By Violet Gonda
28 January 2010
The inter-party negotiations were dealt another serious blow on Wednesday
when ZANU PF’s supreme decision making body, the Politburo, said there will
be no more Global Political Agreement concessions until the sanctions have
Ephraim Masawi, ZANU PF Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity, is
quoted in the Herald saying remarks by British Foreign Secretary David
Miliband that, ‘London would remove sanctions at MDC’s request exposed MDC-T’s
treacherous role in the initiation and drafting of the illegal sanctions
against Zimbabweans.’ The paper went on to say the party was a, ‘tool of
Western imperialism, and that the hypocrisy of the MDC-T’s denial of its
role in the evil saga of the imposition of illegal sanctions now stands
exposed for all to see.’
Commentator Dr. Alex Magaisa said the statements made by the British
official have added fuel to already burning embers in the context of
Zimbabwe’s fragile political settlement.
He told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that Miliband’s statements were
‘unfortunate,’ and gave an indication that the MDC had the power to
influence the lifting of sanctions, thereby giving ZANU PF a wonderful gift,
which it is exploiting to the detriment of the GPA.
Magaisa said it is not clear whether or not the MDC actually have such
power, despite numerous denials by the party. He said although the MDC-T has
been focusing on removing the sanctions against companies, perhaps now is
the time for them to restratergise and come up with a firm position on the
The commentator said unfortunately western countries sometimes do not have a
very good understanding of the situation in Africa and so when they make
statements they perhaps don’t realise the impact they have on the political
environment. He added: “It’s mindboggling to appreciate why such a senior
figure would make this statement in the context of negotiations between ZANU
PF and the MDC. It calls for a better understanding of the situation in
“The message for those who seek to assist is that perhaps they could control
the tongue a little bit better,” Magaisa said.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, who is attending the annual World
Economic Forum in Switzerland, echoed the same sentiments saying the West
should, ‘speak less and listen more.’
“It’s an example of how Western leaders can be very un-strategic. We know
they mean well, we know they support the people of Zimbabwe but when they
make such statements, they are completely undermining our bargaining power
as the formal opposition,” Mutambara said.
The latest developments come amid calls for the South African President
Jacob Zuma to help break the political impasse in Zimbabwe. Finance Minister
Tendai Biti told journalists in Washington DC on Tuesday that the shaky
coalition could collapse if fundamental outstanding issues are not
addressed. Biti said the parties had failed to break the deadlock and that
it is now time for Zuma to show leadership and intervene.
By Tichaona Sibanda
28 January 2010
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is ready to ‘talk tough’ and make a firm
decision over the fate of his party’s involvement in the inclusive
It follows the statement by ZANU PF’s politburo meeting on Wednesday that
they would not be giving in to further concessions in talks with the MDC
until targeted sanctions imposed by Western nations are lifted.
Tsvangirai is currently in Davos, Switzerland attending the World Economic
Forum. His spokesman James Maridadi told SW Radio Africa that the Prime
Minister spent much of the last 24 hours in consultations with senior MDC
party members on the way forward following ZANU PF’s latest ultimatum.
“The Prime Minister has come up with a position after consulting senior
party members. He’s well briefed with what has been happening at home and I’m
sure his position would only be known when he engages ZANU PF back home,”
Meanwhile, to highlight the urgency of the escalating crisis the SADC
facilitator and South African President Jacob Zuma was due to meet
Tsvangirai in Davos on Thursday evening to discuss the issue.
“He’s also due to meet Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. Already he’s
held bilateral talks with his Canadian counterpart as well as with the
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete,” Maridadi added.
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF signaled that the talks were as good as dead after
communicating their party position on Wednesday. Analysts believe ZANU PF
has played into the hands of the MDC, who long wanted the talks declared
Analyst and University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe told the Chinese
Xinhua news agency that ZANU PF ‘would be fooling itself’ if it thought it
would no longer make any more concessions.
"If they are saying no more concessions, they are basically saying they will
not resolve the outstanding issues, and then the matter will have to be
referred back to SADC. It will be interesting for ZANU PF to tell SADC that
it is not making any more concessions, because that will be the end of the
GPA and the end of the government of national unity, and elections will have
to be held,” he said.
Many in the MDC want the talks referred to SADC for arbitration. SADC is a
guarantor of the power-sharing arrangement along with the African Union.
Another option is to call for free and fair elections, a position favoured
by Zuma, though Tsvangirai himself has indicated he thinks it is early days
for a new ballot.
By Alex Bell
28 January 2010
Two farmers were arrested on Thursday over an ongoing land battle in
Chipinge, where four other farmers have been convicted of refusing to vacate
Algernon Taffs, Mr Z.F Joubert, Mike Odendaal and Mike Jahme were all
ordered to leave their properties this week after being convicted of
refusing to leave their properties. Joubert's son, Dawie, and former
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) President Trevor Gifford were then arrested
on Thursday after trying to intervene to stop the farmers' evictions. The
pair were both still behind bars Thursday evening facing dubious 'contempt
of court' charges.
Magistrate Samuel Dzuze on Tuesday found the four farmers guilty of refusing
to leave their properties, charges brought against them under the Gazetted
Land (Consequential Provisions) Act. These same charges have been laid
against more than 150 of the country's remaining commercial farmers who have
tried to hang on to their properties. In separate judgements on Tuesday, the
Magistrate sentenced the four farmers to pay US$800 fines and vacate their
properties. Only Mike Odendaal from Hillcrest farm, was given more than 24
hours to pack up his belongings, while the others were all supposed to be
off their land by Wednesday evening.
A last minute stay of eviction was granted by the High Court on Wednesday
after an urgent application was filed by the farmers' legal representatives
shortly after their sentencing. The High Court ruled that they could remain
on their properties until the appeal against their conviction and sentences
were concluded. But Magistrate Dzuze on Thursday refused to recognise the
High Court order and is being accused of 'grossly exceeding his
jurisdiction.' Joubert and Gifford had tried to deliver a letter to Dzuze
clarifying the High Court's position, but the Magistrate instead responded
by ordering their arrest.
Current CFU leader Deon Theron said the arrests are 'pure intimidation,' and
the charges are 'totally trumped up'. He also explained that they are now
struggling to find the locked up farmers any legal representation for their
court appearance on Friday morning, saying attorneys in Chipinge have
refused to represent the pair. Theron said they were hoping to convince
lawyers in Harare to make the five hour journey to Chipinge to represent the
The arrests come the day after High Court Judge Barack Patel dismissed a
finding by the human rights court of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), which ruled that Robert Mugabe's land grab campaign was
unlawful. Justice Patel said the regional Tribunal's ruling would have no
effect in Zimbabwe because of the political upheaval that reversing 10 years
of land seizures would cause. He added that enforcing the Tribunal's ruling
would be against Zimbabwe's domestic laws and agrarian policies, noting that
'the greater public good must prevail.'
The SADC Tribunal's ruling in 2008 came as a hard won victory for a group of
79 commercial farmers who had all either lost land, or been targeted for
land invasion, under the chaotic land grab campaign. The Tribunal ordered
that the government respect those rights and compensate the farmers who had
already lost land. As a SADC member state, Zimbabwe was meant to adhere to
the Tribunal ruling. But the court win was not the end of the battle for
Zimbabwe's remaining commercial farmers and the often violent land invasions
under the guise of land 'reform' have continued to intensify.
Meanwhile Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has this week said the army
will be used to ensure that land 'reform' is never reversed. He said on
Monday at a training course of military cadets that land 'reform' is one of
the 'major priorities' of the defence force. Mnangagwa, a notorious ZANU PF
official is himself a land beneficiary of at least one property.
The CFU's Theron said the statement by Mnangagwa is 'extremely worrying,' as
it echoes previous threats of military deployment to evict the remaining
white farmers in the country. Last year, both Mugabe and Attorney General
Johannes Tomana said the military would be deployed to remove farmers 'who
refuse to vacate State owned land'. Theron said they can't take Mnangagwa's
"They are only using the police and the magistrates courts to persecute
white farmers at the moment, but I'm sure if they want to take it to another
level, they will," Theron said.
Thursday 28 January 2010 / by Alice Chimora
A newly crafted ZANU PF strategic document has disclosed the party's
distaste for the country's power sharing arrangement and insists that any
new constitution should retain the wide-sweeping powers vested in the
A secret Zanu-PF working document that has been leaked reveals that
President Mugabe's party wants "an all-powerful presidency" and has no
intention whatsoever of sharing power in the future.
