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motorcade accident kills one, injures 15
By Lance Guma
A third accident in just two weeks caused by Robert Mugabe’s huge
has claimed the life of one person and injured 15 others. Police
Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the accident in an interview with the
Bvudzijena said the crash took place seven km from
Kutama, which is in
Mugabe’s rural home area of Zvimba. “The lead police
vehicle (in the
presidential motorcade) crashed into a kombi carrying 22
were going in opposite directions,” Bvudzijena
“The police car was flashing its blue light and because a car in
the kombi was parking by the side of the road to give way, the
tried to overtake and smashed into the oncoming police vehicle.
vehicles were extensively damaged,” Bvudzijena
Bvudzijena said Mugabe had not been affected since his
limousine was far back in the motorcade. “The incident is a
show of total
disregard to road regulations which state that whenever there
is a flashing
red or blue light, be it a police vehicle or ambulance, other
give way,” he said.
Two weeks ago two separate road
accidents on the same day involving Mugabe’s
motorcade claimed the lives of
two people. A homeless man died on the spot
after being run over by a bike,
while later on a tyre burst claiming the
life of a Presidential Guard
sharp-shooter who was on board a Toyota Land
Mugabe was said
to be travelling to the funeral of a headman when the
speeding bike that
leads his motorcade ran over the homeless man along the
highway near Pamuzinda Hide-Out. The rest of the motorcade
past the accident scene without stopping to assist the
the second incident a land cruiser in his motorcade burst a tyre,
eight members of the Presidential Guard. One of them, Private
Mukotekwa, later died of his injuries at Parirenyatwa Hospital in
A former member of the police escort team who travel with
Mugabe told SW
Radio Africa two weeks ago that during his period with the
unit he lost,“5
good friends on duty through accidents while escorting
Mugabe.” He estimated
some 10 motorbike outriders have died since
The number of accidents involving Mugabe’s huge motorcade
is piling up. In
2005 the motorcade ran over another homeless person,
killing him on the
spot. In 2009, one of his outriders collided with a Mazda
323 in Harare and
in January this year a police BMW bike collided with a
Toyota Hilux in
The Deadly Motorcade: How Zimbabwe’s Potholes Became A Serious
By Jacey Fortin: Subscribe to Jacey's RSS
June 19, 2012 1:57 PM EDT
For the third time in a mere two
weeks, the motorcade of Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe has been involved
in a fatal accident.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and the sirens were
blaring. Mugabe's motorcade,
which includes motorbikes, high-security
vehicles and a bullet-proof
limousine, was winding through the town of
Zvimba when a bus driver
allegedly failed to heed the siren's
The leading car in Mugabe's brigade struck the bus head-on,
Agence France-Presse, killing one passenger and injuring 15
several vehicles behind, was unhurt.
The other two
recent accidents both occurred during a single trip on June 6.
veering motorbike ran into a homeless man and killed him. Then, a
resulted in the flipping of an armed truck, killing a member of
Three fatalities in short order certainly look
suspicious, causing some to
wonder whether the motorcade drivers are
purposefully careless -- or,
conversely, whether the civilians involved were
on a crash course by design.
The dictatorial Mugabe is, after all, feared
and reviled by much of
But such conspiracy
theories are unlikely. Each accident was different, and
fatalities on both sides. These were accidental deaths--
tragedies, but not
murders. Recklessness is to blame.
recklessness has led to tragedy in more ways than one. Choosing
motorcade drivers and training them to observe the rules of the road
short-term solution. But in order to prevent similar accidents that
all over Zimbabwe on a regular basis, a more comprehensive approach is
The missing link: governmental investment in public
infrastructure. In order
to prevent accidents, the first step is to fix the
Traffic accidents are more than a presidential problem; the past
have seen too many civilian deaths on Zimbabwe's roads. In March,
died when a driver lost control of a bus and ran into a stone
mid-April, 21 people lost their lives when another bus overturned
highway. In late May, a minibus rammed into a tree and killed
The Guardian reports that Zimbabwe is notorious for impossible roads.
streets are pocked with potholes, forcing drivers to swerve, often onto
wrong side of the street. Traffic signs and signals are often absent,
The problem is endemic, and everyone suffers.
Even Zimbabwe's Prime Minster
Morgan Tsvangirai lost his wife Susan in 2009,
when a lorry smashed into
Susan Tsvangirai was
well-liked by the people of Zimbabwe; she was known for
being a quiet
humanitarian, not often in the limelight but dedicated to
country's poor and, unlike Mugabe and his wife Grace, averse to
Morgan Tsvangirai himself is also considered a champion for many
Zimbabwe's people. He leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
is opposed to Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National
Front (ZANU-PF). Tsvangirai ran for president against Mugabe
in 2008, and
the polls had him in the lead. But ZANU-PF waged a campaign of
violence and intimidation. Tsvangirai eventually dropped out,
A subsequent ruling from the Southern
African Development Community resulted
in a power-sharing arrangement;
Mugabe now acts as president and Tsvangirai
as prime minister. But this
coalition has proven unstable. Tsvangirai and
many MDC members in Parliament
have reported being harassed, persecuted and
even arrested by forces loyal
Behind Tinted Glass
Tsvangirai might offer some
hope for Zimbabwe's faltering infrastructure,
but so far he hasn't gotten
the chance to lead his country.
Mugabe was first elected president of
Zimbabwe in 1980. Back then, he was a
public hero due to his prominent role
in the nation's independence struggles
during the 1960s and
Today, Mugabe's reputation is one of mismanagement, ruthlessness,
and corruption. Zimbabwe has made little developmental progress
independence; poverty and hunger are widespread throughout the
country. Zimbabwe has huge mineral assets, including diamonds,
be used to finance the public sector and necessary
But reports indicate that these funds are regularly
embezzled by ZANU-PF
"The benefits of the diamond
sales go primarily to allies of the president,"
said Mike Davis to the New
York Times. Davis is a researcher at Global
Witness, an organization that
monitors Zimbabwe's mining industry. He
described this graft as "part of a
wider attempt by people around Mugabe to
seize the diamond wealth for their
own political purposes, which in the
short term means beating and cheating
their way to another election."
