Apr 29, 2011 9:32 PM | By SUNDAY TIMES CORRESPONDENT
As it becomes clear that ailing President Robert Mugabe will not stand in
the next election due to ill health and advanced age, a major internal
dogfight to replace the octogenarian leader has begun between Zanu-PF
There are fears that Zanu-PF is headed for a split between a faction led by
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and one led by Vice-President Joyce
Mugabe is under pressure to immediately intervene to stop his party from
disintegrating but the veteran Zimbabwe leader seems powerless to deal with
the factions as he battles for his own political survival.
One of the factions, believed to be aligned to the Mujuru camp, has become
so desperate that it is reported to be planning to meet Mugabe's fiercest
rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to discuss working together in the
Mugabe loyalists have always viewed Mujuru as being close to Tsvangirai.
Mugabe's health is said to be fast deteriorating, and since the start of the
year he has visited Singapore five times, blowing nearly $15-million of
taxpayers' money amid concerns that he might be incapacitated before the end
of the year, according to intelligence insiders.
While officially Mugabe's aides say he has problems with his eyes, there are
reports that he actually has prostate cancer.
Alarmed by the infighting, Zanu-PF hawks are said to be ready to employ
dirty tactics to make sure that they take over from Mugabe.
The Sunday Times has learnt that last week both the Mnangagwa and Mujuru
camps were engaged in lobbying and strategic meetings on how they could take
over power in the event of Mugabe being incapacitated.
Zanu-PF, which has been pushing the line of Zimbabwe holding elections this
year, has suddenly made an about-turn, and on Thursday Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa said elections could only be held in 2013.
This is an admission that Mugabe cannot be the Zanu-PF candidate.
Tsvangirai announced at his party's congress that elections would be held
next April, completely ruling out polls this year. The Sunday Times has also
been told that a delegation of advisers is planning to meet Mugabe soon to
explain to him that he should sort out his succession or the party would
A top Zanu-PF insider said the party was is in disarray over how to deal
with Mugabe's health and the succession battle. "The main issue here is that
Mugabe's health has become increasingly worrying for everyone in the party,
but the problem is how to tell him to quit because he is a man who clearly
wants to die in office.
"However, he is no longer in control of his faculties and really people
can't take us seriously if we present him as a candidate. He is looking
frail and I tell you, if he participates in an election with Tsvangirai, he
will be severely thumped.
"This brings us to the idea of factionalism. Yes, the Mnangagwa camp and the
Mujuru camp are battling to replace the old man, but at the expense of the
party, because the divisions have now worsened."
Last week, strategists from both camps were holed up in Harare hotels,
plotting against each other.
"They are behaving like a group of baboons who engage in a fight on top of a
mountain, fighting for control of the area, but in the ensuring pandemonium,
they all fall to their death and all of them lose the battle.
"Right now, Tsvangirai has the initiative, he is popular in Zimbabwe and the
SADC has now warmed up to him. To be honest Mugabe cannot beat Tsvangirai or
anyone in any election for that matter. It is a reality we have to live
with. Zanu-PF is finished and the more the fights continue, the worse for
the party," said the highly placed Zanu-PF official.
To add an intriguing twist to the whole turmoil, Zimbabwe's securocrats are
still pushing for elections this year and hope to use violence to force
Mugabe through. After that they will impose a candidate of their own.
According to Zanu-PF insiders, they are hoping that in the chaos that will
ensue from the violent elections, they will temporarily take over, like the
situation in Egypt when Hosni Mubarak was toppled.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could neither deny nor confirm the
infighting. "There is nothing like that, our candidate is President Mugabe
and nobody else," said Gumbo.
But another Zanu-PF insider said: "There is a no plan at all on what happens
in the event that Mugabe dies or fails to do his job.
"People are just waiting for Mugabe's next move but how do they expect a
move from a man who is also fighting for political survival?"
Mugabe was recently presented with an advisory in which he was politely told
that he had to make drastic changes if he was to survive politically.
Advisers have told him that all odds were now against him, including the
SADC, which is convinced that Mugabe's time is up, while his sanctions
mantra has now run out of steam.
Mugabe has also been reportedly told that he is extremely unpopular, even in
the rural areas where he used to enjoy support.
01/05/2011 16:03:00††† By Nqaba Matshazi
HARARE - Hawks within Zanu PF and securocrats have reportedly demanded that
President Robert Mugabe defer elections and immediately appoint a successor,
as time was not on his side.
