The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Dhlamini Zuma New AU Commission Chair

http://www.radiovop.com/

Addis Ababa, July 16, 2012 - Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
was elected on Sunday to become the first female head of the African Union
Commission, ending a bruising leadership battle that had threatened to
divide the organisation.

Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa's home affairs minister and an ex-wife of
President Jacob Zuma, defeated incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon, who had been at
the helm of the Commission, the AU's steering body, since 2008.

Dlamini-Zuma, a 63-year-old who has previously served as Minister of Health
and Foreign affairs, had to undergo three voting rounds before Ping, 69, was
finally eliminated.

A final confidence vote of 37 in favour gave her the 60 % majority she
needed to be elected.

The contest to head the Commission of the 54-member AU had been deadlocked
since last year. It pitted French-speaking states, largely backing Ping,
against mostly English-speaking countries, especially in southern Africa,
which gave their support to Dlamini-Zuma.

The feverish impasse over the candidates had persisted through a summit of
AU heads of state held in Addis Ababa at the weekend. It prompted the AU's
rotating chairperson, Benin President Boni Yayi, to warn that failure by the
continental body to resolve the leadership deadlock would divide it and
undermine its credibility in the world.

Critics say the AU showed itself hesitant and slow-moving in its response to
the conflicts last year in Libya and Ivory Coast, allowing Western
governments to take lead roles. News 24


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Judge orders private doctor to examine sick MDC-T member

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 July 2012

Ailing MDC-T activist Gapara Nyamadzawo should have access to a private
medical practitioner, Harare High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu said on
Monday.

47 year-old Nyamadzawo is one of 29 MDC members standing trial, accused of
murdering a police officer in Glen View last year. Although the trial was
due to continue on Monday it was delayed, as bedridden Nyamadzawo could not
make it to court. The judge postponed the case.

The state has been blocking the MDC-T member from receiving treatment from
outside the prison hospital by constantly opposing requests from the defence
lawyers for him to be independently assessed by private doctors.
Additionally the prison doctor has only been checking Nyamadzawo’s condition
once a week.

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa that Nyamadzawo is in
serious condition, is struggling to talk, has become very weak and is
constantly shivering. He’s currently admitted at the Harare Central Prison
hospital.

‘We do not know what it is but he is in a bad shape. You can barely hear
what he’s saying. When he was arrested he was fine but his health has
deteriorated over the last couple of month,’ Kwaramba said.

He added: ‘I think a private doctor will see him today (Monday) or first
thing on Tuesday and examine him. After that the doctor will write a report
that will be presented to the Judge Bhunu that he will use to determine
whether Nyamadzawo needs to be transported to a better hospital with better
facilities.’

A former prison’s officer said there could be two reasons the State has been
reluctant to have Nyamadzawo examined by private doctors.

Shepherd Yuda explained that they may be struggling to raise enough manpower
to guard him, in the event he’s admitted to a private hospital. The other
reason maybe that he was assaulted in custody and the police may have been
concealing the torture by denying him expert medical attention.

‘On the issue of manpower, the ZPS can request officers from the police or
army to guard any of their prisoners taken ill in a private institution.
That argument will not hold any water, but we don’t know why the State has
been reluctant so we will have to wait and see what the private doctor will
say in his report to the judge,’ Yuda said.


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Residents forced to travel 100km to dispute ZESA bills

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
16 July 2012

Residents in Norton are travelling 100km to the mining town of Kadoma, in a
bid to resolve disputed estimated bills with the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA).

Talking Harare, a newsletter run by Community Radio Harare (CORAH), says:
“Some households in Katanga, Knowe and Govans are receiving monthly ZESA
bills of about US$100. If they approach the local ZESA office they are being
asked to go to Kadoma where the responsible District offices are said to
be.”

This means the residents have to fork out US$10 for transport alone and
worse still some residents are having to make several trips to Kadoma, with
the disputes not being resolved to their satisfaction. Because many do not
want to be disconnected they end up paying the bills anyway.

SW Radio Africa invited ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira to join its Question
Time programme and answer questions from listeners on such issues. But
Gwasira told us he needed clearance from his bosses because it was his
understanding that “its government policy that we don’t speak to pirate
stations.”

As if electricity problems are not enough, the Talking Harare newsletter
reported that: “In Knowe suburb (Norton), residents are also complaining
that each household is being forced to pay US$2 as an education levy to the
Norton Town Council, irrespective of whether or not one has a child
attending council school.”

Meanwhile it was reported last week that Casper Tsvangirai, brother to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was taken to the High Court by ZESA for failing
to pay electricity bills amounting to $16,000. Casper, who runs a mining
business in Kwekwe, allegedly used the electricity at Gothi 4 Mine.

But while ZESA are prosecuting Tsvangirai’s brother they have been very
quiet about what will happen to President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace,
who are by far one of ZESA’s biggest debtors. As at December 31st 2011 the
Mugabe’s owed the state power utility over $345 ,000 in unpaid electricity
bills at their multiple farms.


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ZANU PF buys 550 top of the range vehicles for elections

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 July 2012

The former ruling ZANU PF party has bought 550 top of the range 44
vehicles.

ZANU PF is said to have splashed out $14 million on the cars, whose source
of funding remains a mystery, according to the Daily News on Sunday.

Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the weekly Sunday paper that the
purchase was nothing extraordinary as they were preparing for elections.

Already 150 of the vehicles been purchased from a local car dealer, with the
cost ranging between $35,000 and $40,000 for each vehicle. These have
already been dispatched to provincial executives around the country.

The purchase of the vehicles comes just weeks after a reclusive Chinese
businessman, Sam Pa, was reported to have financed a 2008 covert operation
whose purpose was to prop up Mugabe’s regime.

During the 2008 elections the Hong Kong businessman rolled out millions of
dollars that saw the dreaded CIO buying numerous 44 vehicles, many of which
were used in the infamous abductions of ZANU PF’s political opponents.

An MDC-T MP told us he had no doubt the money used for these latest vehicles
was from the Marange diamonds.

‘Just last year ZANU PF struggled to raise $500,000 for its national
conference held at the Bulawayo Trade Fair grounds. Six months down the line
they’ve managed to find $14 million from nowhere.

‘That money is from the diamonds, and everyone in Zimbabwe knows that and
this is just the start, wait until we get closer to the elections and see
how much of that money from the diamonds will be splashed out to buy votes,’
the MP said.


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Bennett warns MDC-T against ‘autonomous’ decision making

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
16 July 2012

The Treasurer of the MDC-T, Roy Bennett, has warned his party not to get
sucked into a trap of ‘autonomous’ decision making that does not reflect the
needs of the people.

Bennett was reacting to last week’s decision by Zimbabwe’s parliament to
pass the Human Rights Commission Bill with only minor amendments, in what SW
Radio Africa was told was part of a ‘horse trading’ deal with ZANU PF.

This deal is believed to be an attempt to give in to ZANU PF by ensuring no
perpetrators of human rights abuses before February 2009 will be brought to
justice. This is allegedly to ensure that the Bill is passed so that it is
no longer an outstanding issue preventing progress in the unity government.

Another victim in the deal has been the loss of the Diaspora Vote, which has
also been left out of the Electoral Bill that is in the process of being
passed.

The full implementation of the Global Political Agreement is a major step
towards fresh elections in Zimbabwe, but ZANU PF has been resisting the key
reforms that it agreed to when it signed the GPA. A source has told SW Radio
Africa that these important amendments to the Electoral Human Rights Bills
had to be left out, in order to force ZANU PF into agreeing on these
outstanding GPA issues.

SW Radio Africa was also told last week that these decisions were already
made by the principals in the unity government and any debate by MPs would
not have mattered.

Bennett said on Monday that this kind of “autonomous decision making” is a
“trap” that prevents the real needs of the people from being heard.

“The grassroots elected their leaders in parliament and a good leader is
there to voice the needs of his constituents,” Bennett said.

He also added that any decision that allows impunity for the years of human
rights abuses suffered under ZANU PF was a “betrayal” to the same
constituents who elected their leaders to Parliament.

“Being a victim myself, I believe there needs to be accountability and
justice for the country to move forward. In my capacity as an elected
official I would not agree with impunity for human rights abusers,” Bennett
said.


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MDC Offcials Arrested Over Newsletter

http://www.radiovop.com/

Roy Chikara Masvingo, July 16, 2012 - Two officials from the Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC were on Sunday arrested for distributing the party
newsletter, The Real Change Times.

Masvingo Provincial Secretary for Elections, Phillip Manyanye and Gutu
district chairperson, Fabian Mamombe are languishing in filthy police cells
at Mpandwana Police station after they were arrested by a dozen of police
officers at Zororo Country Club in Gutu west constituency.

MDC Provincial information officer, Honest Makanyire, confirmed the incident
“It’s true that two members of the provincial leadership were arrested for
distributing our party news letter, The Real Change Times, by rogue and
overzealous police officers in Gutu. We are very much worried about the
continued Police clamp down on our party members especially the leadership,”
said Makanyire.

“It’s undoubtedly a political move by Zanu (PF) to try and make sure that
our supporters do not get access to information from our party. The news
letter is official and must be distributed freely without any one stopping
others just like how Zanu (PF) news letters are distributed.

"It’s clear that Zanu (PF) want people in the rural areas to access only
public media that churns out their propaganda, but we will make sure that
the people get other sources of news and our news letter will continue to be
distributed,“ he said.

Police Spokesperson, Tinaye Matake, declined to comment over the issue and
referred all the questions to his headquarters in Harare.


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Zimbabwe NGOs Urge Youths to Vote

http://www.voanews.com
Zimbabwean soldiers look on as Zanu PF youths march for President Robert Mugabe at a rally in Bulawayo, June 20, 2008.
HARARE — In Zimbabwe, a coalition of youth organizations has launched a campaign urging young people to participate in the country’s elections. The organizations say the "First Time Voters Campaign" or “X1G” will be a deciding factor in Zimbabwe’s next polls, expected by June 2013.

Youths let’s go

We are in Bulawayo at the National Art Gallery where youths launched the "First time voters campaign" or “X1G.” The song fits the occasion:Youths let’s go (and participate in elections.)

Liberty Bhebhe, the head of the National Youth Development Trust which is one of the eight organizations behind the X1G campaign, says X1G is all about fighting voter apathy. They are targeting at least one million youths to register as voters. He also explains why youths in Zimbabwe do not want to participate in elections.

“But you realize that they find themselves in condition of poverty because they are not participating in these processes," says Bhebhe. They really need to be motivated. Some of them will tell you that the electoral framework is not good for a free and fair election. A little more of the youths vote can actual bring the change that young people wants. It has not counted [in] previous elections.”

A reference to past

That was a reference to the disputed 2008 elections. Movement for Democratic Change party leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential vote, but pulled out of the runoff after supporters of President Robert Mugabe launched a campaign of brutal violence against MDC supporters.

Leslie Ncube, the secretary general of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party Youth Wing, attended the launch of X1G. He says young Zimbabweans must actively participate in politics.

"They should clearly map out their destiny through a vote. We also are ensuring that youths engage in peace[ful] means,"says Ncube. "We abhor all forms of violence and we are saying we are a united Zimbabwe, across from all political divide."

Engaging in politics

Nyasha Sengayi of Zimbabwe Young Women for Peace Building thinks the X1G is the panacea to ensure women and youths get re-engaged in politics.

"Young women have not been participating in electoral process because it has not been safe space in the past decade,"she says. "Considering the violence which has been there. We felt that our participation within the First Voters Generation would be space for safe engagement because we are operating on values of non-violence, tolerance and peace, which are very the things which we think will assure young women the need to participate in the First Voters campaign. "

It remains to be seen if Zimbabwean youths will heed the call to vote. The most recent official figures indicate that less than 50 percent of Zimbabweans under age 35 are registered voters.


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Zimbabwe police investigate murder of white businessman

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Zimbabwean police are investigating the brutal murder of a white businessman
whose bloodied body was found in the boot of his car, five days after he
went missing.

By Aislinn Laing and Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg

7:32PM BST 16 Jul 2012

Allan Banks, 52, was discovered by police in the capital Harare with a
plastic bag wound around his head following a campaign to find him by his
family and friends that saw fliers pinned on trees and email and media
notices sent out.

Mr Banks, a married father with four daughters, is understood to have run a
string of food and wholesale stores around Harare and was a popular figure
in the country's small white community.

He was last seen at his shop in Harare's Rhodesville Shopping Center at 11am
on July 11.

His silver Toyota Corolla was discovered on Saturday parked on a street
corner in the centre of town, in front of the Tivoli Gardens park.

Police Inspector James Sabau said the vicious way in which he was killed was
very rare in Zimbabwe, where the violent crime rates are low.

"We are not used to such cases," he told Zimbabwe's Daily News. "We are
still trying to see what the cause of death was. There was blood all over
the boot and his head was covered in a plastic bag.

"Looking at the body, vehicle and scene it is difficult to tell what
transpired at the moment."

Speaking to the Telegraph yesterday, Mr Banks' wife Monica said the family
was struggling to stay afloat in Zimbabwe's harsh economic climate but she
was sure her husband had no enemies.

"We don't know what business he was doing the day he disappeared," she said.
"We don't want newspapers to know which suburb we live in because we don't
want the guy to come and get us as well."

A family friend denied reports in Harare that Mr Banks had also been trading
in small rough diamonds to raise cash to settle his debts.

"I don't believe he was in any diamond business," he said. "He was in debt
that is true, but at this point in time we don't know how deeply in debt he
was. You know Zimbabwe's economy is stuffed."


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Term limits clip service chiefs’ wings

http://www.theindependent.co.zw

July 13, 2012 in News

Faith Zaba/Tendai Marima

ARMY generals, police and prison chiefs’ wings will be clipped under the new
constitution which if adopted is expected to limit their tenures in office
to a maximum two five-year terms.The new draft constitution, which is now
98% complete, also proposes to limit the terms of office of the president
and permanent secretaries to two tenures of five years each.
Political negotiators and their experts say this would ensure the president,
top civil servants and service chiefs do not overstay and end up feeling
entitled to office as is happening now.
Due to lack of term limits, President Robert Mugabe has been in power for 32
years without a break, while high-ranking army and police commanders, as
well as other state security service chiefs have been there for years.
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has been at the helm since
1991. He is one of the partisan service chiefs who have openly expressed
their allegiance to Mugabe and Zanu PF. Mugabe recently unilaterally renewed
contracts for service chiefs who are seen as key to Zanu PF’s election
strategy.
The new constitution would also effectively force Mugabe to deal with his
complex succession issue after the Copac management committee agreed to a
clause that would require presidential candidates to choose two running
mates in an arrangement similar to that of the United States where each
candidate has a running mate who automatically becomes vice-president.
One of the party negotiators yesterday said they were all in agreement on
the issue of running mates.
If the proposal is adopted, Zimbabweans would elect the president and two
deputies as a team. This means Mugabe would be forced to choose a first
vice-president and a second vice-president in his preferred succession
order, partly indicating his succession preference.

Given the succession dynamics in Zanu PF and Mugabe’s age and health
failures, the forthcoming elections, most probably next year, would be
historic and structurally different from any previous ones.
Asked what this would mean to Zanu PF, senior party officials told the
Zimbabwe Independent that the choice of running mates was likely to have a
bearing on succession in both Zanu PF and the MDC-T where the leaders are
coming under growing pressure from their lieutenants to quit or renew their
hierarchy.
“The proposed clause might help resolve the succession issue. The new
constitution will force Mugabe to indicate his choice for a successor,” a
senior politburo member said.
“Whichever way he chooses, he has to consider the regional balance. People
are waiting to see if he will go by the Zanu PF hierarchy, which puts
Vice-President Mujuru and Vice-President John Nkomo as frontrunners, or he
will choose, like in the American system, whoever he wants.”

MDC-T sources said party leader Morgan Tsvangirai would also be in a
dilemma. According to the party hierarchy, Thokozani Khupe is number two
followed by party chairman Lovemore Moyo, both from the same region.
Secretary-general Tendai Biti is ranked fourth, but is said to harbour
presidential ambitions.


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MDC-T fires Khumalo

http://www.theindependent.co.zw

July 13, 2012 in News

Herbert Moyo

MDC-T deputy spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo has been fired from her post amid
claims by party insiders that she is the victim of her acrimonious
relationship with party deputy president, Thokozani Khupe.

