The Sunday Times
July 13, 2008
Jonathan Oliver, Political Editor
Gordon Brown is set to press ahead with tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe
despite the embarrassing veto of his plan for a United Nations arms embargo
and travel ban.
Officials were last night drawing up a "plan B" after Russia and China
ambushed Britain at the UN security council in New York. Number 10 hopes the
European Union and the United States can draw up a joint agreement that
would include a ban on trips abroad for any Zimbabwean linked to Robert
Mugabe's regime and new efforts to freeze the assets of the Zanu-PF
Yesterday David Miliband, the foreign secretary, could not hide his
disappointment at the collapse of the government's Zimbabwe policy. He
insisted that Britain had been right to push the issue to a vote despite the
threat of a Russian and Chinese veto. "The UN has been saying for a long
time this is a real problem," said Miliband.
"So we said, 'Let's have real action.' It is right that in the end people
show their cards. You have to get people to front up. There was hiding going
Officials admitted there was initial shock at the outcome but believe that a
powerful package of measures can still be agreed.
"If the US and EU work together, a lot can still be done," said one source.
"We will start with expanding the travel ban to include all those people who
have been involved in the latest violence and people working for companies
supporting the regime, but we are ready to go further if need be."
Denis MacShane, the former Foreign Office minister, echoed the private
frustrations of diplomats by calling for Russia to be expelled from the G8.
By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press Writer Sat Jul 12, 3:55 PM ET
LONDON - British Prime Minster Gordon Brown will press the European Union to
take harsher action against Zimbabwe, after Russia and China vetoed proposed
new sanctions at the U.N. Security Council, his office said Saturday.
Brown plans to discuss EU action against President Robert Mugabe's regime
when the British leader meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU
foreign policy chief Javier Solana at a summit starting Sunday in Paris.
The three will be among 43 leaders of European, Middle Eastern and North
African nations at the summit.
Brown's office said he would propose new EU travel bans on members of
Mugabe's government and action against companies owned by Mugabe allies.
Russia and China on Friday vetoed a proposal from the United States and
Britain for a new U.N. arms embargo and other punitive measures against
Zimbabwe's president and top aides. Western powers mustered nine votes, the
minimum needed to gain approval in the 15-nation council, but the action
failed because of the vetoes by two of the five permanent members.
The vetoes came as a surprise and disappointment for Brown. The British
prime minister believed he had secured sufficient international backing for
U.N. sanctions against Mugabe during last week's summit of leaders from the
Group of Eight industrialized nations, said a Brown spokesman, speaking on
condition of anonymity in line with government policy.
"It was a high-stakes gamble, which earlier in the week looked promising
because the Russian president had made commitments at the G-8 to go along
with financial sanctions," said Mark Malloch-Brown, Britain's minister for
African, Asia and the U.N.
Zimbabwe's opposition party said Friday that at least 113 of its members
have been killed in political violence since March.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Britain would continue to
press Mugabe over government-backed violence and intimidation of the
opposition during Zimbabwe's first-round presidential vote in March and
runoff ballot in June.
"Mugabe is more isolated within his own country than ever before," Miliband
told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "We have got to make sure, though,
that the final hold that he has on power, which is at a barrel of a gun, is
as short as possible because the misery for those people is absolutely
Meanwhile, South African President Thabo Mbeki continued to mediate talks
between Mugabe and the opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
South African officials say the goal of the talks is forming an inclusive
government in Zimbabwe. Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai say they are willing to
share power, but they differ on who should lead.
Mugabe's ZANU-PF wants Mugabe at the head of any coalition government,
something the opposition and Mugabe's critics in the West have rejected.
Tsvangirai bases his claim to leadership on the first round of presidential
voting in March, in which he beat Mugabe and two other candidates, but did
not win the 50 percent plus one vote necessary to avoid a runoff against
second place finisher Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, who withdrew from the June runoff because of a campaign of
violence against his supporters, has accused Mbeki of bias in favor of
Mugabe, and called for a second mediator to be brought in.
Nicole Fritz, head of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, an independent
human rights group that has closely followed the Zimbabwean situation,
worried that without the pressure of sanctions, Mbeki would be able to make
little headway as mediator.
The failure of the sanctions resolution "buys Mbeki time," she said. "My
sense is that buying Mbeki time is not going to do us any good."
In a statement Saturday welcoming the defeat of the resolution, South Africa
said it believed "imposing sanctions would indeed have impacted negatively
on the current dialogue process among Zimbabwean political parties."
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said sanctions would have taken the
U.N. beyond its mandate in trying to punish political disputes by
"artificially elevating them to the level of a threat" to international
peace and security.
Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya, whose nation is one of Zimbabwe's major trading partners, said Zimbabwe should be allowed to resolve the political crisis on its own.
Sunday July 13, 2008
The decision by China and Russia to veto UN sanctions against the regime of
Robert Mugabe has raised fresh concerns about the role of the Security
Council but, more pertinently, has demonstrated the malign influence both
countries can play on the international stage. The two have brought down UN
resolutions before; last year, they opposed measures to press Burma to ease
repression. Yet this latest decision, coming days after Russia backed a G8
proposal for tough measures against Zimbabwe, including an arms embargo, an
assets freeze and a ban on Mugabe and his cronies from travelling, is
China and Russia argued that the Security Council is mandated to deal only
with matters which threaten international peace and security and that
regional efforts need time to work. But millions of Zimbabweans have been
displaced to other countries in the region as a result of Mugabe's policies.
Further, China's claim that sanctions would undermine the South
African-mediated talks between the rival parties looks equally bogus. Mugabe
has remained in power in part due to international inertia; the time for
allowing him room for manoeuvre is over.
China's extensive interests in Zimbabwe have fuelled fears that it is always
likely to side with Mugabe. Russia's behaviour raises grave doubts about its
reliability as an ally. Now the challenge for those countries which backed
sanctions is to agree a way forward themselves. The Security Council might
have been exposed as toothless, but the UK, especially acting through the
EU, and the US still have real power to exert diplomatic, economic and moral
pressure on the Mugabe regime. They must use it.
Brown to hold urgent talks with EU leaders in Paris today after UN vetoes
Gaby Hinsliff, Tracy McVeigh and Paul Harris
Sunday July 13, 2008
Gordon Brown will hold urgent talks with European leaders about Zimbabwe
today after plans to impose UN sanctions on Robert Mugabe's brutal regime
collapsed in disarray.
Russia and China used their vetoes in the UN Security Council to block the
measures - only three days after the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev,
signed a statement endorsing financial penalties against leading figures in
Harare. Brown had told MPs on Thursday of a 'major breakthrough' at the G8
on Zimbabwe, with Russia now signed up to sanctions. William Hague, the
shadow foreign secretary, accused him yesterday of being 'clearly
over-confident' about the deal, with questions now being asked about the
government's diplomatic skills.
The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, accused the Russians of
double-dealing, adding: 'The vote yesterday showed that, in the end, the
Russians and the Chinese - I wouldn't quite say put two fingers up -
effectively blocked the action. The Russians and Chinese were briefing in
all sorts of directions.'
Downing Street said Brown would discuss the way forward in Paris today with
the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and European Commission President
José Barroso. Options include expanding an EU ban on travel to leading
members of Mugabe's regime and taking measures against companies owned by 14
individuals close to the regime, who would have been targeted by the UN
motion unsuccessfully proposed by Britain and the US.
It is understood that the Foreign Office and the US State Department
realised on Friday, hours after Brown's parliamentary statement, that Moscow
was backtracking amid speculation of a difference of opinion within the
Russian government, but decided to push ahead with the vote to flush
positions into the open. A Downing Street spokesman said those who vetoed
the proposed economic sanctions, arms embargo and travel ban 'must now take
responsibility for the failure of the Security Council to act'.
Brown will still ask for a UN envoy to be sent urgently to Harare. Kofi
Annan, the Ghanaian former UN secretary-general, offered his help in
negotiating a peaceful solution to the crisis. He told The Observer: 'They
are talking of sending UN envoys now, and already I have talked to people
involved, and I am offering advice and my services. Of course I would help
because I am an African.'
Britain may also take bilateral measures with the US. But these may lack the
moral authority of a united UN front against Mugabe, thus strengthening what
is widely seen as his illegitimate grip on power.
There was jubilation among Mugabe's supporters at the vetoes. His
information minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, said he wanted to 'thank those who
helped defeat international racism disguised as multilateral action at the
UN', adding that the UN should have nothing to do with member states'
elections. The blocking of sanctions was also welcomed in South Africa.
The British ambassador to the UN, John Sawers, pointedly described Russia's
decision as 'inexplicable', adding: 'The Security Council has failed to
shoulder its responsibility to do what it can to prevent a national tragedy
deepening and spreading its effects across southern Africa.'
His US counterpart, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the Russians had seemed
supportive of sanctions all week and then 'something happened in Moscow'.
That gave China, which has a growing reputation for exploiting Africa's oil
and mineral stocks with scant regard for human rights, an excuse to veto the
African Press Organization
HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 13, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ - We
strongly regret the highly inappropriate and unacceptable comments by the
Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe questioning the Secretary-General's
impartiality toward events in Zimbabwe.