While Mugabe rides the streets of Harare
in glittering motorcades, and while
ZANU-PF finances superfluous projects
including the planned construction of
a new luxury, high-security mansion in
the South African resort town of
Ballito, Zimbabwe's citizens are left with
a spotty electrical grid, poor
sewage systems, and chronically potholed
A World Bank report last year found that infrastructure
investments are far
below what they should be, though things began
"Zimbabwe made significant progress in infrastructure in
its early period as
an independent state, building a national electricity
network with regional
interconnections, an extensive and internationally
connected road network,
and a water and sewer system," said the
"But the country has been unable to maintain its existing
since it became immersed in economic and political turmoil in
Patching Things Up
If his past record is any
indication, Mugabe seems unlikely to address his
problems in any real way. His allegedly poor health
doesn't help matters;
the president is 88 and is rumored to suffer from
prostate cancer. There are
even reports that he is no longer mentally fit to
if Mugabe is not in power, then who? The president is pushing for 2012
elections, which would be ahead of schedule. Some suspect that he wants to
get through the campaign season before his health declines further. ZANU-PF
has already asked the supportive military to campaign on its behalf, a bad
sign considering past election-season violence. And even if Mugabe himself
falls from power, recent meetings with -- and high-profile diplomatic
assignments for -- ZANU-PF former spy chief Emmerson Mnangagwa suggest that
this close ally of Mugabe is being groomed for succession to the
Meanwhile, MDC officials including Tsvangirai hope that this
next round of
voting finally puts an end to the reign of ZANU-PF. Otherwise,
citizens could be in for more of the same. Infrastructure will
deteriorating without better oversight of government funds, and the
roads that result in so many preventable deaths will continue to
Road Carnage Cause for Concern
By George Maponga, 18 June
Close to 70 people died along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road in
the first five
months of this year amid calls for Government to take urgent
ensure safety on one of Zimbabwe's busiest
Sixty-seven people died in 417 road accidents during the same
The province has reported an average of 16 deaths a month between
and May this year.
The highest number of deaths was recorded
along the Masvingo-Beitbridge
Masvingo Governor and Resident
Minister Titus Maluleke on Saturday expressed
concern at the increased road
carnage in the province.
Officially launching the provincial Traffic
Safety Emergency Awareness
Campaign in Masvingo, Governor Maluleke said
there was no need to blame the
accidents on black magic.
He said most
of the accidents were caused by human error.
"Masvingo province records
an average of 105 road traffic collisions, 65
injuries and 16 deaths every
month and be that is it may we had an
unprecedented record of road traffic
fatalities in our province in the past
one and half months (April-10 May
"In April alone 29 lives were lost due to road traffic collisions
May, 12 lives were lost through road traffic accidents meaning that
province lost 41 lives between 1 April and 10 May this year as result of
road crashes," hesaid.
He called for a shift from ad hoc road
safetyactivities by developing and
implementing sustainable road safety
Acting provincial police officer commanding Masvingo
Elliot Musvita said there was a 15 percent increase
in road accidents
compared to last year.
He said 417 accidents were
recorded this year compared to 362 cases during
the same period last
Asst Comm Musvita blamed most of the accidents to drunken driving
error. He challenged stakeholders in road traffic safety to come
up with a
vibrant road map dove-tailed to arrest rampant road carnage
to in Masvingo.
The launch was held under the theme, '"Save Lives, Save
property. Masvingo says No to road carnage."
WOZA members briefly detained after Bulawayo demo
19 June 2012
Seven members of the pressure group Women of
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were
arrested and then briefly detained on Tuesday,
after a ‘die-in’ protest in
The ‘die-in’, which saw three
different groups of WOZA members lying down at
main traffic intersections in
the city, form part of a WOZA led campaign to
pressure for a devolved system
of government to be included in the draft
constitution. The group has warned
that their home city, Bulawayo, is dying
around them with businesses
continuing to close all over the city.
Two of the three protests went
ahead as planned on Tuesday morning, whilst
the third was stopped by riot
police who followed the activists for over 30
minutes as they tried to
regroup. They eventually managed to regroup and
conduct their ‘die-in’
without incident at Main Street and 6th avenue.
The members, carrying
traffic signs and red flags, lay down at the
intersections faking ‘death’,
which WOZA’s Jenni Williams explained was a
way to symbolise that Bulawayo
is dying. She told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday
that WOZA feels that the
reason the economy and cities like Bulawayo are
being left to ‘die’ lies in
the “political culture of centralised power and
“WOZA are of the view that a key way to change this destructive
through a devolved system of government which must be adopted as
in the new constitution,” Williams explained, adding that this
change the political culture that is clearly so destructive in
Williams also explained how police rounded up seven of their
members at the
protest at Main Street and 8th Avenue and detained them for a
They were eventually released when the officer in charge, Chief
Rangwari said they had not caused any damage.
members denied bail at the High Court
Tuesday, 19 June
All the 29 MDC members who are facing false charges of murdering a
officer in Glen View, Harare last year were today denied bail by
Citing Section 117(6) of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act, Justice
Bhunu said the 29 members had not shown
any special circumstances to be
He blamed the
legislators for putting in place the Act as it disadvantaged
murder charges. He said the Act stipulates that if anyone
murders a police
officer on duty the accused person cannot be granted bail
circumstances are shown.
Justice Bhunu said the accused had a better
chance for a fair trial in the
main trial than by appealing for bail. The
accused have been in remand
prison since their indictment for trial in
March. The have been denied bail
on several occasions and some of them have
been in prison for over a year
Before delivering his ruling,
Justice Bhunu attacked one of the defence
lawyers, Charles Kwaramba for
commenting and blasting the judiciary about
the trial in the
In the article, Kwaramba is quoted saying; “It just goes to show
is no equal application of the law. This is a classical example.
have police officers who are supposed to protect the people being
murdering a civilian for a dollar.
