Sources said Home Affairs Co-Ministers Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi
agreed last week to ban protests during the forthcoming World Cup in South
Africa, and issued a directive to senior police officials to that effect
Jonga Kandemiiri & Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 19 May 2010
Zimbabwean Co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa on Wednesday denied
reports that his ministry has moved to ban demonstrations and protests until
after the World Cup of soccer in South Africa is over.
The Zimbabwe Standard weekly reported that authorities were moving to ban
protests to prevent adverse publicity at a time when attention would be
focused on Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, as a tourist destination.
The paper quoted Mutsekwa as saying that the decision was part of a strategy
to "rebrand" Zimbabwe.
Sources said Mutsekwa and Co-Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi agreed
last week to ban any protests during the World Cup. But Mutsekwa was later
sharply criticized by colleagues in the Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for his association with the
Reached for comment, Mohadi responded that he does not speak with VOA Studio
7 which officials of his ZANU-PF party often describe as a "pirate" radio
station broadcasting from outside Zimbabwe's borders.
The Zimbabwean newspaper reported that the Zimbabwe Republic Police
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri had already informed senior officers
that they should not allow demonstrations in their areas as of June 1.
Police sources confirmed they have received circulars informing them about
the ministerial directive.
Civic organizations condemned the move by authorities to ban protests during
the World Cup period. Media reports quoted a senior South African official
as saying Pretoria would ban protests during the World Cup.
Home Affairs Co-Minister Mutsekwa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that the government has no right to stop citizens exercising
their rights, dismissing reports that he supported such a ban.
Meanwhile, police on Wednesday arrested the president of a faction of the
Zimbabwe National Students Union and two other union activists, accusing
them of trying to incite University of Zimbabwe students to violence.
Tafadzwa Mugwadi, president of the ZINASU faction, and the two others were
arrested after they held meetings with students on the campus urging them to
resist high tuition fees. Students have long protested unaffordable fees.
This week they were upset at reports the university is issuing new identity
cards only to those who have paid fees.
Student sources said the two were being held at the Avondale police station.
Spokesman Kudakwashe Chakabva of the ZINASU formation told reporter
Ntungamili Nkomo that the three activists had been beaten by police and were
still in custody.
|Written by Gift Phiri|
|Thursday, 20 May 2010 02:17|
|EPWORTH - The violence of Zimbabwe's politics have now
touched even this tiny, rural hamlet, leaving behind a badly injured and
shattered woman - her life changed in one night. (Pictured: Attacked by Zanu youths, Abigail
Bamhare was rushed to hospital after being beaten and hit with stones.)
A group of supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) suddenly arrived at the dusty cluster of mud and log huts, dragged out Abigail Bamhare and almost beat her to death.
"I was preparing to go to the shops to buy vegetables when six Zanu youths led by a Zanu official said 'nhasi tazokuwana' (we have finally met)," a tearful Bamhare related. "They lifted a big stone and crushed my back and shoulder."
She said her mouth was slashed with a sharp object. The sight of so much blood sent the youths fleeing from the scene of the attack.
The group of men then went to a nearby hut and attacked another victim suspected of supporting the MDC.
Neighbours rushed Bamhare to hospital where she had to have 11 stitches and treatment for other serious injuries. She reported the case to police.
No-one came to help the woman as she was beaten; most men were away and the women and children in the hamlet were cowering in their huts, listening to the cries and thuds.
Bamhare's 'crime' was signing up to support Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party in general elections way back in 2008.
Dozens here in Epworth have been savagely beaten, many raped and others forced to flee their homes in a tide of low-key violence that continues right now under the watch of Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi.
And now with public hearings on a new constitution set to resume early next month, the situation has become dangerous.
Bamhare spoke to The Zimbabwean as her relatives, huddled together in front of her hut, burst into weeping and keening.
Inside the dusty compound are a cluster of low, thatched mud and log huts with wood cooking fires permanently smouldering outside and blackened pots and pans lying to dry in the warm winter sunshine.
A few dogs lounge around watching disinterestedly as scrawny chickens and young children meander around among the structures. Raised platforms contain quantities of maize - well out of the reach of domestic animals and rodents.
The women are all at work in the fields, tending to the crops of maize, pumpkin and sunflower, and the boys are with the livestock.
Apart from Wilson Mushaya, who lives in an adjacent compound, not one man is to be seen. Most find what work they can in the towns, coming home occasionally to bring food and money.
Bamhare said she had been forced to stop tending to her garden, her only source of livelihood after the vicious attack.
By Alex Bell & Lionel Saungweme
20 May 2010
A farmer from Inyathi was released from police custody on Thursday, after
spending two nights behind bars in what is being described as a deliberate
drive to force his farming partner to give up his land.
Ernest Nyoni was arrested on Tuesday night and charged with 'contravening'
the Gazetted Lands (Consequential Provisions) Act by not leaving the farm he
co-owns with farmer Glen James. He was only released after his lawyer argued
that the farm, Robert Block 14, is not wholly owned by Nyoni, who was being
charged in his personal capacity.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme explained that the charges
could not stick because Nyoni was being charged individually, leading to his
release on Thursday. But Saungweme said that the arrest is an "intimidatory
tactic", used to try and force both James and Nyoni to hand over their
property. James has since last year battled threats and harassment from land
invaders working for Bulawayo High Court Judge, Misheck Cheda, who was
allocated the farm under the land 'reform' programme.
Cheda has been trying to force James to leave the farm since August last
year and the Judge's hired thugs have been using government equipment,
including tractors and weapons, to plunder the land and stop farming there.
The thugs, believed to be CIO operatives, have caused a number of
disturbances on the farm since last year, including firing shots at James'
Inyathi residents have previously rallied behind James, who is a popular and
respected farmer in the area. Last year the residents resolved to support
James, by writing a petition to the Minister of Lands and Land Resettlement,
the district administrator and Judge Cheda himself. The petition, signed by
the community, called on the officials to withdraw the 'offer letters'
against James, calling him "an integral part of the community."
James had been trying to seek legal protection against Judge Cheda, and the
farmer, technically, already has the law on his side. In Inyathi, a local
Lands Act prevents farms of less than 1000 hectares in size from being
considered for forced acquisition. James' 608 hectare farm falls into this
category, and by law cannot be acquired for 'resettlement' or 'land reform'.
Countries represented in the Bulawayo conference on Zambezi River management
include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia
Sithandekile Mhlanga | Washington 19 May 2010
Water resource Ministers from Southern African countries through which the
Zambezi River flows gathered Wednesday in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, for a summit
to begin on Thursday during which they are expected to establish the Zambezi
Watercourse Commission governing how water from the river is used by member
Countries represented include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Delegates have been meeting
with stakeholders since Monday to prepare the conference, sources said.
Zimbabwean Water Minister Samuel Siphepha Nkomo told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Sithandekile Mhlanga that the meeting addresses water issues at the level of
the Southern African Development Community.
The business community and the MDC have proposed that the requirement for a
51 percent indigenous stake in all companies be replaced with a level of
participation determined on a sector by sector basis
Gibbs Dube & Blessing Zulu | Washington 19 May 2010
The Zimbabwean Cabinet on Wednesday put off discussion of the controversial
indigenization program for a week as it became clear that President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai remain divided over implementation of black empowerment
Sources informed on the session said ministers were being given time to
consult further before opening debate on the potentially divisive economic
issue which has major political implications.
