Zimbabwean politicians and
analysts have welcomed news that Europe is planning to suspend targeted
measures on President Mugabe and his allies.
Laing, Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg
6:00AM BST 12 Jul
On both sides of the political divide, most agree that the
sanctions, imposed in 2002 after the seizure of white-owned farms and
violent presidential elections, had failed to hit their mark.
recently, Morgan Tsvangiri, the Movement for Democratic Change leader and
prime minister in Zimbabwe's fragile coalition, and Navi Pillay, the UN
human rights commissioner, have called for their lifting. Ms Pillay said the
stigma of sanctions was inflicting damage on the Zimbabwean
Speaking to the Telegraph, Welshman Ncube, president of the
smaller faction of the MDC, said their suspension would promote a more open
"If this is true, then then this is the best news I have had
in a very long time and is a very serious contribution by the EU to help
create a climate where Zimbabweans can go to elections and freely express
themselves," he said.
John Robertson, a Zimbabwean economist, said
Zanu PF had made much "political mileage" out of the
"Sanctions were the West's best gift to Zanu PF," he said.
"However we should remember why the sanctions were imposed in the first
place and that some of those crimes continue."
Zanu PF politicians
also welcomed the move, saying it would give succour to "ordinary
Jonathan Moyo, Mr Mugabe's former Information Minister and
a member of the Zanu PF Politburo, said the "evil and illegal" sanctions
"should never have been imposed in the first place".
But he said that
the threat to reinstate them was "patronising".
"It's very destabilising
to say 'We are holding a big axe over your head if you don't run elections
in a way that's acceptable to us' because it will be used by some political
parties to get what they want," he said. "It will create a situation where
it's heads, MDC wins and tails, MDC wins.
"If the Europeans want to help
us, they must leave us to run our own affairs - we don't need to be treated
like naughty children rewarded with sweets. It's a very patronising
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF's Secretary General and Minister of
State for Presidential Affairs, said the suspension of sanctions would make
little difference to the ruling class.
"It makes no difference to me
whatsoever," he told The Telegraph. "I won't be going to London, it's very
cold and the people are very unfriendly - I would rather stay
"We have been telling the British for years that the people they
targeted are not being adversely affected by sanctions at all. We are still
receiving our salaries and the situation for us is exactly the
"The people who are being affected are those who benefited from the
industries that could not function under sanctions. We are happy only that
our people will be happier."
Ian Makone, Morgan Tsvangirai's chief of
staff, said they would wait to see the evidence of the
"We have so far been unable to find out from the EU anything
about this, (sanctions) and until we are able to do so, we cannot comment,"
HARARE, July 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government is in talks with
China Railway International over plans to build a 1,000 megawatt coal-fired
power plant to ease the southern African country's electricity shortages,
its energy minister said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe's ageing plants
produce around 1,000 MW, half of its peak demand, a power supply deficit
which has paralysed mines and industry.
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma
said Zimbabwe was considering several options to expand output at existing
facilities, while pursuing new projects, including the Western Areas coal
project in Hwange where a 1,000 MW thermal plant is planned.
statement to parliament, Mangoma said state-owned Zimbabwe Power Co (ZPC)
was in talks with China Railway International, a subsidiary of China Railway
Group, to jointly run a coal mine that would supply the proposed
"Promising negotiations are underway with China Railway
International," Mangoma said. He did not say how much the project would
cost, but said the plant would take between three and four years to
Zimbabwe has short-listed bids for the expansion of its Hwange
thermal station and the Kariba hydro-plant to boost their combined output by
Independent power producers with projects that have the potential
to generate a total of 5,000 MW have been licensed but are yet to start
However, analysts say Zimbabwe is unlikely to attract significant
foreign investment due to President Robert Mugabe's drive to force foreign
firms, including mines and banks, to turn over 51 percent shareholdings to
locals under an empowerment law.
The outspoken MDC-T MP for Bulawayo East, Tabitha Khumalo, has been
demoted from her role as deputy spokesperson for the party, amid reports she
will be reassigned to another less influential position.
confirmed to SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that she had received a letter,
signed by party President Morgan Tsvangirai, relieving her of her duties to
speak on behalf of the party. She was appointed to the post in April last
year following the party congress in Bulawayo.