Party insiders said, Public Works minister Joel Gabbuza will take over as
party deputy spokesperson.
Contacted by the Zimbabwe Independent, Khumalo refused to comment on her
removal from the post saying “the MDC-T is not about individuals, but about
achieving developmental goals.”
“I went into politics to achieve things for the people, not to become
famous,” said Khumalo. “There are 46 suburbs in my constituency (Bulawayo
East) stretching from Woodville to Burnside and l did a big job of creating
party structures that were non-existent when the constituency was
delineated. That is how people will judge me.”
In March, Gorden Moyo (MDC-T provincial chairman) and Dorcas Sibanda were
part of the Bulawayo provincial leadership that reportedly wrote to the
party’s Bulawayo East district demanding the immediate sacking of Khumalo
for failing to hold feedback meetings after the MDC-T congress last year,
and failing to conduct district leadership workshops.
Party insiders say there is no love lost between Khupe, deputy prime
minister in Zimbabwe’s unity government, and Khumalo, ever since Khumalo’s
bid for the deputy presidency — won by Khupe — at the party’s national
congress last year.
They also claimed Khupe had roped in Sibanda, Albert Mhlanga and Moyo in her
bid to sideline Khumalo.

Sibanda, the officials said, would then contest the Bulawayo East seat as a
way of punishing Khumalo for challenging Khupe for the vice-presidency at
the party congress held in Bulawayo.
“Khupe and her allies are going to kill many birds with one stone if the
plan succeeds,” said the official.
“She will get a soft landing in the ‘safe’ Bulawayo Central constituency and
leave Makokoba to Matson Hlalo who is popular there. She will appease Hlalo
and also get her revenge on Khumalo for challenging her for the
vice-presidency last year.”
Hlalo lost the provincial chairperson’s post to Moyo in elections
characterised by violence and allegations of vote-rigging.
Khupe had initially sought to contest the rural Nkayi seat, but was warned
she risked losing relevance and her post as party deputy president by moving
away from an urban constituency, especially in Bulawayo.
Relations between Khupe and Khumalo have been strained since the Bulawayo
congress.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti on Tuesday referred all questions to
party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora whose mobile phone went unanswered for
the past three days.


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Zim should not wait for Zuma — Misihairabwi

http://www.theindependent.co.zw

on July 13, 2012 in News

Elias Mambo

ZIMBABWEANS have been warned against expecting South African President Jacob
Zuma and his facilitation team to resolve the country’s simmering political
tensions and Global Political Agreement (GPA) implementation impasse, which
have hamstrung the running of the shaky coalition government.Speaking at a
Quill Club discussion in Harare recently, MDC secretary-general Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Zimbabweans should find solutions to the current
political impasse instead of waiting for Zuma to come to their rescue.
“It is high time we solve our issues as Zimbabweans rather than placing all
our hopes in President Zuma and his team,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga. “Zuma’s
team can make several trips to Harare but if there’s no will from the
political leaders in Zimbabwe, nothing much will change.”
Zuma’s facilitation team has been pushing the three rival political parties
in the coalition government to implement the election roadmap and all
outstanding issues they agreed on in the GPA.
Zuma was tasked by the recent Sadc summit held in Angola to deal decisively
with the Zimbabwe crisis to ensure the agreement is fully implemented and
crucial reforms are undertaken ahead of elections expected in 2013.
Zuma’s international relations advisor and spokesperson of the facilitation
team, Lindiwe Zulu, told the Zimbabwe Independent on Monday that they had no
solution to the Zimbabwean crisis, but can only exhort the three parties to
honour their agreement.
“We have always said progress is slow with regards to the implementation of
reforms in Zimbabwe, but ultimately, the solution will come from the
Zimbabweans themselves,” said Zulu adding that “we are only facilitators”.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku
concurred with Misihairabwi-Mushonga, saying Zimbabwe has to solve its own
crisis without roping in Sadc.
“This is the reason why we as NCA have said the whole Copac process is a
failure because it is going against the GPA,” said Madhuku.
“Article VI of the GPA states that the parties acknowledge that it is the
fundamental right and duty of the Zimbabwean people to make a constitution
by themselves and for themselves; that the parties should be aware that the
process of making this constitution must be owned and driven by the people
and must be inclusive and democratic.
“There is no way Zuma and his facilitation team can be involved in resolving
the constitution of Zimbabwe,” Madhuku said.
Zuma is expected in Zimbabwe only after the negotiators have concluded the
constitution-making process.


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Zim mortgages minerals for arms

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

July 13, 2012 in News

Tendai Marima

MINING activities of the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) have come under
the spotlight as investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent further suggest
the local security establishment is involved in a “resources-for- arms” deal
with Russia. The government was reportedly working on an agreement with
Russia to supply used military helicopters in exchange for platinum claims
along the Great Dyke in Darwendale last month.
However, after the meetings, sources say the Russians are now demanding more
mining claims to make the deal more lucrative. According to a report
in the Russian daily newspaper, Kommersant, US$2,8 billion would be poured
into the investment over 43 years.
“Total capital investment in development from 2012 to 2055 is estimated at
US$2,8 billion and major investment projects amounting from US$1,5 to US$2
billion will see the construction of a factory in the next two to three
years. After that, production of platinum could reach about 600 million
ounces,” the report said.
This could be the biggest mining investment in Zimbabwe, dwarfing South
African mining giant Implats’ US$225 million acquisition of ZimPlats as well
as Anglo Platinum’s US$300 million investment in Unki Mine.
The Russians are currently involved in gold mining in Penhalonga and diamond
mining at Charleswood Estate, a farm expropriated by government from MDC-T
treasurer-general Roy Bennett with a former PF Zapu company the Development
Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) in Manicaland province through a partnership known
as DTZ-OZGEO.
Since President Robert Mugabe’s fallout with the West and adoption of the
government’s “Look East Policy”, the emerging BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa) countries have shown considerable interest in
Zimbabwe. The scramble for Zimbabwe’s resources has seen the Chinese,
Indians, Russians and South Africans brokering multi-million dollar deals in
various sectors of the economy ranging from mining, agriculture and energy
to manufacturing.
At the centre of the current proposed “resources-for-arms” venture with the
Russians are RussZim Mining and RussChrome Mining, both partnerships between
Russia’s state-owned Centre for Business Co-operation with Foreign Countries
and two companies linked to ZDI.
Documents seen by the Independent show RussZim Mining is a 60/40 mining
partnership between Russia’s state-owned Centre For Business and Pen East
Mining, whose board chairman is Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube.

Dube, who is the chairman of Marange Resources and ZDI general manager, is
an executive official at RussChrome.
A letter dated December 6 2005 by Caroline Elizabeth Sandura, a director of
Pen East and former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation board member,
authorises Dube to sign company documents for RussChrome and RussZim.
Sandura’s brief correspondence reads: “The board of directors of Pen East
Mining Company does hereby nominate, appoint and authorise Col Rtd Tshinga
Dube to append his signature to Memorandum and Articles of Association of
RussChrome and RussZim Pvt Ltd in his capacity as director of Pen East
Mining (Pvt) Ltd.”
According to RussZim’s records, the company was incorporated on March 2 2006
with one million ordinary shares worth US$10 000 divided between Centre for
Business and Pen East Mining.
The directors of RussZim are listed as Michael Louzidis, a Zimbabwean
national, and Russian national Anatoly Dvorikov while the company secretary
is Charles Tarumbwa. Tarumbwa is also a director of diamond mining firm
Anjin Investments jointly owned by China’s Anhui Foreign Economic
Construction (Group) and Matt Bronze, which is owned by the military through
Tarumbwa and Glass Finish (Pvt) Ltd, as recently revealed by the
Independent. RussZim’s address is listed in the company’s records as 10th
Floor Tourism House, 55 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare — the same address as
ZDI. Investigations show that RussZim is not even operating on the 10th
floor where it is supposed to be based as claimed in its company records. In
fact, the whole floor is occupied by ZDI.
ZDI was created in 1984 as an arms supplier to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
According to African Union security sector reform expert Norman Mlambo, ZDI
was registered under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) because
Zimbabwe’s laws prevent the Ministry of Defence from having commercial
interests.
“The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had no legislative authority to register a
commercial company and in October 1985, the MoD therefore approached the IDC
to register the ZDI as a private commercial company and as a subsidiary of
the IDC,” Mlambo wrote in a working paper published in Sacdi Defence Digest.
“The IDC was reluctant to become the nominal owner of a company in which
they did not hold a single share, but with pressure from government, the IDC
agreed to register the company.”
On its website, the IDC describes itself as a “self-financing, national
development finance institution.” It was established in 1963 and is wholly
owned by the government.
Listed among IDC’s subsidiary companies are Olivine Industries, Willowvale
Mazda Motor Industries and ZimGlass, but there is no mention of ZDI whose
board of directors includes ZDF commander General Constantine Chiwenga, air
force commander Air Marshal Perence Shiri, army commander Lieutenant-General
Philip Sibanda and RT Madamombe.
These military chiefs and Tarumbwa are named in the latest Global Witness
report, Financing a Parallel Government?, which says Zimbabwe’ security
forces are involved in diamond mining activities and might be benefiting
from attendant shady deals.
The report also alleges the Central Intelligence Organisation has received
US$100 million in off-budget funding from spooky Chinese businessman Sam Pa.
Finance minister Tendai Biti has repeatedly questioned the army’s shadowy
interests in mining and warned the militarisation of Zimbabwe’s resources
could be funding a parallel government.
ZDI’s network of subsidiaries also extends to agriculture and textiles. It’s
involvement in mining through front companies also raises questions of
transparency and accountability.
Global Witness and other rights groups have expressed serious concerns at
the political implications of Zimbabwe’s state security institutions
receiving private funding from shady business interests.
Although the Darwendale platinum venture is currently being negotiated by
the government, the Zimbabwean representatives are RussZim and RussChrome,
both ZDI linked companies, which suggests the army rather than the civilian
government would mostly benefit from the deal like what is happening at
Anjin.


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GNU in turmoil

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

on July 16, 2012 in News

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE full Supreme Court bench yesterday threw the coalition government into
political turmoil after it ordered President Robert Mugabe to call for a
string of by-elections before the end of next month in a shock ruling which
could change the current composition of parliament and collapse the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).The court’s judgement could lead the country into
a mini-general election or leave the main political parties engaged in
renewed combat and negotiations over the timing of full general elections.
It could also have far-reaching implications, not just for the GPA and
inclusive government, but also Sadc facilitation and resolutions.
Internally, it could change the balance of forces in politics as it might
drastically change the composition of parliament and the fortunes of the
three GPA parties. The ruling might also affect Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s positions, powers and authority.
The Supreme Court judgement follows an appeal by Mugabe contesting a 2011
High Court order calling on him to proclaim by-election dates pleading the
state had no money to conduct polls for the 29 outstanding parliamentary
vacancies.
High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou ruled in favour of former MDC MPs
Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu after they had sought an
order compelling Mugabe to call for by-elections following their expulsion
from parliament. However, Mugabe had appealed Ndou’s ruling.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday read the court’s unanimous
decision to throw out Mugabe’s appeal.
“The respondent (the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe) is hereby
ordered 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 2012,” Chidyausiku said.
Although Mugabe lost the appeal, the court ruling fits into his political
designs supported by a cabal of his diehards in Zanu PF, the Joint
Operations Command (JOC) and in the politburo, including Jonathan Moyo who
have been calling for general elections before the end of the year with or
without full implementation of agreed reforms stipulated under the GPA.
Moyo, who sits at the centre of Zanu PF strategic thinking and planning,
spearheaded calls for elections with or without reforms since the beginning
of this year. He also demanded by-elections.
“Anyhow, if these long overdue by-elections were to be held today, as they
really must, the result could be equivalent to a mini-general election,”
wrote Moyo.
“That could see one of the GPA parties in parliament emerging with a
majority of at least 106 seats out of 210 with the consequence of sinking
the GPA and its so-called unity government, not to mention kissing Copac
goodbye.”
The Supreme Court’s decision throws Mugabe a lifeline to push his agenda for
elections this year after he was recently stopped in his tracks by Sadc at
their extraordinary summit in Luanda, Angola. Sadc leaders want elections
next year.
In terms of the constitution, elections are due by June next year although
they could be held by the end of October.

In terms of the constitution, elections are due by June next year although
they could be held by the end-October.

Mugabe’s lawyer Advocate Ray Goba, who was instructed by the Attorney
General Civil Division, accepted the court’s decision and said he expects
his client to comply with the order. “That is the court’s decision,” said
Goba. “The highest court has ruled and so we expect that the order would be
complied with.”
A senior Zanu PF official said the ruling would force Mugabe to “uphold the
rule of law” and call for a “mini-general election” or full general
elections.
“The rule of law has to take precedence. What this means is that the
president has to call for a mini-general election or full general elections
this year,” the official said. “Given that there are no resources to fund
separate by-elections, referendum and general elections, it would be better
for the president to just call for general elections, also to avoid keeping
the country in a perpetual election mode.”
The official said the by-elections were critical as they could lead to a
“collapse of the GPA and this dysfunctional government”, as well as change
the composition of parliament and prospects of the main parties in the next
elections.
The coalition government did not call for any by-elections since its
formation after the three parties had inserted a moratorium in the GPA
preventing them from contesting against each other for the first 12 months
of the inclusive government’s lifespan. The moratorium was further extended
by another year and expired in September 2010.
The holding of the by-elections and subsequent results can alter the
political fortunes of all the three coalition partners and set up of
government.
Zimbabwe may still remain with a hung parliament if the MDC led by Welshman
Ncube wins back seats from defectors, while Zanu PF and MDC-T fail to
increase their numbers signifcantly.
The by-elections could also spell a death knell for Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara if he fails to play a role in them, while keeping the GPA
intact to secure his position. If Zanu PF wins a majority it could also dump
the other parties in government.
“If Zanu PF gets the magic 106 seats, it will control both parliament and
the presidency and may dump the MDC formations to govern alone,” said a
party official. “Alternatively, if the MDC-T gains the majority, Mugabe
would become a lame duck president or be forced to rule by decree.”
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said: “The (Supreme
Court) order has not provided the financial resources for the by-elections.
The party is still to meet and deliberate on our position after this
development.”

This ruling dovetails with political developments within the government.
Last week, the cabinet agreed on the outstanding Electoral Act Amendment and
Zimbabwe Human Rights Bills which had been on the shelves for the last two
years.
On Tuesday Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa steered the two bills through
the crucial committee stage in one sitting with minor amendments in
parliament.
A fortnight ago Finance minister Tendai Biti told the state-run Sunday Mail
Treasury set aside US$100 million set aside for elections from the SDRs
advanced by International Monetary Fund.
Reacting to the ruling, Biti last night said there is no money to fund
by-elections. “The fiscal capacity is non-existent. We are going to
drastically cut the budget which I would be presenting in my mid-term policy
next week,” he said.
MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga: “It makes absolutely
no sense to have the by-elections now when soon after reforms we should be
holding general elections. However, the relevant authorities have to make a
decision on how they are going to deal with the Supreme Court decision.”
The Supreme Court order is the second significant judgment under the
coalition government after it ordered a re-run of the Speaker of parliament
election earlier last year. This was after Jonathan Moyo had cited
irregularities in the election of Speaker Lovemore Moyo. The order gave Zanu
PF a second chance to try and win parliament’s top post, although it was
defeated again.
Through a concentration of violence and intimidation, Zanu PF has managed to
bulldoze it way in by-elections since 2000. It reversed MDC’s 2000 victories
by reclaiming Bikita in 2001, Insiza 2002 and Zengeza in 2003. The party now
wants to use these by-elections regain control of parliament after id defeat
in March 2008.


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Harare releasing sewage into water sources

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

15/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

HARARE City Council is releasing raw sewerage into rivers that feed the
capital’s water sources, a report recently presented to Parliament has
claimed.

The report also painted a picture of lawlessness in the capital and
Chitungwiza where structures were being built on wetlands, marshlands, and
water-ways as well as below electricity pylons.

“Sewage pump stations in Chisipite, Avonlea, Borrowdale Brooke and Budiriro
are currently not working and are located adjacent to rivers. The raw sewage
is discharged into river channels instead of being transmitted to treatment
plants,” reads part of the Natural Resources and Environment on Waste
Disposal and Management in Harare and Chitungwiza.

The report said Harare was struggling to provide water to its residents as
its infrastructure was designed for 250,000 people only instead of over the
current estimates of 2.5 million which is ten times its carrying capacity. A
new design with a carrying capacity of 4 million was said to be in the
pipeline.

In addition, satellite towns such as Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton were not
contributing to Harare’s water treatment costs but the capital cannot
disconnect them because this could trigger outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.

The report further claimed that a Chinese firm mining diamonds in Marange,
Anjin, was building a the Anjin Multi-purpose Centre that includes a hotel
on wetlands in Harare, despite submissions by the Environmental Management
Authority that environmental laws were not being observed in that project.

MPs also expressed concern over Chitungwiza saying: “Chitungwiza residents
built their houses on improperly planned places like on water ways and marsh
lands.

