By Tichaona Sibanda
13 May 2011
A bitter dispute that was threatening to overshadow the drafting of a new
constitution in Zimbabwe has been resolved. A settlement between the two MDC
formations and ZANU PF was agreed on Thursday night.
The MDC formations had ordered their delegates to down tools on Monday
following a dispute over procedure at the start of thematic committee stages
of the process.
A compromise deal was worked out and delegates were informed of the decision
on Friday allowing work on the 17 thematic committees to resume.
The COPAC select committee that is overseeing the drafting of a new
constitution has agreed to use both the qualitative and quantitative
processes to analyse data gathered through the outreach programme.
Qualitative is to do with the importance of issues raised at the outreach
meetings while quantitative looks at the number of times an issue was
raised. Douglas Mwonzora, co-chairperson of COPAC, confirmed the development
but said the three day stalemate cost them $21,000.
The acrimonious dispute was triggered by ZANU PF on Monday when they made a
u-turn on the methodology to be used to analyse data from the outreach
program. They had agreed to the methodology at an earlier meeting in April.
As it stands the MDC formations look like they have backed down on this
earlier agreement to accommodate ZANU PF.
ZANU PF advocated using the quantitative process because there were more
meetings in the rural areas compared to the urban areas which could have
made the drafting of the constitution skewed in favour of the former ruling
There had been many documented incidents of ZANU PF bussing in supporters to
these rural meetings, after they had been careful taught what issues to
Additionally in rural areas three meetings were held in each ward, while
only one meeting per ward was held in urban areas.
In an attempt to counter this in some way, the select committee had now
decided to ‘collapse’ the number of meetings in rural areas; ‘Where we had
three separate meetings in each rural ward, we resolved to count them as
just one meeting. That way there is an assurance that we will have an equal
representation of views countrywide,’ Mwonzora added.
The Nyanga North MP said where use of both quantitative and qualitative
methods of analysis is used they will try to ensure that none takes
precedence over the other.
As a result of the three day impasse, the drafting of the constitution is
again behind schedule and there is a danger the September deadline for a
referendum won’t be met.
By Alex Bell
13 May 2011
The South African facilitation team, trying to negotiate an end to Zimbabwe’s
political mess, has dismissed efforts by the ZANU PF politburo to block
The team is in the process of finalisng a draft roadmap towards free, fair
and credible elections in Zimbabwe, ahead of a summit of Southern African
Development Community (SADC) leaders. It’s widely hoped that the summit,
expected to get underway in Namibia next week, will be a turning point for
Zimbabwe and that SADC will prove its commitment to democratic change with a
solid action plan.
But ZANU PF is going out of its way to show its unhappiness with the
regional bloc, which has appeared to break from its tradition of quietly
supporting Robert Mugabe’s party. In a move that is set to put Mugabe and
South African President Jacob Zuma on a collision course, the ZANU PF
politburo this week rejected SADC’s proposed election time table, and
dismissed South Africa’s proposal to meet the country’s securocrats. Zuma
has insisted that this meeting is critical to get an assurance from the
generals that they would not disrupt preparations for a credible election.
“Where on earth have you seen people coming to see security forces of
another country? It is nonsensical,” said ZANU PF spokesperson, Rugare
Gumbo, after the politburo meeting on Wednesday.
Zuma’s chief facilitator in the process, Lindiwe Zulu, has since dismissed
these attempts to block progress in crafting a way forward, saying: “We will
not concern ourselves with what is said outside the negotiating process.”
Human rights groups, the MDC and Zimbabweans have all said that reforming
the security sector is critical before a fresh poll, with the Mugabe-loyal
securocrats being at the centre of ZANU PF’s violence machinery. Already,
reports are growing about the deployment of army and militia across the
country, sparking fears of a return to the violence seen during the 2008
Speaking to SW Radio Africa after the release of Amnesty International’s
annual report on the state of human rights across the world, Zimbabwe
researcher Simeon Mawanza agreed that security sector reform was vital.
“Looking at the situation in the country, it is clear it is not ready for an
election. For an election to be peaceful and for the country to avoid a
repeat of the 2008 violence, there’s a need to seriously look at the
Mawanza continued by saying that Amnesty International remained cautious
about SADC’s apparent turn-around over the Zimbabwe situation, given the
regional bloc’s past support of ZANU PF. He said SADC must still prove its
commitment to democracy, explaining that the best outcome of the upcoming
summit would be a plan that will force ZANU PF to abide by the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).
“The best outcome would be to set up a strong oversight mechanism that
ensure that the GPA is implemented, and ensuring that the security forces
are reformed, ensuring that the airwaves are opened up, to also ensure that
the security forces do not operate in a partisan manner,” Mawanza said.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Zuma still has serious questions to answer about a
hidden report on election violence in Zimbabwe in 2008 at the hands of the
security forces. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, as the then
SADC mediator in Zimbabwe, sent six retired South African army generals on
two fact-finding missions to investigate the cause of the political crisis
in 2008, especially the role of the army in the violence. More than two
years later, that report has still not been made public, despite Zuma taking
over Mbeki’s position.
Leading rights groups, like Lawyers for Human Rights, the Southern African
Litigation Centre and others, have said that Zuma must release the report,
if he is committed to his mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 May, 2011
There is growing confusion in Zimbabwe about the date for the country’s next
elections, as the key political players continue to offer conflicting
statements and exchange harsh words over the issue. The Zimbabwe Independent
newspaper added to the confusion on Friday, when it reported that SADC “is
likely to determine” the date for Zim elections, since “it will fund part of
the costs because the inclusive government is broke”.
The paper quoted government sources who said the SADC facilitator, President
Jacob Zuma of South Africa, would have the “the final say” on the date for
elections and had pledged to assist the Zim authorities with regional
funding. No specific figures were disclosed but Zuma reportedly said the
funds would be released once key reforms in governance and the security
sector are implemented.
But also this week ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the ZANU PF position
is that elections will be held this year. Gumbo explained that the politburo
had decided on this and that reforms were not a fundamental requirement
before any next election. He added that the party congress in Mutare last
year had agreed on elections in 2011.
Gumbo tried to present a united ZANU PF front, but there are reports of
serious divisions within ZANU PF over the election issue. And as reported on
SW Radio Africa on Thursday, Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche were
ejected from this weeks politburo meeting after being accused of giving too
many concessions to the MDC and SADC negotiators, in Cape Town talks the
Philip Pasirayi, spokesperson for the Crisis Coalition, explained that
President Zuma has taken the position supported by the MDC formations and
civic groups in the country, who want an end to violence, a referendum on
the constitution and critical reforms, before elections can be held.
“The region is desperate to restore the legitimacy they lost through rights
abuses and stolen elections. ZANU PF cannot afford to be too abrasive with
SADC, as they are the guarantors of the GPA and without them there is no
credibility,” Pasirayi said.
Regarding ZANU PF’s push for elections this year, Pasirayi said the party
has no “presidential candidate to sell” because of Mugabe’s age and ill
health. “The only thing they know is violence. They can never win an
election under free and fair elections,” he added.
Harare, May 13, 2011, The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president
Morgan Tsvangirai said the timetable for Zimbabwe's elections should not go
beyond 2013, adding he was optimistic that elections will be held in 2012.
“The only possible time frame to go for an election is 2012 and I am being
optimistic about that,” said Tsvangirai while addressing an academic
dialogue on Thursday night
“There is no time frame for elections and no specific date and it will be
impossible for anyone to say by August so and so we will have elections,”
said Tsvangirai. “After the constitutional referendum the President and
Prime Minister will consult on an election date in consultation with the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitators."
Zanu (PF) decided at its politburo meeting on Wednesday that the country
will have elections this year saying a discredited voter’s roll used in the
2008 election will be used to organise them.
The constitutional making process is under jeopardy after both Zanu (PF) and
MDC clashed over the method to be used to analyse the views gathered from
the people about Zimbabwe's new constitution. The matter has since been
referred back to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) superiors who include
Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe of Zanu (PF) and Arthur Mutambara who
represents the smaller faction of the MDC.