Sources said Mugabe and the security chiefs held a teleconference last week,
when the veteran leader was in Singapore, where the president was told to
tone down on talk of having an election this year.
He was also told to instead direct his energies to appointing a successor in
an effort to prevent further fissures within the party and the country.
The sources revealed that the hawks and securocrats told Mugabe that if need
be, he had to dictate a successor to his party and they would support that
“He was told that he was no longer marketable as a candidate,” an informant
“Zanu PF’s best chance was in identifying a successor who would be sold to
the electorate between now and 2013.”
It was not immediately clear what Mugabe’s response was, but the insider
said Zanu PF’s attitude to the poll roadmap indicates that the president
agreed that it could be time to appoint a successor.
Questions have been raised about Mugabe’s health and whether he was prepared
for the rigours associated with another election, the fourth in nine years.
Mugabe’s health has for decades been a matter of speculation and conjecture
and interestingly the teleconference was held while he was in Singapore,
where he has previously sought treatment and at a time when the veteran
leader had gone to collect his stricken wife, Grace.
Mugabe has been demanding an election this year to end what he describes as
an impasse in the inclusive government.
The uneasy coalition government was created by his Zanu PF party and the two
MDC formations in 2008 after an inconclusive election.
In recent days Zanu PF has changed its tune on elections, saying the
dictates from the poll roadmap made it impossible for a vote to be held this
year, with 2013 being the most likely date.
Then, Mugabe would be 89 and too old to embark on an exhaustive electoral
“It is my own opinion that it is not possible to hold elections this year.
We need to start talking about elections next year or 2013, assuming that
the (constitution) referendum is completed in September as we have been
advised by Copac (Constitutional Parliamentary Committee),” Chinamasa told
the state media last week.
This indicates a major climb down from Zanu PF, which had claimed they would
have polls whether a new election had been approved or not.
Security chiefs are said to have warned that going for elections was likely
to mirror the 2008 polls, where Mugabe lost the popular vote.
He only maintained power by holding a much condemned election re-run, after
neither he nor his long time nemesis, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were
unable to pass the 50% threshold to be declared outright winner.
The Zanu PF succession debate has been a thorny issue in the last two
decades, amid claims of a widening rift between two factions, one led by
retired army general Solomon Mujuru, whose wife, Joice is the vice-president
and another led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo declined to comment, claiming he was in a
“No, no, you are disturbing me, I am in a meeting,” he said, before curtly
terminating the call.
Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba was unavailable for comment, as his
number was unavailable. Standard
01/05/2011 11:16:00††† Staff Reporter
ROME - First Lady Grace Mugabe has been seen for the first time in public
since April 7 when she flew to Asia amid reports that she was seeking
hospital treatment for a dislocated hip.
The 45-year-old was photographed arriving in Rome on Saturday with President
Robert Mugabe. The couple returned home on Wednesday after Mugabe flew out
last week – his fifth trip to the Far East this year -- to bring her home.
Mugabe and his wife are in Rome for the beatification of the late Pope John
Paul 11 at the Vatican.
Despite newspaper reports that she dislocated her hip in a bathtub slip, the
First Lady showed no discomfort as she arrived at Rome's main airport on a
special Air Zimbabwe flight with her husband.
Her apparent good health will lend credence to recent media speculation that
the real reason for her trip to the Far East may relate to a degree
programme she is reportedly undertaking with a Chinese university.
Mugabe’s trips to Singapore, said to cost US$600,000 each, have concerned
Finance Minister Tendai Biti who warned last week that the bill for foreign
travel by ministers could top US$50 million this year.
By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press – 2 hrs 22 mins ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe's main labor federation said Sunday the
coalition government has failed to stop arrests, violence and intimidation
against labor activists more than a year after the International Labor
Organization criticized the southern African nation for gross violations of
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said at Sunday's Workers' Day
ceremonies that workers' rights "continue to be trampled upon without
government even batting an eyelid."
It cited recent police action to ban its meetings and detain participants.
The federation also launched a campaign to expose executive monthly salaries
of $10,000 and above. Most Zimbabwean workers receive less than half the
official poverty-line wage of $510 per month.
Lovemore Matombo, head of the federation, told labor union members the
organization will soon "name and shame" executives receiving unlimited
benefits of gasoline, mobile phone charges, entertainment, school fees and
lunch allowances above their salaries.
They include heads of inefficient, loss-making state-owned companies where
the lowest-paid worker gets about $150 a month. Some executives earned about
$12,000 a month along with private school fees for up to three children.