Despite the Cabinet stalemate, sources said indigenization regulations are
to be revised such that companies will sell shares to black Zimbabwean
investors rather than ceding them as indicated in previously gazetted
The business community and the MDC have proposed that the requirement for a
51 percent indigenous stake in all companies be replaced with a level of
participation determined on a sector by sector basis.
Sources said the government is likely to adopt such guidelines. But a
ZANU-PF proposal to impose a levy on companies to fund indigenous
acquisition of equity is creating further divisions, they said.
Chamber of Mines President Victor Gapare said Wednesday that the sector
believes a 15 percent stake for indigenous investors is the maximum level of
equity transfer that is acceptable.
Gapare said that in lieu of transferring a 51 percent stake to indigenous
investors by whatever means, mining concerns will expand community programs
including the construction of schools and hospitals.
Parliamentary Legal Committee Chairman Obert Gutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Gibbs Dube that it is likely to take will take time for new indigenization
regulations to be agreed upon and published as ZANU-PF sees the black
empowerment program as a potent campaign issue in the next general election,
not yet scheduled.
"They are using the whole black empowerment concept in preparation for the
forthcoming election and I do not see ZANU-PF relenting to the extent of
wanting to withdraw the regulations," Gutu said.
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer John Mufukari
told reporter Blessing Zulu that his group would welcome revised
The panel came under fire this week for engaging former Media and
Information Commission Chairman Tafataona Mahoso as its chief executive
officer along with the staff of his now-defunct commission
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 19 May 2010
The recently constituted Zimbabwe Media Commission will hold its first
"strategic" meeting next week following which it is expected to step up
reform of the sector by issuing licenses for newspapers to launch or resume
Media sources said that although there are some differences among commission
members on various issues, it is almost certain licenses will be given out
next week following the commission's call for applications from interested
The panel came under fire this week for engaging former Media and
Information Commission Chairman Tafataona Mahoso as its chief executive
officer along with the staff of his now-defunct commission.
But Media Commission Member Matthew Takaona, a former president of the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that
journalists should give the commission time to put reforms in place.
Deputy Chairman Njabulo Ncube of the Media Institute of Southern Africa told
reporter Brenda Moyo that while many journalists were baffled by Mahoso's
return, the commission appears to be moving in the right direction.
Thu May 20, 2010 8:38am GMT
* Refinery would be Zimbabwe's first
* Says $500 mln expansion going ahead despite uncertainty
* Planned underground mine has 2 mln T pa ore capacity
By Nelson Banya
HARARE, May 20 (Reuters) - Impala Platinum's (IMPJ.J: Quote) Zimbabwe unit
Zimplats Holdings (ZIM.AX: Quote) is considering setting up a metals
refinery in the country, where its plans a $500 million mine expansion, the
firm said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe has the world's second-largest platinum reserves after South
Africa, but has no metals refinery.
Zimplats, which is majority owned by South Africa's Implats, the world's
second-ranked platinum producer, said it was committed to Zimbabwe despite
uncertainty brought about by Zimbabwe's plan to transfer majority ownership
in foreign firms to local people, including mines. [ID:nLDE63C2E0]
"Zimplats remains fully committed to the development of its resource base
for the benefit of the country and all its stakeholders," the company said
in a statement.
"In addition, Zimplats is also considering large-scale investment that will
result in the establishment of refinery facilities in the country."
The empowerment law, passed in 2007 by President Robert Mugabe's government,
seeks to transfer majority shareholding in foreign firms, including mines
and banks, to local blacks.
However, sharp divisions have emerged in a power-sharing government Mugabe
set up last year with long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now prime
Tsvangirai opposes the law, which he says scares away investors and
threatens the economy's fragile recovery.
Zimplats said reports suggesting it had put its $500 million Ngezi phase 2
expansion project on hold due to the empowerment laws were "erroneous."
The company said the expansion will add 2 million tonnes per year to its
Zimplats said it was yet to conclude funding arrangements for the project,
adding that some mandatory government approvals had not yet been secured.
"The company is going ahead with the Ngezi phase 2 expansion project based
on existing agreements with the government, some elements of which are
subject of ongoing discussions," Zimplats said.
The expansion of the mine will lift annual platinum output to 270,000 ounces
from 180,000 ounces, Zimplats has said.
Zimplats said the Ngezi phase 2 project would bring the company's total
investment in the country to over $1 billion, the largest in Zimbabwe's
The project would also create 1,000 new jobs and see the construction of
roads, schools and medical facilities, social investments that the
government has said would earn firms empowerment credits.
World number 1 platinum producer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) (AMSJ.J: Quote)
and Aquarius (AQP.AX: Quote) also have mines in Zimbabwe. Angloplat is
developing the Unki mine, which is due to start producing some 60,000
platinum ounces a year as from 2011.
Published: May 20, 2010
Shamva - Members of the CIO and ZANU-PF top brass are instructing local traditional leaders to bar meetings organised by the Civic society and Non Governmental Organisations, in Mashonaland Central Province, the traditional leaders have said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition through it mouth piece the Catalyst of 17 May reports that traditional leaders in Shamva approached them and demanded clearance letters for the CIO and ZANU-PF top officials.
"Five headmen, attempted to stop the theatre performance we were holding at Chakonda shopping centre urging that it was not sanctioned and were not aware of the Coalition's political affiliation and thus needed authority from ZANU-PF structures and the President's office to encourage villagers to attend the meeting.
The five however failed to stop the meeting because we had a police clearance, "the human Rights watchdog said.
The theatre forum discussion are some of the meetings organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition under the voice up constitutional campaign aimed at provoking debate and discussion among communities on the constitutional reform process.
Chakonda villagers said headmen and known ZANU-Pf militia continue to intimidate them, threatening them with unspecified actions if they continue to attend NGO meetings. They said they were living in fear adding that the military should not interfere with the constitution making process. There are several reports coming from the same province of the re-ignition of torture camps. In 2008 during the controversial Presidential runoff elections ZANU-PF used state security agents, youth militia and uniformed personnel to intimidate the electorate forcing them to vote for ZANU-PF presidential candidate Robert Mugabe
By Alex Bell
20 May 2010
Concern has been expressed over the increasing range of the state
broadcaster after new transmitters were installed last week, bringing radio
broadcasts to communities who usually don't have access.
The TransMedia Corporation, a branch of the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings, installed transmitters last week in an effort to increase the
broadcast range to communities such as Beitbridge, Plumtree, Mudzi and St
Albert in Mt Darwin. Since independence these areas have never no access to
ZBC radio broadcasts, a situation that the Finance Ministry asked TransMedia
to rectify, and gave them US$800,000 for the task.
The placement of new transmitters is now being heralded as a welcome change
to Zimbabwe's media space, with communities receiving ZBC radio broadcasts
via FM for the first time in 30 years. However, many observers have
expressed concern. They've argued that the transmitters will only be
extending the influence of the state broadcaster and give more strength to
ZANU PF's voice of propaganda.
