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US not lifting Zimbabwe sanctions

http://www.timeslive.co.za/

Sapa-AFP | 24 July, 2012 14:46

The United States' outgoing ambassador to Zimbabwe said on Tuesday that
Washington would only lift sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his
inner circle if polls are held peacefully.

"There are disturbing signs of potential violence," Charles Ray said in a
farewell address to journalists on completing his tour of duty in Harare.

"There have been disturbing reports recently that could be problematic in an
election environment."

The ambassador's remarks came a day after the European Union agreed to lift
most sanctions imposed on Mugabe's inner circle if the country holds a
"credible" vote on a new constitution.

Ray said the United States would only lift its own sanctions on Mugabe and
his close associates after Washington is satisfied with the electoral
conditions in Zimbabwe.

"Sanctions were a response to a violent electoral process," he said. "A
credible electoral process free of violence and intimidation would make our
current policies irrelevant. The ball is entirely in this court.

"It's hard to say to my government they should do away with a policy that we
put in place as a response to certain issues when those issues have not been
adequately addressed."

Sporadic cases of violence have been reported across Zimbabwe in recent
months including the murder of a district official from Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's party by Mugabe supporters.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai were forced into a coalition government three years
ago to avoid a tip into fully-fledged conflict following a bloody
presidential run-off election.

A local daily last week reported an incident in which soldiers teamed up
with youth from Mugabe's party to block a rally that was to be addressed by
Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a Tsvangirai ally.

The ambassador, who is retiring after 50 years in the military and
diplomatic service, also urged security chiefs to keep out of politics.

"The role of the military is to defend the nation," Ray said.

"In order to do that they must develop a degree of professionalism. It means
that military people, in order to remain professional and of service to the
country, must delink their personal political convictions from the carrying
out of their professional duties."

Some security chiefs have been quoted in the media making partisan political
statements including suggestions that they would only recognise a leader
with credentials from the country's 1970s liberation war.


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Outgoing US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Fears Violent Elections

http://www.voanews.com/

Sebastian Mhofu

July 24, 2012
HARARE — The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, says he
fears the African nation's next elections could be violent, judging by
recent trends.

Speaking at his last media briefing in Harare, retiring U.S. Ambassador
Charles Ray said elections in Zimbabwe might turn violent, “There are
disturbing signs of potential of violence," he stated. "That could be
problematic in an election environment.”

Since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party felt the challenge
of a strong opposition, Zimbabwean elections have been violent. That
resulted in the United States, Britain and other Western countries imposing
sanctions on Mugabe and his party leadership, beginning in 2002.

The army, which has openly said it supports ZANU-PF, has been accused of
fanning violence.

“I spent 20 years of life as a professional soldier," said Ray. "The role
of the army is to defend the nation. In order to do that you need to
develop a degree of professionalism. While it does not mean that military
people are not entitled to have political views, it means that military
people, in order to remain professional and in service to the country, they
must delink their personal political convictions from their current
professional duties.”

The ambassador said Washington would lift sanctions imposed on Mugabe and
his allies if it saw human rights being honored, and an election reflecting
Zimbabwean wishes had been held.

The European Union made a similar statement Monday, saying it will remove
targeted sanctions after Zimbabwe holds "peaceful and credible" elections.

Zimbabwe is set to hold elections by June 2013 to end the power-sharing
government of Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The two formed a
coalition in 2009, after regional leaders nullified a violent election in
which Mugabe claimed victory over Tsvangirai.


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Tsvangirai welcomes EU moves to lift targeted sanctions



Statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe on the EU
Council decisions on Zimbabwe

24 July 2012

I welcome the EU announcement made in Brussels yesterday to suspend
restrictive measures on Zimbabwe. My preference remains for a full lifting
of the measures in keeping with the agreement between the GPA parties in
Zimbabwe and resolutions of SADC.

However, linking a suspension to the successful conclusion of the
Constitution referendum is evidence that the EU is willing to respond to
progress in reform of the democratic process in Zimbabwe.

I remain hopeful that we will in due course fully normalize our relationship
with the EU and urge all parties to remain engaged. In particular, I urge
the GPA parties in Zimbabwe to redouble their efforts in implementing the
commitments that we made to fully and honestly implement the global
political agreement and the roadmap to a free, fair, legitimate and credible
election whose results are not contested.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe


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DFAT to review Zimbabwe sanctions

http://www.abc.net.au/

Updated July 25, 2012 00:51:09

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to
review Australia's sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was formerly a torture
victim at the hands of president Robert Mugabe's regime, argues there have
been many positive changes in his country.

He has used a visit to Australia to call for restrictions placed on the
Mugabe regime to be suspended.

He has argued the military, financial and travel sanctions should be eased
in the lead up to the next election, given the progress that has been
achieved.

Mr Tsvangirai's comments coincide with European Union leaders praising
Zimbabwe's unity government this week for improving freedom and prosperity.

The ABC understands DFAT could make a decision on the request within weeks.


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SADC land ruling undermined by Zim constitution

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
24 July 2012

Zimbabwe’s commitment to the rule of law is facing serious questions since
the release of the country’s new draft constitution, which contains clauses
that undermine a key ruling by the regional human rights court.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal ruled in 2008
that Robert Mugabe’s land grab campaign was unlawful, in a landmark court
case that upheld the right of the Zimbabwe’s battered farming community to
seek redress.

The ruling slammed the land seizures as ‘inherently discriminatory’ and
against the standards and values of the SADC Treaty that Zimbabwe, as a
signatory to the Treaty, is party to.

The then ZANU PF government was ordered to compensate farmers in a ruling
that was meant to be internationally binding. The ruling was never honoured
and instead, the court was suspended by SADC leaders for a ‘review’. The
SADC leaders were criticised for appearing to side with Mugabe over human
rights and the rule of the law.

Justice is now set to be further delayed with Zimbabwe’s draft constitution
actively undermining the still suspended Tribunal’s ruling, by stating that
farmers will not be compensated and the government has no obligation to do
so. The draft toes the ZANU PF line that Britain is responsible for
compensating the farmers, because the land grab was “addressing the
imbalance of the colonial era.”

The charter also states that no one can challenge this refusal to pay
compensation in the country’s courts, while the state takeover of land
cannot be legally challenged on the grounds of ‘discrimination’. This kind
of takeover has been legalised, with the draft detailing that the government
can acquire land and take over title deeds with only a notice in the
Government Gazette serving as warning.

Former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, who led the legal challenge against Mugabe
at the Tribunal in 2008, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the land
clauses are “very worrying.”

“This is a harsh and draconian thing to write into the constitution and it
makes it even more simple for the state to seize the properties that are
left in Zimbabwe, Freeth said.

He added: “What is most concerning for me is the discriminatory basis that
this is being done on, which is a clear indication of where we are in the
country right now. Discrimination has essentially been written into the
constitution and signed by the democratic side of our government, the MDC.”

Freeth said the land clauses not only “endorse theft,” but also “go against
the principles of democracy that SADC is meant to adhere to.”

“I believe that we are now at crunch time in terms of the Zimbabwe’s future.
And it is yet to be determined if this is a future that includes respect of
property and human rights and the rule of law,” Freeth said.


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Zanu PF fights over constitution

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:10

HARARE - Zanu PF officials dismissing the recently completed draft
constitution are “treacherous and turncoats”, a party official has said.

Munyaradzi Mangwana, who is Zanu PF’s co-chair of the Constitution Select
Committee (Copac), said party propagandist and former information minister
Jonathan Moyo and Godwills Masimirembwa were such turncoats.

He said this yesterday after Copac chairpersons handed over the draft
constitution to Parliament’s presiding officers House of Assembly Speaker
Lovemore Moyo and Senate President Ednah Madzongwe.

Moyo and Masimirembwa have been at the forefront of attacking the draft,
which they describe as a compromise document between coalition partners.

“It is highly treacherous and I did not expect Masimirembwa to be a
turncoat. He participated in the constitutional process as a technical
person and Moyo is a Member of Parliament who is also expected to support
this constitution. This is not acceptable at all,” said Mangwana.