Tsvangirai said no one should dismiss the role that SADC is playing saying
the, “facilitator is coming to help us not to dictate.”
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party officials have in the past
hauled insults at SADC appointed facilitator, South Africa President Jacob
Zuma after he presented a report on the talks which was not favourable to
Zanu (PF) at the last SADC organ troika meeting in Livingstone, Zambia.
“Without SADC no one has the legitimacy,” said Tsvangirai.
13 May 2011 Last updated at 08:41 GMT
Almost half of Zimbabwe's civil servants are either not qualified or are not
working, according to a leaked World Bank report obtained by the BBC.
Trade unions estimate that $15m (£9m) of state money is being lost each
month paying such workers.
Auditors found that one ministry appointed nearly 7,000 people on one day
ahead of the 2008 election run-off.
The BBC's Karen Allen says either the civil service is incapable or state
funds are used for political ends.
Our correspondent says the damning findings of the audit have been with the
cabinet for several months but it is understood it has not yet been
The audit was carried out by Ernst and Young India in 2010 and covered the
This was a period when Zimbabwe's economy was in meltdown - because of
run-away inflation, the monthly salary of a teacher hardly paid for a single
This might partly explain why on the day of the audit, some 13,000 public
workers were absent - from a total of 180,000.
It found that 75,000 state workers did not have the qualifications needed to
do the job.
Correspondents say little has changed now.
Since the power-sharing government was set up in 2009, an extra 40,000 civil
servants have been employed.
The ministry for indigenisation and youth employed nearly 7,000 people on a
single day between the first and second round of the 2008 presidential
This was a time when the military and supporters of President Robert Mugabe
were accused of systematically assaulting those believed to have voted for
his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, in the first round.
Raymond Jongwe, head of the Progressive Teachers Union, said there were
still individuals who, for political reasons, were "frantically working to
keep these people on the wage bill" with elections likely to be held next
Tiseke Kasambala from Human Rights Watch says she fears that President
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is continuing to fund youth militias to intimidate
people in rural areas.
Leaks of the report have been dismissed by Zanu-PF but it was unable to give
the BBC a comment.
Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party, which joined a unity
government in order to halt the economic collapse, has been criticised for
failing to speak out about the report.
By Lance Guma
13 May 2011
Last year in November a civil service audit exposed the fact that over 75
000 ghost workers are milking US$20 million every month out of the cash
strapped treasury. But almost seven months after that same report was
submitted to cabinet for discussion, no action has been taken to resolve the
The issue has come back into the media spotlight after the BBC obtained a
copy of the report. Just as we reported last year the majority of ghost
workers, mostly untrained and unqualified ZANU PF militias, were hired a few
months before the bloody June 2008 one man presidential run-off. In
particular, Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere hired 6,861 militias and
deployed them countrywide.
Out of nearly 190 000 workers employed in various ministries the report says
about 75 000 are ghost workers. In addition, there are 17 088 civil servants
with unclear positions in government. Another 1 315 civil servants working
without specific duties, while the qualifications of 8 723 could not be
In February this year we spoke to the Public Service Minister, Elphas
Mukonoweshuro, and he told us cabinet was still to deliberate on the report
carried out by Ernst and Young India in 2010. He said he could not present
the report to Parliament because the issue was still to be ‘conclusively’
discussed in cabinet.
Mukonoweshuro said he was not the one who sets the agenda for cabinet and it
was up to Mugabe and Tsvangirai as Prime Minister to do this. His ministry
received the damning report in November 2010 and he says he forwarded it to
cabinet. Seven months down the line it has still not been discussed.
In the BBC report published this week 13 000 civil servants were said to be
absent on the day of the audit. Additionally, since the coalition government
came into power in 2009, an extra 40,000 civil servants are said to have
Civil servants have been constantly complaining that their monthly salaries
are not adequate and analysts argue it would only be a logical first step to
get rid of ghost workers and free up resources to pay genuine workers a
Efforts to get comment from Mukonoweshuro on Friday were fruitless as his
phone went to voicemail.
By Lance Guma
13 May 2011
Robert Mugabe was on Thursday reportedly caught up in a violent backlash by
opposition supporters in Uganda, when his official convoy was stoned by
The protesters hurled stones at several convoys of African leaders in
Uganda, who were on their way to attend the swearing in ceremony of
President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala.
Protesters were heard shouting: “Go to hell dictators!” while throwing
stones at the various leaders from across Africa.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan was also targeted. It was reported by
Ugandan and Nigerian media that the Ugandan security forces fired at the
protesters, killing one person. Foreign journalists were also stripped of
cameras and recording devices.
The Ugandan government has denied that either convoy was stoned. But SW
Radio Africa spoke to a journalist on the ground who confirmed the attacks,
as well as the chant by the protesters for dictators to go to hell.
Museveni was announced the winner of the disputed February 18 elections.
Since then, opposition leaders have been leading “walk to work” protests
over the rising cost of food and fuel in the country. Opposition leader
Kizsa Besigye, whom Museveni defeated in his February re-election win, said
the marches are also to protest government corruption.
JASON MOYO May 13 2011 00:00
Zimbabwe's wealthy political elite is closing in on the country's large
foreign-owned mines, after at least 30 major mining companies submitted
plans on how they plan to hand over majority stakes to locals.
And Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said foreign
companies may not be allowed to choose their own empowerment partners --
raising fears that investors will be forced into partnerships with
politically connected figures.
The next battle for company and mine owners will be to fend off bids by
powerful politicians and choose their own local partners.
Senior Zanu-PF figures already hold vast business interests, from diamond
mines and farms to property. Many of them see the empowerment programme as a
chance to broaden these interests. Regulations under the indigenisation law
originally required all companies valued at more than $500 000 to sell 51%
of their shares to local investors. However, the regulations now cover all
foreign-owned companies, regardless of value.
Alex Mhembere, chief executive of Zimplats, the Zimbabwean subsidiary of
Impala Platinum, plans to publish a list of bidders for his company, the
largest platinum producer in the country and one of its biggest investors.
"There is a big appetite for a stake in Zimplats by people in business and
political office," he said.
The proposals submitted by the mines are now being "evaluated", said
Kasukuwere. But he made it clear that the government will reject proposals
in which mines choose their own partners. "We have realised that in some
proposals, some companies are specifying particular partners to cede shares
to. This is not acceptable. That remains the prerogative of the National
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board," said Kasukuwere.
That board is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the empowerment
law and is headed by David Chapfika, a Zanu-PF official.
According to previously published regulations, investors would be required
to sell shares to "designated entities" such as the National Indigenisation
and Empowerment Fund, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZMDC) and a
sovereign wealth fund. These shares would then be transferred to approved
shareholders. The government will not pay the foreign-owned companies for
Among a string of Zanu-PF officials bidding for Zimplats is Bright Matonga,
an MP in the Mhondoro-Ngezi area, south of Harare, where Zimplats has mining
operations. Matonga says he is bidding only as part of a community
consortium that includes local traditional leaders.
His community wanted to follow the example of South Africa's Royal Bafokeng
nation, who bought into Implats in 2006. "We feel Implats should apply these
same principles in Zimbabwe," Matonga said.
President Robert Mugabe's opponents fear he could use the programme to
extend this patronage system, which so far has been based mostly on the
allocation of farmland. But the opposition MDC knows it cannot completely
dismiss the empowerment programme without handing Mugabe the moral high
ground on pro-poor issues.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last month called the indigenisation drive
a vehicle for "looting and plundering" by a "small, parasitic elite". But
last week he told a World Economic Forum session in Cape Town that he backed
the principle of empowerment and investors must not compare it to the land
"Indigenisation is not about appropriation or nationalisation, it's about
setting fair value. Across the political divide we agree on the principle of
What was important was how the law would be implemented, he said. "We are
trying to model a matrix that will satisfy both the investor and our desire
to see people [participate more in the economy]." At the heart of the
radical empowerment campaign is Mugabe's belief that greater control of the
economy by his allies will secure his hold on power.