There is nothing one-sided about defending the right of the people of
Zimbabwe to choose a legitimate government in a free and fair election.
The Secretary-General will continue to support efforts to promote talks
between both sides in Zimbabwe that can lead to a democratic transition and
economic recovery for the people of that country.
SOURCE : United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson of the
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 13/07/2008
Just how bad does the tyranny in Zimbabwe have to get before the world
Robert Mugabe has already installed himself as President-for-life,
having stolen two elections and had more than 5,000 of those who supported
the opposition party either killed or imprisoned. He also ensured that a
further 200,000 were evicted from their homes.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition, sensibly decided there
was no point in continuing to co-operate with Mugabe's grotesque parody of
democracy. Mugabe then claimed victory in a sham of his own creation.
The condition of Zimbabwe's people grows daily more desperate - solely
because of Mugabe's abysmal mismanagement of the country.
The leaders of the democracies in Europe and America tried to persuade
the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, as well
as a travel ban on Mugabe and 13 of his top henchmen. Their attempt failed.
Russian and China, both permanent members of the security council and
able to veto any proposal, torpedoed the idea of punishing Mugabe's regime.
David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary, called their decision
"incomprehensible". In fact, it is only too understandable, for it derives
from the ruthless pursuit of self-interest that has characterised the
foreign policies of these states.
China's investment in Africa has increased hugely recently, but the
real reason for both these vetoes isn't economic: it is fear of the
precedent that would be set if the UN explicitly authorises action against a
country because it is governed by a tyrannical autocrat.
Zimbabwe, as Russia's ambassador to the UN correctly pointed out, is
no threat to international stability.
"The security council's application for enforcement measures," he
concluded, "has no foundation under chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This draft
is nothing but the council's attempt to interfere with the internal affairs
China agrees with that judgement, confirming that there is a tacit
pact between the world's dictatorial regimes to ensure that they can
continue to deny their people basic democratic rights: they know they
themselves will become vulnerable if it is established as a principle of the
UN that there is a limit beyond which governments are not entitled to
oppress their own people.
China and Russia have largely co-operated in the global "war on
terror", essentially because they feel at least as threatened by
fundamentalist terrorism as America and Europe do. But they are not
interested in spreading democracy and respect for human rights around the
Russia uses the leverage that its control of gas and oil gives it to
prevent its neighbouring states from embracing full democracy, just as China
uses its power to ensure that the citizens of countries such as Burma and
Tibet are denied elementary democratic rights.
Reducing all matters of foreign policy to a calculation of naked
self-interest certainly makes everything simpler, and there are Western
politicians who insist that our democracies should give up on idealism and
concentrate on the "realistic pursuit of self-interest".
That, however, would leave the world defenceless in the face of the
grim expansion of Russia and China's vision of the future, a vision that
does not include the two most precious ingredients of peace and prosperity:
democracy and the respect for human rights.
John McCain, the Republican candidate in America's presidential
election, has suggested an alternative to a UN deadlocked by the vetoes of
China and Russia.
He proposes a "league of democracies", in which nations committed to
what might be termed "the Western system" would come together and use their
joint power to try to advance more enlightened forms of governance. It
wouldn't be an alternative to the UN. But it would tackle some of the
problems which vetoes from the tyrannies on the security council ensure that
the UN cannot.
There are many difficulties with turning McCain's vision into reality.
Yet the failure of the UN, like the impotence of the G8, which was also on
display last week, requires serious debate on how to remedy the
ineffectiveness of global institutions.
The alternative is that the West sits on the sidelines as tyranny
crushes democracy - and Zimbabwe becomes the latest failure to confront
"Telegraph view" is written by our team of leader writers and
commentators. This team includes David Hughes, Philip Johnston, Simon
Heffer, Janet Daley, Con Coughlin, Robert Colvile, Iain Martin and Alex
There are opposing views on how to handle the crisis in Zimbabwe. On one
side there is the African Union through its mediator the SADC* (facilitated
by South Africa and Angola) stressing the futility of imposing sanctions
against Zimbabwe and the rejection of the idea that Zimbabwe is a threat to
international peace and security.
On the other side there are the G8 leaders at this year's G8 summit implying
that Zimbabwe is viewed as a threat to international peace and security, and
that "We will take further steps, inter alia introducing financial and other
measures against those individuals responsible for violence."
South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo is attempting to stave off the
growing public perception that Zimbabwe poses an international threat. To
the contrary, Ambassador Kumalo says the African Union has stated
un-categorically that we do not need sanctions against Zimbabwe. They do not
believe Zimbabwe is a threat to international peace and security, and that
the G8 leaders' use of chapter VII of the UN Charter is really surprising
and goes way over the top.
Ambassador Kumalo says of sanctions, one of the persons targeted is the
Governor of the reserve bank who is said to have printed money that is being
used by the military. "I don't know of a governor of reserve bank who prints
part of the money and says this is for the ones who are hungry and this is
for the ones of the military", Ambassador Kumalo said. "If you cut out the
money out of Zimbabwe it will have a tremendous impact on neighboring
States.When the people flee from Zimbabwe they come to our country, he
A.U. leaders say they are for applying pressure on all parties, but they are
urging the international community not to take measures that will complicate
the situation, literally blowing the country apart, Ambassador Kumalo
stressed. The A.U. is for taking measures that will urge the parties to seek
a political solution through negotiations.
The "other" point of contention is opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Ambassador Kumalo is concerned there is a wish to impose Mr. Tsvangirai as
president of Zimbabwe; a move that Mr. Kumalo is stressing would complicate
things and create huge problems. "The E.U., through its presidents, said
openly to the press that they want to see Tsvangirai installed as president
of Zimbabwe", Kumalo pointed out.
"We (the A.U./SADC) want the people of Zimbabwe to select through free and
fair elections, without violence, without intimidation, who their leader is.
The Europeans are complicating issues because they are choosing one and
saying we won't accept anything unless it is led by Morgan Tsvangirai. This
creates huge problems", Kumalo Stressed.
A recent U.S. draft resolution for applying sanctions on Zimbabwe now goes
in the direction of giving the U.N. Security Council the ability to certify
a partial election, Ambassador Kumalo said. "If the Security Council is now
going to go into countries and start certifying one election or part of an
election, where are we going to stop?" Again, he stressed the importance of
negotiations between the parties and the importance of allowing the people
of Zimbabwe the opportunity to choose.
U.N. Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro says the U.N. holds that the
run-off elections were illegitimate and that the only way out of this crisis
is for the two sides to agree on a political solution that would pave the
way for a democratic transition and economic recovery of the country. She
would not say were she stood on sanctions against Zimbabwe, but conveyed
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's call on the government of Zimbabwe to
immediately lift sanctions on humanitarian activities. She said, "The people
of the Zimbabwe deserve no less."
If the current humanitarian situation remains unchanged in Zimbabwe 5.1
million people will be left at grave risk due to food shortages, Mrs. Migiro
told the press.
*SADC is the acronym for South African Development Community.
UNHQ Bureau Chief
U.N OBSERVER & International Report
July 12, 2008 at 17:24:35
by Zaw Nay Aung
It is not only disappointing but a shocking experience that China and Russia
vetoed again to block the UN resolution against Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime. It
is unbelievable how China and Russia could turn a blind eye to the
atrocities and block the UN action which could bring significant changes in
Zimbabwe's conflict. China and Russia started enjoying their vetoes since
Burma's issue was raised at the UN Security Council led by the US and UK in
early 2007. They always claim that it is "internal affairs" but what does
that mean in fact?
Not only the UN itself but the international community has the
responsibility for global justice, freedom and prosperity of the
underprivileged countries, and the affluent states have the right to promote
freedom, rights and democracy of other countries where it needs to be
promoted. It cannot be claimed that the countries working for the betterment
of global society are interfering. And the United Nations itself has the
right to intervene in situations like in Zimbabwe and Burma. The real
interference is blocking the welfare of general population or majority of
the people in a country where rights and freedom is extinct.
When a country is facing a significant challenge of humanitarian disasters,
the international community has to intervene to resolve the conflicts rather
than doing nothing and calling it an "internal affair." Is it the right
thing to do to let people die from natural disasters such as Cyclone Nargis
in Burma or man-made disasters such as extra-judicial killings, arbitrary
detentions and "mass intimidation'" against people who speak for justice,
freedom and equality of prosperity? If you look at the recent events in
Zimbabwe and Burma, the authoritarian regimes and their militias violently
cracked down on the opposition and controlled power undemocratically and
illegitimately. Although the UN actions are initiated, the powerful "vetoes"
have been overriding the process of resolving political stalemates in Burma
and Zimbabwe. If the United Nations could not address these conflicts, then
the world powers such as United States and United Kingdom will surely
tighten the measures against these brutal regimes of Zimbabwe and Burma.
Then the circle of sanctions and the process of resolving "internal affairs"
would take ages and people would continue living in these deteriorating
circumstances without hope for freedom and prosperity. It is the time for
the global society to unite and work together for the global prosperity. The
world should no longer be divided as North and South and the world powers
should realize that the Cold War era was over decades ago. Crucially the
term "internal affair" should not be coined when the incidents of
oppression, injustice and inhumanity occurred in a society. The world should
not afford to ignore the atrocities as "internal affair." When the freedom
and prosperity of people are not allowed to flourish, atrocities have the
opportunity to grow up. It is absolutely interfering in the process of
development and democracy in a country.
