January 17 2010 at 02:07PM
By Peta Thornycroft
Zimbabwe has rejected a European monitor to oversee the exports of diamonds
from its controversial Marange fields to ensure they are not "blood
diamonds". It has unilaterally "appointed" a Namibian instead.
Now the World Diamond Council in New York has warned that if a generally
acceptable monitor is not agreed upon soon, it will call for Zimbabwe's
suspension from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which regulates
sales of rough diamonds to ensure they do not finance conflicts. Some
observers warn that the row could bring down the whole Kimberley Process
Zimbabwe came under fire from several international human rights groups
recently after informal miners digging in alluvial diamond fields in the
Marange region of eastern Zimbabwe for the past three years accused
President Robert Mugabe's security forces of atrocities against them.
At the annual meeting of the KP in Namibia last November, its 49 members
representing 75 countries decided not to suspend Zimbabwe. Instead they gave
it a second chance by proposing that a monitor be appointed to oversee
exports of rough diamonds from Marange.
Weeks later, the EU proposed a well-known British diamond expert, who is
also a former senior De Beers executive, as the first monitor to oversee
exports of diamonds from Marange over the next six months.
On December 30, Bernard Esau, Namibia's deputy mines minister, wrote to the
EU rejecting its suggestion and said that Zimbabwe had signed a memorandum
of agreement for a monitor from Global Diamond Valuators, Namibia, Pty Ltd,
to oversee exports of rough diamonds from Marange.
The appointment of a monitor had become urgent when Zimbabwe advertised that
an auction of 300 000 carats from Marange would take place on January 7, but
then cancelled the auction at the last minute. Well-placed sources say they
expect Zimbabwe will go ahead with its diamond auction in Harare next week.
Israel became chair of the Kimberley Process on January 1, but failed to
answer questions sent to it this week about Zimbabwe's unilateral
appointment of a monitor.
o This article was originally published on page 9 of Sunday
Independent on January 17, 2010
By Moses Muchemwa
Published: January 17, 2010
Rusape - Animals at the farm of Rusape farmer Koos Smit have been left to
starve as the invaders have cut water supplies and electricity to the farm,
while blocking toilets by staffing bags in them, Zimeye has learnt.
'Cattle in the farm has been confined for a third day with no water or food.
The invaders have cut water supplies by physical damaging pipes and
'The Koos Smit family has sleepless nights, no water and toilets drains have
been stuffed with bags so they can't flash. They cut the elecricity to the
farm', said the witness at the farm
President Robert Mugabe's close allies, Didymus Mutasa and Ignatius Chombo
have ordered the seizure of all farms belonging to white farmers.
A document signed by Mutasa (Minister of Presidential Affairs) and Chombo
(Local Government Minister) authorizes the forced grabbing of land from all
white owned farms that have beneficiaries who have not taken up their land.
Sources also revealed that a man coded by the name "Vasgo" who led the
terrorism on white farmers in Rusape early this week is government minister
"The documents were shown to a farmer that authorizes the forced removal of
all white farmers ," disclosed the source.
"This paperwork apparently comes from Mutasa, and Chombo was named this
Vasgo character. I suspect that it is because he is encountering resistance
from local people on the ground who don't want this Jambanjas to happen,"
Another Zanu-PF official Temba Mliswa was also named as the brains behind
the attack on white farmers in Rusape.
On Tuesday, Vasgo led vicious attacks on farmers - Kooz Smit, Tizzy Landos
and Pete Landos.
Police in Rusape are reportedly doing little to protect the farmers from
Farm invasions continue unabated in Zimbabwe regardless of a formation of a
coalition government that promised to deal with the issues in a productive
Jan 17, 2010, 13:42 GMT
Harare - Eight fish poachers have been killed by crocodiles in a major dam
in Zimbabwe in the last two weeks, media reports said Sunday.
A ninth victim was severely injured when he was attacked by a crocodile on
Lake Chivero outside the capital Harare on Saturday, the state-controlled
Sunday Mail reported, quoting national park authority spokeswoman Caroline
The bodies of only two of the eight victims have been found, she said.
Wildlife experts say crocodiles seize their prey and store them in
underwater hollows, returning to consume them after several days.
Lake Chivero is Harare's largest water reservoir.
'These people included men and women and all of them were poachers,'
Washaya-Moyo said. Fellow poachers have not been deterred as they keep
returning to the same site.
The poachers wade waist-deep into the water and angle for fish with bamboo
rods. A section of the lake controlled by the national park authorities is a
favourite spot for poachers from a nearby squatter camp who hawk fish to
passing motorists on a nearby main road.
Washaya-Moyo said wildlife authorities were trying to minimise crocodile
attacks, but did not give details.
Of all Africa's species of large mammals and reptiles, hippopotami are
regarded as being responsible for the most human deaths, followed by
Harare, January 17, 2010 - The head of the Pentecostal Assemblies of
Zimbabwe (PAOZ), Bishop Trevor Manhanga has sparked a storm at his church
following his refusal to renew the credentials for some pastors perceived to
be close to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leadership.
The PAOZ is an umbrella body comprising various Pentecostal denominations in
the country. Manhanga is a known Zanu PF apologist and does not hide his
closeness to a number of senior Zanu PF officials.
It is understood that Manhanga has instructed the PAOZ's overseer for
Harare, Bishop Never Muparutsa not to renew the credentials for a number of
pastors suspected to be linked to the MDC.
"One good example is Lawrence Berejena, a rather young pastor who is always
very vocal against some ungodly practices in the church. He has been
summoned to numerous disciplinary hearings for no apparent reasons, so that
they justify the decision not to renew his credentials this year," a source
told Radio VOP on Sunday.
Berejena is alleged to have ruffled Manhanga's feathers when he complained
about the invitation of a number of politicians to come and preach at a PAOZ
"He invited a number of politicians, among them Professor Jonathan Moyo and
RBZ governor Gideon Gono to come and give sermons at a church conference,
when there were many known Christian leaders who could have done it," said
the source. Both Gono and Moyo could not be reached for comment. Manhanga's
mobile also went unanswered.
Manhanga is said to be a personal friend to both Gono and Moyo.
In addition, Manhanga is allegedly trying to turn the various independent
churches that he presides over into denominations of the PAOZ. This would
see him tightening his grip on church assets and properties. It is however
understood this has met stiff resistance, with one assembly in Waterfalls
even taking Manhanga to court.
The sources said a number of disgruntled pastors were already advancing
plans of withdrawing some of the churches from the PAOZ banner.
Posted on January 11th, 2010 by Natasha Msonza.
Many years ago in a little German town called Hamelin, the people had a
terrible problem of rats. They were everywhere - in the streets, houses,
beds and even baby cots. The mayor and his people were stumped. One day the
Pied Piper came along and said he could deal with the rat problem, if the
Mayor would pay a huge sum of money. The mayor agreed. So the Pied Piper
played his pipes and all the rats gathered, followed him out of Hamelin and
fell off a cliff. When it was time to cough up, the mayor balked. So the
Pied Piper played another tune and this time, all the children followed him
and never returned.
The story of the Pied Piper might just be folklore, but in a little town
called Harare, in a country where the economy is dysfunctional and
politicians make empty promises, people are generally preoccupied with daily
survival and keeping body and soul together above all else. Crucial social
services like garbage collection and disposal are neglected, sometimes to
the detriment of the people concerned. As street corners pile up with
garbage, a new menace has surfaced and its kind has an unparalleled
They are everywhere, living and rummaging in the corners where we store our
garbage, occupying private spaces and threatening to invade our homes as
their numbers grow exponentially in direct response to the piling rubbish.
Hundreds of them are being born each day threatening to colonize and congest
our cities as well as spread disease. Their exaggerated shapes and sizes
have made the once ordinary rodents almost unrecognizable. The little
nocturnal creatures now shamelessly dart across alleys in broad daylight;
have become resistant to most common traditional poisons and have grown less
and less fearful of man. They have become a silent but perilous plague that
threatens our very lives, yet a lot of us are oblivious to the real dangers
presented by rats. Because of their tendency to live where we live, rats are
an effective agent of disease transmission. We have been unaware of the
risks of catching all sorts of diseases and some awful things from this
vermin. A single rat by itself is unimpressive and each time I spot one, I
am reminded of the infamous bubonic plague which wiped out whole communities
and half the populations of Europe and Asia circa the 1300s.