A perusal of the 41-page thick document, a comparative analysis of Zanu-PF
and MDC constitutional positions, gives an insight into the party's grand
plan to retain an authoritarian centralist government.
Zanu-PF claims that the experience drawn from the current the inclusive
government shows that having two centres of power was unworkable.
"It is much easier for executive power to be streamlined into one office,
that of the President. The experience of the people of Zimbabwe with the
inclusive government since February 2009 has shown that a sharing of
executive power by a President and Prime Minister will result in there being
always a fight for power rather than progress.
"If there has to be a Prime Minister, he does not have executive authority.
He is only a senior minister appointed and accountable to the President. In
the SADC region, the prevalent arrangement is Head of State and leader of
government." The document reveals.
However, this is in sharp contradiction with the premier Morgan Tsvangirai's
MDC's desire to have executive authority shared between the President, the
Prime Minister and cabinet.
Extracts from the document reveal Zanu-PF's position:
President: All-powerful presidential system retained.
System of Govt: Vested in the President and Cabinet. The President takes
precedence over all other persons in Zimbabwe. He is the Head of State and
Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Cabinet: Appointed by President, he presides and it consists of the
President, the Vice President or Vice Presidents, and such ministers as the
President may determine. A minister holds office as a member of the Cabinet
at the President's pleasure.
Parliament: Only has power to pass a vote of no confidence in government
through two thirds of MPs at a joint sitting of both Houses.
Appointments: President to have exclusive power to hire and fire. All
service commanders appointed by the President in consultation only with the
Defence Forces Service Commission and the minister of Defence. The same
applies to the commissioner-general of police, commissioner of prisons.
Meanwhile, Mugabe's party has repeated its vow of not giving in to further
concessions in talks with MDC until sanctions imposed by Western nations are
"The Zanu-PF politburo, therefore, instructs its negotiators on the global
political agreement to desist from making concessions in the negotiations
until the sanctions are removed," the party said in a statement today.
Zanu PF has repeatedly accused Tsvangirai of supporting the sanctions
imposed by the West on Mugabe and his inner circle. Calling Tsvangirai's
party "a tool of the British and Western imperialism", Zanu-PF said the
party had called for the sanctions and should call for their removal to
restore trust among the parties in the government.
The High Court has set down dates for a pre-trial conference in cases in
which 17 political and human rights activists are suing four government
ministers in damages for their roles in their abduction, torture and
prosecution in 2008.
In separate notices of set down send to the abductees' lawyers and the
ministers' lawyers this week the High Court said Justice Tedious Karwi will
preside over the pretrial conference of Audrey Zimbudzana next Thursday.
A week later other High Court Judges will also preside over the pre-trial
conferences of Collin Mutemagawu and Violet Mupfuranhewe, the parents of two
year old Nigel Mutemagawu who was abducted from Banket together with his
parents in 2008 for allegedly plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe's
previous government, a charge they deny. Regis Mujeyi and Mapfumo Garutsa
pre-trial conferences will be held a day later on Friday.
The seventeen political and human rights activists are demanding over US$20
million in damages from four government ministers and top security
commanders whom they hold responsible for their torture ordeal and
The activists filed their lawsuit with the High Court last July and are
demanding US$1.2 million each for abduction and torture.
The case could encourage hundreds of other Zimbabweans who suffered state
sponsored abduction and torture during the past decade of institutionalized
anarchy and repression, to seek civil redress in attempts to reduce impunity
and contribute towards national healing.
by Own Correspondent Thursday 28 January 2010
HARARE - The committee spearheading Zimbabwe's constitutional reforms has
agreed on appointment of rapporteurs who will be collating information on
people's input into the proposed new charter during public consultations, an
official said on Thursday.
"The select committee will announce raporteurs," Douglas Mwonzora,
co-chairperson of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) told
COPAC, which is made up of representatives of the three political parties in
the country's coalition government - President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara's
MDC-M - last week postponed launch of its outreach programme because of
disagreements over impartiality of the rapporteurs.
But COPAC found common ground after Monday's meeting in the capital to
review the problems related to the appointment of the rapporteurs.
"We are going to appoint rapporteurs, we will appoint them in such a way
that no one is excluded," said Mwonzora.
The MDC lawmaker also said international donors will continue to fund the
constitutional reform programme despite weekend press reports that the
financiers had pulled out.
"The UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) will provide US$2 million
and other donors will provide US$19 million," he said.
"There is no change to the issue of funding, contrary to what appeared (in
the state-controlled press). The management committee met with the UNDP over
the issue of funding and to get the correct information on the issue of
The COPAC management committee includes Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric
Matinenga, COPAC's three co-chairmen and negotiators of the global political
agreement that set up the country's power-sharing administration.
German ambassador to Harare Albrecht Conze, who chairs a group of 11 major
donors partly funding Zimbabwe's constitutional reform - Australia, Canada,
Denmark, EU-delegation, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United
Kingdom, and the United States - said the international community still
remains committed to funding the outreach programme.
"The international community remains committed to support the people-driven
constitution making process which is vital for the country's future
political stability," Conze said.
"We have agreed to disburse funding towards work plans and budgets prepared
by the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Committee," he added.
Observers fear holdups such as last the postponement of the outreach
exercise to gather the views of citizens will likely further delay the
reforms that have already missed several targets.
The proposed new constitution - which Zimbabweans hope will guarantee human
rights, strengthen the role of Parliament and curtail the president's
powers, as well as guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms - is
part of the requirements of the power-sharing deal between Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and Mutambara.
The new governance charter will pave way for free elections although there
is no legal requirement for the unity government to call new polls
immediately after a new constitution is in place.
The new constitution will replace the current Lancaster House Constitution
written in 1979 before independence from Britain. The charter has been
amended 19 times since independence in 1980. Critics say the majority of the
amendments have been to further entrench Mugabe and ZANU PF's hold on
power. - ZimOnline
Following a detailed accounting of spending on training and other activities
the UNDP agreed to continue its funding of the constitutional exercise,
sources within the parliamentary-led constitutional redrafting project said
Patience Rusere and Sylvia Manika | Washington 27 January 2010
Negotiators for the three parties in Zimbabwe's unity government stepped
into discussions Wednesday with United Nations officials called to resolve
questions over the cost for the country's constitutional revision process,
leading to a resolution which allowed the process to move forward, sources
The public outreach phase of the national constitutional revision process
was stalled after the United Nations Development Program, a key donor, asked
for clarification on the costs of a recent series of training workshops.
Following a detailed accounting of spending on training and other activities
the UNDP agreed to continue its funding of the constitutional exercise,
sources within the parliamentary-led constitutional redrafting project said.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma
and Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, all three negotiators
for the unity government parties, met with the UNDP to clarify expenditures,
said sources informed on the meeting.
The UNDP had expressed concerns after being presented with a US$930,000 bill
for workshops held recently to train outreach workers.
The select parliamentary committee responsible for revising the constitution
had itself voiced concern that the UNDP was intruding into the process
because it had proposed sending a consultant to recommend discussion points
for the process of soliciting comment by Zimbabweans on the draft.
Select Committee Co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic
Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7
reporter Patience Rusere that today's meeting had amicably resolved all of
the issues that had arisen, and the process was now on track.
Meanwhile, three prominent civil society organisations have set up an
independent organization to monitor the process of revising the constitution
to make sure that it is "people-driven" and not politically manipulated.
Correspondent Sylvia Manika reported that the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network, the Zimbabwe Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and the
Zimbabwe Peace Project were jointly taking on the monitoring brief.
January 28, 2010
By Raymond Maingire
HARARE – National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) national chairman Lovemore
Madhuku says Western governments and the international donor community are
wasting their tax payers’ funds through financing what he describes as
Zimbabwe’s nonsensical constitution- making process.Madhuku, whose
organization is fiercely opposed to the current Parliament-driven process,
said funds which were being splashed on the process were better off being
channelled towards the rehabilitation of the country’s hospitals and
schools, grounded by Zimbabwe’s protracted economic ruin.
“We will be pushing to stop this process. It’s wasting our time as a
country,” Madhuku told a media briefing in Harare Thursday morning.
The briefing was organized jointly by the NCA and cooperating partners, the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and a faction of the Zimbabwe
National Students Union (ZINASU) led by outgoing president Clever Bere.