Loughty Dube, the chairman of the Zimbabwe branch of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA), told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that it was a
welcome development for Zimbabwe, but he questioned whether access to ZBC
broadcasts would have much impact. Dube said that listeners will likely
still prefer broadcasts they can pick up from neighbouring countries, over
those supplied by ZBC.
"I think, 11 months down the line, we need to see what residents in these
areas really think," Dube explained. "Will they still be excited? Or will
they still choose to listen to other broadcasts?"
Dube also questioned whether the transmitters are a form of real change,
arguing that "giving people more of the same is not change at all, it's just
increasing what they don't want."
"What people want is diversity, choice and access to quality, diverse
content. So extending ZBC broadcasts is not the change to the media space
that people were hoping for," Dube said.
By Tichaona Sibanda
20 May 2010
Local government Minister Ignatius Chombo has suspended the MDC Mayor of
Bindura, Daniso Wakatama, accusing him of allegedly flouting tender
Wakatama was suspended together with two councilors, Christopher Mazembe and
Rindai Muchemwa. They received their suspension letters from Chombo on
Monday this week.
MDC councilor and the party's chief whip in council, Elizabeth Mafios, told
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that charges against the mayor and the two
councilors were trumped-up.
Mafios explained that Bindura council bought three vehicles; a refuse
tractor, an ambulance and a pick up truck for engineering services after
consulting and getting advice from council managers.
'The mayor did not just wake up with an idea to buy these trucks. He was
advised by managers, who are apparently all ZANU PF sympathizers, to buy the
vehicles for council use. When we came in, there was no refuse truck, in
fact the previous council had stripped most departments of assets, including
vehicles,' Mafios said.
She added; 'We agreed as council to improve service delivery in Bindura and
this is what we get in return. We will use all our resources as a party to
fight the charges.'
Apparently, the mayor and the two councilors are in police custody after
authorities accused them of flouting their bail conditions. Wakatama,
Mazembe and Muchemwa were initially arrested last month, but were each given
Their court case has been set for next week. However the MDC views their
incarceration by the police as part of a plot hatched by ZANU PF to
discredit the trio and the good work the party is doing in Bindura.
'We have done a lot for the town since we won all the 12 wards in the last
elections. ZANU PF is jealous at the fact that we've managed to bring back
some sanity into the town as far as service delivery is concerned,' Mafios
Last month, Chombo was named in a report compiled by Harare city councilors,
linking him to businessman Phillip Chiyangwa over corrupt land deals.
The councilors' 54-page report entitled 'Special Investigations Committee's
Report on City of Harare's Land Sales, Leases and Exchanges; From the Period
October 2004 to December 2009' accuses Chombo of irregularly allocating
himself 20 hectares of land, and dozens of houses and stands.
By Lance Guma
20 May 2010
The father of an MDC activist murdered last year by ZANU PF youths has
refused to carry out any burial, until the killers have owned up and
explained their motives. The body of Moses Chokuda has been lying at Gokwe
Hospital mortuary for over a year while his father, Tavengwa Chokuda, vows
the family will not be bullied by the police into any burial ceremony. The
MDC Changing Times newsletter quotes Chokuda saying he wants a ‘clear
explanation’ from his son’s murderers.
Implicated in the murder are two known ZANU PF youths, Isaac Gana and Farai
Machaya, the son of Midlands governor and senior party stalwart Jason
Machaya. Gana is the ZANU PF district coordinating committee chairman for
Gokwe. Details of the case are that Machaya and Gana diverted foodstuffs and
wheelchairs donated by First Lady Grace Mugabe and put them in their shop
for sale. When several members of the community, including Chokuda,
protested the dispute escalated.
Machaya and Gaya used a vehicle with a ZANU PF logo to abduct Chokuda from
the Masakadza Business Centre in March last year. They accused him of
breaking into their shop and stealing the donated goods, even though they
never filed a police report. Chokuda was never to be seen alive again.
Despite the two youths being arrested they are out of remand prison on bail.
The Midlands governor meanwhile is using his political connections to block
police investigations and save his son from prosecution.
Chokuda’s father has already invited the governor and other ZANU PF
officials to resolve the matter, but they have continued to snub him.
Several ZANU PF officials have complained that the case is tarnishing their
reputation in the area, but Machaya insists the matter is already before the
courts. This is despite clear evidence the police have been instructed to
sit on the case and not probe further and the fact that no trial dates have
In March this year there were stories steeped in superstition suggesting
Chokuda’s ghost was stalking the area around the mortuary. Most villagers in
rural communities believe in the vengeful spirit of the dead, known as
Ngozi, and it was believed Chokuda was exacting revenge and punishing the
families of the people who murdered him. The Chokuda family is said to want
a confession and the performing of traditional rites to appease the spirits.
In March Chokuda’s father told the weekly Standard newspaper; ‘They tried to
send a councillor and two other people to secretly remove the body from the
mortuary, but when they got there, they found my dead son sitting on top of
his metal coffin. They have tried to exorcise the avenging spirit by
enlisting the services of different traditional healers, but all this has
Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also ZANU-PF legal secretary,
was quoted by a party publication as dismissing MDC accusations ZANU-PF is
working in league with Tomana to bar Bennett's Cabinet appointment
Blessing Zulu & Patience Rusere | Washington 19 May 2010
The main partners in Zimbabwe's national unity government - the Movement for
Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF - continue to trade barbs over the legal
position of Tsvangirai aide Roy Bennett amid fears that his case could
become stalled in the Supreme Court.
A Harare High Court judge last week declared Bennett innocent of charges he
conspired in 2006 to assassinate Mr. Mugabe and overthrow his government,
but Attorney General Johannes Tomana's office has indicated its intention to
appeal that judgment. The MDC in turn has accused ZANU-PF of judicially
persecuting Bennett, demanding that Mr. Mugabe swear him in as deputy
minister of agriculture after 15 months of delay due to the treason charges.
But Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also ZANU-PF legal secretary
was quoted in a party publication as dismissing accusations ZANU-PF is
working in league with Tomana to bar Bennett's appointment.
"As a Party we respect the independence of the judiciary and in any case,
the matter before the courts is between the State and Bennett," Mnangagwa
was quoted as saying by The People's Voice.
Bennett lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the Supreme Court has not responded to
the notice of intention to appeal filed by the state or the statement
opposition filed by her legal team on behalf of its client. The legal and
parliamentary affairs group Veritas said in an advisory circulated this week
that the hearing could take place within two weeks.
If an appeal is allowed and it is successful, "the Supreme Court could send
the case back to [High court] Justice Bhunu to continue the trial or order a
new trial before another judge," the Veritas note said.
Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku, also chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that the state's appeal will not be granted automatically.
Meanwhile, the Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition says violence continues to occur
around the country against members of the MDC, while liberation war veterans
and militant ZANU-PF supporters are intimidating and pressuring citizens to
support the so-called Kariba Draft of the constitution as the basis for a
revised basic document.
The civil society umbrella group said MDC supporter Abigail Bamhare was
beaten by ZANU-PF youths in the Harare suburb of Epworth early this month,
while in Gwanda, Matabeleland North, a municipal housing director by the
name of Mdlongwa was assaulted by ZANU-PF youth last month for allegedly
insulting President Mugabe.
