ZANU PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally
confirmed what the nation has long expected, he’s officially declared his
bid to take over from Robert Mugabe as leader of ZANU PF.
year-old told the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper that he was ready to
govern if given an opportunity.
‘I am ready to rule if selected to do.
ZANU PF is about observing the will of the people and I will respect the
people’s wishes if they choose me,’ said Mnangagwa, who in the past said he
had no ambitions to lead the country.
The defence minister is the
country’s most feared politician who joined the war of liberation in the
mid-1960s. He was arrested for bombing a train in Masvingo and was sentenced
to death but survived the hangman’s noose, although he served 10 years in
jail. At independence in 1980 he became the country’s first State Security
Minister in charge of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO),
where he earned the nickname ‘crocodile’ because of his
In ZANU PF circles he’s known as ‘the son of god’ because
of the general supposition he is Robert Mugabe’s anointed
Many people will be concerned to hear news of his presidential
ambitions. He is widely viewed to have orchestrated much of the Gukurahundi
genocide of the 1980s, in which those deemed to be ZIPRA cadres or
‘dissidents’ were systematically murdered by a specially trained North
Korean army unit, the Fifth Brigade. An estimated 20,000, largely Ndebele
speaking people, were brutally killed and often thrown down mine
Mnanagagwa was also widely blamed for the extreme violence and
brutality following the 2008 presidential election, after Morgan Tsvangirai
won the first round poll.
As the battle to succeed Mugabe fires up
two distinct factions have emerged in ZANU PF, one led by the late General
Solomon Mujuru’s widow Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the other by
Political analyst Mutsa Murenje told SW Radio Africa on Friday
that Mnangagwa has always harboured presidential ambitions and was waiting
for an opportune time.
‘ZANU PF is at its weakest now with calls for
leadership renewal growing by the day. With elections due between now and
April next year, Mnangagwa could have been privately considering his
options, publicly mulling the bid since the death of Mujuru. What he’s done
now is to test the waters by declaring his bid,’ Murenje said.
can rest assured his leadership bid will cause havoc in ZANU PF. He’s not
well liked except by those who believe in violence. He’s not a unifier and
look at the state of the party now since word went around that he was
planning to succeed Mugabe.
‘He might be a good tactician at
destroying ZANU PF and Mugabe’s political opponents but he does not have
leadership qualities. He will also be a bad choice for ZANU PF because he
doesn’t command grassroots support from Zimbabweans,’ Murenje
As it becomes increasingly inevitable that Mugabe’s time as
president of Zimbabwe is coming to an end, it’s also becoming clear that a
leadership race to succeed him will be a bitter battle between Mnangagwa and
Mnangagwa reportedly has the support of Mugabe and the military
junta while Mujuru, is seen by many in ZANU PF as their best hope.
SAVIOUR Kasukuwere, the firebrand Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, whose political star is on a
meteoric rise, has spoken for the first time on speculation linking him to
the covert race to succeed President Robert Mugabe, which race has caused
serious divisions in ZANU-PF.
Nicknamed (Barack) Obama, the United States
President, or Tyson, due to his physique and aggressive style, Kasukuwere
has been touted as one of the party bigwigs scheming to fill President
Mugabe’s shoes in the event that the veteran nationalist quits active
Other ZANU-PF heavyweights said to be in the running to succeed
President Mugabe include Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and
Vice-President Joice Mujuru, both of whom recently said they have no
intentions whatsoever to take over from the ZANU-PF first secretary as long
as the incumbency still rested with him.
Kasukuwere’s admirers cite
his relatively young age, the strong backing he enjoys from party youths and
the fact that he has consistently retained his Mount Darwin South seat in
Mashonaland Central since 2000 as a plus on his side. He has also been at
the forefront of ZANU-PF’s black economic empowerment crusade, a central
theme in President Mugabe’s re-election bid.
Through the ongoing
indigenisation programme, Kasukuwere has been seen emerging as the de facto
right-hand man to the veteran ZANU-PF politician who will be seeking
re-election for a seventh Presidential term at the next polls.
his rising political stock is said to have ruffled the feathers of rivals in
ZANU-PF who are not happy with the limelight on him at a critical juncture
of the party’s political trajectory ahead of elections that President Mugabe
wants held this year without fail.
This week, Kasukuwere joined Mujuru
and Mnangagwa in outlining exactly where they stand with regards to the
succession issue, an indication that daggers could have been drawn out
against him by those who might have felt threatened by speculation linking
him to the high-pressure job.
The ZANU-PF politburo member said he
harbours no ambitions to succeed the President as ZANU-PF’s dicey succession
matrix, which in recent weeks has been fuelled by factionalism at provincial
levels, shows no signs of easing.
In an exclusive interview with The
Financial Gazette, Kasukuwere also blew the lid off on the long-standing
perception that he is at the helm of a group of young leaders in ZANU-PF,
named in WikiLeaks disclosures last year as the "Young Turks" and the
Kasukuwere said: "I don’t lead any faction in ZANU-PF.
My mandate is from President Mugabe and that is to empower the people. To be
caught up in this entire succession talk means that one thinks they are much
better than the person already in charge. What makes one think they are more
special than the other? We just need to work for the good and empowerment of
Kasukuwere’s denial comes hard on the heels of several
denials from Vice-President Mujuru and Mnangagwa. The latter set the ball
rolling by using the occasion of a lecture at the Midlands State University
last month to deny that he had entered into a "gentleman’s agreement" with
President Mugabe to take over from him after elections, as reported in the
United Kingdom’s Telegraph newspaper.
A week later, Vice-President
Mujuru also denied any ambitions to take over from President Mugabe as long
as the 88-year-old veteran ruler was "still alive".
observers have seen the public utterances by the three ZANU-PF bigwigs as an
expected response meant to portray unity and loyalty to President Mugabe, in
the face of a fractured ZANU-PF, which is beleaguered by the provincial
fights and imposition of candidates currently taking place at district
ZANU-PF’s politburo — the party’s supreme decision-making body —
is set to hold an emergency meeting next week to contain the factionalism
and infighting at provincial levels that threaten to tear apart the
Kasukuwere maintained that he was "quite happy"
to serve as the Indigenisation Minister and had "no interest to go beyond
his call of duty" and throw in the gauntlet to challenge the incumbent,
This is what the former Central Intelligence
Organisation operative also told a Reuters Africa Investment Conference held
in Johannesburg last month, where he also dispelled the flood of growing
rumours that he was positioning himself for the big-time in
Instead, Kasukuwere has chosen to concern himself with the
indigenisation programme through which he has vowed to ratchet up pressure
and take over more 51 percent majority shares from foreign-owned companies
and give them to impoverished Zimbabweans.