“It is also wasting the money of the taxpayers in Europe and America who are
funding it,” said Madhuku. “For the first time Zimbabweans are going to
fight to protect Western tax payers’ money that is being thrown out here.
“It’s something that I am becoming emotional about. You (the West) have lots
and lots of money to throw at nothing yet this country wants good hospitals,
“There are donors who think our role in this country is to look for their
money. That is not our role. They can put millions and add. I hope they add
more millions to the UNDP fund; they put in US$18 million; they add US$21
million. Let them put more money.
“That money would be thrown out in this kind of nonsensical process that is
“We cannot wait and wait while politicians keep telling you that they are
writing a constitution when all we know is that they are not writing a
constitution. They are siphoning money from the West. It is very naïve to
keep giving them money.
“That money will keep coming in. For the first time if you are Zanu-PF and
were never enjoying any money from the West you will now get it. Why should
we watch that process? So we will be reflecting on this.”
Zimbabwe’s current inclusive government has budgeted US$42 million for the
retrogressive process, most of which will come from donors.
The writing of a new constitution is being undertaken in terms of the
power-sharing deal that was signed September 2008 by President Robert
Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur
The agreement gave birth to Zimbabwe’s coalition government last February.
Madhuku vowed the NCA and its partners would pull all the stops to campaign
for the rejection of the document adding that they were considering ways of
stopping the process which, he said, had been stalled by continued bickering
between Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties over funding.
“If we find that in the next few weeks they are not doing anything, we will
now fight to stop this,” he said. “This is our country. We can’t wait for
them to keep on saying next meeting, next meeting.”
He denied claims that relations with traditional ally the MDC had soured
over what the MDC finds as an intransigent position by the NCA on the
He said relations with MDC were not just based on the constitution but were
also anchored on the quest by both organizations for the restoration of
democracy in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai invited Madhuku to his MDC party’s offices for a conversation but
failed to persuade the NCA chief to abandon his position.
“We will be campaigning for its rejection,” said Madhuku, “We are leading
the process, facilitating the rejection. There is no chance of the NCA not
campaigning for a “No” vote. There is not a chance at all.”
He said it was not too late for the politicians to abandon their current
programme and allow for a people-driven process.
Zimbabweans expect a new constitution to guarantee human rights, strengthen
the role of Parliament and curtail the President’s powers, as well as
guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms.
The new constitution will replace the current Lancaster House Constitution
written in 1979 before independence from Britain.
The current constitution has been amended 19 times since Zimbabwe’s
independence in 1980. Critics say the majority of the amendments have been
designed to further entrench Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s hold on power.
But Zanu-PF accuses the MDC of being used by the West to introduce ideas
calculated to serve their interests, especially by removing President Mugabe
and his party from power.
28 January 2010
Harare - Harare residents will have to cope with uncollected garbage for a
while longer amid reports that the US$10 million deal council entered into
with a local bank to buy refuse trucks was not conclusive.
Council was yet to sign the loan agreement with the bank and funds for the
purchase of trucks and relevant equipment were still to be released.
Council officials assured the Cabinet Taskforce on Cholera that the trucks
would be delivered mid-January.
"It will take between four and 10 weeks before the first consignment (of
refuse trucks) arrives once the funds are released," a city council source
The vehicles and equipment include 25 trucks, six tipper trucks, four skip
bin trucks, 10 tractors, 500 pole bins, 200 skip bins and four front-end
Paza Buster and Total Motor Mart won the tenders to supply the vehicles and
Councillors were on Monday adamant that they had played their part when they
passed the resolution to buy the refuse trucks and other equipment.
"It now remains with town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi and Mayor Mr Muchadeyi
Masunda to tell us the progress.
"As far as we are concerned, we played our part," said one councillor who
declined to be named.
Councillors feel it is their image that is being harmed by the failure to
get the refuse collection trucks. Sources privy to the deal on Monday said
the city only sent draft agreement papers to the bank last Friday for
City spokesman, Mr Leslie Gwindi, who did not want to discuss the matter on
Monday, only said management was looking at available options.
The Zimbabwe National Army has been removing garbage but the city is failing
to implement follow-up scheduled weekly refuse collections.
The army came in after the city confessed it had no capacity to deal with
the garbage despite levying residents for refuse removal.
The matter is expected to raise a lot of debate when committee meetings
resume sitting this week as well as at the full council meeting set for
28 January 2010
Harare - The City of Harare has failed to pump water from the Letombo
reservoir for about two weeks as levels there have fallen to around 1,2
The city has not been pumping water from Alex Park and Orange Groove
reservoirs because of low capacity.
City director of water, Engineer Christopher Zvobgo, on Tuesday said an
additional pump to feed the Letombo reservoirs had been introduced as a
stopgap measure to increase capacity.
Traditionally, three pumps are needed, but the present ones are now over
15-years-old and worn out.
"We want to maximise pumping to our reservoirs when we have electricity so
that we do not always blame the shortages on power cuts," he said.
By Tuesday evening, Western suburbs and parts of Chitungwiza were receiving
water as well as some Northern suburbs.
Only 568 megalitres of water are being produced against a demand of nearly 1
Eleven of the 19 city reservoirs captured on the latest city water status
report are at critical level while three were virtually empty.
Only three are certified fit to operate. City sources blamed the problem on
City spokesman Mr Leslie Gwindi said the water problem had to be understood
in the context of increased demand due to excessive heat.
"This is the period of highest demand because of heat. Demand is
outstripping supply," he said.
An engineer added: "While we have issues with Zesa, we have to devise
mechanisms that allow us to stop the blame game. We suspect that our pumps
are losing efficiency."
City water engineers are looking at feeding Letombo through an additional
pump from the Alex Park reservoir. The other option is to open a valve near
the Vehicle Inspection Depot in Eastlea to allow water to flow to Letombo.
However, this will affect water levels at Alex Park because opening that
valve will lead to the draining of the reservoirs.
Sources indicated that engineers held a crisis meeting on Tuesday morning
and spent the day at the Warren Control Station.
No leaks were found on the main trunk distribution pipes, but by late
Tuesday, engineers were gauging pressure levels at Warren Control to
understand why Letombo was failing to gain in levels.
"The reservoirs are critical at 1,2m and we are not currently pumping from
the station. The Eastern suburbs of Greendale, Kambanje, Ruwa, Zimre Park,
Mabvuku and Tafara failed to access water over the weekend as per our
programme," reads the water status report.
Observers have also said council should vigorously implement water
management policies such as banning the use of hosepipes.
"Local authorities like Bulawayo have far less water than Harare but they do
not experience problems at this magnitude because of their management
systems," said one analyst.
Meanwhile, a Chinese delegation is in Zimbabwe to discuss investment in
Harare's water infrastructure and other national issues. An announcement on
the loan to be advanced to the city is expected soon.
Peta Thornycroft | Harare 27 January 2010
Zimbabwe Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa says the national army will be
used to ensure the controversial land-reform program is never reversed.
About eight million hectares were taken from white farmers without
compensation during the past 10 years.
The global political agreement that led to formation of an inclusive
government nearly a year ago says Zimbabwe's 'land reform' program is
irreversible. The agreement also committed the inclusive government to a
land audit to ensure agricultural land is distributed fairly and is used
productively. The land audit has not begun.
Many top ZANU-PF Party leaders, including President Robert Mugabe and his
wife Grace have taken several formerly white-owned farms.
When the land seizures began, Mr. Mugabe said the government's policy was
'one man, one farm.'
Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who says he hopes to succeed Mr. Mugabe
one day, is a beneficiary of a white-owned farm. He also bought at least
one other farm since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.
Mnangagwa, a ZANU-PF Party member, raised the political temperature this
week saying, he would deploy the army as "a priority" to ensure the land
reform program is never reversed.
He told military cadets in a staff training course that 'land reform' is one
of the 'major priorities' of the national defense force.
Commercial Farmers Union leader Deon Theron said the statement by the
defense minister was "extremely worrying." He said he believed his
statement was ZANU-PF policy.
Theron said there is a "real possibility now that the national army will be
used to prevent the audit." He said he did not know whether the defense
minister's statement reflected the position of the unity government that
includes the Movement for Democratic Change, which won national elections in
Zimbabwe's economy used to depend on agriculture, but began collapsing after
white farmers, who grew 90 percent of export crops, were forced off their
land. About 4,000 white farmers were evicted and about 300 remain on small
parts of their original landholdings.