This is not the first time Mangwana has attacked Moyo over the draft
constitution.

MDC Copac co-chair Douglas Mwonzora said he did not expect anything
progressive to come from Moyo.

“These people are well-known opponents of the constitution. Jonathan Moyo
and some of his Zanu PF members do not like this constitution and noone must
expect anything different from them."

"However, the truth is that it is a good document which tried to capture the
views of the people on what they want to see in the constitution,” said
Mwonzora.

Mwonzora said Copac would engage the public and inform them on the contents
of the draft constitution before a referendum is held, most likely in
October.


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Civil servants strike, demand salary hikes

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
24 July 2012

Just one hundred civil servants in Harare went on a protest march, to
denounce the government’s failure to meet their salary demands.

Our correspondent in the capital, Simon Muchemwa, told us it took the civil
servants almost two hours to gather at the Harare gardens in central Harare
where they began their march. The decision to go on a one day strike was
taken last week following Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s mid-term budget
review.

Biti downgraded the national budget from $4 billion to $3.4 billion due to
lack of diamond revenues from the Marange fields, dashing any hopes of a
wage increase for the civil servants.

The poor attendance at the protest showed up the fundamental differences
between the affiliates of the Apex Council.

The Apex Council is an umbrella union for civil servants, bringing together
the Public Service Association, Zimbabwe Teachers Association, Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the College
Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe.

Apex chairperson Tendai Chikowore told us last week that civil servants
wanted their salaries raised across the board, with the lowest paid workers
demanding a raise from $286 to $560 per month.

The demonstrators on Tuesday marched from the Harare gardens to the new
government complex that houses the Ministry of Finance and to the Parliament
buildings. The public sector employees held up placards that read: ‘We want
our money, we want our diamonds” and “MPs $15,000 civil servants $0.”

Muchemwa said at both the Ministry of Finance and Parliament, the civil
servants left petitions calling on the government to seriously look into the
dire situation of those in the public sector.

He said it was clear the demonstration was marred by differences of opinion
among the Apex affiliates. Some wanted to take a militant stance against
Biti, while others opposed the idea, saying they were protesting against
government, not an individual.

‘They argued on the wording of the placards, some of which called Biti
names. This was decided against as the majority felt the Finance minister
wasn’t solely to blame for their crisis but the whole government,’ Muchemwa
said.

On Monday Biti claimed the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) and
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party were backing Tuesday’s demonstration by civil
servants.

He told the VOA he saw a hidden hand in the demonstration after police took
swift action in giving the civil servants the green light to protest and
that during the Tuesday march, police kept watch from a distance.


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Biti, civil servants unions trade fire

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

23/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti last night accused public sector workers’
unions of being used by Zanu PF on the eve of their street protest over low
pay, which will culminate at his office in Harare.

Biti, forced to reduce his 2012 budget by US$600 million last Wednesday,
claimed Zanu PF – which is in a coalition with his MDC-T party in which he
is secretary general – was trying to project him as incompetent.

But his claims of collusion between Zanu PF and the unions were
contemptuously rejected by unionists last night who insisted that their
protest was not personalised.

Biti presented his mid-term budget review last Wednesday in which he ruled
out pay increases for the government’s 230,000 workers.
This year, Biti said, 73 percent of his US$3,4 billion budget will be used
to pay salaries. That is unsustainable, he said.

He blames his budget’s poor performance on a lack of transparency by diamond
companies in Marange. So far this year, treasury had received a meagre US$41
million from diamond sales – despite production going up by 129 percent.

“If they are genuine workers who are genuinely interested in understanding
why the economy is not moving, surely I would have rather thought the people
they should be demonstrating against are the people that are stealing our
money which is the diamond producers, in particular that Chinese company
called Anjin,” Biti said last night.

“I have no problem with the right to demonstrate, but I have a problem with
politicians masquerading as trade unionists, and the hand of the CIO
[Central Intelligence Organisation] that I see in this process.”

Biti said he was “prepared to meet genuine workers anytime”, but added:
“Genuine workers would also know the procedures to be followed, which are
not being followed here.

“The police have been quick to say ‘oh we are allowing them to demonstrate’
when clearly provisions of the law have not been followed, it just shows you
the dark hand and the dark forces that are behind this job action.”
Biti claims the protest is specifically targeting his office, yet the budget
is approved by the coalition government.

“What the government was basically saying through me last Wednesday is that
we don’t have money. We are cutting the budget from US$4 billion to $3,4
billion and the primary reason is the non-performance of diamonds,” Biti
told the Voice of America’s Studio 7.

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But Richard Gundani, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (ZIMTA), rejected Biti’s claims that he could “clearly and self
evidently see a political hand” in the planned march.

“That conversation is neither here nor there because our cause is not driven
by politics, nor is it motivated by political parties,” Gundani said.

“What we have done is we have made a resolution as the Apex Council
[umbrella body for public sector unions], a resolution which we have also
adopted as ZIMTA that we are going ahead with Tuesday’s demonstration.

“It is a demonstration which is 100 percent to do with bread and butter
issues; it is a demonstration to do with the budget. We want to believe that
the budget is a product of government, the different ministers put together
constitute a government, so this is not directed at any one individual.”

Gundani accused Biti of creating a “wrong perception which is meant to
misdirect people and the general public that we are bent on attacking
persons from particular political parties”.
“We are directing our anger at the government in its totality,” he insisted.

Biti’s call for the civil servants to protest in Marange was also rejected
by ZIMTA, the largest and oldest union for teachers.

“That is the mandate and the purview of the government ministers to work
with those companies to make sure that they unlock those resources,” Gundani
said.
The lowest-paid public sector worker earns $286 per month, which unions want
raised to $560 per month.

Apex Council president Tendai Chikowore said they held talks with the police
on Monday to supply information about their route and plans.

She revealed that the unions had sent an urgent petition to President Robert
Mugabe last Thursday asking him to step in to avoid the industrial action,
but they had received no response from his office.


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Spy Agency Manipulating Civil Servants' Protest: Biti

http://www.voanews.com/

23 July 2012

Gibbs Dube & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the Central Intelligence Organization
(CIO) and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party are backing Tuesday’s
one-hour demonstration by civil servants demanding increased salaries.

Biti told Studio 7 Monday that he saw a hidden hand in the demonstration
after police took swift action in clearing the agitated civil servants to
stage the Harare protests.

He said though some of the workers will be genuinely demanding salary
increases, there are others who were being manipulated by the CIO to engage
in the protest.

Biti said the civil servants should, in fact, stage protests in Marange
where diamonds worth millions of dollars are disappearing.

"If there are genuine workers interested in knowing why the economy is not
moving, I would think that they should have demonstrated against companies
in Marange that are stealing our diamonds, especially that company called
Anjin (Investments of China)," he said.

The civil servants decided last Thursday to stage the demonstration after
Biti downgraded the national budget from $4 billion to $3.4 billion due to
drying diamond revenues from Marange field.

The diamond revenues were this year expected to boost state coffers by at
least $600 million. Zimbabwe generated $41.6 million from diamond sales
between January and June this year instead of the expected $123 million.

Secretary general Richard Gundani of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said
the protest was not targeting the finance minister.

"These claims are not true because we are not being driven by any politics
and our actions are not motivated by political parties," said Gundani.

Apex Council chairwoman Tendai Chikowore said preparations for the
demonstration have been finalized.


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MP seeks explanation for troops’ presence in his constituency

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
24 July 2012

The MDC-T MP for Makoni South, Pishai Muchauraya, has said the decision by
the army to deploy a 400 strong battalion in his constituency is a desperate
move on the military’s part.

Muchauraya, who is also the spokesman for the MDC-T in Manicaland province,
told SW Radio’s Hidden Story program that the deployment of the troops is
intended to instil fear and intimidate the electorate ahead of crucial
harmonized elections, set for 2013.