While piles of rubbish continue to compete for space on street corners and
open spaces, street cleaning and inspection systems have gone to the dogs
and cutbacks in pest control expenditure and increases in takeaway food shop
and food litter have consequently contributed to the dramatic increase in
the thriving rat population that has become very comfortable guests in our
Where I live in the avenues, the problem of rats in the alleys has become a
seriously worrying risk to public health because of garbage that goes
uncollected for weeks. Visiting the communal garbage corner in my yard is a
frightening experience. Fearless rats the size of cats dominate the area to
the extent that nobody bothers to deposit their garbage properly into the
metal bins anymore. The way to do it now is to stand a few feet away, take
aim, and then smash and run. Just behind this space is an open playground
where the children run around all day and play - care free; their parents
oblivious to the impending danger just beyond the wall. They are all exposed
to the risk of catching rat-bite fever - a systemic bacterial illness that
can be passed on from rodents to humans. All it takes is one bite or a
scratch from a rodent. Ingestion of food or water contaminated with rat
excreta or urine also causes deadly types of food poisoning whose symptoms
can certainly not pretty.
At the corner of Fife Avenue and 5th Street in the Avenues, there is a huge
rubbish dump container the size of a space ship that is eternally
overflowing with rotting garbage coming from the adjacent supermarkets. The
air in that whole area has literally become oppressively rotten and
unbreathable. The shops should be taking better responsibility in careful
disposal of rubbish and cleaning up after themselves. However there is
currently no enforcement, but it would be gratifying to see some huge fines
imposed for careless rubbish dumping especially by corporate companies.
The city council has sometimes justifiably been blamed for not providing
bins. In the not too distant past, every street corner was occupied by
rubbish bins that were constantly emptied. Many corporate businesses used to
even donate branded bins to the city in those days. I am not sure if this is
no longer a lucrative marketing gimmick or billboards are just the new
favorite. Nowadays, it is not surprising to cut across the city centre
without ever bumping into a bin. I have too often experienced the little
annoyance of carrying around a banana peel hoping to find a bin soon then
finally being forced to deposit it into my backpack because I'm just not
gifted with the ability to litter.
We need to go back to basics on public health before this thing goes out of
control, that's the small price to pay or we will soon cry foul after the
Pied Piper has left town with our kids in tow. It is our responsibility to
make sure our neighbor doesn't throw rubbish on pavements; if government is
too preoccupied to put in place fines, enforce sanitary laws and improve
efforts to collect and dispose of trash. The starting point for a
coordinated approach needed is for us as citizens to realize our duty to
practice good sanitation. It is the only rat proofing technique and we might
even consider adopting traditional ways of disposing garbage by digging dirt
pits in our backyards and other places where rubbish dumping occurs. If we
are prepared to dig boreholes in urban Harare for clean supply of water, we
should have no problem digging rubbish pits for waste disposal to ensure our
health before the rats, flies, mosquitoes and all other vermin imaginable
gain in on us.
By Gerald Chateta
Published: January 17, 2010
Guruve - Stray lions have devoured three villagers in the Guruve, Kanyemba
area, causing panic among the villagers who have since resorted to staying
indoors till the authorities come to their rescue..
Chief Chapoto of Kanyemba said the area is no longer safe as the stray
beasts are threatening human and live stock lives.
"One person was killed on Tuesday and two more were devoured in the early
hours of Friday. The situation here is not safe and we are worried that if
authorities fail to react quickly the entire community is going to be
destroyed. The animals are so vicious and hungry. We call upon National
Parks to intervene," said Chief Chapoto.
Councilor for Kanyemba ward 1, Mr Kirisimas said school children were in
danger of the stray lions.
"We have since stopped pupils from going to school till the lions are
removed from the area. Our domestic animals are also in danger and we do not
know what to do," he said.
Kanyemba area is near the Zambezi River that boarders Zimbabwe and Zambia
and the area is infested with wild animals.
Efforts to get a comment on what measures have been put in place by National
Parks and Wild Life Authority were fruitless as the organisation's Public
Relations Manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo was not available at the time of
filing this report.
By Gerald Chateta
Published: January 17, 2010
Harare - The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings has failed to open a second
television channel it announced to the public mainly because of under
The state controlled sole broadcaster is reported to have failed to equip
the new television station which has been only showing the company logo
since December last year when it was launched.
Highly placed sources at the broadcasting station's Pockets hill studios
said there were no programmes to be aired on the ZTV 2 owing to resource
"We do not have any programme prepared for the new station. This is because
there are no resources allocated to it. We are surprised that the company
has already secured new vehicles for the managers appointed to head the
station without acquiring equipment such as cameras and editing machines for
the station. The managers have already started enjoying the benefits of the
project which has not yet started," said the sources.
On the Christmas eve ZBC chief executive went on a talk show on SFM and
announced that TV 2 was going to be on air on Christmas day. He went on to
state that it would be on a digital platform.
Contacted for comment ZBC chief executive Happison Muchechetere said he was
"I am driving and can not attend to your questions. If you need an answer
please put your questions in writing and forward them to me," he answered.
The Broadcasting station is failing to produce quality programmes on the one
television station which is operating, forcing viewers to resort to
satellite televisions, mainly SABC and BTV.
Viewers have accussed Muchechetere for lying to the nation that ZBC was
going to introduce a new and diverse television station.
"Zimbabweans have said they want another television channel from ZBC and at
least one private TV station. We are very much disappointed by what
Muchechetere is doing. We need media diversity like what other countries are
enjoying," said one Trust Machiridza, of Harare.
The country continues to have one broadcasting station which owns four radio
stations and a single television station despite the formation of the
inclusive government last february which calls for an urgent reform in the
However a single step towards media reform has been witnessed with the
formation and appointment of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, a regulatory
body that will oversee media operations. The commissioners of the body are
yet to be sworn in by President Robert Mugabe.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist and fierce Zanu PF critic, Professor John Makumbe says the major challenge for the ongoing constitutional reform process is whether or not the final draft will actually include what the people would have said during the consultations. He feels lessons must be learnt from the failed 2000 process when the people who drafted the final document ignored much of what the people had said and, instead, sought to accommodate the wishes of the political leadership. Makumbe also urges the MDC-T to appoint an independent agent to investigate corruption within the party. He spoke to SW Radio Africa’s Violet Gonda for the programme Hot Seat.
VIOLET GONDA: Professor John Makumbe, Can we get your views first on where Zimbabwe is at present?
MAKUMBE: I think we have passed the crossroads; I think we are well on the way to the transition to democracy. I say that because at least we have had a very wonderful Christmas and New Year or shall I say Festive Season where people, almost for the first time in ten years, were able to go into the shops and find them brimful of goods and to buy and purchase and then they celebrate in a very jovial and festive mood. It is really a wonderful mood in Zimbabwe at the moment. There are still problems here and there Violet, but the feeling is good, the feeling is expectant, it is hopeful that the year 2010 holds good things for this country.
GONDA: Well it’s good to hear this Professor Makumbe but some would ask that isn’t it true that nearly all the positive things that have happened like having food in the shops as you have just said, are a result of the Zimbabwe dollar crashing and the US dollar taking over and that at least people had some form of currency with value and that it had nothing to do with the Unity government and anybody’s policies - and this is basically why things have changed to some extent.
MAKUMBE: No, no, no you see, all those things are linked. It would be unfortunate to see the dollarisation of the Zimbabwe economy as something which just happened, it didn’t just happen. It was forced because of the circumstances in which the country found itself as a result of the bad governance of the Zanu-PF political party.They had wrecked the economy so badly that the local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar became worthless, even though they printed - in fact they printed it until they ran out of ink and even ran out of paper. And so they wrecked that so the only solution was to dollarise the economy. And so that bad management by the Zanu-PF regime resulted in the dollarisation of the economy which essentially brought back the goods and services that had gone, that had vanished from the scene and so these things are all closely linked and they are really two sides of the same coin.
GONDA: I’m sure we all want to be positive but is it not a fact that currently Zanu-PF has been running rings around the MDC and that the MDC really has no power?
MAKUMBE: It is partly true, it is partly untrue. The MDC is doing a marvellous job in the inclusive government, it has stabilised the government, it has stabilised the economy which has resulted in the reopening of schools and the reopening of health institutions such as hospitals and clinics. It facilitated very strongly the return to Zimbabwe of some of Zimbabwe’s skilled people who went back into teaching and some are coming back into the health sector as well. But yes, the MDC is being harassed and harangued by Zanu-PF but that comes with the job. That comes with the job and the MDC are fully aware that when they went into this marriage of convenience there was going to be a cost and they are paying the price of that arrangement. But they are prepared to do that and continue with it for the sake of the country because the alternative is to go back to 2002, 2005 and even 2008 and that’s really not acceptable.
