18 May 2010
The government of Zimbabwe must take action to protect hundreds of thousands
of people left to survive in substandard settlements five years after a
program of mass forced evictions, Amnesty International Zimbabwe and a
coalition of partners said on Tuesday.
Amnesty International and the Coalition Against Forced Evictions are calling
on the government to provide adequate alternative accommodation or
compensation to those left homeless and jobless.
"It is a scandal that five years on, victims are left to survive in plastic
shacks without basic essential services. The needs of these victims are at
risk of being forgotten because their voices are consistently ignored," said
Amnesty International Zimbabwe's director Cousin Zilala.
On 18 May 2005 the government of Zimbabwe began demolishing informal
settlements across the country. The program, known as Operation
Murambatsvina, affected more than 700,000 people - leaving them without a
home or livelihood or both. Most were driven deeper into poverty by the
forced evictions, a situation which has been further compounded by Zimbabwe's
Following widespread local and international condemnation of Operation
Murambatsvina, the government embarked on a re-housing programme, known as
Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle later in 2005, which aimed to provide
shelter for the victims and improve their living conditions. However, it was
a dismal failure and now appears to have been abandoned.
"The few houses that were built under the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle scheme are
completely un-inhabitable," said Cousin Zilala. "They have no floors,
windows, water or toilets. Communities living in designated resettlement
areas are dependent on humanitarian assistance and self help initiatives for
Those affected by Operation Murambatsvina rapidly became invisible; forced
to relocate to rural areas, absorbed into existing overcrowded urban housing
or pushed into government designated settlements. Those still in cities
remain at risk of further forced evictions with no security of tenure. In
2009, Harare council attempted to remove some of the victims of the 2005
forced evictions but was forced to reverse the decision amid protest from
housing and human rights organisations.
Since its creation in February 2009, the unity government has done nothing
to improve the plight of survivors of the forced evictions and their
children who have been born in informal settlements.
Felistas Chinyuku is also the former chairperson of the Porta Farm Residents
Association. Porta Farm, a settlement of about 10,000 people, was destroyed
by the government in 2005, despite the community obtaining several court
orders barring the authorities from carrying out evictions.
"Five years have passed and many of us are still living in tents," said
Chinyuku a resident at Hopley Farm, on the outskirts of Harare, where the
majority of residents survive in make-shift housing.
"There are no schools, no health services and very little sanitation. This
is no way for humans to live."
Residents of Hatcliffe Extension settlement in Harare faced similar
injustice in 2005 when the authorities wilfully disregarded lease agreements
and destroyed their homes. They have not been compensated for their wrongful
eviction and continue to face battles with the authorities; residents are
currently being asked to pay prohibitive fees in order to renew their
"Operation Murambatsvina achieved the opposite of the publicly stated
objective - restoring order. In Harare, it resulted in overcrowding in poor
neighbourhoods with as many as three families sharing a four-roomed house,"
said Lorraine Mupasiri of Combined Harare Residents Association, one of the
coalition partners. "We are particularly concerned about the rising housing
backlog in Harare. More than half a million people are on the waiting list.
The forced evictions drove people not only from their homes, but also from
their market stalls, depriving informal traders of their means of earning a
Women have been especially affected since they form the majority of informal
market traders and in many cases are the primary providers, not only for
their own children but also for other children orphaned by the AIDS
When informal traders have tried to resuscitate their trade they have been
persistently obstructed by the authorities.
"The deplorable living conditions and struggle for survival which victims of
Operation Murambatsvina continue to face, reveals the government's failure
to address ongoing injustices against some of the most vulnerable members of
Zimbabwean society," said Cousin Zilala.
Written by Staff Reporter
Monday, 17 May 2010 07:37
Chihuri fears police will turn violent and send wrong signals to foreign
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwean police Commissioner, Augustie Chihuri, has banned
public protests and demonstrations for the duration of the 2010 FIFA Soccer
World Cup, to be played in South Africa between June and July.
Sources within the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the country's second biggest
city of Bulawayo told The Zimbabwean that Chihuri had already informed
regulating officers in the country that they should not allow public
protests in their areas with effect from June 1 until further notice."
Recently police banned journalists from Masvingo and Bulawayo to hold a
peaceful march to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, citing the same
reason. "The Commissioner says that there will be several foreign visitors
and journalists in the country during the World Cup, who will be coming here
to see if the GNU (Government of National Unity) has made any meaningful
changes here," said a senior police officer.
"As such, he does not want people to hold any demonstrations because they
might get out of hand just to provoke a stern police reaction, which might
be misinterpreted by the foreign visitors and attract more sanctions for the
country." The order, which is said to have been verbally given to all
provincial and district police commanders in the country, is set to be
formalised through an internal police signal to be dispatched by Chihuri
late this month, according to the officers.
"The order is already in place because we have been told not to allow any
protests in our areas or face disciplinary measures from the commanders,"
said another police officer, a Chief Superintendent, who is also a
regulating officer. A regulating officer is, according to the repressive
Public Order and Security Act (POSA), a police officer in charge of a
district, who should be notified by an organiser of a protest.
Zimbabwean police is viewed as among the worst human rights abusers in the
world. It uses the POSA to crush public protests, even peaceful ones, by
savagely beating protestors. Police national spokesman, Senior Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, refused to comment on the matter when
contacted by The Zimbabwean early this week, but several senior and junior
officers in Bulawayo confirmed the ban. "I cannot comment about that, I am
sorry," said Bvudzijena.
By Lance Guma
18 May 2010
The MDC led by founding President Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday endorsed the
expulsion of 5 youths, allegedly behind the assault of a party official at
its Harvest House headquarters. A statement said; 'The party has a zero
tolerance towards violence and condemns the events of the 12th and 14th of
April 2010.' This referred to the assault of the MDC Director General
Toendepi Shonhe, whose party vehicle was also taken from him.
Three 'private investigators' hired to probe the disturbances were allegedly
kidnapped and tortured by the youths. The youths claimed that the men were
state agents interfering in party affairs. In early May party spokesman
Nelson Chamisa seemed to back these claims telling a paper; 'This is also
part of our investigations. We want to find out what they were doing at
Harvest House and who they are.' The 'private investigators' meanwhile
insisted they were recruited by MDC Director of Security Chris Dhlamini.
This is where the plot thickened further. At the time of the disturbances it
was alleged Dhlamini got the 3 unknown men into the party headquarters using
a back entrance. This triggered accusations he had hired state agents to
deal with the youths (Dhlamini was among a group of MDC activists abducted
and tortured in 2008 by state security operatives. He sustained serious
injuries and had to be hospitalized under police guard).
The state owned Herald newspaper claims Dhlamini has since been suspended
but MDC-T officials refused to confirm this. One official said they were
currently 'chlorinating' problematic areas in the party. The source however
confirmed that the security department run by Dhlamini was dissolved over
the weekend. Newsreel was also told there were several recommendations made
by the Commission of Inquiry which are going to be implemented in the coming
A recommendation made public and endorsed by the MDC National Council this
past weekend saw the expulsion of Rhino Mashaya, Shakespear Mukoyi, Stephen
Jahwi, Todini Todini and Francis Machimbidzofa. "The above youths shall not
participate in any activities of the Party and that no member of the Party
shall, within the context of Party activities, associate or entertain the
above," a statement read. The party said it would also offer training on
'non-violent and non-confrontational programmes.'
Initially it was reported the disturbances were linked to a power struggle
between party president Tsvangirai and Secretary General Tendai Biti. Latest
reports however suggest the power struggle is actually between Biti and Ian
Makone, the Chief of Staff in the Prime Ministers Office. A report by the
weekly Zimbabwe Standard claimed Makone, a relative newcomer in the party,
was eyeing Biti's position as Secretary General. 'Tsvangirai is being roped
in because he is very close to Makone,' the paper reported.
Last week Tsvangirai told party officials in Harare that 'bootlicking' was
the biggest threat to party unity. He said officials who frequented his
residence while seeking favours were feeding him a lot of rumours and lies.
Tsvangirai also accused the provincial leadership in Harare of being part of
a 'gossip peddling cycle' and that some of these leaders were sponsoring
youths to push their agendas.
by Patricia Mpofu Tuesday 18 May 2010
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will this week summon the
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to ascertain why it has not issued a single
licence since it was appointed nearly three months ago.
Tsvangirai told journalists on Sunday that it was misleading for the ZMC
headed by former state broadcaster Godfrey Majonga to claim it had no money
to meet or conclude the business of registering journalists and new mass
media houses, saying Finance Minister Tendai Biti had provided the media
supervisory body with required funds.
"I am going to summon the ZMC to my office to impress on them that they are
independent as per the GPA (global political agreement)," said Tsvangirai.
