused of ignoring its own role in publishing a WikiLeaks cable that may have put at risk the Zimbabwean prime minister. Critics have a case, says Guardian deputy editor, Ian Katz, but only up to a point
Jan 13, 2011, 18:21 GMT
Harare - Civil servants in Zimbabwe threatened late Thursday to go on strike
in seven days unless the government offers them more pay.
A nationwide strike could paralyse the southern African country's already
'Our members are grappling with economic challenges, including failure to
meet our basic needs,' Tendai Chikowore, the leader of the senior civil
servants, told journalists in the capital Harare. 'We do not condone or
accept a paltry renumeration offer that seeks to perpetuate the suffering of
workers and condemn them to be paupers.'
She said the government had offered monthly salaries ranging from 160 US
dollars - amounting to a 25-per-cent pay increase for low- level civil
servants - to 241 US dollars.
'What we've offered is the best we could at the moment to the people who are
critical to our country,' Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro
said. 'We are doing all we can to raise the civil servants' working
But Cecilia Alexander, the president of the Zimbabwe Public Service
Association, called the proposal 'an insult' and demanded a minimum salary
of 502 US dollars.
'We have diamonds in this country and revenue is rising daily. Where is that
money going?' Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive
Teachers of Zimbabwe, asked.
The civil servants, who are some of the lowest paid in southern Africa, had
embarked on an open-ended strike last year after turning down what they
called a 'pathetic' salary offer. The strike ended after the government
promised them a substantial pay hike this year.
Sources in the defense forces told VOA on Wednesday that they received their
January pay slips this week reflecting salaries from US$193 up to US$225, a
scale expected to apply to other state employees
Gibbs Dube | Washington 12 January 2011
Modest 2011 pay increases for members of the Zimbabwean military, believed
to indicate similar incremental gains for civil servants, have left public
Sources in the defence forces told VOA on Wednesday that they received their
January pay slips this week reflecting salaries from US$193 up to US$225.
Base pay for soldiers last year was US$176 a month including housing and
other allowances, and many in the military had hoped to see a 100 percent
increase in public sector pay this year.
The Apex Council comprising officials of public sector unions and
associations, said it is displeased at indications that civil servant
salaries will not be doubled.
The national unity government launched in February 2009 abandoned the
Zimbabwean dollar and as a gesture to public workers paid minimal allowances
up to US$200. The government has continued to tell state workers it can't
afford to pay much more.
Apex Council Chairperson Tendai Chikowore said the panel will meet on
Thursday with government officials to argue for larger increases. “We expect
fireworks at the meeting as the government is doing what it wants without
consulting us,” Chikowore said.
State employee Cephas Sibanda said the Apex Council will not manage to get a
100 percent pay rise for government workers.
VOA was unable to reach a senior government official for comment on the
The council represents the the Public Service Association, the Zimbabwe
Teachers Association, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, the
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the College Lecturers Association of
In presentin his 2011 budget, Finance Minister Tendai Biti set aside US$1.4
billion for civil service compensation but did not detail the salary
Party hardliners led by ZANU-PF Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo have called for
Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s prosecution for treason for allegedly conspiring
with Washington to unseat President Mugabe
Blessing Zulu | Washington 12 January 2011
Zimbabwean Attorney General Johannes Tomana on Wednesday distanced himself
from reports he is establishing a commission to probe information revealed
in US diplomatic cables from Harare to Washington that political opponents
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have charged showed he engaged in
So far the fallout from Wikileaks disclosures concerning Zimbabwe has been
limited, but a more formal inquiry could create legal complications for Mr.
Tsvangirai, who in 2004 was acquitted of treason in an alleged plot to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
Mr. Tsvangirai is likely to challenge Mr. Mugabe in the next presidential
election, which depending on circumstances could be held late this year or
Tomana told VOA that only the president can set up such a commission of
The state-controlled Herald newspaper, generally considered a mouthpiece for
President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, had reported that Tomana would unveil a
commission of inquiry to probe Mr Tsvangirai's ties to a former US
Party hardliners led by ZANU-PF Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, Foreign Affairs
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, politiburo member Jonathan Moyo and
Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha have called for Mr Tsvangirai’s
prosecution for treason for allegedly conspiring with Washington to unseat
The ZANU-PF functionaries have seized on cables published digitally by
Wikileaks that showed former US Ambassador Christopher Dell envisioning
regime change in Harare. ”We need to keep the pressure on to keep Mugabe off
his game and on his back foot, relying on his own shortcomings to do him
in,” the cable showed Dell writing.
Mr Tsvangirai has dismissed what he says ZANU-PF partisans calling for his
resignation and prosecution over the contents of the leaked cables,
characterizing them as "barbarians" who "should have their heads examined."
National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told reporter
Blessing Zulu that only Mr Mugabe has the powers to appoint a special
Madhuku said the Wikileaks information has lent credence to Mr. Mugabe's
often-repeated charge that Mr. Tsvangirai is a servant of Western interests.
January 13, 2011, 11:00AM EST
Human Rights Watch and others say Zimbabwe's military is illegally selling
diamonds to enrich Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party ahead of next year's
By Brian Latham and Fred Katerere
Enos Chikwere spills nine uncut diamonds from a bag at Restaurante Piscina
in the town of Vila de Manica in Mozambique near the Zimbabwe border. He
says the stones are worth $75,000 and that he bought them from Zimbabwean
soldiers. The diamonds come from a mining concession the government seized
in 2006 from a private company. The army has used forced labor, human-rights
groups say, to mine the gems. The stones are sold illicitly via smuggling.
Chikwere is part of a chain that stretches back to the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the party of President Robert
Mugabe, which has won four violent and disputed elections since 2000.
The dealer says his gems come from Marange, Zimbabwe's biggest field, in in
the east. By selling the army-sourced stones abroad, the dealers are
enriching the 86-year-old President's party ahead of next year's vote,
according to Human Rights Watch, Partnership Africa Canada, and the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), the political party led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai that governs in a forced coalition with Zanu-PF. Extensive
interviews with these human-rights groups, as well as MDC, smugglers, and
diamond dealers, provided the information for this story. The human-rights
groups in turn have based their assertions on interviews with soldiers,
diplomats, diggers, community leaders, and members of government, including
the Parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy.
Under Mugabe's policy of seizing farmland from white farmers and
redistributing it to his followers, the once-prosperous Zimbabwean economy
has shrunk drastically. Zanu-PF, in search of a steady source of financing,
found it in the mines. "Revenue from the mines is serving to prop up Mugabe
and his cronies," Tom Porteous, the U.K. director of New York-based Human
Rights Watch, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News on Dec. 8. "There are real
concerns that diamond revenue will be used to fund political violence and
intimidation of Mugabe's opponents." In previous political campaigns,
Zanu-PF paid youth militia to beat up political opponents and intimidate
The smuggling from Marange benefits Mugabe's party because it is mostly
carried out through the military, which controls the mine and reports to
Mugabe. Marange diamonds can't be exported legally because the field hasn't
met an international certification standard showing that the proceeds don't
go to finance conflict. Mozambique, meanwhile, isn't a member of the
Kimberley Process, an organization of governments and diamond companies that
tries to reduce the number of conflict diamonds in the world.
Mugabe's party denies the allegations of smuggling diamonds to support its
campaign efforts. "These are just inventions of the Western imperialists who
are trying to discredit Zanu-PF," spokesman Rugare Gumbo said in a Dec. 6
phone interview from Harare, the nation's capital. "There is no corruption
at Marange, and Zanu-PF is not using the proceeds."
Soldiers mostly entrust the Marange stones to smugglers who then link up
with buyers outside Zimbabwe. The MDC, the coalition partner that Mugabe
reluctantly accepted into the government under pressure from other African
countries, condemns the military's role. "We need the money to pay civil
servants," says Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a member of the MDC. "We must
rein in the political elite who are prospering from the stones."
The soldiers are very open in their trading, says a Nigerian dealer in
Chimoio, capital of Mozambique's Manica province, who says his name is
Colonel Rambo. They give their cut to their superior officers, who surrender
a share to politicians, he says. In Vila de Manica, Chikwere boasts that
there is no limit to the number of stones he can get. "Don't worry about me
and the border," he says. "I have my systems."
The bottom line: According to Human Rights Watch, the Zimbabwe military is
selling diamonds illegally to finance Robert Mugabe's reelection campaign.
Harare, January 13, 2011 - The cash-strapped Government of National Unity
(GNU) last year sold rough diamonds to the Government of India in exchange
for the building of a centre and the training of workers, it has been
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Obert Mpofu, actually signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of India to sell them
local rough diamonds in exchange for a training centre to be built by the
Indians in Harare.