About half of them are fighting eviction via the courts.
Four white farmers lost their fight Tuesday in a lower court in Chipinge, in
eastern Zimbabwe and were denied permission to appeal the decision to the
The four families and many of their workers say they are packing to leave
their homes before the Wednesday night deadline set by magistrate Samuel
Dzuze in the Chipinge Magistrate's Court.
Tuesday, the Harare High Court said Zimbabwe is under no obligation to
recognize a 2008 ruling by a Southern African Development Community tribunal
that found the land seizures were racist and should stop, and that white
farmers already evicted should be compensated immediately.
Farmers went to the Harare High court to try to get the 2008 SADC ruling
accepted in Zimbabwe law.
Judge Bharat Patel ruled that although Zimbabwe recognized the tribunal as a
competent authority it did not accept its ruling on land, because the
judgment went against "public policy and the Zimbabwe constitution." He
also said Zimbabwe's land policies are designed for the "greater good."
Commercial Farmers Union President Deon Theron said three farmers filed an
urgent application Wednesday asking the court to block their evictions,
though the farms have already fallen into the hands of invaders
Gibbs Dube | Washington 27 January 2010
Lawyers for three white commercial farmers in Chipinge have appealed to the
High Court in Harare following an order issued by a Manicaland magistrate
giving the farmers 24 hours to vacate their farms.
Commercial Farmers Union President Deon Theron said the farmers filed an
urgent application Wednesday asking the court to block their evictions.
The matter remained before the court late Wednesday while the farms were
said to have been occupied by invaders believed to be ZANU-PF supporters.
Theron said the Chipinge Magistrates Court fined each farmer US$800 for
refusing to vacate and ordered a fourth to leave his farm in 30 days.
Theron told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the three farmers ordered
to leave their land had fled to Harare as their properties had fallen into
the hands of marauding gangs believed to be ZANU-PF youth militia.
Theron also also criticized the Harare High Court's refusal to register a
ruling by the Namibia-based Southern African Development Community tribunal
ordering the Zimbabwe government to halt farm takeovers.
"It's surprising that the High Court is of the opinion that it respects SADC
protocols but then it can't register the SADC tribunal ruling," he said.
Farmers registration of the ruling after the Zimbabwe government ignored it
and continued to evict white commercial farmers and seize their property.
The two were detained by police in Banket in connection with the death by
shooting of councilor Lancelot Zvirongwe, whose body was found on Friday
floating in a dam at Pindi Farm near Banket
Blessing Zulu | Washington 27 January 2010
Tensions were on the rise Wednesday within Zimbabwe's unity government
following the detention by police in Mashonaland West of two councilors of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change in
connection with the apparent murder of a ZANU-PF councilor.
The two were detained by police in Banket in connection with the death by
shooting of councilor Lancelot Zvirongwe, whose body was found on Friday
floating in a dam at Pindi Farm near the Mashonaland West town. His wife was
said to have reported that he texted her saying he had been kidnapped.
Banket police were holding councilors Emmanuel Chinanzvavana and Funny Tembo
on suspicion they kidnapped and killed the ZANU-PF councilor. But no formal
charges had been filed in the case as of late Wednesday, sources said.
Sources in Banket said some MDC supporters have gone into hiding amid police
investigations of the death, fearing political victimization.
Some political analysts said the death could be linked to factional
divisions in the Mashonaland West branch of the former ruling ZANU-PF. The
party's provincial executive was removed recently amid a police
investigation into the diversion of fertilizer from a state depot into the
local black market.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that
the party is concerned at the crackdown on members in the province.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has blasted the MDC for engaging in what it
calls appeasement of its ZANU-PF partner in the fragile unity government by
overlooking rights abuses in order not to destabilize power sharing.
Human Rights Watch Researcher Dewa Mavhinga commented that the strategy his
group perceives on the part of the MDC is counterproductive.
By Lance Guma
28 January 2010
Members of the Anglican Church are planning to hold a prayer meeting this
Sunday in protest against ongoing persecution from an ousted bishop who is
using the police to disrupt their services.
The Church of the Province of Central Africa excommunicated pro-Mugabe
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga in 2007 after he attempted to unilaterally withdraw
the Diocese of Harare from the Province. Using police and ZANU PF militia,
Kunonga has been able to defy the mother church and continue holding onto
Anglican property. This is despite him claiming to have formed his own
church and having appointed his own priests and bishops.
Even though the High Court ordered that the two warring factions to share
church property until a final determination is made, Kunonga's thugs with
help from the police have continued to disrupt their rival's church
services. At times they simply lock the church buildings to prevent genuine
parishioners from holding their services.
Fed up with the ongoing harassment, Anglicans led by Bishop Chad Gandiya are
planning on using their prayer meeting at the Africa Unity Square on Sunday
to 'force the police to abide by the court ruling.' The church said it had
also invited Robert Mugabe and he was aware of the prayer. 'Initially it was
felt that we hold a protest march, but this was later shelved as the diocese
opted for an open prayer session,' the church announced.
The Harare City Council has been notified of the prayer meeting and so have
the police. Last year the two Home Affairs Ministers Giles Mutsekwa and
Kembo Mohadi held a meeting with the two factions and an agreement for peace
was struck. This was soon broken by Kunonga's small but emboldened faction.
It is now being reported that Mutsekwa is planning on meeting police
commanders to discuss the dispute.
Andrew Brown's blog
The 11:30 service in Harare this Sunday will be an expression of humble
courage in the face of thuggery
We're fairly often rude about the cowardice of Anglican bishops here, but
one man is going to be admirably brave this Sunday: Chad Gandiya, the bishop
of Harare, has invited Robert Mugabe to the 11.30 service there. The snag is
that it will be held outside the cathedral, since the building itself, along
with all its assets, has been seized by one of Mugabe's most vociferous
supporters, Nolbert Kunonga, formerly the Anglican bishop there, now head of
his own outfit, calling itself the Province of Zimbabwe.
In his Anglican days, Kunonga was cleared of a wide variety of charges,
including incitement to murder and intimidation after his trial collapsed
when witnesses could not be heard by video link, whither they had prudently
retired. Later, he cancelled all services across the country one Sunday as a
celebration of his wedding anniversary; clergy and congregations were
instructed to send gifts and food to the party he threw to celebrate his
He was formally excommunicated in May 2008 and announced that he would form
his own province, since the rest of the Anglican Communion was soft on gays.
Kunonga himself physically assaulted the bishop elected to replace him,
Sebastian Bakare, when he tried to enter the cathedral. His faction have
seized the churches, offices, and assets of the Anglican church all over
Zimbabwe. But the congregations have stayed away.
The original faithful have been threatened with teargas and worse by the
police, but continue to worship outside their old churches. And this Sunday,
all of the 20 or 30 Anglican congregations in Harare will gather outside the
cathedral to a service to which Bishop Gandiya has invited President Mugabe
" We had not received any response when I left." Bishop Gandiya told me from
Canterbury, where he is attending a conference for new bishops from all over
the communion. "We have been given permission to hold this service in the
park, although we don't need permission from the police.
"They wanted to know whether the president was definitely coming or not so
that they can arrange not to disturb us. We have received word that Dr
Kunonga is planning to disrupt our service. So [we have] made the security
departments of the government aware. What they do with the knowledge is
Presumably, if the president is not coming, the police may feel differently
about disturbing the service, but Bishop Gandiya is not daunted.
"If he doesn't come we will still go ahead with our service, and it is
incumbent on me to encourage our people. I feel responsible in terms of
encouraging them and giving them a sense of hope even though the situation
may seem hopeless."
Published on: 28th January, 2010
By a correspondent
Bulawayo South MP and MDC-T national executive member Eddie Cross is facing
accusations that he is the source of a Zimbabwe Independent newspaper story
alleging 3 MDC ministers were being probed for corruption.
Although the party denied a subsequent story that appeared in the state
owned Herald newspaper claiming Cross had been suspended for alleged
indiscipline the party is still mulling what action to take over this and
several other indiscretions.
Nehanda Radio can exclusively reveal that corruption allegations against
Elias Mudzuri (Energy Minister), Giles Mutsekwa (Home Affairs Minister) and
Murisi Zwizwai (Deputy Mines Minister) only started as a rumour in the
Harare political grapevine.