Analysts described her
removal as a cracking of the whip to halt the factionalism that was tearing
apart structures in the Bulawayo province.
Khumalo is believed to belong
to a faction led by Matson Hlalo, a Senator representing Mzilikazi, which is
involved in a bloody battle to wrestle control of the province from Gorden
Moyo, the chairman.
Moyo, with the support of the deputy President of the
party Thokozani Khupe, beat Hlalo to the post of provincial chairman. But
the fall-out between the two has torn the province into factions since the
party held elections for its structures last year.
tensions in the province have led to several defections, with most of the
party cadres crossing the floor to the MDC formation led by Welshman
Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said: ‘The party
(MDC-T) faces a challenge to remain relevant in Bulawayo as they face a
major hurdle from the other MDC. I understand there are two others in the
firing line and the party has set their sights with a view to reassigning
them to others positions.’
The deputy organiser for Bulawayo, Thepiso
Mpofu has been described as a kingmaker in the Hlalo faction and they are
believed to be the officials facing reassignment.
Asked to comment
why the party had specifically targeted Khumalo, a Harare based senior
official told us this was long overdue considering the number of times she
had been warned about her conduct as a senior public figure.
been a lot of issues concerning the way she conducted herself in the
divisions that were rocking Bulawayo.
‘There was also fury at her
reluctance to tow the party line following her decision to align herself
with a faction of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions led by Lovemore
Matombo. Remember the party has since the split of the Labour body last year
aligned itself with the George Nkiwane group,’ our source
Khumalo’s relations with the party leadership also became strained
after she mobilized prostitutes in Bulawayo with a view to making them join
a representative union under which their activities would be
‘I think the party leadership got to a point where they were
caught up in two minds about whether Khumalo is an asset or a troublemaker
and a threat to the MDC,’ the source added.
There was also the issue
of her lack of respect towards Tsvangirai on occasion. Colleagues had to
‘talk to her quietly’ about her abrasive, confrontational way in which she
addressed the party leader in meetings.
‘At one time people just held
their heads in disbelief with the way she spoke to Tsvangirai. Waitofunga
kuti President vanechikwereti chake (You would think Tsvangirai owed her
money), the source said.
The editor of an independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe has
slammed attempts by the government to gag the media for being too critical
of politicians and business ventures.
Information Minister Webster
Shamu on Wednesday summoned news editors to his offices for a telling off
about their articles, apparently in the wake of a reportedly ‘embarrassing’
dressing down by Robert Mugabe in Parliament about some media
The meeting Wednesday was meant to instruct the editors not to
publish ‘unsubstantiated’ articles about the country’s politicians,
apparently after the Herald newspaper wrote false reports about the travel
plans of the Prime Minister’s new wife.
But Shamu instead turned the
focus of the meeting on the Daily News newspaper, with the backing of a
businessman who the newspaper has been investigating.
editor Stanley Gama told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he was “shocked
and surprised” by the appearance of businessman Ken Sharpe, the man behind
the controversial building of a new shopping mall in a wetlands area in
Gama explained that his paper has been investigating Sharpe
and his new venture, and has reported on some of the controversies there.
This includes the fact that the building plans have not yet been approved by
the Environmental Management Authority (Ema) or the Harare City Council,
with mounting concern about the environmental havoc that will be created if
the wetlands are destroyed to make way for a giant mall. At the same time
residents around the Borrowdale West area, and many residents associations,
have fiercely objected to the project, objections that have been
“In the meeting with Shamu, Sharpe demanded that the Daily News
stop writing negative articles about him and his mall. So the meeting turned
into a showdown between Shamu, Sharpe and myself,” Gama said.
continued: “To me, this was just a way of bullying us and trying to
intimidate us. And I told Shamu and Sharpe that we will not be arm twisted
in this way.”