“All of these uncontrolled housing developments that closed all open spaces
meant for schools, marshy lands and for aeration of the community space were
unfortunately authorized by the municipality.
“A report on houses built on improperly planned places was prepared and the
conditions to implement the recommendations are now in place. Rectification
would be done where houses are built along roads, over sewage pipes or
directly below electricity pylons.”


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Zimbabwe gold output up 29%

http://www.iol.co.za

July 16 2012 at 01:25pm
By Reuters

Zimbabwe's gold production rose 29 percent to 7.2 tonnes in the first six
months of this year, generating $377 million in revenue, data from the
mining chamber showed on Monday.

The southern African nation's gold mining sector is recovering from an
economic crisis that peaked in 2008 when hyperinflation reached 500 billion
percent and forced most mines to shut.

Total gold production for 2011 was 13 tonnes. Output remains well below the
27 tonnes reached in 1999 before the decade-long economic slide.

Canada-listed New Dawn Mining and Caledonia Mining, as well as the
London-listed Mwana Africa and South Africa's Metallon Gold are among the
gold producers in the country. - Reuters


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Diamond prices threaten growth targets

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Monday, 16 July 2012 12:22

HARARE - A huge dip in rough diamond prices on the global market pose a
threat to Zimbabwe’s economic performance as well as its diamond industry.

Marange Resources chairperson retired Colonel Tshinga Dube said.

This comes after the leading global diamond trade network, Rapaport Group
(Rapaport), reported certified polished diamond prices per carat fell by
13,7 percent year on year in June as Far East and Indian demand stalled,
coupled with tight liquidity on the market.

Rapaport said the second half of 2012 is expected to remain challenging for
the diamond industry as Far East demand is projected to remain conservative
in the near-term while India’s industry crisis may be more prolonged.

Dube told businessdaily Treasury had based its national budget on higher
diamond revenue while diamond miners had based their projections on higher
prices which have not materialised.

Zimbabwe’s $4 billion 2012 cash budget was backed by an anticipated $600
million diamond revenue.

“What it means is the national budget would have to be revised to take into
account the realities on the ground. Similarly, diamond miners are doing the
same,” he said.

Dube added that miners’ profitability will have to go down drastically as a
result of the market constraints.

“Unfortunately, you cannot aggressively reduce your overheads overnight
because some of them are fixed costs” he said, adding “we are however,
hopeful that it will not result in serious cash flow dislocations.”

Apart from challenges on the demand side of things, Zimbabwe’s Marange
diamonds are under trade bans from the world’s key diamond markets.

Rapaport stresses that the Marange stones are illegal to trade in the United
States and the European Union. RapNet’s resolution comes after advocacy
group Global Witness Foundation joined other players to mount international
resistance against Zimbabwe’s diamond trade.

GWF pulled out of international diamond certification body the Kimberly
Process (KP) in protest to the licensing of Marange diamonds, saying KP had
given Zimbabwe a chance to push its blood diamonds and finance tyranny.

Global reports have also suggested Zimbabwe’s diamonds are of inferior
quality hence they fetch low prices on the market.

De Beers this year publicly announced it had pulled out of Zimbabwe’s
diamond industry upon discovering the diamond deposits in Marange did not
meet its expectations.

Stephen Lussier, De Beers’ Forevermark chief executive, said the Marange
stones are generally too small and low in quality for the brand to sell.

To this, Dube said, “While I may not be involved in the day to day running
of the business, I know for a fact that it is not correct to say our
diamonds are inferior.”

“Our diamonds are well treasured as evidenced by the huge numbers of people
from all corners of the world who descend on our country wanting to buy
them.”

International industry experts say Zimbabwe could hold the future of the
global diamond industry and could easily account for 25 percent of the world’s
supply by value and 30 percent by volume by 2015.


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Harare Mayor Masunda Behind the Headlines

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma speaks to the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda, on a variety of subjects including the proposals to name streets in Harare after the late army general Solomon Mujuru and other prominent persons.

Mayor of Harare Muchadeyi Masunda

Mayor of Harare Muchadeyi Masunda

The Mayor also gives us an update on the water situation and talks about reports that council is not happy with the rentals being paid by preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa for the City Sports Centre.

Interview broadcast 02 July 2012

Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me Behind the Headlines. My guest tonight is the Mayor of Harare, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda. Thank you for joining us. Okay, Harare City Council in the news; we are told Council is mooting a Solomon Mujuru street. How did this come about?

Muchadeyi Masunda: Well what I can tell you is that from time to time, the democratically elected councilors who represent 46 wards within Harare, they come up with recommendations as to which Zimbabwean deserves to be honoured on account of having rendered meritorious service to Zimbabwe and in particular, the city of Harare.

So last year for instance, through the recommendations which were made by some councilors through the relevant standing committees, we resolved as Council to honour eminent sons of Zimbabwe, like Dr Enoch Dumbutshena who was the first Zimbabwean, in other words indigenous indigenous, judge of the High Court and he went on to become the first indigenous indigenous Chief Justice of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

And the second eminent Zimbabwean that we honoured was Professor Walter Joseph Kamba who as we all know was one of the chief legal advisers to up to the end and during the protracted negotiations that culminated in the independence of this country, notably the 1976 talks in Geneva.

So we resolved, and he later on became the first indigenous indigenous Zimbabwean to become the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the hallowed University of Zimbabwe.

So in the case of Enoch Dumbutshena the general consensus is that Rotten Row which is near to the Magistrates Courts in Rotten Row is the street that should be named after him, and in the case of Professor Walter Joseph Kamba the general consensus is that Mount Pleasant Drive which is at the back of the University of Zimbabwe, in particular the Faculty of Law is the one that should be named after him…

Guma: There hasn’t been any discussion on the Solomon Mujuru Street?

Masunda: Not yet but I’ve been given a hint by some of the councilors that it will be tabled in due course, but the other eminent person that we honoured is Dr Martin Luther King, the renowned human rights activist in the United States of America.

And coming back to the late General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru, I think it will have to go through the normal channels, in other words the relevant standing committee which I’m sure will recommend without much debate in a full council meeting that an appropriate street or avenue in Harare should be named after him on account of the immense contribution that he made towards the liberation of our country.

Guma: Does the Council have the power to make and pass this decision and have it implemented or are there other organizations or institutions that you have to consult with?

Masunda: The Council as the designated local authority within Greater Harare has the prerogative to make the recommendation and the nomination but once we’ve done that, because we don’t operate in a vacuum, we have to transmit our recommendations to the National Museums and Monuments committee which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Office of the President and Cabinet.

And if they agree once we’ve made that recommendation which is usually endorsed and so we are just awaiting for that endorsement in respect of Dr Enoch Dumbutshena, Professor Walter Joseph Kamba and Dr Martin Luther King and as and when we pass the resolution in respect of the late General Mujuru, the same process will have to be followed.

Guma: Council has also been in the news over the issue of the rental of the City Sports Centre by popular preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa. It is being reported that you are demanding more money from the church. Could you comment on that?

Masunda: What has to be appreciated by the hard-pressed rate payers of the City of Harare is that we have an obligation to make all those assets that come under the control, the management…….that’s one of the main sources of revenue that we have because we need the revenue to provide the much vaunted service delivery.

And what we must never do because that would be the height of negligence is to let people use Council facilities at sub-economic rental.

So I’m not about to pre-empt the decision which will obviously be made in the not too distant future by a committee comprising representatives from the United Family International Church which is led by the prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and representatives from the City of Harare to have a good look, dispassionate look at how much by way of rentals the organization we are talking about is paying for the use virtually every Sunday of the City Sports Centre and how much they should be paying. Now the whole exercise will be professionally done…

Guma: How much are they paying right now?

Masunda: I can’t tell you the figure offhand because I don’t get involved in the nitty gritty of all those things…….matter of principle but what I can tell you is that the amount being paid is not anywhere near where it should be.

And we have situations where there are people in excess of ten thousand, and I’m told in certain instances of twenty thousand who throng into that facility; they use our water there, they use, oh you name it we provide it. I think it’s only fair that they should be paying market related hire charges.

Guma: Now there are accusations obviously that they have been using this facility for quite some time without Council making these sorts of demands and that maybe you are feeding into the general hype that this church has a lot of money. There has been a lot of reporting on the prophet’s cars and things like that – how would you respond to such accusations?

Masunda: No my response to that is simply this – from time to time we have to review the leases and the rentals that we charge in respect of any facility, City Sports Centre included and the same applies to the hiring of our halls like Mai Musodzi Hall, Stoddart Hall, the list goes on.

From time to time we have to review the position because we are in Harare Zimbabwe in 2012 operating in a dollarized environment and we are not in the business of providing services for that cheap.

Guma: Last week the city of Masvingo went three days without water; we are told the problem was a burst water pipe and that the city’s ever expanding population has given rise to a need to expand the infrastructure.

Could you give us an update on the situation in Harare? The last time we spoke, you were working on a few projects aimed at solving some of the issues – how far have you gone?

Masunda: I can happily report that there are two initiatives that have been undertaken; one was the commissioning of what we call an ODIF at Morton Jaffrey. That has happened and that will yield an additional 80 to 100 mega litres of water, treated water that was being lost before.

And on top of that we are rehabilitating the sewerage reticulation infrastructure at Firle and Crowborough, we are about half way there because the installed designed capacity of Firle sewage treatment plant is around 124 mega litres of raw sewer per day and that at Crowborough is around 64.

So we first all need to lay our hands on this loan that we managed to get from the Chinese export and import bank to complete that before the end of this year and once we’ve done that not only are we going to install the design capacity of 300 mega litres of raw sewer per day but we’ll also be able to reclaim anything between 40 and 60 mega litres of water from those two sewerage treatment plants and put that water back in the city.

Guma: Well Zimbabwe, that’s the Mayor of Harare, Mr Muchadeyi Masunda joining us on this edition of Behind the Headlines. Mr Masunda we’d like to thank you very much for your time.

Feedback can be sent to lance@swradioafrica.com http://twitter.com/lanceguma or http://www.facebook.com/lance.guma


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Mujuru family lawyer Kewada Behind the Headlines

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Following last year’s suspicious death of retired army general Solomon Mujuru, his family demanded that his body be exhumed and a fresh autopsy be conducted.

Mujuru family lawyer Thakor Kewada

Mujuru family lawyer Thakor Kewada

SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma spoke to the Mujuru family lawyer Thakor Kewada and found out why they believe exhuming his body will help solve the mystery.

The lawyer also highlights the inconsistencies in the testimony of witnesses at the inquest which have led the family to believe Mujuru was killed before the fire.

Below is the transcript of the interview

Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me on this special edition of Behind the Headlines. My guest tonight is the lawyer that is representing the Mujuru family, that’s Thakor Kewada.

I’m happy to report that Mr Kewada joins us to talk about the inquest on the death of General Solomon Mujuru. Mr Kewada thank you so much for your time.

Thakor Kewada: My pleasure.

Guma: Okay, first things first – the question on most Zimbabwean lips – why does the Mujuru family believe exhuming his body will help solve the mystery surrounding his death?

Kewada: Well the situation is that my clients and their relatives and a number of the general public don’t believe that the pathologist who carried out the first autopsy did a thorough job.

During the inquest I cross-examined the pathologist for nearly two and a half hours; there are general rules acceptable throughout the world when you are carrying out an inquest or carrying out an autopsy, that you in fact, first of all, you x-ray the body and thereafter you would then take the organs and dissect each organ separately and examine each organ thoroughly.

The report which was filed by Dr Alvero the Cuban pathologist did not give us much confidence in the way the report was written and what he had actually done and what he had said he had done. There were a number of discrepancies which I raised and put to him and he admitted that these were mistakes.

He also said that he did not have sufficient equipment and that he had to send for equipment from Parirenyatwa Hospital to be brought to One Commando Barracks where the autopsy was taking place.

When I questioned him as to what equipment he eventually received from Parirenyatwa Hospital, he said three blades, one pair of pliers and a saw. Now to my mind that really does not give much confidence as to what really was taking place and how the examination of that body proceeded.

He did not dissect any of the organs; they were there, he claimed that all the organs had been burnt.

I showed him photographs that were taken while he was examining the body and was carrying out his autopsy and said – look at the area from the throat to the groin, the photographs, which are colour photographs, clearly show that there are organs there and he was actually touching these organs and we could see this from the photographs.

So with all due respect to him, he said he examined them by just looking at them and feeling them etcetera. My understanding and this has been confirmed by investigations that I’ve carried out, research that I’ve carried out and furthermore and more importantly, we called a pathologist from South Africa.

We had hoped that the magistrate would have permitted this pathologist to give evidence but the magistrate said he wanted to hear the Cuban pathologist who he had called as a witness before he took his decision as to whether we could call the South African pathologist Dr Perumal.

Guma: Now you say that Dr Alvero, who does not speak English, destroyed the original autopsy report which he wrote in Spanish. A lot of people are asking the question – why did he do so?

Kewada: Well I in fact asked him for his report which was written in Spanish, yes it is true he does not speak English and therefore we had to have a Spanish interpreter. Initially he said yes he had his report which he had written in Spanish; subsequently he changed his mind and said oh no I tore that up.

Now that does not give us much confidence in that what he said in the post mortem report which was in some respects shallow, why would he tear up the report which he understands and he can read and for him to destroy that – when did he destroy it? We don’t know.

But the situation here is, to my mind it looks suspect or there may have been some ulterior motive as to why that report, written in Spanish, was destroyed.

Guma: You made a lot about Dr Alvero not being registered in Zimbabwe; legally how much weight does that carry in terms of the validity of his testimony if he is not registered?

Kewada: Well if one was to look at the Inquest Act, the Inquest Act talks about a registered medical practitioner. Now when I read Dr Alvero’s post mortem report which is an affidavit actually made under oath, I for some reason decided that I wanted to check if this man was a registered pathologist so I phoned the Medical and Dental Council, they did not have his name on their records and as a result of that it means he was not registered.

At the hearing I asked if he was registered with the Medical and Dental Council in Zimbabwe and he said no he was in Zimbabwe as a result of a Government-to-Government assistance aid programme and subsequently, or at the beginning the prosecutor indicated that the name that is given on the post mortem report which said Dr Alvero whatever it was, that his full names was something different but it included this Dr Alvero etcetera and it added another name, I presume as a surname called Rodrigues.

Now my understanding and my enquiries of the Medical Council was that he was not registered, whether he was subsequently registered, certainly at the date that he examined the body and gave his report, his post mortem report in the form of an affidavit, technically speaking, it’s invalid because the Act itself says it’s got to be a registered medical practitioner and Dr Alvero himself admitted that he was not registered.

Guma: What sort of inconsistencies in the testimonies given during the inquest? What sort of inconsistencies convinced the family that foul play took place on the night Mujuru died? If you could just summarise some of the inconsistencies that you’ve picked up as the family lawyer.

Kewada: Is this the inconsistencies in the post mortem report or inconsistencies generally speaking?

Guma: Generally speaking in the whole inquest.

Kewada: Okay, well let’s start off at the very beginning: when the general arrived there at his farm in the evening, he went and he collected, he had indicated that he had left his house keys in Harare so he went to the compound where his housemaid lives.

He asked the housemaid for the keys to the kitchen door, the back door and yet the housemaid had said at the very beginning that she had cleaned the house that morning, she had locked the bedroom area completely and taken the keys. She had locked all the other doors, although some of the other outer doors, she left the keys in the keyholes.

Now when the general went to collect the key to the kitchen door from the housemaid, he said she wanted to give him the whole bunch and he said no I only need the kitchen door key but if he left his entire set of keys in Harare, then the kitchen door is only going to let him into the kitchen and nowhere else.

The maid, when I asked her why didn’t you tell the general that you’ve locked the bedrooms completely and you’ve got the keys so he’ll need these keys because the conversation prior to that was oh if I don’t get into there, I won’t be able to sleep and I’ll have to go and sleep in my motor car and she said no you mustn’t do that because you’ve got a pain in your back, in your neck and your back.

So therefore I enquire why did she not specifically say to him no you have to have these keys to enter the bedroom? So that is an inconsistency in a way.

The second thing was she said she heard gunshots and some of the other witnesses said oh no it was the police witnesses said there were really asbestos being blasting as a result of the fire. Or that it could be that one of the police or the guards were shooting snakes or shooting into the air to chase away maybe intruders who might be around.

So there’s areas which the police have not thoroughly investigated as far as that’s concerned. The next situation is the police guards who were there on duty: now their job is a job on assignment to guard a VIP and that was the police assignment.

Now the two policemen said oh they had retired to their rest room there and were asleep. The other guard, police guard was supposed to be on patrol. Now it is alleged that the general died between 8.20 on the night of the 15th of August going into quarter to four the following morning, the 16th of August.