"They must just do the job. The nation is waiting."
The GPA is the power-sharing agreement that gave birth to the Harare
coalition between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai's comments follow weekend reports that that the ZMC had last week
postponed a critical workshop to expedite the licensing of new media players
because of financial constraints.
Sources said the postponement of the workshop would result in further delays
in licensing new newspapers in a country where the state has a monopoly in
The ZMC, a constitutional body created last February as one of the key
reforms to open up the country's political space after formation of the
unity government last year following a dispute over general elections in
March 2008, replaced the state-appointed MIC that used the government's
tough media laws to police the newspaper industry.
Majonga called for applications and registrations of new mass media houses
and journalists on March 30 and sources indicated to ZimOnline two weeks ago
that at least five new mass media players - including NewsDay and the once
popular The Daily News - had applied for licences.
But potential newspaper owners are still in the dark about the fate of their
"We are all worried and baffled why there are still no newspapers in the
streets. They need to explain. It's not a question of money because the
Finance Minister has provided the ZMC with the finance. I will be engaging
them some time this week," Tsvangirai said.
Biti allocated in his budget statement US$47 000 to the ZMC, part of four
critical commissions agreed to by the three principals under the GPA. The
other three commissions are the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
The finance ministry could not immediately confirm whether it has released
the funds but Tsvangirai said money was not an issue. "Certainly it is not
money because the Finance Minister has been through with them. We want to
find out from the ZMC what the problem is really is," the Premier said.
The commission requires prospective media operators to provide among other
things a code of ethics, projected balance sheet, editorial charter, code of
conduct for employees, market analysis, attach a dummy, mission statement,
house style book and projected three-year cashflow statement.
Local media houses are required to pay an application fee of US$500,
registration fee of US$1 500 and a renewal fee of US$1 000 while application
and registration for news agencies is set at US$1 300 per year and the
renewal of registration will be US$500.
Local journalists have to fork out a total of US$30 to work in the country
while local journalists working for foreign media are required to pay a
total of US$120 down from the US$3 000 that the now defunct Media
Information Commission used to charge.
Foreign media organisations or news agencies who are willing to set office
in the country are expected to pay a total of US$2 500 down from about US$30
000 per year while those from the Southern African Development Community
will pay US$1 250. - ZimOnline
Harare, May 18, 2010 - The case in which Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi
filed criminal defamation charges against Masvingo Mirror publisher, David
Masunda, and his editor, Golden Maunganidze, was dropped on Tuesday for lack
Masunda and Maunganidze's lawyer, Arthur Marara, of Mucheche and Matsikidze
law firm, said the Attorney General's office was forced drop the case
because of lack of evidence. The office said police should do further
"The trial could not continue due to lack of prosecuting evidence. The AG
said the case is not worth to go for trial due to lack of evidence. He
instructed the police to do further investigations," said Marara.
Masunda and Maunganidze were set to appear in court in the capital after
Mzembi filed criminal defamation charges against the two over a story that
linked senior Masvingo politicians to the theft of President Robert Mugabe's
birthday gifts last month.
Among the alleged stolen gifts are hundreds of tones of sugar, and an
unlimited quantity of fuel and beef.
However, The Mirror article never mentioned any names, but said 'big names'
were implicated in the theft.
Marara also challenged why the matter was being handled in Harare when it
originated in Masvingo, where there were competent courts, as well as police
Two freelance journalists from Harare, believed to have been sent by Mzembi
to spy on Maunganidze, were supposed to give evidence in court in support of
By Violet Gonda
18 May 2010
Jonathan Samkange, the lawyer representing Africa Consolidated Resources CEO
Andrew Cranswick, was briefly arrested by police in Harare on Monday, in a
move the outspoken lawyer says is continuing harassment by the police.
The state controlled Herald newspaper reported that the prominent lawyer had
'fled arrest' after a Harare magistrate issued him with a warrant for not
appearing in court Monday, to face charges of perjury. The lawyer is accused
of 'lying' under oath that his client Cranswick had been arrested four years
ago, for unlawful possession of diamonds.
Samkange said the report in the Herald was 'false, malicious and defamatory'.
He denied running away from the police. He told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday
that he was 'accosted' by police officers as he entered the magistrates
court around 9am for the court hearing on the perjury charges.
His hearing was supposed to start at 8:30, but he says he had called the
public prosecutor earlier on to say he was running late and was assured it
would be okay. He was also told that court hearings usually failed to start
Upon arrival Samkange said he was surprised to be stopped by police who
wanted to arrest him for failing to turn up for his court hearing, even
though he was already in the courthouse and had only been a few minutes
late. He said he started making noise to alert his colleagues in the legal
fraternity, that he was about to be arrested. The police said they were
acting on instructions of Senior Police Commissioner Pondo from CID Minerals
Samkange was taken to Matapi Police Station in Mbare, but the Officer in
Charge refused to arrest him, because there was no official warrant to
detain him. But Samkange was then taken to Pondo's Minerals Unit and later
taken to court. He said strangely it was the prosecutor who told the court
that the arrest was wrong.
Commenting on his perjury charges, Samkange maintains his client was
arrested in 2006 and that the onus is on the police to prove that he wasn't.
He also said that the police have a shambolic records system and that 'in
court on Tuesday one of the police officers was writing information on
Samkange's client, ACR, has the legal rights to mine the Chiadzwa diamonds
in Marange but has been fighting a battle with the government over ownership
of the controversial diamond claim.
One of the ACR officials, Ian Harris, is currently out on bail after being
arrested for allegedly fraudulently acquiring the Chiadzwa diamond claim,
through an ACR subsidiary. The company denies any wrongdoing.
Harare, May 18, 2010 - The Norwegian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Gunnar
Foreland, has blasted the three Zimbabwe leaders for delaying to fully
implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that formed the inclusive
government and to a draft a new constitutution to pave way for fresh
elections in the country.
The GPA signed by Zanu (PF)'s President Robert Mugabe and the two Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) faction leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and his deputy Arthur Mutambara in 2008, has stalled due to outstanding
issues regarding the swearing in of MDC's Roy Bennett as deputy Minister of
Agriculture, the reversal of appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank
Governor and Johannes Tomana as Attorney General as well as the removal of
western sanctions on Zimbabwe, among other issues.
Foreland said the three principals were not being considerate to the people
and urged the South African mediator, President Jacob Zuma, to speed up the
process in order to urgently solve outstanding issues.
"Speed up the talking. Start implementing what you have agreed on," he told
Radio VOP on Tuesday. "Solve the outstanding issues and deliver to the
people because they have great hopes in you and the inclusive government."
"We expected quick implementation of the GPA, a new constitution and fresh
elections," he said. "We hope President Zuma and his facilitation team will
speed up things. As foreigners, we remain observers. We understand that
there are difficult issues that Zimbabweans themselves cannot do alone but
their hope remains in SADC (Southern African Development Community) and
South Afirca to solve."
Tsvangirai has called for an urgent SADC summit.
18 May 2010
THE Zimbabwean Government will have to fork out at least US$70 million -
close to N$530 million - should a renewed claim by three applicants against
President Robert Mugabe's government and its "unlawful land-reform
programme" succeed in the SADC Tribunal.
Norman Tjombe filed the case on behalf of Christopher Mellish Jarret, Tengwe
Estate and France Farm.
They applied to the Tribunal to order the Zimbabwean government to pay not
only close to US$70 million but to also interest of 30 per cent on this
amount, starting from September 14 2005 to the date of payment.
The applicants also asked for the Tribunal to order the Zimbabwean
government to foot the bill for this legal application.
In the voluminous court documents, it is stated that Jarret, a Zimbabwean
citizen, had been farming on Luchabi Ranch, a cattle and game farm situated
in the Nyamandlovu district, "until it was illegally and compulsorily
acquired by the respondent with effect from September 14 2005".
Tengwe Estate was the owner of Fumeria Estate, a mixed farming enterprise
situated in the Urungwe district, it is stated.
"Its title to the property similarly ceased on September 14 2005 as a
consequence of the respondent's unlawful land programme."
It is further stated that a game ranch had been managed on Woodlands Estate
A, owned by France Farm. The game ranch is situated near the Victoria Falls.
"It too suffered illegal dispossession of this property due to the
respondent's unlawful land programme."
All three these applicants were part of the groundbreaking so-called William
Michael Campbell case, of which the latest judgement against the Zimbabwean
government was in June 2009.
"It is by now a matter of public notoriety that the respondent has
persistently and contemptuously failed to give effect to the Tribunal's
award in the main Campbell case. Also the Tribunal's subsequent orders are
flagrantly repudiated by the respondent."