“On the other hand we
have 29 civilians who have been in prison for over a
year now, being accused
of killing a cop. So far, there is no evidence that
points at them, but the
speed of arrests shows that the police wanted to
arrest them because they
There were no investigations when the 29 were
“One wonders how the Shamva cops were granted $50 bail each in
a murder case
while the 29 activists are failing to get the same even when
there is no
evidence,” said Kwaramba.
Kwaramba said that the moment a
person is labelled MDC, then justice will be
Mutedza, Chivambo (Luxmore) and Magura (Cephas), left families
justice to be carried out in full,” he said.
The High Court trial resumes
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish
president to be targeted in Free Zim protest
By Alex Bell
Zambia’s President Michael Sata and his ongoing support for
Robert Mugabe is
set to come under international condemnation on Thursday,
as part of the
sixth round of the Free Zimbabwe Global Protests.
monthly demonstrations, dubbed the 21st Movement, are organised by the
international structures of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai and have been
taking place outside Zimbabwean and South African embassies and consulates
around the world. The protests for the last five months have been primarily
targeting South Africa, as the mediator in the ongoing political stalemate
in Zimbabwe, as a way of putting pressure on Jacob Zuma to ensure real
change before a fresh election.
But for the sixth round the focus
will now shift to Zambia, with the
organisers of the demonstrations saying
they are “dismayed” by recent
comments and actions of Sata’s.
recently Sata chanted ZANU PF slogans at a regional summit of Southern
African leaders in Angola, while referring to Mugabe as ‘sekuru’
(grandfather). He has also previously denigrated the MDC-T, accusing it of
being a ‘puppet’ of the West.
“To our greatest disappointment, Mr.
Sata has become a self-appointed
spokesman and gatekeeper for not only ZANU
PF but those who work daily to
crash democratic voices in Zimbabwe,” said
Den Moyo, the coordinator of the
21st Movement and the Chairman of the US
executive of the MDC-T.
He told SW Radio Africa that Sata should leave
Zimbabweans to determine
their destiny “without him carelessly supporting a
party whose time had
expired and trying to remain in power through violent
suppression of the
democratic aspirations of people.”
“Does he not
see any paradox in wishing us a life president when Zambia has
leaders five times?” Moyo said.
He added that the whole of SADC needs to
be pressured and encouraged to
champion democracy around the region, and he
hopes their protest will drive
this message home.
The protests are
set to get underway on Thursday across the globe, including
London and South Africa. More information can be found on the
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163252433777995/
and new wife to wed in September?
By Tichaona Sibanda
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly going to
formally wed new
wife Elizabeth Macheka in September this year, according to
The daily Newsday, in its Tuesday edition,
said the Prime Minister will tie
the knot with 35 year-old Macheka on
September 15th, at a ceremony likely to
be held in Harare.
Tsvangirai’ spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka denied reports of the premier’s
imminent wedding, telling the paper that he would inform them if such plans
Calls to Tamborinyoka from SW Radio Africa went unanswered
although many in
the Prime Minister’s party welcomed news of the
The couple both lost their spouses in tragic circumstances.
his wife Susan in a 2009 car crash along the
while Elizabeth lost her first husband, Mabasa
Guma, in a car crash along
the Harare-Bulawayo road, some 10 years ago.
Of Power Guaranteed;Mwonzora
Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, June 19
2012-COPAC Co-Chairperson, Honourable
Douglas Mwonzora has assured
Zimbabwean youths that devolution of power is
guaranteed in the new supreme
law of the land and that Zanu (PF) has no
powers to alter that
In an interview with Radio VOP on Monday,
Mwonzora said more
than 82 percent of people in the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe
said they wanted
devolution of power and Zanu (PF) was aware of that.
"Zanu (PF)has no
powers to alter the written draft constitution and they are
aware that more
than 82 percent of Zimbabweans who contributed in the
information for the constitution making process said they
“As Copac we also wonder why one party out of three parties in
the GPA is
not happy with people’s contributions on devolution of power. I
urge you not
to vote no in the coming constitutional referendum because
Zanu-PF is trying
to refuse peoples contributions.
Power is guaranteed in the new constitution. I can only urge
you to go and
register to vote and those without proper documents to go and
get one than
to campaign for a no vote,” said Hon Mwonzora.
He said Chapter five of
the draft constitution covers devolution of power
whether President Robert
Mugabe wants that or not as MDC and MDC-T are for
“It is the reason why Zanu-PF walked out in one of the meetings
when we told
them that we will not support any constitution without
devolution of power
as people of Zimbabwe said they want that in the new
constitution,” said Hon
He added that devolution of power
is the answer to unemployment, development
and a number of challenges faced
by the people of Zimbabwe.
Bulawayo MDC, MDC-T and ZAPU Youth Assemblies
have vowed to campaign for a
no vote in the constitutional referendum if
devolution of power is not there
in the new constitution.
Assemblies are saying Copac should desist from allowing Zanu-PF to
views of the people and they don’t want a skeletal devolution but
provincial government that are elected by the people.
devolution, no constitution: MDC
Written by Pindai Dube
June 2012 14:34
BULAWAYO - State Enterprises minister and MDC
chairperson Gorden Moyo says his party will not accept a
which ignores the concept of devolution.
“Zanu PF is
blocking devolution of power in the new constitution saying that
it is about
tribalism, but that is a lie,” Moyo told MDC youths during Day
African Child commemorations in Bulawayo at the weekend.
power is about fair distribution of state resources to all
will not accept a constitution without devolution of power,”
His stance could mean more delays in the completion of a draft
viewed as a key foundation for future stability.
says it will not accept a constitution which recognises
Speaking at the Bulawayo function, Constitution Select
co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said: “All the country’s
President Robert Mugabe’s Mashonaland West province
demanded devolution in
the new constitution."
"So we are surprised
when Mugabe is rejecting what his people want.
Devolution of power will be
in the new constitution whether Zanu PF wants it
or not. We have to respect
the people’s will.”