"If our economy is controlled by outsiders, similarly the politics will be
controlled by outsiders," Mugabe said last month.
There have been other smooth transfers of ownership recently, giving hope
that the exercise may not be as disruptive as feared.
Last week Costain, one of Zimbabwe's largest construction companies, was
sold by its London Stock Exchange-listed parent company, Costain plc, to
local management. Tendai Samuriwo, who, as chief executive, led the staff
buyout, said his group had bought up 100% of the company for £500 000.
"As Zimbabweans who have run this business without any expatriates for the
last 16 years, local ownership was now overdue. We are very happy that the
former shareholders in London have been proactive and supported our bid to
purchase the business outright," Samuriwo said.
Bulawayo, May 13 2011 - The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has
re-approached the British to assist its members who are reportedly destitute
following the 2000 infamous land invasions.
CFU President, Deon Theron said: “Most former commercial farmers have fallen
on very hard times. Recently a former commercial farmer stormed into my
office and threatened to shoot himself and her wife because life had become
unbearable for him and his wife. This incident among others prompted us to
engage the British government since they are an important player in Zimbabwe’s
He said his organisation is currently assisting more than 50 former
commercial farmers a month with boxes of groceries sourced from church
organisations in South Africa.
Theron was addressing the union‘s meeting held in Bulawayo on Friday. He
described the level of poverty among the former farmers, particularly those
above the age of 60 years, as alarming.
Theron said the CFU leadership was recently in UK where they met various
influential people including Britain’s African minister Henry Bellingham and
discussed the plight of the former commercial farmers.
“Some of the people and organisations whom we met in the UK were very
helpful and these are Roy Bennett and National Farmers Union of UK
officials. A lot of organisations are willing to help. We are opening our
doors to both the British and Zimbabwe governments on this issue. The
farmers should either be given their compensation or their land back. They
cannot continue to suffer when they have made immense contribution to the
nation,” he said.
Bennett, the Movement for Democratic Change treasurer (MDC-T) general, fled
Zimbabwe citing persecution. He is now assisting his party led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to raise funds and with various lobby work in
Sources said Treasury and central bank officials were concerned about the
possibility that executives and insiders of Rainbow Tourism Group and Afre
had engaged in transactions in violation the Securities Act
Gibbs Dube | Washington 12 May 2011
The Zimbabwean Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have ordered the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to suspend trading in Rainbow Tourism Group and Afre
Corporation shares following allegations of insider trading.
Sources said Treasury and central bank officials were concerned about the
possibility that the firms had engaged in transactions in violation the
The sources said Rainbow Tourism, which owns and operates hotels, and Afre
Corporation, with insurance and property subsidiaries, are expected to
remain suspended from trading until the investigation has been completed.
They said regulators were focused on a US$12 million loan to Patterson
Timba, formerly executive chairman of Afre, by businessman Jayesh Shah, for
which Timba, founder of troubled Renaissance Financial Holdings, pledged
shares in the two companies as security. Shah later sought conversion of the
debt into equity, sources said.
Neither Timba nor Shah could be reached for comment on the regulatory move.
Economist Prosper Chitambara commented that little could be said until the
investigation is completed and authorities release more information.
"We have to wait and see what happens next as I believe that there are other
companies engaged in these clandestine activities,” Chitambara said.
13/05/2011 07:41:00 Steve Butcher
MELBOURNE, Australia - Prosecutors have recommended up to five years jail
for a privileged member of Zimbabwean society over his involvement in
cocaine importation to Melbourne.
A court heard Mandivamba Batsiari Rukuni's early life in Zimbabwe partly
comprised a private education, not having to work, playing golf and chasing
After he arrived in Australia seven years ago as an 18-year-old, the
"gifted" Rukuni "had the world at his feet" with a university degree and
accommodation with the children of the governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank.
But Rukuni's lawyer today told the County Court that this arrangement caused
tension between him and the governor's children with people in Australia and
Sam Norton said some blamed the governor for Zimbabwe's once-22,000 per cent
inflation rate while others criticised Rukuni through Facebook and the
internet for living with his children.
Mr Norton said it was intimated to Rukuni by those in Zimbabwe that "we are
all doing it very tough while you continue to live it up".
"The pressure of this led him to go out on his own," said Mr Norton, a
lifestyle change he submitted led to 18 months of binge drinking and heavy
marijuana use, which included taking ice and cocaine.
Rukuni, he said, had "nagged" his parents, including his father, who is a
professor, to allow him to visit Australia after an "almost sheltered
lifestyle" in Zimbabwe and being "naive how the world at large operates".
But after completing a bachelor of commerce degree in 2009 and jobs in
hardware and telemarketing he took to smoking seven grams of marijuana a
Mr Norton said it was the man who supplied Rukuni the marijuana, and to whom
he owed a debt, who involved him in the cocaine importation.
Prosecutor Elli Lewis told the court that a package sent from Argentina was
selected in Sydney for a routine examination on November 1 last year by
Ms Lewis said the package tested positive to cocaine before its contents
were checked and found to contain 241 grams of cocaine with a purity of 172
Rukuni was arrested by Australian Federal Police at a Pakenham post office
on November 8 when he called to collect the package.
She said the estimated street value of the cocaine was between $68,000 and
Mr Norton said a psychologist reported that at the time of his arrest
Rukuni's perception, judgment and reasoning were compromised.
Told that Rukuni had travelled around Australia and had "not sought to laze
about Melbourne", Judge Howard Mason responded: "He's not been sitting
around feeling depressed and sorry for himself, he's been enjoying himself."
But Mr Norton replied that Rukuni had also been "living on peoples' lounges"
from Greensbrough to Frankston and that it was not "a simple situation of
him living it up, so to speak".
He argued that it was open for Judge Mason to jail Rukuni, formerly of
Burwood, who pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a marketable quantity
of cocaine, to the six months served since his arrest.
But Ms Lewis offered a sentencing range of between three to five years with
a non-parole term of between two and three years.
He will be sentenced on May 31. - The Sunday Observer
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about Mzwandile Ndlovu, a journalist held by the police in the western town of Hwange since his arrest on 10 May, and about the constant harassment of employees of two independent newspapers, The Daily News and NewsDay, by police, intelligence officials and members of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
“We condemn Zanu-PF’s continuing use of such outdated methods as intimidation, physical attacks and arrests to silence its media critics,” the press freedom organization said. “Ndlovu was just covering a matter of public interest, without voicing any opinion. His arrest is unacceptable and we call for his immediate release. The independent newspapers that recently obtained licences must also be able to work in complete freedom and their reporters must not be harassed.”
This spate of incidents involving the media comes amid more tension between Zanu-PF and its partner in the ruling coalition, Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, and yesterday’s suspension of the constitutional process that must precede a badly needed overhaul of the media law and the organization of future elections.
A reporter for Weekly Agenda (a news bulletin published by the civil society organization Bulawayo Agenda), Ndlovu was arrested after being summoned to police headquarters in Hwange and was charged under section 31 of the Criminal Law Code and Reform Act with reporting a fictitious story.
The charge was prompted by a 23 April article about the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. It said a meeting between the Organ and a coalition of organizations that was supposed to take place at the nearby Victoria Falls was cancelled because the main participants, Vice-President John Nkomo and the commission’s co-president Sekai Holland, failed to turn up.
Without linking the two events, it also reported that MDC member Moses Mzila Ndlovu, a minister in the national reconciliation government, was arrested the same day in Lupane. The police have refused to comment on the journalist’s arrest.
Independent dailies harassed
Newspaper vendor Alice Murwisi was attacked by young Zanu-PF members on 28 April while selling copies of The Daily News, an independent newspaper that returned to the newsstands on 18 March after a seven-year ban.
Two days before the attack, one of the newspaper’s senior employees, Trymore Zingwe, received an anonymous threatening phone call. At the same time, former information minister Jonathan Moyo, who together with President Mugabe was responsible for the repressive 2002 media law known as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), is suing the paper for 60,000 dollars for reprinting old articles about his expulsion from Zanu-PF in 2005.