The Zimbabwean government has until the end of May to file answering court
papers with the Tribunal in Windhoek.
Johannesburg, May 18, 2010 - The International Football Federation (FIFA)
says it is looking at ways of getting Zimbabweans into South Africa next
month to fill up empty seats in Polokwane during World Cup.
FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, told Radio VOP that the world soccer
body is planning to bus soccer supporters from Zimbabwe and other regional
countries into Polokwane, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth to fill up empty
seats of the expansive stadiums build for the World Cup.
"We are working on bringing and bussing people from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and
other neighbouring countries to matches in Polokwane and Nelspruit because
it is not far," said Valcke. "We can't show the world empty stadiums because
many overseas media are still saying it was a mistake to take the World Cup
to South Africa." Valcke said ticket sales in the three towns have been slow
and they still have empty seats, which is why they are reaching out to
countries like Zimbabwe.
Initially Zimbabwe, through the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), got a
ticket allocation of just 90 tickets.
If the plan by FIFA comes to fruition, it will be sweet music for many
Zimbabweans who could not buy World Cup tickets online.The majority of
Zimbabweans do not have access to credit cards and plastic money.
Matches in Polokwane, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth, three of South Africa's
smaller cities hosting World Cup matches, have not been
impressive as many poor South Africans opt to either watch the soccer
showpiece from the comfort of their homes or in the many fan parks that will
be opened on June 11 when the event kicks off.
The online ticket sales system initially used by FIFA to sell tickets was
not user friendly for many soccer loving Africans, most of whom have no
access to regular internet access. This coupled with a complicated ticket
application system resulted in few Africans buying tickets.
Upon realising that the system was not working for Africans, even those in
technologically advanced South Africa, FIFA opened over the counter sales
which saw over 200 000 tickets being snapped in just a week. But still
soccer fans in neighbouring countries could not travel to buy these tickets
in South Africa.
However Valcke said the experience was a learning curve.
"Maybe we have to think about our online system for host countries who do
not have good internet access. What we have learnt is that next time we need
to mix the culture and systems," said Valcke.
By DONNA BRYSON (AP) - 4 hours ago
JOHANNESBURG - Security forces paraded their World Cup arsenal through the
streets of South Africa's financial capital Monday, hoping to reassure fans
the country will be safe during soccer's premier event.
The show of force came the same day an Iraqi official told reporters in
Baghdad that security forces had detained an al-Qaida militant suspected of
planning an attack on the monthlong tournament that starts June 11.
South Africa's high crime rate has been under intense scrutiny since the
country was awarded the right to host Africa's first World Cup, though
terrorist violence also has been a concern. Police have recruited and
trained 44,000 officers for the event, and bought vehicles, water cannons
and other equipment, some of which was on display.
Johannesburg, where the parade was held, has two World Cup stadiums and a
third in nearby Pretoria means that this central region of South Africa will
host more World Cup games than any other. Most of the 32 teams competing in
the tournament have their training bases in this area and the majority of
tourists are expected to stay in Johannesburg or nearby.
"South Africa will host the safest and most secure FIFA World Cup," Police
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said. "The force is ready. That is the message we
shared with South Africans over the past year and that we will be
articulating to our 2010 visitors. Police will be everywhere, ready to
respond to any eventuality."
Mthethwa said his forces were ready for everything from petty criminals to
"South Africa will be hosting the whole world, and therefore will take no
chances," Mthethwa said.
Last month, Mthethwa said officials were aware of al-Qaida-linked threats
against the World Cup, and in particular against the United States-England
group game on June 12, on Jihadist forums.
In Iraq Monday, Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad
security services, told a news conference that Abdullah Azam Saleh
al-Qahtani, an officer in the Saudi army and al-Qaida militant, had been
detained on suspicion of planning a "terrorist act" in South Africa during
the World Cup. Al-Moussawi said al-Qahtani entered Iraq in 2004 and is
suspected in several attacks in the country.
Vish Naidoo, a spokesman for South African police, told The Associated Press
that Iraqi security officials had not contacted their South African
counterparts about the suspected plot. Naidoo said the report from Baghdad
would not affect World Cup security planning because terrorism had always
been part of the calculations.
South Africa's national police chief Bheki Cele pledged Monday to leave "no
oxygen" for criminals, and added the World Cup would leave a security
"The resources have been put here, the training will be there to benefit the
people of South Africa," Cele said.
Some 200 vehicles were on display Monday, along with two helicopters and
special police squads demonstrating parachuting from aircraft and rappelling
Financial experts and constructions workers paused to watch in a part of
Johannesburg where skyscrapers gleam and hovering cranes attest that more
glass-and-steel buildings will soon rise.
Banker Lina Chauke danced on high heels and waved a tiny South African flag
as the parade passed. She said she believed World Cup visitors would be
safe, and that South Africans would be safer because of investments in
security made as a result of the country hosting the tournament.
Police officers "won't have an excuse. All of them, they'll be
well-trained," she said. "I'm very optimistic."
Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble has praised South Africa's
preparations for the World Cup, which have included seeking training from
other countries. Interpol, the agency formed to help police around the world
work better together, is sending 200 experts, while each of the 31 visiting
teams will be sending up to eight officers to work with South African
Also Monday, a Cabinet minister in neighboring Zimbabwe said political
protests and other demonstrations would be banned there during the World
Giles Mutsekwa of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party, who
shares responsibility for the police ministry, said the aim was to "rebrand"
Zimbabwe and the region as safe for World Cup visitors. Mugabe's party has
long been accused of trampling on democratic rights to stay in power.
Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for South Africa's Police Minister Mthethwa, said
there were no plans to ban demonstrations in the host country.
"To protest and to march is a constitutional right of every South African,"
Mnisi said, though he did call for protests to be orderly.
Associated Press Writer Angus Shaw in Harare, Zimbabwe contributed to this
May 18, 2010, 8:22 AM EDT
By Brian Latham
May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe's government extended by a month a deadline
by which all businesses must submit plans on increasing black ownership,
Indigenization and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said.
Under a law signed in March, companies had until the end of May to show how
they would ensure that 51 percent of their equity was held by black
Zimbabweans. The deadline was extended until June 30, Kasukuwere said in a
phone interview today from Harare, the capital.
Zimbabwe's Indigenization and Empowerment Act compels all foreign and
white-owned companies to sell 51 percent of their shareholdings to black
Zimbabweans within five years.
The law applies to companies with assets of more than $500,000. If enforced,
it may affect lenders including London- based Standard Chartered Plc,
Barclays Bank Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd. and mining companies such as
Anglo American Plc.
Harare, May 18, 2010 - More than 600 companies are said to have applied to
comply with the government's controversial law that has seen some
international investors backing off from investing in the country.
"Yes I can confirm that at least 600 firms have applied ..." Savioiur
Kasukuwere, Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Development said.
He said the government was now working on adjusting the new mining
regulations which had caused "alarm and despondency" among the foreign
Locals have to get at least 51 percent of all companies operating in
Zimbabwe under the new regulations.
Kasukuwere said things were working well despite some foreign firms
threatening to pull out.
He said they were however adjusting some regulations mainly in the mining
industry which were rather harsh according to foreigners who want to invest
He said govenmnet would publish the new regulations before the end of the
month for all to be able to read and understand.
"We need to rectify a few issues," he said from Gweru. "We will show the
public what we are doing and it is all transparent."
Foreigners have been uneasy about the new regulations which have come into
effect in Zimbabwe.
Kasukuwere led the decision to indigenise the economy but this has been met
with mixed reactiuon mainly from foreingers with a huge stake in many firms
operating in Zimbabwe. Some have threatened to pull out while others have
withheld their investments.
Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai have differed on the new regulations. Tsvangirai said they
were going back to the drawing board with the regulations but President
Mugabe has insisted there was no reversal of the controversial policy as it
was aimed at correcting historical imbalances in Zimbabwe's economy.
Zimbabwe, has failed to raise funds it appealed to the international
community to revive its battered economy following a decade long political
instability. Some donors have said they will give funds after full
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) entered into by Zanu
(PF) and the two MDCs, to form the inclusive government in 2009. The GPA has
been stalled because of lack of agreement, by the political parites, to a
number of outstanding issues, which include the refusal by Mugabe to swear
in the MDC's treasurer general, Roy Bennett as deputy minister of
Agriculture, and the demand by Zanu (PF) to remove sanctions, among other
Although, there has been improvement in inflation following the decision to
dump the use of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar, in favour of multiple
currencies, unemployment is still high. Although shops are well stocked with
food, most people are unable to afford particularly civil servants who are
among the lowest paid, earning between US$ 160 and 250.