GONDA: But Professor Makumbe, even though the Unity government has been in existence for a year, we still have farm attacks continuing, and, recently, there has been renewed pressure to get the remaining white commercial farmers off the land. Now the CFU says it is waiting for some kind of assistance from the MDC, so what can the MDC do about the disputes and lawlessness in the farming areas for example?
MAKUMBE: The MDC for example Violet should pressurise Zanu-PF very strongly
to resolve the so-called outstanding issues, one of which is the existence of
violence. Violence still exists Violet, and not only in the farming areas but
also in the communal areas such as in the border districts like Muzarabani and
Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe and so forth. There are still some bases which were used
in 2008 which are being revived even as we talk, and so the MDC, to help the
commercial farmers who are being kicked out and also their workers, they should
insist that the provisions of the Global Political Agreement be fully
implemented. And to do that, they need to work closely with the Jacob Zuma team
of facilitators or mediators, who are apparently very good at insisting on the
implementation of the provisions of the Global Political Agreement, and that’s a
good start. If they fail to win in that area they will need to really give
Zanu-PF an ultimatum. You must not forget that the MDC are the majority party in
the House of Assembly here in Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF are effectively the minority
and so MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai need to call the shots more often than they are
GONDA: If the MDC is in the majority, why aren’t they calling the shots? You have got government ministers from Zanu-PF, like Didymus Mutasa, who is accused of spearheading the lawlessness especially on the farms, so why is the MDC failing to control the situation?
MAKUMBE: I think part of it is really lack of experience in the political game. For example there are powers in the Global Political Agreement that are supposed to be exercised by Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister of this country which he is sometimes not actually exercising - such as giving orders to cabinet ministers, portfolio ministers … on how they should be managing the affairs of the nation. And part of it is also the vagueness of some of the provisions of the Global Political Agreement. Executive powers are given to both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai and the same executive powers are again given to the Cabinet and so when it comes to actually exercising them, the guy who has been doing it all along- albeit doing it badly- Robert Mugabe has overstepped his mark and he has used his powers sometimes without even referring to either Morgan Tsvangirai or Arthur Mutambara and so there is a lot of learning that must go on within the MDC before they can effectively say … hey we are running the show.
GONDA: But you see, we go back to the same point – you expressed optimism at the beginning of this programme but some will say nothing will work if there is no functioning government, that’s why you find lawlessness is still continuing, the disruptions on the farms are still continuing. So, isn’t this optimism in Zimbabwe, and the optimism that you are portraying right now a fact of the human mind that cannot bear the reality - that the human mind cannot live with a defeatist attitude so we have to be positive?
MAKUMBE: No it is really a product of the experience. It is experiential Violet, it is the experience of where we have been as a country. We have been in 2000 when the farm invasions began - 200 people, blacks, lost their lives. We have been in 2005 Operation Murambatsvina where 700 000 people were displaced from their homes under the Mugabe regime. We have been in 2008 nearly 200 people died, blacks, members and supporters of MDC. Those are the things you look at, you remember and you actually know they can recur. And the fact that they are being curtailed, they have been abated; they have been reduced to a reasonable – if not an insignificant proportion - gives one hope. It’s not a mindset thing, it is experiential. We know, I know where Zimbabwe has been. I know how people have struggled, how unemployment has shot up to 94% but I can see now industry creeping up from 15% capacity production to the current 30 to 40% and I say this is something to write home about. This is something to be optimistic about and so it is really not a mindset, it is really comparing yesterday with today and hoping for an even better tomorrow.
GONDA: And of course there is this latest issue where the MDC is investigating corruption especially in its external assemblies. Now we all know that corruption has been like a cancer to Zimbabwe, slowly eating away at its institutions and the country’s social fabric. Now that the MDC has been mired a bit in corruption scandals in the Diaspora, some are wondering if the MDC is any different from Zanu-PF. What are your thoughts on this?
MAKUMBE: Oh this is a brilliant question and I’m glad you asked that. Many people again fail to realise that all of us in Zimbabwe are a product of a very corrupt regime called the Rhodesia Front. The Ian Smith regime was corrupt to the core; it was succeeded by the Robert Mugabe regime, the Zanu-PF regime which is corrupt to the core. The corruption in the MDC is a fraction of the corruption in Zanu-PF, but we are all victims of these regimes so corruption has almost become a culture. It would be naivety on anyone’s part to think that the MDC comprises only saints who are not touched by these things. They are the same product of the same corrupt culture so it will take a long time for the MDC to actually clean its act, to clean up the corruption in its own structures.
By the way, the corruption in the UK, in South Africa is part of the corruption in the MDC as a whole. In Zimbabwe itself, a town council called Chitungwiza has been virtually dismissed because of corruption. The first thing the councillors did when they met after the elections was to allocate each other free stands on which to build houses, factory shops and so forth, so we are all in need of a cathartic agent to cleanse us because we are all victims of the corruption of Zanu-PF and Robert Mugabe.
GONDA: I’ve been talking to some of the members of the MDC Provincial executives in the Diaspora, especially the UK and some are denying that they are corrupt and they say that, they are alleging that what’s been happening is a result of factionalism in the MDC and they say the Party is divided along two main groups – one allegedly led by the (MDC-T) President Morgan Tsvangirai, the other led by Secretary General Tendai Biti. They claim it’s a power struggle, a battle for control and that the group that is allegedly led by Tendai Biti is trying to dismantle some of these external assemblies that are perceived to be supporting the Tsvangirai-led group. Have you heard anything about this? What are your thoughts on this?
MAKUMBE: (laughs) I have heard lots of that. You know one thing Violet you
will find in political parlance is that they say if you leave two Zimbabweans on
the moon overnight- when you get back to the moon the following day you will
find that they will have formed three political parties! Zimbabweans are very
good at drawing lines, drawing factions here and there. I’ve heard of a Mudzuri
faction in the MDC; there’s another faction led by Ian Makoni; there is a
faction led by Tendai Biti; there is also a faction led by, you know, what’s his
name – Morgan Tsvangirai and so forth. It is all fiction. It is all fiction. A
lot of it is imagined rather than real.
But here is the politics. The politics is that there will be groupings everywhere. Wherever there is a political party there will be preferences of groupings, people meeting together and criticising their leaders, criticising each other but these things do not necessarily need to translate into £57000 disappearing from the scene, from the British province of the MDC. Why does it translate into money? But a lot of it is also engineered to try and do each other down so that new people can come in and so forth.
Here again, we are products of a regime, a Zanu-PF regime which is riddled with factionalism. There is a Mujuru faction, there is a Mnangagwa faction, now there is even a Robert Mugabe faction and this is carried on into the MDC as well. The truth of the matter is that it is all just politics but when there is corruption, it is corruption it has the same colour whether it is practised by Zanu-PF or by MDC or by a faction of any of the above two, this is where there is a real problem - that is where there is need for cleansing and scrutinising the leadership, scrutinising the management processes and dealing with issues as they come. In fact I’m very glad that the MDC has not hidden the corruption, it has gone public with it and it has criticised those of its members who have been caught with their fingers in the pot.
GONDA: So far we hear the investigations are targeting those groups that are in the Diaspora, but just talking to some members of the MDC, they say that some of the people who were receiving the money for example from some of the groups in the Diaspora are members of parliament and ministers, so would they also be investigated? What are your thoughts on that?
MAKUMBE: Yes they must all be investigated, everything must be above board;
everything must be transparent, if names are not exposed then there will be no
real exposure of corruption and they will all have to be investigated. According
to Morgan Tsvangirai himself, nobody is sacred. Even if it is his own son Edwin
who took the money, it must be exposed, that’s what he has said and I believe
him. I believe that is the way things will go.
The question is really – who will hang the cat? Who is going to do the investigation? Will the investigator not be bribed again and do the same thing? Here is a case where the MDC should demonstrate to Zanu-PF how you investigate corruption within a Party- you bring in an external agent, you bring in people who are not MDC, who are also not Zanu-PF, who are not CIO. You don’t do the Chihuri-style of ‘the police will set up a committee to investigate how the people were tortured by police’- you know it is ridiculous. And so I think this is a classic example which the MDC can set. Get an independent auditor to audit their books, investigate the matter forensically and expose everything by name, by date, by situation.