He said: "We will change
the face of the country forever and we will do it in our
Leaked United States diplomatic cables quoted American
ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, saying Kasuk-uwere was "untrustworthy
and a thug". Ray said while Kasukuwere had in the past been allied to the
Mujuru faction, an advisor to Vice-President Mujuru had told him that
Kasukuwere was "untrustworthy and a ‘thug’", but adds: "Kasukuwere is young,
smooth and ambitious."
Kasukuwere comes from Mt Darwin, the home area
of Vice-President Mujuru. He is the youngest ZANU-PF minister in President
Mugabe’s Cabinet. - Figaz
The European Union says
it will only consider lifting sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his
political allies if Zimbabwe holds free and fair elections. The EU
ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, made the announcement on Friday
after EU Foreign Secretary Catherine Ashton met with Zimbabwe officials in
This week President Robert Mugabe dispatched three ministers to
meet EU Foreign Secretary Ashton in Brussels to push the 27-nation bloc to
remove targeted sanctions imposed on the 88-year-old leader in 2002 and some
On Friday, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo
Dell’Ariccia, told journalists that the sanctions - which include an asset
freeze and travel ban - will remain in place despite the Thursday meeting in
Brussels. But he says that could change with meaningful
“The measures were decided further to the electoral situation
and very serious human rights in 2002," said Dell’Ariccia. "The elimination
of the causes that have led the European Union to impose these measures will
entail the elimination of the measures. The European Union has been very
clear that to have credible elections where people can express freely their
wishes. These results is respected by stakeholders. If these happen there is
no need to have the measures.”
The EU diplomat says Europe notes the
progress in Zimbabwe since Mugabe formed a coalition government with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2009. But he says more needs to
The uneasy and divisive coalition government was formed in the
aftermath of flawed elections. Mugabe had claimed victory but regional
leaders did not recognize it because of violence and intimidation of the
opposition. About 200 supporters of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change were killed, while thousands were displaced by suspected militia tied
to Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
A Zimbabwe ministerial
delegation pressed the European Union Thursday to remove all sanctions on
President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his Zanu PF party, as Harare
and Brussels restarted talks to normalize long-frozen bilateral
The EU slapped Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle with travel and
financial restrictions in 2002 over allegations of human rights violations
and voter fraud.
The Zimbabwe delegation, comprising ministers
Patrick Chinamasa, Elton Mangoma and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga met
with the EU officials led by foreign chief, Catherine Ashton in Brussels,
Ashton's office said in a statement the meeting “was an
opportunity to deepen dialogue with Zimbabwe, enhance our common
understanding and help build trust and confidence on both
"The Zimbabwe re-engagement team pressed the case for a full
removal of sanctions to increase the level playing field and enhance the
prospects for full implementation of the Global Political Agreement," the
The 27-nation bloc has since removed measures on 51 Zanu
PF officials and entities out of about 200, to encourage further political
reform. But the party is insisting on the removal of all restrictions before
committing to fundamental political changes.
Though the pace of
reform in Harare has been painfully slow, it hasn't gone without the EU's
"The EU recognized progress to date and encouraged the
reform process to continue in the same positive direction, allowing progress
towards normalization of relations."
As a follow-up to the one-day
meeting, Zimbabwe will send the European bloc a letter setting out its case
"which the EU side would consider before the end of July."
mission was later in the evening expected to release its own communique on
But back in Harare, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo
playing down the talks saying his party was not expecting much as the
Europeans keep refusing to remove the so-called targeted
Responding, Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the MDC formation
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urged Zanu PF to reform before calling
for the wholesome removal of restrictions.
For perspective, VOA
reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke with director Sydney Chisi of the Youth
Initiative for Democracy and Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Executive
Director John Mufukare.
Chisi commended the EU for opening dialogue with
Harare, but said the two parties remain separated on key political issues.
THE MDC-T briefed diplomats accredited to Harare
Friday, highlighting the need for full implementation of a power sharing
pact with Zanu PF as well as concerns over what the party says is growing
incidence of violence across the country.
The briefing follows
Thursday’s meeting between Zimbabwe and the European Union where the EU’s
foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, commended progress made in
implementing political reforms. Ashton also indicated the 27-nation body
would review sanctions on Zimbabwe at a meeting in July.
secretary for international relations and Minister of State Jameson Timba
and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told diplomats Friday that the
Brussels meeting “represents an opportunity for those on targeted measures,
to change their behaviour on their role in trampling human rights before the
next EU meeting is held in July.”
The EU imposed sanctions against
Zimbabwe in 2002, citing allegations of human rights abuses and electoral
fraud. The sanctions were partially reviewed in February, with the EU
removing a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of the targeted 150 people and 20
of 30 companies on the sanctions list.
At Thursday’s meeting in Brussels,
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the Zimbabwe delegation, which also
included MDC representatives and cabinet ministers, Elton Mangoma and
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, spoke with one voice on the need for the
complete removal of the sanctions.
“We spoke with one voice on the issue
of sanctions,” he said. "We pointed out that the sanctions had no
justification and should not remain.” But the MDC-T appeared to be singing
from a different hymn sheet on Friday.
“The diplomats were informed on
the need for the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
and the roadmap to free and fair elections,” the party said in a
“The party reiterated that a credible election is one in which
the security of the person and the security of the vote is guaranteed and
Mwonzora, who is also the co-chair of the Parliamentary
constitutional select committee (COPAC), told the diplomats the
constitutional reforms were on course but expressed concern over “a
concerted effort by the state media to denigrate the constitution-making
process through Jonathan Moyo and a few securocrats in Zanu PF.”
MDC-T officials also claimed political violence was on the increase in the
country and expressed concern over “treasonous statements attributed to
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff Major General Martin Chedondo that
the military should interfere in politics and support Zanu PF”.
diplomats were briefed on the disturbing increase in violence and the
closing of the democratic space in the country especially the banning and
disruption of MDC rallies across the country,” the party said. “Concern
was raised on the continued lack of consultation between the President and
Prime Minister on key senior appointments.
“A test case on the illegal
appointments of governors will be heard by the High Court this month when
Justice George Chiweshe will make a determination as to whether Mugabe acted
lawfully by appointing the governors without consulting the Prime
“Justice Chiweshe was the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election
Commission in March 2008 when the announcement of results of the
Presidential election where President Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe was
withheld for more than five weeks.”