An excitable Cross is then said to have told the United States Ambassador to
Zimbabwe Charles Ray about the matter during a meeting with him. The
Zimbabwe Independent story further claimed a campaign was underway to get
the ministers put on the sanctions list.
Nehanda Radio can now reveal it was in effect Cross who started this
campaign to have the ministers put on travel and financial restrictions by
the West during his meeting with Ambassador Ray.
"Please don't get me wrong. Cross is a lovable character who is dedicated to
his work in his constituency and in the party. But it is wrong to malign
other people without providing evidence," a source told Nehanda Radio.
We have also been told Cross is being used as the spear of an attack by a
syndicate of members from the white community in Zimbabwe who are not happy
with the three ministers mentioned in the corruption story.
The syndicate is not happy with Home Affairs Minister Mutsekwa for his
lukewarm response to ongoing violent farm invasions. Deputy Minister Mines
Minister Zwizwai has apparently ruffled a few feathers in matters to do with
mining concessions and his statement last year that they were no abuses that
took place in the Marange diamond fields. It was not clear why Energy
Minister Mudzuri was being targeted.
On Tuesday Cross gave an interview to London based SW Radio Africa in which
he said "We mustn't think we are angels. We have people in our midst who
have not behaved themselves and I think we should sort it out. I am one of
the ones who is a bit outspoken on this issue."
"We are required by party regulations to declare our assets and I have done
so to the Secretary General (Tendai Biti). But I don't think anybody else
has and I think that is something which the party is going to have to pay
attention to. We've got people accumulating assets and I think we need to
know where they are getting them from."
We have also been told that Cross actually met the Zimbabwe Independent
reporter Faith Zaba on Wednesday at the Rainbow Towers during an MP's
meeting on the constitution. The source says Zaba had been tipped off about
the matter by former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo who is working
closely with Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa on a project to discredit
We were told Cross already has a close working relationship with Faith Zaba
from the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper and this is why she had the
confidence to approach him on the matter.
Another problem the MDC-T has with Cross is that most of his articles are
mostly exaggerated and not true. Cross himself admitted the party was not
happy with his writings. "Even Morgan (Tsvangirai) himself has spoken to me
on occasion and said I've got to be more circumspect, I can't just speak my
own mind," he said.
We were not able to get Cross to respond to the latest twist in this matter
as his mobile phone went to voicemail the whole day. Nehanda Radio
by Edith Kaseke Thursday 28 January 2010
HARARE - ZANU-PF has been emboldened by Britain’s claim that it would be
guided by the MDC to remove sanctions imposed on the veteran leader’s inner
circle and will refuse to give concessions in ongoing power-sharing talks,
analysts said, but Zimbabweans see ZANU-PF as the biggest impediment to
full economic recovery.
President Robert Mugabe has long accused Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of having lobbied for the West to
impose sanctions on his regime as part of a plot to remove ZANU-PF from
Last week British foreign secretary David Miliband told the House of Commons
that the Labour government would move to gradually lift travel and financial
sanctions on Mugabe and his associates on guidance from the MDC.
ZANU-PF immediately leapt onto the comments, sharpening its rhetoric, saying
Miliband had confirmed the party’s long held belief that the MDC was behind
the damaging sanctions and has the sole responsibility to call for their
“This could not have come at a more opportune time for ZANU-PF in so far as
their propaganda is concerned,” Eldred Masunungure, a leading political
science lecturer said.
“ZANU-PF has made this the central issue that will either make or break this
unity government and they feel much more emboldened in the ongoing
negotiations to procrastinate on MDC demands,” he said.
Britain, along with its European Union allies have said the sanctions only
affects Mugabe’s inner circle, but the 85-year-old leader argues that the
sanctions are punitive as they include a freeze on direct budgetary aid to
Harare although the West says it has increased humanitarian aid to the
State-controlled media has since last week taunted Tsvangirai, saying the
Prime Minister had been exposed, while ZANU-PF officials have grabbed the
unexpected comments to demand that the former trade union leader immediately
engage Whitehall for the lifting of the sanctions.
Political commentators said Miliband’s comments were a political setback for
the MDC and could have weakened its hand in negotiations with ZANU-PF.
ZANU-PF yesterday held its first politburo meeting of the year, were
Miliband’s statements were extensively discussed.
Deputy information secretary Ephraim Masawi told journalists yesterday that
Miliband had exposed the MDC’s role in the sanctions and branded the party a
“tool for imperialism”.
He said ZANU-PF had instructed its negotiators not to make any further
concessions in the talks until sanctions were removed and pirate radio
stations stopped broadcasting into Zimbabwe.
“(ZANU PF) politburo therefore instructs its negotiators to desist from
making concessions in the negotiations until sanctions are removed and the
pirate radio stations cease to pollute our airwaves,” Masawi told
Politburo sources also said the party had agreed to take the issue up with
the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“That issue did feature a great deal in our discussions and it was felt that
as a party we should reiterate to SADC what we have always said, that the
issue of sanctions is the single biggest threat to the unity government and
that in our view, it is the remaining outstanding issue,” a politburo member
Political commentator said ZANU-PF had found the smoking gun it had always
sought against the MDC and this would form the basis for its refusal to
fully meet its obligations under the global political agreement.
“As long as these sanctions continue to exist it undermines the position of
the MDC in the unity government,” Blessing Tendi, a researcher in African
politics at Oxford University told SVW Radio this week.
Mugabe has previously told Tsvangirai in private that the remaining
outstanding issues would be resolved immediately once the MDC successfully
lobbied for the removal of sanctions, which ZANU-PF say are illegal and are
hurting the country.
SADC has previously said the West should remove the sanctions slapped on
Zimbabwe but had also said the parties in the coalition should work to
ensure that they give confidence to the international community for the
removal of the measures.
“We maybe seeing ZANU-PF going a step further to put pressure on SADC to
cause a communiqué that directs the MDC to ask the West to remove the
sanctions, that would be a big test for SADC on whether it will bend to
that,” Masunungure said.
A tired tune
But while the political cost of Miliband’s statement on the MDC continues to
be counted, for ordinary Zimbabweans this counts for little as they see
ZANU-PF as the main stumbling block for the conclusion of the long drawn
Analysts said Zimbabweans had not forgotten the years of election violence
perpetrated by Mugabe’s supporters and feel the work of the coalition
government to improve the economy is being sabotaged by ZANU-PF.
“The issue of sanctions has been said for so long, but we Zimbabweans know
what we need to do for our country to move forward,” Esnath Hatidanwi, a
vegetable vendor in central Harare told ZimOnline.
“For us to be where we are is because of ZANU-PF and they continue with
their old ways. How can the economy improve? And then they blame sanctions,
that is not true,” Hatidanwi said.
The MDC accuses Mugabe of refusing to swear-in white farmer and MDC
treasurer-general Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister, appoint five
MDC provincial governors and deliberately frustrating the constitution
Major donor nations have said they would not release the billions needed for
Zimbabwe’s reconstruction so long as the political rivals have not fully
implemented the global political agreement.
“In the eyes of the ordinary folk, the issue of sanctions is a tired tune.
People want jobs and a better economy and they don’t believe ZANU-PF is up
to the job, that’s their major concern,” John Makumbe, a University of
Zimbabwe political lecturer said.
“Clearly it is ZANU-PF’s actions than sanctions that people feel are the
biggest threat to the existence of this country,” Makumbe added. –
Written by KATE HOEY
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 13:01
LONDON - After everything that the people of Zimbabwe have suffered over
the past 10 years it makes me very angry that the only thing many leaders in
Southern Africa really seem to care about is the EU travel ban on Zanu (PF)
ministers. All the people on the list belong to a corrupt elite who live in
luxury beyond the wildest dreams of most Zimbabweans. (Pictured: Kate Hoey
is a regular visitor to Zimbabwe. Here she speaks to displaced residents
near Bulawayo after Operation Murambatsvina.)
'The position of South Africa as facilitator in the negotiations on Zimbabwe
has been far from even-handed' British Parliamentarians discussed Zimbabwe
in the House of Commons last week. The Foreign Secretary, David Milliband,
was in generous mood. He claimed: "The position of the South Africans has
certainly been to urge adherence to the Global Political Agreement, which
requires compromise on all sides, and I do not think that they have been
less than even-handed in the way in which they have done that".