Shamu’s decision to include Sharpe in the editors’
meeting is being described by some observers as a clear sign that the
businessman has the ZANU PF minister in his pocket. The Daily News’ Gama
said that it raises serious questions when a private businessman is brought
in by a government minister to make demands of the independent
“We are still trying to find out exactly why this happened and
what is behind it. We are also going to write a letter to Robert Mugabe to
explain what Sharpe’s involvement in government is,” Gama said.
Recently Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere caused a
major panic when he said schools were to be indigenised, meaning they had to
hand over 51% of their shares.
The new regulations to take over
private schools were published in a notice in the Government Gazette last
But now Minister of Education David Coltart has said he has reached
an agreement with Kasukuwere: Writing on his Facebook page he said: “I am
pleased to report that I had a very constructive discussion with
(Empowerment) Minister Saviour Kasukuwere this (Wednesday) evening regarding
the Indigenisation notice recently issued.”
“We are agreed that the
rights contained in section 20(3) of the Constitution, namely the right of
religious and other groups to set up and run schools, will be fully respected
“Accordingly all mission, church, religious, community and
trust schools run not for profit will not be subject to any indigenisation
Coltart also posted on Facebook a statement by Kasukuwere
saying: “Sen David Coltart and I had a discussion around the General Notice,
specifically on the education sector. In our engagement with him we advised
that the instrument had at no point talked about Trust
schools,Religious/Christian schools and Community. The Notice was specific
to companies engaged in education as a profit making venture.I am happy that
the law is clear and was always clear. I appeal to fellow citizens to read
the notice and satisfy ourselves so that distortions are
So Kawukuwere appears to be blaming people for not reading
the notice correctly, by pointing out that the indigenisation regulations
only affect anyone who is trying to make a profit out of an
In most nations, forcing someone to hand over half of a
profitable company is called theft.
The MDC-T has said they are prepared to take Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa head-on if he tries to push through the Electoral Bill
that precludes the Diaspora vote.
Chinamasa has been quoted as saying
: “With respect to people living in the diaspora, let me say this right from
the outset, there are other 101 reasons why we are not ready for diaspora
voting and I will just enumerate the few. The capacity to have polling
stations in every country where Zimbabweans are is just beyond the capacity
of this country.
He added: “The other consideration and it is very
important, given where we are geo-politically, where we are, we have
sanctions imposed against one of the three political parties in the
Chinamasa tabled the Electoral Amendment Bill for
its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, and the debate continued into
MDC-T legislators told SW Radio Africa that Chinamasa should
not try and impose his own laws on the people of Zimbabwe.
why we have Parliament to ensure that we debate such issues. As it is we are
going to tackle the issue of the Disapora vote but the honest truth is the
Bill is unlikely to sail through in this format,’ an MDC-T MP
At the time of writing debate was still going on in parliament
and MDC-T legislators were strongly objecting to the section that said
people who have poor vision or are blind, have to vote in the presence of a
presiding officer, even though they can have a person of their own choice to
The MP’s argued that while this enabled these electors
to participate in the poll, it meant that their votes were neither secret
Fireworks erupted when Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa tried to push through the Bill with the controversial clause on
blind voters not settled by the MP’s.
‘A presiding officer from our
experience can be anybody from the CIO working under the auspices of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. It can be anybody from ZANU PF working under
the same body, so we are saying anyone of choice is good
‘Experience tells us a blind voter is usually accompanied to the
polling station by a relative. If the blind voter asks the relative to cast
their vote for ZANU PF or MDC, without any intrusion from a presiding
officer fair enough,’ an MDC MP said.
The voting system in Zimbabwe
has long being condemned for not guaranteeing that the blind can cast their
votes freely and democratically, because it does not provide for Braille
ballot papers. Even during campaign periods it has been noted that there is
no literature in Braille.
As a result of the absence of Braille ballot
papers, the current electoral law stipulates that blind voters are assisted
to vote by officers presiding over polling stations, in the presence of a
police officer and agents of contesting political parties.
presiding officer asks the blind voter who he or she wants to vote for, and
then marks the ballot for the preferred candidate. Some civil society
organizations have described this practice as degrading and violating the
concept of a secret ballot.
