Two members from President Zuma’s
facilitation team flew into Harare on Wednesday to meet with representatives
from the three political parties, in an effort to break the current deadlock
in the constitution making exercise.
Speaking for the facilitators,
Lindiwe Zulu told SW Radio Africa that she had not managed to come to Harare
for the meetings, but Mac Maharaj and Charles Ngacula had been and already
returned to South Africa.
Zulu would not disclose the outcome of the
meetings, saying the team needed to brief President Zuma first. She said she
was confident a solution to the deadlock would be found but the challenge
was “in the how”. Trusted sources in Harare told us the facilitators had
failed to break the deadlock.
Asked whether it is ZANU PF that is
presenting problems again, Zulu said: “When you are the facilitators
yourself, you don’t want necessarily to be communicating a message that
makes any of the parties uncomfortable. However, when the chance presents
itself most of the time it is at the level of SADC.”
She added: “From
where we sit as facilitators, one day it is ZANU PF, the next day it is
MDC-T, the next day it’s the MDC-N. And as such it is not a good thing to
point a finger at those who others think are not cooperating.”
admitted the process was not moving fast enough and said she hoped,
“somewhere along the line the political parties realise this and try to move
the process quicker than it is moving at the moment”.
The draft of
the constitution, signed by all three parties, was supposed to be forwarded
to parliament if there was any further debate, following the 2nd All
stakeholders Conference last month. This was spelled out in the Global
But ZANU PF has been demanding many changes and the
Principles also confused things this week. During their Monday meeting,
Morgan Tsvngirai, Robert Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara decided a separate
committee would be formed to deal with the contentious
Welshman Ncube, who was allegedly left out of the meeting, has
also raised concerns.
This has been criticised by civil society
organisations and some analysts, who say the Principles have hijacked the
process and fear ZANU PF demands will now be incorporated into the draft
charter. The draft has already been described as a major compromise by the
Zulu said the facilitation team flew to Harare after receiving
letters from “some of the parties” regarding the current deadlock.
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it
cannot guarantee that the voters’ roll will be free of names of dead people
before next year’s general elections.
Zimbabwe’s voters’ roll has
been condemned by election monitors and opposition parties for not being
updated. ZEC deputy chair Joyce Kazembe says because a record of deaths and
births is still not fully computerised, it is impossible to maintain a
credible voters’ roll.
“It’s true; our voters’ roll contains names of
thousands of dead people. This is because legally, the Registrar General’s
office removes such people only when there is documentary evidencing
confirming that so and so is dead,” Kazembe told a conference of Christian
students in Harare on Tuesday.
“This is not happening, especially in
the country’s rural settings. So you will find we have 109 year-olds in the
voters’ roll, zvakaoma nhai. You hear of people living that long in the
Guinness Book of Records, but this is what you see in our voters’
Kazembe insists that the lack of a computerised record of dead
people means updating the voters’ roll will remain a manual process for a
“The registrar general can only act when relatives of the
deceased bring documentary evidence to that effect,” she added. Last
year, the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said that the
anomalies opened the way for “double voting and other rigging
In its research, the group found some 2,344 voters
between the ages of 101 and 110 still on the voting rolls, despite the fact
the average life expectancy in the country is just 44.
also found that more than 500 dead voters had all been given the same birth
date - January 1, 1901.
“An accurate, credible voters' register is a
prerequisite for free and fair elections,” ZESN added. Cleaning up the
voters roll is one of the electoral reforms Zimbabwe’s ruling coalition
parties said must be completed before the country holds elections, which
President Robert Mugabe says could be held as early as March.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has told Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai there are 5.4 million registered voters on the
country’s voters roll.
The Premier was told this in Harare on
Thursday where he had convened a meeting attended by ZEC Commissioners, the
top hierarchy of the ZEC secretariat and the Ministers of Justice and
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa and Eric
Senator Obert Gutu, who also attended the meeting, said ZEC
reiterated to Tsvangirai that they will need at least US$220 million to run
the referendum and harmonised elections in 2013.
During the meeting
ZEC admitted that names of thousands of deceased citizens remained on the
roll and that they might not be able to clean it up ahead of elections next
Recently ZEC deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe blamed the poor state
of the voters’ roll on lack of appropriate technology to automatically
remove the deceased.
Over the years there have been accusations that
Tobaiwa Mudede, the Registrar General, has used the discredited voters roll
to manipulate and fix election results in favour of ZANU PF’s Robert Mugabe.
HARARE - Joyce Kazembe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Deputy Chairperson, has come to the defence of the Registrar General’s
office, which is being accused of turning away hundreds of prospective
voters. Kazembe said the complaints by prospective voters were “few” and
lacked substance, hence her Commission’s inaction on the issue. “Of the
few cases of complaints the Commission has received of voters being turned
away, the Commission has not been able to find fault with the Registrar
General of Voters’ Office,” Kazembe said in a statement via email. She added
that as part of ZEC’s efforts to supervise the voter registration process,
the Commission has installed an independent computer with a national voters’
roll which is taken to the Registrar General of Voters for updating every
week. Reports are rampant that prospective voters, especially youths, are
being turned away at their respective Registrar General’s offices across the
country. The Zimbabwe Youth Forum has expressed disgust and made calls
for the amendment of the country’s electoral laws. Analysts believe the
turning away of prospective voters is a ploy by Zanu (PF) to rig the
forthcoming elections. On preparations for the upcoming elections, Kazembe
said ZEC had managed to cover much ground in terms of training and capacity
building of its staff. “In addition, UNDP funding has enabled ZEC to acquire
vehicles, computers, laptops, Public Address Systems, Dictaphones, TV sets,
DSTV decoders, DVD players and furniture,” said Kazembe She disclosed
that ZEC had been able, through funding from the Electoral Institute for
Sustainable Development in Africa, to conduct conflict management workshops
with various stakeholders. The workshops, she said, culminated in the
formation of a committee whose task it was to harmonise the approach to
conflict management in the next polls. Concerning voter education,
Kazembe said: “ZEC has already identified organisations that want to work
with it to conduct voter education and these have already undergone
intensive training of trainer courses using materials produced by ZEC in
consultation with all stakeholders.” Kazembe said her Commission was awaiting
government funds for elections which will be held next year.