Thomas Chiripasi & Tatenda Gumbo |
A Zimbabwean private radio station, denied a
license to go on air, has taken the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to
the Supreme Court over it's failure to furnish a lower court with papers
detailing how it last year chose two winners with links to President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
VOX Media revealed the court process seeks to
force the BAZ to release documents required in the company’s application
challenging the authority's decision giving licenses to former ZBC
journalist Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications, which owns ZI FM, and
Zimbabwe Newspapers, which is planning to operate Zimpapers Talk
Addressing journalists in Harare Friday, VOX Media productions
board member Tafadzwa Mugabe said his company had snubbed a meeting called
by a parliamentary portfolio committee on media and information Thursday. He
said going before the committee would have jeopardized the company’s court
Vox media productions private limited is the parent company of
Radio Voice of the People, which broadcasts into Zimbabwe daily from the
Vox media challenged the awarding of the licenses in the
administrative court. Although the case was not treated as urgent by the
court, the same court is still seized with the matter.
Mugabe accused the Tafataona Mahoso-led BAZ of refusing to furnish the court
with a record of proceedings during public inquiries held by the board which
it used to determine which companies should get the licenses.
people who have been involved in disciplinary proceedings or court
proceedings know that when a matter goes on appeal, the appeal court needs
to be seized with the complete proceedings from the inferior court," said
Mugabe said judging from presentations made by Vox media
during the public inquiries, it was clear that the awarding of licenses to
AB communications and Zimpapers was unjustified.
has expanded its digital satellite services with the launch of a new
satellite provider, My TV Zimbabwe. The satellite provider, housed under My
TV Africa which is based in Lebanon, is set challenge other market
competitors including satellite provider ‘DStv.’
My TV Zimbabwe was
licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe early April, launched to
Harare subscribers and is moving to expand to Bulawayo in the coming
The new player boasts to have cheaper market prices, going at $22
a month for 18 channels, including Al Jazeera, BBC World News, Sentanta
sports, Movie Africa, FX Movie Network and Fox Entertainment.
Zimbabweans have in the past largely relied on free-to-air satellite
channels. But earlier this year a ruling by a South African High Court
ordering the stronger encryption of free-to-air satellite channels left many
Zimbabweans in the dark as they lost access to outside
Chief executive Rodgers Chidamwoyo of My TV Zimababwe says
their services will provide competition to rivals and appeal to ordinary
Zimbabweans, mainly due to affordability, as the existing services are way
"The content that we have is really worth more than the
$22 that we are charging," said Chidamwoyo. "We are actually riding on two
A's which is accessibility and affordability."
A six month deadline for newly licensed radio stations to start
broadcasting will be missed, with the two groups stating they will only be
on air in a minimum of two months.
The two radio stations were last
year controversially granted commercial licences, with a stipulation that
they start broadcasting within six months of the November 2011 licensing
But, six months later, the representatives from the two stations
have said they won’t be ready for at least another two
Speaking before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Media,
Information and Communication Technology on Thursday, representatives from
the Zimpapers Talk Radio and the Supa Mandiwanzira led AB Communications
groups, said they still weren’t ready to go on air.
Talk Radio, which
was represented by Justin Mutasa, Admire Taderera and Pikirayi Deketeke,
will start broadcasting within the next two months. Mandiwanzira’s station
meanwhile will still take another three months before it is
The licensing process has been widely condemned, with both radio
stations having close links to ZANU PF. Zimpapers publishes the state’s
mouthpiece Herald newspaper, while Mandiwanzira is a businessman with close
ZANU PF ties. He was also the head of the ZANU PF led Affirmative Action
Group. The groups were also licensed under an illegally constituted
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, which the MDC formations in
the government have said must be reformed.
Earlier this year, the
disunity in the coalition government was put on display when the Prime
Minister announced that an ‘agreement’ had been reached for the BAZ board to
be reconstituted, along with the boards of the Mass Media Trust and the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Speaking after a meeting with his
partners in the government in February, Morgan Tsvangirai said it was
‘agreed’ that any action taken under the leadership of these boards should
be revoked, including the licensing of the two radio stations.
alleged ‘agreement’ was never honoured and plans have continued for the two
radio stations to begin broadcasting, despite concern that their ZANU PF
links will result in yet another partisan loudspeaker for Robert Mugabe’s
The representatives of the two stations told the parliamentary
committee on Thursday that its content would not be influenced by political
affiliation. But Gift Mambipiri from the Zimbabwe Association of Community
Radio Stations (ZACRAS) told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it would be
“naive to think their broadcasts will be non partisan.”
non-partisan will come from these two. The whole reason they were licensed
was to deflate the call for real media reform and to hoodwink regional
leaders that media reform was happening,” Mambipiri said.
He said the
situation has underscored the “dysfunctionality” in the unity government,
saying: “This situation is part of a huge game by ZANU PF to paralyse the
government and make sure there is no progress.”
representatives from one of the unsuccessful radio licence applicants told
this week’s parliamentary committee meeting that the adjudication process in
awarding the licenses was unfair.
Representatives from KISS FM, headed by
Sharon Mugabe and popular musician Oliver Mtukudzi, said Thursday that the
process was not fairly carried out, mainly because the other competing
groups had an opportunity to sit in and listen to the KISS FM presentation
and go back to rework any aspects in their proposals that had not been
The group also told the committee that, unlike Zimpapers and
AB Communications, they were better resourced and financed to successfully
11, 2012 - Controversial businessman and former top advisor to Gideon Gono,
Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has branded the central bank chief "a frowning thief"
further insisting he was ready to expose those who have plundered public
Kereke was addressing journalists at his expensively built private
hospital on the northern outskirts of Harare Thursday where he also accused
the MDC of failing the inclusive government.
“Dr Gideon Gono,
governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is a thief who stole public funds
and private funds for his own personal gain. Evidence is there to prove
this,” he said.
Kereke, also a farmer, accused Gono of invading a bank
account belonging to his private hospital and stealing US$100 000 to finance
his own chicken project.
Kereke who left the RBZ under unclear
circumstances early this year, said he was a committed member of President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and was prepared to “take bullets” in the name of
the veteran leader.
He accused Gono of sending unnamed government
officials to go and sweet talk him into abandoning his threats to expose the
central bank governor's murky deals fearing this would also unmask Mugabe’s
“What I am talking about here are activities of Gideon
Gono as an individual wilfully and purposefully discharging himself to
defraud the public for his own singular, personal benefit,” said Kereke, who
insisted the threats will never make him retreat from exposing
“I know you (press) will one day be called somewhere by Gono who
would start suggesting that I want to implicate top government officials and
members of the security forces in corrupt activities,” he
“Those are acts of blatant blackmail by a drowning thief. I have
chosen to stand with the truth and no amount of threats to me, to my
business interest will make me retreat from the truth.”
spoke for more than an hour to the chagrin of journalists, flew into a
tangent and started accusing health minister Henry Madzorera of sabotaging
his private hospital.
He said Madzorera, an MDC-T ministerial appointee,
was reluctant to grant him the go ahead as was required by the law for him
to start operating a new hospital he has expensively constructed right next
door to his other one.