NewsDay was raided on the night of 25 April by members of the Central Intelligence Organization, who confiscated hard disks and 11 computers. Editor Brian Mangwende not only had his computer taken, his office was also ransacked and damaged. “This is a calculated act of criminality designed to paralyze the operations of the country’s fastest-growing newspaper,” he said. A few days before the raid, NewsDay ran an article headlined “It’s time to rest” that called on Mugabe to stand down.
NewsDay vendors were also threatened by Zanu-PF members in a Harare suburb on 12 March and copies of the newspaper were damaged on 2 March.
Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri’s recent warnings to news media that publish articles “inciting violence and anarchy” are not reassuring.
President Mugabe is on the list of Predators of Press Freedom that Reporters Without Borders released on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. Read his profile
by Edward Jones Friday 13 May 2011
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Delta Corporation yesterday announced a surge in
earnings and after tax profit as the company benefited from rising demand
for lagers and beverages during the year to March 2011.
Delta, in which the world’s second largest brewer SABMiller has a 37 percent
shareholding, said headline earning per share peaked 42 percent to 4.50
cents. Headline earnings per share, the main gauge of profit in southern
Africa, strips out certain one-time items.
The country’s largest beverages maker is benefitting from an economy that
has started to grow again after a decade of collapse, which was marked by
hyper-inflation and made it difficult for businesses to operate.
“The focus in the year ahead would be on revenue growth, through a
combination of volume growth, increasing the premium beverage segment and
installation of more capacity in the sparkling beverages business,” Canaan
Dube, Delta’s chairman said.
Delta manufactures the castle lager brand and several local lager brands and
is one of the two companies licensed to manufacture Coca Cola products in
The company’s total beverages production was up 15 percent to 5.78 million
hectoliters. According to data provided by Delta, 28 percent of its
customers now drink lager beers, up from 20 percent in 1998.
The company said revenues for the year under review were higher at $408
million from $281 million the previous year while after-tax profit increased
to $54.1 million from $35.5 million previously.
Delta said it had pressed ahead with investment to boost volumes, ploughing
$82 million during the year. In the full year to 2012, the company would
have spend another $67 million to increase production.-- ZimOnline
Written by MDC Information & Publicity Department
Friday, 13 May 2011 16:18
State sponsored violence should be denounced by everybody because there is
no one more Zimbabwean than the other, President Tsvangirai has said.
Speaking at the launch of the Pan African Policy Dialogue Forum in Harare
yesterday, President Tsvangirai said the Pan Africa agenda should be based
on what we need to do to uplift one another as Africans and not to judge
democracy, or wealth with the positioning of the next economy or political
environment in this continent.
He said coalition governments are not a true reflection of the people’s
will, adding that it “started in Kenya, worsened in Zimbabwe and was
bastardised in Ivory Coast” and therefore should not be condoned if Africa
were to develop. The MDC formed the inclusive government with Zanu PF in
2008 after Zanu PF was defeated in the 29 March 2008 elections.
In Manicaland Province, Malvern Mudiwa, the MDC Mutare West district
chairperson who was facing charges of criminal nuisance, was on Thursday
removed from remand after the state failed to furnish the court with
evidence. Mudiwa was arrested last November on trumped up charges of
advising the people of Chiadzwa in Marange to resist being relocated to pave
way for diamond mining if they were not given compensation by the
Meanwhile, another MDC official in Bikita West, Masvingo province, Vincent
Jaricha, has appeared in court on false charges of attempting to abduct Mary
Nudhe. Nudhe is related to Chief Marozva who made the report to the police.
However, Jaricha says he is innocent and the chief implicated him only to
persecute him politically as the chief is hostile to MDC members in the
Jaricha is the MDC Information and Publicity secretary for Bikita West and
will appear in court again on Monday. He was granted free bail at the
Bikita Magistrate’s Court.
For more on these and other stories, visit www.realchangetimes.com
United, winning – the people’s covenant to real change!!
Discussion with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, The Right
Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, Sapes, Harare, Thursday 12 May, 2011
Members of Parliament
Civil Society Leaders,
Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me here today. The purpose of this evening’s gathering is to promote discussion and debate and therefore I shall keep my presentation short.
I am here to launch the Pan African Policy Dialogue Forum and it would not be in the spirit of dialogue if I chose to deliver a speech to you rather than promote the dialogue and interaction that this forum deserves.
With regard to our theme, Beyond Party Politics – Towards a National Vision for Zimbabwe, I wish to tackle it in two parts.
Firstly, why elevating our national vision above party politics is essential to promote growth and development and;
Secondly, why Zimbabwe still has some way to go to achieve this goal.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in all mature democracies the presence of a loyal opposition is accepted without question.
That is, members of a political party not holding a voting majority in parliament are viewed as sharing a common national vision while holding opinions and promoting policies that differ from the governing party or governing coalition.
Where patriotism is not wielded as a political tool and used to subvert the law and the Constitution and where membership of a political party is no more divisive or dangerous than membership of a sports club.
It is only within such an environment that it is possible to truly lay the foundations for sustained national development. In such an environment it is possible to look beyond political or party differences, beyond tribal or racial divisions, and work towards a future in which we are united as Zimbabweans working for the betterment of our nation.
It is when we are united,not only by our identity as Zimbabweans, but also by our ability to respect our individual differences under that title that we will begin to really move forward and act towards a common vision.
Ultimately, in such a society, no one has the right to define exactly what is meant by sovereignty, or who is more patriotic or more deserving of access to our nation’s riches and resources.
In such a society where membership and rights are based on the broadest and simplest of categories, such as birth and citizenship and where the courts vigorously defend equally the rights of any individual that qualifies under these broad determinants.
And finally, where we all have equal protection of our laws based on a deep and abiding tolerance for our differences as much as a deep and abiding affection for our similarities.
Where the police protect our people and the sole remit of the army is to defend our borders or provide humanitarian assistance in times of natural disaster.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is only in such a mature democracy, devoid of petty squabbles, that we will be able to ensure that all of our children have access to more opportunities than their parents in respect of education, employment, health care and food security.
It was to take a positive step towards building this new Zimbabwe that my party decided to form this transitional government through signing the Global Political Agreement.
The GPA, though not a perfect arrangement, is an example that parties can sit down, define and agree on what is good for the country. Because there were painful compromises on both sides, at least the GPA provided the necessary foundation for parties to forgo their parochial party positions and act in the national interest.
However, what the past two years have illustrated and what I mentioned at the beginning of this presentation is that, sadly, we are still a long way from the reality of a national vision that transcends party politics.
Despite its commitments within the GPA, Zanu PF has made it blatantly obvious over the past two years and in the previous decades that it believes it has the sole mandate to Govern even in the absence of a mandate from the people.
That same party portrays any attack on its unjustified, unsustainable and violent grip on power as an attack on the State of Zimbabwe.
Such a destructive mentality spells disaster for our nation and its people.
That is why, I am determined to fight to change the culture of governance in this country.
To bring about an environment where incumbents stand down gracefully if they lose an election and where the people’s right to determine their own future, as well as who governs them, is so deeply entrenched in our society that it becomes as normal and natural as breathing.
Therefore, I will stand-up against propagandists that continue to blame others outside Zimbabwe for the ills we face inside.
I will continue to stand against looters who plunder our national riches and subsequently starve our civil service, our health and education facilities.
I and the party I represent believe in broad-based empowerment of the ordinary person and that is why we have a different interpretation of what the so-called indigenization regulations are all about.
Broad-based empowerment of the common man and woman is what we believe in, and not the looting, expropriation or nationalization by the elite as envisaged by some of our partners in this government.
So we will take a strong position against expropriation in thenational interest, beyond the narrow party politics of rhetoric and patronage of our coalition partners.
And I will continue to speak out against those within our government who hide behind badly worded and illegally implemented legislation to take investments, organizations and assets that do not belong to them.