The mind boggles when one says what were you doing and how come you did not see the fire or anything that would indicate that the farmhouse was on fire?

Even if one police guard was on duty, surely his function must be to guard the house, walk around, check that there’s no intruder etcetera and that aspect of it, the police guard had indicated well he never saw anything; I believe that he probably didn’t do his duty by patrolling the house.

The other two policemen and the one who was awake and on duty said that they had walked all the way to the compound to go find out from the maid which was the bedroom; these guys, these police guards had been guarding this place for at least three months, surely they must know if they were patrolling that house and this is just the surroundings of the house.

In three months they would have known the lounge is here, the bedroom is there, the kitchen is there and all that sort of stuff because the curtains are not always drawn, the maid admits that she would clean the house etcetera so it doesn’t ring true that these guys did not know where the bedroom was and if they did know, they could have broken into the house and rescued the general.

However even before that if a fire starts, a fire doesn’t go into an absolute wild blaze to begin with. It will probably start and they said there were two areas where the fire started; one was in the main bedroom and the next one was just outside the lounge, the second lounge or TV room by the passage.

The Fire Brigade expert said if a fire starts intensely in two areas that is a sign of arson. That somebody, if a fire starts in one place one can understand that it sort of grew and then spread but to have two intense places, this indicates arson.

But commonsense dictates that if one is in fact in the bedroom sleeping and the general’s has two very big windows on either side of his headboard in his bedroom and often in the past if he didn’t want to walk all the way round through the kitchen to go out, he would actually just open the window and walk out of the windows, because the windows were fairly low down and you could just step over.

And his grandchildren also used to imitate him in doing that. Now commonsense dictates that if there is a fire that has started it must grow gradually and this is a man who has fought, fought a long battle in the war and was always alert, that if he was sleeping in that bedroom of his and the fire started or he smelt smoke etcetera, his natural reaction would be to jump out of the window but that’s not what happened or that’s not the scene as we see it.

His body was found in the next room by the passage and a doorway. Now why would one walk from one flaring blaze fire to the next room where there’s fire and then try to escape from there when the quickest route was to just jump out of the window which were not burglar barred. Just open windows like that and he used them many times to get out.

Guma: Now you say some of the workers and security personnel at the farm knew what really happened to the general, why do you think they are not coming forward with the truth?

Kewada: This is the suspicion my clients and their family and their friends and the general public have. If anybody does not come forward to say what they know we can only assume that they were either asleep and didn’t care much about their duties and what they were doing or they were probably spoken to and told keep quiet.

That’s as far as I can put it and this is why my clients and their family and friends are suspicious and the general public is suspicious. What happened from 8’o’clock in the evening or 20 past eight in the evening until quarter to four when the fire started?

Guma: Several reports claim the Attorney General has the final say on whether Mujuru can be exhumed or not; do you agree with this legal view?

Kewada: Are you talking about exhuming the body?

Guma: Yes.

Kewada: The Attorney General yes he is the person who would take a decision one way or the other; however the Inquest Act says that if a body is to be exhumed, one must make an application to the Minister of Home Affairs in terms of the Cemeteries Act.

So it would appear that the person who is in fact, who can in fact give the go-ahead to exhume a body is the co-ministers of Home Affairs. Now whether they will be over-ruled by the Attorney General I would suggest anything is possible.

Guma: How complicated will that be because we have two co-Home Affairs ministers, one from the Zanu PF and one from MDC-T? That’s set to be quite an interesting decision making process.

Kewada: When I spoke to the Attorney General not too long ago and when the report, the Coroner’s Report was out, I said to him why don’t you just speak to the Minister of Home Affairs and you tell him to allow me to exhume the body and have this pathologist from South Africa come up and examine it and the pathologist may come to the same conclusion that Dr Alvero came to or he might come to a different conclusion but at least that will bring closure to the matter;

And he said to me okay, you go and see the Minister of Home Affairs. Well I have not done so yet because I want to put forward a number of aspects to my client because my client received a copy of the Coroner’s Report on the day before she was travelling to go to India with a group of Zimbabwean businessmen and from there she was then going to go to Dubai on another assignment.

She did come back last Sunday; I’ve not been able to meet with her and I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before I do meet with her because at the time that she gave me the Coroner’s Report, she had not read it yet so I would have to give her some time to digest it and then I will have a discussion with her. Once I have that discussion and if my instructions are to have the, to make the application to the Minister of Home Affairs, then I will certainly do so.

Guma: But how disappointing is it for the family, given Mujuru’s impeccable liberation war credentials that they are having to fight tooth and nail to have his body exhumed? It must be frustrating.

Kewada: Sorry can you say that again?

Guma: Given Mujuru’s record in the liberation war and his contribution to Zimbabwe, how frustrating is it for the family that they have to fight tooth and nail to have his body exhumed and have their suspicions allayed?

Kewada: I tend to agree with your sentiments on this thing here. I have indicated to people that the Mujuru family, the general and the Vice President belong to the same party so this is something that is happening within the family and therefore to bring closure to this thing we should have been allowed to exhume the body or to call the pathologist that we wanted to call and for him to give evidence.

What the magistrate said to me what I could do was I could bring any expert I wanted but he wouldn’t give evidence, he could bear direct questions to me and I would then ask the witnesses. When our pathologist came here, we had to bring him at very short notice and he had other assignments to attend to in South Africa so he was here only for two days.

And in fact on the second day he left quite early to get to the airport to catch the midday flight. So yes it is very disappointing. In the minds of the general public who know that I want to make this application and I had at the inquest, advised the magistrate that I will be applying to the Minister of Home Affairs to have the body exhumed.

So the general public have known about this for quite a while. The suspicion here is this – if there is nothing to hide, why don’t you just allow the body to be exhumed, let somebody else examine it and see if there is anything that can come out of it. After that if we are satisfied, we will call it quits. You know close the door, close the chapter and get on with their lives.

Guma: How much of this is political? Most of the speculation is centred on the fact that this is a very sensitive issue within Zanu PF, there is a lot of disharmony, people are not happy with the way it’s being conducted, so how much of your fight as a lawyer is going to be political more than legal?

Kewada: I would rather not dwell on the political side because I am not a politician; I don’t support one party or the other party; I act for people in Zanu PF and I act for people on the other, from other parties as well. I act purely as a lawyer and I do my job to the best of my ability. There have been lots of rumours about this being a political matter.

Nobody is prepared to say what they believe; they’re very cagey about it; their attitude basically is that he was in fact killed and the body put into the house or alternatively there was somebody in the house waiting for him and as soon as he arrived, he was bumped off.

Whatever needed to be done was done because the body was charred, the area that still had the organs in there, he was charred and he was lying face down and that area around the chest, from the throat to the groin seemed to be intact because it was protected by the carpet that was on the floor and that carpet had not even burned down.

So people are saying there are, there were curtains that were brought from the bedroom to court to show as exhibits. Some of these curtains were burnt at the top and the rest of the curtain was still there. If the body had, if the house had caught such fire, and such intense fire, how come those curtains were still intact apart from a top portion? One would expect cloth would burn a lot faster than a body.

The suspicion, one of the suspicions that has been made and given as to why or how they think the general’s body was charred in that way was white phosphorus. Now white phosphorus is a chemical that is found in grenades and apparently if you take white phosphorus and you spread it on a body with the atmosphere, the oxygen in the atmosphere, it will eat up that body.

Now white phosphorus is not available easily and one cannot just buy it wherever you want to buy it; it’s usually kept by the military so therefore not very many people would have access to it.

The other theory that has been given was somebody used a dart that they use for killing, or not killing but immobilizing an elephant or a rhino when they want to move it from one place to another etcetera which will immobilize somebody and eventually what need’s to be done was done.

But these are theories that I put to you, that people have put and said. That’s their suspicions that they give.

Guma: It was reported that the DNA results when Mujuru’s daughter was tested to try and confirm that his body was actually his, we are told these DNA results came after burial. Is it possible that part of the reason why you are struggling to get his body exhumed is that maybe it’s not his body buried there after all?

Kewada: Well that is a suspicion from a lot of people and the family. The situation here is this: the autopsy took place on the 16th; the general was buried on the 19th or the 20th; the pathologist after he completed the, his examination, then on the 19th went to get a sample, a tissue sample from the body and that tissue sample was sent off or we are told, was sent off to South Africa to be examined by the forensic experts from the South African police in Johannesburg.

The blood sample to prove that this is the general’s body, to carry out a DNA, they asked for a blood sample from the daughter. That blood sample was taken on the 24th of August. The man or that body had already been buried long before any results on these tests were carried out so what the hell were the tests carried out in the first place for?

That particular body which is alleged to be the body of the general was already buried. Now when I put this to the pathologist and I said so how do you know that this was the body of the general? Oh I’ve been told about it, so therefore the pathologist did not satisfy himself 100% to say that is, the body that he is examining is definitely the body of the general.

One of the ways, and I put this to the pathologist, is if the pathologist in his post mortem report said the upper limbs, the arms, were severed at the elbows, and the lower limbs were severed at the knees, when I asked him if he had seen a wedding ring on the general’s left hand, he said oh yes he had seen it.

Now if he had just taken the Vice President who was sitting next door and taken her into the room where he was carrying out his autopsy and said can you identify this ring and is it your husband’s ring, she would have been able to identify it but that was never done.

Nobody knows where that ring is yet the photographs show that the left arm was still intact, it was the right hand that was severed at the elbow. The same with the legs, the pathologist in his report said both legs were severed at the knees and I showed him the photographs and said but surely look at these photographs.

Not both, both these legs have not been severed at the knees, it was just the one leg and he admitted that yes it was a mistake on his part and that was now a second mistake on his part. There’s lots of other mistakes that I believe he has made. The situation when one looks at the evidence and pieces that you get – the general’s motorcar was found not where he normally parks it.

It was found right round the other side which means that he would have to walk, if he left his car there, he would have to walk and come all the way and it’s quite a distance, to come and open the kitchen door to enter the house. That’s why there’s also the suspicion that this car was parked where it would never normally be parked.

It was never locked, he had some groceries he took from Harare to take to the farm, those were still in the plastic bag in the car. His cell phone was found in the car. There was a suit that was hanging there, was still in the car and the car was not locked and to this very day, nobody knows where the keys for that car is.

Now commonsense dictates that if he wanted to enter the house through the kitchen door that’s why he went to collect the keys, he normally parks not far from the kitchen door and that’s where everybody else parks, that is the parking area to enter the house or for visitors who come visiting them etcetera. So all these are little suspicious aspects which we say hold on it doesn’t ring true, there are far too many questions out there.

As far as the forensic experts are concerned, I cross examined the two forensic experts; the one in his report said that he was told to check and examine for liquids only – paraffin, petrol and diesel so he never carried out a test on anything else except those things. The next one was the other pathologist, when he was asked what was he asked to check for and his report said that, he said it was for explosives.

And I said from your tests did you find any explosives and he said no and I said well how is that possible because the investigating officer came to court with a bag weighing six kilograms of spent bullets. Now gunpowder in bullets is explosives, he said that he found that all in the bedroom, the general’s bedroom and it exploded because of the fire.

So when I put that to the forensic expert from South Africa and also told him about the ballistics report which also showed there were a number of other ammunition that was blasted out in that bedroom, I said if that happened, how come you could not find any evidence of explosives? And he said well the samples we received were all contaminated.

Now that leaves a lot to be said as to how come the samples did not show any traces of explosive. Were they actually taken from the bedroom or were they taken from an area of the bedroom where there were no explosives there for the purposes of showing there were no explosives used.

Guma: Now you’ve given quite a compelling case and an argument; for the benefit of our listeners could you just summarise why the magistrate in this inquest refused to consider these points that you are raising and there’s this resistance to have the body exhumed? Why in the face of this compelling evidence are you still being turned down?

Kewada: Well I think that’s a question one has to ask the magistrate. He’s, in his report if you have read it, he actually praises all the witnesses and says it’s not their fault if they could not come to a conclusion because it’s of the situation in the country.

The fire brigade came but with a truck that wouldn’t have been able to carry any water to put the fire out so what the hell did the fire brigade arrive there for? We have those other trucks that are used when there’s a riot, I don’t know what we call them but they spray water on people who are rioting, now we’ve got quite a few of those I am told, why wasn’t that used?

But anyway, that being the situation, the every, the magistrate looked at all the witnesses, he must have read the transcript of the evidence and the conclusion I’ve come to and that’s what he says in his report, he virtually praises all the witnesses including Dr Alvero whom I had exposed a number of discrepancies and lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned.

The magistrate said well what I was talking about was textbook examination and the pathologist was doing a practical one. With all due respect that is a very, very flimsy excuses.

Guma: My final question for you Mr Kewada, in cases where the state is refusing to prosecute or proceed with a matter, we often hear of the concept of private prosecutions. Should you get enough evidence to pin this as a murder and actually get a suspect, is it possible to carry out a private prosecution? A lot of our listeners are asking this question.

Kewada: No, an inquest is a hearing to try to establish the cause of death and how it was caused or in this case, the fire, how did he die and how did the fire start.

It’s not a prosecution, it’s not a trial and our Inquest Act is very limited, it’s very limited and our Inquest Regulations are very limited but I would expect that the authorities would say here was this general who was a hero for Zimbabwe, who fought in the war, who did a lot for this country, we need to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

So if I ask for an examination, to exhume the body and have it examined, I think that would go a long way to alleviating some of the suspicions and even if we don’t come to a convincing conclusion at least the family will feel we’ve done what we could.

At this stage if we try to get a complete hearing of the whole matter you must bear in mind from August last year when the general died right up to the time of the inquest, which was what, February, March? A lot of time has lapsed, the evidence has probably been destroyed.

Even if the evidence hasn’t been destroyed like the South African forensic expert said, the samples we received were contaminated; they were not packed properly, they were just put into plastic bags and tied up and sent out there. There is a special bag that you use to carry exhibits for examination.

Now that wasn’t done and surely the investigating officer must know that there are special bags; this particular investigating officer has been in the police force and he’s been in the homicide section of the police force for a good twenty-odd years so we can’t say that he doesn’t know what needs to be done and I’m sure he’s done some of these in the past.

So there is all these suspicions. Whether we would be able to reconstruct the whole thing and try to have another hearing, I don’t think that is going to help very much because the evidence would have disappeared by that stage or it was contaminated evidence so that aspect of it of a complete new hearing won’t really take us very far.

I have said that we could take the matter up on review or on appeal. The Inquest Act is very silent about it; it does not say you cannot do it, it does not say you can do it but the High Court is the upper guidance on all these matters and has jurisdiction.

But we believe that if we were allowed to examine the body, by, through another pathologist, we would at least satisfy ourselves and my clients would feel a lot more relieved that they’ve done whatever they can or could do to have that body examined.

The pathologist that we brought in said he read Dr Alvero’s post mortem report, he was very critical of it and he said he hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that and he hasn’t done that and he hasn’t done that and therefore, unless that is done you cannot come to these conclusions.

Guma: Could you take it to the High Court? As you are talking about the High Court, is this something you could take to the High Court?

Kewada: I imagine we could. We could appeal to the High Court and say that this report that the pathologist, the inquest report is lacking and there are I believe that the magistrate has erred in a number of respects. With all due respect to the magistrate I believe he has erred and I have said that before.

Now there are, yes we could take it to the High Court; whoever is going to hear it whether he comes to the same conclusion that the Attorney General came to that the report is very fine and thoroughly done etcetera, there are lots of suspicions in the minds of the general public in these matters so we generally speaking, generally speaking have to watch to a certain extent what we say also.

Guma: Well Zimbabwe on that note we will have to end the interview. That is the lawyer for the Mujuru family, Mr Thakor Kewada joining us on this special edition of Behind the Headlines. Many thanks to Mr Kewada for sparing us his time.

Kewada: Thank you very much, my pleasure.

To listen to the programme:

http://www.swradioafrica.2bctnd.net/04_12/bth090412.mp3

Feedback can be sent to lance@swradioafrica.com http://twitter.com/lanceguma or http://www.facebook.com/lance.guma


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“I can arrest you” – the Zimbabwe Republic Police and your rights

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7888

July 15th, 2012

Zimbabwe police road block[Read the full report (479k pdf)]

In a country where the Rule of Law is no longer operational and the security forces operate with impunity, every citizen is vulnerable. A chance remark in a taxi, at a pub or even at a funeral could lead to arrest and possible incarceration in one of the country’s disgracefully maintained jails. Those who stand up for their rights and join demonstrations or canvass for political parties other than ZANU-PF face possible arrest, severe beatings and torture in custody.