He said the approach of the army, led by die-hard supporters of Robert
Mugabe, was not only dictatorial but also uncivilized, adding: ‘It is the
fear of losing that is making them use state might to get soldiers deployed
in the area, so as to wage psychological war on our people.’

‘The deployment of soldiers against unarmed villagers during peace time
shows how primitive our democracy is. Zimbabwe is not at war and we are not
facing any threats, so why should the army deploy its troops in heavily
populated areas and not go to areas where its ideal for training purposes,’
the legislator said.

He explained that he has since requested to meet with the commanders
responsible for the deployment, to seek answers about the troops’ presence
in Makoni South. The MP said he is suspicious as to why the troops are
always sent to constituencies held by the MDC-T and not ZANU PF.

‘Of all the exercises that have been staged in Manicaland province since
2008, all have been held in constituencies under the MDC-T. Why not have the
exercises in one of the six ZANU PF constituencies in the province.

‘The army and ZANU PF are afraid that Zimbabweans have started finding their
voice and they are looking for a means to intimidate us. It just shows how
much of a dictator Mugabe and his junta are and how insensitive they’re to
the plight of the common villager in Makoni South,’ Muchauraya said.

Last week we reported that soldiers from the 3.2 infantry battalion at
Tsanzaguru outside Rusape were deployed in Nyazura for an exercise, but
their real goal was to campaign for ZANU PF.

Truck loads of army vehicles dropped off close to 400 troops at Gwangwaza
shopping centre. They were being transported from their main base at
Tsanzaguru, which is 30 km away. Reports say they have been roaming the area
menacingly.

The heavily armed soldiers have been telling villagers they’re in the area
for a training exercise, although they’re singing revolutionary ZANU PF
songs and toy-toying.


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Chief in Mberengwa orders MDC supporter to leave area

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 July 2011

A traditional chief from Mberengwa district in the Midlands Province has
been accused of victimising a supporter of the MDC-T, following reports he
has ordered Rugare Gwezuva to vacate the area.

According to the MDC-T, Rugare Gwezuva was given until August 4th to vacate
his home in Mberengwa North by Chief Mapiravana. This was shocking because
Gwezuva had been the victim of an assault by ZANU PF thugs whom he reported
to the police, leading to their arrest.

A statement from the MDC-T said a well known ZANU PF thug named Admire
Sibanda and four of his family members targetted Gwezuva for assault back in
June, simply because he supported the MDC-T.

The police later arrested Sibanda’s son-in-law, named Dube, who was
eventually sentenced to 12 months in prison. Another ZANU PF thug was also
arrested for taking part in the assault on Gwezuva.

The MDC-T said Sibanda was angered by the arrests and he “connived” with
Chief Mapiravana in ordering Gwezuva to vacate the area.

“As we speak, unknown people, supposedly acting on the orders of Chief
Mapiravana, have removed the perimeter fence surrounding my homestead and
vandalized my cattle pen,” Gwezuva is quoted as saying.

Llewelyn Sibanda, the MDC-T Provincial Secretary for Midlands told SW Radio
Africa that Chief Mapiravana is known to be a loyal ZANU PF supporter in
Mberengwa. Sibanda said most of the politically motivated violence that has
taken place in the area has involved the chief. He said he is going to take
Gwezuva to Harare to seek assistance from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights.

ZANU PF has politicized the role played by traditional chiefs and headman by
providing them with a monthly salary and vehicles to use in their rural
constituencies. Some of these once revered leaders have been used to compile
lists of the villagers in their area, for use during elections.


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Teacher victimised for supporting MDC-T in Bikita South

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 July 2011

A teacher who chaired the School Development Committee (SDC) at a school in
Bikita South has been ordered to step down and resign from her job, after
she spoke out over funds being misused by a senior official. But the real
issue has turned out to be political, with ZANU PF intimidating teachers and
residents of Mberengwa South.

The teacher, named only as Angie for fear of reprisals, told SW Radio Africa
that she was arrested on July 18th and accused of defamation, after she
asked the deputy headmaster named Hari to account for school funds he had
spent on groceries for the students. The supplies were purchased from Hari’s
own shop.

Angie said the headmaster then told her that the charges would only be
dropped if she apologized to Hari. A meeting was arranged for her to
apologise in front of parents and according to Angie the ZANU PF district
chairman, Nathan Zeya, was also present.

But the apology served no purpose because the charges were not dropped and
Angie was told that parents at the school do not want her there any longer.
The teacher said she then realised that there was something else at play.

Angie remembered that in the meeting she had been accused of favouring MDC
supporters when it comes to hiring assistants at the school. “Handi ite
zvebato re MDC pa basa,” she said ( I do not conduct MDC business when I am
at work). But she said many teachers and parents are afraid and they have
gone against her in fear.

Ward 8 in Bikita South is said to be very tense. ZANU PF officials are
reported to be on a serious party registration drive, holding meetings at
least three times a week to register first time voters. Residents are being
threatened by party members, who say they will visit those who do not
register at their homes during the night.


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Zanu PF Warns Members Against Factionalism

http://www.voanews.com

23 July 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

The Zanu PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has warned its
members to desist from factional politics, saying those found aiding and
abetting divisions will be expelled regardless of their position or
standing.

The warning follows the decision by the party's top leadership to dissolve
its grassroots structures, or District Coordinating Committees, saying they
were the central source of the infighting.

Zanu PF's Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa told party officials
in Harare Monday that the liberation movement will not hesitate to act and
restore unity and integrity.

Mutasa was leading a taskforce formed to placate the party's provincial
structures and explain why the district committees had been dismantled.

He delivered the stern warning as his four-member panel concluded its
country-wide mission in the capital after visiting all Zanu PF provinces.

As it to instill fear into the party members, Mutasa invoked the expulsion
several years ago of the late Ndabaningi Sithole and Edgar Tekere saying no
one was indispensable to the party.

He also waded into the leadership dispute of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association saying Jabulani Sibanda was the
legitimate leader.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA the party is determined to restore
unity, adding the mission by Mutasa’s taskforce was a success.

"The mission was a big success," he said. "Our supporters were happy that we
dissolved the district structures which were proving to be very divisive."

Gumbo added however, that the biggest challenge his party now faces is to
bridge the gap between its provincial structures and the districts - now
without any representation.

Political analyst Nkululeko Sibanda, lecturer of politics at the University
of Huddersfield in Great Britain says despite the action, he sees bickering
continuing at the high echelons of the party.


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DCCs: Zanu PF faces Midlands revolt

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

23/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE Midlands province – powerbase of presidential aspirant Emmerson
Mnangagwa – has condemned the dissolution of Zanu PF’s District Coordinating
Committees and called for the dissolution of the presidium, an official said
on Monday.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, who was part of a team headed by the party’s
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa which was sent around the
country to explain the politburo’s decision to dissolve the DCCs, said of
all the party’s 10 provincial structures, only the Midlands had dissented to
the development.

The dissolution of the DCC has been seen as a political setback for
Mnangagwa as his loyalists had claimed most of the DCC posts ahead to a
rival faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Mnangagwa and Mujuru are trying to position themselves as possible
successors to President Robert Mugabe, who is 88 this year.

“In Midlands, some said the presidium should have been dissolved,” Gumbo
said in reference to the party’s top hierarchy of Mugabe, Mujuru and second
Vice President John Nkomo.
But Gumbo downplayed the calls for leadership changes, insisting: “It was a
comment, it was not a demand.”

Gumbo said the party’s DCC were fast turning themselves into “kingmakers”.

President Mugabe announced the dissolution of the DCCs which he said had
“made things more difficult”. This followed resolutions passed by the Zanu
PF politburo and central committee.

“We have experienced quite a lot of commotion, fighting for places in regard
to positions in the DCCs and therefore we have been looking at what is
happening and we discussed that in the Politburo. We are worried the DCC has
become a weapon used to divide the party,” said Mugabe.
Mutasa's team finished its tour of the provinces in Harare on Monday night
with threats to expel divisive members.