Copac is a cross party parliamentary body leading the
crafting of a new
Mugabe and Zanu PF are rejecting
devolution of power, saying Zimbabwe is too
small for the concept. They also
fear that devolution will divide
But local human rights
organisations, civil society groups, pressure groups
political parties say devolution is the best way to stop the
marginalisation of some provinces.
They say devolution of power is the
only way of uplifting some of the
country’s provinces that have remained
marginalised since independence in
Mugabe Bashes Finance Minister Biti Over Byo Businesses
Chanakira BULAWAYO, June 19, 2012 - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has
his Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, accusing him of sidelining
of Kings" - Bulawayo.
"If Bulawayo dies then all of Zimbabwe dies,"
President Mugabe said in
Bulawayo before dashing out to Rio De Janeiro in
Brazil to attend the
three-day Summit on the Environment.
"I asked Biti
what he had done with the US$500 000 we had been given by the
Monetary Fund (IMF) and he said he only had about US$100 000
left. We should
have used that money to bring the businesses in Bulawayo up
because most of them were closed. During the colonial days,
used for the manufacturing industry and that is why the
National Railways of
Zimbabwe (NRZ) has its head quarters here. Harare is
Centre of Zimbabwe and, therefore, Bulawayo must survive
and not die because
most of our factories are here."
President Mugabe then took a bash at the IMF
accusing them of sidelining
developing nations, including Zimbabwe, which
owes the Washington-based
organisation US$550 million, US$140 million of it,
being in arrears.
Politicians and business executives based in Bulawayo have
government of ignoring Bulawayo, the country's second largest
Some Harare-based politicians generally accuse Bulawayo citizens of
sell outs because they voted for the MDC-T led by Prime Minister,
Minister Biti is MDC-T Secretary General.
however, so far not made any statement on the burning issue.
The moves comes
at a time when the delegation from the Washington-based IMF
is making its
visit to cash-strapped Zimbabwe for the Article VI Annual
when they scrutinise the economy.
Zimbabwe's outstanding arrears to the IMF
have now reached US$140 million at
a time when the country owes the
influential group US$550 million.
Biti said Zimbabwe's outstanding arrears
under the Fund's Extended Credit
Facility (ECF) now amount to US$140
The ECF replaced the Fund's Poverty Reduction and Growth
"Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to pay off the IMF's arrears
own resources," Biti said in Harare.
"In this regard, the
country will need to request cooperating partners for a
bridging loan or grant to settle arrears to the IMF."
He said clearance pf
ECF arrears would unlock new financing arrangements
from the IMF, within the
context of a Fund supported financial arrangement,
which would then be used
to repay the bridging loan obtained from the
says Zimbabwe owes multilateral institutions a grand total of US$2,504
billion, of which the World Bank is owed US$1,126 billion, the IMF, US$550
million, the African Development Bank (AfDB) US$529 million, and the
European Investment Bank (EIB), US$221 million.
Biti says government is
"implementing a series of reforms focusing on many
He said these
included strengthening public finance management, budget
execution, review of national tax laws, effective aid
management, as well as privatising, restructuring and
Biti said the GNU would also boost its financial sector
Zimbabwe Launches Immunization Drive Against Measles,
Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington
Zimbabwe embarked on a
massive immunization campaign against measles and
polio on Monday, targeting
about two million children under the age of five.
Statistics show that at
least 100 children die of largely preventable
diseases in the country
everyday, and officials say the weeklong vaccination
program is meant to
roll back the worrying mortality rate.
Health and Child Welfare Minister,
Henry Madzorera launched the program in
Harare, administering vaccines to a
number of children and doses of Vitamin
parents across the country to have their children vaccinated at
points, including those from apostolic sects that normally shun
"Diseases do not select on the basis of religious
affiliation, and it is the
duty of every adult to ensure that no child dies
of a preventable disease,"
state radio quoted Madzorera as
The government is carrying out the immunization outreach with the
the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, which normally handles
donated by different agencies and countries to help revitalize
The campaign is funded by Japan. UNICEF
representative in Harare, Peter
Salama said he was hopeful all children
needing immunization would get it.
"In partnership with the international
donor community, the rate of children
immunized will continue to rise,"
Salama told VOA.
"Through the support of Japan and the ministry of
health, UNICEF has managed
to provide all the measles and polio vaccines and
injection, and safety
The program is also supported by
the Measles-Rubella Iniative, American Red
Cross, U.S. Center for Disease
Control, among others.
Zimbabwe's economic decline over the years has had
a devastating effect on
the health sector, resulting in the acute shortage
of medication, including
It has also seen the death of
hundreds of people of curable diseases such as
the cholera outbreak that
claimed more than four thousand lives in 2008.
But experts say the
improvement in the country's economic conditions since
the adoption of a
multi-currency system that includes the U.S. Dollar and
the South African
Rand in 2009, has slightly infused life into the
struggling health sector.
Mines Minister Casts Doubt Over Essar-Zisco Iron Ore Deal
Chifera | Harare
Zimbabwe's mines minister cast doubt on Monday
over the urgent
implementation of the $750 million Essar-Zimbabwe deal
parliamentary committee that Harare will not allow the steel giant
the nation's 30 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves for
The Essar-Zimbabwe agreement stalled after political opponents in
coalition government differed on the true value of the deal to
the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco).
The deal was
signed between Essar and Zimbabwe's industry and commerce
In testimony to parliament's industry portfolio committee
on the troubled
Essar deal, Obert Mpofu said his ministry and stakeholders
consulted on the deal allowing the steel maker access to iron ore
Many political players in the country have
criticized the deal saying it
short-changed the country with deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara
recently saying the deal should have been worth at
least $2 billion.
Mpofu told VOA afterwards that Cabinet had not
discussed the deal prior to
signing, adding Industry Minister Welshman Ncube
brought the papers to their
weekly meeting "as an after thought a few months
down the line when they
discovered there were other issues to deal with our
Sources say the cabinet, though not happy about the
deal, has directed that
iron ore resources that were used by the then Zisco,
be transferred to Essar
Africa Holdings but Mpofu maintains his ministry
would not do it for free.