Only when we have succeeded in eradicating these short-sighted, selfish and nationally self-destructive tendencies from our political environment can we begin to truly rise above party politics and develop and implement a real vision for Zimbabwe.
But I want to remain positive and optimistic that the people’s aspirations for the political leadership and political parties to go beyond party politics will be achieved well within our lifetime.
The unity by MPs from the two MDC formations and our friends in Zanu PF to defend the people’s will by acting in common purpose to re-elect Hon LovemoreMoyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly shows that it is possible to work towards a common visionand a common purpose.
At the inception of the inclusive government, one of whose core responsibilities was to restore economic stability, we tried in the first two years through the Short Term Economic recovery Programme (STERP) to stop the bleeding, to stem inflation and to provide respite in the health and education sectors.
Food became available and we brought some hope to the people of Zimbabwe because there was more collaboration than competition, which competition has now been brought to the fore again through misguided election talk without proper conditions for a free and fair poll.
We need to have a clear national economic vision that transcends party politics. A vision to create jobs, bring investment and set the ground for peace, stability and security as these are key ingredients to economic success.
We must start by have a clear five year programme that will deal with massive unemployment and poverty that we currently face, a clear programme underpinned by political reforms, a commitment to the rule of law, defense of property rights and reward of individual effort, infrastructure rehabilitation, resuscitation of our manufacturing potential and increasing our mining and agricultural productivity.
These are surely issues that must unite all of us across the political divide if we are to put the interests of this country ahead of partisan interests.
Under this new programme, some of us envision a $15 billion economy in the next five years and we can be able to achieve a US$100 billion economy by 2030. It is possible, if we work together, to achieve 10 percent annual growth rate as long as we all agree to a peaceful country underpinned by constitutionalism and the rule of law. Our challenge is that there others who are not driven by the collective national interest and prefer chaos to peace so that they can create wealth for themselves and their cronies.
I want to thank you for giving me the honour to make the first presentation and to launch the inaugural Pan African Leadership dialogue.
Dialogue is the missing link in our collective effort to craft sound policies in the best interests of the country and the people.
I am told that the Pan African Leadership Dialogue that we launch here today will be honouring and profiling prominent African leaders on our continent and in the Diaspora, drawing on their wealth of experience in policy making and leadership at national, sub-regional or continental levels.
It is therefore my singular honour and priviledge to officially launch the Pan African Dialogue Series.Let the dialogue not only begin - but bear fruits for the people by contributing to a more open, transparent and honest leadership!
I thank you.
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Roy Bennett on Zimbabwe's government
Solidarity Peace Trust
The Role of War Veterans in Zimbabwe's
Political and Economic Processes
Paper presented by Wilfred Mhanda to the SAPES Trust Policy Dialogue Forum in Harare on 7 April 2011. Wilfred Mhanda, aka Dzinashe Machinugura, was a commander of the Zimbabwe People's Army (Zipa), and in the leadership of the alternative Zimbabwe Liberators Platform.
We invite you to participate in discussion stimulated by this article by following this link and submitting comments on this or other essays included in the section on our website known as the Zimbabwe Review. You may also respond via email: please send your comments to email@example.com. Please note that some comments may be selected for publication on our website alongside the article to further stimulate debate.
Zimbabwe's former liberation fighters have become a household name for all the wrong reasons. This paper will seek to trace the development of the role of war veterans in Zimbabwe's political and economic processes particularly from 1997 onwards to date and provide a contextual background for their perceived role and put the public perception of the former fighters in perspective.
The war veterans came into being with the demobilisation of those former ZIPRA and ZANLA fighters who were not attested into the Zimbabwe National Army, ZNA in 1980. The advent of Zimbabwe's independence on 18 April 1980 and the subsequent formation of the Zimbabwe National Army made the former liberation armies both superfluous and redundant as their mission of liberating Zimbabwe had been accomplished. ZIPRA and ZANLA no longer had any role to play in an independent Zimbabwe. From then onwards, we could only refer to former ZANLA and former ZIPRA fighters. It is these fighters who then became referred to as veterans of the national liberation war. Maintaining the ZIPRA/ZANLA labels and their links to the liberation parties would have only served to undermine the unity and cohesion of the new army as evidenced by the counter-productive ZANLA/ZIPRA clashes in places like Entumbane in 1980/81.
The former fighters were weaned off from their parent political parties ZANU and ZAPU and their welfare became the responsibility of the new Government of Zimbabwe and not of their former mother parties. Any links with the political parties could only now continue in terms of individual membership of those political parties. It is instructive to note that, technically, the overwhelming majority of the former fighters were never card carrying members of the political parties ZANU and ZAPU that parented ZALNLA and ZIPRA; nor were they required to do so. They became registered members of the parties' armed wings and not the parties. All that was required of them was the commitment to fight for the liberation of their country. For the fighters on the other hand, the political parties and their armed wings became vehicles and instruments for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Indeed, the former fighters had both political and economic roles during the liberation war in addition to their fighting role. The liberation armies were simultaneously a fighting, political and economic force. Their role as a fighting force entailed waging war against the illegal racist, minority Smith regime to inflict defeat on them. Their role as political force encompassed fighting for democracy, self-determination and liberation and mobilisation and organisation of the masses of the people to support the liberation war as their war; a people's war that could only be won by fully mobilising the people and relying on them. The economic role of the liberation forces was determined by their engagement in production related activities to sustain themselves. They hoped for external assistance but principally they were dependent on their own efforts which underpinned the concept of self-reliance. Furthermore, fighting the enemy did not only entail engaging his forces but the destruction of the economic base supporting his war effort like road, rail and communication infrastructure and the disruption of agricultural and farming activities. This was another economic role of the liberation armies; the destruction of the enemy's economic lifeline to complement the United Nations economic embargo imposed on Rhodesia after UDI.
The period from 1980 to 1990 could be characterised as a phase of dormancy for the former fighters as they tried to adjust to the new reality of finding their way back into society. This was a very crucial period as it planted the seeds of some of the problems associated with the former fighters that surfaced almost two decades later, as the chickens came back home to roost. It is generally accepted that in post-conflict situations, there is a need to provide for equitable, sustainable assistance to veterans as part of their disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration into society. Failure to do so invariably leads to instability engendered by the disaffected veterans. Indeed, the ZANU-PF government has been castigated by independent researchers and analysts for failing to adopt a sound veterans' policy for their re-integration back into society. They have also decried the initial efforts at demobilisation in 1981 as inadequate.
According to A.G. Dzinesa:
Gerald Mazarire and Martin Rupiya concur:
Muchaparara Musemwa adds:
According to Dzinesa:
The same conclusions were also reached by Musemwa. (5)
It is instructive to note that the problems of violence, anarchy and lawlessness that Zimbabwe associated with war veterans from 1997 onwards can be attributed to the failure by the government, society and the donors to implement a sound, sustainable policy of demobilisation, catering for the welfare of the former fighters and facilitating their reintegration into society.
It is also noteworthy that the former liberation parties, ZAPU and ZANU were notable by their silence as the former liberation fighters struggled to find their feet in the new Zimbabwe that they fought so hard to bring about. War is a very excruciating and traumatic experience and the first thing that should have been addressed ahead of any financial and material benefits, was to facilitate the former fighters' re-integration into society through providing counselling to help them cope with post traumatic stress disorders. Sadly this was never done.
The first decade into independence saw the former fighters slide into extreme poverty and destitution. They were so to speak, war veterans in themselves. It was this desperate situation and misery that saw them form the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, ZNLWA as a vehicle to champion their forgotten interests. With the formation of the association in 1990, with Justice Charles Hungwe as the founding chair, the fighters transformed from being war veterans in themselves to become war veterans for themselves. It was against a lot of resistance that the association was formed as both the political and bureaucratic establishment were apprehensive about the move, with most of them not being former fighters. They feared that the new association could de-legitimise them on that account. The war veterans association was registered as a non-partisan membership organisation in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act to cater for the welfare needs of the former fighters. It was not a case of all former fighters automatically becoming members of the organisation. Some of the actions that were later associated with the organisations are clearly inconsistent with the provisions of the Act and could easily be used as arguments for its de-registration.