Matombo described the results of the federation's just-completed survey of
executive salaries as "shocking."
"There is simply no logic to this and we have launched a fight against it,"
Earlier, police tried to ban a series of workers' marches in provincial
centers, saying they could inflame violence. But the marches went ahead
Sunday without reports of violence. The High Court on Thursday issued an
order restraining police from stopping the marches.
But Matombo said police recently banned labor meetings and detained
Several activists were detained and charged with treason after holding what
they said was a lecture on uprisings in North Africa. They were accused of
planning an Egypt-style uprising and are free on bail awaiting trial.
Treason carries a possible death sentence.
After its official commission of inquiry into labor practices in Zimbabwe,
the International Labor Organization said Zimbabwe breached international
labor laws, curtailed the right to strike or demonstrate — and was
responsible for arrests, torture, assaults and intimidation of activists.
President Robert Mugabe, 87, in power since independence from Britain in
1980, was forced to join a troubled coalition with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangvirai after disputed, violent elections in 2008. Tsvangvirai is a
former head of the labor federation that helped found his Movement for
Democratic Change party.
The police and military remain in the hands of Mugabe loyalists.
Matombo said workers had not been led to "the land of milk and honey" the
coalition had promised and said political leaders are "paranoid" over the
activities of labor groups and their criticism of the coalition.
The nation faces record unemployment after a decade of economic meltdown.
"We meet as workers to discuss politics of the stomach and if that touches
on governance issues, so be it," he said.
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Saturday, 30 April 2011 12:00
HARARE - As pressure mounts on Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to
declare the source of his vast wealth, the Elected Councillors Association
of Zimbabwe (ECAZ) now wants authorities to arrest and prosecute him for
allegedly aiding corruption and acquiring multiple properties illegaly.
The move to have Chombo prosecuted comes as the MDC is said to be putting
pressure on President Robert Mugabe to act equitably and to sanction the
arrest of Zanu PF ministers accused of committing crimes – in the same way
energy minister Elton Mangoma and national healing minister Moses
Mzila-Ndlovu have recently been dealt with.
The MDC accuses Mugabe, police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri and
attorney-general Johannes Tomana of selectively applying the law and always
targeting Zanu PF opponents, a view that is now shared by Sadc and the South
African facilitation team to the Zimbabwe crisis.
ECAZ, which has been at the forefront of investigating the illegal
acquisition of council land in all local authorities across
the country, has made a fresh police report in a bid to have Chombo arrested
and prosecuted for various alleged transgressions.
The organisation accuses Chombo of having played an irregular role in the
illegal acquisition of land in Bindura by senior Zanu PF officials.
This is in addition to two other fraud charges that they have laid against
the minister over the alleged illegal acquisition of prime land in Harare,
where police have refused to make arrests.
In addition to reporting these cases to the police anew, the organisation
has now also written to Tomana to invoke section 76 (4a) of the
constitution, to protect the interests of Harare residents whose property
was allegedly acquired improperly by Chombo.
The councillors also want Chombo to be arrested along with Harare
businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, for unlawfully acquiring Harare City council
land in a manner which they claim constitutes criminal abuse of office.
Chombo claims to be close to Mugabe and Chiyangwa is allegedly related to
It is claimed that Chombo owns more than 100 stands and houses in local
authorities across the country - and is now reputed to be one of the richest
people in the country.
This is despite the fact that he was known to be poor when he worked as a
university lecturer before he was appointed minister in the late 1990s, as
well as the fact that ministers are not particularly well-paid to the extent
that they can amass this kind of wealth from their pay packet alone.
Alarmed by these kinds of political rags-to-riches cases, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai once colourfully described them as acting like “greedy
baboons which want to carry a whole farm of maize with them when they can
only afford to take a maximum of two cobs at a time”.
Ecaz alleges that Chihuri has failed to launch an investigation against the
minister and that, therefore, the AG’s office should come in and initiate a
“There is no discernable evidence of the police having acted on this issue
where there exists reasonable ground to suspect that public property was
unlawfully acquired by minister Chombo,” the council says.
Section 76(4a) of the constitution says: “The Attorney General may require
the police commissioner general to investigate and report to him on any
matter which in the Attorney-General’s opinion, relates to any criminal
offence or alleged or suspected criminal offence, and the commissioner
general of police shall comply with that requirement.”