The Indians were also to train Zimbabweans on diamond cutting and polishing.
Mpofu went to India in October and cut the lucrative deal for the Indians.
The deal was struck by an Indian firm known as Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing
India Limited. In terms of the agreement Indian's Surat would establish a
diamond training academy in Harare which would train young workers on
diamond cutting and polishing.
In exchange Zimbabwe would supply rough diamonds to the Indian firm.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has already confirmed that
Zimbabwe has about 16.5 million tonnes of diamonds hidden in such areas as
Chiadzwa, Murowa and the controversial River Ranch Farm where former army
commander, General Solomon Mujuru has much influence.
Last year more than 1 200 000 carats of diamonds were mined but disappeared
by Tobias Manyuchi Thursday 13 January 2011
HARARE – The United States (US) has expressed concern at the lack of
progress by Zimbabwe to fully implement resolutions of the Kimberly Process
(KP) as officials in Harare vowed to block Washington from being appointed
the monitoring scheme’s deputy chair.
"We remain concerned about Zimbabwe’s lack of progress in implementing the
minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process with respect to the Marange
diamond fields,” Robert F Cekuta, US deputy assistant secretary for energy,
sanctions and commodities said on Wednesday.
According to Cekuta, the US was particularly concerned about, “continued
smuggling, the potential for a repeat of the grave violence seen in 2008-09
in and around Marange, and about Zimbabwe’s unwillingness to cooperate fully
with the Kimberley Process”.
The US official called on the Harare authorities to ensure that operations
at Marange were in full compliance with KP requirements, adding that this
would be beneficial to the long-term interests of Zimbabwe and its people.
But officials in Harare, who spoke on condition they were not named, told
ZimOnline that Zimbabwe would respond to US criticism by vetoing any
attempts to appoint the US as deputy chair of the world diamond trade
"We will continue blocking them to be named as deputy chair," a government
official said. "For once we would use the KP veto system to our advantage to
their disadvantage. We have the resources, and they have nothing.”
The KP banned Zimbabwe from selling diamonds from the Marange fields in 2009
over allegations of human rights abuses in the extraction of the gems and
failure to meet minimum requirements for trading in the precious stones.
But the organisation allowed Zimbabwe to conduct two supervised sales which
took place in August and September last year following a report by Chikane
that said Harare had met all KP conditions.
The issue of Zimbabwe selling the Marange diamonds has divided the KP along
political lines, with Western countries led by the United States, Germany
and Australia as well as civil society groups that are members of the
organisation calling for the extension of a ban.
African and other countries, including Russia, have however opposed the
calls to ban the diamonds.
Zimbabwe has criticised the calls for a ban of the Marange stones, accusing
the West of using the diamonds issue to punish President Robert Mugabe for
taking land from white farmers and reallocating it to blacks. -- ZimOnline
By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 January, 2011
Thousands of Bulawayo residents are reported to have been stranded on
Wednesday after the traffic police blocked all roads leading to the main
terminus at Esgodini. Commuter omnibuses could not access the main areas of
the city and many workers and students returning to school found there was
no transport for hours.
The police claimed they were hunting for the culprits who had stoned one of
their new BMW vehicles in Makokoba suburb. But journalist Zenzele Ndebele
explained that the incident was the result of ongoing tensions between
corrupt traffic police officials and angry omnibus crews.
Zenzele said: “Touts are complaining about the conduct of traffic police who
have become more corrupt and are demanding more money. There has been
tension between them and on Wednesday there was a standoff between touts and
the police after the patrol car was stoned. Police then blocked all roads
leading to the main terminus and many people were stranded.”
According to Zenzele, the traffic department purchased new BMW cars that
were very expensive and cost a lot to service. The traffic police were then
tasked to raise $2,000 in fines per car each day. But drivers and touts said
they are taking advantage of this and raising money for themselves as well.
Zenzele spoke to some drivers who said they are being fined even after they
produce all the required documents, because the police find something on the
omnibuses to ticket them for. Drivers have paid fines ranging from $10 to
“The fines are high and not wearing a seat belt can cost you $20. They are
fining drivers for things like fire extinguishers and it can add up to $100
a day,” said Zenzele.
Those who fail to pay the fines are sometimes ordered to park their vehicles
for the rest of the day, losing much needed income. Bulawayo residents are
reportedly up in arms against the traffic police and tensions continued to
affect transport on Thursday.
The Bulawayo Agenda civic group confirmed the incidents in a statement
released on Thursday, which said: “Traffic police in the city and commuter
omnibus crews are in an undeclared war. The police are reportedly harassing
commuter omnibus crews because one of the BMW was stoned in Makokoba.”
“The traffic police have been fleecing commuter omnibus operators since
acquiring BMWs in early December 2010. The cheapest ticket is reportedly in
the range of US$80” said Bulawayo Agenda.
Zaka - January 13, 2011 – More than 30 people were left injured here on
Wednesday after a group of soldiers went berserk and started to beat up
civilians who were doing their private business at Jerera Growth Point.
Eye witnesses said they were shocked to see unformed soldiers beating
civilians for no reason.
“Look we are not in a war, why do they just descend on us and start beating
us. Even if we go to war, we think our soldiers should be seen protecting
us, they are paid to give us peace of mind not this kind of torture,” said
an eye witness.
The incident follows a similar one in Gutu just before last Christmas when
several people were injured when
soldiers ran amok in Gutu beating up revellers in pubs and taking away their
Masvingo’s 4 brigade spokesperson Kingstone Chivave said: “You must inform
us not writing about these reports. What do you gain by tarnishing our
image? This is one of the minor bad things that anyone from any profession
Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake said: “We cannot say
anything now as we are gathering information. I heard about 11 people who
claimed to be soldiers were arrested.”
Gweru, January 13, 2011 - There are fears of an outbreak of cholera in Gweru
after UNICEF which had been donating water purification chemicals indicated
it was pulling out its support.
Mayor Thadeus Chimombe told Radio VOP: "UNICEF has indicated that it will
stop supplying us with chemicals beginning this year. We are however still
trying to negotiate with them so that they can once again continue assisting
us with water treatment chemicals."
The council's director of finance Edgar Mwedzi said the city needed US$ 529
120 a month to procure water chemicals. The council said it is unable to
afford it since the bulk of all its revenues go towards payment of wages and
UNICEF started supplying all councils with chemicals to purify water in 2008
when Zimbabwe suffered its worst cholera outbreak. UNICEF wrote to councils
that it would stop supplying the chemicals on December 31, 2010 as it had
achieved its objective of helping to end the cholera epidemic. Negotiations
between UNICEF and association of councils in Zimbabwe are in progress and a
meeting is due to be held in Harare soon.
"We have indicated to UNICEF that if they abandon us now, we are likely to
plunge into the cholera era again. The council is struggling and it is
highly likely that without UNICEF we can provide clean water."
The council has constantly failed to provide water to its residents due to
old pipes and water pumps. Gweru's major water source, Gwenoro dam, has two
out of six pumps working. The city's engineer Jones Nanthambwe said the
pumps needed to be replaced with new ones as they had outlived their life
Harare, January 13, 2010 – Supporters of the smaller faction of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC-M) regrets dumping Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai when the party split in 2005, saying the new president Welshman
Ncube is out to use them.
Arthur Mutambara led the MDC-M party until last weekend when Ncube was voted
“Yes its true, people all over the country are crying foul, they are
realizing that Ncube wanted to use them. This is the reason why we still
believe Mutambara is our President not Ncube. Our supporters are frustrated
by the divisions in the party and this is the reason why they think they
were betrayed," said the party's former national chairman Joubert Mudzumwe.
Mudzumwe mobilised other disgruntled party members and petitioned party
leaders to register disappointment with Ncube just before the party congress
held in Harare recently.
While Mutambara agreed to step down at the congress, he implored the party
leadership not to ignore issues raised by the petition. Mudzumwe described
Ncube as a political schemer 'who lured us to dump Tsvangirai".
“It was better if we had remained under Tsvangirai. We blame our leadership
for all this mess. They are all power hungry and not worried about the
people’s welfare. Tsvangirai was better,” said MDC-M supporter Lloyd
Addressing provincial executive members and legislators for Masvingo
province recently, MDC-T national spokesperson Nelson Chamisa confirmed that
a lot of people from MDC-M were approaching them to be re-admitted in the
“They have approached us, they want to come back to join us. They might come
here even today because we told them that our doors are open,” Chamisa told
the gathering at Panyanda lodge – about ten kilometres south of Masvingo
Ncube said this week Tsvangirai's party was being led by a bunch of
'hypocrites and pseudo democrats'.