Not many of the Zimbabweans I've spoken to over recent years would agree
with that. They feel the position of South Africa as facilitator in the
negotiations on Zimbabwe has been far from even-handed. Most have told me
that if Thabo Mbeki had not protected Zanu (PF) it would have been removed
from power long ago.
The Foreign Secretary was answering a question I had raised prompted by
reports that President Jacob Zuma was urging Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and the MDC negotiating team to make ever more compromises - on
top of the many concessions they have already made - to overcome the
obstructive refusal of Zanu (PF) to implement in full the Global Political
The agreement bears Robert Mugabe's signature but it seems that, along with
so many other documents he has signed and promises he has made, his
signature isn't worth the paper it's written on. Thirty years ago this
week, on January 27, 1980, he arrived back in Zimbabwe from exile in
Mozambique. In the speech he made on his return he declared: "We will not
seize land from anyone who has a use for it. Farmers who are able to be
productive and prove useful to society will find us co-operative."
It is tragic to read those words considering the collapse in agricultural
output that has resulted from the seizure of land from Zimbabwean farmers
over recent years. How sad to see the productivity of land now it is in the
hands of Mugabe's favoured comrades.
In the past those commercial farms not only fed the nation and the region
but also provided vital export earnings to sustain the programmes of
improvement in healthcare, education and housing that are so desperately
needed by the people of Zimbabwe, now more than ever.
In the same speech he warned: "Take note therefore, that as we move our
forces into assembly points we have not done so as cowards. It is not an act
of surrender; it is mere compliance with an agreement. And equally take
note, that in the same way as we have moved to assembly places we can move
out of those assembly places".
In view of his current disregard for the terms of the Global Political
Agreement that phrase 'mere compliance with an agreement' is as ominous now
as it was then. In 1980 the people of Zimbabwe were tired of bloodshed and
the threat 'we can move out of those assembly places' was clearly meant to
send the message 'vote for us - or else we will go back to war'.
The past 30 years have seen many occasions when personnel whose duty is to
defend and protect the people of Zimbabwe, the army, the youth militias and
the CIO, were mobilised to carry out programmes of intimidation and purges
on behalf of Zanu (PF). Whether in the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s
or Operation Murambatsvina in 2005, the oppressive use of violence has been
an evil hallmark of the Mugabe regime.
While we were discussing Zimbabwe this week, MPs raised the issue of those
Zimbabweans who are banned from travelling in EU countries, including the
United Kingdom, and whose assets are frozen.
The list of names comes up for renewal next month; it is made up of people
involved in human rights abuse in Zimbabwe or closely associated with the
Zanu (PF) regime, which is held responsible, by EU countries, for having
sustained a repressive political regime that meted out violence on the
people of Zimbabwe.
I, and most MPs in the House of Commons, believe the list must be renewed
for another year. It is far too early to take pressure off Zanu (PF). As
well as dragging their heels over full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement, there is already evidence that violence is being used
to coerce the electorate into supporting Zanu (PF) during the outreach
programme of consultation on the new constitution.
After everything that the people of Zimbabwe have suffered over the past 10
years it makes me very angry that the only thing many leaders in Southern
Africa really seem to care about is the EU travel ban on Zanu (PF)
ministers. All the people on the list belong to a corrupt elite who live in
luxury beyond the wildest dreams of most Zimbabweans.
If only the communiqués issued after Southern African Development Community
summits expressed as much concern about the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans
as they do about the inability of a few ministers to visit London and Paris
for expensive holidays and shopping trips. - Kate Hoey is the Labour MP for
Vauxhall and Chair of the parliamentary committee on Zimbabwe.
Mercy Pemhiwashava, 24
'We girls struggle so much that we can't even afford to buy pads for our monthly periods. Most of the girls are at risk of getting infections because most of us have been using cotton wool or cloth from the mattresses on our beds.'
studying to be a math's teacher at Hillside Teacher's College,
Like most students, Mercy struggles to pay her term and examination fees. Many of her fellow female students are involved with older, married men who help them cover costs, and fall pregnant or are infected with HIV. Mercy has not turned to such desperate measures, though she admits being tempted.
Mercy's ambition is to be role model for other young women. 'I want them to see life in me, and so see me as an organised person and as someone with a vision for the future' she says; 'someone who is courageous.'
Key interview extracts
On sexual propositions: If your parents cant support you then lots of the female students end up getting into prostitution. You have to pay your fees, you have to buy your books, and you have to pay for examinations. Your parents can't help you because they can't afford it either, they have little ones at home who also have to go to school.
Around 6 o'clock at night there are many cars outside the gate. The men take advantage because they know the girls are into a vulnerable financial situation. There are risks involved. Most of the students at the teachers college are pregnant. The fathers of the children have left them; they use the girls then they dump them. Many are likely to be infected with HIV and STIs.
SCMZ: I was first involved with SCMZ in 2007, in my first year at the
college.. They have helped me a lot and they have opened my mind to what was
happening in my education, and socially. I had lost hope in life and with the
On President Robert Mugabe: If Mugabe were a cartoon character he would be a baboon. Baboons don't care about other people, they just think of themselves. In my area we have farms, and baboons come and steal the maize, they don't even care how you got the maize and what's going to happen. They are selfish. So I call Mugabe a baboon.
Links to Mercy Pemhiwashava full audio interview and full written transcript
Fortune Nyamande, 25
"If you are doing medicine you have a passion for helping people, it is really sad to see your colleagues become doctors and quite painful not be able to continue."
As a student leader, Fortune has rallied and led countless demonstrations to protest the loss of loans and grants from the government - a move that has forced tertiary level students to turn to desperate measures to continue funding their studies.
Championing the rights and welfare of his fellow students nationally, involving demonstrations that often turn violent, he believes, is the reason he was denied sitting his final examinations in his final year of studying medicine.
SCMZ helped Fortune get legal representation from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, has connected him with other organisations to build leverage for his campaigns and, says Fortune, has taught him and others how to use other forms of advocacy that won't inevitably lead to violence.
Key interview extracts
On his dreams: 'I am in this situation because of my belief for championing for the rights of others and promoting and protecting human rights so I find solace in that I am being victimised for what I believe in. I think that eventually I will achieve my dream, of both becoming a doctor and seeing that democracy and human rights of Zimbabweans upheld.'
On peaceful protest turned violent: 'I have been involved in violent protest; most of our demonstrations turn out to be violent. Our plan is always to be peaceful but when the police get involved it often turns out to be violent. Car could be burned, the college windows have been shattered when the students have been trying to protect themselves. I am not proud to be associated with violence, but if you respond violently to violence then you are not being violent, you are just trying to defend yourself.'
involvement with SCMZ has changed by life in many ways. SMCZ has been nurturing
a culture of peace among Christian students in
Links to Fortune Nyamande full audio interview and full written transcript
Matsiliso Moyo, 28
'They said "we want to teach you a lesson, you are going to go into the cells with your baby". People were being killed; people just disappeared.people were being beaten up. I thought they were going to do whatever [they wanted] to my son and get away with it.'
Matsiliso fell pregnant while studying to be a PE teacher. The faculty called her pregnancy a self-inflicted injury and forced her to continue strenuous physical tests, even jumping hurdles, while heavily pregnant. Matsiliso is the SCMZ National Gender Secretary and has been through a lot.
She was arrested during the run-off elections in 2008 and imprisoned along with her baby son for three days, accused of being affiliated to the opposition.
Matsiliso praises SCMZ for proactively reaching students through workshops that teach young people the consequences of falling pregnant while studying and of the risks of contracting HIV. 'Because [SCM] were constantly visiting our college, making these HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns' she says, 'students realise their life is what's important.'
Key interview extracts
On the college authorities: '.they are all supposed to be concerned about the social welfare of the students, but for them they want the fees. When it comes to fees, they demand their fees. They don't care about your social life. They don't care about your problems you are facing. They need to support us female students, give us maternity leave, make sure that the college's clinic is always open, that the nurse in charge always attends the pregnant females because there is a college clinic. Instead of us getting expenses going to private clinics or clinics outside the college we are supposed to be taken care of by the college clinic.
On being arrested: 'I tell you the conditions were harsh, because I was not allowed to get into the cell with baby towels. The weather suddenly changed on the second day; it was extremely cold. The lawyer asked the police officers if I can be given a baby blanket, but they refused. I had to use those filthy blankets in [the] cells to warm a 5 month old.. In the cell we were around 15 [people]. I was only allowed one pamper at a time so from 6am to 1pm my son was using only one pamper. So at the end of the day he had those sores - it was hard.'