Mutasa said: "You have to stop the tendency of using DCCs for bad things
because Zanu PF is developing teeth.

“It doesn’t matter what position you hold in the party. (Edgar) Tekere and
(Ndabaningi) Sithole were fired from the party yet they held senior
positions. You can also be expelled if you do wrong things."


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Chipangano, Zanu PF product: Dydmus Mutasa

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Yesterday, ZANU PF Harare provincial leadership was left biting the dust
after the ZANU PF secretary for administration, Mr Didymus Mutasa unmasked
Chipangano. The notorious and violent Mbare based youth militia group which
is being used by the Harare provincial leadership to unleash violence to any
perceived MDC supporter was said to be bringing untold losses to party in
terms of people support as opposed to the founding spirit which saw its
formation.
24.07.1204:33pm
by CHRA

Mutasa lamented the untold dwindling of the party’s support which has been
caused by incessant harassment of commuters, vendors and the ordinary Harare
residents by Chipangano.

“Cde Midzi if you tell me that you don’t know that group, I will tell you
that you are lying. Instead, I want to know what is not ending it”, said
Mutasa. The call by the ZANU PF secretary for administration has come at a
time when CHRA has been calling for the disbanding of this notorious group
which is allegedly led by Jim Kunaka. However, along the way, some
unrepentant ZANU PF functionaries continue to live in denial with regards to
Chipangano political ties.

Tendai Savanhu, a well known ZANU PF hardliner who is seriously eyeing the
Mbare constituency and is also believed to be one of the core sponsors of
the group has been on many occasions quoted dissociating ZANU PF from
Chipangano. The same has been done by most of the ZANU PF Harare provincial
leadership who were chided at some point by Mrs. Oppah Muchinguri during a
joint press conference under the banner of JOMIC castigating fellow
political leaders for using the services of Chipangano in their respective
areas to advance political gains through violence.

The call by Didymus Mutasa gives us a ray hope but it is up to those who are
directly involved to take a great step of compliance in disbanding
Chipangano. We are concerned that if the operations of Chipangano continue,
City of Harare will continue to lose revenue since it is currently being
pocketed by these ZANU PF youths who operate under Chipangano. In the same
vein, it is also important to note that the European Union has put
non-violent elections as one of the major pre-conditions for the removal of
targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe and it will be an important milestone
achievement for Zimbabwe if Chipangano is stopped.


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Zanu PF calls Chipangano to order

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

24/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZANU PF has ordered its Harare province to reign-in Chipangano – a terror
group based in Mbare - after admitting its activities were undermining the
party’s electoral chances in the capital.

National secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa ordered provincial
chairman Amos Midzi to bring the militant youth group, which is said to be
aligned to senior party officials, under control.

“We hear that there are some people who are harassing commuters and commuter
operators in the name of the party,” Mutasa said, admitting the group was
losing the party support in city.

“Cde Midzi, if you tell me that you don’t know that group, I will tell you
that you are lying. Instead, I want to know what is not ending it.”

Midzi said some of the alleged Chipangano members were just hooligans
terrorising people in the name of Zanu PF.
“The last time you called us to your office about this, we came back and we
talked about it,” he said.

“It is true that there are problems with these people, but there are others
we don’t know who go about and do bad things and they are labelled Zanu PF."

The MDC-T has long accused Zanu PF of using the group to terrorise its
supporters while civic organisations have also expressed concern over its
activities.

The group has mainly operated in impoverished suburb of Mbare for nearly a
decade and faced allegations of beating up and evicting suspected MDC
supporters from council flats.

Its gangs would also allegedly extort money from vendors and traders at
Mupedzanhamo where people were forced to pay “protection fees” with those
who refused banished from the popular markets.


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Harare mayor gives ‘thumbs up’ to mall, despite protests

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
24 July 2012

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has given the ‘thumbs up’ to the construction
of a mall in Borrowdale, despite the plans still being widely protested.

Building work for the Mall of Zimbabwe, which has been commissioned by Vice
President Joice Mujuru, is meant to get under way soon, despite public
resistance to the plans and the lack of an independent environmental impact
assessment report.

Masunda has now also given his approval, saying existing shopping malls in
the Borrowdale area were failing to meet the expectations of the “fairly
affluent residents”.

Masunda’s praise for the plans comes as a petition has been launched to try
and stop the construction, because the Mall is set to be built on a wetlands
area. Conservationists have warned that building on wetlands will have a
significant environmental impact, including having a very negative impact on
Harare’s water supply.

The petition, posted on the Avaaz website, is addressed to Vice President
Mujuru, and urges her to reconsider the site of the Mall. Mujuru is also
being urged to ensure an independent environmental impact assessment is done
before any construction is allowed at the current site.

You can sign the petition here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Loss_of_Borrowdale_Vlei/

The Harare City Council’s environment committee meanwhile has given the
plans its blessing, ahead of a full Council meeting where a unanimous vote
in favour of the projected is understood to already have been determined.

The Chairman of the Council’s business committee, Thomas Muzuva, was quoted
by the state media recently as saying that the plans have already been
approved by Cabinet and councillors had no power to “stall the development
of national projects.”

“It’s a national project. Cabinet has approved the project. Council is a
substructure of Central Government. We cannot be seen going against national
policies. Council has no power over Cabinet decisions. We cannot fight
Cabinet,” he said.

The project has also come under scrutiny because of the involvement of
controversial businessman Ken Sharpe, who has previously faced corruption
accusations. Critics say the Borrowdale Mall plans have been pushed through
because of Sharpe’s government connections.

SW Radio Africa has tried phoning Sharpe for comment, but his phone has gone
unanswered.


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Zim Labourer Faces Jail Over Mugabe Health Remarks

http://www.radiovop.com

By Professor Matodzi Harare, July 23, 2012 - An employee at a Zimbabwean
private security firm faces up to one year in jail for allegedly commenting
on President Robert Mugabe’s health status and taunting that he had ruined
the economy of the once prosperous southern African country.

Zebediah Mpofu, a 53 year-old security guard, has been summoned to stand
trial on August 14 at Mbare magistrates court.

State authorities charge that Mpofu insulted Mugabe when he taunted Gilbert
Matarutse, a work-mate at the security firm, who supports the octogenarian
leaders’ Zanu (PF) party that he should thank MDC leader and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai for easing the country’s decade long economic and
political crisis when he formed a coalition government with the former
guerrilla leader.

“…the accused unlawfully made a statement in a public place about or
concerning the President by saying that the President has ruined the country
and that he was going to be dead by December 2010 with the knowledge or
realising that there is a real risk or possibility that the statement is
false and that it may engender feelings of hostility towards the President
in person or in respect of the President’s office,” reads part of the
summons served on Mpofu.

Apparently, Mpofu, who was represented by Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights, was removed from remand in October last year by a Mbare
Magistrate after state witnesses failed to pitch up in court during his
scheduled trial.

At that time prosecutors alleged that Mpofu told Matarutse during a
lunchtime chat that he owed a fruity drink and a packet of biscuits he was
enjoying for lunch to sound economic policies spearheaded by Tsvangirai, the
first opposition leader to trounce President Mugabe in presidential polls in
2008, who formed a coalition government with the Zanu (PF) leader after the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) recommended such a settlement
to end the political crisis.

The prosecutors also alleged that Mpofu also stated that “President Mugabe
had ruined the country and that he was going to be dead by December 2010
then Morgan Tsvangirai would take over as President of Zimbabwe”.

ZLHR, which is representing more than 40 Zimbabweans accused of insulting
Mugabe in nearly all of the country’s ten provinces, say the use and abuse
of insult laws is an attempt to gag political views from Mugabe and his Zanu
(PF) opponents ahead of a planned referendum and general elections.


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Air Zim Using Obsolete Aircraft

http://www.radiovop.com/

By Professor Matodzi Harare, July 24, 2012 - Zimbabwe's state-run airline,
Air Zimbabwe is operating obsolete aircraft equipment which warrants the
shutting down of the airline while the aircraft which ferries President
Robert Mugabe on his jaunts has a defective toilet sensor, Radio VOP can
report.