LISA STEYN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Jan 13 2011 16:13
While hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have applied for business, study
and work permits in South Africa, the fate of thousands of others is now
Over 44 000 Zimbabweans permit applications have now been approved by the
South African Department of Home Affairs and more than 10 166 are subject to
further review. On Wednesday, the department told the M&G there were still
222 554 applications pending adjudication, with 1 800 applications being
The process started last year when home affairs declared that Zimbabweans in
the country would need to apply by December 31. By the deadline, 275 762 had
applied while an estimated 1,5-million Zimbabweans reside in the country.
Jacob Mamabolo, Head of Port Control at the Department of Home Affairs, told
the M&G that no applicants had been rejected, but were subject to further
Review of applications
He said when the process started it was found that home affairs officials
were rejecting numerous applications. It was decided to review these
applications, with a view to uncover the reasons for rejection: "When we
started the process we realised the rejection numbers were picking up." It
was then that a decision was made to have these applications reviewed.
Zimbabweans were given until the December 31 last year to apply for permits
to live in the country or risk being deported after the moratorium on
Professor Loren Landau, director of the African Centre for Migration and
Society (ACMS) at Wits University in Johannesburg, said the processing of
applications seemed to have been carried out in an ad hoc manner: "As far as
I know there was never a single document which outlined who should be able
to qualify and who shouldn't."
Mamabolo said that the requirements for application had then been "relaxed"
and that perhaps the reason for so many rejections had been "inconsistent
applications and interpretations of requirements".
Initial requirements for application were to provide a valid Zimbabwean
passport and proof of study, work, self employment or business.
Two weeks before the December application deadline the Minister of Home
Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, announced that the deadline would not be
extended but that applicants would not need to present a passport --
provided they had proof of applying for one -- nor would they need to
provide fingerprints on forms.
Applicants who did not qualify would receive rejection notices, and they
would have 10 days to lodge an appeal.
Those who missed the deadline would be deported, according to Mkuseli
Apleni, the director-general of the Department of Home Affairs.
"If there are people who have willingly not taken this opportunity they will
be deported," he said at a media briefing last Thursday.
Mamabolo said once the project was complete, the Immigration Act would again
apply to all foreigners coming into South Africa.
The ACMS's Landau said this would be an effective return to the status quo
of widespread arrest, detention and deportation.
"In the year before the initial moratorium started in mid-2008, South Africa
had deported close to 300 000 people. About two-thirds of those were
Zimbabweans." Landau said he believed if the Act was enforced as it had been
in the past, "we will see a return to those numbers".
"This has immense consequences, not only for the migrants but also for the
families that depend on them, employers who hire them, the employees that
they hire, and the SA taxpayer."
Landau said he had hoped for long-term plan, noting there was a need for a
regional approach to migration in Southern Africa. This, he suggested, could
be established through a range of bilateral agreements or through a South
African Development Community initiative. Such an effort, he said, should be
aimed at creating regional labour markets, promoting the movement of skills,
and facilitating trade.
"Without some sort of pragmatic policy, we will be left spending millions
and violating rights to enforce a law that no longer fits the context in
which we live."
January 13 2011 , 2:42:00
Documenting more than 275,000 Zimbabweans who applied to legalise their stay
in the country will depend on the co-operation of the Zimbabwean government
and its ability to produce passports, a senior home affairs official said
Chief Director for Permits, Jacob Mamabolo, said today in Pretoria that the
government hoped to finish processing the 275,762 applications for residency
by Zimbabweans by June 30, but "the co-operation from Zimbabwe will be
However, the Zimbabwean government is only able to process 500 passports a
day and a substantial number of the Zimbabweans who applied to legalise
their stay do not have passports.
Mamabolo said he could not immediately say how many of the 275,762
applicants did not have passports. He expected the department to have sorted
out all the applications and would then know how many Zimbabweans do not
He said that Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni was planning to
meet with Zimbabwean consular and embassy officials to discuss ways of
helping the Zimbabwean government to speed up its ability to issue
In addition there would be a meeting between Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma and her Zimbabwean counterparts in the near future.
Yesterday, he told Sapa that the department hoped to complete processing the
275,762 applications by June 30, after which Zimbabweans will have 31 days
to collect their visas from the 42 home affairs offices.
The government set aside R6 million for the project, but Mamabolo said that
only once the whole process had been completed by June 30 would the full
cost become apparent.
In April last year, Pretoria announced a moratorium on the deportation of
Zimbabweans and granted them a special dispensation so that they could get
their documents from Zimbabwean officials based in South Africa.
The dispensation was to allow them to normalise their stay in South Africa.
They had until the end of 2010 to lodge their applications with the
department of home affairs. - Sapa
Until the moratorium is lifted on deportations, police offers are not
allowed to arrest illegal Zimbabweans.
Published: 2011/01/13 01:16:15 PM
Policemen should know they can’t arrest Zimbabweans for not having proper
documents to be in SA until the home affairs department lifts the moratorium
on deportations on August 1, Lawyers for Human Rights said on Thursday.
"It is a positive move from home affairs to extend the moratorium on
deportations," Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, head of the refugee and migrant
rights programme said in a statement.
"We are however concerned about the continued arrests and harassment of
Zimbabweans by [police]. We would encourage home affairs to formally
communicate this decision to extend the moratorium to the police so that we
do not continue to see Zimbabweans being arrested for immigration reasons,
while the Zimbabwe documentation process is being finalised." On Wednesday
the department announced that a moratorium on the deportation of Zimbabweans
who don’t have the proper papers to be in the country, would stay in place
until August 1, to allow for the 275,762 applications for the legalisation
of their stay in South Africa to be processed.
June 30 has been set by the department as the target to finish the job,
which was marked by queues of Zimbabweans snaking down pavements outside its
offices to take advantage of the offer.
Ahead of a media briefing by the department, LHR said they were told that
with the help of 38 additional adjudicators, expected to finalise about 60
applications a day each, 2280 permits would be completed daily.
According to LHR, by January 14, all home affairs centres should have
submitted all applications to the head office in Pretoria.
On January 17, the department would meet Zimbabwean authorities to discuss
problems with the issuing of passports, which was creating problems in the
project, LHR said.
By February 4 all applications should have been sorted into categories
including work, business or study, and outstanding documents, information
and fingerprints should be requested.
By June 30 all permits should be adjudicated and issued to applicants
through the home affairs centres where applications were received.
On receipt of a rejection notice, applications had 10 days to lodge an
appeal. LHR advised people in this situation to comply strictly with the
deadline, otherwise they can be deported.
By July 31 everyone who was successful should have their permit.
On August 1, the moratorium on deportation would be lifted.
Estimates vary on how many undocumented Zimbabweans live in South Africa.
Some sources suggested the figure could be as high as three million people.
Many Zimbabweans arrived for economic reasons during their country’s
They made South Africa their base, sending remittances to their families,
and only travelling back for holidays, without keeping their paperwork, if
they had any in the first place, up to date.
Zimbabweans caught without documents to be in South Africa were deported,
but most returned swiftly, either by crossing the Limpopo River away from
the border post, or via the multitude of buses and taxis plying the route
between the two countries, to resume their lives in South Africa.
Written by Tony Saxon
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 08:02
KADOMA - Brandon Dube (not his real name) is a gold dealer. He reckons that
he has made more than $100,000 from black market gold dealing over the past
five years. Dube is a central link in a syndicate that connects Zimbabwe's
gold with South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Dubai.
"I have been dealing in gold for almost four years now and I've lost count
of how much gold I have bought, but it has made me rich," said the
37-year-old Dube, previously a high school teacher.
"You can make more or less $700 every week, but if you buy the right gold,
you score more."
Kadoma is the latest place in Zimbabwe to discover the corrupting power of
gold. Kadoma’s Musengezi River contains gold deposits claimed to be worth
billions of dollars, potentially making Zimbabwe one of the world's top gold
A resettled farmer and a war veteran in the area who declined to be named
said he had decided to form syndicates with illegal miners to dig for gold
on the 20 hectares plot near the Musengezi River allocated to him during the
infamous fast-track land reform programme.
“There is no proper farming talking place. We do not have adequate inputs
and most of us do not have any technical expertise in farming. This means
that we are struggling to earn a living from the new farms, so we have
ventured in gold panning,” he said.
Some see the promise of economic deliverance and the prospect that Zimbabwe
could be transformed from its battered economy to become Africa’s best.