Harare, 12 July 2012 - The Supreme Court
on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by President Robert Mugabe challenging
a High Court decision directing him to gazette a date for by-elections in
three parliamentary constituencies in Matabeleland Provinces and ordered him
to issue a notice announcing the vacancies in the constituencies by the end
President Mugabe had appealed against part of Justice Nicholas
Ndou’s ruling granted in October 2011 ordering the ZANU PF leader to ensure
by-elections for Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East were conducted
as they were constitutionally long overdue.
But on Thursday Chief
Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku issued an operative part of the Supreme Court
judgment (the order) dismissing President Mugabe’s appeal and ordering him
to publish in the Government Gazette “a notice ordering new elections to
fill the vacancies as soon as possible but by no later than 30 August
The appeal was heard last Thursday by Chief Justice Chidyausiku,
Judge of Appeal (JA) Justice Vernanda Ziyambi, JA Paddington Garwe, JA
Anne-Mary Gowora and Acting Judge of Appeal Justice Yunus
President Mugabe was taken to court by three former MDC-M
Members of Parliament Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu in
2010 after their parliamentary membership was terminated following their
suspension and subsequent expulsion from the MDC M party.
Mguni and Mpofu were represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member
Ndabezinhle Mazibuko of Calderwood Bryce Hendrie&Partners Legal
Practitioners, while President Mugabe was represented by Advocate Ray Goba.
Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer Thursday, 12 July 2012
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has come to Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's defence, directing Information minister Webster Shamu to
ensure the premier and his wife Elizabeth are shielded from adverse state
Ministers were shocked by the President’s stance
at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, when he warned Shamu against using the
media to vilify Tsvangirai and his wife.
Until the Tuesday talks,
there was a perception that the State media had been given a nod by the
President’s administration to pour scorn and insults on the Prime Minister
and his wife.
On that basis, the State media crusade had hit high gear
with a media hatchet job insinuating that Elizabeth had left Harare for a
shopping spree in South Africa and India using taxpayers’ funds.
report, filled with distortion of facts, claimed the PM’s wife had left the
country to buy jewellery and other ancilliary accessories for their upcoming
But it turned out to be a false report when Elizabeth pitched up
at a government function with her husband in Harare, the day the state-run
press had claimed she had flown out to India.
The Daily News heard
that Tsvangirai officially protested against the state media over biased
reporting and selective coverage in his Monday principals’ meeting with
Sources said Tsvangirai told Mugabe that the state media, even
during its days under the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing, has always
supported the government of the day.
The following day an incensed
Mugabe surprisingly made remarks calling for a stop to the press reports
forthwith, largely because he was aware of the issue and did not want his
name involved in what could end up a messy affair.
Sources said Shamu
got a tongue-lashing by Mugabe for over an hour, before the President
expressed his exasperation at the undue negative publicity on his coalition
partner and his spouse in the high-level Tuesday government
Yesterday Shamu summoned all editors to Munhumutapa Building
to convey the president's message.
"During yesterday's Cabinet
meeting, the head of State and government and commander-in-chief of the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency, the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe
expressed concern over the press reports on the travel arrangements of the
wife of the Prime Minister, honourable Morgan Tsvangirai," Shamu told
"His Excellency expressed concern on the level of
negative and intrusion into the private life of the Prime Minister and his
wife, emphasising that the couple's right to lead their private lives should
be respected. He noted that it is unAfrican to show such levels of
disrespect to the wife of the national leader."
Mugabe said local
media should not import the "negative portrayal of President Jacob Zuma of
South Africa in that country's media." Zuma, a polygamist who has been
married six times and reported to have over 20 children, has courted
widespread adverse publicity in his country.
The president's decision to
throw his weight behind Tsvangirai after months of mixed signals appears
designed to reassure his coalition partner.
Article19 of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the inclusive government says
steps should be taken to ensure that the public media provides balanced and
fair coverage to all political parties for their legitimate political
It states in part "that the public and private media shall
refrain from using abusive language that may incite hostility, political
intolerance and ethnic hatred or that unfairly undermines political parties
and other organisations."
Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business
Writer Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:13
HARARE - Finance minister
Tendai Biti yesterday said government will this week gazette major
amendments to the Securities Act aimed at improving the country’s capital
markets regulatory and supervisory functions.
Speaking at TN Bank’s
listing ceremony on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), Biti said the move
would also end current irregularities at the bourse, that have seen chief
executive Emanuel Munyukwi being suspended.
“We have had a major
challenge with the ZSE, its management and the committee that has been
running it. We feel for lack of a better word it’s a mafia corporation,” he
“Cabinet has approved major amendments to the Securities Act
which I think will be gazetted tomorrow.”
The amendment, Biti said,
will force the demutualisation of any capital market in Zimbabwe to ensure
He said the changes will allow existing markets to be
accountable to a board and some known shareholders.
“We feel that we
have tried to protect these institutions without democratising and
modernising them,” Biti added.
The minister said currently, the status
quo of the ZSE was that nobody really knows who owns it and as a result the
stock brokers, who are the players, assume a self-regulatory role with
disclosure being put to question.
He said the new regulations will
also set up the Central Securties Depository (CSD) — an electronic
securities settlement system in order to make sure the ZSE complies with
international best practices.
“The second thing is a CSD, a lot of things
are happening, you buy a share the next thing is a stock broker tells you
“Part of the reason why foreign investment has shrunk to
this market compared to say 2000 when we were the second- biggest bourse on
the African continent are issues associated with CSD and the absence of
modernisation of this market.”
Commending Lifestyle Holdings Limited
(formerly TN Holdings Limited) founder and group chief executive Tawanda
Nyambirai’s success in business, Biti said the de-merger was an ideal
indigenisation model where local blacks build assets from their capital and
“The role of the state is not to facilitate the grabbing of
some people’s assets because they are white.” He said the ideal role of
indigenisation is to create an enabling environment such that talent and
entrepreneurship irrespective of race can flourish.
Nyambirai’s initiative at a time other badly run local banks have
“In recent times we have seen in our banking system a small click
of predatory bankers. A small clique of mafia bankers. I saw an article that
said it’s almost like common practice that if you want to rob the public,
start a bank and that is totally unacceptable,” the minister
“To the extent that TN Bank has remained professional,
professionally well done and that Nyambirai has refused to be seduced away
from the path of virtue into the path of wilderness where people hit their
chests and say I own a bank, but you don’t own a bank you are just stealing
Energy-starved Zimbabwe has cut its debt to power providers to
under US$20 million from around $100 million in a bid to resume imports
after major regional suppliers cut it off, the energy minister said
"We have currently made strides to pay the debt we owed and our
total debt has now been reduced to below $20 million from nearly a $100
million," Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told parliament.
talks have begun with neighbours Mozambique and Zambia to get "a little bit
more" electricity after reducing the debt.
In recent months, Zimbabwe
could only afford to import 25 megawatts from neighbouring countries after
major electricity suppliers in the region cut off supplies for
Zimbabwe needs about 2,200 MW of electricity at peak
consumption but generates just below 1,300 MW.
"Zimbabwe used to
import as much as 500 MW from SNEL in DR Congo, EDM and HCB in Mozambique
and ZESCO in Zambia," he said adding the average quantity had came down to
"Because we were not paying, even that 100MW has been reduced to
Mangoma said the country is working on refurbishing its northern
Kariba hydro-power station and the Hwange thermal power station in the west
of the country to boost generation capacity.
The minister said
earlier this year that the power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) is owed $400 million in unpaid electricity bills by
Authorities also increased energy charges last year by 31
percent to 9.83 cents per kilowatt hour.
After passing a controversial human rights
law, the Zimbabwe parliament on Wednesday rejected the Electoral Bill that
precludes the diaspora vote and is fraught with loopholes seen as favoring
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
The House of Assembly
blocked the proposed law and ordered Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to
factor in a few changes before bringing it back for more
Among other things, MDC legislators objected to a provision which
says voter registration should be based on a particular polling station.
Instead, they prefer a system allowing people to vote in any station where
they are registered.