Mpofu told Parliament said investigations by
his ministry show that iron ore
resources that were used by Zisco at Buchwa
and Ripple Creek were adequate
to resuscitate Zisco operations. He adds a
request for extra resources by
Essar are not justified.
minister said it would be improper for the nation to cede its more
billion tonnes of iron ore to Essar without any benefit accruing to
Africa demands ‘ridiculous’: Mpofu
CHANCES of operations resuming at Ziscosteel appeared
remote Monday after
Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, dismissed as ‘ridiculous
demands by Essar Africa Holdings for the hand over of iron
ore reserves at
Mwenezi ranch in Masvingo.
Essar Africa acquired a 54
percent stake in Zisco (now renamed New Zim
Steel) in 2011 in a US$750
million deal which included taking over debts and
liabilities of the of the
The deal was expected to see operations at
Zisco, stopped in 2008, resume
but work is still to begin several months
later as disagreements continue
between the government and Essar over the
transfer of iron ore reserves.
Essar has rejected reserves the government
offered at Buchwa mine in
Zvishavane saying they were "too deep to exploit,"
and claims those at
Ripple Creek near Redcliff were not sufficient to enable
them to recoup
Instead the firm wants reserves at
Mwenezi with an estimated resource of 30
billion tonnes of iron
But Mpofu told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and
Commerce that the Indian firm was making unreasonable demands.
these guys are asking for is ridiculous, it is no longer about Zisco
about something else," he said.
Mpofu said in the meantime the government
would only transfer rights to
Buchwa and Ripple Creek that would enable
Essar to resume operations.
"The Ministry's concern was why the Indian
firm wanted so many claims if the
agreement was primarily for the
resuscitation of the steel works in
Redcliff, thus the Ministry's approach
was to identify claims with enough
resources in terms of quality and
quantity for the revival of Zisco,” he
Mpofu insisted that the
Ripple creek claims were sufficient with an
estimated resource of 59 million
tonnes of ore and could be exploited over
The Buchwa claims
were holding up to 15 million tonnes of high grade ore
Mpofu said the government had erred in agreeing to hand over 80
iron ore reserves in the country to Essar adding that the
provision would be
He said cabinet had resolved to re-align
that provision so that government
would own more than 50 percent of the
"We cannot give all the reserves to one company. No, we
are not foolish," he
Mpofu however said his Ministry was not
involved in the original
negotiations for the deal
"The Ministry was
not involved in the deal, and did not know about the
agreement. We had to
look for the agreement from the Ministry of Industry
and Commerce only part
of that agreement was obtained and up to now the
Ministry does not have a
formal copy of the agreement,” he said.
"As the custodian of the mineral
resources of the country, the Ministry of
mines should have been involved
especially where issues to do with
management of iron ore resources are
Once the biggest integrated steel works in Africa, Ziscosteel
collapsed several years ago weighed down by huge debts and ageing
equipment as well as the lack of working capital.
murder lands top cop in trouble
Written by Sydney Saize, Own
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:02
HARARE - A senior
police officer who allegedly killed an illegal diamond
miner in Chiadzwa is
set to stand trial next Monday.
Joseph Chani, a police chief
superintendent who once commandeered of Mutare
urban district before being
transferred to Harare, was last Friday indicted
for murder by magistrate
Chani, who is languishing in Mutare remand prison, will
be in the dock on
murder charges when the second circuit of the High Court
kicks-off in Mutare
Mike Tembo is representing the
An indictment refers to a situation where a suspect who is not on
brought to court to be notified of his/her High Court trial date
During this period the accused person is locked in remand prison and
only apply for bail at the High Court.
Chani allegedly murdered
illegal panner Tsorotsai Kusena in September last
year after severely
Court officials told the Daily News they had indicted
Chani after receiving
a full murder docket from homicide detectives in the
eastern border city.
It is alleged Chani assaulted Kusena with switches
after the illegal diamond
panner and three colleagues had been re-arrested
by the police following a
thwarted escape bid from lawful
Earlier on, Mbada Diamonds Mine security guards had nabbed the
panners whom they caught panning for the precious gems and handed
to the police.
While in police custody following their
short taste of freedom, it is
alleged Chani assaulted the illegal panners
all over their bodies using
Kusena later died that night
reportedly from the serious injuries sustained
from the beating at the hands
A medical report is also going to be used as an exhibit of the
Kusena was aged 37 when he died and left behind two
children, Tanaka aged
seven and two-year-old Sharley as well as widow
Zimbabwe Opens Marange Diamond Fields for Visits
19.06.12, 10:57 /
The government of Zimbabwe has announced that it is welcoming
the European Union and other Western countries to visit the
Marange diamond industry, to judge for themselves whether human
violations are still ongoing there, Rough and Polished reported.
only allies of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe were permitted
European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell
Arricia confirmed that there
would be an official visit to the diamond
fields at the end of June.
Zimbabwe Mines and Mining Development Minister
Obert Mpofu told Zimbabwe
journal Zim Eye that Western diplomats had
expected his government to refuse
their requests to coordinate an inspection
of the Marange sites.
International sanctions prevented diamonds
harvested in Marange from being
sold legitimately in global markets until
2011 when sanctions were lifted.
Despite the lifting of international
sanctions, the United States has
continued to ban Marange diamonds.
Defends Army's Presence At Chiadzwa
18 June 2012
Mines and Mining
Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire has defended
Industry's participation in diamond mining at Chiadzwa as
the world over.
He said defence industries across the globe were involved
He was responding to Mazowe Central
representative Mr Shepherd Mushonga
(MDC-T)'s question in Parliament last
week on the nature of shareholding of
companies operating at Chiadzwa
diamond fields in Manicaland.
"Anjin is owned by the Chinese and the
Government of Zimbabwe where ZMDC
owns 10 percent and Zimbabwe Defence
Industries owns 40 percent
shareholding. Honourable Members of Parliament
should be alert and be
abreast with matters of national interest.
is imperative that Honourable Members of Parliament understand how
Industries are run," he said.