According to documents in the possession of the Daily News, on March 28,
2008 the minister changed the land use application pertaining to Stand 61 of
Helensvale from recreational purpose to cluster house development purpose.
Although the land was designated for recreational purposes by the council
resolution of 1994, it was surprisingly changed to cluster house development
by one of Chombo’s companies Harvest–Net.
When contacted for comment, Chombo denied any wrong doing and said he was
not aware of the appeal to the attorney-general by councillors.
“Those are newspaper lies and I don’t know about the said transfer. The
stand was sold legally and it remains a property of Harvest-Net” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, I have done nothing wrong and they can go ahead
and report me to whoever they want, but I have not done anything criminal,”
Efforts to get comment from the AG’s office were fruitless as the phones
Ecaz, in association with Bindura Residents Association (Bira), has also
petitioned the Law Society of Zimbabwe to consider disciplinary action
against lawyer Wonder Nyika of Chidyiwa and Associates on allegations that
he acted illegally in the transfer of a Bindura stand from the town council
to resident minister and Zanu PF leader Martin Dinha. A police report
against Dinha has also been made.
They argue that the drafting of the transfer of deeds was done illegally
since there are no documents filed with the registry of deeds to compliment
a legal valid transfer of the land in the spirit of the Deeds Registries Act
“We kindly appeal that your office conducts disciplinary hearing against Mr
W. Nyika as prescribed in the legal Practitioners Act (Chap 27:07) and
related law society Rules and Regulations,” Ecaz said.
Dinha bought a house from Bindura municipality for a paltry 48 Zimbabwe
cents in 2008, which he claimed was part of his exit package.
This was at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis when 48 cents could not
buy even a sweet.
Chombo instructed the council to sell Dinha the house at the ridiculous
Residents claim that the move constituted a criminal abuse of office and/or
theft or alternatively fraud.
They allege that there is no council resolution to effect the sale of the
said stand filed with the registry of Deeds and that there is no copy of the
Capital Gains tax clearance certificate or capital gains tax exemption
certificate.Chombo faces arrest over land deals
by Moyo Roy
2011 May 01 10:34:52
THE country should brace for increased load shedding between now and next
week as Zesa Holdings embarks on annual maintenance of generator
transformers at the Kariba Power Station.
The maintenance, which is done annually at the onset of the winter season,
started on Wednesday and is expected to be complete by May 8.
Zesa spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira, yesterday said during the maintenance
period, an estimated 250 megawatts would be lost. However, efforts are being
made to cover the deficit with imports.
The country produces about 1200 MW a day from the four power stations;
Hwange, Munyati, Kariba and Harare. On average, Zimbabwe needs about 2200 MW
a day. Kariba has six generators.
Mr Gwasira said although they have made alternative arrangements with other
regional power utilities to assist with supplies during the maintenance
works, supplies might still not be enough during peak hours - hence the
increased load shedding.
Zesa is importing power from Mozambique with whom it has an agreement for 50
MW (guaranteed) and 150 MW (non-guaranteed), which depends on whether the
neighbour has excess power.
"Customers might see a slight increase in load shedding but the good thing
about it is that upon completion of the servicing, the generator
transformers will be more efficient to deal with high demand that is usually
associated with winter," Mr Gwasira said.
"In fact after the servicing, we expect to generate more electricity by
about 15 more megawatts," he said.
Mr Gwasira urged customers to use the available electricity sparingly to
alleviate the extent and duration of load shedding.
He lamented the failure by people to pay bills on time saying it continued
to impact negatively on the amount of electricity generated. Currently, Mr
Gwasira said Zesa was owed about US$450 million in electricity bills.
"If all these people pay up, we will be able to generate enough and import
more electricity for everyone without any load shedding. We will also be
able to pay our suppliers on time," he said.
HARARE, May 01, 2011- There were no huge surprises at the much publicised
MDC-T congress elections in Bulawayo at the weekend except for the now
common confusion and chaos at all gatherings associated with the party.
The only headline outcome was the loss by Elias Mudzuri to Nelson Chamisa in
the duel for the post of National Organising Secretary.
With this Mudzuri becomes an ordinary member of the party while Chamisa puts
himself closer to power.Other highlights were the re-election of Lovemore
Moyo as the party’s
chairperson after defeating Lucia Matibenga.