Zaw Nay Aung is an exiled Burmese in the UK and MSc student of political
science at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Sunday Nation, Kenya
Story by MUTUMA MATHIU
Publication Date: 7/13/2008 Sometimes, when I hear arguments about "looking
East" and getting alternative markets for our groundnuts, alternative
investment sources and source markets for tourists, I suffer a momentary
discomfort. Why not the "traditional" markets? is the question that would
pop up in my head.
This is evidence of the extent to which I, a product of "cultural
diplomacy," am programmed to link progress, investment, "aid" and all good
things to the West. But the moment passes; if it didn't, I'd go and lie in a
darkened room until it did.
The state of Africa today is evidence of failure on two fronts: one,
the failure of Africa to gainfully govern itself. The corruption, the
brutality, the selfishness of our politicians and their soft brains are a
mountain on the path of Africa's progress.
TWO, IT IS A FAILURE OF WESTERN thinking and its well meaning
interventions in Africa's development. The truth of the matter is, even
after 50 years of trying, the West has not succeeded in wiping what former
British prime minister Tony Blair called "a stain on the conscience" of
mankind: the death, poverty and suffering on our home continent.
Frequent promises about wanting to help Africa, followed by zero
action, convince me that it is not right for Africa to put any more faith in
In 2005, the leaders of G-8 nations met at Gleneagles, Scotland, and
Mr Blair, who was chairing, had pushed with his usual missionary zeal for
Africa to be near the top of the agenda.
In 2005, life was good in the West. Economies were booming, the
sub-prime mortgage business was booming, food was plentiful and cheap and
oil was selling for $60 a barrel. Egged on by the persuasive Mr Blair, the
rich were prepared to be generous, if not with their money, at least with
Africa had asked, rather ambitiously, for total cancellation of debt
for all African countries. The G-8 agreed to waive debt for 18 of the
poorest countries. There was a commitment in the communiqué to increase aid
to 0.56 per cent of GDP by 2010 and 0.7 per cent by 2015 with an increase
for Africa of $25 billion by 2010; a promise to ensure that all Africans had
access to anti-retrovirals by 2010, help to train peace keepers, support for
On trade, the G-8 recommended the completion of the Doha Round of
world trade talks which it said would help lift 40 million Africans out of
poverty. Help was promised, too, for African exporters to deal with health
and safety standards in rich markets.
But the main thrust of the G-8 reasoning was that development was the
responsibility of Africans and their leaders and that rich countries would
support those countries which were taking concrete measures to achieve good
governance and to fight corruption.
Today, oil is double what it was in 2005, rich country growth a
fraction of what it was, currencies, especially the dollar, have weakened,
the sub-prime contagion has infected many and the rich too have to pay high
prices for their food. Talk of a recession is not uncommon.
On top of which there is growing urgency to deal with climate change
and to figure out a way to fix the growing energy problem. In other words,
the rich countries are in absolutely no mood to be generous to Africa; they
have problems of their own.
The rich countries could not fulfill promises made of their own
volition at Gleneagles three years ago. I think it would be to expect too
much to expect them to keep such pledges in the current circumstances.
After 45 years of praying, hunting, begging and dreaming of aid, it is
time to admit in a fundamental way that mortgaging the country and our
interests for the sake of aid is not working, that aid alone will never
transform our lives.
HAVING MADE THAT ADMISSION, LET'S go the whole hog and have a
programme to phase it out, starting with development assistance. When rich
countries screw us out of a deal, they will say: you shouldn't be
complaining, we give you aid. If we refuse aid, they would have to say: you
shouldn't be complaining, it is my right to screw you out of the deal.
Poverty is not the absence of money, it is the lack of opportunity. I
suspect there are many politicians in this country who go into public
service simply because it is the easiest, if not the only, way to make lots
of money quickly and without too much sweat.
And repression and denial of human rights is often the result of
competition for power and access to state resources by the elite. Zanu-PF in
Zimbabwe has been bludgeoning opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai because
they fear losing access to the resources of corruption: public land,
government contracts and the communal till. Poor governance and corruption
are, in an important way, the consequences of poverty.
THE G-8 WOULD LIKE US TO FOCUS A LOT of attention on treating the
symptoms and not as much on attacking the more difficult and intractable
disease beneath. If business was booming and it was easier to make more
money in the private sector, the greedy would be weeded out of politics
through natural selection, I believe.
The developing countries that are galloping ahead are not the darlings
of the G-8, those poor countries which obey the fanya hii of the World Bank.
They impose tariffs, manipulate the value of their currencies,
discourage imports and are ruled by a strong arm, the kind of behaviour that
would give the International Monetary Fund apoplexy.
Now that we are the issue of the loins of cultural diplomacy, what do
we do? Do we remain the darling of the rich and a stain on their conscience
by sweating the same formula that has failed us for 45 years or do we, like
China, throw the IMF rule book into our appropriate rivers and strike out on
Mutuma Mathiu is the managing editor, Sunday Nation.
The Sunday Times
July 13, 2008
We pass them on the streets and sit by them on the bus, but most of us are
unaware that across Britain today are thousands of people who have fled
Zimbabwe because of the brutal atrocities of Robert Mugabe's regime. Those
Zimbabweans who have come to Britain are among millions who have fled their
country in fear of their life and who dare not return. They are doctors and
teachers, farmers and businessmen.
They are people who want to work, who want to restore some dignity to their
families, who want to return home when Mugabe - as he surely will be - is
finally kicked out of office.
I know of one teacher who has been here for four years, living hand to
mouth, thanks to the charity of church communities. When he applied for
asylum he was turned down because nobody believed things were as bad as he
claimed. Today, while we now see he was telling the truth, he is in limbo,
neither able to return home nor to make a home here. For at least 50 others
it is even worse, they are in detention - one has been incarcerated for two
years. This threatens to make our government's protestations about
conditions in Zimbabwe sound hollow.
Russia and China have now vetoed United Nations sanctions against Zimbabwe,
and the African Union must act to ensure that a new imperialism from such
countries doesn't exploit the situation in Zimbabwe. And while I applaud
Gordon Brown for keeping up the pressure in the international community to
isolate the Mugabe regime and end the abuses of its people, there is a
saying that "he who comes to court must come with clean hands". If Britain
calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe, which I support, it must at the same
time do right by those Zimbabweans who have fled to this country. What kind
of humanity is it that says, grudgingly, you can stay here if it's
impossible to return home, but you must lose your dignity? You may be
skilled, willing and energetic, but you must do nothing. Why should exiled
Zimbabweans be compelled to twiddle their thumbs when they could be
contributing to Britain by being allowed to work?
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' " said Martin Luther King.
"Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question,
'Is it popular?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' " Acting
to restore the dignity of exiled Zimbabweans may not be politic or popular
but it is the right thing to do.
Of course we must distinguish between criminals who have fled here - and
must be deported - and those who have exhausted the asylum system. We should
give those people a year and a day's leave to stay, so that they can escape
this dehumanising limbo, find education and employment, and prepare to
return on the day that Mugabe is gone.
When Ian Smith declared independence for Rhodesia in 1965, I was a student
attending a church conference with Yoweri Museveni, who today is president
of Uganda. We were outraged at what Smith had done and Museveni went to see
the leader of the conference, saying we must protest. He was told that this
is not what Christianity was about, we were there to learn about Jesus and
the Bible. Museveni said if we could not protest, then we were leaving, so
three of us left. I have been working for the freedom of the people of that
country ever since, the breadbasket of Africa which Mugabe has turned into a
It is sickening to watch Zimbabwean judges refusing to hear Morgan
Tsvangirai's case that the elections have been rigged, when they know
perfectly well they were. To see Mugabe taking an oath of office while
holding the Bible is little short of blasphemous. But if this is corrupt
religion, there are many courageous people of faith in that country who have
not come under Mugabe's spell. Some are bishops who will be here soon for
the Lambeth conference of the Anglican communion.
The media will inevitably focus on divisions around human sexuality but most
of our time will be spent discussing global justice for the poorest
countries, the environmental crisis and how people of different faith
traditions relate to each other. These bishops represent thousands of unsung
heroes and heroines in Christian communities around the world who are
working for justice every day, often at great personal risk. They believe,
as I do, that justice will come to Zimbabwe too.
Mugabe was right when he said that only God could remove him. No tyrant
lives for ever. No cruel regime lasts. God puts down the mighty from their
seat and raises up the humble and meek. And he uses ordinary people to do
this. Mugabe will not last. I vividly remember another tyrant, Idi Amin. He
butchered many of my fellow citizens but is long gone and Uganda is on
course to a peaceful future. That will happen for Zimbabwe too.
In the meantime we in Britain must ensure no Zimbabwean is destitute on our
streets, must provide them with dignity until they can return home. Jesus
never called the Samaritan "good", that was just what he became known as
later. But now is the time for Britain to become a good Samaritan to the
people of Zimbabwe. For anyone who is in need is my neighbour.