The ZDI is one of Africa's top defence
contractors outside South Africa and,
although nominally a private concern,
all the shares in company are held by
the Ministry of Defence.
Minister Chimanikire said there was nothing sinister with the ZDI's
involvement in diamond mining.
"Defence Industries are a common
practice the world over and there is
nothing perculiar about it in Zimbabwe
because Anjin itself is a defence
industry company that is owned by the
Chinese, which is in a joint venture
with ZDI," he said.
wholly owned Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds and Diamond
Corporation which are joint ventures with the State and private
some of the companies in Chiadzwa.
Deputy Minister Chimanikire refuted
allegations that the Central
Intelligence Organisation, the Zimbabwe
Republic Police and the Zimbabwe
Prison Service were involved in diamond
mining in Chiadzwa.
"From a ministry point of view, Central Intelligence
Partners, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Partners and
Zimbabwe Prisons and
partners do not have any companies operating in
Chiadzwa Diamond Fields.
"I would advise Members that if they have any
information contrary to what
the ministry is providing to approach the
Anti-Corruption Commission because
it can only be a corrupt practice that
the ministry is not aware of," he
reform programme failed to benefit war vets’
Written by Fungi Kwaramba,
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 15:00
HARARE - Top ex-army
generals working in the ministry of Defence yesterday
tore into President
Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme as having failed
to benefit war
They also spoke against the abuse of war veterans, many of whom
routinely used by Zanu PF as political shock-troops.
before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence and Home
chaired by MDC legislator, Paul Madzore, a team led by Defence
permanent secretary, Martin Rushwaya, said there is need to
welfare of war veterans.
“This committee can help us by seeing to it that
issues of war veterans are
not politicised,” said retired brigadier general,
“If they are involved in politics, you will have a certain
saying they belong to us.”
Moyo said the current
dispensation has made it difficult for war veterans to
appeal to some
sectors of the Government of National Unity because of the
“When we want assistance from the unity government some
people will say ‘why
are you giving them money when they are doing
“These are people who participated in the liberation war, don’t
in politics. The issue of war veterans should have nothing to
politics,” Moyo said.
Director for war veterans, retired
major general Richard Ruwondo told the
committee war veterans have not
received money for projects since 1997 when
ex-combatants received a Z$50
000 windfall in gratuities.
Ruwondo said it is pointless for the
government to give war veterans 20
percent of land in districts without
adequately resourcing them.
“From 1997 we have had several ministers (for
Defence) and none of these has
given us anything,” Ruwondo said.
are looking at one who can help us. In as far as land allocation is
concerned, 20 percent should go to war veterans. If this thing of projects
was functioning, then we could have allocations to provincial
Ruwondo, who is in charge of the welfare of war veterans, said
should expedite giving war veterans money for projects as that
will stop the
dependency syndrome that has characterised the land reform
Under the War Veterans Act of 1997, government committed to
provide for the
establishment of schemes to assist war veterans and their
also to provide for the establishment of a fund to finance
Currently the government, through the ministry of Defence, is
money for education and health.
vets demand US$18,000 payments
WAR veterans have claimed that they are still owed about
US$18,000 each from
the gratuity deal reached in 1997 and are demanding that
government stumps up the outstanding payments.
National Liberation War Veterans (ZNLWVA) secretary general
said the independence war fighters were growing impatient.
“When we were
given Z$50,000 each in the 1990s, each war veteran was
supposed to get
Z$500,000 and by then the Z$50,000 was equivalent to $2,000
Z$500,000 was equivalent to $20,000,” Makombe said.
“This means the
government still owes each of us $18,000 in gratuity and as
fighters, we feel we have been neglected and long forgotten.”
gratuity payouts represented a rare capitulation to pressure for
Robert Mugabe and, since they were not budgeted for, came at a
huge cost to
the country’s economy.
Analysts blame the payments for what came to be
known as the “Black Friday”
markets crash of November 14, 1997, when the
Zimbabwe dollar crashed and
lost nearly half its value on a single
The stock market was also hit, losing about 46 percent of its value as
investors scrambled for cover.
Makombe said ZNLWVA members understood
that the government was pressed for
cash as the economy struggles to recover
but insisted war veterans also
needed to be rewarded for their sacrifices in
the 1970s bush war for
“We appreciate that our economy
is coming from a very difficult situation
but at least the Ministry of
Finance should do something in recognition of
the sacrifices that the war
veterans made,” he said.
“It is not that we are after money. We did not go to
war for money but the
issue of gratuity is the case the world
“In fact in the SADC region, Zimbabwe is the only country which is
really do something in honour of the work done by the war veterans
the Z$50,000 which we were given in the 1990s.”
claimed that the government had failed to stick to the terms of the
deal, insisting war veterans were not receiving several other benefits
are entitled to under the War Veterans Act.
“Under the War Veterans Act
(1997), Statutory 280 and 281, we have a wide
range of benefits. There is
talk of loan benefit, education benefit,
gratuity, funeral grant, among
others, but as war vets we are not enjoying
anything of this except for the
Z$50,000 we got in 1997,” he said.
Zimbabweans tune in to foreign
At 98 percent, Zimbabwe’s literacy rate is the second
highest in Africa. Among its population of 14 million, 6 million are said to be
cell phone users. Yet since gaining independence in 1980, the country’s regime
has maintained a tight grip on the media. Some citizens believe the one national
TV station, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC), and few radio stations that do exist simply churn
Misheck Rusere, Harare
To fill the vacuum of trustworthy
information, Zimbabweans now resort to news reports originating outside the
“Sometimes I need time away from my daily
routine, alone with my radio or television, but I can’t tune into the ZBC
poison,” says Eugene Makaya, a vegetable vendor in the Harare suburb of Mbare.
“It’s like I’m being taken for granted or simply as a fool, so definitely I will
go for the foreign media, using my free-to-air-decoder, or simply tune in to
Studio 7 or
Radio VOP on
shortwave, where I feel the truth is being told.”