THE fight for Anglican Church properties in Zimbabwe took a new
twist Thursday when police evicted Bishop Chad Gandiya’s followers from the
main Harare cathedral halfway through a worship
Disturbances also took place at other church sites including in
Mbare where the rival factions reportedly engaged in clashes.
Gandiya had hoped to conduct a celebratory and cleansing ceremony at the
cathedral in central Harare after regaining control of the facility and
other Church properties from the ex-communicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga
following a five year fight.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony an
effusive Gandiya had declared: “As you can see I am a happy Bishop, I give
all the glory to God because today, the day we had waited all these years
has come at last and we are able to enter our cathedral.
over the past five years have been traumatised greatly, we were thrown out
of our churches, were harassed, we even arrested and in fact we had a lot of
healing to do.
“We do not want anybody to take the law into our own
hands; we do not want to fight anybody we want to forgive.” But the
celebrations were cut short after police ordered worshippers out of the
building despite a Supreme Court ruling handing Gandiya control of the
facility and other church properties around the country.
grabbed the properties when he formed a splinter grouping after his ouster
from the Anglican Church in a dispute over homosexuality. He however, lost a
court challenge at the Supreme Court and was ordered to vacate the
But his lawyers have challenged his eviction in a case that is
set to be heard at the High Court on December 4. Jonathan Samukange, who
represents Kunonga, has argued that his client and his followers cannot be
evicted until the High Court case is finalised.
Kunonga has cited the
country’s indigenisation programme in his bid to retain control of the
properties. Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws require foreign companies to
transfer control and ownership of at least 51 percent of the operations to
Anglican Bishop Chad Gandiya on Thursday held
mass at Harare’s Cathedral Church, the first time he’s done so in five years
after the building was occupied by the excommunicated Archbishop Nolbert
On Monday the Supreme Court ordered Kunonga to hand over all
church properties in his possession, ending a five-year feud that has rocked
the Anglican church since 2007 when Kunonga pulled out of the Church
Province of Central Africa (CPCA). He formed his own church, the Church
Province of Zimbabwe, but held on to the CPCA properties.
correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, told us Bishop Gandiya led a
two-hour mass Thursday morning which was ‘overwhelmingly’ attended by
Anglican parishioners in the city.
But that joy was short-lived when
police appeared and told Bishop Gandiya to stop using the facilities until a
High court injunction, filed by Kunonga to stop the evictions, had been
Kunonga filed the injunction on Wednesday seeking to stop his
eviction from Anglican Church properties across the country, claiming that
his priests would be rendered destitute. The matter has been sat down for
hearing by Judge President George Chiweshe next Tuesday.
Gandiya did not dispute the police order and the parishioners dispersed
without an incident. They hope the High court will dismiss the application
as they feel he has no case at all,’ Muchemwa said.
Mutete told SW Radio Africa that he had foreseen a situation where Bishop
Kunonga would fight to the bitter end to hang on to property that does not
belong to him.
‘His character does not depict a man of God but that of a
thug who will one day find himself in prison instead of church. We are not
yet done with him and I had seen it coming.
‘He’s one man who will go
down fighting but for no apparent reason but selfish ends. We had long seen
the evil in him and no man of God can behave the way he’s doing. He has
destroyed the church and I’m glad the judiciary system has also seen how
unprincipled this man is,’ Reverend Mutete said.
HARARE - Disgraced ex-communicated clergyman Nolbert
Kunonga yesterday threatened to shoot journalists for covering his ongoing
shenanigans, as five of his “thugs” were arrested late Thursday.
came as he packed his belongings — leaving the Anglican Church Cathedral — a
Shaking with rage, the once larger-than-life priest
confronted journalists in typical gangster fashion, ranting and raving, and
The Messenger of Court descended on his former bastion of
power at the Anglican Cathedral, a move that saw him flying into a
And as Kunonga was hounded by journalists and Church of the
Province of Central Africa (CPCA) members he went mad.
Dressed in a
pin-striped blue suit and a gun holstered to his hip, the burly Kunonga, who
was sweating profusely, charged menacingly towards reporters, who fled in
“You think I am playing with you, I can shoot you,”
shouted the disgraced churchman as he fumbled for his gun.
was not all.
Kunonga, who has been imperious for five years and
boisterous in the media, left the Cathedral with his tail neatly tucked
firmly between his legs. He later sought refuge at his lawyer, Jonathan
Samukange — an aspiring Zanu PF legislator.
Andrew Chakanyuka, the
Messenger of Court, however, gave the Zanu PF churchman a torrid time as he
chased after him.
“Mr Kunonga can we please have keys for three cars that
are in your possession,” asked Chakanyuka who blocked Kunonga’s
Kunonga was ordered by the Supreme Court to surrender a Mazda 626
registration number 646-832C, a Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Hilux single cab and
to deliver all CPCA assets of whatever nature in his possession.
yesterday, he claimed he did not have the properties, in blatant contempt of
the court order.
“We do not have cars with us, I did not bring a car
today,” said Kunonga, whose anger was boiling over as he frothed on the
The once-mighty Kunonga was reduced to a pedestrian as he hit the
road towards his lawyer’s offices with journalists breathing on his
He later returned yesterday afternoon and invaded the parishioners
saying he was in charge. He described the judgment as “fake”.
on Tuesday, he had filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court
seeking to stop the eviction.