The government responded with the enactment of the War Veterans Act two years later to cater for the welfare of the former fighters in a desperate effort to contain the reach of the new organisation. The Act was meant:
These were indeed very altruistic and well-meaning objectives that could have gone a long way to uplift the former fighters and mitigate their miserable plight. But for the record, other than the formation of a War Veterans Board and the creation of a dedicated ministry nothing came of the Act's noble intentions. The former fighters had to take to the streets five years later to get any form of assistance despite the clear provisions of the Act.
The country's former liberation fighters hit the headlines in the in the years 1996-97 in connection with compensation payments based on War Victims Compensation Act that had been on the statute books since the time of the Rhodesian war against the guerrillas. The Victims of Terrorism (Compensation) Act of 1973 was introduced by the Smith regime to compensate for death, injury and damage or loss of property caused by an act of terrorism on or after 1972. (7) At independence, the Act was amended to include almost all who could have been negatively affected by the war be it in education or loss of income. The beginning and cut off period was set at March 1962 to March 1980. (8) Under the War Victims Act, injury means ill health, physical and mental incapacitation caused by war inside Zimbabwe and in the neighbouring countries between 23 December 1972 and 29 February 1980. (9) The ZANU-PF government established a War Victims Compensation Fund in 1980 for payments to victims in terms of the Act. As noted in the previous sentence, the majority of the former fighters were eligible for compensation in terms of the broad provisions of the Act. However the rank and file of the former fighters were not aware of its existence and provisions. The politicians, on the other hand, had drawn benefits from it. According to the weekly Zimbabwe Independent publication of 17 May 1996, with the column heading 'Chefs help themselves to war veterans compensation fund':
Operatives in the pension's office, most of them war veterans themselves, observed who was benefitting. Word soon got around in 1995 that the former fighters could submit applications for compensation for various claims. A flood of applications followed. These were processed by the relevant department in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Initially a number of medical practitioners made the disability or injury assessments but subsequently it was Dr Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi (10), then stationed at Harare Central Hospital, who took it upon himself to do the bulk of medical evaluations.
Queues of up to 500 fighters could be seen for weeks at the War Veterans Association HQ in Belgravia. The rank and file former fighters started drawing compensation from the fund in 1995 i.e. two years before the alarm was raised that the fund had been looted by the former fighters, primarily service chiefs, senior army commanders and civil servants. It was the Zimbabwe Independent which first exposed the scam in 1996. (11) Compensation payments were stopped in April 1997 following a public outcry. According to The HERALD of 18 April 1997:
The government subsequently established a commission of inquiry headed by then Judge President Justice Chidyausiku a couple of months later in 1997. Senior commanders and prominent fighters were paraded before it in a humiliating fashion to answer for their compensation awards and vouch for their disability.
According to the Herald report of 18 April, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Child Welfare, about 70 000 compensation applications had been processed, with a possibility of rising to 100 000. It is highly improbable that more than 20 000 former fighters had benefited from the fund by the time it was stopped. Besides, also according to the same issue of the Herald:
Also in the same HERALD issue, Minister Chitauro commenting on the magnitude of the figure of beneficiaries says:
Furthermore, the same HERALD issue under the headline ' 23-year-olds among war fund claimants' quoted Minister Chitauro:
The HERALD issue of 6 June 1997 also carried a report of a fraudster Lovemore Nyirenda who swindled the Pensions Office of Z$ 400 000 from unlawful claims from the War Victims Fund and was convicted of fraud by a Harare magistrates court.
All these foregoing factors suggest that the former fighters could not have been the major beneficiaries of the War Victims Compensation Fund although public perception suggested otherwise. This led the former fighters to conclude that they were victims of a deliberate campaign to target them for smearing. The Financial Gazette issue of 26 August 1997 carried a headline in its National Report of 'Ex-combabtants cry foul as ernquiry unfolds - We are being made sacrificial lambs":
Not all the fighters benefited as the payouts were abruptly halted with charges that the former fighters had looted the fund. (12) This development raised tensions between the war veterans and the state, as the former felt they were being used as a smoke-screen to disguise the looting that had earlier occurred by politicians and others who had been nowhere near the war. In addition, to many war veterans, the Chidyausiku Commission, established less than two months after the compensation payments had been suspended, was merely a device to discredit them.
The animosity between the war veterans and politicians was not something new. Norma Kriger has explored the differences between the two groups over state assistance to war veterans and state pensions for heroes. She based her study on excerpts from debates in Zimbabwe's Parliament. Kriger refers to the lamentations of excombatants:
It is noteworthy that all the nationalist detainees who either died in detention before independence or were murdered by the Smith regime were recognised as heroes for their contribution to the struggle whereas those captured guerrillas that were executed by the regime have their remains still lying in prison cemeteries like Chikurubi without being either rehabilitated or recognised as heroes. (14)
The war victims' compensation fund saga went a long way towards creating negative public perception of the former fighters and they never fully recovered their honour after this episode where they felt they were made scapegoats.
Their continuing miserable plight pushed the war veterans association in 1997 (now under the leadership of Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi as national chairman) to demand for pensions and other related benefits from the state. President Mugabe finally succumbed to the demands of the former fighters, after facing unprecedented humiliation by the leadership of the former fighters. He undertook to make lump-sum payments of Z$50,000 (USD4000) to all the former fighters and agreed to pay them Z$2000 (US$150) monthly pensions; provisions for health, education and burial were also agreed. It has to be said that President Mugabe had his back against the wall when he acceded to the war veterans' demands in the face of unrelenting and humiliating demonstrations against the government that the police did nothing to stop. The grants and pensions had not been budgeted for, thus throwing the fiscus off balance. Soon after the payouts to the veterans, the Zimbabwe dollar crashed on 13 November, 1997 losing its value to the American Dollar by 73 per cent thereby eroding the value of the payments and nullifying the intended benefit. (15)
There was a subsequent public outcry against the war veterans blaming them for crashing the economy. Most economists and analysts trace the economic slide down to the war veterans' gratuities payments despite the rampant corruption within the state parastatals that ran into billions of Zimbabwe dollars and the DRC war that was consuming up to one million United States Dollars per day. There is need to put the payments in context. All countries that fought for liberation, resistance or patriotic wars have a special place for their heroes and heroines in both their institutional memory and their national history just as we hold Mbuya Nehanda, Lobengula, Sekuru Kaguvi and others in eternal esteem for their sacrifices. This is generally expressed in material and other forms of genuine appreciation. The material acknowledgement in the form of pensions, farms, residential stands etc that former Rhodesian soldiers, black and white, received from the British Empire for fighting its wars, is living testimony for this. To this end, the former fighters need neither be ashamed of nor be derided for what others elsewhere would ordinarily deserve or enjoy.
Hunzvi had been elected national chairman of ZNLWA in 1997. However one year later he was deposed by his executive, which passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in him for his authoritarian leadership style and allegations of corruption involving the embezzlement of the association's investment companies' funds. The companies were formed through the pooling of funds from the war veterans' gratuities. His deputy was Moffat Marashwa with Cosmas Gonese as the association's secretary general. Hunzvi did not accept his removal but did not contest it with the executive. Instead, he set up an alternative executive with Patrick Nyaruwata as his deputy. For the first time we had men appearing in the national executive such as Douglas Mahiya, Andy Mhlanga, Mike Moyo, Andrew Ndlovu and Joseph Chinotimba, whose junior status during the war gave them no authority to speak on behalf of the war veterans,. Mahiya, Mhlanga and Moyo had been in the Harare provincial leadership of the association. In early 1999, Hunzvi's new executive split up again amid allegations of the embezzlement of funds of the association's investment companies like ZEXCOM. Nyaruwata became the leader of one of the factions supported by Mahiya, Mhlanga and Moyo. Hunzvi's new faction was supported by Chinotimba who now became his deputy with Ndlovu as the secretary general. Allegations of fraud and embezzlement continued to dog Hunzvi's leadership and by the end of 1999, Hunzvi had been arrested by the police on allegations of corruption and remanded in custody for approximately three months. (He was subsequently released from custody before his case came to trial.) (16) Shortly thereafter, the ZANU-PF politburo re-imposed him as leader of the war veterans with Joseph Msika, ZANU's vice-president, announcing the fact to a bewildered nation on ZTV toward the end of 1999.