The same applied to Tendai Biti who survived the challenge by Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro in returning the post of Secretary General.Douglas Mwonzora
becomes a new member of the MDC-T national executive after beating Tongai
Matutu to the post of national Information Secretary.Theresa makone returned
her position as the Chairperson of the Women’s Assembly while Solomon
Madzore takes over from Thamsanqa Mahlangu as the Youth Assembly
The other members of the standing committee are Emma Muzondiwa, Evelyn
Masaiti, Jessie Majome, Sithembile Mlotshwa, Editor Matamisa, Agnes Mhloyi,
Last Maengahama, Settlement Chikwinya, Giles Mutsekwa, Jameson Timba, Seiso
Moyo, Joel Gabuza.
The congress will be remembered for the violence that rocked elections to
elect provincial executives.Supporters of different factions were at each
other’s throats in open scenes. The violence was also extended to
journalists who were also attacked when they attempted to film the events.
Tsvangirai now faces the unenviable task of re-uniting a divided party and
build a formidable movement ahead of any future
By Pindai Dube
Sunday, 01 May 2011 13:28
HARARE - Prime Minister and MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said
power-sharing governments should never be allowed again in Zimbabwe, as it
gives election losers powers they do not deserve.
Tsvangirai was speaking in apparent reference to President Robert Mugabe who
lost the 2008 presidential elections but refused to hand over power claiming
the Zimbabwean Prime Minister did not get the required votes.
The results for the elections took a month to be announced amid accusations
that they were being manipulated to deny Tsvangirai victory.
Speaking at the official opening of the MDC national congress in Bulawayo
yesterday, Tsvangirai said his party was delighted by the recent stance
taken by Sadc and its facilitator Jacob Zuma against Mugabe.
“We are heartened by the brave stance taken by our colleagues in the region
and by the stance taken by facilitator President Jacob Zuma.
“Sadc and AU have given us a reason to believe in them once more, there are
ready to prevent again the circus that began in Kenya, perfected in
Zimbabwe, but backfired in Ivory Coast.
“This circus where losers of elections are accommodated through
power-sharing arrangements, never again should this power sharing
arrangement be allowed in Zimbabwe,” said Tsvangirai.
He said the MDC is the largest party in the country and had a positive
impact in the transitional government and should bring complete change that
people of Zimbabwe are demanding.
The Prime Minister also demanded that the country’s security forces be
impartial and professional in conducting their duties.
“It is lack of respect for our national security institutions not to abide
by the country constitution, the police and the army must act
professionally, impartially and abide by the constitution of Zimbabwe.
National security institutions serve the people not political parties,” he
A power-sharing agreement officially known as the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) that gave birth to Zimbabwe’s unity government in 2009 and requires
the administration to write a new and democratic constitution before calling
A multi-party parliamentary committee leading the writing of the new
constitution expects to have a draft charter ready to be taken before
Zimbabweans in a referendum.
Mugabe, who at 87-years will be the oldest candidate in the race for
president, insists the vote must take place this year while he has in the
past suggested elections could still take place even without a new
constitution by September.
Sun May 1, 2011 1:17pm GMT
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's MDC can grow the economy by 10
percent a year if it wins elections that President Robert Mugabe wants held
this year, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday.
Tsvangirai, a long-time rival of Mugabe, formed a power-sharing government
with his opponent in 2009 after disputed elections won by his Movement for
Democratic Change but marred by violence against his supporters.
Since the formation of the unity government, the country's economy has
stabilised and the International Monetary Fund expects GDP growth of 7.3
percent this year -- much lower than the government's official estimate of
Tsvangirai told delegates to an MDC congress aimed at revitalising the party
that he was confident of taking power in the next elections. Mugabe has
called for a fresh vote this year but Tsvangirai said elections will only be
held in 2012.
"The elections are critical in that they will, without doubt, usher an MDC
government into power," Tsvangirai said.
"It is only an MDC government that has capacity and support to grow this
economy by about 10 percent every year."
Tsvangirai said his party would embrace investor-friendly policies,
attracting investment in mining, infrastructure development and agriculture
to boost growth and deal with a jobless rate of more than 90 percent.
Zimbabwe's economy is recovering after a decade of economic collapse, which
critics largely blame on Mugabe's policies, including the seizure of
white-owned commercial farms for black resettlement.
The country has the world's second-biggest platinum resources after South
Africa and sizeable gold, diamond, coal and ferrochrome resources.
Mugabe has rattled foreign investors with plans to force mining companies to
surrender at least 51 percent of their local shares to blacks by the end of
September. The MDC warns this would lead to economic collapse.