John Sentamu is the Archbishop of York
The Sunday Times
July 13, 2008
The ex-defence secretary's critics want him to quit as director of Weir
Lord Robertson, the Labour peer, is under pressure to step down as a
director of a Scottish company that has business dealings in Zimbabwe.
The former defence secretary and Nato secretary-general is paid £39,000 a
year as a non-executive director of the Glasgow-based Weir Group.
In March the firm paid £113m for CH Warman Pump Group (CHW), a specialist
manufacturer with bases in Zimbabwe and other African countries.
Robertson's involvement in a company which continues to trade under Robert
Mugabe's despotic regime has put him at odds with Labour policy.
Gordon Brown has urged British companies not to invest in Zimbabwe.
Yesterday the prime minister signalled his intention to press ahead with
tougher sanctions against the country, despite the embarrassing veto of his
plan for a UN arms embargo and travel ban.
Officials were hastily drawing up a "plan B" after Russia and China ambushed
Britain at the UN security council in New York.
No 10 now hopes the European Union and the United States can draw up a joint
agreement that would include a ban on trips abroad for any Zimbabwean linked
to Mugabe's regime and new efforts to freeze the assets of the Zanu-PF
Yesterday, David Miliband, the foreign secretary, could not hide his
disappointment at the collapse of the government's Zimbabwe policy. He,
insisted Britain was right to push the issue to a vote despite the threat of
a Russian and Chinese veto.
"The UN has been saying for long time this is a real problem," he said. "So
we said 'Let's have real action'. It is right that in the end people show
their cards. You have to get people to front up. There was hiding going on."
Weir acquired CHW, which has an annual turnover of £40m and employs 430
people, last March. As part of the buyout , it acquired 100% of the share
capital of Warman (Zimbabwe), which provides sales, distribution and after
sales services for equipment used in platinum mining and has an estimated
annual turnover of £500,000.
Weir's chief executive Mark Selway has said he believes opportunities in
Zimbabwe would be "quite significant" in the medium term.
Ed Davey, the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, said: "With Gordon Brown
making such tough noises on Zimbabwe, it would be grossly hypocritical if a
Labour peer had not ensured that the company on whose board he serves is not
upholding both the spirit and the letter of government policy.
"Companies like Weir need to look closely at whether their investments
assist Mugabe's regime in any way, whether through providing much-needed
foreign exchange or direct revenue to the government.
Angus Robertson, the SNP's foreign affairs spokesman, said: "If George \ is
fully aware and content with this commercial decision it is definitely at
variance with the views of the prime minister and that is not a tenable
situation for him to be in.
"Now is a time for all people of influence to do their utmost to support
democracy in Zimbabwe and not prop up the Zanu-PF regime directly or
However, Lord Robertson defended the company's deal, saying: "Weir inherited
Warman's small office in Bulawayo which has insignificant business of
£500,000 a year and the group has not invested in Zimbabwe since the
acquisition. In no way could this give comfort to Robert Mugabe."
A Weir spokeswoman refused to comment on the ethics of investing in
Zimbabwe, adding: "We wouldn't get involved in politics. We follow our
global customers. A number of them operate in the mining market generally in
Africa and some of them operate in Zimbabwe. We are supplying to a number of
The Times, SA
Published:Jul 13, 2008
Zimbabwe's middle classes have been forced into cheating and doing menial
jobs to scratch out a living, writes Dingilizwe Ntuli
Sabina Mlilo is a widow and a proud teacher of 22 years' standing, but she
has little to show for all that if you consider that she now earns
Z60-billion a month - which crudely translates into the price of 12
Her salary, which sounds ludicrously astronomical, becomes even more absurd
if you consider that her transport to and from school costs her Z40-billion
She walks several hours a day because she can't afford to pay the fares.
With US1 worth Z12-billion, Mlilo earns as little as US4 a month.
She still considers herself among the lucky ones because she doesn't have to
worry about accommodation costs. She owns a house in the Queens Park East
suburb of Bulawayo.
That saves her from paying rent, which landlords charge in foreign
currency - ranging from R150 a month for one room to US250 for a two-bedroom
Mlilo earns much less than she has to spend but, despite this seemingly
bizarre financial anomaly, she hardly ever skips a day's work and still
manages to pay school fees for her two children, who attend government
schools. The schools charge about Z20-billion a term for each child.
Mlilo says she uses her salary only to pay for her children's school fees
because there is nothing else worthwhile that it can buy.
Her children are better off staying at boarding school, where their basics
such as food, bedding, heating and water are taken care of by the school.
Staying home by herself, Mlilo saves a lot on such expenses.
Her real income comes from a poultry project she runs from home and deals
that she does at her school.
"If you are not a dealer, you will never survive in Zimbabwe. There is not a
single person in this country surviving on their salary," Mlilo says.
"We just use our workplaces' resources to conduct our deals and continue to
hold on to our jobs with the hope that things will change soon and we will
regain our dignity."
"Dealing" can range from selling clothes and other items from foreign
countries to dealing in foreign currency sent by family and relatives who
Mlilo raises chickens at her house and sells the birds to buy essentials or
barters them if her customers have no money.
She says most people without cash to buy basic commodities have resorted to
bartering. Trading goods like-for-like is the most common way to keep hold
of the value of something.
As a senior teacher, Mlilo also benefits from arrangements common at schools
where teachers take up to three months unofficial leave, in cahoots with
head teachers, travel to work in South Africa and return home with
groceries, which are shared.
Younger teachers with young families are the ones who mostly take such leave
to work in restaurants, bars and street-corner hair salons in Hillbrow and
downtown Johannesburg, while heads and senior teachers cover up for them and
look after the families.
On their return after their three months of toil, they bring critical basics
such as cooking oil, sugar, soap, flour, rice and other toiletries for their
They sell some of the commodities on the black market and use the money to
buy foreign currency to pay their rent and other bills.
"This is how we make ends meet in Zimbabwe. Otherwise, if we become selfish,
we will all suffer. Someone always knows somebody who has access to certain
commodities and services. We have essentially been turned into a nation of
petty traders," Mlilo says.
Buying groceries outside Zimbabwe is much cheaper but because most people
have no travel documents many find themselves at the mercy of black-market
sharks, primarily cross-border hawkers.
Mlilo's is the story of a typical lower-middle-class citizen in a country
whose economy has imploded by all accounts - although those in power are
still in denial. Working-class people and peasants are even worse off.
Meanwhile, the government is frantically printing new currency - and the
highest denomination at the moment is a Z50-billion note.
If you don't have access to foreign currency, you are doomed.
The staple, maize meal, is hard to find and, when in stock, a 20kg bag costs
Z650-billion (54) in shops and Z1-trillion (83) on the thriving black
market. A week ago it was Z150-billion.
A week ago, the official price of a two-litre bottle of cooking oil was
Z250-billion but this week it was going for Z700-billion (58).
Bread was Z10-billion but is now Z70-billion (5.80).
Beer prices rose sharply from Z8-billion a pint last week to Z100-billion
The currency is so crippled that prices increase over the course of a single
For most urban dwellers, such as Mlilo, life has simply become unbearable.
Things that many South Africans take for granted, such as maize meal, milk,
margarine, bread, sugar, meat, cooking oil and tea, have become luxuries
beyond the reach of growing numbers of people as some of these good s cost
10 times more than their wages.
Mlilo says it is easy for teachers to resort to menial work in South Africa
because they do not need visas to travel and only need to produce their
latest pay slips with their passports at the border.
She says some schools, particularly in rural areas, actually have secret
rosters that show when teachers willing to do menial jobs in South Africa
can travel, as long as they agree to the "terms and conditions" set by
Those who are unable to travel, for whatever reason, are helped out so that
they don't spill the beans.
Although these intricate arrangements are made to the detriment of pupils
and the quality of their education, Mlilo says teachers have no choice but
to resort to such survival tactics because of the country's dire economy.
When they escape the poverty north of the Limpopo to work in menial jobs,
the teachers and other semi-professionals live in subhuman conditions,
sleeping in such places as Johannesburg's Park Station and living mainly on
For reasons ranging from cost saving to avoiding the xenophobia-ravaged
townships where they would otherwise find shelter with friends, this is the
daily routine of these economic refugees.
After eight successive years of economic meltdown, hope has virtually
These are desperate times for most of the country's people.
Because Zimbabwe has become so desperate, many people have turned into petty
criminals, with some devising ways to make money out of others' misery.
People survive by overcharging for the commodities they have access to.
Cross-border hawkers buy basics in bulk from neighbouring South Africa and
Botswana for resale in the knowledge that people will buy them at any price.
Most of the hawkers are actually runners for top businessmen and politicians
who use their influence to get access to basic goods.
With such spurious government initiatives as the "people's shops", they put
managers of companies such as sugar producer Hippo Valley, cooking oil-maker
Olivine and other basic commodity producers under duress, forcing them to
sell basic products to them at the official price. Then they channel the
goods into the black market through their surrogates.
These businessmen and politicians do the same with foreign currency, which
they procure from the central bank at the official rate of Z30000 to a US
dollar and take to the black market to make a killing.