The airline’s aircraft fleet is so decrepit that all its planes are
defective and warrants an overhaul, according to an Air Zimbabwe aircraft
status obtained by Radio VOP this week.

Two of Air Zimbabwe’s long haul Boeing 767 planes have various degrees of
faults. One of the smaller wide bodied plane which has been grounded since
last year needs to undergo a test flight. But it has to first have its
certificate of airworthiness which expired in December renewed.

The aircraft doesn’t have a taxi light and air speed indicator. The
cash-strapped Air Zimbabwe needs to fork out $119 000 to purchase oxygen
generators and $259 000 for a “C” check. The aircraft’s thrust reverser fan
duct is also due for refurbishment.

Air Zimbabwe bought the aircraft in the late 80’s. According to the aircraft
status one of the Boeing 767-200 aircraft, which ferries President Robert
Mugabe and his family on his regional and international excursions, has
defects that include a faulty toilet sensor while its certificate of
airworthiness expired last month. However, its airworthiness certificate has
been to the end of July.

One out of three Boeing 737 aircraft is operational and is currently
servicing the Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls routes while all of the
three Chinese-manufactured Modern Ark 60 are grounded.

The shocking aircraft status is just but one of the woes affecting the
national flag carrier. Once one of the best airlines in Africa, Air Zimbabwe
has been run down due to successive years of mismanagement and inadequate
funding.


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Zimbabwe PM seeks help in mining country for growth

http://www.theaustralian.com.au

by: Brendan Nicholson
From: The Australian
July 24, 2012 12:00AM

ZIMBABWE'S Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has asked Australia for help in
developing Zimbabwe's abundant mineral resources.

Mr Tsvangirai told The Australian that bilateral economic co-operation with
Australia was very important to his country as stability returned and it
prepared for growth.

The Zimbabwean democracy campaigner and opposition leader became Prime
Minister in 2009 in a power-sharing agreement that followed years of civil
rights abuses and brutal physical attacks that left Mr Tsvangirai badly
injured.

He said he wanted to invite and convince Australian business that they
needed to look at Zimbabwe again as a destination, "that the time to
re-engage in Zimbabwe is now".

Australia's strong mining experience was especially important to Zimbabwe,
he said. "A lot of mining expertise resides in Australia and we can benefit
a lot from that co-operation with the Australian mining industry."
The most influential people in Sport

Mr Tsvangirai said there was no longer a security issue in his country: "It
is purely a business consideration. The country is stable. It has all the
minerals except oil. One can exploit gold, platinum, chrome, whatever.

"The country is going through a stabilisation program and I think we need to
go to growth . . . and you can't have growth without investment."

He has also urged the Gillard government to suspend economic sanctions on
his country until after the elections due there next year. He said sanctions
could be imposed again if President Robert Mugabe and the "securocrats" who
backed him prevented free and fair elections.

Mr Tsvangirai said while there was still much to be done in Zimbabwe, much
had changed.

"What you need to do is make an assessment," he said. "Is there sufficient
reform to warrant a reward and the encouragement of that reform? I think
there is justification for the international community to remove sanctions
because I think they've outlived their usefulness."

Hyper-inflation had been tamed, political reforms had been instituted, the
new constitution was ready, electoral and human rights reforms had been
accepted. And his once deeply antagonistic relationship with Mugabe had
evolved into a working relationship. "We've moved on," he said.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson told ABC television yesterday the government
was considering lifting sanctions.

"If (Mr Tsvangirai) indicates to us that there is a case for easing some
sanctions, that is to reward the reformers and show the hardliners that
reform does actually pay dividends, then we will be open to those sorts of
arguments," he said.


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Speaking Shona in Matabeleland 'disrespectful': Moyo

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

24/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FRONTLINE government workers and cabinet ministers must be fluent in
Zimbabwe’s two main vernacular languages as a pre-condition of their
employment, Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has said.

Moyo’s ire was sparked by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo who
spoke at an event in Bulilima district, Matabeleland South, last Friday
through an interpreter.

The former ambassador to South Africa – a Ndebele speaker – told Chombo that
he had recently been to a funeral in Mt Darwin where he spoke in Shona, the
language spoken by locals.

“In South Africa, they have 11 official languages, but three main
languages – Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho. In my 10 years in South Africa, I noted
that the political leadership were fluent in all three languages,” he said.

“In Zimbabwe, we are fortunate that there are only two major vernacular
languages – Shona and Ndebele. It is imperative that every Zimbabwean leader
must be at least conversant in the two languages so that when they visit
different parts of the country, they are able to show respect by addressing
people using their local languages.”

Moyo said he was frustrated by the deployment of civil servants – including
police officers, registry officials and teachers – to arrears where they
were not conversant in the local language.
Locals were being “inconvenienced” at police roadblocks by having officers
who do not speak a word of the local language.

In 2009, former Bulawayo mayor Joshua Malinga was charged with “undermining
police authority” after he ignored police instructions given in Shona.

Malinga was alleged to have called a police officer “idiotic” for asking him
to move his car – which had not been properly parked – in Shona. The charges
were later dismissed by a court.
The employment of civil servants who are not able to speak the local
language is a political hot potato in Matabeleland.

Local pressure groups have made much play of the fact that all the provinces
in the region have Shona-speaking police commanders. Bulawayo is under the
command of Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Mutamba, Matabeleland South
is headed by Senior Assistant Commissioner Billy Mushonga, Midlands by
Assistant Commissioner Claudius Mateko and Matabeleland North was until last
month headed by Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai.

“How do you expect such a person to assist the public? The elderly suffer
the most in such cases. I am advocating for a system whereby people take
time to at least learn the two major local languages,” Moyo said, speaking
at the installation of 23-year-old Thursus Ncube as Chief Madlambuzi.

Moyo said he had told President Robert Mugabe that ministers should be
compelled to take language courses or quit public service.


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Zimbabwe Diaspora welcome event for Team Zimbabwe 2012

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

The Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympics Support Network (ZDOSN) is inviting all
Zimbabweans and their friends to come to a free welcome event for Team
Zimbabwe on Thursday 26 July.
24.07.1207:33am

by Staff Reporter

The event, to be held near the Olympic Park at Stratford Old Town Hall, 29
The Broadway,Stratford, London E15 4BQ, will be an opportunity to meet and
greet Zimbabwe's Olympians, past and present, prior to the official start of
the Games a few days later.

Zimbabwe's 2012 Olympic competitors are: Sharon Tawenga (marathon); Wirimai
Zhuwawo (marathon); Cuthbert Nyasango (marathon); Chris Felgate (triathlon);
Jamie Frazier Mackenzie (Rowing): Micheen Thornycroft (rowing): and Kirsty
Coventry (swimming).

The 26 July Stratford programme includes a variety of events including
presentations, entertainment and other activities. The evening will be an
opportunity to show support for Team Zimbabwe as our Olympians go for gold.
It is also an opportunity to build a lasting legacy of partnership between
Zimbabwe's sportspersons and the Zimbabwean diaspora community.


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EU move on Zimbabwe sanctions won’t help the economy or promote reform

http://blogs.ft.com

July 24, 2012 1:07 pm by Tony Hawkins

The EU’s proposal to suspend its targeted personal sanctions against 112
Zimbabweans is much ado about very little. The sanctions, imposed a decade
ago, have had no discernible impact either on the economy or on Zimbabwe’s
politics.

The latest move from Brussels is another chapter in the long history of the
failure of sanctions.

When three political parties signed a coalition agreement in September
2008 – including president Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change - the EU response was that sanctions would
not be lifted until all the terms of the agreement had been implemented.

Now Brussels has shifted the goalposts and, instead, the suspension of
sanctions is contingent on the holding of a “credible” referendum on the
draft constitution published on July 20, with no mention of other
still-to-be-implemented reforms.