But Judge President George Chiweshe
deferred the case to next Tuesday.
Notwithstanding the urgent chamber
application, locksmiths had a busy day as they changed locks at the
Cathedral after Kunonga fled “his base” after he was forced to obey a
Supreme Court ruling that he should leave the CPCA properties.
even in defeat, Kunonga provided some comic excerpts as he initially told
the CPCA members who were brimming with confidence to leave his offices,
which he said cannot be turned into “dens of homosexuals.”
the sorry state of the Cathedral, Anglicans have a mountain of work as the
once pristine Cathedral has been turned into a business empire where
kindergarten children were swashed in the basement.
Some of the rooms
have been turned into offices while other rooms have been turned into
Floors were potholed and the walls are grimy with dirt, while a
strong smell pervades the murky corridors which desperately need painting.
Zimbabwe pro-black law is investment scare: Tsvangirai
(AFP) – 1 hour
ago HARARE — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Thursday said the
country's laws that force foreign firms to cede majority stakes to local
blacks is driving away desperately needed foreign investment. "That
policy discord is what has led to the crisis of investment in this country,"
Tsvangirai told his Movement Democratic Change supporters as he launched the
party's economic blueprint in Harare. The two-year-old "indigenisation" law
compels all foreign-owned companies to surrender 51 percent of their share
holding to black Zimbabweans in an attempt to reverse the inequalities
caused by the country's colonial past. It is a key area of contention between
Tsvangirai and his coalition government partner, President Robert
Mugabe. The three-year-old power-sharing deal helped prevent the southern
African country from tipping into a full scale conflict and stabilised the
economy after bloody elections in 2008. "Our plan is to transform
Zimbabwe into a newly industrialised nation within a generation," said
Tsvangirai in what is seen as a precursor an electoral platform, ahead of a
2013 vote to end the uneasy coalition government. "We intend to raise
Zimbabwe from failed state status where perception and suspicion run riot
within the investor community whenever Zimbabwe is mentioned as a possible
investment destination." Tsvangirai said the indigenisation policy pushed by
his rival Mugabe is not the solution to the investment crisis and a runaway
unemployment rate of over 80 percent. "The crisis we face... is
opportunities for jobs," he said. Tsvangirai who is to face Mugabe in the
election said the country needs to respect investors' property rights if it
is to revive moribund industries. On Wednesday, Indigenisation Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere, a member of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, warned that foreign
companies which fail to comply with the controversial law will face
prosecution. Tapiwa Mashakada, Zimbabwe's Economic Planning Minister and
deputy secretary general of the MDC said investors are avoiding Zimbabwe and
instead choosing the booming economies of Angola and Mozambique. The law
"kills investor confidence. You cannot bring your money to invest in
Zimbabwe when someone takes over 50 percent. Capital is timid," said
Mashakada. Several companies like Zimplats, the Zimbabwean unit of South
African's Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum's mine in Zimbabwe,
Unki, have submitted their plans to hand over majority shares to local
By Godfrey Marawanyika
& Brian Latham - Nov 30, 2012 1:47 AM GMT+1000
Movement for Democratic Change party unveiled an economic plan it said would
reverse the effect of laws compelling foreign and white-owned businesses to
sell or surrender 51 percent ownership to local black citizens. The
program, known as The Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment
Plan, or JUICE, aims to create 1 million new jobs from 2013 to 2018, expand
the economy by 8 percent a year over the period and increase power
generation to 6,000 megawatts, according to the policy document. The
Indigenization Ministry, led by Saviour Kasukuwere, has forced miners such
as Zimbabwe Platinum Ltd. (ZIM) and cigarette makers including British
American Tobacco Plc (BATS) to draw up plans that will hand cede control
within five years. “The problem that indigenization poses is that it
kills investor confidence,” MDC Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada
told reporters today in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare today. “Capital is timid,
so once you say you are going to take 51 percent, why not go Mozambique,
Angola or DRC,” he said, referring to Democratic Republic of Congo. The
MDC and President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front party share power under a 2009 agreement brokered by the Southern
African Development Community after violence-marred elections in 2008 were
declared void by the regional body. The country is scheduled to hold a
general election in March. Speaking at the same event, Prime Minister and MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the plan would “lift Zimbabwe from
failed-state status” and establish a $100 billion “first-world economy” by
2040. “The crisis we face for ourselves and our children is opportunities for
jobs. Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly industrialized nation
within a generation,” he said. Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the
project was unworkable because “indigenization is a reality and it is not
The MDC-T has reported that scores of their members were injured
after they were assaulted by armed soldiers at a rally in Zhombe, Midlands
The rally was being held at Empress Business Centre
in Zhombe district and was being addressed by the Zhombe MP, Rodgers
The soldiers were deployed in the area allegedly for Robert
Mugabe’s maize seed distribution programme, which has attracted much
criticism in recent weeks for being partisan. Only ZANU PF members are
In a statement the MDC-T said: “The armed
soldiers ran amok and started assaulting the MDC members at the rally. Some
of the injured have since been transferred to hospital”.
said police from Kwekwe were notified of the incident but have not acted to
investigate or make arrests.
Harare, November 29, 2012
- Villagers in Nyanga and Binga have been warned by Zanu (PF) militias that
their limbs will be cut off if they fail to attend the party's
meetings. Movement for Democratic Change Organising Secretary for Binga
District, Garisa Moyo, told Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on
“Councilors are being threatened with having their arms cut off,
for not attending meetings organized by Zanu (PF) activists. The big
challenge is that the police are now involved in these
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spoke to people from Chungu and
Lusulu areas in Binga North under chiefs, Simupa, Sinakatenge and
Sinamusanga, who had reportedly come under siege from the three traditional
leaders who have been enlisted by Zanu (PF) to work with its coercive party
activists to force villagers to attend the party's
"Villagers who fail to attend the meetings are allegedly being
overtly threatened with having their limbs cut off by the Zanu (PF)
militias," said the report.