So far, however, the gold has been more curse than blessing, seducing
fraught and materialistic Zimbabweans and foreign mercenaries with
As the new year begins there is a latest wave of gold rush in Kadoma that
has seen thousands of unemployed and hungry Zimbabweans, including the
resettled farmers, taking to illegal prospecting for gold and other minerals
along the rivers in this midlands town.
The miners some of them from Chiadzwa diamond fields in Mutare and Shurugwi
have relocated to Kadoma where more and more illegal miners have set their
bases on river banks.
Illegal miners interviewed by The Zimbabwean said the farms that were within
the rivers were rich in gold and that is why they had turned to them.
“The farms that belong to the new farmers are rich in gold. So the famers
themselves have abandoned farming activities and are now concentrating on
the illegal mining,” said George Chitehwe an illegal miner.
There have been some violent running battles between farm owners and illegal
miners, as the miners are now invading the farms where they are digging for
“Many people have begun spreading to the farms near the rivers where they
fight with the land owners. But the majority of the new farmers who have
been finding it difficult in the farming activities have since formed some
syndicates with the illegal miners,” said Chitehwe.
With a hyperinflation-crippled economy offering few alternatives, about 10
000 people, including women and children, are reportedly mining and buying
gold in Kadoma.
The once-quiet Kadoma has taken on the aspect of a frontier town and the
social impact is still being reckoned today. Reports say that school
children are reluctant to go back to school as the new term opens to hunt
for gold. Teachers and other professionals are quitting their jobs to join
A survey done by The Zimbabwean revealed that young men are getting rich
quick and are buying luxury cars they do not know how to drive, leading to
numerous fatal accidents. The streets of Kadoma have been awash with latest
models of cars.
Diggers and buyers from South Africa, Botswana, DR Congo, Mozambique,
Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and
India among other countries have besieged the small town.
Once Dube has bought gold, he takes it to buyers in Kadoma who usually stay
at the Kadoma Ranch hotel, or in the capital, Harare, or across the South
Africa, Botswana and Mozambique borders.
"If you buy for $10,000, then you get $26,000. Nobody really knows how much
the gold is worth,” he said.
In Kadoma, there are few who will talk about gold, and even fewer who will
give their name.
"People are scared to talk at the moment," said one local dealer. "The
government has ensured that at every place you go where there are minerals
there are state secret agents or someone connected to them. Even in schools
there are teachers who are on the payroll," he said without elaborating
Doubts remain that gold profits are being channelled directly to the
cash-strapped Zanu (PF), or at least to ensure that the underpaid army
remains loyal to the party.
"When the next election comes, it's going to be a bloodbath," said one
observer. "And that bloodbath will be sponsored by the Kadoma gold and
Marange diamond fields."
He added that there was virtually nothing coming from the land that was
given for resettlement, hence, Zanu (PF) would be using minerals as another
trump card to sponsor violence.
“We have all switched to gold panning for a living because that is one
benefit we have from the land that we took from the whites," said Gabriel
Soza a war veteran and resettled farmer.
Other farmers reported of harassment by illegal miners.
“This is something else. We are in a war with these illegal miners. Last
week they came and brought down my fence. They are now digging for gold. I
have tried to restrict them but they have refused to go and they are almost
digging the whole farm.
"I have made some reports to the police and they responded positively by
doing some periodical raids. But some of the police are being given bribes
and allow them (illegal panners) to continue digging up my farm. I don't
have enough money to employ full-time security personnel," said David Dziva
another resettled farmer.
Some farmers have complained of corrupt police force that is turning a blind
eye to illegal gold panning in the area by soliciting bribes from the
panners who are also causing extensive land degradation.
Written by TREVOR GRUNDY
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 14:50
LONDON - The Director of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), Hendrick
Olivier, has welcomed the idea of an open debate on the successes and
failures associated with the Zanu (PF) land “reforms” that were accompanied
by violence and sometimes murder since 2000.
“I welcome reports by Professor Ian Scoones and his colleagues that there
should be more research into land ownership. I also welcome the idea of an
open debate on these so-called reforms. The CFU is in the process of putting
our own report together and we will release it to everybody in due course,”
said Olivier in a telephone interview.
Earlier, Scoones told The Zimbabwean that the time had come for rounded
debate on the subject of land ownership change.
“This requires presenting the facts from the ground. But there is also a
need for the government, the political parties, the international media,
donors, embassies and so on to engage in the debate more fully. And this is
why the research we’ve just published (Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and
Realities published by James Currey, London) along with other solid field
research on the impact of land reform – needs to be at the centre of debate.
We want the debate to move ahead based on evidence, on facts, on details and
on information based on research rather than on conjecture,” said Scoones.
His book (co-authored by a team of researchers from the University of
Zimbabwe) was the result of interviews with 400 households (new black
farmers) in Masvingo Province.
Only five percent of those interviewed could be categorized as “cronies”
attached to the ruling party. Scoones said that his team of researchers met
with no official blockage when it came to implementing research programmes
in Masvingo Province and that his work has no political motive or agenda.
Asked about accusations that most of the land taken from (mainly) European
commercial farmers over the last decade is now in the hands of largely
incompetent black “telephone farmers” who live in cities and towns and who
call up their farm managers at weekends to see how things are going, Scoones
replied: “Sure, there were elites who grabbed land … unquestionably…there
are some well-connected elites connected to the part who have multiple
farms, contradicting the official policy on single farm ownership. In
addition, there were others – civil servants, business people who have
gained land. Not necessarily elites by any means – former extension
officers, teachers, small-scale businesspeople and these people have added
new skills, new connections, new entrepreneurial abilities in injecting them
into the new resettlements.”
Olivier said Scoones might not be far off the mark when he says that only
give percent of the “cronies” had befitted in Masvingo. But he added: “Most
of Masvingo Province is very dry and it’s a cattle and wildlife area so not
all the cronies fancy that. They like land that is close to the city centres
because most of them have jobs in the army, civil service, police … and they
live in town, which enables them to pop down to their allocated farms at the
weekend. When you analyse what’s going on in the bigger picture and see what’s
going on with beneficiaries in other parts of the country then it’s a
different situation altogether.”
“There are definitely some new farmers out there with potential. I am not
talking about cronies. I’m talking about genuine people who have applied for
a piece of land. They’ve been given the land but they’ve been given no
assistance or support whatsoever. They’ve been dumped on a farm and told to
get busy. Because of the collateral issue they cannot access any finance.
They’ve got a piece of paper which the minister can review in 24 hours and
say ‘You’re off your farm now!’ and that doesn’t give them any security. I
admit there are some newcomers who could become very good farmers. They need
support and this is where the CFU would like to play a role.” – This debate
will be continued in the next issue. Please send your comments to:
By Lance Guma
13 January 2011
Samuel Zuze, a Chipinge magistrate notorious for his bias against MDC
supporters, collapsed in court on Wednesday and was pronounced dead at St
Peter’s Hospital in Checheche, the local MP has confirmed.
Chipinge East MP Mathias Mlambo, also a victim of Zuze’s controversial
judgments, told SW Radio Africa that the magistrate “collapsed while in the
process of passing judgment on more MDC activists brought before his court.”
The cause of death is not yet known although there was speculation of a
heart attack. Superstitious members of the community are already blaming
witchcraft for the death of a magistrate who was heavily despised in the
area. Even the local MP said there was not much sorrow at Zuze’s death.
Several sources have confirmed that Zuze will be buried in Rusape on
Last year in September Zuze jailed Gift Mafuka for one year with hard labour
for allegedly ‘insulting or undermining’ Mugabe’s authority as President.
The suggestion was that Mafuka had called Mugabe ‘wrinkly’ and ‘old’ while
commenting on t-shirts worn by two young boys. Three months of the sentence
were suspended for five years on conditions of good behaviour.
It was only the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights that
Mafuka was granted bail by the same magistrate 3 months later. In the
meantime he had suffered stays in Chipinge Prison and later Mutare Prison,
from where he was to be released pending his appeal. The lawyer said the
evidence was not sufficient to warrant a conviction and that the sentence
was too excessive.
Last year Zuze again shot to prominence after presiding over a case in which
he found four farmers guilty of refusing to leave their properties. Zuze had
convicted and sentenced Algernon Taffs, Z.F Joubert, Mike Odendaal and Mike
Jahme to pay US$800 fines and vacate their properties within 24 hours. It
later turned out that Zuze had an offer letter from the Mugabe regime to
take over Jahme’s farm.