Links to Matsiliso Moyo full audio interview and full written transcript
Innocent Kasiyano, 26, SCMZ's National Coordinator
You ask yourself, 'am I the kind of person to be regarded a traitor? Am I the kind of person to be regarded a sell-out?' It affects your hope, it affects your faith, it affects your strength, your drive to think, even your drive to do anything.'
SCMZ's National Co-ordinator Innocent Kasiyano has experienced both physical and psychological abuse at the hands of state security forces. He describes how, in his experience, psychological torture is worst.
Innocent, 26, has lost count of the number of times he has been arrested. 'When you are called a traitor, when you are called a sell-out, you become very low in your spiritual thinking' he says.
Innocent is no stranger to
Key interview extracts
On solidarity messages from the
On being arrested & freedom of speech in Zimbabwe:
'These experiences. make me feel that Zimbabwean citizens live in an
autocratic system where there is a dictator who has tightly knit
dictatorship-based institutions which are mainly there to safeguard that
dictator's wishes.' '.there is no
freedom of speech in
On police questioning & fears for his family: 'They would ask you everything, where you come from, where you have land, where are your other relatives, where do you work. those kinds of questions make you feel very vulnerable, they make you feel very empty because you think to yourself, "'I have given these people information about my parents - what are they going to do with my parents?"'
During a visit to Washington, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti said
improvements implemented last year helped to open a new chapter for his
MacKenzie Babb | Washington 27 January 2010
Reigning in inflation, lowering unemployment rates and democratizing its
political system are among the many positive steps Zimbabwe's Finance
Minister says his country has recently taken. But Tendai Biti says to
sustain such change, Zimbabwe will need the help of the international
The year 2009 closed a decade of political, economic and social turmoil in
But during a visit to Washington, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti said
improvements implemented last year helped to open a new chapter for his
country. He says after 12 years of shrinking, Zimbabwe's economy grew by
about four percent in 2009.
Biti says on average, inflation for the year was negative. He also notes
market capitalization of Zimbabwe's stock exchange was more than $4 billion,
and its returns made it the most competitive exchange in Africa.
But Biti says the country will need help to sustain the progress it has
"The only way you can have democracy and real change in difficult places
such as Zimbabwe is if the government itself is able to deliver," he said.
"But delivery requires resources, and we don't have resources. Therefore,
engagement becomes essential."
He says this engagement needs to come from the international community, and
the country cannot continue to recover without clearing its $6-billion debt.
"We need to transform the Zimbabwean economy," said Biti. "We need to
modernize the Zimbabwean economy. But we cannot do that without a fund of
at least $8-billion, and therefore, we are appealing for a modern day George
Marshall [the man who formulated the plan for the rebuilding of Europe after
He says Zimbabwe is calling on its creditors to eliminate the money it owes
them. If the debt can be erased, Biti says his country's political,
economic and social prospects will continue to improve.
by Hendricks Chizhanje Thursday 28 January 2010
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s coalition government has failed to create conditions
that would allow full and unfettered participation by citizens in the making
of a new constitution for the country, leading civic society groups said on
The groups said a raft of repressive laws inhibiting the freedoms of the
press, association and expression that remain in the statute books almost a
year after the unity government came into office will hamper free debate
during a key exercise to gather people’s views and idea son the new
“We are of the considered view that the conditions which will make it
possible for people to participate freely in the Article 6 (constitutional
reform) process have not been created,” said the groups that work to promote
democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the southern African nation.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) also announced a joint
programme to monitor the constitutional reforms that have been dogged by a
plethora of problems, including unending bickering by the main political
parties and reports of widespread intimidation of villagers by soldiers.
While the 2009 unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been able to stabilise the economy and reduce
political tensions in the country it has done little to open up democratic
space or scrap the tough media and security laws that analysts say have been
used by Mugabe over the years to stifle dissension.
In a statement the civic groups said: “Repressive legislation that inhibits
freedom of assembly, association, expression and movement has not been
repealed or amended, and continues to be selectively applied by the
“The private media remains suffocated, while the public media remains in the
control of retrogressive forces . . . The institutions of justice delivery
remain unreformed and continue to contribute to the culture of impunity.
Incidents of political violence continue to be documented, and the
polarisation of society that marred the 2008 elections has not been
Calling on the government to ensure constitutional reforms comply with
established regional and international norms, standards and best practice,
the groups said it would station its officials in each of the country’s 210
parliamentary constituencies to monitor the public consultation exercise to
ensure citizens’ views are accurately recorded and reflected in the final
The proposed new constitution is part of the requirements of a September
2008 power-sharing deal between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara that gave birth to the Harare coalition government last
But the credibility of the reform exercise has been tainted by reports of
alleged violence and intimidation by soldiers and supporters of Mugabe’s
ZANU PF party campaigning for the adoption of the controversial Kariba Draft
constitution as the basis for the proposed new charter.
ZANU PF and the two MDC formations of Tsvangirai and Mutambara secretly
authored the Kariba Draft in 2007 but critics say the document should be
discarded because it leaves Mugabe’s immense powers untouched.
The draft constitution will be put before the electorate in a referendum
expected in July and if approved by Zimbabweans will be brought before
Parliament for enactment.
The coalition government is expected to call fresh elections after enactment
of the new constitution although the administration can choose to wait until
expiry of its term in 2013 to call elections.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee basic freedoms,
strengthen Parliament and limit the President’s immense powers. – ZimOnline
The question that most interested Zimbabweans are asking is why are our
leaders spending so much time and effort in continuing to negotiate on an
evidently flawed and highly conflictual Global Political Agreement when they
could use that time, energy and momentum in drafting a constitution that
takes in all important aspects of the GPA.
Zimbabwe's Government of National Unity (GNU) has survived for a year and
has brought some semblance of normality to the country. However, more than a
year after singing what is essentially a gentlemen agreement, the 'Global'
Political Agreement (GPA) that created the GNU the two main parties are
still bickering over certain aspects of their shared governance.
Consequently not a week goes by without reminders that Zanu Pf is either
refusing to and/or dragging its feet in implementing all aspects of the GPA.
What one fails to understand, however, is why spent so much time and effort
in a process that it is evidently flawed when you could use that time,
energy and momentum in drafting a constitution that takes in all important
aspects of the GPA. No one needs reminding that the constitution unlike the
GPA is a much more permanent and more universal declaration that will not be
owned by any single party. It is an important document, one that has the
potential of offering Zimbabwe not only a new vision but also the clearest
and most legal opportunity yet to get rid of Cde Mugabe and avoid a
potentially ruinous struggle to succeed him.
Although it is clear that Zimbabwe's current stability depends largely on
the GPA and thus it need not be abandoned, spending too much political
capital on it, however, is distracting and only serves to draw attention
away from the more important issue of the constitution. This constitution is
a huge opportunity for the country and if properly formulated it will enable
the country to begin to heal and to move forward. The people in Zimbabwe,
particularly those tasked with drafting this constitution need to realize
that if they get it wrong this time the consequences will be dire. Indeed,
Cde Mugabe's current position, Zanu Pf's 'Presidium', hangs like a dagger on
the future stability of the country. And the danger lies largely in the fact
that this position is highly coveted by certain powerful elements within
Zanu Pf and if Mugabe was to suddenly retire or god forbid suddenly dies,
the fight (infighting) to replace him can have a huge destabilizing effect.
That is, Mugabe has not only become an obstacle to change but his continual
stay and his failure to nominate a successor has also created a potential
security risk. It can not be stressed enough that the country is in
desperate need for a space for healing and recovery and can ill afford
another period of political instability.
The people drafting this constitution need to transcend the lethargy and
inanition of the GNU and show some fortitude. They need to be bold and
produce an irenic document. One that reflects a desire to move away from the
belligerence and political conflicts of the past. Their document should be
able to tame and constrain government power and produce a democratic
government that is benign as well as effective. The future government needs
to exist solely for the purposes of securing revenue and enforcing law and
order. More importantly, the constitution should encourage the existence
and growth of a protected and lightly regulated private sphere. It has to
make the government respect private property rights and thus make the
country internationally competitive which in turn makes it easy to attract
Foreign Direct Investment. It also has to put in place a set of human and
civil rights the government is obligated to respect.