Harare, May 18, 2010 - Donors are said to be refusing to financially back
the newly created Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) because of the existence
Zanu (PF) sympathiser Tafataona Mahoso who was recently appointed chief
Mahoso is regarded as a media hangman, after he caused the arrest of several
journalists and closure of newspapers in Zimbabwe, resulting in loss of
jobs, under the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), when he was chair of the defunct Media Information Commission
Mahoso who was brought back to the new ZMC in unclear circumstances, is also
seen as a Zanu (PF) propagandist after writing several stories in the
state-owned Herald in support of the harsh media laws and President Robert
A ZMC commissioner, who requested anonymity, said they had held several
meetings with international and local donors who had expressed their
unwillingness to donate to ZMC activities because of the presence of Mahoso.
"Donors are playing a wait and see attitude. Some of them have clearly
indicated their displeasure over the presence of Mahoso.We have had a number
of meetings with some of them who are saying they have no confidence in the
ZMC, especially in the presence of Mahoso. What we have told them is that
they should remember that like the inclusive government, everything came as
a result of a compromise and we have promised them that we will deliver."
"It is not donors only who are complaining about Mahoso, even the majority
of journalists have expressed disappointment," he said. "The problem we are
having is that we do not have the funds to establish our own secretariat and
new infrastructure. What we have told the Mahoso staff, which is doing all
the accreditation is that they should not deny any journalist
accreditation. If they have any doubt we have told them to direct such
issues to us, "said the official.
He said they were not sure of how long Mahoso will be at the ZMC.
"We do not have the time-frame of Mahoso's continued existence at ZMC. But
from the look of things, he will be there for as long as Webster Shamu
remains the Minister of Information and Publicity, because he is his right
hand man. But this will not compromise our service delivery because we are
tightly monitoring every activity, "added the official.
Recent media reports said the ZMC was facing financial constraints and had
postponed an important workshop aimed at expediting the licensing of
newspapers owing to financial problems.
by Own Correspondents Tuesday 18 May 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said at the
weekend export of six animal species to the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK) was a "purely business" transaction, dismissing reports of a
decree from President Robert Mugabe to capture the animals and export them
to the Asian country as a gift.
Media reports last week quoted animal rights groups as saying two baby
elephants intended as a gift to the DPRK or North Korea - a long-time ally
of Mugabe - were unlikely to survive the journey by air.
But Parks director general Vitalis Chadenga at the weekend said the deal was
a "purely business" transaction involving elephants, giraffes, zebras,
warthogs, spotted hyenas and rock dursy.
"With the exception of elephants, the animals being sought by the DPRK are
not endangered and not listed in the (Convention for Trade in Endangered
Species) CITES Appendices. Zimbabwe's elephant population is on Appendix 2,
which allows trade according to the annotation number 5b-trade in live
animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations," Chadenga said in a
"Consistent with this resolution, Zimbabwe sent two scientific experts to
the DPRK for purposes of verifying the appropriateness of the destination.
We are satisfied that the recipients of the animals are suitably equipped to
house and care for them. The authority has duly conducted non-detriment
findings for all species being exported . . . this is a purely business
arrangement with no directive from government, the DPRK is paying for the
animals as well as meeting the capture and translocation costs," Chadenga
An independent animal rights group, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
said the 18-month-old elephants had been held inside pens at the Hwange
National Park together with other animals bound for the Asian country.
Head of the animal rights group Johnny Rodrigues warned elephant experts had
said they were not sure if the young elephants would survive the trip
separated from their mothers.
Citing officials in the park, Rodrigues said several animals including
zebra, giraffe and others had been captured at Mugabe's instruction to be
shipped to North Korea.
He said officials at the authority had opposed the captures and leaked
details to conservationists when government persisted.
They even reported some areas of the 14 000 square kilometre Hwange National
Park, the biggest in Zimbabwe, being closed to tourists and photographic
"We fear a pair of endangered rhino in Hwange will also be included,"
Rodrigues told a local newspaper.
Mugabe and his ZANU PF party have always regarded North Korea among their
closer allies dating from when the reclusive communist state assisted Mugabe's
party during Zimbabwe's 1970s war of liberation.
However most Zimbabweans will remember the DPRK as the country that helped
train and arm the notorious 5th Brigade - a crack unit deployed by Mugabe in
the early 80s in Zimbabwe's southern Matabeleland and Midlands provinces
ostensibly to quell an armed insurrection against his rule.
The 5th Brigade ended up killing more than 20 000 innocent civilians
belonging to the Ndebele ethnic group that largely supported Mugabe's
political rival, Joshua Nkomo. - ZimOnline
Source: The Zimbabwean
Date: 17 May 2010
Written by Thabani Shumba
BULAWAYO - Zanu (PF) officials and war veterans in Mberengwa district in the
Midlands province are blocking food aid to HIV/AIDS orphans demanding that
they should join the party's youth league first.
The inclusive government has embarked on a feeding programme to benefit
children orphaned through HIV/AIDS in Mberengwa. The children receive food
hampers containing packets of beans, cooking oil, mealie-meal, rice, soap
and many other items on a weekly basis.
However some Zanu (PF) officials and war veterans in Mudavanhu area in the
district have taken over the programme and are demanding that all
beneficiaries should join the party's youth league if they want to continue
Sharon Shiri, a former food programme co-ordinator from Zibanga village in
Mudavanhu area, who was booted out by Zanu (PF) officials and war veterans
for not following their orders, told Radio VOP confirmed that children were
being denied food.
"The whole project has been taken over by Zanu (PF) and young children, some
even below eight years. They are being forced to produce party cards to get
food," said Shiri.
Shiri said she was forced out of the project by two notorious war veterans
from the area namely Tinashe Zhou and Batanai Hove after she defied their
"I had no option but to buy the party card and get food for my two little
sisters who are aged nine and six years," said a 14 year-old AIDS orphan
from Bvute village under Chief Mudavanhu.
Johannesburg, May 18, 2010 - A Zimbabwean wine maker has scored a first, by
making two of the three official World Cup wines.
Tariro Masayiti, 37, who works for the Paarl-based wine maker Nederburg, is
responsible for making two of the exclusive three Nederburg FIFA Limited
Edition wines, which have been chosen as the official wines for the FIFA
World Cup taking place between June and July. The company is therefore the
official wine supplier of the three wines.
Masayiti made the Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Rose.
The bespectacled Masayiti grew up in Marondera, where some of the country's
wineries such as Mukuyu produce about 5 million litres of wine a year,
despite the economic challenges that the country currently faces.
Masayiti studied Chemistry and Bio- Chemistry at the University of Zimbabwe.
The Sauvignon Blanc loving gentleman learnt his wine tasting craft at the
Mukuyu Winery under the tutelage of Brent King, a New Zealand
winemaker, still based at the Marondera facility.
Masayiti later left Zimbabwe and took up studies in Viticulture and Oenology
at the University of Stellenbosch.
After his studies, Masayiti worked for Distell-owned Bergkelder as assistant
white wine maker before joining Nederburg in 2005 as a white wine maker.
He is currently in charge of a portfolio of 25 white wines at Nederburg,
which was last year recognised as South Africa's most successful wine
producer at London's International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Written by Staff Reporter
Monday, 17 May 2010 15:15
HARARE - The Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) said
moving its treasurer general Roy Bennett to another ministry will be a
serious breach of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). (Pictured: MDC’s Roy
MDC-T Deputy National Organising Secretary Morgan Komichi said under the
GPA, it was agreed that Zanu (PF) ministers would be deputised by MDC and
vice versa. He said Zanu (PF) refused to have the Ministry of Defence,
headed by Emmerson Mnangagwa, deputised by an MDC MP. As a result the MDC
had also denied a Zanu (PF) MP to deputise the Finance Ministry, under
If sworn in, Bennett, will deputise Zanu (PF) Minister Joseph Made in the
Ministry of Agriculture.
Bennett was recently acquitted of terrorism charges. Mugabe has refused to
swear him as deputy Agriculture Minister, citing the charges. The state
lawyers have since appealed against Bennett's acquittal.
"We have not taken any position as the party to remove Bennett from the
Deputy Agriculture post. Now that the courts have vindicated him then Mugabe
should swear him in," said Komichi.
Komichi, a member of the party's National Standing Committee, the highest
decision making body in the MDC, said that statements by Bennett that he was
ready to take another position for progress in the Inclusive Government was
not a party position.
The swearing in of Bennett has been one of the major stumbling blocks
stalling the GPA.
"As the party we want Bennett to be sworn as the courts have found him not
guilty. He is our candidate for that post. We know that Zanu PF ...does not
want Bennett simply because he is a white man in the MDC. However Zanu (PF)
has got whites and at some point in time just like most members of the MDC,
Bennett was once a Zanu (PF) member," said Komichi.