A day after being convicted the four farmers made a successful urgent High
Court application allowing them to stay on the farms until the appeal
against conviction and sentence was concluded. A defiant Zuze refused to
accept the order and instead caused the arrest of Commercial Farmers Union
president Trevor Gifford and Dawie Joubert, son of one of the farmers,
accusing them of contempt of court.
In July Zuze convicted the MDC-T MP for Chipinge South, Meki Makuyana on
‘trumped up charges’ of kidnapping, and sentenced him to 18 months in prison
with hard labour, of which 6 months were suspended. This meant the MP would
have had to serve an effective 12 months in prison. Mathias Mlambo, the MP
for Chipinge East was convicted of inciting public violence by the same
A total of 4 MP’s from Manicaland province were targeted by the regime.
Mlambo for example was later acquitted in the High Court while Makuyana’s
case is still to be resolved owing to delaying tactics by the late Zuze.
By Tichaona Sibanda
13 January 2011
Fuming MDC-T councilors in Victoria Falls have slammed the ‘treacherous
behaviour’ of the Mayor, Nkosilathi Jiyane, for pursuing personal interests
at the expense of residents in the resort town.
Jiyane, elected into council on an MDC-T ticket in 2008, defected from the
party over the weekend citing “too much interference in his duties and
persecution by party officials.” Jiyane is now running the town as an
independent and is believed to have the backing of Local government minister
But his fellow councillors have blasted him for being ‘dishonest and
economic with the truth’ after flouting party rules and going against
council resolutions. The MDC-T won all the nine wards during the 2008
Councillor Bernard Nyamambi of ward 1 in the town accused Jiyana of
deception and of working to divide the MDC-T. Nyamambi said the Mayor did
not have the party at heart but “pretended to be with us since we elected
him to his position two years ago.”
“For him to come out now and say he’s defecting from the party because of
too much interference is treacherous behaviour, which we in the MDC-T
condemn unreservedly,” Nyamambi said.
He added: “He (Jiyane) needs to look at himself in the mirror and ask if he’s
telling people the truth. I don’t think by asking him repeatedly to
implement programs that were agreed to by a full council is by any means
interfering with one’s work."
The councillor went on to say the Mayor’s ‘treacherous behaviour’ could be
witnessed everywhere but was strikingly evident in his ‘wicked attempts’ at
creating a state of turbulence in Victoria Falls.
“This man is a dubious mayor, a mayor by default who refuses to implement
and go along with fellow councillors from the same party. Three months after
we elected him mayor he started to show his true colours by going against us
and taking instructions from people outside the MDC-T party. We don’t work
like that in our party and we suspect from intelligence we get that he could
be working for another party,” councillor Nyamambi said.
The mayor has also been seen attending wild parties thrown by some ‘big fish’
from ZANU PF. There have also been reports circulating in the town that
Jiyane has been working in cahoots with ZANU PF’s Mines Minister, Obert
Mpofu, in his property-buying spree.
Mpofu last year reportedly splashed millions of dollars on high-value
properties in Victoria Falls. The minister is alleged to have acquired at
least 27 properties in Victoria Falls alone over the last few months.
The properties include a supermarket in Chinotimba high density suburb,
three houses in a medium-density area, two cruise boats on the Zambezi, five
houses in Mkhosana high density suburb, three houses in Chinotimba, two
industrial stands, one large stand in Chisuma, one big industrial stand next
to Chinotimba stadium, four industrial stands on the Airport road, and four
medium density plots.
By Alex Bell
13 January 2011
The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA-Zimbabwe) said this week that recently increased journalist fees,
which have sparked fears of a media clampdown, “are not legally binding.”
The government has quadrupled registration and accreditation fees for
Zimbabwean journalists working for international media houses. In new fees
announced by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu,
reporters working for foreign media will be required to pay a US$400
accreditation fee, up from US$100. Their employers meanwhile will have to
pay US$6 000 annually, more than double the current rate of US$2 500. The
new regulations for 2011 will also see journalists working for foreign media
paying an application fee of US$100, up from US$20, while southern African
news groups will have to pay annual fees of US$2 000, up from US$1 000.
Shamu has since distanced himself from the exorbitant fee increase, which
has been described as ‘retributive’ and ‘punitive’ by media rights groups.
Shamu said in a statement last week that the fees were pegged by the
nine-member Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), which “only turns to the
Minister and the Ministry for legal administrative instruments that give
full effect to its decisions.” He said the Ministry’s relationship with the
ZMC was “strictly administrative.”
MISA-Zimbabwe said on Wednesday that, while Minister Shamu’s statements are
legally correct, “the wording in the Statutory Instrument 186 of 2010
gazetting the accreditation fees implies that the regulations emanated from
his Ministry.” The Instrument that was published as a supplement to the
Zimbabwe Gazette dated 31 December 2010, states that the Ministry “made” the
regulations in terms of Section 91 of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
“Going by the wording of the Statutory Instrument, the ministry is in
violation of the law, making the Instrument invalid and consequently of no
legal force. This is because section 91 of AIPPA, which formerly empowered
the Minister to make regulations as stated in the Statutory Instrument, was
amended in 2007 to give the ZMC the authority to make such regulations. The
Ministry only approves them,” MISA-Zimbabwe said in a statement.
MISA-Zimbabwe’s Legal Officer Farai Nhende told SW Radio Africa that their
point of contestation is that the wording of the gazetted regulations
“presupposes that the regulations came from the Ministers office.” He
explained that “it is all too apparent that the regulations have not
emanated from the office of the ZMC.”
“They (the regulations) are of no legal force at all,” Nhende said.
“Basically the Minister would have usurped the powers that are supposed to
be vested in the ZMC.”
MISA-Zimbabwe said that since the gazetting of the Statutory Instrument on
the new accreditation and registration fees was inconsistent with the
enabling legislation, “they are void and therefore cannot be legally
The ZMC meanwhile has said it will not back down from the fee increases and
has warned that journalists who practice without proper accreditation will
be prosecuted. Godfrey Majonga, who heads the Commission, said on Friday
that the policy will stand firm.
“We will not reduce the fees. Probably we will extend the period a little,”
Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:52
HARARE – While confusion reigns over forthcoming elections, President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu (PF) is working feverishly to ensure that it wins any election
by the foulest of means.
The party has begun a campaign of violent intimidation, cynical and corrupt
exploitation of the empowerment issue and unconscionable abuse of power.
Last week in Nyanga, war veterans began invading lodges owned by white
tourism operators, ostensibly to hit back at western targeted sanctions
imposed on Zanu (PF).
Food continues to be used as a political weapon. Distribution of food aid in
Zimbabwe, where two million people face hunger, has become a political
hot-potato, much to the chagrin of humanitarian agencies battling to
implement life-saving programmes.
The MDC said in a recent statement that it was dismayed by countrywide
reports of partisan distribution of agriculture inputs by Zanu (PF)
politicians and cabinet ministers, "which represent a sad and stark reminder
of a culture of patronage and use of food and poverty as instrument of
control and a political weapon."
Just last week, the MDC blew the lid off the involvement of foreign
embassies in Harare in bankrolling Zanu (PF). The MDC singled out Libya,
which is donating tractors to Zanu (PF)'s campaign.
The continuing occupation of farms and planned invasion of British companies
by Mugabe's supporters is central to the ruling party's election strategy.
Driven from their homes, many thousands of presumed opposition supporters
will be disqualified from voting. Sheer terror will also play its part,
observers are already warning. The MDC reported on Monday that Elson
Mutonhori, that party's Masvingo South secretary, was on Saturday morning
abducted at gunpoint by Major-General Engelbert Rugeje and one Major
Toperesu at his Renco Mine home.
"Rugeje and Toperesu who were driving an unmarked white Mitsibishi truck
took Mutonhori to the Rock Motel in Chivi some 100 km away, where they
interrogated and intimidated him until midnight," the MDC said in a
"Mutonhori was asked why he had worn an MDC T-shirt during the festive
season." He was later released unharmed after being interrogated. Zimbabwe's
security forces has frequently used political threats, unlawful detention
and psychological torture to thwart opposition to Zanu (PF).
Harare, January 13, 2011 – Media, Information and Publicity permanent
secretary, George Charamba snubbed a Christmas gift from the state-owned
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) at a time when workers had not been
paid their December salaries.
Sources at Munhumutapa building said Charamba was furious when a ZBC truck
laden with hampers and other goodies arrived at the government offices at
Munhumutapa and started dishing out gifts ranging from groceries, fuel
coupons, diaries and electronic gadgets to officials at his ministry and
other government departments, including the ministry of Defence, army, the
Charamba confirmed to Radio VOP that he declined a “personal and private
gift” from ZBC and suggested that the state broadcaster could have been
trying to ‘cultivate goodwill,’ by dishing out Christmas presents to senior
He said there was nothing unusual about his decline, as he also refused to
take another gift from his own ministry, as this would have been in conflict
of interest, considering his dual role as Presidential spokesperson and
media permanent secretary.