Civil servants in key government departments also take advantage of people's
desperation to extort money and goods for services that should be offered
free or at a nominal fee.
It's almost impossible to get essential documents such as birth
certificates, identity papers and passports if one doesn't pay an insider in
the relevant department to process them.
So serious is the scourge of corruption that some police officers have
resorted to "reheating" cases that had been dropped so that they can extort
money or groceries from people.
Others simply confiscate basic goods from suspected opposition supporters.
At roadblocks, police have gained notoriety for cleaning motorists out of
any groceries they may be carrying, accusing them of trading without a
Searches and seizures by the police have become so common that they occur
even in recreational parks.
The practice has, in effect, turned the Zimbabwean police into pickpockets
as this is where they seize foreign currency.
In the private sector, more and more people are opting for unpaid leave to
search for greener pastures in neighbouring countries and abroad to
supplement their meagre salaries.
Banks are just keeping their doors open in the hope that one day they will
get back to doing real business.
People use banks just to cash their pay cheques.
Loss of business has presented the banks with the temptation to invest in
the stock market, which has inexplicably remained the only investment option
yielding reasonable returns.
Although they are discouraged by law from taking positions on the stock
market, banks are finding ways, including illegal means, to invest in the
stock market to preserve value.
If you walk into a bank with a lump sum, wanting to invest in a
fixed-investment account, bank officials will advise you rather to put that
money into the stock market for better yields.
In a country where even the wealthy are struggling to make ends meet, it is
the unconnected and uneducated people, who lack any hope, who are prone to
be recruited in exchange for petty allowances to be used in such vile
projects as political terror.
Even though there may be the possibility of a political settlement that
could eventually stabilise the economy, more and more people want to leave
Zimbabwe because they have lost faith in its derelict economy.
For now, though, they will just have to stay buckled up for what seems to be
a perpetual bumpy ride.
By MacVivo | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 12, 2008 19:07
Zimbabwe, Harare--Ever since the defeat of Robert Mugabe during the
March 29 election, Grace Mugabe has shed her prior role as a passive First
Lady world famous for shopping, a midget in the shadow of her husband.
Instead, it appears that she has taken up arms and has answered her
husband's call to "mobilize" the people and defeat British imperialism that
is rearing its ugly head, disguised as Morgan Tsvangirai, in the affairs of
In the process, she is positioning herself to take over as leader of
ZANU-PF's Women's League, as the folks over at the Zimbabwe Independent
However, unlike the late, beloved, Sally Mugabe, Grace has decided to
follow the easiest path towards taking over power in the Women's League. She
is using tax payer money to buy herself into power.
Over the past week she has been all over the country, dangling pieces
of silver to the starving masses of Zimbabwe.
On Saturday, she took her campaign to her husband's home area, Zvimba.
There she splurged. She distributed 100 tractors, 1 000 ploughs, 1 000
harrows, 1 000 knapsacks, 1 000 chains, 1 000 scotchcarts, 1 000 cultivators
over 1 000 food hampers, T-shirts and cloths to Zvimba East, Zvimba West,
Zvimba North and Zvimba South constituencies.
The Harare Tribune understands that Grace's spree of giving is
completely funded by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which Gideon Gono,
a close friend of the Mugabes', currently controls. Grace confessed to the
fact: "With the assistance of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, this
distribution of farm implements that I am doing is a continuation of
President Mugabe's farm mechanisation programme election promises. "
Gono, is the same person the MDC has promised to immediately prosecute
once it gets into power, because of his proven criminality record since he
took over the management at the RBZ in 2003.
In the run up to the one man election of June 27, which Mugabe
presumably won by 85%, Grace had joined Robert Mugabe on the campaign trail.
From the dusty business center of Sarahura in dry,arid Mwenezi River
Valley in Mwenezi District, to Shamva, Grace stayed at Robert's side. It was
during that time that she vowed: "Tsvangirai will never step into the state
And, knowing that the people are starving, Grace also dolled out rice,
sugar, washing and bathing soap, cooking oil, flour, sanitary pads and
candles in Zvimba.
Grace's sudden obsession with politics, we understand, stems from the
fact that she can no longer go on her old shopping sprees around the world.
Every time she is out of the country, the media follows her, waiting to
pounce on her the moment she opens her purse full of US dollars ( foreign
currency bought on the black market by Gideon Gono's minnows)..
A couple of weeks ago in Rome, she couldn't even leave the hotel she
was staying in with Mugabe without the media tailing her. The presence of
the media presumably scuttled her plans for shopping.
Now she has turned her attention to politics and by extension, power.
As she is learning from Robert, there is nothing sweeter than power,
especially power gained through the shedding of people's blood, cheating and
money-.-Harare Tribune News.
JOHANNESBURG, July 13 (AFP)
South African firms are resisting the urge to pull out of Zimbabwe despite
an increasingly hostile business climate in the hope they will be in prime
position to benefit from a future upturn.
Once a relatively stable market, Zimbabwe has become a nightmare for foreign
businesses in recent years with the annual inflation rate now well into
eight figures and the government trying to impose prices for goods and
Several Zimbabwe-based South African bosses were hauled before the courts
last year for overcharging while they are also having to absorb the impact
of a new law forcing them to cede a controlling stake to native Zimbabweans.
But analysts say the dozens of companies -- ranging from mining giants and
banks to tourist operators -- which are still clinging on are confident that
things are bound to get better at some stage.
"I believe that the decision by companies to stay in Zimbabwe is more of a
long-term business strategy than a humanitarian gesture. They are simply
positioning themselves for an anticipated economic recovery," said Johan
Rossouw, chief economist at Cape Town-based Vector Securities and
South Africa has long been Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner and, according
to the department of trade and industry in Pretoria, around 20 major
companies and scores of smaller enterprises are still operating there.
Among the biggest still toughing it out is Standard Bank which trades under
the name Stanbic in branches throughout Zimbabwe.
"Doing business is very difficult but we continue monitoring the situation
in Zimbabwe and our business operations," Clive Tasker, chief executive of
Standard Bank Africa, told AFP. "We have no intention of pulling out."
South Africa's largest supermarket operator, 'Pick n Pay,' is also keeping
its foot in the door through its 25 percent stake in Zimbabwe's TM chain
even though it has not received any dividends in the last four years.
"TM continues to trade under exceptionally difficult economic conditions
with procurement being their biggest challenge," said a statement from Pick
n Pay. "We continue to support our colleagues and hope for political and
economic stability in the near future."
As well as the high street giants, South African mining firms are still
clinging on in Zimbabwe despite the ever growing problem of finding parts
and coping with constant power blackouts.
The Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum, the biggest foreign investor in
Zimbabwe through its subsiduary Zimplats, said it was working out how to
circumvent some of the problems it had experienced and was hoping to
increase production fourfold by 2010, according to a recent report in the
"We are in talks with neighbouring Mozambique to import electricity for our
mining operations in Zimbabwe," a statement said.
Meanwhile, tour operators are still arranging holidays for thousands of
foreigners to visit the country's premier attraction, the Victoria Falls.
Tommy Edmund, chief executive of the Johannesburg-based Tourvest, said the
Falls benefitted from its location next to the Zambian border.
"All supplies for the hotel are transported from Zambia, including food and
fuel," he told AFP.
"That makes us least affected by the meltdown. We have always been using the
US dollar currency, so we did not feel the impact of the Zim dollar
While few are making much money in the current climate, Rossouw of Vector
Securities and Derivatives says many businesses are prepared to absorb
short-term losses and avoid leaving the door open for their rivals.
"By pulling out now, companies are likely to find it hard to establish
themselves all over again once the situation stabilises," he said. "They
also fear opening up opportunities for the competition."
Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:34
A draft United Nations (UN) resolution on Zimbabwe, vetoed by Russia
and China on Friday, names and shames President Robert Mugabe and 13 members
of his cabal as responsible for the violence that led to the death of scores
of opposition supporters.
Nine members of the Security Council voted for the resolution which
was blocked by Russia and China which have been supplying arms and doing
business in Zimbabwe. It was the way that Russia wielded its veto power that
While the government was claiming victory yesterday, the MDC said the
mere fact that UN Security Council met to deliberate and vote on such a
resolution showed the gravity of the matter.
"The international community has recognised that the violence in
Zimbabwe is state-sanctioned," said MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa. "Over a
hundred people have been killed, many thousands beaten, tortured and
displaced and millions are now facing economic hardship and starvation."
He said the MDC hoped the AU and the SADC would take a prominent role
in seeking a solution to the crisis.
Chamisa said his party was looking forward to genuine dialogue
brokered by SA President Thabo Mbeki.
But the National Constitutional Assembly chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku
said yesterday the veto was "a blessing in disguise". He said it was
necessary for people to take the struggle to the streets.
"We don't need those sanctions. Sanctions play into the hands of the
Mugabe regime. If they had been imposed, Mugabe would have justification to
cling on claiming he is fighting foreign interference."
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband criticised the resolution's
"It'll appear incomprehensible to the people of Zimbabwe that Russia,
which committed itself at the G8 to take further steps including introducing
financial and other sanctions, should stand in the way of Security Council
"Nor will they understand the Chinese vote," he said.