The Crisis Coalition has been holding meetings on the new constitution
around the country. It says war veterans and ZANU-PF youth are threatening
people if they do not endorse the Kariba Draft constitution which ZANU-PF
Crisis Coalition Programs Manager Pedzisayi Ruhanya told VOA Studio 7
reporter Patience Rusere that although the violence is nowhere near levels
seen after the 2008 elections, the situation could deteriorate if nothing is
Harare, May 20, 2010 - Dr Simba Makoni, interim leader of the newly launched
Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn political movement has called for massive demonstrations
similar to Red Shirt protests in Thailand against the Zimbabwe Inclusive
government, which he said had failed.
"We are very powerful if we mobilise ourselves into action. Some would say
'oh what can we do, kunema blackboots, kunemawater cannons, kunema militia'.
(Oh what can we do, because the militia will descend upon us using
blackboots and water canons) ," he said. "Oh yes, every good thing does not
come easy, (Chinonaka chinodura). We can't expect the good life to come on
its own. There is a lot that we can do as individuals, as groups, as
journalists, as engineers but more importantly as citizens, we can organise
"Look at the Red Shirts in Bangkok. Isn't it uplifting to see the power of
The Red Shirt protesters started demonstrating in mid-March, demanding that
the government step down and new elections be held. More than 70 people have
been killed and nearly 2,000 wounded since then.
Makoni was addressing journalists at their regular drinking hole in Harare,
the Quill Club on Wednesday evening.
He said the one year old government had failed to uplift the people's lives
and eradicate political violence.
He accused the leaders of the fragile coalition of preoccupying themselves
with accumulating material wealth at the expense of the masses.
"People are the stage of despair that we were in towards the end of 2007,"
said the former Finance minister. "People feel hopeless and helpless about
the condition in which we find ourselves. Quite often people say there is
nothing we can do about it. Some call for divine intervention."
Makoni, who came a distant third in the four man race for presidency March
2008, particularly criticised the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which he said, had failed to address
the plight of the people but preoccupied itself with fighting for positions
for its officials.
"It's all about power and positions for themselves. There is nothing in
there for you and I," he said.
Makoni said Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, leader of
the smaller MDC, should exert their energies on calling for fresh elections,
which he said would put to rest Zimbabwe's protracted political logjam.
"This country needs early elections so that we can have an effective
leadership that draws its mandate from the people of Zimbabwe, not from long
sleeves and short sleeves (violence)," he said.
He however said MDC ministers who "were enjoying the trappings of power"
would not want to see an early election as they were not guaranteed of
retaining their positions.
"If Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara cannot
make any other contribution to the condition of life of Zimbabweans, they
should invest all the energy and the effort they have for Zimbabwe to go
back to the people soonest so that Zimbabweans can mandate those people that
they believe can serve them, not those who want to be served by the people."
Makoni affirmed his readiness to take part in the next elections.
Makoni also criticised Tsvangirai, who superintends over government
business, for failing to stop the abuse of public funds through endless
globe trotting by government officials and also failing to influence the
scraping of repressive legislation used to harass citizens by the Robert
He also said the inclusive government should abandon the current
constitution making process and opt for the 1999 draft constitution which
was rejected at a referendum in February 2000 after fierce campaigning by
MDC and the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
He said the 1999 constitution can pass with minor amendments with the help
of MDC which led to its rejection.
LYONS, France, May 20, 2010 (ENS) - A six-nation wildlife crime crackdown
across southern Africa has resulted in the seizure of nearly 400 kilos (882
pounds) of elephant ivory and rhino horn with a market value of more than
US$1 million, the location and closure of an illegal ivory factory, and the
arrests of 41 people.
Co-ordinated by INTERPOL and codenamed Mogatle, the two-day operation on May
13 and 14 involved agencies across six countries � Botswana, Namibia, South
Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nearly 200 officers from police, national wildlife, customs and national
intelligence agencies carried out inspections and raids on markets and
Checks were made on suspect vehicles at border crossing points. For the
first time in a wildlife crime operation, sniffer dogs provided by South
African and Swaziland police were used at check points at the
"The success of Operation Mogatle is not only in relation to the seizures
and arrests which have been made, but is a demonstration of the commitment
of national and international law enforcement and other involved agencies to
working together to combat wildlife crime," said Peter Younger, manager of
INTERPOL's Africa wildlife crime program known as OASIS, for Operational
Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support.
"Taking these illegal items off the market is just the first step," said
Younger. "Information gathered as part of this operation will also enable
law enforcement, both in Africa and abroad, to identify smuggling routes and
eventually to further arrests of other individuals involved in these
"The impact of wildlife crime is wide ranging. People are threatened with
violence, law enforcement officers have been killed while carrying out their
duties, and there is the wider economic impact on a country and therefore
the livelihoods of ordinary people," Younger said.
Supported by INTERPOL's national central bureaus and the regional bureau in
Harare, Zimbabwe, Operation Mogatle was co-ordinated by INTERPOL's OASIS
Africa initiative, which is funded by the German federal government.
Additional support and funding was provided for the operation by the Humane
Society of Canada and the Born Free Foundation.
INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization, with 187
member nations. Created in 1923, and headquartered in Lyons, France, the
agency facilitates cross-border police cooperation, and supports and assists
all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or
combat international crime.
INTERPOL's OASIS program helps countries in Africa develop a global and
integrated approach to fighting wildlife crime by building operational
capacities for policing in the region and enhancing the ability of INTERPOL
member countries to tackle crime threats nationally, regionally and
Operation Mogatle is named in honor of the late Professor Keitirangi
Mogatle, assistant director of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and
National Parks and principal motivator behind effective wildlife law
enforcement in Botswana. It was the third multi-agency wildlife operation
coordinated by INTERPOL.
The first, Operation Baba in November 2008, was named to honor the memory of
Gilbert Baba, a Ghana Wildlife Department ranger who was murdered by illegal
wildlife dealers a decade ago. It resulted in the arrests of nearly 60
people and the seizure of one ton of illegal elephant ivory following
coordinated actions in Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.
The second, Operation Costa in November 2009, was named in honor of
Constantius 'Costa' Aloysius Mlay, the former director of the Wildlife
Division of the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. The
operation took place across Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and
Uganda, and led to the arrest of more than 100 people and the recovery of
1.5 tons of ivory and hundreds of other illegal wildlife items.
"You are sometimes forced to rush through the assignment and in the process make silly mistakes because someone is waiting to take her turn using the same textbook," she told IRIN.
Zimbabwe's ailing education system, once a model for sub-Saharan Africa, buckled under the economic and political crises of the past decade, when widespread food shortages, hyperinflation, cholera outbreaks and an almost year-long strike by teachers in 2008 led to a dramatic decline in the standard of learning and the near total collapse of the system.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) noted that public financing of the sector had also fallen significantly, leaving most schools with no funds to purchase even the most basic teaching materials like books and stationery. "We have to make do with what is available because the school cannot provide enough textbooks," Nyoni said.
In January 2010 the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture put the ratio of text books to pupils at about one to 10, but teachers in the capital, Harare, have reported instances of 40 pupils sharing one text book at some schools.
"It is difficult to teach and motivate pupils when a whole class has to share five textbooks," said Aquillina Dhliwayo, the accounts teacher at Luveve High. The school devised a scheme in which pupils living in the same neighbourhood were put into clusters so they could share textbooks more easily.