“I have not accepted a gift from anyone since I have been in government for
the past 20 years,” he said.
Although Charamba declined the ZBC gifts, several other government officials
and senior managers from the state-controlled broadcaster, gladly accepted
Workers at the corporation said they were only paid their December salaries
last week, almost three weeks after the normal pay day and this was only
done after the corporation secured a loan from a local bank.
Senior Managers recently bought themselves top of the range and luxurious
Mercedes Benz and Toyota Landcruisers worth millions of dollars leaving the
corporation almost bankrupt. The top managers are also said to be earning
salaries close to US$20 000 on top of other perks such as free fuel, US$1
000 weekly entertainment allowances, close to $10 000 holiday allowances, as
well as education allowances for their children and spouses.
A source with the ZBC confirmed Charamba declined the gift from management
which he said was trying to cover up for its mismanagement of company funds.
Contacted for comment, ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango said "I don't talk
to the private press," before switching off his mobile phone.
By Thelma Chikwanha
Thursday, 13 January 2011 17:43
HARARE - A bouyant Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma plans
to see the listing of the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) on the stock exchange
in the first quarter of 2011 following the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding with a leading financial institution to improve power
Zimbabwe’s ReNaissance Merchant Bank (ReNaissance) is leading a raft of
banks to raise nearly US$4 billion to boost the country’s electricity supply
“I cannot dictate how government works it. Listing must follow government
processes and it will depend on when people are ready and we gain
consensus,” Mangoma said.
However, he is optimistic that the project will receive cabinet approval as
there is consensus that power generation and supply is a priority as it
will steer industry to function at full capacity.
Zimbabwe is currently struggling with massive power shortages that have
crippled both business and domestic consumers.
ZESA has warned consumers to brace for severe blackouts in the next two
weeks as it battles to restore power generation at one of its power stations
in Hwange whilst carrying maintenance work at its Kariba plant.
While admitting that the power blackouts have impacted negatively on the
economy, Mangoma said it was still cheaper than using alternative means of
power such as solar technonolgy.
“Solar is more expensive than electricity. It costs at least one and half
times more. Now show me who will pay double,” argued Mangoma whose
predecessor Elias Mudzuri had hoped to mitigate the outages before his
Mangoma argues that solar energy is an expensive technology which the
country cannot pursue immediately because the initial fixed costs of
building solar plants are prohibitive.
He said there was need for members of the public to understand that while
the sun which is a source of solar energy came up every day for 12 hours
sunshine energy builds up in varying degrees and is expensive to store up.
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity using
photovoltaic’s or indirectly with concentrated solar power.
Zimbabwe has been battling with power loss in the last decade owing to a
plethora of problems that include old equipment and mismanagement at ZESA
which has had different bosses appointed to change its performance in the
last 15 years.
Government and industry executives are in agreement that Zimbabwe’s energy
sector needs about US$10 billion to restore productivity in key sectors such
as agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
The Party of Excellence, MDC is concerned by the continued bickering and
ownership wrangle between Zanu PF politiburo member, Patrick Chinamasa and
businessman Mutumwa Mawere as the effects are gravely affecting the general
population who rely on the existence of the Shabanie, Gaths and Mashava
mines for their livelihoods. For six years now, these workers, their
families, together with surrounding communal lands who depended on the
mining towns have been at the receiving end. Shabanie and Mashava mines
indirectly support surrounding farmlands that use Zvishavane town as the
main supply center.
The reduction of these mines into dead capital means people in the
surrounding areas can not tap into it for support. Workers have lost their
incomes and their families can no longer afford a lifestyle they were used
to before the de-specification of Mawere in July 2004. It is callous for
government whether inclusive or exclusive to behold such suffering and it
takes no remedial actions. It is equally heartless for any government to
ignore the impact of such selfish and unproductive squabbles on the women,
children, and underprivileged in our society. Sadly, the lives of over 60
000 people in the two towns and surrounding communal lands have been
sacrificed by the wrangling over the future of the mines.
Zanu PF - true to its colour, has shown that it is anti-poor, anti-workers
and anti-prosperity, which is why in the MDC, a pro-poor, pro-workers and
pro-prosperity party, we have problems with a functionary of Zanu PF in the
likes of Chinamasa, who want to despoil assets without considering the
burden such behaviour has on the general populace. Prior to the wrangles,
Shabanie mine used to employ more than 5 000 workers and produced 12 000
tonnes of asbestos per month, the bulk which was exported earning the
country foreign currency. However, this has been reduced to dead capital,
neither contributing to the growth of the towns, which are slowly turning
into ghost towns, nor to the economy of this nation which could have been
aided by the foreign currency.
The MDC finds the behaviour of Zanu PF towards the mines intriguing, for
nothing can be achieved by the on-going stand-off with Mawere when a
solution remains elusive. In particular, the events surrounding Mawere’s
fate smacks of policy confusion in that at one stage he is declared a
criminal – thus forcing him to go into exile -- and on another his
specification is lifted, without any cogent explanation. The policy flip
flop sends a damaging message to any would-be investor, with devastating
consequences for Zimbabwe’s long term economic revival. The party is
encouraged by the recent attempts by Parliament to intervene in the dispute
and to restore order to the mines.
Chinamasa must come clean and tell the nation that the dispute lays squarely
between himself, Zanu PF and Mawere – not with the Inclusive Government. The
people of Shabanie, Gaths and Mashava deserve justice and fair play.
Together, united, winning, ready for real change!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Thursday, 13 Jan 2011
Trade upswing, politics and policy will determine the potential for Zimbabwe’s
recovery in 2011
Zimbabwe’s uneven recovery from 10 years in recession will continue —
possibly even accelerate — through 2011, subject to three provisos.
The first is the global economic upswing. So long as that remains on course
and Zimbabwe continues to benefit from strong demand and high prices for its
key exports (platinum, gold, ferrochrome, tobacco and cotton — as well as
the wild card, diamonds), GDP, which rebounded 8% in 2010, is expected to
grow 9,3%, according to the finance ministry.
The second is the political climate.
This year political imponderables loom even larger than last as politicians
squabble over a new constitution and the timing of fresh elections, assuming
the constitutional draft is endorsed at a national referendum.
The third is economic policy, specifically the government’s controversial
indigenisation legislation. President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is pushing
hard for its immediate implementation.
That would require all businesses with assets in excess of US$500000 to
dispose of 51% of their shares to indigenous (for which read black)
Zimbabweans within five years. The other two members of the fragile,
fractious coalition in Harare — prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and its breakaway wing, Arthur Mutambara’s
MDC-M — say they support the principle of black empowerment but not as
envisaged by Mugabe’s hardliners.
Uncertainty reigns and the longer it continues the greater will be its
impact on investment decisions.
Indigenisation is not the only crucial economic issue that divides the
coalition. There is no consensus on debt rescheduling, privatisation or
But so long as commodity prices remain strong and the economy is operating
well short of its capacity levels, this policy paralysis need not disrupt
the recovery. That is the view of the country’s business leaders, who want
elections to be postponed so that the unpopular and dysfunctional
administration hangs on to power.
Yet if opinion polls are to be believed, they are in the minority. The
recent Afrobarometer survey found that 70% of Zimbabweans want elections
The political parties are split on the election issue, too. Just last week,
Welshman Ncube, who is expected to supplant Mutambara as leader of the tiny
MDC- M, said he was against elections this year. His stance makes sense but,
like the lawyer he is, he is talking his own book, since he knows that his
party is almost certain to be wiped out whenever the elections are held.
Zanu-PF’s position is similarly confused. All the evidence and polls suggest
it will be heavily defeated by Tsvangirai’s MDC. Despite this, the party is
demanding that elections be held this year because the so-called Global
Political Agreement to set up the national unity government expires in
Though some in Mugabe’s party appear to believe Tsvangirai’s flip-flop style
of governing has dented his political support , the rest hope that as long
as the election rules remain unchanged, Zanu- PF will be able to fiddle the
result, just as it did in 2008 and 2002.