The US launched a scathing attack on Mbeki after Pretoria's UN envoy
voted against targeted sanctions.
US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said: "We are surprised by what appears
as Mbeki appearing to protect Mugabe while Mugabe uses violent means to
fragment the opposition. I think he (Mbeki) is out of touch with the trends
inside his own country.
"We are concerned, but we are encouraged by the trends that we see
inside South Africa."
China said on Saturday that sanctions against Zimbabwe's government
would "complicate", rather than ease, conflict in the troubled African
country, defending its decision to veto the resolution.
China's decision to block the sanctions may bruise relations with
Western powers weeks before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games. China also
faces international pressure over Sudan, where international prosecutors are
pursuing arrests for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
South Africa welcomed the decision of the United Nations Security
Council not to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, foreign affairs said
Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said SA voted against the draft resolution
on Friday, in accordance with the African Union Summit of head of states and
government decision to "encourage President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of
the MDC to honour their commitment to initiate dialogue with view to promote
peace, stability, democracy and reconciliation of the Zimbabwean people".
He said South Africa was facilitating talks between Zanu PF, the MDC-T
and MDC of Arthur Mutambara, in Pretoria.
"It is our considered view that imposing sanctions would indeed have
impacted negatively on the current process among the Zimbabwean political
parties," he said. "In addition both SADC and AU have not called for
The AU summit in Egypt a fortnight ago had appealed to states and all
parties concern to refrain from any action that could negatively impact on
the climate for dialogue.
The UK ambassador to the UN said the Security Council had failed the
people of Zimbabwe. "The people of Zimbabwe need to be given hope that there
is an end in sight to their suffering," Sir John Sawers said. "The Security
Council has failed to offer them that hope."
The Conservative Party also criticised the veto. Shadow foreign
secretary William Hague said: "The excuse given by Russia and China that the
issue is no threat to world stability, does not hold water when millions of
Zimbabwean refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.
"With the UN paralysed, the need for more serious and properly
enforced EU sanctions is all the greater."
Ed Davey, Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, said: "It's a bad day for
the UN and a disastrous day for the people of Zimbabwe."
He said Britain must now try to exert pressure on Mugabe through the
European Union, the African Union and, in particular, South Africa.
"President Mbeki has been the one who has shown the worst leadership
of all, frankly, even worse than Russia and China," Davey said.
Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association,
said Friday's vote threw the future of the UN into question.
"We simply cannot permit these types of crimes and individuals to move
forward and if the Security Council cannot act we need to be looking at
other mechanisms," he said.
The torpedoed draft resolution which would have resulted in the
imposition of an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and stringent financial and travel
sanctions, has put the spotlight on the role Mugabe and his inner circle
have played in the violence that has gripped the country.
The draft says the 14 were "engaged in or provided support for actions
or policies to undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe,
including having ordered, planned, or participated in acts of politically
motivated violence, or as providing support to individuals or entities".
Mugabe, who tops the draft list, is blamed for "activities that
seriously undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule
He is followed by Constantine Chiwenga, the Commander of the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces, who the draft said "directed repressive state policy and
committed human rights abuses".
The draft said Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Minister of Rural Housing, was
"responsible for activities that seriously undermine democracy, repress
human rights and disrespect the rule of law". He was third on the list with
Reserve Bank Gideon Gono "who is responsible for funding repressive state
policies" coming fourth. Gono has presided over the central bank which has
printed trillions of dollars used in Zanu PF campaign schemes.
The UN draft says Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri "bears
wide responsibility for serious violations of the freedom of peaceful
assembly". Chihuri, the draft says, leads a police force that has been used
to break up peaceful demonstrators, and arrests of opposition figures and
banning of their activities.
Patrick Chinamasa, who is also a Minister of Justice, was listed as
responsible for activities that "seriously undermine democracy, repress
human rights and disrespect the rule of law".
Head of the Air Force, Perence Shiri, is not spared. The draft accused
him of "complicit in forming or directing oppressive state policy".
Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa also features on the doomed
draft. He was said to be responsible for activities that seriously undermine
democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law.
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa was listed as responsible for the
The Permanent Secretary for Information and Publicity George Charamba
who told the West "to go hang" at the recent AU summit in Egypt was
described as "Member of Government complicit in forming or directing
oppressive state policy".
The same charges were levelled against Paradzai Zimondi, head of the
Prisons, the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Happyton
Bonyongwe, Ministers Sydney Tigere Sekeramayi, and Joseph Made who also
doubles up as Mugabe's farm manager..
If the draft had sailed through, Mugabe and his cabal would have been
confined to Zimbabwe as a result of the travel sanctions. Their assets would
also be subject to a freeze wherever they are located outside Zimbabwe.
Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:28
THE ruling Zanu PF party continues with a covert plan, hatched by the
Joint Operations Command (JOC) soon after the March elections, to completely
decimate the MDC structures despite winning the June presidential poll
run-off, the opposition party has said.
The plan allegedly involves the elimination of key MDC members,
destroying the party's structures as well as their businesses to completely
cripple the only opposition party that has shaken President Robert Mugabe's
uninterrupted 28-year-old rule.
But some political analysts said the sustained attack on the MDC was a
plot to force MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has refused to talk to
Mugabe, to the negotiating table.
Others, however, believe that the 84-year-old Mugabe has lost control
of the youth militia and war veterans, who secured his "victory" through a
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the sustained attack on party
activists was an attempt by Mugabe's administration to completely cripple
the party and thereby
remove future internal opposition in the country.
"This is a deliberate plan to decimate our structures," Chamisa said.
"This is shows that Mugabe is not sincere when calling for negotiations."
Zanu PF election spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa could not be reached
for comment as he was said to be in South Africa for the Zanu PF/MDC talks.
But he is on record blaming the MDC for the violence.
Even Mugabe has accused the MDC of causing the on-going violence,
warning Tsvangirai and other party officials that his government would hold
them responsible for the orgy of violence.
"These cases of arson, kidnappings and violence on people coming from
the MDC have shown a definite pattern which we read across the country,"
The MDC said it remained committed to a peaceful, negotiated solution
to the Zimbabwean crisis but a catalogue of acts of bad faith by Zanu PF
continue to poison the environment for negotiations.
The party cited the continued murders, beatings and displacement of
MDC leaders and supporters. It also said there was continued persecution of
MDC MPs and disappearance of party activists.
The party's secretary-general Tendai Biti, a key member in the
negotiations, is facing treason charges, but the MDC says these are trumped
It is estimated that more than half of the MDC councillors in Harare
elected in March are in hiding fearing for their lives. Some of them were
living in "safe houses" in the city after being hounded out of their homes.
The MDC last week said at least 20 of its supporters had been killed
while 5 000 had gone missing since the June 27 presidential election
run-off, in which Mugabe was the sole candidate following Tsvangirai's
withdrawal citing excessive political violence.
According to the MDC at least 109 of its supporters have been murdered
while more than 20 000 have been displaced since the March 29 election in
which Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe but without enough votes to claim the
Statistics indicate that 4 293 MDC supporters have been tortured or
assaulted by suspected Zanu PF loyalists countrywide between March 1 and
June 15 this year.
Only last week, the body of missing MDC driver for Mashonaland West
Joshua Bakacheza was discovered at a farm in Beatrice in a decomposing state
after he was allegedly abducted by State security agents.
Bakacheza was abducted two days before the June 27 elections together
with another MDC activist Tendai Chidziwo while helping murdered party
official Tonderai Ndira's wife to move her property from Mabvuku to a safe
Properties of MDC officials have not been spared.
Last week, suspected Zanu PF militia petrol-bombed a factory belonging
to MDC MP for Kambuzuma Willas Madzimure in Chitungwiza.
Madzimure said the furniture-making factory valued at US$120 000
including a Nissan pick-up truck were destroyed.
A truck belonging to the ruling party, claimed Madzimure, was seen
driving off soon after the factory caught fire.
In June, a grocery shop belonging to MDC House of Assembly candidate
for Gokwe Central, Linnet Ganyani was also petrol-bombed, again by suspected
Zanu PF loyalists, leaving her without a source of livelihood. A US$22 000-
truck belonging to Gutu businessman Beria Musimudziwa was torched at Bhasera
growth point, forcing the MDC activist to go into hiding.
Madzimure said: "This is a vicious attempt by Mugabe to break the
moral and financial fabric of MDC by targeting the drivers of the party in
all the areas, countrywide."
MDC records show that the MPs who have been arrested since the March
29 elections include Tendai Biti, the party's secretary-general and MP-elect
for Harare East, Misheck Shoko, MP-elect for Chitungwiza South who was
arrested in Mberengwa for campaigning for the MDC during the run-off period,
Trevor Saruwaka, MP-elect for Mutasa Central who was arrested on political
violence charges, MP-elect for Mutare West Pishai Muchauraya, and Shuwa
Mudiwa, who was arrested on charges of kidnapping a 13-year-old.
MP-elect for Mkoba Amos Chibaya was arrested on allegations of
inciting the police to revolt against the government during a rally, Heya
Shoko, MP-elect for Bikita West, Ian Kay MP-elect for Marondera Central and
senator-elect for Kariba John Masaba were all arrested on charges of
inciting political violence.