Written by John Chimunhu
Monday, 17 May 2010 08:51
MUTARE - Madzibaba Gandiwa, a member of an apostolic sect in Zimbabwe's
eastern Marange district, is a strict follower of his religious beliefs that
is against western medicine and local traditional remedies. (Pictured:
Health Minister Henry Madzorera calling for stiffer laws to force child
He believes a government immunisation campaign to curb an outbreak of
measles, which has claimed the lives of at least 200 children, is a ploy to
reduce the population of his growing sect, which does not believe in modern
birth control methods.
"At first the government people came with pills, saying they wanted women to
bear fewer children," Gandiwa said, referring to government's national
campaigns on family planning.
"We rejected that, so they now want to kill the children. I think they want
to kill the children with their injections. I have heard that some children
who have been injected have died. I think they want to make us few because
they say mapositori have too many children," Gandiwa said.
"The government can do anything. They can arrest me or even kill me. What I
will not do is to submit to a human being. I listen only to God," Gandiwa
The influential leader said those with children who had been diagnosed with
measles or had died from the disease, were sinners who should confess their
sins to God so they can be spared from them the plague.
Members of the sect keep a vigilant watch for health officers and hide their
children in mountains when teams from the Health Ministry come to the
village to immunise children against measles and other child killer
As a result children of sect members form the majority of causalities of the
Health minister Henry Madzorera expressed concern at the sect members'
"There has been avoidance of use of health services by the communities for
several reasons, including religious groups that prevent children and women
from being treated and allow just men and leaders to be seen (by health
professionals) when sick," Madzorera said.
Madzore has called for laws to make it compulsory for all children to be
The government and the religious sects are set to clash with sect members
such as Gandiwa unwilling to embrace both conventional and traditional
(Subhead) Secret meetings
Politicians have avoided openly criticising the sect members with some
visiting sect leaders secretly in the hope of boosting their political
Recently, the powerful Zanu (PF) secretaries for Administration and Women's
Affairs, Didymus Mutasa and Oppah Muchinguri visited a sect leader in
Marange, where some of the highest measles deaths have been recorded.
Addressing thousands of the vapostori sect members, the two politicians
steered clear of the controversial subject of immunisation and instead
blamed targeted sanctions imposed by western country for the country's
The UNICEF representative in Zimbabwe, Peter Salama said: "It is true that
measles in Zimbabwe is now out of control, given the fact that it is now in
all parts of the country."
Salama said all children in Zimbabwe should now be considered to be at risk
from the disease.
"This is symbolic of the breakdown of the infrastructure in Zimbabwe. This
is similar to what happened during the outbreak of cholera in 2008," Salama
said as he launched an $8.4 funding appeal to deal directly with the crisis.
Minister Madzorera revealed that measles had killed 183 people, mostly
children under five by the end of March and afflicted another 1 843.
"The immunisation programme in Zimbabwe has, over the years, declined due to
the economic hardships that we faced," Madzorera said.
In some areas, people have to travel for about 50 kilometres, to get to the
nearest health facility. Many of the government facilities are poorly
stocked and under-staffed.
The UN was hoping to address some of the health problems through an
international appeal to donors. However, donors are shunning Zimbabwe.
"Given the magnitude of the humanitarian needs in Haiti following the
devastating earthquake in January 2010, it is inevitable that donors would
focus on that emergency. Consequently, most CAP appeals outside Haiti have
received limited funding and Zimbabwe is no exception," said Elizabeth
Lwanga, the United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator.
"The US$378 million is the total funding request for humanitarian projects
under Zimbabwe's consolidated appeal (CAP) for 2010, which covers various
sectors, including Agriculture, Early recovery, Education, Food aid, Health,
Logistics, Nutrition, Protection and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Out of this broad appeal, the requirement for Food aid is US$58 million,
which is 15% of the total.
By the last week of March 2010, the 2010 CAP had received US$12 million,
representing 3.2% of the US$378 million required in total.
This amount is very low for this time of the year, compared to previous
years and is of concern to the humanitarian community in Zimbabwe," said
At Chitungwiza hospital last week, dozens of mothers clutching sick babies
waited desperately for good news. Sorry, they were told by a nurse, there
were no medicines to treat the sick or vaccines to immunise those still
Minister Madzorera told the media recently that a consignment of medicines
from Europe had failed to arrive due to disruptions to air traffic caused by
the Iceland volcano. As a result a national immunisation programme had been
suspended for two weeks.
Coming so soon after a cholera pandemic that killed 4 000 and an AIDS
epidemic that is claiming the lives of 3 000 people every week, the measles
outbreak has become a major cause for alarm.
By Gerald Chateta
Published: May 17, 2010
Harare - Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera has demanded a
share of the country's toll gates, tobacco, and pollution fees remitted to
the government to be channeled to the country's health system, saying all
have a relationship to health.
In an interview Minister Madzorera said, "There is a pollution penalty that
companies are charged for polluting the environment but there is nothing
that comes to the ministry who are the eventual recipients of problems of
pollution,road traffic accidents and diseases caused by smoking, and those
are the pieces of cake we want to share so that we improve health care, and
emergency and accident services.
"A big chunk of our budget goes to managing road traffic accidents and
nothing is remitted to the us, those who bear the burdens of the victims.
"Tobacco causes cancer and let's get some of the monies charged from
advertising to buy ex-ray machines so that we diagnose cancer early",he
According to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) as of April it has
collected over US$12 million in revenue, and the revenue according the
government is directed towards the maintenance of the country's poor roads.
Road accidents are among the major killers in Zimbabwe, where roads are in a
state of disrepair, riddled with potholes due to years of neglect.
The disregard for safety regulations has seen some vehicles unfit for the
streets cruising the country's roads.
Minister Madzorera urged that since victims of road traffic accidents end up
in hospital, using ministry of health resources, there was need for the
government to remit a small portion of the toll gate revenue towards
accident emergency services.
Energy industry sources said NOCZIM, now operating at 30% of its capacity
and laying off thousands of workers, is negotiating with the Harare
government to retain a controlling 51% stake in the enterprise after raising
Jonga Kandemiiri & Gibbs Dube | Washington 17 May 2010
The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe is planning to sell a 49% share stake
in an effort to raise capital to pay US$270 million in debt which threatens
the survival of the state-controlled enterprise.
Energy industry sources said the company, now operating at 30% of its
capacity and laying off thousands of workers, is negotiating with the Harare
government to retain a 51% stake. The sources said NOCZIM had to shut down
projects including plantations of jatropha intended to produce biodiesel,
among and other unprofitable activities.
Harare economist John Robertson told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that
it is unlikely investors will buy shares in the state-run company as it
lacks credibility given past losses and reports of internal abuses.
Elsewhere, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has revised national totals for
domestic and external debt, which now stand at a combined US$5.84 billion.
Zimbabwe owes around US$5.3 billion to international lenders, much of which
has fallen into arrears, preventing the country from accessing new lines of
credit from public financial institutions.
Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Research
Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the national debt
has surged due to Harare's inability to make payments.
Security for the outreach process has become a concern amid reports from
various provinces that alleged ZANU-PF supporters are intimidating members
of the public who do not endorse adoption of the so-called Kariba
Irvin Chifera and Chris Gande | Washington 17 May 2010
Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Revision says it
cannot afford to pay the police to provide security during the
constitutional revision outreach process, as correspondent Irwin Chifera
Security for the outreach process has become a major concern amid reports
from various provinces that alleged ZANU-PF supporters are intimidating and
even assaulting those who resist adoption of the Kariba draft which the
former ruling party of President Robert Mugabe says should become the basis
of the new document.
Select committee member Reggie Moyo, member of Parliament for Cowdray Park,
Bulawayo, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that the police lack the
means to provide security for the outreach process.
By Alex Bell
18 May 2010
A young Zimbabwean woman in the UK is recovering from a deliberate overdose
of pain medication, after being detained and lined up for deportation out of
24 year old Roselyn Mujaranji, avoided deportation last August after the
intervention of a local newspaper and charity group in Norwich, which
highlighted her case. But during a routine visit to a police station in
Norwich last Wednesday, she was detained and sent to Yarl’s Wood immigration
removal centre in Bedfordshire. It is understood that Mujaranji saved up
four days of pain medication while at the centre, swallowing all the pills
on Sunday. She was rushed to hospital and is being treated for the overdose.
Mujaranji fled to the UK early last year after her mother was murdered and
she herself was tortured by ZANU PF supporters. She left Zimbabwe as soon as
she was able and arrived in Norwich, via Germany last March.