GONDA: You know it is interesting that you have said that there should be an independent investigator that should look into these allegations but I understand that the MDC is actually sending the National Chairman, Lovemore Moyo and the Deputy Treasurer General, Elton Mangoma to the UK to investigate these allegations in the UK and so what can you say about that?
MAKUMBE: I think that is unfortunate because there will be people on
Mangoma’s side and they will also be accused of fighting against Tendai Biti or
vice versa, or on Morgan Tsvangirai’s side, or on Mudzuri’s side and so forth.
It is crucial that an independent investigator be appointed. This culture of
self-investigation is really a Zanu-PF culture and it is destructive, it is
really slanderous because it is hypocrisy, it doesn’t result in the exposure of
the real corruption that’s going on. It is very easy to get an independent
investigator. Take any of these … international auditors and ask them to do the
job. Pay them and let them bring the report, and publish the report as it comes-
that’s the way to go.
GONDA: Right, and moving on Professor Makumbe you know the constitutional process is now in progress, is there a very good feeling right now on the ground that this will produce real results?
MAKUMBE: There are two ways of looking at it Violet. One way is really very
similar to the 2000 draft which ended up being rejected by the people. The
people say one thing and what comes out of the constitution is another.
That is a very likely situation under the current conditions because the constitutional process is being led by parliament.
Now in parliament you have two major political parties who are also in bed as the inclusive government, who are also anxious that the arrangement of the inclusive government goes on until 2013- in other words, they are not very keen on new elections any time soon.
And so, how are they going to write this constitution? Are they going to include what the people will say or are they going to include only some of what the people will say and include more of what they would like to see? That is the test.
Now there is inclusion of civil society including the churches and there is expectation that these civil society bodies and the churches will be major watchdogs to prevent any cheating of the people by excluding what the people will have said and including what the politicians will have wanted.
The training of the members of parliament has begun in Harare and the sessions have gone very well and there is a good feeling about writing the constitution. There are no hang-ups anymore about the Kariba draft, about the NCA draft, about the MDC draft and so forth. They are now fully agreed that they are going to the people to get what the people want included in the constitution.
The bottom line Violet is who are going to be the drafters of the constitution? The people will say something- the people who will determine what is going to be in the constitution are the drafters and we haven’t reached that stage yet.
At the moment the feeling is very good that the work is going to be done, the money is now available and the nation is ready to write a new constitution and it is a positive, perhaps an optimistic outlook - I think it is worth holding.
GONDA: And what about the fact the National Constitutional Assembly has said it will not support this process because it is not people driven?
MAKUMBE: Well the NCA is a teeny weeny, minute little body of individuals and it’s not worth worrying about. It’s like having the whole education sector really rejoicing about something in the education and a primary school in Chirambahuyo - rural back of beyond - says we are not happy about this so we are not going to participate. Nobody will miss them.
GONDA: But what has really changed Professor Makumbe because in 2000 would you have described the NCA as a teeny weenie little group?
MAKUMBE: No, no Violet I wouldn’t have. I was part of it and we were
completely right, we were right in saying you need to write a constitution which
is people driven. Mugabe said we are going to write the constitution and we will
drive it and we will change it even at the drafting stage and he did. He changed
it at the drafting stage. I will tell you something which happened again in 1999
or in 2000 just before the constitution was taken to Mugabe.
The provisions, the terms of reference for the Chidyausiku Commission, clearly stated that at the end of the exercise the new draft constitution will be adopted through a secret ballot. And knowing what they had done - Chidyausiku and the top guys in Zanu-PF - they wouldn’t conduct a secret ballot.
They said we will adopt the draft constitution by acclamation. Those in favour- those against- and that was deception. And then they took the constitution to Mugabe and Mugabe adopted it and it went to the referendum and that’s why the NCA then said ‘no way – this is deception, clause such and such was not what the people said, was not stated by the people or by the thematic committees or so forth’.
And so the NCA had the moral high ground then. Today it doesn’t. Today the NCA is saying basically, stay with the Lancaster House constitution rather than write a new constitution, reject it simply because parliamentarians are involved. No way. We know where this country has come from.
MAKUMBE: The final word is that there are huge outstanding issues which have
not been resolved. It is very easy to focus on those and say we are doomed, 2010
is going to be a disaster year.
It is very easy to be negative about Zimbabwe in 2010. It is important to look at the resolved issues and say, compared to 2008, 2009 was miles ahead. 2010 can only be better.
GONDA: OK, so before we go, is it possible to just summarise some of the things that you would say are a definite positive, you know like what evidence would you point to show things are getting better, in a nutshell?
MAKUMBE: Yes I think very quickly I can say we, the cholera has ended because
sanitation has improved, health centres are now operational- there are drugs now
in the country - thanks to the donor communities.
But also our local drug, medical drug manufacturers are already on the ball again, industry is reviving and I would say education, the schools are virtually all open, universities and colleges are now all open and there is rain outside, it is promising to be a reasonable season.
The throwing of outputs to Zanu-PF hoodlums which was happening under Gideon Gono and Robert Mugabe has not happened this year and people who are serious about farming are having to go to banks to borrow money and to get that money they have to show collateral.
Banks have money, they were given 210 million US dollars to distribute. They were given the money by treasury but it’s going to be distributed strictly on the basis of do you have collateral, is the farm yours and do you have any means of paying back and so forth, the usual bank requirements.
And so those who had been damaged through handouts, through corruption and so forth are not going to get the handouts, are not going to get the money, are not going to get the loans and these are the people who are screaming and saying the agricultural season is damaged because Tendai Biti refused to release IMF money, but Tendai Biti has demonstrated he has teeth and he also can bark!
GONDA: And, what about other fundamental reforms like media reforms-the repeal of draconian laws like AIPPA, POSA, the Public Order and Security Act?
MAKUMBE: Those are all irons in the fire Violet and I personally am
disappointed that the MDC has not been pushing hard on those. But we can see the
beginnings of the reforms, the Media Commission is now in place, the Human
Rights Commission is now in place and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is now
There are lots of constituencies which are not represented in parliament, they deserve to be represented if we are going to be meaningfully democratic and the reforms have to move, have to take place quickly.
The beginning of the writing of a new constitution is a major reform activity and so those things are not as fast as you and I would like them to be but they are beginning to work.
GONDA: You know some may say just listening to you … that you seem to have changed your views on what is happening in the country right now. What has changed? You are seen as having been radical before, what has brought about this sudden change?
MAKUMBE: No it’s not a sudden change. This is myself, this is me. I have
always been very severe on Zanu-PF and Robert Mugabe because these people really
ruined this country, they damaged it.
In fact people ask me a question, will Morgan Tsvangirai do a good job if he took over from Mugabe and I tell them, the way Robert Mugabe has ruined this country, any idiot can run it better. But the truth of the matter Violet is that I am not a radical person for nothing, for the sake of radicalism.
I give credit where credit is due. I’ve been working with the World Bank in various ministries through out government and I have met many civil servants who have pleaded with me and said ‘listen, tell Morgan and MDC to stick in government.
They must not go out because if they go out, Zanu-PF will wreck this nation completely’. You know, and that gives me good vibes.
That says to me I must give credit where it is due and I will tell you there are Zanu-PF people who are positive about the changes. There are Zanu-PF people who are sick and tired of Robert Mugabe. And there are MDC people who are raring to go, who want to do the best for this country. I will be the first person to encourage them.
|by Dr Mandla Nyathi|
WITH the start of the new year it is important that we reflect on our past challenges, successes and failures; and in so doing find strategies and approaches that will enable us to move forward as a community.
In my reflections I usually get inspiration and guidance from works, speeches, and other forms of contributions by legendary public figures, deceased and living.
One of such person is none other than former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who I have no doubt, had a point when he, rightly, noted that in order to see far ahead we have to look as far back, where we have come from, as we can.
Indeed in looking back, depending on one's choice, there is a cluster of images, real and imaginary, that have shaped the path and course of the lives that jell together to make the history of Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom.
I do not want to talk in any specific terms about Zimbabweans living in other parts of the world other than the UK and Zimbabwe, since all my life, I have either lived here or in Zimbabwe.
I want to dwell, for purposes of convenience, on three issues only as I reflect on the year 2009. First, I want to address the issue of why all Zimbabwean leaders in the UK and indeed anywhere in the world where Zimbabweans are, should start talking about and preparing the masses for the eventual return to the motherland.