Bribery and corruption have become rampant. In a survey published by Transparency International in 2011, Zimbabwe ranked 154 out of 182 countries in terms of its level of corruption. The ZRP topped the list as the most corrupt institution and stood out as the biggest recipient of bribes among service providers.

This report focuses on the risk of arrest at the hands of the partisan Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) under the command of Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who has publicly acknowledged his allegiance to ZANU-PF. Chihuri has served as police head since 1993 and his contract has been renewed by President Mugabe 13 times since 1997. Chihuri is a member of Joint Operations Command (JOC), the junta which continues to control Zimbabwe.

The proliferation of roadblocks across Zimbabwe’s appallingly maintained road network has lead to growing frustration among road users due to the inevitable delays and the demands for bribes from increasingly brazen police officers. Although one of the most important roles of a roadblock should be to reduce the number of vehicle accidents, their contribution is seen as questionable – and rather as a money-making racket both for the police force per se and also for individual self-enrichment.

The controversy surrounding the roadblocks extends beyond bribery and corruption to their more sinister roles during elections: their use as a mechanism for blocking food aid to opposition strongholds, for stopping people injured in election violence from seeking medical help and to prevent opposition officials and activists from canvassing or holding rallies.

After explaining the legitimate roles of roadblocks, the report gives advice to citizens on their legal rights and provides recommendations on how to deal with police harassment and implicit or overt requests for bribes.

In a section describing corruption within the ZRP as “endemic”, the report provides examples in a range that includes plundering stolen properties, collusion with bag snatchers, extorting bribes from taxi drivers, demanding bribes at roadblocks, protection rackets, perverting the ends of justice, setting up diamond syndicates and murdering illegal or unlicenced miners for financial gain.

Judges have also criticised police investigations of cases where vital information given to the police by State witnesses has been omitted from formal witness statements produced in court in favour of the defence. Furthermore, ZANU-PF members who have murdered MDC supporters have been freed on bail and remain at liberty.

The evidence of good policing is the absence of crime. It must be subject to the Rule of Law, rather than the wishes of a powerful leader or party. It can intervene in the life of citizens only under limited and carefully controlled circumstances – and it is publicly accountable.

The report explains the differences between civil policing and political policing. It also defines secret policing, where an authoritarian regime uses the police as an agent of political oppression. Citizens within a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views – which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement.

The police force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), was created by Chapter IX of the (Independence) Constitution of 1979, signed at the Lancaster House Conference. It is governed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe – which has been amended 19 times over the past 33 years – and by the Police Act. The current head of the ZRP, Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, has served as police head since 1993 and has had his contract renewed by President Mugabe 13 times since 1997.

The ZRP is bound by many international human rights standards. It is also a member of SARPCCO, a regional professional association which is committed to disseminating best practices and raising the standard of policing, including the respect for human rights.

Not only is the ZRP guilty of perpetrating gross human rights, with many of the victims being opposition activists and supporters, but it is also guilty of abusing its own members. Zimbabweans and the international community were shocked in June 2009 when a secretly filmed two-minute video on You-Tube showed ZRP recruits being beaten while undergoing ‘training’ in Harare. Each recruit was forced to lie down and was then beaten by ‘trainers’ with batons, some more viciously than others, a process reportedly referred to as ‘pay day’.

The concept of “The Rule of Law”, and the differences between “The Rule of Law” and “Rule by Law” are explained, with reference to the Constitution – and to people’s rights according to the Constitution.

The conclusion warns the ZRP that it faces millions of US dollars worth of law suits from political activists and human rights defenders who are claiming compensation for torture, wrongful arrest or abduction. Furthermore, a South African High Court ruled on May 8, 2012 that the South African authorities must investigate Zimbabwean officials who are accused of involvement in torture and crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe.

Today in Zimbabwe, more than three years into the shaky and widely discredited power-sharing arrangement, arrests are escalating, corruption is rampant, human rights violations are rising once more and the Rule of Law has not been restored. All indicators are there to alert Zimbabweans, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the international community that an increasingly desperate and unpopular ZANU-PF is gearing up for the next election.

Accompanying Documents

Legal assistance and information on your rights regarding arrest

The Legal Resource Foundation has produced a series of booklets and flyers on knowing your rights on arrest, detention and bail.


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U.S. launches language program for deprived Zim kids

Harare, July 12, 2012: The United States Embassy on Thursday launched the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) for 25 disadvantaged children in Mbare, Harare. The participants, aged between 14 and 18, received certificates of induction from U.S. Ambassador Charles Ray who encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunities given them to “make Zimbabwe’s future great.”

“You have all been selected to participate in Zimbabwe’s first English Access Microscholarship Program which will teach you English language skills, but the responsibility of learning lies with you Ambassador Ray told the students. “Take advantage of the opportunities you are given. You all stand an opportunity to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe by improving your language and social interaction skills.”

Many of the students accepted into this program are AIDS orphans and/or live in low-income households. The participants will receive extra tutoring in English, and the program also has a strong focus on American cultural studies. The group will meet at least 5 hours per week for the next 18 months. The 25 students got their first taste of American experience when they attended the Fourth of July commemorations held at the Ambassador’s residence last week. Their program will include regular field trips outside of Chiedza Child Care Centre based in Mbare as well as writing lessons.

The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) was started in 2004 by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 14–18 year-olds from disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive summer sessions. Access students gain an appreciation for American culture and democratic values, increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries, and gain the ability to compete for and participate in future U.S. exchange and study programs.

Since its inception, approximately 70,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. This is the first time the program is being initiated in Zimbabwe; a second program is to be launched in Bulawayo over the next few months.

# # #

Issued by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Contact: Jillian Bonnardeaux, Acting Public Affairs Officer, Tel. +263 4758800/1, E-mail: hararepas@state.gov


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The MDC Today

http://www.mdc.co.zw

Monday, 16 July 2012
Issue - 395

A Zanu PF-linked headman, Muzondiwa Chikamba is spearheading acts of terror
in Chimbuwe village, Ward 31 in Mt Darwin North, Mashonaland Central
province.

Chikamba with other Zanu PF supporters who have been identified as Absolom
Chigogo, Nixon Chikamba, Kaiposi Dzabaya, Eliot Gotsi and Chigurukuru are
threatening villagers in the area with abductions and denying them access to
maize under the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain loan scheme saying they
are MDC members.

Efforts by the villagers to report the threats to the police have failed as
the law enforcers are not taking any action.

Meanwhile, High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu today ordered that a
private medical doctor should visit Harare Central Prison hospital to check
on the health status of critically ill Gapara Nyamadzawo. Nyamadzawo is
admitted in hospital and is part of the 29 MDC members in remand prison
facing false charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last
year.

The State is opposed to Nyamadzawo seeking treatment at a private hospital.
The trial of the MDC members will only resume after Nyamadzawo has fully
recovered and is able to attend the trial at the High Court.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish it!!!


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Zimbabwe at 32 – Tracing the Fading Democratic Value of National Leadership:

http://africanarguments.org/


Notes on 32 Years of Zimbabwe’s Independence — by Tabani Moyo

July 13, 2012

The following originally appeared on the Zimbabwe Committee of the Peoples
Charter blog on April 12, 2012. There are three papers in all, as the
preface below states, to offer the views of a younger generation of
Zimbabwean intellectuals on the meaning of Independence and democracy. This
discussion is important for rethinking Zimbabwe. TS

Brief Preface:

The three essays cover three topics, national historical consciousness,
reflections of young Zimbabweans on the meaning of independence and tracing
the fading democratic value of leadership in Zimbabwe. The essays vary in
length and are essentially individual reflections of Zimbabweans. The
electronic publication of these essays has been facilitated by the Zimbabwe
Committee of the Peoples Charter.

Kind regards,

Committee of the People’s Charter.

Zimbabwe at 32 – Tracing the Fading Democratic Value of National Leadership

By Tabani Moyo

In our lives as living organisms, we take time to introspect especially on
the day one was born. The same is true four our country Zimbabwe on a day
such as 18 April 2012. It is expected that we all fall back into the memory
lane and try as much as is possible to rethink how our country has traveled
and locating those areas could have been done differently, if not better.

Though the day might be congested with slogans specifically from those who
wish to sweep the grey areas of the passage of time under the carpet, but as
a collective we need to outdo the drowning partisan portrayal of our
national independence by the few. In the process we must see to it that we
are as candid as we can in the introspective process. This is the reasoning
behind the penning of this essay, nothing less nothing more, but a frank
attempt at charting the nation’s progression and development.

There is a striking reality in Zimbabwe. It’s a nation that has known of one
leader since independence. This we have nurtured either consciously or
subconsciously. The generation represented by the ageing leadership has
literally surrendered offering sound advice on the need for renewal and
rather joined the wagon in praise singing acts rather than doing the
honourable thing. This same generation and the ‘supreme leader’ have became
a danger to the national thinking and the sooner the peoples of Zimbabwe
realize and act on matter the better for national progression. In discussing
this concept it is anchored on an understanding that the weaker the
leadership, the weaker the state and nation becomes domestically, regionally
and internationally.

This singular factor, tied up to other trickling tributaries has accounted
to the weakening of the state as those that stampede to surround themselves
around the supreme leader end up thinking on narrow personal and trivial
party interests and entrenchments rather than serving the nation and its
people therein.

This has in a way created a super elite group of primitive accumulation
actors within the leadership. For the purposes of this article the
leadership being a person, who often emerges as the head of the government,
the head of the party and government in totality. The long and sort of it is
that for the past 32 years we have modeled Zimbabwe around an individual who
commands a clientele group of people at party level, through to the
government and in a larger way controlling how the entire society as a
nation is engineered.

This has collapsed organized systems in which a government, a country and
the polity are supposed to operate. The 32 years of our independence have
been a sliding of Zimbabwe from a liberated nation towards a clientele
leadership who spend quite a sizable amount of time in crafting song, dance
and other forms of art in praising an individual not a collective agenda for
the nation. The collective national agenda espoused in the liberation
struggle ethos are therefore subordinate to the leader, conveniently when it
suits him/her for political capital, rather than pursuing the national
agenda of developing and ensuring the nation state is competitive in the
full measure of progressive and democratic development.

This, the prolific write Wole Soyinka noted in his book, You Must Set Forth
at Dawn when be argued,

“This strange breed was a complete contrast to the nationalist stalwarts in
whose hands we had imagined the country could be safely consigned while we
went on a liberation march… we were bombarded by utterances that identified
only flamboyant replacements of the old colonial order, not transformation
agents, not even empathizing participants in a process of liberation.”

The views by the Nigerian scholar have become so profound to the
interpretation of our state of leadership in Zimbabwe, 32 years after
independence. I alluded earlier on that leadership in this case is an
epitome of an individual, whose wishes, actions, thinking, sleeping or
breathing becomes the non-progressive definition of a nation. 32 years on,
the actions of an individual: wrong or right; brutal or in good faith;
heavenly or evil, are still defining the axis in which the nation state
orbits.

What has become apparent is that the current crop that emerged from the
liberation front has lost the transformation agency spirit that guided the
struggle. The ideals of the liberation struggles and that which is unfolding
on the ground showcases a serious deficiency in the letter and spirit of
transforming the country into a responsive state that satisfies the needs of
its citizens.

In this regard, Zimbabwe, a nation of close to 14 million people faces the
challenge of failing to secure a renewed effort in choosing the leader of
the Republic who wields the psychological (mental) and physical (healthy and
youthful) strata of leadership that can take over the liberation struggle
agenda to that of transforming a nation state into an organic one that
answers to the citizens’ yearnings. In our small and humble measurement, we
are the SADC Island that fails to appreciate that there is life after
figureheads at the helm of the state.

But we do protect this figurehead for personal reasons, given the fact that
the bulk of these people who call themselves business people, can only claim
that title because they have made our state a private enterprise. Without
the protection of the state and the state providing tenders and other
protective measures, this group of clientelism will not survive competing in
the business world.

This in the long run is bleeding the state as it becomes an opportunity cost
on the central government to fulfill its mandate of social service delivery.
But the syndicates in this clientele group will keep on managing spin
headlines to the international world, that the nation state has developed
the most skilled minds in Africa, that the land is back into the hands of
the majority and that we have one man one vote system in place.

Though it might be noted that the land question in Zimbabwe though
controversial but is no longer reversible, it remains necessary to highlight
to the powers that be that the average citizen who was allocated land in
Mazowe, which is prime land in Mashonaland Central is now being evicted and
being pushed back to marginal lands which they were previously. In their
place it is the very same ‘business’ magnates who relay on the ‘captive
state protectionism’ for their tender and other means of survival.

Our curriculum is now structured in a way that it is like a conveyor belt
which fails itself in grading the final product from the raw ones, but still
prides itself of producing the best of quantities as opposed to the much
needed quality outcome. Our voting schedules and procedures are now resting
in the hands of other nations. This is, as argued by Soyinka, ‘because our
state which is a centre of resource allocation was captured by flamboyant
replacements of the old colonial order, not transformation agents, not even
empathizing participants in a process of liberation.’

Soyinka went on to note that, “We ask ourselves, were these men, who
routinely conducted themselves with such gracelessness, the true
representatives of a national mandate?” On this important day, this question
is no longer pointed at the leaders from the liberation struggle but to
those who started leading the defiance campaign to those who lost the
liberation struggle mandate due to their deeds post independence. We
therefore, collectively place the new government order under spotlight. How
fast has been the process of sublimation? As in the old time classic,Animal
Farm if we are to look at the pigs and the people, are we going to find
marginal differences? This is what the Zimbabwean nation should answer.

We have been watching them from a distance and noted that the new entrants
into the leadership roles of the government, through their deeds as contrary
to their spoken word seem to send a clear message that their ascendancy to
the national government is the monopoly of the privileged by the minority.
As if to say that the messages on this occasion of 32 years of independence
the language is that of say, stake your claims. The earlier you position
yourselves, the bigger your slice of the national cake. It is necessary here
to reassert my point that the definition of leadership has not changed.At 32
years of age, can the country stomach a leadership which scrambles for
aggrandizement through cars, houses, allowances and paid for massages?

In this process of commemorating our national independence, we ought to make
it candidly clear that the call for transformation agency has really become
urgent. This is to say that we must never allow ourselves to be slaves of
our own liberation efforts. It is paradoxical that at every time we differ
in our course of direction, a ransom demand is made by those who have lost
the libation struggle mandate, reminding the nation, the people and at times
defining how blood can easily be shed. This belongs to savages, barbarians,
sadists and other forms of “isms” that have no place in modern states
configuration. To a larger extent it points to a failed understanding of the
liberation struggle’s compass and its meaning thereof to the peoples of
Zimbabwe, the region and the international world order.

We know very much that our place within the evolving organisms of new
nations shall be redefined. This is more urgent given the fact that the
current leadership does not have adequate knowledge of the net worthy value
of its belongings nor the value of the country. I am yet to met a single
leader with competent knowledge of the interpolation of the amount of
minerals, the amounts of gas, the net worth of wild life and how best it can
be cultivated into the development of our nation. With such poor leadership,
the nation is in danger. Anyone with access to these unaccounted for
resources can easily fund insurgence. It is more dangerous with a weak state
like ours where the public and even senior officials are clueless of the net
revenue emanating from the country’s trading with the world.

Irrespective of the limited knowledge of the country’s resources, we
continue to structure deals which are nothing short of fraudulent behavior.
One for example cannot competently explain why the government gave the
Chinese ‘unlimited’ access to diamonds in the Chiyadzwa mine fields in
exchange of the company building a military staff college located in Mazowe.
Rationale thinking would point to a profitable decision of dualising our
highway roads in the country in exchange to such access to the precious
minerals. Addressing issues of the country wide pronounced starvation,
health system, education and the failing industry.

At 32, I hope against the tide we must see to it that we cause change to
happen. Changing of the configuration of the country is a function of a
sound mindset leading it. As is, we have a long way to go, unless a new
breed with new thinking surfaces.

Tabani Moyo can be contacted at rebeljournalist@yahoo.com


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Notes on 32 Years of Zimbabwe’s Independence Part 1 — by Takura Zhangazha

http://africanarguments.org/

July 13, 2012
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The following originally appeared on the Zimbabwe Committee of the Peoples
Charter blog on April 12, 2012. There are three papers in all, as the
preface below states, to offer the views of a younger generation of
Zimbabwean intellectuals on the meaning of Independence and democracy. This
discussion is important for rethinking Zimbabwe. TS

Brief Preface:

Please see below, the first three essays written by Zimbabweans in aide of
seeking to reflect on the nature and meaning of 32nd commemorations of our
national independence in Zimbabwe. The three essays cover three topics,
national historical consciousness, reflections of young Zimbabweans on the
meaning of independence and tracing the fading democratic value of
leadership in Zimbabwe. The essays vary in length and are essentially
individual reflections of Zimbabweans. The electronic publication of these
essays has been facilitated by the Zimbabwe Committee of the Peoples
Charter.There are at least two more essays expected to be published before
18 April 2012, in the anticipation that they will allow for increased public
debate on the meaning of our national independence.