Immediate Zimbabwe reaction has been near-dismissive. Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa refused to comment until he had read the EU resolution.
Elton Mangoma, a senior member of prime minister Morgan Tsvangerai’s MDC,
supported by most EU governments, complained that by suspending and not
lifting sanctions immediately, “They (the EU) are not listening to us”.

US sanctions that target state-owned companies as well as individuals are
more effective but these will remain in place, suggesting that the Zimbabwe
economy is unlikely to benefit from the change of heart in Brussels. After
three years of a strong recovery since dollarisation in early 2009, during
which time growth has averaged almost 8 per cent a year, the Zimbabwe
economy is slowing under the impact of the worsening global economy, weaker
commodity prices, depressed investment, a poor farming season and
unmanageable balance of payments and budget deficits. Not even the most
adroit Brussels or Whitehall spin doctor will be able to suggest that
suspending personal sanctions will change this.

The EU’s conditionality – the holding of a credible constitutional
referendum – looks like a formality. There is little enthusiasm in Zimbabwe
for the draft constitution, described by politicians from all parties as “a
flawed compromise”. The expectation is that it will be approved in a
referendum in October-November but with a low turnout, which will make it
hard for the EU to claim it has majority voter support.

However, having given so much ground in its support for political reform in
Zimbabwe – the draft constitution is little different from the one currently
in place, though it does limit the executive presidency to some degree –
Brussels is likely to accept the outcome and lift the remaining sanctions,
except those on the 88-year-old Mugabe (pictured) and a few of his closest
cronies.

More important – and impossible to call – is the electoral impact. Once a
new constitution is in place there will be parliamentary and presidential
elections towards the end of 2013. Mugabe and his Zanu-PF will claim to have
won a famous victory in forcing the EU into a U-turn. But this is unlikely
to resonate with the electorate, especially since, as the sanctions go, so
the economy will get worse, with GDP growth slowing to around 5 per cent or
even less in 2012 and quite possibly – depending on global economic
developments – slipping further next year.

That said, Mugabe is more likely to benefit than lose from the EU’s action.
But, provided the 2013 election is reasonably free and fair, he and his
party will still lose.


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Why Western sanctions on Zimbabwe may not matter anymore

http://www.csmonitor.com

Yesterday, the European Union announced it would lift sanctions on Zimbabwe
if the country held a referendum on a new constitution. How much do
sanctions affect the country?

By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / July 24, 2012

Since 2003, the United States and the European Union have maintained
“targeted sanctions” against individual members of the government of
Zimbabwe, including President Robert Mugabe and many of his closest advisers
and cabinet members.

Now, the EU is talking about lifting some of those sanctions – including
travel bans and arms embargoes – if Zimbabwe holds a referendum on a new
constitution by the end of this year.

Behind the usual chatter about whether it is time to lift sanctions or not
is a more fundamental question: How much impact do “targeted” sanctions
really have?

In a country like Zimbabwe, where the state and the ruling party maintain
tight controls on who can buy and sell land, and on who can profit from the
exploration of natural resources, the answer is more straight-forward than
it might seem. If most of the country’s assets are indeed owned by the
leadership under sanction, then it would make sense the country would
suffer. If targeted sanctions were imposed on Bill Gates, for monopolistic
tendencies perhaps, it’s likely that the company he founded, Microsoft, and
the town of Redmond, Wash., would feel the effects of those personal
sanctions.

After the EU announced yesterday that it might lift sanctions, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai – a longtime rival of President Mugabe and now a
member of a coalition government with Mugabe – was among the first to praise
the move.

"Linking the suspension to the successful implementation of the constitution
referendum is evidence that the EU is willing to respond to progress in
reform of the democratic process in Zimbabwe," Mr. Tsvangira said yesterday.

In truth, by imposing sanctions for so long, the EU and the US may be losing
their leverage. Today, Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner is South Africa,
and China is its largest export destination, receiving 5.6 percent of all
the goods and products that Zimbabwe produces.

These sanctions, though, have effects far beyond their “targets.” When
Mugabe’s government launched a brutal “land invasion” campaign, urging
militias to use force to push white commercial farmers off their lands
starting in 2000, the agricultural economy began to collapse, and Zimbabwe
began to run into arrears on its foreign loans. Both the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund – which rely heavily on US budgetary support –
cut off Zimbabwe from any further aid until 2009, after President Mugabe had
formed the coalition government with Mr. Tsvangirai’s party.

Zimbabwe’s coalition government of today is a far cry from the Mugabe
government that President George W. Bush imposed sanctions on back in 2003.

Back then, Mugabe’s land redistribution policies helped turn southern Africa’s
leading food exporter into its leading food-aid recipient. All the same ugly
elements of repression by the Mugabe regime remain today: During the Arab
Spring months, Zimbabwe police arrested a professor in Harare for watching a
video about the Tahrir Square protesters, and charged him, along with 45
others attending his seminar that day, with treason. But the government has
also begun a series of reforms that have helped turn Zimbabwe’s economy
around.

In theory, the coalition government formed in Feb. 2009 after flawed
elections in March 2008 shouldn’t function at all, and in truth, it doesn’t
function all that well. But the coalition government has given breathing
room for both of the major parties, and welcome relief for Zimbabwe’s
citizens, who once struggled to survive with 1 million percent inflation
rates and virtually empty store shelves.

As for those violent “land invasions” that were the cause of all these
sanctions, there are signs that they, oddly, may have had some positive
effects.

On a recent trip to Harare, Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times and
photographer Lynsey Addario found a silver lining in Zimbabwe’s economic
storm clouds. In the old days, Ms. Polgreen writes, the faces of the people
selling tobacco and other produce to Zimbabwe’s export houses used to be
white. Today, the farmers’ faces at export houses are largely black, and
despite all the talk about land being given to Mugabe’s “cronies,” most of
the new landowners are not members of the political elite.

Polgreen's article – which created a firestorm among Zimbabwe's vocal
expatriate community – puts a different face on a policy that has been
roundly, and rightly criticized. While the land invasion policies of 2000
were brutal, and certainly extra-legal, they may have given a broader number
of farmers among Zimbabwe’s black majority access to land that they couldn’t
have had a decade ago.

This creates a political challenge: If a growing number of people have
benefited because of Mugabe’s land invasion, and more people have a vested
stake in the new status quo, it becomes much more difficult to imagine
returning Zimbabwe to the way it was before sanctions.

Have sanctions lost their target? If so, should they simply be stopped?


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Zimbabwe: Sanctions Should Stand

http://www.heritage.org/
By
July 24, 2012

On Monday, the European Union announced that it is resuming direct aid to Zimbabwe’s government and that sanctions on some targeted individuals and entities (excluding President Robert Mugabe) will be suspended following the country’s constitutional referendum that could come as early as October.

This decision is flawed, and it is unlikely to contribute to meaningful reform. Under the unity government, Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have continued to abuse power and violate the rule of law. Considering that the draft constitution is viewed as a flawed document that makes too many concessions to ZANU-PF, the EU is rewarding the regime for complying with an action that it is not likely to contest in the first place.

The real test of ZANU-PF’s ability to reform will be next year’s elections. However, the EU’s recent decisions reduce incentives for the Mugabe regime to adhere to free and fair elections, which will determine Zimbabwe’s future leadership. Only when Mugabe and those individuals and entities are shown to be in full compliance with the rule of law should aid be restored and sanctions removed.

Background

In 2000, after Mugabe failed to change Zimbabwe’s land reform policy in the constitution, hired thugs of the regime illegally seized lands from predominantly white Zimbabwean farmers, causing widespread instability. In response, the EU invoked Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, calling for “special consultation” (read: dialogue) with the Mugabe regime. However, when an EU election observer was denied entry to Zimbabwe for the 2002 parliamentary elections, the EU levied an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on individuals in Mugabe’s inner circle. This included travel bans and the freezing of financial assets, funds, and other economic resources linked to Mugabe and members of his cabinet and military.