Second, and most significant, I want to explain why people in leadership, of MDC, ZAPU, or indeed any other political or civic organisation should be at the forefront of groups to return first- heading to Zimbabwe in this grand home going revolution I am proposing.
Most, if not all, of the people in various leadership roles that I have met in this country claim to have left Zimbabwe because of unbearable political conditions. Very few have ever mentioned economic reasons except when a gentle imbibing encourages them to engage in a bit of honesty.
But based on what these leaders give as the reason for leaving our beloved country one can safely conclude that "now is the time to start looking back" and prepare the mind set of your followers accordingly.
Looking back does not necessarily imply immediately packing one's bags. No! It means, inter alia, identifying proper strategies to engage with all stakeholders and preparing mindsets of Zimbabweans likely to be affected adversely by the inevitable eventuality of going back to our motherland.
In my introduction I alluded to the fact that the Zimbabwean leadership in the UK should be at the forefront of this home going revolution. Yes, I mean it. Branch chairpersons and their executives, district assemblies and all those structures should lead- yes, be at the forefront in the home going revolution.
The reason is simple. Unless the Zimbabwean leadership take the lead, someone, and in that case not a Zimbabwean, will assume that mantle. There are inherent dangers about the second option. The home going revolution risks external hijacking if not managed properly.
Once the agents of this revolution become externalised Zimbabweans living in
the UK, as will indeed be the case for Zimbabweans anywhere outside the country,
will not be in control of their destiny. The obvious drawbacks about this
scenario include, but are not limited to, the following:
. Unfavourable terms of implementing and managing the home going revolution process
. Possible long-term traumatic stress due to lack of mental preparedness
. Feelings of failure and perpetual desperation for recognition by Zimbabweans back home who are likely to view all of us as suspects of some sort
. Failure to utilise opportunities that come with the wind of home going revolution
. Failure to establish and maintain a coordinated voice in negotiating settlement terms upon arrival in Zimbabwe
. Vulnerability to exploitation by international migration sharks driven by economic considerations
. Marginalisation by certain elements in Zimbabwe who by now have perfected the art of surviving in harsh economic and political conditions.
The above factors are self explanatory and I will not waste time explaining their significance.
However, related to the above points are the many issues to do with prospects and challenges that lie ahead for those who decide to return to the motherland.
Every Zimbabwean who left the homeland because of the thinned political space should not feel any sense of guilt for encouraging other Zimbabweans to join him/her in leading the home going revolution. I say this for the simple reason that, as I write this article, the space is getting fatter and fatter with each minute that goes by.
The challenges that one may face when you go back to Zimbabwe are there for all to see but should not blind people into negating the important cause for our leadership to play their role in leading from the front in formulating and managing the home going revolution.
Now let us consider the following opportunities that are there for the taking.
First there will always be the first movers' advantage. The few, in leadership and ordinary membership of all the political parties with a presence in the UK who will land first are likely to receive fair shares of the national cake as carved out by the executors of the Government of National Unity.
Mind you, the Diaspora or as some like to say, the non-domiciled Zimbabweans, have a new acquired status and recognition by the GNU. The major parties all agree that there is space and a positive role to be played by these Zimbabweans currently living outside homeland.
I always want to avoid the word DIASPORA and the phrase "non domiciled Zimbabweans" for the simple connotations that they attract. Those in ZANU PF prefer the latter while MDC-T is tacitly associated with the throat cracking DIASPORA. Whatever choice you make for yourself, the bottom line is that there are opportunities for grabs awaiting Zimbabweans in the UK should they commit themselves to the bold steps of leading and taking part in the home going revolution.
Secondly, Zimbabweans outside country have access to liquid capital and/or credit facilities. Those that have not saved or cannot, for whatever reason, access liquid capital and credit facilities have the option of disposing their movable and immovable assets or part thereof, to finance new ventures back in Zimbabwe.
All these options are not without any risks but, and get this one straight, without risk taking there would not be any life to talk about. In fact, and in effect, opportunities arise due to inequality and risk taking abilities.
So to those Zimbabweans willing and prepared to risk, albeit moderately, now is the time to start thinking about going back. Zimbabwe is in a transition stage, the stakes are high and hence the need for you to consider, seriously, the opportunities ahead where we have come from.
Recently I took stock of my old trainers, socks, shoes, you name it that, believe me, I had not worn for years. I tell you I was shocked. The locked financial value in my old rags is phenomenal. I got a quote from a local charity and am more than happy with the valuation I got and the subsequent offer I received for my old wardrobe.
I am bringing this up to demonstrate how much wasted assets we have in our houses and how easy it is to convert them into liquid cash that we can invest in Zimbabwe should we decide to be part of the home-going revolution. So fellow country man and friends I am urging you to consider, with utmost seriousness, the opportunities that are for grabs in Zimbabwe.
Third, the Zimbabwean leadership in this country has had unparalleled exposure not only to a working democracy in practice, but crucially, to the dynamism of a mixed economy in both stressful and boom periods. The resilience that you have acquired living, as a leader, in the UK can only contribute to the competitive advantage that is so crucial in a rapidly changing environment such as Zimbabwe. Why not use your expertise to lead in the entrepreneurial revolution that is inevitable as the reconstruction of Zimbabwe gets underway? You cannot be part of that revolution unless you look back and consider being part of the home going revolution.
The strategic contacts with such organisations as the IOM and other international agencies responsible for international migration management can only serve as an advantage.
I have no illusion in believing that the pooling of financial resources from migration management agencies can go a long way in making a change in investment by Zimbabweans living outside the country. Yes, the finances involved are small when taken individually, but taken in aggregate and pooled, coupled with resources from other sources, the size becomes significant.
The size of these portfolios becomes even heavier when the investment destination, Zimbabwe, is viewed in context. Zimbabweans have to consider pooling their resources together; not just finance, but also the intellect, movable/immovable assets, and other strategic considerations. It is only when we do this that we can be agents of economic, social, and political change in a new Zimbabwe that we all so desire to see.
Third and lastly, whether the political leadership in Zimbabwe views you as a suspect or whatever, one thing remains clear- they are bound to feel that they at least owe you something. Remember, they have to be seen to be doing something, particularly to those Zimbabwean leaders that have either made much noise, as de-facto ambassadors, to highlight what was happening back home then or defended what was happening. I am sure you know what I am talking about.
However, one must accept that deciding to go back home is not an easy thing to do.
There is, for example, the problem of managing expectations of our friends and relatives back in Zimbabwe. We all know the pressure and I understand the challenges ahead, more so convincing Zimbabweans back home that England and indeed any other part of the UK is not a land of honey and milk where money grows on trees for foreigners to pick.
Those challenges are worsened by those Zimbabweans who came to the UK and within months bought those mansions in Harare and elsewhere in Zimbabwe. A Comfort though- the manner in which they bought those properties may turn to haunt them in the future as the global village becomes smaller and smaller. You take note of these words!
As for the likes of Mickey Mouse parties and other such organisations not catered for/recognised in the GPA/GNU, I say to you, "the ground has been softened albeit not levelled." And what does that mean for you? It means now is the time for you too to join in "the looking back" crusade and utilise the opportunities as they come.
With the political landscape softening up, there is little reason to believe that big, though perennially wounded, parties like the revived ZAPU, have any reason to dissuade their members from joining the home going revolution. After all, ZAPU and all other political groupings need foot soldiers there, in the battle ground, in Zimbabwe where the stakes are high.
Zimbabwe needs the skills and participation of its nationals that fled the country, for whatever reason, if it is to find its feet again. If the strategic resources, that are in the form of the Zimbabwean leadership living outside Zimbabwe, are not tapped upon, yes including encouraging people to embrace the home going revolution, the new Zimbabwe that these people so desired that they risked the wrath of ZANU PF may perhaps turn out to be an incarnation of the Zimbabwe that they fled from.
We need Zimbabweans with differing views, certainly those that were part of the social/political revolution that dismantled the indefatigability of ZANU PF hold on political pillars of our motherland. History will not forget them, but should they shy away from the home going revolution, it may as well conveniently forget them.
Dr Mandla Nyathi is a Senior Lecturer- Risk and Resilient Management at Buckinghamshire New University. He can be contacted at Mandla.Nyathi@Bucks.ac.uk
Vigil supporters were dismayed at President Zuma’s comments on the
The petition had been signed by thousands of passers-by before we suspended it when we believed Zuma was prepared to take action to enforce the South African-negotiated Global Political Agreement. We decided to ‘unpark’ the petition now in light of Zuma’s cynical suggestion that the MDC should simply accept that Mugabe would not implement the agreement he signed 16 months ago. Zuma said the MDC should ‘park’ the issues in contention.