However, juggling textbooks and homework might soon come to an end. UNICEF has provided over US$50 million, with which David Coltart, the Education Sport and Culture Minister, said his ministry aimed to improve the pupil-textbook ratio to 1:1 by the end of the year.
"The teams will have to meet teachers, parents, and members of the school development association to hear their concerns on issues affecting education delivery," Coltart told IRIN. "We hope to complete the task by the end of June."
Written by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
Thursday, 20 May 2010 08:28
Corruption at ZESA has become endemic to the extent that the parastatal
should be targeted for institutional reform, residents have said. Making
contributions at a meeting organized by the association at Waterford (ward
4), residents indicated that ZESA officials were soliciting for bribes to
attend to faults. They indicated that some areas, like Locke View, have gone
without electricity for more than two months because residents refused to
bribe ZESA officials or contribute money to buy fuel for these officials.
Residents agreed that parastatals were not adding value to their lives and
there was need for a monitoring mechanism that will provide checks and
balances for officials in parastatals. This move would curb corruption and
make sure that parastatal leaders who are paid fortunes deliver services and
are accountable to the residents, the consumers.
Residents reject special interest councilors again
Residents in Nketa 9 (ward 25) have told the Mayor of the City of Bulawayo,
Cllr Thaba Moyo that they will not recognize any special interest councilors
imposed to the city of Bulawayo. At a meeting to provide a platform for
engagement between the residents and the Mayor organized by the Bulawayo
Progressive Residents Association, residents indicated to the Mayor that if
the same partisan councilors announced in 2008 by Minister Chombo are forced
into the council chambers, residents will resort to legal action against the
minister. They have highlighted that special interest councilors should
either posses special skills needed by the local authority or should
represent special interest groups like people living with disabilities,
youths and women. Minister Chombo announced a team of special interest
councilors made up of losing Zanu PF councilors.
Minister Chombo's insincerity irks residents
Residents have dismissed the suspension of Bindura Mayor and councilors over
allegations of corruption as a damp squib. The move by the residents comes
after Minister Chombo failed to take action against the Chitungwiza council
apparently because he is benefitting or has benefitted from their
corruption. Residents urge Minister Chombo to act above board by dealing
objectively with all local authorities and in consultation with the
residents. The move by the Minister is in bad taste to the residents
especially after the exposure of his many properties he accrued
clandestinely throughout the country.
City Council should clean up mess at Hlalani Kuhle
Residents in Bulawayo have asked the local authority to intervene in solving
the looming disaster at Cowdray Park - Hlalani Kuhle Project. The move by
residents comes after the government has failed to provide resources for
sewer and water reticulation at Cowdray Park. The Hlalani Kuhle Project that
was meant for the victims of the chaotic and ill advised operation
Murambatsvina only benefitted a few poor people and the beneficiaries have
since been asked to pay for their sewer and water reticulation. Residents
have indicated that only the local authority with its history of service
delivery can be in a position to provide sewer and water to the residents as
a way of ameliorating their plights.
To commemorate this year's World Environment Day, BPRA will host a clean-up
campaign in collaboration with other organisations operating in the city.
The campaign will run under the theme Many People, One Future, One Bulawayo.
Keep Bulawayo Clean! The clean-up will be held on Saturday 5 June 2010 at
the Basch Street terminus (Egodini).
20th May 2010 20:23 GMT
By a Correspondent
THE Movement for Democratic Change has condemned the engagement and
involvement of prominent "media hangman" Tafataona Mahoso in the reform of
the media industry currently being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Media
This follows reports that Mahoso, former chairman of controversial Media and
Information Commission, has been appointed chief executive officer of the
"We feel strongly as a party that Mahoso has no place in a reform agenda.
His tenure as the chairperson of the now defunct Media and Information
Commission is littered with graves of independent newspapers and radio
stations" reads a statement released today by the MDC.
"His legacy as a proponent of a shackled media industry speaks for itself.
Zimbabweans urgently deserve media reform in fulfillment of the provisions
of the Global Political Agreement and the national aspiration to democratize
our national space. In this new era of reform, there cannot be any room for
decorated media hangmen such as Mahoso."
The statement continues: "Yesterday's enemies of press freedom cannot be
today's ambassadors of media reform. Dusk and nocturnal characters who
celebrated gagging people's voices cannot be associated with the new dawn of
democracy, media plurality and diversity."
"Engaging Mahoso in saving our media is like employing an undertaker as a
nurse in a hospital. As an undertaker, Mahoso was preoccupied with burying
independent media voices and he cannot be expected to save and nurse the
life of our media industry."
The former opposition party says Zimbabweans demand movement to diversify
and liberalise the platforms on which the people can debate and share ideas.
"We celebrate diversity. Three months after its inception, the Zimbabwe
Media Commission should ensure that Zimbabweans have access to new
newspapers, television and radio stations so that the people make informed
choices. Such important national assignments cannot be spearheaded by those
who only yesterday bombed and closed independent newspapers and radio
Zimbabweans deserve rea change, the MDC says, adding, the people want media
plurality and reform because access to information is the real currency of
Often in Zimbabwe, its difficult to separate fact from fiction; this place can be one big rumour mill. However a woman I work with had a horrible experience last night. Because of the lack of rule of law together with a very unprofessional police force, we’re all left shaking our heads as to What To Do. We thought about getting hold of the MDC seeing as they have Mutsekwa as co-minister in Home Affairs but we’re pretty cynical about whether he’ll actually do anything (just look at the circus called the Beitbridge Border post). Still, we’ll give it a bash.
So, here’s a first hand account of her treatment at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police:
I had a nasty incident with the cops last night, when I was driving home from dinner on my own. 10 officers pulled me over, just outside Borrowdale School, and 2 of them threatened me with a gun, saying I hadn’t listened to the order to pull over, despite the fact that I stopped a few meters away from where they flagged me down. They said that they were going to take me to jail, and that I had a weapon (which was actually the car fire estinguisher). I managed to remain cool, calm and very polite throughout; and they finally let me go after about 30 minutes of aggressive intimidation and harassment from their side. I hear that similar incidents have happened to others recently; and recommend not to go that route on your own at night.
One society that we often forget and rarely think of, mainly because, by its
very nature it is isolated from our day-to-day association and interaction,
is the prison. The conditions in prisons are therefore usually understated
unless being narrated by a prisoner.
Recently I met a lady in her fifties carrying a basket of food and a lunch
box. She hesitantly approached me and asked, "Son, do you know how I can get
to the remand prison near Newlands?"
"Oh yes mama let me show you", I answered.
She must have realized that I was a bit interested in talking further with
her, because she waited a moment longer after I had shown her directions.
This was a chance I could not let go. I asked why she was going to the
prison at that time of the day carrying such luggage as food. Her face
suddenly changed, she turned and spoke slowly with gasps of sighs in between
her words. I could see tiny drips of tears making their way along the
wrinkles around her eyes. To avoid direct eye contact, she looked down and
started to narrate the story of her son who was arrested and sentenced to
three months in prison. She said her son was at Matapi in Mbare, and when
she got there with the food this morning she heard that he was taken to the
Remand Prison. Where he will be taken to after Remand, she is not sure but
what she is sure of is that he was sentenced to serve three months and that
she was supposed to look for his food daily for that long. She was not sure
if she could sustain the three months of moving about every morning, where
would she get the money for transport let alone the food itself? It seems
the son was the breadwinner of the family and the old lady had to pay for
his sins; the whole family behind, so to speak.