At the congress, Tsvangirai retained the MDC leadership unchallenged, while
the majority of senior members were voted back into office. Analysts said he
would have to move quickly to heal the party after bitter fights for
Support for the MDC dropped to 38 percent last year from 55 percent in 2009,
while support for Mugabe's ZANU-PF rose to 17 percent from 12 percent,
according to a survey by U.S.-based research body Freedom House.
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 1, 2011 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
Sunday urged his supporters to prepare for an election he hoped regional
leaders would monitor to ensure a credible result to help end the troubled
"Our brothers in SADC have been supportive of our endeavor toward
democratizing Zimbabwe," he said.
"We hope SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the AU will
continue to support our efforts to reject attempts to manipulate the will of
the people and remain resolute in their approach in dealing with the
Tsvangirai's comments came at the end of his Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) congress in Bulawayo, southwest of the capital, Harare.
The prime minister said he was confident he would win the next election to
end the power-sharing deal he entered with President Robert Mugabe, adding
that his main task would be to revive Zimbabwe's economy.
Mugabe wants the elections held this year, but Tsvangirai has demanded
Last week, the prime minister said elections would be held in 12 months.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government in 2009 after
postelection violence following Mugabe's victory claim.
The fragile coalition government has been marred by disagreements between
the former political foes, with Tsvangirai claiming that Mugabe is reluctant
to make Zimbabwe a democracy.
Apr 30, 2011 11:59 PM | By ZOLI MANGENA
Zimbabwe's main political party in parliament, the MDC faction led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, yesterday emerged from a bruising congress deeply divided by
cut-throat battles, factionalism and internal strife characterised by ugly
scenes of violence and expulsions.
Jostling for top positions within the fractious MDC-T hit fever pitch before
the main elections yesterday as senior officials engaged in wrangles,
backbiting and vicious infighting to secure positions.
The congress was preceded by violence and intimidation, which forced the
national executive to resolve to expel the perpetrators.
Tsvangirai told delegates that the architects of brutality and violence were
known and would be expelled.
"We know those people causing violence. We have records and pictures which
show people who were causing problems. As MDC, we don't tolerate violence.
We know there are some party leaders who were sponsoring this violence, and
they also face expulsion, as they will be investigated thoroughly," he said.
The congress, which ended yesterday and is held every five years, was widely
seen as a democratic test for the MDC-T and Tsvangirai. It was also viewed
as a barometer of the party's preparedness for national elections and its
ability to effectively lead the country.
Tsvangirai was the only official who retained his position unopposed. Roy
Bennett, the treasurer, was initially opposed, although Elton Mangoma and
Sekai Holland later withdrew from the race to fight it out as his deputy.
Other senior officials survived, but not before their feathers were ruffled
by rivals. As the contests intensified, party officials went for broke,
throwing regionalism and tribalism into the mix.
The fight for chairmanship between Lovemore Moyo and Lucia Matibenga
degenerated into a tribal battle.
The fierce infighting and dirty politics has left the party badly fractured
and with deep internal divisions which need to heal before the elections.
Written by Mxolisi Ncube
Saturday, 30 April 2011 12:37
JOHANNESBURG – The Zimbabwean Consulate in South Africa has given the
citizens who applied for passports in the neighbouring country up to May 20
to collect their travel documents.
The Consulate said in a statement last week that prospective passports
holders should collect them at Edenvale in Johannesburg, while those who
made their applications in Cape Town were set to receive theirs between
Thursday and today (Sunday).
Meeting the new deadline by the Zimbabwean Consulate will mean that people
will have about two months to complete their applications for freely
processed South African work, business and study permits.
The South African government has set July 31 as its deadline for the release
of the permits, after which it will resume deportations of those who remain
“Applicants were advised to collect their documents at 1000hrs, Monday to
Friday,” read the Consulate statement, adding that the documentation
exercise has since come to an end.
“All those who have received SMSs advising that their passports are ready
should collect their passports at Johannesburg, 1 Essex Street, Beaulah Park
International Conference Centre, before 20 May. Consulate officials will be
distributing passports in Cape Town (Home Affairs, Boston Centre, Belleview)
between 28 and 30 April.”
Applicants were advised to bring their application receipt for R750 and
Zimbabwean identity documents or their expired or valid passports. Parents
and guardians collecting for children below 16years are required to bring
the child's birth certificate and parents’ Zimbabwean ID. – Mxolisi Ncube
†††††††††††††††††††† Dictator Mswati not welcome here
Vigil supporters ended another busy week picketing the (hopefully) farewell reception given by Swazi King Mswati who was squandering more of his country’s meagre resources on a lavish visit to London for the Royal Wedding.