Kind regards,

Committee of the People’s Charter.

Our National Historical Consciousness and our Future.

By Takura Zhangazha.

Introduction.

Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean society, like all other countries that exist in the
world, cannot claim a clear and unambiguous disjuncture with its history.
The creation of the modern day polity that has come to define the territory
between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers has been a process laden with various
but continuous historical interactions. These overlaps of history have
included conquest, colonialism, commerce, Christianity, African nationalism,
revolutionary war, the Cold War and the broad pursuit of democracy. All of
these occurred without clear distinction and have been invariably
interwoven.[i]

It is essentially ‘African nationalism’ , ‘revolutionary war’ and ‘democracy’
that were intended to be victorious on 18 April 1980, the day and year on
which the Zimbabwean flag was raised. With the benefit of hindsight and on
the basis of various historical analysis, it has come to be known that these
three paramount values were not going to be completely acquired and
therefore had to be negotiated. [ii]

The end result was the compromise and ceasefire document that is
historically referred to as the Lancaster House Constitution which was
agreed to in December 1979. It is the nature and extent of the compromise
that informed the politics of a ten year post independence period which
assists in analyzing the birth pangs of the Zimbabwean state. It is a
‘compromise’ that has been referred to as having been influenced by the
Frontline States which were insisting that the liberation war had to end and
therefore the liberation movements had no choice but to agree or lose
regional and continental support. In other instances, explanations of the
‘compromise’ agreement relate to issues to do with the fear by the incoming
nationalist leadership of a massive skills exodus as well as disinvestment
by Rhodesian and international capital in our newly independent state.

All of these reasons however point to the direct or complicit participation
of our nationalist leaders in the decision making processes of that time.
Some more than others, but all with a specific complicity that may have been
historically necessary , but cannot be whitewashed. In other words, the
leadership of the liberation movements, the post independence successive
governments and our contemporary inclusive government are to a greater
extent the ones who have been responsible for the state of affairs in the
country since 1980, the role of external factors not withstanding. [iii]

It is therefore imperative to point out at the beginning of this essay that
the primary challenge of the leadership of that time and of present day
remains that of not fully coming to terms with their role, complicit or
direct, in the construction of our national independence project. Because
of this fundamental challenge that the nationalist and in part contemporary
leadership have faced in understanding the full import of the struggle that
they undertook to liberate Zimbabwe, as well as the inability of the post
nationalist leadership to grasp the significance of the historical
occurrences of the past as linked to present day and future Zimbabwe, it is
also important to outline the general characteristics of our country at 32
years of independence outside of their narrow and partisan politicized
frameworks.

This essentially entails a grasping of the historical and contemporary
realities that Zimbabwe faced and continues to face within the context of an
increasingly unfocused national political leadership that is acting both in
the interests of narrow political persuasions and ideologies that are
exploitatively linked to an emergent east-west collaborative global
capitalism.[iv]

It is by doing so that we become conscious of the historical challenges that
lie before the generality of all Zimbabweans inclusive of those that are in
contemporary leadership. Our solutions to our particular socio-political and
economic challenges therefore reside in our ability to conscientiously apply
ourselves to particular, historical and well thought out as well negotiated
frameworks of engaging the challenges that we face in the present and their
full import for the future.

Definitive premise of our national independence.

Historically, the struggle for justice by the people of Zimbabwe has been
fundamentally social democratic in intent and purpose. From the years of the
initial resistance to the Pioneer Column, through to the First and Second
Chimurenga’s, the values of our struggle, with the benefit of historical
hindsight, were intent on the restoration of our collective human dignity,
the pursuit of equality, socio-economic justice, democracy and
economic/technological advancement. [v]

In 2012, these are the same challenges that we all face, though in a less
Manichean manner and even where our political leaders remain in denial. The
primary issue to therefore be considered in the commemorations of our 32
years of national independence is whether our struggle for freedom remains
an ongoing one. This, not merely on the basis of generally enunciated
democratic values but as a combination of the lack of completion of the
definitive and historical struggle against the usurpation of our right to
self determination, social and economic justice, equality before the law,
democracy, a justiciable bill of rights, global human equality and the right
to choose a national political leadership of our choice. It is this
perpetual struggle question of ‘arrival’ that has now come full circle and
must be examined by all Zimbabweans.

It is in this sense that the primary purpose of this essay on Zimbabwe’s 32
years of independence is to measure the extent to which we have remained
committed to the to the ‘revolutionary path’ via our leadership.[vi] This
revolutionary path is defined by the values of our national independence
defined above. It is also a reaffirmation of the truth that Zimbabwe must
continue to make its own history conscientiously on the basis of what we
hold to be our inalienable democratic principles and values. These same said
principles and values should be based on the firm understanding that we have
not yet done enough justice to our historically grounded societal, political
and economic aspirations.

These notes on 32 years of Zimbabwe’s national independence therefore seek
to explain the necessity and urgency of the return to the revolutionary
path for Zimbabwe. The return to the revolutionary path is a return to
commonly held and shared principles that relate to the social democratic
project that was the liberation struggle (whatever angle you look at it)
together with a specific recognition that we should return to a
conscientious and organic making of our own history as a country, members of
a continent and participants in the global political economy. Simply put, if
we have refused to be defined in one way or the other, via resistance and
struggle, as the ‘native others’ we now have to prove in word and deed that
we are here to make a history that is linked to past struggles, contemporary
challenges and intent on creating a better social democratic future for all
who live in Zimbabwe, Africa and the World.

In explaining the above cited issues and challenges this essay will tackle
three phases of our national independence periods. These being 1980-1990;
1991-2000; 2001-2008 and 2008 to 2012. In all of these aforementioned
historical phases assessment will be made of the primary challenges that our
country has been faced with.

Our time-transcendent common historical thread of struggle.

At the onset of Zimbabwe’s independence the new national leaders, arguably
on the basis of pragmatic considerations, sought to demonstrate their
capacity to embrace modern/ scientific socialism with significant dosages
of western modernization. They sought a partial departure from the
historical context that defined their arrival to power in order to avoid
what they considered the mistakes of other African leaders to fail to
embrace either scientific socialism or western model modernization. This
essentially meant that the principles and values of the founding struggles
of our nation-state were re-negotiated ahistorically because of three
reasons.

The first being that in the process of undertaking the struggle for national
liberation, we had not quite learnt what to expect and how to handle it in
the aftermath of the acquisition of the political power that came with self
determination. Given the serious difficulty of waging a guerilla war, our
then (and in some instances contemporary) nationalist leaders may not have
had the luxury of understanding the clearer organic nature of the processes
of the anti-colonial struggles. This is to say, the linkages between the
oral and cultural history of anti-colonial struggles with eventual victory
were limited. Instead, the usage of understanding the historical trajectory
of the liberation struggle since the arrival of the Pioneer column may have
been more for the purposes of various liberation movements’ populist appeals
to the populace and not integrated into organic post-liberation struggle
victory implementation frameworks.

The reasons for this approach have been recorded via a number of academic
writings which indicate the disparate and disunited nature of our
liberation movements.[vii] It would however be poignant to point out that
part of the problem that led to the disjuncture in the organic narratives of
the First Chimurenga and those of the Second Chimurenga (which was in part
victorious) relate mainly to our collective inability to harness both the
advent of technological advancement with our primary liberatory intentions.
(This is an argument that can only be made with the benefit of historical
hindsight and not on the basis of seeking to judge our leaders of that time
as their circumstances where peculiar to that time and had much more
difficult challenges.)

Put simply, we got overawed by our interaction with the medical, material
and military technological advances of the ‘others’ during our first
struggle for liberation as well as in the second one.[viii] Indeed we
eventually got better education from the missionary schools, better health
treatment via the same institutions while simultaneously being repressed by
the police/military/minority rule state in which we existed in both phases
of the liberation struggles. However our narratives followed more the
history of the ‘other’ than it followed our own direct interactions with
colonialism, dispossession and direct repression primarily due to the
arrival of modern equipment and the establishment of new urban
settlements.[ix]

These challenges of perception together with cultural and economic cooption
were however determined primarily by the historical circumstances of that
time. By the time of the Second Chimurenga, our national leaders had come to
accept the necessity of learning the ways of the colonialist in order to
achieve national sovereignty. Coincidentally in the same period the
ideological differences between the global East and the West had come full
circle in the aftermath of the Second World War and our leaders took the
opportunity to interact with the leftist revolutionary thought of emergent
socialist states with eagerness.

However in the process of negotiating with two global ideological camps that
had been established without our direct participation, we had to learn the
art of negotiating with the same said two global ideological camps in order
to achieve the primary objective of national independence. This process of
negotiation led to further divisions within our liberation movement as to
what was the best strategy to pursue in order to achieve the primary task of
national independence. This was a development which led to our further
departure from the historicity of the challenge at hand.[x]

In the real event that we all decided at various stages to wage wars of
liberation, the reality of the matter is that we became complicit in
narratives of struggle that would be more embedded in solutions generated
more from elsewhere than from ourselves. This is not to say that the
struggle came to be determined by the dictates of those who were willing to
assist us in their own national interests but that we were increasingly
determined to acquire self rule as had been determined by our then
increasingly negotiated historicity. We therefore came to understand more
those that were willing to assist us than we were willing to consistently
understand ourselves and our historical agenda of liberation.

When victory arrived in 1980, after phenomenal sacrifice from the sons and
daughters of the soil, the ‘struggles within the struggle’ and the ambiguity
of proximity to power was a nail in the coffin for revolutionary organic
continuity.[xi] Our intentions to prove to be the better ‘natives’ got the
better of us. We fought amongst ourselves without understanding the full
import of the historical challenges that were with us and that lay before
us. We fought ideological and power battles that were by definition not
necessarily ours and our victory remained embedded in inadequate
articulations of the challenges that awaited us after independence.

1980 to 2000, The challenges of building an historical democratic hegemony
via ‘mimicry’ and policy ambiguity.

There have been many arguments as to the extent to which the immediate post
independence state was under tremendous international pressure not to
deviate either from the pro-capital Lancaster House Constitution or the
social democratic intentions of the liberation struggle. These arguments
will at varying stages hold cogency to different ideological groupings but
it must be emphasized that within either ideological camp, the modus
operandi was unfortunately that of ‘mimicry’.[xii]

Whether one claimed socialism or free market political economy as frameworks
through which the intentions of national independence could be achieved, the
technicalities of these same said solutions resided on over-reliance on
models that were in most cases out of context.[xiii] The almost immediate
improvements in civil liberties, expansion of social services (health,
education, transport, recreation) and the nationalist fervor of the first
ten years were largely out of political necessity than they were directly
related to grounded specific organic ideological leanings. The mixed bag of
economics where the newly independent state maintained a capitalist
political economy imbued in socialist rhetoric was more in order to keep the
country stable than it was to ground it in a singular long term hegemonic
and political direction.

Whereas the political direction was clearer, particularly as regards to
conflicts between those that led various liberation movements, the
unfortunate tendency to not address issues holistically and organically
compromised the independence project. The insistence on a one party state
without linking it to its necessity for economic advancement of the country
or the fact that Zimbabwe has always had multiple parties/political
organizations at inception of the liberation struggle was ahistorical.

A desire to be part of the African liberators lexicon and follow the lead of
initially successful and legendary African revolutionaries in either the
Frontline states or West Africa may have been the cause of this. Either way
we fell into the trap of being to eager to suit models that were not
necessarily our own. Hence for example the tragic killing of innocent
civilians during what has no come to be referred to as Gukurahundi in the
early to late 1980s in the middle and southern provinces of the country with
the assistance and training of North Korea.

As we arrived toward the end of the first decade of our national
independence , with the demise of the Socialist block via the collapse of
the Soviet Union and Eastern European Socialist bloc, our national leaders
failed to define a clearer path for us to realize the objectives of our
national independence. Because in part they were more interested in the
politics of power and dominance via expedient and more foreign policy
related than domestic considerations, our national leaders found themselves
almost hapless when it came to the global shift to the ideological
right.[xiv] They lost out on the historicity of our own national
independence struggle, the expiration of the ‘protective’ Lancaster House
Constitution’s clauses and once again sought the easier path of mimicry.

It was this ahistorical path that led us to embrace structural adjustment
programmes that were beginning to be emphasized by the dominantly hegemonic
West and its Bretton Woods institutions. Successive finance ministers sought
to embed us into the Washington Consensus less with an understanding of our
context and the peoples’ needs and more in pursuit of abstract and
neo-colonial recognition by the World Bank as some of the ‘rising stars’ of
a still to be manufactured African intelligentsia and middle class. In
short, at the turn of the decade, with only one globally hegemonic power to
negotiate with, we moved further away from what were the primary objectives
of our liberation struggle and our national independence.

As such, the full implementation of economic structural adjustment saw a
speeding up of the destruction of the social welfare state and an increase
in political repression less to do with the old liberation war movement
rivalries (the Unity Accord had been established by then) but more with
state-led denial of the citizens enjoyment of basic human rights. This led
to an increase in opposition political party activity as well as an
expansion of civil society actors outside the aegis of the then recently
united Patriotic Front.

The loss of jobs and the failure to create employment coupled with massive
droughts in the early and mid 1990s as well as the closure of local
manufacturing companies led inevitably to a more radicalized urban populace
and with it, a stronger trade union and inevitably the formation of a
popular labour backed political party by the end of the second decade of our
national independence. [xv]

The key point to be emphasized in this particular section of this essay is
that our national leaders at that time lost touch with the organic
historicity of the liberation struggle as the years moved further and
further away from the year of our country’s inception.[xvi] Their initial
reliance on the Frontline States, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) ,
the Socialist bloc, Scandanavian countries and leftists in the West for
technical support and struggle knowledge production either by way of being
taught how to wage a struggle for liberation or of what to after
independence was acquired may have been an historical necessity. In the
aftermath of 1980 our national leaders sought to accentuate these global
linkages at the expense of our national context and in the process
implemented frameworks that made them appear more proxies of one global
ideological persuasion or the other( particularly before the end of the Cold
War) than they appeared as leaders who were conscious of the destiny of
their own country. In the same process, they overemphasized political power
as opposed to a counter- hegemonic and democratic understanding of power.

They sought more power of the moment, and power that may have been dotted
with celebrations of the heroic past, while with each passing year, their
leadership became less and less organic with our country’s history or its
ideally historically determined future. They flirted with the global left as
well as with global capital, and pandered more or less to whatever was
expected of them by one particular side when it was most opportune. Where,
with the end of the Cold War there was only global power to contend and
negotiate with, they pursued that power’s ideological dictates without
revolutionary context or firm negotiation and with further ‘mimicry’ and
instrumentalisation of the state. [xvii]

2000-2008 and the remembrance of the values of our national independence.

The increasingly radical activities of Zimbabwe’s labour unions in the late
1990s as a follow up to labour and student radicalism and the entry of human
rights discourse in Zimbabwe turned initially the Zimbabwean urban political
narrative to one of defiance against the state. Coupled with the economic
hardships of the same period, the initiative of the ZCTU to initiate the
National Working Peoples Convention (NWPC)in early 1999 was to be definitive
in the establishment of an alternative political leadership and party in
Zimbabwe. It was this convention that gave an initial mandate to the
country’s main labour union to undertake consultative processes with the
public on whether it should form a labour backed political party.

Civil society actors had by 1997 formed the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) which had galvanized public policy discourse around the urgent need to
undertake a people driven constitutional reform process. Both labour and
civil society actors, particularly under the auspices of the NCA, were to
become the mustard seed of the search for a democratic political alternative
in Zimbabwe. Initially intending to send a message of ‘democratization’ ala
carte Western knowledge production systems to the incumbent leaders of that
time, the leaders of both labour and civil society came into their own
consciousness of the necessity of returning the country to the path that had
been envisioned by the processes and occurrence of our national
independence. Naturally, with the end of the Cold War, and with the
kaleidoscopic interests that comprised civil society, the language of this
return to the revolutionary path was less radical and more in keeping with
the then new global trend of embracing democracy and good governance.
[xviii]

The eventual rejection of the Draft Constitution via a national referendum
in February 2000 was indicative of general public disaffection with the
government of the day. It was also a statement of intent on the part of the
people of Zimbabwe that indeed the rhetoric of the liberation struggle was
no longer adequate to assuage their aspirations for a better life within a
democratic setting. This would be part of the reason why they would give the
newly formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) labour backed party
significant representation in the parliament of Zimbabwe in 2000. This, less
than seven months after it had been formed.