Vigil supporters wonder how you can ‘park’ issues like law and order (Tomano) and institutionalised corruption (Gono). Why is the MDC, which won the 2008 elections, always expected to make concessions? Why doesn’t Zuma suggest that Mugabe ‘park’ his greed and monomania and do what he promised? In other words, how can there be free and fair elections if Mugabe flouts the spirit of the GPA, flawed as it is?
The Vigil believes that, by not addressing the human rights issues in
The tragic violence accompanying the Africa Cup of Nations in
· A quick survey revealed that none of us has been recalled to
· There was an interview with the Vigil on SW Radio about our petition
to the British parliamentary committee discussing aid to
· After last week’s snow we were amazingly lucky today. It rained
· Great to have the front desk stewards back again – Gladys Mapanda, Josephine Zhuga, Sue Toft and June Pedzeni. Also thanks to Godfrey Madzunga who was there at the start to help set up the Vigil and man the back table.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
FOR THE RECORD: 167 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
'Mugabe and the white African'
is showing until
21st January at the
ROHR Hayes fundraising party.
27th February from till late. Venue: Coronation Hall,
Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s
Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue:
The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre,
· Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: email@example.com.
For Motherland ENT’s
videos of the Vigil
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429
by Mlamuli Mhlaba Nkomo
Last year in December, in a country where life expectancy is 36, an 85 year
old President Robert Mugabe swore into office a 76 year old John Nkomo to
become the country's second vice president. The occasion was witnessed by
Morgan Tsvangirai, the chubby but powerless Prime Minister who poled more
votes than the President in the last inconclusive election.
This scenario does not inspire confidence at all!
After being launched amid pomp and fanfare, the ramshackle government of
national unity between Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
has still not brought any meaningful change in the lives of ordinary
Morgan Tswangirai still behaves the old sulking opposition leader well
versed in boycott tactics while Mugabe remains a raving dictator driving
both the country and his party into oblivion.
Faced with a dysfunctional governing body formed after bitter and scandalous
negotiations without any elected mandate, the GNU has no immediate plans of
rescuing Zimbabwe from the current mess to a proud nation.
Mugabe is President not because of an election and Tsvangirai is the errand
boy not because any Zimbabwean voted him to be in that position. The current
set-up is a result of Mugabe`s scheming and how the MDC, hungry for power,
fell into the trap.
The problem with the MDC and Zanu PF is that they have this silly idea that
Zimbabwe's problems started in the late 90`s when Tsvangirai formed his
fractured party or 2000 when Mugabe invaded white-owned commercial farms.
Zimbabwe challenges are deeper than the petty feud between Zanu PF and the
There problem is simply that there is no culture of democracy in the
Many Zimbabweans were misled into thinking the MDC-T was fighting for
democracy only to be disappointed the party's main concerns revolves around
appointing and disappointing a few individuals into positions of power. The
fight between the two is not ideological; it is about power and positions,
Witness how Tsvangirai overturned a majority vote in his party over their
participation in senatorial elections in 2005. Tsvangirai is hell-bent on
clinging onto the leadership of the MDC which is why he tempered with his
party's constitution in order to remain in office.
Despite their empty talk on human rights, democracy and rule of law,
Zimbabweans are beginning wise up and seeing the MDC-T for what it is- a
useless piece of beautiful beads that unfortunately does not fit on their
It is in such gloomy and depressing times that Zimbabweans are excited by
the emergency of a revolutionary alternative in the revival of their beloved
Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (Zapu). The emergency of Zapu is not only
refreshing and calming, it is also nostalgic; it revives the glorious past
of a liberation movement rooted in the aspirations of the people.
Zapu, with its predecessors the NDP, ANC and PCC, has a proud tradition of
fighting injustice in this country. Its experience and mistakes are a lesson
to all on what it means to be grounded with the people.
However, one of the often rehashed criticisms is that Zapu is a tribal party
bent on creating ethnic tensions in the country.
To begin with, such criticism is in itself tribalistic in the sense that it
presupposes that only people from a certain ethnic group have a right to
form and lead political parties, while people from smaller cities and
minority groups can only be followers of these movements.
How can victims of tribalism be perpetrators of the same tribalism? It is
well known that Zanu broke away in 1963 because some among the party felt
that they cannot be led by a "zimundebere". How on earth can a splinter
group be more representative and nationalistic than the mother body?
The tripartite alliance misgoverning the country at the moment does not seem
to believe that a leader from the minority groups is capable of leading a
national party. The worst example is the MDC-M which in an act of
desperation imported Professor Arthur Mutambara, seemingly doubting its own
Many Zapu members are victims of tribalism. They were dismissed in the
police and army because of their ethnic origins and orientation. Zanu PF
specifically targeted Ndebele members of Zapu during the Gukurahundi.
Notice how the state has covered Zapu activities in its media. The revived
Zapu has been active in all provinces especially in Mashonaland West but one
gets only to see a couple of negative stories in the Chronicle while the
Mashonaland based Herald totally ignores the party's activities in that part
of the country.
It is deeply insensitive to propagate lies that Zapu is a tribal party when
the facts on the ground clearly show its members are victims.
Linked to the criticism on tribalism is the myth that Zapu is a secessionist
The fact is that secession and devolution of power are very different
issues. Zapu does not advocate for the creation of a Masvingo Republic
neither does in preach for the Republic of Matabeleland.
Established democracies have taught us that to enjoy democracy and human
rights countries need not necessarily be homogeneous units consisting of a
single ethnic group. In the era of globalisation people can practice their
culture and enjoy their freedom based on rights enshrined in state
constitutions. Ndebele people do not necessarily need to be camped in
Matabeleland to fully enjoy their freedom and rights. The same applies for
the Karanga group in Masvingo
All that is needed is to campaign and work for a constitution that
strengthens democratic institutions, promotes talent and realisation of one's
The only way that the discredited GNU can salvage a modicum of credibility
is to oversee the smooth running of the constitution making process
currently underway. (Already the process is obviously flawed but with this
ruling coalition we have become accustomed to mediocrity)
Devolution is not about dividing people. It is primarily meant to distribute
resources and ensure that local and provincial government structures are
accountable. In the current set up a provincial governor represents the
President. Where power is devolved the governor ideally comes from the party
with the highest votes in that province. It is undemocratic to have a
situation where a president appoints a governor in a province where his
party is not in the majority.
A lot of work and consultation still needs to be done to ascertain which
services to decentralise to provinces and which ones should remain with
central government. For instance, defence will always remain the preserve of
central government while provinces might have more say in language policy
and education and delivering service to citizens in their area.
With regard to the Unity Accord, the formal withdrawal of Zapu from Zanu PF
in May 2009 was just a symbolic gesture. The facts on the ground indicate
that the Accord died decades back. For John Nkomo to purport to represent
Zapu as deputy president and second secretary of Zanu PF is one of the
lunacies associated with the GNU and Zanu PF.
It is a well established fact that Zapu was forced into the unity accord
with a sizeable number of parliamentary seats. Today Nkomo, who purports to
be a bona fide Zapu representative, would not win a ward election even in an
"un-free" and unfair election.
It is the people and not Dabengwa who pulled out of Zanu PF; Dabengwa merely
followed the people.
Looking ahead, and as we enter the magical year 2010, Zapu is emerging as
the only genuine force for change. The party is embarking on a number of
projects to bring hope to the desperate people of Zimbabwean.
Instead of mourning and complaining, Zapu brings a vision for a democratic
and progressive Zimbabwe based on the respect for individual freedoms and
the respect for human rights. The party has identified key issues in
Education, Health, and economic empowerments as key pillars in the
development of the country.
Zapu is on a drive to be an attractive movement to millions of unemployed
and unemployable youths. The involvement of the youths is crucial to the
survival of the party. As a movement we should be proud of our liberation
war credentials but at the same time we should not lose sight of where we
are going in shaping the future of the country by neglecting the needs and
aspirations of the youths.
From Ian Smith, Abel Muzorewa, Robert Mugabe and, lately, Morgan Tsvangirai,
Zimbabwe has had its fair share of bad and vision-less leaders. With the
inspiration of its founding leader Joshua Nkomo, Zapu is on the track to
deliver the leadership that will take the country forward.