Those who spoke to the Crisis Report said
this was a reminder of the infamous “short and long sleeve” campaign whereby
many people had their arms and or legs cut off during the violent June 2008
presidential election run-off by Zanu (PF) militias across the
Moyo revealed that villagers were also being forced by the
chiefs to pay a fine in cash for failing to attend these meetings.
MDC-T supporter, one Omi, is one of the victims that Moyo cited who was
recently fined US$40 by Chief Sinakatenge, for failing to attend a Zanu (PF)
meeting which the traditional leader addressed.
Kariba District where
Moyo is District Organising Secretary for the MDC-T led by Prime Minister,
Morgan Tsvangirai, is on the border with Binga North.
Cases of political
intimidation and harassment which involve Zanu (PF) militias, soldiers, and
traditional leaders against villagers in various parts of the country,
continue to be reported as Zimbabwe approaches harmonized elections in
Councilor Temba Toonse Kunjulu from Jabuba Ward in Binga is
reported to have identified Zanu (PF) activist, Kenias Charuma, and a former
intelligence agent, Isaac Ndebele, as part of the militia intimidating
people in Binga North for not attending Zanu (PF) meetings in the
Meanwhile war veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda, who is in Nyanga
North recently held a meeting in the area where he misinformed villagers
that the constitution making process had been stalled by MDC-T leader and
He said this was because Tsvangirai was on insisting in
including homosexuality in the new constitution.
Sibanda is also said
to have made threats of violence to MDC supporters.
Spokesperson for MDC
Nyanga North Constituency, Sekai Gombe, confirmed to the Crisis Report Team
“Jabulani threatened all opposition parties stating that Zanu (PF)
is going to carry out a disciplinary process particularly to individuals who
did not vote for President Robert Mugabe in the 2008 harmonised elections.
Sibanda promised inputs for Zanu (PF) supporters only.”
following the meeting farm inputs were distributed to perceived Zanu (PF)
supporters only. The inputs included 10kg cotton seed bags and 10kg Shumba
variety maize seed, and they had stickers with President Robert Mugabe’s
“However, some of the Zanu (PF) supporters were disgruntled,
saying the party was giving them worthless inputs which are not suitable for
Nyanga region,” said Gombe.
One of the Zanu (PF) supporters, Denius
Tembo, who castigated his party is said to have been retributively assaulted
that same afternoon by the Zanu (PF) youth chairperson for Nyanga North Ward
4, Isaiah Tembo, and an Officer, John Katerere, and other Zanu (PF) youths.
Denius got injured on his left leg and allegedly lost a cell phone and some
money in the process according to Gombe.
Hundreds of activists from the Women of
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group marched to police headquarters at
Southampton House in Bulawayo Thursday, to deliver a letter of complaint
about police harassment of their members. The event was to commemorate Women
Human Rights Defenders Day, which falls on November 29th.
As the WOZA
members passed St. Mary’s church they knelt and prayed, but a truck load of
riot police arrived and started beating them.WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams
told SW Radio Africa that there were no serious injuries.
letter was eventually accepted by the District Commanding Officer, Inspector
Masina, who actually drove to meet the WOZA members on the
Williams said the protest was a continuation of their own version
of the global 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence. The international
theme this year is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s
Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women!” But WOZA has adopted a
shorter version, simply “Peace Now!”
Williams said they were
concerned with statements made by police earlier this month, saying there
were no Ndebele people left because they were all killed during the
Gukurahundi in the 1980s. To show their defiance, the WOZA members sang in
Ndebele as marched through Bulawayo streets.
The group had just returned
from Harare where they launched their campaign with a demonstration on
Tuesday. Hundreds of WOZA activists marched to the parliament building to
deliver a letter with their “16 Days demands” to legislators.
said about 500 members marched in two separate processions and merged at the
entrance, where riot police tried to send them away. But the brave women
continued with their program of song, prayer and speeches.
Harare, November 29,
2012 - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday threatened with
unspecified action the British American Tobacco (BAT) after accusing the
cigarette manufacturer of blocking products of their competitor, Savanna
from getting into the market. Mugabe,88, who was speaking at the
indigenisation conference where BAT handed over 26 % of its shares to
employees and locals to comply with indigenisation laws alleged that BAT was
behind the disappearance of Savanna Tobacco cigarettes trucks in
neighbouring South Africa in a move to continue controlling the
"I am dismayed by the information we have received over the week
that BAT operating with groups in South Africa have been taking action,
illicit action against another group called Savanna and lots of things have
been happening, trucks with cigarettes from Savanna being stolen," Mugabe
told the conference.
"And these are briefings from the security over
the week. I hope all will be well but in fact those are the things that have
been happening in order to kill competition and you try to undo a competitor
in that ugly way that’s not acceptable, some people will have to answer for
it. Let’s hope the management is unaware of this, but I don't think you are
unaware because it’s quite a huge case."
He said BAT management must
desist from engaging in those activities, without giving what action he
might take. The veteran leader said information on the allegations on BAT
was gathered by the country's intelligence agency and the security
"I want you to straighten yourselves, it will be sad if some of
you have been taking action or engaging in activities detrimental to
Savanna. That information we have and it appears to be authentic," said
Mugabe who accused police and soldiers involvement in the sabotage without
naming from which side of the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe were
the security details involved in the sabotage.
Zimbabwe is currently
forcing foreign owned companies to cede 51 % stake to locals without the
locals funding the stake being taken
Zimbabwe warns that foreign companies that fail to cede majority
stakes to locals as required by a controversial law risk being
The Minister of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Saviour Kasukuwere said some businesses had ignored the law and reminded
them to "realise the folly of what they are doing."