The food supply in prisons is reprehensible; families are struggling to feed
their imprisoned. A one-year sentence means the family suffers for a year as
well. That led me to ask a policeman what happens to those whose relatives
are far from the prisons or those who cannot afford to bring food. He chose
to use the phrase "survival of the fittest" and didn't divulge much detail.
He was only at liberty to disclose that cigarettes are in demand in prisons.
If one has a pack of cigarettes, then he is assured of food as he can trade
it with food with those whose relatives can supply it daily.
Zimbabwean prisoners might never face a worse hell than the present. The
punishment ripples out to innocent family members who have to supply for
food on daily basis. If one member is arrested, practically every family
member is in prison. What a horrible state.
This entry was posted on May 20th, 2010 at 12:20 pm by Dydimus Zengenene
Nineteen months on, the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement (GPA) is still not fully implemented. A new political and economic order - promised by politicians - is still on a distant horizon, and the world media churns out a daily stream of articles describing a political landscape that closely resembles a warring battlefield.
It doesn't take much to see where the problem lies. A simple analysis of the current state of the country can be done by capturing and cataloguing news articles about the country. For the month of April, a list of seventy-nine articles were selected from the internet media, with the criteria that they each represent a record of a unique event that details a breach of the terms of the GPA. They were then categorised according to nature of breach, and basic statistics drawn from them.
The results - from the month of April 2010 - are staggering. Twenty-two articles (27.8% of the total) detailed cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech and abductions, of which Zanu-PF were accountable for 90.9%. Cases of subversion of legal processes were second with seventeen articles (21.5% of the total), and harassment through the courts of MDC supporters and politicians came in third with 11 articles (13.9% of the total) - of which Zanu-PF was accountable for 100% of both cases. Summarising just these three most significant categories, Zanu-PF were accountable for 60.8% of breaches of the GPA that were recorded for this exercise. Space does not allow us to publish more details in this document, but suffice to say, the remaining 49.2% of breaches recorded are also almost all attributable to Zanu-PF.
The most disturbing aspect of the whole situation is the fact that Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations are supposedly not in a state of conflict. They are - on paper at least - three willing and equal partners to a national political alliance underwritten by a regional political body, the SADC. The facts (in the news articles appended below) lay bare a painful reality. Whilst the two MDC formations may hold the moral highground, they are politically and influentially junior partners in the GPA. Zanu-PF is very definitely still in control of power in Zimbabwe - with the obvious and shameful collusion and support of regional African leaders. Zanu-PF do not want the GPA to work - they have an unpublished agenda.
Violence again took centre stage this month. Even Zanu-PF were not immune as a report on a provincial meeting of Zanu-PF's Mashonaland West province showed. At the meeting a former Chairman and the Chakari MP were dragged out and beaten up by other Zanu-PF party officials. This was done in front of politburo members who attended the meeting. Only two politburo members tried to intervene. The others just watched.
Rural violence increased significantly this month as Zanu-PF appear to be gearing up for intimidation of the electorate before a Constitutional outreach campaign. Evidence suggests the Zanu-PF MP for Muzarabani South is promoting violence and torture in his district by Zanu-PF militia and youths with the blessing of the Zanu-PF Provincial Governor. In one incident, 16 families from Charunda village in Muzarabani fled at night to seek refuge 84 km away, trying to escape organized terror from a group of 200 Zanu-PF youths sponsored by the MP. He has "given" free rein to militia to burn down homes and cause mayhem in villages. The Governor has allegedly also ordered Police not to interfere with Zanu-PF activities in the province.
In a sad turn of events, a 15-year old schoolboy in Mwenezi, whose father was murdered during the 2008 elections, unwittingly became another statistic of violence when he killed a well-known Zanu-PF thug. The thug was at a church demanding the service be aborted when the boy came from behind and stabbed him twice in the stomach. He bled to death as a result. The boy has been arrested, whilst the Zanu-PF MP for Mwenezi East has declared war against MDC, calling them "a party of violence".
April also saw Zanu-PF honing their skills at abusing legal processes, where twice they blocked Parliament's Committee on Mines from carrying out a fact-finding mission in the Marange diamond field. For a second time, members gathered in Harare to travel to Manicaland, but were told the Ministry had not cleared them to enter Marange. The Clerk of Parliament had requested clearance from the Ministry of Mines, but the Permanent Secretary replied his Ministry was not responsible for giving clearances to classified or protected areas, but the Home Affairs Ministry told the Clerk that Police Clearance could not be given until the Ministry of Mines had given its assent, leaving the legislative Committee stymied.
Again, showing their ability to subvert legal issues, Police in Harare are so scared of investigating Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa over the land grab scandal, that the City Council was forced to appeal to highly ranked Police officers to intervene. Acting Mayor, Charity Bango, had to write a letter of complaint to the Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Department and urge him to act on the investigations, copying the letter to the Police Commissioner and Co-Ministers of Home Affairs.
In a similar vein, Zanu-PF continued their harassment of MDC officials through the legal system. Bikita West MDC legislator Heya Shoko faces a murder charge - instead of culpable homicide - after fatally knocking down a child whilst driving. A legal expert said it was very unusual for a person to be charged with murder arising from a traffic accident unless intention to kill had been fully established. In another questionable arrest, two provincial leaders from MDC-T in Mashonaland Central were accused of "disrespecting" Zanu-PF Governor Martin Dinha. The MDC chairperson for Mashonaland Central and the District Treasurer were arrested for not standing during Independence Day celebrations in Bindura. When the MDC Mayor arrived, Zanu-PF supporters remained seated, so in 'retaliation' the MDC supporters didn't stand when the Zanu-PF Governor arrived, resulting in the arrest.
Turning to the Constitution drafting process, Zanu-PF have clandestinely launched 'Operation Hapana Anotaura' - meant to stop the rural population participating in the decision making. Sources say that Zanu-PF plans to make sure that grass-roots citizens cannot air their views during the Constitutional outreach programme. As reported above, there has been a huge rise in cases of intimidation and violence, aimed at making people endorse the Kariba Draft constitution that Robert Mugabe favours.
In an effort to spruce up their image, Zanu-PF have offered new Mugabe praise singer Sizzla Kalonji - a reggae superstar of dubious reputation - a farm in Mashonaland West in exchange for doing Zanu-PF public relations worldwide. Ministry of Lands have been instructed to "window shop" for a suitable white-owned farm, preferably in Chegutu, and then compulsorily "acquire" it for him. Clearly this is not part of the Land Reform programme.
A contentious issue amongst GPA partners, and a clear indicator of the "junior" partner status of the two MDC formations, raised its head again this month, following two separate road accidents that killed three senior officials of the MDC-M formation and one from Zanu-PF. Alice Nkomo of Zanu-PF was declared a Provincial Heroine by the former ruling party. Of the three MDC-M officials none were accorded, or even considered for, Hero status. Zanu-PF has to date refused to relinquish control of the Hero selection process.
