Nov 21, 2011, 13:42 GMT
Harare - More than 1 million Zimbabweans may struggle to feed themselves in
the coming months, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Monday, noting a
poor harvest in several areas of the country.
Zimbabwe has just entered its rainy season which will last until March. The
local economy is still suffering from years of mismanagement and the global
downturn is also hindering growth.
'Most at risk are low-income families hit by failed harvests, and households
with orphans and vulnerable children,' said the UN's WFP.
'Although food is generally available in many rural areas, it is too
expensive for those with limited resources,' the agency said in a statement,
which called for foreign donors to give 42 million dollars for food aid to
The southern African country, once renowned as a regional breadbasket,
started receiving food aid in 2001, a year after the government launched a
takeover of white-owned farms that was widely condemned abroad.
The coming months are also expected to see some political turmoil, as the
coalition between President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai shows signs of wear.
Police in Zimbabwe
were out in force Sunday for a rally addressed by Movement for Democratic Change
head Morgan Tsvangirai, a week after political leaders agreed that the security
forces be on hand to protect freedom of expression and association. The accord
followed a surge in attacks against supporters of the MDC.
The rally was quite small in comparison to others around the MDC’s main stronghold of Harare. Most of those who attended were men. Some of them said their wives were too nervous to attend after another rally two weeks ago was disrupted by violence.
The earlier rally in a Harare suburb was attacked by youths aligned with the ZANU-PF of President Robert Mugabe. More than 20 people were injured, forcing the MDC to abandon the gathering.
After that violence, and with the encouragement of South Africa, Mr. Tsvangirai, Mr. Mugabe and Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC party, met about the situation.
The sides agreed to draw up a code of conduct for political parties as they go about the business of attracting supporters.
People cheered at Sunday's rally when Mr. Tsvangirai said that many people have lost patience with the power-sharing government and that the transition toward new elections under a new constitution is going on too long.
But he cautioned against any uprising against the unity government, of which he is prime minister. “Dialogue and managing the reform is our objective. Those who would like to have uprisings and revolution again must understand, a revolution has no predictable outcome. Our job in this transition is not to be victims but to be managers of change," he said.
Mr. Tsvangirai said people must be able to vote freely and without fear in any election. And he said they must be sure that their choice at the polls is respected. “You can’t run a free and fair election where the outcome of that vote is not respected. The will of the people must be respected," he said.
In the last elections in 2008, the MDC won a narrow majority in the legislature and Mr. Tsvangirai beat Mr. Mugabe in the first round of the presidential election, but he withdrew from the run-off after hundreds of his supporters were killed.
Mr. Mugabe was the only candidate in the second round but no country recognized the result. During the stalemate, regionally supervised negotiations led to a power-sharing government.
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 November 2011
The Zimbabwe Republic Police on Monday received a rare commendation from the
MDC-T, for strictly keeping law and order at a rally addressed by Prime
Minister Tsvangirai in Chitungwiza on Sunday.
Armed riot police and other security personnel were heavily deployed and
patrolled the streets in Chitungwiza all day, allowing Tsvangirai to go
ahead with the planned rally.
The same rally had to be cancelled two weeks go after ZANU PF militants
hurled stones at MDC-T supporters who were gathered at Chibuku stadium.
Following the skirmishes no one from ZANU PF was arrested, something that
most people have come to expect from Zimbabwe’s normally partisan police
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa it was ‘quite
refreshing and very unusual’ to see the police keep law and order at an
MDC-T rally. He said they want to see the same level of alertness and
efficiency to be displayed all the time by the police.
‘The police were uncharacteristically friendly to the MDC. I have never seen
so many police details at our meetings and they were well behaved. It was
clear they meant business…it was clear they did not brook any nonsense. They
kept trouble makers at bay and ensured those attending the rally were safe.
However, it remains to be seen if they will continue to act professionally
because we know their masters (ZANU PF) to be good at play acting,’ said
Mwonzora. He added: ‘At one stage the police stood by and allowed the
country to be turned upside down by rowdy ZANU PF youths.’
Police spokesman senior assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena declined to
comment on the commendation from the MDC-T.
‘I’m sorry I don’t comment on that,’ Bvudzijena said before switching off
his mobile phone. The MDC-T President however called on the police
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to ensure all citizens receive
protection, regardless of their political affiliations.
‘The role of police is to maintain law and order. The role of the police is
not to be a law unto themselves. Instead of being police of law and order
they are police of lawlessness and disorder. I do not hate Chihuri, but as
the person in charge of police behaviour and values, he must be
professional,’ Tsvangirai said.
He urged the police to arrest perpetrators of violence without being
selective. Turning to elections, the Prime Minister pleaded for next year’s
poll to reflect the will of the people, saying their votes must be secure.
‘The will of the people must be respected. You cannot run an election
without ensuring that these fundamentals are taken into account. Wherever we
travel, we are not ashamed to say we want a free and fair election in
Zimbabwe. Our message to SADC, the AU and UN is that we need a free and fair
election,’ Tsvangirai said.
(AFP) – 23 hours ago
CHITUNGWIZA, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who
said he was robbed of victory in 2008 elections, pleaded Sunday for 2012
polls to reflect the will of the people.
"The vote must be secured... The will of the people must be respected,"
Tsvangirai told supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
supporters in Chitungwiza, southeast of the capital Harare.
President Robert Mugabe has said the next polls would take place before
March but Tsvangirai said Sunday the exact was still being discussed, amid
rising tensions between their two camps.
About 2,000 MDC supporters attended Sunday's rally, as anti-riot police
patrolled around the stadium.
Two weeks ago, the MDC cancelled its rally after militants from Mugabe's
ZANU-PF hurled stones at supporters who were gathered in the stadium for the
Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe have condemned the violence in the run-up to the
polls and called for tolerance.
Tsvangirai led Mugabe, who has ruled since 2008, in the first round of the
2008 presidential election but failed to win an outright majority. He pulled
out of the run-off citing intimidation, handing victory to Mugabe.
Following an international outcry, sanctions on the ruling party and months
of arduous negotiations, a power-sharing agreement was reached in which
Mugabe kept his job and Tsvangirai became prime minister.
by Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai married his long-term lover Locadia
Karimatsenga Tembo at a private ceremony in Mazowe on Monday, New
Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
Tsvangirai has been dating the wealthy commodity broker for over a year, but
his aides had always denied they were dating.
The MDC-T leader recently confirmed during a radio interview that he was in
a relationship, but declined to name the woman.
Tsvangirai has been single since his wife, Susan, died in a car crash in
By Lance Guma
21 November 2011
Plans to rig the next elections in Zimbabwe are said to be underway, with
accusations that ZANU PF is secretly removing known MDC-T supporters from
the voters roll.
Sources who spoke to SW Radio Africa, but who refused to be named for fear
of victimisation, have claimed that chiefs in the rural areas are being
coerced into supplying the names of known opposition supporters.
The lists being drawn up from this exercise are being forwarded to the
Registrar General’s office, who are in turn removing the MDC-T supporters
from the voters roll. The Registrar General’s office is still run by Tobaiwa
Mudede, a card carrying member of ZANU PF who has in the past presided over
many disputed elections.
MDC-T National Executive member Charlton Hwende was a guest on our Behind
the Headlines programme and told us the strategy to remove their members
from the voters roll would not work because they were already demanding a
new roll. He said they would not participate in any election that did not
use a ‘credible’ voter’s roll and that Mudede was wasting his time if he was
“As a party our position is very clear. If the issues that we have
identified that enable us to go into a free and fair election are not solved
we are not going to participate. I think that the President (Tsvangirai) has
made that very clear on numerous occasions.” Hwende also confirmed that
several of their members in Kariba had been removed from the voters roll,
for no apparent reason.
Commenting on growing incidents of violence Hwende said ZANU PF abandoned
political violence in the run up to the March 2008 election and because of
that they lost the election to the MDC-T. After that defeat he said Mugabe’s
party went back to their ‘tried and tested’ method to win back the
presidency via “the violent and discredited June 2008 presidential runoff
Hwende said because of that precedent it was unlikely the country could hold
free and fair elections. “The building of a war chest by ZANU PF, through
the Marange diamonds and its partisan asset stripping indigenisation policy,
which is a euphemism for the ‘Zanufication’ of the economy, are clear signs
the next polls will be extremely violent and bloody,” he said.
Meanwhile the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa is reporting that
Mugabe is appealing to China and Russia for protection should a future
disputed election in the country be taken to the United Nations (UN)
Security Council for intervention.
The paper said that Mugabe had made the appeal for support from China and
Russia while on an official visit to Beijing. Mugabe’s fears are said to be
drawn from reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is lobbying the UN
and has also visited several African countries currently sitting in the UN
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 November, 2011
A group of six MDC-T activists, accused of murdering a police officer in
Glen View, have been in police detention for six months now, despite
documented evidence that many were not even at the scene when Mutedza died.
A total of 28MDC-T supporters were arrested back in May, after Mutedza died
during a brawl at a local Glen View pub. Witnesses said he was killed by
unknown revelers, but the police claimed he was killed byMDCsupporters who
held a meeting there.
The majority were granted bail by the High Court and released, except for
the 6 who are still in remand prison. That group was denied bail by the High
Court, who claimed they were a flight risk.
The group still in detention includes Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere of
Glen View Ward 32, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama, Rebecca
Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa, and Phineas Nhatarikwa.
The MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson, Paul Madzore, was arrested months
after the murder and is also facing false murder charges in the Mutedza
It later emerged that the dead police officer was viewed as a thug by many
Glen View residents. Speaking on the SW Radio Africa programme Callback,
some residents said Mutedza was killed after an argument with vendors who
attacked him and a colleague he was travelling with.
They said the murdered police officer was notorious in the area for being
corrupt. Vendors, who did not want to be identified, accused the cop of
soliciting bribes and regularly helping himself to their wares. He became so
wealthy he was able to buy a fleet of kombis, which still operate inHarare.
Meanwhile theMDC-T continues to push for the release of the 6 activists
still in detention. The party has said the arrests are part of a plot by
ZANU PF to destabilize their structures.
by 20 hours 26 minutes ago
THE compulsory acquisition for low-cost housing of 780 hectares in Harare
owned through two companies by Mr Phillip Chiyangwa has been confirmed by
the Administrative Court, allowing co-operatives already allocated land to
continue their developments.
Pinnacle Holdings and Jetmaster Properties, both owned by Mr Chiyangwa, had
contested the compulsory acquisition by the Government after they bought the
land from its previous owners, and had gone as far as issuing eviction
notices to the co-operatives and mounting advertising campaigns to
discourage others from joining the co-operatives.
But last week they lost the legal battle.
Administrative Court senior president Herbert Mandeya's ruling saves 500
families, members of Chimurenga Pungwe Housing Co-operative, who were facing
eviction from Nyarungu Farm by Jetmaster.
The co-operative was allocated part of the land by the Government for
They had been served with eviction notices, but the eviction was stayed
pending the outcome of the State's application for compulsory acquisition.
The State has the power to acquire urban land by compulsion for public
benefit, with the price set by what the land was being used for before the
compulsory purchase; so a farm would be valued as a farm and a block of
buildings needed for roadworks as buildings.
The ruling declared the properties as State land and those co-operatives
that had been allocated the land by Government for housing will now continue
Mr Nelson Mutsonziwa from the Attorney-General's Office appeared for the
Ministry of Lands and Rural Development while Advocate Lewis Uriri
represented the two companies.
Court President Mandeya ruled that Government had convinced the court that
the acquisition was to benefit the people who were struggling to own stands
"It is this court's view that the applicant (Government) has shown that it
is necessary to acquire the two respondents' pieces of land for town
planning in the City of Harare, that is for providing shelter for the many
inhabitants of Harare who do not have their own accommodation.
"The acquisition of Nyarungu Estates measuring 193,4056 ha registered in the
name if Jetmaster Properties and the Remainder of Subdivision A of
Stoneridge measuring 586,8960 ha is confirmed," ruled President Mandeya.
The court said the acquisition was for purposes beneficial to the public
while the two companies had the intention of making some profit.
"It is important to note that the legislation says ‘for a purpose beneficial
to the public generally or to any section of the public'.
"Emphasis is on catering for the public so that every citizen has a fair
chance of securing accommodation as opposed to catering for those with
substantial material resources.
"Is providing shelter aimed at recouping the costs involved plus some profit
or it is primarily aimed at creating the conditions that make it possible
for citizens to acquire for themselves shelter of their choice?
"The former applies to the respondents whereas the latter applies to the
applicants," he said.
During the court hearing the two firms opposed acquisition on the basis that
they had bought the properties and that they were also capable of using the
land for providing shelter to the citizens.
Government conceded that Pinnacle and Jetmaster were capable of building
houses on those pieces of land but argued that the companies will not cater
for the low-income earning citizens because they were profit oriented.
Government further argued that its acquisition was not motivated by
commercial gain but ensuring that urban dwellers were accommodated in decent
Chimurenga Pungwe Housing Co-operative chairperson Mrs Concillia Dzitiro
welcomed the court ruling saying it had a bearing on their case.
"We welcome the development from the courts. Although we were not party to
the proceedings, the outcome is also to our advantage.
"We have not been able to permanently develop our stands for fear of the
legal battles, but this ruling has given us green light to confidently build
"We want to thank the Government for allocating us the land in question and
we would develop it to meet the urban standards," she said.
An attempt by Jetmaster to evict the families in June this year failed after
the lawyers resolved to wait for the Administrative Court's ruling.
In the same month, the families demonstrated against the eviction and
barricaded roads leading to the settlement and Nyarungu Farm.
The members vowed not to surrender the land to Jetmaster.
By Alex Bell
21 November 2011
The deaths of an estimated 100 elephants in the Hwange National Park is
being linked to poor park maintenance, amid warnings that Zimbabwe’s
wildlife is facing a serious disaster.
An estimated 100 elephants are believed to have died from thirst since
October, with the majority of waterholes in the park drying up. The Park has
no perennial rivers and very little natural surface water and most of the
water available to the animals has to be pumped from boreholes.
But the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe, which
for years has been plagued by lack of funding and alleged corruption, has
not been able to keep the pumps going.
According to the Herald newspaper, Zimbabwe Parks director Vitalis Chadenga
said his organisation was “doing its best,” even with limited resources to
artificially supply water.
“Hwange is extremely hot and dry. We are actively managing the situation by
pumping water from boreholes,” he said.
But Johnny Rodrigues from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) told
SW Radio Africa on Monday that poor maintenance from the Park side means the
pumps do not work. He said that wildlife is not a priority in Zimbabwe.
“This is quite a disaster taking place and Park authorities have so many
excuses for why they can’t even do basic maintenance,” Rodrigues said.
He added that it was only because of groups like the Friends of Hwange Trust
that the animals have access to water. Friends of Hwange was formed on the
back of the extreme drought of 2005, which saw them step in and take over
the maintenance of 10 boreholes in Hwange park. This has involved raising
funds to purchase diesel as well as repairing and maintaining the diesel
engines, boreholes and troughs.
On Monday Rodrigues said the Trust and ZCTF need help in staying on top of
the maintenance, explaining that about 54 new diesel engines are required to
replace the worn out ones used at the water pumps. He explained that the
motors only last about five years, but he said: “Hopefully in the next five
or six years things will improve politically and wildlife will be a
By Alex Bell
21 November 2011
Scores of vegetable sellers were over the weekend forced to attend a ZANU PF
meeting in Bulawayo, after being rounded up and threatened by a group of
A vegetable market on 5th Avenue was closed on Saturday after the ZANU PF
youths forced the vendors to attend a party meeting at the Royal Hotel. SW
Radio Africa’s correspondent Lionel Saungweme said the youths were led by a
known ZANU PF activist called Shepherd Gomera, who ordered the vendors to
close up shop.
“The youths went around disturbing the vendors and forcing them to stop
selling. Gomera then came around on top of a truck ordering people to leave
and threatening them, telling them they will face some kind of punishment if
they don’t,” Saungweme said.
Saungweme returned to the market on Monday and found that business had
returned to normal. But he said the vendors and many shoppers were reluctant
to talk to the media, in case they are targeted by ZANU PF.
“People are very timid. One vendor said to me that they don’t even have
political links, and that they are neither MDC or ZANU PF. All they want to
do is feed their families. It is their top-most goal,” Saungweme said.
The vendors pay up to US$14 a day to the Bulawayo City Council to use their
individual vending bays, and Saungweme explained that even on a normal day
the vendors “really struggle to break even.”
“There are many vendors and it is very difficult to make money. So every
minute when they cannot sell their goods means they are losing money, and it
means they can’t look after their families,” Saungweme said.
He added that there are fears this is a warning of more intimidation to
come, with Bulawayo gearing up to host the upcoming ZANU PF conference. An
estimated 6,000 ZANU PF members, including Robert Mugabe and his inner
circle, are set to descend on the city next month for the four day
conference. Saungweme said that the weekend intimidation of the market
vendors could be a sign of the strict clampdown many expect will come when
the conference gets underway.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 November, 2011
It has been reported that the number of police officers who own kombis is
steadily increasing and that they enjoy “special privileges” that others do
not, including breaking traffic regulations and bypassing roadblocks.
NewsDay newspaper said they conducted a “snap survey” which showed that many
police officers, especially those who have served on UN peacekeeping
missions, own fleets of up to 15 vehicles
The paper quoted drivers and junior police officers who claimed that some
kombis owned by police chefs are not properly registered, do not have route
permits, pick up people wherever they like and even overcharge for trips
during peak hours.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the Harare transport
system has seen a rise in the number of police officers operating kombis.
“You can tell which ones they are because they have to write the name and
address on the side. It is a requirement,” Muchemwa said.
He added that owners are also required to write the route they are permitted
to cover on the side of the kombi, and those owned by police officers often
choose to travel along the busier routes, which increase their earnings.
“They have an advantage because when certain operations are carried out the
traffic police will not single out their vehicles,” Muchemwa explained. On
the other hand civilian operators are forced by ZANU PF youth to pay fees
for each trip and bus rank fees for the day.
Although NewsDay did not name any police officers who own kombis, SW Radio
Africa spoke to some listeners back in June who alleged that officer Petros
Mutedza, the Glen View cop who was killed in a local pub in May, also owned
a fleet of kombis.
Listeners on our Callback programme said the 42 year old Inspector Mutedza
had a long history of demanding bribes and confiscating goods illegally.
They said he was so openly corrupt that he gained enough wealth to own a
fleet of minibuses in Harare.
Our correspondent Muchemwa said Mutedza’s kombis still operate in Harare. “I
have seen the fleet and it has P. Mutedza written on the side. The address
is Mabelreign and it says City to Glen View,” Muchemwa explained.
He added that many police officers now drive nice cars and are making a lot
of money from the transport business and other ventures, because it’s easy
to break the law. Many have also built very nice houses.
According to our correspondent there is now a lot of resentment developing
between the civilian owned fleets and those owned by police officers.
By Staff Writer
Monday, 21 November 2011 09:34
HARARE - Senior MDC members Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa told United
States representatives in November 2005 that their secretary-general at the
time, Welshman Ncube, was hell-bent on destroying their party.
According to a WikiLeaks cable filed by the then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe,
Christopher Dell, Biti, then the shadow Minister for Economics for the MDC,
noted that while party divisions were deepening at the time, the MDC’s
“center of gravity” had shifted decisively behind Tsvangirai.
Further noting that he had “long been in the middle and suspected by each
camp of leaning toward the other”, Biti said he had endeavoured to play a
mediating role until he came to the conclusion that the Ncube faction had an
agenda that precluded reconciliation.
He told Dell that Tsvangirai had earlier agreed to a compromise along lines
proposed by mediator Brian Raftopolous, but that Ncube’s group had refused
to meet their counterparts to discuss it.
Citing the Ncube faction’s absence from the constitutional vote in
Parliament, its opposition to a popularly supported senate election boycott,
its “lies and manipulations” — allegedly with the help of then South African
President Thabo Mbeki, and its refusal to meet with Tsvangirai on key
occasions, Biti said he feared that the faction had made some accommodation
with Zanu PF that revolved around isolating Tsvangirai.
Biti also revealed that the Ncube faction had made strong pitches to draw in
himself, the then party Secretary for Youth Affairs Nelson Chamisa and Roy
Bennett, but the faction’s duplicity and intransigence had only succeeded in
alienating all three.
Biti went on to say he had always been critical of Tsvangirai’s acting
outside the constitution but came to recognise that “everybody” — especially
the then secretary-general Ncube — was ignoring the party constitution
willy-nilly, “so why should Tsvangirai be held to a higher standard”.
In a later meeting, Chamisa corroborated Biti’s account of Ncube’s
determination to destroy the MDC, adding that Job Sikhala had told him in
confidence that Ncube had advised him to file a lawsuit against Tsvangirai
over his suspension — ostensibly to open the party up to disruption and
manipulation by the state-controlled courts.
By Margaret Chinowaita
Monday, 21 November 2011 14:16
HARARE - Gays have threatened to publicly name and shame top Zanu PF
officials and ministers who are allegedly involved in steamy affairs with
their members in a move which could potentially plunge President Robert
Mugabe’s relationship with his colleagues into a new low.
This followed weekend revelations that Mugabe could have been duped into
signing into a law an Act which promotes rights of gays and lesbians whom
the 87-year-old leader fiercely attacks as worse than dogs and pigs when
given an opportunity.
Zanu PF officials who denounce homosexuality by day and engage in the
activities by night, are said to be running scared following revelations by
our sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday, that some of them promoted and
crafted the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(Aippa), which recognises some gay rights in 2003.
Mugabe reportedly signed the bill into law without realising that his aides
had smuggled in recognition of gay rights.
Section 25 of Aippa reads: “Protection of information relating to personal
privacy: (1) The head of a public body shall not disclose personal
information to an applicant if the disclosure will result in the
unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy.”
According to the same Act, “personal information” is defined and includes a
person’s age, sex and sexual orientation, marital and family status.
In 2000, some Zanu PF officials smuggled gay rights into the draft
constitution and knowing that Mugabe hated homosexuality, they disguised it
under a clause natural differences but the draft was rejected by the people.
Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (Galz) president Chester Samba
said they will name Zanu PF politicians who lambast them yet they engage in
homosexual activities with his organisation’s members.
“We will expose them for who they really are if it turns out that somebody
whom we know has gay relationships comes out with homophobic statements,"
“While we wouldn’t want to expose people because we do not have that policy,
if a politician who is gay comes out with homophobic attacks we will see
that as hypocrisy. If that politician is known to be gay and it is proven,
only in situations like that we will be forced to expose them.”
Samba, however, said there are no politicians that have joined Galz as
members but he confirmed that there were some who had gay sexual
orientations and has relationships with their members.
Galz has made submissions to Copac on what they want included in the
“We want right to privacy, right to equality, non-discrimination and to have
sexual orientation included in the Bill of Rights as a basis of
discrimination. We want our basic rights but we are not lobbying for same
sex marriages to be included in the constitution.”
Samba said same sex marriages were not yet on the agenda because a number of
issues were still outstanding.
He said at the moment gays and lesbians do not have the right to health and
education in the country.
Recently, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai came under fire for saying
homosexuality was a human right in an interview with BBC.
Zanu PF hawks and Mugabe’s bootlickers rushed to castigate him before they
were exposed at the weekend as hypocrites who crafted and passed Aippa into
law and as it turns out, the law recognises homosexuality.
Homosexuality is reportedly rife in Zanu PF.
Former ceremonial President Reverend Canaan Banana allegedly sexually abused
aides while a Mutare businessman and Zanu PF official, once appeared in
court charged with sodomising a young man.
During the time when political turncoat Jonathan Moyo was Information and
Publicity minister, ZBC chief executive officer Alum Mpofu resigned in shame
after he was caught in a gay act at a popular rhumba club in Harare.
During the same time, there were reports that a powerful minister was caught
in a compromising position with a Gweru based ZBC deejay in Gweru when Radio
3 was moved to the Midlands capital.
And former Bulawayo-based dj Kelvin Ncube, who was employed at Montrose
Studios, was caught in another shameful act at Bulawayo hotel.
By Own Correspondent
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:40
BULAWAYO - A Harare-based contractor has abandoned the construction of the
late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s statue in Bulawayo after the government
reportedly ran out of funds for the project.
The contractors vacated the construction site along Main Street in Bulawayo
two weeks ago after the government through the ministry of Home Affairs
failed to pay the contractor.
Sibangalizwe Nkomo, the son of the late Vice President and national hero
confirmed the development.
“Yes I can confirm that the project has stalled. Last week there was a
meeting among stakeholders involved in the project and I am told the
government through the department of museums and national monuments has
promised to disburse funds for the resumption of the project,” said Nkomo
junior who is also the chairperson of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation.
A visit to the construction site on Saturday proved work has stopped.
The construction of the late father Zimbabwe statue which has boasted more
drama than a soap opera has been mired in controversy since its inception.
The statue was pulled down in September 2010 after the Nkomo family
protested that the statue did not capture the true attributes of the late
Vice President and that the family was not involved in the project.
After realising its blunder, the government engaged the Nkomo family through
the Joshua Nkomo Foundation and construction resumed end of July this year.
Early this year, Kembo Mohadi, the co-minister of Home Affairs announced
that the project was supposed to be completed before Heroes Day
commemorations in August but the contractors failed to beat the deadline.
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Monday, 21 November 2011 09:22
HARARE - Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius
Chombo has said the media has distorted the list of his alleged properties
which are at the centre of a dispute involving his ex-wife.
Chombo and his former wife, Marian, are involved in a divorce which is yet
to be determined by the courts.
“My wife raised what she raised, as a list and I raised what I raised as a
list,” Chombo said in a rare press briefing at the swanky Shangri La
Restaurant in Harare on Friday.
“And she has failed to prove that the list she had exists. And if it exists,
she can even have it.
“So it has been very clear and the court records are very clear and so
straight forward and you know it and you have got the documents, but you
want to elect to write that which is incorrect because it suits the agenda
that you have.”
While Marian was not immediately available for comment yesterday, Mtetwa
told the Daily News that her client had rejected the minister’s offer.
“There has been a pre-trial conference. The matter is still before the
courts,” she said, adding the list the minister is disputing was what was
presented to her by the ex-wife.
“It’s what we got from our client,” she said.
Chombo alleged the private media and his scorned wife were pursuing a
malicious agenda against him, obfuscating his real wealth ostensibly to
“There is absolutely no miracle,” Chombo said. “Tiri kufunga kuti pamwe
maakushaya news.” (we think you are running out of news).
But Chombo disowned all the published wealth on Friday saying his assets
have been inflated to scandalise him.
The MDC claims President Mugabe is shielding Chombo — his homeboy.
After the Harare City Council reported him to the police in April 2010 for
his involvement in shady deals in the city, involving an irregular
acquisition of more than 20 hectares of prime land in the plush suburb of
Helensvale, the police never mounted a criminal investigation.
There have been several subsequent police reports, but there was no action.
“There is no case, that is why police did not act,” Chombo retorted.
The police reports came as Chombo waged multi- dimensional battles over the
assets and simultaneously tried to have the courts seal the files.
Chombo’s attorney Advocate Thabani Mpofu has argued before the judge that
his client will suffer “irreparable harm” if the file is not sealed and was
attempting to keep details which could be embarrassing to his former wife
and hurtful to his children out of the public eye.
But Mtetwa, Marian’s attorney, argued that Chombo cannot be protected
because he was a government minister and a Member of Parliament whose
constituents are eager to know how he treats his wife and women in general.
The MDC insists that Chombo’s assets are merely a tip of the iceberg,
compared to the “collective assets” that the entire top Zanu PF leadership
holds as personal and family estates.
“That Chombo has been able to acquire such booty in such a short period of
time makes nonsense claims by Mugabe and Zanu PF that travel restrictions on
their senior party leadership are the prime cause of Zimbabwe’s slide into
an economic abyss,” the MDC statement says. Chombo said the MDC was pursuing
a political attack on his integrity, and had even brought amendments to the
Urban Councils Act to dilute his powers.
“The amendments to the Act, are meant to affect ministry.”
By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 20 November 2011 13:27
HARARE - While the local courts deal with different cases everyday, most of
them similar in nature, the question that has been raised is whether there
was a benchmark for determining the verdicts.
When one commits an offence and is brought to the courts, it would appear as
though his or her world suddenly comes to an unhappy end.
Punishment comes in different forms depending on the nature of the offence
that one would have committed, with the most severe being a death penalty.
Several aspects come into play when the magnitude of a punishment is put
under perspective; the first question obviously being, Who benefits from the
A wide array of variables are used to build evidence on circumstances
surrounding the commission of a crime; including the nature and
circumstances under which the offence was committed as well as the offender’s
willingness to reform.
Harare lawyer Anesu Vusani Bangidza said punishment for an offence is
justified since it helps to deter would-be-offenders from committing similar
offences, fearing the same fate would befall them.
“Punishment is justified in order to maintain the fabric of society, that
deterrent factor needs to exist. It will deter a number of people and stop
them from committing offences,” said Bangidza.
He also said the difference in sentencing on similar cases varies with
situations and the reason why a person would have committed an offence.
He lamented the country prisons’ conditions which he said are not
rehabilitative but punitive in nature, which do not create room for
behavioural change but rather harden them.
Alec Muchadehama, a prominent Harare human rights lawyer who has won several
human rights awards, concurred with Bangidza and said Zimbabwean prisons did
not provide reformative platforms.
He said forms of punishment depend on the nature of the offence, personal
circumstances and the interest of society which he said needs to be
“Sentences depend on the offence and offender. If someone commits an offence
repeatedly, obviously there is need for that person to be removed from the
society,” said Muchadehama, commenting on incarceration punishment.
According to Muchadehama, magistrates can use their own discretion on
mandatory sentences, depending on the circumstances.
While the courts have always imposed sentences to deter criminals and
would-be-criminals from committing further offences, the same people have,
however, reappeared in the same courts.
Muchadehama said courts should use progressive and compensatory sentences
that would assist in rehabilitating criminals.
Courts are compelled to pass sentences that are balanced with the severity
of the crime.
However, a critic could still ask what it means to be “balanced”, and what
an “equivalent” penalty is.
No form of punishment will meet the justice of any case, for example in a
murder case; no sentence would bring back a dead person.
Several circumstances often hover above human judgment that is based upon
On Line: 21 November 2011 18:00
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran is
ready to share experiences in industrial, agricultural, medical and
pharmaceutical fields with African countries including Zimbabwe.
Salehi made the remarks during a meeting with George Charamba, the press and
information secretary of the Zimbabwean President Office, in Tehran on
Salehi commented on good ties between Tehran and Harare and continuous
consultations between the senior officials of the two countries on
international issues and said Iran respects Zimbabwe’s independent stance
toward international issues.
Referring to the foreign policy priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran in
strengthening ties with African countries, Salehi emphasized the necessity
of helping to implement the bilateral agreements, particularly in economic,
industrial and agricultural areas.
During the meeting attended by Zimbabwean Ambassador to Tehran Nicholas D.
Kiti Kiti and a Zimbabwean media delegation, George Charamba appreciated
Iran’s effort to help develop Zimbabwe.
Charamba said his country’s President Robert Mugabe attaches special
importance to relations with Tehran and that the president is seriously
seeking implementation of the deals.
Charamba and the accompanying delegation also held talks with Iranian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Monday.
Mehmanparast stressed the necessity of media cooperation between Tehran and
The two sides insisted on implementing media agreements concluded in the
last trip of Mehmanaparast to Zimbabwe.
For his part, Charamba said the Zimbabwean private and state media outlets
are ready for cooperation with the Iranian media.
He went on to say that Western countries seek to halt the independent
countries’ progress and block their efforts to gain access to advanced
science and technology.
The Zimbabwean delegation made a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting (IRIB) and some Iranian news agencies and press offices.
U.S., Israel are main losers of regional developments
During the talks, Mehmanparast said, "A glimpse at the direction of the
regional and international developments indicates that such developments are
rooted in the strategic failures of the United States and Western countries.
These developments will come to end at the expense of U.S. and the Zionist
regime and in favor of the independent nations."
November 21st, 2011
I never thought that after the lessons from the ad-hoc land reform programme
Zimbabwe would pursue another disastrous programme, this time dubbed black
With the ruin wrought by President Robert Mugabe’s ill advised land reform
programme that destroyed the once vibrant agriculture sector, turning
overnight the country from breadbasket to basket case, it is indeed hard to
contemplate yet another similar programme engineered by the same looters who
are now multiple farmer owners.
It’s like a drama in slow motion with an obvious tragic end; a destroyed
economy, no jobs, no food and no money.
I am not sure what will happen to the country’s potential mining sector now
that Mugabe and his cronies are busy looting it in preparation for the
biggest election in their long political careers. But I am as sure, as the
sun rises every morning, that eventually the company grab, just like the
land grab, will kill the country’s sick industrial base.
It will not benefit my fellow Zimbabweans who have since 1980 been
sidelined, even after the completion of the so-called land reform programme
thousands of Zimbabweans are still squashed on spent land and Mugabe and
his cronies still cannot fathom a land audit.
No science is required to see that the same people who benefited from the
land reform programme will also benefit from the land grab. Even the
vociferous war veterans are not likely to benefit and neithrer will the
chefs, because they are not close enough to the echelons of power.
As I write this I see disaster coming to mother Zimbabwe for the same doctor
responsible for the deaths of many is forcing himself upon us again to
perform another surgery.
Zimbabweans will shrug it off as it happens, but when the effects start to
take their toil then they will remember that indeed Zanu PF policies are
self serving initiatives for political survival.
This entry was posted by Simon Moyo on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 11:49
November 21st, 2011
A review of October confirms that organised, large-scale politically motivated violence is escalating at a worrying level. Media reports indicate that the violence is planned and perpetrated by members of Zanu-PF and the armed forces under instruction from the highest levels, and is aimed not just at their partners in the GPA, but also at the general populace.
Strategies adopted by Zanu-PF to retain power are always multi-faceted. The main tool in their arsenal is to ramp up the violence and build a climate of fear. In addition, members of “opposition” parties are having to face continuous legal harassment resulting from trumped-up cases against them. Marches and demonstrations are being banned or blocked by the police, even when approved by the courts. Commentators believe that the violence and harassment is designed to intimidate the electorate prior to elections planned for next year.
During October, a total of 67 media articles were recorded for Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Watch. Among these articles, the greatest number of violations related to violence, intimidation, hate speech and abductions.((45% of total). 22% of the articles related to violations in the form of legal harassment of opposition politicians and perceived supporters involving legal cases.Denial of the right to freedom of assembly and association comprised six articles (9% of total), while violations of the GPA related to land followed (6% of total).
We have compiled ten articles at the end of this report to represent the month’s media coverage of events in relation to the GPA. The ZIG Watch section of the Sokwanele website carries additional information about further breaches in this issue, as well as a comprehensive archive of breaches for previous issues (please visit http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch for further information).
The first article illustrating breaches of the terms of the GPA in the form of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality reports on the case of a diamond dealer who told a court that state security agents tortured him until he passed out. This, he explained, was part of an elaborate, trumped-up plot to make him confess to working with MDC-99 leader Job Sikhala in shady Marange diamond deals. The state accused Sikhala of kidnapping Mapurisa Tonderai Kuzipa, an illegal diamond dealer. Prosecutors claimed that Sikhala gave Kuzipa money to buy diamonds and alleged that he did not supply the precious stones. However, Kuzipa collapsed the state’s case when he denied ever having any dealings with Sikhala, or receiving any money, and then went on to relate the torture to which he had been subjected.
There were reports in October on the trauma faced by low-income stall holders at Harare’s Mupedzanhamo market who believed correctly that the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act did not apply to them. To their dismay, these entrepreneurs were told they were wrong by groups of youths [believed to be Zanu-PF Chipangano thugs] who invaded the market, brandishing letters allegedly authorising ejection of any trader believed to be opposed to the black empowerment programme. ‘‘They accused stall holders of belonging to MDC, (supposedly opposed to indigenisation), saying we should leave Mupedzanhamo. Hundreds of MDC supporters have been booted out,’’ said a stall holder on 14 October.
To clarify the situation, the Indigenisation Act requires only medium to large local white-owned, or foreign-owned companies to relinquish 51% of their shares or interests to indigenous Zimbabweans. It only applies to foreign-owned businesses worth more than US$500.000 nett value.
Intimidation and vocal disruptions by Zanu-PF elements of public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill in October forced the parliamentary committee to compromise quality for security. The committee resorted to calling for written submissions only, to protect contributors. The decision to cancel hearings in at least three districts was reached after Zanu-PF thugs made it impossible for people to contribute freely in public, thus curtailing the right of ordinary Zimbabweans to freedom of speech. In the Masvingo and Marondera districts over the week of 17 October, groups of Zanu-PF members repeatedly disturbed proceedings whenever suspected MDC supporters were expressing their views. People were also verbally threatened.
The MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South, Eddie Cross, fell victim to a disgraceful incident of violence and intimidation when he was subjected to death threats from suspected CIO members in response to revelations he made during Parliament about corruption at the Chiadzwa diamond fields. Cross had tabled a motion calling for nationalisation of the diamond mines to control rampant theft. He had then detailed the situation at Chiadzwa where only a fraction of diamond profits are being seen by the State, with senior members of Government, Zanu-PF and the armed forces involved in the exploitation. Cross’s motion was adopted on 27 October. After the session he was threatened by a Zanu-PF member, with more threats following over several days, becoming more abusive and threatening his life.
In another incident of violence and intimidation, on 30 October, over 100 Zanu-PF youths were bussed in to interrupt a rally in the Hatcliffe constituency that the co Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone, who had written clearance from the police, was due to address. MDC-T supporters retaliated and Zanu-PF’s Chipangano gang members dispersed in all directions. Only then did police intervene, firing teargas and rubber bullets at MDC-T supporters, injuring several people. “… MDC people were defending themselves but ended up on the receiving end of police brutality,” said Emmanuel Chiroto, an MDC-T councillor. This incident is recorded as a breach of the GPA for both the MDC-T and Zanu PF party.
In a case demonstrating harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters via the courts, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared in court in Bulawayo on 6 October, but were remanded to 12 December as most prosecutors were still on strike. This case also highlighted the abuse of those detained for “political” reasons in Zimbabwean jails. WOZA members arrested alongside Williams and Mahlangu at the 21 September Peace Day Protest filed a complaint against riot squad officers. The ten complained that officers who beat and arrested them also used highly offensive language on all protestors.
In a different case of legal harassment, we give special mention to MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore, the subject of several media articles this month. He was arrested on 3 October and faced charges believed to be trumped-up of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View in May. The State insisted that Madzore had been “on the run” for the last five months. His lawyers applied for bail on 12 October, but the application was postponed for two days. On Friday 14, it was again postponed to Monday 17 after the State prosecutor said he was not ready and thereafter it was again postponed.
Widespread arrests of MDC-T officials and supporters in Matabeleland North, which began with the visit by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on 20 October, continued during the week. A dozen or more people were detained, with many being denied their constitutional rights. They formed part of a general crackdown on the MDC-T countrywide. The Prime Minister had fierce run-ins with the police and several MDC-T district organisers were rounded up for hosting their leader. This took place in pre-dawn raids on the homes of Thembinkosi Sibindi, Matabeleland North provincial organising secretary, and the Hwange West district chairperson, Bernard Nyamambi, by police armed with search warrants for “subversive materials”.
Denial of the right to freedom of assembly continued, with police in Lupane blocking an MDC-T rally on 29 October, despite a court order allowing it to take place. Thirty five armed police officers in riot gear besieged the venue at St Paul’s and disrupted proceedings. The officers ordered kitchen staff and MDC-T members to evacuate the venue. Police also blocked Tsvangirai’s tour of St Paul’s Mission Hospital. Tsvangirai was on a government work programme visit to Matabeleland North Province. On Thursday 27, he was in Tsholotsho to assess the business situation in the region before going to Binga and Lupane.
Finally, an article dated 14 October reviews several breaches of the land clause in the GPA. Despite the GPA’s calls for accountability and for the restoration of full productivity on all agricultural land, formally white-owned citrus farms that used to generate significant foreign currency for the country, as well as providing oranges for local beverage companies, are lying idle. A survey indicates that Zanu-PF politicians who grabbed the most productive citrus farms in the Chegutu district from their commercial owners have deserted them after disposing of valuable equipment.
On Lionsvale farm, grabbed by former deputy minister Bright Matonga, orange trees are dying from lack of attention. Most of the equipment stolen by Matonga is no longer operational. At Stockdale Estates, grabbed by Senate President Edna Madzongwe`s son, the farm was abandoned after the equipment had been sold. Hippovale farm, grabbed by Zimpapers journalist Emilia Zindi, is also being underutilised. Zindi and her sons are accused of vandalising and stealing farm equipment.
tortured me to confess – Kuzipa
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 05/10/2011
State security agents tortured a diamond dealer until he passed out to make him confess to working with MDC-99 leader Job Sikhala in shady Marange diamond deals, a magistrate’s court heard on Friday. The state accuses Sikhala, the leader of a breakaway MDC faction, of kidnapping diamond dealer Mapurisa Tonderai Kuzipa in what the MDC-99 leader says is a trumped-up charge. Prosecutors claim Sikhala gave Kuzipa money to buy diamonds, but he allegedly did not supply the precious stones. Kuzipa denied ever having any dealings with Sikhala or receiving any money. He further told the court that police and intelligence operatives tortured him until he lost consciousness to force him into making a confession implicating Sikhala.
Some are more indigenous than others
IRIN (UN): 14/10/2011
Stallholders at Mupedzanhamo market on the outskirts of Harare thought they were immune to the 2008 Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which requires large businesses such as banks and mining companies to relinquish at least 51 percent of their shares or interests to indigenous Zimbabweans. They were wrong. Recently groups of youths have descended on the market, brandishing letters allegedly authorising them to eject any trader they believe is opposed to the black empowerment programme. ‘‘They accused me and other stallholders of belonging to MDC, which they said is opposed to indigenisation, and said we should stop doing business at Mupedzanhamo. Hundreds of MDC supporters have been booted out this year,’’ said a stallholder.
Amendment hearings suspended due to ZPF violence
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 20/10/2011
Intimidation and vocal disruptions by Zanu-PF elements during public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill have forced the parliamentary committee to call for written submissions only, in order to protect contributors. A decision to cancel public hearings in at least three districts was reached after Zanu-PF thugs caused chaos, making it impossible for people to make contributions freely. In Masvingo on Wednesday, a group of mostly of Zanu-PF women repeatedly broke into song whenever suspected MDC supporters were expressing their views. On Monday in Marondera, hearings at Nehanda Hall were cancelled after Zanu-PF supporters prevented anyone suspected to be MDC from contributing by chanting slogans and singing songs. People were also verbally threatened.
threatened by CIO over diamond revelations
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 31/10/2011
MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South, Eddie Cross, has faced serious threats from suspected CIO members, in the wake of revelations he made during parliament about corruption at Chiadzwa diamond fields. Cross earlier this month tabled a motion in Parliament calling for the diamond mines to be nationalised to control rampant theft, then detailed the situation at Chiadzwa where only a fraction of profits are being seen by the State. Senior members of Government, Zanu-PF and the armed forces were said to be involved in the exploitation. Cross’s motion was adopted last week Thursday. After the session he was threatened by a Zanu-PF member, with more threats over several days becoming more abusive and threatening his life.
Pandemonium as MDC-T and Zanu-PF supporters clash
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 31/10/2011
Police had to fire teargas and rubber bullets during clashes between MDC-T and Zanu-PF supporters in Hatcliffe, a constituency held by co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone’s constituency. Police intervened after supporters of the MDC-T defended their right to assemble as they sent Zanu-PF’s Chipangano gang members scurrying in all directions. Over 100 Zanu-PF youths were bussed in to interrupt a rally that was to be addressed by Makone, who had clearance in writing from police to hold the rally. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets and several people were injured in the melee. ‘… MDC people were defending themselves but ended up on the receiving end of police brutality,’ said Emmanuel Chiroto, an MDC-T councillor.
Mahlangu appear in court
WOZA leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared in Court in Bulawayo 6th, but were remanded to 12 December (most prosecutors being on strike). Members arrested alongside Williams and Mahlangu at the 21 September Peace Day protest filed a complaint against Riot squad officers on that day. The ten complained that officers who beat and arrested them used foul language on all protestors.
bail judgment set for Thursday
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 18/10/2011
MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore will have to wait until Thursday to find out if he will be set free from custody on murder charges. Madzore was arrested two weeks ago and is facing trumped-up charges of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View, back in May. The bail application by Madzore was first postponed from last week Wednesday to Friday. On Friday it was postponed to Monday after the State prosecutor said he was not ready. On Monday Justice Hlekani Mwayera postponed the ruling to Tuesday, saying she needed time to review the state’s response. On Tuesday it was decided that judgment will be delivered on Thursday.
arrests of MDC activists in Matebeleland
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 30/10/2011
The attacks on MDC supporters in Matabeleland North, which began with the visit by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday last week, have continued this week, with widespread arrests. A dozen or more people have been detained, with many denied their rights to be charged or released, or to have access to a lawyer. They are part of the general crackdown on the MDC countrywide. The PM had fierce run-ins with the police and several MDC district organisers were rounded up for hosting the MDC leader. Police armed with search warrants for subversive materials carried out a pre-dawn raid on the homes of Thembinkosi Sibindi, Matabeleland North provincial organising secretary and Hwange West district chairperson, Bernard Nyamambi.
police disrupt MDC-T rally in Lupane
Bulawayo24 News: 29/10/2011
Police in Lupane have blocked an MDC-T rally despite a court order allowing for it to take place. 35 police officers all in riot gear and carrying guns besieged the venue at St Paul’s and disrupted proceedings. The officers ordered the women who were preparing food to evacuate the place and dismissed 968 members who were already at the venue.. Police also blocked Morgan Tsvangirai’s tour of St Paul’s Mission Hospital. Tsvangirai is on a government work programme visit to Matabeleland North Province. On Thursday, he was in Tsholotsho to assess the business situation in the region before going to Binga and Lupane.
farms lie idle as land grabbers give up
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 14/10/2011
Citrus farms that used to generate foreign currency for the country as well as providing oranges for local beverage companies are lying idle. A survey conducted indicates that Zanu-PF politicians who grabbed the most productive citrus farms in Chegutu from their commercial owners have deserted them after disposing of valuable equipment. On Lionsvale farm, grabbed by former deputy minister Bright Matonga, orange trees are dying from lack of attention. Most of the equipment grabbed by Matonga is grounded. The story is the same at Stockdale Estates, which was grabbed by Senate President Edna Madzongwe`s son. Madzongwe abandoned the farm after selling the equipment. Hippovale farm, grabbed by Zimpapers journalist Emilia Zindi, is also being underutilised.
[18th November 2011]
Tolerance – A Building Block and Pre-condition for Prerequisite For Peace
The United Nations International Day for Tolerance
In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Declaration of Principles of Tolerance and proclaimed an International Day for Tolerance “in order to generate public awareness, emphasize the dangers of intolerance and react with renewed commitment and action in support of tolerance promotion and education”. In doing so the General Assembly emphasised that the Charter of the United Nations affirms tolerance as one of the principles to be applied to attain the United Nations’ aims of preventing war and maintaining peace and that “tolerance is the sound foundation of any civil society and of peace”. The African Charter on Human and Peoples rights lays it down that reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance is a duty [Article 28] and to relate to others in the spirit of tolerance is part of the preservation and strengthening of positive African cultural values [Article 29].
State Initiatives to Promote Tolerance in Zimbabwe
This year the International Day for Tolerance has come at a time when tolerance is sorely needed in Zimbabwe – “tolerance is especially necessary to guard against the politics of polarisation” [UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon]. Political violence has been escalating over the past few months. Talk of early elections has raised the political temperature and violent confrontations have become endemic. In the last few weeks the situation deteriorated to such an extent that on 7th November President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met to discuss the problem of violence. They mandated the executives of the three political parties in the inclusive government to meet to discuss means of putting an end to violence.
Political Parties Agree to Code of Conduct
On Friday 11th November the executives of the three parties duly met. The meeting was attended by the three party presidents, President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube. Vice-President Nkomo represented the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. They all committed themselves to stopping inter-party violence and there was talk of the need to form inter-party committees that would preach peace and reconciliation at grassroots levels. It was agreed to implement a Code of Conduct drafted by the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration; it is expected that there will be a signing ceremony in the coming week. Peace Watch will distribute the Code when it is released. [In the present Electoral Act there is an Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates set out in the Fourth Schedule, but it only applies once an election has been called and during the election period. Breaches have to be resolved by multiparty liaison committees formed at national and lower levels – but those are only formed once nomination day has passed and candidates have been nominated. At the moment, therefore, this statutory Code is not operational.]
The litmus test will be if the Code will be taken seriously, and implemented at all levels of all political parties down to the grass roots.
Provisions to Promote Tolerance in the GPA
The necessity for promoting tolerance features several times in the GPA:
· In the preamble the three parties dedicate themselves to “putting an end to the polarisation, divisions, conflict and intolerance that has characterised Zimbabwean politics and society in recent times”; recognise, accept and acknowledge that “the values of justice, fairness, openness, tolerance, equality, non-discrimination and respect of all persons without regard to race, class, gender, ethnicity, language, religion, political opinion, place of origin or birth are the bedrock of our democracy and good governance”; and express their determination to “act in a manner that demonstrates respect for the democratic values of justice, fairness, openness, tolerance, equality, respect of all persons and human rights”.
· In the body of the GPA the parties invoke the need for tolerance when providing for National Healing [Article VII] and the National Youth Service Training Programme [Article XV]. There are also important references to tolerance in Article XVIII [Security of Persons and Prevention of Violence] and Article XIX [Freedom of Expression and Communication], which state that political parties and the media must refrain from the use of abusive language that may incite hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred or that unfairly undermines political parties.
Unfortunately the inclusive government has not effectively carried through the necessary measures to ensure implementation of these provisions.
Highlights of The UN Declaration of Principles of Tolerance
The Meaning of Tolerance [from Article 1 of the Declaration]
· “Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace.”
· “It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. ... It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement.”
· “Tolerance is the responsibility that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), democracy and the rule of law. It involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments. “
· “Tolerance is an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. ... Tolerance is to be exercised by individuals, groups and States.”
· “It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one's views are not to be imposed on others.”
Tolerance and the State [from Article 2 of the Declaration]
· “Without tolerance there can be no peace, and without peace there can be no development or democracy.”
· “Tolerance at the State level requires just and impartial legislation, law enforcement and judicial and administrative process. It also requires that economic and social opportunities be made available to each person without any discrimination. Exclusion and marginalization can lead to frustration, hostility and fanaticism.”
· “States should, in order to achieve a more tolerant society, ratify existing international human rights conventions.”
Social dimensions [from Article 3 of the Declaration]
· “Tolerance is necessary between individuals and at the family and community levels. The promotion of tolerance and the shaping of attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity should take place in schools and universities and through non-formal education, at home and in the workplace.”
· “The communication media are in a position to play a constructive role in facilitating free and open dialogue and discussion, disseminating the values of tolerance, and highlighting the dangers of indifference towards the rise in intolerant groups and ideologies.”
· “Particular attention should be paid to vulnerable groups which are socially or economically disadvantaged so as to afford them the protection of the laws and social measures in force.”
· “Appropriate studies should be undertaken to analyse root causes of intolerance and effective countermeasures taken as well as policy-making and standard-setting action by Member States.”
Education [from Article 3 of the Declaration]
· Education is the most effective means of preventing intolerance. The first step in tolerance education is to teach people what their shared rights and freedoms are, so that they may be respected, and to promote the will to protect those of others.”
· “Education for tolerance should be considered an urgent imperative; ...[to] address the cultural, social, economic, political and religious sources of intolerance – major roots of violence and exclusion.”
· “Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and should help young people to develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.”
Highlights of UN Messages for 2011 International Day for Tolerance
From Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
“This is a period in which the old world is slowly but irreversibly changing and the contours of a new one are just beginning to take shape. Traditional institutions are being challenged. Budgets are being squeezed. Families are being stressed. All of this flux and churning creates enormous anxiety. At times of change, we must stay true to the ideals and principles that are at the heart of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among those core values is tolerance. Our practice of tolerance must mean more than peaceful coexistence, crucial as that is. It must be an active understanding fostered through dialogue and positive engagement with others.
This is especially critical in combating the discrimination that causes so much divisiveness, destruction and death. We all have a responsibility to protect those vulnerable to discrimination, whether based on race, religion, nationality, language, gender, sexual orientation or other factors. Practicing tolerance can serve as the antidote to prejudice and hatred.... let us remember that active tolerance begins with each of us, every day.”
From the President of the UN General Assembly
“Today, as our world goes through a period of unprecedented transition, it is more pressing than ever that we foster tolerance .... In this time of change ... openness, communication, freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and belief are essential elements for peace, respect and appreciation of diversity. There is growing acknowledgement of the need for tolerance and dialogue among different cultures and groups of people. However, we are also witnessing the continuation, and in some cases an increase, of discrimination, extremism and radicalism.
The challenges of today’s world call for enhanced respect, understanding and appreciation between individuals, families and communities. Integral to this approach are attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity. ...schools, universities, the home and the workplace are all important places for further promoting tolerance. Greater efforts need to be made, in particular, to teach children about tolerance and human rights, about diversity and other cultures, and about other ways of life. Peace education needs to be a part of the teaching in all educational institutions. The media also has an important, constructive role to play in facilitating free and open dialogue.”
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