Chinamasa told parliament that the Electoral
Bill does not allow expatriates to vote because politicians in his Zanu PF
party can not travel to Western countries to campaign due to
If allowed, Chinamsa said, the diaspora vote would give the
MDC an unfair advantage. But the proposed law is not all doom. It has its
own strenghts, one of which is a provision requiring authorities to release
election results within five days of voting.
This seeks to prevent a
repeat of the 2008 situation where it took the electoral body a whole month
to release results amid deepening public anxiety and heightening political
The law also mandates the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
summon and censure parties and candidates over violence, as well as
establishing special courts to try political violence cases.
Tuesday, parliament passed the controversial Human Rights Bill which bars
the newly-introduced Human Rights Commission from probing rights violations
that occurred before February, 2009.
That means the 2008 election
violence and the Gukurahundi killings of the 1980s that claimed more than
20,000 lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands will not be
Only two legislators, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube of Insiza
South and Magwegwe's Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda - both from Matabaleland,
opposed the law.
Malandu Ncube told VOA he was shocked his MDC colleagues
backed the law. "It's a big shame," Ncube said. "Victims of human rights
abuses were looking up to the MDC to make laws that will give them justice.
The dream is now gone."
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association director
Okay Machisa also criticized the law calling it "unacceptable and shameful."
With the country's
next elections expected sometime next year following a constitutional
referendum, the international community is beginning to look at possible
opportunities in a new Zimbabwe.
In Washington this week the National
Endowment for Democracy, working with the World Movement for Democracy and
the Solidarity Center hosted a conference to discuss new political dynamics
obtaining in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara called
on the United States to lift the so-called targeted sanctions on Harare
saying they were scaring away investors.
Mutambara said the measures,
imposed by Washington and the European Union on President Robert Mugabe and
his Zanu PF inner circle were also tarnishing the country’s image.
a strongly-worded message to the U.S., Mutambara said it was evident the
sanctions, though targeted, served Washington's interests and not those of
He added leaders from all three governing
parties in Harare wanted the sanctions lifted, adding that economic reforms,
and not just democratic changes, are necessary to revive the country to its
Mutambara's stance was not isolated. Zimbabwe’s Ambassador
to Washington, Machivenyika Mapuranga added his voice, saying it was
baffling that many countries in the world backed by the U.S. do not respect
human rights but are not under sanctions.
But U.S. Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs Reuben Brigety refused
to back down, saying the sanctions will not be removed until Harare’s human
rights record improved.
Panelist Rukudzo Murapa, chairman of Great
Zimbabwe Scenarios and Chief Editor of Africa Democratic Leadership Academy,
commended the government of national unity for bringing about positive
changes in the country.
Another panelist, Ibbo Mandaza, director of the
Southern African Political Economy Series Trust Group and editor of the
Southern African Political Economic monthly, dismissed the unity government
Mandaza said lawmakers should not be appointed ministers
as most do not have a clue how to perform their duties. He dismissed the
Movement for Democratic Change as incompetent and unsuitable for running the
Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labor, Economic Development
Research Institute of Zimbabwe, said corruption is rampant in the country
depriving ordinary people of basic resources.
panelists revealed mixed feelings about the successful completion of the
country’s constitution-writing process, with some doubting it would lead to
free and fair elections.
What was clear from the "Re-Thinking Zimbabwe"
conference was how divided Zimbabweans themselves are about processes in
State ordered to compensate assaulted MDC
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Mavis Dandira, a Harare-based MDC activist who was assaulted by
soldiers and police officers while participating in an MDC-sanctioned march
in 2003 has won a lawsuit against the State and awarded US$1 500 in
High Judge, Justice Alfas Chitakunye ordered the State to pay
Mavis Dandira US$1 000 for pain and US$500 for contumelia (scornful or
insulting treatment) after he was convinced that she had been assaulted by
State security agents.
“In the absence of contrary evidence, I find
that the plaintiff was assaulted by members of the ZNA (Zimbabwe National
Army) and police officers in the manner described,” said Justice Chitakunye
in his ruling.