In regards to Cde Mugabe, the new constitution can be used to get rid of him
by abolishing his position, that is, abolish the Executive Presidency and
make him 'redundant'. The Executive Presidency can be replaced with a
parliamentary democracy in which the party with the largest representation
in parliament forms the government, its leader becoming Prime Minister such
that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined. This will
create a much needed differentiation between the head of government (Prime
Minister) and the head of state (titular or ceremonial president). This has
the added potential for a more consensus type of democracy that is likely to
score high on political equality and proximity between government policies
and voter preferences.
Although this thinking might seem naïve or a product of visionary
luftmensch, it doesn't take a genius, however, to realize that this is the
most perfect opportune for the country to do away with its troublesome past.
There are doubters of-cause, those who openly question if either Zanu PF or
Mugabe will allow such sweeping changes to take place. Least to say they
have a point especial if you take into account the fact that Zanu Pf's
negotiators have often appeared as indurate and captious myrmidons who are
particularly skilled at turning any negotiation process into a Sisyphean
task. But this time around it is different, things have changed. Zanu Pf's
leadership is wounded, exhausted and has run out of ideas. Consequently Cde
Mugabe no longer hold as much command of the party and the state as he used
to and if ever there was a time to get rid of him this is it. Indeed, people
in Zanu Pf itself are now openly questioning the wisdom of keeping him in
power. They now accept that wanting him to go is no longer a matter of being
against the man or disagreeing with him and his policies, his conduct or
even disagreeing with the way he has managed the country, it is a matter of
renewal. He has stayed too long and in that he has become an obstacle to
change. Thence this is the time for change, the time to put the temporary
and conflictual imbroglio of the GPA to the side, the time to come together
and start drafting a more permanent, inclusive and free Zimbabwe.
BILL WATCH 3/2010
[28th January 2010]
The House of Assembly will meet on 2nd February 2010
The Senate will meet on 9th February
The forthcoming sittings of both Houses are likely to be brief because there is so little work awaiting attention.
The House of Assembly Agenda for next week: Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill is due for its First Reading, but further progress on the Bill will then be delayed while it is considered by the Parliamentary Legal Committee, which could take a week or two. The only other items on the agenda are uncompleted motions carried over from last year and some 50 questions for reply by Ministers.
The Senate Agenda for the following week: the controversial Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, for which proposed amendments have been tabled, motions carried over and a few questions for Ministers.
No other Bills are ready for presentation. Those who have been anticipating the prompt passage of the POSA Amendment Bill and the early introduction of media and other reform legislation so long promised are likely to continue to be disappointed. Other Bills urgently needed but not yet in the pipeline are Bills to enable the Constitutional Commissions to function properly.
Once the Constitution Outreach Programme starts, which is now considered unlikely before the third week in February, it is planned to last for at least 65 days. As most MPs will be involved in that programme, it would be difficult to have Parliament sitting during that time, although MPs could be recalled to Parliament to deal with urgent business if necessary.
Last year Parliament was unproductive. After the formation of the inclusive government, there was very little in the way of legislation other than Bills from the Minister of Finance [see Bill Watch 1/2010 of 8th January for Acts of 2009]. As things stand, this year Parliament looks set for an unproductive few months.
Committee Meetings: House of Assembly portfolio committees and Senate thematic committees are scheduled to continue until the Constitution consultation programme starts in earnest.
Constituency Development Funds
The Constituency Development Funds announced by the Minister of Finance in his Budget Statement on 2nd December have not yet been set up. The Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs is working on a Bill to provide for the establishment and operations of these funds. Once the Ministry has completed its draft, the Minister will have to take it to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and Cabinet for approval before it can be submitted to Parliament.
Update on Inclusive Government
Vice-President Joice Mujuru is still Acting President, while the President continues his annual leave.
The Prime Minister returned to his office from leave on Monday 18th January.
Cabinet has not met this month. Its first meeting of 2010 will be in February.
The Council of Ministers is meeting under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister today, Thursday 28th January.
No meeting of the National Security Council [NSC] was scheduled for January, despite the statutory requirement that the Council must meet monthly. A February meeting has been tentatively arranged. The NSC has met only once since its formation – a clear violation of the Act. In the meantime ZANU PF is said to have refused any suggestion to dismantle or reform the Joint Operations Command [JOC], which it says should remain in existence to oversee operational matters while the NSC handles matters of policy. MDC-T is said to be demanding that the JOC, be dismantled. This is another unresolved issue for the negotiators.
JOMIC annual review of progress on the GPA is due 13th February [Article 23 of GPA]
Negotiations on GPA Disputes: Negotiations were resumed this year, but quickly postponed: The
negotiators met briefly on the evening of Wednesday 20th January after a break
of nearly four weeks since the previous meeting of the principals on 23rd
December. They made no progress and fixed their next meeting for 8th February.
In the following days MDC-T negotiator
The number of unresolved issues between the major parties in the inclusive government has increased to include, for example, the review of ministerial allocations – with the MDC-T said to be demanding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sole control of Home Affairs, the role of the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, George Charamba, who MDC-T accuse of leading a campaign of hate speech aimed at derailing the GNU, etc.
ZANU-PF at their National Congress at the end of last year instructed President Mugabe and ZANU PF negotiators “to ensure that all outstanding issues, once agreed, must be implemented concurrently. This means there should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC formations without corresponding and simultaneous redress of ZANU PF’s concerns such as the illegal Western sanctions, Western-funded pirate radio broadcasts”, etc. [Without some reform legislation, which is not yet in the pipeline, it does not look as if governments imposing selective “sanctions” will lift them, and now that ZANU-PF has now clearly made this a condition for concessions, it leaves the Inter-Party negotiations trapped within a somewhat vicious circle.]
Other GPA articles on which the nation thought there had been agreement, such as the land audit and the formation of the National Economic Council [NEC], have not been implemented and now also seem to be subject of dispute. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made [ZANU-PF] said there could be no land audit until sanctions have been lifted because sanctions have prevented new farmers from becoming productive. And there has been delay and confusion as to who is responsible for the setting up of the NEC.
Foreign Ministers met on 7th January and were briefed by
Heads of State and Government will meet 31st January - 2nd February. This is
proceeded by meetings of the Permanent Representatives Committee and the
Executive Council. The theme of the
Budget Acts Gazetted: On 8th January, after normal Government Printer business hours [and after we sent out Bill Watch 1/2010]. the Appropriation (2010) Act and the Finance (No. 3) Act were gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary, effective immediately. [Note: Most of the tax law changes in the Finance (No. 3) Act are with effect from the 1st January.]
Bills in Parliament:
House of Assembly: None. All Bills have been dealt with. No new Bills are currently being printed.
Senate: the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill awaits its Committee Stage. Amendments have been tabled for consideration.
Bill Awaiting Introduction: The Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] was gazetted on 11th December. The Bill now awaits introduction in the House of Assembly. [Electronic version available.]
Bills Passed by Parliament Awaiting President’s Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts: Financial Adjustments Bill, Public Finance Management Bill and Audit Office Bill.
On 1st January seven Budget-related statutory instruments were gazetted, effective immediately: SIs 1/2010 [VAT changes], 2/2010 [customs and excise tariff changes] 3 and 4/2010 [customs duty suspensions], and 5, 6 and 7/2010 , which fix at 10% the rate of interest payable by taxpayers on unpaid customs duty [SI 5], capital gains tax [SI 6] and income tax [SI 7] and provide for the same rate of interest to be paid by ZIMRA on overdue refunds to taxpayers.
On 8th January three statutory instruments were gazetted, effective immediately: SI 8/2010 [fixing the maximum height and length of omnibuses for the purposes of the Road Motor Transportation Act]; SI 9/2010 [fixing the 31st December 2010 as the deadline for the change-over from the “old” to the “new” motor vehicle number plates under the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Regulations ]; and SI 10/2010 [brokers’ fees, levies payable to the Securities Commission, and registration and licensing fees under the Securities Act].
On 15th January,
in another measure announced in the Budget, SI 11/2010 prescribed road toll
fees, not only in US dollars but also in rand, pula, euro and
pound; it also
specified two additional tolling points near
On 22nd January the following statutory instruments were gazetted, effective immediately – 13/2010 [customs duty suspension on water treatment chemicals],14/2010 [increase, backdated to 1st November 2009, in national employment council dues payable by employers and employees in welfare and educational institutions].
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.