With Mugabe himself not many weeks short of his 87th birthday in February,
the party’s best hope is to hold elections as soon as possible so that a
re-elected Mugabe can nominate his successor and retire before his health
The MDC’s official position seems to be that elections cannot be held until
a new constitution is in place, which almost certainly means 2012 at the
earliest. However, in the space of just three months Tsvangirai has called
for elections in 2011, threatened to boycott them and demanded a
presidential election with parliamentary polls delayed until 2013. Small
wonder that he has earned the reputation of a man who agrees with the last
person who spoke to him.
Given these imponderables, the best bet is that Zimbabwe will have to endure
another year of status quo uncertainty . There will be rumours surrounding
the state of Mugabe’s health and the attitudes of President Jacob Zuma’s
administration, other SADC governments and the African Union allegedly
tiring of the ageing president’s intransigence.
The economy will continue to recover, though probably less robustly than
government ministers predict, and investors will sit on their hands pending
a resolution of the political crisis.
The political logjam could be broken by the president’s health, by
internecine fighting over the succession within Zanu- PF or possibly by the
SADC governments led by Zuma finally finding the courage to pull the rug out
from under Zanu-PF’s feet. But, given the Zuma/SADC track record, few
analysts are holding their breath.
Democratic Councils Forum (DemCoF) met in Harare today to discuss the
1. The undemocratic and arbitrary interference of the Ministry of Local
Government, Rural and Urban Development in the running of cities and town
councils in Zimbabwe.
2. Collective action on the Harare and Mutare Land audit reports on
corruption by named senior Zanu PF officials.
3. The politically partisan manner of targeting democratically elected
councils by Zanu PF functionaries.
4. The initiation of the Zimbabwe Local Government Democracy Charter.
Having so debated the above issues, we resolved as follows;
i. Chombo’s crimes
Aware that serious malpractices and crimes were committed by Zanu PF in
Noting Chombo’s widely known looting and asset stripping of council’s finite
Disturbed that Chombo’s corruption has deprived residents of resources like
Recognising the need to stop and reverse these malpractices,
DemCoF resolved that parliament moves a motion to investigate Chombo for
abuse of public office as a matter of urgency and in the national interest
1.Minister’s arbitrary interference in councils
Noting Chombo’s unwarranted interference and micro-managing of local
Aware that the Minister derives most of his power from the draconian local
government laws particularly the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District
Worried that these laws are undemocratic as they give the minister power to
reverse the peoples’ will, aspirations and development for political
DemCoF pledges to work with all residents, in their diversity, to realise
and restore the vibrancy of Zimbabwe’s Local Authority, promote the
generation of employment and raise the quality of life for the people of
Zimbabwe, in particular its necessary to amend Local Government laws and
realign them with the current needs and demands of the people.
2. Suspensions and dismissal of councillors
Concerned that the Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban Planning has
gone on a retribution campaign suspending and dismissing councillors,
Noting that to date Chombo has arbitrarily dismissed 11 of our councillors
and suspended two in Harare.
Worried that the move is meant to protect his vast interests and personal
fortune by silencing emerging voices,
DemCoF resolved the affected councillors seek legal recourse against Chombo
in both his personal and professional capacity
3. Service delivery
Disturbed that Zanu PF negligence of local authorities for a period of over
a decade has led to massive collapse of infrastructure and that service
delivery had virtually crumpled.
Noting that residents expect improved services.
Recognising that DemCoF has a people’s mandate and constitutional obligation
to restore the face of Zimbabwe’s battered local government.
Accepting that a lot to improve the services has been done, the DemCoF
resolved that focus should be on the following key result areas;
i. Provision of water and improvement of sanitary facilities
ii. Restoration of health centres with focus on primary health care and
iii. Repair and maintenance of roads and infrastructure and the
iv. Provision of housing, shelter and other essential amnesties.
Aware government still owes money to local authorities, and that if it pays
its debts the money will make a huge impact on service delivery,
DemCoF resolves to seek direction from the people through regular
consultations on how the money can be recovered and can be invested
productively in the national interest
4. Development of local government service charter
Recognising the need to set starndards in the provision of service delivery
DemCoF resolves to intiate the development of local government
DemCoF Executive Director…………………………………..
MDC Information & Publicity Department
The Guardian is accused of ignoring its own role in publishing a WikiLeaks cable that may have put at risk the Zimbabwean prime minister. Critics have a case, says Guardian deputy editor, Ian Katz, but only up to a point
Posted by Richard M Kavuma Thursday 13 January 2011 07.00 GMT guardian.co.uk
Laurent Gbagbo is following the likes of Robert Mugabe by refusing to leave
office following November's presidential election, but Ivory Coast could
represent a watershed for African democracy
There are many reasons for being angry with Laurent Gbagbo, whose
belligerence has thrust Ivory Coast back into the eye of the storm and
threatened to undo any democratic gains of the past decade. For a man who
made ultimate political capital from opposing the strongman rule of Félix
Houphouët Boigny, it is a chilling commentary on African politics that
Gbagbo now seeks to cement his place as one, refusing to hand over power
after losing November's presidential election.
Yet it may be easy to understand – without condoning – Gbagbo's stance. He
must be wondering why the international community has singled him out for
special attention when it hasn't acted with such aggression towards Robert
Mugabe or Mwai Kibaki. The events of the past month certainly remind us of
disconcerting truths about the brand of democracy in many African countries
and elsewhere in the developing world, truths that the pressure for optimism
often forces us to wish away.
Consider these cases: in Zimbabwe, the question, in April 2008, was not
whether Mugabe had lost an election held in a climate of state-inspired
brutality, but whether he would "agree" to leave power. He refused, and was
forced by a crumbling economy into a power-sharing arrangement with Morgan
Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He is now rumoured
to want to end what he sees as the indignity of sharing power. More
elections are due, with Mugabe saying recently they would be free and fair
"as they always are".
And then there is Kenya. Around 1,300 people died in the violence that
followed the presidential election in 2007, in which Kibaki was declared the
winner. He refused to relinquish power, before international pressure forced
him to share a political bed with rival Raila Odinga. Another thorny union
in which ethnically aligned rival supporters are reportedly already buying
guns in preparation for the elections next year. While Kibaki will not
contest, thanks to the two-term constitutional limit, ethnic polarisation –
especially between the Kikuyu and Luo communities – means we can expect
another highly charged electoral period.
One man who knows how to beat term limits is Yoweri Museveni, president of
Uganda for almost a quarter of a century. Museveni controversially abolished
presidential term limits in 2005, and next month he will contest his fourth
election. A topical question is already being asked, even by Ugandan voters:
what would happen if, like Gbagbo, Museveni lost power? Some of his previous
utterances provide a clue to the man's mind.
Two yeas ago, as Mugabe was declaring that "MDC will never rule this
country", Museveni was quoted in the Ugandan media as saying he would not
have handed over power if the opposition had won the elections in 1996 and
2001. Only last year, a former Museveni minister told a national newspaper
that he had been at a meeting in which it was discussed that the army
planned to seize power if Museveni lost the 2001 polls. Not that the
question itself is new: in 2001, CNN's Catherine Bond asked Museveni if he
would leave if he lost the election and Museveni's response was telling: "I
will not lose the elections. So that is completely academic. But of course,
[inaudible] why not?" Compare that with Gbagbo's campaign slogan in 2010,
"we win or we win", and you realise that Africa's elections function on a
Ideally, elections are held to choose leaders, but in many cases in Africa,
elections are either intended to launder regimes that fought their way to
power, or otherwise dress up despots in democratic garb – so the idea of
losing is academic. In these neopatrimonial states, the big man, like Mugabe
or Museveni, believes only he has the capacity and the right to rule. Hence,
Museveni sees "no one else with the vision" to lead Uganda, and Mugabe
believes Tsvangirai cannot lead Zimbawe because he did not fight for
With such logic, elections are routinely rigged - the Ugandan courts have
found the previous two presidential polls were. And if the rigging falls
short, there must be a mechanism in place to announce the big man as the
In Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast, the pressure to end the chaos has come
from abroad. Whether such pressure can be sustainable is questionable, but
perhaps Ivory Coast represents a watershed for African democracy – the
optimistic exceptions of countries such as Ghana and Botswana
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London 13/01/11
The imposition of a travel ban and an asset-freeze on Zimbabwe’s Attorney
General, Johannes Tomana in December 2010 by the United States (US)
Government was long overdue and a big wake-up call on the country’s Chief
It was long overdue because Tomana should have been banned in June 2008 when
as deputy AG, he allegedly advised the government that it was legal to
detain MDC supporters without trial contrary to provisions of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The travel ban is a wake-up call on the Attorney General whose controversial
appointment and that of Governor of the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon
Gono have stalled the coalition government’s efforts towards national
The country still awaits the prosecution of those who were named as
responsible for the abduction and torture of the human rights activist
Jestina Mukoko. The AG is expected to call for a full investigation into the
seven MDC activists who were abducted and are still missing, namely: Gwenzi
Kahiya, Lovemolre Machokoto, Charles Muza, Ephraim Mabeka, Edmore Vangirayi,
Peter Munyanyi and Graham Matehwa.