The EU has renewed these sanctions every year since. In 2009, the EU added 40 entities associated with government abuses. However, in 2011, 35 individuals were removed from the sanctions list as Zimbabwe’s economy made steps toward recovery. Much of this progress, however, was owed not to the reforms by ZANU-PF but to those instituted by Minister of Finance Tendai Biti, a senior official in the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T).[1]

The U.S. has also taken restrictive measures against the Mugabe regime. In 2001, Congress passed the bipartisan Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which prohibits U.S. financial assistance to Zimbabwe by international financial institutions until the President is certain that conditions of good governance have been met. In 2003, President George W. Bush imposed targeted sanctions against the Mugabe regime’s top officials. These sanctions have been renewed annually and include financial restrictions, travel bans, and an arms embargo. Additionally, the U.S., aside from certain humanitarian and technical assistance, does not provide assistance to Zimbabwe’s government.

Sanctions: Imperfect but Necessary

International sanctions have had little success in remedying the behavior of the Mugabe regime. EU and national governments have repeatedly undermined their own policies by frequently granting Mugabe and his henchmen permission to travel. In 2003, a year after sanctions were agreed to, Mugabe traveled to Paris to participate in the Franco–African Summit. Mugabe also attended the 2007 EU–African Union Summit in Lisbon. The U.S. has also permitted sanctioned individuals to attend meetings at the U.N. in New York and participate in discussions of the Kimberley Process in Washington.[2] Additional setbacks include the ability of ZANU-PF to purchase weapons from countries like China. Financial sanctions have been moderately successful, but some targeted individuals have been able to store assets in Asian bank accounts.[3]

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), as the guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Process, is opposed to sanctions, arguing that such measures do not create constructive solutions. EU officials argue that the lifting of most sanctions following a credible constitutional referendum would serve as a confidence-building measure in the run-up to presidential elections. Even Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Biti of the MDC-T (who are not sanctioned) have requested the easing of some sanctions to spur economic growth.

However, these arguments are premature. Mugabe has shown repeatedly that any threat to his power will not be tolerated. MDC-T officials are frequently arrested and their supporters intimidated.[4] Free speech is oppressed under the Public Order and Security Act, and political participation not associated with the regime is often punished with jail time, torture, and even murder.

Human rights activists have urged wider sanctions on the Mugabe regime for its illegal mining practices. Apart from forced labor of residents living in mining communities and the use of child labor, a number of diamond reserves have not paid taxes, which could be used for infrastructure, services, and government salaries, all of which are severely lacking.[5] There is also a fear that the Mugabe regime, as it has done in the past, is using the profits from the diamond industry to amass personal wealth and strengthen its military capabilities to suppress public dissent in the upcoming election.

The draft constitution, crafted by both political parties, is considered by many as a flawed document that makes too many compromises to ZANU-PF. While the referendum on the constitution is expected to pass, the determining factor will be the presidential election. Rewarding the Mugabe regime without meaningful course correction would play into Mugabe’s long-standing propaganda campaign that the sanctions are “illegal” and a violation of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty. Mugabe would hail any removal of sanctions as a victory and exploit such action as weakness on the part of Europe.

Recommendations

  • Current U.S. restrictions should be maintained and Congress should strengthen them where applicable;
  • The Obama Administration should discourage any efforts by the EU or its member states to resume aid or reduce sanctions on Zimbabwe until Zimbabwe adopts a constitution that incorporates strong guarantees of freedom, fundamental human rights, and representative government and holds a national election that is verified to be free, fair, and entirely without the intimidation perpetrated by ZANU-PF over the past decade; and
  • The Obama Administration should advise South African President Jacob Zuma (who is in charge of Zimbabwe’s reform process in SADC) that SADC’s effectiveness will be questioned if it fails to hold Mugabe and ZANU-PF to the strictest standards in both the referendum and the upcoming elections.

A Powerful Mechanism

The EU’s misguided policies on Zimbabwe will not lead to positive change in the Mugabe regime. Rewarding the Mugabe regime for the reforms that MDC-T has implemented will strengthen ZANU-PF and embolden Mugabe’s campaign for re-election. Though imperfect, international sanctions are a powerful mechanism for prodding change. They should not be abandoned because of overly optimistic hopes of reform. Rather, they should be maintained until reform is verified.

Morgan Lorraine Roach is a Research Associate in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation. Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at Heritage, assisted in the preparation of this paper.


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EU conditions laudable, draft constitution a fraud



By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 24th July 2012.

The conditions set by the European Union (EU) for the suspension of targeted
restrictive measures against some Zimbabweans and entities are laudable.

The EU sent an unambiguous message to all the interested parties to the
Zimbabwe crisis about minimum standards that need to be met before the
restrictive measures can be suspended.

It was a laudable move because the EU ensured its measures are
‘performance-based’ like a ‘bonus’ and avoided rewarding people accused of
human rights abuse.

At a time when the regime had deluded itself into believing that the louder
it made noises, the sooner it would get off the hook, it couldn’t be more
disappointed.

The positive thing about the EU restrictive measures is that they are not
intended for the ordinary people of Zimbabwe as claimed by the regime’s
propaganda machinery.

The restoration of direct foreign investment should be seen as an incentive
to reform than as an opportunity for looting.

The immediate effect of the EU’s position is the ramping-up of pressure on
the Harare regime to expedite reforms needed to hold a peaceful, free and
fair referendum on a new constitution.

If the regime wants the so-called sanctions to be suspended, it has been
given a clear roadmap and benchmarks to follow. The ball is in the coalition
government’s court.

As for the draft constitution that is due to be put to a plebiscite after
going through Parliament, in its present form, it is a fraud to say the
least.

Admittedly, it has some cosmetic changes like making the president seek
parliamentary approval for declaring war (of course how would he/she go to
war without funding?)

It is a fraud because it does not reflect the views that were voluntarily
expressed by the people during the outreach programme, save for Operation
Chimumumu, whereby the CIO allegedly spoke on behalf of Zanu-pf.

For instance, during outreach people rejected a power executive president,
preferring a return to President Banana days.

By legalising state seizure of land without fair compensation, the draft
constitution was reduced to a Zanu-pf election manifesto for political
expediency – with serious implications for direct foreign investment.

Given the fact that Robert Mugabe and his family reportedly own 39 farms
while less than 1% of the country’s 1.8 million commercial agricultural
workers and their families were resettled, the draft constitution arguably
fails an important test – that of redressing Mugabe’s and the colonialists’
blunders.

The other shortcomings of the draft constitution that make it worse than the
Lancaster House Constitution before Mugabe’s 19 amendments include:

a. denying millions of Zimbabweans who were displaced by the Mugabe
regime’s political violence and mismanagement of the economy, the right to
dual citizenship and the right to vote as other regional countries do;

b. leaves the door open for 88 year-old Robert Mugabe to rule for another
10 years because the two term limit of 10 years would only start with the
adoption of the new charter

c. giving Mugabe not only immunity but a flimsy defence of good faith for
alleged criminal offences such as murder, genocide, corruption and so on
committed before the adoption of the new charter;

d. short-changing people on human rights violations committed by the
Mugabe regime and some before independence, by duplicating commissions and
giving them muddled-up terms of reference e.g. TRC also called NPRC plus
ZHRC – overloaded with jobs for boys and girls of course;

e. providing for a bloated government (like the present one with 70
ministers and their deputies who are all driving expensive and imported
Mercedes Benz cars or four-wheel drive Cherokees reliant on such a small tax
base, no wonder why Treasury is broke);

f. a too powerful president who makes senior appointments including
ambassadors, permanent secretaries, commanders and so on without checks and
balance from parliament;

g. allowing the president to deploy the army internally without
consulting parliament (given the experience of 2008, it is not wise move);

h. stipulating 16 languages which constitute official languages
regardless of cost to the state and violating human rights of those left out
when maintaining English as the official language with permission to use all
indigenous languages as necessary would have been better;

i. prevaricating and inconsistency on the death penalty e.g. by ignoring
gender equality and sparing males under 21 years at the time of committing
the capital offence when they are generally some of those accused of violent
and politically-motivated crimes.