And as April drew to a close, in an article that may have best been published on April Fool's day, an official letter from Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri that was leaked to the press shows that the Zimbabwe Republic Police want to get involved in mining diamonds in Chiadzwa in conjunction with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. Serious questions that come to mind are:
- doesn't the Police Commissioner know what a
"Conflict of Interest" means, and
- does he not remember the Police Force motto: "Pro Lege, pro Patria, pro Populo" ("for the Law, for the Fatherland, for the People")?
Note to our subscribers: Sokwanele has unfortunately had to cut back on the number of mailings subscribers will have become accustomed to receiving from us. From now on we will be sending out ZIG Issues intermittantly. However, we would like to draw our readers' attention to the fact that we continue to log breaches on a monthly basis, and these are regularly updated on our website. Please visit www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch for counts and tallies of ongoing breaches of the Global Political Agreement.
Political divisions in Zanu-PF's Mashonaland West province deepened after senior provincial officials were assaulted at a meeting in Chinhoyi as the fight for control of the province intensified. Tension was high at a provincial meeting where former Chairman John Mafa and MP Wurayayi Zacharia Ziyambi were dragged out and beaten up by Zanu-PF party officials. This was done in front of politburo members who attended the meeting, including Political Commissar for the Women's League Olivia Muchena, Lands Secretary Ignatius Chombo, National Commissar Webster Shamu, and his deputy Ephraim Masawi. Only Masawi and Muchena tried to intervene, while others just watched.
Zanu-PF MP Accused of Fuelling Political Violence in Muzarabani
SW Radio Africa: 27/04/2010
Evidence suggests that the Zanu-PF MP for Muzarabani South, Edward Raradza, is fuelling a surge of violence and torture in the district. The Provincial MDC-T Youth Chairman said violence by Zanu-PF militia and youths in recent weeks has the blessing of Zanu-PF Provincial Governor Martin Dinha. 16 families from Charunda village in Muzarabani fled at night to seek refuge 84 km away, trying to escape organized terror from a group of 200 Zanu-PF youths, sponsored by Raradza. Reports say Raradza gives free rein to militia to burn down homes and cause mayhem in villages, and that he ferries party cadres to villages to scare the electorate. Governor Dinha has allegedly also ordered Police not to interfere with Zanu-PF activities in the province.
Boy (15) Murders Zanu-PF Terror Master In Revenge For Dad
Radio VOP : 27/04/2010
A 15-year old schoolboy, whose father was murdered during the 2008 elections, killed a well-known Zanu-PF thug on Sunday. The event took place at a church service where Nhamo Machacha, an aide to Zanu-PF Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, had gone to intimidate worshippers. Machacha was demanding the church service be aborted, when the boy came from behind and stabbed him twice in the stomach. He died from blood loss. Masvingo Police said the boy was assisting them with investigations. Bhasikiti declared war against MDC, calling them a party of violence.
Zimbabwe Parliament Mines Committee Again Blocked in Diamond
VOA News: 20/04/2010
Ministry of Mines again prevented members of Parliament's Mines Committee carrying out a fact-finding mission in the Marange diamond field. Committee members gathered in Harare to travel to Manicaland, but were told the Ministry had not cleared them to enter Marange. Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, asked the Ministry of Mines for clearance before lawmakers set off for Marange. Mines Ministry Permanent Secretary Thankful Musukutwa replied saying the Ministry was not responsible for clearances to classified or protected areas, but the Home Affairs Ministry told Zvoma that Police clearance could not be provided until Ministry of Mines had given its assent, leaving the legislative Committee stymied. Lawmakers vowed to get access to the Marange field.
Zimbabwe Police Scared To Turn in Chombo and Chiyangwa
Radio VOP: 16/04/2010
Police in Harare are so scared of investigating Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa over the land grab scandal, that the City Council has been forced to appeal to highly ranked Police Officers to intervene. Council also wants senior employees - Psychology Chiwanga, Director of Urban Planning Services and Cosmas Zvikaramba, the Finance Firector - arrested for conniving with Chiyangwa and Chombo to steal Council land. Acting Mayor, Charity Bango, reported the matter to Harare Central Police Station and later to Fraud Section, but Officers refused to act, passing Councillors from one office to another. On Thursday the Council wrote a letter of complaint to the Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Department and urged him to act on the investigations, copying the letter to Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Co-Ministers of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi.
MP Charged With Murder After Accident
The Daily News: 07/04/2010
Bikita West MDC legislator Heya Shoko faces a murder charge after allegedly fatally knocking down a nine-year-old child while driving a car along the Nyika-Zaka highway. Police in Masvingo confirmed that Shoko was facing a murder charge, instead of culpable homicide. "We charged him with murder because investigations reveal that he was negligent ..". However, a legal expert said it was unusual for a person to be charged with murder arising from a traffic accident unless intention to kill had been fully established.
Two MDC District Leaders Arrested for 'Disrespecting' Zanu-PF
SW Radio Africa: 20/04/2010
Two provincial leaders from the MDC-T were arrested for allegedly disrespecting Zanu-PF Governor Martin Dinha. MDC-T chairperson for Mashonaland Central, Tongai Jeki, and District Treasurer, Saymore Mhenhe, were arrested because they didn't stand up during Independence Day celebrations in Bindura. Tension started when MDC Mayor Daniso Wakatama arrived. Zanu-PF supporters remained seated, so in 'retaliation' the MDC supporters didn't stand when the Zanu-PF Governor entered the stadium. The two MDC leaders, were arrested and are accused of instructing supporters to disrespect Governor Dinha.
Operation "Hapana Anotaura"
The Zimbabwean: 16/04/2010
As the end of the Constitution drafting process draws nearer, Zanu-PF has coined another operation - 'Operation Hapana Anotaura', meant to stop people in remote parts of the country participating in the decision making. According to sources, Zanu-PF plans to make sure that grass-roots citizens of Zimbabwe cannot air their views during the constitution outreach programme to be done by the Parliamentary Select Committee. There has been a huge rise in cases of intimidation and violence since late last year, with former ruling party supporters on the rampage, the intention being to make people endorse the Kariba Draft constitution that Robert Mugabe favours.
Mugabe Offers Jamaican Artist Farm for Zanu-PF Public
Zim Diaspora: 19/04/2010
Jamaican Reggae superstar and new Mugabe praise singer Sizzla Kalonji has been offered a farm in Mashonaland West in exchange for doing Zanu-PF public relations worldwide. Sources at the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement said that Sizzla, who is on the run from Jamaican authorities for gun related and robbery cases in Kingston, is considering the offer. "We have been instructed to locate an appropriate white owned farm, preferably in Chegutu, for compulsory acquisition. Sizzla will then be reallocated the farm and tractors and other equipment provided," said the official.
Funerals for Zimbabwe Politicians Spark Debate Over National Hero
VOA News: 28/04/2010
Zanu-PF official Alice Nkomo, killed in a road accident the same day as three top MDC-M officials, was declared a Provincial Heroine by Zanu-PF and was to be laid to rest in Bulawayo. Officials and other members of both formations of MDC set aside differences to mourn three top officers of the MDC-M grouping who were killed in a highway accident in Midlands province on Saturday. None were accorded Hero status. Zimbabwe African Patriotic Union (ZAPU), said it is urging Zanu-PF to accord Hero status to deserving members of other parties. MDC-T say they have raised the issue in Parliament but Zanu-PF has not wanted to relinquish control of the selection process.