But the UK’s border agency insisted she return to Germany to seek asylum
there. She then narrowly avoided deportation after campaigners appealed on
her behalf, on the grounds that she was in ill-health and a medical
assessment had not been carried out. She then returned to live with her
uncle Ignatius Chihata and aunt Christine Mujaranji Chihata in Norwich.
Amanda Hopkinson, chairperson of the Norwich Justice and Peace Group, who
has campaigned for Roselyn to remain in the UK, told Norwich’s Evening News
last week that it’s a “desperate situation.”
“I cannot believe what has happened and why the UK Border Agency is acting
this way. It’s ridiculous and very dangerous behaviour as Roselyn has been
rated as a suicidal risk by a psychologist,” Hopkinson said.
Written by WALLACE MAWIRE
Monday, 17 May 2010 15:24
...as Zimbabwe becomes a dumping ground for used cars
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is ready to start
monitoring pollution emitted by vehicles in the country to meet world
atmospheric control regulations.
EMA Education and Awareness Manager Steady Kangata, said they had at the
beginning of April, deployed a team to South Africa to source the equipment
needed for the monitoring exercise.
They had set up offices in every district and province in the country.
He said motorists will have their cars tested for pollution. This will be
done using mobile equipment, which will be fitted on the exhaust of a
vehicle and the driver asked to rev the car to determine the pollution
Kangata said motorists should leave a reasonable distance when they are
driving to avoid health risks associated with vehicle pollution.
He said every citizen had the right to a clean, safe and wholesome
The EMA programme had two facets, which involved stationery and mobile
monitoring. The stationery monitoring focused on industrial emissions from
factories while the mobile monitoring was for vehicles.
He said in monitoring factories, comprehensive surveys of the type of gases
produced and their concentrations will be done, and premises issued with
He said the licenses should be produced when needed by enforcement agencies,
failure of which will lead to a fine or in extreme cases, lead to a close
down of operations.
So far 64 licenses had been registered.
The mobile monitoring of motor vehicles will not require licensing.
Kangata said this may involve mounting roadblocks to test vehicle emissions.
Excessive emissions will result in a fine or impounding of a vehicle.
Repeat offenders will be prosecuted and may face imprisonment of up to three
He said the control of emissions had come in the wake of the rising concerns
about the impacts of global warming and climate change.
He added that vehicle emissions remained prevalent and had become a major
source of pollution in Zimbabwe.
The problem was worsened by the fact that most countries were using Zimbabwe
as a dumping ground for used vehicles.
"The EMA is now out in full force to make sure that vehicular emissions are
reduced," warned Kangata.
He also warned against the burning of worn out tyres to recycle the wire. He
said the practice was prevalent in the Sunningdale and Willowvale areas,
where thick clouds of heavy smoke from the burning tyres, was a common
"Every citizen has a responsibility to act in a manner that protects the
environment for the benefit of the present and future generations," he said.
He said it was therefore important to ensure to ensure regular maintenance
of vehicles, which did not only help to reduce pollution but resulted in
personal savings in terms of fuel.
IOM dedicated 693 permanent housing units on May 13, built in partnership with the Civil Protection Unit of the Government of Zimbabwe, for victims of floods in the Country's eastern, Chipinge District.
Nearly 700 families from four flood prone communities including Nyerere, Masimbe, Gumira and Muchayiyana, each received a two-roomed house at an official handover ceremony chaired by the Minister of Local Government and attended by Zimbabwe's Housing and Social Amenities Minister, local authorities and IOM.
Zimbabwe's low lying areas were devastated by floods in 2008 with the Chipinge district particularly hard hit, leaving hundreds of families without homes, sources of livelihood or access to basic social services. Through an IOM rapid assessment conducted in the aftermath, shelter was identified as the most urgent humanitarian need in the affected communities. In response, local authorities allocated land for relocation purposes. Working in close collaboration with the Governmental Civil Protection Unit, IOM's Emergency Assistance Programme to Displaced Communities provided building materials and technical advice to support shelter reconstruction and new construction efforts for the vulnerable communities. Displaced families also participated in reconstruction efforts by mobilizing available material and providing labour.
"The 693 families benefiting from housing assistance in Chipinge represent a major step towards alleviating the housing need in the Chipinge province", says IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Marcelo Pisani.
Funded by the Dutch and Swedish Governments, and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) the project will ensure that flood affected communities are protected from environmental hazards and have access to social services lost during the disaster. In addition to carrying out shelter activities, IOM has assisted the displaced communities through HIV awareness and Gender Based Violence Prevention activities. IOM also assisted local District Environmental Health Technicians in containing a cholera outbreak by providing medical supplies and transport assistance for a comprehensive health assessment of the affected communities.
For more information please contact, Zuzana Jankechová, IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 335048. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By LloydMsipa send a private message
Harare : Zimbabwe | May 18, 2010
In a recent radio interview in Tanzania, the Deputy Prime minister Professor
Arthur MutambaraArthur Mutambara decried the mediocrity that characterizes
African politics in general and Zimbabwe in particular. His assessment of
the African political landscape could not have been far from the truth. In
fact this observation, I am convinced came in the back drop of the recently
held parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom. These elections ushered
in the youngest Prime minister in over two hundred years of British politics
David Cameron, the leader of the conservative party aged 43.
The elections as we are all aware were characterized by high levels of
polarity amongst the electorate following the expenses scandals that rocked
West minister. This scandals did not spare any of the political parties, be
it labour the conservatives or the liberal democrats. Of most importance to
the subject matter is that the elections resulted in a hang parliament, in
which none of the three major political parties managed to garner the 326
parliamentary seats required to form a majority government.
The result was the formation of a coalition government between the
conservatives and the liberal Democratic Party with David Cameron, the
leader of the conservatives becoming prime minister and Nick CleggNick Clegg
the leader of the liberal democrats taking up the position of the deputy
What is important to note from this is that, whilst the politicians were
bickering on who should form the next government; the civil service swiftly
moved in and facilitated high level negotiations between the three parties.
And forty eight hours later the country had a new government in place.
Now, if we drew a parallel with our own situation in Zimbabwe after the
March 2008 elections, it seems the Deputy Prime minister has made an
interesting observation that requires further interrogation. Our politics
are most definitely mediocre. They are characterized by politics of
personality and this engenders mediocre. The leader of the political party
is central to both government and civil institutions. There is no clear
demarcation between state institutions, political parties, civic
institutions in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean civil and political institutions need to be brought to life. And
the only way this can become a possibility is if there is a sudden avalanche
of new, young political players that enter mainstream politics.
Zimbabwean political parties across the political divide are bottled necked
at the top. The reason for this bottle neck is because there is no
sufficient movement at the bottom of all these political parties to unsettle
those at the top to move on. Politics does not attract many Zimbabweans
despite many having gone through programs in political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and elsewhere. This has resulted in the political
parties being identified with the leaders that have occupied that space for
many years. For example it is a truism that one can not imagine a ZANU PF
without President Robert MugabePresident Robert Mugabe. And equally true one
can not imagine an MDC without Morgan Tsvangirayi. To demonstrate the extent
of personality politics the latter is referred to as MDC-T. What does this
say about our politics? Can you imagine the labour being called New Labour-
G (Gordon BrownGordon Brown) our politics are dominated by personalities
instead of the political party as an institutions being stronger than the
Zimbabwe needs a new breed of politicians that will take Zimbabwe beyond the
politics of personalities. We need to usher in a new politics that is based
on institutions being stronger than the personalities that lead them. For
example, if Zimbabwe had strong institutions by way of the civil service,
the inconclusive election outcome of March 2008 would not have required
SADCC or the AU to settle the differences.
In the United Kingdom for instance power passed within labour, a political
party, from Tony BlairTony Blair to Gordon Brown. And when the labour party
got less votes in the recently held parliamentary elections, Gordon Brown,
the leader passively resisted to hand over power, the political institutions
moved in swiftly to usher him along. This only happened because the
mechanisms within the labour party to replace him were already in motion the
moment he lost the majority seats in the House of Commons to rival parties
as the leader of the party.
Even closer home, the Africa National Congress (ANC) party recalled a
sitting president from his position. This is the strength we need to
cultivate in the new political culture of Zimbabwe, strong institutions. The
need for new young players in Zimbabwean mainstream politics is a
prerequisite for this to happen. It is not possible for Zimbabweans to
expect the current crop of elderly politicians to do this, MDC, ZANU PF or
As young Zimbabweans we need to move beyond the politics of blame, excuses,
violence, fear and realizes that we are the masters of our destiny. We need
to move and take up the challenge of entering politics in our country.