"I wish to make
it clear that the law will take its course in such matters of deliberate
disregard of the rule of law," said Kasukuwere during an economic conference
in the capital Harare, attended by President Robert
Kasukuwere said anyone who "does not want to comply with the
laws of this country or associate themselves with the aspirations of black
Zimbabweans has no place in the affairs of our country."
two-year-old law forces foreign companies to cede 51 percent of their shares
to indigenous Zimbabweans.
"This programme is irreplacable as it is
founded on the ideals of our independence struggle."
companies like Zimplats, the Zimbabwean unit of South African's Impala
Platinum, have submitted their plans to hand over majority shares to local
The programme is at the centre of a dispute between Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a coalition government three
years ago after disputed polls.
Tsvangirai has said the law will
drive away foreign investment, as the country is recovering from a
decade-long economic collapse.
“I’ve written foreign banks off, they’re not worth their
salt,” the Finance Minister said.
Zimbabwe plans to amend its Banking
Act after repeated attempts to sell Treasury bills failed to attract bids at
rates acceptable to the central bank and Finance Ministry, Finance Minister
Tendai Biti said.
“I’ve written foreign banks off, they’re not worth
their salt,” Biti said in a phone interview from Harare yesterday. “That is
why we are amending the Banking Act.” He declined to elaborate on the
changes he plans to make, though he said in his Nov. 15 budget speech that
the government would step in to regulate banks after the “misadventures”
Foreign banks that operate units in the southern African
nation include the U.K.’s Barclays Plc, Old Mutual Plc and Standard
Chartered Plc, Togo’s Ecobank Transnational Inc. as well as South Africa’s
Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Nedbank Group Ltd. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe
Ltd. is the largest lender on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, with a market
capitalization of $51.7 million. It last traded yesterday at 2.4 cents in
Harare. Calls to the banks’ local offices weren’t answered
Biti and the central bank are trying to rejuvenate the country’s
capital markets after a decade-long recession ended in 2009 when the
15-nation Southern African Development Community settled a political
dispute. A coalition government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe
African National Union- Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic
Change was then formed.
Zimbabwe hasn’t been able
to fund development projects or infrastructure repair through tax
collection, while foreign aid has been sparse because donors aren’t
confident about the southern African nation’s power-sharing agreement,
Harare-based independent economist John Robertson said in a phone
Attempts to raise money for government expenditure through
the sale of Treasury bills, the first since the country abandoned its
currency for the dollar, failed this month when rates offered by banks were
rejected by the Finance Ministry and central bank, Robertson
“Banks are resisting because they’re not sure government will be
able to repay the bills,” Robertson said. “Government likely wants to borrow
at about 4 percent and it’s likely that 8 percent to 10 percent would
ultimately be acceptable to the banks.”
Lending rates between banks
are as high as 25 percent, he said. Annual inflation in Zimbabwe was 3.2
percent in September, according to the national statistics
Zimbabwe’s indigenization minister, Saviour
Kasukuwere, said foreign banks are “determined to ignore” the country’s
laws. The government on July 3 ordered all foreign-owned banks to transfer
51 percent stakes to black Zimbabweans by July 2013.
“The gloves are
now off as they’re opposed to the aspirations of our people,” he said in an
interview in Harare today. “We tried to use moral persuasion, but this has
failed. We now have to crack the whip.”
Four banks hold about 80 percent
of deposits in Zimbabwe, Biti said in his Nov. 15 budget speech, without
naming them. Lending rates will be capped at a maximum rate of not more than
10 percent above a bank’s weighted average deposit rate, he said in the
Biti declined to say whether he had held talks with the Bankers
Association of Zimbabwe about the plan to force banks to buy negotiable
certificates of deposit. Two calls each to Bankers Association of Zimbabwe
President George Guvamatanga and his deputy, Sam Malaba, weren’t
“It would be disastrous if he decides to marginalize the
foreign banks,” Eric Bloch, a Bulawayo-based economist, said by phone
yesterday. The effect will “be considerable” as it may cause job losses and
“also worsen confidence in the sector at a time when it’s illiquid.”
The government is responsible for crippling
companies and industry during the period of price controls, according to a
prominent economist. 28.11.12
by Moses Chibaya
2007 to 2008, the country was in economic meltdown. The Goodwills
Masimirembwa-led National Income and Pricing Commission forced companies to
reduce their prices and even went further to arrest some of the top ranking
Seasoned economist, John Robertson, told delegates
at the Labour Briefing 2013 organised by the Institute of People Management
of Zimbabwe that the government made the mistake of controlling prices and
pegging them to unsustainable levels without factoring in production
“Zimbabwe has become a net exporter, a nation of supermarkets
because of the US Dollar we are using. But the government brought us to this
situation when they forced companies to charge low prices on goods produced
at higher costs that greatly affected companies’ capacity to re-tool and
“We now have a lot of work as a country in trying to attract
investors, re-tooling those industries and even training people we have lost
a lot of skilled people,” said Robertson.
He added that local
companies were operating in the most difficult environment where they had to
recapitalise with very little money. Robertson said it would remain
difficult for locally produced goods to have a competitive advantage over
imports because of the difference in technology being used.
to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai most companies in Zimbabwe are still
using equipment bought during the time of the liberation struggle. The
struggling companies have to also contend with unsustainably high utility
bills chiefly from Zesa and City councils.
Zimbabwe’s import bill is
in the region of $6 billion against exports of $2.9 billion and this
prompted the establishing of a Buy Zimbabwe Campaign by Munyaradzi
Hwengwere. The government embraced the initiative in its National Trade
Policy 2012-2016 launched earlier in the year by President Robert Mugabe.