The active involvement of war veterans in the country's political and economic processes can be traced back to this period of problems within the ranks of the association's leadership amid serious allegations of corruption and embezzlement of association funds. This was at a time when the War Veterans Board had been disabled and emasculated with President Mugabe's complicity. This was also at a time of the rise of civic activism in the form of demands for a new people driven and democratic constitution and accountable government. The government was under pressure with its back against the wall first from the war veterans' demands for payments and civic demonstrations for a new constitution that soon gave birth to a new vibrant labour opposition party. The government enlisted the help of war veterans in brutally suppressing NCA demonstrations in 1998 marking the first partisan political involvement of the former fighters since independence in 1980. This was at a time when the war veterans association had no legitimate leadership and at time when those spearheading the suppression of civic demonstrations were facing serious corruption allegations of defrauding the association's companies. Most of the former fighters had pooled their funds from the government gratuities to invest in ZEXCOM and never realised the expected returns.
The question to be asked is why the government chose to recognise people who had not been elected to their positions as the leaders of war veterans, people facing serious corruption allegations for prejudicing fellow war veterans? What was the trade off? Why did the ZANU PF government and the state controlled media turn a deaf ear to the legitimately elected executive of the association that had constitutionally and procedurally deposed Hunzvi? Is it any coincidence that these so-called war veterans were spearheading the repression of civil society with impunity and a time that the government had its back against the wall? In my view, it was the unconscionable decision by the government to ignore the elected leadership of the association that deposed Hunzvi and to turn a blind eye to the corruption of the unelected so-called leaders of war veterans that set the stage for the partisan political involvement of war veterans that continues to cast aspersions on their integrity. This development paved the way for the subsequent involvement of war veterans in ZANU PF election campaigns and the violent farm invasions that wrought untold havoc in our economy. An inglorious public perception was created that the former fighters had regressed from being war veterans for themselves to being war veterans for the ZANU PF state.
There was a lot of violence and well documented cases of human rights abuses in election campaigns from 2000 onwards that encompassed murder, rape, torture, destruction of property and internal displacement on perceived ZANU PF opponents. All these heinous actions were attributed to war veterans. The defeat of ZANU PF government's constitutional review proposals in February 2000 saw the involvement of war veterans in violent farm invasions under the banner of the so-called 'fast track land resettlement programme'. This marked the beginning of the involvement of war veterans in the country's economic processes. Furthermore, the war veterans became involved in the dubious resolution of labour disputes from around 2002 onwards even before the formation of the Chinotimba led self-styled trade union federation ZFTU.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the pertinent question to be asked is whose agenda were the war veterans pursuing by getting involved in these political and economic processes? Was it a war veterans' agenda? If so was there any resolution passed by any legitimately constituted forum of war veterans calling them to engage in those activities? This could hardly be the case given that from 1998 onwards Hunzvi and the other characters purporting to be leaders of the war veterans association were not the organisation's legitimately elected leaders as narrated above.
In the circumstances, I would argue that the ascription and attribution of violent election campaigns and brutal farm invasions to the war veterans association or war veterans in general is totally misplaced. These were the actions of ZANU PF supporters to further their partisan interests and bolster the party's electoral fortunes by people who happen to be war veterans. It would therefore be a travesty of justice to hold the generality of war veterans or the war veterans association for that matter accountable for the actions of ZANU PF activists doing the party's bidding. As discussed above, ZANU PF had lost popular support towards the end of the 1990s and could no longer count on the mobilisation of the party's machinery to campaign for them. It therefore became necessary to enlist the services of some rogue war veterans to prop up their flagging electoral fortunes just as was the case with partisan abuse of the youth militia in ZANU PF election campaigns. It is little wonder that the involvement of the veterans in the country's political economic processes coincided with the beginning of the breakdown in the rule of law, impunity for crimes committed by ZANU PF supporters and the selective application of justice.
It is noteworthy that war veterans never participated in partisan political party election campaigns under the label of war veterans until the elections of 2000 and thereafter. The major reason for this is that ZANU PF had become so unpopular that it was unable to win free and fair elections in the face of a vibrant opposition presented by the MDC. They had to throw caution to the wind and resort to unorthodox means to retain power at all cost. Hence the need to enlist rogue war veterans, youth militia and the security forces as shock troops to embark on a scorched earth policy ahead of all elections.
In the climate of lawlessness and anarchy it became difficult for war veterans with alternative views to be heard on account of the state's support for rogue war veterans. My organisation, the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform, formed in response to the wave of lawlessness and anarchy that gripped the country, for example, was subjected to state repression with its assets seized and disposed of by state agents who also claimed to be war veterans. The organisation's director and programmes coordinator endured a two year long lawsuit for misappropriation of funds that in the end came to nothing. State agents used the time to destroy the organisation leaving no alternative war veterans opposition voice to the ongoing state sponsored mayhem.
The rehabilitation and reorganisation of war veterans is compounded by ZANU PF's meddling through the imposition of compromised and pliant individuals as leaders of war veterans, some with dubious liberation war credentials. I find it incomprehensible that senior army officers, with impeccable liberation war credentials have to endure the humiliation of subordinating themselves to such leadership on retirement from the defence forces.
All self-respecting and genuine war veterans have their role in the country's political and economic processes cut out. They have to rise above partisan political interests and become role models in safeguarding the values and ideals of the liberation struggle that encompass freedom, democracy, social justice, respect for human dignity and peace. They should constitute the first line of defence against the violation of these sacrosanct principles of humanity and propagate the respect for the rule of law as the basis of an orderly society. During the war we prided ourselves on the philosophy of self-reliance in the struggle to liberate our country. We believed in liberation through our efforts and not in subcontracting the struggle. We should continue to cultivate a good work ethic and a culture of hard work and not expect to get something for nothing or reap where we did not sow.
We should strive to be successful farmers and entrepreneurs through hard work and not through expropriation, entitlement and preferential handouts ahead of the common people. We should not become negative role models that bring shame on the honour and integrity of the former fighters. Where we feel that our ideas and views are at variance with the people, we should engage in dialogue and persuasion to win their support just like the mobilisation during the war. We should spare a thought for our urban and rural folks who rendered unflinching support to the liberation war and not turn against them in furtherance of retrogressive partisan interests. That way, we reduce ourselves to the notorious level of our former oppressors who indiscriminately committed atrocities against the black population.
We, the former fighters should, through exemplary participation in the country's political and economic process, help build a new Zimbabwe that future generations will feel proud of. We should uphold a value system founded on respect for the people's rights, hard work, honour, service and integrity.
For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust
Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Friday May 13th 2011
There was a report last week of the police taking bribes at road blocks. An
enterprising journalist had made it her business to travel by Commuter bus
noting the number of road blocks and the number of times the conductor had
to get out to satisfy police officers demanding bribes. In particular, along
the Epworth route in and out of the city of Harare where police are alleged
to ‘earn’ as much as $1000 a day in bribes. When tackled about this, a
senior police officer admitted that police personnel do sometimes accept
bribes but, he maintained, the public were as much to blame as the police!
It was not general practice just a minority of cops - ‘a few rotten apples’.
Whether it is indeed ‘just a few rotten apples’ or the whole barrel, it
hardly inspires one with confidence in the integrity of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police. Up and down the country they have demonstrated over the
last decade how hopelessly partial they are in the handling of cases of
political violence. Zimbabweans know very well where police loyalty lies -
wasn’t it the Commissioner himself who stated that he would never salute
Morgan Tsvangirai? So it came as no surprise to read a report in Monday’s
Herald claiming that police records show that the MDC is the major
perpetrator of political violence. “The MDC is topping the national violence
record,” says the Herald, “despite the party’s claim that its supporters are
on the receiving end of political violence in the country.” Commenting on
the Herald report, an independent newspaper headlined it as ‘A shameful lie’.