Police Join Diamond Rush
The Zimbabwe Independent: 29/04/2010
Information obtained shows that Police want to get involved in Chiadzwa diamond mining in conjunction with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, and want to mine diamonds through a security company called Security Self-Reliance Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd. In a letter, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri wrote to Mines Minister Obert Mpofu asking for a mining concession in Marange.
CONSTITUTION WATCH 6/2010
[20th May 2010]
Constitution Outreach Talking Points [Revised]
The outreach talking points have been revised and agreed to by the Management Committee. Some of the criticisms and suggestions raised by civil society have been taken on board. The original talking points were too prescriptive and could have inhibited contributions from the public. The revised talking points are much clearer, and the open ended nature of the questions will promote more discussion and permit freer input. The talking points have been reduced in number, making them easier for outreach teams to use
NOTE to achieve the exercise of making the talking points clearer and briefer they were divided into 26 headings which have been called “thematic areas”. The number of Thematic Subcommittees remains fixed at 17, however, as this was a decision emanating from the First All Stakeholders’ Conference, and the Thematic Subcommittees have already been set up. The 26 headings/”thematic areas” of the revised talking points will be fitted back into the 17 themes. For example, Citizenship and the Bill of Rights have been dealt with separately in the headings listed below, but will still belong in Thematic Subcommittee 4: Citizenship and Bill of Rights; Electoral Systems, Transitional Mechanisms and Independent Commissions are listed separately for clarity, but will all fit into Thematic Subcommittee 12.
26 “THEMATIC AREAS” [Note these will be fitted into the 17 themes of the thematic sub-committees]
1. PREAMBLE A preamble is a preliminary statement that introduces a constitution. A preamble normally carries the major historical legacies and challenges of a nation and its values and aspirations.
What are the national legacies, values and aspirations that should be set out in the preamble?
2. FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION Founding principles are those values that citizens commit themselves to their adherence. They are the foundations of the constitution and they reflect the manner in which the people desire to be governed.
What are the fundamental legacies, values and principles that should underpin the constitution?
3. CITIZENSHIP Citizenship is one’s membership of a country which a person gets because they were born in that country or their parents were born in that country, lived in that country or were registered in that country.
a) How should citizenship be acquired?
a) Should dual/multiple citizenship be allowed?
4. BILL OF RIGHTS A Bill of Rights sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.
a) What fundamental rights and freedoms should be protected and guaranteed in the constitution?
b) What social, economic and cultural rights should be included in the constitution?
c) Should the death penalty be retained?
5. WOMEN AND GENDER ISSUES
What specific rights should be protected and guaranteed to women by the constitution?
a) Who are the youth in Zimbabwe? >From what age to what age?
b) What specific rights for the youth should be guaranteed in the constitution?
7. THE DISABLED
What specific rights for the disabled should be guaranteed in the constitution?
What specific rights should the constitution guarantee to the media?
9. WAR VETERANS
What specific rights should be afforded to war veterans in the constitution?
How should the constitution address the issue of land?
How should the constitution deal with the empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups?
How should the constitution deal with the issue of the environment?
13. NATURAL RESOURCES
How should the constitution deal with the issue of natural resources?
What specific rights should be granted to workers in the constitution?
How should the constitution of Zimbabwe deal with the issue of religion?
16. SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT Systems of government refer to the manner states are organized, that is, the distribution of political power and responsibility within the state. There are three major systems of governance in modern states. These are federal states, unitary states and unitary states with devolved powers.
Federal State: A federal system of governance obtains where a country is divided into two or more states with their own governments which then agree to have one national government.
Unitary State: A unitary system is where power is held by a single central government that controls all the political and administrative power.
A Devolved State: Devolution is whereby in a unitary system, political and administrative power is shared between a national government and lower level spheres of the state, for example, provinces and local authorities
a) What system of government should Zimbabwe have? (Federal, unitary, devolved)
b) Should there be provincial governments and how should they be constituted?
c) Should there be local governments and how should they be constituted?
d) What should be the functions of provincial and local governments?
e) How many provinces should we have?
f) How should they be determined?
17. ARMS OF THE STATE There are three principal functions of the state that is, making laws, interpretation of the laws and implementation of the laws. These vest in the legislature, judiciary and the executive respectively
17.1 The Executive
a) How should executive power be organized and distributed? (Should there be a President, a Prime Minister or both?)
b) How should they be elected/appointed?
c) Should all ministers be MPs?
d) Should all ministers not be MPs?
e) Should some ministers be MPs and others not?
f) How should ministers be appointed?
17.2 The Legislature
a) How many Houses of Parliament should we have?
b) Should there be MPs who are appointed?
c) Should MPs be allowed to cross the floor with their seats?
d) Should any seats be reserved for:
(ii) traditional leaders
(iii) the disabled
(iv) special interest groups
17.3 The Judiciary
a) How should our court system be organized?
b) How should judges be appointed?
18. ELECTORAL SYSTEMS There are a number of electoral systems obtaining in the world, the common of which are the first past the post system, the proportional representation system and the hybrid system comprising of the two.
First Past the Post System: This is a system whereby the person with the highest number of votes becomes the elected representative of the electorate.
Proportional Representation: This is a system whereby the elected people are determined by the proportion of votes obtained by each party.
Hybrid System: This is where some of the representatives are elected on the basis of the first past the post system and others on the basis of proportional representation.
What type of electoral system should Zimbabwe have?
· First past the post?
· Proportional representation?
19. INDEPENDENT PUBLIC OFFICES These are specialized executive offices of government performing important executive or oversight functions.
a) What independent public offices should be created in the constitution and how should they be appointed?
b) How should the constitution provide for:
(i) The Attorney General?
(ii) Auditor and Comptroller General?
(ii) Public Protector/Ombudsman?
c) What are the functions of the Attorney General that should be provided for in the constitution?
d) Should the Attorney General who is the legal advisor to government also be the national prosecutor?
20. INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS Specialized constitutional watchdogs for monitoring, promoting and enforcing rights and obligations in their areas of specialty.
a) What independent commissions should be provided for in the constitution?
b) How should their independence be protected?
c) How should independent commissions be appointed?
21. EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONS Are bodies through which the state implements laws and policies.
What executive commissions should be provided for in the constitution?
22. PUBLIC FINANCE This includes the management and accounting of public funds, Consolidated Revenue Fund, the preparation and the management of the budget and the auditing and oversight over public finances
a) Which aspects of Public Finance should be regulated by the constitution?
b) How should the constitution provide for the management of the national budget?
23. CENTRAL BANK
What aspects of the Central Bank should be regulated by the constitution?
24. TRADITIONAL LEADERS
What role should be accorded to traditional leaders in the constitution?
25. LANGUAGES, ARTS AND CULTURE
How should the constitution deal with the issues of languages, arts and culture?
26. TRANSITIONAL MECHANISMS Those provisions in the constitution providing for the orderly transition from the old to the new one.
What transitional mechanisms should be enshrined in the constitution?
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