HARARE - The party led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai the MDC has blasted Professor Welshman Ncube for
not coming forward with the truth to dispel misleading reports from his
loyal newspapers claiming that Tsvangirai did not fight for his inclusion at
the draft Constitution meeting. Tsvangirai has denied that Welshman Ncube was
excluded in the constitution-making process, insisting he refused to hold a
meeting with President Robert Mugabe in the absence of the MDC leader on
Monday. Tsvangirai met Mugabe and Deputy Author Mutambara at State House to
deliberate on the stalled constitution reform while Ncube waited
outside. In a statement to The Zimbabwe Mail, the MDC said: "It notes with
dismay the deliberate fabrication of issues by Welshman Ncube regarding
President Tsvangirai’s purported negative attitude towards Ncube’s
attendance at the draft Constitution meeting at the State House on
"Contrary to Ncube’s claims in the press that President
Tsvangirai was conniving with Robert Mugabe to edge him out of the
discussions, it was in fact President Tsvangirai who notified him of the
meeting through the phone when Ncube was in Uganda."
unfortunate at this stage that Ncube unashamedly chooses to be mean with the
truth in a pathetic attempt to solicit sympathy from the media and the
public while projecting President Tsvangirai in bad light. "If anything,
Ncube should just concentrate on putting his house in order."
absurd for Ncube to try and prop up his waning political fortunes by
mudslinging everyone in his political logjam."
has nothing to do with Ncube’s political misfortunes and is at this time
more focused at winning elections next year." Tuesday Ncube's loyal newspaper
NewsDay aid Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly come under fire
from MDC-T hardliners after be agreed to President Robert Mugabe’s idea to
set up a committee to renegotiate the draft constitution.
also said, "Tsvangirai is also accused of lending support to Mugabe and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara’s machinations to block MDC leader
Welshman Ncube from the constitution making process." It said, "the fall-out
between the PM and senior MDC-T officials followed the Monday meeting of the
principals where Mugabe allegedly made spirited efforts to ensure that Ncube
does not attend." Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara agreed to set up a
committee to look into the submissions made by delegates at the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference in October. Tsvangirai’s spokesperson
William Bango said his boss had no problems with Ncube and had been strongly
in support of his former secretary general despite strong opposition from
Mugabe and Mutambara. “Tsvangirai demanded that Ncube be part of the meeting
and when he heard Ncube was outside, he personally took him into the
meeting,” Bango said on Tuesday. Tsvangirai had been personally calling
Ncube since last week because he wanted him to be part of the meeting, his
spokesman explained. “Tsvangirai respects the Maputo [SADC] declaration that
recognises Ncube as a principal,” he added. “Ncube has problems with
Mutambara and Mugabe, not the PM. Tsvangirai does not want to interfere in
the internal affairs of the MDC. It is unfair for the MDC to blame
Tsvangirai for their problems with Mutambara.” He said Ncube never raised any
objections when he was allowed in the meeting. Ncube told his loyal media
outlet that he was only called after the hour-long meeting at State House to
be briefed that the committee made up of a Cabinet minister and Copac
co-chairpersons will break the impasse on the proposed supreme law. The
move is seen as a last ditch effort to smuggle in the more than 200
amendments made by Zanu PF on the Copac draft constitution. Sources
yesterday said Tsvangirai had met Mugabe without Ncube despite advice from
the MDC-T top brass not to do so. “Tsvangirai is betraying us,” siad the
NewsDay cranked up the spin quoting an alleged senior MDC-T official. “We
agreed as the party’s executive that he should snub any meeting on the
constitution where Ncube is not invited. “We have also agreed that the
draft constitution should not be opened up for renegotiation.” Tsvangirai
has in the past talked tough against Zanu PF’s proposals to re-open
negotiations on the draft saying it would be in violation of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA). “What he says is not what he acts,” the source
added. “I think the problem is that he cannot defend his position when he
meets Mugabe.” Ncube yesterday said he was made to wait for an hour while
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara discussed a report on the Second All
Stakeholders Conference presented by Constitutional Affairs minister Eric
Matinenga. The Industry and Trade minister said Mugabe and Tsvangirai also
did not disclose the venue of the meeting until he traced them to State
House. But the PM’s acting spokesperson William Bango said the MDC-T leader
had actually insisted that Ncube must attend the meeting. “It is
Tsvangirai who demanded that Ncube be invited to the meeting and when he
heard Ncube was outside, he personally went out to take him in,” Bango
said. “Even last week, he personally called him (Ncube) when he was away
in Uganda and flatly refused to discuss the constitution-making process in
his absence.” Bango said Tsvangirai respected the Sadc resolution that
Ncube must be recognised as a GPA leader instead of Mutambara who lost the
MDC leadership last year. “Ncube has problems with Mutambara and Mugabe
who has refused to appoint him Deputy PM, not Tsvangirai,” he
said. “Tsvangirai cannot interfere with another party’s internal affairs,
neither is he expected to be a midwife in Ncube’s dispute with Mugabe and
Mutambara. “When Ncube was taken into the meeting, he never raised any
objection and what do you want the PM to do?” he added. Ncube said he was
taken into the State House meeting by Mugabe’s spokesperson Lawrence Kamwi
not Tsvangirai. “When I got in, Mugabe pretended as if he was not aware that
I (had been waiting) outside,” he said. “He ordered Matinenga to start
afresh his presentations leading to the resolutions to the setting up of a
committee. “Kamwi and Matinenga had both gone into the meeting an hour before
and told them I was waiting outside. “Mugabe said he intended to call
another meeting of party leaders after the Cabinet meeting to debate the
constitution, although they had already agreed on a way forward.” The
paper went on to say Ncube said before the Monday drama, Tsvangirai’s aide
Ian Makone had confided in him that Mugabe had indicated that he was not
comfortable with him attending.