The year 2010 is so important to Southern Africa because of the soccer World
Cup in South Africa. In political spheres Zapu is the mover and shaker in
2010. Watch this space!
Mlamuli Mhlaba Nkomo is a member of the Zapu Youth Front. He writes in his
personal capacity and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zimbabwean opposition politician Roy Bennett goes on trial for treason.
By Alex Duval Smith - Special to GlobalPost
Published: January 17, 2010 09:17 ET
HARARE, Zimbabwe - With his dapper suits and black-dyed mini-moustache,
President Robert Mugabe has come to represent the image of the modern-day
His nemesis is a heavy-set, plain-talking, pink-skinned accidental
politician who runs a panel-beating business and greets visitors cradling
Vickie, his dachshund.
Arguably the most popular man of any race in Zimbabwe, 52-year-old Roy
Bennett has begun a court ordeal in the capital, Harare, in which he faces
life in jail for allegedly plotting to overthrow Mugabe in 2006.
Currently on bail, the former farmer is accused of buying $5,000 worth of
arms to carry out "acts of insurgency, sabotage, banditry or terrorism.'' He
emphatically denies the charge and says he is eager to take up his job as
deputy agriculture minister in the country's 11-month-old power-sharing
The state's case was substantially undermined when the prosecution's key
witness testified Thursday that state agents tortured him until he falsely
Mugabe, 85, has a track record of putting his political rivals on trial for
treason. Bennett, who was first arrested in February, is the 10th. The color
of his skin and his track record make him the most emblematic.
"I am a native through generations of history that was no choice of my own,"
says the senator whose northern Irish grandfather, a mining company assayer,
settled in the British colony of Rhodesia in the late 1800s. "Barring a few
generations, our history is no different from that of Australia or the
United States, only there, the settlers killed the local inhabitants.
Rhodesian settlers built roads and hospitals and, in the space of 150 years,
the population expanded from 350,000 to 14 million."
That population, repressed by the British colonizers and then by the white
rule of Ian Smith's Rhodesia, fought a bitter war to gain independence in
1980. After 20 years, Mugabe had entrenched his government which became
marked by corruption, human rights abuses and declinging services. That is
what gave rise, 10 years ago, to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -
now Zimbabwe's main opposition party of which Bennett is treasurer-general.
The court case of the former farmer is based on a confession from a gun
merchant, Mike Hitschmann, whose own trial in 2006 was dismissed when it was
ruled that the testimony was obtained by torture. Observers who have been in
court since Bennett's trial started in November describe a confused
attorney-general leading a case which is akin to a plot-less film script in
which plausible characters have been cast.
At the December congress of Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the president once again hammered home his
objections to Bennett: "This is your country and not for whites. Not the
Bennetts. They are settlers, even if they were born here they are offspring
Bennett was a policeman before going into farming in 1979. "I served five
years while the liberation war was on. I attended many murders. The
so-called liberation fighters would go into communal areas and kill black
Rhodesian government employees. That was their way of forcing people to
support them. Seeing the repression and how the people were getting a
hammering from both sides, gave me a strong affinity with them,'' he said.
Bennett built from scratch a 740-acre fair-trade coffee farm in Chimanimani
in the east of the country. Before May 2000, when Charleswood Estate was
invaded under Zanu-PF's ruinous land resettlement campaign, the farm was a
hub of empowerment.
"We had field days and trial plots. Once you can move people from
subsistence to economic farming, they are empowered and cannot be
controlled.'' Today, the farm is derelict. Bennett and his wife Heather,
aged 47, run a panel-beating business in Harare.
He says he never wanted to go into politics. "Before the 2000 elections, the
people came and asked me to get involved. The elders and I travelled up to
Harare to see what (now Prime Minister) Morgan Tsvangirai had to say for
himself. We decided on the MDC.''
In 2000, Bennett became one of four whites to win parliamentary seats for
the MDC. His Manicaland constituency had been staunchly Zanu-PF for 20
years. For the seat to have gone to a white farmer was an insult to Mugabe.
For it to have fallen to a "settler'' with an "African'' consultative style
was even worse.
In 2004, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced in parliament that
Charleswood was to be resettled. Bennett marched across the floor and pushed
Chinamasa to the ground. He also hit out at the anti-corruption minister
before being ejected and jailed for 15 months. That is when Bennett became
the most popular man in Zimbabwe.
Author Heidi Holland believes the popular and plebeian Bennett is as
unfathomable as he is abhorrent to the snobbish Zimbabwean president.
"Mugabe is a black Englishman,'' said Holland who interviewed Mugabe two
years ago. "Like all colonials, Robert Mugabe grew up believing in British
excellence. But he also had a lifetime of denigrating racism embedded in his
psyche. Mugabe loves cricket and serves tea at the right time. His Catholic
education - thanks to an influential Anglo-Irish headmaster - means that he
identifies more readily with an educated, titled class of Briton than with
the descendants of working class farmers who came to own vast tracts of land
taken from Africans by Cecil Rhodes,'' said Holland, author of "Dinner With
Those close to the case say it is the "black Englishman'' in Mugabe that
compels him to take Bennett to court - rather than get rid of him through
cruder means - because, said one, "however non-existent the evidence might
be, process has to be seen to be done.''
Lawyers say even Zimbabwe's flawed legal system should clear Bennett. The
move would crown the former white farmer's standing as the nemesis of Mugabe's
fossilized racialism. But even if Bennett goes back to jail, he will be
admired by millions of Zimbabweans for the standing up to Mugabe.
Love him or hate him, Phillip "Tsivo" Chiyangwa is undoubtedly a great
example of African entrepreneurial success. He has the business acumen and
most importantly, the guts to make some very shrewd investment decisions
that have seen his empire grow from obscurity to the well renowned Native
Africa Investment Group (NAIG). It would never surprise to see NAIG being
listed on one of the world exchanges one day.
Chiyangwa did not just find himself where he is today, and at times people
speak of him as if banknotes rain in his bed while he is deep in his sleep.
His is a case of hard work and determination and having his sights on
success. Chiyangwa, unlike most here today gone tomorrow Zimbabwean
millionaires who have the tendency to squander seed money, seems knows when
and where to spend his money. Re-investment and venturing into uncharted
territory has been the hallmark of his success. The overtly flashy Chiyangwa
does so with restraint because there are so many people who never thought
Chiyangwa was splashing without touching the base of his finances but most
have been proven wrong
Born in 1959 Phidza has had his share of the hard times, rising from the
dusty environs of his village roots in Chegutu, in the Mashonaland West
province of Zimbabwe to pride himself of probably one of the best houses in
Zimbabwe at the moment. One thing that makes him a genuine and sincere
example is that Chiyangwa has never made a secret of his humble beginnings.
Neither has he ever hidden his desire to succeed, an outright recipe for
success. Over and above what people know and have seen of him struggled to
get where he is now, Chiyangwa has made his own case chronicling how he
started off vending vegetables and at times washing cars for those who had
them then. One of his only known regular jobs was his short stint in the
BSAP in the years to independence in 1980. The rest have been literally
scrounging his way to success
I remember meeting or rather seeing Chiyangwa for the first time in 1990 at
the shopping centre in Harare's Meyrick Park on the outskirts of Malbereign
where my uncle used to operate a welding and mechanical workshop. He (my
uncle) was doing a gate for Chiyangwa's Meyrick Park house. There were a few
other businesses running from behind the dura wall and most prominent among
them was Green Minicab, a taxi operator. Meyrick Park was a quieter and more
secluded version of Warren Park's Mereki where some of the "boys" in town
would converge on the odd weekend to sip cold beers while readily available
henchmen roasted chunks of beef and pork for them from conveniently located
brae stand. One by one the nicely polished cars would pull up and get parked
carefully as space was limited. Careless parking would always attract the
ire of other patrons and nobody dared double parking
Then on this sunny Saturday afternoon pulled up a gold Mercedes Benz and out
of it came a man in a colourful suit and he was almost inatsantly, literally
mobbed by everyone who greeted him with great affection. Then a few words
with my uncle and he was gone. Later on I asked my uncle who he was and what
he wanted. My uncle replied while pointing to a gate that looked quite
massive and said that's why he was there to check progress and they would be
fitting it later on that day. I was surprised that although he seemed quite
popular and everyone would have loved him to stay, Chiyangwa made his
excuses and sped away. From then on and into the mid 1990's I would see
Chiyangwa a lot especially in the morning while he drove into town along
Sherwood Drive and then into Pat Palmer Avenue. Driving was and
understatement because Chiyangwa literally swept past motorists alongside
the left verge leaving a cloud of dust. He would weave in and out of traffic
hurriedly if not dangerously, leaving everyone asking themselves if they too
were in a hurry. Even when he got into town, Chiyangwa remained an untamed
motorist because he had several run-ins with Harare City council parking
attendants who found his reckless parking in front of his offices along
Samora Machel something of an insult to their profession.