No sooner had we ended our regular Saturday Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy than we were off to join our fellow human rights campaigners of the Swaziland Vigil outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Mayfair. Guests appeared uncomfortable when they saw the protest. The Swaziland High Commissioner Dumsile T Sukati jumped out of her car and hurried into the building.
Despite the failure of our appeals to the British government to withdraw the invitations to the Wedding extended to Mswati and the Zimbabwe Ambassador Gabriel Machinga, we were compensated by the widespread publicity for our joint human rights cause, which has been given new impetus by the unrest in North Africa.
Many observers expressed outrage that the two were present in Westminster Abbey on Friday. The Times newspaper spoke of the ‘pew of evil’ (unfortunately a pew ignored in the non-stop BBC television coverage).
Explaining the decision not to withdraw the Zimbabwean Ambassador’s invitation, the Foreign Office said in a letter to the Vigil ‘Thank you for your letter of 20th April 2011 about the invite of the Zimbabwe Ambassador Gabriel Machinga to the Royal Wedding. Representatives from all countries that the UK has working relationships with have been invited to the Royal Wedding. The UK has contact with all parties subject to the Global Political Agreement, and this includes contact with the Zimbabwean Embassy in the UK.’
The Vigil, of course, is not persuaded by this blather but we do have some sympathy with the Foreign Office over its unravelling Africa policy, fraying not only on the edges but also in the middle. The plaintive remark by the expelled British High Commissioner to Malawi (‘I was only doing my best . . .’) was a sadly inadequate comment on the delusional behaviour of Mugabe’s disciple President Mutharika, incensed by being criticized for being intolerant of criticism . . .
The Vigil noted how swiftly the wedding invitation to Malawi was withdrawn and we wait with interest for the threatened ‘wider consequences’ the Foreign Office will visit on the sorry Malawian victims of Mutharika’s psychopathic petulance.
†The Nyasa Times reports that the Malawi government was already looking to ‘secretly borrow’ from AIDS funds to finance its deficit in the development budget (see: http://www.nyasatimes.com/national/malawi-wants-money-for-arvs-to-finance-budget.html) and there has certainly been strong domestic criticism of what has been described as the President’s slavish devotion to Mugabe’s anti-West agenda threatening to take Malawi back to ‘the dark ages of a one party system’ (see: http://www.nyasatimes.com/politics/malawi-ruler%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%98obsession-with-mugabe%e2%80%99-condemned.html). † The Vigil understands the British government’s dilemma on how to continue support for our Malawian brothers without propping up this Mugabe clone but we are mindful of suggestions in the British parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe on 28th April (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/apr30_2011.html#Z18) and the voices cautioning against dishing out aid money through paunchy, self-serving NGOs (not to mention feeding† succulent AIDS funds).
As we gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in the warmth of the Royal Wedding in support of our suffering families in Zimbabwe, we were sorry to hear that the Vatican had thrown open its doors to arch-hypocrite Mugabe on one of his monthly $3 million trips abroad. One of our generous supporters expressed his sadness at this. The Vigil respectfully sends its greetings to our dear Catholic friend, the former Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube, whose visit to the Vigil some years back remains an ever-present inspiration.
∑†††††††† Long-term supporter Agnes Zengeya brought her small son to the Vigil for the first time.
∑†††††††† It was good to have Margret Tandi with us.† She was a loyal supporter until she suffered a stroke late last year and we are glad she is now well enough to come to the Vigil again.† Once again thanks to Edna Mdoka for her help on the front table.
FOR THE RECORD: 87 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
∑†††††††††† The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
∑†††††††††† ZBN News. The Vigil management team wish to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.†
∑†††††††††† The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit website: www.imusicafrica.com.