The incumbent national leadership (Zanu Pf) however also decided to return
to the past and sought to retain legitimacy by implementing a fast-track
land reform programme (FTLRP).[xix] It was an evident attempt to reignite
the nationalism of pre-1980, even though in the public perception the ruling
party had the fault of incumbency. The manner in which it was done was an
attempt to ‘grab’ the Zimbabwean liberation history narrative back to those
that had participated in the same struggle directly. Furthermore, Zanu Pf
sought to ensure a distinction between itself and the nascent MDC through
claiming greater authenticity in relation to the values of the liberation
struggle.[xx]

All of these developments and the repressive political environment together
with the disputed national elections that ensued between 2000 and 2008 have
led to reality of the emergence of two major political players in Zimbabwean
players, the MDC and Zanu Pf. The latter had the strength as well as the
fault of incumbency, while the former had the strength of popular
anticipation of leadership renewal in order to achieve the goals of national
independence in a post cold war global environment. This while facing the
primary weakness of inexperience in government or in finding the fine line
of how to negotiate with the international community on how best to achieve
these objectives.

It must however be stressed that in the eight years that it took for the
Global Political Agreement to be signed in 2008, it remains Zanu Pf that
held the primary responsibility of the exercise of executive authority in
the country. This essentially means that whereas there were sanctions that
would come to be imposed on members of government , parastatals and private
companies related thereto, from 2002 to present day, the fault for reneging
on the pursuit of the aims and objectives of our national independence
resided with the ruling party of this period. This particular point is made
because of the need for us not to lose sight of the fact that whatever may
be said about who brought sanctions upon Zimbabwe, the ruling party is
directly complicit by being unable to negotiate its way to preventing the
sanctions or reversing them in the period before the formation of the
inclusive government. It cannot do a ‘Pontius Pilate’ on the matter in as
much as it cannot say it was not responsible for the economic structural
adjustment programme of the 1990s or the economic meltdown at the turn of
the century.[xxi]

As it turned out, the pariah status of the Zimbabwean state in direct
relation to its disappointing human rights record, the technical and
political impact of international sanctions and the inability to hold free
and fair elections in this period left the values of the liberation struggle
severely compromised in the period 2000-2008. Where the fast track land
reform programme has been highly contested or acclaimed as a policy success
in relation to the struggle for independence, it alone cannot be viewed as
the raison-de-etre of the liberation struggle. It was one of the foremost
causes and triggers of the liberation struggle and a fundamental success
measurement goal for the first post independence governments. But in the 32
years after independence, its success or failure cannot be viewed in
isolation from the other objectives of the liberation struggle.

2008-2012: Assessing the alternatives and remembering the future.

The protracted SADC mediation process that began soon after the March 11
2007 assault on mainstream civil society and opposition political party
leaders, was essentially intended to bring about the inclusion of all major
political parties to share power in order to stabilise a country that was
becoming problematic in the region.

The eventual swearing in of the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in February 2009,
was to be the formalization of a power sharing agreement between Zanu Pf and
MDC. Its nature and structure of the GPA was intended that the inclusive
government be a transitional one.

Since its formation in 2009, the inclusive government has largely sought to
stabilize and improve the national economy, introduce a new constitution,
put an end to politically motivated violence, lobby for the removal of
sanctions, observe the rule of law, respect human rights, undertake
electoral reform and redress the pariah status of the country in the
international community. In attempting to deliver on all the
aforementioned issues, the inclusive government has demonstrated a patent
lack of collective responsibility.

Instead, there has been policy pronunciation based on partisan political
lines even on the most basic performance legitimacy issues of any government
(inclusive or otherwise). Again, as in the period where the political
protagonists Zanu Pf and MDC were not bedfellows in the inclusive
government, contestations as to which party remains best placed to lead the
country to the ‘promised land’ of independence are abound. These are most
visible in relation to issues around electoral and constitutional reforms,
as well as the way forward as regards economic indigenization (read as the
national economy) and matters related to land tenure in the aftermath of the
fast track land reform programme. One party claims the necessity of a
radical nationalist approach while the other is arguing for a rational one
linked to global trends in best economic and democratic practice.

Neither party however cannot escape the weight of ‘performance legitimacy’
not only in terms of what is deemed best democratic/economic practice but
more what has come to define the historical aspirations of the people of
Zimbabwe. As controversial as it may seem, the primary challenge of the
inclusive government like that of the first post independence government,
remains one of avoiding the discontinuity of our national historicity. A
task which on the occasion of the commemoration of our 32nd anniversary
means undertaking politics by negotiating with global capital, global
political powers with a firm understanding of all of the historical or
continuing processes and reasons as to why the Zimbabwean polity was
established in 1980.[xxii]

This particular point must then bring us to considerations of the future. It
is no longer feasible for one generation of leaders to assume either
revolutionary or popular/populist infallibility. This is particularly so if
the objectives of our national independence are to retain any semblance of
organic relevance to subsequent generations of Zimbabweans half a century
henceforth. Our current national leadership (comprised as it is of two main
protagonist camps) must begin to understand this with a new sense of urgency
and learn that with each politicized policy decision that they make, they
are running the risk of making our collective national history seem a
distant and irrelevant ideal to those that will come after us. While the
global future seems to be leaning toward an integrated world value system,
via the new liberal interventionist approach of world superpowers, we must
urgently learn to arrogate ourselves the role of being makers of own history
based on values that founded the state of Zimbabwe. This, with an aim of
improving not only the lives of all Zimbabweans regardless of race, colour
or class but also with the intention of making Zimbabwe’s presence as a
progressive and democratic state realized on the African continent and in
the world.

Such an approach would entail that we collectively come to understand our
‘national common ground’ regardless of political affiliation as we move
forward towards another year of our national independence. Where the GPA
formulated in 2008 has failed we must honestly assess why it has done so,
not on behalf of the the political parties, but on the basis of this same
said national common ground. This being a framework that comprehends the
values of our liberation struggle together with our post independence
struggles for further democratization and social and economic justice. This
is perhaps why civil society must revisit and recommit itself to the broad
principles that have been enunciated in the Zimbabwe People’s Charter. The
latter point is significant primarily because in the passage of time comes
the creation of new political realities and challenges that must be tackled
conscientiously and with principled effort. Our immediate or long term past
is not our definitive contemporary reality but it must instruct us as to how
to construct a better and social democratic future.

Conclusion.

The primary purpose of this essay has been to seek to outline the challenges
of the last 32 years of Zimbabwe’s existence as an independent country. This
was done primarily from an assessment of the leadership of the country and
its ability over the same period to remain focused on the holistic
aspirations of the liberation struggle. I have attempted to outline the
definitive premise of our national independence as social democratic in
intent and character given the plethora of grievances that motivated the
liberation struggle together with an attendant historical discontinuity
between our initial resistance to colonialism in the 1890s through to the
more modern liberation struggle in the second half of the 20th century. The
post independence periods were, partly as a result of the historical
discontinuities alluded to earlier, not demonstrative of organic commitment
to the values and principles of the struggle but driven by negotiated
‘mimicry’ of the developmental and political models of global and African
ideological powers of that time. The aftermath of the Cold War saw our
national leaders embracing most of the recommendations of the singular
global power and once again falling into the trap of straying further from
the path intended by our national independence. This development essentially
led to increased repression and an economic downturn that greatly assisted a
new alternative leadership to emerge and challenge the ruling party in the
later 1990s.

Whereas this new leadership was intended to return the country to the
independence path, it too, with the formation of the inclusive government
has not adequately reflected or acted on the historicity of our national
independence. In all this, there is the patent risk that national
independence may eventually become abstract to subsequent generations of
Zimbabweans and the state may be reinvented less on the basis of its history
and more in always seeking to fit into whatever dominant global hegemony is
dominant at a given time.

It is however prudent to state that in remembering our national independence
in 2012, we must insist that ‘never again!’ shall we or our children bear
witness to such repression either by way of racism (of any kind), social and
economic injustice or the wanton killing of innocent civilians and
deprivation of human rights to all. This is regardless of whatever
government is in charge of the Zimbabwean state at any given time in the
past, present or the future.

Finally it must be emphasized that the path that Zimbabwe must now pursue is
one that while being conscious of our history must not be imprisoned by it.
In celebrating or commemorating 32 years of our national independence, we
must think more of the future than the past. We must grasp that our
existence as a country is based on what were essentially struggles for the
freedom of all and not the few. In so doing, we must carry forward the
burden of the mistakes made more honestly and with the clear intentions of
ensuring that these mistakes never occur again of our own volition. This
means that as we await 2012’s independence we must be conscious of the
challenges that we face collectively and approach them with the necessary
historical and social consciousness that returns our country to a social
democratic path.

*Zhangazha can be contacted on kuurayiwa@gmail.com

[i] These linkages are well explored in Raftopolous B; Mlambo 2009 (eds)
Becoming Zimbabwe: A history of the Precolonial Period to 2008. Weaver
Press, Harare.

[ii] See Bhebhe N, Ranger T, 1995 Soldiers in Zimbabwe’s Liberation War,
Volume 1, University of Zimbabwe Publications, Harare

[iii] One early assessment of the post independence leadership can be found
in Astrow A. Zimbabwe. A revolution that lost its way? Zed Books, 1983,
London

[iv] There are new emerging arguments about the role of natural resources
and a new scramble for Africa. See Southall R, Melber H (eds) A new
scramble for Africa; Imperialism, Investment and Development, University of
KwaZulu-Natal Press, South Africa

[v] This is a disputed point in relation to the liberation struggle given
the socialist rhetoric that characterized it and the eventual mixed economy
of the post independent republic.

[vi] This phrase is derived from Nkrumah K, 1973 Revolutionary Path,
International Press

[vii] For explanations of divisions within the liberation movements and
guerilla armies see also Sadomba Z, War Veterans in Zimbabwe Liberation
Struggle, Challenging Neo- Colonialism, Settler and International Capital,
2010, Weaver Press, Harare

[viii] This is in part well explained in Stanlake Samkange’s novels, see,
Samkange S. Year of the Uprising, 1978. Heinneman, London

[ix] There have been a number of researches done on rural interactions with
dispossession and conquest, see Moore D. 2005, Suffering for Territory:
Race Place and Power in Zimbabwe, Duke University Press

[x] See also Mhanda W. 2011. Dzino: Memories of a Freedom Fighter, Weaver
Press, Harare

[xi] See also Sithole M, 1999. Zimbabwe. Struggles within the struggle
(1957-1980), Rujeko Publishers, Harare

[xii] Fanon writes extensively of the nationalist bourgeoisie tendencies to
replicate those that oppressed them in The Wretched of the Earth and an
interesting dimension is added by Homi Bhabha From on Mimicry and Man, The
Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse, taken from p85-92 On the location of
Culturehttp://prelectur.stanford.edu/lecturers/bhabha/mimicry.html

[xiii] For analysis of government programmes in the first decade of
independence see also Mandaza 1. 1986 Zimbabwe: The Political Economy of
Transition, SAPES Books, Harare

[xiv] Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, 1996 Beyond
Esap:http://www.weaverpresszimbabwe.com/latest-reviews/87-beyond-the-enclave/438-statement-by-cde-lovemore-matombo.html

[xv] Kanyenze G, Kondo T (eds) 2011. Beyond the Enclave: Toward a Pro-Poor
and Inclusive Development Strategy for Zimbabwe, Weaver Press, Harare

[xvi] For further reading on organic intellectuals and hegemony please see
Hoare Q, Smith G, 1971, Gramsci: Selections from the Prison Notebooks,
International Publishers, Co

[xvii] Chabal P, Daloz J (eds), 1999, Africa works, Disorder as Political
Instrument Indiana University Press

[xviii] Yeros P. Zimbabwe and the Dilemmas of the Left. Historical
Materialism. Volume 10, No. 2, 2002 pp 3-15

[xix] See also analysis by Ian Scoones et al, 2010, Zimbabwe’s Land Reform:
Myths and Realities, James Currey,

[xx] Ranger T, 2003. Historiography, Patriotic history and the History of
a Nation; the struggle over the past in Zimbabwe( Idoga Annual Distinguished
Lecture on Africa 2003, University of
Ghent)http://cas1.elis.ugent.be/avrug/pdf06/ranger.pdf

[xxi] Hammer A, Raftopolous B (eds) 2000. Zimbabwe’s Unfinished Business.
Rethinking Land, State, Nation in the Context of Crisis, Weaver Press,
Harare

[xxii] Cabral A. The Weapon of Theory. Address Delivered to the First
Tricontinental Conference of the Peoples of Asia, Latin America held in
Havana in January
1966.http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/cabral/1966/weapon-theory.htm


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“It’s our time to define our own destiny” Notes on Zimbabwean Independence Part II — by Clever Bere

http://africanarguments.org/

July 13, 2012
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The following originally appeared on the Zimbabwe Committee of the Peoples
Charter blog on April 12, 2012. There are three papers in all, as the
preface below states, to offer the views of a younger generation of
Zimbabwean intellectuals on the meaning of Independence and democracy. This
discussion is important for rethinking Zimbabwe. TS

Brief Preface:

The three essays cover three topics, national historical consciousness,
reflections of young Zimbabweans on the meaning of independence and tracing
the fading democratic value of leadership in Zimbabwe. The essays vary in
length and are essentially individual reflections of Zimbabweans. The
electronic publication of these essays has been facilitated by the Zimbabwe
Committee of the Peoples Charter.

Kind regards,

Committee of the People’s Charter.

It’s our time to define our own destiny.
By Clever Bere

On the 18th of April 2012, our country will be celebrating her
32ndAnniversary. If it was a human being, the country would have reached
adulthood, be able to fend for him/herself, expected to or already having
fathered or mothered, and able to decide what is right or wrong. With a
human being this process of decision making, growth and so forth is
influenced by relatively fewer forces. It is different when it is applied to
a state or a country.

Consequences of decisions made by those in national political authority have
far reaching consequences on their people, the current generation and those
to come. As in societal families if a previous generation has not invested
in the future of those to come, its mistakes weigh heavily on generations to
come. I am saying this mindful of the fact that as with a human families, a
country can face constraints associated with pursuing the right track
towards development and success for the benefit of posterity. It is
therefore of fundamental importance for careful thought to be applied when
making such decisions that have such far reaching consequences.

I am authoring this piece under particularly complex circumstances for young
people in Zimbabwe. On the one hand, these seem to be really exciting times
for youths and prospects for youth development and empowerment in 32 years
of our national independence. This is especially so when one listens to the
rhetoric that has been espoused by our contemporary leaders in the country
and on the continent at large regarding youth empowerment. On the other hand
real challenges seem to continue to mount on the youths in Zimbabwe, Africa
and globally due to spiraling unemployment, lack of vocational skills
training, universal access to t education, access to capital and
opportunities, lack of access to health services including those related to
diagnosis, treatment, and care of those living with HIV and, above all,
prevention of new HIV infections among the youths.

To be specific to Zimbabwe, the issue of political patronage of the youth
has compounded matter further. Indeed for one to survive as a young person
in the country, one has to tow a certain political line. Failure to tow the
political line is associated with persecution, victimization and exclusion.
Cases of this treatment to young leaders who would have dared to stand their
ground and speak the truth, only to face the music are numerous (even this
author is also a victim). This is not in any way implying, as has been said
in some spaces, that the author is a bitter-man, disgruntled and so forth.
He is not.

This persecution does not apply to Zimbabwe alone; we have also witnessed
and followed with keen interest the consented, sustained and vicious attack
on the youth leadership of the Africa National Congress (ANC) in South
Africa, with its president being the major victim. Malema might not be the
best of young leaders on the continent and I seek not to defend him, but I
will sympathize with him for as long as he is youth leader with a
constituency that voted for him and that continue to support him, simply
that.

The process of young people claiming their birthright to define their future
has however dawned upon us all. This is particularly in the wake of evidence
of the exclusion of young people in mainstream policy making processes via
riots and demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the
Occupy Wall Street movement of the United States. Zimbabwe is in no way an
exception as we approach our 32nd anniversary of our national independence.
Unless young people are taken with greater seriousness, it is for every
political, business and social player to realize that the youth of Zimbabwe,
Africa and the World are most likely to rebel. As a matter of fact, the
rebellion has already began; a rebellion against patronage, a rebellion
against corrupt leadership, a rebellion against manipulation and indeed a
rebellion against poverty. Yes we say no to dictatorship in all its from,
subtle or blatant.