Makaya’s experience is echoed by university dropout
Petros Mabasa when it comes to television. “I’m better off watching news
presented by SABC, BBC
than watching ZBC,” he says. “It has
nothing to offer economically marginalized people like us because most – if not
– all of their time, they are talking politics, ignoring…our plight as
“All they do is churn out hate speech – and I
hate it,” he adds.
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), which is empowered to issue
broadcasting licenses, had no words to defend the ZBC’s poor-quality
In an interview with the BAZ, chairperson
Tafataona Mahoso said: “Who am I to say this or that? Go out to the people there
and ask them, carry out surveys and use whatever information you get from
media expert Ernest Mudzengi believes that ZBC has long abused its monopoly,
resulting in viewers’ lost trust. “People are not happy with what is being
offered locally,” he says. “Basically, what we need to do is to free the
airwaves so that people can have a wide choice to choose from.”
According to the Zimbabwe All Media Products
Survey (ZAMPS), exiled radio stations such as Radio VOP, Studio 7 and Short Wave
Radio Africa now attract the majority of listeners in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, over
60 per cent of TV owners have abandoned state-controlled Zimbabwe television in
favour of free-to-air regional and international channels.
To tap into
international broadcasts, some Zimbabweans are making use of new technology.
Particularly popular these days are free-to-air-decoders. Costing between 45 and
55 euros, they can be found at almost any electronic shop, even in small towns
and remote business centres. They require no licence.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government has requested all
the exiled radio stations to register and regularize their operations. And yet,
a disturbing trend where only President Mugabe’s loyalists have been awarded the
operating licenses has been noted.
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), an organization tracking news coverage by the
country’s media outlets, states that the coverage of critical voices by the
state media is only negative. Such individuals are presented as enemies of the
state when in fact they are opposed to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF)
Credibility-questioning Zimbabweans have gone so
far as to call for a reconstitution of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.
The BAZ comprises Mugabe loyalists – chief among them is its current
chairperson, who is also former chair of the Media and Information Commission.
During the time he served in that role, Mahoso gets credit for the closure of
several media houses, which some eight years ago had the courage to challenge
the government of the day.
fights SABC blackout order
MILLIONS of Zimbabweans viewing free-to-air South
African TV channels are
likely to continue receiving the service for several
more months after a
South African firm responsible for the signal challenged
a court ruling
directing it to end the piracy.
eBotswana, a sister channel to South Africa’s etv, won
a lawsuit in the
Johannesburg High Court in February against the state-owned
The court ordered Sentech to "take all reasonable steps
encrypt its signal within the next three months, after finding
it guilty of
being "wrongful, negligent and in breach" over its failure to
The three-month transmission grace period
ended on May 31, but Sentech have
appealed against the court ruling –
meaning millions of people in the SADC
region who receive the free channels
including SABC 1, 2 and 3 will continue
to do so pending the outcome of the
SABC say they have no control over the signal, and lay the blame
the feet of Sentech.
Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told South
Africa’s Business Day: "We broadcast in
SA and Sentech is in charge of
ensuring the signal is protected and stays in
SA. Anybody who is not in SA
and is watching SABC content terrestrially is
eBotswana General Manager Dave Coles said Monday that Sentech
appeal in May, and had so far not paid the P10 million damages
encrypted its signal.
Free-to-air decoders including
Wiztech, Fortec Star and Philibao have
created a booming market for
satellite TV viewership in Zimbabwe, Namibia,
MultiChoice Zimbabwe, which offers pay-TV on its DStv platform, is
massive benefits from the looming blackout.
Zimbabwe does not
have an independent TV channel and rights activists fear a
lead to a large section of the population living off a diet
pro-Zanu PF broadcasting.
ministries' 'ghost staff'
Sapa-dpa | 19 June, 2012 00:03
10000 people have been hired "illegally" in Zimbabwe by ministries
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, including those responsible
army and police, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has warned.
Biti has the
job of implementing austerity measures as the country tries to
out of a deep economic hole.
But the minister, who is a member of the
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) - formerly an opposition party, now
Zanu-PF's partner in government -
has had trouble reining in ministries run
by Mugabe's party.
"The two chief culprits are the Ministry of Defence,
which employed 4600
since January, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, which
has recruited 1200
personnel without Treasury approval," Biti told
parliament last week.
The recruiting was exacerbating the acute shortage
of food at army barracks
and adding to a wage bill Zimbabwe could not
afford, he said.
"All indications are that the military is preparing for
elections and for a
violent election, like there was in 2008," said Dewa
Manhinga, a South
Africa-based political analyst for Crisis Coalition, an
The military has in recent months supported
Zanu-PF and dismissed the MDC,
which is led by Mugabe's main rival in 2008
and current prime minister,
The army's chief of
staff Major-General Trust Mugoba, last week declared at
a public parade: "We
will not even allow them [the MDC] to go into office."
When Biti at a
ministerial meeting last week refused to pay the wages of the
recruits, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly threatened
Two tons of
African ivory seized
June 19 2012 at 05:06pm
Interpol on Tuesday said its biggest international operation
traffickers had led to more than 200 arrests and yielded
nearly two tonnes
of contraband ivory.
The three-month-long Operation
Worthy, spread across 14 countries in east,
south and west Africa, also led
to the recovery of more than 20 kilograms of
rhinoceros horn, a statement
Leopard and cheetah pelts, crocodile and python skins and live
other protected species were found. Firearms including AK-47s
and M16 rifles
were also recovered.
“This has been to date the most
wide-ranging operation coordinated by
Interpol against the illegal ivory
trade, not just in terms of seizures and
arrests, but also in targeting the
criminal organisations,” said David
Higgins, manager of Interpol's
Environmental Crime Programme.
The drive drew more than 320 officials
from the police, customs and
environmental protection agencies.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which sponsored a training
programme for the participants ahead of the operation, said ivory poaching
was rising sharply.
“Thousands of elephants are butchered for their
ivory every year and the
situation continues to worsen,” said Kelvin Alie,
IFAW's Wildlife Crime
“2011 was the worst year on record
for seizures with over 23 tonnes of ivory
seized,” he said. “These animals
suffer terribly as they are cruelly killed
or wounded so that their skins,
tusks, quills and other body parts can be
torn off and
The countries which participated in the operation were
Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia,
Nigeria, Rwanda, South
Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and
Seizures of contraband ivory in Africa and China have soared in
as syndicates with deep roots in the billion-dollar wildlife
seek to feed the spike in demand among increasingly wealthy
Bill Watch 27/2012 of 18th June [Palermo Protocol and African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance]
Houses of Parliament will meet again on Tuesday 19th
The Parliamentary agenda for this week includes motions to approve
two important international agreements.
United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children
MDC-T Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makoni has put on the agenda
of both Houses a motion seeking approval of Zimbabwe’s accession to the United
Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
especially Women and Children. It is a
Protocol to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime. This convention and its supplementary
Protocols [the others deal with Smuggling
of Migrants and Illicit Manufacturing and
Trafficking in Firearms] were opened for signature
by UN member states in December 2000 in Palermo, Italy.
The Protocol came into force on 25th December 2003 after ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession by forty countries. The
current position is that 149 countries have become States parties. 39 of 54 African countries are States
parties, including 12 of the 15 SADC countries.
All our bordering countries – South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia
and Botswana – are States parties . The
only SADC countries that are not States parties are Zimbabwe, Angola and
Swaziland. As cross-border trafficking
is taking place in the region, having Zimbabwe as a non-party has hampered
regional efforts to stop trafficking.
Because Zimbabwe did not sign the protocol when it was open for
signature, the procedure for becoming a State party is by accession. This will be achieved by lodging an
instrument of accession, signed by the President, with the UN Secretary-General
after the Protocol has been approved by Parliament.
Although the region does have a problem of trafficking across
borders, it is also important to note that the definition of trafficking
includes enforced or coerced exploitation of persons for purposes of
prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour and similar
practices even if it takes place within a country, a town, a rural area, a
community or even a family. Until
mechanisms are in place for data collection it is difficult to assess the
problem, either cross-border or within the country, but it is thought that, in
the present economic conditions and the concomitant movements of people, it is
The Minister is to be congratulated on responding to lobbying for
this Protocol to be acceded to.
Accession will lay an obligation on the country, among other duties, to:
· ensure that suitable legislation is put in place to prevent and
punish trafficking in persons
· implement the legislation
· collect data
· cooperate across borders with other States parties.
It is hoped that Parliamentarians will support the Minister’s motion
and follow this up by making a concerted effort to see that the necessary
legislation is put in place and other mechanisms set up, so that these
obligations are met quickly. When
opening the present session in September 2011, President Mugabe said that
Parliament would be asked to approve Zimbabwe’s accession and that Government
intended to “domesticate” the Protocol by presenting a Bill to incorporate its
provisions into Zimbabwean law. But to
effectively combat trafficking in persons sufficient budgetary provision must
also be made.
Too often International Instruments are signed and ratified or
acceded to without the necessary follow-up being done. Perhaps the Senate’s
Human Rights Thematic Committee and the House of Assembly’s Portfolio Committees
on Women, Youth, Gender And Community Development and Health and Child Welfare
could take it on themselves to monitor, once Zimbabwe has acceded to the
Protocol, that the Government follows through by ensuring legislation is passed
and budget allocations are made to fulfil obligations under the Protocol.
For details of the duties of States parties, and for key provisions
considered necessary in an anti-trafficking Act, Parliamentarians are referred
to the Parliamentary Briefing Paper produced by Veritas’ Director and printed by
Frederick Ebert Stiftung [FES] which was distributed to all Parliamentarians in
March last year. The Palermo Protocol is
available on the UN website or from firstname.lastname@example.org.
African Charter on Democracy, Elections and
In the Senate last week, MDC-T Senator Marava introduced a motion expressing dismay that Zimbabwe
has still not signed and ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections
and Governance, which was adopted by the AU in Addis Ababa on 30th January 2007,
and calling on the Government to expeditiously sign and ratify the Charter.
The Charter came into force for States
parties on 15th February this year, when the necessary numbers of States had
ratified or acceded to it.
Debate on the motion was adjourned to enable senators to read the
Charter, which Parliament undertook to provide them with.
In the House, a motion on the agenda, to be introduced by Hon Chitando [MDC-T] and Hon Rutsvara
[MDC-T], notes there has been peaceful transition in some African countries, but
contrasts this with violent transition in others, and goes on to cite the
context of Zimbabwe holding elections within a year and states that “violent manifestations are already
emerging” and that there is “a need
to ensure a peaceful post-election transition in Zimbabwe”. Finally, the motion calls on the Government to
put in place the necessary mechanisms for peaceful transition and urges SADC and
AU to ensure that member states subscribe to the ethos of the African Charter on
Democracy, Elections and Governance.
The Charter recognises the link between democracy, elections and good
governance and establishes a code of international law with respect to issues of
democracy, human rights and conduct of transparent, free and fair lections. Throughout, it emphasises the rule of law and
constitutionalism. About elections it obligates States parties,
among other things, to ensure:
· an independent and impartial national electoral
· fair and equitable access to State-controlled media by
· a binding code of ethics for contestants
· an AU exploratory mission prior to elections to ensure necessary
conditions and a conducive environment for transparent, free and fair
· free access to information and movement for AU observers during
The Charter also lays down obligations for an independent judiciary,
strengthening civilian control of armed forces, conducive conditions for civil
society, and legislative and policy frameworks to establish and strengthen a
culture of democracy and peace.
Everything in the Charter is in accordance with principles being
professed by all political parties. On
elections, it is in harmony with the SADC Election Guidelines. It is hoped that members of both Houses,
whichever party they support, will pass these motions for accession to the
Charter and prove their party principles are more than just talk.
The Charter – formulated by African states – would also form a good
background against which to read the draft of the new constitution. It is available on the AU website or from email@example.com. For those interested in comparing it with the
SADC Election Guidelines, these are also available from firstname.lastname@example.org
or on the SADC website.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal
responsibility for information supplied