Chiyangwa finally broke on to the national scene in the most prominent
fashion when he teamed up with the late Peter "Pams" Pamire to start the
Affirmative Action Group AAG. This was a rival business empowerment vehicle
that was specifically set up to compete with the now defunct Indigenous
Business Development Centre IBDC that was then led by John Mapondera. The
AAG was the more militant and youthful version that catered especially for
the young entrepreneurs. Most importantly, the AAG was purely business
oriented then, with very little or no dabbling with politics to gain cheap
mileage or grabbing the news headlines. Neither the organisation nor its
leadership were ever involved in the frogmarching of foreign owned company
executives or toy-toying in front of company premises to force them to do
business with clients they were uncomfortable with.
There is a confusing or misconceived notion that the naturally
entrepreneurial Chiyangwa is successful because of his connection or
relationship to President Robert Mugabe. That's not a very fair assessment
in the context of his business success because ZANU PF has actually tended
to lean more on Chiyangwa than he on ZANU PF. There are closer relations of
President Mugabe who have also shown similar zeal to venture into business
but have not been as successful as Chiyangwa and again this has been purely
down to their own business ethics. Notable among President Mugabe's
relations are his nephews especially Leo Mugabe. Leo is the best example of
survival in business through connection because was it not for his name or
his uncle, he would not be in business today. I remember his (Leo's) steel
company in Southerton would struggle to pay its suppliers and it would be a
real struggle to get any form of payment at all.
Chiyangwa has actually had his own share of ill treatment at the hands of
ZANU PF. He was arrested and jailed in 2006 but then went on to be released
without charge. If Chiyangwa's businesses were in any way a direct result of
ZANU PF benefaction he couldn't have left ZANU PF at will because he would
have been mortgaged to the party. Chiyangwa did dabble with politics but he
kept his business at arms length and he even admitted after his ordeal that
there was nothing to be gained through politics if one wanted to be
successful in business. There are times when political power does facilitate
the advancement of business interests, but there has to be the business
acumen on the ground to meet with that facilitation without there would be
no success story.
Most criticism directed towards Chiyangwa seems to be out of petty personal
jealousy. Chiyangwa has build a very strong business based on turnover and
investment and that is what gives him more money to re-invest into even more
ventures. Unlike most children of rich people, most of Chiyangwa's numerous
children have and continue to be moulded into well educated and hardworking
young entrepreneurs who remain an integral part of their family empire.
There are so many people who have benefited from Chiyangwa's exploits
through employment that his businesses create. He has helped a lot of young
Zimbabweans realise their dreams and potential through investing in
entertainment and beauty shows. His involvement with the Miss Zimbabwe
pangeant and his sponsorship allowed a lot of Zimbabweans girls realise
their dreams and some became household names
In typical fashion, Chiyangwa brought the late Michael Jackson to Zimbabwe
in 2002 and it was an an experience of a lifetime for many Zimbabweans who
attended the show at the then Sheraton Hotel. He also had a hand in the
promotion of Don Williams who played for charity concerts in Harare in 1997
and those were events that put Zimbabwe on the world entertainment map.
Instead of Zimbabweans seeing a lot of bad in Chiyangwa, there are a lot
positives that could be drawn from his personal story. The whole world has
people who have helped shape it through their different contribution to its
success. He may not be Saint Phillip but Chiyangwa is a classic example of
hardwork and determination because so many people never thought he would get
far especially because of his big mouth. But he does seem to put his money
where his mouth is or maybe is it his mouth where his money is?
Silence Chihuri writes from Scotland. He can be contacted by email on
It is even disturbing that more and more names of MDC officials from
Zimbabwe continue to come out and be linked with the MDC UK province’s
financial irregularities. It is not surprising though to some of us because
we smelt the rat long before it started rotting.
There are some very disturbing signs of a cover up in typical ZANU PF
fashion whereby those who transgress are the supposed loyal supporters of
the leader and are merely being victimised for their loyalty. President
Robert Mugabe has destroyed whatever affection the people of Zimbabwe used
to have for him through surrounding himself with marauding vultures who
purport themselves to be the most avid and loyal supporters of the leader as
a pretext to get away with murder, fraud, torture and all the evils that
have characterised the ZANU PF regime for many years.
People may say that corruption is still a very small problem in the MDC but
nobody really knows what is simmering under the sea bed. Until the carpet is
rolled up no one knows what is lying beneath it really. Whatever the extent
will be as time goes there is only one way of dealing with the problem that
threatens to engulf the MDC – Decisive and effective action. The UK case has
to be dealt with as speedily and effectively as possible so as to allow the
party in Zimbabwe to deal with all the other corruption related issues
emanating from there. Those among the MDC leadership who have been fingered
as recipients or conduits of party money will only need to be involved as
There are some stark questions that will have to be answered and among them
are the following and this information must be forwarded to the MDC
Treasurer Roy Bennett by the investigating team to form part of his final
report on the MDC UK finances debacle.
• What is the exact amount involved?
• What period does it cover?
• Who are the MDC leaders who were given money from the UK other than those
• In what capacity did they receive that money?
• Who authorised them to receive that money on behalf of the party
• Did the party Treasurer know about their involvement in the remitting of
money to Zimbabwe?
• How were these people selected to receive money on behalf of the party
• Did the party Treasurer avail himself for guidance to the UK provincial
• Was the Treasurer being ignored or was there any form insubordination?
• What criteria were used to pick on these particular MDC leaders?
• What measures, checks and balances were put in place to ensure that the
money would reach where it was intended to go?
• What follow up measures were put in place to police the safe arrival and
accountability of the MDC leaders?
• How many times were these leaders involved?
• How many times did each one of them take money?
• Before this process was allowed to carry one for so many times and over
such a long period and involving such an amount of money was there any
satisfaction regarding its functionality?
• When were the first signs of irregularity noticed?
• Who noticed the irregularities and how, and what action was taken?
• What it the meaning if fundraising, is it to raise or spend money?
• If fundraising activities are not being profitable or bringing any revenue
why carry on from one loss making fundraising to another?
• Who authorised the use Mukuru.com? What criteria were used to choose
There are many other questions that need to be answered. What is most
intriguing is that the recently dismissed MDC UK executive was not operating
in any circumstances different from those any other past executives operated
in, so why do they want to give lame excuses about the problems in Zimbabwe?
This is cards money from Zimbabweans in the UK who are members of the MDC
and no one would ever be prosecuted for that.
Silence Chihuri writes from Scotland. He can be contacted by email on
Written by Editor
Friday, 15 January 2010 15:37
We support the call by the constitutional commissioners for the three
principals in the GPA to make a joint announcement that the inclusive
government will NOT tolerate any form of violence or coercion during the
constitutional consultation process.
This should be followed up with transparent instructions to the Zimbabwe
Republic Police to adopt and implement diligently a policy of zero tolerance
for any political violence with immediate effect - regardless of who the
It is unfortunate that it should be necessary that such a call be made, but
given what is happening on the ground in Zimbabwe at this time, it is vital
that all three leaders publicly declare that the process must be peaceful.
People should be allowed to speak freely and without fear of intimidation of
The whole idea of consulting the people is to come up with a home-grown
constitution that will be supported by all Zimbabweans, regardless of their
political orientation. This will be the supreme law of the country that we
all would want to cherish and uphold.
Unless this happens, we will not be able to move forward as a nation. What
is important here is for the constitutional commission to consult widely and
capture the mood of Zimbabweans. Their task then will be to encapsulate this
into the final document. If this is not seen to be done, properly we risk
having the new constitution rejected by the people - as happened in1999. The
GPA provides for a referendum on the new constitution, during which the
people will have their say.
Most Zimbabweans, no matter what their political persuasion, agree that the
present much-amended constitution is no longer fit for purpose. The country
needs a truly democratic constitution, which guarantees the rights of the
people and offers adequate protection to all citizens of Zimbabwe. Let's do
it right this time.