∑†††††††††† ROHR Harlow general meeting. Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Sherards Hatch Nursery, Ployters Road, Harlow CM18 7PS. MP Mr Robert Halfon, ROHR President, UK National executive and a well-known immigration lawyer will be present. Contact Bothwell Nyemba 07725208657, Grace Kachingwe 07405637283, Aleck Kayima 07961907097, Lloyd Kashangura 07506481334 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
∑†††††††††† ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6pm. Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking, GU22 7BE. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
∑†††††††††† ROHR Manchester meeting. Saturday 14th May: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road,†Manchester M13 9UB. Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
∑†††††††††† ROHR Nottingham general meeting. Saturday 28th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: St Saviours in the Meadows Church, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. The church is just a few minutes walk from the train station. ROHR National Executive members will be attending to discuss the abuse of human rights and political situation in Zimbabwe. Contact: Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Mary Chabvamuperu 07412074928, Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
∑†††††††††† ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 28th May from 12.30 – 4 pm. Venue St Peters Church Hall, White Hall Road, B70 0HF, West Bromwich. ROHR President, National executive members and a well-known lawyer present. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Paradzai Mapfumo 07915926323 or Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069.
∑†††††††††† Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
∑†††††††††† Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
∑†††††††††† ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.† To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to email@example.com and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
∑†††††††††† Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in taking part.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
Saturday April 30th 2011
With yesterdays’s fairy tale royal wedding over, it is time to return to
more unpleasant realities and the media today have space for something more
down- to-earth to talk about. Robert Mugabe’s trip to the Vatican for the
beatification of Pope John Paul 11 has caught the attention of the BBC and
today’s UK Independent. EU sanctions prohibit Mugabe from travelling to
member countries of the EU but the Vatican is a separate state and not a
member of the European Union so Mugabe will be among the 87 dignitaries from
all over the world attending the beatification of John Paul 11in Rome on
Sunday. BBC News reports that he has arrived in Rome accompanied by his wife
and the usual entourage.
Much to many Zimbabweans’ disgust, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UK, Gabriel
Machinga, was invited to the royal wedding along with the Syrian ambassador.
Syria’s invitation was withdrawn at the last minute with the news that the
Syrian authorities has killed some hundreds of demonstrators but as far as I
know Gabriel Machinga was there in Westminster Abbey despite Zimbabwe’s
appalling human rights record’ The Foreign Office maintained that the UK had
normal diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe and there was no reason not to
include the Zimbabwean ambassador on the guest list. Once again, double
standards won the day. Perhaps the Foreign Office is unaware of Mugabe’s
unrelenting tirades against the British.? Whatever the reason, it is clear
to see how double standards and hypocrisy flourish on all sides in
As for Robert Mugabe’s trip to Rome, well that’s hypocrisy of quite another
kind. Speaking on April 22nd at the opening of a new ZCC conference centre
in Masvingo. Mugabe was at great pains to stress how disillusioned he was
with the Catholic Church, not because he had suddenly discovered that the
church he has belonged to all his life was wrong in matters of faith or
doctrine or that he had lost his faith but because it was a church led by
whites who were angry, he claimed, that the country was being led by a black
man. The real reason, of course, was to do with the fact that the Catholic
Church in Zimbabwe has been a little – just a little- more outspoken than
other churches in its criticism of Mugabe’s human rights record and his
ceaseless attacks on the opposition. From now on Mugabe told the ZCC
gathering he would look to indigenous churches for support. What a
convenient memory the man has! He seems to have forgotten that it was the
Catholics who helped and supported him in the struggle against the Smith
regime back in the seventies. As I recall, it was two Catholic nuns who
drove him to the Mozambique border at the start of the struggle, with Robert
Mugabe safe on the back seat wearing the clerical collar of a Catholic
priest! His great friend the late Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa was a priest
at All Souls Mission in Mutoko when I first knew him and I remember him as a
delightful man without a racist bone in his body. He was just one of many
Catholic priests, black and white, I knew in those early days who
wholeheartedly supported the liberation struggle. But now more than thirty
years later, when it suits him, Mugabe condemns the whole Catholic Church
because it is ‘led by whites who are not happy that the country is being led
by a black man’. I wonder if the Vatican knew about that particular piece of
foolishness from Mugabe when they issued the invitation to the
beatification? Yesterday the Vatican said it had ‘nothing to hide’ after
there was widespread criticism of the decision to invite the Zimbabwean
dictator. A Vatican spokesman explained that the invitation was’ a function
of the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Zimbabwe.’ – whatever
that means. Mugabe was present at Pope John Paul 11’s funeral, even managed
to get himself seated next to the British heir to the throne and actually
shook Prince Charles by the hand. A splendid propaganda coup for Mugabe who
delights in the world’s attention. Perhaps he will be able to repeat the
coup at the beatification ceremony where, I understand another British royal
will be present. For someone who supposedly hates whites, Mugabe appears not
to mind their colour if they are of royal lineage. Hypocrisy and double
standards at work again!
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson.