Monthly Archives: June 2014

Chamisa confident MDC-T ‘will ride out the storm’

via Chamisa confident MDC-T ‘will ride out the storm’ | SW Radio Africa 30 June 2014 by Tichaona Sibanda

Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T national organisation secretary, issued a defiant message amid the turmoil in the party by claiming on Monday they will ‘ride out the storm.’

‘Each time the party is challenged by internal movement of tectonic plates…we emerge stronger,’ said Chamisa, adding that he was happy to see the party showing signs of life, following a tumultuous six months.

Chamisa told SW Radio Africa the party was now back on the right track and was busy organising for their elective congress set for October this year.

He said the party’s organising committee has finalised a template that will be used by the structures around the country leading up to the congress. The restructuring will be done in phases.

‘All branches should be constituted by end of July. Ward assemblies should be done in the early days of August and we want district congresses to be in place by end of August.

‘By early September, we will be winding up provincial congresses, that will be used a springboard for the national congress in October,’ he said.

External assemblies in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Botswana and South Africa have been tasked to have their provincial congresses in September.

‘The external assemblies have been asked to restructure their branches in their areas of jurisdiction with immediate effect. This process has been received with a lot of excitement as we envisage coming up with a dynamic leadership at the end of the whole restructuring exercise,’ said Chamisa.

On Saturday, Chamisa was in Bulawayo on a fact finding meeting with structures in the province. He also refuted reports in other media outlets that a member of the party, Samuel Maponde, nearly assaulted him during the meeting.

Chamisa said Maponde kept interrupting his address and was eventually ejected from the meeting peacefully. He said Maponde never at any moment charged towards him, as reported in the media.

He pointed out that they agreed to postpone holding elections to fill in positions left vacant by cadres who moved to the renewal camp, because fresh elections for all provincial posts will be held in two months time.

‘It’s pointless to elect a chairman today, knowing that the same chairman will face another election in 60 days time,’ he said.

Call for EU to replace Zim Ambassador Dell’Ariccia

via Call for EU to replace Zim Ambassador Dell’Ariccia | SW Radio Africa 30  June  2014 by Tererai Karimakwenda

The storm created by the European Union’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, after his controversial statements saying there is no leadership crisis in the country, has now turned from anger to calls for the EU to recall him and appoint a new diplomat.

Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia shocked many Zimbabweans and other observers earlier this month with comments he made at a meeting in Harare, when he suggested “progress has been made and Zimbabwe is now a normal, peaceful and democratic state”.

He also blasted civil society and the political opposition parties, accusing them of being “anchored in the past” and being perceived as “anti-government organisations (AGOs)” rather than “NGOs” or non-governmental organisations.

Angry reactions to Dell’Ariccia’s comments came fast and harsh and from all corners of Zimbabwean society, and there is now a call for the EU to recall the ambassador and replace him with a “non-partisan” diplomat.

Leading the call is the respected scholar and writer Pius Wakatama, who criticised the EU for its re-engagement with the Mugabe regime and Dell Ariccia for his comments, in an opinion piece in The Standard weekly newspaper.

Wakatama told SW Radio Africa that “those who think” were quite upset by the comments, because it is unlike the EU to take that stance praising ZANU PF as though the country is at peace and all the problems that existed are over.

“How can he say everything is normal and we have peace in Zimbabwe and we have a leader who has managed to keep at bay these forces that are very much contradictory. Which forces was he talking about? He is talking about democratic forces,” Wakatama said.

The writer explains that the EU’s motives have changed since the days when the grouping imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe and was highly regarded for being “a bastion of freedom, justice and fair play”.
Wakatama said these high values started being slowly tarnished: “The EU and the African forces for democracy have been working very well. It is only since they started moving towards embracing the ZANU PF government, and of course this is for financial purposes, that there is conflict,” Wakatama said.
He explained that the Chinese are busy getting minerals from Zimbabwe and do not worry about human rights and democracy. They are gaining a lot from deals with Zimbabwe while the EU is not. Now the EU has chosen financial gain over democracy.

The writer said if the EU is to regain the respect of Zimbabweans and the world, they must recall Dell’Ariccia and appoint someone who is more “professional, tactful and non-partisan in their approach to diplomacy.

Police arrest Bulawayo Agenda activists

via Police arrest Bulawayo Agenda activists | SW Radio Africa 30 June 2014 by Mthulisi Mathuthu

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri’s claim that the ZRP will be guided by the Holy Spirit was exposed as being less than truthful at the weekend when police in Victoria Falls arrested activists, in a swoop which lawyers said was an abuse of authority by the force.

Bulawayo Agenda activists Meli Dube, Butholezwe Nyathi, Ntombiyezansi Mabunda and Thulani Moyo were arrested in the resort town on Saturday after attending a meeting which the police claimed was illegal.

The activists were charged for holding a public meeting without notifying the authorities, but lawyers said the arrest was ‘unconstitutional and was also an abuse of authority by the police.’

The four were detained for two nights and they appeared in court Monday where they were remanded out of custody until July 30th when they will appear again before a magistrate. Lawyer Thulani Nkala told SW Radio Africa that the charges against his clients were ‘unsustainable’ because the law requires that the convener of the meeting should notify the police of the event and not the people attending the meeting.

The arrest came a few days after Chihuri told a graduation of police recruits in Harare that the police force would in future be guided by the Holy Spirit ‘in all their interactions and endeavours.’

Chihuri said the ZRP will be deploying Chaplains at every police station in the country as a way to deal with the spiritual wellbeing of officers. He said in the past the ZRP had concentrated ‘on training the body and soul without giving particular attention to the spirit which is core.’

Chihuri’s claim to divine guidance come as the ZRP is seen as one of the most corrupt state departments in the country. Daily, members of the public take to social media to complain about traffic cops who force them to pay either bribes or spot fines for cooked up offences.

So endemic is police corruption that even police commissioner Augustine Chihuri was two months ago forced to try and minimize it by transferring as many as 2,000 cops from the traffic and minerals units from urban to remote areas and vice versa around the country.

A few years ago a regional anti-corruption trust found that the Zimbabwean traffic cops were the most corrupt in Southern Africa. Police officers have also been fingered in many human rights violations, with the most high profile case being the 2007 savage beating of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other activists as they tried to hold a prayer meeting.

Headline news 1 July, 2014

Zim authorities set free Bulawayo agenda officials charged over POSA

via Zim authorities set free Bulawayo agenda officials charged over POSA | The Zimbabwean 30 June 2014 by ZLHR

ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Monday 30 June 2014 set free four officials from Bulawayo Agenda arrested over the weekend for contravening some provisions of the country’s tough security laws after the intervention of human rights lawyers.

Four Bulawayo Agenda officials namely, Mmeli Dube, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi, Nthombiyezansi Mabunda Tozana and Thulani Moyo endured two nights in police custody in Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North province after they were arrested on Saturday 28 June 2014 and charged with contravening section 25 (1) (beer) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for allegedly failing to notify the regulatory authority when they held a public meeting in the resort town.

But Dube, the Research, Information and Advocacy Officer, Nyathi, the Senior Programmes Officer, Tozana, the Community Organiser and Moyo were freed on Monday 30 June 2014 Victoria Falls by Magistrate Sheron Rosimani after their lawyer Thulani Nkala, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applied for their release on bail.

Dube, Nyathi and Tozana, who are all reside in Bulawayo were ordered to pay bail amounting to $100 while Moyo who is based in Victoria Falls paid $50. Magistrate Rosimani remanded the four Bulawayo Agenda officials to Thursday 31 July 2014. Prosecutor, Takunda Ndovori, of the National Prosecuting Authority represented the State.

ZLHR is concerned by the police’s obsession to continue curtailing citizens’ fundamental rights by abusing and using some provisions of POSA as the arrest of the Bulawayo Agenda officials contravenes Section 58 of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly and association.

Elevating history to justify our mistakes

via Elevating history to justify our mistakes | SW Radio Africa June 30, 2014 by Tanonoka Joseph Whande

We always consider history to be stagnant and stale just because we are looking at things that happened a long time ago; things that were sealed by history itself.

But history is the dried and dehydrated seed that appears dead while alive until moisture activates its instincts.

Thus, Cecil John Rhodes, Ian Smith and Clifford DuPont are as much part of our history as Ndabaningi Sithole, Josiah Tongogara, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo and Joshua Nkomo, among others.

Most of the people at the so-called Heroes’ Acre will never make it into our history books.

What is ZANU-PF or Robert Mugabe without Ian Smith and the Rhodesian Front?

History does not discriminate; it is factual.

Take it or leave it.

Because of its ability to haunt the living, history, like that maize seed that comes back from the dead and answers to the moisture and its obviously hospitable surroundings, provides us with a life while it lies in hibernation.

History always laughs at us all on this planet because it is wiser. While it does not need to keep up with the ever changing futuristic dynamics of what we stupidly call ‘modern day life’ on this our planet, we cannot ignore its admonishing presence.

It infuriatingly always leaves us to take it or leave it.

History has no glare; we need no sun visors. There is nothing back there but clear evidence of what continues to this day as a crippling legacy of political prostitution, vagueness and indecisiveness.

The things that are happening in opposition parties in Zimbabwe cannot be of any benefit to Zimbabweans and to our country.

I am scandalized by the court battles among the MDC principals. Regardless of who is right or wrong; regardless of who wins these court cases, the outcome guarantees that Zimbabweans are the losers.

We are being deprived of leadership because our politicians cannot sit down and, together, map an agenda for the nation.

Hell, no! Mugabe and his ZANU-PF cannot do it alone. They failed for decades.

The MDC, wait a minute, MDC-T or MDC-N, or MDC-M or MDC-99 or MDC Renewal.

God have mercy!

Back to our topic…Our politicians in Zimbabwe have always tried to copy other African parties that came before them without thinking about what is best for our particular situation.

Those who gained independence before us did us a lot of damage because we looked up to them in the hope of liberating ourselves like they had just done.

I was amused when I looked at how many political parties were born out of Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party.

I was further astounded to see the number of parties that sprung out of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy.

How many children and grandchildren did the Zimbabwe African People’s Union have? The Zimbabwe African National Union itself was not barren; it gave birth to its own little mites and the biggest grandchild of that party now has itself more kids and grandchildren of its own.

We saw this rubbish in ZAPU; it lost its most brilliant officials.

We saw that same stupidity in ZANU; it lost the same, who believed they were better than the man they deposed.

In the end, we got back PF-ZAPU and ZANU-PF but only after both had flirted with Abel Muzorewa’s ANC.

We still remain pawns in this stupid game in which our politicians move from one party to another in the total absence of any ideology that people can understand and accept.

Like my late father said, we can travel at the speed of sound and travel into space on satellites whose abilities we will never comprehend, but in the end, because of our history as people, we will land right back here and walk on our two feet.

Our world has suffered and continues to suffer.

Zimbabwe has suffered more and has had its limbs broken, its sons, daughters, fathers and mothers killed by their own.

But the nation soldiers on, just like we should. History warned us about these developments.

When history merges with the present, then it is absolute confirmation that we are on the wrong path. Because, you see, history does not want to repeat itself. History never wants an encore of itself. History is never proud of itself. Most times, we elevate history only to justify our mistakes.

History must not and should not merge with the present. History does not want us to copy it; history wants us to improve it so that tomorrow we are also the history that inspires our future generations.

History is a teacher who has lived the life; while the present is a student keen on learning how to live that life better.

Our country is on the sacrificial alter. It has always been there.

Maybe we should ask ourselves why Zimbabwe has been stewing on this alter of sacrifice longer than most countries.

Pardon me, please, because it is not me; it is our politicians.

We have a problem and that problem is not going to go away until we put country before self.

The heart of the matter is that our history teaches us our future. Overtaking those realities of history is and must be an obligation.

The role of history is to give us a chance to open new and better chapters – not to follow in its old footsteps.

Despite a string of not so educated and very well educated politicians over the century, Zimbabweans still have to contend with mediocre politicians from amongst their ranks.

In life, parents work hard to ensure that their children are better than themselves in both education and social standing.

Such is the case even in politics, where past generations of politicians dare us to do better than they did.

We still do not know how to differ and stay together.

We still view those with an opposing viewpoint as enemies.

We get personal and kill each other over issues we should sit down and negotiate over.

We form new political parties whenever we have differences with our allies as if those differences alone are the pillar of the national philosophy.

We do not follow, adopt or create believable philosophies or doctrines anymore but we claim to refine what others did in the past to serve their times.

We bottle ourselves up in descriptions we care little about.

I am a leftist.

You are left of center.

He is a moderate.

He is a right winger.

That one is right of center.

Oh, no, look at that extremist!

Why can’t we just be Zimbabweans and negotiate with each other on issues that are of meaning to us while we make the most of those areas in which we have common ground.

I would have liked to see a maturity among our politicians; a maturity that takes advantage of our positives while at the same time working harder and thinking deeper to smooth over where we differ?

While I agree that one cannot serve both their conscience and the nation well if one is made to adopt and implement “philosophies” they do not subscribe to, I am not amused by the failure of our leaders to exploit common ground.

They are more thunderous in opposition to each other but muted in areas they agree.

They emphasize their disagreements more than areas in which they agree.

But I say that the areas in which we agree are more important than those we disagree upon.

We do not have a culture of compromise for the sake of the nation; most decisions our politicians make are based on self-interest.

We have always respected our politicians and leaders.

So many times, I have watched strong political parties breaking up; I have seen personal differences being pushed forward at the expense of national consideration.

Our politicians must cultivate a strong sense of purpose and work together. If all of them had the nation’s interests at heart, we would not be witnessing the break-up of political parties into which so many put so much faith.

Now we have to start afresh as we watch the ruling party itself sailing in stormy seas.

Take it or leave it; history never dies.

And so I refuse to despair.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, June 30th, 2014.

Robbery suspect shot, battles for life in hospital

via Robbery suspect shot, battles for life in hospital NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2014 by Blessed Mhlanga

A ROBBERY suspect, Learnfirst Tarusenga, is battling for his life at Kwekwe General Hospital after he was critically shot in the abdomen by police detectives during a raid at his hideout last Wednesday.

Tarusenga (33) and his co-accused Patrick Chademana (29) had been on the police “wanted list” in connection with an armed robbery which took place at Rockvale Shopping Centre along Mvuma road on April 27.

Both Tarusenga and Chademana were last Thursday remanded on their hospital beds to July 10 by Kwekwe magistrate Taurai Manwere.

Police claim they shot Tarusenga as he attempted to flee arrest adding that they suspected that he could have been armed at the time the shots were fired hitting him on his manhood and thighs.

However, Tarusenga told the court that police opened fire at point blank after he had knelt down and raised his hands in submission.

“I was not running away when the police shot at me. Instead I was kneeling down and raising my hands in surrender, but the police officer just drew his firearm and fired at me from the front,” Tarusenga said.

He also claimed that another bullet was still lodged in his shoulder, although police insisted that they fired one shot directed on Tarusenga’s groin.

Chademana claimed he was injured after he attempted to jump out of a police vehicle taking them to Kwekwe Central Police Station after their arrest.

He said police had taken him to Rockvale Shopping Centre for indications at the crime scene and while on their way back he was beaten by officers who had accompanied him to the indications.

“I attempted to jump out of the vehicle and in the process caused the driver to panic. We then swerved off the road and there was an accident resulting in the death of one of the police officers who was assaulting me,” he said.

The two stand accused of stealing property worth $3 900 from a tuckshop using a machete and an axe handle which was tied to an iron bar to appear like a firearm.

They allegedly stole cellphones, DVD players, car batteries and a radio speaker. Some of the stolen property was found in Tarusenga’s possession.

Govt no longer key client: SeedCO

via Govt no longer key client: SeedCO – DailyNews Live 30 June 2014 by Nyasha Chingono

HARARE – Listed agro-concern SeedCo Limited (SeedCo) says government is no longer their priority customer, with the group now focusing on East and West African markets.

The group’s chief executive Morgan Nzwere said government was their “biggest customer, but now there is no need to look to government since our market is stronger”.

“In the past we have been forced to sell to government because of volumes. But now we have our own market,” he said.

This comes as government owes SeedCo $20 million-plus.

“Trade receivables have gone up 23 percent to $75 million. Almost half of this is due from Zimbabwe government and related institutions.

“This debt is fully acknowledged but the liquidity challenge the government is facing makes it difficult to predict when this amount will be received,” Nzwere said.

He said although government debt remains a concern to the group, the State was in the process of paying.

Part of the debt dates back to 2007 when the government carried out a national inputs programme under “Operation Maguta”.

Under the programme, government acquired more than 800 tonnes of maize seed from SeedCo at about $2 500 per tonne through a credit arrangement.

It undertook to pay back either in cash or in the form of fertilizer under a batter arrangement.

Meanwhile, SeedCo has made forays into the $250 million Nigerian seed market as part of efforts to strengthen it’s off shore investments.

“Nigeria is an important market for us. If we can intensify our strategies by 2015, it will be good for us,” Nzwere said.

The Ethiopian, DRC, Zambia, Malawi and Kenyan markets all recorded an increase in volumes last year and the seed company projected sustained growth.

“We see continued growth in East Africa,” Nzwere said.

In the year to March 2014, the group’s revenue increased by nine percent to $120 million from $110 million in 2013.

Maize seed volumes increased by 16 percent, while winter cereal sales went up 31 percent. The company recorded poor cotton and soya bean seed volumes during the period under review, with the regional revenue contributing 72 percent of the group’s total earnings compared to 70 percent in prior year.

Chinese firms bungling tender awards

Chinese firms bungling tender awards – DailyNews Live 30 June 2014 by John Kachembere

HARARE – Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire’s decision to cancel a $1,3 billion Hwange thermal power generation tender awarded to China Machinery and Engineering Company (CMEC), has underscored the growing controversy surrounding the awarding of contracts to Chinese firms in Zimbabwe.

Early this month, government also cancelled the $400 million tender for the construction of Kunzvi Dam, which was awarded to a Chinese firm in 2007.

Zimbabwe awarded the multi-million dollar tender for the construction of the long-overdue Kunzvi Dam to China Jiangxi International Corporation (China Jiangxi) on May 12, 2007 ahead of five local bidders without giving any reasons.

Local firms that had applied for the tender include former Zanu PF MP Oliver Chidawu’s Kuchi Builders, Zhombe MP Daniel Mackenzie-Ncube’s Ncube Burrow, Hydro Utilities, Release Power Investment and Inter-consult.

But in 2012, the project was taken over by Kunzvi Water Development Corporation, a consortium headed by businessman John Mapondera, before it was cancelled this month for, among other reasons, speculative purposes and alleged flouting of tender processes.

Jiangxi International also won a tender to construct Marovanyati Dam in Buhera district in 2003 and was expected to complete it in 2009, but failed to complete the project citing funding constraints.

The dam was earmarked to be a source of livelihood for hundreds of households in the district suffering due to the perennial drought caused by poor rains.

Despite its apparent failures to fulfil its obligations in the country, Jiangxi International was recently awarded to build a 100-megawatt solar plant in Gwanda.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has officially awarded the $1,3 billion Hwange Power Station (HPS) expansion tender to Sino Hydro Corporation (SHC) after cancelling an initial offer to CMEC.

This confirms an earlier report by the Daily News that President Robert Mugabe had given an executive order for the replacement of CMEC at Hwange.

Mavhaire confirmed the development last week saying CMEC failed to conclude the contract within the stipulated time frame agreed with government and the Zimbabwe Power Company.

“Sino Hydro were the second highest bidders of the project. We would like to assure the nation that the HPS expansion project remains one  of the major priorities,” Mavhaire said.

CMEC’s tender was terminated last month. It has been more than a year after it had won the rights to rehabilitate the thermal power station.

Government is under pressure to improve supplies of power as it is one of the key services needed in turning around the economy.

According to sources, CMEC was struggling to secure funding.

“Since last year, you would know that these guys (CMEC) have been given more time to execute the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, but nothing has materialised,” said the source.

Political commentator Francis Mukora said it was highly probable that the Chinese companies do not have the capacity to deliver.

“In which case one wonders how then they could have been awarded those tenders in the first place,” he said.

Mukora noted that there was need to reform the State Procurement Board and the public tendering process.

“The whole tendering process stinks of corruption, which is the easiest line of thinking to pursue given recent disclosures of tenders corruptly awarded to entities that have never bothered to deliver,” he said.

Economist John Robertson said the tender system was at fault and needs to be aligned with international best practices.

“The curious case about Zimbabwe is that we give people contracts to do the work and we also expect them to look for funding,” he said.

“Securing of funding should be an obligation of the government and not companies.

“I don’t think these Chinese companies are at fault.

“As a country we should be able to raise money on our own and pay the contractors to do the job.”

Mooted tollgate fee hike sparks outrage

via Mooted tollgate fee hike sparks outrage – DailyNews Live 30 June 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Plans by government to increase tollgate fees is facing stiff resistance from the public.

The move also faces legal challenge amid demands for the ministry of Transport and Communication to reveal the amount of money that has been collected so far on the tolls, and how it has been used.

Government has indicated that it could increase toll gate fees by 100 percent.

Smaller vehicles paying $1 could be forced to fork out $2.

Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) says it plans to drag the ministry of Transport to court if it does not avail the revenue that has been collected on the roads since the inception of toll gates.

In a letter dated June 24 to the ministry of Transport, the public interest unit of ZLHR wants government to furnish it with information on whether it consulted the public when it decided to increase the toll fees.

“In terms of section 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section 5 and 6 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Chapter 10:27), we request the following information from you as a public body:

– The total collections from inception of toll gate system to date.

– A breakdown of the collections mentioned above, per tollgate.

– A detailed breakdown of the allocation and use of funds collected from the commencement of the tollgate system to date.

– Names of entities involved in the construction of the tollgates, and the amounts due and payable to them.

– Names of entities contracted for purposes of rehabilitating the road network, and the amounts due and payable to them.”

The demands from ZLHR come at a time when the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is under pressure to explain use of toll fees.

The lawyers insist that government should provide the “financial statements of the Zinara from the commencement of the tollgate system to date.”

Although government introduced tollgates in 2009 to increase revenue collection and also maintain infrastructure, the country’s roads remain in a sorry state.

Government says it wants to hike the toll fees to improve the state of roads.

ZLHR said failure to provide the required information could result in litigation, as the new Constitution “requires open, transparent and responsive governance and enshrines the right of citizens to access information and participation in governance.”

“We trust you will furnish us with the aforementioned information timeously and in any event within 30 days as mandated by section 6 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, so as to ensure that this matter will not have to result in unnecessary litigation,” ZLHR’s letter says.

Mbada Diamonds employees in court over diamonds

via Mbada Diamonds employees in court over diamonds 30 June 2014

SEVEN Mbada Diamonds employees appeared at Mutare Magistrates Courts last Thursday facing seven counts of unlawful possession of the precious stones.
The suspects were not asked to plead to the charge when they briefly appeared before magistrate Sekai Chiundura who granted them $100 bail each and remanded the matter to August 7.
They are Innocent Tsindi (power screen operator), Simbarashe Gondo (sorter), Hardlife Kuhudzehwe (dozer operator), Temba Mvalo (dozer operator), Talkmore Chigeza (sorter), Tendai Gwazaza (supervisor in the sorting department) and Tafadzwa Ngorima (sorter).
They were jointly charged with Charles Gonzo, who is employed by Mutare businessman Mudassar Khan.
Khan runs a diamond cutting and polishing company in Mutare.
According to the State, during the period between August 1 2013 and February this year, the seven allegedly stole the diamonds from their employer and sold them to Khan. The State alleges that Gonzo transported the gems to Khan’s office in the city.
The State further alleges that the seven received cash payments and vehicles as part of the deal.
The alleged offence came to light on March 18 after police received a tip off and recovered the vehicles given to the employees.
However, the suspects’ lawyer Trust Maanda said his clients were tortured by police to falsely confess that they traded diamonds with Khan. He said his clients have written affidavits to put it on record how they were tortured.
Initially, six of the suspects were supposed to stand as State witnesses in the matter in which Khan is being charged for unlawful possession of diamonds, but were later dropped from the list and charged after they maintained that they were coerced to implicate Khan.
The suspects are now demanding over $2 million damages from Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and other four senior police officers involved in the matter.
They have also filed a High Court application demanding back their cars which were impounded by police during investigations.

Baba Jukwa saga

via Baba Jukwa saga | The Zimbabwean 30 June 2014

Press Reports of the arrest of the Sunday Mail Editor, Edmund Kudzayi and other Press Reports on the repeal of the Telecommunications Regulations which compelled Mobile Telephone Service providers to compile subscribers’ database and allowed third parties to access subscribers’ personal data without a court search warrant, brings to bear the question of state surveillance and the right to privacy in the digital age in Zimbabwe.

While the state is currently taking criminal due process measures to address what it perceives to be a real threat to national security, it must avoid taking further reactionary measures that reverses constitutional gains relating to the right to privacy and civil liberties. In addition, in a country where the ruling political party has completely captured all state organs, thus leading to conflation and creation of party- state, it is crucial to make a distinction on whether the government is taking measures to protect national, state or political party interests. Without any doubt, the real current threat to national security in Zimbabwe is food and water insecurity, an economy nearing a state of deflation, widespread poverty and diseases.

This article gives the state the benefit of the doubt by making an assumption that indeed Zimbabwe is facing cybersecurity threats and goes on to spell out recommendations to the Government of Zimbabwe, in particular it urges the government to look beyond the current criminal prosecutions in addressing cybersecurity concerns but to adopt far-reaching measures in compliance with international law to protect human rights online. The article argues that coming up and enforcing the correct level of human rights protection is very often a matter of jurisdictional reach. In the cyberspace, there could be two obvious alternatives to create a separate jurisdictional space: the technological option and the legal option. In the case of Zimbabwe, government must lead efforts towards the establishment of a civilian-led Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which should ideally be based within Post & Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (“Potraz”). The current piecemeal response to cybersecurity threats which is being jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Defence, the Police and the President’s Office does not meet international standards relating to governance of cyber-related issues. This article recommends the establishment of a CERT that meet the international internet governance discursive framework based on inclusion, neutrality, transparence, openness, pluralism, diversity while acknowledging the role of judiciary authorities.

From the two twin developments in Zimbabwe, questions that demand attention have emerged. What is the meaning of ‘privacy’ or ‘private communication’, in the digital age? What are the privacy interests inherent in communications data transmitted over the internet or by mobile phone? What technological and legal measures should states adopt to protect the integrity and privacy of data in storage, transit, in cloud and at rest? How can privacy be adequately protected when the increasing convergence of civilian communications and intelligence collection is considered? The last question is particularly pressing considering the growing focus on threats to national security, the scope of which has been repeatedly expanded to justify an increasing number of infringements upon citizens’ rights. That same question recently screamed for answers in the U.S in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. According to the U.S Report and Recommendations of? The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies titled ‘Security and Liberty in a Changing world’ published on 12 December 2013 (“U.S Report”), one of the government’s most fundamental responsibilities is to protect [national security], broadly understood. At the same time, the idea of security refers to a quite different and equally fundamental value, for example, captured in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . . ” (emphasis added). Both forms of security must be protected, the U.S Report added. This form of security is synonymous with the ‘right to privacy’. Both forms of security must be protected. The right to privacy is essential to a free and self-governing society. The rise of modern technologies makes it all the more important that democratic nations respect people’s fundamental right to privacy, which is a defining part of individual security and personal liberty. This right has recently received wide and far-reaching international attention. On 26 June 2014, The United Nations Human Rights Council (“HRC”) adopted resolution (A/HRC/26.L.24 ) on “Internet and Human Rights” by consensus. The resolution advances protections for human rights online, building upon the landmark 2012 resolution which affirmed “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression” (HRC Res 20/8).

The twin developments in Zimbabwe and at the Human Rights Council implicate the issue of state mass surveillance, especially in the context of modern digital technologies. In our recent submissions to the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, we scrutinized the role of modern technologies in shaping both the development and human rights agenda on the continent of Africa. While we extolled the virtues of modern technologies to the development agenda, we also sounded a note of caution that technological developments have increased opportunities for State surveillance and intervention into individuals’ private communications. Intelligence communities in various states have embraced state of the art technology to achieve their objectives without conducting a robust impact assessment of the technological impacts on society and civil liberties. For instance, the mass surveillance practices conducted by Western Nations as revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden poses a clear threat to the enjoyment of the rights to privacy and free expression of millions of Internet users across the globe, and undermines the very nature and proper functioning of the internet. This worldwide trend is also seen in African countries, where there has been an unchecked rise in state surveillance and censorship with the corresponding shrinkage in the operating space for human rights defenders and journalists.

In the case of Zimbabwe, according to our Submissions at a side event during the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council, many Zimbabweans are used to living with their rights to free expression and privacy repressed. In many ways, surveillance in the digital age in Zimbabwe is simply an extension of the monitoring, which political activists and Human Rights Defenders face in everyday life. This is despite the fact that, on paper, Zimbabwe has an extensive set of constitutional rights. In theory, the twin rights of privacy and freedom of expression are protected. Under Article 17 of the Lancaster House Constitution individuals were protected from arbitrary searches and entry onto their property. Article 20 protected a person’s private correspondence, and also enshrined freedom of opinion and the free exchange of information. However, the widely reported political violence, which followed the 2005 election, showed that, in practice, these rights are often not respected.

Zimbabweans waited with baited breath and expectation that perhaps the digital age could finally bring real change in Zimbabwe when a new constitution was adopted on 22 May 2013. The rights to expression, assembly and association are reaffirmed in articles 58 to 60. More significantly, the language of privacy has finally entered into constitutional discourse. Privacy stands as a right on its own through Article 57, which protects Zimbabweans against arbitrary searches of their person and prevents unlawful entry into their homes, premises or property. It prevents disclosure of health conditions to third parties and, most importantly for our purposes; it also seeks to the infringement of private communications.

However the revelations coming from the Baba Jukwa’s case, especially admissions that indeed the state was involved in the hacking of emails, dampens the hope that had been raised by the passage of the new constitution. Having emerged on Facebook in January 2013, Baba Jukwa rapidly became established as a major source of online political news in Zimbabwe. The Baba Jukwa handle was thought to be run by a member of the ruling ZANU-PF party. Many of the posts centred on accusations of state corruption and violence. Reportedly, the government then undertook an intense campaign to find the poster’s identity. On May 31st the State Security Minister publicly announced his worries that ‘Zimbabwe is under cyber attack’. These fears were reiterated in the Sunday Mail (11-17 May) 2014 in a Sunday Mail article ‘Internet Security Policy Urgently Needed’ which was written in the wake of the first attempts to unmask Baba Jukwa. The accuracy of Baba Jukwa’s reports were difficult to confirm or deny, because anonymity meant that ‘Baba Jukwa’ was virtually unaccountable.

Despite unconfirmed media reports that the Zimbabwean Government had sought Chinese assistance to try to increase its ICT monitoring capacity in technical fields such as cryptologic linguists and signals intelligence analysis, the fact that the state had to hire Edmund Kudzayi to unmask Baba Jukwa, as reported in the media, raises questions regarding the state’s ability to deal with other forms of encryption and anonymity.

However, the reported breakthroughs towards the unmasking of Baba Jukwa confirms that Zimbabwe has increased its technical capabilities, and that in Zimbabwe, communications surveillance is becoming the main tool for cutting across the anonymity, rapid information sharing and cross-cultural dialogues of the digital age. Legally, though old in the context of technological innovation, the 2007 Interception of Communications Act (ICA) has kept pace thanks to extremely wide drafting and the creation of blanket powers. Though designed primarily for post and telephone, ICA’s long title states that it can still be applied to ‘any other related service or system’. This provides broad powers to intercept any kind of communication, no matter how technologically advanced it is.

Just as post is intercepted or a phone line is monitored, the state also has the power to snoop on communications travelling by email or across a social network. Having set up a Monitoring of Interception of Communications Centre, manned by ‘technical experts’, and appointed by the Minister of Transport and Communications, the state has the legislative and institutional apparatus in place to subject Zimbabwean’s digital communications to the same surveillance as any other. As the UN Special Rapporteur (A/HRC/23/40) notes, the inspection of emails prior to reaching the desired recipient is still a breach of the right to private communications.

It must be noted however that, with an Opennet estimation of about 11% in 2009, internet penetration in Zimbabwe, though relatively high in Africa, is low by world standards. In 2007 Opennet found no evidence of the state filtering websites. However, a more recent 2012 report by Freedom House reports a huge increase in smart phone usage, especially amongst young people. Between 2006 and 2011 it is estimated that growth of mobile phone has gone from 6.8% to 72.1%. Many Zimbabweans use their phones and laptops to browse facebook, the country’s most popular website, and to use whatsapp, a kind of internet text message service.

However, most Zimbabweans have not fully taken advantage of the worldwide trend of social media being used to express political opinions, and even to form campaigns online, but only generalised political discussions and gossip circulation. Freedom on the Net reports that, ‘the lack of anonymity…and fear of repercussions limit politically oriented statements, which can be traced back to those expressing them’. Facebook is of course a largely public forum, and there have been instances of Zimbabweans being arrested because of their posts. Where facebook is concerned the state can still make use of human surveillance techniques. Employing state agents to monitor the pages of human rights defenders and activists, in the form of what the UN Special Rapporteur calls ‘mass communications surveillance’, might still be an effective tool.

These worries are compounded by the complicity of Zimbabwean Internet Service Providers (ISPs). ISPs are required, under section 9 of ICA, to put in place the hardware and software required for the state to carry out surveillance. Reports in Zimbabwe suggest that at least three of the main Internet Service Providers – Econet, TelOne and Telecontract – have complied with this requirement. Other reports, which cannot be confirmed, suggest that the state is buying surveillance technologies from a number of repressive regimes and even UK internet security companies. According to Freedom on the Net 2012 the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe banned the use of Blackberry Messenger because the service uses encrypted messages. This does not comply with the requirement in ICA that ‘all telecommunication services should have the capability of being intercepted.’

Technological change has not only increased the speed of communications within Zimbabwe. It has also connected Zimbabwe to the rest of the world. Since many eminent Zimbabwean commentators are based abroad they are not under the same danger of arrest as those based domestically, and so can express themselves with more freedom. Furthermore, the news cycle now moves so quickly now that big news in one part of the world is big news all over. This was the case with the Arab Spring, videos of which made it into Zimbabwe and became a topic for discussion by opposition activists.

The fact that the Arab Spring videos made it into the country shows the difficulty of preventing information sharing over the internet. However, equally the work of the police breaking up the lecture shows that human surveillance can still play a part in preventing the dissemination of information within Zimbabwe’s borders.

How cans political power be restrained and human rights protected in the cyberspace?

According to Go Zhao of the University of Groningen, ‘Enforcing the correct level of human rights protection is very often a matter of jurisdictional reach. In the cyberspace, there could be two obvious alternatives to create a separate jurisdictional space: the technological option and the legal option. In Europe, the Germans and French spoke on the possibility of creating the foundations of a “protected” EU Internet, and the EU-funded MAPPING project spelt out its plan of researching if “parallel universes” in cyberspace could be a solution for promoting human rights. This objective of creating spaces within cyberspace where European values on privacy and other human rights may be applied could conceivably be created by technological or legal means.

The U.S Report (ibid) explains these dual legal and technical routes by stating that there is need to take substantial steps to protect networked world. A free and open Internet is critical to both self-government and economic growth. Internet governance must not be limited to governments, but should include all appropriate stakeholders, including businesses, civil society, and technology specialists. In the case of the U.S, the Report made specific recommendations that the US Government should take additional steps to promote security, by (1) fully supporting and not undermining efforts to create encryption standards; (2) making clear that it will not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption; and (3) supporting efforts to encourage the greater use of encryption technology for data in transit, at rest, in the cloud, and in storage.

Finally and even more importantly, the Report urged the U.S Government, among other measures relevant to the Internet, to support international norms or agreements to increase confidence in the security of online communications.

The U.S Report has been followed by very progressive court decisions; for example, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two big rulings in important technology cases on 26 June 2014. In a groundbreaking decision on cell phone privacy, the court set powerful limits for police searches of cellphones, ruling in two consolidated cases that law enforcement must get a warrant before accessing the data on an arrested person’s cell phone. In Canada in the case of R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, the Supreme Court of Canada found voluntary sharing of ISP Subscriber information unconstitutional. In this case, the court held that, ‘Some degree of anonymity is a feature of much Internet activity and depending on the totality of the circumstances, anonymity may be the foundation of a privacy interest that engages constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure’.

In the case of Zimbabwe, the new regulations S.I 95 of 2014, which bar the release of subscriber information to law enforcement agents without a court warrant, is a step in the right direction. Section 9 (3) of the new regulations reads: “Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, subscriber information shall not be released to law-enforcement agencies or any other person, where such release of subscriber information would constitute a breach of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe, any other enactment or where such release of subscriber information would constitute a threat to national security.” The repealed regulations allowed Potraz to give information in its central database to a law-enforcement agent only if it was requested in writing by an officer of or above the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or an equivalent rank in another force, but must not do so if the disclosure would constitute a breach of the Constitution or any other enactment, or constitute a threat to national security. According to Privacy International Blog , the new law raised new challenges to the already embattled rights to privacy and free expression in Zimbabwe, increasing the potential that the repressive state would spy on its citizens and further clamp down on free speech.

Zimbabwe should take additional steps in protecting the right to privacy and restraining political power in the cyberspace.

Firstly, the government should fully implement all the recommendations made in the Parliament Legal Committee Adverse Report, in particular by amending the Interceptions of Communications Act to ensure that judicial authorisation is made necessary for all forms of communications interception. Zimbabwe could also progressively implement some of the recommendations we make in our report ‘Communications and Political intelligence Surveillance on Human Rights Defenders in Zimbabwe’.

At the international level, the government should cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights towards the implementation of General Assembly Resolution 68/167. The government could do this by making submissions on the steps it has taken towards the realisation of the rights contained in the resolution. This could be done in response to Zimbabwe Civil Society Submissions.

Notwithstanding the above, security threats are real, and some of them are new. The personal data obtained through surveillance and monitoring of telecommunication networks are valuable for criminal and other investigations. Legitimate national security considerations and the necessities of law enforcement may justify, in well-defined cases and under specific circumstances, limitations to the right to privacy. However, activities that restrict the right to privacy, including communications surveillance, can only be justified when prescribed by the law, they are necessary to achieve a legitimate aim, and are proportionate to the aim pursued As the Norwegian Ambassador to Geneva, once stated, ‘It is [however] unclear how beneficial massive sets of data can be for law enforcement and other government agencies. What is clear is that it represents access to the most personal and intimate information, including about an individual’s or group’s past or future actions’.

The current revelations relating to Baba Jukwa makes a strong case for the fortification of national security within legitimate, necessary and proportionate limits, therefore Zimbabwe should take measures to establish a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). Although such structures might already be in existence both in the President’s Office and Ministry of Defence, what is needed is a civilian-led CERT. The Baba Jukwa revelations reveal that the Ministry of Defence is currently handling the cybersecurity issues. For instance, Edmund Kudzayi confesses “I immediately changed the password to the email account, the account recovery phone number and the account recovery email address to my personal and alias (Mai Jukwa) details”; “I managed to regain access to the account using my mobile number since I had setup two step verification”; “I passed on the IP addresses to the Ministry of Defence contact.” and “Through social engineering I managed to persuade Google to restore the deleted emails. The original incriminating emails are back in the account and I remain in control of the email.” Given the MOD’s close ties with the ruling party and calls for the security sector reform, this is not an ideal situation, as personal liberty would be sacrificed in their quest to protect the ruling party. Commenting on a similar issue, for example, the U.S Report says, ‘Internet governance must not be limited to governments, but should include all appropriate stakeholders, including businesses, civil society, and technology specialists’. Zimbabwe could get support from the African Internet Governance Ecosystem (AF*) family of groups, in setting up a CERT that protects both national security and the security of the individual, that is, ‘the right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, and correspondence, against unreasonable interference’. This is also broadly called the ‘right to privacy’. Both forms of security must be protected.

The right to privacy is essential to a free and self-governing society. During the recent Africa Internet Summit in Djibouti on 29 May 2014, Dr Hashem, one of the elders in the AF* ecosystem, pledged to support countries like Zimbabwe to set up CERTS, and in so pledging, he underscored the importance of transparency, ‘Transparency is now being defined by multistakholders and there is need for more multistakholders approach to the issue of Internet governance. We need to work together with NGOs, academics and other sectors to address this issue, in order to balance these four needs’. The involvement of civilians in setting up a CERT in Zimbabwe is necessary due to the conflation of the state and the ruling party into a party state. For instance, in the current Baba Jukwa-related prosecutions, it is not clear what interests are being protected, as it is not clear whether these are national, state or political party interests.

The article is written by Arthur Gwagwa as part of the joint project between The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Privacy International under the Global Surveillance and Safeguards Project. For more information on the project please write to intlo@hrforumzim.com

Govt absolves oil company

via Govt absolves oil company – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2014

GOVERNMENT has absolved the National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC) from involvement in a botched $3 million fuel deal involving Central Mechanical Equipment Department (Private) Ltd (CMED) and a private fuel dealer, First Oil.

In a statement yesterday, Energy and Power Development secretary Partson Mbiriri said NOIC should not be dragged into the matter where CMED bought $2,7 million worth of fuel from First Oil, but the latter failed to deliver the order.

The CMED had accused NOIC officials of misleading them into buying three million litres of diesel from First Oil.

Newly appointed CMED board chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa recently said they had taken First Oil, NOIC and PetroTrade to court to recover the money.

The issue has also spilled into Parliament where CMED managing director Davison Mhaka was recently summoned to answer questions over the alleged fuel scam.

Mbiriri said: “The reason for the non-delivery of the fuel appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that NOIC had no fuel to deliver.

“CMED’s misfortunes appear to have emanated from the transfer of monies outside the country at the behest of First Oil Company.
“It is not at all clear how NOIC can be said to be responsible for any eventualities that stemmed from this.

“Had PetroTrade been paid, the diesel would undoubtedly have been delivered to CMED.”

Mbiriri said the problem was transfer of the payment out of the country to EBGHong Kong Limited, adding that NOIC Msasa storage tanks always had fuel contrary to reports that its tanks were empty.

“On February 22 in 2013, CMED initiated a purchase order to First Oil Company for bulk purchase, which purchase order was approved by CMED managing director on February 25,” Mbiriri said.

“On March 1 2013, at the behest of PetroTrade, NOIC wrote a letter to ZB Bank confirming that it was holding three million litres of diesel at Msasa storage tanks on behalf of Petrotrade.”

Mbiriri said he was surprised that CMED was now suing NOIC together with PetroTrade and First Oil for non-delivery of the fuel.

Bill Watch Parliamentary Committees 32/2014 of 29th June

via Bill Watch Parliamentary Committees 32/2014 of 29th June | The Zimbabwean 30 June 2014

Committee Meetings Open to the Public on Monday 20th June

Parliamentary Portfolio and Thematic Committee meetings resumed on Monday 23rd June after a three week break. The Senate and the National Assembly will resume sitting next week, on Tuesday 1st July.

The committee meetings listed below will be open to the public on Monday 30th June.

Open meetings on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday will be notified in a separate bulletin to be circulated as soon as possible.

Members of the public may attend these meetings, but as observers only, not as participants, i.e. they may listen but not speak. The meetings are at Parliament in Harare. If attending, please use the entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Please note that IDs must be produced.

The above details are based on the latest information from Parliament. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the meetings schedule, persons wishing to attend should avoid disappointment by checking with the relevant committee clerk [see names below] that the meeting is still on and open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252940/1.

Monday 30th June at 8.30 am

Portfolio Committee: Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services

Oral evidence from Telecell on Telecash

Committee Room No 311

Chair: Hon Chamisa Clerk: Mr Munjenge

Monday 30th June at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Transport and Infrastructure Development

Oral evidence from the National Railways of Zimbabwe on operational challenges they are facing

Committee Room No 1

Chair: Hon Midzi Clerk: Ms Macheza

Portfolio Committee: Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry

• Oral evidence from Harare City Council on progress made regarding upgrading of water treatment plants at Morton Jaffray Water Works and their management strategy in adhering to regulations that control housing developments on mapped and protected Harare Wetlands

• Oral evidence from Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate on the construction of Tokwe Mukosi dam and environmental issues

National Assembly

Chair: Hon A. Ndlovu Clerk: Mr Mazani

Monday 30th June at 2 pm

Portfolio Committee: Finance and Economic Development

Oral evidence from the Reserve Bank on the stability of the banking sector, its measures to deal with liquidity challenges, and the legislative framework governing mobile banking operations

Committee Room No 4

Chair: Hon Chapfika Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika

Portfolio Committee: Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare

Oral evidence from the Chitungwiza Municipality Town Clerk on the grievances against the municipality’s workers representatives

Committee Room No 1

Chair: Hon Chikwama Clerk: Ms Masara

Reminder on Emailing Parliament

Members of the public, including Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, can at any time send written submissions to Parliamentary committees by email addressed to clerk@parlzim.gov.zw

Marange firms lay off over 400 workers ”

via Marange firms lay off over 400 workers ” Nehanda Radio June 29, 2014 by Bernard Chiketo

MUTARE – Alluvial diamond deposits at Marange have run out and companies here have started laying off workers.

Chinese diamond mining companies Anjin and Jinan are this week laying-off more than 400 employees arguing that their claims have run out out of diamonds and have no money to crush the hard rock deeper underground to search for new deposits.

News of the lay-offs has disconcerted trade unionists, who are concerned most of the workers are being retrenched without any packages.

Cosmas Sunguro, the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (Zidawu) director, expressed concern that the employees are being tossed out with nothing.

“Anjin and Jinan are going to stop more than 400 workers by 4 July and they have already been given termination notices which said there was no longer diamond,” Sunguro told the Daily News on Sunday.

“We inquired if this was a retrenchment and they said no because they are casual workers.

They casualise our labour in order to take advantage of them and what really disturbs us is that these are big people in government doing this.”

Retired Brigadier General Munyaradzi Machacha, a director with the Chinese-owned Anjin, was unreachable for comment yesterday, but said recently: “The challenge we are facing at the moment is that we are operating at below break-even point.

“Our ore is much deeper to depths of about 40 metres and some of the areas we have had to abandon mining because it was no longer commercially viable.”

The government has a 50 interest in most of the Marange mining operations which include Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Company, Jinan and Kusena.

The quality and quantity of diamonds mined in Marange have reportedly been on the decline since 2012, casting a dark shadow over this sector’s capacity to bail out the country’s ailing economy.

News of alluvial diamond deposits running out officially surfaced last year when Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidakwa visited the diamond fields in December last year. Diamond firms told him they had hit hard rock, leaving them confronted with deep conglomerate gems they said were not commercially viable to extract.

The firms have asked for untapped diamond fields, promising to revert to the current claims once they have secured more efficient technology.

Machacha told Chidakwa they were operating below break-even point and had already started abandoning some areas.

Jinan, on the other hand, was complaining about the quality of the alluvial diamonds left, and also expressed concern that the conglomerate diamonds were not commercially viable to extract and were even of a poorer quality.

Ni Jun, Jinan managing director, said from 2012 to December 2013, they had mined 2,4 million tonnes of diamond ore, with the remaining 1,28 million tonnes which “cannot last at this mine for a long time”.

Liu Jitat, the company’s chief mining operations officer, told Chidakwa that their conglomerate deposits were buried over 30 metres deep and were too thin to be extracted profitably.

“We can see that the current mining area of the embedded depth of the conglomerate is already over 30 metres,” Jitat said. “But unfortunately, the conglomerate thickness is not very good. It is only 0,5 to 0,7 metres. The average grade is about 0,4 to 0,5 carats per tonne.” Daily News

‘Wilfred Mhanda was poisoned’ ” Nehanda Radio

via ‘Wilfred Mhanda was poisoned’ ” Nehanda Radio 29 June, 2014 by Wilson Nharingo

Ever since that fateful day, May 28 2014, I have struggled to come to terms with the reality that you have indeed left this world for good.

My beloved brother Wilfred, I just want to say thank you so much for the genuine love that you demonstrated towards me and other family members. You displayed a rare quality of compassion, which I have never witnessed anywhere else.

I recall the time that you left the country (Zimbabwe) in 1971 heading for Botswana during the Rhodes and Founders Days under the pretext that you were going to finalise your scholarship documents to study at Manchester University in the United Kingdom, only to learn later that you had skipped the country to avoid being arrested by the Rhodesian agents because of your political activism while you were studying at the University of Rhodesia.

There were a number of theories about your disappearance with some suggesting that you were dead, but most of us remained hopeful that we would one day see you again.

When you eventually came back to Zimbabwe in 1980, we realised that you had played a significant role in the armed struggle that brought independence to Zimbabwe even though you were sidelined and nearly killed in Mozambique for holding different views from other people who were also part of the armed struggle.

While most of the family members were happy to see you alive, the story that you related pertaining to the hardships that you went through at the hands of your adversaries, emotionally distressed most of the family members.

I do not wish to delve into the issue of your imprisonment in Mozambique as it is most likely to rekindle the painful feelings of your unfair and unjust imprisonment.

I wish to leave that to the masses of Zimbabwe to make their own judgement as the issue has been widely reported and addressed at various fora.

I recall the time that you returned to Zimbabwe in 1980 and the pivotal role that you played in reuniting the extended family. You were very passionate about seeing the extended family functioning in unison and being happy.

You taught about “forgiveness” and not to dwell on past differences as that could only breed more hatred among the family members, which would in turn affect personal development.

My brother Wilfred, I recall your humility and passionate love for the extended family. You were a “Lighthouse” of love.

However, I am cognisant of the fact that you were a mortal being and as such, you could have rubbed other people the wrong way including some family members and members of the general public in one way or another.

However, to the best of my knowledge, you stood up for what you believed to be true and correct without any fear or favour. You called a spade a spade, which in some cases annoyed some people.

It is not surprising that some people hated you because of your principled stand. Some people hate the truth just the way darkness hates light.

On that issue, I do not wish or intend to make an apology on your behalf, but to praise you for standing up to what you believed to be true and right.

It was a difficult time for most of the family members as well as your close friends when you developed health issues and when you were diagnosed with “cancer of the colon”.

Most of the family members as well as your close friends were overjoyed when medical tests declared that you were “cancer-free” after about six months of “chemotherapy treatment”. It was a huge sigh of relief as we sincerely thought that you were on the mend and that it was just a matter of time before you would be back to your normal good health.

The only concern and worry though was about your swollen abdomen that we were led to believe was due to the fluids that were pumped into your body during the “chemotherapy treatment”. We were further led to believe that it only needed a “minor op” to drain out the fluids and little did we know that this seemingly minor complication would decide your fate.

Whilst you were diagnosed with “cancer of the colon”, by medical authorities, I recall you confiding in me and other close family members that you had concerns about what happened at the Strathaven Restaurant, in Harare about three or four years ago.

You confided that when you returned to continue drinking from your glass someone appeared concerned about your safety and shouted advising you not to drink from the glass that you had left unattended, but unfortunately you had already taken a sip.

You related further that when you checked the contents of the glass, you observed a “suspicious substance” which appeared to be dissolving at the base of the glass. That was possibly the beginning of your health issues which culminated in your untimely death.

I also recall the time that I visited you in January 2014 when you showed me some threatening emails that you printed out that had been sent to your colleagues who were working with you on the second edition of your book, Dzino — Memories of a freedom fighter.

I have no doubt in my mind that the eloquent evidence of the threatening emails that were sent to your colleagues regarding your book could be linked to the source of the suspicious substance that was dropped into your drink on that fateful day at Strathaven Restaurant in Harare.

While those who were behind this “evil and satanic” act might have celebrated for eventually getting you, the “King Of the Universe” who is the only authority who could “certify” burdens into “blessings”, might have allowed that to happen in order to bring you closer to Him so that you could have eternal life in a safe place where there is never-ending happiness.

Many family members including myself were of the point of view that you should not have continued with political activism; we wanted you to concentrate on something else.

I later realised that you had a calling in that direction and that you could not ignore what you felt was in your soul and bones even though this predisposed you into the hands of your enemies as they felt uncomfortable about your principled stand on true democracy and freedom based on the whole truth and nothing else but the truth.

As a result of this, your life was surrounded by vultures from all corners waiting to pounce on you at any slight opportunity. I thank God as it was only a miracle that you lived that long.

I recall the many times that you were dragged into courts on trumped up charges which did not hold any water in the courts of justice and you were on all occasions found to be innocent and correctly discharged.

You were always followed as if you were a criminal even when you felt duty-bound to take your relatives for treatment to conventional medical centres or to traditional healers.

You were followed even when you went to study in faraway countries such as Germany, for what reason, one would ask?

In conclusion, I wish to say to you brother Wilfred that you have run a good race, you have fought a good fight and you have found the good faith that will propel you into eternity.

You left this world with your integrity intact.

May your Soul rest in Peace.

Zanu-PF minister exposed

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Zanu-PF minister exposed 30 June 2014

BULAWAYO Provisional Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo has been exposed as the force behind the controversial takeover of a farm near Cowdray Park by a private company.

Helenvale Block Farm is owned by Majele Sibanda, an indigenous Zimbabwean, but Mahlaba Housing Programme (MHP) managed by River Valley Estate Properties arbitrarily moved to sell housing stands to civil servants.

Sibanda’s son who owns Gamange (Pvt) Ltd successfully applied for a High Court provisional order blocking River Valley Properties from developing the stands.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva granted a provisional order in an urgent chamber application filed by Gamange (Pvt) Ltd on June 13.

The ruling meant MHP subsidiary, River Valley Properties (Pvt) Ltd, a property developer which had been selling stands on the land in question for the benefit of thousands of civil servants, would immediately cease operations although it’s workers were spotted at the site on Saturday.

However, the government moved in and compulsorily acquired the land in a development that has raised eyebrows.

Documents seen by Southern Eye show that Sandi Moyo started pushing for the acquisition of Helenvale Block in February where she met
officials from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry.

She was advised by F Ndhlovu that government records showed the farm was private property and the owners had submitted a permission to subdivide the farm, which was granted in 2009.

“We have realised that the whole of Helenvale Block is private property and the section earmarked for the housing project next to Cowdray Park actually belongs to the Majele family,” Ndhlovu wrote on March 13 2014.

“It must be noted that the property had been earmarked for acquisition in 2004 in the spirit of the National Housing Delivery Programme.

“Thus this property had been identified for the same and a draft layout plan had been produced by this office pending acquisition.

“However, I suppose the process was abandoned because of the acquisition status of the land.”

Sandi Moyo was then advised to facilitate the acquisition of the farm so that it became State land.

The Majele family is accusing Sandi Moyo of using unorthodox means to help River Valley Properties to muscle it out of the property.

When Southern Eye visited the farm on Saturday, some civil servants were touring their allocated stands despite a High Court order blocking River Valley Properties from developing the land.

According to a Gamange employee Cleyen Musiyiwa, a lot of people toured stands on Saturday.

“I saw a Ncube coming in a pickup truck with people and I had to hide as they moved toward the area we have since cleared for our company to sell stands,” he said.

“Some said a school was going to be built here.”

Mathew Simanga a resident close to the disputed stands said a number of people had been visiting the farm to view the stands they had been allocated.

“I came here sometime in April after being requested by the owner of this house to stay as a caretaker and I have always seen people coming to view stands and at times I give them water and directions,” he said.

Ncube said he was assigned to show people their stands by authorities above him which he did not want to disclose.

“As a worker I cannot tell you who sent me here. I can only give you the phone numbers and you could talk to my seniors,” he said.
Sibanda’s relative Ndodana Sibanda said the plan the new occupants had once slipped out of Sandi Moyo’s hands.

“When we were doing the paperwork to apportion our farm into residential stands, Sandi requested to see our plan and we gave her not knowing she had an ulterior motive,” he said.

“The next thing we saw was our exact plan being displayed by River Valley properties.

“River Valley through Ncube is violating the court order hence we have reported this to the police.”

In a letter dated June 25, the Lands and Rural Settlement ministry ordered Gamange to stop operating on that land until the intended acquisition had been resolved – (referring to the Land Acquisition Act).

“It has come to our attention that on or about the 22nd June 2014, you or persons acting under your authority acted in a manner that demolishes, damages, alters or impairs the land described in the notice.

“Accordingly, you are hereby advised to cease any such activities until the intended acquisition process has been concluded, that is, either confirmed or dismissed by the administrative Court,” part of the letter read.

Gamange believes this contradicts the provisional order granted by the courts.

Efforts to get a comment from Sandi Moyo yesterday were fruitless as her mobile phone was unreachable.

Mugabe’s controversial SA scholarships opens

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mugabe’s controversial SA scholarships opens 30 June 2014

THE CONTROVERSIAL presidential scholarship programme is seeking applications from students wishing to enroll at South African universities for the 2015 academic year, months after the government said its funders had stopped bankrolling the highly criticised programme.

In March, Chris Mushowe, head of the scholarship programme, said enrollment had been suspended amid revelations the government was battling to pay tuition fees and cater for the welfare of students studying in South Africa.

Mushowe said the government owed South African universities over $1 million in tuition fees and was failing to provide for the welfare of students.

According to a notice, the presidential scholarship programme “targets able but disadvantaged students mainly from rural schools in remote districts of the country’s provinces”, but priority would be given to orphans and less privileged applicants.

Among some of the conditions, successful applicants should “be prepared to be bonded by the government of Zimbabwe” and students currently at or accepted by any local or foreign university or institute of higher learning or college are required to disclose that, failure which their applications would be rejected.

The scholarships are for disciplines in engineering, architectural sciences, health sciences, actuarial sciences, veterinary sciences, biological sciences, information technology, science and agriculture, accounting, law and youth development.

The programme was founded in 1995 to give academically-gifted students from poor families a chance to study at South African universities.

President Robert Mugabe is patron of the fund.

The programme draws students from each of the country’s 10 provinces.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa early this year said the programme was undergoing a structural review to “target the skills development of specialist skills of only those students whom we want to advance in specialist areas”.

Under the review process, Chinamasa said there would be a skills audit in all sectors to determine which specialist skills were required.

However, due to the government’s failure to pay tuition and provide welfare allowances for the students, some scholars have reportedly been forced into prostitution and drug dealing to survive in SA.

‘Zim Police to be guided by the Holy Spirit,’ says Chihuri

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Zim Police to be guided by the Holy Spirit,’ says Chihuri 30 June 2014

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) now wants to target the “spirit” following the Budiriro apostolic sect fiasco and will be deploying a Chaplain at every station across the country, Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said last week.

Chihuri’s force was left reeling after about 20 officers were bludgeoned by apostolic sect members belonging to the Johanne Masowe eChishanu church using “shephered staffs” following an abortive bid to “ban” on apostolic sect in Budiriro two weeks ago.

He told a graduation of 403 police recruits that he wanted to make sure  the police force is from henceforth “guided by the Holy Spirit”.

“I am confident that our Chaplains will teach sound gospel doctrines so that our police officers are always guided by the Holy Spirit in all their interactions and endeavours. We are fully conscious  that a person is composed of the body, the soul and the spirit. Over  the years we have  focused  on training  the body and soul without  giving  particular  attention  to the spirit which is core,” said Chihuri.

Five police officers were hospitalised after members of the apostolic sect led by fugitive leader Madzibaba Ishmael turned violent after an attempt by the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) to “ban” the church over a plethora of misdemeanours among them women and child-abuse.

“I am therefore gratified that the organisation has further  strengthened the Chaplaincy Office  through the establishment of Chaplains at every station  in order  to complement  existing  structures  at district and provincial levels .The major aim is to help  deal with  the spiritual  wellbeing  of our police  officers,” said Chihuri.

He also said the police will continue to carry out its mandate as per constitutional requirement.

“Let me state without any equivocation that the Zimbabwe Republic Police derives its genesis and mandate from Section 219 of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Thus, our duty as police is to maintain  law and order as well as to arrest  any offender for any breaches of the laws of this country. In this  regard, our mission is to safeguard  the lives  and property of  the people  we serve, as well as reducing  fear of crime  in order to enhance  public safety and security,” he said.

Beitbridge border toll fees slashed by 300%

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Beitbridge border toll fees slashed by 300% 30 June 2014 by Farai Kuvirimirwa

THE government has slashed toll fees charged on all types of vehicles using the New Limpopo Bridge linking Zimbabwe and South Africa by about 30 percent, bringing relief to transporters.

According to new regulations contained in the current government gazette, motor cycles will now pay $3 while light motor vehicles and heavy vehicles will fork out $6 and $17 respectively.

Prior to the slashing of the toll fees, motorbikes, light vehicles and heavy vehicles’ drivers were paying $4,70 (50 rand), $9,45 (100 rand) and $27,25 (300 rand), respectively.

The toll fees would be administered by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) after government assumed ownership and operation of the New Limpopo Bridge from New Limpopo Bridge (Pvt) Ltd, which constructed the bridge in 1994.

The government recently took over the New Limpopo Bridge, linking Zimbabwe and South Africa, located just after Beitbridge, which was constructed under the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) in 1994 by the New Limpopo Bridge Private Limited.

NLB (Pvt) Ltd operated the bridge for 20 years and realising about $1,6 million in revenue from toll fees monthly.

In his recommendations in the Government Gazette, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Dr Obert Mpofu said the tolling fees would be charged in terms of Section 6 of the Toll-Roads Act (Chapter 13:13.)

The Act stipulates how much a vehicle would be charged at a specific tollgate depending on the weight and number of people it carries.

“Tolls payable for the use of the Beitbridge shall be paid at the designated office within the Beitbridge Border Post. Zinara is hereby authorised to levy, collect for the benefit of the Beitbridge fund the tolls payable in terms of section 5 (1) on vehicles using the Limpopo Bridge.”

“Subject to Section 6, any person in charge of or driving a vehicle specified in the schedule shall for each instance that the vehicle is driven over the Beitbridge, pay a toll at the designated office at Beitbridge Border Post,” read part of the recommendations.

Minister Mpofu recommended that vehicles, which shall not be liable to paying the toll fees would be of Zimbabwe and South African border officials, Beitbridge residents, government vehicles on official business and those of Zinara staff.

Under the tolling regulations, buses with a seating capacity of more than 24 passengers and haulage trucks with a carrying capacity of more than three tonnes fall under the heavy vehicles category.

Minibuses, which carry between eight and 24 passengers, will also pay under the light vehicles category.

Recently, Minister Mpofu said officials from transport ministries from both Zimbabwe and South Africa were tasked to come up with a memorandum of understanding over the operations of the bridge by the end of September.

The chief executive of Coach and Bus Operators Association, Alex Kautsiro, welcomed the latest development.

“As operators plying cross-border routes over this bridge, we welcome this new development. This shows that our government has a true desire to enhance our industry by improving value for the transport industry through infrastructure development.

Unskilled threat to empowerment: Minister

via Unskilled threat to empowerment: Minister 29 June 2014

YOUTH and Empowerment deputy minister, Mathias Tongofa has admitted government was dishing out company to youths under its empowerment drive irrespective of the costs of entrusting the viability of the firms on unskilled beneficiaries.

Tongofa told a National Business Council of Zimbabwe (NBCZ) meeting in Chinhoyi the success of the controversial indigenisation initiative could face challenges due to that the majority of Zimbabweans had serious capacity deficits despite their determination.

“A huge majority have been blessed with more determination than ability to conduct businesses,” Tongofa said.

“While the acquisition of much land, property and shares in foreign dominated firms has given us a lot of advantage in terms of resource ownership, there still remains a critical shortage of business skills and knowledge.”

Zimbabwe’s last 15 years have seen President Robert Mugabe’s government embark on a multi-pronged black economic empowerment drive; from the land reform programme to the ongoing company grabs.

Critics say the populist policies have had a negative impact on the country’s fragile economy, a situation that has resulted in the current economic crisis.

The chaotic and often violent land redistribution exercise brought a once thriving agricultural sector to its knees and only this year at least 2.2 million people are unable to feed themselves and now rely on aid agencies.

Millions of scarce funds have been doled out to mostly Zanu PF youths from commercial banks under empowerment schemes funded by different companies.

In most cases, the beneficiaries have misappropriated the funds and simply disappeared, leaving government the burden of repaying the money.

Tongofa said he was disappointed by the default rate on loans extended to youths across the country.

“Many youths and entrepreneurs have started businesses which have eventually not operated sustainably,” he said.

“Many borrowed money from the funding pools which were made available, but to date less than 70% has been repaid. Is it because most of the projects had not been well thought out or these youths just went away and squandered the money because they do not have an idea of what is supposed to be done.”

Mashonaland West governor Faber Chidarikire, concurred.

“It takes a lot of skills and training to be able to fully satisfy the challenging demands of an economy that is going through change,” he said during the same event.

“There is need to train our youths in business and practical management skills before they get money. In fact, we have graduates who we have not given money but could have done much better.”

Econet in trouble over text messages

via Econet in trouble over text messages 29 June 2014

TELECOMS giant Econet is under fire over unsolicited text messages it is sending to subscribers, with the Postal Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) saying it was looking into the matter after receiving complaints over the unwarranted messages.

The spam messages are usually promotional texts on football, health and other matters and sometimes they ask subscribers with a number to text or call, a link to a website for more information, or a link to a website to download something.

Potraz acting director-general Alfred Marisa told Chronicle yesterday that the authority had engaged Econet on the issue, saying subscribers should be given the option to consent before receiving any texts messages from any telecommunications company in the country.

Marisa said the regulatory authority received complaints from subscribers last week and immediately launched an investigation in a bid to try and resolve the matter.

“Before any telecommunications company sends bulk text messages, subscribers should be given the opportunity to consent. Even if the text messages are promotions, the subscribers should be given an option to opt out if they are not interested in the services being advertised,” said Marisa.

“We received a complaint last week and we have since taken up the issue with Econet to hear their side of the story. We’re expecting a response from Econet this week.”

Marisa added that the authority does not allow telecommunications companies to abuse subscribers.

“All the companies are fully aware that it’s against the law to send text messages to subscribers without them consenting or at least having an option to opt out. We don’t allow such abuse.

“If we receive complaints from subcribers of other telecommunication companies we’ll also take up the issue. At the moment we have only received complaints from Econet subcribers,” said Marisa.

Econet spokesperson Rangarirai Mberi could not be reached for comment.

Econet subcribers told Chronicle that they were fed up with the unsolicited messages from the mobile company.

“Something has to be done about these unsolicited promotion texts, especially from Econet. A day never passes without them sending more than five text messages. I decided to remove all alerts and notifications for sms. About 95 percent of all text messages I receive are from Econet,” said Vincent Ncube, an Econet subscriber.

“I hope that our regulator, Potraz will do something to protect us. Unlike email spam, sms spam cannot be deleted without opening it first and some people’s phones don’t have sms spam filters.”

Another subscriber Patricia Dube said while the promotions were important to some people, it was also important for Potraz to put in place a code of conduct for commercial messages to protect mobile phone users from sms spam. “In all cases of sms spam, the sender should give the recipient an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list but Econet is not doing that.

“A vendor has no right under the constitution or otherwise to send unwanted material into the home or domain of another. Therefore, if a receiver of unsolicited text messages does not want to keep receiving them, the sender must simply stop,” said Dube.

She added that she attempted to send a message saying “stop” in response to a particular sms spam and in response the spammer responded saying “sms messaging cannot currently be changed”.

Name Baba Jukwa ministers: Mutasa

via Name Baba Jukwa ministers: Mutasa 29 June 2014

DIDYMUS Mutasa, the Zanu PF administration secretary, says the Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi should name the ministers who worked with him on the Facebook character Baba Jukwa.

This comes as detectives Saturday reportedly questioned some staffers in the Social Media Department at Herald House to “verify some information” over the charges preferred against the editor of the state-controlled Sunday Mail.

Mutasa Saturday said the 28-year-old editor should stop accusing government officials of targeting him and said instead he should name the ministers “he worked with on Baba Jukwa”.

“The party never had anything to do with Baba Jukwa,” Mutasa told the Daily News on Sunday. “Where are the ministers who want to fix him? What we are interested in is pursuing the law. If he tells us the ministers who were involved, we will be pleased to know their names. Ngaarege kutitaurira zvenhando (He should not tell us rubbish).”

Formed in March last year, the Facebook character churned out a daily blizzard of posts, waging a furious information war ahead of the July 31, 2013 presidential elections against Zanu PF — the party of which he claims to be a member.

The State claims it has traced the mysterious yet stupendously popular blogger Baba Jukwa’s account to Kudzayi. Following his arrest on Thursday last week, Kudzayi was on Saturday charged with “attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism” and “subverting the constitutional government.”

All of the charges carry a life sentence.

Authorities accused Kudzayi of being the anonymous Facebook blogger “Baba Jukwa.” The blog, by a purported mole within the ruling Zanu PF party, disclosed allegations of assassination plots and corruption within the ruling party.

The Sunday Mail editor denies he is Baba Jukwa, whose page had some 409 260 followers as of Saturday, but has since admitted that he is Amai Jukwa.

He claims that he received payment from the military to trace the people behind the Baba Jukwa account. It is not clear how much of taxpayers’ money was used to bankroll his consultancy.

He claims he is being victimised by “powers that be” who wrongly believe that he belongs to a certain Zanu PF faction.

Kudzayi sensationally claims that Cabinet ministers caused his arrest to appease President Robert Mugabe following his outburst that Zanu PF had been infiltrated by “weevils” that had to be rooted out.

Kudzayi is currently languishing in remand prison after the High Court on Friday deferred his bail hearing to Thursday this week to give the State time to prepare a response to his voluminous bail application.

According to the police, Kudzayi, his brother Philip, and 10 others who are dotted across the world, were part of the Baba Jukwa syndicate.

The UK-based The Zimbabwean newspaper publisher Wilf Mbanga and his wife Trish, Johannesburg-based reporter Mxolisi Ncube, and computer programmers Walter Shoko, Samson Chifamba, George Chirakasha, Animie Drew, Piniel Nhokodi, Romeo Musemburi and Sarudzai Florence were named by police as being linked to the enigmatic Baba Jukwa, who has gone uncharacteristically quite since his last Facebook post last Monday.

But Kudzayi says the allegations levelled against him “are not only laughable but a clear abuse of the criminal justice system by those in the high corridors of power who are afraid that I can use my technological expertise to expose those who actually supplied the real Baba Jukwa with blow by blow details of sensitive meetings with Zanu PF and the government of Zimbabwe.”

Kudzayi claims that he is being haunted by ministers who wrongly suspect him of belonging to a particular faction.

During the burial of the late national hero Nathan Shamuyarira, Mugabe admonished some ministers for taking factional feuds to the media.

The ruling party, that is hurtling towards a crucial congress in December, is divided along two major factions, one reportedly led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by the powerful Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. The two are widely regarded as the front-runners to succeed 90-year old Mugabe.

Mutasa, who is also the minister of State in the President’s Office, yesterday said Kudzayi “should tell us which faction he was working for.”

He claims he was involved with the Team Zanu PF campaign.

Kudzayi has said that Amai Jukwa was a pro-Zanu PF blogger. However, he launched unrestrained attacks on Mutasa himself, Mujuru, ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, among top officials.

Chamisa-MDC vets in meeting spat

via Chamisa-MDC vets in meeting spat 29 June 2014

MDC-T SECURITY in Bulawayo was Saturday called to restrain an angry member of the controversial MDC-T Veterans Activists Association (MDC-VAA) who came close to assaulting Nelson Chamisa after the youthful party official had disowned the militant group.

Chamisa, who is party national organising secretary, had travelled to Bulawayo to preside over a party’s restructuring meeting ahead of the MDC-T’s elective congress in October this year.

All went well until a member of the MDC-VAA asked Chamisa what the party had in store for them to which the MP said he did not know of such party organ.

An MDC-T activist who witnessed the incident said Chamisa went on to describe the party grouping as “rubbish”.

That did not go down well with one Samuel Maponde who sprang from his seat and started charging towards the top table where Chamisa sat while addressing the hundreds of party activists.

“He was boiling with anger, threatening to clap him saying ‘who are you; I will beat you up’,” said the witness.

Chamisa, it is said, kept his cool and remained on his seat, leaving the rest to security who grabbed and threw the seething party activist outside the Bulawayo party premises, venue for the meeting.

Reached for comment, Maponde said he had no intentions of beating up “that boy” but was genuinely justified in expressing his anger over Chamisa’s contemptuous thoughts of the MDC veterans.

“He is not our enemy but what we did not like was for him to come all the way from Harare to attack the victims of MDC,” Maponde said.

He said they were bitter the MDC victims of Zanu PF’s brutality who operated under the controversial name were being disowned by Chamisa.

He insisted the MDC-VAA were founder members of the MDC who bear the scars of Zanu PF brutality and were the opposition’s “vanguard”.

He vowed together with other members to stage a bigger fight in the group’s interests within MDC-T.

Maponde said Chamisa, for all his education, must not be scared by the word, veterans as it was a harmless dictionary term that could apply to any professionals.

Maponde was assisted in his comments by Victor Zunza, who is the chairman of the MDC-VAA.

“He is a toddler in that game. If he wants to be the secretary general of the party, he has now touched the wrong side of the burning wood,” Zunza said.

“He is a learner; he must learn not to attack the people who started the party, we did not form this party for Chamisa and others to raise money or to become bosses. They are our servants. We gave that Chamisa a job to become organising secretary not our boss.”

The veterans vowed support for party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and targeted their anger on Chamisa.

Chamisa on his part was adamant there was no such organ in the party.

He told NewZimbabwe.com he had gone to listen to the concerns of the Bulawayo leadership and was met with a barrage of questions some of which related to the legitimacy of the MDC-VAA which was reportedly demanding for positions in the party structures.

“I only clarified to say number one, we have no veterans association because its not contemplated in the constitution; number two, it’s not a position of the leadership; number three, hapana veteran to talk
about because the struggle is not over; number four, its divisive and destructive to start labelling others because ultimately you end up condemning others who may not qualify in the so-called category of
veterans in any case.

” It brings an unnecessary and unwarranted culture of entitlement which is the very essence why we formed an alternative.”

Chamisa said he suspected the MDC-VAA was a strategy being pushed by the rival Renewal faction to sow discord in the Tsvangirai led faction.

“I suspect these are being used for manipulation purposes…its actually sponsored by forces that are opposed to the party. When it comes to these associations, l smell a rat and a very big rat for that
matter. I am the cat that smells and catches rats and this rat is obviously uncomfortable as it is just about to be caught.

Mnangagwa better than Bob: Tsvangirai

via Mnangagwa better than Bob: Tsvangirai 29 June 2014

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he would rather have Vice President Joice Mujuru or Justice Minister Emmerson Manangwa emerge to lead the country as opposed to Robert Mugabe cling on as State President.

Tsvangirai told supporters at a rally in Seke communal lands weekend that Mnangagwa and Mujuru were much younger that Mugabe and would not be as stubborn as his 90-year-old rival in dealing with the country’s deep economic problems.

“We must set a clear direction where this country is going, an economic plan that will make industry and farms work,” Tsvangirai said.

“The issue in Zimbabwe is not economic but political; we need a political plan. No one is going to invest in a country with a 90-year-old leader. Mujuru or Mnangagwa are far much better than him.

He must graciously retire now and leave this to others. Zvinotovanani (it’s far much better).”

Mujuru and Mnangagwa are currently locked in a silent but bitter succession battle as it becomes apparent the aging Mugabe’s political career could soon be brought to an end through advanced age.

The succession battle has intensified as the liberation war movement draws closer to its elective congress in December this year.

Mugabe has led Zanu PF for close to four decades and has been State leader since majority rule 34 years ago.

Despite clear signs his political career is in its twilight period, a cunning Mugabe has stubbornly refused to give the smallest hint over his preferred successor.

Tsvangirai described his long time political foe as “the past” that Zimbabwe needed to break away from.

“The future is dark, there are no jobs. It’s been a tough journey for Zimbabweans,” he said.

“Look at China. It took a bold decision 30 years ago. After the death of Mao (tse Tung), China took a deliberate decision to do away with communism and embraced a market driven economy and now we can see how they have benefited from that bold decision.

“Zimbabwe needs that and Mugabe is the past; we must set the direction that will make this country work again.”

Mbada fires top executive

via Mbada fires top executive – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu

MBADA Diamonds has fired its chief administration officer Major Mahlangu for allegedly failing to liquidate a debt of over R200 million owed to one of its suppliers, Gecko.

Impeccable sources at the diamond mining company said Mahlangu was fired last weekend after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) early this year garnished the diamond miner’s bank accounts for failing to remit taxes.

“Mahlangu, the chief administrator, was fired on Sunday last week through an email that was copied to all senior staff over the manner in which the company has failed to settle its R200 million debt to Gecko,” the source said.

However, Mbada corporate communications executive George Manyaya denied the reports.

“None of your allegations are true,” Manyaya said in a terse email response last week.

Mahlangu becomes the second high profile official to leave the firm in a huff after chief executive officer Patience Khumalo left under unclear circumstances in March this year.

Khumalo is daughter to Mbada Diamonds board chairman Robert Mhlanga.

“Mahlangu was fired and this is related to failing to make sure that the company paid Gecko as was agreed with Zimra when the company’s bank accounts were garnished earlier this year. Mbada owes Gecko R200 million and $247 000 for withholding taxes,” the source said.

The source added: “To date Mbada has only been able to repay $100 000 to Gecko.”

Mbada accounts were garnished twice by Zimra in the past eight months after the firm failed to pay its taxes to the tax collector.

The diamond miner has of late been struggling financially and recently slashed its workers’ salaries by 50% in order to stay afloat.

Zimra in March issued a second garnishee order on Mbada accounts held with BancABC for the second time. The garnishee order was for $22 442 683,22.

Sources close to the matter said it related to withholding tax pertaining to transactions between the diamond miners and Gecko Company.

Mbada acknowledged the tax liability but argued its tax issues were handled at the highest level and the government was aware of the developments and that there was an agreement that the firm paid their taxes in advance to assist the cash strapped government.

Other documents in our possession also showed that Mbada in November last year had its accounts garnisheed over tax liabilities.

BancABC head of operations Martha Muhwati on November 22, 2013 wrote an internal circular 189/2013 to all branch managers, team leaders, relationship managers, banking operations centre, credit operations and corporate banking on the Zimra order.

“We advise having received Zimra garnishee orders on the following clients: Diamond Mining Corporation $5 559 235,41; Mbada Diamonds $132 606,53 and Mbada Diamonds ZAR128 518 628,02,” Muhwati wrote.

‘Brace for demos’ Tsvangirai

via ‘Brace for demos’ Tsvangirai – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu / Nqobani Ndlovu

EMBATTLED MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday rallied his party youths to brace for mass demonstrations to pressure the Zanu PF government to generate employment and stimulate the economy.

Addressing a campaign rally at Ziko, Seke communal area just outside Chitungwiza, Tsvangirai said: “Cowardice has affected this country, the youths should be brave and face the enemy demanding the promised jobs.”

He added that he had snubbed some foreign diplomats who were asking him to stop holding campaign rallies.

“One diplomat told us to stop doing rallies. We will not stop from campaigning so that their preferred candidates can gain ground.”

Addressing the same rally, MDC-T returnee Job Sikhala said: “We are prepared to die for you [Tsvangirai]. We cannot continue to wait while things deteriorate and it’s high time we bring to an end this fight with [President Robert] Mugabe.”

Meanwhile, MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa was nearly assaulted on Saturday in Bulawayo during a closed-door meeting held at the party’s provincial offices after he dismissed the MDC-T Veterans’ Association (MDC VA) — a grouping of founding party members — as bogus.

Chamisa was in the city to oversee the holding of elections to fill vacant posts of provincial chairperson, secretary and youth assembly chairperson in the provincial executive.

The elections were aborted at the last minute.

Sources said security saved Chamisa from being assaulted by MDC VA member Samuel Maponde during the heated meeting.

Chamisa confirmed the chaos, saying Maponde was disrupting the meeting and had to be booted out by security details.

Demolitions leave 300 homeless

via Demolitions leave 300 homeless – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2014 by Obey Manayiti

A FIERCE boundary wrangle among villagers in Buhera Central left over 300 people in Denhere Village homeless last Thursday after their homes were razed down by police and a Deputy Sheriff from Chivhu.

The law enforcement agents were reportedly armed with a High Court order which gave them the powers to evict the villagers whom they accused of being illegally settled in the disputed area.

The victims, from Mafusire area in Ward 22 of Buhera Central, said they had a long standing boundary dispute with a nearby headman only identified as Marambanyika.

According to headman Kotsanai Denhere, 28 homesteads were destroyed while more than 20 others quickly destroyed their houses to avoid losing their household properties and food.

Villagers said more than 100 schoolgoing children had since dropped out of school after the incident.

Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) yesterday visited the affected villagers and urged them to take legal action.

“This is very wrong and none of them should go. We have never seen such a thing like this in this country [sic] and a headman has no mandate to evict people,” Chinotimba said.

The combative former war veteran said he would soon engage Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to stop the evictions.

Denhere, who claims to have settled in the area in 1965, said his subjects had been reduced to paupers after they were left without food and clothing.

“We are going through a very painful period. We have nowhere to sleep and when they burnt down our houses they also destroyed our food and clothes. We have nothing to eat and because of the situation our children have stopped going to school,” Denhere said.

One of the victims, 64-year-old Pineti Toriro said he was worried over the welfare of the children caught up in the fight.
“This is winter and imagine sleeping in the open with minor children,” Toriro said.

ZimRights regional council chairperson Passmore Nyakureba described the demolitions as inhuman.

Nyakureba said the eviction order was targeted at only 14 homesteads.

“This is a case which calls for urgent police investigations to see what powers gave those people to act in a manner that they did,” Nyakureba said. “This is terrible abuse of power and it has to be condemned in the strongest terms. What is shocking and appalling is that the Deputy Sheriff was assisted by armed police officers in burning down the homesteads of innocent citizens who at no point had attempted to resist.”

Makomo Resources plans 600MW plant

via Makomo Resources plans 600MW plant | The Herald June 30, 2014 by Martin Kadzere

MAKOMO Resources, Zimbabwe’s second largest coal miner intends to build a 600 megawatt plant in Hwange as early as next year adding to the national power grid while work on the Kariba South Power station is expected to start next month.
Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Engineer Munacho Mutezo said Makomo Resources had already been given the licence to operate as an Independent Power Producer (IPP).

“They are quite serious about the project and their plan is to start working on it next year, Eng Mutezo said on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce annual congress on Wednesday.

“They have obtained a licence to operate as an independent power producer. I would say it is an exciting project.”
The deputy minister did not disclose how much Makomo would spend on the project but Sino Hydro, a Chinese company which was contracted to build a power plant with the same capacity in Hwange will spend $1,2 billion.

Zesa Holdings chief executive Mr Josh Chifamba said the expansion of the Kariba Power Station would start next month.
“We are hoping to complete the condition precedent which will allow us to start draw downs and this should happen by end of July. That will signify the official beginning of the project.”

On the solar projects, Mr Chifamba said Zesa was discussing with companies that won tenders on implementing the projects.  New Zesa Holdings chairman Dr Herbert Murerwa said the vision of the new board was to ensure brown field and green field projects being pursued by Zesa were implemented. He said this during a familiarisation tour at the Hwange Power Station last week. The board also held its inaugural meeting at the plant.

“We have come here to understand the challenges that Zesa is facing and our major priority as a board is to ensure all projects in the pipeline materialise,” said Dr Murerwa. We will also work on improving investments in new projects.

Zimbabwe generates about 1 200 megawatts against a peak demand of 2 200MW. This has resulted in frequent power cuts, negatively affecting operations of mines and industries.

Foreign investors, mainly from Asia, are expressing interest in the country’s power sector and are looking at generating electricity from solar, coal and methane gas. Two Chinese companies — China Jiangxi Corporation and ZTE Corporation — are among three companies that recently won tenders to build 100-megawatt solar plants in Gwanda at a cost of $184 million each.

Indian state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Shandong of China are among companies that have also expressed interest in partnering RioZim Limited in setting up 250 megawatt plants at its vast coal fields in Gokwe. The short-term strategy envisages the construction of a number of smaller power plants over the next 10 years, RioZim said. Its energy unit, Rio Energy, is in the process of bringing in technical and financial   partners.

China Africa Sunlight Energy and a leading Chinese bank are discussing terms of a possible loan worth $1,6 billion to fund the setup and construction of a coal mine and a power station in Gwayi.

Ejection null and void, say legal experts

via Ejection null and void, say legal experts | The Herald June 30, 2014 by Peter Matambanadzo

THE expulsion of MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and party national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo by a disciplinary tribunal set up by the Renewal Team led by secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti, is null and void, legal experts said yesterday.
They argued that no one had the power to come up with decisions that superseded a court order.
This comes after Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Moyo were expelled from MDC-T after being found guilty by the tribunal for violating the party’s Constitution and using violence as a political tool.

The disciplinary hearing, led by lawyers Messrs Gift Nyandoro, Tafadzwa Mugabe and Edwin Hamunakwadi went ahead at Mandel Training Centre at the same time the High Court was delivering a ruling stopping the proceedings last Friday. The lawyers concurred that court orders should be obeyed or people risked being charged with contempt of court.

“The basic thing is that people should respect the orders given by our courts. So where there is an order stating a certain action, people should just comply with that order,” Mr Aston Musunga said.

He said it was not proper for Mr Biti’s faction to go ahead and ignore the court order. “Disregarding court orders can lead to contempt of court proceedings against the party that disobeys the court order,” Mr Musunga said.

Another prominent lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange, said court orders were supreme and must be followed.
“The court is supreme and when it makes its decision it must be obeyed. The rule of law requires that it must be obeyed especially by the MDC Renewal Team who are saying they want to champion democracy,” he said.

Mr Samukange said the MDC Renewal Team was claiming that it wanted to implement the rule of law and yet there were going against the same rule of law and claimed to be democratic.

“You cannot separate the rule of law and democracy. Rule of law requires that you obey court orders,” he said.
Mr Samukange described the Biti led disciplinary tribunal hearing as a kangaroo court. Mr Terrence Hussein also agreed with his colleagues saying court orders were supreme and should be followed.

“I think the Renewal Team in proceeding with the hearing after the court interdict makes it null and void as the High Court order takes precedence over all actions be it Parliament, be it the executive,” Mr Hussein said.

Another lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was not proper for the Renewal Team to proceed with the disciplinary hearing.
“It was wrong for them to proceed once the High Court interdict was issued. It means they already had an outcome,” the lawyer said.

$355m power project begins

via $355m power project begins The Herald June 30, 2014 by Lloyd Gumbo

Expansion work at Kariba South Hydro Power Station is expected to officially start in August when the financier, China Export and Import Bank, releases funding for the project after Zimbabwe met most of the conditions that were set. Zim-Asset identifies energy and power development as key enablers to productivity and socio-economic development.

Zimbabwe Power Company, a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings and the contractor Sinohydro, said it expected China Exim Bank to avail money at the end of next month or early August.

ZPC managing director Mr Noah Gwariro said all things being equal, ZPC and the Government must have met all the 17 conditions that China Exim Bank set for it to release money for the project.

“We are currently working on condition precedents on our side as ZPC and Government so that we can fulfil conditions by China Exim Bank,” Mr Gwariro said.

“We are almost done with that because our plan is to complete all the conditions by end of July so that money can come through from early August.”
He said Sinohydro of China was already on site doing part of the works.

The project will cost about US$355 million, with Government supplementing 10 percent which is about $35 million.
The project is to build two generators that will boost Kariba South’s capacity from 750 megawatts to 1 050MW.

Mr Gwariro said some of the conditions set by the financier included the need for the loan agreement to be ratified by Parliament, establishment of a Kariba Hydro Power Company and appointment of its board as well as providing the $35 million.

Parliament has already ratified the loan while Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, recently appointed the Kariba Hydro Power Company board chaired by Engineer James Chiuta Dube.

Mr Gwariro said they were negotiating with local banks to provide the $35 million adding that the other conditions would not be difficult to meet.
Sinohydro Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd director, Mr Wu Yifeng, said work had already started on site though they were still waiting for payment for the project to officially start.

“We expect the first payment would be released by the Bank at the end of July and once Sinohydro receive the payment, the project would be officially started though work is already underway.

“So far the primary design of the project has been approved by ZPC and its consultant, Hatch while excavation and blasting started in April.
“The camp for the contractor has been completed and we are now working on the road to the water intake and preparing for the excavation of water intake tunnel.

“Up to now, 40 Chinese engineers and 120 local employees are working on the project site. The material and equipment valued around $6 million has been mobilised to the site. We have signed the supply agreement of turbines and generators with the manufacturer and is waiting for the full advance payment to start the manufacturing,” said Mr Wu.

Some of the conditions that Zimbabwe is yet to meet are the need for ZPC to open a bank account with a local financial institution as well as finalisation of the Power Purchase Agreement between ZPC and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company.

Mr Wu said the project was expected to take about three and half years to be completed.
The loan would be used for such services as engineering, procurement of equipment and actual construction of the two units that will add 300 megawatts to the national grid.

Government recently gave greenlight for the State Procurement Board to award the tender for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station to Sinohydro.
The expansion of Kariba South and Hwange will see Zimbabwe producing at least 2500 MW upon completion of the projects.

Zimbabwe curretly produces about 1 200 megawatts against demand at peak periods of 2 200MW.s

Car assemblers condemn E15 fuel

via Car assemblers condemn E15 fuel | The Herald June 30, 2014 by Tendai Mugabe

Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries says its vehicles are not compatible with the E15 fuel blend and does not warranty cars using such fuel should they develop engine or emission system challenges. Motorists have also expressed concern with the use of the mandatory E15 fuel that was recently announced by the Government. E15 is a mix of 85 percent petrol and 15 percent ethanol.

Government argued that such blending levels were safe and would reduce the country’s fuel import bill.
WMMI managing director Engineer Dawson Mareya last week said E15 might result in engine malfunctioning in Mazda models.

“The use of such fuel depends on the engine, whether it is designed for such fuel.
“We cannot give a warranty of guarantee for anything beyond E10 because it can cause engine malfunction.”

Eng Mareya said decisions to introduce E15 required extensive consultations with stakeholders in the motor industry.
As car assemblers, he said, they wanted time to communicate with kits manufacturers on change of Government policy.

“We do not design cars. We just put a car together so such decisions require proper planning,” he said.
Nissan Zimbabwe last year expressed discomfort over the use of blended fuel beyond E10 levels.

In a letter to Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo, Nissan Zimbabwe said their vehicles were designed to take a maximum 10 percent ethanol-blended gasolene.

It said if that percentage was to be exceeded, Nissan products would have fuel injection components changed and various rubber components installed into the fuel systems to cater for a higher ethanol blend.

Most Zimbabweans use vehicles imported from mainly Britain and Asian countries and no independent enquiries have been done to assess the compatibility of such pre-owned vehicles to these fuel blends.

A car dealer who spoke to The Herald on condition of anonymity last Friday said the decision to introduce E15 in Zimbabwe was ill advised.
He said most of the vehicles in the country were not compatible with such higher blends.

“E15 is compatible with modern cars especially those that were manufactured from 2004,” said the source.
“If we are to use E15 on all cars, it means there should be some modifications on engines because ethanol is corrosive.”

A Harare motorist, Mr Manuel Gadzikwa, said E15 and any other blend above E10 level should be optional.
“It is unfair for Government to foist E15 on us. In as much as Government can argue that E15 is a cost cutting measure that may also result in reduction of fuel prices, it has to be optional. We should be allowed to choose the fuel that we want to use.”

However, Eng Magombo of Zera said there was nothing wrong with E15.
She said blended fuel was not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe as it was used during the Smith regime.

Eng Magombo said the increase in mandatory blending levels was aimed at reducing the fuel import bill.
“We are losing huge sums of money through fuel imports,” she said.

“However, the impact on fuel prices cannot be felt now because service stations should first clear their E10 stocks before implementing the new E15 blend level.”
Some countries that have long embraced ethanol use have come up with vehicles that are compatible to 100 percent ethanol without modifications.

E15 blending level is being challenged in the courts by a Harare man Thabani Mpofu, who is suing Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Zera and Green Fuels.

Mpofu filed a constitutional application challenging Green Fuels’ “monopoly and blending ratios” to levels beyond E10.
He argued that compulsory blending effectively bans unleaded fuel in Zimbabwe.

Mpofu further contends that Green Fuels’ monopoly and blending ratios did not guarantee fair competition and were not in the interest of motorists.
He is of the view that mandatory blending infringes on people’s rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

Zanu-PF and the Social media: A dilemma Unfolding

via Zanu-PF and the Social media: A dilemma Unfolding – The Sunday Mail  29 June 2014 by Munyaradzi Huni

It’s not a secret that quite a number of Politburo members in Zanu-PF have up to now not mastered how to use a basic computer with jokes flying around that some can’t even move a computer mouse properly. Others still wonder what Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are all about. But before pointing fingers at the Politburo members, it’s important to state here that the resistance to new technology and these digital platforms is not confined to these top politicians but is widespread even in newsrooms.
The country’s courts are now seized with the intriguing case of trying to unravel the Baba Jukwa mystery and so this matter is better left in the capable hands of our competent judiciary.
However, while the courts are grappling with the matter, it is clear that the New Media in general and the social media in particular have finally “arrived” to transform the political, social and economic landscape in Zimbabwe.
The floodgates of unprocessed communication have been opened through the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Viber, LinkedIn and the short message service (SMS) among many of the ever-changing media platforms that have shrunk the world.
As the judiciary gets down to work, Zanu-PF is faced with pertinent questions that are demanding immediate answers. Is the revolutionary party ready for the New Media?
Is this party that was formed way back in 1963 – during the typewriter days, ready for the revolution in Information Technology? Put simply – is Zanu-PF ready for the social media?
It’s not a secret that quite a number of Politburo members in Zanu-PF have up to now not mastered how to use a basic computer with jokes flying around that some can’t even move a computer mouse properly.
Others still wonder what Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are all about. But before pointing fingers at the Politburo members, it’s important to state here that the resistance to new technology and these digital platforms is not confined to these top politicians but is widespread even in newsrooms. There are some professional and veteran journalists who have been overtaken by advancements in technology such that they have surrendered social media responsibilities to junior scribes who are fresh from college.
On the other hand, several companies, including media houses, are still vexed how they can effectively incorporate the new media into their systems.
For the traditional media in Zimbabwe (radio, television and newspapers) proper mechanisms to co-exist with the social media are still being experimented with time fast running out.
So we have luddites, not only in Zanu-PF but all over the country. A luddite, according to the Wikipedia, is a word derived from the 19th century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817.
Over time, the word luddite has been used to describe those people opposed to, or slow to adopt or incorporate into their lifestyle, industrialisation, automation, computerisation or new technologies in general. Others prefer to use the term “Neo-Luddism” in reference to those opposed to technological progress for cultural or moral reasons.
It’s common these days to hear parents boasting that “I couldn’t do this or that on my phone or IPad but my son/daughter later helped me.”
They want to sound like parents who are proud of their children’s ability to use new technology but in actual fact all they are doing is hide their inability to adapt to new technology.
Indeed, the new media is upon us and there is no doubt that it’s going to be a game changer in many spheres of our lives. As for the ruling party, Zanu-PF, there is no choice but to embrace this new phenomenon or die. And the big question is – is Zanu-PF doing enough to adapt to the new media?
Among the “23 goals of the people that inform Zanu-PF policies” listed in its manifesto for the July 31 2013 elections, the party boldly states:
“The critical importance of fostering a patriotic youth as a national aspiration of the people is dramatised by the fact that – according to the 2012 population census – youths aged between 18 and 35 years and who are thus eligible to vote number up to 4,8 million. This represents 37 percent of the total population of 13 million and 61 percent of the 7,9 million Zimbabweans who are eligible to vote…”
The party went on to describe the youths as the “engine room within which future leaders” are groomed adding that the youths fall in the “age bracket which is preoccupied with finding its role and station in life”. Further the party noted that these new voters fell in the “age group that is most vulnerable to external political, cultural and information manipulation.”
From the above, it is encouraging to note that Zanu-PF acknowledges the importance of fostering patriotic youths but among the threats to achieving the goals of the people listed by the party in its manifesto, the social media is not mentioned.
Maybe this was done for strategic reasons but clearly, the social media posses a great threat to the fostering of patriotic youths because these platforms are enabling youths to access raw information easily and at no cost in some instances due to citizen journalism.  The party rightly noted that the youths are vulnerable to external manipulation and, all this is going to be done mainly through the social media which the Government has little control over.
While the focus on Information Communication Technology in the Zanu-PF manifesto focused mainly on expanding accessibility and utilisation to improve service delivery and accelerate economic growth, the issue is tackled extensively in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) under the Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster.
Under Information Communication Technology, the Government said it will focus on ICT governance whose sector outputs include revising ICT policy, developing an ICT bill and coming up with an Internet policy. The Government also said it will look into the ICT backbone and infrastructure whose sector outcomes include capacitating companies such as TelOne, NetOne and PowerTel and engaging the private sector leading to the creation of an ICT hub.
The Government further said it will roll out its E-Government plan and embark on extensive ICT research and development.
Clearly, Zanu-PF has an ICT policy in place that is supposed to be implemented by Government under Zim Asset, but developments on the ground are not very encouraging. It seems Zanu-PF has no proper structures and a passionate team dedicated to social media.
This, to an extent, can be attributed to the fact that Zanu-PF did not explicitly outline its social media thrust in the manifesto.
A quick check shows that Zanu-PF has an official twitter account – @Zanu-PF _Officials – which the last time it was active had 52 tweets, following 21 people with 1 528 followers. Worryingly, there are many fake Zanu-PF twitter accounts with one of the popular fake accounts – @Zanu_PF attracting 23 700 followers.
What this means unfortunately is that the official Zanu-PF account, due to inactivity, has been rendered ineffective while the fake accounts have become the source of distorted Zanu-PF information.
A further illustration that Zanu-PF seems not to be taking the social media seriously is its Facebook account which was started on July 5 2013 with 132 likes.
And hear this – this account was last updated on July 9 2013 when the party posted pictures of the popular “Bhora Mugedhi” following the launch of the manifesto. Just like on twitter, there are also several fake Zanu-PF Facebook accounts that churn out information that is against the ideology of the party.
As if this is not embarrassing and bad enough, the Zanu-PF website was last updated ages ago and still has the story “AU raps EU over Zim snub” as its lead story.
This is an old story from last year and surely if updating a website has become such a tall order, then we can’t even start talking about Twitter and Facebook.
It’s clear that Zanu-PF is treating the social media as platforms that are only activated during election time but this is suicidal in a country where according to POTRAZ, mobile penetration in 2012 was 85 percent and increased to 97 percent last year. POTRAZ also says in 2012, there were about 2,2 million Internet subscribers and the number has now increased to about 5 million.
While Zanu-PF is grappling with the new media, other politicians in Africa have taken the lead in utilising what now many are calling the Twittersphere. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan used the social media in 2011 to launch his presidential campaign while Rwandan leader Paul Kagame showed the potential of the social media through his tweets.
In May 2011, he took offence to remarks by British journalist Ian Birrell who had described him as “despotic and deluded” and for about an hour President Kagame responded with a series of tweets. Some say this was probably the first time that a head of state had directly engaged a journalist on Twitter.
In South Africa, the ANC is using the social media effectively after discovering that the opposition Democratic Alliance had taken the lead in deploying the social media in its political campaigns.
In Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF is fortunate that the opposition MDC has no clue on how to effectively use the social media but this naivety will not go on forever and the sooner the ruling party realises this, the better.
Efforts can be made to regulate the social media, but this won’t arrest the information avalanche. The courts will solve the Baba Jukwa puzzle, but the social media is not going anywhere.
Zanu-PF has to find ways of controlling the content and discussions on the social media. This can be done through populating these platforms and engaging trusted people who have a passion in using the new media.
The new media is going to be the battle front in 2018 – any political party that masters the art of using the social media effectively has brighter chances of winning the next elections.

New regulations for school fees hike

via New regulations for school fees hike – The Sunday Mail 29 June 2014 by Sunday Mail Reporter

The Government has placed a moratorium on all primary and secondary school fees hikes and enforced new stringent regulations that schools must adhere to before seeking an upward fees variation.
The new regulations announced by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora now compel school authorities to submit, along with their usual application letters, audited financial statements from the previous term and a schools development plan.
In addition, school authorities are also directed to produce minutes of the School Development Association annual general meeting approving the fees review. Most Government schools ask for between US$5 and US$30 as tuition fees while levies vary from between US$5 and US$400.
Minister Dokora said the Government had since notified schools of the new fees hike requirements.
“We have, this term, placed a stop on fees and levies increments and (we) are glad that no schools has defied the order,” said Minister Dokora, while making a contribution during the opening of the 22nd Session of the Children’s Parliament in Harare.
“Schools are now required to attach, along with their applications for levies and fees review, audited financial statements for the previous term which show evidence of how money was used. We also require a copy of the school’s development plan, which lays out what individual schools plan to use the extra money for or how the money from previous terms was used.
“Schools need to show and prove that money was used for particular and tangible projects. Furthermore, we need evidence that the school development association held an annual general meeting which gave a green light to the proposed review.”
Following Government’s moratorium on fees hike, elite schools under the Association of Trust Schools (ATS) began charging a non-refundable acceptance fee of US$2 700 for students to be enrolled for Form 1 next year as a way of skirting around the Government directive.
Government recently banned Form One entrance tests arguing that they had become a fund-raising initiative for schools. Schools are now required to enrol Form One pupils on the bas is of their Grade Seven results.

A coalition that may resurrect somnolent ZANU ‘PF’ ” Nehanda Radio

via A coalition that may resurrect somnolent ZANU ‘PF’  – Nehanda Radio 27 June 2014 by Tshepo Mabalane Mabalane
The long confrontation by Zimbabwean opposition parties  with the tyrannical and slimy ZANU mob has had a fundamental impact on the country’s political culture. The most dramatic example of this political culture is the repetitive mass mobilisation and fragmentation of the Zimbabwean opposition in the past 34 years in general and the MDC’s last 15 years in particular.
Simba Makoni, Morgan Tsvangirai and Dumiso Dabengwa at a press conference last year
Public discourse has it that there is an emergence of yet another coalition which may add  a new dimension and hopefully a new dynamism as well, to the  Zimbabwean political culture. This may not be a bad idea after all, however it should be known that if precedence is anything to go by, this coalition is bound to splinter.
Such  disintegration(s)  is not peculiar to Zimbabwe but characterises  all coalitions where temporary  popular  loyalism drives  movements and  in the process ignores the blind side of patterns and motives ingrained within the participant  individuals and groups in this type of  volunteerism.  It is therefore these  blind sides that become many a coalition’s Achilles heel that often than not lead to self-destruction
With all due respect, it is great, admirable and responsible men and women who embark on such noble endeavours of coalitions when most people today  regard Zimbabwean politics with contempt and amusement of a never ending circus. However, false steps could lead to disintegrations before the coalition even starts gelling and colluding.
Such clutching at straws, may instead actually serve to awaken, renew and reinvigorate the enemy that the coalition seeks to fight. My piece is therefore based on the  coalition’s construction of battlements. I emphasise that political strategy is of central importance in coalition formation and success.  I have three key observations that I discuss in this short but highly  opinionated  piece.
Identity: Unity versus Distinctiveness
Central to political strategy in coalition formation and success is  the question of the coalition’s identity. Generally identity here refers to the coalition’s system of shared meanings in respect to how it defines itself from naming to practice or modus operandi. This identity is very important because it influences what the coalition wants others to think about it. In addition it is the glue that holds the coalition together.
Coalitions, we should bear in mind are a temporary grouping of entities, formed for a short-term and narrow aim and objectives,  such as countering a common enemy.
It is therefore clear that the different groups have found it difficult to defeat ZANU each fighting from their little corners. Thus,  it is apparent that the aim of the coalition is to gain more influence,  power and synergy than the individual organisations can achieve on their own against the tyrannical ZANU government and even boot it out of power.
As pointed out earlier, the coalition is not a new thing in Zimbabwean politics. The united MDC’s key objective until the split was clearly mobilised around the Mugabe must-go mantra. It was precise and clear and it had many takers.
But that slogan has lost its salt despite the fact that the MDC-T ,if it still exists, wants to milk it until it turns to powder with their ideologically impoverished ‘Dii pa State House” slogan. Logic and political sincerity  dictates that  two or  more mobilising points which are built on why Mugabe and ZANU should be removed must be formulated.
There is always a risk of fragmentation before even the coalition embarks on its project. Wisdom will dictate a post-mortem of what split the groups in the first place. Many reasons have been given but I think opposition parties have missed the point by a whisker and some by a mile.
The split was caused by the limited drive to entrench a single narrative of a homogenous Zimbabwe with one problem(Mugabe)  yet the MDC was a conglomeration of groups with different interests but had in common the need to counter a ZANU hegemony.
It would be hypocritical if not suicidal at best,  not to mention a delusion at its worst to repeat the same mistake. Such an approach will be insincere because Zimbabwe is not a homogenous entity but a contestation of diverse groups each with its own unique set of values. This confusion is generally defined as the unity versus distinctiveness dilemma.
Many theorists in Development studies such as Ben Yong and Robert Hazell have emphasized this dilemma of unity versus distinctiveness. Here groups in a coalition need to offer a clear account of their own aims and identity so as to avoid loss of identity once in power.
Coalitions are based on the idea that whilst working in tandem on common aims and objectives, the different groups should gain  individually from this participation. No one would  want to see a united MDC situation whereby the party gets a slice of power then shoves aside the workers, students, marginalised people of Matabeleland and to a certain extent, the Midlands and Masvingo and embark on jostling for positions.
With such precedence  is therefore important  to clear this confusion between unity and  distinctiveness. Individuals or groups in this new coalition must have their own sets of interests which should not of course override the unifying and overarching aims but at the same time should not be downtrodden because after triumph those interests should be addressed.
Reactivation of a dormant ZANU virus and David Coltart
One fundamental feature that has sustained ZANU over the years has been its ability to suppress with ruthless efficiency  the Zimbabwean populace’s perception of  the possible, particularly the possibility of credible alternatives. The suppression has been instilled in the people such that it is difficult for them  to imagine Zimbabwe without ZANU or Mugabe at the helm.
This impossibility to imagine the alternative has even permeated into all Zimbabwean spheres of life. Its strong odour pervades much of the citizenry’s initiatives where same old faces are recycled in the country’s positions of influence ranging from burial societies to sports administration.
A glaring example would be the MDC-T which itself has some of its supporters not imagining any leader outside Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai’s leadership has indeed played a huge role in helping people imagine the impossible. However since 2005 he has been both a victim and conduit to the phenomenon by not only clinging tooth and nail to power but through uttering irresponsible and myopic statements such as ‘Mugabe is my role model’ together with his lacklustre cabinet quoted many a times in admiration of their supposed utmost enemy.
The people of Zimbabwe have also over the years helped buttress the view that there can be no other alternative in their respective areas.  They have both internalised and accepted this reality and rarely question its origins. Some are even bold to substantiate the anomaly with biblical verses such as ‘all authority is chosen by God’. In the end people have found themselves facing the difficulty of relating their own marginal condition in life to those they vote for.
The suppressed perception of the possible is even traceable in ZANU itself which does not believe that anyone else can lead the party or country besides Mugabe. It is therefore important for the coalition in its aims to consider how it can counter the suppression of perception of possibility.
So what could the coalition do?
We need to sufficiently understand the full implications of that answer in order to ensure that this coalition does not subvert the cause  the movement intends to serve and advance.
First and most importantly, timing is very important. The coalition should delay its launch until maybe just under two years before elections. If they cannot wait that long maybe they could even launch after the ZANU Congress in  December.
Trajectories vary, as does the degree of political expediency, but I think, as I have maintained in the past, and with benefit from hindsight, not even the strongest tyranny can remain united unless the opposition remains visible, a threat and very active. However if opposition feigns death or is in actuality destroyed, the party in power no longer feels any threat. In other words it has no mobilising point. What is therefore left is a natural inclination towards fragmentation and disintegration.
In other words the 2013 election outcome was a blessing in disguise for anyone who continues to stand against ZANU as the result became a catalyst for the  party to destroy itself from within, a natural phenomenon the party  or rock diesel sangomas cannot subvert.
The coalition risks being decimated into oblivion by ZANU if it launches early. ZANU is currently in a frantic search for a mobilising point that will become its adhesive as it has exhausted all its adhesives that have ranged from white farmers, the West, Blair, Bush,  the Ndebele, the gays, to the so called ‘totem-less people’.
A delay will therefore give ZANU more time to disintegrate but timing should be precise because a fractional miss could give ZANU ample time to recover and a rushed launch as pointed out will make the coalition the mobilising point and the coalition will be ZANU fodder.
Linked to this first point is that of leadership.
Second, I believe the composition of this movement should solely be determined by our need to respond in unison to common suffering. In line with coalitions leaders are usually head-hunted and not voted for into power.
If this is the case  I would propose, as a symbol of a new footing and a deviation from the monstrous past, the coalition should be led by a woman, a caucasian or a person from the minority for Zimbabwe has been an ethnocracy for too long. It would be a mistake to confine this project within the current ethnocratic framework, for that would be to miss much of the project’s essence.
If ever there was going to be a new footing in word or in deed, David Coltart stands out as a suitable candidate. Nothing will pain the pseudo nationalists than to see a white leader in their lifetime. This will symbolise a new Zimbabwe that has deviated from the racist pseudo-nationalist  past.
Secondly, Coltart’s appointment will not be a favour but on merit because has been a consistent activist against tyranny  since 1980. His impeccable record including cost-conscious pragmatism and good work ethics as a minister of education stands him in good stead.
Of course there is a large pool from which a leader could be chosen from which includes Welshman Ncube,  Strive Masiyiwa, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Thokozani, Mkhwananzi, Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, Jenny Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, Lovemore Madhuku to mention but a few. I however believe a David Coltart leadership will be symbolic in many strategic ways.
Finally, one of the key things that the coalition need not offer a tourist’s gaze is that, the suppression of perception of the possible has been also driven by the construction of a Zimbabwean ethnocratic state that is worse than apartheid. At a micro level all other ethnic groups have been discriminated against by the state to an extent of gross human violations such as Gukurahundi, Marange or the massacre of farmers.
It is at this level where the suppression of perception of the possible rears its ugly head. It is internalised such that other ethnic groups cannot be imagined in leadership positions and the beneficiaries are in rehearsed denial of their ethnic privilege. Ethnicity, therefore has been a central agent in narrativising the ‘nation’  and curtailing of the imagination of the possible.
Consequently other groups that need to be considered in this coalition are not only izinduna, religious leaders, new farmers, dispossessed farmers, small scale miners or civil servants but the growing Mthwakazi groupings. Their concerns are justified and to a large extent similar to other anti-Mugabe groupings, but the difference is that they no longer trust anyone since many movements have continued to reinforce this ethnocratic state.
The seemingly small but immensely symbolic Mthwakazi question
At the heart of the Mthwakazi groupings lies a different  memory of the national past which ZANU pretends does not exist. ZANU has shown this rejection  in many ways ranging from genocide and claiming other people’s  victories and narratives, in its effort to suppress the imagination of possibility.
These Mthwakazi  groups as fragmented as they are, hold in common idea that the nation, just like the past is a discursive construct and there is more than one way of imagining it. However the ZANU government has shown no intention to respect such, as a result the Mthwakazi people have been excluded in all socio-economic activities ranging from national sports teams, systematic deploying of civil servants that have low opinion of local cultures to genocide.
Mthwakazi narratives are basically rejected and excluded from the image of the Zimbabwean self. Even the opposition parties they support have appeared to draw on the same theme employed by the ZANU ethnocracy. However a new generation of young uMthwakazi intellectuals, rank and file sprinkled across the world, it appears, will not be fobbed off with sinecure.
A strong message to the coalition is to learn lessons from the past otherwise sooner or later it will be facing a South Sudan, Isis or Crimea situation which is not good for anyone. That is a mistake that ZANU made. After the genocide it misread the silence. Silence for any scholar or serious politician does not mean demise or death but merely means awaiting the manifestation of possibility.
The uMthwakazi idea is now there, but uMthwakazi will not be taken seriously unless it is well armed and willing to pay a price. At the present moment it is neither, but probably with time it is going to be both and the signs are already there if the ethnocratic  trajectory does not change.
And it only takes unity on Mthwakazi groups’ part and former PF-ZAPU members in ZANU today joining them to totally alter the Zimbabwean political landscape. However, if a coalition could incorporate Mthwakazi groupings then  a new Zimbabwe with a collective memory that acknowledges the richness in diversity and humanity would have been born and pending complications such as secession subverted.
The prayers of the living and departed would have been heard in dismantling this evil regime. Those who lie in unmarked graves courtesy of the liberation struggle, Gukurahundi, opportunistic diseases and others,  will at last rest in peace seeing their lives were not lost in vain as the demonic regime is finally exorcised.
The coalition therefore, I believe, is fighting against nothing but the suppression of perception of the possible. Any false move will see the coalition saving a decapitated copperhead snake that is currently  making sure of its own death by biting itself.
If there is anything, Zimbabwe is pregnant with possibilities.
I do not use the postfix PF after ZANU because there is nothing patriotic about the party.
You can reach the author on mabalakwena@gmail.com

We will rule till donkeys grow horns: Moyo

via We will rule till donkeys grow horns: Moyo –  Nehanda Radio 22 June 2014

Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo yesterday said the party will rule until donkeys grow horns, as he gathered several government ministers to address issues affecting Matabeleland that have given rise to sentiments that the region is marginalised.
Khaya-Moyo told a joint Zanu PF provincial council meeting for Matabeleland South, North and Bulawayo that the region was not benefitting from a lot of national projects and people were suffering.
However, the Senior Minister in President Robert Mugabe’s office said despite the challenges, Zanu PF’s stranglehold on power would not be threatened.
“We are going to rule for a very long time,” he said to wild cheers. “We will rule until donkeys grow horns.
“Come 2018, all seats in Matabeleland will be in Zanu PF hands. Let’s work to strengthen the party and that would be through showing respect among each other at all levels.”
Khaya Moyo said he would soon convene a meeting for the three Zanu PF provincial chairpersons and the Provincial Affairs ministers so that they can work together harmoniously.
This followed an impassioned plea by Chief Dingani Nelukoba of Hwange who revealed that there was chaos in the allocation of conservancies in Matabeleland North province.
He said he recently had an offer letter for a conservancy withdrawn after the animal sanctuary was allocated to a Harare-based company.
Khaya-Moyo appeared to be irked by the absence of Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema at the forum held at Elangeni Training Centre in Bulawayo.
“It appears there is a serious gap here,” he said. “It’s not only Chief Nelukoba who is affected by this [confusion], it has affected a lot of people.
“May those recording minutes of this meeting take note of this and it will be taken up by Monday. If it is not solved, I will end up going there myself.
“These are the issues we have to address. You can’t go around saying I am a senior minister if you are not working. The Provincial Affairs minister is not here.
“I need to arrange a meeting with the provincial chairpersons and the Provincial Affairs ministers because we can’t work like that. The party is superior, you can’t go around boasting that I am a senior minister.”
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo and her Matabeleland South counterpart Abedinico Ncube attended the meeting.
Other ministers who addressed the forum were Douglas Mombeshora (Lands and Resettlement), Obert Mpofu (Transport), Saviour Kasukuwere (Water and Climate) and Sithembiso Nyoni (Small and Medium Enterprises).
In the past senior Zanu PF leaders from the region were accused of paying lip service to issues affecting Matabeleland.

Tight security as Biti unveils new colours

via Tight security as Biti unveils new colours – The Standard 29 June 2014 By Everson Mushava

MDC Renewal Team Secretary General Tendai Biti yesterday arrived at the team’s all structures meeting held at the Harare Show Grounds under heavy guard.
A team of bodyguards, apparently drawn from the party youths, stampeded to the huge off-road vehicle as Biti stepped out in the company of his political partner, Elton Mangoma making a human wall around him, before accompanying him into Mandela Hall where an estimated 1 000 supporters gave him a standing ovation.
The Renewal Team has apparently found identity in the form of the orange colour — an indication the group may be on its way to form a new party, and ditch the red colour associated with the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai. Senior officials of the Renewal Team, including their leaders Biti and some delegates at the meeting spotted orange regalia.
Biti and Mangoma went round the hall greeting supporters before being led to the high table that was decorated by oranges, which may have symbolised the faction’s likely new colours.
Team’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the heavy security around Biti was necessitated by what he called the “political immaturity” that has characterised Zimbabwe’s political landscape where people with opposing views were assaulted willy-nilly.
“There is political immaturity and national leaders can be assaulted by unruly elements from opposition quarters,” Mafume said.
About the orange colour, Mafume said orange was the colour used by social democrats around the world. He said by using orange, it signified the “ripening of the revolution. “The orange colour shows that the country is ripe for change,” Mafume said.
Biti said the meeting attended by about 1 000 people from Harare’s 24 wards, was meant to explain the team’s ideology and identify vacant positions to be filled.
The meeting came barely a day after the team’s tribunal handed a default judgement on “suspended” party leader Tsvangirai and national chairman Lovemore Moyo. The judgements will be announced tomorrow, according to Mafume.
This was despite a High Court interdict barring the internal hearing from going ahead until the courts have made a determination on Tsvangirai’s application seeking to be declared the legal custodian of the MDC-T.
Biti said people who attended the All Structures meeting made a clear statement, that they were tired of poverty and “sterility of ideas” by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government and the leadership of Tsvangirai.
“Zimbabwe needs change and the people here have come to make a statement that Zimbabwe needs a restart and a revitalising movement,” Biti said.
He said Zanu PF owed the people an apology for throwing the country in a deep structural economic recession. He said Mugabe should repeal the Indigenisation laws that have failed to attract foreign direct investment for the country, while there was need for a technical transitional team to revive the country’s economy.
Renewal Team Harare province chairman Paul Madzore said the All Structures meeting would cascade to all provinces as the party aims to establish and fill in vacant positions in the structures.
“This is our first meeting after the Mandel meeting where we suspended our leader Morgan Tsvangirai. This is a follow-up to the Mandel meeting and it will cascade to all provinces. The meetings will issue out the team’s roadmap,” Madzore said.
He said all the people came to the meeting holding positions they previously held before the suspension of Tsvangirai. Madzore said the team would fill positions left vacant by people who have remained with the former prime minister.
Mafume said the meeting was the first step in interacting with the generality of the party’s followers.
He said the team would not be deterred by Tsvangirai’s court challenges which helped to prove he recognised the Mandel meeting that suspended him.
Mafume said the party proceeded to deliver a default judgement on Tsvangirai and Biti because they had not been served with the court order.
“We have not been served with the court order, so we had to proceed,” Mafume said.
He said Tsvangirai cited the wrong people in his application to stop the hearing.
“He cited Biti, Mangoma (former treasurer-general), Sekai Holland (leader of the party’s guardian’s council) and Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo. Tsvangirai cited the four in their individual capacities, and did not cite the tribunal, which proceeded with the hearing and gave him a default judgement,” Mafume said.
He said Tsvangirai remained suspended.
“The tribunal appointed in terms of the MDC constitution met on 27 June 2014 at Mandel Training Centre at 10am as had been scheduled from the earlier postponement,” Mafume said.
“The two individuals involved, Morgan Tsvangirai and Lovemore Moyo were in default and the consequences of default judgment followed.  A full judgement will be given by the chair of the tribunal Gift Nyandoro in due course.”
He said no court order had been availed to the tribunal to stop the proceedings.

Zimbabweans held for South Africa ID fraud

via Zimbabweans held for South Africa ID fraud – New Zimbabwe 28 June 2014 by South Africa Correspondent

TWO South African based Zimbabweans, who abandoned their original citizenship to buy fake South African identity documents, have been charged with fraud.

Some officials from South Africa’s Home Affairs ministry are also now under investigations for issuing out fake documents, which included a passport.

The Zimbabweans were nabbed during a joint operation by South Africa’s country’s elite police unit – the Hawks – backed by the Department of Home Affairs.

One of the two Zimbabweans is said to have gone on to open bank account using fake identity.

“In a joint sting operation by Home Affairs and the Hawks, a Zimbabwean national was today (Friday) arrested in Pretoria for an alleged identity fraud,” said Nora Pitsi, an official with the Counter-Corruption unit in the South African Home Affairs.

“The suspect allegedly stole someone’s identity and allegedly obtained ID and passport.”

The suspect also allegedly opened a bank account using the victim’s details.

“The department of Home Affairs will continue to work with the Hawks to curb the scourge of corruption and fraud.”

Pitsi said their probe into the fake identity documents scandal would now extend to the country’s Home Affairs officials or any other person involved in the fraud.

It was not however, clear whether the Zimbabweans, after they had obtained the fake identity documents, went on to defraud unsuspecting shop owners.

Some Zimbabweans, desperate to remain in South Africa, have resorted to colluding with corrupt South African Home Affairs officials to obtain the documents.

It was not clear as to when the Zimbabweans were going to be taken to court.

Consumers slam maize meal imports ban bid

via Consumers slam maize meal imports ban bid – New Zimbabwe 28 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

ORDINARY Zimbabweans have dismissed calls by the country’s farmers’ groups for a blanket ban on maize imports which they claim was aimed at protecting an inefficient local industry.
Poor Zimbabweans feel that competition being brought by the imported products has ensured prices of the staple food remained affordable to everyone.
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union and the Commercial Farmers Union this past week petitioned the Ministry of Finance to order a ban on maize and mealie imports.
Local farmers argued that competition brought by the imports has deprived them the opportunity of selling their produce at their preferred $340 as opposed to the current $220 per tonne.
“We sincerely believe that our joint paper signed today provides the requisite solutions to protect and promote all players in the maize value chain. The players are farmers, millers, traders and consumers,” read the petition.
“If these measures are implemented, prices of maize meal will remain stable and uptake of local maize will increase, sales for seeds and other inputs will jump and as farmers, we will be able to prepare adequately for the next farming season.”
But Zimbabweans who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com insisted decisions of such public interest must never be left to the whims of a few individuals.
Progress Wesa of Harare’s Kuwadzana area said millers are just few individuals who want to exploit the Zimbabwean consumers.
“If the local product (mealie meal) is good and the price is affordable, the South African companies would not be sending any of their products here so why ban them,” he said.
“They should look at how the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign is failing to gain ground here; prices and quality determines what I buy not who is producing,” added Saneliso Ncube.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) executive director, Rosemary Siyachitema, said they supported the commercial farmers’ calls for as long prices will not be hiked.
“If the prices of locally produced mealie meal and other goods remain as they are and help to push our monthly basket down and that there is guarantee that prices of the same product will go a little bit down next harvesting season, then that will be good news to Zimbabwean consumers some of whom are battling to put a meal on the table,” she said.
The CCZ boss said that they were given assurances by the millers and farmers representatives that this could happen as there were good chances that Zimbabwe would receive good rainfall and inputs in time and farmers will produce a bumper harvest.
Zimbabwe’s neighbours have recorded bumper harvests. Zambia has an excess of a million tonnes of maize, Malawi with 0.6 million tonnes while South Africa has a staggering 3.8 million tonnes.
What this means is that Zimbabwe, which has perennially been experiencing a grain deficit, now becomes the only market for Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

No torture in prison, but at police cells

via No torture in prison, but at police cells – New Zimbabwe 28 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

PRISON inmates in Zimbabwe have largely been spared from any torture by wardens, even though their living conditions remained dire, a human rights official has observed.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commissioner, Joseph Kurebwa said the country’s prisons, once likened to death traps by human rights groups, are in fact torture-free cages.

“We tested this on 30 May, 2013 when we visited Harare Central Prison which houses more than 2,000 inmates,” Kurembwa said at a panel discussion this past Thursday.

“During the visit, we got the chance of parading the inmates who freely told us their concerns. Believe you me, no one of the prisoners raised a torture related complaint.

“The only complaints we received were to do with clothing and food but not a single one of them said was being tortured while in custody.”

But the prisoners, so said Kurembwa, claimed the worst in the hands of the police during investigations into their crimes.

Police were said to be resorting to inflicting physical pain to try and force suspects to admit to alleged offences.

Human rights defenders have identified Harare Central and Matapi police cells in Mbare as being among the most deplorable places for prisoners.

Two years ago, the firebrand Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) group, successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to ensure Harare Central Police cells met basic hygienic conditions.

Kurebwa added: “We are, very soon, going to inspect police cells and see for ourselves their conditions. We are also going to inspect the Harare Magistrate police cells and get the facts.”

The panel discussion was organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition as part of the International Day Against Torture commemorations.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is still yet to ratify the Convention Against (CAT), a situation which rights watch organisations say has allowed leeway for law enforcement agents to torture those still under their investigations.

Amnesty International Zimbabwe on Thursday challenged government to ratify CAT and end torture.

Jukwa trial: Tomana to summon army

via Jukwa trial: Tomana to summon army – New Zimbabwe 28 June 2014 by Nkosana Dlamini

PROSECUTOR General Johannes Tomana has hinted he might invite top army personnel to testify in the terrorism case involving jailed Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi.
In an exclusive interview with NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend, Tomana also said Kudzayi, who is jointly charged with his brother Philip, would receive a fair trial.
The pair is accused of being the faces behind the controversial Baba Jukwa Facebook page, which dished out Zanu PF secrets and scandals and called for popular resistance against President Robert Mugabe’s continued rule.
The page, opened weeks ahead of the country’s elections last year, was an immediate hit among Zimbabweans.
In his defence, Edmund, currently in remand prison, claims he was being sacrificed by top Zanu PF politicians who feared his involvement as an IT expert in the case would expose them as the real culprits.
He claims he was working with top military personnel to hack into emails of the real Baba Jukwa characters and Zanu PF insiders who fed them with information.
Tomana said his office was still in the process of analysing the credibility of Kudzayi’s claims which he said can still be discarded if proven to be false.
He however, said everyone whose evidence is relevant to the case will be summoned to court, raising the possibility of army bosses being called to take the witness’s stand.
“If they (military) are the ones with the evidence, that person is ‘callable’ as a witness by the way,” he said.
He added: “The witnesses will be called no matter who they are.”
Tomana was however, quick to say Kudzayi’s claims of army involvement in the investigations would not be taken as the “gospel truth” but would be scrutinised before a fully-fledged prosecution can start.
“We cannot presume what he was saying was correct and must not be taken as the gospel truth,” said Tomana.
“We are not accepting or denying it. Its subject to being verified when the final docket is in place. If we start talking about it, we will be pre-emptive and the idea is not to be pre-emptive, the idea is to actually give the person a fair trial.”
Tomana is an avowed Zanu PF supporter often accused by the opposition of bias against anti-Zanu PF forces.
Alleged coup plotters claim to have been subjected to some of the worst forms of treatment in the hands of the State.
In the courts, prosecutors have routinely invoked the controversial Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which empowers the State to freeze the operations of any granting of bail by a court for a seven day period.

Fears abound the Kudzayi brothers, arrested one after the other over the last two weeks, may face similar treatment, if not worse.
But Tomana denied any inherent biases against Zanu PF foes insisting the brothers would receive a fair trial.
“A fair trial is giving that person an opportunity to defend themselves against allegations that are substantiated against them,” he said.
Speculation is also rife Tomana may also abandon the case mid-way as top Zanu PF officials’ names begin to be exposed in the syndicate.
A case in point is the 2011 WikiLeaks when Tomana, after initial vows he was going to prosecute opposition politicians implicated in clandestine briefings with hostile American diplomats, developed cold feet as more revelations started touching on Zanu PF politicians.

Sunday Mail web admin picked up

via Sunday Mail web admin picked up – The Standard 29 June 2014 by Silence Charumbira

Sunday Mail web administrator Robin Chaibva was yesterday briefly picked up by police for questioning in connection with the Baba Jukwa investigations.
Chaibva becomes the second Zimpapers employee to be picked up after Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi, who is currently in custody on charges linked to the phantom social media character Baba Jukwa.
Sources said police picked Chaibva from her offices at Herald House around midday. But she was back at work at around 5pm.
The sources said police found some correspondence between Chaibva and Edmund resulting in them showing an interest in interviewing her.
But Chaibva yesterday referred questions to Sunday Mail News Editor, Morris Mkwate.
“Who told you that?” she quipped. “Can you talk to the news editor?”
Mkwate and Sunday Mail acting Editor Mabasa Sasa could not be reached for comment last night.
Sources at Herald House said Chaibva was requested to assist the police in their investigations.
“She was not arrested. The police are investigating a case and they requested her to assist with something. She had an option to refuse but she accepted,” said the source.
Police spokesperson, senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba was not answering her phone last night.
On Friday Charamba released a list of 10 people wanted in connection with investigations into the Facebook character Baba Jukwa which have already resulted in the arrest of Edmund and his brother, Phillip.
The Kudzayi brothers are being charged with attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government or alternatively attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism.
After his arrest last week, Edmund said in his bail application that his arrest was instigated by some people in high offices who were scared he could use his technological knowhow to expose them as the suppliers of sensitive information to the real Baba Jukwa.
Edmund however admitted he was the other fathom character going by the name Amai Jukwa, a columnist whose information was equally controversial and could have damaged many characters within the top echelons of Zanu PF and government.
The Sunday Mail editor claimed he was being backstabbed by people with whom he had worked to unmask the real Baba Jukwa.
Among those added on the police wanted list include publishers of the Zimbabwean newspaper Wilf and Trish Mbanga and South Africa-based journalist Mxolisi Ncube.

Chihuri faces arrest

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Chihuri faces arrest 29 June 2014 by Staff Reporter

POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri faces arrest for contempt of court for defying an order to pay former detective Bazil Nyapokoto $64 000 in damages for victimisation after testifying against other detectives in an inquest.

Nyapokoto is pushing for his contempt of court application to be heard at the Bulawayo High Court against Chihuri and four of his subordinates.

The former detective’s lawyer, Tanaka Muganyi last week confirmed that they were pushing for a contempt of court order against the police boss and his subordinates.

“We are yet to submit heads of arguments and have the matter set down for hearing,” Muganyi said.

“We are also seeking the arrest and incarceration of Superintendent Pilate Moyo whom we have an order for his arrest, but we are finding little co-operation from the Bulawayo police who seem reluctant to arrest him.”

In February 2013, judge Justice Maphios Cheda ordered Bulawayo police commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Steven Mutamba to arrest Moyo and deliver him to the nearest prison to serve 90 days for defying a court order instructing that his property be attached by the Deputy Sheriff for victimising Nyapokoto.
Moyo defied an order by Justice Cheda in 2011 after he blocked the Deputy Sheriff from attaching his property to pay Nyapokoto the damages and an order for his incarceration was subsequently issued by the same judge.
Moyo had been sued by Nyapokoto for work-related victimisation.
However, Chihuri intervened and filed an application for rescission of judgment on March 6 2013 seeking to shield Moyo for contempt of court.
In January this year, Justice Martin Makonese ordered Chihuri to comply with the directive to pay the damages, but the top cop has defied the judge’s order.
Justice Makonese had dismissed with costs an application by Chihuri to rescind the judgment.
Chihuri conceded that the force would pay $64 000 in damages to Nyapokoto. Police agreed to pay the amount within two months, but Chihuri made an about turn and filed an application for rescission of the judgment. The application for rescission was out of time and was accompanied by another application for condonation of late filing which Justice Makonese dismissed with costs.
Justice Makonese ordered the police to pay Nyapokoto damages putting a closure to a case that had been in court for three years.
Nyapokoto had been kicked out from his official residence at Ross Camp after testifying against his workmates in an inquest on the death of two armed robbery suspects.

Editorial Comment: Dual citizenship: Letter, spirit of law supreme

via Editorial Comment: Dual citizenship: Letter, spirit of law supreme | The Herald 28 June 2014

THE new Constitution requires changes to around 400 Zimbabwean laws, plus, it is now apparent, to quite a few sets of regulations issued under those laws with the laws and regulations over citizenship, immigration and passports needing more radical changes than most. The Government has made considerable progress on the easy changes. Well over half the 400 laws require only minor changes, sometimes just a word or two or a change in a reference to another law.

A single Bill, incorporating all these simple changes, is now going through a checking and consultative process and will be presented to Parliament, probably in the next session.

The process for the remaining third of laws needing changes will take longer to draft and approve and in some cases, our citizenship law is one of these, allows an opportunity to re-examine the whole law and changed circumstances and see how we can get something that follows not just the letter of the Constitution but also the spirit of the Constitution, a document generated with massive input from the people of Zimbabwe, not just their elected representatives in Parliament.

The Constitutional Court, in a ruling this week, has made it clear in a unanimous decision that a citizen by birth remains a citizen regardless of what other rights they acquire in other countries, even if that includes citizenship and a passport. So a person born in Zimbabwe has an absolute right to enter, live and work in Zimbabwe.
This ruling automatically creates a significant number of dual citizens. We need not be afraid of this. International law has long solved the principal problem of where dual citizens owe their loyalty. They owe it to the country where they live if they hold citizenship of that country, regardless of any other citizenship they might hold.

To take a specific example: Dr Farai Madzimbamuto, who brought the case to the Constutional Court. He is a dual citizen of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
But when in Zimbabwe he cannot be protected by South Africa; it is as if he is a single citizen of Zimbabwe. And when he is in South Africa and the police come to call, all the Zimbabwean ambassador can do is suggest he hires a lawyer; the doctor cannot be offered any protection or assistance by Zimbabwe.

With the vast majority of potential dual citizens entitled to retain dual citizenship, we now might want to re-examine the position of two other groups of citizens, those who have citizenship by descent and those who are immigrants who have applied for citizenship after proving their commitment to Zimbabwe.

We feel that those with at least one Zimbabwean-born parent who activate their right to citizenship by descent should be allowed dual citizenship, although this is not a guaranteed constitutional right.

We should be happy they are proud to be Zimbabwean and have kept their ties to their parents’ native land.
Even citizens by registration can now be treated differently. The present laws came into effect when we were too close to the days when someone fluent in a European language could claim citizenship after two years.

We are now 34 years down the line with a Constitution that gives the right to citizenship to an immigrant after 10 years residency, or five years if married to a Zimbabwean, so we demand a high level of commitment to Zimbabwe before we give them citizenship.

The numbers are so tiny now that it seems capricious not to give such people with this long commitment to Zimbabwe full citizenship rights. Thanks to international law, we cannot lose by this and we can make life a little easier for a handful of people.

The Constitutional Court hearing also showed up the need to revise regulations, as well as laws. The immigration regulations obviously now need some revision. This needs care. For example, if someone walks in with a Fijian passport that gives Zimbabwe as a place of birth, we see no reason to trust the foreign bureaucrat.

Let the person produce their Zimbabwean birth certificate as well and if there is any doubt about possible forgery let the Immigration Department check the records of the Registrar-General.

They can be let in for a week for this simple process. If we extend this to other citizens let immigration officers check authenticity of citizenship certificates. We do not want international criminals wandering around with forged documents but we should be able to look after our own.

Neither the Constitution nor the court ruling creates an open door. But what they do say is if someone is one of ours they can remain so and we should create laws and regulations that reflect the spirit of that concept, while being perfectly willing to check that those using these rights are in fact who they say they are.

Bill awaits Presidential assent

via Bill awaits Presidential assent | The Herald 28 June 2014 by Herald Reporter

National Assembly Speaker, Cde Jacob Mudenda, has sent the recently passed National Prosecuting Authority Bill to President Mugabe for his assent. The Bill, which is part of Government efforts to align various laws with the new Constitution, was passed by both Houses earlier this month. Cde Mudenda made the notification in a Government Gazette published yesterday.

“It is hereby notified that in terms of section 131(5)(5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, I have on the 20th June 2014 sent the National Prosecuting Authority (Chapter7:20) (Act No 5 of 2014) to His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe for his assent and signature,” read the notice.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa steered the Bill through Parliament.
It seeks to establish the National Prosecuting Authority Board and its functions.

The Bill provides for the appointment of a National Director of Public Prosecutions, administration of the authority, conditions of service of its members and the transfer of persons from the civil service to the NPA.

Clause 4 provides for the setting up of the NPA to consist of the Prosecutor General appointed in terms of section 259 of the Constitution, and other members.
Clause 5 provides for the setting up of a NPA board to consist of the PG as the chairperson, deputised by the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Clause 6 sets out the functions of the board, while Clause 14 empowers the minister to give directions on matters of policy to the board.
The board will be responsible for administering and supervising the NPA and appointing and disciplining its prosecutors and other staff members.

In exercising its responsibilities, the board will be subject to general policy directives issued by the Minister of Justice, according to clause 14.
The board will submit annual reports to the Minister who will lay them before Parliament.

Mr Johannes Tomana has since been appointed the Prosecutor-General.

 

Secure coastal trade routes — Sekeramayi

via Secure coastal trade routes — Sekeramayi | The Herald 28 June 2014 by John Manzongo

DEFENCE Minister Sydney Sekeramayi has underscored the need to secure Sadc coastal trade routes as 80 percent of the region is dependent on them for business.
Officially closing a month-long Sadc Special Forces training in Kariba yesterday, Minister Sekeramayi said the bloc has witnessed an upsurge in crimes on coastal areas.

“Southern Africa has in recent years witnessed insecurity in its coastal areas due to maritime piracy and various crimes threatening its trade along the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

“This is a serious security threat, bearing in mind that over 80 percent of our trade is water-bound.
“Maritime threats do not only threaten coastal countries but also affect inland states such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana,” he said.

“The exercise you were conducting was intended at developing a common regional maritime concept to enhance inter operability and the security of our inland water bodies. It was also designed to foster mutual co-operation within our sub region as it ignites the spirit that existed during the liberation struggle.”
Minister Sekeramayi said the success of the exercise was clear evidence of unity that exists between the countries.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga said the exercise was aimed at ensuring peace and security and to curb piracy in high seas where there is oil theft, fish and ivory poaching.

“Our sub region is endowed with large inland water bodies such as Congo river, Zambezi, Limpopo, Chobe, Kafue, Shire, Luapula and lakes such as Tanganyika, Malawi, Mweru, Kariba, Cabora Bassa and Lesotho Highland Dam, among others, which are vulnerable to maritime security threats,” he said.

Botswana Defence Forces Deputy Commander Major-General Placid Segokgo said joint military trainings among neighbouring forces were necessary as they fostered mutual understanding and fusion of Special Forces skills.

Zambian Army Commander Lieutenant-General Paul Mihova said his army was proud to conduct joint training with its neighbours as it afforded participating countries an opportunity to collaborate and exchange skills and experiences.

The training exercise comprised 315 troops.

Mtetwa scores a first

via Mtetwa scores a first – NewsDay 28 June 2014 Ivan Allan College of Arts

PROMINENT human rights attorney Beatrice Mtetwa has been named recipient of the 2014 Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage, an award given annually to individuals who, by asserting moral principle, positively affected public discourse at the risk of their careers, livelihoods and lives.

“Mtetwa has endured a sometimes painful journey to achieve the larger purpose of freedom and justice for all,” Georgia Tech president GP “Bud” Peterson said.

“That is the promise of a democracy, and Beatrice Mtetwa embodies the effort to fulfil that promise. There are some who, through great personal sacrifice and courage, impact the lives of countless individuals as well as those for generations to come.
Mtetwa is one such person.”

The eldest child in a family of five, Mtetwa grew up on a farm in Swaziland without electricity and running water. She became the first in her extended family to attend high school and went on to study law at the University of Botswana and Swaziland.

After pursuing a career as a government prosecutor, she became disillusioned by the selective justice she saw being doled out and moved into private practice where she was able to conduct human rights work without political interference.

Her dedication to representing those persecuted under the Mugabe regime is represented in the documentary Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law.

Mtetwa has been internationally recognised for her defence of Press freedom and for facing physical assault and threats against her life in her quest to champion civil activists and local and international journalists.

“I am hoping that the message that will be sent out there is that one can be true to their beliefs regardless of whatever dangers might be lurking in the background,” Mtetwa said.

“If more of us were prepared to do this kind of work, it would be more difficult to target them for persecution, and it is my hope that this award will help swell the numbers of people prepared to stand up for what is right.”

The Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage will be presented to Beatrice Mtetwa during a ceremony at the Ivan Allen College on November 13 2014.

The presentation of this year’s award is especially significant as Mtetwa, an advocate for women’s equality and advancement, will be the first woman to receive the prize.

It also comes at a time when government leaders in Zimbabwe are once again persecuting human right defenders such as Mtetwa.

The Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage is named after Allen, a former mayor of Atlanta and Georgia Tech graduate.

In 1963, Mayor Allen testified before Congress in support of what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, risking his place in society and political future.

Tsvangirai hearing: Biti defies High Court

via Tsvangirai hearing: Biti defies High Court | The Herald 28 June 2014 by Fidelis Munyoro and Felex Share

THE MDC Renewal Team yesterday defied a High Court order and went ahead with disciplinary hearings on MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo, whereupon a default judgment on the two, to be announced on Monday, was passed.
Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Moyo were facing a slew of charges laid against them by the Renewal Team led by party secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti.
The disciplinary hearing, led by lawyers Mr Gift Nyandoro and Tafadzwa Mugabe, went ahead at Mandel Training Centre at the same time the High Court was delivering a ruling stopping the proceedings.

MDC Renewal Team spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume said they did not recognise the High Court ruling as they had not been served with the relevant court papers.
“The tribunal sat at 10am and all parties were advised to come, but Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Moyo did not turn up and a default judgment was given,” he said.

“We have been told that they went to court seeking interim relief so that they remain on suspension pending the hearing of the matter before the High Court. However, the tribunal and the other parties have not been served with the papers.

“We proceeded as if nothing happened until a time we are served with the papers.”
Mr Mafume added: “We have not seen the application or the judgment. We believe that before a judgment was passed we should have been served such that we file our papers. But if they have been granted an interim relief we shall proceed by putting our papers if that application applies to us.”

Mr Tsvangirai’s camp, through Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu and Mr Lovemore Moyo, had approached the High Court on Thursday evening seeking an order barring the Renewal Team from implementing the resolution of the Mandel Training Centre meeting of April 26 this year.

Justice Zhou yesterday ruled in favour of Mr Tsvangirai’s camp, saying the balance of convenience favoured the embattled opposition party leader in view of the circumstances surrounding the feud between the two hostile camps.

He granted the provisional order which the MDC-T leader had sought to stop the hearing until the dispute pitting his camp and Mr Biti’s camp was determined.
“Interim relief is granted on the following, respondent or any other persons claiming through them or acting on their instruction be and are hereby interdicted from proceeding with any disciplinary proceedings against the third applicant (Tsvangirai) or any other office bearers of the second respondent on June 27 2014 or some other time in pursuant to the resolution of a meeting held at Mandel Training Centre on April 20 2014,” said Justice Zhou sitting his chambers.

Mr Tsvangirai’s faction filed the urgent application barely two days after it filed a normal court application seeking to be declared the legitimate custodians of the party and an order compelling the Biti faction to return party assets in its possession.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said Mr Tsvangirai’s faction was happy that he was no longer compelled to be disciplinary by the Renewal Team.
“We are happy because dragging president Tsvangirai to a hearing of another political party was illegal and unfair,” he said.

Mr Tsvangirai was recently summoned by Mr Biti’s faction to appear before a disciplinary committee facing 17 counts of violating the party’s constitution, while Mr Moyo faced four counts, which included failure to conduct free and fair primary elections before last year’s harmonised polls.

Cops hunt down nine more ‘Baba Jukwa’ accomplices

via Cops hunt down nine more ‘Baba Jukwa’ accomplices – NewsDay 28 June 28 by Charles Laiton/Feluna Nleya

POLICE are hunting for veteran Zimbabwean journalist Wilf Mbanga, his wife Trish and seven other people as the net widens on those suspected to be behind the shadowy Facebook character and blogger “Baba Jukwa”.
The Mbanga couple are based in the United Kingdom and publishes The Zimbabwean, a weekly newspaper which used to feature a column written by the faceless Baba Jukwa.
Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said besides the arrest of the Kudzayi brothers, Edmund and Philip, the law-enforcement agents had cast their net wide pursuant to their investigations with the view to arrest the outstanding suspects.
Charamba said apart from the Mbangas, police were keen to interview The Zimbabwean newspaper correspondent based in South Africa Mxolisi Ncube (38), a system and software engineer based in the United Kingdom (UK) Walter Shoko, a computer programmer based in the UK, Samson Chifamba,  a Zimbabwean based in UK, George Chirakasha, Anomie Drew, Piniel Nhokodi, Romeo Musemburi and Sarudzai Florence.
“All the accused persons are administrators to babajukwa2013@gmail.com and Baba Jukwa Facebook page. This is the reason why the Baba Jukwa Facebook page is still active. The wanted persons are based in various global locations and network to post subversive articles on this person,” Charamba said.
Mbanga last night said police seemed to be on a “phishing expedition”.
“They only have to read a copy of the Sunday Mail of May 11th where my hacked email exchange with Baba Jukwa was published,” he said. “This clearly shows that I had nothing to do with the said Facebook page. The Sunday Mail itself claimed that I had been duped into paying my own reporters to publish some of Baba Jukwa’s exposes that were already on Facebook and the Internet.
“Why would I offer to pay for something if I was an administrator?”
Mbanga said he was more than willing to co-operate with the police and help them in any way with their investigations.
“But I can assure them right now that nobody from The Zimbabwean was involved in any way with the administration of the Facebook page. None of the names mentioned in the statement below are known to me. I don’t even know either of the Kudzai brothers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sunday Mail editor Edmund, who has since been charged with subverting a constitutional government or alternatively attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, yesterday appeared at the High Court for his bail application, but the matter failed to be heard after the Prosecutor-General’s Office sought postponement of the matter.
Chief law officer Tawanda Zvekare told High Court judge Justice Ester Muremba that Kudzayi, through his lawyers Rubaya & Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, had submitted a voluminous court record for which the State needed more time to peruse before filing its response.
Justice Muremba, however, postponed the mater to Wednesday next week after ordering that the State files its response by Monday and Kudzayi’s lawyer Everson Chatambudza to file his response by Tuesday before the hearing date.
Kudzayi (28) is accused of being the brains behind the shadowy Facebook character and blogger known as Baba Jukwa.

Kereke $1,3m golden handshake: Gono hits back

via Kereke $1,3m golden handshake: Gono hits back – NewsDay 28 June 28 by Charles Laiton

FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday said his former adviser and Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke should stop tarnishing other people’s images and personalising institutional issues.

Responding to Kereke’s allegations that the former RBZ boss allegedly deducted tax $411 000 from his $1,3 million exit package, but never remitted it to Zimra, Gono said the legislator was ill-informed on developments at the central bank.

He said instead of creating imaginary scandals, Kereke should instead concentrate on “his pending matters” before the courts and endeavours to cleanse his name rather than “attempt to divert people’s attention from real and genuine issues”.

“Regarding the PAYE issue raised by my erstwhile former personal adviser, Dr Kereke, it’s instructive to note that RBZ, not Gideon Gono, is funded by government.

“RBZ owes hundreds of individuals and institutions a lot of money which when government eventually funds the bank, it will pay monies that are due to the said institutions and individuals,” Gono said.

“Trying to personalise institutional issues and present them as a scandal is in itself a scandal of unimaginable proportions whose real motive can only be to divert public attention from real and genuine issues the courts and publics are aware of which need my accuser to stand in the dock and cleanse himself of, and not to spend time misleading people.”

He said Zimbabwe was a nation of simple people and should be spared “these theatrics”.

“Kereke knows where to go in search of answers. There is a new governor at the bank who can assist him. Zimra knows where to go if there are any issues,” said Gono.

“With respect to his having written everywhere trying to soil my name, all I can say is that writing to heaven and replacing Biblical facts with Satanic teachings is unlikely to earn anyone entry into the Lord’s garden. The same principle applies to those excitable carriers of the message who do not take the basic precaution to verify facts about what they have been duped to carry. Facts remain facts and lies have short legs.”

Kereke left the central bank in 2012 smiling after he was given a whopping $1,3 million in terminal benefits, but claims he got a total of $950 000 after deductions by the RBZ.

He wrote to Zimra, the police and Prosecutor-General on Thursday alleging that his Rock Foundation Medical Centre Hospital was penalised after Gono failed to remit the tax deductions to the revenue authority.

Miss Zim pageant raises questions

via Miss Zim pageant raises questions | SW Radio Africa  27 June 2014 by Nomalanga Moyo

Questions have been raised over the direction of the Miss Zimbabwe Pageant, after this year’s event turned out to be an exclusive government and military affair.

The event was held at Harare’s Mabvazuva Lodge and cost Mary Chiwenga, the organiser and wife of army general Constantine Chiwenga at least $500,000.

University of Zimbabwe law student Thabiso Phiri took the crown, ahead of 14 other finalists. Phiri and her two princesses received luxury Chevrolet vehicles which however they will have to surrender back to the organisers at the end of their terms.

At least 460 people attended the event, many from government departments, parastatals and some private companies.

“The black tie and red carpet event lived up to its billing in terms of glitz and glamour and was beamed live on national television for five hours.

“Waiters and waitresses moved around the 46 tables non-stop. Sadly, only seven of these were paid for at the rate of $3, 000 per table,” the Sunday Mail reported.

According to the report Chiwenga, who chairs the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, paid for 39 tables through her company LaChelle Travel and four other corporate sponsors.

Organisers however defended the $3,000 per table tag saying this was meant to prevent ‘yobs’ from attending.

This sparked an outcry from ordinary Zimbabweans who felt that they were being priced out of what should be a national event.

Others accused the army general’s wife of over-generalising in saying that those with the means to pay the hefty fee are gentlemen and ladies.

Commentator Edgar Makoni said: “Deeply offended by Mary Mubaiwa’s assumption that those of us who cannot afford to pay $300 dollars on a beauty pageant are inherently rowdy.

“For most civil servants $300 dollars is the basic salary and not too many of them are willing to shell that out in one night. Does that make them rowdy?”

Many people also remarked on the militarisation of the pageant with the army playing a central role in providing the music and chaperoning the contestants.

UK-based former diplomat Clifford Mashiri said he was curious to know where Chiwenga had got the money from to sponsor the pageant.

“In a country where millions are going hungry one wonders where she got that money from. I would want to speculate that she used proceeds from the Marange diamond mining which is under the control of the military,” he said.

Mashiri also said that the $300 per head price tag also showed how out of touch and snobbish the rich are in Zimbabwe.

He said this was another example of how ZANU PF officials were expropriating every national event and turning it into an exclusive party affair.

“This was obviously meant to turn the pageant into an exclusive event meant for top society. The amount is a whole month’s wages for the average Zimbabwean.

“It’s a very mistaken assumption by Mrs Chiwenga to say that those who can afford to pay $300 to attend a pageant are not rowdy and those who cannot are.

“In the case of Zimbabwe people with loads of money are likely to be found in government and they are the ones who have caused untold suffering to the very Zimbabweans they are labelling rowdy,” Mashiri added.

Headline news 28 June, 2014

Court rules in favour of Tsvangirai

via Court rules in favour of Tsvangirai | The Zimbabwean 27 June 2014 by Sofia Mapuranga

The high court today ruled in favour of MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, and blocked his intended appearance before a disciplinary hearing meant to expel him from his party.

Tsvangirai was recently summoned by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s MDC Renewal Team to appear before a disciplinary committee facing 17 counts of violating the party’s constitution.

In his judgement delivered in his chambers today, High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou, granted an interdict barring the Renewal Team from proceeding with any intended disciplinary hearing against Tsvangirai.

“Pending finalisation of the applicant’s action brought under case HC 4955/14, the respondents and any person claiming through them be and are hereby interdicted from implementing any resolution of the meeting held by the respondents at Mandel training centre on April 26 2014,” said Justice Zhou.

“Any proceedings that may have been instituted against any office bearers of the second applicant pursuant of the resolutions of the meeting afore said be and are hereby stayed until finalisation of case no HC 4955/14.”

Justice Zhou said because the respondents had not filed opposing papers, “the effect of that is that the factual averments contained in the founding affidavit are unchallenged”.

“Professor Lovemore Madhuku for the respondents acknowledged that position and submitted that reliance will be placed on the legal issues to oppose the application,” said Justice Zhou.

Tsvangirai yesterday filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to stop his supposed disciplinary hearing slated for today.

He is accused of contravening “sections of article 2.1 of the disciplinary code of conduct and regulations” as stated in MDC-T’s constitution and failure to provide competent leadership and acting in a manner detrimental to party objectives.

Biti and his lieutenants suspended Tsvangirai and five other MDC-T officials in March, accusing them of violating the party constitution and using violence as a political tool.

The Tsvangirai faction hit back and expelled Biti, Mangoma and others who endorsed his suspension.

The party’s national chairman, Lovemore Moyo was also summoned to attend the same disciplinary hearing on charges including alleged failure to conduct free and fair primary elections before last year’s harmonised polls.

In his urgent chamber application filed yesterday by Mwonzora and Associates, the MDC-T – through Thamsanqa Mahlangu and Moyo sought an order barring the Renewal Team from implementing the resolution of the Mandel Training Centre meeting of April 26 this year.

The Tsvangirai faction listed Biti, the party’s former deputy treasurer, Elton Mangoma, former minister of water, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and MDC’ s guardian council member, Sekai Holland as respondents.

Speaking to journalists after the ruling, MDC-T’s spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the judgement was fair considering that the Mandel meeting was null and void and dragging their party president was an embarrassment on his persona.

“How can another opposition party drag the president of another political party before their dubious hearing? It was illegal and unfair and the court’s ruling has demonstrated that and has proven that we are right,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora said the disciplinary hearing ‘before Biti’s kangaroo court’ was meant to embarrass Tsvangirai.

“The invitation that was sent to president Tsvangirai does not contain the names of people who constitute the tribunal and it does not also state the venue; it simply says Mandel Training Centre,” said Mwonzora.

He said because the summons of the purported disciplinary hearing did not contain the time that Tsvangirai was supposed to go for the hearing, it was meant for other purposes other than legal purposes.

Sunday Mail Editor bail hearing postponed

via Sunday Mail Editor bail hearing postponed | The Zimbabwean 27 June 2014 by Sofia Mapuranga

The High Court today postponed to July 3, the bail hearing for the Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi, with the State saying it required more time to study the ‘voluminous bail submissions’ filed by the defence counsel.

Chief Law Officer, Tawanda Zvekare from the Prosecutor General’s Office, requested more time to go through the bail submissions before the State can file its response arguing that Kudzayi’s lawyer, Everson Chatambudza’s bail application was ‘voluminous’.

“The applicant filed a voluminous bail application and we are therefore requesting time to go through it before we file our response. Hopefully, we will be through by July 3,”said Zvekare.

High Court Judge, Esther Muremba, deferred the matter to July 3 to give the state more time to respond to the defense counsel’s submissions.

Kudzayi’s bail application was referred to the High Court last week after Harare provincial magistrate, Douglas Vakai Chikwekwe, said the matter should be determined at a higher court since the charges were serious.

Kudzayi is being accused of “subverting a constitutional government, or alternatively, attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism”.

He is also charged with contravening section 28(2() of the Firearms Act (Chapter 10.09) and two other offences of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State or, alternatively, undermining authority of or insulting the president.

Allegations against Kudzayi are that sometime in April last year, acting in connivance with Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi, 29, his elder brother who handed himself to the police last week and appeared in court yesterday facing charges of subverting a constitutional government, or alternatively, attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, the duo and other unnamed suspects, created a Gmail account called babajukwa2013@gmail.com using an Econet line number 0771 446 541 registered in Phillip’s name.

It is alleged, that the Gmail account, whose Econet line is still possessed by Phillip, was used to create a Facebook account called Baba Jukwa.

The State alleges that Kudzayi planned and organised with some of his colleagues calling themselves The Gunda Nleya Brigade and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, to overthrow the government through a war and urged people to join the military outfits.

The State also says Kudzayi posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page and encouraged rebellion against the government if the July 31 general elections last year were rigged by President Robert Mugabe’s party, Zanu (PF).

It furthers accuses Kudzayi and his group of further posting articles on social networks to the effect that they had a civil disobedience command structure, Dare reChimurenga, in place and that a team was on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.

According to the police, the Sunday Mail on May 11 this year published a story about the alleged true identity of Baba Jukwa titled, “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”, a story which implicated two journalists based in South Africa, Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio.

However, investigations revealed that Kudzayi was in control of Baba Jukwa’s Gmail account as his details were on the recovery panel of the same account.

The police, however, argue that their investigations revealed that the account was never hacked.

On August 7 2008 Kudzayi also wrote and published an article in the Zimbabwe Mail online publication attacking President Robert Mugabe.

In the said article, according to the State, Kudzayi went on to “falsely label the president a dictator who commits gross human rights abuses”.

He further called the president “a tyrant” and accused him of taking land from white farmers and giving it to his cronies and not the people of Zimbabwe.

Magistrate Chikwekwe last week remanded Kudzayi to July 7 where he is set to appear in court for his routine remand hearing.

MDC vehicle wrangle case further deferred

via MDC vehicle wrangle case further deferred – DailyNews 27 June 2014 by Letwin Nyambayo

BULAWAYO – A magistrate here has referred the case involving MDC Bulawayo youth secretary and the party’s deputy president Thokozani Khupe’s chauffer both who allegedly assaulted a rival party member over party property to the High Court for hearing.

Ousted Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Sengezo Tshabangu’s driver alleges he was assaulted by party functionaries who stole cell phones and seized the Isuzu truck he was driving, all worth about $30 000.

Youth secretary Kunashe Muchemwa, 32, and driver, Witness Dube, 37, appeared before magistrate Gladmore Mushowe who postponed the case to July 28.

The two are already out of custody on $200 bail granted on Tuesday.

It is in the State’s case that on May 25, Muchemwa allegedly hijacked a vehicle belonging to ousted Matabeleland North provincial chairperson and driven by Lameck Ndlovu.

The State alleges that Ndlovu was accompanied by Zacharia Nkomo and Sage Mguni in the pick-up truck, while waiting to collect money from a Sibanda on behalf of Tshabangu when two vehicles allegedly blocked their way.

Muchemwa and five other accused persons still at large disembarked from their cars and pulled Ndlovu off the vehicle.

They allegedly assaulted Ndlovu and Nkomo with fists and kicked them all over their bodies before taking the vehicle and cell phones away.

Items worth $30 350 have not been recovered.

Ndlovu made a report to the police and was referred to the United Bulawayo Hospital for medical attention.

A follow-up was made leading to Muchemwa’s arrest.

Chingwizi police post burnt

via Chingwizi police post burnt NewsDay June 27, 2014

A POLICE post at Chingwizi holding camp went up in smoke in the early hours of Wednesday in a suspected arson attack as anger mounts over the government’s failure to compensate and improve living conditions of the more than 18 000 villagers resident in the amp.

About $9 million is needed to compensate villagers displaced by the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam floods.

They were resisting being moved to one hectare plots a few kilometres from Chingwizi without compensation.

Only 400 villagers have adhered to the government’s calls to de-congest the camp by voluntarily moving to the new settlement.

Police details were picking up pieces of what used to be their base and barred journalists from taking pictures.

Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula could not be reached for comment as her mobile phone rang unanswered, but police sources said they suspected an arson attack by angry villagers.

“It is not clear yet, but we suspect sabotage by the angry villagers. However, the official explanation is that a candle caused the fire,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

The living conditions in the overcrowded camp were dire and have been worsened by a government food ban in a bid to force the villagers to move out of the camp.
Several attempts to engage the villagers have hit a snag.

Last month, a high-powered delegation of 10 ministers was left with egg on their faces after being booed and heckled, forcing a hasty retreat.

Moyo fails to turn up

via Moyo fails to turn up – DailyNews 27 June 2014 by Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE – Jonathan Moyo, minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services yesterday, failed to appear before a parliamentary portfolio committee to answer questions about the arrest of the Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and realignment of media laws.

Moyo was invited by the Media, Information and Broadcasting Services parliamentary committee to give oral evidence. The lawmakers in the committee were disappointed by the non-appearance of Moyo at the scheduled hearing.

Zanu PF MP for Umzigwane William Dhewa, who chairs the portfolio committee, said they had received communication from the Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma that Moyo would not be pitching up.

“We were informed that the minister is not coming today as he has other engagements but we are still demanding that he appears before us and we expect him next week,” Dhewa told the Daily News.

Another member of the committee, James Maridadi, the MDC legislator for Mabvuku, said the MPs were looking forward to Moyo’s appearance before the committee.

He said there were a lot of issues happening in the media that the committee had a keen interest in.

“I am very disappointed that the minister did not come to explain the issue of Kudzayi, where he came from,” Maridadi said.

“We have information that he has no experience in journalism but in Information Communication Technology (ICT) yet he was made an editor of a state newspaper at the tender age of 28. I know what I am talking about because I am a journalist by profession and you cannot become an editor at such a young age.

Factbox: Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi

via Factbox: Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi – DailyNews 27 June 2014 by Gift Phiri

HARARE – Here are some facts about Edmund Kudzayi, editor of the Sunday Mail, whom we will learn today whether he will be freed on bail in connection with accusations of insurgency, terrorism, banditry, sabotage, attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government and failing to secure firearms.

PERSONAL LIFE:

— Kudzayi was born in Masvingo under Chief Charumbira, on December 8, 1986,  to rural parents who were involved into farming. Kudzayi’s father is Steyn Munhuwendiro Kudzayi.

— He did his primary education from 1993 to 1999 at Eastridge Primary School in Hillside, Harare.

— He did his secondary education at Marist Brothers Nyanga between 2000 and 2003.

— In 2004, he enrolled for his Advanced Levels at Churchill Boys High in Harare.

— After his ‘A’Levels, he studied and completed a Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) Diploma in Harare.

— In his early 20s, he went to Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom to study for a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) between 2008 to 2010.

— In 2011, he enrolled for a Software Engineering Degree at Huddersfield University in the UK.

— Kudzayi gained a reputation as a sophisticated computer programmer.

— He ran a blog African Aristocrat, which unreservedly registered its distaste for President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF. The blog ran a prominent article about the alleged rape of Mugabe’s daughter Bona in Malaysia.

— The African Aristocrat was pulled down prior to his return to Zimbabwe

— Kudzayi made an about-turn and created a Facebook character, Amai Jukwa, in support of Zanu PF but attacking individuals in the party

— In April 2014, Kudzayi was appointed as Sunday Mail editor, after Brezhnev Malaba was pushed out, although he had never practised as a reporter

— In a May 2014 ZiFM radio interview conducted by Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa and also attended by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe executive director Loughty Dube, Kudzayi flatly denied being Amai Jukwa.

— In June 2014 he was arrested and is pleading not guilty to a raft of sedition charges but has made a volte face and now admits he is Amai Jukwa

— Kudzayi claims that he actually worked with government ministers Jonathan Moyo, Savior Kasukuwere and the ministry of Defence to expose the real Baba Jukwa.

— The State insists he is Baba Jukwa and could have been recruited by hostile forces to infiltrate Zanu PF structures as a gateway to penetrating State structures.

— The State alleges Kudzayi took part in an offensive against Zanu PF, with most of the posts anchored on salacious gossip than whistle blowing, and include what it claims are exposes by well-connected insiders of Mugabe’s health secrets, murder, assassination, corruption plots, intimidation and vote-rigging in the 2013 elections

— Kudzayi is single, has no permanent home of his own and is often seen carrying a rucksack, and stays with his parents in Harare.

— He is described by those he has worked with at the State media as highly intelligent, determined, intense and at times paranoid.

— He is known for being highly secretive. It has been reported that he carries several computer gizmos

—The incarcerated Sunday Mail editor has been held since Thursday last week and faces life in prison if he is convicted on these charges. He has denied any wrongdoing.

— He had applied for bail at a lower Zimbabwean court but was advised to approach the High Court because he faces a schedule three offence and he remains in a Harare jail.

Zimbabwean Politics in the Post 2013 Elections Period

via Zimbabwean Politics in the Post 2013 Elections Period: The Constraints of ‘Victory’ | The Zimbabwean 27 June 2014

Zanu PF’s and Mugabe’s overwhelming electoral ‘victory’ in July 2013 was the result of a combination of the continuing legacy of firmly inscribed memories of post-colonial violence, Zanu PF’s persistent legitimacy from the liberation struggle, the declining fortunes of the opposition MDCs, the combination of coercion and patronage by the ruling party in context of a reconstructed political economy, regional solidarity for the ‘party of liberation, and the limits of international pressure on the Zimbabwean crisis.

In the aftermath of this ‘victory’ Zanu PF has had to confront the challenges of presiding over a radically transformed political economy which, while it contributed to electoral success, now poses huge problems for economic progress. While the combination of a radical land programme, deindustrialisation and a rapidly informalised urban sector, and a strong reliance on the mineral sector, reconfigured the social basis of the electorate in Zanu PF’s favour, it also presents major challenges for economic growth in the post-election period. The central economic challenges confronting Zanu PF include: an external debt amounting to US$6 billion; liquidity constraints resulting in deflationary demand trends; limited inflow of foreign direct investment; lack of industrial competitiveness which is also affected by low domestic demand; loss of confidence in an increasingly vulnerable financial sector; lack of transparency and accountability in the key mineral sector; and a widening current account deficit due to the faster growth of imports.2

In its electoral campaign Zanu PF, as in 2008, constructed its messaging around a combination of liberation history, anti-Western rhetoric, particularly relating to the sanctions issue and support for the opposition MDCs, and a strong empowerment message around its Indigenisation policy: Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment. In the aftermath of the 2013 elections Zanu PF has attempted to translate this vision into policy through the linkage of its strategic document the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), to a more moderate language on indigenisation and persistent, though mixed, messages around its desire to re-engage Western countries in a more normalised structure of relations.

This strategy has presented Zanu PF with very serious dilemmas. Having embarked on a major transformation of land relations in the 2000’s, in the face of serious political opposition and major developmental challenges the Mugabe Government faced this deep and organic crisis by restructuring the state and the discursive structures within which it presented the new lived realities of the period.3 This process of attempting to build a new historic bloc within the transformed social relations, combined not only the promise of an alternative political and social settlement, but also had as a central part of its modus vivendi the lethal and pervasive use of violence and coercion.4 Moreover in establishing its dominance Zanu PF has also bludgeoned, neutralised and incorporated the organised forces of opposition. In these ways Mugabe and his party have remained the directive force in Zimbabwe, even if their hegemony has been contested throughout the post-colonial period.5

As it seeks a passage out of the major economic impasse it confronts, there has been a softening of Zanu PF’s radical nationalist language of the pre-election period. Ranka Primorac has perceptively observed that in Zimbabwe’s master fiction, “the moment of arrival of the longed-for future- the augmented and final ‘real’ decolonisation- is constantly anticipated, yet always deferred.’6 This insight is once again true of the current conjuncture which is characterised by an assemblage of messages which include both a thinly veiled plea for a fuller re-engagement with international foes, and the desperate hold on an always deferred point arrival of real decolonisation. There have been other moments since 1980 when the ruling party has shifted its discursive frame and modified its nationalist proselytism. The politics of Reconciliation was followed by the homilies of liberalisation in the 1990’s, which in turn gave rise to patriotic dictates of the 2000’s.

However the current phase presents a more complex terrain on which Zanu PF attempts to set out the rationale for its political project. While on the one hand it purportedly received a huge mandate in the 2013 elections on the basis of a nationalist empowerment agenda, on the other hand it can only carry out its ambitious indigenisation programme on the basis of massive foreign funding. In order to begin to recast itself as a self-reforming political agent the party has embarked on a heated internal discussion around state and party corruption, as one way of extending a hand for assistance from Western donors.

The ongoing battle for succession for a post Mugabe Zanu PF has ensured that such debates are tied to the party’s succession battle and therefore the sustainability of this reform message remains extremely fragile. As another part of this complex mosaic unfolds the economic language of Zanu PF and the MDCs appear to have moved closer together towards a greater consensus on the need for some form of economic ‘stabilisation’, the parameters of which are still unclear, but are being contested within a narrowing agenda of development alternatives. As Alexander and McGregor correctly observe these processes are neither about a return to the professionalised bureaucratic state of the 1980’s, nor the neoliberalism of the 1990’s. However they are also not simply a return to the state violence of the first decade of the 2000’s.

7 The recent policy interventions are more akin to a hybrid mix of attempts to move beyond the crisis management of much of the 2000’s, while ensuring complete control of the party state and the politico-economic networks that have developed in the crisis period. Moreover this has taken place in the face of an opposition that has been greatly weakened and once again embarked on a destructive division within its ranks.

Thus even as Zanu PF struggles to confront the gargantuan challenges of the post-election period, it does so in the face of a largely debilitated opposition. The opposition in turn have also sort to further distance themselves from their former Western support base and find some traction in the language of ‘patriotic history,’ even as Zanu PF seeks a rapprochement with the West. This coil of tangled and overlapping political interventions has given rise to a situation in which the ‘distribution of the sensible’ appears to be moving towards a broader re-engagement with the West, albeit one with persistent protests and policy messaging against it from within the ruling party.

Zanu PF: Confronting the Realities of Electoral Victory

The euphoria of Zanu PF’s election victory in 2013 was short lived and subdued. The beginning of 2014 witnessed the launching of a revealing debate on corruption in the party-state from within Zanu PF, by the party’s controversial Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Jonathan Moyo. This was not the first time the problem of corruption had been raised within Zanu PF, as the war veterans had raised the issue in the 1990’s. However in what became known as the ‘salarygate’ scandal Moyo confirmed media reports that outrageous salaries were being paid to heads of certain parastatal bodies.

As examples Moyo noted the Chief Executive of the Public Service Medical Aid Society, who drew a salary of US$230,000 per month, while middle managers in the organisation were earning between US$15,000 and US$30,000 per month. Moyo’s attacks followed his suspension of the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation in 2013 for earning a monthly salary of over US$40,000 while employees of the organisation had gone for six months without pay. Another example of these salary levels soon followed in the City of Harare where the Town Clerk earned US$37,642. Moyo railed against the ‘false, corrupt salaries’ in the public sector, and declared that: “We have got to see the new thinking and the politics that inform the new economy, that is not being afraid of doing and saying the right things.”9 The State run Herald newspaper, now led by one of a group a new editors appointed by Moyo, wrote an editorial condemning this ‘deplorable state of affairs’, asking why arrests were not yet made, and stating that:

Put plainly, most of these parastatal heads and their minsters have failed in their fiduciary duty and have no moral or ethical reason to remain in their posts a day longer.10

It very soon became clear that this debate was not only about attempting to show a new face to the world, but perhaps more importantly, about the succession battles within Zanu PF. At a Provincial Women’s Conference in February 2014, Deputy President Joice Mujuru, viewing Moyo as the mouthpiece of the Mnangagwa faction in the party, warned her audience to ‘be careful’ about reports on corruption in the parastatals, as this was ‘another tactic being used by those keen to destroy the country.’11 Mugabe who, throughout his tenure as head of Zanu PF, has fuelled the politics of ethnic balance in Zanu PF, and ensured the provincialisation of potential contenders to his leadership, pontificated to his party members:

But it’s terrible, even to have your name mentioned as leader of a faction. It’s shameful. You must go beyond that and say you belong to the people as a whole……You see the danger there is? There, we are having to fight this apparently without very much of success because people want to be seen first and foremost as regional leaders and not as national leaders…..That is what we are fighting against and I am going to fight against this one quite blatantly because that is what is destroying the party.12

At the funeral of National Hero and former Minister of Information Mugabe launched an even more vitriolic attack on factionalism in his party, and more specifically, branded Jonathan Moyo as ‘the devil incarnate’ and a weevil ‘in our midst’, ‘our minister of information wanting to put people one against another.’ An irate Mugabe, intimating his intention to assert his authority once again over party processes,13 exclaimed:

This is an angry time, time of real anger as he (Shamuyarira) leaves us. He leaves us – me in particular- when I am terribly, terribly disappointed by some of our leaders.14

In May 2014 the Government and the private sector crafted a National Code of Corporate Governance in an attempt to begin to deal with ‘salarygate’ declaring, as an interim measure, a cap of US $6000 for top earners in State Enterprises and local authorities. Yet it is difficult to accept that Zanu PF is deeply committed to this fight against corruption, both because it is so deeply embroiled in the party’s succession politics, and the Zimbabwean state has a long history of not confronting this issue comprehensively. While corruption scandals have been a feature of Zimbabwe politics since the 1980’s, the politics of the crisis period in the 2000’s and the changes in the architecture of the state that accompanied it, including the loss of state capacity and professionalism and the consequences of informalisation, new forms of elite accumulation and patronage, brought a new intensity to state corruption.

15 Thus it would be naïve to think that the ‘devil incarnate’ or any other key elements within Zanu PF had suddenly stumbled across the problem of corruption. Indeed former MDC-T Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals in the coalition government, Gordon Moyo, stated that the information that Moyo was ‘revealing’ was well known to the government in the period of the Global Political Agreement. All these issues, according to the former Minister, were well known to the coalition government, but Zanu PF would brook no policy interventions by the MDCs, seeing its mandate as largely to nullify the efforts of the ruling party’s GPA partners.16 Indeed parastatals have longed been used as part of Zanu PF’s patronage network in the public sector, and the recent appointments of politicians and former ambassadors as new board members to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, despite the recent furore within Zanu PF over abuse of public sector positions, confirms the continuation of this trend.17

The battle over corrupt state bodies represents a part of the broader economic challenges that the Mugabe regime faces. These include: an unpayable external debt, an adverse balance of payments position,18 capital flight from banks and the stock exchange, a national budget consumed largely by recurrent expenditure,19 a massive need for infrastructural development, and a GDP rate that has declined from 10.5 % in 2012 to just over 3% in 2013.20 The manufacturing sector has, for over a decade, been confronted with major obstacles such as working capital constraints, power and water shortages, ageing equipment and low domestic demand.

21 Additionally because of dollarization the Reserve Bank admitted that it had no instruments to provide the fiscal stimulus to deal with a drift towards a deflationary economy.22 Finance Minister Chinamasa is under no illusions about the Herculean task that faces him and his Government. In a statement in May 2014, Chinamasa made it very clear that the Government of Zimbabwe was ‘very alive to the fact that systematic engagement with all nations will be key to unlocking funding’ and dealing with the country’s tight liquidity problem. In line with the Government’s continued negotiations with the IMF, ‘geared towards macro-economic stability,’ Chinamasa proclaimed:

In short Zimbabwe is open to Foreign Direct Investment from all Nations of the World, whether these be in the North, South, East or West……Let the message go out loud and clear that Zimbabwe is ready to re-integrate into the global economy. Zimbabwe is looking for new friendships, new opportunities while consolidating old ones. We are looking for mutually beneficial economic relationships not confrontation. We are too small a country to pursue a policy of confrontation.23

This move back to a discourse of ‘normalisation’ is not the first attempt in the crisis era from about 2000. In the post 2003 period attempts were made to seek an accommodation with international capital.24 However given the persistent questions around Zanu PF’s electoral legitimacy and the continued hope that the MDCs would be able to defeat Zanu PF in an electoral contest, these attempts were curtailed by the sanctions measures put in place against the Mugabe regime by Western countries. The greater acceptability of the 2013 elections, notwithstanding the continued reservations of the EU and the US, and the greatly weakened state of the opposition, changed the balance of forces in the country and allowed for a new dialogue to emerge with the international players. Equally important, the recalcitrance of the economic impediments facing Zanu PF, and the waning efficacy of its empowerment discourse in the face of these tribulations, forced a change in the tone and policy positions of the victorious regime.

While the Government of Zimbabwe is still negotiating an investment deal with the Chinese Government for an estimated US$10 billion based on the securitisation of Zimbabwe’s gold and diamond reserves, even Mugabe’s closest ally has spoken out against the government’s inconsistent policy positions.25 Based on their own experience the Chinese are well aware of the need for suitable and evolving institutions and the need for long-term political stability.26 In the face of Western and business criticisms around its empowerment programme the Government softened its rhetoric, particularly around its Indigenisation programme.27 A Policy Framework for the latter was first put in place in February 1998 and revised in October 2004, to deal with the historical imbalance of indigenous ownership in areas other than low value and low profit sectors of the economy.

This process culminated in the enactment of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act (Chapter 14.33) in March 2008, with the main objective of the Act being to ‘endeavour to secure that at least 51% of the shares of every public company and any other business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.’ In February 2010 the Government of Zimbabwe promulgated the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (General) Regulations. These provided that all businesses with a net asset value equal to or above US$500,000 located in Zimbabwe should put in place plans that would result in 51% of the shares in the company being transferred to indigenous shareholders within five years from the date of operation of the regulations. Moreover the regulations required affected companies to submit a structure of their shareholders and a plan for empowerment implementation within forty five days after the regulations came into effect.28

In response to the many criticisms over ownership issues and the application of the regulations to different sectors, Mugabe attempted to allay the fears of investors by stating the Government did not have either nationalisation or expropriation in mind, but rather that ‘any equity that an indigenous person takes up will be disposed of at fair value.’ The Minister of Finance and Economic Development further qualified the position by noting that there would be no one-size-fits all position and that the threshold of indigenous ownership would be decided on a sector-by-sector basis.

Furthermore the investor would have the power to choose the local partner and determine the share price.29 In order to increase the competitiveness of the economy the Minister of Finance also promised more flexible labour relations through the amendment of the Labour Act Chapter 28.01 to deal with constraints in retrenchments, terminal benefits, downsizing, working hours and arbitration.30 As part of the process of increasing labour flexibility, the Government also announced its intention to re-establish Special Economic Zones, formerly known as Export Processing Zones in the ESAP period, where enterprises would be allowed to operate under more flexible special regulations.31

Donors such as the governments of the EU have shown some recognition of the new messaging emerging from the Government. Evidence of this is the move away from the ‘restrictive measures’ and the promise that Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement will be lifted barring any new major human rights violations in the country.32 The EU is currently preparing a country cooperation programme that, while not including budgetary support because of the dire state of public finance management by the state, will be composed of support for health, rural food security and governance, priorities jointly agreed to with the Zimbabwean Government. An additional significant development is that in 2013 Mugabe signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU that will, if effected, add to the liberalisation impetus currently underway in the current period. These developments are taking place notwithstanding the EU’s discomfort at the mixed policy messages still coming out of the state, including the ambiguities of the Indigenisation legislation, the violation of Bilateral Investment agreements in the land occupations of conservancies in Chiredzi and Triangle in May, and Mugabe’s boycott of the EU Africa summit in Brussels in 2014. Investing in Zimbabwe, according to the Australian Ambassador remains akin to ‘swimming in Zambezi between Crocodiles and Hippos.’33

The mixed policy messaging of the Mugabe regime can be attributed both to the challenges of seeking fuller international re-engagement while holding on to its empowerment programme, and the tensions within Zanu PF about how to proceed with such a re-engagement. The tropes of sovereignty, liberation history, regional solidarity and empowerment have been integral to Zanu PF’s political imaginary and ‘language of stateness’, in both the party’s ‘practical languages of governance’ and the ‘symbolic languages of authority’.34 However the exposure of the limits of the state’s capacity to effect its indigenisation programme has led to the dual strategy of seeking a rapprochement with the West, while promising to export the Zimbabwean model to the SADC region.

The grandiose promises of the discourse of Zanu PF’s nationalism has, more than ever under the severe structural limitations of the current period and perhaps with his eye on the emergence of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters on to the South African electoral stage, pushed Mugabe to seek to promote his project and seek complementary policy initiatives from the region, as he moves towards his tenure as Chair of SADC.35 The view that SADC increasingly views Zimbabwe as an ‘anchor state’ that could have more influence over bilateral and regional politics, is likely to provide a further stimulus to these ambitions.36 The resonance of this ambition also draws on the common interests and perspectives shared by the liberation movements in the region.37However whatever the long-term potential of Zimbabwe’s land reform and the ‘accumulation from below’ model38 (and the challenges around this remain monumental),39 in the near future the desperate budgetary requirements of the state are likely to see the persistence of schizophrenic policy pronouncements linked to a gradual drift towards re-engagement with the West.

The Descent of Opposition Politics

Even as Zanu PF has faced major challenges around the politics of succession and the enormous structural problems in the economy, it has had the space to ponder these obstacles in the presence of an opposition politics facing even more arduous difficulties, and for the moment paralysed by another debilitating split in its ranks. The potentially damaging public revelations of corruption and ineptitude in the party-state have been conducted as though the opposition were invisible, as the corrosion of its capacity has become all too apparent. Apart from the immense challenges of state repression and political obstruction faced by the MDC-T in particular, both since its formation and under the GPA, the longstanding, problematic internal dynamics of the party40 combined with a weakened electoral strategy in 2013,41induced a further crisis in the party.

In early 2014 the Deputy Treasurer-General for the MDC-T, Elton Mangoma, wrote a letter to the President of the party, Morgan Tsvangirai, stating that there was a ‘crisis of leadership, crisis of expectation and above all a crisis of confidence in the party, externally and internally.’ Crucially, while Tsvangirai was still holding on to the view that the ‘underlying cause of our current predicament is the disputed election’,42 Mangoma went on to propose that it was time for Tsvangirai to ‘consider leaving the office of the president of the movement,’ and that in order to reinvigorate the connections with the base of the party it was best for the President to ‘step aside and allow progress by democratic forces.’43 Following the public revelation of this letter Mangoma was physically abused by MDC-T party youths, suspended for ‘provoking divisions and bringing the movement into disrepute’, and finally expelled from the party.

In the aftermath of these events Tendai Biti, the Secretary General of the party condemned both developments and confirmed his support for the positions taken by Mangoma. Moreover in a countermove, in his capacity as Secretary-General of the party Biti convened a national council which voted for the suspension of Tsvangirai and several other leaders. This statement from this meeting expressed opposition to the use of violence, abuse of power and patronage and the use of all forms of ‘intimidation, duress and malice’ against those in the party who were speaking out for ‘democracy and renewal.’44 In an attempt to provide more theoretical grounding for their new political position Biti argued that,

…if nationalism can become exhausted in the Fanonian manner equally post-liberation movements are not unique to that same level of exhaustion arising out of all these contradictions. If you look now, if you carry a balance sheet of all post-liberation movements they are in crisis. And the old nationalist parties are either re-emerging or redesigning themselves.45

These events were followed by further counter suspensions and expulsions from the Tsvangirai leadership,46 with the constitutionality of Biti’s national council meeting being questioned47 and Tsvangirai stating that he could only be removed at a national party congress. Tsvangirai’ s close ally and party organising secretary Nelson Chamisa described the party president the ‘founding father of democracy in Zimbabwe, the doyen of constitutionalism,’ and, in terms reminiscent of Mugabe’s acolytes, declared: ‘You can’t replace a person chosen by God.’48 Accompanying these developments in the MDC-T have been the complete marginalisation of the smaller MDC formation, reports of discord and defections from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),49 constitutional movements turned political in the post 2013 election period, and the predictable emergence of new parties, with one party being formed from a Christian network group.50

This palpable sense of disorientation and the desperate search for new forms of political renewal can also be felt in the formal organisations of civil society. Casting around for new ways to engage the state and citizenry in a new political context in which, as Ncube observes, the efficacy of deploying ‘human rights discourse to demonstrate the illegitimacy of the Zanu PF regime,’ has been curtailed, the civic groups have had to rethink the articulation between rights and redistribution questions.51

In response organisations such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition have put out new position papers attempting to set out this challenge. In the case of the Forum the organisation argues the ‘need to acknowledge that Zimbabwe human rights violations cannot be addressed separately from the broader political economy issues.’52 For the Crisis Coalition, ‘there is need for a broad-based approach to issues that also place emphasis on economic governance issues including corruption, social services delivery and the enjoyment of all human rights, that is, civil political, social and economic.’53 Morgan Tsvangirai expressed similar view in a post-election interview:

In the early to late 1990’s a human rights agenda was at the forefront, no doubt about it, but in a continent…facing other crises, obviously the focus will change, depending on the crisis. And it puts the human rights agenda at the bottom of priorities.

What has changed in my view is the philosophy; there is a general fatigue about the Zimbabwe issue, it is better to re-engage on the basis of stability rather than democracy. So the objective has changed; these days as long as there are no dead bodies on the streets, then that’s OK, then things are OK in Zimbabwe.54

Moreover the reconfiguration of Zimbabwe’s political economy in the 2000’s has forced both the opposition MDCs and the civic movement to rethink issues of social agency in Zimbabwe’s public sphere.55 During the 1990’s and the early 2000’s the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions was at the heart of the civic movement due to a combination of it national organisational reach, its strong leadership and technical capacity, and the skill with which it built broad social alliances.56With decline of its formal membership by almost half, according to one estimate,57 the central force of the labour movement has been largely lost to civic struggles.

The absence of such a central organisational force has led to some critical assessments of the neglected or marginalised aspects of civic actions. One such assessment has once again strongly criticised the ‘deeply entrenched culture of masculinities’ that have for the last two decades crafted and informed the ‘primary choices and methods of public, confrontational protest and disruptive resistance that were deployed, validated and valorised, celebrated,’ in Zimbabwean civil society.58 Thus Bella Matambanadzo quotes from one of her interviews the challenges women faced in setting up their own structures in rural communities.

In the beginning we would call meetings for all the community to attend. The women would attend. We would have the numbers present, but the problem was that they would keep quiet. We changed our tactics and started organising women around sports, market gardens and groups of cross border traders. This created confidence in women. We had given them their own space to talk about issues that affected them first.59

Other civic groups have seen new possibilities in the violence that exploded between the police and Members of the Johane Masowe church when the former sought to enforce a ban on the church for the alleged abuse of women and children. The incident which took place on the 30 May 2014 was described in the publication of one civic coalition as ‘the self-organisation of the sect to confront state excesses’ and the ‘spontaneous rise of the proletariat against state power.’

The attempt to place this event within the model of class struggle once thought to typify the form and agency of working class struggles, is mistaken in conceptual terms, and is likely to overlook the particularities of the history of relations between religion, the state and politics in Zimbabwe.60 This history points much more to what Maxwell calls ‘an intriguing mix of religious, political and economic themes concerning African nationalism, American commodification of religion, and racial ambivalence.’

Moreover such movements are driven by a combination of egalitarian ideals and authoritarian structures that allows them to connect both with radical politics and authoritarian political parties.61 Clearly there is a need to study such developments much more in the near future, and to track the possible relations between the loss of confidence in a secular opposition politics and the growth of more religious discourses of dissent. Such discourses provide attempts to explain the politics in the country through a language and explanatory framework that has a longer genealogy than Zanu PF’s ‘patriotic history’, and the effects of such interventions on Zimbabwean politics are likely to be both complex and ambiguous.

A further feature of the opposition discourse in the aftermath of Zanu PF’s ‘victory’ has been a push for a new political consensus in the country. In the presence of a greatly weakened opposition, new initiatives have emerged in the form of a more technocratic language around international re-engagement, building national institutions and national consensus, the need to establish a ‘National Transitional Council’62 to oversee the governance of the country, and the importance of developing a new social contract between the state, labour and capital.63 As the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum correctly observed there is a ‘clear thread of reconciliation’ in the speeches of sections of the opposition.64

Conclusion

The post 2013 election period has witnessed several significant developments in Zimbabwean politics. While Zanu PF have presided over the implosion of the MDC-T, the complete marginalisation of the smaller MDC formation, the largely political irrelevance of the newly formed NCA political party, and the disorientation of the civic movement, the ruling party has also been marred by renewed internal factional struggles and widespread reports of corruption. Moreover the radical rhetoric that marked Zanu PF’s election campaign has once again given way to a combination of such rhetoric with a new movement towards neo-liberal policies and re-engagement with the West.

The “constraints of ‘victory’ ” have become clear as Zanu PF struggles to find a path through the daunting economic and political challenges that confront it in the new era. A major factor that favours the ruling party is the fact that it is attempting to deal with these tasks in the presence of the debilitating weakness of the once formidable Movement for Democratic Change. Once again the task falls on the civic movement to rethink its structures and forms of interventions within this new context, and to provide the vibrancy required to re-imagine political alternatives for the country. However in doing this the civic movement should never lose sight of the real advances and contributions that were made by the MDC, which permanently changed the political landscape in the country.

Brian Raftopoulos

Director, Research and Advocacy

Solidarity Peace Trust

June 2014

Baba Jukwa: The boomerang effect

via Baba Jukwa: The boomerang effect | The Zimbabwean 25 June 2014 by Mxolisi Ncube

“If I hold my peace and let the Lord fight my battles, I know that the victory shall be mine.” This became, and still is, my silent prayer, after my name and that of my closest friend, Mkhululi Chimoio, were dragged into the Baba Jukwa fiasco and our lives threatened.

I know the storm is not over yet, but I can feel God’s might at work. So, this could be time for me to tell my story first-hand, as has been the request of many Facebook friends and readers.

It was barely 24 hours after my return from a media conference in Uganda, when I received a Facebook inbox message from one Gilbert Takarehwa Nyambabvu, whom I later learnt was editor of online publication, newzimbabwe.com.

The message, to which I did not respond, said “Cde, been trying to reach you – The Sunday Mail will claim tomorrow that you are Baba Jukwa. Tried to ring you but failed to get through.”

A few hours later, the story was out on newzimbabwe.com and a video had been posted on Youtube, shoddily linking me to Baba Jukwa. The Sunday Mail did its part the following day, followed by The Herald on the Monday. None of the publications had sought my side of the story before publishing this very serious allegation.

The following month saw a dramatic change in my life. None of my three mobile phones could sustain power for more than two hours and I could not be online on any of the social networks. If it was not friends and relatives calling to express solidarity, it would be journalists and strange people saying whatever they felt I needed to hear.

My first impression was that the stories I had written about Baba Jukwa had put me in the CIO radar. Whoever had linked me to him thought I had met the face behind the dodgy “rogue CIO member”, yet I also wished I had.

I granted interviews to some Zimpapers journalists and even showed a newzimbabwe.com reporter clear evidence that I was not part of the Jukwa fiasco, but none of the responses I gave ever saw the light of day – except for a one-on-one interview I granted Newsday.

Day after day, Chimoio and I were falsely accused of a crime we did not commit and publicly vilified, with the state papers turning our denial into a “confession.” My nine-year career as a police journalist was dug up and used to portray me as a bandit trainer and war-planner, spiced-up with the chats between Baba Jukwa and his apparent ally, Sahwira wa Baba Jukwa.

I turned down a request from a Zimpapers journalist I was once really close to, who had apparently been assigned to do an up-close and-personal feature on me. I got the hint that the journalists were “forced” to write the stories about us, me in particular, by a senior government minister. I realised it would be very hard to argue my innocence, so together with Chimoio, I approached lawyer Obert Gutu to represent us.

Although I tried to keep my eyes off the news, friends and relatives would still bring it to my attention through posting links to me on social networks, or sending the stories to my wife. This put a lot of strain on our lives.

Those who cared advised us to leave South Africa or to stay out of Facebook. I do not belong to a generation of cowards and, as this seemed to be a ploy meant to silence us, I vowed to stay put. I refused to accept that it was the whole Zanu (PF) that wanted to get us.

When people like Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa seemed to favour a thorough investigation rather than the rushed extradition that the Zimpapers were pushing for, it gave me hope. I knew I was innocent and so a proper investigation would clear me.

But the call by these two officials did not immediately free me from the false accusations and vilification as a bandit who had swapped his pen for the sword. I have never been a member of any political party, but I was accused of being MDC-T. I was also linked with meetings with that party’s officials, some of who I have never met and others with whom I have clashed during the course of my work as a journalist. Millions of dollars were thrown around as amount of money I had been advanced to “overthrow” Zanu (PF) from power.

So, when Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, was arrested last week, on allegations that he was “the real Baba Jukwa”, my question was – Why does Zanu (PF) believe their “rogue spy” is a journalist?

Having gone through his posts, spellings and grammar, Baba Jukwa writes too badly to be a journalist. Should we continue to ululate whenever one of our own is “tried” for this “crime”? If so, we would all bear the Jukwa scars before the real culprit is apprehended.

Kudzayi might be Amai Jukwa, Baba Jukwa, or both, but fact is – he is a Jukwa and either of those characters did post something defamatory to some Zanu (PF) officials. After newzimbabwe.com, the Sunday Mail, under his editorship, was also the first and most lethal in attacking the innocent – myself and Chimoio. What goes around does indeed come around.