All this is happening during a very historic period in the quest for youth
development in the country and on the continent. The continent’s leadership
adopted African Youth Decade 2009-2018 Plan of Action forAccelerating Youth
Empowerment for Sustainable Development as theRoad Map towards a
multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional engagement of all stakeholders towards
the achievement of the goals and objectives of the African Youth Charter.
Indeed it is a charter to which the Zimbabwean government is signatory and
which was a milestone step meant to bring Zimbabwean and African
stakeholders to address the challenges of young people in the country and on
the continent.

Unfortunately there are deficiencies particularly around the crafting of the
Plan of Action. Very few young people were involved, consulted and are aware
of the existence of the Plan of Action and the Charter itself. Its
implementation is driven by the older generations that has left us more
miserable that we were twenty years ago, that generation we are rebelling
against. And yes we must rebel. Even the very same older generation indeed
realize that, and to quote the words of one African statesman, former
president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki,

“ It (youth) must organise and ready itself to constitute itself into a
rebellion because it would obviously be unnatural that I, a member of the
older generation, would easily and willingly accept that younger people, my
own children, should, at best, sit side-by-side with me as co-leaders, fully
empowered to help determine the future of our people.[xxii]”
Yes young people must have a strong say in the determination of the future
or our country. We have learnt that, over the past thirty two years, the
political leadership in particular but also leadership in business and
society have been so selfish and curtailed the development of young people.

The Zimbabwe People’s Charter is clear in as far as answering what needs to
be done. Regarding the youth, the charter acknowledges that

“ young people represent the present and the future of our country and that
all those in positions of leadership nationally and locally must remain true
to the fact that our country shall be passed on from one generation to the
next. The charter further state that, in order for each generation to
bequeath to the next a country that remains the epitome of hope, democracy
and sustainable livelihoods, the following principles for the youth must be
adhered to and respected:
The youth shall be guaranteed the right to education at all levels until
they acquire their first tertiary qualification.

The youth shall be guaranteed an equal voice in decision-making processes
that not only affect them but the country as a whole in all spheres of
politics, the national economy and social welfare.

The youth shall be guaranteed access to the right to health.

The youth shall not be subject to political abuse through training regimes
that connote political violence or any semblance of propaganda that will
compromise their right to determine their future as both individuals and as
a collective.

The youth have the right to associate and assemble and express themselves
freely of their own prerogative.[xxii]”

Past and present developments have shown us that this cannot be achieved on
a silver plate, thus the relevance of a rebellious approach. The young
people of Arab world have rebelled in their way, providing inspiration to
young people across the world. The occupy-wall-street despite its limited
media coverage by the biased international media is a significant rebellion
against global capital.

The Zuma-Malema saga further shows us that young people also have the
capacity to stand their ground. We have done the same here and will continue
to do so. Yes young people have started to speak out on the manner in which
empowerment funds are being disbursed. We continue to speak against the
gross injustices in the workplace. And we will speak against the continued
looting of our natural resources, through the unholy alliance and tag team
of global capital and the selfish political elite to which we will not be
far from the truth if we would based on their conduct label them
unpatriotic.

However one major obstacle impeding on young people’s ability to achieve
results has been the disunity in our youth’s movement. Of cause in some way
this disunity is because of the hand of the older generation. As the Youth
Committee of the Committee of the People’s Charter we are of the reality
that unless we come together as young people, define our agenda and pursue
it we will remain living at the mercy of the political and business elites.
To buttress my point, I will borrow the influential statement made by that
great thinker and proponent of human liberation, Frantz Fanon, many years
ago – that
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission,
fulfil it or betray it.”

We were not in the front not because we are cowards, not because we are less
patriotic; it is simply because we were not yet born. This doesn’t mean in
anyway that we do not appreciate the sacrifices of the gallant sons and
daughters who, shoulder to shoulder with the peasants, the workers and all
Zimbabweans in the country and abroad, to liberate the country.

For that we appreciate and remain grateful, for it was a worthy cause. The
fact that we were not there in 1999 when the real opposition to ZANU PF, MDC
was formed does not mean we are cowards either. It is just that we were too
young to be there. The equally recognize the work done by the MDC in trying
to bring democracy to the country. Every moment however has its leaders,
with a different agenda and mandate, whether you fulfill it or betray it,
your time will come to pass and other generations will come.

Our time has come and we will define our mission and we will fulfill it.

It is our right to enjoy the benefits of independence.

Happy 32nd anniversary Zimbabwe. Uhuru.

Clever Bere can be contacted on cleverbere@gmail.com

i) Thabo Mbeki Address at the UNDP-UN Habitat 21 Global Youth Leadership
Forum on Inclusive Governance NAIROBI, KENYA; MARCH 17, 2012. TASKS OF THE
YOUTH OF THE WORLD.

ii) Zimbabwe People’s Charter adopted Feb 2008.


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Bill Watch 32/2012 of 14th July [House sends HRC and Older Persons Bills to Senate, Amended Electoral Bill to PLC]

BILL WATCH 32/2012

[14th July 2012]

Both Houses of Parliament will Sit AgainThis Week

Finance Minister’s Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review on Wednesday 18th July

Three Parliamentary By-Elections Ordered by Supreme Court

On 12th July the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision ordering Presidential proclamations to be gazetted before the end of August for the holding of by-elections in three Matabeleland House of Assembly constituencies. These constituencies, formerly held by the smaller MDC party, fell vacant in 2010 when their MPs were expelled from their party and as a result forfeited their seats. In terms of the Electoral Act, the proclamations must call for nominations of candidates and fix dates for nomination courts to sit and for voting. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must then conduct the by-elections following the proclamation dates. The Electoral Act allows a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 21 days between the date a proclamation is gazetted and the sitting of the nomination court; and a minimum of 28 days and a maximum of 50 days for campaigning between nomination day and polling day or last polling day. So, if the President gazettes a proclamation on 31st August, polling could be as late as 10th November i.e. 71 days after the gazetting of the proclamation. Conversely, if he gazettes a proclamation, this week, on 18th July, and uses the minimum periods, polling could be as soon as the 1st September.

[Note: if the current Electoral Amendment Bill – see below – becomes law before the proclamation is gazetted, as is now feasible, the parameters for by-election dates would be different, because the Bill requires longer campaign periods, of not less than 42 and not more than 63 days. This would permit polling to be set for as late as 22nd November.]

Precedent for Other Overdue By-Elections

While the Supreme Court’s order applies only to these three vacancies, the decision creates a precedent for other similar cases – meaning that the President would have no legitimate grounds for resisting applications to the High Court for the proclamation of by-elections in such cases. In these circumstances, an appropriate response to the decision would be a Government announcement that it will apply the decision across the board to fill the other 25 constituency seats that are vacant in the House of Assembly [16 seats] and the Senate [9 seats]. Like the three vacancies directly covered by the Supreme Court’s decision, all are well overdue for by-elections which, according to the Constitution and Electoral Act, should have been set in motion by the President within 14 days of Parliament notifying him of each vacancy. [Some of the vacancies date from the beginning of the present Parliament in 2008 – one of the ZANU-PF MPs elected in March 2008 died before the opening of Parliament several months later.] The Supreme Court’s decision also creates a precedent for summoning meetings of provincial assemblies of chiefs in Manicaland and Matabeleland to fill the two chief’s seats from those provinces that are vacant in the Senate.

In the House of Assembly Last Week

Bills passed in House and Transmitted to Senate

Human Rights Commission Bill – this Bill was amended during its Committee Stage on 10th July and sent back to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for its report on the constitutionality of the amended Bill. The PLC returned a non-adverse report Bill on 12th July, as expected, and the Bill was immediately had its Third Reading [a formality] in the House and was transmitted to the Senate for consideration on Tuesday 17th July.

Older Persons Bill – this Bill, which has been awaiting its Second Reading stage since the PLC’s non-adverse report was announced some time ago, went through all its stages on 12th July, without amendment and with little debate. It, too, was transmitted to the Senate for consideration on 17th July.

Electoral Amendment Bill Amended – now awaiting PLC report

Having been given its Second Reading on 10th July, the Electoral Amendment Bill went through its Committee Stage on 12th July. The amendments tabled by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs – see Bill Watch 31/2012 of 11th July – were approved and the Bill was sent back to the PLC for its report on the constitutionality of the amended Bill. If, as expected, the PLC returns a non-adverse report on 17th July, the Bill will have its Third Reading in the House and then be transmitted to the Senate.

International agreement approved

The House approved a motion proposed by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa for the ratification of the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore within the framework of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation [ARIPO]. The Protocol is designed to protect traditional knowledge [such as expertise in traditional medicines] and traditional cultural expression of folklore in developing countries, particularly within ARIPO Member States, from the current rampant illicit exploitation of that knowledge and expression without any benefit accruing to the holders. Harare is the seat of ARIPO headquarters.

Ministerial Statements

Two comprehensive Ministerial Statements were made in the House, on the:

2012 Population Census – by the Minister of Finance. The census will be conducted from 17th to 27th August.

Power Situation – by the Minister of Energy and Power Development. The Minister went into great detail on measures being taken to ease power outages in the country.

Motions

Waste disposal and management in Harare/Chitungwiza – the chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism proposed that the House take note of the committee’s report on waste disposal and management, which concludes that determined effort is required from the local authorities and the Environmental Management Authority to arrest problems in these areas before they get out of hand.

Question Time

Questions without notice raised issues including difficulties being experienced by would-be investors notwithstanding the introduction of the One Stop Shop Investment Centre; distribution of funds from the Youth Development Fund by commercial banks; NSSA investment decisions; the provincial spread of agricultural training colleges; deterioration of the National Sports Stadium; scrapping of hospital user fees for expectant mothers.

Questions with notice The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, responding to a question about a district administrator compelling kraalheads to attend a ZANU-PF meeting, confirmed that it is wrong for district administrators to dabble in politics. Other questions on the Order Paper were not dealt with for lack of Ministerial attendance.

In the Senate Last Week

Bills

As expected [see Bill Watch 30/2012], there was no further debate on Mr Gonese’s motion to restore his POSA Amendment Bill to the Order Paper.

Palermo Protocol Approved by Senate

On 10th July the Senate passed a resolution approving the Palermo Protocol [the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children] as proposed by Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone. Like their colleagues in the House of Assembly last month, Senators spoke in support of the motion. Minister Makone assured Senators that she would be back in Parliament next Session with a Bill to domesticate the Protocol, i.e., give it legal effect in Zimbabwe. Now that both Houses of Parliament have approved the Protocol, the Government can proceed to deposit Zimbabwe’s instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General. The Protocol will finally become fully binding on Zimbabwe 30 days thereafter. [See Bill Watch 27/2012 of 18th June for notes on the protocol. The protocol is available from veritas@mango.zw]

Motions

Public Service ghost workers There was further debate on this motion.

PLC Adverse Reports on SIs The chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Hon Mushonga, presented another batch of adverse reports on statutory instruments. Again, all the reports criticise penalty provisions in local authority by-laws on the basis that the provisions concerned are inconsistent with the procedure for small admission of guilt fines laid down by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, and therefore unconstitutional. There are now seventeen adverse reports on SIs awaiting further debate by the Senate, to end with decisions whether or not to adopt the adverse reports. [For the consequences of Senate adoption of an adverse report on a SI, see Bill Watch 24/2012 of 5th June.]

Thursday Question Time Questions Without Notice were marred by poor attendance by Ministers, although Hon Zvidzai, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development dealt valiantly with a variety of questions on local government issues, including several complaints about unqualified “special interest councillors” being forced on local authorities by Ministerial appointment. Questions with Notice were not dealt with at all.

Coming up in the House of Assembly This Week

Bills

Electoral Amendment Bill – as soon as the PLC returns a non-adverse report on the Bill, it will receive its Third Reading and be transmitted to the Senate to be passed by that House.

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – this Bill is at the top of the Order Paper, awaiting its Second Reading. But as it has been there practically all the Session waiting for the Minister of Industry and Commerce to deliver his Second Reading speech, it may not be dealt with.

Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review

The Minister is due to present this on Wednesday 12th July – and is expected to follow it up with Amended Estimates of Expenditure for 2012 and an Appropriation (2012) Amendment Bill to give effect to them.

Coming up in the Senate This Week

Bills

The Senate is likely to have a busy week dealing with Bills transmitted from the House of Assembly. On 17th July it will receive the two Bills the House passed on Thursday:

Human Rights Commission Bill

Older Persons Bill.

Later in the week it will be receiving from the House of Assembly the:

Electoral Amendment Bill

Appropriation (2012) Amendment Bill, if as anticipated the Minister of Finance’s Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review necessitates a downward revision of Estimates of Expenditure for the year

any other Bill passed by the House next week, e.g., the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill it the House of Assembly [see above].

Motions

The Senate is still faced with continuing debate on the PLC’s seventeen adverse reports on SIs [see above] and on several other motions.

Question Time

If the Senate is still sitting on Thursday afternoon, proceedings will commence with questions, for which two hours are set aside.

New Bill being Printed by Government Printer

Parliament has received the Securities Amendment Bill from the Minister of Finance and sent it to the Government Printer for printing. The Bill may be gazetted during the coming week, but cannot be presented until the next Session of Parliament. The official text of the Bill will become publicly available when it is gazetted. The Bill has been under preparation for some time, and was one of the Bills mentioned by the President when he opened the present Parliamentary Session. It is designed to strengthen the regulatory framework for the financial sector, including the largely self-regulated Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Government Gazette of 13th July

No Bills, Acts nor statutory instruments were gazetted.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied


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Parliamentary Committees Series - 16th July 2012 [Meetings Open to the Public: 16-19 July]

BILL WATCH

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES

[16th July 2012]

This Afternoon [Monday 16th July]

An Interactive Meeting between the Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

Open to the Public as Observers

Committee Room No. 413, Chairperson: Hon Mwonzora

Other Committee Meetings Open to the Public 16th to 19th July

NOTE: Members of the public who cannot attend meetings, including Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, can at any time send written submissions to committees by email addressed to clerk@parlzim.gov.zw

Thematic Committee and Portfolio Committees will meet this week, in both open and closed session. The meetings listed below will be open to the public but as observers only, not as participants, i.e. members of the public can listen but not speak. The meetings will be held at Parliament in Harare. If attending, please use the entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets and note that IDs must be produced.

This bulletin is based on the latest information from Parliament. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule, persons wishing to attend a meeting should avoid disappointment by checking with the committee clerk [see below] that the meeting is still on and open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936.

Monday 16th July at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Mines and Energy

Oral evidence from the Zimbabwe Federation of Small Scale Miners on challenges and operations in the gold sector

Senate Chamber

Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mrs Mataruka

Portfolio Committee: Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism

Oral evidence from Secretaries of the following Ministries: Transport and Infrastructure Development, Environment and Natural Resources Management and Tourism and Hospitality Industry on the progress that sub-committees have made to achieve their objectives

Committee Room No. 311

Chairperson: Hon M. Dube Clerk: Mr Mazani

Public Accounts Committee

Oral evidence from Ministry of Home Affairs on the C and AGs 2009 and 2010 Annual Reports

Committee Room No. 4

Chairperson: Hon Chinyadza Clerk: Mrs Nyawo

Monday 16th July at 2 pm

Portfolio Committee: Budget, Finance, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion

Oral evidence from the Ministry of Finance on the failed banks

Committee Room No. 4

Chairperson: Hon Zhanda Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika

Portfolio Committee: Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs

Interactive meeting with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

Committee Room No. 413

Chairperson: Hon Mwonzora Clerk: Mr Mutyambizi

Thematic Committee: Gender and Development

Oral evidence from the Minister of Women Affairs on the National Gender Policy and the disbursement of the Women Development Fund

Committee Room No. 3

Chairperson: Hon A. Sibanda Clerk: Ms Masara

Tuesday 17th July at 10 am

Thematic Committee: MDGs

Oral evidence from the Ministry of Public Service on public service pensions scheme

Government Caucus Room

Chairperson: Hon Chief Mtshane Clerk: Mrs Nyawo

Portfolio Committee: Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade

Oral evidence from inter-Ministerial on Beitbridge border post infrastructural development and Beitbridge development project

Committee Room No. 3

Chairperson: Hon Mukanduri Clerk: Mr Chiremba

Wednesday 18th July at 9 am

Thematic Committee: Peace and Security

Oral evidence from the Minister of Energy and Power Development on policies and procedures of load shedding on wheat farmers and allegations of corruption in ZESA

Committee Room No. 4

Chairperson: Hon Mumvuri Clerk: Mr Munjenge

Wednesday 18th July at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Media, Information and Communication Technology

Oral evidence from Econet and Telecel for an update on the developments made on telecommunications and ICT services in the country

Senate Chamber

Chairperson: Hon Chikwinya Clerk: Mr Mutyambizi

Thursday 12th July at 10 am

No open meetings

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