Disgruntled Hopley residents recently refused to accept
inputs dished out under a scheme initiated by President Robert Mugabe, in
protest over favouritism and reported theft by greedy Zanu (PF)
by Farai Bango
The inputs are meant
to enable the residents to participate in urban farming. Hopley, situated
about 10km southwest of Harare and one of the informal settlements that
sprouted after Operation Murambatsvina in 2005, accommodates residents who
have been manipulated to vote Zanu (PF) because of their poverty.
is located in Harare South constituency, the only one controlled by Zanu
(PF) in the capital. The Zimbabwean interviewed some residents who witnessed
“We were told that every household should get 2kg of
maize seed and 5kg of fertilizer but when a truck came with seeds, those
distributing the inputs said there was not enough, hence we had to receive
1kg of each,” said a resident who spoke on condition of
The resident said that some Zanu (PF) leaders in Hopley
unanimously agreed not to accept the seeds until leadership addressed
“Our leadership agreed not to accept the seed and fertiliser,
saying they were suspecting that some selfish individuals might have
diverted the inputs for their own use,” said the resident.
resident only identified as Johannes said: “People unanimously refused to
take seeds and the fertilizer as doing so would be endorsing
Meanwhile, in Sunningdale distribution of inputs has
been marred by controversy as disbanded District Coordinating Committee
factions fight for control. Zanu (PF) earlier this year dissolved the DCCs,
accusing them of dividing and weakening the party.
In Harare, there
are two factions reportedly led by Hubert Nyanhongo and Amos
“There are some who say they belong to the Nyahongo camp and
others who claim to be on Midzi’s side and there has been a tug of war over
control of the distribution exercise,” said a source who witnessed the
distribution last week.
In Mbare, only those who attend the party’s
meetings and card carrying members were given 2kg of seed and 5kg of
fertilizer. When contacted for comment, Zanu (PF) Harare Province Chairman,
Amos Midzi, refused to comment.
By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant
Editor Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:38
HARARE - Lovemore
Madhuku, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson is reviled
by his opponents and adored by those enamoured with his
From President Robert Mugabe to Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s party, the mainstream MDC, the University of Zimbabwe law
professor is like a pain that refuses to go away.
You don’t need
painkillers to deal with Madhuku.
“With the MDC, we no longer have a
relationship, at all. This must be stressed,” said Madhuku.
relationship with the MDC was simply on the basis that the NCA helped to
form the MDC, that the MDC would become a political wing of the broad
project of trying to make the country more democratic. They have since
abandoned that. I think from 2008 after the elections”.
He said in
the 2008 campaign, just like the 2002 campaign when the NCA supported the
MDC, it was on an assumption that the MDC would, as a political party in
government or the MDC president as president of the country, would promote
“those values we stood for”.
Relations between the mainstream MDC and one
of its founding members, have been frosty although both parties tried to put
a veil on the seemingly cracking union for sometime.
inter-party talks which led to a secret constitutional draft penned by the
two MDC formations and Zanu PF, in Kariba, the broader civic society felt
Tsvangirai had assaulted the principles of pushing for a people-driven
Today, the civic movement is sharply divided because of the
constitution-making process with some backing Tsvangirai although privately
acknowledging the defective process which Madhuku argues is a departure from
“To say that we don’t have any relationship with
the MDC anymore has nothing to do with our own personal relationships
because we have had a long struggle together.
“We have very close
friendships at a personal level with those people that are in government,
for example I relate very well at a personal level with Tsvangirai himself,
Tendai Biti and so on.
“These are really our friends, we were jailed
together, beaten together, formed the MDC together, formed the NCA together
and so on.
“So our relations for me go a long way. Politically, on the
constitution-making process, I do not see us ever coming back
“They should not even expect us to support them even when they
go into the next government. We think they do not have any principles
because if they have principles there is no reason to continue to fail the
relationship,” Madhuku told the Daily News.
The NCA leader cast
doubts on Tsvangirai winning next elections because of perceived ineffectual
plan to force political reforms in the inclusive government.
Tsvangirai has allowed Zanu PF to push him to where they are better placed
“He allowed them to reach the next election without any reform.
The purpose of the inclusive government was to create a transitional
arrangement at the end of which we would be able to have a stable country
that can run free and fair elections.
“Tsvangirai spent the last
three-and-half-years in an arrangement where he extracted no fundamental
“He will still agree to go to an election where there are no
fundamental reforms. I do not see him winning without fundamental reforms.
What has been reformed? The security sector is quite intact, Mugabe is still
having the levers of all.”
The 2004 Train Foundation’s Civil Courage
Prize winner claimed the reason why Tsvangirai may not make it is because he
presided over a process where no reforms were to come out of
Madhuku said the MDC has failed to deal with the corruption reported
to be in their rank and file leading to a fall in their public
He said their failure to announce a “free and fair” candidate
selection process is indicative of lacking moral power to tell sitting MPs
to face the “real thing”.
“There is so much involvement of dirtiness
in the whole thing. Because it is dirty, you want to maintain a particular
political class because the political class will perpetuate your
“Let us say they get defeated in the next election or they have the
election ‘stolen’ from them, they will still want someone to
Tsvangirai forever and ever; the only person to say that is that one
who was protected from being challenged (in party primary
There are contradictions by the MDC on whether the party will
allow sitting MPs to go through primaries.
Mwonzora has indicated not all sitting MPs will face primary elections but
organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, has said there won’t be sacred cows —
all MPs will have to pass the primaries’ test.
Madhuku doubted if a new
constitution was going to be written.
“Initially there was a fear you
would get a defective document which should not be taken to the referendum.
But it is getting clearer that not even a defective document would come out
of the process.
The parties are going to continue wrangling, not for good
“But each party now wants to use the debate of the constitution
to score certain political points. The MDC, for example would want to be
seen to have completely defeated Mugabe all the way.