He also accused anti corruption commission member
and former police boss Emmanuel Chimwanda, a top aide to Prime Minister
Tsvangirai, of threatening him against revealing how the MDC-T leader
allegedly embezzled funds from the RBZ to build his house.
Bulawayo, May 10, 2012- Former ZIPRA
military commander and ZAPU president, Dumiso Dabengwa has called upon
senior army officers interested in politics to first resign from the force
before joining mainstream politics.
Dabengwa’s call comes in the wake of
recent statements this week made by Major General Martin Chedondo that
soldiers in the country are supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu
(PF) party. “As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu
(PF) because it is the only political party that has national
interests. “We cannot be seen supporting a political party that is going
against the ideas of a nation, which came by a result of a liberation
struggle that saw many of the country’s sons and daughters losing their
lives,” Chedondo said while addressing soldiers at a pass out parade in
Mutoko. Dabengwa, a veteran of the liberation struggle and also former ZIPRA
intelligence supremo said only an undisciplined and unprofessional army can
engage in partisan politics. “The army generals should resign from their
positions if they want to join politics full time. There is nothing wrong in
them joining politics but they cannot be politicians and civil servants at
the sometime .The world over this are the norm” said Dabengwa in an
interview with Radio VOP. A National University of Science and Technology
(NUST) lecturer, David Ncube said the military by its very nature has to be
non –partisan, disciplined and through in its execution of duties, which is
what the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe requires. He said it is
clear that Zanu (PF) is using the army generals to intimidate people ahead
of a possible election this year.
The campaign to secure development funds and
assistance for struggling businesses in distressed areas has reportedly
suffered another setback, with government failing to raise $10 million of
its share towards the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund
The Dimaf fund was set up by government and Old Mutual Bank to
help areas that have not been developed since independence ( especially
Bulawayo and Matabeleland province) by funding businesses in these areas.
But the project has been criticised for only helping businesses in Harare
and making it difficult for Bulawayo based companies to secure the
Old Mutual contributed their full promised share of $20 million to
the Dimaf fund, but government has reportedly managed to contribute only
half of its $20 million. Most of the companies that have received Dimaf
funding so far have also been in Harare, defeating the original aim of the
Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, who chairs the
Cabinet taskforce on Bulawayo development, reportedly said he stays in touch
with Finance Minister Tendai Biti but has been told the government has no
funds to contribute.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme
said Minister Ncube visited some clothing factories in Bulawayo when Dimaf
was introduced and promised to assist them. He said the news that government
funds have not yet been secured is bound to lead to more closures and job
“The clothing industry is in dire straits, not only because they
are located in Bulawayo which is a marginalised area, but because of the
cheap importation of Chinese goods,” Saungweme explained.
“The minister was supposed to get guarantors for the fund before he even
told the nation that there will be assistance for distessed areas. And
no-one is talking about other areas like Chipinge and Mutare and places
where villagers starve, while ministers get rich from their
The government’s lack of political will to develop areas
outside of Harare has fuelled the argument for devolution of powers, which
calls for the de-centralisation of the decision making process and more
equal sharing of natural resources. This is one of the outstanding issues
blocking progress towards a new charter for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo says his
ministry will next week launch a manual detailing the restructuring of all
government companies and parastatals that have become a drain on the
Moyo told VOA Friday the manual, approved recently by
cabinet, clips the powers of ministers who have been selecting investors and
partners without consulting relevant government entities like the state
procurement board and an inter-ministerial committee.
members of the public would now be consulted when parastatals are being
commercialized, restructured or privatized.
“It has happened in the past
that certain public entities were restructured in ways that are not
commensurate with the laws of transparency and accountability,” said
He said the process of restructuring “must be a public process and
not something done behind closed doors”.
unity government spends millions of dollars a year to keep loss-making
Only one parastatal, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company – now the New Zimbabwe Steel Limited, has been successfully
commercialized though some ministers are believed to be attempting to
scuttle the deal allegedly for their own benefit.
MINES Minister Obert Mpofu has claimed that foreigners
including countries which imposed sanctions on the country continue to
benefit from Zimbabwe’s vast mineral wealth while the majority of locals
struggle to put food on the table.
Speaking at the 73rd Chamber of
Mines Annual General Meeting in Victoria Falls on Friday, Mpofu said miners
were resisting efforts to process minerals locally thereby denying the
country huge amounts of revenue from by-products that come from processing
minerals such as platinum.
"We are aware that our minerals are developing
other countries. When they are taken for processing outside the country, the
government is prejudiced," Mpofu said.
Zimbabwe is said to have the
world’s second biggest platinum reserves after South Africa. The top two
global producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, have
operations in the country but currently send platinum concentrate to South
African refineries for processing.
The government has been pressing the
miners to process the minerals locally, but the companies say current
production is insufficient to sustain a viable refinery.
the mining sector’s overall contribution to government revenues has been
declining even with the discovery of diamonds in the eastern Manicaland
"The mining sector used to contribute US$54 million into
treasury from diamonds but can no longer do so because we are not processing
them locally. We are now contributing about half of the amount. Those who
imposed sanction on us are benefitting more," he said.
has since increased by up to 5,000 percent a raft of mining fees and levies
with officials insisting the review was necessary to increase state
In addition, authorities have also been pressing the mining
industry to comply with the country’s empowerment legislation which is aimed
at giving the previously marginalised black majority control of the
Under the policy, foreign companies must transfer ownership of
at least 51 percent of their Zimbabwe operations to locals and most of the
major miners have already submitted compliance proposals despite fears the
legislation could force companies to pull out of the
Meanwhile, Mpofu said Zimbabwe remains largely unexplored adding
the government was looking at establishing an exploration company to help
build an inventory of the country’s mineral wealth and establish what
proportion could be commercially exploited.
"We are putting in place
modalities for the establishment of an exploration company which will
conduct exploration activities and build an inventory of bankable mining
projects that can be marketed to investors, both domestic and foreign," he
"In line with this development, my ministry has also resumed the
processing of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) which will lead to
clearing the backlog and opening up of ground for exploration."
May 11, 2012 Most cotton
cultivators in Zimbabwe have not yet begun picking up the crop, though the
bulk of the cotton crop is ready for harvesting.
The cotton growers are
demanding an increase in price offered to them from the current US$ 0.35 per
kg to US$ 1 per kg.
Moreover, cotton-buying points have not been opened
so far, which is negatively impacting the cotton farmers in the country who
rely on cash from cotton for paying school fees of their children and buying
Analysts say this year’s cotton price has been affected
by the market demand and supply situation. The favourable prices offered
last year, along with the Presidential Well Wishers Scheme and contract
farming, have attracted more farmers to growing the crop this
As a result, the area under cotton cultivation this year has risen
to 432,709 hectares from last season’s 379,689 hectares.
2012---The smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube says it will
force for a SADC Extra Ordinary Summit if President Robert Mugabe and Zanu
PF block “devolution of power” in the new draft constitution.
Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) has already referred the
draft constitution to Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals namely
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara and also to smaller MDC leader Ncube for
However speaking to Radio VOP on Thursday smaller MDC
Director for Policy and Research Coordination, Qhubani Moyo said if Mugabe
and his party block devolution of power, as they promised before, a SADC
Extra Ordinary Summit will be held over the deadlock.
outreach program for a new constitution majority of provinces in Zimbabwe
supported “devolution of power”, we know Mugabe and Zanu PF are opposed to
this. So if they remove it from draft constitution we will make sure a
SADC Extra Ordinary Summit be held since there will be a deadlock
between us and Zanu PF over devolution,” said Moyo.
Moyo also said
Mugabe and Zanu PF should to respect the people’s will.
Early this year
Mugabe rejected “devolution of power” saying Zimbabwe is too small for that
and it will also divide Zimbabweans.
Zanu PF spin doctor and politburo
member Jonathan Moyo also castigated devolution of power recently saying the
debate on devolution, has been falsely morphed into a constitutional issue
carrying all the baggage of federalism which has become a dirty word in the
Zimbabwean constitutional debate. The Zanu PF Tsholotsho MP also declared
that Zanu PF will not support or be part of any draft constitution that
seeks devolution in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Human rights organisations,
civic society groups, pressure groups and other opposition political parties
have called for the urgent implementation of devolution of power in Zimbabwe
to stop the continued marginalisation of some provinces.
saying devolution of power is the only way of uplifting some of the
country’s provinces that have remained marginalised since Independence in
Some civic groups accuse the central government of robbing
resource rich regions to develop preferred provinces, notably Matabeleland
which lags behind in terms of development.
Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) today visited Ward 12
in Mutare North, Manicaland province to investigate claims that there was
partisan distribution of maize under the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain
Although the details of the visit were still
sketchy, the MDC understands that the JOMIC team met the affected villagers
who were denied the grain by the local headmen and Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) officials responsible for distribution for not producing Zanu PF
Earlier reports gathered indicate that in
Mutare West, Ward 29, two non-existing villages were created in addition to
the known 15 villages, as a way to accommodate as many Zanu PF supporters as
The villagers were surprised when names were being
called from a list said to be of village Chikara B and Kusena B. The two
are non -existing villages.
Those responsible for
distributing the maize were; Eric Betera, a Zanu PF activist, Jealous
Makaza, a former Zanu PF councillor, Josphat Kusena, a Zanu PF supporter and
a GMB official who chanted Zanu PF slogans whenever addressing the
Of the 15 villages that received maize, no MDC
member benefited from the programme.
Meanwhile, the MDC
leadership across the country will this weekend hold several
Issues to be covered include the Constitution-making
process by Copac which has since completed drafting the document, the
referendum, the elections, the Brussels’ meeting where the issue of
restrictive measures was discussed and the upsurge in political violence,
harassment, intimidation and arrests of MDC members across the
The people’s struggle for
real change: Let’s finish it!
officials want a more prominent role in and outside Zanu-PF and openly back
President Robert Mugabe’s military men, long the silent power
behind his throne, are now stepping out of the shadows to play a more open
role in Zanu-PF.
They are trying to quell the factional fighting in
the party that has torn apart its grassroots structures and disrupted
This week a senior officer told his troops that the
army could no longer be expected to distance itself from politics and it
would not apologise for backing Zanu-PF.
The party’s commissariat,
which runs its internal polls and election campaigns, is now also led by
senior security men, Air Vice-Marshall Henry Muchena and former
intelligence chief Sydney Nyanungo.
Army personnel are also demanding a
more influential role in Zanu-PF’s constitutional reform team, which is
under increasing pressure from party hardliners for agreeing to a draft
constitution that would make far-reaching reforms.
struggles The influence of the military chiefs over Zanu-PF has been
increasing in recent years, although they have largely remained in the
background. But the chaos in the party’s districts has been an opportunity
for the military to come out into the open.
While Zanu-PF provincial
leaders were meeting in Mutare to try to end the factional fights that led
to the suspension of district elections, a group of top army officers turned
up at the venue and demanded that the politicians sort out the crisis, which
could lose Mugabe the election.
According to party officials, the army
men felt let down by the power struggles among the politicians and were
stepping in to end the fighting.
Incumbent Zanu-PF MPs are also facing
opposition from serving and retired military and intelligence officers who
want to stand in Zanu-PF primaries.
Army chief of staff Major General
Martin Chedondo has told troops that the army could no longer refrain from
politics. “A national defence force the world over is there to protect the
national politics, national integrity, the executive and other systems that
form part of the government. By virtue of this, defence forces automatically
become a political animal,” he said. “As soldiers, we will never be
apologetic for supporting Zanu-PF, because it is the only political party
that has national interests at heart.”
Limit the president’s power The
military is opposed to attempts by the Movement for Democratic Change to
reform the security forces. A draft constitution published recently
proposes to limit the president’s power to appoint security chiefs by
forcing him to share that responsibility with Parliament and a commission.
It has drawn strong opposition from Zanu-PF hawks and angered the
Under the power-sharing agreement, a new constitution is
required before new elections are held, but Mugabe’s lieutenants say the
process has been hijacked by their enemies in the West. The proposed
constitution would make it illegal for Mugabe to stand in new elections,
because it bars anyone who has been president for a total of 10 years from
standing again. Zanu-PF is also angry about a clause that could open the
door to prosecute Mugabe. The draft allows “civil proceedings” against a
former leader for crimes committed “before he or she became president [or]
in his or her personal capacity while he or she was president”.
When I arrived in Zimbabwe
my understanding of the political situation there, mostly based on UK media
reports, but also from talking to a number of Zimbabwean refugees, went like
Robert Mugabe had started out 'good' but was gradually
corrupted by power, turning into a classic African tyrant.
seizures which forcibly removed land from White farmers have been an unmitigated
disaster, as land was given to ZANU-PF supporters who were incapable of farming
it productively, destroying the economy and pushing Zimbabwe into
The vast majority of Zimbabweans support the opposition MDC,
and Mugabe is only holding onto power through vote-rigging and widespread
The people of Zimbabwe are living in desperate poverty, while a
few ZANU-PF cronies and military leaders get rich from massive corruption and
looting of the country's diamond wealth.
Living at Hlekweni, I gradually came to think
that the reality is considerably more complex and ambiguous than this, and
increasingly started to question the way our media represents Zimbabwe and other
non-Western nations (especially those that are usually represented as outside
the 'international community' of US allies).
There is certainly plenty of evidence for the view of
Zimbabwe as a tyranny and economic disaster. My overwhelming impression of the
Zimbabweans I met in Matabeleland was a sense of hopelessness. One woman said to
me just before we left, when we were discussing possible elections this year “I
won't even bother voting. What's the point? We know who is going to win. And we
can't fight them – just look what they did to us before.” For most people the
only chance of improvement they can see for themselves is to leave the country,
as millions have already done; although a good friend of ours had the chance of
a job in South Africa, and eventually decided not to go, saying “It probably
sounds stupid, but I just don't want him to have
There is also a real sense of having to be cautious when
speaking about politics in public. It is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe to
'insult the President', a charge which is regularly used to harass dissidents,
including the artist Owen Maseko, who is still awaiting trial at the Supreme Court for
his exhibition of paintings at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery. There is also
a very active secret police, the 'CIO', which is rumoured to
employ large numbers of informers to eavesdrop on conversations in public
places. When we were out in town and wanted to refer to Mugabe, we resorted to
the children's enthusiasm for Harry Potter, calling him 'He Who Must Not Be
Named'. The CIO also take a lively interest in the activities of NGOs,
especially overseas-funded ones, and they came to Hlekweni to interview me
shortly after my arrival.
I have met very courageous Zimbabweans who are
opposition activists, including one friend who is an openly gay man and also a
MDC-M candidate, who maintains his outspoken political activity despite
suffering repeated harassment and violence. But I have also met people of
integrity whom I respect and admire who are ZANU-PF members and supporters. At
first I was incredulous that anyone could support the current Zimbabwean regime
in good faith. But I was exposed to a number of experiences that gave me reason
Rob Sacco is the Director of the Nyahode Union Learning
Centre in the Chimanimani district of the Eastern Highlands. When I visited him
in August last year he explained his view of Zimbabwe as 'the most advanced
country in the world', because it has taken the land away from the colonialist
and capitalist class and redistributed it to the landless indigenous people. In
the Nyahode Valley, Rob is helping local
landless people to claim their allotted 2.5 hectares of land to support their
families. Entitlement to the land is free, although it comes with certain
conditions, including being resident and using it productively. I met many
smallholder farmers in Nyahode who have acquired land in this way, and Rob
claims that their intensive subsistence farming is enormously more productive
than the previous pattern of land use by White farmers growing cash crops for
I also visited a community-based NGO in Masvingo
Province called the Association of Zimbabwean Traditional
Environmental Conservationists (AZTREC).
AZTREC has a training centre on resettlement land (formerly owned by a foreign
corporation) which is practising and promoting sustainable agriculture based on
traditional African knowledge systems. Staff at AZTREC have also been involved
with a University of Sussex research project to measure the impact of
the land reform on local people's livelihoods in the region.
The results of the research so far are perhaps
surprising, showing that much of the resettlement land which has been seized
from White farmers in the province is being worked productively to provide
livelihoods for smallholder farmers, who are also re-investing significant
capital to develop their farming operations. There is an interesting series of
video interviews with some of these small farmers (made by Pamela Ngwenya who
also filmed our Hlekweni video) here:
The biggest problem
identified by the research is the continual monocropping of maize by smallholder
farmers, without crop rotation or other practices to conserve and rebuild soil
fertility. This is where appropriate training in sustainable agriculture such as
AZTREC and Hlekweni are doing with rural farmers is so vital for the future of
Zimbabwe's people and land. (One young agriculture trainee at Hlekweni told me
'I had never heard of crop rotation before I came here'). Rob Sacco is very
critical of the foreign donors (including the UK's Department for International
Development) who have withdrawn funding from any organisations that are
supporting communities in resettlement areas, even including
There is of course also large-scale corruption in the
allocation of farms to people with Zanu-PF and military connections, and a small
elite within Zimbabwean society has grown extremely rich from diamond and
mineral revenues. It is interesting though to travel on the Beitbridge road
through Matabeleland South and to make the crossing into South Africa. While the
landscape throughout Zimbabwe is studded with traditional homesteads, as soon as
you cross the border into South Africa the roads are full of luxury cars but the
countryside is largely empty of people. In South Africa, which is firmly
integrated into the capitalist world, the land is owned by large companies and
big farmers (just as in the UK) and is worked for profit using capital intensive
methods. It is also striking to see the stark contrast between luxury mansions
and sprawling shanty towns of makeshift shacks. In Zimbabwe it is rare to see a
metal shack of the kind that provide a bare shelter for millions of the poorest
South Africans. When one of the staff at Hlekweni built herself a chicken shed
Kate and I joked that if we were in South Africa there'd be a family living in
Of course South Africa is vastly richer overall than
Zimbabwe, and probably given the choice most Zimbabweans would rather their
country was more like South Africa (and millions of them have already voted with
their feet by moving there). Still the downside of all that capitalist wealth
accumulation is very visible in the townships and squatter camps of every South
African city, and in the appalling level of violent crime that afflicts the
country (again something that is very rare in Zimbabwe).
The forcible seizures of White-owned farms that started
in 2000 (and are still continuing) are accompanied by threats and often physical
violence, including against many of the Black farm workers. They are largely
initiated by local War Veterans and other unofficial groups, rather than planned
or orchestrated by the State, but the police do not intervene to protect
landowners. This has inevitably led to a general atmosphere of lawlessness and
insecurity, and encouraged the most aggressive or acquisitive people to target
property that they will just take for themselves by force, confident that the
authorities will do nothing to stop them. This can also include land belonging
to Black Zimbabweans and local companies. The farm at Hlekweni was occupied in
this way in 2008, by a group of residents from the nearby township, despite the
fact that Hlekweni is a local Zimbabwean NGO. The police refused to intervene at
the time (shortly before the elections), saying 'we can't touch politics',
although after the elections they did eventually agree to move the squatters off
Clearly this situation doesn't help to establish a
climate of security and economic stability. From the perspective of a
revolutionary Marxist like Rob Sacco of course, this is what revolution looks
like, and the force involved in expropriating White farmers is certainly no
greater than that originally used to seize the land from its indigenous
It is certainly instructive that the huge international
condemnation of Mugabe, including trade sanctions and a credit freeze that
helped to collapse the Zimbabwean economy, were prompted by the regime's support
for the re-distribution of property. By contrast, the truly massive crimes of
Mugabe's regime were carried out in the mid-1980s, when approximately 20,000
people in Matabeleland were massacred by the Zimbabwean military. This campaign
of State terror, known as the 'Gukurahundi', was
successfully aimed at the destruction of ZANU's political rivals after
Liberation. It is still a source of unresolved trauma for the people of
Matabeleland. My friend the MDC-M candidate told me that his father had been
killed and his body thrown with hundreds of others down a mineshaft. Whole
villages were destroyed and horrific abuses and tortures inflicted on the
population. Robert Mugabe has publicly dismissed these events as 'a moment of
madness', and no justice or reparations have ever been made. Despite this,
throughout the 80s and 90s, Mugabe was portrayed by the Western media as a
legitimate ruler, and people on the Left generally regarded him as a hero of the
Liberation struggle. It was not until the property of White farmers and overseas
companies was targeted that Mugabe suddenly became a dictator and Zimbabwe a
pariah State, which is perhaps a revealing commentary on our own society's scale
Personally, I cannot accept any justification for the
continued rule of any leader who has been responsible for the wholesale murder
of his country's citizens. The continuing intimidation and harassment of the
Zimbabwean population certainly suggests a regime is determined to remain in
power at almost any cost, whatever the wishes of the people. I can see good
reasons, however, why some Zimbabweans might want to defend the outcomes of the
programme, resisting the return to previous grossly unequal
patterns of land ownership, and the incorporation of Zimbabwe's resources into
the capitalist world.
Very few of the Zimbabweans I met in Matabeleland
have expressed any hope of improvement for their country, even following
Mugabe's eventual death. The legacy of violence and oppression has crushed
people's sense of hope and possibility. As Quakers, I hope we will hold all
Zimbabweans in the Light, and look for opportunities to work alongside them for
healing and rebuilding.
Published on : 11 May 2012 - 5:54pm | By Gerhard
Dictatorship is bad for the economy. Researchers say a
country’s finances go into freefall after 10 to 15 years of totalitarianism.
The tell-tale characteristics are decreasing growth and increasing
“The longer a dictator is in power, the worse the economic
performance,” concludes economic historian Jan Luiten van Zanden from
Utrecht University. He’s studied the economies of 55 dictatorships and there
is no denying that, if one person has all the power, the economy
It comes as no surprise that dictators tend to tell another
story. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi wasted no opportunity to stress
that he had brought his country nothing but prosperity. Some economists
think this kind of story makes sense. A strong man without an opposition
needn’t make concessions: he can push thorough whatever is best for – the
economy of - his country.
Driving seat In practice, though, it’s
different. That becomes glaringly obvious the longer a dictator is in the
driving seat. Van Zanden:
“With the passage of time, the balance shifts
from the country’s interests to private interests and that is disastrous for
the economy. The quality of governance declines, the clique surrounding the
Great Leader is corrupt and loots the treasury. What’s more, as everything
goes downhill, they start to print money with the result that inflation
Of all the authoritarian regimes in Africa and the Middle East
Van Zanden has studied, he thinks the most striking examples, besides Libya,
are Zimbabwe, Congo and Ivory Coast. It’s no coincidence that these are
countries which have been ruled by one man for years. Van Zanden:
average, African presidents are in power for over a decade. So far, Gaddafi
wins the prize with 42 years at the top, but Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (32
years in power) and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (26 years) are not doing too
badly. Just compare that to the Western World, where presidents and other
government leaders average three to four years in power. There’s a reason
for this. Power corrupts.”
Sanctions Just how much can a dictator be
blamed though? Is poverty and economic malaise also not often caused by
economic sanctions? Van Zanden:
“They definitely influence things and
contribute to the decline. Zimbabwe is a good example of this. Economic
sanctions, though, only come into play in a few of the dictatorships
researched. I think you first have to look at the positive side to these
punitive measures: imposing sanctions is one of the few things the
international community can do to try to change these kinds of
Costs Van Zanden argues it’s a fact that regime change
would benefit the population of a dictatorship on economic grounds alone.
The extent of the benefit can even be worked out: his research details the
costs to the economy of these dictatorships.
“Every year under a
dictator reduces growth in GDP by between 0,10 and 0.15 percent. That means,
if a dictator is in power for 20 years, average growth will be about 2.5
percent lower than in a comparable country without an all-powerful leader.
That is a really major effect. Africa and the Middle East pay a high price
for their dictators.”
Almost overshadowed by the case involving NPA boss
Menzi Simelane, a ruling delivered on Tuesday by the North Gauteng High
Court delivered diplomatic shockwaves. It compelled authorities to
investigate allegations of state-sponsored torture and crimes against
humanity in northern neighbour Zimbabwe. The ruling also opens the door for
other victims of war crimes to seek relief through the SA criminal justice
system. By OSIAME MOLEFE.
Those accused of war crimes might have to
strike South Africa off their list of vacation spots, thanks to a ruling on
Tuesday in the North Gauteng High Court. The ruling compelled the National
Prosecuting Authority and the SA Police Service, two of the four
respondents, to investigate and consider prosecuting allegations of torture
and crimes against humanity committed by members of Zimbabwe’s police
The applicants, the Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum and the SA Litigation
Centre, brought the case after their request to the NPA for an investigation
was rejected, seemingly on spurious grounds.
Delivering a lengthy and
firm ruling, judge Hans Fabricius said his order was simply telling the NPA
and the SAPS to do what was required of them by law. In this instance, they
were duty bound to ensure that the purposes and objects of the
Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act,
the local law that gives effect to the Rome Statute, were discharged. This
duty was to be fulfilled in accordance with the country’s obligation to
investigate and prosecute perpetrators of international crimes in light of
the information placed before the two bodies, he said.
had provided the NPA and SAPS with thorough and detailed information,
including harrowing victim testimony, doctors’ letters - the legal precedent
for an investigation and prosecution – and a list of the names of alleged
“In order for the respondents’ decisions to be rational,
their decision had to be based on accurate findings of fact and the correct
application of the law,” Fabricius said, before finding that the decision by
the NPA and SAPS not to investigate was “unlawful, inconsistent with the
Constitution and therefore invalid”.
The police had said they lacked
the means and jurisdiction to investigate, and the NPA’s decision to accept
that answer had divided the organisation. In court papers, Anton Ackermann,
head of the NPA’s priority crimes litigation unit (PLCU), accused former NPA
boss Menzi Simelane of acting intentionally to prevent him from making his
view of events public, even though Ackermann was a named second
The unit is, by presidential proclamation, responsible for
managing and directing investigations and prosecutions of international
Ackermann’s view was that, at the very least, the SAPS should
have been directed to open a docket and take testimony from the complainants
until such a time that the practicalities of investigating a crime that
occurred in another country could be overcome.
The divisions within
the NPA culminated in a frustrated Ackermann making the unprecedented move
of filing his answering affidavit with the applicants’ papers because his
employer had already filed without involving him.
“This judgment will
send a shiver down the spines of Zimbabwean officials who believed that they
would never be held to account for their crimes but now face investigation
by the South African authorities,” the litigation centre’s executive
director Nicole Fritz said in a statement. According to her, the ruling sets
a broader precedent for South Africa’s duty to investigate international
crimes wherever they take place.
The ruling theoretically means that,
should another aggrieved group approach South African authorities with
complaints of torture and crimes against humanity in their country, the
authorities are duty bound to investigate and - depending on the strength of
the evidence gathered - prosecute.
This may result in some embarrassing
situations because diplomatic immunity falls away during investigations
brought under the Rome Statute. Previously untouchable figures could be
hauled in for questioning or arrested, creating a diplomatic nightmare for
But on that issue judge Fabricius was pointed. “In my view
it is clear that when an investigation under the ICC Act is requested, and a
reasonable basis exists for doing an investigation, political considerations
or diplomatic initiatives are not relevant at that stage,” he
By agreeing with the argument put forward by the applicant’s
lawyer, Wim Trengove, the judge also pre-empted the argument that the NPA
and the litigation unit lack investigative capacity and rely on the SAPS.
Trengove argued that the litigation unit’s duty was to “manage and direct”
under the ICC Act. Instead, the NPA abdicated its duty and left it up to the
SAPS, who made the wrong decision, Trengove argued.
holiday-making war criminals shouldn’t despair yet. The decision is still
subject to appeal. NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the authority would
study the judgment, “scrutinise it and then determine what legal avenue to
SAPS spokesman Lindela Mashigo was more direct. He said, “We
have observed the ruling and we are now studying the judgment with a view of
The Times Editorial: Even though President Jacob
Zuma has adopted a far tougher approach to the recalcitrant Robert Mugabe
than Thabo Mbeki ever did, our police service has had no qualms in cosying
up to their Zimbabwean counterparts.
So much so that members of
the SA Police Service's elite Hawks unit stand accused of being involved in
the illegal, CIA-style rendition of several Zimbabwean suspects who were
taken over the border and murdered or tortured by Zimbabwean
Among the victims was former Movement for Democratic Change
organiser Gift Nhadzi, who was allegedly tortured, along with his wife,
after he was spirited over the border.
When the Sunday Times lifted a
lid off this shameful state of affairs in October last year, Police Minister
Nathi Mthethwa initially denied the allegations. But an investigation was
launched and Mthethwa told parliament on Wednesday that the probe was
Yesterday, activists from the Zimbabwean Exiles Forum
threatened to take several members of the Hawks to The Hague over crimes
against humanity if they are not brought to justice in South
The exiles forum was also one of the applicants in a landmark
case in the Pretoria High Court, which ruled that police and the National
Prosecuting Authority were obliged - under the Rome statute of the
International Criminal Court Act - to investigate and charge senior Zimbabwe
officials suspected of crimes against humanity should they enter South
Judge Hans Fabricius was not persuaded by the NPA's argument than
such an undertaking could hamper cooperation with the Zimbabwean police in
criminal investigations or undermine relations with Zimbabwe, saying
"political considerations or diplomatic initiatives are not relevant .
having regard to the purpose of the ICC Act".
They might not want to
upset the powers-that-be in Zimbabwe but our police and prosecuting
authority will have to obey the law.
Religion and politics make for a
toxic mix; in both cases, followers have deeply entrenched views and when
those views collide, the result is likely to be explosive. Religion and
church membership of one kind or another is almost universal in Zimbabwe;
admitting to atheism or even agnosticism is likely to gain you some very
curious glances. As for politics, Zanu PF makes sure that’s behind
everything – even church membership.
For reasons best known to
himself, Prime Minister Tsvangirai has apparently issued an invitation to a
Nigerian ‘prophet’ named TB Joshua to attend a National Day of Prayer
scheduled for May 25th which is also Africa Day and a national holiday
throughout Africa. As a non-Zimbabwean, TB Joshua requires a visa to enter
the country and it is that which has turned what seemed to be a simple
invitation into a political matter. The issuing of visas is in the hands of
the Ministry of Immigration and that Ministry is under the control of Zanu
PF in this so-called Unity Government. Enter the propagandist media; the
Herald newspaper has featured various pro-Zanu PF religious leaders
declaring that TB Joshua was not welcome in the country and that his
teachings were ‘judgemental and partisan and unorthodox’. At first glance it
all seems like much ado about nothing until we remember that it was TB
Joshua who prophesied the imminent demise of an elderly African leader. For
Zanu PF fanatics, that was tantamount to a prediction that their saviour –
as they regard Robert Mugabe – was not long for this world. At 88 years of
age, that would seem like a pretty safe prediction but, in the event, it was
not Mugabe but the 77 year old Binga Wa Mutharika of Malawi who died of a
TB Joshua’s prophesies have got the pro-Mugabe religious
leaders all riled up but as ever it is ‘Bishop’Abel Kunonga’s pronouncements
that are the most racist and un-Christian.
Is it divine revelation
that enables Kunonga to prophesy that those who seize farms and mines and
other properties in the hands of ‘aliens’ will definitely enter the kingdom
of God? He boasted that he had personally taken 3.800 farms which were in
the hands of ‘aliens’ and according to Kunonga’s crazy logic, one must
assume he will be up there in front of the queue at the pearly gates! “As
Christians,” he said, “we must gear ourselves for a bloody war against white
interests.” Hearing those words, any sane person, Christian or not, is
entitled to ask why Kunonga is allowed to get away with such open incitement
to violence. And it is not the first time he has made such inflammatory
remarks and escaped the legal consequences. The conclusion must be that
Kunonga has the approval of Robert Mugabe and his partisan Police Chief when
he makes these outrageous statements.
On Thursday this week a senior
army officer, one Major General Martin Chedondo, told the media that all his
soldiers are supporters of Robert Mugabe. Quite how the Major General can
make this claim is not certain unless all army recruits have now to declare
Zanu PF allegiance before they are allowed to join the military. That is
possible I suppose, knowing how little regard Zanu PF have for the
democratic process. The fact that it is Zanu PF who are doing their level
best to delay and derail the draft constitution tells us just how far the
party will go to keep Robert Mugabe in power. It is the draft constitution
that is the clearest threat to Mugabe’s continued stay in power; the draft
limits a president’s term of office and states that he can be prosecuted
even after he leaves office. No wonder Zanu PF have rejected the draft
constitution. If one falls they all fall and when that one is the man at the
top, then all the other Zanu PF high-ranking officials must be terrified
that they will be the next to fall. We hear now that the factions inside the
party have increased to five in number as the top dogs fight over who will
The combination of Bishop Kunongo’s threats and
Major General Chedondo’s claim that all soldiers support Zanu PF suggests a
frightening and uncertain future for non-aligned Zimbabweans – in this world
and the next!