“Further in the absence of any evidence that the ZNA and
police officers were not acting in the course of their employment, I find
that they were in fact acting in the course of their employment,” he
Justice Chitakunye said the State security agents had no right to
assault the woman and that their actions were unlawful. Dandira had
initially applied for US$3 200 as damages for pain and suffering but the
judge reduced it to US$1 000 while contumelia damages were reduced from US$1
000 to US$500.
The assault took place on 2 June 2003 when Dandira
took part in a demonstration in which she joined hundreds of MDC and human
rights activists marching from Highfield into the city centre. Along the
way, some soldiers confronted the group and commotion ensued, resulting in
Dandira falling down as she attempted to run away.
caught up with her and assaulted her with rifle butts all over the body. She
was bundled into the back of a truck before the soldiers drove to Machipisa
Police Station. At the police station, the police officers took over in
assaulting her using batons. After the assault, Dandira was forced to pay an
admission of guilt fine of Z$3 000 for breach of the Miscellaneous Offences
State security agents have on several occasions been accused of
using unnecessary force to break up sanctioned MDC meetings and rallies
across the country.
CONTACT DETAILS Information and
Publicity Department 44 N Mandela, Harare Tel: 00263 4 770 708 Email
Us!!! Website: http://www.mdc.co.zw
The Prime Minister notes with concern that some Ministers in
Government will be embarking on a partisan land audit outside the Government
A report in the State media today indicates that the Zanu PF
Land reform department led by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and
Lands Minister Hebert Murerwa wants to undertake a countrywide land audit,
notwithstanding the fact that Minister Murerwa is required to do the same
process for Government.
The GPA, which is now part of the
Constitution, obligates Government to audit land.
Since 2009, the
Ministry of Lands has done nothing in this regard and has not even come up
with a framework for the land audit.
While it is acknowledged that
Ministers have assignments for their political parties in this instance the
Government and people of Zimbabwe are expecting a proper land audit that is
expected to reveal multiple farm owners and those that are not producing on
the land allocated to them.
As a Principal of Government responsible for
supervision and implementation of Government policy, the Prime Minister
expects the Minister of Lands to embark on a proper land audit as stipulated
by the law and as identified by his Ministry as a key priority.
Spokesperson - Office of the Prime
CONTACT DETAILS Information and Publicity
Department 44 N Mandela, Harare Tel: 00263 4 770 708 Email
Us!!! Website: http://www.mdc.co.zw
Indigenization of at
least 51% of ownership of businesses has, through General Notice 280 of 2012
been extended to cover all important sectors beyond mining to include finance,
tourism, entertainment, energy services, transport, communications and
This euphemism for national asset-grabbing
driven by Zanu PF minister Saviour Kasukuwere is designed to enrich a few in a
way that will trigger the collapse of the economy. This policy has been fiercely
resisted not only by the pro-democracy movement, but, interestingly enough, by
staunch Zanu PF allies including Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.
Referring to the banking sector, Gono recently
accused Kasukuwere of seeking to interfere with the sector when he had presided
over bank that collapsed due to mismanagement. There is a sense, perhaps
justified, among certain elements within Zanu PF engaged in sunset politics that
a change of government is imminent, and as such, there should be a looting spree
now, before change comes. The next government will inherit a shell of a
A similar approach was used regarding to
so-called land reform program the led to a collapse of the agriculture industry
when the political elite grabbed for themselves multiple farms which were not
properly utilized. Despite the SADC-brokered Global Political Agreement
directing that there be a comprehensive land audit to expose these multiple farm
owners, such moves have been fiercely resisted. It a scorched earth policy –
where those in power now want to loot everything and leave nothing behind. For
the sake of posterity this must be resisted in this transitional
As a colleague recently explained, it is not
that Zanu PF is so strong that it is able to get away with such damaging
policies, but the pro-democracy movement is weak. And, as another colleague
pointed out, this transition will be as strong as the pro-democracy movement.
There is need now to raise the stakes to challenge the loot and plunder approach
that is taking place in the name of the people of Zimbabwe. A number of
individuals in Zanu PF are opposed to loot and plunder approach, just as the
bulk of the army is opposed to a partisan and politicized military leadership.