“On the other
hand, Zanu PF realises that in the public domain they maybe seen as having
lost the battle. They want to keep their face and they will resist as much
“It will lead to a deadlock of sorts which would mean that
no document will be ready when we reach January and then towards the end of
January Mugabe is likely to just impose an election date. That is how I
I do not see a constitution coming out of this process. We are back
to where we were at the beginning of the process”
Madhuku is not
really viewed as a saint.
He has been accused of becoming another Mugabe
by clinging to the NCA chairmanship and aligning with Zanu PF in his
criticism of the MDC formations.
Madhuku said he will leave his post
after the elections, although he could have gone sooner had the referendum
being held earlier as had been envisaged.
He completely dismissed
Zanu PF links.
“If there is a coincidence that what we say maybe what
Zanu PF is actually favouring, we will not stop criticising the MDC merely
because Zanu PF is happy with it. We do not criticise MDC for Zanu PF. We
criticise the MDC for our sake. It is cheap politicking to say a person who
has criticised Tsvangirai is therefore Zanu PF. It comes from those who
believe they are the best game in town,” said Madhuku.
who was raised at Madhuku Village, passing through a school with same name
in primary and later attending Gideon Mhlanga and Mt Selinda High Schools,
respectively, Madhuku might not have started yet.
The 46-year-old has a
degree from the UZ, Master’s and PhD achievements from Cambridge University.
As Zimbabwe heads towards elections in 2013, Zanu (PF) is once
again looking to the country’s highly partisan securocrats to dash the people’s
democratic desires and keep the party – and President Mugabe – in
It is hardly a secret
that Zimbabwean military and intelligence services have always practised an
authoritarian, nationalist and totally pro-Zanu (PF) brand of politics. It is
also common knowledge that the command structures of all the country’s security
services are controlled by men who were part of ZANLA – ZANU’s military wing –
during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. Men who have not been professionalised
and whose thinking is still dominated by liberation politics – and by
unwavering, undying support for Mugabe.
After the security
force’s brutal campaign helped to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party
from taking power when they won the 2008 elections, there was always concern
that an unreformed (and unpunished) security sector would ensure that the next
polls would also be marred by violence and intimidation – and that the
democratic will of the people of Zimbabwe would again be
The question was
always – how would they do it. The first necessity was cash. With the MDC
controlling the state’s purse strings, the security sector bosses needed to find
funds that it could use. They found the answer in the Marange diamond fields and
in shady joint ventures with Chinese companies, which funnelled illicit diamond
revenues into their empty coffers.
But still it was not
clear what they would spend all the money in their now overflowing war chests
on. That became clear on November 1st with the launch of the so-called military
history documentation project – a project that is clearly designed to allow the
army to campaign for Zanu (PF) and that will not document military history but
instead will write another terrible chapter in the military’s increasingly
bloody and anti-democratic history.
As part of the
project, the Zimbabwean security forces are going to deploy more than 30,000
members, including serving and retired officers and Zanu (PF) mobilisation
officers, across the country to build ‘support’ for Mugabe and the party through
a combination of terrifying ‘sticks’ and a few tempting
Independent Newspaper estimated on November 2nd that the military has bought
1,500 Isuzu trucks – worth around US$45million – for use in the operation, which
will target every village and street in the country. This is in addition to the
550 cars that Zanu (PF) has already gratefully accepted and will use as part of
its election campaign and which were a ‘donation’ from one of the dodgy diamond
mining companies that are plundering Marange.
It is critical that
the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which is the guarantor of the
Global Political Agreement, and the African Union – along with the broader
international community – act now in order to prevent any further bloodshed
before and after the coming elections and to ensure that the elections result in
a genuine transition to a more open and democratic society.
But this will not
happen if Mugabe and his henchmen are allowed to get away with using the
security services to intimidate their way across the country. Already the
security chiefs have made it clear that they will never accept a civilian
president (i.e. a person with no liberation struggle credentials) and will
certainly never salute Morgan Tsvangirai.
SADC has to step in
before it is too late. The longer they wait to denounce the rising tide of
intimidation and illegal arrests of MDC politicians and civil society activists,
the greater the chance of a repeat of 2008 – and another victory for the
securocrats and their friends in Zanu (PF). SADC also needs to tell Zanu (PF) to
send the soldiers back to their barracks.
Because let’s be
clear. Despite Zanu (PF)’s protestations that the military history project is
just a ‘military history project’, everyone knows that it is a carefully
thought-out and well-orchestrated election ploy.
Why else would so
many security service personnel be deployed in such a hurry to villages across
the country – just six months before elections? Independence was 32 years ago so
there clearly is no rush to complete a history of the military. The only answer
is that they are not going to ask questions about the army’s past but rather
‘tell’ people how to vote to secure the securocrats future – and the future of
its allies in Zanu (PF). And they’re going to do it by ensuring there are more
army vehicles than ambulances in Zimbabwean villages – and more security force
personnel than high school teachers.
It is all part of a
grandiose but actually very simple plan. Rig the election, intimidate the voters
and install a friendly ‘civilian’ government that will protect the securocrats’
lucrative diamond, gold, platinum and agricultural interests. It is a classic
And it can’t be
allowed to happen. SADC and the AU cannot afford another coup – another bloody
mess in Zimbabwe. And nor can the people of Zimbabwe.
SADC and the AU must
stop this dangerous ‘military history project’ in its tracks, instructing the
government that it can only take place after the 2013 elections. Then they must
put their own ‘boots on the ground’ by immediately deploying observers in all
ten provinces of Zimbabwe. And lastly they must demand that the political
parties implement the critical GPA reforms to the media landscape and electoral
institutions that they agreed to back in September 2008 – to provide a chance
for Zimbabweans to cast their vote in free and fair elections.
And to finally enjoy
the government of their choice.