Zimbabwe needs young and brilliant minds that will move swiftly to put in
place civil and political institutions that are independent of the various
political parties. This will make politics more attractive for future
generations to come. There are sufficient young and brilliant Zimbabwean
minds sitting both at home and in the Diaspora that need to make a conscious
decision to enter politics and become part of the solution.
The question we need to consciously ask ourselves is: How long can we rely
on external organizations and governments to help us govern our own country?
One can count the number of young politicians in Zimbabwean mainstream
politics in one hand as compared to the large number of geriatrics that
occupy the rest of mainstream politics. By entering mainstream politics in
large numbers we will nudge the old generation to move on. Large numbers of
young politicians will make it increasingly more difficult for our leaders
from yesterday to hang around longer than is necessary to do so. Power
struggles within political parties will fast become a thing of yesterday as
leaderships in political parties change hands more frequently.
The entry into mainstream politics by young Zimbabweans in large numbers
will transform our politics from mediocrity to excellence. As Hobbes once
said, “As in the case of all human dilemmas, the anger, heartache, and
despair is for the most part entirely too self-conscious. It is no one man's
responsibility to make the world safe for democracy, but everyone's to make
it safe for unself-conscious acts of compassion and charity. "Don't be
afraid," Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) said,” of doing good."
Lloyd Msipa is Lawyer writing from the United Kingdom. He can be contacted
145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website:
www.chra.co.zw CHRA conducts a clean-
up campaign in Mabvuku 18 May
2010 The residents of
Mabvuku-Tafara, in conjunction with CHRA and Lafarge Cement, conducted a
clean-up campaign in Mabvuku on Friday, the 14th of May 2010. The clean-up campaign was aimed at
removing the dumpsites that had sprouted at Kamunhu and Matongo Shopping
centres. The dumpsite at Matongo had actually been detected to contain the
typhoid bacteria. The campaign started
at 10 am with the CHRA CEO, Mr. F.B Mangodza, giving the welcoming remarks. Mr.
Mangodza told residents who had come to participate in the clean-up campaign
that CHRA is committed to serve the interests of residents and it was in that
context that the Association had mobilised resources together with other
stakeholders to conduct the campaign. Inspector Madzimure from the City of
Harare thanked CHRA, Lafarge and the residents for their commitment to keep the
suburb of Mabvuku-Tafara clean. He also said that the City of Harare would
continue to work together with residents so as to improve service delivery. A
representative from Lafarge encouraged residents to adopt good waste management
practices and avoid throwing litter everywhere. The clean-up campaign
saw the two dumpsites at Kamunhu shopping centre being cleared. About 75% of the
huge dumpsite at Matongo was cleared and the process took more than four hours.
The dumpsite could not be completely cleared due to time constraints. CHRA
intends to re-engage the dumpsite again so as to clear the place completely. The
Association also intends to engage the City of Harare to allow residents to use
the cleared space as a flea market so as to avoid the sprouting of another
dumpsite. CHRA is also in discussion with partners and stakeholders to
facilitate the purchase of rubbish bins that will then be placed at these
shopping centres for use by residents. CHRA remains committed
to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well as
lobbying for quality and affordable municipal services on a non partisan
145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website: www.chra.co.zw
CHRA conducts a clean- up campaign in Mabvuku
18 May 2010
The residents of Mabvuku-Tafara, in conjunction with CHRA and Lafarge Cement, conducted a clean-up campaign in Mabvuku on Friday, the 14th of May 2010. The clean-up campaign was aimed at removing the dumpsites that had sprouted at Kamunhu and Matongo Shopping centres. The dumpsite at Matongo had actually been detected to contain the typhoid bacteria.
The campaign started at 10 am with the CHRA CEO, Mr. F.B Mangodza, giving the welcoming remarks. Mr. Mangodza told residents who had come to participate in the clean-up campaign that CHRA is committed to serve the interests of residents and it was in that context that the Association had mobilised resources together with other stakeholders to conduct the campaign. Inspector Madzimure from the City of Harare thanked CHRA, Lafarge and the residents for their commitment to keep the suburb of Mabvuku-Tafara clean. He also said that the City of Harare would continue to work together with residents so as to improve service delivery. A representative from Lafarge encouraged residents to adopt good waste management practices and avoid throwing litter everywhere.
The clean-up campaign saw the two dumpsites at Kamunhu shopping centre being cleared. About 75% of the huge dumpsite at Matongo was cleared and the process took more than four hours. The dumpsite could not be completely cleared due to time constraints. CHRA intends to re-engage the dumpsite again so as to clear the place completely. The Association also intends to engage the City of Harare to allow residents to use the cleared space as a flea market so as to avoid the sprouting of another dumpsite. CHRA is also in discussion with partners and stakeholders to facilitate the purchase of rubbish bins that will then be placed at these shopping centres for use by residents.
CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well as lobbying for quality and affordable municipal services on a non partisan basis.
Zimbabwe is more than a year into dollarization and hyperinflation has receded in our memories to a distant nightmare. However, we are now faced with the daily displeasure of having to handle US$ notes that pass through thousands of unwashed hands, their designated value testing even those with 20/20 vision as it is so faded and their erstwhile crisp allure long gone. Sadly, although he would love to do so, Gono cannot print the US$ needed so Zimbabweans face major health risks when dealing in the grubby, infested cash.
The toll-takers on Zimbabwe's roads seem to have adopted a new policy for dealing with the cash health risks: no filthy, grimy, or faded dollar bills will be accepted!
I certainly sympathize with them. Confronted with a wad of disgusting notes, I'm feeling tempted to carry rubber gloves in my purse, or at least disinfectant wipes.
But what we really need is a proper cleaning service, a true money laundering service, that will clean up the muck that is the currency. After all, U.S. dollars are not made out of paper; they're recycled cotton and linen. So washing them really isn't such a mission: I tried it and it works!
So I'm planning on setting up a chain of shops - African Money Launders Ltd. - Cleaning Up Zimbabwe, One Note at a Time. For 5 percent of the value of the cash to be cleaned, we'd remove the worst of the grunge, on the spot. The least hygienic notes - the ones that have become redolent of the sweaty cleavage of an unwashed cross-border trader - will command double the fee. For the mafikozolos who need starched cash to match their crisp Mercedes, or the Sugar Daddy groupies who prefer their lucre soft, I'm planning to offer starch or fabric softener for a 1 percent surcharge.
Business will boom at my shops in urban areas, but I expect to make a killing with drive-up mini-branches by the nation's toll booths, offering emergency service for thwarted travellers, 24 hours at day.
Rather than run all the branches myself, I'm considering offering franchise possibilities. Who wants to open?
Only $5,000 - also payable in pula, rand, euro or pounds, but only crisp, new notes accepted, of course.
by Mutumwa Mawere Tuesday 18 May 2010
OPINION: In 1980, Howard Zinn, the late American historian and political
scientist, published a book entitled: A People's History of the United
States, in which he sought to present the American history through the eyes
of working people rather than that of political and economic elites.
He eloquently observed that: "The power of determined people armed with a
moral cause is, I believe, the ultimate power".
Most societies are pyramidal in power structure with a select few at the top
commanding a large number of underlings.
The majority is in the valley while a few whether in pre or post-colonial
Africa are at the top of the power ladder.
Many nation states exhibit the same power structures with the majority
feeling alienated from the political processes and decisions that are
critical in shaping their societies.
In any constitutional democratic order, it is rational to expect the
majority who after all are the authors and custodians of the power
structures that should prevail, to be in charge.
National democratic revolutions were waged precisely to assert the rights of
the majority to take charge and impact directly on their future.
Regrettably, the change of guard at independence did not produce the kind of
outcomes that were expected.
Whether it is Cuba, Haiti, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Brazil, or South Africa, for
example, the majority of the population feels powerless and alienated.
In post-colonial Africa, each year of the experience of independence
produces unacceptable outcomes and undermines the hope and expectation that
characterised the transitional phase from colonial to majority rule.
The only power that people who feel powerless is the power to organise and
yet this is where the challenge really lies.
As Zinn correctly observed, the ultimate power lies in the determination of
the powerless to make tomorrow a better and brighter day. It does not lie in
the benevolence of the rich or powerful.
Even where the majority has the freedom to speak through the ballot, rarely
do they actively participate in the process to ensure that the people who
govern them are accountable to them.
In the product and services market, the majority makes markets dynamic and
efficient but rarely do they organize as consumers to leverage on their
The people who acquire political power in democratic dispensations do so in
the name of the majority and yet when they assume office they often govern
in the interests of the few who have access with the majority playing a
The majority has the power to change governments and yet rarely to they
exercise the power vested in them instead they naively expect the economic
and political elites to surrender their personal interests in the national
In most developing countries it is not unusual to hear people in power
complaining at every opportunity granted and available about the economic
hegemony of foreigners.