The MDC said those in hiding included Naison Nemadziwa, MP-elect for
Buhera South, who was abducted last week and later found at a police station
and released on $100 billion bail after police charged him with inciting
violence in his constituency, Pearson Mungofa, MP-elect for Highfield East
who is wanted for causing discontent among security officers, Edmore Marima,
MP-elect for Bikita East who is wanted for inciting political violence and
attempted murder, Shepherd Mushonga, MP-elect for Mazowe Central, and
Broadwin Nyaude, MP- elect for Bindura South who are wanted for inciting
Eric Matinenga, MP-elect for Buhera West, was earlier arrested on
charges of political violence, while Elton Mangoma, MP-elect for Makoni
North, and Pineal Denga, MP-elect for Mbare are wanted for allegedly
inciting political violence.
Candidate MPs Godfrey Chimombe from Shamva North and Biggie Haurovi
from Hurungwe East who lost in the parliamentary elections were arrested on
charges of inciting political violence.
The MDC fears that parliament might be sworn in with some of the MPs
still in hiding.
The MDC said in Mashonaland Central 145 of their supporters were in
prison or police custody while Masvingo has 356, Midlands North has 57,
Mashonaland West 114 and 476 in Manicaland.
In Harare the MDC said 31 of its supporters were arrested while
Matabeleland South had 63, Matabeleland North 59, Mashonaland East 184,
Chitungwiza 11, the Midlands South 69 and Bulawayo nine.
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure
said the attack on MDC activists and their properties by suspected Zanu PF
supporters was an attempt to pressure the opposition party to the
"If you look at the violence, it is no longer targeted at the general
public as it was prior to the 27 June election but at key MDC activists. It
an attempt to force them to the negotiating table," Masunungure said.
He said soon after the March election, the violence was directed at
the general public in order to force them to vote for Mugabe. But now the
violence was targeting key MDC officials.
Masunungure said in order to solve the political crisis in Zimbabwe,
there was no alternative to talks.
By Caiphas Chimhete
Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:05
THE trial of the Standard Press, newspaper editor Davison Maruziva and
MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara opened last Thursday, with the defence
asking for the three to be removed from remand.
Charges against the paper, Maruziva and Mutambara arose on 20 April
following publication of the opposition leader's opinion article titled "A
Shameful Betrayal of National Independence" which the State says was false
and also in contempt of court.
The defence on Thursday requested that the accused be removed from
remand until they are served with all State papers, including a statement of
complaint from Justice Tendai Uchena, without which the charge of contempt
of court could not be sustained.
Magistrate Morgan Nemadire however remanded the accused, including
Iden Wetherell representing the newspaper company, to 28 August.
"It is only fair and in the interest of justice that the accused
remain on remand until a way forward is determined," Nemadire said. "The
prosecution has done its best by providing some of the papers today."
State prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare only served the defence with some of
the state papers during the hearing. These included warned and cautioned
statements for each accused and statements from State witnesses comprising
one from the Media and Information Commission (MIC), police, army and
another from the Registrar of the High Court.
But the defence argued that they should also be served with the diary
of investigation. Zvekare refused to release it saying he needed to go
through it first to see if there was any privileged information since the
case involved "state security" and some recorded information could be a
serious breach of the same if released for public consumption.
Mutambara's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said the defence was unable to
make applications for a constitutional challenge in the case because of the
prosecution's delay in releasing of the papers.
"Arthur Mutambara, Davison Maruziva and The Standard Press should not
have authored, edited and published false information which is likely to
undermine public confidence in the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Defence
Forces of Zimbabwe as well as contemptuous to the High Court of Zimbabwe",
Academy Chinhamora of the MIC said in his witness' statement.
A Principal Research, Investigations and Monitoring Officer at the
MIC, Chinhamora said by publishing the article, both Maruziva and the paper
were in agreement with the supplied information and so had a common
The ZRP's Faustino Mazango, also testifying for the State, submitted
that "Mutambara insulted the law enforcing agencies by referring to them as
imbecilic and cynical military junta running the affairs of the country".
The army's Nicholas Dube submitted that Mutambara lied when he wrote
that there was heavy army presence in the major cities intimidating ordinary
Maruziva denies the charges on the basis that the article was purely
Mutambara's opinion which the Standard merely published while Mutambara
denies the same charges on the basis that as a leader of a political party,
he has a constitutional right to express himself on all issues of national
Saturday, 12 July 2008 16:30
THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has embarked on a
restructuring programme to create a lean structure to drive the
organisation, a year after the formation of the investment promotions
ZIA was formed last year following the merger of the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre (ZIC) and Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA).
Newly appointed CEO Richard Mbaiwa told Standardbusiness the
restructuring had been assented to by the ZIA board.
"We will have a new structure for ZIA. We are in the last stage of
implementing it," he said.
He said there will be few casualties as the organisation has not
replaced staffers who left the country's investment promotions body.
"It might have a few people who might be affected," he said.
Mbaiwa, who has been in charge in an acting capacity, took over the
reins last week though his appointment is effective 1 April. He was mandated
to provide leadership in executing the Authority's mission to promote and
facilitate value-added investment in Zimbabwe so as to contribute to
sustainable national economic development and growth".
Like all the other heads of parastatals and quasi-government body
Mbaiwa is on a renewable performance-based contract.
Analysts say Mbaiwa, boasting over 22 years experience in the public,
private and quasi-government sectors, faces a tough hurdle to promote
investments into the country in the wake of a political stalemate after the
27 June one-man presidential election run-off.
In the first half of the year, ZIA approved investments projects worth
over US$335 million. If the projects are undertaken, they will generate 3
565 employment opportunities to the already shrinking job market.
In the comparable period last year, ZIA approved projects worth US$329
billion with a potential to generate 4 249 jobs.
Investors who have put their money into Zimbabwe are quacking over the
implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act that gives
locals a controlling shareholding in foreign-owned companies operating in
Amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act will give government 25%
shareholding free of charge in foreign owned mines.
Saturday, 12 July 2008 15:37
THE British have been celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the
National Health Service (NHS).
Aneurin Bevan, a much-adored socialist, introduced this free health
service for all.
In 1948, socialism seemed the ideal ideology for many countries. The
Second World War had ended three years earlier and most politicians felt
ordinary people deserved a "break" from the horrors of that conflagration
brought about by a man who had gone bonkers.
The present Labour government has reviewed the NHS. In a voluminous
document, it proposes many improvements, still anchored on the free
availability of health services to ordinary, low-income citizens. There has
been criticism of the service for a long time, including the incidence of
being infected in the hospitals.
At independence, Zimbabwe's first government tried to introduce free
education and a "people-centred" health service. But the socialist thrust
was immediately out of kilter with the realities of the post-UDI economy.
Today, both sectors are in dire need of salvation. They are only two
of the big holes which must be filled with something if Zimbabwe is to be
salvaged from the abyss of a horrific collapse of everything we looked
forward to from 18 April 1980.
Whether you are in the country or outside, any thoughts of what we
need to do to end the crisis must hinge on how we got there in the first
place. There are those who insist that our mistake was to place too much
trust in people who had only a marginal interest in other people's welfare.
Yes, when they returned from years of toiling in hellish conditions for the
freedom of the country, they were imbued with the same spirit of
selflessness which had inspired them to launch the struggle. But somewhere
along the way, their focus shifted, tragically.
No longer were they totally committed to the ideals which had guided
them while they fought from Zambia, Angola and Mozambique. A new dimension
of their commitment had been born from what they had seen on arrival in
Harare. This great metropolis may have looked a little tattered on the
edges, but it still ticked.
What fascinated them was how all this could now belong to them - and
not to the people they had conquered. The temptation to replace the former
masters - in every way possible - was almost irresistible. Once installed as
the new lords of the manor, they paid only incidental attention to the
There was a spate of strikes during this period, workers protesting at
their low wages, which they compared with the luxury with which the new
leaders were looking after their own interests. To quell the agitation among
the workers, the government sent in soldiers or the police.
Today, they use the same weapons to quell political agitation. What
are we to make of this coincidence?
There are those - the apologists? - who claim that even at that early
stage a foreign element was detectable as a major factor in sowing the seeds
of discontent. The so-called dissident menace was spawned by the apartheid
regime, they claim. If there had been no material support from the racists
the menace would not have persisted for as long as it did.
Today the government still insists the foreign element is a factor in
our crisis. Last week it was expected to be tabled at the Security Council.
Britain and the United States were pushing for sanctions against President
Robert Mugabe and his fellow travellers. But China and Russia, although no
longer as committed to the Zimbabwean struggle as they were in the mid-70s,
were expected to use their veto power to block any punitive response.
All this must sound sickeningly familiar to any Zimbabwean with even a
cursory understanding of where it all began. It is accepted that no nation
is an island, that we are all part of a Global Village whose rules and
regulations must somehow be adhered to if we are to remain respectable
members of that community.