It is crucial that this observation be publicized, so that the world knows that
it is not a formidable, united force that we are fighting, but a disjointed,
fractured force driven largely by greed and kleptomania.
To illustrate the depth of fault lines among
Zanu PF allies, a representative of the Affirmative Action Group, Keith Guzha,
recently condemned the indigenization policy and pointed out that in was not
benefiting ordinary Zimbabweans. It would be interesting to establish the
identity of those individuals benefiting from the indigenization policy. A quick
look at the diamond industry reveals that diamonds are for those closely
connected to the military and to Zanu PF, and not ordinary citizens. Repeatedly,
finance minister Tendai Biti has complained that there is absolutely no
accountability for diamond revenue which is not getting to treasury.
Perhaps it is high time the pro-democracy
movement gets its act together and rallies around a common call for
accountability in the interests of current and future generations. A national,
peaceful march in protest against the loot and plunder of national resources
would be a good starting point to pressure the political elite to act in the
genuine interest of all Zimbabweans.
Dewa Mavhinga, Regional Coordinator,
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
I could not believe the news that despite heated debate,
Zimbabwe’s Parliament voted for the Human Rights Commission Bill in its
This means that The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will
not have power to investigate any of the political violence in 2008 let
alone Operations Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Hakudzokwi, Makavhotera Papi
and so on.
It means that survivors of state-sponsored and political
violence including abduction, rape, torture, farm seizures, beatings and
arson will have no-one to ask for compensation. It’s just
I still cannot figure out how the scores of MDC MPs from both
formations could be whipped into supporting a document agreed to by only 6
people (the negotiators).
It is worth noting that the Attorney
General Johannes Tomana suspended corruption prosecutions over the alleged
abuse of Constituency Development Fund (CDFs) by a number of MPs. It remains
to be seen if any MPs will be prosecuted for CDF frauds.
have thought that lessons were learnt since the MPs voted for the Chinese
loan for a Spy Centre amid reports of a parallel government being funded by
proceeds from Chiadzwa diamonds, while civil servants are going without pay
As a result, Treasury has been forced to go back to the drawing
boards on the much talked about $600 million that was expected from
diamonds, despite warnings against that fatal optimism.
As if that
was not bad enough The Telegraph says “Robert Mugabe could be brought in
from the cold” (before free and fair elections). It’s just
A Foreign Office spokesman is quoted by The Telegraph
as saying that circumstances in Zimbabwe have changed since sanctions were
put under review earlier this year. What has changed?
The roadmap to
free and fair elections is booby-trapped and full of potholes. For instance,
the new constitution has not yet been concluded. Devolution is still being
rejected by Zanu-pf. Dual citizenship while promised is being shot
The regime spokesman Patrick Chinamasa says he has 101 reasons why
exiled Zimbabweans who are estimated at 3-4 million should not be allowed to
vote. The voters roll is far from perfect.
In fact, the voters roll
is now very suspect as nothing has been heard of it since those disclosures
of about two million phantom voters including the dead and
The Westphalians (EU) are sending a wrong signal to Mugabe and
other dictators by being inconsistent on human rights and democracy in
I disagree with the argument that in order to try to induce
reforms in Zimbabwe, the EU needs to suspend restrictive measures before
free and fair elections are held. It does not make sense.
will the EU and the UN get as guarantees of peaceful, free and fair
democratic elections in Zimbabwe when 3 million have been disenfranchised by
The same West also tells us it believes in the rule of law.
If so, then why would they temper with the travel ban and asset freeze which
are being contested in court?
It is also incredible that, before a
referendum on the new constitution and presidential elections, some
Zimbabwean elites have acquiesced to Mugabe’s dictatorship.
Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders have not learnt a lesson from the past. They
have forgotten how Mugabe has outsmarted his opponents for forty decades
through dodgy accords to give him a breathing space.
indigenisation is wreaking havoc on the economy as investors said to be
staying away while legalised looting goes into overdrive, this time
targeting Western banks.
Despite the firm seizures, unemployment
remains at over 80 percent according to some estimates. To say that I am
shocked is an understatement.