Even the power with power often forget that the power they hold is
derivative and not absolute compelling them to act in the interests of the
people from whom they draw such power.
In any environment, if people with power fail to use it so that the people
who do not have it want it then surely it would be absurd to expect a
dynamic political power supply chain market.
How can people in power dream of being empowered when they have the power to
make a difference? Often the majority expects the minority to go out of
their way to commit class suicide so that they can be less economically and
politically powerful in the interests of national progress.
In countries like the United Arab Emirates, it has been shown that the
native minority can construct a social contract in which the minority
controls the majority without tinkering with the constitutional order.
In post-colonial Africa, the majority of the population is black and yet
people who would not want to call Africa home make key economic decisions
about the continent's future.
Some of the fundamental decisions about the continent's political and
economic health are made at conferences that are organised by people who
live and work outside the continent.
Rarely, are we able to convene our own indabas and workshops to debate about
the key nation building architectural issues.
How smart are the political processes that produce African leaders? The
promise of electoral power cannot be trusted to produce "smart and dynamic
leadership" that the majority yearns for.
Democracies and free markets claim to empower people by offering people
choices as voters and consumers and yet the countries that claim to be
politically and economically democratic have exposed their majority
inhabitants to a growing sense of powerlessness.
People make choices everyday and yet the majority of the people expect state
actors to make the decisions that they do not want to make themselves.
History has demonstrated in the words of Margaret Mead that a small group of
thoughtful and committed citizens has the power to change the world rather
than expecting change from the actions of a fragmented majority.
This is what Ms Mead had to say: "Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only
thing that ever has."
In the United Kingdom, we witnessed how the convoluted message from the
voters did manage to produce a coalition government that can pick from what
the Labor administration left.
If Gordon Brown were an African incumbent President, he would certainly have
argued that the results produced no winner and, therefore, could hardly be
considered as a marching order.
What was clear in the UK is that the message of change was as a clear as day
and night and the power of the people to speak was respected in the outcome.
We need to better understand the concept of powerlessness because this is a
necessary step towards better arming citizens to take charge of their
History is full of examples or ordinary people who started by networking and
connecting with like a like-minded circle of friends, neighbors, family and
even enemies to share concerns with a view to being part of a process to
make Africa the kind of society that we want to live in.
Powerlessness of the majority is nothing but a state of mind. Political
actors cannot be relied to help change the state of the mind. We all have a
part to play in the change agenda for the future lies in our hands. -
BILL WATCH 19/2010
[17th May 2010]
The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday 15th June
The House of Assembly has adjourned until Wednesday 30th June
State Appeal against Roy Bennett’s Acquittal
The law allows the State to appeal to the Supreme Court against Mr Bennett’s acquittal, but only if given permission to do so by a Supreme Court judge. The State has sought this permission and the defence has lodged notice of opposition. To get permission the State will have to satisfy the Supreme Court judge dealing with the application that it has a reasonable prospect of persuading the Supreme Court that the acquittal was wrong. Both sides must file heads of argument [their detailed written reasons] ahead of the hearing of the application. The judge will hear the application in chambers, which means that the hearing will not be open to the public. But both the State and defence lawyers will be there to present their arguments. The hearing is likely to be within the next two weeks, but the date has not yet been fixed. If an appeal is permitted, and if it succeeds, the Supreme Court could send the case back to Justice Bhunu to continue the trial or order a new trial before another judge.
Meanwhile, the acquittal stands and neither the present application, nor the lodging of an appeal if the application is granted, will legally curtail Mr Bennett’s liberty – he will not revert to being a person on trial and subject to bail conditions. However, when Mr Bennett went to the magistrates court in Mutare for the return of his bail money, surrendered title deeds and passport, he was told the passport had been taken by a prosecutor and could not be returned. Mr Bennett has still not got his passport back and it is most improper of the State to withhold it.
Note: On Monday 10th May Mr Bennett was acquitted of all charges the State had brought against him of possession of arms and incitement to insurgency, and walked out of the High Court a free man. The judge said the State had failed to establish any connection between Mr Bennett and the crimes the State had alleged. [Judgment available on request.] Initially the prosecution team indicated there would not be an appeal. But on Monday evening ZANU-PF Legal Affairs head Emmerson Mnangagwa [also Minister of Defence] told TV viewers that the acquittal was “appealable”. On Tuesday the AG’s spokesman said the State would seek permission from the Supreme Court to lodge an appeal. On Wednesday the State’s application for permission was lodged at the Supreme Court, and on Thursday the defence lodged notice of opposition.. [Copies of State notice of appeal and defence reply available on request.]
Does GPA Allow One Party to Refuse Nominee for Deputy Minister Post?
In the wake of Mr Bennett’s acquittal prominent ZANU-PF members were quick to assert that, notwithstanding his acquittal, Mr Bennett “just can’t” and never will be sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, the post for which he was nominated by MDC-T over a year ago. They claim that Mr Bennett’s pre-Independence service with the Rhodesian forces, and the fact he was a white farmer, preclude his appointment. MDC-T has insisted that Mr Bennett’s nomination stands. And the Prime Minister has pointed out that under the GPA neither the President nor his party can veto Mr Bennett’s appointment. The Prime Minister is right. Article 20 of the GPA states that the President “formally” appoints Ministers and Deputy Ministers nominated by each of the GPA parties [20.1.3.(k) and 20.1.6.(5)]. Constitution Amendment No. 19 made Article 20 part of the Constitution; the Article appears in Schedule 8 to the Constitution, which starts with a statement that, during the subsistence of the GPA, Article 20 “shall prevail notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution”. So Article 20 overrides any discretion the President might ordinarily have in such matters. The President cannot reject MDC-T’s nomination of Mr Bennett; he must appoint him.
Law or Misuse of Political Powers?
The continued dragging on of the Bennett case – started in February 2009 and still going despite the acquittal – creates the impression that it has more to do with politics than its legal merits. In law there is a totally clear-cut principle that a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty in court. Nevertheless this universal legal principle has been ignored by the President or his advisors, who are also ignoring precedents both in the inclusive government and also in prior ZANU-PF governments. It is unfortunate that there also seems to be a campaign of disinformation directed against Mr Bennett in an attempt to cloud what is a clear-cut legal issue.
Misinformation: The State press is now downplaying the significance of the legal proceedings [in anticipation of the appeal failing?] and building up an overblown political case against Mr Bennett’s appointment as Deputy Minister of Agriculture by misrepresenting his past [replete with references to the Selous Scouts and “hands dripping with blood”]. The facts briefly are that as a school-leaver in the then Rhodesia all Mr Bennett wanted was to go to agricultural college, but he was called up for compulsory national service and rather than serve in the defence forces he asked to serve in the police instead, which he did from 1974 to 1978. He was then free to go to agricultural college. After Independence he was in fact asked by the people of Chimanimani, where he was farming, to represent them as a ZANU-PF candidate and was at that time willing to do so to serve his country. But he did not make it through the party primary elections. Later, after MDC was formed, he exercised the right of every citizen, enshrined in the Constitution, to join the political party of his choice.
Precedents: Precedents argue against the refusal to appoint Mr Bennett. Other Ministers in the Inclusive Government were appointed and sworn in last year despite having serious criminal charges pending. Going further back, ZANU-PF Ministers actually found guilty by the Electoral Court of involvement in election violence in 2000 were permitted to retain their Ministerial posts and managed to keep their seats in Parliament by noting appeals, which were never heard. Even further back, after Independence several former Rhodesian Front Cabinet Ministers were appointed to key Ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture. And as even some prominent ZANU-PF political and business figures have a “Rhodesian past”, it is invidious to single out Mr Bennett. The political attack on one of MDC-T’s nominees and refusal to swear him has no basis in law, facts or precedent and it is breaking not only the letter but the spirit of the GPA and is discrediting the “rebranding of Zimbabwe”.
Defence Lawyer Honoured by American Bar Association
Senator Bennett’s lead defence lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, is to receive the American Bar Association’s 2010 International Human Rights Award for her “extraordinary contributions to the cause of human rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of access to justice in Zimbabwe”. The award will be presented at a ceremony in San Francisco in August.
Perception of Rule of Law Observance Vital to Investment
Direct foreign investment in Zimbabwe is essential for the development of the economy. Serious investors seek assurances that they will be investing in a country where the rule of law will be observed by the government and the courts are truly independent. The potential benefits from the Bennett acquittal may have been wiped out by the disappointing post-acquittal developments. Mrs Mtetwa and other Zimbabwean human rights defenders may have many battles still to fight.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.