Yet, even allowing for the old African adage that you cannot stand
idly by while your neighbour's hut is burning, there must come a time when
people decide that they and only they can determine their own destiny,
albeit with minimal outside help. Zimbabweans who took up the electoral
cudgels against Zanu PF on 29 March must have felt they had done just that -
taken a decision to determine their own destiny at the polls. After the
abuse of that entire system by a party with hardly any respect for even the
most elementary requirements of what constitutes fair play, most of them
must have wondered: what else do we need to do?
Most of them know what the answer is. If Mugabe and Zanu PF know the
answer too, then we are set for a titanic battle for the soul of Zimbabwe.
Saturday, 12 July 2008 15:34
IT is difficult to understand what drives a human being to murder
another in order to secure a political advantage.
Long after the 29 March and even the recent 27 June presidential
election run-off, people continue to be brutalised and killed in gruesome
circumstances. Violence -including rapes - continue to be reported.
These things would not be happening if we had peace monitors in place.
The violence that is mostly attributed to Zanu PF is not going to stop until
there are external monitors to deter it.
It is important, therefore, for both the United Nations and the
African Union to agree on sending monitors to Zimbabwe until peace and
stability return. The parties to the negotiations, in part claim they are
entering into negotiations for the sake of peace and for their supporters.
They should, therefore, have no problems with the presence of monitors whose
aim will be to enhance peace.
The delay in convening parliament could be attributed to a desire to
resolve the crisis Zimbabwe is facing and that this is part of the search
for a solution to enable it to move forward.
Negotiations however succeed where parties to a conflict conduct talks
in the spirit of give-and-take. The most successful model of negotiations is
one that results in a win-win situation.
The current dialogue between the two MDC formations and Zanu PF needs
to be conducted in good faith and must be informed by a realisation that
long-term stability and peace is never anchored on a single victor in a
Various factors drive parties to the negotiating table, but key among
these is that the political terrorism of the past three months is incapable
of delivering the Zimbabwe we - not even the architects and perpetrators of
the violence - all envisage.
The government acknowledges this, but more importantly it recognises
that it no longer holds the key to the future and that consequently it
requires other political players to rescue it from its dismal record.
Zanu PF's challenge right now is to make itself relevant to the
present and future rather than continuing to focus on its assumed glorious
past. Last week's draft United Nations sanctions list against 14
individuals - headed by President Robert Mugabe - for their role in the
recent wave of violence signals how fast time is running out for them.
It defies logic that while purporting to pursue negotiations there is
no let-up on crimes of violence which would disgrace primitive savages. Jean
Pierre Bemba, the former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo pushed his luck too far. That has earned him custody at the
International Criminal Court at The Hague.
The MDC argues that the on-going violence is part of a strategy to
"eliminate" its leadership and points to the arrest of its elected senators,
MPs and councillors. Zanu PF and the government are the ones in power and if
they are genuine, they can halt the violence or track down and punish the
perpetrators. If it continues along this path, it needs to remember that
there is no night so long it does not end with dawn.
Zanu PF can't do to the MDC what it did to PF Zapu. Those were not
negotiations, they were modalities of absorption. The MDC commands a
nationwide popular following. That cannot be beaten into submission in the
long-term. Zanu PF should not be deluded by its own propaganda. Nobody is in
any doubt about the true nature of its "victory". If it wants to find a way
out of its isolation it needs to stop the violence - now.
Pahad, Mbeki Complicit In Mugabe Repression
Saturday, 12 July 2008 15:53
I was shocked when one of the television channels showed a headline
saying South African government official, Aziz Pahad had advised the western
governments not to meddle in Zimbabwe's affairs but to, instead, leave
Africans to deal with the issue.
If my memory is correct, we have been in this crisis for about nine
years now with the likes of Pahad, President Thabo Mbeki, the African Union
and SADC saying nothing but instead urging Mugabe and Zanu PF to continue
It's only the western governments which seem to care much about our
predicament. They accepted our brothers and sisters who crossed into their
territories illegally without setting gangs from their youth
movements/militia to terrorise them. Only recently Botswana and Zambia have
begun standing up to President Robert Mugabe's bullying, albeit too late.
I don't know which solution Pahad is talking about. Is it letting all
of us being murdered while they pretend not to hear our pleas for help?
I suspect that the xenophobic attacks against Zimbabweans and other
nationals were a creation of people like him and Mbeki for how come they
took almost a week before denouncing the ruthless attacks?
There's this silly belief among African presidents that the
imperialists are about to take over our country. What for? For their own
information, there's nothing left to envy in Zimbabwe because of their
comrade. It is Zimbabweans who are crying out that the land that was given
to lazy and jealous non-farming but politically connected people be given to
farmers who are capable of putting the land to productive use and thus
revive the country's crumbling economy.
Ever since the new breed of farmers took over, we have known hunger.
We have been reduced to degreed, poor and hungry refugees in neighbouring
countries such as South Africa. It pains us to hear Pahad cheering our
tormentors. I hope when the day of reckoning comes we will judge Pahad and
his SA colleagues as accomplices of Zanu PF. Shame on you! What is it that
we have done wrong so much so that you take no notice while our freedoms are
being trampled on?
First Pahad and his president accused us of being unable to solve our
own problems when we went running to them in our moment of need asking for
help. They told us to come back to our country and deal with our problems on
our own. It pained us to hear Pahad call Morgan Tsvangirai a "cry baby"
whenever he seeks their help. Then when we started solving our problems on
29 March they came up with this silly idea that our problems could only be
solved by a Government of National Unity. Whatever that animal is!
Why don't you commend us for defeating the tyrant in spite of his
Saturday, 12 July 2008 15:52
I recently came across Moton Malianga, the former deputy
minister of finance/economic planning.
I wondered what had happened to him since he was dropped from
government. I had known the Maliangas and was friends with Washington
Malianga during the turbulent 1960s.
I felt a sense of bitterness. These were men - and there are
more women like these men - who fought so hard so that we could be free and
stand proudly among the community of nations and yet with all due respect,
today they are paupers.
What empowerment is Zanu PF promoting when nationalist leaders
such as these men are left to wallow in poverty? Do we blame this on the
leadership in Manicaland - that allows people like Kenneth Vundukayi
Manyonda to be forgotten when he could be playing an important role in
labour matters in this country.
I have often wondered whether we would have "problems" with
labour movement if we had someone of his background in the Ministry of
Labour. We are very good at ignoring the skills we have, yet when these
people go to neighbouring countries we start to whinge about skills exodus.
Christopher Kuruneri was a brilliant chap. He had problems after
coming to the aid of this country, but how was he rewarded? We are very good
at elevating mediocrity while pretending that we do not have talent. Is it
because talented people frighten the hell out of us?
AU, Sadc Must Reject Stage-managed Run-off Poll
Saturday, 12 July 2008 15:49
THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, comprising more than 300
non-governmental organisations championing the human rights and governance
cause in Zimbabwe reiterates that the twin crises of governance and
legitimacy in our country are set to worsen following the presidential
election run-off held on 27 June 2008.
Coalition contends that the current government of President
Robert Mugabe cannot claim legitimacy, due to successive controversial
elections and the entrenchment of coercive politics through the
establishment of a Repressive State Apparatus (RSA), infrastructure of
violence represented by the youth militia, war veterans, security agents and
the enactment of repressive legislation such as POSA and AIPPA among others.
Any government that is established on the blood of ordinary
people who are massacred and tortured because of their political beliefs
lacks legitimacy and the mandate to rule.
Since 1980, thousands of Zimbabweans who shared a different
political opinion to that of the ruling Zanu PF party have been killed.
During the period 1982-5, scores of villagers and political activists in the
Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces were murdered and lost property
during what became known as the Gukurahundi massacres, perpetrated by the
Beyond any doubt, the greatest burden of guilt for these
atrocities lies with the Zimbabwean government forces, in particular the
notorious 5 Brigade, or Gukurahundi Brigade.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition maintains that the national crisis
will not be resolved if Zanu PF continues to subvert the will of the people
as expressed emphatically on 29 March 2008 when the people overwhelmingly
voted for justice, the rule of law, transparency, accountability, jobs and
As part of restoring governmental legitimacy and peoples'
confidence in public national affairs, the Coalition demands SADC, the AU
and the greater part of the international community must reject forthwith
the stage-managed elections; an immediate end to political violence and
intimidation; repeal repressive legislation and unjust laws; advocate for
opening up of political space, including print and broadcast media access;
and that among other things the government addresses the economic and
humanitarian crisis, including unbanning all non-governmental organisations.
How Zanu PF Gypped Voters
Saturday, 05 July 2008 17:05
AT Kuwadzana 5 Primary School in Harare, where I cast my spoilt
vote on the morning of 27 June 2008, there was a new Zanu PF way of voting,
which I witnessed.
The people were told to record the serial numbers of their
ballot paper on their palms. They would then proceed to Holland, a Zanu PF
base in Kuwadzana 6, where they would register their serial numbers as
evidence that they indeed voted for Zanu PF.
It was being speculated that those whose addresses will be
missing from this list at base, the interpretation would be that they didn't
vote or they voted for the wrong person in the one-man presidential election
run-off, and that this would result in their houses being repossessed.
The right mental attitude towards any Divine promise of God will
bring it to pass . . .