The draft constitution ended up being negotiated by a small group of people,
is severely flawed by entrenching Mugabe’s rule and should be rejected in
its entirety.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
zimanalysis2009@gmail.com


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Bill Watch 35/2012 of 24th July [Parliamentary Vacancies for By-Elections]

BILL WATCH 35/2012

[24th July 2012]

Updated Details of Vacant Parliamentary Constituencies

There has been considerable confusion recently about the number of Parliamentary vacancies due for by-elections, with discrepancies between figures mentioned by Minister Chinamasa in the Senate and picked up by the media, and those given in Veritas bulletins. This bulletin will hopefully clear up the confusion.

All figures and facts about vacancies in this bulletin have been verified against Parliamentary records.

Possible Reasons for Discrepancies

Veritas when talking about by-elections has referred only to the number of seats due for by-elections. Only constituency seats are, when they become vacant, up for by-elections. There are other vacant seats that need to be filled but not through by-elections. There are also some seats which the press have reported as vacant which are not officially vacant.

Vacant seats not requiring by-elections

2 of these are appointed Senate seats:

1 was occupied by the late Senator Dr David Karimanzira who was Harare Provincial Governor [vacancy to be filled by the President by appointment of a new Provincial Governor for Harare]; 1 was occupied by the late appointed Senator Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa of MDC-T [vacancy to be filled by an MDC-T nominee]

2 of these are chiefs seats:

Replacements are needed for the late Chiefs Bidi of Matabeleland South and Chimombe of Manicaland. Provincial assemblies of chiefs in these provinces have to sit as electoral colleges to replace them.

Seats that have sometimes been reported as vacant

Senator Bennett’s seat is not vacant It is a common misconception that his seat fell vacant long ago because he has been out of the country and not attending the Senate since early 2010. But his seat is not vacant, because the Senate has not voted to expel him, even though it could in theory have done so at any time since 30th March, 2011, when he had missed 21 consecutive sittings in a single Parliamentary Session.

Seats of MDC-T MPs sentenced to imprisonment are not vacant. Four MDC-T MPs were automatically suspended from the House of Assembly for long periods. This was in terms of section 42 of the Constitution, after they were convicted of offences by magistrates and sentenced to gaol terms of six months or more. All subsequently won their appeals against conviction and sentence, so their suspensions then automatically came to an end. [While suspended they were omitted from the party voting strength numbers which Veritas periodically distributed.]

There are 26 Vacant Seats Due for By-Elections

Details giving constituencies, and which party previously held these 26 seats, are set out below. To fill the vacancies the President should issue a proclamation calling by-elections. From then on the by-elections will be conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC]. The Presidential proclamation will fix dates for the sittings for nomination courts and the polling days. Polling is only necessary in constituencies when two or more candidates are nominated. There may be constituencies in which only one candidate is nominated – and that person automatically gets the seat – so the actual number of constituencies in which ZEC has to oversee voting may be fewer than 26.

GPA Parties “No-Contest” Pact

In Article 21 of the GPA the three GPA political parties agreed that if and when electoral vacancies occurred during the first twelve-months of the GPA, the three parties would not field candidates against each other in the resulting by-elections. After the expiry of the twelve-month period, the principals agreed to extend this pact for the duration of the lifespan of the Inclusive Government, and President Zuma reported this agreement to the SADC Summit in August 2010. If the GPA parties honour this pact, every by-election held now would have to be either not contested or a contest between the GPA party that formerly held the seat and Independent candidates or candidates from parties outside the GPA [ZAPU, Mavambo, etc].

Is the pact legally enforceable? No. Article 20 of the GPA was not included in Constitution Amendment No. 19. It would have no force in the courts.

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY VACANT SEATS FOR BY ELECTIONS [TOTAL 16]

Breakdown by Party that Won the Seat in 2008

Reason for vacancy indicated in brackets for each constituency

ZANU-PF [8]

Manicaland [1]

Mutare North [former incumbent Charles Pemenhayi deceased]

Mashonaland Central [4]

Bindura North [former incumbent Elliot Manyika deceased]

Guruve North [former incumbent Cletus Mabharanga deceased]

Mount Darwin East [former incumbent Betty Chikava deceased]

Shamva South [former incumbent Samuel Ziteya deceased]

Mashonaland East [1]

Marondera East [former incumbent Tracy Mutinhiri expelled from party]

Masvingo [1]

Mwenezi West [former incumbent Neddie Masukume deceased]

Midlands [1]

Gokwe-Gumunyu [former incumbent Ephrem Mushoriwa deceased]

MDC-T [5]

Bulawayo [1]

Emakhandeni Entumbane [former incumbent Cornelius Dube deceased]

Harare [1]

Mabvuku-Tafara [former incumbent Shepherd Madamombe deceased]

Manicaland [1]

Makoni Central [former incumbent John Nyamande deceased]

Masvingo

Gutu South [former incumbent Eliphas Mukonoweshuro deceased]

Matabeleland South

Matobo North [former incumbent Lovemore Moyo elected Speaker]

MDC [3]

Matabeleland North

Lupane East [former incumbent Njabuliso Mguni expelled from party]

Nkayi South [former incumbent Abednico Bhebhe expelled from party]

Matabeleland South

Bulilima East former incumbent Norman Mpofu expelled from party]

SENATE VACANT SEATS FOR BY-ELECTIONS [TOTAL 10]

Breakdown by Party that Won the Seat in 2008

Reason for vacancy indicated in brackets for each constituency

ZANU-PF [6]

Mashonaland Central [1]

Bindura-Shamva [former incumbent Misheck Chando deceased]

Mashonaland West [2]

Chegutu [former incumbent Ednah Madzongwe elected President of Senate]

Kadoma [former incumbent Chiratidzo Gava deceased]

Masvingo [1]

Chiredzi [former incumbent Titus Maluleke appointed Provincial Governor]

Midlands [2]

Gokwe South [former incumbent Jason Machaya appointed Provincial Governor]

Mberengwa [former incumbent Richard Hove deceased]

MDC-T [4]

Bulawayo [1]

Mabutweni [former incumbent Gladys Dube deceased]

Masotsha-Ndlovu [former incumbent Enna Chitsa deceased]

Matabeleland North

Hwange [former incumbent Jabulani Ndlovu deceased]

Midlands

Gweru-Chirumanzu [former incumbent Patrick Kombayi deceased]

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


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COURT WATCH 13/2012 of 24th July [Human Rights NGO Forum Director in Court 25 July]

COURT WATCH 13/2012

[24th July 2012]

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Director Abel Chikomo in Court 25th July

Time: 8.30 am. Court No. 5, Magistrates Court, Rotten Row.

This case is of wide interest and importance for human rights activists and the NGO sector

Abel Chikomo, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum [HR NGO Forum], will be in Harare Magistrates Court tomorrow to answer a charge of contravening the Private Voluntary Organisations Act [PVO Act]. The defence lawyer is Mr Selby Hwacha.

The HR NGO Forum

This is a coalition of nineteen human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe which, while having their own objectives, are all concerned with the level and nature of organized violence and torture in the country. Its Public Interest Unit, which undertakes legal proceedings on behalf of victims of organised violence and torture, currently has over 700 active cases that are before the magistrates court, High Court and Supreme Court.

The Case

The charge

The charge is that Mr Chikomo manages an unregistered private voluntary organisation knowing that it carries on its activities without having registered in terms of the PVO Act. That is an offence under section 6(3) of the Act.

Mr Chikomo denies having contravened the PVO Act

Mr Chikomo denies that the HR NGO Forum, as a common law universitas [association with legal personality distinct from its members] that is recognized by section 89 of the Constitution, is required to register under the Act.

Late delivery of documents to the Defence

Although the State only supplied the defence with the witnesses’ statements this afternoon, 24th July, the defence is ready to proceed with the trial.

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

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