It can be fairly argued that Johannes Tomana sleep-walked onto the US
sanctions list because he ‘selectively prosecuted political opponents and
their perceived supporters in an effort to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic
processes and institutions’ according to the Director of the U.S. Department
of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Adam J. Szubin.
“Johannes Tomana’s targeting of selected political opponents threatens the
rule of law in Zimbabwe, harms the integrity of the Government of National
Unity and counters the will of Zimbabwean people, who have expressed their
desire to build a democratic political system” said Mr Szubin (America.gov,
The AG’s office has been criticised for not prosecuting about 24 people
suspected of being members of the Zimbabwe National Army who allegedly
committed various criminal offences including politically motivated
violence, assault and abduction in Hwedza, Harare, Makoni, Buhera, Gokwe
North and Mutare. According to Zimbabwe Democracy Now (01/10/09) one of them
led a group in army uniform which allegedly ‘murdered’ three people on 5 May
2008 in Mazowe.
Also of major concern to civil society is Tomana’s failure to prosecute the
alleged murderers of MDC activists Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika who
were brutally killed ‘in broad daylight’ by a suspected Zanu-pf activist and
a state security agent on 15 April 2000 in Buhera, Manicaland.
Following Zimbabwe’s withdrawal from the SADC Tribunal after its ruling in
favour of 79 commercial farmers finding that the government’s land seizures
were racist, unlawful and violated their rights September 2009 saw an
increase in land and farming related violations of the GPA, and
approximately 66, 0000 farm workers were left homeless since February 2009.
Questions have been asked why under Johannes Tomana has the office of
Attorney General allows Zimbawean citizens to suffer injustice. For
example, Robert Anthony McKersie made his 78th court appearance on the same
charge in September 2009: ”I have been acquitted three times, withdrawn
before plea twice, withdrawn before appeal once and I’ve had a High Court
order. Six acquittals and I have been in court for the same issue”
Amidst reports that members of the Zimbabwe National Army had been deployed
to many farms around the country in December 2009, in what analysts saw as a
push to remove the last few hundred remaining white commercial farmers, the
AG was quoted as saying:
‘Those farmers are actually guilty of breaking the law and they must leave.
All the land in the country belongs to the government and as such no
individual has the right to disobey a government directive to vacate such’
(thezimbabwemail, 31/12/09; zimdiaspora, 30/12/09).
The harassment of white commercial farmers has only helped to scare foreign
investors who are the engines of economic growth and employment creation.
Tomana is supposed to uphold the rule of law at Triangle Hippo Valley.
In January 2010 Tomana reportedly said the military would be deployed to
remove white commercial farmers ‘who refuse to vacate State owned land’.
Zimbabwe’s Attorney General dismissed a letter sent by human rights lawyers
in November 2010 calling for the prosecution of perpetrators of political
violence which saw 200 MDC supporters murdered during the bloody period
prior to the 2008 presidential election.
Persecution of Roy Bennett
During the trial of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett in 2009 who was later
acquitted on terrorism charges, Johannes Tomana chose to prosecute in the
case and reportedly caused a security nightmare as he arrived at court in
his latest S-Class Mercedes Benz with two escort twin cab trucks laden with
intelligence officers. The AG’s elaborate security arrangements caused
‘curious stares’ and were unprecedented in Zimbabwe for a government law
At the ‘gruelling 16 months of persecution and 109 court appearances of Roy
Bennett’ the AG called upon several witnesses who the judge later described
as being of “amazing ignorance” (mdc.co.zw, 19/05/10). One of the 13 state
witnesses who was supposed to be an information technology (IT) expert –
turned out to be just a cable layer after he was unmasked by Bennett’s
award winning defence lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.
Asked if he knew that there were computer hackers and computer forensic
expects, Mutsetse said it was the first time he was hearing of such terms
and asked Mtetwa to clarify where the hackers are from and who trained them.
Mutsetse had been introduced by Attorney General Johannes Tomana as the
provincial engineer for a cable company.
According to a transcript of Inside Zimbabwe produced in August 2006 when he
was interviewed at his Maryland Farm as the anti-corruption commissioner,
Johannes Tomana reportedly said he didn’t always have the good things in
life. “As a young child, he worked on a white-owned farm, removing worms
from tobacco crops”(pri.org/theworld, 28/08/06).
However, as the new black owner of a farm seized from a white farmer, Tomana
was reportedly building brick houses for his farm workers who lived in mud
huts under the former white owner.
In February 2010 Tomana revealed that he was living in fear from anonymous
threats and that he needed protection. He told journalists that Zimbabweans
at home and those in the Diaspora were threatening him. What happened to
the two escort twin cab trucks?
Government efforts to reform the Office of Attorney General by providing for
a board to supervise the chief law officer have been found wanting on
independence from the executive, low remuneration and corruption.
In a move that has been described by critics as ‘chasing rainbows’ Johannes
Tomana was expected on Wednesday 12/01/10 to name “a team of practising
lawyers” to investigate the alleged “treasonous collusion” between former
opposition leaders and Western governments. “From a legal perspective it
would be folly”, award winning lawyer Beatrice Mtewa has said.
Critics argue that Tomana’s record as the AG ‘is punctuated by a failure to
separate politics from the law’ and that he takes cases which a first year
law student would decline as it would be obvious there was no chance of
success with the case of Peter Histchmann and Roy Bennett being given as an
example (theindependent, 30/12/10).
Although George Charamba’s recent ‘verbal diarrhoea’ was entitled “2011: the
year when sanctions will go” I foresee Johannes Tomana joining his allies on
the EU targeted sanctions list this year unless he restores the rule of law.
It is also time full details about the so-called frozen assets of those
banned were disclosed for public information and verification of ownership
in case they are proceeds of crime. How did they accumulate their wealth
when some of them did not have a decent pair of shoes at independence?
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
The following is part of a series of Shona lessons provided by www.learnshona.com. The audio versions are available at learnshona.com. Please note that learnShona.com courses are designed to teach you by listening and repeating the words, as this is similar to the highly effective and proven Pimsleur technique. As such, it will be more difficult, and much slower, to grasp by reading alone. We recommend downloading the audio course to listen and repeat.
We welcome your feedback and
hope that you find this useful.
This week’s lesson covers elements of grammar, using the setting of basic introductions to increase your intuitive understanding of Shona sentence structures. Then we have some key vocabulary for basic sentences.
Introduction using ‘zita’(name)
This is a conversation between two people, A and B.
A : My name is Peter. And what is yours? - Zita rangu ndiPeter. Ko, rako ndiani?
B : It is John \l am John - NdiJohn.
A: I am happy to know you John (Shaking hands) - Ndafara kukuziva John.
B : I am also happy to know you Peter - Ndafarawo kukuziva Peter
Introduction using nzi
A: I am called John and who are you? Ini ndinonzi John, Ko imi munonzi ani?
B: I am called Mrs Suddens - Ndinonzi Mai Suddens
Getting to know each other
Usually after the introductions people want to know the person they have met. This involves
asking and answering questions on various aspects of one’s life,ranging from where they
come from,to hobbies,etc.
Come from -bva
Where? - Kupi?
Me - Ini
Too - wo
How many – ngani
Birthday - zuva rokuzvarwa
Be born - zvarwa
Job - basa
Work(noun) - shanda
Education - dzidzo
Grade - giredhi
Form - fomu
University - yunivhesiti
First - kutanga
Final - kupedzisira
Study - dzidza
To finish - kupedza
Live - gara
Near - pedyo/padyo
To marry - kuroora
To be married - kuroorwa
Address - kero
Telephone number - nhamba dzerunhare
Animals - mhuka
Keep - chengeta
Pets - mhuka yekutambisa
Dog - imbwa
Puppy - mbwanana/handa
Cat - katsi
Kitten - mangoi
Bird - shiri
Fish - hove
Rabbit - tsuro
Family - mhuri
Food - zvokudya
Drink - zvinwiwa
Where? - Kupi
To come from - kubva
Where do you come from?(You are from where) - Unobva kupi?
I come from Zimbabwe - Ndinobva kuzimbabwe
Too - wo
Me too/so do l - Neniwo
I am Japanese - Ndiri muJapanese
So am l - Kana neniwo