Not only shameful but also just plain stupid; the gaols are full of MDC
activists and supporters and the hospitals treat MDC victims of violence
while Zanu PF perpetrators are free to continue their criminal activities.
Long gone are the days when people expected to get even-handed justice from
the police in Zimbabwe. So low is our expectation of professional behaviour
from the police that many citizens no longer even bother taking their
complaints of violence to the police, knowing that in all probability they
as the victims will be arrested. As for the police records that the Herald
referred to, if they do indeed exist they prove nothing since the officer on
duty is free to attribute blame wherever he wishes. It is not likely he or
she will deviate from the party line when their jobs are at risk.When a
senior police officer such as Superintendent Phiri warns the MDC T. of
“trying to destabilise the country through acts of political violence” it is
pretty certain that the ordinary cop on duty will allocate the blame to the
MDC even though all the evidence points the other way.
We hear that Security Sector reform is on the agenda of the South African
facilitator’s next meeting. While that meeting is in doubt, the Politburo
has warned President Zuma that he will not be allowed to interview the
Security chiefs. The heads of the army, police, prisons and intelligence
service will not be permitted to talk to the South African Facilitation
team. President Zuma had wanted assurances from them that they would not
interfere in the election process as they did in 2008. Zanu PF itself
appears to be split on the issue of election dates. After the weekly
Politburo meeting we were told that the party wants elections in 2011
despite the Minister of Justice earlier saying he thought 2013 would be a
more suitable time for the country to go to the polls. The charge that the
MDC is responsible for all the violence in the country is just part of the
electoral strategy of the former ruling party: to divert attention from Zanu
PF’s violent ways and use the MDC as the scapegoat. Will SADC, President
Zuma and the rest of Africa be convinced by such faulty reasoning? The fact
that Zuma is trying to convince Europe to drop sanctions seems to suggest he
is only too willing to believe what Mugabe tells him. Zanu PF announces that
the Anti-Sanctions Petition has been signed by 2.2 million people. And how
many of those signatures were freely given? Soldiers, prison officers – even
prisoners – and the police, not to mention school children and college
students forced out of their lectures at Great Zimbabwe University by a
certain Major General to attend his Anti-Sanctions rally? In spite of
Lindiwe Zulu’s comment week that Zim elections ‘must be totally different
from 2008’, it is hard to see that happening without the total reform of the
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of the Dube
books available at Lulu.com
BILL WATCH 19/2011
[12th May 2011]
The Senate met on Tuesday then adjourned until Tuesday 5th July
The House of Assembly will meet on Tuesday 17th May
POSA Amendment Bill Still Not Through Parliament
The Public Order and Security [POSA] Amendment Bill has still not been dealt with by the Senate, although it was passed by the House of Assembly in December last year and has been awaiting its Second Reading in the Senate ever since. Now there will be a further delay until the 5th July before there will be another chance for it to be considered.
In the Senate on 10th May
Tuesday’s sitting was the Senate’s first for six weeks – it has not met since 31st March. The sitting lasted two hours before the Senate adjourned for another eight weeks.
Business Dealt With on Tuesday:
· the General Laws Amendment Bill, as amended by the House of Assembly, was passed without further amendment. [Electronic version available.] The Bill will now be printed and sent to the President for his assent. It will then be gazetted as an Act – and only at that point will it take effect as a law. [Note: At the request of the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs the Senate suspended Standing Orders to allow the Bill to be “fast-tracked” through all its stages in one sitting. Although not mentioned by the Minister, the reason for the urgency is obvious: once the Bill becomes law, clause 11 will block further forced sales of Reserve Bank property in settlement of the bank’s many unpaid debts. Swift gazetting as an Act is therefore to be expected.]
· the Minister of Defence made a Ministerial statement on the establishment of the National Defence College. The College is scheduled to be completed in three years and to achieve University status in 2016. The mission of the College will be “to prepare selected senior military officers, senior public officials and senior officials from the private sector of Zimbabwe and their equivalent from friendly countries for higher responsibilities in their respective organisations, by developing their analytical powers, knowledge of defence and international security and strategic issues through high professional training and exchange programmes”.
· Senator Simon Khaya Moyo, ZANU-PF party chairperson and recently appointed ZANU-PF Senator, made his maiden speech during the resumed debate on the President’s speech opening the current Parliamentary session. He called for the conclusion without further delay of the constitution-making process and the concurrent lifting of “illegal economic sanctions”; the holding of elections; and the intensification of national economic empowerment programmes through the vigorous pursuit of indigenisation.
Business Deferred to July:
Bills [Electronic versions available.]
· Public Order and Security Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading [see above]
· Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading [passed by House of Assembly and transmitted to Senate on 5th April]
Uncompleted motions on the Order Paper: motions to take note of the report of the Senate Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on Access to Treatment and the report of the Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on The Role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Promoting Peace and Security in Zimbabwe [electronic versions of these reports available]; a ZANU-PF motion on sanctions; and MDC-T motions on the repercussions of elections on ordinary citizens, and on incidents of violence in Mbare, Budiriro and surrounding areas earlier this year.
On the House of Assembly Order Paper for Next Week
Bills There are two Bills awaiting Second Reading [electronic versions available]:
· Deposit Protection Corporation Amendment Bill This Bill proposes the establishment of a Deposit Protection Corporation and Deposit Protection Fund to provide for the compensation of depositors in failed financial institutions. This would replace the existing compensation scheme, which is spelled out in the Banking Act and in regulations made under that Act.
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill This Bill provides for the National Incomes and Pricing Commission to become a board with much reduced powers and functions. Powers to fix prices and pricing standards and control rentals, incomes and service charges are repealed. The new board will be an advisory body tasked with research and monitoring functions. Price control will be covered by Ministerial regulations and orders under the Control of Goods Act.
· several “take note” motions on Portfolio Committee reports on: The Constitutionalisation of Housing; Provision of Early Childhood Development; The Ministry of Higher Education’s Cadetship Support Scheme and Scholarship Programme; Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority; The National Social Security Authority; and Local Authority Service Delivery in Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton [electronic versions of these reports available]
· private members’ motions:
· to condemn the Minister of Local Government's “unwarranted interference in and micro-managing of local authorities”
· calling for the removal of ghost workers from the Government payroll and the improvement of remuneration for civil servants and others paid through the Treasury.
Wednesday’s Question Time 21 written questions await reply by Ministers. Some date back to November last year. Three questions feature the ;impact of diamond mining in Chiadzwa on the local community: they seek information on the re-location and compensation of residents; transport problems caused by police excluding public transport from the area; and government policy on employment of local people by the diamond mining companies. Other questions include one asking for the Government’s position on licences of business operators that are “counteractive to the drive towards indigenisation”; and a question asking for statistics of former civil servants still occupying government accommodation.
Update on Legislation
Bills Passed and Awaiting Presidential Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts [Electronic versions available.]
· General Laws Amendment Bill [NEW TO LIST – passed by the Senate 10th May 2011 – see above]
· Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill [still being printed]
· Attorney-General’s Office Bill [printed and sent to the President’s Office for the President’s assent]
· Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill [printed, awaiting President’s assent]
· Energy Regulatory Authority Bill [still being printed]
Bills in Parliament [see above]
Bills Gazetted and Awaiting Presentation in Parliament – None
Bills Being Printed for Presentation in Parliament [electronic versions not available – texts not yet released]
· Older Persons Bill [a Bill from the Ministry of Labour and Social Services]
· Human Rights Commission Bill [NEW TO LIST – only just sent for printing – probably not available for some weeks]
Bills Referred for Drafting after Approval in Principle by Cabinet
· State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill
· State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill
· Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill.
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